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“Good but inconvenient Location if you want to go out” 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 #9 of 42 hotels in Puerto Plata
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Good but inconvenient Location if you want to go out”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Stayed here last month.
Got the better room. Was nice but some issues.
TV was not working. Could have been the remote control or batteries...
Bed was very very hard... to I had a hard time sleeping and woke up with back pains.

My major issue was that the front door would not LOCK easily. When I would leave in the mornings, I would make sure it is shut, however when I would return after work, I would notice it was CLOSED, but NOT SHUT. Clearly the cleaning staff did not realize the door was not "locking" Had me concerned, was only there for 3 nights so did not bother complaining, but I made sure I took my valuables with me in the mornings....

Premises is large.
Went to the Casino near by it was empty.
Food was... OK there is a large selections so I am sure you can find something.
Drinks... plentifull... all inclusive... so yes, the place was full or drunk Germans... unlimited beer.. can you blame them??

Location is nice since it is near the beach, but if you want to go ANYWHERE, you have to take a cab and it is expensive.... to go to Sosua (where the nightlife is) would take me about 45 minutes and $ 60 so this time I opted to stay in Sosua ....

Good place if you are .... Older and just want to do nothing but hand out on the premises, drink, eat and sit at the beach... otherwise... don't bother!!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 (436)
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English first
Chichester, England, United Kingdom
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Right....don't get me wrong....we had a lovely lovely time...but all these gushing reviews do big the place up a bit much. After reading so many amazing reviews on here I was expecting the most amazing place in the world! It wasn't.

Yes it was a nice enough hotel but I found the food average although plentiful, beach not the wonderful golden sands and bright blue water that other reviews had promised, entertainment staff annoying, plastic cups instead of glass in the bars horrible, no coffee in the rooms (I have to have coffee omg!) and the third world state of the local area somewhat intimidating.

After all the reviews I had read and the fact that this isn't a cheap getaway holiday I must say I was expecting a lot more than I got. This is why I'm writing this now so any other people won't be building themselves up only to be let down.

As I said I had a lovely time but maybe I had misinterpreted the reviews and over excited myself or maybe the reviews were just a little too overboard!

Anyway a bit more helpful info for you....

Pre Buy your entrance visa! this will save standing in a long queue at the 'so called' airport. And the last thing you want after such a long flight is to stand in the scorching heat for 45 mins waiting to get into the blessed place.

Take american Dollars not pesos. I took pesos and everywhere was geared up and expecting to be paid in dollars. Nothing was priced in pesos just dollars so it can get quite confusing. Even the cabs charge in dollars so it's easier to take them with you.

Don't let the airport "volunteers" take your luggage. Take your own bags to the coach. It's a one minute walk out of the airport. The volunteers want paying!

Close your eyes on the transfer coach as firstly you will probably have a heart attack at the way they drive and secondly you won't see the landfill site which is just up the road from the complex!!

Tuesday or Wednesday is market day inside the hotel foyer....they badger the be jesus out of you.

I loved the pool at the Mumbo. Nice and quiet, the pool cleaner guy was amazing and didn't stop working all day. And most of the Numpties went to the other pools as they are far more excitable!

Go to ocean world!!!! Do the Royal Dolphin experience! It's amazing! And the sea lions are adorable!

Paradise island trip was ok. Hour and a half journey from hotel to there though! The island itself is little more than a tiny sand dune in the middle of the sea. But the snorkeling was incredible and the sights of the coral reef and the fish are stunning. Take an underwater camera to this one. They also sell them there for $8.

The trip on the speedboat is more of a James Bond affair rather than a nice little cruise through the Mangroves and the food at the place is pants!

Because of the time difference, be prepared to wake up at silly o'clock every morning!

I never experienced any locals taking over at the weekends but maybe october isn't a popular time for them.

Weather was great although storms most nights but wasn't a problem and hurricane sandy was on her way!

Had a coconut on the beach. Ghastly! Emptied out the milk and filled it with pinacolda! Much nicer!

All in all its a nice place, nice hotel and an enjoyable time but it's not the mutts nuts and it's not the once in a life time carribean experience I was expecting.

Hope you have found this useful

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

six of us spent 1 week at the Riu Merengue, we return Nov. 7 2012. food is excellent ,workers are very friendly. They are prepare to even change rooms if you did not like where they booked you. Outdoors trip is wonderful, specially on the cable car to the mountain.

we would not return to that hotel, because people is allow to smoke everywhere and anywhere on the property.

Room Tip: upstairs rooms are better lots of sunshine to north east. you may have to deal with some sugar ants...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 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.
manchester
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

Stayed here in feb/march 2012 best holiday we ever had kids loved it my parents loved it so much they're returning there next week. Plenty to do on the complex. Entertainment staff always playing games/singing/dancing. Would recomend this complex to anyone who asked rooms are a little dated but cleaned everyday to a high standard I will be returning soon

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Bridgend, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Recently returned from this resort and have to say it was all good except the some of the Activity crew who seemed to think they were professionals, but were sadly lacking. Beautiful weather which always helps, very clean hotel and resort. All the staff were friendly and we felt like valued guests. The resort is the central one of three Riu's all side by side and you can use all of them except for evening meal. Unfortunately one of them was closed, but the pool and bar were open all day and it was kept in perfect condition with daily cleaning. We used this on the weekend especially when the locals descended on a city break. They muddied the pools and took over the hotels. On one hand it was an excellent advertisement, but for us it meant overpacked, loud dining rooms and pool. Rooms cleaned daily by excellent staff and bar stocked regularly, if you run out, just ask for more. Food was of excellent quality and catered to all tastes and nationalities, unfortunately it became boring very quickly, but they occassionally had 'specials' which gave you hope. Tipping is not expected, but welcomed when given. Bar staff are well trained and it was rare for que's as they were quick.
Restaurants were decked out with beautiful fruit carvings of animals, with bedrooms and rest rooms having towels made into animal shapes and scattered flower petals.

Room Tip: We had a good room in an excellent position, so I presumed all rooms were like this.
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  • Stayed October 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife,Scotland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Usually go to Bavaro.Could not get flights this year due to lateness of our booking.What a great time we had.Forget all those people who knock this hotel,it was the friendliest staff run hotel I have ever been to.Management were also.Repairs effected within 12 hours.( balcony washing line had to be completely replaced)Entertainment best ever.Downside!! NO BAILEYS. I managed to struggle through though.It is a complete contrast to Bavaro,being very quiet.I thought I had stumbled on a secret saga hol centre,I am 62.Having said this,it is an ideal hotel for that absolute chill factor and to recharge those batteries.Food was 9 out of 10,having put on 13 lbs ( hence the diet beforehand ) Cleanliness was on the ball.Mosquitos were also slightly different,as the bites stayed longer and had a habit of flaring up days later (northern breed?) Witch hazel gel did not seem to be as effective.Asked a local and was informed that she used vics vapour rub for stings,(you learn something new every time)The hotel shares with the Riu Mambo next door.Each hotel has a pool and there was another hotel on our other side which was closed,the pool and bar being open for our use,so,3 pools effectively.This was a wonderfull quiet spot for sunbathing etc.Our first week was great,second overcast,some heavy rain etc due to the hurricane which ruined santo domingo,before sandy paid its visit.Weather was warm however and only the last minute sunbathers suffered.Our last day was very sunny and tans were upgraded.On the whole this second week was still enjoyed.Did the oceanworld full trip.Swam with sting rays,sharks,propelled through the water with the dolphins,a great day.The sea lions were great as well,Thoroughly endorse this trip,book through rep.Did the outback safari,was not the same quality as down south.Fully respect the aims of the people who run it,but lacked the aim of the trip.It is the same company as in the south,maybe it is the way it was presented.Try booking the other eating venue at the beach bar (bookings as you go in to breakfast) but I would not try the Italian night,as there is nothing Italian in it.The steak night is very good,we had multiple bookings,although you were only entitled to a few per hol.It pays to ask.I could knock the hotel,basing my comments on my hotels in Bavaro over the years,but,to be honest,I find I cant and wont.Bottom line,its a good hotel,excellent friendly staff and good food,what more can you ask for!! The hol was booked through Thomsons,by Thomas Cook,using First Choice plane.The plane crews were excellent both ways but the service was not what I thought I had paid for with the upgrade.Choices of food were not as diverse as was advertised.Drinks I had on the outward journey were not available on the return.The seats both ways felt like sitting on a wooden park bench.I know I flew to India in 2000 in a plane of this vintage,with First Choice.It was a very tired plane,furniture wise.Again,I thoroughly recommend this hotel.Whilst not the best I have been in,it gives the holiday you are probably looking for and will remember.We stayed October 14th to 28th 2012 and were a party of two brothers (62) and my son and his partner,40 and 45 respectively. All meals were plentifull and you will never find it hard to feed yourself.Hope my review helps all of you out there to choose.All the best,Bruce.

Room Tip: All rooms appeared to be the same.No real advantage of any over others,apart from the sea view ones...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wales
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Spent 2 weeks here in Feb 2012. This is a very nice hotel. One of 3 Riu's on this private stretch of beach. Which have probably have read you can use all three except for your evening meal. The feel of this hotel is lovely. Small peaceful, green ,lush gardens, lots of trees. The other 2 have a different feel. The merengue in the middle is nice with a more tasteful reception area but the pool is square and no trees so not as cosy . The bachata is posher , alot larger and alot louder with its swim up bar and lots of Canadians at the bar all day!
I would choose the mambo again having spent time at all three even though it does not feel as grand. Although the reception area is quite small and dark compared to the other 2 don't let this put you off when you first arrive.
Rooms
The rooms are all in block's of 8 spaced around . I did email ahead and ask for sea view rooms close to the pool which we did get. All the blocks are nice pastel colours and not too far away from anything. the rooms are dated which is normal for dom rep. most hotels have dark wood and load coloured bed throws so can look old fashioned. they were clean and a nice size not overly large. you do get a free safe and a fridge with beer and caned drinks also 3 optics that are refilled all included. These are local spirits and all tasted very similar but are included so a nice touch.
!
The beach
is nice although not white powder and turquoise sea like Punta Cana it's a nice beach but the sea can be rough so not good for snorkelling. Plenty of beds a small ,beach bar in front of the mambo although only serving just beer and soft drinks ! No spirits or cocktails which is a shame, but the pool bar is not far to walk. To the right of the beach there are a few local traders we and many others booked our trips with these guys in the first hut . Dune buggys through the mangroves was fab, Far cheaper than the hotel and usually tern out to be the same bus!
Food
You can eat in the buffet for all 3 meals or the pool bar for lunch and booked dining in the evening, you can also take breakfast and lunch in the other hotels. I think the pool restaurant in the buchetta a was best for lunch a a nice 8-10 min walk along the beach of the beach lined path takes you there. We ate at all the restaurants the pool side in the mambo had the least choice. The lunch restaurant in the merengue was pretty much the same as the mambo. The buchetta was my favourite we had breakfast and lunch there enjoying the walk back to the mambo for a quieter afternoon.
I would give the hotel buffet food in the mambo a 3 star to 3star plus. Same for the pool bar which turns into the al a carte restaurants in the evening I have had a lot better in 4star Dom rep hotels over the years. The buchetta is more of a 4 star for food. I still would not class it as 5 having stayed at a number of 5 star hotel in the Dominican.
Entertainment
Mambo's team were ok , some were annoying like the rasta haired older guy that mooed like a cow or baa ed like a sheep as he walked past your lounger when you were sleeping not many found him funny! My daughter tried the kids club and I observed from a distance whilst she was given a piece of paper and crayons why the girl in charge sat texting on her phone. My daughter is 10 so she didn't last long there. I did see the girl making more effort on other days with younger children.
Evening shows were average for Dom rep I have seen far better and far worse. They do work hard and its just down to if its your thing or not. They do have live music some nights on the terrace before and after the show which is lovely.
Caribbean street.
Between the middle and end hotel merrangue and buchetta. A nice place to walk to at night along the beach front path which is lit up with lamps and you can visit the other hotels bars on the way. This is a really nice touch to these hotels as its not the kind of country that you walk out of your hotels to shops. These feel safe and are all within the hotel boundary.
Cliff walk
A really nice walk past the buchetta up the hill to a white stone pagodaover looking the sea and looking back to all three hotels. You can also walk down to a private beach on the other side if you want total quite.
Disabled and pushchairs
This is a flat resort with a great concrete path all along the front of all three hotels we saw many with push chairs and wheel chairs ,the mambo's pool has a sloped ramped access ideal for wheel chair users to get in and out of the pool.
Overall.
A lovely set of hotel's I would recommend especially if it is your first visit to Dom rep. It's large enough to not feel locked away in your hotel but cosey if you want it to be.and a nice choice of bars shows pools and beach spots.
If your are looking for the all singing all dancing 5 star champagne and caviar breakfast then maybe keep looking or book the ocean blue and sand Punta Cana with 16 plus restaurants vast pools ,white sand ,huge entertainment program inc bowling ally and teenage bar . Complete with train to take you around. Very nice but very big not as personal. So all depends what you are looking for.
Any question feel free to email.

Room Tip: Email the hotel for rooms around the pool or reception area
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
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
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Romantic 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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