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Riu Bambu

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Our Opinion

Closer to a 4 star rating, Riu Bambu is an older hotel that has been renovated. Located on a great palm tree lined beach with a nice pool area. The new water play area with slides, waterfalls, splash pads and a wading pool is great for kids. Typically good food with Riu.


Overview
The RIU Bambu is a fantastic, all-inclusive beachfront resort with a lively atmosphere. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, it is just a stone's throw away from Playa Arena Gorda beach with its many watersports. It is one of the most popular properties with Canadian vacationers.

Location: Directly on the beach, 30 minutes from the Punta Cana airport and 5 minutes from the Caribbean Street shopping complex.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • fly22 : Brit in UK
Pleasantly surprised

This hotel is one of four Riu hotels aligned along the beach at Bavaro, Punta Cana. The clientele at the Bambu seems predominantly, if not exclusively, the all inclusive package holiday tourist. It was nice to have a mix of American, Canadian, English, Spanish, Dutch, German and Eastern European guests rather than just one dominant nationality. When I first arrived I feared the worst when I saw the sheer number of people at the hotel and heard the noisy boom boom of the beat box music in the pool area. While obviously this appeals to many it wouldn't normally be to my personal taste.Having said that the hotel cleverly manages to accommodate those who want to pickle their livers in the swim up disco pool bar, while acquiring early hearing loss, as well as those of us who prefer to read a book by the quiet pool situated on the other side of the restaurant. Of course there are always the odd die hard idiots who insist on bagging sun loungers and then disappearing for the day but there were always more than sufficient beds available by the pool and also on the massive beach area in front of the hotel. The beach with fine white sand is kept clean, palms provide shade and the azure sea is warm to swim in. If like me you like to snorkel the water (at least while I was there) is too choppy and visibility limited to be able to see anything even if it is there. The few hawkers that patrol the beach are no bother, tending to just walk on by waiting for folk to approach them.It was quite windy, although always warm, during my stay. This had the advantage of keeping any mosquitos at bay. While they normally love to feed off me I didn't get a single bite while there. Of course bring protective sprays but I wouldn't personally bother with the expensive wrist bands on sale during the flight and coach transfer.The various restaurants available are well documented in other reviews. I found the range and quality of food on offer to be very good - especially given the volume of guests they were catering for. I am a duck nut anyway but the Duck a l'orange in the Asian (yes they do Sushi et al as well) hit the spot for me. I have seldom seen elsewhere such quantities of food to be on offer in at least one of the restaurants for such a time span. Sure if you want vintage wines then you may need to purchase your own but I have tasted far worse house wines before. The room mini bar was topped up with ample supplies of water, soft drinks and beer every other day. In addition self service dispensers in two of the restaurants offer a selection of water, soft drinks and beer and the bars a range of cocktails, juices and beers. Nice to see hand gel dispensers available at the entrance to main restaurants and in the loos.Dress code was pretty relaxed. Only once, at dinner, did I notice a young waiter ask a guy to go and put a shirt on, instead of the vest he was barely wearing. Ok maybe it's acceptable to be more relaxed at the snack restaurant at lunch time. Even then do we really need to see bare torsos while eating or sit in the puddle created by someone's wet swimwear? It's not a tuxedo type resort, thank heavens, but a little bit of self policing and consideration for others would save the staff having to step in.The bedroom / bathroom was more than adequate although the room did smell a little musty on return each day. A small veranda provided a nice suntrap in the afternoon. The rooms are all contained in two story blocks with level access to the main restaurants and beach area. I wasn't sited anywhere near the building works so I can't comment on those. Even the most remote block would be no more than 5 minutes amble to the facilities. As someone else commented I only noticed sheets provided in the bedroom but I was more than warm enough not to have to ask for a blanket. Air con and fan both worked fine. Cleaning staff did a good job making up the rooms.Contrary to some other comments posted I found the staff to be brilliant - smiling, friendly and very approachable. Of course they were happy to accept any tips (given the hours and effort they put in they deserve them) but at no time did I feel any pressure to offer tips to obtain good service. Bar staff efficient, entertainment staff worked tirelessly as did the cleaning and support staff. It's not really my bag but evening entertainment (dancers, magician and acrobats) was provided in the theatre. Nb I feel it would help to remove some of the seats as they are all crammed too close together to be able to move freely through the area or even get to sit down in them. As a non smoker I would also prefer a non smoking area in the theatre. The area just outside the sports bar becomes especially polluted even with just a couple of smokers puffing away. Beach massages and a spa centre are provided by the adjacent hotel but prices seemed high to me, which might explain why the spa centre was deserted when I dropped by. Maybe worth considering dropping prices at least during off peak periods?There are a couple of small shops in the hotel, small shopping mall in adjacent hotel and range of local shops 10 minutes walk along beach. All tended to be well over priced for their products so be prepared to haggle or come self sufficient for your stay.In conclusion I tend not to return to any resort but I would have no problem in staying here again in the future.Nb there were quite a lot of kids in the hotel so if that bothers you then stay in the next door Adults only Riu Palace Macao.

  • Teefy C :
Good

Group of four women aged 22-23 stayed for two weeks at the riu bambu.The room we stayed in was fine. We had two double beds and a sofa bed. For a few days we all stayed on the two double beds but after a while i decided to sleep on the sofa bed so that i could spread out. When the sofa bed is down there is not much space to walk around in the room however that was not a big issue for us. We paid to have wifi in our room which was $35 per week (split between for only about $8). There was wifi in the lobby but we also wanted it in our room. We were under the impression that the hotel was located close to things. As a group of young women we didnt want to spend all of our time in the hotel, however we noticed early on that there was not much things that were in walking distance. Things that we liked: 1) Customer service was good. Especially by Ruben & Celestino. We even asked for one of the alcohol bottles to be changed in our room and this was done.2) Water park was really good. Definitely recommend it. 3) Entertaintment was good. 4) All the staff were really friendly and welcoming5) Our tour rep Judy from thomspon was amazing! She helped us book all the best excursions at a good price and was always on hand if we needed anything. 6) You are able to use the faciliities and visit some of the other hotels. 7) Outback safari tour was really good! Things we didnt like 1) The food in the buffet was quite repetitive and the food at the restaurants were not to a great standard. I think this was more down to personal preference. 2) On our last day when we were clearing out the safe we realised that some of our £GBP had gone missing. There was a small amount of money missing from each of our purses. I had bought extra money incase i needed to change more but i did not and had left it in the safe the whole holiday. The safe was kept locked at all times however i am sure the hotel staff have access to it. We didnt bother bringing it up to the staff as it was just before check out and theres no real way of us proving how much money we had in the safe. This put a real downer on our holiday. 3) Drinks are not included at the club on the hotel premises. Paying for an all inclusive stay we thought that they would be. Also in the club hotel riu in jamaica the drinks are included at the club. Apart from that last issue we really enjoyed our time at the Riu and would recommend it.

  • Amir Z :
Great trip!

I went here with my family and had great experience and everyone had a good time! The food was good and had no complaints during our stay there. That was my first time staying in Punta Cana and it was nice!

  • Cgraves63 : Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Amazing Vacation

We visited RIU Bambu from March 12th to March 18th. We loved our time here and can't wait to return. We were in a Jr. Suite (107), which was located steps away from the pools, beach, restaurants and Reception. Reception is the center point for everything. We swam in the ocean everyday, with no worries. It's beautiful! No need for water shoes in the ocean. It's a hard, sandy bottom. The beach is incredible. We walked it everyday for miles. Many people do this, as well as jog in the morning. They have beach showers between the beach & pathway. Very helpful as you need it to get the sand off your feet and the saltwater off your body. We went to the pools everyday, too. The cabanas were our favorite. Never had any problem getting a lounge chair at the beach or pools, in the sun or shade. Ample choices. Bring a lot of sunscreen and a hat. Packed an entire suitcase and didn't touch 3/4 of it. We lived in our bathing suits during the day and shorts, tanks & tees at night. It wasn't humid but it was warm 82-84 everyday with a nice ocean breeze all the time.Even for dining. Don't drink the tap or shower water in your room. It's not filtered. You will feel the effects of this if you do. Use the bottled water they provide. You can make ice in your room fridge. There is a tray. Bring a zip lock baggie for your ice so you can keep making it. Fridge is stocked every other day & booze is replaced at the same pace. Water & ice at bars & restaurants is filtered & safe to drink. Outside of your room there are bars for you to get your drinks. We never had to wait for service. Bring your own insulated tumbler. Your drinks get warm fast otherwise. They will make your drink in your tumbler and you can fill it up yourself with soda, juice, water, coffee & ice all day long at the self serve stations. The restaurants are mostly buffet, so you never have to wait for service. Food is clearly marked at the buffets. It wasn't my favorite thing about this trip, but my husband enjoyed the food. I found myself eating a lot of salad and fruit & cereal. Mamajuana's is the place for lunch and at night it becomes the steakhouse with servers. We enjoyed BBQ chicken and baby back ribs one night but mostly found ourselves at the Colonial buffet. There is no room service available. You can eat at any time if you want. Staff is all incredibly nice. Front desk speak the best English. I always started out with "do you speak English?" and they would switch right over as best they could. It would have been helpful for us to brush up on our Spanish since we were in their country, but we managed fine. They work very hard keeping everything clean and do a great job at it. Spring breakers were kept under control and we never saw people out of control partying. As Americans, we were in the minority. Many British, French, German and Latino. All enjoying this beautiful place. We did a day trip to Saona Island and the natural pools. Be prepared for a long day (11 1/2 hours). You ride in a van filled with people to meet a motor coach bus with even more people and drive for over an hour to get to the marina where you are in a little village and board your speedboat or catamaran to the Island. You get to ride on both. If you had the speedboat to the Island, you will be on the catamaran on the way back and vice versa. The catamaran was fun. Music, dancing & drinks. They make it memorable. We would probably not do an excursion next time since you are gone all day & the van & bus ride took its toll. You have to pack your patience. I can't say anything bad about our stay. We loved it! You will too. American dollars are no problem. You should tip your house keeper. They are not intrusive and do a great job. Tip your bartender too and the person who helps you with your bags. They deserve it.

  • Michael F :
One of the best.

Excellent resort, first resort I'm planning on returning too! Food is the best I've had and some food taste better then I can get back in Canada. Drinks are really good and strong so it don't take much to get drunk but are very tasty. Wifi is available in almost every common area and if you want wifi in your room you have to book the DELUXE room! I have seen comments about how there's no wifi in the rooms and how that led to a negative review about the resort but there is wifi in the deluxe rooms. Enjoy your stay and I recommend this resort.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner daily (buffet & made to order food stations)
  • A la carte dinner at Italian Caribe Grill & Steakhouse (dress code and reservations required)
  • Pizzeria snacks & domestic drinks 24 hours a day (incl. house wine with dinner)
  • Day & night tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Games room
  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Catamaran
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba lesson in pool
  • Free access to Splash Water World in the Riu complex
  • Gym
  • Entrance to casino at Riu Palace (drinks extra)
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Entrance to Pacha disco (drinks extra)
  • 560 bungalow-style guestrooms
  • 2 restaurants
  • 3 bars including Swim-up bar
  • 2 pools, and 1 for kids
  • Tennis courts
  • Gym
  • Jacuzzi
  • Water sports centre
  • Boutique and shops
  • Massage services (fee)
  • Beauty salon (fee)
  • Spa (fee)
  • WiFi in lobby
  • Pharmacy
  • Medical services on call 24 hrs (fee)
  • Golf nearby

Guest Rooms include:

  • 2 3/4 beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Ceiling fan
  • Satellite TV
  • Stocked mini-bar
  • In-room safe
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Full Bathroom
  • Hairdryer

Kids Deal - Kids 12 and under stay and eat free when sharing with 2 adults. Max 2 kids. Limited availability.

For the Kids - Kids 4-12 can enjoy the Kids' Mini-club and supervised programs.

Stay at 1, Play at 3 - Receive full exchange privileges at Riu Taino and Riu Naiboa. Dinner restaurants excluded.

Honeymoon Bonus - Surprise welcome gift in your room, King-size bed, Late check-out, and Complimentary upgrade to next available room class. Request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required. Subject to availability and subject to change.

Wedding Packages - Available, please inquire for details.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Riu Bambu
    Punta Cana,Dominican Republic

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
ClubHotel Riu Bambu
Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana Dominican Republic

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.