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“Great Value at RIU”

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #13 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great Value at RIU”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2006

Just returned from 6 nights at the RIU Paradise Island and we thought it was very nice. I was hesitant after reading some of the reviews and can definately see both sides. We were in Room 1108 which was the room right next to the elevator shaft. We decided the noise was not that much of a bother to us so we stayed. The rooms are dated and were pretty clean (they don't really catch detail). View of the ocean was great but you can't really open the doors as the air conditioner on the restaurant below makes too much noise. Best to keep the doors shut and curtains open. Beach was great but watch the little ones, there is a pretty good undertow. Drinks were good but the food was very impressive. Don't know how they did it but they managed to provide great food to a lot of people. Everthing was fresh. Salad greens were always fresh. I'd give the food a perfect 10.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank ajscherer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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rocky hill
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2006

Exceeded my expactations!! Just came back from 4 nights and 5 days at the RIU Paradise Island and LOVED it. I found the good reviews are on the mark but the bad are just picky. I'd rate the RIU 3.5 to 4 stars.

OVERVIEW: The RUI is next door to Atlantis and share the same beach and sun but the RIU is 1/3 the cost. Atlantis is pay-as-you-go, RIU is All-inclusive.

ROOM: If I could give one bit of advise it would be about the rooms. All rooms have a small balcony. Even number rooms have the eastern sunrise and overlook the beach, a wooded area and an air conditioner. Odd rooms have the western sunset and also overlook the beach, the pool and are adjacent to an ugly 10 story Atlantis hotel. The odd number rooms have a better view but the AC makes things noisy until midnight. Rooms ending in 30-32 are at the end of the hotel, overlook the beach and probably cost more. We started in 1115 but moved to 1424 due to elevator noise and I advise avoiding rooms ending in 09-15 as they are near the elevators. The pool closes about 7 so the odd numbered rooms are quiet after 7 but the Atlantis building next door is ugly. If you are not satisfied with your room ask to be moved and the staff will try to accommodate you.

The rooms have either a king or double bed arrangment but need updating. The decor is 80's but clean and functional. The bathroom is small and clean but who spends alot of time there.

ELEVATORS: No problems. Busy during mealtimes (as expected) with maybe a 2-3 minute wait. Other times less than a minute wait.

FOOD: The dining areas are excellent in terms of decor, location and function. The food choices exeeded our expections. There was always something for everyone. Breakfast is a large variety of eggs, cereal, fruit and veggies with some minor daily theme variation. Lunch is American cusine with a daily theme variation. Supper - check the other reviews.

DRINKS: You name it and they can make it although the protions are small (just ask for 2). Ask for upgraded alcohol and you will get it. The bars are fully staffed with minimal waiting. Only beer is Miller Genuine Draft although Kalik is available in your room.

POOL: Due to it's location the sun hits it from 11 - 5 so it can be cool before April but it is clean with plenty of seating and free umbrellas.

BEACH: The same as Atlantis and the One and Only Ocean Club but at 1/3rd the cost. Water is cool until April. The Atlantic side location has waves, a moderate undertow, 30-40' visiblity but local snorkeling is poor.

STAFF: Excellent: Friendly, helpful and courteous. I give them 5 stars.

LOCATION: As mentioned B4 - it is next to Atlantis. Go east along the beach and enter Atlantis or go after 7 PM thru the adjoining building to the casino, shops and aquarium - Atlantis security does not bother you at that time. It is worth a visit.

OVERALL: Difinately worth the money. Exceeded our expecations in every area. Negative reviews are picky. Overheard staff talking about upgrading rooms soon.

ONE NEGATIVE: Eating outside under the veranda attracts seagulls who are very aggressive and bold. DO NOT leave your food unattended as they will swoop in and pick your plate clean in seconds. There are many quick, inexpensive solutions that the RIU management can employ to make dining outside less harrowing. RIU Management; are you reading this?

ENJOY the RUI - We did.

Helpful?
54 Thank irex482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2006

The RIU Paradise Island, Bahamas has a lot going for it. The location next to Atlantis (literally next door to get into the Atlantis complex, but a 10 to 15 minute walk to the casino and the Starbucks in the Marina shops complex) is a biggie; the goregous, clean beach; all rooms looking out on an angle at the ocean (hence the property saying "all rooms have ocean views") and friendly staff all are reasons to want to go back.

However, don't expect this to be a gastronomic pleasure. The breakfasts are just OK - greasy eggs, stale rolls, the smoked salmon was pretty good, the bacon and sausage were yukkk! Lunches are burnt burgers, dry hot dogs, rubbery pizza and an OK salad bar. Dinners - HINT - don't bother making reservations for their "specialty" fare - the steak house, the Japanese and "Gourmet" restaurants were sub-par and not worth the adventure or wait. Stick with the dinner buffet - usually a 7 out of 10 and you may even have a surprise if they do a Paella or another special dish. Again, the salads were fresh and varied.

Rooms are basic, clean and average sized - the 4 bottles of free booze and the fridge full of beer and pop are a nice touch.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank HowieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warminster
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2006

March 26-30, 2006

From Nassau Airport, we took a taxi, took 30 minutes and the fee was $28.

First tip- Always tip, bring small bills with you. I gave the woman cabbie a tip because I asked her needed questions and she gave me good answers and got us to the Riu rather quickly. If you have read reviews about the Bahamian people being rude, they are wrong. You are treated as well as you treat them. Tip and tip strategically and all will be good. We arrived way too early for check in, but, they were happy to pre-check us in; all with happy attitudes, too. They placed our uggage in a locked room until we could get the keycards to the room. In the mean time, they give you a wristband that allows you access to food and drink. I requested an immediate upgrade to a deluxe room from the superior room. All of the bad stories you read on the web about this place happen in the superior rooms, which are the cheapest room you can get.

Tip two- Upgrade to a deluxe room, they are the upper floors, but have none of the negative issues that you heard of. It may cost you $50 per night for the upgrade, but I was not going to let that wreck my stay. We got a room on the 14th floor, 1418 overlooking the ocean, a beautiful view. The even number rooms look over the ocean at sunrise; the odd number rooms are on the other side and face to pool area. The rooms are old but not to the point where you would be unhappy, they could use some upgrading. I was happy with our room. Even my wife was pleased. The buffet lunch is great. The dinners at the buffet are not bad, either. You do have to make reservations in the morning for a sit-down dinner. The breakfast buffet is the best; anything and everything. You can’t get coffee until 7am, so unless you bring a small coffee maker, you’ll have to wait. If you get down to breakfast at 7am, it is very empty and quiet, it seems that guests here sleep in. If you don’t want to pay for bottled water, bring a bottle of water for each person; you can refill it with fresh water in the mini-bar. They leave a gallon of spring water in the refrigerator. There is a small convenience store in the lobby area. You can get snacks for your room and other various sundries. (If you got over to the Atlantis, some of the sundry prices are actually cheaper. All the reviews said that the pool was cold, it wasn’t that bad. It was refreshing if you are hot, and that is what a pool is for! In the morning, the hotel shades the pool area, but by 11am, the sun starts making its way across the pool. Bars open at 10am.

Tip-three, say hello and make an effort to know your cleaning person’s name who cleans your room, leave a tip each day. I left note asking for diet soda, and other small things and she happily fulfilled my requests! Make your reservations for dinner at 9am, otherwise you must have the buffet, which is pretty good anyway.

Tip-four, some cell phones don’t work. I have Verizon service and the cell phone worked only on the 14th floor of the hotel some of the time. I called home (in Bucks County, PA, and I called cell phones.) The calls were roaming, so Verizon may charge me, but not nearly the robbery that the Bahamas will. I guess it was the height that did it because at ground level, it didn’t. Do not use the hotel phones. A couple we met from Nebraska called home for 10 minutes and it cost them $70. It’s not the Hotel; it’s the Phone Company and government charging you. You can bring a phone card (AT&T has
a number to call from the Bahamas to the US). Walk over to the Atlantis and use the pay phones with the phone card. The hotel will charge you if you use a phone card.

Tip-five,Take time to check out the Atlantis right next door. If you walk in the front lobby, greeters will most likely approach you, welcome you, and give you a map and a quick run down. We walked through to the casino and gambled a little. The place is so big; it would take hours to see it all. There is an aquarium that, if you go early in the morning, is free. Have breakfast at the RIU early, like 7-7:30, and then go down to the beach, go left and walk up the first set of steps you find. This is Coral Towers, one of Altantis’s hotels. Up the steps and make a right and follow the path until you reach a cabana on the left and take the walkway on the left, up a little grade. You will see the waterfalls. Take the path to the left, not over the swinging bridge. Follow the path down below the Predator tank. Go early; otherwise it’s like $30 per person. Timing is everything. If security isn’t around, you can walk almost anywhere.

Tip-six, if you go to the straw market (taxi is between $8-$11) you can haggle for deals. Most of the stuff is trinket and clothing, but interesting anyway and worth going. You can wall through town through several shops, too.

Tip-seven, they give you a towel card for the pool and beach. You use the card to get a towel and when you return the towel, you get your card back. Since they only give you one towel, bring a beach towel for your chair and use their towel to dry off with.

Tip-eight, bring or buy an insulated drink cup. The drinks they give you at the Soca bar (pool bar) are small, like 6-8 oz. If you bring your own mug/insulated cup, they will use them and it helps when you are down on the beach, the Soca bar is up at the pool. Donald is a great bartender.

Tip-nine, the Calypso lounge is just passed the lobby bar and it opens at 8pm. They have pretty lame entertainment, but the bar is never full and if there is a band playing, it is not bad. The lobby bar gets crowded and there is plenty of comfortable seating in the Calypso. Arnold is the bartender here and he is also very good. Don’t forget to leave a few bucks tip.

Tip-ten, there is internet access. There is a room near the front desk to hook up your laptop or use their equipment. I paid $10 for 30 minutes. If you have a cell phone service that allows you to text to phones via a website, this is another way of communicating back home. When my cell didn’t work, I contacted my son this way.

Odd number rooms face the pool side and ocean; even number rooms face east and get the morning sun. Both sides have ocean views, though.

Tip-Eleven, Do not accept a room on the second floor; even number rooms will face nothing but air conditioning ducts and the first floor roof. If you upgrade to a deluxe room, you won’t have this problem.

If you heard horror stories about making dinner reservations, here is the real story. The first night, you will have to do the buffet, by the way it is pretty damn good. For the other nights, you can do the buffet or try the Japanese, Gourmet or Steak House restaurants. All you have to do is go down to the lobby at like 8:45am, there will be a line. Once the line starts moving, you are done in about 10 minutes. There is an early and late seating 6:30pm or 8:30pm. Obviously the early times fill up first, but we didn’t mind at all. The late dinner gave you more time to enjoy the beach, pool bar, etc. You can eat a late lunch and it works out great. The Gourmet Restaurant was good, as well as the Japanese. You have to walk through the buffet room to get to the Japanese restaurant. If you are lucky, like we were, the buffet had sushi out and we grabbed some while we waited for the Japanese restaurant to open. The Steak House restaurant was also good, choices of fish, New York Strip, pork tenderloin or Rib eye.

Tip-Twelve, The white and red wines (only one kind of each) are pretty lame. If you go into town or walk down to the Paradise Island Shopping Center, you can buy a nice wine to bring to dinner.

Out departing flight was at 1:30pm, so they told us to get a taxi by 11am. This worked out really well since you must check out by noon. Do your major packing the night before. If you get up early enough, you can have breakfast, relax outside for awhile until you have to go.

We had a great time and great weather. It was a little breezy the whole time, but it kept the temperature comfortable to lie out on the beach. The water is beautiful, but can be rough at times. Since we were there in March, this just may be how it is this time of year.

I hope this helps!

Helpful?
71 Thank slapnuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2006

Our stay at the Riu was 3/26 - 3/30 we read all the reviews over the last few weeks and we wer very concerned about what we got ourselves into. SURPRISE, SURPRISE the place was really nice, check in was effortless. We had the room we requested poolside and king size bed. The daily room service was always done nad if you didn't want it done we were asked everyday and we said yes everyday, our room was always cleaned.

One day we did nothave wash cloths and had hand towels instead when I let the day staff know that we received wash cloths.

Food was excellent,lots and lots of choices for the dieter or the lover of all inclusive fill me til I can't eat anymore type. It was interesting to see the bars open as early as 8:00 am and vacationers were drinking as soon as they were open. 2 Wedding parties were there while we were there so there were a few wild poeple poolside, a bit of vacation entertainment never hurts. Music, bingo and dancing sessions poolside.

As Everyone says, Atlantis is right next door and we spent evenings over there. Really enjoyed a comedy session at the comedy club in Atlantis for $20. Drinks over there were expensive $11.00 for a Cosmopolitan. Drink up before you leave Riu (smile). I wasn't ready to leave on Thursday, I will go back and stay for a full week. A few Spring Breakers were there, but if your going now they should all be back at school. It was relaxing and a smooth, easy vacation not having to worry about food or drink.. ENJOY!!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2006

I concur with the reviewers who say this hotel was the worst part of the trip. Ocean beautiful, Atlantis next door was fun and the drinks there were great(martinis) for 12 dollars. I couldn't believe people wrote that the food was good, all I dan say is those people don't get out much or really don't know good food. The red wine was served out of a plastic pitcher. I did take a picture of that to amuse all my friends! The white wine was dispensed through a plastic thing you might put apple juice in. If anyone out there would like the manager of the hotel's web address (it tooks lots of work to obtain), it is (--)
Some people did mention you couldn't get a wash cloth in the bathroom, I found if you tipped the maid she would bring you one! I have to say, I can laugh about how bad the hotel was in regards to the fire alarm always going off, the elevators took turns being broke for the day, the towel nazi lady who tried to tell me I didn't return 4 towels after she just counted them, each day after, I made her count them one by one. Who would want to take the damn towels? They were thin, tattered and ugly. I did hear others talk like the other RIU hotels were very different and some were elegant but I wouldn't do an all inclusive again, the alcohol is below bottom shelf and no one I talked to could drink the wine, bad, bad, bad.....I also had to laugh in the "GOURMET" restaurant and the fake silk rose they had in a vase on each table, so tacky. We spent the next two evenings paying for the nicer restaurants owned by the Atlantis but thought we are on vacation and can't eat that crap one more night. The all inclusive was a rip off for us but if you aren't selective about food, alcohol, comfortable bed, nice towels, you should enjoy yourself.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Cindy1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2006

First, let me say I read many positive reviews about this "resort" before purchasing a 4 night package during the week of March 27th. I can't believe anyone would write a positive review on this place. It was a terrible place to be, let along spending your vacation at. Just got back home, and I have never been so glad to be back home from a vacation..... ever!!!!

The lobby was beautifully remodeled and looked with very elegant..... But it smelled like raw sewage continually and that is no exageration.

Unless you wanted to eat at the buffet, you had to get in line every morning and sign up for their specialty restaurants. The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets were the same exact thing every day. Food items at the buffet were actually positioned at the same exact spot every day. Actually the food was not bad, but who wants the same thing every day.

We were promised a room that overlooked the pool. instead, we had a view of their roof. When we ask to be changed, their unfriendly help gave us the idea that it was our fault. They did give us another room the next day, but insisted we pack up and bring our luggage down to the front desk and recheck in after 3:00. No washcloths in the bathrooms. The water out of the faucets is not safe to drink. Our Bed was very hard and uncomfortable.

No friendly employees found at this place.

Entertainment not much to speak of at the Riu. Nothing to do except drink in their lobby and smell their sewage or walk over to the Atlantis at night. Plenty to do at the Atlantis, but since you are not a guest of the Atlantis you can not go to many of the places there. (unless you pay 29.00 each)

Ice cold pool. Very few people swimming in the pook. There was an outdoor Jacuzzi incorporated in the swimming pool just bubbling away, but again the water in the jacuzzi was ice cold. There was a scuba diving instructor giving lessons at the pool one day. He was actually wearing a wet suit. He told us the Riu was too cheap to heat their pool.

The last straw! When I checked out, I realized they actually charged $250.00 to my Visa card when I checked in on Monday. (I paid for this vacation in full in advance) They credited the $250.00 when I checked out. Most places make an imprint of your card, but this place actually charged and then credited $250.00. To top this off, the said they can't charge anything less than $20.00 to a credit card. Consequently they made me pay cash for the $12.50 I owed for a phone call.

I hated this place!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 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: 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, Amex, Visa, Diners ... 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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