I’m not a rookie traveler. We have been to Punta Cana four times as well as other places throughout the Caribbean. The RIU Resort complex contain 5 resorts, all next to each other. If you stay at the Macao, then you can eat and drink at all the other ones, except the Punta Cana.
Not as reserved as the RIU Punta Cana the Macao is somewhat of a reserved atmosphere, but not as fun as the atmosphere at the RIU Bambu. It was just right for us.
As if on some fancy European cruise ship, everyone dresses up in the evening, My wife and I are not complainers seriously: but “AVOID the Japanese restaurants!!!” It will be a waste of an evening dinner because it’s not possibly edible. Honestly: Buy raw chicken, don’t wash it, microwave it until it is cooked, then cut it up and serve- uuhgg- the smell of this chicken will make you gag-that is a brief insight into the Japanese restaurant. The Maitre’d told me most who eat at the Japanese complain, but the RIU owners refuse to change it-$$$.
The Buffet was actually not bad, and the buffet was better than all the other restaurants. Wwe used the other resorts pools, this is small and only 4 ft deep.
Entertainment was so absurd we spent it laughing at times when the “Act” was suppose to be serious, think lip syncing chubby dancer rolling on the floor in attempts to be seriously dramatic. My wife and I glanced around the audience… everyones jaw hung in shock and disappointment. Other than that the beach alone is worth this trip, we did not want to come out of it(and we are not beach bums). The sand is as fine as sugar, no sea weed, blue warm water. The service is impeccable compared to other Dominican Resorts. No Mosquitoes… not one. Rooms are nice, rich dark cherry wood everywhere about this resort. Lots of pool aerobics, but no pool volleyball or other games.
The one night club was over by the side of RIU Naiboa- the club was lively, fun, dancing, packed a really good time. The Naiboa and Taino, by the way are nice but think younger spring break crowd, and also think the type of crowd that would pay less for a resort, You’d still enjoy and fun there though.
The RIU Punta Cana by the way is gorgeous…. stunning, but only for one night. The RIU Punta Cana is BORING! There is absolutely nothing going on there, except maybe read a book. It’s really older couples in slacks and polo shirts smoking and chatting it up day and night… Many tables of about 4-6 older people travel together, they talk and sip during lunch, talk and sip during dinner then go to sleep at 8pm. Very reserved and empty atmosphere… think ghost town after 8pm. All of the younger people at this resort ended up spending most of there time at the other resorts.
The Bambu is where everyone is happy, beautiful resort, better entertainment, the atmosphere/decor/people/workers all memorable.
Pros:Nice looking hotel with good ground work upkeep. Impeccable service, not alot of kids (though there were some) everywhere. No spring breakers (they stayed at the Taino). Lots of class. Nice beach.
Cons: Food needs improvement, entertainment is dismal, Beer is no frills (not Presidente), hotel somewhat reserved(though mush less than the Punta Cana).
Overall: Will return to Dominican Republic, but I would sooner go to the RIU Bambu which has a happier atmosphere combined with hotel beauty. Or go back to Iberostar Bavaro-better food,entertainment,grounds etc…
So if you are reading this review to figure out where to stay:
Riu Bambu/Iberostar Bavaro/ if not then seriously consider RIU Macao, you won’t regret it.