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“Run as fast as you can....away from Riu Palace”

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Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Ranked #67 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Run as fast as you can....away from Riu Palace”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I can't believe this place even exists or that there are people in this world that would ever vacation here. My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights on recommendations from a travel agency(obviously they have never visited this place). Ok, here goes...
-smelly, moldy rooms
-Inedible food. So many health violations here. Food sitting out for hours in the heat. We both found hairs in our food!
Drinks are gross! Especially the wine, that tastes like sewage!
Staff was extremely rude and pretended they didn't understand you.
Only 1 pool that is packed with so many people eating in it and who knows what else. Cups and straws floating around. And the temp was hot!
Zero nightlife! Pool bar closes at 6pm. So much for having a drink and enjoying the sunset.
Sports bar was a joke... And it is only place for late night food. Hotdogs in a fridge that you microwave yourself??
If you don't speak Spanish be prepared to be treated like you don't exist.
I could go on and on! We have traveled to 6 continents and have never been to such an awful resort! We left the resort one day just to find something edible to eat. Do yourself a favor and erase the Riu as an option. Trust me, all the bad reviews are true! The good ones must be written by management.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jynx12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Appleton, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We had arrived in the later afternoon to the resort, which was beautiful and had an armed guard at the resorts entrance. After being welcomed by drinks and having our bags taken to our rooms, we went and unpacked, relaxed then decided to check out the resort before going for dinner. We arrived a little before the dinner so we decied to have drinks in the courtyard. My daughter noticed that the sign outside the dinning area asked for no shorts. She of course was wearing shorts and asked to return to the room to change quickly into a summer dress. Our room was on the first floor within eye shot of the courtyard and her Aunt and Grandma were in the room across still getting ready. As my daughter walked away I realized that I had also forgotten to get tip money. So about 3 minutes behind her I left to the room as well. My daughter never made it to the room. She was followed onto the elevator and assaulted by an employee then pulled off the elevator into a closet which was right beside every elevator on the floors. By the time I had gotten to the room and she did not answer, I could not get in because she had the key. I knocked on my other parties door and borrowed some tip money for the evening. I made my way back to the courtyard which you had to travel thru the lobby where my Mother was standing with my Daughter in tears. When I approched I thought maybe she had slipped and gotten hurt but to my horror she told us what had happened to her in the 15 min time span that this had accured in. We were taken to a tiny managers office where they asked my daughter about a description and location. They did ask if she would please work with them to identify the young man so that he could be punished and removed from the resort. We were happy to help if it could save another young lady from this terribble happening. You would think that such a wealthy company would have safety measures in place not only for their guests but for their employees. No security cameras to refer to. No photo file of employees. No 2 way mirrors. So my daughter and I were subject to young men being brought in the tiny office from behind her for her to look to identify her attacker. I think this was more tramatic than the assault its self. My daughter was unable to identify anyone after about 6 employees and I coudn't stand to watch her go thru the process. The manager asked if maybe they could walk the grounds. My daughter did see a young man she thought might be him near a bar area but was to frightened to move closer. ( this is also a good reason for them to have cameras. The wrong man could have been identified. It is very hard for a 14 yr old girl who lives in a less diverse area to identify/describe a Domincan man of african decent.) My daughter was exsausted and the manager (who was very nice and concerned) told us he was going to transfer my party over to another resort and that we should go eat and pack and he would have a van for us. Upon returning to the courtyard to go into the dinning area my daughter froze and started crying and backing up. The young man who had assaulted her was at the dinning area. He was a waiter there and had followed her upon seeing her in the courtyard while he was prepping for service. The only reason she was able to completely identify him was because of braces. My daughter still carries the effects of the assault, though we were able to have a very pleasant rest of our vacation. We did go on a chocolate tour and the guide kept calling my daughter sexy and even though I explained she was 14 he continued. But also addressing other older women this way. I understand it is a way for us to giggle and of course he ment no harm but, my daughter cried all the way back to the resort. I did share my concerns for lack of security cameras to the company that owns the Riu resorts. No reponse. I did share with Apple Vacations and they did give us vouchers for 100$ to expire in 1 yr, but the older grandma's are not up for traveling outside the US anymore being that they are in their 70's, and the voucher is untranferable. No compinsation was ever offered to my daughter for the trauma she went thru. We know this can happen anywhere and there are "bad people" in every country. I just wish that were security measures in place to help in lessoning the trauma and resolving the issue. God forbid this would have been a Natalie Halloway case. I have to say that this isn't the only case I have heard of employee assault. I have read that others have been assaulted on cruise ships, and other countries resorts. Young and old. I guess vacation doesn't mean let your guard down. Travel safe.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Krista F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

Good place, good service, people very nice and friendly, but not going back. The rooms were very clean but the pool wasn't. Also the food was good but it was the same all the time, cooked in the same way. Not enough variety and we found a couple of times that the seafood wasn't properly handle. We been at other resorts on Dominican Republic so we can compared. The drinks weren't made rights most of the times, they were to Strong or made it with the wrong ingredients.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yanet S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

I stayed at this resort for 9 nights and 10 days. There were many great things about this resorts and a few that me and my family were not pleased with.

Pros:

- Staff is on point. They should definitely get paid more for all the hard work and passion they put into their work. I think this was the best part about my stay. It is difficult to come around nice heart warming people and they were just that.
- The pools are big. Staff is constantly serving drinks. They have a swim up bar pool area, a few jacuzzis, the main big pool, and a smaller infinity pool.
- I read a lot of reviews where people said you have to come early to reserve chairs and towels. Not true. We use to be at the pool and beach area around 9 or 10 AM and there were plenty of chairs and towels.
-The food at the buffet was great. There is a variety of different things that I cannot begin to explain. A huge selection to choose from.
-The rooms are pretty spacious and kept clean. The refrigerators have enough drinks and alcohol and they always give you anything of extra if you need. The rooms are pretty cool and at times kind of cold at night. But that's always a plus when your on a hot island.
-There are tons of activities to do as long as you are willing to dish out $ to pay for them.
-Check-in was pretty quick and they gave us a free safe lock, and free wifi which was a plus for me because I do online schooling.
-There is a sport bar that is open 24/7. They have pool, air hockey, drinks, and snacks.
-Most of the staff spoke English.
-Try to take advantage of everything on the resort and all the activities, and explore outside of the resort.

Pros:

-Rooms have a weird smell.
-Do not leave your balcony door open throughout the day because your floors will be really wet and slippery.
-Thin walls.
-Make sure you place your "Do not disturb" sign on the door or else house keeping will unlock your door and come in even if you are inside half naked.
-More music by the pool area.
-Umbrella (shades) by the pool area they didn't provide much of shading.
-The beach area had no umbrellas or hay straw umbrellas so we had to constantly move around the sun to find shade.
-More entertainment and international music at night.
-Internet on the beach, pool, theater, and plaza area sucks.

Hope this review helped! Thank you for a great vacation Riu Palace Punta Cana! :)

Room Tip: A room facing the pool and beach.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank GSimnica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

I returned yesterday from this resort and when our airline cancelled our plane I fretted that we may have to spend one more night in this resort!!! Our son is in a wheelchair and this resort was hard to get around for us. We had to roam through the kitchens to find the ramps to go downstairs or upstairs and the pool was too slippery to even think about bringing him in. Also did NOT want to even bring him in pool because it was disgusting! Warm and dirty! You would be in water and cups, fruit and straws would float by. It was NOT a place for children or families with the partying and loud music! The good thing was that we could use other Riu resorts! We walked a half mile each day to go to NaiBoa to swim in their pool. It was extremely clean and cooler and much more "kid friendly". My older son and I went into the gym one day and that was too much! It was filthy and broken equipment. Gross that you couldn't even wipe the equipment down after sweating on it! Also my son tried to use the weight and they were rusted and broken! We couldn't keep the air conditioner on in our room because it smelled like mildew! Also we had small bugs in our room! When we asked the front desk about it they handed us a can of bug spray!!! The only thing they have going for them is their staff but it absolutely disgusting that Riu only pays them $10 a day!!! That is the only good thing about the resort! If you go and stay here make sure you schedule a day away and go on the Outback Adventure with Rudy and Caesar!!! The best day there for us! Oh and if you are a coffee drinker don't drink the coffee in café! Go to sports bar!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank momwhotravels1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Since we've stepped off the plane, we found the company we booked with and were told to meet our representative the next day at 10am in the lobby (yes, he was on time and we booked some amazing excursions!!). That worked out perfectly.

Once at the hotel, Wellington checked us in. Very friendly man, and since then we felt welcomed. We went to our room and it was quiet, until it seemed as if the balcony door wouldn't close and the there were a huge hole in the safe so we went back to the reception and Wellington gave us a new (bigger and better) room, however it was louder as it was facing La Plaza. We finally figured out that there was actually no problem with the door and the safe, we had to pick up the key from the front desk which took too long in my opinion (we got it the day after we arrived).

So in general, it was a great experience. Here are some pros and cons:

Let's start with the good stuff?

-Great staff. Very hard working, friendly. The Michael Jackson show was by far one of the best I've seen while at the Riu. The cleaning lady for our room (Katy) was great and always made our room acceptable to look at again, haha.

-It's a great hotel for younger people and couples. The beach is within walking distance, the pool is alright. The pool bar is cool, and the my favorite waiter (Richard) never seemed to let me die of thirst on the beach..."Drinky drinky!"

-The excursions are one of kind. Went zip-lining and it was SOO much fun. My mom went on the Saona trip, and it was fantastic for her..blue water but she said it was a bit stressful. Santo Domingo tour was fabulous...tour guide was amazing. and the Jungle Rally tour was great too. Learned a lot on all trips, and definitely worth to look at.

-I liked the animation team and that there was always something going on. Even though the dance lessons were repetitive (at 1130am at the beach), it was a lot of fun following the steps of Sexy Kelvin. Sexy Chocolate was my favorite of them all, and they are always in a good mood.

-I made a lot of new friends...from staff to vacationers like me. So did my mom. I never really had a dull moments and I know I've made some great friends that I'll keep in touch with. The gardening staff was also my favorite...on a hot day, I brought each one of them a cup of water from the pool bar and they appreciated it so much. You have to understand that they work extremely hard...Melvin (one of the garden staff people) also works at the bar in the evenings -- long day, huh?

- Drinks are A+ (most of the time...the orange juice isn't really orange juice)

-Sunrises are amazing. I watched it probably 5 out of the 11 days that I was there...so worth the early wake-up and the Riu is safe early in the mornings and late at night.

-Witnessed some beautiful weddings too.

Now let's get with the bad news....CONS -

Food - absolutely nothing special. Buffet is alright, and all the other restaurants aren't that delicious. My mom and I expected too much from the food but it sufficed throughout the time we were there...the fruit was my favorite.

Towels - As the days went on, towels ran out. But not that big of a deal.

Rooms - My room was moldy and musty-smelling...mildew on the lamp shade and on the pictures...you could actually see it. I think I had an allergic reaction because my nose began closing up and my throat started to hurt halfway through the trip.

OVERPRICED STUFF - we bought a can of nuts for 15 dollars....THAT IS NUTS.

wifi - it was shaky. Best use in the room/hotel lobby.

elevator - sketchy....a group of people got stuck. Max. hold is 8 people? Except there were 8+ AND kids...maybe it's their own fault. We got help for them ASAP.



In general: I think I would come here again only because of the vibe but I'd come friends. My mom didn't find it as relaxing as me. We met a woman who stayed at Sensimar Resort, right down the beach, and the her room was modern, clean and didn't smell like mildew. My mom said she'd prefer that resort over the Riu Palace.

I love the Dominican people. They've got smiles to light up the world, even though they don't have much.

Room Tip: Choose a room near the lobby if possible (could give you better wifi), or away from the Plaza if you...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sophia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Beautiful grounds, great service and friendly people. I wouldn't recommend it for children, but it's a great place for couples and single. Lot's of fun options for events. We did the dune buggy ride and had a blast!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with an ocean view. I had a beautiful view of the grounds, but no the ocean.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LaSandra M
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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