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“Riu mambo” 5 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 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Riu mambo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

We stayed here for our honeymoon. After a long flight we arrived at the hotel to welcome drinks. Checked in adn then went to our room. Rooms are good size, very clean, had a balcony and optics with gin, vodka and rum. Also a stocked fridge with coke, plenty water and beer.

The food was very average with a fair selection. we were always able to get something to eat whenever we wanted. The best nights were the themed nights as they seemed to have a wider variety. If you didnt like the Dominican food they had the usual british things as well.

The entertainment team were fabulous. Always full of energy and new how to motivate people into taking part in teh activities but were not to pushy if you just wanted a day of rest.

We went a few excursions, which were worth while but were not cheap! Its good to get out and about and see outside the hotel.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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4,223 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (557)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My wife and I are in our late 50’s and have been taking cruise ships for the last several years for our winter break. Cruises are great as a pseudo all inclusive. The major drawback is there can be a tremendous bill waiting for you at the end of your vacation. [Mandatory daily tips, bar bill, on board shop purchases, etc.] Another draw back is you never get a chance in [some] ports of call to really experience the local culture for more than a couple of hours before the ship blasts it’s horn and sets sail to another port or day at sea.

We decided this year to choose a land-based destination to spend a week without having to say “adios” to new local acquaintances because our ship is sailing.
We chose the DR over Cuba and other destinations using a pragmatic criterion.

First of all was price. Our finances are such that every dollar counts.
Secondly we wanted to know all expenses were included up front and any sundry expenses [tips, bar tab and excursions etc.] were at our sole discretion.

Weeks of research landed us a deal at the Riu Merenge through SunWing Vacations.
We read Trip Advisor reviews skeptically up until booking, and then made our choice not knowing if we had made the right decision.
The resort was consistently showing a 90% plus positive feedback, building on earlier years, demonstrating that they had an on going improvement plan, implemented, and working.

Our flight into the DR was good even with the ½ hour layover in Samana.
Yes, SunWing does serve you Champaign, in a pill cup made for hospitals… So what.
You can’t drink from a long stem Champaign glass in flight anyway.

The bus ride from Gregorio Luperon to the resort was both comfortable and entertaining.
Check in was not flawless, as another guest had issues, but we were in our room within 20 minutes and already served a drink! [Thanks front desk staff]

Animation staff was professional [not Vegas] but really over the top [thanks Tequila et al]
To really enjoy this resort, you have to let yourself go a bit, and let the animation staff do what they do best. They are very hard working men and women that enjoy a job we would never consider doing! They start hard at ten AM and continue non-stop until the last guests wanders off to bed.

Pool> Constantly cleaned and maintained. Not an easy task as there is a lot of vegetation near by that sheds dead foliage every time there is a breeze. The pool guy is another
“ local” with a great sense of humor

Food…This is the DR. All in all great, put it all in to perspective as to what country you are visiting and what they have available and it’s great!

Sanitation: They make all the efforts at all the appropriate stations [including the food service areas] the cruise ship companies do. It’s the non-compliant guests who compromise the system.

Cleaning staff. Bar-none. You are forever being followed by a lovely senorita with a mop.

Rooms: No mold, mildew, or anything people complain about.[Thank you Liena]

Yea, a little musty smell, but this is a smoking establishment and you’re a few feet from the Atlantic Ocean! [Really people]

I can’t comment on the AC, as we never used it. The room is equipped with a ceiling fan and a patio door and window. That’s how we ventilate at home when it’s 30C. Never had AC.

The grounds: There are grounds keepers everywhere working, non-stop. If you are lucky like my wife was, a grounds keeper may offer you a freshly hacked open coconut to drink the water! Delicious! Right off the tree! Doesn’t get any better!

We went on an educational day trip with “Jungle Tours”. Julien our guide was both funny and informative.
Loved the visit to the two-room schoolhouse in the countryside that the company sponsors. [Bring school stuff if you have room in your baggage]. We also stopped to try some fresh-from-the-field sugar cane, and visited the home of Dominican family who accept visitors to demonstrate to tourists, albeit somewhat staged, the day to day of the locals.

Back to the resort: Sun bed shortage? Absolutely NOT!!
No need to reserve, although many did.
On the beach I’m sure there were 3 sun beds per guest, even on the weekend!
As for the reviews complaining about the “locals” invading and disrupting the resort on weekends. FICTION > total CRAP.
The people of the Dominican Republic are a warm embracing people that North Americans and Europeans should learn from.

We enjoyed our stay and will be going back.

Room Tip: Stay away from the kitchen, it works 24/7
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
united kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

just returned from the Riu Merengue.If you want to put up with all the 'locals' coming in at the weekend and stealing your sunbeds and your belongings,using your suncream and just being rude to you,then this is the hotel for you.Food is only average,and quite often,not always as hot as it should be.No tea or coffee in your room.Staff are very energetic and keen to please you,but they do expect a tip.Shops within the hotel area are a complete rip off to the tourist, as you are a 'captive audience'.How about £5:00 for a basic 250ml bottle of unbranded shampoo?
Entertainment at night was a little bit near the mark as far as young children are concerned.Not suitable for 5-12 year olds on occasion.Don't forget,it's $10 to enter, and $20 to exit the country per person,not peso's,but US Dollars!!They make more money out of you that way.
An average holiday at well above average prices.My advice,choose another hotel,or another island.

Room Tip: get a room close to the main hotel,otherwise you will have a long walk to the hotel itself.Try to ge...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

Just got back from the Riu Merengue with my family. I will not ever go back to this hotel i have stayed at a few of these hotels over the world , and this is the worst one out of them ? the staff are rude the locals are rude, Monday to Friday is fine, but Friday to Monday is horrendous the locals stay over the weekend !! I haven't got any issues with the Dominicans, but if you pay for a pieceful holiday dont expect it at this hotel !!! We was warned to go to the quite hotel by the REP on our introduction meeting so that speaks for itself!!

The staff expect being tipped all the time, if you do tip them you get a good service so be prepared !! the food is okbut all this changes at the weekends its then dominican style. The staff serve the own when you go to the bar so you end up waiting.

I would like to add that the man who sweeps the beach will get you a table for your sun bed and does not expect to be tipped that was a bonus!!!! i did tip him at the end and he was delighted for the tip. thats the only positive thing i could say about the staff

Room Tip: If you want to book away days when you arrive, go to the beach hut at the end of the beach its far c...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancing, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

My family consisting of 3 children aged 14,17,20 travelled here in August last year we had a fabulous time, food was excellent:
pancakes, eggs, omelettes, fried toast, croissants, smoothies, cereals, bacon, tomatoes, tea, coffee, pancakes, fresh fruit i could go on but the list is endless, dinners we ate in the beach bar at lunchtimes brill, homemade pizza, chicken, burgers hotdogs chips salads fresh fruit icecream and unlimited soft drinks and alcohol, evenings: so many different chefs all cooking food fresh italian, chinese, dominican, mexican all served with fresh vegs, stacks of puds to chose from and unlimited tea coffee and alcohol and soft drinks, as soon as you had finished eating the plates and glasses were cleared or refilled whichever you chose.
Rooms: great and large had one huge king size bed and one single for me and my 2 daughters my hubby and son had 2 large kingsize to themselves, view to the beach beautiful from our balcony palm trees everywhere it really was paradise for us.
Beach: beautiful no prob getting sunbeds at all and wherever you wanted soft sand to walk on and the sea was always warm bit like a hot bath.
The resort itself was amazing so much to do the reps would ask you to join in competitions did not have to if you didnt want not pestered at all.
Entertainment: great live shows every night we all had a ball it worked out cheaper for us all to go here for two weeks than to spain get that!!!!
Cant recommend enough great time had by all

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Coventry
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Great 2 weeks staying at the RIU Merengue hotel in Dominican Republic .
All inclusive for an extra couple of hundred pound`s more than i would have paid for europe . it was well worth it -but i can`t see it lasting long at these prices ..
the staff were fantastic 100% on keeping the place clean & that means you hand sanatisers everywhere .. the food was fantastic ... the bar staff were crazy & worked so hard trying to pour you drinks all the time untill you begged them no more - i have had enough ...
the beach was fantastic with loads of sun beds spare (no sun shades required as the beach is half covered in trees so you just move in to the shade in the afternoon ... the garden staff were in charge of keeping the beach clean & tidy which they did a great job at .... lying on your sun bed at about 3.pm all peaceful like & half a sleep -then from the distance a noise appears ` you half open one eye to spot 5 or 6 waiters laden with trays of cold drinks giving them to the guests on the beach & with the medicine man asking who wants medicine in there cold drinks (IE - who wants Rum ) ...
The rooms are basic but nice - very clean , had a small issue which was sorted out in double quick time
..
i was approached by the hotel customers service manager and asked how my stay was -
i explained all the things above & i was asked what they could do to improve there service .
here are my gripes :
1) 2 litres of water in your room for 2 days is not enough
2) They need a tougher no smoking policy - (they smoke where they llike so you get choked in the bars & watching the entertainment )
3) This 1 is from a grumpy old man now : at the week ends the hotel opens its doors to the locals and do they come in massive family sizes from baby`s to great gran & grandad loads of them there to have a good time & take advandage of the all inclusive that they have paid for (i can`t blame them for that - but the place changes from a quite meal to a scrum down at times ) ..
but don`t let that put you off - just put up with it for a few days - then you are back to peaceful holiday which i said was only for couple of hundred pounds more than staying in europe ..

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

I went to stay here with my gf and her sister in Feb. Long time ago i know, lol it was great, we had a fantastic time, really enjoyed the food and the entertainment staff was really great, so funny. We wish we did more excursions,but the city tour was really cool. no complaints.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
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, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 Top resorts 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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