ClubHotel Riu Merengue

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

44 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

I left the riu mambo on the 13th of marc...

5
Brilliant
by

"I left the riu mambo on the 13th of march 2008. This was my second time in 3 months visiting.
I went for 2 weeks both times and loved every moment of it.

The animation staff were amazing! loved every single one of them.
(froggie, chicken legs, salami, pineapple head, bossy boots, La chary aka dj joan, lemar, hula hula, janet jackson and everyone else).

They make you feel so welcome and are always offering activities for all the guests to do if they wish too.
These activities vary, plenty to suit everyone.
Theres step up aerobics, water aerobics, soccer, valley ball, water polo, dancing lessons, spanish lessons, ping pong tournaments, random competitions and much much more.

The bar staff are great especially lisandro, tito, sr. diaz who was a favourite of ours and pedro the manager who couldn't do enough for you.

Ive been back two days and i'd go back in an hour. Its never boring. I mean don't get me wrong its not perfect and we found the reception staff quite ignorant but everything apart from that and the food which was nice but was repeated a lot was great.

We did the cable cars last time and shopping in puerto plata with a guide which was booked through reception and found it really good. It cost us like $40 for the taxi and whatever tip we wanted to give the guide which was brilliant for how much we did. We visited the rum factory (brugal) which was interesting and then went on to visit cigar factories which were also good.

This time we took part in trail blazing and intended to go to ocean world but ended up enjoying half a day of horse back riding cowboy style (trail blazing) that we ended up going twice in the 2 weeks! Thank you to Alex and all the staff there.

I can not praise the staff at riu mambo enough, they are definitely what makes the place. I will definitely be returning either later on in the year or next year.

Oh and by the way there was 8 of us that went. All different ages & all loved it.
children, teenagers, middle aged & elderly.. it really is ideal for families to have a great time at a great resort!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 15th of March 2008

just returned from 2 weeks of total rela...

5
Brilliant
by

"just returned from 2 weeks of total relaxation at the riu mambo, hotel was good, food good ,rooms basic but ok ( you only need your room to sleep in !)animation team was great ,not pushy loo k out for BOSSY BOOTS,JANET JACKSON,LAMAR,PINEAPPLE HEAD,CHICKEN LEGS ,CHERRI AND FROGGI, these guys are great, the best out of all 3 hotels by the end of your hol they feel like your family.our group consisted of 4 adults aged between 45--62 we made some great friends had great fun and came home happy and suntanned .Our holiday was what we made made it with a little help from everyone concerned with the Riu Mambo Hotel ,we will return again."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 10th of March 2008

My partner and I enjoyed a 2 week all in...

4
Good
by

"My partner and I enjoyed a 2 week all inclusive stay at the Riu Mambo Hotel Puerto Plata in November 2006. The Riu Mambo is part of 3 interconnecting hotels, Riu Bachata and Riu Merengue are the other 2 hotels.

Thomson, our Tour operator picked us up from the airport with a coach bus and took us to the hotel. The check-in process was quick, which was a blessing as after an 8 hour plane journey we couldn't wait to get back to our room to freshen up!

Our room was clean and had adequate cupboards for clothing. The bathroom was a good size and we also had a small terrace area.

The 3 hotels are all interconnecting and you can make full use of the all of the facilities in all 3 of the hotels, including the pools and beach areas.

The pools were clean and always busy. We usually went to the beach, which was beautiful, and not overcrowded.

The food was lovely, the breakfast lunch and dinner all offered a large selection of tasty foods. In the main buffet restaurant every night was themed. We enjoyed Mexican night the most, but they were all great.

The animation staff were really fantastic, and while we were too shy to participate we really enjoyed watching the various events and shows. They were extremely hard working, from morning exercise on the beach to poolside games at lunch to the evening stage, they were always cheerful and full of energy.

All in all we had a great time. The resort is not overly large so it maintains a cosy feel, the beach, restaurants, and reception are all only a short walk away from the accommodation areas.

The overall quality of the service was excellent, everyone was very friendly and helpful."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 6th of January 2008

Absolutely stunning resort, three hotels...

5
Brilliant
by

"Absolutely stunning resort, three hotels in one effectively, Mambo, Meringue, and Bachata.

When we arrived there was some fuss over an outbreak of a stomach bug in the Bachata but we weren't at all affected by this.

Room was spacious with 2 - 3/4 beds and plenty of storage space. Kept clean and tidy by the janitorial staff who were a whizz with towel origami.

food was of a high quality throughout our 2 week stay. Only slight disappointment was the evening entertainment.

All together there were 5 swimming pools, 5 bars (including a pool bar) and a late night snack bar which comes in very handy if you eat early in the evening.

Would highly recommend for couples and families."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 21st of August 2007

Excellent hotel and resort. You can eat...

5
Brilliant
by

"Excellent hotel and resort. You can eat and use the facilities of the other two hotels (Merringe and Bacchata) whenever you like.

Fab food and fab environment. Definitely want to go back as soon as possible. It was rated as a 4star by Thomson but we'd say definitely 4 possibly 5star. Couldn't fault the place."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 20th of August 2007

The Riu Mambo is one of three hotels wit...

5
Brilliant
by

"The Riu Mambo is one of three hotels within the complex. Compared to the other two hotels it is possibly a little quieter however still lively with entertainment.

My boyfriend and I arrived on 18th Sept and departed on 2nd Oct. The weather was fantastic - it was really hot 90F+ everyday, until the last day or two but even still, the rain was an experience as it was a typical tropical down pour and didn't last all day.

The room was absolutely immaculate with a good air con system. The cleaner would come in every day and leave towels in the shapes of hearts or swans which was a nice surprise every day. The complex in general was extremely tidy and clean. I wouldn't say there were many insects about or flies, there are more in England than the Riu complex.

The evening entertainment was ok but it depends what you want, we wanted to make the most of our days so enjoyed a drink of a night then in bed by 11.00 to get up early. If you are a bit of a party animal you may not enjoy the evenings as much. The animation team arranged shows every evening which were entertaining but had a resemblance to butlins. A nightclub was available but played abit of dodgy music so we never stayed long! They did have a bonfire on the beach and a Caribbean party in Caribbean Street which was good.

In the daytime, the animation team regularly put on the club song and do their dance routine which is very catchy! They would also have activities during the day such as aqua aerobics, step aerobics, darts, Spanish lessons, Spanish dancing, and lots more. Some of this is nice to do when you’re not feeling tired.

All the staff work extremely hard and will do anything for you. There are staff standing at the entrance to the toilets and to the restaurant dispensing hand gel.

The food was good. Lots of salad and fruit as well as chips, pizzas and burgers. The restaurant of a night has all kinds to offer including a different meat carvery every night. The breakfast also has a wide range of foods - full English, cereal, salads and cheeses, omelettes, pancakes, doughnuts. The steakhouse and Italian had a limited menu although I enjoyed what I had. Lots of people weren't every keen.

There are many day trips available for you to go out and see more of the Dominican. We went to Ocean World. I loved it but some other people weren't very keen. Whilst we were there we did the dolphin and sea lion encounter, went snorkelling and seen the shows available. I liked it because you can interact with animals there rather than just look at them. Don't let any reps take you to promote their timeshares it’s a waste of time and they attract you by promising you freebies! We also went on the monster truck safari were we basically drove through a nearby village and seen how people live. If you go here take some things for the kids, anything cheap like sweets or pencil and papers, their little faces light up and its good as your driving past to throw a few sweets to them.

A few things to look out for:

Ladies - don't bother taking your straighteners! I was in tears when I realised the electricity is only 110v. Get some battery operated ones. The hairdryer will only buzz really and it will take you longer to dry your hair so plan ahead. I got my hair braided in the end.

Tips - We left tipping people till the end of the holiday. Just leave whatever you think is acceptable to you. You don't need to go overboard though but if you’re rich go for it because everyone does work hard. We tipped the cleaner (and I left some clothes) and a bar staff member who had served us throughout the holiday. We also tipped the guide on the monster trucks.

Watch out for people in the airport they will grab your stuff and carry it for you for tips so if you don't want that don't let them take it.

Be careful going out into Puerto Plata by yourself. We didn't do it because we were advised against it but we met one guy who went out and was hassled all the way by people begging or wanting him to buy things.

Overall the holiday was fantastic and we will definitely go back. If you are the type of person who doesn't like to be confined and likes to drink in different bars and restaurants think again about going to an all inclusive. But if you want a relaxing holiday in a hygienic environment in the sun definitely go. The pictures on other websites of the complex are so life-like!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 11th of October 2007

This is advertised as a 5* resort. I wou...

3
Average
by

"This is advertised as a 5* resort. I would beg to differ. Due to a tsunami and a hurricane, my husband and I were stuck without a honeymoon days before we got married and as a third booking, made at the last minute, we ended up here.

After a 23 hour flight delay and a mix up re our room, we finally arrived in our suite. The honeymoon gifts were not waiting to greet us and the room was ok. There was no wow factor at all and not even a double/king size bed. The decorating in the bathroom was very tired and the tiles were tatty.

This was a supposed 5* resort who did not offer room service either.

The restaurant was a buffet and when not a gala night, was like a glorified school canteen.

There was plenty of choice of food but who knows how long it had been lying around; obviously too long as my husband a severe case of gastroenteritis during the second week.

There were children crawling out of the woodwork and especially at the weekends, it appeared that local families came to the poolside. The entertainment was targeted at the children until approx 9pm and then there was 45 mins or so for adults. As the resort of 3 hotels is 9km from the nearest town, you were very limited and couldn't really go anywhere.

The saving grace in this hotel was the staff. All members of staff were helpful and supportive, especially when my husband was so ill and I was naturally so worried.

We paid over £3000 for this holiday and it was not in any way worth it. I have stayed in much better 4* star hotels for much less money. I would not recommend this hotel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 20th of August 2007

Stayed at Riu Mambo 29th May until 11th...

4
Good
by

"Stayed at Riu Mambo 29th May until 11th June. 6 of us aged 18 to 44. Flew Thomas Cook from Gatwick, very cramped only 30inch legroom, and very narrow seats. Also because of a technical fault with a different plane, our plane was used for the Cuba flight and our flight was delayed by 23 hours. I do not recommend Thomas Cook standard cabin for any long haul flight and we certainly won’t use them again. The resort is isolated but as our holiday was for rest & relaxation this is what we wanted. This is our opinion of the hotel. Beautiful grounds, very clean and well maintained. All staff very friendly, we tipped a little but not excessively, mainly the maid and mini bar guy, but also the pool guys and bar tenders. (Total about $50- ). Rooms nice, with towel art most days. We did find the twin beds awkward, being used to a king-size. We had to request Vodka for our optics as the standard seemed to be 2 dark rum, 1 white rum, & 1 gin, but this was delivered the same day. The electric sockets in the Mambo accept North American and European 2 pin plugs / adapters. If you like football channel 70 on the TV is ESPN2 sports channel. Showed the England / Brazil game while we were there and advertised the Euro 2008 qualifiers. If you have specific requests for rooms / services email the hotel direct about 2 weeks before you go and they try to oblige. Blocks 1, 2 and 3 are the nearest to the pool / entertainment. If you want top floor rooms don’t ask for first floor, this is what we call ground floor. We had 3 rooms in block 2. The entertainment team are fantastic. Africa show was the best. Other entertainment did get repetitive. Mainly dancing. Pacha disco ok but was short of bar staff. The hotel was only part full but favourite sunbeds were reserved early. The Germans in the room next to use had their towels out by 6.30 am. The Mambo pools were the best. The Merengue and Bachata pools were always about 6 inches below level. Beach by the Mambo definitely the best. Watersports are now situated between the Mambo and the Merengue. This looks like a permanent move. Food on the whole was good, especially breakfast. Lovely omelettes cooked to order. Main restaurant was closed at lunch time except for weekends, but you can use the Merengue restaurant or the Snack Bar. Evening meals always had something we liked although it did get repetitive. Tried the Steak house ala carte in the Bachata, ours was closed. Rubbish. Drinks are ok but we couldn’t get drunk. Too much ice served with everything. If you drink cocktails make sure you ask for alcohol. Smirnoff vodka available from Merengue and Bachata bars if you ask for it, but not Mambo. Mobile phones don’t work on resort BUT if you leave the resort and walk back to the main road, about 5 minutes, you can get a signal opposite the big Riu sign. Be prepared for lots of taxis stopping trying to take you further up the road. Excursions done. Dominican Discovery / Mega Trucks (Thomas Cook). Fantastic, worth the $85-. Ocean World swims with dolphins, (Thomson). Fantastic once in a lifetime experience. Did become a long day. Deep Sea fishing, (Scuba Caribe, Watersports Company). Only 2 hours fishing time each. 4 boats out the day I went, no fish caught! Not worth the money. ATV’s, (Scuba Caribe). Daughter did this with her friend and loved it. $65- for 2 people for 4 hours on 1 ATV. City tour and cable car, (local taxi). For $70- 4 of us had a tour of the city, did some shopping, and went up in the cable car. The views from the top are fantastic. The shopping was just cigars, jewellery and a few souvenirs. A lot cheaper than resort shops. E.g. necklace on resort $70-, bartered to $30-, in Puerto Plata $10-. Make your own conclusions. The weather was lovely, up to 36 degrees, but there was also some heavy rain on 4 days. We took loads of insect repellent but only used a little bit. I got bitten once by mosquito. Saw 3 cockroaches, 2 small spiders, loads of lizards, loads of land crabs, loads of tropical birds and one hummingbird on resort. We got our duty frees in Puerto Plata airport while waiting for our flight home. Golden Virginia 20x50g $75-, fags $36- for 400, Smirnoff $22- for 1.75lt. (Cheaper than the plane). Overall we had a good holiday. Did things that we have never done before and came back with a nice tan. The Riu Mambo is a lovely hotel and we will return some time but as we have done the excursions it won’t be for a few years. There is nothing to do off resort and this makes a lot of other destinations more appealing. If you are going here you will have a good time. The hotel is much better than any I have stayed at in Europe. It may not be 5 star but if you want absolute luxury you shouldn’t expect to pay £50- per night all inclusive including flights. Sorry about the length of this review and I hope you find it useful."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 22nd of June 2007

Fantastic! The Mambo is the smallest of...

5
Brilliant
by

"Fantastic!

The Mambo is the smallest of 3 hotels all connected to each other. The others being the Riu Merenge and the Riu Bachata.

The Mambo is definitely the nicest of the 3. Smaller and a little less crowded.

The staff are great, can never do enough for you.

The food is fantastic. So much choice for every meal. You can eat in any of the A La Carte restaurants but you must book with your head waiter the morning that you wish to eat.

They are very popular so be prepared to queue up early to secure a table. It’s worth the waiting.

The bedrooms are clean and bright and the chamber maids cannot do enough for you.

The entertainment team are great too. They do not hassle you to take part in any games etc, which I found especially pleasing. We are after all on holiday.

Take a day trip on the Monster Safari to see the real Dominican. Save up your shower gel and shampoos etc from the hotel room to take with you.

Also take some colouring pencils for the kids. Their faces are a picture when you give them the gifts.

The Freestyle Catamaran is also a great day out. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 8th of March 2007

Never been on a Caribbean holiday before...

4
Good
by

"Never been on a Caribbean holiday before, I didn't know what to expect apart from people had told us it’s like paradise, and yes it was. An 8 hour flight from Gatwick, which if I was to do again I would book extra leg room as we found it very tight and uncomfortable. When we arrived at the hotel they had laid on food as we had a delay of 3 hours which we thought was very thoughtful.

We had trouble finding our room as not clearly sign posted when we got to the room it was spacious and very clean, good view, coconuts directly off the balcony!!! In the morning we went into breakfast and couldn't believe the choices available, excellent. Generally the food overall was very good and we could eat in any of the three hotels in our resort up to evening time when we had to eat in our hotel. We had the choice of a steak house or med restaurant not much different from the normal restaurant really. Staff very friendly and all say olla every time you see them.

Plenty of activity around the pool or you can relax on the beach just a 30 sec stroll form the pool. Overall we found the holiday excellent and would go back as very clean, friendly staff and excellent food. The only thing I can moan about is the entertainment is a bit floppy, and its repeated in all the hotels. Would recommend this hotel to all."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 3rd of November 2006

My partner and I went to the Riu Mambo s...

5
Brilliant
by

"My partner and I went to the Riu Mambo straight after New Year this year and are getting all anxious again as it is 10 weeks till we go again! There is only one thing bad I could say about the holiday and that is the leg room on the plane. This was really awful considering the amount of time you spend on the plan.

Apart from this the holiday was the best we have ever had and I can’t really see us going anywhere else for a long time. The beach, food, staff and accommodation was 10/10 what else can you want? The pools were great and the setting for the accommodation was lovely. The rooms are set in trees and plantation and nothing is too far away.

The beaches were spotless with lots of shade if require it and on the occasions that you may have rain or wind as soon as daylight breaks everyone is busy sweeping up and clearing the beach, no one ever stops there. I just can't believe that anybody could be seriously negative about this hotel as I have read in other reviews it is nothing like what they said and I’m glad I took the chance to go after reading other disappointing reviews as we would never have had such a fantastic experience. So ignore all the rumours of tummy bugs etc they are normally picked up on the plane or people are not used to the food, climate etc.

There is simply no way you could catch anything due to poor hygiene, the kitchens are spotless, the maids sanitize anyone’s hands coming to and from the dining room, they are mopping the floors behind you as you walk and even cleaning the toilets after every use! So I’m sorry all of you that have been poorly it’s not a result of that hotel! This is a truly fantastic hotel and well worth the money!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 26th of October 2006

Very good Hotel, Food excellent in all t...

4
Good
by

"Very good Hotel, Food excellent in all three hotels, as your are on a complex. Beach fantastic.

The whole holiday you couldn't fault apart from the entertainment was a bit boring, just dance shows or miming to music. A few audience participation shows were very funny. We went on a couple of excursions, Monster Truck, river rafting and to the south of the island all of which I would recommend.

All in all a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, would definitely go again and I would recommend this place to all. Good value for money."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 28th of July 2006
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