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Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

The Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana is a small upscale hotel (364 rooms) that’s part of a 5 hotel Riu complex in Punta Cana. If you are staying at one of the Riu hotels you can use most of the facilities at the other adjacent ones. The Riu Palace Macao does offer some additional services that are only offered to their guests – for this reason you do have to wear an identifying wrist-band during your stay.

The orientation of the Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana is definitely geared towards couples. While they do have a kids’ pool and a babysitting service, you’ll definitely notice that there are not many kids there and there are not a lot of activities for them. This is a laid-back romantic relaxing kind of resort – not a lot of crazy nightlife and activities going on. However, if you do want to party it up one night you can mingle with the crowd at the Riu Bambu next door.

The Riu Palace Macao agressively markets to a European clientele – you’ll notice that well over half the guest will be European (mainly German, Spanish & French). We love to meet people from different cultures and have always had a good time at this resort. The one thing you have to keep in mind is that smoking is a little more prevalent in Europe – there will be a lot of people smoking at this resort.

Remember that topless sunbathing is the norm in Europe and that's what you'll find at this resort. When people refer to "Punta Cana topless" - this is it. To some North Americans it may appear shocking at first, but the culture shock fades quickly. Punta Cana topless will seem common-place within a few days.

Service at the Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

The service is where this resort sets itself apart – every staff member at the Palace greets you with a smile and will accommodate you in any way they can. There is not as much of a language barrier here as there is at other resorts; most of the staff speak English quite well. You’ll also notice that the grounds are immaculate, nothing is left lying around – it’s definitely a palace.


The rooms at the Riu Palace are a decent size, very clean and well laid out. There are complementary room safes and stocked mini-bars in every room which is a nice touch. While the rooms are very clean, I have heard many complaints about the air conditioning units in the rooms. However, ours worked fine the whole time we were there.

Restaurants at the Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

The food at the Riu Palace Macao is very good, the buffet restaurant (El Patio) offers a great variety – you’ll always be able to find something you’ll like. The resort has tried to tackle the problem of line-ups by having two seatings for dinner (6:30-8:00 or 8:30-10:00). You choose a seating when you check in, a table is assigned to you and it’s yours for the length of your stay. While this does seem to work quite well – I like the flexibility to eat at different times. Not a biggie though!

There are three a la carte restaurants: Japanese, the Caribe Grill and a Steakhouse. We definitely enjoyed the Japanese the most, but all three were quite good. Remember, when you see “steakhouse” in the Caribbean – don’t expect a Chicago style dry aged steak. Dominicans export most of their really good beef, commercial cuts are served at resorts which are a little tougher than what you’re used to back home. In Dominican culture, meats are usually very well cooked – so don’t expect a rare steak.

Pool at Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

The pool is the one disappointing aspect of the Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana – it’s beautiful and has a nice pool bar, but is very small by Punta Cana standards. We’ve become used to huge pools with islands and different levels in them that seem to be the norm in Punta Cana these days.

Beach at the Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

The beach in front of the Riu complex is beautiful, definitely one of the nicest in Punta Cana. There is white powdery sand and shallow turquoise waters for as far as the eye can see. There are a lot of palapas and lounge chairs available, but you will have to play the reserving game as they tend to disappear by around 8:00.

Tips for the Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

  • Bring around $150 in one dollar bills to leave tips for the staff
  • Leave a note (and tip) for your maid explaining what your favorite drinks are and your mini-bar will be stocked accordingly
  • This is a relaxing resort – not a lot of activities here
  • Pack a room deodorizer as rooms in the Caribbean often have a bit of a musty smell
  • Get out to the beach early to reserve chairs
  • Men are required to wear pants for dinner, so pack a few pairs
  • For more reviews, maps, hotel and pricing information visit our Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana booking page.

Contact info for Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana

Tel. (809) 221-7171 Fax. (809) 682-1645

E-Mail palace.macao@riu.com