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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #39 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Relaxing vacation guaranteed!”
Reviewed July 21, 2009

Me and my boyfriend stayed 2 weeks in this hotel and had a really incredible time. Everything is so relaxing and comfortable! I’ve been to the Dominican Republic 5 times now and I can honestly say that this is the best hotel in the DR I’ve been to so far.

The hotel is really nice, offers great service and excellent food and drinks. The two restaurants near the beach were so so, but the Japanese restaurant and the buffet restaurant were really great. At the buffet restaurant you can eat all sorts of things: different kinds of meat, fish, vegetables, desserts, snacks, salads…all you can wish for actually ;)

The room was good as well, though I suggest the manager buys other beds, because they were not that comfortable. The room we were in was quite big, had a spacious balcony and a nice bathroom. Housekeeping comes in twice a day, so your room is always neat! You can order room service (free of charge) and the minibar (free of charge as well) is filled with several drinks. Also, the room had an alcohol dispenser with 4 different bottles of alcohol, but we didn’t really use them, since most of the times we already had some drinks at the bar or at the beach.

The only negative thing I can complain about is that the staff (not all of them of course) are real golddiggers. As said, I’ve been to the DR several times and I noticed a change in behaviour of the local people who work in the hotels. The reason this has happened, is because a lot of people from the USA celebrate their vacation in the DR and since they’re used to giving tips to waiters, they assume that this is how it works in the DR too. The waiters – of course – don’t earn that much money, so the consequence is that they now are kind of expecting to get tips. Remember that this is an all-inclusive resort! If you don’t give tips after two days, they ignore you and we sometimes had to wait 20 minutes for somebody to come and ask if we wanted anything. Trust me, I’m not at all against giving tips, but I always do it at the end of my vacation (with the exception of the bellboy and the room service guy, which I give tips directly), to thank the people who really offered some excellent service. I really was astonished by the behaviour of some of the staff members. Their priority were the people who gave them tips, which in an all-inclusive resort is really strange, since the idea of this all is that you’ve already paid for everything! At the end of our vacation, we gave tips to the waiters and other staff members who were always friendly to us, regardless of the tips. When the other members saw that we gave them tips, they almost started running and asking if we needed something else, just because they wanted a tip as well. For us, this kind of behaviour is REALLY not our thing!

But ok…! Furthermore, the swimmingpool is not that big, but we prefer the beach anyway and the beach is REALLY great! Nice water and sand! There is a bar on the beach, also at the swimmingpool, so no lack of drinks there either. The only thing which really surprised me is that almost EVERY woman goes topless.

The excursions they offer in the DR are not that great. I’ve done maybe 9 excursions throughout my trips to the DR and the only ones I can really recommend is the trip to Santo Domingo and swimming with the dolphins. The rest is just too commercial, too expensive and too far away.

Overall, I would really recommend this hotel to travelers going to the DR for the excellent food, drinks, the beach, the weather and the relaxation!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank mhottinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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derbyshire
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2009

please read previous review on Bambu

we were moved from the Bambu next door, what a difference
this place was clean, smiling happy staff, they all looked after you 100% and deserved the tips we gave them.

the rooms were imaculate and cleaned every day 2 towel changes if wanted and 24 hour room service.
beach bar with waiter service on the beach, clean pool, animation team always up for getting you involved in activities but not pushy if you said no.

Food amazing especially the Krystal restaurant in which we ate twice.

cannot say much more than what a fantastic place with fantastic staff.

Fiona the Thomson rep was very helpful.

to sum up the Macao go and experience it for yourself if you are disappointed you have got to be a real fussy one

thank you all at the Macao for making our second week in the Dominican Republic something to remember

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank haggis0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2009

We stayed at the Macao for 2 weeks and had the most fantastic holiday. The service is incredibly friendly and personal (staff went out of their way to learn and use guests names, which made us feel totally 'at home') and you never felt like they were only doing it to earn tips, either. The food was fabulous, which came as a very pleasant surprise, given some of the stories you hear about all inclusive dining! The main buffet restaurant had amazing variety, with many dishes being prepared while you watched and the Krystal restaurant was a lovely alternative when we fancied a change of scene. Our room was large and spacious, despite having 2 very big beds in it and our balcony looked onto the back of the Carribean street, which was colourful. It would have been nice if we could have afforded a suite or a sea/pool view, but the room was perfectly adequate for our needs. Daily maid service and nightly turndown service - clean towels at least once, if not twice, per day. Both the pool and the beach were great (we tended to go to the beach for the earlier part of the day, as it was really hot around the pool) and both had waiter service available for drinks. There is no kids club (you can go next door to the Riu Bambu and use theirs though), but there are loads of activities going on all day, both by the pool and at the beach. Our 7-year old loved doing archery, table tennis and darts, to name but a few. At night there are shows put on by the entertainment staff - we really enjoyed the Michael Jackson show and the circus night. Tipping isn't expected, but the service is so good that you'd have to be a total miser not to want to show your appreciation - these people keep smiling even though they work very long hours for only $250 per month!! Overall we would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxed holiday and excellent service in gorgeous tropical surroundings.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank EllieMayManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2009

My wife and I stayed at the RIU Palace Macao for 18 nights from May 24 thru June 11, 2009. This was our fourth visit to this hotel and as always the service, beach and serroundings were good and beautiful. We were glad to see that the beach restaurant was rebuilt and is now called Krystal. We had dinner there many times during this period and enjoyed it very much. Our room on the 3rd floor had some problems with toilet and airco. Toilet was fixed at our request 3 times including a one time flooding of the room which was fixed in 3 minutes by the staff. The airco did not function at all during our stay. After 3 days we were offered another room, however we did not accept because of having to pack everything again. Overall we had a pleasant stay as always, but I would recommend an upgrade of the rooms and the airco system.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank gerrydehaas1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2009

I was there for a week at the end of june with my boyfriend attending a small intimate wedding with friends. Everything was lovely from the staff, who were so funny and friendly to the food, where you have many options, but Crystal was the best. The beach and pool is where we spent most of our time lounging, drinking cocktails and laughing. After a few drinks we participated in some of the quirky activities they had going on poolside. We had many options also with our wristband allowing us to visit the other Rui resorts in the area, which we did a few times, but were always happy that we were staying at the Palace Macao in comparasson. Very fun, relaxing and beautiful stay.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Earakitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2009

Returned from a week at the Riu Palace Macao. Our first time at a Riu and Punta Cana. Check in was a breeze, we had booked a jacuzzi suite and were given a room on the 3rd floor. the room was big, spotless (thank you Ramona P) and the a/c worked, the refrigerator was stocked. We enjoyed our morning coffee and end of the day drink on the wonderful balcony.

We enjoyed Krystal, the Caribe Grill, the Steakhouse and El Patio (the buffet restaurant). We were impressed with the selection at the buffet and that the food was constantly replenished, even within 1/2 hr to closing. No complaints about the food at any of the restaurants.

The mornings we started at the magnificent beach and ended the day by the pool. Never felt crowded at the beach nor the pool. Hubby played beach volley ball, horseshoes, darts etc, the Anamacion (entertainment staff) were energetic and happy, never pushy to participate.

We did experience a few glitches, but nothing to prevent us from having a wonderful time.

The resort may not be brand new like the Palace, however it is immaculately clean, the grounds are beautiful, most of the staff are great, it has a great tropical feel to it.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank travelling&goodfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
105 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2009

We recently returned from a week (29 May – 5 June 2009) at the Riu Palace Macao staying in Room 3232 overlooking the pool and courtyard. I have now stayed in five Riu Palaces, twice the Riu Palace Macao, the two palaces in Playa del Carmen, Mexico as well as the Riu Palace Punta Cana, and last week was one of the nicest stays we have had.

Why was this? The Riu Palace Macao, as others have posted, is a charming, smaller, colonial type old style hotel with superb service. In our last stay in December 2004 I had wished the food was a bit better. It is now much better, quite excellent, and the new Krystal Restaurant on the ocean is contemporary, handsome and with outstanding food and service. We loved the smallness, charm and ambeince of an old style hotel where one is very well attended to. In the evening there is much live music in the lobby bar from about 6:30-9:30pm.

My one suggestion to the Riu hotel chain is to update the Riu Palace Macao air conditioning and perhaps at some point update the rooms and bathrooms.

I want to commend two outstanding employees: TeoFilo in the Lobby Bar in the late afternoon and evenings and Virginio in the morning and evening buffets. Both of these men I found to be impressive in their work and service. I wrote the hotel manager a personal email noting their excellent service and care.

At the Riu Palaces one enjoys light excellent champagne the entire day and this I certainly miss. And let me not forget to mention the wonderful beach in front of the hotel and the many coconut palms under which one can sit so not to be burnt by the sun. If one patronizes Riu hotels regularly one can sign up for a Riu card which brings a few helpful privileges.

If you choose the Riu Palace Macao, enjoy!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank whiteoakspring
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
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Top resorts 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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