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“Great place, beautiful beaches!”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #77 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great place, beautiful beaches!”
Reviewed 1 January 2013

Just arrived home from 6 days at this resort. We had no idea what to expect after reading all the reviews, but were impressed with the resort. We had a deluxe room 3700 block, a bit of a walk, but well worth it. Rooms was spotless each & every day, bed was great & lots of closet room. Fresh towels everyday.

The food is all nicely presented & there was always something to eat. It's not as impressive as some places we've been, but certainly nothing to complain about. Staff was always freindly & helpful. Bartenders remembered what we were drinking.

The beach is why we went & it was all worth it. We have never seen such beautiful beaches. The sand is so fine. We spent a lot of time walking the beach & in the water.

The one thing fellow travellers should know is that there is no need to exchange money into DR pesos. Just take US dollars. There is a $10 tax on the way in & $20 on the way out & the only money they would take on the way in was US, good thing we had some $1 along for tipping. We did manage to use up our Peso's but it was a challenge. Even the stores in the hotel wanted US dollars. Good thing our Sun Wing rep helped us out changing some Can. to US so that we had tip money. They never ask or expect a tip, but are most thankful when one is given. The staff all work very hard to make sure everyone is happy.

It is very hard to make a reservation. I got down to the Lobby at 7am one morning & could only get a reservation in the Steak House at 8:30. After that we never bothered. When we are on holidays I don't want to have to get up at the crack of dawn to make a dinner reservation. The buffet was just fine & we went when we wanted.

Overall we were very satisfied with our holiday & would recommend it. Would definately go back. Weather was beautiful & the sand & water exquisite.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank ryanair5749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2013

We stayed at the Riu Bambu dec. 22nd through the 29th. Ramon was the clerk at the desk when we arrived. He gave an excellent service. Our rooms (1 for us and 1 for the kids) were ready although we had requested a king size bed which was not available, not a big deal...the rooms were very nice, mini bar and a selection of 4 different alcohol (dispenser with full size bottles)were available and resupplied daily.

The beach was excellent and no problems finding long chairs. The bars were ok but the drinks were average (not what you'd expect from a 5 stars hotel)...the beach towel attendant (the older one, they were two) was anything but pleasant, giving you a hard time when you wanted to replace a wet towel and even being impolite with my wife. He needs training on customer service.

Food, what to say about food...again not what you would expect from a 5 stars, even the xmas eve's dinner was at most, ordinary... A la carte restaurants, Chilly's, the Mexican restaurant was excellent as for the other ones, who knows it was impossible to get a reservation(unless you got up at 6 from what we heard)...

We have travelled many times, probably over 30 times in the Caribeans, ranging from 3 stars in Cuba to 5 stars in Mexico, Dominican Republic, St-Marteen, Costa Rica etc. this hotel doesn't make the cut, it is probably one of the last one if you compare price vs quality.

Room Tip: Try to get a room away from the road, more quiet!
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Norm394
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynn, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2012

Just got home from a nice vacation at Riu Bambu. The grounds were very well kept, beautiful pools and bars. Entertainment was okay, shows could have been a little better compared to other vacation resorts I've been to. My only main concern was the restaurant reservation policy. In order to eat dinner in one of the four specialty restaurants, they require you to wait in line in the lobby between 7am and 10am to ensure a reservation. All 4 mornings we got in line(which was no later than 8:30am), the reservations were already full which was very disappointing. Overall, we had a very nice time, and would recommend this hotel, just be prepared to not eat a very wide variety for meals.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Theresababay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alpharetta
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2012

First of all -I want to thank other Tripadvisor reviewers. The reviews I read for this hotel, the positive ones, were 100% accurate. The few that had negative comments just had an off week or trip. I am sorry that they may have experienced bad times. We had none. I took my family of 5. We had two rooms. My husband and I in one room and my three twenty something year old daughters in the next one. Staff was beyond helpful in lobby, bars, restaurants, pool and beach area. We had no problem with towels - they were oversized, clean and very soft and always available. The hotel was sold out and busy as the time, but still nothing suffered. Our rooms were cleaned perfectly every day. I saw ONE bug the entire time I was there inside the room, not even one outside the room. Clean towels in our room every day. Bottled water in our room everyday. Soap and bath gel were in our room. No shampoo. I think you could use the gel, but we brought our own. Beds were the only negative, and even they were fine. Not your luxury high end soft sink in feeling beds, but rather stiff instead. All in all, you are so tired at end of day, you sleep anyway. Ask for more pillows, if you need them. T.V. worked great, room fridge was great and safe was large enough for iPad, phones, purses, etc. We were in bldg 2900. I thought it was a great location. Entertainment was ok, not the best, but it was fine..just fine. The casino was small, but great for one night out. The grounds were immaculate, the pool always clean and the beach was spotless every day. Plenty plenty of seats everywhere. Vendors on beach were occasional and were not bothersome to us. The massages on the beach were fantastic. We got 5 massages for 51.00 US each and tipped 10 bucks each. Well worth the 55 minutes. We also did the para-sailing - gone for an hour - up in the air for 10 minutes - and 33.00/per person US dollars. It was fun. The ocean was so blue- sand was so soft. Make sure you tell bartender you want alcohol in your drinks - they assume you want them to be virgins (the pinacoladas and daiquiris). The shopping nearby was adequate. We did not leave the resort except for the Sanoa Island excursion. I highly recommend that excursion through VIP Tours. From start to finish - perfect. I have never seen an island so beautiful. Bring sunscreen. Keep you hotel towel from the day before because you leave at 7:20 a.m. and towel place is not open yet. Hide it in a bag as they don't really like you taking them off property. We did and we were fine. The wi-fi was only available for free in the lobby. That was a little too restrictive. Pay the 20.00 US and have it in your room or pool or wherever.
The food was nothing to write home about. The presentation each meal was. Wow. They are very talented people. Make your reservations every day. However, we found that we could get in each night if we changed our plans. Food was not the high point, it was sufficient. Eat the fruit. It is awesome. We used Dominican Airtransfers company - found it online - and paid for it in advance (90.00 US for 5 of us - roundrip) they were early both directions and were extremely polite. I can honestly say that the DR people are incredibly hospitable, kind, sweet, helpful, patient - just great folks. We will be back.

Room Tip: I like being closer to the lobby/pool area - ask for that.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank allison k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Niagara Falls, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2012

The grounds were very well kept and when you needed something they were quick to help and to rectify. The food was the same everyday never changed .A la Cartes were good but not what you expect in food choices for what they were called. Yes the rooms are outdated but they were fine other than the beds being rock hard (No Cockroaches). The 24 hour food (sports bar) is not what I would call food ..It was meat on bread or hot dogs/hamburgers you warm in a microwave . The beach was always clean and very well kept but its true the land sharks are never ending and continually bug you and waves are fun ...can't snorkel here not calm waters . The entertainment staff were very good but the shows are the same everywhere and they don't always continue with the music after the show they tell you to go to next resort to join them and the disco is not at this resort it is also at the resort next door . Super expensive at the store there so don't forget your sun lotions or aloe as they charge $26.00 and $33.00 for same tubes here in Canada for $9.00 . They will barter with you at the little shops but gets tiring getting them to do that so we would tell them give us your best price once or we leave .. They over price themselves so we walk away and than they are at the price they should of been in first place but their loss when they do that. All in all was a good trip I would recommend to first time travelers and families with kids .

Room Tip: All rooms are the same and close proximity to everything and not a lot walking actually a nice strol...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank LeeW07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2012

Was there in November. The club is nice, the beach is fabulous. But the food is a real disapointment. No variety, everything has same taste. At times food is not maintained at the right temparature, can be harmful to health. Personnel is polite but not doing the extra step.
In my opinion, this club doesn't deserve a rating of 5 stars.

Room Tip: Rooms are located in quiet area.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marie979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2012

I read a lot of the reviews on here of the Bambu before booking and I have to say as a whole they're quite accurate. I can see how some picky people can find a lot of things to dislike here, as it's not by any means a luxurious hotel. I think if you go with reasonable expectations though and a good attitude, you will have a great time as it is an amazing place to be.

I'll start with the best parts to the worst:

The Beach: Absolutely beautiful, a long and deep beach with white sand and lots and lots of palm trees. One of the best beaches i've seen. The staff keep it quite clean, no garbage to be found anywhere and the sunbeds are rearranged and dusted off every night. There was always enough shade, drinks, activities and food steps away and overall very pleasant and comfortable.
Warning: the water is quite rough, with lots of waves and therefore sometimes lots of seaweed. Not sure if it is so year round, I went in December. If you like still waters I'd choose a different beach.

Overall atmosphere: I would say the atmosphere was quite pleasant! We arrived at the bambu after two or three stops at the other Rius, which are by comparison much more luxurious and beautiful. Especially the palace punta cana. By comparison the bambu looks like a fun low key and smaller hotel. no striking entrance, just a semi outdoor lobby with a roof and a big christmas tree. The grounds are quite big so one can go for walks at night. Lots of lights and activity at night and the grounds are beautiful. There were plenty of people and it felt fun and upbeat.
The only thing I disliked about the atmosphere is the excessive salespeople around the beach as well as around the lobby at night. It ruined a nightly walk when one is constantly being interrupted and hounded by sales people.

Service: This was a bit mixed. There were staff that were very helpful and friendly and some that were quite indifferent and almost rude. Their attitude highly changed after being offered tips, however in my opinion you should not have to tip to get service.
That being said some staff were incredibly sweet with or without any tips. Overall though I was not impressed with the service.

The Food: If you're a foodie you should probably stay away from this resort, though that probably also applies to most resorts out there. The food isn't awful, but it's not very good. After a few meals it is possible to find things that you enjoy as there's a lot of choice. It was trial and error though- some things were really bad. The desert though is quite good. Overall unless you're quite picky I would not stay away because of the food, some of it was quite good!
I only tried one of the a la cartes: the steakhouse. We all agreed it wasn't worth the getting up early for and that the main buffet was better, so we did not try the other two a la cartes.
The wine was not drinkable and the only brand name beverage was pepsi and diet pepsi.
The food is not really 24 hours as there were certain time periods where there wasn't much available other than cold really bad sandwiches and hot dogs. That being said I never went hungry, far from it.

The entertainment: The Africa show was worth watching, the rest were borderline annoying and very few people were paying attention. The entertainment staff were really trying but the actual "shows" were not very good. They do help create a bit of an upbeat vibe at night though and just something to look at. I just wish they weren't so loud.

The Rooms: The rooms were comfortable enough but nothing very good about them. The TV was old, the beds quite hard. The bathroom had a bit of mold and shower didn't really work the first day. I saw a few cockroaches. The decor in my opinion was quite ugly.Also there were only thin sheets and a thin cover, i was a bit cold at night.The maid was great though and the room was spotless each day. There was a mini bar in the room which was quite convenient.

Overall for the price I was very happy

Room Tip: The 400s are close to the beach and restaurants/ lobby but far away to be away from nightly noise...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank ellab32
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

Property: 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:
#66 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#70 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 Int€™l. 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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