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“Awesome Vacation....a little disappointed in Palace”

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #74 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed February 19, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a week stay at the RIU Palace Punta Cana. The vacation was awesome! The Palace is nice, but I was a bit disappointed as we paid the extra money to stay at the Palace as opposed to the other less expensive RIUs and I'm not sure it was worth it. The hotel is clean and the grounds are gorgeous, don't misunderstand, but it just didn't seem up to the RIU standards. The entertainment was lackluster at best and the food wasn't much better (and I'm NOT a food snob at all!) The internet in the rooms is very intermittent and when we could get logged on, it was as slow as dialup. It was a wee bit better in the lobby, but not much. We did visit a few of the other RIUs as we were walking the beach and the Macao resort refused us a drink. Apparently ALL of the RIUs do not honor the Palace bracelet as we were told.

Now, having said that, it was still an awesome vacation! We go for the beach and Punta Cana has the best beaches I have ever visited. Absolutely loved all the palm trees along the beach....made it so much more picturesque. White powdery sand as far as the eye could see in either direction. We walked MANY miles of this beach and it was awesome. The ocean was fairly calm, got a little rough the last two days with the higher winds, but just made it more fun to play in the waves. We walked a few miles North and the waves were MUCH stronger up there.

The beach vendors were pretty respectful and didn't hound you. However, I would agree with another poster that as you go North towards the Hard Rock there are a few Timeshare reps that got a little pushy, but you just politely tell them no and keep walking. The "strip mall" of vendors to the South can get a little pushy....especially if they see you buy something at any of the shops....but again, you just have to politely say no and keep walking.

All in all, I would definitely return to Punta Cana....just not sure I would spend the extra money for the Palace again.

Room Tip: I would definitely choose a room facing the courtyard and not too close to the restaurant/entertainm...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank blondie967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,023 - 2,029 of 5,271 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

Beautiful facility,beautiful beaches and ocean for the positive. However about 75 percent of our group got Tourista Gi problems here. We were all careful not to drink the water too. Food and alcohol in general disappointing and we are not that fussy either.
Most crowded beaches ever experienced, some days not enough beach chairs also. No town to walk to. Airport on departure totally chaotic, barely made flight though there 2 hrs early.
No excited about going back to Riu Palace or Punta Cana.

Stayed: February 2013
2  Thank BoomerPilotWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

The Riu Palace Punta Cana is, in my opinion, no longer a five star resort. It's still a great resort but it's getting a little tired. The rooms are clean and spacious and beds were comfortable. The wood in the door in my particular room had dried so much that it cracked and you could see through the door. The food was good in the main dining room and the restaurant by the beach. They serve the same type and quality that any other high end resort in the Dominican would serve. No matter what your taste, you will not go hungry. the only disappointment was the pasta bar. Served luke warm (twice) in a dull tomato sauce with not much choice of other sauces. Only tried three of the five specialty restaurants. Surprisingly, the steak house was good and the lobster tail that came with the steak was done to perfection. The Brazilian was a disappointment as the meat was tough. The Crystal (fusion) was excellent. As good as the Riu in Cabo.
As a non-smoker, I have difficulty accepting smokers in the pool. They have no regard for others and ashes and butts can sometimes be seen floating in the pool. The pool is in dire need of repairs Long sections of the bottom have missing tiles. As with all resorts, reserve you chair by the pool early in the morning. You won't get a prime spot after 7:30 AM. There are always good spots on the beach. As a frequent visitor the Dominican Republic you learn all the ins and outs.
This is an all inclusive resort and that includes all alcoholic drinks. They even have liquor dispensers in the rooms. Gin, Vodka, Rum and a local Brandy. Disappointed that there was no Canadian Club. It was however available at the Lobby Bar. For a purported five star hotel, you would think they would serve a better selection of beer. Presidente gets a little boring after a couple of days and the draft is downright terrible. I think this has to do with the draft lines not being flushed of bacteria on a regular basis. Stick with the canned beer in your mini bar. Not counting the dining areas, there were three bars. The Pool Bar, the Lobby Bar and the Sports Bar. In the latter, the stench of stale smoke and spilled beer made it a good place to avoid.
The thing that will make me come back here are the people who work at this resort. The service from the front desk to the dining rooms and pool area was excellent. While a lot of these people don't speak English, they make up for in enthusiasm and trying to please the customer.

Room Tip: Couryard view is the best. Away from lobby area. All rooms are quiet except for the ones directly ab...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank GreyCupDickie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

My husband and I just got back from staying at the Riu Palace Punta Cana and it was amazing!!
The hotel is beautiful and very clean. The staff is very friendly and make sure you are taken care of. The food was very tasty with lots to offer. Front desk was very fast and efficient. The beach is stunning!! Nothing bad to say about this place. We will definitely be going back!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ms_Lovely_Lucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Traved the first week of Feb 2013 , our 3rd time there the RIU Bambo before that . We go for the beach , some of the best stretches of beach here . Hotel , food , staff , drinks are awesome . Thankfully RIUs don`t let timeshare reps on their grounds , when walking beachs by Bahia and Hard Rock among a few they seemed bothersome . On our return , contacted our Apple rep told her of our awesome vaca . She asked if we were upgraded because she contacted Palace mentioned of our 4th consecutive trip there . No problem we had a clean room with great view . Oddly enough a couple that got off the bus with us , first time there got upgraded to a corner room with spiral staircase . We always tip 10 bucks at check in . Oh well .........

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank shoe681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

This hotel was chosen for us by a friend getting married on location.
So, we didn't have a say. We looked at the countless reviews on Tripadvisor and became very anxious before leaving. We went there nervous about what we would find. Here's what we found. Check in was extremely easy. Some people complained about the size of the room keys?? You receive one key and yes it is on a large key ring but takes a whole 3 seconds to separate the two and then the key will fit in small spaces. Our room was on the top floor. We had a great view of the inland. It was quiet at night and throughout the day. Our house keeper had our room cleaned between 9 and 11 every morning and always made a beautiful towel animal to greet us. You need something extra just call room service…no problem. Each night in the plaza there is live music followed by a show on the stage. I found the shows entertaining...Broadway quality, no, but I wasn't going there for a show. The beach is unbelievable. Every morning the crew is out there clearing away any trash or debris. The water was amazing. The many palm trees along the beach provide great natural shade. The grounds are absolutely stunning and you can watch them trim the hedges with machetes! Such a quiet way to maintain the grounds and eco friendly. Some people talk about tips. We tipped for sure. These workers live on grounds for several days at a time and make only $150 a month. So when Joel and Juan Carlos at Don Manuel’s buffet pulled out our chairs, refilled our drinks and struck up conversation they were tipped. In the states we tip on how much the bill was so why not tip on how the service was. The service was fantastic to say the least! On the beach there are the drinkie drinkie guys that bring drinks around. Some people complained about the quality of alcohol. The lobby bar and stage bar had good quality alcohol. So not a big deal. Quality of food. We always found something to eat. There were about 40 people there for the wedding and NO ONE got sick! The wedding was absolutely beautiful. The bride was extremely impressed with the photographers and the quality of their work. The reception was gorgeous and the DJs were ten times better than any wedding I’ve been to in the states. We found ourselves saying time and time again how romantic the hotel was. People complained of a musty smell..Never smelled it. We did pack Bounce fabric softner sheets in our suitcases but still didn’t smell anything in the rooms. Overall we had an amazing week and walked away completely satisfied.

Room Tip: We had room 3157. This gives you an amazing view of the sunset over the mountains and is quiet. Ti...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Becky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I and my wife just returned and our stay was excellent. The staff went out of their way for us. The buffett needs to be expanded and they need a way to cook such items as hamburgers as the customers wait, like they do with some of their egg dishes.

Room Tip: Be sure and bring some smaller currency to tip the staff.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank dam2013
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
Phone Number:
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:
#43 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#62 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#63 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#67 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#67 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $237 - $464 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 612
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24-hour All Inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana opens all year round and is located in holiday area Punta Cana on the Dominican Republic's eastern coast, it is part of RIU Resort with four sister hotels, is situated on the Playa Arena Gorda, which stretches for 26 km. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Punta Cana Airport PUJ (25 km) and El Cortecito (10 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 612 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa, or get in shape at the gym. 4 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Japanese, Brazilian, Italian, Fusion restaurants, as well as 5 bars. ... 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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