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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Have stayed at the Riu Palace Aruba twice and would visit again! It’s perfectly located along a beautiful white sand beach, in the high-rise hotel district, walking distance to shops, bars and restaurants. You could literally walk along the beach for an hour and still not reach the end. Trust me, we tried. There’s also a boardwalk connecting the hotels which is a great way to check out some of the neighbouring properties.

The food is good, not great, but this was not a big issue for us as Aruba has amazing restaurants and we usually dine outside the resort most nights. Gianni’s, across the street, is one of our favourites. Great food and an even better ambiance!

You do need to get up extra early to secure a lounger and even earlier if you want a spot on the beach, but we’re early risers, so again, not an issue for us.
The rooms are comfortable and have all the necessities, with comfortable beds, but really, how much time are you spending in your room when visiting such a beautiful island!
The fridge is restocked daily with beer and soda and there’s a liquor dispenser for those who like hard liquor...we don’t.
Aruba is one of my favourite destinations! The people are super friendly, it’s one of the safest destinations in the south and it has amazing beaches. It really ticks all the boxes for us and the Riu Palace is a great option for those looking for an all-inclusive experience.

Stayed: April 2018
4  Thank TheSpooners416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

My husband tripped over a low table in an open lounge waiting for our room. The table was 12 inches off the floor and out of his field of vision. He need stitches and medical attention. When someone from the hotel arrived with a few bandages the first thing they said to us is, "He is not covered by the hotel." The lack of concern was ridiculous. I asked them to call an ambulance, they did but a ride would have been nice from the hotel. When we returned from the hospital that night, our bags were by themselves in the lobby and two restaurants turned us down. All inclusive! I had to insist because we were starving. They finally gave us a table after I insisted. The hotel never compt us anything! Not happy.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
8  Thank LLGrabler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns.

We are very surprised to read your review and we have not been able to track your case with the information provided.

As a service minded hotel chain, it is disappointing to hear that you experienced certain inconveniences in our hotel which caused your holiday to be less enjoyable.Please let us assure you that when the quality of our long-standing reputation and hotel experience comes into question, we take notice and action. We understand and share your concerns as we greatly care about the safety and wellbeing of our guests. We kindly encourage you to contact your travel agency or, only in case of direct booking, our Customer Service Department via crm@riu.com.

We sincerely hope that we will one day be able to welcome you back to our hotel and have a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

To start with the good:

1) The beach is beautiful - it was wide and not too congested. There is a constant breeze so you rarely feel hot on the beach (watch out for Sunburns!).

2) The loungers at the beach were comfortable and not hard to get as long as you didn’t want one of the tiki huts for shade. You don’t have to get up at 5 just to get a chair.

3) Rooms were large and clean. Nice showers, mini fridge. We were in a king room with one bed and a small sofa. We were there with another mom and daughter and we had adjoining rooms, which was great. We had them key our rooms so that any of the keys would open either room. The decor is old and tired, but everything worked.

4)Minibar was well stocked with soda and large bottles of water - water bottles were great for the beach. There is a wall bar with alcohol (supposedly with Bacardi, Smirnoff and Johnny Walker Red, but I have no confidence that’s actually what’s in the bottles as that is not what’s at the bars).

5) The people- everyone in Aruba is so kind and friendly. The staff were very pleasant and helpful even when they were busy. They tried their best to make everyone feel welcome.

The bad:

Where to start???? We will never be back to this resort and will likely never do an all inclusive again.

1) The Bars: as mentioned, there are only 2 bars. One at the beach and one near the lobby. This is a large resort and these are far apart. While I didn’t expect top shelf alcohol, I did expect to be served in something bigger than a Dixie cup. And not genetic alcohol. Bring a YETI or something similar and order a few drinks per person to dump in as there is no beach service. I think there might be pool service sometimes but we avoided the pool.

2). The beds- the Beds are rock hard and the worst lumpy pillows. The linens are not good quality and very rough/scratchy. There’s no
Duvet - just a couple of sheets. We found a sketchy blanket in the closet and used that but it wasn’t ideal.

3). The food- I see lots of people who love the food so I guess there are differences in opinion. Caveat - we really love good food! We found it plentiful at the buffets but pretty bad. Our first meal was dinner at the steak house - it was so bad we left hungry and never ate another dinner there. The Caesar salad tasted only of anchovies, neither the ceviche nor the desserts tasted fresh (freezer burn on dessert), and the main course tasted of liquid smoke and lacked seasoning. The Menus at the other specialty restaurants looked bizarre and not promising (no pasta at the Italian one??) so we ate dinners out. We ate breakfast there and most everything was tasteless and the coffee was terrible- after the 3rd day we walked down the beach for açaí bowls. We never ate lunch there. Oh - and don’t get hungry between scheduled meals. The only option is room service (with only 6 options) or the “sports” bar where you can get popcorn, nachos with the artificial cheese whiz nacho sauce or hot dogs. There is also a fridge with the questionable sandwiches and fruit. We never ate lunch there. Although one day there was a cookout style lunch buffet at the pool which looked good but way too heavy for lunch in the sun. I wish it had been dinner. On a positive note- the restaurants on the beach and nearby were priced fairly reasonably, so it was worth to go off property for good food.

4) THE TOWELS- seriously - this towel card needs to end. Who is stealing towels? Guests were sometimes stealing towels from other guests to turn in for extra towel cards. Not what you’d expect from an all inclusive. At the VERY least give every guest two towel cards. One is just stupid cheap.

5) The decor- disjointed. The lobby is 1980s cheesy and smells like smoke from the casino, the “sports bar” looks like a rec room at a senior citizens retirement home- nothing “sports bar” about it other than a couple small TVs and a pool table.

6) The pool- we never sat at the pool because it looked unappealing. There were chairs available most days so that didn’t seem to be problem. But with walk up bars- people leave drinks and they tip over and float around. Kinda gross. But the worst was the constant loud club dance music constantly playing - unless some annoying DJ/entertainer was yelling into a microphone. Not at all peaceful or relaxing- but if that’s what you’re into maybe you won’t mind.

Long and the short - we will never do an all inclusive again. We will not be back to this property, nor would we recommend it to anyone. After walking up the beach, the Hyatt seemed to be the best property. It was really beautiful.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
5  Thank KKWalter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns.

We are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests and for this reason we are very sorry to learn that you have left our hotel thinking otherwise.

Since we have no records, we would have liked to have been informed about all your inconveniences during your stay, so we could have helped you to enjoy your time at our hotel.

Please be assured that we will share your impressions with the relevant department in line with the main goal to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

We sincerely hope that we will one day be able to welcome you back to our hotel and have a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Online Reputation Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

I am shocked reading some of the reviews here...and it does seem like perhaps some people just don't like food that's out of their comfort zone...but it is by NO means "disgusting." The food is fantastic. The Asian restaurant has very authentic food-it was delicious. Krystal had the most delicious beef tenderloin I've ever had. The buffet has more choices than most other all-inclusive buffets I've seen, and they have wonderful themed meals like pirate night with great decorations. Also, lots of choices-healthy fruits and salads, and lots of treats too. The breakfast buffet has a million choices and the food was very good.
The pool area is beautiful-the pool is huge. Lots of chairs around it. The beach is phenomenal. Palm Beach has amazingly soft white sand and a beautiful aquamarine water color. You can get a palapa by going downstairs at around 6:30 or 7 am. If you don't make it that early, the pool is close to the beach and so you can use that area as a home base. The hotel is situated in a great location, it's a very pleasant walk down the path or along the beach. We had a Junior Deluxe room that looked out over the pool and ocean-gorgeous.
I've stayed at places all over the world, many all-inclusives, and this one gets very high marks. I think some people are never happy no matter what, and will always find something to complain about. If you like good food, a beautiful pool and great beach, you will be very happy here.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
28  Thank Heather8977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

I had really high expectations for Riu Aruba, based on reviews and hearsay. However, I was REALLY disappointed. There was really only one positive - the food. It was plentiful and the buffet was excellent. However, that is where the positives end. The restaurants were nice as well, but Krystal seems to require long pants - it must be the only restaurant in Aruba that does.

The room - was awful. It smelled bad (really hits you right when you walk in), was dirty with stains on the linens, tiny flat pillows and slippery floors. The design is ugly and the black/white theme is just creepy. The AC was so loud, it sounded as if you are taking off in a helicopter. The shower was OK, but one of the lights in the bathrooms make about as much noise as a cement truck. I have been to all inclusive resorts in PR, DR, Mexico, and a few others, and this was by far the worst room we ever had.

The resort - dirty, always looking as if it was after a huge drunk party. No one seems to clean this place, ever. I mean hot dogs in the elevators kind of dirty. Everywhere. In the main building with 10+ huge floors, there are two tiny elevators, so going up or down takes 10 min to get into an elevator. Everything sort of looks nice, but is really bad when you look closer. For example, the pool looks nice from a distance, but when you look closer, you see the many missing tiles, broken pieces, etc.

The worst of it all was that they had a "show" every night that started at 8 or 9 and until 11. The show sounded like a night club and was so loud, we could not put our kids to sleep every night.

There were many other issues at the resort - really too many to list them all. Service was also terrible, pretty much everywhere at the resort (not friendly at all) and almost none of their staff speak English.

This place is for 18-21 year olds on spring break, who want to drink non-stop and party all day and night and who are too drunk to realize how dirty and smelly the resort and rooms are. However, if you are older than 30 and have a few kids, this place is not for you (unless you want to try to put kids to sleep accompanied by super loud night club music until 11 and midnight). I really hated our time at Riu Aruba - it was one of the worst resort experiences we have ever had. We will certainly never return.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
10  Thank BorisN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns.

We are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests and for this reason we are very sorry to learn that you have left our hotel thinking otherwise and that your experience did not fulfill your expectations.

We can assure you that we are evaluating the measures that we will take so that these situations do not happen again. Please, if you want to make a formal complaint, contact CRM@riu.com.

Please be assured that we will share your impressions with the relevant department in line with the main goal to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

We sincerely hope that we will one day be able to welcome you back to our hotel and have a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Online Reputation Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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