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“I will say this was a "10 Star" resort all the way.”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #17 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 3, 2011

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.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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4  Thank deflep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 2, 2011

Spent a few days there over the christmas vacation. Prices were high but expected during Christmas week. The staff bent over backwards to help stranded guests during the blizzard in New York (december 26th). The hotel manager ( cant remmeber her name). was amazing and helpful as were the rest of the crew at the reception area,

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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Thank healthmate13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2011

We stayed from Jan. 22nd -Jan. 30th to celebrate our 31st anniversary. We are a young late 40's early 50's couple. This was our 7th all inclusive trip to the caribbean. All other all inclusives we've stayed at we're rated 5 star. So this being rated a 4 star ( Aruba doesn't have a 5 star all inclusive) and the crazy reviews made us concerned.

I will touch on subjects that I was concerned about before our stay, and give an objective review.

weather: Awesome! All 9 days. Pleasant, sunny with a nice breeze.

Airport: Very easy to navigate and no solicitation of tours or time shares to worry about.

Beds: We like a firm bed but they are VERY firm!

Water: safe to drink all over the island right from the faucet and tastes great.

Food: By far better than all the 5 stars we've stayed. We are very picky eaters.

Gym: air conditioned, small, outdated but useable. cardio has 3 tredmills, 2 elipticals, and 3 bikes looking out to pool. No music or tv bring Ipod. Weights section has old Life Fitness machines free weights and 2 tvs. water is available and wash clothes to wipe sweat. There is a wide path outside between pool and beach to run/walk. There is a nice breeze and is a good option. Mosquitos are bad in morning/ evening so wear bug spray.

Pool bar: Service is great! Will make it the way you want it! You want more alcohol ask for extra or ask for shots to add to the drink. They happily will accomodate. Look for Diego at the bar and ask for a Diego special. Yum!!!

Pool service: We were served right in our loungers all day, every day. Brayden and Valentina give great service. They asked us 20- 30 times a day at least, if we needed anything. We did throw in an occasional $1 tip. It was appreciated, not expected.

Pool towels: reviews said they couldn't get more than 1 towel each???No problem with as many as you want. We had 2 each a day and some people had 3 each.

Pool Umbrellas: Useless! Do not offer ANY shade. We set ourselves up by the Nautilus restaurant daily in the shade and it was by far the coolest place to be. Actually a little chilly at times.

Pool restaurant: (Nautilus): No more bird or fly problems. They have a bird squaking machine to scare them off and fans pointed at the food to keep flys off. Also plastic coverings.

Pool Activities: FUN! They start at 11am daily with water aerobics and beach volleyball. They set up left of the pool bar when facing the ocean, if you want to be near them. They do not pressure you to participate. Love that! The crazy games are usually a fun hard task to do but not impossible and the winner gets a prize. Other activities offered throughout the day are bocce ball, zumba class, bingo, Jenga, water polo, dance class etc... A shout out from B & G to Miguel, Comilo, David and Juan. You guys work hard at making it interesting and fun!

nightly entertainment: Located in lobby bar area. We went to every show and they are about the same as any other all inclusive. They have a limbo guy who gets pretty amazing about 1/2 way through the show. The violinist is geat! Most people young and old we're surprised from the first song. Carribbean night has some beautiful costumes!

Conclusion: Don't be afraid of the reviews. Go with a good attitude. We would rate it, 1 being the best, number 6 of the 7 all inclusives we have stayed. This being said. ALL of the 7 we have stayed were really good. After staying at all 5 star places prior to this trip. And paying less to do so. We can see the difference between a 4 star and 5.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank traderbm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2011

Hi, FEB 4 /2011
I just got back from there... do not go there.
I believe this... the maid tossed a box with my stuff in it and they did nothing about it. They pretend to help you but really they are waiting for you to leave.
I left the first message with front desk, I was told the next person on this shift will call me in 30 min, well they did not. I called 1.5 hours later and the new person did not know anything about this. So I explained again, they sent the housekeeper supervisor, she told me she is the supervisor and that is the only thing she could say in english. So next morning I went down to the lobby, hoping they would have found my stuff and the morning shift knew nothing of this incident. It would have been better for them to apologize, and simply state that I would not retrieve my things. I would have been ok with that, and I would have not wasted my time.

other prodlems

1 the hotel is not clean
2 no fan in the bathroom
3 bring your own conditioner, their bottle says shampoo/with conditioner but really it is only shampoo. When I finally purchased the conditioner they stopped providing me with the shampoo.
4 the sheets had URINE STAINS size of a fist , clearly visible
5 water did not drain from tub, so you stood in water while showering
6 no soap dish
7 no place to hang your hang your wet towel.. basic thing in a 5 star
8 rooms smell of smoke
9 room key did not work three times
10 you need to book a restaurant at 8:00 in the main lobby, you can't call to reserve, and you can't book for the whole week. You need to get up in the morning to do this, how is this 5 star service?
11 If you do not want to burn at the beach and need an umbrella you need to get up before 7:00 am to reserve a spot.
12 do not lock the bathroom door, one of the quests could not open it, and had to struggle to get out.
13 the rooms you see on the RIU website is not what we get. We were in the timeshare section and the rooms were old. For sure not a 5 star experience.
14 DO NOT USE THE SAFE, we put a blackberry into it and when we returned the safe was open. They had the power go off and since they are electronic they open.

Best Advice: book a Marriot Marina Tower ( has cleaner private beach, they even come to you to serve you drinks as you are tanning) or the HYATT.


This is not a 5 star if you are travelling in Canada or the US. The only thing that was decent was the food especially Krystal restaurant, if that would not be the case they would be out of business. Not a Ritz for sure or even a marriot. I have been at the marriot last year no complaints. I would definitly go to Aruba, but not to the RIU, or any Riu for that matter. This hotel is an insult to this beautiful Island.
Mer

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Meri050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2011

My husband and I honeymooned at the Riu Palacei the first week of May 2010. The resort was absolutely beautiful and the weather was great. We were promised something special because it was our honeymoon, but we never received anything. There were three specialty restaurants (Italian, Steakhouse and Japanese) that you could make reservations to eat at. The dinner reservations were at 6pm or 9pm at each restaurant. That was great for us because it allowed time to eat at two restaurants in one night. We loved the Italian restaurant and the Krystal steakhouse restaurant. We never tried the Japanese restaurant. There are two other eateries at the resort, the Nautilus and the main dining hall don't require reservations. There was a minibar in our room that had vodka, gin, rum, beer, water and soda. Room service was ok, there's a limited menu, but if you just want a snack, there is a 24 hour snack bar. It had sandwiches, nachoes, hot dogs, popcorn and other snack food. The swim-up bar was sooooo nice. The water wasn't too cold and the frozen drinks are awesome. So, here's the bad part, the casino was really smokey and it was a rip-off. The night life at the hotel closes down kind of early overall and before we left, we were missing a $100 bill and a pair of diamond stud earrings. I can't prove that it was stolen, but it certainly wasn't were I left it. We didn't know that the earrings and money were absolutely stolen until we returned to the states and unpacked. We tried to file a claim with the travel insurance that we purchased but they said that you have to file your claim while you're still in Aruba. So, we paid for travel insurance (through our homeowners insurance) that was useless and we told the hotel and they just told us to call the Aruban police. We called the police and they said that we had to come there to file a report! Unbelievable. So, all in all, the resort was very nice, clean, modern and had beautiful views. Skip any couples body massages and save your $250. The massage was ok at best. Aside from forgetting to lock up a pair of earrings and the fact that we were missing a $100 bill that was left on the dresser, our experience was good. I would go back in a heartbeat. Just make sure that you always use the safe in the room, steer clear of the massage parlor and don't be disappointed if you lose a little money in the casino. After reading reviews before we went there and meeting other vacationers while we were there, we know that we chose the best all inclusive resport for couples. It's not very child friendly and that's what we were looking for. It was very romantic.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank destinationlove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2011

Riu was ok, but I travel a lot and it was no ritz or even Marriott.

Pro
Great location
Good breakfast
Great pool/beach
Wifi free in the lobby
24 hr food

Cons
Very damp rooms
Smokey
Average food
Spa was small
Wifi got really slow in the late eve.

If you value quantity over quality the riu is ok...
Service was spotty

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank JJthebutcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2011

We stayed at the Riu Palace btwn Nov 21-28

Rooms: very spacious, could use some deep cleaning as there was dust accumulated on the vents. Mini bar was stocked daily with plenty of water and drinks. Maid service was very good. Towels were changed twice a day with turndown service.

Beach: Riu Palace has one of the best spots on the strip for beach space. Most other resorts have a narrower strip of beach. The piers were an eye sore and obstructed one's panoramic view. We found that one needs to claim a spot in the morning before 7: 00 am as all the prime palapas are claimed suspiciously early in the morning. There are plenty of chairs available if you enjoy tanning all day under the hot sun. The ocean water was not clear and quite merky. This could be attributed to the wind, rough waters and constant stirring of the ocean. We have been to several nicer beaches with crystal clear tourquoise water. Perhaps one could blame the rainy season (November & December). We were bitten by some sand bugs due to the rain and some of the palapas were covered in ants. So bring some insect repellant.

Food: The buffet was average to above average, but did get somewhat repetative as most all-inclusives do. We did not eat at the restaurant close to the beach as there were way too many birds flying around and pecking at the food.The a la carte restaurants we quite nice. We tried them all and went to the Krystal Restaurant twice. We never had an issue booking a reservation. Other TA reviewers may claim that they had an issue with reservations, but there were plently of reservations available at all restaurants at any time well past 9am. I liked that we were not limited to one restaurant and could go multiple times to the same restaturant of your choice. We had the steak and lamb; both were well cooked, seasoned and very tasty.

General: Bus stop was a short walk infront of the Westin Hotel. Buses came every 15mins. The cost per trip was $0.70 USD (one way). Conveniently, the last stop is at the bus terminal located downtown, where all the shopping is. Approx. time to get to downtown was 15mins.

Entertainment: We did not catch the nightly shows. So we cannot comment on the quality. But the stage did look extremely small.

Walkways between the hotels were great for taking nightly walks and were very safe.

Final Comments: The down side of Aruba is that it does not have any "WOW" factor. It is very Americanized with Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Burger King etc. all around town. We did not sense a very carribean island or Arubian cultural experience. The weather was regrettably inconsistent and rained the day we arrived and departed. However, we heard the week prior was even worse, weather wise.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Live2Travel23
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
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 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: $423 - $857 (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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