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“Worst Riu I have stayed at.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #63 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Greenville, Kentucky
1 review
“Worst Riu I have stayed at.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2013

This trip was for mine and my wife's 33rd anniversary. We have stayed in several different Riu's in Mexico and were treated like royalty, but this trip was a bust. The food was very predictable (same thing all 3 meals everyday). We tried 1 of the specailty restaurants with the same luck. The staff was not very friendly, the service was very much below par and we will not be returning. We will continue to use the Riu chain, but in a different local. The only bright spot was the sunshine. I wold say the beach was good, but the water was very rough.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money in the Dominican, go to Play Del Carmen
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Calverson
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 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

We returned from the d.r. on 4/28 after a week of sun and fun. althrough we booked the palace macao first and lasted 30 minutes (review there now) we were moved to the punta cana. we stayed at several palaces before so when we walked in it felt good. the check in was great they knew we were coming our room was ready with fresh fruit and rum! overall very nice and very clean. nice staff not much english but it works. ala cartes were good buffet was very good as most riu's are. the pool service was great (thanks leo) as well as breakfast & lunch service (thanks juan-carlo). the only negative i can come up with is the pool is missing tiles, ladders come out and those CHEAP PLASTIC CHAIRS. final word is its clean nice and you make your vacation want you it to be,

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank fgp62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2013

I definitely would take much out of the real negative reviews, it's important to find a middle ground in between the amazing reviews and the terrible reviews. Riu Palace Punta Cana was an overall a very good experience. Don't fool yourself this place is not a 5 star resort, but was very good. The thing that really stuck out to me as amazing was how beautiful the grounds were. The staff was constantly performing upkeep everyday, to help maintain a clean well kept environment. The beach is very close. I would say a 5 minute walk if you were the furthest away. We were fortunate to have about a 30 second walk. As a tip make sure you get out early enough to reserve chairs, and even a table if your lucky. Also one thing that really surprised us was how windy it was and how rough the water was. We literally probably went two days without going deeper than knee high because the water was soo, rough. This was the one aspect that will keep me from going back, but that is not a knock on the resort but simply the Dominican in general (not to mention the airport was pretty much out of control).

The food was ok. I'm not picky at the least but honestly things were hit or miss. Breakfast was great every morning, and the wait staff were so nice. Dinner and Lunch however was about 50/50 from a food standpoint. As is the nature of a buffet, the quality of the food depended on recently the food was prepared, so I would stay away from unique things that you want to "try" because chances are it's been sitting there for a while. As a tip, stick with popular meals that a lot of people would eat, as it has a quicker turnover. But in all honesty, as crazy as it sounds the buffet was much better than a handful of the dinner restaurants (not all). Stay away from the Grill, they have steak and lobster which is tempting, but honestly it was really really bad, dry etc. It was by far the worst. I do however recommend the Italian and Brazillian.

At night they have a show which at first is a blast, really a must see for a night or two, but you will quickly realize it's the same people doing essentially the same things, with the same jokes etc in a variety of ways, except for the magic show. If you go, you have to go to the magic show! I was astonished at what he was able to do, but don't sit too close because he will bring you on stage! The rest of the nights were dances by the same people, and honestly probably not kid friendly as they essentially work normal dance tops with thong bottoms. I think you migt be able to go to the other riu's for their shows, so I would bounce between them for variety purposes.

One last warning I want to give, your room could have two full size mattresses pushed together, not a king (most people we talked to had the two fulls including ourselves) and it is guaranteed to smell musty. It's the nature of the location, ask for an extra blanket to throw on the coach, that's what we did. Honestly we didn't spend much time in the room anyways.

In summary, I would say if you are traveling to the Dominican then the Riu Palace is recommended. My review may sound negative but I want to stress it was very good, I just thought I would highlight a few of the downsides to prepare you, so your not caught off guard like we were. If you have your mind set on DR then I would recommend the Palace. But I would say if your willing to spend a little more, I would go to a different island.

Room Tip: Do not spend the extra money for the "upgraded" room. Its identical to the other rooms, ex...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Frank S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

This was my first time in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Also, my first time staying at a Riu Resort.I was dissappointed in many ways. The decor was old fashion and did not look clean. The staff were very rude and not friendly at all. 90% of the staff members did not speak a lick of English, so the language barrier was extremely difficult. The staff were also drinking on the job and not professional at all. The food was below average. The rooms were below average, as well. There was a pungent odor of mildew throughout the whole hotel. The overall cleaniness wasn't good. Despite all of that, my husband and I fell in love with the beauitful beach, which is where we spent most of our time. The drinks were pretty decent. I definitely WILL NOT be staying at a Riu Hotel in Punta Cana or anywhere else for that matter. And I will definitely not reccommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Getting a room that's in close proximity to everything on the resort is key !
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lisa s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Sring
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

We moved from the Riu Bambu next door to Riu Palace with a group of very unhappy customers after getting extorted for more money to stay here. This Hotel is also listed as a 5 Apple with Casino (which is a large closet with a dozen or so slot machines and a Hand Made Black Jack Table that no one was ever at.)

The Good: The lobby is very beautiful, marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and a nice front desk. The staff overall is very nice and the drink guy at the pool could not have been nicer. The beach is wonderful and the water is clear and nice.

The Bad: Entertainment was just awful! One night they got woman volunteers to dance as raunchy as they could (which was kind of funny) but then made each the poor woman simulate sex and pretend to get shot in the head. Everyone in the audience was so uncomfortable and the poor women just wanted off the stage.

The pool looks big in the photos but is so packed that you could not swim, in the afternoon it gets so hot that the pool is like a hot tub that smell like a dirty diaper. If you don't get down by the pool by 7am, you will not find a place to sit and the music in the afternoon is so loud, hard to enjoy the pool.

The Ugly: Housekeeping is bad, the king bed is two twins pushed together our first night there, our room was not ready for us with the last peoples towels, sheets on the floor, no problem, we called the front desk and they said they get to it right away, we go to dinner and come back still not ready, called again and said "right away", we went to the show got back at 11:30pm.. room not done called again and said right away. By midnight our room was finally made with nasty bloody sheets. We slept on only the one twin and asked next day to fix, it took 3 days for the maid to change the sheets with blood on them.

Overall much better then the Riu Bambu but still has lots of problems. If you post a negative review, you will get harassed by someone I think works for the Hotel. They had my first review taken off because I never slept at the Riu Bambu.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank paulnmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

My Wife and I just got back from our trip, April 21 to 28, 2013, Amazing, I can't give anything a bad review, food, entertainment, rooms, pools, Fantastic Beach, the Beauty of this and the other 4 resorts, just Amazing, this is the best Resort I have ever been to, service top notch, people very friendly.

Room Tip: poolside rooms, stay away from elevators, or garbage areas, I heard someone complain they were near...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshkosh WI
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I spent 9 days at the Riu Palace Punta Cana with another couple from April 15th-24th. This was our first trip to the Dominican but we have been to many all inclusives in the Riviera Maya over the last 5 years. This was also our first time staying at a Riu property. The couple we were traveling with had never before left the U.S. so everything was a first for them! We were very impressed by the Riu! Our flight into Punta Cana arrived almost an hour early which clearly made us early to the resort. We arrived at the property around 1 pm. They had the most organized check in procedure of any all inclusive we had ever stayed at an ALL of the rooms for the APPLE VACATIONS clientele were ready and waiting for us! It was fabulous! The resort in general was very clean, and absolutely beautiful! Maid service came to the rooms minimum of twice per day! Minibar was stocked the same--at least twice per day and a simple note asking for the things we drank I.e. Pepsi, Pepsi light, water and Presidente meant that they removed what we didn't use and refilled with only what we were drinking! About mid-way through our stay the couple we were traveling with had a problem with a fuse blowing in their room when they had the ceiling fan on. They mentioned it to the maid and upon return to their room the problem had been fixed! We also had a small leak develop in the ceiling from the air conditioning unit. I left a note and had towels on the floor. Same thing...returned to the room and the ceiling had been clearly patched, and no more leak! All of the staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating! I speak a little Spanish and did attempt to do so when I was able. My husband and the other couple do not and they had no trouble communicating. Just smile and be polite and you will have no problem. The beaches are absolutely the best we have seen and enjoyed spending time in the ocean! We planned on bringing our 3 teenagers along on next years trip and were planning to go to Mexico again. This trip has changed our mind and we will be heading back to the D.R. And most likely to the Riu Palace! The kids can't wait!!! P.S. if you plan to do an excursion while you are there, the Outback Safariwas wonderful! A great way to see the country and learn a lot about the country and the people! :)

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank cutenurse2005
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

Property: 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 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
#44 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 On the Beach 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 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

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