Apple Vacations Customer Satisfaction Score
What to expect
4039 past Apple Vacationers would recommend Riu Bambu to their friends and family
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TripAdvisor Web Reviews
What to expect
Apple Vacations Traveller Reviews
Over 13 yrs of All-inclusive traveling first bad review.
All 7 guests had daily diarrhea from the food options, 1 guest had severe food poisoning, 2 children contracted Hand Food Mouth and swimmers itch from inadequate chemicals in the pools, staff were less than eager to serve even though though they were being generously tipped (and BELIEVE ME, they EXPECTED it - more like demanded it). When checking in, they told us to "help them out if they helped them out". Riu states no Springbreakers, yet they open the resort to VERY rowdy locals that were fighting in the swimming up the bar. The worst experience, service and waste of money ever!
We had a great experience with Apple. So hassle free.
Updated Rooms Not So Updated
After months of anticipated travel, we were somewhat disappointed in the upgraded family room. It was identical to the standard room but with an additional 8' of room length. For what we paid additionally for this room that we heard was supposed to be updated, the decor was tired and so was the pullout bed that made this a family room. There were ants in our room and the slider was broken where it took all my might to slide open and closed. Other than the disappointment od f the tired room, the rest of the resort was nice. The beach was what you would expect and the staff were absolutely wonderful. All in all, we enjoyed our time there and looked forward to a home cooked meal when we got home.
Lack of entertainment
2 kinds of entertainment: kids & adult. Kid show was the same EVERY night. The adult entertainment was ok. Supposed to have karaoke...never happened. The entertainers work hard, but the nighttime entertainment was lacking and a little hard to understand. Most everyone was friendly.
The hotel was very good for the price we paid for. In general most of hotels in Puntacana could have better beers and wines. Wine is like winiger.
From the arrival at our hotel, things DID NOT go well. We purchased a family room advertised on their website as a King Bed and pull out sofa. We were told they were overbooked and moved to a double standard room(two very tiny beds) It smelled like cat urine. I asked to be moved to the room we booked. I was told to wait for the Apple Rep the next day. I did and they argued with him as well. I was finally given a different room only after having to basically make a scene in the lobby (I am not one to complain). We were given a room with a king bed however the pullout was only large enough for one so for the week, our 11 year old son had to sleep with his parents. NOT your ideal situation. We were told ala carte restaurants.. they were just themed buffets if you could even get into them. no reservations so if you didn't go at 6pm you didn't get in. Unless you spoke Spanish apparently. We were told no more tables in the steak house along with an English couple then a Spanish speaking woman went up and was given a table for 4!
The only saving grace about this place was the beach. It was beautiful and our kids enjoying the organized activities. However the vendors were relentless on the beach so the adults couldn't just relax in a beach chair without being pestered NONE STOP!
Based on this experience I would NEVER recommend a RIU resort to anyone.
Did not deliver quality
This was our second time in a Riu. We loved the first time so this is why we choose to go with another Riu. We found the quality was lower at the Bambu. The staff was friendly but did not seem to go over and above even when tipped. The rooms were just ok, no extra amenities. We asked for a blanket, never got it. First day we had no towels, had to ask for them. Had to ask for water bottles. These should things should not have to be asked for. I understand that issues happen, but one day we had no hot water all day, no shower! Overall I would not recommend this hotel at all to any of my friends. I don't feel like we were told by our Apple rep that this would be a lower quality hotel.
The riu bambu has expanded there facilities but not there staff, this was our 3rd time at the riu bambu and it was also our WORST time, the staff was so so not friendly, or helpful. We have decided to not return for a 4th time.
The best beach is in Riu Bambu / after renovation is 5 star/
I like Riu Bambu but 7 days is too long. I prefer 3-4 days is ok. Family friendly. During summer is crowded a lot of tourist from Europe. Hard to find place on the beach and hard to find spot during breakfast/ lunch/ dinner. It is OK. August- September wonderful weather.
family friendly resort
family friendly resort, small standard rooms but country style look. I liked and visited 3rd times. Food is fair must be better. Staff was excellent. Polite people. Disco pacha is ok, beautiful beach. Riu resort complex next to. I will return. I was 4 nights. It was good.
very hard to communicate with the staff and at some bars the bartenders would not come over unless they saw money. pool bar staff was excellent
The specialty restaurants were good but the wait staff was awful also the unknown amount of time you need to wait to get into the specialty restaurants was ridiculous. the food was good but I feel the selection was very limited.
our shower head broke in our room .
too many strollers and unsupervised young children for us.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
Been ere a week 2moro and good points and bad room lovely and clean good location as its a complex not a hotel and villas all around the grounds,ours is central but sum futher away from reception and amenities but is flat if u got 2 walk,big disappointment for me is meal times the main resturant is just chaotic most of the times the only tables free are the ones that are still waiting 2 b cleaned from previous diners that we've ended up clearing ourselves and also quicker 2 serve yourselves drinks not that i mind doin either but not when the waiters are just stood there talking,i stayed in the riu palace last year and would only stay in them again totally diffrent service worth the extra.
Absolute Blast from start to finish
After a much longed for holiday we booked this venue and arrived on the 12th May for 2 weeks.
I have to say the hotel is fantastic, food lovely, rooms spotless, loads of drink both alcoholic and non in the rooms replenished every other day or as requested.
Some bar staff are ignorant but they are a minority we had Frankley and Rene at the bar by the beach and they were adorable.
Visited Saona as a TIU trip and this is an absolute must. Fantastic day out choose the more expensive worth every penny.
Did the Outback tour which we enjoyed but I wouldn't risk recommending it if that makes sense.
We had some downpours but it was much needed and lasted half hour max.
The beach does have terrible seaweed but that is nature and not the fault of the people, they tirelessly try to get it up daily.
So overall fantastic, hot weather and top hotel. I would recommend to bring a brolly as sadly the hotel do not supply (this would be a recommendation for RIU) and the rain if you are caught in it does drown you as the complex is huge.
Without a doubt we will return. Ignore any negative comments that you read I am not one to big somewhere up for the sakes of it but here is stunning and you will have a fabulous time.
Buy the mozi bracelet on the coach its worth it. Not one bite with the addition of jungle spray.
Downside every trip they ask for tips but are not overbearing with it they simply ask.
Last point bring factor 30 and plenty of 15 it so hot that the 15 is needed easily into week 2.
We moved here from the rui republica, so glad we did its lovely, we havent stayed here since the refurbishment, its so much better, 3 swimming pools, loads of sunbeds but they tend to go early we used to go to beach first then swimming pool but all beds gone so changed our routine, plenty of beds on beach, lovely beach calmer water than the republica hotel thats why we moved.
Food ok, speciality restaurants not so good the asian one was so bad i had to leave under cooked beef turned my stomach, the starter we had was horrible packet mash with mushrooms and a poached egg and horrible sauce.
Entertainment was bad from 8pm until 930pm its for the kids and was so boring we just went back to room, why cant they have it earlier say 5pm -730pm, so when people with no kids finish dinner they can enjoy some music or something and not have to sit through kids games.
The rooms are lovely air conditioning could have been updated when the hotel was refurbished, i love the grounds so immaculate.
I feel the heart has gone from the hotel its changed there is no shops there was 2, no people in the evening setting up stalls in the reception to sell locally made products, no street carnival in carribean street, no themed evenings in the restaurant, and the entertainment teams are hardly about.
Having said all that we still had a brilliant time loved the place, and will be back thats for sure.
Great place, big resort and comfortable
It's a great place to relax, with a lot of amenities and nice people
The schedule for the restaurants are sometimes wrong but the staff help you a lot
The restaurants are great and you need to visit at least one time all of the specialties
A lot of activities and shows at night
Great place to relax
The good and the not so good
I left with slightly mixed feelings and here's why:
The beachfront location is stunning, pools are good but unusually warm, even for a hot country. Daytime entertainment is good and the entertainment team are mostly very friendly, funny and likeable. Most of the staff, despite some having very poor English (luckily I speak Spanish) are very nice too. Food is, for an all inclusive, fine overall with the best food being, in my opinion, the steak (although not the accompanying side orders) at the Kulinarium and the Asian restaurant. Rooms are good (when we finally got in ours....) and spacious too.
OK, the bad : RECEPTION! Well, one or two people to be fair, namely, and most surprisingly, the reception manager, Felicia, who was appallingly rude to me. I had had a number of problems with our room (key cards not working twice,the first occasion being on arrival, after a 10 hour flight and a good 7 minute walk to the room, when we knew where it was that is - the first day we walked round and round in circles- signage is not great, especially at night), being given a double bed for mother and daughter and then reception trying to charge us for an upgrade to twin beds etc and then the safe malfunctioning). Anyway, after all this and the keys not working for a second time, I walked back the 7 mins to reception and was explaining in a frustrated tone, the situation to a helpful member of the reception team called Celestino (he would make a far better manager than Felicia!) when the charmless Felicia, dealing with another customer, pulled her face at my frustrated demeanour and exhaled dramatically. I told her that was extremely rude and she continued to pull faces, waved goodbye at me and when I said I had her name and would complain, she said : "Is normal". Now why doesn't that surprise me?!Ha! Anyway, thanks to the polite and understanding Celestino who does appear to have been trained in customer service, I got the keys sorted and he also saw to it that a faulty light in our room was fixed that evening. Other reception staff were fond of putting the phone down before you had finished asking for something and getting help toik at least 3 calls. Anyway! Let's move on from reception!
Another negative unfortunately is the public toilets - in the lobby and especially by the pools - disgusting sorry! How often are the pool toilets cleaned?! Once a week?!
Drink quality was also poor - dreadful local wine, no fizzy wine, cava or prosecco and no local variations of things like Baileys. Also no wine glasses at lunch.
Evening entertainment was also mostly very poor - the same old cheesy, non specific butt baring (the women) dance routines every night. OK, butt baring is appropriate in a burlesque show but what does it have to do with a rock show and all the other shows - tedious! There was a disco but outside the hotel and it's easy to get lost. I didn't mind the music but it was definitely all geared towards Spanish speakers.
The hotel seemed around 90 per cent full of Argentinians and although I didn't really mind this as I could practise my Spanish, it did feel like a bit of a takeover!
Be firm when going to the restaurants and don't let them fob you off with having to dine at 6.30pm (unless you want to of course). We got in everywhere we wanted in the end after being turned away a couple of nights. All in all if you're going though, I think you'll have a good time. Highlights were the beach, the music round the pool, daytime entertainment and most of the staff. If the hotel could only improve the reception staff (some) though and the toilets and quit trying to make extra money in these little room scams on arrival,then vary the entertainment, it would be so much better. There was a huge space in the bar which could have been made into a dancefloor for everyone to dance until 2am. The main bar could then have charged for drinks after midnight like some other all inclusives i've stayed in do. This would be an alternative to the disco for older people and those who don't want to walk to the disco alone in the dark.
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