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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #14 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“fabulous”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

My husband and I stayed here during the easter break, we had an amazing time. The hotel is very clean, the buffett restaurant is excellent there is plenty of choice for all.

The staff were great especially lucy and cheeky monkey from the entertainment team, the team always had a smile. The staff work extremely hard to ensure you have the best vacation.

The beach is lovely and its nice that you use the other two hotels swimming pools and buffett lunches.

Well done to all the team looking forward to returning in the near future.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank jewels562014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kent UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

From the minute we arrived until the minute we left, I cannot fault this hotel. Staff, food and service excellent with such a choice on the all inclusive side. Hotel and grounds very clean and weather excellent

Room Tip: Rooms in block 16 close to reception but very quiet and made a nice stroll first thing in morning...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank MoiraPrebble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Castleford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

12th May – 26th May 2014-06-02 Had a two week stay with my wife in room 1207, which is a few minutes walk from the main communal areas, but this ensured a quiet peaceful stay.

Meet and greet by hotel staff was very efficient, one team set about applying wrist bands, and another handed out envelopes with keys to rooms and towel tickets. Yet again I left my suitcases in reception to be brought to the room. Why do I do this ? In 2008 I travelled with new cases to Gran Ventana, Puerta Plata, and ended up with a damaged suitcase being delivered to my room, and here again, brand new suitcases being delivered and one ended up with a damaged handle.

I love the idea of accommodation blocks, with 4 rooms on the ground floor and four on the first. The layout of the rooms was ideal, lots of space, though a little dated. Had a few problems with the room, no TV channels at all when we walked in, a call to reception brought a technician who sort of told me the whole block was currently down, but would be back soon, and it was. We also had problems with the shower head not being attached to the bracket, so we sort of had to wedge it between wall and bracket to use it. The brochure also said shampoo and gel were supplied. There were a few packets left, but the dispenser in the shower area was empty for the duration of the holidays, pity really as we reduced the amount of shampoo and shower gel we took due to believing this would be provided. The biggest room catastrophe was at 23.45 as I was putting lights out for the night. I could hear dripping which was directly above our cases. I moved these and checked out the drip, which was coming from the service hatch for the air con system. I lifted the trap door slightly and was deluged with water. A call to reception brought a technician within 5 minutes who spent 10 minutes completing a fix, though temporary, as it happened again the following afternoon. This time reception arranged a proper fix and a new water tray was installed while we were out of the room. No more problems after this.

So, the rest of the holiday. .... food was generally very good. The main restaurant was one of the best I have used. Evening meals were a delight, often being spoilt for choice. However, all the reports I have read about the a la cartes has been without foundation. Both restaurants offer almost an identical menu, its in same location, same staff, same tables, same glasses, and the food was definitely at the lower end of any other a la cartes I have had. The so-called rib-eye steak was terrible. I watched the chef throwing these on the grill and they contained 30%-40% fat. If you want a special night, but not bothered about food quality, then visit here. If you want quality food, stay in the main restaurant.

The pool was excellent, cold and clean, just what I want. The cleaner visited several times a day to rake out any debris. After we were told about the Merengue Village which was shut down, apart from the pool and the pool bar, we spent most of our time round there. It was called the ‘quiet pool’ by people who knew of its existence, as there were no entertainers there, no loud music, not many children, all was peaceful.

The staff were very pleasant and polite, and loved to say hello. If you speak to them in their own native tongue, no matter how basic, they always said ‘very good’, as if they had appreciated your efforts.

The beach needs a bit of work. Where the path meets the beach there is no sand. Its all hard compact material. It looks like strong winds have taken the sand out into the sea. However, the natural vegetation growths on the beach gave it a lovely look and also became very useful for shade in the afternoon.

Now, the big bad point. Every weekend all the locals from the countrys capital come upto the Merengue for a couple of days. There is a major influx of loads of families, grandparents, parents and multitudes of children. Everything changes. Pool is full, its loud, groups of lads and I mean groups of 8-12 lads, congregate in the pools and shout at other groups across the pool. Drinking cups are left on the edge of the pool, whereas on other days there are NO cups left around the pool. People drink in the pool. There were queues for food, and it was obvious by the number of plates they took, and by the size of the pile of food on their plates, that they had not eaten for a week prior to coming. What was really annoying is the amount of food they left on their plates !!! Even in the restaurants on weekends barriers were put out to ensure a proper queueing system is used. In the bars they are happy to approach the bar and then start waving to the bar tenders to attract their attention and get served before anyone else. Sorry but I did not sign up for this and thought that 4 out of 14 days of my holiday was spoilt.
There is also a port being built just around the corner which will take 2 cruise liners per day, or upto 10,000 passengers per day. Many of these will also enter local hotels and for a daily charge, have access to food/drink/pool etc. same as the residents. From my past experiences, this also causes havoc within the hotel.

Although we have stopped in many RIU hotels in the past, I would not stop at this one again. (I believe that RIU are currently trying to sell the Merengue).

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank DMullins16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014 via mobile

We were told before going that the locals come in on weekends and take priority over the pools, restaurants and attention of the staff members. We were reassured by our travel agents 3 times that this was not the case and that it was old news. My mam, dad and fiancé went to celebrate our engagement and spent alot of money on this holiday to be met on weekends by 100's of local people on every weekend we were there for. If you arrive and are greeted by sylvia the thomson rep walk in the opposite direction. As we felt she only wanted us for our money, and when told her our problems with the lack of facilities, she was very unconcerned and passed us on to the other rep bellissa (who is lovely). When in resort felt very unsafe and with out the help of sylvia our rep very much abandoned in a sea of locals. If id done it all over I would have changed the location. Should have listened to the guys on here (TripAdvisor)

Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
13 Thank Sophie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St albans
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

The hotel is clean and the grounds well kept.the make every one use hand sanitizer at all the restaurants.the room was ok although one of the beds was broken and the air con hardly worked.but as we paid just over 600 each was bearable. The only problem is that they let the locals in at the weekend. The first weekend wasn't to bad as their was not that many of them. This weekend however they over ran the place as it is school holidays. You could not get near the bar or sit in the restaurant and when you could eventually push and fight your way to a table their was no food left at any sitting as they are like a swarm of locusts and decimate everything. All the non native guests have been queuing up to complain to their respective reps and their is a couple of hundred people from various parts of Europe who will never come back to this hotel chain. You should book either the iberostar or the lifestyle or some of the other resorts that don't let locals in.it has ruined our other wise amazing stay here

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank messiah216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

I booked this trip as a Mother's day/ Memorial Day getaway. After going through a website and getting an extremely cheap rate I was sure that there had to be a catch. Upon arriving late on Friday ( 6pm) I encountered the - run of the mill only happens in the Island- Where is your printed voucher/ they could not locate my reservation. I pulled it up on the tablet and had to email it to them. I was escorted to a room about 15 minutes walk from the main area ( Reception, Dining Hall, and the Beach). I asked about shuttle and was told they had been taken out of service ( cuts in the budget, since one of the owners passed). Upon arrival to our room, the room looked super dated, but clean. Upon further inspection the bellboy found the hallway light was not working, the bar was empty and the air conditioning system was stalling. He called the reception and asked for maintenance to come by and the bar to be filled (neither ever happened). Later on, the shower head was not working. So on our way to dinner we inquired about our room's condition- Maria, the only person at reception with Customer Service skills, was helpful in locating a different room and making arrangements to have our items switched.

Later that night I inquired about ironing service/ iron. I was told that those where commodities that had to be reserved and that there were none available. The following day although I had a reservation for the infamous iron I was unable to secure one until late afternoon. After having to walk over to get it ( I was informed in the rudest manner that they do not bring these items to your room)- and walking back, the iron I was lend was not working. I called and was told to bring it back but that there was nothing they could do about getting a different one. I brought the iron back and made another reservation for the morning ( as it was Mother's day in Dominican Republic on Sunday- I had plans to attend church services) .

Sunday Morning, I walk up to inquire about the iron on my way to breakfast and was told they did have one but that i would need to take it back to my room now - "We will not guarantee one, if you leave it there" - I informed the women that my mom and I were on our way to breakfast and would be by the reception area in about 30 minutes ( she mumbled under her breath- something along irritating customers). At this point I asked her to call her manager as they might be able to figure out my request to hold the iron until after breakfast.

On my way back from breakfast, I had the displeasure of meeting the Sub-director of the Riu -
who introduced himself as the person in-charge and informed my mother and I, that he did not understand why Dominicans who left the country came back, as "stuck ups, with their nose in the air and believe that they need to be catered to". He also informed us that he was well traveled and made it seem an inconvenience to speak to us. I informed him that while I had Dominican parents, I believed that ALL customers have the right to expect service if paying to stay at a resort. He informed me that I was not in America, and that I had a skewed way of thinking if I was expecting for them to make concessions. I told him again that I was not expecting a miracle, but that an iron be held so that I could eat and maintain my schedule.

He continued his tirade about Dominicans ( He informed me he was Portuguese). After another 5 minutes, I asked him about the iron, as I had better things to due then be insulted by someone who was suppose to ensure a enjoyable experience. He turned to my mother and told her that it was my attitude as a young person that made us undesirable customers!

I have stayed at countless of hotels, in Dominican Republic, Mexico, Spain, France, at the Riu in Costa Rica just this past July- AND I have never been so insulted and belittled! Not only will I never stay at any Riu Hotel, I would never recommend this franchise, for anyone who has these type of arrogant, mean-spirited and insulting employees should not be in the customer service business.

I feel horrible for those who work under this beast, for his racists remarks, and bigotry could only make for a demoralizing and hostile work environment.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Cynthia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lewiston, maine
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

this was my fourth time going to the merengue ad it was terrific. I don't understand the negative reviews as the grounds are very well kept, rooms were comfortable, although they could use an update and new bedding, and buffets had a different spread every dinner service. the staff were all smiling and friendly and the bar service was outstanding. considering the price of the hotel you really get a good bang for your buck and have bee to a lot worse and paying a lot more money. this place is perfect in my opinion. casino right next door, and 20 minute ride to and from airport and upon checking in I had received a welcome back gift which was a nice surprise and unlike other reviews I found that the gift shops in the resort were cheaper than the vendors on carribean street or when vendors set up in the resort. definitely need waer shoes if going swimming in the ocean to prevent cutting your barefeet on coral but I had no problems. entertainment was better than average and I enjoyed it so much that I am going back in November.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank alostknight2005
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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