Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic | 4 star resort
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Location

This 4 star resort is located on Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana.
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    Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

    Riu Palace. Nice Atmosphere- Rotten food.

    from

    Nice atmosphere is all that the Riu Palace Punta Cana has going for it. Beautiful place it truely is. However, the food and service was not up to par by any means.

    We were rudely interupted by the maids barging in on us. They did not even knock most of the time and just came right in. Also, the construction was still going on in the resort and non-stop pounding occurred early in the morning and definitely woke us up. We had friends that had problems with water leaks in the ceiling and also pounding from workers early in morning.

    And for the restaurants. Food was below average accompinied by cold meals and piss poor service. I have had better quality food in a Chinese restaurant. At least I knew it was dog I was eating.

    OH, and for the nightlife. everything shuts down at midnight. No one was impressed with the bars and discos at all. One disco stayed open on the resort; but the natives took it over and it had a very shady atmosphere to it. Bartenders charging different prices for the same beer or liquor. I felt like I was encouraged to go to bed as soon as I got done with dinner or forced to deal with Crooks in the disco.

    Overall, The Riu Palace has alot of kinks to work out and I would rate it a 4 out of 10. Being very generous.

    I have been to Punta Cana 3 times now and this place is the bottom of the barrell for my tastes.

    Fit for a King & Queen

    from

    My husband and I, along with my brother and sister in law returned from the Rui last night. Before we left, I went on the Trip Advisor to see about this resort, but no such luck, so if it's any worth, here it is from our point. We are all in the ages of 50-55 range. Last year we all travelled to the Rui Palace in Los Cobos, which was also very good, but being here at this Rui in Punta Cana, I can honestly say that we prefer this one. The flight down from Toronto took approx. 4 hours with Can jet. The time from the airport to the resort took alot longer than anticipated (approx 1l/2 hours), but it was worth the trip! As soon as we walked through the doors, Wow! It was just like a real palace. All the granite, wood, ceramic tile-WOW!!. We had a Junior Suite which also was very nice and big (the tub and bathroom were beautifully decorated). We have been to a number of other resorts, and I commented to my husband about the noise. Usually, later on as people walk by your door, you can hear them walking and talking, but not here-they had an underlay by the door. Each night the maid would come in a lay your bed down(nice trouch)!. All the staff at the resort were extremely friendly, happy, and always wanting to make your stay a little better. Now to the beach-it was very very beautiful, long and nice soft sand. You could walk for hours!. There was a market on the beach (approx. half an hour from the Rui), and also on the resort they had shops. The gym was very modern, the spa excellent. Weather was good and hot (you had to use alot of sunscreen). We found the pool to be very warm, so we preferred to dip and swim at the ocean. All the food at the buffet was excellent. There was a very nice selection for everyone. We didn't try all the a la cartes (just Steak & Japanese). We peferred the buffet (to each their own). We all felt very very safe here and we would definately consider returning here some day again. So, if you are thinking about this resort, don't hesitate-it's breathtaking. We also found there were a lot of German people there at the time.

    In conclusion we were very glad to be at this resort and highly recommend this new Palace to everyone!!

    Have one for us!!

    Beautiful Resort!

    from

    We just got back from the Riu Palace Punta Cana and had a great time. We were there for one week. This is the third all inclusive we have stayed at and the first in Punta cana.

    Rooms: The rooms are wonderful, very nice with big bathrooms. They are decorated very nice and have all the nessesites you need.

    Service: We loved the Dominican People they went out of their way to make us comfortable and happy. They even put an extra pad on our bed because we complained it was too hard. They clean the room twice a day and turn down your bed at night. They really went out of their way for any requests we had.

    Beach: The beach is absolutley beautiful and you can walk forever on it in either direction.

    Food: The food was a typical all inclusive, I like breakfast the best. The Best resturaunt was Sir Oscars and the other were just ok. The buffet gets old but I could always find something to eat. I definetly don't go to an all inclusive for the food.

    Spa: The spa was very nice we got massages and enjoyed them very much. They were 60.00 for an hour wich we thought was a steal.

    All in all we had a great time, the weather was perfect and we had fun getting involved in the volleyball and water arerobics. We did one excursion that took us to swim with sharks and sting rays, it was pretty cool. If you have any questions just email me and I would be happy to help.

    Jami

    Outstanding Riu

    from

    Had just four nights at this wonderful resort but we were completely bowled over by it. It seems to combine features of all the worlds best hotels, the front drive like the Biltmore Coral Gables, the beach like the Hyatt and Westin Grand Cayman, the lunch terrace like the Marriot Morningstar St. Thomas and I could go on and on. This is all combined with superb service (like that given in the Gritti Palace Venice) and on an all inclusive basis. Wonderful animation team and dance classes on beach daily with Riu favourite songs such as Si, Si, Si, and "I want to go to Riu". Wonderful front desk service given by Raymundo and excellent bar service by Claudia. Use of four other all inclusive Riu resorts as well. We could not have asked for more. Will be back.

    Riu palace punta Cana

    from

    We just returned this week from a 7day all-inclusive at the new Riu palace and it had lots of problems that it needs to work out. The staff does not understand English so it was very hard to communicate. They also have a chip on their shoulders, they are rude to Americans. The system for making dinner reservations was crazy. each morning you had to line up at 7:00am to get dinner reservations and if you were not first in line early you ended up not getting into any of the special places for dinner and had to go to the buffet, which was very good ,but not everynight. The last night we were there the fire alarm went off every 1/2 hr after 1:00 someone pulled it and than it malfunctioned so there were alot of tired angry people that morning. i hope they are able to work out the bugs, cause it is a beautiful place.

    Beautiful Resort

    from

    We stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana from May 6 to May 20. What a great place to vacation and what a beautiful resort! This is the second Riu Palace we've visited, the first being the one in the Mayan Riviera. Both resorts are equally beautiful and elegantly adorned with granite tiles and crystal chandeliers and elaborate fountains. This resort in Punta Cana is one of the newest aditions to the Riu Palaces and considering it was all of one week old when we arrived, it still provided high levels of comfort, cleanliness and service with very minor glitches. The staff is courteous and friendly and will go a long way in ensuring you are well cared for. We had a beautiful junior suite to the south of the property and were an equal distance from both reception and the pool.

    The first week we were there it rained for the most part in short spurts early in the afternoon as this is the rainy season there, but the second week was just gorgeous. The beach in Punta Cana (as I'm sure you've heard) is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. It runs past the 5 Riu resort complex for miles. The Riu's are actually connected by a walkway that begins at the new Palace and ends at the Taino, Naiboa, and Palace Macao entrance where you will also find Carribean street (shops), Pacha disco, and the Casino attached to the Macao. We're not big on casinos in general but went a couple of times for the slot machines. The new palace also has a small room within the 24hr sports bar which was actually more convenient a place to play. There is always something to do there within or without the resort, but we enjoyed relaxing on the beach or lounging by the pool best. The swim up bar is a great feature but not really needed as there is always someone taking your order seeing that you are well cared for. We mostly ate at the restaurant by the beach in the afternoons and stuck to the buffet for dinner. The food was very good and the selection only got better with the second week. You can also opt to eat breakfast and lunch at any of the other Riu resorts, and by gaining permission from the front desk, you may also try one of the other restaurants for dinner. We ate dinner at the Palace Macao twice just for a change of environment and the food there was wonderful too. All in all we had a really enjoyable time and did not want to leave, but there's always next year to look forward to!

    Great time @ the RIU Palace PUJ

    from

    I stayed at the RIU Palace PUJ from May 20th - May 27th. The hotel is shockingly beautiful!

    Rooms - Amazing. Just make sure you ask for one overlooking the courtyard inbetween the pool and restaurants. We stayed on the 2nd floor (1112) and found it to be the perfect location. We didn't have elevators to wait for and were in the middle of the pool and restaurant area.

    Pool - One word - Perfect! Water temperature was like soup at times.

    Beach - Great!

    Food - Pretty good. Could be a little better, but nothing to complain too much about. Always someting to eat.

    A'la Carte restaurants -Gourmet (Sir Oscars) - Good. Italian - Disappointing, Steakhouse - Good, watch out for the mosquitos though. Brazillian - Good, but different. You better like large portions and lots of meat. We didn't eat at the Japaneese. If you want to eat at the A'la carte restaurants, you had better be an early bird. They started booking at 7:00am and the good ones were booked by 7:15 for first seating. Two seatings - 6:30 and 8:30 or 9:00pm.

    Drinks - Okay, not the best, not the worst.

    Service - Above and beyond! Typical RIU Palace service.

    Entertainment staff - Virually non-existant here. Go over to the Bambu or Maceo. Check out the caribbean st. party on Thursday night.

    Fitness- No free weights yest at the Palace PUJ fitness centre, but there are some on Caribbean St and at the Bambu, no A/C at those two.

    Tours - We did the helicoptor tour. It was awsome! Sounds expensive, but WELL worth it! Go ask the Captin Cook ppl on caribbean st. to take you out for a tour in one of there boats. They will take you to the sipwreck up and close (could touch it. and will take you for a little ride up and down the beach ($15.00 each), im sure you can negotiate.

    Shopping - There is a flea market shopping area on the beach towards the caribbean st. approx. 20 min walk down beach. There pretty good. worth checking out.

    Overall, the hotel is very good. It still has a few bugs to work out and some things to improve. Im sure it will only get better. Any issues with your room and talk to Rosemary at the front desk she is excellent!

    Hope this helps,

    Alex

    Great Hotel, Beautiful Property

    from

    My Boyfriend and I just got back from a 2 week vacation to the Riu Palace Punta Cana. One thing I have to say is that they are operating very well for a hotel that just opened 4 weeks ago!!! The property is beautiful, and the staff are excellent.

    Hotel rooms- The hotel has 612 rooms, and they are all at least a Junior Suite, very spacious, and the bed are confortable. Each room comes with a mini bar and alcohol dispensers, and a seating area with a couch and TV with satelite.

    Reception- Is open 24 hours, and the reception staff are knowlegable of the area and speak english very well. So they can help and answer your questions.

    Bars- In total there are 5 bars, and one which is the sports bar is open 24 hours. They bartenders are great, some do not speak English very well, but they are trying to learn. The drinks are all good, make sure you try all of them! They are tasty!

    Restaurants- There are 5 A la Carte restaurants, Brazilian, Italian, Gormet, Japanese and Steakhouse. They are all very good, and offer a different taste then the buffet. Our favorite was the Italian and the Brazilian.

    The buffet was excellent every night, and each night had something different for you to eat. We didn't find it repeatative at all, and loved every bit!

    Pool- The pool is large and has about 10 loungers built into it. So you can cool off while you catch the sun! One thing we did find is that there we bugs flouting around sometimes, which only means they have to do a better job of cleaning it during the day. And in the afternoon the pool got kind of warm, but the ocean was a good exchange for cooling down.

    Beach- The Macao beach is beatiful, has white sand, and lots of palm trees. We didn't have a problem finding a chair at any time in the day, and because of all the palm trees, you wont have a problem finding shade when you need it! There are no people trying to sell you things on the beach so its relaxing.

    The water is crystal blue, and there are small tropical fish swimming around, which is kind of neat!

    If you walk about 10-15 minutes down the beach you will find there are some huts where you can buy souvenirs, or gifts, and bargon a better deal.

    One thing i would like to add also is that when you are visiting this place, please cut the people some slack, We noticed that some people where quite rude to the people who work there. Even though there are there to make your vacation a "vacation" they are not your servants! and do deserve respect. They are such friendly people, and will only smile, and make your vacation more enjoyable. So you should try to make there jobs more enjoyable aswell.

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me! Enjoy the trip!

    Beautiful resort, needs to work out opening bugs

    from

    My husband and I just returned from a week long vacation at the brand new RIU Palace Punta Cana, which opened April 28th. First, let me say it's a gorgeous resort, probably one of the nicest physical properties I've seen in quite awhile. Rich paintings, granite and marble floors, a good "wow" factor when you walk in, plus a great beach and pool. And a hard-working, very pleasant staff. Check out Abelardo, best waiter at the pool, Mary Cruz at the main bar inside, Yunior at Sir Oscar's Restaurant and Orlando, Isabella and Elvis at the Sports Bar.

    Since the RIU Palace Punta Cana is so new, yes, there are definitely some areas for improvement, if they want to go to a top level. Check in was straight up bad. We had to wait an hour for our room, then they sent us to a room with two double beds, after we requested a king sized bed twice. Another hour wait. Once we finally got to the right room with a king, the phone didn't work, and the toilet didn't either. HELLO. Other folks also had plumbing problems, so they need to work that issue out fast.

    We ate at Sir Oscar's Restaurant 3 nights, Don Manuel (the buffet) three nights, and La Altagracia (the steakhouse) on our last night. If you're a meat eater, definitely do the steakhouse, it was the tastiest and largest portion, especially for the guys. Sir Oscars was great ambiance (and had the most comfortable air-conditioning), the food was good, but for "gourmet", it could use a menu and portion size upgrade. We wanted both a salad and soup, and were told we could only pick ONE. At an all-inclusive? Please.... On the plus side, the stuffed mussels appetizer was excellent. We did like the staff, and the waiters really hustle. Don Manuel also has the breakfast buffet, which had a large selection, and we enjoyed it. At dinner, there is plenty to choose from, and they had one night that we really loved with unlimited lobster tail, and I was in heaven. You don't have to tip, and many folks don't, but we always tipped for dinner, at the pool, and for any other good service, including at the bars. Take plenty of one dollar bills with you. You won't mind giving them to friendly locals who really appreciate it. My husband enjoyed the Sports Bar a lot, and they have a little casino if you want to play a slot machine or two. Don't expect to win, I only hit a decent payoff once in about 3 trips inside, but it was amusing, and it's vacation, so what the heck.

    A few other major tourist tips---if you go off property shopping (and you should) be prepared to do your negotiating. Whatever price they tell you, offer 1/3 of that. And by all means--MOST IMPORTANT-- COUNT YOUR MONEY dollar by dollar or peso by peso in front of any clerk you are paying when you're buying those souveniers. I encountered a smooth con man at the Plaza Bavaro shopping center. I was buying a t-shirt and a dress, and took out my money, counted it to myself, and handed it to him. All of a sudden, two other people, a female clerk, and a another man showed up, and hovered around us. The male clerk said I shorted him by 100 pesos (the equivalent of 3 bucks US). I knew I hadn't, but said Ok, and reached into my pocket and pulled out another 100 pesos. He told me then that I was still 200 peso's short. I'm in a profession where I know my scams, and watched him make a move to hand off money to his partner, who then goes to the front of the store. I called him on it, and threated to call the policia, and took his business card from the register. Got the money back, (the guy who went to the front of the store walked back and handed it to me out of his pocket) but if the clerk rips off unsuspecting tourists for about $6 a piece, he's making a nice little daily profit. I gave the business card to the tour bus guide, and he's promising to do something about it, but if not, heed this warning. Count your money carefully and avoid the hassle. Second point is for all you fishermen and women. Before you go out for your 4-hour trip, find out about the rules AND the boat. We paid $198 dollars for a deep sea trip, and never had a rod in our hands. We even drew the first two numbers in a lottery to see who would fish first. They fished on top of the water, and never did any trolling, even though we weren't getting any bites on the top with live bait. And the boat had no sonar, so we just tossed on giant waves for 3 hours and only managed to land a lobster trap in some tangled lines. Without dramamine, we all would have been a mess. I've done the speed boat rides on a previous trip to the D.R, and would say that's definitely your better bet for a fun time on the water. Do check out the cigar factory and the rum factory. Both are a blast and educational. You can get your bottle of rum personalized and it's a nice souvineer for friends back in the states. The guys who hand paint some beautiful artwork are from Haiti, and very talented. All in all, despite a few bumps in the road, I still like the D.R. better than a lot of other Carribbean countries, and would go back again and again. They are a democracy, and their people are working hard to improve their quality of life, so if I'm looking for a place to spend my hard earned American tourist dollars, I have no qualms about spending them there, and enjoying plenty of R & R on a beautiful, growing island.

    Beautiful Resort

    from

    Just want to start out by saying sorry for the long winded review but wanted to give you good and accurate information. We just recently returned from a much needed vacation. We vacationed at the RIU Palace Punta Cana resort from May 7, 2006 to May 14, 2006. This resort just opened on April 28, 2006. The resort is absolutely beautiful. It is approximately 35 mins from the Punta Cana airport. The ride from the airport to the resort is a tour of its own. The service was outstanding. From the minute we walked into the resort to the time we left. It is amazing that the employees can always have a smile on their faces and always a welcoming greeting at every interaction. The rooms are beautiful. Our room was located on the garden side but not much garden being they just opened up and all of the foliage is still small. The rooms have either 2 double beds pushed together or you can request a king size bed. The beds are very firm and the pillows are soft. There is a step down sitting area with a love seat, coffee table, dresser with TV. All rooms have balconies with chairs on them. The room comes supplied with soda, bottled water, club soda, and tonic water. Also they have 4 different types of hard liquor at the wet bar area of the room. Ironing board and Blow dryer also provided. Just a bit of advice, the doors do not lock automatically when you leave your room so don't assume that is locked. We found this out by mistake. You must manually lock the room with the key. Make sure you go around twice with the key because it has two locking mechanisms. You may find that after they clean your room, stock the mini bar, or turn your beds down at night they have a tendency to forget to lock your room back up so remember to put all valuables in the room safe that is provided. We never had any problem with anything missing from our rooms but you never know. Now for the food. The first day you arrive you must eat at the buffet. They have 5 specialty restaurants but you have to make reservations daily for which restaurant you want to eat at that night. The reservations can only be made one day at a time the morning of from 7am to 10am at the Luigi restaurant. I never found it to be a problem to get reservations even at 9am. But remember the resort was not at full capacity. We ate at four out of the five specialty restaurants. They all have a limited menu and you select one item from each of the courses. The Japanese restaurant was good. They serve sushi for the first course and then you choose the rest of the courses. The service was wonderful. I would rate this restaurant 4 out of 5. The gourmet restaurant was good. The service was wonderful. I would also rate this restaurant 4 out of 5. Although this was the 4th night we were there and after eating at this restaurant I got really bad stomach cramps and diarrhea. My husband was fine that evening but that next day dealt with some stomach cramps and diarrheas as well. We are not sure if it was from the food they served that night or what. Some of the other people that ate there did not have any problems. The Italian restaurant was delicious. Of course this is more of what we are used to eating as well. The have a cold and hot buffet for appetizers and then you choose your main course and dessert. The sevice was great. I would also rate this restaurant 4 out of 5. Now I would not recommend the Brazilian restaurant unless you like a lot of overcooked meat. They serve 6 different meats but the beef and the pork was tough and the beef was definitely overcooked. I was not too impressed with the restaurant. The service was okay. We only was served 5 out of the 6 meats I think they forgot a few tables. I would rate this restaurant a 2 out of 5. We never ate at the steakhouse. Beings we are from the Midwest of the USA it would be hard to compare the meats. So we didn't waste our time. We figured we can enough steak back home. The main breakfast buffet starts at 7am till 10am. They have a variety of breakfast items. Something for everyone. Lunch at the main buffet start at 1pm until 3pm. The main buffet at lunch time is for people not in wet suits though. They also have a continental breakfast buffet by the pool. They serve from 9am to 12 noon. Then they serve lunch at this same area for people that are at the pool or beach. This is also used for the steakhouse at night. The lunch buffet by the pool was okay the have something for everyone but by the 5 day it gets old. I'm not complaining I just want you to be aware. We never did eat lunch at the main buffet for lunch because we were always at the beach or the pool during the day. Now on to the pool. The pool is large with lounger build into the pool so you could lounge in the water. I loved this part of the pool. They also have several inlet in the pool that are Jacuzzi's (Now remember it is the same temperature water as the pool so don't except it to be hot water Jacuzzi) Also they have several inlets in the pool the have seating in the water with tables so you can drink and converse with other people. This resort does have a swim up bar which I thought was very nice. The water was still clear and clean. They have plenty of pool side loungers and umbrellas. Never had to worry about going down early to reserve a lounger. The have towel service for the pool which is a very nice amenity. The towels are large beach towels. Never had a problem of them running out for the exception of one day when it rained and everybody turned in there wet towels for dry ones and they ran out. The pool side service was good but sometimes a little slow. I suggest packing a large insulated mug to bring with you. This keeps things cold and you don't need as many refills because the glasses at the pool are small hard plastic cups. Make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen (over pack). We ran out and had to buy sunscreen there and it cost double of what you would normally pay in the states. The beach is just steps away from the pool. They have tons of beach loungers in and out of the sun. The beach is absolutely gorgeous. The water is blue and clear. They have free water sports so take advantage while you can. You have to go to Scuba Caribe on the beach they have a building to the right of the resort if you are looking at the ocean. This is where you can make reservations to do the free water sports or pay water sports. We did the scuba doo's it was fun and a great experience and you do not have to be certified diver to do this. Now if you drink a lot the service for drinks at the beach is limited. Remember that if you go all inclusive that they have 4 other resorts right next to each other and you can go eat and drink at these resorts as well. The only thing you can't do is have dinner at the other resorts. Watch out for the local vendors on the beach. Don't pay what they are asking. Give them an offer and they will take it. They do have some shops at the resort by the spa and the prices are reasonable. All in All a great vacation spot if you are looking to relax. Not much to do at night except go watch the entertainers dance and socialize at the bars.

    TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana

    4.00 of 5 stars Excellent
     

    Travel Blogs from Punta Cana

    Another day of Relaxation

    A travel blog entry by ssilver on Apr 12, 2014

    ... Took some more photos around the resort. - I took some great sunset shots of our last night in Paradise. Palm trees, a breeze, the stars. So nice to be relaxed and not scheduled. - Pre-ordered breakfast for the plane Drinks we have tested/indulged in... Coconut Milk...with and without rum Strawberry Daquiri Champagne Dirty Monkey Coco Loco Happy Mango Sex on the Beach Bahama Mama Piña Colada Dominican ...

    Sandy Yoga

    A travel blog entry by ssilver on Apr 11, 2014

    Late rise. Breakfast at the world cafe Floated around and read in the pool before enjoying an hour at the gym. Grabbed a quick snack at the Coco Cafe Read on the balcony before heading to the beach to be thoroughly baked. Enjoyed a 1/2 hour of yoga with instructor Lisa. Returned to the room to wash sand from unnamed places. Tried to get a table at the Sea ...

    The Excursion

    A travel blog entry by ssilver on Apr 10, 2014

    ... suit and the little guy was active and seemed like he was laughing when you tickled him under his wings. That made swallowing a good portion of the Atlantic worth it! - from there it was a lazy cruise to a natural swimming pool where we lounged in the warm water, protected by the natural coral reef from waves and predators. - Perfect half day excursion because it seemed like we had both enjoyed a full day and we still had ...

    Nicole's

    A travel blog entry by ssilver on Apr 09, 2014

    ... beautiful jewellery. We then decided to drop ours trinkets to the room and go for dinner. We arrived at Oceania restaurant by the ocean but we're turned away as we were still in swimsuits and cover ups. Apparently this is not appropriate dress code for the restaurant. We stopped at the Seaside Grill and had the same reaction so we grudgingly returned to our room ...

    Drinks and the Trampoline

    A travel blog entry by ssilver on Apr 08, 2014

    ... coconut. It was a bit bland so we headed to the bar where I added rum and Lisa swapped hers for a strawberry Daiquiri which she managed to pour into the coconut shell. Then we opted for a day relaxing on a floaty in the pool taking a break midday to grab a bite at the poolside grill. We carried our food back to the room and enjoyed it on our balcony in the company of ...