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“Worst vacation ever!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of ClubHotel Riu Bambu

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #65 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Appleton, Wisconsin
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Worst vacation ever!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

The staff stopped just short of spitting on us! Got sick on the "wine/drinks". Food was terrible. My girl friend & I requested 2 beds, & were told they don't have anything but kingsize. The upgraded room was nice enough, but no connection to the internet as paid for. The entertainment staff behaved sexually inappropriately by touching & saying inappropriate things to women. If you wanted anything, you were asked for a tip, and if you did not tip, you did not get. I have traveled all over the world and never been treated so poorly as at this resort. It was rated a 5 start by Apple Vacations. I would not even give it a 2.5. So disapointing. They clearly do not like Americans. Could not even get a blanket in the room when I was sick & running fever. It was a scary situation with 2 women traveling alone. I will never recommend D.R., Riu Resorts, or Apple Vactions to my friends who travel .

Room Tip: Don't go.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (449)
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English first
North Ridgeville, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

Stayed at the Riu Bambu from feb 4-11. Had a fabulous time . Everyone was friendly and well versed in several
Languages ! Breakfast and dinner were fabulous ! Only compliant : hard bed :/ I thought the hotel was clean and well maintained ! Well stocked mini bar .
Entertainment could have been better however learning salsa by the pool was soo fun!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

Fantastic service, rooms were very big and newly refurbished. Plasma TV with over 100 channels but only around 10 with english language. Cleanliness was excellent and definately worthy of 5*. Food was monotonous. Always fish and the same meats on the cold table & salads available. International branded drinks were available such as Beefeater Gin and Johnny Walker at no extra cost. Did feel however that the wine provided on the all inclusive programme was very poor. Tipped staff on a few occassions as service was very good in resturant, in bar and by the maids that serviced the rooms. Entertainment team worked hard to please all guests but due to the number of different nationalities, was sometimes hard to please everyone. This hotels tends to attract a lot of families with young children.
For excellent value for money, would really reccommend this hotel but may be more inclined to stay at the Riu Palace next door in future should there not be a big difference in cost.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We arrived on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. We were greeted with a complementary drink. Thirty-two were checking in. Had to wait for a while till check in so we ate lunch. We had a standard room, 1900 building. Comfortable mattress, clean room, small bathroom. Bavaro beach is the nicest we've seen in the DR. Lots of room to walk and many palm trees. The food is above average for a large resort. We all enjoyed the desserts. We were disappointed in the nightly entertainment. One night was karaoke and another night was four ladies from the audience on stage acting out skits with the Bambu entertainment staff. Very boring! The acoustics in this area is terrible! It definitely needs upgraded. I don't like the room keys. They are regular door keys on a "key ring" with your room number on it! Don't lose this key because the finder will know exactly what room you are in!! We received another key for our room for a $10 deposit. This key didn't have the room number on it. We got our $10 back at check out. The Apple Vacation rep is Petra. She's the best rep we've had with Apple in 9 vacations! She's German with excellent English and a great personality! We went on the 1/2 day Outback Safari. Our guide was Leandro. He was super. A native Dominican with excellent English. A very personable guy! Went to the casino a few nights. No one seemed to be winning but I guess that's pretty standard for casinos! We went on an Apple square deal. I would definitely do that again. Good resort for the price.

Room Tip: The closer to the beach, the better.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We returned to the Bambu after staying here last year. We were in the newer Deluxe rooms, very nice, clean, real king beds, Food was good, always something to eat. Beach is one of the best in the area. Staff were friendly and shows were on a par with the other resorts.

Room Tip: get the deluxe rooms!!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had booked a 5* with an upgrade room! What a rip off!! Terrible 'king' bed-2doubles pushed together,mold in shower, thread bare towels, sticky, smoke-filled room. Horrible wine, 3 of 4 of us had major food poisoning,Big, big disappointment. Couldn't get home fast enough. Will never book with Sunwing and stay at this establishment again.

Room Tip: Have traveled extensively to many countries and with many travel agencies...this was by far our wors...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We travelled with Sunwing, from Ottawa and departed on time. We arrived and were efficiently "processed" through two lines: the first to pay for your tourist card, the second was customs. We were then directed to the proper shuttle by waiting in ANOTHER line that took our names, verified number of travellers and directed us to a line of clearly marked busses. It was easy to find ours, bus #27.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted by staff that immediately placed our all-inclusive bracelets on our wrists..while we we all still getting off the bus! The Sunwing rep gathered us together and told us we could not check in until 3:00 (this is a blanket rule for the hotel, regardless if your room is ready or not) and proceeded to provide a quick overview of where to find the restaurants open for lunch (it was 12:30), where a "courteousy room" was (so we could change and/or shower) and where the bars were! :)
It was offered that our bags would be brought to our room, but I was not comfortable leaving all the luggage in a pile with everyone elses-yes it was directly in front of the front desk, but no one questioned anyone who was opening suitcases to get stuff. I could have as easily been routing through someone elses bag looking for money? Ipods? whatever. So, we kept our carry-on's with us, which was a nuisance but had all our valuables in them.
Room was great, brand new and clean and with a shower stall that would fit 2 wheel chairs! So you are aware, the toilet is in it's own little room, but the shower opens out to the main room, and the double sinks are in the main part as well. We had a king with a pullout couch (which was actually more of a fold-out as it is all foam with a support platform that sldes under couch when not in use. My 13 yr old son claims it was perfectly comfortable and we left it set up the whole week. But advised though, there isn't any bedding in the room for it, you must ask.
The food was very repetitive, mostly the same every day in the Colonial buffet although they did add a few new things daily, BUT there was enough variety that you could still have a different meal every day. Bacon for breakfast was gone by 8am and not replenished. The quality was low in my opinion, sausage was NOT sausage, and the "York ham" I swear was bologna, beef was tough. The steak restaurant Mamajuana was not worth the wait in line to make the reservation. My husband and son had the ribs in the steak restaurant which were really good, and the rest of us had the steak, which was also good, BUT the potatoes on the side were not edible and the 1/3 piece of corn on the cob was fluorescent orange. I tried one kernel and it was as tough as the meat! The service was also sub-par.
The pool is too small for this resort, but I guess they figure most people are there for the beach. Another advisory, the "entertainment" provided by he staff at the pool is NOT family friendly. One game they had involved holding a 4 litre jug of water out in front of you straight armed to see who could do it the longest, but ALL the others were booty-shaking contests and one was actually a competition to see who the best lap dancer was. They pulled a poor elderly man out of the pool and had him sit on a chair..THEN asked for "young ladies" to volunteer to play a game and they do not tell you what you are in for, nor to they let you leave once you find out what they what you to do. He sat there while these "ladies" shook everything they had at him to the hoot and hollers of the men in the pool. The even had the ladies straddle the man by standing on the arms of the beach chair (how safe is that?) he was sitting on. Now their crotch is right in his face. Nice.
The drinks were ok, you MUST ask for alcohol or you won't get it, my hubby got in the habit of asking for Smirnoff and orage juice, but I doubt it was Smirnoff. Strength of drinks varied from bartender to bartender, so find one you like and stick to him/her.
**One event in which I must give the staff credit for: it did unfortunately rain a few times while we were there, and this makes the tiles EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to everyone, sober or not. I saw several people slip, including one older man who fell HARD and landed on his forehead. He did not get up, and after a few seconds when he tried to lift his head and everyone saw the blood, the staff immediately took over. One lady started yelling in Spanish to other staff and ice and a towel were immediately on the scene,. The doctor was called and the situation was quickly under control. Unfortunately, this man was quite obviously drunk and refused to go to a hospital, (he needed several stitches) and the doctor did the best he could with gauze and bandages. He appeared to be travelling alone as throughout the ordeal which lasted at least 15-20 minutes, no one came to be with him. The staff escorted him to his room, but he was back 20 minutes later in the same spot, barefoot with his bandage removed bleeding everywhere. Again, staff took control and I did not see him again for the duration of our stay. So please, be aware that the floors are extremely slippery when they or your shoes are wet.
Overall, a completely acceptable holiday. Not a five star, as I have stayed in better but a welcome respite from the snow and cold at home. The trip back was unfortunate however, as Sunwing was 3 hrs late. We arrived at the airport at 8:00 for a 10:30 pm departure, but did not leave until 1:30 am. Everything closed at 10:00 and the wait was boring, but we eventually made it home.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#43 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Bambu 3.5*
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 Int€™l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Bambu Punta Cana
Riu Bambu Dominican Republic

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