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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #75 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed February 7, 2014

This was our first time in Punta Cana and the first time staying at a Riu location. My husband and I had a wonderful time and are looking forward to returning in the near future. You do have to keep an open mind when you travel, star ratings are based on the country you are visiting and not your home country. We really enjoyed staying at the Riu Bambu, the pictures you see on the internet and in brochures are a true likeness of the hotel.
The rooms are very clean, we stayed in a standard room as we go to our room to shower and sleep so if you can spend the extra money for a more comfortable room.
Fruits and vegetables were always fresh good, fish was delicious, meat not that great. Didn't like to booking process for a la carte, we didn't have a choice as to which restaurant we could choose and 2 were not a la carte. Mexican was terrible, Asian was fair, the steakhouse was a surprise, I ordered a steak to be cooked medium and it was cooked to order and hot off the grill.

The beach and pools were great. If you liked noise and entertainment the main pool was the place to be, great play area and activities.

Quite a few activities, the staff tried there best to get people involved, although it may appear that they are being pushy at times, please bear in mind that they are only doing their job and continued employment can be dependent on how well they can get people to participate, it's also a great way to start conversations with other vacationers.

My husband and I are not big drinkers but we strongly believe in supporting the local economy in the hotel description it does say local products so when you order a drink, taste it before you walk away from the bar and if you find that it tastes weak just ask the the bartender to add more alcohol.

Quality of service was dependent on the staff person, some loved their job more than others.

Overall we had a really great time.

Room Tip: Garden view is quieter, we stayed on the 2nd floor. If you can upgrade to better room as beds altho...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Elena02022014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 7, 2014

We have returned from a week's stay. We went with a group of 12 friends and al had a good time.
This is a large resort. By that I mean you waqlk a lot. I don't think it is a good idea for handicap persons.
The housing is in two storied bungalows. 16 units to a building. Two of our couples were on the second floor of their building and switched to a ground floor room because the stairs were a little too much for them. (We are all seniors,even thought I don't like that term) Our buildings we are about two city blocks from the main building and two and a half from the beach.
The rooms were very clean and big enough for us. Room was made up daily with fresh towels.
Mini-bar and refrig with beer and soda in the room. BIG beds. Two full size beds pushed together. FREE safe in room (no charge)..
As usual in most resorts, the hallways echo and resound with doors closing and loud talking in the hall ways. This is not a fault of the resort but it would help if guests would be more considerate and respectfull of other guests. (The disco closed at 4:00 AM but it only reulted in One very noisey night at 4"30 AM for us)
Good food. Main buffet was in a BIG room ( Think Army base bid ) Table cloths, silver ware, lots of staff. Very good.
Small buffet (Mamajuana Room) was more casual and open air. Still a lot of staff.
Specialty resturants: Italian, very good with menu and table service. Oriental:good with buffet style. Mexican okay with buffet service. Steak house very good but don't expect form tender steaks. Menu style with table service.
Bars were good with a lot of bartenders. Very little waiter service either at bars and none around pools.
Not of lot of USA guests, lots of Canadian and a lot of Germans, Russians, French, Brits.
Lots of cigarette smoking which seems funny to us with such strict smoking laws (in Illinois and US)
Staff is very attentive. The wait staff is mainly busing the tables but they will bring a carafe of coffee if asked.
The beach is great, huge and well kept. Lots of people walking the beach at all daylight hours.
Grounds are Very well kept.. Beautifull palms , plants, flowers.
Drink choices: good standard drinks for resorts, fruity, etc, bloody marys range from spicy to TOO hot depending on the bartender. No bourbon, only scotch for whiskey. Only after dinner drink was cream de mint or brandy.

Room Tip: Get a ground floor room. 800, 900, 1000 rooms are about two city blocks from the main building but...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank EStLouiesmokey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Just came back from a week at the RIU Bambú with husband and two kids (boy-10 & girl-7). I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the mixed reviews, but the recommendation of my travel agent gave me the assurance to go ahead, and we did not regret it! Here is my detailed commentary…

First of all, YOU HAVE TO HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. The hotel is NOT A FIVE STAR, more like a FOUR STAR in my opinion (no shampoo/conditioner, body lotion or face towels in the bathroom, no 24-hour room service, no marble floors, but we didn’t expect nor miss that), so if you want luxury, you better stay somewhere else and be ready to pay the difference. Having said that, the hotel was perfectly fine, with very clean and well maintained common areas and gardens.

ROOMS: I was concerned about the room being able to accommodate the four of us, so I went straight to the check-in as soon as I got off the bus. We were upgraded to a newer, deluxe room on a third floor (no elevators, but we didn’t mind that) at the back of the resort, which made for a nice walk every morning and at the end of the day (and I tell you, after a whole week of eating way more than we normally do were grateful for the extra exercise! The room was very spacious, with balcony, one (very firm which we are used to) king-size bed and a double pull-out sofa, and an open-concept double-sink and big shower area with stained glass next to the sleeping area, and toilet in separate little room with a door). There was also a mini-bar that was replenished every two days, liquor dispenser and a digital safety box. Plenty of closet and drawer space for the clothes. There is also a flat screen TV with some English channels. Cannot speak as to the regular rooms, but really, who goes to the Caribbean to spend time in the hotel room watching TV?

FOOD: We found the food plentiful and of good quality. The breakfast buffet had everything one could think of, including fresh tropical fruit and smoothies (remember, this is the Caribbean, so no local apples/pears!), assorted bread, eggs prepared in a zillion different ways, and even peanut butter for those suffering from comfort food withdrawal! Lunches were plentiful, my DH and I were happy with fresh grilled fish filets and veggies, our kids are not picky eaters but sometimes did not feel adventurous and opted for the pizza, nachos, hamburgers & fries, grilled cheese or pasta, and again, more fresh fruit! We tried all four themed restaurants, and our favorites were the Mexican and the Japanese/Asian, which are both buffet. The steak house was nothing special, but then again, the DR is not known for their meat products! The main buffet offered plenty of choices, you just have to ask the servers if you don’t recognize what you see. Wine however was not great in our opinion, so we limited to it to dinner time (although I did see people drinking plenty of it during the day!).

BEACH: Absolutely gorgeous! White sand and turquoise water. It was quite windy, so we weren’t able to try kayaking nor windsurfing. Instead the kids had a ball jumping the waves, and our son joined the beach volleyball and soccer! You can walk for miles. The pools are nice but somehow small for the amount of people in the hotel (it got pretty busy by the end of the afternoon, with lots of action around the swim-up bar)

STAFF/ENTERTAINTMENT: The staff work really hard, and most are really nice and make a big effort to please (much easier for them if you are also nice!). The entertainment/activity staff is great, I loved the stretching sessions and the dance lessons on the beach every morning – thank you Wilkin and David! 

CROWD: In addition to Americans and Canadians (including Quebecers), there were a lot of European (Germans in particular) and South Americans (Argentineans mostly), plus the local staff, which gave the hotel an international flavour. It is lively, with lots of families with young kids and teenagers but also couples. Warning to North Americans: there was A LOT of smoking, particularly in the open areas (hard to get used to at breakfast time!) and a few TOPLESS women on the beach (my kids only noticed the fourth day - horror! LOL).

Remember, you are in an international destination, so things are likely to be somehow different than back home. If you have an open mind you will have a much better time!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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7  Thank OttawaMami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

The distance from the airport was fine, transportation worked out great. I must say the beach is very clean and the water crystal clear. The weather was wonderful, tempeture in the 80th. But I must say if you didn't have a pretty face or shape you waiting a long time for a drink at the bar. I would not recommend this place to anyone. Horriable experience.

Room Tip: There is none....
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank kbucknel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014 via mobile

The rooms are a little dated but your not really there to sit in the room. The pools and beach are great, but get up early because all the chairs were gone near the pool by 8:30.

The food was not great. We ate at every restaurant which were much better than the colonial buffet, but still not great. You have to make reservations for the every place except the buffet, which is all done at the Mexican restaurant. The steak house, the steak was super fatty. The Italian place was just average. The hibachi and Mexican were better that the other 2 but still nothing to write home about.

There is some American liquor Smirnoff vodka and Johnny walker red. I felt like the booze was watered down. I don't drink often and I had 9 drinks after dinner and didn't get a buzz at all. Try the mama Juana it's a shot tastes like a fire ball a little. There is only one beer EL PRESIDENTE which isn't terrible.

The wait staff for the most part is good. The entertainment staff can be a little pushy to get you to participate.

We had a good time but I felt like I never really was full because I'd eat something that wasn't good and made me not want to keep eating.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Agraulich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

This was my first time going to the riu bambu....my parents have been 4 times previous of this trip and said we must go! We went and it was a beautiful place...food was alright...alacart meals were amazing! Drinks were awesome...although sometimes too much rum lol. As for the shows at night they need to make them start sooner then 945pm...all in all this resort I would stay at again....beautiful place!

  • Stayed: January 2014
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3  Thank MandaLong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

I read many of the negative reviews before going to Bambu last week and I knew it wasn't a 5 star hotel like it is sold to you. Actually even the hotel puts 4 stars on their signage outside LOL

Anyways I am writing this review but keep in mind I am 26 years old and I went there to have a good time which did not include sleeping all the time, doing nothing and relaxing although I did all of it anyways.

Food (as it seems to be a big problem in reviews)
It was alright. I am no picky eater but this trip has shown me that I do enjoy recognizable food on my palet which lacked in the resort. The buffet didn't have much I liked especially when it ocmes to fruits and vegetables but hey im on vacation, I ate dessert instead :P The a la carte however WERE delicious (some ar enot ala carte but still buffets) and I ate there everynight which filled m tummy.

Room
My room was clean and nice. the bed was comfortable as I like my bed hard. I enjoyed not having to sleep with anyone or dogs (lol). My sister however, had 3 cockroaches. NOW, before yous tart freaking out, you should know that the oens we found are NOT ''dirty'' pest but humidity pest which is normal in a place like punta cana especially when the ground room are in a building with no doors (open concept to the max lol). we discretely told the staff at the front and they treated her room 3 times over our stay and apologize. I thought that acceptable and thanked them. We then got amazing service the rest of the time the staff knowing us by name and giving us free stuff all the time LOL I have so many punta cana souvenirs hahaha

Beach and location
Im not gonna waste time on this one as it is perfect. my room was located close to the tennis court and I enjoyed the long walk everyday. the pictures are no lies, its that beautiful and clean

Peacefulness
forget it. Its a party resort and there is always something going on. People will be loud and will be drinking and I am not sure what people were expecting when they were complaining about it but anyways. I went to bed everyday well after midnight and with ear plugs slept until noon no problem. without ear plugs you are screwed as the rooms are not isolated (its the south!!)

Entertaiment
I kept this one for last as I wasn't sure how I should word it. My first days were amaizing and the animation just incredible. always dancing and smiling and just enjoyable. Now I did have a problem with one of them which I do not wish to name because I don't think he deserves any reprimands. He misunderstood my intentions thinking I wanted to persue him when I didn't and the language barrier made it awkward. All and all, I had a great time and much fun and I just wish the staff was bilingual so this kind of things wouldn't happen.

WouldI recommend this place: YES if you want to have fun and aprty. to relax? go to a palace

Room Tip: Top floor only so you have no bugs
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank goodygoodylookylooky
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:
#64 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $158 - $395 (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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