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 5067 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 »
Enjoyed our stay, although not exactly 5*
I've just returned from a 2 week stay at the Riu bambu in a party of 6 friends. As other reviews have said it falls short of 5* but we had a great time regardless; it depends on your expectations. The reception is huge and beautifully decorated & lovely views of the beach and main pool area. Our check in went smoothly and we were directed to our rooms where our bags were brought up shortly after. The complex is big but the room blocks are in a grid and well sign posted so it's easy to find your way around, even at night - it's well lit too. The gardens are lovely and well kept. The rooms are great - really nicely decorated in a traditional style with plenty of storage space. The beds were fairly comfortable if a little hard. The bathrooms are big with a good shower & the air con works well. There is a mini bar that's refilled every 2 days if you don't have your 'do not disturb' sign up. They do come around quite early so if you're a late sleeper you might miss them. The maids are great, keep everywhere very clean and leave lovely towel art and flowers around the sink. Some people have complained about the smell of the towels but it's so humid I'm surprised they manage to dry them at all. All my stuff smelt musty after a couple of days too but that's the tropical climate for you. The beach is gorgeous and the sea is warm although a little choppy on some days. We never had any issue getting a lounger there or by the main pool. There are plenty of shady areas too. There is music on all day by the main pool but there is a quieter pool next to the kids pool. There are a few guys selling things on the beach but they're all friendly and we didn't get pestered at all. We managed to get some cheaper souvenirs with them than on Caribbean street. There's a cash machine at Caribbean street but it only takes credit cards, there's also a cash machine on the way to punta Cana that accepts debit cards & that's about a $30 return taxi trip. $15 seems to be a standard fare to get to anywhere between the hotel and punta Cana (there's a local bar 5 mins drive from the hotel, which was also â¬15 to get to). Reception will order taxis if you need them and they're at the door in minutes. The main restaurant, Asian, Mexican & snack bar are all buffet style & the Italian and steak house are a la carte. The food does get a bit repetitive after a week or so but there's loads of choice and we always managed to find something to eat. The speciality restaurants are no longer reservation only so you can go whenever you fancy but you will have a wait to get tables at peak time. Yes we all had bad stomachs but I think that's more down to the water than the food - brushing teeth, water in your mouth while showering etc - or other guests not washing their hands, which I witnessed more than once. There is hand sanitiser outside the restaurants too so there's really no excuse. We didn't have bad stomachs to the point of ruining our holiday by any means. There is the pool bar, main bar where the entertainment is and sports bar, where they play sports on the tv & where computers and games are - this one has the air conditioning, all the others are open to the heat. There are snacks available all the time in the sports bar too. The main pool with the swim up bar gets rowdy in the afternoon and I was surprised to see people in it with small children given that there are quieter pools available - around 3pm the animation host silly games & there's a pool party which was always great fun. If you're after a quiet afternoon sunbathing this one won't be for you! There were pool parties with a live band, dj and BBQ during our stay too. Obviously drunk people (and children) will pee in the pool, there's nothing the hotel can do about that but it's something to be aware of; try not to get it in your mouth and you'll be fine. The entertainment is not west end or broadway standard but they work hard to put on a good show and we had a laugh every night. The kids entertainment finishes a while before the adults starts (which is around 10pm) but there's music and the animation team dance merengue with the guests in the break, which is a nice touch. The club pacha on site is a good night too but, again, doesn't get going until quite late. A lot of the staff wind down in there so it's nice to have a chat with them. There's a shuttle bus between reception and pacha & the casino every 15 minutes. The staff work incredibly hard & they work very long days - you'd see the same guys doing breakfast at 7 then back after a break for the dinner shift staying through till late. We didn't encounter any 'rudeness' as such but if the bar is 2 people deep and they've been on their feet for hours they're not exactly going to want a chat. We were friendly to everyone and got the same back. Especially lovely we're Joel & Eddy from the main bar, George from the pool bar & Ajay, Wow & Jesse from the animation team. The animation team are a credit to the hotel and really made our holiday memorable; always in good spirits despite their long hours, really friendly and good sources of local knowledge as their English is probably the best you'll find. All in all we enjoyed our stay, it's not 5* but if you make the most of it you'll have a great timeMore
ignore negative reviews
me and my girlfriend have just returned from 2 weeks at the Riu Bambu and we cant believe the petty reviews that we read in the build up to our holiday. We have been to two other Riu hotels in cancun and Jamaica and each of them have their own pros and cons. i could spend hours writing about them but ive made a few points. pros - room.. we upgraded to a deluxe room and it was outstanding. lots of space and bright colours. we did visit a standard room and they was also nice. the deluxe rooms was at the back of the complex (we was 3-4 minute walk from reception not 20 mins as stated in some reviews) - food.. we have read reviews about the food being repetitive but if repetitive means having the choice of everything possible then whats the problem? my girlfriend follows a gluten free diet and she had no problem here. the steak house and asian was really good. the mexican was ok but lacked spice. we didnt visit the italian. also we didnt have a bad stomach for the two weeks we was there which is always good. -pool bar... we spent a lot of late afternoons in the pool bar and tavarez and george behind the bar was spot on. considering how busy it got, they was always smiling and dancing whilst serving. - day entertainment .. the reps around the pool in the day was good. they was always trying to get everybody involved in activities. - beach... beach was outstanding. best beach at a resort we have stayed at. cons - -air con in the main buffet (colonial) was poor and very hot especially in the evening but we ended up sitting on the terrace outside and the breeze made it cooler. -service.. at first we was quite dissapointed with the service at some bars and the colonial for breakfast and tea. spanish talking customers seemed to be getting good service and it was like we wasnt there at times. we really dont mind getting ourselves a drink but was just different to other riu hotels we have been to. however, in the last week the service really improved and issa at breakfast was great. overall, we had a great time and we would really recommend doing the terracross cave tour. we heard some people at the hotel saying they wouldn't recommend it to anybody but we would have no problem in coming back or recommending it to friends. More
Cannot Wait to Return (Separation Anxiety)
One of my best friends and I went to the Riu Bambu for a girls trip and it was the best trip I have taken in a while. I have travelled to the Caribbean multiple times and to the Dominican Republic a total of 3 times now. We travelled from August 25-September 1. Check-In/Front Desk Staff We arrived at 12:15pm and official check in was at 3pm. The staff at the front desk were very accommodating and allowed us to check in around 2pm given that the period of time where we needed to wait around for a room for was 3 hours. Checking in at 2pm was perfect because we were in our room as soon as it started raining and finished getting ready by the time the rain stopped. Side note on the weather â it was beautiful all week despite the forecast saying thunderstorms all week! Front desk staff overall were a pleasure to deal with, they were very happy to help with questions, wi-fi, making change etc. Rooms Our room was small but had everything we needed. Two comfy beds, a clean bathroom with a standing shower and plenty of counter space. The AC worked and the room was always cleaned to perfection â so no complaints there. We were located a bit far from the main lobby but to be fair we did not ask to change room either, Iâm sure had we asked we would have got exactly what we wanted. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack The buffets were very good. Some people would complain and say that it was not good but they must keep in mind it is a buffet and youâre eating the same thing for 7 or more days straight. That being said I found the foods were highly flavoured (not bland at all) and the buffets offered a great variety. Some standouts include: chicken and waffles for breakfast, homemade donuts for breakfast, cocktail shrimp for dinner, Spanish paella for dinner. The a la carte restaurants were very good as well, our favourite was the Asian which came as a surprise to me because I do not typically enjoy Asian cuisine in Toronto. From the selection to the immaculate detail oriented dÃ©cor the Asian restaurant by far was the best. The others were great as well. The reservation process began by heading into the Mexican restaurant every morning before 10 am to make a reservation for that day. At some point during the week (perhaps due to a larger influx of guests) the process changed to first come first serve. We initially thought this would be an issue but when we got to the Italian restaurant after 9 pm (even though they specified the last table would be seated by 9 pm), of course the staff went over and above to accommodate us (also because we were just a party of 2 we were easier to accommodate). The restaurant staff overall were very attentive, sweet and quick. Our plates were removed quickly and our glasses/cups always full. These staff work very hard and it may be easy for some to overlook them but make sure you give them a couple dollars when they serve you; they really deserve it (as do all of the staff at the hotel). Beach/Pool The beach was clean, the water was beautifully blue and there were plenty of chairs available. My recommendation is to do as the rest of the crowd was doing and use your towel to reserve a spot early (either at the beach or pool). The pool was equally as clean and lively. Entertainment Staff Which brings me to my next point, entertainment. The entertainment staff were amazing. They work tirelessly from the wee hours of the morning until the very late hours of the night encouraging everyone to participate in activities at the beach, pool, stage area etc. At the beach they begin by dancing first thing in the morning then providing yoga lessons, aerobic lessons, and then salsa lessons! We participated once in the aerobics and it was no joke â hard work! There are also various games and activities on the beach like beach volleyball and other interactive activities which are great for meeting the other guests at the resort. By the pool the staff would have pool parties with dancing, water polo, calling up guests to participate in fun dance activities as well as just generally keep the vibe fun. The staff do their best to encourage you to participate and get you out of your comfort zone but if you really arenât in the mood for they leave you be. Disco The disco is located along the strip among the other Riu hotels. There is a shuttle that goes from around 10 pm-2 am from the main lobby. Otherwise you can walk along the beach but it is quite a long walk in the dark especially on the way back if you leave after 2 am. You do pay for drinks inside but the prices are reasonable and nothing compared to bars in Toronto so itâs no big deal. The music is good mix of hip-hop and Spanish music. The crowd is mixed between guests from different resorts as well as locals. Sometimes it can be a bit creepy with all the guys trying to prey on girls but we travelled just 2 girls alone and were able to hold our own so again, nothing to be worried about. We also made quite a few friends on the resort so being at the disco in a larger group helps. Bar Staff Saving the best for last. We had tried drinks from the various bars at the resort and everyone was very good to us and the drinks were all up to par. Thereâs the lobby bar, the bar by the stage, the sports bar and the pool bar (upstairs and the swim-up part). We spent most of our time at the swim-up bar and then at the sports bar after dinner (it was nice and cool in there FYI). At the pool bar we met George, Christian and Tavarez who treated us like gold and made sure our drinks were always full. Their service left a lasting impression on us and we looked forward to seeing them every day. They were very friendly and we were very sad to leave them. Needless to say they were the highlight of the resort, I cannot say enough good things about them. We will miss you and canât wait to come back! â Felicia & SunnyMore
Don't waste your time and money
The worst hotel I've ever seen in my life. The food is old and frozen. Staff are Rude. Everything is dirty . the beach is full of garbage. Flies in the buffet. I left my perfume there and the management didn't care to follow up. Overall it's a dumpster.More
Riu Bamboo was a nice hotel in Punta Cana. Service was pleasant, food was good. Entertainment was very fun, they work hard to entertain guests. Unfortunately when I was there, it rained almost every day and some days it was in the low 70's. I traveled the end of april- beginning of May. Booked 7 months prior, so that's the risk you take. It rained so hard, people fell on the marble floors, but the hotel did their best to clear the floors. Difficult to do when it rained sideways, yes that hard of rain. we made the best of it. More
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