We went for 10 days (Sep 1st to Sep 10th) to Punta Cana and stayed at the Riu Palace Macao. The airport was very nice and clean. They took us a picture with two Dominican girls dressed in locals customs and you may buy (or not) the picture when you leave the country (you can tell the difference on the skin tone...)
I need to clarify that, as I am from Argentina, Castillian (Spanish) is our native language, so that helped a lot.
I traveled with my wife and my son (2 years).
The check in was fast and they welcomed us with a fruit punch drink (non alcoholic cocktail).
The room was very nice, with the towel decoration (swan). No odor at all as I read in some reviews. Double queen bed, very confortable. The A/C worked perfect and there was a ceiling fan also, which was on most of the time (with the baby we never use low temperatures, we set the A/C to 22 C°, which is very nice temp). The room (3157) has a pool and garden view, on top of the main restaurant. No food odor or noise at all coming from the pool. Maid service was on time and they change your bath towels twice a day. The mini fridge had all the Pepsi brands (I drink Coke, we don't like Pepsi at all, but we do drink 7up (better than Sprite), so we were happy with that). We don't drink alcohol at all, but there were beer also in the mini fridge. There was also an alcohol dispenser with local brands of Rhum, Vodka, etc. Never used it.
The food was perfect, as someone recomended going to the main buffet only, we did that. There was a huge variety of food and it was excelent. The baby ate a lot of chicken and fried potatoes. We had salmon, pork, dorado (fish), beef, pizza (very good), lamb, paella, salads (all types). We also had a lot of fruits and juices. Ice cream and pies too. Totally recomendable this restaurant for the variety and quality. Never went to the steak house, the japanese restarurant, etc. We were satisfied with the main restaurant. They will asign you a table for dinner and the same waiter. They are very kind to us and the kid. Of course we tipped them (once main waiter and the other serves the drinks). The normal tip we gave was 1/2 dollars per occasion. Although the tips are included, I know they need the extra money (average salary is 200 US dollars per month, which is very low, you can tell for the poverty outside the resort).
The pool was clean and nice, I saw the pool guys checking the pool water acid level many times a day and it was really perfect. The pool animations guys were fine, I didn't too much of the shows and was OK. They speak a lot in Spanish, but they speak English too, although they don't translate everything they said in Spanish to English. Weird German and weird French are also spoken by the animation team (I said weird because I also speak German and French, but the pronunciation was strange and raw. They had funny water activities like aerobics and dancing, etc.
The beach was nice, the sand was white and fine, some days we found some seaweed, but didn't bother us. The water temperature was a little cold (this is the Atlantic Ocean not the Caribbean Sea) but totally bearable, after the first minute you will be swimming like a dolphin. The nearby hurricanes activities cold up the water a little more. By the middle of our stay the sea water was really clear and more warm (no hurricane activities at all, the weather only spoiled us 1 1/2 days of constant rain due to Hanna TS). There is a bar near the beach, so you can order juices, beer, etc. All included of course. The hotel will give you beach towels cards and you can trade them at the pool booth (you should have the towels or the cards returned at check out, if you don't a 20 dollars fine will be applied for every towel (1 per person). The beach chairs are enough for everyone and there is always a palm tree were you can put them or you can sit by the beach facing the sun. 90% of the torists are from Europe (50% of them are from Spain, so of course you will hear Spanish all the time), 5% Canadian, and the rest is from all over the planet. As many Europeans are accostumed, get used of seeing topless girls, ladies and old ladies in the beach.
In general our stay was very good, we went to visit the other hotels pools, and you may say the atmosphere in the Riu Palaca Macao is the best, although the Palace Punta Cana is bigger, we really enjoyed staying at this hotel.
We highly recommed this hotel if you are going with kids. In fact we made friends with other couples with babies, from Canada, England and Spain and they all agreed that is was a nice hotel. The pricing was fine, I booked it using the hotel website and we had a good price 15 days before the arrival date.
Before coming to this hotel, I read a lot of reviews and during my stay I remembered the specific complainings of those people but never found them, so don't worry on the negative reviews, they may be very few.
Have fun like we did and learn some Spanish it will help a lot!
Buena suerte con tu viaje (Good luck with your trip). Greetings from Argentina.
- 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