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“A vacation to remember........”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A vacation to remember........”
Reviewed March 27, 2009

We were at the RIU in Aruba the week of March 14th-22nd and had a great time. We met some really nice couples which made our vacation all that much better. A shout out to Eric, Amy, Greg, Beth, Jami, Tim, Marlon and Melissa. We had a great time with all of you!

We had dinner the first night at the buffet which wasn’t bad. There was a pasta station at the buffet so that you could choose the ingredients, pasta and sauce of choice and the cooks would prepare this dish up for you. We also ate at 3 of the "al la carte" restaurants (Nautilas, Krystal and Milano). They were all very good and my favorite was the Milano (Italian). The steakhouse had a steak/lobster entrée and that was very good also. My only complaint was that they only offered one option for lunch and that was at the Nautilus (lunch buffet) everyday which got old after awhile. We also went off base and ate at Casa Tua (pizza), Texas De Brazil (steak) and the Pelican Pier (seafood). All very good restaurants and worth the money.

We went to the beach our first day but the wind and sand combination were a little much for us. We spent the rest of the week at the pool. The pool water was cool some days; there were like 2 days were it felt a little warmer. No Captain Morgan at this resort (what a bummer), they had Bacardi rum but you had to ask for it. Freddie the pool waiter was our favorite. Yovaney in the Sports bar was nice too. I would of preferred additional music around the pool (they only played music for about an hour during water aerobics and that was it). It was the same songs every day.

We didn’t experience a theft problem with the room safe but we kept our valuables/cash with us at all times. We didn’t want to risk it and have our vacation spoiled because of it. Housekeeping was great and we left tips for her every morning. We gambled in the casino a couple of nights which ended up being a positive experience.

We each got the 80 minute massage which cost $305/both (Swedish and Deep Tissue). The spa is located at the bottom of building C. They sell the Aruba lotions, sun block and after burn gels too. There are restrooms in the spa that you can use during the day while at the pool (more quiet and convenient than the restrooms by Nautilus).

My main recommendation as I always say on every review………bring your own insulated mugs! It keeps your drink cold and clean by the pool. Besides, the bartenders will always remember you better that way.

The wind……ugh, it got on my nerves. Does it ever stop.......it’s constant! Guess it helps keep you cool though. We had no rain and absolute sun all 9 days we were there.

Very nice, clean and safe resort. Have fun and enjoy!!!
P.S. Thanks for a great vacation Mark :-)

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JenJen1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bruce Peninsula
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 25, 2009

The Riu on Palm Beach served the best food I've experienced in a number of Caribbean holidays, though the all inclusive package was pricey. The general buffet restaurant Don ____? served dishes that were as good as some of the "specialty" restaurants in other all-inclusives. The Krystal and Japanese restaurants were excellent, and the Italian restaurant was very good. The hotel seemed to be a little below capacity, and there were lots of staff to provide service in the restaurants and terrace, and rooms. Generally, they were very friendly and helpful. We had a problem with the room safe (batteries would not stay in place), but the maintenance person arrived within 15 minutes of our call.
It would have been nice to have some Hobie Cats or similar readily available - you can get them down the beach, but I have been at other hotels where non-motorized watercraft are free.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CarbbeanVisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2009

When we first got to the Riu I noticed the lobby full of smoke. What I didn't know before booking this hotel is that smoking is allowed in the hotel, including all the rooms and the lobby. So if you don't smoke or are allergic to it, stay away! It was absolutely horrible. When we got to our room, the toilet didn't flush and the in room safe was broken. So we had to get that fixed which of couse took a long time. The toilet had to get fixed twice during our 5 days there. The beds were hard as well. We asked the staff for a bottle of champagne since we were on our honeymoon and they told us it would take them 2 hours to bring it up! The food at the buffet was ok, but stay away from the restaurants. If you're a foodie like we are then you will hate the restaurants. They have no atmosphere (no music, nothing outdoors) and horrible service.
The pool area is nice and clean, but it felt like you were in vegas instead of Aruba. It doesn't have a tropical feel at all and they play the same 5 spanish songs over and over which is really annoying. When i asked them if they could play something else they were nasty with me and said "NO".
When we were checking out they tried to charge me for a phone call I didn't make. I had noticed that the phone smelled like perfume (maid) when I called the front desk a few days before. So someone had been in our room and made a phone call and charged me!
Never Ever again would I go back there! Horrible!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Theresa121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maryland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2009

My husband and I visited aruba on march 11-15 2009.
we stayed at RIU, we did not have any safety concerns, nor did we hear of anybody speaking of such.
The resort is absolutely amazing, outstanding service. Huge pool.
The cleanest and biggest beach of any hotels on Palm Beach.
Always plenty of chairs available at the pool and beach.
Kim was very friendly at the front desk.
A white castle in the sand in aruba, definitely want to go back.

Helpful?
4 Thank sunflower36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2009

Everything about this hotel is great. However the rooms smell like mold badly. This caused my asthma to kick up. I talked to the Manager. They said that they have this problem only when they see the mold and have completely removed all objects from the room and repainted. Since they saw no mold. They said we didnt have a problem and they couldnt smell anything. They are full of you know what. All the hallways smell as well. If you dont mind the smell,The hotel is fine.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gripe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2009

The Riu Palace in Aruba was very nice. I have been to other Riu's as well and this one was just what the pictures show. We were concerned about theft because of other reviews but did not experience anything or hear anyone talk about it. We did use our safe and had no problem. When we first got our room it was 2 beds pushed together to make a king. It was really no big deal but we asked front desk if we could get a true king bed and they were happy to help us out. We ended up with a great bed in a very nice room. We were facing the Westin hotel but we had a great view of the beach and were able to watch the sunset from our balcony. If there was anything we needed the front desk was very helpful and always checked a couple of hours later to make sure we got what we wanted, more pillows, blankets, chairs on balcony, no problem. They were very accomodating. The pool was a bit cool but really it was no big deal, the air was hot so once you got into the pool it was really very nice. Also the sea was very nice and the seaweed was no big deal. If it bothered you all you had to do was move over abit to a spot where there wasn't any. The hotel was very clean. Restaurants were good. The only one we did not like at all was the Japanese but all the others were good. The hotel is in a great location. There is shopping and lots of restaurants very close by. In my opinion this is a very nice hotel. If you are expecting a luxury hotel this is not it but it is a very nice hotel, you can't go wrong for the price. Enjoy.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank lovebuggirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2009

My wife and I just spent a week at the RIU with another couple. We booked last minute. After researching all the reviews etc. I have to admit, we were a little afraid thanks to all the comments about theft etc. What we have learned is that if you are going to book a resort based on the reviews, you will never go anywhere.

For some (that may have saved up a lifetime for a trip like this), this resort is 7 stars. For others (those that book $10,000/night rooms on the water in Bora Bora), it may only seem like a 3-star resort. My wife and I have been to Sandals in St. Lucia, we have been to Club Med, and we have also been on the 12th voyage of a brand new Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. Truthfully, we had a fantastic time at the RIU Palace and it was a completely solid and positive experience…right across the board.

The people and staff in Aruba are as friendly as they get. From the minute we got on the shuttle at the airport until we left, nothing but smiles. The room was as expected, we got a junior suite in the new building and it was spotless. In my opinion, when travelling, the most important part of the room is the bathroom and the bed. The bathroom was large (and the shower as well). The bed was somewhat hard (as others have said) but we actually prefer this to an over-used, soft mattress.
Keep in mind that this hotel has a Spanish influence. The rooms, the feel of the lobby, and the food all reflect this. If you are looking for North American style in every way, you may be disappointed. The hotel was clean as a whistle. I can’t even say I saw a spot of mould, a crack in the wall, or even a cobweb anywhere on the premises. The beach was second to none and we had no problem securing chairs on the beach before breakfast. The food in the restaurants and buffets was quite good with a large variety to satisfy eveybody. The only negative food experience was the Japanese restaurant but coming from a multicultural world-class city, we are used to fantastic Japanese cuisine. If you are completely new to the experience, you may actually enjoy it.

The only negative comments are that the sea is actually warmer than the pool (yet it was still refreshing), it’s not a resort for children, and the slot machines in the on-site casino are the tightest we have ever seen. However, there are many other casinos within walking distance and the one next door at the Radisson had a poker room. There is really no nightly entertainment but we had dinner at 9pm each night and then hit the casinos. So we didn’t need it.

As for the theft, maybe it was a problem in the past but when travelling, it pays to be smart. The ones that originally complained were from a wedding party. They were targeted and would have been targeted anywhere. Don’t wear expensive jewellery. Don’t bring your $2,000 camera and leave it lying around the room, don’t flash a bankroll with thousands of dollars or you are asking for trouble…anywhere in the world. Bring a lock for your laptop and fasten it to the towel bar in the bathroom. Lock everything else in the safe and you are good to go.

The area is beautiful, the boardwalk (from the breakwall to the Holiday Inn way up the beach) is great, and make sure you rent a jeep and see the island as it is absolutely gorgeous. We would go to this resort again in a heartbeat and left with nothing but great memories, tanned bodies, and relaxed souls. It was a fantastic week.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank TorontoCardplayer
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
#12 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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