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“Good Times at Riu Palace Punta Cana” 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 #53 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Walkerton, Ontario, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Good Times at Riu Palace Punta Cana”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

First let me start by saying the Punta Cana airport can use alittle etiquette lesson. The band that plays there literally kicks a basket at you as your walking through for you to put a tip in. I dont mind giving a tip when a tip is deserved..but dont kick your basket at me after a long sleepless flight.
Riu palace was not a disaapointment..from the grandeur entrance as you pull up to the suite jacquzzi we had..Very spacious room with decent mattresses and robes where very much appreciated.Wrap around balcony that included two great views. Ask for an end suite!
No bugs, great weather, great service other then could use a few more beach bartenders, excellent couples massage.
Bars could use more international selection as they used mostly cheaper liquors. Wine defineatley needs upgrading, but i read the reviews before I went so really wasn't disappointed too much.
We went over Easter and resort was crowded with kids. Should have known better but will apply knowledge for next vacation.
Beach was breathtaking...was nice to have access to other Riu resorts as well.
Company...well cant say enough positive about my travel partner..think i'm gonna keep him!
Lauri

Room Tip: We are in 1046..perfect location...faced two sides, not many steps to climb and no musty smell.Very...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 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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2,992 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 (589)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

We just got back from a week at Riu Palace, Punta Cana. All together, we had 20 family members at the resort and overall, we had a very enjoyable family vacation.

The first expectation to manage is the food. I didn't expect five star cuisine at an all inclusive. And, we didn't get it. I found the specialty restaurants to be average - both from choices and quality. The best (and safest) bet is the Don Manuel buffet which offers tons of choices. I was able to find something tasty for every meal. A few in our party thought the food was below average, but again it's all about the choices and the buffet offers the most, especially for kids! One highlight of our dining experience... we basically had the same table and servers all week. Polanco and Margarita were wonderful and while their English is limited, our entire family genuinely enjoyed seeing them every day.

The pool and beach are everything you'd want for a week. There's plenty of room and grabbing chairs every morning was a piece of cake. Cocktails were flowing all week - from Presidentes to piña coladas to margaritas to everything fruity in between (except the mojitos, which could use some work). The staff was attentive in keeping us hydrated. There's not a lot of top shelf liquor being offered, but again, it's all about your expectations going in. Make sure you try the Mama Juana, which is a local after-dinner type of drink.

Evenings are spent at the large courtyard / patio with live music and entertainment, which was nice and an enjoyable way to wind down the day. One disappointment was the Sports Bar, which we designated the "sportsless bar" due to the limited number of sports channels. We were at the resort during the NCAA Tourney and could only see the CBS offered game. Some would say that there's no need to spend vacation watching sports, but don't call yourself a sports bar if you don't even have ESPN!!!

Couple of other things... Bring plenty of single dollars, as everyone appreciates tips. The room was a little musty but nothing worth complaining about. The facility itself is very beautiful and housekeeping is great. Tough to find ATMs and I've heard some bad stories about ATM usage so bring enough cash, including the $10 per person entry fee into the DR. We booked an afternoon on the Fishing Machine through the hotel (separate cost) and while we got skunked on the fishing expedition, we had THE BEST lunch at the outside restaurant by the boat. Three perfectly fried red snapper served at our table with rice, salad and cocktails. Fantastic!!

I'm giving the resort 4 stars but that's because my expectations were tempered going in and fully met while there. I found something decent to eat everyday and wasn't expecting top shelf liquor. What I hoped for was a relaxing week with lots of sun, plenty of libations, attentive service, and a beautiful backdrop for our family vacation. Mission accomplished!

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We just spent a week at the Riu Palace Punta Cana for spring break March 2013. It was one of the best family trips ever. There were nine of us ages 86 down to 10 . We all had a blast! When we checked in we were in awe of the beautiful lobby. Esther, our first front desk contact was superb and really set the tone.We did have the best rooms offered by the hotel, three large suites and a Jacuzzi suite. All the rooms overlooked the pool and the ocean. The fun liquor dispensers in the rooms were an added bonus!!The rooms were gorgeous, well appointed and spacious with huge wrap around balconies. There was no mildew smell whatsoever. The service was impeccable from check-in all the way through. Room service was fast and delicious, though limited. We loved the way the hotel was laid out. The beautiful pool was centrally located near the delightful beach. All the restaurants were on the other end near the buffet, the entertainment and the open air pavillion. The buffet was actually delicious for an all-inclusive, but we will recommend also dining at the Italian restaurant for dinner. We also enjoyed the Gourmet restaurant and the Japanese restaurant. Overall the trip was a complete delight. If we had listened to the Trip Advisor reviews of Riu Palace, we would never have booked this hotel. That would have been a huge mistake. We stayed at another hotel last year Iberostar Punta Cana which was also nice, but is no comparison to RIU Palace. We definitely cannot wait to go back again. The casino at a nearby property was the only disappointment, but it was not operated by RIU. Please give this property a try. It was fantastic!!
Cindy from Chicago

Room Tip: we loved 0046 and 0146 for their views and large wrap-around balconies. The higher you go, the more...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, Delaware
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Bavaro (we were supposed to be at Riu Palace Punta Cana but they were over booked - thanks US Airways Vacations) and after them trying to give us a room with one bed for the four of us, then giving us a room that someone else was already occupying (that was embarassing) we finally gave up and took a room that had one king bed and a roll away bed - which means three of my family members slept in the same bed the whole trip. We thought we were getting a Junior Suite (don't let the name fool you - this is no suite) with a king bed and a pull out sofa bed. You know the resort is clean, the staff for the most part was very nice (although they looked tired, they must work them to death) but did not speak a lot of English. Thank goodness my husband's Spanish was decent because we really needed it. DO NOT GO HERE if you are a foodie. The food was edible but not very appetizing, not even in their restaurant. The wine was pretty much undrinkable. The beach is beautiful and the pool was well maintained. But I spent way too much money for just a pool and a beach, this experience could have been so much better. There was not much for the kids to do either.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Mooresville, NC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We spent 7 days at the RIU Palace in Punta Cana. The resort is about 30 min from the airport. This is a small, all inclusive, all adult resort. It seems geared to an older crowd, but we were looking for a quiet place. The staff are all well trained and very professional. We had great service, only had one day where our room was not cleaned.

We had the same server for dinner each night and despite the language barrier, he remembered what we drank and brought it each night. One night he brought us a special shrimp dinner. Each plate had over a dozen shrimp in a spicy sauce. It was so much we couldn't eat much more. While the food seemed geared more to the Europeans, we found plenty to eat each day. The only speciality restaurant we ate at was the Steak Restaurant and it was okay. We found the buffet had plenty of choices. As Americans, we were in the minority.

The beach is beautiful, very clean with pretty water. Lots of palm trees if you needed shade. The pool has great areas with sliding canvas roofs so you have sun or shade. We loved the built in pool beds! The animation crew could be a little annoying, but they get paid to engage people. We just weren't interested in participating in the activities. After several days, they got the message and left us alone.

There is a great porch with live music each evening before the entertainment show. This was a nice place to sit and visit and have drinks after dinner. Some people played cards. There did seem to be more small groups traveling together then just couples. We found the drinks fine, they would add more liquor if you asked for it. Both the pool and porch area had great bar service. There are even full size liquor bottles in each room! We enjoyed going to Caribbean Street to do our souvenir shopping.

Room Tip: We stayed on the Caribbean Street side and had no issues with noise. The rooms were all very quiet...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed at this hotel the first week of March 2013. The property itself is very nice. Clean and well maintained. However, having a Samsung tablet and iPad (plus chargers) stolen from our room did not make for an enjoyable vacation. Management and security did come and look at our room but since there were no signs of forced entry and an iphone and kindle were still lying in the room, they didn't quite believe us. No room change offered (we had to ask ourselves), no compensation and barely an apology.

Ocean is very pretty but the beach would have been nicer without the cigarette butts left by other guests.

Restaurants: Krystal and the Japanese place were very good. The steakhouse was terrible (had to wait an hour for our food, the lobster was mushy. During this long wait, concidentally, is when our items were taken from the room). The Italian restaurant and buffet were o.k. Buffet had lots of choices but food was just o.k.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Kew Gardens, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

I went to Punta Cana in December and had a really great time at this resort. I have stayed at the RIU chain hotels before and decided on this hotel again for Dominican republic. At check in I requested 2 rooms next to each other , we had to wait about 2 hours but got the rooms. The beach was pretty although the waves were a little rough. The hotel grounds are very pretty, clean, the staff are courteous and helpful. The 24 hour snack bar has really limited options - chips dips and sandwiches. The steak and italian restaurants had the best food and are highly recommended. We did 2 tours - a jungle safari and Saona island tour. The Saona island tour was amazing, pristine blue beaches, minimal people with exception of those of those on tour. The jungle safari tour left me with too many bug bites :( and I definitely do not recommend. All the RIU hotels ( at least 3) are on one large compound and you can walk from one to the other without any issues. I enjoyed my stay and would return. I may stay at one of the cheaper RIUs as the palace was most expensive.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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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
#41 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 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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