We had a horrific start to our vacation here. We were visiting for my cousin's wedding, and booked directly thru the hotel in January 2013. While booking, the hotel offered an airport transfer option which seemed reasonable and we took it. Fast forward to June, and we arrive at the airport. There are very agressive porters there who almost refuse to let you get to your bag without giving them a tip. There was no hotel kiosk at the airport, and no one had any record of our purchased transfer. We ended up paying for a taxi ($40 us) to take us the 25 minutes to the hotel. Arriving at the hotel, the front desk had no record of our reservation. Actually they had no computer, just a printed list of check ins. Luckily the lobby had wi-fi and I was able to bring up our email reciept from the Riu website, with our confirmation number. The front desk asked us to email that to them - very odd! We were then told our reservation was cancelled in April (we did not cancel) and were told we were rebooked at the hotel next door. Mind you, we were there as part of the wedding party and all events were at this first hotel. At the same time we noticed 3 other couples getting told the same story. Clearly the hotel kept selling the rooms at a higher price and cancelled the reservations of the parties with cheaper rates. At this point we were a bit irate and demanded to see the manager. The manager was also unfriendly and basically pointed us to the door. We arrived at the hotel next door and they again had no information on our reservation, and were again asked to email our reservation back to them. They then told us we were being put in a standard room at the same price we reserved for next door (they seemed like they wanted thanks for this feat) We reserved a suite next door. I informed them that this was in no way acceptable, and get someone on the phone who can make this right. After 2 hours of calls and 5 transfers between managers I spoke to a very nice lady, Larissa, who was american and was instantly appled by the situation. She immediatley spoke to the front desk and told them to upgrade us and give us acces to the original hotel so we could eat and spend time with the wedding party. The front desk clerk was visibly mad at having to do this. The room we ended up getting was in fact very nice, but the promised access to the other hotel was never delivered. We ended up having to sneak around there and have members of the wedding party get us drinks. It is a very odd system they have there, as it is 5 all inclusive hotels, but you can not wander from one to the other and be served drinks - even though the quality of the drinks is the same at all. For high points of the hotel: The jacuzzi suite was very nice. The buffet was average, and the specialty restaraunts were better than expected - and also there was no additional charge to go to them. There were also free sailboats, and the beach was quite nice. The overall value was good. Our check in ordeal alone dragged down what would have been a 5 star review. I have no idea how this hotel stays in business with local management as uncaring about the basic thing they are in the business of doing.
- 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