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“Great!” 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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Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #53 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Appleton, Wisconsin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Great!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana, December 2nd through the 17th. We both thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s on a great stretch of beach which is one of our main drawing points. There are plenty of beach loungers and shade provided naturally by a multitude of palms. In addition to the natural beauty of this spot, the next best thing about the Riu Palace Punta would probably be the staff! The staff was entirely friendly, accommodating, professional and attentive beyond pretty much anywhere else we’ve stayed! Five years ago we stayed at the Riu Bambu (just next door) and we enjoyed visiting their pools this time as well. We also enjoyed visiting the Naiboa pool and bars. The Riu properties are all in a row which is nice.

Fun: I brought an inflatable lounger to float on in the pool and had a blast riding on waves in the ocean. I left it with another guest upon leaving in hopes they’d enjoy it as well, which beat deflating it and repacking it.

We always bring a insulated cup to get beverages in. They stay colder, hold more and are more environmentally friendly than constant use of disposable cups.

The staff appreciate tips even a buck or two goes a long way, it’s not required or expected but very much appreciated! Especially the housekeeping.

In my opinion the buffets were phenomenal! We have stayed at 4 brands of All-Inclusive hotels and I think that the Riu brand has the best food. This is our 4th Riu stay in Mexico and Punta Cana. The food variety was amazing. The drink selection is fantastic. Our room was very comfortable. Yes, the rooms smell “musty”, but the only people who complain about this are those who have never been anywhere in the Caribbean. It is caused by humidity. It’s like this everywhere.

We have no real complaints about this property and would stay here again. If I were to get really nit picky, the bedspread could have been heavier/nicer/newer.

It’s quite funny because just like our stay at the Riu Bambu five years ago, the only thing we found to be excruciatingly distasteful, had absolutely nothing to do with the hotel itself or its management but rather the guests! I do not know where “these” people come from but both times there were a plethora or rude guests. Last time I called them Europeans but that is not really fair to categorize people like that. Maybe from France? I really do not know. But both times there were many guests who cut you off at the buffet and practically run you over to get their food first. Butting in line for drinks and such. It’s quite amazing. I started wondering if I was invisible, ha ha. Don’t let the rude “me first” people ruin your trip though, this is a great place to vacation!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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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 (532)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Shiloh, NJ
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

I am going to do a little comparing here. Went to the RIU Palace Mexico at this same time last year. I have to say they look pretty much the same as far as the layout. The food at the Riu in Punta Cana was only average. They had a good variety, but always the same. Breakfast was the best meal. The specialty restaurants were nothing special. Only went twice. The food at the Riu in Mexico was fantastic with the specialty restaurants being top notch ! The service in both places was excellent but a much bigger language barrier in Punta Cana than in Mexico or Jamaica. The RIU must have excellent training programs for their staff as they really are great everywhere we have been ! This is our third time at a RIU property and the service at all of them is beyond compare anywhere ! And all of the RIU properties we have visited are extremely well kept and clean !!! The beach in Punta Cana was gorgeous !! Powder soft sand and nice walkways between the resorts with lots of places to shop. Speaking of shopping - there were vendors on property most every night. They were quite pushy and we found ourselves trying to avoid them after the first night. Beach is Mexico was not as nice. The beds in Punta Cana were hard and uncomfortable compared with Mexico, which were much better and the rooms could do with a little updating although they were immaculately cleaned each day ! (please ditch the bedspreads) We had a courtyard view on the second floor which was awesome ! Its worth it to pay a little extra for it. As far as the drinks - if you are a wine drinker like me, not very good. Wines were bitter and only one brand was served that I could see. A little disappointing. All the other drinks seemed to be OK and of course you have the in-room bar - Awesome ! You cannot drink the water here or even brush your teeth with it - steer clear of the ice too. But plenty of bottled water is in your room and replenished daily. Very prompt and good room service if you want it. Entertainment is about average. Not much for the young crowd. But fine for us 50 + people. Beach is the best feature here. Lots of servers on the beach, anything you want - lots of things to do if you want to. And very safe to walk. Probably would not return here - because of the food and that is probably the only reason. Better food in other places we have been. Also, be prepared to pay 10.00 per person at the Punta Cana airport as soon as you enter the country. We did not know this beforehand - glad we had some cash with us. The airport is charming. Open air and very,very small ! Don't wait to do your shopping at the airport - there is very little and quite expensive. The shopping at RIU Palace Punta Cana is great. Lots of shops on property and the walkway connects to the other resorts where there is more ! If food in not a big issue for you - this place is great ! Beautiful and another good RIU experience. We will continue to book with RIU. Weather was great too !

Room Tip: Courtyard view! Could hear the music at night and see the lights - gorgeous ! Well worth the extra...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Went with three couples and I must say from check in to check out the staff was so service oriented. The room was very nice and spacious with a small wet bar. The food was bountiful but not that tasty--the breakfast is awesome and the Japanese Rest was very good. The shows are nice and the drinks are plentiful.

My first all inclusive and we felt we got our monies worth!

  • Stayed November 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

I traveled from Dec 15 - 22nd with my family (11, 22,24, and three 50 yr olds).

This was a very nice and clean resort. Everything is within the U-shaped hotel and in front of it, and was within a 5 min walking distance. The beach area was great and kept clean (though my favourite beaches are still in Cuba - I haven't seen anything like those crystal clear turquoise waters yet!). We had to wake up to save chairs as it was a busy time for traveling. There are big waves, and if you've been to Punta Cana before, I think all of the resorts pretty much have the same beach style.

We tried the Brazilian and Italian restaurants - the Brazilian was a lot better in my opinion. They bring out a variety of meats for you which were excellent. The Italian was average. The food at the buffet was great, though a little repetitive and not as much selection as I have seen at other RIUs, and that bothered some of the people I traveled with.

This was my first time at a RIU Palace, and the one thing that stood out as being different from the other RIUs is the customer service. The staff were very friendly, and every 10 minutes, there was someone walking around with drinks (at the beach and pool area) - I never had to get up and get a drink at the beach! They also came around with a selection of fresh fruit, which was nice!

There was a nightclub called Pacha that all the RIU resorts had access to (plus locals). The drinks are not free there, though it was fun to go for a couple of nights.

Since I'm 24 and single, I like knowing the general age category of a resort and find it is hard to tell until you go there to see for yourself! This resort had a mix of people. There were a lot of seniors and couples, though there were families with children and groups of friends. My sister and I met a lot of people to hang out with at night from Canada, the States, Germany, Russia and South America who were anywhere from 19 - 30.

My ONLY complaint for this resort was the entertainment. I found it to be the worst that I have seen. The performers were not that great. This may have also been because the music was so low. For some reason, the music they played at the shows was never loud enough. I asked one of the animation team members the reason for this, and they said it would be too loud for the people that may already be sleeping, because of the way the hotel is designed (The U-shape would amplify the sound to all rooms, I guess). So most of the time we just went over to the RIU Bambu (next door) for the shows, which were great and the music was nice and loud and got you in the dancing mood!

I would come here again because of the variety of people I met from all over the world, and for the cleanliness and service. The food and entertainment were not amazing, so I'd probably try out a different resort the next time I travel to Punta Cana.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 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.
Hawthorn Woods, Illinois
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Everything was really great. Best trip so far we ever had. Nothing complaint about. We enjoyed it and nothing can be compared to this place so far. Recommend to all. Rooms were really great, service was perfect, personnel was working really nice. We hope to get back there soon. Great job people.

  • Stayed January 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Ozark, Missouri
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

This resort was great! From the moment of our arrival we were greeted with smiles and a cocktail and 2 gifts (one for my husband and one for me). They took us to our room which was great! I would highly recommend a view of the waterfall side - we were in the middle (2nd floor) close to everything. The service is top-notch. Someone is always around ready to serve a drink - whether with alcohol or without. We met some great people and had a very relaxing vacation. The room was clean and kept very nice our entire stay. Loved the free bottles of alcohol in room to where you can mix your own drink. They provide canned or bottled beverages in your room too. It was fantastic! My husband and I enjoyed the beach, pool and all the bar areas. We just enjoyed relaxing and the different areas of the resort. This resort is well kept, clean and service is great! We were there for 7 nights and loved it! We also enjoyed the food - very very good. You can drink the water at restaurants and no need to worry. They provide bottled water everywhere. Just don't brush your teeth with the water from bathroom sink or drink any water while showering or rinse your mouth with any water other than bottled water!! They warn you of this. You can see the filter and serve all clean water and ice - no worries. Very good trip!

Room Tip: Book 1063 - loved it!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tweed, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

First of all, anyone that tells you that the Palace Punta Cana is dirty or poorly maintained are simply not telling you the truth. My wife and I checked in on November 29 and checked out December 13 and had a great time. Rooms were immaculate as is every surface of this property. Their staff are everywhere cleaning up everything from dead leafs on the palms to wiping off individual crystals on the chandeliers.
There are a couple of small complaints from an otherwise great vacation. Number one I would like to see a bit more variation in the food served at the buffet from night to night. The food was good but I personally would prefer more of a variation day to day.
Number two was for my wife and I a considerable disappointment. We are avid fitness buffs and as such had every intention of using the exercise facilities. For a 5 star hotel I would be ashamed to offer the fitness room that they do. Some serious money needs to be spent updating the fitness area.
Bottom line, for the money you cannot go wrong with this Riu. Yes things are a bit dated but everything is still in very good condition and the staff is excellent at keeping things clean and in order.
One other thing to mention is the service staff in the buffet. Ronnie and Ranyer treated us like royalty, great service and hopefully management will pass this on to them.

Room Tip: Make sure if you don't smoke you ask for a non smoking room. If you are only a couple take the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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

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
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#53 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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