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“Best of all of the all inclusives in Aruba”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #17 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Stayed an 3 different resorts in Aruba, all we're all inclusives but this was by far the best. Food is always great at the Riu palace resorts and staff, rooms, dinner and pools are always among the best at any resort. Great location and super safe island keeps me wanting to come back to this resort time and time again. Go for a walk and check out the nearby shopping at fantastic restaurants.

Room Tip: Try to get an oven view
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank Leo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

We were so excited to start our vacation of a lifetime only to find out when we arrived that they had no record of our reservation & were booked solid!!! We called our travel agent back in the states & was told they did everything right on their part. After about an hour or so, the manager of the Riu advised us that they would put us up next door at the Radisson for 3 nights then move us back to the Riu for the remaining 5 nights. We were also able to use all of the amenities at the Riu so we weren't inconvenienced too much. As disappointed as I was, I have to tell you, the Riu really came through. We got a beautiful oceanfront suite at the Radisson for 3 nights, then they moved us into an oceanfront jacuzzi suite for the rest of our trip. They also gave us a voucher for 8 free nights at any Riu in the world!!! Even though our vacation of a lifetime started out poorly, the Riu made it right. Thank you Sheri and your excellent staff for a wonderful week. We will see you next year. Oh, and for all you people that gave them a bad review, you need to get a real life. We never saw anything that would warrant any of your complaints. If you're going to complain about a bad repair patched wall, stay home.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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12  Thank gjacobbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

Location is great just next to the ocean!! Room little bit old and outdated but it's ok . Service was fine, food was ok too!! We enjoy to being in Aruba and didn't find our self to be stacked at a hotel so we have had a lot of fun visit zoo and ostrich farm with kids !! Will be back soon

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Olessia127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

well well well, you have chosen to put the Riu on your list of possible places to stay when you visit the most amazing island of Aruba. Stop right now and choose somewhere else! for those of you who have already booked it i'm so very sorry to hear that. yeah, looks great from outside and you can read many good reviews here on trip advisor but the people who write those reviews are either completely ripped on 5 dollar a bottle all inclusive garbage rum that they serve or its just reviews posted hundreds of times by the staff because this place sucks and will have you so aggravated by the time you leave. i go to aruba every single year and have tried almost all the beachfront hotels but this one will never ever get a return visit from me. Go ahead, pay top dollar for your dream vacation and meet the front desk staff with the miserable attitude, rude comments and general non care that you chose their hotel over tons of other hotels that completely blow this place away. Totally one of those places where as soon as payment is made you are nothing to them. Why did you choose the Riu? because its all inclusive? WHO CARES! First of all, you would be foolish to not try all the amazing restaurants on the island which 75% of them are in walking distance. 2nd of all, if it's the all inclusive liquor you came for the liquor is the lowest bottom shelf brand you have never even heard of and will have you walking around with a headache daily so what's the point of that? Ok, you figure you will go all inclusive and not have to worry about cash the whole week or 2 but at what cost? crappy food, terrible booze, nasty staff, pool activity staff that had a look on their face like god get me out of here. If you book at another hotel that has breakfast and lunch included the rate is obviously going to me much less so you have that extra cash for your dinners out and drinks. It works out to be all about the same anyway and you will be eating in awesome gourmet restaurants that Aruba is known for! 33% of the reason for visiting aruba is for the restaurants anyway! The Riu's "specialty" restaurants (that you have to wait on line to book in the early morning and can't book one time for the entire week and must do this daily) are TERRIBLE! (sub par food and you will be rushed through your meal.) the grounds are just one big concrete area with blobs of pool scum floating EVERY DAY. The rooms were musty and damp, just totally forget about building C, (if you're in that building have your lawyer on speed dial) and i GUARANTEE you, you will not get a towel from the hut at the pool unless you get out there very early. So basically if you sleep a little late or go on a morning excursion or something you will arrive back at the hotel and they will NOT have a beach towel to give you. nice huh? great service huh? 2 days during my stay my key just stops working. Yeah, that was real convenient! And then the lies they just throw at you are hilarious.then when it is finally resolved, not a single apology from anyone! You are a guest and the entire time you are there it seems like you are a burden to THEM! I also found it very strange that everywhere else i've stayed in aruba we always made friends with several other guests at the resorts and always had a blast, but for some reason the guests here were either stuffy or obnoxious or just plain rude. Trust me, I can't think of a single reason to stay at this place when there are so many other amazing hotels and restaurants right near this "palace" Now i just found out that they bought the neighboring Westin hotel which is going to get extensive renovations and have an overflow of guests that were planning to stay there but have to now move to the Riu, that should be a lot of fun huh? Aruba is absolutely an amazing extremely safe and clean island but do yourself a favor and just completely pass this place up. i can get anger and frustration at home, i don't need it when i go on vacation. Bad food, non caring staff, disgusting pool, missing ammenities, horrible alcohol, what else can i say except there are SO many better places.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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24  Thank arubaeveryyear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

We travelled to Aruba as a family of three with our ten year old daughter. We stayed at the RIU Palace Aruba from February 22 - March 1, 2014. Although we have travelled to many all-inclusive sunny destinations, including Mexico, Punta Cana and Cuba, this was our first visit to Aruba. We have stayed at the RIU Palace in Mexico and enjoyed the quality experience that the RIU provided. 

Travel:
We booked our vacation back in September through a travel agent. Our flight was through Air Canada and our hotel package was through SunWing (their flight times did not work for us). Unfortunately,  our family holiday had a stressful start. We flew Ottawa to Toronto, then Toronto to Aruba. When we presented our boarding passes that we had printed off at home the previous evening at the Air Canada check-in counter, the rep put "standby" tags on our baggage. When I questioned her about it, she said that because we had not chosen to pay extra to select our seats together, we were no longer guaranteed seats on the flight as the flight was overbooked. We have never experienced this before. We always arrive at the airport early and have never had a problem getting seats together on the plane.  I expressed my concern that we had paid for our tickets over five months prior to our travel and we were now flying standby???? Air Canada did not want to help us at all in Ottawa, and basically told us that it was their policy, and if we wanted to be guaranteed a seat on the plane (even though we had already paid for our seats), we would have to pay additional fees (which, by now, was too late to do). I should add that this would have cost us an additional $180 - robbery, since we had already paid a fortune for our flights.  They were extremely rude and I could not believe the way we were treated. We raced to the gate upon arrival in Toronto, and thankfully an Air Canada rep in Toronto was much more understanding about our situation. We will not be flying Air Canada to a sunny destination in the future. If you must, then pay extra for seat selection. No one needs that stress at the beginning of their vacation. 

Check In
Transfer to the hotel was provided through Sunwing and was quick and easy. The hotel had welcome drinks waiting for us, and check-in was fast. The only issue we had were that the magnetized room keys did not work. We found a staff member to let us in while my husband went to get new ones. These did not work either, and we heard of other people having the same difficulty. Within 15 minutes, a service person arrived and fixed our lock and keys. We had no issues for the remainder of the week. 

Room
Having read many trip reports about the RIU Palace Aruba, we feared being placed in the dreaded "Building C". Of course, that is where we were placed, and we were pleasantly surprised. Our room was renovated, spacious and comfortable. There were no signs of mould or the musty smell that others had complained of. In fact, we spoke with several people from Buildings A and B  that had those very complaints. The air conditioning worked great, and the beds were comfortable with an automatic remote to adjust the level of mattress firmness. I am not sure if we were just lucky, but we were happy with our room assignment. The only way we could have been happier was if we had a larger balcony. We had patio doors that opened onto a balcony, but it was not large enough to place chairs. Buildings A and B had balconies with chairs. Also, there was no clock in the room  (not that we were setting an alarm in holidays, but it would have been nice to know what time it was when we woke in the middle of the night, etc.). Our room was on the seventh floor, overlooking the pool and ocean. It was breathtaking and by far the nicest view we have ever enjoyed. 

Pool
The pool is spectacular. It has two levels: an infinity pool on the upper section and a large lower level with lots of in-water lounge chairs (our favorite), in-water bar stools and tables, and a jacuzzi area. One of the nicest pools we have seen. There were plenty of lounge chairs around the pool at all times during the day, although if you wanted one right beside the pool, be prepared to secure them by 7am. Also, it is very windy all of the time, so bring towel clips or luggage straps to secure your towels to the chairs. Incidentally, this will also help you to identify your chairs, as we did witness one disagreement over lounge chairs. 

Beach
Because of the high winds, we expected the ocean to be really rough. This was not the case. The ocean is nice for swimming, and absolutely beautiful. The water is clear and warm. Sometimes the sand blows around on really windy days, but who can complain? You are in Aruba! The worst part of the beach is the way they distribute the beach lounge chairs. They chain them up every night and then distribute them again in the morning. People arrive early - I am sure some before dawn- and tie their towels, beach bags, etc. around the palapas, then drag their chairs over once they are unchained. I witnessed a pretty nasty shouting match over someone moving another person's towels. Absolute craziness. If you do not want a palapa for shade, there does not seem to be an issue with getting  a chair. We walked down to the beach several afternoons and were able to get a couple of lounge chairs. 

Excursions
We took a jeep excursion through SunWing and it was fantastic. I would highly recommend it. Two travel guides are in a jeep, then all of the other jeeps follow (you drive your own). There are four people to each jeep; two couples in each, or in our case, our own jeep as we were a family of three. You leave the hotel at 9am and return at 4:30pm. Lunch is included, as are non-alcoholic beverages. You tour the whole island, including California lighthouse, the Wish Garden, the Alta Vista chapel, the rock bridge, Baby Beach, etc. The tour stops at various locations around Aruba and the guides tell you the history of each sight. It was $65 US for our daughter and $95 each for adults. A great way to see the island. 

Shopping 
There is great shopping within walking distance of the hotel. High end shops and souvenir shops everywhere. Even a Pandora store that has a special Aruba bead that can only be purchased there. A nice keepsake. 

Food
We ate at the buffet most often, as there was lots to choose from for our daughter and the food was always fresh and excellent. Most nights had a theme such as International, Mexican, Gala, etc. We did eat at the Japanese, Italian and Steakhouse a la carte restaurants. They were all very good. I would have eaten at any of them again. The a l cartes had a smaller selection, but the choices were good  There was lots of selection at the buffet, and high end choices such as beef wellington, prime rib, seafood, fresh pasta, etc. we're readily available.

We had a fantastic time in Aruba. It is a beautiful and happy little island, as it's slogan suggests. They seem to have all of the modern amenities and conveniences of home, so if you are looking for a cultural experience that going to Dominican or Mexico provides, this may not be the island for you. We are very glad that we visited and would definitely go back and stay at the RIU again.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
12  Thank Staci R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

We traveled to Aruba from Feb. 25-March 4 and had a terrific time! The resort does need some updating, but is clean and the food is good. The pool is large and the swim up bar, as well as other bars have very friendly bartenders. The island itself is beautiful and safe, which is hard to find in many tropical destinations. This was our first trip to Aruba, but will not be our last!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tonya S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

I'll start by saying that this hotel is a 5 star by carib standards and 4 star by real world standards. In my experience the staff did try to be as helpful as they could, having said that, I didn't have any great expectations about my week long stay. Because of that I wasn't dissapointed but I can see how you would be! The food overall between the buffet's and the speciality is a 6 out of 10. Fresh for the most part but not sparking the pallet. The room, Jr Suite facing the pool/ocean was clean but like almost all the reviews the beds, pillows, etc were sub standard. Even if you get 10 pillows ya just can't get it right. Didn't sleep well the whole week. Slight holes in ceiling and bathroom corners but most likely due to humidity and poor ventilation but really, fix them up. One day we had a big boom and all the power was out. The main breaker in the room fryed, exposed wiring!! ( This is the "new" wing of the palace ). Same thing like other reviews for pool spots, beach spots, reservations for speacial food, get up early and wait in line. I am up early anyways but saw a lot of grumpy people. Scuba diving was awesome. Walking out on the beach and to the right is Unique Sports of Aruba, very professional and great equipment. Dove with them in '08, check them out for excursions. Over all I needed to get away and rest...did I staying here...umm, maybe. Would I recommend this hotel, only if you want to boast that you stayed there. I think you can spend a bit less and get the same...after all, you are in Aruba!!

Room Tip: Before you unpack, check the room in great detail!!!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank RescueDiver67
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

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:
#5 Casino Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: $436 - $828 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Aruba 4*
Number of rooms: 450
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24-hour All Inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Aruba opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful Palm Beach. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Aruba Airport (10 km) and Oranjestad (11 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 450 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa, or get in shape at the fitness center. 2 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our discotheque in the neighboring Hotel Riu Palace Antillas. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main buffet restaurant, Japanese and Italian, Fusion restaurants and Steakhouse, as well as 5 bars and our Capuchino patisserie & ice cream parlor. ... 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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