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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #76 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“English? Read on..”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

I stayed at the riu bambu for two weeks (25th March - 8th April) for my mum's wedding, and I have to say that it was absolutely fantastic. For such a large resort, there was a great level of service from the staff there, all keen to help, and couldn't do enough for you. You would even get friendly 'hola's' from every person working there, including the groundsmen at 7am. They really are a very friendly people.
The food is different. It's cooked in different oils, so of course it tastes different to what we normally have. But the choice is excellent, with such a huge range to choose from, nobody should complain. The team working in the restaurant are always attentive, and cleaning to ensure everybody is comfortable, without standing on top of you. Be warned though....you get to dinner in the first half hour, you get a round of applause from the team as you walk in!
The general cleanliness and maintenance of the resort was brilliant (a couple of small teething problems) but all rectified quickly and without fuss. The beach is also incredibly clean, and part of the hotel, so you can have the pool and beach within 20 yards of each other. Although we didn't bother, you can always go to the other riu hotels in the resort in case you get bored. There are a few shops around, mainly on Caribbean street, but you'll get better prices (particularly on cigarettes) at the supermarket at palmareal or Punta cana airport on the way home. Don't buy in the resorts!
There's always something going on in the days and evenings, but if you prefer to chill out, the sports bar is beautifully air conditioned, and will show premiership football! In all honestly, there really is something for everyone. If you get the chance, do the outback safari excursion, and take in a round of golf on the resort. Absolutely brilliant, and real eye openers. The safari in particular makes you realise how lucky we are.


Now, the only slight negative. Americans and Canadians dominate here (probably because it was spring break), and the majority are some of the rudest people I have ever seen. No please or thank you's were present to the poor guys who work so tirelessly to ensure you have a great stay, and they don't bother queueing for anything. I know that this is a very English thing to do, but common courtesy and manners are free. I was actually offended by the way some of the staff were spoken to. And don't get me started on those thermos flasks they all carry around...


To summarise, there were more than 20 of us in our party, ranging from 2 years old, to 60's and 70's. There was so much to do for everyone, and we all had a brilliant time, and the wedding on the beach was fantastically organised.
Don't listen to the majority of reviews by Americans who accept first class service whilst showing zero class manners. You will have a great stay!

  • Stayed March 2014
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Helpful?
19 Thank lfarrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014

I can totally recommend this all-inclusive hotel to other family's that are looking for all-inclusive stays with their family. Honestly I did not expect too much about this vacation, well I must say I just kept my expectations low. So it was not hard to exceed them. But I must say, we had a very good vacation and we are thinking about to repeat it. We are suprised, that we liked the 'all-inclusive' type. All rooms are more or less the same for family's. Nothing specaial, but totally ok. Cleaning lady always prepares a surprise in your room with your towels. Very sweet. Buffet is good. But then you have 4 restaurants to chose of (Italian, Asia, Steak house or mexican. All of them were good. I preferred the italian kitchen most. The only thing, you have to make reservation for the restaurants. The process is a little complicated and sometimes it is fully booked for days in advance.
Other than that, no complaints. Poolbar is cool. Entertainment is real fun. Our little one was totally happy and if you book via TUI you have perfect service from them at the hotel itself.
And, what I totally liked was the mini bar in the room. a bootle of Rum, Vodka and two other alcoholic bottles for consumption in each room. Never saw this before! Cool!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank ChetyZurich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fond du Lac, WI
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2014

I enjoyed the resort with a nice pool area and beach. The pool bar had a nice selection of drinks and you didn't have to wait very long. The room we had was open concept with only the toilet enclose which we would not have chosen but we made due. It is a large resort and our room was almost the furthest from the beach. As for the food in the buffet it was alright but not great. Overall this was a good resort for the price.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank WIRelaxed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 14, 2014

The rooms are a bit small but clean. The mattresses were very hard.
We stayed in the 3000 building. A bit of a hike to the pool and beach area. The grounds are well kept and the beach is great! The staff were friendly enough. If we would have stretched our budget a bit, I definitely would have upgraded. But all in all it was a decent place to vacation in paradise.

Room Tip: The 3000 buildings back up to the driveway so it can get noisy in the mornings as the buses and truc...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ikenia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glastonbury, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 14, 2014

The water isn't safe to drink, and neither is the food. But don't worry it's hard to eat food that tastes so horrible. I lost weight during this trip not just from the terrible food but from the diarrhea it gave me and all eight of us on the trip. If I died and was reincarnated into an infectious disease this is where I'd live.

Oh yeah when I went to rinse my bathing suit out on the last day roaches crawled out. If it were anything but the last day it would have bothered me.

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rdudas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

Middlewich
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2014

We have just returned from a 14 day holiday at the Rui Bambu. As a party of 8 we booked this holiday 30 weeks prior to departutre paying over 3k per couple. The holiday was booked through Thomson and is advertised in the brochure as 4 star + Having stayed in many hotels in many countries we didnt believe this hotel to be anything more than a 3 star and was left a bit disapointed. You would expect to have at least 1 WOW factor during the holiday but we did not experience that. However we made the best of it and had a fab time all 8 of us. Our age ranges were from late 40's to late 70's.
The flight and transfer were exeptional, we have never experienced anything less with Thomson.
ARRIVAL: Greeted at the hotel by staff that were friendly and helpful, our luggage was taken to our rooms swiftly, two of our elderly guests needed assistance and room changes were made to accommodate them as they needed to be on the ground floor.

ROOMS: The rooms were dark and dated and certaintly were not to a 4 star standard, being in the Carribean you would expect rooms to be bright and airy (as we have experienced before in other Carribean destinations) but this was not the case. The rooms were spacious and clean but were in desperate need of updating. All woodwork was dark oak which was marked and scratched.
The bathroom had a over the bath shower which had a horrible smell, tiles were chipped, and mould around the bath. Floor tiles were chipped. Towels were old and tatty and could of done with replacing. We had a lovely lady that came each day to clean and change the towels.
The room had an over the bed fan and air conditioning (the air con did break on one day, but was fixed within 15 mins of reporting it).
Plenty of wardrobe and drawer space.
You only receive 1 key for each room which can be a bit of a pain at times.

DINING: There are two main dining area's which offer a wide range of food to accommodate most people, the food sometimes is not as warm as you would like it to be but they never ran out of anything, you just had to time it right when the fresh food was being filled up.
The staff were always lovely and polite, look out for little Edward in the main Restaurant he was an absolute darling. The dining area was always clean too.

AL A CARTE: This is where the Al a carte experience lets this hotel down. You would expect that little bit more with booking something a little bit special but this is not the case. They have 4 Al a carte restaurant's

1. Asian: Buffet style which includes, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese but the choice is limted.
2. Mexican: Buffet style with plenty of choice.
3. Italian: Buffet style with limited choice.
4. Steakhouse which was 'Al a carte' with waiter service, no choice of starter but a choice of three meats each served with a Jacket Potato (cold) and 1 small corn on the cob. The steak was cooked beautifully but all steaks came out the same regardless of how you asked it to be cooked.
The staff were lovely in all 4 Restaurants but you didnt get anything extra that you wouldnt of got in the main Restaurant.

DRINKS: The drinks we believe may have been watered down as they were quite weak even if you doubled your drink. (were not alcoholics! but it would of been nice to taste the Rum) this became aparent on visting the neighbouring hotel and tasting their coctails. We did this most evenings as it forms part of your all inclusive and the ambience is much nicer.

The swimming pools are lovely and always being cleaned and tended too, the main pool does become a little noisy and overcrowded, but that is to be expected in a hotel of this size.

The beach was beautiful, the sea (Atlantic) this side of the island was a little choppy.

The grounds of this hotel are lovely, well maintained and looked after. Pathways are always being cleaned and trees chopped and hedges trimmed.

The entertainment was ok, the team try to involve people into activities and there is plenty going on.

It may sound as if I'm being critical but I just wanted to give an honest opinion, we did have a great time but we did think we were getting a 4 star hotel but this is not the case!

Room Tip: our rooms were towards the end by the tennis courts which were quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank smitbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, WI
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2014

The Riu Bambu has me feeling stuck between "little things can make a big difference" and "don't sweat the small stuff". A few of the little things that added up are listed below, each one on their own would not be worth complaining about, but added together it can make a difference for your well deserved vacation. Hopefully knowing these things ahead of time will help you decide if the Riu Bambu is for you or not.
-No welcome reception, although check-in and check-out went very smoothly, there was no welcome drink and nobody around to take our luggage to our room. When I asked, they said the drinks and a someone to take our luggage would be there shortly, but after waiting around for awhile, we decided to drag our own bags and found our way to the room with the map they had given us.
-Very poor quality linens and towels. They definitely are getting the hand-me-downs from the other resorts, a few times I even had to exchange a beach towel due to stains/tatters (which they are not very happy to do). The sheets were very scratchy and the bed cover was like paper. And, yes, the beds are hard - no biggie, this is a risk at any hotel.
-While the Animation Staff was excellent with the kids, the bartenders were not at all "fun". They are professional and provide good service, but not with a smile. We've stayed at many other all-inclusives and always have a favorite bartender to have our picture taken with by the end of the week, not this time.
-The reservations restuarants are buffets. No table service, just smaller buffets in theme decorated rooms. But no ambiance other than the decor (for example, no music playing or roaming musicians in the Mexican restuarant). The food was good though.

When you add it all up, this hotel has a definite niche - budget conscious families with children. I've honestly never seen resort staff so involved with the kids - playing with them on the beach, organized activities, special children's shows in the lounge. Very cool!

The grounds are amazing although some of the buildings are in need of a paint job. The lobby, pools and public areas are beautiful. The beach is the main attraction and this is one of the best in the world - palm trees, soft white sand, warm turquoise water and miles and miles to walk and take it all in. I will go back to Punta Cana and even the Riu Resort, but next time I will upgrade to one of the "nicer" properties.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Midwestravelers
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
#68 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 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

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