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“Disappointment” 3 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 #26 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Just came back from a week long stay in this hotel and "disappointment" is an understatement. In a point form:
- Got sick with a stomach bug the second day we arrived. The food was beautifully presented, however, everything in the salad/cheese/desert sections was room temperature (even though the fridge tables "were working"). With a few exceptions, everything else, I found to be salty, undercooked/overcooked and bland.
- Our room appeared to be clean….. but "appear" is the word. On one occasion, our fridge leaked on the floor and some bed sheets got wet. I feel guilty for not complaining at the time, but the maid just fixed the bed, tucking the wet sheets under the mattress. The bed sheets were changed once (I believe) for the whole week.
- I'm a very active person and wasn't aware that this hotel is enjoyed mainly by older vacationers, looking for a quiet time at the beach. The entertainment staff worked hard trying to organize a volleyball game, but no one was interested. I've decided that that wasn't going to prevent me from getting my dose of fitness. So, came the next disappointment. There is no gym in the hotel. The gym was on the street next to the hotel in a little room with no air conditioner and with equipment from the 60s, that was so gross, that I couldn't even imagine that I can touch.

There were other minor things that I didn't like, but …

Here are some of the positive observations.

-Front desk, waiters, and entertainment staff were friendly, respectful, and helpful. Special thanks to Manny, the front desk manager, who went out of his way to accommodate us with a better room.
-There is plenty of shade and space on the beautiful beach, so you don't have to wake up early.

Room Tip: The rooms facing the pool have a lovely view. After dinner, there is music from the bar that can be...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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2,166 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 (416)
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

I use reviews a lot before traveling and chose to write this review with all types of travelers in mind. I can give a true unbiased review of this place because i am married in my early 40s, I have children, and I still like to have fun and party on an adult level. So my review is from all the above noted.

THE ATMOSPHERE:
If you are going to just relax, you want just a little music in the background, like to take naps by the pool and the beach, this is the resort for you. When my friends and our spouses chose this resort, we just wanted to make sure no kids were around. Lots of times, resorts have parties and entertainment that are inappropriate for children, so we chose the adult resort. Big mistake for us. We didn't know it was going to be snooze city all around the resort. The music was low, not too much poolside or beach participation by guests, and in order to really party, you had to go out the resort to the club, which was mainly filled with locals. I give the Macao 5/5 circles as a relaxing mature resort.

THE FOOD:
The food was great, especially the buffet. However, I only give the food a 3/5 circles because there was no notice regarding the renovation of three out of five a la carte restaurants we supposedly had access to. We only had access to the buffet restaurants at our sister Riu resorts so we were stuck with just Italian and the steakhouse. The Italian was not what I expected. The meals did not say italian to me at all. However, the steakhouse was phenomenal. Everything on the menu was delicious and as expected.

THE DECOR:
I give the decor 4/5 circles. 85% of the resort was contemporary and gorgeous. Definitely fine design with class and the landscaping was impeccable! However, the two areas they need to renovate is the entertainment lounge and the casino. They both smell like mildew, and I mean STRONG mildew. We couldn't bear to sit through any of the shows or drink at the wonderful large bar. The casino was.......let's just say it did not match the Riu at all. It looked like they took a room and slapped some slot machines and tables in it. That was also open to the locals. If they fixed those two areas, I would have scored it a 5/5.

THE ENTERTAINMENT:
The entertainment crew was a 5/5 circle, but you couldn't see the full potential of the entertainment crew because there was barely any participation from guests, which makes it fun and more interesting. The crew provided entertainment from 6am-12midnight with exercise, massages, poolside aerobics, dancing, activities, lounge dancing, singing, shows, and just guest interaction. However, the guests were just..........I hate to say it, but lame.

THE DRINKS:
5/5 circles from me. I love my drinks and with or without tipping, my drinks were always right and never watered down. They served with a smile and was always courteous.

PROVIDED INFORMATION:
Communication of amenities and access to sister resorts needs to be more available. Although the Riu resorts are a sister group, you were limited to certain things at each resort. An example would be the Riu Macao guests had full access to the pools, bar, spa, and buffets at 2 of the other 4 sister resorts. The other 2 sister resorts only provided us access to their spa and pool, not the bar or the food. Also, be specific when you plan an excursion. Be sure to ask 1) how much, 2) how long, 3) do I need anything specific, 4) do I need to bring money, 5) is there a preferred dress code, 5) how are we getting transported. Trust me, these questions are necessary. I score them 3/5 circles for this.

Overall, the Macao is great if you're looking to just relax without much action. However, if you're looking for a resort that has more interaction throughout the day and you want to party, choose another. We're going to try and find another adult resort that has a little more partying minus the children. We may have to stick to an adult resort in Cancun again for that.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Felt obliged to leave a review, very disturbed to hear about people having items stolen, we had no issues and never felt at risk, always used the room safe.

Our first visit to Dom Rep, thoroughly enjoyed it, Airport was a headache, but had a swift transfer. Hotel was pleasant, check in different but quick - we received a "upgrade" 3rd floor, pool side - great, never happens to us!

Room was nice, clean, top floor rooms had high ceiling and fan plus a/c, room temp never a issue, small balcony - didn't really use it. Optics on the wall, fridge restocked - would advise to unplug fridge at night, as noisy.

Room cleaned daily at various times, use the do not disturb sign in the afternoon/evening if you don't want to be disturbed.

Hotel was good always clean, service was great, some waiters/bar staff happier than others and couldn't do enough for you, nobody expected tips, we tipped those who gave a good service. I did get ill whilst away, couldn't swear it was the food, but I did chose more wisely after. Did feel that spirits were watered down and not as labels would suggest.

Hotel entertainment was below past expectations, animation team were nice, full of energy and didn't push to get you to join in. Evening entertainment was poor, animation team put on a fun show, did enjoy the Michael Jackson act whilst sitting in the rain though.

Beach and pool areas were great, felt a bit un welcomed in the pool bar, so only dropped in twice. Pool bar does get quite rowdy, but the other pool area is spot on and you always have the beach - plenty of beds all round.

We did several excursions, would recommend most; dolphins, horse riding, saona island. We did have a mix up with one, where the time was incorrect and didn't happen, spoke to Andres and Monica (Thomson) who sorted it, gave us a small gift of dominican products as a apology, nice gesture. Was happy with rep Monica, she seemed interested in us and our holiday.

Weather was beautiful, rainstorms at night, but lasted minutes, locals in shops aren't pushy, if you aren't interested just walk away, don't let them dress you or give you gifts. Prices are higher in the resort, would say check prices in 3 places to compare.

Would we return to RPM? Yes, but I would be more security conscious, oh and don't let the airport guys take your suitcases, sure they are trying to make a dollar, but they don't know where they are going, we witnessed many being taken all around the airport, then joining the back of the queue.

Room Tip: If you can, go for 3rd floor, pool side.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

A two week stay at the Riu Palace Macao.
Arrival:
The hotel is reasonably close to the airport, with about a twenty five minute transfer.
Reception process was fairly quick and efficient, and we were in our room within twenty minutes.
Rooms:
Lovely. A good size, with a very large bed. Nice veranda but let down as no external light, thus limiting use after dark. Bathrooms are a nice size, with excellent walk in shower 'wet room'. Plenty of drinks available in the refrigerator, as well as some alcoholic drinks available from optics. Plenty of storage, with loads of hangers (so don't bother taking your own).
Facilities:
The two pools are really good. The smaller pool has the pool bar, and both are well maintained. Note that the temperature around the pools rises significantly during the day, making the pools a good idea in the morning and the beach a better option in the afternoon.
Toilets are clean and air conditioned, but there are not enough of them.
Main bar is not air conditioned, which is a problem in the evenings. There is a bar in the air conditioned room where the entertainment is held, but unfortunately this room suffers from a very bad smell, making it known by guests as 'the smelly bar'. This lack of a decent air conditioned bar limits evenings to sitting out on the open veranda, in the vain hope of a breeze of the sea to help cool you down. Not always successful, so often evenings are very uncomfortable.
There is not other entertainment within the hotel. There is a local night club, but this is outside the hotel and is full of locals, although it is air conditioned. Not the best option.
The room where evening meals are provided has air conditioning, but not sure if it works properly as during our stay this room was often hotter than outside, making evening meals a quick dash in and out affair. Disappointing.
The steak house also is not air conditioned, and so if you book to eat there bare that in mind as you also have to where long trousers (if you are a man). Again, not ideal. Also, they don't appear to know how to do a steak 'well done'.
Staff:
Excellent. Friendly, helpful, polite and always happy to help. Could not fault the staff at all.
Beach:
Fantastic, and only a few minutes walk past the pools. Only drawback is no beach bar or other facilities, even toilets. Beach has an area covered by palm trees which provide much needed shade at times. Plenty of room.

Overall:
A really nice hotel, with an excellent beach just a few metres walk. Well maintained with excellent staff and great pools and pool bar. However, lacks air conditioned bar, night club and adequate toilet facilities when the hotel is busy.

Additional:
Be prepared when you go to leave the Dominican Republic for the blatant scam of the check in staff saying that your bags are over weight and that you will have to pay twenty seven dollars for each kilo! Our two bags were 20Kg when we left the UK. We did not buy anything during our stay, and left loads of toiletries and some old clothes behind, but apparently weighed 25 and 22Kg on departure! This also happened to another couple who travelled with us. A blatant scam, and one that should be stopped as you already have to pay twenty dollars each just to leave the country!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Rochester, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We were at the riu 7/12/14-7/17/14 and had an amazing experience. Food, staff, drinks, weather, and rooms are gorgeous. The only thing I would change on my next stay was the view from our balcony. Room 3100 is basically a view of the roof. We spent little to no time in there so it wasn't a huge deal. Everything else about this place made up for it. Highly recommend. I went with my fiance and now we plan on going again next year with our families and friends in a big group. They do not disappoint!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
crewe cheshire
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Ive left putting a review on here for a while as was so upset didnt know whether to bother but her goes .well where do i start we where on our honeymoon when we arrived we got upgraded to a better room with sea view lovely room staff were really good and helpfull . we thought we where in paradise foods good ,beach lovely a lovely place staff good we where into our second week when one morning we where sat on balcony when the maid came in i said ur ok she ran out never thought no more of it .we got ready went to beach when we returned our room had not been cleaned and the do not disurbe was on our door which we didnt put on and this was 5pm so rang reception and they sent someone up room got cleaned everything was fine .
we had a lie down and at about 8pm began getting ready to go for tea i went in safe to get jewellry and noticed my fathers wedding ring i was given when he passed away and a necklace was missing i panicked ran down stair to report it all i got was fill in a form and manager will look into it by this time i was in tears we went back to room to check everything else it was all there .
The next morning we spoke to rep who said go to police station in a taxi i was worried about going on our own as its unsafe off complex ,the rep had a word with manger who said we cant point fingers but will talk to the maid we where just left not knowing whot to do we just wanted to go home we felt really unsafe . people have put on here about phone calls to rooms we had them to but putting stuff in the safe is not safe and they dont care . our staff broke twice and had to get security to get in it .
We started getting loads of treats to room beer champage like trying to keep us sweet .
one our last day we went to manager to see whot she said all we got it maids been sacked and im sorry she wouldnt of come to us if we hadnt gone to her .
I think there r all in on it they dont care and know u wont report it so they get away with it .
Its a shame as i will remember it only for that it was surposed to be our happy time riu hotel recked it thank you riu x will never go again the manager is aware of things put on here she said everything on here thats bad is rubish xx thanks again riu hotel for all ur suport NOT xx

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, VA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

I'm an engineer. I do cost benefit analysis. This place can't be beat. We've been on many cruises and many trips to all inclusive resorts in the Playa in Mexico. That said - I must comment up front about some off the wall comments I've read about this place. We just returned from 8 days at the Macao. Nothing but good to say. To give this place a 1? come on. My wife and I FROZE in our room. We could not sleep a couple nights it was so cold - embarrassed to ask for more blankets as it was HOT outside - we just turned the thermostat up a bit. Free wifi across the resort. A Brit was FACE Timing his dad from the pool with his ipad... The room was immaculate, nothing appeared old or worn out, nothing smell of mold. We LOVED the restaurants being open to the air. We could look at the beach from our table - WOW. There was one foursome we overhead complaining at the front desk that the hotel overbooked the restaurant they had reservations at. Turns out they showed up at 9:30PM for a 9PM seating - they GAVE their table away to someone else. Then they complained that the restaurants should be open later... Come on!!!... New Jersey... Listen, I'm American - I tipped about $150 in the 8 days - NO EMPLOYEE expected it. It is just part of our church donation that month - they work VERY hard. The only loud people I heard were the soccer fans at the pool bar - but they were having fun and there were no issues. There are no drinks allowed in the non pool bar pool - which is cool. I felt that ALL the nationalities blended well AND that EVERYONE was respectful of others "space". There is NO shortage of shade. You may not get the chair or umbrella you want - but with the palm trees and the extensive overhead curtains - NO reason to rush out and put down a towel. The ocean was probably the best I've ever experienced. White sand, cool breezes, clear water. And we walked up and down the beach a good distance - I believe the Macao has the best beach set up in the area. Grego or Gregorie (spelling) in the buffet (morning or evening) was great at taking care of you. Find him and stay with him. Francisco at the front desk is the MAN! Anything you need - see him. Always extra bottles of water at the front desk. The liquor and wine were not very top shelf - but it was fine. Like I said - cost benefit analysis. Danny at the main bar is probably the best bartender I've ever met. He aims to please and he is GOOD at what he does - and he is efficient and cranks out the drinks - to include the complicated ones, one after the next... The bar behind the main lobby bar is air conditioned and the Brits seemed to take it over during shows. But - they liked our accents and let us be part of their group. We booked through Apple tours - they take care of you - get you picked up and taken back to the airport. Excursions? Nah - I wanted to veg... BUT - listening to everyone coming back - the ONE we will do next year (yes - we are going back) is the all day trip to the Island where the Blue Lagoon was filmed. It got RAVE reviews from everyone who went. The steak and the Krystal restaurants were the best - don't miss the lobster in the steak restaurant. You have access to the 4 other resorts in the Riu complex. My wife and I walked through all of them... Uh - you can't beat adult only... Shopping - there are shops along the Caribbean street between the Macao and the sister resort. But - my wife had the best experience about 4 resorts down to the left as you walk to the beach. A lady has a garbage bag full of scarves and cover ups under the shade next to the beach. I believe she walked away (after 4 days of going back) with about 15 things. Yes - you need to bargain - but most of the items still had tags on them. The beach vendors all have shirts with numbers and identification and are checked by security. There are not that many - and they don't pester you. I bought some cigars... And even down at the beach - a waiter will come by and ask you what you would like to drink - and in about ten minutes - he is back. Same as with the pool. The shows were ok - and THAT is ok... :) All in all - best vacation we have ever had. I'm 60 (and my wife is of course 29...) - we've been around the block. Don't be fooled by these losers who don't get their way and try to trash this resort with a bad rating. I hope they DON'T come back. :)

Room Tip: We upgraded to a beach front room, 2nd floor. But - the music plays until 1130. But - who goes to...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
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:
#12 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 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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