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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
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Reviews (3,780)
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Reviewed 16 November 2013

My wife and I went for a wedding last weekend to the RIU Palace Bavaro. Forty seven people in total.

Pros
Front desk staff is welcoming and friendly. The property is beautiful since it is only two years old. The lobby is grand , the rooms are clean and the grounds are well kept. We ended up in the VIP area of the resort which had its own pool and bar. Nice coffee bar in the lobby and a 24-hour sports bar. My wife used the Revova Spa which was excellent, Mirianny and Micheli were excellent and professional. My wife also took advantage of the hot and cold water pools. The night club, Pacha, is also on the premises but you have to pay for drinks. The highlight of our stay was the entertainment team (sexy black, sexy coco, camion, the ladies and their manager) they had energy from 8am to 12am, amazing bunch.
Cons
The food was mediocre in the buffet. Not much selection and not as indigenous as expected. The staff was welcoming however the service was sub par at best. One unfortunate thing I notice, since the wedding party and guest were so diverse, our white English speaking friends received better treatment than myself and a few others who are natives. The only time service got better was after I tipped. A few friends and myself sat for the second seating at the Italian restaurant which was a disaster. The food came out in 5min(not made to order nor was it made on the spot for that matter) and they were rushing us out after 30min, they tried taking my plate three times. The same happened at the pool bars and the night shows. One night a sever brought us a drink which was supposed to be jack Daniels but tasted like a terrible blend of liquors, I let the server know and she sent over the manager which assured us it was an original drink. As a Jack Daniels drinker I know it was not jack. Same incident happened at the sports bar. After that I asked for jack straight and observed them pouring it from the bottle. I was extremely disappointed and as a silver RIU class member will not be returning to this resort.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms away from theater area are quiet.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank CarlosDRBronx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

First impressions of the property- beautiful, well kept, clean. When you walk into the lobby you get a feel of luxury. Front desk staff was excellent. Very friendly and helpful. I personally loved the bartender at the lobby bar... she was very friendly, and quick. The male supervisor (his name escapes me at the moment) of the bar in the lobby and the coffee shop was incredible. You will also notice people cleaning these common areas nearly around the clock, we found that impressive.
The rooms are spacious and beautiful. Our room was cleaned from top to bottom daily. However, the smell was ungodly. At times it smelled like fried food, at other times it smelled like bad fish. We never did discover the origin of the smell, but when you walked in the room it hit you right in the face. We were able to ignore that problem so we never did complain about it. The beds- incredibly hard. And a "king size bed" is really two double beds each made individually, pushed together. Oh, and they move apart very easily so if you are an active roller while you sleep you can fall in between them. Awesome factor here, four full size bottles of alcohol stocked in your room at all times. Mini bar is restocked every 2 days. Not a fan of the soda down there, has a very different taste, but you have plenty of options. Big bottles of water "Pepsi Lite", Pepsi, tonic water, club soda, orange soda.
The pools are beautiful and kept very clean. The beaches are pretty nice, well kept. Bar staff at the pool bar very nice. The resort uses towel cards, give your card get a towel, and vice versa. Wait staff around the pool very nice and attentive. Entertainment crew also very nice and attentive, trying to get everyone involved in activities. One instance that impressed me very much- While relaxing in the pool by the bar I witnessed one of entertainment crew, I believe he goes by "Sexy Bon Bon," picked up a gentleman who was in a wheelchair and carried him into the pool. That showed me an amazing amount of character, he's not just working for a paycheck.
The food- yikes. I had one meal I can say I enjoyed, and that was at the Italian restaurant. Whatever the beef dish is on the menu, you will not be disappointed. I also ate at the steakhouse and it was so-so. The remainder of the time we ate at the buffet due to the variety available. Breakfast juice bar was amazing. The rest of the food was ok. I questioned the reliability of the label indicating what the meats were.
Night entertainment was poor for me personally. I only enjoyed one show, and that was the Michael Jackson show. My problem may have been the language barrier. Each night there is a show at 9:45 lasting about and hour and half or so.
Sport bar was great. Open 24 hours, an array of cold sandwiches available for the taking, and nachos with cheese. One night the cheese tasted... sour. We told the bartender and she did change it.
The dive center- We were interested in renting snorkeling equipment. $20 deposit is advertised to get you mask, snorkel, fins. No. You get a mask and a snorkel. We avoided any other water sports after that.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank pattigal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

We went for 10 days to this hotel, flying from Manchester where we checked in the day before,this very useful as you can go straight through into departures (after security) the following morning,saving time checking bags in.
On arrival at Punta Cana, & passing through immigration,then collecting our bags, found it very difficult to find a Thomson rep,so did a lot of other people off of our flight.There weren't any reps,but some guys in black t shirts behind a desk who pointed us in the direction of our taxi.
Check in was quick, very efficient,& was even given an upgrade to sea view room as a goodwill gesture, ours was room 3051, (main block) looking straight out to the lovely sea.
Everything seemed fine until both myself & wife were very ill on day 4,keeping us in our room for most of the day. After 24/36 hours we felt a lot better although still not 100%, & tried to not let it spoil our holiday.
During our stay we ate at Krystal,Steakhouse & the Italian (3 times at lunch). All were good,but we liked to eat at the Italian for lunch as we were put off by open air, uncovered salads & rolls, in the outside buffet place. The main restaurant for evening meal was nice but seemed to be repetitive, & thought the meat choice was limited,& not as good as other Riu's we have stopped in, namely Riu palace in Aruba, Riu Palace in Mexico & Jamaica, where their meat choice was more varied. Also found the salads were basic, e.g. no eggs, beetroot, or any type of fish to have with it. In other Riu Palace restaurants they have fresh salmon regularly, boiled eggs, etc every day & also they have salad dishes that are covered (lunchtimes & evenings) & rolls/bread that are also covered over by a linen cloth.. Also going down for dinner at 8.30 you would find that there were no rolls left for soup somtimes. At breakfast champagne had to be requested, surely a Palace should have it ready available & help yourself (as with other palaces').
Overall i would say food was good but had little variety & seemed repetitive.
All staff were very polite, helpful, excellent at doing their job & could not fault them at all.
Our room was cleaned spotless every day & extra towels were there if req'd at night along with turndown, which we only had a couple of times whilst we were out.
Entertainment was just ok,& what you'd expect really.
Overall thou good hotel, but does need a rethink on eating places, food hygiene & needs more variety in the main restaurant for dinner.
This was our 4th Riu Palace in the Carribean, & wouldn't be in our top 3.
The beach was excellent,with lovely walks.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank barrybernie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Hi all,On arrival at Punta Cana Airport all went bad and my first impressions of DR were shattered.First of all Thomsons only gave us one form to fill in and we needed two,this resulted in us having to fill in a form before we were allowed to get through immigration,this was for everybody on the flight,so my buying a tourist card on the net was a waste of time as the time I made up was lost.Then we met the immigration officer who was the most arrogant,abusive person I have ever met,she was just shouting at us,when it was not our fault.
Then came the debarcle of the baggage reclaim,there was also two flights from America in at the same time,so what happened.All the staff including security,porters and any other worker on site went straight to the American baggage reclaim carousels.Our carousel got so congested with bags,because the baggage handlers were just pilling them on,that there was a massive blockage,some cases got damadged including mine.My husband jumped over with some other guys and cleared the blockage,not a porter or helper in sight.I bet you can guess why this was happening,well it was down to the fact that everybody was rushing to the Americans because of the tipping regime,something people know I am a bit appauled by,and this was a fact.We even witnessed a porter rushing back from already taking an American passengers bag out,refussing the request of a person on our flight,and helping another American with their bags.This was absaloutelly disgusting and everybody on our flight was fuming.So not a very good start,On our return journey there was about 30 porters waiting for coaches and taxis to arrive,you could imagine my horror when I got out of the taxi and a porter tried to grab my bag
.
Ok,now the review of the Riu Palace Bavaro,i would firstly like to say that this hotel and its staff changed my mind about how I felt about the Dominican Republic.
On arrival we were met by some really nice Porters,theses guys were fantastic,collected our bags and directed us to the reception desk.After booking in the same guy escorted us to the room,with our bags,explained the workings of the room and wished us a great holiday,i tipped him because he deserved it.
Now for the guys on the front desk,in all my trips to the carribean and also this was my 4th Riu Palace,i had never before met a more courteous,well spoken and professional group of guys/girls as these.The checkin was swift,easy and a pleasure after our problems at the airport.I had to visit the front desk a few times and eveytime I was dealt with,very well,thanks to the front desk staff especially,Fernandez,luis,enrique and all the others whose names I have forgotten.
The room:
A large room well decorated clean and refreshing,cleaned everyday by the maid so no complaints from us.However the first night my hubby could not sleep due to a buzzing noise from the electrical box by the door.Having never complained on any holiday we just mentioned it to the front desk as to have the maintenance guy have a look at it,they said no problem but they moved us straight away,and yes we got upgraded to the vip section,thanks Riu Palace Bavro.
The Staff:
Excellent can only state how the staff were at this hotel,very friendly.courteous.proffesional and always cleaning,smiling and passing the time of day with you.What was really good about the staff was no matter what their job was they would always have your interests at heart.A very professional team,well dressed and most of all good at what they do,a credit to this resort and the riu chain.My Husband was so impressed with the staff he wrote a personal letter whilst we were there to the General manager Mr Roberto Miller, praising every member of his staff,well done the staff at the riu palace Bavaro.
The food:
I am not a picky eater but the food was fantastic from the buffet down to the speciality restaurants.If you cant find something to eat at this hotel,then I am sorry its down to you.The main restaurant was undergoing some refurbishment ie new flooring,it wasn't much of a problem the riu staff facilitated well for it,but I am sure someone will complain.
Pool/beach area:
Again fantastic,i am not going to go into much detail about all the areas but if you have any in depth questions feel free to message me.
Ok,i could go on for ever about this place but I would have sore fingers at the end,so I am going to wrap it up with my next statement.
The Riu Palace Bavaro,in my opinion is proberly one of the best resorts I have visited in the Carribean,and that's a lot.I would like to congratulate Mr Roberto Miller ( who you will see everyday/night walking around the site making sure everyone is happy ) on the excellent hotel that he runs.In Particular the staff,they are by far the best we have ever had the priveledge to meet,from the front desk to the gardeners,everybody is fantastic,I would recommend this hotel too anybody,and to those that write bad reviews,"were you really that disappointed",go to the riu palace bavaro,my husband and I will know you wont be disappointed.

Maggie/Ken

Room Tip: Although we got upgraded to the vip area,all rooms are great.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank magsCoventry_england
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2013

A well run hotel, always being cleaned, pleasant staff who we found helpful. Beach location excellent. Room very comfortable even when the weather was bad we stayed in room 2121 nice view of the sea away from main part of the hotel. Food in restaurants got a bit repetitive after 14 nights but their was plenty to chose from some of it looked a bit dried up the later you went for dinner. The restaurant for lunch by the pool was open planned & sometimes I was put off by the the flies. Our 1st experience of The A La Carte was in the Italian restaurant it was not good as I was served uncooked chicken (it was pink) I sent it back to be served as I thought a fresh meal but I don't think it was as I was then sick all night & spent the next day in bed so be careful.
Entertainment in the evening varied & again was a bit repetitive for our choice some nice music to listen to could be an option for the hotel to have in the lobby bar.

Room Tip: we had room 2121 sea view & away from main hotel
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank bradshaw09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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