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“Mixed blessing” 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 Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #29 of 98 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Mixed blessing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013 via mobile

This is an all inclusive resort for couple only - we all should know that you are not going to get 5 star gourmet food at an all inclusive, having stayed in many of these I would say that the food was on the better side of most. Why these folks offer wine that is undrinkable is beyond me, charge more or at least allow customers to buy up would be the way to go. The beach and pools are great no 7 am mad dash to get the last beach chair. The rooms are on the smallish side but very quiet and functional with nice balconies. One of the better all inclusive but please improve the wine!
Finally they have a capuchino bar that offers some of the best expresso coffee that I have ever had a real plus.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,666 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 (541)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

I returned from a 6 day stay at this resort. The only thing I enjoyed was the actual lay out and ambiance of the resort. The food was not good, some days we passed altogether on eating. The specialty resturants where pretty ok but you needed reservations that could only be made 7-10 am, and the resturants closed 2 days out of the week, so you are stuck eating the buffet that was not good. The alchol is extremely watered down and cheap, you will never get drunk off any of it besides the mama juana drink they serve in DR. Room service was a joke, its a menue of 5 items which two of them are not served after a certain time. I later discovered this is because the same person takes the order, prepares the order, then delivers the order. You will find many people have multiple jobs around this resport. The pool was closed and empty ever night around 7. The entertainment at the resort sucked, only one good show was the cirque sol e that was an outside company brought in. The staff speak minimal English to none at all, communication was a huge issue here. The club Pache located near the resort was nice but only played Spanish music, we thought we would get a mixture (I spoke with others from different hotels and others did play a variety of music).I cant see how this is a five star hotel, they seem to skimp on everything here and really besides it being an appealing resort to the eye it offers nothing else. Be very aware of the excursions, some are high priced and not worth it at all. We paid 117 for an excursion that turned out to be 6 hours of travel, stopping at other resorts to pick up for an hour, then an hour ride to a speed boat, and another hour to the destination Catalina Island. We were not made aware of this at all that 6 hours would be spent on tarvel alone, it was sold as an all day excursion with no mention of this (very deceitful on alot of excursions). The food was horrible on the excursion as well, and we really ended up at the beach on the excursion which we could have stayed on the resort for.

Room Tip: Pool side rooms have a great view.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

great resort but im not going in swim up bar pool no bathrooms close plus to small .not for me.maid service was great first three days .then we had none the rest of stay.food okay they need to go to secrets to see how you run a all adult resort.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

We have just returned from a fabulous 2 week stay at this Wonderful Hotel we had the most amazing time if your looking for 2 weeks of 5* lush then look no further. This adults only hotel is well worth the money food and drink was wonderful, cocktail on arrival check in very simple and quick. Room was lovely had a sea view very clean fridge stocked every other day and so were the optics in the room. I would not change a thing about the hotel. Location right on the beach, which was amazing one of the best beaches we have been to and its in a very quiet spot. All staff are lovely nothing was to much trouble we even had waiter service on the beach, now that's what a call lush. It was our first time at the Dominican Republic and like others I read a few bad reviews I can honestly say I don't know how anyone can say anything bad its was lovely paradise on your doorstep. We will definitely be going back for another 2 weeks next year and to the same Hotel its paradise.

Room Tip: If you can pay extra for a sea view room well worth it we had 3365 lovely.
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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.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

We spent our honeymoon here for 10 days. The service was fantastic, rooms were spotless, and the staff were extremely helpful with any problems we encountered.
I would definitely return here, beautiful place.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife, Scotland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Firstly I would like to say that I have visited a number of 5 start hotels (see other reviews I have written) and, so far, this is by far the best one yet. Yes there are a few minor things that could be changed but nothing that spoilt my holiday.

The worst part of the holiday was the time delays in and out of the Punta Cana airport.

We only booked this 4 weeks before leaving and our only stipulation on booking was that we were looking for an adult only hotel and wanted to be placed on one of the higher rooms away from the noise of the pool. On arrival we were extremely happy with our room. It was at the side of the hotel looking onto a small grass area with lots of palm trees. For us this was a delight as we enjoy looking at wildlife. This we saw the minute we opened the balcony doors. This included woodpeckers, a couple of kestrels, parrots as well as other species of birds.

The room itself was immaculate with all the 'extras' you would expect for a 5 star. The bathroom was decorated with towel art and toiletries and the fridge was well stocked with water, soft drinks, beer and a cabinet with the more typical types of alcohol normally, consumed. The reviewer that complained about only having 2 beers in the fridge just had to request extra; as my husband and I don't drink we requested extra soft drinks and coffee for the coffee machine that was in the room, and it wasn't a problem.

The entertainment was a little 'amateurish' but most hotel's entertainment is like that, and if you're looking for more then you need to pay for it. The animation team worked hard to keep everyone happy but at the same time if you didn't want to take part then they didn't push it.

The pool area could become quite boisterous, especially later in the afternoon after people had been drinking, but again you just had to walk 50 metres onto the private part of the beach where it was not only cooler due to the breeze, but also quieter and with palm trees for shelter. It was extremely relaxing.

The restaurant was buffet style and as long as you weren't extremely late down for breakfast or evening meal there as always something to eat. I am a really fussy eater and I was always able to find something I could eat.

There were a-la-carte restaurants which could be booked up to 3 days in advance but we were happy using the main restaurant as it had everything we would eat.

Suggestion to the hotel: As people are coming off the beach/poolside and the restaurants are buffet style, it would seem prudent/necessary that hand sanitisers should be placed at the entrance to the restaurants, or a member of staff is positioned at the door entrance to ensure that all customers are given sanitiser to stop any possible stomach problems that could occur.

The staff were extremely efficient (some more friendly than others, but they do work long hours - late nights with early morning starts),

Wi-fi is available 24/7 and can be used as far as the beach. A password and log-in is given at the beginning of your stay. Tip: if you are staying for more than 7 days you will require a new log-in and password for the second week, just ask at reception.
Suggestion to the hotel:- let customers know this as they may think they they are not able to access the wi-fi, as the holiday brochure specifies that only a certain amount of time allowed - this is now outdated,

Although our main aim is to relax on holiday we do like to to see some of the country and culture, both of which was covered when we went on the "Outback Safari". Our guide was George 'of the jungle' as he was called by his colleagues. He was not only extremely informative but one of the funniest guides we have had, and could make a joke out of everything at a drop of a hat. He loved to interact with his group. The trip lasted the full day -going into the mountains where we learnt about the people and their way of life. He also explained about work their company does in sponsoring schools and the politics of the country. We then spent 45 minutes at Macao Beach where you could boogie board if you wished, Well worth the money. Unlike the other trip we took which was to Saona Island. Unfortunately at almost double the price it certainly was by no means as enjoyable as it consisted of a couple of minutes snorkelling just off the bay from our drop off point( which took approximately an hour and a quarter on the bus) and then a transfer to a sand bank to see star fish, of which there were 2, and then on to the Island where we spent 30 minutes looking around/sunbathing and then had lunch. Unless you ate fish/lobster the alternative was disgusting, another 30 minutes sunbathing and then transferred to a catamaran back to our drop off point. The guide tried hard but, to be honest, just didn't cut it. My advice would be to get a group of you together and do the trip yourself and take something to eat with you.

This would not have been my first choice of destination but, having said that, I would not hesitate to return and would probably stay at the same hotel.

Room Tip: We were on 3rd floor at the side of the hotel. No real issues.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
knoxville, tn
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

we booked our stay at the macao over 2 months prior to travel. Upon arrival we found out that they were "overbooked" and did not have a room for us. The front desk was extremely disorganized and kept walking away to help others leaving us stranded with no place to stay. We had purposely booked an adults only resort with another couple... we were placed at the Naiboa which is dirty, family friendly, loud resort. RIU watches you like a hawk to make sure you have the correct wristband, and even though we had reserved Macao, we were placed somewhere else and had a ton of difficulty visiting with our friends who got their room at the correct resort. Overall I would not say this is a 5 star resort like advertised- food and liquor are mediocre- we both got sick. And I will never stay with RIU again after finding that they consistently overbook their resorts and don't do anything to accomodate you because of their mistakes. We payed for a ritz and got a motel 6... with no refund or apology. Once they have your money they could care less!

Room Tip: Make sure they have one for you at the resort you actually booked!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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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:
#14 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 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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