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“Paid a lot more when booking 8 months in advance than others who booked in February this year” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Aruba

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Port Talbot, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Paid a lot more when booking 8 months in advance than others who booked in February this year”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2014

Having paid a lot more than other holiday makers who booked 3 months before their holiday this did dishearten us. Our first impression of the hotel WOW but when they put us in C block having seen the reviews we were thinking OMG we have paid a lot more and we have ended up in C block. Within 5 minutes being in the room we found a dirty sock under the bed cover (sheets were clean) and the bath had a lot of grit and black rubber marks in it, fridge door full of ice and would not shut. Once reported this was soon rectified. Works were being carried out in a hotel next door this did not affect us too much however when sitting out having breakfast in the main restaurant the rubble shoots where alongside and did cause dust sometimes as there was no screen erected between both hotels.

The food in the main on restaurant and themed restaurants was fantastic clean towels everyday and elsewhere was very clean. We attended a wedding whilst there it was absolutely fabulous could not fault this. Beach and holiday was paradise and we would certainly go back to Aruba however, after paying a lot more and even questioned the price before we left Thomson did not offer to upgrade us in anyway that was disappointing. Another couple in our party did move from Block C a day later to B block.

Room Tip: Whatever block have above 5th floor for the views and close to the beach
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DAVID P
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,238)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
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English first
Slough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

Check the weather out on the internet, not just temperatures, rain and sunshine hours. If I had checked beforehand I would have noticed May is the islands windiest month and in particular Palm Beach Aruba. Every day was windy, I think the hotel structure is conducive to production of a wind tunnel effect. The Riu Palace is an impressive building which glistens white in the bright Arubian sunlight. Be aware the flight time to Aruba is 9.5 hours. I have posted some pictures on my site explaining the times of the restaurants and a map of the site. This hotel has 10 floors split over 3 blocks A, B & C. There are 2 lifts in block A and the button L in the lift is Lobby (this is Reception, the Sports Bar, Bon Bini Lounge Bar, Casino and Casino Bar and a small Shop. It is in the Lobby (L Button), that you can make your reservation for one of the four specialised restaurants from 08:00 each morning. The Rep meetings welcome and farewell, booking of hire cars and guest services all take place at this level.
Below the Lobby level in the lift is floor 1. This takes you out to the pool and beach separated by the Poolside Bar. Also at this level is the Don Nicholas Restaurant which has outside and inside dining, buffet service meals with drinks served at your table. There are also three of the speciality restaurants at level 1, Krystal (Fusion), Sayuri (Japanese) and the Milano (Italian) Staying on level 1, Block B, you have Nautilus (Steakhouse). All the specialised restaurants are served courses over 2 sittings 18:30 pm or 21:00 pm bookings are available daily on a first come first booked basis. Level 1 Block C, contains the Jacuzzi and fitness and wellness services.
All blocks have Ice Machines located at various levels so you can collect ice for your room minibar.
SERVICE:
Staff throughout the hotel were generally helpful although you will need to ensure that they understand what you require when asking for their services. I asked reception for some face flannels and 2 hours later a maintenance man arrived to fix the shower.
VALUE:
This is a 24 hour all inclusive hotel! Wi-Fi is free at the hotel and when you check in the username and password are printed on the envelope you receive. Wi-Fi is strongest in reception “L” Lobby. The Wi-Fi reception is considerably weaker the further your room is from Block A, or the higher your room. On check in you also receive 1 card per person for beach beach towels which can be redeemed at a hut adjacent to the Poolside Bar on Level 1. You can change the towels as many times as you want. Loss of the card will cost you $20 USD. Loss of your All Inclusive Bracelet will cost you $100 USD.
SLEEP QUALITY:
A high percentage of North and South Americans use this hotel as the island is easy for them to get to and has a good reputation. However my experience has been that as they are on a shorter break than the Europeans they tend to stay awake and are up much longer to maximise their holiday time. As the drink flows and is also available freely in their rooms, it can make your stay noisy on many occasions, as the hotel welcomes more guests throughout the holiday season.
CLEANLINESS:
This hotel is 7 years old and is looking dated. It would benefit from improving the décor as the rooms are starting to let it down. Damp results in cleaning staff shutting balcony doors to reduce dampness. Cleaners try to keep guest rooms nice and succeed most of the time, Dampness is also responsible for the daily removal of used towels and flannels.
If you are thinking of taking your own face flannels or towels, make sure they are any colour but white. White flannels or towels will go missing when damp items are removed by the maid, we lost two my wife purchased prior to our holiday.
You are not allowed to hang clothing from your room balcony.
LOCATION:
Well located for local shops and restaurants. A taxi to Orangestad (Downtown), will cost you around $11. You can get a bus outside the hotel and all busses go to Orangestad, ask your rep about the price. A hop on and off Tram runs in Orangestad and is free to use. It can be found near the bus terminal.
ROOMS:
Do not place your electronic room key card next to your phone or it will require re-programming at reception. I had a Junior Suite which was quite large. It had a TV which had 36 channels starting with channel 2 (Riu Advertisements) The bathroom had a hairdryer and two sinks set in a marble worktop facing a large ornate mirror. The bat was a Jacuzzi style with a shower above. Water temperature was fairly good and water from the taps is drinkable. The room had loads of storage an alarm clock and iron and an ironing board. You must keep the balcony doors closed for the air conditioning to remain operative. The air con being on, is the only way to prevent dampness and to avoid strange musty smells.
BEVERAGE SELECTION:
With the 24 hour all inclusive package all local and branded drinks are included. You have a locked cabinet with a glass front displaying four bottles of spirits with optics dispensers and a fridge containing beer water and mixers. Your drinks are topped up daily. You also have a coffee percolator and packs with filter coffee, powdered milk and sweetener. If you like tea it is available in the restaurants and the Sports Bar and is dependent on the servers’ knowledge and experience. You may need to ask for the tea bag, hot water, milk and sweetener and prepare the brew yourself. The Sports Bar is also where you can obtain food 24 hours a day, mainly snacks such as sandwiches, fruit, hotdogs Nachos and cheese, and cake etc.
Additional water can be obtained if required at reception (L Level), normally provided in 1 litre bottles.
FOOD:
The Don Nicholas Buffet restaurant (Level 1), repeats the same things each week, so if you are on a two week holiday expect to have a Groundhog Day experience. The food is very good, it tastes wonderful and is served with a smile. Gentlemen are asked to wear long trousers for the dinner service (18:30 Level 1), at the Don Nicholas restaurant and shirts. It is enforced spasmodically by door staff and you will find out of every 5 male gusts 3 are wearing shorts.
Breakfast has a large selection of cooked and continental style breakfast items. Eggs, bacon and pancakes feature strongly and have an American influence. Forget baked beans, meaty sausages and rashers of back bacon. Bacon comes streaky and crisp, eggs are scrambled, fried, poached, boiled, omelettes with all fillings under the sun, cooked fresh with what you want and how you like them. Pancakes, maple syrup……. Thermos flasks of coffee are delivered by the staff on your arrival at breakfast and plates are cleared quickly by staff after use. Tea can be requested, you have individual metal teapots containing hot water and sometimes the tea bag is in the pot, other times you add the tea bag yourself. Whenever you ask for tea you get a pot of hot milk unless you request otherwise. Some occasions you have to ask for tea with milk, or you get just the tea.
You can use the Don Nicholas for Lunch and the buffet selection is very good with plenty of variety to suit all tastes. At this restaurant you have both inside and outside seating.
The other lunchtime restaurant is the Nautilus (Level 1) opposite the Poolside Bar. It has a good selection and cooks fresh meats, it is popular for people using sun loungers. However you cannot dine without a vest or shirt on and women cannot dine in bathing suits or bikinis. They must cover up with a dress or other attire which hides their costume. I stopped using the Nautilus as birds were getting in frequently and started walking over the food. I actually saw a bird enter the cold meats, sandwiches, and pie compartment and deposited its bodily waste on the sandwiches.
SUMMARY:
The Riu Palace is well situated and has good transport links. There are plenty of bars and restaurants locally. Shops are open in the mornings and again from 16:00 and sell a variety of Arubian craft items and locally produced island products. The Riu is starting to decline due to outdated décor and dampness. The bits on show, the exterior and the customer interface areas are kept nice. Rooms are starting to suffer and are in need or refurbishment and modernisation. The staff are wonderful and are the best asset to this hotel. The Riu Palace hotel currently holds a five star rating. I think this is also outdated, I thinks all in all I would rate it at 3.5 to possibly 4 stars but unless training and décor are improved clientele will go elsewhere. You cannot rest on your laurels and past success you must strive for change and continual improvement and cutting edge staff development. Would I return to the Riu Palace Hotel? Hmmmmmm………. Maybe!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Ronald B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

We stayed here for a week in May 2014. The view from building A is absolutely gorgeous!!! BUT the hotel itself is in need of major, major, major upgrades!!! The bed is very flat with outdated bedding, our room had a musty smell, and the floor was covered with sheddings from the mop. The shower leaked water onto the floor to the point we used 4 large towels to absorb water, and the water still ran over!! The flat-screen tv in our room was taken from the former Westin (some rooms still have the tube tv) and had black duct tape on the base to cover the holes...simply tacky! Although I did not see bugs in my room, I saw the exterminator on my floor, which was such a turn off. The housekeeper stole my silk pillow case and replaced it with a funky one. The manager suggested that she sent my case to laundry, which did not make sense either. I was finally reimbursed after two days of arguing with the manager. I was very thankful that it was just a pillow case, but the fact that she stole anything from me was distrubing to me.

The all-inclusive was a definite attraction and huge savings, but the taste of food was questionable. The restaurants looked stunning, but the food had extremely poor quality!! The best restaurant is Krystal and Sayuri is just awful!! The buffet had a decent variety, but could use a little work. The meat was often dry or tough. The Sports Bar could definitely use a face lift too!!

The pool and beach are fabulous and very well kept!! We met some great people at the hotel, and we all shared the same complaints!! We will definitely return to Aruba, but will not stay at the Riu Palace again. The former Westin is being renovated right now so we would consider staying at that location.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DrSaun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

Late review from mid Feb trip. I wouldn't do all inclusive again but overall we were happy with the Riu. Our rooms were clean, comfortable and had a great view from the 6th floor. The food is very good in the buffet and speciality restaurants. Pools were beautiful and clean.

The typical complaints applied for us too; reservations for restaurants the day of early each morning, the lack of sufficient chairs at the beach and pool, and people with their chests all puffed out standing at palapas guarding them at 7 am! And Lame night time entertainment. One of the specialty restaurants wouldn't serve beer and said we could get red or white wine. That's fine by me, I drink wine, but one from our group does not and IMO when he requests a beer in an AI that's what he should get. And Poor WIFI.

We did have two security concerns, nothing bad resulted in them but just poor service with regard to securing our room. One day the people the replenishing the fridge didn't shut our door tight so anyone could have waled in all day. The other was we showed up to shower after day at beach to find our door open with a contracted electrical company in our room with no hotel staff present. They were running wires through the ceiling and I had to wait 15 minutes for them to finish before I could get in shower, making us have to rush for reservation. That was not cool at all.

My last negative comment is What a waste to pay for all inclusive and end up walking down to the village to see some real entertainment and pay for drinks. You know darn well that the Riu knows their lack of entertainment helps their bar profit margin.

The water, beach and island are all amazing!!! Hotel layout is nice. The people are all friendly inside and out of the resort. The UTV trip is a blast! The tube ride on Big Bertha was hysterical. The snorkel trip was ok, but rough water that day took away from the experience.

Would absolutely return to Aruba again, just wouldn't do the AI.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dee0gee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014 via mobile

Staff was courteous and friendly, though some were lackadaisical.

Food on the buffets was delish...and varied daily. Sayuri, the Japanese restaurant, was so bad that we didn't try the others that required reservations. We were quite satisfied with the buffets.

Lounge chairs at the pool were coveted quickly each day (held with towels/books), mostly by folks who wandered around all day and only sat for an hour or so.

The ventilation in our room was very poor. All of our belongings were damp. The air was very moist. This made it difficult to sleep comfortably.

The bathtub in our room (611) was in poor condition. Felt as though the tub floor was sinking...and it was badly stained. It was necessary to wear shower shoes.

Water temperature was always warm/hot for showers. Maid service was average. Most days washcloths were not fully replenished (3 people in our room...and only 2 washcloths) so we had to call downstairs.

Location is very nice. Close to dining/shopping. Palm Beach is beautiful. Hotel appears to be well maintained.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank ERICA H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

I know that each person experience things differently but I must say I'm very disappointed with this 5 star hotel. I just arrived home on yesterday after spending a week from 5/21-5/27. The hotel appearance will make you feel like your a king/queen in a castle but it's very misleading. I happened to stay in room 325 and there were quite a few issues such as the molded furniture (couch), stained chairs, mold on the ceiling in the bathroom. We notified the hotel about furniture and all they did was attempt to clean the couch but I guess that wasn't successful since they just cover up the couch instead of replacing the couch. They did nothing about the stained chairs. Also, the bed was hard as a brick. As for the food, it wasn't that great. I had better food outside the hotel. I will say that the service staff is at it's best. The location of hotel is great and it's right off the beach. The pool is awesome. Overall, this hotel needs to update the furniture in the rooms and make the food more tasteful. I plan on going back to Aruba but I would prefer to stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mssan9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

Never stayed at an all-inclusive hotel and didn't know what to expect! First, if you want to always have good weather then head to Aruba. The RIU was great. Accommodations were great with friendly staff. Pool and beach were amazing. When they say everything is included they mean it and they provided transportation to and from the airport.( we tipped here ). There were four restaurants to choose from, you must make reservations in the morning before 11 am. Only ate in 3 due to the length of my stay but each one had outstanding food. The serve yourself restaurant's food was also top notch. I would stay there again. Try it!!!!!

Room Tip: We had a junior suite facing pool with an ocean view with balcony. Large room with step down sitting...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaryAnne O
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 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 On the Beach 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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