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“Needs Improvement in certain areas”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Needs Improvement in certain areas”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Overall, we are very happy with the resort. It was a perfect place for us to travel with our infant daughter, the climate is warm and there is a constant breeze so it never got too hot. We upgraded our room to the Junior Suite and I would say it was money well spent because of the size of the room and space we had. Our room even faced into the middle of the resort and we could overlook the pool and see the waterfront and beach. The beach is clean, we always felt safe, even at night when walking in the dark (beach area or main street). There are nearby shopping strips, the downtown is easily accessible by local bus nearby. The food was good, but the buffet at the main hotel part offers the best selection for lunch meals. The restaurants requiring reservations are okay, in my opinion the fusion restaurant was the best.

My complaints about this resort are:
1) You must get up at an odd-godly hour of 5am to get yourself a palapa (shade hut), there are none available by 6am - who wants to do this while on vacation??! Your only other alternative to getting shade is to rent an umbrella from one of the booths on the beach. Security does remove any leftover items at night to avoid "holding" but it doesn't rectify the issue.. there are not enough shade huts.

2) The sports bar is the main bar right outside the main indoor bar where the entertainment is but it is the smoking bar.. even though it is outside the air is just filled with smoke - not ideal for a non-smoker or people with young children who want to enjoy the entertainment but care about their lungs. You must also walk through this bar area to reach the main desk if your room falls on the side of the bar.

3)I requested a rear-facing car seat for our daughter's transport to/from the hotel which we paid for... they brought a forward facing one for the transport to the hotel and forgot to arrange one for the way back..it made me very uneasy for her to travel like that.

4) The spa on-site also screwed up our appointments which meant that I didn't get enough time to do my full treatment and enjoy the jacuzi beforehand and I felt it was rushed.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a Junior Suite, well worth it!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank namastelotus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

First of all...
If your looking to find something negative you always will.... That being said, I could have jumped the front counter and dragged out every staff member working there and done damage to them and not felt bad. At one point I had to get aggressive. They seriously need to have some 'mystery guests' shop the place from the head office and sort out this beautiful location otherwise they WILL NOT have people who return.
Other then that the place was amazing. We never had an issue with chairs on the beach, the view was beyond gorgeous. Food was amazing, most the staff were also amazing. All in all a few updates, restaff the front desk and management with people who are excited to have people who pay good money to be there and it will make all the difference.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jared s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We just returned from this hotel and have never been so disappointed and the sad part is the management could care less! Let me start by saying that the only options for Breakfast and Lunch are Buffet only. That being said it just took away any hopes of being a 5 star. The food was ok in the buffets, not great- but just ok. Not crazy for things like over easy eggs put in a pile on a buffet line or salads at lunch sitting out in the hot sun. One day my son was not feeling well and I stayed in the room with him while my husband and daughter went to breakfast. When my husband went to leave the restaurant with some fruit and cereal the manager (who was very unprofessional) explained that you can't bring any food out of the restaurant to the rooms. He said the only way you could bring food to the room was by room service. The problem with this is that room service takes about 1 1/2 hours to get and has a very limited menu. The next day when we went to take french fries from the lunch buffet to the pool we were almost tackled by the waitress - she said no food is permitted at the pool area! Are you kidding me!! Are we on vacation or are we in the military with all these rules??
For Dinner you can only make reservations the day of and they only have 2 seatings, 6:30 and 9:00 even if the restaurants are empty they wont take you at 7:00. Dinner (staff even tells you) only 2 out of the 4 Restauants are any good! If they know this why would't they try to make them better? If you are looking to eat during the hours when restaurants are'nt open have fun at the sports bar eating sanwiches wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator and disgusting huge over cooked hot dogs. The nachos with cheese out of the can was the only thing that saved my kids from going hungry.
The pool is another joke that you have to get up at 6 in the morning if you want to get chairs and when you get them you have to listen to there outdated music. As the other reviews say and again even the staff will tell you, bring your own cups to the bar at the pool unless you want a cheap 5oz plastic cup that after ice hardly has anything in it.
If you are a wine drinker you're out of luck if you want a bottle in your room. They give you Vodka, Rum, Scotch and something else in the room but no wine. When my husband asked he was told you have to get permission from the manager but he's not available till the next day. We left a note for him but he never even bothered to call us back. When he went looking for him and finally got him the manager said "RIU's policy is no bottles aloud in the room because they are afraid people will throw them off the balcony". We were traveling with 3 children not a high school spring break and WHAT'S WITH ALL THESE RULES!!
I could go on and on about how the staff looks miserable and the beds are hard as rocks but I think you get the message. We have stayed at numerous all inclusives and have never stayed at any resort that was run by Management that didn't know what they were doing like this resort. Back to Beaches next year where your treated like royalty!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank 141TeriB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiuHotelsandResorts, Social and Community Relations Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such honest and detailed feedback.

We were concerned to note that we failed to live up to your expectations. We are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests. We regret to read that you have left our hotel with an opposite idea in your mind. I have sent your comments to the respective heads of departments involved and actions would be taken to address all your concerns.

We hope you will choose to visit us again, and give us a chance to demonstrate the high standards of Guest Service that are typical at our resorts.

With our best wishes we remain,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed April 9, 2013

The facility is antiquated, not so kid friendly, and needs new matresses and pillows. The food being an all inclusive was very good especially the buffet. I recommend not to do an all inclusive only because their are so many wonderful places to eat such as "Azuro". This hotel is definitely not a five star hotel but a three star. If your looking for all you can drink this is the place. As far as beach front the Riu does have one or if not the best beach because of the size of the resort. Easy walking distance to and from all the local shopping, restaurants and Senior Frogs. The vacation was wonderful and I did make the best of it. I just rather stay at a more luxurious hotel especially Playa da Linda.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dominic421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waltham, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

A friend and I stayed at the Riu Palace last week and had a wonderful time. The hotel is clean, the food at the buffets is delicious, and the staff were very nice. The beds are firm but for me they were not a problem. The only thing was our shower leaked and so the floor would get really wet near the tub. If you don't keep the a/c and fan on, the room does get very damp and the floors stay wet.
The beach was beautiful but it was very windy while we were there so the water was kind of rough and not good visibility. If you laid on the beach, the sand would come up and blast you due to the wind, which was kind of a bummer. The pool area was great- you just have to make sure you get there early (by 6 am!) to reserve your chairs. Otherwise, the bar staff are nice, and it's great to hang out in the pool and drink cocktails all day. One tip- make sure you bring a thermos or larger insulated container so you don't have to keep going up for new drinks as they are small.
Overall, all of the properties around the Riu are very nice, so it's great to walk along the boardwalk on either side and check out the other hotels. You do feel safe, and the hotel is in a great location, close to the shopping/ bar area.
We only went to one of the specialty restaurants (the Japanese one), which I thought was really good. However, the buffet was pretty amazing for an all inclusive and I would be content eating there each night. The desserts are gorgeous and really good, there is a ton of variety, and the fresh fruit every day was perfect.
I would definitely go back to this hotel, but would also like to try others as well, just to see new things.
My suggestion to them would be to update their poolside music playlist and have more variety in the songs, and also update their entertainment at night.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank ksav_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willoughby Hills, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I was a bit concerned after reading a few negative reviews prior to our departure, however, I quickly realized that most were not exactly accurate. Most of our travel experience has been to Mexico and the Dominican so it was nice experience the "different" style of Aruba. It's my opinion that the diverse cultures in Aruba give travelers the feeling that the service may be lacking or the people are not friendly. I found that a smile and a few words broke any cultural barriers and made our experience very pleasant from start to finish. Because of the diversity in travelers and employees language allows them to understand and adapt.
Maritza provided exceptional pool side service by our chairs and around the pool bar area. The pool bar had just about every brand of alcohol from bottom too top shelf, just took one request and Maritza did not forget what you wanted the rest of the week!
I felt the food at the buffet was very good in variety and taste, compared to Mexico and Dominican. The main dining area is very well kept with great service and comfortable seating.
Some people complained about the beds being hard - they are! However, no complaints here as the firm, huge, bed in the Junior Suite cured my sore back.
Anyone that looks for fault will certainly find it, my advise is not to look so hard and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere! With any person or culture you get what you give!
Overall, the resort truly does deserve a "very good" rating. Go and enjoy just beware of the wind!

Room Tip: We stayed on the 9th floor in a junior suite. The 9th and 10th floors have larger balconies with fu...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Scott N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

went with 4 friends. had a great time.beautiful beach. de palm pier. in the heart of all the action. hotel and staff top shelf.this was my 2nd time there. every time i go i can't wait to return. my favorite place to stay in aruba. close to all the clubs and shopping as well.you feel safe and can walk anywhere from hotels to casino'swill be back again.thanks

Room Tip: oceanfront the best
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank phase2watch
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 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#13 Luxury 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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