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“RIU is a relaxing vacation”

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #13 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“RIU is a relaxing vacation”
Reviewed May 16, 2005

I went to the RIU on Paradise Island in the Bahamas from May 7th to the 12th. I had a pretty good time.
The beach is wonderful, soft white sand that does not get hot to walk on. The surf was rough when I was there. I noticed that the beach drops off very quickly just past the water line, causing the heavy wave action as you try to get in and out. The wind was also pretty strong. This felt good to keep you cool while sunning yourself, but I am sure it helped increase the waves. There a lot of locals selling jet-ski and parasailing rides, and Cuban cigars and stuff of that nature. They do get a bit annoying, but you if tell them your not interested they go on to the next person. I figure it is their country and their beach, and they need to make money like anyone else, so I put up with it and laugh at their lines to get people to do whatever it is they are selling.
The pool is not situated very well. It only gets full sun from about 12:00 to 17:00 because the main building blocks the sun. This makes the water feel almost cold. I do have to admit, the cold felt excellent after I got sun burnt though. Some of the RIU sites talk about a sauna/hot tub. It is not hot at all. It is directly connected to the pool, so it uses the cold pool water, and adds air bubbles.
The food is fairly good at the RIU. The main buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner offer a decent selection, for the time period I was there. The food is prepared well, and is hot. I also went to the steakhouse, the best steak I have had in a long time. I also went to Anthony’s grill which is about a mile walk from the RIU, I had fried conch. It is good, the locals all rave about conch, but I thought it was OK.
The big down fall of the RIU is there are very few activities offered through the day and even less at night. Basically they are into teaching reggae dancing and mixology. On some nights they have a local band come in, and they are good. I expect a ton of activities throughout the day. The activities team should organize and convince a bunch of people to play. Games such as water volleyball, polo, and aerobics are must haves. Beach games are also good. RIU offered none of these. If you are looking for this type of entertainment, go to the Crown Paradise Club in Cancun. RIU is less than a quarter of a mile from Atlantis, their casino is a must, and it is a lot of fun. Atlantis also has a walk through aquarium. They situate it around “Atlantis Ruins”. They make a big deal out of this. I found it rather cheesy but the fish and sharks are a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it is a $28 a person, way overpriced.
All in all, this is a relaxing vacation destination. Don’t expect a lot of excitement. The hotel staff are very nice, just show them respect, it is THEIR country after all. Be patient with the beach “sellers” they will leave you alone if you are nice. Visit Atlantis. The best deals for souvenirs are across from Atlantis in that little mall area. Be careful in the ocean, it is rough, but a lot of fun if you can take it.
I went to the RIU on Paradise Island in the Bahamas from May 7th to the 12th. I had a pretty good time.
The beach is wonderful, soft white sand that does not get hot to walk on. The surf was rough when I was there. I noticed that the beach drops off very quickly just past the water line, causing the heavy wave action as you try to get in and out. The wind was also pretty strong. This felt good to keep you cool while sunning yourself, but I am sure it helped increase the waves. There a lot of locals selling jet-ski and parasailing rides, and Cuban cigars and stuff of that nature. They do get a bit annoying, but you if tell them your not interested they go on to the next person. I figure it is their country and their beach, and they need to make money like anyone else, so I put up with it and laugh at their lines to get people to do whatever it is they are selling.
The pool is not situated very well. It only gets full sun from about 12:00 to 17:00 because the main building blocks the sun. This makes the water feel almost cold. I do have to admit, the cold felt excellent after I got sun burnt though. Some of the RIU sites talk about a sauna/hot tub. It is not hot at all. It is directly connected to the pool, so it uses the cold pool water, and adds air bubbles.
The food is fairly good at the RIU. The main buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner offer a decent selection, for the time period I was there. The food is prepared well, and is hot. I also went to the steakhouse, the best steak I have had in a long time. I also went to Anthony’s grill which is about a mile walk from the RIU, I had fried conch. It is good, the locals all rave about conch, but I thought it was OK.
The big down fall of the RIU is there are very few activities offered through the day and even less at night. Basically they are into teaching reggae dancing and mixology. On some nights they have a local band come in, and they are good. I expect a ton of activities throughout the day. The activities team should organize and convince a bunch of people to play. Games such as water volleyball, polo, and aerobics are must haves. Beach games are also good. RIU offered none of these. If you are looking for this type of entertainment, go to the Crown Paradise Club in Cancun. RIU is less than a quarter of a mile from Atlantis, their casino is a must, and it is a lot of fun. Atlantis also has a walk through aquarium. They situate it around “Atlantis Ruins”. They make a big deal out of this. I found it rather cheesy but the fish and sharks are a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it is a $28 a person, way overpriced.
All in all, this is a relaxing vacation destination. Don’t expect a lot of excitement. The hotel staff are very nice, just show them respect, it is THEIR country after all. Be patient with the beach “sellers” they will leave you alone if you are nice. Visit Atlantis. The best deals for souvenirs are across from Atlantis in that little mall area. Be careful in the ocean, it is rough, but a lot of fun if you can take it.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank jhulsla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 13, 2005

I read some reviews before I went and was a bit afraid but all in all I had a great time.

I got in pretty late in the evening on Thursday and so did several dozen others. Line up was not fun. I just sat at the bar and waited until the area was clear. They had all the rooms ready so I was not worried.

I thought the bar in the room was a nice touch. I had a great king size bed and a very sweet room with two different views. I looked right and I can see the pool and the beach. Looking left I saw the street and the Atlantis which people came in groves to gamble.

The food at the buffet was decent. Though don't wait till the last minute unless you don't mind eating scraps. I did not eat at any of the restaurants that needed reservations, but I heard they were quite good.

Drinks at the bar were refreshing and made with lots of alchohol :-)

The pool looked clean and a lot of people were using it especially to get drinks from the pool side bar. Though there is no swimming after 8pm due to "cleaning". So for those midnight dips, you can forget about it.

Took some time for me and got some pampering done at the inhouse spa. I did not like the fact that they only accepted cash and that they already put a 15% gratuity on your bill even before your service.

If you have the extra cash and day trips are cool, I went on the snorkling with sharks (don't forget the underwater camera)... Looking now I wonder how crazy I was to swim with sharks let alone pay to swim with them...

If you are looking to relax then this is the place to go. Everything in the resort closes by about midnight. That means the bars in the resort too.

As for the beach. It is beautiful, nice lounge chairs but definately alot of locals trying to sell food, jewelry, cuban cigars, want to get your hair braided, and of course the jet ski guys... Can't go anywhere without them asking every 10 minutes if you would like to jet ski. That's normal, it's how they make a living.

There were children there but I felt sorry for them because there is absolutely nothing for them to do there. I mean nothing...

As I said all and all I had a great 4 day R&R away from my kids. I would go back, and do it all again. R&R never hurt anyone!!! Have fun...

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moncton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2005

Just got back a week ago from this hotel. The renovations are wonderful, the lobby is grand. Decor is typical torpics. Rooms are spacious and very clean. Safes are free. But don't use the phone, I bought calling cards to use and I still had to pay the hotel 48.00usd just for using my room phone, and be prepared to leave a $200.oo usd deposit just to get the phone turned on. Go next door to the Atlantis and use the payphones! The service is good, staff are friendly and bartenders will remember you if you tip them well. Watch out for the walking dead man drink, it's a killer but great. This is a family resort with no activites for anyone, really. The entertainment has so much to be improved upon. The middle elevator didn't work half the time. The a'lcartes are good but take a long time to get your meal, so if you are hungry just go to the buffet, they try to have a different theme every night so you will never be hungry there. Snacks are until 12pm. Bars close at midnight, so off to the Atlantis if you want to have any fun. The pool closes at 6pm which is awful as the sun is blocked until about noon time due to the high building. The beach is great, but lots of sand fleas, medication can be bought at the gift shop in the lobby. Try out the hot tub, adults only, nice to get away from the kids. Lots of beach chairs, but if you want an umbrella on the beach be prepared to pay $20.00 usd for the day for it, they are free if you stay up at the pool. The locals will drive you nuts on the beach for jetskis, sailing, hair braids etc, best thing to do is ingore them. If taking jetskis wait till the end of the day it gets cheaper, ususally about 25.00 usd for half an hour. Take the ferry to Nassau it is only $6.00 return and runs every half hour, better than a cab fee. Straw market is great for shopping but do it in the evening when it is not so hot and they will bargain better at night, while there be sure to go to Senior Frogs and have a meal and drink, well worth the price. Take a swim with the dolphins for a afternoon for $165.00 usd or just interact with them for $85.00 or just watch for $20.00, something to do, but must be booked well in advance for the swim. Overall, great vacation and I will return.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank travelkim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2005

Like others, I too, became scared after reading the reviews of this hotel prior to my trip. I am now writing this review to say that the hotel is fabulous and the criticism is not warrented. Check-in was fast and painless. As soon as we arrived we were given drinks and welcomed by the friendly staff. The rooms are standard hotel rooms that were always kept clean by the housekeeping staff. We had a lovely view of the ocean from our balcony and were able to see the sunrise every morning. The food was most definately above average for an all-inclusive resort. I am an extremely picky eater and I never had a problem finding something great to eat. We never had a problem making reservations for the specialty restaurants (reservations began at 9am). The bar staff is fabulous! Drinks were always flowing and delicious! There were always chairs at the pool and at the beach and staff was always available to help you move chairs and umbrellas to the perfect location. The pool was a little cold but could still be enjoyed. There are vendors on the beach but they were very respectful when you said "no thanks" to whatever they were selling. Our vacation was perfect and I honestly can't think of anything worthy of complaint. We are already planning to go back next year. Please believe me when I tell you that you will have a great time and will fall in love with the RIU and Paradise Island.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank beach_gal416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, CT
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2005

We stayed at the Riu May 6-9 for our honeymoon after being married at Beaches in Turks & Caicos. Although we knew the Riu could not compare to Beaches, we just wanted a quiet getaway after spending a week with 22 family members.

The Riu served this purpose nicely. Basically, it is a hotel on the beach, not a big resort. The lobby and restaurants are amazing in decor and detail. Buffett was pretty good. Reservations are now taken at 9am for the other three restaurants. We ate at the steakhouse and gourmet. Both were okay. The rooms were your typical hotel room. There is a fridge with some soda, beer, and a gallon of water. Liquor cabinet has some cheap booze inside.

The pool is nice, although half of it is in the shade for half the day. Plenty of chairs at the beach and pool. Beach is also very nice, except for the incessant people asking you to buy stuff. You do get sick of saying no. It was very windy when we were there, and they did not allow anyone in the water one day due to high surf.

Overall, this was a nice quiet weekend which is what we needed. I don't think I would want to stay much longer than 3 days here.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank vtkapoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 8, 2005

My husband and I just returned from the RIU yesterday. We were celebrating his birthday. We had a wonderful time. I had read all the reviews prior to going and I was scared. But I can tell you, we had no problems at all. All the bad reviews were proved to not be true. The rooms were nice, the elevators did not take long, the food was good, the service was good. I was very pleasantly surprised. I would recommend this hotel to everyone. I am writing this review for anyone else that is planning a trip and is reading the reviews. You'll have a great time!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 1, 2005

We were a group of 7 women travelling in celebration of a special birthday year from April 17-21.
After reading some of the reviews in here, must say I was a little skeptical.
Upon my return home, not only can I say all skepticism was washed away with the ocean tide, but will add it was nothing short of a fabulous vacation.
The hotel was clean and tidy. Our room was spacious enough and overlooked the ocean. The service was excellant. From the front desk, to the bellmen, to the cleaning lady, to the bartenders and the restaurant staff, ALL were top notch and would do anything to make the visit most enjoyable. The food was excellant. A wide range of meals to choose from, freshly prepared and the restaurant manager was really special.
Yummy tropical drinks around the pool, quickly served and refreshing.
For those of you so lucky as to be travelling in the near future, I would highly recommend this destination, as I would have no doubts or hesitations about making this my choice of vacation destination again in the future.
Cheers!

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
35 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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, 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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