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“Awesome resort”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #76 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 10 August 2010

What a beautiful place. So much shade on the beach and within the resort itself, nicely landscaped, palm trees everywhere. Beach has many chairs and lots of places to hide in shade under the trees, we have never had to look for an empty chair. Sand is white and water is crystal clear. Service on the beach is outstanding as well.

Buffet was great, good variety of food, amazing service, friendly staff. It does need a good air conditioning though as it was very humid at times and all windows and doors were wide opened.

Rooms were big, but very outdated and had a weird smell, but after a day we got used to it, something you can live with. Room service was fast, receptionists very helpful and made sure all our needs have been addressed accordingly.

We have taken 2 excursions, AVT is a must-go one, great scenery and adventure. Visit to an island was another great one, traveling on speed boats there and back on huge catamarans with good entertainment was a great experience. Beware of food once you reach the island as a few people that went there with us did get sick after.

Lots of places to snorkel.

Pool was crowded, but clean.

There are a lot of other hotels along the shore and we have been to every one of them watching different shows at night.

Definitely would go back and recommend to friends

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sale_deals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 August 2010

I stayed at Riu Bamby shortly after it re-opened in July. For the past 4 years I have been traveling with my wife and my two small children twice a year. So far I visited Mexico ( Riviera Maya, Cabos and Puerto Vallarta), Dominican Republic , Aruba , Curraco and St Lucia. We usually spend $100 in tips throughout out each stay. This was my 3rd stay in a Riu hotel, 3rd time in Dom Republic and the first time ever I decided to file a complaint with the travel company that my agent used to book this trip. Let me start by saying that the hotel has great potential and it is located on the second best beach I have ever seen. Compared to newer resorts in Mexico, Riu Bambu has a small pool but I found myself spending most of the time on the beach anyway. Decor, room sizes and upkeep all average but acceptable. All problems I expirienced have to do with a people side of the business. This resort needs new management .

Food Quality : In my experience food in Dominican Republic has always been lower quality compared to other places in Caribbean. I did not expect food in Riu Bambu to be outstanding, but they reached new lows during my stay : for many reasons hot food tasted bad. Quality is important, but more importantly - I traveled with 2 other families ( 12 people ) and 6 of us came back with some sort of stomach illness. I had to go on antibiotics for 5 days to get rid of it. I am convinced we got it from poorly prepared food since two of the sick people were children (did not have drinks) and two sick adults did not use the pool during the stay. Food shortages, long lines, shortages of forks and plates - these are the things I experienced on 3 out of 7 days I was there.

Drinks - I drink vodka-tonic and this is the first place I have ever been to that managed to screw it up. What they served tasted like club-soda. Drinks tasted fine on one the day only- when management passed around satisfaction surveys. Next day, everything went back to normal (bad drinks) and they even stopped serving some types of drinks. To me it looked like they were trying to make up for the cost of “survey day” by not serving some drinks and having very poor selection of food. Basically - in your face attempt to influence survey responses.

Service - rooms cleaned everyday but sheets were not changed once in 7 days I stayed there. Drinks in the mini-bar replenished every 2-3 days. Decent service in the buffet. Poor in the pool and main bar. On multiple occasions when ordering drinks my wife was "no" because it would take too long to make her order. Guys at the bar did not care and were drinking with each other. I tipped few time but saw no difference in service - simply bad service. During the shows no one would serve drinks - there was one lady walking around and picking up glasses. I also observed servers drinking beer during the lunch instead of working. I have never seen a resort where employees were allowed to drink on a job - unacceptable in my book.

Front Desk - on the last day after we checked out we end up using shared showers made available for guess that are leaving. After I put my boys in the shower, I realized there were no towels. My wife asked \ the front desk for towels, they called someone. 15 minutes later, she asked again and she was told to wait. 30 minutes later, she asked if we could get a towel from the pool, they said no. My wife asked for a manager, the guy behind the desk said he was the manager and she needs to wait - finally we asked other guests to lend us their pool towels. The front desk “manager” needs to be fired. He had no clue how to treat guests - and he left us with a terrible impression of this hotel.

Pools - size OK in pretty setting but poorly maintained. My 7 year old son would ask the pool guys to scoop up bugs from the pool in the morning before going in.

Weekends - place gets full during the weekend - long food lines, no plates, no forks, food runs out, place gets messy, pools are full of cups and people. What others said about locals is true - it gets crazy.

Kids Club - activities are available 4 hours but the place has no security. I did not feel comfortable leaving my boys unattended for more then 30 minutes.

Rooms - on the smaller side but OK. I am not sure what renovating took place in 2010, but I did not see a lot of fresh-paint or fresh landscaping. Maybe the restaurants were remodeled but everything else ( rooms, furniture, pool furniture, stage ) looked like it has been in use for few years.

Shows - average.

Summary - if the food or service was average - I would give this hotel 3.5 starts ( out of 5) because of the beach and OK facilities.. If I did not get sick - I would give it 3 starts; unfortunately I have to give it 2. I am going to stay away from Riu and Dominican Republic for a while. The beach is great and I have had good experience in other Riu hotels, but this experience will keep my away from Riu for a while

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank resovia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

let me start by saying that after i booked this vacation at the riu bambu i read all the negative reviews that were posted and i was very worried about the choice i made. The choice was made so my family and i went hoping for the best and prepared for the worst.
lets begin with the flight--- we flew with west jet and the flight was great. attendants were great and we arrived 20 min. early!!
our sunquest rep was very visible and guided us to our bus that brought us to the resort.the rep that joined us in the bus was very informative and was available everyday at the resort in the main loby and was very helpful!!

reception---
as soon as we set foot in the lobby our luggages were put aside and once we recieved our room number which was immediately the luggages were brought to our room.(as long as you are polite and not bossy with the staff--which many vacationers were!!---the staff is very friendly,helpfull and always available with a smile.)

room--
we got a great room (family room) that was attached to beach. we were very lucky because we were the last building before the beach with no one in front of us. the room was a great size and the bathroom was to. the mini bar was always fully restocked and the room was very clean!!!!! we usually left the room by 8:30 am and when we returned in the afternoon the room was immaculatly clean!!! (we always left $2.00 tip for the cleaning lady daily which was well deserved!!!)

beach---
not much to say other than paradise on earth!!!!!

food---
there was always something available at all times and the locations were clean. As far as the quality of the food i must admit that the food was not that great. the pizza was good and the meat was good to. selection was not that great. you will not starve but it could use some improvement!!! when i travel to a hot vacation spot food is not the most important thing on my list, although as i said it could have been better.

pool---
the pool is great. its not huge but it has everything you need.The swim up bar is great and the main bar tender victor is great.After the first day he would give us our drinks without us even asking for them.amazing concidering all the people he sees on a daily basis.Just be friendly and polite and you will see!!!!

I saved the most important part (in my opinion) for last.

The Entertainment Staff (animation team)------
when i go away on vacation down south accomodations and food are important, but the most important thing for me is the entertainmet and the team that keeps you occupied for the duration of your vacation. the entertainment staff at the RIU BAMBU were AMAZING!!!
from early morning to afternoon at the pool playing games to bocce or water voleyball or streching,arobics at the beach or pool, the activities were endless and always with a smile and energy that i have never seen before!!!! Then if that is not enough, at night they have a show with a different theme every night. They are all soooooo very talented and passionate about what they do and they always have a smile even at the end of the night. they even grab you and teach you to dance while waiting for the show to start.always willing to take pictures and they even come and sit with you just for fun.... Junior was the best !!!!!he has such energy and is so kind!!!! the whole animation staff from david,jerry,romeo.charina,micky mouse,alex,ray,meatball,ballata,janet,the choreographer and the other girl dancer which i cant remember her name were exceptional!!!!!!

i cannot express how happy the animation staff made us especially junior!!!! our stay at the riu bambu was unforgetable and we cant wait to go back!!!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank italiaWoodbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2010

We arrived on a Saturday and after reading other reviews on trip advisor this was probably why we have a negative view of this hotel.

Rception
Badly organised on arrival with limited information about the resort.

Room
The room was clean and would have been adequate but it was directly opposite another block and our first view on the balcony was of a man taking a shower in a room across from us!. There were no tea or coffee making facilities, not what I would have expected in a 4 star, the Rep did say we could get a flask on an evening to take back to our room! If we had been made aware of this before we went we could have taken a travel kettle.
The toilet wasn't working when we arrived, to be fair to the man on duty on reception he did get someone out within 5 minutes, but after he had gone saying it was now o.k it wasn't and it would only flush one time out of five attempts. There was no hot water the following morning either.

Pool and Beach
The people on the sunbeds were shoulder to shoulder arround the pool and it was difficult to see any water in the pool because of the number of people in there. The pool appears to be totally inadequate for the number of guests. I know that the beach and sea are very close to use as an alternative but when we were there the sea was very rough and not suitable for swimming.

Food
We ate early so there was plenty of choice but the food wasn't very warm which was worrying in a hot climate.

This wasn't the standard of hotel I was expecting and couldn't face spending a week there, I have been to the Dominican twice before and this hotel does not compare well with other hotels in a similar price .band.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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3  Thank UKcoupleyorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2010

this was a wonderful hotel, food was good, beach ace, deff will go again we was a party of 7
and we all loved it. had trip to saona island, beach was surpost to be the best but hotel beach much better, we also did the reef exploer trip that was such a great day swimming with the rays and sharks.if you are going here you will have a wonderful holiday. bring on 2011

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank hm_collett
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:
#65 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#70 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: RM686 - RM1,537 (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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