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“Ignore the bad reviews - this place is heaven!” 5 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
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Ignore the bad reviews - this place is heaven!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

I use this site alot, to read reviews on hotels and locations etc, and I though I would have a look to see what people said about the Merengue. All I can say is that you just can't please some people! I visited this hotel with my friend in September 2009, and it was one of the best holidays I have ever had.

I wont write about transfers like others do, what's the point? The hotel does not control the traffic or the driving skills of the coach drivers, but for the record, our transfer was fine, no problems.

The reception we received was excellent, they staff couldn't have been nicer. Our room allocation was dealt with quickly and efficiently, and our bags were loaded onto a trolley and taken to our rooms by a lovely man called Junior, he always has a smile for you.

When we got to our room I was majorly impressed, there were two queen sized beds pushed together, and even when another friend joined us for the second week, there was plenty of room for all of us. The air conditioning works perfectly, and the fan was a welcome relief sometimes! The bathroom was fine; shower, bath, toilet, sink, what else do you need?! We had no problems whatsoever. We had a little patio outside with two chairs and a small table, although we didn't use this much, we only used them to dry our clothes when the little washing line (also on our patio) was full. Our room was cleaned every day, and we always had clean towels, the maid always made little animals out of the towels, which was a nice touch. I was also extremely impressed with the mini-bar: every second day it was filled with 2 Pepsis, 2 beers and huge jug of water, and when our friend joined us they made sure to add extra for him. If we ran out and wanted more before the re-fill day, we just called across to reception and we had it within half an hour.

The food was also very very good. The breakfasts were the best; fresh fruit, cereal, meats and salad, bread and pastries, sausage, bacon, eggs, french toast, doughnuts, as well as omelettes which were made on the spot for you as requested. And, the most amazing fresh smoothies you can imagine, we always had at least one! And the woman who made these was extremely friendly. The lunch was fine, I am a fussy eater and I always found something nice to eat (we always ate at the snack bar as you could eat in here in your swimsuits etc.). The dinners were great and every night of the week was a different theme night, we stayed for two so we got each night twice, but where's the problem with that? The Mexican night was especially good :) We used to steak a la carte restaurant twice, and it was fantastic! I had steak the first night, and it was perfectly cooked, and delicious. The second night I had the lamb, which was genuinely the best lamb I have ever had, and there was loads of it! The snack bar was great for when you fancied a little nibble, and everything was always hot and fresh.

The staff. Let me tell you, the staff made this holiday for us! We had a fabulous time! They always made the day with their silly pool games, but they were not annoying and persistent if you'd prefer to just sit and watch. It annoys me that people are on here complaining about the guys flirting - there were a couple of girls who were worse than the guys!. I am female, as is the friend I went on holiday with, and they were flirtatious yes, but never inappropriate! And most of the girls I saw were leading them on, so I'm sorry, but if you are going to flirt, you cannot complain if the guy thinks he's in there. And a question for all the complainers; would you be complaining so much if you were at a hotel in America or England and the staff were flirtatious? I don't think so. The way I see it, it's a perk of the job for these guys, they can flirt, but that's it - most of them have families anyway! The staff who made my holiday so fantastic were: Rocky, Romeo, Babyface, Chicken legs, Cheeky Monkey, Mamma Mia and Michael.

The entertainment was a right laugh, and the Michael Jackson show was just fantastic! The kids entertainment was also great, and the staff really did their best to ensure the kids had a good night too.

The drinks were amazing! The cocktails were just fabulous, and the bar staff were always smiling. The beer was a bit rubbish, but I prefer Eastern European beer, and it really wasn't bad, just not the best (I still managed to win a beer drinking contest!).
Throughout the day, the bar staff would come around the pool with cocktails (non-alcoholic) and another member of staff would follow with the rum and vodka, which meant the kids could have a nice slushy drink, but the adults could enjoy a drink by the pool without having to move!

Another thing that has annoyed me about some of the negative reviews on here is the fact that folk are complaining about locals using the facilities at the weekend. I'm sorry if the Dominicans don't live up to your expectations of a luxury resort, but I'm afraid I think you are being a snob! We had two weekends with the locals, and we did not have one problem with them! So what if the dining room queue was a little longer? So what if it was a little harder to get a sun lounger? For the people who felt genuinely scared, then I'm sorry if a select few ruined it for you, that couldn’t have been fun, but they are not representative of the Dominican people on a whole.

If you are looking for a clubbing holiday, then this is not for you. There was a nightclub on the resort, but we only went once or twice. It was small, but the air conditioning meant it wasn't a sweatbox. There were also nights that you could book to go out to a local nightclub, a few other guests we spoke to had been, and said it was a good night, but I think that is all there is, I'm not sure, we didn't go for a boozy week.

I'm sorry if this has seemed like a rant to some, but I just want to get across how amazing this place is, and how petty some people are being. There is nothing I would change about our holiday, except for maybe the part where we had to leave. I'm in a huge rush to get back, and when I do, I'll have another fantastic holiday.

I'd recommend this hotel to everyone, the location is fantastic - literally right on the beach (which is stunning). The staff were amazing. Food and Drinks were great. Rooms were awesome. I'm not sure what more people need :)

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
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4,145 reviews from our community

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  • 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
Preston, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

My wife and myself have stayed at the riu merengue eight times now and are going back twice this year. We have found the staff from the top to the bottom very good they go out of there way to make you welcome. Give it a try i am sure you will not be disappointed. I also have to say my wife is dissabled and has a fantastic time with all the staff.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire England
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Just returned from 2 weeks of pure pleasure in this fantastic resort.From check in to check out we had a blast yet again.
From Reception staff thru to the maids nobody could do enough for us with permanent smiles on their faces even the gardeners and maintenance men went out of their way to say Ola.We had a nice room which was very quiet and handily placed for all amenities.
Special mentions must go to Dias,Henriquez,Yulisa and El Menol at the pool bar who were superb throughout.
The entertainment team were really special with never a dull moment with the team lead by Hula Hula and Cheyanne.Their programme was excellent during the day and shows at night were very good.Nobody pestered you if you did not want to join in!!!.Special mentions must go to Kiko(this man is crazy) Blacky B Will Smith and DJ Black Banana who were all excellent.
The buffet restaurant was very good with a wide choice at all meal times and Mangu restaurant was good during the day for snacks and really good burgers.Our waiters/waitresses during the day were really good at their jobs so thanks to Yunior,Melvin and Lidia.
We would not hesitate to recommend this Hotel to anyone and we will be back soon ourselves.You've heard the song Mambo Number5 well this is truly Mambo Number ONE!!!
Final thanks go to Eduardo(Manager) who asked every day if everyhing was ok.These special touches made our holiday complete.Many thanks to you all!.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Belleville, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2011

We traveled as a group of 6 and had a fabulous time at the Riu Merengue. The entertainment way by far the best thing there. They had Michael Jackson impersonator as well as Madonna. There was also beach party night and dancers. The food was great. Buffets we the best part. We were able to eat everything which made us all very happy. The week was perfect weather as well no rain, which made our stay even better. Our days were split up with excursions off the resort which were a blast. We got to see the country side and go snorkling. For a fun week in the sun i would deffinitly recommend any of the Riu Resorts in Puerto Plata.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 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 2
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London, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2011

We arrived on the 21st of January.
The trip there was scenic and no complaints.
On arrival we were all greeted with a refreshing juice and some of us were aloud to to go our rooms and some were not ready.
Rooms were spacious,kept clean,Beds were hard.Fridge was stocked, once more that week with a lg bottle of water and one pop.We didn't drink the beers in the fridge.If they don't visit you can call the desk and they will send the cart along with the driver.If you have complaints just ask for Hanzel.He called our room and asked how things were.Our room was just outside the pool and also the buffet for the main bar.Found it quite busy but at night when you closed everything up you could hardly hear the music.
If you want a room by the ocean book 26 the one closest to the hills and wildlife you will see ocean and the hills.

Bars.Mambo bar I found to be the worst unless you got a bartender to listen to what you were ordering,some are very good and some are not.The drinks I found to be watered down and really blah.My best drink I had was in the airport on the way home.I would advice anyone who enjoys quality to get something on the plane(duty free)prices were good and they have no coke or seven up products.No clamato juice..Beer if you like was good.
There was a fight in the Mambo bar some locals............ so my dh went to help out and my son and the one gf of the guy said the other guy had a gun.It was quite the carry on but no one called security?My dh did settle the one guy down,but I would not advice going to help,just get the security.Bar areas are not kept clean where you order your drinks and lean on the area.
Beach was a beauty.anyone that has limited mobility would have no problem there with a scooter,also canes as the property has a level walkway that you can enjoy all the way down to the chapel. You will pass restaruants,gift shopping,buffets,bars,washrooms,lots of dif tournaments and pools.Beach is rocky .But beautiful scenery.
Pools were clean but the Miranga one they burn something at the back of it and always an odour.
Entertainment what I saw of it was done well with lots of energy.The sitters at the kiddy area always seem to treat them well and keep them busy.
Food was hit and miss mostly a miss.some days it looked like bones and gravy if you got there an hour after they opened.Salads were not too bad ,not much change over the week and while waiting for our eggs one morning which they like to do ahead of time and put on platters my dh and I at the same time seen a cockroach run acroos the side of the glass.Needless to say I didn't eat much that morning. Fruit was not too bad.Service was okay also. I heard a lot of people say also that some days quality was okay but other days it was bad.
Locals come by the droves on wkends.They stayed longer while we were there ,extra holiday for them.Wow couldn't believe it I know I read about it before I left,but you have to see it to believe ,the dif of room in the restaruant and on the beach,bar they get served first even if you have been waiting there, and quiet once they were gone.The resort is not too far from Puerta plata so it is easy travel.I have a few resaons for not coming back and that is one of them.Travelled with six others.Forgot to mention there are no flowers at this resort.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Barre, Vermont
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

Just returned from 6 Days at Riu Mambo, and just wanted to say that it was really fun and nice. Since it is three sister resorts together, we had a bit of room to roam and explore, eating breakfast and using the swim-up pool bar at Riu Bachata, and walking the long beach that runs along the length of all three properties. No other resorts in walking distance, which we liked; it was private, but not too quiet at all. The staff tried to keep things friendly and lively, but didn't bother us or make too much noise. We spent a number of very peaceful times on the beach, watching the resort wake up in the morning, and looking at the stars at night. It's a quick trip to Ocean World, where we went to swim with the dolphins one day, a great thing to do. Could have done other trips right from the resort as well, very easily arranged through the helpful staff, but we chose to otherwise hang out and relax. So pretty, with the mountains nearby, and lots of palm and almond trees. A great value, very clean, with wonderful, friendly staff.

Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

Well what can i say it was over all a good holiday and the staff were fantastic.
Did not enjoy the long flight as we were delayed on our flight out and the airport had just reopened when we circled to land and that was scary to say the least as it was pouring with rain and we bounced down eventually into a very humid wet Dominican airport.
The paperwork and form filling was an absolute chore and very confusing when your tired and jet lagged. The air conditioned coach trip was really nice and the sights quite interesting as the streets were really busy with laden mopeds and crazy car drivers..lol.
On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by smiling staff and a welcome drink
. Check in was quick. Finding your accomadation is mind boggling and the flooded paths were interesting as you tried to see through the torrential rain. We were really confused but found our room then waited for our cases and then tipped the soaked porter who handed us our wet cases. We did venture out but could not go far as we got drenched by another deluge so we went to bed at about 10 .30p.m local time.
We managed to sort out the safe in the morning but this did cost and we found this a bit expensive. Our first breakfast was great and the dining rooms very clean as was our room all holiday.The room was spacious and next to the pool bar but on the whole very quiet. The food was actually very nice but a bit repetitive. Carribean street is expensive but if you go out the main gate turn right and walk up the road a guide will take you to the local village and you can barter and buy local produce really cheap. Make sure you vist the little zoo.
The staff took great pride in the hotel, themselves and were very friendly, all holiday even those we did not tip. The pool bar was our favourite we called it the "cheers bar" we met many people and made some good holiday companions/friends the staff at the bars made your time spent in there fun and the service was excellent.The resort itself was friendly and the pools and entertainment brilliant as the staff are all crazy, in a nice way. The only down side was groups of drunken Canadian single sex groups on a loud drinking spree and a few wannabe gangsters...lol. It was relaxing 90% of the time and was really sociably, a great holiday . The weather was not the best and the animation team set up games in the pool bar which was actually enjoyable. Over all its what you make it and mostly the people there were great company. We did participate in some of the beach games and pool games but never got hassled to join in. Would we go again? Maybe but its a big world and we need to explore more.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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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
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 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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