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“Newlyweds Honeymoon at Riu”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Mankato, Minnesota, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Newlyweds Honeymoon at Riu”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

My husband and I just returned from our week long honeymoon at the Riu Palace in Aruba. Before arriving we were both thrilled and a little nervous after reading some negative reviews, the nerves were instantly put to rest once we arrived! First of all, after getting of the plane and getting our luggage, finding our DePalm tours rep was extremely easy, we got on the shuttle bus and were taken to the resort. The bus driver Ryan was great, he gave us an animated tour of the city as we made our way to Riu.

When we arrived at the Resort we checked in and got up to our room, check-in time was 3:00 p.m. and we got there at 4 so no issues with waiting. Initially our room was on the side of the building facing the Westin, being that we were on our honeymoon and paid a lot of money for this trip! I went down to the front desk and asked if we could possibly get an upgrade to a poolview room. They were incredibly pleasant and had no problem switching us to a pool side room the next day (we had to spend one night in the other room) which was no big deal being there for 7 days.

Our room was very spacious, it had a wonderful little balcony with a table and 2 chairs to sit on and have happy hour, the bed was very large but was not firm at all! We found it to be very comfortable actually! Yes, the comforters were outdated motel style, those could definitely be upgraded, and the TV was an old box Zenith, but we were on our honeymoon in beautiful Aruba, who needs TV?! The mini bar was always stocked with liquor, the fridge always had beer, soda and water. We got towels twice a day, with turn down service at night, and the room was always very tidy. We did use the safe in our room, very easy to use, although I did leave my engagement ring on the night stand one day during our massage and was nervous about the housekeepers (my mistake!) but it was right there where I left it when we returned and our room had been cleaned in the meantime!

The pool and beach are both very beautiful. I read reviews saying you needed to get up at the crack of dawn just to get a beach chair. We had no issues with this at all, granted we went in August, it still was fairly busy there and we got to the pool every morning around 8:30 and there were plenty of chairs there and at the beach still. We brought our own beach towels which just makes it easier, rather than renting them everyday, and we could always easily spot our chairs then when we would go in for lunch, etc. We also brought towel clips, HIGHLY ADVISED to do so! It sure is windy there so towel clips are great :)

After discussing our likes and dislikes, my husband and I decided that we rated the food and drink at the resort an 8 of 10. The food was always fresh, tons of variety and very very tasty. We thought Nautilus steakhouse and the buffet were the best. We brought our own mugs, and the bartenders were awesome about making our drinks in the mugs! I never once thought my drink was weak, and a couple times my husband went back and asked for more liquor and they gave him more in his drink no problem. Yes, you do need to make reservations for the restaurants, there is a 6:30 and 9 pm seating time at all the restaurants, we never had an issue with getting a reservation and we would get to the lobby to reserve our spots about 8:30 every morning. The restaurants were all good food, pretty standard I would say, nothing above and beyond amazing. A few of our complaints would be.... The rule that men have to wear pants and no sandals. They were very strict about this rule, yet women would show up with super short jean shorts and they were ok with that? It's 90 plus degrees in Aruba, a nice pair of shorts and polo shirt would be suitable for dinner attire for men in our opinion. Also, the night we went to the Japanese restaurant Sayuri, we had reservations for the 9:00 seating. The lighting in the restaurant was super bright and it had a funky stench to it. For a late dinner like that, you kind of expect a relaxing, romantic atmosphere. This was not the case, not only was the ambiance bad but my husband and I got seated right inbetween a huge group of 5 couples that were incredibly intoxicated and were swearing out loud and being very obnoxious during the dinner and on the other side was another group of 10 that had a 2 year old baby who was screaming the first 20 minutes of our night. If they are going to be so strict about the attire, they should re consider their group seatings as well as having a 2 year old allowed during the late seating of dinner, kind of killed the mood.

We went to Barry's bar most of the nights, we did venture out to a few of the pier bars along the beach which were super fun!! And we also went to Passions on the Beach for a seaside barefoot dinner, this is HIGHLY recommended! Very good food, service and view! Get there are like 6:30, just in time to see the sunset with a glass of wine. The Sports bar is apparently open 24 hrs and they have snacks and beverages always available, well its like hidden back behind the bon bini bar and honestly we didn't even know where it was until our last night!! So we missed out on snacks, but we definitely never went hungry!

One last thing! We booked a couples massage at the Resort's Spa. BEST massage ever! The two women that we had were amazing, it was romantic, soothing and fairly priced, 180 dollars total for us both for 50 minutes. VERY NICE!

All in all, we would definitely go back to Aruba, and most likely stay at Riu again, had a lovely and memorable honeymoon!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mallory M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bowie, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Stayed at Riu Palace Aruba August 21-25, 2013 (my second visit to Aruba) - I can't say I was disappointed, however, I wasn't impressed. The service was very good and the overall property is well maintained and clean, but the decor seems a little dated. We stayed in a Jr. suite with whirlpool. Check in was fast and efficient. Our room albeit clean, was quite damp - floors and linen (it smelled as if it had just been cleaned with chlorine bleach - which I didn't mind since oftentimes upon arrival damp rooms generally smell of mold and mildew). It was quite cold in the room as well, I adjusted the thermostat, unpacked and went in search of food. Note: If you arrive between 4-6p your food options are limited. When we returned to the room after dinner it was dry and the temperture was comfortable. Our bed was extra, extra firm so the next morning we asked the front desk if they could do something to make the make the bed softer - they added a foam mattress which made it tolerable. We dined in the buffet area the first night - great food, lots of options from chicken tenders to gourmet appetizers, something for everybody (you are seated at white linen tables). The next night dined at the steakhouse (reservations required) with the group we traveled with (five other couples) and it was a very nice experience. All agreed we preferred having the options buffet room. If you plan to visit the spa, don't - go next door to the Westin. There is plenty of nearby shopping. Would I stay here again - Yes, ONLY after a capital improvement.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms on lower floors above casino.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ikneadyou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medford Lakes NJ
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

We just came back from our second vacation at the Riu. Had a few problems wih the room, twice we were locked out because of a problem with the door lock and one evening we lost electric to our room. Problems were solved very quickly and were nothing more than a slight inconvenience. We spent most of our time at the pool-had no problem getting chairs. The food was great at the buffet and at the Nautilus (Steakhouse). We also ate at the Japanese restaurant which was ok. I used the gym a few times and while the equipment was good the air circulation needs to be upgraded! Our kids were in a room 2 doors down from ours and for some reason they had turn down service every evening and we never did. They also got fresh towels every evening while we got them twice. Go figure! Wifi worked best on the balcony or in the lobby. The staff was friendly and accommodating. Instead of waiting in a long line at 8 am to make our dinner reservation I went to the desk at around 9:15 and had no wait. We enjoyed walking along the strip each evening after dinner and while there is not much to do at the hotel in the evening we were fine with that because we were pretty wiped out. We really enjoyed our trip- certainly won't let minor annoyances bother us. We definitely would go back!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank lakermom34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Awesome hotel, excellent food, very relaxing a lot of security big pool and closest to restaurants and mall if you want to do some shopping. I recommend this hotel. This was my first trip to Aruba and we enjoy our trip every day we have different food even the themes of the differents restaurant were different every night. They have a little casino and karaoke night.

Room Tip: Almost all the rooms have ocean view or partial ocean view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rosa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotherham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Went to Aruba on the 9th August and just returned, we stayed at the Riu Palace Aruba, the food was very good in the buffet restaurants but as always, second week does get repetitive, but all in all very good fresh food. Did not try the specialist restaurants as I am a veggie and could not see the point. Now the rooms, we stayed in C Block seems to be the block where Thomson's have the allocated rooms, they are more than a little tired but the bed was comfy once adjusted and it was clean, I do like to sit on the balcony of an evening but we only got a small Juliette style one so that was a no go. If you want to be picky you could go through a lot of things but to me as long as it is clean, I do not go away to stay in a room all day watching television. The towels were changed twice and day and the maid kept the room spotless. We did not have room service but I heard it was very slow, over an hours wait, there are plenty of places to get food and drink 24hrs a day if you want. I found all the staff very pleasant and happy, especially Louis and ???? (shame on me I cannot remember her name) who served you breakfast ,Valentina (the waitress in Barry's bar at night, you would be a drunk if it were left up to her). There is a lovely shopping place as you walk out of the hotel and turn left, it is not far down and there are the usual nic nac shops plenty of restaurants and bars, a warning Senior Frogs is very expensive, but to be honest it is not cheap to eat out. we went to Amora Mio and Geogios which is next door, both lovely but not cheap, we had 2 beers 2 mojitos and shrimp starter, calzone and a funghi $107 dollars (Amora Mio), my husband ate the lot but I had to bring my pizza back to the hotel. Backbto the hotel and there are plenty of beds to be had on the beech but if you want an umbrella you need to b up early, 6ish seems to be the time, my husband used to get up wrap a towel around the brolly post, go and get a coffee in the sports bar (24 hrs) and then go back when the beech lads unlocked the beds (7ish) to get 2, you have to look at these also as they can be broke. The sea was lovely and clear, take a bagel out in the morning and feed the fish they are all around you. The iguanas on the rocks if you walk down the beach to left the left of you are massive, there is also plenty of water sports available. Orenjastad is lovely again plenty to do loads of shops etc. All in all for the price that I paid I could really moan a lot more , depending on when you were lucky enough to book it range from £1705 to £2400 per person which I paid, (gutted is not the word) I do not think it is a 5 star resort with all the things that need to be seen to( dated rooms need refurbishing, broken sunbeds, etc) Jaz the rep is spot on and a lovely girl does go above and beyond the call of duty. to cap it al would I go back.......... more than likely yes but I would like to think that things have been addressed the that have been put on Trip advisor and I would monitor more what I paid as I did see the price got to £1405 pp, a lot of difference from 2400, infact it's another holiday

Room Tip: see if you can get in A or B block
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank queenie2694
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level Contributor
98 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Had a Junior Suite in the main building overlooking the pools and the ocean. We read several negative reviews about this hotel, but felt that we needed to see for ourselves. We were not disappointed, but there are some things that could be improved upon. Beds are very hard. You need to ask for a mattress pad. Also WiFi service is spotty. Our bathroom was the only spot in our room that had a strong signal. Even though this is an "All Inclusive" resort, you may want to venture out and dine at some of the local restaurants. Taxi service is plentiful and the public bus was an ease to use.

Room Tip: A Block buildings all have an ocean view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Nsl1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Neck, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Overall I should start by saying the resort itself is simply BEAUTIFUL. The rooms were large and comfortable, the bathroom was kept clean at all times and the grounds in general were beautiful and well maintained. However I have a major issue with this, and other Riu resorts. Namely, the fact that men are forced to wear pants to the restaurants and that you need to wait on line EACH morning to make a dinner reservation. Let me explain. The resort had a line that began at 8:00 am -11:00am to make reservations. If you showed up by 8:30 all restaurants were booked, so you were forced to go to the buffet which didn't require a reservation. Also, you couldn't make the reservation for the duration of your stay but had to wake up every morning to do this. Once you did have a reservation, you had to ware trousers (male). My husband showed up with gorgeous shorts, and expensive ralph lauren top and italian designer loafers and was told (along with my children and I --my children are 9mos and 5yrs) that we could not dine there that night. I was so upset because my husband is a professional (physician) and wants to let loose when on vacation. If he looked neat and is paying a pretty high price for his stay, why pose these restrictions on guests? On another note, the staff was excellent. Particularly Carlos who is a maitre'd. He made sure our baby had the favorite high chair to each restaurant we visited and Candido, a kind server who learned our older son's name. Overall I feel like we paid too much for this vacation and didn't get what we expected--and that is NOT a nice feeling.

As for Aruba it's GORGEOUS ! A MUST SEE destination! However, in the future, I will be staying at a regular hotel not an all-inclusive.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SpartanMatina
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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