More about Riu Palace Punta Cana
Riu Palace Punta Cana is AWESOME!!!!!!!
We went to the D.R. for our honeymoon and we had a fabulous time. 05/28 - 06/05. We travel a lot and this was by far our best trip yet. The staff is great, so friendly. The food is good, the Brazilian restaurant was my husband's favorite, a big meat eater, and mine favorite was the Itilian. The "gourmet" restaurant was over rated. The bartenders are very good, they get to know you and have your drinks ready when you come up without asking. Our room was nice, the AC worked very well, but hello it's a brand new hotel so it should.
We both did get a little stomach irritation, but your system has to get used to different foods in another country, it's not the USA. I wouldn't recommend the hotel for families with small kids. It's definitely more of a couples resort.
Don't go outside the resort complex too much, not much to see. Also change your money in another place other than the hotel, because you'll get a lower exchange rate at the hotel. Another get money before you get to the resort, as there isn't an atm on the property. There is a shared ATM with the other RIU properties, but it was broken and the other one was at the Iberostar resort. You'll have to take a taxi to either place and it's definitely not something you want to experience.
There isn't much of a night life. There is a club at the Macao, within walking distance, it's pretty good, but it's mainly spanish music, of course. There is another club at the Flamingo, cab ride req'd, that was much better. Every night the hotel puts on a show that is pretty good and very entertaining, ex. Grease and Michael Jackson shows.
We met a lot of great people. Had a great time, can't wait to go back to Punta Cana.
My fiancee and I (26 and 28) stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana June 3-10 and had a great and memorable trip. I would recommend the Palace to anyone seeking a relaxing vacation in a lavish atmosphere. That was the type of experience we were looking for and we found it at this resort.
AIRPORT-No problems here. We breezed through customs, grabbed our luggage and we were out of the airport within 20 minutes. After a 40 minute bus ride - which included two stops- we arrived at the Palace.
HOTEL- Grandiose. Majestic. Gorgeous. The interior of the Palace is all of that.
We were impressed by the ornate decor and striking chandeliers. The Palace has a distinct old-world feel that is immediately welcoming. Several fountains rest in the courtyard creating an aesthetically pleasing view - perfect for photos.
ROOM- We felt that our room was more than sufficient. Our quiet balcony provided a nice view of the garden and some palm trees. The bathroom had beautiful marble floors. The king size bed was hard, but comfortable. The mini-bar was always stocked with water, soda and beer, and the liquor dispenser provided the Brugal necessary for our Cubra Libres prior to our daily afternoon siesta.
SERVICE- First-rate. We found the staff to be extraordinarily accommodating throughout our trip. Our drinks were never less than half full during our dinners. Our room was always spotless. Help was never more than a few feet away.
The service at the lobby bar was exceptionally good thanks to Awilda, Isabel, Mary Cruz and Raisa. During our stay we received complimentary champagne, some small figurines, and even an oil painting from a young worker.
We attempted to speak as much Spanish as possible, despite our limited knowledge, and the effort was certainly appreciated. A simple Buenas Dias even goes a long way.
Please tip. These people work very hard and deserve it.
FOOD- This was our only complaint. Breakfast is very mediocre. Lunch is not worth the time. We ate at the buffet for dinner our first night. We did not return. Sir Oscar's and the Italian restaurant were slightly below average. We enjoyed the steakhouse but the mosquitos are a real problem. The Japanese restaurant was our favorite. The sushi was excellent, the vegetables were delicious and the entrees were satisfying each night. FYI - the fried ice cream is the best desert at the resort.
GUESTS- A good mix of younger and older guests. We found the demographics of the hotel to be an even split between American and European guests. Most European guests were German or Dutch, and while the concept of a line at the buffet appears to be foreign to some Germans, we found almost everyone to be pleasant. We met some great people from NJ and TN.
Unfortunately, there were some ugly Americans in attendance. We observed several people yelling furiously at the staff over inconsequential details. Clearly some people just don't get it. It's all about an island frame of mind.
POOL- We found the pools to be small but comparable to other resorts we have stayed at. The infinity pool was slightly cooler than the main pool - an important fact considering the heat. We enjoyed the swim-up bar. The jacuzzis were relaxing.
BEACH- Gorgeous. We walked two miles in each direction and agreed that the Palace beach was the best in the immediate area. The water is calm and clear blue. We enjoyed some water activities including the banana boat. There is an old shipwreck about a mile off shore that is perfect for some more photos.There were plenty of topless women and men in speedos despite their respective body types. We referred to it as the good, the bad and the ugly.
ENTERTAINMENT- The staff tries very hard. While the nightly shows certainly are not Broadway, we found them to be fun and worthwhile. Unfortunately, at the conclusion of each show the resort basically shuts down for the evening. There is no real nightlife at the Palace except for the 24 hour sports bar (always empty) and Pacha disco on Carribean Street.
PACHA- Decent club. We went to Pacha twice during out trip and found the club to consist mostly of local Dominicans and some American tourists. The numbers become slightly more skewed as the night progresses. We enjoyed some of the local dances but we did not feel entirely welcome. I recommend visiting Pacha with a group of people between 11-1 on any given night.
SPA- I highly recommend a visit to the spa. I'm not a spa guy. Prior to our trip I had never even had a massage. Now I'm hooked. Conversely, my fiancee is a spa girl. She found the prices to be more than reasonable. We both made several stops at the spa during our stay. I definitely recommend their special which includes sauna, massage, facial, steambath, seaweed wrap and more. The price is around $110 but the session lasts around two hours and is worth every penny.
WEATHER- A perfect 82 degrees each day. We had brief rain one morning but the sun was burning brightly within an hour. Truly paradise...
Saona Island- A long day, but worthwhile. The natural pool was beautiful and we really enjoyed the boat rides, but we most appreciated the bus rides which provided an unabashed glimpse into life in the DR. Poverty is rampant and yet the people are determined to persevere. They are fiercely proud of their heritage.
Bring back plenty of cigars, rum and coffee. They make great gifts.
Wear plenty of sunscreen. Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than sunburn and heat stroke.
Adopt the island frame of mind. It's not to be underestimated. It's essential to any Carribean vacation. Some things will inevitably go wrong - but at least you are not at work.
OVERALL-We will be back. Next year is our honeymoon in Greece, but we are already planning a return trip to the Palace in two years. This resort is recommended for anyone seeking that peaceful, relaxing vacation.
Now pass that Brugal over here...
Great Resort, Food needs help
The resort is absolutely beautiful and after time the vegitation will grow in and this place will be great. Right now they are still planting and landscaping some of the area. My family and I had a great time at this resort. The beach was nice, staff was attentive, and food was ok. We were there for 7 days and had a great time.
Food: They have a few different theme restaurants here and all are pretty good. The gormet restaurant was our favorite. You had to get in line 15 minutes before everyone else to get a reservation here because it was so popular. You are served champagne when you are seated and the food here is above average. The Brazilian Steak house is ok. The serve you 5 different kinds of meat as well and a salad bar. If you like dressing with taste...you might want to bring some. Their dressings were not very good and very bland. The steakhouse was good. They have 2 different cuts of meat, that looked and tasted exactly the same and chicken. The steak was ok, but not thick. The buffet is best in the morning. They have just about everything. They make smoothies as well with fresh fruits. The lunch buffet isn't the best. Their burgers are hard and taste funny, the shimp is not deveined and still has the head on them, and they never have salad at the salad bar. The dinner buffet is better then lunch. They have theme nights and those are the best to go. The best food we had all week was mexican night. They had some great fajitas and guacamole. Just be careful what you eat. A few people got sick in our group.
Room: The room looks very nice. The bathroom has two sinks and a jet bath tub big enough for one person. They hadn't installed the lights in the ceiling over our bathtub, so we just had a hole in the ceiling withought much light. The bed is extremely hard. We heard a lot of people complain about this while we were there. The sheets are still a little rough as well. Not soft like you would have at a normal resort. The TV gets a couple english movie channels, ESPN, ABC, and CNN. The rest are all in Spanish. Overall, not too bad. Make sure and tip the maid and she will leave you cool suprises. My parents didn't tip and got some towl swans but thats about it.
Service: Very good. Especially good if you give them a dollar now and then. There is a "drinky drinky" man that walks down the beach with a big tray of drinks. He is very friendly and will get you anything. The bars near the lobby is never crowded and had better drinks then anywhere else. The sports bar was fun as well. They have a few slots in there as well. The 24 hour snacks and food they talk about is in the sports bar. They have a fridge with sandwiches and fruit that looks to be about 4-5 days old. They also have a popcorn machine in there. There is a casino down 2 resorts at the Palace Macao. They have blackjack, slots, roulette, and texas hold-em at 9:00. The Palace Punta Cana is much nicer then this resort.
Overall we had a great time in Punta Cana. The resort has a few problems, but what resort doesn't.
Rui PalacePunta Cana vs. Rui Palace Mexico
Just got back on 6-18.
I agree that this hotel is not as great as the RIU Palace Mexico in Playa Del Carmen. However my husband and myself have no regrets going to this place. Here is our comparison
Looks almost identical. At times we felt as though we were in Playa.
Food: Main buffet was not as good. Lunch by the pool was not as good either. No soft serve ice cream or guacamole. We really missed both of them. Hamburgers were terrible compared to Mexico. We felt the specialty restaurants at Punta Cana were better than Mexico. We ate twice at the Italian and the Japanese one. The main entree's at the Japanese rest. were not so good. But we loved the sushi and the fried ice cream. The second time we went there is all we ordered and then went to the buffet for our entree. The Steak House was ok. We thought the atmosphere was nice. I would go just once. No lobster the week we were there. Dissappointed about that.
Pool: Nicer and bigger than Mexico. Loved the alcoves and jacuzzi. You don't need it to be hot because it's hot enough outside. Cons. The swim up bar service was slower. If you had a dollar in your hand you got served a lot quicker. We learned that the second or third day. In Mexico they served you quick with or without a tip. You don't always remember to bring money with you in the pool. The water was a little to warm by the middle of the day. Not always refreshing.
Beach. Overall the whole beach was prettier than Mexico. Did miss having more palm trees. Not enough shade at this hotel beach. The walk was not as far to the beach. There is a waiter always bringing drinks to the beach. He would say drinky, drinky, drinky. Give him some tips. He deserves them. The other Rui's are all in a row. There were lot's more trees and shade. We went to the one next to ours.
Entertainment. The nightly stuff is the same as in Mexico except they do not have the band playing outside before dinner every night. Pool games are the same. Some were lame but we played them anyway. The winners would get there prizes at the end of the the evening prior to the show. The audience participation night show was so funny. Not for kids to see. Make sure they go to bed early than night or have something else to do.
Other Rui properties.
Nice walking path to all Rui properties not far from the beach. Loved that part. All
Rui Bambu - The fun place. Beach party with coconut drinks. A BBQ lunch another day. Best lunch we had all week. Make sure you find out when that is. The pool was small but nice. Very tropical. Reminded a little like the Rui Tequilla except on the beach. An Apple 5 star.
Rui Palace Macao - Not a Golden Apple 6 star resort. Pretty but not a Palace of any sorts. Would not stay there knowing it was suppose to be that. Not any better than the Bambu.An Apple 5 star at best. No swim up bar. I actually like the Bambu better.
Rui Taino - Nice for a 4 star.
Rui Naiboa - Would never recommend this hotel. Real small. A two star at best.
The Carribean Street party on Thursday night was ok. The shopping on that street is good enough. No need to bother going further down the beach to the vendors. Same stuff.
Also two time a weeks at the Palace they have vendors set up tables to shop at. You can barter with them unlike the Rui Palace Mexico. A necklace I wanted was at first $57 US and I got it for $10 dollars. Big difference.
We took the ATV tour. Had fun but to not recommend it because it was a long five hours. One hour and forty minutes both ways driving time. My husbands ATV broke. Waited a half hour another. Waited for our buss to take us back. Had to drop off people at other hotels. We were starving and so tired when we got back. We told our Apple Rep what happened. Who were wondering by the way. Always there to help. The gave us a $40 refund. Half of one persons rate. We did not expect that. Just wanted to let them know what happened.
Service. Our maid was wonderful. We were very lucky. One day Ieft all my rings on the bathroom counter. I got back and they were still there. Our rooms were always cleaned and made up nicely. Several towel displays. The front desk was great. Did not like the first room. Called the front desk and they gave us a wonderful one. Room 3114. Overlooking the fountains straight on and the pool and ocean to the left.
A few of us got sick. I don't blame it on one thing. We all eat more than we usually do on vacation. We drink alcohol all day. Out in the sun most of the day. Our bodies are not used to all that.
All in all we had a great vacation. Met some wonderful people. We do not regret going to Punta Cana and staying at this hotel. Not sure if we would go back. We like Mexico better.
E-mail with any questions.
The best vacation I have had in a very long time - loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have been going to all-inclusives at least twice a year for the past 6 years, always to Mexico, never to Punta Cana.
After this vacation we will only go to Punta Cana for the main reason we take vacations: the beach. This hotel had the best beach I have seen in a while. Warm turquise water, fine sand, lovely palm trees for the shade, not a single rock, no mosquitos, no sand flies, no stray dogs (like one reviewer indicated) plenty of sunbeds, no annoying merchants.
Other reasons I loved the resort: rooms are beautiful, service was outstanding, the food was pretty good. People that claimed that the buffet was monotonous must have not stepped away from the pasta and pizza bar set up mainly for the kids. I do not consider 10 varieties of tomato sauce on a plate of spagetti being a great choice of foods, but some people do.
This resort has to cater to people from all over the wold as well as their kids and they do a pretty decent job in finding a middle ground and offer a little bit of everything for all. They had lox one night as a choice, they always had seafood (shrimp were not cleaned, but tasted good, New Zealand mussles were better cold, fried calamari they had one of the nights could rival any served in Little Italy) There were always grilled meats, especially loved the lamb chops, vegetable selection, tropical fruits and breads. Cheese selection was offered for all 3 meals and the cheese was plentiful and fancy. Cold cuts were also available for breakfast. Deserts were magnificent, especially try to taste the layered coffee cake. It had a dusting of coffee on top - simply divine.
Drinks: not watered down in the lobby bar at all, slightly at the pool bar. Personal favorte - Mojito. Nice option of them bringing the drinks to the beach and even taking orders.
Rooms and Room service - outstanding. Huge beds with crisp linnens, air-conditioning on high at all times. Beautiful swan hearts made of towels with fresh hibiscus flowers
Shows were OK, not as good as in other resorts, so what? We took a lot of walks to the other Riu resorts and saw other shows. Thanks God there is no "nightlife", who wants to hear drunken teens hooting and hollering by the pool all night long? Not much to do for the little kids either.
Yes, perhaps this is a resort for the older crowd, I think that will become apparent as they start raising the prices.
One more thing: they require men to wear long pants for dinner in all restaurants, including the buffet, jeans are acceptible as well.
In conclusion; I would recommend this resort very highly.
We returned from the Riu Palace on the 12th of June and wish we were still there. The staff, the Hotel, the faciliteies, the service, basically everything was 1st class from start to finish. Although there were very few Brits there(which we found quite strange but nice), this was probably the best holiday we have had together in years. We went with our 3 kids,13,11 and 10. Although there weren't many kids there, they did mix with the ones that were there and had a great time. The beach was perfect with all the watersports on offer for the kids, and the marvellous Barmen who kept on filling your empty glass with with the drink of your choice, you couldn't wish for more.
The massage parlour on the beach front next to the Riu Bambu is a must!! My wife and 11 year old daughter also tried the manicure and pedicure facilities at the Riu Palace Spa and were delighted.
The deep sea fishing trip was a bit of a disaster, myself and my 13 year old son booked this and never got a chance to hold a rod, we were 40 miles out to sea(very sick), however the captain caught a great 6ft marlin which made the day a sort of success. All I would say is be very careful if you decide to book this trip if you are a keen fisherman as you will be left bitterly disappointed.
The restraunts were all very good, however I would definately recommend the Italian as the starters and the main meal were by far the best of the trip, without taking anything away from the others. I would say that the steakhouse was probably the least impressive, although the standards of the others may have had something to do with this.
We stayed in 2 rooms, 0123 and 0126. These were absolutely amazing. Walk in wardrobes, sunk in jacuzzi bath with roman pillars around, huge bathroom, wet room shower, living area and double balcony overlooking the pool and the sea (if you get the chance try and stay in these rooms as they are much bigger and better than the standard rooms - which we were expecting).
The entertainment was not really seen by ourselves as the heat really took its toll on all of us and we were generally back in the rooms by 9.30pm, although I heard that the Michael Jackson show was great.
I had read on Trip Advisor that it was generally polite to tip and that it would be recognised......this is definately the case. Yes the staff were very very nice but the tips did certainly help towards much better personal service, so I would highly recommend it.
One thing I must mention is the weather. Prior to setting off we were checking weather forecasts and we were concerned by the constant "thunderstorms" and "cloudy" predictions. Throughout the 2 weeks we spent, there was 5 minutes on the first day, 30 minutes in the second week and that was it. It did rain once through the night but not enough to raise us from our sleep. The heat was often unbearable but then again why go to somewhere like this if you want to be cold? Try iceland!!!! Seriously though, for me personally, it was beautiful for 99% of the time so don't worry about forecasts as after all that is all they are!
Watch out though!! The maid service(while being outstanding) calls on you at 9-10pm night without warning. Often we were sleeping or getting dressed when they would appear to turn your bed clothes back. A tip is definately recommended for them though as the cleanliness was amazing.
Without doubt we would go back here, first class service, facilities, food and weather. What more could you ask for??
Pros and Cons
I hope this helps your decision on whether or not to stay!
Resort: Absolutely gorgeous you you will amazed
Pool: Again, beautiful but beware bring sandals to walk from your lounger to the pool, the tiles are very hot. Tons of chairs and umbrella, never a search even later in the day
Weather: The weather forecast may seem gloomy if you look it up from home but it is HOT!! we had a brief heavy downpour once or twice in the early evening
Rooms: A/C works GREAT but I would bring your own soap etc. The shampoo/conditioner/shower gel really didn't cut it. Bed felt hard but actually pretty comfy.
Service: Everyone was so friendly (unlike the people at the airport). If you know basic Spanish you will do fine and it is appreciated.
Drinks: Well...for the beer drinkers out there...the mini bar contains only one type of beer, Bramha, and anywhere else it is draft Presidente..that is it. We wound up buying he 4 Buds the had in the gift shop every day.
Food: Agree with others..buggy (mosquitoes at the steak house). Buffets not bad, you can always find something but was pleasantly surprised with the amount of vegetables.
Disappointed in the seafood, nothing really had flavor
24 hour snacks: NOW this was a surprise...no it was not room service...it is a refrigerator in the 24 hour sports bar that has hot dogs, hamburgers and a microvawe to serve yourself. Oh..and a popcorn machine.
Taxi: Walk past all the people trying to grab you at the airport and ask for a cab..it is only $28 and about 40 minutes. (Only one lane and traffic)
Feel free to email me with any questions!
Riu Palace Punta Cana
My wife and I are staying at the Riu Palace Punta Cana for 4 nights in mid August. We have stayed at the Occidental Grand Flamenco twice over the past two years. Does anyone stayed at the Palace that can give us an idea of what to expect? I am hoping because its newer it will be more luxurious. We did not care much for the food at the Occidental, will the Riu be any better? Thanks.
RE: Riu Palace Punta Cana
You should have a wonderful time at the Riu Palace & yes, it is luxurious, but don't expect much from the food. DR is basically a european destination & the food that is offered is catered to the europeans taste. Very tasteless if you ask me, but you will find items that are on the American side & as long as you add salt to the food you should be ok.
RE: Riu Palace Punta Cana
The Riu resort is great. You will enjoy it. All-inclusives are never terribly gourmet but the Riu hotels offer a wide selection, good quality and some nice a la carte restaurants. I really emjoyed it and I hope you do too.