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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #14 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
West Springfield, Masssachusetts
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Value”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2009

First read the other reviews posted on this site and you will pretty much get the idea for what to expect. Here are some additional things I learned.

Power Outlets:
The bedrooms only contain the 2 prong outlet and it is not flush with the wall. If you bring a hair dryer you will need an additional adapter to plug it in. However; I just let my hair dry on its own and that was fine and then used my hair straightener and it worked just fine.

Air Conditioner:
Everyone's worked fine by what we heard...Ours didn't and we had someone come out a few times and then we finally gave up. No biggie, just sleep without the covers.

Drinks:
Defiantly watered down, 100% sure. I would drink 4 "banana mama" fruity slushy drinks with shots of rum added to them and never feel a thing. My boyfriend chugged 6 beers during a beer drinking contest at the Bachata and felt nothing as well.

Gift Shop Shantys:
Start at the back of the row of shops...they get less business and will settle for less. Typical bartering...

Food:
Buffet was good. On Thursday they had mussels and shrimp, which was my favorite of them all. Random dogs roam the buffet area at night...very weird.

Other vacationers:
This was the most "international" resort that I've been to. Lots of Germans, English, French, Irish, Scottish, Canadians, Australians etc etc.... Everytime the entertainment team would make an announcement they had to make the same announcement in 4 other languages.

Weather:
We went in the rainy season apparently and it was fine, it just rained during the night a few days.

Internet:
They have a room with desktops and you can pay for certain amounts of time. They also have wireless internet...for $15 for 24/hours. It's only assessable near the stage area seating, reception and pool area.

Everything else you read about the resort is pretty spot on. Go for it! Let me know if you have any questions! Overall you get a great bang for your buck here!

Weird tip:
Wear a white bikini with pink sequence and the fish will swarm around you...lol

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Luckygir15
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 (778)
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
Northants
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2009

On arrival rooms were allocated quickly - we were very impressed with overall cleanliness.
Food was ok but got slightly boring after the first week. You can eat in the 2 neighbouring hotels but the food is the same in these as the Merengue.
We were very dissapointed with the beach - Its not crystal clear waters and white sand like we expected. - Sea shoes are reccomended as its very rocky
Entertainment was ok - A different show every night over our two week stay. We got a bit fed up of the repetitive music but overall they entertainment team work hard.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LoveSunNorthants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redcar,Cleveland, England
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2009

We stayed at the Riu Merengue for 9 days in May 2009 and all I can say is never again. The hotel and rooms were very clean but what lets this hotel down very badly is the food and the entertainment. The weather was great but you need something else to do while there so you depend on the entertainment/team to keep you amused. Unfortunately they did not deliver. The hotel only has one main restaurant and a snack bar that doubles up to the Steak House and Italian on an evening. Very little choice and very poor quality I'm sorry to say. We both had bad tummy's for couple of days and when talking to people at the airport they were the same.!!!!!
We were on the beach every day and that was very pleasant. Drinks are definately short measures, but a tip I would say if you like vodka ask for Smirnoff and you may get tipsy. (Its hidden behind the local stuff as the Gordon's gin is also)

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BabsA51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2009

The only thing that was good was the cleanliness, service was ok and staff were keen to help and very friendly. The beach was lovely. Location was not good as once on the resort there was not much to go out for unless you went on trips. The Domincan Discovery and Paradise Island were good.
As for the food at the hotel - poor quality and barely edible unless you like salad! Very repetitive and we were extremly disappointed. The entertainment teams in the daytime try very hard but the shows in the night were diabolical. If you like to watch Madonna, Michael Jackson or Grease, with the actors miming every word then this is for you! Would not recomment this hotel and certainly will not be booking to go there again. Facilities including the Pascha nightclub is aimed at the locals rather than us. Considering this is classed as a 4/5 star hotel i would say the food and entertainment were more like 1 star!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ElsieC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orlando
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2009

I stayed at the Riu Mambo from 4/06 -4/10. This was our first time to the Dominican. (married couple, early 30’s).


Flight & Airport: We left from Miami via United. Flight was flawless, no complaints there. Getting through Customs took all of about 20 minutes. We booked through Orbitz and had transfers through Coco Tours. Finding them was a breeze and within 15 minutes we were on the bus to the Riu complex.

Check-in: Right when you get off of the bus, they have a table on the side (apart from the main desk) set up. This is where you get your room key, safe key, map, etc. Staff was very friendly and helpful if you had any questions.

Room: We were in the 500 block section. The room was a little back from the beach, but no complaints. I actually enjoyed the walk back and forth. The room itself was very clean and comfortable. The bed was HUGE, but it was two beds pushed together, didn’t bother me however. The bathroom was a decent size and everything was spotless. The only thing I had a problem with was the shower. I managed to flood the bathroom every day! There is only a curtain, no liner, and I even tried to shower all the way in back, but that didn’t work. Oh well, just laid a few towels down, no biggie. The air worked fine for us. We are from FL, so I am used to the heat. I do not like coming into a room soaking wet from the beach / pool and freeze to death. We never did crank it down, so I am not sure if you needed to have the Artic in there if it would work. The patio was nice to sit out on at night. There is a drying rack for your things. The bar was nice to have. The beer I didn’t like- it was Brahma, but the Pilsner type. No biggie for me, just wanted to point it out. Closet was ample, and there is a small table and two chairs as well. TV didn’t get much use, but there were a few stations from the US. Used the room to sleep, change and get ready. It suited us just fine.

Food: Seriously, you have to be the pickiest eater (or your jaw wired shut) not to find something to eat! We ate at the main buffet for breakfast. Yummy! There is made to order omelets, fresh juices, bacon, etc. The fruit is amazing!! We did eat at the Italian place one night, it was pretty good. I had the seafood pasta. No complaints. We always found something for lunch and dinner. They even had goat one night. I had paella, fresh grouper, smoked salmon; no complaints from me!

Pool area: Pool was fine. We thought the other two pools at the Bachata and the Merengue were more aesthetically pleasing, but we aren’t big into pools, so this didn’t bother us.

Beach: It’s true; the beach at the Mambo is the best. We pretty much camped out there the entire time. We never had any problems with rocks, etc. The sand is super gritty, it’s almost like you cover your feet in bread crumbs! We never had a problem getting loungers. I did see the infamous Put a Towel on A Lounger and Never Use it Club had a few members there. Seriously, what is up with those people?! When we left the beach to get something to eat, we took our things with us and always had a spot when we returned. Before I left, there was a discussion on the forum of topless sunbathing. Yes, there was about maybe a half dozen woman there walking around topless. We saw a lot of speedos there, too. No one seemed to pay any attention.

Shopping: We did some shopping at the vendors at the very end of the Mambo. Priced high, be prepare to bargain!! Had a variety of different things, but most of the stores had the same stuff. Make sure you work your way down, that poor guy at the last hut gets the shaft!

Drinks: Okay, I seriously want to know what was us with the beer? We brought our Bubba Mugs, and they no problem filling them up. This stuff was COMPLETELY watered down. You could literally drink ALL day off of this stuff, NO JOKE! The other drinks are good- just tell them half and half. Seriously, they will poor you a cup of pure alcohol is that is what you want! The last night there (The Bachata, if I can recall) I spotted the higher end stuff. For example, they had Stoli’s vodka. Just ask and they will hook you up!

Staff: Such nice people! Very friendly, nothing is too much to ask for. The Animation Team works so hard. I’d see some of them on the beach at 10am doing water aerobics, and then dancing on stage at 10pm the same night. We kept to ourselves, but if you wanted to get involved, there a ton of things going on to keep you busy.

Tours: We did the Sea Lion encounter, which was a lot of fun!! Ocean World is okay, but we did have a slight problem. We booked through the tour company on site (is not affiliated with hotel) and we were told it was from 8:40 (lobby meet time) - and we’d be back around 1. Well, when we got on the bus, they said it was returning at 3. That’s almost a whole day, and when your days a numbered, it is a lot! We only elected half day tours so we could enjoy the hotel. We ended up getting a cab for about 7 bucks. (We did speak to the tour rep and apparently there was a communication error on the tour’s part. He did say the Hotel would have come and got us). Again, not a big deal, just a small glitch. No worries. We also did the Funny Buggies. Best trip!! We drove all over the place and got to stop in a small village. It was very nice to get out of the hotel and see some locals. We drove to a private beach and got to swim. Be prepared, you WILL get muddy. And I do mean from head to toe!!

Weather: We lucked out. Apparently it had been raining a lot before we left. We had nothing but sunshine!

In conclusion, we had a fantastic time!! I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking to have a great, relaxing time! I loved the fact that all 3 hotels were next to each other, it was nice to walk and take in some new scenery. I will definitely be back again in the future. Any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer. Thank you Riu, for an awesome time!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank jaxinorlando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2009

Just returned home from a trip to Riu Mambo with my wife and we had a great time. I thought there was some good things and a few bad but the good out weighs the bad. I'm on vacation so I will make the best of it no matter what. Complaining about every little thing will not help me at all on my vacation. I thought the food was pretty good, nice pool, nice beach and plenty of beer and liquor. That's all you need to have a great time. I thought that the bartenders and the wait staff were very friendly. Not to sure why some guest had wristbands and some did not but not a big deal. Overall, nice place to relax and have a good time.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CDFNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2009

This hotel is rated by Thomson as a 4 star, and the hotel itself rates itself as a 5 star. But surprisingly on here its shown as 3 star. Which is definitely the rating we would give it 3 star and no more.

We have been to many 4 star resorts and the standard has been alot higher than this. The rooms are very basic athough clean, and if you do not request you won't get double beds only 2 singles. It states that there are 3 restaurants, a buffet style restaurant, al a carte steak house and al a carte Italian. Basically the 2 al a carte restaurants are actually the snack bar which is turned into the Italian/Steak house both under the same roof. Also you can only have 1 visit to each of these restaurants per week you are there which they don't advertise. Also when we were there we couldn't even get in the steak house and that was getting down to reception at 7am to book.

The food in the buffet style restaurant is poor, same food every night and not enough variety. They say you can use the other resort (Riu Meringe) restaurant for breakfast/lunch only, the very last night we went for evening meal as we couldn't stomach anymore of the food at the Riu Mambo, surprisingly the Meringe was of better quality. Very dissapointing...We went to Thailand last year and this was outstanding and when it stated 3 restaurants there were actually 3 SEPARATE restaurants. Also most 4 star hotels I've stopped in have internet access in the room, this was also not available. I am going to complain to Thomson regarding this resort, I have been ill since coming back from here, still under the drs, and will never return here again. There were many people of the same opinion so not sure how it could get good reviews. Be very careful of this resort.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lkingzett
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
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 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 
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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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