ClubHotel Riu Bambu

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Jun, 2014

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Visited in June 2014 for 2 weeks, never been to Dominican republic before, and what a shock. Everybody is after your money. On arrival we where pre-warned that there is a $10 fee for entering the country. However we where not prepared for the corrupt passport control officer trying to scam another £5 for filling out a needless form for us. We said we would fill it out ourselves and he waived us on. The transfer rep then intimated that we should tip the coach driver for a 20 min transfer and on arrival at the hotel we where advised that a $5 tip was expected by the bloke that carries your case to the room ! (How is that "All Inclusive !!!). Room Anyway we soon got settled in, Mrs B4 was concerned about her GHD hair straighteners not working on 110V electric. The travel agent assured us that they would be fine , just take a while to warm up … NO! Didn't work, Great !!! Frizzy haired wife moaning all week ! Turned the Tele on, 111 channels, looks promising, Oh about 25% Spanish language (understandable), about 50% "English" language (Well American), Mostly American sports. No UK News channel at all, the best we could get was CNN, which seemed only interested in one story for the entire week. Food We've stayed at Riu s before and know what to expect. My personal biggest disappointment (Disgust !) was the lack of Baked Beans at breakfast ! They did have sprouts though !!!!!! The rest of the food was a bit like a Riu but not quite like a Riu. The biggest problem is that it is that the food is not marked up, as to what it is or contains. Drinks and Bar service There was on offer "Brand name" drinks e.g. Smirnoff / Johnny Walker. Not sure if they where exactly genuine but they didn't give you the gut-wrenching heartburn that the local brands did, so that is good. Cocktails where highly variable, depending on who mixed them and at what time of the day. The best bar was the one by the side of the stage. They seemed to actually take a pride in their work, unlike most of the others. The bar staff generally did not seem to want to be there. You got the occasional smile but I suspect that was only fishing for tips. Having said that even some of the Americans who were forever throwing "greenbacks" across the bar did not seem to get any better service. Of course there was the room minibar complete with optics if you really get desperate for a "livener" late at night. (Rough as a Badger's back side but a nice Riu touch) Pool Pool was lovely and warm (Choice of three). Main pool gets very lively in the afternoon, but it is a "Club" hotel so you expect extra entertainment. Entertainment staff were the most (only) hard working staff there. What I thought was very concerning was that in the evenings, market traders are allowed into the hotel grounds to harass guests. After a couple of days they where a lot less intrusive (manager obviously had a word), but I do not expect this in any hotel, let alone a Riu. Take your own towel's, the hotel do supply pool towels but its not worth the aggravation of having to pick up at 8 hand in by 6 and you can't exchange after about midday. Don't worry too much about getting a sun bed by the pool, it's actually cooler on the beach as you get a nice breeze. Ignore travel agents and don't bother taking pesos, everything is priced in $US and if you do feel the need to tip a $1 note is only about 60p. Just a last note, Thomson are taking it out of platinum collection next year and I think RIU should be taking a long hard look at this place as well. We have stayed in a few Riu hotels before and were at the stage when our first consideration was that it was a Riu hotel before picking a holiday. No more ! If this is what Riu consider 5* then I think we will be looking elsewhere in future.


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