I just got back yesterday and couldnt wait to post my review of this place after reading others for the past 3 months. I stayed here Sept 14 thru Sept 21. My room number was 2153. This has been my 3rd all inclusive vacation. Others were Iberostar Punta Cana and Barcelo Riviera Maya. I have vacationed alot in the past but usually rent condos or houses in Florida. Also I am single and travel alone.
First I want to say, some posts here suggest that Europeans are rude. I am from the U.S. and I think rude people come from all countries. I do not discriminate.
I used Gogo tours. All transfers were very smooth with no problems. They used Mercedes vans that were very nice. Pulling up to the resort, it is very impressive. At check in there was no line and immediate. I asked for a top floor room and got the 3rd floor. 4 is the top. Next I inquired about the phone card that you could buy in the lobby and use on the lobby phone. They said they dont do that anymore. They offered me to use a booth next to the front desk and charged 2.50 per minute. I made 2 short calls back to the US costing 6.00. I thought that was fair. Next they brought me to my room. It was extraordinary and very clean. Nice furniture and marble. Probably one of the nicest hotel rooms I have ever had. However, I was toward the front of the hotel, close to the lobby, and had to really look hard to the right to see the water. Below was a access path that was made out of bricks that constantly carried employees with carts to and from the resort making noise. TV worked well with many channels in English. Nice jetted tub with shower and two sinks. Mini bar was stocked but the fridge in the room does not get cold. I iced down one of the sinks for cold beer. I did like the Brahma beer they had. Its a pilsner and is good when ice cold. Also one of the chairs on the balcony kept coming apart. The arm kept coming out of the socket. I used the other one. I did notice the hard beds. However the sheets pillows and blankets were wonderful!
My biggest problem with this place is there is no way to lock the front door to keep out the maids or drink re-stockers. The 1st night I was there I used the "do not disturb" sign and kept it on the door thru the next morning. I had breakfast and then went to the orientation with the Gogo tour guy. Came back to the room and got ready for the beach. I guess the maid didnt like the fact that I had the sign on the door the whole morning. Because, when they cleaned the room that morning she took the sign and left another "clean room as soon as possible" sign. Why would I need two of these??? The next morning I got up and to the beach early. I left a note for the maid to replace the do not disturb sign. She did not. After the day was over I came back to my room and my note was gone but there were still 2 clean room signs hanging on the door. I didnt do anything more about it that evening. The next morning at about 9 am, I was asleep and the maid knocked on the door. I said go away but she came right in and said HOLA, Oh your sleeping. DUH... Well after that I got up and took a shower. I was wearing a towel getting clothes to put on and then the drink re-stocker decides to come in.. I told him to go away. He asked "dont you want me to re-stock your fridge?" I said no and thought, not while I was naked. After going to the beach and getting back to the room, it had been cleaned but the fridge didnt get re-stocked. I went to the front desk that evening and requested I get the propper sign to hang on the door! They had one there after I got back from dinner. Also the next day, the re-stocker guy only left me 2 beers. I guess he didnt like me telling him to go away.
That was the only time they came in on me but I used my sign continuously. That doesnt keep them from yelling at each other outside your door waking you up at early hours. They could be quieter and not yell and slam doors at 9 am. After a late night, you want to sleep in, This is vacation right?
OK, enough of that, let me go back to some of the positives. The beach is one of the best I have ever been to. I like the shipwreck off the coast in front of the resort. The sand is nice with plenty of shade or sun whatever you prefer at the moment. I had nice weather every day with a little rain a couple of nights. The food for dinner at the buffet was pretty good. I did not like wearing long pants for dinner. If you went out walking at night afterwards, you would get pretty sweaty wearing them. I could not wait to put shorts back on after I ate. I tried to eat healthy, fish, veggies, etc. Breakfast was needing a little help though. The dishes of scrambled eggs were more like soup. Sometimes the bacon looked like it was still moving. I like mine cooked! I like hash browns for breakfast, not french fries. But I didnt really come here to gorge myself... I really enjoyed the sports bar. I did not pay the 3 dollars that it cost to play pool. I guess if it was free, nobody would get to play it would be too busy. Also one night I got there and ordered a margarita. very yummy... but when the bartender asked me if I wanted another, I sad no and switched to beer. I about fell off my stool when she took the lime from my used glass and put it back in the container where it came from!!! WOW! I didnt lick it so I guess it was OK. LOL! I did not try the 24 hour snacks that were in the fridge. Was too scared. I did try the slots in there for 20 bucks. They dont seem to pay out much but I was not suprised. Note, I was just in Vegas 2 months ago.
The first time I went to the pool, I burnt my feet walking to it. I figured out after that to wear flip-flops to the edge and then get in. It was too warm. I only used it only a little. I like the beach much better. Which brings me to another problem. I used a cooler cup at the beach to keep my beverage cold and plentiful. That was nice and worked well the first four days. The 5th day I went down and asked the pool bartender to fill it with diet pepsi, He looked at me and said "the problem with that is, we have people who deliver diet pepsi to you on the beach." I said it had not been a problem until now?? He proceeded to go ahead and fill my cup. Then said "salute". I made it to my beach chair to find he filled it with orange drink. It was OK but HE knew what I wanted! I thought this place is all inclusive? Can they not spare a cup of soda? I guess not since they recycle the limes!
Let me add that most of the people working her were very nice. I even tipped some of them. Just a couple of them took me off guard... I did not do any excursions off the resort. I figured I had payed enough to stay there. I did catch the Michael Jackson show at the Macao next door. That was good. The other shows I seen were back at my resort. They were good with the guests being participents. That was funny and made me laugh. However, one of the shows, they lip-sinked the whole thing. I did not make it till the end... pretty bad.
Something definatly worth seeing, is the view down the beach to the north. Its a good walk but well worth it! Take a left out of the resort and go until the bend in the beach. I just wanted to see what was on the other side. I made the mistake of not bringing a camera... very breathtaking with the mountains in the background!
I did buy a t-shirt in one of the shops for 10 dollars... thought that was a good deal. I did not try any of the ala cart restaurants. I wish I had but didnt want to deal with the wait that morning or have any schedule to meet. I was pleased with the dinner buffet anyway.
OK, on to leaving now. Yesterday morning when packing my suitcase, I noticed someone had broken the strap on top that carries another attached bag... This could have been American Airlines, but I did not notice it picking it up at the airport. The bus driver took it from me and gave it to the bellman at the resort. The bellman brought it to my room and put it on the shelf and it stayed there the whole time. Oh-well. This was only the second time I had used this suitcase, it was new! They obviously picked it up with the strap instead of using the handles. The plastic buckle broke and you know whoever done it knew they did it! Of course, they are not going to let you know.
When leaving I let the other bellman take my bag to store until my ride arrived. I only had a 30 minute wait. He may have rolled it a total of 20 feet for me but looked very dissatisfied when I didnt give him a tip! Also when I turned in my keys and pool card, the person at the desk just said "its OK". They could have said "thank you"???
Needless to say, I will probably go back to renting condos and houses in Florida.... I hope this post helps! P.S. The flight to and from Miami offers some very good views of the bahamas.. I took pictures from the plane on the way back!
- 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