We've previously stated at other Riu Resorts all inclusive. All inclusive is the way to go. The buffets were actually better than some of the restaurants. Everything went as plan except for 2 issues. 1. My reservation was not in the system. Took about an hour to get things straighten out. it was not ideal because we took an early flight so we can take advantage of the beach and resort on our first day there. So we were delayed but was also tired. 2. the room (mini suite) was good size and decent view with balcony. The issue we had was that it was a little noisy due to the location of the door and how thin the door was. Easily hear the people in the hallway even at regular level. The bed was also uncomfortable. It seems to be two queens size bed put next to each other but it was uncomfortable. Not just the area where the beds meet but overall lumpy. Otherwise it was a great. the staff was friendly and helpful. The food, drinks, pool, sauna, etc were all amazing. Needless to say the beach was great and having access (included) to paddle board and kayak was a plus. Access to next door Riu for adult only was good too.
I'll start with the negative items first. We were on the tenth floor and getting to and from the lobby by elevator took an unusual amount of time. The two elevators were way too small for the number of rooms in our building. They also stopped twice on me on a floor I didn't choose. Luckly I could finish the trip to my room with the stairs. The beds are hugh, but hard as rock to sleep on. They definitly need to update the mattress. The jetted tub is useless if you have a sore back (most people's problem) because there are no jets coming out of the back of the tub. You'd have to sit backwards and end up with the spigot jabbing you in the back! I would think with a 4 star hotel in 2012 you would have a flatscreen tv, not an old style 27" tv that had no high def. and at least half the channels had some kind of distortion. I know you don't go on vacation to watch tv, but it's still something that should be updated. Didn't like that you had to make dinner reservations between 9:00am and 12 noon only on the day of the dinner! You have to be carefull to schedule outside activities so you can make your reservations. Positive items next. The 4 restaurants plus the buffet restaurant were excellent! You will not go hungry here. The pool...incredibly relaxing, excellent swim-up bar with fast service, and the tiled concrete lounge chairs that were half submerged in 3 different places in the pool are something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Service from the staff at the front desk, the multible information desks, and room cleaning were top notch. They all aim to please! Incredible sunsets from any room. I think all rooms have balconys.
The resort was awesome. Usually all-inclusive resorts are known for sub-par cafeteria style food and cheap alcohol, but not Riu! Their dinner dining options were great, and the buffet was one of the best (freshest) I've ever seen! The pool was big and the swim up bar was awesome! The staff was super friendly and so gracious. The fact that if you're over 18 years of age you have access to the Riu Palace Antillas next door is also a huge bonus if you're looking to get away from the kids & senior citizens for some "adult fun". The only negative I have to mention on the entire trip had nothing to do with the resort itself, but the other guests. Reclining chairs by the pool were a hot commodity so some selfish guests would "reserve" a chair all day by putting their towel on it even though they weren't even outside. My recommendation is to take a chair no one is in, and if someone comes out, play dumb. Odds are no one will even come back for it.
We were so excited to have our honeymoon at the Riu Palace! It was supposed to be 10 days of fun in the sun. After having a wonderful booking experience over the phone with a representative from Cheap Caribbean, we were all set! They indicated on our reservation that it was our honeymoon, and we wanted a high room, away from the elevators. We arrived at the Riu, learned we had a mid level floor, and we were around the corner from the elevators. The king sized bed is really two full beds pushed together with a sheet that barely fit.The pillows were like pillowcases filled with cotton balls. We had to ask 3 times over our stay to get beer and water stocked in our fridge- there were days when they guys didn't bother coming. The buffets were decent, as was the Italian restaurant. We had to leave the steakhouse without finishing our main course due to the mosquitoes. We had to ask for our honeymoon champagne 3 times before it was delivered on the third day. Getting up at 7 am to get a hut on the beach or chairs at the pool was also not how I pictured my honeymoon. Possibly the worst part was the fact that we got locked out of our room 3 days in a row because the batteries in the lock kept shorting out due to the humidity. We needed to use the phone to call Cheap Caribbean to change our flights because of a death in the family, and when we went to check out a day early, they were going to charge us over $100 for phone calls. The manager didn't even blink when we listed all of the problems that we had with our room and reluctantly credited us some money back. Overall, it was a very disappointing experience and we don't plan on returning. There are plenty of other hotels in Aruba!
My wife and I decided to go to Aruba on pretty short notice (2 Months). It had been a really long year for my wife losing her job and us trying unsuccessfully to start a family. We were also going for our 5 year anniversary, which I had to unfortunately miss in April due to work. We decided on Aruba over the Bahamas and Cozumel. We really wanted to get away from everything and this seemed far enough. We were intrigued by the pictures we saw but concerned about some of the reviews on Trip Adviser about theft. We got there and they treated us to the customary punch that they give on arrival. I had asked for a top room in the reservation for our Anniversary, and the guy at the desk wished us a happy anniversary and gave us room 711 in the main building. It was nice to see they paid attention to our request. Room 711 had a perfect view of the pool and ocean. The room was very nice. The beds are pretty hard, but they will soften it up if you ask. We didn't have any problems with security in our room. The safe was left alone. We ordered room service and it was fine and pretty quick. They restock the beer in the fridge every day and its nice to have the alcohol dispensers. The food is great at the buffet. The restaurants are pretty sub-par. I didn't like the Japanese restaurant. The Italian one was ok. We decided to eat out or at the buffet the rest of the time. My wife loved the cheese spread at the buffet. The buffet by the pool has self-serve beer. I thought that was pretty awesome. If you eat out, go to Texas de Brazil. Its expensive, but worth it if you like steak and other types of meat. They do not tell you the price. It's $45 a person and if you get a pitcher of sangria, that will run you $45 too. We spent about $185 there, but hey. its vacation... The bar on the same level of the lobby has 1 good server. I think his name was Noshonne. He is fun and gives good advice on where to go on the island. He recommended Texas de Brazil over other steakhouses. We were supposed to go out on Saturday night with him, but we were so exhausted from the day. It would have been fun I'm sure. We spent our first day at the pool and our second at the beach. I got up at 6:30 and got the last Palapa. Every morning I would get up at around 7 since I normally am up anyway and save us chairs at the right side of the pool by the bar. Not the best first come-first serve system, but it worked for us. Make sure Freddy serves you for your drinks and tip him well because he really is good. He will remember what you like and make it as strong as you want throughout your entire stay. We only did the beach once because the winds would whip the sand on you. But the ocean water is the most comfortable I have ever been in. If you decide to take a bus downtown, make sure its the actual bus, not a small white van. It is part of the bus system, but they pack it in. We were the only tourists in it, but it actually made it interesting to sit with locals. The shopping was fine, but we really just wanted to get stuff for our nieces and nephews. I got cologne for cheap. We did a full day to De Palm Island. It was fun, but not necessary to take a full day. Just go to the banana boat right when it opens so you don't have to wait in line. I'm not sure if it was the particular day (Mother's Day), but there were a lot of locals there, and they were pretty rude there. The food and drinks are not that great there. We had our own beach most of the day on the other side of the island and that was nice. The blue parrots are pretty cool to look at. Try to buy an underwater camera before you come because they are $27 here. Also, bring lots of sunscreen. We brought 3 bottles and it wasn't enough. My wife is very white. We had to buy another bottle at $27 too. If you need snacks or random toiletries go next door to the westin. Its a bigger store. Overall, it was what we really needed, a relaxing vacation. There are a lot of families along with younger and older couples. My wife and I feel like we found a good place we will go back to.
Well after a nice week on vacation, I had a personal belonging stolen from me out of one of my bags so the maid had to actually rummage through my belongings to find it, I was highly disappointed knowing that they had know business looking through my things. This resort was suppose to be top notch, my opinion has changed, I have been to many different places and have not had anyone do this. When I brought it to anyones attention, it was not addressed properly as if it was not any of their concern, I wrote a e-mail to where I was told to and have not received a response. I locked my doors, so the only people in there were the maids that they assigned that week, you tell me what happend. First and last time that I will stay, to me its a low class place.
Went for a 30th birthday outing and paid way too much for such poor quality. The hotel is alright, but the service was poor. Received conflicting info constantly. They did not want to deliver mixers to the room (had liquor, but nothing to mix it with), couldn't get a restaurant reservation for dinner and the beds were ridiculously hard. Nightlife wasn't that great at the hotel either. We tried to add a friend to our room but was told their reservations were outsourced and they couldn't help but I could call long distance to add her--not very convenient. The beach is wonderfrul though and this hotel is right across the street from bars and restaurants. I have been to other al-inclusives and had much better service.
ONE OF THE BEST VACATIONS I HAVE HAD. FIRST OFF I WOULD LIKE TO THANK CHEAP CARIBBEAN. YOU STAFF WAS EXTREMELY UNDERSTANDING AND HELPFUL WITH "CHANGES" BASED ON "MY MISUNDERSTANDINGS." GREAT HOTEL STAFF WONDERFUL, FOOD GREAT/REALLY GOOD. "NOT WONDERFUL". I WOULD RATE IT A 8 OR 9 NOT A 10/10. SERVICE WAS A 10. LOCATION 10. POOL 10. BEACH 10. DEBATE ON "ALL INCLUSIVE" is a 50/50 we definitely got our monies worth on the all inclusive. But, would have done just as well at a standard set up, just not as nice. We visited, bought drinks and listened to the music at the Westin next door. (friends). Not as nice, but nice,. 1,100 less for the same 5 nights, a wash, but am glad we chose the RIU. Also, popped in on a short conference at the Marriot down the beach. Same story cheaper but not as nice, a wash. Really depends how much you want to eat and drink. We did both. RIU's pools definitely the best. Aruba beaches "the best". Listen to the music and have the local beers on the pier infront, BUGALOE. This is great at night. Oh, and there is NO night life on ARUBA and that is OK... Aruba weather forcasts "worthless". It was forcast to rain and be overcast EVERYDAY DURING our trip. AND THANKFULLY that was partially true. I went to get SUN and we did, more than we needed/wanted. The clouds rain, very nice, refreshing drizzels, were appreciated. I'm baked to perfection, (my wife might argue) and the sun would have sent us looking for shade if not for the occasional clouds. Bottom line IGNORE weather forcasts. Hey, that's right CheapCarribbean offers a 100 dollar rain guarantee. Can this count as my official reguest?? Actually, since it rained/drizziled everyday is that 100x5?? ... doubt it. Cann't blame me for trying. Bottomline we had a great time and will use CheapCaribbean again. This was our first time with CheapCarribean. We will return to Aruba and the RIU. Also to clarify we do travel a lot. In the last 12 months we have been to NYC, SAN FRAN, San Diego, Dublin, Lago's, Barcellona, Sevilla and Budapest. So trust me ehen I say this was nice.
This was our first time in Aruba. After this visit, we don't need to see any other island. It is great! Sunny and breezy. We stayed at Riu Palace hotel, one of a few all-inclusive places. It was a great place for families with children. Our room was on the second floor, it had a great spacious balcony that was always in the shade overlooking the swimming pool and partial ocean view. Surprisingly there was no outside noise heard in the room. The swimming pool was large and had a swim up bar. There were always games and other entertainment near the pool. The hotel has a large buffet style restaurant. The food was good with a lot of options. The a la cart restaurants weren't that impressive however. But we felt that just having nice food options in the buffet style restaurant was quite enough (at least for us). Every night there was entertainment from about 7 to 11pm. The beach near hotel was wonderful, blue waters, white sand, pelicans... Overall a great great vacation! We will be back for sure!
There was a dampness in the room that affected clothing and made the floor slippery if the air conditioner was not on fully and the fan on high blowing all day and night.. We found that the cleaning staff tended to turn off the fan and the air conditioner which caused the dampness and slippery floor.