This is my third time in Punta Cana, the last two were at Bahia Principe (I liked that resort but a tad large.) The Riu was a nice size with all rooms being close to the pool and beach (no trollys). The food was good, especially the Italian restaurant. We didn't go to all the restaurants because the buffet was good. The grounds are beautiful and the room was kept very clean. The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was spacious. We were in a regular room (junior suite) and friends of our got a corner suite. The corner suite was gorgeous but I was just as happy with ours as we didn't spend a lot of time in the room. The entertainment was fun, better than the other Riu's nearby, we checked them out too. The staff is super friendly but not too much English, but if you try out a few Spanish words you can meet in the middle and figure out what you need. The only thing we didn't like, unfortunately, were some of the other tourists. They were rude in the line up for the buffet (you think they hadn't eaten in a week!) And they were also ignorant and impolite to the hardworking staff. The staff were NOT rude back but I'm sure they did not appreciate it! You're on vacation, people, lighten up.
The beach was fun. Fairly big waves for boogie boarding most days. We took a snorkel tour out one day, just be careful you understand what you are signing up for. What we thought was swimming WITH the dolphins turned out to be driving BY the place where you swim with the dolphins. No harm done it was still a fun snorkel trip but don't expect the reefs to be great, it's good for a beginner.
The one thing we did that was one of my top 10 favourite things ever was we went horseback riding on the beach. No, not the plodding, skinny sickly horses but the front desk recommended a great ranch. It took 30 minutes to get there (they pick you up) but they take you to a remote part of the island (near Excellence and Zoetry). The horses were spunky and lively and responsive. We had a few experienced riders with us and we all enjoyed it immensely. We rode for 2 hours through the rainforest and galloped along the beach quite a bit. The guides took pictures and videos of us individually galloping on the beach with our OWN cameras and didn't ask for anything extra. They were having as much fun as we were. We were a party of 5 and they only charges us $56 each. A Bargain!!! The name of the ranch was : Rancho Carabeno near Uvero Alto.
Most of the time though we sat on the gorgeous beach and soaked in the sun. It didn't rain at all when we were there, in fact I don't think it ever has when I've gone to Punta Cana in the spring. All in all a great trip! We had teenagers, one 8 year old and couples and we all enjoyed ourselves.
- 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 Palace Bavaro, Riu Naiboa hotels and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu * The Splash Water World will be opened from 1st November 2016 * 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