Riu Palace Punta Cana Reviews

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Riu Palace Punta Cana  

Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana. Dominican Republic

nice vacation spot
Posted by: ryuicho on Jun 23, 2014
see all reviews

Riu Palace Punta Cana Reviews
Riu Palace Punta Cana Pictures and Information
Riu Palace Punta Cana Punta Cana-Bavaro Dominican Republic

#23 of 80 Hotels in Punta Cana-Bavaro

user rating 3.4

based on 20 review(s)

Riu Palace Punta Cana Information

Standing on the beach of Arena Gorda, the Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana(all inclusive 24 hours) is surrounded by a garden of palm trees, where you can enjoy the very best in quality, service and luxury.

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Riu Palace Punta Cana Reviews

Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 3.4 of 5 20 review(s)
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nice vacation spot
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  ryuicho  on Jun 23, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) GERMANY
Visited on: May, 2014 | Leisure | Solo
1028 people found this review helpful

I spent 7 nights at this hotel and I can say that it was a wonderful experience for me. It is important that you tread with caution when reading some of the negative reviews because before I visited here, I read some reviews online and some were negative and to my surprise, on getting to the hotel, it was the opposite. I can honestly tell you I had the best vacation of my life here and will be coming back for more. The room décor may be a little worn but it was clean and tidy enough because the maid service cleaned out the rooms on a daily basis and the fridge was restocked daily as well. All the specialty restaurants that I tried were all good and had good food to serve the guests. I loved the Italian restaurant more, very pleasant staff there. I usually visit the beach, it’s beautiful with loungers and shades to stay under. I usually just walked the sandy beach to clear my head or relax and while walking, some guys will try to sell you drinks. They have a large pool, it is clean and the water temperature is okay, I might even say warm. The pool bar had waiters that were always on standby to make sure you don’t run out of drinks and that was cool. The entertainment team really had it going, kudos to the animation team for such a wonderful time. I recommend this place to anyone, I too will be back.

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The buffet food at Don Manuel and La Altagracia
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  lezlie  on Mar 4, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1472 people found this review helpful

They tell you that many of the staff speak English which is not quite true. They only know a few words so take an English-Spanish book with you.

Room Block:

Feb. 26 for 5 nights

Rooms were clean although musty on our first day there. They sprayed air spray to freshen it up and with the air condition on, smelled better.
Be careful of the bathroom floor and floors around the resort -- VERY SLIPPERY! If you get hurt, they usually won't take responsibility and it's your problem.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet food was definitely nothing to write home about. The food looked appetizing and there was a lot of it,but for the most part, was just bland. The 5 restaurants you have to make reservations for were wonderful. The food was amazing! If you're going, make a reservation for these restaurants for every night: Krystal, Japanese, Luigi's, El Bodega and Steakhouse. The servings aren't very big though.

Servers came out to the beach and around the pool to get drinks for you which was wonderful. Some of the drinks were so-so but the Sunrise drink was really good. We average tipped $5 per day for drinks and $5 per evening meal. Gave the maid $20 for the 5 nights we were there.
You also have to get up very early in the morning to claim your lounge chairs by the pool or you're out of look. Just put the blue pool towel on it and go back to bed.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Did not go on any excursions as I heard they took too long.

The shows were okay. Could not understand the announcer though. They should have a screen beside the stage with something like closed-captioning in different languages. That would have been very helpful.

Other Comments:
Airport was VERY confusing. Staff were few and not very helpful. Confusing especially on departure. We were USairways and used a self-check kiosk which said Delta so we didn't think we were in the right line and no one to tell us what to do. Other travelers were helpful though. Make sure you get your blue and white rectangular form as soon as possible (checking in). They don't give you enough time to fill it out so we did it as we were moving in the line. A majority of the staff there were VERY rude or aloof.

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Will not return
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  K312  on Mar 1, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1566 people found this review helpful

Two women from Chicago 5-day stay.

+ positive
Most employees at resort were friendly (Nestor by pool) (Juan1 at All day buffet)

- negative
Musty room
Apple vacation reps not helpful
Drinks - beer
Room service
Door locks /security
Resort - male workers that kept hitting on us, hand gestures
Shops expensive
Two women from Chicago 5 day stay

Room Number:

We flew in from Chicago. Thought apple representatived would be somewhere to help- not on arrival at DR airport. Our plane was late and as it unloaded onto the tarmack so did 5or 6 other planes. Disorganized and we were herded like cattle to pay $10 to get into the country. We waited in this line for 2hrs. While others paid the airport staff to get ahead of us. Once through what they consided customs we werent sure where to go. One of the guys who grab your suitcases for tips asked us what hotel and said apple and whisked us up to the little hut that was apple vacations and then out through a long long line of parked vehicles. He knew right where to go, with the apple vacation guy no where in site until he put our suitcases in the bus for us. So worth tipping the airport kid $5.
At hotel we had a few people checking in so a bit slow. Then they pull out this key with a large plastic keychain. One key, this I found very old fashioned until he gave us the key for the safe, along with the lock!!

Mildew smell was quite overpowering, but figured we are on the ocean, some other places Ive stayed have smelled but much less so.
(We didnt complain while we were there)
Safe didnt work and had to call the front desk to get it open after locking it. He had to fix the lock and proceeded to flirt with me while my mom kept trying to work the lock, it went on for awhile as he kept telling her to try again as he was blowing kisses at me and saying stuff I couldnt understand-making me feel more anf more uncomfortable.

No peephole on doors and no deadbolts, not even a slide lock. Woke up one night when sounded like someone trying to get in with a key.

Air conditioned worked well, but only a thin sheet and thin coverlet on the bed.
Beds were very hard and lousy pillows.
Patio door could hardly use the metal latch to open or close it it was not on the handle, had to pound it with something to get it to move.

Maid service was good, always clean and drinks restocked.
Read reviews that said they went through there stuff, yet could tell with mine, nothing was missing, although locked everything mostly in the safe.

Towels kind of scratchy, water pressure slow, floors slippery even with gym shoes.

Restaurants and Bars:
First off we are vegetarians that dont even eat fish, so we knew we would have a limited selection. We do eat Dairy. Although we picked a hotel with lots of restaurants with more of a choice. The food was mostly unlabeled and very bland. I guess as Americans we are spoiled, esp being from Chicago where we can get great pizza, Italian, Mexican and Chinese in just a short drive. The buffet by the pool was awful and had about the same food as everywhere else. Stuff that had been sitting out quite awhile. All I wanted was a salad with veggies!
Talked to a few others at the resort - they did not like the food and they ate meat or liquor either
Fruit was quite limited no berries, apples. Desserts were not tasty.
We made reservations- which you have to do days ahead of time waiting in a line- at Luigis. The Italian food was ok, we had vegetable lasagna (no noodles!) they also had a few other dishes to choose from such as roasted peppers, caprese, and meat or seafood noodle dishes. The food was pretty good. The wine was horrible, and I am an occasional wine drinker, I couldnt swallow it down.
There were no snacks at the pool bar, would have liked a bag of chips!!
The ala carte one Don emanuel (?) restaurant had a lot to choose from, then again not very tasty. Juan 1 greeted us everytime and was wonderful! He helped us find a table and got us drinks, he spoke a bit of English so that was helpful!
Room Service was awful, I wouldnt even call it that.

All in all for all inclusive came back dying for food!!

Beautiful beach/ocean. Great pool area. Clean. Too crowded at swim up bar. People put towels out to hold chairs, 9am there wasnt many spots to choose from. Then you never see them return to those chairs, such a waste for others who enjoy sitting and reading. Grounds were nice. Servers at pool area - a select were very nice and polite(Nestor) -most others were overbearing and annoying; hitting on us as we were two women alone. Felt a bit uncomfortable by that. We are beer drinkers, or vodka and tonic or club soda, once in awhile wine. Yet the only thing after trying multiple different drinks at the bar we drank pina coladas. Beer was awful and warm. Heard even the locals dont drink this type that was offered here.
Shops would not barter with us - expensive!! Not a deal like Mexico

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Pool aerobics were fun, although a few women were getting out and saying no when the instuctor was giving people hugs, we got out of the pool quickly after that.
Dancers at the entertainment stage were great and they had american music. Not many people in the audience were clapping and that bothered me, i ended up cheering and clapping loudly while getting dirty looks from the others around me. At least clap for the performers, some people are just rude I guess.
The band and singer was pretty good yet again we were approached by the employees to dance multiple times, whereas we just wanted to relax.
After incidents around the resort did not want to go on excursions as didnt feel safe with just the two of us (women)

Other Comments:
A lot of Europeans probably 80%. Not many people speaking English. Onlya few waiters knew a bit of English. Not that I expect them too, we are in their country. So if you are wary of that go to another spot! Overall the people who worked at the resort were pleasant, the male workers more so than the women. Although if I had to work there at least 14 hrs. A day for 11 days straight I wouldnt be able to smile as much as them.
Apple vacation rep didnt explain how to get to the other RIUs we justkind of wandered around.
Beach/ocean- beautiful
Bothered by staff and vendors on the resort property- maybe it wouldnt be as bad if our men came, but wont be back to find out!
Food bland
Beer bad and liquor not 'top shelf'

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Well worth it
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Vi  on Feb 12, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2012 | Leisure | With Group
1513 people found this review helpful

We were part of large group of 150 staying at the palace from January 29/12-February 5/12.
The place is stunning. Yes, they were doing some renovations and painting. But it in no way dampered our stay. The rooms were spacious and clean.
The pool was gorgeous. Yes, a lot of time they run out of towels....but thats only because you have the putz's that keep their towels instead of handing them in at the end of the day, just so they can save chairs the next day. So its not the workers fault.
The beach was incredible. It was windy during our stay, but you could still swim out in the ocean.
The staff was just awesome. Brush up on your Spanish though. Their English is limited.They were very friendly and helpful.
Just a note......tip your servers. Please. I saw some of the workers at 7am and they were still working at midnight. They make 8-12 dollars A DAY! You read it right....A DAY! And they work very hard for that.
There are area shops, but we found the prices a tad high. So if you plan on shopping, have money.
The food was yummy with TONS of variety! Right down to pizza and fries!!
All in all, it was an amazing experience and I will definitely go back!!!

Room Number:

There was a group of 150 of us. We were greeted at the lobby with some yummy punch.
Check in was quick and painless.

Yes, they smelt a bit mildewy. But...hello! Air conditioning is running and its humid outside!! Suck it up!
The rooms were very clean, the maid did an awesome job and we were never lacking for towels.

Restaurants and Bars:
We hit all the restaurants and the buffet.
The restaurants were very nice. The food was not bad at all. They try to accommodate us by serving a variety of food. You're in the Dominican. Not Italy, not Brazil. I say they get an "A" for effort on trying.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Well kept grounds. Beach was gorgeous. And a poolside bar. Need I say more?

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A very good hotel
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Nora  on Dec 31, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Puerto Rico
Visited on: Dec, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1516 people found this review helpful

The Riu Palace Punta Cana is a very good hotel. Their facilities are excellent, from the lobby whose decor is beautiful to the green areas that are very well kept and clean.

The lobby, restaurants and even the buffet are air-conditioned. For those who want it, you can dine al fresco in the buffet area. It has many bars where you can order drinks, tea and coffee.

The rooms are excellent because of their size and very well equipped. For those who like to drink alcoholic beverages, the drinks at the room’s bar are replaced every other day. Everything is unlimited including drinking water. As in all the Dominican Republic you cannot drink tap’s water. There are ice machines in all the corridors leading to rooms.

The service "all inclusive" includes waiter service in the area of the beach and pool, as well as in all bars and restaurants. It also includes "room service" 24 hours.

The employees are extremely friendly and try to please the visitor. Sometimes it is a bit cloying because every day, they call to your room to see if everything is in order. After a long day at the pool or beach and one wants to relax with a bath and those calls interrupt the resting. The hotel guest should let the guest call in the event of any problems in his room, if there is one there.

There is not much kind of activities for people who like that kind of entertainment. The hotel have non-motorized water sports included in the rate and some competence as swimming, water polo, aqua aerobics, etc.

The performance of staff in the restaurants is poor, especially in the Brazilian restaurant. In this restaurant the food is bad, the attention is bad, the bread is scarce in all restaurants, but in this one especially we had the experience that they were in a hurry to finish dinner. Once desserts were served, employees were cleaning up all the tables to close. It was very unpleasant.

As I said in all restaurants except the buffet, there were shortages of bread and what they brought usually was not fresh and hard.

I have read many reports about this hotel that scared me a bit and thought it would be not very good choice for a holiday, but the hotel were excellent. If you want more you can pay $700.00 a day and you will have more...

In the rooms there is a strong musty smell but this is difficult to avoid in properties that are closed by the sea. The moisture in these sites is high. With good ventilation, like opening the window facing the balcony the problem will end soon. The air conditioning was very good. I took Off for the mosquitoes and we didn’t needed.

I recommend this hotel with my eyes closed. My experience was excellent.

Room Number:

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Beautiful Resort!
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Lucille  on Dec 1, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1641 people found this review helpful

Have just returned from our 7 day stay at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. We vacationed with our good friends who travel 4 times per year.
Our rooms were exceptionally clean! They cleaned the rooms thoroughly and left plenty of clean towels. We had a towel design in our room daily, decorated with local flowers. Beautiful!
Turndown service was inconsisten, but to be honest, it was only a couple of nights. Bed turned down and decorated.
We had a suite with a spiral staircase to the rooftop jacuzzi. It was beautiful and very relaxing! A real treat.
We dined every night at the Alla Carte's. Highly recommend, as you get bored of buffets after breakfast and lunch. Although the breakfast buffet didn't change, and they like to well cook their eggs, the staff accommodated all requests. Just ask.
We liked the pool/beach buffet for lunch. The chefs were fantastic! One even made me fried chicken, even though it wasn't being offered that day. AMAZING!
We travel often as well, and we are very picky eaters so the AMAZING is rare.
Did not like the wine much, but then again, like a very dry wine. There's was too fruity for me, so we stuck to champagne. There is champagne all the time!
Drinks were great, except for the imports (non existent), but great quality! The happy hour drink offered poolside was outstanding! There were Coco Loco's made from fresh coconuts cut in front of you, same with the pineapple drinks.
We did have issues with the usual reserving of chairs at the pool, however, we much preferred the beach. There is beach service all day long. They serve drinks on the beach, and came around with fresh fruit all afternoon. Exceptional!
I would definitely stay at this resort again!

Upon arrival, staff were very friendly. We asked for one of our favourite drinks, and they arrived very quickly. Staff assisted with baggage to our rooms and went above and beyond to assist. They called us to ensure the room was suitable to our expectations.

Very, very clean! Best we have ever had. No mildewy smell whatsoever. After reading a few of the reviews on this site, we brought Fabreze with us...didn't need it at all.

Restaurants and Bars:
Very good. There is a "bandstand" from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and you can sit outside, listen to live/recorded music, and dance under the starts.
Drinks were very good. Not watered down. Beer was good, wine not-so, unless you like a sweeter wine.
The local drinks are AMAZING.
Mini-bar is fully stocked and replenished every two days.

Grounds are beautiful, although a good walk to the pool and beach. You need the walk given the amount of food/drink you consume!

Other Comments:
We would definitely stay at this resort again!

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Rip off!!!
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  MIRANDA  on Nov 25, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1520 people found this review helpful

My husband and I went to riu palace punta cana for our anniversary. The resort looks beautiful but the rooms smell like mildew.... The bed was uncomfortable and we found little bugs on the floor. The food was horrible. When i purchased my package all domestic and international drinks were included except there was no international drinks there. When i got there i told them what the website said, he told me that they forgot to update their website.... I do not recommend this place!!!!

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Great beach, 2 star resort
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jim  on Nov 22, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1540 people found this review helpful

We stayed at the Riu Palace from 11/18/11 - 11/25/11. The only positive thing I can say was the beach was the best of any place we've stayed. The rooms were OK but air conditioning was non existant. The ceiling fan was all of the air we had. Our best friends were traveling with us. They stowed their luggage in their room and came across the hall to check our room out. When they got back to their room they were greeted by a cockroach on top of the suitcase. When they called the front desk an employee brought up a can of bug spray. CLASSY, NOT! We tried five of the speciality restaurants and were not impressed with any of their food. The breakfast buffet was terrible and did not change.
The nightly buffet was the same as the lunch buffet and the only thing that changed was the meats. They really like to overcook most of their meats except the hamburgers which are very rare and ground to a pulp. The nightly entertainment consists of ten young dancers that have different outfits for some poor quality shows. Most of the video leadin look like a utube download of inferior quality.The employees tend to run you down if you are in their way.
The main reason we picked the Riu Palace over other resorts was the Jr suites had jacuzzis and bidets listed in their online ad. The jacuzzi was built in the tub and didn't work. When we went to the front desk to ask where our bidet was, they laughed and told us a bidet is Spanish for a face cloth. What a load of BS. Face cloths were hard to come by also. We have stayed at the Riu in Cancun and Ocho Rios and this Riu is two and a half stars below either resort. We were totally disappointed to call this a vacation. If I was going to give the Domicanian Republic an enema I would insert the nozzle thru the Riu Palace.

Room Number:

Room Block:
No airconditioning

Met with fruit rum drinks and greetings. Seemed right.

Your first indication that something is wrong is when the front desk hands you your room key attached to a block of plastic that reminds you of the old rest room keys attached to a 2X4 so they won't run off. What kind of modern resort doesn't use keycard locks? I took mine off and used a rubber band.

Restaurants and Bars:
Don't ask for any odd mixed drinks, they will not understand. We arrived after three in the afternoon and you can not find food until six thirty. It didn't really matter because the food was not that good.

Great! The only place on the grounds where you could be cool. I spent more time on the beach than any other vacation. Be prepared to have the peddlers try and sell their wares while you lounge. Lots of bare boobs, some 38 longs.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on the segway tour and was very glad we did. Best part of the trip.

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Beautiful resort, lousy food.
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Lauri  on May 10, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1686 people found this review helpful

Have to say that our eight day stay was enjoyable. The weather, beach, water, and resort were all wonderful. We were very disappointed with the food however, neither one of us picky eaters, found it bland and below average.

Victor, our server at the pool was out of this world. Always so kind and always a smile on his face. He made each day that much more special.

The other staff members were equally as friendly and brought many smiles to our days.

There were beach activities such as volley ball, bocci ball, darts, if you wanted some activity. In the evening they gave out certificates and rum to those who did well in the daily events.

Rooms were decent, grounds beautiful, pool was awesome. Overall, a pleasant stay.

Room Number:

April 30, 2011


Restaurants and Bars:
Not very enjoyable past day 3.


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities on the resort were great. Staff is very hard working and always smiling.

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Great trip and very good resort
Riu Palace Punta Cana

User Rating:  Riu Palace Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Howie  on Apr 12, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1687 people found this review helpful

Not our first trip to Punta Cana. Stayed here mid November. Temp was 86 during the day and 70's in the evening. Asked for a superior accomodationand it was on the 1st floor with view of central grounds and pools. Anniversary trip so staff decorated room with balloons, flowers, and decorative towel art. Staff was helpful and accomodating. Spanish is a plus but not necessary. Food was consistently good, not excellent. Always lots of seafood dishes, not just carne in the main restaurant. Luigi and Don Manuel/Sir Oscar were the best of the specialty restaurants. Pickup your towels and reserve your beach or pool lounge chairs before or right after breakfast. Staff works long hours and hard. Complex and gardens were clean and maintaned. Small tips for the wait staff, maid, etc goes a long way. When vendors are on site, be prepared to be asked by each one stop and look. Most are insistent. They respect bargaining if you want to purchase. Beware of cigar vendors and some jewelry vendors as they try to sell Larimar and coral, when it is not. Gym, steam room and sauna were nice - met couples from Europe and Scandanavia there. Will definitely return.

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