Image of Club Hotel Riu Bambu Hotel

Club Hotel Riu Bambu Hotel

5 of 25 hotels in Punta Cana

5 out of 5 from 8 reviews
4 stars
Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

8 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    5
  • Very Good
    2
  • Good
    1
  • Average
    0
  • Poor
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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
Fabulous
5 years 9 months ago
We love Riu Hotels and the Riu Bambu is a very good example. The staff are very helpful and friendly. Hotel is immaculate throughout. Food very good with 4 additional al a carte restaurants. We were in room 4001 which is the newest block to be finished and was really nice, with the biggest shower ever and the most powerful.

There were 3 pools to choose from and the beach a few steps away, with clear blue sea and lovely clean sand. This area is noted for its fabulous beaches. Plenty of loungers and a lot of shade if needed. There are 5 Riu Hotels on this complex. We will definitely return.
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Recommended
8 years 8 months ago
The Riu Bambu is part of the Riu resort in Bavaro, near Punta Cana. The resort has 5 hotels, 2 of which are Riu Palace hotels. The other 2 are the Taino and the Naiboa. You can use all the facilities of the 3 non-Palace hotels but must have your evening meal in your own hotel (unless you are in the Caribbean grill speciality restaurant). The Bambu looks to be the better of the non-Palace hotels. The rooms have mostly been refurbished and from the look of it there are only a few left to do. The noise caused by the refurbishing was negligible and didn't bother us at all. The reception area has a couple of shops and in the evening there are usually some stalls set up for the local traders. On the other side of the Palace Macao hotel is Caribbean Street with an array of small gift shops, gym, cigar shop, pool hall etc. There is also a small shopping centre between the Bambu and the Palace Punta Cana hotel. This has about 10 shops in with similar stuff to Caribbean Street.

CHECK IN
The usual Riu efficiency. Very quick and no hassle or waiting around. They have everything laid out ready for you, including a welcome drink, and you fill in the registration form in your own time and return it within a couple of days. You get some stickers which you write on your room number and a porter takes them to your room.

ROOMS
Very clean but if the room hasn't been used for a while there may be a damp musty smell (as there was in ours) but this disappears very quickly (within hours) as the room is used. Rooms are air conditioned. 2 double beds and large wardrobe, sideboard with TV and a table with 2 chairs. Bedside tables with a radio alarm clock. Mini bar is replenished every 2 days and has beer, water and soft drinks. There are also 4 optics in the room. Bathroom has a shower over the bath, single wash basin, hair drier and a large mirror.

FOOD & DRINK
Fairly good quality with a selection every day. As usual, there are some repeating dishes but overall not too bad. The selection isn't massive but we always found something we could eat. Food was usually hot but on a few occasions was only warm. There are 2 speciality restaurants on site (Italian and Steakhouse) and a 3rd at the Palace Macao (Caribbean grill). The food is good at all 3 but the Caribbean grill was the better one in our opinion. These have to booked in the morning of the day you want to go. The earlier 7pm sittings go fairly quickly but the 9pm sittings don't go as quickly. The drinks are all local ones unless you specifically ask for the named brands so a "vodka and coke" got you the local brew but a "Smirnoff and coke" got you the good stuff. Saying that though, from a taste point of view there wasn't really any difference if you had a mixer with it. There are 2 bars during the day, including a pool bar which is split level (one for the pool and one for non-pool), and an extra one in the evening. Soft drinks and coffee machines were available as self serve so you didn't have to wait to be served. Beer and soft drinks were available in the dining rooms as well.

STAFF
Reception staff were very polite and efficient in answering any queries we had.
Entertainment staff were good, but not exceptional. If you made an effort to get to know them they were great, but they weren't particularly outgoing to make friends with you. Bar staff were great. Even though the hotel was quite busy, I rarely had to wait more than a few minutes to get served.
Dining room staff were variable. We had some good ones and some average ones, but no bad ones.
Cleaners, gardeners etc were all quite friendly and would always speak, even if you didn't speak first.

BEACH & POOL AREA
The beach is stunningly beautiful. Very wide soft powder white sand with palm trees growing on about two thirds of it and loads of sunbeds on it. It goes on for miles so if you like walking, you have plenty to go at. Turn right out of the hotel and about 20 minutes walk down the beach brings you to a beach market with about 25 stalls which is open every day.
The pool area is very clean with lots of sunbeds and palm umbrellas for shade. There are 2 pools, a smaller one which is quite quiet, and a larger one where the pool activities take place and also contains the pool bar.

ENTERTAINMENT
Typical Caribbean entertainment with lots of dance based shows. Not too bad but not the best I have seen. Most nights also saw a live band playing as an extra attraction. Daytime entertainment was the usual array of games and activities. The Palace Macao has a casino which any guest can use and there is a nightclub on Caribbean Street, but you have to buy your drinks in there, it isn't part of the all-inclusive.

SURROUNDING AREA
Not much within walking distance of the hotel apart from the beach market. A taxi can take you to the shopping areas in Bavaro and there is a free bus which takes you to one shopping centre from the top of Caribbean Street.
ADVICE - if you want to take back duty free goods, buy them in resort as the prices at Punta Cana airport are very expensive. Example - a litre bottle of Brugal rum was $18 in resort and the same bottle was $28 in the duty free shop in the airport.

OVERALL
We had a good holiday there but I probably wouldn't choose to go back unless I got a good deal (in which case I would be happy to). Not because it was bad, as it wasn't, but because there are other places in the same price range which I think are a lot better.
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Travel operator: Thomson

Recommended
Trevor & Debbie
10 years 1 month ago
Stayed here at the Bambu in Sept 2008 so booked to return in Sept 2009 but we were bitterly dissapointed,we are great fans of the Riu chain so much so that we are Riu clubcard members not that is counts for much.In 2008 we had a great time,all the staff would put themselves out for you and the food was acceptable but this time there was a marked difference,wether that was due to the recession i dont know but the restaraunt servis was very bad especialy at lunchtime as half the restaraunt was closed off so limited seating and unmade tables.
The breakfast menue if you would call it breakfast consisted of the usual eggs of all type,boiled potatoes / mashed potatoes / carrots / brocollii / beef stew/ spiced - garlic sausages / fish / pasta or cold salade / continental , Now forgive me for being piky but when did you last eat Brocolii and carrots with mash for breakfast - never i would hazard a guess.The hotel was full of spanish familey on what i would assume as a cheap three day breaks and kind of took over the resourses while us who paid full price for a two week break had to suffer for it,the italian famileys take over the restaraunt fussing about wher and who they sit nrxt to and when you get ten of them all together they monopolise the waiter servises and nobody else gets a look in.
The only plus about this year was the bar staff were just the same ,happy and attentive and the location and beach are second to none we will not be returning to this hotel in the near or distant future. Same on you Riu
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Travel operator: Thomson

Ann & Keith Watson
11 years ago
The hotel was spotless. Staff cleaning all day. The bedroom was also spotless.

We have been to all inclusive hotels and food repeated every 2 days but not here lunch and evening food was different each day. Yes a few extra pounds went on the waste band as the food was excellent!

We arrived in the rain so couldn't go on the beach until next morning. The sand was so powdery well worth the wait. There were enough sun beds for everyone{so need for anyone to be up before breakfast with towels}.

You couldn't asked for better staff. My husdand was ill one evening, so went for my meal alone and the staff were so friendly towards me. They asked if my husband would like his meal taken to the room.

We can't wait to go back for another holiday!
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Travel operator: thompson

Recommended
12 years 6 months ago
When we arrived at Punta Cana airport we were queued up 2 x 2 for photos with some lovely Dominican ladies which you are shown on your way back and can buy if you wish. I think they were 7 dollars. It was fairly fast at getting our luggage and our bus for transfer to Riu Bambu.

When we got to Riu Bambu we received a warm welcome and soft drink, collected our keys for our rooms, put the room number on a sticker which we attached to our luggage and were delivered to our rooms within a few minutes.

We had a suite (room 107) and our kids had a standard room (309). Both rooms were good but our suite was lovely and big, with a living room area which consisted of a two seat sofa and armchair, coffee table and loads of extra drawer space. The bathroom had bath with shower over (very good) twin sinks with a hairdryer and a separate toilet and bidet. On our balcony we had lie down white plastic sun loungers and a small table with clothes airer.

The kids room had the bamboo style beds and was a fairly good size, with no bidet and 2 normal plastic chairs on their balcony with a small table, and 2 wooden chairs and a table in their room.

Both suite and room had mini bar and fridge with the same stock.

The food and drinks were very very good. Try the lumumba (brandy and chocolate milkshake) for a nightcap - lovely ! The mango daiquiri and Dr funk were very good too. Watch out for the mojito - they grind herbs (twigs and leaves) into the bottom and it was revolting!!!! All cocktails can be made with or without alcohol and the beer was ok. The coffee was great and they have machines which are maxwell house which you can have latte, cappuccino and normal coffee. That was surprisingly nice as I'm very fussy about my coffee from abroad.

All the food was great with the exception of the caribe grill - a little bit of a strange combination - we ordered steak and mushroom sauce and got steak (which was small but good) with a bowl of mushroom sauce that tasted like mushroom soup served with 1 tinned tomato, 2 sprouts and some cauliflower!!!! The steakhouse steak was better - larger very good steak served with rice and or jacket potatoes in foil with some veg. All the food in the main buffet restaurant was very very good!!!

The entertainment team work very hard, we enjoyed most of the shows. My kids enjoyed the Michael Jackson show most of all and the comedy shows where they involve the audience are great fun!! My daughter was particularly fond of Oliver who does a good dance to "cotton eyed Joe" where he always keeps his tongue out for some strange reason!!!!!!!!!!! They went to the disco and they said it was good, but was better as it got later - I think it's open till 4am !!!!!

Beach and sea were amazing - theres no other word for it. We went to Riu ocho Rios in December/January and this beach was lovely but Punta Cana beats it hands down. You can walk for miles if you've got the energy!!!!!

Would we go there again - THERE WILL BE NO STOPPING US !!!!!

We had a blast!!!!!!!
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Travel operator: Thomson

Recommended
13 years 5 months ago
The Riu Bambu is definitely without a doubt the best hotel I have ever stayed in.

The rooms are spacious and clean, and are within easy access to the beach, pools, bars and restaurants. The hotel itself is spotlessly clean with beautiful flowers everywhere, and all the staff are friendly and smiley and will do anything for you.

I couldn't believe how good the food was, there was so much to chose from even if you are a fussy eater like I am, there is something for everyone. We did eat in the Steak House a few times and thought the food there would rival any top restaurants in this country, it was delicious.

I can't wait to go back to this hotel, and will hopefully do so next year.
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Travel operator: Thomson

Recommended
13 years 11 months ago
We arrived at Bambu and were greeted by very friendly staff including the assistant manager (Wellington). We checked in extremely quickly and were shown to our rooms.

The rooms were beautiful and clean. The only point that I would like to make is that in our room there was me, my husband and my 2 children which did make it quite cramped. But hey how long do you spend in the room so I'm not complaining but when we do go back (notice not if) I do think we would op for the suite.

The food itself was fantastic lots of different choices every night. We did visit the two other restaurants which were exceptional, especially the steak house far too much food!

The hotel is situated on the beach and wow what a beach. White sand and turquoise water beautiful. We had quite a few walks in both directions and it never failed to take my breath away.

The hotel pool was lovely must admit to spending an awful lot of time at the pool bar (oh to be there now!) The only point that I would like to make here is the fact that the children
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Travel operator: Thomson

Recommended
Claire Price
14 years 6 months ago
My husband and I went to this hotel on our honeymoon. It was our first time in the Caribbean and our first time doing all inclusive, so we really didn't know what to expect.

Our first impressions of the hotel exceeded any expectations that we had. It was wonderful, the lobby was stunning with huge fresh flower arrangements everywhere, it was spotlessly clean, and the staff were pleasant, friendly, and well presented.

Our room was excellent, two big double beds together. The bathroom was lovely, big bath and the shower was awesome, but the cr
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Travel operator: Thomas Cook

Recommended

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