Riu Palace Punta Cana

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Overview
As RIU's flagship resort, guests receive the highest level of service. Guests are invited to spend days soaking up the sun on the magnificent 16 mile, white-sand beach and evenings enjoying the elegance of this resort with cocktails and live entertainment, trying their luck at the casino, or letting loose at the disco. 

Location: Directly on the most beautiful beach in Punta Cana, 4 minute walk from the Caribbean Street shopping Avenue located within the Riu complex, 30 minutes from the airport, 90 minutes to La Romana airport and 45 minutes to Higuey.

Highlights
  • Beach front in multi-resort RIU complex
  • Great location on Arena Gorda Beach
  • Exchange privileges at other RIU hotels
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Access to Splash Water World (Nov 2017)

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • AConferenceAttendee : London, Canada
Wonderful Restaurants and a Huge Resort

Our stay at the RIU Palace Resort in Punta Cana last year was very enjoyable. We had a lovely room on the third floor that looked out to the huge center courtyard. You have many restaurants to choose from with different specialties: Yokohama Japanese restaurant, a traditional steakhouse by the beach/pool area, Krystal, which has an Asian fusion vibe, La Bodega, a Brazilian restaurant (serving meat off a sword) and Luigi, an Italian place. There is also Don Manuel, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, buffet style. It is huge and serves just about anything! There is also another buffet restaurant closer to the pool, which is open for lunch, and at dinner it converts into the aforementioned Steakhouse restaurant. There is a swim up bar at the pool with plenty of activities and music. There's even a beautiful gazebo right on the beach! Perfect, if you want to get married! The beach is beautiful and the water was warm, but it had a strong current. The lobby is spacious and lovely (with a large bar that serves drinks late into the night). You will also find the sports bar just off the main lobby, which is open late and has basic self-serve offerings, like sandwiches, nachos with cheese to heat up, fruits and desserts. There are tour services with different tour operators, so be sure to pick the one that interests you the most. We did a tour of Santo Domingo with Nexus Tours and loved it. Every night there is a live show (trapeze, Michael Jackson tribute, Vegas Show girl-styel etc.) and the music plays on the outdoor patio bar where you can take dancing lessons from one of the many social animators. We found them to be fun and always engaged with the guests.We thought the furniture was a bit dated, but our room nevertheless spacious and very comfortable. The bathroom was large with a notably deep bathtub. The spa and fitness facility was large, and offers many different treatments (at an additional cost). There is also a local 'market' that arrives once a week with typical kitsch items and knick-knacks but the prices for earrings with traditional stones was reasonable. We would recommend this hotel for couples, families with teens or groups. A family resort is just down the beach and better suited for smaller children as there is a kiddie pool and activities for them. There is a large water park nearby connected to a different property chain, but you can access to it for a daily fee. The RIU Palace is the first in a series of other RIU sister properties (some of which you can access). There are even a few that you can lunch at. They are lined up side by each and offer different amenities and levels of service (family, adult only, couples and a more 'party' style). The Palace was a 5-star resort with the most restaurants. For further details, please read full review on the blog DownshiftingPRO dot com

  • Graviel R :
Worse resort I have been to

I and my now wife got married here in December 2017 and I must say this was the worse experience ever. The wedding service was terrible the wedding planner was never anywhere to be found our decoration that we brought to the resort was broken and we had to pay over $600 out of our pockets because of their mistake and mishandling of our decoration, I felt as if it was done out of anger since the person in charge of taking the food orders and directing the staff was extremely mad for some reason. I spoke to the I believe director of the resort or assistant director I'm not sure but they said he was the highest in command and all he could do was laugh while my wife sat there crying her eyes out because nothing came out the way she wanted it to come out and the boss from the wedding planning service was extremely rude and cutting us off while we spoke to her about her wedding planner and she walked away from us when we finished our conversation without saying bye. The resort needs to be remodeled, the bathroom smelled like sewer all my guest (40+) rooms smelled like mold so much such that a few of them tried to get their rooms changed but that didn't make anything better since they all smelled the same it was hard to sleep at night with the smell and the heat the AC barely working. The resort looks beautiful from the outside and around but not the rooms I just can't get over how bad the rooms were and we had the best room in the resort. And the food oh god don't get me started on the food EVERYTHING!!!!!! was disgusting all my guest hated the food and everyone's stomach was hurting. People don't stop coming up to you trying to sell you stuff, 90% of the staff members don't know how to speak English, oh and the best part of all they have staff members selling DRUGS!!! yes, drugs now if you're into that then cool you can get your fix but if you're with family come on that shouldn't be happening they need to go through their staff's things when they enter the resort and make sure they don't have anything on them. This resort was so bad we ended up going to the Dreams resort after leaving Riu Palace Punta Cana because we weren't able to enjoy our time in the resort with so many things going on from the room to the food. PLEASE TAKE YOUR BUSINESS SOMEWHERE ELSE DON'T GO TO THIS PLACE WHAT SO EVER STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • terripv422 : Saint Louis, Missouri
Beautiful w/Character & Charm

We really enjoyed the Punta Cana Riu Palace. This is our first trip to the Dominican and loved the beautiful beaches and smooth whiter sand. We have traveled 10 years to the Puerto Vallarta and enjoyed the Riu Palace Pacifico, but decided to make a switch this year. Staff: I think the staff was friendlier in the Dominican. Everyone we encountered in our 10 day stay was helpful in every way. Room: We upgraded to a JR Suite, but it was a standard Riu room except we paid for a view. Liquor: Not top shelf liquor. No flavored Vodka-disappointment. No Bloody Mary Mix, just plain tomato juice and no Worcestershire-disappointment. Restrooms: Very minimal out by the pool. This is a larger resort than Pacifico, so distance is an issue. Turn the changing rooms into a small bathroom! This was nicest of the four resorts we could visit. Naiboa has no beach access and is tucked behind the Bavaro. Riu Palace Bavaro looks a lot like Punta Cana. Riu Macao is adult only, but you could visit this one. Shopping: Caribbean Street shopping is at the end of a very nice brick path connecting the resorts you can visit from the Palace. There is a small street of shops connected to the Riu Palace that was very nice, but not a place you can negotiate price – it is what it is. Beach/Pool Area: Beautiful beaches with plenty of chairs, umbrellas and shade. No “real” beach bar with ocean view. Didn’t like the “beach sales vendors” around the pool area. Drink service around the pool area as top-notch. Center Courtyard is in the middle of most restaurants and was very well staffed for drinks before and after dinner. Kind of a Tuscan/sidewalk café style without the cafe– very appealing with music/dancing in the evenings. Restaurants: Krystal was the best. Steakhouse had a lot to be desired. They were putting rolls on our plate before we even had a chance to sit down, seemed like a really rushed meal. You have the option to go whenever you want and put your name in without a reservation. Very convenient feature. Would have been great to have a schedule of what restaurants were open what nights so you could try to plan ahead. Buffet food is never marked very well, but this buffet was top-notch when it comes to buffets. SPA: Massage hut on the beach with the hotel was excellent but pricey. Tours: We did the Outback Adventure one day, trip to the mountains experiencing the real culture of the country Leandro and Cesar where great tour guides. Definitely recommend it to get a break from the hotel scene. Casino at the Macao was a nice “little” casino to go to for a couple of hours. Casino at the Riu Palace Punta Cana had only about a dozen machines. Sports Bar was nice that they offered cappuccino 24/7. Most of the week the elevators nearest our room were not working. Because they don’t recommend you venture out on your own by cab (cab service was almost non-existent from hotel) we felt “hotel-bound”. We would recommend this resort and would consider going back.

  • mkgeismann : Geneva, Illinois
Just back from a week stay - honest review below

I found these TripAdvisor reviews helpful, so I'm leaving my own. My family of 6 just returned from a week stay (12/29-1/4). Our kids are 18, 16, 14 and 12 years old. The property itself was beautiful - crews constantly cleaning the grounds and pool area, etc. Check-in was painless, but I know that depends on the time you arrive. Plan for a long line in the airport, btw...there is no avoiding that. And know your shuttle company ahead of time, and don't get swayed by random drivers trying to take your luggage and 'help' you find a ride.ROOMS: we had absolutely no complaints about our rooms. We were on the second floor, with balconies looking out (not facing the interior). We had two rooms next to each other, which was very nice. Rooms were clean, no mold, bugs, mildew, etc that other people mention. The two double beds are not separate - picture two beds pushed together that can't be separated because they share the same headboard. Might be different in other rooms, I don't know. We were in two junior suites.The staff was constantly in the hallways with cleaning crew and fresh towels. etc. Be sure to leave a buck or two on the bed when you leave for the day - those cleaning crews deserve the tip. Don't drink the water, keep a bottle next to your sink for teeth brushing, etc. We covered the faucet with a plastic bag to remind the kids. RESTAURANTS: the buffet in the morning was the best in my opinion. Fresh eggs, fruit, cereal for the kids, different juices. The workers were the best there - friendly, happy to see you, and always there with fresh coffee, etc. We ate at the Japanese restaurant our first night there and it was AWFUL. The servers were disgruntled, no greeting, abrupt and unfriendly. When asked for our order it was as if they were angry that we were there. It was very odd. Food was slapped on the table - literally. We spoke with another family who had the same experience. Next we ate at the Steakhouse, much better - but it was New Years Eve, so menu was different, etc. The second time we ate there it was good - nothing spectacular, but they had a burger option which made the boys happy. The Steakhouse is the only one that is away from the property and down by the pool/beach, that is kind of nice. The last one we tried was the Krystal, which is the one where the men need to wear pants, supposedly - but we saw men in shorts, too. This was the best meal in a restaurant, with the friendliest staff. At the restaurants, just expect to sit down and give your entire order in one visit from the waiter/ress. We did not try the Italian or the Brazilian. For lunches we ate at the poolside buffet - which was hit or miss. I hated it, but the kids found burgers, fries, pizza, etc. Wide variety (a soup every day, cheeses, salad fixings, etc). but nothing really great. If you like wine, don't expect to enjoy any of the wine they serve. We actually took a side trip to the liquor store after a day or so of bad wine...it was so bad. The fruity drinks are not strong.POOL/BEACH - The pool was fantastic, very clean each day, etc. We didn't see much of the workers activities (games, etc.) that they do ONLY because we were at the beach more, but I know they did pool aerobics and things like that. We've been to another Punta Cana resort and one in Mexico, and this pool bar was the best - not filled with messy drunks like in Mexico...and kids could swim up and get a frozen drink with no problems. The bartenders there work hard all day long! Don't get me wrong - it was definitely a party in the pool, just not obnoxious in my opinion.We would set up on the beach early, before the towel cabana was open (it opens at 8am) but the workers would always give me fresh towels when I went down around 7am. The pool chairs filled up faster than the beach chairs when we were there, so plan to get there early if you want a seat at the pool. The beach was always clean when we got there, and there are workers bring drinks if you want them. The ones hawking wares (cigars, necklaces) were annoying, but didn't press it if you said no thank you, which was good.ENTERTAINMENT - The workers during the day that organize games, dancing, etc. were nice and always friendly. One note is that my teenage daughter felt uncomfortable one evening when a few of them kept asking her and another girl to go to the disco with them. Uh, no.The shows at night were typical - and we missed a few of them, so no real report there. I will say that each night it was fun to congregate up in that area before the show - lots of seating and music/dancing. SPA/GYM - my husband had a couple of massages from Favia? Fabia? and she deserves a shout out. He said they were great and very worth the time and money. I had a manicure - don't bother. Gym is minimal, as is expected, but had a few spin bikes which is nice.The staff did an AWESOME job with New Year's Eve - it was really fun and well done. They had earlier entertainment, then they brought in a DJ and there was dancing, etc. before the big balloon drop. This only helps a few people, I know - but we searched for information before leaving and couldn't find any. So - if you are traveling next NYE, it's a fun night. All of our ages enjoyed it. DAYTRIP - we did the half day Bebe company snorkeling trip, and it was just so so. The staff was awesome, the snorkeling stunk. We had fun, but I'd recommend the Marinarium Tour over this one. We did that one four years ago - and the actual snorkeling is much better.Hope this helps!

  • Colombob B : Zurich, Switzerland
Clean hotel, good food, nice but crowded beach, excellent pools

Spent a nice week despite daily rain showers from Dec. 25 to Jan 1.Flew in with Sunwing on a disaster flight: Sunwing had 30 multiple occupancy seats, i.e. passengers having paid for specific seats did not get them as they were already occupied by passengers loaded up in Val d`Or. It delayed our take off for an hour. And the crew ran out of food before row 10, all they had was chips and noodle soup.The Riu Republica features good food, generally friendly staff, but there are glitches.We found our room being made up at 16:30 on the first day, so we requested an early cleaning using the "online concierge". The application is useless - no effect whatsoever.Our minibar was only partially refilled, so we requested a refill... the "online concierge" allowed us to specify a time for delivery... of course, nothing happened.Rooms are non-smoking, but people smoke on balconies... we had idiotic neighbors smoking and coughing their lungs out as early as 5:30AM... whenever we`d try to use the balcony it seems they`d come out and make our air toxic... It would be nice to have a blocks of non-smoking rooms.The beds were huge and very comfortable.Rooms were very clean.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
  • Hotel transfers for packages to USA
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature
  • 24 hour all-inclusive buffet
  • Champagne breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in main restaurant (& made-to-order food stations)
  • 3 theme dinners weekly
  • A la carte dining at a choice of restaurants
  • Daily room service for breakfast & snacks (from 7am-11pm)
  • Domestic & imported drinks & snacks
  • Turndown service
  • Day & night tennis
  • Ping pong
  • Fitness centre
  • Free access to Splash Water World in the Riu complex
  • Introductory scuba lesson in pool
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaks
  • Sailing
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Entrance to Pacha Disco (drinks are extra)
  • Entrance to casino (drinks extra)
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Buffet and a la carte restaurants (Japanese, Brazilian, Gourmet and Grill/Steakhouse)
  • Pools
  • Bars
  • Disco
  • Casino
  • Caribbean Street with beauty salon
  • Lit tennis courts on Caribbean Street
  • Massage parlour
  • Shops
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Spa
  • Golf nearby

Junior Suites include:

  • Air-conditioning
  • Ceiling fan
  • 2 double beds or 1 king bed
  • Split-level sitting area and sofa (some with sofa bed)
  • Telephone
  • Clock radio
  • Satellite TV
  • In-room safe
  • Mini-bar with complimentary soft drinks, water, beer, liquor dispenser
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Bathroom with hydromassage tub, shower, double sink & vanity mirror, hair dryer
  • Balcony or patio with gardenview
  • Max. occ. 4, up to 3 adults

Suites include:

  • Similar to above but larger
  • 1 king bed
  • Walk-in closet
  • Larger balcony or terrace with courtyard or sea view.
  • Max. occ. 4, up to 3 adults

For the Kids - Supervised kids program for kids ages 4-12 years old (9am-12pm & 3pm-5pm).

Stay at 1, Play at 3 - Receive full exchange privileges at Riu Hotels in Punta Cana. Dinner restaurants excluded.

Honeymoon Bonus - Surprise welcome gift in your room, King-size bed, Late check-out, and Complimentary upgrade to next available room class. Request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required. Subject to availability and subject to change.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Riu Palace Punta Cana
    Punta Cana,Dominican Republic

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana Dominican Republic

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.

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