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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #52 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Take a translator”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

We spent 5 nights and 6 days here and loved it.
The 2 things they need to improve on are drink service on the beach and English classes for their servers.
I have never been to a place that took so much time to clean, they even mopped the outdoor walkways every day!
The food was very good and the alcohol was not watered down.
The rooms were awesome.
They had plenty of nice lounge chairs by the pool and beach. Lots of palm trees to sit around with a lot of space.
Daily entertainment was consistent and not pushy.
We will be back - with our kids next time!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mwmark10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (735)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

First off, I’d like to start out by saying that you SHOULD NOT believe the negative reviews. I have no idea where these people stayed, but it must not have been at the Riu Palace Bavaro.

Immediately from check in things went great; we had spoken to Richard Gonzalez prior to arriving to arrange to upgrade to the VIP Villas (as Expedia did not offer the option) and he was incredibly helpful through email(s) as well as when we arrived.

Our room (5225 -- with a true king bed) was beautiful. While we only had a pool view room it actually had a partial ocean view, which we greatly appreciated and really enjoyed visually and acoustically. As an FYI, rooms in the VIP Villas do not have elevators, which may be annoying to those who may have a difficult time walking up a flight of stairs or two.

I can agree with previous reviews that stated that the floors can be very slippery when wet and we did find ourselves having a hard time walking from our room to the restaurants/main building after even just a light drizzle.

In regards to the restaurants: the main buffet (Montecristo) had something for everyone for dinner while some things were genuinely delicious and some things were just good enough. As far as breakfast and lunch we both found something that we enjoyed and had no problem eating there for 5 days without getting bored.

Making reservations was a bit annoying but I was happy to get up early two mornings of my stay and make them instead of another resort that I had stayed in where you did not need to make reservations and we would wait at least 2 hours before getting seated.

The steakhouse was relatively tasty, it was tasty relative to chain restaurant steaks such as outback steak house but obviously comes no where near Peter Lugers or anything of that sort. We both had the surf and turf and had our meat cooked medium rare (just as we had asked) and the lobster was cooked pretty well (even though I can see how it may easily be overcooked).

Geisha was similar, tasty but no where as good as or as authentic as your favorite japanese restaurant. The soup was as good as my local take out places soup, apps were decent but felt full of salt/msg. For mains, the tempura is not really tempura with panko breading but more of a flour batter which was ok on its own but a bit heavy for my bf . The grouper as a whole was delicious. The dessert here was probably our favorite of the trip, specifically the chilled citrus fruit soup.

Krystal was our least favorite as far as entereas but had some of the best appetizers, such as the beet gazpacho. Do not be afraid to get the beef carpacio it was sliced very thin and tasted very fresh and was proably my bfs favorite plate of the trip. The idea behind all the dishes at krystal sounded great but the execuation was not yet there ( I can imagine that in a month or two it will be).

The Italian restaurant turned out to be one of our favorites. It is not Italian food but rather 'Italian-inspired' food but it had some of the best preparation and I enjoyed that it offered an antipasta (appetizer) bar that was as good as a supermarkets/italian deli's salad/buffet bar. They also offered a similar beef carpaccio as to Krystals appetizer that was as delicious. Notable mention for the Grana Padana cheese wheel for getting your own grated cheese and chucks for tasting and the infused olive oil selection: rosemary and garlic being our favorite.


The pool was beautiful and getting a chair was not difficult at 9:30am, the drink services was a great bonus because it meant that we didn’t have to fight for chairs near the bar.

The hotel was exceptionally clean and there was always someone wiping something down or washing the floors. On one of the days our room wasn't cleaned until 3-4 but to us it wasn't a big deal.

We loved the coffee bar and that all the barristas were so helpful in trying to understand our broken spanish when trying to order a real iced coffee.

I can see why some people didn't enjoy the entertainment and yes some of it was repatitive but the nights were cool and sitting outside while getting drinks delivered to you makes the show enjoybale and if I wanted Broadway I would have went to see a show.

Yes there is a bit of language barrier, but we brought a phrase book with us and both know some basic Spanish. Unlike some people we noticed that a small tip of a buck or two every round or next round and a smile and a gracias goes a long way compared to a loud demands in English and I can say we never waited more than a few minutes to get a servers attention or get served our drinks.


All in all we had a fabulous time and would return!

Room Tip: The VIP Rooms are worth the upgrade
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Anna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
detroit
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

I am shocked about the reviews stating a good vacation while staying here. I saw so many unhappy people while staying here. I am not exaggerating... there was crying, yelling and pounding of fists, I thought I might see a fight break out! We are all back home from our vacation to RIU Palace Bavaro. Half of the 25 person party were told there was no rooms available, and were sent to an older, less expensive hotel. However as of today on their credit card statements, they are a few still being charged FULL price for staying at the PIU Palace Bavaro. Some were charged for what it would have cost to stay in the older property... while others are still paying full price for staying at the older property. RIU will not refund their money. When dealing with EXPEDIA and HOTELS.COM. according to these two companies.. RIU is stating that the couples stayed on their properties.... when THEY DID NOT, that is why they are having problems getting their money back!!!!! Its a nightmare! Please stay away and do not stay in any of these properties!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank nc18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
merseyside
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

After reading some of the reviews for this hotel I wonder what peoples expectations are. We have stayed in many a Riu hotel both in Europe & in the Carribean, last year in the Riu Palace Punta Cana & seen the Palace Bavaro in construction - & in my opinion a lovely hotel with excellent service from the hardworking staff who are trying to make this new hotel work, it has only been open 2 months & I think they have done a brilliant job.

Food: I believe they are trying a new concept here in the main buffet restaurant, wow it is fantastic, never a bad meal at any time, only complaint could be a bit hotter, but that is personal preference.

Specialist restaurants: Had no trouble booking any of them, you can book between 8 & 11 every morning for that day & the next 2 days, but being European we always wanted the 9pm sitting & this was always available. Krystal & Geisha were the best, but only because we were disappointed with the food & service in the Taino Steakhouse & the buffet in the Itallian was cold, which was a shame because the pasta bolognaise was nearly as good as mine!

Rooms: very contempary, & away from the usual Riu style, love the brightness with the lighting, plenty of sockets for charging all your electronic items (& we had a few with being so far from home), maybe not suitable for families with older children as open plan, but it does state this in the brochures!!

Reception: not got the same wow factor as the Palace Punta Cana, but does look better when lit up at night. We had excellent service at reception following our leaving our home in the UK at 5 am in the morning, over a 9 hour flight, over an hour in Punta Cana airport, transfer to resort, finally being greeted by Starlin at reception with a huge smile at 5pm Dom Rep time (9pm UK time), who explained everything to us, as we had booked a deluxe pool view room he informed me that we were in the VIP area, which I did not know about at the time of my booking our package holiday, he apologised for not being able to give me our log ins for the Internet but it was down at the time & asked how many items I had to access the Internet, as Imhad my phone & IPad he recommended I had 2 access codes, to come back later & hopefully it will be working. If you check, the Dom Rep does only have limited 3G & the M/bytes are a lot less than then UK, but I could FaceTime with my family in th UK no problem!

Beach & Pool: Plenty of beds in both areas, thank you Riu for putting the swim up bar separate to the main pool, I cannot understand why people want to spend all day at the swim up bar, in my view not very hygienic, something that does not appeal to me & would bother me if I had children in the pool! The beach does need a little more work to tidy up some of the remaining builders rubble, & staff need to approach the people from the Naiboa who are sitting on the Palace Bavaro beds, they have paid for a 4 star hotel not directly on the beach, but will use the toilet facilities in the Bavaro if not challenged.

Grounds: We thought that they have done a good job to get the grass & shrubbery to grow in the circumstances, let alone flowering, in the 2 weeks we were there we seen the shrubs had grown, so come later in the year it will be looking lovely. The gardeners are working daily to make this work.

So I would recommend this hotel, the service is fantastic in the restaurant & bar areas, we had been to a new Riu in Cape Verde in September & we had more problems there than we experienced in Bavaro, & that hotel had been open 4 months. So ignore the negative comments & go with an open mind to make your own opinion - all hotels over book by a % to accommodate no shows & late cancellations & this happens wherever you travel in the world.

Room Tip: All rooms are identical Junior Suites except for Suites which are larger.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank nomorekids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

OMG where do I begin. First off, when we arrived we didnt even get a glass of water offered. At the front desk when we were checking we had Martina help us. She gave us a smirk and told us there is a problem and that she cant tell us but she will have the manager speak to us. We were a group of 24 people traveling together but all of us made our reservations separately. One family in our group booked through GOGO travel they were given a room but unfortunately when the manager came over to us he told us that the hotel overbooked 35 rooms and we didnt have rooms for us. Apparently if you book directly through RIU they have a policy that if the hotel you booked at is full then they can stick you where ever they have room. We tried calling other hotels but everywhere we called it was booked. We had no choice but to go there. They offered us a week free in another hotel for our next trip but we told them we will never stay there again. After arguing with them for 3 hours they finally offered our young kids to get something to eat at the buffet and from what I saw it was pretty bad. They food was mostly junk and unhealthy choices of hotdogs, burgers, pizza, and fried foods. We ended up staying in the Riu Punta Cana. The food was pretty bad there too and we had roaches in buffet crawling right near the food. My 9 year old got the stomach virus had vomiting and diarrhea for two days and my 4 year old just had bad diarrhea. We had roaches in our rooms too. It was terrible. The resort was overall clean and cleaned well but the food is everywhere and I guess the roaches follow. We complained about the roaches in our room but all they did was send someone to fumigate which left a horrible smell after. The beach was beautiful but overall the customer service was better in the Punta Cana than at the Bavarro Palace (nasty Martina at the front desk laughed at us). PLEASE BEWARE if you book through RIU directly or through Orbitz or Expedia and they dont have rooms they will bump you to whereever they want and if you dont like it then too bad. I will never stay in this hotel again. RIU should be ashamed of themselves.

Room Tip: Pool facing rooms are nicer than garden.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank margie m
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, 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 #52 of 110 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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