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“Fantastic Relaxing Hloiday” 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 #53 of 101 hotels in Punta Cana
Glasgow
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Fantastic Relaxing Hloiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2006

My wife and I (I'm 51 and wife is 48) stayed at the Riu Palace from 25 Sep - 09 Oct 06. This was our first visit to the Dom Rep and like some have already said after reading some of the reviews, I thought what have I gone and done !!!

It was one of the best holidays that we have ever had - 99 people out of 100 will find this an excellent, relaxing holiday and what I've now realised is that one person will slate the hotel and holiday.

In summary, please do not worry, weather, rooms, pool, food and waiter service at the beach !! make it an excellent holiday. I have got no doubt that you will wish to return as we do.

Any queries feel free to email me:

johnjoebutler@aol.com

  • 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 27
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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Glasgow
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2006

Myself and my boyfriend stayed in the Riu Palace for 2 weeks at the beginning of September and we both agree that we have never had a better holiday. After reading the reviews before i went i began to wonder if we had made a mistake in travelling so far and spending so much money on a holiday. Within the first minute of stepping into the Hotel all fears disappeared and in fact i was extremely annoyed at the reviews the Hotel have been unfairly given.
The Hotel itself is very grand with lots of fountains, marble floors, piano bar etc and the detail that goes in to the upkeep is unbelievable, especially as its only a few months old. Every day we saw staff polishing all the Iron around the stairs or chairs or cleaning the pathways, it is immaculate! All the same details as everyone else has written, fantastic beach - miles of white sand and plenty of free water sports to do, 2 large pools, plenty of sunbeds to get. After a long lie one day we were still able to choose from loads of beds after 12pm.
The reviews on the staff are also unjustified, we did not meet one rude/ignorant staff member in our whole 2 weeks. We did notice though that they dont speak as much English as other Dominican resorts weve been to and i wonder if this is why they have been labelled as ignorant? We found that by just uttering a few Spanish words such as please and thank you guaranteed a smile, a chat and excellent service. The food is also a plus point with so much to choose from every night. I would highly recommend moving around the A-La Carte restaurants during the holiday as a couple we met ate constantly in the Buffet restaurant and found it a bit repetitive by the end of the 2 weeks. Our recommendations are Sir Oscar - must be tried for the best fine dining ive ever had and the Steak House was also fantastic. The only down side of our holiday was the attitude of other Holiday makers, namely the Americans. They were very demanding of the staff and often asked for things without a please or thank you. What particularly annoyed me was they way they spoke to staff, speaking to them as if they were of a lower class. We also found it very difficult to book the A La Carte restaurants during our second week as the Americans refused to eat in the Buffet restaurant and booked out all of the restaurants every night. Unfortuantely the Hotel cant do anything about this as the bookings are made on a first come first served basis. I dont mean for anyone to take offence at this comment, i am not judging everyone from America in this way. I just found their attitude very disappointing and offensive.
I really hope anyone considering going to this hotel wont be put off by negative comments posted on this Site. It really is a fantastic hotel where your every need is catered for. We would go back in a second. Enjoy!

  • Liked — Sir Oscar Restaurant
  • Disliked — The entertainment was pretty poor
  • Tips/Secrets — Learn a few words of Spanish and the Staff will love you!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2006

I don't know about those bad reviews - I have mainly positive things to say about the RIU Palace. We stayed from Sept 30 - October 7, 2006.

I'll start with the bad news first.

- La Bodega a la carte restaurant left a sour taste in my mouth. Everything was so greasy and cooked in pork fat...gross! The only thing I did like there was the bacon-wrapped bananas - interesting flavours but awesome!
- I agree that the resort shuts down at midnight. This is not the resort if you're looking for nightlife. After midnight, you can always go to the local club La Pacha. I didn't go but people we met enjoyed dancing into the wee hours of the night.
- The resort itself is so enormous but I feel it's missing the Caribbean feeling. It's a lot of concrete. The landscaping is not like the other RIU's in the area.

OK now the great stuff...

- Food was excellent. I did prefer the buffet over the a la carte restaurants. A lot of variety. One review states that pop was rationed like champagne. Our waiter, Pedro, always asked us if we wanted an extra bottle for the room. We always tipped only 1 dollar at buffet - most people don't.
- Beach spectacular but I still can't decide if the shipwreck off the coast is nice or an eyesore - verdict is still out on that one.
- Rooms clean, maids do an excellent job, bathroom beautiful with marble/granite, double sink, always plenty of clean towels. We tipped the maid a dollar a day as well.
- Pools were warm but what do you expect when the sun is beating down on it daily? It was still refreshing after sitting or walking out in the sun. Bartenders at the pool bar were always happy even though they were in long black pants in the heat. I didn't find the humidity bad at all - not compared to what is in Toronto.
- Lobby - gorgeous sitting areas, furniture, mirrors, paintings - just wonderful.
- 24 hour sportsbar, hamburgers/hotdogs, sandwiches, fruit, and popcorn available all the time. Tried the hotdog, it was good. They even had Heinz ketchup and mustard packs.
- Tour - we did the Caribbean Festival. Was awesome! Went snorkelling with fish, nurse sharks, and sting rays!!!!

Overall a good time but not for people looking for booming nightlife. For that I recommend the RIU Bambu or some of the others in the area. No mosquitoes or weird bugs.

I would definitely return. Forget those bad reviews, some people expect the impossible and will never be happy!

Someone tell Pedro at Don Manual "Dos Pesi por favor!"

(pictures to follow as soon as I stop procrastinating!)


Stayed September 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2006

All I can tell you it is an execellent place, the food, the service, the room. Riu Palace Punta Cana the place to be.

Just go.

  • Stayed October 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Expats in the Dominican Republic
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2006

My husband and I had just returned from Riu. We spant 5 days there; from the 5th to the 9th of October 2006. We live in Dominican Republic, in its capital Santo Domingo. We are expats for a British water company in the DR.
The Riu hotel is very new, just opened in April 2006. When we arrived, the staff at the front desk was pleasant; we signed the papers and got our key plus the safe's lock. The checking-in was quick; there was not a problem.
The room (Junior suite) was nice and tidy, with the maid's craft (towels made into 'swans' - which were 'crafted' daily). We had a balcony overlooking the fountains. The whole place is so beautiful and grand.
The pools are nice too; there are two, plus a small pool away from the others, in the kiddies play area. I like the round pool where the water flows on the sides of the marble walls. Magnificent!
The beach was very inviting, to say the least. The were plenty of space if you want to be away from other guests. Nonetheless, don't be offended by the topless women in all different shapes and sizes; it seemed normal all along the beach. The staffs in the hotel were superb! There were friendly and always willing to help. Top class for top service. The food is good too. Plenty of choice to choose from. Yokohama restaurant and La Altagracia are recommended. The nightly shows were less than average; but it kept us laughing all night everynight so it can't be too bad. Although I must say, Michael Jackson's show was pretty imaginative.
This is a place to go, overall service and accomodation are very good indeed. Please don't believe the negatives about this place. Communication with the staffs is the key. Just tell them what you need, they will do it for you, as quick as they can. We are certainly going back. Enjoy Riu Palace!

  • Liked — cleanliness, spacious, superb views
  • Disliked — the shampoo/soap dispenser
  • Tips/Secrets — bring your own shower gel, shampoo or soap. Also cotton buds
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brentwood,Essex, UK
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2006

if your looking to relax & sunbathe while reading a good book under the swaying palm trees, then you `l love this place, the Macao was exactly what we wanted, ***** star with all the bells & whistles.

the food was good, the service even better, if you have teenage children seeking a hectic time, they will be bored stiff here, as the evening entertainment is very lame.

for scuba divers, the reefs are not very good at this resort, the sea can be rough beyond the breakers with huge swells making it very difficult to enter the water from the boat, i booked 8 dives, & i was disappointed with all of them.

overall, it was a nice hotel, with probably the beast beach i `v ever seen.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2006

We stayed at Riu Palace Punta Cana from 9/16th to 9/23rd. It was one of our best vacations ever! The service was excellent from the waiters to the ANIMACION peple. On my birthday, they decorated our room with balloons and even gave me gifts. That was really something! For dinner, my husband arranged a surprise birthday cake for me. So they had our table decorated with fresh flowers all over and the waiters sang while they brought in the cake. It was really nice.

The room was not too big but just the right size for us. The cleaning ladies are always around and they do a good job. The turn-down service was a nice touch. Although our only complaint is that the room did have a smell which sticks to your clothing. But the resort cannot help it. Punta Cana is just a warm, humid place. Just make sure that you always keep the air conditioner on.

The beach and the pool were just amazing! It was really picture perfect. There are plenty of loungers to go around so don't worry. Although if you want a good spot , try to get there by 8 or 9 in the morning.

Overall, I would recommend Riu Palace Punta Cana to anyone. I read the reviews here and I was hesitant at first with some of the bad comments. But after staying there, I would not hesitate to go back.

  • Liked — excellent service and the resort is just beautiful
  • Disliked — the smell in the room
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
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 Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana 4*
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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