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“Amazing and relaxing time”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #14 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 27 June 2014

I have stayed here with friends,very reasonable for price,food excellent (endless buffet tables) every night different entertainment nice beach,amazing housekeeping,clean rooms ,fridge stock up daily,stuff absolutely brilliant and helpful .Who don't wanna stay only on beach can also buy some different day,half day trips which are not that expensive and unforgettable,definitely worth it!
Will be back,hope soon!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank 102Martin102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 June 2014

Please ignore all the racists comments about local guests being rude. I was really frightened before leaving for my trip but there is nothing to be worried about. Dominicans are charming people. I met more happy people on the Riu Merengue side (where locals seems to hang out and stay) than the Riu Bachata. They do not cut the lines and are polite. They like to party and have big families : it's all good to me.

Food deserve five stars. While I was expecting it would be the weakest link of the trip, buffets and restaurants were a real highlight ! Variety and quality. Rooms are ok and not as bad as some reviews suggests. Cleanliness of the site is one of the best I've ever seen for any facility that welcomes as many people. It's far better than many crowed places up north. Sanitary measures seems very important to Riu and it's comforting, the ratio staff vs visitor is high, you will always find someone to help you. Note that the English level of the employees is generally poor, except for some strategic position such as front Desk.

Ladies, please avoid showing your breasts on the beach. Dominicans are not doing it and we should respect the way they live. There are families on the resort and your nudity can be very uncomfortable to others.

One last word. Some of the RIU staff earn 200-400 dollars a month, would you work for that? Please tip them. They will give you good service, tip or not, but I'm sure they need this money. Don't give only to the barman, but gardeners and public toilet cleaners too, women especially.One dollar will make them happy. This will help the overall situation in the country. Keep in mind that most of the money generated by your trip escape the country you are visiting, owners of the resorts and flight companies are not based Dominican Republic...

Room Tip: Do not forget the traveler tax charged at the airport in Dominican Republic, 10$ to come in, 20$ to...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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10  Thank Dave T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

As first time travelers south we were advised by our travel agent to stay at nothing less than a 4 star hotel. Our flight arrived late but check in was great. Room was comfortable.Two beds pushed together isn't a King bed but this is a common practice in many resorts.Wish they had rye as one of the liquors provided in the room. The food was good as was the bar service. Al a cartes were great but you had to line up at 7am to get on the list. Entertainment was good with the African Show being the best. Beaches were good but you had to get out early to save a beach chair.The vendors on site are very pushy but don't pay what they are asking as every price is negotiable.Wifi is free and available in the lobby for an hour each day.I think the best surprise was finding out that we could share the resources of the sister resort Riu Bachata which allowed for more eating and drinking options.You can use the wifi in each lobby to increase your daily internet requirements if needed.We very much enjoyed our stay and will go back again.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Ron M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Pro’s

• Excellent entertainment - see photo of ones day’s worth of activities
• Great staff (for the most part) – particularly bartender “Sexy Boy” and his team
• Good food
• Good vibes
• Didn’t like our first room and the staff were quick to change it

Negatives

Rooms are dated – not a big deal because who spends their vacation in their room

Parking – This hotel has NO parking so if you plan to rent a car and venture around, or drive in from another part of the island as we did just forget about it. There is one narrow road which is always jammed with cars and you cannot even park on that road unless you are prepared to drive your vehicle down a deep gutter and then up the curb. In my case I had to do this with barely any space to get into the only spot available. See photos

As I began to parallel park on the road there was an short 50-60 something, lighter skinned Dominican man at the entrance who told us that if I could not drive up the curb like the other vehicles, that I could not park there. I explained that my car was a rental and I didn’t think I could do it without damaging my car. He did not care and got very loud and rude. I told him he was behaving really poorly and I would like to speak with a manager. Now for the best part – he said he was the manager. I told him that I would include this aspect of our visit in our review because it was ridiculous. There was nowhere else to park and I didn’t want to damage my car. He then proceeded to shout at me saying this is the problem with people from other countries and the internet – he went on a complete rant. He started rallying other guests who had no clue what was going on like I was a problem making a big deal out of nothing. Finally completely frustrated and embarrassed I tried to park the way he wanted and guess what happened – I slammed into another car. Thanks Mr. Manager. I was so lucky that the other driver wasn’t mean and actually parked my car for me. Later I spoke to the manager for the hotel who apologized – that’s it! Gee that goes a long way after being humiliated and crashing my car.

Ridiculous Buffet Policy – so this is very much a 3star hotel – nothing fancy whatsoever. At dinner it was really hot and my husband was wearing a tank top. He was refused entry to the buffet. We went to the room and he changed. When we entered the buffet we observed women in bathing suit tops, bras with see through shirts, crop tops and more – total hypocrites. See photos

Beds – they push 2 like 50 year old lumpy beds together which isn’t exactly comfortable – see photos

In summation – had the parking issue not occured - we could have lived with the some of the other issues and probably would have returned to this hotel and would have posted an excellent review. I don’t think I would return to this hotel as long as that psyco manager continues to work there. The I am so sorry approach of the hotel manager - while it is a nice gesture, its not good enough when measured against how horrible the experience with that other manager was.

Room Tip: No tips - all rooms are the same
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank CourtneyandPepe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I have stayed at the riu hotels in puerto plata MANY times, but never experienced having the "local trade" take over. These people were rude,dirty, foul mouthed and plain nasty. It seemed like they don't care about anyone and are just interested in getting every penny's worth of their stay. Their children run rampant, the parents drunk and fighting, throwing garbage into the pool, kids urinating into the pool standing on the side and parents laughing. They shove you in line at the buffet, push you out of the way to get ahead of you and just don't have any manners.
This was my very LAST trip to any Riu. I booked through cheap carribean and will never use them again because THEY KNEW and did't say anything.

Room Tip: suites are the best rooms of course with the best views.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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10  Thank steve3528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Trip: June 10-17, 2014.
2nd time to Puerto Plata, 1st time at RIU Merengue.

The Good:
Friendly service with a smile
Efficient cleaning crew
Energetic "animation" team

The Bad:
Poor AC (Central system that serves 8 rooms- almost none existance at times- same experience by other travelers)
Low food variety (same thing everyday, only two a la cartes are both located in same buffet room with no ac)
Tons of rude and loud locals on weekend (5:1 ratio on Friday, 10:1 on Sat- probably to help with the slower summer season)
Building of cruise port within 10 mins walking distance which resulted with many unslightly construction cargo ships passing by,
Furniture are all wicker and bed is something from a low quality motel

Room Tip: Select upstairs units to reduce bugs- ants in particular
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Bo Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We stayed at this hotel 18th May 14 - 1st June 14. First impressions were the hotel was spacious, friendly and all that the brochure stated. How wrong, during the week days this is a lovely hotel but at the weekends the hotel is over run by "local guests", we witness over 1000 local guests arrive on our 2nd weekend. The "local guests" have no consideration for others, they command all the staff time, consume all the food and total take over the swimming pools. The only area they seem not to touch is the beach. During our stay the "local guests" over ran the hotel to the extreme that my son was injured and there was no management on site to handle the incident. When management do make themselves known they left me with no confidence that anything would change and that my issues where not uncommon.

Management aside, some of the hotel staff are amazing and will do anything for you, but the service is stretched to the limits at the weekends and the hotel staff struggle to cope. At the weekend the food options change to cater for the masses and the queues for food were in excess of 15 minutes at time.

My recommendation would be to think twice about staying at this hotel, the "local guest" experience would ruin your holiday

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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11  Thank LF76
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
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:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £77 - £199 (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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