The resort overall was fantastic. The beach and pool bar are really good and the staff were very nice (Edward the outside night waiter at the Colonial restaurant, Tavares the bartender at the pool bar, Celestino at the front desk, Miguel the waiter at Mamajuana, and our housekeeper Olga were our favorites). The food was good overall too, but some of the deserts tasted a bit wonky like they had gone off. Also a bit more variety at the buffets would have improved it much - and more BACON! Our favorite restaurant at the resort was Hibachi. The food there was incredible and I suggest that you make reservations as soon as you can to go there! The steakhouse and Italian restaurant were good but nothing extraordinary so you won't be missing much if you skip them. We also would have liked it if there was a designated smoking and non-smoking section in the outside dining areas. Since were we come from is very cold, we wanted to spend as much time as possible outdoors, and this was difficult during meals as we were continually surrounded by many smokers. This was our biggest complaint about the place. Our room was really nice and clean and the bed was very comfortable. The pillows weren't fantastic and if I went again I might pack my own, although the housekeeper was nice enough to bring us a few extra which helped a great deal. The entertainment staff were great too and tried to get the guests involved in activities whenever they could. We really enjoyed the beach party and magic show. Alcohol was ok but not top shelf. Since I drink rum (and even the cheap Dominican rum is pretty good) this was not a problem for me. Also frozen drinks tended to not be very frozen, but I guess that's what you get when it's 82 and sunny everyday! Also the "gym" is a joke. There is NO air conditioning, it's tiny, and the equipment is extremely limited (like some weights and one rusty stationary bike), so if want to get in a good workout everyday this might be a problem. I posted some pictures that should pretty much say it all! All this being said, I would go back again for sure, particularly given the price we paid for this vacation. We certainly got our money's worth!
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.
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.
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.
Nice place- not too pricey and has all the things you need for a nice 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!
Rip Bambu is a nice all inclusive resort. Restaurants, bars, pool, kid's clubs are all located a good distance apart, close to lobby. Not to far apart,easy flow around property. Grounds around buildings with rooms are quiet and well maintained. Beach area is very nice, lots of palm trees for shade. The one thing I didn't like Is the accumulation of seaweed on the sand. The beach should be raked at least once a day (some resorts in the area do this). Water had lots of seaweed, that's nature. Maybe this happens certain times of the year. Buffet was OK, lots to chose from. Reservation dinners were very good.
The hotel is in the midst of being remodeled and there is some noise associated with that during daylight hours. Staying in the room isn't what you're planning to do if you're a beach or pool lover, so it shouldn't be much of an issue anyway! Since they are redoing the rooms, there are some modern and some older rooms. Ours was modern with a great huge shower and I think the bed was memory foam, which was pretty comfortable. The room could've been a bit cleaner (stained blanket, hair on the floor) but its probably good enough for most people who aren't as tidy as me. There were no fancy lotions or robes, just the basic soap. The premises is expansive and our building bordered the road into the hotel so we heard the vans going past from morning til bedtime. If road noise bothers you then ask for a room away from the road. There was no elevator so if you have trouble with stairs, bear that in mind. The beach is absolutely gorgeous with tons of palm trees, soft sand and blue water. There was no bar service on the beach but you could walk to the pool bar and grab a drink to bring to your lounge. The bar had a wide selection of delicious cocktails and there was never a wait. The meal options were plentiful although it was pretty much the same stuff for breakfast and lunch daily. That was fine though because I didn't expect fancy gourmet dining . Dinner had a bit more of variety and every meal always had a big selection if you're a picky eater. Dining outside with a view of the water was especially nice! Evenings were filled with shows on sight and you could also conveniently walk next door to the casino or disco. We had a great relaxing weekend at the Bambu. What a relief after reading all the horrible reviews!!
Overall we had a good time at RIU Bambu. The resort is older than other resorts we have attended and it shows. The TV in the room is from the 90s, the GYM, which I use alot, was beyond terrible and in need of a serious upgrade. The service was lacking in some areas. My lock box in the room was not working and it took 3 tries to get it to work, but it never did. One day it rained hard, and the staff was not quick to make some areas safe, which caused may people to slip and fall in the main area because it was wet. Also, in the beach area, they should clean the algae in the afternoon because it accumulates a lot. Other than that, the food was excellent in the two buffet restaurants, the Japanese and Italian, but the Mexican and Stakehouse restaurants were lacking in quality. The entertainment in the evenings (shows) were good, but could be better (again, I am comparing to other resorts I have been too in Punta Cana). The Club was excellent, but you have to take a shuttle or walk past two other RIU resorts to get there. Overall we had a good time with my large family, but I would choose another resort next 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