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“p.e.i. happy” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of ClubHotel Riu Merengue

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #13 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“p.e.i. happy”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

over all this was a wonderful resort. rooms were clean. the food was excellent.
staff were friendly. the beach was good. no major line ups at bars or buffet.
we were a group of ten and we were there april 9 to 16/13. the garden side is lovely.
ask a bartender to make a drink as you want it and it is done perfectly.
for the price we paid you could not ask for better.

Room Tip: the garden side seems much nicer then the village.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Holly A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (753)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

I stayed at the RIU Merengue between April 9th and April 16th and it was a great vacation overall, but as is custom with tripadvisor, I will go through all details

The Good
The grounds are beautiful, very well kept, they put us in the Garden side and I am glad they did, very quiet, no drunken debauchery at all, and I did hear some people complain about being kept up by some party goers, not in the Gardens, your so remote, at the end of the resort, you cannot hear a thing. I like the location because the pool is quiet there, the buffets are as well, the food is just fine. Listen, every buffet becomes tiring after day 4, but I promise this is not Cuba, you will find ample food to eat, lots of choice. The only thing I stayed away from are the hamburgers, but otherwise food was great! Manuel at the front desk of the Village resort is AWESOME, very accomidating, very sincere, he honestly wants you to have a great vacation and RIU molded him into the star employee that he is. Take his name down, if things go sour for you, he will fix it without hesitation. Entertainment: these guys are awesome, they work like pigs. Honestly. Non stop 15 hour days, with a smile on their face and although I never participated in the games other than Bingo, they made it fun just to watch! The weather was superb, not a cloud, not a drop of rain, sunny as hell everyday for 7 days, really warm, but at night it cools off so much so, bring long pants, its that nice of a breeze, I was really impressed with that. Rooms are fine, kept very very clean. Mini fridge filled regularly. No drama. You will enjoy the room. I did walk over to the Bacheta side and honestly I hurried back to the garden side as it was SO busy. All in all, great resort, seriously. I have no complaints at all, you will really enjoy it!

The Sad
The animals. There are many cats on this resort and they are starving, please pack a little extra for them from the buffet and feed them. They are all kittens and mean no harm. I only saw one dog and he was running for his life from the dog catcher. Resort animals are just trying to survive, just feed them.

The Ugly
The taxi company in the hotel are scam artists. Listen to Sunwing, they said specifically to use their tour services as they are Sunwing approved. They say it for a reason. I took the “Puerto Plata City” tour which was $40 for my friend and I. Sunwing was charging $35 per person, this was $40 per car. So win win right? Wrong. These taxi drivers will take you to their friends stores, and it is nothing but a pressure cooker of shopping even when your screaming NO, which I finally did at store #3. Example of argument with store personnel: “ok ok, I will give it to you for $40 US but you have to give me $5 commission”, uhmm..no. Your EMPLOYER pays you commission, not the customer. Last I checked I didn’t have stupid written on my forehead. They DO have a Walmart, yes they do, a superstore, TAKE A CAB THERE AND GET YOUR SOUVENIRS THERE. But do NOT take a tour with the taxi company. So upon our return to the hotel, we gave the cab driver (who was accompanied by a English speaking tour guide who also works for the taxi company) and gave him $45. $5 tip is suffice right? WRONG. The tour guide gave us this exasperated look and said that the $40 goes to the cab driver but HE needs a tip, and it is normally $20. After expletives were exchanged, I only left him the $5, he was standing there like a begger, I was so embarrassed for him, he is full of it of course. I spoke with Manual at the front desk and needsless to say I never saw Jose (con artist) again as the RIU management called the cab company directly as I was not impressed. I don’t care who you are, but to have the gall to ask for a 50% tip? You don’t deserve your job.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nancy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

if this is your first all inclusive youll love it which is why a lot of the reveiws are fairly positive .If you
are an experienced traveller like myself and my wife and travelled to cuba ,mexico ,dominican staying in 3 to 5 star resorts over the last 20 years you well probably be disappointed ..
Location: fantastic layout ,great veiws ,no beach vendors ,walkway runs in front of the resort joining all three resorts.nice clean beach' rough wave action .merengue village beach is the best no water shoes needed there.
Rooms We booked the oceanfront room and requested a second floor A mr.Sosua told us all oceanfront rooms were ground floor so thats were we ended up .but in saying that there was many second floor rooms that had great ocean veiws .We paid 2100.00 to be woken up all hours of the night by screaming drunk people leaving the disco .the air conditioning was awful
we called down the first night a repair man came and looked at it and did nothing we went down and talked to mr sosua he sent another repair man and he could do nothing as well when my wife talked to him in Spanish he told her there was cutbacks and because all the rooms were filled they were getting all kinds of complaints.we gave up at that point and just kept the ceiling fan on. we had 4 solid days of rain so the tv was used quite a bit only one english channel that played back to back csi needless to say I think i have seen every episode now lol
restaurants: You can use the bachata for breakfast and lunch my tip to you would be to utalize this feature as the selection and quality is superior also the snack bar is open from 12 to 5 at meregue but they constantly run out of hamburgers pizza etc by 3 pm ,walk up to the bachata they never run out (cutbacks or bad management not sure?)
We ate at the steak house for our anniversary my steak was a fast fry one and was okay my wife took two bites out of her steak and said it was awful so i went to taste it and it was bitter when i moved it closer it smelled rancid almost like raid .We left the restaurant and my wife was throwing up back in our room 15 minutes later ..
pools : nice and clean but on the weekend not usable ,I am not exaggerating when i say if you were in the pool and put your hand out in four different directions you would touch 4 different people lol.
staff:excellent nice people from the gardeners to the bartenders we tipped in excess of 150 for well deserved service during our weeks stay
bars:excellent ask for the good rum though
helpfull tipps dont drink the water in the buffet look in the water crafts they are serving you with
full of corrosion
would we go back ,maybe to the bachata but they would have to pay me to go to the meregue we well pay the extra and go to mexico where they have better food handling practice
t

Room Tip: don't book the oceanfront room , don't drink the water in the buffet
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank justindug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

April 12 to 19 2013

I stayed in a standard room on the second floor. The room was clean and as promised there was a free mini bar and an ocean view although I didn't book it.

The gardens were to say the least sad. I understand it had not rained for a period of time, however, there was a sprinkler system but the earth was cracked and dry. The grass was brown in spots.

The food was mediocre. If you did not arrive at the breakfast buffet before 7:30, you ran the chance of shortages. The juice tasted as if it had been watered down.

The pool was closed for maintenance for an entire day. The AC was hit and miss. Sometimes it was cooler outside than in my air conditioned room. There was no water for about 3 hours one evening. The beds, if viewed from the end were sagging in the middle. Pillows were flat.

I was very disappointed in this highly rated hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Spendinginheritanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

My husband and I traveled to this resort after having gone only to 5-star resorts, so we were a little spoiled to begin with, but that did not seem to matter. If this resort is lacking in some areas, they MORE than make up for it in others.

ROOMS - a little shabby, but spotlessly clean. Some things needed repair (window cracks, fridge wasn't working but we fixed it ourselves, drawers were really hard to open, etc...) The housekeeping staff work their tails off! We always had clean sheets and towels and the room was always cleaned before lunch. We tipped a couple bucks every day, but it probably wouldn't have mattered. I wish I had taken the time to learn our cleaner's name, because she was so sweet! If you don't tip, you will likely get the same service, but don't be a jerk.
Sadly, the beds were pretty uncomfortable. I was a little stiff by the end of the week, but my husband was downright miserable. And we actually ended up sleeping in separate beds, because "king-sized" apparently means two doubles pushed together.

FOOD - no complaints. I think after two weeks it would have gotten repetitive, but we always found something delicious to eat. The breakfast buffet is awesome. BACON EVERY DAY - 'nuff said.
The a-la-cartes were a little odd...you had to line up very early to book them. We went to the Italian once and the Steakhouse once, both were pretty great. The buffet was just as good... you couldn't get a steak, but who cares? I gained, like, 5 pounds. Can't do that with crappy food.
We stayed in the "Garden", so you can use the facilities from the "Village or the "Bachata" for breakfast and lunch, but you must eat dinner in the Garden.

BARS - You can get alcohol from 10am until...7am. The white wine is horrid, but if you befriend a bartender, they might hook you up with a special bottle ;)
Ambiorix (sp???) from the bar closest to the Garden pool bears mentioning, because when we left our camera (not a pricey one, but it had all our pictures on it!!!) at the bar, he rescued it for us and we got it back. Ask those guys to make you something special, they will. And you will love it! Cheers!

GROUNDS - there are people working tirelessly to maintain the beautiful grounds. They do a great job. It is a truly breathtaking spot.

BEACH - really nice, but harsh on the feet. Bring water shoes. Kayaks and paddleboats are free and tons of fun!
There were always beach chairs available and we never had to get up at the crack of dawn to "save" one. Lots of shade, too!

ENTERTAINMENT - these people are amazing! They work 16-18 hour days with great big smiles on their faces. It's a high-energy job and these guys seem to love it. The nighttime shows were not always my "cup of tea", but there was always something to do at night. A big shout out to Super Joe, Tequila and Mickey Mouse! I have no idea what their real names are...

All in all, this resort was pretty great. I hear there are new beds on the Bachata side, so give it a try. I'm sure you can find other stuff wrong with it, but you need to chill out and just have a good time. Food, drinks and beach...what more do you need?

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank LiveLifeLoud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2013

We have just returned from two weeks at the Riu Merengue. 23rd March -8th April 2013. What a fantastic holiday.I am not the best of flyers but the 9.5 hours was worth every minute. The cleanliness is the best I have ever experienced anywhere, the rooms get cleaned everyday ,the minibar gets stocked in your room every other day and all the staff in whatever the may do work extremely hard to make your stay a good one. we were sat on our balcony one day and one of the gardeners brought us a fresh coconut, The Animation team are brilliant and do not force you too join in unless you want too, Tequila is completely mad and great fun. Antonio and Belisa the Thompson Reps are very available everyday and do all they can to help you, I certainly think it was a real benefit that they were both dominican people themselves because any information they gave you was pretty accurate, Also while we were there it was my sisters birthday and they organised a birthday cake at no cost to come to the table when we were having are evening meal and all the waiters sung happy birthday. The pool did get busy at times but the beach is so close and it's a fantastic experience to lay on the sunbeds under the palm trees. A trip to ocean world is a must to swim with the dolphins the only down side is it is quite exspensive but worth it.The food and drink was good as you do need to keep in mind you are in the caribbean, When I read some reviews I feel that maybe that gets forgotten. I am a very fussy eater and managed quite easily. Overall the All inclusive Holiday was great value for money.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank vivienne h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2013

Just got back from 2 weeks at the riu merengue as a group of 3 which we visited march 2013! Safe to say that this holiday was probably one of the best and here's why...
Reception: the reception staff were very friendly and helpful, especially William and maria, nothing was too much trouble for them, even silly things like how to use the WiFi! We needed a third bed in our room and once requested this was sorted within an hour.

Rooms:admittedly, the rooms were basic and could do with updating, but they were very clean and very tidy. the balcony/patio area was fantastic, we were right by the reception but with a garden view, so no one was looking in on us when walking by.the beds were a little hard but we all managed a good nights sleep.

Restaurant: The food in the restaurants was good, there was plenty for everyone, lots of rice,pasta that sort of thing. By the second week the food did get a bit repetitive but it was tasty.

Entertainment: All of the entertainment team were amazing. They made the holiday for us. Tequila, Super Joe, Bamboo and Bombon are probably the best.Mickey Mouse was also good. The entertainment was varied and was there if you wanted it, but you were not forced to join in. The shows on the nights were always good, the dancers were especially good they always put a lot of effort into the shows.

Be warned though... on weekends the hotel filled up with local people, most were fine and very polite however the hotel was very full especially on Easter Sunday.

Overall, this holiday was the best I think I have ever been on, great resort great staff and just an amazing place. Cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank beccarich
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

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):
* 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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