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“The complete and most honest review.” 4 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 #13 of 14 hotels in Paradise Island
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“The complete and most honest review.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

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...

Location: 10/10
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.

Rooms: 6/10
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.

Drinks: 7/10
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.

Food: 6/10
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.

Extra costs:
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.

Room Tip: No need to pay extra for larger rooms, all rooms have sea views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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
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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
    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 (643)
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English first
Knoxville, TN
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

After reading a lot of marginal reviews for this property I was not sure as what to expect. Keep in mind this is not a Sandals and also you do not pay Sandals prices. The property is a bit dated but clean and the rooms are nice. Food was above average. We ate at most of the specialty restaraunts and the buffet is very good. No mildew smell in our room but slightly in the halls. The beach was killer and the drinks very good. Take a Bubba Keg. Vendors at the beach a slight annoyance but not as bad as Jamaica or some other Carribbean Islands. This property is right next door to Atlantis so easy access. 420 on the beach so not an issue if discreet. The pool is small but nice with a swim up bar. I have been all over the Carribean and the Bahamas have the clearest water I have ever seen. Do yourself a favor and take a daytrip to the Exumas with Island World Excursions. $200 pp but well worth it. You would think you were in Fiji rather than the Atlantic. We also went snorkelling with sharks at Stuarts Cove which was awesome as well. I would definitely recommend this property and would definitely return. Go to Atlantis and look at the prices on the menus and you will definitely be glad you are staying at the Riu. We bought daypasses to Atlantis so we could use the waterpark. Pricey at $125 pp but we thought the Lazy River was worth it. Beach is better at the Riu imo. Go here you will not be dissapointed unless you are totally neurotic and look for things to complain about. I would be happy to answer any questions.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Rochester, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I stayed on 1-27-13 for 5 night .My room always smelt moldy but quickly went away when opening the doors other then that my room was fine although a lot of other people had trouble. Dining the worst set up I ever seen you could book every day fron 8am to 9am they booked two days in advance the first day was all booked both seatings the second day they only had 830 pm left and so on for the 5 days . the resturants were always booked ,They have 4 of them but only opened two per night .As I would walk by the resturants at night there were always a lot of empty tabels open? My advise is this is no PALACE go to the Riu in Aruba they got there act together.This place is mismanaged to save money and not worry about the guest

Room Tip: Look at the second room first
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Kleinburg, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

This is such a popular location for Canadians departing from Toronto. Majority of guests I spoke to departed from Toronto, and several were repeat guests some four and up to eight! Just as my friend recommended this hotel to us back in May of last year for all the same reasons. Short quick escape out of the city, weather, beach, and price are all the same reasons. As a trip advisor member who also reads reviews before choosing a hotel I look for constructive critisism as every individual does have their own unique experieince. Therefore I will try and write some key points to help out fellow travelers.

Trip 2.50 minutes.
Bus 35 minutes.
Check in 3 girls they were prepared for our arrival smooth and efficient

Buffet, the marlin was good and the tuna. Like most buffets you have to pick and choose

Some travelers complain about reserving dinner reservations however it’s quite common in all resorts we’ve been to . You must book in the Calypso lounge between 8 and 9am. I would recommend before 8 as I showed up at 8;10 and five minutes later she had no reservations left for that night. Luckily the day before I reserved two nights in advance as they will allow that.
Steak house restaurant wife had rib eye and I had the lamb and both were good.
There is two seatings one at 6:30 and the other at 9; so if you prefer eating early then you must get in line early.

Entertainment starts at noon around the pool, at least it starts later than normal athen some other resorts we’ve been to. One small pool not many activities.

The beach and water is one of the best around clean no seaweeds nice soft sand.
I counted about 24 jetski rentals on the beach adjacent to the Riu, so you can expect to be asked everytime you access the beach a simple no thank you works, however it's annoying.. Although they have a volleyball net on the beach in the two trips staying here I have only seen one game played.

Sunworhippers will have to move around as this hotel and the neighboring one do interfere with the sun’s rays. In the morning you will have to be on right side of the hotel entering the beach and then late morning you will have to make your way over to the other side. Pool sunbathing is worse so the exposure is very limited.

No beach service for drinks unfortunately you will have to go to the one bar only at pool.

Entertainment one show each evening other than that there isn’t anything else to do. Unless you walk over to Atlantis to gamble or the club for dancing.

11.00 cab ride into town or you can take the water taxi for 4.00. It’s a mecca for jewelry as this is one of the major ports for the cruise ships. Whatever discount price they offer you it’s negotiable .

it’s a place for couples who want to spend quality time together. Wouldn’t recommend this for families as their re isn’t much activities for the kids. In fact the only ones we did see were toddlers with young couples.

Sir Alexander gourmet good service food okay the sauce on the filet was too rich and heavy for my liking.

We were unable to make our Japanese restaurant as we decided not to wait for the late seating and just went to the buffet. Again they do offer theme nights however the majority of the food is always the same
The return trip to Toronto is out of the new terminal that was recently completed much nicer and accommodating then the older one. Again not much to do , it’s just a general lounge with duty free liquor, snacks, bar.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Just returned from our 6 night stay at the riu paradise island and we had a great time. This hotel is not a 4+ star resort more like a 3 star,however the service was very good and staff was very accommodating. The front desk was great in that they made checking in a breeze. The pool was great and especially liked the pool bar where we did most of our drinking.The bartenders were very fast and always were willing to refill our drinks even before we finished. We were not too impressed by the beach. The biggest issue was that we were harassed by the jet ski guys about 5 times a day and let me tell you they were relentless. The beach is public so these guys were allowed to wait at the bottom of the steps and pretty much accost every guest. It was kinda funny the first day but got old real quick. They had no affiliation with the Riu and we heard stories of some guest who paid to ride the jet skis and never got to ride them essentially being robbed. Other than this aspect of the beach we truly enjoyed our stay and were able to go over to Atlantis almost every night after 6pm which was great. We might go back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Just returned from a weekend in Bahamas for a family wedding. Being with family (old and new) could not damper my spirits of the overall experience but I felt compelled to share this review in order to help the next potential guests. The RIU is barely a 3 star. The overall hotel is completely run down and frankly dirty. Please take a look at the room photos and honestly ask yourself if the state of the carpet is acceptable??? The handle of the shower came off in my hand the first time I turned it on. The floor of the room was always damp. Really....?? Check out the lovely view from our room 308. The hum of the main hotel air conditioner would lull us to sleep (hear my sarcasm)...and looking out over the gum people had thrown over their balconies was AWESOME. Food was edible but nothing to look forward to. I heard of at least 3 people I met who got sick. We ate off the resort as much as possible. I know some people are looking for an inexpensive getaway to drink all day, and you will get what you are looking for. The staff were friendly and were doing their best. My heart goes out to them (and is the one hesitation I have to posting this review), but they are clearly not supported by the company. RIU has obviously reduced the rates so low they do not have the funds to maintain the buildings or pay their staff adequate rates (i heard many conversations between staff members complaining about work, shifts, management etc). The last comment is please please DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO THIS RESORT. This in not a place for kids.
I am sure this review sounds unbelievable but every part of it is true. The issue with Paradise Island, is you can choose between a hotel like RIU or pay close to triple the amount at Atlantis (when you include airfare, pay-as-you-go meals, and room rate). Possibly, better value can be found in other Caribbean locations.

Room Tip: Try and get higher floors. My parents were on the 15th floor and had a very nice view down the beach
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Cozad, Nebraska
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We had a great time there. It was a smaller property than we expected. The entertainment was lame but you are next to the Atlantis...pleanty to do over there. The beach is gorgeous. White sands, clean and pleanty of room. The rooms are very nice, clean and comfortable The people are quite gracious. Did have problems with the souvenir shop though, but there are pleanty of places to shop. If you are big spender you will have a hayday...if you are looking for bargains...you won't find them here. Overall rating from us...6 (scale 1-10) We did a few excursions: the dinner cruise on the Seahorse Catamaran is a waste of time. Although the food was good the environment was crowded. A catamaran is not a good place to have a dinner cruise. It is $60 per person seriously over priced. We took another catamaran cruise earlier that day with snorkling...was a great relaxing time! Was totally worth it...$70 per person. Most of the other excursions we heard about from the party we were with...nothing but praise. Easy place to chill and relax, or stay busy. We were there Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2013. Hope you all have a great time!

  • Stayed February 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
    • 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.
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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
Amenities:
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island 4*
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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