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.

“Merengue Gardens”

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 #14 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed April 27, 2013

Just returned Aprl 26 from a week there. Loved the place!
Rooms-got a 2nd level in the Gardens that we requested. Rooms are clean and neat and have a great balcony.No prob with air condition other than a minor leak we discovered one day coming back-put a bucket under it, called the desk who had someone there in 5 min and fixed and cleaned shortly after. Found the beds (yes, 2 doubles pushed together) and pillows fine. Tv gets about 5-6 english channels.

Food-found it just fine. Ate some lunches at the Bachata which I liked just a little more than the gardens but no real complaints. Good variety all meals-meat at the dinner buffet at the Gardens was great. Turkey, roast beef, pork, chicken, sushi night. Always soemthing to enjoy. Did not do the a la cartes since we heard on here they were nothing special.

Bars-were all great. Spent the most time at the plaza bar at the pool in the Gardens. Bartenders observant and would make you anything you asked for. Daily slushy specials-all good but some way too sweet after a few of them.

Beach and pools- all good. Enjoyed the beach with the tree vs resorts with the sunshades. Lots of spots on beach-always get a chair. Pool side filled up earlier. Rough footing once into the water a little ways-beach at the village little better. Also went to small beach around the corner of the gazeebo beside the bachata. Quiet, no loungers but nice place to try for an afternoon. Couple of vendors that greet you and welcome you but never ever bother you.

Animation team-amazing and work hard. Friendly, funny and never pressure you to take part in something.

Excursions-did puerto plata/cable car half day. Nice and learned lots.
Best trip was the horseback and zipline trip. Amazing-great staff and the ziplines were cool. The last one is long and high and after a short trek up a mountain. Almost a kilometer long. nerve wracking at time but you get to do 4 practice ones and decide if you want to continue. once you do, there is no turning back. If you quit, i guess you hang out at the patio area near the stable where the zipliners finish nearby afterwards-about 2 hours later. Afterwards they serve pop, rum, water and fruit before leaving.

Caribean street-pricey and some vendors are a little too aggressive but when you need to by some things to bring back, its the place to go.

Shows/entertainment-usually pretty good-also had a beach party/bonfire, caribean street party and a poolside BBQ while there. Not much to do after shows that end around 1130. Bar at bachata open until 6am but I found a real lack of music overall at the resort and the bars. More night life needed for those who dont want to turn in by 1130-midnight. Snack bar at gardens open late for late night snacks.

Room Tip: ask for 2nd floor in the gardens if you want to be central of the 3 resorts. Would also help to ask...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank CanadianWoman12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (5,450)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,603 - 1,609 of 5,450 reviews

Reviewed April 27, 2013

Don't get me wrong, my girlfriend and myself had a fantastic time at the Merengue. It was our first holiday together and we loved it, all except the food.
The staff are all extremely friendly (sometimes the receptionists could be a bit cold, as well as the staff in the small shops close to reception but I don't know if they were employees of the hotel or not). The bar staff were great, lots of fun. The waiting staff were the same, constantly greeting us with high fives. Even the cleaners were friendly (one strange thing being they just walk into the gents toilets and clean regardless of whether someone is in there or not).
I can't really review the value as we booked through Thomson and it included the flight sand transfer so I don't know how much the hotel really cost.
The beds were comfy and the air conditioning worked a treat so generally we slept very well. There was a baby in the room next to us which we heard crying a couple of times but it was never loud enough to keep us awake.
It is a very clean hotel, there are always cleaners around and the rooms are cleaned and tidied extremely well. There were a couple of issues with cockroaches in the room but that is something that can't be avoided I guess. Also the food hygiene which will come later...
The beach is beautiful with nice views. It is a little secluded but it is easy to get to the city of Puerto Plata if you want, and it is a little of half an hour to the airport.
The rooms are a little dated. The upholstery is very similar to our conservatory furniture 15 years ago. Things are starting to get a little tatty (cracks in the bath, stains around the windows, etc) and the t.v is ancient.
The drinks selection wasn't fantastic. The usual soft drinks were there (Coca-Cola or Pepsi, which was the proper stuff, and 7up, Sprite, etc). The cocktails were a bit of an issue. We were told by a guest who had visited a few times to watch out for the cocktails ready mixed in the slushy like machines as they all contained coconut milk which when you have a few is a natural laxative. (It was). Most of the cocktails are made this way. There was also a small optics bar in each room which was refilled every two days but we found that we didn't use it once.
Lastly, the food. I don't know which hotel come of the other reviewers were visiting but it couldn't have been this one. Almost every guest we spoke to while there said they were disappointed with the food. We actually put in a complaint with Thomson as did some other guests.
There was not a great amount of variety. The same things reappeared every night. However there were special nights, e.g. Mexican, Chinese, but things like burritos were a disappointment as they were burnt and didn't taste very nice.
The general quality of the food was very poor. Things were either tasteless, cold or were just plain nasty. E.g. we tried some 'pesto pasta' which turned out to be just pasta with a ton of garlic, so strong that it was inedible and blew our heads off. We generally arrived at the buffet at 18:30 for dinner which was when it opened. Even by then though there were foods that should have been hot which were cold.
The thing that made us put in a complaint though was the fact that after the first few days both of us had extremely unstable stomachs. I had a burger on the third day which made me ill. I recovered then had another which also made me ill. After that neither of us dared eat the meat and for the rest of our holiday our diets mainly consisted of croissants, chips, pizza and salad. When visiting a hotel a guest should not have to feel worried about whether the food is safe to eat or not.
The bread was uncovered in the buffet and on a few occasions we noticed flys on it, and honestly the plane food was nicer.
We also tried the Italian and steak house, which claim to be a la carte restaurants but just aren't. It is another buffet restaurant that becomes one half Italian and one half Steak, so arguably there is not a proper restaurant in the hotel. We visited the steak house once for my girlfriends birthday and the waiters brought a cake and sang happy birthday which was very nice. The menu was small with one beef steak, a rib-eye steak, pork steak and lamb steak. We both had the beef steak which was poor. It came with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and roast potatoes. The steak itself was poor quality, stringy, fatty and the sauce was crap.
We then tried the Italian a few nights later which was no better. There were about 5 things to choose from on the menu, and only one was a pasta dish which was a fish dish. The others were all steak! We both had a beef steak again which came with a different sauce, but actually was the exact same meal. The starter was either soup (which was actually always nice) or something from the buffet and we never had a desert.
If you enjoy good food avoid this hotel. It was the only thing that let is down however. If we heard that they had drastically improved there food and drink we would gladly visit again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Twiglet015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013 via mobile

Do not I repeat do not play Texas hold 'em at dreams casino, the table owner plays and dealers stack decks we talked to 7 people who got burned playing.

Overall resort was clean and staff friendly , food was ok we could always find something we liked to eat.

  • Stayed: April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Newf69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Holly A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Nancy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank justindug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Spendinginheritanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Puerto Plata hotels
0.2 mi away
ClubHotel Riu Bachata
ClubHotel Riu Bachata
#10 of 40 in Puerto Plata
5,438 reviews
8 mi away
Be Live Collection Marien
Be Live Collection Marien
#9 of 40 in Puerto Plata
3,998 reviews
9.4 mi away
BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.1 mi away
Iberostar Costa Dorada
Iberostar Costa Dorada
#2 of 40 in Puerto Plata
7,443 reviews
9.3 mi away
Sunscape Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
9.3 mi away
VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
#5 of 40 in Puerto Plata
5,580 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

Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata 57000, 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 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $104 - $266 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, getaroom.com, Hotels.com, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd, Cancelon and TripOnline SA 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