Just got back Jan 6, 2012 from the RIU Bambu, Punta Cana DR.
I have never previously written reviews or complaints on our vacation resorts experiences, but felt compelled to this time.
This was not our first time in Dominican (Punta Cana) but first time ever at a RIU property. I know Dominican Hotel star standings are not the same as North American cities, but I have stayed at very nice 4.5 -5 star properties so I know what to expect. The RIU Bambu is by no stretch of the imagination a Dominican 5 star Property.
1) Rooms are very very tired. Even though they say they were renovated last year, they still look and feel like they were the first property RIU opened in 1953. Bathrooms are nasty with a very small tub/shower that had mold in the grout.
2) I don't expect gourmet, but this was the worst food ever in the buffet (and very little variation) also, they did not identify what the food is so there was a lot of waste. I would not want to be someone with food allergies. I met a lady who just survived on the breads.
3) A La Carte Restaurant –Oddest thing is that to reserve your seating you must be in the lobby by 7AM each morning. You can only reserve for that day, vs other properties where you can reserve any time of the day and can reserve your seatings for the the duration of your stay.
4) Another oddity is the Pool/Beach towel processes. We went to the beach at 10AM but the towel supply was completely out, they said we would have to wait, no indication of how long. Also, around 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, if you walked past the towel cabana, the staff was to the point of rude, demanding you surrender your towel immediately. They also were not at all accommodating in refreshing towels during the day if they got very wet etc. We are accustomed to other resorts that will refresh you towel as often as you wish, and don’t demand you surrender it at a certain time.
RIU should be embarrassed by their service and for a 5 star (Dominican) rating on what is clearly at bets a 3-3.5 star facility and management practice.
Very Very Disappointing, we won’t be booking another RIU property for sure.