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“Fantastic” 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 #11 of 42 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Birmingham, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We stayed from the end f July for 3 weeks and had a fantastic time. We had originally been extremely worried about what to expect given the reviews but we had nothing to worry about.

The rooms are a bit dated but we found them to be okay and who can complain when the view is palm trees and the beach.

There are 3 different pools that cold be used but we mainly stuck to the Merengue because it's more child friendly. The pool staff and in particular Danny were great and made us feel really welcome. There were always sun bed available and that was with 11 of us so cant understand the problem.

The bar staff were fantastic. Even when it was busy you were never made to wait. Diaz in particular was great with us and ensured that we had no problems.

The massages on the beach were out of this world. Maria was our favourite.

And what can I say about the entertainment team? They were great. Maria was fantastic with the kids during the day and then later at the disco. The others including sexy belly, Bon Bon, cheeky monkey, mini me, sexy Lucy, spaghetti and candy were so friendly and tried really hard to ensure that everybody was happy. We loved the beach party the best and would definitely recommend them doing tht more than once a fortnight. The parties on Caribbean street were good as well
Only thing we didn't really like was the break in the middle with international music.

The food was fine as well. There was always a lot of choice and even though I'm a fussy eater I had no problems. The waiters at the restaurant were so friendly and accommodating especially javier.

We all dreaded the weekends coming because of the reviews but again there was no need. Yes it got busier but here were no problems. The locals were great and really knew how to enjoy themselves. They did not cause any problems. In fact I would say it was some of the British that didn't know how to behave. The way they spoke to people and he faces they made at them made we ashamed to be from the same country as them. Why shouldn't the locals come and enjoy the resort. Would we be happy not to be allowed to go to places in the UK because we are locals?

All in all we have had a great three weeks and would definitely recommend the place to others.

Room Tip: Beach view rooms are the best
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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3,861 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 (472)
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English first
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Let me start by saying the hotel and locals where not as bad as previous reviews, but we went when the local children where back at school, this said at weekends the locals did appear but where not that bad just kids being kids.
We have been to this resort 5 years ago and enjoyed our stay, but since then both my wife and myself have medical problems that require ground floor and a shower room, we booked our holiday through our local thomson holiday shop and confirmed our needs would be meet at the hotel, we also needed a 2nd room for our 13 and 18 year old daughters, when we got to the hotel we was given 2 ground floor rooms next door to each other so far so good then we got into the room and we got a bathroom not a shower room but it had a shower over the bath and the step over the bath was not so high and they did not have any other type of rooms so we was stuck with it, that evening while I was on the toilet I felt water dripping on my back, I found it was from a vent on the ceiling above the toilet, a repair man was called and he fixed this by outting a towel inside the vent to stop the drip and told me it was from the toilet in the room above, 2 days later we woke to find the bathroom and bedroom floor wet from the water pipe going to the toilet leeking, this was fixed straight away, then on day 6 the toilet would not flush away everthing came back and the bath was not emptying, after several hours of 2 reoair men trying to fix it they decided to move us, we was moved to another room but they did not have a 2nd room next to it so we had to move our 13 year old in with us as we did not think it was safe enough for her to be in the room as her older sister went to the night club. The new room did not get much better, when you took a shower the vath would run at the same time causing the bath to become slippy also the hair dryer was broke (this was the end of the world when it comes to the female members of the family) this was reported and we was told it would be fixed the next morning when they could get the parts (it was a sunday after all), it took them 3 days to fix the shower/bath and the hairdryer, I called the reception everday day in that time to complain as I had fallen twice and my wife had fallen once which caused injury, but we had no other option but to use the bathroom.
The meals where as you expect on all inclusive holidays but the variety was good something for everyone, the staff are very good and really go out of there way to help, we was even allowed to keep the wheelchair overnight after my wife fell, (well it's the least they could do which is all they did, no apology or nothing).
Reported all this to the thomson rep and will not hold my breath for somebody from thomson to get in touch. To make matters worse we was informed on our way back that at the sister hotel next door they have disabled room's which have shower rooms.

Room Tip: If disabled go to the riu bachata next door.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Well after worrying about the reviews and reports from July, saying I was sceptical would have been an understatement! However Rui/Thomson must have kicked **** with the previous poor management decisions back then and boy have they turned it around! We have had the most amazing holiday which is right up there with one of the best holidays we have ever had. I can say all previous issues have been addressed.
All the staff were amazing throughout the resort - they went out of their way and over and beyond expectations; nothing was ever too much trouble. This was whether you tipped or not, it didn’t seem to matter! Rooms and balconies were a good size and spotlessly clean. The room furnishings are a little dated now but they are adequate, it’s just my personal taste. Bedding and towels were spotlessly clean (not marked like on previous reviews) and changed daily when the room was cleaned. We regularly had towel art left in our room- a nice touch. Aircon and ceiling fan were effective. Only toiletries in the bathroom was shower gel dispenser but no problem as I always use my own anyway.
Grounds and gardens are well kept and cleaned of fallen leaves etc daily. If you find a coconut that has fallen tell the gardener who will cut the end off so you can drink the milk. Food- well we found it fantastic with lots of choice and plenty of it, no cues and plenty of seating. I don’t think we ate the same thing twice in a fortnight, green lip mussels, more than one fish option daily, wild boar; roast turkey, paella, Chinese with smoothies, pancakes, bacon and eggs etc. at breakfast. Never went to the restaurant at lunchtime as we preferred the pool snack bar with pizza, burgers, hotdogs, curry, salads and pasta and Dominican dishes. The snack bar was also open after dinner till 2am serving hot food, you could literally eat constantly from early in the morning till 2am if you so wished. There were reports of flies on food at the snack bars- all food is now covered in glass cabinets with sliding doors so now no flies! Hand gel is supplied at the toilets and before entering the restaurant, so no dodgy stomachs for any of us. My daughter is the fussiest eater ever and always found something to eat.
Pools- well what a choice, the Bachata with a swim up bar, we only went here once because it was busier I think due to the swim up bar. The Merengue Gardens a double pool separated by a bridge with entertainment and music and Merengue Village (formerly Mambo), a quiet pool with no music or entertainment. It was far from overcrowded even on a weekend. No need to put towels down as plenty of beds at any time of the day, even for 5 there was never a problem and plenty of choices at all of the pools. At about 3pm there was waiter service for drinks around the pool.
The beach and bay are beautiful, set at the foot of rolling hills with plenty of palm trees. It is golden sand and sea shoes need to be worn if you go in quite deep due to sharp pieces of coral. You can take out kayaks and pedloes free from the beach hut but don’t go too far out because were the water breaks is the reef and you really don’t want to capsize there as it is shallow and the coral is sharp. There is construction work for a port around the Bachata headland but you can’t see or hear it. We only knew of it because one of the guests was working there. There are huts at the Merengue Village end of the beach were you can barter. It can be quite windy and sometimes there is a red flag out so we just swam close to the shore.
The entertainment was hit and miss, a bit like most hotel entertainment in Europe, the professional shows were very good with others not. The animation team were lovely people and worked hard Mini Me was a hoot! We went between the Merengue and the Bachata for entertainment and ate late to miss the children’s entertainment.
Weekends- well it did get a bit busier on a weekend put far from a problem and definitely not overcrowded by a long shot. Just a few local families who were very friendly in fact we hung out with a few who tried to teach us the Bachata and Merengue! Lol they do have a built in rhythm unlike us! I found the Dominican people to be lovely in fact the only idiots we saw were a group of 3 UK middle class young teenagers breaking the lights on the path from the Bachata back to Merengue and throwing stones at room windows; they went home with their tail between their legs when we gave them a ticking off. Oh and a USA lady who used my sunbed and had her head on my towel covered handbag claiming it was hers (despite there being loads of beds spare). She was rather embarrassed when I pointed out her head was on my bag.
All in all we had a fantastic time and met a lot of lovely people, we would visit again.We were here 18th August till 1st September 2013.

Room Tip: Ask for pool view for closeness to complex
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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.
wirral merseyside
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

arrived back 2md September very enjoyable holiday ,good flights hotel very clean gardens lovely nice pools kept nice clean, only downside the locals who arrived at weekend don't believe in queuing for food just push past you otherwise they behaved very well, went on outback safari trip really worth the money the best food we had on the whole holiday plus really good guides and did Dominican night with the reps which was excellent now i have been afraid to say i wont be going back as there is not much to do for 14 days it gets boring, all the staff work very hard , but the entertainment of a night is terrible you wouldnt stay up to see it , i am glad i have been but as i ave said i wont be going back

Room Tip: room was on ground floor near to beach was very quiet
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hinckley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We booked this nearly a year in advance as a party of 14. We heard about the issues at the weekends and were apprehensive after the recent newspaper articles. Fortunately we didn't experience any problems with excessive guests at weekends, however there was a lot more noise and we had locals in our block for a weekend and they were very noisy until about 3am. One of our party had some property stolen from their balcony which may be coincidental that it was the weekend.

The rooms are very tired and in need of refurbishment, we moved room once and a couple of rooms in our party had leaking toilets, broken fans.This is certainly not 4 star accommodation, you don't get shampoo or any other toiletries other than a soap dispenser and the Air con is not very efficient. The mini bar was not topped up as regularly as it should have been (every other day) The room was always very clean and the balcony was a good size.

The pool at the Merengue Gardens isn't that inviting, very busy and loud, but fortunately we had the use of the Meregue Village pool which was lovely as that hotel is closed so it was very quiet. The beach is lovely and there are plenty of sunbeds.

The food was ok, plenty of choice and varied each night. Mexican night was the best in the buffet restaurant. We ate in he steakhouse but it wasn't anything spectacular. You can eat all day long at the pool bars and they have snacks until 2am!

All of the staff were very friendly and the Thompson rep couldn't do enough to help. We had a great holiday but we would not return to this hotel.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

The location was fantastic,staff and people very helpful and friendly. The ability to choose which of the pools or the beach to use was great you could join in the fun or chill if you wanted.
We had an extremely enjoyable fortnight and would return again to this hotel.
The overall value for money was 9 out of 10.

Room Tip: Just ask for one near the beach
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orinda, CA
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

We went for a birthday party in a large group inthe middle of July. The hotel grounds are lovely and the staff in the restaurants, bars and housekeeping are friendly and very helpful. They will go out of their way to fulfill a request and don't expect a tip every time.
However, the front desk is terrible. They could not find some of the reservations. We had one couple that waited in the lobby over 45 minutes as they said the reservation was cancelled. When we inquired on the status later, the front desk clerk "magically" found the envelope sitting on the desk with all of other check in envelopes.
The "hotelclub group" which makes the reservations for the tours is very slippery and promises discounts but then doesn't provide them once you book. If you can book directly with the excursion providers. We really liked the excursions - Ocean World - swim with the sting rays, dolphins and sharks, Paradise Island snorkeling, Horse-Back riding and City Tour. The excursions were much better than expected and reasonably priced. Also don't book the hotel transports to the airport with this hotelclub group as they lose some of them and then try to charge you more.
The food at the resort is ok. The food at the buffet is much better than in the reservation restaurants. Also the reservation restaurants are very limited with the seating times - either 6:30 or 8:30pm. Again, the staff in the buffet are wonderful.
I would not recommend the massages on the beach as they charge a lot and are not very good.
We were there for a weekend and did not experience the bad time that other reviewers had with the local people coming to the hotel. They did not "takeover" the resort and were not loud.
If you don't speak Spanish, the entertainment is difficult as they mainly speak Spanish and the English is not understandable. In addition, the main announcer was rude and very condescending to the guests. It was almost like he was making fun of people.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 3 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.
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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
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach 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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