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“My first day at the Palace” 5 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 #52 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
“My first day at the Palace”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere that had everybody smiling at you and wanting you to smile back at them? Where everybody was so happy that they couldn’t have a single care and could drink all day, eat whenever they want, bask on the beach sand until they couldn’t imagine a day of responsibility and practically live in a paradise of their own?? Well, if you’ve ever dreamt that a place could exist where you could indulge for as long as you could stay there, you need not wait for heaven anymore!! Just find your favorite beach city and reserve a stay at an ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT. I don’t care which one, as long it’s a reputable hotel at a city that you would like to visit. Right now, I am writing you from the suite of a palace in the great land of Punta Cana, in the country of Dominican Republic, where I’ll be for the next 6 days, and I couldn’t be more happy to not think a lick about work, life back home, or the fact that my phone signal has a big red X next to where the bar indicator should be. I don’t care! My grandmother used to hate me saying that phrase, but I think that if I were ever able to share this experience with her, she’d be on the beach right now jamming to Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” drinking mimosas, sunrises, or whatever else tickled her fancy until I had to come find her and drag her back to her room…

Did I forget to mention that I drank out of my first coconut that just so happened to come from a tree right outside my room? Could this place really be this hot?

Honestly, this place is really that hot! From the natural surroundings of coconut trees, beautiful landscapes, the finest sand I’ve ever seen in my life, and beach water that feels like I could literally see all the way back to Africa, I really couldn’t be happier… But then they added the aesthetic of the Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana, a very Spanish influenced castle with the best layout stocked with royal paintings on walls, busts that could only compare to Caesar’s Palace, heavy wooden doors with real keys, and marble tops on everything except the hardwood furniture to make me feel like I am somewhere fit for a king. Then they didn’t stop there. This place is all-inclusive which means that all I need is a wrist band for access to all the parties, all the bars, all the restaurants, all the whatever-the-hell-else they have here that I haven’t found out because it’s still my first day. And they have a mini-bar in the room that they restock every two days! With 4 bottles dispensing liquor that real people actually drink! And 24 Hour FREE room service!! Who does that? I mean, really? Anyway, this place is the next best thing to paradise, only a rich person should feel the way I feel right now. I am in my room but I may as well be on the dance floor because the DJ near the pool is going to be spinning until 4am, everything from Notorious BIG to Calvin Harris to merengue… Tomorrow is going to be the first FULL day here, so as long as I’m coherent, you’ll get a much better depiction of what it’s like to stay at an ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT hotel, but even if I were leaving in the morning, I’d say this experience was well worth living 30 years before taking my first trip out of the country…

Room Tip: Don't exchange your Dollars at the airport!! It's a rip-off!! Go to the nearest bank where t...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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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
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Long Island
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

RIU Palace lobby is welcoming
& beautiful. Super fast check in. Thanks Nelson for changing our room. Different view. No charge. A/C wasn't working right. Thanks to William the room was cool in no time. Felix, bellman was terrific. Clean rooms. The poolside & evening entertainment were so energetic, funny & friendly: Sexy Chocolate, Sexy Kelvin, Coco Loco, Sponge Bob. The poolside & evening waiter, Samuel, was so friendly & professional. A drink was always on hand. Geno at front desk was a welcomed sight upon returning from a night of dancing at Pacha. Pacha was great as the hotel is quiet after the night show. A shuttle runs every 15 mins to the club. So easy. Thanks to all for working so hard to ensure we/everyone had a fantastic vacation. Can't to return.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Bloomingdale, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We, a family of 3, (two adults and one 15 yr-old daughter) booked with AppleVacations from 7-14/7-21. When we first arrived at the airport, there were no Apple representatives waiting for us. We had a difficult time to locate our transportation. As soon as we found our ride, everything went smoothly on the way to the hotel. The drive there is about 25-30. When we arrived at the hotel, there nobody who greeted us. At the reception desk, Erik was the one who helped us. He is very attentive to our needs, and he even managed to book us a room on the 3rd floor (rm 3151). I've heard the rooms on the 1st floor are moist due to all of the humidity. Erik said that our room would be ready in 10mins, but we could walk around and have lunch before we visited our room. By the time we got to the buffet around 3, lunch was pretty much over and the food was scarce. After that we went up to our room, expecting our stuff to have arrived already. But to our disappointment, we needed to call the reception desk to have them bring up the luggage. But if you have any concerns, the people at the reception desk are more than happy to help meet your needs, and they respond right away without any argument. Throughout our whole vacation, we spent as much time as possible at the beach. The pool is not a kid-friendly area, taking into the account the amount of drunk and inappropriate people. There is only one main pool, and a little pool off to the side. You should get up a little earlier to get your towels, because there won't be any left later in the day. The beach is very large, and you can walk many miles in either direction. A warning: Many topless women, women with thongs, and men with speedos. In our area of the beach, there were no topless women... Etc. so that was a relief. The only compliant I would have about the beach is that there is a lot of seaweed, but other than that its clean.
make sure you cover your feet when you walk on the tile, seeing as it can get very hot. The service on the beach is not very good. You need to get up and get the drink yourself, but its convenient since the bar is close. There is a wide selection of high quality drinks. For lunch, you can go to the buffet which is directly by the beach, or you can go to the one that is a little bit further by the Plaza. The food is fresh and there is a wide variety. All restaurants provide good service. If you want to shop, there are stores located on the beach. They're on the right side facing the ocean. It's pretty far, but its worth the trip. We bought rum and cigars for a cheap price. Rum runs from about $8-$20. There are many other souvenirs. For the fitness people, the gym is very small,
Not air conditioned, and the equipment is outdated. But if you enjoy running, you can run along the shore, or use the treadmill in the gym. If you want to play tennis, you need to walk about 3 resorts down where you will find 4 courts. You need make a reservation a day before. As for the night activities, they are directed more towards adults. There is live music and dancing, and there are shows every night. All staff provide great service to make your stay more enjoyable. We went to 2 restaurants during our stay: La Altagracia (steakhouse) and Krystal. Our favorite was the steakhouse. DO NOT GO TO KRYSTAL UNLESS YOU WANT TO LEAVE HUNGRY. The food is very "different" in means of flavor. The portions are small and its a small space. Overall, this vacation was relaxing. The hotel did their best to make us happy. Once again, the Apple Representatives weren't available throughout the day, and when we finally got
A hold of one of them, she was very rude. If you need something, do not wait. They do not carry your baggage for you from when you are leaving. You have to carry it to the lobby yourself, but there are elevators that can assist you. The reception desk doesn't communicate with the agency whom you've arrived with. They don't have any information about your departure. The ride back went smoothly.
Ps: be careful about using the phone in your room. Everything you dial a number, it costs $1.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

On arrival at the Riu Palace Punta Cana, we were given our room key and information for our stay. Upon entering the room, we were appalled! There was a strong mildew smell. The bathroom ceiling and bathtub was full of mold! I was thirsty for a drink following a long flight and went into the min-bar. To my horror, there were several drinks that had been half consumed. We went downstairs to ask for another room and were told that they didn't have a lot of options. I insisted and we were finally given another room. As I was walking to the other room, I thought ok, it's a one off. This room should be cleaner. Boy was I ever wrong. The "new" room was also mold covered, the mirror was filthy, the TV was loudly playing cartoons, there were still balloons up from the previous guests, the bathtub was cracked, and there was blood on the pillowcase of one of the pillows! Totally not expected from a 5 star hotel, and definitely not from a Riu! We asked for another room and were told those were our only two options. We decided to move back to the original room, on the promise that it would be cleaned right away (it was the lesser of two evils we thought). It was not cleaned right away. After waiting for an hour, we decided to check out the pool. We went to grab some towels. We were told by the person there that they were out of towels for the day and that we could come back for one tomorrow. I asked what we were supposed to do, and was told that we could go back to our room and grab one from there. Horrible, horrible, customer service. At this point, we asked to switch resorts. The manager said ok and checked for a room at the Riu Palace Macao. If it wasn't for the amazing service at this new hotel, I would never travel with Riu again. As it is, I will be very careful booking with Riu in the future. I used to boost to others that Riu hotels meant excellence. It is now very clear, that that is not the case. I have been warning everyone I know not to stay at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. Don't go through the hassles. Choose a different resort.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Richwood, Texas
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Hotel was very nice and the food was GREAT!! You MUST have long pants for the restaurants (which my husband did not bring). So, we ate at the buffet every night and the food was GREAT!! In the morning we went straight to the omelet bar.. those were yummy too. When we first arrived we were a little overwhelmed with how big the resort is. If you are looking for a more quiet intimate setting this is definitely not it. They could definitely use an adult pool, children splashing and crying at the swim up bar was not good!! :( We had photos taken by the hotel photographers out by the beach and they turned out AWESOME!! The cost was $200 US for 25 photos but it was well worth it! We did not find much night life at this resort. There is a theater and they had talent shows and karaoke... lots of children. If you are looking for a more family oriented resort I think this would be better but we were on our honeymoon and looking for more intimate setting. Overall we had a GREAT time although we did not get much rest :( Beds were very hard.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Houston, Texas
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

When my fiends and I booked this trip we were told that this was beachfront view, and those room are only available if you have a full suite. We had to settle for poolside and garden views which costs us an additional $35 per night. Our original room had just been freshly painted and the fumes were ridiculously strong. There was no negotiation on the price even though we didn't think it was fair to be charged nightly to view a pool. The food was terrible, and even though its all inclusive there were EXTREMELY limited times on when you were allowed to eat and if you didn't make reservations 2 days prior you were only allowed to eat in their cafeteria- which was not good. One set of my friends NEVER were allowed to make reservations at any of he restaurants because there was limited availability. There was a shortage of towels and so you were only allowed to check out one pool towel at a time with a paper card. If you lost the paper card, then you were charged $20! Our wifi NEVER worked the entire trip. We reported it everyday and nothing happened. The alcohol selection was limited to say the least and the front desk service was the worst that I had ever experienced on a trip. Overall, this is a poor choice for an all inclusive hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We visited this resort for my 25th birthday! When we arrived at the airport and was instantly greeted and helped by a staff from the resort that they sent to pick us up! When we arrived an hour before checkin we were told our room wasn't ready but we were invited to have lunch and rest at their restaurant! Our room was very lovely yet had a musty smell. Every morning during breakfast we were greeted by every server and treated with the best service! The pools were amazing and the waiters were friendly! We made also of friends while on this trip and plan on coming back as often as we can! The food isn't the best but for a inclusive resort is was very good! We did do the 2 hour snorkeling trip that we booked though the group on the beach by the resort and it was worth every penny! Beautiful coral and fish everywhere we we snorkeled! The guides we amazing and kept us laughing the whole time! Even though we didn't visit the whole country I know the people there were great and everything we encountered was proof of that!
Downside the WiFi was spotty at times but for being free we made do with it!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#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
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#52 Business Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana 4*
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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