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“"Excellent Beaches"”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #53 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“"Excellent Beaches"”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I stayed at the Riu Palace Bavaro the second week of September with my boyfriend. We had an incredible time. The hotel was beautiful just like in the photos. Our room was ready and very clean. We were asked about upgrading but it was about 240$ more so we decided to stick with our room which actually had a view of the pool but also the ocean. We were away from the main dining areas which was good because at night the entertainment was quite loud.
The housekeeping did get skimpy with the towels by the end of the week but if you call they will bring you more. The room does get damp due to the heat and humidity mixed with the air conditioning. We brought an extra hotel key card so we could leave our ceiling fan on which did help.
The beach is one of the most beautiful I have been to. I have to say that the hotel had the workers out there cleaning the areas and sand every morning. There is plenty of sun or shade so whatever you prefer and they are plentiful.
The pool is nice and clean. The pool bar is also nice but do not rest your arms on the bar or tables without wetting them they are extremely hot. Service is good at the pool too. If you like shade then I do suggest the beach because most actually almost all of the umbrellas are missing the piece needed to keep them open. We used a stick some of the days. There were also children swimming in the pool bar which I found annoying. They should be at the kids pool that's what it's for. The entertainment staff at the pool became too loud and too pushy within the first few days. Also one tried selling us a crappy CD which I'm sure was not part of his job description. The entertainment on a few nights was ok but most nights disappointing.
The food was okay but very much the same thing everyday. I liked the restaurants but I think it was the same food only it is served like in a restaurant. I was missing regular food by the end of my stay. If you order room service be prepared to not get what you asked for.
If you need sunblock bring a lot it is sold for about 22$ a bottle and females bring your necessities because a box of 10 tampons is about 13$.
We had a few issues with the power going out an the safe not opening but for the most part is is a nice hotel and I would recommend it.
The spa services were wonderful and I would definitely check the spa and gym out.
Hope this helps and if you have a I phone or AT&T do not even turn it on you will connect to the network there and who knows what you will be charged. We got a throw away phone from a local and it worked out well.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
10 Thank Sflemen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Decided to do a last minute 'head for the hills' R&R, and due to timing, wound up going solo.

The Bavaro was a good choice for some things, and it definitely provided the necessary haven for a restful time.

Rooms were clean and luxurous, and cleaning staff were courteous, quiet, and consistent. I loved the touches provided: I travelled with toys I'd won at a fair so I could leave them for the cleaning staff for their children, and they incorporated them into the room fluffing somedays (see below), which always made me smile.

The property provided you access to the other Rius which were adjacent, except the Macau. Was surprised when I got there by this, and understand it's a recent change. I did go into and through the Macau, and did get served at the bar when I requested a drink, althought others I spoke to said they were denied service.

The facilities were great at Bavaro; the option to exercise in air conditioning seemed like a lure when I booked, but to be honest - all inclusive, 24 hour access to food and fun ... exercise wasn't in the cards!

Entertainment staff at Bavaro were almost frenetic, and the volume of the poolside activities was too intense for what I consider prime naptime. I also found the demographic of the guests at Bavaro quite a bit older, or newly engaged/absorbed couples, so wandered down the beach to the Bambu for the daytime entertainment. The entertainment staff there were more energetic, caring, and engaging, and the guests at the Bambu were more relaxed and inclusive.

The Disco warnings are all true; drinks were for a fee, and a cover charge of $3 was in place the night I went. By that time though, I was surrounded by people I'd met, and the good music and fun dancing obliterated the fact that drink prices seemed to vary throughout the evenings. Because I was staying at the Bavaro, we were only a 5 minute walk away, so went back to the bars at the Bavaro for free top-ups to avoid the hastle of carrying money while out and about.

It was nice to have the option to visit multiple properties, while returning to nice accomodations when it was time to sleep. Service requests like having room service delivered to the lobby while waiting for an early shuttle bus to the airport were accomodated with grace.

Food was standard Dominican resort fare, and attempts were made to make it modern and appealing. I still found myself craving hotsauce and curries, but I have to remember that living in a large diverse city has spoilt me.

In summary, here's the vibe of the different Riu properties I visited (my impression):
Macau - super sleepy, with a crowded beach front, and lots of older travellers poolside
Bavaro - middle of the line - one crowded pool, but with option for quieter pool for VIP upgrade. Best beach area.
Punta Cana - seemed older resort, but good balance of people/size.
Bambu - crowded by the main pool, but additional pool and kid area were both well used. Best entertainment staff.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Burghie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

After a 3 days stay at Punta Cana Dreams Palm Beach, we decided to extend our stay at the Riu Palace Bavaro, the last opened Bavaro hotel. What a good idea !
Even if the lobby looks a little bit like a Las Vegas hotel, kitsch and not refined at all, the good points arrive with the room design, contemporary with a simple luxury touch. The full minibar and the 4 full-bottles distributor of Gin, Vodka, Rhum and Whisky are a nice beginning. We chose a superior room/suite and we had no "vis-a-vis" and a nice sea view, even if in the furthest building from the beach. Good matress, very nice shower. The bath open on the bedroom and on the bathroom looks like a bad architect/designer choice in my opinion; but I think it is more an economic (one wall less to build) and marketing (the space looks bigger) choice than a client comfort option. We can easily forgive this.
The best surprise was the food quality at the buffet : incredible !!! I usually frankly refuse to eat at Buffet Restaurants for their bad quality, the noise of hundreds of persons queueing for food and a kind of food prepared in advance and waiting under infrared lights to be served. But since we arrived too late for reserving another "a la carte" restaurant, we had to dine at the Monte Cristo. I will just want to add that in 3 days, we did not reserve any other restaurant and had our meals there everyday. Point.
The ambiance of the restaurant was not the best, but quality and presentation were far better than all other all-inclusive restaurant I know; and the service was good.
The swimming pool area is a little bit "cold" and still lacks that the palms and trees grow.
The beach is very nice.
Be careful in the commercial street between this hotel and the adjacent Riu hotel : at the shop called "Todo para la playa"/"All for the beach", we chose 2 sunprotecting creams and they said (we are both speaking good spanish) with a very welcoming smile "we will make you a very special price" (like "a very good discount"), and they tried to charge us twice the regular price for those items in any street shop (we do live in the DR for years). We got them at almost the normal price (+150 RD$ instead of +1.400 RD$ !) at the next shop. This attitude should be prohibited by Riu inside their premises.
A very good choice; we will go back, even if we will also try other hotels next time !

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Patrick_JS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this vacation so memorable. Our room was always clean and the food was good. The best was relaxing on the beautiful beach! Our nights were brought to life by the Riu Animation Staff especially Maria and Tequila. My husband and I are not dancers but they had us on our feet and the best part was that we were enjoying it! We will certainly return next year and hope to bring the family along!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nora S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012 via mobile

I am currently here at the riu palace bavaro. It is our last night. The hotel itself is beautiful. The beach is nice but there is a lot of sea weed. The food is raw, repetitive and does not taste well. The first two days its ok and after that u get sick of it. The hard rock hotel is so nice and has a huge casino. One thing that is mentioned anywhere is that in the club u have to pay for drinks and entrance. Also be careful the workers in the club r always changing prices of the drink ranging from 3 us to 6 us. The shows r not the greatest. The only show we liked is the circus show. The employees are very nice especially the entertainers. We r a young couple and the nightlife in the resort is not the greatest. There's nothing to do after 10pm. Most people just go to sleep. I would also stay away from their casino seems a bit fishy we went there and after playing one game left to the hard rock. The resort is nice but I would not recommend it. The weather is beautiful right now. I would recommend grand Bahia principe. I stayed there two years back. If you would like to party go to cancan or Los cabos riu sante fe.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sparklez999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

We had a great time at this hotel. Food was excellent!! Go to the Steakhouse and get lobster and filet. Beautiful view. Decent champaign. Very chill and relaxing. You have to pay to get in and for drinks at the disco:( Watch out for Dengue Fever. My husband was bit by a mosquito that had this here and didn't know it. 2 weeks after being home he ended up in the hospital for 4 days. He was in the ICU for 2 days. He had swelling on his brain from it. It is a cousin of the West Nile. Luckily he is fine now!!! Very scary though. Apparently they are having an outbreak of this in the Dominican so beware. He could not even spell cat when he was in the hospital. Wear bug spray even though it does not seem buggy there. Beautiful breeze day and night.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank blondetiff_98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex england
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

After a five hour delay, we had a comfortable flight out, however the delay meant we arrived in the dark. We must have missed the correct exit out of the airport and had to ask where we would find the Thomson rep, we found the rep who directed us to our taxi. Unfortunately, the taxi had a puncture and drove into a petrol station where we were eventually transferred to another taxi and transported to the hotel. By this time it was very late and very hot, so we were getting very tired. At reception we were booked in by a young man who spoke perfect English, he gave us our wristbands and when I asked if we had an upgrade (we have a diamond RiuClass card) he changed our wristband to a different colour and said we were in the VIP area and were given a key card and info and off we went to find the room. The room was already occupied, so we went back to reception and were given the card key to another room. Next morning we asked for an upgraded room as the room we were given, although in the VIP area was just a standard room. The next room was lovely, with a jacuzzi on the terrace and situated on the beach. This is where we stayed for the next few days, it was lovely and quiet until a young couple moved into the next room. It then became very noisy, so much so that we asked once more for a room change, this was granted and moved to an identical room in the next block, from then on we really had a lovely holiday. The beach is beautiful, always very busy, but plenty of sun beds. We found the food to be plentiful and varied with plenty of choices. We only used one speciality restaurant, which we booked in the Italian restaurant in the morning by a very miserable individual. This special restaurant was the Krystal and the food was not to our taste, so we only used the buffet after that. The coffee lounge and bar are in the reception area and this is a no smoking area which was extremely pleasant and comfortable. All alcohol drinks were top notch and the coffee (especially the iced coffee) were really good. We did have an incident on the evening where you are asked to fill in a questionnaire at dinner, where you can put your comments, my husband was completing his form when we noticed a waitress watching him writing and two minutes later one of the managers came over and asked why we were not happy with the service in the restaurant. My husband replied that we had experienced a problem with the booking of the speciality restaurant and the manager assured us that this would be addressed. My husband also said that he should not be overlooked whilst filling in the forms. The pool in the VIP area is lovely very quiet and plenty of sunbeds, the bar and swim up bar were very good too.This is a nice hotel and would recommend it.

Room Tip: Ask for room in VIP area - very quiet and worth the extra walk to other facilities, although these a...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank grandmabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Address: Playa de Arena Gorda | Higüey - Punta Cana, Punta Cana 74100, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro 4*
Number of rooms: 610
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 
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