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“not that bad”

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ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Ranked #76 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
1 review
“not that bad”
Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

This hotel was not as bad as the reviews make it seem but there were some problems.
The hotel rooms are nothing like the pictures and are not very clean. My family and I had to change our room because as soon as we got into our room we found a huge cockroach!
Another problem was that most of the male workers that the hotel are very disrespectful and perverted towards girls. They would stare you down, whistle, and even try to talk to you! It disgusting!!
The hotel was not very clean- the plates at the restaurants were not always spotless. When using a cup always use a straw!!
Other then those problems it was not bad. If you plan to go to this hotel make sure to go to the steakhouse, their steak was AMAZING!!

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 August 2014

Overall - certain elements of this hotel do NOT allow it to earn a perfect five stars, in my opinion.

ROOMS-- right off the bat, it's clear that the rooms are stuck in the dark ages, using hard-key-and-locks (as opposed to electronic key card systems), old boxy televisions (in many rooms), noisy fans, and only a curtain to block off the "open concept" bathroom. At least the air conditioning and fan kept my room at a comfortably cool temperature. The rooms were cleaned daily and reasonably well, though I kept my room pretty clean anyway. No complaints about the showers. BUGS...I'm sorry, but if my room has an ecosystem in it, it doesn't matter how nice the room looks-- I cannot give the nicest of rooms above four stars if I'm sharing it with critters. And that was precisely the case with my ground floor room.

FOOD-- it was... Okay, which seems to be the norm in most all-inclusive Caribbean resorts. The food in the buffets got kind of repetitive, and it could rarely achieve the same quality/flavour of the American foods that they often tried to mimic. The pastas and meats were okay/bland, the "creamy"-looking desserts were gelatinous, the breads were tough, but there was often one or two items that would be appealing enough to save the meal for me. As long as you're not a Gordon Ramsey, you'll likely find the food to be at least adequate.

ENTERTAINMENT-- the nightly shows were cheesy and outdated, but most of the staff put in a tremendous amount of effort anyway, making the evening shows somewhat enjoyable. The stage is well-situated, such that it's visible from virtually any spot in the lobby and central bar area. The atmosphere throughout the resort is welcoming and lively throughout the entire day, and rarely feels overwhelming or overcrowded. Additional entertainment programming appears to be available throughout the day, but I didn't get a chance to participate.

BEACH-- the beach is a beautiful and relaxing, with many chairs and trees-for-shade scattered across the sand. There are virtually no rocks in the beach floor under the water, allowing for a comfortable wade/swim. However, the waters here do seem to be especially dense with uprooted aquatic weeds floating around, but I got over it pretty quickly.

SERVICE-- very mixed feelings about the waiters and bartenders. Some were very happy to serve and assist, and sometimes you'd get cold distant vibes, like the just want to move you along. Overall, the service was generally warm and reliable, but not exceptionally consistent.

Room Tip: I hear that rooms on higher floors have less bugs.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rohin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dollard des orneaux
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014

We recently visited this resort for my sons wedding. Let me start off saying even to get hold of the wedding planner was a chore. The accommodations were adequate. The food was another story 19 out of 35 of us were ill the food was bland, cold or tepid and there was no variety. There is no snack bar for those who wish something late in the evening. Your only option is burger or hotdogs that were not consumed in the day in a plastic container that you could microwave. The a la carte restos were no better and it was still a buffet. There was no air conditioning anywhere except your room and the bathroom near manajuana the only late night bar was in a smoke filled sports bar. The majority of the staff spoke no English and certainly did not go out of their way. All in all don't go!!!!! It was not cheap and certainly not worth it. We came home disappointed and feeling like we never had a vacation

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Borenstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Our impressions - average accommodations, hotel room was clean and cared for daily, pools and bar areas nice, and beach was okay. Lots of kids at this resort and activities geared toward those who like to play ping pong, horseshoes, volleyball, dance, and drink. The drinking part was fun for us until we ate the food and then we couldn't drink or participate in many of the activities because we needed a toilet near at all times. Horrendous food in the buffets and in the restaurants! Everyone (6-8 people) that we talked to got sick from the Mexican restaurant and we're still feeling the effects 5 days out. Here's how we compare the food at Riu Bambu - take your cheapest Chinese buffet place in your home town and I guarantee that your hometown Chinese buffet place is better! I think they (Riu Bambu) turn off all heat that keeps the food warm, sprinkle in meat (I cringe writing the word "meat" because the only thing that tasted like meat was the ribeye steak) and or rice that's been in the refrigerator or freezer from yesterday's meal, and then serve it buffet style. I'm glad they didn't have much seafood because it would have been brutalized/tough/freezer burnt/etc. My stomach just turned as I typed that! You can only order off of a menu at 2 of 4 restaurants - the steakhouse (this was the best place) and at the Italian restaurant where your choices are either the chicken, steak, or I think the third option was salmon. I ordered the steak at the Italian restaurant because I expected more than the God awful pizza and the spaghettios or ravioli that looked like it "came out of a can" type of food. The steak (probably thinly sliced round steak) was not good at the Italian restaurant. This is an all-inclusive resort but don't let that fool you. If you want a snack after the buffets close you visit the sports bar and grab a sandwich or fruit container from the refrigerator. We didn't grab anything from the snack refrigerator but I can pretty much guarantee that the meat used for sandwiches just came from the buffet that closed and so did the fruit. Meat and fruit that has been sitting out on platters in the buffet for the last how many hours in 90 degree temps. Summary - Room was average, activities were average, beach was average, pool was average, drinks were average, service was average, and food was awful.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Todd H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014 via mobile

We are currently staying in the Riu Bambu don't listen to the bad reviews. This hotel is great. We were greeted with a lovely drink upon arrival check in was very quick and our cases were brought up to the room. The complex is very clean and the ground staff offer you coconuts for a small fee. We upgraded the room and it is totally worth it. The food is very good with restaurants you can book Italian,Mexican,steakhouse. The staff are very happy and can't do enough for you. The beach is very nice we don't normally stay on the beach but here you have to try the beach. One tip would be to upgrade your rooms. The rooms are very clean and minibar is restocked every 2 days. This hotel gets rated down by Americans but I can guarantee this is one of the best hotels we have stayed in and we have stayed in Cuba. Definitely try this hotel it's amazing. On arrival you have to pay to get into the Dominican Republic and you can only pay by dollars or euros so if you have paso make sure you have some dollars.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2014

I went to Riu Bambu for my wedding, we brought 35 guests and 19 of them ended up ill. The service was dreadful except one bartender named Luis M. The front desk staff never looked your way, the staff would ignore you when you wanted something, The rooms smelt like mildew, and the A la Carte restaurants where you need to make a reservation were buffet style. They never refilled the mini bar, and it took us till the day before to finally finalize the wedding. Finally to end it off with the worst part is some rooms were infested with ants and the cleaners would come spray them and close all doors and windows so when you walk in you see thousands of dead ants in your sink and on your floor.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jono B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rexburg, Idaho
Level Contributor
62 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

Okay, so I have to give you the bad with the good. I will do my best to give a fair review, even though it pains me to be critical. My wife and I have never been to the DR, so take my feedback in context that I have nothing to compare it to in the DR.
Pros:
-The Dominican people are fantastic. I loved them. The wait staff and entertainers and housekeeping personnel were all excellent, friendly, warm, and welcoming. Even though their english was as bad as my spanish they worked very hard to communicate with me, and they were encouraging of my fragmented Spanish.
-The hotel is a great value. When you consider all of the food and entertainment and stuff that you get as part of your stay, it is an incredible value.
-Clean room. I have some complaints about the room, which I will mention later, but I was pleased with the level of cleanliness.
-Abundance of food. There is no way you can go away hungry. There is plenty of food, some of which was tasty. I especially enjoyed the fresh fruits.
-Conveniently located drink huts. They had little huts placed all along the beach front where you could obtain drinks (including non-alcoholic options, which appealed to me since I don't drink), which is much better than having to trek to a centrally-located, over-crowded bar.
-Responsiveness: We had a problem with the operation of our TV and called the front desk for assistance. They quickly sent a technician to fix the problem.

The cons: Where do I start? There were so many things that were a disappointment, that I may forget several.
-Stinky towels: The towels provided both in the room and for the pool were infused with a pungent mildew smell that made drying off disgusting. I recommend if you want to stay here, bring your own towels.
-Mildew-smelling room: Although our room was clean, there was a strong mildew smell, especially in the dresser drawers. All of the clothes which I placed in the dresser ended up smelling pretty foul. Even the phone receiver had a gross smell. I had to wipe hand sanitizer on the phone receiver in order to get the smell vanquished and feel comfortable talking on the phone.
-Ants: There were plenty of ants throughout the room. Enough said.
-Very hard bed: Our bed was sleepable, barely. By the morning, our bodies were sore after sleeping on what felt nearly like a sheet of plywood. What's worse was that a couple that we were traveling with had a bed that was even harder than ours.
-Food quality: I felt like the hotel worked very hard to provide a beautifully-arrayed and displayed buffet, but the quality of food was mediocre at best. There was very little change in the menu, so after a week I had eaten the same meals multiple times. The hotel has a few al a carte restaurants, but you have to make reservations at a specific time of the morning at a specific location. We went the first morning we were able and the restaurants were booked out for the next few days. We were only able to get a couple of reservations on a week-long stay.
-Vendors: The hotel allowed, maybe even encouraged vendors to set up tables to sell their wares at the most busy areas of the resort. It would have been all just fine if the vendors would've kept to themselves, but they didn't. They were very aggressive about selling their stuff; it was quite bothersome.
-Smell of feces whenever they turned on the sprinkler system: I'm not sure where the smell was coming from, but there was a strong poo smell that was nearly inescapable whenever they irrigated. yuck!

Just a couple other observations that aren't RIU-specific:
-Seaweed: there was sooo much seaweed in the water and along the beach. It really was a nuisance and made swimming in the water less enjoyable. As I mentioned, I have never been here before, so maybe all of the beaches are that way.
-Noisy neighbors: I'm sure that this is a problem in most of these types of resorts. There seems to be a steady supply of loud and obnoxious partiers all hours of the night whose yelling and banging make it hard to sleep.

In summary: I would recommend paying a little bit more for a higher-class experience. I enjoyed the Dominican experience, but I'd prefer to enjoy it elsewhere next time.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Jimmy K
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:
#65 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 Spa 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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