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“Amazing”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #53 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
chicago
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed 8 February 2012

here at the moment - just relaxing before dinner and letting the sun escape my skin.
The Amazing is on two fronts.
The negatives you have heard (read) about - I can only say I feel sorry for D-bags like that, unhappy wanna-be someones....
The Positives this is an Awesome place - rooms, staff, food , decor, drink, sun and sand!
Incredible for the money spent - just remember to tip and not act like you are owed reverence.
Get your butts over here!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
22 Thank lavi-tom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2012

I have just returned from the Riu Palaca Bavaro. This was my fifth stay at a Riu property. With this being said, I knew what to expect from Riu properties.

I had read several reviews of the new property before travelling but figured I would form my own opinion when I got there. The hotel lived up to my Riu expectations.

I'll start by addressing some of the comments that I had read... For those of you who said no one on the property speaks English, that is NOT true at all. The front desk staff was amazing. Melvin and Richard were extremely helpful during our check-in process. The Entertainment staff was also great. If you wanted to participate in activities during the day, there was ample for you to do. Spaghetti and Pikachu (as they called themselves) were very entertaining. All of the Entertainment staff spoke English as well. I will say that some of the bartenders and wait staff were difficult to understand, but it was never an issue. Just as an FYI... Don't be a rude American... Speaking louder does not allow them to understand you any better.

As far as the food is concerned, no, it is not 5 star. When you live in NYC, you are spoiled when it comes to food. If you want gourmet food, stay at a gourmet hotel. We had no issues with finding something to eat. I will say, that eating the same thing for 5 days straight does get old, but we never went hungry.

As far as cleanliness is concerned, the hotel is spotless. Every morning, the cleaning staff was out there cleaning all of the sidewalks, pool areas, etc. Our room was always clean with plenty of towels as well (one day we had asked for extra towels and received them within 5 minutes) so those of you that complained about that, it is not true.

One last tidbit... A few American dollars go a long way. We tipped to towel boy at the pool on the first morning we were there, and he set up the same chairs for us every morning. The same went for the pool wait staff. We had ordered drinks in the morning, tipped him, and he always asked us if we were okay, if we drank a lot during the day, we tipped them more.

Overall, it was a wonderful trip. We had an amazing time and the Riu Palace Bavaro staff helped with making it wonderful. I hope this review was helpful!

Room Tip: We had stayed in the Villas. We did not realize we booked in the Villas, it just happened. They do...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
21 Thank IamAmyLynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brantford, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2012

Just returned last night from Riu Palace Bavaro. Unfortunately, we did not have a great experience.

Pros:
-beautiful beach
-fantastic weather
-friendly staff
-The Steak House (good, safe choice for a nice dinner)

Cons:
-the food (Which is a pretty major con to me. Twice my husband had meat that was not thoroughly cooked.)
-The Italian restaurant (don't bother)
-the smell (we had to change rooms due to an overwhelming musty/damp smell-after checking out two other rooms we finally found one that smelled...better)
-language barrier - I know several other people have mentioned this. Basic communication was not an issue, but if we had a problem we would often have to talk to several people before we were understood. We went with the knowledge that there would be a language barrier and even with the help of a dictionary communicating, could at times, be difficult.
-Water - was never replenished in our room. Literally every other day we had to call the desk and ask for more water. It was always replaced, usually within an hour, but it was annoying having to continually ask for it.

We'd never stayed at a RIU and had high hopes for this one, especially being relatively new and 5*. At this time however, the most I would give it is 3.5*.

Room Tip: Bring lots of $1's to tip
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank hale4760
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2012

Before booking one of the five Riu properties in Punta Cana, I did extensive research on Trip Advisor and other sites. The most recent Riu (opened in December 2011) did not have very favorable reviews and I absolutely HATED the decor of the lobby and the rooms from the pictures that were posted. I chose to book the Riu Palace Punta Cana instead of the new Riu Palace Bavaro. Well, when we checked in at the Riu Palace Punta Cana, we were told that we were "upgraded" to the Bavaro because the Palace Punta Cana had been overbooked. Let the fun begin.

We were taken to the Bavaro and as soon as I walked in, I just started shaking my head. The lobby looked like a kid's fun room. The colors and shapes were reminiscent of a jester's court. This is exactly what I saw on the website and EXACTLY why I did NOT book this hotel. The decor was awful. The staff was friendly and very nice and tried their best to accommodate us. They were insistent that the rooms in the Bavaro were much nicer than the Palace Punta Cana. They sent us to the first room. When we got to the room, the door tag said do not enter. Well we entered and found a room that was not cleaned, with awful decor and NO VIEW....we actually had a view of a few palm trees stuck in a sand trap.

We went back to front desk. Asked to be put back in the hotel we paid for. There were a few calls made to the other hotel, but we could not be accommodated. So, we were told that we would be "upgraded" again to an oceanfront villa. We specifically asked if we could really see the ocean. We were assured we could. So after wandering to the villa - no one helped us find it - we stumbled upon a room with the same awful decor and no view of the ocean. To make a long story short, we were stuck in a room with no oceanview, bad decor, a leaky roof outside of our balcony and no hand towels. Other items to note:

- Food was not good at all. Who runs out of bacon???
- Table wine was very flat.
- Please check your glassware for cleanliness.
- Don't dare ask for extra towels at the pool.
- Minibar not stocked our last night there.
- No additional water in the room.

The staff was friendly and courteous. The front desk manager Joanne did the best she could with the circumstances at hand.

We have stayed at other Rius and was very surprised by this experience. We do not recommend this property until the kinks are worked out and until they sue their architect. The design is AWFUL.

At the end of the day, the trip was enjoyable because my sweetie and I got a chance to spend some good quality time together. But he is letting me pick the next hotel :-)

Room Tip: Villas have private pools that are very quiet. The main building's pool is a little livlier.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank corlissgarner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredericton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

We just got back a few days ago fron punta cana,quite disappointed with the entertainment.
We were at the Riu Tanio a few years ago a 4**** and I must say it was awesome,so we decided to take our daughter there for her 20th birthday this hotel is a 5***** but it just didn't prove to be for us. Our rm was great a little far but good exercise for us it seems if you show
1$ biils for things you get better services thats costs alot extra over your trip already thousands of dollars i will try a new resort next year for sure.

Room Tip: love to walk its large
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 622carla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palo Alto, CA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

We selected this hotel based on the fact that it is new, and thus, we thought, less chances for old/dirty rooms, since clean facilities are at the top of our list while traveling. The hotel is huge (600+ rooms), and was full during our stay. The first room we were taken to had a horrible smell of mold and dirty water (some of which was still on the floor). We asked for a different room, and ultimately, after speaking with several people on the phone, were given a new room which did not have a smell. Room layout and modern decor was nice and we enjoyed having a balcony. The bathtub is right in the middle of the room, but the shower is separate and there is no issues with privacy unless you plan to take a bath. Overall, pleased with our room.

Major pros:
- beautiful beach; it was windy, but we were still able to enjoy swimming in the ocean
- plenty of loungers on the beach and by the pool
- great food - the Buffet is much better and has way more choices than the theme restaurants; vegetarian options at the restaurants have a lot of room for improvement; we solved that by returning to the buffet for more food one of the nights

Major cons:
- poor customer service: most of the staff do have a smile on their faces, but it quickly dissapears after you ask them about something that you need. it is clear they do not intend to fix problems quickly if at all; we found this very disturbing given the price and 5-star rating of this resort.
- most towels in the rooms and on the beach are very old and dirty (!) - we had to exchange several before finding acceptably clean ones - surprising given that the hotel is barely a month old!
- lots of smokers around

If you are still considering going:
- bring bug spray - we did see a few mosquitoes around, including in our room
- bring ear plugs if you plan to sleep past 7am
- watch your step as the floors are VERY slippery when wet

We are happy to have had a vacation on the beautiful Bavaro beach, but will not be returning to this resort. More "cons" than in any of the other 5 RIUs we've stayed around the Carribean islands, and by far the worst customer service.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HBM07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thornhill, Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

Just wanted to start by saying that in reading all the previous reviews before we left for our holiday, it left me wondering if I had made a mistake in picking this resort.

First off, on our arrival we had no line up at the front desk, we were given a drink, we were treated very well, with lots of respect and from the staff who spoke english very well.
We were given our room, that was exactly what we expected and the bags were brought up by a very nice bellhop.
The resort when walking in did have a very faint musty smell but was something you got used to very quickly when staying for any length of time in the lobby.
The pool was perfect, the towels were no issue what so ever, never a line up to get them. Had no problems getting a chair by the pool or the beach, that being said my hubby and I are very early risers, so if you sleep in I can not be held accountable.
Making reservations for dinner was also not an issue as we were up early, we tryed all 4 restaurnts, we were not impressed with any one of them and found the buffet to be a better choice for us.

The room was always well maintained and cleaned and stocked, the noise level in the room is lound as everything is outside, noise does travel well at night, so if you like to go to bed early you will have noise to contend with.

As far as the resort on whole, it was lovely and clean, yes the cleaning staff has a real need to keep the floors wet, and yes very slippery, that was a very big concern for me , did not want to come home with a broken leg or arm. The beach was great, very windy when we were there but we did stay most of the time on the beach.
The entertainment staff were lots of fun and the shows were what I expected for this type of resort.
We met very nice people from all over, had nice holiday, no huge surprises for us, and I am sure most people would agree.

Go and enjoy and remeber it is a holiday and just enjoy and let things go, time to relax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: PIck a room far away from the entertainment area!!! and floors slippey when wet!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
12 Thank J L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Address: Playa de Arena Gorda | Higüey - Punta Cana, Punta Cana 74100, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro 4*
Number of rooms: 610
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 
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