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“relaxing time” 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 #51 of 100 Hotels in Punta Cana
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“relaxing time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We had a wonderful time as always. We have been to this resort as well as other Riu resorts in the caribbean and all meet our needs. The beach here is clean and their is always plenty of chairs. We prefer the buffet and our waiter and friends Marino & Juan Carlos do a fantastic job as always. The other restaurants also have a pleasant menu and we do dine with them also. The property is well keep and very clean.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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2,938 reviews from our community

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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 (574)
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Our trip took place end of November 2012.  We wasted our first day at the hotel arguing with the front desk manager for rooms that didn't smell of mildew and that did not face a construction site.  We were told that we paid for what we were getting ... yup, I paid over $1200 for mold and mildew and to face a construction site while on holiday in the Caribbean!?!?  If I wanted to see construction, I would have rented a room in Montreal overlooking one of our many highways!  After 3 hours, we were finally given somewhat decent smelling rooms on the other side of the hotel.  Of course, the 2 rooms only had 1 king size bed each versus the doubles that we needed since we were 4 singles! The next day, our friends had to move rooms since the bathroom ceiling in their room caved in during the night due to water leakage!!!  Thank God it wasn't the ceiling over their bed! BTW, our bathroom had mold on the ceiling over the bathtub due to the lack of a fan in it to draw the moisture from the room.  The outside of the hotel itself has black mold all over which is visible to the eye, all you have to do is look up near all the rooftops to see it.
FOOD:  Aside from the Italian restaurant, all the other restaurants were horrible -- I am not exaggerating.  Stick to the buffet which offers fresher and tastier food.  Their snack bar food consists of nachos with queso or cold hot dogs or sandwiches that you can microwave to eat??? This is a 4.5 star resort?? Actually don't go to this hotel at all -- I've heard that the Grand Bahia is 100% better than what you get here.  *Note: Once back home, my system took 2 weeks to get back to normal, couldn't hold anything in, the doctor said it was e.coli contamination.
DRINKS:  Read well -- there is NO TOP SHELF alcohol served here.  The whiskey smells like cough syrup, they do not know how to mix drinks if their lives depended on it, a cosmo martini tasted like rubbing alcohol, the baileys was a knock off watered down version, etc.  If you have any fruit allergies, the bartenders and waiters don't care to take note serving you whatever drink you ordered adorned with pineapples, oranges, etc. and laughing when you remind them that they could kill you.
SERVICE:  Nothing great, people not extremely friendly like other places I've been to in the Caribbean.
ENTERTAINMENT:  Weird!  Animation team was not overly enthusiastic in getting people involved with the shows.  The shows seemed to have some transvestite theme going on, don't know if it was just the week we were there or always???
BEACH:  If you don't get to the beach early enough, you have to struggle to find chairs to sit on.  No one available to help you move them around like other resorts I've been to.  The water was warm at this time of year but had a lot of seaweed and was full of rough waves with an undertow at times, not very enjoyable.
I could go on with some of our other unfortunate experiences at this hotel but the review would be too long!  Let's just say that this hotel should be avoided at all costs!!  My opinion of the Domincan is that it should be avoided period.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
effingham,il
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Every time I read some reviews I wonder if these people stayed at the same riu my wife and I did. We are mr and mrs John q public we are not 5 star people,we want a nice clean room,good quality food,and good service.this riu delivered all of the above,as all of the Rius we have stayed at all over Mexico and Jamaica have. Look if you want 5 star then stay at a different resort and pay for it. For what I paid for this resort they more than delivered and that's all I expect. The food was good and plentiful,the drinks were always on a tray coming by every 5 minutes or so drinky drinky was heard all day long. The rooms do smell musty,we always bring a couple of glade plug ins problem solved. The people are friendly,and it doesn't hurt to tip a buck or so every now and then they work hard for a little money.no place is perfect just don't let the small stuff ruin a great vacation at a beautiful resort on a great beach. Go and enjoy.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Check in was hectic. There was no line people were just crowding all of the place and the staff didn't have our paperwork ready. Probably have our room to someone else. Our phone didn't work in the room and the toilet was out of order. They also decided to paint on one of the days were there. Entertainment staff was lacking. They didn't really engage anyone and were scarce around the property. Food was the same as all riu's. the day we had an excursion we had room service planned for early in the morning. Never came! The maid was great but seemed to always be cleaning whenever we wanted to be inside the room to change. Big property though and the beach was beautiful. I suggest you go to the separate island on the Caribbean side. Can't remember how to spell it but its like Samoa. Less waves and they take you to the area where blue lagoon was filmed.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Chester, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

My husband and I stayed Jan 20-26 and had an excellent time with the most beautiful weather; sunny and mid 80's everyday. Hotel lobby is beautiful, landscaping well maintained. Pool is very nice, although a bit small for the size of the resort. The beach and ocean is the most beautiful that we've been to. The employees are hardworking and provide excellent service. We especially loved Leo at the pool who works hard running non-stop serving drinks to guests around the pool.

This is our 11th time to the DR and we always find it surprising when people talk about the language barrier. We know VERY BASIC spanish and have never had a problem communicating with the employees at any of the hotels we've stayed at. Most speak English just fine.

Regarding making reservations for the dining rooms....after reading some of the reviews we were concerned that we'd have a hard time making reservations. The first morning we were there, we walked right into the italian restaurant where we quickly made a reservation for 3 nights at 3 different restaurants. On the 4th morning we were there, we stopped in on our way to breakfast (8:00am) and walked right up and made reservations for 3 more nights. Very easy!!


The only reason we didn't give this a "5" is because of the food. Although we didn't go hungry, I really believe they could do a little bit better on the food quality. And maybe a few more top shelf liquor choices. Other then that, nothing else to complain about. We had a wonderful time and would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: 1st floor overlooking courtyard
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I just returned form a 1 week all-inclusive vacation from Punta Cana, D.R. and first of all the Sunwing Airline needs to improve on how they treat the passengers!! Upon our departure from Toronto the ticket agent at the desk checking us in was very unfriendly no smile, no greeting, her attitude was as if she was just doing us a favour. Then she proceeded to give my parents a hard time on there carry on bag which was not heavy at all and she made my dad empty some the contents into my knapsack unitl the weight of his carry on met the weight resrticition?? REALLY??? It's the same bag that will be going on the aircraft!!! soon as we left the counter we just switched the contents back to my parents carrry on, so what did she achieve i don't know?? The aircraft it self was a sausage!! no room at all and the worst part is i could not recline my seat being that we were seated infront of the emergency exit. I would reconsider any future travels with sunwing. The Riu Palace was beautiful!! the grand entrance of the lobby is just gorgeous!! The room we were booked in was not so great. I got stuck with a pull out sofa bed which was not comfortable at all!! The main food buffet area was incredible!! lot of options for everyone!! if you're a tropical fruit junkie they always had a abundant amount of fresh fruit!! papaya, mango, pineapple,watermelon,passion fruit, apple custard (sour sop) it's an asian fruit but very tasty!!! then there were 5 different theme restaurants to choose from. You can book these restaurants 2 or 3 at a time your tour representative will explain everything to you during your orientation the next day. My favourite dinner was at Krystal which was a fusion cuisine!! I did two excursions one was the Saona Island catamaran cruise in the Carribean very nice luch is included for $94 USD heres is a tip during the cruise they will let you know that a independant cook is offering fresh lobsters at $25 usd well worth it!! the size of the whole lobster changed my mind!! and the stingray/nurse shark expedition was an amazing experience go for it!! The beach was just amazing while tanning fresh fruit trays were brought to you by your beach chair and you could pick a few pieces of fruit to enjoy same goes with cold drinks!!! very hospitable staff!!! only draw back was some of the waiting staff during dinner didn't speak proper english so it was difficult to request anything.

Room Tip: Spend the extra money and get a Jr. Suite with a proper bed if there are more than one people sharin...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013 via mobile

Nice resort. Food was very good but by the end of the week did not know what to eat as food was pretty much the same everyday but very tasty. Wine was not very good. Room smelled musty but opened patio door for fresh air. Staff very nice and attentive. Booked a Bravaro runners tour, Jonathan was our tour guide and he made the tour fun and informative. He is the best guide for that tour. Weather so-so in the beginning of week with rain and sun but certainly better than WI. weather at this time of year. Overall a good time and nice resort with beautiful beaches. John the Funjet rep very helpful at the resort as well.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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:
#35 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
#45 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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