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“Great Resort - would come back!” 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 #54 of 101 hotels in Punta Cana
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great Resort - would come back!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

We just got back from our stay at the RIU Palace Punta Cana. A great vacation for my wife and I. We traveled April 8th - 15th.

We have stayed in other resorts in Punta Cana before, first time at the Palace and thought it was better than the others.

I feel some of the bad reviews are justified to some extent, but others aren't. But, not everyone can be pleased.
Most of the time, I felt any bad experiences could have been eliminated by the visitors, not the resort.


Staff/Service: Friendly reception, maids, staff, bartenders, waiters, etc. The only few workers that appeared to be rude or not be as pleasant, were the ladies working the desk at the SPA and one guy taking dinner reservations. This wasn't a one-time problem either. Happened on a couple occasions.
We tipped occasionally and everyone seemed grateful for it (not expected). I left coloring books, crayons, markers and pencils for our Maid one day (she had kids) and she was just overly thankful for the kid gift.

Cleanliness: The whole resort was non-stop cleaned and maintained from what I saw. Usually, if I saw anything that needed to be cleaned up, it was because of a sloppy tourist that could have prevented it in the first place.
We only had them clean our room 3 or 4 times in our week stay. Why waste towels? Did a great job cleaning and also liked the turn-down service at night.

Beach: It is the main reason to come to Punta Cana. Not the resorts! So, why complain so much about them. The beach wasn't over-crowded and we could find beach chairs eventually. Too many people reserve them way ahead and then NOT use them. This happened at the pool also. The drink service was nice.

Drinks: Was pleased over-all. Made them strong enough and kept them coming. Also, I never had an empty wine glass at dinner. Mama Juanna wasn't that good at the resort that we tried. Better off the resort.

Food: Every time I went to the buffet for lunch or dinner, I found something new to try and I always found something that I liked. Some items seemed a bit bland, but come on, they are trying to please EVERYONE from so many different countries. We ate at the Japanese and La Altagracia restaurants and were happy with our meal. We were a bit hungry after our Japanese meal (6:30pm), so we went to the buffet again around 9pm. :-)

Room: We had a top floor room facing north. Not much smell, but again, it is Tropical location. Also, your bring up your wet suits, towels and sandals and if you leave them in the room... it will smell a bit. Can't help that. We did bring a little Febreeze with us to play it safe. Used it a couple of days. Liquor and Fridge were stocked every other day. If I needed more water, I just stopped and asked for it. Remember though, not everyone speaks English... they may just be polite and smile and nod... but never get what you need.
The safe latch broke one day, but I saw a maintenance man a floor down and knew enough Spanish to get him up to fix it within minutes. Tipped him nicely and he was happy too.
The keys are a bit of a pain, 2 keys (room and safe) and 1 is on a plastic paddle. I brought my own elastic wristband and put them on there. Worked great, plus, then no one can steal your key with the room number already on the paddle.

Towels: Went to get towels an few times and they didn't have any. Other than that, had no issues. Too many people leave their towels on pool chairs all day (even in rain) and not use them. Then, when the rain stops, turn them in to get fresh ones... leaving a short supply.

Over-All: I loved the resort, more than other resorts that cost a whole lot more. Some issues, but they were minor. Most issues were the fault of other guests and NOT the resort. We would recommend coming here and we may return again.

Room Tip: Higher floor room - less noise, less humidity, etc... We had the top floor facing North, half way b...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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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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English first
stouffville
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

Bring Peso's - not American
We had a fantastic time, good food, clean resort, perfect size. more for adults - the night shows showed a little too much skin for under 18 in my opinion. Pay a little more for closer to the ocean worth it. Also ask for above ground level.
Saona Island was great full day trip-bring some money
Canopy Zip line - just zipline - 1/2 day amazing experience - some climbing of a mountain required but not too hard.Bring runners
Fishing - end of March - was terrible - caught 2 fish but spent most of the time laying on the floor for 3 hours - seen the movie "the perfect storm" we survived- asked to go in but huge language barrier!!!

Room Tip: closer to the beach - ocean view
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012 via mobile

We stay there April 9 to the 14 Riu palace is very nice and big, food was good, other then the pizza, the rooms nice and clean did not smell this bad smell people are talking about ,but I was on the 2 nd floor rooms were cleaned everyday, the pool was great pool bar was better , workers always joking with us, every where you looked there was workers always cleaning the grounds cutting the grass, they work 24/7 keeping that place looking good, Riu palace was the 1st to be built there out of all the Riu resorts in Punta Cana , we went to look at the other ones and found the palace seemed to be cleaner . I also noticed a lot of people from the other Riu resorts coming to are resort and saying are pool and beach area where better. All in all had a great time.

Stayed April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

If you like to feel like a billionaire, then book a vacation to this wonderful resort.
With so much fantasy, in an Oriental Colonial style - it reminded me to the Taj Mahal in India - the awesome looking big lobby is fantastic and so is the beach, the pool with it's jacuzzi's and pool-bar, the garden, etc.
The food was not bad, I just didn't like the Japanese restaurant very much, but that was not the reason why I went to this resort.
Colorful danceshows, great cocktails, good service, also on the beach - nice people!
The room was also very satisfying.
Only: when it started to rain the room became a bit damp and it smelled a bit strange and even our clothes, bags and shoes in the closet became somewhat humid.
But I blame it to the humid circumstances from the weather, as the rooms are bordering the gardens and the staircases leading to the rooms are outside as well.
The comfortable temperature does such things with a lot of humidity.
Helpful and polite frontdesk, good and friendly cleaners and free booz' in the room during the whole holiday.
That's what I call "All inclusive"!!!
Highly recommended!

Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

Coming from the UK it’s always nice when going to the Caribbean to stay in a hotel with thatched roofs, an open plan with outdoor eating areas as England has nothing like this, so it was disappointing to arrive at an although very impressive ‘palace’ structure the hotel looked more suited to perhaps Egypt or Turkey which I’ve stayed at both in similar hotels to this Riu.

I stayed here with my family at the end of March to the beginning of April for two weeks, I have been to the Dominican Republic many times before and it’s one of my favourite places in the world last year we stayed at the Hard rock hotel which was amazing and perhaps spoilt us too much.
One of the best things about this hotel I would say is the food and I’m and extremely fussy eater but I always found plenty to choose from, the Italian and Japanese speciality restaurants are also really nice and you can book these as many times as you like. Food from room service is a waste of time.
The pool was lovely and the sea amazing as always and you can’t beat the beautiful sand, we had a few overcast and raining days which were really disappointing although this isn’t the hotels fault.
Always lots to do during the day for all ages and use of the other hotels was handy for meals and pool facilities, evening entertainment was surprisingly good we really enjoyed the circus which was really professional and the Mr & Mrs show after that though everyone goes to bed :( the nightclub is not worth a look.
The rooms were good size with mini bar and fridge stocked with lots of drinks that were replaced every day, I didn’t notice the smell that everyone has mentioned but holidays aren’t about the room anyway! I would go back to the Dominican of course!! But not this hotel there are so much better choices and lots of hotels still to try.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, MI
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

First of all, I read all of the previous reviews so I was prepared. First the the food: It was delicious. NOW, when I say food, I mean the local dishes, the salad bar, the seafood. They simply do not prepare American food well. The other food is great. The drinks are strong, the staff is very nice. Bring dollar bills to tip, this country is very poor. The Grounds: Are beautiful. The lobby is breathtaking. I did not think the furniture looked worn. The beach: Is amazing! I simply do not understand why anyone would stay by that crowded pool when there were so many lounge chairs in complete shade, under swaying coconut palms, with a view of the ocean. The noise: This is my travel tip. We bought a noise machine on the internet, and it has saved several vacations. All of these resorts are loud. Take a small white noise machine. The smell in the rooms: IS AWFUL. Overwhelming. We looked at 4 rooms and finally settled on the top floor which was not as bad. No amount of money could get us a room without the smell. Room Tip: In the gift shop they sell scented candles. Buy one. It made a huge difference! And yes, the higher the room, the nicer the room. Beds: We liked the hard beds. Overall, I would not spend this type of money to go back here, but the only real downside was the smell of the rooms.

Room Tip: Tip: The 3rd floor rooms are nicer and smell better. Buy a candle in the gift shop it helps signifi...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

When we booked the RIU Place we were expecting this luxurious hotel but were quickly saddened. Upon arrival we were greeted accordingly and then immediately taken to our rooms, which was nice! My boyfriend and I agreed that the hotel and the grounds were beautiful and the people there were exceptionally nice and accommodating. Our only disappointment was the food!!! We love food and were very excited to do an all-inclusive meal plan. The two of us realized we are spoiled with the food we eat at home but some of the food they were serving was just plain blah! We had reservations at the "rodizio" restaurant, we were excited because we love rodizio. When we got there we were seated right away but after seeing the "great salad bar" we became disappointed. My bf requested steak and they said they were all out...but we hadn't even been offered steak. Needless to say we got annoyed and walked right over to the buffet. Would we go back there? Possibly but if your looking for good food this defiantly not the place to stay!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
#41 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 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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