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“Hold'Em Poker with Carlos” 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
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Hold'Em Poker with Carlos”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2006

OK, I actually stayed at the RIU Palace Punta Cana next door. However, the real story was at the Macao. They have a Casino that is pretty typical for DR. The slot machines do not pay well. The blackjack is suspect. An old trick for unregulated casinos is to remove face cards from the deck and replace them with 4's and 5's. This does not mean the house will win, but it increases the houses edge significantly. Instead of a 1% advantage, the house may have a 10% advantage, thereby increasing their edge tenfold.

The real story though was their TEXAS HOLD'EM game. It was a $5 sb, $5 bb, $100 buy-in no limit hold'em game. It was extremely easy. Even the regulars played very poorly. I could not believe how easy the game was. The house cut is 5% but that is easily overcome since it is a no limit game with very inexperienced players. Try the game. A nice guy at the table is Carlos who is a regular and a local. Tell him Luis sent you.

Stayed August 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,526 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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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2006

We got married here in 2005 and are now booked to go back next year (2007).
If you are planning to get married here it is definately the perfect location and setting.
Our wedding was wonderful, everything went exactly to plan thanks to our great rep and the lovely wedding co-ordinator, Magnolia.

We went to the Riu Palace Mexico in Playacar in June 2006 although it was lovely it doesn't compare to the Riu Palace Macao.

At the riu palace macao you have everything that a holiday is meant to be:
Delicious fresh food, lovely clean rooms, helpful & friendly staff, beautiful beach, reserved beach area, relaxing atmosphere, drink orders taken from the pool (inc champagne), optics and minibar in room (which you could change if you didn't like what was in there previous).
What more could you want/need.

The hotel is a nice size, you really receive a personal service.
All the little touches really make a difference.

Definately the best hotel we've ever been to.

  • Liked — everything
  • Stayed July 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2006

My wife and I just returned after an 8 night stay at the Palace Macao. Having traveled to Aruba, Mexico, Costa Rica I would have to rate Punta Cana at the top of our list along with Aruba.

1. Beach, the best I've ever seen
2. Hotel , very clean, great rooms. Payed for a superior room was up graded to a suite.
3. Dining, Very good food, ate at the main buffett 6 nights, Steakhouse and carribean. Meat is not what we expect in a US rest. but good.
4 Staff, the best I've ever encountered anywhere in the world. Although a dollar or two here and there goes a long way.
5. Grounds, spotless they work 24-7 to keep it that way.

1. And the only one was house keeping, although our room was keep clean, we were never provided with enough towels or wash cloths. In our first 5 days our initial 2 washcloths were only replaced once. Glad we listened to prior reviews and purchased 20 cheap washcloths prior to our trip.

Would rate this resort 4+ and not 5 only because of house keeping. Also one more point, don't believe T-Mobile when they tell you your cell phone will work there, It won't.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2006

First, let me begin by saying (like many other people that gave reviews) “How could anyone have anything bad to say about this place??!!” A friend and I stayed and Riu Palace Macao from July 20th to July 23rd and my only complaint was that my trip was entirely too short. The resort is absolutely fabulous. The grounds are very well kept and my room was phenomenal. Naturally, I was concerned about the reviews I’ve read and was very concerned that I may be disappointed. I was amazed.

Many of the other guests were from Europe on holiday for 1 or 2 weeks and therefore I can understand the many complaints I’ve read about the food. If you stay anywhere for longer than a week the food does get boring. My short stay however didn’t give me the opportunity to get bored with the food and I found it to be pretty good. My friend and I did have stomach issues the last day but I think it was because I drank the bottled mineral water that I had sent to my room. Overall no issues with the food. The restaurants were very nice and we especially liked the Japanese. Unfortunately I am allergic to shrimp and of course I’m stubborn…..so let’s just say packing the Benadryl was a good idea.

The staff was extremely pleasant. Anything we asked for we got. I managed to write our housekeeper a note in Spanish asking for bottled water and more club soda for our room and it was there before the end of the day. Our favorite bartender William for the Tiki Bar on the beach was the best. After a while, all he had to do was see me coming toward the bar and he was ready with the “CoppaCabanas” & “Mojitos”! Knowing little Spanish is certainly a good idea. Beside the normal greetings, the 2 phrases that I would receommend are; “Donde esta el bano?” (Where is the bathroom?) and “Deme otro trago por favor?” (May I have another drink please?). Trust me….these came in handy!

The beach at the Riu Palace Macao was the best out of all the resorts. My friend and I decided to walk the length of the beach checking out all of the resorts. The newest resort Riu Palace is absolutely gorgeous, however because the palm trees are still young there wasn’t much shade like Riu Macao. The beaches at the other Riu resorts just didn’t seem to be as beautiful as Riu Macao’s.

We got the opportunity to check out the festivities on Caribbean Street and we enjoyed it a lot. During one of our “resort hopping” trips we even saw the Michael Jackson show at Bambu. That was pretty funny….and entertaining at the same time. The only nightlife at the Riu was at the Pacha nightclub on Caribbean Street. I learned how to dance Bachata on the beach and got the chance to try it out at Pacha. All I can say is that I am still looking for a song that we heard that night. We had a ball. It was so amazing partying among so many different people. You have to pay for drinks in the nightclub but you would be crazy to do so. We had our fill of mojitos prior to going to Pacha so we were ready to party! So I suggest getting your drink on before going.

I could truly go on and on about my stay at Riu Palace Macao. This resort was amazing and I am seriously considering spending my Christmas there with my entire family.

Stayed July 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2006

Once we arrived at the hotel we were relieved. The view from the airport to the resort was amazing. DIRTY!! is all you can say. The hotel was very nice and clean. After the first two days, my husband began to fill sick. (he has the best immune system in the world.) We spend most of the day in our room. The next day he felt a little better. Two days after this I became ill (diarrea and vomiting uncontrollably). A doctor had to come to my room and sent me to the local hospital/clinic. I was hooked up to IV's and they drew blood. The results showed that I had some type of bacteria from something I ate (food poisoning). I had to pay $450.-00 in hospital bills along with $40 for transportation to the hospital.

We ended up in the room for the rest of the stay -3 days. The hotels only response was "YOu ate the wrong food. We have 600 and some other guests here, we can't just worry about you"
It was the food there that got me sick!!

ALso, they say it is a 24 hour all inclusive resort. You can only eat dinner at 7 or 9. There is no place that you can just go and eat whenever you want. ALso, they say that the pizzeria is free on carribean street. when you get there, it is not free. AND it is only opened at 11 pm.

Be wise when choosing an all inclusive resort. CHeck into

  • Liked — pool and beach
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2006

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Riu Palace Macao from 7/19 through 7/25. We had a fabulous time. Don't expect too much from the food, but the service, views and beaches are fantastic. On our last night we were scammed into a casino game called Double Jackpot, lured with free chips. Beware this game as it is a SCAM. I couldn't believe that I had even played, then returned to the states, thought about it some more and did some research. YOU CAN NOT WIN! They will start you for free, then take your cash, then convince you to give your credit card. [--------------]will explain everything. The game is in the back left corner of the Casino. It will be run by the only American working in the casino. It will appear that you are about to win. You are not. DO NOT RUIN YOUR VACATION or potentially your life. Stay away from this game. I am not a gambler and I'm an extremely strong willed person. Yet, I found myself sucked into this game, thinking I could win, it is total manipulation / fraud, and I am now trying to figure out what to do. We never had a chance. BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE! I only wish someone had warned us before we lost so much on our last night.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elyria, Ohio
1 review
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2006

My friend and I stayed at the Riu Palace Macao on July 14th-21st. The best part of the whole vacation was the beach!! It was amazing a true paradise. The hotel was really nice, and very relaxing. The service was amazing I loved our waiter Octavio in the main dinning room he was great! You must try the "Mamajuana" a word of caution its strong but like they say it will cure you!! Remember this is vacation and you shouldn't be there for the food....you are able to find something thats good we ate the chicken all week. You must eat lunch at the Caribe Grill on the beach the view is simply breathtaking. Our room was always clean and the mini bar restocked. Remember to keep your mouth closed in the shower! Use lots of sun screen and you won't get a sun burn. Get to the beach early it fills up fast!! My favorite drink was the passion YUMMY!!! The pool was clean but it was so much hotter by the hotel then on the beach with the ocean. Remeber to relax while you are there, try doing things on Dominican time and you will understand why its such a great place. We took some cash to tip but ended up tipping our favorites at the end of the week in a lump sum. The staff is great and very willing to help you any way they can. English is not something you hear a lot of so it helps if you know some spanish. My cell phone did work I have Verizon but I was roaming so I didn't use it much. I know that I want to go back to Punta Cana already and I would stay at a Riu resort in a heartbeat! I loved it!!!

  • Liked — The Beach!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — Spend as much time at the beach as you can.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
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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