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“Would never go back!” 1 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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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #9 of 41 hotels in Puerto Plata
New York City, New York
2 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Would never go back!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

My husband and I have not been on vacation in ages alone! Since we haven't been to DR we decided to check it out especially since everyone raves that Puerto Plata is the location to go to now. Well, flight and pick up arrangement went great so far on this trip. The staff is very helpful and the sweetest people ever. However, the rooms are not at all the way it was described. My balcony faced the room across from us instead of the ocean and the bathroom was just horrible not that clean and the shower needed light I was basically in the dark while in the shower. Need an iron guess what the hotel only has one for the entire resort and you need to leave a $25 deposit. The food is horrible and the drinks suck but had to drink for the amount of money we paid for it. Night entertainment horrible and room service to them is half sandwiches in a fridge by the bar. At this point I would not want to ever visit DR.

Room Tip: I don't recommend this place at all.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (438)
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English first
north bay ontario canada
2 reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We've been to the Riu in Puerto Plata several times in the past 10 years. It's such a shame to see that what used to be a great hotel going downhill. They usually renovate the Riu's every 10 years however there has been little change done here. The staff are wonderful and try their best but with all that the newer hotels have to offer in Punta Cana people just aren't coming. They haven't renovated the pool, the food selection although adequate is repetative and limited in selection. The disco used to be packed every night but now that there is a charge for the drinks NO ONE GOES! I don't understand if it's all-inclusive why can the disco not be included in this...REALLY does it make a difference if you drink
at the disco or the bar!!! I know for a fact this has been a deterant for people going to this resort.....To make up for the lower occupancy the LOCALS come in every weekend and most are rude, don't show any courtesy when in line for dinner(WHAT LINE they just barge in)....Not everyone wants to go to a Riu Palace what made the Merengue sweet is the unique layout smaller individual blocks or rooms...no need to take an elevator to your rooms.
Riu needs to rethink how they are managing the smaller hotels that made them who they are!!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

My husband and I got married at the bachatta although we stayed at the merengue your free to use and eat at all 3 hotels, we arrived with a party of 12 who all truly enjoyed the holiday, nothing was too much trouble, the staff and animation team were fab, the food wasn't repetetive like other all inc holidays and the optics in the room were a bonus, any time we ran out of coke spirits and called reception the fridge would be re stocked within minutes of putting the phone down, we were accommodated for every request we had to ensure our wedding went smoothly which it did, the staff ensured anything beyond our expectations and made our wedding truly wonderfull, we were also upgraded to a sea view suite 4 days earlier than we should have been,the rooms are spacious and extremely clean and the maids bless them work their socks of for a pittance and are very polite and friendly, as it was their mothers day our maid left me a present with a lovely little note in broken English which we thought was so sweet, I'd ask anyone to reward the maids as they really do an amazing job and deserve a little extra, our teenage children got on fab with the entertainment team who also do a great job and were extremely polite and helpful, to be honest I really can't understand how anyone can complain about this resort if however they had the same treatment as ourselves, fabulous holiday and will definitely be returning just hope the standard is the same on our next visit! Hol was actually may 2008 but only just writing review lol

Room Tip: Ask at reception if there's availability their more than happy to upgrade you at no extra cost
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

This is billed as a 4/5 star but that is Dominican 4/5 star not English. It would certainly cost more than £1000 per person for two weeks in August otherwise. The Hotel was spotlessly clean and although the rooms are a bit dated, how much time do you spend in them! I certainly didn't travel all that way to stay in the room and I definitely wasn't interested in watching TV! the mini bar was stocked regularly and the maids came in every day. We had one problem with the fan in the room and it was sorted instantly.
The staff were excellent and all very friendly. The entertainment staff worked really hard to ensure there was something for everyone to take part in. Although some of the shows were a bit naff, I can't fault the staff for the effort they put in.
The food was fine. We always had something to eat and can't complain about the service we received in the restaurant.
The beach and pool area were spotless and although they got busier at weekends due to the locals arriving they didn't cause any trouble. They might be noisy but so are groups of English people when they get together!!!
I have never visited the Dominican Republic before and I was not disappointed. It was fantastic value for money and one of the best holidays I have been on. I would definitely return to this hotel and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone else.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Visited the hotel with a 6 year old and 2 year old - there was virtually nothing to do for them other than the pool. The kids play areas were outdated and never open. Evening entertainment was shocking. The entertainment staff rated themselves very highly - how wrong they were. The mini disco was the same tape each night for 14 nights. Room old but well looked after. Drinks heavily watered down and poor choice, you had to ask if you wanted alcohol in your cocktails. i didn't feel we got value for money at all and we wont be returning.

A few tips if you have already booked:
The pool at the Mambo is quiet and the bar staff there are superb.
Rooms 1050-1059 are in a good location, a short walk to the complex yet quiet enough.
Watch out for the fresh coconuts - we tipped the chap $2 and were able to create our own Malibu with coconut milk and rum.
The Steak restaurant gave our son a cracking birthday cake and balloons to celebrate his birthday - ask as you book if you are celebrating. Reception sent him a platter of tropical fruit too.
If you book Ocean World, don't believe the Thomson rep who tells you to take drinks from your mini bar, you can't take any drinks in at all. There is a good alcohol shop at the exit to Ocean World that we found good value.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Only 5 weeks to go and I will be returning for my 4th holiday at the Riu resort having stayed in all 3 hotels and we love it. Last year 19 of us travelled for my daughters wedding at the Riu Mambo what a fantastic day ! all co-ordinated by Maria who was amazing. The reason we chose this resort for mt daughters wedding was on my reccommendation from my past experiences and was not disappointed. Our rep was Martin from Bolton what a great guy making our trips a great experience. The hotels catered for all age groups the youngest of our party being 2yrs old to 70yrs young. Watched the energetic entertainments crew across all 3 hotels where do they get their energy? They are out around the pool area at 9am and still entertaining us at 11pm it tires me out just watching them. Jack Daniels ( entertainment ) from the Batacha was so friendly and joined us at lunch times. He put on a great show on my daughters hen night nothing was too much trouble. Jack has stayed in touch with my grandson but has since moved to sasua we will certainly miss him this time. Can't wait to get back, see you really soon at the Riu's ( we last travelled January last year but didn't give me that option )

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

We returned August 17th 2012 after a two week stay. There were 7 of us in the group, 4 adults 45+ and 3 teenagers 16, 17 and 17.Overall we had a good stay but for us there were a few things that took the shine off it.

Positives
Rooms always spotlessly cleaned, if a little dated, but that didnt worry us

Helpfulness of hotel staff - we had to change rooms due to an aircon problem and had no issue

Nice beach with lots of loungers, never a problem

Bar shack on the beach

Use of adjacent hotel pools - this is a must when the 'locals' arrive. The Mambo pool was lovely, with a well stocked poolside bar. Good place to find some peace.

Some good trips. We did white water rafting (I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not totally comfortable being thrown out of a boat in pretty strong rapids) and catamaran, great day and great snorkelling

The Anmation team. Were lively friendly and very hard working. We were'nt into the evening 'entertainment' but could appreciate what they did for those who liked it.

Food was fine. If we you Michelin star food then pay for it somewhere else

Negatives
The locals at the weekend. We thought the negative comments on Tripadvisor over-played things a bit and we thought hey, why shouldn't they benefit from what us tourists have brought to the economy? None of it, it really was quite an unpleasant experience. At meal times it was like locusts decending. I've never seen breakfast plates piled so high. The Merengue pool area was packed, no problem we went to the Mambo which is a better pool. Apparently the locals stay around the Merengue pool because they are close to the food. Etiquette and social manners go out the window, the Merengue pool was shut twice in the 14 days due to someone deciding it was the nearest place to go to the toilet. Not nice. If you have already booked your holiday, be aware of this and plan not to be around the Merengue over the weekend if you can avoid it.

Air con - outside of the rooms, there isn't any. It can be nice to sit outside on a balmy evening enjoying a drink. However, it would be nice to eat somewhere where the sweat wasnt dripping off you (no air con in the restaurants - they're all open with ceiling fans which have no effect) and have the opportunity to go somewhere cooler for a drink on the particularly warm nights.

Alcoholic drinks - beer was fine, but pretty much everything else was concocted of (generally) non branded alcohol and the wine was probably watered down. I'm always suspicious of frothy red wine. There was theodd branded bottle of spirits, btu they seemed to run out very quickly. I've never tasted whisky like a few served up to me.

Pacha night club. We thought great, the kids will love it. Dont bother. They tried valiantly a few times but it was either empty, playing music for older folks (and almost empty). PLUS you have to pay for drinks there, which arent cheap.

There really is nowhere other than along the beach to walk to and there is nothing within reach other than the 3 hotels - i.e. no bars for a little light relief. Fine for lots of people, we did feel a tad confined.

We're not big into the hotel entertainment but don't have a problem with it. What we did have a problem with is that there was no alternative. We've been to a number of all inclusive places before where you get the same sort of standard, but at each of these there is somewhere else to go for a quiet drink, chat or even play cards if that's your bag. That doesn't exist here. The couple of bars are outside where the stage is and that is it. No other option if you want a drink, unless you go back to your room.

All in all we did have a good holiday, but it could have been better. Hey ho, you live and hopefully learn.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 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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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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Merengue 3.5*
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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