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“Great Resort”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #53 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great Resort”
Reviewed 4 April 2012

We stayed for a week in March. Overall it was a great resort with excellent service. Yes, it is new and the landscaping hasn't grown in yet, but really? does the landscaping make or break a vacation? I think not! As far as a Semsimar pool or area? Didn't even know it was there until I read about it in a review here on this site. I didn't notice anyone with a pink wrist band. We only ventured over to the VIP pool once and it looked dull and boring.
Check-in was fast and friendly. Front desk staff spoke very good English and explained everything clearly.
We liked the rooms. The decor was different, but that is fine. Why would you want it to be decorated like your home? The beds were very comfortable and the mini bar was stocked every day. They provide you with lots of bottled water. The maid service was GREAT!
The pool area was nice and drinks were plentiful. My only complaint here is about lounge chair saving. Hard to find a pool chair that didn't have a towel on it. And God for bid.... don't try to move the towel and take the chair! I did that and about lost my head to a lady that was sitting in the restaurant having lunch! The pool was never over-crowded and we were there during college spring break.
The food was good for an all inclusive. We only went to a specialty restaurant one night, the steak house. The dinner buffet was great and changed themes nightly, so there was always something new. Lunch was ok. I liked the buffet by the pool. Very convenient for snacks and drinks while you are relaxing. Breakfast was good. There was always food available and that is a good thing with 3 teenagers! Service in all of the eating areas was excellent! They don't speak very good English but the staff is very polite.
We didn't have any stomach issues and I was worried with taking three kids.
Overall we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
13 Thank Camper333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sudbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2012

We recently returned from a 2 week stay at the Riu P.B. 07/03/12 - 21/03/12.

Everything about this hotel was excellent for us apart from an incident which happened 3 days before our return.

We had a substantial amount of USD taken from our safe during the period 08.00am - 11.15am, whilst we were on the beach. Having reported this to reception immediately and completing a small report of the incident, we were not even given the common courtesy of an acknowledgement of this incident nor any words at all from the management. We both felt that we were treated with utter contempt.

Our Thompson holiday rep had spoken to a manager, who I won't name, and on the day we left the rep asked us if they had spoken to us - they had not!!

Apart from the management let me speak about this hotel - the food was excellent, a great variety and quality (fillet mignon, rib eye steak etc). We ate at the Krystal, Italian & Steakhouse (twice). We did not like the food we chose at the Italian but the service and food at the other two were good.

All other staff that we encountered were extremely friendly and always cheerful. The hotel was spotlessly clean with the various staff always tending to their given tasks.

I thought that the bedrroms were excellent, however if you were sharing with someone other than your partner it could be awkward with the open concept design - the shower was great.

I hope that you find my review helpful.

In finishing I will add that we will no longer use the 'in room safe' to store valuables etc and in fact we have just opened a delivery from Amazon of a "travel bag" to carry our valuables at all times with us.

I you have any queries please PM me.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank romanab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillsdale MI
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

My wife and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day at the Riu Palace Bavaro and we had a great time. It was our 5th trip to Punta Cana and have never had a bad experience at any of the resorts we have stayed at, including Iberostar, Dreams and Cabribe Club.

We stayed at the resort March 15-22 and don’t believe all those negative reviews. No place is perfect but this resort is very good. All the staff from the moment we checked in to the moment we boarded the bus for the airport, were great. They were friendly and courteous and always hard at work. Special thanks go out to Ricardo at the buffet, Superman at the pool, and Gabriel and Edwin at the pool bar for outstanding service.



Hotel: Just opened in December and the lobby is modern. It’s not as bad as reviews painted it. Check in was a breeze and wasn’t concerned with needing wi-fi. We left phones, laptops, etc. at home. Hey, we had a phone in the room if someone needed to reach us!

Rooms: We liked our room. Everything worked great but do leave the cupboard door to the minifrig open as this does help with keeping it colder. Loved the jacuzzi tub.

Food: It is good. We could always find plenty to choose from at the buffet and enjoyed the Italian and Steakhouse al-carte restaurants. We had no problems making reservations. There was no line to stand in to make reservations when we walked in at 9 a.m.

Beach: It is the best beach. We have been to Negril and Ocho Rios in Jamaica and the Riveria Maya in Mexico and those beaches are not as wide or have the soft, white sand like Punta Cana. We never had any problem finding a beach lounger and easily found plenty of shade or sun.

Pool: We did not hang out by the pool much but never had a problem finding a lounger when we did and the water was perfect.

Bars: We didn’t have a problem with our drinks. Whether it was a Miami Vice or Sex on the Beach, if it wasn’t strong enough just ask for some more rum. The beer was OK and the wine was so-so. One day we did our Riu Pub Crawl and hit every beach-side bar from one end of the resort to the other.

Tipping: You don’t have to tip but we always do. We leave a couple of dollars on the bed each morning for the maid along with coloring books or crayons they can take home their ninos, and tip one or two of the pool bartenders a couple bucks each every day.

The weather was perfect and Apple Vacations does a good job getting us there and back home. We would definitely go back to the Palace Bavaro and we will be back to Punta Cana.

Room Tip: Take ear plugs. Our room overlooked Caribbean Street and the Disco, which could get a little noisy...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Zifful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cookstown, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Just returned from a one week stay Mar 25 to Apr 1, 2012 at this property and these are my comments.

Only opened since December 2011, after 4 months the growing pains are still showing.
Property is well laid out and it is easy to see it will be very nice one the greenery fills in.
Food & Service is as expected this early, so it is not fair to judge it yet.
Suffice to say, they have work to do & supervision is a must or things don't get done.
Main Pool is really not large enough for a resort this size, but perhaps RIU has plans.

Really NOT IMPRESSED with the 'original proposed' Main Pool being eliminated and replaced by SENSIMAR.
RIU has sold out to an exclusive German Hotel Club & placed them 'dead center' of the resort.
As well as the rooms, pool & pool bar in the Sensimar area, they are given exclusive access to a breakfast restaurant AND a private supper restaurant.
And yes, they have the 'run of the house', to mix with us lesser souls (except the VIP area).
If this is a sign of the future, in my opinion it will ruin the name RIU has built up.

There is a VIP area, also known as the Villa section, an area exclusive to the RIU guests who have booked into that area.
They are identified by a different color wrist band (Pink) and enjoy a private Pool & Bar (not the same one as Sensimar)

GREAT IDEA RIU! Finally doing what most other resort names have been doing for a while.
However, you are missing the mark in a few areas.
RIU VIP area guests have no special restaurant, are given no special privileges for booking restaurants & the bar has LESS variety than the regular Pool bar.
Being right next to Caribbean Street, curious onlookers are forever breaking the peace.
Occasionally enjoying the Pool, chairs & bar, RIU needs to step up the enforcement of this area or it will become worse.
Horrors, step into the Sensimar area & you are immediately asked to leave!

But the WORST part of the VIP/Villa Section, is it is NOT Adults only.
Most with children go to the Main Pool where the activities are, but a few do not.
Most of the ones who stay are respectful (or their parents are), but there were a few who splashed & played disturbing the peaceful atmosphere.
RIU SHOULD be making this an Adults only area, keeping the Pool & Bar area quiet & relaxing for those who look for this.

All in all, a decent vacation, helped along by Joanne & Nelson from the Front Desk.
We had an Oceanview Suite with a Jacuzzi on the 2nd floor - wow, ocean so close!

Remember... your vacation is what YOU make of it. The Resort or Hotel simply gives you the tools to help make it better.

Steve

Room Tip: Villa Rooms are also known as the VIP Section. ALL Junior Suites with Blacony Jacuzzis are on the G...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

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.

Room Tip: If you are on the first floor stay at the end of the hall so it's less noisy
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank M D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

This was our second stay at a Riu Palace in Punta Cana and would highly recommend it even though we had a few minor problems. Upon arriva,l we had a problem with our room (ceiling fan, telephone and refrigerator did not work), and after speaking with staff we were told that someone would take a look. They replaced the refrigerator but the new one didn't work either. We went to the front desk and asked for a new room and they gave us a new one on the same floor not far from the rest of our group. The hotel and grounds are beautiful. Service was excellent and the staff were friendly and courteous. Some of the food was not to our liking but there was so much to choose from we always found something we liked at every meal. The Japanese restaurant was our favorite. We loved that we could order room service the night before and have our coffee and juice brought to our room at the exact time we requested, then we could have breakfast in the Montecristo later in the morning. Meals were available from 7am to 10:30pm so you were never hungry. The housekeeping staff kept the hotel (and our room) immaculate. Unlike the other Riu Palace we stayed at a few years ago, most of the staff at the Bavaro spoke English. A real plus if you don't speak Spanish. We really enjoyed the nightly entertainment even if it was a little campy (but fun). The only real complaint we had was how slippery the floors were (not only in our room but everywhere throughout the hotel). If we ever visit Punta Cana again we will definitely stay at this resort.

Room Tip: Wear shoes with non-skid soles as the floors are very slippery.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Maureen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
142 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

My husband and I have started traveling the last few yers without our kids since they are old enough to be home alone..We discovered the Riu chain 3 years ago and with every visit to a Riu resort, it gets better. So far this place has been the best. The entire staff was incredibly friendly.
We stayed in the Junior Suite and the room was clean, clean clean, The walk in shower was amazing and we enjoyed our hot tub on the balcony daily.
The food was plentiful, and having an assortment of fresh fruits was yummy.. The waiting staff was friendly ..we only ate at the buffet.........our trip was total R & R...
The ocean was a little rough but I enjoyed our daily swim, on our last day, a bunch of seaweed washed up and stayed close to the shore...Im from New York, I wish our ocean was like this...

The pool in the VIP section was beautiful..crystal clear and perfect... never to crowded and towels always available..Ok the towels for the pool could be a cleaner, but its not problem.

Evening entertainment was a good way to wind down. I love the staff from Animacion.. I dont know their names.... they were energeic and humorous.. I hope someone will post their rountine on you tube...

The is a small casio between all the Riu resorts . We spent time there, not a great big casino...sort of dinky... but the staff their was pleasant as well........

All in all, we will return to this resort and encourage that our children will join us.......

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MsLadyBorsa
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

Property: 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 #53 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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