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“Everything a five star should be!” 5 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 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Everything a five star should be!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

I stayed at the Riu Palace in Aruba December 3rd with my Mom and what a wonderful resort and place. Everything came down to the wonderful service that we were provided. I have stayed in many different all inclusive resorts and this by far was my fav! The beaches, resort grounds and atmposhere was peaceful and beautiful just as we had hoped. I found the buffet had a ton of selection and variety and didn't eat at any of the restaurants because we were so satisfied. The staff are absolutley amazing! Say hi to Jessica and Rina at the pool bar from me and ask for Jessica's coffee special:) I read most of the reviews here prior to leaving for Aruba and have to say that most of the complaints and negative feedback are silly little things that I didn't even notice or experience. The beds have a control on the right side to actually change the firmness of the matress which was some of the negative reviews main focus. I stayed in a standard room (Room # 749) and it was perfect. Upgrade to a suite if you plan to stay in your room a lot. I did not spend much time there. If you are staying here you are going to have a wondeful trip! Make sure you walk down the beach and in town as they have lovely shops. Also at night walk down the beach and you will find a bunch of Tiki bars that have live music and are a great time. My fav was the one right outside of the palace. I can't wait to go back to Aruba and stay at the Riu Palace again! Enjoy :)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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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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
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English first
Northwoods, WI
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We stayed at the Riu Palace Aruba during the first week of December 2012. It is an all-inclusive resort where one price covers all the food and drinks as well as the room. In other places that might mean weak food and weaker drinks, but we never had a bad meal and the bars are stocked just well enough with name brands to share shelf space with the generic labels. I couldn’t get Ketel One for my martini, but Skyy and Absolut were on hand. (Or, as George Thoroughgood might put it: Your pal Jack Daniels didn't make the trip but his partner Jimmy Beam did.)
Three large buildings make up the Riu Palace complex. They envelope a large pool area with a bar that includes swim-up service. The pool chairs are plentiful and a canopied area of tables forms the boundary with the beach in case you need a little time in the shade for card playing or people watching.
The Riu Palace is located among several high rise hotels, shops, restaurants and short ocean piers that house tour boats and other businesses. We ended each day with a long walk up the beach and back down along the street to pick a new favorite watering hole.
The resort has numerous dining and drinking options including small specialty restaurants that specialize in steak, Japanese and Italian dishes. Each deserves one night for dinner, but you can also have every meal at the general buffet restaurant and not feel cheated thanks to a vast selection of entrees, sides and desserts.
We had entirely positive experiences with the staff in every department. That doesn’t mean everyone was roses and sunshine, but we never caught anyone having a bad day. The only occasional wrinkle came from workers whose English wasn’t always clear. That’s understandable given that we were on an island just off Venezuela, filled with people traveling from Central and South America, Asia and Europe. The variety of languages and stories only added to our getaway experience.
As far as other reviewers' notes go: we did not notice a bug problem and wish we hadn't packed the bug spray. Yes, the bed is hard (and we noticed mattress pads were available) but we slept good anyway. The rooms were always clean. The only real cleanliness problem comes from smokers on the beach.
There are a handful of scheduled activities at the resort: a nightly entertainment show, some live music during and after dinner hours and limited beach games. But the real draw was the noon hour water aerobics led by someone whose resemblance to Taye Diggs ensured a large crowd of women watching his every move from the water or a nearby barstool. I thought of a famous beer spokesman and asked the rhetorical question, would you rather be the most interesting man in the world or the most photographed man in Aruba?
We took one excursion using De Palm Tours, a major player in the area. Their “Natural Pool Jeep Tour” took us up and down hills in a national park, along the rocky northern coastline and into a small area where participants can snorkel in what is essentially a giant aquarium formed by a rocky tidal pool. The drivers were enthusiastic and courteous. We would have booked other tours but the pool and beach back at the hotel were too darned relaxing to miss.
I don’t know if we’ll be back to Aruba only because we have more familiarity with other islands and resorts. But we had a fully positive experience and would have no trouble recommending and returning to this island and this hotel.

Room Tip: We asked our Delta Vacations rep to book a "Junior Suite Ocean View." That got us on the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
South Bend, Indiana
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

My husband and I just spent 7 nights is sunny Aruba at the RIU Palace. I read many reviews prior to traveling so that I could compare with my thoughts to see if what some of these people had to say were indeed legitimate complaints.

Yes, I will tell you that as you enter the lobby, there is a musty smell. That seems to be the biggest complaint. You have to realize that the weather in Aruba is very warm and sometimes very humid year round therefore you will have the smell. It's no different at any of the other resorts on the island.

I read complaints about the hard beds but I found the bed to be comfortable. You can request a mattress pad to help soften the bed. The rooms were very clean but did feel damp most of the time. Once again due to the humidity. Housekeeping were very good about cleaning the room immediately after you left it to go eat breakfast. They would bring fresh towels with the turndown service which was nice.

My room was in the main building which was conveniently located for the restaurants and casino but a little bit of a walk to get down to the beach so if you have problems getting around, make sure to go for the rooms located in the middle of the property and located half way between the beach, pool and restaurants.

The RIU Palace is rated higher than some of the high rise resorts but just remember that the pictures that you see in the brochures (you know...the ones with the women in the beaded gowns) it's not like that. It is "resort casual" and you don't need to pack your dressy clothes. The Ala Carte restaurants do require men to wear long pants which I hope that they will change some day. That is a huge complaint and I totally agree!

The main buffet restaurant is spectacular! One of the best that I have enjoyed in all of the Caribbean! You don't really need to eat anywhere else because they change the menu everyday and you will never see anything on the buffet that you may have seen at lunch. They keep the menu changed up! We ate there every evening. The service was amazing.

Nautilus was where we ate ate lunch time and once again, fantastic. I looked forward to lunch because they offered seafood, a salad bar the had everything imaginable and my favorite....Jerk Chicken that was to die for!

So if you have read negative reviews of the RIU Palace Aruba, ignore most of it.....you will not be disappointed. Just go and see it for yourself.....the beauty of the beach, the ocean and great service is what you should be looking for what you travel to Aruba.

Oh, one other thing. The casinos at the high rises were unbelievable. My husband and I made our money back that we spent on this trip within the first hour.....I am not kidding....we did enjoy the casinos!

Room Tip: The rooms in the main tower are nice sized, convenient and quiet with a great view of the pool and t...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the netherlands
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This was our first time in a RIU Palace and we where surprised by the beauty of this hotel.
The place looks big but still there is enough space for everyone.

ROOM/SUITE

At first, there where some problems with our check in, our suite with full sea view was overbooked! So we got a suite in the older part on the first floor. All the staff walks between the restaurants with little maintenance cars on the first floor so I can say the first floor is TO noisy!
We made a complaint and got a suite with side sea view, it had an amazing view and the room was very clean and in good condition, it was on the fourth floor. The Jacuzzi was great ( use bath foam from shower for the Jacuzzi, works great! ), shower has high pressure, good bath products, very nice! Beds where a bit hard but that did not bother me, kingsize so lots of space, tried the mattress topper but does not really help.

FOOD

The food was great for the price we paid for all inclusive!
Breakfast and lunch are superb, you will find anything you need.

Diner was good to, especially the beef in de steakhouse !! Pff that was awesome !!!! I am really a fan of the beef tenderloin and is was superb!!! Of course you can find a better restaurant in Aruba somewhere but it will cost you allot, so for the price you pay at RIU, food quality is very good.

BEACH / POOL

The pool is very well maintained I can say, and looks great! Best pool on Palm Beach!
I got a checkup I think, there where some people that complained earlier in reviews, could
not find any problems in the pool.
The beach at the RIU is also the best spot on Palm Beach! A big white and long beach, more than enough beds, if you really want the best spot, get up early and make a "reservation", but if you don't want to, don't worry, lots of palm trees that give shadow if you need, enough space for everyone !!!

STAFF

Overall the staff was great, friendly and helpful, special thanks to Jacquelina, Chanty, Gomez and Julia who made our stay a really pleasant one!

LOCATION

RIU Palace is really good located compared to Oranjestad and the Airport, also very close to a nice boulevard and shops, restaurants, try Casa Tua next to the Soprano's, best pizza we ever had !!

OVERALL

Even with the problems with checkin I still rate this hotel 5 star, after the problems the hotel gave us more than value for our money! I would recommend everybody to go to the RIU Palace Aruba!

Room Tip: Definitely choose a suite! Side sea view suites are also really beautiful!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012 via mobile

Beautiful hotel and grounds, staff attentive but at times slow to serve especially at the bar areas. Entertainment not brilliant but watchable but quite low key really for 5 star, needs to be sorted out.
Food was amazing with 4 alternative restaurants to go to instead if the usual buffet which was more than enough, bar in the room was a nice benefit before going or dinner, the only downside is the rooms Thomson use are not the suites and are on the right side of the hotel and don't have window blinds or balconies, this wasn't a major problem but to sit out at times late evening we missed, the beach s heaven if you can find a lounger, same story around the pool, hunting or beds even at 8am!! It's very windy but you need it as the heat is mid 30's everyday, trips are good we did the sea walk trip......fantastic, bit scary at first but an amazing experience. Great island and the tour we took was great, a must, would definitely return as this island I felt was more beautiful than Barbados.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Torrington, CT
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

The Riu was like a palace from entry to exit. It was our first all-inclusive stay anywhere and what a treat!!! Over indulgence doesn't describe it well!!!! We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and will never forget it!! The restaurants and staff were awesome. The nightly shows were very entertaining!! The beach is gorgeous!!! We had no problems to report, only wonderful staff and beautiful resort!!! The housekeepers were phenomenal as well as the entire staff throughout the resort!!! Activities at the pool were awesome like afternoon zumba!!! I can't say enough great things!!! Don't hesitate just book it!!!

Room Tip: We were in the main building on the 10th floor and had a junior suite!!! Our balcony overlooked the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012 via mobile

We went to this hotel in June this year , lovely hotel , rooms were slightly dated when we asked for a upgrade as we were on our honeymoon( which the travel agent advised we get) they knew nothing about it and said we are fully booked we will move you next week. We asked a few times but never got moved. Food we couldn't fault and drink was all branded alcohol.
Beaches were like paradise and the locals were very friendly. Safe to walk out of a night time.
The only problem was not enough sun beds and you had to get up at 6am to get one.
This location is very windy so take some clips to pin your towels down.
Overall a beautiful location and top hotel would definitely recommend the safari trip !

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 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*
Number of rooms: 450
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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