We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good, for the right price (long review)”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good, for the right price (long review)”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Our family of 3 adults (2 in our 30's, 1 in her 60's), 1 child (5) stayed here Nov 25th - Dec 2nd 2012. This was not our first choice for our vacation, but when our first couple of choices went up in price, we decided to book here.

Our flights were with Sunwing Airlines out of Toronto. We can't say enough good things about them. Our flights were early by 20 minutes going both ways. Hot meals on the flights, free head phones. Great.

We arrived in Puerto Plata around 8:30 at night, and it seemed like we were the only flight at the airport that night. We payed for our tourist card quickly, retrieved our bags and then a quick walk outside to our bus. There we got a package with our room number, and other information about the hotel. The drive to the hotel was about 45-50 minutes with stops at 2 other hotels. When we arrived at the hotel, we were given a welcome cocktail, and room key, safe key to our room. There wasn't any available bell boys to take us to our room, so we took our luggae to our room.

Our room(s)..... This was the worst part of the hotel and our vacation. Our first room, when we walked in, we were surprised by how small it was. Then when we checked out the washroom, we saw that the window to outside was broken. It looked like a rock or something had been thrown through it. So, we headed back down to reception and told them about it. They gave us another room, no questions asked. In the second room, when we walked in and it smelled really musty. We looked at the ceiling and it was covered in mold. So, another trip to reception and other room. This one we checked over, and it was fine. The air conditioning worked fine, the bar was re-stocked every other day.

Restaurants - They were ok. Not a 5 star level, but ok. We only ate at the buffet, the a la cartes didn't interest us. Plus, you had to book them the morning of. For breakfast, they had an omellete station, bacon, sausage, toast, fruit, cereal. All the normal stuff. Lunch was good. They had a wood oven to make pizzas, 3 types of pasta made fresh, fish, different meats. Dinner was much of the same, but with different theme nights (Asian, Italian, Dominican). Desserts were not that great. Some fruit, a couple of cakes.

Pools - The pool at the Merengue was busy during the day. Not that many huts for shade. The animation team does a lot of activities during the day there. We went to the pool at the Mambo every day. The Mambo hotel was closed, but the pool, bar, and washrooms were open. It was quiet and perfect. I think by now, the Mambo has opened back up.

Beach - We only went to the beach a couple of days. There was some rain and bad weather so the ocean was rough. Lots of sea weed. Tons of chairs.

Locals - We were not looking forward to the weekend after all the reviews. We only saw maybe 2 families that could have been locals. Maybe we were lucky the week we were there, but they were not a problem.

Nightly Entertainment - It was pretty good. It starts everynight with the kids mini disco, then they give out awards from the different games from during the day. The shows were ok, a couple mostly involved audience participation. Our daughter loved them.

Casino - Was at the Bachatta. Maybe 20 slot machines, and about 4 or 5 tables.

Check out - Was fast and easy. Remember your $20 departure tax to be paid at the airport.

Overall, a good hotel. Would not be our first choice, but if the price is right we'd go back.

Room Tip: Check your whole room before you unpack.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank B777YYZ79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

5,291 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,954
    1,721
    942
    408
    266
See reviews for
1,362
2,209
89
21
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (777)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

We stayed the last week of December after looking for a cheap place to go at an expensive time of year. We had a great time and great weather (I know there can be rain in Dec).

I've stayed at Four Seasons, scary dirty hostels and lots inbetween. I am picky about the beach and the food. Here are the pros and cons.

First off you def get your money's worth. The resort is spotless, on a beautiful beach, with plentiful drinks and food ranging from horrible to really good. I recommend sticking with the Dominican food, rice, beans, stews, tostones. There is also plenty of salad and fruit and freshly fried churros at breakfast and cafe con leche. The pools are fine, nothing mind blowing but the bachata pool has a waterfall and pool bar. That pool is also the busiest. Everything is easy to get too and staff helpful and friendly.

Our room was upstairs, very clean, slight ocean view with the worst bed I have ever slept on. I am not picky about beds. But this one sunk in the middle when my husband and I were both on it do I slept with my daughter. And we are not big people.

The front desk was not really very helpful explaining the set up of the resort and how the restaurants worked. Even their map was not helpful. However we were fine to go with the flow. After a day or so we figured out pretty much what the deal was. This is not a place to go if you want fancy, or special treatment. But they are set up well to feed and get thousands of guests drunk daily in a beautiful setting.

We were not there for nightlife so I can't speak to that. But we had fun. If they had better beds and better wine I'd add a star or two.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank littledebbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond Hill, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2012

Beautiful nature and view. Very friendly staff but don't expect anything else better than average of any other all inclusive resorts that you have been. Take swim shoes as the rocky ocean bed could hurt your feet. Bars closes at midnight which I never heard in any other 4 star hotels. This resort is more 3 star and at the most 3.5 star. We were there with three other couples and really had a good time there but lower your expectation from the resort to not get disappointed. Don't even waste your time going to any of it's restaurants as your choices are very limited and nothing special about food or service there. You get 90 min one session of free wifi every day in lobby. Therefore if you want to log in multiple times of the days have more than one device such as iPhone& iPad and laptop. We found Shows, rooms, food and service very average (maybe a B- is a good mark). Nothing special about this Riu which worth to spend a bit more money.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank George J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longueuil, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

This is my first visit to Riu Merengue. I have read a lot about this resort, and decided to come anyway.

We were here for a week, and arrived on Friday the 14th of December.

I will not talk about the following items, since its mentioned several times by others.
- the fast check-in
- non alcoholic welcome cocktail. (Which my 2 and 5 years old kids loved)
- food choice being amazing.
- all pools from 3 hotels being available, and cleaned often.

Below is our experience.

The room 1296 had a damp smell but we did not bother since its a low level room, and because of the sea being so close, it would be partly normal. It was also leaking from I believe the toilet bowl above. We asked for a room change and got the 1212, another low level room. same damp smell. Sprayed some Raid, but still had roaches at night. Asked for another room change, and got the 1238 (upper level room). it was a very good room, no damp smell, no roaches. Finally in paradise.

As suggested from other reviewers, on the weekend we headed to the Riu Bachata pool but locals were there too. They were in fact ok. Some of them were even friendly with us and everybody. But some of them were drunk and acted like any normal person while being drunk. We did not have any issue with he line when we were at the buffet, as a matter of fact, tourists were cutting lines because they were impatient with people deciding about the food.

The day entertainment was also amazing, there is always something to do, and you can go to the other hotel as well. The entertainment team was great, always hard working/dancing and smiling. Always go and salute everybody at the pool once in a while. They also bring us drinks from time to time. This is paradise. We love you Mini Me.
We had: pillow fight in pool, aerobic in and out of the pool, step aerobic.
At 11:30 there is a show, we were able to assist the decorating show from the hotel staff, and the fire breather show,
At 12:00 there is a buffet by the pool, its a special meal, that is not served in the hotel. Its always good, and since it's next to the pool, it's welcomed.
AH HI HI HI, Looky looky, no touchy touchy.

The night shows were entertaining at Riu Merengue, especially for families. We did not see all of them, because sometimes we heated to the Bachata shows.
At Merengue we assisted: The Michael Jackson show and the magic show. They were preceded by the Riuland show (Beauty pageant, dance) and also with the daily awards (winners of the day contests and games)

The entertainment at the Bachata are more for singles or couples. Most of the time, it seemed to be dance and live music, but we are not sure since we did not go.

Riuland was great. They really take care of the kids. We love you Maria. She worked hard to make the best show at night.
The day activities includes horseshoe contest, collage, "pétanque", face painting and several other activities. Kids love it.

My Pros are:
- welcome show at the supper including live guitarists every night.
- maid with hand sanitizer at the entrance of the la Roca restaurant.
- towels for pool/beach are provided. I brought mine for nothing.
- food choice is amazing, a lot of choice. The salad bar was well garnished( My kids were always happy especially with pizzas and french fries)
- washrooms are always clean, each time I go, there is 1 or 2 maid cleaning. I thanked them for their job. I hate dirty ones.
- if your kid participate to one of the show with rehearsal, they will get a certificate and maybe a shirt. They will love it.
- Casino onsite. (small one but still)
- Access to all bars of the 3 hotels, especially the in-pool one.
- Access to all restaurants onsite (except for the supper)
- Different towel sculpture everyday.
- Very hard working staff member, all of them. Tip them well.

My Cons are:
- There is only 1 copy of the key room.
- All 3 keyring i had were in bad shape. Good thing i had one at the bottom of my backpack
- Damp smell on lower level room, the one I got of course, I can't generalize.
- Roaches at 1212
- The power outlet (110v) is narrow, make sure it doesn't go beyond:1,5 inches or 3,5 cm. Please see picture.

Tips: there are some outdoor hangers on the balcony.
- The size of the safe is reasonable, but I forgot take the size. I don't think a 10inches tablet would fit, but digital SLR fit in there fine.
- The beach is cleaner on the Mambo (Merengue village) side
- Bring a roll of your favorite toilet paper. It wouldn't hurt. You will thank me.
- Some popular dishes appears at two spots, but it is actually better because you can skip the line on the main other counter.
- Try to eat at the same table to get the same waiter (unless he is off). He will know you, and will bring your drinks and highchair for baby if you need one as soon as he sees you. And he can also reserve the table (not all of them can do it though)
- The locals will come and sell some stuff at the lobby (our case it was monday). They BOOST their prices, so try to beat the price by half. Some stuff are sold at 8$ at the Caribbean Street, and sold here at 20$.
- If your charger is bigger than mentioned above, at the lobby, i saw a regular US/CAN outlet which accepts all kind of charger, but it is pretty busy. I did non test, but I think a simple 6$ adapter from Radio Shack will also work (Please see picture for the shape)
- At the Puerto Plata airport, there are like 5 different Duty Free Shop, so don;t rush to buy your things at the first one on the 1st floor. Wait for the ones on the second floor.

After talking to some people at the resort, I found out that some people stays here for 8-9 weeks and are not at their first time here at Riu Merengue, some of them are already at their 7th time at the resort. We loved it. We would definitely come back, but we would like to experience another hotel line also.

Room Tip: - Rooms next to the Caribbean Street are noisy especially when there is a party. - Rooms upstairs d...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cho1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DORSET
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

It is hard to find fault with our week at the Riu Merengue. Perfect weather. Everything was wonderful. This was our 6th Riu experience and by far the best. Of course the Caribbean helps! Soft sand, warm seas, blue skies. The beach area is great as there are trees for shade right up to the shoreside. All facilities and rooms a short walk away. A great advantage to be able to use the resources at the Bachata and Mambo. Meant that you did not bored with the same pool and restaurant. Speciality restaurant was a bit of a disappointment but the week was such good value that it is picky to criticise. Good idea to take the insect repellent and the Imodium though! however, we did not get bitten nor were we taken ill. Hotel staff make great efforts with hygiene and cleanliness. The beach was raked every morning, so don't know where the comment about it being filthy came from. Everything was kept spotless. Mambu was not open to begin with but it was great as the pool and bar could be used and it was quiet and peaceful. I recommend the yoga stretching sessions on the beach every morning.... with the light wind, palm trees, butterflies and birds it was sheer heaven!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank JELLYPOOCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Came back on Dec 16, been twice before, resort about 1/3 to 1/2 occupied, three resorts all in
one merengue, baccata, merengue village (formerly mambo). Merengue Village was totally
unoccupied closed for about 5 months opening again soon as we were told by workers.
Many empty chairs on the beach, beach was filthy, full of sticks and debris, no beach barbecues
this time or street parties, lots of mosqutoes flies and bees.Excursion were less than half full
as well a lot of the other resorts in Puerto Plata. Food was bland Institutionalized, meats, goat
octopuss, beef, turkey, pork, nothing with any real taste, mottled with lots of fat, some of it
tough as leather.Room ok, supersaver they call it. Fridge ran all the time, Bathroom light
flickered all the time, Beds - Fred Flinstone type.Overall a lot less cleaning, food choices,
entertainment and people than before.

Room Tip: don't use a supersaver room
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank scotch21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

It was my first time at this hotel and I'm definitely coming back and highly recommend it!

Very good

*Spacious rooms
*Clean rooms/hotel territory/beach
*Clean and conveniently located washrooms
*Food variety
*Super fun and energetic animation team <3 Whitney <3 Tequila <3 and great dancers!
*Friendly and helpful staff
*So many activities that if you are not lazy you'll never be bored!
*I don't have kids but the Kids Club is very well organized, stopped by to play with them, kids show on stage and the "train" they did at the end is super cute!
*Mini bar in the room WOW, want one like that at home =)
and many many more things one has to experience as all those little things make the whole vacation atmosphere so enjoyable!!!

Not so good

*Evening entertainment is great but the sound system is not very good. Better sound quality would definitely make all shows they have even better
*It is mostly couples and families going there but there are always party people who want to dance. We tried going to the disco 3-4 times and because of its hidden location, being far from the late night bar and the fact you have to pay for the drinks separately it was always empty =(
*There was no late snack bar at the time I went(there is a slight chance I couldn't locate it :-)) but the only snacks available were some fruits and a plate with sandwiches in a fridge. Not a very tasty alternative if you miss dinner.

Other than that I totally enjoyed my trip and will definitely come back and bring more friends!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Iola M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Puerto Plata
0.2 mi away
ClubHotel Riu Bachata
ClubHotel Riu Bachata
#11 of 41 in Puerto Plata
5,097 reviews
9.3 mi away
Sunscape Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
8.0 mi away
Be Live Collection Marien
Be Live Collection Marien
#9 of 41 in Puerto Plata
3,408 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
43.6 mi away
Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
8.1 mi away
Iberostar Costa Dorada
Iberostar Costa Dorada
#2 of 41 in Puerto Plata
6,801 reviews
9.3 mi away
VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
#5 of 41 in Puerto Plata
5,317 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to ClubHotel Riu Merengue? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Merengue

Property: ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 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: 998
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ClubHotel Riu Merengue (All Inclusive 24h) is located in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, and is surrounded by impressive views of the mountains and a lush, natural environment. This is the perfect setting for unforgettable holidays. The ClubHotel offers all facilities you could need for relaxing holidays away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll find a fresh water swimming pool, a solarium terrace, a gym and the Renova Spa wellness centre with a range of different treatments and massages as well as a sauna. In the Dominican Republic you can find a wide range of international cuisine, but if you want to make the most of your time in this marvellous destination by sampling Dominican cuisine, delicious in both taste and colour, you can enjoy a wide variety of flavours and aromas, as Dominican dishes mainly consist of fruit and vegetables. In the buffet restaurant or themed restaurant you’ll find an endless range of dishes and recipes prepared by our chefs every day. The hotel shares its facilities with the hotel complexes of the ClubHotel Riu Bachata. You’ll enjoy access to the entertainment programme and activities thanks to the acclaimed All Inclusive system. Whether you’re travelling as a family, couple or with friends, you’ll find a wide variety of activities to keep you entertained all day long.. There are areas for enjoying tennis, table tennis, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, bodyboarding, snorkelling, golf, volleyball, swimming and much more. Your children can also enjoy crafts, activities and dancing together with other kids in the RiuLand programme. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire, Despegar.com, Travelocity, Cancelon, HotelQuickly, TripOnline SA and getaroom.com so you can book your ClubHotel Riu Merengue reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing