Our family of 4 adults just arrived back from a fabulous week in Aruba at the Riu resort. We loved the hotel and the food. This was our first stay at an all-inclusive resort but we've been on over 17 cruises so it was our only point of reference as an all-inclusive vacation. I'll try to cover a few things while it's fresh in my mind.
Hotel: beautiful 10-story hotel that is composed of 3 buildings in a U-shape which face beautiful Palm beach. The architecture looks similar to a white Arabian palace. Definitely the nicest appearing resort along the beach. The 15-20 minute taxi ride from the airport is $28. As an all-inclusive resort, all the food and drinks are included. We wore a blue bracelet for the whole week (if we lost it we would have had to pay $100 to replace it) and were never in need of anything. The main rooms are immaculate and we routinely saw people cleaning. The building is well-maintained and quite lavish compared to other resorts we've seen in the Caribbean.
Room: We had two rooms on the 3rd floor (315, 316) in the main building. Fabulous views of the beach with a balcony. The room is huge with the biggest bed I've ever seen (probably two full size beds pushed together). Although they were very hard (as we previously read on TA) we requested foam toppers and they were promptly put on the beds by the maid. The room is entirely tiled so the floor is quite cold with the air conditioning running constantly. We found it to be very humid and everything felt moist. Not sure if the AC wasn't pulling the humidity out of the air. The bathroom is very large with a jacuzzi tube. Plush towels were plentiful. Maid service twice per day. We tipped between $5-$6 each day and were very happy with the service. The room had a large closet, iron, safe, king+ bed, couch, 2 chairs, table, coffee table, dresser, side tables, mini bar, coffee maker, etc. Quite spacious and very clean.
Pool: very large and there are LOTS of activities always going on: water aerobics, dance lessons, crazy games, zumba, etc. The activities staff were very friendly, full of energy and quite engaging. If you want to just lay and sleep, good. If you want to join in, good. Anything goes. Drinks were plentiful with wait staff wandering around the pool constantly asking for your order. We noticed that during peak hours we received faster service when we tipped about $1 per drink. Getting a lounge chair around the pool was no trouble, but we never were able to get a beach cabana. Guests go out to the beach at 05:00-06:00 to put their beach gear at the cabana to "reserve" it and they are all taken by 07:30. Even a tip to the beach staff won't get you one. We tried.
Food: The main dining room has a fabulous buffet. The food was delicious and had a huge variety at every meal. I've never seen a buffet this good even at the best hotels on Mother's Day! We were never without a tasty meal and always satisfied. The staff was very attentive and occasionally we left a tip ($2-$5) when it was exceptional. We reserved dinner at a few of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the Japanese meal the best. The Italian restaurant was quite good too. The steak house was good but not worth a repeat visit.
Entertainment: we were not impressed with the evening entertainment. The shows were conducted in Spanish and definitely catered to the Latin clientele. The casino is small and only a few of the slot machines actually paid out. It was very smoky in there and because it is subcontracted, drinks are not free.
We did a several fun things while in Aruba which I will post separate reviews for: Safari jeep tour to the natural pool, spa massages, sunset catamaran cruise, and shopping in Oranjestad.
- 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