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“Rui Aruba was fantastic”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 17, 2007

Didn't know anything about the resort except for the fact that it was new. Figured that there may be some kinks, less lush vegetation but a beautiful clean resort-and we were right.

We were there with a large group consisting of both experienced and rookie travelers. All agreed that the Riu was beautiful. All agreed that the food was good but not mind-blowing. Everyone, save one, that I asked, agreed that the beds were hard-but that they were sleeping well. We had a true king sized bed-and a beautiful view of the sun setting over the ocean every night.

The service was relaxed and friendly, and I thought, quite excellent. Staff went out of their way to make sure you had a great time and got whatever crazy cocktail you desired. The food was great-although I never make it to the reservation dining rooms due to the effort required...lining up at 8:30 am to make a dinner reso didn't seem like my idea of relaxing or fun-but the buffets were great any how. Room service, not good or quick, but there's usually one of the dining rooms open.

The pool area was beautiful-the pool bar had a strong odor the first few days we were there, but they had someone in to service it on the 4th day and then it was much better! The first night, I believe they were having a problem with air filtration in the lobby, but after that it wasn't a problem. Elevators were a bit dicey at times, but again, saw the repairmen there too. So, yes, a few opening glitches, but they were attended to very quickly.

The only real issue is the cost of making a phone call from you room. Highway robbery! -About $100 U.S. for a 10 min phone call-and the cost is not posted anywhere. The desk clerk told me I could have made my multiple calls for less that $10 total had I left the resort and purchased a phone card. Watch out for that!


The casino was good fun but keep in mind, it's operated separately, so if you aren't gambling, you will have to pay for drinks. There isn't a nightclub or disco at this location, and that was a definite drawback if you were there for a high-energy vacation, but I suspect, quite lovely for the large percentage of guests that were there on their honeymoons. The tours offered were good value, in my opinion.

I would go again and stay at the Riu in an instant.

  • Stayed: August 2007
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22  Thank calgarybelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,427 - 4,433 of 6,325 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2007

Beach:
The beach is great athough it is very windy.Beach towels and chairs are provided.There are little straw umbrella type thing to shade from sun.The water is nice.It is not clear enough to snorkle though and there are no fish really.The water is very calm which is nice. But the beach really was great!
Pool:
The pool had an infinity pool going into a normal pool.In the lower pool there were chairs to lay on.
Bars:
The drinks at bars were good you can get alchoholic drinks and sodas.You can also get non-alchoholic drinks.There also was a pool.
Entertainment:
There is a sports bar with drinks,popcorn,chips,ping-pong,pool,arcade games,fuseball, hot dogs,subs,and sandwiches.It was setup with sports posters and jerseys on the walls.There is beach volleyball on the beach and dancing by the pool.The only thing bad is at night the only thing to do is go to the sports bar and watch singers which when we were there were terrible.But it's good.
Food:
The food was great!You can make reservations for asian,italian,gourmet,and japanese restaurants for dinner.Or you can eat at the buffet which is really good there are lots of choices.At breakfast you eat at the buffet and there are lots of things eggs,omelets,french toast,pancakes,waffle,and meats.At lunch you eat at the buffet and they have steak,chicken wings,pasta,hot dogs, french fries.Desserts for all meals and basically anything you want to eat was there!

Rooms:The rooms were very clean.Nice bathrooms.there is also a tv,mini fridge with beer,soda,and water.They also have other alcoholic drinks in the room.They have nice balconies.Room service is available.Maids clean rooms every day they are very clean rooms.

Other:
There is a pathway you can walk up the beach to other hotels and visit shops.The hotel is so beautiful.We met a lot of good friends and the staff is so nice

This a great all around all inclusive hotel and I would recommend it for anybody of all ages.The weather is great and there are only a few drizzles here and there.Riu Palace Aruba is great!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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31  Thank beachlovas94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2007

The Riu Palace in Aruba was fantastic. My wife and I
spent our 15th year anniversary there from September
6th through the 11th. The people working at the Riu
were great. Everyone was so helpful. I knew it was
going to be a great experience when a lady brought
drinks to us as we were checking in.

Aruba was beautiful. Plenty of sun and trade winds
made for relaxing days at the beach. A bit of advice,
get down to the beach by 7:30 AM to score your palm
shelter. It’s nice to get out of the sun and listen
to the wind blow through the palms hanging down from
your shelter.

You’ll notice that some people have complained about
the ongoing construction, winds and service. There’s
always going to be people out there that you can not
please – “the water’s to wet, the sand is too sandy or
the wind is too windy”. What I recommend, have
another Miami Vice with rum by the pool bar and enjoy
what you don’t have back at home.

Other quick tips:
- If you take the De Palm jeep tour – bring $1 so that
you can use the restrooms at the “fallen” natural
bridge site. It’s better than going behind the
cactus.

- On the jeep tour – build your own rock formation and
make a wish (free).

- Use sunscreen always.

- Shops downtown are closed on Sundays

- Use a travel agent – the prices are usually the
same, but they provide a lot more service and
information than you can get from the net.

Remember, Aruba is “One Happy Insland”!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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23  Thank cryptmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2007

Our flight to Aruba was delayed by 20 hours due to hurricane Felix. Initially I was really disappointed since I thought it was a definite omen of things to come.

When our we finally arrived in Aruba at 7am, and after taking a short ride to the hotel, we were greeted with friendly faces who told us not to worry about unloading our luggage, instead, they insisted that we head on down to the buffet to get something to eat.

Once finished, our luggage was waiting for us to be picked up along with our room keys and towel cards.

Upon entering our room, we were pleasantly surprised that the room was very spacious and clean (there’s even an in room bar).

Later on the day when we noticed that the shower / shampoo gel which was supplied by the hotel had run out, we called the front desk to ask them to bring more. Based on our past experience, we were not very hopeful that we would even get a refill unless we went to get it ourselves. But we were proven wrong, a couple of hours after making our initial call, we got a call from the front desk, they said they were following up on our request for the shower / shampoo gel. When we said it hadn’t arrived yet they said not to worry, and that they would ensure that we got what we needed; sure enough, 20 minutes later house keeping brought up a new bottle…

The food was great both buffet restaurants had a large variety of food selection. (they have Champaign available for breakfast, caviar some nights at dinner and a decent selection of cheeses to choose from) In addition, they have room service available from 11am – 11pm.

The a la cart restaurants were a hit and miss. We really liked the Gourmet Restaurant (Kystal) and the Steak house (Natulius), the other two were not so good.

The pools were clean and relaxing and the swim up bar was an added bonus. (The only disadvantage about being in the pool is when the wind blows, the water will occasionally splash you in the face ~ since it is a very breezy island… anyone who has been there or will go there will know what I mean).

The beach was also very nice. The ocean was nice and calm, and if you are lucky, you might get to catch a glimpse of little fishes swimming around you; but beware of the sand, it’s a little bit more course than what most people may be used to… but I was told it isn’t normally like that but it just so happen to be the after effects of the hurricane that barely missed the Island.

The only two complaints I had about the resort was that the king bed is actually two doubles pushed together. Since the floors are not carpeted the wheels at the bottom of the bed(s) kept sliding and if you happen to be attempting to move closer to a loved on the other side of the bed in a zombie like state, just be careful you don’t fall in between. The other thing that needs to be improved on is the landscaping around the resort. There is not a lot of vegetation within the resort (I guess this is the case since it recently opened) but, we did see them working on it daily when we were there.

Personally, I don’t think my complaints would really deter anyone from going, and to be truthful, those are only minor issues.

I had a great time at the Riu in Aruba. I would definitely recommend going there. I was happy and well fed the whole time I was there… Hey! I even gained 7 pounds (Yikes!)… it must have been all those lobsters, shrimps and beef tenderloins.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank JADALL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2007

We stayed at the Riu from 9/2 - 9/9. I was very worried that we wouldn't make it to Aruba with the hurricane passing north of the island. We took off anyway even though while I was sitting in Newark airport they announced on CNN that Aruba had shut it's airport. Anyway we finally arrived and got through the airport very quickly. Alot of flights were cancelled so there weren't many people in the airport. We found DePalm tours and took the bus to our hotel.

Pulling up to the Riu the building is quite impressive and much larger than the surrounding hotels. We checked in easily with the entire process taking 10 minutes tops. They provide stickers at check in for you to put on all of your luggage with your room number for the bellman. Our luggage was actually waiting for us when we got to our room because I initially went to the wrong tower.

We were in Building B --which is the new building. To the left when leaving the lobby. Our room was a jr. suite. I did not pay extra for ocean view but we were given a room with on the 6th floor with a great view of the pool and the beach/ocean. The room is nice. Large with marble and tile floors with steps down to a living room area with a couch and table. The balconies are french and they do not provide chairs out on them. Many people brought the chairs from the room onto their balconies. There is a ceiling fan over the bed which was great for sleeping at night. Be careful about leaving the balcony doors open. The air shuts off when the doors are open. We opened the balcony door when we first arrived and left it open for a while. We noticed condensation formed on everything from the humidity. This wasn't good with marble floors because this moisture made them slippery. The air conditioning worked great. I was actually freezing the first night so we had to adjust the temperature. The closet is huge. We had plenty of room and hangers to hang up everything and I packed alot of clothes. There is an iron and ironing board in the closet as well along with the safe. The mini-bar had 4 bottles of liquor: Bacardi Rum, Smirnoff Vodka, Jose Cuervo Tequila and Napoleon Brandy. The fridge was full of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7up, seltzer, bottled water and Balashi beer.
The bathroom is great. Double sinks and a large jetted tub and shower combination. The water pressure was always great and the water was always hot. We never ran out of hot water even if we both took long showers back to back.

The television was a basic tv not a flat screen and it had satellite tv with many stations. I was able to watch the NY news everyday as if I never left home. The beds were hard. This wasn't an exaggeration from previous reviews. And there weren't any king sized beds...there were 2 beds pushed together. Everyone I spoke to had the same issue with the beds. Luckily after being in the sun all day and having wine with dinner I never had a problem falling asleep.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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17  Thank iloveshoes13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2007

We returned last saturday from a weeks stay at Riu Palace Aruba. This was our second time in Aruba, last time we stayed at Renaissance hotel in Oranjestad.

Flight: flew comfort class with arke fly on the way to Aruba: one and a half hour delay in Amsterdam, but a relaxing and comfortabel flight (9 and a half hours). There was a huge line at the check in counter at schiphol, 2 hours. In order to skip this waiting on the way back, went to Aruba Airport 4 hours before take off. No line, but the Airport is being remoddeled, so there's absolutely nothing to do! Really boring. Had a stop over on the way back on Curacao. Security checks took forever!! But the flight itself was very good.

Check in at the Riu: booked a jr. suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. On arrival at the hotel we were told that there was a problem with these rooms so we got a normal jr. suite (they claimed that was the next best thing). This room was in Building A (main builiding) with a view on the wall of builiding B (720). Off course we didn't accept this, went back to the counter. They got another room for us: 536.

Room: Beautifull! Spottless. On the corner of building B so we had a fantastic view over palm Beach and the pool. Large balcony with chairs, large jacuzzi in the middle of the room, a living area, the bed was on a plateau so you had a sea view from the bed, a big shower and bathroom and a walkin closet. This was really fantastic! Minibar isn't really that diverse but enough.

Food: roomservice took very long, but once it got there it was fine. The breakfast buffet at Don Nicolas was great. Lots of variety, virtually no lines, enough tables (only the day that hurricane Felix came by it was crowded). The reservation system did'nt function for us. I don't want to stand in line for an hour on my vacation to reserve a restaurant. Did that once and ate at the Japanese Restaurant. Was really nice. The buffet at night was okay too. Lots of choices and one evening they had a mexican theme. Lunch we ate at the Nautilus. No complaints there eather. We had diner in Oranjestad at Rumba, very nice, although we were the only ones!

Drinks: great! We didn't drink al lot of cocktails at the pool, stayed with pop etc. There was a guy bringing drinks all day long. We were a little concerned about drunk people with all the free drinks but I didn't see any annoying drunks! At night we went to the Bon Bini Bar several time, bartenders very friendly, cocktails very good, beers cold, snacks we got from the sports bar. Went to Oranjestad also, Mambo jambo, Paddock very recommendable.

Pool: watertemperature is nice. We mostly went to the high pool, because it was more quiet. The low pool has less water, so better for children en drinking cocktails.

Wind: We were surprised by hurricane Felix on the second day, and after that the wind was pretty strong. Saw two parasols being blown away, but still very nice to lie by the pool. Got a letter from the hotel the evening before Felix hit Aruba that we should stay inside during the storm. All the sunbeds were fastened. The new garden (still has to grow a lot) was totally flooded, but they restored it the next couple of days. Heard from some american guests there was a lot of disturbance about their flight back the day of the storm (Riu had no correct information).

Beach: I was up pretty early each day, sometimes at 7. At that time a lot of the palapas on the beach were reserved. Beach is fantastic, water luke warm and beautifull. It's really nice to walk the beach to the Mariott!!

Entertainment: during the day various games at the pool and the beach (beachvolly, olympics, aquagym, games). The guy from Mauritius (Paparazzi!! Drinkie drinkie!) was really funny. At night in the bar there was a singer and a keyboard player. Every day the same. One evening there was a dancing show, was okay.

Overall: we had a fantastic week, mostly because we knew the hotel was new and did expect some flaws. We weren't bothered by them. Heard a lot of people complain though. I think thats a waste of a good vacation. The people at the Riu work very very hard. The grounds are spottless. Most of them were very friendly. For the price we spent (euro 1650 inclusive airfare for 9 days) we thought it was fine. They said the prices in november will go up by 30-40%. By then they should have worked out the flaws.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
18  Thank lottiefromholland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2007

This was our first trip (Aug 26 - Sept 2) to Aruba and a surprise birthday present for my wife. We travel south several times a year usually to escape the Canadian winters. I chose the Riu so that this trip would be memorable.

Apon arrival at the airport we were met by our tour rep, loaded onto a coachline bus and made ready for our 15 minute trip to the resort. Comfortable and efficient.

Check in was a little slow due to rooms not being ready. It's always nice to arrive, check in and go straight to your room. Once there and settled in your holiday begins.

Our first room was in the older renovated building, we immediately requested a room in one of the newer buildings and were moved the following morning. Much much nicer. The older building is going to be a constant problem for the hotel management, it is definitely not at the same 5+ star level as the two newer buildings.

The food and service in the buffet, in our opinion, was first class, every meal every day. We also ate at the Japanese restuarant but did not want to stand in line every morning to make reservations, especially when the buffet was so good.

Both the pool and the beach are fine. We spent most of our time at the pool but made frequent trips down to the ocean for a quick dip and change of scenery. There is no decent snorkelling in front of the resort.

For a change of pace we rented a car. This can be done right in the main lobby - I think it was $30.00 US for the day plus gas, very inexpensive. We drove down to Baby Beach for the snorkelling. I was able to get some great underwater shots. We then stopped at Charlies Bar, for food and drinks. Charlies is just one of those places that you have to stop at to say that you have been there. We continued up the north side of the island to see the natural bridge, some old ruins, take some pictures, and made our way back to the top of the island to the lighthouse. From the lighthouse it's just a short drive back to the hotel. All and all time and money well spent. Do not hesitate to get out and see the other parts of the island, the countryside is covered in cactus, and is quite beautiful.

It's very hard for one resort to fill all of your needs and desires. Each resort is unique in it's location and offerings. If you decide to visit the Riu, go and enjoy your holiday. On the whole the management and staff all work very hard every day to ensure that you do just that.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
28  Thank Heat-C-ker
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:
#6 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: $419 - $803 (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):
> * 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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