Holidaymakers who recently stayed at the Riu Palace Bavaro in the Dominican Republic have taken to TripAdvisor to complain that they suffered gastroenteritis symptoms and noticed a mould smell emanating from parts of the Punta Cana hotel.

The Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana

The Riu Palace Bavaro is currently offered as part of Thomson‘s “platinum” branded range of hotels on an all-inclusive basis to British holidaymakers. The hotel is situated in the popular Punta Cana region of the Dominican Republic and is advertised by the TUI-owned tour operator as featuring a range of appealing facilities.

Reports of gastric illness and mould

Reviews on TripAdvisor for the Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro appear to be quite mixed, and at the time of writing the Dominican Republic resort has received an average rating of 4 out of 5 from over 3,000 reviews. Unfortunately, the following reviewers have reported suffering the symptoms of a gastric illness during their stay.


‘Godivacoco’ recently wrote a review of her stay in August titled “Nice resort“, in which she says that while the resort was “very clean“, after eating at the Italian restaurant, she and “most [of the] people in [her] group [were] sick“, suffering from “vomiting and [diarrhoea]“.


In her review of her stay in August titled “Disappointing honeymoon vacation“, ‘kris1223’ says that she and her “husband […] just had [their] honeymoon at Riu Palace Bavaro this week and it was quite disappointing“.

She explains that there is a “musty smell in the main lobby” and in their room, adding that “the food is either mediocre or terrible depending on what restaurant you visit“, before stating that her “husband got food poisoning“.


Liverpool holidaymaker ‘markgeldart’ reviewed his stay at the Riu Palace Bavaro in his review titled “Excellent in almost every way“. In his review, he says that there “is only one negative; the food“, stating that his “party of 7 experienced” what he terms as “stomach upsets“.


‘cdbuterfly’ wrote a review of her stay in July that was sympathetically titled “Not the Best, sorry to complain“. She says that her “first impression when [she] walked into the lobby was the musty smell of [mould] and mildew“, and that she “immediately smelled the same musty smell” in her room.

She goes on to say that after complaining about the smell, she went “back to the room” and found that “the floor [was] all wet and the walls look sweaty and all the mirrors and windows are fogged up“, commenting that she feels that it is apparent that “there is a moisture situation“. She continues her review by commenting about the extent of the issues in the hotel room, detailing the locations where she found mould.

‘cdbuterfly’ says that “somewhere along the way [she] got sick” and “by the second day [of her holiday, her] stomach was cramping all day and night“. She says that her “husband was okay until the 4th day“, and that they “could smell the musty smell at the main buffet when the kitchen doors would open“.


‘pemb017’ wrote a review of his stay in July titled “Two weeks in paradise??? Really? Riu Palace Punta Cana / Riu Palace Bavaro“. In his review, he says that they were relocated to the Riu Palace Bavaro following a problem with their booking at their intended hotel; the Riu Palace Punta Cana.

During their stay, ‘pemb017’ says that he “began to feel very unwell” and “ended up laid up in bed with gastroenteritis for the next three days“. He says that his “wife got some Antidiarrheal medication for” him and he soon began to “feel better“, however, “within 30 minutes of lunch [his] lower lip began to swell and it became obvious that [he] was having an allergic reaction“.

‘pemb017’ says that his “eldest daughter took [him] straight to the on-site medical office where [he] was seen by two Doctors” who “were concerned enough about [his] dehydration and the swelling to send [him] straight to the nearest hospital” where he was subsequently treated for an allergic reaction.

Like other reviewers, ‘pemb017’ also says that his “room had a very musty smell“, commenting that “when [they] got home, all of [their] clothes had picked up the smell” and “the foyer of the hotel and the foyer bar had a similar musty smell“.


Possible causes of gastric illness

While there are known to be links between mould and gastric illnesses that result in Gastroenteritis symptoms, it’s far more common for food poisoning to be the cause. Problems with mould in hotel rooms, or musty smells emanating from a hotel kitchen, could be an indication that a hotel has problems with hygiene, however, without receiving a stool sample test at the time that you became unwell, it’ll be difficult to ascertain which pathogen caused you to become unwell, and subsequently, to ascertain the probable cause of your illness.

Mould word-cloud

Find out more about claiming compensation

If you’ve suffered the symptoms of Gastroenteritis on an all-inclusive package holiday, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator under The Package Travel Regulations 1992. A member of our travel law team can assess your case and advise you if you’re able to make a ‘no win no fee‘ claim as part of a free no-obligation consultation.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Riu Palace Bavaro in the Dominican Republic; contact Chandni Odedra by completing our enquiry form, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit our On Holiday Claims website.