4 Star Hotel

Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive

Location: Palm Beach - 450 Rooms, 10 Floors

In Aruba, the Riu Palace is beautifully designed and located right on Palm Beach, offering a most spectacular view of the Caribbean. The wide expense of soft, golden sand, virtually at its front door, invites you to enjoy the warm breeze wafting in from the ocean or enjoy swimming in one of the two fresh-water pools. We invite you to enjoy the beauty of Aruba and the comfort of the Riu Palace, the perfect combination for your next vacations.

J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 79
Palm Beach
+297 - 5863 900
+297 - 5861 941

Hotel Amenities

  • 24-hours frontdesk
  • Activity Desk
  • Air-conditioned fitness room(s)
  • ATM
  • Business services
  • Car Rental Desk
  • Casino
  • Complimentary Beach & Pool Lounge Chairs
  • Complimentary Beach Towels
  • Complimentary newspapers in lobby
  • Concierge desk
  • Guest Laundry & Dry-Cleaning Service
  • Kids Activities
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Pool
  • Spa facility

Rooms

Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive's accommodations feature balconies or terraces with ocean views and split-level sitting areas with sofas. Amenities include satellite TV, minibars, and liquor dispensers. Guests have complimentary use of in-room safes. Bathrooms include hydro-massage tubs and hair dryers.

Special Guest Activities

Children can enjoy complimentary supervised outdoor activities.

Meal Plans & Dining Options

The resort offers an All-inclusive plan only, which includes the majority of meals and beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), plus gratuities, at Snack Post, Don Nicolas, Nautilus, Krystal, Sayuri, Milano, Nautilus Steakhouse, Bon Bini Lounge, Barry's Exterior, Sports Bar, and Palm Beach Swim-up Bar.

3 out of 5

based on 12 reviews

Quick Details

4:00 pm
12:00 pm
Yes
No
No
Free
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Reviews of Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive

3 out of 5
based on 12 reviews
5 out of 5
A Palace of a Hotel!
- by
July 08, 2013

In 45 years of marriage, we have traveled widely and often - both on business and for pleasure. Yet in all those years, we can honestly say that never have we experienced anything to match our recent amazing stay in Aruba at the Riu Palace. On the advice of our local friend & travel agent, we chose the all-inclusive, ocean suite accommodation.

Everything was perfection! From the bellman meeting us at the front door, to the desk staff, to the spacious well appointed lobby; to the luxurious large and comfortable suite with double balconies overlooking the pool and ocean; to the many delicious dining options; to the refreshing pool and immaculately clean beachfront - we were in paradise!

After an anniversary trip to Curacao in 2012 & to Aruba this year, Bonaire is the next destination on our 'ABC islands' journey list. Yet, we may just return to Aruba in the interim, for both the wonderful Riu Palace experience & all this amazing & truly friendly, happy island offers.

5 out of 5
AMAZING
- by
March 05, 2013

OMG! I can't believe some of the previous comments I am reading. This hotel has been amazing! I have been staying in a JR sweet for the past 7 days and I have completely no worries at all. My Wi-Fi works great in my room and I only had to ask for the password once, it doesn't change (your an idiot if you forget it). I have stayed is many 5 star hotels and this by far was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful in all 5 restaurants. The beach has been amazing; we didn’t have to wait at all for chairs on the beach or at the pool. The alcohol was normal (no top shelf stuff) but who needs that when you are sitting and enjoying a mixed drink on the beach. Room service brought us fresh towers twice a day and created a lovely "towel stature" in our room each day. People who are angry about their stay at the Riu in Aruba obviously require way too much attention and don’t know how to relax. P.S. My room smelled amazing and fresh every morning. (Oh, and me and my girlfriend woke up to the most amazing ocean view ever possible.) I love this hotel and will return.

1 out of 5
The least personal hotel I've ever been in
- by
March 01, 2013

If you travel once every five years, this may seem okay. However, after a honey moon in Tahiti, this is trash. This is trash even after a regular vacation in Jamaica. It is sad that a huge franchise treats people this way. First of all, I left my 8 month-old home so that I can have 4 relacing nights and wanted to facetime/skype with her. Unfortunately, Wifi only works in the lobby, u have to ask for the code every day and when you ask, you get a nasty attitude in return, "how dare I lose the code on my vacation"? I am sorry that I don't carry a bag with me with papers and codes. Reservations to the "restaurants" have to be made only between 9-12 PM, they don't care if u r on vacation and want to sleep late, then go eat in the buffet. All the people hate their jobs and therefore suck at them, I wonder how much they get paid. We got upgraded which is nice, but it wasn't even necessary because their penthouse rooms have a bigger balcony and a jacuzzi, THAT'S ALL. There are elevators going to the 10th floor only and our room is on the 11th so we had to take the steps, when I called to say that I am not happy, no one got back to me or cared. The staff is actually kind of rude, takes 10 min to sit u down for breakfast and lunch, and 20 to bring you coffee; THEY ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOO SLOW. Food selection is okay. Beach is nice and so is the pool. But as far as the hotel, it's a huge franchise which doesn't make u feel special at all. I'd never return and would never recommend. Upon our departure when the bus came to pick us up, the outside didn't bother coming in to check if there is anyone waiting in the lobby to be picked up. When I emailed the front desk to complain about this, I got an attitude back that I should've complained when I was there, WHICH I DID.

5 out of 5
Wonderful time!
- by
February 20, 2012

I just wanted to say how wonderful our last trip to Aruba was! Great weather, Great food, Great room. I would return to the Riu in a heart beat! Everyone was very friendly, made us feel very much at home, and exceeded our expectations.
We have stayed at other resorts on the island - this was the best.

5 out of 5
Loved! Loved! Loved!
- by
June 02, 2011

We just returned from the best trip ever! The Riu was everything we hoped for. For starters, it is close to the airport, very clean, the staff was exceptional, we didnt experience any problems the entire stay. The food was very good, and the service was a bit slow at Krystal, but gave us more time to drink. The pool was great! service at the pool bar was awesome as well as the servers walking around. Only problem was the ice in your drink didnt last too long, but hey, your in Aruba! The mattress was a little hard, we still sleptvery well. Had room service once, it was fairly quick, and very good. Casino was fun, the breakfast buffet was delicious, and the staff was extremely accommodating. The floors were a bit slippery everywhere, be careful. The town was a few steps away and very safe! We will be back every year!!!

2 out of 5
Riu disappointment
- by
March 19, 2011

Beautiful facility....and then... Aloof front desk check in...

then you walk in your room and ... sigh.... just not the same as the beautiful pictures.
The bed is like concrete. Not an exaggeration .. there was a man walking around with ice on his shoulder because he was in pain from sleeping. I was told while bantering with other guests that if you request they will put a pad on your bed so it is not so hard. When I went to the desk to ask I was told I would be put on a "waiting list"! Knoch knock.. people there is a problem here!
There is a sewing kit.. and shampoo only. No conditioner. No onsite store. If you need something be prepared to travel to a neighboring hotel. (?) I dont understand. There is a potential for a gold mine in that lobby.

The food was typical buffet food... and although they did have manned stations for different selections the people who were working them were down right nasty... maleviolent... ( woman who worked stir fry- who looked as though she would like to light me on fire sooner cook my selection) and the dinner restaurants are by reservation only- that can only be made the same day , in the lobby, in a long cattle line... from 9-12. No exceptions people.. no exceptions... So buffet it was... on the days that we had morning excursions planned.

The beach was beautiful but the premium seating was gone unless you were one of the lovely people who chose to go down at 6am to put your towel on chairs and claim your space for the day. So be prepared to shell out extra for an umbrella rental.. provided by the savory people who so kindly patrol the beach with a multitude of sob stories and reasons why they are the best people to see for activities and fun in the sun.


No night club. Typical cruise like entertainment. Not a thing going on after midnight. One evening me and a couple girlfriends (who I met at hotel) went to Senior frog and had a couple of drinks and laughs... and returned with smiles to the lobby wearing a trio of ballon animal hats..
Not even a smile cracked.... Hello... Knock knock....

Listen.. Ive done some traveling.. this island was the most beautiful The weather nearly perfect. The safest I have ever felt. Very convient the use of the dollar. The majority of people did not speak english.. employees and fellow travelers..

It really is a shame... I was so hoping.

So you know where this review is coming from I am a 41 year old mom of two teenage boys who lives in NY suburbs.


1 out of 5
RIU...NEVER AGAIN!
- by
September 24, 2009

THIS IS A LETTER I SENT TO THE RIU

Hello, My husband and I spent our Honeymoon at your resort, we spent 10 nights in you suite with the hot tub outside and Jacuzzi Tub inside. Let me say, my Husband has never been out of the Country, I have been in Mexico more than a half a dozen times. I told him how glorious is was to stay in an All inclusive hotel, I ranted and raved on how our Honeymoon will never be forgotten, well... It won't, But not in a good way.
I have debated writing to you, But I must tell you, the first 2 days we did not leave the hotel, I had my mind set, that all people in Aruba were ignorant. Until we left the hotel, and we realized, the people that are working in the RIU are the ignorant ones. Everyone we came across in Aruba outside our hotel were wonderful. My husband and I are not "High Fluent" nor need people at our every step. But when you pay as much as we did to stay in what we thought would be a Amazing experience, you get disappointed. Everything I had told my husband about how we would be treated, was completely wrong, it was the complete opposite.
The hotel was not full, nor was dinner at either time they served it, but if you did not get down and make your reservations before we left, you were out. We wanted to enjoy our Honeymoon, but if we slept in a day or two, we could not make reservations. When we would do excursions and would be out of the hotel at 7:00 am and not return till after 4:00pm we could not make reservations. Even a trip to the Main desk, they said well...I can't help. If I heard that line one more time, I would have been saying it in my sleep. I've been to Jamaica and Punta Cana at all inclusive hotels and they had my dinner reservations already made when we checked in.
One day on the way back from the beach, our door was WIDE open. Nothing was missing "thank god", But when I called the Main Desk, they could have cared less. The worst part of all, with all the problems we had, there was never a I'm Sorry, or what can I do to help you.
The first day we arrived, the man that fills the refrigerator, was nice as pie, telling us every day it would be stocked, whatever we wanted, etc
Well try to get some water 2 days in a row, that didn't happen. We had to call 3 times before someone would help us.
Even at dinner, of all the Islands I have been to If you wanted two entrees there was never a problem, someone asked for extra Sushi and I thought the waiter was going to fall over, and without a second thought, said No. The waiters were not friendly and could not wait till you left dinner. There was no relaxing after you ate, not even a cup of coffee afterwards. I have never been so disappointed in a resort.

Stephen and Deanna
Married May 9th 2009
Stayed at Riu Hotel May 13th till May 23rd

2 out of 5
Report from the Riu
- by
January 17, 2009

Me and my girlfriend spent a week at the Riu Palace Aruba. As a matter of fact, I am writing this review from the hotel, just the night before we are leaving.
Let's start with something positive. The maid service to clean our room and the wait staff at the Don Nicholas buffet were great.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the pool bar staff and the quality of service at the beach. We have been to another Riu hotels, and the one in Punta Cana had much better service - they take your drinks to the beach and serve you much faster at the bar.
This is a high-rise hotel with two VERY small elevators in the main building and during our stay one of the elevators was always being serviced. We have never taken the stairs so many times in our lives - the other option was to spend our vacation waiting for elevator.
The music during day is annoying at the pool; if you want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach you might as well go to another hotel (you can't escape it if you go to the beach, it is EXTREMLY LOUD). At night, we could have a disco party in our room, because the music was so loud at the bar.
The fridge in our room is making a loud rattling noise - we had to unplug it every night to be able to sleep.
Lastly, I think a high-end hotel serving tourists visiting mostly from the USA, Canada and Western Europe should have a different smoking policy. The first thing you experience walking into the lobby is the stink of second-hand smoke. There is smoking almost everywhere, and non-smokers have to look for a spot where they can enjoy a breath of fresh air.
The property is beautiful, well maintined and the weather was great.

1 out of 5
Nightmare at the Riu!
- by
January 12, 2009

My family checked in the day after Christmas and was there for 14 nights. Upon check-in we asked the front desk if their concierge could confirm some reservations we had made prior to our arrival for restaurants outside the hotel. We were told they have no concierge. What hotel in this day and age has no concierge? I've stayed in 4 other Aruba hotels and they all do...No help from them there. Then we asked the housekeeper to please get us some additional hangers and tipped her $20. She never came back with hangers, but of course took the money. The above is trivial though compared to the following: Our suite was beachside on the 2nd floor. On Dec 30th my sister was on our balcony on her laptop. She left the door open and propped it open with a chair and the laptop was placed on the inside of the doorway. She ran to use the bathroom (no more than 60 seconds). While she was gone her laptop was stolen. Someone reached inside the room and stole it. A little boy identified the thief as he saw him climbing the external stairs. The thief then ran with the computer THROUGH the hotel. The hotel that you aren't supposed to enter without a wristband. He pushed and knocked down the 5'0" 110 pound security guard. This guard called for backup, but guess what? He's the only guy on duty. So you'd think the hotel would call the police, right? NO. We had to do it ourselves from our cell phone. We filled out a report. Immediately after, the hotel Public Relations manager came to talk to us (never the on duty manager or GM). She identified the thief from the video of him going through the casino as a man named Rolando. She claimed her friend dated him. She failed to mention which we found out from other staff that he was a former employee of the hotel who has been robbing the rooms on the beachside for the last 12 weeks. The hotel did not add any additional security fully knowing this man would come back. 2 nights later after dinner at around 1am my sister was on the balcony on the cell phone with her boyfriend when she looked down and at the foot of the stairs to our room was the man fitting the exact description of the thief staring up at her (black man, thin, over 6 feet tall, long dreadlocked hair, traditional Jamaican beanie style hat in black, black messenger bag). She screamed and ran inside and he ran away. My whole family ran outside and saw him running and got a pretty good side view of him. The police came again and filed a police report for us just so it was on record. About a week later my sister and I were reading a book and watching tv in our suite's living room and we heard a noise on our terrace at 1am. In the room is a big picture window covered with venetian blinds. However, on top about 8 feet off the ground is an uncovered half moon window to let a little light in. We both froze and for some reason we looked up to see the outline of this man standing on the table on our terrace with his face up against the half moon window peering in. It was the same man. He saw us and jumped down and ran as we screamed. When we went outside we noticed many of our neighbors gates were open as he had try to break into other rooms as well before coming to our balcony. There was no security present. 3 police offers came and spent a long time with us. They explained that the hotel is responsible to guard their own property and that the Riu has not done to since they first opened over a year ago. They explained that the beach is guarded by a private company that the govt pays and the Riu doesn't feel they need to spend additional money, despite the fact that all the other hotels do. The next day we went to the front desk in an effort to speak with someone, and we've been quite a fixture there so everyone knew who we were, the PR woman looked at us and said 'Is there something I can help you with?' We laughed and said 'Stolen computer, man in the window?' and she said 'I'm sorry I have no recollection of what you are talking about'. Basically trying to pretend it didn't happen. We knew right then and there this was going to be a big problem. We asked for a copy of the hotel incident report for our insurance and she said no that's private. The police gave us copies of the Police report and said that the hotel is supposed ot supply their info to us as well, so we went behind her back. We made a buddy in security and he went into the security office and informed us that the hotel did not file an incident report and PR ordered him not to file one. However, we're too smart for that so we had the private beach security fromt he govt file incident reports on everything and supply us with copies. Not once did anyone in management at the hotel try to make the situation better, make us feel comfortable or just do the right thing. Our neighbors were robbed!! The thief came in through their locked windows. We weren't taking any chances so we got a wooden bar because the window was sliding and put it behind the window. But, is this what you should be concerned with on your very expensive vacation? I don't think so. My sister was so panic stricken that she was scared to be in the room alone ever and just wanted to go home. My parents were basically sleeping with their valuables and money in the bed with them. Aside from getting robbed...the hotel was terrible in other ways. For a new hotel the work is very shoddy, poorly painted and sheetrocked. Bathrooms have mold. The hot and cold pipes in our room were reversed leading to a first day scalding! Then the temperature regulator in the shower was broken which caused scalding in every subsequent shower. Thankfully we don't have little kids because that would have been a major problem! The room never felt clean. I was grossed out to walk around without my flip flops on. We have gotten ourselves an Aruban attorney to sue them there and we are also sueing their US Corp. Shockingly, theyre pretending none of this happened so far. Not the best idea, when it was printed in detail in the local newspaper the day before our departure which we of course have copies of. Also, the hotel has wireless internet for free in the lobby which is nice, but no business center in case you didn't bring a portable printer and need to print or fax something. Most hotels have a place where you can pay to do this...not them. Also, they're a closed (not open air) lobby and they allow smoking in there which is pretty unheard of nowadays, so you can't really take your kids in there. Oh and least but certainly not least. If you get towels and use them so they're wet - they won't exchange them for you. If it rains on your towel and you need new ones they say 'We aren't allowed to exchange soiled towels'. I have never in my life heard of this. They are just not service oriented at all. Take your money and go to the Marriott, Hyatt or one of the other better hotels.

5 out of 5
RIU Palace Aruba! Awesome
- by
July 23, 2008

Upon arrival to the airport, we were on time, no delays in getting our luggage, it was actually pretty quick. Out bus was awaiting outside for us as soon as we arrived, we were the last stop, but we enjoyed the scenery and our driver Jose was awesome! He gave us a play by play of the Island and what was recommended to do and where to sight see, he kept us entertained the whole time.

When we reached our resort the RIU Palace, I was shocked as the appearance of the resort it was awesome, the best resort I have ever seen. The lobby was great also, the style and design was very unique and warming. The staff was very welcoming and friendly, only took about 10 minutes to check in and we were welcomed with a drink. Our room was out of this world. We had the Junior Suite with the Jacuzzi on the balcony, great views of the ocean and pool area. Room service was excellent, delivered in a timely manner, very good.

Friday night the 10th of July we had reservations at the Italian Restaurant which was good, the server's were on top of it very efficient as well. The next night we tried the Steak house, talk about a great steak, very juicy and tender. The buffet was great as well, no matter what you wanted to eat they had it, no problems getting full at dinner, breakfast or lunch. Never had to leave the resort for anything but shopping.

The pool area was great very crowed but never had a problem getting a drink at the swim up bar or any other bar for that matter. The chairs at poolside was easily to obtain. The ocean was great as well, very clean and some shade to get out of the sun. The beach butlers were very helpful in helping you find the right spot on the sand, they helped carry things as well.

Nightly entertainment was wonderful also, every night at 10:00 at the lobby bar, there was a different show every night, and it got full quick, lots of people, but it didn't matter, table or not, the show was great. The entertainment at the poolside was great also, one afternoon they had a BBQ at the pool which was great, lots of entertainment for the kids, adults and any age for that matter, they had everyone involved in daily activities. The drinks were very efficient and quick, made perfect, anything, including specialty drinks.

Daily room service was quick and our room was very clean every day and they even left little animals made out of towels with flowers around them. The fridge was stocked daily and the towels as well.

No problems with anything. What impressed me the most was the helpfulness of the staff with the disabled they helped them get around, no questions asked, but most of the time the staff would offer before even being asked, wheel chair ramp in every building made it very nice, especially for strollers as well.

Upon departing, the bus arrived on time and took us straight to the airport, customs through Aruba and US customs, was very easy to get through, no delays, the airport staff was very nice as well, left on time without any problems.

We have already booked for next year with our friends and our 7 year old boy and their kids. Very kid friendly, very nice staff. Will not stay any where else. I would highly recommend this to everyone!

2 out of 5
Riu Palace Aruba Review - July 22-29, 2007
- by
August 03, 2007

This was our first vacation to Aruba and our first visit to a Riu Palace. We enjoyed Aruba immensely and would probably return to Aruba in the future. We have previously booked two other vacations to Rius in the Caribbean both of which were during the high season and over Christmas. We chose the Riu Palace Aruba (RPA) as we were always happy with other Riu vacations and we expected to receive comparable or superior services than what we had received previously. The cost of this vacation was comparable to our previous two trips however this vacation was booked during the low season and was somewhat discounted for a new hotel.

I was very pleased that the hotel had opened on time and in general the hotel was beautiful. This will be a very beautiful addition to the resorts in Aruba one day and with all of the services that are normally available to Riu Palace guests but in my estimation this resort should not have been offered to guests for at least another month. There are still areas of ongoing construction and repairs to existing construction. There are also ongoing safety issues with the beach and elevators. The staff still requires additional training in order for this to be the 5 + resort that they are offering.

For the remainder of my review keep in mind that we visited the RPA in the first week it opened and within the next few months the bugs will be ironed out. I have no doubt that this will be an excellent resort in the future but patience will be required if visiting in the next month or so.

Arrival

Our takeoff and landing in Aruba were on time. Getting through customs in Aruba was a breeze. We were the only plane that landed and our luggage didnt take any time to unload and off through customs and out into the wonderful warm sun of Aruba. Our bus was waiting for us and off we went! There were about 50 guests on our bus and we were the first stop. There was one couple on our bus going to the Occidental and they had to wait for all of us to unload! We got into the lobby and it was truly breathtaking! We lined up and waited for our room keys. We were served a welcoming drink while in the line and the Director came around and put our wristbands on. When it was our turn everything went relatively smoothly. They had pre-prepared our room packages so we just needed to fill out our paperwork. We had room 530 in Building B. This room is situated dead centre of the hotel. We had great views of the pool area and the ocean. We had a French balcony and although these balconies do not have chairs on them, we were able to use the chairs in our room if we wanted to sit down on the balcony. Building B only has balconies available on Floors 1, 2, 9, and 10. Building A will have balconies available for all guest rooms.

Room

The mattresses on the beds are very hard. The bathrooms are beautiful and I have no complaints with this regard. We had a Junior Suite and this room has a Jacuzzi tub and double sinks. There was plenty of hot water to fill this tub each day. The water pressure in the shower was excellent and the shower head had two settings. I did find it difficult sometimes to flush the toilet and sometimes it took a second try to flush everything. I read somewhere that the water in the bathrooms was not drinkable but they do give you two large bottles of water in your bar fridge. The room has a mini bar with four large bottles of alcohol. The fridge also contains cans of pop and beer.

Due to the very hot weather in Aruba, the air conditioning in our room had to stay on all the time and it had to be set to less than 20 C for the fan unit to operate. If the air conditioning unit was set higher than 20 C then condensation would form in our room. We cannot sleep with the air conditioning set this high so there was constantly humidity in our room. When the balcony door was opened the air conditioning automatically turned off and the room would instantly have condensation on everything. One night we thought we would try leaving the door open and have the fan on in an attempt to dry things out. We woke up in the morning with water on the floor!!

Bars

There are five bars available to the AI guests at the RPA. The easy drinks like Pina Colodas, Strawberry Daiquiris and Beer were served efficiently and without much effort however drinks that were available on the menu and were not easy to prepare stumped the bartenders. There seemed to be a lack of training for the new bartenders. Thankfully this was not a problem at all of the bars and this did improve during our stay.

Buffets

We had lunch one afternoon around 2:00 p.m. and we found that the food was either cold or there were items that were not being refreshed. There was very little variety available at this time. This remained the same for the next 2-3 days and improved slightly towards the end of the week. To ensure that we got hot fresh food we made sure we were at each of the restaurants soon after opening each day. The main buffet had very little variety from day to day and there were no theme nights which we had previously enjoyed at other Riu resorts. We did not go off of the resort for food as we feel we paid for All Inclusive and we shouldnt have to spend additional money for food, however several guests we spoke with during our stay did go off the resort for various reasons which included the quality of food and variety of the food available.

The evening buffet requires that men where long pants and shirts with sleeves, however we did see men in the buffet with shorts on. They were not turned away from the restaurant. My husband and son both wore long pants to the evening meals.

Specialty Restaurants

There are four specialty restaurants available to guests but only three of these restaurants were available during our stay and only on a rotational basis. The three that did open included the Japanese, Italian and Gourmet. When we tried to book a meal at the specialty restaurant we found that they were fully booked for the next couple of days and it was only when we complained to the maitre d that he booked us in for two days later. The restaurant we tried was the Milano Italian restaurant. We were not happy with the food the buffet was actually better. The staff did not really know what they were doing and when we made special requests they got confused. They did not want to take our entre order until we had gone to the buffet. We ended up with 4 spaghettis and there was one dish that didnt arrive until after everyone else had started eating! We found the waitress that was serving us to be very rude, she made comments about dieting, and finishing meals before other guests. This is unacceptable in a 5 star resort and should not be tolerated!

Entertainment

The daily and nightly entertainment was not what we expected when compared to other Riu Resorts. The animacion team seemed somewhat confused on how to entertain the guest. They tried to get the kids involved in certain games, but were unsuccessful. We made suggestions for games for the kids but they pretty much ignored our suggestions. Some of the advertising for this hotel shows a Mini-club and there is a childrens pool available on site but this hotel is really not set up for children. This is a major disappointment for us as we have a 12 year old that requires entertainment and we look forward to a bit of a break from entertaining him while on vacation. The entertainment for adults during the day did improve towards the end of our stay with dancing and drinking games by the pool!!!

The evening entertainment was the same singer every night during our stay and she sang the same songs over and over. The lounge area where the stage was located was empty most evenings. Most guests hovered around the outside bar probably to avoid the entertainment. The stage area at the RPA is very small and will not be able to provide the same level of shows that are available at other Rius

The Pool

The pool is very large and the area surrounding the pool is quite substantial. I do not see any problems with there being seating for everyone when this hotel is at capacity. The pool area is very open and the only shade provided is with umbrellas. Each evening the umbrellas were taken out of the stands provided and laid on the chairs and each morning we had to set up our own umbrellas at the pool. This is a Riu Palace and I would have expected that they would have someone available to do this for us but there never seemed to be staff around when we needed them. The pool was quite nice however the umbrellas at the pool are not very well thought out as we were unable to use them the last four days of our visit because of the high winds. One of the umbrellas was blown over and fell on one of the guests. We had one up but we had to keep a hand on the umbrella for fear of it being pulled over. As a result of this there was very little shade to protect us from the Sun. While at the pool we expected to have bar service as this is common at other Riu Palace Resorts. Some days this was available other days it was not and this seemed to relate to how many people were at the bar if it was empty you got service if not you didnt. There definitely was a shortage of staff with this regard.

The Beach

Many of the palapas were not available during our stay because the palm branches were removed before our arrival. The crew that was working on them completed only about one palapa per day. I had seen aerial photos and these palapas were all available prior to our arrival. Often the debris left behind by the persons repairing the palapas was left in such a way that someone could get hurt. There was rebar left lying around, the holes that were drilled for new posts were often left uncovered someone could have easily tripped over one of these. They also left boards with nails in them lying around. We often found glass on the beach and were surprised that the beach was not cleaned each morning/evening.

The Elevator Incidents

The elevators in the building were often out of order. One incident, that caused a member of our family grief, occurred when we were going down to the 1st floor. The elevator stopped suddenly with a quick jolt stopping at the 2nd floor and the doors did not open. It then proceeded to speed up to the 8th floor then stopped. Then it came rushing back down. We held on to the elevator rails not knowing what would happen next. The elevator came to a slow stop and the door finally opened on the 1st floor. We went to the main desk after this incident to report the problem, and they seemed to laugh it off, and made a note of it. That certain member of our family decided to take the stairs for the remaining days we were there.

Hotel in General

This hotel is not easy to get around especially without elevators if you are mobility impaired. If you are located in Building B or C (the ones closest to the beach) and you want to go to dinner in Building A you need to go to the 2nd floor and take the ramp to the lobby and then take an elevator to the 1st floor or take the stairs. Alternately, you go to the 1st floor in Building B or C and then walk towards the beach and exit the stairs by the pool and walk through the pool area to the stairs in Building A, I looked but did not find a ramp from the pool area to the 1st floor anywhere. The walkways under the ramps did not connect to the 1st floor and appeared to be used mainly for staff functions ie moving laundry, garbage etc.

Aruba in General

We loved Aruba and found it to be a nice combination of resort areas that we have previously visited. We have the beach of Playacar (without the erosion) and the town atmosphere of Playa del Carmen. Aruba is a safe country and the people we met were wonderful. Everyone both in the resort and in the town spoke English and several other languages. We never felt like we were being pushed into buying anything. They dont seem to use the bartering system here either. We bought 1 necklace and a couple of days later bought 2 more identical necklaces from a vendor and she charged us $2 more for the second purchase we tried explaining that we had previously bought these for less but she would not change her price. The difference we believe was that there were 2 cruise ships in town on the second occasion. We took a bus tour of the island, only 4 hours long and we were able to see most of the island highlights. Our bus driver Stanley was very informative and we learned a lot about the culture of the island, the political situation and living conditions for residents of the island. We loved the tour and would highly recommend it to anyone. We did find the wind to be stronger during the last four days of our visit but I heard from both locals and long term visitors that this was unusually strong wind for Aruba.

Departure!

The shuttle bus was on time picking us up at the Hotel. Our bus arrived first at the airport and there was a long line-up of guests departing on this day. A second bus arrived shortly after we did and they were forced to line-up outside in the heat. For some reason Skyservice only had 3 ticket booths opened and were very short staffed. While we were waiting an additional ticket booth opened up. The second checkpoint had only 1 staff member operating the booth and this was for all international flights excluding the US. The next security gate had 1 staff member as well but then opened a second booth. The final security checkpoint was well staffed and moved quickly (this is where all luggage is scanned prior to the flight). We had to remove our shoes for this checkpoint. Finally, made it to the gate and then had to wait! We were loaded on the plane and then had to wait for additional passengers to clear security. The airport forced us to pull away from the gate even though we were waiting for additional passengers. They did a head count and found out all passengers had actually boarded but then had to wait for flight clearance. We were scheduled to leave at 11:45 a.m. but did not leave the airport until 1:30 p.m. I must say the stewardesses and pilots on board handled the situation very well and kept us informed as to the delays. We arrived in Toronto at 6:04 p.m.! Thank goodness we did not have to make a connecting flight as we were close to 2 hours late. To top it all off we were all getting ready to exit the plane when the pilot came on the speaker and told us we had to sit back down as we were five feet from where we should be at the exit gate!