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“Above Average Couple's Vacation Destination in 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 Beach - Palm Beach, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba (Formerly Aruba Grand Beach Resort)   |  
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Ranked #19 of 23 hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Above Average Couple's Vacation Destination in Aruba”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

Travel package via SunWing Vacations.
Room#: 130; Ground Floor. Facing pool and swim up bar.
Travel period: February 1-8

Our first time at the RIU Palace Aruba. Overall a decent stay for what we paid.
If you book online (E.g. selloff vacations.com) vacations to Aruba frequently variate in price. From purchase to departure the price of the vacation dropped 3 times. Caution: quite a bit of haggling done to get 250-300$ back from booking site (read the fine print as you need to jump through multiple hoops to get refund). Refund is processed after trip is completed - up to 21 business days.

Details on the Resort, Accommodations, Food, etc.

Room & Resort:
- Room on ground floor facing main swimming pool (incl pool bar). Front door opened to Nautilus buffet restaurant. Convenient for snacks during the day. Inconvenient if you're a later riser. The action starts around 8AM so set your expectations and you'll be fine
- Bathtub / Shower drained slowly
- Towels changed, room freshened daily
- Room was located within newer part of the resort and thus, decor and features better than older locations
- Frequently heard complaints of extremely firm mattress. You can request a foam cover to soften what seems like a concrete slab
- Bars were frequently stocked, never waited long for a drink - even during peak periods

Beach & Chairs, Loungers:
- Beach is first-rate. Shade is not an issue if you want to keep out of the sun
- You need SPF 30 minimum in Aruba if vacationing from a Canadian / US domain. We went through 4 bottles easily. In future I'd recommend SPF 45 if you'd like to go longer between re-application
- Chairs are easily procured if you're out the door and on the beach by 8:30AM. You won't get first choice by 9:30 so again, set your expectations
- Occasionally locals occupy chairs and staff try to mitigate this. Though the beach is open to all
amenities (like beach chairs) are for hotel guests. During peak periods this can be problematic but hotel staff monitor the beach frequently
- I've read on tripadvisor for RIU Palace repeated complaints the bars are too far from the beach. Ridiculous. Some of those complainers desperately need the exercise

Food & Restaurants:
- Set your expectation the food experience will not be first-rate. Though this is a vacation experience it is not a dining experience. If you set your mind to experience American-style food with little local influence, you won't be disappointed
- Restaurants can be booked on the main floor lobby from 9-12 daily. Though the food came timely and it was loosely prepared embracing cultural themes, the end result was sub-par. French and Japanese restaurants lacked flavour and inspiration
- Buffet restaurant (though it pains me to eat there) were decent should you arrive near opening
- Don't expect decent coffee, tea, etc. If you simply cannot go without caffeine there are off-resort options
- outside the resort there is a strip of countless restaurants, local cafes and other hotel's to check out (E.g. HYATT, Westin, Holiday Inn, etc)

Casino:
- Wretched. Dated.
- If you're into cards, slots or table games - go to the Hyatt

Getting around the strip:
- Great boardwalk connects you from the beach to all the hotels
- Security at back entrance from boardwalk to hotel usually present. You can walk into any hotel or casino with little trouble. Few hotels carry identification bands (unless you're all-inclusive) and won't give you trouble. Worth the walk in the evenings

Checking out:
- If you happen to be leaving in the evening you'll still need to vacate your room at 12:00
- Staff at checkout will try to remove your all-inclusive bracelet. Do not let them do this - the hassles to see your paper 'day pass' until your chartered bus arrives are countless. From the point your bracelet is removed you turn into a second-class citizen and it's sad as something has transpired before to see this reaction

Excursions:
- Expensive but worth it if you're picky and do your research
- Evening Catamaran and All-Day Jeep excursion were fantastic. Jeep excursion went through some sand dunes and natural bridges with a final stop at Baby Beach. A must see. Jeep excursion for 2 ppl was approximately 180$ USD

Your vacation is what you make of it. Set your expectations for food and sleeping mattress low and focus on the sun, sand and exploring. You don't need an all-inclusive package in Aruba. If you have a little more to invest I'd recommend the HYATT and set a daily food budget prior to leaving for your vacation. We plan on returning to Aruba and we thank the staff at RIU for a great stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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 (715)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oakdale, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

This hotel is located on a beautiful, clean, wide beach in a great location on the island. The hotel has a beautiful pool, a great spa, and plenty of food to munch on all day. The hotel is in a great location not only because its on one of the widest sections of beach in the high rise area but also because you are close enough to walk to some restaurants and bars. To get into the port where the cruise ships come in is only a 10 min taxi ride. Also another great thing about the location of the hotel is the pier out in front where a huge amount of tours and excursions leave from. I would stay here again and was very happy with the overall experience. The room is nice and was kept very clean, always plenty of fresh towels, fridge in the room is always stocked and ready to go with cold beer. And one more good thing: its the largest and highest hotel on the island and you can always find your way home

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013 via mobile

This is my fourth time at the RIU Palace Aruba and still loving it. The only little things that could be improved are the cleanliness of restaurant glasses and beds. The odd time there is a smudge on a glass or a little spot in it, but just ask for another one and the great service will give it to you! As for the beds they are a bit stiff to sleep on but overall it's a great stay every time! I will for sure come back!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We arrived to a room that had multiple cracks in walls , unpainted sections , mildew and no thermostat. We got a room change after promising not to tell any other people in similar area about getting a room change. The new room was better and in a different building. However , they had large areas that were having the floor fixed, that resulted in loud smashing from 9:00 till 5 pm along with dust everywhere. We tried to look past this only to have horrible mooded service people that thought it was funny when they spilt wine on my wife's lap ruining her new dress with I repeat no apology. Quickly a supervised came over and ushered that girl away and told us to talk to front desk about getting it cleaned. When we went front desk they told us they couldn't do anything. Apart from that .. The food was cold and undercooked a lot of the time and just tasted gross like they cooked on one grill without cleaning it. This riu is definitely on a downward spiral for service

The worst part is that so many people feel this way that they a publicly voicing it in lobby, pool area , etc.

I will never give anymore of my money to this horrible hotel chain again.

And it really tainted me from wanting to come back to aruba. That's sad.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Holguin
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Me and my husband stayed at the Riu Palace the week of January 28 until February 5/13.
We had a wonderful time. The hotel is nice, the staff are very nice. The food is good however,
they do not put enough salt on the food. There pancakes have no flavour but there french toast croissants were amazing. Make sure you don't get room 659 in the old section, the bed is very hard and it makes to much noise. We complained about it. Also, where the Riu is situated it is very windy. When walking on the beach, I noticed the best beach is where the Holiday Inn is situated. It is not as breezy. Other then that everything is good.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

I was very nervous when I read all of the review but this resort is not bad. We were in building B in room 827 and it was fabulous. we spent one night in rom 640 same building facing the Westin dumpster. I asked for a room change and they said no problem. I go tup at 7am and got great chairs everyday. Its worth it. Get up throw your towels ona chair and go back to sleep. We ate at the steak house, Italian restuarant and Japanese. to our surprise i rank it the restaurants in this order, Japanese, Italian and Steakhouse. The steak was gross. The buffet food was fine. But hey people we are not in Aruba for the food being from NY all we wanted was constant sun and a drink with an umbrella in it. We got it all. Diego at the bar is great. There is a great outdoor bar looking over the pool Carlos is there every night and he is the best bartender in the RIU. We ate one night at madaam jannettes. I highly reccommend this place. it had live music and the food was great. Overall i would come back here. I've been to a lot of places but this pool bar was def the best. Don't woory about the food and I would avoid building C also. we didn't stay there but its clearly run down even from the outside.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Kenosha, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

great hotel..food is good...rooms are ok but only in there to sleep anyway...drinks flow quickly! beach is perfect and in good location and right next to de palm pier..walking to shops restaurants is just a short walk out of the front of the hotel. will return again!! felix at the pool bar knew exactly what we wanted each time!! tipping goes a long way folks!

Room Tip: upper floor in the "A" block rooms..perfect for seeing the de palm pier and the california...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Aruba

Address: J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 79 | Palm Beach - Palm Beach, 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 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
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#17 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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