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“Bachelorette party weekend” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #53 of 101 hotels in Punta Cana
sonhomeu
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Bachelorette party weekend”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2012

A group of ten of us went down to Punta Cana in December for a bachelorette party. We booked Riu Macao as it was cheaper, but when we arrived we were told that we had been upgraded to the Riu Palace Punta Cana next door. We were excited about the upgrade because the Riu Macao looked pretty old and as if it had seen better days. Unfortunately, the process of moving from one hotel to the other ended up taking about 4 hours. First we had to wait in the lobby of the Riu Macao for a few hours, then a van came and drove us to the Riu Palace, and then we proceeded to stand and wait around for more hours, as the sunshine flittered away. Literally as soon as we finally got our rooms, the rain started and it didn't go away for about 48 hours. So all of the time we could have been enjoying the sunshine the day we arrived was lost to waiting for these people to check our little group in to 3 rooms! It wasn't until I started nearly screaming in Spanish to the men at the front desk in Riu Palace that "we had been waiting for hours at the desk, please give us our rooma and let us enjoy our vacation!! Enough already!!"...did they finally hand us keys and let us go on our merry way. Seriously - when you have only 3 nights in paradise (and some of our group only had 2 nights!), you don't want to spend hours upon hours checking in.

The rooms were nice and the food was pretty decent. There was a fully stocked bar in the room too which was awesome, although we were never really in the room anyway. The hotel is beautiful and we really enjoyed the staff. We had wonderful, friendly, kind servers at every meal, bar, etc. When my friend lost her glasses on the beach and we couldn't find them all night, the next morning the sweet worker who mans the beach looked and looked until he found them for her. Day and night the hotel has entertainment staff that dance and lead activities and shows. This group of people are wonderful dancers, and friendly and warm people in general. We enjoyed seeing them by day and night. Even the security guards were friendly and warm and wonderful! The Dominican staff at this resort deserve to be applauded (well...front desk aside!).

All in all it was a nice, quick weekend escape. The resort and beach are beautiful and classy. The food is mediocre, but isn't it always at an all inclusive? If you are going to the DR to just eat Dominican food, you should probably head to Santo Domingo or part of the country that isn't just hotels! It was wonderful we got to stay at the nicer resort and pay for the cheaper one. We never got to eat at the fancy, reservations-required restaurant because it was already reserved for the days we were there when we arrived. I'm sure if you stay for a week it makes dining at the fancier places easier. We ate at the Brazilian steakhouse one night, but it was really quiet and boring compared to the main dining room. Plus the best food at the Brazilian place was the sancocho soup: not Brazilian, but Dominican!

The only main concern/hesitation to recommend this place that I have is in regards to the hotel's labor policies. It freaked us all out that the same staff was there morning, noon, night and middle of the night. We left the hotel compound to go dancing at night and we saw the same security guards when we left and came back from the club, as we did when we arrived during the day. The same thing in the dining room, reception, bars, on the beach, etc. We asked someone how long their shifts are and they said that they do rotating shifts all the time and work weeks at a time. They sleep on the compound in dorms so they can be at work all the time. It would be interesting to look into the Riu labor policies and learn if they have a bad reputation for how they treat their workers. Everyone seemed happy and thankful to work there, but from the outside it really seems like they are enslaving the people who work there. If I worked six hours on six hours off for twenty something days straight I would go absolutely crazy!!

Room Tip: Our room faced the garden instead of the pool, so maybe it was quieter? We were upgraded from the h...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (551)
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

Just got back from Riu Palace Punta Cana, I was not impressed , the resort is very nice huge, the food is horrible.. the rooms had a very musty smell. The Ocean was great. the beach was very nice.I would much rather be in a smaller resort thats clean, and the food is good, than pay for all the luxury of a nice lobby and huge grounds that serve no purpose to me.

After four days that I was there i had to ask the front desk to have my bedding changed. they go in clean the room, polish the chrome in the washrooms, sweep up and make the beds back up.
I wasn't impressed with this. The same day they had somone come in and do a proper cleaning.
I was told that they only get 1000 sheets and need to change the bedding in the rooms that people have checked out of first, however I did have fun ,I would never go back.
When we booked i was under the impression that this was the new resort as it turned out it wasn't. The casino was a joke maybe 15 slots and 8 do not work , they do have 2 table games.
We took a cab to the hard rock which is 7 min drive a flat rate of $20.00 to get there (were we should have stayed) what a beautful place, vegas style casino. Wonderful classy resort. I hope this review helps you..

Room Tip: court yard is much nicer (my opinion)
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west allis
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT THE BAD REVIEWS SAY... THEY ARE CRAZY!! The Rui is amazing .. and so are the workers... my husband and I went for 7 days and we had a blast... the 1.00 tips do go along way... and they do remember who you are!! Drink service is amazing ...food is good just takes some getting use to... maid service was amazing.. towel art everyday.. pool was great... beach was awesome lots of Great people watching be prepared for lots of speedo and thongs...night shows where awesome the Michel Jackson show was amazing .. the weather was amazing as well tiny bit of rain then it would get sunny out... had lots of hot days with plenty of sun... rooms are clean and nk musty smell at all..we where sad to leave... over all I rate it as one of the best places we have been..!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

We were disappointed in the quality of the food. I expected better from a RIU hotel. The pool was cold and there were no hot tubs. The ocean was also cold so there was no warm water to get in. Rooms were nice and bar in the room was nice feature. Room service menu was very limited and food was terrible, club sandwich and fries weren't edible, the tuna on salad was a good option,no dressing though. I noticed many people were tipping to get good service. I thought tips were included. If i'm paying tips in advance then why is my service just average. I heard that the Iberostar was the best place to stay in Punta Cana. If I go back I'll stay there. Would rather just keep doing cruises because the food and service is soooo much better.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kansas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

Just returned from a week's stay at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. It was our first trip to the Dominican Republic and overall we had an excellent time. The hotel lobby, grounds and pool are beautiful. The rooms are so-so, they definitely have a musty smell so bring along some air freshener. Keeping the A/C running all day and the ceiling fans on definitely helps too.
The food was also so-so. The buffet was pretty good, I thought even better then the specialty restaurants. The night-life is what needs to be improved. The pool closes at 7. The "entertainment" shows leave a lot to be desired.
We will definitely return to the DR again, but will probably stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Higher floors probably have better views. We were on the first floor and could only see the grounds...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

This property is a above average. Upon arrival we were greeted with a glass of cold punch, an excellent Front Desk staff and good directions for our stay. The rooms needed some cosmetic work, but very clean overall. The housekeeping staff was great in responding to our needs. (Extra towels, soap, etc.) I would suggest, when you are in the room to put the RED "Do Not Disturb" sign on the doorknob. The Bar Person, who replenished the bar in the room every two days, entered in with a quick knock. Luckily, no embarrassing moments. The "gourmet" restaurants were adequate, but the food at the buffet was equal or better some days. There appeared to be a lack of Wait Staff in the main dining room. The Bars were very good, but ask for their top shelf alcohol when making drinks. Next time for the money and convenience, we will stay at a sister property for less money.

Room Tip: The rooms on the North side of the building were quieter. The South side is against the sister prop...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

Hotel Riu beach is excellent (as it is bavaro Dom. Rep. it is normal); staff and rooms are very nice. Nevertheless you feel you are part of an “touristic show / industry”…. With more than 600 room they have to run a hotel that looks incredible but if you pay attention is not that good. It surely not a 5 starts quality: I will say only 3.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

Address: Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana * Inside the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Macao, Riu Taino, Riu Naiboa hotels and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu * 4-story building * Surrounded by 63,000 m2 / 75,000 sq. yards of lush gardens * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 50 km / 31 miles from Hig??ey * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Int???l. Airport ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Punta Cana Riu Palace
Riu Palace Hotel Punta Cana

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