A Review of Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana

Hi there, my name is Marsha Mulqueen. I have a passion for travel and have been in this industry for the past 15 years in Fox World Travel’s Greenfield office. My specialty is Hawaii having visited 8 hotels recently, but I have toured more than 20 resorts throughout Mexico. I also have traveled abroad to destinations such as Spain, Portugal and France. I truly enjoy finding the right vacation fit for each person!

In November of 2012, I traveled to Punta Cana for 7 nights. We stayed at The Riu Palace Macao, which is now an adults only property.  The Macao is located in the middle of the Riu complex with the Riu Palace Bavaro on one side and the Riu Bambu on the other side.  The Riu Palace Punta Cana is next to the Bambu with the Riu Naiboa behind the Riu Palace Bavaro.   The Riu Naiboa is not located on the beach.  There will be a 10-15 minute walk to the beach depending where on the resort your room is located.  This is a popular resort complex that our Dominican Republic travel specialists mention is a nice option for the traveler looking for a value-property.

The Macao has recently been redone.  The new look is sleek and modern with a lot of white and black.  The rooms were newly painted with bright colored accessories.  It was very nice.  Unlike the other Riu Palace Resorts, all of the rooms at the Macao are not Jr. Suites.  Our room was a standard Riu room with a huge shower and double sinks in the bathroom with the liquor dispensers and a coffee pot and coffee in the room.   Our view was a garden view which I liked since our balcony was private.  The resort rooms are in a horseshoe shape so that the pool and ocean view rooms face the resort. If you are in one of these rooms the balconies are not completely private.   In addition to the standard rooms, there are Superior rooms that are the standard Jr. Suite and there are Jacuzzi Suites, which have the Jacuzzi on the balcony.   The resort is small and easy to navigate.  There are also elevators and ramps for your convenience.

Restaurants:  There are four a la carte restaurants, Krystal (fusion gourmet), Kabuki (Japanese), Pancho (Grill Steakhouse) and Volare (Italian).  Reservations can be made every morning between 7 am and 10 am.  You can make reservations for two days at a time.  The Krystal was our favorite.    There is a main buffet called El Patio which normally serves breakfast, lunch and dinner but during our stay did not serve lunch.  The buffet next to the main pool serves a continental breakfast and lunch every day.   The buffet near the pool housed the Pancho and Volare in the evening.   There is also a small restaurant and bar on the beach that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and desserts from 12Noon until 6pm.  We didn’t mind eating dinner at the main buffet.  The food was very good with lots of choices.     There is also a coffee shop called Capuchino that serves coffee drinks and pastries from 10am until 11pm with self-service of nachos and sandwiches. Other snacks are available 24 hours from a self-serve refrigerator with a microwave.

There were no sports bar at this resort but you can use those facilities at either the Riu Bambu or Riu Naiboa which are nearby.

Bars and Lounges:  There is a lobby bar, Cubano, with live music every evening.  Just off of the lobby bar is what they call the lounge bar– La Boheme that also has evening shows and entertainment.  There is a casino on the property.   There is a huge verandah with cocktail tables, chairs and couches that has wait service during the evening that is very nice.

There is a pool/swim up bar with a small lounge area with tables and chairs.  The swim up bar is in a pool of its own.  There is a main pool also.  There are pool beds around both pools with very comfortable lounge chairs with ample shade.  The beach is beautiful.  There is a stone walk-way from the pool area to the beach and all along the beach going through the Riu properties.    There is an outdoor entertainment complex located half-way between the pool area and the beach.  The resort does not serve premium alcohol but the drinks were good.

The Riu Macao guests can use the facilities at the Bambu and the Naiboa only.  The Macao is exclusive to its guests only.  The other Palace resorts cannot use the Macao facilities.  The Macao guests can use the Spa at the Riu Palace Bavaro as well as the gym.

There is a Caribbean Street next to the Macao which is really very nice.   There is a disco located on the Caribbean Street for all of the Riu resorts to use.  One of the nights during our stay, they had a Caribbean night on the Caribbean Street with bands and entertainment.

I liked the resort and the idea that the Riu Macao is a budget-friendly adults only resort.  There did seem to be many older couples (45+) at this resort.  There were also several groups of singles that did seem to be having a good time.    The resort was very clean and the grounds were very well-kept and the food and service were both very good.  My husband and I have stayed at many Riu resorts along with the Riu Palace Pacifico and we felt that it was the nicest Riu we have been to.

There are also a variety of other amazing resorts in Punta Cana and myself, and any one of our Punta Cana Travel Experts would be happy to help customize your vacation and choose a Punta Cana resort that is right for you! I’d love to help you plan your vacation to Punta Cana.  You can contact me here.

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