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“A Great Holiday”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #56 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 September 2012

We went for 2 weeks on the 4th September and had a fantastic time. There was 6 of us and our rooms were fantastic, very modern, clean and big. The hotel has a great beach with lots of palm trees for shade. It is very hot there, only had 5 minutes of rain in the whole 2 weeks, and its very humid in the evenings. The entertainment team were fantastic and kept us informed of all events happening in the hotel. We went to Saona Island which was idyllic, real blue carribean sea with white sand, and then stopped off in the sea to hold the starfish that were surrounding our boat. Food in the hotel is good, take dollars not peso's as all the shops are priced in dollars. I would definitely go back to this hotel and would highly recommend it for everyone.

Room Tip: We were in room 3142. It was overlooking the carribean street. This is on the top floor which was fi...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Di T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,870 - 1,876 of 3,650 reviews

Reviewed 23 September 2012

hi i stayed here end of july and it is the best place i have ever stayed.
hotel is fantastic ,clean and very modern.
rooms are large and cleaned daily.
food is fantastic and how people can say it`s not is beyond me .
massive selection in main restaurant and the al a cart`s are amazing.
the beach is beautiful nice white sand great sea and plenty of sunbeds.
the booze is fine optics in your room with branded spirits all free mini bar plenty of beer in it and soft drinks.
give the man who stocks it for you a good tip as soon as you can and he will give you whatever you want,
night time entertainment is good and can be quite funny and ceaser in the main big room is the man to tip he looked after us very well ,made sure we got good drinks and plenty of them..
at the end of the night go and get a palace capachino from the coffee bar excellent.
we booked a few trips from one of the guy`s (hector) on the beach zip wire horse riding and saona island and saved a good few quid and all were excellent trips.
take no notice of the negative reviews on this hotel is is one of the best i have stayed in.
and you don`t need to tip every one just find one or two who look after you and give them a decent tip.
as for room theft i left my i pad i phone and camera in my room and nothing went missing even small notes at the side of the bed and my safe was never tampered with..
i will be going back next year without hesitation.
also if you plan on going on some trips take some sweets for the local kids .
buy them in the uk as they are very expensive in local shops.
try and learn a little spanish it is much appreciated by the locals who are very friendly.
go enjoy

Room Tip: the best rooms overlook the central garden
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank oldfart1Liverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2012

Beach: AWESOME! Clean and maintained. Plenty of chairs and shade no need to reserve a spot.

Water Sports: Slight walk to check out equipment, and they don’t tell you about additional insure until you are ready to go. Catamaran is an extra $6.00 in insurance, kayak is free and they also had windsurfing.

Pool: Very Cool, but entertainment staff was annoying after a few days. Bring sandals the ground surface is very hot.

Rooms and Upgrades: I read a few reviews and planned to negotiate a room upgrade. I am glad I didn’t they are all the same. VIP area had hardly anyone there and it did not seem like a fun time. The rooms are as pictured on trip advisor. Some complained about a musty smell in the sheets. That is from condensation and or going to bed wet. If your sheets smell musty call the front desk and they will change them. To avoid room condensation pack a few old used gift cards with a magnetic strip. Insert them in the power switch and keep the fan on while you are out of the room, worked like charm! They are a little skimpy with towel replacement; don’t be afraid to ask for more, they will deliver. Keeping the cabinet door open to the fridge seemed to help keep the beverages cooler. We didn’t, but I would invest in a power converter ($5.00 in the shopping alley) your plugs will fit but it takes some finagling.

Salon / Massage: My girlfriend had a pedicure and was very happy at $35.00. We did a couple massage and it was pretty good. I would do it again.

Security: I read a few reviews that mentioned theft. I looked at a few travel safes to place inside the hotel safe. The best solution I came up with was a pelican 1120 box. I felt very comfortable with this extra layer of security. There is plenty of room for an 1120, plus much more. The safe itself is battery powered and my safe was missing the battery cover. This caused one minor inconvenience when the batteries fell out but it was resolved in a matter of a few hours. The hotel Manager was very professional when overriding the safe.

Room Service: Very accommodating. Just ask and they will bring it to you don’t be taken back by the limited menu. If you see it in the main dining hall they will bring it to you. That also includes a nice hot tea or coffee just before bed.

Internet: The lobby has free Internet, 90 minutes per day per device. There is no way to log out of the internet session so make your time count. It is good enough to check email, weather and facebook but that is about it. You can buy a room code for $10.00 per day. The sports bar has acceptable computers for $5.00 for 30 minutes but no printers for boarding passes.

Food: My favorites included pork chops, chicken, the omelet station, pasta station and the fresh juices. I preferred the main dining hall over the restaurants for dinner but that was due to selections. The coffee was good but the milk is served hot, just ask for cold milk if you prefer. We sat in the same area daily and received good service from the same server with a $2.00 tip for breakfast and $5.00 for dinner. Find a server you like and you will be treated well.

Beer: Brahma, actually not bad from a Coors Light fan. The cans are better than tap, just ask for a can.

Shopping: There is small alley of shopping next to the hotel. They are slightly aggressive in getting you to come into the stores but they will negotiate prices. Pack plenty of sunscreen the prices in the hotel gift shop and the shopping alley are between $16-22.00 for a bottle.

Shopping beach district: About a two mile walk from the hotel. I am sure there is plenty of stuff but we passed by it due to the aggressive sales pitches.

Photos: I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed taking professional photos with the beach vendors. They say the price is $10.00 per photo but once you are reviewing the photos you can negotiate the number of photos and price. They create a CD and it worked just fine. One forty minute session yielded 80 pictures and we chose 13 for a price of $105.00. Sounds expensive but they came out great. Bring a complementary outfit and at least try it, there is no obligation to buy.

Excursions: We did the adventure zip lines excursion for $80.00 per person. 12 zip line cables and one of the best experiences I have ever had. The morning tour is less hot than the afternoon. Bring your camera and a few dollars for souvenirs. We booked through VIP travel in the hotel lobby and were very satisfied. Don’t be afraid to pack a small bag, they store it safely while you’re out zip lining. No reservations about leaving my bag with the staff at all.

Buying Prepaid phone: Do not venture out off the compound, it is too dangerous! Talk to the Excursion guys and ask them if they can get you a phone. We paid $40.00 for a Claro phone with minutes. The cigar shop in the shopping alley sells minutes, $8.00 seemed to last us with daily calls. *122#, send, to check your balance on Claro. Then ask your server you befriended to set you phone to English

Overall Impression: 4.5 Stars and we would recommend it friends and family. We also checked out the RUI Macao across the street. The rooms and grounds seemed nice enough that we would consider that hotel in future travel. The only room difference we saw was a slightly small room with no bath tub.

Jeff from Philadelphia

Room Tip: I would stay away from the main building due to loud entertainment at night. I read a few reviews an...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Jeffrey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2012

We went through AppleVacations.com, and the experience was amazing. We had a junior suite with a pool view. All the alcohol and beverages in the room are free to you, and they replace them every couple days. DR water is not potable but is good enough for brushing your teeth. The hotel gives big bottles of water to you, which was helpful.

The food is good. I recommend changing up which restaurants you go to everyday just so you don't get sick of seeing the same food. The buffet, Monte Cristo, rivals those buffets in Vegas I think. It is open for all 3 meals. Taino is another buffet open for lunch and is a steakhouse for dinner. There are 3 other restaurants for dinner (fusion, Japanese, and Italian). You need to make reservations for these 3 restaurants and the steakhouse. We had to go to the Italian restaurant between 8:30am and 11am the day of to make reservations for any of the restaurants. It stinks that you can't just call anytime. We heard in the busy months (Jan - Mar) that people would line up early just to make reservations.

You get free WiFi in the room, but it is really slow. When you check in, be sure to ask for the username and password for the internet. Otherwise, you will have to walk back to the lobby to get it. They won't give it to you over the phone.

There is the Scuba Caribe company on the beach that gives you free kayaking and sailing, which is what we did. They also have other excursions you can pay for, but we just went with our AV rep at the hotel for our 2 excursions.

We did the half-day Marinium excursion where we take a boat out a bit from the coast and go to an area with nurse sharks and sting rays. We got to do 45 minutes of snorkeling and saw plenty of fish. Then, we swam with the nurse sharks and sting rays. We even got to take a picture with the sting ray, which they had printed out for us to buy ($15) if we wanted when we got back. A DVD was also available for $30. After the snorkeling, they took us to a natural swimming pool area in the ocean where we were served drinks. It was like hanging out in bath water. Fun and amazing. It was worth it for $99/person.

We also did a half-day mudding dune buggy ride in rice plantations. Wear a bandana over your face and goggles if you have them. It gets dirty and dusty, but it is really fun. Bring money if you want to buy the DVD of photos.

Do not gamble at the Riu Palace Macao casino. It is not worth it. It is a tiny casino meaning there aren't going to be many winners. A local told us that the roulette and keno games are rigged. The slots print out tickets, but they don't take tickets. So when you go to cash in the ticket, they don't give you you "cents" portion. So you end up losing out that way too.

If you check in a bag, I recommend you bring enough sun screen. We had to buy an 8-oz bottle there for $26 because we carried our bags on!!!

If you go shopping, a local told us to ALWAYS barter up to 50-60% of what they're asking.

For tipping at the hotel, it is not necessary. But if you want to, we were told $1-$3 is sufficient. The workers there are so nice and helpful that we were glad to give them tips.

There are a ton of activities and entertainment at the hotel for everyone, so you don't have to worry about it being boring.

Room Tip: At least choose Junior Suite Pool View
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Heidi L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2012

We've taken 3 to 4 vacations every year for the past 15 years. This was our first vacation to Punta Cana and our first stay at a RIU resort. The resort is clean and well maintained. It is not however a 5 star resort (USA). It is a 5 star for the Dominican Republic. It's more like a 3.5 star (USA). I gave it 4 stars because our stay there was wonderful.

FOOD - BUFFET

It baffles me when people complain that the food is no good and yet you'll see the majority enjoying the buffet and going back for more. How do they explain this?? We thought the food was OK and some items were good. We enjoyed champaign and Stefi (a white wine) with dinner.

We had lunch twice at the restaurant adjacent to the pool (I think the steak house) the views of the beach there are amazing.

As guest of the Palace Bavaro we had access to all 5 resorts. So we had meals at the other 4. We thought the food was better at the other resorts. Maybe it was our imagination or perhaps the food preparation staff had more experience than the new staff at Bavaro.

ENTERTAINMENT

At first I felt that the entertainment was amateur, and did not like it. But as I noticed the energy, passion & pride of the entertainers, I thought about how fortunate we've been to travel to different parts of the world and see different cultures, I quickly had a change of heart. From then on the entertainment was just fine and I enjoyed everything the Palace Bavaro offered.

BEACH

Absolutely beautiful. Plenty of palm trees providing shade and plenty of chairs.

STAFF

Hard working, friendly & helpful.

COMMON AREAS & ROOM

Everything is clean and manicured. The furniture, drapery and overall construction seems a bit low end. I'm not sure how well it will hold up over time. The room is spacious and the shower was great. The decor is very contemporary.

CONCLUSION

Do we recommend the Palace Bavaro? We've already booked our second trip there. We know there are better options and we wish the food was a little better, but that stretch of beach along the RIU properties is so amazing it's calling us back.

Also it's so cool to walk along the beach and being able to stop in all the RIU's for a drink or a bite to eat. Or to enjoy their pools and entertainment. Plus you can't beat the value the RIU's offer for the money.


Happy Travels,
Baltimore Ravenswin

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Ravenswin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2012

I just got back from staying at riu palace bavaro. All I can say is DONT PAY ATTENTION TO THE BAD REVIEWS! I was kind of iffy myself when first coming because of everything I had read but it was the most best vacation I had ever been to.

The food was AMAZING! They were so creative with their food. Everything was delicious. I tried the steak house and the japanese restaurant and both were also very good.

The shows are fun, they always have live entertainment before the show starts and it continues after the show finishes. You get to enjoy good music and dance.

The animation team was excellent, they try so had to make your trip as amazing as possible. They always come and make conversations with you, ask you to join in on the activites, and make sure that you are enjoying your stay. Big shout out to Rocky, Scooby doo, Miguel, Tequilla, Wilson, Maria, Miguelina. . . Im really gonna miss these people. They made my vacation so much fun!

Rooms were beautiful, very modernly done.

If you choose to go to this hotel, TRUST ME YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT :)

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank melanie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2012

One thing about this hotel is AMAZING! We stayed at Riu palace Punta Cana last year & we stayed at the new one this year :) it's very modern , the restaurants was different from last year " it was so much better" we took a talk to riu palace Punta Cana we was disgusted the pool was horrible it wasn't like that last year , we saw animation team and they remember us :) I miss our animation team from riu palace bavaro such amazing people ... I would go back but not for couple years think we seen riu enough! It's time for change now , the rooms are very modern & we got free VIP bands so that was good! Weather was great x

  • Stayed: August 2012
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5  Thank Moanerminnie10
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 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range: £170 - £327 (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):
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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