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“The Palace is a "PALACE"” 5 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 98 Hotels in Punta Cana
Sicklerville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“The Palace is a "PALACE"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2006

My wife and I just returned from the new Riu Palace Punta Cana. Let me start with the bad stuff. They didn’t use real strawberries in their strawberry daiquiri’s. The pool water was too warm. They had no bottled water, just purified water and ice in cups at the bars and restaurants and gallon bottles in the room. Other than that, I couldn’t find any fault with this “FABULOUS” resort!!
Every room is a jr. suite or better with the in-room alcohol dispensers (rum, gin, vodka, whiskey), fully stocked mini-bar (beer, soda, juice, water), whirlpool tub, private balcony, satellite TV, etc…. I heard some folks complain about the hard mattresses, however, I never slept better in my life!
There are 6 restaurants, 5 theme (Italian, Gourmet, Japanese, Brazilian, Steakhouse) and 2 buffets (the buffet by the pool doubles as the steakhouse at night). For an all-inclusive, the food was excellent! Forget all-inclusive, THE FOOD WAS EXCELLENT!! There was always a good selection of entrees and sides and a variety of deserts. One night they actually served “caviar’ in the buffet! That same night all of the ladies received “roses’ and the men cigars as the entered the buffet. I tried not to over eat, but it was hard. The service was excellent at all of the restaurants; there was always someone there to refill your glass or to provide whatever you might need. The ala-carts do require reservations (daily between 10am and 1pm. I never waited more than 30 seconds to a minute to make a reservation) and men must wear long pants.
There are 2 pools plus a kiddie pool. There is a bar in the main pool. It also has several Jacuzzi’s, a dozen (in pool) loungers and sitting areas with tables for your drinks or snacks. You can order from the bar or from the waiters who patrol the area. There is also waiter service at the beach for alcoholic beverages.
The beach is the “Best” I’ve seen anywhere!! The powder white sand is smooth to the touch and feels wonderful as it slides between your toes. There is an abundance of foliage for shade and plenty of lounge chairs to go around. The water is a beautiful aqua blue; it is cool enough to refresh you and warm enough to walk right into. The waves range from gentle to giant depending on the tide. You can definitely use a “boogie board”, however, you may have some trouble trying to lay quietly on a “air mattress”. My wife and I enjoyed jumping waves hours on end. For parents with children, there is a lot of topless sunbathing (most I’ve seen) on the beach and some also at the pool.
Like most “AI” resorts, there are plenty of water sports available, sailing, paddleboats, kayaks etc. You can pay extra for parasailing, scuba, banana boat et al. There are pool tables, slot machines, and air hockey in the “Sports Bar” along with “packaged snacks” (hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches etc.) if you get hungry late at night. There is also a casino and a disco on the complex (comprised of 5 resorts of which you have full access) accessible by shuttles leaving every 30 minutes. After jumping waves all day, I didn’t make it to either one!
The bottom line is, if you (like me) are looking for a “Great Beach”, “Strong Drinks”, “Great Food”, a “Extremely Comfortable Room”, and “Great Service”, the “Riu Palace Punta Cana” will provide that and much, much more.

  • Liked — clean, friendly staff, pool bar, great beach
  • Disliked — no bottled water
  • Tips/Secrets — tips go a long way!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2006

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!

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Door doesnt lock from the inside
  • Tips/Secrets — Walk up the beach and check out the view to the north
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2006

The actual experience surpassed any reviews that we head read before going out there - and the reviews were excellent.

The beach is perfect in the sense that the waves are just the right height to have enough fun the sand is soft and best of all are the numerous palm trees that provide a comfortable amount of shade and complete ambience.

Oh... how did i forget about the room. It was thrilling to walk in to such a large room - and it wasn't a suite or any kind of upgrade- just basic. We were overcome by how clean and brand new everything was and perhaps the best part was the all-inclusive bar - it isn't technically a bar, but it might as well be one. Take your pick from brandy, gin, whisky and rum not to mention the fridge that is packed full of beer and endless amounts of water!!! And it really is all-inclusive and so is breakfast in the room. Give the guy a small tip and he's happy.

If you prefer the pool to the beach then you won't be disappointed. Although we didn't use the pool it looked extremely nice.

As if we weren’t spoiled enough I explored a little bit around the immaculate grounds of the hotel and stumbled on spa that I can only describe as heaven on earth- it was absolutely amazing. I used the two large Jacuzzis, sauna and lounge chairs and found it to be a completely relaxing environment. My wife went there for massages e.t.c

Guys you shouldn't be too concerned about getting out of bed early to bag a good spot on the beach as there is plenty of room especially now that peak season is over. So relax and get breakfast in the room, or go to Don Manuel where breakfast is served from 7:00 till 10:30. Personally i found that coffee and croissants in the room early, then continental breakfast at the restaurant by the beachfront between 10:30-12 to be just perfect. Lunch is served at the same place from 12-5. In other words there is no reason to go hungry any time of the day.

Enjoy your trip.

  • Liked — Hotel decor, beach, staff
  • Disliked — Everything is in German
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2006

My boyfriend and I (early 20s) spent a week at the Riu Palace Punta Cana from 8/30-9/05. After reading the reviews before I left, I was kinda skeptical and a little concerned. Overall, the hotel was great and we had a great time. Here are some details:
Rooms: We had a regular junior suite, and because it was an end room we had a double balcony. Yeah, the beds were a little hard, but I'm used to it and after spending all day in the sun there were no problems getting to sleep. The room is very nice, and new...I don't really know why anyone had any comlaints. The fridge was stocked with bottled sodas and beer, as well as the liquor cabinet. One night the bar service man stopped by and gave me a bottle of champagne as well as a couple of dominican gifts-very nice of him so we tipped him.

Pools & Beach: The pool was never too crowded, but it was like a warm bathtub. The pool bar made the aread reek of stale beer, but it wasn't as noticeable the further away from the bar you were. The beach was beautiful- the reason why you should visit Punta Cana. There was plenty of shade and chairs. Drink service at the pool and beach were a little slow, so I had no problem walking the 20 ft. to the bar to get my own drinks. There are lots of topless women at the beach and men in banana-hammocks, which you don't see much of here at the Jersey Shore.

Restaurants: From reviews, I was expecting the food to be inedible, which it wasn't. The food was ok, decent. Nothing amazing, but there was always something to eat. Breakfast was the best meal of the day. Lunch was served in either the main dining area or by the pool. I recommend going to the main room because there was a better selection. There were no problems making reservations for the specialty restaurants. I recommend heading there a few minutes before 10 am so you won't have to be at the end of the line. We ate the the steakhouse (it was ok, my least favorite of the ones we ate at), the Japanese (pretty decent- the sushi looked a little suspicous so I didn't eat it), and the Gourmet twice (this was pretty good). The food is definitely geared toward Europeans, and there were plenty of them there.

Entertainment: There was a show each night, and it was ok. Karaoke night was really funny- lots of Americans participated and it was a good time. There's also a live band playing in the courtyard which was nice. Walked down to Carribean Street one night, and there was some dancing going on, nothing special...and it was extremely hot there so we didn't go back.
** My only complaint is that besides the places to eat, there is no tother food available. We got really hungry between lunch and dinner, and after dinner. Last summer I stayed at the Iberostar in Riveriera Maya, Mexico and it was 24-hour room service. The Riu definitely needs something like that. The staff overall don't speak great English, but we both speak a little Spanish so we were fine. I would suggest brushing up on some Spanish before you go.

Excursions: We did the Bavaro Splash, where you can drive speedboats and do some snorkeling. It was a good time. Saw tons of fish. We also went on the full-day Saona Island tour. It's a long day, but the catermaran trip alone is worth it. Saona Island is really nice, the water was full of coral so you can't really swim, and it was so hot there that you'll want to sit in the shade. The next part of the trip is a speedboat ride to a sandbar to swim with the starfish. We were told not to dive because the water was only waist-deep. Someone didn't listen and dove in- ended up hitting his head and floating and no one noticed for a few minutes. By the time we got the man out of the water, he wasn't breathing but thankfully there were nurses aboard and gave him CPR, until he came-to. From there, we all booked it in the speedboat to the nearest hotel (which was about a 15-minute drive) so the man could be brought to the hospital. He possibly suffered a stroke due to his head trauma, and it was a really scary incident. We had to drive to the hospital in our big tour bust to drop off the other family members....it was a really long day, but everything before that incident was a great time.

This was our first trip to Punta Cana, and I would go back at some point. However, I don't think I'd stay at the Riu because there isn't food available between meals/after meals. Other than that, it was a really great time, so don't let the negative reviews scare you- go relax and have fun!

  • Liked — New, beautiful, great beach
  • Disliked — Lack of food/room service, food wasn't great
  • Tips/Secrets — Learn some Spanish before you go
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2006

Let me start off by saying that Punta Cana and the new Riu Palace are absolutely beautiful. This was my first stay at an all-inclusive and my first trip to Punta Cana. We really loved the resort. Our favorite thing was the swim-up bar. I also really enjoyed being able to visit the other Riu’s and going to Caribbean St. (In between Riu Palace Macao and Riu Naibo). Great little place to shop for tourist items.

The hotel staff was great. Everyone was so nice and friendly. They really went out of their way to make sure you had a pleasant stay.

If I were to find a complaint which is really hard to do with this resort is that after the first few days we were tired of the food on the lunch buffet. It seemed to be the same old stuff. They definitely need more lunch choices. Dinner was great. Our trip was short because we missed our flight (never using Spirit Airlines again).We only ate at two of the ala-carts, Sir Oscars and the Japanese, and two times at Don Manuel (the main buffet). Dinner was great at all places, but especially the ala-carts.

I didn’t do any excursions because of the shortened trip but my boyfriend tried twice to go to deep sea fishing. The first time it rained and the second time he tried the excursion didn’t pick him up.

All this being said, I really liked the resort but don’t think I would go back. Mainly because of the food at lunchtime (I’m really picky when it comes to food). Oh and the fact that no matter how much I drank (liquor-wise), I couldn’t seem to for lack of better word, get drunk or even tipsy. My boyfriend and I are light-weights when it comes to drinking and here in the states we are really good after only two or three. After 3 or 4 there, I felt no difference. Having never stayed in Punta Cana or an all-inclusive, this just might be the norm, but I am willing to take my chances at another resort and/or another destination.

  • Liked — swim up pool bar; jetted tub in room
  • Disliked — lunch food
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2006

A girl trip two of us in mid 40's, we are accustomed to almost anything living in NY suburbs. so I want to give an honest review: we really did like the hotel, rooms were cleaned daily, in room fridge w/soda (pepsi, diet and 7-up stocked daily) spotless super clean, of course the hotel is brand new.
The food was good, different, we observed that the hotel guests were mainly from spain, thus the food was what you would be served in spain, Shrimp with heads, lots of pork, great green olives, terrible deserts all flan type. Yuck. (except for the donuts in the morning buffet they were great) A few mornings I had room serivce bring up coffee and fresh breads. that was good! the coffee was really good and it was everywhere. You did need to make reservations for the restaurants but it never took more than 10 min wait. One Good thing is we did not get sick. There was some top shelf liquor. Stoley vodka, beefeater gin etc. Oh yeah if you wanted something to eat after the buffet closed at night forget it., all they had was this ransacked sports bar with a glass door fridge with some sorry 1 slice ham sandwiches pasted with ketchup? and mystery meat burgers,with a do it yourself microwave (not worth the risk).

One thing that really shocked me was the smoking, I would refer to it as a smoke fest. The spanish guests were big on smoking and were very rude to boot. In fact my friend who was born in spain told me not to let any one know she was spanish because of the behaivor of these europeans. Culture shock! I had no idea that Europeans were such rude people. Never seen any of them tip either! You would be eating dinner and they sit next to you blowing smoke in your face. Also not a hotel for Kids, nothing for them to do, and if you do bring them FYI the floors are super slippery when wet, I witnessed quite a few falls, kids like to run beware they could really get injured.
So if you can deal with nasty bad mannered guests, an the fact that the hotel closes down at midnight, and has the same entertainment nightly ....the beach was beautiful and the pool was ok this may be the hotel for you.
I do not think I would return to PC, too risky with the water situation, Cancun is much nicer.

  • Liked — beautiful and clean and no bugs
  • Disliked — lack of english spoken,
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2006

Just would like to start off by saying that if you booked this resort and will be going in the future, you definitely chose the right place.
I just returned from a one week stay at the riu palace Punta Cana from august 26 2006 to September 2 2006. I went with a group of 9 people ranging from 2 years old to 45 years old and everyone had a great time.

We booked to stay at the Bambu but two days before our departure we were told that they were doing renovations so they had to UPGRADE us to the Riu Palace Punta Cana. We were definitely excited as we knew we were being sent to a better hotel.

DRIVE: The drive was about 30 minutes from the Punta Cana airport. We were with sunquest so as soon as we got off the plane we were directed to a large bus that took us straight to the hotel. (If this is your first time going to Dominican, don't let the drive to the resort scare you away. The view on the drive to the resort is definitely not nice. It is a third world country and therefore is very poor, yet as soon as you pass the gates into the riu, it is PARADISE.)

CHECK-IN: As soon as I entered the palace, it was like nothing I had ever seen before in Dominican Republic. It definitely is a palace with big chandeliers and beautiful scenery everywhere. From the lobby there is a big stair case which brings you right down to the court yard. Upon seeing the lobby, I was already satisfied. Check-in happened very quickly. We were welcomed with drinks and sent up to our rooms right away. (There are bell boys at the hotel that will try to wait by your luggage’s to bring them up, but even though tips are included, they usually expect a tip so we carry them ourselves.)

ROOMS: The rooms are very clean and beautiful. The mini-bars filled with water, pop and alcoholic beverages are given. (Replenished daily by the maids) Every room at the palace is a suite and therefore it has one side with the bed and then a couple steps going down with the couch and television. The room had a swan with flowers on our bench which was beautiful. It was definitely the cleanest room I had ever been in. No bugs or dirt at all. From the shower to the beds to the sinks, everything was nice. We did not have a courtyard/pool/ocean view room. We were placed on the outside of the palace, yet we still had nice scenery of the palm trees. We also had a view of the riu bamboo rooms from our balcony.
The only con about the room would be that the mattress is a little bit too hard. Also, I would suggest that you throw away the flowers given on your swn. Although they are pretty, they may create insects after a while.
Another wonderful thing is that when you leave the room, it is not a normal hallway. It is another balcony type with palm trees in the middle.

GROUNDS: The grounds were lovely. Every piece of land on that resort was well maintained. There are workers grooming the place 24/7. Even the walkway from the courtyard to the beach was kept so clean. The courtyard has fountains and palm trees everywhere. It also has a large area with tables just to relax. In the courtyard, there is a band playing every night and people are able to dance. Also when you are seated at the courtyard at night time, orders are taken and drinks are constantly served to you.

BEACH: The beach at riu palace is crystal clear blue water and definitely paradise. It has white sand and a shipwreck right in the front of the resort. In order to get this clear water, you must stay to the south side of Dominican such as here in punta cana or la romana. (Do not go to Puerta Plata if you are expecting Caribbean blue water).
Cons: The water here is a little bit wavy, therefore it is not that good for snorkeling and the waves sometimes take away from the clearness of the water. Yet, with the waves, it is still paradise. Also, there are palm trees everywhere for shade.
*Never a problem finding a beach chair in the morning. I was down at the beach by 9am and there were always many available.
**Beautiful cabana on the beach to get married at**

POOL: The pool is like every other. It is just what you need. There is a pool bar, lounger chairs in the water, seats and tables for your drinks located in the water (pretty unique and convenient) The water is about four feet deep all around. There is also another circular pool just meant for relaxation with chairs along the outside. That is a quieter and much more relaxing pool. The pool was cleaned every morning. It was maintained okay but obviously never in absolute perfect condition. It was clean enough though. There were a few bees floating on top of the pool by the end of every day, yet that can’t be controlled. The pool was always kept pretty warm.
Also there was never a problem finding a chair by the pool. Half of them were always empty and the resort was pretty full at the time I went so there is definitely enough chairs for the amount of guests.

ENTERTAINMENT: Always games during the day, aerobics in the pool, dancing lessons, volleyball on the beach etc…
At night the band in the courtyard is pretty good and there are shows put on every night. They do get a little bit repetitive as the whole week I was there they were all tropical types of dancing shows, but they are fun to watch. Apparently they were doing a karaoke show the night I left so that should have got the audience involved. Butin terms of the week I was there, there weren’t any shows where the audience could participate. The people who put on the shows definitely worked hard to put on a wonderful performance.
The animacion team is great. The always want to get everyone involved in the games daily.

SERVICE: WOW!..I rate the service at this resort a 10 out of 10. I definitely was treated as if I were royal the entire week. All the staff are there to satisfy your every need. Obviously there is the language barrier as they speak Spanish, but some know English and try their best to understand you. From the waiters to the bartenders to the cleaners, reception desk, etc. they try to make you have a pleasant stay.
I was also surprised in how the servers would come around to the pool and deliver drinks all day. I know this is done at other resorts, but not nearly as much as the riu palace.

EXCURSIONS: Parasailing $85us for 2 people and that’s consists of 10 minutes in the air.

FOOD: Food is pretty good. So many people go to these resorts with extremely high expectations and complain about the food, yet the food is good. The buffet is a little bit repetitive therefore I would break it up and add in some a la carte restaurants. The restaurants I tried consist of the following. ---The Italian restaurant was very good. Japanese was even better. The Brazilian restaurant, La Bodega, was Okay. They served every kind of meat, so if you like meat, I would recommend this restaurant. Reservations for these restaurants are either at 6:30 and 8:30/9:00
The snack bar was located in the sports bar. It was not too good. They basically have hot dogs and hamburgers in the fridge which you could warm up in the microwave. That was the only bad part about the food. Yet, it did not really bug any of us as the buffet was open pretty late so we just went there if we were hungry. Also, there is a pizzeria which opens at 12am located at Caribbean Street.

SHOPPING: There is the Caribbean street for shopping which is like a 10 to 15 minute walk past the riu bambu and the riu palace Macao. A walk way will take you through all these resorts and then end at Caribbean Street. Caribbean street is okay, yet not really worth walking that far as there are some stores located right next to the pool at riu palace punta cana that consist mostly of the same items.
In terms of the vendors that you could bargain with, some come to the resort in the courtyard and set up little booths at night time. This occurred twice in the week I was there. Also, if you are up for a long walk on the beach, you can take a 30-45 minutes walk to the right side of the resort. You must pass all of the rius and then also pass the iberostar resort. After this, there are a whole bunch of vendors with jewelry etc. and you can bargain with them a great deal. (It is a pretty far walk though, especially in the sand and the heat)

CHECK-OUT: Check out was at 12pm and our bus was not coming to pick us up until 5:30 pm, so they made us keep a couple rooms in order for us to keep our luggage and freshen up before we leave. (No Extra charge and no hassle at all)

OVERALL: I have been to the Dominican Republic 5 times now and this is definitely the nicest place I have been too. Nothing can compare to the rooms, the service, the cleanliness, the food, the beach and the pool. You definitely feel like you are in paradise at this place. If you have any other questions, you can email me at babygurl4u_29@hotmail.com

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 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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