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Our Review Of RIU Antillas, Aruba

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Around 15 years ago, Jason and I were looking through holiday brochures and stumbled across the island of Aruba in the Caribbean. Suddenly this place was way up on our list of must visit destinations and we even chose our hotel. The five-star RIU Palace Antillas. Our jobs were good, but sadly, there was no way we could have afforded to go. Here is our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.

Our Arrival Into Aruba

Fast forward to 2020. In a much better position than back then, we decided we would book Aruba for 2021. We even picked the same hotel. But as we all know, 2021 didn’t exactly turn out well for anyone. So, we had to wait yet another year. However, it was well worth the wait.

We flew in from Gatwick airport on a TUI 787 Dreamliner, all firsts for us. The service onboard the Dreamliner was fantastic. I know Jason has been wanting to fly on one of these since forever. He has hopes to fly on an Emirates A380 one day too. Watch this space.

Our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.
Our transport to Aruba, TUI Dreamliner 787.

As we landed on Aruban soil, it felt surreal to be finally there. Arriving at our hotel after a short coach ride, the staff greeted us with a warm welcome a glass of cold champagne. This was very much appreciated after our nine and a half hour flight. They then took us to a separate area for TUI customers to check in and given us our room cards and wrist bands.

The hotel has over 300 rooms, and they refurbished the hotel back in 2014. Our room was bright, modern, and clean.

Our room was on the eleventh floor, so off we went to have a look and change. We had to wait around thirty minutes for our luggage to be brought up, which felt like an eternity, as all we wanted to do was get out onto the beach for the last few hours of sunshine.

The Riu Antillas, Aruba

Our room was a good size. It comprised of two queen-size beds, a sofa and a small table with chairs and large flatscreen TV. We had a separate area with a wardrobe and changing space. Our fridge was re-stocked pretty much every day with bottled water, soft drinks, and local beers. We also had an optic rack with vodka, white rum, brandy and whisky.


The bathroom was a good size too, with double sink, hairdryer, and large shower, with a powerful rainfall style head, which was fab after being on the beach all day. The toilet was in a separate room by itself.

Our balcony was small, but we had a table, two chairs and a clothes rail. We had a corner-side room and had a slight sea view, views out over the rest of the island and the hotel next door, the RIU Palace.

Our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.
View out over the island and nearby nature reserve.

All-Inclusive Offer

The hotel offers a twenty-four-hour all inclusive service. There is a lobby bar with a good cocktail menu. We tried a few of them and they were strong. The bartenders definitely didn’t scrimp on the alcohol. They also had a good selection of named and local spirits, beer, wines and champagne all at no extra charge. The bar got very busy on an evening.

Food And Drink Service

The hotel also had a twenty-four-hour coffee and snack bar. We always got our morning coffee from here, as the coffee served in the breakfast restaurant was just filter coffee, and wasn’t that nice. You could also get cakes, biscuits and hot snacks from here, as well as beer and a large selection of regular and flavoured tea.

The main buffet restaurant opened for breakfast and evening meals. There was an incredible selection of food all the time. With fresh cooking stations for things like pancakes and eggs at breakfast and fish, steaks and pasta on an evening. Theme nights were also a big part of the evening meal service.

We have stayed in RIU Hotels before in both Mexico and Cuba and the service and food have always been incredible. It was no different here.

More Food Choices

Aside from the buffet, there was also a selection of other restaurants you could eat at. ‘Krystal’ is a Fusion style restaurant, ‘Rimini’ an Italian style buffet, the ‘Palm Beach’ Steakhouse, which is first come first served, the queue for this was insane, every night we were there, so if you fancy this, get there early, and finally ‘Malmok’ was an Aruban restaurant with local dishes and delicacies.

Our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.
An impressive selection of food, at all times during meal service.

Eating Out Away From The Hotel

I know some people have reservations about all-inclusive hotels, and I get why. But, if possible and the resort allows, we also venture into the local towns and areas to eat away from the hotel. The town of Palm Beach was amazing for food and drinks. The service was superb in all the places we ate at. We had tacos, pizza, pancakes, more tacos and even had a Wendy’s for the first time.

Just because you book all-inclusive doesn’t mean you have to stay all-inclusive. For us, it’s a means to an end. Explore!

We are currently writing a guide to all the places we ate at, and this will be available soon.

The Beach & Pool

For lunch there was a choice of the poolside restaurants, where snacks like burgers, fries, salad, chicken, and fish were freely available.

The pool and pool bar looked good, although it became loud in the afternoons. We only used the pool once during our stay and preferred to be on the beach. The pool also played host to a foam party once a week, which wasn’t something we were interested in either.

Our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.
Our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.

Palm Beach was on our doorstep, with incredibly warm water, powder white sand and the warm trade-winds of the Caribbean.

The staff we came across during our time here were all super friendly and very attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. We particularly noticed how hard the cleaning staff in the hotel worked around the clock.

RIU Palace

Our hotel was situated right alongside the RIU Palace hotel. As guests, we were allowed to use all their facilities too.

Entertainment

There was a large entertainment hall with acts on every evening. A Pacha nightclub was also available, but we never saw it open, as we were always back in our room early to relax on the balcony, or out in the local town. A casino is also available if you fancy a date with lady luck!

Overall, we loved our time here and would definitely recommend it if you want a lively adult only holiday. We hope you enjoyed our review of RIU Antillas, Aruba.

Other Facilities

  • Spa Service, Beauty Treatments
  • Gym
  • Water Sport Facilities, Snorkelling, Kayaking
  • Free WiFi
  • Free Sunloungers, Beach and Poolside
  • Shopping Centre
  • Desk For Booking Trips
  • 24 Hour Reception Service
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