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Reviewed 29 January 2012

We just got home last night & wish we were still there!!
No mosquitoes, food & drinks are awesome, no problem making reservations for restaurants if you get there early you can make 3 days worth. Rooms are great, in room jacuzzi super! Beach is beautiful, always able to find chairs at beach & pool. No issues with our room, never had to wait more than 15 min for room service or extra water, etc.
Smells here & there but no big deal. And while we were there work on ventilation was being done in lobby, this should help.
As for staff not speaking English, we had no problems, but come on, you are visiting their country, you should attempt to speak their language, it is much appreciated.
And, by the way, we were staying in one of the least expensive rooms, not VIP, and in the back of the resort. Long walk to pool & beach, no big deal. Take everything you need with you, you are on vacation, relax and enjoy!! It will be over way too soon!

  • Stayed: January 2012
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8  Thank Ringaction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

We are frequent and experienced all inclusive vacationers and have been across the Caribbean numerous times, including Jamaica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, besides this trip, Mexico, St. Thomas, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and 3 Cruises to Caribbean.
Our experience at Riu Palace Bavaro was horrible. Before going in to detail, would like to comment on hotel condition. Hotel opened in Dec, 2011 and does have brand new facilities across the resort. Beach, while small, is relatively nice, however lack of chairs and no on-beach drink service was disappointing.
Service in the hotel was our biggest disappointment. Staff does not speak any English. Let me repeat, they do not speak or understand English. When going to buffet style dining for lunch or breakfast expect long wait in getting the coffee and drinks. You ask for Orange Juice and Water, they bring you pineapple juice. It was extremely frustrating to start your day this way.
Food quality was OK, but definitely not on the 5 star levels as advertised. Cooks do not speak English, we had issue ordering eggs over easy, and the cook was not familiar with the dish and did not speak English. The specialized restaurants were a joke. There were 11 of us and originally had problems booking the dinners due to the # of people. Another ridiculous part about the resort, the only way to book specialized dinners you must be at the Main Dining Hall at 8am in person, so lines would form before 8 so one can book the dinners. Also, for the hotel this size 4 restaurants is a small number, generally for 600 rooms should be 6 to 8 based on our experience. Besides the process of booking, the food was at best mediocre, the only dinner we really likes was in Krystal, the stack house and Italian were average at best.
They do not offer premium liquor anywhere on the resort. For 5 star hotels it is an insult. Also, if you do decide to go, bring USD currency, as you cannot get Dollars anywhere on the resort premises. There is an ATM machine, which only dispenses Pesos. The ironic part about this is that in order to purchase in-room Wi-Fi, you need dollars, as the machine excepts only USD, but there is no place to get them. We complained to the front desk, besides the fact that they could barely understand the issue, seemed completely indifferent to our problem. The only recommendation offered was to take a cab to the bank, 15 to 20 minutes away from the hotel and exchange pesos for dollars there.
Towels in this hotel appear to be a second currency after Pesos. For a 5 star resort they give you cards which must be exchanged for towels every day and God forbid one of them get lost. I have never seen such a ridiculous towel exchange policy, if one of the towels get lost, you will be charged $50 upon check out.
Upon arrival they advertised Ice machines conveniently located across the hotels. In the morning, we like a cold drink, so I would go get the ice, first day it was perfect. Second day the ice machine stopped working. Went to the machine on the second floor, was broken as well, on the third floor, same problem, finally on the 4th floor was able to get ice. Day after, machine on the fourth was broken as well. We contacted the front desk they re-assured us it will be fixed shortly. We spend the remainder of our vacation without ice.
Ground keeping would start at 7am. Usually it was relatively quiet, however once or twice a week they spray something on the plants, so around 7am we were woken up by an extremely loud nice right near our balcony. Kids were scared, it was absolutely insane. I ran out to tell the guy to stop, he acknowledged my request, smiled, and continued with his loud machine.
I can probably go on about inconsistent cleaning service, toilet not working during the night, nonexistent room service, boring and repetitive night shows, but I think you get the idea that I do not recommend this hotel and will never return there.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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22  Thank Yan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

My husband and I stayed at Riu Bavaro Jan 6-15. What we were told was this was a luxury all-inclusive resort. We went with high hopes. Let me just start by saying that if you don't speak Spanish you are out of luck! The hotel staff maybe speak 5 words of English. We wanted to take advantage of the 24 hr room service so we went to order and the gentlemen that answered the phone could not understand what we were trying to order so he could not help us. We tried a different time and same problem. Very frustrating!!!!
Also be aware there is A LOT of children at this hotel. So if you are looking for a romantic getaway this is not for you.
The food was very good. However if you are thinking that you will get a reservation at one of the restaurants be advised that it is very hard, this hotel is usually booked at 100% so if u don't get there at 9 in the a.m. u will not get a reservation.
The rooms were fine but nothing great. On a scale 1-5 I would rate this hotel a 1.
Also the beaches had a lot of topless woman. Very crowded and stressful trying to get a chair to sit in. Also the hotel staff expected to be tipped every time they helped u. So as far as being a all-inclusive.....not so much!

Room Tip: Higher floors because the entertainment was very loud and you could hear from your room.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

My wife and I are checking out today Jan. 28th 2012......sad to go but it's time. We had a wonderful stay, we stayed in the villas and had a hot tub suite( hot tub on the balcony) right next to the VIP pool.
The only thing we had an issue with was the hot tub suites are all on the ground level unless you have an ocean front villas.
It seamed like every night we went to get in the hot tub we became the center of attention, people on their balcony grabbing their popcorn and getting their front row seats.....as if we were going to put on a show for them.......not so private is what I'm trying to say.
our room was a corner room, if your getting the hot tub suite I would suggest you get one in the center of the building and not one of the outer rooms. The villas are 5 rooms wide and 3 stories tall ( pick one of the 3 center rooms, a little more private).
One of the nice things about the villas as well is the in room wireless internet (free in the villas), great service and I was able to use my VOIP phone without any issues .....big plus to do some work when required.
All in all we would suggest this hotel to anyone, just remember to bring money for tips, it seams like a lot of people demand great service and want and need this and that...then they forget to TIP.....you would be amazed what a couple dollars will get you. We spent about $20.00 a day in tips...... we never had any issues getting our room cleaned, our room fridge stocked as requested.
We also read a lot about the staff not speaking english.....the staff does a good job, they try their best and will do almost anything to make sure your stay here is the best. If you have a issue with understanding them, maybe you should look in the mirror and take some of that blame...learn to speak spanish and don't forget your enjoying their country....just a suggestion if that's an issue.
My wife and I speak a tiny bit of spanish and we went off the resort to several places higuey included and had no issues. I would suggest you use your travel rep. in the hotel for that type of travel tho.
If your a cigar smoker you can find good cigars 20 minutes away from the hotel at Don Lucas as well as seeing rollers work. If you go 40 miuntes away you can go to Higuey and find the cigar museum as well as a lot of other brands of cigars. If you try to buy cigars on the beach or at the beach huts I would suggest you really know your brand and know what a good quality cigar is as you can find knock offs every place........

My wife and I enjoyed the food in the buffet more than any of the other restaurants, no reservations, more selections, we never went hungry I'll say that. They also had a mexican food night WOW off the!
I can't forget to mention "Mello" our favorite server. Mello is great, he's always happy to see you and extends a warm welcome very time you see him.

I could go on and on with great stuff but I think you'll get the gist....we are happy and we would have no problem coming back here next year, by that time the plants & grass should be growing like crazy and it will green everywhere.....

In closing...WATCH THE GREY TILE EVERY PLACE...VERY SLICK WHEN WET!

Enjoy your time here......TIP TIP ENJOY!

Room Tip: read what I wrote
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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22  Thank WDMCPLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

Well let me start by saying that my husband and i both had a great time.We stayed the week of the 17th and were a little nervous after redaing some of the reviews.....DONT LISTEN TO THEM...This resort was great, the food,beach and the people were awsome.The rooms look exactly like the pics and the beds were really not that hard and the pillows were heavenly :) We hung out at the V.I.P pool as it was more quite and relaxing.Definatly go to this Resort you won't be dissapointed!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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33  Thank crippler1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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