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“not what we were hoping for”

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“not what we were hoping for”
Reviewed 16 July 2014

We came here on vacation july 6th and came home July 11th. We've been to the Dominican 3 times now and thie 3rd time was not the charm, this was the 1st time going to Puerto Plata and I don't think we will be back. It was a beautiful resort, the pools were nice, the drinks were ok at best, except for when Diaz, the bartender was on. He made the best drinks. I think there were more kids there than adults and they dominated the pool at the Merengue so we spent all our time at The Bachata. There were all kinds of restrictions we were not used to, and this was the first time my husband was diving in the Caribbean and he said there was nothing to see. Most importantly, my daughter got sick toward the end of the week and I got sick on the plane home. The food was horrible. The nightly entertainment was very good however. I would recommend going to punta Cana and stay at The Iberostar, or Dreams resort and spa, both are fantastic places to stay with little to no disappointments.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Matt W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bronx, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

I stayed with my family jul 13-15 for two nights and it felt like we were waiting in line at a public pool in nyc. People were scrambling for food, grabbing whatever was available in the Buffet, skipping lines and the workers were overwhelmed with so many people. The AC did not work properly. Bottom line is, this is not a resort, its more like a public area where everybody come in for free. way too many people for my type of resort vacation.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank Franklin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2014

We stayed at this place last year and again this place was over run with locals running amok and causing havoc. We were told before we went that measures had been put in place to sort things out and they hadn't we had a dreadful time here and once again I see the same thing happening a year later. People should boycott this place as the holiday company is not looking after the holiday makers and they do not care. This place should be taken out of all brochures

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank JAMES R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

When will the management take notice we have just cancelled our 3rd visit due to the reviews about locals taking over . Two years running the pool had to be closed due to locals using it as a toilet and as other people have said they are rude and have no respect they just take what they want you have to keep your eyes on your property or they take it .we booked again hoping the problems would be sorted but reading the reviews nothing has been done so the hotel has lost our booking and we would never return there again

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
21 Thank Joan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

This was our second time visiting the DR previously staying at the now closed Luperon Resort. It was fantastic the first time and every bit as good the second. Wonderful country with wonderful people. The Riu's are well laid out with easy access to everything including pools, bars and places to eat. The animation team work so hard and do a great job at keeping you entertained during your stay. The food was fresh, tasty and of a decent standard for an AI resort, even my very fussy girlfriend always found something she liked. The rooms felt slightly dated but were comfy and added to the overall Caribbean feel of the place. The beach was nice, long twisting golden sands running across the length of the whole resort. The only thing that bothered me about the resort was the ocean, it's looks beautiful but has a shallow reef only a few metres out making it very hard to swim or snorkel as you had plenty of sea urchins spiking up only inches from your chest. It also resulted in the water being slightly murky. Only a small complaint in otherwise terrific holiday resort. There is a dive centre on site offering free test dives in the pool and a range of dive packages including padi certification, good quality equipment and friendly staff, not a great place for diving though as all you will see is loads of lionfish, I think they have ate everything else. We did do a few excursions including the monster truck( brilliant - do not miss this one), Ocean world( Fun day out) & Paradise Island( I wish I never bothered). I would return here in a heartbeat and would recommend the DR to anyone and would have no problem recommending this resort.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank daviebhoy84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

I spent one week here with my family in June 2014. As a 4.5/5 star hotel I am comparing it to the RIU Palace Bavaro also in Puerto Plata, in which I stayed the year previous. (Feb 2013)
As the RIU Palace Bavaro was built in 2011, it obviously was brand new and everything worked no issue, the staff were more then friendly, we had 24 hour free room service, the buffet was huge with so many choices, and the A La Carte's were surprisingly amazing. I would recommend it to anyone. Now, back to the RIU Merengue - This is a 4.5 star hotel but you can definitely see the age on this place. It was beautiful, but I felt that they hadn't bothered to update their technology for ex ; we had to switch rooms 2 times due to the AC not working. The first night, we endured the sleepless night sweating our buns off! The fan in the room is quite old and rickity, it made a very loud ticking noise everytime it turned, and their was no way to slow down the speed as the cord was removed. The AC vent was blowing fan, but no cold AC. We had 2 different "service tech" come to our room to check the issue. Both changed the dial on the vent to different locations and said it was fixed & left. (Nothing changed) As it was the middle of June, and the temps are in the high 30's we couldn't stay in a room with no AC. The television was a big box tv, and the plug at the back was shoved in with no cap which made the tv completely blurry, the soccer score was not even visible/readable on the screen. We had our room switched, checked out the new room and unfortunately same no AC. You could tell the system hadn't been updated in over 10+ years. To make matters worse for myself (lol) I put my hands up to feel the air coming out of the vent and my fingers touched the vent, the vent fell out of the wall immediately and hit my hip, cutting me in 3 places. lastly, our safe in the wall was completely removed from the wall. There was an actual hole in the ground. Whats the point of using a safe that can just be picked up and stolen in full? We weren't happy with the rooms so far and with some effort and time we were finally upgraded to a suite. These rooms have very well working AC, with new flat screen tv's and a much more updated room. I guess cause people pay more for a suite they keep them updated? Beats me. But finally we were in a room we could breathe in. And now we could relax. The beach is beautiful - be careful for sand fleas at night - WEAR BUG SPRAY!!! I got attacked by sand fleas and my legs were covered like never before and ended up getting swollen - had to pay $40 for cream at the pharmacy. The main pool is quite large, and the resort was nice and quite for the first few days. We were told that locals come for the weekends, we weren't exactly sure what this meant but depending on how you would like to relax, I personally wasn't too happy with this. From Thursday to Tuesday (6 day weekend??) locals showed up to stay at the hotel as well. Well over 300 locals came, and they took over everything. There was not one chair available every day by the pool, the entire pool was so full of them you could't even swim if you wanted too. The line ups for food became enormous, waiting over 30 min in line for the buffet food. Not only this, but locals were constantly butting in line & no one would stop them. There was not one chair available in sight at the show every single night, there were even some who would take chairs to put their feet on, and when we asked them for the chair they wouldn't give it. I was very unhappy with this, I could deal with it for a day or 2 but 6 days? It was absolutely packed, you would think you were at a public pool in the middle of the D.R. (Thankfully - the one side of the resort was closed, but the pool & bar were open and not to many people knew this, so that pool was rather quiet and no locals showed up there. ALSO - You are able to go next door to the RIU bachata for breakfast & Lunch, as well as swim in their pool and use their bar. I highly recommend going there, its a 2 minute walk from the merengue - and its so much nicer!!! there were no locals, and it was much newer and classier and QUIETER! Not to mention the food was 1000 x better. Do yourself a favor and go here!! The food at the merengue is the same every day, some pasta, some meats, some sides like fries or veggies or seafood. A choice of soup either seafood or chicken. A salad bar. I was disappointed at breakfast as they did not have any cereal. The bachata had much more choices and the food tasted much better.
I had to go to the doctor to get an IV as the first day I became very ill, couldn't keep anything down and was getting sick very regularly. The doc was very friendly & helpful. MAKE SURE YOU BUY TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE!!! you never know if you will need it. and thankfully everything I had done was covered because of this, otherwise u have to pay cash before they can help you. Of course, the doctors office is at the end of all the stores, so you have to pass a bunch of people yelling at you to go in their stores, just smile and keep walking if your not interested say no thank u. They can be very pushy! The shows were mainly dancing, but there was a magic show one night and a lion king performance another night, and these were superb. The entertainment team was very friendly and funny. There is free wifi for 90 min a day in the lobby, but don't get your hopes up as it is a very slow connection. I would try to go on at night after the show before I went to bed, and could hardly get anything to load on my phone so I just gave up. You also have access to the wifi in the Bachata for 90 min a day.
Overall the hotel is nice and I had a good time on my vacation, just personally being to other 5 stars in Dominican etc I wouldn't consider this one. I would rate it a 3 star. But thats just me.

Room Tip: Get a suite, it's worth paying more to have a room with bearable working AC.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank promisetolove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Skegness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic and it was by far the best holiday of my life so far. My parter, family and I decided to splurge out a little more than usual ( to be honest 2 weeks short hall was about the same price or more even from my research) and it was worth every penny.

Staff were fun & friendly. The resort & pools were lovely. choice of food was the best I've had abroad. Wildlife great, saw bright orange/red crabs, bright blue & yellow crabs, multicoloured beautiful fish, little lizards etc. The scenery & beach was also brilliant. As we went in August the complex wasn't ever so busy, when on the beach we seemed to have a whole big section of the beach to ourselves, like our own private piece of paradise!

Definitely wouldn't hesitate in going again.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Wicksyr
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
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 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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