tripadvisor does not allow editing so I had to pull my review and then re-enter it.
I feel it necessary to comment on the reviewer who paid $5 for wifi. The hotel website lists "in room wifi" as one of the all inclusive features. A friend went last year right after they opened and the wifi was only available in the lobby. We were there March 6-12, 2013 and had excellent free wifi in our room. Now back to the original review:
Excellent beach, plenty of shade if desired, and at least when we were there lounge chairs were always available, no need to rush down early and put your towel on one.
Liquor was good and continuously flowing. Bartenders & wait staff didn't want your glass to be empty. Many mixed drinks were terrible i.e. bloody mary/margarita, BUT Lumumba & chocolate martini were great. We're straight drinkers & scotch/rum/vodka/gin were all name brands, mid-shelf and tasted authentic. Try the Brugal Anejo rum straight, excellent. I regret not bringing some home (a shop on Caribbean St. next door had it for $13/bottle - the airport Duty Free was $35) but we were not checking luggage trying to catch a short connection at JFK, which we did make.
The room was very nice, contemporary in shades of gray; interesting that there is no wall between bedroom and bathroom, the Jacuzzi tub was the divider, makes for much cheaper construction and not a problem for us; huge shower, enough space for a foursome if so inclined.
All of the public spaces are very high ceilinged and NOISY, sounds echo like crazy.
The gym needs more equipment, there is more than ample floor space available but the 7 pieces of aerobic equipment were often filled with people standing around waiting. The weight machines (no free weights) were also too few and often filled. We always do the gym thing early so didn’t have to wait but by 9-10 am (7 to 7 are the hours) it was full. The room is a huge echo chamber, somewhat annoying.
With a few exceptions (there always are) the staff at all levels were pleasant, friendly and accommodating.
The food was less than mediocre. Don't bother going to the specialty restaurants with either a 6:30 or 8:30-8: seating. The linguine with shrimp in a white wine/garlic sauce was an Alfredo sauce and the top was dried out having sat under a heat lamp too long. The rib eye int he steat house was too tough to cut with the knives provided.
The main restaurant is buffet, huge selections but really not very good. Either overcooked, or cool/cold rather than hot. Inconsistencies abound. The steak hou8se is also open for lunch buffet with very good green leaf and romaine lettuce. However at dinner in the main restaurant the lettuce was white ice berg with fewer side fixings than at lunch. At lunch in the steak house also are 2 coffee machines making espresso/caramel cappucino/etc/etc. but those machines are not in the dinner buffet restaurant so if you want that coffee at night you have to suffer through the steak house dinner.
Breakfast as is often the case was the best meal of the day with freshly made omelets and they loaves of bread avaiilable to slice yourself when toasted was very good. OH YES, they have 3 different kinds of "butter", all of which stunk, it was more like bad margerine. Every other Caribbean island we've been to (at least 10) have had butter from New Zealand/UK/France which has been excellent.
We signed up on line with the reservations for the "hotelbeds" van from and to the airport. From the airport was excellent, we were the only passengers and from walking off the plane to the Riu was 30 min total. HOWEVER, returning to the airport they screwed up so badly I finally got the front desk to call us a cab, I was concerned about missing our flight.
The entertainment at night generally sucked, but the last night we were there they did a Cirque de Solei type of show and it was really quite good considering these are all amatures.
Several afternoons there was a sewage odor her and there on the grounds. Couldn't determine if they were using waste water in the sprinklers or working on the undergound tanks if that's what they have. Not a big deal but want to report it here.
Had the food been better I could probably have given the place a 5 * rating.
- 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 HotelPower, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Travelocity, Hotels.com, getaroom.com, Hotwire, Evoline ltd, Cancelon and TripOnline SA 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.