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“It wasn't so terrible but ..” 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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Ranked #12 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Moscow, Russia
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“It wasn't so terrible but ..”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

It was bad b/c:
1) black mold on a shower ceiling (prohibited by most of Health Departments)
2) Internet speed - download 0.09 Mbps; uploading - 0.04 Mbps. It's 10,000+ (!!!) lower than people have in EU or America. I tested it three days in a row. Hotel clerks could do nothing. At that speed you can send/receive SMS, once I was able to use Skype and its IM, but no websites work propely.
3) the place needs an investment, but it looks that they move in an opposite direction and try to save. the palce includes three hotels, and now one of them is closed. They say renovation, I'd say - not enough customers to occupy three of them.
4) repetitive food and poor drinks (mostly local - low quality, exeption - Rum Brugal Extra Viejo; Barcelo Anejo)
5) old biege towels
6) very old beds and matresses, you don't want to see them uncovered
7) a lot of locals with bunch of kids on EACH weekends (noise, overcroweded)
8) 4-5 nights out of 14 was awaken with drunken screaming at 3-4 am
9) most of hotel's beach is rocky, difficult to step on it and even swim, but you can find good spots
10) minor - they charge your credit card on premises rather than through online banking, and it will cost you additional ~3% ($50 in my case)
11) it has only one working restaurant at a time, another one is located at Riu Bachata (walkable dist). At dinner you can use this one or "so to speak" a-la-carte which has a very limited menu.

It was good b/c
1) very nice, manicured, and relatively large territory icl. long walkway along the sea
2) friendly personnel
3) good rum and coffee espresso
3) decent room (if it's for a couple) and balcony sizes

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,144 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 (543)
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English first
Chester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

Stayed here for the first time as Mambo was closed. The staff were all fantastic as usual but the meals were not up to normal quality and it didn't help when they opened the hotel to locals every weekend so you couldn't get near the pool and had long waits for lunches and dinners. It was so noisy. Love the place and the people but we will not be going back there.

Room Tip: The numbering of all the room blocks left a lot to be desired. Nothing followed numerically so it wa...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Chester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

I have just returned from Puerta Plata after 2 weeks staying at the Riu Merengue hotel. We have stayed 3 times at the Mambo and loved it and were very surprised to see that this year it has been dropped from Thompsons website. We arrived to find that it is now called the Merengue Village and has only kept the pool and one bar open. There doesn't seem to have any future plans made for it. We will mis it.

Room Tip: The Merengue is good as an alternative, not great.
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Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Just returned on 13 May from a 13 night stay at this hotel. We stayed 6 years ago and seen this deal with Thomsons for a really good price and new it would be good value for money. I think the hotel could do with an update, but we found everything was still good, food was good and no tummy troubles except when we overdone the cocktails! Bar staff excellent nothing too much for anyone. I heard a few comments from people regarding local people using the hotel at weekends - what I would like to say is this is a hotel in their country they have as much right if not more to use this hotel! Dominican people are fun and lively and really bring the place to life. If you think about it what would you say if you went to London and foreign travellers made the same comments about Brits in the hotels ! All in all we were not disappointed with the trip just what we needed plenty sun, relaxation good food and plenty to drink, the resort is so relaxed and anything goes dress wise, dress up or don't the choice is yours . I hope this is a useful review. As for going back if the price was right definitely but nice to try new places.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

This was a very special getaway for my husband and me and we were not disappointed. We had written to the hotel in advance to let them know about our special trip and they arrranged for a honeymoon bonus (fruit plate, coffee, etc.) in our room and a room upgrade as requested to a room with a view of the ocean and near the beach. Quick responses by email and very kind and friendly. Our experience with the staff continued to be excellent, we never had to wait for a drink and to our great delight there was bar service at the beach and pools. We never felt that tips were expected and even though we didn't tip as often as we would have liked, the staff continued to be kind, funny, and delightful our entire holiday. It was my birthday during the trip also, and the staff had balloons and special treatment arranged for me at the a la carte, which you could have every night if you wanted. The food was fabulous, great soups, salads, snacks, great sauces, pizza, etc. The pork at this hotel is especially tender and delicious and try the churros (spanish donuts) they are little pieces of heaven. Great hot coffee and milk brought right to you at breakfast (never waited more than a minute). Beds were fairly comfortable, changed every day, great mini bar with liquor dispenser (vodka, rum and gin), nice hot shower and bath, great water pressure!
Yes the weekends are busier with locals but you can still find quiet places to relax since the resort is very big and there are actually two beaches (the beach off the bachata is lovely and quiet and leads to the local village where you can have a tour with Jose for the price of a tip - we spent three or four hours with him and he took us through the local village of Maimon which was great). There is also a nice quiet pool area at the far end of the merengue by the beach bar which is lovely with great bar service even on busy days.
The only complaint I have is that the wine is really awful, pretty undrinkable really, and pretty much everyone we talked to agreed with us about this. However, with the price we paid for the trip we weren't complaining and you can buy wine at the local village or at the hotel.
Overall a wonderful vacation and would go back!! The incredible staff and service are the most outstanding feature of this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

I guess all inclusive drinks work for this resort because they all taste so awful you'll end up just drinking water. The pre-mixed cocktails resemble a slushy with cheap vodka added to them. It doesn't matter which type of cocktail you have, they all taste the same - fake. The food is ok but the majority of it is greasy and the large canteen style restaurant doesn't allow much room for a romantic meal.

The resort itself is very clean and all the staff are friendly. Lots of sun beds available and the beach is pretty.

The worst thing about this hotel is the way they mess you around with currency in their on site shops. Yesterday we picked up some chocolate which came to 2 dollars as we'd got tired of the fake tasting puddings available at the buffet. We asked to pay in dominican pesos (you'd think that fair enough with it being their currency!) and they told us it was 200 pesos. This works out to almost twice the price if you convert it back to pounds sterling, but they obviously think they can get away with doing this. Today we thought we'd save being ripped off and pay in dollars. Unfortunately not, they tried to give us the same amount of change back in pesos rather than dollars. Even though we paid in dollars! Can't believe they give you a poor deal which ever way you pay.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

Not wanting to cover the same ground that lots of others have already done...just come back 12th May after 2weeks...the staff really make this hotel...the cleaners...the gardeners...the waiters everyone tries hard to please,I found the food very good was always something there for me,I did not bother with the pool as it was too busy much prefered the beach with its constant breeze...Overall very good value for this hotel,nothing special but for price cant argue,entertainment is very hit and miss they really do work so hard but it can be boring night after night same games...Also yes the weekends are taken over by the locals the pools the bars the restaurent so be aware Thomson dont tell you that..Now a word of warning when going home seems theres a new scam at the airport..I was on flight TOM 137 on check in we had ONE case 0.7 kg over yes just 0.7kg with NO hand luggage we where told we had to pay $27 we told him where to go,the supervisor then asks to see you and will let your case go through for as he calls it a TIP,which he got us for as we sat in departure lounge...He is a THOMSON staff in Dominican working a fiddle just a warning he conned at least 5 other couples that I saw...Still I had a great time for a price.. cheaper than europe

Room Tip: I was in room 1555 which is close enough but still very quiet
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 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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