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“A lovely, relaxing holiday :)”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #14 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 7 October 2013

We stayed her for 2 weeks in September. I was really worried after reading reviews but for no reason. We had a fantastic time! The staff were really organised when we arrived after a long delay. Staff offered to bring luggage to our room but we decided to take it ourselves to save time. The air-con was on when we arrived and the fridge was full which was greatly appreciated!
The room was a little 'dated' I suppose but we didn't care, it had everything we needed and I found the bed comfy and the shower powerful.
The hotel gardens around the rooms were gorgeous with so much greenery, they were immaculate and the gardeners were friendly and offered me coconuts to drink which was fun :)
The food was delicious with an unbelievable amount of choice. They had everything you could want on offer, including fresh fish, meat dishes, vegetarian dishes and traditional Dominican food. All the staff were very attentive without being intrusive and ALWAYS happy, friendly, singing and laughing.
The hotel was clean, the toilets always spotless and antibacterial hand gel was everywhere. I loved the towel art.
The entertainment I saw was good and had me laughing. The animation team work so,so hard (I could not handle their job) they are brill :-D
The bar staff were great. My boyfriend tipped a lovely barman on our first day and he served us immediately for the whole fortnight which was a bonus. But without tipping you still got served really quickly, the bar staff move fast - well done!
We spent most of our time on the beach and in the sea. The beach was lined in gorgeous palm trees so there was plenty of shade. The sea was warm and clear and exactly what you expect in the Caribbean. We snorkeled a lot, which was FANTASTIC, you don't have to go deep to see lots of fish (which is good because I can't swim!) Definitely wear sea shoes because I saw sea urchins whilst snorkeling - one was the size of a football, which was awesome but a little scary...
We only used the pool at the Merengue Village because it was lovely and quiet due to the hotel being closed.
We went to Paradise Island which was nice but a little overpriced. We also went on the Outback Safari and had the best day ever! Our guide was Manny, with his trainee Pedro and our driver Franklin, they were a great team. I really recommend this excursion. It was fun, really interesting and not to be missed.
Overall a truly great holiday. I would definitely recommend to others. Ignore the bad reviews, relax and enjoy, its the Caribbean after all and the Dominican is a beautiful country full of beautiful people :)

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank S0PHIE05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 October 2013

We go to the Dominican every year, and every year we stay in the same hotel. It is a home away from home for us. We have just returned from our holiday for this year and have already booked to return in June next year. We usually go as a group. Family and some friends and we always have an amazing time.

You cannot fault it. DO NOT LISTEN TO ALL THE RUBBISH IN THE MEDIA!!

As we go every year we know all the staff and they really are like family to us. They are all amazing, and will go out of their way to help you. The entertainment staff are first class, great fun!! But the staff in all areas are brilliant - reception, housekeeping, bar, dining room, poolside.

The food cannot be faulted - there is a huge choice and they never run out of anything. There is the main dining room or there is the pool side bar/restaurant, a steakhouse and an italian to choose from. They also have some days when they cook food by the poolside such as paella or stir fry, and they have a BBQ on the beach.

The bar has everything you can think of, and they make sure your glass is full at all times. They come round the deck chairs throughout the day offering you drinks - nice little extras that really help you to relax and unwind on holiday.

Your room is cleaned everyday, with fresh towels etc and they usually make little designs with some towels and flowers etc which really do look lovely. You have a mini fridge in your room which is stocked with water, pepsi, diet pepsi, beer and some soda water. This is replenished every 2 days for you free of charge. You also have 4 optics in your room - vodka, rum, brandy and another one - which again is replenished every 2 days free of charge. It really is fantastic.

We look it so much that we go every year, and every year it gets harder and harder to leave. Some people have mixed opinions on it, but personally it's the best holiday I've ever been on and will continue to go there for many years to come.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank EmmaMacLeod12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

We have just returned from a fantastic 2 week stay!! We were a large party of family and friends incl 2 children (9 and 6) and had an amazing time! I was a bit apprehensive due to some of the reviews before we came but I should not have worried at all!
Every single member of staff is a credit to the hotel from the fantastic animation team to Super Diaz in the bar and Lydia and Leonardo in the dining room along with the house keeping team and gardeners. They all work so hard and with a smile on their face at all times.
Our rooms were cleaned every day with fresh towels and our pjs were laid out ready for us along with a towel sculpture (which both my children couldn't wait to see) incl. flower petals!!
We had 2 huge beds which were very comfortable and the room was very spacious considering there were 4 of us in there!
Yes the locals came at the weekend but did NOT offend us in anyway at all! If anything they were very friendly and my children played in the pool and at Mama Maria's kids club with the local children and had a blast! My children were sad when some of them went home!!!
Yes the pool was closed for 1 afternoon due to an accident in the pool but that can happen at our local swimming centre too and who can say if it was a local child or not????
The food was a tad repetitive at lunch time at the pool restaurant but still very nice.
We did go to the sister hotel the Bachata on a couple of occasions (our children liked the jacuzzi and extra pool) and it was a bit quieter but we always returned to the Merengue for activities with the wonderful animation team in the afternoon.
We did do a few trips - OceanWorld, Paradise Island, Outback Safari and Buggies. I would recommend every single one of them to anyone! Paradise Island won't be there for much longer as the island is shrinking so go and see it before it vanishes and we learnt so much about the Dominican Republic on the Outback Safari trip thanks to our guides Manny and Pedro. We all loved the Boogie Boarding!! We got absolutely filthy on the buggies so take some clothes with you that you do not mind getting rid of! It was a fantastic morning and so much fun!! Ocean world was out of this world too, we had a fantastic day especially the dolphin and shark encounter.
There are photographers at the resort who take fantastic pictures especially Francis who loves his job and is a wonderful person. You can buy them on Caribbean St if you wish but please don't be offended when the guys ask to take pictures of you, they are just trying to earn a living and do not pressure you to buy them.
We did not use the beach other than to take a stroll and search for crabs and play boules but it was beautiful.
Please don't be put off by some of the reviews as a lot of them seem to be personal preference and compared to other resorts.
All in all a fantastic holiday and we would not hesitate to return again.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
7  Thank Gemma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013 via mobile

Hi was in riu merengue for 2 weeks 15 sept until 29th this is my 9th time here loved it as usual staff brilliant from start to finish. Met a great crowd from Newcastle. We all agreed hotel great. Enjoyed the food something for everybody at breakfast chefs making you fresh omelettes everyday. Was worried when read about locals invading hotel but no problems. The locals are on holiday too no more noisier than us. Some people expect far to much I think they are looking for an excuse to get discount of there next holiday Louise g

Stayed: September 2013
3  Thank Louise G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

I booked a 2 week holiday for myself, my partner, mum and dad, I can honestly say that it was not what I expected at all, was expecting pure bliss in Caribbean country but not nowhere near!!!

My opinion of the holiday is as follows, please bear in mind that this is only my opinion,

Alcohol is severely watered down and the beer is about only 1%, when questioning bar staff they become very offensive and rude, the only alcohol I would suggest would be 151 rum or brugahl extra and presidente beer.

Our room was full of red ants, in and on our beds also which bit us constantly, upon complaint was only issued with a can of bug spray, other than that rooms were fine.

Animation team was fantastic especially Chunky, Mini Me and Tequila, could not ask for better, also shows of the evening were very good.

Food got a little repetitive and is not covered and has flies and birds flying around dining room, all in all ok!!

Hotel had a couples of pedofiles, luckily for us we did not have any children, please be aware if you are taking children!! Upon other guests complaining as 1 had actually touched a child's upper chest and another had taken photos of the children nothing was done.

Hotel at weekends is overrun by very rude, inconsiderate, loud and bullish locals, they take peoples belongings without asking l, children wee and poop in the pool causing it to be shut for nearly a whole day, adults drink and pee in the pool, they get in the pool fully clothed, don't get me wrong not all of them are the same but about 80% were this way.

Thompson reps are crap, not helpful at all unless taking money for excursions!!

Best part of the holiday was the beach and the weather.

Best advice would be to avoid this hotel if possible.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank SAB-LFC-85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

We returned from 2 weeks on 1st October and we were all very sad to leave. I have read some negative reviews on here and I have to disagree with a lot of them. We were a party of 10 family and friends, including 2 small children, and we all had an amazing time! On arrival there was no delays booking in at reception - we were greeted with a cocktail and all of the keys/towel cards etc. that were needed were already in an envelope with our names on for us to collect! How simple is that. We were shown to our rooms and then the bell boy brought our cases. We were all based together on ground floor rooms with our own entrance which was perfect for us. Optics in the rooms with full fridge of soft drinks was an absolute bonus and the drinks man drove around every day to see what needed topping up no problem. Never short of bottled water. The staff were very friendly and cleaners were always on the go everywhere. Everywhere you looked they were cleaning and the toilets had attendants at all times cleaning. The animation team were wonderful we miss you already all of you!!!! Every morning they would come and shake every persons hand around the pool with a great big smile. A little tip if you do get a dodgy tummy, as this happens very often when you travel abroad not just Dominican Republic. A couple from our party had the tummy grumbles and was recommended to get a 'Bomba' from the bar. It contains citrus, salt, martini, and something which I believe is called Fennet. It does taste disgusting but can promise you it sorts any tummy problems out!!! We didn't have to take anything else after that so any problems - have a Bomba or two! While we were there yes, the Locals did come to the hotel at the weekends and although there seemed to be a lot of them they were not a problem. They do have big families and there were a lot of children in the pool but they were playing with all of the other children and our young ones played with them quite happily all sharing their toys. The locals were very friendly and we certainly never experienced any reason to complain about the situation. Accident in the pool - yes it happened. We don't know which nationality left it too late to go to the loo, but yes the pool was closed off one afternoon so that it could be cleaned. I have to say that we have experienced this on many holidays, including UK and children do leave it till the last minute when they are having fun. We felt it was unfortunate, but certainly would not blame the locals for this. It happens. What would have been a disgrace is if the pool attendants hadn't taken care of the matter but they did immediately. The pool was closed off so that it could be cleaned until the next morning. They dealt with the problem straight away so no complaints there. We did a number of trips and enjoyed them all. A party of us went horse riding at the Lorimar Ranch and what a brilliant morning. You don't have to be experienced to ride these horses they are gorgeous and so well trained. As soon as the trip was over my grandson wanted to do it again! You can easily book this trip directly on their website by contacting the lovely Joyce, an American lady who decided to stay in Dominican after visiting on holidays. visit the webpage www.lorilarranch.com and they will arrange for you to be picked up from the hotel by their truck. Don't forget bananas for the horses and sausages for the dogs!! The buggies were also a big hit and caused loads of laughter - old clothes required for this one you will get filthy but loads of fun! Not sure about you guys, but I do get dismayed when I hear 'it's not as good as Mexico/Cuba/anywhere else'. Cuba is beautiful of course, we loved it there too, but so is the Dominican Republic! This is not the first time we have visited this country, and it won't be the last not least because the people are so friendly and welcoming. Food was perfectly fine, plenty of choice and plenty of it. Even at weekends everything was organised to cater for the larger numbers. Excellent holiday with brilliant memories and we wouldn't hesitate to go back to this hotel. I honestly don't think any of the staff could have done anymore for us.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Gumdrops S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2013

We visited here from 11th of August for 2 weeks, 2 adults and 2 children. We had read all the terrible reviews and dreaded the worst. However we were pleasantly surprised, it was not to the standard of a previous Riu in Mexico but not too far off it. The food gave plenty of choice, and lets be fair its not easy to cater for that many people and please everyone, but we certainly had no complaints. The room was clean and tidy and lets face it you dont go an holiday to spend lots of time in your room, we had an air-con leak that was fixed within 2 hours of reporting it. Yes on weekends it did get crowded with locals, but these guys are family orientated and gave no problems, and again this is an International Hotel, American, English, Canadian, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spainish, so a few local just added to the spice of this place. If the main pool did get overcrowded we went off the quiet pool that is for International guests only.

Would I go back ? well possibly, but very rarely go anywhere twice. I had a very enjoyable, relaxing holiday, I just wish I hadn't listened to the much to the bad reviews. If there are bad things then try and make the most of what you have, rather than spend your life moaning, (even about cracked tiles in a bathroom)

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank Swooty
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
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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £69 - £180 (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 All Inclusive ClubHotel Riu Merengue open all year round, is located in the RIU Resort right on the natural Bahía Maimón beach and next to the ClubHotel Riu Bachata. The inland terrain is characterized by wooded hills and mountains. The RIU Resort features a Caribbean Street with several shops, Wellness Centre and gym. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Puerto Plata (9km) and Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) is approx. 25 km away. The hotel has 998 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax with a massage at our Renova Spa or get in shape at our gym. 3 outdoor pools, 1 children’s pool. For the youngest guests, there is the RiuLand Kids Club (for children from 4 to 7 years & 8 to 12 years old) and for adults, day and evening entertainment and many Water Sport activities, Discotheque and Casino. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main buffet as well as Italian cuisine and Steakhouse, 4 bars. ... 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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