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“Torn between 3 stars or 4.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #49 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Torn between 3 stars or 4.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

We just returned from a family vacation and having stayed at countless all-inclusive resorts, my overall opinion was... Meh, shoulder shrug, wasn't good, and wasn't bad. The grounds and rooms were immaculate. We had 2 young children with us (1 year old and 2 year old) I found the specialty restaurants were not accommodating to children. They didn't offer them anything to eat! My family would try to be courteous to the other diners but trying to entertain (hungry) babies is just pointless. We ended up having to walk over to the buffet and grabbing the kids a plate of food so they could have dinner too. I also didn't like how over crowded it was especially in the ocean and pool. Also, this is random but for safety reasons I would have thought the hotel would have invested in non-heat and non-slip tile around the pool. I can't tell you how many times I had to catch myself (others too) and you had to wear shoes as the tile got super-hot. Ouch! The staff were friendly, and there were plenty of food options (just as every other all-inclusive resort) Overall, it was just okay for me. I would not return.

Room Tip: If you can upgrade to VIP do so. The pool is less crowded, and they have their own VIP swim up bar.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Felicity C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (723)
Date | Rating
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English first
NY/NJ
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Odd property, you enter a psychedelic lobby with neon as far as you can see. You are greeted by an array of desk attendants who are all trying to help at once yet lose focus and often cause confusion. We had 3 families travelling together yet our rooms were scattered around the property as opposed to being close. Rooms are odd from the decor to functionality aspect. They are a good size however there is a giant bath tub in the center with pretty sharp edges without any enclosure. The separate shower stole has a frosted glass door which does not close all the way leaving a gap to the wall. For a couple it's fine i presume but for a family with kids some privacy would have been nice. The floors are slippery inside the rooms as well as in public areas around the property. My kids managed to fall a few times so did a few elderly folks around the theater area. They staff does a good job wiping the surfaces down however the material used does not become any less slippery and that during a good weather, forget it when it rains. The theater is small for the size of the hotel and does not accommodate everyone. The shows are ok, some are better then others but over all very average. Kids entertainment is not good, same thing every day, they do not even change the sequence of the songs... The beach is nice but offers no shade. The palms are still too young and therefore it is sunny all the time. The pool area is good however you need to be up very early to get a good spot or any spots together. If you leave your towels people are nasty and often take them so i'd be careful. The grounds are well kept and the towel service is fine. The main buffet is good, clean and offers a lot of variety but mostly its the same thing every day for lunch and dinner. Presentation changes but the ingredients and preparation stays the same it seems. For lunch for example a chilled soup is served in a ball for dinner its served in a martini or shot glass... similar thing with salads and sea food, it is the same salad for dinner and lunch just chopped and presented on ice vs on a tray... There are a lot of choice for everyone so the fact that its the same thing over and over did not bother us. The restaurant by the pool is fine for a quick bite but the service is not consistent. They allow some to bring the food out yet others they do not. They raise their voice at guests which i found completely inappropriate. The food stays out for too long and begins to look "tired" so if you want to eat there i'd say go early. Overall i would say its an ok property but i would not recommend it to family or friends nor would i return personally.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nalrud
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
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

I stayed in riu palace bavaro a nice looking hotel very modern food was excellent animation team was good, night shows were awful it need some improvement. The rooms were nice but has roaches problems, we killed around 7 roaches, hotel staff is very friendly overall a good hotel.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank carlosfc0612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

Fabulous rooms, no need to upgrade as there's everything you could possibly want and more in the standard suites! They are quite luxurious and kept spotless.
Excellent food with a massive variety, something for every taste. I love the fish and was spoilt for choice every day! Had a fantastic holiday and would go back!
The only slight criticism would be the lack of toilets - nearest toilet is quite a long walk from the main restaurant!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CharlieToni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Osage Beach, Missouri, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

When I made this reservation for our honeymoon, I had no idea of the paradise that it would turn out to be. I have been in restaurant and hotel management for over fifteen years, so my expectations on service are hardly ever met. That was not the case with Riu Palace Bavaro. As I sit in my modern hotel room ( I am still here) and look around at all of the amenities (two headed shower, Jacuzzi on the balcony, and jetted hot tub in the middle of the room) I am amazed by this property. The grounds were spotless, and when I say spotless, I mean I did not see one cigarette butt on the ground while I here. The staff is so friendly and works so hard, every question you have is unanimously answered with, 'no problem my friend,'. We went to Monticristo for dinner tonight, it was our first time this week arriving at opening and were welcomed by the entire staff clapping as we entered (they sure know how to make you feel special.) A piece of my heart is going to stay here with Epi from the front desk, who was willing to help me with many things (I forgot some of my medication in the states and he had it delivered from the pharmacy within twenty minutes) and our VIP pool bartenders Luis Pena Adames and Henry Pache. Everyday they made us feel special by attending to all of our needs and having drinks prepared when they saw us arriving. They were entertaining and really cared about their guests having a good time. I can't say enough about the character of these three men. I would hire them in a heartbeat if I could. We loved Riu Palace so much that we plan to come here every year for vacation to see our new amigos and celebrate our anniversary. Luis, Epi, and Pache, JOB WELL DONE!!!! I couldn't have asked for a better set of people to meet upon arriving and I will never forget you!! Thank you for making our honeymoon so very special. Donald and Leslie Alford

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Leslie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stourbridge
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

This is a great hotel on a fabulous beachfront location. We had a standard junior suite, very spacious, clean, well stocked mini bar and liquor bar (all well known brands, Smirnoff, Gordons etc) replenished every 2 days, maid service excellent and twice a day. The Air con was a godsend! The open plan bathroom took a little getting used to, but wasn't a problem. Food was good, we ate at the Steak House a couple of times, the Italian (in my opinion the best!), the French but the majority of the time in the Montichristo. You name the food they will probably have it, pizzas, pasta, rice, chips, fish, roasted meats. I didn't find the meat to be the best quality, but it was reasonable. Another favourite was the coffee shop - fab coffees, cakes and delicious ice creams. All of the staff are lovely and appreciate you speaking Spanish and if you give them a dollar tip, they become your new best friend.
The entertainment team work very hard, organising beach bbqs and parties. They all walk around to speak with you, tell you what's going on, ask you to join them but are happy to leave you in peace if you just want to read your book. The evening entertainment is a bit dodgy and dated. A magician producing doves and rabbits - really? We were all upset by this act and had to leave due to the way the magician was treating his animals, the final straw was when a dove flew off course and ended up in the overhead fan - eeek.
Now the bad bits, the rooms are very noisy and we were woken several times a night by drunk, loud guests returning to their rooms at 2, 3 4 and 5 in the mornings. We were awoken at 7.30am by staff wheeling trollies. The other problem is the ridiculously slippery floors! Not just around the pool but throughout the hotel. Witnessed lots of accidents and experienced one myself. On the plus side you can hire crutches and wheel chairs from reception, which is probably a good indicator in itself of how many people end up needing them!
All in all I am so glad we chose this hotel. We would definitely go back but request quiet rooms and take good grip pumps. Last but not least has to go to Spaghetti and his crazy entertainment team. Thank you guys for making our holiday so memorable - got to love sexy (crazy) bon bon!

Room Tip: All prices are in US dollars, we wouldn't bother taking pesos, as we came back with ours
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ShazzaStourbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

We are a family of four, who spent two weeks in the RIU Palace Bavaro and, consequently, got to know the place quite well. Overall, we are very pleased with the experince, although we would not rate it amongst our best ever.

Among the things that we enjoyed most were: the beach; our room; friendly service; and quality of the food. There were three things that, in our opinion, could be improved: the noise level; the landscaping of the garden; and the interior design of the common areas.

On the positive side, we particularly enjoyed the beach and the swimming pool. There had never been any shortage of the sun beds despite the fact the the hotel was fully booked. The beach was fairly empty, with lots of privacy for everyone, a striking contrast to the overcrowded beach of the next-door Iberostar Hotel. The hotel is fairly new, and we enjoyeed the spatious rooms, with excellent airconditioning and good quality materasses and bed linens. The hotel staff were really very pleasant and efficient. The only exception was the reception, where things vere pleasant enough, but often took time to resolve. We were positively surprised by the qulity of food in the buffet Monte Christo restaurant, as well as the a la carte Japanese Geisha restaurant. The vast majority of the ingredients seem to be grown locally and in a non-industrial way, resulting in a great taste. One of our sons is allergic to industrial food additives and, for the first time ever, he did not develop any skin allergy whilst eating outside of home!

We did not enjoy the noise that seems to be the way of life in the hotel. The rooms are not sound-proof. The hotel is a popular spot for weddings and some of the wedding guests tended to be noisy around their rooms late at night. There is a loud evening entertainment programme each night, performed in the outdoor amphitheatre located in the very centre of the complex. One ends up listening to the music shows untill midnight, regadless of whether one likes it or not (we did not). The gardens had poor variety of plants that did not reflect the richness of the tropical nature of the region; for example, there were not enough flowers to attract the humming birds. The interior paths were unshaded by plants. Consequntly, walking around the grounds in the heat of the day was uncomfortable. This was not improved by the strange half-full fountains, that had modernistic design that did not fit the neo-colonial architecture of the hotel. Finally, the interior design of the common rooms (reception and the Kristal Restaurant, in praticular), was a true manifestation of untaimed kitch. It was in shocking contrast to many other hotels in the area designed in a pleasant colonial style.

Room Tip: The regular junior suites are too small for a family of four, despite the claims of our travel agent...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mirek_stachowicz
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, 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 #49 of 110 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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