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“Worst Hotel Ever”

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #13 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
A TripAdvisor Member
“Worst Hotel Ever”
Reviewed February 27, 2006

We just returned from the Riu on Feb. 27. We read all of the reviews and should have listened. All of the negative reviews were exactly true. The worst part of the hotel was the hotel staff and service. Starting with check in - we requested a room away from the air conditioner and were told that they are preassigned and the front staff can not change it. About 90% of the staff was extremely rude and disinterested in helping. No one ever would greet us or say hello. We had a room on the top floor, but it was above the air conditioner. Even having a room 15 floors up we could still hear the roar of the ac fan over the ocean sounds. The room was a basic 2 star hotel room with stained walls, faded paint, tattered carpet, and even screws coming out of the bathroom ceiling. You have to ask for hand and wash towel since they are not provided. Our safe broke with our personal items inside. We finally got it to open and were told an new one would be on the way which we never received. The spa and gym are downstairs near the front lobby. It was about what you would expect at a freeway offramp motel. The tennis court was next to a parking lot and a construction site. There is no conceirge of any kind. There was an excursion table, but the lady would not arrive until 9 or 10 am. The food buffet food was good, but it is still a buffet with no atmosphere. This was supposed to be an all inclusive resort but you could only get food on their time schedule. They were closed at certain times and there was no place for snacks during those times. (and we're not fat or wanting to eat all the time) There was no room service available and you were not able to take food out of the buffet areas. All drinks from the bars were served in tiny plastic cups. Waiting for the dinner reservations for the resturaunts wasn't a big deal if you were around at 8:30 or 9am. It went quickly, but there were only two times you could pick - early or late seating. We attempted to try the casual steak house which is the same place the lunch buffet is served. When we entered the entire resturaunt was filled with smoke from the grill because the food is cooked in the center of the resturaunt. You smelled like you were at a fast food resturanut. The host even commented how bad it was. The beach was nice, but it backs up to a brick wall from the hotel. You need to walk a little from the hotel to get away from it. It may seem like we are petty or complaining, but whenever we were at the front desk there would be another guest complaining about the same issues. Most everyone we talked to mentioned how rude and disinterested the staff was. Even a local cab driver commented how this was becoming a problem with the younger generation of workers. If you are looking for a place for a romantic carribean get away or a place with good service this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed February 2006
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7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 27, 2006

I was in Riu for my B-day and it was the best. The food is excellent! but not really the dinner at the Bahmas Rest. try the other two they have 3 Rest. To choose from, you pay and you drink and eat all day breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and then snack until 12pm and they change the buffet all day the service in excellent and the people are really nice even live music by the pool and the ocean is there the Atlantis hotel is right next door walking distance 1 minute. you will love it the best b-day present for me.!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 26, 2006

We just returned from a 6 night stay at the RIU Paradise Island. My wife, and two teenage daughters went. We were there from Feb 20-26. Like many travelers going there, I was very weary of how the whole experience would be. I'm happy to say that we had a great time,the weather was beautiful the entire week (high 70's and sunny).

Here are my comments....

Hotel - We had a good experience, and enjoyed the use of the facilities. The hotel is very nice, and frankly; after taking several walks through the Atlantis next door, we were happy with the choice we made. The Atlantis is of course beautiful, but it's almost too big, and too intimidating. It's like a giant mall downstairs, and it just seemed to be too much. Not only is it outrageusly expensive, but they nickel and dime you to death for everything there. My wife and I walked through the aquariam one morning, and both of us said "That's it? - What's so special about that?"

Rooms - We were lucky to have an ocean/pool view corner room. The view was spectacular, and it was a room with a little more space. We had upgraded as we had 4 people in the room and appreciated a little more space. Upgrade if you can. A few minor problems in the bathroom (toilet sometimes ran too long, no fan, not enough towels, etc.), but all in all nothing serious. Bring your own shampoo and soap.

Elevators - This could be a problem depending on what time of day it was (dinner and breakfast were the worst), but we would sometimes use the stairs to go downstairs, which took you out to the front of the property. You can't use them to go up though, as the door is not accessible from the outside.

Food - No complaints. Plenty to eat, and we were quite pleased with the variety. We ate at all 3 restaurants, and enjoyed them all. We also ate in the buffet 3 nights, and there's plenty of choices for the finicky eaters. The earlier you get to breakfast the quieter and more relaxing it is, and no lines at the omelette space.

Beach is as beautiful as everyone says. There is a rougher section to the right, if you like to body-surf, and there was some pretty good waves. My 13 year old got tossed around pretty good, the first day, and refused to go back to the rough section. The vendors try to get you to try things, I jet skied for $45 one time - they advertise $60 for 1/2 hour, but you can bring a passenger. Parasailing is $50 for 5-7 minutes in the air, and $5 if you want someone to ride in the boat to observe you and take pictures.

We went into downtown Nassau ($18 w/ tip for 4 of us by taxi), and were very unimpressed. In fact my daughters were very uncomfortable in there. The straw market is not for anyone with claustrophobia, and you will be approached, and prodded by many looking for your money.

Tips:

Bring a few towels of your own. We did, and were glad we did, it was worth it. You can use them to reserve the chairs you want for the day.

We tried the package tour called Dolphin Encounter, which was ok, but fairly pricey ($165 to swim with them, and $85 to stand up to your waste and play with them - check it out at (--). Not sure if it was worth the money and they try to sell you video and pictures after - Expensive.

DO NOT pay any $ to walk through the Atlantis aquarium. Go early in the AM or after 7pm for free.

Bring a favorite plastic cup or two from home. I don't think they mind pouring drinks in those, as long as they aren't glass. Otherwise you get a small plastic cup.

Get a beach chair early. There won't be one available by 11am (at least the week we went - which was Feb vacation week).

One last recommendation. Although we had free transportation and back from the airport to hotel, I would take a taxi from the airport next time. For $37 one way it would have been worth it. Especially going to the hotel. You just want to get there, but the busses can take quite a long time, and they can't leave until their full - and will stop at several hotels on the way. The RIU was last stop on our bus ride (naturally). It could take up to 90 minutes if you hit it wrong. A cab ride will usually take 20 minutes. Note - the line to go through customs on the way home, was huge for us, so leave yourself time. Sunday is a very busy airport day.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 26, 2006

I took a group of 4 couples to the Riu Bahamas Febr. 22nd-26th for a sales reward. We had gone to a Riu in Mexico last year and gave it a 9 out of a possible 10. The Riu Bahamas would be a 2. The only reason I did not give it a Terrible rating was the buffet, which was very good. Where do you want me to start:
Check in: Slow, only 2 people working front desk. No bell hop came to assist.
Elevators: A joke. Only 3 elevators. We had paid extra for the 15th floor. Only 1 elevator went to this floor?
Rooms: Dirty, stained, musty smell. Again we paid extra for Penthouse rooms. One of the rooms the pipe leaked from the toilet flooding the room. They sent somebody up with a plunger. It was not plugged. It was leaking... Ended up leaking into the hall way.
Food: Overall the food was very good.
Entertainment: NONE.... One night they had a comedy act and it was an ad'l $25\person at an all inclusive.
Pool: Water is not heated. Freezing cold. Nobody in the pool.
Overall I don't know how this resort gets the ratings it does.

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 25, 2006

So I stayed at the Riu from February 18-25th 2006. We had awesome weather. I've stayed at the Riu in Negril and I went to see the Atlantis next door in Paradise Island so let me tell you what I think.

The Hotel: Lobby is nice, people are friendly and this was the ONLY part of the hotel that has been renovated since Riu bought the Sheraton. Everything was clean only the elevators are always slow and packed.

The food: Okay for a buffet. There are choices and if you've been to Cuba or Cancun, the food here is way way better. (You won't go hungry)You can line up for about 1 hour every morning to go to the "speciality restos". Its crazy they make people wait but the food is pretty good. Just skip the Japanese, its gross.

The pool: NOt heated so no on goes in. You are basically sitting around an ice bucket.

The beach: Get there early and you'll find a lounge chair. The beach is beautiful, nice sand and the water is great. There are annoying people trying to sell you junk and a skidoo ride so that may bother you a little. (No bar at the beach so you must walk to the pool).

The room: Here is the joke. It stinks. There is a horrible stench of smoke all the time and the carpets are dirty. You can live with this, what you can't live with is the fact that one side of the hotel (room with the odd numbers) are facing the pool/ocean and the views/sounds are fantastic. The other side are facing the air conditionner ducks and that's all you hear. I had one of those rooms for the first night. I was on the 9th floor and I still heard it! Then we changed to the other side and it was great.

The biggest diappointment is the entertainment. They have a staff of 4. One girl is just rude and the others are okay. The shows are at 9:45pm every night and people kept getting up and leaving. Boring and seemed unplanned. They don't do water aerobics on the beach or pool. But at 12pm the rude entertainment girl comes out and screams vollyball on the beach and she sits on a chair and watches.

So if you are going somewhere to relax and you don't care about having stuff to do, go there and then head over to the Atlantis at night (casino, comedy show,theater, bars and a club). The only reason I would recommend the Riu is because it is all inclusive and the other hotels nearby aren't.

Couples, if you've never been they give it a shot.
If you are 18-27 years old and single, DONT GO, YOU'LL BE SOO BORED AT NIGHT.

The hotel should be rated as 3 1/2 stars not 5! Please, if they are a five star with horrible rooms then the star rating should change!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Mass
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Riu from Feb. 16-20. We were a little nervous after reading all of the negative reviews and were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it there. When we checked in we asked to be on the pool side and closer to the ocean...Sean (at the front desk) was very helpful. We stayed in room 429 and it was perfect. The room was better than I had expected. The food was great at all restaurants, however, we read alot about the gourmet being the best and the japanese being the worst and I totally disagree. I think it just depends on what type of food you like. The gourmet rest. was nice because it was quieter than the buffet, but the food wasn't any better than the buffet (it's more the atmosphere). The steak house was my least favorite (still good), it just wasn't as cozy. The Japanese was very nice...food, atmosphere and service. We loved all the buffets! You do have to wait in line by 8:30am to make dinner reservations, but it's really not a big deal at all. It takes about 20mins. total. The elevators....there were times when we would be waiting for the elevator, (mostly going down) and it was always around dinner time, but we would just take the stairs...with all that we ate and drank, it was nice to get some exercise! All in all you really can't beat the price for food, drinks and location. The beach was beautiful and like everyone says, being next door to the Atlantis is a bonus. The marina village was also very nice, just to walk around and have a coffee (there is a starbucks in there). We took the water taxi to the straw market, we had to wait about 30 mins., but it was worth it ($6/person roundtrip)...it was a nice way to get there. The only negative thing I will say is this...we purchased a pre-paid calling card ahead of time to call home and placed our calls from our room. I probably tried to call home around 20 times, but only got thru 4 times. When we checked out, we had a $122 charge. They charge for EVERY call, whether it connected or not (just for using their phone), I believe it was $2/minute. There are phone booths in the Atlantis, they don't accept pre-paid calling cards, but you can use a credit card (it may be cheaper). Hope this helps!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank tinnad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
234 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2006

So,after reading all the reviews, I went to the Riu with my daughter for some sun and beach. I admit I was a little nervous. First off, the hotel was fine. Its no 5-star, but the entrance, lobby and eating area's carry the look of a 5-star.All marble and spotless!I travel internationally and I'd give it a good 3 1/2 rating overall.

Our room was on the 14th floor overlooking the air conditioning units. Even up there the noise level drowned out the sound of the waves.We were two doors down from the elevator and we could hear the elevator motor whirrling all night. Im glad I brought my ear plugs!The room was cleaned every day and it was fine.No problem. The view of the beach/island from the balcony was lovely.We didnt spend much time in the room other then to sleep and shower, so we didnt really mind it. The mini bar had beer and pop inside.(we dont drink) No snacks. There was a large jug of purified water which we used to brush our teeth and take to the beach. I was surprised that we could not get single bottles of water unless we purchased them.Everything was by the plastic cup at the bar.

The food: it was hit and miss. Overall it was mediocre cafeteria food. Lots of fresh fruits & cheese which were excellent and the food was plentiful, but lacking flavour and taste.Breakfast was the best bet with fresh omlettes made to order. Lunch was fair. Dinner was just okay.If you want something you dont see, just ask. I got a huge plate of mashed potatoes when I asked. They were fabulous!

Service:It was as expected from the Bahama's.Slower then the fast-paced cities but I wasn't in a rush. No room service. It was my first experience with an all inclusive. Disappointments: quality of food and drink offered.Everything is self serve.Even a cup of tea.

Overall: we had no problems, just some little annoyances. The beach is crowded, and folks from the Atlantis would always come over and use the chairs. Jet ski's and wandering sales people were loud at times but never bothersome. The pool is icy cold, but the ocean was beautiful.If you go, check out Graycliff Restaraunt in town.Its pricy,$100+ for two, no wine; but a great 5-star meal and ambiance++. Must make reservations.The doorman called in for me on his cellphone! If you go to the straw market, its better to cab it in for $10 USD and take the little boat back for $3 each. The trip is nice and relaxing.But its a good 15-20 minute walk back from where the boat drops off to the hotel. We enjoyed it. You can purchase fake, high-end designer handbags, watches, hats etc at the straw market. I got a fake Prada handbag for $20USD

There is also a Starbucks in town and one across from the Atlantis at the Atlantis Marina,which is 5 min walk.

Travel: We went Canjet with Sunquest. When our trip came to an end, the agent told us to be ready to go to the airport at 11:30am. Our flight didnt leave until 3:45pm! I felt that was a ridiculous time to spend at the airport.We opted to take a cab instead at 1:00pm. We were then able to eat lunch (hello), and get more beach/swim time. We got there in lots of time and there was no problem. Cost: $27.00USD for the 30 min cab ride.We discovered MANY others had done the same.

The bottom line: what kind of vacation are you looking for? If you want 5-star service,room and food, do not go to the Riu. If you want a great beach,sunshine, ocean and self-service,then you will love it! I would definately go back for the sole purpose of the beach and the great fruit drinks!feel free to use my email if you have any questions.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Rivergirl1
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 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Luxury 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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