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“Best Lobby I have ever seen so far!” 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 #54 of 101 hotels in Punta Cana
Bridgend, Wales, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best Lobby I have ever seen so far!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Just returned from the Riu Palace. I was anxious before going after reading more recent reviews, mainly about the food and musty smell. We travelled with Thompson's and booked 11 months previous. We had two rooms 2081 for myself and husband also room 2032 for my 2 older children. Ours was 1 floor up from the lobby near to the entertainment area, to be honest, when it was a bit noisy we were out mostly and the glazed units kept it at bay, entertainment didn't go on till late. My children's (age 24 and 17) was very quiet, (looking from the front of the hotel) it was on the right wing nearer to the beach.
The only 5* star I would give would be to the lobby possibly to the buffet restaurant and the level of service. The rooms and pool I would give a 3* they just weren't finished to a good standard, we had a hole in the bathroom ceiling, shaving mirror hanging off the wall, drawer door hanging off, however we weren't in the room long enough to cause much of a problem. Above the revolving door to to the hotel, the date says 2006, I honestly thought the hotel was at least 15 years if not more older, judging by the rooms, the smell for all of us was not bad at all, we only used the fan, that seemed to work for us.
We really enjoyed the buffet, there was plenty of everything, The japanese restaurant was fantastic, lets face it, it is all down to personal preference. We cant fault the service, we had room service a few times, getting food and drink whenever was so easy, the staff could not do enough.
The beach was stunning and sometimes busy, but not overly loud, I didnt enjoy the daytime entertainment, but others did. I watched the sunrise a few times, spectacular!
We had a fantastic time, don't worry before you go, just try and make the most of it when your there.. Have fun.

Room Tip: Rooms on the outer wings seem to be more quiet on the right side looking from the front of the hotel...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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
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Dundee, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Hotel is colonial style with chandeliers and a stained glass roofed lobby giving a good first impression. The reception staff are efficient and checking in was done with no delays and our luggage was waiting for us by the time we reached our room. Surprised by some of the comments about the state of the rooms as ours was very clean and certainly not smelly or stuffy. We were celebrating an anniversary and there was a bottle of bubbly, plate of fruit, a necklace and a cigar in the room on our arrival, much appreciated.
On the 2nd last day the A/C failed and although we reported it and someone did appear to check it, it was nor repaired by the time we left, when I spoke to reception on leaving they said they had had problems with the system but that it was now rectified although each room had to be individually checked and that they were working on it?
The lift in the middle of the building was very temperamental and the doors tried on a number of occasions to squash guests. It was out of order on a couple of days which meant it was a hard climb to the 3 rd floor at the end of the day.
The hotel gardens are very well attended and I noticed that the hedges were sprayed which possibly accounted for the lack of biting insects.
The food in all the restaurants was very good and it would very difficult not to find something to your taste. The staff are excellent and welcoming and thoroughly deserve any tips they receive.
Surprised that some guests thought the drinks were watered down as the bars went through a large amount of bottles and were always busy, so don't know when the staff were able to water them down
I found it to very noisy at times within the bars and around the pool with large groups of Americans and Canadians who seemed unable to hold a conversation without shouting (my apologies as I'm sure that come summer time it will be us Brits who are making the noise)
Didn't see much of the night entertainment but the few shows I saw were ok although I felt the dancers etc were restricted due to the small size of the stage. The presentation of the game prizes before the shows is boring and I'm sure if I went back next year not all the animation staff will still have learnt to dance.
The beach is lovely but is exceptionally busy and it is like walking down a busy shopping street, so it is not the place to go if you are looking for a quiet time .
There are a number off shops within the hotel grounds and in Caribbean Street and their prices are pretty steep. A flea market is situated on the beach about 800 mts away where you can buy all things to take home and prices are much more attractive than the shops when you barter with stall holders. They will approach you but are not persistent when you say no thank you.
There is a small shack with 4 tables and chairs where you can buy a beer
Booked a couple of trips through our tour operator (Thomson). They advertise the price in $ but when paying by card they convert it to peso's with an not favourable exchange rate.
The hotel possibly qualified for 5* a number of years ago but when you compare them to neighbouring 5* hotels it is now just a good 4* but even allowing for that I enjoyed my stay.

Room Tip: Was in room 3111 which was close to the lift but quiet with a side view to the sea. The room got the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
West Fargo
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

My husband and I just returned from Riu Palace, Punta Cana. The entrance to the hotel is grand and glorious. However, when we got to our room...it was not so grand. The smell that hit us as we opened the door was enough to make me run for the balcony. We left the balcony open most of the time to try and keep the room aired out. The "king" size bed was a disappointment, two twins pushed together, made seperately, and seperated very easily. The food was ok...I'm not a picky eater, but couldn't always find something that I wanted to eat. We did eat at 3 of the restaurants - the Japenese place was a huge disappointment. The Brazil and the Steakhouse were good, but we had to wait to eat supper until 9 at night. Over all...we enjoyed the beach, but wish there were more bathrooms. The people/staff were very wonderful! Tip - do not shop in the gift shop inside the resort - way over priced...go to the shops by the pool/ocean.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Allentown, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

I was a part of a 26 person group staying at the RIU Palace. 2 out of 26 people were happy with their room. The remaining 24 people had very musty rooms, and 4 people had bed bugs. 3 rooms had broken hair dryers, and even after calling the front desk several times, they were not replaced or fixed. The beer on tap is watered down and smelly. The food was below my expectations. I got sick as well as two other women.

The weather was great though!

Room Tip: Get a room on level 2 or 3 as they are a little less musty.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a week stay at the RIU Palace Punta Cana. The vacation was awesome! The Palace is nice, but I was a bit disappointed as we paid the extra money to stay at the Palace as opposed to the other less expensive RIUs and I'm not sure it was worth it. The hotel is clean and the grounds are gorgeous, don't misunderstand, but it just didn't seem up to the RIU standards. The entertainment was lackluster at best and the food wasn't much better (and I'm NOT a food snob at all!) The internet in the rooms is very intermittent and when we could get logged on, it was as slow as dialup. It was a wee bit better in the lobby, but not much. We did visit a few of the other RIUs as we were walking the beach and the Macao resort refused us a drink. Apparently ALL of the RIUs do not honor the Palace bracelet as we were told.

Now, having said that, it was still an awesome vacation! We go for the beach and Punta Cana has the best beaches I have ever visited. Absolutely loved all the palm trees along the beach....made it so much more picturesque. White powdery sand as far as the eye could see in either direction. We walked MANY miles of this beach and it was awesome. The ocean was fairly calm, got a little rough the last two days with the higher winds, but just made it more fun to play in the waves. We walked a few miles North and the waves were MUCH stronger up there.

The beach vendors were pretty respectful and didn't hound you. However, I would agree with another poster that as you go North towards the Hard Rock there are a few Timeshare reps that got a little pushy, but you just politely tell them no and keep walking. The "strip mall" of vendors to the South can get a little pushy....especially if they see you buy something at any of the shops....but again, you just have to politely say no and keep walking.

All in all, I would definitely return to Punta Cana....just not sure I would spend the extra money for the Palace again.

Room Tip: I would definitely choose a room facing the courtyard and not too close to the restaurant/entertainm...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful facility,beautiful beaches and ocean for the positive. However about 75 percent of our group got Tourista Gi problems here. We were all careful not to drink the water too. Food and alcohol in general disappointing and we are not that fussy either.
Most crowded beaches ever experienced, some days not enough beach chairs also. No town to walk to. Airport on departure totally chaotic, barely made flight though there 2 hrs early.
No excited about going back to Riu Palace or Punta Cana.

Stayed February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stittsville
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The Riu Palace Punta Cana is, in my opinion, no longer a five star resort. It's still a great resort but it's getting a little tired. The rooms are clean and spacious and beds were comfortable. The wood in the door in my particular room had dried so much that it cracked and you could see through the door. The food was good in the main dining room and the restaurant by the beach. They serve the same type and quality that any other high end resort in the Dominican would serve. No matter what your taste, you will not go hungry. the only disappointment was the pasta bar. Served luke warm (twice) in a dull tomato sauce with not much choice of other sauces. Only tried three of the five specialty restaurants. Surprisingly, the steak house was good and the lobster tail that came with the steak was done to perfection. The Brazilian was a disappointment as the meat was tough. The Crystal (fusion) was excellent. As good as the Riu in Cabo.
As a non-smoker, I have difficulty accepting smokers in the pool. They have no regard for others and ashes and butts can sometimes be seen floating in the pool. The pool is in dire need of repairs Long sections of the bottom have missing tiles. As with all resorts, reserve you chair by the pool early in the morning. You won't get a prime spot after 7:30 AM. There are always good spots on the beach. As a frequent visitor the Dominican Republic you learn all the ins and outs.
This is an all inclusive resort and that includes all alcoholic drinks. They even have liquor dispensers in the rooms. Gin, Vodka, Rum and a local Brandy. Disappointed that there was no Canadian Club. It was however available at the Lobby Bar. For a purported five star hotel, you would think they would serve a better selection of beer. Presidente gets a little boring after a couple of days and the draft is downright terrible. I think this has to do with the draft lines not being flushed of bacteria on a regular basis. Stick with the canned beer in your mini bar. Not counting the dining areas, there were three bars. The Pool Bar, the Lobby Bar and the Sports Bar. In the latter, the stench of stale smoke and spilled beer made it a good place to avoid.
The thing that will make me come back here are the people who work at this resort. The service from the front desk to the dining rooms and pool area was excellent. While a lot of these people don't speak English, they make up for in enthusiasm and trying to please the customer.

Room Tip: Couryard view is the best. Away from lobby area. All rooms are quiet except for the ones directly ab...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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:
#23 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 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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