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“Great holiday with a few setbacks” 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 #54 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Ripley, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great holiday with a few setbacks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

The grounds are beautiful and resort a nice size to get around. Rooms are large and well decorated in comparison to several resorts we've been to. As other reviewers mentioned the rooms are a little damp, especially if the AC is off. I don't really like AC so we kept it off entirely and opened up the patio doors when in. Temperature was fine and I had brought along a room deodorizer so all was well. Certainly nothing to complain about and if you like AC I can't imagine any issues. I had requested a top floor room (we opted for pool view side) but ended up on the first level (actually 2nd floor) in room 1050. Great view of the pool and could see the ocean. It was actually the perfect location and close to beach/pool with only a quick walk up one flight. Far better than the 4th floor would have been! NO sign of bugs in our room other than one or two mosquitos in the evening. The other reviewers weren't kidding when they said noise from the hallway was noticeable. After the first few nights I got used to hearing doors close but it seems to echo down the hall and right under your door. Just as we were used to the noise we unfortunately had a couple from England with a little one who didn't want to sleep and they felt the best place for her was the hallway running and screaming at 3:30 am. Not the resorts fault- rude people are allowed to travel. Pool area was too warm for us so we spent majority of time at the beach- beautiful! Always plenty of chairs and shade whenever needed. Water was rough every day since it is on the ocean side so we didn't attempt any snorkelling. I would worry if we had brought young children with the waves and undertow. Fine for older kids and adults though, and perfect temperature. Not sure if the food or water was to blame but I was deathly sick one day and the majority of our 10 person group was feeling under the weather at least one day each. Food was good and plentiful with a great variety- probably the best at any of the resorts I've visited so far. Any complaints about variety must be used to personal butlers and chefs. We went for a Segway tour one day. It was fun to try. The tour itself was a little different than expected. We stopped at a beach to swim, another place to learn Dominican Rep. history and another swim in freshwater lagoon. Not as much Segway riding time as we were led to believe when booking, but the guides were fun and it was something new to do. Ended up being a good solid trip and I don't imaging you could go wrong booking a stay here. We don't require too much attention- sun, drinks and a clean room at the end of the day. This resort provided that and quite a bit more.

Room Tip: Interior view of garden/pool and second floor for quick walk up.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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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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)
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Saskatoon, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

We were here for our honeymoon in March,

From the second we arrived the staff were amazing.

When you enter the hotel you will be blown away with the interior. Actually like a palace. I noticed how clean, airy and bright it is.

The lobby bar is beautiful with excellent staff. There is a 24 hour sports bar off the lobby also, which is ok for late nights.

The room was large and nicely decorated. The bed was big and comfortable with a large plasma tv. The mini bar was well stocked every day and the bathroom was spotless. We had a large balcony which was lovely at night over looking the fountains and pools.

The main pool was lovely. There is nice under water seats at the pool bar. the staff were excellent and there was always music and a lot of fun activities going on.

The restaurants on site were amazing. No other way to put it.

Unlike most other all inclusive's I have been to, there is no restrictions on the alcohol. You get everything at this hotel. All top shelf whiskey and vodka. The different rums they serve were amazing.

The beech is fantastic there. clean and there is security walking around all the time.

I noticed in the mornings the grounds staff are spraying all the plants and laws to kill the mossies and other insects. And it is very noticeable that there is nothing biting you.

I have noticed a lot of negative comments here, but I guess some people will find problems with everything, no matter what.

We loved it and so did everyone we spoke with at the hotel

Also, the buffet restaurant was the best I have ever experienced

Room Tip: Ask for the pool view
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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.
Orchard Park
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

Pardon the use of a term we used extensively when we were asked "como esta", but this describes our trip to the RIU Palace. This is our 5th trip to Punta Cana, and our 8th to the Dominican Republic. We were there from April 9-16, 2014. This is our first visit with the RIU Resorts. Our effortless arrival found us with a couple of welcoming drinks at the reception desk. We were given room 2080 easily reached from the lobby with the elevators and we settled in our nicely appointed jr. suite. Nothing ostentatious, but cool, clean and fresh. No evidence of reported musty odors. We changed and went exploring the wonderful grounds. The palace motif was in evidence throughout the resort without being tiresome. The Altagracia Restaurant, which we frequented for lunches, as we stayed on the beach, had two 'towers' where one could enjoy a meal overlooking the beach or the pool area. That night I found out that we were too close to the ice machine and I had some difficulty sleeping. When I reported this to the desk the next morning, the manager apologized and said to return to the desk at 1 PM when they would arrange a room switch. When we got there they asked us to go and inspect the room and see if it met with our approval. Room 2143 was fine with a better view and far removed from the offending ice-machine. Our chambermaid was as adept as our previous at the towel sculpture, and at keeping us clean and well hydrated. She was in-obtrusive and thorough, taking the time at night to turn down our bed! Because of her importance to our well-being she was always tipped well every day during our stay.
One of the highlights of our trips to this country are the wonderful people who help you during your stay. The waiters and waitresses have a great sense of humor, and are always teaching me Spanish terms for everyday items. Our conversations often produced pictures of their wives and children. Jose Miguel, Henry , and Oman are a few of the people we tended to gravitate to in our visits to the restaurants. Delightful and always with a smile, we never had to ask more than once for anything, and often they anticipated our habits. Here as well we never failed to tip, and were never disappointed.
The food here, in our opinion was some of the best we have experienced in the Dominican. We loved the Krystal Restaurant which was inventive. Delightful shot glasses of beet as well as squash gaspacho, were a pleasant surprise. Luigi's and La Bogeda were also very good. Go make reservations for the specialty venues right after breakfast, and you should be fine. The buffet dinner are really the best in my opinion. While they seem to have a major theme, there are always food that anyone could enjoy such as pizza, pasta, tacos, chicken, soup. Some of my favorites: green olives (light brine with maybe a little olive oil?), smoked salmon, wonderful, wonderful jumbo shrimp, mussels, paela (?), duck, lamb, turkey, chorizo, beef stir-fry, spaghetti, and pasta (we have adopted their way of saute'ing their pasta with sauce instead of ladeling it on the top as we see so many times in the States), pate, olive loaf, cheddar, blue cheese, cheddar, Anything you can imagine for breakfast, and if you smile pleasantly, and its so easy to smile here, you can get that egg done over easy! Passion fruit must have been in season, as it was in abundance. Plenty of papaya, watermelon, pineapple, cantalope, juices, yogurt, fresh breads and rolls, pastries. At lunch and dinner, we couldn't resist a few pieces of attractively fabricated desserts.
The drinks are all respectable brands,, Jack, Beam, Ballantine's, JW Red Label.Mohito's are good!
We spent most of our time on the beach. We would often walk for over an hour along the beach in the morning. The water was warm and clean. Sunrises are spectacular, and I woke up at 5:30 to scramble down to the beach to catch them. Out of 7 days, three were spectacular. Waiters ply the beach with cries of "drinky, drinky" and a tray of libation to keep you refreshed. The action-packed pool area was beautiful, but too busy for us.
Evening held either adult music for dancing or listening, and a carnival which we missed as were were enjoying conversation on the plaza.
We actually ran into another couple from our town who ended up here as well. What a surprise! This was their first trip to D. R. and they were amazed at how beautiful it is.
We really loved this resort and anticipate another trip here in the near future. There were no disappointments only pleasant surprises. I haven't downloaded my pictures yet so I may have an addendum in the future!

  • Stayed April 2014, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, Michigan
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

First off our room had a view of a very nice shiny white roof.(2081) I asked for a room change and was told to come back tomorrow. Moved to 2065 and had a nice view. Food was good even though we only went to the buffet. Drinks were good and all the service staff were outstanding. As far as the pool goes, too many kids playing around the bar area as there is not anything to separate kids and adults. Met lots of great visitors like Brian and Marianne from Thunder Bay. Had one day near the pool a drunken pain in the butt guy was bothering every girl there. I told him to hit the road but he kept coming back. I REALLY had enough of the guy when he asked a nice young gal from West Virginia why she had her tattoo. After her answer he called her a F in idiot. The bar staff didn't do anything and told me to go to front desk, once there it was another 10 minutes before security showed. Everyone wanted to turn a blind eye. Shopping is limited and over priced. My wife had a little problem and wanted to buy Imodium, the clerk opened the box pulled out a foil back of 6 pills and said....$14 please, well they got you balls because we forgot to pack it. The entertainers during the day around the pool don't bug you for participation. During the evening the male entertainers are way too aggressive. All in all I would visit this resort again.

Room Tip: Room 2081 has no view of anything green
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana from March 21st thru the 26th, 2014 and absolutely loved it! I was a little apprehensive after reading some other reviews, but am happy to say we had no issues at all! Our room was spotless and had absolutely NO musty smell or bugs. We were on the 2nd floor overlooking the gardens (not on the plaza side) and it was so quiet and peaceful, as well as being larger than we expected and beautiful. The bed was so comfortable and we always had enough clean towels, soap, bottled water, etc. The staff was friendly and helpful- very attentive! The swim up bar/pool was often crowded, but we weren't there for the pool (although we did spend a very small amount of time there and found it to be very clean and well kept) and spent our days lounging, walking, and enjoying drinks on the stunning beach! We were always able to find chairs and the ocean breeze made the temperature perfect every day! The food at the buffets were good considering the large quantities that had to be prepared (the only thing we didn't care for was the desserts, but so many other things to eat it didn't matter). We did make reservations at the themed restaurants right away our first morning for our entire stay- very easy to do! I loved the Italian and my husband couldn't stop raving about the Japanese (and he is a picky eater!). Being able to walk safely from resort to resort along their well lit boardwalk was a nightly excursion that was much appreciated. The shows at the resort may not be Broadway caliber, but they were pretty good and perfect people watching opportunities! One thing my husband did learn is that when they tell you to be ready to board the airport shuttle at a specific time, they mean it! We walked into the lobby with about 5 minute until our scheduled pick up time and they were already looking for us and ready to go! We absolutely loved our stay at the Riu Palace Punta Cana and would definitely recommend it!

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room at night, make sure to get a room on the garden side, not facing the plaza.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

First impression:
We stayed at the resort from April 6th-April 13th and the resort was beautiful! We arrived at approx 3pm and check in was a breeze, one of the easiest I have ever experienced.We were originally given the 2nd floor but had requested a top floor and were changed with no problem. I traveled with my best friend and my parents and they were able to give us two rooms two doors down from eachother which was very nice. The rooms were very clean and the musty smell that some have complained about did not seem to be a problem for us. There were shiny granite looking countertops in both the room and the bathroom, it looked very fancy. They also had a fully stocked refrigerator and alcohol dispensers on the wall which we never used because there were so many places to get a drink throughout the day and night. I can't speak to the drink quality personally because I do not drink but my parents and friends seemed to enjoy a variety of alcoholic beverages. Our balcony overlooked the Plaza which is where they have music and dancing at night. It was very nice.

Food: The food was pretty equal to any other resort you go to when it comes to the buffet. You are able to make dinner reservations for three days in advance for the specialty restaurants. We ended up only eating at the Japanese and Italian which were both good. One night they had a beach bbq that we were invited to at the restaurant by the beach, they had a dj and dancing after dinner, what a fantastic night that was! We could have eaten at the others but time restrictions for reservations made it more difficult for us. All in all the food was okay. The best part of eating in the buffet was the service. Everyone is so kind and attentive. We had the same waitress everyday and by the second day she memorized what we liked to drink and always found a table for us in her section. Her name was Annie and she was the sweetest! Her smile brightened my day!

Resort: The resort grounds are so well kept and just beautiful! The fountains lining the walkway down to the pool and beach were so pretty! The one downside would be for people that like pools because the resort only has one pool that is usually pretty crowded because that is where the swim-up bar is. I never swam in it because it wasn't important to me. I didn't come for the pools I came for the beautiful turquoise blue water at the beach!

Beach: The beach is beautiful. The water is the most crystal clear blue water I have ever seen and I have done alot of traveling throughout the Caribbean. We got to the beach every day between 10-11 and never had trouble finding four chairs. There were staff members on the beach that would help you find chairs if you didn't see enough together and they would drag them over to wherever you wanted to set up. Again I can not say enough good things about the staff! Throughout the day waiters would walk around the beach with a tray of non-alcoholic drinks that they would add alcohol to if you asked. We never ordered specific drinks from them but I am sure you could have. We were just happy to have someone bringing around cold drinks, we weren't too picky! And if we wanted something special the pool bar was a short distance away.The waves in the ocean were steady but not too high, the water felt amazing!

Staff:
AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING! They work so hard!! We brought alot of ones for tipping, it is not required or expected but very well deserved. We gave everyone a few bucks every time and they were pleased.

Activities: There were non-motorized activities included with the resort that we did not take advantage of. We did however go on a banana boat ride which was so much fun! We also decided to go parasailing, that was great as well.

Nightlife: There was a show every night in the Theater. The first night we were there it was the Michael Jackson show which I would highly recommend! It was one of the best shows I have ever seen and it was so much fun! There was also a Dominican show where there were Dominican dancers dressed in beautiful costumes, this was also a great show. One night there was karaoke which unfotunately we missed but we could hear it from our balcony and it sounded like alot of fun. Also before and after the show members of the hotel Animacion team would be in the Plaza to dance with the guests. It was alot of fun and we met some really great staff members. Our favorites were Cartier and someone they called "Sexy Johnson" funny name but really nice guy. They were so friendly and so much fun! Our only complaint would be that pretty much everything dies down around 11pm. Being in our mid 20's we would have liked a little more nightlife activity. On Thursday night there was something they called the Caribbean street party that was going on at a neighboring Riu. We decided to walk down to it it was approx a 7 min walk. (There are 4 Riu hotels in the same area, all in a row and it's very safe to walk back and forth) The Caribbean street party was alot of fun. Dominican music playing with a bunch of staff members from all Riu properties dressed in there street clothes dancing. It was so entertaining to watch! Some of the best dancing I have seen. After the street party was over they led us into a nightclub that is called Disco Pacaa. It is part of one of the other Riu properties, they play mostly dominican music with a mix of some American music as well. We had a great time and met alot of nice people. We wished we had found out about it before because it is open until 4am so it is great for the night owls like us. We went for our last 3 nights!

CAUTION!!

All in all our vacation was wonderful right up until 10 minutes before our transportation arrived to pick us up on Sunday. My friend and I went to the bar to get a last minute drink and decided to take a few pictures. I had both my camera and my ipad so I set my camera on the bar chair behind me while my friend used my ipad to snap a picture. (I am a huge picture taker and aspiring photographer) Anyway I walked around the corner to where my parents were sitting in the lobby and set my stuff on the table. I immediately realized I didn't have my camera and ran around the corner only to find that my camera was gone! I asked the bartender and he said he hadn't seen it. It was around 1 in the afternoon so there weren't very many people inside. While we were at the bar there was only one other person sitting there listening to music. By the time I rounded the corner both that person and my camera were gone so I can only guess that he is the one who took it. I was and still am absolutely devestated. The memory card in the camera contained approx. 5000 images, many of which I will never see again. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from the 7 nights of our trip anymore. I took so many beautiful photos and had others take photos of my friend and I parasailing something that we may never have the oppurtunity to do again. I was in tears! Within that five minutes that I was looking for my camera our transportation came to pick us up to bring us to the airport. I went to the front desk and told them about the camera and they said no one had turned it in. I gave them all of my contact info but never heard another word from them. I would have liked to file a report with security but our driver could not wait. I e-mailed the hotel Monday explaining the situation and never got a response. I then called last evening and they said no one had turned it in. When I said I was pretty sure it had been stolen and that I wanted to speak to security I was placed on hold, then transferred around a few times until I sat and listened to the phone ring 35 times and had no one answer. I am very unhappy with the fact that no one is willing to help me. Before this happened my friend and I already discussed our return trip next year and we planned on staying at the same hotel. Again I have no complaints about the hotel itself but rather the lack of concern about my camera being taken and the fact that no one has called me back or responded to my e-mail. My camera was not inexpensive but I know it can be replaced. What can not be replaced are the pictures on my memory card that I will never get back. No one else took photos on this trip :-( I also had pictures of my nephew's 1st birthday and Christmas photos that I did not have saved elsewhere so those memories are lost as well. I have cried everyday since I have gotten home and could not sleep all night last night because I was so upset. SO PLEASE I URGE YOU WATCH YOUR BELONGINGS AT ALL TIMES!! I am so disappointed in the person who stole my camera, they have no idea how devestating of a loss they have made me suffer because of this.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudson
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

I just stayed here from April 9 - April 13 with 4 other friends. We had a wonderful time. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Our room was great, the buffet was wonderful and the waiters were fabulous. They treated us like gold :) The pool was extremely clean and the beach was crystal clear. The 24 hour sport bar was very nice as well. I will definitely be back!

Room Tip: We had the junior suite on the 2nd floor. No complaints at all
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 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 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
#41 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 
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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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