By night this megaresort decorated with Arabian-style domes looks like a fairy-tale palace and its generally older clientele are a departure from the other Riu resorts. The long-and-wide junior suites are simple but attractive; with dark wood against sunny yellow walls, its shades of Old Havana. Each has a jetted bath and a terrace (but not necessarily a sea view), flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and full liquor bottles in dispensers. The buffet options are wide-ranging but
still best when you arrive early. There are several a la carte restaurants but no real standout. In the pool, a lively swim-up bar, four Jacuzzis, and semi-submerged lounge chairs add panache.
Playa Arena Gorda, Bávaro, Dominican Republic
Feb 15, 2008
It's vast - almost too big really. There's so much walking to get anywhere. Upsides - the buffet is very good, the beach is great with a fabulous backdrop of a wreck offshore. The restaurant booking system is a joke. There is a rush every morning to queue up for a ticket to the restaurant you want to use that night - hopeless and downmarket. The drinks in the room are tacky. Most of the clientel when we were there were noisy Canadians intent on having
a party all day every day. No problem with that, except they did get progressively noisier as the day wore on and the drinks took their effect! the staff were all great - better than some other hotels in DR we've used. Would I go there again? No. Go to the Palma Real. It closer to the airport, vastly superior in every way and not much more cost wise.