Riu Palace Punta Cana Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Playa Arena Gorda Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Riu Palace Punta Cana is the finial of the Riu chain's five-hotel complex. It offers high-quality facilities and services in very chic, almost pompous and kitsch surroundings with a Maharajan palatial feel, on the heavenly Punta Cana coast. Upmarket restaurant services and luxury decor set the tone of this superb all-inclusive hotel built alongside the magnificent Arena Gorda beach.

This hotel review is a translation from the French by the agency Traductéo.

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    •  Riu Palace Punta Cana

      Riu Palace Punta Cana   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

    •  Riu Palace Punta Cana

      Riu Palace Punta Cana   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 7.0 /10

    The hotel is located right on Arena Gorda beach in the north of the Punta Cana tourist area, the tourist epicentre of the Dominican Republic on the south-east coast, with its 25 mi of fine sandy beaches. Allow for 45 minutes by car from the international airport of Punta Cana (22 mi), and three and a half hours to reach the capital. The town of Higüey and its famous historical basilica is 31 mi away (one hour by road), and the El Cortecito fishing village is 6 mi away.

    Accommodation 8.45 /10

    The 612 bedrooms are tastefully decorated and provide the comfort you would expect of an internationally-renowned hotel: all have individual air-conditioning as well as a ceiling fan, a mini-bar with water, soft drinks and beer replenished daily, as well as bottles of alcohol suspended above the bar, satellite television (80 channels, although the reception isn't great), a key-operated safe deposit box (free of charge), a telephone (direct international line) and a balcony complete with mosquito net, clothes drying rack, two plastic chairs and a shelf. Rooms have tiled flooring and elegant black wooden furniture, three pretty paintings, lamps set into the walls and a king-size bed. The lounge, which has a sofa and a coffee table, is just a few steps away. You will also find an umbrella and an iron and ironing board in the cupboard. Bathrooms have a whirlpool bath with a handle and flexible shower, a magnifying mirror, tissues, hospitality products, a hairdryer, a double sink and a toilet.

    Overview 8.45 /10

    Located in the heart of a 678,000 sq ft palm grove, the Riu Palace Punta Cana club hotel consists of several three-storey sand-coloured buildings topped off by immaculately white roofs, housing 612 bedrooms, located on either side of an impressive lobby. This monumental property, with its flashy decor, is reminiscent of a palace: large golden-framed paintings, massive, equally golden-framed mirrors, busts, statues and other sculptures, monumental pillars, rugs, crystal chandelier, marble floor, and stained glass roof. The property, opened in 2006, is reminiscent of an Indian Maharajan palace. The hotel's bars offer the same chic, elegant surroundings. Large pools with fountains lead right down to the beach. The Riu Palace Punta Cana is located at the far north end of the Riu chain's enormous five-hotel complex. Open between 8am and 7pm, the swimming pool with its built-in whirlpool bath has 10 underwater seats as well as a pool bar. There is also a small pool for children. The sun deck includes deckchairs complete with cushions, palm leaf parasols and showers.

    Food and drink 8.45 /10

    Guests at the Riu Palace Punta Cana have access to all of the resort's restaurants. The Riu Palace Punta Cana has a very sophisticated main buffet, "Don Manuel", which serves international and local cuisine for all three meals: breakfast is served between 7am and 10am, lunch between 1pm and 3pm and dinner between 7pm and 10pm.
    In addition to this, guests of the hotel have access to the resort's 8 restaurants and snack bars.
    The Palace Punta Cana also has three a la carte restaurants that are open in the evening, by reservation: "La Altagracia", a grill/steak house on the panoramic terrace overlooking the beach, the "Luigi" Italian restaurant, the "Yokohama" Japanese restaurant, the "La Bodega" Brazilian restaurant and the "Sir Oscar" gourmet restaurant, open between 7pm and 9pm.

    The resort's 11 bars are included in the set price.

    Spa

    The Renova Spa has a Jacuzzi, a sauna, four massage rooms where products from the Mary Cohr cosmetic brand (Paris) are used, and a beauty salon.

    Beach 7.95 /10

    Arena Gorda beach is a wide strip of fine sand that is soft and white and bordered by coconut trees surrounded by blocks of stone. With the 28 C° clear turquoise blue waters and coconut palms acting as natural parasols, it is difficult not to fall in love with the place! Further away from the shore, you can see a rusted wreck on the coral reef, following the passage of a cyclone. It is believed to have been a pirate ship! You could also play beach soccer or beach volleyball in the shade of the coconut palms. From the sea, only the coconut palms can be seen, completely concealing the resort. Palm-leaf-roofed massage huts are available on the beach, which is equipped with deckchairs and showers. The water sports base offers a wide variety of activities between 9am and 5pm. An area has been marked out for bathers to avoid them getting mixed up in the water sports activities. The beach bar serves snacks during the day.

    To know

    The Riu Palace Punta Cana is one of five hotels in an enormous complex located on the beautiful Arena Gorda beach. This resort, a member of the Spanish Riu Hotels & Resorts chain, is a proper village in itself and has a main street, known as Calle Caribeña, a series of characteristic brightly coloured huts. This street has its fair share of souvenirs and offers many services: pool, photos, massages, travel agencies, paintings, jewellery and handicrafts. This, however, is not close to the Riu Palace Punta Cana but at the end of the resort, 2,950 ft away, towards the Riu Taïno.
    Guests at the Riu Palace Punta Cana can access the entire resort's restaurants and bars. The Riu Palace Punta Cana has a spa, the Eternal Spa, with a whirlpool bath, a sauna, 16 Indian-style massage rooms using Mary Cohr (Paris) branded products, a hair and beauty salon and a fitness room, open between 8am and 8pm. Treatment booths are centred around a charming patio area featuring a fountain in the shape of a winged lion. You can also relax in the two large hydro massage jet pools.
    For those who like watching sport on television, the hotel has a sports bar that shows most major sporting events on its four large central plasma screens complemented by many other screens dotted around in an appropriate setting: supporters' scarves and famous footballers' shirt adorn the walls in these convivial surroundings.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, (paying), beauty salon, sauna, hammam, stretching, keep fit, spa

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, aqua gym, aerobics, football, volleyball, beach volley, horse riding, golf, sailing, kayak, paddle boats, dance, step, bums and tums, archery, water-polo, surfing, fitness

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Solarium

    advantage

    • Access to the facilities of the resort's other hotels.
    • The superb Arena Gorda beach.
    • The wide choice of restaurants.
    • The luxurious surroundings.

    disadvantages

    • The lack of Dominican lifestyle in Punta Cana.
    • Access to the airport.
    • The enormous size of the resort.

    Traveller Reviews

    1
    • Overall Score nc/10
    •  Anonyme. Anonyme.  
      1 Opinions
      • Package deals in septembre 2010 Posted on 2010-11-22 En couple - 3 à 5 nuitées (Chambre sans vue)

        que du tape à l'?il chambres vieillissantes ( odeur de moisissure rideaux moisis mobilier vétuste) buffet répétitifs pas d'hygiène

      • Advantages

        le tout inclus

      • Disavantages

        chambres à rénover salle de restauration principale pas entretenue restaurants à la carte médiocre transat vieillot

      • Infrastructure
      • Logement
      • Situation
      • Restauration
      • Sports / Loisirs
      • Animation
      • Qualité / Prix
      • Overall Score 2.50/10
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