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“Enjoyed it in May” 4 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
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Enjoyed it in May”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

We have now been here 3 times but we always go in May. Reading recent reviews I can see how people would be disappointed with locals coming in at weekends.
When we went from May 27th for 2 weeks there were a few locals come in at the weekends but the only trouble they caused was the pushing in at the restaurant. Needless to say, I 'politely advised' them to get out of my way!!
The hotel is not 5 star but more 4 star. They are very nice there and always willing to help. Food can be a bit repetitive but you are not going to starve. There is loads to do or you can just chill like we did for the 2 weeks.
We will go back but like I say, it will be in May and not after this. Thomson need to do something with the hotel to stop locals destroying peoples holidays or people just won't go anymore to there,which is a shame as the actual hotel is quite nice.

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,197 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
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English first
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

Ab Fab holiday until Friday lunchtime to Sunday lunchtime. Completely crowded out by locals - not there fault - the hotel filled their rooms with the locals who have very different behaviour standards and acted like they hadn't seen food for a month. They stared at electronic equipment iPods etc , most uncomfortable. They even sat on the foot of my lounger whilst I was reading my book! Rest of the time was brilliant and the staff always cheerful even when their fellow countrymen treated them like something underfoot. In week 2 we dreaded the weekend. Thomson were no use and didn't want to know. Hotel management also. They took overbooking to an extreme. No surprise to see this in the uk press. Thomson please don't feign surprise everyone on our plan gave the feedback forms in!!!

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

I honestly feel very sad writing a bad review on a Rius hotel since they are known for their luxury and food. I had travelled there with my husband 8 years ago and it was a wonderful hotel however this time we went back with my two daughters it was a nightmare. I don't even know where to start. Let me make it clear that the staff that were there were all pleasant from the waiters to the cleaning staff but even though they wanted to provide good service they couldn't because of the amount of locals literally invading the hotel. It was a real nightmare you could not go in the pool cause you had 1000 kids in there also the buffet you had to fight for food (they were literally eating the garnish from the food) they would take food to their rooms and I am talking about 3 or 4 plates per person, use the pool as a toilet, go in the pool in their underwear it was HORRIBLE. The second day we got there we saw the sign that they were having a Michael Jackson show (I was so excited because I had seen the MJ show 8 years ago at Rius and the impersonator was AMAZING) well let me tell you, this time they just grabbed some fat guy from I don't know where and he did it, it was an insult I thought!!!
I was told that if you want to have a nice vacation without locals either go to a couples only resort or go before the summer vacations. I really feel for the staff that work there cause they do work their butts off.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penicuik, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Well where do I start.
Arrived at the Merengue on 23/06/2013 expecting a quiet chill-out 2 week holiday for most part. We had previously holidayed here in 2006 and had nothing but praise for the hotel. On the coach to the hotel the rep Belisa (whom we can't praise highly enough) told us about the local infux at the weekends and advised us to take excursions to escape the mayhem. As I said we previously used the hotel and knew about the locals coming fri-sun.
They started to arrive in busloads from midweek onwards. Bus after bus after bus. last time we were here they numbered in the hundreds......this time it was more......A LOT MORE.
They completely over-ran the pool,diningroom,evening entertainment area etc.

On our third day we decided to take our first dip into the pool. within a couple of hours we were both feeling unwell. Then came the stomach cramps diarrhoea etc. We came with Immodium as a matter of course as some times these things can happen in a foreign country. After two days we were getting worse instead of better. First trip to the onsite pharmacy. Tablets/drops/re-hydration sachets and around £60.00 lighter we finished the course only to find we were not getting any better. At this stage we had to postpone a trip (sat). In between this time we went on a 1/2 day trip to Puerto Plata which included La Serena (the local supermarket) to obtain some food stuffs for my wife who has special dietary needs and was unavailable at hotel (not their fault I may add).This was not an enjoyable time but necessary. Second trip to the pharmacy...more medication but stronger....Around £40.00 this time. The girl in the pharmacy was extremely surprised that the first course of medicine had failed to help and said that if this lot did not work then we would need to seek medical attention from a doctor. Thankfully it worked (Thank you young lady). By then we had effectively lost 6 days of our holiday. Then to find out that people were urinating in the pool brought it all home and made perfect sense of how we became ill in the first place. Then someone defficated in it. DISGUSTING. Never went near it again.


All was fine until the locals started to arrive THEN chaos. They filled their plates up as much as they could, some even put food into bags to take away. I witnessed one local pick up a FULL platter of food and try to take it away...only to be chased after by a member of staff who promptly took it back from him..then a shouting match ensued between them.
Empty food stations, nowhere to sit untold noise not what you would expect from a 4*.
On at least 3 occasions I left the restaurant without eating as the queues were horrendous and you were being pushed and jostled by some of the locals. I would like to say at this point that not all were as unruly as some. My wife's analogy of them was " they are like a plague of locusts, they swarm in, devastating everything in their path then fly off". I couldn't have said it better.

As regards to the sit-in. We were told that we would be given excursions at no charge to ourselves (en-mass at the meeting) and that anyone who had already paid for an excursion that weekend would be refunded. I told another couple not to hold their breath ( a stalling tactic I thought). How true it never materialised.

As for the moving of guests to another hotel..yes this was eventually offered, however most of the people who took up the offer still had more than a week left of their break still to take. The others stayed put as to pack/move/unpack/pack all within a space of 2 days of flying home was
just not on.

One last thing
We cannot fault the staff at this hotel whom work extremely hard. They are brilliant Pity I can't say this about the management whom hid in his office and turned off his phone rather than try to resolve the issues raised.

We all paid a lot of money to go there, some saving all year round for this trip.


I could add more but I will reserve that for the personal complaint which will be with Thomsons soon

And NO I will not be going back there.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Arrivedv24/6 for 2 weeks first 4 days was great relaxed good service food good .. Then hell broke 1000 locals came on the Friday . We was told by the rep you get a few come weekends but not this many.. Couldn't use pool no towels left or sun beds . Food went down hill and ran out .. Adults in pool with shoes and clothes on also weeing and pooing in pool and beach .. Pushing shoving shouting felt like we was at a holiday camp .. They have not got any manners and take everything in sight . We asked to be moved but Emma the rep said no it wasn't that bad !!!! .. She to.ld us to o a private golf resort to get away from it .. We saw cockroaches in dining room and one was on my sisters bedside table and we was on 2nd floor !! Also saw a rat scullering through the grounds .. Prositutes also working the bars .. We feel very let down disappointed and angry that this sort of behaviour should be happening and feel Thompson have a lot of explaining to do . We booked a 14 day holiday but only got 4 days that was peace and felt like a holiday .. We cannot believe they are still sending people out there whilst all this is going on but I suppose we are subsidising the locals so they can have a holiday .. Thomson must be having piles of complaints but still not acting . Just hope people stay away and book somewhere else.. Think it was also bad when the rep Antonia tells you to book a excursion weekends they need to stop advertising trips and concentrate on the locals destroying british people's holidays . , cause without us going there want be any hotels or jobs

Room Tip: 1456/457 quite rooms
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

June 2nd --- june 17th

it started off ok but after three days i developed a nasty rash that i am still under the doctor for , the food was not five star more like two staff will not serve you if they think you are not going to tip. but the best is Hotel rooms .com rent out the empty rooms to the locals on weekends the place is manic you can not get to the pool they are on the beach having sex .
and don't even think about eating, they pile thier plates with everything and by the time you get to the buffet it is all gone or cold ,two weekends running we lived on cheese and crackers.
i have complained to both Riu group and Thompsons

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

I am sitting here in the RIU Merengue at the moment, this is my 4th time here and after reading previous reviews and the stuff in the Daily Mail I have to ask "what is all the fuss about?"

So let's sart, the pool is not dirty or full of locals, who by the way have every right, in fact more so to visit this hotel as and when they please and they do pay for it by the way.

Food is available all day, and lots of it.

Entertainment do an excellent job and will always aim to please.

Bar staff excellent, drinks are local brands as advertised when I booked the holiday.

I am just amaized at some of the reviews on here and the story in the daily mail.

I have heard some of the guests that made the BIG show last weekend were very racist and rude even embarressing at some points.

I always research my destinations and their cultures first before travelling to a new country although if everyone did that first I am sure the UK would have no tourists visit its shores as our cultures and ways are far from perfect.

In a nutshell RIU Merengue is excellent value for money, Dominican people are lovley people with very different beliefs and culture to ours.

If you are booked for this hotel please come and see for yourself and don't be missled by other peoples negative opinions.

Right, now let me get back to my pina colada :-)

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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 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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