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“The Good, Bad and Ugly” 3 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 #52 of 101 hotels in Punta Cana
Silver Sring
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“The Good, Bad and Ugly”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We moved from the Riu Bambu next door to Riu Palace with a group of very unhappy customers after getting extorted for more money to stay here. This Hotel is also listed as a 5 Apple with Casino (which is a large closet with a dozen or so slot machines and a Hand Made Black Jack Table that no one was ever at.)

The Good: The lobby is very beautiful, marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and a nice front desk. The staff overall is very nice and the drink guy at the pool could not have been nicer. The beach is wonderful and the water is clear and nice.

The Bad: Entertainment was just awful! One night they got woman volunteers to dance as raunchy as they could (which was kind of funny) but then made each the poor woman simulate sex and pretend to get shot in the head. Everyone in the audience was so uncomfortable and the poor women just wanted off the stage.

The pool looks big in the photos but is so packed that you could not swim, in the afternoon it gets so hot that the pool is like a hot tub that smell like a dirty diaper. If you don't get down by the pool by 7am, you will not find a place to sit and the music in the afternoon is so loud, hard to enjoy the pool.

The Ugly: Housekeeping is bad, the king bed is two twins pushed together our first night there, our room was not ready for us with the last peoples towels, sheets on the floor, no problem, we called the front desk and they said they get to it right away, we go to dinner and come back still not ready, called again and said "right away", we went to the show got back at 11:30pm.. room not done called again and said right away. By midnight our room was finally made with nasty bloody sheets. We slept on only the one twin and asked next day to fix, it took 3 days for the maid to change the sheets with blood on them.

Overall much better then the Riu Bambu but still has lots of problems. If you post a negative review, you will get harassed by someone I think works for the Hotel. They had my first review taken off because I never slept at the Riu Bambu.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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English first
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

My Wife and I just got back from our trip, April 21 to 28, 2013, Amazing, I can't give anything a bad review, food, entertainment, rooms, pools, Fantastic Beach, the Beauty of this and the other 4 resorts, just Amazing, this is the best Resort I have ever been to, service top notch, people very friendly.

Room Tip: poolside rooms, stay away from elevators, or garbage areas, I heard someone complain they were near...
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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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Oshkosh WI
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I spent 9 days at the Riu Palace Punta Cana with another couple from April 15th-24th. This was our first trip to the Dominican but we have been to many all inclusives in the Riviera Maya over the last 5 years. This was also our first time staying at a Riu property. The couple we were traveling with had never before left the U.S. so everything was a first for them! We were very impressed by the Riu! Our flight into Punta Cana arrived almost an hour early which clearly made us early to the resort. We arrived at the property around 1 pm. They had the most organized check in procedure of any all inclusive we had ever stayed at an ALL of the rooms for the APPLE VACATIONS clientele were ready and waiting for us! It was fabulous! The resort in general was very clean, and absolutely beautiful! Maid service came to the rooms minimum of twice per day! Minibar was stocked the same--at least twice per day and a simple note asking for the things we drank I.e. Pepsi, Pepsi light, water and Presidente meant that they removed what we didn't use and refilled with only what we were drinking! About mid-way through our stay the couple we were traveling with had a problem with a fuse blowing in their room when they had the ceiling fan on. They mentioned it to the maid and upon return to their room the problem had been fixed! We also had a small leak develop in the ceiling from the air conditioning unit. I left a note and had towels on the floor. Same thing...returned to the room and the ceiling had been clearly patched, and no more leak! All of the staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating! I speak a little Spanish and did attempt to do so when I was able. My husband and the other couple do not and they had no trouble communicating. Just smile and be polite and you will have no problem. The beaches are absolutely the best we have seen and enjoyed spending time in the ocean! We planned on bringing our 3 teenagers along on next years trip and were planning to go to Mexico again. This trip has changed our mind and we will be heading back to the D.R. And most likely to the Riu Palace! The kids can't wait!!! P.S. if you plan to do an excursion while you are there, the Outback Safariwas wonderful! A great way to see the country and learn a lot about the country and the people! :)

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

My husband and I have gone to the Riu Palace every two years for a great relaxing vacation. We are impressed with how well the grounds are kept up and the entire hotel which holds over 200 rooms is immaculately cleaned. The maids are mopping steps from beach sand throughout the day. It is great to see new and familiar faces in Don Manuel Restaurant in which we go for breakfast and dinner. We ate at the speciality restaurants and were only impressed with the quality of service and food at the Krystal Restaurant. We plan in the future to only eat there and take all our meals at Don Manuel which has good service and you can eat on your time. A great new upgrade to the hotel is free wi-fi in the rooms. Just ask at the front desk for your user id and password. We also found that the beach waiters were more attentive than any of our 3 experiences. It might have been due to the fact that we were there during survey week. The entertainment team were high energy and spent many hours working the crowd throughout the day and evening to join and to participate in activities. We enjoyed the late morning dance lessons on the beach. Although there are new hotels that have been added to the coast, the beach that is outside the hotel is the best. It's deep from the Caribbean sea, shady or sunny and great for swimming or sunning. We will continue to cater this jewel of the Caribbean Sea.

Room Tip: Chose rooms on higher floors. The moldy smell is less or not noticeable at all.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lutz, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

I actually have referred friends to stay here and they did. So lets break it down. Gym: none. High end alcohol:none. Beautiful beach: everywhere. Pools: several nice ones. Restaurants on property: yes but some mandate reservations. Food: OK. Drinking water: everywhere and without question given freely. Any drink you want: everywhere. Be careful of what armband you get. We got one that let's us go to all the connecting resorts in this Riu chain but heard others saying they could but the staff politely stated not with that band. When you get off the plane to pick up your bags be prepared to be bombarded by a hundred people wanted your american dollar to help you to your taxi/waiting transportation. We everything arranged but still had someone wheel our wheeled bags (oh yes it's so hard to pull a wheeled bag) to the waiting car. It's quite the third world airport. On property they do their best to keep the beggars away but they are there, poverty is hidden but the people are mobile. Expect to approached if walking on the beach. They will have some vendors on property but be forewarned most of what they sell will be confiscated at the airport through customs; including those straw hats etc. if you want to be disconnected from the world, have warm breezes, humid air and rooms (our towels never dried and I live in Florida so I know about humidity) beautiful beaches, pleasant staff, fair food, tons of alcohol, and tons of sun. Go stay there. To honest most of the all inclusive s we visited while at Punta Cana were all the same concept. Enjoy.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Wyoming, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We stayed April 19 through April 26th. The resort was beautiful. We traveled with Apple Vacations for the first time and i would travel again with them it was a great experience with them. We have a great vacation. Traveled with a group of 28 people. Rooms were very clean. They had a musty smell, fabreeze would solve that. We found a little black mold in the shower. The food was descent. The specialty restuarants were great. We did tip the staff they were great especially the entertainment group, we had a great time with them. We took the free one and a half hour shopping trip to Merle(i think that's what it was called) with Amstar. They take you to a one room store. You can buy souveniers, alcohol, clothing, cigars and higher end jewelry. I did not buy jewelry there but did buy it from the vendors walking the beach. I did buy some Brugal Extra Vaejo rum. I paid $15 US dollars at this store but the same bottle was $35 US dollars at the airport. I actually found the airport Duty Free was more expensive on everything so if you are going to bring back items, gifts shop before you go to the airport.
Overall I feel this is resort is a great value for your dollar. I would stay again at this resort and recomment it to friends and family.

Room Tip: Don't get a room above the plaza. The Plaza is where lots of the entertainment happens and it c...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

Check in was a breeze, The hotel grounds, pool, beach and rooms were all to my liking.( FYI) The in room safe is small, so you wont be able to put your lap top in it. If you are bringing one buy some locks for your luggage so that you wont have any problems with theft as I did read a few reviews that mentioned being robbed. I did not have this problems. If something is of value put it away do not leave it out. Now for the room service, all they have are sandwiches and fruit. I did not have the need to use it. Moving on Wi-Fi they give you the code at check in, my device kept loosing the connection not sure why, but I did not need it to often so it was not a problem
for me. When you book this hotel they give you a bracelet which gives you access to the other Riu Hotels next door. I really liked our hotel so I only walked over to the other hotels to look around I did not hang out. They were nice also, but I think ours was the best looking.


Things I did not like,

1. The pool area does not serve snacks, only drinks. Come on Riu, you can make a small snack
menu for the pool. And there is no pool restroom. You have to walk over to a restaurant to use
the restroom and after many hours at the pool I did not see many people going in that
direction. You know what that means. And people stop putting your towel on a pool chair and
not sit in at all day.

2. I tried three of the specialty restaurant and 1 of them sucked, it was suppose to be a
Brazilian restaurant (La Bodega) Really bad food and service.
The salad bar was empty and none of the workers cared. The meat took a long time to
come out, and when it did, the worker Pedro Kept serving the same table. I was sitting for a
long time with no food on my plate.
I think he was serving certain tables because he thought they would tip more. (whatever)
When the meat finally made it to our table it was very hard not worth the wait. At this point
the buffet would have been better. The only person who was attentive at this restaurant
was a young girl (did not get her name) she who would refill your drinks as soon as it
needed. And guess who got your tip Pedro, she did.

3. The company that hangs out in the pool area Scuba Caribe they are shady especially Enrique
I suggest you book activities with blue travel in the hotel lobby. But you do have to go through
them for the hotel beach activities canoeing and wind surfing which are included.

If you have a question about the resort please ask,


The airport is 30 minutes away, And they charge 10.00 per visitor upon arrival.

  • Stayed April 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
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

Also Known As:
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel
Riu Palace Punta Cana
Punta Cana Riu Palace
Riu Palace Hotel Punta Cana
Address: Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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:
#21 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#52 Business 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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