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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.