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“Good” 3 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 #56 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is my 5th all-inclusive resort, and I would describe it as decent/average. My husband and I went down with another couple and we had a great time, but I'm not sure that's a reflection of the hotel per se. We arrived second and when we asked the front desk to locate our friend's room number, they claimed they did not have a reservation for them and they must be staying at a different RIU. So that was a bit of a scare. Turns out they were 2 doors down from us. The hotel grounds are gorgeous. The pools and fountains are beautiful and the buildings definitely have an ornate/palace feel. We didn't notice any musky scent that other reviewers complained of. Our rooms were also very nice and always kept clean (and the fridge was well stocked!). The food was our biggest complaint, although we didn't get to do any of the restaurants to it's probably not a 100% fair assessment. Breakfast and lunch were definitely below average in terms of what other all-inclusives offer. There wasn't one thing we ate in our 4 day stay that we loved... or even liked a lot. We did book several of their restaurants for dinner, but only having 2 seating times made scheduling difficult, and we ultimately abandoned them for other activities. By our last night (after so many terrible lunches) we didn't want to chance RIU with our final meal so we left the resort for a dinner 30 minutes away on the water. There also wasn't a lot of evening activity, and on two occassions we found ourselves wandering over to the other more lively RIU resorts that had music and dancing. Probably wouldn't have been a big deal if they allowed their wristbands to work at their other properties (especially ones "cheaper" than the one we were staying at). We had to order drinks on the sly and keep our wristbands hidden. Ultimately, we had an awesome long weekend, but wouldn't return.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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3,176 reviews from our community

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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 (628)
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Chicago, Illinois
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Over all we had a very nice week stay. The food in the main dining room was very good for each meal time and had a somewhat varied menu for each day. Wait staff was attentive and efficient.

We tried two of the five themed restaurants and were somewhat disappointed with both. At the steak house both the steak dinner steak and lobster tail dinner lobster tail were tough and tasteless. The quality of the food at the Brazilian steak house was better than the regular steak house but still not all that good tasting.

Night time entertainment and daytime events were fun and enjoyable.

The grounds and room were maintained very well. They were clean and well laid out.

Services at the Spa were very expensive so we didn't use it.

The beach area is very nice. Between the open ocean shore and the hotel area there is a nice stand of palm trees for shade if you prefer not to be in the direct sun.

One very nice benefit is that you have access to the facilities of two other Riu Hotels side by side with the Riu Palace. You can't eat at their restaurants but you can use their beaches and pools and you can attend their evening entertainment.

Room Tip: The first few suites where the rooms are attached to the reception building have a roof directly bes...
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Kokomo, Indiana
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Stayed at Riu Palace February 10 to February 16. I had booked for Riu Macao and had done extensive research in picking it, however, when we arrived we were told that we had been given a free upgrade to the Riu Palace. That was fine but it led me to believe that Riu may be overbooking and then transferring to another hotel. That being said the Riu Palace was very much a palace with beautiful grounds and facilities.

Pros: Room was very nice if a little worn. Balcony was of adequate size to be comfortable. Wifi was good for us, a little slow at times but adequate. The staff was extremely friendly and efficient. Nobody acted as if they expected a tip, however, the service was so good that at times we tipped generously. If you wanted top shelf liquour all you needed to do was ask for it. Transfer from airport to hotel was relatively easy and hassle free.

Cons: As with other resorts in Punta Canta, most rooms were a long way from the sea so it you want a room with a great sea view this may not be the place for you. If we leaned over our balcony railing we could see the sea over the palm trees but we were probably 350 yards away. I was led to believe that we could walk over and use other Riu facilities, however, when we visited Macao we were turned down to eat there. The food at the buffet was average and I am being kind. At times the servers had a hard time keeping up. (This is a large place trying to serve alot of people). We did not do the specialty restaurants as after visiting other Riu's we had always found the food at the buffet to be just as good. Yes the TV reception was poor but this really didn't matter to us. The casino which is at Macao was closed which from reading reviews is probably a good thing. The Hard Rock had a great Casino and is a $20 taxi ride each way.

Conclusion: We had a great time and enjoyed the warm weather. We would go to Punta Cana again but because of the food quality we would probably try someplace other than Riu.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Pilar de la Horadada, Spain
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

My husband and I stayed at the Bavaro the same time last year so decided to give this hotel a try.
Impressive public areas but outdated bedrooms, although clean. I took a stand alone air freshener which did the trick with taking away the damp smell. There is not a light in the sitting area which is odd. It means you can't read a book there when it starts to get dark at night.
The drinks were generally decent but always ask for what you want by the brand name otherwise you get the national alcohol. Even so, they occasionally still served us the local stuff!
Our main t was the food. We prefer quality to quantity. Yes, lots of buffet choice but we were there
for 2 weeks and was very repetitive. Some of the meat was of poor quality, particularly the roast meat which the chef carved for you. Even he struggles with his carving knife!
The steakhouse steaks were awful. We visited the Italians which was mediocre and the Krystal restaurant which was much the same apart from the sea bass. We were disappointed as most of the food was tasteless and bland.
Our main concern though was our upset stomachs. We seemed to take it in turns to suffer and often had to run to a toilet. Many other guests seemed to be suffering as well. Not nice when you are on holiday. We live in Spain so we are used to being sensible in what we eat and drink in a hot climate. Fortunately, we took some medication with us just for this purpose!
Also, the hotel advertised continental breakfast from 10.30 am in the poolside restaurant. Well, no such luck. They were just preparing food for the lunch.
My advice for anyone going here is to take an air freshener for the room, medication for stomach problems, plenty of money for tips, a kindle reader with a backlight for the room and earplugs if you want a quiet time round the pool.
We won't be back.

Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Just returned from Riu Palace PC. Flights going and coming with Sunwing were both delayed on departure and arrival. Arrived at resort, had reserved a superior junior suite (absolutely no difference from the junior suite inside the room). I would have assumed the location in the resort made the difference re: superior, but no. Had to negotiate/$$ to get a better location closer to the beach. There are no views of the ocean from any room so if that is a priority, not the place for you.

Excited so we immediately went from the room to the beach. Last minute decided to put valuables in the safe in both rooms (had 2 rooms). Good thing we did!! Came back about 2 hrs later and luggage in both rooms had been rifled through. I reported this to the front desk. They said the manager would call. Waited. Called again and they put me through to security. Security said they would have the manager call. Still waiting for that..... Bad start!

Food- A la cartes no good. Buffet excellent and they change it up each day. Steak house (restaurant by the ocean) serves lunch buffet which is nice. One of us became quite ill, both ends and thought it was likely the food. Who knows, could be a combination of sun, food, alcohol.

Clientele in the 70's or families with young children. Very few if any university age group. Even not too many 30, 40, 50 year olds. Riu Bambu next door a much more exciting group and better shows.

Beach staff were very good and entertaining. A big shout out to Franklin, Gasolina and the yeyeyeye girl!! You guys are great! The beach is beautiful. We went on an afternoon snorkeling trip through the beach guys related to the Riu, $39 per person and well worth it!

The bathroom in one of our rooms was flooded twice by the room above. The water came pouring in both times through the bathroom roof. When we got angry with them they fixed it properly the second time. Just a hassle.

The front desk staff are less than helpful, don't really care. They make promises but don't follow through. This is not in the best interest of the resort and wanting people to return.

If you have not travelled much or been to all inclusive, you would likely think this hotel is great. We have traveled a fair bit and I would not rate this hotel as a 5 star. There are much better places to go and get your mney's worth. We will not return.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Delaware, United States
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Another couple, my husband and I returned last night after spending a week at this Riu.Feb 16th -Feb. 22.Full and honest report.
PROS: The staff was great. Friendly and helpful. At least this past week the Wifi worked well. Our room was 1034 on the first floor. This was one floor up not the ground floor. We backed up to the lawn or garden view as some people have said. No problem with our standard junior suite room. We always had hot water and it was very quiet and in the middle of the hallway. Beach was fantastic, plenty of chairs and towels. The buffet was plentiful and we ate there for breakfast and some dinners. The lobby bar had the top shelf booze.
CONS: Our friends were next to us in room 1035. Many problems. Left her pocketbook in open view. 200 dollars were stolen. Stupid, while we were out exploring the first night we were there. It was reported immediately, but of course the money was never found. The toilet leaked where it met the floor, and water leaked from the inner hallway light. Both problems were solved very quickly. THE SAFES WERE HORRIBLE. YOU ARE GIVEN A KEY AND A SMALL LOCK WHEN YOU CHECK IN. THE LOCK FELL OUT AND THE SAFE WAS LOCKED. WE HAD TO JIMMY IT OPEN AND CALL FOR REPAIRS. IT WAS FIXED, BUT I HATED THIS OLD FASHIONED SAFE. OTHER PEOPLE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM. YOU ALSO ARE GIVEN ONLY ONE ROOM KEY. NOT A SWIPE CARD KEY BUT A REAL KEY. The hotel has to update these two items.
I would not return until this hotel has been upgraded and the safes are digital and the guests receive more than one swipe key card. I also do not like to go to the same hotel twice. So many other hotels for a new experience.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Meals in buffet ok.
Steak restaurant ok, but lobster alternative to steak absolutely inedible.
Pool nice but try getting a sunbed after 9am! Impossible as all reserved.
Beach lovely but again no sunbeds after 9am as all have towels on them.
Pool after lunch, becomes something like a middle aged spring break. Loud, rowdy, booze fuelled.
Rooms a little damp, but it's a humid climate.
Would I stay here again? No.

Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 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:
#39 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 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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