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“Fun place” 4 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 #55 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Fun place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We had been at this hotel for a week with our family me my wife and two kids. We stood in one room room quite roomy and has a sofa bed which was quite useful. Free wi-fi was also a plus. Anyway hotel left a good impression. It big, roomy we did not need to struggle for beach spots or room at the pool. Beach is just perfect lots of palm trees, very wide and clean. This hotel won't make you to walk a lot to the beach restaurant or pool as some Punta Cana hotels do. Where you would need to take a golf cart to reach a beach or restaurant. Pool is quite big actually two pools so you can choose what fit you best. Intertaiment very good especially on Sartuday and Sunday nights. Food was good but only if you go to the buffet it was fresh good variety nice. If someone expecting and complaining that restaurants at the all inclusive hotel which cost roughly $100-120 a day per person which include food, drinks, room etc. would run a manhattan five star restaurant are quite wrong. Personally for me the main indicator of good food at this kind of resorts is buffet. I am not expecting that their sushi place some how match sushi place that I visiting in NY it just would not happen unless someone willing to shell out hefty sums. Anyway buffet at Riu was good
I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking good time and fun

Room Tip: Try to Lowell level if you don't want to deal with slow elevator
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,996 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 (592)
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013 via mobile

It has been said before, the food is subpar. It is now a week after my trip and I am still sick to my stomach and having constant diarrhea. I am thought to have giariasis. Of note, I did not use the tap water to brush my teeth but may have swallowed some in the shower.
That being said, 6 of us went for my best friend's bday. Had a BLAST! Spent time on the beautiful beach, at the pool, and did the snorkeling adventure recommended by Apple vacations. Couldn't have had a better time. Never had a problem with the front desk, making reservations, room service, etc. room was on third floor and saw no bugs ever. Grounds are beautiful; they are always cleaning!!
Would return regardless of how sick I am!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

First we arrived at 1:00 am after 14 hours of flying and hanging out in airports, and in the lobby we received the news that we did not have a room. The first hour the guy was not giving us any options, he panicked and he wasn't very helpful. Then he wanted to send us to another hotel. We complaint and after 3 hours they finally gave us a room, but obviously it wasn't the suite for which we paid. Other three families had the same issue as us. I felt very sorry for them because they were traveling with kids and imagine to be arguing with the reception guy for more than 3 hours. We were disappointed with the customer service in the reception. The hotel is beautiful, the beach is amazing but unfortunately I can not say the same thing with the customer service at the reception, the cleanliness in the buffet section and the room. I was ready to order an omelet in the restaurant Don Manuel, which is the buffet restaurant, but a lady in front of the line pointed at something coming outside from the set of plates that are "clean" and ready to be used by the guests. Then I saw two cockroaches coming from the inside of this set of plates, in front of all the food. This was really disgusting. One person behind me start singing the Mexican song "La cucaracha" (which was funny and sarcastic), and the waitresses just look at each other and they were like they did not care at all. They were just complaining that they need to fumigate, but they did not kill the cockroaches. The cockroaches went back from where they came out. The room was clean but you will also have some infestation of ants and of tinny spiders. In fact i brought some in my luggage, I guess as a souvenir. :( This hotel is beautiful but has some management problems. And YES is ALL INCLUSIVE, so don't be surprise if your food includes some of this little friends... Hahaha...

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Detroit, Michigan
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I just returned from Punta Cana 3 days ago. My group of approx. 30 people were there for 5 days and 4 nights. On a positive note, the staff was very friendly, and the beach was nice and relaxing. The negatives started upon arrival to our room 0053 (garden level). We noticed our bathroom was infested with ants. We could not unpack our toiletries because they were crawling all over the sinks, shower area, walls, and towels. The entire room and everything in it was damp and smelled like mildew. The most uncomfortable thing of all in the room was the damp bed linens. Bath towels were scarce. The cleaning crew never came to clean the room until after 3pm. The food was mediocre and unsanitary. Several people in my group including myself became sick. I had abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea for the last three days of the vacation, and still don't feel quite like myself as of yet. The shopping area and gift shop was ridiculously over priced. I was forced to pay $15.00 for a box of imodium.

Room Tip: Avoid garden level rooms. Bring snacks and nausea and diarrhea medications.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

The resort itself is beautiful and staff members were always cleaning something. The pool area with swim up bar is very nice as well. Beach area is gorgeous, probably my most favorite of the caribbean islands. The food left something to be desired. The presentation of the good was actually very nice and there was lots of it, but quality wise...not great. Everything tasted the same, over cooked, bland, etc.

The room was nice, however they need a better air conditioning system. Room was constantly "wet" making it smell very musty and nothing ever dried. In fact everything got wet in the room. Our swim wear never dried, paper work (plane tickets, etc) that I had in the room began to degrade from the humidity.

Overall, the staff were pretty good. Some excellent, some less. I think the resort has lots of potential, especially if they improve the food.

  • Stayed July 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
    • 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.
miami
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Service excellente but be-arefull with personal items left in the rooms. I was in Riu Palace Punta Cana alog with my family and some of my daughter's clothes were stolen from my room. We were from July 15th to July 23th in room 2103 so if someone of the staff read my message please pay attention of who you hire to work in this kind of resort. I did not claim anything because I did not want to put in bad situation the cleaning lady but I realize they need to do something to avoid this matter again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Merrillville, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Just returned from Punta Cana two days ago. We were there five days and four nights. This was my first visit and last to the RIU Palace. We arrived around 3 PM and was greeted by a warm staff. The lobby was grand and gave me high expectations. Check-in was relatively easy, no long wait, but we were a group of travelers, so I cannot guarantee your check-in will be the same. Make sure you get a safe key. They will come in handy for storing your extra cash and Passport or any other SMALL items you will not need while at the resort. iPads or tablets of any kind may not fit. Please don't expect them to.

ROOM: Our first room, yes first room was 0112. I would advise against getting a lower-leveled room. I'll explain that later. There were three of us in the room. So they had an enormous King Sized Bed with a Full Sized let out sofa. No issues there. HOWEVER, some of our group complained their "King Sized" bed was only two Full Sized beds pushed together. There were several couples in our group that ended up changing their rooms as a result. Really couldn't understand that concept at all. Mini-fridge had a mini-bar that, in my opinion, was adequately stocked with Soda, bottled water, and beer. Mini-bar, don't bother..very cheap liquor, instant headache waiting to happen. It was restocked rather quickly each day. The bathroom was all marble/granite. Jetted tub and shower-head extension, double sink that leaked really badly. My first shower left me cleaning up the floor, water was everywhere. I couldn't determine where it was coming from. We used all of our towels cleaning up the floor. Our room also had a stench of a mildew smell as well. Never went away. Came home, unpacked my clothes, and smelled it. The BIGGEST dissatisfier of our entire trip was when we returned from dinner the first night. We opened the door to find several roaches running around our hotel room as if they'd checked in as well. This was so not expected. We didn't quite know how to react. We immediately contacted the front desk and were assured someone would come to spray. That never happened. They also said, it was 'common' for rooms on the lower level.... The second night we came back to the room, same thing only many more were hanging out, in the bathroom, and in the wet-bar, as well as the mini-fridge. We immediately asked our friends if they'd been victim ---some were and some said no. However, they were on higher floors. When we concluded no one had sprayed, we called again around 3AM and requested to be moved to a different room when possible. We were told management would be in between 7:30 and 8:00 AM and to call back during those times to speak with a manager. We did just that and were told room changes occurred at noon. Come to front desk at that time. We came down at noon to be told to come back at 1 PM. Although a bit unnerved by this time, we did. We were given room 3108. We only saw one roach in this room. This room had two full sized beds pushed together and a sofa. No pull out like our other room to accommodate the third guest (which happened to be me). We called the front desk and asked to have another room. We didn't get a warm and fuzzy from that convo so we decided to go down instead. We were told a pull out would be provided. We showered to get ready for dinner took about an hour and 1/2, still no pull out. We went down to the front desk again, and by the time we returned from dinner, the pull out had arrived. All during our stay, we noticed stained linens and bed covers, and towels were also stained and scarce as well.

A couple other notables: pool had loose tiling, be careful. Needed constant cleaning due to bugs which I felt the staff could've done better. Towels were a positive, never an issue getting new ones. Pool overall was small with a smaller one in the middle; I would've liked to have seen more. The outside pool bar was hit or miss. Depending on the day, the drinks were great, others were mediocre at best. Go early to secure seating; otherwise you're out of luck for the entire day or will find yourself sitting in the sun way far back from the pool. The beach itself was good. Water was clear, minimal pests. Bar staff was always nice. Restaurant food, well what can you say, it's not home...you're only there a few days bring snacks that are able to be brought in your carry-on luggage to rescue you from the terrible food. I'd recommend sticking with something you know like, bread and fruit. Follow the directions and make reservations early or you'll be stuck with the buffet. Everyone in our group became sick one day or another (really upset stomachs and bouts of diarrhea). Be careful of going off the resort to eat. We were overcharged at Capt'n Cooks, when we challenged the bill, it was 'corrected'.

Overall, I will not return to a RIU resort. I know there are people around the world reading this review so let me just say this:
We were told that the roaches we saw were not like the roaches in America. I don't quite know what that means so I won't pass judgment. I do know that I didn't want any pests, whether good or not so good, running around my room at night and getting into my personal belongings. There were others in our group that complained of the same thing but were on lower levels. Those that didn't complain were on the opposite side where the restaurants were and on higher floors. Stay at your own risk but I highly recommend requesting room that's on higher floors and also on the opposite side of the restaurants.

Room Tip: Rooms on opposite side of restaurants to avoid pests.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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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:
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#49 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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