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“AMAZING! Can't wait to go again.” 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 #30 of 98 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“AMAZING! Can't wait to go again.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Palace Macao from December 27th through January 3rd. Upon arrival we were upgraded to a pool view room (had reserved the regular garden view). Our room was 3166 which was in the corner with a view of the pool.Got more of a roof view than actual pool view but we didn't care as we didn't go there to spend time in the room. Room was spotless and everything was in working order. Large bathroom with double sinks and spectacular walk-in shower with ample space for 2. Water pressure was great which I was quite surprised with and we never ran out of hot water, which has been the case with other resorts. Bed was heavenly!

The pool and the grounds were pristine except for some little caterpillars at the pool area which the maintenance staff would come by and broom away on a regular basis. Never had an issue finding chairs by the pool even though people would come down very early to reserve some. There always seemed to be enough for everyone even when the hotel seemed to be fully booked. Beach was beautiful and clean and the ocean was pure bliss. A bit chilly at first but once you were in, it was hard to tear yourself away. Waiters came around the pool and beach area for drink service very often which was absolutely fantastic! They always made sure we had drinks and were also quick to come by to pick up the glasses when you were done.

Cleaning staff cleaned the room and made sure eveything was restocked everyday including tissues, toilet paper, towels and drinks in the mini fridge. Got calls from the front desk every 2 days just to check to see if everything was to our standard. I must say that I was impressed with the level of service at this resort.

The entertainment staff were exceptional. They had live music on the patio before and after the shows till 11 pm which wasn't late enough as that was usually the time when people were just getting into it. Our only other complaint was that there were not enough female entertainers. The male entertainers would keep the females busy but there was not enough female staff to do the same for the males therefore women were the majority of participants in any of the activities. Had a great time regardless as they kept us up dancing and laughing.

Food at the buffet was incredibly tasty. Endless selection of meats, fish, fruit, veggies and deserts. I was a little worried as I am gluten intolerant but I never had an issue as there was always so much to choose from. Restaurant staff was always extremely friendly and accomodating. Never had an issue finding a table or getting service even with the resort so full. We tried the Krystal and the food was good but service time took long so we didn't try any of the other a la carte restaurants. We liked the ease of simply serving ourselves at the buffet. Wine was okay, not the best we've had but not the worst either. Drinks at the pool bar were good but a little watered down for my taste. I would recommend getting your drinks from the main bar the "Cubano", as they seemed to pack a better punch. Coffee was amazing, especially the Irish coffee (always a nice way to end a meal). My husband is an espresso drinker and he found that the best espresso came from the pool bar as the other places would add too much water hense making it too watery.

The New Years buffet was fantastic but the music was a little sub-standard. They had a live band play latin music for a few hours. The younger crowd rarely got up to dance this music. I would suggest also having a DJ with some current music to get everyone on the dance floor. We are used to spending New Years in Montreal at large parties so this was pretty low key for us. But we enjoyed ourselves as the entertainment staff did an exceptional job of getting people going.

All in all we were impressed and had a fabulous time. We will be going back to try the Riu Palace Bavaro or Riu Palace Punta Cana with our kids very soon.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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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2,539 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
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English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

Nice rooms very clean everywhere frendly staff but average food which is never very hot only mostly local drinks
There is nothing to do at the hotel at all and the night entertainment is a joke complete rubbish watch your selfs on trips as we went on buggy trip and broke down and got left in the middle of the jungle to fend for our selfs don't be fooled by the pictures of trips nothing looks like that everything is old and beaten up
Would never return again

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Overall the hotel is nice and clean. The food is very good and we didn't struggle to make any choices at any point. We tried a meal in the Japanese but it was awful and walked out before finishing the main course. The Krystal was very nice and would recommend. Other than the 2 occasions we eat in the buffet which was very nice with more than enough choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When we arrived we had to ask for our welcome drink, once in the room we commented it smelt damp which was ignored. We opened the patio door for a while to air the room and it seemed ok. One night I woke up in the middle of the night to use the loo and flux the bathroom and entrance to the room under about an inch of water, there was heavy rain so we weren't sure if it came in under the door but it didn't happen again.
The entertainment team worked hard and were friendly. There was a group of 10 of us on New Years eve and we were all bored, the choice of location and entertainment was poor. As other people have said the drinks are of poor quality and watered down.
Upon packing to leave I found some of clothes covered in mould when I got them out of the cupboard. When I told reception they weren't interested at all. I also asked to change some money up to leave the country they gave me completely the wrong amount which caused major problems.
Would I go back? No. It's a case of been there done that but wasn't that great.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

Agree wholeheartedly with Jenniferb09 review. Staff make the place one of my favourites. We stayed 2 weeks, ending December 30. Kudos to Juan Pablo, Diomedes, Wilson, Chino and many more. Loved Christmas Eve decor, welcoming party. Karen always had my ice coffee order ready. Rooms, cleaning, restaurants, beach all great. Sunwing rep on site very helpful - Marielle? Yes, would recommend.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We were a large group. my parents (in their 80's, my siblings and spouses and our adult kids).Had 6 rooms which were clean- 2 of the rooms were suites, with 2 balconies each- great! 4 standard rooms- clean but worst moldy-smell. You could feel the spores all over the room in one of them! We tried leaving the doors of the hallways and balcony open, to have crossed air and try to get rid of the moldy smell, but no success. After we checked out 8 out of 12 were sick with respiratory problems. In our group we had 4 young adults ages 23-30- they found the hotel crowd too old. 80% of the guests are over 65. I know is an adult only and that is why we choose it- so its great if you don't have younger adults. Food was good, and the fact you don't pay a penny for alcohol made it a great surprise. Hotel pools are great, and you are right in the beach, which makes it a better property than the other 3 Riu Hotels nearby. Night club is also included in the price. Word of cautious- carry medical insurance- my daughter fell and slipped on the shower after it flooded, the hotel is able to call a doctor only if you pay, they don't even have access to a ice bag. The hotel Manager Dasha Kovasikova was great trying to do what she could with the means given to her by the Riu chain. Very expensive- more than fees paid in the US for a house call.The reception staff is very attentive, the entertainment staff is amazingly warn and helpful- I don't think they ever sleep- they put 4-5 times a day show and activities- aerobics, archery, bingo, dancing for you and with you, and much more. The dining room staff is also wonderful. I can truly say that the complete staff- manager, reception, cleaning, waiters, maintenance, chefs, room service, ect is the most respectful, helpful, attentive, fun and hard working that I have met in all my travels. The hotel does not offer a pick up service at the airport, but when you get to the airport is easy to get transportation. when leaving the hotel (which is about 30 minutes from hotel) to go back to your country, allow 2-2 1/2 hours in the airport, it can be a long process. New Years party was great (better than the one last year at the Sheraton in Argentina) Food was excellent, show was nice- everyone is so attentive and helpful!

Room Tip: Get a suite, ask for a room with pool/ocean view. Its a large long property, so if you need to be cl...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

My husband and I spent Xmas and New year at this fantastic hotel. We were welcomed upon arrival with a welcome drink, and our cases taken to the room by the bell boy. The room was amazing, immaculately clean, with a lovely bathroom with huge shower. The rooms were kept so clean, and the cleaners visited twice daily. Once in a morning then again at night when clean towels were brought, and your sheets turned down.
The buffet restaurant had an abundance of choice, all of a very high standard, and the Xmas Eve banquet and New Years Eve banquet were exceptional. The sweets were mainly individual handmade, and the wine was really nice served at your table nightly. We tried all the four speciality restaurants being Steak house, Japanese, Italian and Krystle. They were all really good the Krystle being my favourite.
The entertainment team work exceptionally hard, doing activities during the day and night. Special thanks to Alex and Wilkins who we got to know really well.
You can walk along the long stretch of beach which is beautiful. Nothing was a trouble to the very helpful staff, waiters, reception and entertainment.
There is a small coffee house, where you can have coffee/tea with sandwiches and cakes at any time, and there are sandwiches and fruit left in the fridges here in case you need something during the night.
Thomson rep was on hand daily if needed, not that we needed to contact them, as had no problems at all.
Transfers to and from the airport were only 40 minutes, and went very smoothly.
This is a fantastic place to chill out, and deserves its five star rating. Would not hesitate to return.

Room Tip: Our room was 3089 which did not have a sea view, but overlooked the gardens, and was nice and peacef...
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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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Beautiful hotel, very charming and friendly hotel people, except for the folks at the front desk. More on them later. The hotel is pristine, and the employees are constantly reworking it (painting and raking the beach of seaweed as well as more general overall cleaning) to keep it that way. Everybody says 'hola' and 'bueno dia' to you with a sweet smile. We never went to one of the 'specialized' restaurants, but went to the general buffet for each meal. Their selections varied from day to day, and we never tired of the 'same' food as others have put it. They had dishes that we had never seen or heard of, much less eaten, so each meal was a new discovery. One of the waiters, Eusubio (not sure of the spelling--sorry!) was just great. He made the visit very special (always a huge smile, a high five and a 'how was your day' and a 'have another perfect day tomorrow!') and was one of the best parts of the hotel. The room was just like it had been pictured online (huge, spotless, beautiful), and that does not happen very often. Maids came by twice a day to change your towels if needed, and when I called for more bottled water and diet soda (I drink a lot of both), it was delivered in five minutes or less. The beach was always swept free of seaweed, the many, many chaise lounges were set up facing the ocean, and a waiter came by a lot to see if you wanted a drink, and always remembered who wanted what. Overall, the place was amazing. The only thing that wasn't that great, oddly enough, was the hotel reps at the front desk and the man making reservations for the 'specialty' restaurants, and most of the tour package reps at the front of the hotel lobby. The only time any of the hotel people smiled was when they were talking with a co-employee. When talking to a hotel guest, no smile. None. They were quick and competent, but not friendly. The Cheap Caribbean lady was pleasant, but one of the other reps was, honestly, very rude. We didn't have to deal with any of these people but three times, happily, and were glad to ignore them. I don't want to end this review on a sour note, because the entire visit was really excellent. This is a wonderful hotel in a wonderful area, and we were very sad to leave. I will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed November 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 6
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
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#25 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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