Just got back from staying at the Riu in Aruba. Here are my thoughts...
Rooms - Junior suite was huge, old TV, well stocked mini bar. Like others have said, the bed is hard but I prefer a firmer bed so this wasn't a big deal. The room smelled mildewy so you had to keep the A/C and fan on all the time. If you're a light sleeper and they put you in one of the rooms on the Westin side of the building, ask to be moved. What you'll see out your window is Westin's loading dock, which they use at all ours of the night. No WiFi in the room! Who doesn't have wifi in the rooms anymore? You'll see lots of people on laptops/smartphones hanging out in the lobby - seemingly the only place you can get free wifi.
Food - Buffet was usually pretty good but had pretty much the same food every day. The specialty restaurants were hit or miss - which is weird since they all use the same kitchen/chefs. We thought the Italian restaurant had the best food overall - all 4 courses were tasty. The Steak House had great steak but the starters and dessert were poorly prepared and bland. The Japanese restaurant was a disaster. The 'sushi' rice was undercooked and over-seasoned and they didn't serve any raw fish - smoked salmon - yuck. The appetizers all had under-seasoned broths, veggies. The main dishes were either overcooked seafood/chicken or bland beef. We ended up going to the buffet after eating here because we ate so little of our food at the restaurant - and we weren't the only ones that did this.
Pool/Beach - We were there during a really busy week but even so with just a little searching we were always able to find a recliner either by the beach or the pool. People 'save' recliners with a towel which was really annoying, especially when they had no intention of actually using them - we sat next to unused 'saved' recliners almost every day. They really need to enforce their 'no saving' policy. Pool was huge though, never crowded. The beach was pretty crowded but we were always able to find a place to lay out.
We went on one of the Jeep Tours - lots of fun and you pretty much get to see the entire island, which is beautiful. We also did a deep sea fishing tour which was kind of a mess - really rough seas and stormy weather led to a shortened trip and no fish. :(
Overall we had a great time in Aruba despite the hotel downsides. The people were amazing, the island is beautiful, the weather was perfect. I'd love to go back to Aruba but won't stay at the Riu again.
- 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