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“its no 5 star, but not that bad” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Casino Drive Paradise Island | Paradise Island - Bahamas, 6307, New Providence Island   |  
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Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Paradise Island
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“its no 5 star, but not that bad”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This place is pretty down at the heels, and even when new it was probably pretty tacky. They do blare nasty music at the pool and some people do get pretty wasted at the bar. Aside from that my room was cleaned daily and had a beautiful view of the beach. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Internet worked fine. The food was surprisingly good, actually one of the better all inclusives I've been to in this regard. Nice beach, the usual hawkers, but nothing overly offensive. Actually good value to stay here and take advantage of the amenities at Atlantis next door.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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3,628 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (830)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

After reading the mixed reviews here, I wasn't sure if I made the right choice going there. But let me tell you something, I did made the right choice after all, the hotel was clean, smelled damp in the hallways. our room was clean, the bed was comfortable. the lobby is nice, the pool wasn't very big but wasn't crowded either.
the food was great, the breakfast buffet had everything you would ask for, the lunch buffet was good too, the dinner buffet was great. If you want to dine at the restaurants you need to wake up at 8 am to do the booking, I didn't like the Japanese restaurant, the Crystal restaurant was al-right we ended up going back to the buffet to finish our dinner.
The people who work there are great, you just need to be friendly to them and have a smile on your face, after all you are in a vacation, have some friendly attitude lol.

The weather was good, the beach is very clean. the view from my room was spectacular.

everything was going well till the last day when some crazy American women got real drunk at the pool area and started flashing their boobs, making out with other women and men, sucking boobs....all of this happening around some kids. few of us complained to the security, later they had to bring wheelchairs to take women's up to their rooms because they were sooo drunk. for goodness sake ppl get a room if you need to have sex, don't do it in public area near children !!!!

I'll definitely be going back there. and I'll recommend this place to anyone. this was my honest review.

Room Tip: bring a picnic bag and Thermos, it's useful if you wanna take some food with you to go for a pic...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

After reading so many reviews that either loved or hated this place, it was with some trepidation (and pleasant surprise) that I spent five (5) great nights at the Riu on Paradise Island with a friend. First, the hotel is very clean and nicely appointed. It has a big beautiful lobby, the rooms are clean and updated and have nice views. Some reviews I read complained of a mold smell. The hallways sometimes smell a bit damp but as someone who lives in Florida and travels all over the tropics, that's just part of humidity. It's not overwhelming here and the hotel is very clean.

Second, the staff here is GREAT. They really go out of their way to make a guests' stay pleasant. They are responsive, get you what you ask for and quickly. They are all over service in the restaurants. It was really, really terrific.

Third, the food was good and the drinks were strong. Most of the liquor was middle shelf but at an all inclusive I'm pretty happy to see Havana Club rum and Jim Beam being poured. The buffets were very well done, very clean and had a nice variety. Again, this is not the Ritz or Casa de Campo, so don't go expecting Daniel Bouloud (and btw the pricing here is a lot more favorable than any "all inclusive" add-on at some of the 5-star resorts in the Caribbean). They make an effort to give good food, and it is really a great value for the price. Keep your expectations in line -- its a good deal.

Fourth, the location can't be beat. You're two steps from Atlantis if you want to hit the casino. Its the same beach. I went jogging a few times around Paradise Island and this place is really in the mix, right between the One and Only and Atlantis. You can't beat it for the price -- and I didn't want to pay Atlantis prices on this trip.

Lastly, we didn't see a lot of wild partying. We saw a pretty big mix of couples and a few families. I definitely wouldn't come expecting a singles paradise.

But, overall a very nice stay and a great value for the money. Highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for an ocean view room; the staff has a sense of humor so don't be afraid to ask...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

There is so much wrong with this hotel, that I beg you to read all of this before even considering going to this place. And after I list the issues, read on - even upon getting home it was bad.

There is no exaggeration in this list of problems:
Loose rails on decks off of bedrooms. Mold and mildew in rooms. Wet carpets. Rusty toilet paper dispensers. Dresser drawers that would not open. Leaks in the lobby. Paint peeling. Arcade room cannot be used because machine to purchase magnetic card from was broken for several days. Pool has missing tiles. Pool edge is dirty, has hair, and not cleaned. Staff not accommodating. Managers not accommodating. Managers say they will look into issues and get back to you, but then they don't. Asked for a bottle of champagne to be delivered to room at a certain time to celebrate something - it never came. When we called, they said they'd get on it right away. 40 mins later it still was not delivered. Someone wrote about spoiled milk - yes, I can attest to that. Disgusting. Place is so dirty that words really cannot do it justice. Pink cushioned seats in lobby were black in many areas. We asked in advance for certain accommodations, but they failed to deliver on a single one.

Just when you think it cannot get worse - it does. I spoke with a manager at length about all the problems. He handed me a card with an email address. He did nothing about the problems. And he did not give me a phone number to call. He simply gave me an email address. I would have sent an email at that time, but wifi was down and not working very often.

Good thing I did not send the email during the trip - it would have been a waste of time. I sent the email on Wed, Jan 2nd. Two days later I still had not heard back so I emailed again. Sent another one a couple days after that. Then sent one every day this week as I was in awe that they literally do not respond.

Finally got a response today from Karina Sierra Guerra. 9 days after I sent my original email.

Her response was horrible. She wrote things like, "I would like to comment that this unfortunate situation that was brought up to our hotel management attention..." Absolutely not true. We did bring it up. We brought things up to the front desk, to assistant managers, and to the head manager - Pedro Cepeda. This means that Karina simply asked the staff/management if such issues were raised and they must have said no. Unbelievable.

Hang in there - it gets worse. Instead of offering to refund a tiny part of the trip - she says she'd like us to join the Riu Class Program wherein we can earn points towards future trips. Talk about not getting it. If I have a horrible experience and they do nothing about it - why would I go back to any of their hotels?

Still getting worse: in my original email, I asked to have someone call me. 9 days later and no one has. So when I read Karina's email, I immediately emailed her back asking for her to please call me. Get this: instead of calling me, I got an email that said I should allow time for a response. I am not even making this next part up, but they asked me to wait 20 business days. What kind of customer service is that? It took 9 days to get a response from my first email. As soon as I did, I immediately responded reminding her I'd like to be called (since she did not include her phone number). And the response was literally, "Please allow a time response frame of 20 business days." 20 business days? That brings us to February.

I am writing this because this place was that bad. I have no review history because I have never stayed at a place so bad that it had to be shared. I have traveled a lot. I've stayed at more expensive places and at cheaper places. Regardless where I have gone, I have never encountered a place as bad as this one.

Managers that do not get back to you. Staff that puts out spoiled milk. Customer service that asks for 20 business days. And the place is dirty, not to mention dangerous (ie, the loose rails on patios is a liability and an accident waiting to happen). If you like losing electricity, when the surrounding hotels and venues did not lose it -- if you like being kicked off the internet after finally getting on -- if you like being told they ran out of what you ordered at the Krystal restaurant (a full hour and 20 minutes AFTER you ordered it) -- if you like disrespectful staff -- if you like no one helping you with your luggage upon arrival when you get out of your vehicle/taxi -- if you like rooms not to be ready on time -- if you like dresser drawers that have no bottom -- if you like the remote control to your tv not to work -- if you like them cooking up burgers at 9am to serve at lunch 3 hours later -- if you like AC that does not always work -- then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We just came back from Paradise Island and spent the last 2 days of our trip at the Riu. It was truly a disgrace. I can't see how it could be rated as 5-star. The hotel smelled like mold, it was so damp. The carpet in our first room was literally soaking wet. You could wring it out. I asked a few other people if their room had wet carpet and they were all equally horrified. We asked for a room change And our second room was even worse. As soon as we opened the door it was obvious that the carpets had not even been vacuumed. There was wood shavings and carpet staples all over the place. I picked up at least 12 huge staples within the first minute. The room was also damp with sopping wet carpets and paint bubbling off the walls. Bed sheets had blood stains on them and were so damp they felt wet.

I could go on and on! But the bottom line is ....... Do not stay here. We have done a lot of travelling and I think our expectations are reasonable. However, this hotel is marketed as a 5-star and I have seen better 2-stars.

As well, I booked a 2 bed room as we were travelling with our kids. Our confirmation showed that we were getting one, but when we arrived they put 4 of us in a 1-bed room and my husband had to sleep on a roll away cot. We were paying far too much for this to be considered acceptable.

As well, the wifi did not work any of the time we were there, so my husband was unable to check emails for work. As well, the computers were down the first nightso we did not even have room keys.

And to top it off, my daughter left money in her bag and had $250 stolen.
The place was a damp, dirty, place that I would not recommend to anyone.

We stayed the first week of our trip at Atlantis which was wonderful - and of note, the hotel was not one bit damp so this wasn't just due to the climate of the island. Pay the extra money and stay next door at Atlantis!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

It's always good to start at the beginning, this time, i will start at the booking stage which should have sent red flags but i did not pay attention. We chose RIU as we stayed at the one in Aruba and had a fabulous time. While booking (approx 4 months prior to vacation time), i specifically requested, NO rooms infront or near elevator doors. Both rooms were directly infront of the elevators. Then i personally called RIU in Paradise Island to see if we can get day passes for the Atlantis which is directly next door. I was vehmently told NO. Since we really wanted to visit Atlantis, we rented a room at the Comfort Suites for 4 people as they provide passes for free. This meant going to comfort suites, checking in and getting our passes and paying for a room that we would not be using. We figured, things could be worse. We had no idea.
We arrived at 2:00 with a 3:00 check in, not so bad but our rooms were not ready. We were offered an upgrade (whereby the rooms were ready) for an additional $150/night / room. We chose to grab a drink, walk around and become familure with the surroundings. At 4:30 we got one room and at 4:50 we got the second room. Room A (parents room) was okay but sand everywhere, bathroom smelled horribly of urine and very very muggy. Room B (kids room) TV did not work and somones half eaten lunch had been left on the bed. I went downstairs and was told, the hotel is full this is all there is.
I put a smile on my face and went upstairs. Life could be worse. And the saga begins.
1) I placed a call for soda to the room as there was only one can - it only took 3 days to get it. Lucky me.
2) My husband and son booked a T off time to go golf. They were told noon on thursday. The lady booked it under the name "JOE", there was no JOE in our party.
3) Wednesday, I checked downstairs for an earlier T off time - thank goodness. I was then told that the T off time was actually 11 and not noon. They would have missed the game and would have paid (almost $800.00) for a game they missed. It was then that i gave her the correct name as well.
4) We book snorkling and were told it's 15 mins away by car and a beautiful ride. Well, 1 hr later, dirt road, not so beautiful and monies required (which we had none as we paid in advance) and after all the drop offs, it made for a very long day being 12:30 - 5:30 - again we were told 3 hrs.
5) Each room received a gift - we received one as it was one visa card. Are you kidding me, the gift was only worth $20 - what happened to making the customer happy.
6) Dinners,again, you have to make your reseravations from 8:00-9:00am and there were only 2 fine dining restaurants that were always booked. Also the dinner menues were okay but the atmosphere was cafeteria style. We chose instead to go to Atlantis which was wonderful.
7) WiFi, the best you got was spelling it. There was none and everyone complained.
8) I got food poisioning and became horribly sick. We called for a doctor and were told there was none. They told me to walk to Atlantis. Walk??? I couldn't stand up. The best was that our flight was at 10:30 and the doctor did not arrive till 10:00.
9) The phones and decor, straight out of the 80's - old
10) Air conditioning - like WiFi, the only thing you got was spelling it, There was none only a fan that blew the air.
11) Our view, lovely beach but really overlooking the parking garage, garbage dumspters that came promptly at 7:00am each morning and the shipping doors for Atlantis.
12) To add insult to injury, they did sell day passes at the hotel - from the same lady who set up our snorkling and golf - Go figure.
So there you have it. We tried in vain to speak with management and even called their 800 # but were told call Bahamas where they put you on hold. There was no customer service, the hotel was booked solid, no "I'm sorry". Nothing - alot of lies, horrible customer service and very old and smelly.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

I can't discourage people from staying here strongly enough. The service and the facilities are terrible. For the rates they charge, you can find yourself a much nicer place with good service.

I'm not a big TA poster, but if you look at my profile, you'll see that the only other property I've commented on (in the forums, not a review), I was actually favoring a resort that had recently received a number of bad reviews. So this is not coming from someone who is picky or who tries to find the bad side of things. I have stayed in no-frills $40/night hostels in Central America that I loved (and that were much better than this place).

I was with a group of 19, and here is some of what we encountered:

- At lunch, I asked one of the buffet staff for a PBJ sandwich for my 2 year old daughter, as that wasn't out as an option. I was lied to and told that they don't have PBJ in the kitchen. But that very morning (and every morning thereafter), there had been both peanut butter and jelly at the breakfast buffets, so clearly they did have it in the kitchen. For $600/night, I think a PBJ is a reasonable lunchtime request for a 2 year old kid. It should be brought out with a smile. Instead, I was lied to with a scowl. From then on, I made a PBJ each morning at breakfast and saved it until lunch time -- that's really not the way a customer friendly resort is supposed to work.

- At breakfast one morning, I poured some milk into a cup and took a sip. I literally almost threw up on the spot it was so spoiled. I notified someone who took the milk away and brought out a new pitcher. I gingerly tasted it, and it was equally spoiled. That is shocking to me that they wouldn't have at least checked the second pitcher before bringing it out. There is just no attempt at this place by the staff to even try to take any initiative. Not that putting out fresh milk should even be considered "initiative."

- The railing on my 14th floor balcony was loose.

- My bathroom door locked itself shut, so that I couldn't open it from the outside. When a maintenance person came to check it, he actually tried to convince me that it wasn't broken and argued with me, even though it clearly was broken.

- The pool was dirty all the time. I've read some other reviews saying, "well what do you expect, people are dirty and wear suntan lotion and then go in the pool." I've been to several beach resorts with pools. I visited the neighboring Atlantis pools on this very trip. I've never seen a pool as gross as the Riu's.

- There are no activities for kids, despite this being advertised as a "family" resort and "kid-friendly resort."

- Food at the restaurants is pretty bad. If you must go to this resort, stick with the buffet to give yourself a chance to find something decent.

- Drinks are watered down, thought that's par for the course at most all-inclusives.

- Air conditioner in my room leaked the entire time.

- At check in, I stepped out of a taxi carrying 3 bags and my 2-year old daughter. Not a single person came to help me with my bags. Again, the staff here just don't even try.

- The check in process took forever.

- I had requested a room adjacent to a family member. No effort had been made to accommodate that reasonable request.

- I booked a room with 2 beds (one for me, one for my daughter), received a room with only 1.

- Multiple power outages (though the lights were still shining elsewhere on the island when the Riu's power went out).

The best parts of my stay occurred when I visited the Atlantis. You know a hotel has a problem when the best parts of a guest's trip occur offsite. I literally felt more relaxed when I returned to the office the Monday after I returned home than I did while I stayed at the Riu.

I promise you, at this price point, you can find a much better place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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 Paradise Island

Address: Casino Drive Paradise Island | Paradise Island - Bahamas, 6307, New Providence Island
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#7 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island 4*
Number of rooms: 379
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on Paradise Island (the Bahamas), 3 km/1.8 Miles from Nassau * 100 m/328 ft from "Atlantis", the largest casino in the Caribbean * 14-story building * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 3 km/1.8 Miles to downtown Nassau * 200 m/656 ft from various shops * 25 km/15.5 Miles from the airport * 200 m/656 ft from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Paradise Island Hotel Paradise Island
Riu Hotel Paradise Island
Paradise Island Sheraton
Paradise Island Riu Hotel
Riu Paradise Island Bahamas
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island Bahamas

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