ClubHotel Riu Merengue

Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata 57000 Dominican Republic
5 star hotel
 

44 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Holiday in Riu Mambo Feb 2011

5
Brilliant
by

"Just arrived back from the Mambo, as it says it truly is Paradise Island, we went for my wifes 60th, everything was so clean, sheets and pillow cases changed every other day, pool was sparkling and warm, little coloured birds would come and try to steal your fruit drink and swallows would flit through the sunshapes after any careless insects so no flies!! the entertainment staff worked their socks off and were so friendly, food was excellent and my wife had a birthday cake surprise by the waiters in the steak bar and everyone sang happy birthday quite magical, the safari trip was excellent real outback experiance, and we had no problem with locals, There were a few little problems, the air conditioner broke down but they fixed it quickly (next day) and there were a few power cuts, the worst part was they painted our veranda while we were there so couldn't use it for three days and it smelt of paint, but not to bad, also the Thomson reps were pretty useless they gave out the speel but not really interested in any problems, that apart it was a fantastic holiday, would go again.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 10th of February 2011

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 5 Food

Fab Hotel

5
Brilliant
by

"Hiya,

We went to the Riu Mambo in May 2010 and had a fab time. There was myself and my other half and our daughter who was 21 months at the time.

When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by some amazing staff, the took our bag for us, we were offered non alcoholic cocktails and given a brief disucssion, which way rooms where, restaurants etc.

The room was just lovely. Two large double maybe king size beds, tv, table and chairs and they had even put a travel cot in our room for our little one, altho we didnt even request it, which was a lovely touch. Also gorgeous table and chairs that matched the rest of the furniture. We had a balconcy which also had some furniture on it. We had a fridge in the room, and i mean a FRIDGE. It was a full size under counter fridge!! It was filled with bottled water, diet pepsi, normal pepsi and some bottle of beers. We then had four full size optics, consisting of rum, vodka etc (im not a drinker so didnt really look to see what the other ones were lol).

There were two pools which were both really good sizes and cleaned every day and night. Also a sperate kids pool. There were alot of sun loungers, with padding, around the pool areas and plenty of shade.

The beach was amazing. It was a private beach and i now wld not go any where without a private beach. No hassle from sellers or beggars etc which was a welcome change. The water was lovely, nice blue and cool too. The sand was so pure, no stones etc and again loads of sun loungers there too. You could leave ur towel on your sun lounger all day, either at the pool or beach, and no one moved them or even touched them.

The food was great! It was buffet style for breakfast and lunch. You could pre book to go to one of the a la carte restaurants, but we didnt go to them as were so happy with the buffet for dinner too :) The staff in the restaurants were lovely. Getting us a high chair and drinks too, altho drinks were out to help yourself too, they still got them for you, which i thought was a nice touch. The meals really catered for everyone. There were british style dishes as well as local dishes. They also did themed nights, italian, Mexican etc and they were brilliant. They did the restaurant up with decorations etc.

The animation team were really good. There were alot of activites to do during the dya with them, e.g water polo, volley ball, spanish lessons, step aerobics, horse shoes. In the evening there was a mini disco, for the kids, and then some live music to dance to. Then the entertainment came on. It was diffenret every night, but consisted of a few tribute acts (michael jackson was a big hit) game show style events, some dancing from the staff etc. It was really good, very funny and enjoyable.

The bars were also kept very well staffed and waiting time was minimal. Loads of secletion, just like a bar here to be honest, altho they had all thesre fancy cocktails :D

The staff were all amazing! Everyone was very welcoming and helpful and they actually seemed to really enjoy making ur holiday as special as they could for you. Nothing was too much trouble and the all seemed really happy!

Over all a greta holiday, we are going to holiday next year within the RIU group as they just seem to be brillant!

Great for kids and families, as well as adults as there is plenty of space so u dont need to be beside kids etc if u dont want to.

Wld go again."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 17th of November 2010

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 5 Food

paradise

5
Brilliant
by

"I have just returned from 2 weeks at the riu mambo with my family,3 adults and 3 teenagers,aged 15,15 and 16, we all had the most amazing time ever,the hotel is fantastic,the rooms are spotless with everything you need,the staff from the cleaning ladies to the management were really lovely and couldnt do enough for everyone,the food was lovely and varied,there was no shortage of food or drinks for any taste,even the fussiest of people,i read a few bad reviews about this hotel but i disagree with them,we couldnt find fault even if we tried,we are already booking to go back,if you book this hotel you wouldnt be disappointed,it caters for the young and the old,paradise on earth."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 18th of August 2010

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 5 Food

Great time if you like prostitutes on a family resort!!!!

1
Awful
by

"I retured from the Riu Mambo two days ago, and although my enire party had a very enjoyable time, I felt I had to share this as women on their own and young families may not find it a suitable destination.
At weekends the hotel is open to all local people, and although the majority were nice, many people in my group had items, such as inflatables, stolen and then sold back to them by local people. Pimps and Prostitutes were in the hotel every night in the club, and the 24 hour bar situated in the ajoining Riu Bachata, not ideal in a family resort.
If $5 was paid to any security guard, one could go to the beach and shoot his shot gun - meaning for $5 anyone had access to a gun. Women travleing without men felt very uncomfortable walking in the resort at night, and had to ask other male guests to walk them home as local men would often follow them.
On a less serious note,our keys didn't working so we had to wait 2 hours for a repair man to fix it before we even got in our room (not perfect after a 9 hour flight).
Our mini bar wasn't filled for 10 days, we had to request more water twice, however our phone was broken meaning we had to walk all the way to reception from our room (which happened to be the furthest room away from the reception) in the pooring down rain."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 28th of December 2009

Rating breakdown

  • 4 Beach
  • 3 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 4 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 4 Food

A very chilled out holiday suitable for anyone

4
Good
by

"I have been back from Riu Mambo for 3 days, I went with my Husband, Sister and Brother in law and we all enjoyed our stay, this hotel would suit anyone whether you have children or are looking for a singles holiday.

The rooms were extremely spacious and immaculate, there was a wide range of food and drink.

We did find it difficult to get drunk in the first week, the cocktails and spirits are very weak but we went on red wine and tequila slammers and they did the trick.

I got stung one of the last days by a sea urchine, this was at the sea by Bachata Hotel, the sea there is very stoney and a perfect place for sea urchine to hide, I would recommend that swimming is done by the Mambo beach as the sea bed there is just sand.
When I got stung the staff were helpful and the Doctor didnt even take my insurance details.

An enjoyable time had by all, I would highly recommend."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 29th of June 2009

great holday ..but

3
Average
by

"same time last year we went to the mambo and all had a great time we decided to go again this year what a difference a year makes ,the staff are all still lovely and friendly in every department rooms the same except we had to ask to have the mini bar restocked a few times ,the animatoin team are good but nowhere near as friendly as last year .BUT standards have dropped !!!!especially the entertaiment at night some nights it was like a kids party ,when the show finishes at 10.15 .people are not made to feel welcome to stay and have drinks,a singer sings in spanish for 1/2 hour nobody dances as there is nowhere to dance the bars were closing at 11.30 im sorry to say most people were very bored please could the manager tell us why the next hotel had the same entertainment followed by excellent singers that got everybody up dancing and in the holiday spirit??this was what it was like at the mambo last year !! also beware the germans have arrived in numbers this year and reserve sun beds at least 6 sunbeds for 3 people (3in shade and 3 in sun )and wont give them up even when reported to hotel and rep managers also start to reserve beds from 5.30am this is not fair to other holidaymakers.we found the hotel manager very un helpful especially when a child messed themselves in the baby pool was took to the poolside shower to be washed down the manager would not close the pool to be cleaned and refilled but just made the pool boy dissinfect the shower area !! most holidaymakers were disgusted,; many with children refused to let them back into the pool.apart from this we still had a good holiday even though we heavy rain for 5days solid .on leaving we were told the mambo manager was new to the hotel this year i hope he reads this and bring the hotel back up to the greatname and standards its had for the last few years."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 11th of March 2009

Great time

5
Brilliant
by

"We went to the Mambo for two weeks from 22nd Nov until 6th December. This is the second time we have been to this hotel and we enjoyed it just as much this time as the first time.
For me, the best thing about the Mambo is the staff. Everyone from reception,cleaners, gardeners, bar staff, restaurant staff are all so friendly and willing to please. So what if the rooms need a bit of an uplift and the shower water is always as hot as you would like! We had requested the same room as we had in 2006 and were lucky to get it-two strides and you are on the beach. We spent most of our days on the beach, the breeze is lovely and if you get too hot just pop under a palm tree :)
The food was great and the cleanliness was too. I would not hesitate to go back - in fact I would love to go for New Year 2009. The hotel had been beautifully decorated for Christmas"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 2nd of January 2009

Well where to start, firstly my wife and...

5
Brilliant
by

"Well where to start, firstly my wife and I had a great time better than we expected going on alot of the unjustified reviews we had read prior to depature.
1: The flight was okj leg room was fine but if your over 6ft your better of booking emergency exit seats or upgrade to premium. The meals were nothing special but they did break up the flight, in flight drinks were not free other than one supplied with your meal. The movies on the flight were outdated and not very good choice on our return flight the misus TV kept flicking on and of which was annoying when you wanna sleep. The cabin staff were ok too I had read that they were very unfriendly but they seemed ok to me and I have travelled on alot of different airlines. The only observation was on the outward journey one male hostess complained to a child about pressing the call button, which is in a stupid place (top of the arm rest).

2: The journey to the hotel was good and the reception at the hotel and initial brief were very good. The hotel and the staff are the best from all three hotels next year we will return there. The other two hotels seem to get over run with local over the weekends our hotel had them too but not as bad as the other two hotels. The staff were excellent they cant do enough for you the food was good but after two weeks does become samo samo. We suggest you take your own tea bags because the local one are nothing like ours here in UK. The brief we got the morning after arriving from Bev and Abi wes very detailed and well brought across, but I did feel it was a boring brief and lacked a little something but maybe thats me being picky.
There are plenty of excersions to go on we did the cable car trip which was a full day out starting at 07.30 returning 18.00. Also we did the mega truck trip which was ok but if you have a bad back may not be advised the horse riding was fun although the horses have a mind of their own and look alittle bored and under feed. We paid $20 each to go on a disco trip with the animation team to Coco bongo this included travel, entrance and a free drink (which was like juice). The whole thing was a waist of time the music isn't like our clubs and we ended up waiting 2 hours over the pickup time because one German guest wanted to get friendly with a local. We left her there in the end as she is a grown woman so if your offered the disco trip tuesdays and fridays We suggest you decline, but thats up to you be warned.
3: There were plenty of sun loungers both around the pool and at the beach, due to german guest sometimes the prime spots did get reserved even though it states no reserving using towels. But in all even at 08.00 we got a good location on the pool. A good sun block is advised as the sun there is very strong we saw many milk white people going staright in the sun coconut oil in had and within an hour burnt to crisp lobsta style lol. The second beach is behind the barchetta hotel and to be honest was lovely and very quiet hardly anyone uses it as there are no facilities and everyone wants the get there monies worth with the all inclusive. We went there for a morning the water is lovely no waves on it at all and there is plenty of shade to be had if you get hungry the barchetta isn't that far away to get food and drink.
4: There is so much to write about this place but alot of it has already been covered by others just i feel alot of the negetive stuff is incorrect maybe because some people are expecting far too much. For example I couldn't find any rocky beach only the reef in the water far right to the hotel and the water was although not clear like in the south i was able to see the bottom. the sands are not white that I do agree on but they are clean and if you want white sands dont complain goto the south instead.
And last of all it still amazes me how people rush at the airport to get their suitcases i was surprized to see both our cases come of first on the way out, the down side to that was we had to wait for the other guests for our coach. Going back its like a sheep pen cattle being hearded through check-in and for every Kg over you will pay £8 so be warned.
All in all we had a great holiday and we hope you have as good if not better one than us, we will return next year."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 23rd of August 2008

We have just returned from the Mambo and...

5
Brilliant
by

"We have just returned from the Mambo and had a great holiday.

Although most of the comments we would make have been covered by other reviewers, I would summarise as follows.....

Pro's:

The Dominican people are friendly, happy and helpful, from the passport inspector through to the hotel staff, everyone was wonderful.

The Mambo is very clean and has a great position, right on the beach. (This is definately the best of the 3 hotels in the complex).

The entertainment staff work incredibly hard and whilst some of the shows are a little cheesey, you cannot fault the hard work and enthusiasm.

Our 6 year old was unsure of the Kid's club, but Steffen was wonderful and we hardly saw her!!

We did 3 trips - Freestyle Catamaran - This was a very relaxing and fun trip. The crew kept us entertained all day and we made a couple of great snorkeling stops.

Paradise Island - We found this a long day, but the island is lovely and Renzo, our tour guide was fab!

Ocean World - We did the dolphin encounter, which was great, but if we revisited, would definately do the sea lion encounter. There is plenty of things to do, and the food and drink are reasonable considering they had a captive audience.

Talk of reserving a sun bed at 5am is rubbish!! If you want to sit in a particular place then you may need to reserve a bed early, but otherwise there is plenty of choice.

Con's:

We are both Bacardi drinkers and were slightly concerned when we realised that all drink is locally produced. However, we drank "bacardi and diet" all fortnight and whilst it wasn't particularly strong, was perfectly acceptable!! (Special mention to Tito and Judith on the bar staff).

The air con in the room was just about ok - however, it was very, very hot whilst we were there so it did at least feel abit cooler than outside!

Whilst we thought the beach was great, if you go to the Mambo expecting a "Bounty advert", you will be disappointed.

Overall:

The atmosphere is great, the people are wonderful and everything is there for you.

You can participate in as much as you want, or just sit back and enjoy the sunshine.

If you have children, there is plenty to keep them occupied and happy.

For late teens, it may not be lively enough, but for a couple with a 6 year old, it was fab!!

"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 14th of August 2008

I pretty much agree with all the comment...

2
Poor
by

"I pretty much agree with all the comments written by various others but I really did not like the place at all.
I returned back yesterday and only went for a 1 week and am so glad it was only for 1 week.
I went with my partner and we are both mid 20's and to be honest it just wasn't FUN.
The Mega Trucks and Katamarang were great but I was getting a bit miffed about having to donate loads of money to the poor when most of the locals had better cars than us!! Obviously there are poor areas everywhere... does that mean that the london tourbus should start driving past all the homeless in London and get the tourists too donate vast quatities of money and sweets???
Also, I found the Staff within the complex down right rude!! When I asked a question I did not expect them to give the answer to my partner.. do they still operate in the 1950's!!!
And the lack of English spoken by the Staff when asking a question was disgraceful. I know its rude to expect other countries to speak English but hang on a minute this was an English resort with a lot of Germans whom communicate in English.
Now this leads me onto my final point!!! ... The locals..I don't know if this was because the school periods had also finished on the island but the hotel was completely invaded by the local Dominicans... and boy are they RUDE!!!! This was the view shared by others within the resort and in no way am I being Racist (I am an English Black Woman) it literally was a case of them and us. The stares being thrown and blantant talking about you in Spanish was bang out of order!!!!!!!!
I'm not completely knocking the place the Hotel was very clean.. thats all I can say positively.. sorry.
Oh and those Air Stewardess are getting more and more polite!!!.. NOT!!
If I was too ever visit the Island again... I would consisder the South side."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 15th of July 2008

Just returned from a fantastic time at R...

5
Brilliant
by

"Just returned from a fantastic time at Riu Mambo, after reading other reviews thought I would add mine.

Good points: Very friendly hotel, from guests to staff, smaller of the three but that didnt matter. Beach sandy and not at all rocky although some people did have water socks on. Sheltered from wind, shade could be found under trees. Not bothered by hawkers. Beach bar(Merengue/Bachata havent got one) which was a bonus due to the heat. The whole site was clean and the gardens were well tended. All the bar staff went out of their way to make you feel welcome and remembered who you were.
No problem at all with our room, it was kept really clean and tidy, there was no hairdryer but these could be hired (refundable deposit). Ladies be warned GHDs do not work but reps have stylers from America that can be purchased not as good but were a life saver for me. Thoroughly relaxed time you could join in with activiies if you wanted but not pressured at all. We spent a lazy 2 weeks lying in the sun. Beach party on the last night was fantastic really good time.
Animation team were really great and evening entertainment as good as I have seen elsewhere.
You can use all the facilities of the other two hotels but have to have your evening meal in the hotel you are staying in.
More choice of drinks in the Bachata and these also were stronger!
Only disappointment were the 'speciality restaurants' as these were not up to the same standard as other Riu hotels we have stayed in.
All in all one of the best holidays we have had and will certainly return in the future.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 25th of June 2008

The Hotel is very nice and close to the...

4
Good
by

"The Hotel is very nice and close to the beach.More chance of a sunbed on the beach than by the pool unless you want to get up at 5am. The Hotel and grounds were immaculate but our room could have done with a freshen up. The bathroom had no ventilation so everytime you showered the steam had nowhere to go. The room became quite damp and the bedding and pillows always smelled mouldy. The staff are very friendly but I got the impression if you tip regularly you get alot more for your money. The Mambo is the smaller of the three hotels in the complex, so if it is a bit of piece and quiet you need then this is the one. The complex is out in the middle of nowhere so if you want to explore you will need to go on an organised trip or take a taxi. The animation team are superb. They tend to leave you alone if you are on the beach but it can get very noisey by the pool in the day with the activities. Not alot there for teenagers and the watersport activities are not great. There is not much equipment and due to the wind on the North of the island, they are regularly out of use. In the two weeks we we there they were only used for three days as the sea was too rough. Not too rough to swim in though or to feed the fish with bread rolls. There are some good trips. Mega trucks is superb and the trip to Ocean World to swim with Dolphins was great. Beware of the men in white polo shirts there as they are time share reps. Freestyle catarmaran was great fun, but avoid the trip into Puerto Plata as this was a waste of a day and money. The trip ends in Sosua at the flea market which was very unpleasant.Would not recommend anyone to fly with Thomas Cook. Their aircraft was so cramped and their cabin staff are damm right rude as was the resort rep. The meals are very poor considering you have to pay extra for these and unless you want to face the wrath of the stewardesses, don't ask for extra milk.
Overall a very relaxing holiday. We would return to the Dominican Republic but not necessarily to the North of the island.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 20th of April 2008
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