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“Riu Palace”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #43 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Riu Palace”
Reviewed March 23, 2004

We were in Punta Cana at the Rui Palace in February. We had to share our room with some of the people we arrived with. They had over booked rooms and we had a number of friends who had to double up. The food was acceptable. You did have a large variety of things to pick from. The staff was wonderful. The weather was beautiful and so were the grounds.
Some of the guests were not very friendly. I did not feel that Americans were welcome there. (Not by the staff but by other quests.) I know that some of the guest did complain about some of the Americans behavior but not every American behaved that way. Please don't lump us together. Would I go there again? I would go to Punta Cana again but not at this resort. The room thing was a bit much.

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (778)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Livonia, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2004

We stayed at the Riu Palace Macao from March 10 - 17th and loved it. The staff was extremely attentive - they would call us from time to time to see if everything was okay. The room was beautiful, although in our room in particular, they need to replace the bathtub. The grounds were gorgeous; lots of palm trees and greenery. The pools were nice; the pool at the Palace was rather quiet, so sometimes we would go to the pool at the Bambu or the Taino, where they had a swim-up bar and more "happening."The food was out of this world! We could not believe the variety of food coming out of one restaurant (which was the El Patio). We mostly ate dinner there (buffet), but we tried the Steakhouse and the Caribe restaurants and were totally satisfied too. They had a great variety of meats (fresh turkey, grilled pork chops which were to die for, and grilled fish which was very delicious). My husband who's a big coffee drinker loved the coffee and the hot milk. The drinks were pretty good for the most part but had a few that didn't taste too good (Bloody Marys). We loved the Presidente beer - if I remember correctly, it was 6% alcohol.The weather was great - it rained a few times but only for a few minutes at a time. The beach was BY FAR the most beautiful we have ever seen! I loved the shopping on Caribbean Street, and they have a big party there every Thursday - it was a blast!We took a speedboat tour which we did not like. You get to drive your own boat but the water was way too rough and we were trying to keep up with everybody and got pelted so badly with salt water our eyes were burning and we could not see. We would not take this tour again.The casino was small but nice ? I put $10 in the video poker machine and came out $15 ahead :-)I must also say that we spent a week at the Moon Palace in Riviera Maya 3 years ago. We had a much better time at the Riu. Everything was better from the food to the service to the beach.Also, although we as Americans were the minority, we really found it interesting to be around the Europeans.Would we go back? Absolutely. It was well worth the money!!

Helpful?
3 Thank golfbumz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Limerick, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2004

Our vacation was from 3/11 to 3/18 Check in at hotel quick. Room very large. Service excellent,pool, grounds beautiful. Topless women on beach not at pool. Food very good, fresh, wide variety for all kinds of diet or health restrictions which was very very helpful. Crowd German,American,French. Older crowd. There are no orginized activitys for small children at this hotel. Casino about 40 slots. Table games Blackjack,3 card poker,let it ride thats it. Casino never crowed Side trips Bavaro splash speed boats lots of fun and safe, Plenty of help if needed. Saona Catamaran waste of time and money Pushy vendors on island.Broken chairs,food dry and limited selection.Beach awful lots of rocks in swimming area.Awful

  • Stayed March 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank midon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Ontario Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2004

We spent our Honeymoon at the Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana from February 10th - 24th, 2004. After reading some of the reviews before leaving, we were a little hesitant, but had already booked. From the minute we landed in Punta Cana we were treated like royalty. We were driving to the Palace in a luxury bus and greated by Victor "Welcome Home" as we entered the lobby. We were served a drink while we waited about 10 minutes for our room. Our room was spacious and well appointed and had every luxury we could ask for. It was clean and fresh. As we walked through the property, we were amazed at the cleanliness and friendliness of all staff. Our meals were more than wonderful, as there was every type of food you could imagine and then some. We had no problem with our lack of speaking Spanish and we tipped the maid a few dollars every day. They are most appreciative as they don't make very much money. We had the 8:30 p.m. sitting for dinner and got to know our waiter and tipped him the same every night. You would have thought he had won the lottery. Because staying at the Palace, you can visit all other Riu's near by, we checked them all out and ate lunch at a few, but never found the food to be the quality of the Palace. The other resorts were more geared to partying, so if you just want to veg out and relax (especially on a honeymoon), the Palace is the place. We did not have any problem with any gastrointestinal problems and they put fresh bottled water in our room on a daily basis. Nothing we ate or drank bothered us. Approximately a 15 minute walk in either direction from the Palace is a market place with items for sale. We found that we did quite well with bartering for the items that interested us. and found that the one to the left (if you face the water) was better organized and had more friendly owners. Claudia was our representative from Sunquest and she was amazing and helpful. We didn't do any side trips, but there was lots if you wanted. All in all it surpassed our wildest dreams and we would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a little luxury in your life. We want to go back as soon as possible, even wanted to stay on the plane and return the same day, but of course that wasn't possible (haha). Enjoy !!

  • Stayed February 2004
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WindsorSweetie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
madison
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2004

I am a travel agent from WI. 16 of us went to the Riu Palace from March 5-12, 2004. We had a great time and the resort was very nice. I will not go into too many details as others have already done that previously. I will say however that some Europeans who stayed there were very uptight. Apparently, they don't know how to have fun over there. We laughed and joked and I guess we were a little too loud for some of them as they complained about us. We were asked to quiet down a couple of times. After they went to bed we found the same people who asked us to quiet down were partying with us later. They said Europeans do not smile and laugh. Americano's "loco". We are fun. So if you are a loud and fun group stay next door at either the Bambu or Taino. We liked it here because hardly any kids. Whoever coined the phrase"Ugly American's" was probably from Europe. We are the only ones that tipped, thanked the staff continuously and were polite. Don't ever ever be ashamed of where you come from.

One thing you should know they don't really tell you is, they have a on/off switch when you first come into your room. This shuts off everything in your room That means your air is off and the refrigerator defrosts every day. One other problem was, they will do everything in their power to not give you US dollars back. They wanted a deposit for an iron and we gave them a US travelers check. When we left they gave it back to us in peso's. We were leaving the country and did not want pesos. We had to argue to get it back in US dollars. It was only 10.00 lousy dollars.

They do have premium brand alcohol too. The were pouring Stolie's Vodka, Beefeaters gin, Johnny Walker Red, Jack Daniels etc. They didn't have good brandy for you WI. people though. Rum was Dominican too.

We did the outback safari(75.00) which was pretty fun and 1/2 day catamarin/glass bottom boat and swim with rays and sharks tour(70.00) and was fun too. Not too long. It would have been nicer to snorkel a little longer but it was fine.

Dominican people are very happy people. Friendly, fun, and pretty educated. English is not the first language and there are some barriers but it works out. I would go back here in a heartbeat. Email I will try to answer any questions you may have.

Helpful?
3 Thank pbm77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 15, 2004

My husband and 16 month old daughter and I just returned from Punta Cana, having stayed at the Riu Palace Macao. We would be categorized as very seasoned travellers, having stayed at beautiful resorts worldwide, and RIU did not disappoint. The property is beautiful - anyone squeemish about being sick over the food or seeing bugs etc need not worry here - it is clean, efficient, and well kept. The rooms were spotless - we stayed in a suite for the added space and we had an enormous room with two full balconies, and more space than we ever needed. The food is abundant - every type of meat (from lamb to beef to veal to chicken etc) to sushi and all forms of fish, pastas, pizzas, an enormous salad bar, the list goes on and on. The pool area is gorgeous, and of course there is the beach - it is pure white sand and the water is gentle and warm - we swam in it every day!! There is also an outdoor massage canopy where you can have an open air massage, which I did and it was wonderful! Our experience was quite perfect, and we have extremely high expectations. With this property all our expectations were met, and we plan to return.

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2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2004

We stayed at the RIU Palace Macao March 6-13 and had a very relaxing
experience. The beach was very nice and the hotel staff was very
friendly. I looked at the comments on this website before we left and
had mixed feelings about going. I called our travel agent to ensure
Apple had reserved a room for us--which, of course, they had. In fact,
we had no problems whatsoever at check-in or check-out. The reviewer
from Detroit, MI (we must have crossed paths at the hotel) pretty much
said it all, so it doesn't bear repeating ad nauseam. However, of
particular note, and worth repeating, is that the nightly entertainment
was not very good--almost non-existent, even though the hotel staff
really worked hard to put on a good show--you've got to remember this
is not Las Vegas! With respect to tipping--we did tip the maid $2 every
day and the wait-staff/bartenders--not too much, just enough to let
them know we appreciated their attentiveness. We went on a snorkeling
trip and it was just OK--the seas were a bit choppy that day. The table
wine from Italy was just barely drinkable--I now know why they export
it as the Italians probably would not drink it. The beer,
however--Presidente--was surprising bueno--tasted a bit like Heiniken.
Aside from the wine and entertainment it was a relaxing vacation. As
mentioned previously, this is an older crowed--we (six of us) are mid
to late 50's. There were plenty of youngsters (30-ish), some with kids,
even though we did not see many. In fact, most of the children we saw
were staying at the neighboring RIU's. Also, we read a reveiw from
someone who stayed here earlier in the year and commented on the
drinking water and the possibilities of contracting intestinal
problems--her solution was to take Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSA) as a
prophylaxis. Half of us took GSA and the other half did not. Almost all
of us had some intestinal discomfort/distress, not due to
overindulgence, I might add. So be careful and take appropriate
medications with you.

In closing, just relax, leave your work and worries at home and you should have a good time.

Helpful?
1 Thank Irwin08
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 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Luxury 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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