May of 2010, I took my daughter to Riu Palace Aruba for 5 days for college graduation. Upon check in, the bell-hop gave us a funny look at the room assigned. We soon found out why. Our accomodations were in what is referred to as the "old building". Evidently there are 2 rooms there and only when they overbook they are used. Room service and housekeeping avoid this area. We were suppose to have 2 beds but got a king instead.
The room was dirty, the bathtub was utterly disgusting. Spanish speaking men were ripping up carpeting that was torn and were laying tile. In order to get in and out of our room we had to jump over tile that had just been laid. The ice room was full of trash and there was no ice the whole time. The smell was very musty and several times a day someone sprayed tons of Lysol to cover up. My daughter is allergic to mold and by day 2 of 5 she was sick with respiratory problems.
I complained but the manager did not respond for 3 days. She said the same thing that each employee recited-that our travel agent had requested room # 179 or 180. We did not have a travel agent. I made the reservations myself. I would have no knowledge of any room numbers. Then they would pretend to not understand. She said the bathtub was not dirty, just old. The safe did not work but other travelers told us not to use it as others are robbed frequently.
They say it is all inclusive and 24 hour service. There was no service. Dinner reservations can be made from 9 am til 12 pm in person and in the lobby for that day only, but all excursions meet at 8:30 so if you are going on an excursion, you can not get a dinner reservation for that day. Of course you can still eat at the buffet.
The only place open for lunch at 11:30 am was the outdoor restaurant, and breakfast food was still out with no lunch in sight. The birds were actually in the food bar and employee's acted as if this was normal. We just left. While our trip to and from airport was paid in advance, we took a cab to escape early. I have tried to complain but they have no phone, no address to write, and don't respond to emails. We spent several hours on a plane, $5000 for 5 days. Upon calling the hotel directly, I found out that they only use these 2 rooms when they overbook, then someone must get taken for a ride. Total ripoff.