Flight from Toronto Pearson International was good. It was raining when we arrrived. Had a private driver that took us to resort. Was about a 45 min. drive. Weren't able to see much as it was dark but what we could see looked interesting. Our driver was very informative. Check in went smooth. Hotel was booked solid. We were here for my niece's wedding.
Rooms were large and very clean. We never had any problems with getting towels-always had plenty. Beds were comfy. The TV got a few english channels-enought to keep us happy. Maids did a great job.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food was good. We were travelling with some picky eaters but they managed to find something to eat. Pancakes and banana milkshakes at breakfast were awesome. Be sure to leave a tip for the waiters, they work hard.
The grounds were beautiful and very well kept. Everything was so clean. There are 2 pools. One has the swim up bar. Would have been nice if they had been connected. There was always some activity or another going on in the pool. Only went to the beach a few times. Wear water shoes-there are stones and pebbles. Beautiful beach. Plenty of chairs by the pool and beach. Not like some resorts I've been too where if you didn't get a chair by 7 am you weren't going to get one.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The entertainment group did a fantastic job of trying to get people to join in. They are full of energy. The night shows we saw were not our kind of thing but they were lovely to watch. We went on a Mega Truck excursion and on a trip to Ocean World to swim with the dolphins. Both were great trips but pricey.
This resort is rated as a 4 or 5 star but in comparisons to other resorts we've stayed at this resort should be listed as a 4 star. The grounds are beautiful, the food is good and the service is top notch but it was missing some of the fine details that make a 5 star. We never once saw or had anybody from the bar come around by the pool or lounge areas and ask for our drink orders. We always had to go up the bar ourselves. Just little things like that. We did have rain for a day but then this is the "winter"time for the DR. The temps were around 85 with no humidity (which I like) and from Oct to Jan. is their rainy period. Overall this is a good resort that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for an inexpensive holiday.
Leigh & Keely Luton, England
Arrival and Flight: Flew with Thomson from Gatwick. Comfortable flight, don’t bother upgrading to extra legroom. We were one row behind the Premier cabin and apart from the menu/drinks there was little difference. Standard legroom is more than enough and you can pay £5 to upgrade to the same entertainment package. Call Thomson direct and you can prebook your exact seat numbers for £10each person. We had row 7.
Rooms: Good size room for the 2 of us. We requested block 5 with a view of the bay and got it. Great sunset everynight. Block 6 would be good too. More than enough storage and loads of coathangers too. Air con not that good but ceiling fan has 2 speeds and more than makes up for it. Room always well cleaned. Towels do get taken to wash every day and they only leave you a couple until they restock at between 4 and 5 in the afternoon. We always had too many towels. Very clean too. Minbar was great. Optics of rum, whiskey, vodka and gin. Fridge had beer, pepsi, tonic water and gallon of water. We left a dollar tip in the fridge and got 6 bottles of each every other day when they restocked. Also left a dollar tip for the maid and also left some sweets. We got towel art and flowers scattered around the room each day. Really nice touch. TV had loads of channels but mostly spanish. Still had CNN, ESPN for sport and a number of the spanish channels showed English shows anyway. AXN, People and Arts, Cinecanal for films but you’re not really in the room much anyway. Big queen size bed (not 2 doubles pushed together either)
Restaurants: For breakfast we always went to the main buffet. Open from 7 til 10. Endless amounts of food. Even the fussiest eater would be happy. Full cooked breakfast, fresh rolls, cheeses, meats, fruit, cereals. Highly recommend the banana smoothies. Very nice. Continental breakfast was also from 10 til 12 in the outdoor restaurant. Lunch was always taken at the outdoor restaurant by the beach. Again, loads of choice inc chips, pizza, burgers and hot dogs if you wanted. Also loads of fresh salad, pasta, fruit for healthy option. This was open from 12 til 5 so you could pop in and out for snacks as needed. Evening meal was either in the main buffet which was themed differently every night including Dominican night, mexican, chinese. Great food with loads of choice again. Great grouper fish. Evening meals are from 7 til 10. We used to eat at 8.30 ish and was nice and quiet but still fully stocked with food. Even had a couple of guys serenading people whilst they ate too. Nice touch. You could also go to the ala carte steakhouse. We went 3 times in the 2 weeks and again couldn’t fault the food. Rib eye steak was very good. Outside every toilet/restaurant, there was a maid with antibacterial handwash too. Good to see they are worried about germs.
Bars: 4 bars. One by the side of reception which is 24 hour. One by the stage, one swim up and one for the beach the other side. Never waited more than 30 secs for a drink and couldn’t fault the measures. Always say if you want rum in cocktails or not. Beer good and cold always. Wine was ok but what do you expect. Rose best. The guys work bloody hard in them and are always smiling. By each bar was coke/soft drinks and coffee/ tea machines which you help yourself too. Coffee machine was Nescafe. Very nice
Beach and Pools: Pool was very nice but very hot as no breeze round the pool. Best pool out of the 3 hotels by far. We preferred the beach. Nice and quiet and plenty of sunbeds even by lunchtime there were plenty left. Nice breeze by lunchtime too. Round the pool was busier with the umbrellas usually gone by 9 ish. Still pretty good, last year in Egypt they were all gone by 6. Beach has golden sand and plenty of natural shade from the trees. Bit rocky in the sea by the Bachata but if walk down the beach to the right it’s ok. Entertainment very loud round the pool too. Nice if you like that kind of thing.
Grounds: Immaculate. Gardeners were constantly tidying up and trimming. They always said hello every morning to us and the guy on the beach sweeping the leaves up even brought a little table over to us every day. Only a little thing but those things make all the difference. Great job and well kept grounds.
Activities and Entertainment: Very good. As busy as you want to be with entertainment from 10 til 5 ranging from dart and volleyball to live bands and bbq on the beach. No pressure if you just wanted to sleep anyway. Shows in th evening very good. Don’t expect Vegas as it’s the same guys as who do the daytime stuff. Best were Michael Jackson show. Madonna show and Grease show Usually start at 9.30 for an hour or so. Have got a disco from 10 til 2 and a casino too.
Tours: We only did one this year. The VIP Ocean Discovery booked through Thomson. Excellent day. Picked up at 7.45 by minibus. Boarded yacht and had hour and a half cruise up the coast with open bar and snacks. Even had champagne and oysters. Lunch on the beach, and then speed boat to Paradise Island. The driver we had was nicknamed ‘crazy man’ due to the speed he drove. He went faster the more we sung along with him. Great fun and soaking wet. Was grinning for the rest of the day. Paradise Island was great if a bit windy when we were there but as part of the VIP thing there were only 50 people on the island as opposed to 200 earlier in the day before we got there. Great diving round the reef. Then back on the boat, into the mangrove swamps and back to the beach. Opportunity on way back in bus to stop at local shop for souveniers too. Great day. Was £100 each but well worth it. Special mention to both monster truck and the dolphin swim trips too. We’ve done them previous years and they too are worth the money.
Departure and Check: Out 20 second check out. Make sure you have keys, safe lock and barrell and all towel cards and simple. Easy check in at airport. We prebooked the VIP lounge with Thomson. Only air conditioned bit of the airport with free bar and snacks too. They have 2 TVs on and were happy to put an English channel on for us too. Nice end to the holiday. Flight home was rubbish as normal. (only cos we’re going home)
Conclusion: This was our second stay at the Bachata and yet again we could not fault this place. This was our fifth trip to Dom Rep and still our favourite resort in the north. We’ve stayed at Iberostar, Superclubs and Ocean hotels so we’ve seen quite a choice. Not sure why some people complain as we couldn’t fault anything. We’ll def be back.
Room 434, Building 4 - We’ll start here, room was fine with the exception of no control of air conditioning or ceiling fan. With temperatures in the 90’s and humidity making it feel over 100 degrees Fahrenheit it was a necessity and was simply unreliable and unavailable. Many nights it was very hard to sleep because it felt as if air was turned off all together. Horribly hot and uncomfortable. Must give credit to the ladies that were cleaning, definitely worked to keep things tidy and clean. Towels were few and far between, second day came back to room to find all towels removed and not replaced but just had to ask Leonilda for towels and she promptly dropped off a couple. Mini bar was sparsely stocked with sodas but never really asked for anything special and it was a different person taking care of that aspect.
Restaurants – Just OK, a nice place to sit with a/c would have been welcome. We sat on the patio of the main buffet most nights and insect spray is a must. This was the only place to get a little breeze but the bugs were biting. No food to write home about. Breads are always fresh and tasty. Pizza was good, again the dough made it. Bacon wrapped filet was very good. Didn’t care for the uncontrolled children putting there hands in everything and making a mess running about but that is typical of some buffets I guess.
Bars- Ask for rum in your drink if you really want a drink, otherwise drinks such as pina coladas, and daiquiris are dispensed with none if any. The bartenders do try to accommodate if you ask. One couple in the group left a large tip ($30 us dollars) expecting it to be split and noticed that the bartender pocketed it. After asking he did say that they do not split tips. You must tip each bartender individually if you care to, don’t expect them to split it with there coworkers. I noticed the same thing the night before, gave a $5 (us) tip and immediately it went directly into pocket of one, meant to be shared. There was a terrible stench at pool bar during the day. Swim up bar was overrun with children, no seats for adults. Twice during our short stay, the locals were drinking to the point of vomiting and the pool staff had to “yellow tape” the area and close the pool. It was quite disgusting.
Pools- Filthy, no presence of chlorine, scum floating on water and sides of pool, Jets hardly circulating any water through system. I swam in the pool one time for about 30 minutes. That same evening I was violently ill. I can’t say for sure if it was something that I ate or something that I caught during short swim. I took great care not to open mouth but did dip my head twice.
Beach- Nice enough, not the nice white sand that you have in Punta Cana. Plenty of chairs. Another nice place to catch an occasional nice breeze. Very rocky, wear water shoes if you plan on going in water.
Grounds – Well kept. Workers always picking up garbage and tidying up.
Entertainment – A joke.
Tours – None organized by the hotel personally but family partook in horseback riding and enjoyed it. They mentioned that one of the horses got hit by a car and was limping, I hated to hear that they were ridden in an area where that could even occur. Ocean world was also a hit with kids traveling in our group. We stopped at an orphanage on the way to the airport and met the nuns that ran it and dropped off some supplies. They were very appreciative and gave us a tour. Evidently the children are sent to extended family for the month of Aug due to heat. Not sure what happens if there is no extended family. This particular orphanage is run on donations from the Brugal Rum factory. Hit a supermarket in the city area just to see if there was anything different before heading out.
Check-out – Very simple, no problems, all credit card transactions were done at check in. As long as you return room key, safe key, and towel cards you should be good to go.
Conclusion – Be afraid, Be very afraid. I got more sick on this 4 night 5 day trip than ever before, cannot say exactly how and that’s the scariest part. Credit to the workers that keep the grounds, beach and rooms nice. I really feel it’s the hotel chain or maybe management that needs to resolve the more major problems such as no air conditioning, keeping guests in check, and pool situation mentioned above. This resort should not even be considered for many reasons, lack of air, temperature, influx of locals with children just to name a few. Not being predjudice, we were actually there for a wedding, half of the guests were from the US and the other half were from the DR. The problem is with the people that are offered rooms at a cut rate and bring large numbers of children and allow them to run wild, party until they throw up, basically reek havoc and then leave a day later. Yuck. I would never go back to this resort. Find it hard to even believe that I will make it back to the DR ever at this point. I may change my mind in time but right now…… I feel really bad for anyone who has to stay here due to confirmed reservations.
Mike and Carol Plaster Rock, N.B.
We stayed at the Riu Bachata from April 16th-May 1st to attend our son’s wedding. There were 31 wedding guests and two sisters getting married on two different days.
Our flight from Halifax with Air Transat was great, met our Sunquest representative at the airport, no problem. On our arrival, our rooms were not ready and we waited from about 11 am. To 2 pm. No problem, we toured the resort, had lunch at the Beach restaurant. Our room was as requested, king size bed, oceanview.
On our first full day, we met with Maria, the wedding planner, to chose the flowers, location of the wedding, restaurant, discuss times, program, costs etc. That took about 20min to ½ hour for the two bridal parties. On our son’s wedding day, we just had to show up at the Pagoda on the hill 15 minutes and everything went as planned. The weather was amazing, view was amazing, wedding was effortless. The only suggestion that I might have is that the area should be closed to anyone other than the wedding guests for at least 15 minutes prior to the wedding, so that pictures can be taken of the setting prior to the wedding without tourists in them. I don’t think that is too much to ask when extra is paid for the location.
Renaldo ?, the waiter at the wedding, was great fun, organized the chairs, munchies, champagne etc. very well. It was all truly amazing and I would highly recommend a destination wedding; a lot less fuss, cost, amazing surroundings. The wedding dinner was held at the Steak House, complete with cake. The second wedding the next day was at the Spaghetti Specialty restaurant. I liked the food at the Spaghetti House best.
I don’t know how anyone could complain about the food at this resort. There was an amazing selection of everything that one could want. We ate most of our lunches, if we ate lunch at the Beach restaurant and again the selection was very diverse and of good quality. One of last nights at the resort, there was bacon wrapped filet mignon and it was the best we have ever tasted.
Most of the wedding party went on the Mega Truck tour. Talk about an action-packed day. We visited a typical Dominican home, school, coffee making session, carved stone location, horse-back riding, held a python, sat on a 2000 pound Brahma bull, ate a great Dominican lunch, and went to a secluded, white, sandy beach for about an hour. This is the first time we have gone on a tour while on a Caribbean vacation because we chose to stay two weeks and are glad we selected Mega Trucks. A few others went on the Skyview tour and were a bit disappointed because a good part of it was shopping, bartering and not enough time was spent at the Amber museum. Some took a taxi from the lobby to Puerto Plata to see the Amber Museum, Brugal factory and that may be the way to go as it might be cheaper and you could see what you want and stay as long as you liked.
We have been to the Dominican 4 times and this is one of the nicest resorts. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the two other resorts as Bachata really has the nicest pool, although when we went for walks, we would stop in at other hotels for a cool drink. Certainly the beach is better down near the water sports area, I think the Meringue area. Loungers were plentiful and even though there were people who marked their spots early every morning, there was usually space where you could either have shade or sun, (must be sad to be so regimented on your vacation). In the morning, our biggest decision was beach or pool? Some people lounged at their spot all day and only got up to go in the pool. That became a concern to me as you wondered what they were really going in the pool to do! Good thing they really shock the pool at night! After my observations, I preferred the ocean.
This is our second Riu hotel stay and we really like this franchise. Everything is consistent and of good quality.
When we had the energy to stay up this late, we attended most presentations. Most were very professional. There were a few sketchy night where the audience is used as the entertainment. These are a little less than what I would like to see. Unfortunately, during our second week, there was a Karaoke night, which had been quite good at one of the other hotels the previous week, but the second week, there was an influx of children. Karaoke Night became a night of children wanting to perform. They usually had their time from 8:30 pm. to 9 pm. The 9:30 pm Karaoke should have been left for the adults who wanted to perform only. There were a few amazing adult performers, but the children left a lot to be desired. The Animation team did a great job trying to find the children something else to do, but some parents just don’t “mind” their children. The night of the fire-eater and glass walker, the kids were pushing right to the stage, even though there was something else planned for them. I found that the second week there were other locations where parents should have “minded” their children too. Four teenage boys were climbing and jumping all over the nets across the pool, tearing them and could have possibly hurt themselves. Guests shouldn’t complain about the locals on the weekend, when they can’t look after their own kids. These “obnoxious” children were not “locals”. This week made us think that another time, we might look for an “adult only” resort. Wonder whether Riu has such a thing?
Only suggestion that I can make would be that on our last day, we had a late flight. The hotel was kind enough to let us stay in our room free of charge until 2pm., but it is still a long wait until departure from the hotel at 7:30 pm. We had dinner and played cards, but what would be really nice would be an air-conditioned room with maybe a TV, internet, tables, chairs, couches, so that you could relax and not take up lobby space. Just a suggestion. I think every resort should have such a room for late departures.
Wonderful time had. Would recommend Riu Bachata to anyone for a wedding or for a vacation. Could have stayed 2 more weeks.
We got on the bus at the airport, and we were immediately told that our reservations had been changed from Riu Merengue to Riu Bachata. Since Bachata was a 5*, we did not complain.
I arrived at the resort at 11am. We were told our room would be ready by 3pm. We were given our bracelets and had the run of the 3 resorts. At about noon, we returned to the desk and asked if we could have some medication refrigerated. The staff immediately tried to find us a room, so were could keep our meds cool. The room was nicely decorated and very clean. The floors were very shiney, the furniture was all real wood, and in good shape. The beds were low and not overly comfortanle, but clean. Our rooms were thoroughly cleaned every day. Our maid also made decorative designs out of our towels and clothing, and decorated with fresh flowers.
The pool was clean and had lots of lounge chairs, same as the beach. Unlike at the complex or Iberostar beaches, there were no vendors trying to sell you stuff. There was one man selling excursions and one lady who offered to braid hair. A simple "No Thank You" sent them on their way. There were locals selling stuff at a market around the corner on the public beach. A guard from our resort was standing close by to look out for those from the resort who ventured to the market.
Carribean St. was full of little shops, but very overpriced. They asked $8. US for a noname toothbrush. They finally dropped the price to $5. The stores that do not have the items priced should be avoided. They make the prices up as they go along.
The food was great. The Steakhouse and the Italian were nice, but the buffet had a lot of variety. Food is available 24hrs.
The wait staff and the maids and grounds workers were all very helpful and friendly.
The entertainers worked hard and did everything they possibly could to make everyones stay enjoyable.
I really enjoyed my vacation and do not know if I will stay anyplace else than the Riu's. The area is breathtaking.
We stayed at Riu Bachata March 13 – 20, 2008. This was our third time at this resort. We were travelling with our 10 year old son, and our friends who had their 6 year old son with them.
Flight: Skyservice direct from Ottawa. The plane was a 757 this year; a big improvement in seat room. I could go on about the service etc…but we got there and back safely, and in this case, it is about the destination not the service on the journey. Enough said.
Arrival at Resort: Sunquest rep easy to find at the airport, just after you collect your luggage. You just tell them which resort, and they tell you which number of bus to get on. Bus from airport went just to Riu Bachata, so it was a quick trip of approx. 25 mins once we left the airport. Check in was well organized, room key, towel cards, safe key and map of resort all ready in individual envelopes. Our room was not ready, but our friends was, so we dropped off our luggage in their room, changed and headed for lunch and the beach. We could have checked our luggage or had a porter bring it, but as we knew the resort well, we just took the luggage with us and found our own way.
Rooms: We had sent an email with a room request, and we were given our requested location, (thanks Hector) and our friends were just across the hall. We were in building 6, facing the ocean. Safe included with room, bathroom has ample room and hairdryer provided. The room was very clean, kept clean all week – I can never believe how they clean away all the sand that seems to get into the room, but they manage somehow. We had towel sculptures most days, and always shampoo, soap etc was refilled. Our mini-bar was restocked daily, including water, beer, Pepsi and tonic. The drying rack on the balcony was well used again this year. (hint- bring some clothespins, we did and left them there) . The balconies are quite big, and have 2 chairs and a small table on them. There are 6 large drawers in the room, and the closet is huge with about 25 plastic hangars. We appreciate the screens on the window and patio doors – I can’t comment on the air conditioning because we slept with our patio door and window (we had a corner unit, so had both) open and listened to the sound of the waves each evening. Lovely! The sunset over the Bay is beautiful.
Food: One complaint. It was all too good and we ate too much!!! The selection is outstanding, and one of the reasons we returned to Riu after trying other resort. Can’t say enough about the variety of food, presentation and quality. They have different theme nights – one night was Mexican, one Dominican and one Asian as I remember. Lots of fresh fruit at each meal, at dinner there is more than one kind/preparation of beef, chicken and fish, as well as at least one roast being carved, huge salad bar, soup, vegetable dishes, pizza, and made to order pasta. (this is not a complete list) One night there was a large presentation of paella, other nights there were mussels and smoked salmon available. Always a large selection of desserts and ice cream.
We had lunch every day in the beach restaurant which suited us well. It is open air, and close to the beach and pools. They serve sandwiches, salad, burgers, hot dogs, pasta, chicken, fries and more. Ice cream always available, along with other desserts. A couple of days they had cooking demonstrations near the beach restaurant at lunch time, and one day a beach bar-b-que. Evenings and breakfast we enjoyed tables on the outside deck of the main restaurant.
Breakfasts had cold cereal, fruit, made to order smoothies, cold meat, cheese, huge selection of assorted breads and pastries, omelettes made to order, other types of eggs, bacon, sausages, French toast, pancakes and fresh donoughts (I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things)
We had one meal in the Steakhouse; easily made a reservation one morning. They take reservations from 7:00am just for that day. There are two fixed seating times at the specialty restaurants, 6:30pm and 8:30pm. The salad bar and hot appetizers are buffet style, and then you are served your main course and dessert. The atmosphere is quieter than the main restaurant, which was a nice change. The steak was just o.k. – tasty but very thin. The onion soup was delicious, as were the other hot appetizers. Our son had the ½ chicken dinner which was a bit hit – tasted like rotisserie chicken. We did not try the other specialty restaurant which is Italian. Menus for both restaurants are posted just outside the main restaurant.
Pools & Beach: The main pool with the swim up bar is very busy in the afternoons; the other pool with the waterfall is always quieter so we used both at different times. Both pools are very large. The pool with the swim up bar was sometimes sandy by the afternoon, but the pool staff were continually cleaning floating leaves etc out of the pools. We also spent a lot of time at the beach. The small beach in the cove beside the Bachata has good snorkelling, and wonderful shells. Too bad they have removed the beach chairs from this beach. The main beach has lots of shade, and some areas are a bit rocky. Neither of the kids in our group needed water shoes, nor did the adults. The last 2 days we were there the sea was as rough was we have ever seen in Puerto Plata, and the waves were something to see. Unfortunately, we had to stay out of the ocean, but still enjoyed walks on the beach.
Staff/Animation Events: We found everyone we had contact with to be helpful, friendly and polite. The animation team works hard to include everyone; and is continually in circulation and chatting with guests. They always seem to be laughing, or trying to make you laugh. Great fun! Many activities available throughout the day including darts, horse shoes, volleyball, aerobics, to name a few. We had quick service at each bar. The kids enjoy the self-serve pop, water and juice. We noticed staff cleaning continually – in all areas. The washrooms all have an attendant providing hand sanitizer, and this is available at the entrance to the dining room as well. The evening show schedule is posted in the main lobby, as well as notices regarding daily special events such as the beach party, street party etc.
Tours: The only time we left the resort was on a tour we arranged with Isaira Tours, which was recommended to us on this site. We set our own agenda and pace, the driver spoke English very well, and we had a great day on a tour that included the fort, amber museum, cigar factory, market, Brugal, and other sightseeing. Highly recommended this tour company.
Shopping: This was our 6th trip to the DR, and we don’t go for the shopping. However, the rum at Brugal is I think the best price going, and we found that for the few things we did buy we had a price in mind, and stuck to it during the bargaining process. As usual, there were times when we did not agree on a price with the vendor, and we pleasantly thanked them for their time and moved on. Now, a few times this worked well for us as when they realized we were ready to leave the price became acceptable.
The Caribbean Street on the resort has a lot of selection – we browsed through, but the bit of shopping we did was in town. Also, one night additional vendors come in to the resort. A craftsperson making glass ornaments and small animals was in the lobby a few evenings as was a cigar vendor every evening.
We had a great trip, and have come to depend on Riu to provide consistent service which they have. We hope to return to a Riu property in the future!
Cindy New Minas, Nova Scotia
I just got back from staying at the RIU Bachata (March 5 - 12). This was my third visit to the Dominican and I can say that this resort was the most picturesque of all. The grounds at the resort were beautiful and well kept. The food was fantastic - the buffet had everything to choose from. The fish was the best I have ever had in the Domincan - sea bass. The calamari was exellent. They served Dominican specialities at the buffet - yukka, Dominican soup, rice and beans. All very good. The Steakhouse was my favorite restaurant. Excellent steak!
I loved having the ladies with the sanitizers outside the washrooms and the restaurants. A great touch.
I would recommend that you bring water shoes with you. I didn't and bought some at the gift shop for only $13 but it was worth every penny. I loved swimming in the ocean - the water was so warm. There were always enough loungers at the beach and also at the pool. You had to claim the ones at the pool early in the a.m.
The Dominican people are all so friendly and accommodating.
Something else I would take next time is binoculars. The mountains were breathtaking and the binoculars would have brought that view in closer.
This resort is rated 5 star. I'm not sure it is a true 5 star but definitely a 4 1/2. I would definitely go back again. One more point of interest. There was no $20 US deportation tax to pay. You can spend all your money while you are there.
Morris & Sheri
Myself and my boyfriend vacationed at the Riu Bachata from March 5-12 (yes, we just returned home last night) I could not wait to get a posting on here regarding this resort! We have done alot of travelling and vistited many resorts in the past and we both agreed that the Riu Bachata was by far the best we have ever visited! I am not sure why peple would rank this a 3-4 star resort when it is close to PERFECT!!
We checked in at 4am due to delays with our flight but the check in was fast and within no time we were showed to our room. The rooms are very attractive with dark wood for the closets and door way, marble floors throughout and even in the bathroom. We had a balcony and the view was of the next block of rooms, we didnt ask for a view so it was no big deal to us anyway! The rooms we always well stcked with rum,beer , pop and water. The towels were replaced a little later in the evening which was a little too late if you wanted to shower after being to the beach. But if you place a call they have them sent to your room no problem! and even call to make sure you have gotten them! The pool was always very busy, but it was spring break so we were informed by others. Some of the people at the pool side were very loud and obnixious when they had a few drinks too many, and this was too bad because famalies were also in the pool with small kids, having said this, it was only noisy at the pool that had the swim up bar, but if you want you could move to the next pool which was more relaxing. We didnt mind too much because we didnt have small kids with us.
The food, again I dont know why people would complain!!! How can you say its always the same things offered when its because they serve EVERYTHING!!!! We did not have any issues with the food, always plenty and plenty of everything!
We watched some of the nightly entertainment shows but we were normally pretty exhausted from the sun to stay until the end!! But the shows were always great as well, especially the Michael Jackson show!!! The staff are amazing, always singing always a smile! sooo pleasant to be around! we visited many of the huts at both end of the beaches for some bargain shopping but really alot of it was garbage (shirts are very dirty and damaged so be careful when chosing) but we purchased alot of wind chimes, paintings ( ask them to remove them from the wood they are stretched on) so you can easily pack them in your suitcase. Along the main street right outside the Bachata is more shopping ....these people are not so inclined to give better prices, but you can understand that too. If you would like to contact me I can give you many more details and I have alot of pics as well. Overall I am planning to return to the Bachata next year, I would rate it a 5 star without a doubt! firstname.lastname@example.org
Bev and Ivan P.E.I.
Our first vacation at a Riu resort and we certainly enjoyed ourselves. We have stayed at other resorts and this was by far the best. The weather was great and the afternoon breeze was welcome. The beach was O K and you could always find privacey if you wanted it. We wore water shoes when in the water. We did not make much use of the activities that were available as we were there to relax on the beach however the Animation Team were certainly energetic and there was lots of activities that we could have participated in. Really enjoyed the beach B-B-Q's (roast pork was delicious), and the entertainment dancers great. This was a nice break in the day . The beach bar was a hit and the bartender "Angel" was great. He was worth every tip. We enjoyed the food and found it was well prepared and there was great variety. I would like to have had more Dominican foods to try. Fruit was delicious. The rooms were very clean and the bar well stocked. Lots of water in sealed containers was appreciated. The Facility was extremely clean and the Ladies with the sanitizers outside the bathroom and the resturants was a wonderful idea. They were always so pleasant. We were really impressed with the overall cleanlieness of the Resort. The Resort was quite large with the sister Resorts using the same area however we never felt crowded and we always felt safe and comfortable. Over all this vacation was a great experience and we would recommend this Resort to all. We will certainly use the Riu chain again as we heard from others at the Resort that the 4 and 5 star RIU Resorts were like this one and some even better.
Louise & Graham
We stayed at the Riu Bachata Feb. 7-21, 2008. This was our 6th trip to the D.R., which we love, and the 5th resort we've stayed at. We've always stayed at 4-star or higher resorts, but the Bachata was our first 5-star.
A quick commentary on the trips from and back to Ottawa....abysmal! We confirmed our flight directly with the airline (Skyservice) at 9:30 p.m.on Feb. 6th. and were assured there were no problems. We arrived at Ottawa airport around 4:45 a.m. for our 7a.m. departure only to learn from our carrier, Skyservice, that the flight would be delayed until 6 p.m., and that we would not be checking in our luggage until 3 p.m. We were offered vouchers for either a taxi to go home or food if we stayed at the airport. What we didn't hear was any sincere apology from Skyservice staff at the airport for this delay, due to "unscheduled maintenance", nor was there much effort to move people quickly through a long lime-up to even receive the vouchers. The attitude seemed to be, "too bad, so sad, now move along". We later found out that a very few passengers had received phone calls advising them (at around 2-3 a.m.) that the flight was delayed, but it seemed most people had no contact from the airline before getting to the airport. The flight was further delayed, again the Skyservice staff were not very considerate of frustrated passengers and were even rather rude to a few people we heard who had the audacity to ask questions on the whereabouts of the aircraft. We ended up spending over 16 hours in the airport and did not check into the Riu Bachata until 3;30 a.m., having essentially lost a day of our holiday. The return flight wasn't great either as we were boarded on the aircraft only to be told that owing to some "embargo" by Venezuela, Skyservice couldn't get fuel in the Dominican Republic and we would have to fly to Puerto Rico to get gas. We sat on the tarmac in Puerto Rico (no one allowed off the plane) for over 2 1/2 hours as there was a problem with "paperwork" before we got fuel! Why people couldn't have been told about this gas issue before we got on the plane so that family gack home could be advised is beyond me, but then the "service" in "Skyservice" seems to be a classic oxymoron!
As far as the Riu Bachata, thankfully check-in was a fairly rapid affair and at least there was still a bar open. Our room wasn't exactly what we had requested, but after a couple of days being promised we'd be moved, we decided to forget it (as apparently did the front desk as we never heard from them). The rooms are actually quite fine, bright walls, dark wood cabinets, and the bar regularly stocked as promised. Our cleaning lady (block 600 rooms) was fantastic! The air conditioning is a bit sporadic, but overall power wasn't a problem until the last day when the resort lost power just before we had palnned to get up, shower, etc. I'd say the rooms were better than any of the previous four resorts we've gone to in the D.R.
The resort is quite attractive, well maintained and surprisingly compact (it's the largest of the 3 Riu's there). The Bachata pool is also the largest, and most attractive, which does mean people from all 3 Riu's come to it. Be early if you want to claim a chair, we saw people putting out their towels before 7 a.m. Mind you, the pools at all 3 Riu's seem too small for the volume of guests and poolside chairs seemed scarce at all 3 resorts.The beach isn't usually as crowded, but be warned. This is the windiest beach we have ever encountered, by mid-afternoon it feels like there's a hurricane brewing. We asked staff at the beach massage hut if the wind was always like this and were told it was actually worse normally. With wind like that, you also get some rough water. A few days we did find that there was less wind at the other Riu beaches, especially the Mambo (furthest from the Bachata), but it wasn't always calmer. One plus for the Mambo is they have an actual beach bar.
Our biggest disapointment at the Bachata was the food. It's not that it's bad, it's just that we've had better at the four other resorts we've stayed at in the D.R. The buffet has plenty of choice but it seems pretty well the same nightly. Other ersorts have had more "theme" nights for variety. The two specialty restaurants also weren't as 'special' as other resorts, and other resorts usually have more than two. The Italian at Bachata isn't very 'Italian' in the food offered, and my wife's seafood pasta dish arrived with one mussel in a mass of pasta. Even sending it back didn't result in much of an improvement. The first steak I had, ordered medium rare at the Steakhouse, was way overcooked, and the thinnest rib steak I've seen. To be fair, we did have other meals at both specialty restaurants that were better, just not quite on a par with our experience at other resorts. For a 5-star we were expecting something better overall. The buffet restaurant, while perhaps not laid out the best (congestion at the entrance were you have desserts) does have a lovely veranda for dining outside, which we enjoyed most evenings. Surprisingly, while you can get beer and wine in the Bachata restaurants, none had a bar inside. If you wanted a cocktail, or a brandy with coffee, you had to go outside to one of the bars. A small item but again other resorts we've been to have restaurant bars. As far as the bars that were there, the bartenders are are mostly a great bunch and the local drinks are fine. The selection of "international" brands, however, is the most limited of any resort we've been to, basically a couple of vodkas (thankfully Stolichnaya), some scotch, but no rye, bourbon, brandy, etc. that I could find.
If this had been our first visit to a resort in the D.R., we'd probably have been quite impressed with the Riu Bachata. Alas, it wasn'y our first and the Bachata wasn't quite up to our expectations of a 5-star, but it sure beats shovelling snow!!!
Our arrival was trouble free. We actually enjoyed the bus ride from the airport to the hotel as you get to see some of the real DR. Also the guide was quite entertaining. We had been to the Bachata 5 yrs ago and noticed that the grounds had matured since then.
We had asked for a top floor room with a king bed over looking the sports beach. Even though we had booked 4 mons. in advance we ended up over looking the pool. We could have moved 4 days after our arrival but by then we were settled in and decided not to bother. The rooms were comfortable & clean (except for the drapes). Maid service was very good, however, sometimes the laundary wouldn't supply clean towels until about 5pm so you could end up w/o towels for a while if the maid had removed the used ones. The Riu needs to use better quality and FITTED sheets. Our room was on the north side of the building so stayed nice and cool.
The buffet: quality & quantity were both good; variety each night was good, however each night was just about the same, there should be two or three specials per night & be different each night of the week. We always ate out on the veranda. Rosario was our waiter and he was quite a character. Breakfast was good with good selection. Lunch was also good but I would have liked to have had the same cold meat selection as at breakfast.
Ala carte: Food was very good at both. Great onion soup and kalamari (try them even if you think you don't like them).
Great, the bar tenders love it when you try to ask for your drinks in spanish. Ursala at the stage bar was a real sweatheart and earned a few tips from us.
Beach and Pools -
Nice pool, but gets noisy at 4pm when the animation team starts up.
We like the beach. Lots of trees for shade, yet easy to find sun. The sand may not be white but is still very plesant to walk barefoot in. We would walk the length of the beach each day. You do need water shoes to go in the ocean at the Bachata beach, but it gets better as you go east toward the Mamba. The last time we were they had lounges, roped of swimming area and a small bar on the sports beach on a lovelly bay that was protected from the wind on the west side of the resort, however they have removed the bar, swimming area and lounges. No one could tell us why. It's to bad as that was our favorite beach!
The grounds are ncely kept and attractive.
We only went on the Paradise Island tour. It was GREAT! Make sure you take this tour. The clarity of the water is incredable! Lots of fish.
First the few negatives. The staff didnot seem quite as happy as the last time we were there, although the were still very nice and friendly. The food does get somewhat repetative. The closing of the sports beach was a dissapointment, they have an expanded flea market there now. We did have very nice massages there fore much less than it would have been on the main beach.
Now the positives. Even though this is a large resort and it was full you never ever feel crowded. Nice relaxed atmosphere. You get to meet people from England and Western Europe. It may only be a 4 star billed as a 5 star but it is still good value for your money. If you don't enjoy your vacation here you would probably find lots to complain about almost anywhere.
We have to say that this was one of the best resort that we have visited in many years. We have travelled extensively in Asia and a number of Caribbean islands. Our choice for the DR and an RIU resort was last minute. We were very pleasantly surprised!
Our room did not have the best view! It did not matter to us since all we did there was sleep. The food at the hotel was excellent. Good variety, lots of non smoking areas. The service staff was always attentive without being overbearing. Most wanted to be friendly and practice their English.
Our room was always cleaned and well stocked. Nothing but good things to say about our stay there.
Sharon & Frank
Just returned from a week at the RIU Bachata and I hate to say I was a little disappointed. Overall, you make the best of the time you have in paradise, and that being said I loved the sun and people. The staff are friendly and work very hard (as everyone states) to please you.
This was our first experience staying at a RIU resort and being classed as a 5-star I wanted to see how it compared to our 5-star experience in Punta Cana. Well maybe that was our mistake. In my opinion the RIU Bachata has the potential to be a great 5-star resort. The layout of the resort and the staff that work there are top notch and the bar service and drinks are to die for.
The big let down for me, was the food and lack of variation. Breakfast was the best meal of the day. The desserts served at the buffet during lunch and dinners were very good, but the quality of the main courses offered were a big let down. This is where I would rate it at a 3 or less. The al-a-carte restaurants were better, but again not what I would have expected from a 5-star resort.
The resort seems to cater to weddings, as the one good dinner meal we had at the buffet was when a big wedding had just taken place. We hoped this was a changing point but the quality next day reverted back to the same old drab offerings. Yes, there were different offerings at each meal – from pasta, pizza, meat dishes to vegetarian, but with little variation and I found it was too salty.
I found the layout of the buffet caused congestion. As you walk in, desserts or fruit are available. Further in along the same wall were the hot main courses being offered. The desserts and salad bar were a little more centered. The congestion was the line up for the dessert blocked people coming in or leaving.
The air conditioner in the room did not work very well. Even though the balcony door and window were kept closed, it seemed to go off and on. We mentioned this to the front desk and they added it to the list of maintenance items to be handled. We did receive a phone call from the front desk as we arrived back at the suite before cleaning up for dinner asking if the air conditioning was better. I advised them we had just got in and it did seem a little cooler but I would let them know. During the night it was hot and stuffy again so we advised the front desk again the next morning. We heard nothing more from them.
When chatting with repeat guests at lunch one day they told us that they had been told a previous year that the resort was only allotted so much power and therefore the air conditioners would only work at low power. Using a combination of air and the ceiling fan on high would keep the room comfortable. Unfortunately the rattling of the fan at high speed was too loud and kept us awake so we left it on low speed.
For those that like to walk the beach, this is not the resort that can accommodate that completely. Although the beach looks great with both sunshine and shade, walking can be difficult. It goes from a steep incline to the ocean at the Bachata side to very course with lots of broken shells, coral and rock at the Merengue to an easy walking beach at the Mambo. This has nothing to do with the resort itself, just the location.
The biggest beef I have which many guests I spoke with felt the same way was sharing of all the facilities with the other resorts. The 3.5 and 4 star sister resort guests could use the pool located at the Bachata (5-star) and often arrived early to reserve the best loungers near the pool. Since the Bachata guests were the only ones with wrist bands, it was easy to pick out visitors from the other resorts. By allowing this there is no incentive for the Bachata 5-star guests. The only thing not allowed between resorts was dinner service - you were to stay within your own resort for this meal of the day. Unfortunately this was not always enforced.
In talking with other repeat guest that have stayed at other RIU locations, they are all run the same way. Normally we stay two weeks, but this year only one was enough. Would I go back again – not likely.
Mike and Carla
Travel from the airport was an adventure. Our driver took us through town and over some pretty rough roads. Check in was fast, since they already had our keys and everything ready in an envelope behind the desk. We were taken to our room #312. What a beautiful room in building 3, with a spectacular view. All the staff is wonderful, and you couldn’t ask for better service. We changed our clothes and headed for the pool area. Although the complex looks big on a map, once you get there, everything is less than a 2two minute walk. Food was always good. Something for everyone. Special theme nights, Mexican etc. Staff clapping for you greets the first few guests into the buffet in the evening. Make sure men wear shirts with sleeves. We tried to get in after an excursion and were not allowed until hubby changed. We ate at the Steakhouse and it was very good. Steaks there are cut very thin, but have exceptional flavor. There is so much to chose from, that you won’t go hungry. I didn’t care for the milk though. Breakfast is unbelievable. As you first walk into the buffet, there are various juices (fresh) to chose from. The passion fruit juice is to die for.
The rooms are quite spacious and comfortable. Although the beds are a bit stiff. Nice balcony with a beautiful view. I found the shower (tub) to be very narrow, but shower works great. Never had a problem with hot water, always plenty. Swim up bar can get quite rowdy in the afternoon. Really fun. Plenty of pool chairs, if you just move a couple towels that have been sitting there all day. All in all I enjoyed this resort, and will definitely keep it in my plans for another visit to the DR.
Everyone remembers to tip the maids and bartenders. Everyone forgets about the grounds keepers that keep this placing looking fantastic. I bought a couple dozen pairs of gloves, both cotton and leather. I gave these gloves to the workers along with a $2.00 tip each. Really made their day. On our final day, I had several hundred pesos left, and handed them to a grounds keeper (Rudy) He looked like he won the lottery. So keep the grounds keepers in mind, as you are enjoying the beauty of the resort.
Scott & Shelly USA
Flew Continental through Newark. Perfectly fine flights both ways. And, amazingly were served meals, one with actual real silverware.
We were originally were booked in the Merengue, but were “upgraded” to the Bachata.
We stayed at the Merengue last year and were very pleased with it.
Our room at the Bachata was in the first building next to the entertainment stage. Which made for a couple of loud late nights. The room had a king size bed, as opposed to the Merengue, which primarily has 2 queen beds. It was neat and clean, and maid service was always good and usually early in the day, except that most days towels were brought late in the afternoon.
The fitness center shared by all three resorts is antiquated and small. It has two treadmills, three stationary bikes, one stair climber and one elliptical machine. There is a universal weight machine and a set of free weights. It really does not live up to the quality of the rest of the complex. Riu should renovate & expand it. It also does not open until 9am, closes at 1pm, reopens at 3pm until 8pm. We usually prefer to work out prior to breakfast. Open it early. For those of you who like to run, there is a path way that runs between the buildings and the beach from one end of the complex to the other, it is ½ mile long, runners out there every morning.
The food was good, but repetitive. And the vegetable you have at dinner will generally be available at breakfast. The kitchen staff does a great job of carving fruits and vegetables into intricate centerpieces. The steakhouse restaurant was good, but if you are accustomed to an American thick steak, that is not what you get. The rib eye was good, but thin.
Outback Jungle Safari worth every cent of the US $79. We had gone on the tour when we were in Punta Cana a couple of years ago & loved it; this one sounded a little different and decided to go again. A great time. There is a little river ride, very peaceful, you can have your picture taken with a small alligator. The day ends on a secluded beach, Cabarete. The beach is beautiful, but unfortunately covered in litter. The company gives a lot back to the community by supporting churches, schools and families. At the end of the day they have tshirts, hats and bags available for purchase to help pay for those efforts. We cannot recommend this trip enough. Both times our guides were fabulous, and obviously loved their country.
Now while the Bachata is technically an upgrade from the Merengue, I don’t know that I’d pay much more. The only real difference is that there was a king size bed instead of 2 queens, and a swim-up bar in the pool. We had trouble with our tv remote (there are only a couple of channels in English), eventually they gave us the instructions to reset the remote, which we had to continually do. Not a huge problem, but annoying. The pool is lovely, plenty of lounges in sun and shade. However, chair saving is out of control. We awoke around 730 most mornings, and could see the pool from our room, and there would already be many towels out on chairs to reserve them. If you put it out and go to breakfast, then retire to the pool, fine. However, if you’re not going to show up for hours, we find it to be rude and disrespectful. Everyday we were there, we would see towels on chairs, but no people until mid-afternoon.
There were lots of kids there, most were well behaved and stayed with their parents, no problems.
The restaurants have only Sweet N Low, no Splenda or Equal. Bring your own Tums, we had to buy some in the shop, it was 400 pesos, the equivalent of US $12 for a small bottle.
The room key chains are big, consider a lanyard, which we saw many people using.
The rooms have a clothesline on the balcony/patio, bring a few clothespin to dry your bathing suits.
At the end of our trip I noticed the cleaning bag and prices, they weren’t bad. Next time I may consider packing a few less clothes and have a few cleaned.
Overall we would definitely recommend the resort. The staff is friendly and eager to help. James at the front desk could not be any friendlier or more helpful. The resort is beautiful.
Mike & Alison Derry Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada
My husband and I just enjoyed a fabulous week in Puerto Plata and at the Riu Bachata, Jan. 23-30, 2008. This resort, as others say, is not a 5-star, but very comparible to other 4-stars.
This was our third time in the Dominican Republic. In 2004 we flew to La Romana and stayed at the Costa Corale Caribe. The best features at this resort were our view (6th floor of main building, ocean view) and the 24-hour snack bar where you could always get a hamburger and fries. In 2007 we vacationed in Punta Cana at LTI Beach Resort. The buffet restaurant was fabulous with create-your-own omelettes, pasta bowls and stir fry. Our room had a king sized bed for a change, but the shower from the bathroom above leaked into our bathroom and we always had a wet floor.
All of these resorts had their good and bad points, which I rely on these reviews to provide. So this time I thought I should contribute. We would return to any one of them, but generally like to try something new.
ROOMS - We had two-3/4 beds pushed together, they looked much harder than they actually were. The television had a few good american channels and we had hot water all week for our showers. We had a patio with no extraordinary view but it was still pleasant to sit out there. We gave housekeeping a tip every day and we had great service all week. Our room was always sparkling clean. She often made swan towel displays and left fresh flowers. I read somewhere that the mini-bar is stocked by another person. When we arrived we had only 1 bottle of water, 1 tonic water, 1 soda water and 1 beer. Two days later the bar was re-stocked with 2 bottles of water, 4 pepsi (two diet), soda water, tonic water and 4 beer. Two days later we slipped a dollar bill into the fridge and were rewarded with seven beer!
FOOD/BARS - The resort has a main buffet, a snack bar buffet and two a la carte restaurants.You can also go to the two side resorts, the Mambu and the Merengue, for breakfast and lunch, but we decided to stay at ours. We did venture down to both and had drinks from the bars closest to the beach. We had supper at the buffet every night but one (Steak House) because we enjoyed the staff. Melvin was our favourite waiter. Even the pickiest eater can find something they'll enjoy, but there is not a lot of variety. The beef was tough everywhere including the steak house where we both ordered ribeyes. There are three bars: one near the pool (swim up on one side) and two near the stage. We tended to favour the bikini bar because it was outside and closest to the entertainment. Each afternoon/evening we had happy hour there and played bingo at 5:00 p.m., which was rather interesting. We got to know the bartenders by name and they were always glad to accomodate our drink requests. We were a little disappointed in the late-night snacking, which featured sandwiches in a fridge near the bar. We were also told of 24-hour snacks available at Merengue, but never did venture down there to check it out.
POOLS - The resort has two pools. The water was always crystal clear and was always clean. We had to get towels beside the pool, but never lounged or swam in either.
BEACHES - There are two beaches you can use. There is the main one for all three Riu resorts, and we could always find a lounger, no matter what time of the day. The beach is about half a mile long and has many trees, so sun or shade could be enjoyed. The smaller beach shows a beach bar on the map (we never found this) and doesn't have any loungers. We travelled down there the first day and were approached by several vendors and women wanting to braid our hair. We didn't enjoy the pushiness.
ENTERTAINMENT - The staff was very friendly and helpful. We attended the show most nights and always enjoyed something, even though it was not as professional as some of the shows we have seen in other resorts. In 2005 we travelled to Holguin, Cuba and the shows at the Blau Costa Verde were very well done. The animation staff is very friendly and always had a smile for us.
SHOPPING - On the resort, there was Caribbean Street (full of little shops), that we visited, even though everything was overpriced. On Monday, some locals came in to the resort to sell souvenirs and they loved to barter. We got worn out from the vendors at the beach market in Sosua, because they just wouldn't take NO for an answer.
EXCURSION - We booked the top-view tour through Sunquest and really enjoyed this fun-filled day off the resort. We visited the Brugal Rum Factory, a fort, rode a cable car to the top of the hill which featured and exquisite view of Puerto Plata. We then visited the Amber Museum and stopped at a factory-outlet store to shop. We had a delicious lunch at the Bologna Italian Restaurant in Sosua and then went to the beach market for souvenirs.
All-in-all it was a fabulous week. Beautiful weather, fantastic people and a nice resort.
I and B Canada
Our family stayed at the RIU Bachata from the 17th to the 25th of December 2007. My wife and I along with our "older" kids ages 15,18, and 21 had a great time at this resort. The staff work very hard at making sure your stay is enjoyable and the few issues we had with the rooms were resolved very quickly.
The rooms were adequate (not quite 5 star as claimed in the tour books, but nice), a mini bar with 3 beers, a couple of pops a gallon of bottled water and liquor dispensers were replenished as needed. The maid prepared a wonderful towel art daily and my wife left small items for her along with a few dollars each day. As noted previously the resort is now 5 years old and it feels like the beds have never been replaced, they are quite uncomfortable but "sleepable".
If you are beachlovers this is not the resort for you, the beach is very narrow and the entire beach area is covered by tree foliage. The ocean front contains large amounts of coral pieces on the sand both at the entrance to the water and in it near the shore making swimming very tricky, also a very strong current exists near the Bachata end pushing you
towards the Merengie beach area. The Merengie and Mambo beaches are a little better but a bit of a hike from the Bachata.
Our 18 and 21 year olds enjoyed the Disco nightly and met many new friends who they hung around with for the 9 days. There was a few "incidents" of rowdiness at the disco mostly involving local Dominicans but the staff and security seem to handle these scuffles quickly, but we did hear of serious trouble a week or so earlier where a large number of well armed police were needed to deal with some troublemakers (Dominican). This brings me to a concern that will needed to be addressed by RIU, on Fridays and Saturdays the resort is over run by younger Dominicans who pretty much take over the place.While we were there a group of about 8 trashed 2 rooms at 4am and caused much disruption in building 7 by banging on every door, cranking the music in their rooms and just being obnoxiously drunk and rowdy, certainly not what is expected at a reputed 5 star resort. To their credit the culprits were ejected by the hotel management but not before scaring the living daylights out of a family from England and their 2 young daughters ages 3 and 6. I'm not sure what benefit the resort gets out of this kind of publicity and they need to have one standard for client behaviour, not a seemingly more lenient level with locals for whatever reason they have for allowing these rowdies into a resort full of "foreign" clients....odd business practice.
The resort is maintained immaculately and despite its size never seemed busy, bartenders were outstanding, Angel, Diego, and all the others worked very hard and we never waited ever for a drink at any of the bars. I tipped each of the bartenders a few dollars the day before I left and presented them each new ball caps I brought with me, they were very pleased with the caps and bartered with each other over the ones they wanted.
The food was average to good, but not what I expected from a reputed 5 star resort. Having been at many other resorts in the DR, Cuba, Mexico and St.Martin the food especially at the a la cartes was disappointing. At other 3 star resorts we have stayed at in the Playa Dorada complex shrimps and fresh grouper or other nice seafood was present in the buffet, not at the Bachata, only on Christmas Eve did we see any shrimp and grouper fish, odd.....
Overall we had a wonderful vacation the weather was superb, sunny everyday and the resort setting is very beautiful with the mountains in the background. The Animation staff are great and we met a wonderful group of travellers from around the world, go and have fun at the Bachata.
We stayed at the Riu Batchata from Dec 7-14.Unfortunately the weather didnt co-operate with Hurricane Olga brewing so it Rained every day but one.As far as the resort goes we felt welcomed and the staff went to great lengths to make sure you were happy,the staff called our room twice during our stay to make sure everything was ok.room was nice with everything you should need and the maid service was excellent.For the food it was good overall with a good variety at every sitting.Went to the steakhouse and the steak was very tasty but very thin.The beach is very shaded in front of the resort but we had no prob finding sun when it did shine,if you wanted more sun all you had to do is walk to the next resort where the beach was wide open.The grounds are very mature and makes for a beautiful setting unless you needed lots of open space for some reason.The pools were very cold,probably due to the lack of sunshine. If you want to swim in the ocean I would suggest water shoes as it is hard on the feet.After the storm hit it took the crew no time at all to get it cleaned up.As far as the cleanliness of the whole resort it was spotless,one morning @ about 7:00 I counted 6 maids in the lobby cleaning.Some people seem to be upset about the ladies outside the washrooms with the sanitizer,I thought this was an excellent idea and they were there for your own health,if you didnt want to use it just walk by,its not like they chase you down the hall with it.I thought the entertainment was about what I expect at a resort..average.As far as the drinks go they had everything we asked for .All in all we had a good time and would recommend it to anyone.If you are a sun worshipper and would rather bitch about the shady beach rather than take your butt down the beach a bit where the beach opened up go elsewhere!!
Dennis and Lucy Canada
We stayed at the Riu Bachata from Nov 19th -Dec 3rd. I would like to start off first by saying that this resort is listed as a 5 star resort but it is not even close to that rating. There were numerous things about this place that are just not 5 star worthy but there were a couple of things that were good.
BEACH I would rate at 3 star because it is so overgrown with trees that you have to hunt for sun through them and they grow right to the waters edge. There are lots of rocks and coral pieces in the water for you to step on and the current is so strong that it pushed you down the beach as you swam. Good swimmers were swimming against the current and going nowhere. Lots os sea weed that was not raked very often
POOL is also 3 star because it is so small even though they have two,they are both small.
BARS are 3.5 stars as the drinks are so full of sugar and lacking alcohol and they could not even make a simple Mai Tai. At the pool bar it seemed like the drinks never had alcohol unless you asked for it,why would an adult have to ask for alcohol in thier drinks at a bar
ENTERTAINMENT is 3 star at best.The sound system is terrible and so many times the performers were out of step with each other that they looked clumsy
ALA-CARTES- 3 star, there are only two so your choice is limited, Steakhouse was'nt bad went three times had the chicken twice,Italian was not very good, and they do not enforce a dress code as they claim
ROOM- 4 star, the room was nice,location was lousy
MAID- 5star, our maid (Juanna) was top notch probably the best thing about this resort
BUFFET- 4 star with good variety and good food, only beer and wine available in the buffet,no mixed drinks
SCENERY -4.5 star the surrounding areas are very nice as you have mountains behind the resort
AMBIENCE-3 star they just don't play enough music at this resort,none at the beach,none at the pool,none at the bars,the only place that had music was the maracuya restaurant
BEDS-2 star these suckers need to be replaced(about two years ago)
CARIBBEAN STREET -4 star you could shop here without the normal high pressure cheapy-cheapy sales and you could still get a fair deal
GROUNDS- 3 star there are very little of them to see as the resort is kind of crowded with buildings
WORKOUT ROOM-2 star very small and is for all 3 resorts, they do not supply towels but they will not let you workout without one so you have to bring one from your room
AFTER HOURS SNACKS- 1 star come on a couple of cold sandwiches in a fridge at the bar, this is all you get after the buffet closes at 10 pm
If you are a pool person you will probably like this resort, if you go expecting a 3-4 star resort you probably won't mind this resort. If you are a beach or ocean loving person DON'T go to this resort.We had 14 red flag days at the beach, and you must search for the sun at the beach because of all the trees
There seemed to be very little grounds at all 3 of these resorts but what was there seemed to be well kept. On certain nights they served specialty drinks in the lobby,and iced coffee with ammereto and kahlua in the buffet,and in the mornings they would have special tea or hot chocolate at the buffet entrance. One real pain at this resort is the ladies with the hand sanitzer at the entrance to the food areas and bathroom exits.
As I have said this resort is not a 5 star resort, I have previously stayed at Casa del Mar on the south coast and it is rated at 4 star but it is far superior in the pool,bars,alacartes,beds,grounds,workout room,after-hour snacks,entertainment,beach,and ocean. So if you want a nice 3-4 star resort go to the Bachata, but if you want 4-5 star go somewhere else
The place was great i would love to go there again the beach was a bit weedy but they clean that up and the staff are really friendly if you are thinking about going there i would book it straight away i would give it 100 star.
Just returned from Riu Bachata Stayed there Aug 18 to Sept 1, 2007.
Let me get to the things we didn't like, before I start spouting off about all the fantastic things we loved about the resort.
First off. We had an issue, with so many locals staying at the resort.
Now, don't get me wrong, that's not the issue. I liked having locals stay there. I love the Dominican people. They're all so nice and friendly.
Just that they're not schooled on how to behave at a world class resort.
don't know how to behave in public. Just little things like not giving way when walking on a sidewalk. When there is a large group of them.
The people who were staying in the two rooms next to ours were very noisy.
They would get ready to go out either at 7:00am or 6:00pm with the door open. They would let the kids run wild and screaming up and down the narrow halls.
Yes we were awakened many times.
But let me say, once we complained to the front desk, they immediately offered to move us to a better room. Front desk was very nice about the entire thing.
That's the only complaint we had about the entire resort.
Now for the good stuff.
Bachata has the best and largest pool. With the best swim up bar. Angel and Jose were fantastic bar tenders.
There is actually two separate pools. One has the swim up bar, with a small whirlpool section. The other pool was a bit larger with a nice waterfall you can swim under.
The beach is fantastic. Plenty of lounge chairs for everybody. Sand is fantastic. There are plenty of Palm trees for shade if that's what you prefer.
If you swim into the rocky areas, make sure you wear deck shoes.
There's plenty of Sea Urchins to step on. My wife and I both stepped on one.
The nurse on duty was very nice and helped us very well.
Make sure you have travel insurance. Luckily our extended health plans went with us, and we didn't have to pay a dime.
We tended to spend much of our time just floating in the water. The water temperature there is a dream come true. Buoyancy is fantastic.
Leaving your things unattended is not an issue. We never worried once.
We never once saw an outsider at the beach. Or at the resort either.
It takes about 15 minutes to walk the entire length of the beach from end to end. And it's a very nice walk. Some people don't like the brown sand.
But what difference does it make to me?
I loved it.
There is a fantastic private beach on the West side of the resort. Nobody lounges there. It's fantastic if you want a day away from everybody. The water there is also much warmer than the other beach.
The ocean is fantastic. Snorkeling is best at the far west end. It tends to be a bit clearer there.
The resort is very well looked after. Grounds were cleaned every day. Even after a large storm. The hills on the opposite side of the road are a fantastic backdrop when staying at the pool.
Night time shows were top notch. Very entertaining. Great pastime for late nights.
I think Bachata also had the best shows as well. All 14 nights, were different shows.
The animation team was great even during the daytime hours. They were always doing some kind of show, of fun games in the pool, or exercising in the pool.
Food was pretty nice. Plenty of fish, lot's of Pork, Beef, Chicken, Pasta,
Salad's. Breakfast was always very nice.
There is only one large dining restaurant. So crowds can be hard to deal
with at times. We tended to eat later in the evening to avoid all the
people. Wait staff were very pleasant, and helpful.
There are two Ala Carte restaurants. (in the same building)
I would give them good marks for the food there.
In off times the other restaurant offers breakfast and light lunches
We tended to go there, because we woke up after regular
breakfast was served.
Very nice clean rooms. Nice patio, overlooking the ocean.
If you're staying in the 100 building 500 building and a few others
also have views of the ocean.
Cleaning staff were OK. We tipped well, and never received any towel art.
They forgot to stock the bar a few times, were missing towel as well.
But one call to front desk fixed everything.
Rooms were very clean and tidy when we returned. Maids were very
In room safe was very secure.
In room liquor was also offered. They have Rum, Brandy, Vodka and Gin, with
only soda water or Pepsi as mixer. It's been a long time since I've drank
Pepsi from a glass bottle.
Plenty of bars. We spent a large amount of our time drinking at them.
We felt the liquor was a bit watered down. But who knows. I
could be wrong.
Snacks 24 hours a day consisted of Ham and cheese or just Cheese sandwiches.
Located at the bar near the front desk.
Shopping on Caribbean Street was convenient. I was only interested in buying
Cigars. The cigar shop there is very good with competitive prices. It was
one of the few places I trusted to have authentic cigars. You have to be
careful buying cigars.
There were plenty of shops with local trinkets, and souvenirs. Not a lot of
pressure to buy anything. Just a nice shopping experience. There are a few
Jewelry stores, a Photo shop. Plenty of places to top up on sunscreen.
Beach fun gear.
Please remember to put sunscreen on people.
I could have done without the "shopping malls" at the end of the beach.
Pressure there is a bit higher.
The weather was great. In all of the 14 days we were there,we got about an
hour and a half of rain. Once at night, the other time, we were on the bus.
This was one day after Hurricane Dean blew through. And it never affected
We went on 4 trip that were offered.
Each trip offered drinks and a lunch Scuba Caribe on the beach offered a snorkeling trip. This was very nice.
pleasant stay on a very secluded beach after the snorkeling was finished.
There were plenty of fish in a small coral reef.
We went on the Puerto Plata shopping tour. We got exactly what we were
looking for. Amber, cigars, very nice lunch. Brugal Rum factory. Chance to
see the city, and it's people.
Paradise Island was to die for. Fantastic trip, and well worth the long bus
ride on bumpy roads. The fish were very happy to eat out of my hand.
And the colors. If you like snorkeling, go to Paradise Island.
Dominican Alps was also great. With a trip to Leon Jimenes cigar factory, I
was very happy. Great cigars at great prices. Stopped at a ceramics factory.
Then off to a remote waterfall for a dip in cool fresh water.
All trips get 9 out of 10. Coco Tours gets very high marks for all these
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and told us much about the Dominican
way of life and many small points of interest about life in the Dominican
Even small things about how people go about their days and things about
All in all, a very nice stay. Puerto Plata is a very nice place to stay.
We stayed in Samana earlier in the season.
When I compare the two. Samana wins hands down.
But the Riu was also very good.
My entire trip gets a 8.5 out of 10
Loved every second of the trip. Can't wait to go back.
Marsha & Ryan
My husband and I travelled to the Dom. Rep for the 3rd time in the last 3 years, we have been to the north coast (Puerto Plata) twice and once to the south coast (La Romana).
We liked our first visit to the north coast and went on 3 excursions outside the Playa Dorada complex.
Horseback riding (sore back for weeks), scuba diving at Sousa beach half day, great for beginners.
Finally we went white water rafting, well worth the 31/2 hour ride to and fro.
The hotel was initially alright but a bit of a disapointment when we compared it to the year before at an Iberostar in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. (duh)! Apples to oranges.
Anyhow the room at the Gran Ventana was not the fanciest (ugly bathrooms), but it was comfortable enough.
The food was pretty good, and the restaurant staff were great. This was a 41/2 star hotel.
This hotel was also over rated with lack of room service and other amnetities.
The 2nd year we travelled to La Romana and stayed at the Costa Caribe Hilton 4*, very nice room and fairly nice staff, great ala cart restaurants and buffets, beautiful beach very clean, entertainment was a little boring, but offered fun excursions to Saona Island (Blue Lagoon movie) bring your own tp and hand sanitizer. Great tour guide good shopping at the end of the trip.
Our most recent trip to the Riu hotel chain was alright (north coast). Beach was very polluted with garbage, heavy rain the week befor we arrived could have been responsible (run off).
Very windy with sporadic rain showers during our stay, hot enough to still get a mean sunburn.
Pool was kinda small but new and nice with a swim up bar, the rooms very new and nice but lacking king size beds and room service for a 5*.
The mini bar in the room was a nice touch 4 bottles of liquor to choose from, and the compl. Safe was nice and handy.
The management staff were snobby and rude, and were never found unless they wanted to be.
Sometimes seen near the buffet stirring the food around like a child might play with their veggies.
They appeared to be unapproachable and grouchy, the desk staff were very nice, the entertainment staff were sometimes too nice (watch your young daughters), and the bar staff seemed nice.
The maids seemed alright and the waitresses and waiters were alright.
Not one spanish dish was offered at the a la cartes or buffets, craving a taco or enchillada forget it.
Hotel grounds were lush and mature, and the evening entertainment was good every other night.
The salad bar was lacking veggie and dressing variety , people should also read the card above the dish, it may look good but it may not be what you expect. Soup was usually a safe bet.
Desserts were hit and miss except the cheesecake, yum!
Booking excursions to go off the resort proved disappointing if you are pregnant, not much to do. Tried an Outback Safari only to find out 45 mins into the ride that pregnant women were not wanted for the risk of liability. ( the brochure could have been a little more forthcoming with this info.)
Wasted 3 hours of our day by travelling to and fro and trying to get a refund, we felt trapped with no where to go without a tour guide (safety reasons being we were near Puerto Plata, rough city) so we did a half day excursion there (Puerto Plata) for some sight seeing and shopping with a guide thank god.
Otherwise we were bored stiff, and thankful we brought some books. For the first time we were happy to be going home from a vacation and not the opposite nearly in tears we were going home.
If we go back to the north coast it will be to Caberete or the Sousa area where we can leave the resort freely and not feel like prisoners of a over rated five star hotel.
The airport was of course severly overpriced and a couple couldn't eat for less than 25 us bucks ( burgers fries and two cokes) and your change was forgotten with the staff's lack of manners.
Unfortunetly we can no longer bring our own beverages, pain in the wallet.
Mark Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
This March, my family and I (my parents,my sister(23),my friend(16) and i(16)) spent a week at the Riu Bachata resort in Puerto Plata for the second year in a row.Once again, we had a great time and we have no negative comments to say about this resort.
We had two seperate rooms, one for my parents with a king size bed and two double beds for my sister, my friend and I. We had a television with a few good american channels and we had hot water all week for our showers.We had balconies with no extraordinary view but it was still pleasant to sit out there.We gave the maid a tip every day and we had great service all week.She often made swan towel displays that were really nice.
The resort has a main buffet, a snack bar buffet and 2 a la carte restaurants.You can also go to the two side resorts,the mambu and the merengue,for breakfast and lunch, but we decided to stay at ours.We had supper at the buffet every night because we enjoyed the variety.Even the pickiest eater can find something they'll enjoy.There are 4 bars: one near the pool, two near the stage and the pool bar.My favorite was the one facing the beach because they made the best strawberry daquiries.
The resort has two pools.One had a volleyball net that we played with often.The water was always crystal clear and was always clean.We found that the water was a lot warmer this year.To get good chairs by the pool, you had to get up early to reserve, but we never had any problems.
There are two beaches you can use.There is the main one that the people from the 2 other resorts can use and a little one where you can do motorized and non motorized sports(non motorized sports are free).We decided to go out in two paddle boats and we had a lot of fun.The sand was a little rocky but we still enjoyed swimming in the ocean.At the end of both beaches, there are little shops where you can bargain for cheap souvenirs.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. We became friends with the animation crew, the bartenders and even the pool boys. The service was great because they were always trying to please us. When we got there, our TV remote didn't work, so we called the front desk and they sent a Technician immediately. The front desk called twice during the week to make sure everything was alright. There were many fun activities throughout the day, such as; water and land arobics, darts, horseshoes, bacci and afternoon bingo. We won a T-shirt, coffee and a bottle of rum. We attended the show every night and we always enjoyed it. One night we went to the next resort, the Merengue, for the Majic Show, which we highly recommend.
On the resort, there was Carribean Street (full of little shops), that we visited every night, even though everything was over priced. On Saturday, some locals came in to the Resort to sell souvenirs and they love to bargain. We also took a taxi to town ($40US to the Driver and a tip to the guide $20US) which included a four hour tour of the town. It was very interesting to see how they live.
None of us got sick and we really enjoyed our trip to the Riu Bachata. This resort is definitely a 5 star and we give it a 10 out of 10. We recommend it and hope to return again next year.
Fern and Linda
We are Canadian residents (ages 57 and 64) who stayed at Riu Bachata from February 20 to March 6, 2007.
This was our fourth trip to the Dominican and our first to Riu Bachata.
Overall we were very pleased with the resort. The rooms, grounds, pools, staff, food all excellent.
We requested a pool view room close to the buffet, entertainment, etc. We stayed in building 8 with our room facing the pool. The only drawback with this room was the noise from the passing drunks in the middle of the night. We called security at 3:30 a.m. and reported a bunch of drunks diviing into the pool mainly because we were worried about their safety. Security arrived immediately and removed these inconsiderate guests from the pool. However, they quickly relocated to the gazebo above the pool, shook hands with the guards and continued their nonsense until about 5:00 a.m. So, if you want to sleep, don't stay in building 8 or 9 facing the pool (as this is the main walkwy to the rest of the resort).
The food was outstanding at the buffet. We only tried the steakhouse a la carte restaurant once. The food was good but the area was so hot that we left before we even had coffee after our meal so we decided to pass on the Italian a la carte.They have a snack bar close to the pool and beach that operates from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This spot is great as you can dine in your bathing suit and bare feet. Don't count on 24 hour snack/bar service as advertised as it definitely isn't available at the Riu Bachata. If you want something to eat or drink during the late evening or early morning hours, you have to walk to the next resort.
The casino (if you want to call it a casino) has about 20 slot machines (half of which were out of order the entire time) and only a couple of card tables. Not too many tourists were winning anything worth talking about.
The Riu Bachata is the newest of the 3 resorts -- rooms were spotless and we never went without hydro, water pressure or hot water (despite previous reviews that we read). A good tip is to leave the maid a few $$ or pesos on the first morning and you will be assured that your room is cleaned well before noon daily and will be stocked with lots of bath items. Also, leave the minibar attentant a few $$ or pesos and the bar will be stocked daily (instead of every other day). There is even a liquor dispenser in the room.
The entertainment at this resort is truly lacking unless you want to watch a bunch of out of control young kids running wild for an hour or so before they took to the stage for another hour. The best part about the entertainment was the 2 or 3 person groups that sang in English and Spanish and provided a small dance area for the guests between the kids and the main stage entertainment nightly. Caribbean Street entertainment and vendors selling their goods on the street every second Thursday is a real attraction -- don't miss it -- the entertainment was the best we saw in 2 weeks.
All of the hotel staff were more than helpful -- they couldn't do enough for you. We took a taxi to Playa Dorada to meet up with friends (also from Canada) and the front desk made all the arrangements for us -- the counter clerk gave our instructions in Spanish to the driver and the arrangements were perfect thus saving us the trouble with the translation.
I don't know whether I would rate this resort as 5 star, however, it was more than adequate for us. The other 2 Riu resorts are older and certainly appeared more dated. You can use the facilities at all three resorts, however, Riu Bachata was the most crowded and you had to get out bright and early each morning to secure your beach/pool lounges.
Be aware that the locals spend entire weekends or just either Saturday or Sunday at the resort (they wear red wrist bands). The took over the pool area, were moving other guests lounges, were very loud and totally controlled the volleyball pool game. So your best bet is to book your excursions on the weekend to avoid the onslaught!!!
We flew Skyservice (very cramped, small seats) and our tour operator was Sunquest. The rep at the resort was absolutely useless. However, on our departure day, our flight was delayed by 3 hours and Sunquest kept us at the resort rather than shipping us off to the airport. One thing to consider is to ensure that you get the blue immigration slip at the airport when you arrive in the Dominican (they were on the immigration counters). You need to submit this blud slip when you check in for your return flight. I asked our Sunquest several times at the resort for this slip and she told me she didn't have any until suddenly one morning her boss was at the desk with her and she quickly found them for us.
All in all, a great value for your dollars.
My wife and I ( both early thirties Canadians ) just returned from the Riu Bachata and we both loved it. We are both pretty laid back and this resort suited us just fine.
If you like to party loud/impose yourself on others...GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! Our first time down at the pool there was a loudmouth splashing everyone and carrying on during his first day at the Riu. He and his family were quietly removed by security never to be seen again ( they were asked to go to another resort ). Everyone in the pool cheered. Good job Bachata.
If you only participate in one excursion, do the VIP Paradise Island trip. Fantastic, bring an underwater camera for the snorkeling off of Paradise Island. Enjoy the Champagne, bring the sunscreen and feel rich for a day. Cost $140 US per person but well worth it.
Buffet food was good, restaurant food was better, breakfast was great. The Anamacion crew is awesome and the night time entertainment was worth checking out. I don't believe it is possible to get drunk on the beer, but that's probably just me.
Now the only negative, ScubaCaribe. They are the resident dive facility and once again I learned a valuable diving lesson. Go with your gut instinct. The owner ( a German ) rubbed me wrong right off the bat, he was abrasive and less than helpful.
I signed up for 2 Wednesday dives at the ScubaCaribe kiosk outside the buffet room. I didn't drink the day before, showed up Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. and was told I was not on the list. " They always mess it up " said the owner. I pointed out that the receipt was a ScubaCaribe receipt and he shrugged. I agreed to come back at 1:30 for a dive. I also explained that I had not completed many boat dives.
At around 2:30 we finally headed out, into the Atlantic Ocean and waves from Hell. I tried to go over lost buddy/safety protocols with my buddy ( one of the owners German friends who was at the bar every night) and he spoke no English at all. Other notable quotes from this professional... " no fun without risk, " which goes against every scuba mantra I have ever learned. PADI 5 Star my ***! I refused to dive from the boat and stayed topside and was never given a refund. Speaking to the 16 year old boat captain was fun. Remember, trust your instincts. My first impression told me this was not for me. This did not ruin our trip, as we are easy going.
As this was our first trip, next time we will:
- bring more yankee cash, as 5 out of 6 bank machines don't seem to work and all only give pesos.
- buy as much Brugal rum as you can legally bring back from the factory. Mmmmmm Brugal.
- take a taxi to town, the organized bus trip seems endless and you are brought to the guides buddies shops
- do buy your amber and larimar from the Amber Museum. Its not much more and the quality is better
- be aware that our own Canadian customs will make you feel far more like you are entering a third world country that arriving from one. I had a feeling they were jealous of our tans.
- avoid the Sosua shopping strip on the beach like cancer itself. Some little old ladies on our trip were accosted and told to return things they had purchased too "cheaply." They were then followed by the vendors to other stalls and insulted for purchasing the same item cheaper from them! I'm 6' tall and had guys grabbing and squeezing my arm. I had to firmly tell them to let me go. I can't imaging being a women alone in this area. Cheepee Cheepee? AHHHHHH!
We would go to the Bachata again and highly recommend it.
Wow and Awesome!!!
Trip Dates - February 3-10, 2007
Ages - Both 42, married, first trip to Caribbean
Hotel - Riu Bachata
Excursions - Monster Trucks, City tour with Sosua Beach, Mount Isabel de Torrez
Extras - Premiere Class with Sunquest, VIP Lounge at Puerto Plata airport
Our review is a bit long but we enjoyed it so and wanted to point out a few things and its our first holiday like this.
We would rate this hotel 9 out of 10. It was awesome with a few minor imperfections. It could be easy for us to write a bad report but our experience was just not that. Many have written bad reviews through bad experiences but much of what we saw written was unjustified. It was awesome, what a great place and location. We would recommend this resort to anyone. There were a few things which reduced our rating 1 point from a 10 but they weren't that bad. No place is perfect.
The resort Riu Bachata is a great resort. It is beautiful and the grounds are kept immaculate. It's laid out very nicely and the pool area is quite large but yes the chairs get reserved up quickly. We did not have much trouble finding chairs later in the day and even after lunch. We spent most of our time on the many beaches however and chairs were always available. The Bachata is not to large and easy to get around. There are 2 beaches for this resort. The main beach has little direct sun as the trees reach almost to the water. The other beach is to the side in a bay where the water sports are located. Sun is easy to get under and there is also lots of shade. This beach is not so windy. We found it quieter but some reported this is where families with kids set up. We did not find that. It was idealic to sit under a low palm near the waters edge and bask in the sun. Keep in mind with beaches and sun and shade the resort is 3 resorts in one and you can always go to the beaches at Merengue or Mambo which have larger more open beaches with trees further back from the water. We did this 2 days and enjoyed their bars, pools and restaurants.
The food was very good. The buffet always has plenty of variety and we put on a few pounds while there. There is the usual items every day with some variety added or special nights. We enjoyed a beach BBQ one day which was very good. The drawback with the meals are a few. The ala carte restaurants are not that good. We had the steak, and yes the country is not a big beef producer, but it was not that good. The selection was also limited. It was just okay, nothing special. They do not have a seafood restaurant and I missed that. The ala carte need to be separate buildings and done up nicely. They are made from the beach and pool restaurant and converted nightly. We were disappointed with that so stuck with the buffet which we really enjoyed. We also always ate outside which was nice. The resort claims to be 24 hour food and snacks. This is not true. Minor but should not report what one does not have. There are small gaps in when and where you can get food and snacks. If, don't know why, you wanted food between 2am and 7am forget it. Food from 11pm until 2am is only available down the beach at the Merenue, which annoyed me because we were staying at the 5 star resort and had to walk to a 4 star resort for meager snack offerings. It's a nice walk but we should not have had to go off our resort.
The staff, all of them, are friendly, fun and fantastic. They make your stay so much fun and are there to please you with anything you may need. Bartenders will get to know you once you establish your times and places you go to most often. Find that out first or second day then tip them nicely at that point. They will then pick you out in a crowd and give you extra quick service and get to know what you drink. As a recent reviewer stated they work extremely long hours. Many are there from 7am until 10 pm or longer.
The shows were very well done. It's not Las Vegas or Radio City Music Hall but they have a great time, they are funny and they have such energy to please. It's a great way to spend an evening.
The weather was awesome while we were there. We got really lucky. Sunny everyday and warm but not oppressive. It rained only twice and only in the evening late at night and downpours at that.
The Monster Truck Safari excursion was the best. It was highly recommended by all reviews we read before visiting and it is well worth what you may spend. We highly recommend it to everyone. It's fun, educational, humbling and eye opening at the same time. Happy hour every twenty minutes. Beer, rum and coke, soft drinks and water ever flowing. Lots of stops to see things and the country is beautiful. They stop at a school, home, cheese factory, river ride, and gift shop. This excursion made the trip memorable. Something we will remember for a lifetime.
City tour was good. Mountain is no longer included so we did that separately with a taxi. Sosua is okay, but I couldn't stand the constant selling. Cheapy, Cheapy, you see, rent a chair, buy a tomato ... Take me back to the resort.
VIP lounge at airport was nice, not needed but we enjoyed it with another couple we met and hung out with. Premiere service with Sunquest allowed us to bypass all lines to check in at airports, well worth it.
Bachata was an awesome last minute choice. Dominican again next year, but moving on to a new location. Maybe Punta Cana or Samana.
Dave & Carolyn Canada
We traveled to the Riu Bachata on Jan 18 2007 with a group of 10.
I can give you a long detailed report but I don’t need to. Just a great place to go. Excellent and friendly staff. Great layout of the facility. Lots of food, sand, fun, activities, blue sky and hot sun. Sunquest Tours did a great job, but watch your luggage like a hawk when loading the bus at the airport.
The hotel has taken great pains to see to the health of the guests. They have installed their own water filtration system and use that water only to wash the food, make ice cubes and provide filtered water in the rooms.
Being located out a ways from PP makes us feel safer as the resort is located in its own private bay, shared by the 3 RIU resorts only. We used non-hotel event companies to travel to the waterfalls and then to Sosua and got great value for 1/10th of the cost, albeit with a few less frills. The only guns we saw were inside the Naval base in PP.
As friends were checking out, some clown was complaining loudly that they didn’t like the place. Let me respond with 3 thoughts. 1-Don’t yell at the staff who did a great job in giving all the guests a great holiday. 2-Don’t expect the Waldorf-Astoria on a Holiday Inn budget. 3-Don’t ever go back (as we may) because the other guests don’t want you there either.
The buffet was enormous with 40 dishes at breakfast and 60 and both lunch and dinner. All the fruit you can eat. The ala carte dinner (steak house) was a bit light but how much food do we really need to eat? Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill till 2am and the bar closes at 6am.
We forgot to bring my hat and a beach bag. We never changed any money into Dominican pesos, use US dollars. Enjoy the resort and the staff, most of whom are working longer hours that you have ever done.
We traveled to the Dominican Republic Feb 1st to 8th. There was my cousin and I (two women in our early 30's). It was our first girls trip.
The Food: The food was good but very repetitive. We went to both à la carte dinners and they were very good.
The Grounds: The pools were great, you just needed to be there by 8:00 am to get a prime spot. The pools were never shut down once during our stay. The only problem we had was on the Tuesday, a local had a birthday party and there were 20 to 30 locals in the pool (near the swim-up bar) and they were very load. The Riu security came and told them to quiet down or else they would have to leave.
The Rooms: We checked in at 1:00am and the reception clerk assumed we were gay, so he gave us a beautiful ocean view honeymoon suite with ONE king size bed. My cousin and I slept in the same bed many time as children so we didn't mind. :) The room was very clean and always had plenty of fresh towels and the fridge was always stocked full of water, beer and pop.
The Staff: The Animation team is incredible and very friendly. They love taking care of you and making you feel comfortable. The bartenders are amazing as well. We had a bartender "Napoleon" who would deliver our drinks to us without having to ask him. He was great. Elvis 69 is amazing. He was our water aerobics instructor and believe me, if you have never joined in any exercise regime before, just taking one good look at Elvis 69 would make you jump in that pool and start. Oh my god... as he would say...
Cheapie Cheapie: If you want to do any shopping, go to the vendors on the beach. We bought a handmade scrapbook from them for $12US. Caribbean Street (little shops between Bachata and Meringue) were asking $40US. I also bought a box of 25 Cuban cigars (Montee Cristo) for $50US. Amazing deals but make sure to cut their price by 50 to 60% and stand firm...
In-room phones: DO NOT USE international calling cards. They don't work. Well they do but they still charge you $3 to $4 dollars US per minute. When we checked in at 1:00am on Friday morning, we went to reception because the 1-877 number on our calling card wasn't working. Well, it was working but was in Spanish, so we asked the reception clerk what were they saying and he gave us another number to call and told us it was free. We used our cards all week and called our husbands back home. The day we checked out, they gave us a bill for $800.00US. So you can just imagine the expression on my cousins and my face, we nearly passed out. Anyway, long story short, they ended up clearing the bill to nil because the clerk admitted that he told us it was for free. Thank Goodness, otherwise we'd still be there washing dishes, lol...
Accidents: On Wednesday afternoon, a man from London Ontario, dove head first into the pool with only 3' of water and broke his neck and died. This occurred five feet away from me. Please people, you must understand that just because you are on vacation, you are not invincible. Just imagine how traumatize his family and everyone that witness (as myself) this accident. I haven't slept a full night since. I keep having nightmares and seeing it happening over and over again. Please, remember to buy good insurance before you travel and be careful when out of your country. The doctor had no idea what to do, they didn't have any spinal board, no neck brace, nothing. Two Canadian nurses from Saskatchewan took care of him until he reached the hospital. Just remember, this is not Canada...
I would go back in a heart beat. We met a lot of people and we made new friends for life.
We traveled to the Dominican Republic Jan 13-20. There were 6 of us traveling together. We have been to the DR before and some of us have traveled to many other resorts all around the Caribbean. The Riu Bachata was okay.
The buffet was huge with tons of selection but by the end of the week it started to become very repetitive. The ala carte restaurants were the snack bar by day and restaurant by night. NOT very nice. The food was just okay, nothing special.
The pool area was beautiful but you had to be there at 7:00am just to get a spot. There were way too many people and it was way too crowded! For some unknown reasons the pools kept being shutdown and nobody would explain why.
Every staff member told us a different story.
The first night, there was no hot water in our rooms, the next night there was no water at all, we couldn't shower or flush the toilets. It seemed like nothing ever worked properly. And everywhere we went we were followed by an awful sewer smell.
The entertainment staff wasn't very good. We didn't find them very friendly at all. They seemed to only be friendly if you were a group of girls. The nightly entertainment was boring and lacked enthusiasm and effort.
The rooms were very clean and the maid service was good.
We had one incident which we were not pleased with (see excursions below)and asked a manager for help. When approached with this serious issue, we were told that it was not the Riu's fault and that the resort hires outside contractors to provide certain services. We were surprised to find out that the resort allows these outside vendors to do business in the resorts lobby and grounds but the resort doesn't take any responsibility for having them there. We were made felt like the outside contractors are more important than 6 paying guests.
We booked the Catamaran sail and snorkel tour from the water sports center on the beach. We were told that we would enjoy sailing, snorkeling, all you can drink, fabulous entertainment, a visit to a beautiful secluded beach and an amazing buffet. Well...., we sailed for maybe 10 minutes, there was no snorkeling due to bad weather which we fully understood until later learning that every other boat that day had amazing snorkeling (our boat didn't even have any snorkeling gear on it). All you can drink, was one beer between six of us and then the bar ran out. The beautiful secluded beach was piles of garbage and dead, rotting animal carcusses directly beside our buffet. The food look disgusting and no one could eat it. Then we learned that we were being taken back to the resort by bus (which noone informed us of). We call this drive home the death drive. The driver drove so fast and crazy, that the van almost rolled and our friend actually flew off her seat and smashed her face against the window. Even after this incident, and other passengers getting angry and yelling at him to slow down he didn't. Once we returned to the resort we went straight to the manager to complain. As mentioned before his only reaction was to be concerned about this outside company (which puts on these
excursions) and the rent they pay to sell in the Bachata's front lobby.
We wouldn't go back to this resort. We are glad we went with a great group of people and our friends made this trip enjoyable for us because the resort alone could not have done that for us. Our one tip is to always book excursions through your tour representative.
I travelled to the Bachata with my daughter (9) in mid November 2006. We had an excellent experience. Spotless facility, beautiful grounds. The staff were very pofessional, but we have met friendlier at other Caribean resorts. The beach was well kept, but the water was a little rough for swimming. The food was fantastic. We have stayed at 3 and 4 stars before. Not much difference from the 4 stars, but cleaner and better facilities than the 3 stars in my opinion. My daughter had no problem finding friends to play with and they all seemed to feel safe and happy while they were there.
E & A Canada
Jan 2005 with our 16 month old son.
Firstly apologies to anyone on our Skyservice flight Jan 1st to Puerto Plata. There were many hung-over people on our plane that were not happy to hear our son crying for two hours. Note to self: do not fly on an early morning flight where you have to wake up at one year old at 3am next time…
We picked the Riu because it was family friendly and were not disappointed.
We packed all our sons food and snacks along with a Sunbeam “Hotshot” water dispenser for heating food and bottles. If you take any appliances you will need an additional adaptor available in the gift shops as the Riu outlets are recessed. We also packed antiseptic dish washing liquid and a large Tupperware container with a lid for me to wash all his bottles and bowls with bottled water. This worked out very well.
Dominican people love babies! We were told they view babies as “angels” and our son was continually being picked up and hugged!! Do not be afraid if this happens as is just their way! Our son actually enjoyed the attention and seemed fascinated by the Spanish language!
We requested a crib in advance and it was there on our arrival. It was a sturdy wooden crib with clean sheets. You might want to bring your own crib sheet if your baby is very small as they use a large sheet folded in two.
The restaurant has many high chairs. It is easy to use the hot water there for bottles and dried baby food. They have cheerios and raisins along with the breakfast cereal in the mornings which proved invaluable!
We looked at the Kids Club for future reference. It takes children from 4 years plus. The ladies seemed very nice but only one spoke English. I actually preferred the look of the Kids Club at the Riu Merengue as it was enclosed with a fence.
To sum up we had a great time but your expectations of travel with a small child have to be realistic. You are not going to have the relaxing vacation you may be dreaming of! I would recommend the Riu Complex to families but would probably wait until our son is a few years older before we return.
Thomas Family London, England
Our 6 year old son was very worried that he wasn't going to meet other children to play with (not the case) so we made sure that there was going to be a kids club in all three Riu hotels, he had made so many friends. I had read reviews before I left about the kids club not being that good for the kids. We had a lovely children's rep name Sara who had the kids from 10-12 and 3-5 and also at 8 for the mini disco, even in between these set times she was always there with the kids playing and doing activities with them, she was fantastic. She was always smiling and encouraging my son (who was being very shy) to join in the activities. In the evening she would get all the children up on the stage, teach them songs, dancing and do games with them. There could be 20-30 children on the stage and she had no help, but she was excellent and kept the children amazed for an hour.