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“Riu Place place to go”

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #69 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 21 November 2013

We travel to Caribbeans twice a year for some time and usually do not stay twice in the same resort. Here in Punta Cana we stayed In three different resorts: Paradiso Drand Bavaro, Iberostar Grand and Riu Palace. We like to try places to find new experiences and have some idea what is really the difference between the places besides the Dollar amount.
We would place Riu Place somewhere in the top of the list not only here in Punta but other places too. The resort is very well up-kept with small exceptions of leaky sealing in spots and the fact that during strong tropical rain water may flow through your room. I gave the resort 5 star anyways because of the service we found and the people on stuff. They took care of us like a family members in any situation we asked for help. Including free room upgrade not because of problems but because we have asked for a better view. We ended up on east wing second floor room with garden/ocean view right above theater. Close to restaurants and lobby, or any night entertainment. We liked the room, clean and smelled no mold. Nice bathroom and day time sofa, TV, in-room mini bar with all inclusive alcohol, fridge with sodas regularly replenished daily. Restaurants just like in all Palaces in other places. We knew exactly where they at, and what they would serve. Food was good as always in Rius. We've had no problems with any of it. Beach entertainment all they long hosted by boys and girls with a lots of humor and laughter. We played some games and won some trophies. It was a lots of fun and time went quickly. The only thing I have noticed that I was not enjoying completely was (no offense to anyone) kids. We are in 50s and like the grand kids but after being in four different places like this one we opt out ADULTS only for every other vacation we will go to and so far we like it better. Don't take this wrong way, but for some reason pools and restaurants are much calmer and believe it or not much cleaner.
In overall We rate this resort high and if you need to travel with children it is the place to go, in a week we are going to Riu Macao, just next to Palace, ADULTS ONLY. Will see.

Room Tip: Economy Dollars - Garden view We do not recommend back views - not very pretty.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Chrrome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 November 2013

We were a group of guys in our late 20's to early 30s, who was in Dominican from Nov. 8th to 15th. Let me make this review simple and fast for two groups of people: If your group of people who are single and want to party, this is not the resort for you better you stick to a 3 or 4 stars. If your a family with kids, there are better resorts cratered towards families, esp kids.

That being said, the Riu Palace Punta Cana is Beautiful and massive. If you're on your Honeymoon and don't really want to mingle with other travelers, this is the resort for you. Also, if your retired this is the perfect place for you. The reason I say this is because the place is massive. There is plenty of space for you relax and abundance of pool chairs or beach chairs. You never feel like it's crowded when when all the 619 rooms are sold out. Peaceful and quiet.

The reason I gave it a 4 stars, is that I was a little disappointed. This is my 2 second time to the Dominican. Last time I stayed in Puerto Plata in the Riu Bambu for my honeymoon. Also, I have always chosen Riu Resorts when I traveled, as this would have probably been my 10th Riu. This is also my first time staying at a Riu Palace. For paying a premium for the palace I thought I would get better service then the other Riu resorts I have been to, but it was pretty much the same service. You do get better selection of liquors at the bar.

For those who don't travel allot, this place is great. You won't be disappointed. Buffet has great number of selections to choice from, your bound to like something. But do keep my mind that the buffet selection do rarely change day to day. There are also 5 A La Carte restaurants.

Do keep in mind that your in a third world country and when it says it's a 5 star resort, its not the same 5 stars like in North America. Im always amazed at peoples stupidity in their reviews when they complain about the 5 stars. If you want a same 5 star treatment like in NA, then stay in NA.

Rooms are normal suits. yes, there is a little smell due to the humidity. They are clean and maids do a great job cleaning them, they will go the extra mile if you leave tips.

Room Tip: Take the rooms closer to the beach.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank nendraku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2013

My friends and I were forced to stay here after booking initially with the Riu Palace Macao and being told there were no rooms available at that hotel upon arrival.

Cons: The beds are extremely hard and uncomfortable. We would wake up achy every day. The beach chairs are just as bad. They don't go all the way flat so good luck trying to lay on your stomach. There are no umbrellas on the beach so you basically have to hide under a palm tree if you want some shade. The hotel room doors slam loudly. There were a few mornings we were woken up by a number of slamming doors.

The food here is average. Breakfast is probably the best meal you will get. Avoid the specialty restaurants. My friends and I tried the Italian restaurant and each ordered a different menu item. They were all terrible. The buffet is probably your best bet for dinner. You will find something to eat. Drinks are watered down and the quality of the vodka is poor. The nightly entertainment is extremely tacky unless you find lip syncing to Cher entertaining.

Pros: The price and nice beachfront space. They offer a free shuttle bus in the evenings to the other Riu properties.

After having our reservation "disappear" from Macao and being forced to stay at the Palace with its average food and lodging, I will not be staying with Riu ever again. You are better off staying somewhere else.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Ali G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2013

About 15 friends went on this trip together through Cheap Caribbean. The host from CC was so helpful and always available. The hotel was beautiful! Our room was always clean and cool. We went in October and the humidity was so high that it was miserable going outside unless you were at the ocean or pool. Entertainment was fun and staff was good. Food was pretty good for a resort. We went on a couple of excursions and a town trip. Town trip was horrible with the children begging for dollars and wouldn't leave us alone. But catamaran was fun and fishing. The only complaint I would have is that there wasn't much of a "night life". When the day cooled off, our group was ready to "party". But there wasn't anything or anywhere available on the premises. With a little improvement on this, this place would be perfect. Remember..don't drink the water or brush your teeth with the tap water (they provide huge fresh water bottles every day), but drinks and ice at the bars and restaurants are safe.

Room Tip: Our room was closer to the beach and facing the water fountains. A/C wonderful, rooms comfortable...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Underwood4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013

I'm on the fence on whether I would stay at this location again. I had heard nothing but good things about Riu properties from relatives who've stayed in Jamaica & Aruba, so when they suggested this location, I was ok with the decision. However, reading the reviews made me terrified. No one wants to go on vacation & deal with illness or roaches crawling all over the rooms. But I decided to ignore the reviews & make the best of it & decide for myself.

The staff:
Everyone I came in contact with was very polite. From check in/out, cleaning staff, room service, pool bar, restaurants, etc. I have no complaints at all.

Food:
Because this wasn't my 1st time in DR, I was hoping to get if not the same, at least a similar experience that I had when I visited last year. While all of the food I ate was good, the selections were very minimal. One night we made reservations at the Yokohama Restaurant. All of the food that was served was basically the same food that I'd eaten on the buffet the night before, but it was still good nonetheless.

Entertainment:
They all did a good job. Every day they offered something different & entertaining. One night they had a game show with audience participation. The Michael Jackson show on another night was AWESOME! The lady who was the instructor for pool aerobics was very nice & likeable.

Exterior/Lobby/Restaurants:
One word...GORGEOUS!!!

Rooms:
This is where the problem for me lies. One you step into the hotel you are mesmerized by the beautiful decor, but as soon as you step into your room, it’s like you went from a palace to a motel 6. Rooms need major renovation. The bed spreads were not clean & very outdated. I stripped the bed before sleeping on it for fear they had bed bugs. You literally need a step ladder for the tub/bath combo. Not to mention there was hair in the tub when we 1st got there. Fortunately, we didn't have a roach problem like some of the other reviewers but our bathroom did have an ant problem. The room smelled of mildew. I don't know if it’s the products they're using when they mop the rooms or if I became immune to it because the smell went away on day 2.

With all that said, once the rooms are renovated & they get a better selection of food, I would probably go back.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank NShields111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

You have to remember you are in a third world country, so food and service quality will be inconsistent. At this hotel it ranges from excellent to horrible, you can experience both on the same day. Service can get very casual, so tip often, its is expected and usually helps. First impression of food was absolutely horrible, we arrived between meals and the only place you could eat around 4pm is a sports and snack bars. I thought food at the gas stations back in the US was the worst experience but man, was I wrong. I wouldnt feed my cat with the food they had in a sports bar,it was that disgusting. The best place to eat is the buffet, food there is fresh and fairly diverse. Dont even bother booking one of the a-la-cart restaurants, they have very limited menu,food will be essentially the same but tastes like it was cooked yesterday, you'll have to ask for salt , pepper etc and wait for the things you could have gotten yourself at the buffet much quicker. Alcohol for the most part is watered down. White wine tasted like acetone. Overall, its a decent, well planned but very outdated hotel with old smelly furniture in rooms and in restaurants . There are dirt stains on the the walls of the room. We expected mildew and dampness in the rooms and asked to be on the third floor, but it didnt help much. What helped with the smell was actually NOT running the ac or ceiling fan because they made the smell worse and most of stinch came from the vent shaft. Just before embarking on this trip we read a few reviews about cockroach problems(it was too late to change plans at that point), so I brought a spray can of cockroach repellent that I used on the first day spraying all corners and door ways. Sure enough, next morning we found a dead cockroach about 2" long. That experience alone could ruin any vacation. Sleeping with an open balcony was ok but up to about midnight music from the neighbor hotel was blasting every evening. There was also occasional construction noise sometimes up to 11 pm. There is a shortage of beach towels, so get them early in the morning. There is no umbrellas on the beach, only palm trees. Entertainment is boring but that was the least of our concerns. The verdict is-if you can go to a nicer hotel- I would avoid this one.

Room Tip: find another hotel
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lixonn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

My husband and I enjoyed this place tremendously. Cleanliness is tops, food at the buffet enjoyable for the taste buds as well as the eye, choices very well balanced. The restaurants that need reservation, e.g. the Krystal and the Steak House, nice service, the food nothing special though.
Important for us is a sandy beach with palm tree shade, no palappas to obstruct the view and that is what we got. Plenty of beach chairs available.
Quiet place, nice evening live music on The Plaza having a drink or cappuccino. Very attentive service, again.
Around the pool a bit more lively in the p.m. games take place then.

It was our third time there, no regrets at all. Weather was just fine.

A/c in rooms quiet and no problem with adjusting it. Nice balcony with chairs and table and laundry rack.

Room Tip: Our room had the view to the pool area and
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Uebung
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:
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
#57 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#63 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#63 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £124 - £347 (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):
* 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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