This is a hard review for me to write because my husband and I did have a good time at Riu Bambu but there we so many things we wish had been better.
This was a spur of the moment trip just to get out of the cold and snow and it is the first time I have booked a trip using Apple Vacations. The booking process was fine, nothing unexpected and I would probably use Apple for future vacations. Since it was such a snap decision to take this trip I didn't do too much research on the resort so I probably should have been better prepared.
Our room was in a 3 story building at the back of the property right at the road. There was traffic noise in the early morning and late at night. We did get internet access in this room because it was a deluxe room. We asked about getting a room closer to the pools, restaurants, beach etc but were told that it would be a down grade and the room would not have internet access and not be as nice. We did choose to stay in our original room. The room itself was nice with double vanity in the room, large shower and separate room for the toilet. We had a king size bed, which is a great size but it was the hardest bed I have ever tried to sleep on. Neither my husband or I got much sleep it was that uncomfortable.
There was a small fridge stocked every two days with two cans of Presidente beer, two bottles of seltzer water, two bottles of Pepsi and one bottle of diet Pepsi. There was a liquor dispenser on the wall but I'm not really sure what was in it. I'm sure one bottle was Amaretto, not sure of the other three. There are no coffee makers in the room but the coffee dispensers at the restaurants and all the bars are fantastic.
The maids kept the room clean and did some really cute towel art and arranged the shears on the patio door into a fan design with flowers and/or leaves.
To get reservations at the restaurants (other than the buffet) you must line up at the Mexican restaurant early in the morning. We were able to get reservations for each of the four specialty restaurants the first morning we were there. We didn't have to go back each morning to make another reservation. The specialty restaurants are Mexican, Asian, Italian and steak. They are all buffet style except the steak restaurant. The quality of the food was lower than I had expected. The Sports Bar is air conditioned and has a couple of refrigerators with sandwiches and fruit.
The buffet was fine for breakfast with several types of eggs, lots of fruit, a variety of breads, cereals, yogurt, etc. Friday night at the buffet the food was quite good with lots of seafood dishes.
The bars were quite busy but it never took longer than a couple of minutes to get a drink. The bar tenders are quick and attentive at all of the bars. The drink of the day was usually tasty, but the taste would be different depending on which bar you got it at. The wine, no matter where you got it from was horrendous. I am be no means a wine snob but this stuff was undrinkable.
The chairs around the pool get reserved very early in the morning. We are early risers and we didn't have a problem getting a chair at around 7 am but there would be towels on chairs even before that and no one actually using the chair until hours later. There was no hot tub at this resort. The pools were all very busy and there were a lot of children in all of the pools including the swim up bar. I was surprised to see children actually sitting at the bar (or even on the bar).
The activity personnel do a fantastic job of getting people involved in the games around the resort. The pool games are fun to watch and to participate in and there are dart games and golf games at various times.
We didn't stay up late enough to see any of the night time shows because they didn't start until 9:45 pm and we were just too tired to stay up that late. I wish the shows had started earlier.
The beach is beautiful and the water was a fantastic blue. We did have red flag conditions for most of our stay so we didn't try any of the water sports.
I had thought that we could use some of the facilities at the other Riu properties but that is not the case, we were pretty much tied to the Riu Bambu restaurants, bars and pools.
We did have one thing happen that we think is more funny than something to complain about but I'll mention it just so people will know what can and does happen. My husband had brought a box of Ho-Ho's from home and had some cigarettes left in the room. When we returned to the room one afternoon several of his Ho-Ho's, half of his cigarettes and one of the beers from the mini-fridge were gone and the television was on a station we hadn't been watching. We still laugh thinking about someone sitting there watching tv, drinking beer, eating junk food and smoking!
- 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 ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Bambu Punta Cana
- Riu Bambu Dominican Republic