More about ClubHotel Riu Merengue
The Riu Merengue was an excellent place to stay for tourists who want a nice, relaxing vacation with everything paid for and don't care to see much of the country. Everything you could possibly need is right here, but it is very touristy, although not too crowded, and is probably not the place for an adventurous traveler that wishes to see lots of the country. There are opportunities to take day trips for shopping, snorkeling, and various eco-tourist activities. The only time we left the resort was to go to Sosua for snorkeling, which was an excellent idea. (See my Sosua page for info and pictures) I highly recommend leaving the resort at least once to see what this country is really like, something not possible if you remain at the resort the whole time.
All-inclusive resorts are package deals only to my knowledge. This includes room and board and round-trip airfare. We had flights to Puerto Plata from Miami via Atlanta and five nights for about $900 each. I have no clue if this is an average price, I'm sure it depends on the time of year you come and where you fly from. They also have daily flights from Boston and a couple of Canadian cities, probably elsewhere too that I am not aware of. The website listed has info on all the packages you can get via expedia, travelocity, and other online travel agencies. Being all-inclusive, you have the option of eating at several different restaurants at the resort, some of which are like buffets while others have menus and waiters. There are also several bars located all around with dozens of drinks to choose from, including some that are non-alcoholic. (drinking age is 18) The resort has two different beach areas, which are topless, with beautiful white sand and crystal-clear water. Along one beach is a row of souvenir shops with all kinds of jewelry, artwork, clothing, wood carvings, etc. to choose from. Be sure to bargain with the merchants, and be fierce. Their asking prices are way higher than what you should ever pay for everything, sometimes as much as 3 times the fair value. The resort has several pools and a couple of hot tubs, along with a stupid discotech place that I recommend you stay away from less you become embarrassed from such a waste of space. Also, remember to not drink the water or even use it to brush your teeth, thats why you are provided with so many bottles of water. Lastly, be sure to get some good cigars. Cubans are available, although not all are authentic, but the Dominican cigars are good too, as are those from Honduras. The beach merchants also sell plenty of these.
Riu Merengue. Exellente
My husband & I visited Riu Merengue in September 2002, it was our honeymoon and we couldn't have asked for anything more.
The staff were ever so friendly and would go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
The food!! There was just so much choice and it was all delicious. At the weekend they would do a special themed dinner which was always great. You could virtually eat 24/7. There is always food in the restaurants!!
Sometimes there were 2 guys who played an instrument around dinner, i know it's an all inclusive and you don't need to carry money around with you, but a couple of dollars each won't hurt - they were good!
The entertainment was good at the Merengue, but brilliant in the Bachata. They always got the audience involved and finished off with a dance! Spaghetti, was always so funny!n Please, don't be a spoil sport and not join in....u really will b missing out!!
The rooms were great. Kept very clean and tidy and the maids would always make an animal out of the towels for the ladies, which was a nice touch. My tip is to leave all your toiletries at the end of the holiday for them as they haven't really got much and they really appreciate it.
There was unlimited alcohol which was fab, however, go easy on those Pina Colada's - they r so morish. The mini bar in the room was excellent, always stocked up.
If you have the money - go to the Paradise Island day trip. I think it was $55 each. It was out of this world and utterly fantastic. It really was like being in Paradise. But make sure u take an underwater camera, you'll regret it if you don't as you can swim and feed the beautiful fish under the water and see live coral which is amazing. Also, take a water proof bag to keep a dry shirt in and any things that shouldn't get wet as you go on a speed boat for about 20mins to get there.
Also, go on the Catamaran, the guys on the boat were really funny and played games with us and made the day a real good laugh while we were soaking up the sun. Something special happened that day.....some dolphins swam near our boat and followed us for a while...they were beautiful.
The beach was lovely and we always found a sunbed no matter what time of day we went. It's a little noiser around the pool as that's where all the games are, but it's a good laugh. The Riu Bachata has a swim up bar which was really cool. (By the way you can use all three Riu hotels...Mambo, Bachata & Merengue) and they are all in walking distance with each other.
Make use of all the free water sports on the water sports beach. It's good on cloudy days. There's loads to do on there.
They had a Parrot at the hotel, and some nights there's a guy taking photo's of ppl with him, have you'rs done...the photos can be bought in the photo shop in Carrabean Street.
If it's a clubbing holiday you're after, this isn't the place for you. Didn't find many people in the disco, but we still had a good time.
It's definitly more of a family and couples holiday! (which we wanted anyway) There's a variety of ages and you can garantee you'll make a few friends along the way!
It was such a good holiday, that we're going back on our anniversary next year (because this year we're going to Mexico - yes, another Riu Holiday!!)
All I can say is, if you go, you definitly won't be dissappointed. So go, have a great time and when you get back, I can garantee you'll be arranging your next holiday there as soon as you've got through the door!
JUST GO!!!!! YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!!
in june we went back for the 2nd time... why ????because i missed the entertainment-team , the food.. yep the whole hotel... my girlfriend is a travelagency-manager and we get around a lot... and pretty high standard hotels we've visit, you really can't compare riu merengue with other 5 stars hotels cause the riu merengue would probably not make it but when it comes down to family entertainment... you will be a part of the riu merengue hotel. That you will find no where else in any other 5 stars hotel. if you really want to enjoy riu's luxury visit the riu palace superb... outstanding....
My husband and I visited the Riu Merengue 5 years ago. We had an excellent holiday. The hotel, food and staff were second to none. Since then we have recommended a number of people, all have enjoyed tremendously. We went on 3 trips - horse riding, catamaran and monster jeep safari. All were excellent. We visited the Dominican Republic again this year and stayed at the Bahia Principe. Although very good not a patch on the Riu Merengue. We have booked the Dominican Republic again this year and staying at the Riu Bachata (next to the Merengue). I only hope we have as good a time as we did at the Merengue. My only one displeasure about the Dom Rep is the MOSQUITOES. If you are prone to them they will probably eat you alive!! Pat & Malcolm Hall
Rui Merengue is a beautiful 5...
Rui Merengue is a beautiful 5 star resort and I would highly recommend it. This is an all-inclusive resort and one of the best in the Rui chain. It is very beautiful and a great place to relax.The staff are wonderful, and they are really great with children.
Our vacation took place in January, 2003. I am very surprised at some of the reviews by others that have visited the Riu Merengue. We vacationed at the Riu Merengue due to these reviews, but were very disappointed. We have stayed at other all-inclusives in Playa Del Carmen and Cancun, MX that were amazing. Therefore, we were expecting the Riu in Puerto Plata to be similar, but felt there was no comparison.It may have to do with what you are looking for in a resort. If you are looking for a good deal to an all-inclusive resort and plan on spending most of your time at the pool having a drink or several, playing hotel games and eating average food, this place would be fine. If you are looking for a resort to spend most of your time at the beach, enjoying the ocean with great entertainment and excellent restuarants, and an oppurtunity to easily explore the surrounding areas, this would not be the place for you.We are beach people and have fallen in love with the Carribean's white sand beaches and turquoise blue water. We were told that Puerto Plata had this, so were very dissappointed when we saw the brown sand and dark water. We decided that was fine and would still enjoy the ocean, but found out the first day that it would be our last. The areas can be very rocky with many shell fragments and my son cut his foot the first day. While we were tending to his foot, several people came up questioning if he had stepped on a sea urchent. Suddenly a few cuts seemed like nothing. We found out the sea urchents were prickily, thorny creatures, so when stepped on the thorns end of in your foot and have to be removed by the hotel doctor. We stayed away from playing in the water after that, but did see one when taking a walk in the sand one day and it looked like it would hurt.The most positive thing about the Riu Merengue was that it was one of three Rius and you had access to all. This was great because the pool area of the Merengue was very basic, so we spent all of our time at the Riu Bachada. The Bachada's pool was excellent and we met some very nice people, mainly Canadians. We learned alot about Canada on the trip, which was surprising, but enjoyable.Dinner had to be eaten at the Merengue, because of assigned seating. We had our other meals at the Bachada. The food was the same, but the restuarants were just more enjoyable. They do have three specialty restuarants that serve steak, Meditteranean food and Dominican food. We were told by our rep that we could only make reservations for the restuarants the day of wanting to dine there. We tried our last few days to get reservations, only to find out the hotel at booked ahead leaving us no oppurtunity to dine at one of the specialty restuarants. The rooms were nice and the grounds were very pretty and well kept. The hotels do have there own street of shops that was quaint and we bought some nice things. There were also vendors on the beach, but be prepared to be hounded.You do not easily venture outside of the hotels in Puerto Plata. The taxis are expensive and the driving is horrible. They do offer excursions, but they are also expensive and we didn't always get good feedback on these excursions. My last comment is on the entertainment. It was horrible. I don't know what the people in the other reviews had to compare it too, but we left early a couple nights. Again the atmosphere at the Bachada was better, the entertainment was not, but the dance music prior to the show was much more up beat.If you are like us and enjoy beautiful beaches, wonderful surroundings, good food and entertainment and oppurtunities to walk into town, I would highly recommend Playa Del Carmen, MX. The Hotel we absolutely love there is the Iberostar Quetzal. The hotel and area are amazing.
All round perfection
My wife and I spent the most gorgeous two weeks at the Merengue at the beginning of November.
Words almost fail me......well almost.
Weather perfect (if a little humid in the evenings)
People wonderful. Friendly, helpful, cheerful always smiling.
It was really great to be able to use the joint facilities of the Merengue`s sister hotels adjacent, the Bachata and the Mambo.
Accomodation really spic and span (I loved the mini bar in the room). We had a room right on the beach, couldn`t have been better.
Food wonderful, reatauarants and bars always clean and tidy. Waiters always made us feel as if we were the most important people in their lives.
Entertainment, although plenty of it, lacked quality although you could not fault the enthusiasm of the Animation teams.
Trips are a little expensive although getting out and about is a must. The Jungle Trek is a must.
We flew down to Sauna Island in the south right on the Caribbean. Beaches down there are better than in the north and the sea alittle greener.
Our next visit will be to the south but don`t let that put you off Bahia Maimon and the truly excellent Riu Merengue
What a place !
We went to Riu Merengue in January and I can't stop talking about it. The place was absolutely beautiful and the staff were so enthusiastic !! They were always willing to do that extra little bit for you. We miss Franky Boy, Francesca, Big Mama, Alex and Elizabeth !!!
You really have access to 3 hotels for the price of 1. I am a very picky eater and I found lots to eat. They are always serving food and drinks. Great pina coladas.
The first day we got there, we were welcomed at the front desk with a cold drink. The rooms were spotless and the maids were very creative. We didn't do many of the day trips (a little expensive) but did do snorkeling...very worthwhile !! Be sure to visit Sosua to do some souvenir shopping.
The weather was amazing...not a drop of rain the entire week.
Overall, I would definately recommend this hotel to anyone...I will go back !!
The all-inclusive Riu Merengue resort was an excellent place to stay for tourists, but true travelers will want to leave this place as much as possible if they choose to stay here. I was satisfied with the place overall, but regret only leaving the resort once to go to Sosua. It is nice, however, to have everything paid for before you get here though, with all the time in the world for relaxing and enjoying life.
Here are some of the condos for rent at the resort, which were new and not completed when I was here. The small mountains in the background complete the beautiful tropical landscape. My dad said that the tropical terrain here reminded him of that in Vietnam.
This is part of the resort area where a small lagoon gives an excellent location for swimming and snorkeling. The beach and landscape here is gorgeous.
An overlook of the Caribbean and some beachside foliage.
One of the many pools within the resort, with its own swim-up bar and lots of tropical foliage. Drinking age in DR is 18, great for teenage Americans on spring break.
A gazebo located along a walkway within the gardens of the resort. While I was here I saw a small wedding take place here.
Part of the resort area with the beach and landscape.
Some of the tropical gardens, with the beach seen through the trees. It appears that many of the plants here have only been planted recently and are quite small.
We visited in Puerto Plata on January 2005. It was our first trip to Dominican Republic, and definitely not the last one.
We had a common beach vacation, and a beach resort it sure was, still, the locals and the other travellers made it to be a great place to stay a one week.
The nature outside of the hotel area, btw, the hotel was Riu merengue, a great place to stay if you're looking for all inclusive, except my mom got ill because of the food, but I will tell about that later. However, the nature was beautiful. It had rained a lot before we had arrived, so it was very green and beautiful. I did a few long hikes in the hills, or, in the "mountains" and saw beautiful plants blooming. I also saw a few different species of lizards and spiders. And many species of birds.
Inside and outside of the hotel and area people were really nice. Especially the locals. They were willing to help me with anything, and kept saying me Hola, which means "hello." It is prounced as "O'la",
Puerto Plata, as a city, is not very big. There aren't very many people living there, but because almost everyone owns a moped, the traffic is terrible, and accidents happen all the time. If you want to feel excitement, take a moped taxi. They drive very, very fast.
Nightlife And Other Fun In Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete
We will be staying at the Riu Merengue. But plan to visit places off the resort. Any recommendations for bars and clubs? We both speak Spanish and my wife, who is originally from Ecuador, loves dancing to merengue music. So hopefully we can find an authentically DR club with more locals than tourists. Any ideas? Also we would appreciate suggestions on tours and other places to visit in order to have the best and wildest time possible. Thanks!
Re: Nightlife And Other Fun In Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete
I visit DR twice a year and always stay at the Riu Merengue - for authentic DR entertainment/dancing/etc. Trust the entertainment staff at the hotel to guide you to where best suits your plans. The "Animation" teams in all three Riu's are top of the line, mostly Dominican Nationals who live locally and are very personable - I count some of them amongst my closest friends. For wild organised tours, I have been on all of them and found two to be outstanding - the jeep safari and the white water rafting. Also horse riding at the Lorilar Ranch is fun - racing through the sugar cane fields takes some beating when it comes to excitement. Though take my advice if this is your first trip - don't be tempted by offers of tours from people on the street in Puerta Plata, most would be ok, but some are not Dominican people and are there to just take your money for nothing - you would come to no harm I must stress, tourists are safer in DR than they are often on their own streets at home - but con people exist there just like anywhere else.
Re: Nightlife And Other Fun In Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete
Thanks for your suggestions. We are leaving on Friday. Anyone else have any ideas or input?
Re: Nightlife And Other Fun In Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete
If you like to go dancing with your wife visit the different car-washes between Puerto Plata and Cabarete. Good car-washes with live music on Saturdays are the Azucar in Montellano and the Car-wash Sosua
We are planning to go somewhere in the end of November for our honeymoon....quite last minute. We are looking for a place that can combine some romantic beauty and beaches but with interesting local culture/flavour.
First we thought Costa Rica...but it's quite pricey and from what I've been told more of an eco/adventure destinatination.
Cuba may also be an idea....but not the typical resorts. Other thoughts:
Panama & Belize.
We have both been to Jamaica & Mexico. I lived in Asia for many years and India is our favourite place....but we only have 2 weeks, so we thought it best to stay closer to home. Any other suggestions?
RE: Cultural Honeymoon?
Costa Rica doesn't have to be pricey. And there are plenty of places that have honeymoon type fun. Guanacaste and several resorts, as do places near Manuel Antonio/Quepos/Jaco. Tortuguero is wonderful, but it is Eco-oriented.
I've heard good things about Belize, but I've never been. Cuba is another wonderful destination, but again, I've only been to La Habana. Happy planning!
RE: Cultural Honeymoon?
Hi we recently returned from the domincan republic in the summer. We have been to the other caribbean islands, hawaii and sri lanka. We found dominican republic to be at least as beautiful as kauii on Hawaii and Sri Lanki and very very romantic. We cannot recommend it enough and it is very good value. We stayed at the riu merengue in puerto plata and found it fabulous. (check www.riu.com). Do go at some point it is too good to miss. Best wishes
Weather in Puerto Plata, DR
I will be going to a resort in Puerto Plata (Rui Merengue), next week May 18- 23, I checked the weather forcast and theres suppose to be thunderstorms everyday during my stay. Unfortunately the resort will not return my money so I have no choice but to go. I am affraid that I will be prisoned to my room because of the bad weather.
How bad are the thunderstorms in DR?
If theres any locals on the board, how bad has the weather been these past couple of days?
Re: Weather in Puerto Plata, DR
Thunderstorms, and storms in general, aren't that bad for you staying at an AI (seeing from the power outage perspective). Normally, if it rains it rains a lot and for a while (say half an hour, 1 hour) and then the sun shines. Even tho it rains, it's still warm. I just saw the weather forecast at a local paper and it says that the temperature today is between 22 and 29 degrees C. They say that the storms and the winds are supposed to "be" there for 36 hours.
I personally don't think you'll be trapped at the hotel due to bad weather.
Re: Weather in Puerto Plata, DR
Thank you so much, I hope you are right. I really hope the weather doesnt ruin my vacation, since I wont be able to go on another one for a long time.