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“Everything is beautiful!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #69 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile

The resort is very beautiful inside and out, beach is awesome and long...u can walk both ways for hours. The food is good and buffet has a big variety of dishes, salads, meats and desserts. All desserts, appetizers and salads are put out so beautiful on little personal plates and bites. The restaurants are hit and miss I guess...we didn't really like Brazilian, being to Brazilian restaurant in other resort this one was poor... This is our 5th day here so we are going to try Japanese tomorrow. Steak house was better in Riu Palace Cancun, we stayed there in January this year. Here the steak was good but lobsters were offal. Yesterday they had a special party in the steak house by the Beach and that was awesome, they had BBQ steaks, chicken, lamb, pork and lobsters- though lobsters were not good- they tasted overcooked and saggy...like a cotton ..horrible. All the meat was great on the other hand.... I don't know if they just don't know how to cook them or those lobsters are lame...shrimps same thing are way to soft and u can taste sand on ur teeth. I been to 3 other resorts in punta cana and never ate such a horrible shrimps and lobsters....for me it was a bummer as I really like them and was looking forward to eat them. Krystal we really liked and going back there today, we ordered lamb there and beef sirloin it was cooked great. The service is good everywhere. Staff are really trying to keep everything clean and beautiful. The room is being cleaned twice a day and the room is nice and specious. Get the room on 4th floor with view to inside pools and alley... Its most beautiful and u will be able to see ocean from side of balcony. The beach is clean and water is awesome. Drinks are strong. I would want to come back but I wish they would have better shrimps and lobsters.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Kroshichka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 June 2014

Despite what is shown for when I travelled, this is a trip I took with several friends in May 2012.

I travel quite a bit and this was my first trip to the Dominican Republic. The RIU Palace is a very large resort, which I like, with one of the most attractive beaches I have ever been to. This is saying a lot considering I do quite a few beach vacations. The pool is fantastic as is the swim-up bar which is situated with it's back to the beach. This makes for an easy transition if you want to go from the ocean to the pool, and the transitional area is absolutely beautiful with plenty of palm trees and places to relax. Just picturesque!

We were very impressed with our room, which included a safe (no extra charge) and a nice bar setup consisting of various liquors for you to help yourself to. This is above & beyond your typical all-inclusives that give you a few cheap beers in a small fridge with a few sodas. The service for anything else you needed was impeccable. The staff is eager to please and got us whatever we needed quite fast.

The food at this resort was just fine. We had no problems; however, we weren't expecting a great deal. I would put it a notch above typical all-inclusive buffets without a doubt. There was a great little restaurant near the pool area where shirts/shoes were not necessary. This is always appreciated!

There isn't a whole lot to explore on one's own outside the resort and I wouldn't recommend doing so. This is what the excursions are for. We did a great zip-line day trip that was certainly worth it. We also did one of the snorkeling trips via catamaran that was very enjoyable.

I would highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: We stayed at the end of the hotel closest to the pool and loved it!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank DocHolloway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I want to start off by saying everyone has their different opinions about this hotel. It depends on the most you make out of it. I came here with my boyfriend. We booked through American Express/Amstar vacations. When we arrived, at the front desk we were greeted with welcome drinks (yummy pineapple). Overall our experience was wonderful.

PROS:
- The safe is included. I've been to a few all inclusive resorts and some charge extra for safe use. Here, it was free.
- Free Wifi - it's spotty however in our room (0145) it was strong and fast.
- There were always lounge chairs available in the morning. You can put your towels on them to hold your spot...nobody touches anything. Felt very safe leaving our bags and belongings at the chairs while swimming and participating in activities.
- Staff was always friendly and welcoming.
- Ronny at main buffet was our man breakfast and dinner. He always knew where we liked to sit and held our seats for us and treated us wonderfully. We gave him a few singles after every meal. On the last day we gave him a larger tip for being so great.
- Victor, one of the pool servers, was also great. He would joke around with us and even taught us some spanish.
- One night, Roses were given out to the ladies at the main buffet for dinner. Always lovely decorations and flowers on tables.
- Rooms were perfect size. Beds comfortable.
- I can't believe there was turn down service every night. The maid staff was amazing. They even took my rose and put it in a vase so it wouldn't die. We left a few tips here and there.
- I've been to a lot of all inclusives and the food at the riu restaurants was hands down the best food I've had. I highly recommend Steakhouse (ask for your meat Medium). And Italian.


CONS
- keep your room AC on a timer, and don't leave it blasting cold. I noticed it made the sheets/bedding damp feeling.
- We were huge NHL fans and wanted to watch the Stanley Cup finals..I did my research and thought the hotel would have---but they didn't carry NBC so we couldn't watch. We actually traveled off of the resort one night to Steve's Corner Bar Bavaro. It was strange...but the people were friendly and we could watch the game. But if you're really dying to watch something, bring an iPad.
- some of the pool towels were stained, probably from sun lotion, etc...wasn't bad.
- THE POOL WATER WAS DISGUSTINGLY WARM. I understand it's 95 degrees but they need to keep the pool cooler. At around 4PM when we would come back from the beach, the pool was so warm and disgusting especially by the bar I felt like I was swimming in piss because you knew nobody left that bar.


**We are in a Spanish speaking country...people are so ignorant to assume that they should understand English. The language barrier was not a problem. Sometimes you may have to point or be patient to show them what you want...but many workers have been there a long time and are used to dealing with foreigners and the different languages.**

We did Dolphin Explorer as the only excursion. The staff was not enthusiastic at all and it showed...kind of pathetic. and the price for photographs was ridiculously expensive. the actual experience (we did the dolphin excellence program) was great. our trainer was great and the dolphins titan and picasso were beautiful. they truly care for the dolphins.

Traveled June 3rd- June 10th. Weather was lovely..overcast some days in the afternoons and humid. prime tanning times were from 8AM-12PM.

Room Tip: Loved the ground floor...super convenient and we didn't care much about the view since we aren...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank StephHvala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Our vacation here was fantastic. However, in order to give a completely honest review let me first get rid of the niggly bits. The 20 minute transfer was actually over an hour due to extreme traffic calming bumps and drop offs at other hotels. Our room was probably in the worst location of the hotel, ground floor and in the corner of an L shape so no dividing wall and no privacy from our neighbour ( if you want privacy avoid rooms 100/101. 200/201 etc ). On arrival you will have a wristband attached to your wrist, we had no idea that these were colour coded and restrict you from some of the pools unless you have upgraded. This was not explained to us so we had to work it out for ourselves. Do yourself a favour and ask about restrictions on arrival.
So with that out of the way let me repeat, our vacation was fantastic.
This hotel is located on the best beach we have ever been to. Soft golden sand, not a coloured parasol in sight but hundreds of palm trees if you want some shade. The ocean is the most wonderful array of blues you can imagine.
The hotel itself is very modern, clean, well managed and has a great atmosphere. All of the staff were friendly and very helpful, from reception to room service to dining.
The Palace is a complex of hotels and from what I saw,Bavaro ( the section we stayed at) is the best and newest.
Dining choices are varied, from themed restaurants to general buffet which my wife and I frequented every day as the choice of food is amazing. Where can you eat lobster until you can't eat any more? Right here. Be sure to look for Winny De Pooh (yes, thats his real name). He waited on us every night and is a real gem.
Now for my best tip. Shopping. Check out the prices on Carribean street, it runs between two of the complexes. Armed with what you should expect to pay, now go and have some haggling fun with the vendors along the beach to the right. They may seem to be a little over enthusiastic to sell you something but stand firm and keep a sense of humour. If you dont wish to buy, stay at the water line. So we bought a couple of items at a price we were happy to pay and then I announced, OK I have 5 dollars left, who wants to sell me something for 5 dollars? It was amazing what I was offered and I ended up with a very nice picture as a souvenier.
Oh the Mama Juana? It's the local drink sold everwhere. A blend of red wine, rum and honey and steeped for weeks with herbs, bark and secret ingredients. Reputed to be an aphrodisiac and drunk as shots. Dry ingredients are also sold in a bottle but cannot be exported as it is classed as vegitation. Be sure the bottle contains at least a quarter liquid so as to be classed as a drink.
Enjoy Riu Punta Cana, we sure did.

Room Tip: As i said earlier. avoid rooms 100/101, 200/201 etc if you value privacy
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank bill n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

The resort is a nice mid level accommodation but the staffing is awful.
Ladies if you want to be hit on day and night this is the place for you. As two married friends we found that the overtly sexual staffing was deplorable. Sexual come on's, being followed, whistles, stares, all questions answered with a sexual innuendo. Not my idea of fun

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank lsarrade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014 via mobile

My wife and I had an incredibly great time at the Riu Palace Punta Cana! Exceeded all expectations with beautiful architecture and grounds and breathtaking beach. The cuisine was excellent and the Dominican people were wonderful. Highly recommend!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Visited hotel first week of June 2014. Went with best friend and old man. We stayed for 5 nights and 6 days.

***PROS:
Booked directly on hotels website. Paid cash upon arrival (same cost).
Safe key, Alcohol, soda, club soda, tonic and bottle water provided in all rooms.
Where given rooms that we requested right near each other.
Very large hotel. Has 3 floors. Rooms on both sides of large court yard. Large pool facing ocean. They have 3 hot tubs.
Hotel is right next to all RIU hotels. Nice paver walking trail between all RIU's. Gives you a chance to walk on their grounds and see the layout and you can walk on the entire beach without being cut off.
Beach was clean with plenty of palm trees that offered shade. Many women where bathing topless.
Plenty of beach chairs and although all RIU's where close together, beach was never crowded.
Many couples and friends, very few children however they offered children activities.
Two buffets in open air eating areas. Three restaurants, but MUST make a reservation to eat and all restaurants, they are located on first floor of hotel.
Hotel staff worked tirelessly. Serving, entertaining, front desk, bar attendants. All the staff appeared to be between the ages of 21-30yrs.

***Excursions: We booked ours with the hotel concierge which are located on the beach.
-Catamaran was fun. Two hours for $40 each including snorkeling in the ocean and party area where the water was waist high.
-Swimming with the Dolphins ($135 at Manati park) Non- swimmer paid ($35)
-Dolphin photo video cost ($45) for about 30 pictures
-Para sailing- fun pictures where taken about 64 shots for ($35)
-Full body massage for 1 hour cost ($70)
-Shopping at San Juan Market, free bus but all stores sold American items for high prices. Very few stores and has supermarket.

***CONS:
We knew after reading reviews to bring plenty of singles for tips, however, we felt like it was more EXPECTED than appreciated. Tipping someone for doing their job, hmmm. I don't get a tip for doing mine... However excellent service does merit a tip. So we tipped quite a bit.
There are some stores on the grounds to shop. However they where begging us to come in and wanted to negotiate prices depending on what you buy. Everywhere you shop was a PAIN.. constant begging to purchase. Also they charged double the price for everything. So I started dividing all the prices in half and negotiated from there. PAY WHAT YOU REALLY FEEL SOMETHING IS worth to YOU..
-Low end alcohol.. suggestion: bring your own or go somewhere else if you want top shelf.

COMMUNICATION: If you know some Spanish, you can get by. The staff try's to communicate in English, when they have to. Take a common phrase cheat sheet with you.
Their favorite words: (cheapy, cheapy) (looky, looky) (clappy, clappy).. LOL!!!

Finally, my girlfriend and I got sick after day 3.. started having loose stools. By the time I we reached home I had severe travelers diarrhea. Don't know what exactly caused it but, I drank about 3 pina colada's, used ice for my drinks in restaurants. Ate the same breakfast every morning and had fine dining for 3 nights.

My best advice: If you have a low acid stomach, start taking an antacid before you start eating and drinking to protect your stomach.

Overall, we had fun. Weather was wonderful, sunny and warm everyday. They played Latin music the entire time except about twice the played Beyonce.

Room Tip: I stayed on top floor which I enjoyed a quite sleep. Not facing the pool.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank avirtuouslady
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
#58 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#61 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#63 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#64 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £133 - £361 (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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