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“Amazing - couldn't have been better!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #43 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

Can I start by saying running up to our holiday I checked this website every day, whilst majority was excellent there was a few that was standard and since returning seen there are a few more "dissapointed" guests who have reviewed this hotel less than 4*. I can only imagine the reasons of these people are that they are extremely picky!!!

The hotel was absolutey amazing, the layout, the recently refurbished decor, rooms, beach, pools, restaurants everything was high standard and very beautiful. People who are moaning about Petty things I.e the taxes and roads firstly have nothing to do with this hotel so how can you judge them? Secondly is that all you can criticise? Others who complained of smoking have to remember the laws that are now in England where you cannot smoke in places like pubs and bars and therefore that is why it is different here. If you don't want people smoking next to you, move away from them - simple really.

The only critism we have about the HOTEL ITSELF was the smell that came from the entertainment room, we could not stay in there for longer than 15 minutes it was just unbearable and because of this we missed a few shows. However we did catch the shows in the outdoor theatre all of which was really good and you could not fault.

We stayed in this hotel from the 17th September through to the 1st October and booked through thomsons. The flights were good, the Dominican airport was a bit of a challenge and confusing to get through but once pointed in the right direction and paid your taxes very quick to get through. Incredible airport I must say, like the fact we basically pulled up outside the front door on the plane!

The transfer was quick took about half hour and all guests were staying at our hotel so it was the only stop!

This is our second time in a riu hotel, we previously stayed at riu tequila in Mexico last year. We feel this hotel is a much higher standard and the adults only rule makes it even better.

The pools were amazing, especially the big pool with the water sunbeds was a nice touch! The beach is to die for, in my mind we travel to the Caribbean for the paradise of the beaches cannot understand people who travel 9 hours just to sit at the pool all day every day - but hey that's my opinion!

The food was lovely, lots of choice even for fussy eaters. If you like sea food and fish you will be In your element. We went to the steak house twice and the Krystal both was beautiful and of a very high standard, some would say a bit of a unusual menu in the Krystal. The tasters to begin with was, um intresting.

The rooms were elegant and modern. The bed and shower was huge and our balcony over looked the pool and beach which was another nice touch to our holiday. The optics were a bonus too! A lot of wardrobe space and the safe which was a good reasonable size. Remember to make good use of the signs you have on the back of the door eg the do not disturb ssigns the staff sometime just walk in if these aren't used accordingly !

The entertainment team and staff were brilliant. Could never do enough for you. The entertainment team work very hard and yes the hotel dance is done a few times a day but it lasts about 2 minutes so just put up with it! They would ask you if you wanted to join in with the games and activities but as soon as they said no they would leave you to it. The staff work very hard and were there all day we saw the same people at breakfast that we would do at 11pm in the bar!

The free wifi is added extra, my best signal I found was at the pool and beach if you are staying for 2 weeks you have to get a new username and password after 10 days just so your aware :)

The phone cards were a bit of a rip off if you used the hotel services. My boyfriend ended up paying $20 dollars for the card and the receptionist then said there would be a connection fee between $3-$6 every time you connect even if they didn't answer which you would have to pay in full when you checked out at the end of the holiday. Instead thomsons say to you to buy the $20 phone card from reception and then you can find the Thomson rep who will then give you there phone to use free of charge!

The Caribbean street is to the right of the hotel which includes a number of shops and a gym and a carnival every Thursday but be aware there are market stalls and they will try and bump the price up of then items being sold - nothing to do with the hotel though!

You can go in all the other hotels and use the pools for instance but not the riu palace punta Cana, must say that looked rather grand when we walked round. Right next to this hotel is another set of shops which were nice to walk around you didn't get jumped on to buy things!

The airport are really fussy when you leave, your not allowed any 'cables' in your hand luggage for example phone chargers. You have to be underweight otherwise they will charge you $27 per kilo you are over! And Remember to pay your $20 dollar exit tax and fill in the correct paper work for immigration which we was given at our Thomson welcome meeting the day after we arrived.

A very long review sorry about that to people who have read it but hopefully been helpful!

All In all this hotel was one of the best we have been too, very well presented and beautiful decor and scenery. We would not hesitate in returning we have a unforgettable 2 weeks in this amazing hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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16  Thank Charlotte L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 3, 2013

We chose the hotel out of the "Thomson's Couples" brochure...Just picking a few words at random out of the couples brochure, they include: Relaxed, Stylish & Chic...Sadly none of those words describe our experience at this hotel. The words best to describe it would be: Noisy, Cheesy, Smokey ,Unruly & damp.
The day starts at 10am with the overly enthusiastic Animation team who would appeal to an age range of between 5 - 10 year olds (this hotel is Adults only), we have the pleasure of the Riu Palace dance which they do 6 times a day & by the end of it even they look like they’re sick & tired of hearing it...following the repetitive dance, the Animation team scatters to find as many people as possible to do a number of various activities & you find yourself saying "NO THANK YOU" constantly, if they're not happy with that response they expect you to give them a reason why you just want to relax and carry on reading or chatting.(Anyone would think you were on your holidays), If you don't want to do that you could always head to the swim-up bar to relax or not as the case may be. Whilst we were there the hotel had 2 groups of Americans who clearly have no respect for either themselves or for that matter anyone else. They were rude, crass, over-bearing and seem to take pleasure in making as much noise as possible so that they eventually get the pool to themselves.
I like to have a drink & a laugh as much as the next person but not at the expense of spoiling someone else’s holiday. May I say at this point, that it’s not all the Americans, we spoke to some who were just as annoyed as we were & admitted that they were embarrassed to be Americans when they see their fellow country men & women behaving in this way. If the animation team aren't dancing (which they seem to do constantly) they have a laptop which plays various pieces of music, we were lucky enough to get some Eminem rap music which contained a volley of expletives which I would not print, not really what I would expect of a 5* Couples hotel. The fun continues of an evening with Bingo every single night, followed by you guessed it more dancing. Unfortunately you can't escape it as there is really only the one bar in the lobby which sadly is under partial cover and becomes like a smoke room, we spent most of our evenings sat in the reception area...not really acceptable. The unruly behavior of our American cousins continued into the evening when they decided to throw each other in the swimming pool fully clothed, then wander around the hotel reception shouting obscenities at each other & more importantly wetting the floor through for someone to slip on, the Hotel needs to take action on this type of behavior but for whatever reason they seem to turn a blind eye.
The rooms whilst being of a reasonable standard (not what I would class as 5*) but comfortable did on occasions appear to be damp and both myself & my wife commented that some of our clothes & bedding felt slightly damp.
There were some positives…The optics in the room were a nice touch so you could have a drink whilst getting ready in the evening. The beach was nice (no good for snorkeling though…don’t waste your luggage allowance on snorkel & goggles), plenty of choice in the main buffet restaurant, where the food was always presented nicely & 99% of the staff were superb…..What more could you ask for!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Phil R R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We visited Riu Macao for a week in Auguust 2013. It is the adults only resort in the Riu complex. We went to celebrate my husband's 65th birthday. I'd like to preface my comments by saying we are NOT old fogeys. We are a fit, healthy, young-at-heart couple. We have been to Punta Cana twice before this staying at two other places. This was our first time to a Riu property. We have always met other people at any A/I resorts we have been to where we talk, socialize and even exchange email addresses. This was the first time we were surprised to find that there were so few English speaking people. And on top of that, almost all smoked! There was only one non-smoking bar area and it didn't open until 8:00PM. We visited it one evening and found that it smelled like mildew! The resort is contemporary with all the buildings painted white. The main pool is large with concrete, raised beds on either side. Unfortunately, no matter where you chose to get a lounge or bed, smoke would bother us, even on the beach we could not get away from the smoke. No floats are permitted, nor can you drink a beverage in the main pool. The bar pool is small with the same raised concrete beds on one side. There are also real, canopy beds at either end of the main pool and one side of the bar pool. There were TONS of lounge chairs at any time at the pool and on the beach. I didn't see people getting up at the crack of dawn to save chairs except maybe the canopy beds. You could only get one towel per person using a towel card. We like more towels than that but we managed. We DID enjoy the food! There were 4 specialty, non-smoking restaurants, thankfully and the El Patio buffet is non-smoking except for the outside area. We had no trouble getting reservations for the restaurants because we got up and saw the concierge by 7:30AM. There were two seatings, 6:30PM and 9:00. Staying at the Macao permits you to visit a couple of the other resorts in the complex but not all. Nor could children come to the Macao, however we did notice older teens. The workout gym was a JOKE! Really Riu? In a complex as large as this we expected a large gym with many, many treadmills, stationary bikes, showers, towels, bathrooms, free weights, etc. The gym was in the upstairs of a little storefront on the street of shops. Maybe three people could be in the place at one time. And oh yeah, hope for a breeze to come through the openings where one would expect a window. Our room was almost to the back of the resort, farthest from the beach. It was well kept by the maid. There was an ice machine! We could get ice for our beverages when in our room from this clever booze dispenser. There was no tub, which I missed but the shower is very large. The entertainment people had yoga, aerobic and dance lessons everyday. But when they weren't there there was no music at the main pool. Usually all music was in Spanish. We visited the lobby bar before dinner every evening. I am strictly a wine drinker and the white wine was disgusting. The red wine, due to the temperature of the area, was served too warm. Blech! All of their wine was of house quality with no name labels. I ended up drinking the blush or rose' because it was chilled. All in all, we had a decent time, enjoyed the food but not the smoke. If we return to Punta Cana in the future, we won't choose a Riu property.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank malowe701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

On my discovery journey, I’ve have traveled all over the world, I went to bars, restaurants, local groceries and even went on supermarkets, to find -> The Unmatchable Pina Colada.

During my 8 years of travel, I still didn't find a better Pina Colada than in Punta Cana Palace Macao Resort.

When you feel the Caribbean Atmosphere, Palm Trees, White Sands, Unforgettable Beach, such Smiling Staffs, with in your hand the Best Pina Colada on earth…

Oh... Almighty God..., Life is Beautiful.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Najib H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Myself and my boyfriend have just recently stayed at Riu Palace Macao, and we would so much love to be there right now. From start to finish we had an amazing time. I did check out the reviews before booking this hotel and no-one could really say a bad word so we did it and was not disappointed at all. All the photos displayed online were very true to what you actually see.
Have seen some very negative comments on here, but each to their own and everyone is unique, but our stay was just amazing. I would only point out one thing and that was the smell of the main theatre as it smelt a bit like damp mould! But that is bearable, we did hear a few guests asked to change rooms as they were above the theatre and could smell it from there, but if that happens I wouldn't let that ruin you're holiday, just ask to change rooms, as the staff are all very friendly and are willing to help where they can.
The service it second to none, always on hand when you need them, from when you check in to being around the pool to dinner time.
If you do go back to your room late afternoon/evening make sure you put the do not disturb sign on the door as you will get a few knocks and normally they will knock once then enter in, and you wouldn't want any embarrassing moments!!
The beach is beautiful and two seconds from the hotel, our room was amazing loved the shower. Normally being all inclusive the food isn't always good, but I thought it was really good and quite a lot of choice.
We would most defiantly go back to this hotel and would like to thank all the staff for making our stay a very memorable one we had an amazing time.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Melissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

This was our first time at a riu resort, We loved the fact that it was adult only !! the staff was very nice but the front desk staff was very rude and short with us after check in, they act like you are bothering them, we went with two other couples and they had the same opinion. the service at the steak house had terrible service... krystal, was outstanding, now to the fun stuff.. if you are a bourbon drinker like me you will be very disappointed with the jim beam it is not even close to jim beam in fact the liquor all taste the same (bad) the only night we got a good buzz going was on Wednesday when they have the street vendors and music going in calle Caribe, It made us wonder what the put in the drinks that night that got all of us so buzzed, DO NOT buy the cigars from the beach they are terrible and damp ! you can not even smoke them,

Room Tip: rooms on 3rd floor have small balconys but good views 3363 was nice
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank john c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Was not disappointed the hotel was beautiful and the beach was nice not perfect but very nice. Beach is large as the hotel sits back 500 feet plenty of room for sun or shade nightly entertainment is cheesy but is popular and a nice way to end the day. Rooms, nice and clean great showers and well kept by maid service (couple a bucks a day keeps you more then taken care of) Food , steak house is the worst choice don’t get the lobster(soft and runny) other than that all the others where great, fusion was exceptional. Staff everywhere including management they make sure you where comfortable and when out of their way to make us happy. Center Street between Riu properties serves as a shopping and entertainment district very nice to shop and high end disco adds late night thrills. Now a few disappointments not the hotels fault Casino is on the property but not a Riu business a little pushy and trying to be high end but not, they will work you for every dollar fun for an hour or so but that’s all. Beach oh my god windy time of the year is what we were told 20 to 30 mile an hour winds every day constant crew shoveling walk ways like it was snow, sand 4 to 8 inches deep however at the pool perfect due to its distant to the ocean . Smoking I smoke but the Euro guest which there are many never stop and can be rude about it in outdoor dining areas.
All in all great place to stay and I would go back anytime

Room Tip: we had a cheap room and it was great, limited view but it was fine
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank icitdifferent
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, 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:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $184 - $454 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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