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“At least the weather was good...” 2 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 #72 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Otis, MA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“At least the weather was good...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

We had a group of 5 families and we stayed for one week. I'll start with the positives. The beach was great! Plenty of palm trees provided shade if you wanted it, and lounge chairs were readily available. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The entertainment staff was fun. The bartenders made strong drinks and the wait at the bar, if any, was usually short. The strong drinks helped ease the negatives. The food was unbelievably bland. Both at the buffet and at the a la carte restaurants. The mexican and hibachi restaurants were actually buffets, with much of the food tasting like it had sat under heat lamps too long. The italian and the steak house was decent for an all inclusive, but would have been sub par if they were located anywhere else. The only item with any flavor was the salsa, which was actually really good, but got me sick afterwards so I stayed away from it the rest of the week. We had a great time with the volleyball and water polo in the pools, but if you were sober and looked at the surface of the water, you probably would not enter the pool. Bugs and a layer of scum floated on the pool. I did not notice a filtration system or anyone actually cleaning the pool while I was there. I enjoyed the time there because of our large group, but it was dissapointing otherwise.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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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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
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

I have read allot if reviews about riu bambu and dont know why anyone is complaining. The beach is the best I've seen. There is plenty of pool space. The food selection was great. The a la carte restaurants were amazing. And great service to. I have never seen such hard working staff in my life these people are working around the clock to maintain such a massive property. Shops were close by. We stayed a whole week without having to leave resort. Awesome time. Would go back forsure. Thanks riu. Ps the liquor in the room is a great idea. Love it.

Stayed April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Doncaster, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

We have just spent a week in this hotel it was not long enough. The staff were all happy & friendly. The food delicious. Shorts were all brands not local cheap versions. There is a sports bar which is like an ice room a good getaway from the sun it is open 24hours serving drinks & snacks. The hotel opens out onto the beach which is breath taking. You also have access to eat & drink in another hotel but to be honest we never bothered. There are themed restaurants within this hotel our favourite was the asian it was stunning inside & the food was lovely. When i go back i will take extra clothes & shoes for the locals. I left half my suitcase this time as they are grateful for everything. This is a gem not to be missed. We stayed 26th april for a week & the weather was beaut.
Tarquell family

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014 via mobile

My partner and I have just returned from this hotel (stayed 20th April to 1st May 14). We had a brilliant time and were very happy with the service we received for the money we paid.

Rooms: We stayed in the older styled rooms. Our room was at the back of the resort (5 minute walk to reception and pool area). We found he location fine and enjoyed the walk to and from the main reception area and restaurants. The rooms are a little dated but they are clean and tidy. There was plenty of space for all my clothes. The bed was two singles pushed together but I didn't mind this as sometimes it's nice to have more space when sleeping. Some of the towels had holes in them but that was hardly something that spoilt our holiday. The maids came in everyday and made our beds and even on occasion made some towel art for us with fresh flowers which I thought was sweet. The hairdryer in the room was fine for my usage and the safe was a really good size and more importantly included in the cost of the hotel. We saw one bug the whole time we were there and that was resolved quickly by killing it. Let's face it in the UK bugs get in, abroad is no different. We were happy with the room as it provided what we needed a clean, safe environment to sleep in.

Food: for the money we spent on the hotel it was absolutely fine. We went to all the themed restaurants and had no problem booking them. The Japanese was our favourite but that's down to food preference not down to service. The Italian and steak house have waited service the Japanese and Mexican are buffet. Every evening in the main restaurant when we hadn't booked at the speciality eateries we found plenty to eat. Some of the food was cold sometimes but it is buffet food so this is to be expected. We had no problem with this though as the food is free so we just got another plate of something else, no drama. The staff in all the restaurants were friendly and polite. We got coffee to our table at breakfast in the morning and drinks in the evening. They even went out to the bar to get my partner alcoholic drinks! There was an abundance of choice to suit all tastes. The outside Mama Juana restaurant we mainly used for lunch, food there was also adequate and edible. We didn't get ill at all whilst we were away and never went to bed hungry. We stayed at another all inclusive resort last year and didn't experience the same level of service so we were pleasantly surprised with the service we received whilst eating at this resort.

Drinks: We managed to find plenty to drink. I particularly liked the Lumumba and strawberry Daiquiri. Because they don't measure the drinks some were stronger then others but that was fine because if the drink was too strong for me I just got another one (it's free!). Soft drinks were fine as well and I often had slushy lemonade on the beach. We never had a problem getting served (I didn't tip either I would like to think this is because I was polite, there were some very obnoxious people staying at the resort!). Some of the bartenders were flirty but again this was something that was not a problem for me as I see it as harmless fun (quiet clearly I was with my boyfriend he often ordered with me). Overall the drinks were fine and much better then the ones we had at the last all inclusive resort we stayed at.

Beach: What can I say. It was stunningly beautiful. There were plenty of sun loungers for everyone and when we wanted to sit in the shade we sat underneath the palm trees. We walked for miles along the beach one day in the surf looking at all the other hotels. The beach was always cleaned overnight and three wasn't much litter or cups lying about. This is the fault of the tourists though as there are plenty of bins to put your cups in when you have finished something we always tried to do. The sea was warm and clean. We went canoeing on one day and found that really enjoyable and easy to organise at the beach. We didn't get hassled much by the beach vendors and whenever we did we politely declined and they moved on.

Pool: The pool with the swim up bar is a little dirty. We only went in there once and not again during the holiday because of this. That being said the other 2 pools were clean and we used those instead. We didn't really feel this impacted our holiday at all as the beach was so close and there were two other pools to use.

Overall for the money we spent we were entirely satisfied with our stay and had a wonderful time. I celebrated my birthday (which the hotel provided a cake for and sung happy birthday to me, organised by the Thomson rep Julie).

There were a few obnoxious, rude travellers at the resort who stuck flags of their country of origin on their balconies, reserved hundreds of sun loungers and didn't turn up to the pool until the late afternoon. The jokes on them though because they look ridiculous and their behaviour shows them for the obnoxious travellers they are! This is not the resorts fault though and I refuse to let their behaviour colour my review of the hotel.

We were worried before we travelled but needn't have been. We had a throughly relaxing 11 days and would return to the Dominican Republic. Perhaps not to the Bambu but to one of Riu's other hotels. This is not because of the service we received (it was spot on for the money we spent) it's because we don't like to stay at the same hotel and would in future spend more money to get more things.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014 via mobile

To start off i have to give a shout out to two of the entertainment team, Chavo and Peluca, the two funniest and nicest guys at the hotel. They are usually on the beach and get everyone involved and make you all feel welcome especially Chavo climbing the palm trees on the beach and screaming "Good Morning" from the top of his lungs made quite funny viewing. The hotel is clean, well presented and the food and drinks are good quality. Although it has a rating of 5 star, i feel that i am being completely fair by saying the Riu Bambu is a very good 4* hotel. This is my 5th trip to the Dom Rep and we stayed at the Bambu for 21 nights. When we arrived we were checked in and shown to our rooms quickly and efficiently. The rooms are a little dated, but everyone should realise that this is a developing country and the quality of the 'Ritz' simply doesn't exist here. The people who moan and write bad reviews simply want to stay at a 'Palace' for the same amount of money they would spend on a toaster. You need to remember you spend a fraction of your holiday in the room, the 3 most important things are Food, Beach and Weather. I obviously can't guarantee the latter (even though we had 30°+ everyday with not 1 drop of rain during daytime hours) but i can safely say the Food is great and Bavaro beach is white powder sand and the sea is turquoise blue. Great hotel, friendly staff, lovely food and a beach straight out of a bounty commercial. Have i missed anything?.....I think not.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

The best vacations ever, first class personal all the way and the most delightful man on charge for any situation you may have, the unforgettable Javier . It's really hard to find such a professional treat for that price, definitely this is a place to keep on your agenda when you are trying to get VIP treatment without a VIP price. We will be back, that's a fact .

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Riverview, Michigan
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

I don't know why so many people gave bad reviews of Bambu! We have stayed at the Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica and yes, that was nicer but Bambu was still nice. I'm sure its not the top resort in Punta Cana but all we wanted was a decent place to stay with a nice pool/beach and good food. I do recommend upgrading to a deluxe room, however. They are newer and more modern. The other rooms have two twin beds pushed together to make a king.

Contrary to many reviews, the food was actually pretty good. We ate at the steakhouse, the Italian and the Mexican twice. The Mexican was so good! I did have a hard time finding something I liked for lunch but I am not a big lunch person anyway.

The entertainment staff was super fun. We did aerobics and stretching with them on the beach. We blistered our feet from that so I recommend wearing shoes! The service staff did not seem to be too friendly. In Jamaica, everyone was so happy and ready to serve you. This was not the case here but it did not ruin our trip by any means.

The only fault in my opinion was the drinks. The vodka did not taste like vodka and many mixed drinks were very sugary. We stuck to the pina coladas (but too many will upset your stomach), rum and coke, and the "Victor Special". If Victor is there, you have to get it. Also, Mamajuana shots are dangerous but you have to try them!

In general, Punta Cana has the prettiest beach I've ever seen. The sand is so soft and the water is clean. There is a nice breeze so it doesn't feel too hot. Apply lots of sunscreen! We had so much fun and would love to return to Punta Cana!

Room Tip: Definitely upgrade to a deluxe room
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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:
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#59 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 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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