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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We stayed from Feb6-Feb14 2013. We are a couple aged 25 and 35. Previously have stayed at all-inclusives in Cuba and Mexico. We went on this trip to escape winter in Canada, and enjoy the beach and sun.

Accommodation:
This resort is 3 resorts in 1 ( Merengue Village, Merengue Garden and Riu Bachata). It is a LARGE resort because of this. There are no large apartment style high rises. They are all small 2 or 3 storey buildings.
We stayed at the Merengue Village. It was quieter at this end of the resort.

Room:
Room was decent. We don't spend much time there anyways. 2 double beds pushed together. Small bathroom. But it was very clean, and served it's purpose. The staff are ALWAYS cleaning, and the grounds are gorgeous because of it. Safe and key provided.

Pool:
You have choices of using pools at each of the 3 resorts. The pool at the Village wasn't as crowded, less people around. The pool in the centre at the Garden and the Bachata were always more full and noisey. The swim up bar is at the Bachata which could explain why it's busier.

Beach:
The beach is also fairly large because of the 3 resorts. We never had issues getting chairs. Some areas are rockier than others... Closer to the Bachata side it is more rocky, as you walk closer to the Village it becomes less rocky and more sandy. The water is warmer than the pools, and very clean.

Food:
You can get food from 7am-2am somewhere. There are 3 buffet style restaurants, and then smaller snack type locations when main buffets are closed. There was always a lot of choices. Most of the meals were pretty good. You could always find something you enjoyed. Our only complaint was it was quite salty.
Tip the server in the buffet to get better tables, and some service. They appreciate it, and it makes your experience better.
Apparently if you stay at the Bachata you can only eat there, but if you are the Garden or Village you can eat anywhere.

Drinks:
We don't drink alcohol, but it's what you expect at an all-inclusive- cheap brands. They have a large variety of non-alcoholic drinks which was great for us. Bring travel mugs to avoid multiple trips to the bar as the cups they provide are not very big.

A la carte:
We didn't try the a la carte. You had to wake up at 7am to reserve a spot for that night. You could not book in advance and by 8am, were full. Speaking with those who tried it, you basically got the same food as the buffet that night, but the main difference is you got served instead of being at the buffet and getting it yourself.

Entertainment:
We were very pleased and surprised at how great the entertainment was. The shows are worth going to see (arrive early to get a good spot) and there are activities all day long. The staff are FULL of energy and very friendly. Don't be afraid to ask them any questions you may have.

Staff:
Some of the greatest staff. They were VERY hard and are VERY helpful.

Wifi:
For those who must be connected to devices while on vacation, you can only use wifi in the lobby for 90 minutes a day (but you can go to the other 2 lobbies and get an additional 90 minutes at each one). We used it to check in with family, and it is very slow. If you don't have a wifi device, you can pay to use a computer.

Overall:
If you are looking for a fun, clean, larger resort to relax and enjoy the outdoors-- it's for you! It's not a North American 5* but if you get a good price, go for it!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Caroline K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 February 2014

Rooms are nice and clean we upgraded to a suite as it was a specail birthday holiday. The beach is wonderful and the views are amazing only negative for me would be the food,it was always edible but very boring we found the food in the Bachatta much better and the restaurant much nicer with aircon !!! On the whole an enjoyable stay but if we returned we would stay at the Bachatta

Room Tip: Suites all have a sea view
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank 63Deb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2014

Riu Merengue boasts a beautiful beach with (at the time of my visit) plenty of space for everyone and gorgeous views. Laying on the warm sand feeling the ocean breeze was pure joy, particularly for this New Yorker in February! There is also a pool and access to the pools at Riu Merengue Village and Riu Bachata, but I did not use the pools so I can't comment on them. The facilities were run down in general and everything looked like it could use a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. Our room was plenty big and boasted a lovely spacious deck and ocean views, but wasn't very clean. The towels often smelled funky and there were loads of tiny ants all over the bathroom. The food was by far the worst part of this resort. It was difficult to find options that were edible. I ate a lot of trail mix and granola bars that I had brought from home... On the plus side, there was fresh fruit out at every meal which I appreciated, and plenty of good coffee in the mornings. The restaurants are a better option for dinner than the buffet if you can get in. During my stay there were a number of weddings so we could not use the restaurant. No one warns you of this until you go to make your reservation which I found frustrating. The staff was a mixed bag. Many of the staff members were absolutely fantastic- cheerful, helpful, just great, but some, such as those at the front desk couldn't be bothered. The bartenders were great, but don't expect beach waiters. Of my 6 day stay they were only out there for 2 of the days and one of those it was just for an hour or two late in the day. The wifi is free only in the hotel lobby and seating there is limited, you can also purchase wifi access to use elsewhere in the resort for $5 for 30 min. Maybe I'm just a spoiled American but when a hotel boasts free wifi I expect it to work in the rooms at the very least, so I was unpleasantly surprised when it didn't. To end on a positive note, I absolutely loved the entertainers. Even when the shows were not my taste (ummm Michael Jackson montage) the entertainers were so engaging that I even got sucked in and thoroughly enjoyed myself! This group is talented! Overall I had an ok time, but would not return or recommend.

Room Tip: I upgraded to an "ocean view" room for a small fee and felt that it was worth it! If poss...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Valerie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

My family of 6 traveled Feb 2-9 2014. We have four teenagers, so we had three rooms.

Flight down: A little delayed, but no big deal. Sunwing was AMAZING! We arrived late in the evening and it was pouring rain but warm, so let it rain(better than snow)!! DO NOT TALK TO THE PEOPLE INSIDE THE AIRPORT SAYING THEY ARE WITH SUNWING!! SUNWING REP IS OUTSIDE!!

Drive to Resort: CRAZY!! They don't follow traffic laws there but all is good! Watch out the window....lots to see :)

Check In: Didn't even realize we were doing it! We had bracelets put on us as we were getting our luggage and then handed 3 envelopes with our key etc in. So we asked where to go and took our own luggage, we didn't need or want a porter.

Rooms: We were in the Riu Merengue Village(Mambo) and this one is BY FAR my favorite of all three resorts(the Garden and Riu Bachatta were much busier resorts)! Rooms were close by pools and restaurants. Very clean!! We never heard anything or anyone through the night. Rooms were dated, but who cares! There we about 3 channels in English we could watch when we went to bed but fell asleep before any were over!

Got up early to reserve prime chairs at the pool :) took a few days to pick what we liked best! We tried all pools, but village is the best.....not crowded at all. So nice and quiet. Bar/restaurant and beach all right there too.

Animation Team is the best and one of the reasons I will be back. There is always something to do. My husband won a talent contest by singing New York New York and we both won games played during the week. We received Certificates and gifts for winning. We learned to dance Merengue, Bachatta and Salsa poolside daily.

Grounds, pools and EVERYTHING is spotless!!!

Beach is great, not white sand but I didn't feel the need for water shoes. My husband ran the beach a few times in his bare feet no problems. Vendors at the end of the beach are very annoying especially the ones who want to braid your hair! Be firm and say no, then they will leave you alone.

Food is good, something for everyone. We have picky eaters and no one went hungry! They have theme nights which was great. A la carte...don't bother!! You are allowed to reserve a space for the Steak House once and Italiano once. Neither was that good. Buffet was better. I didn't like the coffee, way to strong. I guess it is the process to make so much at a time. They also give you hot milk for your coffee and tea....I wasn't a fan of the milk hot or cold. Next time I am bringing carnation powder and or International delights.

Drinks were good. If you want alcohol in them just ask. I'm not a boozer, so premium alcohol really doesn't mean much to me when you mix it with a slushy. Beer was great too. I liked the mamajuana.

Weather was PERFECT!!

All staff you interact with(not maids) spoke fluent Spanish, English and French.

Sunwing has a rep available always!!

We did two excursions:

City Tour with cable car: It was interesting and you go to see alot.

Ocean World Royal Swim: WOW!!! DO IT!!!! Best day ever!!!!

I miss Shaggy, Sweetie and all of the Animation Team! Can't wait to go back!!

Room Tip: when booking request the village if you are looking for a relaxing vacation. If you want to party a...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank Tracey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

We stayed in the Village . If you like to have a fairly quiet place for a week this is it. You have the choice to use all 3 resorts but I certainly enjoyed the Village . Room was clean and housekeeping did a great job. The bed was 2 doubles that weren't quite the same heigth and hard but it was a week and have never found anything different in any other resort I have stayed in . Everything in the Village was close for us. I would for sure return to this resort . Entertainment could be a bit better

Room Tip: We stayed in 2506 close to everything
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Fender52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Great staff especially Willy and Julio!!! Beautiful views! The staff go above and beyond and are very hard workers! The renovaspa was great! Get the beach massage and the seaweed wrap definitely worth it!!! The entertainment staff work all day are very energetic. The room is a room I would recommend taking your own pillow as they have seen much better days! You aren't there for the room anyways! The food well I have eaten better! The best day was the roasted pig!! The worst was the a la carte DO NOT EAT THERE, at best I would describe my meal there as barf on a plate!
We had a great time, the mountains, pool and beach were great and it was all we needed.
The drinks are watered down, the "premium" alcohol is actually the bar brand poured into the "premium" bottle!
The hotel is dated, but when the weater is -20 at home and 30 there you can't help but have a great time!

Room Tip: Take your own pillow!!!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mybele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We stayed 2 weeks at this hotel in Jan/Feb and could honestly not find fault with anything..Food.Drink,Rooms,Service and all staff were excellent and could not do enough to make it yet again another fantastic holiday.
Take no notice of the bad reviews because we honestly think that some people only go to find fault and not to enjoy themselves.
Special thanks go to Roberto(Good Luck in Panama)Algeni,Lydia,Diaz,Diego and Xavier who all went that extra mile.Look out for Daniel(Danny Boy) in the pool towel hut a right cheeky chappie.
Would not hesitate to go back again.Only been back a week and already missing it badly.

Room Tip: If you like a quiet room try and avoid seafront as footpath goes in front of rooms and can get a lit...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank palcal
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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