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“Great trip..not a 5 star”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #56 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 8, 2014

I just came back from staying at this resort april 3-8 with my boyfriend. Overall not a 5 star.. Firstly The a la Carte restaurants were garbage..there is no love put into the food..my bf got sick from the steak house, stay away from any of the cold fish (scallops, mussels etc.) The buffet was definitely the best as the variety was great. Rooms were alright my back is so sore from the bed we had and the pillows were so lumpy. I guess I'm used to really comfy beds and nice Egyptian cottons with down feather pillows. We paid 200$ cash to upgrade to ocean view which is a rip as they take "cash only" for that which I thought was very weird. The hotel is very clean ..grounds are kept very well . the staff was wonderful no complaints there. We had an issue with our shower knob breaking off and let's just say it was very annoying and a huge inconvenience! The beach was nice tons of chairs every day ..a lot of people sat by the pool which was always busy..so if u want a good spot reserve early! The entertainment at night sucked... Don't waste your time..the disco sucked to, its a cash bar (money grabber) 10 dollars for two drinks...wouldve been cool if there was more of a nightlife there. there was nothing for my bf and I to do at night. It also wouldve been cool if they had a beach party BBQ at night to change it up. Overall great getaway ..weather was good...food Meh...service was awesome and hotel clean ...would I go back here? No ...my first time at a Riu and I would for sure go back to Punta cana but try a different hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank zeek9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 7, 2014

I'll start by saying that I had very high expectation going in to this resort and was a bit disappointed

The good - SERVICE...everywhere!, cleaning,bartenders,waiters and staff all around the resort... very very friendly and doing a great job! ..
Room cleaning was great and resort very clean! that's a big +. Check in and out was quick and so easy. No stress there. The resort/room - very beautiful. Beach ok also but I was expecting a cleaner water/sand.
Special thank you to the towel worker at VIP section for saving us spots every morning without us asking him. It was very sweet of him.

Now the reason I did not put a 5 star on this resort....
A la carte restos.... it was my first time in Dominican, and the food is sooo much better in Mexico.... I was 0 impress with the A la carte.... steak house was ok, the rest a big no no.. the others I traveled with liked the food better at other resorts in Dominican .... and on top of that, me and my boyfriend are both very sick right now. We got back yesterday....

Now just a little tip for the Hotel, bar service at the beach would be nice.... and also, free weights at the gym!!! the gym is big with nice air conditioning and there would be a good spot for some free weights in there or more machines... I had a hard time with that I train everyday and it's not a week in paradise that will stop me. I'm sure I'm not the only gym freak out there so it's good to know before you go at this hotel prepare yourself for a week off of muscle training lol

That being said - Nice resort but would need simple improvements. Food wise... well, we all have our taste maybe.... but... I would rate the a la carte about 30% so it was really bad for me!!

Still want to say a big thank you to all the staff for their hard work and nice smiles!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank StephGP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

The Riu Palace Bavaro was nice enough but nothing special and would not go back !

We travelled as a mature couple, together with 2 similar friends, This was our third visit in 5 years to the collection of Riu hotels in Punta Cana - having stayed previously at the Bambu and the Palace Macao so we know the hotels complex pretty well by now,
We wanted to go to the Palace Macao due to it's Adults Only theme but could not get in as it was fully booked, so we chose the relatively new Riu Palace Bavaro - we now wish that we had changed dates and went to the Palace Macao.

Rooms were as good as the brochures looks and felt comfy and large, I do feel that the feature bath in the middle of the room is a bit of a nothing though - how many people take a bath on a tropical island ?

Restaurants were ok - the staff are great and fun besides being good at the job. The idea of waiter service a la carte Speciality restaurants included in the deal should be a real highlight but the food was generally very disappointing - the best food was definitely in the huge main canteen self service restaurant but there is far from a feel of 5 star luxury !

Beach was good - this is what we really came for but it was too busy for us to be really comfortable and we felt our space was encroached if we left the beds for a while. We were approached by one of the 'beach attendants' to 'reserve our beds daily' and this what we did for a small fee and this was well worth it to save having to join the 8.00 o'clock towel brigade
The main pool was manic especially around the swim up bar - entertainment was good around the pool and on the beach if you want this, and it appears that the many groups of young men and women really embrace it so it was really good for them but probably not for a 60 year old like me.
We had a couple of problems with the room and were moved to another room and given VIP wristbands which enabled use of the special VIP adults only pool - we liked this facility as it was much quieter and relaxed

The evening entertainment was a joke so do not expect anything other than the usual animation team stuff like Mr Riu and Ideal Couple nights, why they put this inane rubbish on I will never understand, but people do watch it because there is nothing else to do !

There is a great hard working team of staff here so congratulations to them and to the management for what seems a great team spirit and motivated feel. The hotel is very clean and when it rained a couple of tropical downpours there were legions of staff mopping up - which was just as well because the floor did become very slippery and you have to take real care

I think all of the other reviews I have read about the hotel sum it up very well - there is not a feeling of luxury and for that we were very disappointed.

Nice place but not special so why bother !

Room Tip: Top floor is the only way to go - we were originally on the second floor and in the room above us a...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Wally G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014 via mobile

18 year olds loved the food, my partner and I found it adequate. Great coffee, WI FI was average at best. Very very clean, wonderful staff. Booze is OK but we usually go to Secrets resorts and thus we are spoiled. Great place for Kid trip but prefer Secrets brand over RIU.

Stayed: April 2014
1  Thank Anson T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2014

We stayed in Mid March 2014 for 5 days and wish it could have been longer. From the time our cab from the airport dropped us off ($40 with tip) we were treated wonderfully. The front desk people were very courteous and gracious, and spoke English well enough for us to communicate without difficulty. We had a vip upgrade which was great for the closeness to the beach. Our ground floor room had a view of the pool, not much else. The bed was quite comfortable, the shower was great. We had a small hot tub in the room that worked well. The in room fridge was good, stocked well, and the in room liquor seemed good (I'm a beer drinker, and the Presidente was an easy drinking beer). the TV was good, lots of channels. We had wifi in the room that was slightly slow but adequate.
The pools seemed nice but we spent most of the time at the beach, which is fantastic. Lots of shade from numerous palms, plenty of sunny areas, plenty of loungers. We never felt like we had to rush out to get some for us and our friends, and lots of shady spots to pick from. The water was a bit cool for my taste, but not bad. The weather was in the 70-80s every day with a strong breeze.
The main buffet restaurant was quite good, with lots of selections, and plenty of space and stations to accommodate any crowd when we were eating. The attendants were very helpful and gracious. The beach restaurant was also quite good, although the food quality at the main one was a bit higher. There is also a sports bar with nachos and sandwiches, a coffee bar and a lounge in the main lobby.
We ate at three specialty dinner places. the Italian was good, the Japanese was good and the steak dinner was fair.
We were impressed with the entertainment, relative to other resorts we've stayed at in Cancun.
I love golf and was helped by the front desk people, had a couple choices and went to the Iberostar course (10 minute drive away). Twilight rate was $110 for transport, club rental, green fees and snacks and drinks on the course. The course was in good shape. degree of difficulty not too high with wide fairways and medium speed greens with some but not much slope. Fairways and tee boxes were in good shape also.
My wife had a massage that she said was ok, not great, but she's not much on massages anyway.
We would be thrilled to go back and recommend it highly.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mark856
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2014

Stayed Mar. 20-27th. We have been to several resorts in the Carribean and Mexico and found this Riu to be outstanding! It is a beautiful hotel with immaculate surroundings, a gorgeous long walking beach with soft, clean white sand and beautiful ocean. The staff is amazing, always friendly and eager to make your stay a memorable one. The entertainment staff is very hard working, putting in long hours and always cheerful and energetic. We commend the management and will definitely return to this hotel. I must admit I was a little worried before our trip because of some negative reviews. Not to worry.........this is a beautiful resort.

Room Tip: The villas are well placed and worth the extra money.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank rileybear837
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2014

Punta Cana is one of the most beautiful places I've been in the world, but this resort is only good, not great. As far as I know, the entire resort is relatively new and the design reflects that. Impressive and unique. However, the quality of the facility leaves something to be desired. My wife and I are not particularly picky, but some travelers may be disappointed by issues with the facility. Our room had some drywall that was bubbling, presumably from the humidity, our shower worked adequately but was not fully functional, the wifi was slow, and our room key didn't work on a number of occasions during our stay. And we paid extra for a vip, ocean view room (the view was phenomenal). The food at both the buffets and the specialty restaurants was okay, not great. We did not have a difficult time getting reservations. The pools and bars were nice, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The crown jewel of this resort is the beach (though that will be that case for most resorts in this area). Large, beautiful beach with tall palm trees for shade and warm, clear, blue water. The resort was fine, but we went to Punta Cana for the beach and we were not disappointed. A highly recommended destination, even if you decide to stay at another resort. Also, I would highly recommend scuba diving. It is a breathtaking experience and Punta Cana is a great location for a dive.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tim M
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

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 #56 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range: $199 - $478 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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