Riu Bachata Resort Review! Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata

Hello Free Spirits,

The university life wore me out mentally and emotionally so I decided to book my first all inclusive trip down south after exams. The original plan was to book a trip to Cuba but the prices weren’t student budget friendly. I looked for various deals online and found a vacation package with Redtag.ca. The trip was $960 for 7 days of inclusive service including a round flight with SunWing. We booked the trip about 6 weeks before our departure date. Although we could have got it for $100 cheaper 8 weeks before the departure date for $860.

Since there were 4 of us booking the trip and we were unable to be together for the booking, we booked our trips separately over the phone  with the same travel agent. It took about 45 minutes for our agent to process the information, a very quick process.

What was included in our vacation package:

  • Round trip champagne flight- to Puerto Plata(POP), Dominican Republic(includes food and drink)
  • Shuttle Bus Transportation from airport to the hotel. And airport to the hotel.
  • 7 night stay with all drinks and food included
  • Resort credits which could be used for the spa(given at checkin)

The next few photos will outline a story of the flight and my experiences with the restaurants, pools, beach, food, resort activities as well as rooms. The final paragraph will be a numeric rating of my overall experience at the hotel.

The Riu Bachata Experience:

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Upon getting to Pearson airport we chose our plane seats at no cost. You can choose your seats before any one else in advance for a fee.

The waiting area at the airport was very nice and we had I-Pads available with Wifi.

The flight to Puerto Plata, Domincan Republic was 5 hours. During our  flight they offered us breakfast as well as sparkling wine(all free of charge. I had the breakfast sandwich with some sparkling wine and they gave out tea biscuits for dessert. I get very anxious on planes so I took some gravol as an alternative to sleeping pills, which made me drowsy so it did the trick. Earplugs are also great to use while flying to block out noise making it easier to fall asleep.

On our sunning flight to POP

Once we got to the Airport we had to pay $10 US for our Tourist card which looks like a receipt. The wait time for our luggage was a few seconds. YAY! We were very excited to get outside and feel the Dominican Air! We ran outside!!

Outside of the Airport

Once we got outside we had looked for a SunWing representative holding a sign saying “SunWing” we asked him where the shuttle bus to the Bachata hotel would be and he told us the bus number then we proceeded to the tour bus. It took about 40 minutes to get to our hotel from the airport. Then we unloaded our luggage, got our room keys, received our vouchers, towel keys and a complimentary mango juice.YUMM Once we got our room key package we went straight to our rooms which were ready right away upon arrival (11am).

The Riu Bachata Rooms

  • Photos above:
  • 1. The Riu Bachata hotel residences
  • 2.Nathalie struggling to bring her luggage up the stairs.There are no elevators in the buildings so if you have a disability or require assistance it is best to book request a room on the first/main floor.

Walking into our room there was a large closet with a small safe inside(not large enough to fit a laptop/but enough for a few wallets and jewelry). On the right a large spacious bathroom complete with a high pressure shower. Warm water all day, more than enough towels, complimentary body wash inside shower. Soap, shower cap, shampoo, conditioner and tissues which were replaced every two days. Our toilet had some problems so we reported it to the reception and they claimed to “fix it” but we continued to have problems with it as there was not enough pressure. We didn’t want to change rooms because the view was so nice so we decided to fiddle with it for the duration of the trip.LOL warriors!! The tap water was not ingestible so we had to wash our teeth with the bottled water they gave us daily. Our fridge was restocked every day with 2 new bottles of water, pepsi bottle and carbonated water and 2 Presidente Beers! My favourite! There was also a in room drink dispenser which was blessed when it was raining outside!

Photos of the bed. We requested that our room come with two double beds. And this was it! Across from the bed was a large chest with a flat screen TV ontop. The television service had a few(3) channels available with a few local dominican channels as well as a german channel. None of which were in English.

There was a nice set of table and chairs in the room beside this set was a sliding door which lead to the balcony. Two chairs and a table as well as a towel/clothes drying rack were available outside. Our room was a corner unit(1333) and we had wonderful views of the mountains as well as partial views of the ocean.

The Lobby

The Lobby was nice, it wasn’t a closed off space and everything was open to nature. This was great! Lots of seating space this area was also the place which had the best Wifi reception.

The lobby was the place with the best Wifi Reception. No Wifi was available in rooms. Only two devices per room are allowed to hook up to the Wifi which was unfortunate. Keep these things in mind when booking with a large family or group.

 

The Hotel was decorated with festive christmas trees, a manger and colourful lights for the Christmas season.

Food

  • There were three restaurants at the Riu Bachata where you can get food.
  • The snack bar was open till 2am everyday for your late night munchies.
  • The main hall was open during different times for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • A-La-Carte(Italian and Steak) was open but you had to make reservations the morning of during the breakfast period(7am-10am) the reservations filled up quickly especially on weekends.

There was a large variety of food available everyday and it was buffet style for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

They had a cold cut section with various meats, cheeses and salads. I avoided the salads because I heard that they wash it with their tap water which you are unable to ingest.

My favourite meal of the day was the breakfast as they had the best omelettes, bacon and churros.

Claudia and Nathalie eating Breakfast on the outside patio

 

Snack Bar,Main Food Hall and Bar!

Late Night Snack Bar

Late Night Snack Bar

My Favourite Drinks in Dominican Republic

Photo Tour of the Riu Bachata

Three Section Pool

The pool are was great with lots of pool chairs available if you come early that is. It is difficult finding side by side spots for more than 3 people after about 11am.

The Beach Area

  • Offered services and activities such as
  • Kids playground($)
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Beach Ball
  • Beach Games(tug of war/snake etc)
  • Beach Party
  • Abundant Palm Trees offered lots of shade
  • Beach chairs
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling rentals
  • Windsurfing
  • Horseback riding on the beach($)
  • Braiding on the beach($)
mermaid

Beach Mermaid

I was very impressed with the beach at the Riu bachata and Meringue.The people at the Riu Bachata where able to enjoy dinner and drinks at both resorts. The food and drinks where the exact same for breakfast and lunch. But we were not allowed to have dinner at the Meringue hotel if we were staying at the Bachata and vice versa.

Beautiful Warm Water

Beautiful Warm Water

The Water was very warm, but the waves were pretty strong so I never went very far. From what I heard the water gets deep fast but then evens out again and becomes shallow again. Water is ideal for snorkelling especially by the quiet beach close to the cruise yard. You can see lots of angel fish swimming around you especially if you have bread which you can feed them.

They found some Wifi on the Beach

The Resort

Activities at the Resort

Water Zumba, club dancing, beach games and much more!

Scuba Diving in the pool

Scuba Diving lessons in the pool

lounging at the bar

lounging at the bar

And on Rainy evenings we played cards!

My experience at the Riu Bachata in Dominican Republic was one I will never forget. And as I write this post I am feeling the same feelings I felt when I was there. Hardcore Nostalgia ! I am flooded with happiness, excitement and warmth. I will never forget the wonderful people I met and the friends I made.

I had a great time with my girls Claudia, Nathalie and Emily and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else! We met the best people here and had so many funny stories because of our Turista experiences. You get what you pay for with this resort and if you want to save money while travelling so that you can explore outside the resort this is the place for you in Dominican!

Thank You for reading my blog post I hope you enjoyed it and that it took your mind on vacation!

Love you my Free Spirits! Till next time!

-Nicole

Overall Impressions/Ratings of the Hotel

Room

  • Room Cleanliness 10/10
  • Room layout 9/10
  • Design of room 7/10
  • Bathroom 6/10 (couldn’t use tap water to brush teeth and toilet was shit)

Reception Services

  • Handling problems/questions 8/10
  • Security 9/10
  • Friendliness 8/10
  • Knowledge about services 9/10 (the staff were able to recommend good restaurants as well as call us an affordable taxi service $45US for the whole day of driving around any where we wanted to in Puerto Plata)

Pharmacy services

  • This one is very important but I was VERY disappointed with the pharmacy staff. They wanted to sell my friend 4 different products all at once and recommended she take a very high dosage of each. If she did she would most likely have over dosed. Bring your own medication with you on the trip this included Pepto Bismo for diarrhea, Tylenol for fever and Ibuprofen for diarrhea. I got the impression that they all they want to do is make money off of you when you go to the pharmacy, they could care less about your health.

Food and Drinks

  • Selection 8/10
  • Quality of Food 5/10 all of us got sick at one point during the trip. Not sure if it was because of the food or the drinks/ice. But still.
  • Food service/waiter staff 8/10
  • Drink Selection 7/10
  • Drink Quality 7/10

Activities

  • Selection of Activities 9/10 and most were free
  • Entertainment 7/10 (would be 8/10 but I can’t move my hips like you can, maybe some entertainment that is less intimidating. hehe)
  • Beach Volleyball 9/10
  • Scuba Diving in pool 9/10 Eliza the instructor is very friendly
  • Disco 6/10 (18+ and every one there is dancing the salsa or bachata)

Atmosphere

  • Lots of families or people who are retiring
  • Party atmosphere 6/10 (Bar is pretty live until 7am)
  • Family friendly resort 8/10
  • Honey Moon Resort 7/10 ( I would want more luxury, this resort was more laid back and casual)
  • Wedding Friendly Resort 6/10 I would not have my wedding here. I wouldn’t want my guests getting sick from the Ice/food.
  • Safety 7/10 (lots of resort staff members hit on you constantly especially if you are an attractive woman. We had a creepy guest follow us around and we had security walk us to our room every time we felt unsafe.)
  • Relaxing Atmosphere 9/10
  • Nature views 10/10

Overall Rating of the Riu Bachata Experience 7/10

Was it a 5* as they claim: No for me it felt like a 3.5-4 star.

Would I recommend the resort to others: For the price, yes I would recommend it. But I would recommend that they stay at the Meringue which is $100 cheaper but still has the same access to activities and food as the Riu Bachata.

Best time to book: The lowest price I found for this vacation package on Red Tag.ca was 8 weeks before our planned date. A week later it increased by $100.

I had a great time with my girls Claudia, Nathalie and Emily and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else! We met the best people here and had so many funny stories because of our Turista experiences. You get what you pay for with this resort and if you want to save money while travelling so that you can explore outside the resort this is the place for you in Dominican!

 

  • Riu Bachata website click here
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I love you all – Nicole

 

 

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