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“Fantastic Hotel - Fantastic Holiday”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #38 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Hampshire
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hotel - Fantastic Holiday”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Firstly, looking at some of the older reviews this hotel has clearly massively benefitted from a major refurnishment this year. It is now really very good. We stayed at the end of September 2012 in a standard double room.

So to begin with, the rooms themselves are excellent. They're very clean and comfortable. Beds are turned down at night and fresh towels delivered twice a day. The mini bar is also well stocked. Depending where you are it can be a bit of a walk down to reception and the restaurents etc but that's not a major issue. I'm sure if it was you could be moved with little hassle. One thing I would say is that it is very well worth paying the extra U.S $ for the unlimited Wi-Fi access around the entire hotel. ($50 for 10 days.) I made several business calls via Skype from poolside back to the U.K. with perfect clarity.

The staff are very helpful and the Thomson Rep 'J.C.' was fantastic. We did have a gripe about noisy children having expected it to be adults only but this was dealt with by Thomson extremely well. As it turned out, the adults only theme did not start until 01/11/12 and this wasn't advertised correctly by Thomson. Their apology and compensation was pleasantly surprising. You would regularly see Hotel management striding around keeping an eye on proceedings which was very reassuring. It did feel like the place was very well run.

The quality and variety of food was excellent across all of the restaurants. The pool area was also excellent. The pool bar staff were very good at coming around and taking drinks orders all day long. The entertainment also tried hard to keep everyone motivated adn were a decent bunch. The whole place was very clean and staff were clearly very adept at making sure the guest areas stayed spotless. The beach itself was right by the hotel and was fabulous. We were really lucky with the weather which helped greatly with the only real rain storms in the middle of the night.

All in all this was a great holiday. I wanted a total chill out, relaxing holiday and had no idea what to expect but was really surprised by how good it was. The value for money was excellent, the facilities great, the quality of food and lodging fantastic. If I could change just one thing it would be that I would have booked earlier and paid for the upgraded Premier cabin seats on the Thomson flight to have more leg room etc.

I would recomend the Dominican and I would thoroughly recommend this hotel. Pick your times carefully for the weather and you will have a great time.

Room Tip: We asked to be away from the pool to be quieter but this meant a further walk and no view. A pool fa...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Silver32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,668 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (729)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
deesidewales
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Just back from Riu Palace Macao. This was our 2nd visit and was even better than 1st.
The Hotel has had a lot of updating of rooms, new pool bar and new poolside restaurant all very good.

1. The rooms are light and airy, bathrooms with his and her sinks and wetroom shower which is great.

2. Main restaurant now no longer has 2 sittings, you go in to suit yourself, the food is still very good and plentiful.

3. New pool bar great light airy and also has a swim up bar.

4. Pool restaurant now has Italian one end and the Steak house the other. This is also where you go for lunch, as main restaurant is closed.

5. The saff are great nothing is too much trouble to them and they are credit to hotel. The Manager Mr.David Marinez and his Assistant Manager Miss Dasha Kovacikova make time to speak to guests and are very approachable.

6. The Animation team do great job and rally help to make holiday great.

We also met 2 lovely couples from Liverpool who helped make the holiday even bette.

Cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank sanandgeoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

In all honesty, I can't tell you if you should or shouldn't stay here. It's a matter of priorities, and what you find most important when on vacation. Some things at this resort are perfect, some poor.

You are welcomed with the most enthusiastic staff you have ever met. They are there, as they say, to make your stay perfect instead of good. You can ask for anything, and it will be arranged.

The times that I did go to the reception/front desk, I was quite disappointed and did not feel anything from the enthusiasm at check-in. We were here during Sandy, which made it rain A LOT. To walk to a Specialty Restaurant you would have to walk 100m but you were soaked when you got there. So we asked for an umbrella as we saw other guests with an umbrella and a Riu Sticker on it. The front desk said they don't have umbrella's since it never rains normally. RIDICULOUS, the DR is in the tropics and so it rains. I have been to the DR 3 times, and I know it DOES rain, and when it rains, you get soaked. When I pointed out the other black Riu umbrella's the staff had no idea where they came from. So no umbrella.
Another day, I asked about the air conditioning in our room. It was so moist all our clothes would were humid and wouldn't dry. We hung them in front of our air con for 3 days, they remained wet. So we tried to dry them outside, but because of all the rain that came with Sandy it was just as humid outside. There was mold growing in our bathroom ceiling that wasn't there when we arrived. When I asked the front desk if somebody could take a look at the air con, the reply was: "We are in the Caribbean, it's always moist here. There is nothing we can do.".
At check out, we handed in our key and towel cards, and all we got in return was "Yes, fine. Bye." Unacceptable, no way to check out your guests.

Now some good stuff:
The hotel has just been renovated, so it's still very neat and tidy and white. All restaurants, Bars, common area's and rooms look nice and chic.
The hotel is cleanest hotel ever. The rooms and common area's are cleaned every day, and thoroughly. A very big plus! Fresh flower in your bathroom and on your bed, very nice touch.

The pools are not as extravagant as in other hotels, but they serve their purpose perfectly. Nice swim up bar and enough beds with and without shade.
Because this hotel is a little bit more back from the sea as some other hotels, you have more beach, and palm trees. So enough opportunity to find a beachbed. Because of all the palm trees you have again choice to lay in the sun or in the shade of the trees.

If you have never been to the DR, the sea is perfect here! No strong currents or waves as in some other places in the Caribbean. The water is warmer than in most other places, beautiful turquoise and shallow at the beginning. Perfect for everybody. Very little weeds or mess, and what is washed up is taken away daily.

The food in general was average. I will admit I have a high standard for food, so bare this in mind. The breakfast was good, especially all fruits, and fruit juices and all sorts of eggs. Carbs such as bread, croissants (harder than a rock!), pancakes, churro's etc are hard, moist and cold when they should have been warm.

Lunch was the worst meal of the day. Only 1 restaurant, buffet style. I would really have trouble finding enough to eat to fill my stomach. Don't get me wrong, there is enough to choose from, but if not cooked properly, I won't eat it. So salad's without a proper dressing, soup that isn't fresh but made from instant powder. Eastern noodles/rice that is drenched with soy sauce. Pizza's with some sort of plastic cheese. Warm dishes that are cold. Hamburgers that are raw on the inside.

For dinner, there is a buffet restaurant, or a choice between Specialty Restaurants. If I tell you that in the Specialty Restaurants, at least 2 tables with people walk out during or before the dessert is served, there is something wrong. They did not walk out with a happy face. My pickyness aside, apparently there were enough other guests who didn't appreciate the meal. We spotted them in many cases later on in the buffet restaurant again.

I found the buffet restaurant for dinner a better choice (sorry to say). The starters are well thought through on little plates and in glasses, like a amuse. Great variety and perfect presentation. I also have to praise the desserts. A huge amount of different desserts, cakes and fruit, again in ready made portions. Every day different sugar or chocolate pieces of art for decoration. Perfect!
The amount of choice of meats/fish, veggies and carbs is extensive, very nice. But again it's all prepared in advance. And half of the time this means it's cold not at it's best because it's laying there for too long.

Now, to explain the title of my review. Everybody here stays at the resort on an all inclusive base. This means, you don't have to spend money if you don't want to. But be prepared good service is not included in this case. We as Europeans, do not give money up front to somebody to make sure you get what you want. We tip AFTER we received excellent service, not up front.
When you do tip with every drink, at every bar, or in all restaurants, the staff knows you by name. They all welcome you into the restaurant and will ask you every 5 minutes if there is something they can do for you. They will ask you how your day was, take a picture with you and give you compliments. Very nice gestures.
But when you don't tip regularly and up front you get 1 Welcome, 1 Drink and something if you ask for it. They are still pretty friendly but the difference is huge. And it's too bad you can only buy excellent service here.
There were exceptions, but in general this is how it works. People can argue with this, but this probably means you are a big tipper or not observing enough.

I have travelled to more than 25 countries and travel quite often. I have stayed in 5 other Riu hotels before. I have a lot of stuff to compare this hotel with. So I would agree this means I am not that easy to please, but my observations are honest and very true. I hope the hotel management can do something with this, since it's meant as constructive criticism.

If you just come for the beach, the pool and some fun, I would recommend this hotel. If food is your thing, you could probably stay have a better experience elsewhere.

Room Tip: I find the rooms on the pool/beach side nicer because of the view. And they are more quiet.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank JLT070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

My stay was great for the most part, but I would have to say when we arrived we weren't greeted as customary at most resorts. I also forgot my keys there and I emailed the hotel to see if they found them. They said they did, but I've yet to receive the keys or even an email back. So, the customer service definitely needs work.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank soulquarian3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Bromwich
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Just returned from 1 week there. Staff very polite and efficient. Good drinks service. Fantastic location and very clean and tidy. Would go back without hesitation. Only critisism is we thought the food in the a la carte restaurants was below expectations, the normal buffet was great though. Also the sparkling wine they served was truly awful. Apart from that couldnt fault it.

Room Tip: At either edge of the hotel or any of the top floor rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Gaparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

I stayed at the RIU Macao for a week 10.15.12 - 10.21.12 I loveeeeeee the hotel. Im EXTREMELY picky normally wont stay anywhere but the Marriott. The food great! The cleanliness great! The friendliness great! The drink silent but deadly. The beach BEAUTFUL! The entertainment good but you can visit other riu's next door for better. We were greeted with drink and a smile the minute we walked in the door. I took 100 1's came back with $10 because the staff was so pleasant. I only have 3 small complaints
1. The beds were a little hard (nothing you won't get use to after a day or so or a few drunken nights)
2. In snacks mid day meal department. there was lack of non pork products. However the easy fix was there is a small restaurant right past the copacabana theater. Found that on Friday
3. Making dinner reservations. That need to be pushed back til1p because some ppl like to sleep in and it's hard to do that unless you plan on eating at the buffet everyday. Which isn't bad at all I loved it. Just would've preferred not to crawl out of bed on vacation to make a dinner reservation.

Other than that I was VERY pleased. I will be visiting again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Q R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
liverpool
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

stayed at the palace macao from 11th - 25th october 2012 for the second time.just had a refurbish and its beautiful. Its just amazing. its so clean and the food is to dye for, expecially the rib eye from the steak house. There is something to eat for everyone even the most fussiest eaters. There are 4 a la carte resturants and the main dining room and they are all fab. I must warn you though, you may will need to take clothes a size bigger for the second week. The staff are friendly and very attentive they carnt do enough for you. The animation team are great i had a great time with them. The hotel is immaculate they are always cleaning. My room was beautifully furnished and every day the cleaner made a special towel display for us as well as putting little flowers in the arrangements, it just felt realy special. you had a safe in your room which didnt cost any more and was very safe. also you have 4 optics, and a fridge with beer and mixers which are replemished every other day or if you want you can have it topped up on request. All this had no extra cost either. I loved every minuite of it and didnt want to come home. I couldnt fault it and will be returning next year.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank christineliverpool
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

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
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:
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#25 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 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 Palace Bavaro, Riu Naiboa and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu. * The Splash Water World will be opened from 1st November 2016 * 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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