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Review of Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Casino Drive Paradise Island | Paradise Island - Bahamas, 6307, New Providence Island   |  
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Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Paradise Island
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5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2006

We stayed at the Riu from June 10-15th. We loved it and said we would recommend to anyone and everyone!
I personally never been on an all inclusive trip and never traveled outside the U.S. I booked the trip through the hotel directly, which doesn't include ground transportation. The cab ride was about 25 minutes to the hotel and cost 25.00 for both me and my friend. Once we arrived at the hotel we were upgraded to a suite (for no reason), which had an ocean and pool view. The room was a nice size with a large wrap around balcony. The cleaning staff always cleaned and greeted you at all times with a smile. The buffett was always great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. The food was fresh and the selection varied from day to day. I didn't try any of the specialty restaurants. The staff in the dining area was always there to provide you with whatever you needed and to clear the table. The bartenders were pleasant and attentive. My favorite bartender was Donald, who usually handles the swim up pool bar. He's fast, accurate and makes great shots. His speciality is called "marijuana" which is pretty sweet but good. All of the bartenders have interesting specialty drinks that the others don't know how to make. So if you ask for a specialty drink from one bartender and you like it, you have to ask that bartender to make it again for you. The pool and beach was clean with great water temperatures. There was nightly entertainment either in the calypso room (behind the bar in the lobby), or outside by the pool. The only problem I had with the entertainment was that it was over at midnight. It kind of left you hanging and wanting to do more. The Riu is right next door to the Atlantis, so you have access to the aquarium and the casino. Of course, you could do more in the Atlantis for a price.
Overall, I would say the Riu was great! When I go back to the Bahamas, I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
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3,489 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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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Riu in Paradise Island from June10 to June 16th. We just returned last night. We had a great time. The beach is beautiful, the water is sooo clear. When going to the beach go to the right, all the way down to the very end. At the coral. Go into the water waist deep, with a couple pieces of bread and feed the clown fish. They will swarm all around you. It is a long walk but worth the trip. The sand is white and very clean. The food was very good, we ate at the buffet for all three meals. The hotel is very clean. The only complaint we had was that the room was not cool enough. We had our themostat on 49 degrees and it was not cool enough. Staff were very friendly. The pool is a good size. If you like daquries, try the dirty bananas drink it is so good, can not get enough. I would recommend this hotel. We swam in the ocean everyday, you have too see for yourself how clear the water is. You can go out to your chest, it looks like a huge swimming pool. There is not much entertainment at this hotel, the atlantis is beautiful you have to walk into the beach tower then follow the signs to the coral towers that is were the casino is, then proceed through the casino then you will be in the royal towers. They have a huge aquranium of fish all kinds. Make sure you have your camera.

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Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2006

Ok, here is a full review of the RIU. Our stay was from June 11 - June 15 2006. Cab from the airport is $30 for 2 people and takes from 30 to 45 minutes. Bellhop was there to take our bags. The checkin process was a bit slow. They tend to move at their pace, but that's ok. They were nice and answered all our questions. Some people complained about the elevators, but the wait times were normal for a full hotel, ranging from no wait to about 2 minutes. The hotel was full at the time. At check in you will have to post a $250 deposit on your credit card for the telephone. The cost is $2.49 a minute to the U.S. You will also receive your wrist bracelet which identifies you as a guest for the services. it is just a club type plastic wrist band with the hotel name on it.

The Room - We were on the 7th floor facing east. A wonderful view of beach was available from our bed. The room was about 3 star quality. Average linens and bedding. We had a king size bed and enjoyed the extra pillows. There is a in room fridge / mini bar. It has a six pack of miller beer, 4 pepsi, 2 diet pepsi, 2 club soda, and a gallon of water. They restock it every other day. Above the fridge is a liquor cabinet which as neat. It has a bottle of run, vodka, cognac, and gin. There was a desk with 2 chairs, a dreser with 6 drawers. Closet has ample hangers, ironing board and iron. There is a safe in the closet which uses a 4 digit code you set every time you use it. This was very handy for cash, passports and jewelry. The bathroom had all the soaps, shampoo, and conditioner you need. There were 3 bath towels, 2 wash clothes, 2 hand towels, and a floor mat. Also a kleenix dispenser. Hot water was hot and cold was about 65 or so. The shower has good pressure but not the best. There is also a hair dryer in the bathroom. On the last day we noticed that the A/C was leaking in the bathroom. The A/C is digital and will go down to about 54 if you want. We kept our maxed out. The balcony had 2 chairs and a table and a pull rack to dry your wet gear. The TV was a 27" model with a remote control. There are about 15 channels you get. CNN, TNT, CBS, ABC, EPSN and a few spanish channels. Reception was from snowy to clear but we didn't spend much time watching TV, only at night before bed.

The Bars - there is a main bar in the hotel lobby which is open from 10am to 1am. There is a pool bar with swim up option open from 10am to 6pm. In the restaurants there is a dispenser for draft beer and white wine. The drinks were great. If you sit at the bar you get great service, if you walk up, you may wait a few minutes as they get crowded. They were more than happy to make anything you wanted and the bartenders were quite nice.

The Food - the food was above average for a hotel. We ate at the 'Atlantic' buffet for breakfast and dinner and the 'Bahamas' for lunch. Breakfast was everything from cereal and breads to eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, pancakes, fruit, and the like. The coffee was strong and good. Lunch was burgers, hot dogs, fries, fish or meat, salad bar, side items, and cakes / ice creams. Dinner buffet was great. Everything from rice and beans to fresh tuna. They have theme nights such as Asian, Mexican, Italian , but there is always something to eat. There are 3 restaurants, a Japanese, Steakhouse, and Gourmet. You have to make reservations for these each day. They take reservations at 9am till 1030am each day. Some people stand in line at 8am, but that is just foolish. Just stroll by around 930 to 945 and walk right up. They have 2 times each night at each restaurant, 630pm and 830pm. We made reservations, but always ended up skipping the restaurants because were having fun. Basically there is food available from 730am till midnight. We never felt hungary. I am a early riser who gets up at 6am each day, but always felt satisfied. The food ins't world famous, but it was good and the staff were always nice and pleasant with us and any special requests.

The Beach - the beach is just a walk down from the pool, and it's amazing. Clear water and lots of fun. Be careful about sunblock. You will get fried. I got a bad case of sunburn on my legs the 2nd to last day and it hurts. The beach is private to semi private. People from other hotels and the public beach my walk down the beach, but they are prevented from using the chairs the hotel provides. The staff will remove anyont not staying at the hotel from using any hotel equipment. If you want a umbrella, you have to rent one. The prices range from $30 to $15 depending on how you barter and how long you will be outside. We paid $20 for one all day. They will set it up for you where you want and readjust it if needed. There are people trying to rent you jet skis for $40 to $50 for a half hour. There is parasailing for $50 a ride. I did the parasailing. I went up 650feet and had a great time. There are some vendors selling drinks in coconuts, but the pool bar is only 100feet away so we didn't buy any. There are women selling tattoos, necklaces, and hair braids. The vendors were all nice and if you told them you weren't interested they didn't waste your time coming back again unless you called them over. There is always a hotel staff member at the steps to the beach. He makes sure no one who is not from the hotel comes up the stairs and keeps an eye out for anything going on.

Other notes : the Atlantis is right next door. If you like to gamble the casino is about a 10 minute walk but 90% of it is indoors and climate controlled. We had fun and won some pretty good loot ( or least my wife did). Drink service is free if you are gambling, but slow if you don't tip. There are slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and the such. There were craps tables, but they were not open when we were in there. The casino is open from 10am to 4am each day.

Straw market - it is a $10 cab ride to market. If you have ever been once, it hasn't changed in 16 years. It burned down a few years ago, but they put up a giant canvas tent and kept going. Same stuff as always. Neat if you have never been, but boring if you have. We have been down to Nassau about 5 times over 16 years and I swear they are selling the same crap as before. There are stores worth visiting along the docks to do some shopping. The duty free / tax free liquor is ok, but they don't really sell top notch brands down there.

The airport - what a surprise. You go through ticketing, and have to carry your bags (including checked luggage) to bahamas security. When you get your ticket you get a U.S. customs declaration. You have to fill it out before you go through security. Then you go through U.S. customs in the Bahamas, then through one more security screening. This was great as you didn't have to deal with in when you landed in the U.S.

So - final thoughts....we are going back as soon as we can!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2006

My self, wife and two stepsons stayed at the RIU Paradise Island Hotel from May 24th through May 30th 2006, (Memorial Day Weekend). We flew from Laguardia Airport in New York and arrived in the Bahamas at approximately 2:00 pm. We found our shuttle to the hotel, included in the all inclusive package, and enjoyed the ride to the hotel. You get a nice little tour of downtown Nassau and some of the hotels on Paradise Island as Riu is the last stop to drop off tourists.
We arrived at the hotel at approximately 3:30 pm and we checked in immediately. As soon as we stepped up to the desk a lady gave us tropical drinks and welcomed us to the Riu! The drinks were delicious and refreshing. I politely asked the lady that was checking us in if we could get a room on the 8th floor or hire. I did not want to get on a floor that was to low and close to the airconditioners if they gave us a beach view. The lady gave us beach view rooms on the 12th floor. I was so relieved and thanked here profusely.
When we got to our rooms, the view of the beach was spectacular. The rooms were very clean and nicely decorated. The carpet was a little worn, but that is a small negative. We went down to the beach and all I can say is the beach is spectacular. I am a beach fanatic and have been to beaches in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, etc. None come close to Paradise Island's beach. The sand is so soft and white. And the water! Oh, the water! It is so blue and so clear, it is like pool water.There are no rocks on the ocean bottom or seaweed. I couldnt believe it. On top of it, the water was warm like a bath. The hotel staff keeps the beach immaculate. If you walk down the beach away from the Atlantis hotel for about 10 minutes, until you come to the end, the beach curves and ends in a cove. Here it is very secluded with a few private houses. It is like your on another tropical island.
The food at the Riu is delicious. The variety is huge. One of my sons is a vegetarian and had plenty of food to pick from. They have everything from carribbean dishes to american junk food. I dont know what people complain about concerning food. There is so much to pick from, how could you not find something you like. And a lot of it is prepared right in front of you.
The staff were always very friendly. We tipped the maid 1 or 2 dollars a day and our rooms were always clean. My door wouldnt close completely and lock. I called the front deske and a handyman was there in 15 minutes and fixed it. The lobby bar had great bartenders who made excellent drinks. We didnt have to wait more then 3 minutes. And this is during memorial day weekend when the hotel was packed. When you wanted more entertainment you just walked 5 minutes to the Atlantis next door and go to the casino or the marina or to the little shopping malls. Atlantis is a wonder and you must see it.
The Riu is perfectly located on a beautiful beach right next to the atlantis. You couldnt ask for more. After 8:00 pm the predator aquarium and pool area is free to walk through in the atlantis
We went on one tour, the Powerboat adventure trip to the Exumas. I highly recommend it. Well worth the money. You get a boat ride, to Iguana island to feed the lizards, then on to a private island where you feed stingrays, see sharks five feet from your feet and get a lunch and sunbathe and swim in beautiful water.
Overall, I give the Riu 4 1/2 stars out of 5. For an all inclusive it is a beautiful, friendly hotel.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fethiye, Turkey
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2006

Stayed at the Riu 20 th May till 4th June.
Positives first...Food in buffet excellent certainly did not get bored with the choices.
Steak house again great but the Gourmet topped the lot and was a fantastic meal. We did not do queue to book (some people in line from 7.30am!) but managed to get booked both times after 9.15am without a wait.
Pool was great and pool bar staff very friendly.
Pool gets very noisy with young Americans over the weekends who were extreemly load, they seem to take over the place from Thurs onwards. Seemed like Ibiza at times and not what we expected!
Biggest complaint when we arrived was only about 8 sunshades around pool so lots of burned bodies. After a few days we had a questionaire from the management and we commented on this problem and to give them their due within a few more days a whole load of new sunhades arrived.
Beach was fantastic, cleaned daily and hotel supply sunbeds on beach but NO sunshades. The only sunshades available were to hire for $25 per day! This is taking the tourists for a ride and just scamming them. On other beaches on the main island we saw signs for sunshades at $3 per day so it was a big scam. In my opinion a so called 5 star hotel should supply sunhades with the sunbeds they are placing on the beach. So if you are a beach bum and want shade bring your own sun shade.
Building work on the Beach towers next door spoiled any possible enjoyment of a sit on your balcony if you were towards the rear of the hotel in the odd numbered rooms.
Wlak through to the Marina Village on a Fri or Sat night about 9pm to see the weekly carnival and for some great ( though expensive) shops and the luxury yachts.
Walk through the Royal Towers in the evening and you can see everything for free and great fun in the casino.
Trips to do...The Powerboat Adventure was $190 each but was the best day trip we had done anywhere in the world...worth every cent.
Flying cloud catamaran we did the all day Sunday cruise and again had a great day out and saw the real Bahamas, beautiful people , beaches and crystal clear sea.
We are divers so we dived with Bahama Divers first who were ok but then decided to go with Stuart Coves for our last dives. These were totally professional with great boats, fantastic set up and great dive sites. Only draw back was it took 45 mins to get there from the Riu, but would highly recommend Stuart Coves.
Overall we got what we paid for, would not return to the Riu but would go back to the outer islands (quieter, more laid back) which are more our scene.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2006

I was very disappointed in the Hotel Riu, especially regarding the rooms.They are not only dated but closely resemble a dirty Motel 6! The carpet was dirty, the bed was low to the floor and uncomfortable. The bathroom was the worst...moldy tub, showerhead etc...the walls are paper thin and we could even smell smoke from next door! One day we had no wash cloths and after repeated attempts to get some failed we borrowed some from our son's room. The pool could also be cleaner and they really need some new beach towels!!
On a positive note...the food was really good. The Gourmet restaurants are attractive and the wait staff goes above and beyond. The lobster bisque at Sir Alexanders is a 10! The snapper and tenderloin is very good also. Try the Tempura shrimp and vegetables at the Japanese restaurant along with the fried ice cream.
The beach and the water is beautiful ,
however, too many peddlers and too many JET SKIS!
The only way I would ever go back is if they completely remodel the rooms!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canaan, Indiana
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2006

We stayed at the RIU from june 8th through the 13th. We absolutely loved it!! We had never been to an all inclusive before and had never traveled outside of the US. Everything went really smoothly from check in to check out. I will try to give pointers here for those of you who like us were new to the situation. We booked our trip through AAA and everything was taken care of. We had transportation to and from the airport and this was done with Majestic tours. They do charge to rent umbrellas on the beach but I bought a pop-up beach tent from EBAY before we left and it done the trick wonderfully. It folded flat and I was able to get it into my luggage. The staff were pleasant. Just say Hi to them, ask how they are. We didn't encounter any rude people at all. There are vendors on the beach but if you don't want something just say "No thanks." They'll leave you alone. The jet ski people are careful and they direct the riders where to go so the ocean is safe. Take goggles, the water is so clear and was very calm. We saw alot of fish swimming around. There isn't much on TV, only about 5 channels. If you have a portable DVD player take it with you. If you have little ones, take stuff for them to do in the room. The pool closes at 6pm. No complaints about the room. It's basic but clean. We were on the 5th floor. We were right across from the elevators and we couldn't even hear them. We never had to wait more then 5 minutes for the elevator. Phone calls are expensive. Local calls were 72cents a min and 1-800 numbers were over 2 dollars a minute. The water temps were good in both the pool and the ocean. Everything was clean. We really enjoyed the food also. There was a huge variety. We never tried the speciality restaurants. The hotel is beautiful. There was nightly entertainment that we enjoyed. If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me. My email address is hot25pepper@hotmail.com. Like I said, I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island

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

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