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Reviewed 31 January 2012

The good:
the grounds were very big
the decor was BEAUTIFUL
the pool was big and modern and the pool bar was fantastic
the lobby was grand, and big and had WIFI
the room was gorgeous, great decor, lots of space, and a cool jacuzzi right in the middle of the room. The fridge was always stocked, and the cleaning lady did a great job in the morning and turned down the beds at night.
the beach was really nice, no rocks and lots of shade

The Bad:
the food was not good at all. It was all bland. All the restaurants were books 2-3 days in advance and we couldn't get reservations for a few days. All the restaurants have a different variation of the same food that is served at the buffet. The waiters were not very nice or helpful and barely spoke english.
the room that we orders was suppose to be a king size bed but ended up being 2 full size beds put together , which went apart from each other every time you moved in the bed, therefore me and my significant other could not sleep together because of the big gap in the middle of the bed.
the towel card process was really annoying
the show was kid friendly and not very advanced (Although i have high expectations because I'm from NYC)

All in all its worth the money if you don't care much about the quality of food and entertainment.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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12  Thank Anna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

Travelled January 20-27th

-only 30 minutes from the airport
-check-in was literally less than 5 minutes, bags delivered to the room immediately
-room was spacious and no issues with plumbing, beds, AC, etc
-buffet was fantastic---loads of variety, fresh fish daily, attentive service
-pools were never crowded, always plenty of lounge chairs
-beautiful beach, loads of chairs and clean, warm water
-the resort never felt crowded
-we had our kids with us, but there weren't very many children---just enough for them to make a few friends

This was our 3rd family trip to the DR, and this was by far the best of the resorts we have visited there. Those who criticize the staff for not speaking English should perhaps consider travelling to a country where the mother tongue is English (maybe Jamaica or Bahamas?). Our experience with the staff was excellent--our room was always clean with extra towels, the desk reception called our room twice during the week to ask if everything was OK, every time we sat down anywhere on the premises we were approached by staff to ask if we wanted a drink. We celebrated both my husband's and our daughter's birthday while there, and the staff went out of their way to decorate our dining table, sing to them, even a gift for my daughter. Yes, we tipped, but given the cost of your vacation, what's a couple of dollars to us when they earn only a few hundred dollars a month? We would definitely return to this resort--especially as it will be very beautiful in a few years once the vegetation fills in.

Room Tip: Do be careful of grey tiles, especially by the pool, as they are super slippery.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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21  Thank soleila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

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.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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34  Thank Steve A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

The Rui Palace Bavaro was an amazing experience for me and my family! The hotel is beautiful, food was excellent at all the restaurants within the resort. The pool area is beautiful!

So many activities going on every day which made it an enjoyable relaxing fun vacation! Great stress relief and lots of laughter. The service was fabulous, everyone was so nice and went out of their way to make sure you were relaxed and having an amazing time. The event staff is the BEST, they coordinate great events each and every day and in the evening for all the guest.

All the servers were fabulous, they wait on you hand and foot to ensure you feel extra special during your stay. Your room is freshened up everyday sometimes twice a day between lunch and dinner as well! Rooms are BEAUTIFUL very modern chic. The staff everyday did special designs with our towels just to enlighten your mood every time you walked into the hotel. Great drinks, coffees etc at all the bars thru out the hotel!

All the bartenders and bar managers were the best. Always checking on you to see if you needed more drinks as well to make sure you were enjoying your stay! They were FABULOUS! Great people and always there to make you smile or laugh and feel important VIP treatment.

The only negative is that there is sometimes a language barrier with some of the hotel employees however, this is a third world spanish speaking country. I would recommend at least learning basic spanish before touring to this hotel....however if you speak to management they are all fluent in english!

I will be returning to the resort very soon and would recommend this hotel to ANYONE! Beach is amazing as well! 5 star HOTEL!!!! Was my best vacation ever!!! I didn't wanna leave!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Amber C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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