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“could do better.” 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 #42 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“could do better.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

We went for 10 days to this hotel, flying from Manchester where we checked in the day before,this very useful as you can go straight through into departures (after security) the following morning,saving time checking bags in.
On arrival at Punta Cana, & passing through immigration,then collecting our bags, found it very difficult to find a Thomson rep,so did a lot of other people off of our flight.There weren't any reps,but some guys in black t shirts behind a desk who pointed us in the direction of our taxi.
Check in was quick, very efficient,& was even given an upgrade to sea view room as a goodwill gesture, ours was room 3051, (main block) looking straight out to the lovely sea.
Everything seemed fine until both myself & wife were very ill on day 4,keeping us in our room for most of the day. After 24/36 hours we felt a lot better although still not 100%, & tried to not let it spoil our holiday.
During our stay we ate at Krystal,Steakhouse & the Italian (3 times at lunch). All were good,but we liked to eat at the Italian for lunch as we were put off by open air, uncovered salads & rolls, in the outside buffet place. The main restaurant for evening meal was nice but seemed to be repetitive, & thought the meat choice was limited,& not as good as other Riu's we have stopped in, namely Riu palace in Aruba, Riu Palace in Mexico & Jamaica, where their meat choice was more varied. Also found the salads were basic, e.g. no eggs, beetroot, or any type of fish to have with it. In other Riu Palace restaurants they have fresh salmon regularly, boiled eggs, etc every day & also they have salad dishes that are covered (lunchtimes & evenings) & rolls/bread that are also covered over by a linen cloth.. Also going down for dinner at 8.30 you would find that there were no rolls left for soup somtimes. At breakfast champagne had to be requested, surely a Palace should have it ready available & help yourself (as with other palaces').
Overall i would say food was good but had little variety & seemed repetitive.
All staff were very polite, helpful, excellent at doing their job & could not fault them at all.
Our room was cleaned spotless every day & extra towels were there if req'd at night along with turndown, which we only had a couple of times whilst we were out.
Entertainment was just ok,& what you'd expect really.
Overall thou good hotel, but does need a rethink on eating places, food hygiene & needs more variety in the main restaurant for dinner.
This was our 4th Riu Palace in the Carribean, & wouldn't be in our top 3.
The beach was excellent,with lovely walks.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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1,770 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
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English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Hi all,On arrival at Punta Cana Airport all went bad and my first impressions of DR were shattered.First of all Thomsons only gave us one form to fill in and we needed two,this resulted in us having to fill in a form before we were allowed to get through immigration,this was for everybody on the flight,so my buying a tourist card on the net was a waste of time as the time I made up was lost.Then we met the immigration officer who was the most arrogant,abusive person I have ever met,she was just shouting at us,when it was not our fault.
Then came the debarcle of the baggage reclaim,there was also two flights from America in at the same time,so what happened.All the staff including security,porters and any other worker on site went straight to the American baggage reclaim carousels.Our carousel got so congested with bags,because the baggage handlers were just pilling them on,that there was a massive blockage,some cases got damadged including mine.My husband jumped over with some other guys and cleared the blockage,not a porter or helper in sight.I bet you can guess why this was happening,well it was down to the fact that everybody was rushing to the Americans because of the tipping regime,something people know I am a bit appauled by,and this was a fact.We even witnessed a porter rushing back from already taking an American passengers bag out,refussing the request of a person on our flight,and helping another American with their bags.This was absaloutelly disgusting and everybody on our flight was fuming.So not a very good start,On our return journey there was about 30 porters waiting for coaches and taxis to arrive,you could imagine my horror when I got out of the taxi and a porter tried to grab my bag
Ok,now the review of the Riu Palace Bavaro,i would firstly like to say that this hotel and its staff changed my mind about how I felt about the Dominican Republic.
On arrival we were met by some really nice Porters,theses guys were fantastic,collected our bags and directed us to the reception desk.After booking in the same guy escorted us to the room,with our bags,explained the workings of the room and wished us a great holiday,i tipped him because he deserved it.
Now for the guys on the front desk,in all my trips to the carribean and also this was my 4th Riu Palace,i had never before met a more courteous,well spoken and professional group of guys/girls as these.The checkin was swift,easy and a pleasure after our problems at the airport.I had to visit the front desk a few times and eveytime I was dealt with,very well,thanks to the front desk staff especially,Fernandez,luis,enrique and all the others whose names I have forgotten.
The room:
A large room well decorated clean and refreshing,cleaned everyday by the maid so no complaints from us.However the first night my hubby could not sleep due to a buzzing noise from the electrical box by the door.Having never complained on any holiday we just mentioned it to the front desk as to have the maintenance guy have a look at it,they said no problem but they moved us straight away,and yes we got upgraded to the vip section,thanks Riu Palace Bavro.
The Staff:
Excellent can only state how the staff were at this hotel,very friendly.courteous.proffesional and always cleaning,smiling and passing the time of day with you.What was really good about the staff was no matter what their job was they would always have your interests at heart.A very professional team,well dressed and most of all good at what they do,a credit to this resort and the riu chain.My Husband was so impressed with the staff he wrote a personal letter whilst we were there to the General manager Mr Roberto Miller, praising every member of his staff,well done the staff at the riu palace Bavaro.
The food:
I am not a picky eater but the food was fantastic from the buffet down to the speciality restaurants.If you cant find something to eat at this hotel,then I am sorry its down to you.The main restaurant was undergoing some refurbishment ie new flooring,it wasn't much of a problem the riu staff facilitated well for it,but I am sure someone will complain.
Pool/beach area:
Again fantastic,i am not going to go into much detail about all the areas but if you have any in depth questions feel free to message me.
Ok,i could go on for ever about this place but I would have sore fingers at the end,so I am going to wrap it up with my next statement.
The Riu Palace Bavaro,in my opinion is proberly one of the best resorts I have visited in the Carribean,and that's a lot.I would like to congratulate Mr Roberto Miller ( who you will see everyday/night walking around the site making sure everyone is happy ) on the excellent hotel that he runs.In Particular the staff,they are by far the best we have ever had the priveledge to meet,from the front desk to the gardeners,everybody is fantastic,I would recommend this hotel too anybody,and to those that write bad reviews,"were you really that disappointed",go to the riu palace bavaro,my husband and I will know you wont be disappointed.


Room Tip: Although we got upgraded to the vip area,all rooms are great.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

A well run hotel, always being cleaned, pleasant staff who we found helpful. Beach location excellent. Room very comfortable even when the weather was bad we stayed in room 2121 nice view of the sea away from main part of the hotel. Food in restaurants got a bit repetitive after 14 nights but their was plenty to chose from some of it looked a bit dried up the later you went for dinner. The restaurant for lunch by the pool was open planned & sometimes I was put off by the the flies. Our 1st experience of The A La Carte was in the Italian restaurant it was not good as I was served uncooked chicken (it was pink) I sent it back to be served as I thought a fresh meal but I don't think it was as I was then sick all night & spent the next day in bed so be careful.
Entertainment in the evening varied & again was a bit repetitive for our choice some nice music to listen to could be an option for the hotel to have in the lobby bar.

Room Tip: we had room 2121 sea view & away from main hotel
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

Lets start with the reception.... Enrique and Johan, 2 great men, helpful every day, very pleasant, and always got time for everyone. Room service.... 'Smokey' Robinson and Gerard, again 2 great men, can't do enough for you. Robinson has a great sense of humour and has a laugh with you, Gerard is such a nice man and the most helpful of the lot.
VIP pool bar.... Pache, Alex and nelfry always had our drinks sorted for us. They'd see when we had finished and there was a new on ready. We had a laugh with them too. The 2 guys on the towels are great at the VIP bar too, I forgot their names though.
In the main food hall, the waiters we took a shine to were Polanco, melo and Jonathan. When it was anyone's birthday, it was always these 3 singing and dancing the most. You could tell they were genuinely happy to be wishing you happy birthday.
Now the hotel...... Everywhere was spotless and the general service all round is amazing. The decor is brilliant and the patisserie was lovely. Them gardeners know how to put a shift in and the cleaners too. You can see everyone in there is pleased with their job and enjoy everything they're doing. It makes you feel better when you see everyone smiling. I haven't got a bad word to say about this hotel at all and usually there is good and bad points about holidays. Not this one. I've been twice now this was my second time. The first time was in may and I couldn't wait to go back.

I read things on trip advisor and think people have exaggerated. Reading back over mine people will think the same but, believe me, the hotel is unreal.

  • Stayed September 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pembroke pines
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

We absolutely loved it. We spent 6 nights and it was so worth it. The pictures online are truthful. Riu Palace Bavaro is the newest of all 2011?. It's well kept and very, very clean. There is some construction on some floors but the housekeepers were continuously cleaning. The restaurants were amazing so was the buffet we ate there practically every day (everything is fresh). Geisha and Krystal was our favorite. Taino the steakhouse was ok. Room service food not so great.... so get to dinner (buffet opens late). All inclusive beer, wine, champagne all unlimited (they only have a few choices, but they are ok).

The pool and beach was just amazing. At the pool waiters made sure your cup was always full. They were all very kind to us from the day we got there to the early morning we left. I would definitely visit again. We really enjoyed our trip. I was apprehensive, but we gave it a try and we weren't disappointed. I could keep writing but to make it short it was an amazing experience my boyfriend and I didn't want to leave.

PS. We are very picky about our accommodations.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We were a little worried after reading some reviews. We had stayed at the Riu Bambu 3 years previously and had a fabulous time which influenced our decision to return for our daughters birthday.
I can honestly say that we had an amazing holiday here. Everything was absolutely perfect, we couldn't find anything bad to say even if we tried. Food, rooms & staff were fantastic. In fact I've enjoyed it so much that we have booked for next year and we have never booked the same holiday for the following year. We were totally spoilt

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Florence, Kentucky
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Bavaro for our babymoon in June! We had a wonderful time! The beach is absolutely gorgeous which is the #1 reason we travel to the Caribbean.

The only thing I didn't like was where our room was located. We were in the very, very last room in the corner by Caribbean street. I had asked for a room close to everything considering I was 8 months pregnant but that is what they gave us. That being said, we always make the best of vacation and I just stayed positive and told myself I was getting my exercise for the week. And the rooms were amazing! Gorgeous and the tub was my favorite place all week! I brought bubble bath and enjoyed it every night! It was very relaxing! I could lay in the tub and watch tv! Perfect!

The food was good. I am a very picky eater and hardly ever had trouble finding something, the buffet is great because if you go to one of the specialty restaurants and don't like anything, you can hit up the buffet after you're done there.

We had Miguel take some maternity pictures of us on the beach and he did an amazing job!!

We sat in the same area by the pool every day and Angel and Starlight took AMAZING care of us! He would bring my husband, mom, and dad whatever they were drinking before they were done with the one before that! And he brought me waters each time too! And any non-alcoholic drinks I wanted! We loved the pool and pool bar!

I bought my parents a massage and they said it was the very best thing they have ever done on any vacation!

My favorite thing of the whole trip was the vanilla milkshakes from the cappuccino bar in the lobby! Unbelievable! Had one at least three times a day, every day!

We had an amazing time! I would definitely recommend this place and hope to go back in the future!

  • 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 1
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
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 #42 of 102 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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