Riu Naiboa Reviews


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Riu Naiboa  

Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana. Dominican Republic.

Awful Hotel Experience
Posted by: Whitney  on Mar 4, 2016
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Riu Naiboa Reviews
Riu Naiboa Pictures and Information
Riu Naiboa Punta Cana-Bavaro Dominican Republic

#40 of 80 Hotels in Punta Cana-Bavaro

user rating 3.5

based on 8 review(s)

Riu Naiboa Information

Located on the eastern tip of Dominican Republic, in Punta Cana, the comfortable Hotel Riu Naiboa (All inclusive 24 hours) is ideally situated within a lush tropical landscape and calm waters. An invitation to enjoy an unforgettable vacation.

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Riu Naiboa Reviews

Riu Naiboa Review: 3.5 of 5 8 review(s)
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Awful Hotel Experience
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Whitney  on Mar 4, 2016  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2016 | Leisure | With friend
982 people found this review helpful

Upon arrival to the Riu Naiboa my friend and I noticed something strange about the check in process. They still have a physical room key. I immediately thought about the nostalgia and charm that the room may have because of this small detail. We walked to our room which we were placed in the last room on the second floor. So after landing on the second floor we had to walk (each time we wanted to visit the lobby and take the elevator) down a long hallway which took relatively 2-3 minutes at a normal walking pace. The entire time we tried to guess at how many rooms were occupied between us and the elevator. We never saw any guest use any floor above the second floor. Our ONLY toilet stopped flushing the second night in the room and we had to wait until the next night to use it. This was only after calling 2-3 times from the room and then having to physically address it again at the front desk. This was all outside of the food. Which was disgusting. How do you build resorts in places with such rich culture, heritage and food and not capitalize on the FOOD. The food was so bland, under seasoned (except for the last night when my chicken apparently was packed in salt before roasting). The only way to escape the horrible food was to eat off the resort. If you want to go into town it's a $30 USD cab ride for 5 minute drive. Good luck leaving the resort though because if you can't speak basic Spanish and don't have a translator app on your phone then you're screwed. The staff was not all that friendly and always stood in huddles talking at the front desk. If someone gave me a free weeks stay at the Riu Naiboa I'd hand it back. Second time to RD... Worst vacation accommodations ever.

Room Number:

Riu Naiboa is in need of serious renovations. Perhaps switching to white towels and not brown because you can't bleach brown towels and they also mildew in your cramped, musty, mildewing bathroom.

Restaurants and Bars:
None of them are good. Please for your sanity see if they have delivery for food services.

Beach access was very nice. Other than the sexual harassment too and from the beach each time the scenery was nice and the bar staff at the remote bar (by the beach) was much friendlier than the actual hotel staff.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Coco Bongo was nice. Too many people paying different prices. Two girls we know paid $50/pp while my friend and I paid $60/p.p. And our male friend paid $75. There was constant badgering on the beach about excursions and activities. You can't relax on the beach without being asked to buy something (cigars, excursions, photos with illegal animals, coco bongo).

Other Comments:
As a woman traveling if you're reading this be prepared for sexual harassment on and off the resort. I don't think anyone should have to listen to the language they us to refer to women while vacationing. Also they underestimate the Spanish comprehension from Americans and they say disgusting things loud enough for you to hear.

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Shouldn't be considered as a RIU
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Crystal  on Jun 26, 2015  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2015 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
1093 people found this review helpful

My bf gave this resort a 2 star but I'd personally give it a one for this review. This is considered a 4 star resort but it would only be 3 at most. Don't have many good things to say. Bottomline, if I had come across a legit and recent review of this resort, I would've rather payed more for another resort!!!

At Naiboa, it is the lowest class of all Riu complexes and can't use any of the other Riu facilities (i.e. bar, snack bar, buffet, and definitely not their a la carte except for 2 from Bambu- which we were only informed of one of the two options).

In short:
- we had clean rooms but other rooms had bed bugs
- great entertainers (lots of pool side entertainment during the day and same entertainers for the night and still high in energy)
- majority of bartenders were amazing. I didn't know of much drink options so I told them to decide and they usually come up with pretty good stuff. (btw, try [no idea how to spell it but it is pronounced as: sa-bee-so-sa. Its a mix of slushes and can be made diff every time. very good!)
- food selection was much better than Cuba but sometimes the chicken weren't cooked all the way
- free wifi at the lobby but sometimes the connections reaches to my room in 2nd floor
- the resort was newly renovated so majority of the place is pretty decent (in terms of presentation)

- 10-15min walk from the beach
- Naiboa is so small that you can walk from one end (lobby) to the end (strip that connects you to other Rius) within 2 minutes
- zero selection for food places (1 buffet, 1 snack bar that pretty much only have bread for 2 hrs until buffet opens up again and flies and crows pick at the food)
- lots of grumpy servers
- cannot access anything from other RIUs. I tried to just get a drink and the bartender turned me down (note: even for those who stay at Riu Bavaro, they only have access to other Rius' bar and snacks.. not even others' a la cartes!)
- LOTS of kids. Would be a great resort for families but unfortunately we weren't informed of this so it was so boring for us
- staff there gives very very vague directions. They give enough just so you have an idea but was never clear. For example, I asked where the Beach Club is & 3 diff staff told me its right at the beach as a part of Riu Macao. Wasn't until my 3rd day that I figured out myself its in a totally diff location
- there were only 3 outlets in the room and only 1 worked
- the AC in the room wasn't the strongest.. didn't feel much of the AC in the further side of the room

**Tip: No matter where you come from, it'll be better to exchange into US $. We learned the hard way.. every listed price is in dollars (excursions, gifts); was told to not buy into any of the locals who try to sell you excursions along the beach because the got scammed so go to your rep just to be safe; bed bugs are on 4th floor f

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great hotel
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  eve  on Jun 26, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2014 | Leisure | Solo
1789 people found this review helpful

I read reviews online before visiting Riu Naiboa but I went to visit it all the same and I was not disappointed, I had a great time here and will come back again. The hotel grounds are clean, the rooms are also clean and today, the beds here are soft, big and comfortable so no backache to complain about. The buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner had a wide variety of food selection so I didn't get bored with repetition. I had mad fun for the two weeks I stayed at this hotel because they usually have carnival night on Thursdays which was fun to the peak and I looked forward to it during my stay here. The entertainment is something you should look forward to and no, it’s not overrated. The animation team really deserves medal for taking their time to plan out entertainment activities for the guests, if you are looking to have fun throughout your stay in DR and you are in this part of town, I highly recommend this place to you where the animation/entertainment team goes to any length to make sure you are cheerful. The restaurant and bar staff was also pretty amazing and friendly, they were usually wearing smiles while attending to you and this makes me very comfortable. The hotel I good, the staff is nice, infrastructure is okay and the price is right. I will definitely stay here again when next I visit Punta Cana, Kudos to the animation team and entire staff!

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Great resort - staff friendly - rooms could be updated
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Linda  on Feb 28, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
2637 people found this review helpful

We stayed at the resort January 27 - Feb 3 - four star resort but probably really it would be classed as a three star anywhere else in the world. Our stay was made more comfortable because of the friendly staff. Juan, Orlando & others in the lounge were excellent. Rooms were clean but do need to be updated. Bathrooms could use updating the most.
No bugs or stained beds as some reviews.
Lots of fun activities...bingo.
Food was good - lots of fresh fruit. Mexican night excellent.
Easy access to the beach. Market at the end of beach was OK but street market at the resorts had better prices. But of course you had to barter and watch your prices at all shops. Coconut candles at one place were $18 but we bought for $8.00 across the street.
Thursday night Carnival was a great way to start our vacation,

Your Arrival:
Fast and efficent check in

Update with paint and new tiles in bathroom.
Bed was comfortable but cover could be updated.

Restaurants and Bars:
Friendly staff
Dining restaurant was good
Bar in lobby could be updated
Bar by pool great food and staff

Grounds kept clean

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Bingo was fun

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Had a great time!
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Bryan  on Feb 28, 2010  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
2520 people found this review helpful

This was our second trip to the Naiboa (first trip was in February 2008). We travel with the understanding that we are not staying at the Ritz or someplace like that and don’t expect the resort to provide that service. We go to have fun and regardless of any little quirks we always do.

Your Arrival:
As always, Sunquest was using Skyservice for the flights. We had prebooked the Priority Plus package from Skyservice (well worth it for the extra baggage allowance). We had no problem either going or returning.

Check In
After the 30 minute bus ride to the resort we arrived at the resort. Check in was very good. Having been before we knew what to expect. I had emailed about a week before asking for a pool view room in the same area as we were located last time and found that they were able to accommodate the request (in fact we had the exact same rooms as 2 years ago – Rooms 2116 & 2117).

When we walked into the lobby we headed for the Reception desk and given the registration form and our room keys as well as some general info on the hotel by the hotel (not the tour operator – that was the next day). The keys to the safe are included with your package and were given out at this session.

There was 1 double bed and 1 single bed in each of our rooms. We had no problems with the water pressure or hot water supply. As others have mentioned the Air Conditioning at this hotel tends to be weak to non-existent in some rooms, ours was still one of them. The rooms each have a ceiling fan which keeps the room comfortable so we never bothered asking to have the A/C fixed.

Last time our concern was the room keys - we were in room 2116, however our key also opened 2117, 2118 and 2119 (we were a group of people in a row). This time we noticed our keys would not open each other’s room so I assume they’ve taken some corrective measures.

The rooms are dated but clean. Our housekeeping person was excellent. I had read about a lot of theft recently. We had absolutely no issue. We left gifts for the maid which she didn’t take and only would when we handed her the items. I left tips on my pillow which she knew were for her. My roommate left some coin pesos next to the TV and they were there for several days without problem. That said we didn’t leave electronics out – they were safely put in the safe to be cautious.

Restaurants and Bars:
As we did last time, we had our breakfast out on the terrace each morning which was a nice touch. The French toast made of croissants is still my favourite. Other than the very last day when things were running unusually low there was always plenty of selection. On the last day they seemed to be running out of things without it being refilled. A few words from the manager to the staff had that quickly resolved.

The biggest disappointment for me was that the Pizzeria was closed down. Last time that is where we had almost all our lunches. They had this roasted Chicken which is almost as good as Swiss Chalet, so it was a shame it was closed up! We tried the main buffet at the Naiboa, Taino and Bambu for lunch and found that the Bambu had the best selection with the Taino coming in second. There was nothing wrong with the lunch at the Naiboa buffet, it just didn’t have as big of a selection as the others (most people are at the beach so why waste the food!).

Supper was always a different theme each night at the buffet so that was good. Supper times (in the winter) are at 6:30 and 8:30 PM. We also did the Italian a la carte and Steak House once. To book the a-la cartes, you need to talk to the Buffet manager during breakfast the day you want the a-la carte.

Snacks – There was never a time when we couldn’t find something to eat. Between the Pool Bar, Beach Bar and Pizzeria food was served until at least 2 AM. We actually managed to find the 24 hour food at the Bambu this time – there is a building to the right of the 24 hour bar with hamburgers, hot dogs and fries.

NOTE: Supper at the Buffet: There are 2 seating’s. On the day you arrive go to the Buffet Manager and book your seating for your stay. You are assigned a specific table for your stay. Men were able to wear shorts this year (last time it was pants) and a shirt with sleeves to be admitted.

There are several bars to visit should you wish to. There is the Pool bar, the Beach bar, Lobby Bar (at night), Bambu Bar, the Swim Up bar at the Taino and Bambu, plus many more we didn’t get to. Each bar we went to made good drinks.

The Beach
The beach was as clean as you can expect. You need to watch where you walk as smokers seemed to be just putting their butts out in the sand where ever they chose. Perhaps some ashtrays would help with this habit.

We spent most mornings at the beach and moved to the pool in the afternoon. While you may have to move some chairs to where you want to sit, we never had a problem finding available ones.

We made us of the Naiboa pool and never got into any of the other ones we had access too as we were happy on the beach. The Naiboa’s pool is very nice and wasn’t too bad for chairs in the morning. If you spend the day at the Beach and want to move to the pool in the late afternoon you may have a hard time getting chairs as it was quite full by then.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We made it to several shows. One was the Michael Jackson show – Foot work was awesome!! The song selection could be better but the movement was like watch the real deal. The other really good one was the Circus show – be sure to bring your camera!

Each Thursday night is the Caraval Riu along Caribbean Street. They have bars set up along the street and have vendors in as well.

The Animation team had activities going on throughout the day. I didn’t partake in any but I did see them hold Stretching sessions, water volleyball, aqua-fitness and water polo plus a few “Crazy Games” to name a few.

The one trip we wanted to do and did do was the Zipline tour. It’s a half day excursion into the mountains (cost was $89US per person). The tour includes 11 lines with the longest being 900 meters long. It was a great time! I didn’t buy the picture they took of me but a couple others bought theirs and they turned out really well. I think the cost was about $15US for the picture.

There are many Beach Vendors about a 20 minute up the beach (turn right when you walk onto the beach and follow it). We made a couple trips up there. What I did was look at the prices in the hotel and on Caribbean Street first to know what others were selling things for so I knew what to pay.

Other Comments:
Towards the end of our first week close to 300 students arrived. I thought they said they were with s-Trip but I couldn’t find any Riu property listed with them. Anyway, other than the first night they were there when they basically took over one of the bars we had no problems. They seemed to be respectful in the hallways to keep the noise down, etc.

Also, as a result of the earthquake in Haiti, there is a Leave your Clothes campaign (more info and links are in the forums). The Riu’s are not participating in the campaign, however our Sunquest rep was aware of it and collected our donations and was making arrangements to have them dropped off for us. We had been advised before that the airport had a collection point, however we saw no sign of it or volunteers when we were leaving.

Given the many negative reviews on some sites for this hotel recently I was a bit concerned but we encountered no problems that others apparently had. We’d happily return this resort (perhaps upgrade to one of the newer hotels) and I have no problem recommending it to others. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at bryanjbrown@rogers.com, or send me a Message on Debbie’s Travel Forum, user name ‘bryan’.

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Had a great stay
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  ecam  on Jan 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
2792 people found this review helpful

Had a great time thoroughly enjoyed everything. Staff was excellent and very friendly made you feel welcome. Weather fantastic rained one morning for 10 mins.

Your Arrival:
Morning arrival so rooms weren't ready which is normal at any hotel, staff were understanding and looked after our luggage as we strolled around and looked around the property.

Rooms were clean we did have a problem with the bathtub not draining but it was repaired almost immediately and also the balcony door wouldn't lock but that was also repaired immediately. Maid did an excellent job and left flowers etc every day, towels were made into swans etc. was cute and appreciated.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was repetitious but excellent they did have themes the odd night, Mexican, Dominican etc. you are assigned a waiter for your stay and ours was great after a couple of days he knew what we liked and had wine etc already waiting. Fish is always excellent.

Pool very nice was very quiet when we were there many times my wife and I were the only ones in the pool, love the waterfall and drinks were delivered to your lounger, nice touch. Grounds are beautiful we were at the Bachata before and found the grounds at the Naiboa were nicer very green with lots of trees etc bananas were plentiful and the groundsman would give you fresh coconuts every day so beautifully kept enjoyed watching the groundsman trimming the hedges, was different. The beach is awesome so long and clean we walked for miles every day both ends it seemed to go on for ever, water was clean and very warm but I don't swim so had to be careful of the strong back pull would have ended up in Cuba but there were people swimming quite far out so must have been ok farther out.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The nightly entertainment was very good most nights, just relaxed so don't have much comment on the day time activities although it did seem everyone who participated had a great time lots of laughing etc. staff did there best to keep everyone happy and busy.

Other Comments:
We loved our stay and would go back in a jiffy. The hotel is about a 5 to 10 min walk from the beach but we enjoyed this as there are shops selling clothing, souvenirs etc without being pushy all were very polite and friendly.

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The Hotel is run down.
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Graham from Yorkshire  on Nov 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Nov, 2009
2490 people found this review helpful

Arrival: November 2009
We just returned yesterday from Riu Naiboa.
The trip from the airport was quick and comfortable, with only three short drop offs.
However the condition of the Hotel must have plummeted since the last review, it would have been very nice at one time but...

Dated and in need of upgrading, broken tiles in Bathroom, a bodged up lamp with wire slung across the ceiling from a hole in the wall, there was paint coming off the wall. NO air conditioning, there was cool air from a vent above the door but as soon as you passed it the room was warm again the adjustment consisted of turning the cool air off or on, I didn't get a SINGLE full nights sleep it was simply too hot. The TV was ancient (and the tube was going flat (how long since you heard that??)) However the Staff kept everything spotless and well stocked.

Restaurants and Bars:
The Bars were dated with some suites having any old cushions (that didn't even fit), the beer, was cool but not chilled, the rest of the drinks were far too sweet with only one or two needed to be climbing the walls.
The beer in the pool bar was awful but the beer in the hotel bar (supposed to be identical) was much better, it took us a week to find a coffee that didn't have sugar in it.
The main restaurant was poorly laid out with food counters at the four opposite corners, there was no aircon, it was often stifling hot while eating, the fans simply stirred the hot air. The food was very varied but very bland tasting much the same from one end of the counter to the other, despite there being food everywhere we often found it difficult to combine a recognisable meal. classic example being spaghetti and no sort of sauce? bean stew being the closest offering. Sweets were mostly milk flavoured except the chocolate bananas. Food at the Taino was marginally better for lunch.
The waiters were on the whole good but and I'm going to name names now.. Samuel was head and shoulders above the rest.

Photos: http://www.kawasaki.org.uk/naiboa

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This is truly paradise!
Riu Naiboa

User Rating:  Riu Naiboa Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Trish from Ontario  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
2554 people found this review helpful

Arrival: February 9 - February 23
This was our second year in a row traveling to Punta Cana and staying at the Riu Naiboa; each time for two weeks. The flight, trip to the hotel, and check-in all went smoothly. No complaints. This year we were a little more comfortable because of being familiar with our surroundings.

This year our room was considerably larger than last year and although you don't spend a lot of time in it, it was nicer to have more space. Air conditioner, shower, etc were all satisfactory. Staff keeps everything clean in the hotel and on the grounds

Restaurants and Bars
We certainly never were wanting for good food. The breakfast and supper fare was always tasty and diverse. For lunches, we usually were down at the beach and there are two great spots for drinks and chicken, pizza, burgers, pasta. There was really no need to go back up to the Naiboa for lunch, although, this year, the first two days were very windy and stormy (I know, hard to believe). We did pretty much stick to the hotel. We didn't try the steak or Italian restaurants, mainly because we had heard that it wasn't that great.

This is the most beautiful beach in the world, we suspect! It all looks like a postcard! The ocean, the palm trees, the sand (feels like cornstarch)......paradise indeed! We did not frequent the pools as much as last year, although they are nice, Naiboa's does not have a swim-up bar (as does the Taino and Bambu)but drinks are not far away.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We were there to just relax.......no tours, no activities other than 'another hard day at the beach' as we jokingly remarked! Tough life, eh? We could never be referred to as 'typical tourists', that's for sure.

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