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“First Class All The Way” 5 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
UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“First Class All The Way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2005

My wife and I were at the Riu Bambu from 21st April-5th May, 2005. I kept an eye on the reviews before we left and was a little concerned about some of the negatives. It turned out that we did not experience anything negative what so ever at the Riu Bambu.

The food was great, the pool was beautiful, the beach spectacular, the workers were friendly and attentive. Drinks were fantastic and if they don't put enough liquor in your drink they just bring the bottle over and pour til you say stop (alto). The rooms are absolutely immaculate, bordering sterile. I also never spoke to anybody who was having any health/stomach problems and only saw 1 cockroach the whole week.

Remember that unless you are a Dominican you are in a foreign country and it will not be like home. We have stayed at other RIU hotels and they are all great, the Bambu and ALL the staff make for a perfect holiday.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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3,662 reviews from our community

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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
New Castle, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2005

My hsuband and I went to the Riu Bambu from Apr 29 - May 6. We have been to the Punta Cana many times and this hotel rates the same as the Sunscapes. I won't re-iterate everything else that has been said, only point out different areas. A very nice place to eat lunch is at the Pizzeria on Caribbean Street. This restaurant actually has the lovliest view of all of the restaurants. The first day we had lunch at the MamaJuana and I was disappointed as I like a view while I eat. The Pizzeria is only a 5 minute walk down the beach and has all of the same food as the MamaJuana only it is not as crowded and you can sit and look at the beach and the beautiful turquoise water. You can make reservation to go to the Caribe Grill which is a part of the Riu Palace, the food was very good. There is a BBQ on the beach on Saturday which is quite good, but the line becomes long to get food and it becomes picked over towards the end. The beach was beautiful, but the water did tend to become cloudy and would get some seagrass in it. If you walk down the beach to the right past Bahia Principe, there is a beautiful beach where there are no hotels and the water is crystal clear where you can see your feet while you swim and it feels like you are walking on such soft sand in the bottom.

My only two complaints about the hotel are that the beds are hard as rocks and the pillows are very flat. I can honestly say that neither my husband nor myself had a good nights sleep while we were there. We were stiff and sore each morning. There is only a sheet and a thin bedspread on the beds which left me shivering everynight.
The other thing is that this hotel definately needs a beach bar. We are beach people and it is quite a hall up to the bar. We brought our insulated mugs, but it was still a pain everytime you wanted a drink. If you walked down the beach, there are other resorts that have nice beach bars down near the beach, so I think that this is something that they need to look into.

We had a nice vacation, but there are too many other hotels and areas to explore that I usually don't return to the same resort. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at CancunKidd@hotmail.com

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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Madison, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2005

I went with a group of 34 people (27 adults and 7 kids) to Riu Bambu for a wedding and we all had a great time, nobody got sick except from drinking to much the night before. No problems with any of the food that they served we did the buffet, Mediteranian and the Steak and loved the Steak the best. Yes there was a smell in the main bar but we never stayed in there for very long anyways. We had great service in the locations. We had no problems with leaving anything in our room. No problems with bugs in our rooms and yes we had a ground floor room. My only disappointment was the pool bar closes at 6pm and the pools close at 7pm. I would have liked to see the pools stay open 24hrs. But all in all we had a great time and I plan on going back.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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Ohio
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2005

I don't know where to start, but I don't understand all of the bad reviews this hotel has received. My husband and I stayed at the Bambu from 4/22 to 4/29 and had an glorious week. The hotel was exceptionally clean, the food was great both of us gained about 10 pounds. We never saw any bugs, mosquitos, etc. Nor did we get the "virus" either. The staff went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable. The rooms were clean and spacious. We kept all of our important items in the safe and never had any thing stolen. The front desk called our room everyday to see if we were happy or if there was anything that we needed. You can't say enough about the beachs...they are beautiful. The bartenders were great, especially Eduardo. If you didn't like a drink it was no problem to get another one. This was our second trip to Punta Cana and we would definitely return to the Bambu. We went to the spa on the carribean street and did the Outback Safari tour. I highly recommend both. It was a wonderful week of rest, relaxation and pure enjoyment. We are counting the days until we book our next trip to Punta Cana and the Bambu. I will be happy to answer any questions about the RIU's.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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Berkley, Michigan
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2005

My husband and I were at the Riu Bambu from March 25-April 1, 2005. I kept an eye on the reviews before we left and was a little concerned about some of the negatives. It turned out that we did not experience anything negative what so ever at the Riu Bambu.

The food was great, the pool was beautiful, the beach spectacular, the workers were friendly and attentive. Drinks were fantastic and if they don't put enough liquor in your drink they just bring the bottle over and pour til you say stop (alto). The rooms are absolutely immaculate, bordering sterile. I also never spoke to anybody who was having any health/stomach problems and only saw 1 mosquito the whole week.

The only thing I have to criticize is that the rooms are very loud. The floors are ceramic tile in the halls and in the room so all the sound travels and gets amplified. So if you are going to sleep in and get rest, stay home or sleep under a palm tree on the beach.

Remember that unless you are a Dominican you are in a foreign country and it will not be like home. That is what I love about vacations, getting away from home. If you want a US 5 star vacation like the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons or the Bellagio in Las Vegas then go there and pay those prices. The Riu Bambu does a spectacular job!!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2005

I just returned from the Riu Bambu in Punta Cana, DR. I am a travel consultant and have been in the business for almost 20 years. This was my first trip to Punta Cana, and it was amazing! After reading the good and bad reviews, I thought I would give you my point of view being in the travel industry.

The Riu Bambu is situated on lovely Bavaro Beach. It takes about 35 minutes by bus from the airport to the hotel.

The Riu Bambu is very clean and safe. You can walk for miles on the beautiful white sandy beach in either direction.

The Animation staff at this hotel is young and energetic. They work very hard, long hours, and always have a smile on their faces. From early morning to late at night you will always see them around the resort having some sort of fun with the guests.

The resort is landscaped very neatly, and is maintained well. All of the rooms are set back from the beach area, so it doesn't matter what
building block you are in. All buildings are only two stories. All rooms have
balconies or patios.

The rooms themselves are very basic, but clean. When you walk into your room there is an ON/OFF switch that controls the power. Every day when the maid cleaned our room she turned OFF this switch. So every day when we went back into the room we had to turn it ON, and reset the Clock so we knew what the correct time was.

The sheets were never changed the whole week, but I hear that is fairly common in the Dominican.

They supply you with a gallon of water to use for drinking and brushing your teeth. You cannot drink the water from the tap.

There is an in-room safe and mini bar as well as four different bottles of liquor (Rum, Vodka, Gin, Whiskey) that you can mix with the beverages in the mini-bar.

They restock the minibar every other day, but when we were there it was only restocked one time the entire week. They mostly have Pepsi products in the minibar, but the day they restocked ours, they left a
diet Coke. I think that you can probably ask for specific sodas if you
could communicate with the maid in spanish.

There are no wash clothes at this hotel, so I would bring your own.

They hotel still uses regular keys (not key cards like you find in most hotels these days). They also give you a lock and key for the safe. There is no charge for use of the safe. If you don't return the key/lock at check out they do charge a fee of $50.00.

The staff is very friendly, but they don't speak english very well.

They give you towel cards to trade in at the pool cabana for towels. You must return the towels in order to get the cards back. At check out they will want these towel cards back, or you will be charged $20.00 per card.

The food in the Colonial Restaurant (buffet) was great. There was always a salad bar, and plenty of choices for all desires. The food options were changed nightly, but they still had the standards every night, pizza, salad bar, and french fries.

There are two other speciality restaurants, a Steak house and Mediterranean Restaurant. We liked the food so much in the buffet
restaurant we didn't make reservations to dine in the speciality ones.

I was a little confused on how the dining process worked the first night.
You are given a dining card at check in. There are two sittings at the Colonial Restaurant, 6:30pm until 8:30pm or 8:30pm until 10:30pm.
If you picked the first sitting, that was the one you always had to
go to. You could show up anytime during those two hours for
dinner, and your table assigned to you would always be available.

If you wanted to eat in one of the speciality restaurants you had to
get to the Colonial Restaurant between 7am-10am that day to make
the arrangements for that night.

You could eat during the day at any of the other Riu Hotels next door, except for the Riu Palace Macao.

We ate in the beach restaurant called Mama Jawanna's every day for lunch.
I would suggest that you get there right at 12:30pm when it opens.
The food is fresh and hot. The longer it sits, the food isn't replenished
often and it gets cold. Otherwise, there is the standard salad bar, hot dogs, hamburgers, and some sort of fish or chicken, french fries and a hot veggie served daily. They also have a soft serve ice cream machine in this restaurant which is only open during the daytime. They shut it down about
4pm.

In the bar "La Plaza" there is a self service drink machine for sodas or juices. This is open 24/7. They even have club soda on this machine and
you will find limes everywhere, no lemons. They serve Pepsi products.
They also have this same self service drink machine in the Mama Jawanna's Restaurant.

One comment on ordering a mixed drink. You have to ask for
the alcohol in it, otherwise they will automatically serve it to you
as a virgin drink. Once again, communication can be an issue if you don't speak spanish.

The entertainment at the Riu Bambu was great. They have a fantastic group of dancers that performed shows every night about 9:45pm in the open air showroom for about one hour. The costumes are wonderful, and the talent is truly incredible. They try to change it up every few weeks so you don't see the same show twice.

There is a disco on the property, but we didn't go as it doesn't get started until 11:30pm every night.

The Riu Bambu was a great resort, and I would definitely go back.

Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2005

I stayed at the bambu from april 14th to the 28th.There was 38 of us down for a wedding and let me tell you I will never return to the bambu and that includes the other 37 of us.Hmmm where do I start? The first night we arrived we had a few drinks and went to dip our feet in the ocean one of us took off our shoes when we got back the shoes were gone,The main bar la plaza had a rotten fruit smell and made it very difficult to even order a drink we usually opted for the other bars to get our drinks.The beds and linen were very uncomfortable the air conditioner had a very bad smell of mold coming out of it when it was on and the shower smelled of mildew.When you go to have a shower at certain hours there was no hot water.should I keep going? Day 3 my razor and mach3 blades went missing on day 8 my digital camera went missing I left it out to charge in the room and when I told management they said they are not responsable and there was no way anyone took it.One other thihg that happened was one our friends was eaten alive while sleeping by some sort of bed bugs one actually crawled in his ear and gave him an infection his head swelled right up 300 american later.I could go on and on and on.One thing that is fore sure they lost 38 custumers that will never return to this resort I would rate this resort maybe a 2 or 3 star but by no strech of the imagination a 5star.hope this helps.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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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