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“Don't overthink it too much and just GO! You can't have a bad time.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Macao

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #36 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
san francisco, ca
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't overthink it too much and just GO! You can't have a bad time.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2010

I've been guilty of the 'paralysis of analysis' when it comes to picking the 'perfect' vacation spot... it has to have the perfect pool scene, the swim up bar, the safety issue and nightlife scene, and the location to/from the airport, blah blah blah .. blah blah! Tell you what. I'm gonna keep this real simple and tell you that the hotel will be worth the money you paid for, they cater to your needs (as long as youre a reasonable person), and you're gonna be on vacation in the caribbean so you can't go wrong. The hotel is in a sweet location and the beach is awesome. There isn't a swim up bar here so that wasn't too cool, but you could walk over to the Riu Bambo and use their pool (which does have a swim up bar). To sum up the differences between the two - the Macao was a little more upscale in presentation and the architecture/facilities felt "nicer". But it also had more of a 'family' scene and only 1 pool which had kids, adults, etc. It wasn't a bad thing since I usually have fun drinking anywhere i am regardless. They had activities for the guests and the food was good/great. Don't get picky about the food, it's completely good. I think those that leave really picky reviews here about how the rooms "smell" or the food was "yucky" are just a little too uptight. Or they may have had one bad experience and it may have tainted their entire trip (and their perception of a "good time"). Remember, you're on vacay. Have fun and you'll get a lot more out of it.

I can't really say anything negative about any of the Riu hotels that I saw at Punta Cana. Even at the low end (Bambu), those hotels were nice. The crowd was a little younger but don't get me wrong, you're still gonna run into kids. But it's a little more "lively" at the bambu with music by the poolside cranking a little louder, etc. On the flip side, the Riu Palace was also really nice. It felt more luxurious (but you paid for that, right?), and the resort grounds were really nice. Nice big pools with built in loungers inside the pool so you can lay out inside the pool. They had a swim up bar too, but since we stayed at the Macao, they wouldn't serve us any drinks. Our wristbands were only good at the Bambu or Macao. The crowd at the Palace was even more upscale than the Macao. How would i describe it... The Palace felt like Beverely Hills. The Macao felt more like the middle income suburban family resort. Bambu felt more like young couples and older couples who just wanted to have a good time. You can't go wrong with picking any of the three. They all access the same beaches and you can walk to each of them. Just pick the resort that fits in your budget, but don't try to go over your price just because you think the lower/mid priced resorts won't be "good enough". They are all great. Food at the Bambu was just as good as Macao, for those wondering. Stop thinking and just go!

This was the first leg (3 nights) of our 3 week stay in DR. Next off, Piedra Blanca (relatives/friends homes), then to Santo Domingo (relatives/friends homes), Puerta Plata (all inclusive resort), and then to Juan Dolio (all inclusive resort).

I'll post some pics and try to locate the names of the other resorts we stayed so I can submit a review... This was almost a year ago but thought I should share my feedback.

To see photos from our trip, visit:

DR Streets: http://picasaweb.google.com/kangpet/DRStreets?feat=directlink
DR Faces: http://picasaweb.google.com/kangpet/DRFacesPeople?feat=directlink
DR Food: http://picasaweb.google.com/kangpet/DRFood?feat=directlink

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pk415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (671)
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English first
Waltham, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2010

Just returned from a week a the Riu Macao 4/18-4/25. This was our first trip to Punta Cana. We read good and bad reviews and didn't expect what we were in for. I'll start with our room. Faceing the pool and haveing a balcony was a plus. Note..room great. Clean and smell free. Service for our room was wonderful from bed maide to the person who restalked mini bar. We decided to have second seating for dinner 8:30. Worked out great even though we weren't used to eating late. Could stay at pool or beach until 6 or 6:30 then stop at bar and take a couple of drinks up to room, sit on balcony relax take shower, dress and go to lobby bar for drink befor dinner. Dinning room is all closed in, air conditioned and ceiling fans. Dressed up staff with white shirts and ties. Food was very good and a nice selection including a carving area and pasta
bar. Alfredo was great. Sooo much food. Breakfast, and lunch buffet was good also with omlet bar and plenty of other selections. Pool area: Had no problem getting places to sit.. Most of the time we sat under the palm trees and had sun, shade and breeze. Beach
was wonderful. Didn't go to any shows because they were inside lounge and too smokey. The best vacation we have had and can't wait to go back. P.S. we are in our 60's. Have done many cruises, but this was better. Don't hesitate, just go. Stay at the Macao this is the best.. You have access to the other Riu's but no need to go there. You have the best at the Macao.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cjpapaof9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2010

Stayed here from April 16-23rd, paid $847.00 Canadian each. My daughter (5yrs) was free. The hotel was very clean, and the service is the best you will ever get. All the workers greeted you with a smile and made you feel special. They were great with all the kids.
The food was incredible. The restaurants were all excellent, the main restaurant (buffet) will blow you away. At the buffet one night, I had 3 fillet mignon steaks that would have cost $30.00 each at a restaurant, and I cut them with a butter knife.
The drinks at the piano bar were premium. All drinks in glasses, no cheap plastic cups here.
The beach was clean, and lots of action to watch, para sailing, party boats going by, helicopters etc...
The pool was clean and quiet, could have used some type of pool music.
Overall, this hotel is a bargain, I would strongly recommend this to anyone. However, you should not hesitate, we were told that this hotel will be closed next year for renovations....and that means the price will be going up.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravellingSherpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2010

I will keep this brief because I felt it necessary to write something.. I Read many many reviews AND BOOKED THIS 7 DAYS IN ADVANCE for my daughters sweet 16.MY 8 yr old son loved playing volleyball on the beach with guests that didnt speak english but were able to have fun together .EVERYONE WAS SO FRIENDLY. THE STAFF WAS AMAZING!!!!! HARD WORKING FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL ,ALWAYS SAYING HOLA OR BUENOS DIAS OR SOMETHING NICE.Disregard a negative review about the front desk . I FOUND THEM TO BE GREAT.I mentioned my daughters bday to them and not only found a bottle of champagne in the room but the day before a huge deliciuos fruit basket!!.A THANK YOU AND TIPPING GOES ALONG WAY. I brought 60 singlesand it was gone by the third day but you can get more at the front desk...FOOD WAS GREAT never made the steakhouse cause we get great steaks here. ACTUALLY HAD 2 BDAY DINNERS in 1 NITE where the crew sang and played musical happy bday!!
I flew continental vacations and never found the person that was to be there the 2nd day for orientation.I mentioned it to the front desk and about our return transfers and she assured me of a ride to the airport without delay. if not she would personally call them as not to miss our flight .She also wrote me a note when we were leaving thanking me for being a firefighter and that we are appreciated not only in the states but in other countries as well !!! AWESOME TIME!!!
ANY Q'S JUST ASK!!!
ENJOY YOUR VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LiveLikeYaDyin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson Heights, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2010

This was our first trip to Punta Cana. It was my wife's second RIU resort and my first. Overall the hotel was pretty good. We ate mainly at the buffet area. The Japanese Restaurant was not good. Don't get me wrong, the service was great, it's just that the quality of the rolls and food seemed to be pre- made and stored in the fridge. It's just not up to par with what we are used to back in the states. There is a casino on the premises which we didn't use. We did attend the Micheal Jackson show which was very good. There were drinks served while we enjoyed the show. There is also a shopping area right next to the hotel where one can get some souvenirs. The beach is beautiful but can be crowded at times. The good thing is that you can eat lunch at the other RIU hotels which are located adjacent to this resort. We ordered room service for breakfast and it was free. I was surprised to know that it was included in the package. The hotel was kept very clean throughout our stay. Our room was large and spacious and the bathroom was very clean. We stayed there for 5 nights and enjoyed it. For an all inclusive resort, this hotel was worth it.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank poppasmurf79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portugal-Acores
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2010

We booked Riu Palace Macao (Me, wife and kids 8 and 3) after reading some reviews about Riu Bambu. I Was interested in a Hotel that could provide good food, because i was concerned about my two kids...DID THE RIGHT CHOICE....
The food was very good, plenty to chose from....I was amazed how much my 8 year old was eating....eh..eh...almost as much as i was....(and i am a big guy)....and the service...5 stars...people were always friendly to our kids, always something nice to say to them when....loved the people there at the Hotel....
Was concerned about the rooms...yes, not a updated Hotel, but then again, i enjoyed the room....Our sink was broken at the day of arrival (Tought to myself...starting well) but went to the reception, asked for assistance, went to the pool, and when we returned to the room, it was fixed....so no complaints
What i didnt like at all......the service at the beach by scuba caribe (water sports)
The service there is terrible....always complicated to give informations, since i was not interested in making excursions, only wanted to take on a catamaran, they were always not interested in me at all....(Felt like a poor guy, asking for something to eat, like they were doing me a favour)....Been there 2 days and couldnt sail in a catamaran...On the next Hotel (IBEROSTAR), i could see them sailing all day long....felt disapointed...And their equipment is very old.....
Apart from that....since it was easter holidays, riu bambu, taino and naiboa were overcrawded...glad i made this choice....
As for the entertainment, the workers did their best by the pool. The guests are older than other Hotels, so there is not much they can do. Guests just want to relax....But other Hotels are just a few steps away......
Would recomend this Hotel for relaxed holidays, forget the water activities...

PS: LOVED THE CUBANO BAR and the BINGO BONGO....BIG MOMA, BRENDA AND ANTONIO ANIMATION (((ENH, ENH))) Who as been there knows what i am talking about

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JoaoPortugal_Acores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, TX
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2010

Just returned from a week at the the Riu Palace Macao. I've been there a number of time and I never fail to have a wonderful time. The serivce at the hotel is fantastic and the staff are super friendly. My friends and I spent a lot of time talking and laughing with the beach bar staff. Eladio the bartender is a great guy and makes having a drink or two with the beach and turquoise water in clear view a real pleasure. We had great rooms with balconies overlooking the pool area and a view of the ocean through the palms.
The weather was good and the perpetual breeze on the beach is awesome.
If you're planning on going here are a few tips:

1) We used Dominican Airport Transfers (on the web) for transportation to and from the hotel. At $90 round-trip for 4, this was a pretty good deal over getting a transfer through the travel company. The transfers are private so you don't have to wait for others at the airport or stop at a bunch of hotels on the way to yours. They were on time (or early) for both trips.

2) Try to return to the US on a Sunday. Customs and Immigration were the least crowded that I've seen. I connect through Atlanta and any time I've come back on any other day, it's a madhouse.

3) Book any excusions right at the hotel...they're cheaper than some of the companies through which you can book in advance. This also allows you to guage the weather while you're there and you can typically get an excursion booked the same day or next day.

4) Take note of just how hard the staff works (you'll see the same folks working rather long hours) and how happy and friendly they remain. Be friendly to them and you will get nothing but smiles and courtesy in return

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pinyjoinsatx
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, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling 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
#24 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#32 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Family 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, Amex. ... 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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