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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 12 March 2014

just come back from two weeks in Feb. at this hotel and love it all !!!!! Food very good , people lovely, weather first class . The rooms could do with a face lift but did not put us of.Locals in at the weekend were a bit to much !!!! but overall a great holiday

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Brian E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2014

Although it was last year.....I cant say enough good things about this place! It was absoplutely gorgeous, we particularly liked the fact that we could use the other hotels which were part of the massive complex. This was good in the evenings so we didnt get bored. Had the most amazing time....was soooo sad to leave. Saw a couple of people get married here, which inspired our own carribean wedding which will be taking place next year. Fab value for money......fun fun fun in the sun.
Some people wrote some pretty bad reviews on here about this place, but I couldnt fault it! Dont even hesitate.....book ir :)

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank NOONOOMANCHESTER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

My partner and myself holidayed at the Merengue last Oct 2013.
I looked at trip advisor about four weeks before our trip and to be honest we tried to cancel due to the reviews and the newspaper article.
Most of the accusations and comments were true about this hotel!
Don't go to the Dominican Republic in the Dominican school holidays!
Locals take over the hotel at the weekends, prostitutes in the bars in the evening ( a guy from Holland had a very good time) most mornings he would take his conquest to breakfast different girl every night.. He wasn't the only one... I know this happens all over the world but not as in your face as this place. Thank god we have no kids!
Other issues:
The locals used the pool as a toilet, the pool was closed a few times over the two weeks we stayed. The pool didn't get emptied for a proper clean. They just retrieved the floater then added more chemicals.
The locals are very noisy so if your expecting a quiet atmosphere you'll be disappointed..They definitely get their monies worth. ( they even brought mattresses to the hotel ...kids go free so they get as many kids in the room as possible ) The management did try to resolve the complaints, by opening the pool in the Riu Mambo for international guests
The Mambo:
The pool at the Mambo was very dirty and full of bird poo they wouldn't put the pool filter pumps on, the pool guy kept jumping in the pool with a net to clear the bird poo out....he really tried to keep it clean
The lady behind the bar was lovely and made great cocktails.
We still had to dine with the greedy locals at meal times at the Merengue (the kitchens at the Mambo were closed down so we had no choice ) the locals took loads of food back to there rooms on plates ( probably contributing to the roach problem)
Staff at the mambo were lovely.
Most of our holiday was spent at the beach and Mambo hotel.
Room:
The room was dated but ok, we had cockroaches so I slept the first few nights with the light on, and wouldn't unpack. The cleaner was an angel and sprayed our room and left us the roach spray. That helped we only saw a couple after that, the cleaner was a lovely lady. I tipped her ever day so she kept the room spotless.
The shops in the complex are expensive so make sure you take plenty of sun lotion etc. shocking prices £30 for Nivea sun lotion
Entertainment:
Terrible!
Would I recommend this place. "No" spend a little more money on the holiday "invest in a better hotel"
You then can relax around the pool, feel comfortable knowing the pool is clean and safe to use.
Over all comment:
Disappointed ! I will never go back.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
8  Thank Michaela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

First of all, we have never done the Dominican Rep, or All inclusive hotels, so we have nothing to compare this hotel with.
However, we loved this hotel, and couldn't find much to complain about (pillows are hard, and no kettle in room to make own tea and coffee). We arrived after a 9 and a half hours flight,(flew with Thomson on the new dreamliner, and it was fab) and was taken to hotel, which was around 45 mins away. Left cases in reception, and went to our room, and bags followed shortly afterwards.
We found the rooms perfectly adequate, and we had a hairdryer in the room, tv (if you can find a channel in english), fridge mini bar and 3 optics (one was broken, as it should have been 4) air con included, and a safe in the room, which was free to use. There is also a big fan on the ceiling. We found that one switch turns all the electricity off, and it took a couple of days to find out which switches were for each light.
The rooms were cleaned daily, and we found all the staff very friendly, and always said ola (hello?) when they passed us, and so hard working.
Loved how close the beach is, but it is true, there is coral, and rocks, so beach shoes deffo.
Access to the two other Riu hotels, so you can mix it up abit, as there is nothing outside of the resort, unless you want to go to the shanty town near by (we gave that a miss). Saw lots of people walking round with the thermos coffee cups you can get in poundland. They sell them in the shops, but at hugely inflated prices. Bring your own, as you can use it for coffee, tea, but also beers, and cold drinks.
Have read a lot of people didn't rate the food, but we personally found the food nice, with lots of choice, hot meals, salads, we never had to queue, or get our own drinks, there was always a waiter)ress) ready to serve us drinks, and we never had trouble finding a table, but we never came to the dinning room the minute it was opened, so maybe that's why it was more busy, and people had to queue.
The shops in Carribean street, between the hotels had lovely shops, but you found you didn't want to go in them, as you got harrassed the minute you walked in. We took US dollars, but the prices are in Domincan Peso, so after asking price in dollars, am sure they increased price. Next time, I will bring the Dominican currency, and maybe a few US dollars.
We did only one trip, the catamaran snorkelling daytrip. Fantastic day, and the crew take pics of you under the water, feeding the tropical fish. They take pics all day of the trip, and download it onto a cd for $20. They kept us all entertained, it was a great trip. This was through Thomson, and all drinks and food were included for $84. We also went to see the mini christ the redeemer, but we got a cab ourselves $35 both ways, and they wait for you to take you back. $10 to go up the cablecar (teleferico). The statue is on top of a gift shop(!?), and you get hasselled to go in there. We just politely declined, and went for a nice walk around the surounding grounds for around an hour.
We had just one day of rain, in the middle of the week, but after that, the sun was shining again.
If you use the phones in the rooms, it's $2 per minute, and you will be charged even if you don't get through.
We found the entertainment in the evening not that great, silly random games, that involve the audience, and staff dancing around miming to songs. Plenty of entertainment round the pools in the day, but can be quite noisy, so we spent lots of time on the beach.
I'm not a drinker, but was drinking cocktails all the time, and not a hint of even being tipsy, so the alcohol in that part of the world is deffo weaker. Apparently, if you tip the bar staff, you get the proper alcohol, smirnoff, gordons gin, etc. Saw it on display, but never saw it being used.
On returning to the airport for our trip home, as I saw someone else say, it was complete khaos, and the queues all seemed to merge into one (unlike the snake system, at Gatwick, so no chance of people pushing in), we queued for more than an hour, and also true, the reps were not sorting it out.
I would definately come back to The Dominican Republic, but next time I want to try the Riu on the other side of the Island, as I've heard the Carribean Sea side is hotter, and the sea calmer. It was a fantastic holiday, we loved every minute of it, and didn't want to go home.

Room Tip: The resort is big, so if you don't wish to walk far, ask for rooms nearer to the reception. None...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank chippychatsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Glen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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4  Thank grandnez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank KathleenLO
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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £71 - £132 (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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