Riu Palace Aruba Reviews

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Riu Palace Aruba  

79 Je Irausquin Blvd | (formerly Aruba Grand Beach Resort), Palm/Eagle Beach, Aruba

"Vaction in aruba"
Posted by: Rosina on Mar 21, 2014
see all reviews

Riu Palace Aruba Reviews
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#2
of 37 Hotels in Aruba

User rating 3.9

Based on 15 reviews

Riu Palace Aruba Information


In Aruba, the Riu Palace is beautifully designed and located right on Palm Beach, offering a most spectacular view of the Caribbean.

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Riu Palace Aruba Reviews

Riu Palace Aruba Review: 3.9 of 5 15 reviews
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  5
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"Vaction in aruba"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Rosina  on Mar 21, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2014 | Leisure | With Group
35 people found this review helpful

Hotel was very clean,food was good,could up their entertainment,same thing everynight,pool very clean,one thing I have to say,room was very damp,sheets felt wet,clothes would never dry,floors were sticky,I kept the air conditioning on but still very damp.Staff were very friendly.

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"Do not use Ever After Aruba Photography"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Janet  on Jul 21, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2012 | Wedding | Family and Kids
118 people found this review helpful

The day of our wedding at the Riu was amazing. Corinne, the organizer was phenomenal. So why then am I rating this one star? It has been almost a year since my husband and I were married there and we are still dealing with the photographer, Ever After Aruba, who took our photos. While Jason Margarita and his wife, Evita, are not employed directly by the Riu, he was on the list provided of prospective photographers and we paid the Riu directly for his services. Since our wedding, we have sent about a hundred emails trying to get all of our photos and videos. The wedding coordinator has not been able to successfully rectify this situation for us. Our travel agent even called and she was supposedly quite rude to her and the Riu itself was not helpful (denied having his name on the list provided or that we paid them but I have copies of both). We have been lied to several times about things supposedly being sent by Jason and Evita, never to receive them or to receive them much later after a lot of hassle. We also received a bill from FedEx which they claimed to have paid/would pay if not already paid. It is extremely challenging and frustrating to get an honest response. While the resort itself was beautiful and we had a great vacation, if you are looking to have a stress-free wedding, please look elsewhere to exchange your vows and DO NOT use these photographers' services.

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"Had a great time"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Dave  on May 12, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2013 | Leisure | With Group
121 people found this review helpful

OK, let's start with the food. This group of six felt no need to make dinner reservations anywhere. The food served in each buffet was excellent. I had a grilled fish at almost every lunch/dinner. The salad had plenty of options. The burgers and dogs were for those who still want that choice. The rooms were clean and the pool water was great. There were many servers and employees that were happy to help and smiling. Some weren't, but you're going to find that anywhere. Stick with the happy ones, tip them a bit, they will take care of you.
Hello to Luis (best table attendant/server for breakfast and lunch - a hustler). Hello to Felix (best bartender in pool area), Freddie (bartender in the club), and the rest of the crew.

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"Relaxing"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Irene  on Jan 27, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
131 people found this review helpful

The Riu was a great vacation experience. Would I go back to Aruba, No. Would I go back to a Riu, Yes. Except for the hard beds, there was not one thing I could complain about the Riu. The food in the ala cartes was amazing, but the buffet was just as good. I didn't like the fact that the only 2 times were 6:30 (too early) or 9 (too late) but no problem getting a reservation. The pina coladas were awesome, as well as the service, especially around the pool. The beds were hard, very hard. Aruba, as an island, is boring.

Room Number:
626

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"Resort was a joke. 35 people in our group agreed."

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Crystal  on May 23, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2012 | Wedding | With Group
201 people found this review helpful

I don't even know where to start. The food was not good. Granted, I'm a food snob, but when I go away I expect native food, not Americanized crap. Breakfast was ok. Lunch, left much to be desired and dinner was a nightmare. You have to wait on a line to get a reservation in 1 of 4 places. you have to make this reservation between 9am & 11am..good luck with that. When were finally able to get a reservation (the last nite) it was a joke. They hassled us for having 2 more ppl in an empty place!! The rooms where ALL moist & moldy. So moist my clothes were damp!! I asked for a pillow each of the 4 nights we were there and got lots of attitude but no pillow. If you want a hut on the beach get prepared to get up at 430 am to have your towels there so no one else gets it, likewise with chairs by the pool. Lucky the bride and groom opted to have their wedding on a different resort w/private beach. We saw another couple get married that weekend at the Riu and they had to compete with others in their pictures. The only good part was the delightful bartenders by the pool only. The rest were awful!! 35 people went for this wedding & all agree, it's TERRIBLE! At least we had good company!

Room Number:
Don't remember

Room Block:
Don't remember

Rooms:
Awful!! Wet and moist the entire time including the beds!!! My clothes were even wet because of moistness. Mold in several of our friends rooms.

Restaurants and Bars:
Only good bar was the swim up. Food in restaurants was terrible, and making a reservation was impossible and unheard of. Breakfast was okay, the rest was bad.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is nice, been to better on other islands, but not terrible.

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"Fabulous!"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Patricia  on Apr 29, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2012 | Leisure | With Group
217 people found this review helpful

We just returned from RIU Palace, Aruba and had a blast. There were 21 in total in our group.

Room Number:
838/839

Room Block:
Building B

Arrival:
We were greeted at the airport by a great guy holding a sign welcoming our specific group! Very cool! Upon arrival to the hotel, we were greeted with a drink and shown to our room within 10 minutes (as was our luggage!)

Rooms:
We had a jr. suite with an ocean view on the 8th floor facing the neighboring Westin hotel. The ocean view was fabulous - just don't look down to the access service road below. Our first room, 838, had a crack in the bathtub. We contacted the front desk and they immediately relocated us to Rm. 839 which was closer to the beach and had a better view. We really weren't too concerned with the view or location of our room since we were only ever in it to sleep or change. Left a few dollars each morning for the cleaning staff and they did a great job ... fresh towels daily and wash cloths were replaced in the evening when they came in to turn down the bed! Incidentally, a friend of ours came in later in the week; had booked their trip on-line and was given a 10th floor - pool view room with spectacular views of pool and ocean!!! If you do book a trip with RIU - request a pool view and you'll get the best of both worlds!

Restaurants and Bars:
We loved the restaurants and we loved the bars! The buffet for breakfast and dinner was excellent ... something for everyone! The Nautilus was AMAZING! We were there twice. The Italian was great and the sushi at the japanese restaurant was incredible!!! I honestly don't think that any one of us - at any point - walked away from a meal disappointed!!! However, making reservations every morning was tedious and their reservation process seemed to change every morning. Since there was 21 of us, it was impossible to make reservations for that many by just one person so we'd have to take 4 or 5 people up each morning to reserve tables with 4 - 6 people per table. They give you a ticket which you have to present at the restaurant which has room numbers for that table reservation. If you loose the ticket, they might give you a hard time at the restaurant (even though they have a list with your room number on it and all you have to do is confirm your room number!). It can get confusing. The bartenders at the pool bar were friendly and pleasant and if you asked for something and they weren't sure about your request (which was rare), they'd try their best to make it exactly as you described!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was great! Rafts available for rent right at the beach for a nominal fee. The pool was huge and clean - a little worn! Water aerobics every morning and zumba every evening! It's true what you've read about getting up at the crack of dawn to save chairs or huts on the beach and it is what it is! The sun is insanely strong and at some point during the day you need to hit some shade.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
A myriad of tours and excursions were available from DePalm Tours in the main lobby and the employees were so friendly and knowledgeable. We traveled with a huge group and there was something for everyone! Some booked ATV's, some snorkeled (amazing sail with an open bar, lunch and 3 locations for snorkeling), parasailing. Off the resort, some played golf at a nearby course. Walk down the beach from the hotel and you can rent a hobie cat and sail up and down the coast. We traveled during the Flyers playoff and caught games 4 and 5 at Busters Sports Bar down the street while some of us shopped!!! (Caught the winning game 6 at the Sports Bar at the RUI!) The spa was very nice and the jacuzzi was spacious and very clean. The massage I received was the best ever!!!!

Other Comments:
Was amused that a Dunkin' Donuts was located at the end of the RIU beach area!We'd go back again in a minute! Loved the constant breezes!!! Iguanas hang out at the towel shack near the pool every afternoon - they're amazing! Saw turquoise lizards along the beach!

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"First time to aruba"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Terry  on Apr 6, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
253 people found this review helpful

Currently laying on the beach overlooking the white sand and blue water. Traveled to many Islands and each have pros and cons Aruba however has few if any cons. Very hospitable and safe for all age groups. Best way to see the Island is to rent a car and avoid Bus Tours. One day rental with gas was $75 and very relaxing drive, you stop when you choose and best of all you can't get lost.
The Riu Palace by North American stds.would be a four star, great food with many choices every day. Our favorite Al La Carte was the Steakhouse but really the Buffet was close to the old Milia Rio de Oro in Cuba rated Excellant Five Star
Room prep and care was very good but room bar refill for water and pop was non existant.
Very little evening entertainment but if you like slow and quite you will love the evenings here.
Beach area is very small and be prepared to get up early ( 6:00 am ) at latest to get a shaded location. Aruba is hot and humid daily and some shade is important if you hug the beach each day.
This was my only negative with the trip. We found this to some degree at most resorts througout the Carribean but this one needs definate improvement. Most people we came in contact with this week felt the same. For us the beach is very important in our choice and if you can't enjoy it we would not come again. I staked ours out daily by 6:00 but I confess I dislike having to "hunter/gather" beach chairs!
Overall the Riu is very good, the Beach is Excellant and Aruba is One Very Happy Island............Enjoy!!!

Arrival:
Very quick to assign our room and our bags were there on our arrival.

Rooms:
We have a Jr. Suite and this is one resort that provides as offered........water view is endeed water view..actually I think to some
degree upgrading may not be required.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants as I have mentioned are very good........not great. The Buffet is Great.
The Bars are okay, only one Pool bar but great service this week. Consider however we have been told that they are currently only 60% booked this week and often get overbooked. I hate to see the Bar and Beach activity at this loading. Today there are new arrivals and we can see the differece in service already.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is safe and great for swimming,little surf and lots of fine sand. Great for kids. Only setback is the Riu area is small for resort size. Beaches in Aruba are public and only one resort of the 37 have exclusive use. Thus this could be a bigger problem when Cruise ships come. We have been spoiled this week.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Almost non existant except for Zumba classes at the pool.....again I think they may have cut back on staff due to vacancy rate. There is a beach volleyball court that appears to be shared with the neighboring Westin and has had very little use this week.

Other Comments:
Overall four star in our comparisons to those we have gone too. This is always difficult since much depends on the week, the weather,one's frame of mind or issues that arose during the stay. We haven't had any issues so I think we are still very objective.
Overall 8 out of 10

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"First time - hopefully not last time !"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Barry Ingram  on May 31, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
368 people found this review helpful

Although not the first time to the Caribbean this was our first time to Aruba. Our previous holiday was to the Dominican Republic in the Riu Naiboa and we particularly chose the Riu again based on our experience.

We could not have been more happy with all the aspects of our holiday, the hotel and the staff.

in our party was myself, my wife and our cousin (same age range - circa 50's) and we all stayed in the one room (more to follow on that below).

Room Number:
710

Room Block:
Main building

Arrival:
After a long flight ( for us from the United Kingdom this was 10 hours !) the last thing you want is a tedious and time consuming check in process.

We were in our room within 20 mins from walking into the lobby and the luggage arrived no more than 10 minutes after that - EXCELLENT SERVICE !

All the information about the bars, restaurants, pool towels etc etc was made clear quick and easy and we were made to feel very welcomed.

Rooms:
Room 710 was in the middle of the block and being only 4 floors down from the top we had a FANTASTIC view.

The room is badged as a "Junior Suite" and as this was our first time in a Riu Palace we were not sure exactly what this meant but were not disappointed with the room size or its layout. The air con worked fine and with a large ceiling fan to move the cool air around we were never uncomfortable.

As I mentioned above there were 3 adults in the room and were shared the 2 double beds with myself and my wife in one and our cousin in the other.

If I have any adverse comment it can only be about the size of the beds. If there had been only 2 of us and we had a bed each there would have been no problems but the beds are slightly too small to have 2 people in (neither of us are large people but it may be because we have a particularly large bed at home). However after 3 days we had got used to it and it did not spoil the holiday at all.

Restaurants and Bars:
Again, as this was our first Palace we did not appreciate there would be such excellent extra restaurants, they were UNBELIEVABLE.

We used all 4 of the restaurants during our stay. The queue for reservations started each morning about 8:45 with the desk supposed to open at 9:00. Each morning it opened as soon as the members of staff got there ( none of this "we don't open until 9 am" attitude ! which was most refreshing).

The restaurants are;

Nautilus - a great steakhouse - we had the "surf and turf" - no short measures there, a decent size steak and half a lobster tail - cooked to perfection.

Milano - a very nice Italian - good food and nice surroundings

Sayuri - A Japanese restaurant to rival anything I have experienced in London (or anywhere else for that matter).

Krystal - for my personal view this is the best of all 4 and the mix of flavours and styles was a joy (makes perfect sense why it is called a "Fusion" restaurant).

From a purely personal view I also got a great kick from the bar on the patio as it was called "Barry's" which just happens to be my name - good excuse to go there each night and work through the Martini menu !

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was just 30 seconds from the pool and was always clean and with space to sit and relax.

The pools were cleaned every morning and despite there being a few of the small tiles missing was in good condition with plenty of room and the benefit of a swim up bar.

The grounds of the hotel were a nice mix of the poolside patio and superbly kept green areas (every day I saw the gardeners going round tidying up and looking after the plants etc.)

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We had always planned this to be a relaxing holiday and therefore did not join in many of the poolside activities or excursions.

We did go on the "Discover Aruba" coach trip (cost of $69 each), this took us around the island and included a stop off for lunch which was good food and nice surroundings, the highlight of the trip is the final stop at Baby Beach with fantastic snorkelling and it is from here you can see Venezuela and realise just how close you are while on such a tiny island.

Other Comments:
Unlike the hotels in the Dominican Republic the Riu Palace is not in a gated compound and you are able to walk out onto the street and visit the local shops etc.

We did this several times and had a drink at the Hard Rock Cafe which is only a few minutes away - at no time did we feel unsafe or unsure about walking about.

We also got the bus into Orangestad a couple of times ( $2:60 return each ) and again felt totally safe using the normal local buses and walking around the town.

It was while on one of the visits we went past the marina and found the helicopter tours. All 3 of us went in the helicopter on the shorter trip which took us up to the top of the island, past the Riu and back down to the marina -we chose the shorter trip to make sure we all enjoyed the helicopter and wished afterwards we had gone for the longer "round island" trip. The pilot was great and made sure we saw all the sights on the flight even looking carefully for the sea turtles during the flight.

Would we go back ? YES - but we do have many more places to see first so it may take some time !

Photos: http://gallery.me.com/barry.ingram#100017

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"Wedding package nightmare!"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Raluca  on May 25, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Wedding | With Group
347 people found this review helpful

Wedding services are a nightmare!

If you are looking for a good all inclusive hotel in Aruba, Riu is the top choice. While not a 5 star by North American standards, its definitely the best choice on the island in terms of all-inclusive resorts. If you are going there for a wedding or looking to plan your wedding there, steer clear of the Riu and look into other options or resorts. Their wedding coordinator is a nightmare and will cause you undue stress leading up to your wedding day as well as a total lack of regard or care to any details or arrangements made on your wedding day. Prior to the wedding the coordinator did not make one single phone appointment at the set time nor did she ever respond to email communications, which are the only way to communicate since she does not have voice mail or answer her phone. Upon arrival at the resort there is supposed to be a face to face appointment as stated in the purchased wedding package, that appointment was also missed by the coordinator and booked for later in the day, the day prior the wedding, leaving only a few hours before end of business day to cover any details. When the meeting with the coordinator finally did happen, what should have been a simple overview of the wedding day, become a discussion of all items that should have been booked and confirmed for the wedding day, which was the next day. The day of the wedding the coordinator was nowhere to be found and did not make herself available to the wedding party until 1 hour before the wedding, and at that time it was to let us know that some items had not yet been done, booked or confirmed. There was never any apology or explanation as to her constant absence and failure to provide the package that we had paid for. Quite the opposite the coordinator was at all times rude, snarky and mentioned at every moment how she was just too busy with other items to respond to calls, emails, etc. This left us overall with a sense of insecurity and anxiety prior to the wedding and during our wedding day.

To say this person has a complete lack of care for her job is an understatement. Her indifference to the role was very obvious at all time. We also ran into 2 other brides that had gotten married a few days before us, who also experienced the same treatment from the wedding coordinator and were in tears on their wedding day. We would have been better off sourcing out our own wedding venue and other details somewhere else in Aruba, then to have purchased a wedding package with the Riu.

Room Block:
Tower B

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"Great time and great weather!!"

Riu Palace Aruba
User Rating:  Riu Palace Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mary  on Apr 10, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
376 people found this review helpful

Our first 2 week trip to the RIU Palace Aruba was everything we had expected. We had read many mixed reviews on TripAdvisor and Debbie’s Caribbean Resort Reviews but felt confident that we had made a good choice.

Room Number:
930

Room Block:
Bld. B

Arrival:
October 2-16
Upon arrival we were greeted with a welcoming drink. The check-in process was effortless and we were in our room in under ½ hour.

Rooms:
We had booked a junior partial oceanview suite and the first room (822) that we were assigned was in Bldg. B, even though we had sent an email to the hotel requesting a 9th or 10th floor room in either Bldg. A or B. Upon entry to Room 822, the first thing that hit us was the musty smell in the room and the fact that the previous “tenants” of the room were smokers. We requested a room change that night but were advised that the hotel was at 100% capacity and it wasn’t possible for at least 3-5 days. This delay did not sit well with us as we observed the next day that new arrivals were being given vacated rooms on the 9th and 10th floor. With email in hand, we approached the front desk and asked for a room change to the 9th floor in Bldg. B citing what we had observed the day before and was quickly advised that Room 930 would be available by 10:00 am and we could make the change then. What a difference – no musty or smoky smell. Overall great view. The bed was firmer than we are accustomed to but the requested foam topper was provided and we had no problem sleeping. AC was good and kept the room a comfortable temperature.

Restaurants and Bars:
Booking at the 4 specialty restaurants was not a problem and reservations are required. You make your reservations between 9 –12 every day for that nights seating, 6:30 or 9:00, at the desk beside the elevators in the main lobby in Bldg. A. We ate at the Nautilus (buffet at lunch and Steakhouse in the evening), Milano (Italian) and Krystal (gourmet) and enjoyed the meals. We did not eat at the Fusion and therefore cannot comment on the restaurant. Don Nicholas buffet restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is very similar to other Riu hotels – lots of selection and the items changed every day – look over the selection and then get what appeals to you the most. This is the first Riu buffet restaurant that we’ve encountered a caesar salad bar – a nice and welcome touch!!!!

The service at the restaurants and bars is outstanding. We did not see an unfriendly waiter or bartender. The lobby bar was our main hangout between sunset and dinner and then again after dinner for our coffee and baileys. Freddie took very good car of us and after the second day, knew what we liked before dinner and then the after dinner coffee, generally without asking.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
If you want shade at the beach, you will have to join the ranks and wake up in the wee hours of the morning to grab a cabana on the beach – the beach chairs are locked up until around 7:00 a.m. but wrapping a towel around the cabana just above the table seems to work well. Depending on where you sit around the pool … a large area in front of Bldg. B is in the shade for most of the afternoon and the area in front of Bldg. C has sun for the most of the day … and if you want shade, in particular around Bldg. C, you will have join the ranks to get an umbrella or find a lounger under the palm trees. This also holds true for getting pool chairs.

The beach is one of the best we’ve been to in years …. clear, bath warm water, white sand and hardly any waves (great for snorkelling right off the beach). The pool area is clean – for Aruba standards. Before you start to complain about the sand around the pool etc. bear in mind that water and electricity in Aruba is very expensive.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We booked an island excursion through DePalm Tours which has a rep in the lobby – you learned about the history of the island which took you to the north, south, east and west coasts – all in under 5 hours. The next time we are in Aruba we will rent a 4x4 and see the island where the coach trips can’t go. The hotel had live bands and shows in the lobby bar area. We heard a lot of people complain about the size of the stage and the fact that the shows were similarly small. You must bear in mind that this is an island/resort where the majority of vacationers are from the British Isles and Europe and who are not necessarily used to the excessive temperatures. The Riu took over this resort from the Aruba Grand and did a remarkable job at transforming it to “Riu style”. Where most Riu’s have an outdoor entertainment area, the Riu Aruba is located indoors for comfort.

Your nighlife is what you make of it …. from leaving the resort to do some clubbing, to enjoying the casinos at the other resorts on the “highrise” strip or going to the plaza area where there are a lot of bars.

As this is an island where the cruise ships dock, there is shopping in the downtown area of Oranjestad as well as duty-free shops. A taxi ride into town is fairly inexpensive and travelling by bus to the downtown core is safe and very cheap for a round trip. There is also a couple of small plazas of shopping across and down the street.

Other Comments:
The island’s motto is “One Happy Island”.

Photos: http://travel.webshots.com/album/578920603ntspWv?vhost=travel

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