my fiancee and i have just returned from a 2 week holiday here as part of a group of 8 including a 15 year old and a younger boy.
The hotel lobby and external areas were really nice after you get past the rather dull entrance to the riu complex, all the reception and booking in staff including the porters were really helpful and most spoke really good english.
We were then shown to our rooms which were 2 doubles and a family room all on the ground floor and in one block next to each other (2104-5-6), which was really handy close to the main hotel area but far enough away not to be disturbed by any music. The rooms were fairly basic but looked clean and well maintained, I noticed that each of the 3 rooms had a different tv, one a large flat screen and the other 2 old CRT tv's.
The showers were really powerful in the rooms and the baths nice and deep, the one thing I did find unusual was the water level in the toilets was really high, I originally thought it was broken but it flushed fine and after found out from our friends who had been the Dominican before that this was the norm. We had plenty of towels in the bathroom and the usual soaps and small bottles of gels, there was a wall mounted hairdryer with a socket below which was handy.
The grounds were always kept tidy and the hedges and grass nicely kept, the path ways were kept tidy and were well signed, right the way down to the beach and all the way around the complex. The only thing that we found to be slightly confusing was the location of some of the restaurants, with the asian being at the bottom corner of the main buffet hall, and the mexican tucked away behind the mamajuana restaurant, but the friendly staff were able to direct us.
The food on the whole was really good, the buffet restaurants probably repeated the same type of staples about 80% of the food daily and changing the rest over the week to give some variety. We visited 3 of the four a la cart restaurants over the duration of the stay, the steakhouse we visited twice as I was feeling too sick on the first visit to eat, the steak we all had was fantastic and cooked well, this restaurant had a limited menu two starters served on the table a choice of steak, chicken, ribs and something else?? as a main course and then a choice of 2 desserts. Really nice.
Mexican was ok, we all tried some dishes but were not really wowed, the chicken for the fajitas that was cooked at a station none of the party liked. This was a bit of a disappointment after the steak house as we were expecting a la carte and it was in fact a buffet with cooking stations.
Asian fusion my fiancee and I really enjoyed because we are in to that kind of thing, this was also a buffet with hot stations, it had a fair range of sushi and then noodles and duck with some soups.
The drinks were free flowing, with soft drinks and tea and coffee on tap and self service in most areas, there were bar menus which included alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and cocktails. The bars were all stocked with local and some international brands and available when asked for. So instead of asking for a whisky and coke ask for Jim beam and you get it.
Be aware that the local drink (mamajuana) is drank like water, we had that many shots it was unreal, it is really nice though. We were in the sports bar a lot due to the air conditioning the friendly staff and the choice of sport and channels available. Also as we were in there often and with the amount of tv's they were just giving us the control to watch what we wanted which was good, we were ordering shots for the whole bar when we scored.
The pools were really nice, seemed well kept and maintained we never went in to the main pool with the swim up bar as it was usually busy and quiet noisy, we preferred the smaller pool with the volley ball net as it was quieter. There is also an even quieter pool behind the mamajuana restaurant ideal for a chill or for doing some proper swimming.
The entertainment was varied and I have to commend the friendly and hard working entertainment staff who work harder than anyone I have ever seen. The awards and introductions can get a little confusing due to the accents and the fact that they also announce everything in 3 or 4 languages. Rocky was cool as was the guy with the heart shaped hair-do.
All in all a great family and entertainment choice, if me and my g/f were wanting or expecting a relaxing holiday this probably isn't the place but for families I think it is almost perfect.
Few notes: -
*The gym isn't in the hotel itself
*The alcohol me be slightly weak (but this is probably a good thing)
*Learn a bit of Spanish the staff really appreciate it and for outside of the resort it can come in really handy when trying to explain or ask for something.
*The scubacaribe people on the beach can be a bit forward like any of the sales people, but if you negotiate with them you can get good prices and if you book a trip with them then they can give you preferential treatment on catamaran or other water sport bookings (or did for me)
*The catamaran and other water sports are free but if you haven't done that sport before they ask for you to have a lesson $25 and is then free as long as you book, with the option to take out insurance at $6
- 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, Amex, Diners ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Bambu Punta Cana
- Riu Bambu Dominican Republic