My wife & I stayed at the Palace Bavaro Jan 18-25 and based on the experiences there during our week's stay, I do not understand the 1- and 2-star ratings some of the previous reviewers gave this property.
Check-in, housekeeping, bartenders, and waitstaff were all extremely friendly and appeared very happy to be serving us. This trip was our 4th stay at a Riu property and like the others, we were not disappointed with the Riu Palace Bavaro.
As a recently-opened resort, there are a few minor kinks that need to be worked out but none that I feel adversely affected our stay nor created an impression that would cause us not to return there again.
Our room was large, pleasant and spotlessly clean. The furniture was comfortable and the bed was very good. Each room has a balcony but other than going on it to hang bathing suits and sitting out there on our last night, we did not use it too much.
The food was typical of most large-scale, all-inclusives....not 5-star, but certainly passable and a large variety from which to choose. We ate dinner in the main dining room 3 nights and at the 4 specialty restaurants on the other 4 nights. Of the 4 specialty restaurants, I felt that the Italian was the least-impressive, but not bad, and the Japanese (the food of which is not one of my favorites) was the best of the rest. In general, the food and service in all of the specialty restaurants was attentive and we never felt rushed to leave so the waitstaff could get ready for the 2nd seating.
Service at all of the bars was prompt and friendly and I felt that the drinks were a bit better-prepared than at other Riu hotels in Cancun and Playa del Carmen where we have stayed. The only negative regarding drinks was the lack of staff members circulating around the beach asking guests if they wanted drinks. I easily solved that problem but taking the 1-minute walk through the grove of palm trees to the pool bar to get my drinks!
The pool area was well-maintained and never overly crowded. The Riu Entertainment staff ran many activities (games, exercises, etc.) for those that were interested in participating. The beach, where we spent most of our time every day, was excellent with an ample supply of chaise lounges. Palapas would have been nice for those who prefer some shade instead of all-day sun. It is a GREAT beach to walk, and you can walk for miles/kms in either direction. The water was warm and clear and while I would prefer more surf, it was a very good beach for all ages and swimming abilities.
Access to the other Riu properties in the complex was easy by either walking the beach or the service roads connecting the 5 Riu properties.
The only negatives I feel worth mentioning are minor and I list them to make this review as objective and compete as I can. All rooms at the resort have an in-room safe. The safe in our room worked most of the time, but the batteries that powered the keypad & lock mechanism were weak and the I was unable to lock the safe one day. A quick call to the front desk, though, solved the problem with a maintenance man coming to the room with new batteries.
Wireless networking is free but available only in the lobby areas. Access was easy and the network worked with no problems. While there may be in-room internet access for premium or other selected guests, it would certainly be great if Riu would enable in-room wireless access at no-cost as part of the all-inclusive package. If they offer it in the public areas, the cost of routers and other hardware to deliver this access directly to the guestrooms would be a nice plus and the cost to do it not a major capital expenditure.
The only other negative was that some of landscaping, particularly some of the lawn areas, has yet to grow in. This is due to the hotel just opening in December and this "problem" will certainly fix itself in the next few months. All plantings, fountains and other decorations around the property, however, were gorgeous and attended to on a daily basis.
Bottom line.....I would return to the Riu Palace Bavaro again and feel that if the management continues to do things the way the are doing things now, the resort will become the showplace of the Riu complex of resorts in Punta Cana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located on Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana * Inside the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Naiboa hotels and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu * The Splash Water World will be opened from 1st November 2016 * 4-story building * Surrounded by 63,000 m2 / 75,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 50 km / 31 miles from Higuey * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Intl. Airport ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, HotelsClick, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Travel Republic (UK) and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.