This was our first time to DR and this hotel was recommended to us by a friend.It's newly opened and the staff work very hard to make sure every guest is happy. We were in a Jr. Garden Suite on the first floor near the front which was a bit noisy in the morning and night. Initially we asked to switch rooms and the hotel staff were more than happy to accommodate in the end we stayed in the room we got. We've been to Mexico All inclusives before so we did have some expectations. In comparison, here is our honest opinion.
Grounds: Beautiful but since the hotel is new the flora and fauna is still "young/" in a few years, once the palm trees are taller and flowering shrubs have grown it will be really beautiful.
Hotel Decor: Interesting.. it was very 80's nouveau with a purple, yellow, hot pink, black colour theme. The decor did NOT mimic a Mogul Palace as others have said.Still it's much more grandiose than the other Rui's on the block.
Room: The room was fine. King size bed sitting area. The only thing was the bathroom is part of the "open concept" decor. There is a door for the washroom and shower, but the rest of it including the tub is completely open. This is fine if you're close to the person you're with...however, if you're not then you have no privacy.
The other thing with the room is that there is very little air flow, so when the floors are mopped (daily) they can still be wet for a few hours, so turn on the air and fan. Other reviews said they had "musty smelling rooms" - we did not. However, I would recommend bringing some kind of air freshener because there is no ventilation in the bathroom!
For those who like to drink, there was an alcohol dispenser in our room stocking 4 different kinds of booze, pretty neat! Mini bar was well stocked as well. They restock every 2 days.
Important! - bring your own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion etc. the stuff the hotel provides is no good!
Staff: The staff were very courteous, helpful, smiling always saying "hola". I even lost my favorite coverup and they had it for me at the lost and found. Keep in mind, their command of the English language is extremely limited (except for the front desk staff). Keep what you say short, and in the buffet - point at things that are similar to what you are saying. Not everyone's engligh is that bad... but it also doesn't hurt to learn a few more spanish words.
Food: We ate at the buffet the entire week we were there. We are food snobs, living in a large city and used to plenty of choice and fresh food. The buffet was DELICIOUS! There was something for everyone there, pizza, pasta station, fresh seafood was provided daily, a huge salad bar, microcookery, carving station for roasts, stirfrys and other delicious items along with some traditional Dominican fare. The only issue we had with the food is that it...went right thru us. But I believe this is an isolated incident because no one else has mentioned this about the food.
Beach: AMAZING! The best part about the hotel by far. I personally love palm trees on the beach there were plenty. Never an issue to find beach chairs any time of the day, hardly any lineups to get drinks. Guys came by to sell you coconut juice (which is very good for a hangover!) they were $3 each. The beach was clean with powerdery white sand and turquoise water. It was never crowded. Note, there are people there who will go topless.. this was not an issue for us. We got up a few times to see the sunrise. Great to see many people taking walks or jogs on the beach at that time.
Drinks: the staff was always very prompt with drinks - ask for some of the "non alcholic" drinks with rum in it. very tasty. The Mojitos are your best bet. The Pina Coladas are from some kind of mix and is too sweet in my opinion.
The cappuccino bar: excellent and great coffees. DR is known for their excellent coffees
Entertainment: Well... they tried. It mostly sucked.. but there was a great violinist one night, I was told the Michael Jackson nite was also good. I wish they simply had some traditional drumming or some acid jazz.even top 40 would have been better than nothing.. something to make it more of a "lounge club" atmosphere. There was a club at one of the other Hotels but there was a cover charge, it was only open after 11 pm and they had a stripper show going on one night... I hope they have better entertainment in the future. That being said the "entertainment team" was great, they encouraged people to come onto the dance floor to dance. Everything pretty much closes down at midnight. So take a nice walk on the beach instead.
Souvenirs: What's great is right beside the hotel there is an alley with a ton of shops that are open late. But be careful, don't be fooled by the prices for Larimar which is a blue green semi precious stone found only in the Dominican. You can bargain with the shop keepers. I found the best price for this jewelry was at the "brothers" store, where Mr. Black Tomato, gave me a great deal. Also if you are with Sunwing, one of the free excursions you can take is to "Nicole's store" where you can buy cigars, rum, vanilla - these are all good deals, but the prices for her jewelry are extortion! I would not recommend buying jewelry there, you will be paying triple!
Overall, this hotel was good. I think in time they will get even better. It's the top of the line out of all the Rui's in the same area. Also if you are a Bavaro guest, you can go to the other hotels, but they can't go to the Bavaro. The beach is outstanding and this hotel really allowed us to have a very relaxing vacation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 24-hour All Inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful Playa Arena Gorda beach. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Punta Cana Airport PUJ (25 km) and El Cortecito (10 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 610 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa or get in shape at the fitness center. 4 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main buffet restaurant, Japanese and Italian specialty, Fusion, Culinary restaurants, Steakhouse, as well as 6 bars and another 2 bars exclusively for villa clients. ... more less
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