Riu Palace Punta Cana - November 16-23, 2013
We were a group of 4 (2 mother daughter couples) - Left Ottawa via Sunwing on November 16th at 17:00 pm - arriving in Punta Cana at 10:30 pm - Arrived at the Riu Palace around midnight after stopping at all the other Riu hotels along the way to drop off other guests. We were greeted by Gino at the front desk and check-in was pretty quick. He gave us our 2 towel carts, room key and the lock and key for the safe.
We had requested communicating rooms which we did not get but our rooms were side by side which was perfect - We were on the first floor in rooms 1047 and 1048 which were closer to the pool area. Each room had 2 beds and nice living room area with balconies facing the interior courtyard. Our fridge was replenished every two days and we also had a liquor distributor in our room (rhum, vodka, gin). We had asked our cleaning lady for more water and each day we had an extra 3 big bottles of water. Our room was always cleaned before noon and each day we had different towel art/decorations.
Reservations for the a la carte restaurants can be made each morning (inside the Italian Restaurant) - Reservations are made for the first three nights, we then went back mid-week for the remaining reservations - there were no line-ups at all. We tried the Italian (we were divided, 2 loved, 2 did not like as much), French (good), Japanese (just OK) and Steakhouse (the surf and turf was very good, the rib-eye not so much).
One evening there was a BBQ diner at the Altagracia which was delicious and the other night we went to the buffet and we found the selection very good.
Each morning we had our breakfast at the buffet where the service is excellent!
For lunch we alternated between the Altagracia, the buffet and also the buffet located at the Riu Bambu next door.
The beach is very nice, although not very big. Everyone is crowded under the palm trees for shade. If you get to the beach later than 9:00am it was very hard to find chairs (or a spot in the shade). The waves were very big during our stay (red flag) therefore we did not swim at all in the ocean. We spent the week at the pool, the pool is pretty small with a nice pool bar area. We never had problems finding chairs and there are a lot of umbrellas for those preferring the shade. We never actually had to go to the pool bar as the service around the pool is excellent. There was always someone asking us if we wanted anything. Nestor at the pool bar is fantastic.
The animation team is really good. The games would start around 10:00 am at the beach (darts, dancing lessons, bocce, etc.) and around the pool at 2:00 pm (crazy games, music, etc.). If you prefer not to join in the games and just relax this is fine they are not pushy.
After dinner, the animation team can be found in the Plaza where live music is played each night followed by the nightly shows which were not that great. There was one night where the animation team were selling CDs and we thought there were really pushy (we had bought one but the seem to insist all four of us buy one and kept coming back and insisting).
Overall we had a wonderful stay and this hotel was perfect for my mother who has a hard time walking as everything is close. One of the issues we found was that there was no elevator giving easy access to the lobby. It would be nice if an elevator was available from the Plaza, where all the restaurants are located to get to the lobby as there are a lot of stairs. The other issue we had was that the floor in the Altagracia restaurant was very very slippery (especially at lunch time with the sand and water on the floor). My aunt actually slipped and fell one night, she was very lucky and did not get hurt. The service all around was excellent, we were always greeted with a smile.
- 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