Just got back last night after a week stay. Let me start by saying that the staff is incredible. From the moment you walk through the door you are greeted with smiles and they can't do enough for you. We had a Junior Suite Superior. I had read reviews previously about complaints about moldy smelling rooms. We stayed in 1117 which overlooked the fountains and was a perfect location. From the time I walked in, the room smelled musty and moldy but we were told by housekeeping it was the bleach and cleansers they used. In hindsight, we should have changed rooms. Either the air conditioning vents need cleaning or something else is wrong. When I came home an unpacked, everything smelled like the room. There was one night when my bed was changed and I had a very scratchy sheet but it was gone the next day.
The food was very good. We ate at the Brazilian restaurant, the steak house and the Italian restaurant. The rest of the nights we ate at the buffet because the food was good and we didn't feel rushed. There are two seatings at the specialty restaurants. 6:30 and 9:30. We felt the courses came out too quickly at the 6:30 seating and we couldn't sit and relax.
There is not much to do in the evening after dinner. There is a lobby bar and a sports bar (which smells horribly of cigarettes. We would go to La Plaza outside after dinner and dance and listen to the music. At 9:30 on some nights there is a show in the theater. A few of the shows were very good. One night I think one of the shows was canceled. Other than that, there isn't really anything to do. The disco on the other property doesn't open until 11:00. We walked down to go to the casino but there was a sign on the door that said "Closed Until Further Notice" so that wasn't even an option. We did have drinks at some of the other properties but there wasn't much going on at any of them.
The Palace used to have vendors that would come in and you could buy from them but they no longer allow that. One night one of the other properties had a few vendors but nothing like there used to be. I understand the place has changed hands in the last few years.
The other problem we found was with the reserving of chairs at the pool. In order to get a chair at the pool you had to get up early and run down and put towels on them. I looked out my window at 7:00 a.m. and half the chairs were already reserved. Then I saw one of the other parties tipping the towel guy to lay out towels for them the next day. This is a practice that really should be stopped . We watched chairs remain vacant all day with towels across them when other people couldn't find anywhere to sit. The same went for the beach area although that was easier to find a chair.
Our tour company was Amstar and we had a very good experience with Katie. We did book the Outback Safari tour and it was well worth it. Ruddy the tour guide for the day and Leonardo the driver made the day interesting and it was nice to see other parts of the Dominican.
Leaving Punta Cana was a mess. Our flight was at 3:00. The driver was supposed to come at 11:30 and it was noon before he got there. By the time we picked up other passengers, we didn't get to the airport until 12:45. Once we got there we were directed to self-check in kiosks for US Airways. There were only 2 working and there was a line on each that were ridiculous. We then had to go check our bags in and by the time we got done it was 2:30 and we were told the plane was boarding. We rushed to the gate only to stand in line for another hour in the heat. Our plane was 2 hours late taking off. Give yourself plenty of time to get through the process of the airport mess.
I doubt I would go back to this resort. While the staff was fabulous and the food was good, I was very disappointed that there was nothing more offered for evening entertainment.
I do have to highly compliment the entertainment staff - from the water aerobics to them dancing at night with the people in La Plaza, they are hard working and try to make sure everyone has a good time. If you do go and you aren't happy with your room, speak up - they are very accommodating.
- 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