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“Great Value regardless of weather.” 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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Ranked #52 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great Value regardless of weather.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

We enjoyed the hospitality of the Riu palace greatly. Well kept grounds, inviting common areas and beautiful beaches and pools greeted us at every turn.

*What the brochure didn't say:
1. I think they water the grounds with sewer water... it was a little smelly at times.
2. Reservations for dinner are a little cumbersome. Have to go to the Italian restaraunt in the am, and hope there is room for the one you want. * limited capacity.

Otherwise: Great drinks, service, cappuccinos etc.

Be sure to ask for a "single bed" king if you have the king Jr. Suite... they tried to put us inane pair of twins pushes together.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 (595)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Medinah, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I just glanced at some of the very positive reviews recently posted and they make me think I was not at the same place. We had 19 people go the 1st week of November. Everyone said they would not go back here. Most of this group went to the Riu Palace in Cancun November 2011 and Riu Palace Nueva Vallarta in November 2010. Both of those were far superior to Punta Cana. PC has the best beach, Cancun small and is in the shade late afternoon, NV colder and rougher Pacific water. Other than the beach, there was nothing about PC we liked better. There is nothing around the resort and you do not feel very safe if you leave, even on an escorted snorkle trip. Even the return trip to the airport had a police barricade before the airport and a hooker standing with the Police flashing all who drove by. The food is mediocre, The booze is bottom shelf quality. The service is indifferent. Yes the rooms are musty but you are in the Carribean, expect that. The bed made me feel like I was paralysed each morning. I could go on and on with many examples but will run out of space here. Suffice to say, go somewhere else.

Room Tip: There are 2 wings on the sides of the hotels that have no view at all. Ask/demand something facing...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

We had our wedding at RIU Palace Punta Cana in November 2012. We traveled there with 40 of our guests. I would like to highlight the wedding planning department at RIU Palace! Special shout out to Maria who planned our wedding and the day went by flawlessly. We really enjoyed our stay at the hotel. It nice, big, clean and has a wonderful beach. Downsides inlclude: poor entertainment, bars close very early, no food on the beach, no music on the beach. But those are little things I am picking on. Overall this was a great experience for us and our guests. This is a great location to have a wedding at. Go with a beach Gazebo and do order extra flower arrangements to make it look even more gorgeous. The videographer did a great job with a video as well. Their a la carte restaurants are great as well except Japanese. We had the wedding at the Steakhouse restaurant which is a terrace right by the beach. Great food and service. Overall in terms of food choices I can say I've seen more but if you are not going there to eat then you'll be just fine. There is always something for everyone. I especially enjoyed breakfast there! The resort also has plenty of shopping available to get any souvenirs you need and do check out their spa! It is better to have a room on a second floor and windows facing outside (into the back garden). That way it's quiter and you even get a sneak peak of the ocean! Ask if room 3028 is available. It has a gorgeous balcony with jacuzzi on the very top! Breathtaking!

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

we traveled to the Riu Palace Punta Cana resort a week before Christmas and it was just amazing. clean room, very nice and neat property, perfect pool with swim up bar and lots of pool benches. Beach was very clean and lots of shade under the palm trees, and service was very good especially if you tip the waiters, they will come back to look after you very often.

Food was OK at the buffet restaurant and very good at the reservation restaurants (4 restaurants), but all in all for the price we got it was just perfect.

we asked for a crib in our room when we booked as we were travelling with a 15 month baby and it was there the day we arrived! very nice and friendly staff. The resort has a kids club as well, which my son spent some time in but i think he would rather stay at the beach.

There was a different show every night after dinner which were very good and mostly entertaining, and you get access to the other Riu Palace hotels nearby.

we tried para-sailing, which was amazing, and we also went on the buggies tour which is a must do if you are into these things but you really have to negotiate the price because you will be taken advantage of.

Overall, our experience in Punta Cana was amazing and our choice of hotel was a complete success. we will gladly go back to Riu Palace anytime.

Room Tip: we got a garden view junior suite on the north side of the hotel which had an ocean view as well!! r...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

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.

  • Stayed December 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Braunfels, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

From the time we walked into the lobby until the time we left our stay was exceptional! The hotel is very clean, no musty smell in rooms as i read prior to going. Housekeeping was excellent each day. The food was very good and plentiful! Always an open restaurant on the property if you are hungry at any time. The beach was beautiful and kept clean. Plenty of chairs and shade. Towel service was great and the towels are very nice. Do NOT pay attention to negative reviews, they simply are not true. Will definitely go back! Stayed Dec 24 to Dec 28 2012.

  • Stayed December 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 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carthage, Missouri
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Just got back. Not my favorite vacation (although the beach and the accomodations should have made this #1 on my list.) After paying a huge price for this ALL INCLUSIVE, it seems as if you must pay for everything again while you are there. Almost every worker there has a side gig from the pool man to the front desk. Most view Americans as rich and expect them to up the ante for any service. Initially, front desk pocketed money for a room change $150, pool man saves seating so you pay him for a lounger $5 a day, pay for bar maids and outdoor seating at the buffets. UNREAL!!!

I felt VULNERABLE the whole week. Day 2 the maid went through my belongings and helped herself to several new items that I had purchased for the trip...! Be careful if your maid's name is Marisol.

Never felt safe after that--they don't have the normal safe; it is an old fashioned KEY safe with hundreds of master keys I'm sure. After having the maid lift items, everyday I expected to come in to find out that it had been broken into. Thank goodness this didn't happen!!!

The entertainment committee at this Riu tried... but in my mind fell short compared to other Riu's we've been to in the past. Possibly because of the number of different cultures. The first three days in Punta Cana there were only a handful of Americans. Mostly northern Europeans and Russians. We went for sun and fun but had to find it on our own. Even the planned activities that I chose to participate in, made me feel like unwelcomed.

We love to snorkel and dive. Due to a sinus infection diving was out. Unfortunately, decent snorkeling can not be found close to the hotel. Although there is a reef 1/4 mile off shore, power boats speed through the area and you are likely to end up minced fish food attempting to navigate through the area. We paid for a snorkeling expedition called the "Sunset Cruise" but we were taken to a dead reef for only 30 minutes. I'm sure there is better! I heard Catallina Island was good but didn't have a whole day left after our disappointing cruise to try it.

The hotel has many water toys. Sign up early for appointments or be willing to pay the beach boys off.

Excursions: Horse back riding trip was wonderful! I would recommend this afternoon excursion. Although they were over an hour late picking us up, we were able to race the horses on the beach. Went through the forest and town as well. Very nice excursion for our family. Asking price for pictures were $40.

Room Tip: We upgraded (from an outside room facing maintenance) to a courtyard room by the pool. Thick doors...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#37 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 On the Beach 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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