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“Riu Palace - Punta Cana Nov 3-10 2012” 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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Ranked #52 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Riu Palace - Punta Cana Nov 3-10 2012”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

The hotel is appx 30 minutes from the Airport and has a good first impression. Our room was on the 3rd floor towards the of front (lobby) of the hotel. Our room overlooked the fountains. Yes, it was musty smelling, but you are in a tropical environment. Yes, there were a couple of bugs in the unit on occasion, again, you're in a tropical humid area. Nothing unusual or frustrating.
We had a junior suite with a king bed. The bed was newer and comfortable. The bedspread needed to be replaced, but that was the only issue we had. Bathroom was decent sized, but teh shower/bath was a bit dark. Cleaning staff was always good. Free wifi throughout the resort. Simply ask the front desk for the user name and password. Food was good, nothing fantastic, but good, selection was great. We had stellar service from Ronny and Joel in the dining area each morning and evening. Amazing walking path along the beach between the 5 RIU resorts. Cristian, Leo and Henry in the pool area provided amazing service. The beach is stunning and always easy to find a chair. Bring your own travel cup with a lid to fill drinks & $1 bills for tips :) . We also did an excursion provided by Prieto Tours (in the hotel, towards the Sports Bar) that Victor helped arrange. 5 hours of history, rum factory, cigar factory, & a tour of Higüey. Definitely worth it to get out and see what lies beyond the resort walls. Overall, very pleased with the resort & staff

Room Tip: 3rd floor facing the fountains to sit on your balcony and people watch !
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 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 (528)
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English first
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altoona, PA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Peters, mo
1 review
2 helpful votes 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
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

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
5 helpful votes 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
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 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.
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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:
#42 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#52 Business 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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