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“Sorry - No complaints!”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #14 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Sorry - No complaints!”
Reviewed 6 March 2014

This was our 2nd visit to this location. (First was eleven years previous.) On this visit, our room was just across the hall from where we stayed the first time! Brought back many memories. When we select a destination, if there's a RIU, that's where we stay. We have grown to admire their corporate consistency, ethics and cleanliness.

TIP: I have just one suggestion regarding THIS resort. Although the electrical outlets (110v) accommodate both spade and round inputs, the fixtures are recessed making it impossible to plug-in any (spade) chargers. Luckily I had packed an adapter plugged into the round holes. The resulting extended distance made it easy to plug-in our normal spade plug.

It was very nice to have a doctor's office here. I had a dumb accident... my fault - 7 stitches.
By the way, I was sober!

As usual, I spoke with many fellow tourists. None had any complaint(s)... well there WAS one person. But she complained about everything, we couldn't get away from her. After about 45 minutes, and listening to some of her personal life, it was clear she didn't have both oars in the water. (I say this with sympathy.)

Although this is a large resort, its layout and efficiency is comforting.

We were very fortunate with this visit. For our excursions we used the same guide and driver. Through the course of two weeks, we became good friends. Suegundo? If you read this, We thank you again for inviting us to your home and giving us the opportunity to meet your family.
It was truly an honor.

We also met a British couple (Cathy & Paul) who invited us to a (Very Fresh) sea-food supper at a highly recommended establishment exactly one mile west of the resort. It was a real treat and a great opportunity to linger with the locals.

Would we go back again? Well this was our 2nd visit!
A third time? We'd like to, and we might - but its a big world out there with so much to see.

Room Tip: See the Tip mentioned in my text. Try to get a main floor room fairly close to the main reception b...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Glen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sudbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2014

Just got back today, yes, the resort is a little tired, but immaculately cleaned and gardens kept lovely. In our opinion this is a groups resort. (NOT COUPLES OR FAMILIES) The rooms are a bit dated but, all the essentials plus more are there (mini fridge and optics). At the end of the day you only need to sleep and shower in them. What really lets this resort down is the food. The lay out of the main buffet restaurants are not good. The food is barely warm, and by the time you've queued at the next food station whats on your plate is stone cold, let alone by the time you eventually get to sit down. The dishes on offer are truly weird. Things that do not accompany anything else on offer. Yes, you can always fined something to eat, but that's not what you really want on holiday you want a good variety of enjoyable food. But on a good note, all staff in all areas are wonderful, they really go above and beyond to make your stay the best it can be, they work really hard. Having visited the Domincan on many occasions, this was at the bottom of our list to re-visit. Which has surprised us, as having stayed at several Riu hotels in the past, this one has made us really think again about booking another RIU hotel. The position of the hotel is not good if you like to swim, as bed rock is just beyond waist depth. (need beach shoes) Water is deeper at the Merengue village end. We witnessed several people having to be rescued who were stuck on the reef at low tied. In our opinion the Riu Bachata is a nicer looking hotel, with a swim up bar, casino, outside balcony on restaurant, and 24hr bar. But there are a lot nicer hotels to stay than this one. (note to Riu manager, is this correct that Carnival Cruises have bought the Merengue garden and village, but not the Bachata?)
We flew with Thomson, and must say check in at Puerto Plata Airport was Chaos. No one was sent to the correct desks, with bag drop off etc. One queue had four desks serving and another queue just one. The rep was just standing around chatting instead of sorting out the bedlam infront of her. It took us an hour and twenty minutes to queue 30 metres to check our luggage. There were a lot of people getting really irate.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank grandnez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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
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
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Norm W
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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