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“A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME” 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 #52 of 101 hotels in Punta Cana
Sutton Coldfield
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

We have recently returned from this hotel which was to celebrate my wifes 50th birthday. The holiday booked via Thomson over 12 months ago had special room requests that were not honoured when arriving at reception. However having explained the situation we were relocated to room 1112 which was a perfect location.The hotel was pure luxury with a very impressive reception area,all the restaurants offering great service and selection,the themed restaurants were something special with great food,just a shame you could only book from 8.00am 3 days in advance.The pool areas were well maintained and there was never a problem obtaining a sunbed or umbrella. The pools did tend to get dirty by the end of the day,but this was down to "drunken americans" spilling cocktails!!.In relation to the rooms they were spacious and clean although there was evidence of that damp musty smell mentioned in other reviews.Once the air conditioning was in use it went away but I have to admit on opening our suitcase on our return all items smelt,even those that had not been worn.I am not sure if this musty smell is isolated to this hotel or the general Dominican Tropical climate as this was our first visit to the Caribbean,perhaps others would like to comment on this. This Riu is in need of a little (TLC) as the exterior building and the inside of our room showed a requirement for repainting. Contrary to belief you are not welcome to use the facilities at the Riu Bavvaro or Riu Maccao,no explanation was given for this. The courtesy bus service was a little hit and miss and the trip to the designer shopping mall was a complete waste of time as you could not afford to buy anything. The evening entertainment was a big let down and comprised basically of the daytime animation team taking to the stage!!,I would have expected more professional and varied acts over the 10 day period.The drinks and service in the restaurants,pool area and the beach was first class with branded labels available if asked for.This hotel is very large and attracts guests predominantly from America,Canada,Brazil and Argentina,there are very few Europeans.The americans were very loud particularly around the pool bar,often disturbing other guests.As a seasoned traveller this review does appear somewhat negative,but after all it was the most expensive holiday I have ever had and my expectations were very high.It is a shame it fell short in some areas.I would be interested in the views of other readers together with those of the Hotel management.

Room Tip: Ask for inward facing room
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (487)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

Also Known As:
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel
Riu Palace Punta Cana
Punta Cana Riu Palace
Riu Palace Hotel Punta Cana
Address: Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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:
#40 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family 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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