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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
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Reviews (3,736)
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Reviewed April 24, 2013 via mobile

The title says it all! Hands down to this hotel! You cannot go wrong with this hotel and there is no false advertising. What you see is what you get.

This review has been long due..my friend and I stayed at the Riu from Dec 11-18, 2011. It was still under construction, so there was not a lot of people but within a few days, it was book to capacity!

SERVICE - Check in and check out was very fast, efficient in both ways. On our arrival, they gave us the ocean view! We didn't even book it, what a surprise! The service at the bars & resto are fast and you never feel pressure to tip!

BEACH - Wonderful! I have nothing to say since Bavaro beach is beautiful!

ROOMS - Very clean & modern!! Like all the other Riu hotels, there was a liquor dispenser in our room! So if you felt lazy, you know what to do!

FOOD - one of the best food I had in Punta cana! The main buffet (moni cristo) is really good, always fresh and hot food. We tried 2 a la carte, the italian and steakhouse. They were amazing. During the day, you can eat at the Tino by the pool. Drinks are very good, not watered down. Loved their miami vice & pina coladas! The lobby bar is the best since they make very good expresso cafe and they have a tea menu and lots of little desserts for you sweet tooth!

ENTERTAINMENT - They make a good effort and they were always games by the beach and the pool, big ups to Spaghetti, Wilson and Freddy Krugar.

Book & enjoy it! Hope it helps!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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3  Thank Insanexvi3tgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

My husband & I just returned from a 10 day stay at the Riu Palace Bavaro from April 2 - April 12th - what an amazing place!!!!!!! From check-in to check-out - it was fabulous. Our check-in was fast & simple and within 20 minutes we were in our room. Our room was one of the grand terrace rooms that had an amazing balcony with a view of the ocean & pool. The rooms are exactly as pictured on the website. And, just as shown, the jet tub is out in the middle of the room so if you're traveling with family or friends, you might want to request a room that has a curtain that will give you some privacy. The room was cleaned everyday, fresh towels never a problem - neither was hot water. I will say the air conditioner just "cooled" the room but it was uncomfortable either. The in-room refrigerator barely keeps your beverages cool - it was never cold. Having said that, it wasn't an issue since we didn't use it that much anyway. The room was restocked everyday with water and beverages. The cleaning staff works very hard to make sure your room looks spectacular everyday. One day our room was decorated with balloons and the curtain was made to look like a flower - always nice surprises to find when you came back to your room. If you want your room made up each day you need to put the "green" door hanger on the door each morning when you leave. The only problem we had with that is our tag would blow off our door. We then would shut the tag in the door but the problem with that was the staff that re-stocked the water would not put it back in the door and it would blow off. So I used one of my hair bands and wrapped the tag onto the door - after that - not one issue. Our room would be turned down each evening. We came back one day to find a fruit tray, chilled wine & glasses in the frig - very nice touch. Also, the jet tub was filled with bubbles and flowers - very pretty!!! I will say the cleaning staff works tirelessly and, in my opinion, deserves to be tipped. On one day when the tag blew off, we did not have any clean towels. I called the front desk and they were there with clean towels immediately! From the reception desk to the waiter's in the restaurants, it seemed everyone was focused on customer service. Everyone always greeted you and had smiles on their faces!

I would like to give a huge shout-out to the entertainment team! THE BEST!!!!!! Soooooo much fun!!!!! Janet, Maria, Sexy Boy, Sexy Coco, Miguel - you are the best!!! Thank you for a wonderful time! I hope you're all still there when we come back next year!!!!!! Janet - I miss you girl!

The pool area/beach bar is alot of fun!! One thing I liked was they had a drink menu!!!! We tried lots of them and they were all amazing. While tipping is not required - all the workers there deserve it - they work long, long hours but, like I said, always had a smile!!! The drinks were amazing - never once skimped on the alcohol!!! One of my favorite drinks was the Sami Sosa - amazing!!!!!!!! The Carribean Orange was another good one but we had them add a banana - WOW!!!!!!! Also, the Pina Colda's were fabulous especially when you ask them to add the dark rum on top - amazing!!!! The waiter's around the pool were so amazing - your drinks would barely be empty & they were there with another one!!! Henry - you're the best!!!! I'm so sorry we didn't get the opportunity to tell you goodbye - we looked for you!!!!!

The pool is very nice & very clean. Plenty of chairs in or our of the shade. We found that to be true at the beach too! Always plenty of chairs - never had to worry about finding one. As a matter of fact, no worries - when you stepped onto the beach there was someone there to find you a chair and take it wherever you wanted to sit!!!!!!

If you want to try the "speciality" restaurants you have to make reservations. Reservations are made each morning between 8:00-11:00 am. Very simple process actually. Of course, the earlier you get there to make reservations the easier it is to get the restaurant you want to eat at. However, you cannot make reservations for the same day and you can only make reservations for 2 days out. We liked the steakhouse and the Japanese restaurants. I highly recommend the vanilla ice cream with mango sauce at the Japanese place - soooo good!!! We ate at the steakhouse twice, the Japanese twice and the Fusion once - did not particularily care for the Fusion but that's just my opinion. The buffet had a fabulous breakfast everyday!!!!!!! Fresh crepes,pancakes, French toast, & everything else you could possible want. The dinner buffet was hit & miss a couple of days but you could always find something good. The last night we were there, the buffet had whole turkeys they had roasted - simply amazing!!!!!!!!! The lunch buffet down by the beach always had great items for lunch - one day they even had lobster!!! For lunch, nonetheless!!!!!! I'll leave it at this - we were never hungry!!!!

Of course the beach was my absolute favorite part!!!!!!! I love the beach!!!!!!! Just so beautiful and the water was so clear & refreshing!!!!!!! There are waves but they aren't that bad.... The water is the most beautiful color I've ever seen. The beach is crowded but it makes for great people watching! It's also long so you can take endless walks. There is a shopping district that sits about 1/2 mile down the beach, right on the beach if you want to take the trip - it's worth it if you can put up with almost literally being dragged into the shops. All the shops pretty much have the same items for sale but you can get some good bargins - better than in the shops on the resort. Also, if you book any excursion's, it's best to see the guys on the beach - you can bargin with them and get better deals. One thing I will say is this - the vendors really don't bother you that much on the beach. You tell them no and they walk away - they don't hound you to death! The sand is perfect!!!! White & sooooo soft - like walking in powdered sugar!

The grounds of the hotel are so clean and nice. You always see workers mowing, trimming, sweeping, mopping - keeping the grounds just beautiful.

The shows at night are sometimes a little cheesy - don't go expecting to see broadway productions!!!!! They are what they are - a couple of nights the shows were really good - the Michael Jackson show was probably the best. The entertainment area is so comfortable and nice!!!! They have waiters that keep your drinks full at all times!!!!!!! And the entertainment staff (folks these are the same people that work all day at the beach & around the pool!!!) really are great!! They really get the crowd involved by dancing with people and getting you up on stage if your not careful!!!!!!! They are amazing!!!

I love this place - I cannot believe people give negative comments about it!!! I don't know what you're looking for but you must be really hard to please!

I would go back in a heartbeat - as a matter of fact, we're already planning to go back to The Riu next year!

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room stay away from the entertainment area!!!
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank beachbumforever53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

This is my 4th trip to Punta Cana.

Well we started a little rough but overall it was a very nice place. My wife and I took the grandkids, 13 and 16, and had two rooms side by side which was nice.

Minor problem: I really did not like the layout of the rooms as there was no privacy in the bath toilet area. It would be OK for a couple but a 14 year old boy does not want to change in front of his grandfather. He could change in the shower and did, but that required taking all clothes into the shower. An accordion curtain would fix that problem.

Minor problem: When we checked into our side by side rooms my wife came to mine and said her toilet would not fill with water after flushing it. I took a look before calling anyone and found the fill valve stuck. Minor manual working it up and down freed it and the toilet began to fill. Went to my room and tried my toilet just to see and same thing, no water when you flush so I did the same repair on mine. My guess is because the water pressure and flow was very low, perhaps because we were on top floor, or perhaps the rooms had not been used for a while allowing the valve to stick. My manual manipulation fixed it with no further problem.

Minor problem: Water pressure and flow in shower was very low and you needed to stand almost against the wall for a shower. There was an additional water shower head you could divert water to but with the low volume and pressure it did not work properly. Water line to sinks must have been on different line because the sinks had lots of flow and pressure.

Moderate Problem: After the shower I went to refrigerator and found it did not work and everything was very warm in the unit. It was late in the day so I figured I would wait until morning to ask for repair. Next day I stopped at desk in morning and ask for someone to look at unit. They said "we will try to have a person look at it today or tomorrow if not today". I thought that was a strange answer but I figured I would wait and see. Had a full day at beach and when I returned to room about 6:00 pm refrigerator was running but not very cold. I set thermostat as cold as it would go.

Major problem: While checking refrigerator I noticed about 150 small ants running around the unit and the floor in front of the unit. I would guess there was a nest in the refrigerator and starting the unit disturbed their nest. I called the front desk and ask for someone to spray for ants. I went back down for dinner with family. About 9 PM grandson said he wanted to go back to room to plug his phone in and he planned on staying in room. I said I would be up in about 15 minutes and if there was any bug spray smell in room to stay on the outside balcony. When I went to room the floor looked wet and I could see the grandson’s bare footprints on the floor. He was lying on the bed playing a game on his phone so I grabbed some "Wet Ones" tissues and wiped the bottom of his feet and told him to stay on the bed until I figured what to do. I propped the doors open so the breeze would come in the room and dry up the material on the floor. I set on balcony with my email tablet and after about 45 minutes I took another look. Floor was still wet. I really did not want to call anyone because they seemed to just make things worse and it was already about 10 PM. I went to get some towels in bathroom figuring I would just skate around room with towel under my feet and clean up the wet material. Stepping into bathroom I slipped and nearly fell as the material was more heavily applied there. The 16 by 16 inch cover plate was off the Jacuzzi tub and lying on the floor. The cover plate was probably removed to spray inside the tub which is a common ant nesting area. The person applying the ant spray must have been really sloppy because it was on the top corner of the sink top and even a small amount on the mirror. The spray was also all over inside the bath tub which did not bother me because we did not plan on using it. I replaced the cover plate and used a dime to secure the screws on the cover. I use a large towel and was able to clean up the spray from the floor. The spray was actually an oily substance and that is why it did not dry in the breeze. But the ants were gone. I would say that what they did was overkill with way to much ant spray used. We slept with the doors open to keep an outside breeze flowing through the room. Housekeeping cleaned up all the spray in the tub the next day. But the refrigerator still did not get below about 60 degrees.

After those issues it was pretty smooth. The food was very comparable to the Iberostar next door, the property was immaculate especially the grounds. The pool area was very nice although they could use more shade. The beach was not as nice as the Iberostar mainly due to no shade. The palm trees while plentiful were very tall so the shade cast was not much. No thatched umbrellas like the Iberostar. Plenty of chairs around pool. Other than the property is newer I see it as no better than the two Iberostar's next door.

I am not sure if I would stay there again.

Room Tip: If you get a choice take a lower floor so you have water pressure.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Chiefly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Traveled from April 5th-12th. This is our 2nd time to this property. Our weather was picture perfect along with the view from our room. We paid extra to be in the VIP area which gave us spectacular views of our own pool and beach plus the German pool and beach. Housekeeping was ok, some nights we got clean towels and turn down service and other night we did not. So great to sit on the balcony and look from front to side for fantastic views. Make sure you get on the 2nd or 3rd floor since the bugs were furious on the 1st floor, people could not even sit on their balcony and even had spray with DEET.Got tired of the food on the buffets after a few days so make sure you try the other restaurants. Steakhouse was great, they served family style except for the main meal and dessert. Steak was hard to cut since they don't marinate their meat and do not give "Steak" knives. Also try the Italian restaurant, I had the chicken and it was very good. . Our table was set and decorated for us when we arrived for breakfast every morning. If you want to shop you can go to the beach and either make a R for stores or a L for locals. Great shopping both places and the locals are so sweet !!! The workers at the hotel are just so friendly, please make sure you tip, it means so much to them !!! Still a great place and fabulous weather !!!

Room Tip: end room top floor. If you have someone that has trouble walking please make sure you tell your travel agent to book a room close to everything since there is a lot of walking involved with this property. Some buildings have elevators and some DO NOT.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank aburai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Just got back from my vacation April 11th-16th and I want to start off by saying, my wife and I had a wonderful time on vacation. This was our first time to Punta Cana but will definitely not be our last! The Pros and Cons to the trip which in detail:

Pros:

-The beach is the most beautiful I've seen, white sand and turquoise water creating a real tropical paradise to enjoy. There was always chairs and tables available, just took a few minutes more to locate on some days but always empties to find.

- The room decor was beautiful, the rooms are very modern and surpass anything I've experienced from previous Riu's I frequent. The upkeep of the rooms is also immaculate, won't hurt to leave a small $10 (dollar) tip for housekeeping once you arrive, it will go a LOOOOONG way.

-Drinks are on point, may not have top shelf liquor but they can whip up some great drinks for you. (ask for Rafa at the swim up bar)

-Food was overall great, I've seen a lot of negative reviews about the food but I don't know what the hell these people are talking about. The restaurants were good especially Geisha the Japanese restaurant, the buffets were also great. There is great food to choose from all day despite your taste or appetite.

- The staff was always friendly and very interested in what they could do if anything to improve your stay.


Now for some of the CONS:

-The king size beds were made up of two full size beds and would easily slide away.

-The mini bar fridge did NOT cool, when I called the front desk about this, they told me the fridge does not cool its just meant to keep the beverages fresh but not cold. So basically its a storage box with a light.

-The pool is pretty small, they put more attention to design than size.(However you can walk next door to the Riu Naibao and use their pool which is large and has plenty of swimming space)

- Lastly, if you intend on sitting out on the balcony you better be sure to have bug repellent spray, the mosquitoes in my native country will eat you alive.

Overall the trip was a blast and I highly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Punta Cana.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank 30RobertoR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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