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“Had a Hard Time Writing this review” 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 #55 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
mississauga, ontario
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Had a Hard Time Writing this review”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

It has taken me over two months to write this review because I really dont like giving a hotel a bad review. We have stayed in Punta Cana over 10 times at different hotels and we have never really had any problems.

I will start with the arrival. When we arrived it was quite late and the check really wasnt that bad. Like some people have said they didnt get a cocktail well we did and that was nice. Our luggage was taken to our room which was quite close to the beach which I loved but I hate to say it the smell in the room was really bad. The room was clean but I have never smelled mildew that bad in any other hotel. We decided to say oh well lets go get a drink .

Sleeping that night was really hard for us as the bed was hard as nails and I lifted up the comforter and the mold was so thick I had to take it off. The next day I asked the maid to please change it, she did but the other one was just as bad.

The maid service was okay we tipped her everyday and she was really sweet. We stayed two weeks at this hotel and by the 2nd half of the last week I was ready to go home and we have never felt this before.

The bar staff and buffet staff were some of the best people we have ever met and they actually made our trip for us. Especially the pool bar and the evening buffet.

Another thing you should be careful of is the floors in the lunch buffet by the beach I slipped and broke 2 toes on this floor. They really need to do something about this.

The food was not very good but we did not starve and I was not getting up at 6.00am to book a specialty restaurant.
About 5 years ago we stayed at the bambu next door and the food there was better.

All in all I would not go back to this hotel as there are much better ones and we have stayed at them. Its a shame I had to write this review as we were looking forward to going. If you do go the staff will treat you nice.

We will be going back to Punta Cana in January and will probably stay at the Majestic again

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to write

Bill and Elaine

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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
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ontario
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

Hello anyone who is reading this. I stayed here with my boyfreind on February 26-Mar.5/09 . Before I picked this hotel I thought it was awesome and my dentist said it was great-and it is beautiful looking dont get me wrong. Well theses reviews are def. true -rooms stink,they do have cockroaches-we had 3-1 in the shower and 2 on the floor-ewwwwww gross. That should say something-I've travelled alot and i never had cockroaches in my room except for Cuba at Sirenis-also bad hotel ,anyways-it's boring at night- shows are crap-small stage-nothing to do here at all. Pool is small and crowded . I however never got sick here thank God-I thought the food here was pretty good -but I guess you should just watch what you eat. No dairy,hams,cheeses or any open food -Like salads I avoided all these foods and was not sick-I also avoided eating fruit that was open or not in a peel-very important-I basically ate anything that was cooked!-Please this hotel is a 1- The room really does smell, it's damp, they don't even change or clean the sheets,pillows smell-Put it this way I slept on towels because I was sooo Disgusted!!!!!!!! Good luck-Don't stay here!!.

Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, NY
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

The Riu Palace Punta Cana was a beautfiul resort on a very nice beach. The water was a little rough which we were told by a local was because of hurricane season.

Check in was very smooth and easy. Upon arriving in our room, the room was very damp and had a very musty/moldy smell. We attempted to change rooms but they were unable to accomodate this so they sent a staff member up to spray our room with what I belive was just an air freshner. The smell appeared to get better over the week we were there but I think we were probably just getting used to it. The bar service in the room was very nice with plenty of options. The room had a very nice balcony with two chairs on it.

The pool area was nice but maybe a bit crowded. The one problem with the pool was that it was so warm that it wasn't very refreshing. However, the sea was very refreshing.

The drinks were good and the food for the most part was good. there was always a good selection of food at the buffet. The Japanese a la carte was the best of all of the a la cartes. The RIU was nice in that it was connected to other RIU resorts so you were easily able to walk to other resorts.

One complaint that we did have regarding the resort was that they allowed vendors to come into the resort a few nights a week. This would have been fine except most of the vendors were very pushy and would not give up whereas the vendors who approached on the beach were very courteous...a simple no thank you and they moved on.

Overall I would recommend the RIU Palace Punta Cana .

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

Punta Cana is a beautiful place... the ocean and sand are everything that the word "paradise" brings to mind. However, the place where you trust your money, your belongings and your overall experience should be chosen with great care.

I had read many reviews on the RIU Palace in Punta Cana, as well as been given great reviews from family members. I truly thought that my money was going to be well spent when I planned a 5 day trip recently. Let's take out of consideration that my luggage was lost for 2 days (that's another issue and another service that fell short of my expectations), however, the service at the front desk to assist me in handling this problem was terrible. The people at the front desk were in a hurry, handed me the phone twice and expected me to miraculously learn fluent Spanish to talk to the equally as unhelpful airport staff about where / when my bag was coming, and just overall seemed too busy to handle any problems. They seem behind the times, nothing is dealt with using technology, as their "go-to" problem solving device was a ratty old notebook. Moving on, during arrival, they sent us away twice as our room was not ready for check-in time and when they had delayed us enough, the sent us up to a room where the maid was still cleaning and the floor sopping wet from being mopped.

If you visit this hotel- the rooms and hallways leading to rooms all smell of mold, in fact, my suitcase is sitting next to me and I still smell it. The shower will leak a puddle all over your floor, and you say no big deal, wipe it up with a towel, but when they only provide you with the minimum towels, it does matter. The room is fine, who really wants to spend a lot of time in it, but if you do, the couch/ carpet smelled of urine and the pillows smelled of something equally disgusting. It is truly lacking in terms of what hotels today should provide.

Food. Okay, pack your tums/pepto/tylenol and gas-x because your stomach is in for a treat! Breakfast could be good, the selection is interesting, but you can put together a good meal. Lunch- who wants to relive college mass-production food? Dinners- better hope you can get a reservation at the "SPECIALTY" restaurants between 8 and 10 am, if not, you're stuck at Don Manuel where once again, college dorm room food. Yuck! The specialty restaurants are ok, everything is just off, tastes strange and even the alcohol is ... weird. Any person who drinks wine because they enjoy the taste shouldn't come here because all it really is is a wine cooler.

LASTLY- the beach is great. Pool is nice. But what are you to do in terms of other entertainment? Perhaps pay for tubing or parasailing so that the insane boat drivers can speed almost INTO the roped off swimming area and send people in cayaks rocking and shaking. IF YOU ARE UP FOR A LITTLE POKER/BLACKJACK/ SLOT MACHINES- DO NOT VISIT THE CASINO IN THE RIU MACAO. Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I did not know to have to research "casino and scams" in the same line, if we had, we would've been warned about the completely illegal gaming practices and the blatant scams occuring nightly for YEARS according to the posts of innocent travelers who were lured over to this ridiculous game that you almost feel forced to play. Luckily, I started to realize what was happening around my boyfriend owing 600 dollars and we began to question the man. He turned so fast from our friend to this intimidating crazy person who literally had us come outside and go to the "boss's" car. Can you imagine this happening in the states? Overall, it was the icing on the cake to make for a vacation filled with disappointment and anger that we paid to go to a place where they knowingly house this casino that should be barred and shut down, and the man, oh I wish I knew his name, what a terrible person, making you feel bad for him and should tip his poor self, when he makes off with tens of thousands of dollars and will take your credit card out of your hand. TERRIBLE. AWFUL. FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO VISIT, THE RIU IS TERRIBLY OVERRATED AND I HOPE MORE PEOPLE SPEAK UP TO LET OTHERS KNOW ABOUT IT.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

I traveled to Punta Cana with my 30 year old daughter. We wanted a relaxing vacation spot. Riu Palace provided us with 8 days of fun, relaxation, excellent service, great food and an immaculate room. The hotel itself is absolutely gorgeous. We booked our vacation thru Continental Airlines and their service was wonderful. We arrived at hotel at 5:00 PM, and was taken to our room at 5:l0. The lobby is absolutely striking. The pools are spotless, the beach is breathtaking, and the staff works very hard to make your stay enjoyable. Because we wanted to chill for most of our stay we only booked one excursion and that was to swim with the dolphins, which has been my lifelong dream. I was not disappointed. Being an animal lover, I was concerned as to their habitat, but I quickly saw that the staff truly loved the dolphins and provided them with the utmost care and respect.

The Riu Palace is quite large and you must walk to and from everything on marble flooring which can be quite difficult to some. Even the rooms, including the bathrooms are marble flooring. The only problems I had with this hotel is the fact that they did not provide telephones throughout the resort, which made it difficult to contact your traveling companions, and there were not enough bathrooms on the premises. You had to walk quite a distance should you need the use of a bathroom. There should be restrooms in every restaurant along with telephones throughout.

When reading some of the reviews prior to my booking the Riu Palace, I was taken aback by many of the negative comments. However, I found the hotel to be outstanding in every way. The two buffets provided you with excellent food, which actually surprised me. The Brazilian, Japanese, Fusion and Italian restaurants were unique in their own right. You must make reservations for these restaurants early in the morning, which can be a hassle if you are a late sleeper while on vacation.

Both my daughter and I had full body massages in the spa, which were absolutely wonderful. We took the shuttle bus to the other Riu resort to see their casino, and left quickly. It was not air conditioned, the staff there was not cordial and the entire atmosphere left lots to be desired. This WAS NOT THE RIU PALACE, BUT THE RIU MACAO, and it was quite different from our hotel in every way. We left the casino ten minutes after we arrived.

The entertainment at the Palace was a bit redundant. It wasn't exactly Broadway, but the entertainers did work very hard trying to please the audience. There is 24 hour room service as well as a fully stocked refrigerator in each room. They refill it daily with soft drinks, water, beer. The liquor spouts flow freely as well in each room. These services are included in the all-inclusive price.

All in all, I would highly recommend The Riu Palace. It is part of the Riu complex and each hotel can be reached by a short walk or a shuttle bus. Compared to the other Riu hotels in the area, The Riu Palace stands out as it is a strikingly beautiful resort.

If you want to be experience a beautiful resort, good food, wonderful pools, great service and are planning a trip to Punta Cana, please consider going to Riu Palace. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2009
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2009

My husband and I had stayed at the RIU Palace Riviera Maya (Mexico) and had a great trip so we figured we couldn't go wrong by going to another RIU Palace. From the time we arrived we knew it was going to be different than the previous trip. There were very few English speaking guests and the staff had very poor English as well. We were thrilled when we came across people we could speak too. The pool was significantly smaller than the other RIU. The lack of air condition in the eating areas and lobby made the meals so much less enjoyable. The waitstaff wasn't nearly as friendly, and I even had one waiter reprimand me for taking a napkin off another table. (I had asked for one, but it was taking so long and I needed to wipe the sweat off my face!)
I was extremely annoyed with having to set an alarm every morning to go and make dinner reservations. You needed to be there around 7:30am to get in line. You can also only make reservations for that night, while in Mexico you could make reservations for two nights.
Drinks were pretty terrible. If you want a frozen drink you need to ask for "mucho hielo" (much ice) or it basically isn't frozen.
The pool is very warm, so it is not refreshing at all. The beach is wonderful though. No complaints at all about the beach. It was much better than Rivieria Maya.
Mildew smell is awful. Everything, and I mean everything we had with us, came home smelling terribly of mildew. I have to have all my dresses dry cleaned, and even our passports smell of mildew!
THE WORST PART: Day 4 I woke up with excruciating stomach pain, diarrhea, vomitting. Long story short, I ended up in the hospital with food poisoning. (We had only eaten at the hotel, so that should tell you something.) Awful, awful way to spend our honeymoon. Completely ruined. Changed our plane tickets and came home a day early. Wish we had never picked RIU Palace Punta Cana.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
NJ
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

Beautiful Grounds, Great Beach, Friendly Staff. The beds are hard as rocks, the nightly entertainment was the worse. I felt like I was watching something put on by preschool students. The food wasn't good . lack of variety at the buffet they served the same things everyday. The bathrooms were not modernized. They rarely gave you fresh towels. The drinks were horrible, The liquor was watered down. At most resorts they welcome you with cocktails no welcome at this place. And last but not least you had to make reservations to eat at the restaurants each day, you had to make them between 8:00 am -11:00am at the restaurant you could not call the reservation in you had to stand in line to make reservations. . No internet service in your room only in lobby areaI was very disappointed with my stay here. I would not go back again

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
#42 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#49 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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