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“"WORST VACATION EVER" DO NOT STAY AT THIS RESORT!!!!!!!!!” 1 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
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“"WORST VACATION EVER" DO NOT STAY AT THIS RESORT!!!!!!!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

I booked a trip to punta cana with delta vacations at the riu palace from 5/19/13 to 5/25/13 this was supposed to be a special trip 11 of us went three friends graduated grad school so they really wanted to celebrate where do i start this vacation was terrible from the start when we arrived at THE RIU PALACE the rooms weren't ready and im used to the riu palace smelling a little weird because ive stayed at the palace in Cancun as well as Jamaica but this smell was terrible it smelled like dirty old wet mop we didn't have clean towels for two days they never changed the sheets i even put makeup on the sheets and they still didn't change them don't even get me started on the bed bugs ....... we had a plate of old chicken bones in the fridge so ants wont get to it and when they came to stock the fridge they didn't even move the plate they left it there for two days the bartenders kept making the wrong drinks know one there could speak English they served the same food everyday for breakfast,lunch and dinner and the food was GROSS they kept making watery eggs the breakfast was so bad that i stood behind the stove moved the chef out of the way and started making omelets for me and my friends as well as other guest oh and did i mention we all got food poisoning after the fourth night our meals consisted of french fries and nacho cheese that's all the 11 of us eat for the remainder of the vacation after we were sick the hotel charged us for coconuts which i didn't understand in Jamaica they gave them to us for free then when we went to the casino they charged us for jose cuervo and were rude as hell we tried to order room service and they kept hanging up on us it took all week to get a avocado and i had to beg for it the restaurants are terrible and three of my friends shared a room and got Eaten alive by BEDBUGS they would not change the room either the staff really didn't care ....,the delta agent thats suppose to have our transfers taking care of had it all screwed up they need to burn down the riu palace punta cana and start all over again all in all if i could get my money back from this trip i would i was embarrassed because it was my trip and these were my friends and we did not enjoy our selves we suffered..


Pearl Casher

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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
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English first
Dayton, Ohio
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We stayed from April 20th - 27th. We're giving an excellent rating because the Riu delivered everything we expected. Service was great, staff was friendly, food and drink was exactly what we thought it should be, resort was clean and well maintained.

When I look at some of the negative reviews for this property, particularly when someone says the staff was rude, I just can't believe that the people stayed at the same resort we did. Our housekeeper, Anna, gave us a hug on our last day! This was our ninth trip to an AI (fifth in PC) and that has never happened before.

The Riu Palace Punta Cana regularly ranks right in the middle of the pack among the PC resorts. Sure you can get better everything, but you'll pay for it as well. Considering the price we paid this was one of the best values we've ever had on a vacation. Our first trip to an AI was a Sandals in Jamaica (supposedly the highest rated AI chain.) We paid two and a half times as much as the RIU, and got half the service. We highly recommend the Riu Palace Punta Cana.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
aberdeen
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

I have used Riu hotels for the past 8 years and will never go back to the Dom Rep. Not ever. We were there for 14 nights and it was for the most part a nightmare for me.

On arrival, despite paying Thomsons £140 extra for a sea view room, we were given a ground floor room with no sea view whatsoever; in addition the room had not been cleaned - one drawer was full of the previous guests used elastoplasts; our daughter's room was also dirty and the bath was missing chunks of enamel. The reception manager was rude to us when we complained, blamed Thomsons for promising seaviews and then changed our rooms the following day. I would advise people never to pay for a seaview room because the rooms either looked out on the courtyard or on to the neighbouring hotels and none have what I would define as a true sea view. The lift between floors was broken more often that it was working so getting to our top floor room was a bit of a struggle. Whilst the maid service could not be faulted in our room, our daughter's maid service was less than satisfactory. We got a queen size bed in our room, she had two double beds in her room. In addition, on three separate days, we returned to our rooms at teatime to find no water to wash with or to flush the toilet. Water problems were throughout the hotel but were rectified after about 30 minutes. Water problems were intensified for me because I became ill about two days after arrival with gastrointestinal upsets. My family also became ill but not as day as I did. So were lots of other guests. Everyone I spoke to had been ill at some point during their holiday. Despite repeat starvation periods for either 24 or 48 hours, when I ate again I became ill again and this continued throughout the 14 day holiday. The Thomsons's rep called one day to see if we were enjoying the holiday and he made no comment at all when my husband told him about me being ill.

Several possible reasons. Guests were urinating in the main pool repeatedly. I watched men at the pool bar drinking all day and never once leaving the pool. Some admitted what they did. Food was well presented but tasted awful, even in the so called speciality restaurants. We tried the Italian and the Brazilian and I thought both were disgusting. Fish was always undercooked (and I don't mean Sushi) or raw in the buffet restaurants. Beef was either undercooked,dripping with blood or so overcooked it tasted like rubber. My daughter ate almost nothing for the first week. We met guests who ate mashed potatoes 2 weeks. Fresh fruit selection was good. I noticed that the containers of juice at the pool bar (used to make cocktails and slush drinks) were switched off at night, not emptied, were left to fester in the heat overnight and were then topped up and switched on at 8 am the following day. I also saw a maid on our last day cleaning the communal toilets at the reception area with the same type of bath towels we were given to dry ourselves - mops don't seem to exist there. No wonder I became ill if this is what's going on. (When I returned home my GP surgery said that Typhoid is rife in the Dom Rep and a week after coming home I still have diarrhoea. Money does not appear to be safe even if kept in the room safe. We noticed that $100 went missing from the room safe and my daughter said that many of the friends she met noticed that $10 or $20 would be stolen from their room safes on a daily basis so all of us started to lock money in our suitcases then there were no more incidents of theft.

Not much positives I'm afraid. Resort was well presented and looked beautiful. I didn't see any roaches or bad bugs - did see lovely birds including pelicans as well as butterflies, occasional lizards and millipedes. Beach and ocean are lovely. Don't expect crystal clear or calm water as the resort is on the Atlantic ocean, not the Carribbean sea, so there are powerful waves. Mini bar and optics are replaced daily and the bar man will provide drinks, eg diet pepsi or 7up to suit your preferences. The entertainment staff work long hours and do a great job but the shows being laid on each night have not changed in 8 years - each Riu presents the same shows, no matter which island you visit, so there is room for improvement here. The excursion to Saona Island (out by speedboat, beach barbecue and return journey by catamaran) was really good. (Thomsons's charge $189, Scuba Caribe did almost identical trip for $89; and I have been on the Thomson's trip previously so am in a position to compare). I couldn't go on any other excursions due to being ill and actually took lots of money home with me (first time ever). My daughter went horse-riding and did the dune buggy trip and loved both of them.

This is the last time I will go to Dom Rep. My experience in Puerta Plata 8 years ago was the same as far as food poisoning goes (in fact the rep called it the Puerta Plata splatter) and against my better judgement we returned as we thought the island is beautiful and the people so friendly. We have been to Riu hotels in Mexico (Cancun and Playacar), as well as in Ocho Rios in Jamaica - none of them were Palace hotels, all were club hotels - and they were far superior to the Riu Palace Punta Cana. It must be Riu standards in the Dom Rep that are the problem as people we spoke to at the airport on the return journey who stayed in different hotels did not have any problems and really enjoyed their holiday. Sorry for being so negative - I don't enjoy reading or writing negative reviews but if you have not already booked a holiday my advise would be to go someplace else.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on the 3rd floor (top), if you want a view. Courtyard view rooms are noisier than the...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

We traveled May 26-31. I work with the public and understand it is hard to please everyone. This place does not even try.

The food was not labeled you might think you are getting mash potatoes when you are getting mashed turnips. The food was so bad all my family would eat was the snacks we brought with us. In the Don Manuel yes has ROACHES.

The rooms had a smell that I will never forget. There was a water leak in our bathroom and the repair man said no problem but never fixed it. Dripping water can keep you up all night. It was coming from the upstairs bathroom.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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.

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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#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
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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