Our experience at the Riu Antillas was frankly very disappointing and not at all what we were led to expect from the Riu chain. It was not our first time at that hotel but we can guarantee it will definitely be our last. This hotel is not a 5-star hotel as it claims to be. While a lot can be forgiven because of lack of staff and such - as is the case everywhere else because of the pandemic - a majority of these elements were just not acceptable and spoke to poor management and oversight by the Riu chain. For context, we were a family of 7, renting out 4 rooms at the hotel for most of the month of July. The rooms have been renovated and are quite nice overall, but that's about where the fun ends. The first element of disappointment was the beach: not only was the sand disgusting (cigarette butts, cigars, champagne corks, sharp debris, broken chunks of plastic, litter, etc.), but the hotel also refused to clean it at any point during our entire stay which lasted over two weeks. Every other hotel on Palm Beach where the Riu Antillas is located, uses a machine to clean the sand a few times a week if not daily to make it safe for people to walk on, but the Riu Antillas - one of the only 5-star hotels there - does not. They even told us they do have the machine but just won't use it to ensure the beach is in a good state for their clients. Why? They wouldn't tell us... Another issue was the state and availability of the beach chairs: every morning the chairs were tied and locked together in such a way that people had to wait anywhere from 15 minutes to upwards of an hour for an employee to show up so they could get a chair they could move themselves to an umbrella as the personnel is either far between or not particularly helpful. Additionally, while the umbrellas can't be reserved, somehow, even at 6 am, the first row of umbrellas would constantly be pre-reserved by the hotel personnel for people that often didn't show up until 2-3 PM, preventing others from using them. A lot of the chairs were also broken or damaged. To pile onto this, the Riu Antillas - an 18+ hotel - is next door to the Riu Palace - a family-friendly hotel - but there are clear signs on the beach to separate the two spaces so that adults who paid for an 18+ experience do not have to deal with screaming and running children. However, somehow, every single day, there were multiple families - large groups sometimes of 10-12 people - wearing Riu Palace bracelets on their wrists occupying the few chairs available to the Riu Antillas clients. This caused friction between Riu Antillas clients as they often could not secure a chair on the beach at all. When we brought this up to the beach personnel or the hotel security guard who monitors that people at the hotel are all 18+, we were told that it was no big deal and it was fine and we should essentially suck it up... A second element of disappointment was the food. There was a slight storm (in locals' own words, as we were not there to witness it) that hit the region over two weeks before our arrival, which caused delays in the shipments. We understand that an island like Aruba is very dependent on cargo ships and planes for its supplies. That being said, coming from a big chain like Riu, the situation we were treated to spoke of mismanagement and poor planning ahead rather than an "act of God". For the two weeks we spent there, there were little to no fresh fruits (at some point we were treated to canned fruits like prunes and peaches for 3-4 days in a row), very few options of vegetables, little meat and little fish and absolutely no lobster up until our very last day. We spoke to other people from other hotels and somehow, they all had more fresh produce and meats as did other restaurants on the island... We'd also been at that hotel before and this had never been an issue - even though storms in the Caribbean are a normal occurrence and not a pandemic novelty. The people working in the restaurants - all very kind and doing their best - were also frequently misinformed about availability of food and would claim that if it was on the menu, it was available, but more days than not, the steakhouse, for example, had half its menu unavailable (no rib eye, no salmon, no lobster, etc.) This is extremely disappointing considering the daily cost of the hotel that includes such amenities as high-quality food. We would have appreciated full transparency on this rather than the convoluted explanations we got each time we asked why we were told there would be lobster and would then be served shrimp. Additionally, the choice of restaurants is very limited (4 restaurants, all serving variations of the same dishes - the same meats, same vegetables, etc.) and the main buffet is not open at lunch giving clients only one option for lunch menu. There's even a full hour during the day (between 11 and noon) where there is essentially no food available on the premises, even in the 24-hour lounge... We have traveled extensively to many all-inclusive resorts and we've never faced a situation like this. Finally, when we went to speak with management to explain that all these elements were disappointing and to see what could be done, we were told a manager would reach back out to us the next day with more details and to address the situation. We never heard back from the manager, so clearly, this hotel does not care about its returning customers or keeping their business. Overall, we absolutely do not recommend that you spend your money there when there are other hotels in Aruba and other hotel chains which will offer you better service and an overall better experience.…
This is a gorgeous hotel with an amazing staff. My wife and I loved every minute here. The food is a bit bland but it's hard to complain here. We got a room in the villas and I can't recommend it enough. The villas get a private pool and a better view of the beach.
We have stayed at other Riu locations and they never disappoint. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The food was great and all the drinks were top shelf. The beach was amazing! I can't say enough about how great the location was. Was able to snorkeling right off the beach. Our only suggestions for the resort would be some updates to the hotel and our bed was super hard.
From the time we walked in the door the experience was amazing. We were upgraded to a master suite with ocean view, the staff was always happy tp help, always smiling. Service was top notch, cleanliness top notch. Plenty of activities and shows! Great time :-)
Everything was beautiful the food was awesome and superb the guess and staff were always so nice it was a grand time on top of being a grand time I love it I will definitely go back I would bring my children too it was just amazing!
Construction was an eyesore and interrupted sleep. TV did not work correctly and Coffee packages were not restocked and I had nothing to stir with. Most meats were overcooked. Same vegetables served with most dinners.
I have been coming here for the last 5 years. Jacquelina is welcoming and friendly. Always with a smile. Her staff at the front desk are amazing. I highly recommend the Antillas if you are staying in Aruba.
We spent two weeks in July 2022 there. The good: 1. The highest level of service and maintenance I experienced from 20+ Caribbean hotels. We happen to have a numerous issues which were solved just immediately. 2. Room. Clean, comfortable, and filled with everything. A/c was quiet and precise. 3. Beach. Crystal water, sandy bottom. 4. Very decent lobby bar. 5. Ability to visit Riu Palace Aruba on North side. They have fancier pool and rest areas. The bad: 1. Constant wind. Sometimes it becomes strong enough to blow full beer glass from table. 2. Construction site in 300m off the beach. 3. Annoying music from the pool. Beside that, they used low quality sound equipment. 4. Some rooms have glass window between bedroom and washroom. It means, when someone visits toilet at night, the light from there can wake up slipping person. Hints: 1. Good snorkeling place locates at South side of beach, around little coral island. 2. Bring own thermos then fill it with your preferred drink at the beach bar. Thus you avoid problems with shared plastic glasses and make beach cleaner.…
First time in Aruba and first time staying at a RIU. First impression was great, Luis and Carlos at the front desk were excellent and upgraded us from the 6th floor to the 15th floor without us even requesting a change. Our room was amazing with two balconies and incredible views. They were so professional and friendly. The food was pretty good. We have been to many all inclusive and found not being able to reserve the specialty restaurants, not very guest friendly. We had to wait for 1-2 hours on a line to get into the steakhouse and then it was a disappointing meal. It took a very long time to get our meal (1 hour from seating) and it wasn't the best. There was no lobster for the surf and turf so that was also disappointing. They have a dress code and while we respected that and wore dress clothes, a couple next to us was in bathing suits and cover ups. The other two specialty restaurants were pretty good and easier to get a seating. Overall we were satisfied with buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast was definitely the best. For service, we met some great people that are so friendly and very good at their job. Maria was fantastic and we requested her for breakfast and lunch. Very friendly and went out of her way to make sure you had everything that you needed. We made sure we let her manager know that she was excellent at her job. The beach and water are beautiful!! The beach is very well maintained. You do need to get there early, by 6:30-7:00 to get a palpas and there are people there to issue towels and they will set up chairs for you. People do respect if you have towels there and leave for an hour, so no one took our space. If you are fine with just chairs on the beach and not much shade, you can show up at any time. We didn't spend a lot of time in the pool but there were always a lot of people there with music playing and games. We did go and watch one game and it was a lot of fun. The room was well maintained, they certainly can update some things, but really liked our room. We always had a stack of clean towels, stocked refrigerator and stocked bar. We are tippers and ensured that we tipped anyone who provided a service. This is not a requirement of the hotel, but it is our practice for good service. Even just a couple of dollars is appreciated. Overall I would recommend this hotel. If you can get an ocean view, it is a stunning view and worth every penny. Many of the people we met at the hotel were great, very friendly and very helpful…
This was my first trip out of the country & I couldn’t have chosen a better first experience. The staff made this trip for me. The kindness, excellent food. The ONLY downfall elevator broke on me TWICE. The hotel should’ve taken it out of service but didn’t.