Riu Mambo Reviews


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Riu Mambo  

Bahia de Maimon, Dominican Republic

"best all inclusive i have been to"
Posted by: philip on Jun 28, 2014
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Riu Mambo Reviews
Riu Mambo Pictures and Information
Riu Mambo Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

#9
of 94 Hotels in Puerto Plata

User rating 4.3

Based on 19 reviews

Riu Mambo Information


Located on beautiful Maimon Bay, Riu Mambo offers a breathtaking view of the ocean and the Puerto Plata mountains.

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Riu Mambo Reviews

Riu Mambo Review: 4.3 of 5 19 reviews
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"If the price were right...i'd go again..."

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Doris from Sudbury, Ontario  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
240 people found this review helpful

stayed at the riu for one week...got a very good deal of 1500 for two people taxes in...so how can you complain about anything....i thought the food wasn't as good as prior stays however i still managed to gain few pounds....i love puerta plata and the dominican....such an economical holiday. yes there may not be face cloths in the rooms or an iron or hair dryer...so just pack your own. the weather was awesome...a day and a half of rain...but still quite nice. if the price were right...i'd go again...

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"A very clean, beautiful resort"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Shirley  on Jan 1, 2009  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
221 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 2009
we were greeted by friendly faces, staff brought a welcome drink and we immediately were given our rooms keys and assistance to our rooms

Rooms:
rooms were spotless! No hairdryer or iron but we knew that ahead of time and planned for it - not an issue. everyday there was a swan made up from a towel and left on our bed.

Restaurants and Bars:
very clean, staff were all extremely courteous. Always greeted with a smile and a "good morning".

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
beach was beautiful and clean, pools were very nice, only thing was that the pool was VERY shaded by palm trees.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
did the Freestyle catarmaran - one full day on the ocean with two snorkeling stops in Sosua bay. very friendly and fun filled day - only issue was the music on the catarman was turned up to "holy wow", kinda hard to talk to each other. there is a bit of a walk from the the bus to the catamaran and at the end of the day you have to get off the catamaran onto a small boat that brings you back to the beach (may be a bit of an issue for those with limited mobility)

Other Comments:
all in all it was a very clean, beautiful resort. Food was good, there is something for everyone. Washroom facilities were spotless and liked the fact that staff were outside the doors with handsanitizer. Staff were also stationed outside the buffet doors with hand sanitizer. Entertainment team did a great job attempting to keep everyone busy (darts, bingo, dance lessons, step classes, water aerobics, etc - if you like that sort of thing). I prefer the "fly and flop" and had a great time relaxing by the pool and on the beach!

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"We encountered no problems that would prevent us from returning to this resort"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Bryan  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
233 people found this review helpful

This was my sixth trip to the Dominican Republic and I travel with the understanding that I’m not staying at the Ritz or someplace like that and don’t expect the resort to provide that service. I go to have fun and regardless of any little quirks we always do.

Flights
As always, Sunquest was using Skyservice for the flights. This was the first time that we pre-booked our seats as we were able to get the Emergency Exit row seats – well worth the extra cost if you are more than 5 feet tall!

Our flight down was only 10 minutes delayed due to de-icing. Our return flight was actually about 20 minutes early getting us back into Ottawa.
Arrival
This year in addition to the blue Immigration form that you need to fill out, upon arrival airport officials also had us complete Customs Declaration forms as well – not that there were looked at upon submission. You need to fill both of these forms out to leave as well.

Check In
After the 40 minute bus ride to the resort we arrived at the resort. Check in was very good. There were 4 people on the bus that got off at the Mambo. I had emailed about a week before asking for an upper room in one of 4 buildings and was happy to have gotten it.

When we walked into the lobby we were greeted at a small table, given some hotel details by one of the very friendly front desk staff. As our rooms were not ready at 1PM we grabbed some lunch and wondered around for a bit until 3PM. The keys to the safe are included with your package and were given out at when you are given your room key.

Last year in Punta Cana the Riu’s had us all fill our Registration Cards, this year we just needed to hand in our Hotel Voucher. If you are a Riu Class member be sure to tell them and they’ll photocopy your card so your points can be credited.

Room
We were in Room 1711. There were 2 almost-double beds in our room. Upon arrival they are pushed together but are made up separately and are quite easy to push apart if needed. I was prepared for solid beds and found that they weren’t nearly as hard as I had expected. The pillows however are on the thin side.

We had no problems with the water pressure however the hot water in the shower tended to change from what you set it at to cold or very hot without much warning. It was like doing the Hokey Pokey at times while showering. This was the first hotel we’ve stayed at that actually had Face Cloths available – once we got them we had to ask a couple times to keep getting them, but we did.

The Air Conditioning tended to be weak. The rooms each have a ceiling fan which keeps the room comfortable.

Our room had an umbrella in the closet upon arrival. If you happen not to have one, be sure to ask reception for one. You may not need it but if it does rain you’ll be happy to have it.

Food
I think that this hotel chain offers the widest selection of breakfast items of any resort I’ve been to. Granted it was always the same selection, there was so much of it, there never was a problem getting your morning started.

Lunch was normally eaten at the pool bar and was Burgers, Pizza, Fries, Pasta, Hot Dogs, etc. We tried the main buffet for lunch a couple times and found a good selection of items.

Supper was a different theme each night at the buffet so that was good. We also did the Italian a la carte. To book the a-la cartes, you need to line up at 10AM out front of the Buffet and book it for that day. Beware of the Salsa on Mexican night, it’s spicey!

Snacks – There was never a time when we couldn’t find something to eat. Between the Pool Bar, and Buffet food was served somewhere until at least 2 AM.

NOTE: Unlike in Punta Cana, there is no assigned seating so you find your own table for suppers. Men must wear a shirt with sleeves to be admitted – and while shorts were accepted, the hotel is telling guests upon arrival that men must wear pants to supper, so be sure to bring a pair incase they begin to enforce that.

Bars
There are several bars to visit should you wish to. There is the Mambo Pool bar, the Beach bar at the Mambo, 2 Entertainment Theatre Bars, plus many more at the Merengue and Bachata – all of which you have access to. Each bar we went to made good drinks.

The Beach
We didn’t spend anytime down at the beach this year but as it is the North coast, the water is rougher and the sand is the normal coarse brownish stuff.

Pool
We made us of the Mambo pool and never got into any of the other ones we had access too as we got too lazy. The pool is nice however the chair game is played big time here so if you want a sunny spot you need to get up early to reserve a lounger. While the vegetation is lovely there are too many shaded areas around the pool (mainly the palapa’s) that if they were removed to allow more sunny areas, the chair game may not be needed.

Due to the rain we noticed a huge increase in the number of flies around the pool loungers, however they left after a couple days of sun. Wasps are another problem around the pool, but as long as you throw out your drink glasses quickly once done there isn’t too many of them.

From what I hear the pools at the Merengue and Bachata were more active but we never made use of them. The Bachata has the swim-up bar.

Entertainment
We only made it to a few shows. Some were audience participation ones i.e. to get the “Mr. Mambo Contest” – funny but cheesy. The others were the Caribbean Dance Show, the Magic Show (really good) and the Michael Jackson show – Foot work was awesome!! The song selection could be better but the movement was like watch the real deal.

Every other Thursday night is the Carnival Riu along Caribbean Street. Due to rain they had to cancel the one while we were there.

Activities
The Animation team had activities going on throughout the day and made those around the pool laugh at there antics or some of the wacky things they’d get guest to do. The one event I took part is was a water pillow fight – they pair you up on a surf board and whoever knocks the other off first wins. I got to the second round before I fell off. It was really fun.

Money Exchange
This is offered at the front desk. Note that the Market next to the front desk does not accept travelers Cheques so have the US money or Peso’s when you go in to buy something.

Trips
As we’ve been many times to the North Coast we opted not to do any trips this year, though many are offered if you are interested.

There are Beach Vendors at either end of the beach. As we know some of them from past trips we made a several trips there. There are some directly to the right of the Mambo’s beach or you can go down past the Bachata for more of them.

Other Info
The entire resort has staff at all the public washrooms and entries into the meal areas with Hand Sanitizer. They take cleanliness serious there and if you happen to get ill while there it’s not because the resort is dirty.

Due to some bizarre act of nature we happened to have 7 straight rainy days in a row, we still made the most of our trip by meeting many people from across Canada and around the world.

Summary
As with most resorts they have a mix of reviews, we found that the Riu’s had a good reputation and this trip only proved that again. We encountered no problems that would prevent us from returning to this resort or recommending it to others. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at bryanjbrown@rogers.com, or send me a Message on Debbie’s Travel Forum, user name ‘bryan’.

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"We got exactly what we were looking for and more. "

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Bonnie  on Mar 1, 2009  >  6 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
242 people found this review helpful

Arrival: February 20 - February 26:
This was my first trip to the Dominican Republic and I was a little nervous as to what kind of service would be offered in this country. Our group was a party of 7 women (aged 32-43). We were looking for a clean, relaxed, but fun atmosphere. We got exactly what we were looking for and more.

The flight down was delayed a couple of hours but we didn't mind waiting as we were luckly to get out at all. We left on a Thursday night and Newfoundland has flights cancelled or delayed on Wednesday and Friday due to snow storms. You have to love Mother Nature!!

The flight back was on time, no snow delay down there.

Rooms:
We arrived early in the morning and the staff at the hotel greeted us and provided the room information very promptly. Check-in was approximately 5 minutes. The rooms were very clean and we didn't see a single insect the whole time we were there. There were fresh towels and facecloths each day and the maid did a fantastic job of keeping the room clean. The rooms are roomy and has plenty of dresser and closet space. We were impressed that there were plenty of hangers and even an umbrella for rain. We didn't need the umbrella as the only time it rained was one evening for about 10 minutes. We didn't spend much time in the room, pretty much only to sleep, shower and change.

We expected the beds to be hard and uncomfortable but they were not. Out of 7 women we didn't have a complaint about the beds or pillows. We all slept great!

The air conditioning was fine. Since we pretty much only slept in the rooms, it was cool enough and very comfortable.

You may want to bring along an adapter for the electrical outlet. Some of them are recessed into the wall and you can pick up one at a hardware store to bring. We did and it worked fine.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was very plentiful!! There was an excellent selection to choose from. The buffet was so big and offered all kinds of hot and cold dishes. Breakfast was great as they served both hot and cold. Lots of bacon and eggs or, if you prefer cereal, they has quite a selection. Each night was a different theme, ie. Mexican, Italian. Excellent deserts also. There was always plenty of rice, fish, chicken, beef, pizza, salads. Too much to list.

Food seemed to be served all day and night.

We ate at the pool bar during the day. They also offered a mini-buffet including fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, rice, some kind of stir-fry (different each day), pizza, beans, fish, chicken,sandwiches, salads, deserts.

The bar service was outstanding. The bartenders seemed to remember what you drank and even your name. We were happy to try all kinds of drinks and they enjoyed making them for us. Bring along an insulated mug to keep your drink in as they only serve the drinks during the day in small plastic glasses. No fear you still managed to drink them down before they got warm. Watch out for putting you glass on the ground as the birds seem to enjoy a cool drink also.

You can also access the restaurants and bars of the two neighboring resorts (all connected by a walk way). Pay for one and play at all three.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach at the Mambo was great. We spent the first 3 days hanging down by the water and enjoying the beach bar. The Mambo is the only one of the three resorts to have the beach bar. They serve mostly beer and fruity drinks. The beach was very clean and we had not issues with walking on anything that could cut our feet. The water temperature was great. Better than the Cold Atlantic Ocean anyday!

The last 4 days we spent haning around up by the pool, yes people still put out their towels early in the morning. Sorry but I was guilty of it also. But we actually stayed on the chairs for most of the day, unlike some people who put the towel out but we never saw a body sit on it!

It is a bit shady up by the pool, so I would suggest take out a couple of specific trees and they would reduce the chair problem.

The grounds were expertly manicured and well cleaned. You hardly saw a leaf falls before someone was cleaning it up.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activites on the resort were plentiful! You had aerobics at the pool and at the beach as well as step aerobics each day. The instructor "Will Smith" was great! Nice to watch also. There was water polo instructed by "Jamie Foxx". Myself and a friend did this and enjoyed it. There were pillow fights while standing on a surf board. This looked to be great fun! They also host a beach BBQ and Bon Fire. There are various games of darts, horse races, etc. during the day. The entertainment team was outstanding. They spend days going around the pool and beach and chatting with the visitors and really made you feel welcome. They also managed to get us to participate in most of what was happening.

We went to all the shows that the resort had at night. Each night they entertain in their main ballroom/bar. It ranged from a Magic Show to Dancing to a Michael Jackson show. All were great and we were quite entertained. The entertainment team were also present at these shows and circulated throughout the crowd greeting and dancing with the guests.

We would recommend the Outback Safari tour, go to to the Cable Car that takes you up the mountain so that you can see all of Puerto Plata. What a view it was fabulous. There are lots of beach vendors at each end of the resort if you would like to pick up some trinkets. The resort has a little shopping street that is also great for paintings, shirts, and trinkets. The vendors will happily negotiate prices.

Other Comments:
The resort has lots staff outside the public washrooms and entrances to restaurants with hand-sanitizer. I'm sure this helps reduce any chance of getting ill. They take cleanliness very seriously there.

We didn't have any cases of sickness in our group. I had a bad tummy one day but I swear that was from a hang-over!!!

We loved the trip and are already scheming as to how we can go again next year. Perhaps Cuba!

Regards, Bonnie, Chris, Lisa, Wanda, Lisa, Kim, and Dana

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"I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Lisa & Corey  on May 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
290 people found this review helpful

Excursions: my husband and I and another couple rented a cab for a day and went to Santiago, the second largest city in the Dominican. We were charged $80.00 each couple but at the end of the day we gave the cab driver $100 each. It was a wonderful day, we got to stop where ever we wanted to take pictures, we drank all the beer we wanted (we bought our own, was not supplied to us but very good price). We drove up through the mountains, visit little markets that only the villagers shopped at. Once in Santiago we went to Restoration Heroes Museum, which once on the top you had a great view of the city and they had a lot of interesting things there as well. We also went to a restaurant and shopping afterwards, the whole day lasted a little over 8 hours. This is a good excursion to do if you have already done all the excursions offered by your representative at the resort, it was very safe as well, the cab driver and tour guide that also came along to tell us things about Dominican were so protective of us.

Another excursion we did was the “Puerto Plata Runners”; again we hired this outside out travel representative because it wasn’t something they had to offer and we done the all excursions they had to offer before on previous trips. This was a great day out as well, you got to see the country side, visit a school, take lots of pictures, see a Cock (Rooster) fight if you wanted to, have a delicious Dominican meal, see how the stone Petrified wood carvings are made and a option to buy, some shopping, they also offered horseback riding for anyone that wanted to try it, We were suppose to go to a beach to go swimming as well but from all the rain we received the day before we were told that the beach was not suitable and it would be very dirty from everything getting stirred up from the rain. The day lasted from 10Am to 5:30PM.

The first week there we had great weather, Sun everyday and not a spot of rain, the second week we lost 4 days because of the rain. One day it didn’t stop at all, it rained all day and night…the other days it would shower and then the sun came out for a few minutes or it would stayed over cast and it then it would shower again shortly after.

My husband celebrated his birthday while we were there and the Staff at the Mambo was great, the maid decorated our room with balloons and the reception staff delivered a big plate of fruit to our room with a card saying happy birthday to him. I reserved a table at the steak house early that morning, which by the way you have to do if you want to eat at either of the 2 specialty restaurants…get there before 7 because there will be a line up and tables go fast. We got the 8:30 seating because 6:30 seating was fully booked, and I was the third person in line that morning, the first person reserved a table for 19 people! But that was fine I was just happy to get a table being my husband’s birthday and that’s where he wanted to eat. The staff there had a cake for him and sang happy birthday to him as well, it was really nice. They even decorated our table with flowers to make it look different form the other table’s in the restaurant. They made my husband’s birthday away from home a very special one.

The food at this resort was excellent, what was supposed to be hot was hot and what was supposed to be cold was cold. I found this was the first resort I have ever been to that had a small assortment of desserts to choose from and every night was basically the same desserts offered. But again that was ok, maybe they saved me from gaining extra pounds that I did not need.

I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone, just hope that the weather is nice for them. I think this will be our last trip to Puerto Plata for a while though even though it’s my favorite place to visit in the Dominican, the weather is just too unpredictable with all the mountains surrounding the resorts.

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"We definately had a very enjoyable vacation and would return to the Mambo"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jim  on Nov 1, 2009  >  12 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009
290 people found this review helpful

Arrival: November 6 - 13 2009
We were greeted with warm Holas and a cold drink. Check in was very fast and efficient. Excellent staff at the front desk. We were given our room numbers and directed to them. Our luggage was tagged with our room numbers and delivered a short while later.

Rooms:
Rooms are exceptionally clean. Beds are comfortable. Good amount of storage. You have your own mini bar that is restocked every second day. Lots of bottled water. It was one of the quitest rooms we have had at a resort for a long time. We were in the 1900 building on the edge of the property and there was a field with cattle right behind or building - very cool!!

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet was always good. There was a good selection that should please anyone. The food was always hot and fresh tasting. The grill area was always serving up something tasty. The dining staff was friendly and all worked very hard. They deserve to be tipped - something that does not seem to happen very often at this resort. Again cleanliness is very evident in the food areas. The bars and bartenders were also excellent - Cheers to Tito - great job by all.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were well kept and clean. Buildings all nicely painted. A very good beach - good sand, good water, good mix of sun and shade available, no shortge of loungers. Beach was so good that we did not use the pool all week!! The pool area was nice however and the water temp. was perfect. If you are travelling with children there are good kids areas - including a kids pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Did not do any off resort trips this time. However we have done the Outback Saffari on a previous trip and it is excellent. We have been up Mt. Isabella as well and would recommend it as a must do - the view is spectacular. The Michael Jackson Show at the resort was excellent - must see it!!!

Other Comments::
This was our first time to the Riu Mambo. We were very pleased. The resort was very busy when we arrived as it was a Dominican Holiday weekend. Despite the high numbers everthing was well run. You can have the use of the sister resorts - the Bachata and the Merengue - they are all connected with an excellent paving stone walkway. Despite comments in some reviews the walk is not very long to get any where in the resort. The weather was great - sun and hot all days with a little rain through the night on some nights. Two mornings it rained until just before lunch but then cleared to be perfect days. Some comments in other reviews mentioned the resort location in relation to the mountain and that it seemed more likely to get rained on. We found that during our stay when it rained at the resort it was also raining in Puerto Plata and also in Sousua - don't think that the mountain has a lot to do with where the rain falls - Dominican can get spotty rain any where on the island at any time.
We definately had a very enjoyable vacation and would return to the Mambo again - no question.

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"All 3 of the resorts in this complex are great and you can visit them all"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Rob from Stratford, Ontario  on Nov 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009
542 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Nov 13-20, 2009
Customs is a breeze. Hotel is quick and bags are dropped at your room almost before you can get there.

Rooms:
Room is very clean and kept that way all week. Nancy in block 15 did a great job.

Restaurants and Bars:
If you can't find food for every meal then you are WAY to picky. Selection at every meal was there. Buffet is great, sit in Clermin's section and tell him what you need, he will look after you. Bartender's are fantastic and work hard to keep everyone happy, so give them a break when it gets busy.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is great with lots of room and chairs. Pool is always well kept with lots of sun or shade. You don't have to get up early to save chairs.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Didn't do any tours, just relaxed in a week of sun

Other Comments:
All 3 of the resorts in this complex are great and you can visit them all. Be nice to the workers and you will get all that you need and more. Learn a little Spanish to talk with them and they love it.

Email Rob: robgribble@rogers.com

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"The snorkelling was GREAT"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Kathy II  on Jan 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Group
711 people found this review helpful

No real difficulties here. There seemed to be a lot more bureaucracy to get through than I recall. The bus ride was approximately 1 hour as we entered Playa Dorada on the way to let some people out at their hotel. The check-in was a breeze and our rooms were ready when we arrived before noon. Our rooms were in the 18 block, and my 82 year old father in the 14 block (farther away). I didn't realize that I could have requested for safety sake that he be closer to us and the main part of the hotel. Staff in general were friendly and courteous, and particularly so at the reception desk.

Rooms::
The rooms were clean and were kept clean. There was no musty smell except from my pillows, which were rock hard and in horrible shape. I did ask for new pillows and the maid brought pillow covers until I had her smell the pillows. She instantly pitched them onto the floor and brought new ones. At least these didn't smell like body odour. The air conditioner did not work on our arrival, and was fixed within hours. Our fridge was cold and re-stocked daily. My son, whose room was next door wasn't so lucky. Despite repeated phone calls to reception, his fridge was never fixed, nor was it stocked. By the way, the alcohol dispensers in the room are neat, except for the fact that the contents are indiscernible from each other except for perhaps colour. I have to admit, the alcohol was terrible, and watered down. Never tasted anything quite so bad. The shower was hit and miss for hot water and the shower curtains were the kind that would strangle you as you showered, which was a nuisance to me, but very dangerous for my elderly father.

Restaurants and Bars::
I have no complaint with the food. The buffet at both the Mambo and the Merengue were quite good. We never went to the A La Carte because it was the pool bar turned into 'fancy' restaurant and you were served the same meal as you could get all day, except in a different way. My son went once and had a rather negative experience, so we never bothered booking.
The ALCOHOL is awful. The wine is terribly vinegary. It doesn't matter what drink you ordered, the alcohol came out of these generic bottles which weren't much more than watered down. BUT.... here's a tip: at the very nice Plaza Bar at the Merenge resort right next door, they actually have Gordon's Gin and Smirnoff's Vodka. You need to ask for the good stuff or you get the crap. If you want something with rum, ask for with Brugal which is the very good local rum, otherwise you get the absolutely horrible generic cheap stuff. The beer is limited to Brahma, although I heard of others that could bribe the guy who stocked their fridge to get them the much better Presidente brand.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
A little too small for my liking. Despite the previous writer's comments, chairs were reserved quite early and it was at times quite difficult to find seating. Perhaps, it was busier when we went (over Christmas) and we did have 6 people in our group, but this posed a small problem.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
My son went on the horse back riding and it was not as advertised. It was drizzing, and I had asked our rep if they needed rain ponchos, which I would have purchased for them on Caribbean Street. I was told that, no, if required, they would be supplied. What in fact was true was that they would be supplied for $5 US. They also weren't told that there would be a lengthy stop at a bar/ gift shop. It's good to know that one might need or want to take money ahead of time. The reviews on this tour are mixed. They enjoyed themselves despite the few issues, but I would say it was not worth $52 US pp.
Snorkelling:
Four years ago we went on the trip to Paradise Island. The snorkelling was GREAT; there is a 40' wall that forms the reef just off the island, and it was alive and colourful. We wanted to go again. What we learned was that you can no longer snorkel the reef! They have restricted access to just the break in the reef due to the heavy traffic, so if you're at all an experienced snorkeller/diver; don't go. There is a live reef just offshore at the resort, but if there is any surf crashing over it, it's too dangerous to get over the fire coral and urchins to get to the good side where the visibility suddenly improved, and the reef opened up. We were able to one day, and it was well worth it for the forest of sea fans and I saw a couple of lion fish, along with the usual reef life.

Other Comments::
Shopping: We did not go into the town to do any shopping; I don't think that's necessary. There is shopping at Caribbean Street on the Riu Bochata resort, a few minutes walk along the walkway. There is also a row of local vendors at the extreme right end of the beach. WATCH OUT, though, they are all sharks. They have a line for every occasion and every kind of sales resistance you may have. It is impossible to explain just how brutally professional they are at selling you anything and everything for the most inflated prices. They will even offer you credit; letting you take your purchase without paying on the promise of returning. Make sure they write down the agreed-upon price, and make sure you take the exact change, because they will say they don't have change and try to upsell you yet again. I suggest if they tell you something is one thousand pesos, lie to them and tell them you can get it for half that on Caribbean street, and then negotiate down from there. If you're looking for anything in particular, look at Caribbean Street first to get an idea of prices, which are actually pretty good.

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"Great place to stay"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  jodi  on Jan 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
998 people found this review helpful

Your Arrival:
We arrived after 12am. Check in was a breeze.

Rooms:
Average, a few bugs here and there. Clean towels every day. Hot water every second day. Mini bar stocked every second day. You could ask to get the type of liquor changed. Like if you wanted white rum instead if gin etc.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was great. Always something that you liked. They always had chicken,pork,beef,french fries,rice,pasta and pizza at every meal. So there was something for those picky eaters as well.
If you want to get a reservation to a a la carte be prepared to be in line at 7am. We tried the Steakhouse and we thought the food was better in the buffet.
The beach bar only had fruit drinks and beer. No rum etc.
You had to make sure that you asked them to put the rum in!!! The white russians and banana mamas were good. The slushy drinks were very very sweet.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was great to walk on. Smooth sand,lots of coral pieces on the waters edge.There is a silght drop off and the current is strong. Even on a calm day the red flag was up.
We swam in the Bachata pool.The pool there didn'e seem as crowded the day we were there.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The animation staff was great. Very energetic bunch. Lots of games,and activities to take part in. The Michael Jackson show was great. The most popular one. Get there about 7pm to get a seat for 9pm.

Other Comments:
we thought this hotel was great and would recommend it.

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"After one week in all inclusive, I needed to go out for dinning!!"

Riu Mambo
User Rating:  Riu Mambo Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Ste33  on Jan 30, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
982 people found this review helpful

Restaurants and Bars:
After one week at the hotel, i wanted to find some good places to eat to change a litle bit.
I have talk with some local and show to me a web page : www.dr-restaurants.com, where you can find all the restaurants in Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete with the type of food etc..
Then we could find some good place like, Chez Arsenio in Cabarete, Jack in Sosua, or Aleph in Puerto PLata.
Good Luck!!!

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