“ Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic „
We travelled to this hotel with Thomson in April 2010, with my boyfriend, we had visited this complex before (but not this hotel) so we kind of knew what to expect! We first stayed in the RIU brand, at one of the neighbouring hotels RIU Mambo in 2008 where we had a fab time. This year we wanted a nice, relaxing 2 week break with great weather so we chose to go to the same resort but a different hotel. This is where it can get a little confusing. There are 3 hotels all situated next to each other, Riu Mambo, Riu Merengue and Riu Bachata. When staying at one of these hotles you are able to use the facilities of the other hotels, look at it as a 3 for 1 deal! We stayed at the Riu Bachata, which is what this review focuses on... Rooms I have read previous reviews on numerous sites who dont like the rooms, with the main reason being the beds. In a standard double bedroom which is where we stayed, they have two generour sized double beds pushed together. Me and my boyfriend didn't mind this as 1 double bed fits you both in anyway! But its great to have that extra bed when you want to stretch out and have some freedom, but at the same time there is the option for cuddles. Maybe it wouldnt be the greatest room for a honeymoon stay but I guess its just what you prefer! The rest of the room is fine, you have a TV with american/german/spanish channels on. (For Lost fans out there, I got to watch one of the episodes of the new series!!) But of course you dont go to the dominican to watch tele! We were on the ground floor and didnt have any creepy crawlies or mozsquitos, so it was all nice and clean! The maids came everyday and left lots of lovely towel art! Sometimes they wer too gud to mess up! There is a free mini bar in the room with vodka, rum and whisky, which will be topped up for you if needed. There is also a fridge stocked with large bottled water, pepsi's and other fizzy drinks. There are refilled every other day. Our view wasnt the best being on the ground floor (everywhere we seem to go we get a ground floor! typical!). Most of the views do just overlook other rooms anyway so we wern't too fussed about this, although a higher floor would have been nice. There is a hairdryer in the room, my ghd straightners worked in the room, free safe, plenty of closet space, air con (although when you open the balcony door it switches off, handy hint!). Food The only option at this hotel is 24hr all inclusive- so it's a good job they do some delicious food! Breakfast is served from 7am-10am, and this consists of bacon, sausages, range of eggs, omlettes, panckaes, fruit, cereal, toast- plenty to choose from! From 10am-12pm in the snack bar there is a continental breakfast. From 12pm-5pm the snack bar is open- this has your burgers (just make sure there cooked all the way through), hotdogs, chips, pasta, sanwiches, ice cream, salads etc. From 1pm-3pm- there is dinner in the main restuarant- this consists of meats, chips, potatoes, rice etc etc. Tea time is served from 6.30pm-10pm in the main resturants- they have themed nights each night so the food differs, from mexican night, italian night, dominican night (no english night im afraid!). There is a good variety so you should always have something to choose. There is also a great selection of puddings, delicious cakes, and the nicest cookies ever!! Definately try them if you go! I ate more than my share over the 2 weeks! There is also a steak house and italian house which you have put your name down for in the morning, these are both located in the snack bar. We didnt try these restuarants, but sometimes they looked empty and sometimes they were busy. You can also use the late night snack bar situated at the Riu Merengue Entertainment We prefer sunbathing, chilling, relaxing- basically just doing nothing in the day, which is pretty much what we did, but there is a great animation team to keep you busy with all sorts of activites throughout the day, including, water aerobice, polo, volleyball, darts, bingo etc. They do work hard to get you involved if thats what you want, but they dont over hassle you. Each night they had a different show, these were varied, some good, some not so good. The entertainment team did a few of the nights, such as the audience participation ones- (Miss Bachata, Mr and Mrs, that sort of thing), which were fun. Then they had special dancers doing other shows such as Dominican Dancing and Carribean night. One of my favourite shows was the Michael Jackson shows, great entertainment, and the man who does it is reallt good. Although he had a minor incident on the night we watched...he fell through the stage!!! The dancers carried on dancing and didnt even help him! He finally struggled up with a cheer from the audience! It was pretty funny! Although my boyfriend stopped filming the routine just moments before he fell through the stage! Gutted, it could have been a youve been framed golden moment!! There is also a beach bonfire night, barbeques on the beach with a magican. Lots to keep you entertained if you like this sort of thing. There is also a nightclub- Pacha- which is located between Riu Mambo and Riu Merengue, it is good fun and the drinks are still free, they play some good modern american music which is what we enjoyed! Lots of older people also came here and had a good boogie! *There is also a kids club which lots of the children seemed to enjoy* Beach/Pools There is 3 pools at the Riu Bachata, one with a swim up bar- which gets the busiest! One with water sunbeds- which is a smaller pool, and then another main pool by the fountains. They are all good to use and clean, children can use all three pools. There is also a small jacuzzi which many of the children used more than the adults! Good sized relaxing pools, with sunbeds all around. Although as you would expect there is the typical race for the sunbeds, you get free sunbed towels where you exchange your towel card for these. The beach is more quiet and there is plenty of shade under the palm trees. If you want more sun however, then walk down to the beach outside Riu Merengue and Mambo, as there is less trees here. The sea is quite rocky so water shoes would be good, and also take your snorkel because theres lots to see! Well I think Ive given you lots of information to take in, if there is anything else you want to know if your'e thinking of going, then feel free to ask away! Overall we had a great holiday and the weather was great, we wouldnt hesistate to stay there again! Good Value for money!