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“Riu Palace Bavaro” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa de Arena Gorda | Punta Cana, Punta Cana 74100, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #47 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Miami, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Riu Palace Bavaro”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Bavaro for 6 days/ 5 nights, July12-18. This is a spectacular resort, truly a Five Star Resort. Ignore all of the poor reviews. The staff works really hard to keep the hotel clean (we wondered if the staff sleeps). We only ate at the buffet, Monte Cristo. The food was mediocre the first two days but then got better (fresh lobster and succulent steak) towards the end of our stay. Also, be sure to try the barbecue and paella served on the beach at lunch time. Beware, the drive to the hotel is rough (the locals seem to ignore traffic rules) wear your seat belt. The night time entertainment shows are corny but the staff works so hard to make guests have a good time. The rooms are clean, hotel staff cleans rooms twice a day. The staff are friendly (some speak very little to no English) but they're really polite and eager to please. Best part of the trip, the beach. Very gorgeous water views and smooth sand you can actually walk on barefoot. This is the second time we have stayed at a Riu Resort and we plan to stay with them again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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1,922 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (501)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Polish first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Durham, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Palace Bavaro 15th June – 29th June, we spent a very enjoyable 2 weeks and met some lovely people. Accommodation unless you upgrade is in one of the rooms in the main building 4 floors (plenty of lifts). The rooms are beautifully furnished very modern, clean and sleek just like in the photos on the web site. Air con was , very efficient and quiet and the maids did an excellent job with the cleaning.
The hotel was a lot bigger than I expected, and there are whole armies of staff, cleaners , gardeners, waiters, maids who are constantly working away in the background to keep this place immaculate.
Food is a personal choice but we thought the it was very good with lots of choice in the buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also enjoyed the a la carte restaurants for dinner and the beach restaurant and beach barbeques for lunch. We didn't use room service and can't think why anyone would need to. There is at least one restaurant open from early morning till late at night with the Sports Bar serving 24 hours.
The animation team are on the go from 10am until 11.30pm, they try and get everyone to join in but are not forceful if you don’t want to.
This is not a hotel for anyone expecting lots of English people, a lot of the guests are from North and South America, Most staff speak some English but some have only a little knowledge. We had no problem making ourselves understood and we have tried to learn a few Spanish basics which always goes down well. German guests (Sensi Mar) have their own sections of the hotel with their own accommodation, pool, bar and restaurant which other people can’t access. I think it’s fair to charge more for certain room I don’t like the idea of segregating large sections of the hotel.
The weather was great and down at the beach there is a constant cooling breeze . The beach is beautiful but the only shade is from the palm trees so its either under an umbrella around the pool (no breeze) or breeze on the beach (no shade). Palapas on the beach would be a great investment.
The only thing that spoilt our last day was the arrival of a very large party celebrating GGGB 10th anniversary (You tube have a lot of info on this group), booked from 27th June – 2nd July. They took over a large section of the beach and had a massive party on Friday afternoon with music blasting out . When the beach party finished they all migrated to the poolbar. I went to reception to try and find out what was going on but was told it was a private party. I don’t mind anyone having a good time but the lyrics to the music that was playing were uncensored and was very hardcore rap. We and quite a few others with younger children just packed up and moved along to the beach at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. I have written to Riu and expressed my thoughts about allowing more of a 18-30’s type group to book into a Riu Palace when there are Riu Club hotels much more geared up to this type of ‘fun’.
All in all I really don’t know how Riu make a profit, it was very good value for money and I love the new styling of the Palace rooms.

Room Tip: Go for third floor if you want a view. Room 2055 is directly over the 24 hour Sports Bar.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Stayed at the Riu Palace Bavaro from 21/06/13 to 03/07/13 and had a great time , don't worry about the poor reviews ! they are just not justified.

Check in - Very quick and efficient , and bell boy took care of our bags being taken to our rooms ( had previously mailed hotel direct asking for inter connecting rooms ) and all was good.

Rooms - Excellent , nice bright and modern designs and all the comforts that you could want . Great air conditioning and a well stocked fridge and optics ! ours were changed frequently .

Cleanliness - Very good , everywhere is kept spotless , day and night .All the workers are a credit to the hotel.

Grounds - Very well kept and a pleasure to look at and walk through .

Beach - Won't find better , I have stayed at many places around the caribbean and this is the best by far , lovely white soft sands and clear blue sea with miles and miles either way you decide to walk .A real bonus is the situation with sunbeds ! I have never known a hotel like this where you can get sunbeds without reserving them at anytime in the day ! on the beach or around the pool , there are loads of them , and the hotel was full when we stayed.

Food - The speciality restaurants are well worth booking in advance , yes you do need to be prepared to queue briefly at around 08:00 - 09:00 to make sure you get the requested restaurant, but the food and service is well worth the inconvenience. I tried them all , and the Krystal was my favourite ( went 3 times ! ) The buffet was very good for breakfast , but a little limited at Lunch and dinner.

Entertainment - Not great , I have watched enough of the hotel type entertainment over the years , and this was similar and not really of interest to me. There were plenty of daytime activities going on that you were free to join in with if you wished , and not pestered into .

Bars - Lobby bar & Cappuccino bar were fantastic ! great drinks and service and really nice options for coffees or milkshakes when you wanted something different.

Weather - For our stay the weather was great , really nice and warm and mainly sunny every day , with a lovely breeze down on the beach ! only had one rainy afternoon the whole stay.

Overall we had a great beach based holiday in a great location .Great clean rooms with good food and drinks . I have stayed at many Riu hotels in the past and this was to the same high standard , I would recommend you to try here , you won't be disappointed .

Room Tip: Don't pay the extra for VIP - I waited and looked when I was there , and they are the same rooms...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We just returned from our 6 days/5 nights stay here. We were pleasantly surprise by the resort. At the beginning the food was not so great at the buffet, but it is your typical "All Inclusive" choices. But as the week went on the food did get better. We enjoyed the beach party they had everyday and the food out there, especially the paella. They also had a live band which was pretty cool. At first we thought they were just playing a cd but it was two male singers and one female singer and a keyboardist. The evening shows were pretty good, especially the illusion show, which reminded us of Mystere in Vegas (mind you it is DR, not a Vegas show) but pretty good. This place caters to all ages. We also enjoyed the kids show every night and the live band in the evening. The main show would start every night around 9:45pm-11:30pm and the band would play after the show. We did eat at three of the "reservation only" restaurants (the Geisha, The Italian and The Krystal) all except the the Italian were good. We were full from the food at the restaurant. If you find that you are not full just go eat again at the buffet, no one's judging you, after all you are on vacation. The resort itself is very clean. The worker are busy bees keeping it clean. The room was also clean and spacious. So was the balcony. Room service selections was sparse, so we never used it. They had Smiroff vodka, Beefeater, J&B Whiskey and Tequila liqours in the room. Along with the liquors, they had Presidente beer (Dominican Beer), a varieties of sodas and a bottle of champagne in the mini bar. If you're going to complain about the alcohol, bring yourself a bubba keg and make your own drink to your liking and take it down there. We really didn't experience any rude staff. Remember one thing, you are in their country, don't expect them to speak English. Maybe you could take this opportunity and learn some Spanish while you are visiting. If you are going to complain about someone's language in their own country, do yourself a favor and stay home in the USA. There were always available chairs at both the beaches and poolside (we would head down there everyday around 11am or so). Also plenty of shades from tthe palm trees on the beach. One thing we didn't like was that you kinda have to be careful walking on the beach due to the dead palm needles in the sand. The beach goes on forever. Plenty of activities on the beach, but one we really enjoy is the beach party and dance lessons (salsa, merigue, bachata). They don't skimp on the liquor either, just ask for some more. It also doesn't hurt to tip them, granted you already paid so much, whats a few more dollars on tipping. Mind you these people don't make much and they are there to make us happy. We should all be fortunate enough to be able to travel.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Sitting at pool bar now in beautiful sunshine using the wifi and wondering how people can be so unfair with their reviews!!! Nice modern hotel... cracking rooms... Best beach I've ever seen... Good food... Plenty drink.... FRIENDLY staff... What more can people want??? Yes it helps if you tip... But that's the same everywhere I've ever been!!! The holiday wasn't cheap but what's another few dollars extra for tipping if it enhances your stay.... Bonus for my wife and I is that we have another week left

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Two weeks after returning from this trip I still feel the relaxing affects... loved this trip (first, but not the last...)

This was our first "Sister-Sister Trip" (3 sisters & 2 nieces) It was FANTASTIC! What a wonderful place. Clean, inviting, restful yet a lot of activities and entertainment to participate in (or not...) Gorgeous beach that wasn't as crowded as other properties down the "road".

Jaime Gomes, Scuba Caribe manager, and his team were knowledgeable, friendly and always professional. We could (and did!) count on them to help us plan an outing, get a boogie board, kayak, or just have an interesting conversation. I would recommend booking a trip through them. It saved us $30 per person for the snorkeling & swimming with the sharks (yikes!) trip. Really fun! This Team is incredible. Jaime speaks 3 languages (all I needed was English! And he was great!)

We're "foodies" so the mass buffets fell short on our palates and we became somewhat bored & more disappointed over the 7 days. But, we did have some high points. Fresh mango. Crunchy caviar. Delicious lox. Grilled mini lobsters. My particular favorite was the Japanese restaurant (I like sushi, fusion and impeccable ahi tuna slices...)

Lastly, the staff - FANTASTIC!! Wonderful. I can't believe the long hours they endure with smiles. Please smile back.

One last comment: all inclusive doesn't mean you shouldn't tip! Please check the policy of the property, TIP!!

Room Tip: Mine was a garden view. I liked being on the first level. More convenient to walking to the beach, f...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Washingtonville, New York, Usa
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Just returned from a 7 night stay at this hotel. We had a pleasant stay. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We were always greeted with a smile. This resort is beautiful and clean. The food in the restaurants were good but not great.The buffet was great..a lot of selections to choose from. Rooms very clean, had a couple of issues when we arrived but once we called it was resolved within minutes.Beach is gorgeous!! a lot of activities by the pool. Nightly shows were good. Highly recommend the Outback Safari excursion..ask for tour guide with Rudy, he was so good and very funny! and speaks English very well. If your not a picky person, then you will have a great time...we did!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro

Address: Playa de Arena Gorda | Punta Cana, Punta Cana 74100, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro 4*
Number of rooms: 610
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