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“Amazing trip except for terrible SUNWING”

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Hotel Riu Palace Macao
Ranked #42 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 June 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed Jun17-24. This resort is all around great. We had an amazing top floor ocean view room. It was very clean, as well as the grounds. The room was cleaned up daily and the fridge restocked. El Patio had great selections for breakfast and the few nights we had dinner there. We were able to try all 4 a la carte restaurants with the Japanese being our least favourite and Voltare and Pancho were the top. Krystal was so-so. The lunch buffet could definitely be better with more variety needed. The entertainment was funny for the most part. A great plus is wi-fi is available everywhere around the resort 24/7, even on the beach. The pool area was clean and we always found chairs. We are a young couple and can say this resort had a mix of age groups, I just mention this b/c of prior posts stating it was mainly seniors. We had an amazing time with RIU. Mateo was soooo helpful and friendly. The staff was awesome.
The main negative was we booked the trip through Sunwing and we will NEVER fly with them again. They are a DISGUSTING airline with no customer service. We were delayed over 12 hours when leaving and they offered no proper updates and insulted us all with a poor excuse of a 'future' travel voucher. BEWARE, apparently their Punta Cana flights are always delayed. It was RIU Macao's amazing customer service that lighted our spirits and made us happy once we arrived at their resort for check-in. Thank you RIU

Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
7  Thank Trisha N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 June 2013

Just spent June 13th thru 20th in Punta Cana. Just my husband & I for a cheap getaway. We paid around $1100 Canadian each. Flew with Sunwing airlines. Flights were good. Hotel is all newly renovated still not 5star to me BUT nice enough & clean! We had standard ocean front room. Quite large with sitting area & balcony facing the beautiful beach I was pleasantly surprised by how gorgeous the beach/ocean front was. There are tons of loungers around the pools & the Ocean. Gorgeous big Palm trees on beach so you can lay in the shade when you've had enough sun
There are all kinds of kayaks n other water toys. We ate @ buffet for breakfast everyday. There was pretty much anything you can think of for breakfast plus mimosas or lattes etc. we did the steakhouse & the Italian a la carte. They were both just ok lol. Dinner buffet was huge too. I'm not big on buffets so I won't say much lol. One issue we had was that the drinks weren't good. I'm not sure if it was cheap liquor or not but most drinks sucked. Strawberry daiquiri was NOTHING like it should be & so on. My poor hubby likes rye & ginger he asked every day for that & every day got a different drink but never rye lol. Besides that we were quite happy with this resort especially for the price!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lesleyapp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2013

We booked the particular resort because it was an Adult Only resort. With that being said, I would not recomend this resort to any one under the age of 60. The pool closes at 6 which is early in my opinion. After dinner, the only bar is the lobby bar and it plays piano music or old slow music, put me to sleep 2 nights while sitting there. There is a buffet for all meals and 4 specialty resturaunts which in my opinion was sub-par. If you was want friendly and quick service be sure and tip no matter what your travel agent says. Drinks are as followed, El Presidnte Beer, Rum or Vodka. Be sure and read fine print on resort credit. We recieved $1000 of resort credit and didn't use any of it. Dont bother to up grade to Superior room unless you want a chance of having pool view. We upgraded and no difference between standard except view and liquor in room, and I had to lean out over balcony rail to see pool. Nice and clean resort with great maid service, morning and afternoon cleaning and evening turndown service.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Heath S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

When we arrived the front desk staff realized that we had several people in our party in different rooms so they went out of their way to get us rooms all together. My mother even ended up with an upgraded room which thrilled her.

The grounds are nice but unremarkable. We have stayed at several Riu hotels and this one doesn't have much in the way of gardens which disappointed some in our party. The lobby was OK but nothing in the way of great architecture.

The food was typical of all-inclusive buffets. We tried all of the restaurants except the Italian. We were confused as to why all of the restaurants were closed on Thursday until we figured out that the buffet had a special menu that night. The presentation of the food was great, all of the women were presented with a rose at the door, and the food was really good that night. My favorite restaurant was the Japanese. The fusion and steakhouse restaurants were good. The times available for the restaurants were kind of weird though. Eating at 6:30 was a little early and 9:00 was way too late. Some members of our party did have some stomach problems but it was very hard to pinpoint what caused them. Food, spending time in the pool or ocean, too much sun and drink, the flu, etc?

The staff was amazing. As I mentioned, we have stayed at several Rius before but never a Palace and we found out that the staff here really stepped up to give us a unique experience. Anything you wanted, all you had to do was ask. Some staff members needed coaxing with a tip but many helped us with no monetary incentive. We were given turndown service, one couple had a bottle of champagne delivered, we were brought a bad of coffee, one couple returned to their room to find flowers and balloons, etc. It was kind of random what would be given and when but it was always a fun surprise. No one in our party had anything stolen. A special shout out to the manager, Dasha, who took the time to speak personally to my mother on two separate occasions, even posing for pictures with her!

One thing that I was not thrilled with was the number of people at the resort who smoked. As this resort is frequented by many Europeans who smoked, at times it was impossible to escape it. If being around smoke is a problem for you, this is probably not the resort for you.

Another concern that we had was that we had been led to believe that if you book with a Palace, you would have access to all of the Rius in the complex. We found that this was not necessarily the case as my niece and her boyfriend has mistakenly booked at the Riu Palace Punta Cana rather than at the Macao with us. We thought that this wouldn't be a huge problem as they would still get to eat and hang out with us. This wasn't the case as they were run off of the property numerous times, even when they weren't eating or drinking anything.

While I enjoyed the more laidback atmosphere (read: older and more mature), the younger people in our party wanted more of a party atmosphere and therefore went next door to the Riu Bambu to hang out at the pool during the day. Others have complained in their reviews that it was too loud at night but I am pretty sensitive to noise and it really didn't bother me.

As for cleanliness, it was excellent. My niece at the Punta Cana had cockroaches in her room but I never saw one at the Macao. There was an invasion of flying ants one night but when we woke up in the morning, they had been sprayed and were dead (although it did take a few hours for the dead bugs to be cleaned up).

At the end of our trip we found that we were having trouble with our return transport that had been set up with Expedia when we booked the trip. When we found that no one was coming to pick us up, David at the front desk got us a taxi within minutes and even negotiated a price break for us.

Overall, I would recommend this resort but you have to decide what things are most important to you. If you don’t mind smoke and want a clean resort with a helpful staff, this is probably a good place for you. If you want a party atmosphere and want beautiful gardens, you may want to book elsewhere.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank wyogaltoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Macao the second week in June 2013. We read lots of the reviews since we booked this resort in February of this year. First I will say that you can find fault with anything if you try hard enough. Considering this is a resort running 24/7 in an extremely poor country, it does a super job of maintaining a 5 star service level.

We did get the superior room we reserved on the 3rd floor facing the pool and ocean. It is a nice view but also faces the bar area were the music bounces into the room at night. If you are at the party dancing, it's all good and the music doesn't bother you. They do shut down by midnight so it isn't bad if you go to bed early like we do. The room is spacious and the air works well. We really liked the bathroom with 2 sinks and the shower is huge! The is also a small frig with water and pepsi products that are stocked every day. The do have a safe in the closet and we used it for important items since there are workers in and out of the room all the time.

The property is immaculate and it kept clean all the time. The pool area is always in order and the workers keep the trash picked up and are always attentive to your needs. The wait staff are present at the pool but not as much at the ocean area. It is really nice to lay in the chairs under the palm trees and feel that cool ocean breeze! Great napping area!:)

We didn't stay too long so the buffet didn't get old and we didn't get to try all the restaurants. We ate at Volare and Krystals. Some of the reviews said the steaks weren't good but we thought the filets were really tasty and service is perfect. I guess if you stay a couple of weeks it can get boring but the it is still good food. We didn't eat at the other resorts but we understand that 3 of the 5 resorts were available if you want to try them. We walked around but didn't eat there because we only had a few days and spent our time at our resort.

We had booked transportation through Dominican Quest and they did a great job and were waiting for us at the airport. They did arrange an appointment the next day to look at excursions which was ok but I think that was not cool because we had to meet at 10am the first day there. We ended up booking the dune buggy ride which we didn't like that much because it was rushed from point to point and they are always trying to sell the same stuff at each point. My recommendation is to book something through the resort using the company "HotelBeds" and meet with Migal. He is really nice and speaks good english! (communication is a challenge!)

My family likes to relax and we don't stay up late partying so this resort fit our personality very well. The night life isn't really that great for the party scene so don't have any suggestions with that part. The guests there were 99% couples ranging from young to old. We took our adult children and seemed to be the only ones as a family but did't think anything about it. Overall, I think the resort was the best we have been to and was exactly what I expected based on the reviews. The staff makes you feel special even though we didn't speak spanish. It sometimes appears that they are rude but I think they just don't understand and can't always answer the questions. After a few days you tend to relax and just go with the flow and it makes the experience much better!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank kyle2225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2013

We went with another couple in June 2013 and had a fantastic time. The resort was beautifully kept inside and out. The wait staff was always attentive and so friendly! Have to say "Loco" Juan at the pool bar was a favorite of all! There was always somewhere to either sit or lounge in the pool. Everyone made you feel so at home. Met some really nice people from all over the world. The food was always great and talk about making sure you have everything you want, at lunch one day the chef cooked chicken wings just for our group and helped with the making of the hot sauce!! Our only disappointment was that there was only Presidente beer, but the mixed drink selection made up for that! Had a garden room, which was very nice and spacious and we were on the end so we had a huge balcony. Even though the gratuities are included we still tipped because these people went above and beyond to make our trip amazing! And they did! Would definitely go back and for anyone would enjoys the all inclusives I would highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Our corner garden room was very nice and spacious. If you want really quiet, you might ask not to be...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Carolyn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

We stayed in May 2013. We had just a standard room which was fabulous. The maids do a fantastic job of ensuring that the room is always clean and tidy. Although, we did not have a great view, the size of the room was great, spacious and with a regularly stocked mini bar.
The waiters are fabulous especially Rebeun and Wilson, they always make an effort to speak with you and ensure that you have everything you could possibly need. There is a great cocktail list.
The food was great, there is so much choice and the al la cart restaurants were amazing, although a little bit too much food for me. The Japenese was my favourite but all of them are very much worth a visit.
The beach is beautiful and you are able to walk for as long as you want in either direction, which is great as you can have a look at different hotels.
By the pool is very relaxing and there are plenty of sun loungers, the swim up bar would get a let noisy in the afternoon but that was just people having a good time and they should as they are on holiday in a beautiful place with beautiful surrounds.
I personally would go back in a heart beat......

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Louise B
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
#35 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $230 - $565 (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):
* 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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