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“Fantastic beach... About it....”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #75 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed June 17-24, 2014 We booked an all-inclusive trip for my family of four children 14, two 16 and 17 year old along with my wife and myself through Apple vacations. After getting through customs and the $10 per person fee they charge to enter the island, we walked through the airport attempting to find the Apple vacation booth to get our transportation to the hotel. Looking everywhere there was no booth, we were approached by a taxi driver and escorted out to the center of the parking lot where an Apple representative was standing between the buses. That was the beginning of our difficult week. Arriving at the RIU, they had our room at the furthest building on the property, building one. Since this was our fifth RIU we were staying at, we requested an upgrade and were moved to building 25, our two rooms were not next to each other but at least the same floor.
The rooms were very clean, ours had a full king size bed, but as everyone always writes, the mattresses are very hard. The four kids stayed in the other room, it also was very clean with two full-size beds. I requested a single pullout bed for my son, they brought one from the other hotel to accommodate us. The only issue with the rooms for the entire week was that the maid continued to bring two towels for their room every day when there were four registered as staying in that room. The refrigerator was stock every other day with plenty of water soda and beer as well as the usual hanging liquors. Every room has a safe with the programmable combination to open free of charge. The shower had fantastic water pressure along with built in shampoo/conditioner.
The buffet breakfast was bland and the same food every morning, which by day three became pretty boring. Lunch and dinner were very good, a large assortment at both and different theme every night. As for dinner reservations, the procedure was very accommodating. Between eight and 1030 in the morning you need to get in a line at the Mexican restaurant to make reservations. The good part was that you could make them for three days in advance. We selected the steak Italian and hibachi restaurants. The steak and hibachi restaurant was very good with a nice selection, the waitstaff was very friendly. My son and I ordered 2 meals, the steak and salmon. There was no issue and both were extremely good. My wife ordered the barbecue ribs and they were just...okay. The hibachi restaurant is not the typical about you breast are on with open grilling but was very good and had a great selection of food. I do not recommend you waste your time with the Italian restaurant as he only thing good was the antipasto salad bar.
The persons selling the excursions along the beach and walkways of the resort were very friendly during the day, I found that there was no pressure from them, easily accepted no for an answer.
The beach was fabulous, very soft sand and no rocks. Walking into the water was only sand,not even a shell. There were plenty of lounge chairs everywhere as well as palm trees for shade. My one son and daughter did the parasailing after bargaining with the beach person, which started at $50 per person and talk down to $30 per person. He also allowed me to go on the boat with them so I could take pictures while they were up in the air at no charge.
As for the pools, first off you need to grab your towels early in the morning because the hotel runs out of towels by noonish. The large pool at the entrance with the swim up bar was extremely congested the entire seven days we were there with kids. By the evening time the water looked dirty with all types of debris was floating on the top of the water, including straws and cups. The pool just to the right of the swim up pool was nice but had a volleyball court in it and was very active making it difficult to relax. This pool had the built-in loungers in the water but also were occupied by kids the entire time. The only other pool was on the other side of the building that housed the Mexican restaurant and lunch buffet, this pool was much quieter but was a lengthy walk to get a drink.
We went to the other properties that were next-door but did not feel welcomed. Only allowed to use the pool but were denied a drink even know they had the identical alcohol as the Bambu, this really made no sense to us, I personally can understand not being allowed to use the restaurants but when it is the same alcohol I don't see what it matters. This was a disappointment compared to when we stayed in Mexico and Porta Plata RIU's where you could go in and out of the hotels without any issues.
Lastly as for the Wi-Fi for the hotel, do not plan to use your free 90 minutes they advertise that are free, it is difficult to connect and when you do, the service is so slow you usually get bumped off. They do have Wi-Fi from your room but of course it's an extra charge of $50 for 4 devices.
Leaving, we were left at the hotel and had to get a cab, apple vacations did not send transportation, still awaiting the $50 refund for the cab.
I do not plan to go back to this RIU there were more disappointments then enjoyment's for the week.

Stayed: June 2014
5  Thank Peter V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 July 2014

Just come back from 2 weeks at Riu Bambu. Food brilliant, something for everyone, rooms fine , no complaints, pool bar nightmare! Full off drunks and kids, beach beautiful no complaints, wouldn't return though, far to crowded and noisy for me!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank leyland15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I read through these reviews. I emailed Apple with no response. So I'm posting.

We did the 5 APPLE Square Deal. Will I do it again? Not likely. Only because we have stayed at 5 Apples in Mexico and the RIU Bambu is clearly not a 5 Apple. More like a 3 Apple for service, amenities and lodging. There is no tray service which really surprised me. No matter where you were at you had to get up and get it yourselves. 2 of the restaurants were 100% buffet and we had to make reservations...really? Rooms are dated and yes, they really do put two full sized beds together with THEIR OWN bedding. No Room Service EITHER!

On the upside, help was friendly and the BEACH is 6 STAR. Water is gorgeous. Weather beautiful. So that made the stay much more enjoyable.

In general, I believe this RIU is the training ground for their upper properties. And, likely the furniture is the hand me downs from those same properties.

We will go back to Punta Cana because the beach and water are so fantastic. But we will not stay at this RIU.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank klg1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We have just returned from a 14 day break at the Riu Bambu and was disappointed. This is our 3rd stay in a RIU hotel and this was by far the worst. Within some of the reviews, there are complaints about the rudeness of the staff, which is true in relation to about 40% of the staff but some were great. Make sure you take your happy pills before changing your towels as the towel attendant is not exactly a "laugh a minute" especially as he can't even be bothered to acknowledge or talk to you.
In relation to the food, it was repetitive but that is part and parcel of an All Inclusive so should be expected. However the food in the Mamajuana snack bar was cold because the heat seemed to be turned down on the hot food storage area.
In relation to the rooms, they are functional but dated and a refurb would not go amiss. There are Cockroaches and we found one in our room most evenings.
During the stay we mainly went down to the beach or to the small pool by the Kids area. The main pool and the swim up bar was packed and appeared more like an 18 - 30 holiday rather than a family resort.
Please be aware that you will be harrassed frequently by people trying to sell you varous trips and items. The "Lucky, Lucky" stalls appear to be set up specifically to catch guests as soon as they arrive and not surprisingly they are not there when no new visitors are due. You will have people putting string necklaces around your neck to get you to there stalls. The stalls are set up around the main bar with some actually in the sitting area of the bar so it is difficult to avoid and the sellers are persistant.
To make this hotel better would not be difficult so it is a real shame that easy steps are not taken.
On a positive note, We found the hotal to be clean and the Beach was fabulous.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Craig J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

I planned a family trip to the Riu Bambu (13 people total). I chose this resort based on prior visits, and I was so embarrassed and disappointed. In all we had 4 rooms. Two of the rooms were so unsanitary that my family members had to be given new rooms. The beds were very uncomfortable as well. On top of that, there were roaches on the wall in the main dining room. When we informed the hotel staff about the roaches, their response in spanish was, "Oh Yeah?" And they did nothing. Instead, my family members killed the roaches. And although the food tasted very good, everyone in my family suffered from diarrhea after eating their meals. As for the entertainment, one of my favorite shows is the Michael Jackson show. You guys need a new Michael Jackson. The one you had was an absolute joke!! Can you imagine the embarrassment I felt after telling my family about what a great place this "used to be"? This was my family's first time in the Dominican Republic and I wanted their experience to be one they can remember, and instead it was a disaster.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014 via mobile

Me and my boyfriend have just returned from the riu bambu and we can honestly say that we had a brilliant time, bit I wouldnt return!
First off which is a major one for me is that I found the majority of the staff very very rude! I feel all they want is your money & god forbid you dont give it, they mumble things under their breath or wont serve you again or make you wait for ages before they will attend to you.
When we first arrived (im talking getting off the coach at the hotel after a long 8 1/2 hr flight) the bell boys just took our cases tp our rooms. Unbeknown to me, they wanted a tip... as we had just arrived, all our money was in $50 notes, and I certainly wasn't giving him that! As we failed to tip him he flung our cases in our room and muttered under his breath and left!
I dont find the staff at all helpful in the slighest!!
Be aware.... there is only 1 ATM between ALL the Riu hotels so make sure you take enough money as we had the issue of the machine not working for a few days and having no money!
We attended the Caribbean Cruise excursion and it was absolutely excellent!! I would highly recommend this trip to everyone!! We also went to the Imagine Rave in a Cave which was by far one of the best clubs I have ever been! And it plays english only music!!! We attended the Pacha club in the resort about 2/3 times but it was what I expected... its very very spanish and all spanish music apart from the odd english song which are very dated!
The mini bar in the room is not what I expected.. you get 2/3 bottles of water every 2 days, you get your 4 optics (white and dark rum, vodka and brandy) 2 bottles of pepsi and 2 bottles of sprite. You also get 2 small/tiny cans of their lager which isnt that nice!

The hotel itself was lovely and the rooms are kept very clean every day with fresh towels if needed.

All in all, I dont feel for what we paid we got what we were promised but we had a brilliant time to say the least.

I did however, look at the riu Niaboa and Rui Palace and they look Amazing!!!!

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Nic j B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

We stayed at the riu bamboo from june 4th to june 18 as a family we cant speak highly enough of the place really friendly and helpful staff from the guys on reception, entertainment staff ,bar staff and cleaners couldn't do enough for us our room cleaned everyday comfy beds great food we will definatley go back.We read the reviews before we went but after going there would recommend the bamboo to anybody
the Davies family Rhydyfelin South Wales

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to the pool
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank Mike D
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
#69 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £126 - £284 (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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