I was super nervous after ready some of the reviews of this place, but we ended up having a fabulous time! The beach is gorgeous and we could easily find chairs everyday. The wait staff by the beach were very friendly and we tipped $1 for each round of drinks and let me tell ya, they took care of us!! The lunch buffet wasn't stellar, but the dinner buffet was awesome! The japanese and italian resturants were good too --- no complaints. We got massages on the beach one day and it was only $60USD (normally about $100USD in the states.) We are really laid-back people and just found what we liked and had a blast!!
The grounds deserve a 5 star rating! I am glad we chose the Palace-very grand. The beach is fantastic and very beautiful also. Lots of seating-never a problem to find a lounger on the beach. Kept very clean. The staff works hard. The room was ok. We had 3 rooms and requested king beds when we made the reservation, but only got 1, however, the other rooms had 2 full size beds that are pushed together-might be weird if traveling with 2 couples in the same room. Each room tripped a breaker once-no big deal-breaker box right there. The A/c quit in one room but was fixed very quickly. One room TV did not work-fixed right away too! Great maintenance staff.Our rooms overlooked the grounds, not the fountain/pool areas, but it was very pretty and quiet sitting out there. There are built in drying racks on the balconies for your towels, etc. None of us used the liquor dispensers in the rooms as we were always out and about and near a bar or waitstaff service The mini bars come with beer, various 20 oz bottles of soda/pop and water. They replace everything daily. Plan on using the large bottles of water alot as you will need to brush your teeth with the bottled water per the locals and staff. All of our rooms had a large tub with jets-glad we did not pay extra for a jacuzzi. Complex is not huge and never felt crowded. The stores at this complex have better prices than those on Carribbean St. We visited RUI Macao next door and walked down to the Bavaro complex. I would give the food 3 stars-not bad but not fantastic. You will not go hungry. Room service food is strange. We ate at the Japanense place 1 night and the Braziallan another. Unable to get reservations to Steakhouse or Fusion. Food ok. Lots to eat in the Brazillian-meat coma. Japenese ok... do not recommend the tempora shrimp & veggies-beef plate very good. Fish soup extremely fishy and not liked by anyone.. You make reservations for dinner at the Itailan restaraunt everyday 8am-11am. The bar staff at the pool are great! We tipped them occassionaly and received the top line alcohol and great service.The other alcohol is very good and lots of top named brands. Try the pina coladas with the Ron Bacelo dark rum-We do not like pina coladas but these are yummy-lots of pineapple! They are best at the pool bar as the other places do not have the frozen drink machines and use vodka or white rum. Tips at pool bar: the $1 bills seem to be split among all bartenders but they get to keep the $5's and bigger dominations for themselves, we observed .Also, the pool cleaning man saves all the seats around the pool every morning and looks for a tip to give/save you seats every day. We took our family-24, 25 and 27 y/o. The winds were too high to use the kayaks, boogie boards, water sports, etc.so they didn't have as much to do as they wanted. There are NO jet ski rentals offered anymore. Did not go to nightclub-was $40 US and only included 2 drinks-seemed silly to pay for entertainment and alcohol. There is a show every night near the courtyard. The circus one is the best The only bad thing: Olympus Tours's rep in the lobby-Jsmael (sp?). Rude. He should not assume that Americans do not understand Spanish. He said something very rude and laughed about it-the reps at the other tables had the decency not to laugh. He also did not follow through with our return travel trip and I had to find another rep to take care of us. Would love to return!
This was our first time traveling to DR. The Hotel.... Beautiful.... Not the newest..... Everybody was very nice and very helpful... They tried the best to speak English.... We found our way around... Without speaking any Spanish.... Buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner was our favorite... Had dinner at Krystal and the Steakhouse.... Not sure we loved it.... And you even have to make reservations... To dine there... Pool was great..... No chairs at 8:00 am.... So keep your towels the day of.... And get your chairs 6:30 am and get new towels when you ready to take your chairs during of the day..... Wasn't fun of this trick.... But worked. Beach is beautiful... Sand is amazing.....loved the fresh coconuts.... Room... The all hotel smelled musty a little bit... Or a lot of bit.... Unfortunately.... You can't do anything about. The mattresses is little bit hard...., but our room was big enough... Big bathroom.... Enough towels.... One more thing.... Everybody is smoking everywhere.... I mean EVERYWHERE, restaurants, pool, beach.... Lobby.... You can't escape....this was hard a little bit..... I was amazed how nice everybody was here.... The employes were happy.... Zero attitude, what was a nice change for me.... Just happy all around.. We would go back for sure.... If u r not high maintenance.... And just go with the flow and ready to make the best of it.... You can like this place...
My sister and I planned a get away for just the two of us to Punta Cana. The price offered by Cheap Caribbean was very reasonable and the hotel looked beautiful. And it was. Riu Palace is really a beautiful facility and the staff are extremely helpful and nice. However, we were very disappointed in the quality of the food. Except for the Italian and Brazilian restaurants, the food was not very good. We managed to find things to eat but overall the food was not up to par. I know the RIU Palace draws a large European population and so it makes sense to cater to them by offering popular European dishes, such as cold cuts and cheese for breakfast, but it would be nice to have some good American dishes too. There were eggs, and little bacon bits and pancakes but everything tasted slightly odd and just not very good. Although the presentation of the food was done well. Our room was really nice. We were very impressed. The mattresses on the beds were firm and although they didn't have a mattress cover, it was okay. The air conditioner worked really well and there was a ceiling fan in the room. However, the room really smelled musty. We had read that this was an issue so we brought candles and a Glade plug-in but none of those really worked to combat the overall musty smell. It was pretty bad. Once you were in the room for awhile you tended not to notice it as much but it would really hit you when you'd been away from the toom and then came back and opened the door. Whew! Not a nice scent. Our maid service was good but kind of inconsistent with towels. Some days we would get faceclothes and some days we didn't. One day we didn't get face clothes or hand towels. Not sure why that was. But they were very nice when we would call down and ask for some. The drinks at the pool bar were quite good but we didn't have very good luck with the drinks at the bar in the lobby. We ordered martinis, champagne and mojitos on 3 separate occassions and they were just not good. I've tried many brands of Champagne from cheap Andre to Dom Perignon and the champagne served here was like nothing I'd tasted before. The first time, I thought it had gone bad, like maybe it was starting to vinegar, but then they gave us a glass at dinner at the Krystal restaurant and it was the same. I did see other people drinking it so maybe it was just my sister and I. We definitely did not care for it. The beach in front of the hotel is really beautiful. They have tons of lounge chairs set out on the beach so we never had a problem getting one. They do have a waiter or two going around taking drink orders but it was a little inconsistent. We usually tipped him a dollar to ensure good service and it seemed to work. There were 2 days when they ran out of towels which was a little bit of a bummer. From that point on, we would just go and get them right after breakfast even if we weren't ready to head down to the beach just to ensure we had them for the day. The pool is really nice too with little alcoves you can sit in that have a table and the swim up pool bar is quite handy. Although there are a lot of bees hanging around the bar area, no one every got stung so it wasn't really a problem. The resort does have an entertainment team who initiate games and such. We didn't participate but did watch a couple. Although we had a lovely vacation, I don't know if I would recommend the RIU Palace to a friend. Although the accomodations and service were lovely, the bad food and musty scent in the rooms were very off putting. When we got home we had to run our clothes thru the washer twice with lots of Downey just to get the musty scent out of our clothes. However, while you're there you actually don't notice the musty scent in your clothes so that's a good thing.
Overall, we had a very good trip and after seeing the other Riu hotel offerings, I feel that the Riu Palace was the best value for a family vacation. My wife and I traveled with our 12 year old son and we all had a great time. This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic. We have traveled fairly extensively through Mexico and of course US destinations. Pros: * Absolutely beautiful hotel with great architecture and immaculately maintained facilities * Nearly every staff member was friendly and provided great service * We were able to visit the adjacent Riu hotels. We found the pool bar at the Bambu to be a lot more fun than the Palace, so we spent more time there. * CheapCarribbean staff were very helpful and easily accessible when we missed our connection and needed to update our ground transportation. * Ground transportation booked through CC contractor was efficient, friendly and a great overall value for the 'private' shuttle option * Very large and plentiful food selection. Unless you are extremely picky, you will not go hungry. * Guests - other guests are friendly and well behaved. We made lots of friends and felt comfortable and safe at all times. Cons: * Restaurants that require reservations - There were limited opportunities to experience these restaurants. Reservations were limited even though there was plenty of room in the restaurants during meal time. The managers that ran these restaurants also tended to be very unfriendly and unyielding. This part of the experience almost felt like they were pushing you to use the main restaurant. * Alcohol selection - options are limited (one type of beer for example), but given the value nature of this hotel, this is a small negative. * Food - I would like to see more of a focus on quality over quantity. Some of the menu options could have been improved greatly with just a little more love. I certainly had plenty of options and by no means did I ever walk away hungry. Again, given the overall value nature of the hotel, this is a very small negative.
Someone named this place correctly in Punta Cana, RIU PALACE. This place is beauitful. We were treated like royality as soon as we stepped foot on the property. If you wanted something, all you had to do was ask. It's clean, updated and the top of the line resort. Everyday the maid came to clean the room and would leave floral displays as an added touch.The drinks in the fridge were restocked daily.Fifths of rum, brandy,vodka and scotch are there also.The pool and the beach were the best ever. Drink service at the pool was excellent as well as the service and selections at the buffet. We did not eat at the resturants where you had to make reservations.Everyone is polite and helpful that are employed there. I highly suggest you take the snorkling trip. I've never been snorkling before and wanted to go back and do it again the next day. What a blast! We had so much fun on that boat. Oh, and the snorkling was awesome too. Beautiful place to snorkle. We swam with sharks and held stingrays. Then back on the boat for more fun. If you don't do anything while your there, do this snorkling trip!!! Lots of things to do here. Parasailing, helicopter rides, deep sea fishing, to name a few. If your looking for relaxation with a laid back atmosphere, blue water, white sand, you'll find it here. The only problem we had on this trip was when we were packing on our last day. We just didn't want to leave.
The people were nice and the resort and beaches were beautiful. The food on the buffets was horrible. Nothing healthy was offered. The restaurants that were only open for dinner required reservations did have good food, but they only had 2 seating times each night. You have to make all your dinner reservations in the morning and they book up fast. It would have been nice to have a restaurant for lunch other than the buffet. Every thing was over cooked, and there were no fresh vegetables. We have been to Punta Cana before at another resort and the food there was not great, but it was better than this resort. We also booked a zip line tour. The tour guide told us it would take 45 minutes to get to the zip line and it took 2 hours! We had a massage and facial at the spa and those services were very good. The spa itself is nothing special but the spa technician was very good and very friendly. All of the staff was very nice and friendly throughout the resort. The service and the friendliness of the resort staff really made the vacation enjoyable.
This was my 1st time traveling to Punta Cana and I was really looking forward to this trip. I was excited the monent we got to Punta Cana but was disappointed when we check into the Resort. We were booked for the Riu Palace Punta Cana, when we get to counter for check in we were told is over booked so they send us to another hotel name Rambu which is a lower rating. Once we reach to the 2nd hotel quess what, we were sent to the 3rd hotel which is has the lowest rating of all 5 hotel. Finally we check in, the moment we open the door the room was stinky. I went back to the Palace Punta Cana to complain and demand to move back where we supposed booked for. We were told that is impossible to move us back to the palace due to the over booked problem but he manage to move us another room for 1 night and next day we can check us in to a better resort. Next day it took us another half day to work on the check in to the Palace of Bavaro. IS JUST NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE !!
So, this was our second time in DR. Our first stay was in Puerto Plata. A few great things: 1. The beach was amazing 2. The hotel was gorgeous and impressive 3. The staff was very friendly and accommodating 4. The staff didn't linger for tips (although we tipped anyways) 5. Waiter service at poolside and the beach 6. Vendors were not as aggressive as the ones in Puerto Plata. 7. Liquor dispenser in the room 8. Bartenders were always very nice and attentive. We never had to wait more than a minute for a drink. 9. The bathhouse was great and always empty Some not-so-great things: 1. The bed was VERY hard and uncomfortable. We barely got any sleep during our stay. During our last night, I had to sleep on the couch because my back hurt so much. 2. There were a group of 3 men who would go from table to table at the buffet singing for tips. Very annoying and intrusive. 3. Food was not good. We were very disappointed with the quality of food here- both at the buffet and the restaurants. Even classic Dominican food here was below average at best. 4. There wasn't much to do at the hotel at night. 5. Disco was in another sister resort 6. The gift shop closed early
My boyfriend and I went Dec 6-12th. It was both our first times at the Riu Palace Punta Cana and my boyfriends first time in Dominican Republic.I go once a year and have stayed in over 10 different resorts. And compared to other locations I have been too I felt more of a connection with the staff at this resort. Especially Raul & Sanchi at Don Manuel and with Jose Luis at the front desk. My boyfriend couldn't have put it any better when he said "the people truly make the hotel". Our room was on the 3rd floor overlooking the pool and the beach. Weather was beautiful, always found a chair to lay on at the beach and at the pool. While on vacation we try to get the full culture experience and found ourselves eating at the Buffet and trying some of the local dishes more than we did the Restaurants. We tried both the Italian and the Japanese, the food was good but we both agreed buffet was better.