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“Our Stay at the RIU Paradise Island”

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Reviewed July 27, 2005

We chose the RIU paradise island to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We were not sorry. For the price we paid we had excellent food, drink and weather. The hotel was at full capacity at the time we stayed and the service was still good. The beach is easily accessed .The hotel pool was clean and cool. There is a swim up bar so you don't even have to get out of the water to have a Pina Colada! The bartenders inside and outside were very friendly and very generous with the alcohol in the drinks. The breakfast lunch and dinner buffets were excellent with different choices each day along with the old standby's. Having the lunch buffet open at poolside made it convienient and the extended hours of the buffet had to please everyone. The beach is the same as the Atlantis offers...beautiful unspoiled clear water with little waves. We plan to return in January with our children.

The only negative I can think of is the waiting in line for a reservation to the "specialty" restaurants. We did eat at the Steak House one evening and it was good but I preferred the many many choices the buffet offered. I did not stand in line for the other restaurants but was told they were good.

The Atlantis is literally just across the parking lot from this hotel and is much more crowded and expensive. We were able to view the many marine exhibits and use the casino of the Atlantis without paying the ridiculous prices of their accomodations.

Just a warning that has nothing to do with the RIU-do not book your vacation via US Air. They managed to loose our luggage on a direct flight from Philadelphia!!! The desk manager at the RIU said that was a frequent occurance! Consider yourself warned. Fly another airline and enjoy the RIU! Marsia Kohanski Scranton Pa

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank marsiak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,232 - 4,238 of 4,812 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2005

I have seen reviews for the Riu ranging from 5's to 1's. Honestly, I am not terribly picky as long as I know what I am getting into. I typically consider those who rate resorts a 1 or 2 whiners who you just can't make happy. So, you are probably wondering why I am giving the Riu a 2. We travel a lot and have never had any problems on our vacations...until this time. Now I understand why some give a low rating, until it happens to you, you just don't understand. First off, we had a terrific vacation. The Bahamas are beautiful, it has been over 20 years since I last visited. My family, ages 46, 43, and almost 20, just visited. We paid for 3 adults, ocean view. Upon arrival we got registered right away, no problems. We get to our room and there is one bed....for 3 of us. I went back downstairs and asked for a room with 2 beds. They said they were overbooked and from now (Wed) until Mon (the day we leave) they have to send all their guests to other hotels. However, they asked us to check with them the next day to see if there would be a room available. Also, our room was not ocean view, not even a balcony, we looked over the front parking lot. The front desk said the would "try" to get us a rollaway bed....um..try? Our minifridge was also empty and didn't work at all. We did get a rollaway and they did stock the fridge right away, and said the would sent someone up to fix up right away. To make a long story short, we spent the whole vacation in the same room with the rollaway and a non-working mini-fridge. We asked the front desk several times, but no help. Oh, and all those people who were going to be turned away? They were being checked in on a daily basis. Just to let y'all know...they just don't care. Yes, we were pleasant and smiling and friendly, doesn't make any difference. From here on out I will probably make comparisons to the AC's we have stayed in in various cities in Mexico and Dominican. The Bahama people are cordial but I wouldn't say overly friendly....they do their job, but don't expect a lot of smiles and talk. This is what we pretty much experienced at the Riu. This was almost a let down compared to the friendliness and vivaciousness of the Mexicans and Dominicans who were always laughing and smiling, and willing to go out of their way to help. As far as food goes, the Riu was by far the best AC food-wise we have stayed. Much better quality than Mexico and Dominican. The biggest problem I saw was that there was one restaurant for breakfast and lunch, and there was lack of seating, but only because the tables were very slow to be bused, and there were always lines for all three meals. We mostly did the buffet at dinner because we only got a reservation once at the Steak restaurant, which wasn't worth it. I don't go on vacation to wait in line at 8:30 AM to make a reservation at 9 AM, so we missed out. We did get the steak place one night for the 8:30 seating. You have your choice of 4 grilled entrees, ours came at 10 PM...and....they were out of baked potatoes. How can you run short when you know how many people will be seated? This was pretty typical of our stay at the Riu. Stick with the buffet anyway, food is quite good. Now, the bars. The lobby bar is only open until 10 PM, the pool bar until 6 PM. The pool bar typically had 2 people working....lines again!!! And, they start closing it down just after 5, even though it is supposed to be open until 6. I saw the bartenders turn people away saying they were closed at 5:45. Are you kidding me? No bar or service down at the beach either. There is a little shop on the beach, part of the hotel, that sells floats, etc. Umm, maybe offer bar service here? Just a suggestion. The beach is BEAUTIFUL. Very clean, beautiful clear water. Our first day on the beach we had large waves and a wonderful breeze. Come to find our, tropical storm Franklin just skirted Nassau. From there on out, barely a breeze and very calm water. NO SHADE offered on the beach, no palm trees, and you have to rent an umbrella, although it says on the Riu site that they are included. We had help from the staff setting up our beach chairs the first day, but from there on out they never got off the stairs to the beach to help thereafter. Beach got crowded on Saturday, it was nice Thur and Fri. The Riu guests on Thur and Fri seemed like a nice crowd, no rif raf....but then Sat and Sun came along and out came the tattoos and piercings. Generally seemed a decent clientele. I didn't see the drunk teenagers, nor not many adults for that matter. Supposedly guests are 80% Americans and 20% Europeans. We did visit the Atlantis daily, just steps away from the Riu, never had to pay any type of fee to visit their aquarium. We didn't check out their pools or beaches. Atlantis is CROWDED. Service there didn't seem any better. We sat at a table at a bar there and never got served. We moved up to sit at the bar, and never got served. We ate a restaurant there one night, MamaLoos, got a comp from the casino, and it was average at best. I even had a roach in my cocktail!! Glad it was comp'd because wasn't worth the almost $200 for three of us. We decided the buffet at the Riu was better. If you think you are missing out by not staying at Atlantis, don't. Dinner at any of the better Atlantis restaurants would have run our family of 3 around $200 a night. Since food was average at best, we didn't feel we were missing out. We did the casino nightly, that was fun, and make sure you visit their aquarium. Visit downtown Nassau, also fun, about $12 cab fare each way. Watch out for when the cruise ships unload their passengers because it gets busy! Excellent buys on watches and jewelry, and no sales tax. Make your purchases in Nassau rather than at the Atlantis. We did a Stuart Cove's sub and snorkel tour that was awesome. This was probably the most professional and most courteous treatment we received all week. Now, would I recommend the Riu??? Yes...this is because the Bahamas is expensive and the Riu, all in all, is a terrific value. I will give the Riu a 2 because they deserve a 2, but for the $$$, it is worth it. We were patient with all our problems because we don't want our vacation ruined, so we just go with the flow, but for those of you reading, you need to be prepared that not everything goes perfectly. Service, spotty at best, but as long as you know what you are in for...HAVE FUN!

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank parrothead1691
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2005

I also was very wary after reading all the negative reviews right before leaving for the Riu, but except for a few negative things, my family and I had a very enjoyable and relaxing time.

The Pros:
- Good food. There was a huge selection at the buffet and the menu changed from evening to evening. We tried the steakhouse and loved it.
- Nice beach. It was clean and beautiful.
- Decent rooms. They weren't luxurious, but they weren't horrible either. We didn't have any issues with the cleaning staff. The front desk seemed pretty responsive as well. It probably depends who you get.
- It's a plus to be right next to the Atlantis. We walked around it every night (there was always something new to see) and loved the aquarium.
- Entertainment was pretty good.

The Cons:
- We requested for one room with double beds, and one with a king sized bed. For some reason, they did not receive the request and we got 2 rooms with double beds. I would recommend that you call a few days before you leave to confirm your reservation and tell them exactly what you want. If they are operating on full (as it was when we went), they can't change much. However, the next day, we got upgraded to a junior suite, which was definitely better than what we paid for.
- Lines are long for making reservations, but it's not that bad if you are an early riser.
- Elevators take some time, and are very congested during meal times and check-out times. Use stairs if possible.
- It would have been nice to have more water activities available for free (ie, snorkeling, hobie cat sailing, etc).
- Pool is small and got dirty at the end of the day, but we just went into the ocean instead.

Overall, we had a great time, and would probably visit again and other Riu resorts, which are supposedly even nicer.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank anw816
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 24, 2005

Just got back from a girls weekend (4 days) at the Riu Paradise Island and we were all VERY disappointed with the resort. All of us have stayed at several all inclusive vacations in the past and none were as disappointing as this one. The resort is very small and dated. The hotel rooms are very old and not overly clean. We did not receive fresh towels, face cloths etc every day. The hotel keys to the rooms do not work well. The elevators are very slow so take the stairs if you can. The pool is small for the amount of people that stay at the resort. The staff that work there are not friendly and make you feel like you are "imposing" if you ask for something. The service is slow especially getting a drink by the pool. The beach is quite nice with the exception that it is public and vendors are trying to sell you items all day and you need to pay for a beach umbrella ($20US/day). You need to line up EVERY morning for one of the 3 restaurants to book a reservation for dinner. The line up starts around 8am and they won't start to take reservations until 9am. The food is actually quite good with the Gourmet restaurant being the best. The hotel is next door to Atlantis which is a really nice resort. We spend evening there since there is nothing to do at the Riu. I would not stay at this hotel again and would not recommend it to anyone.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2005

Been to Riu Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Punta Cana. This is NOT a RIU. If you have been to other RIUs you will be disappointed. If you don't know RIU, it is an O.K. resort. PROs: Great Beach. The food is pretty good. Only did one specialty restaurant, the Japanese because 1) Didn't want to stand in line for reservations and 2) Didn't want to be tied to either the 6:30 or 8:00 seating. The buffet was more than sufficient. The lobby and restaurants were RIU, the rest was not. CONs: Service was not what you would expect. Paid for an "upgraded" room, don't think I got it. There are Suites at the far, beach side with a full patio/balcony. The rooms on either side have full balconies as well. Every other room is exactly the same as the next. Only difference is how high you are and wether you overlook the ocean and air conditioning system or the ocean and pool area. Air cond. side gets morning sun, pool side gets late afternoon sun. All have a triangular balcony with barely enough room for two chairs. Arrival day, nothing in the mini bar/refridge. Called and it was stocked. No bath mat 3 of seven days. No washcloths 4 of 7 days, despite tipping. No gallon of water (can't drink ot brush teeth with tap) for four days. Don't bother asking for late checkout, whether you are Riu Class member or not, no way, no how! If you want shade on the beach..$30.00 to "rent" an umbrella. No other RIU I have ever been to charges for this.

They did a pretty good job at entertainment. The Calypso Lounge was comfortable and the crew did a pretty darn good job at the entertainment.

If you want to scuba dive, snorkle, use the "sub" excursions and book through Stuart Coves (about the only game in town), they do a very good job, but the pickup time is 7:45 a.m. and its a 45 min to an hour bus ride to Stuart Coves location on south Nassau. You get back to the Riu (last stop) at about 2:00 p.m. First class operation, but a LONG way from the RIU.

Bottom line....this is NOT a RIU and I will not be going back.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank dignplant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ont. Canada
Reviewed July 22, 2005

We have just returned from a family vacation at the Riu Paradise- we travelled with our two children ages 4 and 2.

-The Hotel

The hotel itself was nice but we found the rooms to be a little dated and I am not fond of carpet in a hotel room especially when you are in a beach setting, the sand was everywhere. Housekeeping was good but only if you left the "clean me" sign on the doorknob first thing in the morning.

The balcony was a little small and we overlooked the hotel ventelation system (east side). The elevators were extremely slow especially at check in times and meal times, but this would not be enough for me to really complain about. The shopping in the hotel was pretty non-exsistent and just consisted of a small convienent store and an overpriced jewllery store. But I guess being in close proximity to the Atlantis made up for this.

The hotel staff were helpful and friendly although response time to complaints could be improved. Our 4 year old daughter locked herself in the bathroom and its a good thing she figured out how to unlock it because our call for help went unaswered. (The front desk sent someone but we didn't see anyone after five minutes.)

-The Restaurants

The food I thought was very good. The buffet restaurant was good with lots of selection and they did have theme nights. The speciality restaurants were also good but be prepared to wait in line to make a reservation. The line ups started an hour before the reservation kiosk opened, but having said that we still had no problems getting into our choices. We did try the Japanese restaurant as well as the Steak House. Both were good but had limited menu selections. One other thing to metion is that all of the restaurants did not open until 6:30pm which is a little late if you have smaller children. Lunch was not ready until 12:30.

-The Pool

I have read several reviews where people had complained about the pool and its cleanliness. Personally I found nothing wrong with the pool, sure it got a little murky by the end of the day but I did see staff cleaning the pool each morning. The pool, I thought if anything, was a little small for the size of the hotel (5ft deep no shallow end) and the pool bar was very slow, perhaps understaffed.

-The Beach

The beach was nice, lots of lounge chairs but if want shade on the beach you have to rent an umbrella for $25.00 a day. On a couple of occasions we also found big pieces of broken glass in the sand. The water was nice but it was a little choppy.

There were also no childrens programs offered at the hotel. Overall it was a nice family vacation and would return or recommend it to someone who is looking for good value.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2005

I have no idea why people are saying bad things about this hotel.
I travel every year to a tropical island, so I have alot of hotels to compare the Riu Hotel to.
We did stay at the Riu Palace in Rivieria Maya last year and I must say that the hotel there was more elegant but it was just too hot in Mexico in July
The Riu Paradise Island is a really nice hotel
Our room was perfect, I don't know why people are complaning about the rooms. they were a nice size, clean, and updated.
The staff was wonderful,very friendly and always willing to help with a smile
The food was very good. We did the bufftet.steakhouse,japanese,and gourmet restaurants and we liked all of them
YOU do have to get in line by 8:30 to make reservations, but for me it was not big deal because I get up early anyway.
The pool was nice, could be bigger but it was very clean and had a swim up bar which was great.
The hot tub behind the spa is great and alot of people don't know about it so check it out if you like hot tubs just walk thru the spa and it is behind it.
The beach was very clean, my only complalnt is that theydo not supply beach umbrellas and there is no shade. If you want an umbrella you must pay $25.00 a day. My adivise is to bring one from home, which some people did.
The showroom was nice the entertainment was not great but it was 0k
WE went to Atlantis at nite to gamble and also you can walk around the property for free at nite. During the day they charge $30.00 so go at nite.
We also took a cab to Nassau the Crystal Palace at the Marriot and saw a show that was good. There is no charge for the show. you just have to buy one drink for $5.00
I would highly recommed the hotel the rooms . service, food and drinks are all great I hope you ignore the other bad reviews because they are not true ENJOY

13  Thank barbcNewJersey
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

Address: 6307 Casino Drive | Paradise Island - Bahamas, 6307, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
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:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range: $324 - $613 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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