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“Could not ask for more...”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #42 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 12, 2004

I do believe that the negative reviews that you read about Riu Palace are from people who would never be pleased.

I visited Punta Cana at the very end of January 2004.

The staff were awesome and always had a smile. From the staff at the piano lounge, to the entertainers before dinner, to the wait staff...everything was fantastic. They are people...mistakes may happen, but never are they done in malice or in with any type of frequency. Relax...you are in paradise.

The food was fantastic! Mexican night was my favourite. The key to enjoying a buffet for a week is to not try everything in the first 3 nights. Select a few favourites every night and the problems with repetative food will not happen. Remember, they don't cook food the same way we do in Canada or the United States. If you wanted food that tastes like what you are familiar with, I would suggest a domestic holiday.

The beach was beyond comprehension. It was utterly breath taking. I don't know what else to say. Finding chairs is no problem at any time of the day.

The pools were great. The palace pool was quiet all day as the average age of the guests is a little older. We were the 'young ones' by far (group of about 40 mid-twenties to mid-thirties). The paving stones around the pool were hot in the sun, but much preferable to the -40 weather we left behind that week.

The rooms were spacious. Yes there were two beds pushed up together, but I am not aware that they call this a 'king' sized bed. I believe that's just how they do it. The beds are made separately and then pushed together. We loved the balcony. Bring some candles and sit out there are night talking...its wonderful. The fridge did not get overly cold, but we could have cared less. We spent so little time in the room. We were not there to sit in a hotel room.

I look forward to these warm vacations for a couple of reasons. The first is to escape our crazy winters for just a brief moment. The second is to relax. The Riu Palace is the ultimate in relaxation. You don't have to lift a finger. Enjoy strolling down the beach to the markets, take the long way to the beach to see the trees, flowers, and wild life, and don't forget to forget about home. It is over way too soon, and then all you have are the memories...

  • Stayed: January 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank SunDays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,902 - 2,908 of 3,996 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2004

My boyfriend and I just returned after spending 10 days at this hotel. We had a wonderful time and loved the hotel! The staff was polite, helpful and friendly. Although we tipped for everything nobody expected it and they were appreciative for every tip we gave. The food was really good for an all-inclusive. Lunch and breakfast were basically the same everyday but how much can you really change these up? I did have minor stomach problems but nothing that some Pepto didn't cure.

The pool was clean and did not have too many children, unlike some of the neighboring pools. Not that we don't like kids but the pool at the palace was a relaxing place to read and chill. The beach is a minute walk from the hotel and the staff was happy to help find chairs or move them if asked.

This hotel had a really nice mix of people, although mostly from Europe (Germany, France, and Spain). It was a really pleasant and peaceful place to spend our vacation and we're so happy we went.

While we may not go back because there are millions of other places we want to visit, we would definitely recommend it to our friends or family.

4  Thank 2011Family_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
North Royalton ohio
Reviewed August 17, 2004

My husband and I went with relaxing and good food in mind May 4th was my husbands birthday so a trip felt like a great idea...Sure..
Welcome to the HOTEL FROM HELL!!

As far as the Hotel, it was awful..The APPLE Rating needs to be a minus five. What a total Joke... Very unfriendly Staff.
We tried to tip everyone to get better service which was awful.. this proved some what costly and to No Avail...We could not even get room service two out of our 7 days. Short Staffed!!! Towels were a joke always short. Diet Coke was impossible to have stocked extra in our mini bar. We have travel to several different areas and this has been the worst we wrote Apple and never heard anything back..They are Years away from TRAVEL SERVICE. Even with free drinks this place is still ROUGH at best...YOU cannot drink enough to make the bad appear good.
We sucked it up and made the Best of it. However, it was not an enjoyable vacation...WE WOULD NOT GO BACK!
Food was bad! Every night almost the same menu. I was very sick the last night and for 1 week upon my return home... the 1000 milligram antibiotics did clear me up after a week. My husband did much better health wise. However, he lost 5 lbs on vacation due to his eating so little.
I think you should stay some where other than the RIU Palace. Maybe the lack of guest would change things. Also the empty rooms could help with the staff being able to make the much needed repairs to the guest rooms... our King size bed was two fulls size beds pushed together with the split down the middle. Bathroon had leaks in the sink, chips in the tile and a broken toilet..! The list goes on and on. Maybe try the. Mexican Rivera Maya, The Iberostar. We Loved That!! Happy Travels..RIU Place just needs Norman Bates to give you a total thrill.

  • Stayed: May 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2004

Wow................. This hotel is fabulous. From the moment to check in, sitting down in the bar with a fruit punch until you check out everything is brilliant. The rooms, we had a suite are spotless and very comfortable with cable TV and marble bathrooms.

The beach is breathtaking. Very long with white sand and crystal clear water loads of sunbeds and not busy at all.

Food is wonderful, if you go hungry here its your own fault. There is a waiter service around the pool and terrace and they are friendly quick and there is always someone around.

Everything about this hotel was beyond our expectations.

Only one thing bothered us. Each end of the beach there are beach huts selling general souvenier items and also there is a Caribbean street on the hotel. They were all extremely overpriced and the vendors couldn't add up. I got the impression that the Punta Canians were "money grabbing" . This also extended to the airport where many people were charged excess baggage $100 most of them. This was for nothing as the reps got all the money back but they seriously tried it on.

But the hotel did not even accept tips and they were excellent.

Go and enjoy............................

6  Thank Dave007London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Allen, Texas
Reviewed August 1, 2004

My wife and I just returned from RIU Palace yesterday, and have to say that any negative reviews that we had read before the trip proved unfounded. The hotel was immaculate and the room we had was perfect. Upon arrival, I asked the desk clerk Raemundo, if we could upgrade from standard, and he placed us into a wonderful room overlooking the pool with a beach view. The veranda was great with the rocking chairs and the lounges, and the breeze was refreshing at night.
The staff here is the most cordial we have encountered in quite some time, and we have traveled over the world for the last 20 years.

The minibar was completely restocked promptly and the liquor dispensor was an added treat. The room was kept perfectly clean and extra towels was never a problem. Noise was non-existant.

The main buffet was very nicely populated with any kind of food that you might desire. Breakfast would suit all tastes, and the dinner buffet was awsome.
We lunched at the Caribe grill mostly, and the breeze coming off the ocean was a nice friend. The food there was the same each day, but the selections were varied enough to be fine. Lunch in the Mediterrean grill was equivalent, with the wonderful addition of pizza that was mouth pleasing.

The Mediterrean grill ala-carte dinner was good(the lamb, in particular) but the humidity and the lack of breeze was a bit much. I suggest sticking to the Caribe, if you can get it, or the main buffet, for dinner.

The drinks flowed freely, and never was there any extensive wait for service, we always got what we requested and usually 2 at a time.

The casino is typical Caribbean, small and mostly slots. Keep your eyes on the card dealers, they sometimes get confused and in a hurry.

The pool area was very nice and the water was a good temperature. Deck chairs seem to free up in the middle of the day when people either move to the beach or head for a snack. We did the beach in the mornings and the pool afternoons, and that worked fine.

Caribbean Street is a nice touch, but we didn't spend much money there,,,we were here mainly to relax and just chill out.

There is no pressure form the activities staff to do anything, and that is very nice.

Now, for the best part! The beach is one of the nicest and best kept we have ever seen,,,,including Hawaii!
The water was perfect and the lazy waves were great for floating on a blow-up raft. Lots of beach lounges, but you need to get there early to be assured of a spot under your favorite palm tree.
Juan, at the beach bar, was friendly and would fix you up with anything he had at his disposal. We carried large drink thermos' and he would gladly fill them with ice and drink.

The beach massage is something that I would heartily recommend, and it is really inexpensive.

The single admonition is he same you will get from anyone,,,DO NOT DRINK FROM THE TAP!...we adhered to this policy and neither of us had any gastro problems.
Besides, there is a gallon of fresh water in the minibar that is ice cold and refreshed upon request.

We US folks were largely outnumbered, but that was fine, as we met a lot of interesting people from different parts: Spain, Portugal, Holland, England, Canada, France, Italy and Germany.

Lastly, I DO tip,,,,and I freely do so for good service. you can tell when you hand a waiter a dollar or two that it is unexpected, but believe me, he(she) will watch for you and cater to your every need. Take lots of singles, they come in handy.
We highly recommend the RUI Palace and it's sister resorts.

15  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, IL
Reviewed July 11, 2004

We stayed at the Riu Palace Macao recently and just as we had hoped, everything was excellent. Not a place to get wild and crazy but very clean, relaxing and fun. Weather was supposed to be overcast with chances of showers everyday, but it rained only one of the 10 days we were there. The weather otherwise was a perfect 75-85 degrees and sunny. The staff was rediculously nice and the nightlife was interesting. Great place to go if you want to read, relax, catch perfect weather, beaches and water activities. Gotta do the Outback tour, lots of Rum and sun...boogie boarding was a blast too. We also did the catamaran trip which was a perfect day of fun and sun. We are in our early thirties and enjoyed every part of the trip. Never got sick of or from the food, lots to choose from. We will be going back in the next few years again for sure.
Only thing to watch out for is the cheapie cheapie guys on the beach and at the markets. Good sales people that will talk you into everything. Make sure to negotiate with them if you really want something. They will take whatever you will give them.
Have fun and don't worry about the topless beaches if this is not your thing...you'll be too busy enjoying yourself to worry about these people.

I give it a 10+ for a great vacation spot.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 11, 2004

Myself and my boyfriend have just returned from two weeks at this excellent hotel-the whole place is fabulous, the public areas and bars are spotlessly clean and the staff at the hotel cannot do enough for you.
The beach is the best I have ever seen and has a lovely breeze but be careful because you do not realise how strong the sun is until it is too late!! There are three speciality restaurants as well as the main buffet restaurant which had a good choice each night-we tried the mediterranean and the steak house but weren't too impressed which was a shame.
The entertainment staff did their best to keep everybody amused if you like aerobics and salsa you will be well away! Our thomson rep lisa was okay but the excusions were overpriced.
We were one of only four english couples in the hotel which was mostly americans, german and french and it was quite difficult on some occasions to be understand as the staff knew very little english-this is fine as we don't go to foreign country and expect to be spoken to in english-they also seem to appreciate you putting in some effort with the language!
We left tips for the lady that cleaned out room and the mini bar man-also our waiter in the main restaurant but I got the impression that none of this was expected-even though I heard that most of the staff earn around 95 dollars a month!!
On the whole a great holiday and a lot quieter than the Riu Bambu which on the few occasions we visited seemed very crowded and noisy- unfortunately there was one down side-stomach trouble, I was ill for three days and so was my boyfriend- I think it was the getting used to the different foods as we could not fault the cleanliness of the place-just take peptobismol and you should be fine..

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury 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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