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“It only gets better - repeat trip.” 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 #53 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Hyannis, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“It only gets better - repeat trip.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Once again I had the fortune of staying at the Riu Palace Punta Cana as an award trip.

We had just returned 12 days earlier from a week at the Riu Palace Costa Rica, so comparisons are easy, and this knowledge helps to put the Riu Palace Punta Cana in perspective.

Here's why we like this property:

- It's comfortable - it just feels and fits right.

- The white powder beach! OMG - perfect weather - just enough sun burn. Plenty of beach palms to provide shade.

- The staff - we always returned to a well-kept room. Always available food servers to attend.

- I appreciate the plaza courtyard for after dinner lounging and conversation; LUIS takes good care of the beverage needs after dinner.

- Given this is not the newest property - I must acknowledge that the facility was very well maintained.

Improvements I must mention:
Previous reviews mentioned a musty smell in the rooms. I (gladly) must say, this feature was gone in this, our return visit.

They must have changed spa management companies, as the massage staff was very professional.

Caution -
Independent Casino at the nearby Riu Palace Macao certainly has the odds in their favor at black-jack. Enjoy a visit as entertainment - not as a sport. (stays on soft 17, won't disclose A-10 or 10-A until everyone has played)

Improvements? I would like property-wide access to wifi, like at RIU CR.

Conclusion - if I had my choice for a return trip in a couple years - I would again first consider Riu Palace Punta Cana. It just feels right.

Room Tip: Rooms up front may be away from the beach, but they are closer to your frequest activities.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,102 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 (614)
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English first
Liverpool, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

The resort was very nice looking upon arrival. Very big hotel 800+ rooms and they are not computerized. It delayed check in. And more paperwork at check in. We get to our garden view room only to smell moldy and a view of the road that you drive on to get to the resort. I refused the room. We were then given Another key to the 2nd room. That room smelled worst. Given a 3rd key and took the pool view room with an upgrade fee of $100 cash or $210 credit card. The money went in the managers pocket when I was walking away!!!! The rooms smelled better but upon waking in the morning i saw mold on curtains, shower, bed, picture frames, and lamp shade. Asks to be moved again for the 4th time! Very very vey upset at this point!!!! Did not want to move again!! We moved due to my sons asthma and he was up coughing all night. It was in our best interest of my sons health that we moved. The beds are uncomfortable and pillows were lumpy. The air conditioner only worked 2 of the 6 nights we were there. I complained and it was 1 of the nights it worked.
The 4th room had the same issues and i found roaches! Reported it to cleaning staff and the left me a can of roach spray!!! At this point we were so extremely upset and we had spent most of our stay moving to get a livable room.
Food was fair, staff was fair( tips get you best tables, and pool side chairs))!
I don't mind tipping but have never tipped so much on vacation every!!!

Room Tip: Good luck finding a room that doesn't smell or have visible mold! Standing in the lobby I felt t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Scranton, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

If I was expecting a 3 star I would have not been so disappointed but was told it was 5 star all the way. We asked our travel agent about alcohol 20 times and we were assured you can get US beer and top shelf liquor. Being a Jack Daniels drinker the Jack was not Jack, the only bar that had real Jack in the entire place was the non smoking bar on 1st floor in the middle. No matter what restarunt or bar they would bring something that tasted like candle wax. I can assure you there was no US beer, we were buying it from the gift shop at $6 a bottle. The restaurants were a joke to get a reservation but if you put up a fight like we did you got what you wanted. The rooms smelled, rooms do not smell in a 5 star resort, I never stayed at a Ritz or a Four Seasons that smelled. The beds were bad, the comforter was as thin as the sheet and older than my grandmother, old pillows. I called down for a duvet for the bed and robes.....that was not happening. Two restaurant were great the Italian and the Fusion, the Japanese was okay, the Stakehouse real bad and the buffets could land you in bed for two days. We went with four couples 4, out of the 8 of us 4 people landed in bed for 2 day and not the same two day, couldn't figure out excatly what made them sick. The beach is beautiful, the pool is well taken care of and the wait staff is great. If you are okay with a room that is less than average, not big on topshelf alcohol and not big on food you will be okay. Someone said in a review the place compares favorable to any Ritz, I have stayed at a lot of Ritz and it is nothing like a Ritz I have ever stayed at, they do not pamper you likes a Ritz does nor have the amenities. Bring your own toiletries, they were like colored water. Bring imodium ad, it $20 in the gift shop and everyone needs it at one point or another.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
cleveland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We just returned from the Riu Palace P.C. and I can not say enough wonderful things about this hotel and its' staff! The hotel was clean, clean, clean! The staff were incredibly helpful - even though neither of us spoke the others' language. We celebrated an anniversary and a birthday there and the staff played up each event with balloons, cake and a door banner. The beach had lots of chairs and were able to get chairs in the shade later in the day if we forgot first thing in the morning. There were plenty of staff on the beach to make sure we stayed hydrated!
Our air conditioner leaked but still worked. So not a big deal.
The food was good. There were occasional meals that weren't the greatest but the staff and the buffet bar made up for it.
Would we go again? Definitely And would we go with the Apple tour group again? Again definitely as Katie Clancy was a fountain of information. Wish I had her in my day to day life advising me!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Just returned from RIU Palace Punta Cana. We are 3 couples and we stayed a week. This was our 4th stay at a RIU, first time at this resort. As usual, the RIU Palace delivered the level of quality, beauty, and service that we have become accustomed to. For the money, the RIU Palace is the best value at an all-inclusive. The hotel is stunning: this one is the traditional colonial decor with gorgeous grounds and interior spaces. The pool area is large and the servers plentiful. All spaces are immaculate (one exception: the dining chairs in the buffet need a good cleaning). The food was good at the buffet and the steakhouse had a tasty surf n turf. The beach area is large with many palms for shade. The entertainment is the standard stuff. All of the staff are very warm and friendly and our glasses were never empty. The resort is connected by a paved path to 4 other RIU resorts: the Macao: pretty but boring, like an old folks home; the Bambu and Naiboa: both cheaper and more basic; and the Bavaro: garrishly contemporary and too quiet. The Palace Punta Cana was clearly the best choice for us. The room are small suites and well-stocked. My only complaint: I asked at the front desk to have our room decorated for my husbands birthday and they never did. Either they forgot or someone else got their room decorated. They did have our dining table decorated and a birthday cake; he was happy with that. Another great stay at a RIU Palace!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plainview, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Just got back after spending 4 nights at the RIU. This was our second visit to this property. Don't waste the $12.50 per day for the "upgrade" room. All rooms pretty much the same, with minor "view"
differences.the place compares favorable to any Ritz we've ever stayed in style. Of course there are always issues, but the real question is how quickly and efficiently they are handled. The staff is helpful, friendly, and attentive to a fault. Maintenance was ongoing on the grounds and buildings, as it should be in the humid Southern caribbean climate. Beach and pools are extremely well maintained on a daily basis. Don't expect gourmet cuisine though. Food is plentiful and good. If you're seeking gourmet food and wine the DR isn't for you.

Room Tip: Upgrade not worth it, unless you're going for the large suite at $124 extra per night. All room...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My girlfriend and I spent a week in this resort in mid-February 2013.

While the beach is breathtaking, the resort is anything but. We received a room that had a broken shower head and broken television. Luckily, both were fixed within a few hours.

The resort is in major need of an overhaul; I would rate it 3 out of 5 on a good day.

The mattresses are hard and uncomfortable; you may want to bring Robaxacet with you when you wake up with a sore back each day.

The maids do a mediocre job at cleaning rooms; this is despite us leaving tips every day. We even removed our toiletries from around the sink area to ease the work for the maid, but it still looked like it was a half-done job. As for our mini fridge, well, for 2 days it went without restocking, until we finally complained.

As for the food, we dined at the buffet three times a day; and each day I got terribly sick. I stuck to salads and fresh fruits, and wish I hadn't. When I returned home, two weeks later, I still experienced cramps and diarreha.

I paid $1800 for a week at this resort. Unfortunately, I cannot ask for my money back. But if I had a chance to do it all over ago, I would not return to this resort and make better use of my money elsewhere.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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:
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#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
#48 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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