Recent guests of the Riu Palace Punta Cana have complained about problems that they encountered during their stay at the Dominican Republic hotel, commenting on hygiene issues that may have caused them to suffer a gastric illness while they were on holiday.

The Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana in Bavaro

The Riu Palace Punta Cana is advertised by TUI-owned and UK-based tour operator Thomson as being located on the beachfront of the popular Bavaro region in the Dominican Republic. Featuring a Pacha nightclub and a selection of family friendly facilities, this hotel appears to have a lot to offer.

Holidaymakers report hygiene concerns and possible food poisoning

The Riu Palace Punta Cana has a positive rating on TripAdvisor, receiving an overall score of 4 out of 5 on the review website, and while many holidaymakers praise the resort, some have encountered hygiene issues that may have been the cause of a holiday illness.


‘mb8527’ stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana this April, and in her review titled “Food not good” she says that “the food here is not good” and they “couldn’t even eat the last two nights” after they suffered from “heartburn, swollen fingers” and “intestinal problems“, explaining that she and her husband “both came home with the flu (stomach and serious colds)“.


‘dianenalen’ was also a guest at the Riu Palace Punta Cana in April, and in their review titled “RUI PALACE Punta Cana NOT BOTTLED WATER and Mold” they say that there is “no sanitation” and they are “breaking every health code“. They report finding mould in their room, and due to their stay they say that “everything [they] own smells musty“, meaning that they “had to throw away [their] suitcases” as they “can’t get rid of [the] smell“.


In their review titled “Terrible experience“, ‘SJY2014’ who stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana this March says that “the food was inedible, the rooms were terrible” as they “stank of mildew and the sheets on the bed were wet“. Amongst some other problems, they also report that they sighted “cockroaches in [their] room“.


‘chad_kauffman75’ also stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana this March, and in his review titled “The Front Desk was my roommate“, he says that they experienced “plumbing issues“, including problems with a lack of “hot water” as well as a “non-flushing” and “constant running toilet“. In addition to this, he later complains about what may be black mould in his hotel room.

He says that they encountered problems with the service at “the steakhouse“, where they explain that the standard of the food was of a low quality and they received “a burger that was served blue rare“.


Cockroaches and the risk to your health

Finding out that you’re sharing a hotel with cockroaches can be quite an unpleasant surprise, but it could also be a reason to be concerned about your health. While it’s generally accepted that if you travel to a country with a warmer climate you’ll encounter a variety of wildlife and insects, but you don’t want to encounter them where you eat or sleep. If you do, you could run the risk of contracting a hazardous holiday illness, particularly if you come across cockroaches.

Cockroaches and holiday illness

While not all species of cockroach are known to spread disease, some are. Harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Shigella can be spread by cockroaches that are exposed to unsanitary environments, from which they can transfer diseases to surfaces that you could come into contact with, or even directly onto your food.

Foreign food poisoning concerns

In our experience food poisoning is one of the most common causes of illness abroad, and it’s usually caused by inadequate standards in the hotel kitchen, whether due to a lack of training or food handlers not being provided with the right equipment or time to safely prepare a meal.

Improperly prepared produce such as chicken and burger meat can be to blame for food poisoning, due to the risk that they could be contaminated with a food poisoning pathogen before they have been cooked. Thoroughly cooking high-risk produce can help to reduce the risk of spreading harmful bacteria and parasites, making it important to ensure that your food isn’t pink in the middle when it’s served to you.

Claim compensation for gastric illness on holiday

If you’ve encountered any of these issues on a package holiday and suffered a gastric illness, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you could be entitled to claim compensation. Our travel law specialists can advise you within minutes if you’re able to make a claim as part of a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of our ‘no win no fee‘ terms.

James Blower - Senior Holiday Claims Specialist

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Riu Palace Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic; contact James Blower by completing our enquiry form and we will call you back, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit our On Holiday Claims website.