My husband and I traveled with friends last week. We have been to many places in the Caribbean and Mexico, and to a dozen or so all inclusives. First of all, we loved Aruba. The weather was wonderfully warm and sunny, the island is safe and the people are friendly. There was a nice breeze blowing daily, but not so strong as to be bothersome.
The RIU Aruba is a solid choice for a place to stay and play. The rooms are spacious and very clean, but not overly fancy. They are more than adequate and totally met our needs. I will say the beds are extremely hard, but when we asked for a pad for the bed, our wish was granted immediately, and that made sleeping much better. The pool area was clean, and there were attendants walking around to get drinks as needed. The bartenders made great drinks, but know ahead of time that their liquor selection is a bit limited. They do not carry top shelf liquors, but did have Absolut vodka, and that was fine for us vodka drinkers. The beach is very nice, but there are no attendants to bring drinks, so you have to get up and get your own. Not really a big deal, but we did comment how we enjoyed that aspect at some other all inclusives. The food at the buffets was very, very good. Our friends own a restaurant, and we are all pretty picky about the food we are served. However, the food at the specialty restaurant--The Steakhouse--was absolutely horrible. The men got the ribeye, if you can call it that, and it was thin and very gristly. The lobster was small and way overcooked, as were the baked potatoes, and pretty much everything they served. We had the 9:00 seating, and felt like everything had been cooked for the 6:30 seating, and then just kept warm until the 9:00 group. Terrible. We didn't go to any other "specialty restaurants," as the steakhouse was supposed to be the best. The buffet was amazing, and we don't usually like buffets, as a rule.
The little casino is nice, with some table games and enough slots to accommodate the guests. It always had a good number of people, but never felt overly crowded. We all played some black jack, and thought that most of the people working in the casino were nice and knew their trade. After walking around and checking out some other nearby casinos, we found this one to be smaller than the others, but adequate for the hotel.
I highly recommend renting a jeep and exploring the island. The north side of the island has no paved roads, but the jeep allows you to drive along "off road" and see some really cool sights. We were gone for most of a day exploring, and ate lunch at the Rum Reef restaurant at the southeast end of the island near Baby Beach.
Other than the steakhouse experience, we loved the RIU and the island of Aruba. We would definitely go back, and would be more than happy to stay again at the RIU!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- > * Opened: summer 2007> * Situated in Palm Beach on the island of Aruba> * Two 10-story buildings, one 8-story building> * Located on the beach> * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach> * 4 km / 2.48 miles from Oranjestad> * 700 m / 2296.7 ft. from various shops> * 10 km / 6.21 miles from the airport> * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Riu Aruba
- Riu Palace Aruba Resort
- Hotel Riu Palace Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach