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“Amazing Vacation”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #75 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Florence, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing Vacation”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We just got back on Sunday from this resort. It was amazing. I had read the reviews of others and was kind of skepticle. I went in with no expectations, but wow, was I blown away. We were in a deluxe room and they were kept clean, and fridge was stocked every day or every second. Depends on if we drank it all. You were given three 1,5 litres of water a day. The rooms were kept very clean, no bugs, always toilet paper, even gave extra. Bring your own face cloths, cause they do not have them. Also bring your own shampoo and conditioners, they do not provide them at the hotel. Clean shower towels replaced every day. We didn`t have any of the problems that have read in the other reviews. All of the staff were wonderful and couldn't do enough for you. The pool area was clean, as were the grounds of the resort. The pools were clean, as for people saying they were dirty. There was sand on the bottom, not a lot but hey you are walking in it all the time. The beaches are very close and beautiful. The foo was amazing. I only ate at the buffet, we didn't want to be on a schedule. They had lots to choose from every night. All the food is labeled so you know what you are eating. I stuck to food I knew i could eat. I have severe IBS. I never got sick from anything I ate. Lots of greens and fruit. The fruit tastes better than what we have here in Nova Scotia. Everything was very fresh. We had the time of our life, the entertainment was very good, the entertainers worked very hard all day and then again until 11pm. No one can say they don't work for every penny at this resortm because they do. I left money for tips instead of items. 2-3 for the maid and water boy and usually 1 -2 for every few drnks at the bar. The average wage per month is 250US a month. Extra is a bonus. If you are going to book excersions, do it through your rep. they gaurentee safety, and the food or drink you recieve during your trip also. So you won't get sick. You may pay extra, but it's worth every penny. We went on the Country express tour with Danny Boy. Amazing tour guide, and after going to a real DR home and farm we went horseback riding had lunch than went to the most amazing beach I have ever seen. We also went snorkelling on the happy hour tour. Our trip to the RIU Bambu was amazing and I can't wait to go back again. Oh and just a warning, go easy on the Mamajuana. ;)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Marlyce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Illinois City, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

My husband and I just got back from a 3 night stay at the RIU Bambu. The hotel was very clean and the food was pretty good. We did not do any of the specialty restaurants just the coloniol buffet and mama juana buffet. Our room was in the newly renovated section at the back of the resort. It was very quite and private back there. Things that I did not care for were the rum in our mini bar was empty on arrival and empty when we left. We called the front desk 3 times and still never replaced. Take wash wrags with you because I never saw one during our stay. The swimming pools are on the small side. The beach was beautiful and the drinks were awesome!! Like I said before nice quick getaway from the cold weather.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank cakk2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

I have just returned from this hotel 28th March 2013 , hotel beautiful 3 swimming pools and two childrens pool, all great but as there was so much for families I thought one pool could have been child free. because it was easter the hotel was full to capacity, so a sunbed by the pool you had to get up 06.30 get one! to book one of the 4 beautiful resturants, you have to be in line by 7am not cool. staff were not that friendly as the poor things were run of their feet. lots of americans walked around with 1 ltr jugs full of coffee or something stronger . after easter it was much better more the place you expect from a 5 star hotel. entertainment was excellent best I have seen well done. I enjoyed this hotel but be warned dont go on public holidays apart from that its excellent, food very good / George on the safari truck was excellent and ended up at the beach they were very health and safety made sure no one drowned worth a pat on the back

Room Tip: Large resort try get one near reception or you will have a long walk back to your room although it w...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank mgt_lee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Our family of 6 traveled to Riu Bambu from March 27 to April 3. We traveled with Sunwing from Toronto. My wife and I had stayed at this resort before and thought it would be good for the family. We have traveled most of the Caribbean and do enjoy the Riu Chain for its value.
We have traveled with Sunwing before and generally like their service but it is a pet peeve of mine that the entry and departure tax is not included in their fare -as all other Canadian suppliers do. I was happy to go on Trip Adviser and find the link to pre buy the Entry Card on line. This saved us a lot of time at the Airport which had another Sunwing flight arrive at the Same time as ours . We got to by pass most of the line because of pre purchasing the Entry Card.
We did stop at duty free just near the baggage pick-up and bought some wine as again here there were many comments that the wine is poor at the resort. We used the wine in the specialty restaurants.
The weather was rainy for the first 3 days then great.
The bus ride from the airport was uneventful as much was on a new toll road.
On arrival at the hotel check in went smooth and was handled by Sunwing reps not at the front desk.
We did book upgraded rooms and were well worth it. We were in the 42 building on third floor and all rooms close together. The room was very modern ,nice firm bed,air conditioning always worked[we prefer the ceiling fan]. The flat screen TV had a good selection of channels. The shower was great-always lots of hot water with lots of pressure. It was very roomy and had nice glass block on the inside wall. The maid Maria was very nice and kept the room very clean. There is a nice balcony which overlooked the back of the hotel. It was very quiet and peaceful. I would recommend going and the upgrade [we did stay in the regular rooms before] and they would be showing their age now. It is a bit of a walk to the pools beach and restaurants but the newness and quiet makes up for it
The food was good-we stayed at Easter time and the resort was full - and there was always something tho eat in the buffet. The red wine was OK most times but I was glad we picked some up for the specialty restaurants-I am surprised that Riu does not offer a wine list to buy from-I am sure many people would take advantage of it.

Getting up at 6-630am for the specialty restaurants was a pain but we found the Steak house very good, Italian good and the Asian OK..I did see many comments about the food and I do consider what I paid for the resort and the food I got and thought it was good-We have gone to other resorts and had better food and we also paid twice as much for the package.
The pools were clean and fun. The beach was great as well. We had no problem with chairs at either place.
We did go with our 7 year old grand daughter and she had a GREAT time!!
The entertainment was good-mostly the same as you get in this type of resort-the small problem I did have was that they had a great kids play time [dances and games] prior to the main show so there were a lot of kids in the audience and in the main show when there was dancing the women were in thongs. Now I am no prude but I thought that this was not appropriate with the children in the audience. If the show was at 11 when the kids were in bed -fine-. I mention this because the 7 year old did!
We did go to Senona Island and had a great day-catamaran ride there, food on beach[was good] lots of drinks. Only thing lacking when we got there was a lack of chairs-maybe we were just late-also take water shoes as beach is very rocky. We went back on a high speed boat -fun. Tip-do not have to use washroom when you arrive back on land after the trip-don't it is not useable-no running water ect-wait till the bus stops at a convenience store on way back to hotel.
Also when were getting on the boat to go to the island a man took our picture and we did not think anything of it. When we got back to the bus after the trip he came on the bus and was selling a bottle of rum$15 with our picture and pics of the boat ect on the label-a neat souvenir-rather than the usual things you get.
So all in all a good time was had by all on the holiday!! 6 people very happy!
People remember what you paid-you will not get gourmet meals and Butler service for that price. If you really expect that then find a more expensive resort which advertises that.

Room Tip: Upgraded rooms are worth it
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank FuntravellersToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My husband and I and two 16 year old boys just returned yesterday from RIU Bambu and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised after reading the negative reviews. This is my 9th time travelling south to different countries all of which were either 4 or 5 star or diamond ratings.and the Bambu was one of the best that I have been to. Yes the walk at times was a bit tiring but I needed the exercise to walk off the calories I had consumed at the restaurants. We chose the steak house twice but otherwise the buffet is where we had our meals. Nothing got repetitive and there was always a great selection of foods to choose from. We were in the upgraded room with a king size bed and a gorgeous shower. The kids were in another building and their room was lovely as well. The sunwing champagne flight was awsome, the check in at the hotel was smooth and hassle free and they did their best to keep our rooms close. The only negative which is a personal preference is that there would be a bar directly on the beach. The pool areas looked awsome however my husband and I are beach lovers so we were completely in heaven at the beach. There was no need to get up early in the morning to secure a chair or shade as there was always plenty. There were very few locals trying to sell their goods and were very polite when we weren't interested. The areas has a couple of shopping areas within walking distance with quite a variety of shops which was convenient. Many of the previous reviews argued the fact that this isn't a 5 star resort, I believe that is a matter of personal preference. True the a la cart restaurants are buffets(with the exception of the steak house) but that just gives more of a choice. True you have to get up early to make a reservation but also that gives you the option to have a la cart 7 times in a week which alot of resorts don't allow. I have to say two issues really annoyed me(neither a reflection of the RIU hotel) there was a rude young man with an english accent arguing with hotel staff outside the buffet restaurant which was just so horrible to watch. It was embarrassing how he spoke to the staff while explaining how important he was. He needs to know self promotion doesn't make him important just ignorant. The staff were doing everything in their power to assist him and he continued to yell(that to me means his parents didn't raise a gentleman). The second issue was two young ladies swimming topless at the beach. I completely understand europeans sunbathing topless as that's common to their culture however judging from the accents of their two females I'm pretty sure they were from Ontario. REALLY at a family resort come on girls(notice I didn't use the term ladies) With the exception of the two incidents my experience at the RIU Bambu was excellent. It's not Canada people but certainly a great place to vacation.

Room Tip: If you have mobility issues request a room closer to lobby.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GwenSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2013

I have just recently returned from a fabulous vacation at the Riu Bambu Hotel in Punta Cana. Myself and 5 other ladies decided to take a girls trip. We had ages ranging from 17-50.



Our vacation began with booking through Sherry Tobin of YYZ Travel groups. She was excellent. The booking was smooth, and she provided all the neccessary details for our travels! We opted to fly with Sunwing to our destination- great choice. No delays, complimentary champagne,wine and food while on board. What a great way to start the vacation!

Upon arrival the airport the baggage took quite a while to come through- but this can usually be expected at most aiports. Our bus ride to the hotel was maybe 20 minutes. We all couldnt contain our excitment for our vacation to begin.

Right away, the bellman took our luggage and we got checked in. It is one key per guest per room, they do take a $20 US deposit for any other key requested. Thus, we kept the one key. Our "welcome" drink was non-alcoholic orange juice. Still tasty, I guess I can't complain as we'd have a full week of alcohol to attend to.

We did request to have all three rooms together, this was not given the first day. After putting in a second request, they did move us a day and a half later and closer to the lobby which was fabulous.

The hotel itself is beautiful. I absolutely have no complaints. The staff were incredible and attended to our every need. We asked for extra beer to be stocked in the fridges, as they only restock them every other day. They were greatful enough to give us 6 extra! The rooms are spacious. They pushed two queens together to make a king, but im not fussy. We always had hot water ( sometimes it does take a while to get there). The rooms were always stalked with fresh towels as well. Be sure to tip and they will leave you towel animals and flowers!

I need to talk about the beach because it was absolutely incredible. I am going through some major withdrawl right now. We did have 2 days of rainy weather, but the rest of the week was very hot and sunny. The waves were huge and the sand was so white. There was some seaweed floating around in the ocean but my guess is that, that was from the previous storm days. We never had any trouble getting chairs for the beach, even on the days we got down there at 11:30 in the morning. We would even leave our chairs for an hour or so, and come right back to them with all our stuff still there.

The pool bar was great on those rainy days. I noticed a few of the days it could be pretty quiet around the pool, others, it was a party! There was always music, people dancing, games and competitions. It was alot of fun. From what my younger sister said, if you wanted a chair around the pool, then you need to be up early!

As for the food, again, no complaints. ( As you can see, when I go on vacation I try to enjoy every minute of it). There were always lots of options ranging from pizza to seafood depending on your taste. The variety was pretty exceptional. In the mornings i usually had an omelette but they had more european options like meats and cheeses, or even cereal for those little kiddies. The only thing that was upsetting, which is normal at most all inclusives, is the early wait for A La Carte's. We had to be up at 6:00am to even be considered for reservations. We were able to try italian and mexican. Mexican was okay, not my favourite. The italian was fabulous.

Okay..time to talk about entertainment. MUCH better then most all inclusives as well. They had a burlesque show, Michael Jackson Tribute. It always looked like most of the guests were actually participating and watching the shows which I really enjoyed. The lobby area was always buzzing with people, and something always going on. They had the dancers come out and show us how to dance dominican style. If your a night-owl the "Pacca" is the Riu's disco. GO! The Riu hotels all share access to this disco. Just don't go earlier than midnight. After midnight it was full of people dancing. One note though, the drinks are not free. A bus will pick you up and drop you off at the hotel, it runs about every 15-20 minutes. If you don't like the dancing scene, the sports bar is your next bet. However, some of the nights it was pretty quiet with one or two people having a casual drink.

Make sure to try the chocolate monkey! By far my favourite drink of the week. Juan was an awesome bartender. Always quick when we were ordering and never failed to make us some good drinks and trust me, there were tons consumed in these seven days.

My mom and her good friend did an all day excursion where they go into the city, go horseback riding, visit the elementary school, try real cocoa and go to a private beach. They loved it, but did state that it was long.

My good friend and I did activities: We got a 50 minute full body massage on the beach ( AMAZING- WOULD RECOMMEND $54.00 each), dunebuggying ( half day excursion- private beach, swim in a cave and try coffee) and we did a catamaran ( half day- snorkeling and swim in a natural shallow area of the ocean)



The catamaran ride wasn't what i expected. I have been on better. We made the best of it but we would have prefered some more music, maybe some games on board even a larger boat. The dunebuggying was a great experience. You drive quite fast through the roads of the Dominican. Make sure to wear clothing that isn't too important, you get super dirty! We paid $79.00 each for this excursion.

All in all, I had an amazing week. I hope this review doesn't seem biased. I don't often have too many complaints when I travel, because its a vacation. You have to remember that they live differently than we do. They are on dominican time!They do their best to provide us with an amazing week in paradise. I'd say they did a fabulous job and I cannot wait to Return!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Brittany04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cherry Valley, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2013

This hotel would be better rated 3-4 Apples. The quality of the service, food, and pool was not good. Standing in line for dinner reservations every day at 5:30 a.m. local time was not enjoyable. Look elsewhere for a better value.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jennifer A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Bambu

Property: ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#65 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#68 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#68 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Bambu 3.5*
Number of rooms: 740
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 Int€™l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Bambu Punta Cana
Riu Bambu Dominican Republic

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