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“Riu Macao jan 2013” 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 #27 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Riu Macao jan 2013”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

First visit since the refurb,changes are subtle on the interior with a repaint mostly,interior ac fans etc excellent,the bathrooms have excellent shower facility's but do miss a bath.not the end of the world.
The pool area has had the most radical makeover,2 pools 1 noisy and boozy & 1 lane swim type for the older more sedate person.
Not sure about the no kids rule,most of the staff seem to miss the kids, strikes me rowdy drunks in the pool of a late afternoon make more fuss than kids.not a problem just an observation.
The restaurant areas are much improved,lunch times at the pool area are superb in comparison to previous visits.enjoyed the lack of 2 sittings in the evenings,much more relaxed dining with the open house eat when you want between 6.30 & 10 pm.
The evening drinks bar is just really relaxed with several choices of top shelf drinks available,quality depending on the size of your tips....been to other Riu,s within the resort this is by far the best.
The beach bar has been removed in the refit,did miss the beach service this year choosing to move down the beach because of this.
Overall it's improved will return again... No problem

Room Tip: Higher in the hotel the better, no Mosquitos up high it seems.2 small bites in 14 days....world reco...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (417)
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Chatham
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

RIU has once again proven they know their stuff. This was our second time at the Palace Macao, but the first since the complete renovation the in the summer of 2012. Our 5 couple group was impressed last year, but were blown away with the completely renovated hotel. As we experienced last year the service is excellent, and the staff attentive. The rooms are bright and comfortable, and we particularly liked the glass block walls in the shower. The beds are firm, but not rock hard. We did not eat in the a la cart restaurants, as the selection at the evening buffet was outstanding, offering something for every taste. Whether you spend your day relaxing by the pools or soaking up the sun at the expansive beach, this is a perfect sun destination.
We would not hesitate to make the RIU Palace Macao a yearly vacation destination.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Just got back, we stayed from 2/2-2/9/13. We have been to a few all-inclusive in Mexico and this does not compare, our visit was just ok. We arrived and were greeted by the front desk with a long and slow check in. Not really what you want when you have been traveling all day. They did however let us see our room before we checked in which was nice. We upgraded for $80/day to a suite, which was well worth it.

The first night we had the buffet and it was ok. Not bad, but definitely not good. I got very ill after that for the next four days. I am not sure why because I know that I did not drink the water. As we talked to other people it seemed that they had been getting sick too. Maybe their food handling procedures were not what I was used to, but it was awful & I know 100% that I did not drink the water. We went to every al a carte restaurant and only liked the Japanese. Everything was prepared early then served, basically a variation of the buffet.

Anyway, all of the food was just ok. The drinks were awful. All syrups, and no real mixers, rail liquor besides Smirnoff and Stoli vodka, except a few select liquors at the lobby bar. Even the margaritas were bad, they all had a coconut flavor. We are eaters & drinkers and we could not really do either of these here.

Our agent told us with the price point it would be a younger crowd, my husband and I are 26 and we were the youngest people here. This place I for older people 50+. Tons of walkers and wheelchairs parked all around.

Overall, the hotel was clean, the housekeeping did a great job and the people were eager to serve you. The entertainment outside was cheap, not well executed, but the entertainment in the lobby bar got people involved and was more entertaining. The beach was crowded, but we never had a problem finding chairs. I would not go back to this resort, but I am glad that we had the experience.

Room Tip: Rooms near the pool have a great view, but you will be up by 930 because it gets loud.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Our vacation was everything we wanted it to be. The newly renovated Riu Palace Macao is beautiful and clean. The staff are all friendly and willing to go above and beyond all the time. It was nice that it offers an adult only theme. We are a married 50 year old couple and just wanted to have a vacation without children playing around the pool or listening to them in a restaurant while at dinner. We wanted to truly relax and enjoy a quiet atmosphere. The only negative thing I have to say was that when arrived they told us that we were being upgraded to the Riu Palace next door but we held our ground and said we purposely picked this resort for the above reason. The food was spectacular. They have a dinner buffet in addition to 4 restaurants (seafood, japanese, italian and steakhouse) There are 2 seatings for the restaurants... make your reservations early... you can reserve up to 3 days for the 6:30 or 9:00 seating. I would totally recommend this resort. It was a fantastic vacation.

Room Tip: We asked for a pool/ocean view. We were on the 2nd floor and it balcony was superb.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
ontario
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Went with group of eight people in our 50's and would recommend this to anyone 35 and up as it's not exactly subdued but not too crazy with partiers (unless you go looking for it).
Food: Japanese was not good- seemed like they had two flavours but the sushi was delicious / Fusion (Krystal) was really good / Steakhouse surf and turf was good but ask for the steak a little less done than you usually would. The lobster was excellent. Buffets were terrific and that's what we preferred.
Liquour: quality isn't premium but there are some better selections like Barcelo Imperium Rum - find a better brand and ask for it - they'll oblige.
Check in: went smooth, rooms were ready and he gave us the information we needed, didn't try to upsell us and was funny.
Rooms: Two of us had unsuitable rooms but they switched us with no issues. Our first room was on ground floor and balcony was a foot away from a concrete white wall - not acceptable to us but they changed it with an understanding acknowledgement. Clean and comfortable. The showers were great and the glass block was fine - you just don't like to turn on the light in the middle of the night and disturb your partner. TIP: Big issue is the floor is very slippery when wet so wear your sandals or bring slippers. They replenish water everyday with large water bottles that are sealed unlike other reviews that state these bottles are refilled and unsealed. Pop and alcohol always kept up and even had a plate of fruit there everyday. No issue with theft - and I didn't always put away my money like I should've. The rooms are very humid so consider that extra weight when you leave.
Grounds: close to the beautiful sandy beach. Two pools and there is one with cement loungers which is away from pool bar also the water is separate from the pool bar. Pool bar gets a little rowdy (and icky warm) by about 2pm. The bars at the pools were busy but you don't have a long wait for a drink. Showers were everywhere to wash off sand or chlorine. Loungers were comfortable and are the kind that breath well - and I feel are more hygenic than cushions. As in the rooms - another problem is the slippery tiles. Don't walk from one place to another without sandals. If you stick right up to the pool there is more grip. There is a longer walk to the bathrooms than there should be - which would somewhat explain the swim up bar temperature.
Staff: This part was the most exceptional part of our stay. They only want you to have a good time and it is so very clear by their smiles and humourous banter. They never seem to tire from their long long day. We tipped because we wanted to - a dollar here and there - but it isn't an expectation. We fell in love with Alex - a genuine sincere young man who obviously loves his job. With our group of eight it isn't easy to get chairs together but we had someone help us out every morning and he never forgot us. I can't say enough about the wait staff and the games staff - you will love them because they love what they do.
Entertainment: Saw a couple of shows and they were pretty good. The Burlesque was my favourite. There is always something to do - Oliver makes sure you are either dancing, playing horseshoes, going for a kitchen tour etc....he says if you're not having fun-go to the bar.

Room Tip: try not to get ground floor and check out your room before committing
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wind Lake, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a week with another couple. Most things were great--the room, the grounds, the beach. The food was definitely hit or miss. We had a great experience in the Japanese ala carte restaurant. The steakhouse and Italian ala cartes were okay. We did not eat at Krystal--menu didn't appeal to us. You could usually find something good in the buffet dining room also. They definitely need late night food choices. There is a TINY area that has super oily nacho chips/cheese, and sandwiches that barely looked edible. The room service menu is NOTHING to speak of, and the one time I tried ordering room service, no one would answer the phone-and I tried multiple times. There was a microwave in the tiny snack area that did not work. Even after we told several employees on our second day there that the microwave didn't work, they said "We know." But it remained there, unattended to. The MOST disappointing thing about this trip was the drinks. The alcohol they use is NOT any type of "call" liquor we are used to in the US. (No Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Absolute, etc...), which we KIND of expected. The bad part was though, that they fill the brand name bottles that they DID have (Stoli and Smirnoff) with the cheap stuff they carry. One of the guys in our group drinks only straight vodka, so at EVERY bar we went to, the bartender had to call a manager over and get permission to "Crack" a bottle of the real stuff open. It was VERY disappointing and evident that this is happening. You can easily smell the difference betwen the two. The coffee drinks at the coffee shop were very good. Overall, the hotel staff was attentive. Our room was always clean and service at meals was good. There are many shops on grounds where the owners will barter with you for a price. There are also many shops if you walk down the beach. If the rating system allowed, I would rate this hotel a 3.5.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Sparta, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We just got back from Punta Cana and it was amazing. Our hotel the Riu Macao was beautiful. It was very modern. The rooms were all white and our room was on the third floor so it had a huge vaulted ceiling. IT also had a huge mirror on the wall and the bathroom/shower were glassed in. The shower was amazing with two different shower heads, great water pressure, and nice hot water. The air was very humid so just be prepared for your swimming attire to not fully dry in the room but they have a towel bar out on the balcony for you. The food was really good, it was a little fancy for me and I would have to say at least 1/2 of it we didn't even know what it was. If you were fussy or not willing to try new things the options may get boring. However, there is so much food that it wold be hard to go away hungry - it would be your own fault. We had drinks at the neighboring Riu but never ate there. We watched the super bowl from the sport's bar at the Riu Nambia (?) it was really loud but they even brought in extra chairs and snacks for all the people that piled into the bar. The weather was amazing while we were there and the entertainment staff kept us laughing and busy all day out by the pool. Alex is awesome and one of the best. However, there was not too much night life here, it is a fairly quiet and laid back resort. Our group's ages ranged from 33 - 52 and I would have to say at least 50% of the resort were over the age of 65. We are not huge par-tiers at night anyway, after all the sun and drinks all day long, so it wasn't a huge deal to us. We would usually see the show at night and then go back to the room. I know this review is not very organized but really I am just trying to say we had an awesome time. A few hints for you: the Bavaro Runners Safari trip was amazing, a full day of fun, laughter, and getting to see the "real" Dominican; they will turn you away at the buffet, at night, if you are wearing a tank-top and/or a hat. We saw many people get turned away. That being said the staff was amazing and treated you like kings/queens. I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: 3rd floor had a good view of the pool area (3367 & 3366) but not really of the ocean. Our room...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 8
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 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Spa 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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