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Old Wednesday, June 4th, 2008, 08:57 PM
nonamelady nonamelady is offline
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Default Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Hi. I just got back from Aruba. Last time I was there, the RIU was under construction. I decided to stop in and tour the new hotel. The lobby/check-in area was amazing. The casino was small but "cool" with windows. The pool area was amazing.

Being current timeshare owners, I figured I could buy a resale. So I went and talked to the timeshare lady. We wanted to get a tour of the rooms. She gave me room keys for a 1 bedroom and a 2 bedroom and sent me on my way to check it out for myself.

OH...she said they would be replacing the furniture in a year or so.

I WAS IN SHOCK. The entire hotel was so beautiful and grand, and the two rooms I got to view were in desperate need of renovation. We asked a lot of Aruban's and they told us the entire hotel was flattened to the ground. Something did not make sense. The walls were beat up. The furniture and appliances were very old. The tiles were old and different from the one bedroom from the two bedroom. I did not understand what was going on until we had figured the the old building had a new face lift. After reading here, I see that we guess right.

There is NO WAY we could consider buying a room there seeing the management does not keep the rooms in decent shape with the maintenance money.

Also, if I owned there, I would find it the biggest slap in the face from RIU. Seems like they placed all kind of money into the hotel and grounds, and for the timeshare owners who invested in the property, they just left the rooms in dire condition. So the timeshare owners don't DESERVE the same quality rooms as those who rent. This just seems so wrong to me.

Am I totally wrong here?

Just curious as to how the owners feel about their rooms and lack of maintenance?

Thanks.....
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Old Thursday, June 5th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonamelady View Post
I WAS IN SHOCK. The entire hotel was so beautiful and grand, and the two rooms I got to view were in desperate need of renovation. We asked a lot of Aruban's and they told us the entire hotel was flattened to the ground.
The entire hotel (old Aruba Grand) was NOT flattened to the ground. The building that you toured is the original building. When the Riu purchased the Grand they added two brand new buildings with rooms and restaurants and redid all of the facilities (pool, etc.), but they did get rid of the old Aruba Grand building with the timeshares.

My husband and I have stayed at the Aruba Palm Beach/Aruba Grand every year since 1996 until it became the Riu. At one point in time we actually considered purchasing a timeshare there - I'm glad we didn't since it has become the Riu and is much more crowded now than we would have preferred.
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Old Monday, June 9th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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rdharles rdharles is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

nonamelady, very interesting perspective from a timeshare owner not associated with the RIU.

I'm stunned that management would even entertain the idea of you purchasing one. I'm sure they knew you'd be as shocked as you were after seeing the units. As far as I can tell, they are doing everything they can to push the timeshare owners out. New furniture next year would be news to all the timeshare owners, we've heard nothing about it. It's all too bad because the grounds are beautiful and the beach is the nicest on Palm Beach. Most owners I've talked to a waiting it out to see what will happen next. In the meantime, we're fighting back as part of an "Aruba Timeshare Network" run by one of the owners, Jon.
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Old Tuesday, June 10th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

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Originally Posted by ArubaAmy View Post
The entire hotel (old Aruba Grand) was NOT flattened to the ground. The building that you toured is the original building. When the Riu purchased the Grand they added two brand new buildings with rooms and restaurants and redid all of the facilities (pool, etc.), but they did get rid of the old Aruba Grand building with the timeshares.
OOPS! Meant to say above that they DID NOT get rid of the old Aruba Grand building (I'm unable to edit my post above.)
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Old Tuesday, June 10th, 2008, 05:54 PM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

nonamelady,
Thank you for your post. As an owner I found your observations very interesting. The Riu has made NO attempt to keep the "club members" as the management refers to us-informed. We have been told that you can not purchase resale from Riu-only from an owner.
If you have the time I know many 'club members" would appreciate you sending your report to the Riu management-not just in Aruba but to their headquarters.
Thanks again
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Old Sunday, June 15th, 2008, 12:42 AM
nonamelady nonamelady is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Hi rdharles,

Thanks for your reply. Well, when I first saw the new hotel and how grand it was, I was so excitied. I know there are always timeshare resales. However, I wanted to investiage and see the rooms.

Management at RIU will not sell directly to anybody. As it was explained to me by the timeshare lady, the owners contract was renegotiated and they gave them 34 years on their new contract. When this time runs out, the timeshare is over. Obviously, RUI has no plans on keeping the resort as a timeshare. If the timeshare rooms were all new like the hotel rooms, this would not be a bad deal at all. I believe I would get my money out of it after using it for 33 years.

Hm..you think the timeshare lady would know I would be shocked after seeing the room? NOPE. She wasn't even phased in the least. I had a bunch of follow-up questions, and she answered the best she could. She kept telling me that new furniture was coming next year.

Obviously, I decided not to buy a resale there. I just know how I would feel if I was an owner there. That was your timeshare originally, and now that RIU came in they could care less about the owners. They are not putting your maintenance money towards the rooms. They are treating new hotel guests like gold, and owners like dirt.

It is not right.

I feel sorry for all Aruba Grand owners.

It's funny - when I was talking about the RUI to other timeshare owners, they had felt that all Aruba Grand owners "hit the jackpot", and the value of their timeshare went UP. Everyone assumed that all the rooms and everything else was new.

Big Surprise!

It will be very interesting to see if new furniture arrives next year. My question is - what about the rest of it? What about the old appliances, etc? They really need to upgrade and overhaul those rooms - in my opinion.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rdharles View Post
nonamelady, very interesting perspective from a timeshare owner not associated with the RIU.

I'm stunned that management would even entertain the idea of you purchasing one. I'm sure they knew you'd be as shocked as you were after seeing the units. As far as I can tell, they are doing everything they can to push the timeshare owners out. New furniture next year would be news to all the timeshare owners, we've heard nothing about it. It's all too bad because the grounds are beautiful and the beach is the nicest on Palm Beach. Most owners I've talked to a waiting it out to see what will happen next. In the meantime, we're fighting back as part of an "Aruba Timeshare Network" run by one of the owners, Jon.
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Old Sunday, June 15th, 2008, 12:50 AM
nonamelady nonamelady is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Hi LynnS,

From what the timeshare lady told me, you are correct. I would have to purchase a resale from an existing member. I could not buy from the Riu/management. After seeing the rooms, I am very sorry to say that I am not interested in investing into a vacation there because of the condition of the rooms.

I wouldn't mind typing up an email or letter for Riu management, but I doubt they care.

By the way, I also find it insulting that they let the constructions workers live in the rooms. I bet that is how a lot of the rooms got even more abuse.

The only way you will probably get them to do something is to create a class action lawsuit saying that maintenance is not being used to maintain the rooms. They are deplorable. Rui has plenty of $, they just are not using it for timeshare owners. What a shame.

I'd like to see Riu try to rent out the rooms for the prices they are. Let a lawyer compare room condition. Timeshare rooms are not at the same level as that is acceptable for the hotel rooms. It is just not right.


quote=LynnS;79779]nonamelady,
Thank you for your post. As an owner I found your observations very interesting. The Riu has made NO attempt to keep the "club members" as the management refers to us-informed. We have been told that you can not purchase resale from Riu-only from an owner.
If you have the time I know many 'club members" would appreciate you sending your report to the Riu management-not just in Aruba but to their headquarters.
Thanks again[/quote]
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Old Wednesday, July 9th, 2008, 09:22 PM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

nonamelady,
I was hoping you would post with some good news from the Riu.
We will be there in a week-hope we get some information on the timeshares.
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Old Thursday, July 10th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonamelady View Post

I feel sorry for all Aruba Grand owners.

It's funny - when I was talking about the RUI to other timeshare owners, they had felt that all Aruba Grand owners "hit the jackpot", and the value of their timeshare went UP. Everyone assumed that all the rooms and everything else was new.

Big Surprise!

We have been owners since 1991(aruba palm beach/Aruba Grand).
I dont think anyone was banking on the timeshare rooms being re-done.


We have friends that own at the Divi Village come over one night and visit us in our two-Bedroom suite last April.
And all they kept saying is OMG you guy's made out.
They loved the layout of the unit that the bedrooms are at each end of the unit and stretches four balcony wide.

Yes ,yes,yes...The furniture does need to be replaced(I would love it if they just replaced it with the same type of wicker furniture).

All in all we had a GREAT week at the RIU,the room was freshly painted and clean with no bad smells in the unit.We did not want to leave and go to LaCabana.












Lynn, Have a GREAT time !!!!!!

Do yourself a favor and go All-Inclusive, timeshare owners get that GREAT rate.We ordered room service almost every night for dessert


AI is what the RIU is all about,even the kids LOVED it!!!


Last edited by arubanut; Thursday, July 10th, 2008 at 04:21 PM.
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Old Sunday, July 13th, 2008, 11:53 AM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arubanut View Post
We have been owners since 1991(aruba palm beach/Aruba Grand).
I dont think anyone was banking on the timeshare rooms being re-done.


We have friends that own at the Divi Village come over one night and visit us in our two-Bedroom suite last April.
And all they kept saying is OMG you guy's made out.
They loved the layout of the unit that the bedrooms are at each end of the unit and stretches four balcony wide.

Yes ,yes,yes...The furniture does need to be replaced(I would love it if they just replaced it with the same type of wicker furniture).

All in all we had a GREAT week at the RIU,the room was freshly painted and clean with no bad smells in the unit.We did not want to leave and go to LaCabana.












Lynn, Have a GREAT time !!!!!!
We will!!Thanks.
still thinking about AI.



Do yourself a favor and go All-Inclusive, timeshare owners get that GREAT rate.We ordered room service almost every night for dessert


AI is what the RIU is all about,even the kids LOVED it!!!

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Old Sunday, August 31st, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Where is a timeshare lady at the RIU? I never saw one when I was there. Also wondering why they would have one as they are no longer selling timeshares, only resales through owners, makes no sense.
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Old Sunday, August 31st, 2008, 08:48 PM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Timeshares are handled by Jelishka-she is at a desk in the main lobby-to the right as you enter from the front door.

She checks you in and handles any problems you might have or if there is a problem with the unit. Jelishka also handles the paper work for a resale. Most members must be pleased with the Riu-I have found very few for sale.

We spent 2 1/2 weeks in our timeshare in July. Did the AI for 1 week. Enjoyed it but the 1 week was enough for me. I like eating in my unit and restaurants on the island.
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Old Monday, September 1st, 2008, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Thank you!
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Old Friday, September 12th, 2008, 08:49 PM
Juljr Juljr is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

I just returned last week from my stay at my timeshare at the Riu. Following is what I sent to Jon.
Hi Jon and other timeshare owners,

Spent the last 15 days (8/22-9/6) of 2008 in Aruba. The first week I stayed at Riu (Aruba Grand timeshare). My unit 526 (now 568) was not ready, shampooing carpet they said. I stayed in Unit 554 which is located on the end of building facing both the pool and ocean (has another large window). Was very scenic! I had a long wait to check in. Most of what was said about the units is true, in need of newer furniture and dishware etc. Most dishware was a mix and match ( had only 2 cups for example.) , as was the silverware. The pots and pans were either missing a cover or the pot itself. Guess many owners don't cook, but I do. Didn't buy the unit to buy the all-inclusive. But one complaint I had not heard was the terrible stench of cigar smoke in the unit. After two days, I did get a sorethroat, and nothing would get the smell out. The previous user was inconsiderate to smoke in the room even though it is allowed. Jelishka said probable needs a filter, but no one ever came to look at it. At Divi Resorts smoking in rooms is not allowed. The televisions in our units are old, the originals. Other than the view and a place to sleep, I didn't have what I paid for on Aug. 24, 1988. Thought maintence fee meant the place would be maintained and pleasing to look at. By the way on the fourth day, a pipe in the above bathroom broke and flooded one of mine. Took almost an hour to get someone to come and look at it. Was a mess. Fortunately, I spent most of the days outside the unit, except for sleeping, breakfast, and dinner. But I didn't spend it at Riu with is impressive pool, or on the beach which I adored for years. Both pool and beach with "saved lounge chairs" was crowded. Why go on vacation and be a sardine. Never did get a chair at the pool, and if I did, the next person was six inches away. I like personal space that I once had before Riu intruded my vacation home away from home. I did use the Riu gym, which is ok, better than nothing, but very few people actually used it. Was no more than 3-4 people in it the times I used it. The pool was covered with empty glasses, guess people don't have to return glasses to one location. Was also noisy, with thumping music, played by an over-sized aroebic instructor. Thought you had to be in some shape to be an instructor. Guess not. A guy from England who I met at the gym and was there for two weeks with his family said the Riu is no 5 Star as it advertises. If he saw our units, would not even get a single star. I saw the Riu rooms, and they are nice. Why doesn't the time shares have similar furniture. Even the bed in the Riu rooms were high off the floor. In the timeshare the mattress was close to the floor, so much so that the skirt was 6 inches onto the floor. Didn't look too nice. Other than the timeshare units, the pool, and the beach, those bracelets that are another color if you are not "all-inclusive" is demeaning. Also dangerous, nearly cut my nipple off a few time while taking a shower. I didn't buy a timeshare to be labelled like an animal weaing a collar. The walk up from the parking lot to the only entrance (front door) is too hilly and probably good if you want exercise, but I choose when I want to exercise. Guess many people never leave the Riu Area, you don't have to, like being on a cruise ship, maybe that why I don't go on cruises. In spite of all this, I loved being in Aruba, and Riu had absolutely nothing to do with it. Yes, I stayed in a sub-standard unit (building), and is probably the worse of all timeshares in all of Aruba. But there are other things in Aruba to enjoy, like other less-crowded beaches. On Friday I checked out, you even needed a "pass" to get out the front door with your luggage. Like being jailed. I spent that night at a mini-studio at the Dutch Village (no balcony or microwave, but lots of dishes, a stove, refrig, and an HDTV. Yes a real up to date tv for $79.00 + tax for the night. Better than Riu, except for its exceptional view there. The next week I stayed a short distance from the Riu, at the Divi Phoenix. What a difference. What I thought I bought at the Aruba Grande (called Aruba Palm Beach when I first bought it in '88, was found at the Divi Resorts. Bought at Divi Village in 1990, and the units are as new as they were 18 years ago. What is Riu's excuse for its breach of contract? Flat screen tv's, matching dishes and silerware, attractive funiture, and everything else Aruba Palm Beach promised us was at the Divi, we were not forgotten or ignored by Divi. I realize Riu doesn't want the 35 timeshare units of the 400 rooms it has. We should have the same attractive rooms we had 20 years ago, like the rooms provided by the Riu All-inclusive. Don't think it's too much to ask. I keep asking myself why with all the choices in Aruba, anyone with timeshare experience would choose to stay in our units. Would be a big letdown for others who use RCI etc. My stay at the Divi Phoenix pointed out to me that we are being "robbed" by Riu. We are not getting what we paid for. I know they don't care because they promised us nothing.....the original Aruba Palm Beach did. Can still remember my first week there, got a welcoming drink and a dish of fruit and cheese. Boy, time has changed. I learned to love Aruba Palm Beach because it was my first of three timeshares, and to compare it to my other two (in Aruba and St. Maarten), makes me a bit angry. More so, because Riu knows there is nothing we can do about it. It's a waiting game, and they will win. I would like to sell it, but who would buy it now, it has so little value. Who else would want to stay there. A class action suit might be appropriate, but the Riu Corportation knows we are just pawns. Will stay there again next year if I can't sell it or rent out the week. At least I'll have a place to sleep, and that's all I will have.
Julius (Week 34, Unit 568).
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Old Saturday, September 13th, 2008, 12:34 PM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Aruba Grand - RUI, Timeshare Owners Happy?

Julius,
Sorry you were so disappointed with the Riu and your stay there.Glad your next week was better.
We were at the Riu week 29 and 30-maybe-since we knew the units were the same as they have been for many yrs. we were not that disappointed.
We have felt things in our unit should have been redone many yrs. ago and complained at that time. If Mr. Ottinger(sp) previous owner-did not have an interest in improving HIS property why are we -as "club members"-expecting more from Riu than we have gotten in the past.We did have an opportunity to pay an assesment fee and it was voted down. Wonder if it had passed if he would have kept the resort. Not saying this is right-if each owner would insist that things be repaired or replaced each week some of the issues in the units would not exsist today. Ex....mold on lamp shades-micro's that do not work..refrig.that do not work etc. It would amaze us when we would check in that a family stayed in the unit for a week and accepted these conditions. The condition of the units is not a new thing. What is our maintenance fee paying for??????Now and in yrs. passed.
Again-this is not meant as anything against you or the fact that you were so unhappy. We had other issues-size of resort-amount of walking-traffic pattern from towel hut to beach etc... Not sure there is an answer.
It has surprised me that more units are not for sale. Still love the beach and location.


We have a friend that made this comment to us-----"You guys are sitting on a gold mine" Riu is great.
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