This is going to be a long review because of the sheer volume of horrible things we experienced at the Riu. We had lowered our expectations going in because of the other negative Trip Advisor reviews, but even with the bar lowered we were still shocked by how bad it was. Especially considering that for this price we could have stayed at a Sandals, where the service is consistently good.
First, I'll start off with the good things before launching into the many, many bad things:
- The food was excellent
- It's right on the beach, and next door to Atlantis. We sprung for a day pass to the Atlantis waterpark, and would highly recommend it. It cost $135 per person, but there are so many pools, water slides, aquariums, beaches and more to explore we felt it was worth the money. We went back to the Riu for lunch and drinks, so we didn't spend any additional money at Atlantis
- Upon arrival at 2:45, we were told we couldn't get our keys until 3pm. I asked if we could get our key while we were at the desk if we promised not to use it til 3, since we had already waited in line. The clerk said no, that's against the rules and we must line up again at 3. Sure enough, when 3pm rolled around the line was out the door and we had to wait in line for another 20 minutes to pick up our key. We had requested a high floor, but were placed on the 5th floor. When i asked about our high floor request, the clerk said anything beyond the 5th floor was beyond our room tier, which we knew wasn't true because we were there with a group of 15 friends, and almost all of them were on higher floors than we were
- On our second day, our room flooded. The toilet overflowed, and wouldn't stop running. It flooded the bathroom, then the hallway and then seeped into the bedroom. The staff reacted very slowly. We didn't receive any apologies or any attempts to make up for this horrible experience. We were transferred to another room immediately because of the health hazard, though! (I'd like to point out that we hadn't flushed anything except toilet paper, so this definitely wasn't our fault)
- In our new room, the carpet was soaked the entire time we were there. We couldn't wear socks in our own room. This was because a vent on the ceiling was leaking (see photo attached)
- The new room also had a lot more mold, likely due to the leak (see photo)
- The new room also had HUNDREDS of ants parading across the wall each day. (see photo). That was quite the surprise to see hundreds of ants crawling across our wall at eye level, from the far wall all the way across the minibar and into the closet
- On the Monday night, a pop exploded in the fridge. We hadn't adjusted the temperature, so one of the staff must have set it too cold. The exploded pop remnants were never cleaned (we left on Friday, so housekeeping simply ignored it for at least 4 days. We know they saw the mess because our fridge was restocked once (it was supposed to be stocked every day, but that's another story!)
- Housekeeping was very random. We rarely got enough towels, and one day they didn't restock the toilet paper - we had to go ask for toilet paper!
- Even though the mini bar was supposed to be restocked every day, it was only restocked once during the week we were there. We had to call up to ask for bottles of water, since the mini bar was the only way we could get bottles (at the bars they refuse to give bottles - they just give you cups). One day we called and asked for 3 bottles of water. 35 minutes later, an employee arrived with 1 bottle. I asked if it was possible to get the other 2 we requested, and tipped him $2 in hopes that would help. He said "what do you need more water for?" and then said "we'll see." He never returned. Another day around 5pm we called down to ask for more water, and the employee who answered said that service was "closed." (it's supposed to be available 24/7)
- The beach the Riu is on is very nice, but it's over-run by pushy vendors. The Riu does nothing to shoo them away, like other resorts do. One day we walked down the Riu steps onto the beach and had to face at least 10 vendors yelling at us to buy things from them. It was really intimidating. Another day a vendor dropped his garbage at the foot of my beach chair. The jet ski vendors ride their jet skis constantly and very close to shore, which seems hazardous for swimmers. It's also very noisy and annoying
- One morning at the buffet I tried to pour myself some coffee. An employee shooed me away from the coffee, and said only employees may touch the coffee. I asked how i could get coffee, since nobody had been around to offer coffee (I had been there about 30 min at that point). He said he would bring me some. 20 minutes later, still no coffee. I just made some in my room
- The Riu also screwed up our friends' reservations, too - they had paid a premium for a triple room, but were told no such room was available. They wound up in a room with 2 double beds and a cot - and weren't offered any money back! Another friend was given a key to his room, and when he entered it he was quite surprised to see two of our other (female) friends already in the room! They had given him keys to a room that was already occupied! When he went back to the desk to get everything sorted out, instead of apologizing the clerk asked him how well he knew the girls!!!!! What a ridiculous question! He had paid a premium to have his own room. Eventually his room was sorted out. The staff didn't grasp the safety implications of giving a man a room to a room occupied by two girls (the girls went down to express their concerns about the incident. After all, what if it had been a stranger who walked in while they were changing/ sleeping/ in the shower/ etc)
- Some other friends discovered a cockroach on their bathroom floor one morning.
Overall, we had fun because we were there with a lot of our friends. But the hotel was beyond terrible. The staff obviously don't care about anything. If anyone expressed any concerns at any point, the staff would just roll their eyes. I'll never stay at a Riu again.
- 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, Visa, Discover ... 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