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“First experience of Dominican Republic”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #76 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Our room was fantastic, with spirit optics and a fridge with soft drinks that was refilled ever couple of days. There are several pools that get very busy with children, however there is plenty of beautiful beach where you can go to relax and hear the waves crash on the beach and feel the cooling sea breeze. The Italian restaurant is the best at the resort. Try it out.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Gripper_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 23, 2013

My girlfriend and I have just returned from a two week stay here and both feel that the Riu Bambu would be fairly rated as a 3 ½ star hotel. Not quite the 4 star platinum that Thomson rates it and certainly not the 5 star official rating.


Un-pleasantries include:

Hotel staff who load/ unload coaches handle your bags like they are throwing rubbish in to a skip, so much so that both our suitcases suffered minor damages.

Cleaners are consistently switching of the air conditioning in your room.

Bedding sheets were changed once throughout our entire two week stay.

The hotel only supplies two 1.5l bottles of water per room per day. This was not enough for me and so I decided to acquire some additional water and stock our fridge up with 10 extra bottles. The next day our fridge was emptied with only two bottles remaining.

Drinks are absolutely appalling. No two drinks are consistent and cocktails are made from incorrect ingredients which suggest bar staff are under qualified.

Entertainment is shockingly awful with 90% of the shows being dance orientated with very little English. The Michael Jackson tribute show is entirely mimed.

Pool towels are disgusting and every day I was given a towel which was stained and full of sand.

The Thomson holiday reps at the hotel are about as much help as a chocolate tea pot. They are kind and helpful when attempting to sell you the excursions (which are over rated and expensive), but then on after they become less helpful. We tried to upgrade our seats on our return flight through Amos the Thomson rep and were pretty much flogged off. He walked away from the desk and gave the appearance of making a phone call on our behalf before returning 10 seconds later with the news that no seats were available. I do not believe he even made a phone call as when we arrived at the airport on our return flight it appeared the upgraded seats were not all sold out like he had said.

If you need something sorted or someone to come a fix something in your room then be prepared to wait. You have to ask hotel staff more than once before they act, and even then you find yourself waiting around in your room for the maintenance man to arrive.

Food is actually not that bad however make sure you check everything you eat as some nights the meat looked a little bit too pink. Yes it is repetitive but there is a big variety to compensate this.

The a la carte restaurants are not worth getting up early to book for.

Only two toilet facilities in the entire hotel.


Pleasantries include:

Majority of staff are very friendly and full of joy.

There is never any problem obtaining a sun bed either by the pool or on the beach.

Although we were given one of the older out-dated rooms you will be pleased to know that the hotel is slowly working its way through the rooms and refurbishing them as they go. Ask for a refurbished room and you will not be disappointed, we heard from other guests that they have big walk in showers and modern decor.

The hotel is set right up against the beach and the walk to the pool side bar is 2 minutes.

The hotel in general is relatively clean and hygienic and there is cleaning in progress at all times. The cleaner does a good job making up the room every day.

The overall setting of the hotel is very good and the beach is beautiful.

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbished room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank oli18smith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

We had a good time overall, not because of the hotel but because of the wonderful people we met.

The reception staff were overall helpful. They exchanged the blow dryer that wasn't working in our room in 24 hrs. Unfortunately I had to beg them to give me the room upgrade that I paid for at time of booking with my Sunwing rep.

The restaurants are very similar. The food is general good but nothing special. The steak house was the best. The Mexican restaurant was okay. The Asian restaurant was good but we got really sick after. The Italian food was bland because they don't really use garlic and their Ceasar Salad dressing is very unusual.

The drinks at the bars were pretty poor, very sweet or watered down. There is one bartender at the pool bar that was awesome, Pasqual!!, he made an awesome drink he called the 'Pasqual Special'. It had fruit juice and melon pieces in it.

The pool bar was not cleaned on a regular basis and it was dirty on most days. But the fun party atmosphere was great. If you would like some quiet pool time, there is another pool on the opposite side of the beach restaurant, it's just far from any bar. Our friends complained about the cleanliness of the pool and it was cleaned the next morning.

The beach is amazing!! They keep it clean. There is a nice paved path that goes along all of the Riu resorts. It was great evening walks. You can also use it for a walk in the morning to go shopping at Caribbean Street.

The room was very clean. We upgraded to the deluxe room an it was very well worth it. They have flat screen TVs, new beds and a fancy standup shower. The downside is that there are a lot of people on the resort that have access to your room (cleaning staff, drink refill guys, supervisors and repair guys). One day we left a tip for our maid and when we returned from the beach before dinner, the room wasn't cleaned, the bar fridge wasn't restocked but the money was gone. Put everything you find valuable in the safe.

The shopping was good at San Juan shopping center. The supermarket there is the best place for your alcohol purchases. The hotel has a free shuttle before lunch. The vendors on Carribean Street were pushy and they will rip you off if you don't know the exchange rate between USD and Dominican pesos.

We met lots of great people and the entertainment staff did well to keep people entertained during the day.

It was a relaxing vacation and we had great weather but I wouldn't return to this particular Riu.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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4  Thank zoey_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Hi to all those expecting and knowing what a five star hotel should be. Please take a second to decide on this hotel on the rating. It's not a five star hotel in our experience, locals run riot on occasions taking over areas such as pool bars and sun lounging areas. The a la carte restaurants are good some of the staff are wonderful. But the large restaurant is like a staff canteen. Rooms were disappointing and not as spacious or well designed as previous hotels. The beaches are excellent probably best we've seen just a pity the hotel didn't match the scenic beauty of the area. So no we would not recommend the hotel as its over priced and low on amenities for the so called rating. P.S. if you have young kids the children's clubs and night entertainment was just rubbish.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Maria W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

I was absolutely horrified reading some of these reviews before my holiday and even tried to cancel...so glad I didn't.
Overall we had a great holiday, check in was quick and easy and when we arrived at our room we had been upgraded to a deluxe room that had been decorated with balloons and beautiful flowers as it was my birthday. Room was cleaned to a high standard everyday with fresh towels and the fridge was topped up regularly. Everywhere we went in the hotel there were maids cleaning, gardeners cutting the grass and maintenance men looking after the hotel. Food was great, good choice and well cooked and we didn't get ill at all! We tried all of the restaurants, including the main buffet, all were fantastic with the steakhouse being our favourite. We often went round the quieter pool, we never had a problem getting a sunbed there or at the beach which was also gorgeous. We did not feel pressured to tip throughout our stay at all. This hotel does have a lively atmosphere and is probably not the best hotel for a romantic holiday but great for a cheap chill out holiday. This hotel is great value for money and for the people moaning it wasn't good enough, they should have paid more and stayed at the Palace rather than opting for the cheaper option! Will definitely be returning to the Dominican :)

  • Stayed: August 2013
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3  Thank SM_JC80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

While the reviews which state that this is not a 5 star hotel are right, I definitely cannot agree with the complaints from some of the reviewers.... The hotel is incredible value for money and is absolutely perfect for a relaxing Caribbean get away!!
I am here now with a friend and we are both absolutely loving the beach, food and amenities of the hotel! We rave about the food in the Colonial Restaurant every day- amazing selection of fish, seafood, exotic fruit- absolutely nothing missing! We are yet to try the speciality restaurants (we will be going for Mexican and Japanese) and are looking forward to this.
We would definitely recommend this hotel and if ever back to the Dominican Republic would definitely come again!!

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank Mags Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We are very loyal to RIU resorts but after staying here we will now try other resorts.

Overall:
Great beach, dated rooms, average to poor food.

Beach:
Lived up to our expectations. Could always find a chair and shade!

Room:
Smaller than other RIUs and what I am used to. Although, clean.

Food:
What a let down! I am not picky and have low expectations for resort food. The food here didn't even meet my low expectations. Poor selection and not appetizing . I was even sick for a whole day which I am sure was because of the food.

Entertainment:
Lots of activities to choose from during the day. I feel bad complaining but the evening entertainment was far below Riu standards. I am pretty sure at least 3 of the nights some acts called in sick because it can be the only reason for the poor display of a show some nights.


Overall, I would not stay here again or recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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3  Thank angie159
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

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
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#70 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $174 - $392 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Intl. 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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