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“Highly recommend Rui Merengue!!!”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 21 August 2011

Just returned back from a wonderful holiday at Rui Merengue. The staff are excellent, very friendly and could not do enough for you.

The hotel is set within a complex of 3 Rui hotels which you can use the facilities of during the daytime and evening. All they ask is that you take your meals at Merengue. This is the best All Inclusive hotel I have ever stayed in. Meals can be taken in a large Buffet style restaurant which is sometimes themed as Dominican, Mexican etc to add a bit of variety to the menu. Even though you will always get a wide range of International dishes even stonebaked Pizza's and Hand carved meats. There is also an A'la Carte restaurant split into 2 sides Italian & Steakhouse. You can book as many times as you want to during your stay but you will need to be early as tables are usually booked up by around 8am.

We went to each side of the A'la Carte restaurant which were very nice but the menu's are limited so we usually opted for the main restaurant.

TIP:- Sit in the same area of the restaurant each day so you get to know the waiter and they will really look after you. Our waiter Leonardo arranged for a Birthday cake and decorated the table with beautiful flower petals and baloons for us. We were even serenaded by the two charming little chaps on the guitar. This was arranged for no charge!!!

On the beach you can take Pedaloes or Kayaks out which is included in the All Inclusive package. They are very safety consious they fit you with life jackets and only let you take the boats out during safe tides within specific zones.But please note there are no lifeguards on the beach or poolside.

Animation team are very good, plenty of games and activities to do throughout the day and better than average evening entertainment. We especially liked the Africian night, Beach Party, Carnival style street party and Michael Jackson nights.

You will find there is a big surge in Dominican guests at weekends. It does make the pool area at the Merengue very crowded so we tended to head to the beach or arrange a day trip on Saturday and Sundays. Very friendly people just makes the hotel seem very busy.

Outside the hotel, almost next door is Ocean Village we Swam with the Dolphins and some just had a Dolphins encounter for those not so confident in the water. You get to have a kiss, cuddle, dance and even feed the dolphins. It really is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. Fully recommend a day out here as there's lots of different Sea lion, shark and bird shows too!!

Finally, everything in Dominican Republic is priced in US$ even though there currency is Peso's. I would recommend just taking dollars with you as we made the mistake of taking Peso's and had to constantly ask for prices in shops as they only display US$ prices.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the garden gazeebo are very quiet, Ideal for families!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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12  Thank DerbyshireMillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 August 2011

We went from July 14 to July 21, 2011 for a family summer vacation. We booked with Sunwing vacation through Sears travel as we often due. We have been on many other trips to all inclusive (more then 10 or 12 for sure), but this was the one of the worst. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly hihihi !!!!

First off, DO NO GO IN THE SUMMER VACATION to Puerto Plata….. the resort is open to the Dominican resident….. After 2 days, I wanted to pack up and leave…… Yes this is unique, We have been traveling down south for 5 years in a row and we have never seen this before (first time in DR)……. The resort was a nightmare, our stress level was at an all tie high. I had never seen a resort this packed, this noisy or disgusting at a buffet. I would expect that travel carriers would let people know before putting them in tat situation. I actually babysat children because no one was looking after them. Did not get to eat because no food was available…… If we got to eat, some people would actually come to our table and take out utensils and stuff in our face….. is was unbelievable….. I wanted to leave. This was not a vacation. Therefore we paid for excursions to get the heck out of the resort….. Thank god the excursions were worth it but very costly :/.

The beach is not Punta Cana standards by far, not even Mexico ... algae was all across the the ocean floor and in the water, we did not want to go in the ocean.... We did manage to find a few spot out of the three Riu’s that had nicer spots ……You don’t see this in other resorts Elsewhere in the Caribbean.... there is Soft sand, If you prefer the pool, choice is a only problem, they are low in water, hard to get out…. At the Merengue, the pool does not meet a 4-5 star standard and I mean by far, no pool bar, it is dirty, no stairs to get in and out, just to poorly maintained ladders…...you take a the Bachata for there pools, they have two pool, much nicer and easier to access. The decor, the falls, beds, overall everything is better at the bachata !!!! Pool wise.

Rooms:
The television had a few English the minibar was not stocked even if we left a couple bucks daily… Clean towels were always done, replaced and we always had a nice surprise animal in our room which my son really loved. Our room was the closest the the beach and to the Bachata… Perfect, block 12, room 1125 !!! Very close to the main lobby !!! Main lobby was close and restaurants, which was great. Overall the room was pretty but small, but we don’t spend much time in there…. At that price… well worth it.

Lobby, Restaurants and Bars:
Included in our 7 day stay was the choice of 2 a la carte restaurants. One Italian and one Steak house, they are both together outside near the pool. Both were excellent. The wait staff is extremely attentive and hard working. The buffet restaurant are not even comparable to the other resorts we are been ..... Some days were better than others. The lobby was very nice and the bar and theater was nice… cant complain there.

Service:
The service was exceptional every where; the staff is nice, helpful, always has a smile on their faces and are very pleasant. They want you to have fun and enjoy your stay and honestly it help, they made it quite better !


Souvenirs:
Go to Caribbean street, not cheap, but nice things, you can still bargain…. Or you will need to go to Puerto Plata or shop during an excursion.

Attractions:
We did the Outback Safari, soooo wonderful and the mini buggies, fun !!!!

Overall, Will never ever go back to Pueto Plata, and go to other resort, a real 5 star !!!... this is not a Riu standard resort, they really fell flat on this one….. How disappointing ….

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank tournesol_ann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

Stayed 8-3 to 8-10. Found our 4th trip to be as good as all the rest. Contary to other reviews we did not find locals coming in on the week-ends to be a problem. Staff was friendly as usual and very helpful. (Thanks Rafael and Freddie. ) You did a great job in the restaurants. Acutally we thought the food had improved over last year. Don't know why some people complain about the food. We thought that there was a good variety and very tasty. Remember that you are in a foreign country and they do cook differently.
As far as the room goes the air worked better than it ever has and our maid (Roberta) did an excellent job cleaning our room early everyday which was good for us. Participated in alot of the activities and had a great time meeting new people. Lots of beach chairs and plenty of beach to walk on. We would recommend this resort and hope to go back soon.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank msohio2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

all my family and myself (8) of us in all can say is everything was fantastic from the moment we arrived until the day we did not want to leave so thank you everyone at the riu merengue and we will most definatly be back again.

Room Tip: all the rooms are the same you cant hear anything from the entertainment
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank petechambers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

In short folks, much of my review totally agrees with "PGEDux" who left a review on 14th August. especially re the animation team and bar staff mentioned!

My brother and his other extended family (up to 14) have been here 3 times and one of my closest friends as a couple have both been here. I had been price watching for 4 months and 3 weeks before got a fantastic price, so in short, for the price we paid were truly delighted with what we got.

My key feedback:

- exceptionally clean
- yes rooms could be seen as dated, however immaculate.
- staff were fantastic. wee tip (not for everyone, I appeciate that) leave a extra tip for a member of staff if they have been great in the buffet restaurant at dinner, and following that you table will be reserved and beautifully decorated each night for you. A few dollars each night is not much to you, but means alot to them and you are treated very well and is appeciated.
- locals do come in, but not an issue, We never left the resort. Mambo pool was brilliant and with hundreds (and I truly mean hundreds) of beds free on the beach each day, you can have your quiet tranquility.
- I loved the beach
- the first week, every other day the chef was cooking by the pool with lunch and daily rounds of cocktails came round morning and afternoon. both in the second week were missing, a wee bit dissappointing but is seen as an added bonus
- great for families, not great for just couples, however going outwith school holiday season you would be just fine as a couple

Would I go back...for the price I paid definitley. Maybe not in the next year or two. Would I recommend to friends, already have. I would recommend anyone go there before they go back to europe.

As a side note, my partner has seldom been abroad, wasnt keen on going in the first place for a number of reasons and would definitley take himself and his 8 yearold daugter back, and that is saying something,

hope this helps others.

any questions, feel free to PM me,

Carinna.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Carinna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2011

We enjoyed our fortnight stay at this hotel (4 adults - me hubby and two grown up kids) and the neighbouring complexes. Was a little worried about previous reviews stating rooms reeking of smoke and beware the locals. The only annoying smoke was in the entertainment area of our hotel (which we called the ash tray). The locals were very loud but they didn't bother any of us. Spent most evenings in the other hotels which were open air. The best evening was when we went to a beach party. There was a voodoo show and opportunity to get up and have a boogie. Health and safety in UK would have had a fit if they had seen the bonfire being lit by someone pouring paraffin over it from a plastic container so keep well back! We went to Pasha night club one evening which was an experience when the merengue dancing started. Spent most days on the beach - sun and plenty of shade - loads of loungers - hotel supply the towels - clean every day - just go to the hut by the pool with your room numbers. The restaurants were all superb - Marcel our waiter is a darling. He called us over to a lovely table each night with flowers and sometimes rose petals sprinkled over. Go on the Monster Truck Day - truly essential transport for the areas you visit. Take sweets and stationery for the school kids that you get to see. The people are so poor but so lovely when you visit their village it is truly humbling. After lunch you get to hang out at a private beach and the whole day is awash with rum and beer. The main trip for me was swimming with the dolphins - another wonderful experience. We enjoyed our holiday here and would recommend it. Mustn't forget the drinks in the room for when you need a night cap. Also the tv had some good films on when you get back late!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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11  Thank wicklady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2011

Just back from 2 weeks at the Merengue and we loved every minute of it. There were 5 of us over 3 generations and this was the best family holiday for everyone. The staff were amazing- couldn't do enough for you and from the gardeners to the reception staff everyone greets you with a smile. The fantastic animation team work tirelessly to entertain - but if you don't want to take part there is no pressure. Our 7 year old loved the kids club- Mama's Tina and Madonna were brilliant with her. The food was varied enough that you could always find something for a change- Oscar makes amazing omlettes in the morning. The mambo was a great escape if you want a quiet day by the pool- the bar there is open for drinks and the beach has loads of sun beds to choose from. The mega trucks trip was superb with the brilliant steady Eddie as our guide we learnt loads about the island. We would recommend this resort especially to families.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Gail P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Merengue

Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £79 - £145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Merengue 3.5*
Number of rooms: 998
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ClubHotel Riu Merengue (All Inclusive 24h) is located in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, and is surrounded by impressive views of the mountains and a lush, natural environment. This is the perfect setting for unforgettable holidays. The ClubHotel offers all facilities you could need for relaxing holidays away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll find a fresh water swimming pool, a solarium terrace, a gym and the Renova Spa wellness centre with a range of different treatments and massages as well as a sauna. In the Dominican Republic you can find a wide range of international cuisine, but if you want to make the most of your time in this marvellous destination by sampling Dominican cuisine, delicious in both taste and colour, you can enjoy a wide variety of flavours and aromas, as Dominican dishes mainly consist of fruit and vegetables. In the buffet restaurant or themed restaurant you’ll find an endless range of dishes and recipes prepared by our chefs every day. The hotel shares its facilities with the hotel complexes of the ClubHotel Riu Bachata. You’ll enjoy access to the entertainment programme and activities thanks to the acclaimed All Inclusive system. Whether you’re travelling as a family, couple or with friends, you’ll find a wide variety of activities to keep you entertained all day long.. There are areas for enjoying tennis, table tennis, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, bodyboarding, snorkelling, golf, volleyball, swimming and much more. Your children can also enjoy crafts, activities and dancing together with other kids in the RiuLand programme. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clubhotel Riu Merengue Hotel
Club Hotel Riu Merengue
Clubhotel Riu Merengue Puerto Plata
Riu Merengue Dominican Republic
Riu Merengue Puerto Plata
Rui Merengue
ClubHotel Riu Merengue Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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