The title suggests I’m writing a review on Riu Palace Aruba, not so. I don’t give reviews on this site, there are many other sites that specialize doing this by giving users the opportunity to post reviews. At the end of this post I put a few.
What I do is give an opinion (it’s a blog, so what else could one expect) about this resort after reading comments, talking to guests and workers and watching the general attitude of the owners/management. This post gives you a locals’ perspective about the whole thing.
After almost two months (next week the 21st it’s been two months since it opened) I’ve gathered enough information about Riu Palace Aruba that I can give an opinion about it.
The first impression is a positive one. Guests seems to be responding well to Riu Palace. Being all-inclusive is sure considered a plus. The piece of Palm Beach that Riu Palace uses is naturally awesome, but like other major resorts, it’s chronically small for the amount of guests they plan to house. Riu has 450 rooms.
Tour operators and taxi’s are getting a piece of the action. Obviously they won’t admit it, or want more, fact of the matter is that guest are getting out the hotel for shopping, excursions and transfers. Riu Hotel lacks retail stores on the premises, for the time being guests will continue to leave the resort in search of that. Local restaurants on the other hand might not be getting many Riu Hotel guests.
A constant point of criticism I hear from Riu guests is the lack of atmosphere and entertainment. Landscaping is very poor at this point at Riu. Gardening is freshly planted which means a lot of green still need to grow and that will take some time.
Entertainment on the other hand is very important. Looking at the pictures I took at Riu you could see that the theme of this resort is very Mediterranean and not necessarily Caribbean-like. Riu needs to address this by putting more Caribbean entertainment. There is a minuscule podium and it’s clearly not going to suffice.
In the past week there has been discussions in the media and by politicians about the amount of locals working in the resort versus foreigners and also the treatment given to some employees by management.
The discussion is still ongoing and I find it hard to give an opinion about this. Plus I maintain the habit NOT to believe everything that appears in the media.