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“riu bachata puerto plata” 3 of 5 stars
Review of ClubHotel Riu Bachata

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ClubHotel Riu Bachata
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #6 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“riu bachata puerto plata”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

The hotel itself is very nice. The rooms are nice with plenty of hotwater and good water pressure. The beds however are tired and worn out. We were in the 600 building overlooking the lagoon and close to the beach. Good bar included with your room. The food was above average and tasty. I have been to a lot of resorts throughout the caribbean and this place rated number 1 for the food. Check-in was super efficient and fast. The pools were clean and well set up. The grounds were beautiful and immaculate. Now for the bad points. If you are going for the beach and to swim in crystal clear water with a sandy bottom, forget it. The beach is a miniscule strip of rocky sand that is almost completely in shade. The ocean bottom is very rocky and weedy even 500 feet out into the ocean! The water is so murky that even in 2 feet of water you cannot see your feet. The ala-carte restaurants are great if you can get a reservation. The entertainment is mediocre and about the same as any other resort in the caribean. The good point is some nights they had local bands playing which were quite good.
We would never return for the simple reason that there was no beach and the water was murky and unswimmable. We travel all that distance especially for the beach.
If you want a good massage, go to the locals at either end of the beach in the shacks and pay 30.00 for an hour of good massaging. Maria on one end of the beach and 2 other girls about a 1/2 mile away on the opposite side of the beach for the same rates. The rate of 79.00 at Renova Spa at the resort is a complete ripoff.
Also, this place was full of families with children so if peace and quiet and relaxation is what you're looking for, this is not the place. Since the beach is not nice, everyone gathers at the pools and everybody is stacked up like cordwood if you can find a place.

Room Tip: Request a room in a quiet sector near the beach if you want to sleep early at night and have peace a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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lancaster
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

Flight with first choice was smooth no issues at all really nice plane, service was good and was on time both ways.

Puerto plata airport was good as well, well organised and very quick, we were on the bus about 30 minutes after we had landed. Transfer was about 40 minutes you get to see a bit of the city which is a real eye opener.

Check in was again really quick you get an envelope with all info in and some stickers to stick on your cases which get bought to your room 10 minutes after you.

Rooms were all pretty much the same only two beds in each room they will put another in the room if needed, free safe, free minibar, free optics, free umbrella. The room was a nice room nothing really special but comfortable, television was not up to much we could not find any English channels but we did not go on holiday to watch tv.

Hotel was really good clean, antibacterial spray everywhere, the hotel is in a complex of 3 Rui and you can use all facilities in all 3, all on the beach which is beautiful, the hotel is massive and you have a nice walk along all 3. So many bars and snack bars we only tried a few though but we found them all to be of a very high standard. Pools were all good cleaned everyday, had to get up early for a sunbed but that's half the fun.

Food and drink all good, buy a insulated mug when you are there as the little plastic cups are not up to much we bought on the last day and we were annoyed we did not buy them on day 1, they kept the drinks nice and chilled and the wife had a very hot cup on tea in the morning, she says you should take some tetely with you as the tea bags ain't up to much.
Breakfast pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs,all the usual stuff.
Dinners burgers they are pink inside but it soya so does not go brown. Pizza, chips, sandwiches, hotdogs, loads of other different stuff.
Tea all of the above plus things like chilli, fajitas, mash potatoes, loads of meat dishes, soups, all meals were very good.
Al la cartes we only had the steakhouse and it was really good, t bone steak, half a chicken, fillet steak all cooked and bought to your table.

Staff all really nice could not do enough for you, Fredich helped us when we were there to organise a special meal for our girls 8th birthday and he was very professional and very friendly and the minibar man was good at his job he is supposed to fill up every other day but if you see him have a chat and he will sort you what you need again a very nice man who knows what customer service is all about.

Dominican its a beautiful place, the people are great and the surroundings are just unbelievable. Palm trees, coconuts, bananas, lizards running around, golden sands, blue oceans, and the sunshine 30 degrees, we arrived back into Manchester and it was 1 degree.
We went on three trips, jungle safari which was brilliant, Paridise Island which was good, and the dolphin encounter at Oceanworld which the kids and us enjoyed very much.
It was safe to go out the complex have a walk, would not advise to drive or get on a scooter as the roads were crazy I felt safe on a big bus.

Overall it was heaven and we are planning to get back as soon as possible.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chislehurst
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We have just returned from this hotel this morning. The hotel is probably one of the cleanest hotels I have stayed in 5 star and has the most friendliest staff who cannot do enough for you. The entertainment team work very hard 5 star.That unfortunately is where the 5 star in my opinion ends.The food is very hit and miss.Breakfast good some evenings Mexican and Dominican nights excellent others ok.Dont bother queing in the mornings for the A La Carte.We went to what is supposed to be a steakhouse and my partner ordered steak rare which was cremated and was so thin you could see through it. Never bothered with the italian as everyone we spoke to said it was rubbish.Wine undrinkable especially the red.
Forget having a lie in as unless you get up to reserve a sun bed(and note it was not only the germans but also the Americans and Britsand you are there after 7.15 a.m. all the beds have towels on them.
Although the entertainment team work very hard the evening entertainment is a load of rubbish and consists mostly of dancing in different costumes,getting the audience up to play silly games .Imagine Butlins with sun.I would sum up this resort as Tenerife for the americans.
Having said that we had a good time and met some nice people and made our own entertainment in the evenings.As I say the hotel surroundings,the staff definately 5 star but ujnfortunately thats where it ends.

Room Tip: We were in room 117 nice room nice view and away from the noisy bar.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I have just returned from our New Year Break in Pueto Plata . 26th Dec to 9th Jan and sadly were very disappointed with our stay at the Bachata.
We are seasoned world travelers and have stayed in other Riu resorts previously in various locations but unfortunately this was the worse experience we have had and ultimately we chose to re locate at our own expense after one week and move to the Iberostar which fortunately saved the holiday.
I don't want to seem completely negative and am aware that other reviewers still have high regard for this resort so in short :-
1. All drinks were watered down. I'm not one who wants to get drunk but would like to expect that a beer or rum do at least taste correct. Even the post mix soda was diluted.
2. It was a busy time of year but every sunbed was "claimed " by 07.00am .
3. Booking for A la Carte restaurants operated from 07.00am till about 07.30am by which time they were full. This is hardly conducive to a relaxing break.
4. Entertainment relied on audience participation games with little imagination.
5. Gala Dinner on NYE was the same basic buffet but with some 4% strength "champagne" thrown in.

In conclusion. The resort is adequate, has attentive staff and can provide a reasonable vacation but in comparison to other resorts it cannot be classed any higher than a 3 star.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto Area
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I will give a basic overview of my experience. Please note, I am a 30 year old single female traveller, so my experience is based on my perceptions.
1. I chose the hotel because it had a disco and a gym. The disco cost money and NO ONE went to it. Very, very disappointing. The gym had NO air conditioning. IT is the "rainy" season in December/January, so it was rather muggy. The machines were ok based on the fact that it was the Dominican, but NOTHING like a North American gym. Had free weights but no squat rack. One working treadmill. Again, very disappointing.
2. Food was pretty good. I only ate at the buffet. Not a huge difference from night to night, but the food was recognizable, clean and well prepared. Do NOT go to the Dominican expecting food like you will eat in North America.
3. Room. My toilet overflowed... twice. The staff used my bath towels to clean it. Other than that, the room was well maintained. Fridge drinks are replaced every 2 days. TV has very few english channels, but we are not there for TV I guess.
4. Weather... muggy. LOTS of mosquitos. Bring bug spray.
5. Staff... LOVELY. Very friendly.
6. Animation Team... Average. Tip them please. They do work long hours. If you enjoy silly beach games, this is the place for you.
7. Beach... If you are a sun worshiper, this is NOT the place for you. The beach is lined with trees and it is difficult to find sunny patches.
8. Pool... I saw the staff filling cleaning buckets with pool water. Disturbing. Pools appear clean, but don't be fooled... just saying... people are at the swim up bar all day long and don't leave to use the washrooms... just know this. As for pool chairs, if you go during a busy time (which I did... New Years...) you have to play the game of getting up at 5am to get a good pool chair as they are limited. Just know this in advance.
9. SPECIAL... when facing the ocean, if you walk to the left of the property, there is a little section of huts where the people sell their wares. You can get a SUPER CHEAP massage... $15 for 30 minutes... and it is WAY better than the hotel masseurs. The people are friendly and you can haggle for prices. There is also a family that runs horse back riding from this area for super cheap. It is $25 for 2 hours and it is wonderful. Friends I met went and took their kids (aged 9 and 12) as well as other people, so it is legit and safe.
10. Grounds - very well maintained.
11. The wine is HORRIBLE!! Just be aware. But the drinks otherwise were decent.
If you are looking for a hotel that is pretty decent, with not much to do but read by the pool and relax, this is the place for you. IF you want a really good nightlife, try Punta Cana.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Jan. 1-8, 2013

Riu Bachata, is supposed to be a 5 Star Hotel. My guess is that its so-called 5-Star designation is self-proclaimed. Yep, just hang a sign at the hotel entrance, slap on 5 little stars under the hotel name and voila...impeccable, top-notch luxury. Riu Bachata had way too many deficiencies to merit such a designation (self-proclaimed or otherwise.)

The Good:

The pool is very large and clean. The grounds are well-kept. There is a crew that is constantly cleaning, picking up dishes and glasses, pruning bushes, cutting grass, etc. The music is not overbearing save for a half-hour morning session of group exercise in the pool.

The staff is, for the most part, very friendly. Many indeed take the extra step to make sure all is well. There are several waiters and waitresses canvassing around the pool and other common areas. The hotel lobby is quite nice and very clean.

The kids-club was fine. On some days, the person responsible for the kids was very helpful and animated. On one particular day the moderator was just plain lazy - leaving it up to the kids to ask for a sheet of paper on which to draw.

The beach has no vendors bugging you to buy cheap jewelry or souvenirs. In fact, the beach is quite sparse of anyone. See below.

The Bad:

The beach is not suitable for sunbathers or for beach-sports enthusiasts. There is simply an over-abundance of trees whose shade is all-encompassing. The width of the beach - between the shore and the first row of trees - is too narrow to allow more than three rows of sun loungers. At high-tide the situation is much worse. One positive aspect is that someone can curl up on a beach chair, novel in hand, have no need for sunscreen while appreciating the sights and sounds of the Atlantic.

There is a secluded portion of the Bachata beach that is quite interesting. This portion is in a bay that has very calm waters. It is quite far from the hotel bar and restaurants (10 minute walk) which may explain why just a few guests make it over there.

Riu Bachata claims to offer a multitude of free water sports and activities. I saw no evidence of any of the listed activities at the beach (except for swimming.) No pedalboats, kayaks, wind-surfers, sailboats...That calm beach area at the bay would have been an excellent spot to set up these activities.

As mentioned earlier, the pool (actually several pools) is the major bright point of Bachata. Although hotel policy states that reservations of beach chairs and loungers is not allowed, it is entirely tolerated. By 7:30 in the morning, most chairs around the pool were spoken for with towels, sandals, books and toys used in staking the territory. I did witness one intense argument between folks who accused their neighbor of removing their towels and "stealing" a pair of chairs.

The nightly "entertainment" was the regular run-of-the-mill variety we see so often at these Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. A men vs. women show. A Latin Dance show. A Grease show. Yawn...The sound system was below average; it made it difficult to discern what was being said or sung through the microphones.

The Ugly

The check-in went quite smoothly however we were not accompanied by any porter to bring our suitcases up three flights of stairs. We were given cards to be used to trade for beach towels. This is a system commonly used in all-inclusive resorts. One of our cards was marked Riu Merenge. When I went to get my towels, the towel clerk refused to accept the Merenge card. Basically it was a pain in the butt to go back to the hotel lobby, wait in line for 15 minutes to get the correct towel card. Stupid policy, isn't it?

As we first entered our hotel room, I noticed the bath and hand towels were missing. The towels were finally brought to our room at around 8pm (we had checked in at 1:30pm.) The explanation was that the towel washing facilities had broken down.

There were several problems I noticed in the room - nothing major enough to demand action. But I kept in mind the self-proclaimed 5-Star designation. There should have been be no problems whatsoever. There should have been more attention given to detail. So, here is a list of items that convinced me that Bachata is at best a 3 star hotel:

- the toilet handle was broken and thus caused the toilet bowl to continuously fill with water
- the bathroom ceiling fan was not working
- no secondary lock or dead bolt to lock the door from inside the room
- no peephole in the front door
- one of the fluorescent lights in the bathroom kept blinking, annoyingly
- single-ply toilet paper
- very cheap bars of soap
- shampoo is offered in plastic pouch and not a bottle
- rooms did not have drinking water available through the faucets; 4 or 5-star hotels necessitate a water purification system feeding all faucets in all rooms; I was always on edge when taking my shower - afraid of accidentally ingesting water not suitable for human consumption
- 3 sheets of tissue paper were in the dispenser; said dispenser was not refilled for three days
- the bar fridge was very loud; I had to unplug it during bedtime
- the mattresses were hard, thin and very uncomfortable; I'm sure they were the original ones when the Bachata was first built; I was in the lobby when I overheard a guest's request for a change of mattress
- pillows are extremely flimsy
- bathroom towel rack was not installed straight; bathtub caulking done very sloppily (yes I'm nit-picking but all in light of showing that the Bachata is not nearly up to scratch)
- I paid extra for two ocean view rooms. One would have to really strain to catch a glimpse of the ocean from building 4. After three nights I finally had to confirm my doubts and ask the hotel clerk what buildings they considered "ocean view". Building 4 was not among them. The clerk did offer to move us. Once settled in the rooms, we really did not want to waste any time packing and unpacking. I will take up this issue with my travel agent or with Signature Vacations. The hotel absolutely refused to refund the difference in price.
- there is a common entrance to the washrooms situated at the beach. The Men's Room sign is missing and thus makes it look like a Lady's only room. There was one leaky urinal.
- map of hotel is printed in a very cheap manner on cheap paper
- beach towels were not available one particular day until 1pm (problem with washing facilities again?)

I would rate the food at the buffet 5/10. There was a decent choice of dishes but very little variety from day to day. By the end of a 7-day stay, the lack of variety was literally nauseating. In fact three family members got sick by Day Three. Having been to the DR twice before I certainly expected more of a variety of fruits. Was it too much to ask for common mangoes? The "a-la-carte" restaurants were nothing special. Reservations are taken in the morning between 7am and 10am. The Steakhouse is usually fully-booked by 7:15am. I managed to book the Italian restaurant. This "restaurant" actually shares its kitchen with the main buffet. Consequently, I was not really able to distinguish the taste between buffet and a-la-carte. And who ever heard of an Italian restaurant that does not offer some sort of pasta as a main dish? Welcome to Bachata.

There is "free" wifi in the lobby with very slow connection speeds and frequently dropped service. Guests are allowed a maximum of about one hour per day. I needed a reliable connection for a work-related matter and so I bought a 24-hour access card for $10US.


What to expect when flying to Puerto Plata:

Just prior to landing at the airport we were given two documents (which needed to be filled out by each family member). The first document was a Customs Declaration and the second an Immigration Form. Both documents ask identical identification questions. Kind of a pain to fill these things out 12 times. Once we got to the airport, we needed to go to the first checkpoint and pay a $10US entry fee per person. Out of curiosity, and in jest (or so I thought), I asked if there was also an "exit fee". The agent actually was "not sure". The second checkpoint was for immigration. The immigration agent was aggravated when I handed her all the forms at the same time. She split the forms in two piles: slamming each form, one by one, on her desk; one pile of 6 immigration forms and one pile of 6 customs forms. The third checkpoint was for customs.

On the bus trip back to the airport, I was advised that there was indeed a Departure Tax of $20US per person. In my opinion, these entry and exit fees should be paid upon purchase of the airline ticket. There was also the need to fill out yet another immigration form per person in order to leave the country. And yes, the questions were almost identical to the other forms filled out upon entry to the DR. What nonsense. What a wrong-headed way to do things in a country that depends on tourism.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

Strong points of the hotel: tasty food with themed evening buffets: china night-great sushi; Mexico night-good tacos. Incredible scenery especially from the tower at the tip of the small peninsula: the western side has a calm bay with beautiful hills and mountains stretching out into the ocean, north you have sizable waves crashing on the rocks below, east a long beach with intriguing cliffs rising from the ground at the end and south the largest mountain to be seen. Only downfall to me was the beach: narrow and quickly getting deep. I strongly suggest a long walk along the peninsula path, Cuba libre dos ron and cigar at hand.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Bachata

Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Bachata 3.5*
Number of rooms: 610
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the beach in Maimon Bay * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Inside the Riu Resort, along with ClubHotels Riu Merengue and Riu Mambo * Main building plus 1 and 2-story bungalows * Surrounded by 50,000 m2 of tropical gardens * 9 km / 5.5 miles from Puerto Plata * 25 m / 81 ft. from Caribbean Street * 25 km / 15.5 miles from Puerto Plata Intl. Airport * 500 m / 1650 ft. from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Bachata Puerto Plata
Clubhotel Riu Bachata Hotel
Clubhotel Riu Bachata Puerto Plata
Riu Bachata Dominican Republic
Riu Puerto Plata
Bachata Riu
Club Hotel Riu Bachata

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