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“A truly GREAT time - a good, honest detailed review” 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 #29 of 98 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A truly GREAT time - a good, honest detailed review”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We stayed for a week at the RIU Palace Macao and were not disappointed. We were welcomed and informed that we'd been upgraded to a Superior room. We had one of the rooms on the top floor with the vaulted ceiling. Pretty cool. The shower is separated by the bedroom by translucent glass blocks, so if you're uncomfortable with someone seeing your silhouette in the shower, you should know about this. The bed was very comfortable. Probably the most comfortable I've slept in at a hotel. The A/C was strong and worked well. There's also a ceiling fan, but we didn't turn it on much as the A/C was sufficient.

The food was great. We didn't care for the Japanese a la carte, but did enjoy the others. The buffet was always good and full of selection. Diomedes, you run a GREAT dining room and you are to be commended. I watched how you treated your staff and you seem to really care for them. The drink selection was my one complaint. I like Grand Marnier, but they didn't have that. The wine selection was also limited. Just okay. Not my favourite but bearable. Otherwise, it was great.

The animation staff were amazing. They really take the time to get to know you by name. Don't waste your time being shy and not participating. Jump in with both feet (if you want) and get involved in the daily activities. It really does make it fun. Jinette, Wilkins, Brenda, Neomi (good luck with the baby), Alex, Malvin, Jeferi and Aneury (Spaguetti).... what can I say. You guys made the trip fun. Your energy and enthusiasm was infectious. The night time shows were good. What you would expect for an all inclusive. Not Broadway or Las Vegas calibre by any means, but entertaining just the same. They make a really great effort with what they've got.

The main pool was good. Never overcrowded and a nice refreshing temperature. Cooler at first touch but warm once you're in. You can easily do laps, and people did. People did go down in the morning to put their towels on chairs to reserve them and the chairs were almost always all taken by late morning, but then with a little walk around the deck, we usually found one or two that we were able to use. We never went out early to try to reserve a chair and always found some within a few minutes. Luck? Maybe, but we did this every day and didn't go without. The swim up bar pool was smaller and fine. Didn't go in that one much. It seemed to be a bit warmer. Maybe because it was a bit smaller and more crowded.

The beach is phenomenal. We walked for hours. It's fun to walk past the other hotels with a crowded beach overrun by children and then come back to our oasis. Plenty of chairs at all times. No umbrellas, but lots of palm trees that you can position your chairs under for shade. We did see some vendors from time to time, but they didn't seem to be bothering anyone. Certainly not overwhelming like I've seen before. The waves were big sometimes and small other times. Comfortable for different levels of swimmers.

A very mixed clientele. TONS of Germans and British, which is fine. A few Russians too. It was fun to see the animation staff calling the bingo numbers in 3 different languages. Everyone got along very well from what I could see. We were a same sex Canadian couple in our 30's, early 40's and were embraced by the staff and guests alike. There may have been other gay couples, but we didn't really notice. We felt extremely comfortable just the same. Most of the people we got to know at the beginning were much older than us and amazingly friendly, but as the week went along, younger people started to appear, both around our age and slightly younger. I didn't see any annoying late teens or 20 somethings.. Everyone seemed to really appreciate the maturity of the guests.

So all in all a great trip. This is a great resort and I would definitely return.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 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 (540)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Peterhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 368 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 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 24 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 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Rooms:
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.

Pools:
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.

Casino:
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
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 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.
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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 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Spa 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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