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34 25661 Sun November 13, 2011
Recommended By Ave price per week Average Rating
94% of reviewers $836.25 9.1

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Description: ClubHotel Riu Merengue
BahŪa de Maimůn
Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic
Tel. +18093204000 Fax. +1 809 320 5555

Location/General information

Set amidst tropical gardens and surrounded by mountains, the deluxe Riu Merengue is a beachfront village-style resort, located just 15 minutes from beautiful Puerto Plata.
Featuring 544 guestrooms, comfort and pleasure are ensured with spacious accommodations that include special amenities, like a mini-bar and liquor dispenser and a wide array of restaurants, bars and facilities for a truly thrilling experience.
This fun and friendly resort provides exceptional service down to the last detail, complemented by the renowned Caribbean Street promenade and Riu's exchange privileges programme throughout the entire Riu Resort.

* 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-storey 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 Intíl. Airport
* 300 m / 990 ft. from a bus stop
* Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners

More Riu Merengue Information

Riu Rusty
Site Admin

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 5240
Review Date: Thu July 13, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Staff, Staff, and Staff!!!

Our stay was OUTSTANDING. The staff was enthusiastic and very friendly. They took the time to talk to you, and did their best to make you feel right at home. The 1st day we where there the fellow that restocked the drinks in the rooms, took my 2 boys for a 10 minute golf cart ride.
We took part in most of the sporting events, and by the 3rd day, most of the Staff knew me by name. We dinned and all the restaurants, and sipped on there many fine cocktails. They keep all there rooms fully stocked with 4 X 40 oz bottles of liquor and lots of beer. My boys loved "Big Mama" (manager of the children's programs). At night we would relax at the indoor/outdoor theatre and watch the boy dance on the stage with Big Mama (this would happen every night before the nightly entertainment). Then of course watching "Francisco" prance about the pool screaming "Spanish lesssssson", was quite amusing. I could go on & on. This was an Outstanding vacation.

Candy Girl
POP Moderator

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1979
Review Date: Sun July 16, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The Staff are great and the resort is very nice !!!

Well I have just returened from RIU Merengue. We stayed for 2 weeks. We were there from the 3'rd-17'th of January. I went with my mom, her boyfriend, his 2 kids, and my moms best friend and her husband. We all had a blast.
I have nothing bad to say about the vacation. My only complaint was that it wasnt longer !! It is a lot harder saying goodbye to everyone after 2 weeks because you get to know them pretty well.
There was 1 person at reception that is always extremly helpful, her name is Susie. She speaks english really well too.
The entertainment crew made the trip for me though. I am 15 so I was more interested in the nightly entertainment and activities than sight seeing around the resort. All the animation crew work very hard and long hours. They are there at 8:00 and work til 12:30. Anyone going there will love these people as much as I do. They are so friendly and funny and go out of there way to make sure you are having a good time and listen to your comments (good or bad). Shout outs go to Scooby-Doo, Susy, Chocolate, Fidodido, Skarleth, Pedro, Cheeky-Monkey and Darling. They are the animation team at the Merengue. These people can dance like crazy. They are amazing, and they dance so quickly.
THe DJ, DJ Alex, also plays such good music and such a wide variety. I bought a couple of CD's from there and at home all I sing is songs from there. The songs are very addictive. I am listening to the songs as I am writing this.
If anyone has any questions I will answer them a.s.a.p, if you want to post a reply !!
Hope everyone that goes enjoys the Merengue as much as I did !!!
I miss it there soo much already and I have only been back for 4 days now


Registered: October 2005
Posts: 722
Review Date: Thu August 3, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beach and Friendly Staff
Cons: No room at pool

We flew out of Belfast International Airport for a direct flight to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. We booked with Thomson and flew with Britannia Airlines, it was a smooth flight with plenty to keep us occupied, three films, snacks, meals, drinks and a couple of magazine's. Arrived in Puerto Plata airport and we were in and out again in twenty minutes. We carried our own cases to the coach as it was a fifty yard walk. We were asked by the guys who carry them for you but we said "no thank you"
All the people on our coach were either going to the Mambo or Merengue so it was a straight run to the Rius with no other stops.

On arrival at our hotel it looked lovely and we were welcomed with a drink and a brief talk at reception, we were then given an envelope which contained our room key, safe key and towel cards. We were in room 1616 and it took us ages finding it as by now it was dark and I think we were walking around in circles, but we eventually found it, it had two double beds, T.V. clock radio and plenty of space to put your clothes, bathroom with towels, hairdryer, little sachets of shower gel, shampoo, etc. and a large balcony with table and two chairs overlooking the beautiful gardens. Our room was kept spotless for the two weeks, the maid was great and made us towel sculptures each day, even my night clothes was laid across the bed in a fancy way. {we left her little gifts and $ each day} On arrival our air con and T.V.were not working but one quick phone call to reception and they had them back in working order within half an hour.Our room also had a mini-bar which consisted of gin, brandy, vodka, and rum pepsi and diet pepsi soda water tonic water, beer and a large container of drinking water {use this for brushing your teeth as well as drinking}anything you used was replaced every two days.

The food at the Rius was superb, I especially loved the breakfast, fruit smoothies, omelettes, french toast, sausages, bacon and a whole host of other things. At lunch time we would just use the snack bar beside the pool and if we were at one of the other hotels we would just pop in to their snack bar, again a great variety of food, and to me it never seemed you were eating to much of the same thing.
Dinner at night, we went to the buffet we never booked the speciality restaurants because when you seen the queue in the mornings it was so long we couldn't be bothered with it. Too much time wasting when you could be lying on the beach. I liked the speciality night they had a Dominican night and a Mexican night, the Mexican night was my favourite.

Very friendly staff and you never had to queue any longer than three mins. There is the Plaza Bar, The bar beside the beach and the bar near the stage. Special mentions to Lorenzo at the beach bar and Melanie and Ronaldo at the Plaza Bar at the Bachata, wonderful people and very friendly if they seen you coming they had their hand ready for a high 5.

In the two weeks we were there we did not go to the pool once, if you did not have your towel down by 7.00- 7.30am you had no chance of getting a bed. So we always went to the beach and this is where we spent most of our time. It is lovely but you will need water shoes as the further you go out there is coral and shells. The scenery on the beach is lovely so take plenty of photos. There was always a breeze, which was nice but be careful as you will not feel yourself getting burned. The sports beach at the Bachata has no breeze but it is small and we found it got quite busy if you did not get there early. I went para sailing from the sports beach and I would recommend this as the views are brilliant.

I liked the entertainment - from beach parties - to pool parties - to the shows at night these guys work really hard and put in really long hours to entertain us. They will try to get you to join in but if you don't want too they will not force you.
There is also games to do during the day again if you don't want to - no problem, we played a couple of games and won, hubby won the darts and I won the bingo, he won rum I won coffee.

We did three, the outback, the cable car and city tour and my favourite was Paradise Island. I will not go into these as this is a review on the hotel but if you want to know anything just ask.

Just a special mention to the lovely people we met on this great holiday, first the great people from this site who attended the fiesta Verity and family, Debbie [leemina] and family and Lorraine [Ippwrth] and family. Then the other people we met, Melanie and Charlene, Francis and Fred, Jennifer and Andrew, Lynne and Gary, and Sam and Marbeth. Thanks everybody for making our holiday so memorable.


Registered: July 2006
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sat August 5, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything especially STAFF :)))))
Cons: NONE

hey everybody,
This was my second visit too riu merengue, and i loved it!!!
both times i have stayed here i cannot fault anything. I love it so much i have even booked my next stay in feb.
The rooms are always kept nice and tidy and are topped up every other day with drinks.
The thing that makes the holiday really is the staff . you could not ask for more friendly hard working people,and the most important bit is they always smile.
We spent alot of our time in the bachata as well as the merengue as we found it was a bit more lively.but we were happy that our rooms were at the merengue. I would like to say a special thank you to el jay and jamaica as they made our holiday very entertaining!!!!! Smile)) but they are all amazing. i would recommend this holiday to anyone.


Registered: September 2005
Posts: 530
Review Date: Sun August 6, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wonderful staff, lovely location
Cons: Too busy at weekends

I was part of a family group of 29 people, who ranged in age from 9-74 years old. I can report that everyone had a great time! We were there from 16/7-30/7/06.

Rooms, set in quiet walkways with lush vegetation. Rooms are quite spacious and had plenty of hanging space and storage. The bathroom was fine, with good shower pressure and a hairdryer. I can't say that they were luxurious, but perfectly adequate for changing and sleeping. The verandah's were a very good size and all shaded. There were extras like a free safe, of course the spirit optics and fridge stocked with beer, pop and water. The maids kept the rooms spotless, I thought the rooms were nicer than those in the Bachata, with more electric lighting.

The restaurants offered a huge variety of food, I was amazed night after night at the many choices. Vegetables and salads were lovely and fresh, no overcooked mushy stuff. Meats, there was a carvery of some sort every night offering, Chicken , Turkey, Suckling pig, Pork loin, Rib of beef, Lamb, in addition to all the braised meats and fish. Most of the food was cooked right in front of you. People have said there was not much for children, this always puzzled me as there was always pasta, fries, pizza, they did not serve junk food, but I did not see that as a problem. The children in our party, ate really well. The lunchtime snack bar menu was slightly smaller, but again still offered soups, chicken, fish, salads, vegetables, pizza, burgers, desserts etc. I personally found it nice to walk into the dining hall a few times for lunch as it was nice and quiet.

The entertainment (animation) team worked tirelessly to keep you laughing......I really don't know where they got the energy from "I love my Job" really seemed to be true. The evening shows were a little repetitive, and some of the humour seemed to get lost in translation. There's only so much dancing you can watch. The beach party was by far the best night, plus it was a bit cooler down there. We were sitting in paradise, with lovely weather, sipping cocktails. Being in such a large group we tended to sit away from the entertainment so we could all chat away without disturbing others. The one thing I did miss was, some general dancing for all age groups......the disco was far to young for us. It would have been nice to have some party music, one or two evenings for everyone to boogie to. I realise that the latin beat, is the national sound.....but as most guests are from Europe and the States there is plenty of sounds that they could invest in that would appeal to most people. Just a little reasearch needed there. I got a numb bum from sitting down so much.

As for the beach, I found it to be safe, cooling and scenic. Yes you should bring aqua shoes, as there are rocks and sea kelp. You could find a sun lounger at any time of day and either move them into the sun or the plentiful shade from the hundreds of Palm trees. The beach coconut parties and BBQ's were great.

There is definatley a problem with the pool, which needs to be addressed. Some days the water level was really low, only coming to waist level. I don't know why they could not refill it every night......when I asked the pool attendant he just said "no water".

We made the effort to get out from the Resort for the following tours, Ocean World,
Safari and Waterfalls, Puerto Plata City, Cabrete and Sosua beach, Quad Biking, and some of the adventurous went White Water rafting as well.

All in all it was agreed that this was a fantastic holiday. Everyone said that it was excellent value for money. I got bought some lovely presents for arranging this trip and was so pleased that everyone had such a good time!



Registered: August 2006
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mon September 25, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 


Before I go on can I make one very important announcement can all smokers please dispose of you fag ends in the bins which are everywhere on the beach I found it stomach churning at the amount of fag ends littering the beach. Itís a disgusting habit which we have to put up with but why should we be forced to watch you litter the most amazing beaches with endless fag ends. PLEASE stop doing this as its spoiling the beaches.
Other than the above it was a great holiday.

We decided to go with first choice due to the extra leg room now being offered and it was a great flight with no problems. The star class upgrade we had a quick look at and to be honest I donít think it was worth the extra money.

We arrived and the bags where taken to our rooms and drinks passed around very impressed. Very helpful all through the holiday even when I was paying the phone bill(be very careful it is about £2.50 a minute)!!!!

These were a good size and could not fault them. They had the drinks well stocked and the cleaner worked like a dog to keep it clean and we gave her some money for the amazing job she did.

Spotless they clean and cut all day long and it looks great.

I was not fussed on the pool as the level was always very low and it looked a bit dirty at times. The mambo I think had the best pool as the bacata was always full and I was not that fussed with people sitting in the pool bar all day drinking and by some miracle not having to go to the toilet.

I was there two weeks and the variety was pretty good and only really got a bit bored at lunch time when it was the usual burger and chips. The booked restaurants were nice and food really good.

We went on the paradise island trip and it was great on the speed boats and the snorkelling was very interesting. The only problem was the amount of jelly fish which spoilt it a bit.
Quad biking was the other and this was a real eye opener seeing the roads and the way they live was well worth the $35 fro 3 hours.

The casino was fun but stick with black jack as the roulette table just seemed to eat all my and others money in about 5 minutes.

So overall it was a great holiday just a bitty Iím home and I will not be going to a RIU hotel for a while now its skiing and Ibiza next year.

POP Moderator

Registered: August 2006
Posts: 1227
Review Date: Mon October 2, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The staff, the grounds, the cleanliness, the location
Cons: The French

Where do I start?

The journey there was horrendous, I am NEVER using Gatwick Airport again. We flew down the night before, were 1&1/2hrs late taking off from Glasgow then when we got to Gatwick we had to wait two hours for our baggage as the handlers "didn't need the overtime" - what on earth?!

We eventually got to our hotel at midnight and got 4 hours sleep before having to get up again to go to the airport - so much for having a good rest the night before!!

Okay, into Gatwick, everything is fine, gets on the plane, Captain switches on the engine... Problem - the heater that stops the instruments from freezing is broken, needs fixed. We sit on the plane for two hours then they take us all off - my Daddy (among other passengers) is disabled - he had to walk down the shakey steps off the plane and up THREE flights of stairs into the terminal (needless to say I kicked up a bit of a stink...) He then had to walk a mile to the nearest toilet - oh dear.

Two hours later, back on the plane, delayed for another 1/2hr then we go (4&1/2hrs of delay in total!)

Gets to the Dominican, and as always, everything was perfect from there - on the bus, to the Hotel, saw everyone I know - hi to Rafael, and James and Petit behin Reception! We got the rooms we had requested - 1583 and 1584 - and off we toddled as we knew where to go!

Rafael brought us our cases first (MEEP MEEP! Or, as it is now, MIHIRI!!) and we locked up and went for dinner - where Frank immediately set out our table for us!

Every night we were in La Roca (the main restaurant) for dinner, Frank had our table decorated with flowers, and he also made sure this was done in the Macumba (a la Carte) when we went there for dinner!

My brother's birthday occured while we were there and Frank and Alberto laid on glitter and sequins for our table, as well as a bottle of 'champagne' (diet coke!) in a bucket with ice, and brought a cake!Frank even changed his day off for this occasion, which was very special as it was Father's Day over there but Frank chose to spend that with Andrew rather than his family in Santo Domingo!!

Our waiter, Martinez, memorised what we take with our dinner every night (dos copa de vino blanco, una leche freia y uno Sprite, por favor!) and had these out for us the minute we walked in! He also made sure that on nights when he was off, the waiter in his place brought us these without us having to ask!

The staff at reception are always tripping over themselves in order to help, they are amazing! Special thanks goes to James this year for making myself and Juliaquito our OFFICIAL Riu name badges (confusing the Animacion staff at the Bachata!) and making us very happy :oD
Also a big up to JJ Collado - we were upset when we found Juan Hose was not there when we arrived as we were on holiday, but he saw us passing when he came back (Amanda, my friend, how are you! he shouted at me!!) so that was me happy :o) JJ is almost a memeber of my family (he is Scooby's cousin) and I love him as such!

The housekeeping are immense - we had ants in our room so everyday they changed the sheets and sprayed the place down. We were also left with wonderful animals made from the towels, flowers and Nestle Crunch bars! The rooms are always so clean and whenever we went for a siesta and were disturbed by our maid she was full of apologies - we were adament we were in her way and so moved to the balcony to get out from under her feet!

The grounds are always beautifully kept, and the gardeners can be found around the complex any time, day or night. They love nothing more than to hear a buenos dias/buenos dardes/buenos noches and a como esta from you, so give it a go!

The Animacion - where do I start? Seriously? This year, on the Dominican team we had: my baby - Scooby Doo - Mosquito, Sexy Susy, Pedro69, Supermax, Romeo and Chiqui Monkey, the bossman. The dancers were Gonzalo (the choreographer), Scarlet, Felix, Adonis and Julio. And of course, not forgetting mi amor, DJ Alex!!

The animacion really can't do enough to make your holiday amazing - they are always full of energy, boucing around you trying to get you to join in games, dancing lessons, water aerobics, the lot! And although you may only be there for a relaxing holiday, DO join in at least a couple of things - you will really enjoy it!!

What else? Really I'm trying to limit myself as I could talk about this hotel and the people there all day every day!!

The water sports at the Bachata are not to be missed - Banana Boat, Parascending, Jet Skis - yes, you pay extra for these but it's not too much extra and it is so worth it!
Other trips - Ocean World (not to be missed, tigers, seals, sharks and swimming with dolphins!) and the Monster Truck - Brahim Tours take you to the REAL Dominican Republic and it is a site to see, definitely. The people are so loving toward us tourists, and though the children have a habit of grabbing the things you bring them (sanitary products, pencils, erasers and sharpeners etc) this is only because they are so needy - don't judge them by it.

Ok, the thing I put down as my disadvantage to the holiday - the French. PLEASE, our French readers, do not take offense! It was a bad experience at the hotel, but a problem that WAS resolved!
The French entertainment this year (Blue-Eyes, Miss Estralia, Tito, Bon Bon and Luisto) did not make any effort to mingle with any other tourists except French ones, which was quite a shock to our system as last year, although the girls (Emily and Sou) were not very friendly, the boys (Sandre and Chupito) went out of their way to be lovely!
The problem escalated to the point that during the Miss Merengue competiton (which I was a part of) the French girls were boo-ing the other nations - as entertainment they shouldn't be doing this - and generally encouraging the French guests to be nasty to the rest of us. At the end of this competition one of the French girls won (although it should have been the Welsh lass but nevermind) and a French gentleman was threatening one of the Welsh lads who came up on stage to support us Brits - I told the man to leave the lad alone, so he pushed me - needless to say this sparked a riot which ensued into the next day and the main managers had to sort - thankfully things went smoothly after that though I do believe that relations between the French and everyone else have been somewhat tarnished.
Sorry folks, but it is the truth...

On a happier note, this hasn't stopped me booking to go to the Merengue next year for my 5th visit!! I love it, and you will too!!

xXx Amanda Doo xXx

Riu Ambassador

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 903
Review Date: Wed October 18, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Everything....been 3 times
Cons: You have to try other Rius

Debbie and I have had three visits to the Merengue, twice for three weeks and once for only two weeks.
Management and staff have always been around this I mean some have moved to the Mambo or Bachata, but still on the complex.
This is not so much a review, more of a recomendation to visit one of the three on the Puerto Plata complex.
Should you have any questions , please contact me.


Registered: December 2006
Posts: 26
Review Date: Sat January 6, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Staff are very friendly

I stayed at Riu Merengue with my family for two weeks over Christmas and we all had a great time. The hotel was clean and all staff were friendly, they do whatever they can for you and if any tips are given they are very appreciative.
Everyone made a great effort at christmas, there was a managers cocktail party which involved all of the staff and special entertainment. There was a continuous flow of champagne and special cocktails from the bar all night. All staff were happy and even made a live nativity scene along with animals before getting dressed up in the evening. In the restaraunt the choice of food available was even greater than usual, along with ice sculptures and melon carvings.
We went on the white water rafting trip, which I would recommend. I was very nervous but the guides are very skilled and look after you. Its great fun and you will have a laugh.
We also went on the Mega Truck trip, which is great to see more of the island including where they filmed Jurassic Park. We stopped at the local school and gave out paper and pencils to the children who were grateful for anything you could give.
The pool and beach are both very nice, but sometimes the water level in the pool does become low and there can be a strong current in the sea. However the sea on the watersports beach is calmer and the poolboys work hard to keep the pool clean.
The animacion team are great, they were enthusiastic and want to make your holiday as good as possible. In particular Suzy, Pikachu and Pedro69 were great!Although I do agree with the past comment that the French members of the Animacion team focus mostly on the French tourists and dont tend to talk to others as much.
I had a great holiday, and would definitley recommend this hotel. There is as much available as you want to take part in, for any age group. Also if you win any of the activities you are given prizes such as a bottle of rum.


Official Riu Rocker

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 793
Review Date: Fri January 26, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fantastic Staff
Cons: Coming Home

I travelled with my mum and stepdad early December - this was our second time there and was just as great as i remembered....

We booked with First Choice, day before check in at LGW was fast and efficient, would highly recommend it if you're staying in a hotel overnight for an early flight. Straight through to departures on the day of our flight - no need to upgrade to premium, standard star class is more than adequate.

Check-in at the Hotel was speedy, cases were delivered and unpacked within 90 minutes of arrival, and we headed to the bar.

All the staff at the Merengue are fantastic - i don't think you will find better or more attentive staff anywhere in the world. Special mentions go to:- BAR: Roberto, Luis, Cessi Boy, Ramon, Algerny, Ambiorix, Martin (and everybody else in PLAZA Bar). RESTAURANT: Melvin (our waiter 2 years ago also) ANIMACION: Cheeky Monkey, Pedro 69, Pikachu, Suzy and Speedy - if i've forgotton anyone - i'm sorry!

We did 3 trips.... Outback Safari - really good day out. Our guide was Rudy (very knowledgeable and entertaining). really loves Terry's Chocolate Oranges and Little Britain! Ocean World - have been before 2 years ago. So much work has been done there and is a really good day out. We didn't do the swims or experiences, but just enjoyed all the shows and wandering round for the day. It was good to see the tigers as they were cubs the last time we went - my how they've grown! We also did the First Choice Casino Evening - really good night, worth the money if you fancy getting an insight into casino life without losing the money..... however - the taxi journey through Puerto PLata City in the dark in a beat up old taxi, is an experience that will stay with me til my dying day!

The rooms are very clean and comfortable, but to be honest the weather was so good, we literally slept, showered and changed in them - the rest of the time was spent out and about. The hotel grounds are beutifully kept and everywhere is immaculately clean - we had one poorly tummy incident - think it was the late night burger & chips after the casino night, but got some meds from the pharmacy and were fine the next day.

Spent most days down the beach as the pool tended to get very crowded - if you could get a sunbed, unfortunately the "towels on sunbeds at dawn" situation has escalated since the last time we were there. The beach had plenty of sunbeds - and all day sun if you're prepared to shuffle your bed around a bit, you also get a lovely breeze off the sea all day, so can lay out in the sun that little bit longer! We did have a couple of dips in the pool - just to cool off a bit during the last few days, as it was soooo hot, but they were still having problems with the pool levels while we were there and did have to shut the pool down for an afternoon because it was so low!

We had fantastic weather for most of the 2 weeks, we had a couple of dodgy days at the beginning of our holiday - something to do with a storm near cuba, but by day 3 - it was baking hot sunshine and clear blue skys all day with an odd 10-minute sharp shower thrown in the mix.

All in all i can honestly say that this is the best holiday destination ever - so much so, my mum, her friend and me are hoping to go back for a girlie week in May - top the tan up and catch up with the many friends that we have made out there, and maybe have a pina colada or two! Have posted photos, although an extremely temperamental (had a bit of a bad morning) PC has posted the first few pics several times - apologies!. Enjoy!

Debbie x


Registered: January 2007
Posts: 66
Review Date: Sun March 18, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: beautiful grounds, animacion & other staff
Cons: none!

This was my 4th visit to a Riu resort, and my 2nd to one that wasnt a palace, and i still completely loved it. We were there March 9-March 16, it was my mother (40's), grandfather (60's), my friend and myself (both 19).I'll follow suite and break it into categories to leave my feedback! Here goes...

We flew Delta both ways, it was just youre average flight, nothing too spectacular. Although, lucky us, the sky was very clear on arrival day, so got the pleasure of seeing all the other gorgeous caribbean islands as we flew over them on our way from Atlanta > Puerto Plata

Very helpful, they were happy to hear that we had been to Riu's a few times before. I liked that they offered to hold your key for the day/night and you could pick it up whenever, the Riu Palace Macao did this, and its much easier than carrying it around and worrying about losing it! The only only only complaint i had is one evening we were giving some friends we met our email addresses to keep in touch as it was their last night, and the reception said they didnt have a pen we could borrow to take back to the bar, even though we said we'd bring it right back. but thats just a silly minute thing.

Decent sized, I'm not really one to care TOO much about the room, as long as its not outrageously dirty or bug-infested im generally happy. I only sleep in it! We never could get the shower to stay at one temperature, and once it (a removable shower head) flew out of the holder and gave us quite a laugh as it flew around the shower spraying the entire bathroom ((OOPS!)). We turned the AC off and left the balcony door open almost all week day & night when we were in the room, because it was much more comfortable than airconditioning. Plus all the commotion of people in the morning helped to wake our lazy butts up so we didnt sleep through our vacation (my mother & grandfather had a room separate from ours). Let's see... the maids did a fantastic job cleaning it, and our fridge was always stocked. We did have to buy an adaptor for our hairdryer/ipod charger/whatever else we had. That was a suprise, at the Palace Macao the front desk just lent them out for a $5 deposit which was refunded upon return. But big deal, it only cost us about $6 at the gift shop, and now we have our own for our next visit!

Beautiful of course. I personally prefer all the separate buildings (ie merengue in pp, tequila in mexico) as opposed to the palaces' single big building. There were always workers out picking up leaves, trimming trees, etc. The beach was also very clean

Honestly, I didnt get into the Merengue pool once. We are more beach-friendly folks, and spent our days down there. My mother & grandfather sat around the pool a few days under the cabanas and seemed to enjoy it. The entertainment team spends a bit more time up in that area also. I will admit (and, SHH!, dont tell!) we went swimming a few nights "after hours" in the Bachata pool, which was gorgeous. I still wish hotels would just allow people to swim at night, but i understand all the risks and whatnot.... leave it to us american teenagers to sneak into the pool. And yea, unfortunately, one night we did get asked to leave by the security guard after about an hour. He was very nice about it though. All in good fun =) =)

I have to rave about the banana bread. I know, you are probably thinking 'you are crazy', but it was excellent! We even took some in a baggie for a snack on the plane on the way home hahah (Customs loved that). The food was good. Again, not real picky here either, sorry if im not much help. There was always a long line at the cappucino machine in the pool restuarant. Oh, and for all the late nite snackers, they have hot dogs/hamburgers by the pool every evening. Makes for a nice stop when walking back to your room from a couple hours at the bar and/or disco! =)

Didn't go on any trips. Having been my 3rd trip to the DR, and gone to Mexico 4 other times, the snorkeling/dolphins/4wheeling/etc doesnt tend to differ much. We did pick up some snorkel gear and take it with us, the ocean was really clear and that settled our adventurous side ha

Now its time to rave about the workers. Riu Animacion teams have never let me down. So of course, we loved all the ones here:: Speedy, Johny Bravo, Macho Man, Picachu, DJ Alex, Eddy Murphy, Chiqui Monkey, Tequila, SuperMax, DeeDee, Susy, WE MISS YOU!!!!

Leonardo at the bar between the pool and the stage (i think its called the plaza bar?) is absolutely adorable, and always smiling his beautiful smile... whenever he saw us walking up from the beach he grinned ear to ear and after the second day he had our drinks memorized and ready almost as soon as we got up there.

Melvin was our waiter most of the time at the buffet, he was also fantastic, always smiling and very attentive. Sadly he wasnt there our last 2 days and we didnt get a picture with him! =(

SHOWS: we were very disappointed to find out we missed the michael jackson show! it was pretty entertaining at tequila & macao. Our first night there was kareokee, which was pretty hilarious, although some people just get too serious and sing songs that arent much fun. oh well!
We also saw the Grease show, the Perfect Couple show (which was absolutely hilarious, we were crying we were laughing so hard), and the tropical show that we'd seen before... and we saw the African show for the first time. We didnt get a Beach part or a Caribbean street party while we were there, which was sad... guess we have an excuse to stay longer next time! Those are always fun at the other resorts we've got to participate in them at.

I think that about wraps up my review. Being americans, we sometimes got dirty looks from Europeans (i just dont understand) but mostly everyone was friendly, met some fun Switzerland friends and they taught us a bit of german! haha Compared to last years' Palace Macao, there were a lot more younger children, but the "mini disco" seemed to entertain them quite well, and never had any problems with screaming/crying/whining children which is always good.

I definately recommend this resort, as well as every other Riu! We got back yesterday, and I've already been checking prices for the beginning of summer =) =) =) Riu is an addiction!

Candy Girl
POP Moderator

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1979
Review Date: Thu April 12, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


OK, this was our second trip to the Riu Merengue. We liked it soo much when we stayed there last year that we came home and booked to go again. We were there January 2-16 2007

Travelling in our group was My Mom, 42, My Step-Dad 49, Myself 16, My step-brothe 14 and my step sister 11. Last year our two friends came with us, they are 42 and 33. They joined us this year as well but booked later so they didnt arrive at the hotel until our 5'th day there.

We stayed at the Courtyard by the Mariot (one of the airport hotels). We got our wake up call (even though i was hardly asleep from all the excitment) at 2:15. The shuttle bus left the airport hotel at 2:30. We made a stop at another hotel to pick up other vacationers then we were shuttled to the Toronto Pearson Airport, terminal 3.
By this time it was 3:00

Check in, customs, went by fairly fast once they opened. After we were through we got our seats in the waiting area and then headed for the Tim Hortons to grab some bagels for breakfast and some drinks, OJ for me and Coffee for my bro and the parents.

Once we were loaded on the plain we had to quickly de-ice just the tips of the wings which only took about 5 minutes then we took off. Our flight left at 6:30 I believe.

We arrived in Puerto Plata with no problems, got our luggage then loaded onto the bus. This was no problem for us and we had been through the same process last year and were formiliar with it.

We arrived at the hotel around 12:30. We were greeted with welcome drinks and check in was fast and painless. While waiting to be checked-in my mom heard some familiar voices around the pool deck and went over to check it out. Susy came running over and called Cheeky Monkey over to. She recognized us right away, as did Cheeky Monkey which made us feel right at home.

During check in we recognized some of the people from reception like James, JJ Collado, etc.

We got our rooms (which werent the ones we had last year and had hoped for, like our travel agent requested). This was no problem, we talked to the reception and they told us they could move us to our old rooms in 2 days. 2 days later we had the keys to our old rooms and we settled in and unpakced, it felt like home again right away.

The first day we were surprised by how many faces we recgonzied and how many recognized us as well. LIke bar men, dining room people, ect.

So that was just a little bit about getting there and settled. Now I'll just break the review down into caterogies.

FOOD/DINING: The dining room is quite big and always enough seating. The food is greating tasting with lots of variety to choose from. Everynight there is always a carving station doing some type of meat like turkey, roast beef, ribs, etc. A pasta station every night, fries, salad bar, cold bar, fruit, dessert, ice cream, soups, tons of other foods. There is always something you'll find that you can eat and enjoy.
They do theme nights, one night there was a Dominican theme, where they hang the flags and dress in blue red and white, then there was a Mexican theme night and the decored the restaurant is mexican colors and style and dressed that way too. That night there was tacos, nahcos, and other typical mexican meals.

The a la carte restaurants were, Restaurante Italiano and Steak House. Both are good, the italian one was new to us this year so we did that as a family with 2 other people we met there, they were great !! They food was good. Then another night just the adults did the steak house with a different couple, lol. We prefer the steak house but both are good. You are supposed to book in the morning through the dining room manager, so Alberto or Frank..

MAIDS: The maids are great. We had Alcadia again, she was there last year cleaning our rooms as well. We always made conversation with her and would leave her little tips and gifts for her and her family. She would make us towel art and always leave little flower pedals in our room. They are really great and wont bother you if you put the sign on the door.

IN ROOM BAR: The in room fridge and liquor dispensers are refilled every 2 days. We made friends with the guys that fill up the room, they gave my brother a ride in their cart once !!

GROUDS: The grounds at this resort are kept in amazing condition. Have nothing to complain about there.

POOL: Our pool was not the best. With the amount of rain we had, the pool was closed a couple of times for cleaning and the levels were quite low sometimes. This didnt put a damper on the vacation though, we'd just head over to the Mambo and do Aqua gym with Chocolate.

Ok now the staff:

RECEPTION: The people at reception are great. We were looking for Susy who was there last year and was wonderful but she now works at the Mambo, so if anyone knows her and is looking to see her again you can find her there. Shout outs go to James, who always had a hug and an Hola ready for us whenever we were near and JJ Collado, who we met last year and went out of his way to put us into our old rooms.

POOL GUYS: Daniel, "Little" Daniel, and 2 other guys, they are all really great.

BAR TENDERS: They all work so hard, and they do there best to serve you as fast as possible. If you do not know what you want they will suggest something or they will make you a special drink if you ask for it, even if its not on there menu. Shout outs go to Luis, Algeny, Jaqueline, Ambriox..they were always around ready to serve you with a smile and as fast as possible. These staff knew us by name..and would always make conversation with us which was really nice..

DINING ROOM: Our waiter was Martinez for the most part but we sometimes had Batista, they worked in the same section. They are both really greeat and super friendly. Freedy Lopez as well, they always made sure we had enough seats at our table and we were looked after and happy. Oscar, the morning chef who always made the omlettes was one of our friends from lsat year and we were happy to see him again. He always an hola and a pound it (with your fists)..

Now the part everyones waiting for probably, ANIMACION/DANCERS

So the animacion team when I was there was, Susy, Picachu, Cheeky-Monkey, Supermax, Speedy, Eddy Murphy, Richie, Betsy, Tequila and the french animacion was Charlie, Machete, Maria and another head girl. The DJ is DJ Alex. All of these people are amazing, friendly people who can dance like crazy !!! DJ Alex is a great DJ, too bad he wasnt there for all of our vacation but Im glad he is good now !!
Dancers (that I know by name) were Scarlet, Adonis, Alex the choreographer and thats all I know by name...

I would definitly reccomend this hotel.

We had a great vacation and really want to go there again next year !!

Young Riu Ambassador

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1191
Review Date: Mon April 16, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 


Ok i know this review is a bit late but just got around to do it now lol

Well it was our first ever trip out of europe so we were all really excited before we even knew how fab the hotel was and everything!

we got picked up by minibus from my home at 4 in the morning (after being up since early the following morning) with us was me 16, my brothers 21 and 18, my mam 46 and gran 67. just before we had been picked up we were looked at thompson travel and just with our look dominican republic and the riu merengue was on it - how lucky was that! anyway the route to the airport was long but as soon as we got into the airport i was getting even more excited. We got to board the airplane early as we were in premier seating and were greated with a glass of orange juice, then we founf out we had free drinks the whole flight - GREAT START TO THE TRIP. The flight was ok nothing different but it was cloudy landing in PP so my mam was worried but all was ok in the airport really warm - just what we wanted in November.
Then was the bus to the hotel we had to drop a lot of people of at their hotels some were painted orange and blue not very nice - then the rep said riu resort my eyes couldnt have got any wider and my jam was on the floor it was amazing!
We got off the bus and welcomed at the reception and from there we knew we would enjoy the trip as they were so welcoming, we got to our room easy enough and then our bags followed us!

Nothing to complain about at all, anything you wanted and you will most likely get it all the chefs were so happy and always said 'hola'.

Well what can i say it was free and delicious i think i drunk most things on the menu and loved them all lol

All the staff were fabulous and always having a laugh. even the cleaners had a smile on their face all the time! The animacion team were the best from the forst day they made us feel welcome and by the end of the trip they were more like family than staff i loved them all!

By the end of the 2 weeks none of my family wanted to leave - the best part was hearing my mam say we were coming back in 2 years i was crying cause i was sooo happy.

the plane home was the worst ever i was hoping somehow it would break down just before we got on it of the flight was cancelled or just somthing to give us a longer trip - no such look and i only knew i was going home when i was in the air Sad:(:(

roll on november 2008 all us girlys rocking out PP should be fun fun fun

jem and teen

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mon May 28, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The Staff!!!!
Cons: It ends to soon!

Well what can i say!!! this was my 4th time at riu merengue and it gets better every time!! there are lots of positives as the location is amazing The ting that makes the holiday has to be the people they are always lively and know how to entertain! we would like to say a big thank you to picachu and dj alex the place wouldnt have been the same without you!! ;-) cant wait to go back in october!

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