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“Great Vacation Spot!” 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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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #52 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Chester, Virginia, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great Vacation Spot!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

We chose Riu Palace based on the photos, and were quite impressed as the photos did an excellent job of depicting the facilities. We are beach people and the beaches here were excellent. I was a bit surprised to find that we were on the Atlantic as the waters were reasonably calm. The Junior suite was just the right size and was equipped with a full bar (we are non drinkers) & refrigerators. The entire staff worked tirelessly to ensure we were having an excellent vacation. All of the restaurants were very good, but we preferred the buffet for most of our meals as it offered a great selection on meats and seafood. I did find that everything was cooked "well done"and I quickly realized it was a cultural thing as I attempted to get the chef to give me a steak off the grill and he went to the one that was cooked the most! Two recommendations I would have are that the property needs to update the equipment in the fitness center. Ellipticals, treadmills and stair climbers have all seen their better days and the food in the 24 hour sports bar leaves a lot to be desired. We would definitely return!

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the end of the resort on the third floor. Beach view!
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  • Stayed May 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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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (520)
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I was a little underwhelmed and I feel guilty saying it, like its a rich people problem. The hotel itself is lovely, the employee's are great. My problem with the place (and this may be a symptom of the whole strip) was a disconnect, the hotel is like a beautiful guided cage, there is the feeling of being completely separated from the local culture in some disneyesque cocoon, with the addition of armed guards on the beach. Some people may buy into this highly contained environment, I found it sanitized and a barrier to experiencing the land and its culture in a natural way. Give me a little 60's styled hotel on a quiet beach in Cuba any day.

While your there have a look at the neighbouring RIU hotels, holy #$%^& do they lower the food standards!! Its heartless how the RIU sells the dream.

If you get the chance head out in a boat cab (or cab-cab) to Captain Hooks for a real taste of the Caribbean with fresh fish and huge lobsters, and other Dominican ppl.

BTW - LOVED the dune buggy excursion.

Room Tip: dont worry about an ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We just left the DR and had a great time great people. Traveled May 23-28. To be honest I feel bad that I have to report this information but here it goes. The first day we checked in we were given a room with double beds (I traveled with my wife). They changed the room immediately with no problem that room number was 0009. Next we were given room 0023 ( I think that was the number), anyway the room was fine clean and didn't smell. Actually they do a terrific job cleaning the rooms as well and making art with the towels! However, when we went out to the clubs that night and came back to the room I turned on the bath room light and 2 small black baby roaches one was crawling the sink and the other near the mirror. I was able to kill one but the other one crawled behind the mirror. I keep the tissue with the dead roach and left the lights on for the night. The next day we walked to the front desk to report the matter. They immediately gave us a new room 2049 and I was fine clean as all the rooms we had were. However, the front desk staff wasn't too concerned with the issue at first they looked at us as if they didn't believe us then when I showed them the roach they just changed the room still as though this may be common! The worst roach siting was at the when my wife show an adult roach crawling around the plates in the buffet resurant next to the omelete station! I thought she was just kidding until I saw one myself the very next day in the same spot! Again reported this on the day we were leaving and the front desk worker was not concerned. On the plan a passenger to me that he had heard a guest at his hotel complaining about the same thing so I'm guessing there is a roach problem in the resorts in general and not just at the RIU. It grossed us out but hey we still had to eat. I just drank wine to kill the grems! LOL Managment do something about the roaches please!

Room Tip: Check for roaches. They have ants too but that's understandable but roaches no!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

I don't know how anyone can say this is a five star hotel. I found a huge cockroach in one of the junior rooms, i was then given the beautiful deluxe suite... little did i know, the room was infested with MORE cockroaches (big, small) everywhere i would walk i would see cockroaches all over the floor running under the furniture. The food was eatable but me and my friend both got very sick. Acidity in our stomache. We both threw up & had indigestion. Our stomaches were just upside down. We couldn't eat anything anymore. Everyday was the same food. Even the ALACARTE resto's had the same food, just presented differently. The maid did a very bad job at cleaning our rooms and we used to give good tip! She never washed the sheets. As soon as we got there we noticed our bed sheets dirty & smelly. We had to literally strip the bed so that she would have no choice to give us clean sheets. My friend got her chanel makeup powder stolen... the glasses has lipstick stains on them... it was ridiculous, a pure nightmare. Last but not least, our shower head wasnt working in our first room, they kept telling us it was a general problem except this went on for 6 days and we were there for 7. We were stuck taking a bath every day. The only shower we were able to take was in the DELUXE suite but that was an even bigger nightmare. I would not reccomend this hotel to anyone. It's unfortunate because i was told that it was a very popular resort, but after my experience i will never feel the same about RIU.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
umalas, bali
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

I went to the Riu Palace with my lady who has been on many cruises. It is more my style to stay in hotels and explore the pace I'm vacationing at. Having said that I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed our six days at the Riu Palace.

The staff went out of its way to satisfy their guests. they are all charming young people supporting families or going to college. They are well trained and are happy to have a job in the hotel industry.

i read a few reviews that claimed that the staff was rude. I doubt this is the case. I watched them interact with the guests and never saw a single incidence of rudeness, or even them talking about the guests in a negative way amongst themselves.

the food surpassed my expectations; I live in Las Vegas and have access to many restaurants of different price ranges and ethnicities. The specialty restaurants (for which one must book a dinner reservation in the morning) were all fine. The service was excellent.

Tipping...what is wrong with these guests. Can't they leave a tip for a waiter or someone providing a service. The staff , contrary to spme comments, do not wait around for tips, not do they act like they expect one. They have a good idea how much they will earn at the end of the week, just as staff at a Las Vegas restaurant does. Just because it is "all-inclusive" does not mean that you can't put aside money for tips. Just my opinion.

I suggest that you book the airport transportation when you book the hotel. It is reasonable. I think it was $45.00 for the two of us, both ways. It appears to me that the tour company that does the airport run want a chance to sell a tour to the guests. That is a smart way to get the guest to their desk in the morning, instead of the many competitors.

In fact we booked a zipline tour that was great fun. Gabriel from VIP Tours was very amiable and pleasant to work with; so were the people at the zip line as well as the guide on the open small bus that took us through very scenic countryside.

The staff also worked hard to entertain the guests, but coming from Las Vegas these shows were delightfully amateurish. The staff had a great time doing the shows and drew the audience into their enthusiasm.

I would highly recommend this hotel and VIP Tours.

  • Stayed May 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

I just returned from a trip to your Punta Cana Palace last night and honestly could not believe what a horrendous experience we had. I traveled with 5 other adults in our 40's to your place on Thursday March 28 and returned yesterday, April 1, 2013. I don't even know where to begin with all the problems we had!!

I am sincerely hoping that your company will make things right with us so that we can get the terrible experience out of our minds. I have traveled and stayed at RIU properties before and can not BELIEVE that this is one of your properties!!! We had a fantastic time in Jamaica and another guest traveling with us had an awesome experience at a Riu in Mexico. After dealing with what we experienced in the Dominican Republic, we will never return to another Riu property unless this is rectified and with all the social media these days word of mouth can be your best, or in this case your worst form of advertising.

Let me begin……
First, we had asked for rooms on a high floor due to Asthma that two of the guests in our party suffer from (including myself). We were given a room on the first floor which is not, in my mind, a high floor. The musty smell in the rooms permeated everything! One of the couples in our party had mold all over their ceiling. It was absolutely disgusting! The ceiling was leaking rain due to the heavy downpours, which I don't understand when you have rooms above and below you? We called for help at the front desk and were FINALLY sent a maintenance man, of course no manager, who was so rude and annoyed to be fixing it that when we tried to take photos of the mess, he kept throwing a clean towel over as to block us, calling us "loco" which we are fully aware of its meaning. We watched and smelled rank water and other mold falling out of the tiles. He then left without fixing anything at all leaving the ceiling tile open and a wet disgusting mess on the floor (we have pictures.) We at least asked to be transferred to another room and no response. We also asked for someone to mop up the mess, and no one ever showed up to clean the room. At this point we asked through our travel agent and through the hotel themselves to be transferred to another Riu property and of course, there were "no more rooms anywhere."

The first night we arrived there was a heavy downpour and there were NO signs saying it was slippery. I fell on the hard tile, hit my elbow, tailbone and back of head and was actually LAUGHED at by the employees there!!! I am appalled!! They did not care that I hurt myself at all and basically told me to "suck it up." I was bruised and sore the rest of the trip. Furthermore, on the last night there- Sunday night, one of the other wives with us also fell and slammed her elbow due to slippery conditions that were again, NOT MARKED! She can't even straighten her arm and it may be broken. We have pictures of the swollen elbow as well as pictures of the wet hallways with NO signs warning the patrons it is slippery. This is a dangerous way for any guests to hurt themselves and your staff simply seems unconcerned and uncaring.

When we asked to speak to a manager the next day (they always told us he was not in) we asked to be moved to another resort due to the LACK of CUSTOMER SERVICE. And at the very least, we wanted to spend the day at the Bavaro or Macao hoping the customer service would be a little better at one of these resorts. We called twice to our agent in the US to try to be moved and they told us that they would need to speak directly to the hotel manager who flat out denied our request. I don't understand why you would want to keep a guest at your property if they are unhappy and trust me, all 6 of us were miserable!!! We went to try to speak with him (Neils Aloserry) again. He was obnoxiously rude to us! When we asked for his name he refused to tell us. We then asked for his business card, and he flat out said no and pushed (physically pushed) us out of his office!!! How dare one of your employees lay a hand on a woman and treat a guest like that?????? We should have taken legal action at that point.

During our stay we called our travel agent twice to try to have this resolved and as we were leaving, they informed us that we owed an additional $150 dollars for the phone bill! We kindly asked to have it removed due to the fact that if we hadn't had such bad service and an all around horrible experience at the Riu Palace we would not have been forced to make phone calls to our travel agent. Your front desk staff was screaming at one of the husbands with us and when we asked to speak with Neils again, he refused to come out of his office. When he finally did, he was just as ignorant and rude as the front desk staff.

Your management and staff at that hotel is so disappointing especially knowing how it SHOULD be. Your company should be ashamed employing people who treat guests like all 6 of us were treated multiple times during our stay. Below I have included quotes from things I read about your company directly on your website. On the Punta Cana Palace website, it talks of "service and luxury" neither of which we experienced. These quotes below were directly cut and pasted into this email, I did not alter or change any font or it's size and I find it ironic that the two issues we had are the first two things I read! If you stand true to your statements and company philosophy, I know you will do something to remedy our experience and make us believe in the RIU company and what it stands for again.

Room Tip: Higher floors aren't as musty smelling
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

What more can you say about a hotel that has excellent service by the happy staff, great food in the restaurants, good entertainment, great lunch time beach side restaurant where there is room to sit and play scrabble -with a view!!

All in all you cannot fault the Riu hotels and if anything does go wrong it is put right straight away - they cannot do enough for you!

One tip if you are a smoker don't buy cigarettes in the hotel $10 or Caribbean street $6 per packet. On the beach turn right and walk down to the two Iberostar hotels, by the Volleyball nets go between the two hotels and there is a Caribbean street with a duty free shop that stocks alcohol, perfume and cigarettes for $33 per carton.

  • Stayed February 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 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 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
#46 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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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Punta Cana Riu Palace
Riu Palace Hotel Punta Cana

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