We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great staff, just OK rooms” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save
You added Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana to your Saves list
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel packages
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #54 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Kingston, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great staff, just OK rooms”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

We stayed at the RIU Palace December 7 - 14 and it was our third time back to Punta Cana. We had stayed at the RIU Taino years ago and at the Melia Caribe about five years ago. We have also stayed in Aruba, Curaco, and St. Maarten at all-inclusives.
We have been cruising a lot since then and were apprehensive about food quality going back to an all- inclusive. The food at the Palace was great. Breakfast and lunches at the buffets was good enough and we were able to go to the specialty restaurants six of the seven nights. The French was our favorite with the Italian the least.
Yes the resort rooms are getting dated. It seemed funny to use keys in the room door and safe lock. I saw other posts about theft so we always kept our safe locked with the key close to us. Our A/C cooled the room OK but near the end of the week we noticed that it wasn’t taking the humidity out of the air so everything seemed to be damp. Did not see any bugs except for the occasional ant.
Hotel staff was friendly and couldn’t do enough to help you. Of course giving small tips goes along way.
Beach and pool were clean and there were always chairs available at the beach. Yes there were some tiles missing on the pool floor but the water and pool area were clean.
We really enjoyed having after dinner drinks in the courtyard at night under the stars watching the show and the people milling around.
All in all we would definitely go back to the Palace again.

Room Tip: Rooms facing away from the courtyard were quieter at night.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Write a Review

3,049 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,246
    921
    449
    246
    187
See reviews for
721
1,472
44
34
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 (596)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
RI
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

This was our first time to Punta Cana, we normally go to Aruba for two weeks, there were many differences from the minute you landed to leaving. In Aruba we pull up to an airport and a gate, in Punta cana you get off the plane on the tarmac and board on the tarmac. One of the good things about this w/air trans is that if you are sitting in the back of the plane, you can board and leave the plane from the rear which makes it a lot quicker getting on and off and up in the air..Once off the plane everyone has to pay $10 to get into Punta Cana, you then proceed to immigrations, then go right to this area where everyone is standing around, one lady told me that this was customs, but it was where you go if you have paid for transfers to your hotel..

Upon arrival at the hotel we were greeted very nicely and there was no line or waiting. We were originally give room 1153, but did not want a room on a lower lever so we asked to be changed and they gave us room 3038, which was very nice, partial ocean view. We had no problem with our room at all, never saw any bugs or had any problems. We had read several reviews before our trip regarding this hotel and were to the point where we actually called Expedia to change our vacation, but decided to stick with it and liked it very much. We never saw one bug in our room or in any of the dinning areas..I also never saw that anyone mentioned that on each patio/balcony there is a drying rack where you can rinse your cloths and have them air dry, this i found to be very convenient. Yes the cloths we hung in the closet did come home smelling musty, but the ones we put in the dresser did not smell at all. I also like the fact that once you open the patio door the AC goes off so they are not wasting it..

The entertainment crew on the beach was excellent daily, even if you did not participate they still came and talked to you. Jose was great.. I would not consider a small room with 10 slot machines (1 broken) a casino, and the other Riu Hotel had about 30 machines and 10 tables, in the RI standards this is far from being a casino.

Shopping was limited unless you went off your resort, I could not even find a Xmas ornament with DR on it at all.

This was our first All inclusive trip, and I very much liked the fact that we did not have to worry about where or what we were going to have that night. We made reservations at the Italian Restaurant, and the steak restaurant and were invited to the BBQ one night. I liked the steak house restaurant the best. The main buffet area was nice, we were always greeted by the same people who remembered us at breakfast and dinner. We always tipped $3-$5 each meal, while we saw others leave nothing. On this island $3-$5 goes a long way, and the servers really appreciate it and will remember you..The lunch buffet was very nice as well, right near the beach, a variety of food daily..Eating buffet food did get a little sickening after about the 4th day.

The beach was beautiful at this resort, a little rough and windy the first few days. Would I go back to Punta Cana..yes, would I stay at the resort again...yes, but I would also like to try other resort where there are more than 5 specialty restaurants. Never had a problem with the free WIFi either, and this is one of the reasons we choose this resort. This was a total relaxation vacation for us..

Room Tip: ask for a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester,England
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

I will echo what others have said, this is a nice hotel has most things you could need but has dated badly, it is a large hotel and you certainly work off the buffet walking to your room and back(don't forget anything before going to the beach for the day) the buffet is fine, breakfast staff over attentive that they literally touch the table standing waiting for you to want something-very uncomfortable eating. The situation with al a carte dining is very frustrating, over a two week period we managed to get in to a nice restaurant once. Disappointing, a new system needs to be designed to make it fairer for everyone.
Rooms damp, clothes end up smelling of damp regardless of room or what you do with them - even those sealed in a bag.
Drinks usual local quality, didn't drink most evenings as quality was awful. Optics In rooms definitely not the brands on the labels...

Room Tip: Do not accept room numbers starting with 0 this is ground floor and most have bushes higher than bal...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

This place was probably the perfect hotel to go to when it was first opened, it has everything you could want for a one week all inclusive but it has dated badly. Not so badly if you compare it to a three star hotel but badly compared to a five star.
But let's start with the positive, the staff in this place is number one. The staff at the desk were very helpful and friendly, the staff in the restaurants and bars were very good, and the maid service could not do enough for you. The entertainment staff (men and women in red shirts) were a lot of fun and very energetic.
The food was good to very good, obviously at the buffet was not always perfect, some of the meat was overcooked but I guess in the tropics they like to overcook some things so as not to poison you. But there were many other things to eat that were excellent that it is hard to criticize. One night they had lamb chops that were as good as anywhere, the grill chef was making them right there and you could get them medium rare and they were great. Also had lobster tails one night that were excellent. The dessert table had many, many choices and were very good. The salads, excellent and many different kinds of bread.
The beach is excellent with many palm trees that can be used for shade and the waiters pop around every fifteen minutes asking if you want a drink, the service very good. The pool was always a hub of much activity, but if that is not your thing you can sit far enough away that you can get away from the noise.
The evening activity in the theatre bar was a lot of fun. Remember this is not Las Vegas so sometimes it's a little amateurish, but they were a lot of fun to watch.
Now the reasons this place is not perfect anymore, the worst one is the air-conditioning system doesn't work well anymore. A good system dehumidifies the air, this one doesn't, it makes the room cold and clammy, does not get the moisture out of the air so all your clothes and suitcases smell moldy and musty, since getting home we have washed our clothes twice and some things even three times to get the smell out, and I have a coat that I just bought before going that I don't think I will ever get the smell out completely. One of our suitcases might wind up in the garbage. The room was comfortable but it's time to change the couches and the bedspreads, they are too old for a five star hotel, they need new stuff. The last thing is the door slamming, the way this place is designed your neighbors door is very close to yours and when they go out or in, the door is designed to close on it's own so there has to be a way to soften the blow between the door and the door jam. It can be very annoying if you are in a deep sleep and "Whaaam" it almost throws you out of bed. Very unpleasant, you get to hate your neighbors after awhile, we got into the habit of holding the door so that it didn't slam. And we wish everyone else would too.
After all was said and done we had a great time and did enjoy the place. I`m just not sure if we will go back.

Room Tip: A room facing the fountains on a higher floor is very pleasant.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
London, Canada
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

First I would like to mention that I have stayed at 2 other RIU properties (Cabo and Costa Rica) and had amazing experiences at both these hotels. This Hotel was the WORST choice for our Honeymoon. We stayed November 20-24th 2013 (We left early). On November 23rd around 5:00pm our LOCKED safe was ROBBED. We had just come back from the beach and were relaxing before dinner. We had the do not disturb sign on the entrance door..Someone with a key to our room came into our room while we were on the balcony and stole from our LOCKED safe - my wedding band and my husband’s wallet with approx $300 cash. We immediately informed Management - their response was that they would "investigate" - nothing was done to insure our safety ETC. There are NO deadbolts on the doors so we were forced to "sleep" with a couch and dresser in front of the door (not knowing who had a key to our room). We have never felt so violated and unsafe. This is just a summary of our nightmare.....
DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL!!!! Our Honeymoon was a NIGHTMARE! *I would give it zero stars if I could*

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

We were transferred to the Riu Palace Punta Cana from an unfinished hotel and were told that although it was an older hotel it was a 5*. It certainly is not 5* and would struggle to reach 4*. On arrival it was large, colonial style but very dark. However the reception staff gave us a warm welcome and we were given a large room with a jacuzzi bath and a spiral staircase on the balcony which lead to a large sunken jacuzzi bath. However we soon realised that although it was a nice room it overlooked the delivery entrance to the hotel next door so was constantly full of wagons up and down and service vehicles.
The food in the hotel was quite nice and the entertainment was very amateurish. The lobby bar had no atmosphere and because of the dark decor felt liking waiting in a funeral parlour. Likewise the sports bar felt like a motorway service and smelt very strongly of cigarette smoke. The pool was very small for the size of the hotel and there were not enough sunbeds, it felt like they had been crammed into pathways and there were still not enough. The beautiful water features in the gardens need to be changed to swimming pools to accommodate the size of the hotel and the hotel needs a complete regeneration. After two nights we asked to be moved to a different hotel as we had not got we had expected on our arrival in Punta Cana!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

I must agree with many of the reviews on this site about the strong mold smell in the rooms. We actually asked to be moved from our first room as there was mold all around the vents. Your clothes and luggage will even smell like it when you get home.

Outside of that, the hotel is very nice and the food just mediocre for an all inclusive. Beach is amazing. Probably will stay at another resort on my next trip to the Dominican.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, BookIt.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Despegar.com, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA and Tingo so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Punta Cana Riu Palace
Riu Palace Hotel Punta Cana

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.