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“Rui Palace punta cana” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #65 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Rui Palace punta cana”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2007

Just got home from a 7 day trip to Punta Cana, May 4-11th. This was our second trip to Punta Cana and our first at the Rui Palace Punta Cana. The good and the bad. (there was no ugly). The room was beautiful, the property was very clean, the service was great. (that is the good). The food was ok , several of the specialty resturants were good (italian, sir ocsars, Japanese) and several bad (steak house, brazilan) The buffet was always good and we always found plenty to eat. The only bad was the activities. We stayed previously at Sunscape the beach and there is no comparison in the energy levels. Sunscape was high activity and always something going on for all ages and levels of activities. The Palace was much more reserved and low key. We are in our mid 50's and enjoyed the sunscape more the the Rui Palace.(stuffy) However, the beach was much nicer at the Rui and it was nice to be able to go to the other Rui properties and enjoy their facilities as well Both properties were well worth the money (apple vacations) and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either one. Any questions just e-mail me.

Helpful?
20 Thank major001
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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Huntington, MA USA
Level Contributor
100 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2007

As many others we were a bit concerned by some of the reviews, but tend to take them with a grain of salt. My husband and I have been to 10+ carribbean all-inclusive resorts over the years. This was our second visit to Punta Cana (went to Secrets 2 years ago). Our trip was booked through Beachdestinations.com. Travel dates were April 14-21, 2007.

We asked for a room on the top floor and to our surprise were given an upgrade to a room with a patio deck & jacuzzi with view at no extra charge. Room was very well appointed. Agree the beds are a bit firm, but we like that. The musty smell is definitely there and did get into your clothes. We brought a scented candle which helped. I'd recommend a plug in air freshner. Our cleaning person did a great job. We asked for champagne and were given a bottle and glasses in our fridge. Jacuzzi on roof deck was great!

We managed to get to all of the restaurants. Yes you have to book each day. Go a bit later, say 10 AM when the line is gone. We got into our restaurant of choice every day without issue. The only restaurant we didn't care for was the steak house. Our favorite was Sir Oscars (we went twice). The food was very good overall at the resort. If you can't find something you like here, you have serious issues and I suggest you don't go to any carribbean all-inclusive! The wine needs work. White is better than red. You can get champagne everywhere and suggest that over the wine. It is very good.

Staff were unbelievable everywhere! So friendly and eager to please. We continue to be impressed by the Dominican people, especially since they make very little money and work very long hours and manage to always smile! We tried our Spanish out on them and they tried their English on us... very fun. My husband brought some Red Sox shirts and gave them to our favorite staff members. He also brought a baseball glove and we found a bus person whose 12 year old son did not have his own glove to give it to. It was like we were giving him gold. They were so appreciative of the $1 - $2 tips we gave out as well. We brought 50 $1 bills and tipped a lot.

The resort itself is amazingly beautiful and very clean. The pool bar was fun in the afternoons. The beach is gorgeous. Lots of chairs, shaded by palm trees. The water was just the right temperature. You can walk for hours and never get to the end of the beach. We didn't spend much time at the pool, as we prefer the beach, but appeared to have plenty of chairs for all. I agree they should have built a bigger pool.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay. Since there are so many places to visit we likely won't get back to this particular resort, but were happy with our choice and you will be too!

  • Liked — Friendly staff, awesome beach, excellent food, quiet and great place to relax!
  • Disliked — Musty smell in room.
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Damfarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2007

My husband and I honeymooned April 30- May 7 at the RIU Palace. Upon arrival we were amazed and very excited with the beauty of the hotel. Our excitement ended shortly when we were sent to the Sports Bar to eat lunch as it was the only place open when we arrived. Our "lunch" menu consisted of refrigerated hamburgers and hotdogs that you nuked in the microwave (if you were brave enough to try them) and very stale tortilla chips and nacho cheese. The food did not improve at all for the rest of the week. By the time we arrived back home we had both lost weight from a lack of food and were excited about eating at Wendy's. Almost all of the food, with a few exceptions at breakfast, was disgusting and smelled very bad. You had a choice of specialty resturaunts if you did not want to eat in the main dining hall but you had to be in line daily by 9 am to make reservations for these resturaunts or else you would not get a reservation. This made sleeping in impossible. You also had to wake up early to get your beach towels from the towel person and then run out to the beach and save chairs or else you did not get one for that day. The only food that was half way decent was the club sandwich you could get from room service. Men are also required to wear long pants to dinner. Our travel agent did not tell us this but luckily my husband packed some pants. We saw many people turned away from the resturaunts because of this. The choice of alcohol was also very poor. Our travel agent told us that we could get top shelf liquor and any kind of beer we wanted (foreign, import, domestic etc.) which was to be included in our all inclusive package. The liquor was not top shelf and you had to ask for it to be put in your drinks. If you didn't ask you got virgin drinks. The only beer available is Brahma beer (very gross imitation of PBR). If you want any other beer you have to buy skunky Bud Light or El Presidente for anywhere from $2 to $4 in the gift shop (depending on who works the prices change so that they can pocket the extra money). The room was nice but smelled like my grandmothers basement, very musty. Everything stayed wet the entire week but that is to be expected in a tropical area. The hotel was absolutley gorgeous, picture perfect, as well as the beaches. The staff was also very nice. People working outside of the resort (and some in the resort) were just out to get your money. Shopping is not fun at all because they try to scam you. The prices of everything you try to buy are very expensive ($5 for a can of pringles). Non motorized water activities which are listed as all inclusive were hard to do because although they were free you had to pay $25 for lessons. If you told them that you did not need a lesson then they would make you reserve whatever water craft you wanted and you could never reserve it for that day because they were all full (even though they would sit empty for hours on the beach). There is also a lack of night life. Some of the shows were very strange as they had little kids singing and doing the bunny hop as your evening entertainment at the bar. We made the best of the trip and did not let these things ruin our time but I would not stay at this hotel again. Some people we met who were at other resorts said that they had good food and drinks and really liked where they were staying, so this has not completely turned us off from going back to the Dominican Republic. I recommend before you go anywhere, do a lot of research.

  • Liked — The beach and hotel were amazingly beautiful.
  • Disliked — The food and drinks were horrible.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank scarletbegonia77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2007

Holiday period 23/04/07-07/05/07
We had originally booked the Riu Bamboo but a combination of a shoddy room (cigarette burns in the bedcovers, broken tiles in the bathroom, threadbare sheets) and very drunken, noisy neighbours caused us to upgrade to the palace next door. Santiago was very helpful on the front desk giving us a very good price to upgrade so, after viewing a room we snapped up his offer.
The difference was amazing
1.Room cleaned every day instead of every other day
2.Room service included in the all inclusive package ( and breakfast in bed )
3.Famous branded drinks
4.Bottled wine at meal times/roomservice ( including champagne )
5.5 al a carte restaurants
6.24 hour sports bar

The layout of the hotel is stunning and the staff is attentive but not intrusive. There was never a time when we couldn’t get a sun lounger either around the pool or by the beach and the hotel appeared quite full
The choices of food were more than adequate for our tastes and I would like to think that we are adventurous. Also, as previously stated there are 5 themed resaurants
The room service could have been better. We used it 4 times during our stay and they never got our order right once
1.Ordered coffee which arrived without cups
2.Ordered a cheese and onion sandwich which arrived without the cheese
3.Ordered breakfast which arrived without cutlery
4.Ordered breakfast which never arrived at all ( it was given to another guest by mistake )
It’s obviously a training issue and after talking to the people on the front desk I’m assured it will be addressed.
The entertainment however needs to be completely revamped in my opinion. The Animacion team do work extremely hard but are limited in what they can achieve.
Here are a few examples of what I mean
1.During my 14 nights stay children are the focus of the Animacion team before 9pm. However most nights only 4 or 5 kids got involved and it was very repetitive stuff. Leaving literally hundreds of people extremely bored hoping /waiting for something else to happen
2.The Adult entertainment consisted of mimed dance routines which were performed quite well but again repetitive. You can only watch dance routines for so long
3.The areobics/dance class team played the same playlist of music constantly. One day I heard the music 6 times and it goes on for about 45 mins. Listen out for “ This time we’re gonna get funky “ you’ll be reaching for the ear plugs
4.The worst night’s effort consisted of a staff member trying to get three English speaking guys to repeat a Spanish tongue twister but after he had translated every single stage into 4 languages people were running for the bars (and this was peak time entertainment)
I’m not knocking the effort put in by the team. However, Riu really needs proffessional entertainment. This was echoed by many people we had met from all parts of the world. So if anyone from the Riu establishment reads this please take note
I would like to add that this did not detract us from thoroughly enjoying our holiday ( vacation ) but it would enhance the experience.
I did try the water sports and took a catamaran out most days. Booking was easy and there was enough capacity, however some people ( Americans mostly ) booked things in case they wanted to do them usually not bothering to turn up and, (most annoyingly ) not cancelling. I learned that if you showed up 5 or 10 mins after a booking time there were usually lots of windsurfers/catamarans/canoes/pedaloes that hadn’t been taken out so were available at short notice

Finally, please don’t let any of my comments put you off this place. They are merely observations. We had a great time and I hope if you go there you will to
Watch out for the Rum and the Mama Juanna.

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
10 Thank Bob_the_Fireman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keller, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2007

We were wondering if we had made a smart choice after reading some of the reviews of the Riu Palace Punta Cana. Don't worry--it is a great property!
We have stayed at Riu properties in Mexico several times, including the Riu Palace in Playa del Carmen. This report will try to compare this hotel to those properties to possibly give some of you a point of reference.
The Beach--The beach is the primary reason to go here. The sand is white and the beach is wide. It is nicer than Playa del Carmen in my opinion, and comparable to Tulum, our favorite beach in Mexico. You can walk or jog for miles on the beach barefoot--no shoes needed. We never had a problem getting loungers in the shade at the beach although the hotel was very busy.
The Pool--They have a nice main pooi with swim up bar. There is also a smaller infinity pool. Yes the pool seemed crowded at times but to be honest we did not use the pool since we are beach people. The pool was certainly nicer than some of the neighboring Riu hotel pools that we saw but was a little smaller than the Iberostar's in Playa del Carmen.
The Food--We were very pleased with the food, at both the main buffet restaurant and the specialty restaurants. La Bodega, the Brazilian steakhouse, was comparable to the one in Playa del Carmen. We also enjoyed the Italian restaurant and Sir Oscar, the gourmet restuarant. We had caviar at Sir Oscar. You do have to reserve the specialty restaurants, but we went to make the reservation at 9:30 in the morning and never had to wait in line or had a problem with our choice. We did not see any beach grilling at lunch like some of the places do in Mexico, although one day our friends said they ate at the neighboring Riu hotel and had a beach grilled lunch there. (As a guest of the Riu Palace you have privileges to eat at the adjoining Riu hotels.)
The Room--yes the beds are harder than we are used to at home, but they were softer than what we have stayed at in Mexico. And unlike Mexico our bed was a true king and not two doubles pushed together. There is a lot more cable TV choices here, including Fox News, TNT, TBS, and Showtime. We never had any room issues with odor even though we brought the recommended room air freshener.
The Spa--this is unique to the Riu Palace in Punta Cana at least compared to the Rius in Mexico we have stayed at. Be sure to give this a try. We enjoyed the sauna and Roman baths in the spa building at the end of the day.
The Clientele--We noticed more Europeans and consequently more topless than what we normally see in Mexico. If some of you may think of this as a plus it in not necessarily so based upon some of the sights we saw! Still, we met friendly people from England, Germany, and even Russia while staying here.
Excursions--The only trip we took was the Safari Adventure to experience Dominican culture. We saw a native home, sugar cane, fruit, coffee and cocoa farms as well as rode horses and had a lunch on the beach at a working ranch. Very enjoyable!

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank tcutexasfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2007

I was prepared to write a very nice review of this hotel. In fact I was very pleased with everything this hotel has to offer, until a bottle of my cologne was stolen from the room by a maintenance person fixing the hair dryer. Put your items in the safe. Including your expensive cologne. Aside from my $50.00 bottle of cologne being stolen everything was great!

  • Stayed May 2007
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Cixelsid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2007

We just got back today from our stay at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. I should start by saying that 2 weeks before we left to go to the Excellence we were called by CheapCaribbean.com to be informed that the Excellence had overbooked and that we could cancel our vacation or go to the Riu Palace instead. We were quite upset since we wanted an adults only place and we liked the idea of horseback riding right on the beach. Since we couldn't change the week we went on vacation we decided to go to the Riu. The resort itself is just gorgeous with the prettiest beach we had ever seen- and we have been on some nice ones! Can't say enough about the beach- simply amazing!! The pool and the grounds are really pretty also. Our room was really nice and the smell is just a tropical one- you shouldn't go to a tropical island and expect it not to smell like one. The smell is earthy and kinda nice actually. People are right about the dampness though. Our clothes, sheets, books, towels ect. were damp all week. Though- we had A LOT of rain This was our biggest complaint- the weather. We only had one day when it didn't rain at least part of the day. All of the staff acted like it was 100% normal and we could not find a weather report anywhere. The one day the sun was out all day we wore 30 spf and ended up getting sun poisoning. I am still in pain! Wear 45 spf at least. Our other complant was the night life- or complete lack thereof for anyone under 50. People get really dressed up for dinner and we just wanted to be relaxed. After dinner people just sat around in their dressey clothes and watched horrible shows. Our room was directly on top of the stage which also kinda stunk. We did enjoy the Bambu resort next door- much less stuffy and more fun people just relaxing and having a good time on their vacation. No showing off their 'fine tastes'- just enjoyng being themselves. Even there though, very little happened after the pool bar closes at dinner time. We spent most nights walking the beach- which we would highly reccomend!! Sitting under the palms at night in the moonlight was a pleasure we will not soon forget. The food was fine- though we did get sick from shellfish one night. The staff were the friendliest and most accomodating we have ever met. they were wonderful and willing to help in any way they could. as for the spanish- it is a spanish speaking country! Dur! It is our responsibility to respect their culture- not the other way around. We found that most of the staff was able to speak enough english to get by- more than we spoke Spanish- that's for sure. Also, there are people there speaking every language you could imagine and they have to find ways to communicate with all of them. Kudos to the staff for that- I couldn't do it! The drinks were great- try the Mojitos! We enjoyed being around people from all over the world but people really kinda stayed to themselves. We would have liked to meet more people. If we go back to Punta Cana we would try to get in at the Excellence. We met people in the sirport wo went there and it sounded better- more like what we were looking for in the first place. Overal- it was a good vacation and I am glad we went.



  • Liked — the beach
  • Disliked — the weather- rain!
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank jenninemann
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
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
#44 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#58 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 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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