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“What can I say excellently” 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 #26 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Leeds, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“What can I say excellently”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012 via mobile

3rd time we have been here every time gets better staff are always wanting to help never to much trouble for them, even the top managers speak to you making sure your stay is good.

Love the new upgrade to the hotel pool area brill, swim up bar and pool bar area great, can not say anything bad about the hotel and staff, going home tomorrow can't wait to book again and revisit.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,166 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 (416)
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English first
Buffalo, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

The Riu Palace Macao was outstanding. It has just been remodeled so EVERYTHING was spectacular! We asked for a room upgrade (when we arrived) and were shown the room BEFORE we agreed - The room was the finest, view of the pool and beach and a very large balcony. The food at all the restaurants were well, I took pics of the food tables, I NEVER imagined doing THAT but that's how they presented their meals. Every evening was something different and unique.The staff from house keeping, to the pool bartenders were "the best." Two complaints - the door knob was in the middle of the door and we had only one room key. We managed. LOL

Room Tip: We upgraded our room with "cash" and received a much better deal!
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

... although it was not easy in the beginning.

But let me stay in the right order. I have already been to this hotel 8 years ago. All of you now reading this should have noted by now that this is a mid 1990's building, which has been completely refurbished in 2012. With "completely" I mean what I say: Nearly no stone remained untouched (if some only by a brush giving them a different brighter color). A once for my taste quite appropriate colonial style hotel with much beautiful dark wood under palm trees has now been updated to a trendy and modern white - glass - marble look. I guess that this is what Riu-group is currently undertaking to undergo in some more of their hotels. ok, I may be old fashioned, but to be honest: I was shocked when entering the rooms. All white, an admittedly big bathroom/shower, but separated by cold looking glass bricks ... brrrr !! After some days I got more used to it, but to be honest, I liked the old look more. But others might think completely different.

What pleased me during the following days of my stay was the fact that fortunately not many other good things I had experienced eight years before had changed. First of all all staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Example: It was not even a problem to get a technician at 1.30 am (!) to have a look at our rattling air condition (which was in fact caused by our own carelessness not closing the balcony sliding door properly, so the magnet switch operating the air condition did not connect and lead to - audible - misfunctions). For business purposes and - I am honest enough - private enjoyment I need constant internet access. The WiFi network of the hotel works reliable and well all over the hotel & room and - to my great amazement - was even available on the beach ! The beach fortunately has not changed and for me still is the best piece of coast in Punta Cana, and I know the major part of it. I especially like the dense palm tree forest, which does not make any kind of additional sunscreen necessary. So that all brought me to peace with the change in optics above.

Some admittedly minor remarks, more pointed at the hotel management (hope they do read here ?) than a real heavy point of criticism: The food in the restaurants is very multifaceted, but the wines in the restaurants have not changed :-( They are still as unswallowable as eight years ago. I obviously understand that Riu cannot offer Lafiite-Rothschild on all-in terms, but reading that the bottles were Italian and Spanish table wines bottled exclusively for Riu group, I cannot understand where they do get such miserable quality nowadays. Maybe Riu should speak to their wine procurement agents, there must be better quality available at no higher price. The fact that I watched waiters joining bottles of different origin does not help the case either ... :-) The bars are excellent, but the Caipirinha tasted considerably fresher and fruitier at the bar of the Riu Bambu ... the Macao Caipi is somewhat sour and murky. A last word on the option to lose some of the calories gained from eating and drinking as outlined above: The Fitness facilities. There is a gym on Caribbean Street, which is a joke. Run down and badly equipped. Only after some days after arrival I learned that Macao guests were allowed to use the gym at the Palace Bavaro. Unfortunately this is much too small for the Bavaro, let alone being used in addition by Macao guests. In addition it had the atmosphere of a gambling joint, four (!) TVs running at full volume with four different programs. There is room for improvement.

Secret final tip: Go for lunch to the beachside "Krystal" a-la-carte restaurant. They have opened on most of the days during lunchtime with no reservation needed. By the way, they do not tell you this at reception either ...

All in all this remains to be my favorite Riu hotel in probably the most beautiful part of the Costa Coco ... will come again. :-)

Room Tip: When choosing a room be aware of noise from front (balcony) AND back (entrance door). My room lookin...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We just returned after 2 great weeks. Everything was excellant. The refurbished rooms are nice and clean. The housekeeping staff do a wonderful job. The animation team are fun and they are not too pushy. If you say no they move on.The bar service around the pool was a nice treat. Salvadore is the best. He was very pleasant and remembered what you liked.He got many a tip from us because of this. The lunch buffet next to the pool had a large variety of food available. There were also sandwiches and fruit and salads and nachos available at the capuchinno bar. The main buffet is very good. Many choices every night. There is no reason to go hungry. Juan Pablo and Eusabio in the buffet dining room were amazing. They both are very good at what they do.We went for a relaxing trip and that is what we got. We did not see many of the shows because we were up at 7 every day and by the time the shows started at 10 pm we were too tired to stay up. The casino is very small with some older slot machines and table games. We both said that it was nice to be at an adults only and there were no vendors hasseling you. We defintely will be back in the near future.

Room Tip: sat on the top floor and closer to the beach as they are quieter
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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.
Kissimmee, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

After staying at the RIU Palace Cancun in August, we were expecting the same Riu experience in Punta Cana. Not even close. If you are looking for a beach only vacation, Punta Cana might be your destination, there is practically nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. The RIU Palace Macao is a nicely renovated hotel with clean and comfortable rooms. Ocean view rooms, you only have a partial view since it is a low rise hotel with lots of palm trees on the beach, so you actually don t get a clear view of the ocean. Staff was very friendly and even sometimes the entertainment staff too friendly with the mostly european tourists at Punta Cana.with lots of hugging and kissing probably uncomfortable for many. Food was excellent and up to RIU standards. Drinks were fine since we only had some cocktails and their local Mamma Juana shots. Entertainment and entertainment staff was dissapointing, they have this small very silly jerky dance routine that they keep doing everywhere and at all time. Shows put on are poor. Music at the pool was constantly interrupted with little music, so the ambiance was very boring, and if you travel in november, expect a lot of rain. Hotel is fine, but Punta Cana is a once only experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dewsbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Visited in August 2012 for our honeymoon, was really disapointed to find the hotel full of children after been advised it was adults only. Pool area is fantastic, rooms are good, buffet food is average at best, nothing to tickle the taste buds and all very bland. Don't bother with the other places to eat onsite (american, italian), the food in the buffet is just served to the table instead of getting your own. Also be careful the bar staff put alcohol in drinks even if you don't ask for it. Won't rush back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Ottawa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We returned yesterday from a 7 day get away at the recently renovated Riu Palace Macao. A lovely older hotel, set close to the beach with some new areas that have been added to bring this hotel to a status that competes well with other hotels on this strip. This is our 17th trip to Punta Cana. We have experienced many of the Adult only hotels and a few of the family resorts over the past 10 years. When I read some reviews I am amused. This is not a North American hotel and it will never compete in that star/ranking system. This is not a cruise ship, nor can it compete in that category. It can however provide a fabulous vacation experience, at a very good price, in a little piece of paradise that provides wonderful beaches, weather, drinks, food and an overall top notch get away. The renovations have provided an update to the stately old hotel. There is some overuse of silver spray paint in an effort to put a modern spin on some older items but the overall impression is very acceptable. The rooms have seen an improvement in the bathrooms - they can compete with any hotel on the strip now. The Riu has very high housekeeping standards and, for some reason, they choose to use a product to clean with that leaves an overwhelming odor. It is very industrial smelling and leaves a greasy film on the floor that is quite slippery. That treatment is used the day you check in. It becomes less offensive daily. You will not see bugs in your room. I do believe that is thanks to the smelly stuff they treat your suite with. That is my only negative comment. The rest of the experience is smooth and the environment provides something for everyone. Quiet places in the shade on the beach, a large swim up bar with amazing drinks, served promptly and with a smile, good options for dining - we ate a la carte 5 nights out of 6 and we had a pleasant experience, with some ingenious serving concepts having been introduced, every night. The red meat at the Riu is not quite to the standard of some of their competition, if you wish to eat steak. I do not order steak in these resorts so I had absolutely no complaints. Pancho and Valare are two a la cartes that share the space that is the daytime beach-side lunch spot. They dress up nicely at night and are without walls - only screened and yet in this climate still quite warm in the evening. Bring your coolest evening wear ladies and gents! The Japanese is a three course offering and all good. Not the chop and cook at the table concept - simple black tables and very nice food. In the past the wines served at Punta Cana Riu hotels were grim. We are not hard to please but they were really not palatable. Now they offer a nice white and red house wine and a sparkling 9% champagne-style bubbly that is a wonderful treat on a hot day. The bar drinks are excellent and the menu shows you the choices and, when you get the drink, it truly is what you ordered. Good Port and some Brandy available after dinner along with the usual suspects on the resorts rails - the Normandy products of chocolate, peach, strawberry etc and oddly - no Peppermint this time. If you are buying anything at the airport to bring to the resort you might want something higher-end for sipping after dinner. There is a huge area for sitting out to have cocktails any time of day. Nice comfy chairs around small tables. We liked that. That area holds hundreds of people They have a little dance combo in the lounge nightly and then, if you can stay awake, at 10 pm there will be a little show of some kind in the 1940's style lounge that is attached to the bar. It is such a shame that this perfect little lounge, that looks so inviting, still smells musty after all that has been done to improve it. It is charming but a bit...whiffy! That, I might add, is the only place to seek out some air conditioning to sip your after dinner drinks. November this year was so hot and humid that we were not able to sit comfortably on the patio at night - we were really looking for a cool spot once we had eaten. We enjoyed our stay at the Riu Palace Macao. We will go back. We suggest that any negativity you read in certain reviews may reflect situations that are very personal and therefore if you remember you are in Punta Cana, love it for all it offers, remember the price you paid you will feel very, very fortunate to have selected this hotel. We are not folks who write about the wonderful staff they met and name them etc. We do salute the staff at the Riu Palace Macao and feel that that high level of service that is the standard at this hotel at this time did influence our complete satisfaction with our week at the beach. If you have booked a holiday at this hotel, rest assured that you have made a good choice and that you will have a memorable experience. As a note to frequent travellers the days of bringing little gifts to leave for your maid each day may be over. Due to time restrictions this time we did not bring anything like that and simply left $3 a day on the pillow. The service we received was amazing and they left their thanks in a little towel sculpture daily and some flowers around the suite. Our luggage allotment was limited so I was happy not to have 5 lbs of "stuff" eating in to my swim suit space! We do tip and I am not sure if it makes a difference or not. The service we received was exceptional however, we watched a couple near us (most days) and they did not seem to reward the server with anything and they had excellent service as well. We enjoy a little walk in the daytime and the Riu Hotels have a nice interlock path, up off the sun of the beach in the shade of the palms, that you can take to explore the adjacent campuses. I always make sure I have a comfy walking sandal with me so that we can take advantage of that. I like to take a dip in the other pools, get a cold drink and then walk back to our hotel. It expands your horizons and lets you experience the feeling of the sister hotels while burning off a few calories from those amazing pastries in the morning!
We had Wifi in our room - nice perk. No charge. Lots of hangers for your clothing and super drawer space - we had 12 drawers so no competing for space this trip - my husband had one side of the room and I had the other, New info for frequent travellers: It is true. You have to pay $10 each upon entry (US$) ,,,line up and procure this ticket and then head to the entry officials and yes - you need $20 US$ each to depart. ?? This is new. I was told it is an airport tax and that your tour company does not pay this in advance. Regardless of who your carrier is, you will be obliged to pay. We read this but thought it was not factual. We were wrong. Have $60 handy! Have a great trip - we did!

Room Tip: premium rooms face the beach and the pool. We looked over Carribean Street. We spend no time in our...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
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
#21 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 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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