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“Some good some bad”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #75 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 21 July 2012

Just got back from here and would like to give a fair review

The positives:
The beach, it's beautiful
Staff are brilliant, especially waiters/bar men
Rooms are a good size
Trips offered are brilliant
Steak house and Asian well worth trying
Some shows are good And entertainment team are lovely! Join in with pool games and games on stage


The negatives
The food in main resturant/lunch time Not varied enough, eat the same things everyday. Big fault and put us off going again
Reception blunt and unable to speak basic english. We had no hot water for 3 days and when we asked reception why, no apology, explanation or info on when it would be back on, just a reply Of 'it's a problem'
Not really for couples, too many young kids running round, splashing in pool and shouting. Like all places but would be nice if the bar area was not open to children as we needed some place to relax without kids in our faces.
Building work makes everywhere bar the beach look a mess. Not told before we went.

On the whole enjoyable but not 5star as we would think, more like our 3 star, but beach is 5 star and trips are great! Staff(except reception) are a credit to the company.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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4  Thank Paige s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,287 - 2,291 of 5,865 reviews

Reviewed 20 July 2012

I stayed at this hotel in the first week of April 2011, it was a fantastic holiday and a really romantic experience. A brilliant waitress called Bienvenida made our evenings a pleasure, the restaurant reservation clerk was very accommodating. This is not to mention the amazing grounds, views, activities, local produce and the FOOD. I personally enjoy Caribbean food like no other type so I was absolutely in my element.

The BEST holiday I've ever been on. Anyone who moans about this resort is a fool. A common moan I've read is that the staff did not speak good English, this is in fact wrong, many spoke English, Spanish, French, German and in some cases Russian. Nevertheless this is a Spanish speaking country and these people should consider the possibility that they were the ones not putting the effort in by only speaking English.

Overall rating 10/10, would go back again and again and again!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank christiand737
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

We chose RIU-Bambu as a 5 star all-inclusive resort through Funjet tours. The resort location is nice, but to get there you go through the grimy areas of Punta Cana, dusty, dirty with chaotic traffic. When we checked in they were going to give us a room way in the back, but the staff were nice enough to switch us to a room closer to the front, but this place is definitely NOT five star. To start they did not have hot water the first day of our stay. Internet service is only available in the lobby area and it is typically slow and intermittent (very rarely you can make voice calls using Skype and it breaks up a lot during the calls). Once in a while internet goes out and you have to tell them to fix it. When problems like no hot water or internet service occur, staff kept saying all their RIU resorts (there are three or four resorts in the same general area) have the same problems. The toilet flush in our bathroom broke twice but they fixed it quickly each time. Beds are not very comfortable and their idea of queen size bed is to put together two full beds.

Food is just OK, but definitely not 5 star. They recycle a lot of the items (breads, puddings, salad items). Croissants are stale. Coffee is awful. There was hardly any variety of the main dishes unless you go to the three restaurants (Italian, Asian and steak house) on the premises for three of your dinners. Their espresso-cappuccino machines do not work well all and sometimes they don’t dispense what they are supposed to. Their wines are HORRIBLE, actually undrinkable as it tastes like water with a tinge of wine or vinegar in it. Beer is OK. As the drinks are all free, if you are a big drinker you may like it, but it is NOT high or good quality. Even the margaritas are different each time you order them. As alcoholic drinks are free there are a lot of loud people at night (mostly young drunk people) shouting and banging on their friends’ hotel doors at all hours of the night. If you want a family vacation, this might not be a place for you to go. If you want to constantly party with your friends and you do not care about the quality, you may enjoy it. On the positive side, the beach and the ocean water are wonderful (except the nuisance of all the vendors trying to sell you junky stuff or excursions). When we were there there was quite a bit of seaweed in the water, but this did not bother us too much). For us one of the major drawbacks was the feeling of confinement in the resort for the whole time (we were there one week). It is not recommended to rent a car and drive around as there is not much to see and it is too dangerous driving on the local roads. They offer some excursions, but they did not sound interesting. There is not much in the way of shopping as they either have junky stuff at very high prices or fancy malls with three times the US prices. There are free shuttles from the hotels to these shopping areas. Staff are reasonably friendly, but they don’t speak much English. Final warning: If you go DR, do NOT drink tap water. My daughter and I got stomach sick even though we always used bottled water to brush our teeth.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Shelby M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012

my previous vacation was at the riu in ochos rios, jamaica (which is listed as a 5 star hotel as is the riu bambu) and in reality is no where close to the service I received in ochos rios. The first three days of our stay we had no hot water and our king size bed was actually two double beds pushed together and my wife slept under the covers but I did not and every morning she woke up with more bites on her legs ( we would count the bites before we went to bed) so there is a definite bed bug problem. The mini bar is supposed to be refilled every 2 days but we had to go to the front desk each time to get it refilled. The breakfast staff was rude and only attentive to the guests who they hung out with at the club the night before instead of doing their job. I am not one to complain so the good parts were our maid did an excellent job every day and our waiter for dinner also did a great job. If you are going to Punta Cana and are using the riu brand you may want to chose one of the palaces but people on our flight had the same complaints about those resorts. These hotels are no where near the experience I have had at riu's in the past

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank terry m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2012

My husband, me, and 2 other couples came to RIU Bambu for our summer vacation. We stayed from July 6-13th and got a fairly good price per person. It was a wonderful time and I wouldn't listen to the nitpicking reviews! Yes-it is listed as a 5 star hotel; but if you're fairly well-traveled, you should know that a 5 star hotel in impoverished countries, is more like a 3 star hotel in America. If you want glitz and 24 hour VIP service-then PAY for it at a fancier hotel. If you want warm, inviting staff and an incredible beach-then stay at RIU Bambu.

Our flight landed around noon and we were at the hotel by 1:30. 2 out of 3 rooms were instantly ready and ours was ready 30 minutes later. Julio at check-in was helpful and spoke in English for us (all you had to do was say "English" and most staff spoke enough to get by-and I really enjoyed trying-my-hand at some Spanish).

Pool was great-got busy around 11:00am. The Beach was AMAZING. Perfect water with little waves. There was a decent amount of floating sea weed the first couple days and staff let us know that it was due to a bad storm that Punta Cana had a few months ago. Always plenty of beach loungers and no need to get up early to "save spots" on the beach.

The food was good-a lot was catered to European palates-but that was just fine. Really enjoyed the Italian restaurant. Wait staff was great.

The bartenders were great-especially Victor at the pool bar. The frozen drinks, such as daquiris, pina coladas, and Bahama Mama's were pre-made without alcohol, which I welcomed since I am pregnant -so all I had to say was "No Alcohol" and my wish was granted. If you wanted more liquor in your drinks or a variety of drinks-then all you had to do was say-so.

The rooms were not the best I have stayed in -small tub/shower, little ants, and hard bed-but it wasn't a deal-breaker. Especially since I only slept.showered there for 8 of 24 hours. Maids always mopped the floor and tidied up, but never got a towel decoration. In addition to a couple bucks-I left body wash/lotions/school supplies for the maids because they make SO little salary and I wanted to help their children and families. All it cost me was $20 at the Dollar Tree, but I hope it made a difference for them. The "water guy" as I called him was elusive-only coming to refill every couple days. If you call the front desk and tell them, then they will send him over within the hour.

The construction was no big deal. Didn't watch many shows, but the Amimation team always gave a high-five to you in the morning. Vendors were common-but all you say is "No Thank you" and don't humor them-then they walk away. Used the little catamaran from Scuba Caribe and had a good time.

Went to the casino a few times on the trip and won some money on the slots. I thought the casino was "big" compared to the casinos at most all-inclusive resorts, but it's not like an American casino by any means.

Loved the excursion from Apple Vacations to Saona Island. Worth the money and Jose our guide was knowledgeable and really educated us about the Domincan.

I was sad to leave this hotel and country, as I think that the great people of the Dominican Republic are what made it great!

Room Tip: Building 100-200 was closer to the beach and lobby-which was helpful and less ants on the second flo...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Andrea K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Bambu

Address: | Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23000, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#64 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: ₹ 10,248 - ₹ 25,491 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Bambu 3.5*
Number of rooms: 740
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in Punta Cana * Situated on Arena Gorda Beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Within the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Taino and Riu Naiboa hotels * Main building and 1-story bungalow complex * Surrounded by 46,000 m2 / 50,300 sq. Yards of palm groves, adjacent to the beach * 50 km / 31 miles from Higley * 600 m / 1,980 ft. From Caribbean Street * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Intl. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Bambu Punta Cana
Riu Bambu Dominican Republic

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