I just posted this on Trip Advisor. A full, and wordy, trip recap will follow
Our family of 3 just returned from the Bachata. We’re fairy sure we’ll go back. If nothing else, try other Riu properties. This was our first trip to an all-inclusive.
The resort was wonderfully maintained and everything was neat and tidy. This was despite the absolutely horrid weather we had all week; monsoon-type rains and winds.
We were surprised by the food. While I expected a lot of it, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality. We found everything to be very good. We ate breakfasts and dinners in the main restaurant with lunches in the restaurant near the pool. All of the food was good and certainly interesting to those of us from the US side of the ocean. We’re an adventurous group so we enjoyed trying the relatively exotic offerings. Our daughter, a picky eater, gorged herself all week.
Drinks were plentiful and you didn’t have to tip the bartenders to have them go heavy on the rum. That was nice.
Because of the weather, we can’t say much about the beach. The water was very rough and all water sports were cancelled for the week. The beach was rocky and not as soft as other Caribbean beaches we’ve been to. That’s not a negative; just an observation. The beaches at the Merengue looked wider and maybe nicer.
Entertainment was fantastically terrible. The evening shows were ghastly and we loved them all. The preshow dance-a-thon (involving what we called Ultra-Fast Dance break) had us in stitches all week. We still have no clue what was going on but loved it. I’m very happy we brought our video camera. The Animation staff did their best to keep everyone’s spirits up despite the near constant rain and cloud cover.
However, the Mini-club disappointed us and our daughter a lot. There didn’t seem to be any organization to it. They tossed a few puzzles on a table and the staff retreated to watch SpongeBob. It’s possible we over sold it in our minds, but we expected something. Our daughter was upset at first, but then we just tossed her in the pool and all was forgiven.
I would not categorize the resort as 5-star. I don’t know what 5-star entails, but I don’t think the Bachata had it. For example: our room, upon check in, had only 2 towels in it and no pillowcases. After asking 3 times at the desk for more towels and pillows, I finally had to call and get a bit snippy. Only then did we get our request fulfilled. It was not a big deal at all and in no way detracted from our enjoyment, but I would think a true 5-star resort supplies you with pillows and towels and does not require you to ask 4 times to get them. Going in, I figured it would equate to a cruise on NCL. That was a good comparison. A solid 4 stars, but not 5. But, for what we paid, we got way more than our money’s worth.
That’s the only “negative” we could find and it was so minor that we forgot it happened right away. The staff was very polite and attentive to the needs of the guests and the property was well-maintained.
I would add that if you are an American and expect to have the resort revolve around you and your tastes, this may not be a good place for you. It seems that Europeans and Canadians smoke a lot more than we’re used to, and I know people who would freak out at the site of all the smoking. And, the food all had a distinct European slant to it. But, that’s the resort’s target audience. So, if you can’t handle smoking and will lose your mind if you don’t have bagels and decidedly American food and beverages, think twice.
We loved it despite the bad weather and really want to go back again to see more of the beach and water sport offerings. Our poor snorkel gear made the trip for nothing!