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“Aruba 30 years later...” 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 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Austin, Texas
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Aruba 30 years later...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

My husband and I enjoyed 7 wonderful nights at this hotel celebrating our anniversary as we returned to Aruba-our honeymoon destination. The staff was very friendly and helpful in making this an extra special vacation for us. We especially enjoyed meeting and talking to the bartenders in the lobby bar. The beach is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! We did have problems finding lounge chairs on the beach as many people put out towels and claimed spots that remained unoccupied most of the day. The hotel could definitely update their furnishings as many others have stated, but the view from our room was amazing! As for the food, there was always something good to eat at the buffet. We also visited all but the Italian restaurant and were extremely pleased with the food and service. As for the bed, it was a bit hard, but we requested a mattress topper and slept comfortably. Aruba was beautiful. We made some great memories, and I wish we could go back next month! Hopefully, on our next trip to Aruba our family can join us.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room in the middle building. We found the 6th floor great for watching the sun...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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4,090 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 (902)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at The Riu Palace for 6 nights in August and we had a wonderful time! The Riu is located right on Palm Beach and has one of the nicest beach areas compared to other high-rise hotels. Another plus for the RIU is that their pool is HUDGE and the swim-up bar is fun. Now let's get to the food, the RIU offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. The buffet is very good for buffet food, but the restaurants are 5 times better. The only downside to the restaurants is that you have to make reservations for either 6:30 or 9 and men MUST wear pants. The staff was very friendly and our room had a lot of space, it had a walk-in closet, a large bathroom, stocked fridge with beer, water, soda, and a mini bar. One downside to our room is that the floors can become very slippery, but that was something we expected when staying in Aruba. Overall we were impressed with the friendly atmosphere, the hotel's location and the restaurants. I would recommend The RIU to any of my friends.

Room Tip: If you chose to make 6:30 reservations for dinner, go the Steakhouse restaurant, you can watch the s...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Medford Lakes NJ
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

My family and I spent the week of August 17 here. This was our third trip to the Riu Palace and even though there were some issues I would easily go again. The hotel is on a beautiful beach in a great location. It is an easy walk to the shopping/restaurants across the street - in fact we walked here every evening for something to do. (Never went to the shows, just not interested.) A few things we knew to do from staying here previously....I emailed about a week before our trip to ask for the mattress toppers, we brought towel clips to keep our towels from blowing away, and we brought our own cups with lids for drinks at the pool. Bartenders are happy to fill them.

We did have some issues with our room. We had two rooms next to each other, Rooms 611 and 612. Our room (611) had a problem with the air conditioning so that it always felt damp. The floors felt wet and I kept everything in the closet so it wouldn't get that damp feel. The room next door was fine. Someone came up and cleaned the a/c filter but that didn't solve the problem.

Next door in 612 the ceiling in the bathroom leaked from above. I called down the first time we noticed this and it wasn't until the next day that the ceiling was fixed. Minor problems but still - shouldn't happen.

The food is terrific. Love the buffet and the Nautilus was very good as well. The construction next door was a little noisy but most of the time I didn't even notice it. We mostly stay at the pool and I would put towels on our chairs around 8 am when I went down to breakfast. Never an issue. I did notice when I went for my walks in the am that the beach chairs and palapas directly in front of the Riu were reserved but if you go towards the old Westin where the construction is being done there were always palapas and chairs available (at least around 8:30 am). Also, a lot of people complain about waiting in line to make reservations at the restaurants. I would go around 10 am and there wasn't any wait and I had no problem making the reservation.

When sitting at the pool we sat as far away from the pool bar as possible so that the music wouldn't be overpowering. They do play the same music every day....can definitely change that up a bit.

We went parasailing one day and I just went to the three closest vendors on the beach to see what the prices were.

To sum it up...was it perfect? No. Would I go back? In a minute!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

I got married at the Riu this month. My husband and I had 35 guests at our wedding. All my guests stayed at the Riu, so we not only brought them business through my guests we also had a big wedding there. We booked their ballroom, dj, photographer,hair,makeup and so much more. The wedding went well except for a few minor details but the issues stemmed afterwards because now we were all paying more attention now that the wedding was over. The service was poor for the most part. I was told I could use American Express before I arrived and when I got there they told me they do not take it anymore. It was a hassle to get funds through western union to pay for the wedding. They told one of my guests that they could not book for dinner at one of the 5 restaurants because another one of my guests arrived a few minutes late to another restaurant on a previous day. When I complained about the issue they told me that is the way it is. They have so many rules I was not sure if I was on vacation or at school. It truly was disappointing because I expected so much more from this hotel and its staff. They also must update the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

We stayed at the Riu for our honeymoon. We'd been very apprehensive before we arrived after hearing about the building work and reading some very bad reviews. On the whole, we were relieved once we got there and can sum up the holiday by splitting it into the good, the bad (and the downright awful) points...

- The gourmet restaurants are very good, especially if you like to make more of an occasion out of your evening meal. We never had to queue to book in and never had a problem getting a reservation. Food was delicious, especially in the steakhouse.

- The Thomson/First Choice rep, Myer is a superstar, she is very knowledgeable about the resort. Because Thomson branches are not informing visitors of building work she is having to deal with a lot of complaints and she did this very sensitively and efficiently.

- Drinks are very good and staff will happily make you anything that you can think of! The optics and minibar in room are restocked daily and were very convenient.

- Palm Beach is a lovely, vibrant resort with lots of lovely bars, restaurants and markets. It's very safe and a 5 minute walk from the hotel.

- Beach is very pretty with lovely clear water, we walked along it in both directions, down to Eagle beach and further along Palm Beach and there is lots to look at.

- Room was a little shabby for a 5* hotel as fixtures and fittings were broken/hanging off (but the bed was comfortable)!

- Pool area and beach area a bit dirty and not cleaned throughout the day. Used cups were left in room and not cleaned away. Towels and facecloths taken but not replaced. Scum/plasters/cups floating in the pool. Did not go in after I'd seen this.

- Buffet was repetitive and didn't match the displayed menu outside. Lunchtimes were particularly strange unless you wanted pizza/burgers. Food was quite often cold. Buffet restaurant very noisy and not somewhere you'd want to linger so that's why we preferred the a la carte options.

Down right awful
- Getting up to reserve a hut on the beach at 7am was a pain! But we learned the hard way that if we didn't then we'd have to sunbathe by the building site as they would be the only beds left. You need some shade during the day as it's so hot, so a hut is essential if you want to spend the day on the beach.

- Music (really terrible music) is blasted out so loudly by the pool that is impossible to cover up even by putting your own ear phones in. Presume they do this to cover up noise of building work.

- Building work is noisy and unsightly and you can hear it from the pool and beach areas. Luckily we weren't overlooking it but rooms in block B must be.

- Entertainment is dire to the point of laughable. Laughing at how bad the entertainment is is the actual entertainment.

I think this hotel needs some upgrades if it is to be classed as 5*. It is not luxurious enough I don't think to be sold as a honeymoon destination. I would return to Aruba but not to the Riu and I'd be unlikely to recommend it to friends unless they were travelling for a party holiday or perhaps as a family.

Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

The Riu Palace is a good choice if you are looking to stay on the beautiful Palm Beach, have a great pool, good rooms, good restaurant choices, and unlimited food and drinks. The staff was very nice and friendly. Building C is all junior suites. Nice big rooms but on the side of the construction they are doing on the Westin to change it to the RIU. Building B are regular rooms but quieter and same views. Regular rooms but walk in closets and sizable rooms. I would stay here again in a heart beat.

Room Tip: Until November, I would go with the regular rooms in Building B. The construction noise starting at...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014

On a positive note, the hotel had a spectacular selection of food in its buffet restaurant. However, the hotel itself is run down, the rooms appear old and outdated. One lady complained of her hair dryer catching on fire. If you get a room in the oldest tower, you don't even get a real balcony (just Juliette). The humidity was so high in August that upon opening the balcony door the mirrors would fog up, floor would become slippery and wet and clothes damp. Then upon closing the balcony door the ac would kick in and combined with the humid air make for an uncomfortable chilly damp experience. Not sure if a better ventilation system could prevent this.
The beach in front of the Riu is full of rocks and shells. It seems windswept as some of the pipes leading away from the shower are starting to get uncovered. Not the plush powdery white sand that you find everywhere else along palm beach.
There is construction going on next door as the Riu recently purchased what used to be the Westin. Instead of spending money on expansion, they should really consider investing in some upkeep of what they already have.
Staff were friendly.
Beach cabanas are first come first serve so that they would be taken up by 7am. But at least you didn't have to wait in line at 6:30 in the morning like at the Hyatt or holiday inn to get a number before reserving a cabana. Plenty of chairs by the pool, but the music is extremely loud when activities are going on.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
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
#10 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#10 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic 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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