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“Awesome Entertainment, Clean Resort, Beautiful Beach, Great Vacation!”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #14 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Awesome Entertainment, Clean Resort, Beautiful Beach, Great Vacation!”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Spent a week at Riu Merengue with a group of 7 friends Feb 25-Mar 4 2014.
Food: Great variety, never got sick, awesome chef Oscar at the omelette station in the mornings! We did both the Italian and Steakhouse a la carte, definitely stick to the Italian, the steak leaves a lot to be desired.
Entertainment: Tons of activities, did dancing, stretching/yoga, bingo, volleyball, horseshoes. Shoutout to Chocolate, Sexy Lucy, King Kong on the entertainment staff, they will MAKE your week! Evening shows were awesome, lots of audience involvement.
Bars: Stick around La Plaza Bar and get your drinks made by Diaz, he cares about his customers and is lovely to talk to.
Activities: We did NOT do the excursions through SunWing, instead we went with Mel's Tours for horseback riding. This was off the resort but only a ten minute walk to the horses. Would not recommend for those who have never ridden but it was a great time, rode on the beach and into the village. Go in a group for sure, this is not a child-friendly activity.
Rooms: Rooms do not say "5-Star" but throw a couple bucks on the side table or a small gift for your maid and she did a great job for us. We also put money on our mini-fridge to stock up on beer and water (otherwise you only get 2 of each). We had no bugs/cockroaches or anything and had a second floor room in the garden.
Flight/Sunwing: If you travel regularly for work on major airlines, you won't be impressed with a 90s/outdated airplane. Bring headphones to watch the inflight movie, and request seats ahead of time (you have to pay for this) to sit with your spouse. Was worth it as we got 6th row there and back. Sunwing also tells you that you have to go to the morning session the day after your arrival to hear about your flight information. WRONG: they use this time to pitch excursions to you, waste of time if you ask me.
Overall: Awesome vacation, definitely a fun resort to go to with a group of friends, older crowd so we weren't surrounded by drunk teenagers, and enjoyed the entertainment and atmosphere overall.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms are cleaner.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank KathleenLO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014

My wife and I arrived at the RIU Merengue late afternoon 18th Feb check in was very easy and the suitcases were taken to our room. The layout of the resort(we stayed in the Garden part of the resort) seemed somewhat complicated with regard to the finding of the rooms if it hadn't been for very helpful guest we could have walked around for sometime before finding our room not good after a 10hr flight !!. The room was clean and a reasonable size however, given it was a 4 star hotel there was no tea or coffee making facilities in the room, it has to be the first hotel I have stayed in with no such facilities. The room was some 1/4 of a mile from the main areas
which made for a lot of walking. The dining room was very large and reminded me of a school dining room although the waiters were very attentive but the food left a lot to be desired not of a very good quality, breakfast best meal of the day. The bar staff also very attentive and helpful. good.
The entertainment appeared to be somewhat sporadic with some very good shows in the evening
but on other nights not very good.
Given what we had paid for the holiday both my wife and I will not be returning to this resort but will return to the island but to another resort

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank peter s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014

My boyfriend his family and I went on vacation here at the end of February. We all loved our stay and we definately would return. It wasn't my first vacation so I was expecting much less then what the Riu Merengue provided. The security, beach, employees and pool were amazing. The entertainment I was expecting more of but each night was different and they did put on some excellent shows- not very kid friendly though. Take note; there is three resorts that you have access to - Riu Merengue Village, Riu Merengue Garden and Riu Merengue Bachata. I loved this perk, we had three pools, three beaches, restaurants, bars and WiFi. It definately isn't for people looking for night life.

We had no sight of bugs in our room, until the day it rained. They went away as soon we sprayed hair spray.

Also, if you're visiting.. Pack some cat treats. There are three kittens that walk around at night starving. :(

Overall, we had a great experience and LOVED the excursions we took. : Deep Sea Fishing, Ocean World (Dolphin Encounter and Day Pass) as well as the Dune Buggy Tour.

Room Tip: Bring your own pillow!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank 07golden85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alliston, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

I went on vacation with my boyfriend and two of his friends Feb 23rd- Mar 2nd. The entertainers and bar tenders were amazing people, they were the ones that made the trip. I was fine with the food, but the other 3 had a really hard time getting use to it. There wasn't too much to choose from and if so, wasn't that great. You had to eat breakfast between 7-10 am and if you missed it, you would have to either wait until 1pm to eat lunch or you would have to walk over to the Riu Bachata for something to eat. They only fill your fridge every 2 days so we found that we had to ask for water bottles everyday. The rooms were very outdated, and maids weren't too friendly. If you wanted to book a reservation for dinner, you had to book it right at 7am and you still weren't even guaranteed a spot. This resort doesn't seem like its for the younger generation. There was many families with young children or seniors. The Riu Bachata had more things to do there, so we found ourselves walking there most of the time. The people are very pushy on making you buy their items, and even if you don't have the money on you, they will make you take it and tell you to come back to pay for it. I didn't like that because they pressure you into buying things, and if you didn't purchase something, they got very offended.

Room Tip: I'd suggest staying at the Riu Bachata or the Riu Merengue Garden, not the Village... While stay...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank courttb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Havelock, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

My wife & I, my brother & his partner (all of us 69 - 74 years old) and our daughter & her husband (travel agents) just returned from a week (Feb 18-25) at the RIU Merengue. This is a very large resort with about 1,000 rooms in the RIU Merengue Gardens alone. Add to that, the Bachata and the Merengue Village and, there are well over 1600 rooms.

We booked early enough to get ocean front buildings. Overall, the rooms were kept clean and we had no trouble with towels or face cloths and, the mini bar was restocked every other day (as advertised). The staff were friendly and courteous.

The food was good, there was a good variety and, lots of it. We utilized the a la cartes (Steak House and Italian) on two occasions and, celebrated a birthday and an anniversary. Each time there were balloons on the chairs, a bottle of wine and, a cake making the day very special. The beef was not bad considering. I would have liked to have seen a little more Italian choices on the menu .

The beach was great and extended from the RIU Bachata through the Merengue Gardens, to the Merengue Village (about a kilometer). Vendors seemed to be restricted to their own very colourful street in the resort.

I can not say enough about the groundskeepers. They worked (it seemed) from daybreak to sundown raking and cleaning the resort.

If there were any cons, the Wi-Fi was slow and sporadic. As travel agents, our daughter & son-in-law used it almost daily and were quite frustrated at times (I don't know if the resort or, the ISP is responsible). While the electric receptacles were recessed, we (as a group) had no trouble keeping our computers, e-readers and cameras charged. There was no clock radio in our room.

We have stayed at the Barcelo and, the Gran Ventana on the Playa Dorada in the past and, we felt the RIU Merengue was a slight cut above. In my wife's and my opinion, this is a solid 4 star Dominican Republic resort and, all in our group would recommend it.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Norm W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antigonish, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We booked a week prior and got a decent price from Sell Off Vacations. Traveled via Sunwing from Halifax. First time using Sunwing and was pleased with their service and the amount of freebies available onboard (headsets, hot meal (ok, nothing to write home about), champagne, wine ice cream sunday, and even a nice chocolate to finish up your meal). Flight was on time. Stewardesses were good. Seating was the regular cramped charter, but the seats themselves were nice cushioney leather.

Puerto Plata Airport (POP) looks brand new and things went smoothly. We did not get harassed at the airport, in fact, there were no porters there trying to get your bags. We did land around 10 pm. There were lots of carts to put your luggage on and it was pretty straight forward to get to the bus.

Arrived at the resort 30 minutes or so later after dropping off at a few others. Ours was the last stop. Check in was quick and we could leave our bags with a bell hop and walk with one of the staff who was leading everyone on foot to their rooms. We elected to take our bags with us and he helped us up the stairs with them.

I had requested a room on second floor in a quiet area and got exactly that. Room 2312. I was pleased with our room. It was quiet, but close to everything. I like the balcony, where we could hear and see the ocean. It was your basic room, adequate for our needs. No hair dryer and the you might have to get an extender for the plugs (same voltage as North America) but the plugs were recessed. Beds were on the hard side; I thought my hips would bother me, but we both slept well. If you are fussy about your pillows, you may have to drag your own. These were flat as pancakes. I just used two. Free safe in the room, it looks like something from the Flintstones and you have to cart the key around with you, but it works. We found the maid service was excellent. Plenty of towels and our room was cleaned daily. There is liquour dispensers in the room and the fridge is replenished every two days. We found that we had to refill our water bottles at the restaurants, because we both needed more water.

Loved waking up early the next morning to the sound of birds. The grounds are very lush and well looked after. Lots of even, paved walkways. It looked like a good resort for someone with mobility issues, except there was no gradual entry into the pools. I met a few older people who could not use the pools because the only access was a ladder.

We only left the resort once all week. Great place to unwind and relax. You have full access to Riu Bachata (except for the evening a la cartes). Wi-fi available in the lobby. Free 90 minutes per day, but very spotty. Once you connected, you had to use it or lose it, but one thing a lot of people did not know is that you could connect at the Bachata for additional time if you needed it, and also access it around the Bachata pool.

Beach was very nice. Went for a long ways and plenty of loungers available. I loved the way that the beach extended far inland where there were many palm trees for shade. A lot of people sat back there. We were not harassed by vendors on the beach. The surf was heavy the days we were there and most days a red flag flew, but it did not stop people going in. There was always a lovely breeze on the beach. I used water shoes in the water as there was rough coral gravel and sea weed or grass and rocks in some places.

I prefer buffets to a la cartes. The buffets at Merengue and Bachata were fine. I could always find food I liked. They had the most amazing home made donuts at the Merengue buffet in the mornings...lethal. We attended the steak house and Italian a la carte. I guess what I enjoyed about that was getting dressed up a bit and there was more opportunity to talk with your fellow diners.

I was impressed with how hard the staff worked at this resort. I did not encounter anyone that was grumpy. Enjoyed a variety of drinks from the bars, especially spanish coffee and mojitos. Animation team worked hard. Some shows were good, others awful. They worked long hours keeping everyone entertained at the pools and beach during the day.

My daughter used the gym and we both made use of the spa that is located above the gym on the Bachata side. We got the seaweed wrap treatment the first day, I would recommend getting a spa service early in your stay to help you unwind and enjoy. We were both very pleased with this treatment that included a relaxation massage. My skin was like silk. We were offered a considerable discount on the advertised price. There are massage buildings set up on the beach also. We also got a pedicure nail polish change towards the end of our trip at a small storefront just down from the gym. Five dollars was a bargain for a very good job.

We left the resort once for a day trip on a catamaran arranged through Sandy, the Sunwing agent. It cost us $89 each for a great day of sailing/eating/drinking and stopping to snorkel in a couple of spots. Crew was friendly and fun.

All in all, we both felt we got very good value for our money and would return to Puerto Plata and this resort.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
9 Thank AntigonishBarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Stayed at this resort Feb 18 to 25th,2014. Check in was great fast and welcome drink.The room dated but very clean but beds in bad condition all need changing, for a 4.5 star hotel no iron or ironing board in rooms. The balconies are great with clothes rack to dry you swimsuit which was nice clock radio did not work and cover in some crusty white film. Beach area is nice hotel is on Atlantic side so water is rough.Staff very friendly (Junior,Paula,Martin,Diaz,Rebecca) really know how to make you feel welcome.Bars close at midnight so if you like to party late this resort is not the place, there is a disco after hours but it's small and drinks are $5.00 US each. Ok the food I am sure you will find something to eat but out of 6 dinners we only enjoyed 2. Breakfast same choices all 6 days. Lunch and Late night buffet same food fries, mysterty burger & hot dogs. They don't have enough staff in the restaurant so we got are own drink 90% of the time so no need to tip.As we all know the star rating is not the same at these resorts as in Canada or USA. This hotel is a 3 star definately not a 4.5 star we were very disappointed.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dyvonal
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
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 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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