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“Best trip i have ever been on to the D.R.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of ClubHotel Riu Merengue

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ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Ranked #12 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Best trip i have ever been on to the D.R.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

I can not say enough good about this Resort. The rooms were amazing, the Staff so friendly and helpful and definitly go out of there way to help you or serve you.

I will Start off with our arrival. Upon arriving to the resort our room was not ready but our friends room was so we used theirs until our suite was ready. The staff at the desk we so nice to us and always had a smile on their faces. The bell hops were great as well and work really hard. The grounds are immaculate. The pool is very large and clean. The restaurants we large as well and clean. The bathrooms around the resort are very well maintained as their is a maid posted in every one. The maids are all so friendly even though some of them can't speak much english. We especially like one who was funny her name was Benita.

The buffet was unbelievable. Their was so many options to choose from i couldn't believe it. There were two side to the buffet plus huge areas with desserts, fruits and salads. The breakfast menu consisted of many different items even though i stuck to scrambled eggs and bacon everyday there was still many other choices. The waiters were on the whole fabulous. We only had one time at lunch where we kind of had to get our own water but not a big deal. One waiter who i have yet to see mentioned on here is Rafael. He reserved our table ever night for use for supper, he had our glasses filled with water the minute he seen us coming into the dining room. By the second night he knew our drinks and had them all ready at the time he knew we wanted them he also had little sayings written on the table for us out of lentil beans. I will post pictures for you all to see. We are so sad we couldn't bring him with us. He was so sweet. We also met the manager of the resort one evening in the dining room. He came to our table and started chatting a bit them asked my husband to say 10 words in spanish and he would get us a bottle of champagne so with my help and my friends help we got a nice bottle of champagne. He spoke to us every day there after. His name is Sosa. Great guy.

The bar Staff are so great. They always had my drinks ready before my last one finished and they were very busy but always came to the ones who make them laugh. I have to mention a few. Sexy Boy, Simon, Ramon you are all fantastic.

The entertainment staff were great with the children and the guests. We met two of them who hung around with us allot and they were hilarious. Names to mention are Tequilla and Spaghetti. The show weren't bad but i have seen a little better but still fun to watch. We also took part in some of their games they put on and we had a blast and won some stuff as well.

We also met another great worker from the dreams casino on the Riu Bacahata resort his name was Julio. Or as i have nicknamed him Brown Sugar. He was great and enjoyed hanging around with us.

The beach i absolutely beautiful. We brought water shoes cause so many people said we should but we never used them once. We swam at the mambo beach just down from the merengue. Less coral reef there. Lots of beach chairs as well.

The rooms were fabulous. We had a suite on the second floor ocean view. Their was different towel art every day which was always nice to see. And if you left a note in your fridge with a tip the gentlemen who fills your fridge will leave you more stuff. Only one tip will get you extra stuff the whole week. The maids didn't always come the same time everyday but that's not a big deal. Sheets were all clean as well as the towels. Also we never heard anyone walking on the path below us so it wasn't at all like others have said in their reviews. Their were however some Canadians there for a wedding who caused allot of trouble by trashing rooms and getting so drunk they were going through other people's patio doors and trashing their rooms and they didn't even know them. I think some people should just grow up that is all that is. Thank god we were not even remotely close to where their rooms were. Yes the t.v.'s need to be upgraded but for as much time as you spend in your room what does it matter. And as far as others saying there are only 1 or 2 english channels. I found at least 6 so there are more then you think. Some times you just have to wait for the commercials to get over with to find out.

The pool was so nice not too cold not too hot. Always clean and lots of room until the weekend lol. The pool towels were all clean and the towel guy was there from morning till night.

The weekend yes the locals take over but they have a right to come stay there as well. I never once ran into any of them being rude of butting in front of me at the meal line or at the bar. They did however take over the pool lol. We could of went swimming but there was just too many of them. I did speak to one in the buffet line and he walked in front of me and i wasn't concerned and told him to go a head since his women was in front of me but he looked at me and said no you go a head. So they aren't as bad as they are made out to be.

The weather couldn't of been better in fact it was too hot two days in a row at 36 feeling like 41. But it didn't rain at all until late monday evening and most of the day tuesday but hey to have sun for the whole week and rain the last day isn't too bad.

The only one bad thing i can say about this place is something i witnessed with a guests and a local lady. What i over heard was disgusting but to each there own.

All in all i would definitly recommend this resort to anyone and will return again. We met some great friends and locals and will keep in touch with them all. If you listen to all the bad reviews you are missing out tremendously. I am a very picky eater and found something to eat and filled my belly everyday.

Just remember it's your vacation you make it they way you want it to be and make the most of it. Stay grounded remember where you are and enjoy it. It is a beautiful place to be and i have only been home for a full day and couldn't wait to let everyone know what a great time i had.

Room Tip: Any room close to the pool area and beach would be the best only because you are close to everything...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BrandyTerrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
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English first
NYC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

This review is actually long over do. I went to the Riu Mambo well over a year ago with my boyfriend. It was our first all-inclusive experience and our first time in the DR. We chose the Riu Mambo because we saw a great last minute deal offered on an online site. Overall we had a good time because we enjoyed the all-inclusive aspect.

Upon arrival, it was a slightly long car ride to the hotel, but we managed. Before arrival I emailed the hotel to request a specific room and building (a tip I found online). At the front desk I requested the room again and they said "ok". But our room was not ready, so they stored our bags for us and we headed towards the pool/bar to grab a drink. Neither one of us came prepared with appropriate clothing, so we were sweating in our jeans until the room was ready.

Once we got into our room we were pleased with the location. It was in the building closest to the water and our room faced the ocean: perfect. But the room was not spectacular. It was a little old and dated. 2 twin beds pushed together, which we discovered were very very hard. We only got a handful of channels on the tv. And our room had an ant problem. There were liquor dispensers in the room, but it was definitely the cheap liquor. After drinking the cheap liquor for a few days we both became sick and spent an entire day in our room nauseous! We soon learned that better quality liquor is available at the bars..but you have to ask for it (Brugal is a great local rum). The wine was horrible (I'm typically a wine drinker).

The food was decent, not spectacular. We were only able to get into the a la carte restaurant on one night during a 5-night stay (it wasn't great, similar options to the buffet). The buffet was hit or miss. There were a few good dishes and lots of basic dishes. We managed to get into Bachata one day for breakfast and found out that they have a much better selection (obviously).

The pool is small. Lots of screaming kids! Lots of towel games. I learned to claim chairs early. All day I saw lots of empty chairs with towels on them. The same situation at the beach.

The night club was a little dead.

From what we saw the Merengue and Bachata were FAR better resorts. We enjoyed our stay because we were on vacation and in the Caribbean with drinks in our hands. But we would not go back...there are better options. Since this trip we have spent time in Jamaica and St. Maarten/Anguilla and we have seen the light :)

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pseudoLK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

Ok firstly I would like to say that I completely and utterly disagree with the negative reviews on here regarding the RIU Mambo.... My wife and I spent 2 weeks there between the 22nd March and 5th April 2012 and could find VERY LITTLE fault with either the hotel or the resort. The staff were wonderful and would go out of their way to make sure that you were having a good time, the bar staff in particular were as friendly and helpful as you could wish for, especially Tito and Diaz.... The rooms were simple but adequate and as you are on holiday the only time you really spend in your room is to wash change and sleep. The bedding was changed regularly and the maids left towel art and flowers in both the bedroom and bathroom daily.
The hotel lobby/reception was spacious clean and the staff very helpful...ALWAYS...including our rep (Thomson) Jose Antonio (a very nice and exceptionally helpful Dominican guy) so i have no idea what "Lauren D" is on about in her review....As for everywhere being smoky and a smokers haven.....again rubbish. I am a non smoker and was not bothered by people smoking at all, there were also non smoking areas in the bars etc with the smoking section generally situated at the back of the stage area (in the open air). Some people just love to complain!
As for the food at the Mambo....I am a very fussy eater and i could not fault the food here at all. We ate breakfast lunch and dinner there every day. We didn't bother to book the a la carte as there was so much choice in the main restaurant there was no need to. There was always meat, fish, vegetarian, and pasta to choose from so plenty choice for all. They even put on special nights i.e, chinese, italian, mexican...the choice was phenomenal.
The resort grounds were spotlessly clean due to the fact that the ground and pool staff there were continually cleaning day and night again i am O.C.D about things like that and I couldn't fault the cleanliness at all.
Overall I was completely satisfied with the resort, hotel, staff, food etc and would definitely visit again 100%. If i was to fault anything it would be that the beds are a little hard but not so much so you cant sleep on them. Other than that no complaints.
Don't take my word for it try it yourself....you will have a fantastic time.!!!
Trips we would recommend based on fun factor are:
The off road buggy adventure - exceptionally dirty but fantastic fun
The half day horse riding trip (book directly with Joyce at the Lorimar for a great deal) excellent
Sightseeing - the puerta plata trip is not worth going on.....some local shops a supermarket and the local area - not very interesting....however....
Paradise Island trip is a must...unbelievable beauty and the mangroves are phenomenal
Snorkelling is also a must!!
Anyway when all is said and done it's each to their own but I personally would recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to chill out and have some fun.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view.....its stunning
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JulesnVon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Islip Terrace NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2012

We just got back from our 4 night stay at Riu Merengue in Puerto Plata (April 2012). We had a wonderful trip, but I dont think we will be returning here.

Location: The location, beach, etc are beautiful. The water is very clean, the beaches are clean, not too rocky at all. We loved that there was plenty of shade available as well as sunshine so we could enjoy both while on the beach.

Activities/Entertainment: The entertainment staff never stopped working! They made sure you had a great time! Beach volleyball, bocce ball, games, dance lessons, beach yoga, you name it, they offered it. And the winner of each activity won a small bottle of rum! SMILEY BOY was hilarious and always looking to have a good time. I loved each night after the show's how the staff would pull people from around the bar and dance with them. Cant get any better when it comes to activities and entertainment.

Food: THE FOOD WAS UNBELIEVABLY HORRIBLE! I have never in my life been so disgusted by a food selection. By our 4th night, we were almost in tears from how uneasy our stomachs were, and how starved for nutrients and energy we felt. We basically survived on french fries. The only good food item we had was "Chinese Pasta" which was made by the pool one day in a huge wok. That was amazing, and kept us alive. I dont think we could have stayed any longer than 4 nights if we had wanted to, simply because the food was that bad.

Rooms/Cleanliness: The rooms are outdated, but thats not that big of a deal. They are clean, and the maid service will keep it clean if you tip them, which we did. Tiny spiders were popular, and we had found 2 in one of our beds one night, but called the manager and had them bring fresh sheets. I mean they are okay.... I would have liked a nicer room, but you get what you pay for. Our ocean view was amazing, DEFINITELY PAY FOR OCEAN VIEW. Our AC hardly ever worked, but with the window and door open at night you didnt need it (AND I LOVE ICE COLD AC).

Overall we enjoyed our stay, it was fun, relaxing, and the bartenders (HOLA TO GLENNYS AND SEXY BOY) were fantastic. Not a bad resort, if the food was better, it might be a geat resort.

Room Tip: OCEAN VIEW ROOMS ARE A MUST. Can be a little loud a night, but the cool breeze and location along th...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AmandaSanta13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Queens, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

The scenery is good, the food is so so. I give RIU Mambo a 3.5 out of 5 (overall score). I have been to better (the RIU Ocho Rios in Jamaica) which is phenomenal so in comparison, I prefer Jamaica. BUT- if I did not visit Jamaica, I would think RIU Mambo rocked. Makes sense? 

I stayed April 15-22 with mom, sister, and baby niece. We were probably the only Americans there that week lol. We met lots of folks from Canada and all over.

Food- Not great. Some days I was like ugh, so frustrated. Some days I was like, yeah, it's good! Mangu restaurant that is by the pool is so repetitive. Hot dogs, burgers, French fries, pizza, everyday! Merengue's poolside bar had better selections but we did not venture there every day. The themed nights were the best in mains inning (Italian, Asian, Mexican). Breakfast was ALWAYS good!

Drinks - weak! I was never drunk. The drinks were too sugary and they used 30 proof liquor. Ugh. 

Hotel - beds were small but fine. BEAUTIFUL Well maintained grounds. Hot water except for 2 times. Room felt stuffy only on the really hot days. Cleaning service was great, no complaints. Please tip. We were in Rm 1614. 

Beach- beautiful! 
Pool- nice!! Cold some days and warm when it was really hot outside. 

Mambo is the calmest pool with older folks and people with kids (it is not disturbing though). Merengue is the party pool. I did not go to Bachata but heard it was the biggest pool and that mostly residents frequent there. 

Workers- friendly for the most part. Not everyone is cheery all the time, but that is normal. The guy who played Elvis in the night show was miserable but he did his job lol.

Entertainment-- those guys and girls work HARD!! they are there morning to midnight, I'm not joking!!! You will see your scuba instructor doubling as a dancer in the Karaoke night. I give it to them. They are really there to please. One of our favorite people was Carmen in the Mambo main dining hall. Please look for her and tip her well. She is so nice!! Always had a window seat for us. Tell her baby Tatumn said hi!!

Tour- my mom and sis took a city tour. They liked it. Arrange with RUFO (hotel ext. 8211). He is very reasonable. 

Taxi- I would NOT use Elias as people on the these forums recommended. He's a rip off. He wanted to charge me over $100 round trip from the airport. Contact Rufo 809-829-7140 (cell) or call the Mambo hotel 809-320-1212 ext 8211. We used Enrique Merete, one of his drivers, he was funny. They are with Taxi Bahia Maimon. 

Overall, I miss the RIU. It was a good trip. Was it worth $1,000 each for hotel and airfare for an all inclusive? I'm on the fence about that one. would I go back? Only if I got a greater, lower deal. But I would visit somewhere else before going back. Yes, I would recommend you go and experience it for yourself. But if you pay too much, you might be a little underwhelmed. 

I booked our package on bookit.com and flew on Jetblue from New York. 

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 1614.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dieselgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

Staying at the Mambo had been an easy choice, based on the staggering number of positive reviews on Trip Advisor. Within 24 hours of our one-week vacation, I had to ask - are you people all drunk? Maybe the reviews are written by hotel employees? I am shocked at the misrepresentation by Sunwing/Signature vacations - this hotel is a 3-star, at best (although I've stayed in better 3-stars) We have traveled extensively in the Caribbean and abroad, and this is the worst resort I have ever encountered. My digestive system is only just recovering. Thank goodness I have positive experiences in Punta Cana to compare it to!

The reception at the Mambo was small and lackluster (truly the 'ugly sister' of the Merengue and Bachata!) but check-in was completed with professional efficiency. I particularly appreciated the safe key being included at no extra charge.

The buffet was open late - which was fabulous for our late check in - until we realized "open late" meant the salmon was chewy and tasteless, the fresh veggies were already turning wilted and brown, half the buffet stations were empty or closed, and there was no fruit. At first we weren't overly deterred - it was 9pm! We resolved to give it another try.

Breakfast at the Mambo buffet was revolting. We ate there the first morning, and then never again (opting instead to make the trek to either Bachata's or Merengue's breakfast buffet). Again, there was no fresh fruit (unless you count the strange sugary 'fruit salad') which I don't understand - it literally grows on trees!! The eggs were cold by the time they reached my plate, the hot veggies were all pureed and unrecognizable, and the ham tasted as though it were from a can. Initially excited about my papaya smoothie from the fresh smoothie station, I quickly found out the milk had already soured and it was undrinkable (unless I wanted to spoon out the curdles perhaps?) My partner had the unfortunate circumstance of already spoiled milk in his coffee.

Not to be deterred - we decided to book the a la carte for that night, to set our trip off to a good start! How silly we were being, apparently. The 'steakhouse' is nothing more than a fast-fry station serving undrinkable wine (tasted as though it were half water?). We both ordered the rib-eye steak, which arrived on a bed of french fries ('Aromatic Potatoes' they were called on the menu) and veggies that had been steamed so much as to be nearly mush. The steaks were so tough, and fried on the same surface as the hot dogs and hamburgers earlier in the day. My partner joked that it was "the closest thing to Beef Jerky we were going to find in the Dominican". Funny, yes, but edible? No. We walked out of the restaurant without finishing, and instead had a few buns from the buffet.

Our Sunwing Rep, Jeremiah, was fairly useless. Although our meeting was at 9am, he shooed us away and claimed the English briefing was in an hour, despite being told otherwise the night before. It was difficult to get a meeting with him, as he was only at the resort at a specific time in the afternoon and the volume of people that wanted to meet with him meant we waited for nearly an hour in the smoky, crowded little lobby. He acted mostly as a salesman, and didn't have pertinent information about our departure from the Dominican.

Another thing: the smoking. We couldn't go inside any of the buildings on our resort without feeling as though we were being fumigated. The buffet, theatre, bar areas, pool and lobby were all havens for smokers. It was extremely unpleasant, though we did notice the smoking was just as bad at the Merengue, but quite lessened at the Bachata (different demographic perhaps?) I wish we had been informed of this before our vacation.

The rooms were acceptable, functional, and somewhat clean. Ours smelled like mold, and the linens weren't changed during our stay. The shower had ample hot water, but was uncomfortable to use because of poor maintenance and a grimy old shower curtain (we did wonder whether the splotches were dried blood?). There were always a half dozen mosquitos in our room upon returning at the end of the day, we think they must come in with the maid. Beds were very hard, but we were too tired to care. Despite advertising a king bed, it was really two doubles pushed together that slid apart whenever we moved. Bright side: the air conditioning worked well, and was very quiet.

The staff on our resort clearly did not enjoy their jobs - it was difficult to get a drink, much less a smile. In years of travel I have never seen such a downtrodden group of individuals. There were exceptions, of course, but the overall feeling was that working at the Mambo is a chore for them, and they clearly despised most of the guests. The atmosphere was quite improved at the Merengue and Bachata - though the other resorts were clearly not 5-star material, they were certainly a few steps up from the Mambo.

After the first day, we were so frustrated with the quality (or lack thereof) that we exclusively ate at the Merengue and Bachata (you aren't allowed to use the dinner buffet at these two restaurants, but we snuck in anyway) and spent time at their bars and facilities.

The beach doesn't hold a candle to beaches in Punta Cana. The sand was coarse and rocky, and the swimming was crowded because only a small section of water was free of rocks, coral and seaweed. The beach did have quite a lot of shade because of all the palm trees, which was nice, however along the three resorts there was only one beach bar, which served nothing but beer and soft drinks. Bring snorkel gear, the underwater views are fantastic, however don't expect to actually 'swim'. The ocean dirty, and there was frequently garbage floating past us as we swam.

We went on two excursions - Puerto Plata City Tour with Cable Car, and the Paradise Island excursion. P.O.P. tour was nothing more than a shopping trip, with the bus stopping at multiple local vendors. It was fine, but not what we wanted from the trip.

The Paradise Island excursion was worth every penny. The hour and a half bus ride was made quick and entertaining with our guide Alberto, who talked about the history, culture and economics of the area (switching back and forth from English, Spanish and German). When we arrived in Punta Rusia (the kick-off spot for the island excursion) we found their mini-resort to be clean, well appointed, with very friendly and helpful staff. The boat ride to the island was choppy and exciting, and the island itself was gorgeous. The snorkelling was spectacular, and the excursion staff take very good care of you on the island (with fresh fruit, sandwiches, drinks). The boat ride back included a trip through Montecristi National park, which was beautiful and informative. Once on shore, the staff prepared a barbeque which, though simple, was the best food we ate all week. The return bus ride included a stop at a local cigar factory, which also sold jewelry, sculptures and paintings.

This resort has a great location, but is sadly lacking in everything else. Bring bug spray, you will get eaten. Bring Immodium or Pepto Bismol, we used both (repeatedly, often) and still had the runs. Better still - Do not go to this resort. Go to Punta Cana. Go to another island, but stay away from the Riu Mambo. I will never stay at a Riu resort again - this was supposed to be a 4.5 star resort, and was so grossly misrepresented.

Room Tip: Do not stay here! Stay somewhere else!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lauren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

I just arrived and checked out the bad reviews to see what people could find to complain about. But its easy to see that the people who wrote them are probably very snobbish because this resort is GREAT!!!

I stayed April 12-17th. The resort is SUPER CLEAN. The staff SUPER SEXY and nice. Always smiling.

The food is gourmet with REAL chefs who prepare the food. There is plenty of fruit and a billion choices. I stayed at the Merengue but it really doesn't matter where you stay because all the rooms in all 3 resorts are identical. The only real difference are the lobby's. We found ourselves going over to Bacharta, they have the best restaurant, next is merengue and finally mambo. We rarely went to Mambo though. It was full of older people. Bacharta had younger people and merengue mixed. But again it doesn't matter where you stay because it feels like one huge resort with 3 reception areas and 3 resturants. You can eat where ever you like every night!

They have the best fish that I have ever tasted in my life. I am a HUGE foody and the food was really amazing. The soda was made with REAL sugar cane so it was sweet. The coffee was made with REAL beans from the mountains so it was STRONG! The rum was also REAL and smoooth.

The entertainment was low budget, but charming. The drinks are VERY good! There were a lot of fat women tourist who brought giant mugs to refill their drinks.

I did a lot of research before I booked and I also was able to see nearby resorts on this trip. Confesi is the worst from the outside, lifestyles seems okay, but not as nice as the Riu's.

Cons:

There is no Internet except for in the reception area so leave your laptop at home! (I did).


AVOID the snorkeling excursion. There are snorkeling stations everywhere for the DIVE CENTER avoid booking with them at all cost, this is not a joke this is a serious warning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, they take you to the middle of the ocean and leave you their (meaning they drive the boat away!) I drank soo much sea water that I threw up in the boat. My friend got a giant bloody gash on her leg from when they threw her back on the boat and 2 others also threw up on their boats. It was insane, dangerous and not worth the $50!

DO the waterfalls excursion. Where gym shoes, the hike over the rocks are painful without them!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ianni2015
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, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 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 
Reservation Options:
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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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