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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
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Reviews (5,351)
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2,165
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All reviewsdon manuelmusty smellla bodegaspecialty restaurantssports barpalm treeskrystal restaurantcaribbean streetdominican republicmake reservationsother resortssteakbeautiful beachplenty of chairsthe wait staffmain buffetoutback safari
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Reviewed 22 October 2013

This is my 3rd day at the Riu Palace and no towels available past 1pm. Please explain to me how you can be a beach resort and not have towels available all day and you call yourself a palace?? Sorry, but no excuses. I am tired of wet, smelly towels day after day. Other than that, I love the beach here with the natural shade of the palm trees. The housekeeping staff is also wonderful.

Room Tip: None of the rooms are on beach. Go to 3rd floor for a view and if the noise bothers you at night -stay clear of rooms close to lobby.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Thaimae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

I have been to many Riu Hotels, and I have yet to complain, hence the repeated returns all over the world. I loved this Hotel from the first Instant to the last and everything in between. From the extremely friendly and helpful front desk, to the housekeeping, to the Buffet restaurant staff, and especially the entertainment team. ORLANDO at the front desk was amazing and helpful and kind and thoughtful and did EVERYTHING to make our stay as easy and wonderful as it could possibly be. The you have the entertainment staff, especially MICKEY MOUSE, who goes above and beyond what they can to make our stay as fun as it could possibly be. As costly as it was I extended my stay even only for just one extra day because I knew I would never be able to experience this again, obviously until I go back.

Room Tip: I don't feel there was any difference, as they are all wonderful.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank NeedsAVacation25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

I spent a few weeks looking for a place to spend our honeymoon and somehow got hooked on the Punta Cana alternative, in particular the Riu Palace Punta Cana rather than any of the other Riu hotels in the area or any other hotel around.

Though I have no doubts about the quality of Riu properties I was a bit cautious with the negative reviews of people that complained about musty smells or terrible food. Well the news are...

Musty smell? well, yes the first night (we spent 6) there was a bit of such smell but it was acceptable. This hotel is in the TROPICS, there is air conditioner that adds humidity and non-occupied rooms are left without airco until it is occupied again. So this is perfectly normal in such environment. I live in the tropics so I know what I am saying.

Terrible food? come on! IF you are used to hamburgers and things like that your choice will be rather limited but then your choice of food is not impressing to say the least...

We made it a point to visit nearly ALL the restaurants (only missed the one hidden beside the theater) and I must say the food was just absolutely wonderful, I have not a single complain about the food.

The breakfast was also SUPERB to say the least. The service EXCELLENT! usually we were not even seated when someone came to attend us.

The drinks at the pool were a bit on the sweet side so I didn't have many there but that is to be understood, you don't want drunk people being obnoxious or vomiting in the public areas. Luckily none of this was observed, the only noisy people we encountered were a couple of wedding parties from the US. Drinks are better in the restaurants and in the bar inside the hotel.

All inclusive, can you beat that? not really, first time our all-inclusive includes the mini bar as well but quite frankly we didn't have time to even use it.

The SPA facilities were also very nice, we used the jacuzzis and vapor rooms in the spa, a refreshing experience for free.

My only complain was that when I booked with Expedia it awarded us 3 separate vouchers that were supposed to be presented during check-in, we wanted to use the "Honeymoon voucher" but the hotel attendant at the reception chose to politely IGNORE it on both ocasions.

The shows at the theater were fantastic, the live music also very good (just a bit short), the plaza and all areas of the hotel were impeccable. The staff was top of the class.

Now at night you are supposed to wear a nice dress to the restaurants that require reservations, not shorts and shirt. A few people chose to ignore the etiquette. Unfortunately my wife's digital camera was also stolen during our first afternoon (within one hour of our arrival). We suspect a younger couple that was nearby that ran away as soon as they realized we mentioned the "camera" that she had accidentally left nearby. It was never returned so some of our wedding photos (and others) were lost forever...

Would we go there again? we certainly hope so, it isn't cheap but it is wonderful.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Panama V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Overall we like Riu Palace Punta Cana. It has all the amenities you look for in a AI vacation. But it also had it's downfalls. We stayed 7 days for our honeymoon. We had to request a room change initially because ours smelled funny. The male staff members were really nice, for some reason the female staff were very cold. They always make and effort to speak English, and I always make an effort to speak Spanish, so it was cool. The bartenders and entertainers were average, but good. The dinner food was pretty good. I'd recommend the buffet over the restaurants, as they weren't all that good. The lunch buffet isn't that great either, but I wasn't too concerned because we didn't come there to eat all day. They have great vegetarian options. The grounds are very clean and well kept. The water sport activities were fun with a wide selection, but be sure to reserve in advance. The pool area can get crowded. We arrived on Monday and by Thursday the whole resort turned up. It became crowed and the crowd reminded me of a spring break type.

Pros:
Beautiful property, very picturesq
Beaches were perfect
Nice pools and bars
Nice size rooms with fully stocked bar
Walking distance and access to all other RIU resorts (except Macao)
Activities like water sports and outdoor aerobics were fun
Most of the staff are wonderful

Cons
Resort can smell like sewage on some days
It's almost guaranteed you'll get sick from the food - bring Imodium ad as a PREVENTATIVE
Some of the female staff are really rude to female guests
Room bathrooms are not impressive
Have to use standard metal keys
The room service menu is terrible and the food is not what they describe on menus. Go to the buffet instead.

I'm not a fan of Punta Cana because of it's location, but if I were ever to go back... I would stay here again.

Room Tip: Always use the safe. Rooms facing the courtyard are best, but can be loud due to the shows. Always be nice and respect the staff and they will treat you well.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Azure18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

When you have been to a specific hotel before you tend to notice any changes and when we returned to the Riu Palace Hotel Bavaro this September this is what we saw.
But before I mention the hotel, I have to comment about the other aspects of our two week vacation.
We booked the package with Thomson Holidays and changes from the previous visit were noticeable from the moment we arrived at Manchester Airport and boarded the plane.
Nowadays Thomson categorise their customers who don’t want to pay the huge surcharge for Premium Cabin by labelling them as “Economy Club”. The inflight meals on both outbound and return flights were to be honest were disgusting. If prisoners were served food like they gave us, there would be riots!
Our party included an 18 month child who travelled free, this meant she didn’t qualify for a meal which we appreciated but what we couldn’t understand was why they wouldn’t sell us one. They said its because they are not allowed to provide food for infants!
Then the hot beverages, served in paper cups, come on TUI you can do better especially with the ridiculous prices you charge for drinks on board.

Now to the hotel -
The Palace is a magnificent building with a Foyer / Reception area that looks seriously classy, but the first signs of cutbacks strike you as you enter the main door, the stunning flower feature that used to wow you has been replaced by plastic orchids. I just hope they don’t do the same to this hotel as they did with the Riu Palace Mexico, with its cheap purple and silver makeover, it would be a crime
The room we were given was as with previous visits, clean, spacious and with the luxuries you expect in that standard of hotel. The room was well maintained and the domestic staff are second to none.
The theme restaurants are the same as they have been for years and by that I mean the same menu`s. We all preferred the main buffet restaurant where the staff were attentive and the food was very good, something you couldn’t say about the theme restaurants two of which we walked out of before desserts were served due to poor service.
Now for the major criticism’s. As I mentioned, earlier in the year we went to the Riu Palace Mexico and we commented that we felt the drinks weren’t as strong as they should be. This must be a Riu thing, because it’s the same at the Palace Bavaro, you can drink twice as much as you normally do and still be sober.
The beach restaurant wine, don’t be fooled by it being poured from a bottle, I saw them filling the bottles from the cask. In all bars and restaurants the Champagne (as they call it) isn’t as good as Cava, in fact its like soda water!
Now don’t get me wrong, we had a great holiday and most staff care and the hotel is nice but fails to live up to its 5 star rating.
My criticism’s are aimed at Thomson / TUI / Riu group who think more about their share holders than they do of their customers. It’s a shame that there is little competition for them in the UK nowadays.

Room Tip: We were in 3158 which is quiet and of a good standard. Only problems are the third floor is a long way up when the lift is broken ( several times )
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank rwc1uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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