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“Excellent vacation, beautiful resort and excellent service.” 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 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Ottawa, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Excellent vacation, beautiful resort and excellent service.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Our stay: April 13-20, 2013:

I travelled with family and friends (8 in total). I loved this place and I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this resort. The staff is amazing and always smiling. The service is excellent. The animation team are really fun and entertaining. It's a very friendly resort. I never had to go to the front desk to ask for anything. We had all we needed.

Elias, Radaneudi, Maldonaldo, Mirabel, Tony and others I can't remember your names, your the best. Elias, thank you so much for the nice birthday surprise supper for my sister and brother for their 60th & 50th birthday night....that cake was unbelievably delicious.

I hope to see you again next year.

Pros; everything from service, food, cleanliness.

Cons: None

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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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2,413 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 (495)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Having just returned from a 14 nights stay (April 02- April 16) at the Riu Palace Macao in the Dominican republic It only takes one word to describe the whole experience. FANTASTIC.... Upon arrival at the Punta Cana International airport The formalities were quickly dispensed with and we were soon on the coach for the transfer to The hotel. Upon arrival, considering the number of people all arriving at the same time check in was fast and efficient, No sooner had we got to our room when the luggage arrived, The air conditioned rooms are large and spacious, Equipped with minibar, Coffee percolator and the first time that I've seen, Optics on the wall with whiskey, gin, rum and brandy,. Another nice touch in the bathroom, Was two swans. formed out of towels and decorated with flowers. A large wet room (Shower) Complete with two shower heads. 24 hour room service available at no charge, Which was very efficient. The changing of towels, and cleanliness of the room matched the remainder of the hotel. All of the staff were very friendly and efficient in their duties, Nothing was too much trouble.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the main restaurant with lunch being served in the beachside restaurant, All of which have an excellent choice of menu, Cooked and presented in a delightful manner. There are also four à la carte restaurants available for dinner, Japanese, Italian, Steakhouse and Fusion Which have to be booked in advance but are included in the package.
There are two swimming pools, With plenty of pool and beach sunbeds to go around, There is also a drinks service around the pool, With unlimited local and imported alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
There are numerous activities taking part around the pool and on the beach for those wishing to partake during the day,
There is music in the lobby bar during the evening, And also nightly shows shows in one of the two Theatres. One of which is open air by the beach.
There is also a disco.
There is free access to Wi-Fi in rooms and public areas.
This is an adults only hotel which I would thoroughly recommend.
I should point out that this hotel is only bookable through Thomson holidays in the UK.

Room Tip: As far as I could tell all rooms are equal.
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  • Stayed April 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nova Scotia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

We were a group of 15 that just stayed at the Macao April 12 - 19. Overall the resort was fantastic. Checkin was a breeze and the rooms were beautiful. The bathroom is gorgeous and the shower was wicked.

The buffets - lunch and supper were great. There were tons of choices and unless you are the pickiest person in the world, there should be no issues in finding something you will like. We did the Krysto, Steak House and the Italian for al a cartes. Surprisingly we all liked the Krysto the best and the Italian second. We all said we wouldn't bother with the steak house as it was our least favorite. In fact the beef tenderloin was better from the buffet.

We had no issues with the staff. Our lack of knowing any spanish was kind of a pain but that's our problem not theirs. We are in a spanish speaking country not an english speaking country.

The beach is out of this world. On our last two trips to PC we stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe which is next door to the Riu complex and thought that that beach was awesome....but after staying at the Macao we now realize how congested the beach is at the Gran Bahia. At the Macao, the beach is very big but there are only 360 rooms using the beach area so people are really spread out over the beach. There were always loungers to be had and you were not on top of your neighbours. The Macao beach has lots of beautiful palm trees so there was shade to be had when you wanted it. The ocean was warm and we saw very little seaweed. It was great swimming in front of the resort. The only thing they could do better with the beach is put back the beach bar.

Carribean Street was fine. There were quite a few shops and you could haggle with most of the shops. If you really want to shop walk down the beach about 15 minutes and there are a bunch of shopping shacks right on the beach. There's tons of things to buy there and there is a little bar that sells Presidente in the green quart bottles for $5 each. It was a great place to sit for a couple of hours and meet other travellers and people watch.

We only took in one of the shows at the Copacabana which was the Michael Jackson show. It was cheesey as most resort shows are. For evening entertainment we usually hung out at the lobby bar where they had a live band each night until around 11:00. After that they didn't play any music so that is something we felt they could improve on.

Overall, our trip to the Macao was excellent and I would seriously consider going back again.

Room Tip: We were in room 3188 which overlooked the Riu Bambu next door. It was close to the stairs and the b...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Before I start my review I would like to get the only major bad point out first. That point can be summed up in one word PARROTHEADS !!!!!

We arrived at the Macao on Wed 3 April, the next three days were just as we'd hoped, peaceful, relaxing, everything we had hoped it would be. Then they descended upon us on the Saturday, like one of the seven plagues of the apocalypse, The PARROTHEADS, approx. 100 + of them. I have never before experienced such a rude, arrogant, loud, obnoxious, bunch of people in my entire life. They took over the whole hotel, no matter where you were you could hear them whooping and hollering. I realise we all go on holiday to have fun and relax, but not to the detriment of other guests, a little consideration would have gone a long way. RIU must partially take the blame as they allowed this group of rednecks to take over, several times the planned night time activities were cancelled so the PARROTHEADS could have their way. Totally out of order. It was EVERYONES holiday, not just theirs. For the next seven days we had to put up with their shenanigans, if I wanted to holiday with a drunken bunch of louts, I would have gone to Magaluf or Benidorm. The Macau is rated as 5 star Adults only, these cretins reduced it to 2 star, I would bet the kids next door in the other RIU's were better behaved.

Right.... now ive got that of my chest, I shall commence my review.

Check in went pretty smoothly, Francisco took us into the entertainment hall and checked us in en masse, we were given our bands and keys, explained about the Wi-Fi etc then we went to our room, we were on the ground floor, facing the Riu Bambu, the room was amazing, spotlessly clean, spacious, a HUGE bed, minibar/optics, our cases were bought by the bellboy who as seems very common "had a friend in Manchester".
The Glass wall was an eye opener but didn't take long to get used too, we took a plug in night light as someone previously suggested, with this plugged in there was no need to turn the bathroom light on in the middle of the night which would illuminate the whole room. We took USA adapters for our electrical items, these worked fine on phone chargers, but my partners GHD's didn't seem to warm up very quickly or stay warm long, Hazarding a guess i'd say the were on 220v and not 240v as we have in the uk (this is just a guess tho) also my partner suggests taking your own hair dryer as the one in the bathroom seemed inadequate for longer length hair.

The mini bar had 4 spirits, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Brandy. The fridge was stocked with 3 cans of presidente, coke, coke lite, Fanta, sprite and water. This was restocked as and when required. There's a coffee maker too which makes fantastic Dominican coffee (supplied).

The Hotel
From looking at pictures on here before we travelled we knew we were in for a treat, and we wasn't disappointed, the whole hotel is immaculately clean, Grounds are kept very well. Some people have moaned about the sprinklers being on and using untreated water !!! SO WHAT!!! This is a tropical country, its how they do it, these people probably moan about the countryside smell when famers are muckspreading...Get a life !!!
The pool bar does get a bit rowdy, (more so when the immature PARROTHEADS are in there) the other pool is just as good tho, and the poolside waiters work tirelessly keeping your glasses full

The Staff
The front desk staff seemed very aloof, almost to the point of rudeness. The bar staff are amazing Juan in the pool bar is fantastic. Karen the cocktail waitress always had the biggest smile on her face and was never far away when our drinks needed replenishing. The cleaners are amazing they work so hard all day and don't get the praise they deserve, so a massive THANK YOU to them. The Animation crew were so energetic and full of fun, They work very long days for minimal wages, special thanks to ALEX, IRIS, and DANIELLA, they always had time to stop and chat, have a laugh etc. They weren't pushy with the activities, a simple "no" was enough if you didn't want to take part.
Several people have commented how the manageress was visible and would interact with guests, we didn't see her for the first 10 days, we did see her assistant, a young chap, he was very polite and would always say hello when passing or bon appetite when in the restaurant.

The Beach.
I have only one word that fits....... WOW !!!! soft white sand, loads of sunbeds and shade. Again some have complained about seaweed !!!! fancy that.... seaweed in the sea !!! its probably the same people that complained about the sprinklers !!!

The Food
Where do I start.... how anyone can complain about the food is beyond me, there is a vast selection which caters for every taste, and this is just the buffet. we tried 3 out of the 4 a la carte restaurants (steakhouse, Japanese and Italian) each was amazing, the surf and turf in the steakhouse especially so.

We booked with Thomson, and through them we booked the outback safari. This was fantastic Our guide was Angel and our Driver was Wilson, Angel was very knowledgeable about his country and explained every detail of everything we asked of him. we visited a local school and also coffee, cocoa and coconut plantations and witnesses the process from start to finish of each commodity. We also had a cigar rolling demo and visited a small wildlife area that had crocs, alligators, iguanas etc.

Airport experience.
Be prepared for a lot of queuing and standing, you have to pay $10 pp to come in and $20 pp leave, with the amount of revenue this "tourist tax" raises you would think the airport would be a lot more efficient with more passport/customs staff to reduce the queues

So... to summarise...

we had a fantastic holiday despite the PARROTHEADS attempts otherwise. I would recommend this Hotel to anyone but i'd ask them to make sure a certain group of people aren't booked in at the same time !!!!

Room Tip: if you want quiet then ask for the left, facing the bambu
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  • Stayed April 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tilbury, United Kingdom
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Spent 2 weeks at Palace Macao 2-14 April, prior to arrival contacted hotel and informed we were Gold card holders and made room choice, on arrival was allocated room 3303 at back of hotel overlooking back of shops enquired at front desk for a room change and was treated very rudely by staff told not possible but if we paid extra 600 dollars one might be availabe next day we declined this offer. We then found out the key to our room did not work this was reported to reception who said they would look into the problem this went on for 6 days we had a technician called out on 3 nights to open the door no action was taken by reception to assist in this matter. The problem was finally sorted out by the manager Liza whom we approached one evening when she was walking around talking to guests and asking if there was any porblems, we explained how we had to go to reception at least once every day to get into our room. She then arranged a room change, staff on desk were unhelpfull in the change over.

With ref to thefts from room, on our day of departure, we also packed away all our belongings and left a DO not disturb sign on door and we stayed in the room and had a last drink on balcony twice the door was opened and quickly shut when they saw us.
Good points New decor was great, coffe bar excellent, the main resturant was fantastic every type of food you could want,staff were great never had an empty glass,
The swim up bar was perfect not to crowded staff again excellent.
Could do with some chairs to sit on around pools and on beach as some people have back problems and find sun beds not the best option.

Evening music on the terrace was great just right to sit and relax to. Entertainment staff were just about ok. Shows in the theatre were very good. As great sun lovers the wide open beach with it gentle breeze was to die for, shame they closed the beach bar a bad planning decision.

Had great time with the parrotheads we really were good company.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

First I want to start by saying I did not stay at the Riu Macao, this is where we originally booked. The reason I am reviewing them is because of the nightmare of a customer service experience we had with Riu and this particular hotel staff!

I'd like to start off by saying we booked this reservation in January 2013 for a stay from April 3rd-10th, 2013. I called reservations twice in regards to a shuttle from the airport and a question regarding our reservation and was assured all was well. Guess what though? It wasn't! Myself and my boyfriend get to the hotel to check in and they couldn't seem to find our reservation. No problem we though as we had the email confirmation on my phone! They took a look at the confirmation and still insisted they had no reservation for us.The manager at the desk, Jose Luis, called reservation and then said "you guys are not reserved here you need to go to Naiboa - we are fully booked". Me and my boyfriend looked at each other stunned and told them we would not go to Naiboa as 1) we didn't reserve there and 2) we had no intentions of staying there or we would've booked it in the first place.

After going back and forth for about 45 minutes I asked them to call back to reservations so I can speak to someone. They called back and I asked to speak to a supervisor. After being incorrectly transferred 3 times I got a supervisor on the line who asked to speak to the hotel staff. Once I passed over the phone they spoke in Spanish and hung up. The representative Anna Maria looked at us and said sorry go to Naiboa. I then asked them to call back again so I could directly speak to someone and got the run around before being asked to put a rep from the front desk on line -- again, they spoke in Spanish and told me they would do nothing! Now, usually I would've just left and went to another hotel but I knew from research everywhere was booked for the whole week.

I got upset and began crying as the people behind the desk just simply pushed us to the side and ignored us. I have to say I have never in my life been treated as rudly as the staff in Macao treated me. After some more time the same manager Jose Luis came up and stood in my face with a "what are you still doing here look" then walked away. He then asked another manager name Manny to talk to us which was also a waste of time as he said when you book with Riu you book with any hotel they have which is total BS!!!!!

What added salt to the wound was another couple came from Bavaro as they didn't like their rooms and they found them a room. Just like that! Even though the hotel was booked? To make a long story short almost 2 hot hours later we went to Naiboa and were treated with such care and patience by their staff. Macao refused us bracelets for their site and the manager at Naiboa graciously gave us dinner at Macao for a night and a voucher for a stay at another time.

Moral of the story is: Avoid Riu's that have more than one hotel on the location as they feel they have the right to move you around without telling you. They moved us from a 5 star to a 4 star (normally that wouldn't matter) but check out the Naiboa reviews and you will see why we were so upset. They ruined our vacation truly!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Just came back from the Riu. We had a great 2 weeks, check in was smooth room was bright and clean. The staff were so friendly from Danny at the bar, Aquino in the dining rooms. The food was outstanding so much to choose from. Great job David B&F assistant manager. There was always chairs you could fine at the pool and beach area. Band playing outside at night on the patio was a nice touch. This was our 5th time to Punta Cana 1st time at the Riu Macao will be going back. Not sure were the negative reviews come from. The Ladies

  • Stayed April 2013, 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 4
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
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:
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 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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