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“Excellent Honeymoon” 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 #25 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Stortford UK
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Excellent Honeymoon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

Just returned back from our lovely 2 wk honeymoon at the Riu Palace Macao booked via Thomsons!

Check in very smooth, received a refreshing welcome drink, suitcases brought to our room 5 minutes after we had got into the room which was great after the long flight. (Dreamliner was excellent!) Our room was decorated beautifully with flowers and a card congratulating us on our marriage which was a nice touch. We had room 3234 which had a side view of the pool and beach and a really large balcony. Can not complain about the hotel room, it was clean everything worked and the bed was very comfy! We also had a rain shower and normal shower which was perfect, twice a day we had clean towels provided in the bathroom and a turndown service which was nice too. The maids work very hard and are always around cleaning the outside areas (stairwells etc) We also used the safes in the room never had any issues and we also left laptops, kindles lying around in the room and sometimes under our beach towels by the pool and nothing went missing!

The pool is lovely and cool in the morning but as the temperature rises in the afternoon the pool does become a warm bath, we decided in the afternoons to walk down to the beach and dip in the sea to cool us down as always a nice breeze on the beach. You never had to worry about reserving sun loungers which was a lovely change (Plus with no children running around you never worried about being hit by a ball or splashed!!) Also the towel guys had no issues with changing your pool towels a couple of times in one day which was great after you had been down on the beach! The pool with the swim up pool bar always got a bit rowdy as the afternoon went on but this was mainly from some rather loud Tourists who drank at the swim up bar all afternoon this was not a problem for us as we either went to the beach were it was quiet or just stayed at the other pool and carried on relaxing.

Food Buffet (El Patio)- We found a great variety including all meats (Chicken, Beef, Pork,Duck) usual Chips, Pizza etc for those who like what they like. The salads were lovely and the desserts were amazing! We always found something we liked to eat. We also ate out at the Steak House which was excellent, We both had surf & turf which was a lovely fillet of beef and half a lobster! The Italian was also excellent and we enjoyed both our meals there. No issues when booking in each morning for one of the Al la Carte restaurants we found this easy to do each morning. We also Never had any issues with being ill and was actually really impressed with the cleanness of the restaurants.

Entertainment - Was good the Team all worked very hard each day to encourage people to play volleyball or darts, there was a couple of very funny pool games that took place! The entertainment in the evening was fine, it wasn't lively as in 18 - 30's but it was nice having music played live whilst you drank in the bar watching people dance round in good spirits. Whilst we were there we had a mixture of ages groups also there and I wouldn't say that it was for the older age group (we are both early 30's) But those looking for a Spring Break Cancun style this is not the hotel for you as it is very chilled and calm with a lovely friendly atmosphere.

Overall it was a lovely, relaxing honeymoon, the weather was excellent, the hotel was incredibly clean and beautiful and we couldn't find any faults. I would recommend this hotel to anyone as we had a fantastic time and I think that the majority of people would love this hotel! (Especially those that do not want children running around all day long!)

One piece of advise for English travellers is take US dollars with you, we didn't take them and at the Cash points you can only withdraw in Domincan Pesos which was ok but everything is priced up in US dollars and for us Brits the conversion rate is a lot better! Also if you can buy your Tourist visa before you go via the Embassy in the UK this will save you time (£10 at Embassy each or $10 when you land but be prepared to fill out 2 forms when you land if you haven't already pre-purchased).

Room Tip: Email them before you arrive
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
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2,419 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 (496)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

My husband and I were married here in 2009 and it couldn't have been more perfect. We planned our trip with Marcie from Beach Bum Vacation. Small resort with a great staff! The beach is beautiful!! Could get a little crowded at times but for the most part was incredibly relaxing. They upgraded us to an incredible suite once they realized we were getting married there. The rooms were a little outdated, but very clean. I believe they have renovated the property since we were there.

The staff was what really made this trip. Everyone was so kind and fun! We felt pampered and well taken care of. We also felt like we had made a lot of new friends! When we left we actually received gifts from 2 of our favorites. The food is good. Krystal was our favorite, hands down. The buffet always had plenty of options. We had 15 people with us for the wedding and we never had trouble getting reservations for any of the restaurants.

We are planning a trip back to DR for our fifth anniversary this year and after researching several other properties (thanks to Marcie) we are headed back to Riu Macao and we could not be more excited!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

Bri & Fee,mid forties, Essex, England

I would like to say after reading some reviews before going to this hotel worried me and my wife a little, but i will say this is the best hotel i have stayed at in 28 years of holidays around the world in which i try to have 2 holidays per year. The staff were very friendly, the hotel was very clean, the restaurants had many different food choices, the waiters soon got to know our faces and knew where we like to sit and what we were normally drinking so would sometimes arrive with our drinks before we had ordered which was a very nice touch. The staff are not looking for tips each time they serve you, although the occasional tip is much appreciated. I would advise that you take some small US dollars and small 100 pesos notes (local currency) for tipping. Every member of staff and the entertainments team was friendly and gave excellent service. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone and will visit again hopefully soon.

Room Tip: We only stayed in a ground floor room but found it perfect for our needs and no noise heard from ot...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Concord, New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

This is a good resort. Having been to a couple of other locations, in in the DR, I found the beach to be nice, though it's a long walk to the pool area for drinks, and the site to be very clean. The food was good and once you get beyond the title of the special restaurants and the expected food, it is tasty and nice to be served rather than walking through a buffet. Breakfast was always good, lunch was nice also and I must admit that their pizza was very good, and supper was also nice. Having stayed at a Secrets before, the food does not compare but heard many folks speaking of how much they loved it at Macao. The menu for roomservice during the day is extremely limited and not something I would recommend. A short walk to the buffet is much more filling and tasty. I didn't try the roomservice for breakfast so I can't comment.

The comments about the friendly staff were true at times but there were some folks working there who didn't seem to remember that caring for the visitor was an important part of their job.
In previous locations we were able to connect with folks at meals and other places but that was more difficult here. Not really sure why. I can say that Juana at lunch always made sure we were taken care of and Alex in entertainment was always smiling and playing his role very well. There were also two young ladies whose names I can't remember in entertainment who were very friendly. Finally Francisco (the original) who worked the tables on the porch area was very friendly, authentic, and willing to help in any way possible. There was also a gentleman who worked at the towel building who always had a smile and was willing to talk and wish us a good day. I wish I could remember him but I know he worked on April 26th in the morning

As for the room, it was nice, we paid $100 extra to get a limited pool and ocean view for 10 days (great deal) and it was always kept clean. The gentleman who handled the drinks for the rooms was very friendly and helpful when asked.

I may sound like I didn't like the place but realizing that we were spoiled at our previous all inclusives either by food, service, friendliness, or both, our group did enjoy our time there and found the beach to be a great place to relax as well as the other visitors to be very friendly. We usually don't go back to a location and that would hold true for this spot and we aren't sure if we'd go with a RIU in the future but we did feel we got a good deal. If you've never tried an all-inclusive before this might be a good start.

A final shout out to Olga, our cheap caribbean rep, who took good care of us whenever we had a question. She was friendly, honest, helpful, and a pleasure to talk with.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

Check in
Relatively quick and fuss free
Room
Great position overlooking Caribbean street. Beware pool view rooms also overlook the bar area which is quite noisy at night. Huge bed which was comfy and great shower enclosure with rain and normal shower heads.
Pool
Always beds available, pool bar clean and tidy. Swim up bar always busy and quite lively. Could get quite stifling after lunch time as no breeze.
Beach
'Private area' for Macao guests - no children allowed. Always plenty of beds available. Nice breeze to keep you cool. Beach was extremely clean, sea quite warm.
Food/drink
Food was brilliant. Since we don't really drink huge amounts any more, we really do like to have good food! I defy anyone to find fault with the buffet! Everything was freshly cooked and there was plenty of it. No queuing as soon as the restaurant opens. Drink was plentiful and all soft drinks were in branded bottles, both at the bar and in the room. Cocktails were delicious. Coffee shop was brill for an afternoon snack (nachos, sandwiches, fruit, salad & cakes) and a coffee. If you are a tea drinker, take your own bags!
Service
All staff (except one receptionist) were extremely polite, professional and welcoming. Drinks refilled regularly. All areas of the hotel were cleaned regularly.
TOPTIPS
Ribs at the steakhouse, take your own travel mug (all Americans have these around the pool to keep their drinks cool!), take your own tea bags if you like tea.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room, ask for a high floor overlooking Caribbean street.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

Myself, along with 20 others, visited this "All adult" resort a few weeks ago. This was my vacation out of the USA, and I was super excited about the get away, but much to my surprise, I was not pleased at all. Upon check in, the staff was very friendly and attentive and we checked in very fast. We were escorted to our room, which was suppose to have been two full/queen sized beds, but we only had one, and they brought another small bed to the room, that was hard as two bricks. We were suppose to move to another room the next day, but we didn't bother, we just shared the one bed. The rooms have an awful odor, kind of a mildew smell, that you will not be able to get rid of, and you will carry it back home with you. The drinks, were not the best, and the selection was few. Even though you can drink all you want, there was several nights that I had five to six drinks, and didn't have so much as a buzz and I am not a heavy drinker. There is really no entertainment, outside of going to the pool, or beach, or sitting out getting a tan. The swim up beach was kind of cool. If you are looking to party, please be mindful that there are no big parties going on. They have this band that plays and sings, but if you don't understand the Language, it will be a bore and a drag. We walked to nearby hotels, to find some excitement, none found. We visited a club nearby, and they don't play American music either. We had drinks that we had been walking around the hotel with, and we could not carry them into this bar/club. This club was full of nothing but teenagers, some who were making out in right in the front of everyone. The food selection was the same ole, same ole, everyday. There is a steak, and japanese restaurant, but you have to make reservations, so you must do it, as soon as you arrive. You can pay almost $100 to go on different excursions and do a little sight seeing. There was soooo many people over 60, not that I have anything against them, but I am only 36 and I was looking to have some fun! This place is for people who are retired or almost on their way to a nursing home. I would not return to this place, nor would I recommend it to anyone. Our group had all different age groups, and no one seemed to enjoy themselves. This was a week, I could have stayed home!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Washington DC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

My husband and I enjoyed a week's visit to the Riu Palace Macao. This was our fifth time in the Dominican Republic, and our first visit to Riu. In comparison to the Excellence and the Grand Bahia Principe, we most likely will not return to this resort, however we did enjoy our stay.


We found the food at the breakfast and dinner buffet to be better than the restaurant dinners, so after a couple of restaurant tries, we decided to stick to the buffet. They have a huge selection to choose from, really something for everyone. This was the best buffet out of the three resorts we have visited. The lunch buffet outdoors was hit or miss. One drawback was that the outdoor eating areas allowed smoking. This resort was definitely smoker-friendly, however it would have been nice to ban smoking at the eating establishments.

Our room was clean, and had a decent view. I was a bit disappointed with the amenities, as we were not provided shampoo (which I had read about, and brought my own) nor were there any bath robes as we had at the two other resorts. Also, If you are one who needs a private bathroom, this is not a resort for you. There are large vents in the door, and glass tiles between the shower and the sleeping area. The refrigerator was always well-stocked, and the steward refilled with requests. The water bottles were gigantic, and awkward to carry around. We ended up saving empty Pepsi bottles from dinner to refill for the day.


The beach was by far the best our of the three resorts. There was never a lack of chairs, and the swimming area was large and safe for swimming. One drawback was that there were quite a few children on the beach... not that I don't love children, but at an adult only resort, the beach area should be child-free (and worry-free). The pools were nice, with a good selection of seating. I loved the fact that the beach chairs were covered by a retractable roof, so you could sit in the sun or shade. I did not like wearing an wristband, or having towel tickets. The Excellence did not require either.

The drinks were horrible at just about all of the bars at the Riu. The mojito I ordered literally had huge branches of mint twigs sticking out, and tasted mostly of soda. The martini's were thick and sweet, and the pina coladas and daquiris were made with cheap tequila, even upon second request, there was tequila. We ended up sticking mostly to Presidente beer for evening cocktails.

The nightly shows were entertaining, but don't expect any high quality productions. Simply attend for the culture and entertainment, and you will be delighted. However, the resort "late evening" entertainment on the veranda was often dull. A violin player one night (very good, however just about put me to sleep) and slow sultry singers. Some upbeat dance music would have hit the spot for my husband and I who rarely get an evening out to dance. Something in between the lively disco and the violin music would have been nice.

Being accustomed to casinos, I guess we assumed that a casino associated with the Riu hotel chain would be legitimate. We were greeted at the door upon entering the casino and given free chips to play a roulette game in the back corner. The game consisted of throwing marbles into holes with numbers. The numbers were added up and markers were placed on corresponding numbers on a table. There was a variety of ways to win chips. We started off winning small amounts quickly. We needed 50 points to win the jackpot, and quickly earned 49, like in a matter of 15 minutes. However, at that time the bet began to double. We soon realized that the man running the station was pocketing marbles so we could not score on the high points. However, at this point, we had already signed our wager form. After being taken into a back office, we felt pressure to pay, regardless of what we saw. We were in a foreign country, with bullies. What were we to do? The Riu should think about hiring an honest casino company. If you enjoy casinos, my advice is to go to the Hard Rock casino, a twenty dollar cab ride away.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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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:
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 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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