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“Paradise in the Caribbean” 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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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #41 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Paradise in the Caribbean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Spent two weeks here with the mother. Heaven. We had our own private Jacuzzi out on the balcony, a view overlooking the sea and of course free mini bar! We did have a little trouble getting water in our fridge, but this was down to lack of communication. Very friendly staff, always greeting us and wishing us a happy stay. Our pool area was divine. We stayed in the VIP section of the hotel, so had a little more privacy, but well worth the money!! Mum tried out the spa on the first day, unfortunately the treatment wasn't up to her usual standard, but it was okay. Food in the Montecristo restaurant got a little samey after a while. Do take advantage of the a-la-carte restaurants. They are divine. All in all, a very lovely place to stay. Recommend you go all inclusive.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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 (412)
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English first
McDonough, Georgia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Nice Resort. Very upscale and clean. Only issue was with dinner reservations at the specialty restaurants. Got there late on Tuesday afternoon so was too late to get a dinner reservation for Wednesday night. Tried to get a reservation for Thursday night and the girl told my husband that all dinner slots had been filled, until he mentioned that we are frequent guest at RIU's and would mention the difficulties in our reivew and miraculously a slot opened right up for the Japanese restaurant, which turned out to be a disappointment. Food at the buffet was pretty good. Really good service at the swim up bar with Francisco. Nice resort and nice beach. Stay away from the casino!!! Would recommend this resort and would stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I am not sure how you can give this place a bad review unless you were expecting it to be an English speaking, Americanized resort, which it is not, nor should it be.

My wife and I spent 8 nights at Riu Palace Bavaro and we didn't want to leave. The grounds are amazing, the buildings are beautiful, and the people who work there are even better. They work their butts off in hot and humid weather, all with a smile on their face each and every day. They speak broken English just like I speak broken Spanish, but it's easy to communicate with them. Waner at our swim up bar was always dancing, smiling and talking to the patrons, and Ana Maria always cleaned our room nicely and turned our towels into swans and other designs!

When we first arrived, we were given the 'under the table' option to upgrade to a suite right by the pool in the VIP area. It was worth it. Our pool wasn't loud like the regular one, our swim up bar wasn't packed and we had plenty of chairs on the beach near our area to choose from. I would highly recommend upgrading to one of these rooms as it makes your trip feel that much more tropical and relaxing. The only problem with our room was that no matter how hard we tried, there were mosquito's always getting in. Be sure to bring insect repellent with DEET as malaria is a known issue in the DR. There are numerous signs in the room that tell you to NOT drink the water from the faucets so it's pretty hard to miss. They provide you with tons of bottled water which is safe to drink & brush your teeth with.

As for the food, yes, it was hit or miss sometimes, but we enjoyed trying food from other cultures. Our favorite restaurant was Krystal. The food there was AMAZING. Our least favorite was the Japanese (we didn't try the Steakhouse since we heard it wasn't any good). The buffet was exactly what you would expect it to be....a buffet but on steroids. They had everything you could think of. Our regular waiter, Ricardo was very nice, prompt and polite to us. We enjoyed speaking with him every day.

The beach here is unbelievable. You walk off the pool deck and into a forest of palm trees surrounded by lounge chairs. The water is warm, clear and calm and the sand is white, and extremely soft. We would walk the beach everyday from one end of the Riu complex to the other, and sometimes ventured to the market way down to the right, which was intense as EVERYONE is trying to lure you into their store to buy things. They will not stop, which is unfortunate, but if you just say no, they eventually walk away. One plus is that you can negotiate with them, so keep that in mind if you plan to buy something.

After a few days of enjoying the pools and ocean, we decided to do a couple excursions. The first one was the Buggy excursion. We took a long bus ride to a remote area where we waited for a while for other people to pour in to the complex. We drove with guides in these cool go-kart type vehicles through the towns (which was sad as the poverty there is extremely high) to Macao beach. Macao beach might be the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. We then drove to a house to learn how to make Dominican coffee and chocolate along with Mama Juana (their local specialty drink). After a brief stop there, we drove to a cave where we were able to walk down and jump into the freshwater. This was pretty cool and fun to bring our GoPro along with us. It was a 1/2 day trip with water provided and snacks for sale.

Our next excursion was the Caribbean Festival. This was my favorite. We boarded a Pirate ship with our guide, Jesus, who was so energetic and fun to be around. We sailed to Stingray Bay in the middle of the sea where one enclosure had nurse sharks, and the other, stingrays. We got off the ship and followed our shark swimming guide Miguel into the shark infested waters. The area was only about 7ft deep, and the sharks seemed gigantic as they swam right beneath you! I felt safe the entire time as the sharks just swam away from us when we got close. We then switched with the other group and got into the Stingray section where the instructors let us pet the stingrays. They then put them on us as we stood there in the water. The only issue was that you were NOT permitted to take pictures in the stingray section as they had a photographer who took pictures and then sold them on the ship on the way back to port. As we ventured away from the sharks and stingrays, we watched some of the staff dance. We then were able to open water snorkel at the coral reef. It was fun, but there were so many people that we kept bumping into each other. I highly recommend signing the waiver to not wear a life jacket if you feel like you can handle it. Then you can dive down and feed the fish. Drinks and sandwiches were provided on this trip, which was a 1/2 day excursion as well.

Getting back to Riu Palace, there was a lot to do. They always had entertainment on the stages after dinner. The only problem was that we were asleep by 9:30pm every night as the sun and fun wore us out everyday. They also have a coffee bar which was great, a sports bar with lots of TV's, a bar in the lobby to cool down at, multiple swim-up bars to grab a Sammy Sosa or some Presidente.

Overall, I would go back here in a heartbeat. The staff was amazing and the hotel in general was incredible. People who say otherwise are just close-minded.

Best trip we have been on, and we plan to come back ASAP!

Room Tip: upgrade when you get there to stay in the VIP area. You will have a private pool, swim-up bar and qu...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Buffalo, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We literally just got home last night from a 7 night stay in PC (our 5th time in the DR) Absolutely love this area, people are so nice and beach/ocean is hard to beat at this price point. We stayed 4 nts at Riu Palace Bavaro after 3 nts at Iberostar Bavaro Suites (just wanted to try 2 resorts on this trip)

Have stayed at lots of Riu's but it was our first time at this particular one. We had a ball. Food was delicious, staff ranged from polished and polite to hilarious, pools were huge and clean, beach is stunning and drinks were plentiful and dee-lish! (no banana in sight and I would know because I hate it) We had the complete opposite experience that the previous poster is having. We got anything we asked for with the exception of the coco rum. We even have a "made up " drink recipe containing Bailey's and several other ingredients and the bartenders made it for us every day--no problem--smiles on their faces. The guys @ the swim up bar are a hoot and SO busy.....that pool is a non stop pary all afternoon until it closes at 6pm

The hotel is spotless and the grounds are lovely. Our maid, Milagra (3rd floor) kept things tidy while leaving us with towel art daily. We could have received turn down service but we were always in the room getting ready for dinner at the time they do it. I was surprised to hear some say housekeeping was rude...we got a smile in the hall daily and all over the resort. So few employees passed by without an "hola" or greeting of some sort. But we do make eye contact and say hello too. You get what you give.

Speaking of dinner, we ate buffet, Gourmet and Italian...enjoyed them all. I take very small portions of things from the buffet so if I don't care for it...move on and try something else. There is SO MUCH to choose from. Not sure how anyone could eat so much that they try it all in a few days and get bored with it??

I was with my sister and we speak VERY little Spanish. But we would try and the staff would help and appreciate our attempt. Again, all done with a smile.

Animation staff was fun. Crazy games at the pool, Bingo and aqua-aerobics were a comedy. Of course, what else are they going to be when you're sipping frozen concoctions? They made us laugh every day and had hugs for us when we left.

All in all, another great time at a Riu and BEAUTIFUL Punta Cana. Made us sad to leave. If you're on your way to this resort, don't fret the negative posts. I feel bad for them that they had such a miserable time--no one wants that on a vacation. But take your smile, your patience, your camera and just maybe you'll have the absolute great experience we did. Happy travels!

ps. we did stop in and check out the pool areas and lobby of the other four Riu's (the Palace Punta Cana, the Bambu, the Naiboa and the Palace Macao and we were MOST happy with our choice.

Room Tip: We always choose highest floor because I like to leave patio door partially open at night for balmy...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Bavaro, Dominican Republic
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I've stayed for the 3rd time in this resort with my family (last time was July 15th-18th)... We've been in some other resorts and this once could be one of the best in Punta Cana... Great Food, friendly staff... Beach is great! My kid had a great time at the kid's pool, also the resort offers a lot of activities during the day.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We are staying at this resort currently. It was supposed to be a 5 star resort and 1 star is more than it is worth. Ask a question in English and most will smile and walk away. Almost nobody talks English. We are all sick from something, probably food or drinks. We went on the catamaran rides yesterday except for my wife because she was so sick. She called the front desk to ask for toast, was transferred back and forth to housekeeping and finally crying talked to someone at the front desk that understood a little English and they said they couldn't help her. So got back after 7 pm to find this out and ran to get her a little food which was difficult as they couldn't find a plastic container and couldn't leave with a plate. Don't eat a hamburger here either, they are beyond awful. Raw and taste terrible as do the hot dogs. Rest of meat is tough. Past two nights people upstairs are pounding on their door to be let in at 3 am yelling as they pass our room. Get into the room and going in/out yelling at each other until after 5 am before they shower and quiet down. So no sleep for us although the beds are so hard as are the pillows that sleep isn't easy either. Friends staying next door have a rat that comes out if the lights are off. So they are sleeping with lights on to keep it out of room. Drinks are not any better either, everything just about has a banana in it. Only rum is DR rum, so no spiced rum or coconut rum, etc. A Mai Tai and Bahama Mama both start with a banana? Try to get them to make a different and they smile and put in the banana, Drinking Jim Beam and 7-up mostly as don't like drinks with bananas. When they water the grounds smells like sewer. Will turn your stomach it smells so bad. The English pages were missing from the book in our room, so didn't know the water isn't safe to rinse your tooth brush. Using bottled water for that now. Might be how we got sick, but could easily be the drinks as they mix the juices from concentrate with water at the bars.

Room Tip: Best tip would be stay somewhere else. Every hotel we saw on bus ride back from catamaran looked bet...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is my 4th trip to the D.R..I absolutely love this country ! The Dominican people are friendly and cheerful ! This resort is clean. The food is excellent. The entertainment team is the best ! We have not had a bad meal or a bad experience .!Find sexy cocoa and ask him for a dance.. Say hola to Hernandez and all the workers you come across .. Can't wait to come back !

Stayed July 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.

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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 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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