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“Pretty nice for the money” 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 #50 of 100 Hotels in Punta Cana
Fairmont
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Pretty nice for the money”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We are here as I type this evening...lol This is a beautiful resort, nice beach and pool. We think the food is good. We were expecting bad..but surprisingly we enjoy our dinners. Breakfast is typical..but buffet dinner always has something different if you look. Lots of food areas. Drinks are great!!

Rooms are nice..they do smell musty..but running the air continuously helps. Make sure if your air conditioner does not work..just make them give you a new room..we suffered for 4 nights before demanding a new room...happy campers now!! Beds are typical hard...

People are all nice, rooms are clean, sometimes we were not able to communicate..oh well...

Things they need to fix...they seriously need to stop the smoking everywhere...we would go far away from people..and it would never fail...someone would come around us and smoke. Just don't understand..are we the only country (USA) that teach people smoking is harmful????

Another suggestion I will leave them with...they need to have a couple beach guys to help with chairs...we spent a lot of time trying to find chairs that were empty and not broken...I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have a man with me. He did a lot of walking and dragging every day!! And..no drinks on the beach..why not have a couple guys to help us..and bring drinks???

Oh...and we are early risers usually..but the hot nights with no air...we could not sleep..sometimes falling to sleep 5am...well, don't think you will be able to sleep in...the cleaning people don't know how to be quite..my godness...they and their carts are like a nascar event...lol So, try to get to bed at a decent hour since sleeping in...not going to happen..

Be informed that this resort is on the atlantic ocean..we didn't realize that..and it is like being at myrtle beach...really rough...when we travel to the islands we are use to pretty calm water, so that was a dissappointment to us..probably won't return because of it. We love being in the water. But..if your not an ocean person...very nice place and nice pool. :)

Room Tip: I think all the rooms are nice..just make sure you are happy with your air conditioner right away...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
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English first
Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012 via mobile

Impressive architecture, great rooms and service. Top notch entertainment and staff. This is 3rd different resort we stayed at and we would definitely go back. The sand was cleaned daily on the beach.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Stayed here and loved it. Beautiful resort and beach. Good food. You can visit the other 5 resorts near by. Casinos on site.

Food was great and room service was not bad. The resort is in a compound with a gated community, there is security to stop people from wandering in.

Good activities and beach was very beautiful.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 6
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Stayed one week starting 11november 2012. Before I went, I read all the reviews so I am going to give my opinions on other travelers issues. First of all, even if the resort is rated as a 5 star, I
don't anybody paid 5 star rates to stay here. A lot of people complained about the language problem but we don't speak a word of Spanish but we had no problem conversing with any hotel
employee and found many with better English skills than the average citizen of an English speaking country. I'm not sure exactly what peoples complaints are about the food which I found to be fantastic except for the world's worst coffee which I found puzzling considering the reps are trying to sell tours to plantations. The one real issue I did have was the fact that there is no ban on smoking which combined with the constant hot and very humid weather conditions gives of a musty type of odor in the hotel rooms. I did not see a single bug as
the hotel was kept immaculately clean which is incredible considering the jungle like conditions
just outside the resort. Overall had an absolutely fantastic time.

Room Tip: The higher the floor, the harder it is to walk up in the very hot and humid conditions
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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Massillon, Ohio, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We visited for a quick trip post Thanksgiving. Overall it was a really nice resort. Location was good, rooms were clean, spacious and well kept. There we're plenty of bars and you never had to wait for a drink. The beach was good and plenty of chairs were available. The bar staff was all very pleasant and helpful. There was some construction noise in the mornings and the doors to the rooms are not the most sound proof. We didn't have a view of anything at all other than some construction next to the resort, but our room was quite close to the loby area which wasn't too bad. If you want a nice view you can just go park it on the beach.

The largest drawback to the resort was the food. This was my first time at an all inclusive and I figured the food to be on par with that of a cruise ship. This was not. It was average at best and sub-par to quite poor on different occasions. We ate at the Brazilian restaurant, the main buffet and the steakhouse. The Brazilian was average, some parts were really good some were overcooked. The buffet has a strange mix of food, depending on what was chosen it could go either way from great to eh. However, the steakhouse was straight up bad. I ordered the rib-eye figuring there's no way to ruin a good steak. The problem was that the steak was way to thinly cut to begin with so a proper cooking was impossible from the beginning. Another family member ordered the surf & turf. The beef tenderloin was overcooked, but the lobster was simply gross looking. The meat was gray and appeared slimy, another family member's was undercooked. It was shocking that someone looked at it and thought that is was fit to serve. The restaurant staff did appear to be far less personable and not as helpful as all of the bar staff.

Over all it was a great trip and I would recommend, but the food was just simply disappointing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Date of stay 6th - 21 November 2012
Having stayed at an RIU previously we were not surprised by the impressive facade and grand reception area the lovely grounds and of course the wonderful beach. Sadly there the good bits end. This hotel seems to have fallen between the two preverbial stools insofar as it is a 5 star complex but with a 1960s holiday camp attitude. Our room was constantly damp as were many others, we reported on 3 occasions other faults within the room but they still took 6 days to be put right. Although most staff tried hard its just not up to 5 star rating. Entertainment was reminiscent of an episode of HI-DE-HI and thats being kind!. Restaurant service was friendly but plates were removed as soon as knife and fork were put down with no regard to other people who were still eating. We paid the extra supplement for what was described as a "limited sea view". For this read virtually non-existent. We tipped individuals on a regular basis because we felt that they tried their best to look after us but clearly better training is called for throughout especially Reception whose attitude often left much to be desired.

Room Tip: Ask for a DRY room wherever
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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Plainview, New York
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Junior suite - very spacious, clean, nice view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 10
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 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*
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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