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.
- 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