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“Loved it here.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Macao

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #28 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Bradford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Loved it here.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2011

After booking for 16 nights to stay in the Riu Bambu next door and after 6 nights we decided to upgrade to the Palace for the rest. It was the best decision we made. After staying in the Bambu it was paradise found. I will now only ever stay in a Palace, as to me the extra money it costs is well worth it, and it makes your holiday.

Any one who has complained about this hotel may want to try a week at the Bambu, then think about it again. The food here was fantastic compared to the Bambu, the service was out of this world, as at the Bambu you don't have waiter service at any time, only one drink at dinner. You have to walk to the pool bar if your on the beach to get a drink - and its not close by. Here at the Palace your treated far better and the waiter is round every 15 mins with a tray of drinks and shouts "Drinky Drinky time" to make sure your not dehydrated. Wonderful!!!!

Twice daily maid service, 24 hour room service and a turn down service, little things that make it special, you were lucky if you got maid service once a day at the Bambu.

Yes its a little old, but in November they are opening the new Riu Palace Bavaro, and at this point the Macao will be closed for modernisation for a few weeks. So it will be fresh and new furniture etc will be installed.

I will return to this hotel or even try the new Palace, but will never visit the Bambu again, I have now been spoilt rotten.

I loved it, loved it, loved it!!!!!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,181 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (418)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Thunder Bay, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2011

My husband and I stayed for 7 nights at the Riu Palace Macao from April 10-17th. It was our second trip to the Dominican Republic, our first being last year. Check in was quick, we had our room on the first floor, facing construction. We knew we could have asked to be moved, but we were happy with our room (and being on the first floor), so we stayed put. There was some renovations happening on our floor during our vacation to some of the other rooms. We had been a bit concerned about the reviews saying the resort was almost all older couples, but we were very happy with the mixed ages and met some really great people of all ages. The rooms were average, the beds were very, very hard, but the AC ran well and quiet. Our fridge was kept stocked and our room was very clean. We had no complaints. We ate at the steakhouse (fantastic steak, especially considering how thin) several nights and the Krystal for several others (nice food, very limited menu, gorgeous view). The buffet was good. We did not love the lunches, as they were all buffet style, did not offer much variety, and we suspected a lot of the food was recycled from the main buffet. We got some stomach upset (as we did last year in the DR, so didnt really associate it with the resort, so much as the change in diet and wobbly pop we were ingesting..). Please bring some Pepto, just in case. The service was good. The champagne was nice and we found we preferred the Montepalacio wine to the house wine, all you have to do is ask.

We did find the hotel was aged, not necessarily terribly so, but compared to the last resort we were at (Dreams Palm Beach), this old girl was showing some age. We did like the hotel though. The beaches were absolutely gorgeous. We enjoyed the Monster Truck Safari and felt like the Tropical Storm Catamaran was a total waste of money.

Very flirty male staff. On more than one occasion, we saw male staff obviously "oogle" young girls (very young girls) obviously.

One last thing. This resort IS very European. There is a lot of topless, thong bikinis, and speedos. Be prepared. We had several laughs, some uncomfortable conversations with people we met (while dressed) who were now topless and friendly on the beach. My husband was not entirely sure where to put the eyes.

All in all, a very nice vacation. However, we probably will not stay at this resort again. That said, we would consider another Riu resort somewhere else (hopefully with MUCH more comfortable beds).

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2011

I traveled here on vacation a few months ago and over all had a wonderful trip. The food was good, the drinks were tastey, and the beach was amazing. If I had one complaint it was that by 10 p.m. it was a ghost hotel. I know this is not the hotels fault and maybe it was just like this when I was there. I understand that not everyone likes to stay up to 5 a.m. partying every night and I dont either I just didnt expect the bars to be empty by 10 p.m.. Other than that though I had an amazing trip and and excellent stay at the Riu Macao and would recomend it to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2011

We have enjoyed Riu's in Mexico so we were very comfortable booking here. The quality of the resort is the same but the service was very different. The room was great, very clean, comfortable beds, and a big balcony with 2 rocking chairs. View from the room was bad since we were facing a construction site. The buffet was awesome, always better than the restaurants. Service in the buffet was always fast and friendly. Service at the bars was disappointing, I really don't think they wanted to serve you, you had to ask, they didn't offer. They also couldn't make drink very well, only what is on the menu which meant no lime daiquiris for me. No pool bar at this place and that was a mistake on my part since the website could have told me that. Pool was also not heated but still refreshing. The shows were fantastic. Out biggest problem with this trip was that the sun only came out for an hour or less first thing in the morning. So we had a week of warm shade with a side of rain. This resort was very quiet and had very few children. the resort was connect to other resorts so you could entertain yourself by walking around them all. I don't think this one should be considered a Riu Palace, just a Riu.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire, England
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

We visited this hotel as recommended by my local First Choice shop. Check In was a tad slow on arrival and seemed a bit disorganised but this is the Caribbean! We have visited the Dominican Republic quite a few times and this hotel was one of the best we have been to. The service was amazing, as soon as you sat down a waiter would be there to take your order. It was quite busy as we flew out for new year for a week. The Gala dinner was amazing and the cava was flowing freely!

The food at this hotel was one of the best I have had in the Dominican it was amazing! The room service is 24 hour and is excellent. All the staff wear fantastic uniforms etc and they are very helpful. Some international brands are also included on the All Inclusive which was good. The rooms have a fully stocked mini bar, with coke, fanta, 7up and water and beer. There is addtional option in the room of your own optics which we thought was a great idea, you have your own caribbean rum, vodka, gin and brandy in the room on tap! The rooms were very spacious and very nice. Big rocking chairs on the balcony too. The rooms were cleaned daily and we had no complaints at all.

The pool area is quite small, but you can use the hotel next door which If my memory serves me right is the Mambo. Beach Bar great and the beach area lovely with waiter service, you didn't even need to get up off your sun lounger!

I would say this hotel is 5 Star, they look after you 24/7 for younger children and teenagers this hotel may not be as appealing as the entertainment was ok but probably not enough to entertain younger children.

If you are looking for fantastic food, great drink selection, chill out and brilliant service this hotel is for you.

We love the Dominican Republic and have done many trips, and we highly recommend the Outback trips as you see so much of the real Dominican! And the Saona catamaran trip is amazing!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, NJ
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

We traveled here with another couple. We are all in our 60's. Chose this hotel because it seemed nice, had good reviews, and was compact and not spread out. I did not want to have to walk far or take a golf cart to the beach or the main house. Also, we had stayed at a Riu in the Bahamas and were not disappointed.

We were not dissapointed here either. Rooms were very clean, staff was very friendly and helpful and spoke many languages. The beach was fabulous. Sun very hot, cool breeze. Sandy palm groves to get out of the sun if you wanted. Never had to hunt or wait for a lounge chair at the pool or beach. Plenty of activities - pool parties, dancing afternoon & night, dance lessons, horsehoe contests, bocce, beach volleyball, etc etc. All inclusive. You could pay extra for parasailing, snorkling, excursions, etc.

Food was very good. We did not bother going to any specialty restaurants as the buffet gave us all the good food and variety you could ask for. Gents had to wear shirt and long pants to dinner. I stayed with Dockers and a nice collared shirt. Some guys even wore suits & ties. It was sad however, that we saw some women in beautifull dresses with their gentleman dressed in sloppy jeans and a T Shirt with some saying or logo on it. I know jeans are considered to be vogue nowadays, but how about nice jeans and a collared shirt? These guys obviously did not know the meaning of class. I would have been embarrassed to have my female companion all dressed up and me in a T shirt.

There was a small casino, which I never went to, and nightly entertainment in the nightclub. Mostly 40's & over crowd although we met several younger couples who were enjoying themselves as well.

There are 5 Riu resorts all in a row and your wrist band allows you to enjoy meals and drinks at them all, except we had to eat dinner at our own place. No big deal. The grounds are beautifully kept and rich with plants and lawns. Some topless women on the beach for those who might object.

I would return to this hotel in a minute. Great drinks. Great food. Great service. Great people. Not one bad experience.

Room Tip: Book what they call a Superior room. Better views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011

Stayed for 4 nights in April with my husband, 10-year old son, and sister. Weather and beach were sufficiently wonderful to overcome any issues we encountered but having stayed at Rius before, we expected more ..... better liquor brands, better variety at the buffets, better service overall. That said, we had a wonderful time despite my sister being stricken by a GI bug of some sort (also saw another guest violently ill in the restroom). Highlights were the weather, the beach, the beach tiki bar (we brought our own vodka as we did not trust the brand being served), the couches on the veranda, beachside massages, the soft serve ice cream machine. Pool was fine. Plenty of beach and pool chaises to choose from - never a problem getting a good spot. Not ideal for kids - but maybe the timing was the issue as there were very few (presumably due to school!). Really loved excursion to sting ray experience, swimming with sharks, and snorkeling. Really worth the money spent! Never made it to the disco or casino.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Macao

Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#12 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Macao 4*
Number of rooms: 364
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. Within the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Taino, Riu Naiboa hotels and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu. 3-storey building. Colonial style architecture. Surrounded by 30,000 m2 / 36,000 sq. yards of palm groves alongside the beach. 50 km / 31 miles from Higey. 200 m / 660 ft. from Caribbean Street. 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Macao Hotel Punta Cana
Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana
Riu Palace Punta Cana
Rui Palace Punta Cana

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