Let me start by saying, those who have issues with this place, better get their head checked. Before getting into the rating of this resort, I will say this was a “10 Star” resort all the way.
I won’t talk about flight or airport as this has nothing to do with the resort.
Arrival at Resort: As per any big resort, our room was not ready, so I left the luggage, and headed out to the beach as a bathing suit was packed in the carry-on. They did have a nice refreshing cocktail ready for though.
The Beach: Fantastic. Beautiful. Clean. Not Private. Yes you read right, all beaches are Public. So no beach bar, but the pool bar was a minute away. Watch the blowing sand on the beach as it can mess up your drinks. You do get the odd person trying to solicit you to buy their product, but NO thanks goes a long way here. Keep in mind, Palapas are free, Umbrella’s are not. The beach people charge $25/day. Get there early to reserve one.
The Pool: Great, large, refreshing, cleaned daily, swim up bar as well with plenty of seats in the water including 16 pool loungers. Again set your alarm for 7 am, get down there, reserve the chairs and then go back to bed.
The Rooms: Big and if you get the Junior Suite, partial ocean view, it’s better. Tile flooring, cleaner and the view, incredible. The bed in the room was fantastic. Not as hard as people were saying. I found the room damp, in that when I went to put on a nice golf shirt at night, it felt wet. Definitely keep the air on. I did not as it got really cold at night in the room. I just kept the fan on all night. In room safe, in room bar with 4 different kinds of spirits including Smirnoff vodka and your fridge is restocked daily with water, sparkling water, coke, diet coke, sprite and beer.
The Food: There are 2 buffet restaurants, the main one and the beach, or Nautilus one. Selection is great and changes daily, however I found the food bland. They do this on purpose so as to appease all. This is easily remedied by adding the many sauces they offer or salt and pepper. However, the food was plentiful. There are 4 A-la-carte restaurants, but tried only the Italian and the Steak house. The Italian was fantastic and the food was great and service better. The Steak is actually the Nautilus converted into the steak house at night. Get the surf and turf and you won’t be disappointed with the flavour and or portion. There really were no line-up’s to complain about once you make reservations. There are 2 sittings, 6:30 & 9.
The Sport Bar: Keep this in mind if you get the munchies or need a fix between meals. It’s open 24 hours a day and is located inside the lobby bar to the left. They have fresh sandwiches daily, plus hot dogs, nachos and cheese, popcorn and a bar. Plus video games and tv’s to watch the game.
The Bar’s: Excellent again and they don’t skimp on the amount of liquor they use. There are 4 bars to choose from. My favourite was the pool bar. Get Jessica to make you a Mojito and you’ll feel nice all over. Or even try the Batide de Coco, yummy and strong.
They offer local spirits, as well as Smirnoff, Belvedere, Johnny Walker, CC, Beefeater. They do not skimp as I said earlier when it comes to the amounts used.
The People: Fantastic even if you don’t tip. Tips are welcome but not required. Luis in the main buffet restaurant is very, very helpful. Even talked me into having 4 Mimosas’ one morning. Every where you went in the resort, you saw a smiling face and a welcome hello.
Around the resort: Very North American, in that there is McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins and the list goes on. Lot’s of carts selling authentic Aruban items. I found they used the excuse that this was not their cart so they cannot negotiate on prices. Take the bus downtown for $2.40 return and the ride ends at the bus terminal across from the ferry terminal. Great stores there like Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Polo, Gucci, but keep in mind everything is imported in, so the prices are not cheaper here, but the selection is better.
Overall, this is a very relaxed island and the resort seems to be very easy going. I say “seems”, because I had no issues and I did not hear of anyone else having issues. Met 2 couples from my plane before, during and after the trip, and they could not rave enough about the resort. If there is something negative to say about this resort, it would be that they need a little store/shop just in case you need something. I needed Visine one day for my teary eyes, I had to go searching all around the area, only to find it in this little shop in the next door resort. Keep in mind to pack plenty of SUNSCREEN. If you run out, there’s plenty around, but be prepared to pay upwards of $19 US for a SPF 30 sunscreen. Even another resort the other way had a fantastic jewellery, clothing and every day needs store. I actually ended up buying several souvenirs from this store in the nearby resort.
However, things being what they are, I would rate this resort a resounding 10. I would come back not just to this island but to the resort for sure.
- 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