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“Nice but probably will not stay here again” 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
Houston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Nice but probably will not stay here again”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

My new Husband and I spent our Honeymoon in Aruba 12/17-12//23 2012.

Goods: The view and location are amazing, the pool is the biggest anywhere, the BAR staff in all the bars is great, quick, helpful, fun and very nice.

The cleaning staff is great. We had a clean (immaculate) room each day, they were so friendly, and turn down service with fresh towels by each evening when we would return.

Food: The buffet is good, with a large selection

Not So Good:

Food: You cannot make reservations until the morning beginning at 9 am. If you are not in line in the lobby by 8:45 you can forget a reservation. There are 2 seatings 6:30 pm an 9 pm. 9 pm is just way too late and we were only able to get one reservation at one restaurant within the resort our entire stay and at the 9 pm seating. The room service is AWFUL. The food options include nachos which consisted of room temperature cheese dip in a bowl and tortilla chips on a plate, a salmon and cream cheese bagel sandwich, a room temperature club sandwich with chips, a chicken Cesar salad and a couple of dessert options. It takes somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour to get food if you order from room service. If you don't get a reservation your other option is eating in the buffet.

The Bed: Hard as a rock and upon return my shoulders and neck were so sore I have had 2 visits to the chiropractor within a week to feel just okay.

Service Staff: They were just okay. The front desk just helped you check in, they would give you a wifi code, but really did nothing above and beyond to help you if you had a question. The staff in the restaurants is not good. They seemed put out to get you a drink and that is if they came to your table to see if you needed one at all.

Other than this, we enjoyed our trip to Aruba, because it was a beautiful place with a lot to do and we were on our honeymoon so we did not sweat the stuff at the resort that much. That being said, when we return we will choose another place that we did take the time to go and look at for future visits while we were there!

Room Tip: We stayed in the jacuzzi suite with a wrap around balcony (901) that was awesome!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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Indiana
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We stayed at Riu Palace from 12/17-12/24 and absolutely loved it. The resort is beautiful with a lovely beach, spacious pool and a well manicured landscape.

Our favorite things about the hotel:
1. Best strecth of beach on Palm Beach, maintained very well. Very calm waters for the most part. Even though the resort is packed, we could always get loungers and find shade under the coconut trees.
2. Gorgeous pool with sun beds to relax in the water and a swim-up bar. Excellent Zumba classes and salsa lessons by the pool for anyone interested. Towel hut always had a supply of warm towels.
3. We were in Building B on 3rd floor. Spacious suite with a huge balcony. There is even a clothes drying rack in the balcony.
4. Customer service is good. The staff work very hard and are very pleasant. Ladies waiting the tables in Don Nicholas for breakfast, Henry in Nautilus at lunch time, Juan and ZiZi at Krystal, Osman at Nautilus for dinner, most of the bartenders at the pool bar, Santana at front desk always had a smile and were attentive inspite of bening busy all the time.
5. Food and drinks were great! Buffet had a very good selection and you can always find something you like. There are four specialty restaurants you have to make reservations at 9am for dinner that night. Krystal gourment restaurant - impeccable service, great food, mediterranean lamb is to die for - went twice; Sayuri Japanese restaurant - another favorite, went twice; Nautilus Steak House - lobster was great; Milano Italian - great appetizers but entrees weren't good. Apart from the buffet, Nautilus serves limited lunch and we loved the Jamaican Jerk chicken there that we pretty much dined there most afternoons. I was very impressed with the choice of vegetable dishes, fruits and lentils in the buffet.
All the bars were great. Barry's was a personal favorite for the ambience, to just sit down and relax in the evening. We hung around the pool bar for the most part as it serves both the beach and pool.
6. Room service has limited menu but was very convenient. There is also a mini bar in the room stocked up with variety of drinks and two big bottles of water.
6. Always had clean towels in the room. Housekeeping cleans in the morning and turn down service in the night replaced the used towels as well.
7. I emailed the resort before leaving asking for two beds as we went with our kids ages 10 & 6. They not only gave us double beds but put a roll away bed in the room as well.
8. There were families around but the kids were always well behaved and my son found some friends to play with in the pool.

Things that could be better:
1. The beds are small, hard, uncomfortable. I requested for mattress pads and extra blankets which made it better.
2. Kids Club: They really need to work on it. One room with a small tv, some board games and coloring papers, that's it. Open 10-12 and 3-5. We left the kids once as it was raining and with nothing else to do, we wanted to go to the casino for a little bit. We waited infront of Riu Land until 10:30 as it wasn't open and were leaving to see the day care provider standing at the gym as she didn't want to walk in the rain those 10 steps to open it. I gave her my hat so she came and opened the place. The kids were so bored when we picked them up, we decided not to send them there again.
3. Spa - there was no zen like feeling when you walk into it. There is a salon at the entrance of the spa and the whole place looked like a salon than a spa. Escpecially with the Kids Club's sad state, we didn't think it was worth leaving kids and going to the spa.
4. Palapas - We tried going at 7am two days to find a palapa and they were all taken. So we tied a bag one night before going to bed but someone removed it and tied it to a coconut tree and took over the palapa. So we didn't bother reserving one ever again. It wasnt' a deal breaker however as we were always able to find shade under the coconut trees at the beach and under the palm trees or building shade at the pool.
5. There is no drinks service at the beach. This didn't bother us either as the pool bar was only a few steps away but just wanted to mention as it may be important for some.
6. They need more restrooms around the beach and pool area. There are only 4 stalls in Nautilus and 4 stalls that serve the buffet and all other restaurants. The staff work very hard cleaning but with so many guests and with such limited number of restrooms, it's always messy.

We went on Black Pearl Sunset Sail and Sunrise tour with Madi and they both were fantastic. We didn't use the services, but there is a car rental desk (Top Drive) and another desk to sign up for tours. The casino was small with some slot machines and some tables. It is such a safe place, we walked the palm beach in the moon light and it was fabulous.

Tips for fellow travelers: Take some Boca Towel Clips to use while drying clothes in the balcony and to use to clip your towels & caps to loungers. It's always breezy there, in a wonderful, heavenly way, but you would want to hold on to your belongings. It's also very humid, which means wet floors sometimes, so take sandals that don't skid. I took a room freshner for the room and that helped. But also keep clothes in the dresser or in your suitcases zipped up as they will get musty smell when exposed to the air and would need a wash after coming home even if you don't use them. However, it is not an issue with the resort as I would think anywhere on the island would be the same given the humidity.

Room Tip: Building B 3rd floor has huge balconies. The top two floors of all the three buildings have big bal...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Interesting how one negative review on TripAdvisor makes you nervous. But, all those great reviews are well deserved. SunWing did a great job with the flight and hotel shuttle, and the Riu Palace did the rest. We had a great room (even though it was "partial ocean view"), the staff were great and the facility was more than clean and luxurious. The pool was hopping and the white sand beach was simply perfect and you can walk for hours. Aruba is a VERY safe place and the nearby shopping and restaurant areas and the downtown were first class and within easy reach. I must say when all inclusive even captures the drinks (in the room as well) I'm speechless. The restaurant food was first class, but we opted to eat at Don Nicolas, the buffet, most night as the food there was so good and varied.

  • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

This was a great spot, the staff was great. The food was awesome, my favorite was the steak and lobster at the nautalis. It is a great location, if want to go to the casino you are better off going to the radisson next door. The only complaint is that the mattress is like sleeping on stone, but you get use to it and my neck and shoulder actually got better from sleeping on it. Definitely a redo. This is my second time in Aruba, I like it because it so safe to go off the resort and there is lots to do. I went by myself and found that everybody was a couple and ther were no singles, but everybody was friendly and ther was no shortage of people to hang with.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I have been staying with the RIU chain for years so when I read some of the negative feed back on hear I was a bit taken back. I see now why some of the reviews had negativity in them, I will break it down for you and hope it helps. ( December 14-21)

RESORT: Yes you get the musky smell in the lobby but definitely not a deal breaker. The resort is huge with three different sections. We had a junior suite in the C building, beds are hard but all RIU beds are. The rooms were spacious and very clean. Our phone didn't work for 3 days and we had requested a mattress pad multiple times that never came. This is a family and couples type of atmosphere so if you're looking for singles or a party you have chosen the wrong place. I personally was happy with it since it was myself and my 13 year old daughter.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customer service lacked extremely here, very rude and there were multiple times we were at the pool bar and the servers would just look at us, talk amongst themselves and ignore us. The servers in the restaurants are the same, never a smile on their faces just there to clear your plates and get you your drinks.

FOOD; Food was generally good, breakfast was the same everyday, eggs, meats pancake, French toast ect .Lunch was horrible all greasy burgers and pizza. Dinner was definitely the best and changed every night. Room service is slow, we would wait over an hour for it to come. They have a snack bar in the sports bar with pastries, sandwich's, hotdogs, popcorn and fruit.

ARUBA: Just breath taking and beautiful. The beach at the resort is amazing, very clean, no seaweed in the ocean, no rocks and the water is to die for. You do have to get out there early if you want shaded area's but lounge chairs were never an issue. The sun is intense and gets VERY hot really early in the day. I tan and get dark very easily BUT we had a 50 SPF on until the last 2 days. Use a ton of sunscreen and keep yourself very hydrated.

POOL: Big, clean, and cold but you warm up within a few minutes. YOU MUST get your lounge chairs by 9am or they are all gone.

CLEANING STAFF: So friendly, our room was done every morning and additional towels were dropped off every night. They are extremely friendly and leave cute towel animals everyday. Tip them and your room will be well stocked with additional toiletries and pop.

Overall I don't think I would return back to the RIU in Aruba, the resort is dated, the customer service is lacking and when you have stayed at a RIU Palace in Los Cabo, it gives it a lot to live up to. We paid a lot of money for our trip so I guess my expectations may have been high. Aruba is beautiful, stores are very expensive and it is a little boring, So if you are looking for beauty and pure relaxation Aruba is the place for you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ont
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

We stayed from Dec 15-22. We booked a room saver room, which is a standard room. The first room we had was dark and had a view of a parking lot. We asked to move immediately, we spoke to three different people before we moved to room 246 overlooking the pool with a huge balcony, we wanted a higher view, but this was all that was available. After reading all the reviews, I really did not want building C as it is not as modern as the other buildings, it was very clean, but had outdated floral comforter with matching drapes and an old big tv. We knew wouldn't be in the room a lot so it wasn't the biggest deal, but for a hotel thAt claims to be 5 stAr, they neglect to tell you that only some of the rooms are modern and 5 star calibre.

The bed was very low, and not the most comfortable, so glad to be home to my pillow top mattress. The cleaning staff do a great job with keeping your room clean.

We loved the buffet, great food, so many choices and really yummy. We went to the Japanese and Italian a l carte restaurants, both very good, but we liked the buffet better.

All in all, it was a beautiful resort, great location, stunning ocean, we had a fabulous time. Web learned from our mistakes and would book a junior suite next time.

Room Tip: Do not book a room saver room, because you will get building C, which is not 5,star quAlity
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
atlanta
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

Just returned from a 6 night stay at the RIU and am still feeling the effects of the hardest bed I have ever slept on. Even with a mattress topper, it was impossible to get a good night sleep. Even though I had read this complaint from other reviewers, I chose to dismiss it, thinking they were being picky. If you suffer from any kind of back problems, this is not the place for you. But I have to say other than that, we really enjoyed our stay. Our family stayed in rooms 812 and 813 and the views were fantastic. We overlooked the pool with the Ocean directly in the back ground. The service from all the employees was the best we have ever encountered at any all inclusive we have ever stayed at. Our room was cleaned twice daily, the restaurant servers were efficient and very friendly and the bartenders were fantastic. We never had to wait for any kind of service and were asked frequently how our stay was going. The only complaint I had, was that by 10:30am the cabana was out of pool towels, so I would suggest you bring your own. Also would highly suggest that you bring your own insulated cups for drinks at the bar since the ones they give you are very small and light weight. Our drinks kept blowing over in the wind. The Palm beach area is very beautiful with lots of shopping and dining options. Their is also a large, new grocery store which is only a 20 minute walk from the hotel. Would love to return to Aruba but will probably stay at another hotel nearby and go out for our meals. But if you don't mind a rock hard bed and want an all inclusive, the RIU is a good option.

Room Tip: Make sure you are very specific in reserving a room. Building A is the main building which houses th...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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*
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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