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“Mould every where”

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #67 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Mould every where”
Reviewed 11 August 2012

I did read the reviews and wanted to cancel, wish I had. All the negative reviews are correct. MOULD EVERY WHERE, FOUNTAINS DRAINED AND UNDER CONSTRUCTION. I arrived home 8/6. Because of the mould I am on my second dose of antibiotic medication. I got ill the 4 day. This place has turned me off completely to the DR for vacation. All inclusive is structured here. My 3.5 hour flight back to NY turned into an 11 hour journey. They walked us 1/4 maybe 1/2 mile to board the flight outdoors with young children on the tarp. NEVER AGAIN TO Punta Cana.

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
7 Thank NYLady0853
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2012

We chose to stay at this hotel because of the high ratings we saw online. It was nothing short of a nightmare. There was mould in the mattress, boxspring, walls, ceilings and drapes. Lots of mould! The rooms smelt awful. Cockroaches! The manager moved us to another room @ !:30am - same problem. I am not exaggerating.The ceiling was leaking in the first room, the toilet could not flush. We went for 7 days but I could not have my daughter in that horrible situation. Other people were complaining and asking to switch rooms. The next day we saw a few mattressess in the hallway, disgusting with mould.The Signature Vacations representative there was totally useless. I spent $1000.00 and bought new tickets and got out of there on the 3rd day. Yes, it was expensive but thank God we did not get sick. Btw, Riu Bavaro is no better. There were people on my return flight who left Bavaro for similar reasons.

Room Tip: Do not stay at this hotel nor at the Bavaro.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
12 Thank FrequentTraveller220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2012

This is our 2nd stay at a Riu Resort in less then a year. 1st being in Cancun which I cannot say a bad thing about so of course we decided to try them again. We booked the trip directly thru there website which was a major mistake. They lowered the price over $300 3 weeks prior to us leaving so I made a call since I purchased the Insurance to be able to switch or cancel my trip for any reason. Of course that didnt happen but that is a whole other story. 1st be prepared for a 45-60 min drive to the resort that will definitely get your blood going the way they drive. Upon arriving the exterior was great, got inside it wasnt overly crowded and we went right to the desk to check in. While I was talking to the woman 3 different couples walked up furious about there room demanding a change so of course I was alarmed by that. I asked her very nicely to make sure we have a nice room because if I have to come down to switch I am not going to be happy at all. So she scratched off the original room and told me my room will not be ready for another 2 hours. We got our bracelet and went to grab some lunch. We walked thru the lobby saying it seemed very clean and nice much like Cancun. Walked into the main dining area and noticed it was much smaller but very similar layout. Without going into great detail all I can say is the food was pretty much terrible. My wife and I are not picky eaters and we are very very easy to please. The best food that they serve is the pasta station and fruit but be prepared to wait since everyone heads that way. We thought maybe since it was 2pm that maybe the food will be better the next couple days. It was the same exact items all 5 days we stayed. No changing or themed lunches or dinners like cancun provided (BBQ on beach, Paella,sunday champagne brunch,) nothing like that. Also if you want anything to drink other then OJ or Water you have to wait for someone to wait on you. They dont wipe off the tables or change the linens after people get up so be prepared to have stains and crumbs when you sit. We booked a JR Suite Superior room. We were warned about all the construction on the backside of the North side so we wanted to be facing inside on the south side of the buliding. We walked in the room and our room was clean, no mold and smelled nice. We walked out the balcony and noticed they drained all the inside fountains and there are 40+ men working with jackhammers & Picks hammering out all the concrete and redoing the pools. It took them 5 entire days to complete 1 fountain with constant noise. Now I know what everyone is complaining about and why the price was dropped so much since I booked. I was just happy to have a clean room that didnt smell like mold or smoke. It is pretty annoying to walk by the contruction workers staring you up and down everytime that you walk by or getting hit by a flying piece of concrete which happened quite a few times. The beach was beautiful and the pool area is nice. The drinks are HORRIBLE and the pool bartenders move at a snails pace even after I tipped the guy $20 the 1st day to make sure he hooked me up. (did that in Cancun and it paid off great) They refill all the topshelf bottles with complete trash. Stay away from the vodka it will say Stoli but it is the nastiest vodka I have every drank in my life. The lobby bar has much better drinks (martinis are good) If you tip them good you can request good rum...I suggest the Barcelo Imperial but be prepared to tip $20 or you wont be getting it. Trust me its worth the $$. We walked to the shops and purchased our own bottles to keep in the room because the liquor dispensors are terrible. If you are a beer drinker be prepared to only be able to get Brahma (which is like sour bud light) So once again walk down to the shops and get a 12 pack of Presidente. Just very dissapointed that Riu Cancun was 20 times better. I was blown away how much different the quality is in DR. I highly doubt that I will ever return to DR and will hesitate on booking again with a RIU chain. Which is a shame since I was completely satisfied with Cancun. I spoke to quite a few other couples that stayed in other resorts and they were basically saying the same thing about the food quality, construction and drinks. We did have dinner at Krystal and La Bodega which were both decent. The steakhouse fills up very quick so if you are not down there at 7:45am standing in line to make reservations dont expect to get in. Room service is a joke as well. We walked down the all the other Riu resorts which seemed to cater to younger people but a nice change of scenery. Do not expect to get anything for free at the new RIU Bavaro Palace they do not participate in that program and of course that is where the Club/Disco and casino are. This resort would get a 4-5 if the food & drinks were better and not all the construction going on. I honestly read the reviews before leaving and started second guessing decision but said to myself its probably just a bunch of critical people just being petty.....Well I was totally wrong. We still had fun and just rolled with it but the more people you talk to and they are all complaining it really makes you think. Oh word of advice.......DO NOT FLY SPIRIT!!!!!!!!! Hope this helps, read my other reviews I usually praise everyone.

Room Tip: ask for a lower level room on the south side and make sure you have a inner room if not you are goin...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank PHILLYFREAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajax, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2012

My nephew picked this hotel for his summer vacation. It is the first time I took him on a vacation. It was amazing, very beautiful and clean. The food was excellent and so as the customer service. Esther from the front desk was great, extrmely helpful, tour guide (Carlos) was also great. Guido, I think he is the manager of food and beverage, very professional and kind young man. Luis Mercedes, Ruben, Deoleo and Guzman, 98% of the staff were very pleasant and helpful, the house cleaning staffs were good too. I would return with my family to this hotel. We ate at all the restaurants. The staffs at the steak house need to smile with their customers, I guess they were all tired that evening. The restaurants were not a big hit for us. Try to stick with the Buffet. Jasmine (waitress) was extremely helpful and pleasant. Overall, it was a very nice vacation. I was not well and I did not get to go on tours, but I will revisit Punta Cana. We have been to other Riu's before and it was a little more than what we had expected. Thank you all. Matt, Janet and Simeon - Ontario

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Islandgirl0492011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2012

We stayed at the Riu Palace for 3 nights for a friend's destination wedding. 5 nights prior we were at the Iberostar Grand. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. It's a different type of vacation.

Pros: The common, indoor areas (restaurants, lobby, bars) are very pretty and well maintained. The buffet offered extensive choices that changed every day. The handling of the wedding was excellent from hairdresser to DJ to minister to wedding coordinator to photographer.

So/Sos: We had an updated junior king suite looking out to the courtyard. The room was decorated very basically but was totally functional and large. The bathroom was functional but not upgraded.

Cons: The king bed was really two larger twins joined with separate bedding. The bed wasn't comfortable. The air conditioning didn't cool the room as much as I would have liked. One day during our stay the pool was so overcrowded and dirty (items floating in the water, cloudy water, etc) that we were uncomfortable. This did change on the 2nd day. A la carte restaurants have strict reservation policies and are only open for reservations for a couple hours in the morning.

Overall, I prefer a quieter and more secluded resort when I travel with my husband. I had no complaints about the hotel decor or space but some things just didn't work properly (cooling system, pool filtration - though this did improve). If you are travelling as a group or with friends this hotel is lively and offers a good time. The food was good. The drinks were only so so. They handled my friends wedding beautifully and all vendors (photographer, coordinator, minister, etc) did an outstanding job.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the courtyard have good views.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Deanna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chatham, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Cons: Location was fine. The rooms looked nice enough but the musty smell was awful. I brought lysol spray and it did little to alleviate the smell. Suitcases needed to be aired out when we returned home. The food was barely edible. We had several blackouts. Lobby wifi hardly worked. The sheets smelled. The beds were hard. Takes time to get used to security guards on the beach carrying rifles wrapped in camo.

Pros: Water was beautiful but full of seaweed which we got used to. Staff friendly. Many activities available from pool aerobics to beach volleyball.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Debbie281520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kennedale, TX (DFW Area)
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Riu Palace Punta Cana
July 19 2012 through July 29 2012

Was a great family vacation for the three of us. We are in our late 40’s traveling with our 16 year old daughter. Service was great, food was good, beach was great.

We emailed the resort prior to arrival (via address on their web page) and requested a room close to pool/beach, on the west side of property (no sun in eve), 1st floor (don't like stairs/elevator). Upon arrival the front desk tried to give us a room that did not meet our requests. After a little "begging" we landed room 0117, approximately three rooms from the beach/pool end of the 1st building, facing the pool/beach/interior fountains. Construction was across from us on the rooms facing west. Rooms facing the pool/fountains on the west side don't hear or see the construction. Our room had 2 double (twin?) beds, pushed together to make one large bed. We separated them into 2 beds, quite small for 2 adults. Don't know if rooms exist w/ 2 queens, but worth asking upon arrival. Overall, room was nice. A/C was set on lowest setting entire stay, probably did not get below 75 F which was OK. Mini fridge was stocked with Brahma beer (from Brazil), water, and soda. All were stocked daily. Above the fridge was a coffee maker and liquor dispenser with rum, vodka, & brandy. Twin vanities in the bathroom. Shower with jetted tub and a single body soap dispenser. A “scrub” soap bar, small bottles of shampoo and conditioner were stocked every day. Safe with keyed lock was large enough for an Ipad and 10” laptop.

Beach/Pool
Great service, opening @ approximately 10 am. Many servers walking around with trays of drinks, beer, water, etc. Both on the beach and around the pool. We grabbed 3 beach chairs and a couple of small tables around 10 am every day. The beach cleaning crew will move chairs for you. They won’t offer, you must ask them. We asked them to “reserve” 3 chairs in our favorite spot for the next day (and the remainder of our stay). Every morning @ approximately 9:30 am we found 3 chairs covered with a towel. We tipped the crew a couple of dollars daily. At the end of the day, I got a cold beverage from the bar for them. Plentiful stock of beach towels. Never ran out, easy to exchange mid-day or evening.

Restaurants
Buffet had good variety for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our server Raul, waited on us every meal that we had in the main buffet. He had our beverages ready every morning. tA breakfast, Raul got us coffee, espresso , cappuccino, and most importantly a bottle of “Diamante” champagne and some orange juice to build mimosas. Lunch was always at the buffet next to the beach. Decent variety and good service. A la carte restaurants were “OK”, a good change of pace from the buffet. All five a al carte’s were visited, at the early seating (6:30). Steak house (next to beach, no AC, shorts on men are ok), Krystal (fusion), Brazilian meat/bbq, Asian (no table front cooking here), and Italian. Easy to get reservations in the morning. Can book current day and two days in advance.

Evening/Night
Cocktails in the lobby bar after dinner. Good service again. “Runners” take a drink order. Server brings drinks shortly after. WiFi in lobby is free. Somewhat intermittent in the evenings. Better WiFi connections during the day. Same great service outside before the show on the patio, very quick service. After the show, the lobby bar gets a bit busier. They close at midnight, and then the crowd moves to the sports bar. Elvis behind the bar is very fast/efficient. The sports bar is open 24 hours. A small display refrigerator in the back had pre-fabricated sandwiches. Also, hot dogs and nachos. All self-serve. Room service is available 24 hours.

Negatives
A/C in our room could have been a bit “cooler”. Not a show stopper.
Room really not set up for 3 adults. Two adults in one of the twin/double beds a bit tight. Again, not a show stopper.
A bit of a musty smell in room. We packed a spray bottle of Fabreeze.
Pool is a bit small for the size of the hotel.

Out of our last three visits to DR, this was the best. Last year we were at the Barcelo Premium Punta Cana, and the year before at the Wynham Palace in Bayahibe. Last two visits were 14 nights, this visit was 10 nights.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool/fountains on the west side (no afternoon sun). If you don't see something...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mais_TX
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, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
#56 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#59 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#62 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 * 40 km / 31 miles from Higuey * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Intl. Airport Accepted Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa ... 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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