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“Vacation in Punta Cana, DR” 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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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #52 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Henderson, Nv
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Vacation in Punta Cana, DR”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Visit 27 Nov. thru 4 Dec. 2012. My wife and I booked a week at this Riu resort thru Vacations to Go to celebrate our 44th. The hotel was a 35 min. drive from the airport. It is a beautiful hotel where check in was fast. We received a 1st floor room that overlooked the pool and ocean. We had a king size bed with a full frig of mixes and 4 full bottles of rum, vodka, gin, and scotch. Room and room service was excellent along with the hotel staff who were very friendly and helpful. Food was excellent in all the specialty restaurants, but did not visit the Japanese. The buffet was excellent with hundreds of selections. If you have a sweet tooth you will enjoy the buffet. Lots of beach chairs available, but get there before 9 am. There are signs that say "no saving chairs", but since most of the people come from different countries they ignore them. We had gone out at 8 in the morning and found dozens of chairs covered with a towel and the people don't show up for hours. If you are a diver the cost is $118 for 2 morning dives, if they provide all gear, and $98 if you have your own. I was offered a six dive package for $265 over 3 days but did not have the time. Water temp was great mid 80's and visibility was about 100+. Will return to other Riu's in the future. Tipped some waiters as suggested in a previous review and got great service, especially from a waiter named Leo who offered us drinks about every 10 minutes, not that we accepted all the time. A free trip to a "shopping center" may be offered. Its about a 25 min. drive, save your time, its not worth it. There are about a dozen shops on the property where you can get most gifts for friends and family.

  • Stayed December 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 6
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 (533)
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English first
Pennsylvania
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Been to Punta Cana many times and visited the RIU's of the area. Visited in early December this time for three short nights. The hotel is lovely, as are the gardens and beach area. Check in was quick and easy. Our room overlooked the roof of one building, no view at all ;(... so we went back and spoke to the front desk staff (Thank you, Benson!) and were given a room that overlooked the gardens and pool. This room was lovely, and daily maid service was great. The tv had some good channels. Watched the Steelers game in Spanish. Beds were comfy. A true king bed, not twins pushed together. Water for showers could have been warmer, but with a slight unburn, it didn't really matter. Our refrigerator was stocked daily. We had dinner at the buffet for two nights and visited the Italian restaurant for one meal. The buffet was good, with many selections. The Italian was great, with a great selection of appetizers and a wonderful main course. The house wine leaves alot to be desired tho. The beach area was cleaned of seaweed every morning. The waves were very large, which took some of the beach away. Lots of fun if you like to ride in the waves!! Plenty of chairs available at the beach as well as the pool. Food at the beach restaurant was great, with a bar-b-q Saturday afternoon. The pool was crowded, as usual. Drinks were plentiful and not watered down. Waiters were wondering the beach with drinks. Didn't have to get out of your lounge chair if you didn't want to!! Visited the Macao for a mid afternoon drink. Enjoyed the path through the RIU properties. Caribbean Street for shopping was convenient. There is also a "tent city" down the beach for souvenirs and bartering. Some merchants are strolling the beach with their treasures. A real mob scene of shoppers when the "sun dress" guy came along! Really enjoyed the stay. Sitting under the stars in the courtyard, listening to music, some people dancing, others sipping drinks, etc. Will definitely be back. Bringing a whole group of friends in February!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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:
#22 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#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
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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