You’ll spend your days sipping cocktails at swim-up bars and sunbathing on the beach when you stay at the ClubHotel Riu Bambu.
Although the ClubHotel Riu Bambu is in a popular part of Punta Cana’s coast, it’s shrouded in 46,000 square metres of tropical gardens, so it feels pretty private.
There’s a beach right on the doorstep of this hotel. And not just any beach. The name of Arena Gorda translates as ‘fat sand’ and it’s a kilometre long.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
Based On 5289 reviews
- Official Rating
All Inclusive - Here's what you get
Full Board. Snacks.
Unlimited locally produced alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Sports and Activities
All are included except where indicated.
Facilities► View all
The outdoor pool comes complete with swim-up bar and in-pool loungers.
Riu evening entertainment programme
The entertainment programme plays host to live music and shows every evening.
The Casino is at the nearby adults-only Riu Palace Macao.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews Show more reviews »
Actually visited in May 2014
Typical Riu Resort - so you know what you're getting. Rated a 5 star but more like a 4.5. Good food but not great. A la carts are decent. Clean and comfortable rooms. It's a smaller resort (which I prefer) as everything (beach, restaurants/buffet) are less than a 5 minute walk from your room. Nightly entertainment is typical all inclusive resort but enjoyable with a different theme every night. Best part is the beach!! Palm trees everywhere and there's never an issue finding a decent spot to chill and relax. Caribbean street is a 10 minute walk and has some souvenir shops. Excursions: if you're going to do just one do the Snuba excursion! You get to drive your own 2 seater mini speed boat and follow the convoy of other boats - and these boats are surprisingly fast!! Cruising along the beach trying to keep up with the other speed boats was great fun. Then you rendevouz with a Catamaran in the ocean. The Catamaran takes you to a shallow spot in the ocean that's all coral and you get to dive in and explore. You are connected to an air tube and scuba mask so no need come up for air!! Theres a guy down there with an underwater camera who takes your picture. It's an extra $10 but it's the coolest picture you'll ever take. Probably the most fun I've had on an excursion and met some great people. There is nothing negative I can say about my experience at Riu Bambi and would stay there again.More
Better than some reviews might suggest
This is a comprehensive review of our holiday at Riu Bambu which was as part of our daughterâs wedding. HOTEL. The hotel is one of five on what is described locally as âThe RIU Estateâ. The entrance to the estate has a security check-point. When we visited there was a lot of building work going on throughout the estate (adding rooms to hotels and building a âWaterparkâ) which gave a rather scruffy impression. Otherwise the estate grounds are a mix of trees, shrubs and water which would normally give a favourable impression. You can walk along the beach to access all of the hotels. Whilst you can âvisitâ any of the five hotels on the estate (Riu Palace Punta Cana. Riu Bambu, Riu Palace Macau (Adults Only) Riu Palace Bavaro and Riu Naiboa), you can only get a âfreeâ drink at the Riu Naiboa. Between the Riu Palace Macau and the Riu Palace Bavaro is a shopping area called âCaribbean Streetâ with various shops selling souvenirs. There is also a chemist. The Riu Bambu is quite large with around 740 rooms contained in a number of two storey buildings. The buildings are spread out in a grid structure which, once you get the hang of it, is reasonably easy to navigate. The signs in the hotel are though pretty poor and it can be very confusing at first. Reception is light and airy and there were always 3 or 4 staff on duty. We never had to wait more than a minute or two to be served and the staff were always very helpful. The grounds are very pretty and immaculately kept by the gardening staff. There never seemed to be many flower blooms but this is probably because they were taken by the cleaning staff to decorate the rooms. This is a hotel for a resort based holiday as there is not much else to see in the immediate area. HOTEL FACILITIES. The hotel has all of the facilities that you would expect and the large animation team was on the go from early in the morning until late into the night. The pools were good and kept very clean. The main lagoon pool was very popular, always noisy and crowded. The pool bar (usually a facility we like to use) was always crowded and very busy so we didnât use it. We tended to use the other pool which is rectangular in shape and is lined with useful cabanas with removable shades. We never had any trouble getting a sunbed (apart from the first day when we arrived after lunch) but we were always early risers. It is a very busy resort and we did see some people giving up the idea of getting a bed around the pool and heading for the beach â where there were always plenty of beds. The hotel is fairly wheelchair friendly with lots of slopes to the restaurants/bars. There are however one or two areas where there are only steps for access. There are a number of free Wifi zones around the hotel. Wifi in the room is available for a fee. RESTAURANTS. The hotel has five restaurants â the main one being âThe Colonialâ where the majority of meals are served. It had a huge variety of food all of very good quality. Every night was a different theme as well as a carvery, There are also 4 speciality restaurants (Italian, Mexican, Asian and Steak) all of which work on a âfirst come first servedâ basis. If they are full you can wait until a table becomes free. Only once did we fail to get into one of these. All were of a similar standard to the main restaurant although we were disappointed with the variety in the Mexican. BARS. The bars all serve the same range of drinks/cocktails and the service was always pretty good. The measures were reasonable but, as always with Inclusive hotels, there is a suspicion that the drinks are less alcoholic than usual. There is always a self-service hot drinks machine near the bar together with a freezer with extra ice. ROOMS. Our room was quite large with two three-quarter beds. If you are family of four sharing the room (and are used to sleeping in at least a standard double) you may not find it very comfortable. There was plenty of storage space with lots of coat hangers supplied. There was dressing table with lots of drawers and two bedside cabinets with even more drawers. There was the famous cupboard holding the optics with bottles of Gin, Vodka, Whiskey and Rum. These were checked every two days and replaced when empty. The fridge contained Club Soda; Pepsi; 7Up and Water. There was an ice tray in the freezer compartment for ice with your drinks. There were no tea/coffee making facilities so take your own kettle etc if you like a hot drink in your room. The shower room was fine with a very large shower cubicle. Or room appeared to have been recently re-furbished and had an efficient hairdryer installed. The shower had non-slip tiles which was a helpful feature. The balcony (with a table and two chairs) was large enough for two but might be a tight squeeze for any more. It had fly screen doors if you wished to leave the sliding patio doors open. The sliding doors had to be closed for the air-conditioning to work. Our cleaner was very thorough and left the room spotless â with a different arrangement of the bed or curtains every day (always with flowers/petals). Wedding OVERALL. Our daughter had arranged to have her wedding at the Riu Bambu and the months before we went were full of arranging the large amount of (expensive) paperwork that is needed and booking a judge for the ceremony. Communication with the hotel was OK but we discovered that really â until you get there â you cannot sort all of the details. My daughter wanted a Beach wedding and she made all of the arrangements (location, music, reception, cake etc) with the Riu wedding planner who is based in the next hotel (Riu Palace Punta Cana). The wedding location was great â just to the right of the Riu Bambu property â right on the beach where they had constructed an aisle with palm branches. It was very pretty. After the ceremony we had sparkling wine on the beach followed by the photos. We then had what is described as a semi-private dinner in the Steakhouse Restaurant but in truth there was no-one else nearby so it was pretty much private. PHOTOS. The hotel have an arrangement with a local photographer (Antillana Photo based in Caribbean Street) which we used. You can hire your own but the hotel will then charge you a fee for bringing someone else onto their site. We found both the photographer and videographer good and the results are reasonable if not outstanding. HAIR/MAKE-UP. These services are provided through the âRenova Spaâ which is located at the Riu Palace Bavaro â around a 10/15 minute walk along the beach walkway. We made arrangements (and paid a deposit) with the Spa before leaving the UK. We had booked an âIn Roomâ (at an extra cost) âHair-do/Make up Tryoutâ as well as hair and make up on the day. At the try out the stylist turned up with a translator who promptly vanished before the session was over â resulting in my daughter being very unhappy with the result and our cancelling the booking. The Renova Spa were very apologetic about this and immediately refunded our payments in full but it is something to be aware of if you are going to use their services. If you are booking the Renova Spa for your hair/make up and intend to have these services provided at the Spa do be aware of the 10/15 minute walk â possible in high humidity- to get back to the Riu Bambu To summarise this is a good hotel that is better than some of the reviews I have read suggest. It is big; noisy and busy but they do work hard to give you a good experience.More
Great place for family vacation!
This resort was great at accommodating all of my families needs. Before I start my review I'd like to say my family and I stalked the reviews on this resort before we left, we were soo worried that we picked the wrong place. The reviews seem to not do the resort justice at all. If you are going for a nice relaxing getaway this is the place for you and your family. Checking was simple and easy, everything was ready for us. (I was seven months pregnant at the time and they took care of my luggage). Food was great, we ate at all restaurants although the steakhouse was the best (we went there twice). There was so much selection to fit my needs (even on bad pregnancy days). The room was great, a little outdated and smelled a little of smoke but once I let the maid know of the smell she cleaned and sprayed some air freshener and it was all good. The shower was my favourite, lots of room for me and my big belly! The resort itself was beautiful, swimming pools, bars and beach were magnificent. I cannot complain once about how beautiful everything was. All together this was a great place for relaxation before our baby came and I would recommend it to friends and family! Staff are friendly and people were very nice! If you are worried by the reviews and have booked already, you have nothing to worry about! More
Well where do I start ! ALWAYS take $$$$$$ I found this out the hard way . We took only Dominican peso well the airport tax is $10 usd each to enter and they will not accept Dominican peso ! What a joke I had to queue to get out then go to bureau de change to get $20 just to get out the airport ! So we have been back for 3 days now .. I have mixed feelings about the Rui Bambu Last year we stayed at Rui Vallarta in Mexico and this hotel blew me away, that is why we booked another Rui accommodation because of the standard of the hotel and rooms and the excellent service ... I'm afraid to say this hotel fell short ... overall we had a nice holiday pools was clean and not scummy like I had read . we chose the smaller pool as it was less noisy and plenty of sunbeds. I didn't agree with the swim up bar to be pack out with children ! ( this wasn't accepted at the previous Rui) there was never any life guard around either. I thought it was just me but reading other comments i to was blanked by the animation team ! Unless you was young & single or tipping them at night they didn't want to know ! The same with some of the bar and dining staff !!! Rooms was spotless can't fault that but we did come back one afternoon to find the cleaner had left her phone charging in our socket with our chargers !!! We did have 5 days of rain ! This was hell .. there was nothing to do in the hotel !!! Everything seemed to be so expensive ! I was poorly for a few days with deli belly so went for Pringles and bag of crisps this was $13.00 I nearly passed out at the price ! That was from the shop inside the hotel . We paid to have wifi in the rooms . What with the rain this was a godsend as we caught up on eastenders and X factor ! Just to pass the time when it down pored Without wifi in the room you was limited to the 2 only English speaking channels 88 and 44 . One was BBC international and other was American sitcoms . Food was mediocre the best was the Asian we went there on several occasions as it was piping hot food . All the others have food sitting under heat lamps so it's only ever warm . They say don't drink the water .. but what do the wash the salad stuff with ? There was plenty of ppl that was poorly .. in my second week I had cut most of the food out from what I had and wasn't poorly .. breakfast was the best meal of the day but why do you want to eat chocolate muffins and apple turnovers plus all others like ringed donuts for breakfast !!! I would save these for lunch (me and my partner found the pizza caused us to be poorly so avoided that . ) night entertainment if you can call it that was hit and miss .. the Micheal Jackson tribute was good but his miming was terrible and out of sync! The acrobatic show was fantastic ... but as the the dancing from the animation team it was very poor ! ... I don't drink but crikey I wanted a stiff vodka after watching that ! .. YOU MUST take a trip to La saona island it's awesome . Overall everywhere you go the prices are in USD and not Dominican peso so make sure you only take $$$ and they charge a rubbish rate to covert When leavening it's $20 each or 1000 Dominican peso which they take on the way out ! I did have a nice break away but I don't think I would rush to come back to Dominican Republic and I would also low rates Rui's 1 last thing to the management tables every so often would go a miss round the pools be sunbeds there was lots of empty glasses and plastic cups left where they wasn't collected ..More
Great 1st All Inclusive Holiday!!
Firstly i dont understand all the negative reviews! THIS HOLIDAY WAS AMAZING! -Thee only thing i agree with is that some of the staff are rude& especially if you dont tip!! ..You can be stood at any bar for awhile before getting served. The Hotel itself is lovely & the beach is beautiful -no rocks at all!! Rooms are cleaned everyday with cute towel art & flowers. I Enjoyed the buffet & al la cartes - something for everyone! One thing i think the hotel can improve on is the night time entertainment -not much to do. Theres the odd shows but can get crowed fast.More
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