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“Simply excellent”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #38 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 April 2014

We have usually stayed at the Punta Cana Princess (see my previous reviews) but it was fully booked this year for the weeks we wanted. So this year we decided to try the Riu Palace Macao adult resort. It did not disappoint. Food: Excellent and varied. I'm not sure why people complain about the food - the main buffet at the Riu Macao had everything and anything your stomach could desire with enough variety from day to day to satisfy even the most picky eater. The specialty restaurants were fine if you wanted a different atmosphere. One complaint was that for some reason the servers in the specialty restaurants were much less friendly than at the buffet. As well, bring a sweater to the Japanese restaurant - like the service, its cold. Beach/Pool: Wonderful. What was most surprising that there was never an issue of getting lounge chairs either around the pool or on the beach area in front of the hotel. Even though there were a few people playing the towel game, it was not an issue with lots of chairs in good spots to go around. Service: Friendly and helpful in the buffet and at the bars. While tips were appreciated they were pooled by staff and did not make a difference in the quality of service. Room: Clean, nicely appointed. We loved the mini bar and "wall bar". We had a room at the end of the corridor (Rm 3398) and while it did not overlook the ocean, it had a huge balcony and lots of privacy. Reception: Accommodating. Our friends had a first floor room which was dark and there was no problem in changing this the next day to the room next to ours. Entertainment: Hokey. If you want entertainment go to Las Vegas. These were well-meaning amateurs and lots of fun to watch, especially the "circus" in the outside venue. Dancing on the patio to a small band was lovely. One final comment, this five star hotel was well worth the extra cost compared to our usual stay at a four star resort. The comments that this is a place for old people or people with walkers are absolutely false and unfair. The place does go quiet after 11:00. If you want to party after hours go elsewhere - you will appreciate it and so will we!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank canontnia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 April 2014

I love to travel to the Caribbean. July 2013, I took my mother (72 y/old) to the Riu Palace Macao for two weeks $3,100.00 CDN.

IMPORTANT: No one bothered us on the beach, unless you asked the gentlemen to come show you their goodies.

IMPORTANT: Food was delicious and abundant.

IMPORTANT: Room was cleaned everyday (very well).

IMPORTANT: There is a doctor's office on site.

IMPORTANT: All day long to have fun

NEGATIVE IMPORTANT: Be aware, the club there has prostitutes, those who wish to partake, I wouldn't. Great music to dance the night away.

NEGATIVE IMPORTANT: People do get drunk, don't encourage/speak to them/or cause a scene.

That's all that I can think of right now...ENJOY!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Only1Theodora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Beware...
we just left the Riu Palace Macao after confronting a staff member in our room at 2:30 am......(we were sound asleep)
we will advise but all should know that the hotel wanted nothing more than us gone (problem solved) and Signature Vacations sent us to a lesser hotel at my cost plus we paid our own transportation....
very, very disappointed at the lack of help or support from Signature Vacations and Riu Resorts.

this is a crime and lack of guaranteed security... no police cuz nothing was stolen but it is what it is.....

Room Tip: watch your back and beware of security issues
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Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
30  Thank Sebring586
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Stayed here for ten nights at end of March - start of April and had a really great trip.

We travelled with Thomson and this was the only not so good part of our trip.
Poor communication and information provided by the travel agent as well as the TV's breaking to and from Dominican Republic on the new Dreamliner left me feeling a lot annoyed with Thomson..but luckily that was the only negative of our trip.

Arrived at Punta Cana Airport and were through security and passport control within about 15mins. Got our Luggage and onto the coach for a 25min trip to the Riu Resort.
The Macao is located on a resort with the Bavaro, Naiboa, Bambu and Palace Hotels although they all have separate entrances and you in no way feel like there are other hotels around you unless you go looking for them.
Arrived at around 7pm and were greeted with a cocktail whilst we got checked in and allocated our room. This was done quickly. We got to our room and a short time later someone arrived with our luggage.
Our hotel room was very spacious and very clean with a lovely bed, table and 2 comfy chairs and a good size bathroom with a rainfall shower.
The bed was very comfy..if a little too big but our room was cleaned twice a day and towels also replenished daily.

We tried all the restaurants and the buffet restaurant and found no issues with any of the food. Most of it was delicious, replenished often and well cooked. Some of the food wasn't too my taste and I am an extremely fussy eater but I could find no fault with anything.
All the staff were very nice and helpful. They got to know you and would know your drink order and how you take your coffee and to bring you mimosa for breakfast. Lol!
The room service menu was very limited but the food was nice and service was delivery. They would also bring you a bottle of champagne if you ask.

Drinks were very good, the daiquiri was very sweet so I swapped between Caribbean Orange and passion dream - I would recommend both!

The pool was very clean and refreshing. It was never cold and you could always get one of the balanese sunbeds if you wanted.
There was no issue with sunbeds by the pool or on the beach and waiter service in both areas was great.
I have to say I didn't go into the pool with the pool bar as people seemed to stay there all day drinking and not get out - I hope they used extra chlorine in it!

We did two trips with Thomson (our rep was lovely and even got us some sunscreen when we ran out) - the Dr Fish Trip - which was enjoyable but I don't think it is worth it for the price) and also the snuba excursion which involved driving speedboats and snorkelling as well as snuba diving. I loved it and would definitely recommend it!!

Overall we had a great trip. Our room overlooked the Caribbean Street and the Bavaro Hotel which we went to visit - it was certainly very lovely and a lot bigger than the Macao and I can see why people would choose there - but the Macao is more exclusive as there is a lot less people about and it just felt more intimate than any hotel we had been to before.

I could not fault this place for location, food, rooms or service - my only complaint is that there is no shampoo provided and that they allow people to smoke in the restaurants and beside the food - which I find very unhygienic and a bit gross - I definitely think smokers should be more considerate and not smoke over the food that people have to eat!
Even with this though, I would definitely recommend it and go back to visit again!

Room Tip: We loved our room and had a nosy in a few and they all seemed similar size and with the same ameniti...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Marielouise G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I travelled with my boyfriend for 10 days, aged 20 & 24, and we both had a great time, a very relaxing stay. The hotel is nice and perfect for a relaxing holiday, there is not too much to do on a night, especially because when we were there the casino was closed which was disappointing but we got a 5 minute taxi to the Hardrock casino a few nights which was quite good ($20 there & $20 back.) but there are a few shows on a evening that are quite good they start at 10pm in the theatre (we didn't know this at first and thought there was no entertainment other than the bit of music around the bar)
The pool area's nice and relaxing, the waiters come round and offer drinks a few times a day so I rarely had to get up to get a drink. The beach is stunning, very clean and the sea is perfect blue and quite warm.

The rooms were lovely, nice big beds, nice his and hers sinks in the bathroom with a wetroom style shower. The electrical power wasn't strong enough to power my hairdryer, so I had to use the one in the bathroom which is pretty good and quite powerful. Also, there was an iron and a full size ironing board in the closet which was useful.

The food was great, lots of options and very nice, obviously you cant expect Michelin star at a buffet but I had no complaints.The steak house was lovely I'd definitely book in to it for a nice change (my boyfriend got the steak well done which was too well done, but medium was perfect still juicy without any pink.) oh and I heard two people complaining that they ate the shrimp in the steak house and felt sick the next day so we didn't eat any of the seafood starter that they offered - it did look very nice and I saw others enjoying it but better to be safe than sorry.

The staff are genuinely lovely people, they can't do enough for you, they really made the holiday special!

p.s. We did the Caribbean Cruise which was great fun - we also did the boogie trip which was ok but we spent about a hour getting there 30 minutes actually on the boogies, half an hour on the beach and then another hour getting back to the hotel.. so I feel they could extend the time on the boogies so it seems better value for money.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank natalie w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Weve just got back from Riu Macao Palace. We found it to be a lovely clean hotel with good food. We ate at the main buffet restaurant and 3 of the speciality restaurants. For our tastes we preferred the Italian restaurant, but the Japanese and Krystal restaurant were ok, but we could always tind something tastey in the buffet restaurant. Cappuccinos do a wonderful iced coffee and small cakes and sandwiches 24 hours a day...
The beach is lovely, but gets quite busy, there was always somewhere to sit around the pool and the canopies above the beds are great as it lets you get sun on specific beds.
The rooms are spacious and the bed huge and one of the most comfortable beds ive slept in. The rooms are clean but remember to use the signs if you dont want your room cleaned. Cleaning is sometimes done about 4 or 5 pm, which is when we were getting back rom the pool. In my opinion is a little late in the day but we were in a group and went to someone elses room until it was done.
In the evening we found that we did struggle to find a seat outside around the bar area but if you get there before 8pm it was ok.
Caribbean street is nice for a walk in the evening, the other rius also have some stalls to walk around to buy souvenirs so its worth a walk to them just to see if they are there.
we went on 2 trips, eco caribe tour, in a converted school bus, you see alot of the dominican, school, market, church, rice, sugar and cocoa fields, cigar making. when your on the bus be prepared to be asked to dance, the tour guides are very entertaining. We also went on the buggies and went to the most beautiful beach ive ever seen... I would recommend both trips and staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Tracey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

We are just back from a Thomson package to Rui Palace Macao. Flew on the "Dreamliner " 787 . Paid for extra leg room and yes it felt more than Premium Economy on Virgin to Montego Bay. However it seems daft on an aircraft with so few toilets that Thomson Premium are curtained off from Economy! Punto Cana airport transfer could have been better, ie the reps. However 25 minute transfer and there we were. A welcoming drink and explanation , cases taken promptly to rooms. Our room was lovely. Spotlessly clean , efficient AC and fan. No bath but a large walk in shower. As advertised there is a fridge with fizzles restocked daily and optics on the wall. A small coffee machine but despite getting refills of coffee and sugar we asked 5 times for creamer and 3 days later we got it.
Nice main pool where there is a variety of beds and loungers , with shade. A separate bar with its own smaller pool was very busy and noisy.
The beach is immediately after the pool and you can take shade amount the Palms. The beach does drop noticeably and the sea was noticeably stronger with waves than Jamica. The is a drink service round the pool and rather less regularly on the beach. Critisms. The sand on the beach populated with cigarette butts. As a whole apart from inside the buffet and the al a carte food areas smoking is not prohibited , great if you are a smoker I guess, we just kept moving. Also this is an adults resort but the Life Guard was rarely to be seen by the pool.
The food is varied and of a good quality , the cocktails served at the bars are good. We had a slight problem at the Patisarie as the server was able to point out food with fish in but we couldn't get him to wash the one pair of tongs he used and as my wife has a severe fish allergy couldn't eat there. Otherwise in the Buffett the food is clearly marked with tongs for each item.
The staff are mostly very friendly with passable English to be able to serve. Also I would mention the free Wifi. Good signal strength even on the beach. If you have trouble walking like me there are ramps and lifts to make access easy.
My wife and I used the Spa in the adjacent Rui hotel and had a wonderful couples experience. There are hotel shops for clothes , jewelry and a small general shop however just outside the hotel is Carribean Street with many retailers happy to help you spend your dollars.
One downside of the open style corridors is sound travelling and with so much "all inclusive" alcohol the less considerate revellers returning to their rooms does echo around.
There are easy to use safes in every room and given the number of staff who will be in and out of your rooms often leaving the door s open m well just use the safe. We didn't do any of the evening entertainment so cannot comment. Overall a great chill week. Another bit of advice one use a high sun screen especially on the beach , the breeze means you can burn easily. Two should you find yourself with noisy neighbours ask to be moved , reception seem to be quite accommodating.
Lastly from walking around the Rui complex not all the hotels have direct access to the beach. If you go I'm sure you will enjoy.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank F2Paul
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:
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
#32 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £161 - £272 (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):
The Adults Only & 24 H All Inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Macao opens all year round and is located on the beautiful Playa Arena Gorda beach, in holiday area Punta Cana on the Dominican Republic's eastern coast. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Punta Cana Airport PUJ (25 km) and El Cortecito (10 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 364 comfortably furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa, or get in shape at the gym. 4 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool, Water park "Splash Water World" . Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our buffet restaurant, Japanese and Italian, Fusion, Culinary restaurant and Steakhouse, as well as 6 bars. ... 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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