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What to expect
5506 past Apple Vacationers would recommend Riu Palace Punta Cana to their friends and family
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TripAdvisor Web Reviews
What to expect
Apple Vacations Traveller Reviews
Hotel needs remodeling and need furniture. Some wall lamps are cover with rust and as a bathtub. Beach by the hotel needs to be cleaned.
Only had one type of beer which was no good.. Alcohol drinks were not real alcohol.Bottles definitely didn't have in them what was labeled.. Had to be alchohol from Dominican.. 1st day was no hot water.
Our stay at the RIU palace
We loved our vacation in DR. The food was great. The restaurant choices were wonderful. The service was outstanding. One person that really made our stay special was a gentleman CHAQQ. He was so pleasant, so helpful. When we entered the restaurant he would already have a table for us and helped us with anything we wanted. Additionally the beach is super. The service everywhere was courteous and very pleasant. Now I would like to mention a few constructive points: The elevators are insufficient especially when they are broke. One set of elevators was broke most of our stay. The advertised hotel and spa credits are very misleading. We expected to receive some spending credits, instead all they turned out to be is discounts. Rooms have a bit of musky humid smell to them. After a while we just got used to it and we were fine. Overall, great vacation. We are coming back to DR
Alcohol is not good here.
Only one beer -Presidente. Tasted and smelled like deviled eggs. Heard other people say the same thing - something was definately wrong with the beer. Alcohol is NOT very good. Whiskey did not taste like whiskey at all. If this hotel could do something about the quality of the alcohol, we might visit again. Been there two years in a row, alcohol is no good! If they could fix the alcohol issue, we would probably go there every year because everything else is excellent. Pool closes too early as well - 6:00PM.
The hotel was nice but needed updating. The food was okay but there seemed to be more "sick" people than usual. This was our sixth trip to Punta Cana and this is the sickest we had been. Overall we would give this vacation a fair.
The hotel is in much need
The hotel is in need of update and repair. Lots of tiles missing in the pool! The maid service was very poor. didn't replace coffee, sugar and creamer. One day they even took one coffee cup and never replaced it. I have stayed at many Riu's and this was the poorest service I have ever received in my room.
The hotel could use a upgrade in the bathroom mainly the tub could use a bathfitter
My experience at the Riu Palace Punta Cana was overall extremely pleasant and exactly what I had in mind when booking the vacation. But, I had a very unfortunate encounter with the Amstar, who apparently was also in charge of Apple Vacations Representative. Following the directions on all my travel documents, I went to the lobby 24 hours before our check out to confirm our transportation to the airport early the following morning. I was very disappointed with the lack of professionalism and overall rudeness of the representative, Cesar Fernandez. He claimed that since we hadn't gone to the welcome reception back on our first full day, at 9:30 am, after flying internationally, and calling our room several times before 9 am, that he couldn't guarantee secured transportation to the airport. He was very rude and said if we wanted transportation to the airport, we would have to come down to the lobby the following morning at 8:30 am so he could then check if there was something he could do about our transportation. The airport transfer has already been paid for at this point so I tell him about this but he insisted that it was required that I come down to the welcome reception at the beginning of our vacation to secure airport transfer. We tried fixing this issue on the spot but he claimed he had to leave and was not returning that day. This was at about 11 am. Unfortunately, this encounter put a damper on my last day of vacation. Since he had left for the day, I spent a better part of the day trying to figure out another way to get me and my family to the airport the following day in order to make our flight. I decided to go back to the lobby and speak with the hotel staff who very graciously called Apple Vacations and confirmed our already standing transfer information set for 9:55 am. It was even disappointing to see how quickly they resolved the issue because that showed that the entire unpleasant encounter could have been avoided. I wish I would not have had to write so much about this singular unpleasant experience because the rest of the vacation was perfect! The staff were so friendly and attentive. The food was unbelievable. The pictures on the Apple Vacations website reflect very closely to what we saw when we got there. Absolutely beautiful that the pictures don't do it justice!
Beautiful Place, service spotty, food average
This place is beautiful, the buildings grounds and beach are spectacular. The food is okay, but repetitive, we were tired of most of it by the fourth day. The buffet staff were the best employees in the place, but the formal restaurant staff was hit and miss at best.
The biggest single issue we had was with the Apple Vacations rep in the hotel, Cesar Fernandez. He told us when we had our first meeting with him that there was a free shuttle to downtown Punta Cana twice a day he could get us on if we wanted to go shopping. We signed up for a trip and instead of going to downtown Punta Cana he sent us to some cut-rate duty free shop with a cigar store attached. I didnít want to take four hours out of my vacation to go to a place I can hit in the airport on the way home. I donít know if he was getting a kickback from them for sending people, or if Apple signed off on this, but it was a bait and switch and fraud. He claimed that he never told us downtown Punta Cana, but both I and my wife heard him very clearly. Just beware on that.
RIU Palace Punta Cana
Half of our group of 29 people got sick with stomach issues and diarrhea within 2 days after arrival. We linked it back to a common cause of food cleanliness. There was mold in some rooms. There were cockroaches in some rooms. Food selections at all restaurants were underwhelming.
Apple is just as at fault!
When using Apple, I always and have always made it very clear that I ONLY want ocean view rooms. Apple representative assured me all I would need to do is explain to the desk clerk that I requested an ocean view room. The desk clerk told me that for $35 more per day (between him and me) he would move me. That was not an option I would agree to. Therefore I received a room with a foul odor, overlooking an alley.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
Amazing hotel, Friendly staff
Lovely hotel with very nice gardens. Cleaners and housekeeping are so friendly and we would like to give an extra praise for the waiters : Vincente, Audy and Chocolate who did our holiday extra nice.
Many restaurants to choose from. Beach is nice and swimming in the waves were lovely. We did not try the poolarea because it was many disturbing Americans there and you go to the Caribbean to swim in the ocean. The hotel will be restored this year and we hope to get back soon!!!
We had a wonderful stay
This is the first time we went to an all-inclusive resort but have been on many cruises. My impression of staying here was like being on a cruise on land. The grounds are lovely and well kept. The lobby area is stunning-we commented that it reminds us of what old Florida or Cuban hotels may have looked in the 50's. Check in was quick and our bags were delivered by bell service quickly. Others have mentioned that one thing that needs to be changed quickly is that the rooms have keys instead of cards and the room number is actually on the key. The safe is free and recommended, but it also is opened by a key. Many people have written reviews about being disappointed in the rooms. This resort is scheduled for refurbishing this spring/summer. I thought the rooms were spacious and lovely. This is an ocean front resort-of course the rooms will smell musty. The decor is a bit "tired" (paintings are faded, bedspreads are old, mattresses need changing out). However our air conditioning was working well and I didn't see any mold or mildew anywhere. Our rooms were cleaned every day. There is a minibar in each room with liquor available, coffee maker, and soda and 1.5 L bottles of water replenished each day. My husband asked for beer and there were always a few cans in the fridge. When we checked in, the room we paid for wasn't ready and they compensated by upgrading us to a room facing the courtyard. The minibar wasn't stocked and we requested re-stocking. It didn't happen that day and we mentioned it to our excursion representative, and she said she would take care of it. When we came back to our room to get ready for dinner, the mini-fridge was overstocked and there was a bottle of wine on the bedside table with an apology letter.
We didn't have any problems after that. Do ask for a room on a higher floor and as close to the pool as possible. They do have music and dancing until late and rooms closer to the lobby will have noise until late. The sports bar, even though it is open 24 hrs, is nothing special. The pool is great, the bar staff is very accommodating and attentive. The entertainment staff is great-they have activities starting around 11:30 am and they are there until 6 pm. THEN, they change clothes and go to the courtyard to entertain in the evenings. I wonder if they ever get to go home. The food is good (not great) and plentiful. The buffets have numerous choices-I could always find options that I liked. Lots of seafood (lobster, crab claws, mussels, shrimp, caviar, rare tuna, rare salmon...) and tons of fresh fruit. As others have stated, the meat was not the best, but not terrible. Options for the kids also. I'm a wine drinker and my wine glass was never empty. It was passable and plentiful. But to me, the staff was the best I have encountered. Everyone worked their hardest to make sure we had what we needed, they were so friendly and so hard working. Always a smile, never a frown. Even though this is an all-inclusive and tipping is considered to be included, these people work for low wages and still smile, and so we tipped for especially good service.
Great Family Fun
Our family of 4 recently returned from Riu Palace Punta Cana and had a great time. The activities coordinators did a great job trying to include people in the daily activities, the nightly shows were entertaining as well.
While our room was a bit damp smelling, it was clean. I had brought a plug in air freshener with us, all was good.
Overall, the staff was friendly and efficient. I would like to recognize Diroche in the main dining hall, he is a definite asset to this resort and hope he gets appropriately acknowledged for the great job that he does.
I have been to a few resorts in my time, and I definitely enjoyed the Riu Palace. Admittedly, the resort is a little older, and as such isn't perfect everywhere, but the occasional blemish or painted over area certainly didn't have any impact on our fun time. It's a charming resort. I found that the grounds and room were very neat and clean. Clearly the staff work very hard to keep everything looking nice. We have great maid and bar room service as well.
We spent a lot of time in the pool and at the beach. There was entertainment by the pool that was very funny and the staff do a good job getting people to participate. However they don't push you if you're not interested. We didn't have too much trouble finding lounge chairs, but people definitely reserve them. So, when in Rome...
We enjoyed all the restaurants and the buffet. I was really impressed by the food, and always enjoyed every meal. This was one of the best resorts in terms of food, in my experience.
There is no disco at this resort, which is fine by me because I'm not interested in that, and it's a relatively quiet resort. So if you're looking for a party and night life, this may not be the place for you. However the nightly shows are pretty impressive, to tell the truth.
The only thing I didn't like much was the older style keys and doors and safe. I found them all temperamental and very outdated. Certainly a card key is way better than carrying metal keys around. However at the end of the day this is so minor, really.
I would definitely recommend this hotel and definitely go back, given the chance.
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
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