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Riu Merengue

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Overview
This 544 room resort is without a doubt one of the most outstanding and best selling resorts in Puerto Plata. Ideally set on two private bays, you will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding hillsides, lush tropical gardens and countless palm trees. Guests keep coming back to this delightful hotel owned by RIU Hotels of Spain who are well known for their superior quality in design, attention to detail and exceptional service.

Location: On the beach, 15 min to Puerto Plata, 20 min to Playa Dorada, 45 min from the airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • Daniel S :
Defenitely not a 4.5 star!

Issues to note! this is no joke! Believe me when I say We're not picky! All We want is clean, functional and edible food. 1- mold in our room! we woke up the first morning with sore throats! (we asked to change rooms... we were turned away!2- no hot water for 3 days! Again requested another room ... turned away!3- roaches the size of a business card! NOT KIDDING! requested another room ... you guessed it turned away! They couldn't even be bothered to give us a can of pesticide.!4- Cought a bacterial infection which is still uncertain how it happened. I requested help from the staff after we contacted our insurance company and they could not be bothered to point us in the direction to a private clinic! AGAIN NO JOKE! had to wait till I got back and see my doctor the moment we touched down in Ottawa.5-Jewelarry and keys stolen!I think we're generous in giving them 2.5 starsthe food was ok. nice view of the moutains and ocean and like I say everytime someone asks of was my trip. "Well... the weather was nice" lol

  • Emma W : Aylesbury, United Kingdom
A "holiday camp" feel which might be suitable for families

I think Thomson has over-rated this hotel at 4 T. It definitely wasn't our kind of place but I'll try to give a balanced and fair review. We went to dive for the whole two weeks and we had torrential rain to begin with so diving wasn't an option. This meant we spent more time in the hotel than we normally would and I felt really bored. Our room was in a pretty setting amongst trees and although the room was tired, it was fine. We tipped the maid generously from the beginning and the room was well cleaned every day and the mini-bar was re-stocked regularly. The biggest problem was that we had no hot water for five days and was surprised by the hotel's reaction to this. It was awful having to shower in cold water because the weather was so bad and when we came in freezing from a dive. Although we were compensated by Thomson for this, the hotel didn't keep us updated with what was happening and really didn't seem concerned - I felt like we were insignificant because the resort was so large and it didn't really matter if just two people were having a bad time. Regarding food - there is a lot of it. Breakfast is excellent and offers pretty much everything you could wish for. We ate in the snack bar by the pool at lunch time so it was burgers, pizzas, hot dogs and salads which was fine and I assume there was more choice in the main restaurant. For dinner there was a wide selection of food but it was all rather bland - certainly no spicy food. We served ourselves everything including drinks and I think you need to tip from the start and sit at the same table every day if you want any real attention from the waiting staff. The restaurant itself felt like a school canteen - it's a huge area and as it's self service there were queues for the food. There was no atmosphere so we didn't feel relaxed at all and didn't linger over our meals. As for drinks - lots of sugary frozen cocktails and sugary soft drinks and the juices are more like squash. We drank lots of soda water but they also had diet pepsi in the mini bar. The wine was just about drinkable but I can't recommend it.We went to the steak house one night and the food was good. However, we had to wait half an hour for them to open our wine despite asking several times. As it was a special occasion, we bought a bottle of sauvignon blanc from the hotel shop - for twenty seven US dollars!!!! They had set us up a beautiful table by the pool with balloons and brought a special cake as well and this was a really nice evening.The shops are very over-priced. I wanted to buy a small bag of chocolates and the price was nine US dollars. They aren't interested in bartering but because I speak Spanish I managed to get them down to seven US dollars on market street. Therefore take anything you are going to need while you are away because everything is over-priced. The shopping street felt intimidating even though I speak the language. One shop owner offered to take me to a local supermarket and advise me on what chocolate to buy. When I politely declined he became pushy - not a pleasant experience.Because we couldn't dive I thought I would go to the gym but looking through the net curtains quickly put me off. It looked more like something from somebody's living room, circa 1970, complete with a patterned carpet. Truly off putting.I don't know much about the entertainment because we avoided it but I do know that it was noisy. When you are lying on your sun lounger relaxing by the pool, the DJ will suddenly start his commentary for the day with loud music and then the animation team will dance round the pool and greet you whether you are asleep or not. There was a large, ugly stage area which seemed to put on a lot of children's entertainment in the evening. This seemed very popular. I believe there were more adult shows later in the evening.Thomson offer a number of trips but they seemed expensive and it costs $40 to travel into town and back. Some people said the cable car was nice but Thomson offer this along with a trip to a rum factory and an amber factory which is just a sales opportunity so this put me off. They also offer a trip to Ocean World but I would appeal to people not to go to this because however well they treat the animals, it is not natural for dolphins to live in captivity and they need to be free to swim for miles every day in the sea.On balance, I don't think this resort is suitable for people who like to get out and about and do lots of activity or who want to eat and drink healthily. I think it may be good for families, especially as there is entertainment for the children.

  • Kyriacou2000 : Kitchener, Canada
Great family vacation

There were 6 adults and 3 kids on our family vacation. 40 minutes drive from the airport.We had 6 sunny days out of 7.This is our 3rd stay here. '04, '09 and '17It is older style hotel-bungalows. Well maintained and clean. We participated in daily activities. Kids had daily activities too so they enjoyed. Pools were clean and staff very friendly.The beach is very long and nice for long walks and taking photos. For the swimming not too much. You have to walk and walk to find the area you can swim or to deep in a bit.At night there were mosquitoes at the show-entertainment area. Bring the spray. Food was good. If you tip the service is very fast. Our breakfast and dinner tables were always reserved for us. Would go there again.

  • Denise M : Bridport, United Kingdom
Very disappointed.

I always use Trip Advisor when planning my holidays and noted there were mixed reviews on this hotel. I was a little concerned at some of the reviews but the holiday was booked so no choice. This was supposedly a Four **** Resort and RIU have a good reputation. Perhaps a *** Star rating and price would be more appropriate. The rooms were OK, beds not very comfortable, the mattress covers were crinkly and plastic. Pillows lumpy, one stained blanket for two beds. Tiny bathroom and the enamelling on the bath was peeling away. 2 small bath towels between 2 people, a minimum of 2 each is what I would expect. The food is not pleasant felt very much like a school dinner canteen. Salad often limp, pasta covered with odd sauces, no fresh orange juice. Evening meal sittings too early but food would run out if you went late. A la carte not much better. If you did not tip constantly you were ignored, tables not even cleared. The beer was so weak my husband and son would not drink it. Pool small and cold, often grubby for days. In bed by 9pm most evenings, very little to do unless Butlins in the scene is for you. Entertainment team excellent and hard working but not our scene - we prefer to explore, walk, cycle and see the local culture.. Nothing in the area worth going to without expensive taxi trips.Excursions:- Jhonny on the beach best price. Sand Dune Buggies, Horse-riding, White Water Rafting, Country Park zip lines etc amazing, 12 Waterfalls brilliant. The Blue Lagoon trip is not good, the "Petting Zoo" is cruel, I even felt sorry for a Tarantula living in a wet wipe box. The Blue Lagoon is beautiful and worth a full day in one spot. I would suggest hiring a taxi and just spending the day there. Sea kayaking fun but a small limited area to play in. Used condoms on the beach not pleasant, perhaps a daily beach sweep by the hotel? After all it is supposed to be four star......Scuba diving with Dressell Divers based at the Iberostar Hotel Puerto Plata excellent. Professional and fun team. Dressell Divers pick up from the Merengue and also organised a beach horse ride which included swimming in the sea with the horses.I would not return to this hotel certainly not Four Star luxury. Perhaps the all inclusive holiday is not for my family - we are active and felt totally trapped and bored. Most of rhe shops on Caribbean Street are a nightmare and we are accustomed to dealing with high pressure sales tactics. The little shop facing the beach just before you turn up Caribbean Street is lovely, no hassle. Hair braided and nails by the salon on Caribbean Street excellent. Yes I could have kept going to reception and moaning but these problems should not occur in a 4 star hotel. I like to relax on my holiday and not be put in the position of being a moaner.Small problem with cockroaches but this is not unusual in the tropics. I did not see any rats. The staff work very hard but perhaps RIU need to raise the budget given to their managers and spend some money on the quality of furnishings and fittings. I have changed my plans for 2017 as my original destination choice of Mexico seemed to only offer RIU All Inclusive a company I will avoid in future. I used to envy people able to afford their hotels - I know better now.

  • DANIELLE A :
Great week with a few hiccups

Overall, it was a good trip.We travelled with 2 adults (my husband and I both in our 30s) and my mother (in her 60s) and our 2 children aged 4 & 8.PROS:Excellent food – always something new in the dining halls, but lots of delicious standard foods too. You will never go hungry. Best lunch is at Riu Bachata, though the other 2 dining halls were also great.A-La-Cart was interesting. Most resorts require a sign-up. This one, you line up and reserve your seats the same night. First come, first serve, or you come back later for the later sitting.We only had the Italian A-La-Cart and it was ok. Nothing spectacular, I preferred the dining halls.The coffee was AMAZING. I would actually fly back there right now just to have a café con leche. (omg so good)The resort was well kept – everything was freshly painted, nothing was dirty or broken. And I couldn’t believe how lush the grounds were. There were rolling hills of palm trees and other greenery all around you, and so many trees for shade on the beach and around the rest of the resort. If you get a sunburn at this resort, you were trying to do it. It’s almost impossible to tan, so for some, this may be a con. For us it was great because we don’t want skin cancer!The pools were all beautiful, and well maintained. The entertainment was fun. Lots of aerobics classes and dance classes to do. The kids club looked really boring, but we don't like our kids to go to those so they didn't participate. There were quite a few "pool parties" with water balloons that were so fun. My husband and kids all had a great time.The bars were well staffed, and even at the busiest times, you would only wait a couple minutes to be served.Service in the dining rooms was touch and go. Most of the time we didn’t have a server who regularly filled our water or checked on us. The last few days we discovered a SPECTACULAR server at the Villa restaurant named Antonio, and he was so nice and took such good care of us. We tipped him well every time we had him as our server, because he truly went above and beyond and always smiled while he did it.CONS:When we first arrived, they put us in the SMELLIEST, DIRTIEST room, with unmade beds that actually had mold growing on them. My children would have had an allergic reaction so I went to the front desk right away and was met with the crankiest, most useless people. They hardly spoke a word of English and didn’t seem to want to help me at all. They kept claiming the resort was full and they couldn’t give me a room. I kept going back and actually spent 5 hours of my first day running back and forth trying to get a new room. FINALLY, after threatening to bring all my luggage into the lobby and camp there until they gave me a new room, they suddenly produced a secret key to a secret room they had been hoarding. Then my mother arrived and was supposed to have a room near us and they had put her on the opposite end of the resort, even though I had made that request in AUGUST, through our travel agent and by directly communicating with the resort. They refused to fix this problem until our 3rd day, and I pretty much had to stalk people in our building and find out when they were leaving so I could get my mom moved into their room. It was absurd I’ve never had such bad service, and many people we spoke to had this same issue. If you do not speak Spanish, you will not get good service from the front desk staff. BUT, with that said, if you get there and all is well, you will have a fabulous week.Another con was the beach. It wasn’t a big problem, but the red “no swim” flag was up all week, and I heard it had been up for at least the 2 weeks prior as well. I heard that this is because there is a strong undertow in this area, and it was very very wavy most days. Both my kids had to swim with lifejackets on at all times. The sand is not soft white sand, it is a little more coarse, and there are some “rocks” or large chunks of coral in the water that you can cut your feet on or stub a toe. And I did see many people with bandaged feet and wondered if that was why. Bachata has a much calmer and sandier beach. We walked down and spent a day there and I preferred it. The water was clear and we were able to feed some beautiful tropical fish in the water with a bun from the restaurant.If you are looking for a quiet spot on this resort, I would NOT recommend the pool. There was always someone yelling into a microphone and lots of noise and activity happening. It was great for those who wanted to participate, but some were a bit tired of this by the end of the week.The beds are VERY firm. This was fine for my husband and I, but the pillows were hard and flat, and I have neck issues. I asked the maid and she brought me 4 fluffy pillows right away. The pools were not really equipped for children. They were all quite deep and my four year old had the option of swimming in the “baby pool” which was ankle deep on her (ya right) or wearing a life jacket because all the pools were over her head. She was not pleased about this, but I made her do it for safety.All in all – it was a fabulous trip. I actually felt depressed coming home to dreary Toronto after such a beautiful week.I would recommend this resort, though because of all the difficulty at the front desk with the staff, I will only give it a 4 star. I recommend you use a translation tool or learn some Spanish before you go.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • All day & late night snacks
  • A la carte dining w/reservations
  • Unlimited Domestic drinks from 10am-2am
  • In-room mini-bar stocked w/soft drinks, water & beer, replenished regularly
  • In-room liquor dispensers regular replenished w/rum, whiskey & gin
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sailing
  • Introductory scuba diving lesson in pool
  • Daytime tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Table tennis & darts
  • Pool table
  • Aerobics
  • Fitness centre
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Entrance to Disco (18+), drinks included
  • Entrance to Casino at RIU Bachata (drinks extra)
  • Buffet restaurant
  • Dominican a la carte restaurant, dress code & reservations required
  • Pool bar
  • Bars
  • Mini-disco
  • Swimming pool
  • Children's pool
  • Tennis courts
  • Casino at RIU Bachata
  • Fitness centre
  • Scuba diving school
  • Watersports centre (fee)
  • WiFi in lobby
  • Caribbean Street w/shops, games room, spa, beauty salon, internet room, pharmacy & cigar shop

Hotel Rooms include:

  • Two 3/4 beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Ceiling fan
  • Satellite TV
  • Mini-bar
  • Liquor dispensers
  • In-room safe
  • Full bathroom
  • Balcony
  • Max occupancy 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids

Suites include:

  • Similar to above w/separate living room, sofa, and coffee table & chairs. Limited availability.

Kids Deals - Kids 12 & under stay & eat free when sharing a Hotel Room only with 2 adults. Max 2 kids. Limited availability.

For the Kids - Kids 4-12 can enjoy supervised kid's activities daily from 10:30am-12:30 & 3pm-5:30pm and Mini-disco.

Stay at 1, Plat at 2! - Guests receive full exchange privileges with RIU Mambo and RIU Bachata for breakfast & lunch, and day & evening access to all pools, bars and shows. Some restrictions apply.

Honeymoon Bonus - Surprise welcome gift in your room, King-size bed, Late check-out, and Complimentary upgrade to next available room class. Request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required. Subject to availability and subject to change.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Riu Merengue
    Puerto Plata,Dominican Republic

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
ClubHotel Riu Merengue
Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata 57000 Dominican Republic

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.