Riu Palace Bavaro
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
This is a great place to stay in Punta Cana. The Riu Palace Bavaro is a luxurious and elegant hotel that boasts the same type of service. Open and clean rooms that are stocked regularly. Beautiful beach and pools. The restaurants are a bit better in quality than other resorts found on this strip. The buffet restaurants in particular, serve some of the freshest dishes. OK amenities. The tennis courts could use a little upgrading. However, it does have a great family golf course. Make sure to take advantage of the spa services while you're here. Overall, a pleasant stay in Punta Cana.
- Great beach
- Good restaurants
- Exchange privileges with other Riu hotels
- Access to Splash Water World (Nov 2017)
- Free Wi-Fi
Went for my wife's 30th birthday. Had problems with the telephone so had to walk 5-10 minutes to the front desk for anything. Told to wait 3 days for it to be fixed. Then had an intruder come into our room - complained at the front desk. Got an earful from their manager - he shouted at me for complaining! Needless to say they upgraded us to a larger room and after an investigation the culprit had lied about the intrusion - claiming he had knocked! Rude to your face, lie about everything, lazy to help and fix issues. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY HERE!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I own a travel agency and traveled with two other families this summer. I would be happy to answer any questions, just PM me or comment. This summer my family, along with two other families, went on vacation to the RIU Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from July 13-20. We had a total of 11 people, 6 adults and 5 kids ranging in ages from 8-16. The RIU Palace Bavaro is a 4.5 to 5.0 star family resort located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. It is situated on a complex that includes five other RIU properties and as guests of the Palace, we had access to the other resorts (children could not go to the adults-only resort, the RIU Macao).CHECK-IN When I walked in to the lobby I immediately had the feeling of a Vegas hotel. The newly renovated resort has contemporary décor but kept with the traditional RIU purple. Shiny floors, soft backlighting, and art deco wall art gave me a sense of expense and luxury.As with most hotels and resorts, check-in didn't start until 3:00pm. It was a relatively quick process and we were greeted with the traditional, "Welcome Home." This resort, as all RIU resorts, does require wristbands and towel cards which I do view as a con. I can understand the wristbands because the resort is located on a complex of properties and it is a way for them to distinguish the guests staying at the RIU Palace resorts and not one of the entry or mid-range properties. The towel cards, however, are a hassle and cause undue stress trying to keep up with them for the entire stay as you are told that you will be fined if you lose them and don't return them at check-out.A lot of people do not realize that check-in isn't until late afternoon so I always tell my clients to be sure to pack their swimsuits & swim accessories in an easily accessible place such as the OUTSIDE of the their suitcase. Once the hotel knows that you have arrived, you can begin your vacation right away even if your room isn't ready.The towel card system needs to be eliminated. You receive one towel card for each guest staying in a room. There is a towel shack out by the pool in which you give them your cards and they give you towels, one card for one towel. At the end of the day, you turn your towels back in and get your towel cards back.ROOM This resort has been recently renovated so it is not decorated in the traditional "Palace" style. The newer, bolder colors give the rooms the same modern feel as the lobby area. Here is a video showing the Junior Suites at the RIU Palace Bavaro.PROPERTY The foliage is beautiful at the RIU Palace. The workers are always pruning, cutting, and mowing. There are fountains located all throughout the property which give a nice ambiance. As in most RIU properties, the RIU Palace Bavaro is set up in a U shape facing the ocean with the restaurants on the ground level and a long walk way right down the middle. This makes it extremely easy to find the beach & the pool from the first day you check-in as you just walk right out the sliding door and down the long sidewalk.POOL The pool area is the center of activity during the day. The entertainment staff does a good job of keeping people happy and engaged. From "drinking" games to Bingo, this staff works all through the day (& night) to ensure that guests are happy. There are two pools. One has the swim-up bar with tables & seating areas. Then, there is a larger pool that has loungers and a volleyball net. There was also a ping-pong table right by the pool/bar which was constantly in use. There were plenty of chairs around the two pools and amicable shading with umbrellas and overhangs. While there is a grill close to the restaurants in which you can have dinner, it would be great if they would add either pool service for food or a little snack shop where you can just walk up and eat. At this time, to eat lunch you have to get dressed and go to the main buffet or get dressed and walk to the grill. A BIG ISSUE that needs to be fixed is the lack of restrooms close to the pool. The restrooms are a bit of a trek, especially if you are at the swim-up bar, and so it was clearly obvious that people were not using the restroom and just going in the pool.Some of the pool and the games that were played is that some of them were NOT family-friendly. One game, in particular, is where random people are pulled out of the audience to grind on strangers. This is the kind of game that I would expect to see on Spring Break not at a resort with little kids around. BEACH Bavaro Beach is one of the best beaches in all of the Caribbean. Long, walkable and soft white sand with blue-green water. Unfortunately, during our vacation, there were storms out in the ocean that brought in a good amount of seaweed; however, we were still able to play, swim & jump waves. There were plenty of beach chairs & lots of palm trees for those people who wanted a bit of shade. While there are beach vendors who walk and try to sell their trinkets & tours, I didn't feel as if I was being overly pestered. SERVICE The service was fantastic at the RIU Palace Bavaro. The workers went out of their way to make our stay fun and relaxing. We never waited on drinks at the pool bar and fell in love with our host in the lobby. I swear he never slept as it seemed that we saw him everywhere. Drinks were good and strong but not overpowering and there was ample bottled water available.FOOD If I am being honest, I am a bit of a food snob. The food is the number one thing that can make or break a vacation for me. I was not looking forward to the food at this resort but I was WRONG. The buffet always had enough choices for any picky-eater and we had the option for dining inside or outside. The two highlights, though, (by far) were the steakhouse and the Japanese restaurant. The fillet and lobster at the steakhouse were incredible . . .our entire group went back three times in one week! And, the Japanese was phenomenal (we at there twice!). Unfortunately, we weren't really that impressed with the "fine dining" option. WATERPARK One of the main reason that I chose this resort for vacation is that a brand new waterpark has just been built on the complex. The waterpark is open to all of the RIU guests and, of course, kids love it. Here is a video I would absolutely go back to this resort with no hesitation. The pros far outweighed the cons, in my opinion, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed it.to show you more about the waterpark.
Booked with Cheap Caribbean; October 6-13, 2017. Two couples, late 30's, celebrating honeymoon and anniversary. Transportation was booked with Amstar, for airport pick up, excursions and airport drop off. (Great company, always on time with airport pick up and drop off, and early pick up for excursions: We've used them in other countries also.)Arriving at the airport was very quick, until we and our bags were searched on arrival, nothing was taken, but they wanted to know how much money was in my wallet ($100 in one dollar bills, nothing huge) and took the snacks I had left over from the plane (Chips, cookies and candies), little odd, as this was my 3rd time here and never had this happen, but it didn't ruin my trip. Upon approval, we were immediately greeted by the staff, given a welcome cocktail, and within minutes we were whisked off to our rooms (10 minutes total). No wait or lines at check in. The gentleman checking us in (can't remember his name), was wonderful, he managed to switch rooms around so we could be close to our friends and not on the first floor. We were in room 1119 and our friends were in room 1125. Both king beds (not two doubles pushed together) and clean. My husband and myself had the corner room and our balcony was double their size, had two chairs, a small table and a drying rack. Balcony overlooked the court yard in front of the theater (we could hear the music in our rooms with the door closed--FYI! Did not bother us). Very open concept. Tub in the middle of the room with no door or curtain to close off from the rest of the room. Shower had a frosted door, toilet area had a solid door with no exhaust fan. Two sinks. Closet was the same size as other resorts; Had a safe and iron/ironing board in the closet. We did not have a clock in our room, but our friends did, we just used our phones for time. TV had a few good channels, we didn't use, unless we were getting ready for bed. Plenty of towels and face clothes all week, never had to request. Room was cleaned every day. Fridge is stocked every two days. We had coors light, Presidente, pepsi, 7 up, water and soda water. Also, the liquor bottles on the wall, we didn't use, so i'm not sure what they had. We ate at all restaurant's; our favorite was the Gourmet and steakhouse, we ate there twice. The dress code is relaxed, although they do request men to wear pants and close toe shoes, which a lot did, including my husband, it was not required. We ate at the buffet every morning for breakfast and once for dinner. Very good food for a buffet. Typical breakfast food. We ate at the lunch buffet next to the pool everyday, very good also, no complaints at any restaurant. All were very well cleaned and all the servers were excellent. The coffee shop in the lobby as very yummy treats, ice cream and milk shakes, along with coffee. Quick and polite service. Ordered room service a few evenings around 1am, and it was very fast, waited no longer than 20 minutes. Limited menu, but it served the purpose for a sweet tooth :) We went to the lobby bar and sports bar every evening. Waitresses/waiters and bartenders were wonderful, always a smile, willing to have a conversation and remembered us every evening, wonderful people. Sports bar has snacks: Sandwiches, fruit and nachos. They were not the best, but it was decent. The nacho cheese is cold, but a quick heat up in the microwave creates the perfect temp. Pool tables, Foosball, air hockey and some video games. We played pool every evening after the shows. We met a lot of people,who we played pool with, and met them each night to continue our games. (don't miss the peanuts at the lobby bar, pool bar and sports bar, goes good with beer :) ) The pool with the swim up bar is small and not connected to the main pool. We enjoyed both pools, the swim up bar was fun, the bartenders there are fun and always a smile, never waited for a drink, quick efficient service. The drinks were very good. My favorite was Blue Coral, delicious, also the other favorite was the Sammy Sosa drink, yummy!!! The nightly entertainment was great. The shows was probably one of the best I've seen at a resort. We went every night and always had a wonderful time. The service at the theater bar, quick also, the servers walking around during the shows, are very attentive, your drink was low, they were right there to ask if you need another.The water-park was fun for a few hours, we had to try it out, brought the kids in us, we had fun, the slides are fast. The walk there is a little long if you have mobility issues, i'm not sure if they has transport service, if so we missed it that day.The resort as one gift store, the prices wasn't too crazy. Shopping next to the resort, Caribbean Street, about 15 or so shops, prices were a little high. Best place to shop is the shops on the beach (we have gone there to shop on our last 3 trips here). I love talking to the locals and I like buying things from them. They are absolute joy and a pleasure to talk with. (The beach has improved down there since my last visit two years ago). We went to the casino one evening just to check it out (non smoking) small, and not crowed, typical Caribbean casino. The beach is picture perfect, white sand, beautiful blue water. Lots of trees for shade, and never had an issued finding 4 chairs together. (Same with the pool, never an issued finding chairs). You can walk for miles in either direction. There was no seaweed when we were there, no litter on the beach, it was just wonderful. The lobby is huge, bright and beautiful. The whole complex is very well kept, always someone working or doing something. Beautiful resort. All employees we encountered were friendly, did not run across anyone who wasn't friendly. I would definitely come back and recommend to family and friends. This was mine and my husbands 3rd stay at a Riu, as we sure have missed it. We did 3 excursions: Saona Island, razor's off roading and Ocean Adventures Bavaro Splash. All were wonderful. We booked those with our travel rep in the lobby, Francis with Amstar, she was a joy and very honest and friendly. (I will post those review on Amstar's site). We tipped every day, after every meal ($2 for breakfast and lunch, $5 at dinner). Tipped our housekeeper every day ($3), tipped the beverage guy every other day($3), and tipped all the bartenders everyday ($2 or $3). They all deserved it. The Riu should be blessed and honored for having such amazing, hardworking and friendly staff. Over all, we had an amazing time at a great resort, not sure where some of these negative comments come from. Until next time............ :)
We were there Oct 1-8. It was surprising to see little damage considering recent hurricane/storm activity. Minor exterior plaster repairs were taking place during our time at the RIU. Not intrusive at all. Landscaping was intact and beautiful but the palms clearly had damage cut off as they were thinner. On arrival we were not off to a good start on the room. Our girls are 12 and 22 and fully grown “children.” The vacation was booked as 3 adults, 1 child. The first room we were put in was not to our liking. Sheets still had hair on them, there was a dead lizard in the bathroom, and the room was setup as if we had two small children with us. The “king bed” was two double beds pushed together. The double beds are very small in my opinion. The fold out couch was not large enough for either of our children. After calls and trips to the front desk we negotiated a paid upgrade to a king/honeymoon suite and added two twin beds. It took talking to a manager to get it done but we were much happier and the space was larger. Ocean and pool view room 3027 has to be one of the best rooms in the resort. You will hear the pool activities but the views are worth it. I didn't feel that the noise was obtrusive but if you have low patience maybe pass on a pool view room. Pool view also puts you within ear shot of the nightly entertainment. I go to bed early and I could hear the music from the evening show loud and clear even with the sliding door closed. This room has a large balcony with hot tub as it’s a double size room. Sunrise is spectacular from this view. The floors could have been cleaner in the room and the TV wasn't working. I wrote a note in simple English about what I wanted done and left a $10 tip. Everything was taken care of that day. All of the comments about the power and air conditioning issues may be solved with this one tip: if you don't have your sliding door closed to the point that the magnet is engaged your air conditioner will not turn on. Also on the power topic, our room had a key insert right when you come inside the room. Insert key and the lights come on and stay on. Remove your key and all lights turn off. It's for energy saving. Wifi worked great for us. I even had it to midway into the beach area and in every area of the resort. Sometimes you would have to reconnect when switching between access points. Food is typical resort food that you have anywhere. Buffet unless you opt for one of the restaurants. It's currently slow season here so all restaurants are not open but are very easy to get into. You won't like everything you try but there are tons of choices. The drinks here are better than most all-inclusive resorts. I appreciate drink menus at the bars because it gives you an idea of what they know how to make. I've been to other resorts where it's a complete guessing game. The lobby bartender Nancy made the best drinks. There is also a cappuccino bar that was unexpectedly good. The beach area looked a bit eroded from the storms but it's still a great beach with soft sand and blue water. There are plenty of shade areas under the palms too. It was so relaxing with the sound of the surf and winds coming off of the ocean. Chairs can be moved in or out of the sun. I preferred the beach to the pool area. If you like loud music and constant activities then the pool will be for you. It's fun for a while but I eventually migrated to the beach each day. Some of the pool activities were a bit adult considering this side of the resort is family friendly. There is a little Main Street shopping area between RIU properties. It was ok. It's great if you just need a hat, cover up, extra sunscreen, or little tourist trinkets. There were maybe 15 or so little shops that all have the same stuff just displayed differently and likely all owned by one outfit. The beach vendors weren’t terribly pushy.The Tennis pro was fun. The courts were just ok. It's nothing fancy but it's also not a tennis resort. However all three courts were full. My youngest plays competitive and she had a good work out and practice. They provided her with a nice Babolat racket.Our Apple rep Francis was very good. One of the better ones we've had over the years. She was very helpful at finding the excursions that fit our family's desires. After a negative experience with a rep in Mexico last year we really appreciated her excellent service.Recommendation to RIU: add a side walk from the stairs near room 3020 toward the kids club and Taina. There are stairs to the ground level but they lead to grass. The only elevators are near the lobby and a walkway in this area would be very welcomed for guests on this end of the building. My husband and I weren’t interested in participating in beach or pool activities but the girls frequently joined in the fun. They played volleyball, took salsa lessons, and took part in some pool games. Henry Gorilla, Panda, and Black Diamond were the best activities staff! Last thought is on tipping. I have found that tipping is a necessity even when it is all inclusive. You will get better service and better/faster drinks. In hindsight I should have brought more ones and fives because I prefer to tip a little each day rather than a lot at one time.
This holiday we have to say has to be one of the best places we have visited. Dominican Republic is a truly beautiful island and the people are too. The hotel is well worth the 5 star rating, the food is delicious in the main restaurant and varied every night. The Other restaurant however are disappointing and lack atmosphere and menu choice!The cocktail bar is well worth a visit, if you sit at the bar you get the drinks mixed in front of you and are far nicer than if you sit down and get them mixed at the back of the bar, so just be aware of this. The beach is beautiful and was constantly being cleaned and fussed over after the hurricane in September we arrived on the 24th September for two weeks so the damage to the beach although minimal was evident. The room was gorgeous and the maid service was great. Our maid was very attentive and we tipped her accordingly. The pool area was our only concern. The music was loud and at times overbearing, sped up to the extreme and you just could not get away from it even on the beach when they put the speakers on the sand. Don’t get me wrong I like music, but not banging, chipmunk sounding bumping screaming music which makes you just want to do a Basil Fawlty on the music system! That was ONLY complaint that there was no quiet area if you wanted one. Our holiday and and trip to Saona Island was awesome and we would certainly go back.
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
- All meals daily and 24-hours snacks
- All drinks 24-hours (selection of Domestic beer and Premium brand liquors, house wine with meals)
- 24-hour room service
- Scuba lesson in pool
- Free access to Splash Water World in the Riu complex
- Wi-Fi thoughout hotel
- Daily activities
- Evening entertainment
- Entrance to disco and Casino (drinks not included)
- 610 Rooms
- 1 Buffet and 4 a la Carte restaurants (Italian, Japanese, Grill, Fusion)
- 6 Bars
- Casino (at Riu Palace Macao)
- 4 Pools
- Water sports
- Table Tennis
- Billiards (Pool Table) (fee)
- Spa (fee)
- Beauty Salon (fee)
- Shopping Plaza
- Conference Rooms (fee)
- Free Wireless Internet
- Golf nearby (fee)
- Air Conditioned
- Ceiling Fan
- 1 King or 2 Double beds
- Living Room with Sofa
- Direct dial telephone
- Mini Bar
- Liquor Dispenser
- Coffee/ Tea Maker
- Flat Screen Satellite TV
- Wireless internet
- Radio alarm clock
- Safety Deposit Box
- Iron & Ironing board
- Bathroom with hydro-massage tub
- Extra shower cabin
- By door separate toilet
- Double Sinks
- Vanity Mirror
- Hair Dryer
- Amenity Kit
- Balcony or Terrace
- Garden View
- Maximum Occupancy 4, up to 3 adults
Resort Location Map
Riu Palace BavaroPunta Cana,Dominican Republic
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 74100 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.
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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.
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