We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“It was fine, but....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Save
You added Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana to your Saves list
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel packages
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #52 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
East Central North Dakota
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“It was fine, but....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

First let me say that the Riu Palace Punta Cana is gorgeous. They take good care of it, and it's immaculate. The food was good; the only two problems we had were 1) in the Brazilian restaurant; one of us got chicken and when she put her fork in it blood spurted out on her plate. And 2) one of our friends took a taco from the Steakhouse at lunch. She screamed and threw it over at me; there was a live roach crawling in it. But other than that.....

The staff was pretty excellent, but overall we found that they are not as helpful or friendly as they were at the Riu Palace Riviera Nayarit. Of course there are always a few greats, like Rodriquez on the beach and Reuben the "chair guy" there. We also found that the servers at the Riu Palace Riviera Nayarit really hustle if you tip them. At the Riu Palace PC, it didn't matter if we tipped or not. We had a hard time getting servers to come around. In general, they just didn't seem available like they did in Mexico.

The beach is lovely. The sand is like flour and the water is a gorgeous blue. Don't bother bringing your snorkel gear; mine never made it out of the room. There was nothing to see in the water, according to others. But the beach is a great place to people watch. And no, like other Rius there are no umbrellas for shade, even for rent, so if you're beach people like us, try and get there early so you can put your chairs around a palm tree. Otherwise, no shade. There is a constant parade of people walking up and down the beach, for those with children, be aware there are plenty of thong swimsuits and bare breasted women walking there.

The entertainment was good; I liked Michael Jackson, and I'm not even a fan! I think the best thing about the Riu Palace Punta Cana was the outdoor courtyard. People gathered there at night before the shows started, and they had entertainment there, too. But one night I was sitting with my husband and said, "What's that smell?" It took me a bit to put my finger on it, but then I realized it was Lorsban, which is an agricultural chemical we use on the farm to kill soybean aphids. My husband quickly realized this is why you see very few bugs, almost no birds, and no fish. Plus, in the U.S., Lorsban has a 48 hour re-entry period. If we use it in a field, we cannot re-enter for 48 hours. Needless to say, we went up to our room.

The rooms are nice and well-kept. The only problem I had with the room was that two of my costume jewelry pieces from home disappeared from there. Together the rings were worth about $70.00, but this was upsetting nonetheless.

Don't miss the banana juice in the morning buffet! I found some mixed drinks good on the beach, but I'm a beer drinker so I pretty much stayed with that. Some of the beer was skunky, though; overall we found the best drinks up at the lobby bar. We didn't go into the sport bar except to walk in and find it was so ridiculously smokey we never went back.

One day my friend and I were sitting on the beach and she said, "Have you noticed we haven't even really explored the grounds?" I said yes, and she said, "Do you think it's A) because we already know we're not coming back, or B) that we're lazy?" I told her it's really C) both of the above. There's nothing to see or do outside the resort (see my review of my husband's 4-wheeler trip which I'll upload next) that's very worthwhile, or for sure it wasn't worth the money. And note that the flea market is quite a hike down the beach!

I forgot to add that there were MANY people sick in the resort when we were there. I ran into a Canadian travel agent that said she doesn't like to send people to the Dominican because so many get sick. That said, they aren't kidding about not drinking the water in the rooms. Stick with your bottled water only, even to brush your teeth.

Oh, and if you see a pretty young photographer on the beach, Elena, get her to take your picture. I've never taken pictures of myself that I like, but she got several good ones, if I do say so myself. She's a genius!

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we went and discovered for ourselves whether we liked it or not. For us, it's just that there are other vacation spots that suit us better.

Room Tip: I can't really add much because we had a garden view room. We don't spend much time in our...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

3,036 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,242
    914
    448
    244
    188
See reviews for
718
1,469
43
34
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
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

When I arrived to check in for two rooms I was told I had one room I asked for assistance to rectify but customer service was poor as they pretend not to understand what I'm asking them for ok how about wifi areas which they said everywhere so we went to the single room dissatisfied and sure enough in the room two double beds pushed together Immediately got on the Internet but I need the password that front desk never mentioned so I go back and complain about the two beds pushed together and not giving me the password not friendly people at the front desk The food was ok lots of options the booze was by far top shelf but u got plenty entertainment needs improvement landscaping is beautiful beach is awesome met lots of nice people &enjoyed the weather pool & spa but would not go back again I got the feeling that the staff at this hotel pretend to not know much English which is not true and let me say I got the feeling that they are not friendly towards Americans

Room Tip: No rooms actually face the beach I suggest room close to the main lobby near bars and game rooms sna...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Excellent food, presentation, staff, service. have not one negative thing to say about this resort. They bedn over backwards to make it the best vacation. 5 star all the way. Maid service was immpecable, always done by noon, and turn down was always done so you never saw a maid all week. Gorgeous towel swans every day. Incredible friendly staff who seems happy to be working there. Management who are friendly and want to =do anything to make you happy, no request is too big or small. Hot water whenever you wanted it, gorgeous rooms and balconies. Perfect place for a romantice getaway.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, MI.
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

The resort layout and the architecture is beautiful. Rooms were spacious and very clean. Food for the most part was very good. It seemed like the buffet was the best due to the large variety. Some of the specialty restaurants were a bit sparse on selection, and there was no cocktail service in any of the restaurants with the esception of beer and wine. (The house wine was good.) The beach and pool are great. Service was very good and all spoke some english. You have to get up at 5am to get a good chair at the pool! Don't leave the resort, there is nothing outside! You can visit the other 3 RIU resorts next door.
Now the sore spot. If you enjoy mixed drinks... you will end up drinking beer or wine! I don't know what the problem was, but the mixed drinks all tasted the same at the pool and the entertainment bar. The lobby bar was closest to acceptable with the few drinks they knew how to mix! All of the rest of the drinks had a chemical taste which was bad.
Otherwise, it was a great place to be in mid winter.

Room Tip: Pay the extra add on for a room facing the center fountains. Otherwise your view will be disappoint...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Visited the Riu Palace and felt like a Queen!! Visited with two girlfriends, first time in the DR. The hotel was beautiful - classy and grand! The beach was just lovely. Palm trees and soft white sand. The food was great. The Japanese restaurant was the only disappointment. The rooms were very nice, not much of a view but we spent most of out time on the beach. Loved the Liquor dispenser in the room. The service was excellent. We loved the servers at the pool very attentive and super super nice. Traveled with Apple tours and appreciated that there was a Apple rep on the property. We are already planning our next trip. It was an all round great experience and a trip we will remember for a long time. Thanks Riu Staff. You guys were awesome.

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the fountains in the center of the hotel. Really pretty view.
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Traveled as a family, two adults and a teenage daughter, the week before Christmas.
We had a wonderfully appointed room, not much of a view, but then who spends a lot of time the room,
Our location was handy to the pool, lobby and the beach.
The beach was beautiful, clean and conducive to walking.....could walk for hours.
The water was choppy all week and a bit rough to swim in.
The food was good for Dominican...we ate in 4 a la cartes and would rate them as follows 1. the Gourmet 2. the Brazilian 3. the Italian 4. the Japanese .....#1 was the best.
The buffet was good as well, we enjoyed sitting outside at the buffet for lunch.
The service was second to no one....felt very welcomed and served promptly in the restaurants and bars, our maid service was efficient.
Overall a very nice vacation..we enjoyed very much!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, ON
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is my third time in Punta Cana, the last two were at Bahia Principe (I liked that resort but a tad large.) The Riu was a nice size with all rooms being close to the pool and beach (no trollys). The food was good, especially the Italian restaurant. We didn't go to all the restaurants because the buffet was good. The grounds are beautiful and the room was kept very clean. The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was spacious. We were in a regular room (junior suite) and friends of our got a corner suite. The corner suite was gorgeous but I was just as happy with ours as we didn't spend a lot of time in the room. The entertainment was fun, better than the other Riu's nearby, we checked them out too. The staff is super friendly but not too much English, but if you try out a few Spanish words you can meet in the middle and figure out what you need. The only thing we didn't like, unfortunately, were some of the other tourists. They were rude in the line up for the buffet (you think they hadn't eaten in a week!) And they were also ignorant and impolite to the hardworking staff. The staff were NOT rude back but I'm sure they did not appreciate it! You're on vacation, people, lighten up.
The beach was fun. Fairly big waves for boogie boarding most days. We took a snorkel tour out one day, just be careful you understand what you are signing up for. What we thought was swimming WITH the dolphins turned out to be driving BY the place where you swim with the dolphins. No harm done it was still a fun snorkel trip but don't expect the reefs to be great, it's good for a beginner.
The one thing we did that was one of my top 10 favourite things ever was we went horseback riding on the beach. No, not the plodding, skinny sickly horses but the front desk recommended a great ranch. It took 30 minutes to get there (they pick you up) but they take you to a remote part of the island (near Excellence and Zoetry). The horses were spunky and lively and responsive. We had a few experienced riders with us and we all enjoyed it immensely. We rode for 2 hours through the rainforest and galloped along the beach quite a bit. The guides took pictures and videos of us individually galloping on the beach with our OWN cameras and didn't ask for anything extra. They were having as much fun as we were. We were a party of 5 and they only charges us $56 each. A Bargain!!! The name of the ranch was : Rancho Carabeno near Uvero Alto.
Most of the time though we sat on the gorgeous beach and soaked in the sun. It didn't rain at all when we were there, in fact I don't think it ever has when I've gone to Punta Cana in the spring. All in all a great trip! We had teenagers, one 8 year old and couples and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms are really close to the beach and pool, our room was # 31 I think. The rooms on t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., BookIt.com, TripOnline SA, Despegar.com, Travelocity, getaroom.com and Tingo so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Punta Cana Riu Palace
Riu Palace Hotel Punta Cana

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.