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“Never ever again”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Never ever again”
Reviewed 14 November 2013

We stayed here from 30 Oct til 10 Nov. I feel so sorry for the staff there. They work so hard, but reception need a lesson in customer service. We had a problem with our room key, the lock needed to be changed as when you put the key in it didn't turn I reported this to them several times they just kept spraying WD40. It finally got sorted after I was forced to make a complaint to my tour rep. Then the locals come in all 700 of them and it was their public holiday so they stayed til Monday. They had only been in the hotel for 1 hour before we was told to get out of the pool as someone had had a poo in it. They weekends are horrendous, one couple had to be removed out of the pool as they got a little too friendly. The life saver inflatable rings they just helped themselves to and used to float on and play with.They ate everything in the snack bar as they ran out of pizzas I saw one older child load his plate up with two full size pizzas. I have a 4 yr old son who they constantly walked into and pushed out of the food queue. I caught a local grown woman going through my beach bag. The staff can see what's happening and they are so apologetic, they couldn't be better, just a shame the management are letting them down. We was forced to spend time at the merengue village pool as the locals not allowed in that pool but as the hotel was closed you still had to go back for meals. This is just my experience in resort. When the locals have gone it's back to a nice relaxing quiet holiday, but then in come in the market sellers for you to be harassed they are in your face and it goes on until you finally reach the dinning room. Would I go again NO! My son told me he felt scared and kept asking to go home.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kelly N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Chateauguay, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

You have 3 Riu's at this location , The Merengue is where my niece (12) and I stayed...Oct 30-6 Nov.Mind you the place is lovely , The food is good , The pool is so-so, go to the Bachata side they have the swim up bar, I had asked for a room that was centered and I got that 1032, so was very pleased. The beach is very well shaded, lots of trees to hide from the hot sun. But the beach to go swimming in...bring water proof sandals, there are way to many weeds& pebbles the water is not that clear either... The staff are very , very nice !! Beware if going on or near Nov. 3rd , It's their national holiday and the place was jam-packed with republicans , very loud and over bearing, but over all had a very nice time....glad I got this trip at a last minute deal..would of been disappointed if I had paid the full price for going there...My niece got an ear infection, The pool was shut down every other day , either from someone pooping in it or vomit if I would go back there....no.. not to this Riu, but another one

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Brenda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Only booked this holiday four days before flying out which meant we got it for a very good price .Did not know what to expect but the place is lovely , friendly , clean and very welcoming .Check in was very quick and there was loads of staff on hand to help . Our room was 1105 a building in the first strip by the beach ( so we did have a partial sea view ) . we were near to everything which was great. Food was very good , themed nights tuesday , thursday and friday . Hot food was hot and cold food was cold as it should be . A lady stood at the entrance to the dining room at all times with hand gel , we thought this was wonderful ( unlike somebody else who commented ). I personally suffer badly from hotel catering but on this holiday had no medical issues caused by food unlike most european hotels we have stayed in.
Due to medical issues I was unable to use the swimming pools ( re chemicals ) so we stayed on the beach most of the time . The beach is very natural with lots of trees giving shade , it is a public beach but the hotel gardeners keep it clean daily .
The weekend does get busy because Dominican people book in but it is only a problem if you let it be !!
We did go on two trips which yes were expensive but very good . The tour and cable car and the dolphin encounter .
Overall this was a very good holiday having never been to the Dominican before we did not know what to expect . I have read on T/A that people say the Merengue does not represent what you would normally expect here in the Dominican well we had no complaints only praise .

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank loveholidaysido063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2013

Well after reading the reviews for Riu Merengue i was a little nervous but when we arrived all my fears were lifted. The hotel staff were hard working and friendly from the cleaners (leave a tip every few days and you will have a towel animal every day) the gardners that will get you a coconut if you wish, till the amazing bar staff and funny animation crew. The hotel was very clean and the food was very good but got a little samey near the end but what do you expect from all inclusive.

We done 5 excursions through Thomson which was a little pricey but were all amazing experiences and would recommend them 100% we will be back again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank damien s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Stayed here for 2 weeks at the end of October. First impressions are good. We had room 1108 which was an upstairs one as requested with a partial sea view. Maid kept this spotless and left towel art everyday. She even trimmed our room up with balloons on my wife's birthday. The sea was nice and warm but the beach is one of the worst we have been on in the carribean. Plenty of shade is available but there are a lot of pebbles when you go in the sea. We found the best place was up near the Merengue Village. A good thing is that there are 3 hotels all in a line and you can use the facilties at each all day, The only exclusion being you must have your evening meal at your own hotel. Food and drinks were all ok. The hotel does get full of locals at the weekends but never caused us a problem. We went on a couple of excursions and really enjoyed them although a little expensive with Thomson. These were the Outback Safari and Puerta Plata city tour with cable car. Met some nice people and made good friends.
Now the not so good.
Every time you enter the restaurant at the Merengue you are given antibacterial hand cleaner. This didn't happen at the Bachata hotel. This makes you think they have a problem there.
On our second day I went for a swim in the Merengue Village pool. Two days later a trip to the pharmacy with a severe ear infection. Still got problems now back home. On the second week we were sat at the outdoor bar of the Bachata around 5.30pm and felt a little itch on my foot. Went back to the room at 6pm and discovered I had been bitten. Next morning I had 18 bites on one foot and 10 on the other which had come up like blood blisters. In my 15 years of going to the Carribean I have never had bites like this and spent the next 4 days unable to sleep due to itching. I had numerous creams and ointments but none worked and I still have no idea what had bitten me.
Despite all this we had an enjoyable holiday but would not return to this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank NottinghamDodger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I read other reviiews before I booked, some very good; others not so. we went to enjoy our holiday and very much did.
Setting 9/10 (not bad at all)
Hotel 8/10 ( a bit tired in places but beautifully clean)
Staff (10/10) plenty of them and could not do enough for you.
Rooms 8/10 (again a bit tired, but very clean, everything worked. no problems)
Food 7/10 (for my taste everything overcooked, but maybe better that than undercooked. no problems with stomach related upsets to anyone during my stay to my knowledge).
Hotel Shops 3/10 not wonderfully stocked but seriously overpriced) I chose to take a taxi to supermarket in town and pay sensible prices. ie/ hotel price factor 50 - $23 - shop price $7.
Entertainment 9/10 youngsters programmes a bit basic but the kids enjoyed it. Adult entertainment 8/10 overall "very very good". poolside and beach games / entertainment was good and the team worked hard to please.
this is a complex of 3 sister hotels about 700yds apart, as a guest you are able to enjoy the facilities at all 3. One however only opens during high season (merengue villiage). At the bartacha the 3rd of them there is a swim up bar, yukkk !!! when we tried this pool the people using the bar were smoking and dropping ash in the pool, drinking heavily and did not appear to be moving from the bar at all.
Now for the downside (nothing after all is perfect). on a friday evening and saturday morning the Dominicans arrive for what may well be their 1 and only weekend in an hotel on holiday ever. there seemed to be about 250 in number both weekends that we were there. Now nothing really wrong with this; they are as entitled to holiday in their own country as we are in ours. But, their idea of fun is very brash, very loud and very full on. As a people their philosophy is very much about living for today; and they tend to live every day to the full. So whereas our idea of a holiday may be about quiet relaxation with a bit of reserved fun; theirs is very much full on.
sports and games they only play to win, do not expect them to clap and cheer if they dont win.
We were warned by the Thomsons Rep that it was safer to do their tours and excursions rather than go alone or with a non sanctioned company, but a taxi could be hired for the day with an english speaking guide at a much more sensible price, and a very informative and entertaining day had.
An army of cleaners and groundsmen keep rooms, beaches and grounds clean, if you look up at the trees a groundsman makes it his mission to climb said tree to retrive the coconut or whatever you were looking at. (health and safety ?) it was not unusual to be walking along when a coconut or yam or other landed with a thud yards from you.
during our time there the pool was closed twice for about 4hrs a time. 1st time a Dominican child had a toiletting accident, the 2nd time an English child had the same sort of accident. iritating yes, holiday wrecking ? No. 3 other pools and a very warm 28* sea to choose from

would I do it again ? Yes I very much would.

Room Tip: we had a ground floor room 100yds from pool and restaurant. no problems. cant comment on others.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Bigalmack62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clanfield, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Well, let's make it very clear: this hotel has got nothing to do with Dominican Rep standards! It is worth noting that it is on sale which I believe is kept quiet. It is actually big complex formed of RIU Merengue and RIU Bachata and as far as I am aware the latter is on sale whereas RIU Bachata is maintained. Therefore is better (and more expensive when buying holidays).

Positives about RIU Merengue:
- the staff is absolutely brilliant and friendly. but bear in mind that this is actually not a feature of the hotel as such. you will find it everywhere else in Dominican Rep.!
- very close to the ocean (500m) and it is rather private beach so no local people bothering you
- Thomson has got really great excursions, especially Outback Safari is great which will show you Dominican Rep. as it really is!
- rooms are kept clean and tidy everyday as well as the whole area of the complex

Negatives about RIU Merengue:
- variety of food is very poor! unbelievable that they only give you 3 types of fruits every day: pineapple, melon and passion fruit! hardly even any bananas! the food is cooked for lots of people in the complex hence not as fresh as you would expect. lots of fast-food and hardly any local food. very designed for fussy English people.
- rooms are very basic and you can tell that other than possibly decorating, nothing else has been renewed since it was built. There isn't even a basic stuff in a room e.g. kettle. I don't believe there are any family rooms so if you are a family with kids, be prepared to sleep in one room with children.

All together you can't do wrong with going to the Dominican Republic but you will definitely find better hotel over there. as much as you don't spend lots of time in a room (which is fine) but if you have poor food for a week or two in most cases, that's where you are really disappointed.

I would not come back to this resort for the money you need to pay for it.

Room Tip: rooms closer to RIU Bachata give you less walking to its side where you find better swimming pool an...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Karolina U
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

Property: 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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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