We travelled to RIU Palace Macao March 8-5 with another family. 4 adults and 4 teens aged 13-15. We've travel to the Carribean every year and this is our 4th RIU hotel.
Over-All: The service at this resort was outstanding (best so far of all RIU's we've been to). The property is just the right size and very lush and beautiful, the pool area is smaller but the beach is great. Service is fantastic here.
Service: Waiters at restaurants, poolside and at the beach, as well as bartenders were all very helpful. They would come around frequently with a smile and appreciate any spanish that you can muster up when asking for something or just saying high. We did tip $1 bills often for drinks and several dollars after dinner. They work very hard for almost nothing. We got to know many of the staff, and the kids really felt emotional saying good bye to Atonio the restaurant matride/greeter, and Polanko our waiter.
Rooms / Maids:Rooms were adequate size. We stayed on the 3rd floor (really the 4th) which had vaulted ceilings, but a smaller balcony. They added a third bed in our room which made things a little crammed but more comfortable for 4 people sleeping. Maid service was excellent - we even got our beds turned down every evening and wet towels replaced twice daily.
Pool Area: Pool is a little smaller, but not crowded. Was a little cold and not very clean during our stay. There is no swim-up bar, but we think that's gross anyway. The pool deck was never crowded and the restaurants on either sides, or close by bar with ice-cream machine were convenient. Poolside waiters refreshed your drinks very regularly.
Beach: The beach is large and great. Lots of loungers and a close-by beach bar just for this hotel's guests. Beach waiters would also refresh your drinks often. The ocean itself had more floating seaweed than other hotel beaches which was a big turn-off for some of the girls in our group. One dissappointment was that they didn't have slushy drinks ready until almost noon - so any daiqari's before lunch were liquidy served with ice.
Resort: It is just the right size. Was full the week we stayed, but never felt like it. Doesn't have the grand lobby like most newer hotels, but the rear patios were very nice in the evening. Lobby lounge bar makes the best drinks and servers top-shelf liquor. There's a casino, disco and indoor theatre. We didn't like the smoke in the confined theatre and saw most shows at RIU Bambu next door (open and airy). Bambu resort was more family oriented, but very busy and lots of College aged adults. Riu Palace Macao had a more senior crowd and some families. We saw all RIU resorts and agreed the RIU Palace Punta Cana was the best for families and couples. The newer RIU Palace Bavaro is more beautiful and contemporary, but felt stale. No one swimming or talking - just very up tight and uncomfortable. The Macao should be ideal after the renovations this summer. All RIUs are connected by it's own beach walkway which is lit up at night. The Carribean Street shops are right next door which is a nice stroll in the evening or during an afternoon.
Dining: We only ate at the buffet and didn't try the a la cartes, as we've never really found them to be very good at past RIU resorts. The Dinner buffet was excellent and serves Italian, Spanish and Chillean wine from the bottle. Lots of protein choices and they will go out of their way to bring you something else you might request. The Grouper fish was excellent - ate it everyday. Lunch buffet was outside and not as plentiful. Breakfast was typical and good. They would also have outdoor snack parties between 4-5pm on the pool deck serving finger foods and cocktails. Poolside Serena served up ice-cream and cappuccino's or espresso's. There's another small buffet right on the beach walk - but we never ate there (served more fries, burgers and hot-dogs) and was crowded from beach goers.
Entertainment: The Macao had the worst RIU animation team we ever experienced. A couple of nice guys, but the rest were just aloaf. The evening entertainment was usually performed by outside performers and was pretty good some nights. Macao has one outdoor childrens theatre - they did a good job performing the Lion King, but this was really for 2-12 year olds.
Conclusion: For the money, this was an excellent stay. Service, food and weather being most important, we had an excellent vacation. Would stay at RIU Palace Punta Cana next time, mostly because of the seaweed in the ocean around Macao.
- 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