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“Will never return.” 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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Ranked #53 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
1 review
“Will never return.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

This hotel is a smoker's paradise. We booked this hotel with 2 other families. We were exposed to smoking at the pool, in the entertainment area,at the outdoor dining and beach as well as sitting outside on our terrace. When we were asked to review the hotel the assistant manager happened to be there and I had expressed my concern about a lack of a designated smoking area and that my children were si\ing near adults who lit up cigarettes in the entertainment areas. He could have cared less to my concern. In addition, our entire group had some type of stomach issues. The buffet meals lack quality but rather focuses on quantity. I will say that the meals at the sit down restaurants had decent food with selected menus. However, during the day there is no place to grab a quick snack for the kids after lunch. I would Definitely Not bring a family to this hotel. The entertainment staff during the day is kind, fun and engaging. I had read mixed reviews about this hotel but did not take them seriously. Save your money and go to Turks and Caicos where you will experience the complete opposite.

Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
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3,278 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 (653)
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Plano, Texas
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

My fiancé and I stayed at the RIU Palace Punta Cana for a Spring getaway and had a wonderful time!

Yes, the food was mediocre, but about what we expected from an all-inclusive with a breakfast and lunch buffet. Dinner reservations are required for most of the restaurants on site, so book early. They seat twice per night, so there is plenty of flexibility.

The staff was extremely friendly. The beach waitstaff was fairly attentive if you are generous enough to tip a dollar every 2nd or 3rd drink. There were dance lessons on the beach, pick-up games of beach volleyball, and lots of kayaks and other fun non-motorized activities to try. There is even a ship-wreck just off the beach a few hundred yards that you can explore! (guided snorkel tours, or just kayak out like we did)

The resort did a good job managing the beach vendors, so you don't feel overwhelmed or pressured to buy trinkets.

I would recommend booking excursions very early, as they can fill up or get confusing... We did a snorkel excursion and a Zip-Line excursion that was incredible!

We wouldn't go back (would rather visit a new exotic location), but we would recommend the resort to friends and family.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

You get what you expect at a Riu. Good service, standard food (buffet is usually the best option), good beach, pretty good room (cleaned daily).
No complaints here. Great vacation for the money paid!!

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Newark, Delaware
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Rooms were very clean; housekeeping came by twice each day to ensure all of our needs were met. The resort staff were attentive, kind, and seemed more than happy to ensure we had a great time. We only had one bad experience with staff and that was the gift shop; the person at the counter was rude and unhelpful. The resort itself is beautiful; we are looking forward to returning soon! One tip to offer is to be sure to take small bills to give tips; we ran short of small bills and it was quite troublesome finding someone that would exchange anything over a $10 bill.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Savannah, Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We recently booked the Riu Palace Punta Cana for a girls weekend. Without going into all the details, I have to admit that this was one of the worst hotels I have ever visited. Upon arrival from the airport around 2pm, it was discovered that there was no where to get decent food, other than food that had been sitting out leftover from the lunch buffet. We then tried to get settled into our rooms and they all smelled stale, moldy and full of smoke. We headed to the pool to make the most of our time and were met with a pool full of tattoos, drunks and partiers. The beach was so crowded you could barely get a seat...it was even discussed that there must be a cruise ship port nearby because of the amount of people just walking up and down. Oh, did I mention that all alcohol drinks were served by the most unpleasant waitstaff in flimsy plastic cups with watered down alcohol. AWFUL!

I could go on and on about the depravity of this hotel. My girlfriends and I were forced to spend the night, woke up and immediately vacated the hotel for Casa De Campo. Must better resort and worth the expense. I will never return!

Room Tip: A good room doesn't exist at this hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I was not particularly happy about my stay at Riu. We got a great value on the stay, and this could be a great experience for some people, but it wasn't what we were expecting or looking for. We were going on the trip to celebrate my wife's graduation, and looking for something relaxing and beautiful. This was more of a party resort that was very overcrowded. Seemed like you always have to fight for your food, drinks, and service. I don't think we'll be coming back.

- The grounds were very beautiful. I really liked the gardens and fountains
- The beach was amazing. As is typical in Dominican Republic the beaches are public and you can walk along them for long distances
- Lobby was beautiful and classy
- Great value

I don't want to write a novel, but I wasn't very happy with the service, food, or activities. - The food was pretty standard for these types of resorts. My biggest complaint with the food was that the restaurants served a lot of the same foods from the general buffet. We didn't have good experiences at the restaurants and the buffet got old pretty quick.
- The service was lacking. I felt like I was always looking around for a server to get simple things like water or silverware. I always felt like I was bothering them. The staff is polite but they probably are overworked and they need many more waiters for the amount of people.
- I wasn't impressed by the activities that the hotel "tried" to get going. They posted signs about different fun activities (e.g. beach volleyball, ping pong, etc...) but none of those ever really happened. I can't completely blame the staff for not being able to get people into these types of activities, but I really don't think they were even trying.
- Also, the pool is way over crowded with only one small swim up bar. At times, you had to swim through a crowd of drunk young teenagers and attempt to get a drink. I guess that could be a lot of fun if it's what you're looking for.
- The spa was mediocre
- Very few rooms have a view of the beach. Almost all rooms face into the garden, and the few on the beach side would have to be on the highest floor to see over the spa, trees, and bar area.
- LASTLY, we believe we got bed bugs from our stay. We started noticing bites after a couple days. We saw some of the signs of bed bugs like the small red spots on the sheets. Now we've had to completely clean our apartment to ensure we didn't bring anything home.

Again, this resort could be a great value for a college (or high school) spring break trip, but not for a super romantic relaxing getaway.

Tip: Bring a large insulated cup/mug to have them refill with drinks. Only one bar by the pool and small plastic cups are provided. We saw a lot of people pulling this pro move.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The hotel staff is very friendly. Property is maintained well. The process to make reservations at the ala carte restaurants is odd. You have to go to the Italian place in the morning for reservations to all the other restaurants. So we just got our towels, saved our chairs with them on the beach, made dinner reservations, and went to breakfast as a morning routine. Save your spot on the beach or by the pool with your towels early.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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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:
#28 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Top resorts 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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