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“Don't listen to the negatives...”

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #74 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed June 17, 2014

We have just returned from the Riu Palace and enjoyed 11 nights here. We stayed in room 1049 on the second floor overlooking the fountains and near to the pool area. We found the room very clean although the decor a little tired. Our room was always cleaned well and our fridge restocked daily.
We tried all the speciality restaurants and found the steakhouse and the Brazilian our least favourite but enjoyed Krystal and the Italian restaurant. Our main gripe was you had to book for these and they only have two sittings 6.30pm, too early and 9pm a little late. We preferred the buffet as you could choose what time to eat and there was always a good choice. The main restaurant was very busy at breakfast and not always the greatest breakfast although a lot of choice.
The beach is fantastic lots of sun beds and plenty of
shade under the palm trees.You can walk for miles in either direction and the "drinkey drinkey" guys come round all the time offering drinks so you don't even need to leave your sun bed..
The pool is large and very warm, again the waiters are always on hand to bring drinks. In the late afternoon the swim up pool bar gets very noisy with loud americans drinking and shouting at one another and some days this was a bit if a pain..
We did one trip the segway which was good fun and nice to see the Caribbean side of the island and you get to ride along a deserted beach.
The nightly entertainment was good and the animation team work very hard. All in all we enjoyed our stay, the staff work very hard and despite what people say about the tipping we didn't tip until the end of our holiday and still found we received very good service throughout. The main language is spanish but the staff all speak very good english. We were surprised during our stay how few English guests were staying at the hotel but it didn't stop us enjoying our holiday.


Don't listen to the negatives go to the Riu Palace and enjoy......



Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
8  Thank Caroline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 16, 2014

My husband and I visited Riu Palace Punta Cana from June 09-15. It was our first experience at an all-inclusive resort and our first experience in the Dominican Republic. Before we left, I read plenty of reviews of the resort. For the most part, the reviews rang true in some way, both good and bad. The resort looked exactly as it did in the photos. It was beautiful. The beach was so nice and had plenty of seating.

We were in a Junior Suite Superior, and I believe superior only meant that our room was facing the fountains and main walkway. The room was on the bottom floor. It was clean and very spacious; however, it did have the musty/mildewy smell I had read about, and I think we later discovered the source. A steady stream of water would occasionally pour from one side of the light fixture in the bathroom. I had also read a review that mentioned this. It made a bit of a mess at times, but it was not enough that we were willing to risk losing the convenience and view of our current room.

The staff worked very hard to keep the grounds and rooms clean. All of the tile of the resort was mopped each morning (this was a lot of tile) and kept very clean. The staff was extremely friendly, too. The language difference was never an issue. Everyone spoke enough English to be able to communicate effectively. The bartenders were great, too. Drinks were delicious and usually heavy-handed. They had a huge variety of liquors, but only one beer: Presidente. Being craft beer fans, this beer wasn't too appealing, so we stuck to the mixed drinks.

Food:
The resort has one main buffet and several "a la carte" restaurants that require reservations. My favorite meal was from Luigi's, though most of the food there was similar to what you could get at the buffet. We ate at the Japanese restaurant two nights in a row. The first night, everything was fantastic. The food the next night did not seem as fresh. The main buffett does special "theme" dinners a few times throughout the week that are fun to observe. The food looks great and like it would be delicious, but it wasn't actually as good as we'd hoped. We were able to find a few things that we liked,though, and stuck with them for the most part of the trip. We ate twice at the Steakhouse building by the beach for lunch, but the food there was the worst of all.

The water there isn't purified, so you should not drink from the tap or use it to brush your teeth. Our first full day there we got very sick in the evening. We really couldn't pinpoint the source, though. We had followed a review's advice and brought insulated cups to have filled at the bar since the ones they use are about 3 swallows big, and we noticed at the end of the day that they had been rinsing the cups from the tap each time they were refilled. We don't know if this caused us to get sick or the food at lunch from La Altagracia's buffet (the steakhouse), but we threw up a lot that evening and slept about 15 hours. The next day, we felt fine, though, and just had a relaxing day.

We booked our trip through Vacation Express, and we were very glad we did. They provide a shuttle to and from the resort and airport, but you need to pay for this with your reservation. We got very lucky with paying cash at the airport once we arrived. There was a meeting with a representative the first morning at the resort, and we were given really helpful advice about our stay and the resort. Pay for everything with CASH. You don't need it for anything in the hotel unless you want to use the casino or buy souvenirs, but we were warned that credit cards could be double charged or have large fees added on by the merchant. You don't have to tip anyone, but some of the workers go all out for you and will be with you all week, so you might want to have some cash for that.

This review has gotten a bit lengthy, but all-in-all, if we went to the DR again, we would definitely be happy staying at Riu Palace Punta Cana again.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Kayla B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2014

once again the riu came through. myself and my family got stuck on the isalnd. the riu made sure we had a room till the time that we got a flight back to NY. we appreciate there service, patience and understanding. service and atomosphere was great. thank you once again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank flor j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2014

There are quite a few reviews about this resort so I will spare you a prolific dissertation...
1) for the price and rating i expected more. The food was mehhhhh... not to mention that several folks in my party caught a bad stomach bug...
2) The bed and pillows were sunken & horrible. The AC unit hummed so loud that it kept me up at night.
3) The front desk folks...OMG! soooooo unprofessional and borderline rude. Outside of a few guys like Wellington & Orlando, everyone else can go ahead and get trained again, and then another time.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank A Émylyã B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2014

We stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana from 6-7-14 through 6-14-14 in room 3088. The difference between this hotel and the other Riu hotels is the higher cost. It is a nice hotel but there are many issues with it as well. It is by all accounts falling apart little by little.
We checked in without fanfair. Meaning, no welcome drink - no nothing...
Our first room had so much mold in it that I could not stay in it. The reception desk was gracious and gave us a new room which still had a bit of mold in the shower area and on there was something on the lamp shade but I'm not sure what that was.
We simply did not want to believe some of the bad reviews so we decided to deal with it and have a good time. We also had a nice balcony which was very nice untill you looked up and saw a few large holes that were seeping mold out of them.
The buffet was very good and we did not find the drinks to be watered down at all. The restaurants were just ok.
the pool is small in comparison to other all inclusives we have stayed in.

you must buy a minium of 15.00 US dollars in the hotel store in order to use a credit card. We were surprised to pay 3.00 for a small bag of M&M's.
Anyway, I would not recomend this hotel to my friedns or family.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jewels1262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2014

I read tons of reviews before this trip, and some had me very nervous. I was to give you an honest review of this hotel and the trip overall. This was my third time in Punta Cana, but my first at a Riu hotel. The Riu Palace Punta Cana was by far the nicest one out of the others in the complex. Let me start with the rooms/hotel appearance: We were in room 3019, a junior suite with a king size bed. The room was spotless and there was no "smell" that I had read about in other reviews. The bed was very comfortable, a little firm but nothing to complain about. The maids did an excellent job making up the room each morning, and turning down the beds each night. They did a pretty good job at keeping the drinks stocked, although we did have to request they refilled the Stoli bottle after 2 days of it being empty. The bathroom was very clean as well. They provided a safe lock and key upon check in to keep our valuables in. The only strange thing was they dont have key cards like in most hotels, so you need to carry an actual key/key chain around with you. The food at the resort was very good. I will say the service/waitstaff at the buffet was much better than at the specialty restaurants. The buffet provided a lot of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and I found the food very good. For the specialty restaurants we ate at the Steak House, Italian, Japanese, and Brazilian. The rib eye at the steak house was delicious, we ended up going back there a second time. I also really enjoyed the Italian restaurant, especially the beef dish. The food at the Brazilian restaurant was good, but I'm not a huge meat eater so my boyfriend enjoyed it more than I did. The Japanese restaurant wasn't that great, I'm used to eating a lot of this food at home and wasn't impressed with their selection. We had no problems making reservations, and you can make them for 3 days at a time. The beach was amazing, and the palm trees provide a lot of shade for when you need to cool off. We never had any problem getting a chair on the beach, and I felt safe leaving my bag with my iphone unattended while in the water. They had plenty of waiters walking around with trays for "drinky drinky". Keep in mind the drinks dont have alcohol but they carry a cup of rum to add. We only spent two days at the pool, which also had plenty of open chairs and an awesome swim up bar. Overall I really enjoyed this hotel. The staff goes out of their way to get you anything you ask for, and they try their best at English. The shows at night were entertaining, nothing amazing but we had fun watching. The staff in the area of the show and patio outside are very attentive and keep your drinks full at all times. Yahanni at the lobby bar was great and always smiling. This is a BEAUTIFUL hotel with great service and I would absolutely go back. I have no idea where the negative reviews came from, but it must be from people who are impossible to please. Give this resort a shot you wont be disappointed

Room Tip: We had room 3019 and loved the location!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank Colleen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2014

Lovely hotel. Friendly, helpful staff. Stayed from 22nd May for 2 weeks. My husband injured his foot on the 'decked ' beach area ( used for dance classes, yoga etc). Walking across same, barefoot (sand too HOT!!!) caught the sole of his foot on broken piece of wood. Ended up with 'splinter ' about 1inch/ 1and half inch imbedded in foot - OUCH!!!!! Required wheelchair to get to room and taxi to local clinic (Caribbean street). Doctor at clinic could not remove 'splinter'. Advised to go to Hospital in Bavaro, more taxis. Our Thomson rep ( Julian) was amazing, he organised taxi, then came to the clinic, then the hospital . So, so helpful, spoke to nurse and doctor on our behalf. They wanted to do X-ray, he managed to talk them out of it. They carried out medical procedure to remove same. Quoted 1700 dollars, after much discussion regarding antibiotics and unnecessary medication , bill was finally 1400 dollars! If the amazing Julian had not been there, who knows what we would have paid. Both staff at Clinic and Hospital spoke better English than our Spanish, but still struggled to understand each other.

Thomson Holidays have an amazing employee in Julian. Until the end of our holiday, he checked we were okay.

Hope to return to this hotel. Rooms are dated but very clean, our maid ( room 0108) so helpful

Food - travelled extensively - Mexico, Maldives, Cuba, Spain,France, Austria, Portugal, most of Europe - impressed with buffet - yes there is repetition, but never ate the same thing twice. A la carte restaurants - Italian - cold food. Krystal - ,lukewarm food. (Walked out)

Beach incredibly busy, water sports of every type available, helicopters flying overhead most of the day, lots of people walking to and fro.

Would still return to a well maintained, friendly hotel.

We did not drink from the 'in room' mini bar. Mentioned this to staff that we don't drink rum,gin,vodka or brandy, my husband drinks whisky. Next day, a bottle of Johnny Walker red lable in room,that's what I call customer service.

Go and try this hotel, you will not be sorry. Watch out for Adrian, Jasmine, De Paula and Victor and lots more friendly staff. ENJOY!!!!!!

If you travel with Thomson, you are in safe hands with the fantastic Julian.





carte restaurants - not impressed - Italian - cold food ( walked out) . Krystal - lukewarm food.

Room Tip: Room 0108 ground floor facing courtyard. Clean, quiet and handy got everything. We had requested an...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alejandromac
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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