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“Rio Palace Bavaro”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #56 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Nice Place ! Check in was a breeze. They gave us a map of the coplex, but we just found our way around. Some other resorts explain how things work and where things are, but this place did not. First time all inclusive people would have had some questions. The Main Buffet was very good. I would have used it for all meals. We did try the (4) Ala Carte Restaurants. There was a group of (10) of us and we did not have a problem getting reservations. We liked the Italian the best. All of them displayed the food very well. I used the gym several days, and every day they were out of cups, and the water bottle was empty. I asked the Spa people to replenish and they did, but I started taking a bottle of water from my room to cover that. We had plenty of nice clean towels and wash cloths. We did get a towel decoration a couple of days. The resort always had people sweeping and scrubbing to keep things clean. People coming from the beach would drag sand into the pool area, even though there were 2 places to wash off the sand. As another review stated, there were "Spring Breakers" and I was also suprised that was allowed. We had several great waiters and helpers at the Buffet and in the Ala Carte Restaurants. We tipped our maid a coule of dollars every day, and we tipped at each meal. They really appreciate it! Our room had a King Bed, and was located on the top floor (3045-3065 ??) area and we could look out the patio door and watch the waves of the gulf, and look over the courtyard and the pool. Nice view !!

Room Tip: We were above the Main Lobby, and they were good. Some of our friends were above the stage area wher...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Chuckiepoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 March 2012

Going under the assumption that this was an upgraded hotel, we booked this hotel for 2/29 through 3/7/12. Hotel itself is very nice - could use a privacy wall or curtain between bedroom area and bathtub and sinks, however, our main problem was springbreakers. Wouldn't think that a "5 Star" hotel would allow this. Management, when confronted assured us this was being taken care of, however, same scenario every night. Spoke to a number of guests who also resented to be awakened several times every night to yelling, screaming and slamming doors. We were in room 0108 and the hotel is basically all tile therefore the echo is unbelievable. We made the best of it. Weather and food were good but will check more in detail for our next reservation.

Room Tip: They had springbreakers in almost every building
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank AnitaLaGrangePark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2012

i was a bit nervous about going to this resort after reading all of the negative reviews, and was surprised how people complain about the smallest thing! upon arrival we were greeted with welcome drinks the check in was fast and so was check out the ride from the airport to the hotel was fast and cost 38$ the room service has a very limited selection but when ordering food at 3am one cant be that picky. the sports bar has game machines a pool table and some computers. the pool is very amazing and the beach is to die for you can walk in either direction and the sand and water are so clear and lovely. we traveled as a lesbian couple and did not have any problems. there was no disrespect whats so ever! when you stay at the Riu bavaro you have access to all the other RIU 's on the property we went to the Riu Bambu on our last day and had an amazing time but this riu was more of a party hotel by the pool then the BAVARO, where there was some entertainment by the pool but it was not as loud as in BAMBU over all i would go back in a heartbeat!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Stephanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

It seems to us that some people have a problem with Riu Palace Bavaro :))) Those people must have been paid from other Resorts to place bad reviewes. We are regulars at Riu Palace vacationers and only can tell the best about the resort. We were there for 3 weeks in January and loved it very much and we are going back in June for our 30. Weding anniversity!!! You can go to Sandals and pay much more and you do not get a better service!!! So come to Riu Palace Bavaro and enjoy your holiday like we did :))) By the way, we are not paid by anybody to write that review!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank starfishontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Well, we stayed at the newest Riu to date. We were there from Feb. 12th-18th. Seeing that this was only 2 months after it opened probably wasn't the best time to go. We are frequent travellers of the Rius as you can tell by my other reviews. After our last trip to Jamaica and all the aggravation that went along with it, we were compensated with 3000 pts. Now for those of you who are Riu Class Members, you understand what I am talking about. With the 3000 pts., this brought our total pts. to over 11,000. What this usually means is that your category changes. For eg: we are now Gold members with over 3200 accumulated over a 2 year period stay at the Rius. Once you receive 10,000 pts., your category chg's to Diamond member. After much correspondance including Corporate, we were informed that we would not be upgraded to the Diamond level since we didn't "earn" them by actually staying at the hotel. Then what could we use them for, we asked? Well, to upgrade rooms. So the next obvious question was "what do the points equal in monetary value". NOONE could answer my question. So when we arrived and were given a room that wasn't a Gardenview that we initially paid for, I expected an upgrade. Once again, as is always the case with us, I wanted a different room and if I had to use my points, how much would this be? I was told the hotel was full to capacity and to come back in the morning which I did. The person, Nelson, who told me that said he'd be there but he wasn't. At that point, I demanded to talk to the director, who just happened to be there. He, also, told me that there was no room availability. Only after I mentioned that I corresponded with Corporate about this point issue, suddenly there was a room for us but not for our friends. It wasn't the absolute best location but it was better than where we were originally. After telling our friends they couldn't accommodate them with a different room, don't you think that the very next day they sent a note telling them they could. And here's the kicker, a couple we met came for the 1st time to Punta Cana and were staying at the Riu Bamboo, the least in "star" ratings and they got upgraded to the Riu Palace Bavaro!!!!!!!!! What a slap in the face to those of us who are frequent guests of the Rius and pay more to stay there and here they go "handing" out UNAVAILABLE rooms to 1st time, cheaper paid guests! I did finally get an answer to the pts.= $$ question from the Director. It comes to about 40pts. per $1. So my 3000 pts. = about $75. Yup! THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!! After all these years, we now find out that it's somewhat of a scam. There were a few oddities to this place. According to "review title", yes, this Riu was so thoroughly modern in contrast to the other Rius' decor. It was very nice and very pretty. I can't say that I particularly liked the hotel set up. One day we took a shortcut from our room and stopped at a bar to get a drink. We were told that we couldn't because we weren't SensiMar" guests. SensiMar guests have their own bar, own pool, own restaurant and separate sleeping area. From what we were told, these are for their German guests. But they can still use any of the non-German facilities. We went to breakfast one morning at one of the pool restaurants that we always went to for lunch. We were asked to leave since this was only for the "SensiMar" guests!!! Wow, how insulting is that!! Another strange thing we noticed were people with different colored wrist bands. We asked someone who had it and were told it was for VIP's. They paid extra for that so I didn't feel too bad about that!!! Don't think the "perks" were really worth it! Now here's the worst thing I'm going to say about the Rius. They changed ALL the menus at their Specialty restaurants! We disliked the food very much! My theory is: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". We don't know why they did this but from here on in when we go to a Riu, we won't be "scrambling" to get reservations at these restaurants. I do have to say that the buffet at this Riu was really, really, great! And, we've been to the Punta Cana Palace over a 1/2 dozen times and for some reason their buffet isn't up to the same standard. Now maybe because it's brand new, that will change in time. And, of course, the beach is always phenomenal!! DR does have the best beaches around. And they have 1 more new feature which was kind of cool. It was like a cafe-bakery. We took a liking to the drink, the "Palace". It's cappucino with Bailey's...Mmmmm! Another set of our friends wants to go here but I think we're going to wait until it's at least 6 months to 1 yr. old. Ok, that's it! That's my review!!!

Room Tip: Rooms above the lobby area facing out are probably the best. Not the 1st floor.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank nancynu55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

This is our second trip to the DR with other trips to Mexico and Cuba! So we're not experts but we are a little trip savvy! This was hands down the nicest resort we have ever stayed at. Two of our other resorts were 5 star but this one beat them all. I just love this site to research trips and pick up tips although it can sometimes be a little scarry, with bad reviews. I will try and be as honest as possible.
Checkin: We arrived late at night so there was only one couple ahead of us. There was an elderly lady arguing with the front desk while here sister was sitting crying holding her arm. The lone man at the desk was trying to calm the sister down and said help was on the way. Apparently the sister had fallen in the room and broke her arm in two places. The one sister approached me in line and said it was a leaky air conditioner which they had complained about. I thought to myself. Here we go! Five medical staff showed up while I was still in line with a wheel chair and van. I felt sorry for the checkin guy. We were quickly processed, givin two room cards and two towel cards. A bell hop took our bags and took us to our room. Five minutes after we got into this magnificent room, there was a knock on the door. I had dropped one of our towel cards and the bell hop found it and brought it to our room. I tried to offer him another couple of bucks but he wouldn't take it. WOW!
ROOM: 1801 Superior Junior Suite. Large,clean, modern decore with no smell. I didn't specify in booking, for a smoking room but ours had ashtrays. If this is a turnoff for you, I would contact your booking agent to specify.The bed was the best we have ever had in the carribean and the sattelite flat screen was awesome. (lots of english stations) There are four liquor dispensers and a mini fridge with beer pop and lots and lots of water. Five two litre bottles at all times. It is an open concept with the tub visible from the bed but they had installed a large draw curtain in ours if you needed privacy. I think this is a work in progress in all the rooms. The balcony has a double towel rack with two chairs and a small table. We take our own towels to avoid the hassle and if you are away from your lounger your towels are distinguishable. The racks were great for drying them out. You will recieve two room cards. A room card has to be inserted into a slot at the front entrance to have power in room. We just left one card in at all times to keep the AC going and took one with us when we were out of the room. Sometimes the maid would put it in backwards to shut power off but this only happened twice.
SECURITY: The safe in our room worked very well. The balcony door has a dead bolt to lock. The front entrance has a peep hole but there is no dead bolt on entrance or locking chain. Door handle locks automatically when closed so don't forget your card when leaving.
Booze / Food: They come by to replenish your beer and spirits every 2 days. No problems there other than they give you Brahma beer. I don't know whats going on but you have to fight to get a Presidente beer at this resort? The only place I was able to get one, was at the lobby bar. The staff seems to treat Presidente like gold. The mini fridge is not very efficient. It is built into a cabinet. If you keep the cabinet door open, it cools 10 times better. If you prefer your spirits with coke rather than pepsi you can buy them in the variety store for $2.50 a bottle. Don't get to hung up on the al acarte restraunts. We found the buffet beat them all. Lots of variety and room. I enjoyed checking out all their different kinds of soups. Amazing! But if you do want this the Italian resteraunt ( Bambini) is where you book at 8:00am.
Beach/Pool. The beach is the most sparse for miles as far as people go. Security guard at each end. You might have to move your lounger once in a while but there is always shade to be found. Very clean white sand! The pool was awesome and once again, you can always find shade and loungers. I liked the fact that the pool bar was seperated from the main pool. Especially if you have children with you.
Entertainment/ Nightlife: The entertainment was probably the best I have seen in the Carribean. You must find out when this guy who plays the violin is playing. I've never seen 200 women crying at the same time! ha!ha! One thing that irritated me a bit was the entertainment team at pool side. It was calastentics over and over again. It wouldn't be so bad but it was the same music and routine every day. Mix it up! After 11:30pm the action stops and the resort becomes quiet. The place to go then is the sports bar which goes all night! I just wish they had music or a juke box or something. Still lots of fun for us partyers. Met some great people and staff. There is a disco right next to the resort on carribana street. Its open to all resorts as well as locals. From what I saw it can be a little seedy, if you know what I mean! If you want to buy a member of the staff a drink. That would be the place.
People/ Staff: I seen some of the staff being treated in ways that made my stomach turn. These are not uneducated pions to be pushed around. They are people who work unbeleivable hours but go out of their way to make your stay an enjoyable one. I've found that they have a great sense of humour and are always up for some fun. Please show respect!
Sorry for the very long reveiew and I would like to thank each one of you for taking the time to help me out!
Have a great vacation!
Sharpy and Linda

Room Tip: Don't get hung up on upgrading! There all pretty much the same!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank sharpy10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Well, our trip started off pretty well. Other than an awful chemical smell which you encounter the moment you enter, the workers at the the lobby desk were friendly and we were even upgraded to a nice ocean view room (3075) instead of the one that they originally had us in which over looked Caribbean Street. I must tell you though that we did tip the guy that switched our room for us with a 50 dollar bill.
The room was pretty nice but there are still a few problems they need to deal with. The mini fridge in the rooms doesn't seem to cool the contents inside very well, which they told us was a problem with all of them, not just ours. The drain stops were not hooked up right and therefore did not raise the drain stop up and down when lifting the control, so the only way the water in the sink would drain down was to pull the stop completely out and set it on the counter. We never did have any shampoo in our room. Every time that I called for shampoo they brought us more conditioner. We had 10 bottles of conditioner, 3 bottles of lotion and then there was a dispenser on the shower wall with body wash. Luckily we had a few bottles that we brought with us. The bed was firm but comfortable. We did tip the room maid every day although I don't feel that we received any better cleaning or extras for doing so.
The gym which we went to five times was quite large but very poorly thought out. They had 3 treadmills which were all right in front of the mirrored wall and didn't face the tvs. They had one stair climber, one bike and two elliptical machines. They also had one butterfly machine, a leg curl machine and a tricep/curl machine and no free weights at all. There were a couple of stability balls and a few mats. There were no cleaning supplies which I found to be quite gross. There was a paper towel dispenser which was empty all week and no spray to use at all. If you were lucky they might have some small towels out on the shelf to use but sometimes we had to bring our own from the room.
The pool area was nice but you do have to be VERY careful when walking around as the black tiles are especially slippery. We usually laid by the ocean because by the time we got out to the pool it was hard to find two loungers together. The pool bar was made fun by Javier and Edwin. They were a lot of fun!! I do think that all the bartenders need a lesson in drink mixing. Most drinks were awful and they only had Pepsi and diet Pepsi not Coke products. My husband is a big whiskey drinker and really knows the different ones well but he swore that the bottles were really not what they were supposed to be. They had one lousy beer selection which was horrible. If you were lucky you could tip really well and they would sneak you a Presidente' in a glass only so know one else would know. We could only do this at the entertainment bar. We were very good tippers all week but most people were not. The nightly entertainment was mostly pretty good although we usually only caught about the last half of the show.
The food we found to be mostly awful. The fruit selection was pitiful looking and really the only thing I found edible at breakfast was the pancakes. Most food was loaded with MSG which my husband had a reaction to. We did end up going out to lunch a couple of times to a restaurant called Noah which was excellent. We also got to know a tour guide well from a catamaran trip that we did with Viva Colonia Tropical which was a very nice half day afternoon trip. The host's name was Valentinno and he was very knowledgeable about restaurants and he picked us up on our last night and took us out to Captain Cooks which was fabulous!! We are so glad to have met him. He was great!!
Over all I think the facility was very nice and the staff all worked very hard with smiles on their faces but they need some serious work on the food and drinks. The restaurants that we made reservations at had only about 4 entree choices and you always felt rushed in and out. We love good food and drinks and this is where they seriously lacked! The beach and ocean were beautiful and we were happy with that and the room as well. I don't think we would return to this resort but we did like Punta Cana in general and would like to try a different resort at another time.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LSussi
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

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 #56 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range: £181 - £333 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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