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“Wonderful Vacation!” 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
Grimsby, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Vacation!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

My husband and I stayed here from Feb 3-10 (11th) with flight delay! We went for a friends wedding which was beautiful!
We were very nervous after reading all the negative reviews but for the most part our experience was very positive.
We checked in at a horrible hour as our flight with Sunwing was delayed 4 hours ( which is another review..not impressed with them) we checked in at 2am smoothly. Our room was on the 4th floor overlooking the ocean. We were happy with the rooms, fairly modern, clean, everything was in working order, mini bar was always stocked!
FOOD - Was awesome! My only complaint would be on the reservation system for the restaurants. You need to be downstairs by 730am to get in a line up to reserve the the next evening! They also offer 24hr room service that came in handy.

WIFI-Is free and worked fine for us, mind you a few people in our group said theirs kept going on and off.

Beach was beautiful, a little rough most days, to rough for me to swim in it! The pool was clean and their was always lounge chairs available, no need to put your towels on them early to save a chair.

Entertainment kinda on the lame side, we spent most of our evenings at Atlantis touring the grounds! The Marina Village was beautiful, and the shopping was pretty good.

I would definitely visit the Bahamas again and stay here!
My only recommendation would be that it is not really a kid friendly resort, not much for them to do!

Room Tip: Get a room from the 4th floor or higher
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
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Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I was nervous because this resort is more expensive than others we've been to in the Caribbean. It was a family wedding.

The location is awesome. Beautiful beach. The sand was nice and silky for the most part- however take a walk along the beach to the end of the point and its truly spectacular.

Our room was the only main disappointment. Our toilet flooded upon arrival and the carpets in the room(s) were a bit musty. I wore my flip flops the whole time in the room. We were given a second room almost right away and then everything was great from then on. Furniture needed some updating but who cares your on vacation!

The food at the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets was good. The fresh (tropical) fruit was a bit disappointing. Not much variety there. But there was always good choice for a quick meal. The grouper (mild Bahamian fish) was done in many different ways- always great. They had a meat station for lunch always- turkey/pork loin etc. always tasty. Overall very tasty food.

The food at the different was overall good. We dined at the steakhouse, fusion and gourmet. Nice variety and choices. We really enjoyed the Fusion restaurant.

The hotel grounds/bars were nice. Some outdoor patio/ beach chairs needed to be updated. But there was always plenty of choices to lounge.

WiFi was hot and cold. When it worked 75% of the time it was great. We got it at the lobby, pool area and sometimes in the bedroom.

Drinks were good. Not too much top shelf stuff but overall tasty. The Caribbean orange tasted like orange juice. Be careful with those!

Overall- we enjoyed ourselves. We would go back- for the right price! Too expensive at $1300 per person- and that was a group rate 30 ppl plus stayed there in our group. You can get better value at other resorts for this price.

Some tips about paradise island/ Bahamas

1). Tour Atlantis for free (walking tour only). After 5pm there are no guards and we were able to walk around to the different aquariums/ sharks/ sting rays. Be sure to visit the Dig-amazing aquarium! Do it before the sun sets for natural lighting to better see the marine life

2) if the day is cool or windy, head over to Nassau for shopping and the Pirates Museum. It was fun! Don't forget to get some rum cake- specialty of the Bahamas.

3) it was disappointing that at the pool and beach had a short amount of sun in the day. At the pool earliest to get sun (b/c of the shadows of the buildings) was 10ish and then it was blocked again by 4ish. To remedy this- we would go sit at the front of the resort to catch the sun for another hour. They don't have many chairs but people made out to the sun anyway.

Overall a great stay!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

I travelled with my husband and parents to this resort from February 2, 2013 to February 9, 2013 and had a wonderful time! We basically wanted a place that was comfortable, rexlaxing and affordable. We got just that! We weren't expecting too much based on prior reviews but we were pleasantly surprised.

We were able to check into our hotel room early since our room was already clean and we were surprised with the decor of the room. It looked very modern, with a nice king sized comfy bed, bar fridge, chairs and a triangle shapped balcony. There was no musty smell and no sign of mold in the bathroom. Our room number was 224. The only complaint I had with this room was the view. We were at the same level as the roof for the dinning rooms so when we looked out this roof was partially blocking our beatiful view of the beach and ocean. We decided that this wasn't a big deal since we spent very little time in the room during the day and more time during the pool.

While we were there it was fairly breezy which is normal at this time of year according to the staff. Mornings and evenings were a little cool so most people were not out around the pool until the sun came around the building at about 11am. Also, one of the Atlantis buildings is right next door to the RIU and starts to block the sun on the pool area around 4:30 so there was limited time to just sit and relax in the sun but the short period of time we did have was wonderful. There were plenty of lounge chairs so there was no need to save chairs. There was music always playing and entertainment staff were constantly running various activities such as beach volleyball, bingo, beer pong, dancing and random games.

There is a bubble tub that is connected to the pool which is refreshing but not a true hot tub. My husband and I did some exploring on the first day and found that there was a hot tub in the spa area that was free of charge to adults over 18. They decided to do it this way to maintain a relaxing atmosphere free of kids and prevent beverages from being taken into the area. We spent alot of time here and absolutely loved the area especially since not a lot of people new about it and it was a great opportunity to get away from the noise around the pool. My only complaint about doing it this way was the hours to use the hot tub were from 9am to 6pm only and massages were conducted in this area so if the spa had an appointment guests could not use the hot tub which was a little annoying. Howerver this only happened on one day during our stay.

The bars at the hotel have lots of selection and friendly staff always available to serve. They do use a lot of ice though so a few more trips to the bar is required. They do have a few specialty drinks. I enjoyed the Caribbean Orange and Miami Vice. The sports bar has basketball and football games constantly going which was nice espcially since there was very little nightly entertainment. I would say this is the major drawback of this resort. There was hardly anything to do after the dinner hours. Luckily the superbowl was on the Sunday so they put up a big screen in the lounge area for everyone to watch. There was a live band called Tito and Friends who played on Monday and Thursday which I thought was great! They played salsa music and various island songs including the conga which was fun to dance to but the staff was trying to get the audience which was only 30 people to dance and most people wanted no part of it. On the Friday night there was a comedian who wasn't bad but it depends on what a person likes. It was definately not appropriate for kids. Because of the lack of events at night, we spend a lot of time at atlantis which was great. Access to the Dig aquarium is free after 6 and displays a wide variety of ocean life under the lights which was amazing to see. The other aquariums on the property are not lit up so it was worth going to at night. We walked around the marina and went to the casino 2 nights but the cost to play the slots or purchase items in the stores in the marina were extremely expensive so we did a lot of looking!

Since my husband and I really wanted to stay at Atlantis but couldn't afford it we decided to purchase a day pass to the Aqua Adventure park there which gave us access to all of the resorts attractions. The $125 per person for adults ($80 per child) was well worth it in my mind. We were able to do everything in the day accept swim with the stingrays and dolphins which was extra. The waterslides are pretty daring and fast and some go through the shark tank and an aquarium which was a nice touch. We had a blast doing this! This was enough to satisfy our needs. We would have spent the rest of the time by the pool anyway which we did at the Riu and did not pay the high prices.

While on the Atlantis property we found it extremely overwhelming due to its size and found it easy to get lost despite the signs. There were a lot of people there and employees were constantly checking wrist bands and key cards to keep non-guests out which must be annoying to their guests. It is not an all inclusive resort so we decided to check the food costs which were $9 for a hot dog or hamburger and $6 for a pop just at the fast food places around the property and the fine dining restaurants were on average $45-$50 per person for an entree.

We definately made the right choice to stay at the Riu for cost conscious reasons. The food at this resort is amazing!! All the specialty restaurants were great. The only one that was average was the Japanese restaurant but it was still good. You are in the Bahamas and not in Japan so we were satisfied with their version. There was fresh fish, steak and chicken and plenty of selection. The buffet restaurant had a different theme every night. The trick is to not try every single item each day otherwise things will repeat themselves eventually and you will get tired of them!

My other piece of critisism would be the specialty restaurant booking procedure. This way of doing things is so outdated. Everyday between 8 and 9 am a lady would come to the lounge to make these bookings. Guests would arrive in the lounge to a bunch of tables and chairs in no type of order and would sit down. When the lady would come into the room guests would push and shove into a line and people who were there first would be pushed to the end. My parents and I would take turns getting up each morning to book these restaurants and we would have to be there at 7:30 to be at the start of the line and get the 6:30 booking. There was also a 9:00 time but we found this to be too late. Riu needs to design a numbering system or electronic system to deal with this because it is rediculous. But for the time being this is how you have to deal with it! There were numerous times where we would go to our reservation and there would be empty tables because people who made bookings decided not to show up. One couple actually waited outside the door of the steak house until 7pm to see if there was a no show and the hostess decided to let them in out of kindness. Riu, I would start charging for missed reservations to avoid this or allow a waiting list.

Cabs are always available. To go into town it was $4 per person one way and $1 for the bridge toll. We found a few nic nacs at the straw market but found just wondering around the stores in town were much better and reasonably priced with no bartering.

The beach is beautiful to walk on. There are people trying to get you to rent jet skis but if you decline nicely they leave you alone. I attempted to go into the ocean once and found the current to be a little strong. The waves curl only at the beach so that's why the current is so strong. The pool is a ittle small but generally people don't actually do lengths and just jump in to cool off and bob up and down so it served its purpose. The swim up bar was a fun feature. Everyone would be wading around with drinks in their hands.

There was a wide variety of guests who stayed here. From families with small children, to couples, to retiries. It is basically suited for all for a reasonable price.

Overall, this was a great vacation and we would definitely stay here again and very much enjoyed our time on Paradise Island. Don't go there with the expectation that the property will be by any means comparable to Atlantis because I don't think anyone can compete. We decided not to dwell on the negatives and found ways to deal with the few imperfections of this resort. It's up to you have you want your vacation to go. But from a cost perspective the RIU is the way to go!

Room Tip: Ask for a room higher than the 3rd floor to maximize your view. When I looked in the rooms it seeme...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

The sunrise was spectacular every morning. Food was very good just like I remember it the last time.had no problem booking restaurants then again I like the gourmet the best so ate there twice. If you get a chance to book an ocean view room facing east your sunrise will be amazing. Staff eager to please our room was clean and no mold. Not even in bathroom. Will be back here again many more times.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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.
Knoxville, TN
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
59 helpful votes 59 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
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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.
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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 Spa 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*
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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