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“Impeccable Service”

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Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro
Ranked #52 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Impeccable Service”
Reviewed 29 February 2012

The property, although modern in design and not generally my personal taste for an island venue, was beautiful. The beds were comfortable, the hotel rooms beautifully designed and very big. The variety of food was tremendous, and the service from the restaurants to the servers who brought us drinks during the evening entertainment and the pool were extremely attentive. The stretch of beach the hotel is on is beautiful. The evening entertainment at Bavaro was more modern and Americanized than I'd like, but they were well done. We went to a neighboring RIU hotel one night for entertainment and enjoyed the "Africa" show, what I'd call more traditional island entertainment. Although our group of 10 only spoke English, I didn't find language to be an issue; the staff that needed to speak more fluently in English based on their position, could do so. All in all it was a fabulous trip!

Room Tip: The rooms were very soundproof and we were across the street from "Caribbean Street" which...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Cheryl F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (747)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

This must be the ugliest hotel in the the Dominican Republic. A Las Vegas look-alike nightmare! It has no caribbean ambience or atmosphere at all. It is by far NOT a 5 star, I would give it maximum 3 stars. I went with my two kids and my girlfriend who brought her two children. Our first shock was the lobby. The smell is unbearable, damp and rotten, but the decor is even worse. Whoever designed it has no taste at all, or a predilection for kitsch that even kids can't swallow down - even they were horrified and they DO think Disneyland is a masterpiece of art. The hotel is one huge block and the rooms have no privacy at all, being situated around a courtyard which enables everyone to look into everyone's else's rooms. This makes it also very loud, since the bar with its' night entertainment is right below Your window. The hotel is totally over-crowded , there are hords of people (loud people) all over the place. Since the place is newly built there is no vegetation around, no flowers, no palm trees - You feel as if You were dumped in the middle of a concrete desert. The pool is crowded , so is the beach - it takes a miracle to find loungers after 10 am. As for the restaurants: in order to book a specialty restaurant You have to cue for at least 20 minutes in the morning, because that's when they take bookings, so we gave up the second day and ate only at the buffet restaurant. The only good thing about this place are the people working here, nice and friendly - but so are the ones working at other DR hotels.Luckily my friend and her son are golfers, so on the third day of our stay they went golfing and discovered a beautiful beach club 20 mins away from this nightmare of a hotel - the Caleton Beach Club. From then on we would leave the Riu Palace right after breakfast and escape to the beach club where we would stay all day and dine. The escape-plan cost us at least 400 USD daily, but we were willing to pay, only to get away from the RIU Palace. If You are looking for a real 5 star experience , don't even come close to this place. It will only ruin Your vacation and profoundly disturb Your sense of esthetics.

Room Tip: Garden rooms and the VIP section rooms are quieter .
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
13 Thank Hanna091
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
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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
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
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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 #52 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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