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“GREAT HOLIDAY” 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 #31 of 98 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Peterhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 382 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

Overall this is an excellent hotel. There is however a couple of things which would make us reconsider a second visit.
It is a relatively short trip from the airport to the hotel on probably the best road I've seen in the country.
There were quite a few people for checking in at the hotel and although their methods were strange it worked well and none of us waited for too long.
We had a first floor room at the front of the hotel above the dining room and overlooking the pool and beach. The room was pretty standard and modern. However it had no bath and this isn't what my partner likes.
The television had lots of American channels in English and the fridge was full of beer and soft drinks. The drinks dispenser contained Brugal rum, a Spanish brandy, Russian vodka and Gordon's gin. The drinks were replaced every second day and I had no problem asking for more.
I particularly liked the food on offer in the main buffet. I always felt there was something there I liked and the quality was excellent. We only visited the Italian restaurant and really enjoyed it. Friends who were there visited them all and were impressed with each one.
The service from the waiting staff was as good as we have seen anywhere. We really liked the small Cappuchino snack bar which was very popular in the afternoon with the pre packed sandwiches and fruit. Lots of guests took these to their rooms. My partner loved the iced coffee there.
The two biggest drawbacks for us was there were too few sunbeds around the pool. If you weren't up before 8am there were no beds left! Many guests left towels on beds all morning while they went to the beach and returned mid afternoon. There was no management of the beds by staff in any way. This was disappointing for us who spend most of our day beside the pool.
The other negative was that we enjoyed sitting in the open air bar near reception but this was the smoking area and it seemed like most of the guests smoked!
There are five RIU hotels together in this complex and you can visit each one. We did walk around them but think the Macao was the best. We really enjoyed walking along the path at the front of the hotels parallel to the beach.
If you smoke and like the beach instead of the pool this is the place for you.
I have a copy of the hotel all inclusive details for anyone who wants to email me.

  • Stayed December 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,537 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 (519)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

We had our honeymoon here 10th - 18th December and had beforehand read many reviews of this holiday destination - some we laughed at and some - well - we just wanted to wait to get there to compare.
We could not fault the RIU - we had more upsets and disappointment with our holiday rep!
The hotel - extremely clean - the staff - could not do enough - we did not see one single miserable staff member or unhelpful person the entire time.
We got upgraded with our room - without asking. Our room was so well kept - it was like walking into a new room each time.
The alcohol -definitely NOT watered down!
Don’t worry about constant tipping – a couple of dollars here and there to perhaps the same staff who will then look after you – goes a long way.
The food – how anyone could say they struggled to find anything to eat – what planet were you on? Every possible palate was catered for. I did however struggle with the themed restaurants – steak house could not cook a blue steak – but the chef in the main buffet did!
Were there faults – hell yes –But it’s the other guests - who blatantly ignored the polite requests of staff and notices NOT to reserve sun beds – there were plenty to go around and we never worried about such silly behaviour.
The pool maintenance – carries on till 0800 but idiots diving into the pool pre 0800 whilst staff still trying to get the pool area ready for guests!
The entertainment team were brilliant! Worked long hours but always there to fill the day with a variety of activities IF you wanted to join in.
All in all – we got exactly what we wanted – 7 days total rest and relaxation with no worries.
And no, the waitress’s skirts were not too short!!!!!!
The star rating – please remember it’s a rating to the location and not a world rating……..

Would we go back - Hell yes!

Room Tip: we had 3253 - over looking the pool - ask for 2nd floor and above - pool view
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  • Stayed December 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.
King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

Well what can we say the hotel was very clean the weather was great the food was very good .The Krystal restaurant was feb . But just a couple of things the rooms have coffee in them and on the second week they ran out of the white and red packs and put brown premium packs it is not nice also the ran out of seven up As this is a 5 Star hotel they should not run out of thing .Also the rep in the hotel will tell you all about the trip but not about the free us to shop male provided by the shop ask about times . If you want to do trip do the safari it is Great . The hotel manager also say this 5* is not like a 5* Europe so making this only a 4* hotel .But if you have book this you will enjoy you holiday

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Our room was very clean and spacious, nice big telly, huge walk in shower, 2 sinks, optics were fab and the fridge always refilled daily, oh and the coffee machine. We were on the corner so our balcony was absolutely huge! The room service was quick and the food delicious.
The only negatives would be no light on the balcony which was really dark in the evening, also our bulb in the shower went on about day 4, we reported it to reception and when someone came to look at it they said they would come back to fix it but never did! Also its like getting blood from a stone trying to get powder milk for the coffee in your room! Out of the 14 nights there we only had milk left in our room about 4 times. Also our room was near the bins and delivery area so was very noisy early on and late.

The pool is quite small and not very deep, the loungers in the pool are a nice touch but I think these would work better in a lagoon shaped pool with a bit more space and privacy.
The pool bar was super small and again had the loungers in the pool. It was also only about belly button deep (I am 5'5). I prefer deep big pools so neither was to my taste, but they were super clean and cleaned nightly after 7pm. Lots of shading as well (maybe too much).

Bars & Restaurants:
The lobby bar is big, you can sit out on the verander with table service, the cocktails are AMAZING! You would pay top dollar for these in Manchester city centre they were great, also you can ask for ANY cocktail even not listed in the menu and they will make it, incredible.
Also opposite the lobby bar is a new section called the cappuccino, here you can get a variety of coffee shop drinks and snacks, also fridge is full of fruit salads, salads, sandwhiches all of which are amazing and it is open 24/7.
The night buffet style bar is very big, loads of choice and super clean, the tables are cleared instantly and your drinks are always topped up. The dinner buffet restaurant is nice, open air, always busy in here, you can also go to the Krystal for your lunch, it is table service, not a lot of people know about this and is usually nice and quiet, next to the beach so scenery is brill.
All the al la carte restaurants are like fine dinning! Food is amazing in all of them.

Quiet most the time, staff not that polite

Running out of characters now but I would definitely recommend this place to anyone and would visit again!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

This was a lovely hotel, nicely furnished & spotlessly clean. Reception staff are friendly & helpful. Bedrooms are spacious & clean with good facilities. The food is very good with a huge selection on offer in the buffet, the variety of meats available is vast & all are surprisingly well cooked! Our favourite restraunt was "The Fusion" which overlooked the beach & sea & was pretty quiet also the beer was ice cold here, the portions were huge & even my wife who is vegetarian ate the Angus burger which again tells you about the quality of the food. Pool area, sunbeds beach area all beautifully kept again with a hard working cleaning staff on the go all the time. Entertainment is good day & night withsomething for everyone. The beach & sea are beautiful here. Free wifi was available, we could even get it on the beach. The hotel is great but it's biggest asset is it's staff, with special mentions for Brenda & Alex (entertainment) & Polanco in the buffet restraunt. We will definately go back here, being an adult only hotel makes all the difference for us.

Room Tip: Rooms on the wings are quieter because they are away from the main entertainment areas
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

We arrived on December 15th - December 22nd - upon arrival the service at the first desk was average the assistance group me and my husband with another couple so she did not have to explain the overview twice; I was missing my voucher from the travel agent so i was not allowed the grey wrist band until the document was sent or I printed one on the computer. Very unprofessional when it fact you have all my paperwork there at the hotel with my name on it, I would not have travel to DR without paying for the trip in advance... nor was i offered anything to drink upon check-in like I saw others and even another couple who travel the same time with me arrived after me was offer the wrist band and a drink. -- it gets better I had to change rooms (upgraded) with the on staff manager at the time who performed and outstanding customer service, and provide me the wrist band.

The resort staff with the Entertainment - Jeffery and Alex and the others are OUTSTANDING.... - in addition to our serves in the restaurants their service was 100% PERFECT...

I do have a complaint -- there needs to be a RULE or something regarding holding the cabanas with your beach towel and you never show up until around 2 or 3pm and the cabana has been unoccupied the whole time; it is really sicken to see that ADULTS can not understand this... I mean really if you are that the beach be there and when u done come back up to the pool area... some type of enforcement should be done about that it is only about 10 cabanas if that many...
Other than than the fact don't look for a cabana if you have not reserved with your beach towel at 7am... you will not be getting one... LOL... --

The overall hotel was very clean... staff OUTSTANDING.... would come again... I read some of the other reviews.. and YES THIS PLACE IS NOT FOR THE SINGLE folks... couples and lovers everywhere... lol. lol... -- the best place to be without any kids running all around. Our room was lovely 3075 we had a suite ocean side view -pool view.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 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.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013 via mobile

My wife, I and two other couples of our friends stayed here from December 8 to 15. It started on a sour note. Our flight was delayed for 10 hours and we missed the whole afternoon and evening of the first day. We arrived around 11pm and were very tired. All of us had reservations for garden view rooms. They quickly accommodated our friends but could not offer a garden view room for me and and my wife. I asked the receptionist (Julio Alberto) whether we can have a free upgrade. First, Julio offered a room for $20 a day more. We refused. Then he offered a "pool view" room for free, which he portrayed to us as a big favor since normally the room is significantly more expensive. I asked if the room is quiet and Julio confirmed. We agreed and went to this room on the first floor only to find out that it is facing the lounge where people sit day and night drinking, smoking and talking. You can see the pool from the balcony in the distance but you cannot call it "a view". The room did not even look as outdoors-facing due to a large roof covering both the room and the lounge. We were very upset and went back to the reception desk. This time we spoke to Julio and his manager Widney. Their tone was very different this time - indifferent and unapologetic. The manager offered us another room starting next day from 1pm when it becomes vacant. We did not like the idea of keeping our stuff unpacked till the next day and argued with Julio until 1am in the morning demanding a room we have originally reserved. He was unbreakable. At some point he even stopped responding and even accused us in asking a pool view room in the first place. We were very disappointed in such unprofessional and unapologetic attitude. Completely unacceptable. Later we found out that a band was playing loud for few hours in front of the "quiet" room Julio has offered, so basically he lied to us. I think it was the number 3034 so please stay away from this and two adjacent rooms.

Eventually we gave up and took the room for one night. The next day things have changed to better. At 1pm I went to the reception desk and Widney waited already for me with a key to a room close to our friends. We declined help in moving our luggage because we wanted to move as soon as possible on our own. Starting this moment all things were wonderful. Great beach, great service, amazingly good food. The entertainment team worked really hard. I enjoyed stretching exercises at 10am on the beach. We made reservations to three restaurants but skipped one since we found out that there was a special night at the buffet. The variety, quality and decor of the food was incredible. We found the Japanese restaurant quite average, Kristal restaurant was pretty good but still nothing compare to the buffet. We are not big fans of drinking but their beer and mojitos were pretty good, although instead of Bacardi they poor some less known brand. Wine was also quite ordinary.

The rooms were clean and comfortable. Large balconies protect rooms from direct sun. Small inconveniences definitely exist but can be ignored. For example, there is only one exit from each wing of the building. Both of them lead traffic through the lounge. It almost doubles the distance from the rooms on the first floor to the beach plus you walk by people sitting in the lounge drinking. I also disliked a plastic band they attach to your wrist on arrival. Although I heard it is quite common, I have not seen it in Secrets or Dreams resorts in Mexico. The key to the room is an old-fashion metal with a large plastic chain, bulky and heavy to carry in the pocket. They only give one key per room, which sometimes is inconvenient if the couple splits during the day. The pool area is smaller than in many other resorts we stayed before and is very crowded. However, the beach area is superb with palm trees making shades instead of umbrellas, which is much prettier. I don't think I understand the concept of towel cards except as a guarantee that guests will return used towels back to the station. I would say it is kind of cheap for a luxury resort.

The bottom line - we liked the resort primarily for its beach and food - these two factors can overshadow everything else. Despite our trouble on the first day I give them only a small deduction from the highest rating.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
#17 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 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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