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“Very nice stay”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Thornhill, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Very nice stay”
Reviewed 24 February 2014 via mobile

My trip just concluded and everything was very good.
It's my second time at this resort complex and I'll definitely come back.

The food was delightful and the resort was clean. The service staff in the restaurants were exceptional.

A bonus of this resort is that you can snorkel right at the resort.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Corey A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We got a bargain at his resort last year and only paid approximately $800 for 7 days out of Toronto. It is rated as a 4.5 star which might be an exaggeration but saying that, the resort was immaculately clean and the staff were super friendly and accommodating.

A couple of interesting things happened to us, which at the time were inconvenient but we had to laugh. We were a group of six women and had requested that our rooms be close together. The hotel is divided into separate units which probably houses about 20 rooms each. Two of us were placed in a unit closer to the hotel while four of us where at the opposite end of the resort by the livestock. Not only did some of us get locked out of our rooms but two of my friends got locked in their room and hotel staff had to go into SWAT mode and climb into the room from the adjoining room’s balcony to be able to open the door. The last thing that happened was while two of us were eating lunch our table just collapsed into our laps. It was hilarious.

This resort looks like one of the older Rui hotels. So some of the drawbacks were the food was middle of the road and less variety than what I have experienced at other tropical resorts. The beds were quite hard and the pillows flat. The gazebo could have used a fresh coat of paint. Besides the incidents that happened these would be the only other downsides to the resort which considering what we paid is miniscule.

One of the positives of the Riu Merengue was the gorgeous scenery. I know alot of Canadians prefer Punta Cana but I prefer the ruggedness of Puerto Plata. We were in close proximity to some great tours which I booked through Isaira Tours (separate review), they were great. We did the Whale Watching Tour which was a whole day adventure but doable from the Riu Merengue although we only seen the backs of the whales and our other friends that did the catamaran off the coast had one jump out of the water in front of them, but that can’t be predicted. We also did the 27 Waterfalls (separate review).

The Riu Merengue hosts a clinic, a pharmacy and a spa, that does amazing massages on the beach. The beach was clean white sand, and although full you could always find a lounge chair.

Probably their biggest asset was their staff. These guys work long hours with few days off and they are always smiling and upbeat and provide excellent service, so don’t forget to tip them. A big thank-you to Ambiorix, Wanda, Simon and Juan Pablo to mention a few and Gicela who does beach massages, you guys do a great job.

Subsequently I have stayed at two other Riu hotels both in Costa Rica and they were both a step up and we paid for it, but for value this one couldn’t be beat. If I could get a comparable price I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LeeAnneCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

14 nights in February for the four of us (2 adults, 2 children (9 and 11)) was just about right! Rained a couple of times (heavy, but temperature still >25C) but the showers lasted for only a few hours before brilliant blue sky returned. Anyway - the hotel.....

It's a Caribbean five star hotel, get this right. If you're expecting Park Lane or Broadway style luxury then you're gonna be disappointed.

ROOMS
The rooms were adequate - I mean, you're on holiday so really you're only going to get changed in them and sleep in them. The rest of the time you'll be elsewhere. Yes, they have mini-bars and optics! All free. Topped up every other day. Maid service was great, room always cleaned when we came back from the beach, to a very high standard too. Ours was a few minutes walk from the main pool and reception but was nice and quiet. It did get busier at the weekends - locals definitely arrived but not en masse and were not in anyway troublesome. The hotel was almost at capacity, mostly Canadians (70%) with Germans, Swiss, UK, and Russians making up the majority of the remainder but (almost) all were really friendly and just on holiday to unwind and have some fun.

FOOD
Average, but hey, it's all inclusive so don't expect lobster! After two weeks it does seem a little monotonous but you won't go hungry. There's one a la carte restaurant that's split into two, a steakhouse and an Italian but it doesn't matter which you book as if the maître d' likes you he'll let you order from either menu. Snack bar open from ten in the morning but apparently there's one outlet open at all times. Expect chicken, beef, pasta, rice, salads, etc. Great range of fruits and deserts.

STAFF
Faultless. They work so hard. From 0630 when the plague of cleaners appear from nowhere to clean up the mess from the previous nights revellers, to the gardeners sweeping continuously, the animation team, the Thomson reps, the reception staff. Can't criticise.

ACTIVITIES
Plenty of excursions on offer from our rep. Overpriced in many cases (but I guess the holiday price is cheap so these extras go a long way to add to their coffers), We visited the waterfalls and a small local town. Was great, and despite what I have just said, wasn't excessive ($204 for all of us. Oh - and take US dollars as they are the most widely accepted currency. 75% of the shops only have USD prices on their labels, not local Pesos!) Even Thomson prefer payment in USD for their excursions.
The hotel activities are what you'd expect, cruise ship style evening entertainment. The 'animation' team have the usual volleyball, waterpolo, darts, aerobics, etc. activities going on throughout the day - everyone invited to take part.
We went scuba diving (my boy and I). Damn expensive for what it was (twice the price we paid in Cuba two years ago) and the reef was in a pretty poor state. $249 for a morning for the pair of us, although this included sitting and watching the (mandatory) 20 minute safety video and a half hour swimming in a circle in the pool!
SUMMARY
Good value for money. Don't think you're getting New York/London five start service and food because you're not. Please put it all into perspective - we paid about £850 each for the fortnight. That's a touch over sixty quid a day for all you can eat, all you can drink plus the many free activities on offer. Even in a UK hotel that would be a bargain and don't forget that cost included the flight and transfers. Oh - and it was a B787 (Dreamliner) if you're into that sort of thing. AMAZING plane!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank themanwithnoshoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Probably 2.5 stars would be more accurate. If you're looking for an inexpensive getaway for a few days, this place is totally fine. But don't expect something amazing. Also, be prepared that there's an "animation team," which means a bunch of dudes who are in charge of running entertainment and games by the pool. They're cheesy and loud. Overall, the vibe of the place is more geared toward families than couples.

Pros:
-Beach is beautiful
-Grounds are nicely kept
-Rooms are clean
-Good service overall

Cons:
-Food is weak, both at the buffet and the a la carte restaurants
-Rooms are basic
-No conditioner or lotion provided in bathroom, only shampoo and soap
-There's only one jacuzzi and it doesn't work

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dizzle18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 February 2014

Arriving at the resort, late at night, we were given no direction as to where our room was and there were very few fluent English speaking employees.

The rooms were average, the beds weren't the most comfortable and the showers were either very cold or very hot, sometimes without hot water available at all. The tap water was unsafe for consumption, even just for brushing your teeth, and I wish we had received more than just one water bottle/day for two people in our bar fridge. There were also a few large insects in our room, but nothing you wouldn't expect in a tropical resort. The perks of the room included the liquor dispenser and the attached porch.

The beach was gorgeous, with rocky areas at either end of the bay, a lot of palm trees, ghost crabs and bars along the way. Its not a white sand beach, but its beautiful nonetheless and we had amazing weather for the duration of our stay. There are free snorkel, paddle boat and kayak rentals in the center of the beach and sports and other activities going on along the beach all day long. I would recommend waking up early to get your beach chairs, as it fills up pretty quickly in the morning.

The food and drink was better than I expected, with salad bars and pizza available throughout the day. The meals are buffet style, but you are able to book A La Carte meals; we did the Italian on our last night and it was very good. The bars closer to the resorts are larger and have more options for drinks, I recommend the Banana Mama. The Disco was okay, with mostly Spanish music and hiphop throwback tunes, but it wasn't too busy when we were there and we had to pay for drinks there.

If I were to stay here again, I would book at the Rui Bachata, as its dining room was much larger, with more food options. As a young adult, I found the Merengue was targeted mostly for families and retirees, whereas the Bachata had a swim-up bar and a bar open 24/7, which is more suited for a younger crowd.

I would recommend bringing an English/Spanish dictionary and your own shampoo, conditioner and body wash, since not much was provided. Also, if you plan on using the Internet, wifi is available in the lobby but they don't provide computers, so I would advise packing your own devices and chargers. The internet is slow and it kicked me off after about 10 minutes, despite it being advertised as 90 minutes/day of free internet. Its good for checking and sending emails and checking Facebook, but not much else.

If it weren't for the beach, I would have been disappointed. I think with the amount that we paid, it didn't meet the standard that it should have. I don't mean to sound whiny, I just wish I had known some of these things before I booked, so hopefully I can help some of you either choose another resort, or be prepared for Merengue.

Room Tip: The corner rooms are larger, be sure to always say 'yes' to replenishing your minibar, if on...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bethany923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Colborne, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014

We stayed at the Riu Merengue Feb11-18, there were 7 of us 4 adults and 3 children, ages 7,9 and 11. I have stayed at nicer properties in Punta Cana and paid about double then what we paid here. This resort was nice, we had an option of staying and playing at the 2 properties, so we did spend our days at the Bachata, the pool is so much nicer and has a swim up bar. The food was very good we all loved it. The booked dinners were very good as well, we ate at the Italian and the Steak House 3 times, and really enjoyed the meals. The grounds are beautiful, and very clean. Rooms are OK, honestly you sleep in them. Shows were very enjoyable and there was something for everyone. The buffets were wonderful, we all loved the breakfast and lunch options and the dinners were wonderful.We booked the water sports on the beach (kyacking/paddle boats/ jet skis) the kids loved it!! Jet ski was extra and only the 11 year old was allowed on with an adult, which was fine.The sand is quite rocky, so bring sand shoes. We booked massages on the beach and it was probably the best I have ever had! I highly recommend having pictures taken by the photographers on site, they go around the pool daily, they asked if we wanted a Sunset Family Shoot, we thought sure! It was no extra charge, and you pay only for the pictures you pick. The end pictures were absolutely amazing!!!!!!! The people at this resort were the nicest I have ever seen, so happy and helpful. Overall this resort was fantastic!! And we absolutely enjoyed our vacation!!

Room Tip: Ask for the 200's..it's in the middle of both properties...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank fishon2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014

just spent two weeks at riu merengue two couples, older but young at heart it was fabulous good location good food the rooms where spotless and all the staff soooo friendly did a few trips and they where well organized had a few lazy days on the sunbeds by the pool or on the beach, but never far from a nice cool drink!! the annimation team work so hard all day got us playing horsheshoes and boules, rubish at both but a good laugh. hope to go back again.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sylviacarradus
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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