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“Relax and Have Fun”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Lake Zurich, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Relax and Have Fun”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Went to Aruba for Thanksgiving and had a great time. Seven adults and seven kids with age ranging from 15-6. The only negative I have is the lack of entertainment for the kids in the evening. Maybe an XBox in every room would help. Certainly would help in our case as we can send them up and be in the lobby bar below. Service was great and never once came across any worker who didn't look like they really enjoyed what they were doing. Woke up at 9 each morning, grabbed some breakfast and then four chairs by the pool, sun or shade. Never had to get up early once for a good spot. We only at dinner at the resort twice as we like to go out and try new restaurants. The buffet was good for breakfast/lunch and the Krystal restaurant was just ok. Casino was ok. Wish it had a sports book. Had to walk 15 minutes to the Holiday INN but who cares as I'm on vacation. If you go on a trip with that mindset, you can probably have a good time anywhere. If I see a small tile missing from the pool, I say to myself would I rather be at work or looking at the missing tile? Give me the missing tile. Some people just don't know how to relax. I think they sometimes take trips just so they can find the bad in it and then write how everyone didn't kiss their behind on their trip. You will have a nice time here and an even better time if you just sit back, have a drink and relax. Going back again next year.

Room Tip: Stay in the main building overlooking pool and ocean.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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4 Thank DoubleR1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We went to the RIU last month for our honeymoon and we should have listened to the negative reviews but we had two friends that had been to other RIU's and recommended it. Dont go. Pretty much everything was a big disappointment- the unfriendly staff, disappointing rooms, unavailable beach chairs/hut, limited dining options, etc. Here is my more detailed review:

The staff
The woman at the front desk was mildly friendly, offering a quick "congratulations" but otherwise our interaction with all staff (except the dining room workers) was negative and sometimes downright rude. We even tried to speak to customer service about our overrall experience (which we have NEVER done) and she told us that the manager "would be in touch" on two occasions and he never called or contacted us- we just filled out a page in their marble notebook explaining why we were disappointed (did I mention that the women at the front desk told me i had to pay for internet use then after I week, most of which time the internet was down, I found out this wasnt true and they were "unable" to process me a refund).

The beach
The beaches are beautiful, the weather is perfect, and everything was very clean. That said, unless you get up at 3 am, and I"m not exaggerating, there is absolutely no way you will get a shady beach spot or a hut. They are reserved with towels despite the hotel saying they dont allow this since no one will enforce it. People will then come down to the chairs around noon but we actually witnessed a fight break out over a couple that, around 11am, decided to move the stuff of people who had yet to come to the beach for hours. Security had to be called and it is so frustrating. So we gave up on the huts and decided to just get a chair which can also be a challenge after 10am. One day we "slept in" until about 1030, went down to the beach and there was not a single chair available. We asked one of the workers if he could unlock the chairs that were chained up and not being used and he replied "can't do it". We almost thought he was joking so questioned him and he just said "nope, no can do" and walked away. That pretty much sums up our trip.

Dinner / Reservations
Getting a reservation for dinner is a pain in the neck. You can only book a reservation between 9-12am and usually end up waiting on line to do this (which also makes it impossible to book a reservation if you are going on a day trip- really they dont show up until exactly 9am). Even the reservation times are limited- you can either at 630 with all the kids and families or wait until 830/9. Those are your options if you dont want to go back into the dining halls. Having been too several all inclusives before we tried to just stop in and get a table when we saw that restaurants were empty at the reservation time (and after being told they were booked that morning) and the staff advised us that they only cook food for the set amount of reservations and they never accept walk ins.

The rooms
The rooms are clean but nothing special. We booked a suite with ocean views thinking it would be great and special for our honeymoon. That was a joke. The room was just okay, room service doesnt come until pretty late, the room service menu has about 4 entree items, and its just a standard room masking as a suite. We went to the Iberostar in Jamaica last year and had a standard room that was much nicer and less expensive (go there instead!).

The Spa
Yet another joke. Worst massage I've ever had- she basically just moisturized my skin. Towards the end of the trip I went and booked a polish change for later that day, a day where the girl indicated they were wide open. I came back at the scheduled time and was told that the manicurist was also the masseuse and had taken someone else so my appointment had been cancelled with no notice, no call or voicemail to the room, nothing. She told me I could come back in 2 hours but we had dinner reservations in town so that didnt work. Oops.

All in all we were so disappointed on what we hoped would be a special trip. We should have just gone back to the Iberostar which was leaps and bounds better than the RIU for half the price (and the people were actually nice). The perks- Aruba is beautiful, the town has lots of great shops and restaurant, GO to the restaurant Passions on the Beach which is amazing in every way, De Palm Island was fantastic and highly recommend for a day trip. Just stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kimberlynyc1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockland, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We were very disappointed in the overall accommodations at the Riu. We have stayed in many all-inclusive resorts all over the Caribbean and this is definitely at the bottom of our list. For a resort that is only 6 years old for most of the buildings, it is not being kept up at all. There were tiles missing on the outside of the pool, only half of the pool lit up at night, lights on the other half were broken and hanging in the water, there were no limes at any of the bars for the 1st 5 days there. There was a sour milk smell at the pool bar every day. Had to stand in line each morning to make restaurant dinner reservations that were very disorganized; could only make reservations 1day in advance. This would have not been as bad if you could call from your room. This is the 1st resort that I have been at that would only allow you to book 1 day in advance...ridiculous! These are only a few of the many disappointments we encountered! And by the way, there is a rainy season in Aruba, 10/15-12/15...don't let anyone tell you that the sun always shines in Aruba - not true and this was confirmed by Islanders who have lived there all of their lives!

Room Tip: Ocean Front Room was the best thing about this trip, except it was on the 9th floor and many days th...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

I understand that 5 star all-inclusive is different than 5 star non, but I found the delta quite sizable in this instance. The two biggest opportunities were the service and room comfort.

The service was really lacking in all areas of this resort. From the bartenders to the front-desk to the towel attendant...it always felt like they had other priorities and we were inconveniencing them by asking them to do their job.

As for room comfort, I don't know about everyone but I would assume that most of us would prefer to not sleep on hard slab of concrete. We did request a "mattress pad" which was more like a blanket placed on top of the mattress, but this did little to help us out.

The whole issue with palapas on the beach is another thing altogether. Getting up at 530am to ensure a decent place to sit is not ideal when one is on vacation. Also, I didnt think the beach was that nice in comparison to other islands in the Caribbean.

On the upside, we were pretty happy with the food and some of the cocktails were excellent! That said, we won't be back.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank eeeduff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

As soon you arrive to the hotel you start to feel the warmth of the people of Aruba, you are greeted with a smile and a drink to relieve tension and fatigue of the journey and to start your first day of vacation in the best way possible.

The hotel location is very good, considering that the beach is beautiful, and you can walk to the shopping and dining zone that is a few blocks from RIU.

The room was a junior suite with sea views. At first, I was not satisfied with the view, and the manager had no trouble relocating me in a room on a higher floor with a breathtaking view. About the furniture, is to highlight the bed (one of the largest and most comfortable I've ever had), the living room is very comfortable, the mini bar was well stocked and the bathroom is spacious. I would say that we need a LCD TV rather than a conventional one, but who watches TV in Aruba?

As for the hotel facilities, the bars are very good, and the service of those who serve them even better, despite the variety of drinks could be more varied.
The hotel has 5 restaurants. The restaurant "Don Nicolas" is the buffet, working both at lunchtime and in the evening (which offers a variety of international menus each night). The range is wide, with many options for all tastes. The appetizers, salads and entrees have very good quality (but not excelent), the biggest criticism is dedicated to desserts, they all looked and tasted the same in different colors (with some exceptions).
As for the restaurants of the reservation, the hotel has four. The "Nautilus" steak house is of a good standard, but the least enjoyed of the four (not saying it's bad at all!). The "Sayuri" is the Japanese restaurant, the food is very good, but I expected more of the rolls. "Milano" is Italian, one of the best I've ever tried, you just can't stop eating. The best for last, the restaurant "Krystal" Fusion food served is excellent in all aspects, from the variety and quality of the dishes to the attention of the staff, everything is 10. Finally as far as food is concerned, the 24-hour room service is really good!

The pool is large with comfort to sit and lie on it to enjoy the sun and the delicious drinks served at the "Palm Beach Bar" while staying cool. The beach is wide, some chairs are not in perfect condition, which is overshadowed by the beauty of the place.
I haven't had the opportunity to use the spa and the indoor pool, but they looked very nice. As for the gym, really leaves much to be desired. Old machines in poor condition, many do not work well due to oxidation.

In conclusion, this was one of the best RIU hotels i have been, as I said some things need improvement, but the balance is more than positive. Aruba is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world, the slogan "One Happy Island" is congruent. Definitely i would return to the island and stay at Riu again!

Room Tip: You should ask for rooms with sea view; The hotel is huge, so I recommend requesting rooms that are...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
13 Thank coki_litvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Spent a week at the Riu Aruba Palace and was impressed with the fantastic variety and quality of food in the buffet and a la carte restaurants. We were there Dec 08-15/2012 and the hotel wasn't completely full, but we never had to line up to make reservations (as some people experienced). The surf and turf at Nautilus is a must.
The staff were great too.
We stayed in a renovated room with a nice ocean view balcony and found it to be very comfortable, lots of English channels on the satellite, nice selection of brand name drinks at the mini bar. The beds are quite firm, but it didn't disrupt my sleep.
We had a couples massage at the spa, which was nice.
The resort is on a very nice stretch of Palm Beach (where we saw a few 12/12/12 sunset weddings). There is a boardwalk where you can walk/jog in either direction. There is also a lot of shopping/restaurants and even a bird sanctuary within a 5-10 minute walk from the resort.

Overall, it was a very relaxing week and we would definitely return!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank J9away
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We went in our honeymoon in August 2012 and had an amazing time. The hotel is stunning and the views even better! I had read some bad reviews before we went but we could not fault it at all. People complained about getting sunbeds but we never had a problem getting 2 together. The food in the buffet restaurant was delicious. We didn't eat in the specialised restaurants as men had to wear trousers and my husband had not taken any, but we were happy with the Steak House and buffet restaurant.

The staff were extremely friendly, nothing was too much trouble. We especially enjoyed going to the sports bar where we were introduced to many cocktails by Anna. Anna was good company and always made us feel welcome.

We would recommend the Sea Trek on Palm Island. It was an amazing experience. Palm island is beautiful and was well worth a visit.

Room Tip: We had a standard double and it was more than ample.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank TheCranstons
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
#12 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 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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