Best Party Hotels in Puerto Plata

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If you want your Dominican vacation to be filled with Presidente, margarita slushies, and merengue -- as well as sun and surf -- consider these four resorts in Puerto Plata.

  1. For a massive, hyper- indulgent all-inclusive mega-resort, the Iberostar Costa Dorada is the best in Puerto Plata -- great buffets, activities, entertainment, liquor, and service. Most guests, even those with kids, like to party. Drinking usually starts mid-morning and ends way past midnight. Buffets stay open for late-night sandwich gorging. The Iberostar pumps veteran drinkers from around the world with top-shelf booze, signature cocktails, and even espresso (when the evening looks like it could fade).

  2. BlueBay Villas Doradas is an adult-only, upper-middle-range, all-inclusive resort with lots of entertainment options. Whether its pool aerobics, nightly theater performances, mini-golf, or beachfront massages, there’s always something to do at BlueBay. White shag rugs, back-lit headboards, and sleek tile bathrooms give the 244 guest rooms a modern feel -- but dingy tile floors and worn bedding look less upscale. Food is mediocre throughout the hotel (if better than at some nearby all-inclusive resorts) and drinks are made with bottom-shelf liquor. 

  3. 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 -- are dated. Nonetheless, the resort attracts plenty of return visitors with its low rates, friendly staff, and nice beach. Everyone from couples to families to spring breakers can be found in equal parts, and the well-maintained grounds, as well as the pool and beach, can get crowded during peak season. Water sports -- 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). 

  4. Clubhotel Riu Merengue feels a lot like the many budget properties along the beach in Puerto Plata. Sprawling grounds are well kept and the airy common spaces have a laid-back, casual feel with worn wicker furniture and tropical accents. Though the resort features several pools and a large beach, crowds of guests -- everyone from spring breakers to families to couples to solo retirees -- gather early in the day to soak up the sun. Rooms are drab, but come with bottom-shelf liquor “on tap” and mini-fridges stocked with sodas and water bottles. Clubhotel Riu Merengue isn’t particularly tranquil (especially considering its daytime poolside activities that take place poolside), but it has a relaxed vibe nonetheless.

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