Hotel Review: Riu Palace Bavaro, Dominican Republic

We finally stayed at our first all-inclusive resort. Generally we choose locations based on restaurants we want to try or breweries we want to check out, but this time we decided to spend five days at an all-inclusive resort with some of our favorite family members.

We stayed at Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was the perfect resort to blend the Husband and me in with the two families we went with. They have children, we do not. An adults-only resort wasn’t an option, and neither was a kid-based resort. Luckily Riu Palace Bavaro had an adult-only area, for those times when I felt overwhelmed by all the screaming children (which actually didn’t really happen at all).

After paying a $10 tourist fee at the airport we easily found the taxis and took the short ride to the resort. The staff at Riu Palace Bavaro was very friendly and helpful from the moment we arrived. We were immediately given fruity drinks in the lobby while the staff loaded our suitcases up and we were being checked in.


Sweet island juice.

We booked an ocean view junior villa, for both the view and the fact that it was in the adults-only area of the resort.


Our “ocean view.” You can kind of see the water between the palm fronds. That pool is the adult only pool.

Ocean view or not, the room was lovely. It has a large balcony and it was nice sitting out there and relaxing before joining the rest of the resort at the bars and pools.

The room had a small table, a seating area, and a king size bed. There was a large tube dividing the bedroom area from the bathroom. Luckily the toilet was in a water closet, so that was private. The only issue with the room was the blow dryer. It was absolutely terrible. Make sure you bring your own.


A lot of space. Really, too much since you aren’t at a Dominican all-inclusive to hang out in your room.

Speaking of all-inclusive, the room obviously came with lots of liquor.



Just like on a cruise ship, the staff left a cutesy little towel thing in your room daily.


I think the top one is supposed to be a heart, but I’m not sure…

The resort was pretty large. Besides the buildings with the rooms, there was a large lobby with a lobby bar and a sports bar, themed restaurants, and a buffet. Both pools had a swim up bar and tables to just hang out and drink at, inside the pool. But the pools close at 6! That’s way too early! At about 5:45 the staff starts throwing buckets of water on the concrete around the pool, with  no warning. They totally ruined my book that was in my bag the first day. I kept my bag on my chair after that. Lesson learned.


The main building.


The everyone pool.


The much-quieter (and kind of boring) adult pool.

The food was decent. Sometimes the food at the buffet or one of the restaurants was top-notch (the noodles!) but a lot of the time it was lukewarm bland calories. It was very similar to a cruise ship. But it was all-inclusive and it was awesome not having to carry around a wallet, so it all evened out.

The hotel is on a beautiful part of the beach. Lots of trees for shade and not a lot of garbage in the sand. And the water was beautiful.


Looks like a postcard (minus the people).

We really had a great time, but we were with great company. The resort was clean, easy to get around, and full of fun things to do.

Hotel Rating

(Zero being the lowest, ten being the highest)


Cleanliness: 10

Friendliness: 10

Experience: 7

Comfort: 6

Value: 10

Amenities: 8

Location: 10

Overall Rating: 8

Referral rating: 8


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