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“Fantastic Holiday”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #39 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Prenton
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holiday”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Just spent 2 weeks over Christmas/New Year at the Riu Palace Macao In the Dominican Republic,The hotel has recently been refurbished and what a lovely job they have done,The furnishings are fantastic! they also made it into an adults only hotel which is even better as much as i love children it was so peaceful not having any around the pool and in the restaurants,From the day we arrived we were made very welcome from the reception staff,managers,animation team ,bar staff ,waiters and even the maids are so friendly,The Food was excellent in all the restaurants , and last but not least the beach the Macao sits on is beautiful you can walk forever and get lost in its beauty,All in all this is truly a 5 star holiday location and i have no hesitation in recommending this hotel can't wait to go back there,

Room Tip: We had a suite and it is well worth the extra money,We also had a pool view room and both were on th...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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16 Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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st louis missouri
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Just returned from my first trip to Punta Cana. Have been to both coasts of Mexico a dozen or more times , Bahamas, Jamaica, almost always at all-inclusives. Have found the Riu properties to be consistently above average for the price. This property is no exception. Newly renovated, spotlessly clean and well managed. Some return guests did complain that the renovation had white washed much of the colonial charm from the original decor. Current scheme leans more toward a South Beach feel. Adult only a large plus. This Riu Palace is smaller than most but does deserve it's Golden Apple rating for superior service - hard working friendly staff. Excellent location on Bavaro beach. Nice palm tree buffer between the beach and the pool - some resorts further up the beach have lost much of their land to mother nature and have inadequate space for beach lovers for the size of their hotel. Beach loungers are old worn out plastic that need to be replaced. Pool not fancy but great for lap swimming and good furniture including "beds" that are great for napping and reading. The drinkers have a separate new swim up bar. Lots of Europeans so smoke can be an issue if you are sensitve. There is no smoking in the buffet indoors so you can eat without the annoyance. But they will smoke in the outdoor eating areas and at the pool, caressing their cigarettes like fine wine. Did tip the maids, no one else. Food typical Riu quality and quantity - much to chose from and enough variety for a 7 night stay. Nice cold AC when you needed it. I will say the airport departure was awful - stood in lines for no less than 1 1/2 hours on Sunday afternoon. Too many flights leaving at one time. Departure was delayed with us sitting on the tarmac in the plane for what seemed like 1/2 hour. I think they have overgrown their capacity.

Room Tip: Pay the small premium for "pool view'. Hotel was at full capacity when we were there so a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank garylubbes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

A little late on this review, traveled with a friend Nov.3-11, 2012.
Now, Resort is beautiful, very clean, not as nice as the Next door resorts like Palace Punta Cana or the new Palace Bavaro, but the peace of mind of an adults only resort was priceless.
We were there the first week that it became 18+. In the past, mostly locals, stay at the discount Naiboa, and play at the Macao and bring all their children with them. Not any more. The main pool was quiet, excellent service, they knew our drinks and our names. Very friendly activity team, they come around, introduce themselves, speak English very well. Never had a language problem the entire time.

Rooms were very clean, bar fully stocked daily with care to replace and stock the items we were using. Room was cleaned promptly and wasn't an all-day affair (i like to nap in the afternoon). The safe was great. A code of your choice locks and unlocks. It's well secured to the closet floor. We chose the Superior room, difference is you get the courtyard view with the pool and palm treed beach. A larger balcony and a sitting area in your room. Prior complaints made by reviewers were true about the washrooms though. The toilet gurgles a lot, the shower drain doesn't seem to drain enough filling the shower floor and spilling over onto the bathroom floor if you are not careful. Water temperature and pressure was perfect otherwise. Beds were hard as usual for a Riu, yet comfortable. Furniture was a bit dated, repainted a glossy white along with headboard. Decor was modern, all white with a fuchsia accent. Harsh LED and C.F.L Lighting.

Food was beyond any expectations. Fresh, well presented, varied and appetizing. Breakfast and diner were served at the main indoor buffet. Lunch at the semi-outdoor buffet by the pool.Food safety was strictly observed at all times. Always refilled, cleaned, and kept at safe temperatures.

There is a coffee shop, if you wanted a sandwich or a pastry with a cappuccino in the lobby across from the bar. The Bar was nice, silver chairs with a black and white marble tiled floor. Some musical entertainment in the evenings. Great service and open till 7 am. Although the 24hr food available after restaurants closed, were nachos, usually empty hot cheese dispenser and microwaveable packaged hotdogs. Self service from fridge in the coffee shop after hours.

The weather was reliably hot and sunny everyday. Got hit with a storm that lasted about an hour or so giving way to beautiful sunshine for the rest of the day.The beach was very clean, some seaweeds and waves due to hurricane that passed by a few days prior, but calmed down as the days went by. Always had plenty of chairs at the beach and at the pool. Never noticed anyone playing the towel game until flights from England and Montreal showed up. The ambiance changed and the volume definitely went up but was still quite tolerable. Pool was as clean as could be, a little sticky (sunblock) but there were two showers available and I used them a lot. Sometimes instead of pool.

There is a casino within the hotel, shared by all 5 adjoining Riu hotels. There is a nightclub on the main street that runs between the Macao, Naiboa and Bavaro (carribean st.). It's called Pacha. It's free to get in, on certain nights there's a cover charge of a dollar or so, drinks vary from 5-10usd, depending on whom is serving them.(apparently) It looks like a real nightclub. Music is varied but geared more towards locals. (although on hotel property, it isn't exactly part of the hotel and is open to the local public.) The atmosphere was a little off. You had to be very intoxicated to enjoy. Music difficult to dance to. Lots of humping objects, people etc. Just don't choose these hotels based on this club and you wont be disappointed. I heard the sports bar at the bamboo was much better but never went.(free access but pay for drinks)

All in all a great trip. Cannot say enough for the hard-working, pleasant, helpful and beautiful staff. Such pride in their job doesn't go unnoticed. Tips are not required but greatly appreciated and you will receive great service regardless. From the moment we stepped out from the bus to the moment of pickup, Service was exceptional, front-desk out did themselves, our housekeeper Maria Torres, service by the pool, the restaurants etc. All I wanted was good service, food, sun, beach and was blown away. I really hope they keep the 18+ it changes everything. Already planning a return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank lastminute79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Beautiful property. I definitely recommend it. A few reasons I chose this resort was because it became 'over 18 only' as of Nov 01/12. So no kids. Also it was just renovated recently. Definitely a 5*.
We were greeted with a very friendly front desk crew. They were very quick to assign us our rooms and offer us our choice of cold drinks immediately. Much appreciated after the trip and the heat of high noon. First impression of the main lobby area was great. Very well kept and clean. We were able to check into our rooms with our luggage immediately. What a wonderful surprise for a check in. Usually you can't get your room till 3 or 4 pm.

The hotel room was lovely. Beautiful washroom with glass cubes wall into the main room. That allowed so much natural light to flow into the bathroom. Large glass and ceramic shower (no shower curtains which is a plus). It even had dual shower heads including a 'rain shower' head. One negative; the water was never hot enough. I reported it several times. Never rectified. I was on the third floor. The room had a cathedral like ceiling with a ceiling fan. It was lovely with bright whites and fresh colour accents. There was a balcony; albeit very tiny. A stocked bar fridge with water & pop. Also a liquor dispenser. Local liquor only; not premium brands. Fresh flower petals on the bed and a nice little fresh fruit plate as a welcome. A very clean room.

The food was certainly first class. I had smoked salmon, prosciutto, pate and fresh fruit for breakfast most mornings. If you are a seafood lover, there was shrimp and smoked salmon at every lunch and dinner. The food was fantastic!! I have some food allergies so I had to be very careful with nuts. I did find different nuts were in several of their dishes. The hotel kitchen manager (Lorena) was soon pointed out to me. She was very friendly and often checked in with me over the course of the week. (She even made the different restaurants aware that I was deathly allergic to nuts).

They have 4 formal restaurants that require reservations. The Steakhouse was my favourite! Lobster & fillet mignon cooked perfectly. &... bonus, they were included. You didnt have to pay extra for any restaurants.

I soon acquired a taste for a specific Pinot Griggio white wine. They even gave me a large coffee "go cup" when I finished my dinner. One waiter recognized me the next day at lunch and was quick to ask if I would like a glass of "Reggio" with my lunch. I was totally impressed that he recognized me & remembered which wine I liked! I soon found out that this particular wine "Reggio" was not offered in the bars; only the restaurants. So, that meant I had to get a bottle to go from the restaurant and take it to the bar and ask them to keep it handy over the course of the evening for me. Champagne was also readily available at the resort, however I didnt care for what the taste of what they stalked.

The entertainment staff was great and very professionally friendly. They would always get people involved in their various activities; day & night.

Another great bonus to this particular property is that there is a casino onsite. No having to take a shuttle. It was a very small casino, but it sufficed. Not Vegas, that's for sure.

There were 4 other Riu properties that surrounded this one. Two of them were geared to families with kids. - no thanks. 1 was for all age groups, then there was the Riu Palace Punta Cana next door. It was platinum. It was huge!!! A little too big of a resort with lots of cluster buildings in addition to the main hotel. Really just for couples or groups of people. Each balcony had a jaccuzzi hot tub. Three separate areas with separate pools. It had a totally different atmosphere. Not one that appealed to me.

I had never been to a Riu property before. I would definitely book one again.

On this coldest evening of the winter... wish I was there again right now!!! Beautiful place!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Sandi f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

My husband and I had a wonderful stay at the Rui Macao. The newly remodelled adults only resort was amazing and exceeded our expectations. I echo all of the other comments that the service was top notch. Everyone was friendly and accommodating and went above and beyond. We were a little skeptical about all-inclusive food, but the food was quite good. We ate at 3 of the 4 specialty restaurants. Krystal was our favorite because of its romantic atmosphere on the beach (the red snapper is fantastic). We also liked the steakhouse (the surf and turf was great; my husband also enjoyed the ribeye). The only restaurant that we were disappointed in was the Japanese restaurant; it did not seem as well-run and the food was not at the same level as the other places at the resort. I would also note that Krystal is open for sit-down (non-buffet) lunch; I don't think a lot of people know that and the food at lunch is great too. The beach is absolutely great- there is a lot of shaded areas with palm coverage so you don't have to get full sun all day. All in all it was great- we plan to come back.

Room Tip: We had a corner suite and it was HUGE- we had three balconies.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank meow55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

My group of friends stayed here from Jan12 thru Jan 19th 2013. (19 ladies) The staff was very friendly and accommodating to all our needs, everyone from the cleaning personnel to the manager (Dasha, not sure of spelling) which was visible every day and all day. I have no complaints that are major, the only thing that seemed the same daily was that the food wasn't hot. The resort did have some water issues while we were there, something burst and we didnt have any water until about 6pm one day and no hot water another day. This included all the Riu resorts in our area and was no fault to the staff or to the Riu Macao.The pool is very nice as is the beach area. I would certainly stay here again

Room Tip: Choose a room with the terrace view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank garbo286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2013

The Macao has been brightened up. All the dark wood now painted white. The rooms have new bathrooms but the same entry door that requires a key. The common areas are freshened and have new tables and chairs. An added bonus is the cappuccino bar on the terrace.
A pool bar with a swim up side has added. Around the pools new seating and beds have been added and the overall look of the pool area is tastefully done. Seating around these pools get "toweled" before 07:30 whether they are used or not. Still plenty of loungers under the palms and at the beach.
The best things about this hotel haven't changed. Service, cleanliness, staff and relatively small size make this hotel unique. A lobby bar where you can dance every night and meet with other guests.
The only down side to the renovation was the removal of the beach bar. One bar by the pool serving the whole outside of the hotel is not enough. Too far from the beach.
This was the the third time to this hotel and we will be back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DreamerToronto
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, Punta Cana 35100, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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
#35 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 On the Beach 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 ... 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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