Sally, Thanks again to you and your staff for arranging another great vacation for our group!
The RIU Palace Aruba was a beautiful resort. For as large as it was, everything was very accessible, didn’t feel like we had to walk too far for anything. The rooms were great – we were in the main building “A”, rooms 902, 903 and 905 – all looking out onto the pool and ocean. Weather was perfect! Constant breeze kept everyone comfortable. 2-3 days were extra breezy and we were hit by sand gusts throughout the day, but just on the really breezy days. The reviews we read in advance said food in specialty restaurants was mediocre and buffet food was better. We only experienced one specialty restaurant – Nautilus steak house. Food was good but it took a lot of arguing to even get in. This resort (or all RIU’s, not sure) took away the reservation process for the specialty restaurants and they cannot accommodate the # of customers they have. We were told at front desk – specialty restaurants open from 6:30-9:30. Go whenever and you will be given a “buzzer”, may have to wait for ½ or so. We saw people at 8:30 that had buzzers since 7pm and had not been seated and we tried at 8pm and were told the restaurants were closed! Different stories from 5 different staff members. Dave spoke to a manager that guaranteed us a seat at Nautilus the next night and that guarantee was honored. We ate at Buffet 3 nights and then ate off premises 3 nights. Buffet was good, but not spectacular. Off premise dining was delicious and averaged $68-$85 per person with drinks, tax and 20% tip).
Transportation to and from airports was very convenient. Needed a lot of time at Aruba airport on return – we “went thru U.S. customs” in Aruba – this was time consuming, but VERY convenient when we landed at JFK.
Thanks again helping make Aruba a GREAT VACATION for us.
REPLY: THE NO RESERVATION POLICY IS A NEW "FEATURE" THAT RIU IS TRYING OUT. SOUNDS LIKE THEY HAVEN'T WORKED OUT ALL OF THE KINKS YET. WE WILL BE SURE TO FILE SOME FEEDBACK WITH THE PROPERTY.