Some background first: we are a married couple (34y.o.) and have stayed at many other all-inclusives, including a few Club Med Resorts (Cancun, Turks & Caicos, & Sandpiper) and the Divi in Aruba. We booked the Riu Palace Macao after much deliberation and decided that an adult only resort was most important for this kid-free getaway. The Riu Palace Bavaro and Punta Cana are gorgeous, but compared to the Macao, they are huge. The Macao was the perfect size for a relaxing, laid back vacation. I was also pleased the the mix of ages at the Macao. There were plenty of couples younger than us as well as older. I would not recommend this resort to Spring Breakers or singles.
The beach at the Macao was by far the best of all the Riu Resorts in the complex (and other resorts in the area). It was the least crowded and spread out. You don't have to wake up early to save chairs. There were people selling goods on the beach, but they were not harassing and they seemed to all have permits. The ocean was wonderful and I spent more time swimming than laying out. However, there were plenty of people who laid out from sunrise to sunset.
Pools: we spent a lot of time at the pool bar (Noel the bartender was fabulous) and met many other couples/groups. Although many people save chairs early in the morning, I never had a problem finding at least one chair to put my stuff on. The other pool was more relaxing and the crowd was more subdued. We greatly enjoyed both pools.
Food: Compared to other all-inclusive buffets, I thought the Macao's was superior. The dining room was elegant and there were plenty of options. Yes, the food was a little repetitive throughout the week, but I just ate something different everyday. Everything was delicious. We went to Krystal (fusion restaurant) - the appetizers and entrees were delicious - and Kabuki (Japanese restaurant) - we were disappointed with the meal but the fried ice-cream was amazing. After that, we stuck to the buffet as our party had grown to 6 for the rest of our trip (and the food was great). I thought we would spend more time at the speciality restaurants, but the only have 2 seatings: 6:30pm or 9:00pm. I think 6:30 is too early for dinner and 9:00pm is too late.
Overall, our vacation was great. Great weather, great resort, comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and we met some great people. I would definitely return and I am thinking about booking the Riu Palace Bavaro for our next kid friendly vacation.
Our only disappointment was the nightlife. We were not told in advance that the discotheque would be closed for our entire stay as it is being renovated. We were not told this at checkin either...we found out when we went looking for it the first night and found jackhammers working instead of people dancing. The shows at the Macao were mediocre and the lobby bar was brutally hot and full of smoke most nights. We made our own fun, but I wish the nightlife was better. This is the only reason why I did not give an overall rating of excellent.
- 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