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First time DR - Puerto Plata - New Years

Just booked our first visit to the Caribbean - have booked the Riu Bacchata for the Dec. 26 to Jan 2nd.
Can anyone tell us about their experiences in Plata Plata and/or Riu Bachata?

Riu complex is approximately 8 +/- miles west of Puerto Plata, about 20-25 minutes from airport.
Been awhile since I was there, it was OK, been to better places.
Beach at the Mambo is the best in this complex.

[quote=@cregagh]Just booked our first visit to the Caribbean - have booked the Riu Bacchata for the Dec. 26 to Jan 2nd.
Can anyone tell us about their experiences in Plata Plata and/or Riu Bachata?

We stayed at the Mambo this past January for two weeks. Had a blast. As Wud said, the beach at the Mambo is by far the best of the three. Much larger, wider, and a better swimming area with less waves than the other two.

All three resorts are fairly similar food and entertainment wise. The Mambo is probably the quietest of the three, the Merengue being the loudest as this is where most of the younger crowd seems to end up.

Only advantage of the Bachata, is the A/C in the dining room, but the other two are very well ventilated naturally and the two weeks that we were there, never had a issue with the temperature or humidity being a problem.

One issue we did notice, if you have a room near the rear of the Bachata near the tennis courts, there is a little swamp/lagoon area that gives off some very distastefull odours at times, and the rooms in this area were musty due to the extra moisture from these swampy areas. Our friends we went with stayed at the Bachata, we were at the Mambo and they said the odour was quite strong at times.

They also stated that except for the private dining room for dinners, they could see no reason for the upcharge to stay at the Bachata over the other two.

Poolwise, the pool at the Bachata is the largest, Merengue second, and the Mambos pool being the smallest. That said, all three were large in comparison to some places I have been.

Again, the biggest thing is the beach. The beach in front of the Bachata is very narrow, and the water is not the best for swimming or wading. Its a little rocky in place and seaweed is a definite problem here. Again, as Wud said, if you want to swim in the ocean, the Mambo beach is the best…well worth the 5 minute leasurely walk. There is also the bonus of the beach bar, with is only at the Mambo. No bar on the beach at either the Merengue or the Bachata.

We found the staff at all three resorts go well out of their way to making you feel welcome, and most speak english very well.

I am sure you will have a great time…let me know if you need any more info.

Pics of our trip can be found at

www.ontariobowhunter.ca/web , just go to the vacation pics page from the main menu.

Hope this helped!

Cregagh, we arrive @ Riu Bachata December 29th for our 6th visit to the resort. Needless to say, we like it! My review from March of this year is posted on the reviews section. Any other ? just ask.

This will be our first time at this time of year - I’m a bit worried about the weather, but whatever it is, it will be better than here ;D ;D

That is good to hear… any tips on what to pack, what to wear on the plane, the resort itself, day trips and outings… anything at all… please share… we’re new to this, and hungry for information!

Things like sunscreen, aspirin, snacks are available but very expensive at the resort shops. We sometimes bring cans of Pringles for a snack, and use the containers to bring home shells.

On the resort, bathing suits and coverups will see you through the day. Of course if you are heading off resort shorts etc. We have used Isaira Tours http://www.isairatours.com/ for day trips - they were recommended on this site, and we were very satisfied.

Not sure where you are traveling from…we will be leaving cold and snow; so we tend to dress in layers. Pants that can be zipped off into shorts work well.

Hope this helps - have a look at the reviews section, you’ll get a feel for the resort. Enjoy!