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“Did not meet expectations..”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #17 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Syston, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Did not meet expectations..”
Reviewed September 29, 2012 via mobile

Firstly let me start by saying I do not know how this hotel has the palace status from Riu. We have stayed in better standard Riu hotels. This review will be as honest as you will find. Check in was quick and easy and first impressions were exciting. The room was in the "old block" as all the other blocks are suits. So the good first. The view was amazing, right across the Caribbean and overlooking the pool. Standard Riu stuff, big bed, tv, mini bar etc. however. This building is in need of routine mainenance. The paint was flaking, skirting coming off the walls, beds were stained ( base and mattress ) some mould in bathroom. There was a Juliette balcony which is as much use as a hand brake on a canoe. Access became a huge problem from day 5/6 as one of the lifts broke down, and still wasn't fixed by the time we left 8 days later.
Pool area was great, usual shortage if beds, plenty more on beach if you could handle being sand blasted. Bar tenders did an excellent job as did the drinks waitresses. But there were no cocktail menus anywhere in the hotel. So you had to make them up!
Restraunts were all well rehearsed, buffet offering a huge variety of food. All cooked to perfection. The 4 a la carte left us feeling a bit underwhelmed. Great service, great food, but small on choice and missing that personal touch.
There was literally no entertainment, apart from the resident singer, who was at best-average. Wifi only available in the lobby and was slow and intermittent.
All in all, not worthy of a palace status. So an average hotel in a fantastic location on one of the best islands in the Caribbean . Personally I would go to the raddison or the Hyatt if we decided to return.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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12 Thank GrahamB12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Malaga
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Just back from a fantastic week at the Riu Palace hotel Aruba. This hotel has lovely friendly staff who bend over backwards to help and serve you, we never had one problem, whatever we wanted we could have from food to drink and any time of day or night. In the buffet restaurant every morning breakfast is served until 11am with a good selection of cereals, fruit, yogurt, sausage, bacon, eggs any way you want, and much more.

There are 5 a la carte restaurants but we only tried 2 the steak restaurant which was nice but beware they serve all the food with jacket potatoes which I hate, there was no choice, but overall the food and service was good. The Kystal restaurant was also very good but I must say we preferred the buffet restaurant which has just an amazing selection of food that changed daily from roast turkey, steaks, fish, pizza, pasta, burgers, salads, the list goes on there is something for everyone we could not fault it.

Our room was a junior suite with two double beds together, a sitting area consisting of double sette and table and chairs, large balcony looking over the pool and great views of the sea. Large bathroom with twin sinks, Jacuzzi bath with shower and toilet. Every room at the Riu has a fridge which is stocked every day with Beer, Water, and soft drinks whatever you use are replaced the next day and there is Smirnoff vodka, Bacardi, red label whisky, and napoleon brandy on optic in the room.

There is free wireless internet in the lobby or you can pay for it in your room at $70.00 a week.
The pool is a great place to sit and cool down whilst you have a drink or cocktail at the swim up bar, (Try the dirty monkey cocktail it is ice, Banana, Vodka, Baileys, and coca coca liquor its great) There are plenty of sun beds around the pool but you do need to get one early but on a changeover day there seemed to be no problem. The beach is fantastic with white soft sand and the sea is clear and warm we had no problem on the beach with sun beds they are all stacked up and you just take one.

This is a great all inclusive hotel to stay at and just across the road if you fancy a night out is a strip of Bars, Restaurants and a shopping center including a Hard Rock Café, MacDonald’s and Burger king, Wendy’s , Italian, Indian, KFC, and many more. And for just $2.30 return you can get the bus into oranjestad the main town in Aruba which is well worth a visit.

ARUBA IS ONE HAPPY ISLAND.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Beach_Boy_Malaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012 via mobile

My girlfriend and i stayed here between Sept 10 to Sept 17 and had am amazing time.

We arrived at about 12pm and to our surprise our room was already ready. Even better, we got upgraded from a standard room to a junior suite with a partial ocean view.

The room was very spacious and for the most part very clean. The only thing that wasn't was the ironing board which for whatever reason was filthy. The king bed was two doubles pushed together which was no biggie. Like many others suggested ask for a mattress topper as the bed is a bit on the hard side without it.

Onto the food... The food in the buffet was excellent! Excellent selection and by far the best food I've had at an all inclusive! The only so so area was the dessert which was not bad but nothing to write home about. We tried all the a La carte restaurants except for the Japanese and were very impressed with all. My favorite was actually Kristal.

The overall service throughout our stay was very good. The staff wasn't overly friendly but pleasant and efficient. In some ways this was nice as they didn't come across as fake.

The pool was also very nice and I didn't find it too hard to get a lounger. Probably due to the time of year we went.

The entertainment was pretty much non existent so you'll really have to go off the resort if you're looking to party. No biggie really as there is a mini downtown about a minute walk away.


Beach was nice but the water wasn't crystal clear. No worries though, all beaches are public so if you walk in either direction you'll find spots that are much clearer. If you want really clear water take a cab or bus to arashi beach.

All in all a great trip and stay at the riu. I would recommend it to anyone and will stay there again in the future.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank TravellingMikeF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My family and I have stayed in many riu hotels in the Caribbean so I was pleased when I realised there was a Riu in Aruba. We arrived at the hotel and was welcomed with a refreshing drink and a quick, easy check in. The bell boys took our bags and our holiday began.
We headed straight to our room, we upgraded to a junior suite as we like to sit out on the balcony with a few drinks whilst getting ready on a night. If we hadn't upgraded we could have been given a Juliet balcony? The room was like many Riu's traditional but very big and clean. We were in room 534 which over looked the pool and beach area.
The food is of good quality but can be repetitive (what do you expect from AI though?!), my partner and I don't like seafood and there is a lot of that here so that's why we were restricted to what we ate. I preferred to go to the main restaurant for lunch as they had more choice and had a selection of good quality carved meat throughout our stay (gammon, beef, turkey). You can go to the steak house at lunch which serves pizza, pasta, burgers, hot dogs, jerk chicken etc. There are speciality restaurants;Italian, Krystal, Japanese and steak. I would recommend you go to all, book the early sitting (half 6) and if you don't like it go to the main restaurant after.
The pool area is nice, if you wanted to nit pick you could....some tiles are missing, lights were out and the paint was flaking. Yes, you have paid a lot of money to stay and as this is a palace you should expect better but these are minor faults and they certainly didn't spoil my holiday.
The beach was gorgeous beautiful clear water, the sand on the Riu's part of the beach was a little rough on your feet but as you approached the sea it became super soft. You could see the fish through the water and if you took bread down you could feed them (some were eating it right out of our hands, that's how close they came).
We do quite a lot of tours whilst at Aruba including de palm island, sea trek, catamaran, jeep tour and deep sea fishing. The sea trek was an amazing experience but it is costly as you have to pay to go to palm island then do the sea trek (cost my partner and I $300 for the two of us). The catamaran was one of my best trips we went snorkelling at the ship wreck and coral reefs, I am pleased we choose the catamaran over the jolly pirates as there was only 20 of us on the catamaran whereas the jolly pirates boat the people were squashed together like sardines.
Me and my partner are young and was worried that we would be bored on a night time, however there is plenty of places to drink and socialise outside the hotel....I liked gusto bar it's happy hour until 11 so we got 2 drinks for $6. There is a club called confessions that's closes at 3am then the windmill opens until 6 in the morning. Beware if you go to moomba beach the drinks are pretty expensive, we payed $20 for 2 drinks. We went on a Sunday which is the best night.
After being to other Riu hotels I expected good entertainment, Aruba riu let me down a little. There was no water polo around the pool and the animation team didn't do much to get people involved (my partner joins in the games and sometimes he was unaware they were on as the entertainment team didn't come round and inform you). I personally didn't like the nigh entertainment either they only ever did mr & mrs or dancing shows. There was sometimes a singer on in the outside bar but he was terrible (maybe its our age, it might appeal to some of the other guests). This wasn't a worry though, we just enjoyed our own company and those that we met.
The drinks are such good quality in the hotel,musky vodka, absolute, Smirnoff....all brands but make sure you ask for the brand or they give you there own make.
We ate out at smokey joes (it's a must, cheap and huge portion sizes), Giannis (a gorgeous Italian) and hard rock (the daiquiris there are the best too).
Aruba is a fantastic island, it's fun and friendly but can be quite expensive. I would definitely come back and stay in the Riu again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank shauney05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromborough
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My wife and I have just returned from a two week stay at the Riu Palace Hotel in Aruba in room 901. We booked a Jacuzzi suite, which cost quite a bit more, but was very well worth it. The Jacuzzi was on the very large balcony and we could lie there with a drink looking out to sea watching the sunset. The rooms have a mini bar (stocked daily) and an optics bar containing litre bottles of 4 branded spirits. We very much enjoyed the hotel and the staff were very friendly and attentive. Plenty of sunbeds both round the pool and on the beach. Great choice of food and all of it well cooked and presented. I would recommend this hotel to anyone, but if you can afford it, get a Jacuzzi room.

Room Tip: Get a room in the main building as they all have spectacular sea views.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank DaveWBromborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

We booked our trip via First Choice and found the process really straight forward, we were really happy with the hotel, we had a 10th floor room in block B overlooking the overlooking the pool and sea, huge room and great view. The hotel was spotless, the staff friendly, A/C worked well, in room fridge and drinks spot on, bed was really comfortable and food in all outlets was good. We ate in Sayuri, Japanese restaurant which was really nice, also in Krystal, the Fusion Restaurant, again really good, we also ate in Nautlius - steak restaurant, not so good... the buffet breakfast lunch and dinner was really good too! We also ate out on 2 evenings, going to Papillon and Aqua Grill - both within walking distance of the Riu. We booked 2 trips with our Rep and they were good, Baby Beach Jeep tour and the Submarine Trip. The island is great as you can leave the hotel and feel really safe, turn left out of the Riu for Bars Shops and Restaurants, even though the Riu is all inclusive its nice to try a few alternatives :). We popped over to the Hyatt Beach front Bar for Drinks and then to Bugaloo's Bar on the pier next to the Riu - they have bands etc playing overall - a great island, friendly people, good food, good weather and good shopping - you can't go wrong with the Riu or Aruba! It is windy which is a good thing given the temperature so, hairbands a must, towel clips are nice to have! Also we would go to the beach really early every day, 7am - 12.00noon - which meant we got a lounger and shade cover and could go down town in the afternoon, worked well for us! :)

Room Tip: High floor a must!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank catsaffron79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Let me start by saying I am very hard to please and always am looking for 5 star worthy accomodations. I don't normally stay at all-inclusive resorts unless traveling with children and have heard good reviews. Needless to say, due to me traveling with children I was advised to stay at the RIU by my travel agent but she made it clear that w/o the children the Hilton would suit me better. My first impression of the RIU was comfortable and well maintained. However my room was a different story. Broken drawers, filthy dirty couch in living room area (which I made sure the children or myself did not sit on, and no hot water from time to time was a problem. I normally would've complained but I already waited over 4hrs to be checked into this room & yes it was past check-in time (fyi-I wasn't the only one waiting). Pool was a great size for everyone and grounds were clean. Location was great, within walking distance of pretty much everything. All inclusive food & drinks were just ok. Next time I travel to Aruba, I would much rather go to a non all-inclusive resort & eat out every night. Soenchi's had the BEST lobster I've ever had!!! Can't wait to go back just to eat there again. Also tried Flow Riding (surfing on a man made wave) near shopping center and although it was pretty awesome, I was very sore within 20mins of finishing 2 sessions (fyi-never surfed a day in my life). Don't think I would do it again unless 10-15yrs younger but experience was pretty cool.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Chris T
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 Aruba

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Address: J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 79 | Palm Beach - Oranjestad - Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba (Formerly Aruba Grand Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Riu Palace Aruba 4.5*
Number of rooms: 450
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
> * Opened: summer 2007> * Situated in Palm Beach on the island of Aruba> * Two 10-story buildings, one 8-story building> * Located on the beach> * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach> * 4 km / 2.48 Miles from Oranjestad> * 700 m / 2296.7 Ft. From various shops> * 10 km / 6.21 Miles from the airport> * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Riu Aruba
Riu Palace Aruba Resort
Hotel Riu Palace Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach

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