Let me begin by saying that the TripAdvisor reviewer recommendations in regards to the RIU made this trip an unforgettable experience – kudos to my fellow travelers!
ROOM – As soon as we got to the desk to check-in I immediately asked which floor we were on and which building we were in. Having read on here to request higher floors and in the newer buildings, I did so immediately. I also requested a pillow top mattress cover just in case. The concierge had no problem with meeting our request – she was the best!!!! We had to stay in our 1st room for the night until the next morning’s check-outs were completed. Apologies for not remembering the A B C buildings, but we were sent to the building furthest from the Westin; 2nd floor and considered “ocean view” – yet all we could see were the tops of the trees. OMG, gross: condensation dripping from the ceilings, musty mildew smell, outdated, mold on the tub caulking, no towels/wash clothes, big ol’ tv, cement balcony, dark hallways…everything you’ve read about in regards to the “old” building. I looked at my husband and wanted to cry; this is not what we paid for. We sucked it up and spent the night in the “ick” room. Thank HEAVENS for speaking up from the get go b/c the next morning we were moved to room 1008 – complete 360 from the previous room! We were directly below the RIU sign, in the middle building; overlooking the pool, the ocean, the coastline, as far as the eye could see to the ends of the earth. My husband high-fived me and I shouted “Now THIS is what we paid for!!!” Clean, huge, updated, flat screen tv (not that you watch it on vaca, but still), tile balcony, drying rack for swimsuits, step down living room area, fully prepared with towels/toiletries/pillows and the super comfy pillow top mattress cover. The bellhop helped us both days and even he commented “THIS is what you wanted, I know; much much much better, right?!” Sunsets are at 7 every night and we enjoyed quite a few from our spacious balcony. Moments to cherish for many years to come. I hate to bother people or ever ask for anything, but I am sooooo glad I requested this! I feel bad for those that just accept that other building and don’t speak up.
STAFF – Always very courteous, friendly and willing to help you. Our room was always freshly made up a few times a day, bartenders were attentive (And had great memories - ask them to make something STRONG and they will hook you up!) and waiters/waitresses were always aiming to please. The front desk is more than accommodating and the entertainment staff was a wonderful group of fun and laughter.
FOOD – Eh, it’s resort food. Not the best we’ve had at a 5 star; BUT, it’s paid for and when you’re hungry, you will eat. Different themes along with the basics were served at the buffet, Don Nicholas. Nautilus Steakhouse was ok, nothing spectacular…steak, mediocre lobster, grilled veggies. Nautilus for their lunch buffet in the afternoon was nice though: burgers, fries, tacos, ice cream, mozz sticks, Caesar salads, etc…all within walking distance of beach and pool. We didn’t bother to try to catch the other restaurants as their seating times were only 6:30 and 9. We were usually out and about during the 6:30 dinner and 9 is just way too late to be eating such a heavy meal. We were a little frustrated a few times b/c they leave you stranded from 11-12 with no where to eat – never been to a resort that does that. If we slept in, hello we’re on vacation, and didn’t get to the breakfast buffet by 11, then we were stuck until 12 waiting for the Nautilus to open. We have a 7 mo. old at home, so we took this time to sleep til 9:30-10…sleep was appreciated! Naturally, you can find your own place to eat outside the resort, but be wary – island restaurants are PRICEY. FYI: Senor Frog’s is across the street :o)
BEACHES - Having been to Cancun/Riviera Maya, Bahamas, Italy, Turkey and Greece…Aruba has the cleanest beaches and ocean of all! Be mindful to consistently spritz/lather on your sunscreen though as the breezes along the beach can be deceiving. When the clouds cover the sun = perfection, breezes = perfection, full on sun with no breeze = BURN baby BURN. Now and then the wind may whip up and the sand will “tingle”, ok sting, but it lasts a second if that. My husband and I had a routine of 20-30 minutes laying out, 30-45 minutes in the water to cool off; it’s so relaxing! Travelers were correct in their previous posts regarding the cabanas…don’t count on them unless you want to get up at 6am to reserve one. The one morning we were lucky enough to get one and after an hour we gave it up - we’re on vacation to get some sun and enjoy the beautiful water…not lay in the shade sleeping, we could do that anywhere! Compared to other resorts, I must admit that we were disappointed that they did not have anyone walking the beach to fill/deliver your drink, but the pool bar is not too far if you really have to have a drink. BIG downside to the drinks are the tiny little plastic solo cups … this is a “sip” of beer for someone like my husband who is 6’2” 220lbs. (of muscle!). Other resorts serve their drinks in classier tall glasses. Not the end of the world though.
THINGS TO DO – So much to do! Luckily De Palm Tours is right on the pier and activity stations to sign up for parasailing, snorkeling, Jolly Pirates, jet skiis, etc. are all right there on the beach just steps away. We enjoyed snorkeling aboard the Dolphin (sail boat with twist slide into the ocean and rope swing) despite wanting to book the Jolly Pirate – which books fast, so we missed out – no worries though! We would highly recommend renting the Trike Bikes for the tour around the island. They’re located just up the street, under the big red/white windmill. We had a blast!!!! Also, the bus comes every 15 min. for $2.50 per person each way, to take you downtown. Walking along the shore, shopping and just enjoying a nice afternoon is a must! FYI: The customer service desk or activity desk in the RIU main lobby can assist you with making reservations outside of the usual beach activities.
- 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, Amex, 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