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Riu Bambu Reviews

Caribbean | Dominican Republic - Punta Cana Our Rating rating Details
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Customer Rating 65 Reviews
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.1
Beaches & Pools
 
4.3
Dining Options
 
3.4
Room Comfort
 
3.5
3.8 out of 5
"The food could have been better and I would have loved to have some washcloths, but overall the place was nice, staff was super friendly. One of the best vacation spots I've been to." – LaTisha
60 out of 75 (80%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Beach Lobby Punta Cana Beaches

All Riu Bambu Customer Reviews

1-10 of 65 reviews. Sort by
June 16, 2012
Will not recommend it. Not what we expected.

Just got back from Punta Cana yesterday and decided that I needed to write a review right away so maybe I can help someone from not choosing this hotel. My husband and I were supposed to be staying at the Riu Bambu for 7 nights, but a day and a half into our vacation we switched hotels. To throw in a little plug for the website- our cheap caribbean rep Salvador was in the hotel lobby every morning and he helped us switch to the hotel next-door, the Riu Palace Punta Cana. (Which is why I love and will forever book with this website). The Bambu seemed really nice from the pictures, but it was NOT what we expected it to be. We were very disappointed and and heard the SAME THING from other people while we were there. When you are spending so much money on vacation, you want it to be enjoyable and this was not. I liked the villa style layout of the hotel, but many of the rooms can be very far from the main hotel/pools/beach and there are no jitneys or anything to take you around. The rooms were small but clean. The beds were ROCK hard, we couldn't sleep. The pools were nice to look at, but desperately needed some skimming and maybe new water as you can see the layer of tanning lotion coating the top and particles floating around. The smaller pool seemed cleaner. The beach of course is beautiful. Hotel staff were nice. There was no night time entertainment. It got very boring. The food options were very minimal and not great in the buffet. We love trying new types of foods and are not that picky, but nothing looked appetizing. We basically ate rice for the whole time we were there. We never got a chance to try the restaurants. The worst part of the vacation though was the amount of kids! We wanted a nice relaxing vacation, and in no-way-shape-or-form would we have been able to get that there. I know that is not something the hotel can really control, but between everything else I mentioned and then all the kids running around,screaming, throwing volleyballs around (my husband got knocked in the head with one), we HAD to switch hotels. If you go during the school year it will probably be better, but I would not recommend it once school is out. I would HIGHLY recommend spending the extra few hundred dollars and staying at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. It cost us $200 to switch but it was WELL WORTH IT. The food was 100% better and there are more options, there is 24 hour room service, beds were comfy, pool is bigger, there are waiters by the pool to bring you drinks, great entertainment at night. It turned out being the vacation we wanted.


144 of 152 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
1.0
Room Comfort
 
1.0
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Top 50 Contributor
From: Staten Island, NY
Age: 25-34
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

May 4, 2011
A family with three teenagers

Took the family of teens for a holiday over easter. Had been made aware that some motorized activities would be unavailable due to Holy Week but seemed to be limited to off site excursions. Didn't realize the tendency of folks to sunbathe topless and walk the beach that way as well. Otherwise the beach was amazing - great breeze, beautiful sand, pretty clean conditions. Lots of palm trees for shade and very close to the shore (unlike many resorts nearby we noticed) Be warned that although the beach is not too hot, you are getting ALOT of sun - be vigilant with the sunscreen. Very few hawkers - just the odd coconut salesman and extra hotel watersports options being promoted. Hotel Hobie catamarans and kyacks are free for an hour a day but reserve them immediately as they book up quickly. If you know how to sail definitely take them out. Take lots of sunscreen as we went through 5 bottles for a family of 5 for one week and the hotel charges almost $20 a bottle. Also, no hair conditioner provided so if you have a daughter with long thick hair coming along...you are in trouble. Again $20 a bottle on site. Beds are pretty hard. Also, we had a strange set up of two beds pushed together that were not quite 3/4 size but bigger than twin - made to look like a king. Room mini bar is stocked with 4 beer, 2 tonic water, 2 large water bottles, and 4 or 5 pop. Also it had 4 dispensers with vodka, rum, brandy and something else. The teenagers blew through the pop and even though a sign said the bar would be refilled every 2 days, we had to persistently call. Think there should be an option for an alcohol free room. You get one key per room - an actual key - so needless to say, my kids locked themselves out constantly. Staff were very friendly. Be cautious making long distance calls - follow the procedures written by the phone or you will be charged - alot! As this was our first all-inclusive experience, I didn't know what to expect with the food, but it was fine. Breakfasts were the best by far. Had specialty restaurants that required reservations made by 8am the day of at the latest. They were OK. Noticed nothing is broiled or bbqed - always fried on large grills. The pizzas are good. Always a few selections of fish and then chicken, pork and/or beef. Lots of selection of pastas, vegetables etc.. The '24 hour snacks' really was just a fridge in the sports bar with precooked hotdogs, hamburgers and fruit salad. (A bit of a disappointment for the teens). We noticed people brought along a thermal mug to take drinks to the beach and for walks. Probably not really necessary. As we are not really drinkers, perhaps we were paying for what we didn't use, but the kids enjoyed eating whatever, whenever. Lots of activities/competitions that we could have participated in (horse shoes, archery, volleyball, darts, waterpolo, etc., etc.), but you try motivating three teens to step out of their comfort zone! By the end of the week they were more keen, but the holiday was almost over. Most of the shows at night were very good (various musical and dance acts) with the exception of the 'You are the show' night where they involved the audience in completely inappropriate games for anything other than adults - yet audience filled with kids anyways. Simulated stripping, etc. - thank goodness my 16 year old daughter turned down their entreaty to join in before knowing what was involved. Last item - we didn't really realize that we could have used the facilities at the other Riu resorts next door so might have taken advantage if we had known. The gym is actually next door which my son did go to.


49 of 52 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
2.0
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From: Toronto
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

June 4, 2013
Needs some attention

My wife and I stayed at the Riu Bambu from May 20th-25th 2013 (room 1009). We were originally looking for a place with a nice pool and a nice location to the beach. This hotel had both of those, however there are some things to be aware of before you stay here. With regard to our room, the rooms are set up in little villas across the resort. Our building was the 2nd to the last one away from the beach and was a 10 minute walk to the beach and pool. It wasn’t a big deal, but just something to be aware of. Our room air conditioner struggled to get the room cool. I had it set at the lowest setting with the ceiling fan, and it never really got cool. We had sugar ants in our room and had to call maintenance. For anyone who was traveled in the Caribbean before, you know that they are a common occurrence in hotels. Our room was what I would call, by resort standards, basic. The shower was very small, almost like a European shower. The king size bed amounted to nothing more than 2 beds pushed together. The room was stocked with a minibar and had an ample safe. The rooms are not electronically keyed, and require a metal key on a big plastic tag. It’s reminiscent of borrowing the bathroom key between 2nd and 3rd periods in school. There was ONE electrical outlet in our room...yes...ONE ! Everything else was hard wired so limited chances to charge phones,camera, etc.. This resort is flanked on both sides by sister Riu resorts, which you have some privileges at. Unfortunately, some of the features advertised with this resort are not actually in the resort. They are in the neighboring resorts. This would include the spa, gym, and nightclub. The nightclub was two resorts over and approximately a half a mile walk. Hard to convince a wife in heels that it was worth it. The food was plentiful and the presentation was very good. The specialized restaurants however, were not as they were to be expected. For example the hibachi restaurant consisted of nothing more then another buffet with some Japanese foods. We have been to other resorts where everyone is seated around the chef and the cooking is done right in front of you. It was not the case here. Out of the steakhouse, Mexican, Japanese, and Italian, the Italian was best because at least they allowed you to order an entrée. Every other restaurant was simply a buffet. For those of you that like an atmosphere, there was no music or atmosphere to be had in these specialized restaurants. The evening entertainment was good, but somewhat predictable. As far as the alcohol, the selections were limited. It appears that the alcohol content is reduced even in the sealed bottles shipped to the local resorts. I watched our bartender open the sealed bottle and pour approximately 8 ounces of liquor in our drink. You could hardly taste it. There was not much variety of liquor, no coconut rum anywhere (how do you go to a Caribbean island and they don’t have coconut rum?) And the only whiskey they had was Johnny Walker red. That also doubles to fuel your lawnmower. The resort was very clean and the workers there clearly worked very hard. Everyone was very polite and most spoke better-than-expected English. The pool and beach area are the highlights of this resort. There is plenty of chairs, no matter how crowded the resort got in the pool bar was excellent. Another great feature of the resort was the sports bar. There was always a game on and food for snacks. Overall, the resort was nice, but we have stayed in much nicer ones in Dominican Republic for about the same money. The room amenities were basic.


24 of 25 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
2.0
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From: New Jersey
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

July 23, 2012
BEST VACATION EVER

This was our 3rd trip to Punta Cana and the 2nd time at the bambu. The staff from the maids to the managers were the most pleasant people all the time. I am thinking about bringing my whole family including my 2 grandchildren in April or May 2013.


10 of 10 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
5.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: chicago illinois
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

November 16, 2010

Nice place- not too pricey and has all the things you need for a nice vacation


24 of 27 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
3.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Oregon Wisconsin
Age: 55-64
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

March 16, 2012
Loved It!!!!!!

My daughter and I just returned from 7 wonderful days at RIU Bambu. We read some bad reviews prior to our trip but I can tell you that we found the resort to be clean, friendly and beautiful. The staff was very friendly and helpful and went out of their way to make sure we had a great time. A representative from Cheap Caribbean was there everyday so it was nice to know that if we had any problems, we had someone to go to. We had a problem with our flight going down and Cheap Caribbean notified our ground transportation and our hotel that we would be arriving approx. 6 hours later than expected. I cannot say enough about the beach and pool. Both were spectactular!!!! I took a walk down the beach and let me tell you that the RIU Resorts have the best and largest beaches. Others were crowded and not as nice. The rooms were very clean. The beds were a little hard and the pillows a little flat, but other than that the rooms were fine. The food was ok but not a 5 star quality. We were able to find stuff to eat. Thank goodness for the fresh fruit, cheeses, bread, potatoes and pizza. Overall everything was fine. We plan on returning next year and are going to bring some friends with us. Thank you Cheap Caribbean.com for such a great trip!!!!!!


8 of 8 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Connecticut
Age: 55-64
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

March 15, 2013
Enjoyable Vacation

Overall the trip was very enjoyable! The services were great; plenty of people who spoke English, so the language difference was never an issue for us. Our room was very clean and had no foul smell. The grounds on the resort were very well maintained too. The only issue we had was that our in-room bar was not restocked the entire 5 days of our stay, but even that really wasn’t an issue since we weren’t in the room a whole lot anyway. The best part about the resort was the beach…it was absolutely beautiful!!! And there were lots of beach chairs available no matter what time we went to the beach. Local merchants were on the beach selling their items, but that never bothered me. The food was okay at best; we could always find something to eat on the buffet to fill us up. The bartenders were very friendly and the drinks were good! The entertainment was subpar, but they tried (the Michael Jackson show was good though). If I had a chance to go back, I’d go again. You get what you pay for and I think we got our money’s worth!


7 of 7 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Atlanta, GA
Age: 25-34

October 5, 2011
Great Time!!!!

I had a great time with my husbund and friends at The Riu Bambu. Food was great. Very friendly people. Front Desk employees are the best special thanks to Julio, he is awesome!!!!. Beach is beautiful, Soana Island is a paradise, excellent tours and good entretainment. Thanks


13 of 15 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
5.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Houston, TX
Age: 55-64
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

April 23, 2015
Good Value

My husband,myself, & my girlfriend stayed from 4/4-4/11/2015. Easy & fast registration. Got there around 11am. Had to wait until after 3pm for room. No problem-changing rooms were available; wristbands & towel cards were given right away so we could go to lunch, have a drink relax by pool or beach. Food at buffets was abundant and varied. Our favorite was the Beach Bar-B-Que; jerk chicken was delicious! Entertainment crew were great- they tried to include everyone,regardless of age, in the various activities during the day & dancing at night. Pool was adequate but swim up bar tended to get very crowded with younger group in afternoon. All the employees that we encountered were very nice and all spoke English. The ground floor rooms we requested were across from each other. They were spacious and clean. One of our complaints would be that they need a restroom closer to the beach. Another complaint is that there should be signs posted for adults & children not to dive off the decorative rocks and rails into the pool. This did hamper others from enjoying the pool. Felt it was a good value for the money. Everything was within easy walking distance within the resort. We would go back.


5 of 5 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Toms River, NJ
Age: Over 65
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

May 10, 2015
My Piece of Paradise

I would tell you that the Riu Bambu resort was the very best of the properties on Punta Cana. The atmosphere was a bit more lively than any of the other properties. The pools were closer to the ocean with better views. The ocean waters were amazing with sand like sugar and water temps like warm bath waters! The in-room liquor dispenser is the way to go for sure! But bring your own large cups because they are re-fill-able at any of the resort bars. The only complaint is the food and the food choices could be a bit better for such a nice resort. Otherwise prepare yourself for an amazing vacation at an amazing property!

Punta Cana Beaches
5 of 5 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Tampa, Florida
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 trips/year