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“Not a place for families with members who may have disablities! Or want to exercise!” 2 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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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #53 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Wilmington, Delaware
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not a place for families with members who may have disablities! Or want to exercise!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I returned yesterday from this resort and when our airline cancelled our plane I fretted that we may have to spend one more night in this resort!!! Our son is in a wheelchair and this resort was hard to get around for us. We had to roam through the kitchens to find the ramps to go downstairs or upstairs and the pool was too slippery to even think about bringing him in. Also did NOT want to even bring him in pool because it was disgusting! Warm and dirty! You would be in water and cups, fruit and straws would float by. It was NOT a place for children or families with the partying and loud music! The good thing was that we could use other Riu resorts! We walked a half mile each day to go to NaiBoa to swim in their pool. It was extremely clean and cooler and much more "kid friendly". My older son and I went into the gym one day and that was too much! It was filthy and broken equipment. Gross that you couldn't even wipe the equipment down after sweating on it! Also my son tried to use the weight and they were rusted and broken! We couldn't keep the air conditioner on in our room because it smelled like mildew! Also we had small bugs in our room! When we asked the front desk about it they handed us a can of bug spray!!! The only thing they have going for them is their staff but it absolutely disgusting that Riu only pays them $10 a day!!! That is the only good thing about the resort! If you go and stay here make sure you schedule a day away and go on the Outback Adventure with Rudy and Caesar!!! The best day there for us! Oh and if you are a coffee drinker don't drink the coffee in café! Go to sports bar!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (532)
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Frankfurt, Germany
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Since we've stepped off the plane, we found the company we booked with and were told to meet our representative the next day at 10am in the lobby (yes, he was on time and we booked some amazing excursions!!). That worked out perfectly.

Once at the hotel, Wellington checked us in. Very friendly man, and since then we felt welcomed. We went to our room and it was quiet, until it seemed as if the balcony door wouldn't close and the there were a huge hole in the safe so we went back to the reception and Wellington gave us a new (bigger and better) room, however it was louder as it was facing La Plaza. We finally figured out that there was actually no problem with the door and the safe, we had to pick up the key from the front desk which took too long in my opinion (we got it the day after we arrived).

So in general, it was a great experience. Here are some pros and cons:

Let's start with the good stuff?

-Great staff. Very hard working, friendly. The Michael Jackson show was by far one of the best I've seen while at the Riu. The cleaning lady for our room (Katy) was great and always made our room acceptable to look at again, haha.

-It's a great hotel for younger people and couples. The beach is within walking distance, the pool is alright. The pool bar is cool, and the my favorite waiter (Richard) never seemed to let me die of thirst on the beach..."Drinky drinky!"

-The excursions are one of kind. Went zip-lining and it was SOO much fun. My mom went on the Saona trip, and it was fantastic for her..blue water but she said it was a bit stressful. Santo Domingo tour was fabulous...tour guide was amazing. and the Jungle Rally tour was great too. Learned a lot on all trips, and definitely worth to look at.

-I liked the animation team and that there was always something going on. Even though the dance lessons were repetitive (at 1130am at the beach), it was a lot of fun following the steps of Sexy Kelvin. Sexy Chocolate was my favorite of them all, and they are always in a good mood.

-I made a lot of new friends...from staff to vacationers like me. So did my mom. I never really had a dull moments and I know I've made some great friends that I'll keep in touch with. The gardening staff was also my favorite...on a hot day, I brought each one of them a cup of water from the pool bar and they appreciated it so much. You have to understand that they work extremely hard...Melvin (one of the garden staff people) also works at the bar in the evenings -- long day, huh?

- Drinks are A+ (most of the time...the orange juice isn't really orange juice)

-Sunrises are amazing. I watched it probably 5 out of the 11 days that I was there...so worth the early wake-up and the Riu is safe early in the mornings and late at night.

-Witnessed some beautiful weddings too.

Now let's get with the bad news....CONS -

Food - absolutely nothing special. Buffet is alright, and all the other restaurants aren't that delicious. My mom and I expected too much from the food but it sufficed throughout the time we were there...the fruit was my favorite.

Towels - As the days went on, towels ran out. But not that big of a deal.

Rooms - My room was moldy and musty-smelling...mildew on the lamp shade and on the pictures...you could actually see it. I think I had an allergic reaction because my nose began closing up and my throat started to hurt halfway through the trip.

OVERPRICED STUFF - we bought a can of nuts for 15 dollars....THAT IS NUTS.

wifi - it was shaky. Best use in the room/hotel lobby.

elevator - sketchy....a group of people got stuck. Max. hold is 8 people? Except there were 8+ AND kids...maybe it's their own fault. We got help for them ASAP.



In general: I think I would come here again only because of the vibe but I'd come friends. My mom didn't find it as relaxing as me. We met a woman who stayed at Sensimar Resort, right down the beach, and the her room was modern, clean and didn't smell like mildew. My mom said she'd prefer that resort over the Riu Palace.

I love the Dominican people. They've got smiles to light up the world, even though they don't have much.

Room Tip: Choose a room near the lobby if possible (could give you better wifi), or away from the Plaza if you...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Beautiful grounds, great service and friendly people. I wouldn't recommend it for children, but it's a great place for couples and single. Lot's of fun options for events. We did the dune buggy ride and had a blast!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with an ocean view. I had a beautiful view of the grounds, but no the ocean.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Damascus, Maryland
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Just returned from the Riu and not planning on returning. The layout of the hotel was lovely. Checking in was fast and easy. The bellman were superior helping with our bags and delivering them to our room. There were 3 of us in a Junior Suite Superior, sufficient size. However, I have never experienced such a foul, mildew smell in a hotel ever! It was so pungent it was hard to ignore. Bathroom size was decent, balcony size O.K. The pool way too small for the size of hotel. If, not at the pool by 8:00 a.m. Forget a lounge in the first three rows. By 1:00 in the afternoon the area was FILTHY!! Staff does not go around pool to clean cups, fruit rinds, trash of all sorts. It was disgusting. Matter of fact, walked by the pool one morning around 9:00 and the water had scum on edges of pool. Beach was decent but, nobody really kept it clean. Service was good, food was average at the VERY best. Weather was hot but, perfect. Sunny and beautiful breeze all the time. They offered plenty of excursions that were great. The bar drinks (island drinks) were awful. They used cheap alcohol however, you could request Stolly, Jack Daniels and a few other sufficient brand names but you could tell they were not happy when you did. Island drinks didn't taste like they should, maybe the mixes they use should change??? Entertainment was subpar. Took a "free shopping tour" which we thought would be local wares in a small town. NOPE.....they shuttled us to two facilities. First stop was a cigar store they also included local brand alcohol and other various items, ashtrays, bowls, cheap T-shirts, very little jewelry. Second stop was a chocolate store that had the same items. Thinking this trip would take us to an area where you could purchase gifts from local merchants, as we have done numerous times in other islands. I have to give credit to the staff and service, pleasant, happy and for the most part willing to make your stay enjoyable. For the price, we've stayed at many other places far superior. Will spend our $$$$ somewhere else next time. OH......be careful with the ice in your drinks, stomachs took a huge hit! Also kudos to the grounds keepers, they were working all day and it was beautiful. If, you workout on vacation, DO NOT BOTHER! Gym was extremely small, filthy, nothing to wipe down the 4 out dated treadmills and the 4 manual, outdated ellipticals. The weights were plastic and mis matched, only 2 sets of 3lbs, no 5 lbs, one ten pound set and one set of 15. The universal in middle of the crammed room had to be 30 years old, rusted and seats ripped. This happened to be a HUGE disappointment since I've worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and realize for very little expense they could do a much better job, come on Riu executives people enjoy a clean, well equipped gym on vacation to balance the intake of food and beverage. What are you thinking???? Not to say infections that can easily be had!!!

Room Tip: Room 1109 was in the middle, quiet at night but, view to pool was to far away. Garden views were lov...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomingdale, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 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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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 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:
#23 Casino 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
#47 On the Beach 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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