We have just returned from 2 fabulous weeks in paradise at the Riu Mambo.
We flew from Glasgow with Thomson which was one of the best flights we have been on - plenty of leg room, 2 meals and tv/games on demand. We booked the holiday 3 days before departure and got amazing deal.
Staff: Everyone at the Mambo, from maids to gardeners, animation team to chefs, bar staff and waiting staff are sooo friendly and go out of their way to say "hola". We never once felt obliged to tip or that they were being so friendly for unterior motives (unlike our trip to Hurghada, Egypt in April). We tipped the maid $5 every few days and left her small gifts such as nail varnish, lip gloss etc. Our bedding and towels got changed daily and she left lovely towel art and flowers frequently. We tipped the bar staff a dollar here and there and also the waiting staff every few days (we tended to sit in the same area each day and served by the same staff).
Food: There was always lots of choice and seemed to be better in the first week, though we have no complaints at all about it. We tended to have lunch at one of the snack bars throughout the complex as you can have breakfast and lunch at any of the 3 hotels. We ate at the Steakhouse twice which was a nice change to have al la carte and to be waited on. We werent ill at all during the 2 weeks - hygiene seemed to be of great importance as outside every toilet and restaurant was a maid with hand sanitizer.
Drink: Be sure to ask for alcohol in the cocktails if thats what you want. We were drinking "virgin" Pina Coladas for the first week as we didnt realise that you had to ask for the rum in it!! The wine was a bit sweet for my liking but by the end of the 2 weeks it was going down very nicely. Also i love amaretto and you could get this too (though not branded). I think you could get some premium brands though you would have to ask for it. The mini bar was stocked every couple of days though you could ask for more should you need it. My boyfriend liked the beer in it. There are also optics in the room free of charge with Vodka, Rum and Gin although we never used them.
Trips: We went on the Outback Safari which was $79 each but well worth it for an entire days trip. Our guide Julian was really funny and informative. We visited a traditional dominican family in their home, a school which was aided by the Outback Safari (we took pencils and paper for the children), we bathed in a lagoon, went on a boat trip, had lunch and at the end of the trip we went "boogie boarding" which was an experience. Drinks were supplied constantly throughout the trip. We would highly recommend the Outback Safari and its brilliant that they put profits back into the local community.
We also booked a taxi around Puerta Plata for 3 hours - it was only $40 between us and another couple. The driver was informative and took us to a rum factory, fortress, local shops and a supermarket where we could stock up on crisps and sweets etc at about a third of the price the hotels shops charge!! Martin, the Thomson rep was great and very honest in his advice.
Facilities: You can use any of the 3 large pools in the complex, change pool/beach towels as often as you like, use the pedalos, kayaks, wind surfing, snorkelling etc with no extra charge providing the sea isnt too choppy. You can also have a free scuba diving lesson in the pool as well. There are people that ask if you want massages, scuba diving trips etc when you are sitting at beach/pool but a simple "no thanks" is sufficient - there is no hard sell or constant pestering.
Room: Our room was quite basic but adequate. We were staying in block 20. Our bed was 2 queen size beds put together. Although one of the legs was broken when we arrived, a maintenance man came within a few minutes of us calling reception and fixed it. Our air con worked fine and there was also a ceiling fan. The water was a bit temperamental at times although it seemed to be hotter in the evening which was generally when we were showering anyway. I never brought a hair dryer and you could get one from reception for a deposit of only $20 which was returned to you when you returned the hair dryer. The electricity is only 110 V so British things like straightners and non dual voltage hair dryers wont work well. You can still charge phones etc but it will just take a bit longer. The sockets take both American and Continental European adapters.
Others: We usually get bitten lots by mozzies but I only got 3 bites until the day after I got home I found several more - I blame the plane!! We never saw a single cockroach. The only surprising thing we found in our corridor was a rather large crab one morning scuttling about!!!
Entertainment: The entertainment staff seem to do a great job and work long hours. They arrange games and activities to do on the beach and around the pool during the day. We never took part in these and didnt feel hassled to join in as we were just there to relax. The entertainment at night was average but then again we didnt go there for shows etc.
Weather: We were a bit apprehensive about going to DR last week of August/first week of September due to it being hurricane season but the weather was great. The temperature must have been over 30C every day and not much cooler at night (i had brought a few cardigans and a pair of jeans but didnt wear any of them!). We had a couple of rainy evenings but overall the weather was fantastic.
Overall we had a brilliant holiday - we really couldnt have asked for more - great people, great weather, great food, great drink. We would highly recommend the Mambo and hope to return next year.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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