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“It was OK. If you like third degree burns!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of ClubHotel Riu Merengue

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #13 of 45 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Liverpool, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“It was OK. If you like third degree burns!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

The rooms at the Riu Mambo were not very modern but found to be better as it fitted in with the experience of the Dominican Republic. Kept in immaculate condition as were cleaned every day with pillows in the shape of animals left on our bed. However, the men who fill the mini bar in our room did tell us off as our younger daughters (aged 16) got blitzed off whisky & vod. The food was repeatitive but enjoyable so there was no problem. Furthermore, do not eat the vomit fruit.. It's vile and smells of sick. My younger daughter was at the buffet recieving a plate of chips when a chef threw a piece of steak on the grill and the fat spitted & spatted at her. She screamed as she felt burning and looked down, only to see a peice of beef on her chest leaving a severe burn. The chef had no sympathy and was not apologetic as he looked at her like a peice of muck on his shoe. The staff were overly friendly as one boy (aka Pepsi) kept glaring at & winking at my daughter who felt very uncomfortable. Some other staff didn't make us feel very welcome. A girl called Dominga was also very miserable about helping with our phone card and this lead to my bill being £342.89.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Whitney, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We went to the Mambo for our family holiday. Our room wasn't ready as we arrived before three. We received our envelope with all our information and bracelets and went and had lunch. Once luch was done, our room was ready. The rooms could use a little updating but it was very clean so no big deal. We found the staff to be personable and always interacting with the guests. Food had variety of everything and there was self serve Presidente in the buffet. We did the Outback safari while we were there. Got picked up at 8:30 am and was back at the resort by 5:30 pm long day but fun.We had use of all three Rius and spent time at each one having a drink, having lunch etc. These resorts are very good value for your dollar but the Mambo beach appeared to be the best. Michael Jackson show is not to be missed. Good time!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Travelled from 8th – 22nd July 12 with First Choice (Thomson)

I went to the Riu Merengue with my husband. When we originally went to the travel agents we weren’t sure where we wanted to go and looked at Cyprus, Turkey and Mainland Spain until we were shown prices were cheaper for 2 weeks all-inclusive in the Caribbean so we booked it. I read lots of reviews before we went and went with an open mind as the reviews were mixed.

When we first arrived from the airport to the hotel we were greeted in reception and given an envelope with our room & safe key and 2 towel cards, the reps said we didn’t need to check in as we were already checked in. You put a sticker with your room number on your suitcase and the porter brings them to your room. We took Dominican Republic Pesos so gave him 200.

We were given room 1164 - First impression of the room was that it was a bit 1970’s with the dated wooden furniture but the room was a fair size for 2 people. Painted white with a few parrot paintings on the wall. The beds are just smaller than 2 double beds put together with a manky bedspread on that’s probably not been washed for years. The safe was free of charge and is locked with a key. There were 4 optics with alcohol and the minibar with soft drinks and beer in. TV had 3 English speaking channels Fox Life, CNN and another American channel. The half lamps made my husband laugh as the bedroom lights are half a lamp base and half a lamp shade stuck to the wall. Air con was a bit temperamental but worked most of the time. Ceiling fan helped keep the room cool. The sockets in the rooms took a European adaptor. We were on the ground floor and our small window didn’t lock so we called for an engineer who screwed it closed. There was a small veranda which is accessed through a patio door and it had a plastic table, 2 chairs and a small folding drying rail for clothes.

We didn’t have a full length mirror in our room which was annoying as you couldn’t get a full view of what you were wearing. No kettle in room so if you want a hot drink you need to go to one of the bars/restaurants. Plenty of plastic cups to bring a drink back to your room.

There’s a hairdryer in the bathroom attached to the wall – it worked ok.

We found that when we came home all the clothes that had been in the wardrobes and drawers had to be washed even if we hadn’t worn them as they smelt very musty.

Animation / entertainment:
The Animation team were very hard working and full of energy. They started at 10am and worked all day and into the night finishing about 11:30pm. The leader at the Merengue is called Cheeky Monkey and he can be bloody annoying. OK I’ll give him credit for speaking in about 4 languages but all the ‘Ahee Hee Hee I love you’ gets too much especially from a mid 40 year old man. By the time you come home you will be singing the Riu song. ‘I want, I want to go to Riu’.
There are plenty of activities on throughout the day and night to keep you occupied if you want to.

The shows at night were mostly very good. We preferred the stage and seating area at the Bachata so mostly went there for the shows but we saw some at The Merengue too. They were the same shows by the same people on alternate weeks at each hotel. There was a mix of shows by the Animation Team, shows by the Dancing Team and some local shows. Grease, Michael Jackson, Spectacular.
I really enjoyed the Latin American duo (singer & keyboard player) that came on at the end of the shows about 11pm. The music was fab and the animation team danced with the guests (which reminded me of Dirty Dancing).

Food n drink:
You can have breakfast and lunch at either of the two hotels but you must eat your evening meal at the Merengue. The restaurant in the Merengue was very hot and quite dark as had wooden ceiling. There were a few birds nesting in the top of the columns and flew around the restaurant area while you were eating and they did create a bit of a mess in places with bird droppings. There was a good choice for breakfast with fresh fruit juices, cereal, cooked eggs, bacon, cold meats etc. I was thrilled that they had readymade hot oatmeal (sad I know). Toaster took forever so be prepared to wait. For lunch you can either go in the main restaurant or the one by the pool. The one by the pool is mainly burgers, hot dogs, pizza & chips. The main restaurant has a bigger and better selection of food.

The restaurant at the Bachata was quite nice and brighter that the Merengue one. You could sit outdoors on the terrace too which was good.

The locals were ok, they’re on holiday too. They do eat loads so if you want a dessert get your main course and dessert at the same time or you won’t get any.

I wasn’t impressed with the cocktails at all. The drinks were quite wishy washy and like slush puppies - it was hard to taste any alcohol flavor in them. My husband said the rum and brandy had the best taste. If you want soft drinks and tea or coffee you can help yourself to these from the machines. The cola was Pepsi and it tasted genuine so that was ok.

There were always enough sun beds on the beach but it could get a little windy at times and the sand would blow all over you.

The pools at the Merengue and Bachata were always busy but if you want a little quiet pool time head to the pool at the Mambo. The pool, bar and toilet are open there. I found that the nicest pool of the three was at the Bachata and they had a swim up bar too.

Bugs n bites:
Our room had a few little ants / mosquitos which I got rid of with my deet repellent. We got about 20 bites each despite using a deet repellent and we saw lots of people with much more bites than we got. You definitely need to wear bite repellent in the day and night. We used After Bite on our bites which seemed to stop the itch and calm it down for a while.


We went to the shops on Caribbean Street but we got fed up of being harassed so ended up in the hotel shop - shame really. A lot of them sold the same as the next shop but some of the shops looked like they had nice stuff in. I bought a handbag from one shop which I did haggle and got some discount on.

We felt safe at all times in the hotels at day and night. One day my husband was ill with a cold and I was by myself around the pool and in the restaurants but it was fine.

The whole hotel, beach and outside areas are constantly being cleaned and kept tidy. There are lots of fruit on ground from the trees and they come down with a thud quite regularly so watch out for them, it’ll give you something to kick.

Overall we really enjoyed our holiday and would go back to the Merengue (or the Bachata) again.

Room Tip: We had a room on the next row to Caribbean Street and this was quite central to both hotels (Merengu...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

not up to riu standard i am used to the food was very bland &repettitive.the speciality restruants wern't special at all the food was no better than the buffet which was very poor. on a weekend they open all the hotels up to the locals at a much reduced rate approx $5 per nite all inclucive as you can imagine the hotels fill to bursting the, bars,pools & restruants are heaving with very hungry very rude locals as you can imagine the ordinary guests hate the weekends & pray for sunday nites when things get back to normal. having said all that the hotel is in a lovely place the rooms are spacious and always clean all the staff were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

Arrived in puerto plata airport and went through arrivals very quickly with no hassel, when we got to the resort we were greeted with cold refreshments and got shown straight to our room with our luggage arriving shortly after. We requested rooms near the pool 2 weeks before unfortunately only one of the rooms was available on the first night but the staff were well aware of the situation and sorted out for us to move in the next day which was good. The rooms were adequate, well maintained and cleaned over the 2 weeks we stayed. The mini bar was great to have and the fridge was always stocked up also the air con worked well as did the bathroom facilities. The pool and grounds were kept well maintained. The food was alright and there was different styles of food being served the a la carte restaraunt served some good main courses but the puddings were a let down. We went on 3 trips the outback safari, paradise island and the catamerang they were all fantastic and had great staff on the trips. The entertainment, bar and waiter staff were fantastic you could have a good laugh and joke with the staff which was nice and without the expectations of tips!!!!!!!!! All the bars in the three holtels were great the drinks were far from watered down unless you left the ice long enough to melt. All the activities that took place were good no matter how old you were. The beach was great but was rocky and had alot of sea urchins it was'nt the best beach we been to in the caribbean. Our party consisted of 3 seventeen yearolds 1 fifteen year old and two parents the young lads had a great time and made some good mates they also enjoyed the night club and staying out to the early hours of the morning. The good thing is we didn't have to worry about the lads staying out late around the resorts.
Over all it was a great holiday would definately go back!!!!!!!!!! special mention for:
Tequila ( mahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh)
Sexy Boy
Tina Turner
Sexy Whitney
the bartender LOPEZ
our waiters Lydia and Vargues
AND Cheeky Monkey (ahehehehehehehe hehehe)

Room Tip: rooms near the pool ( 1015, 1016)
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Just came back from staying at the Riu Merengue for 1 week and it was one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in.
When we arrived at the hotel we had to wait over 2 hours to get our room, and once we did it was INFESTED with mosquitoes. My friend and I tried to be optimistic and not complain as we wanted to begin our holiday on a good note. Once we returned to our room in the evening we noticed more bugs had surfaced - they were all over the counter, in our tub and sink, in addition to the bugs in our BED! We called the reception desk and they sent a maid to observe the room. She sprayed a bug repellent all over the surfaces, our beds and in the air and then left - this was NOT helpful as it left us choking on fumes. By this point it was midnight, we were extremely tired but did not want to sleep in this room. We called the reception desk once again and wanted to have our room changed. They made us wait another 2 hours and finally put us in a new room at the back of the resort, away from the beach and lobby. Front desk staff did not seem happy with us - it may have been because it was so late in the night and they were just as tired as we were.
Luckily the new room was much cleaner! From that point on the room was cleaned well everyday, new towels always provided, mini bar always stocked. However I should mention the beds were extremely uncomfortable - and this was an overall consensus between most of the Canadians we met during our stay.
The food at the hotel was not bad but not great! You can definitely find LOTS of variety, but a lot of the food is fried - lots of starchy foods (french fries, pizza, pasta, fried cheese). The snack bar which is located on the beach during the day get "TRANSFORMED" into the 2 a la carte restaurants in the hotel in the evening - one side is Italian and the other side is the Steak House. You also have to wake up at 7am to make your reservations on the day you would like to eat there - cannot make reservations in advance. Also, not one restaurant is air conditioned.
There is only one pool bar and it gets very busy. My friend and I were looking for a relaxing getaway - hotel was mainly a family resort not many young people. I also wish I knew that LOCALS check into the hotel for the ENTIRE weekend. I thought they only came into the resort for the disco but this is not the case. They are extremely noisy and aggressive.
Entertainment was not bad. Disco was not open every night - we were quite bored some nights just ended up going to bed early. If you are in your mid twenty this is not the resort for you.

Hope the review is helpful - not meant to deter people just want to pass on our experience!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Just returned from the riu merengue, and I had a bitter sweet experience. At peurto plata airport be aware of the unofficial porters whom whisk away your cases, track them all of 100m, then demand $10 at the coach
When we arrived at the merengue , the hotels porters again whisk away your luggage, and again ask for at least $10. The hotel rooms are clean and pleasent, with a safe and air con supplied free, a fridge stocked with beer and soft drinks, and optics with spirits are free too ( if you leave a few dollars the pop men will leave extra goodies near your fridge) . There are three hotels to use, the mambo is currently closed, but the large pool and pool bar are open, the barchatta has an even bigger pool ( with swim up bar) we found the barchatta a more pleasent place in the evening, less busy. The locals who visit are still a major problem, weekends are particularly bad, I found them noisey, arrogant and extremely rude bordering on the intimidating. I suggest planning trips at weekend, or spend the day at the mambo. Talking of trips they are expensive, We went on two trips, outback safari, and horse riding,total cost over £300, the horse riding is worth every penny, not so much the safari ( I could swim in a dirty river in Warrington ! ) the staff work extremely hard, the restaurant staff especially, but some of the bar staff seem surly. Food is of good quality and plentyfull, but prepare to queue at weekends, ( behind hordes of greedy ill mannered locals) . The beaches are clean, and there are plenty of sunbeds. In conclusion, we had a good time, plenty of piña coladas !!!! And please be aware of almonds falling off trees, they hurt your head !!!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Merengue

Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 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: 1007
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the beach in Maimon Bay * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Located in the Riu Resort, near ClubHotels Riu Bachata and Riu Mambo * Main building and 1-story bungalow complex * Surrounded by 15,000 m2 / 18,000 sq. yards of tropical gardens * 9 km / 5.5 miles from Puerto Plata * 150 m / 495 ft. from Caribbean Street * 25 km / 15.5 miles from Puerto Plata Intl. Airport * 300 m / 990 ft. from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... 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

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