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“I really liked it” 5 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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Ranked #56 of 98 Hotels in Punta Cana
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I really liked it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

This is a large hotel. The reception is huge with high ceilings and large pillars. It looked amazing.
The room was large with two 4'6'' beds then on a lower level, a seating area with TV, and then the balcony. The TV selection is good, the mini bar had 4 bottles of spirits plus beer, soft drinks and water in the fridge and the air con is quiet. The maid service was first class.

Although the general appearance of the hotel was slightly tired, it did not affect our enjoyment of the holiday. The two pools were good and the bar service was excellent. The beach was close and the bar service on the beach was good. The entertainment team did a good job during the day.

The quality of the food was very good and the choice was outstanding. The waiting staff were very attentive and this made the dining experience noteworthy. There is food and drink available 24 hours and I never had bad service throughout our two weeks. In addition to the main buffet restaurant here are 5 specialist restaurants, which are free to use but need to be booked in advance and offer a pretty fixed menu with full waiter service.

I would recommend a bit of tipping, it's well worth it. We tipped the pool towel guy and soon he was putting fresh towels on our favorite beds each day. The restaurant staff looked for us and gave us decorated tables and we never waited for drinks in any bar. It adds to your cost but also adds to your overall holiday experience.

On the downside, there was no hot water on occasions but I looked at what we had paid and I had to conclude that on the value for money scale this holiday was brilliant.

The quality of the service delivered by the staff, which we found to be outstanding, made this holiday.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,486 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Altoona, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We visited the resort in April of this year, but I am just getting around to the review. The resort lobby is gorgeous and there is free WiFi in the lobby. Check in could not have been smoother and the desk people were the most friendly of any of the staff at the resort except for maybe the entertainment crew. The only drawback about check in was the fact that it took a bit for our bags to actually reach the room. My suggestion would be either drag your own bag or dress for pool lounging under your clothes that you wear on your flight so that you do not really need you bag.

The grounds were great and well kept. No complaints about cleanliness of the ground what so ever.

The rooms were very nice and pretty spacious for the most part. It may have just been our room but the air conditioning could have worked better. It wasn't horrible but I prefer it a bit colder when I sleep. I have noticed that there is a similar musty smell in just about every tropical resort we have visited. I am starting to think it is par for the course due to humidity and inconsistent temperatures in the rooms. It isn't the worst but it is noticeable sometimes, even at the top notch resorts. We did not have any complaints about not having enough hot water or any other room convenience. The mini bar was always well stocked. I will say that their local beer was not very good in my opinion. The room service was a bit slow. I am not sure if it is because it took me a couple of days to give the housekeeper a tip or if it is just that they are short staffed, again not terrible but noticeable. Rooms were kept very clean though.

I was not thrilled with the food but it was not horrible. I have had much better and much worse. You won't go hungry and there is a decent selection. I think my complaints are more personal preference than thy are quality of food.

The pool area was spacious and clean. If you want good pool seats you have two choices like it or not. Pay the towel boys to save you seats or get up very early and save your own. It fills up by around 9AM. We paid the pool guy 20 bucks the first day and then a couple bucks a day thereafter. There were 12 of us though so it was worth it. The pool wait staff was pretty good and friendly, they were prompt with your drinks too. Again, I recommend tipping them as well even though it is said to be prohibited. It helps. All other staff was average with a few shining stars.

The beach was huge and there were plenty of seats and room to walk for miles, round trip. The entertainment crew was good and tried very hard. They did a great job.

Overall I would recommend this resort to anyone. It is pretty family oriented and was worth the money.

As with any all inclusive tipping is not necessary and is discouraged, but I usually take about 200 US dollar bills and tip pretty consistently. It helps with the service even though it is not suppose to.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Peters, mo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

The accommodations (a junior suite) were very nice and the grounds, pool and beach were wonderful. Very clean. The food was marginal at best. Very repetitious and mostly not very tasty. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Would we stay here again? No. Part of the all inclusive is supposed to be the good food and drinks. The drinks were watered down at most bars. The mamajuana was a very good drink.

Room Tip: We were on the first floor and it was very convenient. Facing the fountains was a nice view from th...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012 via mobile

I just returned from my vacation to RIU Palace Punta Cana. For the 4 night's there I had a real good time. As always the Jr Suite was great, the mini bar was well stocked. The location of the room to the pool and beach was great, right by the elevator. The food was real good every day and night. The hotel has 5 bars, 1 main restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have 1 restaurant that is open when you can't make it to breakfast or lunch. There is also 5 restaurants that you will need to make reservations for during your stay. RIu also have 4 more resorts on property that you may decide to stay at.

If I had the chance I will go back to this hotel!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Service and food, great...the problem...ROACHES and COLD WATER. Had to get them to spray room twice and out of 7 nights, only had hot water 3 days, other days was lukewarm. Used to always stay at Riu when I travel but this hotel has given me second thoughts

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

What a disappointment. First of all I would like to apologise to all those people who didn't give this hotel a good review; I thought you were nit-picking! Having stayed in the RIU PALACE I have seen first hand how below par this hotel is.

We had to upgrade (at an extra cost) as our original room was damp and musty. Our clothes smelled damp and unclean. Even after an expensive upgrade our suite wasn't without fault; leaking taps, broken toilet flush, damp patches, no light in shower and again the nasty damp smell.

Meal times were poor; cold tea and coffee, dirty tablecloths, dirty crockery, meat so tough it couldn't be cut, cold porridge. Generally not good.

On a positive note; the pool, beach and sea were lovely and the waiters around the pool were very good and friendly.

My partner and I looked around other hotels within the RIU chain and in our opinion were head and shoulders above the RIU PALACE, which should definitely be downgraded from a 5 star rating.

We would return to the Dominican but choose alternative accommodation.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

DO NOT believe the negative reviews!!! My wife and I stayed for 7 days Oct.13 to Oct. 20. The staff at check in was great. You could'nt expect a better room. House keeping was excellent! We tryed the food at several places and by far the best was the buffet! There is something for everyone. Their were two servers names Raul and Fransico aka shaggie. They were the most outstanding by Far!! They had our table ready for breakfast and dinner. Fresh flowers and our favorite beverages waiting on us. The pool was great! The intertainment staff was out of this world especially the one they called skinny. I would suggest getting involved in the games they put on. Now keep in mind my wife and I are middle aged and very introverted but we had a blast. My only suggestion is DO NOT take any excursions you WILL waste your money. The resorts beaches and pool are all you will need.We went to an island which is a national forest the beaches at the hotel were way nicer. This excursion was nothing but a tourist trap you could'nt enjoy the beach for the vendors!! Stay at the hotel!!! My only other piece of advice is to budget for good tips. These people have to survive on their tips. We tipped the house keeping staff the first day and then a few dollars each day our room was kept emmaculate turn down service each night and more towels than you could use. Now when I say tip not 2 dollars try atleast 5. Find yourself the same waiters and tip them well. At the pool I tipped the pool waiter 10 bucks and told him each time he came by go ahead and bring me a memosha. And every time he came by he had my drink. My wife does not drink so she ordered a sammy sossa no alcohol its a great drink. She never had to remind them about no alcohol they remembered. They treated us great.

Now if you want a good seat at the pool go down early get your pool towels and place them on the seats of your choice. The seats go fast after 9am. There were a few children there but it was'nt bad. Starting Nov 12th this resort will go to couples only no children. Which is good for us. Our children are grown and its nice to be able not to have to deal with any children. There was only one child there that was a problem he was about 2 and his mother who was from some European country would rather converse with her party than look after her son. At one point I almost had to jump in the pool to get him. His mother was just not watching him and he was 40 feet from her and was headed straight to the water. But other than that this place is GREAT! Be prepared for 90 degs. and about 75 percent humidity and LOTS of sunscreen.Also you are on the atlantic ocean side and some days the sea weed was a bit heavy. We will be going back next October for sure!

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the garden side also dont get a high floor theres only a couple of elevator...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 8
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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#29 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 612
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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