The property: The Riu Palace Punta Cana - not to be confused with the other Riu Palace hotels in Santo Domingo and the other areas - looks and feels like a palace - great architecture, majestic interior design - especially the lobby, immaculately maintained lush gardens. It is on the beach and as you walk toward the beach you pass fountains, beautifully arranged green plants and the 3-section pool, with a bar. I like the hotel a lot better than The Ritz on Maui and the Fairmont Orhid on the Big Island in Hawaii. The thing that surprised me most is that the staff never stops cleaning, maintaining, caring for the property at all times.
The room: Our junior suite was huge. As you enter the suite, to the left is the bathroom, to your right is the bed and the "living room", with a neat little sofa and the TV. I was a bit worried about the dreaded musty smell everyone complains about when visiting the Carribeans, but there was a very faint smell that went away when we opened the balcony door. Balcony was big too, with nice chez longs and a place to hang your swimming suits. We had hot water at all times, everything was neat, clean, with organic coffee next to the coffee machine. What surprised me was that there was a mini bar with bottles of Stoli, rum, brandy and gin, and a sign that the alcohol is being replenished every 2 days!!! The fridge was full with water, beer, soda and other drinks. All of this is free by the way.
The food: Food was great in all 5 restaurants. We liked everything. Don't forget to get long pants (men) and flirty dresses - everyone dresses up nicely at night and you don't want to stand out by wearing sneakers and shorts. You will also have to make reservations for the themed restaurants (Japanese, Argentinian, Stake House, and Italian) for a feel-good, sit-down dinner. The main restaurant doesn't require reservations. There's so much food and such a big variety that we were overeating all the time. Good thing you could walk along the beach for miles to compensate for these guilty pleasures:)
The drinks: There is so much alcohol - served everywhere (don't forget, you have lots in your room too), and for free, that I got a bit overwhelmed. I guess most of the guests loved the fact they could down alcoholic drinks 24x7. The capuccino/coffee machines were available at all times, in addition to the bars where you could get coffee, tea and al sorts of juices.
The services: Riu Land for kids - worked very well for us. The staff is very friendly and takes good care of the kids. They have children disco every night at 8 and have games and awards for them. My daughter was very, very happy. The daily entertainment was good - games and sports going on al the time. The night entertainment was good too. The staff had good fun games for the grown ups, and we also had a variery of shows - from ballet, to illusionists, etc. They have stores with everything you might need - floaties, swimming suits, gifts, etc. They have a nice gym, and a sauna with lots of offerings. As guests of the Riu palace we could go to 2 other Riu properties and enjoy all the services/restaurants there. We were not allowed to go to Riu Macau because it was the couples only season and we were with a 6-year old.
The atmosphere: Very relaxed. Very laid back. Everything happens effortlessly, things are smooth. It rains every day but nonetheless it's hot. And it's humid. Considering the nature is not very benevolent, especially with the high level of humidity and so much rain - it is surprising how well kept the hotel is.
- 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