Recommend Jan 2018 - 92

onsite
review

Accommodations
at the reinvented
RIU Palace
Paradise Island.

RIU Palace Paradise Island
Value Matters
Ed Wetschler

Does the reinvented RIU Palace Paradise
Island offer the best all-inclusive value in
Nassau-Paradise Island? Although the answer
to that depends upon who your clients are,
what they want, and what they can pay,
there are compelling reasons to answer "yes."
The family-friendly RIU reopened Oct.
27 after a $25 million or so renovation that
converted it into an adults-only resort.
Guests' first impression, the lobby, may have
references to some older RIU's Baroque
design (e.g. some overly ornate chairs), but
the overall look is light, modern, sleek. The
redesign glasses in the formerly open-air
walkway that leads to the pools, beach,
and restaurants, so this extension of the
lobby still feels as if it's outdoors while also
protecting guests from the sometimes chilly
winter winds.
And that's just part of what's new.
The architects tore down a free-standing
convention center to build a large second
pool that stands apart from the one with
the pool bar. They also converted meeting
rooms to a theater that can open into a
contemporary, black-and-white sports bar
offering drinks and snacks 24/7. Rooms, too,
have a more modern, less busy look than
they'd have with colonial-style decor, and
most of the baths feature showers
with rain shower fixtures instead of the
old tubs.
92 january 2018

But let's get back to the question about
value. Here are 10 reasons the answer
is "yes."
1. Shoulder season rates (I priced rooms in
early May 2018) per couple start at about
$3,100 a week-i.e. $440 a night, allinclusive.
2. Middle-aged as well as younger guests
told me that they liked the redesign's stylish,
uncluttered look. Some of them were repeat
visitors, so they'd seen both incarnations of
the RIU.
3. The staff members, from managers to
waiters to the women who clean the rooms,
are upbeat and friendly.
4. The size of this hotel, 379 rooms, makes
it just large enough to rock but also small
enough so that guests can get to know some
of the other guests.
5. All rooms come with 24/7 room service,
complimentary WiFi, a liquor dispenser over
the minibar, bathrobes, a TV suitable for a
SuperBowl party, and other perks.
6. Dining options include a buffet (with
Cava for breakfast and themed stations at
all meals), a fusion restaurant, a steakhouse,
what I'd call a Japanese-plus restaurant, a
jerk shack for lunch, and-the big surprise-
an Indian restaurant specializing in multicourse dinners with expert presentation.
The Indian restaurant, in particular, was
a real-eye-opener for some of the guests,
who were working class exurbanites with
little knowledge of this cuisine. The other
a la carte restaurants tended to serve my

fish well done, but if someone asks that it
be cooked less, the chef will comply. The
food in general was quite good. Capuchino
(sic), in the lobby, serves excellent coffee
drinks as well as ice cream and pastries.
It doesn't open until 10 a.m., so I hope
management changes that to 7 a.m. I also
think management must and will work out
a better system for being seated at the a la
carte restaurants. It's good that guests can
just show up without reservations, but this
often results in their having to wait in line.
7. I worked out one day at the fitness
center, then went next door to the spa for a
massage. When I was done, a therapist told
me, "We have a sauna and whirlpool here,
and you can use it even if you're not coming
in a treatment." Nice.
8. The beach is a long, wide beauty, like the
one at Atlantis, whose Beach Tower is right
next door.
9. The bar at the infinity pool is unlike any
I've seen, because tables extend out into the
water so no one feels crowded while sipping
those Bahama Mamas.
10. Daily activities (e.g. dance lessons
poolside, fitness classes) are led by
extremely likable people, and the evening
entertainers, some of whom are Cuban, are
also irresistible. Face it: They'd have to be
irresistible to get this Mozart addict to lead a
line of soul train dancers. And they were.
Contact Information

RIU Palace Paradise Island: riu.com
recommend.com


http://www.riu.com http://www.recommend.com

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