RIU Paradise Island Reviews

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RIU Paradise Island  

Casino Dr, 6307, New Providence Island

"Unbelievable"
Posted by: elizabeth  on May 3, 2011
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RIU Paradise Island Reviews
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RIU Paradise Island Bahamas Bahamas

#1
of 7 Hotels in Bahamas

User rating 3.7

Based on 22 reviews

RIU Paradise Island Information


Situated on a 3-mile-long, white sandy beach, Riu Paradise Island has a prime location next to the Atlantis Casino.

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RIU Paradise Island Reviews

RIU Paradise Island Review: 3.7 of 5 22 reviews
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"My way will be to never go to a Riu hotel again"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Lavonne06  on Jan 1, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Jan, 2006 | Leisure | With Group
82 people found this review helpful

We arrived Jan. 10,2006 for a 5 night all inclusive stay at the Riu Hotel .
I was traveling with my daughter, and son-in-law and 2 grand children Their ages 1 1/2 and 3 1/2. They were anxious to go swimming in the pool. There is only one pool and it is not heated. For the 5 days at this hotel we saw only 4 people use the pool. It was ice cold.
We had to go next door to Atlantis and pay a $200.00 day room rate to use their heated pools. The buffet food is good for an all inclusive and their specialty nights offer a variety of choices. However it is a bit repetitive. The rooms were clean and housekeeping does a fine job of daily room maintenance. There is no organized activity program for adults or children.
This does nothing to create an atmosphere of friendliness and fun IT APPEARS TO ME THAT WITH ATLANTIS NEXT DOOR , THEY DON'T CARE WHETHER YOU ARE SATISFIED OR NOT.
I wrote to the main office of Riu and complained about the pool situation. They claim they contacted the manager and he stated that the heaters were on They thanked me for the correspondence and sent me on my way. My way will be to never go to a Riu hotel again.

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"It was ugly beyond belief"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  CoriDarrickLondonOntario  on Feb 1, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2006 | Leisure | With Group
95 people found this review helpful

I find myself in the unfortunate position of having to give a less than favourable review for the first time. For those of you who are already booked to stay at the RIU Paradise Island, I hope my review is helpful in providing tips to avoid the problems we encountered. This resort certainly doesn’t deserve the 5 star rating it has been given by Sunquest but on the other hand it has enough redeeming qualities that you can still have a great vacation with a little luck and if necessary some specific requests at the resort.
We stayed at the RIU for 3 nights with a large group in early February 2006.

TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM RESORT:
Our flights were with Canjet. The flight there was about 3 hours from Toronto and a little less on the way home. The plane was pretty small and of course as with all charter flights the seats weren’t exactly roomy but that is to be expected. Luggage pick up and the customs drill was quick and efficient. We were transported to the resort by bus. The bus ride was about 30 minutes and it was an interesting drive mostly along the coast. It was really unnerving at first to be driving on the "wrong" side of the road though.

ROOM:
Our room (216) was probably one of the worst I have ever had the misfortune of staying in. The only reason we did not demand a room change was because the trip was organized and paid for by someone else and we did not want to appear unappreciative or be overly demanding in those circumstances. If we had paid for the trip ourselves we would immediately have insisted on a room change, failing which I would have switched resorts. Where to start? The worst aspect of our room was the "view". Our balcony (very small) was right on top of a huge duct work and air conditioning system. It was ugly beyond belief and to add insult to injury, the huge air conditioning units were so loud even with the sliding glass doors shut you could hear the noise. The room itself reminded me of an older Holiday Inn type room with carpeting on the floor (as opposed to ceramic tile which is the usual flooring at tropical resorts in my experience). The room was reasonably clean with the exception of the tub which had mold (mildew??) in it. The bathroom was so small that two people couldn’t be in there at the same time and it was a challenge to open the door if the bathmat was beside the tub. We were provided with wash cloths only the first day we were there which was a pain. We only got one little bar of soap during our entire stay and only once got shampoo which was a tiny little bottle we received on the second day. That was very inconvenient because I had forgotten to pack shampoo and was forced to buy a bottle in the gift shop for $7 (and the same bottle would have cost $2.99 in Canada). There is no coffee maker in the room which was a disappointment. There was a hair dryer provided with the room (not attached to the wall like most) and it only worked the first time I used it. After that it was dead.

The room access cards were simply a joke. They were obviously old and should have been replaced a long time ago. It took us an average of 5 to 10 minutes to get our room door to open each time. I finally went down to the front desk and when I explained the problem instead of just replacing the cards they sent up the "engineer" to give us a lesson on finessing the cards in the slot to get it open faster. That little exercise was absolutely useless. One couple in our group finally demanded new cards which solved the problem for them. I regret not having insisted upon new cards ourselves us because it was ridiculous how long it took us to get in our room each and every time.

If upon arrival you find you have been booked into either room 216 or 214 I would strongly recommend you request another room or you will regret it. Also, if you run into any of the other problems I have mentioned don’t take no for an answer in getting the issue resolved. The rooms at the back of the hotel are closest to the beach and will afford the best view. I understand from speaking to other guests that the rooms facing the pool were quite loud (music and loud voices from the pool area) but that would have preferable to what we ended up with.

BEACH:
The beach was the best part of the resort in my view. The beach and the water were both very clean and beautiful. The waves were simply huge most of the time and we had a great time body surfing. I would have been concerned if we had our kids with us though because the waves were so big and the undertow was incredibly strong. If you don’t like big waves that will knock you on your butt you might not like the beach but we just loved it.

The sand on the beach is very dense and sticky. The beach is very long and wonderful for a walk but it is quite a work out because the sand texture made it more difficult than usual to walk in. There is no bar on the beach so you have to walk up a large set of stairs to get a drink at the pool bar. There are lots of beach vendors wandering around but I didn’t find them to be too pushy. There are jet skis for rent on the bench but they are not connected with the resort. My husband rented a jet ski and the engine blew up out in the ocean and they had to go out to "rescue" him.

WEATHER:
The weather was a mixed bag. There were often clouds but we got enough sun and warmth to satisfy us most of the time until the last day. The third night we were there it started pouring rain in the early evening and the rain lasted for a long time. There was a leak in the lobby area with water pouring in and a bucket in place to catch the water. The last day we were there we were planning on spending the morning on the beach but to our surprise the lobby doors to the beach and pool area were locked and there was caution tape stretched across the doors. I have never been to a resort before where they lock the guests in! We eventually went out the front of the resort and accessed the beach by the public beach path. It was incredibly windy to the point where it was difficult to walk and the sand was blowing around so strongly it was like you were being sandblasted. The sand really hurt when it hit the skin and it was absolutely freezing. Basically the beach and pool area were off limits for most of the day.

FOOD/DRINKS:
We ate at two of the a la carte restaurants and I would have to say the food was definitely above average for an all inclusive resort. The beer tenderloin was very good. We did the buffet for breakfast and lunch but never tried it for dinner. It was comparable to other AI resort buffets although I ended up with cold pancakes and french toast each time I tried them in the morning. I found the mixed drinks to be quite strong but that wasn’t a problem for me. I was rather disappointed that they only had one kind of beer (Miller Genuine Draft) which I didn’t particularly like. It would have been nice if they had the local beer to try (Kalik). I eventually went out to the liquor store to buy some.

POOL:
There is only one pool. Compared to the other pools we’ve seen at other resorts, I would describe the RIU pool as being on the small side but it is reasonably attractive all things considered. When the weather co-operated we spent most of our time on the beach but there were lots of people by the pool. The lounge chairs are very close together around the pool and the pool area is pretty small. The pool deck was very very slippery most of the time.

AREA ACTIVITIES:
Atlantis is a short walk from the RIU either by beach or by road. We walked down the beach to the casino one night and wandered through the resort a bit. It is a very beautiful resort. At night they don’t have security checking bracelets so we weren’t stopped as we explored. If you go during the day though you are restricted as to where you can go.

We took the ferry over to Nassau one morning which was an interesting excursion. The ferry ride itself was fun. They guide on the ferry was a fountain of interesting information. The straw market and the shops are just a short stroll from where the ferry drops you off. The straw market had lots of touristy souvenirs and if you are a good bargainer you can get some good deals. There were a wide variety of "knock off" designer purses in addition to the usual souvenir stuff. I found that the prices though were much higher than you would find in New York City for the same faux purses. There are lots of little shops to check out and I have never seen so many jewellery stores in one place. If you want to shop for jewellery Nassau is the place to be!

We also did a boat cruise which was a blast. The whole area is definitely a boater’s paradise.

SPA:
I had a massage at the RIU spa which was just wonderful. It was done on a little hut beside the beach and it was so relaxing to hear the waves pounding in the background. The spa offers a wide variety of services so there’s something for everyone.

RESORT & BAHAMAS GENERALLY:
The staff at the RIU were reasonably friendly most of the time and the service was not bad. Some of the staff were better than others. We’ve stayed at a number of 4 and 5 star all inclusive resorts in other countries and the RIU Paradise Island just didn’t even come close to comparing (with the exception of the beach). I think it would be generous to give the RIU a 3 star rating frankly. The resort is pretty small and tired but the beach really does compensate for some of that and I can’t say that we had a horrible time because we accepted the problems early on and focused on the positive. I will admit we would likely have been a lot happier if we had been given a better room. (In all honesty, I just can’t believe that they would put ANYONE in rooms 216 and 214.) I have written glowing reviews for each of the other resorts we have stayed at but unfortunately I cannot in good conscience do the same for this resort.

Overall we loved the country and there are some beautiful beaches to enjoy. The Bahamian people were very friendly and welcoming wherever we went which we really appreciated. We would likely return to the Bahamas but would definitely stay at another resort.

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"They expect tips all the time."

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  DenyCanada  on Jul 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
339 people found this review helpful

Arrival: July 12 to July 26,2009
Myself and my wife along with my brother and his wife stayed at the Riu Paradise island for two weeks. The problems that we had were expired water,pop and empty liqure bottles in the rooms. Other problems were mold in the bathrooms with rust along the sink and cracked sinks which leaked also elevators broke down and we were forced to take services elevators.Mold in the swimming pool and another problem was the bartenders didn't look at you if you didn't give them a tip. When it rained the lobby was full of towels because the roof would leek. My wife's sandals were stolen.They also were saying that they were closing down at the end of July for 4 months to renovate i heared they are still booking. I stayed at other Riu hotels I will never go here again. Don't get married there it is a disaster.
Restaurants and Bars:
Ok other than they expect tips all the time.
Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beaches are nice. Pool in terrible shape with mold
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No good
Other Comments:
Don't go here until they renovate, apparently they will be amazing when complete.

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"No air conditioning on purpose"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Donna  on Aug 29, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
371 people found this review helpful

Beautiful hotel, awsome food, friendly people. They are very cheap with air conditioning. Every place in hoted was so hot you couldn't breath. I'm 5ft. 4in. 130-135 lbs. ,rarley sweat, but I was constantly burning up. Had to get up at night and change clothing (soaked from sweat). All guests in same situation. Later found out guests three weeks prior went through same thing.
we paid for a 5 star all inclusive hotel. You don't get what you paid for. And one more thing FYI of course the spa costs extra as it should and guess what? AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!!Only cool place we found in the hotel. Imagine that.

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"The pool was closed 2 days during our trip"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  KristiHoustonTX  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
324 people found this review helpful

Arrival: May 26 - May 30
We arrived on Tuesday May 26 a little early, so our room was not ready yet. No problem, we ate at the buffet and had a few drinks while we waited. Of course, took in the view of the beach. This was the only day I actually enjoyed my stay at the RIU.

Rooms:
We were very upset with our room. First, our refrigerator in our room did not work. For an all-inclusive resort that offers a minibar, this was upsetting. All of our drinks were hot and we did not have any bottled water. Our sink in our bathroom would not drain either. We called several times to complain about these items and we never did get either fixed. Also, our balcony door would not close all the way, so we had to keep our A/C down at 60 degrees just to keep our room somewhat cool. It rained every afternoon and since the balcony door would not close, our carpet was wet.
Restaurants and Bars:
Surprisely, the buffet was the best way to go when we wanted a meal. The restaurants only accepted you by reservation only and the steakhouse and japanese restaurant were only "ok."
Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pool was closed 2 days during our trip. It was disgusting! The water in the pool was very cloudy and dirty and we never saw one maintenance person out there cleaning. Also, the website stated that there were 2 pools at this resort . . .there is only one! The pool bar was only open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Completely unacceptable for an all-inclusive resort.
Other Comments:
We experienced heavy rain several afternoons that we were there and the lobby of the hotel was soaked. It was like a maze getting through the lobby because the ceiling was leaking and they had "wet floor" signs everywhere. For parents bringing their kids to this resort, I would not recommend staying on the beach too long. The Bahamian solicitors were annoying, loud and very flavorful with their choice of language. I am surprised the RIU allows them on their beachfront.

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"Pool and Jacuzzi freezing cold not heated"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Becky  on Feb 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
353 people found this review helpful

Just got back and first time ever out of US. Good to get away but very dissappointed at ice cold pool and no Jacuzzi = Could go into Spa and use but they were both broken. Could not get Room Bar to work, but always at other bars though. Would have loved to use the swim up bar but cold, and weather was 70's, rain a whole day and people on beach very pushy (vendors)

Your Arrival:
Took motel shuttle and it took hour through streets of towns, dirty and littered. Airports very nice and timely.

Rooms:
nice rooms, service was little lacking with coffee refills and shower refills, toilet broke, door hard to open but nice

Restaurants and Bars:
very good food everywhere, sometimes staff were more into each other than guests, social hour

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Cold, Cold, beach very nice except for vendors hounding for sales, grounds kept nice

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
so,so

Other Comments:
Jacuzzi attached to pool, was not heated, dissappointed

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"There is also a beautiful yet seemingly secret Jacuzzi and Sauna"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  BenCrystalToronto  on Aug 1, 2005  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2005 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
87 people found this review helpful

Having just returned from the RIU Paradise Island and extensively used Debbie's Caribbean Reviews in the last couple of years we thought it was time to contribute.
Let me start by saying straight off that we had a fabulous time, it is so nice just to jet down to the islands for a quick break away from the city. My wife and I love travelling and always make sure no matter what (within reason) that we make the most of our trips. And having read the good reviews of the RIU we were excited to check it out.

To start with:
I think it is best to start off with the good first and then touch upon the less good points after. RIU is listed as a five star and while we are not convinced that it is worthy, they try very hard to keep up to their rating. The front-desk, restaurant servers, and maids are unbelievably polite. To the point where we were a little uncomfortable “You don’t have to call us Sir and Ma’am!” but it is their way. Also the animacion staff try very hard to get everyone going (especially T.J.) but the only thing that floated our boat was the live band on Bahaman night.

Food:
The food at the RIU is very good. There is a great selection for people. From (bizarrely) Pizza, hot-dogs, burgers, and fries right through to lovely grilled grouper and seafood pasta. We were shocked at how many people go down here and then pile up on awful junk food!
As well as the lovely buffet food, we also tried the “Gourmet” and Steakhouse. The steaks were very nice, and the Gourmet served the most delicious Snapper I have ever tasted. My wife had the seafood pasta there too, and it contained delicious Caribbean lobster (which is different to our Canadian lobster BTW) Crab, Shrimp. All delicious and cooked to perfection.
If food is important to you on holiday then you won’t be disappointed with the RIU.

Beach:
The beach at the RIU is wonderful. The sand is bright white, and always so clean. The ocean is wonderful: very warm, clean, and with just the right amount of waves. There is usually enough sun loungers, and the RIU smartly employs a “no reservation” rule (i.e. No towels on the loungers before sunrise) which is mostly observed and respected. We didn’t use the pool as the ocean is so perfect. Also the pool is more noisy (they do have the nasty loud music blaring, if you like Mariah’s greatest hits then this is for you) and they yell “SHOTS!” all afternoon. So if this is your scene then you will have fun. It is not for us, but there are lots of alternatives so it’s all good. There is something for everyone I think.

Spa:
There is also a beautiful yet seemingly secret Jacuzzi and Sauna, Crystal and I spent a good hour everyday with it to ourselves, only to have to share it once for about 15 minutes. For all Debbie’s readers now you know, head to the spa it is free when everything else there costs...

Scuba Diving:
We also did the Bahama divers excursion, and snorkelled at an Angel fish reef. We had a blast and the staff put on an amazing acrobatics show off the back of the boat when we were going full speed. A job well done to those fellas. I would recommend this trip to everyone.

Now onto the not so good points...:
First off let me say from now on we are going to stick to Spanish speaking Islands. We visited Punta Cana (The Gran Flemenco) last year and it seemed absolutely magical. Compared to Paradise Island, Punta Cana was romantic, luxurious, and less Americanised. While we had a lovely time, it seemed almost like we were in an American state in the Caribbean. There are McDonalds, KFC’s, they serve Miller lite at the bar and the Island is mostly made up of American tourists. The reason we like Punta Cana was that there was a mix of tourists: American, Canadian, Mexican, European, etc. Here it didn’t feel removed enough from our regular lives. We find Spanish speaking people much warmer and friendlier than the Bahamans for the most part. My wife and I love trying to speak to the locals in Spanish too. It adds an element of play that we enjoyed.

As a previous review says, the American tourists in our resort didn’t really travel that well. Living in Toronto I come into contact with Americans all the time and they are great people, but maybe in the Bahamas they let their hair down a bit too much. Plus living in Toronto we are spoiled by no smoking anywhere and their overly smelly cigarettes really bothered me. So much so that I couldn’t really enjoy sitting at the bar for long.

As for other negatives, I didn’t much care for the bar. The bar-staff for the most part were very “cool” (even after being tipped) and the drinks list was short and uninspired. The majority of the cocktails were simply Bacardi gold rum poured into the bottom with frozen mix poured on top. They didn’t stir them or anything. In fact most times they don’t even give you a straw. Also the drinks were inconsistent, made completely differently (with different ingredients!) by different bartenders. Also the wine is “box-wine”, served from a jug in the fridge at the bar and in self-serve dispensers in the buffet restaurants. VERY disappointing to a couple of wine drinkers. We only made our reservation in the Steakhouse so we could have a couple of glasses of wine from a bottle. In Punta Cana we were served very tasty Spanish wine by the bottle in all bars and restaurants. So this was a big disappointment. It was so romantic in Punta Cana to sit on the beach under the stars with a bottle of wine, here you are given a plastic cup of weak slushy drink whilst mildly drunk teenagers splash around in the surf; not quite the same.

I realise there are reasons for all this, but if you enjoy the simple life like us, it may be well noted.

The rooms were also kind of ugly. I don’t want a swanky downtown feel when I go to the Caribbean, but they are very dated in décor. Though very clean, with a King size bed, and everything was in perfect working order. Ask for a pool/ocean view room (Odd numbers I believe, we had 818) as our balcony overlooked the heating and duct system (and the ocean) which was so hot and noisy we couldn’t sit out on it.

The Bahaman government simply must do something about Nassau airport, it is a disgrace. I am British and have visited most of central and western Europe, as well as North America and the Caribbean. And this airport was far and away the worst airport I have been in. First and lasting impressions count. The airport is small, with no facilities or even decent shops. It must modernise soon.

Conclusion:
But other than that it was a great holiday. We probably won’t return to the Bahamas, but would return to a RIU in Mexico or the Dominican Republic without so much as a second thought. If you like the convenience of a 3 hour flight, English language, where you can get a big-mac then Bahamas for you. If you like something a little more unique and fun try Punta Cana, especially the Gran Flemenco by Occidental. It comes highly recommended!

Any questions please feel free to email me: bhagon@contextcreative.com

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"It was a pretty good deal for the money"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 3.5 of 5

Posted by:  SharonTorontoCanada  on Aug 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
345 people found this review helpful

Arrival: August 11, 2009 - Aug 16, 2009
My husband and I went for five nights. It was overall not a bad experience - this was our first time in the Bahamas.
Rooms:
When we arrived they had just completed cleaning our room. However, the smell of the bed indicated that the linen and pillows were not fresh. The bath was a great disappointment for me as it was not very clean.
Restaurants and Bars:
The buffets were great. The food was plentiful and tasty. You could always get something fresh to eat throughout the day. I did not utilize the bar much except for a couple fruit drinks and wine.
Beach/Pools/Grounds:
We did not use the pool but the beach is awesome! That was definitely the highlight of our stay. Nothing special about the grounds lots of birds that keep pecking at your food if you eat out on the deck.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Except for a couple night of really bad Karaokes there was not much activities.
Other Comments:
Compared to the Atlantis and other hotels in the vicinity, it was a pretty good deal for the money. However, they need to pay closer attention to housekeeping and ensure that the rooms are kept in better condition.

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"The service at the restaraunts for dinner was great"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  LizMike  on Mar 1, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Mar, 2006 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
84 people found this review helpful

My boyfriend and I recently got back from a stay at the RIU, paradise island resort in the bahamas. The reviews on this page helped us out a lot on our vacation, so I wanted to give some input.
Weather:
Beautiful...it was sunny every day with a light breeze. However, it did not get hot enough for me. It was 75-80 degrees each day we were there, but the pool was cold so I did not go in even once! The ocean was warm enough for me though! I bet it will really warm up in a couple weeks

Hotel/Service:
We got booked into a room with double beds for the first night...and since there were no extra rooms we had to stay there until they could move us into a room with a king size bed. We had to spend two nights in the double beds...but then we were moved up to the penthouse level where we had one huge bed so it was alright.The lobby at the RIU is very impressive...the rooms are alright, I wouldn't say five star quality, but they were clean. Who goes to the bahamas to hang out in the hotel room anyways? The views from both of our rooms were fantastic...we hung out on the balcony alot. I was 100 % satisfied with the service at the RIU. Everyone was super friendly...drinks did sometimes take a little while to get, but its not a big deal to wait 5 minutes sometimes. The service at the restaraunts for dinner was great.

Food:
To me, food is a huge deal. I was so impressed at the RIU. They have everything. There are buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, for dinner you can make reservations at 1 of 3 restaraunts. If you wish to make a reservation, you may do so by waiting in line (from 9-10 am) in the lobby. There was a huge line from 9-9:15, so I just went at like 9:30 each morning and it was a breeze. The gourmet restaraunt was the only one that you have to wait in line for if you want to go to it (its a very small place and fills up fast). I really liked the gourmet and the japanese, I wasn't hot on the steakhouse...it was kind of smokey. The buffets for breakfat and lunch are impressive...the fruit is great! Off the resort food is very expensive, like $15 appetizers and $50 entrees.

Things we did:
We did the snorkel at Stuarts Cove. Cost was $52 a person and included the bus ride there. The bus ride was very long, RIU is always the first to get picked up and the last to get dropped off because of its locattion.
Snorkeling was AWESOME! We had a great tour guide. This tour was snorkeling with sharks, which was optional (Mike did it and I didn't). Buy a waterproof camera either before you get on the plane down there, or before you go on the snorkeling trip. They were $22 at Stuarts cove and only $17 at the hotel...the pics came out great too! Also, BUY FISH FOOD!
Dolphin Encounters: This was a lot of fun too. The whole trip was about 3 hours. The encounter was $85 a person and the swim with the dolphins was $160 a person. We did the encounter, but I would honestly recommend the swim if you are going to do it. They charge an arm and a leg for the pictures, but we brought a camera down with us and traded taking pictures with another couple and their camera.
Atlantis: There are so many awesome things to do at atlantis. "the dig" is a huge aquarium and its amazing. During the day there is a charge, but if you go after 8 pm you can walk through for free. The casino is good...I think, but Mike tells me that there aren't enough tables and the minimum is too high! We went to the comedy show (the one at 9:30 is the dirty one) It was something fun to do. $20 a person for admission, but the drinks are like $200 each, so I would recommend getting liquored up for free at the hotel bar first.

Some other things:
~You cant drink the water from the tap...but the hotel provides you with gallons in your room, so I would recommend bringing a small travel sized bottle to fill up and take with you daily.
~The bar gives you drinks in small plastic cups if you are going to go outside with them, but if you bring large ones from home, you can take these out on the beach with you.
~People have said that they were stingy with the towels...I didn't think so. Heres the deal: They give you a card to trade in for a towel. Whenever you want a new towel, you have to trade in the old one. THen you have to give the towel back before you check out.
~If you go into downtown Nassau, you can take a cab there for $10 and get car sick, or a ferry for $3 each way. The ferry is nice because you get a boat ride, but you do have a 10 minute walk back to the hotel. If you are downtown, the ferry is located by the cruise ships.
~there is a hot tub in the resort that almost no one knows about (not even some of the staff). It was really nice, mike and I had it to ourselves most of the time. The first thing you should do when you get there is find it!

I though this hotel was great overall. If you are really into going out clubbing and stuff it may not be the right place for you though. There is not much nightlife at RIU, but plenty of options closeby, so you just have to venture off the resort. Hope this helped! ENJOY!!

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"The beach had beautiful white sand and the water was clean and clear"

RIU Paradise Island
User Rating:  RIU Paradise Island Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  William08  on Jan 1, 2008  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Jan, 2008 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
353 people found this review helpful

Contrary to many of the negative reports, the Riu Paradise Island provided a wonderful setting for a relaxing vacation.
Check in: Our room was not ready at 3:45 PM so we were told to go and have a bite to eat or have a drink and check back. When I checked back later the room was ready. Very friendly staff a front desk.

Hotel:
The hotel is 15 stories. Just one building. The pool is situated so that by 3 pm the pool area is beginning to be shaded by neighboring hotel. In the morning it takes til about 10 AM for the sun to hit the pool area. So for the sun lover, it is take a walk on the beach to catch the early rays.
The workers were busy painting while we were there. The outside area by the restaurants were being painted.

Lobby:
The lobby was beautiful. Crystal Chandeliers and the dark woods that the Riu’s are known for. Always clean.

Elevators:
This I will agree, they were a bit slow and made some weird noises.

Bars:
There were several bars on the property. And usually more than one seemed to be open. There was a bar at the pool but none down by the beach.

Beach:
There were lounge chairs on the beach but no shade from trees, if you wanted an umbrella on the beach; it was $25 per day. I believe this was offered by a private vendor. When they said $25 we went back up the stairs to the pool area. Note there are stairs down to the beach area or a winding ramp for handicapped people.
The beach had beautiful white sand and the water was clean and clear. The most beautiful turquoise color. Waves were a bit rough when we were there so not many ventured in the water.

Meals:
Good variety on the buffet. They were always very quick to clean the tables so there were always tables available. The one thing is that the food was never really hot, it always seemed lukewarm by the time you got to your table. Even the coffee was always a lukewarm temperature.
The gourmet restaurant, Sir Alexander’s offered excellent food. Dress code allowed men to wear dress shorts.
The steakhouse served as the noon lunch buffet, there was no snack bar at the pool or by the beach.
One of the very annoying things was the reservation system for the restaurants. Sign up was between 5 pm and 6 pm. The line started forming in the lobby at 4:30PM You could only reserve for the next day, so that meant coming back more than one day if that is how you choose to dine. Very poor planning. Early AM reservations when you go to breakfast would be preferable

Rooms:
Digital safe in closet, no additional charge. Our room (501) was huge and very clean. Abundant drawer space and plenty of hangers. The bed was comfortable. The mini bar had a gallon of water in it and was replenished every other day. The bathroom offered ample space and everything was in working condition. Note that you had to think about the shower ahead of time and turn the hot water on as it took quite some time to get hot water. We had a small balcony and there was a partial ocean view. The odd number rooms overlooked the pool. The bathroom had a handheld hair dryer on the counter top. They also provided the foil packs of shampoo and bath gel. We were always provided with washcloths.

Activities:
Pretty much non existent. They said they were going to play bingo at a certain time and then nothing. There were no pool activities at all. The pool was so cold you would never have been able to stand it anyway.
The nighttime shows were pretty good. They had various trivia contests prior to the show starting.
There just didn’t seem to be a big activities staff as at other Riu’s. The music at the pool was not loud as some have written. The one day they did try some activities, they didn’t start til well into the afternoon when guest were already heading to their rooms to prepare for the dinner hour.

Airport:
Arrival went smooth, luggage arrived about the same time we got to baggage claim, showed the personnel our paperwork and we were on the way to the taxi. $32 to the hotel. About a 40 min ride because of the heavy traffic on Bay Street.
When we left the Bahamas we went through American Customs there so we did not have to when we arrived in U.S

Other:
There is a water taxi available to take you back and forth from Paradise Island to Nassau. It docks right by the Straw Market. They say it runs every 30 minute, but they forget to tell you it really doesn’t leave until the boat is full, and believe me they want if full!. $6.00 round trip. The main shopping area is Bay Street, but there are many shops down the side streets.
Atlantis is definitely a must see. No problems with anyone checking us, we just walked everywhere on the property.
Weather was very comfortable-low 80’s No rain the entire week

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