I was at the RIU Palace from 12/22 through 12/27 and thoroughly enjoyed my vacation.
The pools and beach were awesome. There is a large standard pool and a smaller infinity pool. The larger pool has a swim-up bar and is just steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen.There are more than enough chairs on the beach and plenty palm trees for shade. Pool chairs get "accounted for" very early in the morning, so be sure to be there within the 8AM hour to put your towel down to hold your spot. You may also want to take a personal item of limited value to place in your lounge chair as well, i.e., flip flops, sunscreen, hat, etc....just to make sure your seat isn't taken.
The room was really nice. The hotel has a bit of old spanish charm to it...lots of ornate decor, marble, gold, ceiling art/fixtures, etc. The lobby is absolutely gorgeous. For those that say the resort is outdated and needs updating, they obviously don't know about quality decor. No, the hotel isn't as modern as some, but its truly beautiful. I had a ground level room and NEVER saw a bug or roach. The climate is humid, so I expected to see a "water bug" or two (as we call them in the south), but didn't. Our rooms were always cleaned, towels were plentiful, and drinks were always stocked.
The resort staff was awesome. My cup was rarely empty and they were very accomodating. There is an English language barrier for most of the staff (they speak Spanish and very little English), but I had no major issues communicating. The staff at the front desk speak english, which is great. They were very, very nice. Although this was an all-inclusive resort, I gave food servers and pool bar staff $1-$2 tips because they work very hard and were good at what they did. Some may disagree, but I believe in tipping for service.
The entertainment staff was just that.....entertaining. They mix and mingled with the resort guests, danced with them at night, and did an excellent job. The nightly entertainment was ok...some nights were better than others. The same group also did yoga and exercises on the beach and by the pool. They did a great job of keeping guests entertained and feeling welcomed. There was nightly music in the main courtyard outside which was quite enjoyable after dinner.
The food was sub-par.....ill say just 'ok'. I am a southerner (American) who loves great food. I didn't go hungry at all, but the food could use some improvement. Some things weren't seasoned well....bland taste, and the variety was limited during some meals. I ate at the Italian restaurant one night and it was really good. I would highly suggest making reservations....and early. Reservations are taken at the front desk between 8-11AM. The soft drinks taste a bit different there. Although the bottle said "Coke" or "Sprite" the taste was odd. I especially noticed the difference in the taste with the fountain drinks from the buffets. It was like a soda fountain with "flat" or overly-sweetened soda. Not to worry, there is plenty fruit juice, wine, and water, which is safe to drink from the bars and buffets. The bottled sodas in the rooms were much better.
The resort grounds were beautiful. The fountains were clean and pretty, the landscaping was well manicured, and everything appeared to be neat and clean. Staff worked around the clock to ensure everything was just right. I never saw any bugs or roaches on the resort grounds, near the pool, or near the buffet areas. I had read previous reviews and was a bit concerned, but never saw anything.
The resort wifi was pretty good, although it may disconnect after extended use. I was able to get on the wifi some days at the pool and even on the beach. The front desk has sign-on and passwords for wifi.
I did not experience any security issues at this hotel. I kept my suitcase locked when I was away from the room and did not leave any valuables out. I kept my cash with me at all times. The safe inside the hotel closet didn't look all that secure. If you lock your valuables in your suitcase, you should be fine.
The RUI Palace was great and the weather there is perfect. It's warm, but not hot enough to break a major sweat. I would highly suggest this resort and plan to return! Do not listen to the naysayers because you will miss out on a great vacation at a great resort.
- 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