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“I would recommend this hotel, the pictures alone are realistic and had missing the resort instantly :(((”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 2 May 2014

We went the first week of April. We went with one other adult couple and two of our own children. One 7 months and the other 11. Just a few quick things. The Riu merengue is right next to the Riu Bachatta. We preferred the Merengue with the bars, entertainment, kids club (way better), kids programs BUT the dinners at the Bachatta was phenomenal !! If you stay at the Merengue you are NOT allowed to share the dinner meals at the Bachatta whether it's the a la cartes or buffet. We were actually walked out by the manager who told us it was reserved for Bachatta guests. This disappointed us as they almost seemed snobby AND this was not how the resorts were sold to us. The Bachatta was only 40$ more for the week per person and we were told that due to the port being built there for ships the beach would be horrible. THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE with the beach. It's all shared so we were very disappointed. We were told the rooms were better but *******
For anyone who travels with a baby the Bachatta has ramps where all stairs are and the bar closest to the pool was so steep my stroller fell forward and my baby almost hit his head on the pavement. I was livid as this was not safe and not designed right. I would not recommend this hotel if you have a stroller

The Merengues staff was pleasant but there were very few employees that seemed to stand out for customer service. No matter if we tipped or not the bartender Joselito and Ramon were outstanding!!! Joselito made this very yummy banana drink with real bananas (with and without alcohol) that we absolutely loved! We told him what we liked and he made it special. Each time we came to see him he would prepare them for us instantly and always seemed to love to want to serve everyone. Ramon did the the same for us and did a spin off of his own of the same drink

The buffets were alright for breakfast and great for lunch. I enjoyed the dinners but my husband didn't. The steak a la carte was great and we enjoyed that twice.
The main pool was nice and clean. It wasn't difficult to get seats around the pool or beach. We were never hassled for services or products at the Riu's like in the past with other Dom republic hotels. That was refreshing. The kids pool at the merengue was ideal as I was able to hold my son and walk out into the pool as it has a slow gradual decline made for children

They advertise that they restock your fridge daily but it's more like every 2nd day with one water and 2 beers. They can give you water at the front counter if you ask but you have to wait for refills, pay someone for more beers or buy them from the gift shops.
They did NOT restock toiletries so you definitely have to bring your own and they are over priced in the gift shop just like anywhere

Everything and anywhere you go you must barter as the prices that are charged at the shops on the outskirts of the beach and the shops between the hotels are ALL over priced. The shop located two shops to the right of the SPA had some unique wood work and each night we went there the prices doubled for each piece we showed interest in. SUPER unprofessional and shocking for the RIU's to not control better as the constant rip offs dampened the shopping experiences

My husband did the massage and he said it was great and 100% worth it.

It had its ups and downs but we liked it and I loved it and would go back but the rest of the group wouldn't. It was worth the 960$ we paid for the week !

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank Sunshine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 May 2014

If you want to have a relaxing getaway in a place where you are guaranteed to receive superb customer service, then definitely stay at this hotel. Although not exactly a "party" hotel, this is a resort for he or she who wants to get away, listen to the ocean waves and read a book while working on their tan. Ideally, in my opinion, this is a hotel for couples (either newlyweds or retired couples) who don't necessarily care for bachata or merengue bumping out of loudspeakers in the middle of the night. For those who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the beach and for those who yearn tranquility; this is the perfect resort. It is also a nice resort for families. If you'd like to enjoy a little of both worlds, the great thing is you can walk just a few feet through the beautifully maintained grounds to the Riu Bachata, it's sister resort next door. There is a swim up pool bar, great animation and a very lively atmosphere. If you stay at one of the Riu resorts, you have free access to all of the Riu resort hotels on the property. Now, back to Riu Merengue. The decor in the hotel room is definitely aimed at making you feel like you're in a tropical retreat. I personally, would update the decor and make it look slightly more modern; since it can look like you traveled back to the 1980's. Nevertheless, this is completely irrelevant when you actually experience this resort. The customer service is always superior. From the staff in reception to the luggage crew, everyone is extremely kind and helpful. They go out of their way to assist you and make you feel absolutely great. In actuality, I have noticed that the customer service and attention to detail is something highly important in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. This in comparison to some resorts on the eastern coast (Bayahibe, Punta Cana) where you are really being sold the "view" of the stunning beaches. In Puerto Plata, especially at this resort, they aim to make the tourist feel at home but still make the experience genuinely Dominican; they do not water down the culture to make it comfortable for the close-minded or for those who travel seeking elements of their native country in foreign countries. In this region, you KNOW you are in the Dominican Republic and that is a great thing. Now, since I am the daughter of two very lovely, and stunningly attractive Dominican parents (I might add), I will recommend a few excursions and give you a few recommendations. You definitely should visit Punta Rusia (aka Cayo Arena). It is a tiny island surrounded by clear blue waters ideal for snorkeling. You will get there on a speedboat and it is so much fun. Also, if you're not scared of heights, visit the Teleferico which will take you up to Mount Isabel de Torres where you will witness a stunning view of Puerto Plata and its breathtaking coastline. Also, visit the Fort of San Felipe (For those who love history) and the Amber museum because amber is just that amazing. (Unique to the DR, along with the jaw-dropping bright blue Larimar precious rock. Don't buy amber or larimar off the streets please, they are most likely fake.) Horseback riding and the 4-wheelers(quads) are a must, by the way. At the hotel you can book all of these excursions, but definitely do your research because you may be able to find the very same activities at a more reasonable price.
DO NOT leave the Dominican Republic without going to an Helados Bon ice cream shop; it might be the greatest ice-cream you've ever had. I personally recommend "Bizcocho" on a cone with some guayaba (guava) syrup on top. No, the little ice cream bars at the souvenir shop don't count. Secondly, if you are adventurous and do not mind driving in DR, which is a wild experience in and of itself ( not for the faint of heart), rent a car with a local company called Kayak. That is if you don't wanna go broke or if you simply aren't up for paying loads of cash just to rent a car for a few days and explore on your own. Now, do NOT be alarmed, you will be asked to leave your passport in a safe they have instead of a huge deposit like regular car rental companies. Although this may sound absolutely insane to some foreigners ( I won't lie, I initially imagined my passport being sold and someone traveling with my identity and tanning their cheeks somewhere in Florida), there is absolutely NOTHING shady about it. (They have passports from all nationalities imaginable, and they are very professional.)They hold your passport and return it to you once you return the car. Apparently, some people wreck the car, abandon it somewhere, take a cab back to the hotel and flee the country without returning the vehicle. Hence, why they resort to this unpopular method. Nevertheless, you can rent a great, reliable vehicle for 1/3 of what you would pay with Avis and such. If you STILL find it inconceivable to do that, then take a cab but I definitely recommend getting in to town. (Just don't be a resort hermit). Now, if you do rent that car, near the hotel there's a Provocon where they sell fried chicken with wasakaka seasoning (sounds yucky but it's sinfully good) and tostones (fried plantains); once you taste this chicken, trust me, you will want to have it delivered to your hotel room. (I sure did!) If you have some free time and want to do something wonderful, there is a nearby orphanage for young girls that have been abandoned by their mothers, it is called Albergue de Martina. Thank you for the hotel reception employees for helping me find it. My visit there was spontaneous and unplanned, but it just may change your life to see so many beautiful smiles. Show these children some love; for every act of charity and love, no matter how small, is immense in the eyes of our creator. (Yes, I can be deep. This visit was the highlight of my trip to Puerto Plata)
Back to Riu Merengue; there's no science behind it, book it already; you'll be glad you did. The food is good, the location is beautiful, the drinks are great ( ask for coco locos) and the staff is exceptional.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank UnaNomadaSinRumbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

totally agree with the last review.had a great holiday. never seen so many cleaners in a hotel before.the animation team were great.evening bar staff are fantastic and love making their own personal cocktails for you. couldnt fault the hotel at all.met some lovely people and would definately go back again.traveled with my husband and 15 year old daughter.

Room Tip: had a room were are terrace looked over a garden area. rooms which were facing the paths wouldnt be...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank erica-r2102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Have been to the Riu Merengue many times and always find it great. Resort just 20 min from Airport. Staff are incredible, food is good and varied and the rooms are clean. Only down is air cond is a bit hit and miss but, seldom in room.

Word of caution. The Riu is a large resort and aside from the Merengue (garden and village) it includes the Bachata on the same property. You can use all three resorts. The Bachata is currently building a huge shipping port to accomodate cruise ships. Noisy . Be sure to book the Merengue village is farthest from the Bachata and no noise.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cariba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

I cannot express the feelings I had after coming back from such a wonderful vacation. I feel completely rejuvinated and happy. Everything at this hotel was absolutely amazing. The people that work at this hotel give their eveything and I thank them for that. The food was great and pleantiful, the drinks were flowing and the smiles just kept coming. I cannot say enought about the animation team that works at this hotel. They work from early morning until 11:30 at night making sure that everyone (that wants to be) involved is involved. The rooms were beautiful and clean, the grounds were impecably maintained and this was one of the cleanest hotels I have ever been in. I cannot recommend this hotel enough. Anyone who does not like this hotel has to be someone with very high expectations and someone that you could not please by feeding them gold leaf on every plate. Absolutely amazing hotel. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: My buddy and I were in the very back corner of the resot and it was very quiet. Just what we needed...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Cartmanf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

If your looking for a romantic getaway, this is for you. The pool and beach area was very quiet. If you wanted excitement you could walk down to either of the other two resorts to find a little more activity. the Merengue is the oldest of the 3 resorts, but our room was clean and comfortable. I think if I were to book again I would choose the Bachata, as it is newer and did not cost much more. We had a wonderful time, food was good, and we will definitely consider coming back.

Room Tip: Rooms on the south side are very quiet at night
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank debbie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

The staff at this hotel work very hard and are extremely friendly and cant do enough for you. I have enjoyed a relaxing 2 weeks here in the gorgeous sunshine and beautiful setting and I did have a great time.

However I was last here 16 years ago but unfortunately it is not the standard of hotel it was back then. I would no longer rate this as a 5 star hotel but as a 3 star at best. The rooms are in desperate need of refurbishment with windows cracked and needing replacing and the whole rooms looking very tired. The beds were not very comfy ad the pillows were like bricks. It was, however always clean but as we were on a ground floor room there were a lot of ants out on the balcony, fortunately none made it into the room. That was really my only criticism of this hotel.

Food very good- buffet style so you need to time it when its less busy especially in the evening which we found was around 7pm. Plenty of choice even for my fussy eater teenage daughter. Every other evening is a themed night. Breakfast was also good with plenty of choice. At lunchtimes the chef would cook a specialty around the pool of the Merengue Garden or you could eat in the snack bar or main restaurant.

Drinks - Pretty much anything you wanted

All in all a great holiday but accommodation in need of refurbishment you just need to look past the shabby rooms

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank ToniC132
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
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £73 - £138 (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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