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“10 days of relaxation”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #43 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“10 days of relaxation”
Reviewed 29 November 2013

Stayed there 14 - 24th November, young couple.
The food was good, plenty of choices (as long as you are not a very fussy eater). Staff was friendly and respectful at the same time (with or without tips). The room was great, at the third floor with a very high ceiling and a nice balcony, cleaned at least once a day, minibar was always stocked. I have learned the hard way that it is important to keep your valuables and wallet in the safe at all times.
The beach was the most beautiful in that area, with no umbrellas, but with plenty of palm trees to provide some shade. Also there was plenty of space between the sunbeds, providing enough privacy.
The adults only concept is nice, worth mentioning that there were not many young couples at that time, but more towards older ones.
It is a very nice hotel if you are looking for relaxation.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms have high ceillings
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ovidiu A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
108 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

We stayed here Nov. 4-11. We upgraded our room when we booked knowing that it didn't necessarily guarantee and ocean view but that we wouldn't be overlooking Caribbean street. Turns out our room was on the second floor, when we looked out over the balcony we could tell that we were above common area i.e. not guest rooms. After asking the same question several different ways we realized that we were over a "restaurant" per our Bellman. Turns out we were over the Nightclub!! Thankfully, we returned to Reception to request another "quieter" room. I expect the only reason they didn't give us grief was because the hotel was nowhere near full.

It is true that the rooms do smell musty, but only when you enter them for the first time. After you have had the patio doors open for a bit the smell goes away and isn't an issue.

Once we had the unpleasantries (I use the term loosely) out of the way, we had a great stay at Riu Palace Macao. The staff were very friendly and the food was quite nice; never lacking for choices. Best of all, no towel/chair games at the pool! The Cafe was a very nice touch - the Iced Coffee's was incredible and it is just as well we didn't find out about them until the last day! Very decadent! Agree with other reviewers who say they alcohol is watered down.

The one commentary we have on the renovations is that the rooms were much nicer with the dark wood; can't believe they chose to paint the wood white; looked cheap rather than chic.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank love2travel511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Stayed with my partner in early November. The resort is lovely and it's obvious it has just been refurbished. Rooms are modern and clean with housekeeping twice daily. Very quiet and lovely big balcony. Mini bar is re stocked daily, but you do have to leave a tip or you may find yourself with an empty fridge!!!
The entertainment team are excellent and work long hours to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. Alex, Malvin, Jinette and Brenda - Thanks for giving us such a good laugh.
The down side is the food and drink, which is what I would expect to find in a 3 star. The food is cold 80% of the time and if something runs out in the buffet they take forever or never to replenish it, greatly reducing choice.
The drink is cheap rubbish. The draught lager in the bars is poor quality and undrinkable after a couple of days. The premium alcohol is actually a premium bottle filled up with a cheap local spirit. Try any spirit and they all taste the same!!!
Service is very slow in the bar in the evening. Sadly there is a 'tip to get service' culture in this resort. It's quicker to go to the bar yourself and also that way you have a better chance of getting the drink you order.
Evening entertainment is rubbish, mostly same dancers in different outfits every night. We did get excited about the Michael Jackson night, but it was terrible, probably one of the worst shows.
Be warned the airport is a nightmare!!! Be prepared to stand for a minimum of one and a half hours to get through security with corrupt officials offering you the opportunity to go to the front of the queue for 20 dollars!!!
Overall we had a good holiday, but that was down to the people we met Richard, Jane, Martyn and Jez to name a few. Thanks for the laugh.

Room Tip: Don't pay extra for a sea view these are above the bar and noisy
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank judith330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

We stayed at the hotel 5 November for 2 weeks and this was the best hotel we have stayed in.
It is very clean and everywhere you look there is somebody cleaning high and low, check in was very easy they spoke to us together as a group the staff were friendly and very welcoming. Alba was really lovely and helpful as it was our honeymoon she upgraded us and then called up to the room to check all was ok, throughout the holiday she referred to us by our first names which was a really nice touch.
For the 2 week stay it rained twice in the daytime, once was a quick shower lasting 10 minutes then back to sunshine the last day it was overcast and drizzle rain for majority of the morning but for the rest if the 2 weeks it was HOT over 30 degrees, there is shade around the pool and if you go to the beach head towards the right as this is more shaded by the trees and close to the wooden hut where you can get your drinks. There is waiter service on the beach and round the pool but this can be quiet slow so its quicker to go get your own. Walk the beach before 12 or after 3pm the sea is calmer and there is a nice breeze. If you run low on suncream tell the thomson rep as they have plenty of bottles to give you which have been left.
Rooms
Our room was on the 3rd floor with a partial pool/sea view it was tucked in the corner, the balconys are smaller on the 3rd floor however the rooms are light and airy as there is a high ceiling with a mounted mirroron the ceiling which makes it look light and bigger. The rooms have there own liqueur dispenser with a fridge stocked with soft drinks and beers. There is also an ice machine located on each floor and you have an ice bucket so can have a supply of ice for your room. The rooms were cleaned daily and there was a turn down service in an evening. There was plenty of clean fresh towels left in the bathroom daily. The bathroom was really spacious with a large walk in shower and 2 sinks they were modern and clean.
The beds were really large and comfy, there is also a large fan over the bed that you can use along with the air conditioning this makes the room really cold great for when you are coming in from a day in the heat.

Restaurants
We ate in all of the A la carte restaurants..
The Krystal was in a really lovely setting right on the beach with multicolored strip lights which create a modern look. We had the beef on both occasions that we ate here as it was really nice and cooked well the apple pie and ice cream is also amazing.
We found out during the last couple of days of the holiday that you can have lunch in the Krystal, you are not told this during your stay so it is very quiet when you go as many people do not know about this, rather than buffet lunch it is a menu which included surf and turf skewers and aberdeen angus burgers along with a large profiterole for desert.
Japanese - This was our favourite, we had sushi and then noodles with soy sauce shrimp and salmon, main was steak in a sauce like black bean on a sizzle plate with rice and desert was deep fried ice cream. There was other meals on the menu but we visited 3 times and had the same each time as it was amazing, it is worth going to try the battered ice cream. This restaurant is air conditioned so its good for men as they have to wear long trousers in all the a la carte restaurants.
Steak House - The seafood platter and Caesar salad its a lovely starter, on our first visit we had the 8oz rib eye steak which was cooked to perfection however on our next visit we had the surf and turf as it was sirloin steak this was disappointing as it was tiny, the size of a medallion we wish we had gone for the rib eye again both were served with a jacket potato and vegetables.
Italian - we only visited once right at the end of the holiday and we regret this as the food was great I would recommend the chicken and also the prawn linguine.
Buffet- brilliant choice, for breakfast you had fresh omelets, pancakes waffles also healthy options including porridge and smoothies. Lunch was served in the restaurant near the pool which is the Italian//steakhouse in the evening again good choice of food burgers chips meat potatoes fresh salad- plenty to chose from. Evening in the buffet is great again plenty to choose from and they also have theme nights.
By the beach there is also a little wooden restaurant which you can also get lunch from buffet style it is only small and only has a limited option but is great for burgers and chips it also has self serve drinks so if you are having a beach day you can nip in and grab a drink for there easily.

Bars,drinks and entertainment

If you want premium drinks then you must ask so if you want vodka and lemonade then ask for a smirnoff and sprite. We had no problems with the drinks the branded drinks we asked for we got .. Jim beam, Smirnoff, havana club, kentucky burbon, Jose cuervo, barcello rum, beefeater gin there was plenty of others just make sure you specify. I drank cocktails and they were lovely also there is a martini menu - the chocolate martini was the best. You can also ask for any cocktail that is not on the menu they will make this up for you. The cocktails are well presented it is worth working your way through the menu to see which ones you like best.
The coffee shop was lovely the Ice coffee was really good in the coffee shop there is a fridge full of sandwiches,fruit salads, salads and there is also a nacho dispenser with cheese salsa and jalapenos you can use this 24 hours so is great for a late night snack to take back with you.
You also have the option of 24 hour room service there was not a lot on the menu.. ceasar salad, club sandwich,chips,nachos,chocolate cake -- if it is during meal time and you ask for other things they will bring this up also.
The entertainment was not great in the evening - the entertainment staff were good fun and worked hard but the shows that came in from the outside were amateur and not very good however this is my opinion and I have yet to go to an all inclusive where I have enjoyed the entertainment we made friends who went to the shows every night and enjoyed them so it is down to preference.

Grounds and beach
The beach is amazing, it is worth staying at this hotel for the location alone.. just steps from the pool is the beach it is miles of white sands which you can walk up and down, to the right is a small area of shops which is unusual as they are situated right by the sea when the tide comes in it can be hitting inside the shops it is worth having a walk up to see it takes about 20 minutes each way and is a lovely walk up.
The hotel grounds are clean and tidy the pool area is very clean and there are plenty of loungers and also there are some double 4 poster beds you will need to get up early to reserve these as they go quickly.
The main pool is large with double beds in the pool which is lovely we spent most of the day in the pool as it was so hot. The pool bar was great again it had double beds in the pool and a large table running through the middle with seating and tables on the outside this area is great for chatting and having fun we really felt like we were on holiday whilst here we had great fun.

Overall I would certainly recommend this hotel and would go back. I always have a moan when I come back from holiday this is the first time I have ever come back and not actually had a complaint.
The only thing I would say is that it could do with another bar for the evening somewhere that you can go with friends and talk and play cards and not have to listen to the live music that is on once the show starts at 10 the live music stops so you do get 1 hour without but between these times there is no where to have a drink where it is quiet. It would have been nice if the pool bar (dry side) was open in an evening as this was out of the way and a lovely setting. Apart from this the food was outstanding the staff friendly yes it is very quiet not too much to do in the resort but this was great for us total relaxation. Don't forget you have the use of 2 other riu hotels (daytime only) they are next door so if you want to get out you can.
We made great friends and have great memories of this wonderful hotel!

Room Tip: we stayed in 3366 - this was top floor in very corner so had a partial sea/pool view it was a lovel...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Rebbecca W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ste-Julie
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

My wife and I travelled the week of November 16th 2013 and simply loved the RIU Palace Macao hotel. We went twice at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana (Feb 2012 and Feb 2013) and when walking on the beach daily we saw this RIU resort composed of five hotels (Palace Punta Cana,Palace Macao, Palace Bavaro, Bambu and Naiboa) with plenty of beach space as opposed to the Grand Bahia where it was cramped. We chose the Macao because the 18 plus age group which is calm and peaceful resort and it was a stone throw to the beach as advised by our travel agent. Food was excellent from the buffet to all four restaurants we were able to try...simply out of this world! The staff were always helpful and in a good mood with a smile. I did have to call room service as the shower drain was clogged the first day of stay and was fixed within the hour of my call....talk about service! Besides the choice of wines, I cannot find a negative comment on this resort and do not understand people writing a bad review on this resort as you should ALWAYS use a travel agent as opposed on booking directly through the website.

We really loved our choice of hotel and will most likely return to other RIU's such as Jamacia Montego Bay or Negril!

Room Tip: If you want peace and quiet rooms, choose the rooms facing the RIU Bambo. It was quiet even with the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gchampag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

We couldn't have asked for a better vacation! The arrival was awesome. We were greeted and our rooms were ready early. The front desk was super friendly and so funny. The rooms were incredible and the views were breathtaking. The food was great for a buffet! We always found something we liked and had more than enough options for picky eaters. We had no trouble getting reservations for the a la carte restaurants. The food was incredible! I highly recommend the beef at the Italian restaurant. You could cut the filet with a butter knife. The entertainment crew were fun and worked very hard! They tried to get everyone to participate but never hassled anyone. They joked and laughed with us. Brenda was SUPER! We didn't want for a thing! We've been to other islands and there were bugs and birds that were bothersome. We didn't experience anything like that here. This was by far the cleanest island resort we've been to. Would recommend to anyone!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013 via mobile

We holidayed at the 4* Grand Bahai 4 years ago, it was fantastic, hotel, food, airport everything good. On the basis the grand Bahai in Dom rep was so good we went the the Grand Bahai Mexico which was no where near as good.
Then we went to the 4* Riu club Negril Jamaica, this too was brilliant, so we had no hesitation booking a 5* Riu hotel back at the dom rep, you no where this is going don't you. Well your only part right.
The airport has got 10x worse in just 4 years, it's a nightmare, and organised chaos coming home queuing for over an hour with a premium flight ticket in my hand.
The hotel, 4* or 5* I think probably better than the other 3 so maybe 5* if you didn't eat or drink. Food and drink definitely 3* not as good as the other 3 we stayed at. As already mentioned in another review the spirits seemed watered down and were certainly not brands even when you asked for them, I spent 2 weeks trying everything and couldn't find a drink I was happy with.
The biggest plus side was adults only, there were no screaming during the day around the pools so it was quiet and relaxing until the brother in law woke up.
Didn't really expect top entertainment as it is a fairly small hotel but the entertainment staff were very good, and normally if you said no, respected that.
Airport, food and drink aside it was a good holiday, and having travelled 4500 miles we've come back having met and befriended some top English people, Sheila, Ray, Cathy, Bea, Martyn, Jez, Richard, Keely,
Just like to say 'Hi y'all Karen n Danielle' Yankee girls.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Grahame P
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:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach 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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