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“Great Vacation!” 4 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 #67 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Stow, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Vacation!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

Just finished our vacation from April 28 to May 3rd at the Riu Bambu. I would like to share with you a few things about the resort. We traveled with Apple Vacations on the 5 Apple Square Deal. If you are not familiar with the 5 Apple Square Deal is just search the internet to find out.
This resort is advertised as a 5 Star, but it is only a 4 Star. The resort is one of 5 Riu resorts located together. Each being a separate resort. I would say the Riu Bambu is the least expensive of the resorts, but still a great resort.
Our party had 4 people staying at the resort. We stayed in the new rooms, which have been renovated. The room was bright and had a good shower and bathroom. I can't comment much about the other rooms, but some people said they needed an upgrade and they had a tub/shower combination and the rooms were dark.
The beach is beautiful with lots of palm trees for shade. Take a walk on the beach and you will see that the Riu has one of the best beaches, although all the beaches in Punta Cana are real nice. At times the natives will come walking through the beach area trying to sell you items. Just say, "No Gracias" and they keep on walking.
There were quite a few children at the resort and occasionally they love to run around the pool and make a lot of noise. They jump in and sometimes you might get splashed.
The food is good, but could be better. There are 4 restaurants on the resort and you need to make reservations. Reservations can be made at the Mexican restaurant for all restaurants from 7:30-10:00am. We had no problem getting reservations and ate at all 4. They have 2 seatings at 6:30 and 8:30pm. There are some children at the 8:30 seating and depending on the parents, determines their behavior. We had one child playing a hand held game 2 tables away and the volume was not on mute. It became annoying. The Mexican, buffet style, the Japanese Hibachi, we thought we were going to have someone cook at a grill in front of you, but that is not what they do. It is another buffet style. The Steak House was great and the food is excellent. We ate twice here. No buffet style at the Steak House. The Italian, this was a restaurant which was half buffet style were you get Italian food and the other half they take an order for your main meal of beef, salmon, or chicken. I was a little disappointed that there were no stuffed shells or pasta dishes. Food was good though.
Eating at breakfast and lunch in the main dining area becomes a very busy area. This is an all buffet style and be prepared to be bumped and sometimes someone will grab something while you are waiting in line. Some people are so rude and just can't seem to wait if there is a line. Nobody greets you at the door so you just find a table. The food was good, but is mostly the same everyday. It would have been nice if they had a theme style each evening to change things. Plenty to choose from and you won't go hungry.
The main pool with a pool bar gets quite noisy in the afternoon. A few spring break type individuals doing shots and yelling and these are not just 21 year olds. Many are older adults trying to act much younger. If this type of excitement is not you style, then there are 2 other pools you can go to. Although the main pool area is quite large, you can always get away from the pool bar area. The other 2 pools are much quieter and do not have a pool bar. You just might have a noisy child or two to deal with.
We did two excursions off site. We signed up through our travel representative, Apple Vacations. An Apple Vacations representative is at the resort daily and we signed up through him. We went on an ATV adventure $150 for two people and a snorkling, swim with nurse sharks and stingray, and then onto a shallow beach area for beer and rum drinks. We had lots of fun. This was $99 each. I thought it was about $25 overpriced. I would encourage you to get off the resort and see some of the other parts of the Domincan. There are many trips to choose from.
In the evening they have a band and show. It is centrally located around the main bar area. It is a great place in the evening to visit. Lots of people smoke in that area so you might find yourself moving once or twice if you are not a smoker. The shows were good and drinks were good.
Overall we had a great time at the Riu Bambu. We met plenty of friendly people. The Riu employees were great. They are very helpful, they work hard, the rooms were clean, the grounds are clean and they took care of all our needs. Most of them know a fair amount of Engish. We took the time to find out a little about their life and they were very easy to talk with. We tipped for good service and it goes a long way. They really appreciate the tips. We have been to Punta Cana 5 times and each time we have stayed at a different resort. I would probably not come back to the Riu Bambu, but would not be disappointed if I ended up here again.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms that have been upgraded.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
Perth Amboy, New Jersey
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

First time in Dominican Republic, left much to be desired. I'll give you my pro's and con's and you do what you wish. Check in and out was easy breezy. The room had a mildew smell but my daughter is asthmatic and it didn't bother her. So perhaps the smell was the sewage lines that run through the resort. The room was a deluxe room, ample big for us three girls. The pool was plenty to choose from but I didn't notice filtration system and the water was cloudy at times with bugs. The beach is beautiful, water is a little rough. You will find waves not a calm beach. The staff was nice; however, I tipped all the time. I took 200 dollars in singles to do so. The entertainment was fun, especially "Peluca" who always asked if he could do anything for us. Note: This is a family resort but there was nudity poolside and couples laying on top of each other. This is allowed at the beach but I didn't realize it would be allowed poolside. The food was awful. You'll still find bread, fruit, salad to snack on. I got sick from something, not quite sure if the food or the water served at the dining facility. Stick to the bottled water only. Overall I will not return but wanted to provide readers with my experience. It was ok because I had to make the best of things and I had 2 girls to entertain myself. I tried to stay positive. There were locals, families of employees that were not very nice. One employee said that they are allowed to bring family members on the weekends. The behavior was very different to what children act like in the States. While at Dinner at a restaurant one of the locals took my chair as I bid farewell to a family I had met there at the resort. Morals and values are different to some people I guess. I would not return. By the way, the airport prices on all items are astronomical. There is a $10 fee to go into the country and $20 to leave. Make sure to ask your travel agent about it. Good luck!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Essex
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

Stayed at the Riu Bambu from the 4th April till 18th April 2014. Family of 3.
Room was okay, only real problem beds were small doubles, tried to get a extra bed but was told no. Room was clean. Reception was a bit slow in getting things done. took 3 days to get the optics changed and 2 days to get an extra chair for the balcony. All staff very nice and polite.
Was not really fond of the food. It was the same choice of food every night and was not very hot. As you walked into the main restaurant there was a terrible smell but once inside you could not smell it anymore. The service was okay but if you wanted a drink you got up and got it yourself. the swimming pools were very good, especially the children's ones, there was a pool to suit everybody.
The evening entertainment was very good really enjoyed the circus and the illusions shows. The entertainment team were fantastic, especially Chavo and Peluca, so funny the things they go up too.
The beach was very nice, although some days the sea was very rough. This is our 3rd time to the Dom Rep would we stay at this hotel again? probably not. Don't let this put you off as you may think differently to us!

Room Tip: All the quiet rooms are to the back of the complex
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Hello everyone. It was the first time for me I stayed in the Riu Bambou and it was absolutely amazing. From the check-in to the check-out people working there kept smiling and were really helpful. The hotel is beautiful. Everyday you can choose if you wanna relax around the swimming pool (with great bar and great ambiance inside) or the beach who is amazing and clean. You've got 2 big buffet restaurant and the choice is really important and the food quality is absolutely fine. And four restaurant one Japanese one Mexican one Italian and the steak house. Be careful you need to book the restaurant before 9:30 AM, if not you won't have any seats left. The spectacle in the evening is great. Everyday is a different show during a week. If you want clubbing the Pacha is only 10 minutes walk inside the resort. The room are really big with a terrace. Everything you need is inside. Only thing I could say and can be annoyed is the wifi. You can connect once a day for 90 minutes so if you loose the connection no more internet. Hope this comment will help you. And enjoy Punta Cana which is a great and splendid island with nice people.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Otis, MA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014 via mobile

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.
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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:
#47 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#59 On the Beach 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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