I am going to give you a full and honest description of what to expect if you choose to stay at the Riu. This will be based from a UK point of view of how we Brits expect our holiday resorts/destination to be, our American friends might see things differently.
Note: if you are traveling all the way from the UK then to my opinion, it would be a mistake to stay in Nassau, as this island doesn't give justice to how beautiful the remaining 700 islands of the Bahamas can be! Nassau has little charm to it, it's massively over built, very VERY americanised. it might be an easy and quick option for american and Canadian residents, but too far for what it is for people traveling from the UK, however if you already can afford traveling to the Bahamas, then save up a little bit and stay outside of Nassau, in Exuma islands for example where you will truly feel like being in a bounty advert.
The Riu resort on paradise island.
I will judge this by giving marks out of 10, be aware that the 10/10 does exist in some all inclusive resorts, to name: the sun palace resort in Cancun, or the Pangkor Laut resort in Malaysia etc...
Situated on the actual beach of paradise island, you are therefore staying on the prime spot of Nassau.
The beach is lovely, the sand is white, the sea "being on the Atlantic" is fresh yet turquoise and cristal clear and always clean.
Note: be aware that the hotel is situated right next to the monstrosity that is Atlantis resort AKA MORDOR! Atlantis might be what american call the "perfect vacation" we call it: the holiday resort from hell, it's noisy, concrete like, even radio-active like resort. Imagine a dated version of Vegas on the beach and you have it. However, step out of the Riu beach access, turn right, and walk for less than 10min on the sand and you will reach the perfect post card beach, shared by the exclusive one and only resort, you will be in a paradise like beach. However if you fancy a boosy crowd grinding on Caribbean tunes, then you can simply stay underneath the Riu.
What you would expect in a fair 4star resort outside of Europe or Asia. The rooms are big, very clean, there is a terrace in each room, and you have a sea view wherever you are, so keep your dollars and don't feel the need to pay for an upgrade. Rooms with even numbers faces the sun rise and the quiet beach. Room with uneven number will face the sun set and Mordor.
Plenty of it, there is a drink dispenser in the room with a full bottle of Gin, whiskey, rum, and vodka. All cocktails 24/7 , wine, fizzy wine, you name it, they bring it so its all good. There is a filled mini bar in each room, also free and refilled whenever it gets used.
Remember that a 10/10 all inclusive food does exist, so you might be a little disappointed that the food at the Riu although abundant, is a bit on a down side.
Breakfast: actually good, a wide selection of food that will suit anyone.
Lunch: "only served at the buffet" is very boring, mainly re-inventions of last night's buffet dinner, they sometimes have a couple of stuff that are relatively good, I often had a large breakfast and skipped lunch.
Dinner: to be fair, dinner at the buffet is correct, there is a lack of atmosphere in any restaurants of the Riu simply because there is NO background music played at all! So all you hear is munching mouths and cutlery noises, which is a little depressing.
YES you have to physically go to a desk between 8am and 9am to reserve a table for the night and the following night in any of the 4 speciality restaurants. There are strict 2 seating times in any of those, a first one at 6:30pm "that fills rather rapidly " and a second at 8:30pm for the Japanese and 9:00pm for the 3 other ones.
The steak house: worth a try, everyone works hard in the kitchen but the food is a bit bland.
The Japanese : sushi are dry and made with smoked salmon, tempura soggy, chances are you had better food at your local Chinese takeaway in kent.
The gourmet restaurant: absolutely dreadful, avoid like the plague. Or try it and then go and have something a little more decent in the buffet.
The Cristal : probably the best out of 4, with a slightly less depressing feel to it too.
The pool: 2/10
Boring and relatively ugly looking, something really needs to be done as its so uninviting, thankfully the beach in nice.
Entertainment : 4/10
I am being nice here.
Taxi from and to the airport $40 US
Jet skis : $60 US per hour $75 if you don't haggle.
Massages on the beach: $ 50 US per hour or $35 per 1/2 hour.
Drinks and food on the beach: free if you get it from the hotel
A day pass to Atlantis: $250 per person per day, a mistake if you want to go there.
A world toor adventure to Exuma sand bars : $180 per person if you get it from their own desk situated just 10 min walk on the actual marina jetty, worth every single penny, please save up and do it, I have posted a separate review about it and its a trip of a life time trust me.
Power boat excursion: also a must at $170 from the kiosk. The hotel charges $20 per person extra so walk to the marina and just buy them tours Tom the kiosks.
Dolphin tour: $250 per person DO NOT BOTHER
All in all, the Riu is your best value for money if you insist in staying in Nassau, everything is after all included and you can technically spend nothing at all as food and drinks are over priced in the Bahamas. So enjoy your stay and make the most of it.
- 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