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“Great Holiday” 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
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

The staff at this hotel work very hard and are extremely friendly and cant do enough for you. I have enjoyed a relaxing 2 weeks here in the gorgeous sunshine and beautiful setting and I did have a great time.

However I was last here 16 years ago but unfortunately it is not the standard of hotel it was back then. I would no longer rate this as a 5 star hotel but as a 3 star at best. The rooms are in desperate need of refurbishment with windows cracked and needing replacing and the whole rooms looking very tired. The beds were not very comfy ad the pillows were like bricks. It was, however always clean but as we were on a ground floor room there were a lot of ants out on the balcony, fortunately none made it into the room. That was really my only criticism of this hotel.

Food very good- buffet style so you need to time it when its less busy especially in the evening which we found was around 7pm. Plenty of choice even for my fussy eater teenage daughter. Every other evening is a themed night. Breakfast was also good with plenty of choice. At lunchtimes the chef would cook a specialty around the pool of the Merengue Garden or you could eat in the snack bar or main restaurant.

Drinks - Pretty much anything you wanted

All in all a great holiday but accommodation in need of refurbishment you just need to look past the shabby rooms

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3,873 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 (475)
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

The good: Customer Service, the beach, the rooms

The mediocre: entertainment

The bad: food

Overall, it was an excellent deal for the price. As a vegetarian, my food choices were severely limited (with crappy pizza and french fries my main options). If you are not a vegetarian, you might like the food; however, in my estimation, all the food was quite bland.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collingwood, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

First we flew Sunwing and the Elite Plus is the only way to go!! We booked a ocean view suite at the Riu Merengue which was gorgeous!!, very clean, flat screen tv's. Just a 30 second walk to the beach, pool, restaurants. The grounds r beyound beautiful!! The village portion is now closed, but the pool is open and nice and quite, you have the choice of using all the pools at each resorts. We took water shoes for the ocean but only used them once. Lots of loungers everywhere, so no need to do the towel thing!! Also, bartenders on the beach, nice touch. Staff r always smiling and hard working. Yes the beds are hard, maybe time to buy new ones, lol. The buffets r good always something to eat. Now the pool food, sorry to say and my only complaint is not good! Same everyday, maybe some changes there r needed. We were there Apr 20-27 lots of sun. Would for sure recommend this resort in a heart beat!!!!

Room Tip: We loved the 2nd floor suite for the view!!!
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

We have just returned from a sunny and warm week vacation at Riu Merengue Garden.
Sunwing representatives took us from airport to the resort and once there the process was fast-staff welcomed us with a coctel and gave us an enveloped with room keys, map and towels cards.
You can get confused at first because there were 3 resorts close to one another but your reference should be the beach to find Riu Merengue Garden, Village or Riu Bachata.
Riu Bachata offers better choices of food, animation and Internet.
You have access to 90 mins free wi- fi per device at the receptions of the 3 resorts per day.
We learned at the end of our vacaction at Riu Merengue that we had the 90 mins free wi-fi + 30 mins ( $5) but we could have stayed at Riu Bachata we could to get more Internet choices 90
mins free wi-fi + $10 a day and much more.
The resort is 20 mins away from Puerto Plata city, but we didnt want to spend $50 for a cab, there was no way to go on your own to take a local bus to get to Puerto Plata. The resort offers Taxi services but we were told that they charge for the taxi driver's time on top, for ex
Puerto Plata city tour $ 50 one way per person = total $70 or $75 including driver's time.
We found the tours very expensive, the deep sea fishing was $ 90 per person for fishing and $55 for watching, and $440 for scuba diving per person for 3 days ( or $396 cash) We almost made a deal to go fishing with one of the locals for $50 one hour,but they couldnt get gasoline for the fishing boat.
You have to bargain to buy anything, specially at the Caribbean street shops where locals have no clue about money value. We found 2 white cotton clothing items, we asked how much.....the vendor wanted $150 for 2 (????) , he dropped the price to $140, even $60 for each felt too much to us. You can get better deals at the shops by the beach to the right from Riu Merengue.
The view is beautiful to take pictures of the sunset, the mountains and the blue deep sea.
The beach is more rocky towards Bachata, is much better to the right of Merengue, you might like to buy water shoes.


Staff were always friemdly and smiling to us.

Room Tip: Buildings 1300...1400 or 1600 are much quiet but away from the buffets, from the beach and swimming...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

First off, I want to start out by stating how beautiful the views are around this property. There is nothing like swimming in the warm ocean and seeing the mountains. Gorgeous. Make sure you take the walk up the Bachata gazebo to see the beauty early on in your stay. You will want to back for another look!
We travelled to the Merengue on April 14th - 21st. Upon arrival we were put in the village section. The rooms are very dated, beds are hard, and pillow are thin, but easily forgotten as you are not there to spend time in your room anyways. The maids always kept the rooms very clean. The buildings are nice, scattered around the property with lots of different colors.
I think the beach in front of the village is the best. Very sheltered and a beach bar. The only one on the property. We would walk to the Bachata beach, as the snorkelling was better there, but a lot windier. We did use water shoes only when on the Bachata side. Lots of sea urchins around the coral. The sand is not the powdery white, but still very nice.
The food was o.k. Always found something good to eat. Breakfast was our favorite, where you could get freshly made omelets. They had themed buffet nights. Mexican was the best. Delicious!! We ate at the Steakhouse A La Carte. Pretty good.
The grounds and the pools are kept immaculate.
We used the Bachata most days for lunch and used the swim up bar on two separate occasions, but overall enjoyed the Merengue side better. It was much quieter. The only time you can not use the Bachata is for supper buffets and A La Cartes.
The workers are all really friendly and work so hard. Remember a dollar tip goes a long way, especially when most are making only $300.00 a month.
Overall a fantastic vacation. Would I go there again, no, but only because there a so many other places in the world to see.

Room Tip: We were in room 2210. 2nd floor with a small ocean view. Very close to the beach, and pool.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

We have just returned from having spent 2 weeks here and fail to see how RIU advertise it as a 5 star resort as it is a maximum 3+ star. We were told the hotel was up for sale and may be purchased by Carnival due to the cruise terminal being built next door which if true would explain why there is a lack of repairs being done. We travelled as a family of 6 staying in 2 rooms both of which had some concerning problems. One room had a plug socket missing with exposed wires, and this was the room the hotel put 2 young children in with their parents. Had to move one of the beds to cover it up. The other room we were in had a broken window in the bathroom and the air con trip switch on the patio doors had what looked like the EARTH wire disconnected.
All of this was mentioned to the reception staff but nothing got done until the Thomson Reps got involved and we were offered to be moved to another room, the ones we were shown had exactly the same problems which made a move pointless. Eventually the reps got the hotel to repair the problems.
The upside to this hotel is the staff who are always smiling and could never do enough for you. All of the staff in the bars, restaurants and the animations team were great and would had a laugh and joke with the children.
The food was nice with a fair amount to choose from and would only become boring if you were the type to pile everything in sight on your plate every time you walked in the restaurant.
Excursions are a little limited but great.. We done the Dolphin encounter at Ocean World and Paradise Island both of which are brilliant and well worth the money.
The Dominican is beautiful and Puerto Plata does have its gems but unfortunately this hotel is NOT one of them. This hotel has the potential to be a great holiday location but cant see that happening until the cruise terminal is finished and someone starts to invest in these hotels.

Room Tip: All rooms have their pros and cons. Try and avoid the ones nearest the car parks though as car alarm...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Eastern Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

Spent 1 week at this resort with 3 of my friends after we booked this last minute trip (got a very good price).

The check in process was quick and service is fast (we had trouble with lights in our room, it was fixed within 10 minutes of our arrival). Staff were always smiling, friendly and helpful. Staff with whom you interact directly (bartenders, waiters, entertainment team, reception desk) all speak good English, while other staff are a hit or miss (though still tried their best to help out).

Rooms are clean (the maid cleaned under the beds and mopped the floors daily), bathrooms and decks are nice. The fridge is re-filled every 2nd day with water bottles and Pepsi, and there's a rum dispenser in the room to mix your own drinks before leaving the room! There are no elevators but the buildings are only 2 floors. The only thing that wasn't as great were the hard beds.

The food at the buffet was great with good selection nightly (we enjoyed the fish, and the specialties provided for "Holly week" (Easter)). The staff at the buffet were friendly, helpful and always smiling (Carmen and Miguel were great!). The Italian "a-la-carte" was okay, but nothing amazing, so we didn't bother going to the Steakhouse which we heard was similar. We had access to two other buffets (including at Riu Bachata) where we ate once only as the food was the same. There was also other spots that served lunch where we ate on some days. There is one location open at night time which offers burgers, hot dogs and fries (great at the end of a drinking night or if you get hungry late). Drinks were great, and bar staff were amazing!!!

The location of the resort is on one side of a mountain, with the beach along its side. There's many chairs at the beach (no need to get up early or save chairs), and there were parts of the beach/pools that were quieter, while other areas were busier/louder. There are little shops to go shopping between the Riu Merengue and Riu Bachata, and we also went shopping at the shops at the end of the Merengue beach, and the ones at the end of the Bachata (both off resort technically, though there were security guards keeping an eye on us).

The entertainment team does a great job at offering activities for everyone, including dart tournament, volleyball and polo games, stretching, aerobics, etc. The nightly shows were entertaining, and appeared to be better at the Merengue than at the Bachata (based on the ones we saw). The beach is nice (obviously not as nice as Varadero or Punta Cana) and the pools were kept clean. There was staff cleaning, picking up garbage and working on the landscaping every day.

We went to the hotel during "Holly Week" (Easter), so there was a significant portion of the individuals on the resort that were locals (from DR). It made our stay that much better, as it added a cultural aspect to our stay, and made the nights out at the Discotheque (which was otherwise empty and only played American music) a great time!

The check out was as quick and easy as the check in, even though everyone left on our part of the resort were leaving as it was closing for 'low season'.

I'd definitely recommend this resort!!!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 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.
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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
#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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