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“RIU Bahamas - 2nd time better”

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #13 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
60 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“RIU Bahamas - 2nd time better”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

This was my second time back which I have planned on the first trip never to stay again, but we went with 5 couples and they chose destination and hotel since it was remodeled. Well the hotel rooms were definately updated since I last visited. We were in room 1400 which we loved even though it did not have a great view or balcony but our room was more spacious that the others and it had a walk in shower and also a tub shower which the others only had a small shower. In most of the rooms you could only watch tv in your bed but in 1400 our drawers were in the center and you could rotate the tv to watch from bed or sofa if you prefer. I definately thought the beds were very comfortable. I thought all the food was great but my favorite was the steak house. We spent most of the day on the beach and say the vendors do get annoying, but sometimes you just have to have fun with it. We brought large cups since they do not have a bar on the beach and the cups they provide are small. For an all - inclusive they do not offer any beach/non- motorized water sports as others and the entertainment was limited, unlike other all inclusives. If you want to walk around Atlantis and explore you can do that only in the evening or before 9 or you will be escorted off the property.

Room Tip: Go with room 1400 if you are not particular about seeing the beach much roomier and two showers.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Happy140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary and were absolutely delighted with everything about the hotel, with the exception of being on the 14th (top) floor. Don't ask for the top floor if you like to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the view. It is the only floor that has a high cement wall. Another annoying fact of being on the 14th floor was that it was serviced by only one elevator, resulting in some long waits!

Very comfortable beds, fantastic food at all the restaurants, nightly entertainment was enjoyable and the pool area and bars were all excellent. The staff were exceptional.

The beach. Great beach, calm water. Didn't like having to hire a beach umbrella and also having to put up with annoying para-sailing and jet ski men trying to sell rides etc. Take a walk along the beach to the right of the resort and it is less crowded. No lounge chairs and umbrellas, but no people side by side like sardines either!

Casino across the road and Atlantis next door. Town is a short taxi ride away. Small shopping mall within walking distance.

All in all a great vacation spot. We will definitely go back.

Room Tip: Don't get a room on the top (14th) floor if you like to sit on the balcony and enjoy the view! I...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deb H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elliot Lake, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Just returned from the Riu in Bahamas and had a excellent time. If you are looking for a spralling tropical resort property, this place is not for you. It is an all inclusive hotel, 1 building, couple buffet restaurants and a few al la carte restaurant, bars, stores, spa and gym, all in 1 building and a Beautiful beach! Bahamas and even more so Paradise Island is not a inexpensive place so the Riu is excellent value for your money. If you are looking for negative things you will find them, but you can find them anywhere. This place may be not as nice as some of the Riu Palaces out there but still very nice. Very nice staff throughout the complex, hard working and friendly. Food was excelent, drinks were very good. Only problem I would like to point out in case the Riu management reads these is the pool maintenance is very much lacking, first time I see such a dirty pool, please correct this. The rest of the maintenace at the resort appears to be getting done and it is kept very clean, housekeeping always cleaning. We were a large group and the staff accomodated us very well. Thanx Riu staff

Room Tip: East side more private, nice views except when you look down to the roofs below, also there are 2 la...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Don G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas, texas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

I just returned from Paradise Island yesterday (4-18-13). I stayed at the Riu for 5 days, 4 nights. While this isn't the prettiest tropical city that I've ever visited, I have to say the room was great, the view was fabulous, and the food was fanastic. But more than any of those things, the staff (particularly in the dining hall), were the friendliest people that I have ever met. If I went back for any reason, it would be for the staff. If you ever get a chance to go, ask for Terence and Lyndon. They will make you feel like family. Our room was well taken care of and everyone greeted you, from the person cleaning the floors to the person cooking the meals. Americans could learn a few things from them. All inclusive was certainly the way to go. We were very happy with the meals which were delicious and plentiful. And yes the alcohol is part of the all inclusive package as well. If you go , please be kind to the staff in return, it is their country and although they are making their living from your visit, they are human (happy humans) who aren't just servants. They want to make you happy, try to do the same for them. Tips are nice.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank scaler2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johnston, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

Arrived April 8th stayed thru April 14th.Front desk staff very helpful at all times.Every bartender needs training on how to treat guest thier skill are bad,all their looking for is tips they don't pay attention to what they are doing.The womens that clean the rooms are very slow.The buffet is excellent for breakfast and the small dinning room has a great lunch.The only good restraunt is the Sir Alexander the other three ???The beach is tough with all the locals selling thier junk and the locals renting jet ski's are a pain.The pool is fine.The plumbing needs work.This is not a 4 star hotel I'll give it a 2.5 rating.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

The Riu Palace on Paradise Island is a great little beach resort. With the exception of Atlantis (next door) which is probably big enough to merit its own time zone, most resorts on Paradise Island are small. The Riu is no exception.

The Hotel

The hotel itself is on a small footprint has 14 floors (if I recall correctly. The lobby is clean and has an old world charm about it. Some complain that the resort is run down. I could not disagree more. While it is clearly not a new facility, I found it to be very clean and well maintained. There are a number of dining options however. I will address the food below, but I will say here that it doesn't take long at all to find your way around.

The Beach

The smallness of the hotel carries over to the beach. The water is an amazing aqua blue and the waves are gentile. But the amount of available beach is small. Although the beach is next door to a public beach, getting chairs is never a problem. Hotel staff are positioned there to make sure you have a seat. They stack them up for you and you just tell them where you want them. I do agree with the other reviewers who complained about the jet ski rental people. They are everywhere. Again, I think this is because of proximity to the public beach -- not just any public beach, but the beach which cruise ships apparently sell excursions to. How crowded the beach is depends on how many cruise ships are docked that day.

The Pool

Like everything else, the pool area is not large, but seating is ample and the pool bar is well stocked. Like many beach resorts there is a swim-up pool bar which was almost always busy. They would occasionally have activities around the pool, like music and water aerobics, but I did not find them to overdo it -- like some places do. I found the pool area to be very relaxing, and certainly much quieter than the beach.

The Rooms

One of my favorite things about the rooms is that they all have great ocean views. I've been to some resorts that claim to have rooms with ocean views. Unless you pay out the nose, you'll end up getting a room which requires you to lean over your balcony and employ a pair of binoculars to see the water. No so at the Riu. All rooms have a great view. This becomes a benefit of the small footprint of the property -- everything is close to the water. In fact, I don't think I've ever had such a great ocean view from a standard room.

The room was ample, but not luxurious. There was a slight moldy smell in the room, probably due to the air conditioner. I did not find this alarming as this is quite common in Caribbean resort rooms. The room came with a mini fridge stocked with water, soda and beer and a liquor dispenser -- all included in the price of the room. Having the liquor dispenser was kind of cool, except I couldn't help but wonder why one of the four offered liquors was brandy. I mean, who drinks brandy? (This criticism is brought to you by a scotch drinker).

As a final note on the room, we found the beds very comfortable. All-inclusives in the Caribbean are sometimes known for hard, uncomfortable beds. Our bed was very nice and we slept like rocks.

The Food

I was surprised to see any negative reviews about the food here. I was with a group of about 20 and the one thing everyone agreed on was how good the food was. While it was not always displayed in the a fancy gourmet manner, it was very tasty. In fact, the dinner I had in the Japanese restaurant was one of the best dishes I've had in a long time. (I had the veal).

Even the buffets had great food options which never failed to satisfy. The food offerings did appear to be more appealing to the American palette. Perhaps the negative reviewers were from other countries and American friendly food did not suit them.

The Service

My opinion of the service was mostly good . . . mostly. There was a bartender at the pool who seemed grumpy that my friend next to me didn't get his order in quickly enough and that made the bartender prepare the same drink twice. Having unhappiness about that is one thing. Complaining to the customer is another. And then I had a problem at the front desk: I was trying to make special arrangements to celebrate by wedding anniversary. I very discretely made arrangements at the front desk during check and my wife didn't know. (I tried calling a week before arrival, but they wouldn't let me do that. I had to make arrangements in person).

Well nothing came to the room on our anniversary. I went to the front desk the next day and there was no evidence I had requested anything. Figuring that the day after is better than nothing, I ordered up a little more (figuring that more would be needed on the day after). They took so long to get it all figured out that my wife came walking up asking what I was up to. Surprise blown. We later enjoyed the champagne I paid for, but it was disappointing that a little surprise like that was so much effort.

Except for these two episodes, I was very pleased with the staff and service and found them to be very caring and conscientious. House cleaning were very diligent and the people at the front desk seemed to know who you were, even in the face of crowds. The other hotel staff more than made up for the two annoyances otherwise faced.

Location

Paradise Island is aptly named. The beach and ocean are beautiful and it is a short cab ride across the bridge to Nassau where there is great shopping. The Riu itself is literally next door to Atlantis. Everyone in my group agreed that being able to walk next door to Atlantis and seeing the sights and amazing display of what money could buy was exciting, but it was also nice to go back to our small little resort where the food and drinks were paid for!

Conclusion

If you're looking for a nice all-inclusive in Bahamas, Riu is a great choice. It is far superior to another Bahamian all-inclusive, Breezes (which I have previously reviewed). If you are looking for better all-inclusive options and are willing to go somewhere other than the Bahamas, you can probably find better options in Mexico or the Dominican Republic. But if the Bahamas is your destination, you really should consider Riu Palace as your destination.

Room Tip: If you like to watch the sun come up, get an even numbered room. If you want to see the pool from y...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Irish89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

My boyfriend and I visited in January and had a excellent trip. All inclusive and affordable. Our favorite part were the restaurants inside. You have to wake up in the morning and make your reservations but the restaurants are well worth it, the food at their restaurants was fabulous. The breakfast buffet was good and have a huge selection. The lunch buffet was alright. The nightly entertainment was hit or miss. Be sure to take a short walk over to Atlantis. We walked around Atlantis for a couple hours. Wi fi was only available in the lobby (but who goes on vacation for that). The pool was nice, swim up bar and drink runners come around to fill your glass. The beach was a little annoying with all the people trying to sell you things. Over all it was a very nice stay. I doubt I will be back in my lifetime but certainly I would recommend the Riu to other couples.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amtron
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 Paradise Island

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Address: 6307 Casino Drive | Paradise Island - Bahamas, 6307, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island 4*
Number of rooms: 379
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on Paradise Island (the Bahamas), 3 km/1.8 Miles from Nassau * 100 m/328 ft from "Atlantis", the largest casino in the Caribbean * 14-story building * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 3 km/1.8 Miles to downtown Nassau * 200 m/656 ft from various shops * 25 km/15.5 Miles from the airport * 200 m/656 ft from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Discover ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Paradise Island Hotel Paradise Island
Riu Hotel Paradise Island
Paradise Island Sheraton
Paradise Island Riu Hotel
Riu Paradise Island Bahamas
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island Bahamas

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