We are frequent and experienced all inclusive vacationers and have been across the Caribbean numerous times, including Jamaica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, besides this trip, Mexico, St. Thomas, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and 3 Cruises to Caribbean.
Our experience at Riu Palace Bavaro was horrible. Before going in to detail, would like to comment on hotel condition. Hotel opened in Dec, 2011 and does have brand new facilities across the resort. Beach, while small, is relatively nice, however lack of chairs and no on-beach drink service was disappointing.
Service in the hotel was our biggest disappointment. Staff does not speak any English. Let me repeat, they do not speak or understand English. When going to buffet style dining for lunch or breakfast expect long wait in getting the coffee and drinks. You ask for Orange Juice and Water, they bring you pineapple juice. It was extremely frustrating to start your day this way.
Food quality was OK, but definitely not on the 5 star levels as advertised. Cooks do not speak English, we had issue ordering eggs over easy, and the cook was not familiar with the dish and did not speak English. The specialized restaurants were a joke. There were 11 of us and originally had problems booking the dinners due to the # of people. Another ridiculous part about the resort, the only way to book specialized dinners you must be at the Main Dining Hall at 8am in person, so lines would form before 8 so one can book the dinners. Also, for the hotel this size 4 restaurants is a small number, generally for 600 rooms should be 6 to 8 based on our experience. Besides the process of booking, the food was at best mediocre, the only dinner we really likes was in Krystal, the stack house and Italian were average at best.
They do not offer premium liquor anywhere on the resort. For 5 star hotels it is an insult. Also, if you do decide to go, bring USD currency, as you cannot get Dollars anywhere on the resort premises. There is an ATM machine, which only dispenses Pesos. The ironic part about this is that in order to purchase in-room Wi-Fi, you need dollars, as the machine excepts only USD, but there is no place to get them. We complained to the front desk, besides the fact that they could barely understand the issue, seemed completely indifferent to our problem. The only recommendation offered was to take a cab to the bank, 15 to 20 minutes away from the hotel and exchange pesos for dollars there.
Towels in this hotel appear to be a second currency after Pesos. For a 5 star resort they give you cards which must be exchanged for towels every day and God forbid one of them get lost. I have never seen such a ridiculous towel exchange policy, if one of the towels get lost, you will be charged $50 upon check out.
Upon arrival they advertised Ice machines conveniently located across the hotels. In the morning, we like a cold drink, so I would go get the ice, first day it was perfect. Second day the ice machine stopped working. Went to the machine on the second floor, was broken as well, on the third floor, same problem, finally on the 4th floor was able to get ice. Day after, machine on the fourth was broken as well. We contacted the front desk they re-assured us it will be fixed shortly. We spend the remainder of our vacation without ice.
Ground keeping would start at 7am. Usually it was relatively quiet, however once or twice a week they spray something on the plants, so around 7am we were woken up by an extremely loud nice right near our balcony. Kids were scared, it was absolutely insane. I ran out to tell the guy to stop, he acknowledged my request, smiled, and continued with his loud machine.
I can probably go on about inconsistent cleaning service, toilet not working during the night, nonexistent room service, boring and repetitive night shows, but I think you get the idea that I do not recommend this hotel and will never return there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located on Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana * Inside the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Naiboa hotels and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu * The Splash Water World will be opened from 1st November 2016 * 4-story building * Surrounded by 63,000 m2 / 75,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 50 km / 31 miles from Higuey * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Intl. Airport ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Hotwire, Despegar.com, Travelocity, TravelUp, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Jetsetter, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.