Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Budget travelers of all types descend upon the resort for spring break.
The Riu Bachata is certainly not luxurious; common spaces range from stark to kitschy, and many amenities -- such as the lounge chairs by the pool and beach, and the fitness center -- are dated. Nonetheless, the resort attracts plenty of return visitors with its low rates, friendly staff, and nice beach. Everyone from couples to families, from spring breakers to foreigners, can be found in equal parts, and the well-maintained grounds, as well as the pool and beach, can get crowded during peak season.
In Puerto Plata’s westernmost region, farther from the city’s nightlife
Riu Bachata is located in Puerto Plata, but it sits at the westernmost edge, further removed from the area’s shops, restaurants, and bars than many similar resorts. There are several other resorts in the immediate area, however, including sister property Riu Merengue.
The small town of Cofresi is 10 minutes away by car. It has several bars and restaurants, but is best known for Ocean World Adventure Park, where visitors can swim with dolphins. Still, most guests do not leave the property during their stays.
The airport is about a 30-minute drive away, which costs about $40 USD each way in a taxi.
Rooms are sparse with few amenities.
Rooms at the Riu Bachata are extremely sparse, with minimal wooden furniture, small bathrooms, and nearly empty walls, save for an occasional kitschy print. While all rooms come with flat-screen TVs, laptop-size safes, and either balconies or terraces, Wi-Fi requires an additional fee. A nice perk for many is the in-room liquor dispenser, which offers bottom-shelf alcohol “on tap.” Mini-fridges come minimally stocked with several bottled waters, sodas, and beers.
Booking a room with a king bed means you’ll actually arrive to two double beds pushed together. Upgrading to a suite gives guests a sitting area (with dated, non-beachy floral furniture) and larger bathrooms with double vanities and bidets.
Numerous features are shared with the sister property next door.
The highlight feature here is the beach. The waters are clear, the beach is large, and there are plenty of spots for both sun and shade. Beach activities, such as volleyball and group games, take place on the sand during the day and watersports -- such as kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling -- are available for an additional fee (most all-inclusive properties in the area do not charge for these services). The spa, which also features a salon and several treatment rooms, has nice cabanas on the sand for those who want to enjoy treatments al fresco.
The two pools and children’s pool are also nice, and the main pool includes a popular swim-up bar and a whirlpool. The area can get crowded, especially during peak season, and claiming one of the worn loungers can be difficult.
Other family-friendly amenities include tennis courts, a dated, cramped fitness center, a kids’ club with games and crafts, a casino, a theater, and a billiards room. Nightly entertainment is available for both families and adults, who can venture to the sister property’s nightclub for no additional fee. The Bachata also has two bars and a lounge on-site.
All-inclusive rates include unlimited bottom-shelf alcohol and food at the resort’s three restaurants. A buffet, with hot and cold items, is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the buffet restaurant celebrates weekly “themed” nights with varying cuisines. For dinner, guests can also opt for two a la carte restaurants, both of which require reservations. Snacks are available throughout the day, but overall the food is mediocre at best.
While in-room Wi-Fi comes at an additional fee, free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby; however, there is a time limit.
This mid-range all-inclusive attracts all kinds of travelers with its inexpensive rates. While it does not include the usual in-room Wi-Fi and non-motorized watersports that come standard at most all-inclusive resorts in the area, the Riu Bachata does feature a kids’ club, fun daily and nightly entertainment, and two pools, one with a lively swim-up bar. The large beach here is the main draw; the main drawback would likely be the bland rooms -- or the bland food.