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“Great Holiday and Service at Macao”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #44 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great Holiday and Service at Macao”
Reviewed 20 March 2012

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.

Room Tip: Quiet rooms face RIU Bambu. There really aren't any oceanview rooms due to palm trees, you are...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank TravelHeros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Newport, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2012

just got back from a wonderful 2 weeks at this hotel.ive been lucky enough to travel to many places but the people, staff, food ,animation team were excellent.nothing was to much trouble or anyone.yes the hotel is a little dated and is being refurbished in april.all we hope is that they dont change this hotel and make it formal as the larger ones seem to be.
my only gripe with this hotel is the dress code.men do have to wear long pants for the buffet dinner and we didnt think that this was fair as women were allowed to wear shorts and some of them in my opinion were not suitable for the night.many thanks to our rep martin who was brill and thanks for the service that we recieved when we were delayed for 24 hours.we cannot wait to back.hello to i hope the many friends we made there and we will see you again

Room Tip: all rooms were good
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank youngand49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

Was nervous after reading reviews before going, but happily surprised that everything was wonderful; food was excellente; i got a chance to use my high school spanish and it came in handy; people from all over the world in one place was quite beautiful; watch out for steerers at the airport looking for couples to take time share tour; it was safe but i didn't appreciate the porter hauling my luggage to Sol Melia (light blue shirts) rather than to VIP (turquoise shirts) where i told him i was heading - make sure you visit the other resorts for lunch same food, but different atmosphere; no need to leave the Riu as they have shopping, casino (don't putting your money down for cover-up, it's a gimmick) and disco; I plan to go back in October; one last thing don't miss the word welcome in every language for dinner

Room Tip: we stayed in 3162; others reviewers complained about pool noise, but i guess March wasn't noisy...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MickEasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anacortes, Washington, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Ok, almost perfect. Maid service was a little slow, but never missing altogether. The staff was warm, fun, and on the ball 24/7. Excellent food, impeccable service, great location. For all that you get, the price was more than fair. A special nod goes to Diomedes - above and beyond in all the places you see him!

Room Tip: I really don't think they have a bad room in the place...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Steve F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hanover, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Stayed at the Palace Macao Feb 22-29 2012 with my husband for a relaxing week away. We made an excellent choice. The hotel itself is in need of a facelift, but still features beautiful woodwork, etched glass, and tilework. Our stay began with a bit of a muddle at the front desk, but we soon were on the way to our room in the new, reliable elevators. Our room was clean and featured a stocked mini-fridge and bar. The washroom was clean, we had hot water and fairly good water pressure most times, only running into trouble with this one day just before supper. Our air-conditioning was a little suspect, but as we were on the 3rd floor, we kept our balcony door open during the night and the ceiling fan on, making it quite comfortable, albeit a bit noisy with "reading week" revellers forgetting that most people sleep at 3:00AM. The beds were a bit too firm for my taste, but better than sagging, I suppose. The maid visited each day, leaving us new towels, fresh sheets and fancy towel arrangements with fresh flowers. We also had a turn-down service, not sure of the purpose of this, but it was good to know we were being looked after.
The buffet had excellent staff and service, good food, lots of fish and seafood dishes, but it was very repetitive. I wasn't too impressed by the 2 seating times for the buffet. If you didn't show up at the beginning of your seating time, you didn't get the best offerings, and by the end of your session, they were clearing all the food away, getting ready for the next seating. I always felt rushed, and that is not the way I want to feel when I am on vacation. There was always the option of going to the all-night snack bar, but the selection there was pretty minimal.
We tried only 1 al-a-carte, the Fusion restaurant and was not too impressed. The food was okay, but the buffet had better service.
The pool was not too large, but it was relaxing and usually a lounger available, often with a cushion, and a waiter to bring you drinks as fast as you could drink them. There were few activities at this pool, however if you liked noise and a swim-up bar, you could go next door to the Riu Bambu, just a short walk down the beach.
And the beach was beautiful, a large open stretch of white sand by the water, lots of palapas, and further back, lots of trees to give you shade, always loungers available. There was lots of waves, but not too rough for playing in, also lots of water activities available if you liked to do that. You could walk for miles up and down the beach. There was a bunch of
flea-market style vendors at the end of the beach, right on the waters edge, although the day we visited, the waves were large and crashing into the tents, making it difficult to shop and barter. I expect that you could find some unique souvenirs here, and at better prices than the shops at the hotel, but we were beaten out by the waves.
My favourite place was the lobby bar, the place to be in the evening, excellent wait staff and excellent drinks, sometimes a shortage of seating, but that was because many patrons of the other Riu's came to the Macao in the evening. Always a live band and dancing. If you didn't enjoy that, then you could move outside, still getting the same great service.
There was not a lot of activities in the area, but we went on a country tour to visit a home, a school, a church, do a short zip-line, go on a short horseback ride and finishing the day with a visit to Macao beach. It was just a good way to see something other than the grandeur of the hotel strip.
This hotel was beyond my expectations, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing vacation. I only hope that when they renovate, the grandeur is maintained.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank 101_TravelMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ON
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

The food wa great, staff wonderful, we origionally were assigned a so so room, came to the front desk and very nicely mentioned that we had been in several Riu's and could we be upgraded, and so we were, we were assigned a suite. OMG it was amazing.

Beach was great. Loved the nightly ritual before dinner.

Clean beach and resorts loved the whole area-there is 5 Rius in the row, and you cam walk to all of them.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Manie007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakewood, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

A group of us (28) travel once a year to a new destination. Loved Punta Cana and Riu Palace Macao. The resort was clean, well kept and friendly service in the restaurants and bars. They are updating the resort this summer....so I look forward to returning. The beach is wonderful...white sand. We had a wonderful time and loved Punta Cana!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marlin-AP
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
#38 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Luxury 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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