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“Gorgeous!” 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 #27 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Macon, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Gorgeous!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Stayed here for a girls' getwaway in July 2013. The grounds were gorgeous and well maintained, the beach was beautiful, and the staff was very accommodating and friendly. This was my first trip to Dominican Republic and would highly recommend for a fun and gorgeous beach trip!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,046 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 (374)
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English first
Oldham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

My boyfriend and I chose to go to this hotel for our first holiday away together, and it was absolutely brilliant! Every single aspect of the hotel was a lot higher than what I expected. The rooms were cleaned at least twice a day, to immaculate standards. There was someone who came round every day with a trolley to fill up your mini fridge if it was running low, or even if you just wanted something extra to go in it. The reception staff were polite and helpful, and gave us a room upgrade with it being 3 years of us being together so that we had a sea view which was lovely!

The staff in the restaurants and buffets were very attentive and cleared plates almost immediately after it being set aside to be moved. They were always refilling drinks when they were running low, which was great as I never had to sit around waiting to try and catch someone to get me another one. The chefs were friendly and very helpful with me being a fussy eater, and were always asking how the day had been, and what had we been up to. This is a nice touch. The "Voltare" Italian restaurant is lovely, but unfortunately with my food choices being so limited I couldn't experience any of the other a la carte restaurants. The buffet had different food each night, which I thought was good because I didn't get bored of the food at all!

The pool bar is nothing like you'd expect it to be. It was actually quite quiet with not too many people in it so that you'd feel cramped, there was definitely enough space for everyone. The staff at the bar were very good, even though they had a little choice of drinks. I stuck to wine and lemonade, but my boyfriend had difficulty trying to get a decent mojito, which is literally the only "bad thing" I can say about the holiday, which it isn't even bad!

One of the Thomson reps, Monica, was polite and helpful and we went on two trips sold to us by herself. We went on the Caribbean Cruising trip which was excellent. We had to set off quite early in the morning as it was a full day trip, and then we got onto a boat and went out into the Caribbean Sea. This took us to a place where we could snorkel for about an hour, before taking us onto a natural pool further round the sea. That was fantastic! We were really far out, but the water was still below our waists. There were starfish and other tropical fish here, which were nice to see. After about an hour in the natural pool, we went onto Paradise Island, a secluded beach just for Thomson excursions. We spent about three hours here lying in hammocks, having our lunch, going into the beautiful crystal blue water. It was amazing! Then we got sailed back on a Catamaran! Definitely a trip to do when over there!

We also went on an Ocean Spa day, which wasn't as good considering it was only half a day, but only $10 cheaper. It started with a massage table which pushed massage rollers up and down your back, followed by a massage from a masseuse, half an hour of yoga, floating on a mattress attached to the boat and a detox treatment said to clear all the toxins from your body by pulsing ions round to go into the water. I was in quite a lot of pain after this trip as I do not think the massage I had was very good for me. I was unable to move my back properly as it kept locking up, and my neck was incredibly sore! But other than that, it was a great day. It would be better to have a full day for this trip though, as each "treatment" only lasted 15 minutes each.

On our last night in the hotel, we had a note slipped under the door saying that due to a hurricane warning our flight was to be delayed for two days. However, we had to be moved to another hotel, clubhotel riu bambu next door. The note was pushed through at half seven at night, at which point both of the Thomson reps had gone home so we were left with no-one to talk to. We found out the next morning, there were 34 of us in this situation as we gathered in the lobby to speak to the reps about the timing of it and how we were disappointed that they were not there to talk to in a crisis situation. As I said, one of the Thomson reps was very helpful. The other one, Franklin, was far from helpful, polite or useful! He admitted himself that he was "useless" at his job. He was very arrogant and aggressive in his manner of speaking and refused to listen to any reasoning.

I would definitely go back to this hotel, and I am even looking to go back next year (I've only been home a week!!) I can't wait to get back to this heavenly bliss!

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are by far the best, otherwise there is just a view of the other hotels to the side...
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  • Stayed July 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.
Grand Prairie, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

I stayed at the Riu Palace Macao from 7/3/13 thru 7/10/13. This resort was more than I expected.

Staff - First and foremost the staff was outstanding, starting the Alba, who checked us in. She was very nice and informative. I knew then that this was going to be a great vacation.The house staff did an excellent job. They came by twice a day and always asked if I needed anything if I saw them. The food staff was great and a big thanls to Juan Pablo, Tania, Juana, Virginio, and all who's name I can't remember but worked during the time frame given were great. The cooks explained the food I was not sure of and the beach staff always came to see if I needed a drink.

Beach- This is a gorgeous beach with hundreds of tall palm trees. Coconuts are free, just tip the guys who climb the trees and get them. There is no shortage of beach chairs.The sand is powder soft, which make for nice walks. You can actually walk miles on this beach. The water is a little wavy, but still enjoyable.

Rooms - The rooms are all white, as is the resort. They are very clean, furniture is up to date , the mini bar is not so mini - full bottles of rum, vodka, gin. The only downside was the room view faced the back of the shops on Caribbean street, but it was no big deal. I can't think of anything that was wrong or missing. This is where I will stay the next time I visit the DR.

Food - The food was great. I have no complaints. Many people who complain about the food will pay 2 -3 times more for the same food anywhere else. I stayed full and enjoyed it. I've stayed at resorts in other parts of the Caribbean, including Mexico and the foods is as good or better.

Overall - outstanding experience!

Room Tip: Rooms in the low 3300's face Caribbean street, so there in no beach view and the garden view is...
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  • Stayed July 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
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Powder Springs, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is our second visit to Punta Cana. I was not impressed with the first resort. I will not give it anymore energy. This resort is fun, great service, clean, and yes only adults. The room was very clean and always restocked. The grounds are well kept and clean. I love the front desk staff! They are so helpful and always smiling! They have a pretty good casino! The club was so much fun at night! Shout out to DJ Maney!! You did your thing! I went with my bestfriend for a girls get away. Our age 40-44 but we are not oldie moldies so we had an enjoyable time. The beach is clean and nice. This is a very relaxing resort. We went on the Saona Island excursion thanks to Miguel De Rosario of Hotbeds. He is amazing! He helped us with all our questions. I just can't say enough about this staff! The food is fresh and you can find something to eat. Every bartender did their best to get you the perfect drink. Please don't let the negative comments stop you from experiencing this place. They have the friendliest staff.

  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Stayed here with a group of 8 in July, 2013. Overall the experience was great! The hotel grounds are extremely clean and well maintained. Our room was cleaned 2x a day and there were constantly fresh towels (this is important because nothing dries in that humidity!). The staff were all extremely friendly and made honey attempts to meet everyone's request. Many of the staff speak limited English but I appreciate this since we are in their country. The beach is about a 5 minute walk through a grove of palm trees which provide ample shade and are a great place to take an afternoon nap (remember, no kids here!).

Overall the food/drinks were just okay which was fine for us because we were only there 4 days. I actually preferred the buffet food over the a la carte restaurants. We tried the Italian and Japanese and both weren't great but still fine for an all inclusive. One spot we found tasty snacks was the coffee bar where we got chips and guacamole almost every night. The guacamole was actually really good and tasted fresh every night. The drinks were as expected for an all inclusive and consisted of limited alcohol and lots if sugar. We were able to get custom drinks at the lobby bar which was nice.

I would recommend this hotel to anyone on a quick trip <5 days who wants a more upscale property without kids. Also, I think we had more fun because of the group. Not sure how entertaining it would be for two people.

Room Tip: We were in 3314 which overlooked the side of the hotel. It was very quiet but there was no view of...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesterfield
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Firstly I have no complaint with the location, the hotel facilities or the staff and services at the Riu Palace Macao.
Out of our ten day holiday three days were peaceful and relaxed.
However for seven days the hotel took a booking for 150 high school graduates from New Jersey for their graduation party.
When we first noticed the graduate revelers we were returning from the beach and we realised that there were lots of drunk young people falling about the bar and swearing, this was their day one.
While the graduate party was taking place we became accustomed to drunkenness on a mass scale, swearing, spitting and generally rude behaviour in all the public areas.
The swim up bar become a no go zone for most people, we tried to time our visits to the restaurants when the students were less likely to be using them, particularly as some of their table manners were absolutely disgusting for example eating ribs from a napkin off the table.
We only used the bar for a short time before our dinner and took drinks back to our room every evening after dinner.
At night we were woken at least once a night by shouting and doors banging.
Some of the students were very nice, when sober and by Sunday there was a lull as tiredness took over but sure enough there was a huge final party at the end which meant dinner was a very unpleasant experience, as we predicted wrongly the student movements for that night and found ourselves dining amongst about 30 alcohol fueled party goers gearing up for the final bash.
In the UK the hotel is advertised as a couples adults only hotel, obviously the hotel management have a different idea about this.
We booked our holiday for peace and relaxation after a difficult year and I have nothing against young people having a good time, we have two daughters of our own of similar age, although I would expect a bit better manners than some of our New Jersey fellow guests. But the bottom line is we did not want to share a holiday with kids of that age on a party!
All in all we found that the entire time the New Jersey Students were at the Macao we were having to make allowances and plan things around them as it is very difficult to completely avoid 150 students day and night over 7 days

Room Tip: Our room did not face the pool thankfully, we heard some folk had to put up with pool parties at 3 a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TN
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Hola!!
This resort is Everything! I traveled with a total of 7 family members (Age range 36y/o-65 y/o; total of 3 rooms) 07/13 - 07/18. We booked our trip through Cheap Caribbean and added the transportation service to transfer between the airport and the resort. I would highly recommend adding this service to your trip. They were waiting for us at the baggage claim with most of our luggage in hand. We moved swiftly through the airport with no hassle. Loaded the van and taken to the resort. No problem. The return trip home was arranged the day prior to departure. We were picked up on time as promised. There were employees at the airport to again assist with the luggage. We were very pleased with this service.
This is the first "Adult Only" resort that I have stayed in and I am now spoiled! I love children but it was nice not to have to navigate around them during my vacation. The resort is located on a sort of "Riu complex". You are free to visit 2 other Riu resorts but I never made it to the other ones because mine was perfect. The rooms were very nice and looked exactly as the pictures that others have posted. There was a wide variety of food at the buffet (different, but pretty good). We ate at the Italian, Japanese, and the Steak House a la carte restaurants also. The Steak House was the best a la carte restaurant (actually the best meal of all). The desserts are not that good at all at any of the restaurants and could use some work. The pool did close at 6 pm. Some of those in my group were not too happy about the early closure. The beach...oh the beach! It is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. There are plenty of chairs and shade (if you prefer) from the gorgeous palm trees. There was also beach service available so don't forget to take a fist full of $1 bills for tipping (not required but appreciated). We booked 2 excursions through Olympus Tours (snorkeling and an all day tour that took us to a cigar shop, the oldest church in the Dominican, horseback riding, a school, beach, etc...). Both were excellent and worth the cost.
The entertainment leaves a little to be desired but the entertainment team does work hard throughout the day and night to make the guest happy. There isn't a lot of nice music being played around the pool area (or it may have been too low to hear) this would be a nice added feature. There is a disco on the grounds that all of the Riu resorts have access too. You do have to buy your drinks while there. It was a pretty good scene and the DJ played a variety of good music. There is a row of retail shops that are located next to the hotel so you don't have to leave the resort to scout for souvenirs.
All in all, the entire experience, stay, and service at this hotel were top notch from check in to check out. The entire staff goes above and beyond to make you happy and comfortable. A big thanks to the Riu Palace Macao staff (especially Reinell and Leo!) for a wonderful holiday!!

Room Tip: We were given a "surpresa" at check in and were upgraded. We were in 3033 and overlooked t...
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Luxury 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*
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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