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We have just returned from Christmas & New Year at the Riu Mambo. It was Fantastic.
The hotel public areas and bedrooms are great, well maintained with the maid leaving flowers & towel arrangements every day. The main buffet restaurant always has a wonderful selection and the 2 a la Carte were also good - melt in the mouth steaks. BUT the New year and Christmas Buffet was spectacular. Whatever you could think of was there, Lobster, oysters, schrimp, calamari, roasted meats, grilled meat & fish, different pasta etc,- unbelievable.
Pools and beach were great, although there seemed to be less seaweed at the Riu Bachatta end of the beach. The amination staff were excellent, games, aorobics, dancing lessons during the day and then a show at night. Always friendly and full of energy, take part if you want but there`s no pressure if you`d rather chill out by the pool.
We booked trips with Camacho on the beach, he was cheaper than the resort reps for the same trips. Paradise island for snorkelling (45 dollars), and horseriding (25 dollars). The coral and fish at Paradise island were spectacular, hundreds of different coloured and types of fish.
One thing I was disappointed with were no hairdryers, clocks or irons in the rooms. Everything was available at reception for a 20 dollar deposit, but the resort was full and I had to wait 4 days for a hairdryer to become available. Take your own.
It was our first time in the Dominican Republic, but it won´t be our last. The Island is so beautiful, lush green undulating country side. The people are so friendly everywhere, not just the resort staff. On our horseriding trip, we rode through a "shanty town" village, the kids came running out of the houses shouting "ola". The guide told us not to give them money, as they then stay home from school to beg from tourists. I had taken apples for the horses but they wouldn´t eat them !!
So I gave them to the local kids, who were delighted. I suppose apples are a luxury when they are imported.
Anyway, to sum up - go to Riu Mambo and you`ll have a great time!!
Thanks to Tracey for this trip report ...