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“Love the beach” 5 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 #41 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Oakville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Love the beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This was our first time in DR and my family had a positive experience staying at the RIU hotel. The beach was amazing with soft white sand and lots of palm trees for shade. Had no problem finding loungers both at the beach and pool. The swim up bar was a lot of fun and everyone was in party mode. The pool was busy but we always found some quiet spots. The food at the main buffet was delicious and plentiful - something for everyone. For lunch we would go to the buffet close to the pool which did not disappoint, lots of tasty food. The a la carte restaurants were a nice change from going to the buffet. Overall the restaurant food was good. You won't go hungry at this resort, the sports bar always had nachos and snacks on standby. Treats could also be found at the coffee bar too! This resort is modern and very clean with lots of friendly people. We were impressed with the public washrooms. They were always being cleaned - even the ones close to the beach were always in great condition. If you're celebrating a special occasion be sure to inform the restaurant. They make you feel special by decorating your table, singers with a cake. I would say everyday at the main buffet we would find a couple of tables decorated with balloons or flowers - a sign that a celebration is to come. A festive resort indeed!

Room Tip: Avoid corner units. The family travelling with us changed rooms due to bugs getting in (poorly seale...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (405)
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic and our first stay in a Riu hotel .
On arrival, check in was very efficient and we were soon in our room. We were on the second floor, overlooking nothing but other balconies. A reasonable sized balcony though, with chairs and a table. Our king size bed was actually 2 beds pushed together, with individual bedding. The beds weren't big enough to share one, so we ended up sleeping separately. The hydrotherapy bath was a great addition though, and most days around 5pm would find us soaking in the jets, vodka and coke in hand!
The buffet was ok, but after 2 weeks we were glad to see the back of it. We ate at the steak house once, and were not overly impressed with either the food or the service. The staff there should take a look at the waiting staff at the buffet, who couldn't do enough for you. The pool waiters were brilliant, constantly replenishing drinks.
Loved the coffee bar and the cocktail bar in the lobby. The apple martinis are to die for.
The staff at this hotel work very hard, but there were 2 or 3 days when despite being out of our room from 9 til 4, the cleaner hadn't yet cleaned our room. Not wishing to go out again til dinner time, our room didn't get cleaned on these days.
The beach is amazing, the pool area very noisy while we were there.
To sum up, it was a nice hotel, but not 5 star. The food, for me, was a bit of a let down. I could always find something to eat, but it was very much the same at lunch and dinner, day in, day out. I'd have liked a little more variety on a 2 week holiday.
Would I stay here again? If I went back to the Dominican Republic, yes, I probably would.

Stayed June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I just visit this resort for a 7 days family vacation ,i have a child with food limitations due to severe allergies when the resort chef ( cesar gonzalez) spoke to us about the situation right away he order outside the hotel for the food that we needed for our child in a very professional way i would recomend this resort to anyone . the only advice for this hotel managers is to separate on the night shows the smoking areas from the non smokers. some tourist do not consider that there are children around .

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

What a beautiful, modern, friendly and welcoming place this is. The cocktails are amazing, Sebastian the floor Manager wouldn't see you without a drink at any time during the evening! The restaurants are all good and will please most people. In our preference they are as follows:
1, steak restaurant is very good, We liked the rib eye and one night I had a 24 ounce steak, it filled my plate! The chicken was also good, but the surf and turf was a bit of a let down as the steak was very tough and most people left it.
2, Italian - the starters were amazing, you could just eat them as there's that much choice: pizza, lasagne, mozzarella and rice balls, anti pasti, soup - too many to remember! All the mains were good apart from the steak, which came out as a very tough lump and everyone who ordered it left it.
3, Krystal - Asian Fusion, if you like it good for you but not for us. We expected a mix of Chinese and Asia, but it started with carpaccio of beef, which was a lump of raw beef on a spoon I thought this was supposed to be thinly cut beef with fresh lemon squeezed on it to 'cook' it. But this was a different twist, but most who we're in when we were seemed to enjoy it.
4 Geisha - sushi themed starters and main courses mainly fish, I loved it but my wife didn't think much of it. We'll worth a try though!
There was also the main buffet restaurant, show cooking at all meals and unless you're a complete and utter snob who has butlers at home, you can have a decent meal in here lots and lots of choice. Stir fry and pasta stations where you decide what the chef makes a plate to your specifications are worth trying, the morning is the same ask for an omelette and tell the chef what you want in it. As always all the staff are really friendly and after you've been there a bit they remember you and chat. Although the main buffet does lunch we always went to the beach restaurant where there's lots of choice, after a week though you really do get sick of eating main meals at lunch time we ended our second week by getting fresh buns or bread and making salad sandwiches with the freshly cooked meat of the day. The beach is amazing and if you make friends with pool guys they'll save you a couple of beds on the beach every day for a few dollars (we gave our guy 200 pesos a day which is about £3 or $5). The beach is beautiful, the sea is lovely and warm, both are clean. The beach is cleaned every morning as is the whole hotel grounds, all the staff work so hard so it's important to tip - on average they earn 1000 pesos a month, which is about £175. On average we always tipped 200 pesos to waiters cleaners and the pool guys and they all looked after us, but I guess that's up to the individual. Our room was a junior suite and was more than big enough, we did ask to have a look at the luxury suites but the only difference was a jacuzzi on the balcony so it wasn't worth the $60 a night fee, although I have to say Nelson on the front desk did offer us a reduction if we'd take it for 11 nights - he really wanted to make us happy and he always said hello to us when ever he saw us taking time to ask us how our holiday was going. If there was an employee of the month it was this guy every day! This really was a lovely holiday, we had a great time at the Palace a couple of years ago, but this new place was even better. It's worth noting that if you stay in this hotel you can visit the other 3 hotels adjacent to this one and a good idea to visit these after eating to walk off all the food you've eaten! We hope you enjoy this hotel and holiday as much as we did :0)

Room Tip: Our room was 127, ground floor and a view (albeit in the distance) of the sea
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Just returned from a 5 day trip with girlfriends. Hotel is above average compared to other resorts we saw. The staff were all very friendly and always had fun activities daily. My favorite was everyday at noon they would have a beach party of some kind with their local food and punch. They also have kayaking,sailing,paddleboarding that is included in the all inclusive package. We had a great time!

Room Tip: ask for vip this will give you ocean front.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The resort is right on the Bavaro beach, which is a must if your heading to the DR. Guest rooms were very spacious with fully stocked mini bar and liquor dispensers. Restaurants were good not great, but that is what is normally expected at an AI. Beach and pool areas were gorgeous with plenty of opportunities if you require shade. It was mid 80's our entire trip with no rain. As far as tours go, we would highly recommend the side by side tour. Not a ton to do for teens, but stayed active snorkeling. I would say resort is more suited for couples, but there were a good mix of families also.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

A year later I found myself back at this hotel. I enjoyed it last year and enjoyed it just as much, maybe a little more, this year!!

the check-in process was very smooth and easy. I had my questions ready this time - how are dinner reservations handled, how often is the liquor in the room stocked, is the casino open, can we have dinner at the other RIUs in the complex???

Quick answers - the first night you must have dinner at the buffet. When you get up the next morning you need to go and make your dinner reservations (8a-11a) for the next 3 nights. It seems they only have 2 seatings - early and late, which is why it's sometimes hard to get a reservation. If you don't go somewhat early you will eat at the buffet again. This happened to me, was not happy, but they stick to the rules - NO exceptions! The buffet is pretty good though. There's a large selection of food, no one should go hungry with these choices. You can use the restaurants at the other hotels (not the Macao) for breakfast, lunch, & snacks - not dinner.

The rooms are cleaned every day but the beverages are replenished every other day. You can get more water at the front desk. It's much easier to get it there then to call & request it as it may or may not be delivered. We did have one day where the maid service was not good, they didn't replace the towels or tissues, maybe they were out - who knows. So we called and around 9pm someone came with more towels - no tissues. Then after that almost every nite someone came around 8pm asking if we needed towels.

The staff seemed friendlier and more attentive this year. Most speak decent English, some of the servers don't, I don't think many of the maids do.

The casino - yes it was open but there's really not much to it. The size of the room is decent but there's so much open space where they can put more slot machines & tables. It really doesn't make sense and it's a bit of a waste to go. The slot machines they do have are old, not the video ones all the casinos in the US have. They do have a few tables as well. Also, if you're not staying at the Macao you don't have any privileges for drinks - you have to pay.

I found the food at the restaurants to be very good this year. A lot of the dishes are similar, there's grouper offered at them all - no other type of fish. In the Italian restaurant the best thing is the appetizer buffet, don't be afraid to take food like it's your main dish because at least half of the main dishes are disappointing. They only have ONE type of wine and it's local, yes wine made in the DR. I found the white to be horrible, but the red was pretty good.

The steakhouse, Taino, was really good this year. Last year it was mediocre and some reviews here agreed but it was very good this year. The Japanese restaurant was very good, my favorite. The service was very good, and all the courses were delicious.

The beach is great, we never had a problem getting chairs and most days we got a little table for our drinks. Tip, don't sit near the volleyball court as the ball can go all over the place.

One afternoon we strolled the beachwalk that runs through the hotels and at the Riu Bambu there is a cute little casual eatery right on the beach. It's a buffet lunch and there's a full bar. So we had a great lunch our on the porch facing the beach & ocean. It was beautiful.

The room - when we checked in there weren't any rooms available as we were early. We had a garden view room booked. Just after completing the check-in process a room had just been cleaned and available. It was in a location I didn't want - face Caribbean Street. We could've waited another hour or 2 until other rooms became available but we decided to just take it. It turns out we really liked the location. It wasn't Garden View, probably in the standard category, but it was on the 4th floor and it was nice to sit on the balcony and have something to look at - the people on Caribbean Street. I thought it might be loud but it really wasn't. The shop keepers don't arrive until 830-9am and they're not noisy at all. They close up by 8-9pm, so by 10pm or so it's very quiet. It was a bit of a walk to the beach and restaurants but I like the exercise, especially after a good meal.

This hotel prices very reasonable, but keep in mind it's not a high end hotel with high end meals and service. I would rate it as upper-moderate. So keeping that in mind, I think it's one of the best in their category. I would definitely go back again. It's a great, relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.

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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 Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #41 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro 4*
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