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“Great hotel... beware of the water”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 19 November 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel in November of 2012 to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I know I'm a little late to write this review, but once you hear what happened you'll understand.

Upon arrival were were quickly taken to our room. Check in was fast and good. Our room was very nice, small but what more do you need. We had a smidge of an ocean view, we were fine with that. I honestly loved the layout and design of this hotel - nice small colourful buildings, balconies, mostly running parallel to the beach. Lobby is close to the pool which is close to the beach.So there is a bit a walking required (esp if you want to visit the Bachata hotel, casino, shopping area) Note tho, the buildings are all two stories and there are no elevators.

The bars were great, fabulous service, food was ok. Actually I was expecting more from the food from everything I had head about DR. I honestly found it to be on par with a 4+* Cuban hotel.

Otherwise I really enjoyed this hotel, the beach was ok (I still favor Varadero's beach) but the pools were awesome. We had a great time and I would recommend this hotel. (I am a huge fan of Riu hotels)

Now we decided to do a few tours, went to Paradise Island and the waterfalls. Both were amazing but now I'm pretty sure I got sick because of the tours, not the hotel. But this is all up in the air. I ended up contracting Amoebic Dysentery and had to stay an extra 3 days in a Puerto Plata hospital before returning home. Yes it was terrifying at first (of course!) but I was treated like gold. I had travel insurance so all was taken care of, didn't have to pay anything up front. The doctors and nurses were amazing, super nice and courteous, the hospital was VERY clean, cleaner than in Toronto, Canada!!!! oh and I had an oceanview room. lol

But it was my tour operator that impressed me the most. A sunwing rep accompanied me in the ambulance (from the airport) and they came to visit me everyday to make sure I understood what was happening and help me in any way they could. Also those huge airport taxes you pay cover any medical injury that happens to you at the airport.

I'm not sure that I would ever go back to the DR, but I have to say I was treated amazing and really did enjoy the hotel. (I wish I could remember the Riu rep's name) Sunwing was incredible and I will continue to vacation with them from now on.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank namenotavailable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,365 - 1,371 of 5,424 reviews

Reviewed 17 November 2013

We have just had a week 3/11 nov at the riu merengue and had a great time, the staff were great and could not do enough for you as it was our 40th wedding annerversary I asked if we could be moved to a sea view room which they did for us free of charge . the thomson rep was very good and was on site everyday if needed , the food was very good with a good choice ,every where was spotlessly clean and there was always someone on the doors at the restaurants to spray your hand before you entered and the same at the toilets on leaving.the beach was cleaned all the time if I have any negative it was the rooms smelt musty but that is the only complaint I have about the rooms and there could have been a bit more entertainment in the evenings but that is the only things a I can say but it did not spoil our holiday.you have to be careful on Caribbean street as uou will get ripped of if your not careful and they hassel you, the best shop we found with no hassel was mangalina gift shop it is right on the corner as you turn on to the street
The riu bachata is a lovely hotel as well and you can use both hotels you just have to eat your evening meal at your own hotel, I loved the pools at the bachata and finally a lot of people Wright about the locals coming onto the complex this is true and yes they can be noisy but they did not bother us will I go back to this hotel again definitely we loved it

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013 via mobile

Went here from Sept 16-31 2013 for my first holiday with my boyfriend and loved every minute of it!

Rooms- very clean and spacious! Stong air con which is lovely after being in the sun all day! Bit dated but that wasn't a bother for us, lovely balcony space too!

Food- something for everybody with the food! Became a bit repetitive but we were not bothered! Mexican night on a Saturday was the best!

Pool- we spent all of our time up the old Mambo pool which was very quiet and beautiful! No need to get up early for sun beds as there are plenty of them all day everyday! The merengue pool is more of a louder family pool.

Staff- staff were the nicest people you will ever meet! Always make sure that you are happy and satisfied with your visit.

Entertainment- was rather dated but the shows such as the Africa show and Grease were really good!

Locals- Locals came on the weekends, not many of them either! Did not have any problems with them at all, probs because they stay down the Merengue pool!

Excursions- we went to Ocean World and swam with the dolphins and sharks which was amazing! The food here was also included in the trip and is like a buffet! We went to Paradise Island and snorkelled around the island which was lovely, the speed boat on the way there was the best part! Food was also included here and is like a buffet! And we also went on the Outback Safari which was my absolute favourite! You visit a school and meet the children of the village, you go for food (buffet) and they take you to a beautiful beach where you stay for an hour!

Absolutely amazing holiday! Loved Dominican Republic and this hotel! X

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Chlojones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2013

We were there from Nov 05 to12 and it's a very nice resort with beautiful grounds. The staff was excellent, the animation was very very good. The night shows were marvelous. The food was excellent for us no complains, our room was clean everyday and fridge was restock every other day. People who complains should book for 6 or higher star!!!! I will definitively go back.

Room Tip: Any room is all close to the action.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Donald B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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2  Thank Kelly N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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2  Thank Brenda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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5  Thank loveholidaysido063
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: £80 - £146 (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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