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"the educated way to travel"

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Riu Palace Bavaro

by Camille Pepe Sperrazza

One of the nice things about staying at a Riu Palace is that there is always that sense of the familiar - the beautifully arranged and extravagant buffets that include fresh blended juices for breakfast and chocolate fountains at dinner; the sitdown dining options (Italian, Japanese, French fusion, and more); and the way the dining establishments are housed inside the same complex so they are easy to find. I often think of Riu Palaces as "city-like" because one can stroll the pavement and read all the restaurant menus before deciding where to eat. In the past, reservations were required, but it's now fist come, first serve, a much better policy. Sure it is always nice to sit and be served, but the Palace buffets are so sensational, don't miss all the lobster tail you can eat - or theme events like Chocolate Night!

The main building contains the majority of rooms, a comfort to those used to apartment life. But this Riu Palace does offer some units that are spread around the grounds, including a VIP section that has its own pool. The spacious rooms have double sinks, which are located in an open area. While the shower has a door, it isn't quite as private as some roommates may wish because it means exiting to that open area. The amenities are lovely, yet this is the second time there has not been shampoo at a Riu property in D.R. If one prefers something better than the liquid shower soap, one may wish to pack a 3 oz bottle. A huge plus is a television that offers a number of English-speaking channels.  

This is one of four Riu properties all located within the same complex, but the tropical grounds make it nearly impossible to walk from one resort to the next. It is a $5 taxi ride to take advantage of exchange privileges at the other Riu Palace on the grounds - the Riu Palace Punta Cana. That one has a classic European-style decor, while Bavaro aims to be more modern.

There are the usual nightly shows in the outdoor theater, and some pool activities during the day. In the evening, just before the show, guests who win daily competitions are brought on stage and awarded prizes.

This article was accurate when it was written, but everything in life changes. Enjoy the journey!