- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Closer to a 4 star rating, Riu Bambu is an older hotel with recent renovations. Located on a great palm tree lined beach with a nice pool area. The water play area with slides, waterfalls, splash pads and a wading pool is great for kids, plus access to Splash Water World is included. Typically good food with Riu.
- Beachfront in multi-resort RIU complex
- 2 kids' pools plus access to Splash Water World
- Free Wi-Fi
- Lots of dining options
We had a great time at the beach. However, Riu Bambu was OK... We had been to 2 other RIU hotels in the Carribean and I can say that the service at this hotel can be better. Staff needs to pay more attention to the guests. Food was also OK. My kids had fun on the pool and our room was standard.
We had stayed at Riu Bambu in 2013, and me and my partner decided last year this was where we wanted to get married.I will review the hotel, facilities etc and then wedding details for anyone considering it (I was searching reviews regarding this in the lead up to our big day, so I know brides-to-be will do the same!) We were a group of 14, me and my husband stayed for a fortnight. MealsThere were several different restaurants available with speciality dishes - Italian, Mexican, Kulinarium, steakhouse, Asian and Spanish. There was also the Colonial restaurant which was a buffet with a variety of choices. Everything had changed since the last time we'd been, which was confusing at first as the restaurants had changed and the signage wasn't all updated. All restaurants except the Colonial required you to attend early for a beeper which would flash and vibrate when your table was ready. The Steakhouse, in my opinion, was by far the best. All courses were delicious, and served to you at the table. The team in there were very efficient and very friendly! I can honestly say I think the standard of meals at all restaurants was great, and unlike other reviewers, I have no issues at lunchtimes getting my own knife and fork :-) eating that much food, to be honest, I needed the exercise! Rooms There were 14 of us staying at Riu Bambu, and everyone was happy with their rooms as far as I'm aware. The optics in the room are a great touch! The room was kept clean and towels changed if left on the floor. Unfortunately on one of the days a towel smelt rather funky, but other than that no complaints. Our hairdryer was slightly broken on the side but still working, and after a week in this was completely renewed, without us even mentioning it! Staff I'm going to have to mention one of the waiting staff - Michael Beltres, who was a favourite for our family. Always friendly and attentive. Wedding I was apprehensive about getting married abroad as there is only so much preparation you can do from home, and due to language barriers etc. There was absolutely no need for this worry!The wedding coordinator provided was amazing, Marcibel Rodriguez, and she emailed me from booking to even after the big day - to make sure all my paperwork was correct and that everything was as we wanted it, to the smallest detail.She met us on the 2nd day and ran us through everything, and she even arranged for the wedding certificate to be brought to reception before we left (for an additional but reasonable fee)SpaI used the neighbouring Renova Spa, Bavaro for my hair and make-up, and had a trial beforehand to check I would be happy. They were amazing. Genesis did my hair and make-up, and she copied my example hairstyle photo perfectly. She didn't speak any English, but a translator would nip in if I needed any assistance.PhotographerWe used Antillana De Fotographia, the photographer for the resort, as they were the only photographers we were aware of in the area. The photographer did an amazing job and the photos were beautiful (he edited out all the people on the beach who were watching and filming our big day) and had a memory stick ready for us with all the edited photos by the next day! Amazing service!Everything was perfectly coordinated and came together well. We had our reception meal at the Mexican restaurant (no vegetarian options for the served mains - but those who were vegetarian were lead to the Colonial to bring back an alternative.The cake was absolutely delicious and I wish I could have eaten more.I couldn't be happier that we chose to get married at the Riu Bambu, and I think it was a lovely location for the honeymoon that followed!
Expected more from Riu.My sister and I, early 50’s, stayed at the Riu Bambu from Jan 27 – Feb 10, 2018.We were there for two weeks so had a chance to try everything and this is a detailed review.Overview: The resort is located on Bavaro beach, between the Bahia Principe Resort and the Iberostar resort. It’s a complex of five Riu resorts. Of the five, the Bambu is the second lowest level, which means that, had we wanted to, we were only able to use the facilities at the Bambu, and at the Naiboa, which was the lowest level. We only had options of the six a la carte at the Bambu and restaurants at the Naiboa, which we didn’t go to at allThere is free wifi at this resort and it worked well. You can use only two devices per room, so if you each have your phone and your tablet, you will have to sign out and sign in each time you change from phone to tablet. The one really good thing about this resort is that there is NO problem finding a chair either on the beach or by the pool. Lots of chairs everywhere. There are no palapas on the beach, but lots of palm trees. There are pergola style covers at the beach, with canvas on tracks that can slide depending on whether you want shade or sun. There are also lots of umbrellas. No fighting for chairs.The other good thing is that it's spread out across the beach instead of back away from the beach. It's nicely organized and unless you are in the new rooms at the very back, everything is a short walk away. There are no trolley cars to take you from one place to another.There are several pools at this resort – three of them are side by side in one area where the animation team and the pool bar are located and there are two much quieter pools on the other side of the small buffet restaurant and there is a very small splash pad behind the quiet pool for very young children. There is also access to the waterpark at the back of the complex near the Naiboa resort.Customer service was friendly and when we arrived, we learned that we had been placed in the newer building which is furthest from everything. We asked to be moved to a more central building as we didn’t want to spend our whole vacation walking back and forth through the resort. There are no shuttles and it’s about a 7-10 minute walk from the beach to the back of the resort. We were immediately moved to a more central building. This was a first for us. In other resorts, they won’t move you on the first day. They make you open your luggage, and then have to repack so that you can move the next day. We were very pleased with this.We ended up transferred to Building 21. Close to everything. We were close to the theatre as well, however, that generally finishes at 11pm, so the muffled noise didn’t bother us.Rooms: Our room was okay. We had a room with two ¾ beds. This resort was shut down from May to September 2017 for renovations and to add more buildings. Spoke with the manager who told me that approximately 200 rooms were added, which in turn meant that more staff was added. We had a problem with our room. The beds had obviously not been “refreshed” when they renovated. The mattresses were bowed in the centre, the foot of the mattress was a good three inches higher than the head, and the outside where people tend to sit was so badly sloped that if you rolled over, you felt you would roll right out of the bed. We spoke to customer service twice about it, and they tried to fix it by putting blankets beneath the mattress to even it out, but it wasn’t until the third time when I spoke with the manager, that they actually changed the mattresses for us – Day NINE of our stay. The older rooms are a little oddly set up. In most resorts we’ve stayed, the bathroom is located along the hallway. In this resort, the bathroom is located directly across from the two beds. The door is a sliding “barn door” style on tracks. The light switch is located outside the bathroom. If you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, there are problems. 1. The door track was VERY noisy. It squeaked badly so that when you opened it in the middle of the night, you were waking up your roommate. We asked to have it oiled. That helped for about two days and then it started squeaking again. It just wasn’t worth asking again.2. The second problem was that the light switch was outside the bathroom, so you had to slide open the squeaky door, turn on the light which then shone brightly into the rest of the room in the middle of the night, so between the squeaky tracks and the light shining brightly into the main room, there was no way to avoid waking your roommate.AC seemed to be controlled. I don't know if it was just our room that had a thermostat issue of if all the temperatures are set. Our thermostat said 23C. It was always too cold and we could not change the temperature. If we turned off the AC, the room got hot and humid. We ended up asking for heavier blankets. The room was also on the small side. For the same price point, we’ve stayed at other resorts that have a sitting area. We had no problems at all with the maid service. We tipped every day and our room was always well maintained. (Can I just add that for those of you who tip at the end of your stay, please don’t. The maids change shifts. You might end up leaving the whole amount to someone who didn’t even clean your room! Tip a smaller amount every day to ensure the person who cleans actually gets the tip!)We had a bar with five bottles of liquor which we didn’t touch. Mini fridge was refilled every two days with water, pop and beer. Should be defrosted more often. Ours had a big build up of ice.Restaurants: This was the worst part of our stay. All the restaurant are REALLY noisy!! I’m pretty sure there is no baffling in the ceiling to muffle noise. Lots of echos and clattering of dishes and guests talking. I’ve never experiences this at a resort before. Sure, there is always noise, but this was excessive.There are two buffets. The Colonial is the main one. The food was exactly the same every day. There are no theme nights. If you are a picky eater, you are going to get bored with the food fast. The food was barely “okay” but I’ve been to resorts at the same price point which were MUCH better.The Mama Juana is the smaller buffet, located closer to the beach. This had even less choice than the Colonial and again, the food was a barely okay and the service was terrible. Again, same thing served EVERY day. No changes. I really did not like this restaurant. The service was really bad. I wouldn’t even call it a buffet. I’d call it a cafeteria. The guests are expected to get their own cutlery, napkins and drinks from the pop machines. Bare minimum of service, and basically only if you were offered coffee in the morning, or beer/wine at other meals. We also always tip - $5 at the a la cartes, and $1 or $2 at the buffet’s, depending on the meal/service. We found that hardly anyone tipped at the restaurants because the service for the most part was very poor. Why tip if I have to get my own cutlery and drinks?We ate at all six of the theme restaurants. I can’t even call them a la carte because the Italian, Spanish and Asian were all buffet. Kinda got tired of eating buffet style. The Italian was our least favorite. We only ate there once. Sis had a pasta and pesto which they sautéed for her. She said it was okay. I had pasta with a marinara which was so salty I couldn’t eat it. Didn’t go back.Spanish was again, buffet. Nothing special. We were not used to some of the dishes ie, Ox tail stew, so we stuck with chicken/beef/pork and the vegetables. It was okay. Nothing special so we didn’t go back a second time.The Asian buffet had the usual – maki rolls, rice, etc. Again, I expected more from Riu. There wasn’t even a Teppanaki table. The food was “okay” but not great. Sushi and maki rolls were not made with the sticky rice we are used to and were a bit disappointing. No real flavor to them.The steakhouse was probably the best of the five. We ate there three times and tried a different dish each time. The steaks were huge, and so was the salmon filet. All the meals were exactly the same except for the meat/fish portion. Bread, mozzerala sticks, caeser salad, french fries, and then whatever main portion you selected. We enjoyed this restaurant more so than the buffets. Service was friendly and they actually tried hard.The Mexican restaurant had a buffet style appetizer and the main was served. Mexican has always been our favorite at most other resorts we’ve been to. Unfortunately, the “Mexican” part of this restaurant was just plain bad. Nachos with CheeseWhiz type cheese, and not much selection. Tried the chicken fajitas the first time, and they were grossly over salted. Had not planned to go back, but spoke with another guest who said that the beef dish was good, so we went back and tried that, and it was much better than the Fajitas. Unfortunately, the buffet appetizers still sucked.Lastly, the International gourmet restaurant (Kulinarium) was also better than the buffet styles. We ate there twice and enjoyed the rice/lobster dish so much that we ordered it the second time as well. Not big drinkers, so can’t really tell you if drinks were watered down or not. Had a few mojitos and they didn’t take watered down to us! We found the wine to be passable, but noted that many people were buying wine from the Duty Free shop on the resort. If you are particular about your wine, you will likely want to do that as well.In response to a request from the front desk for feedback, I scheduled a meeting with the Manager of the resort, Mr. Jose Montera. He was a pleasure to speak with and was instrumental in getting our beds changes and having the squeaky bathroom door oiled, however, he is just one man. His biggest problem is staff that is unmotivated. Staff at the Steakhouse and at the Gourmet restaurant are friendly and try their best. The staff at the customer service desk are all friendly as well, and all speak English, but the staff at the buffets and at the buffet restaurants need training badly. It’s a vicious circle. They provide poor service, get no tips, so provide poor service. If they were more motivated, they’d get tipped and that would in turn motivate them even more. Instead of spiraling upwards, they spiral downwards. Conclusion: This resort has potential, but a lot depends on the unmotivated staff. I expected much better from Riu. The price point for the Bambu was the same as for the Bahia Principe Punta Cana, and aslo for the Caribe Club. I would go to either of these resorts before I ever come back to Bambu. Food was MUCH better, rooms were nicer and service at the restaurants was also much better. This is at best, a three star resort and in comparison to the Rui Palace Punta Cana, the extremely poor and ugly sister. (We were given a voucher to have dinner at the Palace Punta Cana for one evening due to the issues we had, and the food was like night and day between that buffet and our poor man’s buffet at the Colonial.)If you can honestly tell yourself that the “little things” like subpar food, poor service at restaurants, squeaky doors and bright lights at night don’t bother you, then the free wifi and lots of beach chairs may make up for it. (Oh, and I forgot to mention the noisy workers starting their shifts at 4am and calling out to each other across the resort and waking us up.) But honestly, for the same money, I would recommend the Bahia Principe Punta Cana, the Caribe Club Princess or the Tropical Princess over this resort. Just don’t bother with the Bambu until you start reading the service and food has improved. Feel free to message me if you have questions.
The hotel has many thing to offer. It has a great beachfront and very good buffets. The dinner restaurants. Great that the all inclusive continues in your room with a full bar. Rooms are not the best as the shower and room are not separate and if you go with friends it makes it a little awkward. TV reception was terrible and the remote control was not working. Remote was replaced but TV reception was never fixed to what the poor response was "thats the way it is in all the rooms". My room was in the 37 section which is next to the road. Road noise of incoming trucks and buses was heavy inside the room.
Our group of 12 arrived here on 2/8/2018 from Rockford International in the USA. The airport at Punta Cana was packed and very congested, we survived that and Apple bussed us to Riu Bambu. Check in at Riu Bambu, make sure you look and see where your room is on the map, ours was 5 blocks form the ocean, too far, try to get a room close to the lobby. Rooms were clean but have a variety of issues, AC was a very damp cool, phones were not working, no lotion or shampoo provided, shower drained very slow, staff are very nice, limited English. Food is ok, not as good as the Riu resorts in Playa Del Carmen, bartenders are good. The beach is nice soft sand, very windy with some trees for shade, pools were clean.
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
- Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
- Hotel transfers for packages to USA
- 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
- Games room
- Snorkeling equipment
- Scuba lesson in pool
- Free access to Splash Water World in the Riu complex
- 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
- Water sports centre
- Boutique and shops
- Massage services (fee)
- Beauty salon (fee)
- Spa (fee)
- WiFi in lobby
- Medical services on call 24 hrs (fee)
- Golf nearby
Guest Rooms include:
- 2 3/4 beds
- Ceiling fan
- Satellite TV
- Stocked mini-bar
- In-room safe
- Iron & ironing board
- Full Bathroom
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 BambuPunta Cana,Dominican Republic
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
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.
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