We traveled Aug. 18th - 23rd to the Bahamas. We stayed at the Riu Palace on recommendation from Cheap Caribbean and we were not disappointed. We booked the airport transfer ahead of time with Majestic which is highly recommended. The Majestic bus was waiting for us as well as friendly staff to help. On the way to the hotel, the bus driver briefed us on the area and gave us some ideas of where to eat and activities while we are on the island. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by staff members who helped get our luggage off the bus and into the hotel. We were advised to take at least $100 in $1's and we did tip the staff along the way. They were not pushy about it at all, but are very, very helpful. The hotel is beautiful and was very clean. The staff was very visible at all times cleaning in the lobby and on the floors. There was only 1 family ahead of us in line at check-in. Check-in and check-out was very easy and quick. The all-inclusive vacation was very beneficial for us. Our room was ready when we arrived. The mini-fridge was fully stocked with pop, water and beer. The staff replenished upon request. Every room has an ocean-view. The view was absolutely beautiful. The food was better than we expected. We ordered room service several times. Limited menu for room service, but it was great for a quick snack if you didn't want the full dining experience. We did not have to wait in line in the morning to reserve for the restaurants. We did eat at the Japanese restaurant and the steakhouse. The food and service was very good at both. We liked the food at the steakhouse better. Our server was very friendly and pleasant. Have the baked alaska for dessert. You can order room service for breakfast, but you did have to fill out the form the night before by 11 pm and hang it on the door. There is a great variety of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you choose to eat at the buffet. The pool was nice as well as the ocean. The locals do try to sell you banana boat rides, jet ski rides etc. but once you tell them no thanks they do leave you alone. I found that the vendors were a little more aggressive at the straw market in downtown Nassau. Taxis are very easy to get. They basically run in front of the hotel so when you walk out the front door there is a cab waiting. It is very inexpensive to go to Nassau (approx. $12 one way). We did visit The Atlantis which is right next door, but to see the aquarium etc. you do have to pay an entrance fee of $120 per person per day which includes the water slides. There are two desks in the lobby to sign up for excursions. We took the day trip on a powerboat Exuma. The best day of our entire trip. It is a 1 hour and 20 minute ride to a private island. The water was so blue. You can't even imagine how beautiful. The guides were so friendly and helpful. We swam on a private beach, snorkeled (my son saw a lion fish!), had lunch (fed the scraps the the sharks), walked on a sand bar in the middle of nowhere, and the last stop before heading back to the hotel, we did feed the iguanas grapes from a stick. The trip is well worth the money. Perfect trip, very easy, no frills, no fuss. Just relaxed and had fun. Would highly recommend the Riu.
Well to start off, if your thinking of booking this resort. JUST DO IT!!!!. My wife and I went with our 1 year old son. Arriving at the airport was easy and just a question at the front desk got us going in the right direction to meet the shuttle (who actually existed). It was about a 20-30 min. drive to the RIU. The driver let us in on some of the island's do's and don't. Gave us directions to local attractions and how to catch the ferry to the main land (Nassau). Once we arrived to the RIU (earlier that checkin) we were given a room quite soon. The room was ALOT better than expected. The "partial beach view" we paid for was great!. The7th floor view was amazing. We had a direct view to the crystal clear waters of the paradise island and a view to the overpriced Atlantis resorts. After unpacking we immediatley hit up the buffet which was outstanding. We were not much of pool people, but it looked clean. Upon walking down to the beach (which is the same shared beach with the Atlantis beach) you were in heaven. Chairs were free of charge. The Jet Ski, bannana boat, snorkel vendors were harrassing you once you stepped foot on the beach. If you declinded their service, they would back off. (word around the beach was they would cut your paid time by 5-10 minutes,... BE CAREFUL, watch your own time). The next few days were easy..... Wake up, eat breakfast, beach and drink, eat lunch and drink, beach and drink, wash up get dressed and eat dinner and drink again.... It was a vacation. Not much night entertainment except for the nightly shows, but heading to the Atlantis was how we spent our nights. they have eveything. casinos, bars, discos, food, fish tanks. The food was great at the RIU. The Service was okay. At the buffetts, the service was slow, you had to get your own drinks or ask, which i didnt mind bringing the water to the table. at the dinner restuarants, the service was awesome, we befriended our waiter and assistant, Antony and Belkin at the steakhouse restaurant. Over all the resort was a bit pricey, but we would have spent double at the atlantis resorts and not have food and drinks. All inclusive is the way to go... I would definately book again in the future. If your not sure of something just ask, the "Bahamians" they are very helpful and love tourist. Sure im forgetting alot but very nice place.
We came to the Riu at Paradise Island in September. Let me first tell you, if you're looking for a quiet time to vacation that's not too crowded, this is the time to go. Small crowds and very limited amount of kids. This resort is all around pretty good. Maybe a 6 out of 10. I've stayed at Riu hotels in other countries that were better than this one. I personally think the biggest problem with this hotel is that it is outdated in many ways. To name a few: Older looking lobby area with a lot of wood furnishings and moldings. Our toilet seat was falling off the toilet Electrical socket covers were falling off Only one pool (with a pool bar that turns your bathingsuit white if you lean against it) Other cons include: There were a few encounters with grumpy staff. I think they are just over worked for the most part. Some staff were even caught using their cell phones "discreetly" No double room queen rooms. Either king, queen, or double rooms with double beds. There are outside vendors trying to sell things on the beach front of the Riu. (Jet ski and parasail rides snorkeling, conch shells, towels) usually if you tell them "no thank you" or "I already have that/ did that" they will leave you alone. Of course it's a new battle every day you go to the beach. Make sure you book their "fine dining" diner rooms FIRST thing in the morning otherwise they book up and you will be stuck at the buffet- which is a great buffet. But the other dining rooms are worth the reservation! On the plus side: There were four bars including a sports bar and pool bar with servers who will mix you up almost anything you can imagine The beach was AMAZING! I would give it an 11 out of 10. Crystal clear blue water. Minimal waves. Silky smooth sand. No sharp rocks or shells. Pure bliss. (Grab a few pieces of bread from the buffet and break it up and toss a few into the water while your about chest depth... Tropical fish will show and eat up the bread!) Do bring if you have it: goggles and a snorkel and an underwater camera! All rooms have a walk out porch. FREEZING cold AC in rooms! Great for that hot and humid Bahamian weather Included with the all inclusive is 24 hour room service. They have a small selection for the room service menu but it's nice if you're hungry late when the buffet is closed. I even requested some toast and warm milk to soothe my fiancées stomach and they brought it right up to us at 2am! Atlantis is a one minute walk from the Riu lobby to their lobby. You have very good access to almost everything Atlantis has to offer except part of the aquarium and the water park which we did buy a 145$ pp day pass for (and was worth it even just once). Atlantis is HUGE! Massive. We went over there almost every day of our 6 day stay and kept discovering new parts we had not seen before. We probably still didn't see everything they have. Take a taxi for 4-5 dollars a person down to the straw market in Nassau. Lots of shops and vendors! And you MUST go to Señor Frog! On our way out of Nassau we took a water taxi back to paradise island. But be prepared to walk to the Riu... Especially if it's hot... It's not exactly close to where they drop you off from the water taxi. Over all we had a great vacation at the Riu. They don't have many all inclusive hotels in paradise island but one thing is for sure, do the all inclusive! Food and drink in the Bahamas is way over priced! I had a scoop of Ben and Jerrys ice cream, 1 scoop for 4.76 cents! That's the price of one pint in the states. Just about everything you buy in the Bahamas is subject to their 7.5% tax (vat) which makes things even more expensive.
This was our first trip to Bahamas. I reach all the Hotels and decided on the RUI Palace on Paradise Island. We arrived on Thursday April 12th. After a hour and half airplane flight, and then a 30 min ride to the hotel we were very tired. After waiting in the long check-in line we are told that the hotel has over booked and we have to stay the night at their other hotel called Paradise Hotel for one night. We were not happy about this at all. We were sent to the Paradise by taxi. When arriving at the Paradise Hotel we met many other people who have been sent to Paradise and they too had booked their trip with Cheap Caribben. Paradise Hotel is a DUMP Hotel. (It needs to be thrown down and rebuilded). We stayed there Thursday night, and checked out at 10:30a. We took a taxi back to the RUI Hotel to get our room. Upon arriving there we are told we have to wait until 2p-3p for our roon. At 11:30a we saw some people we had met at Paradise Hotel. While talking to them and finding that they just got their room we went back to the front desk to ask for our room. This vacation turn out very good, but getting a room at the RUI Hotel has been the hardest thing I have ever experience. We asked at the front desk how do they decide who will have have to go to Paradise Hotel, and we were told it is a random drawing. We found it very interesting that everyone we met at Paradise had booked their trip with Cheap Caribbean. We paid for four nights to stay at RUI Hotel NOT the Paradise Hotel. That was the nightmare of our trip.
Just returned form a great week at the Riu Palace-Paradise Island-Bahamas. We had a great time. The hotel was clean and the atmosphere was positive. The staff was very friendly and always willing to accomodate. The one thing that bothered me in general was that even though it is all-inclusive most were looking for tips but I guess that's the nature of the beast. The pool and beach were really nice, clean and inviting. On two of the days we were there it got cold so we could not use the pool. I do realize that's not normal but it would have been nice if they turned up the heat on the pool. The location was great being situated right next to the Atlantis property. We had no problem walking the entire property. Most of the walk is inside so we were able to use the Casino and see the Aquarium (if you go at night it's free). We were just a short drive to downtown Nassau where there is all sorts of shopping and restaurants/bars. Cab ride is best if you go as a group. $4 for the cab or the ferry! The room was very nice but I did have to go back to the front desk to get them to move me to my correct type of room and one that was more appropriate. Only problem was the bath tub where you shower was so narrow that you stand on the sides of the tub! The buffet offerings were surprisingly very good. The selection was large and varied and the cooking was very good. We found that we didn't need to wait online at 8am in the morning to reserve at the special restaurants because they were disappointing. (poor way to have to make a reservation). Overall we were very pleased with the Riu and would go there again.
I read thru the reviews before making the purchase & was a little hesitant to purchase based on a couple negative reviews I read, but the deal was honestly too good to pass up. So glad I booked our reservation at the RIU. Was a fantastic deal. The rooms were nice, the food good, and people friendly. The beach was gorgeous. The only thing that was a little weird was the bed & refilling of the mini-bar/water bottles. It was two full sized beds pushed together & they were covered in plastic & a little too firm for my liking, but I prefer a soft/plush bed. For those that like firm beds, you'll like this. We would have wished the beer / soda / water bottles in the fridge would have been refilled, but were only replenished on the first night. The food options were great. We chose to do the buffet each day & there was always something available to eat- breakfast, lunch, snack, & dinner. Or, you had the option of signing up for a "nicer" dinner, but you had to get up & wait in line from 8-9am in the morning. We chose not to wait in line & just did the buffets, which were excellent. Each night there was a different food "theme," and offered TONS of options. Always fresh fruit, fresh veggies, protein, etc. One night they offered a gumbo to DIE for & lobster tail the last night we were there. The beach offered wonderful lounge chairs for lying on, which was nice. The drinks were yummy & fabulous. The staff friendly. GREAT all-inclusive package! Loved our trip & would come back. PS-- It's about a $33 (w/out tip) taxi ride from the airport. Same price the other way. PPS-- Atlantis is right next door. The options were a little too pricy & confusing for us. However, there are tons of folks available to book catamaran's, snorkling, parasailing, jet ski rides, etc.
My trip at the Riu palace paradise went smoothly. I can't believe there were so many rude complaints. Its nothing like people say it is. When we got to the airport everything went smoothly. We just scanned our passports and tickets came out immediately. Hotel was beautiful and nice and cle the people were nice and friendly. The food was so good. If u don't like to try new things then you may not like it but it was delicious to me. The pool was clean and the beach was clean. There was people on the beach trying to sell u things but they leave u alone once u say no. Its a nice relaxing place. This was my first trip and my first time going out the country. I was nervous but cheap Caribbean was on time with everything and i will most definitely be using them again and i recommended a few friends. The bus ride to the hotel was there waiting at the airport to take us to the island and they were there on time to take us home. I am very comfortable with cheap Caribbean. Riu palace is all free. food, drinks, room service and u don't have to tip if u don't want. IT WAS AMAZING!! Can't wait to use cheap Caribbean again:-)
Overall, our stay was pretty great. It is definately the best bang for your buck. We bought "day" passes to the Atlantis, which were actually good for every day we were there. This allowed us to get into their aquarium (which is an absolute must see!), the water park, and their private beaches. You can also get to the casino without buying a day pass, which we did every night as well. It was great!! We would just play there during the day and walk back to the Riu anytime we wanted food or a drink, which was WAY better than buying at the Atlantis. Food and drink prices there are OUTRAGEOUS. The Riu is literally right next door to the Atlantis, easy walking. As far as the Riu itself, the food was great. The restaurants you have to make reservations at pretty early because they book up. Be prepared to spend about an hour and a half there... there was a little too much time between courses if you ask me, but overall, GREAT seafood. The pool is not very nice. Not much sugar-coating that. The beach is BEAUTIFUL and there is no problem getting a layout chair. However, there are constantly people peddling jet ski rides, jewelry, etc. which gets pretty annoying. I still say though, this was the best way for us to do it. If you have kids then splurge for the Atlantis. It was just me and my husband looking for a few days of laying in the sun, being lazy, eating too much, and drinking pina coladas beachside. So if that's what you are looking for, I definately recommend it!
We took a much needed vacation this August, and I'm so glad we decided to go to the Bahamas. After reading the reviews on this website and on a few others, decided to stay at the RIU Palace. CheapCaribean's payment plan really worked w/our tight budget. Our check-in was easy, the room was very nice, w/a huge closet, and our patio area overlooked the pool and beach, the bathroom had a few areas that needed a little repair (ie: toilet tank was cracked a little, and the roof part of the shower was peeling a little) but both worked great and the bathroom overall was very nice. We were in the Jr. Suite and we had a roll away bed for my son. There was plenty of room for us. We had a king size bed that was comfortable. The room ac had a hard time at night keeping the room cool enough, so my suggestion is make sure its really cold in the room in the morning when you leave, and don't turn it up all day. The all-inclusive meals and drinks are great! The drinks are perfect no matter what you order! There is plenty of selection at the buffet and its all good! There are other restaurants that you have to make reservations for, but we only went to the steakhouse one night (my husband loves steaks). It was good, and they bring the food to you. The beach and water are gorgeous. Get to the beach and pool early as they fill up quickly. But even with a lot of folks at the pool and beach, it was fine and we still had a great time. We did tip some, even though you are not required to, but I think if you're getting good service, a tip every once in a while goes a long way, and the staff deserve it. We went next door to walk around Atlantis. Its huge with lots to see. We took the ferry into Nassau to check out the town and the Pirates of Nassau museum, we really got a kick out of it!
My husband and I got married at the Riu Palace 4 years ago and we returned last month for the wedding of some friends. Our previous stay was just prior to the remodel of the rooms and some updates. The rooms were nicer, although some of the furniture seemed a little cheap (drawers were difficult to open and some of the bottoms were falling out). They added a new 24 hour sports bar where you could get snacks after hours which was a great idea for those of us that like to stay up late. Everything else was just as we remembered it. The buffets were absolutely spectacular for an all-inclusive resort. There was something for everyone! The service was wonderful and the staff was friendly and helpful. We ate at the steakhouse once but preferred the buffet because we did not want to be tied to reservations and the buffet food was so good. Never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. Even when it was crowded, the bartenders were efficient. We were hoping they were going to improve on the pool a bit. It's ok, but it's a little older and seemed a little too cloudy at times. We chose to hang out at the beach and swim in the ocean. The last time we were there, we were fighting for beach chairs. This time they had plenty of lounge chairs and had staff on the beach to set them up for you. I highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a great all-inclusive hotel in the Bahamas. We will probably return next year to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.