Punta Cana› Hotel
Hotel Riu Palace Bávaro
Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana
Our Rating Neighborhood Bávaro/Cortecito Phone 809/221-2290 Prices Summer: $230–$451 jr. suite, from $353 suite. Winter: $398–$744 jr. suite, from $507 suite. Rates are all-inclusive. Units 610 rooms & suites Amenities Wi-Fi (free in some rooms and public areas, paid in others), 5 restaurants, 6 bars, 4 outdoor pools (including 1 kiddie pool and 1 reserved for villa clients), gym, spa, tennis courts Web site Hotel Riu Palace Bávaro
The family-friendly Riu Palace Bávaro is the newest property (opened in 2011) in this five-resort Riu complex on Arena Gorda beach at the north end of the Bávaro coastline. Though the most expensive of these sister resorts, it remains one of the better value all-inclusives in Punta Cana (its neighbor, the Riu Palace Monaco, is an even better value, though open to adults only).
The decor is done as funky modern modular, all starkly white edged in black with bright splashes of purple and pink. The “villas” rooms are closest to the beach, with complimentary WiFi, Jacuzzis on the balconies, and a reserved pool with its own swim-up bar.
The all-inclusive prices covers the usual non-motorized water sports (windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, snorkelling), plus an introductory scuba course in the pool and, of course, all meals and drinks. (Riu rooms are famous for their wall-mounted booze dispensaries stocked with bottles of gin, rum, vodka, and brandy.)