Spacious ocean-view rooms at Riu Palace eschew traditional Caribbean colors for a subtle decor
The New Wave of Spanish-owned all-inclusives sweeping the Caribbean hasn’t spared the Bahamas either, as Travel Agent happily discovered at the newly renovated Riu Palace Paradise Island in Nassau. Here’s what agents need to know:
Having been upgraded to the Riu Palace category, Riu’s most luxurious product line, the new-look Riu resort opened in November last year. All rooms were converted to suites and junior suites, where safes are now electronic and the size of a laptop. The property has more à la carte restaurants, 24-hour room service and a more elegant ambiance. Overall, the resort has 379 rooms, four specialty restaurants, a Renova spa, fitness room, pool, conference room and an impressive beach.
We stayed in Room #1132, a renovated oceanfront suite on the second-highest floor of the building. The spacious room had a king-size bed on one side and a living area with a couch on the other while a rotating flat-screen TV stood in between. The TV could be rotated to be swiveled from the bathroom as well. The colors in the room weren’t the traditionally bright Caribbean, but rather subtle, deep purple. A balcony that ran the length of the room added to the space and luxury, with unobstructed views of the ocean and the swimming pool.
Who to Book For
First and foremost, book this resort for couples. However, it could equally make for a memorable girls, guys or multigenerational getaway. I took my brother along on this trip and we bonded just as much, if not more, than we did when we celebrated his bachelor party in Vegas.
The swim-up bar and pool of the Riu Palace face a stretch of white sandy beach
The one-time payment covers dining at hotel’s four specialty restaurants, and clients can make as many reservations as they desire. The specialty restaurants include: Krystal, a fusion eatery; Tengoku, which serves Japanese cuisine; Sir Alexander, a gourmet restaurant; and Bahamas, the steakhouse.
Krystal, a standard at all Riu Palace properties, is the newest restaurant on property. The eatery offers gourmet à la carte cuisine; the menu, which was developed in 2008 by top Michelin-star Spanish chefs, focuses on fresh, top-quality ingredients prepared and presented in keeping with the latest trends in international haute cuisine.
Our favorite dining spot, though, was Bahamas, mainly because we happen to love surf ‘n turf. The steaks were delicious as were the lobsters—all of which come in decent portions. However, clients will need to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance to play it safe.
The resort has a few options, including the lobby bar, a swim-up bar and the Calypso Bar, where most of the nighttime entertainment takes place. The Sports Bar near the lobby and past Krystal, though, was our favorite haunt. We spent hours here as local Kalik beer was served to us in cold mugs and sporting events played on the many flat-screen TVs.
We also tried our hands at some pool and air hockey and checked out the many framed sports photos hung on the wall. (This is also the place to rent a computer if your clients fail to bring their laptops; the service costs $5 for 30 minutes.)
For insider tips when booking a stay at the Riu Paradise Island, agents should contact Sandra Thijssen, sales manager for RIU in the Bahamas, at 242-363-7213 or [email protected].