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“not a 5* but really good family hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of ClubHotel Riu Bambu

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #72 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
merseyside
Level Contributor
76 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“not a 5* but really good family hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

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

Room Tip: rooms we had 2104-5-6 were close to the heart of the complex but far enough away to be quiet and on...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank frankyp81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,521 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (870)
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English first
manchester
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

Me and my partner stayed from the 31st August to 11th September, the hotel was awful, like club 18-30, cockroaches in my room, filthy bed, only can be described as urine stained mattress, too noisey couldn't sleep. I caught a parasite whilst being there, had to pay to move hotels after 5 awful nights at the bambu, don't bother complaining there they don't care less!!!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank steviejane24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

My other half and I have just returned from a 2 week holiday at the Club Hotel Riu Bambu we booked through Thomson Holidays.

If you have read bad reviews about this hotel, please ignore them, for the people who have wrote them are talking a load of nonsense. I was anxious about the holiday because of these reviews, we had no major problems at all throughout the holiday. As soon as we landed we went through the airport with no problems, bags were unloaded quickly and there wasnt much waiting around. The only annoying thing we found at the airport was that we were approached very quickly by alot of people working for the airport insisiting on carrying your bags for a small tip, my advice is to carry your own bags, its pointless getting someone else to carry your bags a few meteres from the baggage claim to the coach. we found they were quite pushy. We carried on and took our own bags to the coach which we found easily as all the Thomson coaches were lined up and clearly labeled with the Thomson name and which hotel they where going to and also all the Thomson reps were standing outside the coaches so guests could clearly see them.

Our first Thomson rep who took us from the airport to the hotel was very helpful and throughout the 25 min coach journey made us all feel welcome and was a good laugh.
As soon as we got to the hotel we were greeted by the Staff with a welcome drink and our bags were unloaded and put into the lobby. i thought the hotel was very organised as our room information and keys were in an envelope and handed out quickly the mananger then proceeded in giving us a talk with all the information needed.

ROOM

Our bags were taken seperatley to our room with only a small tip of around $2. The first night we stayed in one of the standard rooms as this is what we paid for. it had everything we needed a big bed, working shower, bar in the wardrobe and a working safe. We were happy with the location and we had a second floor room. however that night once we had gone to sleep we both woke up to a horrible noise in the middle of the night, we had awoken to a small animal in our air con unit scratching at the inside of the walls. we rang reception to see if anyone could come and sort out the problem, they were very helpful on the phone saying they would send someone immdiately... However morning came and nobody had come up. by this time we had veryy little sleep and was very tired.

we went to reception and spoke to the manager Jose and he couldnt of been more helpful! he immdiately listened to what happened and he upgraded our room to one of the newest rooms in the resort and gave us 2 weeks free wifi, the room was lovely and fresh and spacious with a more modern look with a walk in shower.

FOOD

We had 4 restraunts we could book. and the normal buffet restraunt.

We found that we prefered the resturants however you had to book them between 7.30 and 10am. The itallian tends to sell out fast! we went to the Asian twice which is just a Chinese this was very good in here! we also went to the Steakhouse twice which was also very good! The itallian was good but the itallian food was weird as it was the same menu as the steakhouse for main (steak chicken or salmon) the only itallian food was the hot and cold starters which was a buffet. we didnt try the Mexican restruant as we heard people had got sick from the chicken and it was closed one of the nights. The normal buffet restrauent was what you would expect from an all imclusive, it became a bit repatative but was still good :)

SWIMMING POOLS

there are 2 pools and a kids pool

the main pool has the swim up bar and has a LOT of sunbeds around the pool, we found this pool was very noisy and very overcrowded, so we didnt go their much. this is where the entertainments team did some of the competitions, they were interesting and good to watch but not so great for young children to watch! we prefered to go to the newer pool which we really liked it was more relaxing had alot of sunbeds and we never had a problem of finding any free ones there was plenty to go around :) there was also sunbeds in the pool! which we enjoyed when it got very hot!

BEACH

this beach is beatutiful! and the sea is so bright an clear blue! very relaxing but not to busy and very clean! very relxing and not to busy! plenty of sunbeds to go around!
if you walk to the right along the beach you further down infront of the hotel next door you find the beach and water sports which are included in the All inclusive, we went out the kayaks, loved it! was realy good and the guys were very helpful they helped us into the kayak and kept it still in the waves so we could get on and the time was unlimited so you could use it for however long you wanted! watch out for the current though as we drifted in the swimmers area!

ENTERTAINMENT

the entertainments team where some of the lovliest staff there! very hardworking ( we saw them there from 8am until gone midnight every night) they always said hello to the guests and would always ask how you were or how your holiday is going, they even brought you drinks if you asked!

the shows were good but not great as you would expect from any holiday entertainment! some shows were a bit too much for young children but they had there discos and stuff first. thrioughout the day there was always some activities going on. we played ping pong a few times and watched to compettions by the pool. the entertainments team always tried to get you involved with anything and it was good that you actually new whats was going on throughout the resort if you wanted to join in.

EXCURSIONS

i definately reccommend the Dolphin Explorer! and make sure you do the VIP excellence its expensive over $100 pp but you get a great initamate experience with the dolphins, we had 9 people in our group and 2 dolphins Titan and Picasso. you get 45 mins in the water and get to kiss the dolphins dance with them, get a superman push,a star turn and you get to hold onto their fins as they pull your though the water. the whole experience is filmed by the cameraman and photographed by the photgrapher you can purchase the dvd and photo dvd after it cost $110 for 2 swimmers.

Treasures of the seas was also very good we got this is $99 pp you get to swim with sharks and sting rays and you then going snorkelling on the coral reef then you go to a natural swimming pool in the sea, very good and lively constant flow of drinks the crew and team very helpful and a great laugh!

Carribbean Cruising this was also lovely but a bit exepnsive over $100 pp, this is a 40 min journey to the otherside of the island where you get a speedboat and the first stop is snorkelling but we didnt see alot of marine life.. then we got back on the speed boat and raced another boat to a natural swimming pool where star fish are inhabitant, you get to pick up the star fish and have photos taken with the big and small and baby starfish, a once in a lifetime chance! we then went on to Satona Island off the coast of DR. this is where the first Pirates of the Carribbean was filmed. Beautiful island very peaceful, this is where we had a lobster lunch All included and an open bar also included. if you didnt like lobster you could have chicken or pork chop, 3 course meal. Make sure you were insect replantant though as we got very bitten! On the way back we had a 2 hour catermaranride, this was lovely and peacful and the crew which are with you throughout the day basically throw a party the whole day so lots of drinks and dancing!

REPS

all the Thomson reps we met throughout the holiday were brilliant Sonny and Amos our 2 main guys were brilliant they helped us out with every query and when an excursion got cancelled 1 came in early to see if there was any problems they changed over more of our £'s to $s easily, they always made sure we were having a good time, and at the airport going home there was at least 6 reps makeing sure there was no problems with checking in. if we had any problems the Reps in resort (Sonny and Amos) did all they could to help they even have sun cream for you if you run out!

WEATHER

Carribbean weather is so unpredictable! before we went the forecast was for rain and storms everyday! we were anxious but throughout the holiday we had brillaint sunshine was very hot we both came back with brilliant tans, we did have rain but it was warm rain and only lasted 10 mins max but on a few days it rained all day only because a storm was passing over, it is Hurricane season so what do expect! the weather of the world is always changing! if your going to complain about weather go in the Carribbean summer around Xmas time..

OVERALL

the holiday was brilliant i would reccomend the hotel and the excursions espcailly the dlophins!

Room Tip: try to get an upgrade rooms are fresher and more modern. also try and get discounts on the excursion...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Larissa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

If you are expecting a luxurious hotel with delicious food, then this hotel is not for you. Other than that it is exactly what you expect for the price you paid. Beach is beautiful, crystal clear blue water, golden sand, a lot of palm trees for those who prefer the shade. Pool are is loud, constant music and games, if you prefer more quiet area i would recommend relaxing at the beach instead.That being said, pools are very clean and nice. We stayed at the deluxe room and got wi-fi for free. We didnt have any problems with the room or the service, i left all my jewls and iPad on few occasions on the table and nobody stole anything. Most of the staff speaks poor English, if you tip and try to say few Spanish words, they are more helpful. Night shows were excellent. Africa Show was amazing. The biggest let down for us was food, except Italian Restaurant the rest of the food is below average. Most of the people staying at the hotel are from Europe and Latin America, who also speak poor English, unless you speak very slow. We went to Saona Island tour, and absolutely loved every second of it. They take you on the speed boat to the beautiful Island on the Caribbean Sea, where you spent few hours, lunch is included, if you fancy lobster you can buy it for 25 US dollars. On the way back you enjoy 2 hours on the catamaran, with open bar and music. Definitely worth all the money we paid for it. Overall it's an average hotel.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank blackbird728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

I just returned from a family vacation to DR (Aug 27-Sept3).

If you're looking for a 5-star, this is NOT a top-of-the-line hotel. It does fulfil the necessitities of being on vacation at an all-inclusive, so if you're looking for a budget trip, this is the place.

HOTEL:
- Generally kept well and enough for me.
Grounds and rooms are decent but the resort overall needs a facelift. The other sister RIU hotels seemed to be the better choices for 5-star, much more modern and clean.

FOOD:
- I was content and satisfied with the many options and the flavours.
However, my parents who have travelled to many other 5-star all-inclusive hotels, were NOT impressed. It depends how picky you are and what your expectations are for the price you pay.

BEACH:
- best part of my vacation and the real reason I was there. Beautiful and you can't go wrong with Punta Cana beaches. Other travellers have mentioned being harassed by people selling items on the beach, but I had no issues. Just a polite "no" was enough or avoid eye contact.

ENTERTAINMENT:
- staff were generally high-energy and did an okay job. The evening shows were good enough and entertained me and my family. However I didn't appreciate a few things:
1) I found them to be racist. I am Asian and to them it was funny to pretend to speak Chinese even though I am not Chinese. They even did this on the stage in their shows, which i found extremely rude.
2) They were around if you needed to be entertained, but if you declined the first couple/few times they just ignore you after those attempts.
3) Spoke in Spanish to other Spanish-speaking travellers when they were making fun of travellers who they didn't think understood the language.

All in all, it was a great vacation. I received exactly what I needed R&R and sun/beach/great weather. If you're looking for luxury, this is not the place but for the aforementioned things, it is perfect.

Room Tip: I was in the 16th building which was halfway to everything needed but far away enough from the commo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trambolantern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penn Hill, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

My two daughters and I just returned from a 5 Apple Square Deal to Punta Cana. Our ages are 65+, 32 & 41. We arrived at the airport and were told what resort we would spend our vacation. The Apple Rep at the airport, the flight and the transport went well. I have used Apple Travel & Liberty Travel for years, but this was my first time booking a Square Deal. I would not book this way again, because I wasn't able to research the property before our visit.

This resort is nice, but older than others that I had visited in the past. The employees are A+. They do all they can to fix any issues. Our assigned room was in the newer section, but was far from all the action. It was also on the fourth floor, too far of a walk. I requested to be moved, and had no problem with the front desk management responding to my request. The Apple Rep at the hotel was also very pleasant and helpful. I really have no complaints about food, the room, or the help. I realize things are not expected to be as they are at home. That is why we go away to experience new things. I would not book this resort again, simply because I like to go to different places. I hope this helps someone.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Doris T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

Was not thoroughly happy, rooms were old tight and not comfortable
Staff acted like they did not understand when we requested something
Would not stay there again.
Tried to book restaurant that was an ordeal too. Overall service could and should be better.
The pools were not clean even early morning.
Activities were good and most shows in the evening were entertaining.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gamecock94
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:
#63 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#65 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#66 On the Beach 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, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Bambu Punta Cana
Riu Bambu Dominican Republic

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