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“Great winter break”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #74 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 4 February 2012

We travelled as a couple in Jan 12 with First Choice.
On first impressions the hotel is lovely. The rooms are very clean and comfortable. The only problem was that there was only a sheet on the bed so with the air con on it was very cold. The bathroom was small but always clean with fresh towels. The room had a balcony looking out at more rooms, and was the furthest block from the beach / main hotel, but it was a very short walk as the resort is quite small.

The beach is gorgeous and there was always lots of free beds, however it did seem crowded and hard to find a quiet spot. There is no beach bar so you have to keep going up to the pool but it is close by. The pool is small, really crowded, and has a party atmosphere, we didn't go there.

The breakfast was good, they have everything you could want, eggs, cereal, meats, breads etc, the waiters were helpful and you could sit outside looking out at the beach. The lunch buffet was the same every day, pizza, pasta, rice, salads. We ate at the Asian and Steak a la carte restaurants. The asian is similar to going to a Chinese Buffet restaurant, the food wasn't that bad. The steak was good. None of the food we ate was amazing and I don't think we could have spent another week eating that food.

We did ask the First Choice rep where was the best restaurant and she suggested Hard Rock Cafe. We ate one evening at a restaurant on the beach called Kukua, which was so nice. If you walk along the beach to the left it is about 5 mins and the seafood was a really welcome change from the hotel food.

The hotel drinks were awful. During lunch you have the choice of wine or beer which you pour yourself by tap, and at the bars you could ask for premium spirits but they were mixed with cheap mixers so never tasted good. The wine tastes like lemonade and is almost undrinkable. The beer is not much better

Overall if you get a cheap deal and want to do nothing for a week this is the hotel for you. If you are expecting luxury then don't book!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Londonrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 February 2012

Since my 2 girlfriends and myself had such a great time at the Bambu last April, we decided to return and were able to go for an 11 day trip.
It was like going home!!! Got into our room, threw on the suits and ventured to the pool bar where Junior comes out from around the bar takes my hands and says "Hola, I remember you. Do you remember me?" They are such a fun, fun bunch of people --Junior, Victor, Pasquale, George, Milayas and took really good care of us.
We had a bigger room this time, which was helpful, clean and always well stocked. We had some cool nights, so called and requested extra blankets and pillows and were taken care of asap.
Checkin people are amazing and helpful!!! Try to go down with $1 american bills (to tip if you wish and when you hear what their monthly wage is and see how hard and what long hours they work, you won't regret it).
Restaurant staff are incredibly friendly and helpful as well. Of course our favourite is Wilken who is outside at the buffet for lunch and dinner. Breakfeast, lunch and dinner at the buffet is a huge assortment of food that is always hot, being replenished regularly and for the most part very, very good. Watch the smile on the omelet guys face when you tip him a $1 for the most delicious and well cooked omelet. We also enjoyed and received great service from Franklin, Mendes and Samuel, so shout out to them too.
The entertainment crew are the hardest working of the bunch!!! They go around each day pumping everyone up, stopping for a chat as they smile and dance their way thru their days.
David and his crew of Chris Rock, Kathy, Obama, Joel, Machine, Carmelo, Romeo, etc do such a good job. We would watch the kids run up to them each day, so you know they are good people if your children are happy to see them and want to spend time with them.
Funnest group of guys EVER are at The Plaza in the evening!! Luis Miguel, Gregory, Edward, Tavares, Moses, Alexander, Marino, Carlos, Juan Carlos, are a fast moving, friendly, animated group of guys. We took a 10 minute video of them our last night and hope to post it on utube as it is hilarious.
The evening shows are ok, some better than others, with the Michael Jackson show being the best. Remember, this is the same group of entertainment crew that you saw out by the pool from 9am-1pm, 3-5ish that are back again from 8ish - 11ish.
The pool is clean, lots of beach chairs, fresh towels daily. The beach is so close by again with lots of chairs and the best damn beach you will find anywhere. Water was warm and very inviting.
Can't say enough good about this place. Yes of course you can find better for more bucks, but you will not find a more friendlier, fun, more entertaining, accommodating hotel with gorgeous beach and weather!! Im back in April with same group of girls, my daughter, her friend and 2 people from England that we met last year there and I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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16  Thank Tiffanis123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

My husband and I stayed at Riu Bambu January 21 - 28, along with our 3 small children. We had a family room, which was very convenient, as it offered us a huge bed, a fold out couch for our 4 year old, and 2 pack'n'plays for our youngest kids. The hotel is very clean, and the staff was very friendly (most staff stopped to give our children "hi-fives", and chat with them). The food was great, and a good variety was offered at every meal. We never had an issue feeding even the pickiest of our kids. RIU offers a lovely promenade within the resort, which runs along the beach -- great for taking a romantic walk, or putting kids down to sleep in the stroller. We also utilized the services of a staff photographer to take some professional pictures of our family on the beach, and I was extremely happy with the results (this was not a part of the all-inclusive package, but definitely worth the extra money).

Room Tip: Try to ask for a room closer to the beach.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank irishechka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2012

A couple girlfriends and I went in December. We read the reviews, some good and some bad, but had an open mind. The beach was beautiful. Chairs were always available and you never needed to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve them with your towel. We didn't spend any time at the pool but it appeared fun. The evening shows were entertaining. The disco was fun too other than on our last night as it was dead. The food on the other hand was crap:( I didn't think I was that picky but I was on this vacation. I survived on fries and pizza. I've stayed at the Riu meringue in Puerto Plata and the food was wonderful. Too bad the Riu's aren't consistent. The room service was horrible too. We had to get our own toilet paper and they didn't restock the fridge. The toilet that kept running was a little annoying too. The walk along the beach to the market was lovely and the weather cooperated for the most part. We had an afternoon of rain and a couple of sunshowers. There was lots of hot sun and a beautiful ocean breeze:)

  • Stayed: December 2011
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5  Thank Tam140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We stayed at the Riu Bambu for a week in the middle of January and it was wonderful.

Rooms
After a short trip from the airport we were immediatley checked in. When we got to our room it was clean and well stocked. It had 3 liters of water for us to drink, 2 bottles of pepsi and soda water, and one bottle of 7 up and diet pepsi. Along with 2 cans of beer and the booze dispenspers. The bathroom was clean and had handsoap shampoo and body wash. However conditioner is not provided so I would advise bringing some. If you are from America don't bother bringing your blow dryer or flat iorns because they dont have outlets for them. There is a safe in the rooms in case you are worried about anything getting stolen. Our safe was broken and we asked for someone to fix it on several occasions and no one ever showed up. We waited two hours and finally said skrew it. The rooms were of average quality but we didn't go to the Dominican to spend time in our room so it was fine.

Food & Drink:)
The main buffet had a huge variety of food. Breakfast was average with fruit, cereal, pasteries, eggs, meat, pancakes, and much more. I thought the meat looked suspect so I didn't eat any. But they had an omlet station that I enjoyed every morning. Also, they do have coffee, you just have to ask your waiter for it and they will leave you a pot. I went the first three mornings without coffee because my waiter did not offer it. The lunch buffet was good with burgers, hotdogs, chicken, pizza, french fries, fruit and much more. However, the lunch at the buffet by the pool is in an open restaraunt with no walls, so I would suggest eating there when they first open. We went at three one day, and there were flies all over the food and birds all over. The dinner buffet was ok. My boyfriend is a picky eater and didn't like much. I however, found something new and delicious to try every day. We tried all 3 of the "A la carte" restaraunts. The chineese food was good, but made me sick and the other two were very dissapointing. As for the drinks, I can't complain. I'm a beer girl and enjoyed the interesting cocktails that the bartenders made for me.

The Beach
This is what made our thrip! The ocean was amazing! The venders were slighly annoying but also very helpfull. We spent 8 hours a day just watching the ocean and swimming and loved it. Also there are guys that go around and sell coconuts for $3 and put rum in them, super nummy. It was not that hot when we went. And we never got sun burnt.

Day trip to Sonama Island
We did one day trip and it was amazing. We drank all day got to see more of the Dominican and see the Caribean. The food and drinks were fantastic, we even bought a video of the excursion. I would strongly recomend it.

Overall
If you are going on a lovers get away, this place is great bang for the buck. The rooms and food are average, but the atmosphere and beach are amazing. Also because this is a "child friendly" resort I was worried about a bunch of kids crying. But overall they were very behaved. All of the bartenders were awesome and the place was very beautiful. Although my review may not sound good, I had a fantastic time, it is harder to pin point the things that were great, but I would go back again.

Helpfull hint; for all you cigar lovers, don't buy them off of the venders at the beach. They are fakes. Unless you don't care about quality.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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6  Thank Amber W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Bambu

Address: | Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#64 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#68 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#68 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: RM625 - RM1,617 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Bambu 3.5*
Number of rooms: 740
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in Punta Cana * Situated on Arena Gorda Beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Within the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Taino and Riu Naiboa hotels * Main building and 1-story bungalow complex * Surrounded by 46,000 m2 / 50,300 sq. Yards of palm groves, adjacent to the beach * 50 km / 31 miles from Higley * 600 m / 1,980 ft. From Caribbean Street * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Intl. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Bambu Punta Cana
Riu Bambu Dominican Republic

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