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“DISSAPOINTED GOLD CLASS RIU MEMBER”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“DISSAPOINTED GOLD CLASS RIU MEMBER”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

Like the brand but some of staff at all levels let the hotel down with poor but service and indifference. We Stayed 3 weeks in September 2013 in the main building on the 7th floor. Had lots of noise in the early hours with party time starting at 2.45am and reported the noise to reception after 1/2 hour on two different nights. The key card stopped working 4 times to be told it had the wrong departure date. The last time maintenance could not get into the room and climbed over the balcony, removed the patio door to gain access and change the door lock. Had a bag and towels go missing from around the pool between 9 and 9.30 am while at the welcome meeting. Nothing of value and found later discarded. Reported this to reception so they knew what was happening in their hotel as important information only but was told not our department go and see the staff at the pool area. Bottled water and mini bar top up was carried out in our room for the first 10 days and then stopped. I went to reception and collected water from the reception informing then none had been delivered then on the third day I was told to ring if I needed more bottled water. I informed reception that I have not had to at any other RIU palace hotels I have stayed at or for the first 10 days since arriving. Water was delivered every day thereafter. Maintenance carried out on air condition unit " was working ok " to find the walls dripping in water and the floor looking like it had been hosed down, we put towels on floor due to being very slippery and reported to reception. We later returned to find the towels replaced and the room was better but walls and floor was still wet. Man from reception called to check and problem was air condition unit had not been reset correctly and when we returned again was ok and had no further problems with the air con. The service by lots but not all staff in the buffet restaurant was slow and poor with pot luck for a clean table cloth. The management did not follow up on any of the problems to know if everything was now ok. Flight delayed 6 hours but had letter for the all-inclusive package to continue till we left but were refused access to all the restaurants. Our stay in Aruba was great just the wrong hotel till the staff improve.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mickw742
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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toronto
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

Our family of 5 adults and 1 infant traveled to Aruba and stayed at the RIU during the first week of October 2013. Our expectations prior to arrival were mixed. For myself, this was a first stay at a RIU and based on the reviews here, I had lower expectations. The other adults in our group had stayed at another RIU properties before (Cabo) and had higher expectations based on their experiences at that property.

More details below but to sum it up: this property exceeded my expectations while it fell below expectations of the others.

Location: The RIU is between the Westin and Radisson on the beautiful Palm Beach. The water here is turquoise, calm and crystal clear. De Palm Pier is just to the west of the hotel, as are huts for various water activities and tours should you not want to arrange through the hotel. Across from the property and a short 5 minute walk away are restaurants. Speaking of...

On-Site Restaurants: As mentioned, we traveled with an infant for the first time and stuck with the buffet to accommodate our little one's schedule; so, unfortunately I can't comment on these. The buffet at the Don Nicolas restaurant is where we ate breakfast and dinner daily. We also had a few of our lunches here. The food is plentiful and varied and we always found something new to try. There are quite a few options for the health conscious: grilled fish and veg, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, poached/boiled eggs, omelettes, etc. There are also plenty of options for carb-loading, atkins, paleo diets or just plain throwing the diet out the window! Always grilled meats (beef, poultry) and fried foods like fries, chicken fingers. I believe there was also a nightly pasta station. There was a different theme each evening and the restaurant did well in offering many options on theme. I especially liked the seared tuna with black sesame seeds during the seafood themed evening. We also ate at Nautilus (beachfront) for lunch a few times which had foods like nachos, salads, sandwiches, chicken, etc. Not bad, but didn't exceed my expectations.I would have to say that overall I was content with the food and the variety, and thought it was above average quality/taste as compared to other AIs in Dominican Republic, Cuba and *some* in Mexico.

Rooms: This is where the RIU falls very far below my standard. Note that I didn't say below expectations, because I knew exactly how the rooms looked from other posters here (thank you!) We requested one of the renovated rooms and were appointed a room on the 4th floor in Block A (the centre block, parallel to the beach). The room decor in the 'renovated room' is in the typical, dated style of other RIU properties. Dark colours, heavy furnishings, and poor lighting. The shower is dark and almost entirely blocked in with heavy granite and tiles. As other reviewers have said, the mattresses are very firm, but I didn't mind this at all and slept comfortably.
Suggestion: add more lighting, brighten up the linens, drapes, etc. Add more bed linens like a light cover for the beds rather than the existing bed spreads and 1 sheet that are provided.

Cleanliness: The rooms were clean overall, but upon closer inspection you could see that it was just surface cleaning. i.e. tiles, toilets, sink, etc. were clean, but registers, cups, sofa, etc. were dirty. The towels were replenished daily, but unfortunately the linens were not replaced at all during our one week stay. The pool was cleaned each morning by at least 4 or 5 employees, scrubbing away at the tiles, testing the water,etc. (thankfully because there were so many people drinking at the pool bar and it seemed like they never left the pool...!!). Other cleaning staff were always seen around the hotel and restaurants, washing or sweeping up. Staff would also walk around the beach at the end of the day picking up cups from the beach.
Suggestion: replace linens a couple of times a week and do a thorough cleaning of grout, shower curtains, registers routinely to prevent grime and dust build-up!

Service: Both check-in and check-out were friendly, prompt and efficient. Our room was towards the end of the block. We requested a room more central and this was offered to us on the third day of our stay due to full occupancy. Restaurant staff were plentiful, but just appeared to be doing there job with little enthusiasm or warmth. There were a few people we always found to be friendly and on top of things when it came to offering/refreshing drinks, cleaning up plates, etc. Pool bartenders were also friendly and greeted you with a smile. For the most part, we found staff to be indifferent or unfriendly. I think that as guests, we should be greeted with a smile and hello rather than having to offer that to the staff (which often went unreciprocated). In particular, the gentleman at the entrance to Don Nicolas were particularly unfriendly and seemed more preoccupied with watching over staff than anything else. Certainly not a welcoming environment. The same can be said with some of the activities staff who were more preoccupied with each other than with guests. I would suggest that the staff receive some training in customer service and etiquette...after all, it's your guests that are paying your salary. I would also suggest having staff offer poolside and beachside drinks.

Pool/Beach: Both the pool and beach are great and refreshing. Poolside, there are plenty of sun beds and umbrellas. The pool itself is large and never felt crowded (except by the swim-up bar). The beach is also large, but palapas are too few. After reading reviews, I would wake up early and reserve my palapa (the towel reservation system is in full force here). By 7am, there were maybe 1 or 2 left on the property. In some instances, I noticed that if there were only a couple of people to a palapa, others would move in or crash that couples palapa! Most people didn't mind and would share; there was one couple that started a huge argument about it though. One of the annoyances is that people would reserve their palapa, set their towels up on their sun loungers, but then sit at the water's edge in the sun and use their palapa for maybe half an hour throughout the whole day. The RIU could add more palapas, but then they would be uncomfortably close to one another.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank angoogie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

I stayed at the Riu from 20/09/2013 to 4/10/2013 we boomed premium class with Thomsons very glad we did it was fantastic on arrival at Aruba immigration was very speedy baggage was very slow it was clear them this island was very laid back totally different from home which was nice
When we had our luggage we proceeded to meet our Rep who guided us to our coach for transfer there were 3 coaches full going to the Riu transfer was 15 mins on arrival check in was fast but immediately there was an issue I paid £6000 for this holiday booked a jacuzzi suite and was given a normal jacuzzi suite not the one that Thomsons has a contract with the Riu for Thomsons contract on jacuzzi suite are ones with the jacuzzi inside with columns around and also a second on the balcony I was given the one without the outside tub when I questioned it I was advised no u booked a normal suite so out came my paperwork clearly stating what I booked and paid for I was advised that the hotel could not change my room then I would have to wait till the following day so I did only to be shown a stinking room that they were swapping me too I was not happy so I decided to stay in my first room which had been renovated very recently it was 636 in building B full pool and ocean view but in fairness to Jaz the rep Thomsons compensated me straight away for the error
Yes there is humidity here but that can't be helped same as the wind which is a blessing


now the best and nice bits

This island is amazing magical
The hotel staff, food drinks amazing entertainment though none
We went out in the evening done some Xmas shopping even ate out it was lovely

I would definitely visit again but not go to the Riu maybe the Hyatt

Hope this helps guys

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Carolyne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

Firstly aruba is a beautiful island and the weather and the beaches were great. The riu is a little dated and rooms and public areas could do with a freshen. The food was fantastic even in the buffet restaurant. The staff were friendly and helpful. The Thompson's rep jaz not so much. She was helpful if it was profitable for Thompson's but not if you wanted to find out about other excursions. Our last day was awful due to a six hour flight delay. Jaz told us a room would be available for a shower etc but it wasn't and that the all inclusive would continue until we left the hotel but it didn't. We arrived at the airport thirsty and hungry. Go on the trikes aruba tour if you can it was fantastic. There is some issues with the beach area. Umbrellas are reserved as early as six am and sometimes the hotel staff take the towels away as they say they have not to be left on the beach. This caused a few fights between guests as they took beds which had been reserved by others. The pier bars are excellent and have great live music.

Room Tip: We stayed in a junior suite in the b building. Dated but clean and comfortable
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank terry156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

My husband and I went here on our honeymoon and it was absolutely perfect! Don't listen to the harsh reviews. The rooms were beautiful, food was awesome,and the staff was friendly and fun. We had an amazing time! We will definitely go back to Aruba and stay at the Riu without a doubt!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheadle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013 via mobile

Having returned from the Riu Palace two weeks ago, I feel obliged to pass on my comments after I have read some of the reviews that others have written.

As stated in the title of my review, the rooms are 3 star, however please take into consideration that when you book this hotel, there are pictures of the rooms available for you to view, so don't expect modern decor. The beds are comfortable, we never had an issue sleeping in our bed and we never asked for a mattress topper. The rooms can feel damp, however this is due to the heat outside - please apply common sense.

Now on to the wonderful honeymoon that my husband and I experienced. Having travelled to numerous all inclusive hotels around the world, I must say that this hotel's food is amazing compared to the standard all inclusive food you are normally served. There is a huge variety served during breakfast, lunch and dinner. I cannot understand how anyone could struggle to eat.

The variety of drinks available was wonderful. Any drink you ask for; they make. Simple. If you sit outside the lobby bar in the evening, let the waiters or waitresses suggest cocktails for you. I know we drank some beautiful concoctions.

The beach is beautiful, make sure you watch the sunset. It's worth watching this at the bar by the pier.

May I also compliment Thomson on their choice of rep in the resort Jaz. Nothing is too much trouble for her and we were often asking questions.

Whilst on the island I would recommend taking a trip round the island, the sea treking and the snorkelling trip.

Aruba is a safe island, so walk around, explore and make sure you go to watch the dancing fountains, it really is a mini Vegas.

Whilst staying in the Riu we stayed in building B in room 825. The room was a junior suite with a limited sea view. However, this in my opinion was not limited. The balcony is quite small, but you can sit outside and have a beverage on your balcony in the evening and at night. Don't forget you can take snacks up to your room from the sports bar.

To summarise; enjoy this wonderful island and the spectacular scenery. The rooms are dated, but that would be the only downfall. Fabulous food, wonderful staff and a pure gem which made our honeymoon a perfect memory.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank lisab685
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

Just got back from a wonderful honeymoon at the Riu. Food was great, employees are friendly and amazingly helpful. Freddy, the bartender at the pool bar, is sooo fun! He kept us laughing all day! The pool and beach are amazing. The huts and pool chairs do go fast. Just get up early and place your towel on there. Any later than 8:30 and your probably not getting one until after 12 when some people start to head in. The two things I would say were not so great...the hard beds and the nightlife is pretty dead. We asked for a pillow top (thanks to the other reviews) and that made it much better. We did venture out to the pier bar on the water (I forget the name) for a couple nights and that was a ton of fun! They have bands and its a fun bar. Also, try Kini Kini ATV tours while in Aruba....you will have the time of your life. We loved Aruba and love the Riu! Aruba is by far the most beautiful island we have been to.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alicia B
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 - Palm Beach, 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, 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

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