We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Travel Update”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #39 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Travel Update”
Reviewed September 20, 2004

I am a Travel Agt, recently returned from Punta Cana after experiencing Tropical Storm Jeanne (which became a Hurricane 1 Cat briefly, before downgrading to Tropical Storm). My husband & I arrived Sept 13 to beautiful weather and everything as expected at our hotel, Riu Palace. By Weds the storm had hit and lasted approx 5 hrs. We were perfectly safe as this is a solidly built traditional hotel. Debris, trees and other damage was obvious, but the hotel suffered no severe structural damage. We had power outages, no phones,no TV, and computer down time. The hotel had emergency generator so food, drinks, lights etc. were available fairly soon and the staff did all they could to help. Room service was curtailed (no maid service for 2 days). The most common concern for guests was lack of "who is in charge?"(hotel management here was somewhat remiss in keeping everyone informed),....and lack of Tour Operator presence. As An Agt I can probably explain that most Tour Ops on duty are "local" people and very likely could not get in, plus they have to visit and coordinate with several resorts. Also, the roads outside the resort were flooded so no cars or vehicles could arrive safely. However, I am aware this explanation doesn't always help when you don't know what's going on!
After the worst of the storm passed (Thurs) we were able to walk the beach and checked out other properties beside the Riu properties - Iberostar Dominicana, Punta Cana and Iberostar Bavaro Suites. -- These properties suffered a lot of debris, broken trees etc and much flooding. Clean up was in progress, but of course it will take some time to get back to normal. The rain doesn't help! Overall comments at the resort were that the Staffs were doing all the could to help guests. But again, lack of Tour Op presence was a concern. Secrets Excellence resort suffered water damage and because of its location, guests were helicoptered out to the airport by Sat because of the flooded roads, for return to the USA. We had a Cleveland destination and were taken by tractor/trailer to the tour buses to dry land, and then bussed to the airport for flts out on Sat 18th Sept. As primitive as this sounds, I have to say that Staff/Tour Ops did what they could to make sure everyone was picked up safely and taken out. It is a point to remember that late Summer to end of November is Hurricane Season in the Caribbean and of course, risky for a vacation albeit a good price! We take our chances! I hope everyone involved this last week returned home safely and trust the situation is an experience learned. The Dom Republic does not have the infrastructure to cope with these situations as in the US. and I hope we give some consideration and appreciation to the people there who did all they could to help.

Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,753 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,994
    1,107
    370
    157
    125
See reviews for
430
2,283
47
27
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (748)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Northern Kentucky--Cincinnati, OH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2004

Before committing to the Riu Palace in Punta Cana, I throughly read through as many Tripadvisor.com reviews on the Palace as I could. The reviews really helped me make a decision, as well as prepare me and make the trip that much more enjoyable. Everything from taking small US dollars, lots of singles for tipping, not expecting certain things we take for granted in the US and knowing how to handle certain situations.

A little history to start; my wife and I are a pretty average couple, we're both 40 and have two young children (4 & 6) who did not go with us to Punta Cana. We don't travel extensively, but when we do we expect certain things based on how much we spend. This particular trip to the Riu Palace was booked through Prestige Travel in the Cincinnati Area for 4 nights with air and the price was well over $1000 (through the Vacation Express service). I booked the trip back in July and we were there Monday Sept 6th through Friday Sept 10th.

Due to hurrican Frances the initial flight plan was re-routed through Atlanta but we arrived in Punta Cana only slightly off our scheduled arrival. The Pace airline service was excellent, there's no First Class on the jet, but the service and flight attendents remind me a lot of a Southwestern style airlines... not too "frilly", just your basic charter flight with really friendly flight attendents. Once we arrived we immediately noticed the high humidity level, the tempatures for this time of year average in the high 80's. We left Cincinnati at 7:00am and arrived at the Riu Palace by 3:30pm -- Punta Cana is on Eastern time.

Once to the Palace we immediately noticed the no windows, no A/C, all open and lots of vegitation all around the lobby and atrium terrace area. Ceiling fans are everywhere so the breeze off the Carribean is always apparent. Our room was very nice (on the top floor) with vaulted ceilings, tile floors and lots of dark wood everywhere. We immediately noticed the "King" bed was two full size beds pushed together and they were on wheels! This could make for an unusual situation, if you know what I mean! The resort is very clean, as mentioned in numerous other reviews, and the grounds are manicured daily. Even though it was hot and humid, it didn't appear to be an issue down near the beach or pool area. There were NOT a lot of bugs, typical to the Midwest States.

We did have several problems with no water on the first day and no hot water the second day. A large portion of the water problem was due to the fact that we were on the top floor and the water pressure is very week up there... it even effects the efficiency of the toilet flushing everytime... yuck!! By the the end of the second day though, everything was good.

As mentioned in other reviews, the food selection is very Meditereanian... which I thought was fine. I mean who wants to go to an International resort and have your standard US style food. I must say though, there's several dishes and desserts that don't have much flavor. One night we eat at the Caribe Restaurant out near the beach and it was simple magical... cool breeze blowing in off the Carribean and the service was excellent!

The beach and pool areas are incrediable, tons of room and lounge chairs/recliners. It's funny, people would pull their recliners under palm trees or these really big bushes and fall a sleep for hours at a time... not sun, just shade! Unfortunately the beach bars are not so good, we had several drinks made from there and they were too strong or watered down. On their behalf I must say, they don't have a lot of resources to make good drinks in their little grass huts. The place to get really good drinks at the Palace is the Main Bar in the lobby area.... the Pina Coladas are excellent!

If you're from the US, your only about 10% of the Riu Palace clientele, at least while we were down there. In the US schools had just started back up from the summer break and the vacation season pretty much had ended over Labor Day weekend, which is when we left.

A WORD OF CAUTION, when out on a spending spree for souvenirs, keep an eye on the Peso to US dollar conversion (it's posted at the front desk). The water sport excursions and the shops on Carribean Street convert at different ratios, we weren't sure why this was the case... possible to cover a tax or a surcharge for using a credit card. I would recommend using US cash were possible. Avoid a credit card charge because they convert it to Peso's and you don't know what you really spent in US dollars until you get your card statement.... scary!

To wrap up, I must say that we had a really good time! Heck, they even decorated our room on my wife's Birthday with balloons, flowers and even a bottle of champagne on ice!! Keep in mind, you are in another country and not everything runs like clock work (we take this for granted in the states) and just try to relax and not get too up-tight about the little things... ENJOY!

Helpful?
4 Thank davector64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatchewan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
17 Thank SunDays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, NY
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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.

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

May-1-2004
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
Helpful?
22 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
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............................

Helpful?
6 Thank Dave007London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
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.

Helpful?
15 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Punta Cana hotels
15.9 mi away
AlSol Tiara Cap Cana
AlSol Tiara Cap Cana
#24 of 111 in Punta Cana
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,710 reviews
18.0 mi away
Alsol Del Mar
Alsol Del Mar
#46 of 111 in Punta Cana
4.5 of 5 bubbles 935 reviews
0.2 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
#52 of 111 in Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 bubbles 3,309 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.7 mi away
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Green Don Pablo Collection
2.8 mi away
The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium
0.3 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
#68 of 111 in Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 bubbles 4,890 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Riu Palace Macao? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#35 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Spa 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, TravelUp, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, Priceline, Cancelon, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Macao reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riu Palace Macao Hotel Punta Cana
Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana
Riu Palace Punta Cana
Rui Palace Punta Cana

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing