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“Amazing! Fantastic staff, incredible beach. Best holiday ever”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #43 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
South England
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Amazing! Fantastic staff, incredible beach. Best holiday ever”
Reviewed 14 June 2010

This hotel is very grand and luxurious. Fair enough, rooms are a bit outdated, but very clean and spacious. We got an extra bed put in so me and my sister didn't have to share and they came with one straight away which was really good of them, as they don't do 2-bed rooms. We were lucky to get an end room with an amazing huge round balcony. It had rocking chairs but we preferred to sit out on our armchairs which we moved on to the balcony as there was no room when the extra bed was in!

Food was absolutely out of this world. Main restaurant always had for example: 3 types of meat, 3 types of fish, a few casserole type dishes, fried chicken or fish, a carvery with 2 different types of meat (including a whole pig one night which was slightly gross but very grand), a pasta station where the chef would cook you pasta to order within a few mins, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, chips, a few types of pasta and potatoes, hot vegetables. Then there was a huge selection of bread, a massive salad bar, a ridiculously huge selection of starters (canape style) with indulgences such as caviar (black and pink) hundreds of different meats and fish, hard boiled eggs and all kinds of things to try. There was an ice cream cart too with about 8 different flavours, and a huge selection of desserts, fresh fruit and cheeses. Bacially, you can't go wrong. Breakfast was pretty indulgent too, with all the usual hotel breakfast things from full English, to breads and hundreds of different preserves, chocolate spread etc, fruit, cereal and some incredible homemade donuts with plain or cinammon sugar to sprinkle on them. You can also get a very limited selection of food free on room service! The fridge is constantly restocked with fizzy drinks and water, and there are 4 bottles of rum/vodka etc in dispensers in the room. All inclusive so great if you're a big drinker!!

The pool bar is fine, Pasta, pizza, hot dogs, burgers etc, but we only went there once as the main restaurant had so much selection. We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants. The pool area is lovely and the pool is pretty big, but you may as well sit down on the beach as the views are to die for. There are plenty of shady/dappled shade areas under the palms too so perfect if you want to stay out of the sun for a while. The sand is just incredible, all white and powdery. Take a walk along the beach (right if facing the sea) to the local shops/market. The sellers do hassle you a bit but if you say no, they leave you alone. You can haggle a lot with them though. It is a very pleasant walk, 15/20 mins along the beautiful beach with some great photo opps on the way. Watch out for the market sellers dogs though! They lie out on the sand and we nearly stood on one because he was camoflaged! They just lie there though so no worries if you don't really like dogs.

The evening shows are awful. We aren't fussy or prudish but we actually walked out of one it was so bad!! This was the Dominican Show that we thought would be all cultural and fun, but it was basically a load of girls wearing thongs, bras and tiny skirts, gyrating on stage. Not great if you have kids!

All in all an incredible stay, and the Thomson rep Wez (who has now left to go to Bulgaria) was amazing. He looked after us so well. This was the most picturesque hotel I have ever stayed in and no holiday will ever be the same again!!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank LolaGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Marshfield
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2010

I am an avid fan of the Riu chain in Mexico, so I knew I would not be disappointed and I was correct. I will have to say that the beds were more firm than I am use to, but who sleeps on vacation, not us :) My boyfriend, 14 year old daughter and I stayed at the Riu Macao May 29, 2010 to June 5, 2010. The service on the beach, by the pool and in every restaurant and bar was above our expectations. You never went hungry and you were never thirsty. I would recommend that you eat at Krystal restaurant as the ambiance was great and Elias--he was a hoot. Rafael took care of us while were there and was such a great guy. There was always something going on with the entertainment crew. I dont think we ever made it to bed before 11:00 pm. We did the Boogy excursion--great way to the see the Country. Considering I have a very picky 14 year old, she always found something great to eat and loved the Japanese Restaurant--sushi was great. The beach was great!!!! but be aware that Europeans love to tan topless so if you are offended easily, this is not the beach for you. You also need to visit Calle Caribe--excellent gifts but be careful as some vendors will not give you change back if you do not pay with Pesos and very few speak English, so if you do not know Spanish, start learning so you can get good prices and not be scammed!!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank BeachchicaMarshfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincs
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2010

Have stayed at a wide range of Caribbean All Inclusives & this place beats them all for overall service. Whether in the restaurants & bars, by the pool or on the beach the staff were brilliant & always so friendly. Antonito & his array of hats were a source of great hilarity....not forgetting Yolande, Pablo, Nelson, Wilson, Danny & a host of others who really pushed the boat out for us.
As for the food, we're normally disappointed by the a la carte restaurants...but we'd gladly have paid to eat at the Krystal Fusion, back home in the UK...& we ended up eating there 4 times. Tried the Steakouse, too, but preferred the buffet for variety.
My only quibble with the drinks was that they didnt have real Baileys (or Cointreau - it didnt turn the lemonade cloudy !!)
It's also true that the hotel itself is well ready for a makeover but we didnt spend that long in our room & didnt care if it was all a bit dated.
We got a good deal, met some nice people (hello to Debbie & Pete - sorry we didnt get chance to say goodbye to you...but you would have to be greedy & get a 24 hour extension to your holiday !) & would be happy to go back at a later date.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank grimsbygals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviewed 8 June 2010

My daughter and I took our first trip to Punta Cana last week. The beach is gorgeous...the sand feels like powdered sugar under my feet. We loved the daytime, but the night time, not so much. There really isn't much to do here. The entertainment is similar to a high school talent show, but worse. We went to bed early every night. The food is nothing to rave about. We ate at the buffet 2 evenings and at the 3 restaurants the other nights. We were sick of the buffet for every meal, especially breakfast. I would love some real orange juice and cereal. The food was just okay everywhere. We did enjoy the Krystal restaurant and the Japanese the most. Our hairdryer was broken and took 3 calls to get a new one. Also, no one told us the electric is 110 so we did not have a converter to use our our hairdrying, recharge cell phones, etc. Our toilet broke and it took 2 calls to get that fixed. The furniture in the room is shabby and I wouldn't even sit on the upholstered chairs. The guys serving drinks are fantastic! We loved Raphael and Noel. They kept us supplied with cold pina coladas and agua and are soooo friendly. Overall, we had a good time for our second annual Mother Daughter Getaway, but will not be going back to this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2010
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Helpful?
Thank gloffee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 June 2010

I should have know when the welcome drink tasted like watery kool-aid that something was up. My wife and I arrived at the resort with high expectations and were immediately disappointed. If you are a young couple looking for a place to relax and unwind, this is NOT the place for you.
The rooms at Palace Macau look and smell like your grandmother's house. Look at the user photos here on tripadvisor and see the broken refrigerator (ours was broken and took 4 hours and a second call to the front desk to fix).
The bed covers are damp and wet. Not romantic. Doesn't quite get your woman in the mood. Neither do the hideous curtains from 1955. Or the two moquitoes flying around the room that blended in with the paint and were really tough to locate and kill.
We ordered room service one day and put our food outside of the room for someone to take. 12 hours later the food was STILL there. Hotel workers just walked by and ignored it for hours. Not a good idea considering the number of bugs and nifty mosquitoes flying around in DR.
The fan in the room was very loud and seemed in need of repair.
The food at the outside restaurant near the pool is not good. Stay away.
Macau has no bar in the pool. The bar near the pool is dark with little visibility of what liquor is available.
The hotel does not put out enough serving spoons to match the number of food dishes in the buffet. As a result, guests are dipping the same spoon into serveral different dishes. This is very easy to remedy, yet this hotel's management does nothing.
The tableclothes were dirty at dinner.
The headphones in the Internet center do not work. Doesn't sound like a big problem until you are trying to use Skpye to get away from this wretched place and the person you are calling cannot hear you on the other line.
We were so disenchanted that we left abruptly in the middle of our vacation and booked at the Excellence Punta Cana, which was fabulous. No comparison between the two places.
If you must book at a RIU, please book the RIU Punta Cana. We walked there from our hotel and felt like we were robbed. The lobby is gorgeous. The grounds are well kept. The restarants looked much more modern. RIU Punta Cana is $25 per night more expensive but the difference is huge and worth it.
The energy level here is dead. The nighttime shows were blaze. People resorted to playing cards and dominoes to occupy themselves. If that's what we wanted on vacation, we should have just gone to the park near our house.
This is NOT a 4 star hotel. This is NOT a 4 star hotel. This is NOT a 4 star hotel. I can't say it enough. Save yourself the trouble and go somewhere else.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank knowmadd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2010

This is an honest review of the hotel, as stated in previous reviews the hotel is a little tired in some places. I travelled to Sandals St Lucia in November and would have to say that this hotel is on a par with that one. The staff are falling over themselves to do whatever they can for you. I think if you tip at the beginning of the week your service will be slightly better, and they all deserve the tips anyway.
The food quality is really good for an all inclusive, everyday they had fresh fish including mussels which were cooked right in front of you (cant get much fresher).
Crystal restaurant was very good, recommend the seabass :-)

The whole place was fantastic, the only thing that i would say is that make sure you are not opposite the Bambu hotel, they are currently doing it up and the building work starts at 7am.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 June 2010

I think this will be a nice place after they tear it down and renovate. Right now it is musty, moldy, and old. My fridge is broken, there is no battery cover on the remote, the banasters are rotting at the bottom and I feel far from paradise. The service is ok and the book is not great but I am disturbed by the cross contamination in the cooking pot and serving spoon since I have a food allergy. The buffet food also sits out for a long time.

I have been to two star hotels which are much better. Save yourself and go with a top 5 hotel if you are coming to DR. Now that I am here I feel trapped and I booked with Priceline so the hotel won't help me out of here and I can reach Priceline. Do yourself a favor and don't come to DR unless you spare no expense.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jjordan220
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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury 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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