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Reviews (6,362)
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All reviewscolonial restaurantdeluxe roomswim up barpalm treescaribbean streetevery other daythomson repssteakmain restaurantmama juanamini bardominican republicsmaller poolentertainment staffbeautiful beachoutback safariplenty of sunbeds
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Reviewed 14 November 2011

I to was familiar w/Riu hotels having stayed in their Montego Bay location last year. We were greeted upon check in and once complete proceeded to our room #606. The minute the bellman opened the door I noticed a strong musty, mold odor. My husband and 2 sons claim they couldn't smell anything so we turned on the AC with the hope of it going away. However by the next AM I knew that I couldn't spend another night in this room. Even my pillow smelled. I contacted the front desk which advised me that I could move, but would have to wait until after 2p. When we returned to the room from breakfast my husband discovered the the odor problem. The curtain back was covered in mold, the white shear had tiny black mold spots and once the boxspring cover was removed it too contained mold. Both my sons and myself have asthma so this was not a healthy enviroment to say the least. At 2p I returned to the front desk and was given a key to check out our new room. It too smelled of mold and they supposedly changed out the mattress and boxspring for me, otherwise the room was very clean. However in the process of the move I accidently left a couple items in a drawer in the original room. That took me 26 hours to track down and have returned. Evidently there is not 1 central housekeeping lost and found and obviously very poor communication with housekeeping. They don't put blankets on the bed, after trying to speak my broken spanish the maid realized what I needed and brough me blankets. As for the food it is what I expected for an all-inclusive and never expect decent wine. The Asian restaurant we left in the middle of dinner and went to the dinner buffet, SKIP ASIAN. The europeans are still heavy gross smokers and that is smelled in all outside areas. We did meet 2 other nice families and for a positive the children all played wonderfully together. I work for a major airline and travel frequently with my family and have never experienced a mold issue in the Carribean as I did at this property. Although I will returned to the Dominican Republic as the beaches were great, but I wouldn't stay at this property again.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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9  Thank Donna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

I stayed at the Riu Bambu because a year ago I had stayed at the Riu Cancun and loved it. However, after staying at the Riu Bambu I would not stay at another Riu because our experience was so terrible.

First off let me say I am not a very picky traveler, and I understand you get what you pay for. The hotel itself was okay, nothing special but nothing too terrible. However every day we had an issue with our room being cleaned, some mornings the maids would come at 7 or 8am and other days we would be out of the room all day to come back late afternoon and still not have our room picked up (I have never had issues with maid service, at any hotel I have ever stayed at). We tipped the maids nearly everyday and we still ended up getting robbed.

MAID SERVICE/LOCKED SAFE: They tell you to keep all vauables in the safe and that nobody else has access to the safe. Which is crap, how would they get someone's items out if someone forgot their code? My friend and I kept our wallets, money and passports in the safe at all times. The day before we left I noticed my ID and credit card were missing, my friend was missing $250 cash. We notified the staff, spoke to the manager, and went to the police station to make a report. They did nothing to compensate us, and at first didnt seem to care much. Not to mention it was very difficult to deal with the situation when barely anybody speaks English. My credit card was already being used at a hotel 30 minutes away and they wouldnt allow me to call out to cancel my card until I spoke with the manager.

FOOD: The food is awful, my friend and I ate pizza almost everyday. At the Riu Cancun the food was AMAZING..I ate bacon for every breakfast, I was looking forward to the bacon in the Dominican Republic...I saw they had it one morning and was super stoked. It did not taste right, do not eat the bacon. They do not have any sauces or salad dressings that are close to normal. The restaurants are okay but nothing special. They always have chips but nothing to dip it in. I was told by my travel agent that the food would be very similar to Mexican food and it was not. One night they had Mexican food with shredded chicken (or at least we thought) I bit in and got a mouth full of tendons. Not pleasant.

Go out with someone local so you can experience REAL Dominican food!

ENTERTAINMENT:The shows at the Riu are ridiculous. Instead of performing Dominican style dances to Dominican music they dance to Celine Dion and Michael Jackson while lip syncing, horrible. The trapeze night is very cool definitly a must see, it seemed that this was the only night where they actually had a professional show.

WARNING: IF YOU ARE A NON-SMOKER DO NOT GO TO THIS HOTEL!!! This was one of my biggest complaints. The hotel was mostly Europeans who chain smoked everywhere all the time! Non of the rooms are smoke free so our room would smell like cigarette smoke everyday because it would travel from room to room through the ventilation system. The only areas where people cannot smoke are in the restaurants. However, people can smoke in ALL other common areas. Very unpleasant.

When I travel I am very used to meeting a bunch of people whom you can party and hang out with, this didnt happen on this trip because there were few people who spoke English and those who did were quite older. I would say this resort was geared toward older folks who enjoy smoking. We were at the resort for two weeks which was too long.

BEACH:The beach is great, no complaints here. Although it was quite dirty from storms that blew through the area.

EXCURSIONS: Do not go to the Marinarium although the staff is cool, the reef is practically dead and there is nothing to see while you are snorkeling, and the stingray's and sharks you get to see are in an enclosed area which is very weird, and they dont allow you to dive down and touch the stingrays which defeats the purpose in my opinion.

Ziplining is fun and the outback safari is cool, you get to see coffee and cocoa and how it is produced. Beware though, the entire trip they will ask you to purchase things to support the schools, and support the locals. I believe they suckered every single person on our excursion to purchase some item or make a donation.

Imagine is okay, nothing crazy exciting, alcohol at the free bar is horrible worst I have ever had.

Go to Mangu, super fun and great music!!! Carwash is also something to see!!

STAFF: The staff are okay, some are great, waitstaff at the restaurants are very attentive however I found the service at Riu Cancun to be much much better! At the Riu Cancun we knew a lot of the staff by name and would sit at their bar and talk with them for hours, at the Riu Bambu nothing even close to this happened.

All in all, this is the worst vacation I have ever been on. I have been to Mexico several times, Jamaica several times, Caymen Islands, Belize, Bahamas and several cruises. This is the only vacation where I have ever wanted to come home! I was so happy to back in the United States it was unbelievable. I think getting robbed the night before we left was the topper to all the little things we disliked about this hotel.

Room Tip: Stay at a different hotel. Everyone we met said they loved their hotel (Dreams? or something)
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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10  Thank tfergus0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2011

We were just robbed here today-our safe was broken into-credit card, id and cash stolen-staff is standing around doing nothing at this very moment. Stay away from this place.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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5  Thank Newlybroketravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2011

We stayed in augest and absolutly loved it. Resort is small but is set out wonderfully. Would recomend the saona trip which was amazing!! Bar staff were friendly (especialy Edward) and tips are not expected but make stay more pleasent. Stayed in room 2608 and couldnt find any problems. Overal this was an exellent stay. Will return!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank Geordie98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2011

Let's start with the positive - very attentive staff, lovely beach and the room was immaculate. The five star rating given by our tour operator definitely off the mark. I went with my daughter on a Wednesday - Sunday getaway and we both found the meals a little challenging. Strawberry yoghurt soup and the other flavoured yoghurts (banana, melon, etc.) consisted of slicing the fruit and putting it in natural flavoured yoghurt - pretty sour! Inedible hotdogs (cold), mashed potato paste, empanadas that are almost hollow, etc. Breadsticks - amazing! French fries - delicious and the ice cream (vanilla only) was terrific. We did do á la carte one evening but the 'Caesar' salad was watery lettuce with a ranch dressing and the hot appetizers were a deep-fried mixture of things that had been sitting for a while and were soggy and unappetizing to say the least. My medium-rare steak was blue and had to be sent back (no language barrier by the way - I am fluent in Spanish!) The wine is basically undrinkable and I was unable to 'upgrade' until the last two nights.(a $10 bottle of wine which was an improvement on what was served but not by much) I can't understand why they don't have a choice of better wines for those of us who wish to upgrade. Oh - and if you want rosé wine they just mix the white and red from the taps. UGH! Did visit the casino at the Riu Palace Macao - granted it is being renovated so this was not the real thing but the machines were severely dated, offered drinks 2 out of 4 visits and it was extremely hot with standing fans blowing furiously trying to cool tihngs down. Definitely would not go back.

Room Tip: We upgraded to a junior suite which offers a little more space.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Cathy Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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