Bahia de Maimon, Dominican Republic
"had a great holiday"
Posted by: rob on Jun 29, 2014
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Beautiful Riu Bachata is an extraordinary getaway on the spectacular shores of Maimon Bay, overlooking a lush tropical mountainside.
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"Theft from locked safe-- NOT A SAFE RESORT"
Posted by: B
on Jul 27, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
772 people found this review helpful
The Riu Bachata has a serious theft problem that the manager of the resort does not want to admit.My wife and I had all our $US cash removed from our locked room safe either by someone with a master key or by changing the lock cylinder.We were unable to open the safe on evening prior to leaving and when a staff member finally did the cash was missing and thankfully passports left alone.The manager Frederick was most rude and unhelpful and totally uncaring by just walking away to eat his dinner while we miised ours that last evening waiting to have the safe opened to get our valuables.He didn't file any report or offer any consolation after walking around resort all week pretending to be a caring "hands-on" manager.He had no empathy as to our plight and offered nothing in terms of asking if we were ok.I know you can't prove cash taken and it's difficult to compensate.I should have followed some warnings on Trip Advisor before booking this unsafe property.The resort has many good hard working people and we were having a good vacation considering the price paid however there is a very "dark side".Other people at the RIU Merengie resort attached to RIU Bachata the same week.We are reasonable easy to please people and I am writing this to warn other's about this RIU as we will not return to this or any other RIU after the uncaring attitude their management displays regarding safety and their customers well being.
Posted by: Joan
on Jun 15, 2014 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2013 | Leisure | With Group
117 people found this review helpful
I went to the hotel in November with a group of friends. In September I had fallen and broken numerous bones and was not sure whether to make the trip or not. I called the hotel directly and spoke to the manger on several occasions. He assured me I would get a ground floor handicapped room and the hotel was completely accessible. By the time I left for my trip I had my casts removed and replaced with a boot and wrist splint.
Upon arriving we were given a second story room and the hotel staff knew nothing about my having a handicapped room and of course the manager was nowhere to be found. They did find a ground floor room but it was not handicapped and the tub was impossible to get in or out of. They moved us to another room the next day.
This room was a disaster. When you sat on the bed you would up almost on the floor. We told them about it and their response was to bring a board to put under the mattress. THIS IS A 5 STAR HOTEL???
The worst was yet to come. The walk in shower didn't drain. I was in the room alone when I first took a shower but could not get out because the floor was flooded with slippery, soapy water. It was a very frightening experience trying to get out of the shower to the bed since I had a broken foot, arm and wrist. If I had fallen it could have been disasterous for me. We spent the rest of our vacation being lied to about it being fixed, refusals to be transferred to an other room because there were other disabled people coming later in the week, waiting for maid to come and clean up the mess and waiting in the room for people to come and fix the shower. Many times these people would take hours to show up or not show at all. The water from the shower spread into the room and out into the main hotel hallway. Someone even fell in the hallway from the soapy water.
Further to this, the tiles around the hotel were extremely slippery for anyone with a cane and the swimming pool impossible to get into without help. It is a good thing I was there with friends or I never would have been able to get into the pool. The water at the beach is also too rough to get into. My friends were able to help me get in on only one day when it wasn't quite as rough.
The worst part was spending most of our vacation being lied to and waiting in the room to have the shower fixed which never happened. There was a total air of - you are here now and we don't have to do anything to help you. It was all a joke to them.
We were so frustrated we emailed the hotel head office directly from our hotel and also Sunwing who we booked through. It has taken us over 6 months and many emails to finally have an offer to refund the hotel portion of our trip. It was fortunate we send the emails while at the hotel or we would have gotten nothing.
If you have any type of disability I would not recommend this hotel to anyone. In fact by the way we were treated I would not recommend this hotel to ANYONE! I am a retired nurse and avid traveller. I have stayed at numerous RIU hotels and because they are usually first grade is why I decided to go on my vacation in spite of my disabilities. I could mention other things that went on but this is sufficient for now. I am so disappointed in this whole vacation.
"Terrible food & bed bugs!!"
Liz on Jun 9, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2010 | Business | With Group
834 people found this review helpful
My husband and I travel a great deal, both for pleasure and business. We've cruised and stayed in many resorts. This particular trip consisted of me working a wedding (I'm a wedding planner) for a group of 24 guests. The couple picked this particlar location because they loved the gazebo situation on a cliff overlooking the ocean and mountains, they also believed Riu and Sunquest Vacations when they rated this a 5 Star. This resort is by no means a 5 star resort and if you're use to truly 5-star quality, DO NOT go here!!
I should mention that Dreamfilm Productions from Vancouver, B.C. was present with our crew as they are currently filming a wedding/marriage documentary that will air on CBC in late January 2012. The hotel was made aware of their presence weeks in advance and were fully aware of their presence and reason for being there, yet they did very little to address the following issues. I explained to the staff at the front desk that our experience at this Riu Resort would be televised and shared with all of Canada; however, this seemed to make little impact.
The gym looked as I had stepped back in time to the 1970’s. The equipment was completely outdated, in poor condition and the weights were actually covered in rust. A towel was needed immediately after using them as our hands got covered in rust. Unfortunately towels were not provided at the gym and we were required to bring our own, something we weren’t aware of until after working out. There was no disinfectant available for wiping down the weights or machines after using them, which was quite surprising given how much one sweats in such a hot country with little to no air conditioning in the gym and how dirty the equipment can get. The gym was also quite small, (ie, only two treadmills and maybe a total of 1000 sq. feet) considering this was the only gym for the three Riu properties….a real disappointment! The caliber of gym was by no means one of a 5 star resort and in fact I have been to local community center gyms that look, smell and have better equipment than this Riu Resort.
I will say that the landscaping is well maintained and looks beautiful on this property, but I would expect no less at a “5-star resort.” Unfortunately we don't sleep on grass or near the flower beds, so this really means very little to me. The food and quality of living/sleeping quarters, are in my view two vital areas of a resort which make it a 5-star or not and again, this place is NOT!!
Upon arrival, my husband and I were given a room that had not been cleaned – the bed was unmade, towels were thrown on the bathroom floor and the bathroom itself was filthy. Upon returning to the front desk, we were assigned another room which appeared cleaner at first sight. The following day, however, I realized that the box spring mattress was covered in black mold on one side of the bed, while the mattress itself was starting to form mold also. As if this wasn’t disgusting enough, my legs were covered in bites and welts which I assumed came from bed bugs. We were told we could not change rooms as some buildings were closed down given it was “low” season. I had no choice but to continue to sleep in this dirty and repulsive bed for the remainder of the week. The bites worsened throughout the week and upon arriving in Canada I showed my bites to with a pharmacist who confirmed my worst fear of bed bugs and recommended a mite killing lotion. Both my husband and I have had to apply this lotion all over our bodies twice now. We also disinfected all our clothes, shoes and suitcases prior to bringing them into our house for fear of what might have travelled back to Canada with us.
Our bathroom shower curtain contained mold & mildew and had a very foul smell to it. This promoted me to take action and search the maid’s cart for cleaning products. Much to my surprise I found a can of cockroach killer, a small amount of watered down windex and a water bottle with a cleaning product in it. I was informed this contained “some laundry detergent and water,” these were her only cleaning products. I cringed at the thought of the lack of disinfecting showers, toilets and sinks…a breeding ground for germs and viruses. When staying in a hotel I normally request a change of towels every 3 or 4 days, however, in this case I had to request towels on a daily basis as the towels smelled terrible after the first use, just as soon as they got damp. Again, very surprising for a well-known chain such as Riu and for the rating Sunquest Vacations gave this property.
Restaurants and Bars:
The food in this resort is classified as “cuisine,” however, what we ate was the furthest thing from cuisine. Upon arriving I tried several dishes and tried to eat, however, much of the food tasted the same, as it had all been deep fried in the same oil and the sauces were less than tasty. Being Hispanic myself, I am quite use to various spices and “Hispanic” food; however, the quality of this food was in a category of it’s own. For the following 4 days I literally ate one hard boiled egg for breakfast and shredded carrots and beats for both lunch and dinner. Towards the end of my week stay, I simply had to give in and eat some form of protein but ended up sick to my stomach.
The alcohol is a Normandy brand which is like mixing gasoline with coke or whatever your favorite soft drink might be. Nice looking bars for the most part and great service, but terrible alcohol and only one pool bar.
"If you are looking for a five star resort don't go to the Riu Bachata who's five star rating may be accurate if it was based on a scale of 15!!"
Marilyn on Feb 23, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
572 people found this review helpful
We travelled to this resort to celebrate our son's wedding. We were a family group of 17 including 3 children and one teenager.
Our arrival was fine - we were greeted with a cold drink. Only glitch was the man who was handing us our luggage said to my husband " you pay me". A omen for what was to come. Our rooms were not together as we had requested.
We went for lunch in the beach restaurant and one of the represntatives came over to "greet" us. I know he just wanted to make sure we weren't a "wild bunch" who were there to party because he asked who was in charge of the group. That was me.
Clean but beds hard. We might as well slept on the floor.
Forget about having your fridge refilled.( by the way at this resort the in- room bar and fridge are replenished every 2 days.) We only had ours refilled ONCE in 7 days. The rest of our group had the same problem, although, miraculously, they were refilled if you paid. Don't stay in building #9. Rooms are moldy smelling and it is beside the bar that stays open 24hrs. Those close to the bar can forget about sleeping. 3 of our group of 5 rooms here, had to be changed, which they were good about. Air conditioners in half the rooms didn't work. My son called for 2 days and finally repaired it himself. Rooms are supposed to have umbrellas, non of ours did. ( It rained for 2 days while we were there)
Restaurants and Bars:
There was very little variety in food at this resort. Not much fruit. The cooks gave you the feeling you were bothering them. I set a serving spoon back on the platter and one cook grabbed it and dropped it purposefully on the saucer it was supposed to be on. Constant little things like that made us all feel uncomfortable. The children could stand in the line as long as the adults then would be ignored by the cook until one of us appeared. All in all the serving staff were unfriendly unless you were forking out the cash - even then, if it was only a dollar or two, they were not impressed!
The two ala carte restaurants are in two sections of one building which is also the lunch buffet. You still have to serve yourself salad/ appetizers. Staff here were very pleasant and professional though. Although you were not limited to 2 meals here, we didn't bother because the food was not very good. Bars serve weak drinks which is OK. Bartenders tend to pick favourites and ignore others. Again, money talks.
The grounds and location are beautiful. The wedding in the gazebo was just gorgeous. I didn't use the pool - it was very crowded. Beach was clean and there were lots of chairs. Swimming at the end of the Bachata property is very rocky. Go down towards the Mambo for a sandy bottom.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The off resort activities offered are expensive so we didn't participate. Not many activities at this resort. Only have a couple of paddle boats and couple of kayaks which were not available most of the time we were there because of rough water. Even then, they are shared by all three resorts. Teenagers have very little to do. The younger children do have activities. Tennis courts etc are so spread out between the three resorts, they are hard to find and busy.
The evening entertainment is absolutely pathetic! I've been to many other resorts and this one is the worst by far.
The wedding and people who helped us were excellent.
Sunquest is not going to be much help if you run into problems. Our son became very ill ( stomach problems ) on our 5th day. (The doctor at the resort was very caring and professional.) Our son, who is 26, was taken by ambulance to Puerto Plata where he was admitted. We were all very worried and having to taxi back and forth. There was a phone for us to keep in touch with him at the front desk. One member of the staff at the front desk would allow us to call the hospital at no charge, and then the next one would charge us $1. I think they just pocketed the dollar when they felt like it. On the 6th night I approached a Sunquest rep to explain our situation - we were going to be late getting to the airport as we had to take a taxi to the hospital and have our son discharged - our flight left at noon. I asked if it would be possible to prebook a seat for my son in which he could stretch out and not be crowded. Also, not have to stand in the long check in line. He would not help me. He told me he could not do anything and that I should look for the rep who would be there. Now, how was that going to help us??
If it had not been for the beautiful beach and lovely wedding I would have called this resort a disaster. We stayed at the Bahia Principe San Juan 2 years ago and would recommend it way before this supposed 5 star. All in all, I have decided I will not be returning to the Dominican Republic.
"It may seem wonderful but I would not recommend this spot"
Heather on Mar 1, 2009 >
11 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
324 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Jan 25 - Feb 1
We arrived around 11:00pm and check-in was relatively quick. However, because we arrived late, we departed late on our last day and had to pay an extra $50 to access our room for a shower since our bus only left for the airport on our last day at 8pm. Hidden cost that we didn't expect!
Rooms were not very nice. Probably nice in their day but definitely in need of a makeover.
Restaurants and Bars
The a la carte restaurants were extremely disappointing! It was basically the beach restaurant from the day that they put tablecloths on and call it a la carte. The food was not very good at the a la carte - much better at the buffet. We were asked one night by the General Manager who was going around asking questions what improvements could be made. We suggested that maybe "aromatic potatoes" probably shouldn't be french fries with parsley on them. The bars were good. A bar on the beach would've been nice.
The grounds are beautiful - except for the rat we saw at the pool on the last day. The beach is nice but very shady. The pools were crowded and the animation staff were very good but relaxing by the pool and getting hit by the ball during the water polo game was not so much.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did a 4 Wheeling Adventure and I am highly recommending it to anyone with a sense of adventure. It was not offered by our tour package and we were made to wait a couple of days until someone figured out how we could do the adventure but was well worth the wait. Be prepared to get dirty tho!
All in all this vacation was a disappointment. My last trip to Dominican Republic was to Punta Cana and trust me, I am by no means a high maintenance person, but Punta Cana was much newer and cleaner in comparison to Puerta Plata. The 4.5 star in Punta Cana would be an 8 in Puerta Plata! There is no way this resort should be rated a 5 star. We had to go to the other resorts in the morning to find bacon for breakfast. Again, I can't stress enough that I certainly am NOT a high maintenance person because I've read reviews like this before and thought I had the writer labelled as "fussy" but if given the chance to do it again, I'd use my money to go to Punta Cana instead. For a first time traveller to an all inclusive, it may seem wonderful but I would not recommend this spot.
"Resort was pleasant and relaxing, able to see the beautiful countryside"
Harry and Jennifer on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
309 people found this review helpful
Arrival: December 15 to December 27, 2008
It was a sudden shock to go from Toronto's minus 25 degrees to Puerta Plata's 25 degrees--a 50 degree difference. The organization and bus trip to the resort was pleasant and relaxing, able to see the beautiful countryside along the way.
Our rooms were efficiently and quickly assigned to us, even though we all arrived early. The room was very clean, A/C, excellent bathroom, beds and a balcony that faced south with a view of the palm covered mountains.
Restaurants and Bars:
Even though our building was right next to the main stage, bar and pools, it was quiet to sleep. The main restaurant was spectaluar, the waiters polite, and the food was wonderful. The Christmas meal must have been $300 each!
The RIU is 3 resorts in one, with wonderful pools, a mile long private beach. This is the North Alantic, so the reef broke the surf coming in. In the north the beaches tend to have coral bottoms. The grounds were kept immaculate.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We partiicpated in the Animacion Team activities, quadding, and massages at the Renova Spa. White Water rafting was 2 hours north, scary and exhilarating. Danny our guide was honest, very experienced and very funny--he bonded the six of us in 10 minutes, as he would often jump out of the raft and leave us, then jump back in at the last minute. We also took taxis(Ford Explorers)into town to purchase amber and lanimar stone--these were taxis that were posted at the resort and could be purchased.
We would advise anyone looking for a truly relaxing time. There were 85% Canadians at the resort, ages from 30-50, with only a few families. We're going back! We made friends with many of the staff(Sunquest reps,waiters, bartenders, taxi drivers). Remember always that off the resort, you are in a developing third world country and the appearance of poverty may bother some people.
"A few unpleasent surprises, but nice"
Posted by: Rob & Lauren, Sackville NB. Flight direct from Halifax
on Jan 14, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
411 people found this review helpful
It was nice to head back to Puerto Plata. In 2005 we were at Sun Village, just down the street from the RIU complex. Our experience there was fantastic, but then again, it was our first time. We found the Bachata lacking in some of the great things Sun Village offered. But nevertheless, the Bachata does offer a great place to stay with a great beach and a fabulous staff. Please keep in mind as you read my account, that it was Christmas week (Dec24-31) and that may have had an impact on service levels at the resort.
A 2.5 Hour delay getting out of Halifax put us on the ground in Puerto plata at around 12-1230.
The porter that grabbed our bags outside of the airport was friendly, but when we asked him if any of the stores were open at the airport he brought us to the guy that is on the left hand side of the Arrivals exit at the airport. DON'T buy anything from that guy...I bought two packs of cigarettes and two beers (he insisted I buy the beers...*shrug*), handed him a US 20 and he gave me back two loonies!
Our bus crew was less than great. Our host was attempting to crack jokes but his sarcasm was bleeding through a bit too much. He might as well have come out and called us 'stupid white people'...who can blame him though, it was after 1am on Christmas Morning and the idiots who screamed out "cerevza!" when he asked if we knew any Spanish deserved to be poked fun of.
And then of course there was the obligatory stops in the Playa Dorada complex to drop people off. I think the next time we go to Puerto Plata, we'll just stay at a Playa Dorada hotel, might as well, we spent enough time there (you make several stops there on excursions and on the way home as well).
We arrived at the Bachata late at night, around 2:30am, and in that quirky Domincan way, were greeted by the friedndly front desk staff and the "vigilante' (security guard) toting a very large rifle. The person behind the desk was attempting to have us wait to be brought to our rooms as a group, but seeing how bored the 'vigilante' was, my wife asked him in her perfect Spanish if he'd like to bring us to our room. After telling the front desk guy to stick it, he obliged, and it was great to be escorted by someone who was more willing to help than obey what his boss asks him to do. We later found out that the 'vigilantes' do rounds around the grounds all night.
After changing, we headed out to the late night bar (not a 24 Hour Bar as advertised, I'll explain later) where we encountered the type of people you encounter at 3am at a bar and sat up for a couple drinks then went to bed. 4:00am Christmas Morning by this point.
At check-in, when we found out we had a ground level room, we asked if we could switch. That was until we got to the room. It was a couple of minutes before my wife said "what's that sound?" and we realized it was the ocean! We were about 30 meteres from the water. A beautiful location, and very private as it did not look across at any other rooms. Hint: Request room 1105!
The room was very nice. Nice Cherry wood accents and tables with a great shower with great water pressure and hot water (except at night, we couldn't seem to get hot water after 8pm). There was a definite lack of towels in the room when we got there, and the pillows were a bit impractical for sleeping on (although being so late, didn't pose a problem that evening).
Much to be desired on the patio furniture, but the room did have a terrace (all of Bachata's rooms have a terrace). Take the room chairs from inside and put them out on the terrace. The supplied patio furniture set looks like it could have been purchased at Wal-Mart for $11.97 and is just about as comfortable.
We took advantage of the in-room Rum Dispenser, but missed not having Sprite or 7-Up to have Santo Libres along with the Cuba Libres we had with the Pepsi. RIU is a bit stingy with the mini-bar filling. They only fill once every 2 days. That's 4 litres of water, 3 beers, 3 pepsis, a fizzy water and club soda, but it has to last you 2 days. We were forgotten on our second day and had to remind them to bring us our stuff.
Restaurants and Bars:
No Brugal or Presidente!!! What the heck is with that??!! The beer is Bazillian (Brahma) and the Rum seems to be some sort of private labelled RIU stuff (??Normandy Rum??). I want Dominican product in the Dominican Republic! RIU should be obliged to offer it!
The only good coffee in the whole place comes from Nescafe branded dispensers, of which there is 4. Out of those 4 only 3 get switched on in the morning, but NOT UNTIL 10AM! Before 10am you're stuck with the very bad coffee served in the buffet restaurant, which is only comforted by the smoothie bar and great breakfast selections. The Nescafe machines ALWAYS had at least 4 people queing up to use them at 10. (Hint: get the Cafe con Leche from the machine, it's great!)
RIU advertises a "24 hour Bar". They should change that ad to:
"Late Night Bar. Open til the last drunk person goes to bed and not open again until 530pm. If you want a drink before 530pm go to the bars that are not 24 Hours"
On the restaurants:
The main buffet, Bahia de la Maimon, is quite nice. We had our best dinner experiences there.
The "A la Carte" retaurants are horrible! It seems that RIU thinks that people don't mind dressing up to eat dinner in the same spot that they sat shritless and ate a hamburger in at lunch.
The "A la cartes", if you can call them that, are the two sides to the large all day snack bar. At 5pm, the snack bar is converted into a "Steak House" and "Italian Retaurant". By "converted" I mean they put up dividers, move the tables and chairs around a bit and put down table cloths. It's cheap, but from reading other RIU brochures they do it at alot of their resorts. I guess people don't expect much.
The service at the a la cartes was fine with two exceptions:
When you've converted a self serve "Snack bar" into a full service retaurant you shouldn't ask your guests to get their own apetizers "buffet style". Seriously, serving myself? It's supposed to be something different than what you've been doing all day.
The entrees and desserst are brought to the table by wait staff. I say wait staff, but that's one thing you don't get in the a la cartes at the Bachata is "waiting". They have you in and out of there very quickly. The a la carte wait staff can be renamed 'rush staff'.
My adivce: if you're looking for a pleasent and slow dining exprience, stick with the main buffet restaurant. The A la cartes are not worth the trouble, and you have to serve yourself anyway. It's a shame because the staff that work them rely on the tips.
The beach is fantastic. Great shade, and a very nice long strecth to walk along. At night, it is quite nice to take the pathway that runs along the beach and to the Merengue and Mambo resorts. You get to check out what's going on at the other hotels as well as walk along the water, stopping for a drink when you get tired.
There is also a fantastic stairway/walkway that when followed brings you to a point where RIU has placed a nice gazebo. It's a great walk and great lookout point and is by far the best grounds feature.
The pool is nice. It is large, but if you've been to a place in the past that has a clearly demarcated adult pool and family pool then the Bachata's pool will take awhile to get used to. The pool does have two sides, but both seem open to children. So peacful soaks with a pina colada are out of the question.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Okay, the "Cheapy-Cheapys" (guys who are ostensibly 'selling their wares' on the beach) wear UNIFORMS! What is with that?
Their stalls are also numbered and they openly talk (in Spanish) about one 'stealing' the other's sale etc. etc. Their products are ALL the same. And the numbers on their stalls also follow the sequence of numbers that appears above the shops on the Calle Caribena (Carribean Street).
RIU should try to make the on-resort shopping experience just a little more authentic. Ditch the uniforms for the cheapy-cheapys, and I'm sure you can get around having numbers above all the stalls.
We didn't take part in any other activities other than shopping and entertainment.
The entertainment was...suprisingly good. It had just the right mix of fun and poking fun that it should have. We watched more of the shows than we thought we would.
We went off resort for one shopping excusion..."Simply Shopping" and it seems our tour provider inverted the order of usefulness of the shops we went to.
We started at a relatively boring 'souvenir' shop (where we spent over an hour) and ended at La Sirena (less than 45 mins). La Sirena is a supermarket/department store. We were looking forward to browsing the shelves and taking our time, comparing produce prices, noticing the quirky differences etc...but were rushed in and out of La Sirena because we had spent too much time at other less useful and entertaining shops.
We hope the tour provider inverts the order of this excursion. Yes it is important that we visit small local businesses, but not at the expense of enjoying ourselves.
All in all, I would suggest staying at one of the less expensive RIUs in the RIU complex. The Bachata is, I think, overrated in a very literal sense. It is NOT a 4.5-5 Star place. Paying the cheaper rate and staying at the Mambo or Merengue will give you the same expereince as the Bachata.
Posted by: Vala
on Mar 29, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
608 people found this review helpful
I got bitten by BED BUGS in room 1030 [building 10 room 30]. Be careful if you still decide to go there.
"Great place to stay and enjoy DR"
Warren from Central Florida on Apr 28, 2010 >
2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
709 people found this review helpful
Flew out of Miami on American Airlines-and it was actually one time. POP-OMG-the last time we were shaken down by customs (paid and then sailed thru). This time-beautiful open and bright airport that is under construction to make it even better. Booked thru cheapcaribbean and transportation was waiting for us. Arrival at resort was smooth. Enroute we were able to see parts of POP and Playa Dorado (where we stayed before).
Comfortable. This trip we were with two grandsons, preteens. We had two double/twins shoved together to make one huge bed that was actually of course two beds that shared a headboard. Pillows-flat, but received more quickly. The boys were ready after several days to watch TV in English (the English stations were news oriented). Cartoons and children's movies in Spanish are good for only so long for those who know no Spanish. Mini bar was replenished every other day with Pepsi (Pepsi on the resort) and with nonPresidente beer. The four bottles of alcohol were there as part of included, but were Normandy brand (tasteless generic, but hit the spot at times). A/C did not work if balcony door was open, which is a good idea. A/C was sufficient. Hot water all the time and plumbing worked fine. Soap and shampoos replenished every other day. Housekeeping was great.
Restaurants and Bars:
Lots of food and wonderful selection. Ask a chef and he'll prepare something special for you. I couldn't wait for when they were going to serve mangu (a plantain dish); had a huge plate to myself at lunch one day. Fish, lamb (we were there for Easter), seafood, beef, and chicken all in various ways. Dominican food, Spanish food, and basic American style. Yogurt, cereals, fresh local tropical fruit for breakfast (along with great bacon). Fresh fruit at every meal. Fresh squeezed fruit juice at breakfast (think beyond OJ). Salads and cheeses. The bars-wonderful folks behind the bars. Daily specials. At the main bar, Bikini bar, near the lobby (everything is pretty centralized) they have a coffee dispenser-I loved the espresso; I passed on the capachino.
Beach is great. Grounds pretty. The point is not to be missed at night! Pools-there are two, one geared for play/ younger folks and one with a swim up bar and great DR music especially in the afternoon. All the bartenders are polite and respectful (one doesn't wait for ever while being passed by for someone else); generally, the two boys were treated no differently than an adult as far as being served (their nonalcoholic drink)-of course at times bartenders would kid a bit more with them.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We took a taxi tour w/ a guide named Sandy. Puerta Plata tour including the cable car ride (we paid for the actual ride) and stops at stores including a grocery store (for rum, coffee, and hot sauces) with driver for half a day. Excellent-prices are on a board in the lobby-established by the gov't. He was the best. We also took tour to Damajagua Falls-take it-a bit a swimming and sliding down waterfalls/ jumping from cliffs into a pond. Check it out on various postings on youtube.com. Our nine year old loved it; his older brother was one of the few who opted to jump as opposed to slide at one spot-a good two story jump.
We stayed at eh Riu in MoBay, Jamaica last spring break with the same grandchildren. The vote is the MoBay was better . But, this was our fifth time in DR, second in POP, and we really like this resort. They all seem to have their pros's and con's. There is an area at this resort for shopping, which is THE shopping area for all three Riu resorts-they are in a row along the beach. Folks we talked to mentioned this was the best of the three. We saw the lobby and pool area of the Merengue, and, yes, the Bachata is better. There was a fitness center, but the location (and time) didn't lend itself to our visiting it (unlike the other four resort we had been to). If using cheapcaribbean.com; remember that for prepaid tours, you must meet with the representative the day after arrival to obtain the actual tickets for your trip. And if there is an emergency as we experienced and he can't make it that day-hopefully you don't have a trip planned. As far as this resort-we enjoyed it and would certainly recommend it to others and will look at Riu at other places we may stay.
"A great holiday and resort"
zachsmom on Feb 1, 2009 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
313 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Feb 9 - Feb 16
We had used Isaira tours (www.isairatours.com) last year for a day trip, and contacted them again this year by email prior to arrival to arrange for a cab to pick us up at the airport. Wonderful service - this time by Martin himself! A real treat not to have to take the bus. Highly recommend the company once again.
Being repeat guests, we had sent an email to request a room in a specific block. Previously, these requests have always been granted. This year on arrival I was told that the room location I was requesting was an upgrade, and would be $30. USD a night extra. As luck would have it, the person I was dealing with at the front desk was Victor, who introduced himself as the front desk manager. After some pleasant discussion, Victor gave us a lovely room just where we always have it without charge. Thank you Victor.
The room that we had is beginning to look a little worn. Could use some ugrades/paint. Small detail. Super clean as usual, maid was wonderful and remembered to leave 3 towels for us everyday after we asked just once. Left a note and a few dollars in the fridge asking for beer and it was stocked to capacity every day.
Restaurants and Bars
A bit of a change here - and not for the better. Seems more and more people take advantage of the "stay at one, play at all three" advertised by the Riu properties in POP. As Riu Bachata is the only dining room with outdoor covered dining, it seems a lot of people from the other resorts come to eat @ Bachata, making it very crowded. More on this in the Pool review.....
We had a wonderful waiter, Jose in the evenings. Once we met him, we sat in his section each evening and he reserved a table for us. Really a lovely young man. We tipped him well every evening as he worked hard for us, and deserved it. On Valentines Day he even had our table decorated with flowers and extra candles.
Food overall was good - we tried both A La Cartes once again. Really the best thing there is the change from the noise of the buffet area. The food is similar to the buffet. Good, plentiful, somewhat bland. Lots of selection on the buffet, with clean up and food replacement done regularly. Cleaning up of tables at the beach/lunch restaurant was hit and miss - certainly less service than before.
We had 2 days of downpouring rain - but still enjoyed being in the warm air and on holidays. As a result of the rain that they had, the ocean water was quite dirty. The beach was cleaned up daily. Pool water was really quite cool - of course we got in anyway, but actually the ocean was much warmer.
Now, the Riu Bachata pool is packed daily with guests from the other 2 Rius. This means over-crowding of chairs, pools, the lunch buffet etc. The Bachata is the only one with a swim up bar and certainly has the largest/newest pools so that is the attraction. I can understand it, we just found it more crowded, loud and noisy than ever this year with all the guest from the other resorts.
Still a great holiday and resort. With some exceptions as noted, the staff are not as friendly or plentiful. Certainly some changes in a year; not for the better in our opinion. Of course, we have changed too. Our son is now older, and we will likely look for a resort with more a la carte options in the future.