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“Escape to Adult Only” 4 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 de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #26 of 100 Hotels in Punta Cana
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Escape to Adult Only”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012 via mobile

Recently revamped and now 18+ Rui hotel. Clean & fresh. Good pool. Steps to beautiful beach. 30 mins from Punta Cana airport. Rui Macau sits in middle of riu resort area. El Patio buffet is expansive and full compliment of foods for breakfast and dinner. A la carte must be booked after 7am on same day you wish to go. We found them below average.
Only barrier at times was staff who only spoke Spanish and limited French or English.
Wifi is free but you need to ask at front desk for codes/password.
Good for couples and older crowd.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,091 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 (388)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

I have just got back from a 2 week stay at the Riu Macao with my partner and had one of the best holidays ever.... How anyone can fault or complain about this hotel is beyond me... The newly renovated rooms are perfect which are cleaned every day along with fresh towels and fridges freshly stocked... The pool and bar staff are constant making sure every person around the pool is seen to ..... We spent a lot of our time on the beach which is perfect and guaranteed a sun tan due to the lovely breeze... Food is brilliant and my main piece of advice is to try the steak house at least once the steaks are always cooked to perfection.... Overall this is an excellent hotel and the staff are all amazing!!!!! A lot of people we noticed didn't choose to tip which I think is a little unfair due to the amount of effort all staff give to all holiday makers the odd dollar here and there is muchly appreciated... Will DEFINITELY be returning

And one last thank you to JC our Thomson holiday rep

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

This is a beautiful adult only hotel. I only say this as we have previously stayed in a palace. The rooms, whilst rennovated are not as large. When we arrived we were given a room that had not been made up and smelt of fresh paint. The hotel director was very helpful and arranged for us to be moved next day. The food is top notch and the staff helpful, though some did not understand English very well. This palace has a coffee shop which is very good and was a hit with the guests. The grounds and the walkways to the beach are well kept and a pleasure to stroll through. The beach goes for miles in either direction and a very pleasant walk.

Room Tip: Avoid the ground floor rooms by the bar as everyone sits outside of an evening and the balcony overl...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

I just returned from the Riu Palace Macao on December 13th. I will start the review with the simple statement that 18 plus would be more accurately describes as 55 plus.
I am 29 and went with 2 27 year olds.

Pros
Property: was beautiful. The beach and pool area always clean.
The staff: were very friendly and seemed happy to have someone actually speak to them/ tip them. (We noticed that most guests did not tip at all, not that tipping is required however when the same waiter has served you breakfast, lunch, and dinner you know he has been there all day and deserves it)
Alex, Daniel, and Juan from the animacion team were amazing and so much fun. Juan at the pool bar was great as well.

Cons
Food: Large variety but mainly unlabelled so you were never really sure what you were eating.
Drinks: Most of the drinks were made of mainly pre made syrup. Not that I normally complain because I am not picky but when staying at a Riu Palace you expect more than a man bringing you a glass with vodka in it and and the pouring in something goopy from an unlabelled water bottle he brought out from the back.
Environment: The resort was very quiet. They rarely played music by the pool and there was a disclaimer in one of the room brochures that advised to keep noise to a minimum after 11:00pm in common areas.
Disco: This was the first time that I had to pay for drinks at a disco and admission to a disco on certain nights. The drinks were pretty expensive as well ($5 for a single non premium vodka/water). I also noticed that locals or resort workers were charged a fraction of this price for drinks.

My biggest complaints were that the room wasn't ever cleaned until later afternoon (around 4:00-5:00pm) and that the 24 hour room service line was rarely answered. I called at 6 different times and only got someone twice.

Side note
*Water bottles in the room are re used. The seals were broken because they were refilled with filtered water so we were advised. I was ok with this but hear many guests complaining that "At a 5 star you should at least be guaranteed a sealed bottle of water"

In general the resort looked great however the level of service I expected from a 5 Star Riu Palace was not met.

Room Tip: Ask for a pool view room. Almost all pool view rooms also double as ocean view!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

I agree this is a adult vacation resort since we stayed (but not long enough). I found it hard to find any fault here, thus my great rating. The Macao of the 5 Riu group there shows a 5 star on the front enterance and I would say so! It seems in the center of the RIU's but I would have easily stayed in any of the front three, particularly if I had taken my kids and had to stay in the neighboring one that allowed kids !
The staff was very attentive and moving around was easy within the grounds "which were well kept." A short walk to the beautiful beach/sand was paridise. Chairs were easy to find on the beach but not in the pool area. Bring no. 30 or 50 spf if you burn easy. I saw many cooked lobsters walking around.
For this Riu, all inclusive, and my first time at an all inclusive, I probably rated higher than most and a proper rating by those who have stayed at more locations may be a better read. I know & see why this is the way to go !
This resort is not the Huge Mega type you see and hear about and feel like your in a city but smaller (not too small) with many well kept palm tree groves which certainly make a "paradise" feeling. Walks on the beach either way were great (public, so you get some peddlers with wares, i just ignored and said "no gracias").The beach is public, all allowed and you can walk about a mile or so (forever) etc either way. We took a "right" and a 20 min walk there were some straw roof shacks with "pushy" vendors you'd best avoid, but we got only a few souvenier deals after Extreme negotiating! There were some trinket / shirt shops out and to the left of the hotel on Carib street which were ok. (buy yourRum there as Duty free was about twice the price)
Food: I was happy with the Buffets and wish they would label more the choices a bit. They always had someone around to ask (cooks in specific, although my spanish is poor to zero the staff was accomodating). We did the "Steak resteraunt"one night and was treated like royalty. I know I gained a few lbs.( I just had a few concerns with forum mentions to bottom shelf liquor and it's what you get if you don't ask. So stay on top of the servers/tenders) The swim up bar was nice as you are over the bar and can see the choices right in and on top of the bar. It was my favorite.
The folks at the resort (these least busy weeks before X-mass) seemed mostly european, older/retired staying for thier standard 2 weeks etc..
The Rooms were NICE, due to high humidity there's an slight initial shortcomming in the AC but after a while you get used to it and it works fine and note that there's an interlock on the back screen door that cut's the Ac off when opened or ajar. BTW, The AC is very quiet otherwise! We did have rain a few days, buy slight and 70% of the day was sun and some clouds.
Our "on-line" travel agent took csre of the transfers we paid (20 ea round trip) that was just fine since it didn't stop at more than 3 resorts to and from the airport.
(my worse experince on this trip was the exteme long lines at Customs coming back to the USA and worrying about missing my connecting flight from the east coast. I'm trying to erase that from my mind !)

Room Tip: Get lots of btl water, take with you to the beach if you will stay there all day. We even brushed ou...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012 via mobile

I just came back from a 7 night stay at the RIU palace Macao and I feel compelled to leave this review on the pros and cons of this resort.

Pros
Beautiful resort, newly renovated interior and amazing beach
Very friendly staff always smiling, saying hello, doing anything they can to make you pleased

Cons
*this may not be a con depending on your age but for a group of people in their late 20s, it was* - Crowd was a lot older. Everything seems to get very quiet and eerie after 12am. It felt like everyone just stared my friends and I down because we were younger, made me feel uncomfortable at times! When eating at the Japanese restaurant there was no music playing and all other guests eating were so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop. If there weren't the additional cons below, I would recommend this report to my grandparents.
Room wasn't cleaned until at least 4pm daily, which means you are getting back from the beach or an outing wanting to get ready for dinner and you have to wait in the hall for your room to be cleaned, no one wants to do that!
Water bottles in the room were unsealed and opened! First time I have ever encountered this, but very unsanitary and surprising for a riu! When we asked the front desk about this, they said it was filtered water but I also have concerns about drinking from a used bottle.
The drinks were all very sweet and strong. You will definately get sick drinking the cocktails and sitting in the sun all day. Realized after the first night the only safe drink was beer (also because it contains no ice). I am not picky in any way when it comes to drinks, but these drinks were so strong and so incredibly sweet you couldn't order more than 2 for the night or you would have a massive headache.
Food was okay, but nothing was labelled so you didn't know what you were eating half the time. I believe they use tap water to wash and prepare the food because me and one other person I was with got violently sick on the second last day, and it lasted for about 3 days. Terrible way to end a vacation.

Overall, the location, grounds and staff make this resort. But the food, drinks, cleaning schedule and opened water bottles need to be fixed.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Where do I start? We travel twice a year to the Caribbean and have been to various locations but keep coming back to the D.R..Having stayed at other resorts we find that the Riu resorts have everything that we desire from a vacation.Just returned from a week at the recently renovated Macao and couldn't say anything negative about our stay. The adults only status is a definite plus! We visited the Naiboa and the Bambu for lunch and fpund that the kids do make the atmosphere a little more hectic. We upgraded to an ocean front suite upon arrival and it was definitley worth it! Huge room with all the bells and whistles. The staff were amazing and treat you like family if you make the effort to engage them.Our thanks to Eusabio who always had a table ready for us and to his brother for incredible service. The resort renovations are fairly modern but it is a corporate thing as all the Riu resorts seem to be going this way as they upgrade the older ones. Clean and shiney which is not a bad thing. We were guests at Riu Bavaro Palace opening week in 2011 and had a fantastic time. The decor there is very similar to the Macao make over. We would say that the atmosphere at the Macao is more intimate than the Bavaro, Both hotels are quite nice and you will enjoy your stay at either. One day the hotel gave a tour of the kitchens which was very interesting, as it is amazing to see how much work goes into feeding 700 guests 3 times a day every day all winter. Our thanks to the assistant manager Dasha and staff for the insight and behind the scenes look. Over all our vacation was excellent and met our expectations. We would recommend the Riu resorts as a good choice for quality accomodations and superb service. Cost wise you get good return for your investment.So if you are looking for sun, sand and a good location the Riu is the place to go.I would agree with most of the reveiws listed here as to what you will find but of course there will sometimes be the odd glitch which arises due to the lanquage barrier. Just relax and talk to the staff and they will most likely do their best to help make your vacation a pleasant one. Once again, THANKYOU! to the Riu staff for a memorable holiday and we'll see you again soon!!!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a coroner suite or any suite as they are huge and well apppointed. The first floor ones a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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 de 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:
#11 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 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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