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“RIU was a great stay!” 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
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“RIU was a great stay!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

This was my first all inclusive and I must say I will never do a regular hotel again. This was also my first time in the Bahamas and it was awesome..just bright and beautiful with lots of things to do. Soon as I walked in the lobby it was lovely and vibrant...of course the bar made it alot better lol. The only thing I didn't like about the room was the bed. It was two single beds put together and I had to keep putting it back together. The pool had a swim up bar with amazing drinks that were nice and strong with friendly bar staff, The beach was a little crowded so you had to get there early after their delicious breakfast buffet, after that I jet skied around the island and seen the lovely houses and beautiful areas which was what I was looking for. All in all it was my very first trip to an inclusive resort which I loved and very first trip to the Bahamas, I would definitely go back here which alot of people to have fun....I might just book this place for my parents for their anniversary.

Pros: 1. Great rooms that were always clean and kept
2. Bars had great drinks and friendly staff
3. Pool and beach with jet ski's
4. Right next to Atlantis so you can go visit and shop
5. Sports bar with games
6. 3 restaurants with great food.

Cons: 1. Taxi trip to the hotel is about $37 to $40 since its a far trip from the airport
2. King size bed wasn't king size since it was two beds put together
3. Not really any night life outside the resort

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,248 reviews from our community

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  • 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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Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

I do not write here, but now I had to.
Recently I am still in the hotel, returning tomorrow home. I read the review from Richard C.
Mostly what he wrote is not true I must say. I feel sorry for the stuff, who are really polite, who make sure everything is ok, who work hard!
True is, this resort does not have ground like in Punta Cana. He was right. But food delicious, cakes very good, alcohol really nice too. Plenty to choose from I must say.
I am a person who likes good food, and I am a very good cook myself; so I know something about food.
Rooms are very nice, clean. No paint is peeling off the walls like he mentioned it.
I do not know about any harassment here. If someone approached you, you just say Thank you, and that's all. They do not bother you any more.
I guess, who wants to complain, will complain no matter what. It is in their blood.
Hotel is not Atlantic, but regarding food, stuff, cleanliness is very good! So do not put here what is not true. Stuff is working hard to make sure everything is ok. One more thing: everyone who work here seems happy, and are very polite.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

If this is your first all inclusive, you will love it! The staff is very welcoming and pleasant. The beach is beautiful! The food is great and the rooms are also nice. It is located about 30 -45 minutes from the airport. Tip 1:Taxi for 2 is about $35. When you arrive you will receive room cards and towel cards. If your room isn't ready, the hotel will hold your luggage in a secured storage room. We actually changed our clothes and had a bite to eat before our room was ready. Tip 2: When using the key card "hold" the hands on the card with your hand and insert the opposite end.
There is a buffet option for each meal. We enjoyed the made-to-order omelets for breakfast! Lunch serves various items such as pizza, pasta, hamburgers salads, etc. Dinner offered many choices in the buffet. We also went to the restaurants for a change of pace. There are several restaurants serving dinner ( Steakhouse,Asian,Fusion,Gourmet). Tip 3: Reservations are taken at 8 am in the lounge. They fill fast so arrive promptly.
Smoking is permitted on property. Rooms are smoke free. Matches are not provided, so you may need to purchase a lighter in the gift shop.
We came here to relax, and we did just that! However there are tours and activities offered daily. Also the Atlantis resort is about a 1-2 minute walk. Although, if you are going to walk to the Atlantis casino,plan on walking for about 5-7 minutes. There are vendors on the beach and a small shop at the end of the driveway for those interested in souvenirs.
How long to stay? 4 nights seem to hit the sweet spot for us. Overall we would happily return and although we just came back yesterday, we are already planning our next trip to the Riu on Paradise Island!

Room Tip: All the rooms seem nice and have at least a partial ocean view. Some rooms are a little larger than...
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
    • 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.
Houston, Texas
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

My wife and I decided upon the RIU Palace Paradise Island after looking for an all-inclusive in the Bahamas and reading what seemed like great reviews (on another site). This "hotel" did not live up to our expectations having just last year stayed at the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana Dominican Republic.

This was our first time staying at a RIU destination. If you are expecting a resort, this is far from it. The "grounds" consist of the motor court driveway and the pool. That's it. No gardens, no walkways, no scenery other than the ocean. The hotel is old and in disrepair. Paint is peeling off the walls. Rust from the salty ocean air can be seen on many fixtures. The pool is small and the swim up bar closes ridiculously early. It is flanked on the entire west side by Atlantis, or let me be more specific - the "cheap end" of Atlantis. The older, ugly pink hotel and it's massive ugly pink wall stop just short of RUIs pool area. The one saving grace here is the ocean view. The turquoise waters and near-white sandy beach that form the backdrop of this property are terrific. But don't expect to enjoy the beach in peace.

RIU has 15 floors of occupants all vying for the less-than 100 beach chairs they supply. If you don't get down to the beach early, you won't get one. Then you are sharing the beachfront with hundreds of people. The other side of RIU has the misfortune of having the one public access to the beach. So not only are all of RIU's guests on this stretch of the beach, but also everyone else who takes the bridge over to the island. It is a cacophony of humanity. People are packed in within 5 feet of each other. You can't go three steps in the surf without running into someone.

You will constantly be harassed by locals wanting to sell you jet ski rides or boat rides. If they see you with snorkeling gear, you'll be harassed to be taken to "top of the line" snorkel or scuba locations. Vendors selling everything from drinks to food and goods set up little shops all around that public access area too.

Thankfully, the beach all the way to the east is public and if you take the time to walk a half mile (or more) you can find a nice quiet spot with no one near you. That's what we did all three days just to get away from the throngs of people.

We immediately realized the quality of this establishment when the all-inclusive drinks during the day are served in disposable plastic and Styrofoam cups - not glassware. The specialty drinks are no where near special. In fact, most of tropical the drinks we tried tasted terrible. They push some local beer there and if you don't want it, you're choices are Miller Lite (seriously?) or Tecate. They make all frozen drinks by mixing all the mixers and ice in a blender first then pour it into a cup with the alcohol already in the cup. So the alcohol is never truly blended into the drink. WTH? Oh, and there is NO bottled water.

The way this place does dinner just baffles us. You have to sign-up for dinner between 8-9 in the morning if you want to go to one of the "specialty" restaurants on site. There is limited seating, so this is how they accommodate for that. But people line up before 8:00 to try to guarantee a seat, so they inadvertently force you to get up at the crack of dawn just to sign up for dinner. Otherwise your only choice is the all you can eat buffet or the nasty sports bar. They graciously allow you to sign up for two nights at once, but no more. The problem is that each night, one of the three specialty restaurants is closed, so really, you can only choose from two each night. All the specialty restaurants have a set menu. You don't get much of a selection in appetizer, main dish or desert. The buffet certainly has a large selection, but the food is just bad.

Things are kept out under heat lamps too long. Many items have no flavor, too much salt or really just taste terrible. Each day you can expect some new way to prepare conch (oh joy). For a resort by the sea, their seafood is just mediocre. As for what you can expect at the specialty restaurants, we only got to try the Steakhouse and Krystal:

At the Steakhouse, I had ordered the filet and lobster. The lobster was prepared thermadore style with a nasty yellow cream sauce drizzled over it. The filet was so dry and chewy I had to tell the waitress. She thankfully brought me a ribeye instead. The potato they serve as a side with all entrees is cold and hard. The seafood appetizer was unimpressive.

At Krystal, the presentation was very nice, but the food was not. The appetizer salad was the best thing going. Everyone gets some smoked salmon with watermelon-tomato puree and it was just awful. I thought I couldn't go wrong with the sea bass, but I was mistaken. The sea bass itself, was just OK, but the basil foam and stewed tomato sides were gross. What are they thinking? Who really eats stewed tomatoes??? Our deserts were even bad. I actually left there hungry and had to go to the buffet restaurant just to get more food (and I'm a skinny guy!) This fusion cuisine needs to be infused with a new menu.

Actually, every desert was bad, no matter which restaurant you choose. They can't seem to do cake right. The consistency is always wrong and is more like rubber or gelatin. They thankfully have fresh fruit, but the pineapple tended to be from a can and the cantaloupe was always a bit over-ripe. For a tropical locale, there was NO fresh mango to be had ever, though there were bananas.

Breakfast and lunch in the buffet room were just blah. Every day was the same choices. The coffee is unimpressive (we think it was Community Coffee). The bacon is much too greasy and the eggs and pancakes...... <shudder>. The best thing at lunch is the French fries. Really. That's the best thing.

Smoking is permitted everywhere in the lobby, pool area and entertainment room. As non-smokers, this is a huge turn off. You can't enjoy the bar in the lobby. We didn't even attempt the pool as everyone there smoked. Our floor was a no smoking floor, but many are not. The elevators constantly smelled of 2nd hand smoke.

Our room was actually nice. 7th floor, corner room with a great view. The bed was comfortable but the pillows were not. They were lumpy and old. We had to ask for some firmer pillows but even those were bad. The room was very clean (thankfully) and spacious. The bathroom was not. It was tiny, with mildew, peeling paint and floors that were always slippery even if dry. The TV reception is a joke and the AC hums constantly, even if you turn it up because the fan is always on. The walk-in closet is roomy and there is plenty of space for clothes, luggage and shoes though. Oh, and I love the TV channel they have that tells about all the other RIU properties. The RIU Paradise Island looks like a dump compared to their other properties. There is no way this is a 4 star "resort". I would be hard pressed to give it 3 stars.

24 hour room service is a joke. If you want breakfast, you have to order it the night before. So no waking up and thinking you'll sleep in and get breakfast in bed. You have to plan it apparently. Also, there is no dinner menu for room service. When I asked about this, I was told with the "variety" of restaurants on site and with the buffet staying open until 11:00 PM, they really shouldn't be a need for a dinner menu for room service. Wow. Not leaving a lot of options there are they?

We were celebrating our 10th anniversary and at check in they even asked if we were celebrating anything. But the only "extra" we got was a towel on our bed shaped like a bow - on our second day there - only after our room service lady asked us.

We inquired about a late check out since our flight didn't leave until 5:00 PM. They said they have that as an option, but it is $100 to do so. Seriously? We just wanted an hour later. Needless to say, we did not do a late checkout.

While we enjoyed the beautiful beach and the Bahamas in general, we were very disappointed in the RIU Palace Paradise Island. We would NEVER stay here again nor recommend it to anyone. This is mediocre, at best, hotel (not a resort) that is sure to un-impress anyone looking for a true resort and amenities.

Houston, TX

Room Tip: While all rooms have a view of the ocean, if you want a slightly better room, book the Oceanfront ro...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Peterborough, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

We just got back from a 4 day (3 night) vacation at the Riu and was very impressed by the hotel, especially after reading some of the negative reviews on here.

The food was fantastic at this resort. We stuck mostly with the buffet, but also had a dinner at the Steak house one night. The buffet had a great selection of flavourful food and after 4 days we still never found that the buffet was getting boring as they changed things up daily and always had so much to choose from that you could never try everything in one sitting. The steak house offered a great meal as well, I went with the surf and turf and my wife had the ribeye - both were cooked to perfection.

We spent one day pool side and while the pool is small, we weren't concerned as there was a beautiful ocean only steps away if the pool started to get busy. We didn't find the pool to be all that busy though and took advantage of the umbrellas and swim up bar for a nice relaxing day.

The other days at the resort we spent mainly on the beach, and why would you not? The beach is beautiful, well maintained and the ocean crystal clear and was very warm at this time of year. There were a few vendors walking the beach (jet ski rentals, cuban cigars, hair braids) but a simple no thank you and they never bothered you again or tried to push their product on you.

We stayed in room 1100, and I'm not sure how it compares to other rooms in the hotel but we thought it was a great room (only downside being it was on the front of the building and didn't face the paradise island beach). We weren't concerned with the view as the room more than made up for it. We had a king sized bed with a separate space with couch and chairs for watching television or having a drink. The washroom had his and hers sinks as well as both a stand up shower and a separate bathtub. We never had any trouble with warm water or water shutoffs for the duration of our stay. Showering at many different times during the day the worst we experienced was only having warm water instead of boiling hot water.

Overall, the trip was well worth the money and we were impressed with the quality of the room, facilities and the service of the staff. We will definitely be back in the future.

Room Tip: We had room 1100, you give up the view for a more spacious room.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

Great Time. Decent food. A bit over priced. Bahamian people very friendly. Take plenty of tip money. It's expected. Rooms very clean. Pool could be cleaner. Pool bar only open until 6. Forget the Japanese restaurant. Not good at all. Overall though good trip. 7 nights 1 too many for us.

Room Tip: Pool side is more fun!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Burlington, Ontario
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

Paradise Island, Bahamas Sun May 4th 2o14 – Sun May 11th 2o14
Alright, here is my review on the Riu Palace, Paradise Island, Bahamas! I, like most readers, was skeptical after reading so many mixed reviews. I can usually pick out the people who are just picky vs the ones who actually had a bad experience. I love trip advisor and use it for everything so I’m going to write a detailed review to try to cover all the basis like I did for my trip to Mexico 2 years ago.
First of all my NOW husband and I booked this trip as a getaway and as a wedding destination/honeymoon spot. My parents had their honeymoon in Paradise Island, Bahamas 32 years ago in the Harbour Resort which used to be a Holiday Inn. There are not many All Inclusives in Bahamas and since we are not rich we wanted to go that route. We booked with the Riu because my parents love the Rius in Mexico and Aruba.
We booked through Sunwing/Signature vacations. It was a pretty good deal we booked back in Oct 2013 so we added the $50 cancellation fee each considering we were going in May 2014. This is a Riu Palace but my parents said it is smaller than the other Riu Palaces. With this vacation package and cancellation fee and taxes all in came to $1700 per person. They offer a Price Drop Guarantee so if the trip gets cheaper after you book it you get the difference back minus a fee but for some reason it’s in the small print when my father called that connected through signature.ca it is not offered. It did drop but nothing we could do about. My parents were more irritated than we were since it came down in price 2 days after they booked it. My parents booked in Feb or March and my brother and his girlfriend booked April and were just in time for when these dates were not available.
We left for Bahamas on Sun May 4, flight was at 6:30 pm so it gave us the whole day to get ready. If you book your trip with the way your name is on your passport EXACTLY you can get your boarding pass through the machine. Only negative thing about he flight was when landing in Bahamas...flight is 3 hours and a bit, it was dark. You get free champagne which I did not partake in and a free meal which is a little pizza I thought was not too bad and free pop or juice or wine. On the way back you get same meal with a little thing of chocolates. When we got to Nassau airport we went through immigration they were very friendly and fast and then out front to get our bus to the resort. Don’t lose your customs forms. There was only one set of passengers on the plane that were staying at Habour Resort the rest of us were going to the Riu. It took 4 small buses to get everyone and their luggage to resort...a little hectic but oh well it was hot and humid and I was in a great mood despite others complaining about the disorganization. Bus took about 25 min to get to Riu and we were given out pamphlets with the name of our Sunwing rep and info about the orientation the next morning. SO YES THERE IS transportation included if booking through Sunwing, but you can take a $30 cab if you don’t want to deal with all the people plus the $1 bridge toll. So check in...of course was long because everyone arrives at the same time from the same plane. The line up moved pretty quickly...we told the lady at the desk that we were there to get married (even though the wedding was not booked through the Riu) she was very friendly!!! My dad and brother were accidentally booked into the same room but sorted that out within a couple minutes. When we got to our room we were pleasantly surprised! We were in room 1517 and though it was dark we could see how our ocean view would be in the morning...plus the sweet night time view of Atlantis. Out of the 3 rooms booked my husband and I were the only ones who did not pay an extra $100 per person for the ocean view and ours was the best! So less hassle if you just chance it I think. Only thing about being on the top floor is only 1 of 3 elevators goes to the top floor. If you really don’t want to wait just go to the 14th floor and walk one floor...not a big deal for me. The room was clean, recently repainted, the carpet was not damp and nothing smelled weird or musty. The AC was too cold so at night we turned it off and slept with the balcony door open, not any bugs up that high so listening to the ocean was amazing! My parents and brother and gf were in rooms 607 and 402. They did have an ocean view but also a roof view...ours was nicer. Their rooms were bigger but had smaller balconies. They also give you a password for your free wifi which was a bit laggy at times but worked all over the resort...can’t complain seeing what you pay for damn roaming data packages. There was a room safe with no charge which we used because we had our cash, id, and wedding bands with us. No issues with the safe it worked great and was easy to use. We were hungry and went to the sports bar which isn’t much but it’s 24 hours and had some nachos and sandwiches for a quick bite. Drinks were good...right amount of boos for me! The lobby bar was ok except at check-in with so many people it was kind of in an awkward spot. The bed was soft and perfect and the giant pillows were amazing! We checked the beds for anything gross...nothing, everything was clean. Beds were made everyday and the one night my diabetic husband tested his blood sugars and got a tiny blood drop on the bed the sheet was changed the next morning without asking...always clean towels and stocked fridge, of course we left tips for the cleaning lady and fridge guy everyday who were very nice. Just leave a note in the fridge and be polite if you want more of something. We did not use the drink dispenser since we are not really liquor drinkers. They had rum, vodka, gin and brandy. There is water bottles in the room but I don’t think the tap water was unsafe. There was also an iron, ironing board, shampoo dispenser and coffee machine. We did not have a tub, just a stand up shower but that’s ok...just have to be persistent to guide the sand down the drain haha. We heard some people complain because there are not ice machines on every floor so finding one was difficult for them I guess. We also had some younger guys that thought it’d be fun to hang out in the hall? Like pick a balcony and go out there dummies. Only a couple things we would say were “negative” our hair dryer low setting did not work and the shower curtain is a bit too short for the stand up shower so we just put a big towel down so the floor did not get wet. Plus the toilet is in an awkward spot for closing the door if you were sitting on it. Water pressure was pretty good most of the the time as well as temperature. Don’t lose your towel cards like most resorts they charge you for losing them...we would just keep swapping towels until the day we left then asked for the card back.
The breakfast buffet was good, had everything you needed, we especially liked the fresh squeezed juices of every kind. The waiters and waitresses were nice, not overly talkative unless you were to them. One lady was really friendly but I forget her name. The pool was cleaned constantly! The bar tenders at the pool were friendly, same with the lunch buffet people. My husband and I are caretakers at schools so we know how rude and messy people can be, so we are always clean. It is a family resort but not too many young children when we went which was nice. There is smoking allowed almost everywhere except inside the restaurants but being ex smokers we were surprised how most people did not smoke and it did not stink of cigarettes.(as per some people’s reviews) The beach is gorgeous!!!!!!!! The first full day there on the Mon was windy and the rep for Sunwing Bernie said for them it was cold but as a Canadians we know better haha. She was a good informative rep and helped a very drunk young man get to the airport on the last day. The waves were huge and fun to sit in the surf and get pushed around and sucked in...minus the sand that gets slammed everywhere. The days the water was calm was actually a bit boring after that haha. The one downside to the beach IS the jetski guys...just say no thanks and keep walking...they target my husband because he has the “rockstar” look and were always asking him if he wanted to party...which no we are not into that stuff. EVERY jetski guy down there sells drugs just say no I’m good and walk away or they will. I don’t know what jetskis cost or parasailing or snorkeling we did not inquire.
We had to get in contact with the Reverend who was going to marry us the night we arrived and when I asked about the LOCAL calling from the resort I did not like the answer. It was $100 deposit and 72cents a min...so I just emailed him with the free wifi. Luckily you could call between rooms for free. For anyone interested I set up our wedding through a lady named Ava who works for the Bahamas tourism board. She was very kind and helpful with exactly what we wanted and I got my bouquet from All Seasons Florist and it was gorgeous! Of the 5 of us that had iphones for some reason though my data was off, texts messages were going though mostly to my mother who was in the same resort instead of as imessages and I got a nice $30 extra roaming text charge on my bill when I got home...me being the only one I fought it and it got credited back so just be careful. The beach was cleaned every morning and there were always chairs and umbrellas available on the beach and by the pool and yes people do go down early to put towels there. The umbrellas are free but the guys set them up for you..so a tip is nice but they take them down at 5 pm or if it’s too breezy. It was 29-30 degrees everyday plus humidity and only one day with overcast. Apparently the week we got home Bahamas had a rainy week so we lucked out. It feels safe on and around the resort...I would not wander downtown Nassau at night but around the resorts seems good.
Going into Nassau...
So there are a few ways into Nassau...the Ferry... which the dock is just outside Atlantis...$8 round trip on a small boat. There is cabbing it, or walking it which takes about 45 min each way which we did the 2nd time we went into Nassau and it was not that bad. The Ferry dock has two sides one for the bigger boats for the excursions and down under the bridge on the other side...prepare to be harassed a bit to buy things again just say no. They also make fresh booze drinks down there $24 for 2 but my husband and mom said they were delicious! They said something like 90% of everything there is imported that’s why it is pricey but also why they have some of the most beautiful waters in the world because of lack of industry pollution. When you take the boat in you go right passed the cruise ships where the port can dock 5 or 6 ships at a time, and usually have a tip based “tour guide” tell you about things around Paradise Island they are pretty nice and funny. The strawmarket is umm OVERWHELMING!!! It’d be ok if they were selling different things but all the people are selling all the same things and you can’t even look without being harassed! But you can dicker with them if not walk away. There is a sort of mini strawmarket closer to the resort that is a bit less stressful. Around the big strawmarket are lots of touristy stores which are not bad at least you are left alone to look at things and one store we really like with beautiful shells and jewelry. The guy working there was awesome! There is money in the Bahamas so Atlantis and the streets in Nassau have very high end stores and jewelry stores...there seems to be no middle class so further from the core of downtown is barred up ghetto-ish and then rich.
We did not watch tv all week but my parents said in the middle of a movie it would ask for payment. The front desk people were very nice I thought, I asked them to receive my flowers for me for my bouquet which I left the money with them, they were in our room when I got back. The dinner buffet was good, alternated at night with Bahamas night, Mexican, Italian, Greek and Chinese. A lot of it was the same but I liked it plus the little mousse desserts were so delicious! We attempted the a la cart once, we got up early on Friday to get in line to book for the Steakhouse for that night but it was full for Fri and Sat oh well. I did not want to wait in a line at 8 am everyday. We got married right out on Cabbage Beach just off from were the buffet balcony is...it was beautiful! Windy to hear on the recording but oh well it’s the beach! We wanted to book one excursion so we all went on the Blue Lagoon Beach Day! It was awesome! It was $59/person (be careful because the rep said $69 but I looked it up on the website first and its $59) and $6 for bus round trip but it was just at the Ferry dock so the bus was not needed but nice after a tiring day at the beach (though it was a van that took us back). The beach day includes a bigger Ferry Boat to the island which is a beautiful trip...the water is clear to the bottom out in the ocean...gorgeous! Cost covers a lunch and drink and snack and the beach and the inflatable water park which is so fun! Extras are the water bikes and kayaks we paid $15 for the water bike for 30 min not bad. Bring your own towel...we just brought our Riu pool towel just remember to bring it back with you. They also have dolphins so you can pay extra to swim with them or the sea lion. We did not, however at the end of the day when we were waiting for the boat to take us back watching the dolphins swim and one of the trainers walked by and threw a soccer ball to the dolphins next thing you know they were tossing it to us!!! So we got to play catch with them! That was amazing!!! There are 3 leaving times for the boat. It was a nice relaxing day! Well worth it I think! The Lagoon is gorgeous with lots of fish.
Not much wildlife, some lizards and birds around the resort. They put up fishing line so the gulls don’t touch the food when people are eating outside, and it does not hurt them which is nice. There are ups and downs being next to Atlantis. For one Riu can’t compare so the nightlife is notta. I don’t mind but my husband got a bit bored. Atlantis has a casino and nightclubs ($50 cover for woman/$100 cover for men!!) and you can walk around but not too much to do on the Riu property. The part of the aquarium in Atlantis you can see for free is pretty cool! Anything you want to do in Atlantis you can buy day passes but we did not bother. The night show we went to in the Riu was ok though, watched a limbo guy with fire. The day we walked to Nassau we went to Senior Frogs...met some nice Americans from the Norwegian cruise...it’s a cool restaurant but expensive! My husband ordered a fresh banana booze drink and I ordered a VIRGIN strawberry daiquiri made fresh and delicious but it came to $28! Not including tip! But for the atmosphere it’s neat to see once. We did not try the conch salad which is what the restaurant is known for. NOTE: you can buy conch shells EVERYWHERE so don’t get suckered into an expensive one like I did haha. There is also a big Pirate Museum there too...we did not go in. The Marina just down from the entrance of Atlantis is a nice walk, has shops and a Ben & Jerrys (Bahamas is very Americanized) and where the million dollar yachts are! Apparently someone is going to build another resort on the mainland that will compare to Atlantis which by the way is owned by ONE PERSON! And the bridge looking part of Atlantis is the Michael Jackson suite. You too can stay there for $10,000 per night min 4 nights!!
Upon checking out I handed my 2 towel cards and 2 room key cards back. The lady scooped them up and put them in the pile of towel cards then asked for the room key cards back. I told her I just handed them to her she said “no you did not but it’s ok if they are in the rooms.” I was like “no honestly I just put them up there you put them in that pile.” She says “it’s fine.” She was so nice! I became paranoid later that day and went to ask if she had found them because I did not want to be charged for losing them. She humored me that she found them because it was not a big deal. They are the kind that they just reactivate from a blank card.(I know they would have found them later on that day when handing out towel cards) There are also some really nice gardens up the street from the Riu that are connected to another resort but you can walk through a big part of them and a turtle pond just up from the Riu as well. As for renting a car down there I’m glad I did not the roads are strange because they are built like Britain driving the opposite side, it’s hard to know when to cross the street plus half the cars are British style and half are Americanized so it’s very awkward which side of the car and road people are driving on. You can rent mopeds in Nassau as well but I don’t know how much they cost. Most things outside the resort are expensive here so be aware...that’s why I like All Inclusive. Our flight home was at 10 pm on Sun May 11th so we go to the small airport (Lynden Pindling) around 7 pm and got back to Toronto just after 2 am Mon morning where the weather had not gotten too cold again thank god!
Anyways I know this is a long review to get through but I hope I have helped you make your choice on we here to go. I am 31 my husband is 34 and we like vacations for the relaxing aspect, are not very big on the partying but do like some entertainment and hot weather. I’m not sure why others had such bad reviews or a bad time but we had a great time and would definitely go back!!!

Room Tip: i'd say don't book ocean view...we didn't and got an amazing view!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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:
#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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