The resort from the first time we stepped on it was amazingly beautiful and the service from all of the employees was fantastic. It's on a secluded part of the island in a valley and has its own private beach with the largest infinity pool as well. The drinks were amazing at all of the bars and the food was great even all of the buffets were done extremely well. Each of the three restaurants where you have to make reservations (le mar, Krystal fusion restaurant, and the steakhouse) were AMAZING. The French restaurant and the steakhouse were the two best especially the Caribbean lobster with butter garlic sauce from the steakhouse. We stayed for a six night five day stay and I absolutely do not regret spending the amount of money on this place. If you want secluded resort with great food, a nice private beach, and just to kick back and relax and enjoy sipping multiple drinks in the pool and on the beach and have no worries about anything (with a limited nightlife of course which we didn't care about or want but if you do stay on the Dutch side) then this is definitely your place.
Do's. The resort was clean. It was not overly crowded. Everything outdoors was wonderful and in great shape. We had no problems finding chairs or umbrellas. The pool was a lot of fun and beach was clean with clear water. There was plenty of drinks (with and without alcohol) for the entire multi-generational family. It was a bit of a pain that had to leave beach to get drinks but a little exercise never hurt anyone. The grounds were very pretty and well kept with people working on them constantly. The food was good. We were only able to get into one of the "fine" restaurants. Reservations at all RIU hotels are always a pain so this was not unexpected. The teenager we were with preferred the buffet or room service anyway so was not too disappointed. Heard no complaints from any of the 6 of us traveling together. Don'ts The hotel insides need a remodel pretty soon. There is definitely wear and tear in every room (we had problems in all 3). There was no hot water in one room. The air did not work well in another and the third room had a refrigerator that did not work. We knew this going into the hotel so it was not a surprise and the price and size of the rooms more than made up for the inconvenience. We would recommend the hotel and go back again. It is quiet with no nightlife and this was plus for our group. We were wanting beach, pool, sun, reading time and lots of available food. We were not disappointed.
My sisters and I stayed here last week and here are my key takeaways: 1. This is a family oriented resort and the nightlife is seriously lacking. I wouldn't recommend to single adults looking to socialize. It definitely a quiet resort 2. Staff was great and friendly. 3. Rooms were pretty clean. 4. The flies in the eating area were horrible. At one point I found a dying fly in my oatmeal.... such a turn off 5. The beach is small but peaceful and beautiful, I loved the fact that it was nestled between two large hills.
This was my first time visiting a Riu Resort. For the price, this location had a lot to offer that worked for him and I. Kayaking was included which was something we wanted to do daily. We also did a nature hike, which was brutal (bring lots of water, be physically and mentally prepared) but a nice way to see parts of the island. There was a variety of food options at the buffet which served us both well. Breakfast had everything you could possibly want. Lunch was your average lunch buffet with options for all different pallets. The restaurants we thought were way better than expected. The steak I had was delicious and served with all different sauces on the side which was great b/c you could taste each one. My boyfriend loved all the fresh fish, but I ate steak every night. We had no complaints about the private restaurants. The staff were all personable and friendly. The nightly entertainment was enjoyable, but short. The live performances were only from 9-10. This should be extended because after that there isn't much to do. You can go to the bar or do your own thing, but the live performances brought everyone together and it was enjoyable they should make it longer. The accomidations were clean but there was a musty sort-of mildew smell in the halls. I suppose this is from the dampness because of the proximity to the beach, but when you first enter the hallways it hits you.. Dispite my complaints I would recommend this resort to a friend b/c of the location and the great price. The resort is situated on one of the most beautiful lagoons on the island (we went to many). When you kayak the turtles swim right beside you. It's amazing and gorgeous. Be aware there is a nude beach on the west side, so if you take a walk along the beach, you will see topless bathers. The pool was also really clean and really nice. But watch out for swimming iguanas!
The location is secluded & there are not any included activities like paddle boarding/kayaks like other RIU locations. So you have to pay extra for everything. This was are only real disappointment. The staff was awesome! Patricio and, Alexander from the pool bar kept our drinks coming and we're very friendly. Same with the ladies at the other pool bar. Janelle resolved our room issues right away. Fannie was great for getting the party started. The food was ok compared to other RIU palaces. Many thanks to Alexander our omelettes every morning. Don't leave your patio/balcony doors open as critters come in. Do rent a car to see the island and other beaches, totally worth it. Be aware you have to come up a steep hill to get to the resort. It's beautiful here! We didn't bring our kid but saw all the other children had a great time. They even had a park on site.
The resort was a wee bit time worn. Size, location and activity are described head on. I just can't figure why they chose to attach Palace to the hotel, after having stayed at several "Palace" locations and visited regular Riu's I would not describe this as their Palace caliber. The new dining reservation rules are very disruptive to a relaxing day, you have to be physically at the restaurant at 6:30 the evening of to book. The food was very good but if you want to order a second entree to share at the French restaurant they will refuse you. Steakhouse they were very accommodating. Krystal is unknown we tried to get our party of 8 in 2 nights but were unsuccessful despite being about 10th in line. They only have seating for 25. Despite the fact that the rooms were very clean we did have little ants and a bug or 2 sharing the space. But we were a ground floor suite. You need a full blown transformer for electric if your from the US! They have some to loan but hard to come by, took a travel-mate 2 days to get one so they could use hair styling tools. They do have 2 USB ports in an outlet to plug phone chargers in though. This is not an activity filled hotel, very quiet, low key, and isolated. Which was fine for us as we only ventured off premises once!
Our stay was mid March 2017. We were first disappointed when we arrived as it seemed small and the beach was small. The room did have an old carpet but it was ok. They should just replace it with tile. But by the end of the second day we we like ok why we're we disappointed? It is a small quite resort that was not crowded. They only have 3 restaurants plus a buffet. The food was great and I'm fussy. I thought the buffet was the best. Plenty of lobster and so many options .They fill your frig everyday with water, beer, sofa an the rooms have assorted liquor. At the bar you actually got a drink with real alcohol. The staff was excellent and very polite. They arranged the excursions for us and made it so we always had the same taxi drive Alex during our stay. He was great , always on time. Two bad things. One they had a speaker on the beach a couple of days blasting music. No good. Then where they have their evening entertainment, some nights it was a little loud but it did end at 11 pm. We wish were we're back there.
It was perhaps one of the best vacations ever. We had visited a few all-inclusive resorts before in Mexico and Dominican Republic and our experience was not that good. However, we decided to give it a try and the Riu Palace delivered! We enjoyed it thoroughly! The food was good. The restaurants did not require reservations. Our favorite was La Mer! The beach and water were awesome. The room was great (we had the Marina Suite), which was worth the upgrade. I cannot tell anything about the pool because we did not spend a minute in it. The entire resort is kind of small and feel intimate. It was not crowded. The weather was perfect. We brought our own snorkels and spent most of the time in the water exploring the sea world. If you snorkel, make sure to bring the diver's flag with you! Good luck and enjoy! You will not be disappointed!
Hotel : The hotel doesn't have the radisson blu standards. Walking down the hall you will notice that some of tiles are chipped or stained. You will also see the occassional cockroach or a stray cat wandering around ( the hall opens up to the exterior hotel grounds - no doors to keep bugs or other critters away). The bed was ok, would be better if it had a pillowtop. Location: The hotel is in a secluded cove. If you wanna explore be prepared to shell out some serious euros! We went to grand case and that was a 15 Euro cab fee - one way! And that was for a 10min drive. Restaurants: 2 restaurants. mediocre food. customer service was horrilble. Had the seafood buffet at Le Marche. We had to ask the waiter for water 3x but no luck. The hotel staff except for the concierge were not friendly/accomodating. The Island: Go to Aruba instead, better beaches (especially if you prefer long stretch beaches with fine white sand), reasonable prices for fine dining/taxi and they take dollars! St.Martin charges you in euro jacked up tourist rate. They take advantage of that fact that you are trapped in their island and you have no choice but to pay their ridiculous marked up prices for Everything! Expect to pay almost 100 euros fine dining for two - wine not included! Funny they promote their island as the "friendly" island when they are not!
We booked our Thanksgiving trip in May and got a great deal. We rented a car but my sister took a taxi, it was $50USD. There was parking. The place wasn't marked (it is on signs leading up to the resort) but we just drove up and asked if we were in the right place, it's basically where the road ends! The lobby isn't as lavish as some RIUs but otherwise I think it was one of our favorites (we have travelled to RIU Costa Rica 2014, Riu Aruba 2014, and non-Riu AI stays in Dominican Republic and Mexico. Why we liked it: food is great, breakfast lunch and dinner. All of the restaurants were good but we only got the late seatings and when it was all 5 of us it did take time! the food was good everywhere, huge selection. Rooms: rooms were very comfortable-pillows, bedding, décor. had a balcony. Mini-fridge stocked with beer, water, soda, and a coffee maker (we never used). There was no "do not disturb" sign so we couldn't indicate when we wanted our room clean. I should have asked, my sister said they had one. She also asked to have the room made colder and they did. I was comfortable. Pools/Beach: the pool is a great big free form pool and we never had any trouble getting chairs together. The beach is amazing, the water is aquamarine, small waves, we went over to the Atlantic side and splashed in the higher waves one day at Guana Beach. Entertainment: I thought it was better than both Aruba and Costa Rica although I have seen some more elaborate shows elsewhere, they do a nice job of varying things and they work hard to ensure people have fun. I don't really understand the criticism but maybe it is because there are so many cultures/languages it's hard. I don't have anything bad to say about the place, although they might consider expanding the dining to more seatings. I fear we won't be able to return because it will be out of our budget now but we lucked out!