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“Average 3.5 star resort”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #75 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Average 3.5 star resort”
Reviewed December 31, 2013

Returned from Riu Bambu Punta Cana December 14th. 2013. After reading bunch of reviews before booking we didn’t expect five star resort at all so we were not disappointed. Customs at the airport was smooth and fast. Transfer from the airport as well. We arrived at Riu Bambu around 4 pm local time and check-in was swift. Our luggage was in the room (#3627 on the third floor about ten minutes walk) in no time.. Room (I believe recently renovated) was nice and clean but with unorthodox placement of shower room and sinks. Programmable safety box at no extra charge.. Maids didn’t provide top notch service but no major complain there. All grounds are well taken care of. Main pool with swim up bar is very busy. There is one pool at south side of the resort which is much quieter. Mixed drinks are very inconsistent sweet and mostly unidentifiable Beautiful long white sand beach as far as eye can see with plenty of beech furniture. There are few vendors on the beach but with low profile and polite. Stuff is mostly nice but little disorganized in buffet area.. Food in buffet is fresh plentiful and regularly replenished. Variety is good and consistent with other 3.5 stars resorts. No way I could go through all variety in a week time. I tend to get sick from food at buffet but didn’t get sick this time. Only issue I had in buffet was coffee machine, constantly down and some guests picking throughout the food without any consideration for others. Can’t comment on restaurants because we didn’t book for any. Entertainment was except two days mediocre. By no means this trip was disaster but there is certainly room for improvement. Remember that in Dominican Republic there is $10 US arrival tax grab and $20 US departure tax grab. If you drink cuban rum get it at the airport in duty free. It is $9 US a liter. I wouldn’t mind to visit this resort again but too many other places to see first. In mind that this is not 5 but 3.5 stars resort I would consider recommending it. We had decent time there providing we didn’t encounter any serious problem there and there for don’t know how it would be dealt with.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank etmfxp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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State College, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

This was an 8-day vacation with my wife, and we did actually have a decent time, but the RIU Bambu is nowhere near a real all-inclusive resort and certainly isn't a five-star property.

This RIU Bambu resort came recommended by Southwest Airlines Vacations due mainly to proximity to the ocean. In that respect, it satisfied with a great beach. The RIU Bambu sits between two other RIU resorts and in theory you have some reciprocal privileges with them, but in reality you don't. You can't eat or drink any place but the Bambu. The check-in staff kept telling us about the all-inclusive benefits, but frankly there weren't any that we could see.

We arrived at the resort at 8:30 p.m. The RIU stops serving dinner at 9 p.m. and offers NO dining options after that. They have a two-door refrigerated case of dehydrated hot dogs that can be microwaved in your room, but that's not dining. You can't even get a bag of pretzels, so after a long day of travel, we went to bed without eating. We hoped to find something in the room, but our "mini-bar" (actually a mini refrigerator) was empty (not even bottled water, and you cannot drink the tap water). Several calls to the front desk revealed that the one person who stocks the room refrigerators had left at 9 p.m. so we could not get anything that night. Note that nothing gets resolved at the RIU on the first call. You have to be persistent. Our room was finally stocked the third day we were there, and only after yet another visit to the front desk. Five-stars? No.

As all-inclusives go, this is far from a five-star resort. Everything is buffet, including the specialty restaurants where, if you desire a reservation, you must get up early in the morning and stand in a line where one employee takes reservations for all five specialty restaurants. You can waste an hour doing this, and all you end up getting is a limited buffet with many of the same items you get in the main dining areas. You cannot order room service, and this alone makes me wonder how in the world this resort gets a five-star rating from some reviewers.

The bars are busy and noisy, and the liquor for the most part is very low-end. Only one beer is offered and wine is either red or white, served warm in plastic pitchers or on tap (?). Drinks are made very weak and very, very sweet.

On the plus side, the room we had was clean. We avoided using the central air conditioning as there seemed to be a lot of mold and there is no way to control the temperature. The room froze when it was on (others reported the same problem, and no blankets are available). Our room hair dryer died and it took three calls and two days to get it replaced. Note that no shampoo, conditioner or moisturizers are provided; just some sort of all-purpose liquid in a wall dispenser. Five star????

Don't be fooled -- this is NOT a real all-inclusive resort as most people know them. No room service, limited dining hours and low-end drinks that you must seek out. No one ever asks you if you need anything -- you must fend for yourself. There are many, many better options than the RIU Bambu.

Room Tip: Our third-floor room was up two flights of stairs as far from the resort as you can get, but it was...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

The Bambu is listed on Sell off Vacations as a 5 star, when you enter the lobby the signage also prominently displays 5 stars under the name, I would give this resort a mediocre 4 and that's being very generous. Check in was easy and organized although hurried somewhat, seems like they had done this a zillion times and getting through it as fast as they could, finding our room was also easy but a little bit of a hike. The room we were initially given was on the ground floor and had a foul smell so we immediately asked to be moved to one off the ground. This helped, our next room on the 2nd floor was smell-free, very clean and welcoming. We upgraded to a deluxe room they have been renovated, however the odd thing about these rooms is that the shower is attached to the room so if you are going with a group of friends it may be a bit awkward since walking out of the shower you walk right in to the room.. no buffer there. Here is my biggest complaint..the food! Breakfast was ok, the usual breakfast buffet no surprises there, average and sufficient variety. Lunch was the same, buffet had typical resort food, lots of salads and fruit and nice selections. Here's my problem, the Ala Cartes are NOT Ala Carte, I don't know if the management knows this or not but a buffet is NOT considered an Ala Carte, the Mexican and the Asian restaurants are actually the exact same food as in the Buffet on their different theme night...if I wanted a buffet I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of getting dressed up (which we seemed to be the only ones who dressed for dinner, baffling) making a reservation just to carry my plate around the exact same food selection as the Buffet. Very Very disappointing. Again, the food was just average, not bad, not great. The Steak house IS an Ala Carte however we arrived 15 minutes late for our reservation and the Host was very rude stating "your NOT supposed to be late" was he seriously chastising us for tardiness?..15 minutes?, he hurried us in walking way ahead of us, like he was proving a point. My husband and I both had the salmon, word of advice don't get the salmon it was not filleted so both of our pieces had to be dissected of more bones than we knew what to do with. After our 2nd night of Buffet in the Ala cartes we didn't bother even trying the Italian Restaurant. We ate in the buffet the rest of our trip. On 1 occasion I tried to cut into my piece of carrot cake and a big black fly came from underneath my cake, crawled around my plate for a minute then flew away..YUCK! We let our server know, he seemed indifferent to it. The service at this resort was mediocre, we either experienced super friendly staff or staff who could care less there was no rhyme or reasoning to it. The Breakfast staff was awesome, she always remembered our drink order and hurried it over even if we weren't in her section, however the girl at the pool bar was rude as rude can be, no smile, when you get up to the bar she just points at you to state your order, no thank you no nothing. I didn't find the majority of this resort staff to be friendly or helpful, the friendly ones were the exception not the rule. We visited the RIU in the Bahamas last year and were very happy there so the transition to the RIU in Punta Cana seemed like the right way to go however we both said we should have paid the extra 200 or so more and stayed next door at the Palace or Bavaro. The Beach of course is amazing, in this area you can walk in either direction as far as you can on clean debris free beach. We consider a good resort somewhere we would return to, we would definitely not consider or suggest to anyone to stay here. Shame really I had such high hopes from previous experiences of RIU's.

Room Tip: Get a deluxe room on the 2nd or 3rd floors
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank lives4cookies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

manchester uk
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

our 2nd time in dominican, 1st time in punta cana , didnt have any problem with hotel, staff very good but think we had lazy maid, she didnt seem to do much but 2 days before we were due to leave she made swans with towels and was at our room when we were leaving obviously she was expecting a tip. jorge the barman was brilliant he ran the small bar on the beach, he soon was bringing our drinks to our sunbeds. the entertainment staff were not brilliant apart from 2 or 3 of them. hotel was very clean ,the pool swim up bar was very loud during the day, mostly being for the younger end we went on beach every day brilliant beach, lots of sunbeds, now the restaurant .......there was not a great variety for the main meals was usually chicken or pork but there was allways somesort of fish, pizzas, pastas, salads etc breakfast only got bacon every 2nd day same with tomatoes no beans so you couldnt have a full english they had mash, carrots peas on for breakfast every day , they cater for americans and germans lot more than english. some staff in restaurant were quite rude, when buyig things be careful you can easily get ripped off , we bought 4 fridge magnets he asked for £50 we ended up paying £8 realy long SLOW queu at the airport when leaving.overall good holiday and would go back but we prefer pourta plata

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mick024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2013 via mobile

Great holiday as always , fantastic food, clean, and staff brilliant top hotel . Bar staff excellent service and so friendly good fun had by all . Beach only a few steps away with plenty of space and free sunbeds for all . Highly recommend for a fun filled holiday .

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Maidment
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

This is a 3 star resort at best! Management couldn't care less about their guests. My husband was injured in a hotel event. He had to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully there were paramedics from Canada poolside who saved his life. His head was split open and could not do anything the rest of our vacation. Management gave a a dinner pass the to Riu palace next door! And they only did that because we went to our Apple rep who was wonderful. We were all very disappointed with everything. THEY COULD CARELESS ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE! Go to the Hard Rock my sister went and loved it,Don't waste your money at RIU resorts

Room Tip: Ask for one close to the water
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank AL O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

Very terrible. Bad services. Bad food. Ants in roоm. This is no star at all. Never come visit this resort. For 10 years I visit Dominican Republic this is the first time I had such an awful experience. First they gave me a room in the way back facing the road that the workers drive their trucks. Not only was it a long way from the lobby, but it was also noisy and dusty so no peace was to be found. Then after they sent me to a nicer room, my entire table was covered in ants. They didn't even provide me with shampoo or sunscreen which caused me to spend $20 on their product in the store. Finally, I asked for a second key for my wife and they forced me into giving them more money. Aside from the rooms, I was shocked about their "restaurants". These so called restaurants are in fact buffets which you serve yourself. Overall this was the worst experience I ever had in Dominican Republic from the lack of motivation in their service to their money robbing staff.

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank Val G
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
#67 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 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 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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