We booked an Apple Vacations 5 Apple Square Deal and the Riu Bambu is the resort chosen for us. We were at the Riu Bambu Feb 18-25. The beach at this resort is one of the best in this area. As we walked the beach in either direction some resorts had their chairs so close together you could not put a glass down. The Riu’s beach was very spacious with palm trees providing natural shade as needed. There were always chairs available. Not so at the pool. That was the famous “chair save game”. The pool area was very crowded and noisy and very little breeze. There was no bar on the beach, and the restrooms were quite a hike from the beach. The only bathrooms were next to MamaJuana restaurant, so these were used by the pool, beach and restaurant guests.
We had room 505 which was a ground floor room with a patio. Excellent location. Close to the beach, and close to lobby, theatre, restaurants and bar. Room had a bed, a small round table, two chairs, and a dresser and nightstands. The closet contained the digital safe (no charge) and a generous amount of hangers. Always hot water no matter what time it was. One day the toilet was not running properly and upon reporting it, they responded immediately and corrected the problem. Bath gel and shampoo packets provided. No washcloths even with a note left requesting this. Mini bar included with room. No coffee pot. That would have been a nice touch. The bed was very firm. Only a sheet and the dirty looking drab spread. No blanket. With the AC as cold as it was, a blanket would have been welcome. If you wanted an extra key for your room, just go to front desk and pay a $10 deposit which is refunded upon returning the key. Maids usually cleaned the room in the morning.
Food: Buffets always provided a generous array of foods. Always hot and always refilled. Great service The one thing I noticed is that there were two egg stations in the AM but only one would make omelets and the other egg station did not make eggs per your request. He just kept frying eggs and putting them in the warming pans, some over easy, some sunny side up, some scrambled. The alacart restaurants required you to reserve at 7am that day. Crazy to have to set an alarm just to make a reservation. We did one day for the steak house and it was ok, but would not bother to do so again. No snack bar at pool as so many resorts have. MamaJuana was open air, but under a roof and people were in swim attire in there which was acceptable.
WIFI free in lobby-90 min per day. User name and password is on the wall behind the front desk.
Entertainment staff was always busy with games on the beach and at the pool. Never pushy. We only saw a few of the shows at night, pretty much the same as you see at other resorts. Marino at the Plaza bar was the best. Lots of children at the resort. Massages were $60 for 55 minutes. There was a flea market about a mile down the beach. Easy walking.
One thing we were not informed of was that you had to pay $10 per person to enter the country.
One of the most negative things at this resort was the way they handled the beach towels. As the day went on, you could not get a clean beach towel. We like to exchange our towels for clean ones and take the towels to the room with us. They would not give you a clean one. And as the week went on, they wouldn’t even let you take the dirty one to the room. They actually posted Towel Guards on the walkways to catch you. In our case all I wanted the clean towel for was to use as a blanket because the AC was so cold. We found that by going along the walkway over by the kiddie area, there were no towel guards over there. It is a shame they treat guests like this at a 5 star resort.
The resort was clean and the service was good. There was constant grooming of the landscape and cleaning and painting of buildings. We heard there were some rooms that had been refurbished and were really nice. The water was not drinkable. Bottle water was provided in your mini bar. If you are looking for a resort with a small footprint, with a beautiful beach then this is the resort for you. Note the beach waters are a bit rough, not the calm waters you can float in as in some areas of the Dominican.
- 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 Intl. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Bambu Punta Cana
- Riu Bambu Dominican Republic