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“The Riu Palace, Aruba” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Aruba

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 79, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba (Formerly Aruba Grand Beach Resort)   |  
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Ranked #19 of 23 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“The Riu Palace, Aruba”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

My boyfriend and I went to the Riu Palace, Aruba, from November 12-19, 2012. It was also my first experience in an all-inclusive resort/vacation.

The first impression in the hotel lobby was a great one. Very expansive, always clean, very welcoming. Our room wasn't ready upon arrival, but we were happy to go have lunch in the interim.

Because it was my first all-inclusive experience, I wasn't expecting/didn't know about wearing a bracelet for the duration of our trip. I understand why it's necessary, but it did take a bit of getting used to.

Our room, an ocean view suite, was perfect. The bed was gigantic. I actually have NO idea what size it was. It was much larger than a King. We had a little sitting area, a nice balcony with a view of the pool and ocean, and spacious bathroom.

Housekeeping was very attentive and brought towels twice daily (seems it was a necessity with the pool visits and the Aruba weather). The only thing we had to do ourselves one day was strip our bed in order to tip off housekeeping that we wanted our sheets changed. That did the trick.

Staff was friendly from the housekeeping staff, to the bartenders.

We ate primarily at the buffet restaurant because we're both vegan, and it was really the only restaurant on the property where we could be reasonably assured our nutritional preferences were being met. Still, we did eat one night at the Italian restaurant on site, and it was also lovely.

In advance of the trip, I had read stories of vacationers having to make dinner reservations first thing in the morning, and reserve lounge chairs by the pool, etc. We did not experience this at all. It was not that busy. If we showed up at the pool at 10:30, we were easily able to find two lounge chairs together in either the sun or shade. Similarly, the restaurants were not booked to capacity during this time at all. It was the week prior to US Thanksgiving, so perhaps that was part of the lull.

We were interested in a property that had very little 'family' fun, because we were on a romantic week away. There were very few youngsters around, but when we saw them, they were all well behaved.

More families showed up near the end of our trip.

The service at and around the pool for cocktails was always steady and very polite. There were daily activities in and around the pool for those who wanted to participate in them. (aqua-aerobics, ball games, dance lessons, bocce ball, etc)

We enjoyed the finer bar on the main level of the lobby as well, which had a higher quality cocktail, and perhaps more traditional offerings if you're on the hunt.

They promoted their "Sports Bar" which really wasn't what I'd consider as such. It was more like a cafe/cafeteria. Here, you could find draft beer, some snacks (nachos, hot dogs, sandwiches, fruit). You can also use complimentary internet terminals there, if you wish. It wasn't the kind of place you'd want to hang around in, but more drop in, pick up a snack and go.

The bar in the room was (almost) fully stocked. A bottle of wine might have been a nice extra touch. (There was beer, vodka, rye, rum and scotch).

I did make use of the on-site fitness facility one day. The only downside of this was there are no washroom facilities (marked) in the fitness centre. They're across the pool near the seafood restaurant. A bit of an inconvenience.

Overall, we were treated quite well by hotel staff. The wifi was nice.

It was nice to be within walking distance of a little retail enclave and other dining/souvenir options. It was also nice to be away from the busier/retail concentrated Oranjestad. An inexpensive bus ride gets you there for a visit if you're interested.

Room Tip: We were in room 803 and found it lovely. I did hear some other travellers indicate they were unhappy...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,543 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (762)
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English first
Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Sould have written this sooner however as we all know life gets hectic after vacations when we come back to the real world. Hotel itself was nice. Rooms were nice and hotel itself is modern and clean. Complaints about hard beds were unfounded as my wife and myself found the bed comfortable. We were very surprised to find the quality of food to be very good. Customer service is what made the vacation average ( I am being generous). The staff pretend not to understand English and gaze at you when you ask a question or ask for another cup of coffee or water in the restaurants. Ask a question at the front desk and the response is the same. Stand at the pool bar to get a drink and be ignorded for 3-5 minutes. The same at the bar where there is nightly entertainment. The only person who was nice, outgoing, and went that little extra step was the young lady in the Sports Bar ( the Yankees fan). I had E-mailed the Riu when we had got back home to let them know as well and they never acknowledged the E-mail. It seems that their customer service is the same as the staff they employ. As far as the "hut game" on the beach people put thing out the night befor to reserve them. When we asked management about the policy the reply was the huts and beach are not owned by the hotel and there was nothing that could be done. I think not!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012 via mobile

Beautiful location with great food and very accommodating staff. Pool bar always well stocked and great. Had an amazing relaxing vacation, perfect for just enjoying the sun, and enjoying some great food.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We all know that every hotel/resort has different types of rooms. The thing is - when you pay for 5* standard you have an absolute right to expect 5* standard. The little trick with Riu Palace Aruba is that it has three buildings and only two of them are genuine Riu. While rooms in main building and left wing have characteristic towers and descent standard (I would rather say it's strong 4*, not 5*, but never mind), the right wing with no towers on the top was (or still is) used as time share building, which during high season is considered as 5* Riu. I have no idea if you have any choice while booking your all-inclusive vacation in this resort, but be aware that rooms standard in right wing is closer to average motel in Florida with worn-out bathrooms (dirty tiles, dirty shower door, broken handles) and kitschy, cheep interior's design.

The resort itself is not bad, but still - you can't compare it with other Riu's in Mexico or Dominican Republic. Food is great, especially Sir Nicolas restaurant offers very nice buffet. Staff in 100% indigenous, very helpful and not insistent in terms of tipping. I can't tell you too much about resort activities, because we spent whole days cycling the island (which I can definitely recommend). There's many other resorts in Aruba, so if you don't have an opportunity to choose your room, better choose another hotel (btw - they change our room for left wing one and that was much better, but it happened only because my hubby is travel agent...)

Room Tip: Avoid right wing of the resort (this one with no Riu towers on the top) if you can.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

As this was our first trip with baby we were very nervous, but the trip was great! The hotel staff were very warm and friendly. The hotel provided us a crib and all the restaurants had high chairs readily available. Food was pretty good - especially the krystal restaurant. We do a beach all inclusive trip every year and I would say the RIU Palace ranks up there.

The only thing that bothered my was the $20/hr charge for a late check out. We had a late flight and to keep our room for our little one to have a nap in the afternoon ended up costing us $100. As mentioned, I do quite a bit of traveling and have never been charged an hourly rate for a late check out so I wasn't thrilled about it especially since I had contacted the hotel prior to our trip to inquire about a late check out and this charge was never mentioned. All in all we still had a great trip and this didn't sour me, but I wanted other people to be aware of this before booking.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belvidere, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

This hotel was ok. It didnt ruin our vacation the food was great and the view and location were beautiful. My major complaint is the damp musty odor we smelled as soon as we walked into the lobby. At that point we figured it was just the lobby but unfortunately it was our room too. This really made it hard for us to take at times. I burned candles, sprayed air freshener, perfume opened the doors but northing helped. When we got home I had to washed everything to get rid of the smell. I will not go back there. It was hard to breathe at times and would be really bad if you have asthma. Plus the service was lacking!

Room Tip: Ask for a room that doesn't smell like an old damp and dingy basement!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

My family, 12 people, stayed at the Riu from November 18 - 25, 2012 and we had a wonderful time. Aruba is beautiful, warm, clean, safe, and the people were so friendly. We really enjoyed the Riu and felt they worked very hard to meet out needs and ensure we had a great time. The location of the resort is awesome. They are located next to Unique Sports of Aruba which was an awesome company for Scubadiving and very near to restaurants, bars, and shopping. We were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go.

At the Riu, Miguel in activities is awesome and everyone works really hard to keep everyone entertained. The activities department had a good variety of things to do and put on good shows in the evening. Our two favorite bartenders were Ana in the sports bar and Diego in the pool bar. They are incredibly friendly, professional, and fun and made staying at the Riu a great experience. The entire staff were professional, hard-working, friendly, and courteous and worked very hard to make sure guests are having a relaxing, wonderful time.

The two complaints I have are the beds were very hard and there was no "night club" option in the hotel. I have stayed at other all-inclusive resorts and they offered a club or place to dance which was nice. There were places to go very close to the hotel so it ended up being fine.

Overall this was one of the best vacations I have ever had and I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Aruba

Address: J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 79, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba (Formerly Aruba Grand Beach Resort)
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Casino Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Aruba 4*
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

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