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“Terrible conditions but so much fun!!!”
Review of Hotel Riu Naiboa

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Hotel Riu Naiboa
Ranked #79 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Brindisi, Italy
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Terrible conditions but so much fun!!!”
Reviewed October 19, 2011

Stayed in Riu Naiboa last march as a solo traveller. I might confirm what other reviews are saying but this hotel has also very good aspects.
1. Hotel urgently needs renovation: very old and tired furniture and decoration, lifts are old and look dangerous, even the main road to the hotel doesn't have tarmac and everywhere around the hotel is a building site.
2: Rooms: terrible general state of the rooms: they look old, they smell bad and they are very basic. In my room the fridge wasn't working, the television wasn't working, the phone wasn't working, the shower was terrible with the lowest water pressure i have ever seen, the air-conditioning was very noisy and there's no point to go and complain to the reception because they will tell you that they can't do anything about it.
3: Food: food in the restaurants or snack bar is good but is absolutely the same for every single day that you stay there and you get bored of it after 2 days.
4: Hotel staff: Reception staff, cleaners and waiters are quite rude, lazy and it seems that they are always busy doing "dodgy" jobs not connected with running the hotel. They are friendly but never helpful and they look very annoyed when you ask them to do something . Entertainment staff is BRILLIANT and they will make sure you will have lot of fun.
5: Beach: beach is beautiful and clean but 10 minutes walking from the hotel so not good for old people or reduced mobility people. Beach is full of annoying people who try to sell you absolutely everything.. and for everything i mean everything!!!
6: Pool area: pool is brilliant, safe, and clean with lot of activities going on, you can always have fresh and clean towels and kids have lot of fun here.
7: Nightlife: night entertainment is amazing: first you get nice and funny shows in the theatre and then in the club Pacha you will have a great night.
So.. are you scared of all the bad aspects that i wrote?! You shouldn't be because i can swear that i had the time of my life in this place!!! Hotel is not good at all but customers make it great: this hotel is full of young and single travelers from everywhere in the world: they are all there to have great fun, make friends and enjoy their vacation. It's very easy to socialize here because everybody is friendly and funny and ready to party!!! Also young families seems to be a great fun here and kids are extremely happy too. At the end of the day if you are having a great time, it doesn't really matter if your room is not the best or if the television isn't working... i think i slept no more than 10 hours in my room for the entire 10 days vacation! :-) Let's not forget that price is very good and affordable by lot of people and that's why you will find lot of young travelers, young families and not snob/posh people!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the main building over the reception on the 2nd or 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
10 Thank Livio C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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new york
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2011

I stayed at this hotel last year and from what I read, it has not changed. At my arrival I was disgusted with the untrained and rude staff (the mayority of them, there were a couple from heaven, so nice and humble) and with the facility. It should not be called or be part of Riu!!! it is very misleading. The food was awful and the restaurants and bars were dirty. The rooms were ugly and motel like. The entertaiment as the staff so not even as an standard....................so disapointed and disgusted. It was my worst vacation ever, what a lost of money.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank chinita06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
178 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2011

Me and my boyfriend booked this hotel as a last min package deal over the easter/royal wedding weekend. I must say we did get it at a bargain price - less than £700 each for 10 nights all inclusive, we normally stay at 3 or 4 star hotels and this definately didnt disappoint! It is a 3star in some areas, yes the rooms aren't super modern but are very clean, spaciuos and had everything you needed! no complaints at all!iv never been to a hotel where the maids clean the rooms so well - they left nice towel animals, sweets and complimentry drinks (additional to the ones you get topped up with your room). The tv has so many channels, and there are plenty of english ones - just have to look. Just as a piece of advice, sometimes some men had stalls selling cigars/rum/jewellery etc in the hotel, they tell you its cheaper than the hotel prices and that they only come once a month but it is expensive and they are there every other day so dont feel the pressure to buy things first thing like we did lol.

I was very impressed with the food, there was never any trouble finding a table and it was nice and relaxed unlike some all inclusive resorts, and there was always so much food. I must say that the last couple of days i didnt feel like we had as much choice but cannot really complain when there was so much to begin with - more than you would need.Breakfast was amazing, especially the smoothies and there is always a bbq for lunch/dinner. overall the food was better than expected, and some i must say you could order in a restaurant and wouldnt know the difference. The beach restaurant was busier and less choice but was always full of food, and it was nice that it was open longer.

The staff were great, really friendly, especially on reception, (jonathan always made the effort to ask us how everything was when we went past - our nicknames were angelina and brad?!) drinks on arrival and they could always go out of their way to help. One night we thought we lost our safe key but they tried to help us as much as possible as they really didnt want to have to charge us, eventually we found it but some companies would jump at the chance to make extra money!Enrique in the main restaurant is really nice, always saved us a table in the restaurant and offered to get us drinks and never hinted at a tip even though we gave him a few dollars when we left.

Tiping isnt expected but $1 a day would be adequate if you felt it was needed, or say $5 to the maids for the duration - not much to us but a lot to them!plus leave any shampoo, sunlotions, cosmetics etc, and any pens for kids- may not cross your mind but would mean a lot to them and makes your suitcase weigh less :)

The animation team were very energetic, tried their best and were always entertaining, however i didnt warm to them as much as i have done to other animation teams in other resorts. Some came across as pushy even though i tried to get involved in as much as we could. But if you go on the beach they tend to leave u alone if you prefer that. One lady in particular could come across as quite aggressive to some people but she is only doing her job and trying to get people involved.

Entertainment was ok - cant complain as you have to stay in the complex but it is a nice walk to bambu. in fact bambu seemed a lot livier and is pricier but i think you get a higher standard in all aspects. I loved all of the meregue dancers, they were brilliant, the gymnasts and michel jackson show were good so you cant complain really - its free entertainment and some of these people are professional dancers! Drinks were great - lovely cocktails and you feel like you should pay for them, not like 'making do' with the usual plastic cups in other all inclusive places iv been.

Excusions...we did the dolpin swim $169 (best day of my life :)), swam with sharks, sting rays and sea lions all in the same trip (only an extra $45 for each activity so defo worth it) and some people who have done it in other places said you definatly get your value for money. We did zip lining which is amazing!!!goes way too quick but amazing views of the mountains etc. We also did the outback safari which was great - so worth it - took pens for the school visit, was a fun and rewarding trip and learnt so much. Its nice to give back to the community. There is no point coming all this way if you do get to explore such a gorgeous island, reminiscent of 'lost' and jurassic park!! All the excusions were great and worth the money! I did hear the saona island was a bit rubbish - literally just an island to sunbathe on so i would reccommend doing something fun and different.

The hotel has lovely clean pools and gardens, pleanty of sunloungers, pacha (went once on our last night, mainly for locals which looked cool and played cool music), an the beach is amazing!we went paragliding which is defo worth doing!there is so much here you cannot get bored. The weather was amazing - in the 30s the whole time, but got a bit overcast the say we were leaving (beginning of may) so i would reccommend going in april.Markets are to the right of the hotel, about a 20 min walk down the beach, and you should go there for any souvenirs - dont hassle you as much as i thought and you do get it less than half the hotel prices plus you are giving money to the people who make the products, not the hotel owners!

I would definately come back to this hotel - ignore bad reviews. If you pay a crazy amount, then yeah there are better but i thought the food, staff and facilities were all great - not got any complaints - any problems were sorted straight away. everyone speaks english ignore what people say, they must be talking too fast lol. British tourists are a minority but its nice to have such an eclectic mix of holiday makers from different countries and staff make the effort to talk to you - even if you dont speak spanish,lol.overall a lovely hotel, great location, great staff, great food and drink - had a fun, active, and relaxing time! perfect with a partner, for families or friends.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sazzlem88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2011

Me an my boyfriend booked the naiboa then began reading the reviews. ..... Were not particularly fussy people and dont tend to moan so thort 'oh well we will see what its like when we get there'! How wrong were we!

We had a two week all inclusive holiday booked with thomson we stayed at this hotel five days and could take it no more. Us and two other couples were all moved next door to the riu palace macao where from this point our holiday was out of this world!

In the naiboa there are no english people - if u dont speak spanish the staff dont want to know u. We tried tried to be involved in the pool games although gave up on this when staff refused to explain it to us in english.

Food is dire. Pool is nice. Rooms are basic. Staff are so rude.

I wouldnt go back to the naiboa but definitley would go back to the resort its amazing! Just a word of advice book the riu bambu or riu palace macao an ur holiday will be fab!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank yrkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara, Ontario
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2011

Okay, I am a Riu cardholder and attend them whenever i can. I am sorry Riu but this hotel is not up to your standards. The employees are just rude, the hotel is run down, you might as well tear this one down, perhaps its because of your new palace bavaro being built right next door. We slept at this hotel but used the services of the neigbouring Riu's. Thank god for the stay at one play at all. I really just want to forget about this one and move on. I will return to this area but will choose another Riu. The beaches are awesome here, you cant ask for better, the food average thats about all i can say.

Room Tip: this hotel needs to be torn down
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank weewilly1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2011

I just got back from Riu Naiboa, and as with many others, I too read the reviews after buying. I stayed with my family on June 17-20 of 2011. To be specific we used rooms 2356 and 2357. The rooms smelled humid all the time and the same with the bed sheets and towels. I took a can of Lysol 99% disinfecting spray which helped a little. The ladies that cleaned the rooms were nice and humble, but didn’t seem to have enough time and cleaning materials to do a great job. (Don’t think this is really their fault) The people in the front desk weren’t kind to everyone, especially if you didn’t speak any Spanish; the same with some of the Restaurant employees. The entertainment crew were very nice, and if you talk to them during the day, they’ll remember you during the night shows and do their best so you have a good time. I didn’t have any problem with the food, I ate a little of everything and even got up one morning at 7AM to make my reservation at the Steak House Rest. (Not bad, it’s not in air condition; nice tables by the beach so don’t overdo it with dressing up in hot clothing) The pool and the beach were nice, and the Disco was fun. (If you are a drinker and haven’t booked yet, make sure to have drinks included while in the Disco, otherwise take some cash) (oh, and another thing, try to go out of the Disco once in a while because the music is so loud I had my ears feel clogged up most of the following day) So if you already booked, don’t sweat it, just make the best of it and enjoy it as much as possible. Like I said, the worst part was the humid smell in the rooms but the fact is I was only there to sleep a few hours.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank German-PR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hialeah, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2011

My father and I just got back from our trip at Riu Naiboa. Besides being tricked by the travel agency, Celimar in Hialeah, Fl claiming that the RIU was part of the Melia hotel chain and overcharging us at least 200 dollars, what made the trip worthwhile were the two half-day excursions that we took on our last days. We stayed a week. Thursday-Thursday.

Side Note: When I compare the Riu Naiboa to "other hotels", it's based on the experiences that my friends have had in Punta Cana. It's a very famous destination for Cubans living in Miami.

First off, this is NOT a four-star hotel. This is the lesser Riu. We visited the other three Rius, I believe, and they did not look as nasty as the Naiboa. The bathroom tub had all the paint peeling off it. The furniture in the rooms and the lobby is outdated and old and not very nice looking. Overall, not very nice to look at or luxurious at all. So, if that's what you're expecting or looking for, stay away. You won't find it here.

I feel very bad for the tourists that go and do not speak a drop of Spanish. My dad and I are Cuban so we where able to get out of making a phone call to a taxi cab for 24 Dominican pesos **per minute*** That being said, the front desk staff are very rude and do not care about you, but about your money. Trust me, I heard all their smack talking in Spanish. Furthermore, I asked to print my boarding pass the day before the flight, they claimed to have "no printer" and just walked away. Great service, huh?

The lobby has free wifi but only use it if you like being devoured by mosquitoes.

PROS

The service in the dining hall, bar and snack bar was great and the cleaning ladies were sweet and did their job as well they could. It wasn't a cleaning issue as to why the hotel room was falling apart. The towels always smelled humid, though. Like I said, I have no idea how this is a four star hotel.

Beautiful beach but you can find that anywhere you go in Punta Cana!

They have one pool. it's cute. One giant dining hall which serves the leftovers from the 24 hour snack bar that closes at 5:30ish p.m. The food got my dad and I very sick. We were in the bathroom after every meal. It went right through us so just be careful to not get things that are too weird. Even though, it's mostly pasta, some meats and veggies. Nothing spectacular.

Many hotels in Punta Cana have various restaurants inside them with different themes. This one, however, had the ones I mentioned above. And an additional two that are in the neighboring RIU hotels (Steakhouse and some Kabuki thing that the waiter advised us not to go to.) The day we made reservations to go to the Steakhouse at the RIU Palace Macao, they had changed it to an Italian restaurant at the RIU Palace Macao, However, the only reason we knew this was because we fortunately visited the spot of the Steakhouse during the day, where an attendant from the Palace Macao informed us that they had changed the location and menu and that we should have been informed of the changed. FYI, WE WEREN'T.
In addition, the ONLY way to get a reservation is to wake up at 7 A.M. and put your name on a list. My poor dad would wake up a little bit past seven and they would NOT let him put his name on the list. Ugh. The front desk people were a bunch of "descarados." (Look it up.)

Entertainment

The Entertainment group-Animacion, were charming at first but their nightly games of BIngo and dance got really tiring after the first two nights. There wasn't much to do. Other hotels had a variety of shows plus malls with movie theaters and just a lot more hip and happening. This just had a little street called "La Calle Carribeña" (Caribbean Street) where the workers just sat outside and checked you out while the others were inside selling overly-priced souvenirs to the Europeans (mostly Russian tourists). The second they find out you're of some HIspanic ethnicity, they don't even care to charm you anymore.

Construction
On your way to the beach from the hotel, you will pass Caribbean Street to your left and wonderful, scenic, dusty construction to your right. It's a new Riu hotel they are building in front of Naiboa. The other half of the hotel is being worked on as well. Not very relaxing to hear all that construction noise from the beach.

Overall, we found It very unprofessional, The other Rius and other hotels in Punta Cana demanded that their patrons wear wristbands to enter dining halls and be at the hotel. However, this hotel had no control whatsoever. We would see strangers park their cars in the corner and come in to eat and leave in their cars again. It's a joke, really.

You won't have a horrible time. Again, it's what you make of it but you can do so much better for that amount of money especially in the 50+ hotels that Punta Cana has to offer.

Plainly put, I was not sad about leaving.

Free time!
Like I mentioned we did two excursions--The first company was "Adventure Boogies" : go carting to the beach and a cave with a spring inside. $50.00 x person. The second, "Bucaneros"; drive your own mini boat to the middle of the ocean and then snorkeling in the ocean with very amusing and kind tour guides. They showed us star fishes and sea urchins. They take lots of picture of you with you're own waterproof camera under the water. Super great time! $65.00 x person


TIP
If staying at any Riu make sure your travel package comes with transportation included because it is a 30-35 minute drive from the airport so the charge for a cab is pretty hefty. From $38+

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank haidee92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Naiboa

Property: Hotel Riu Naiboa
Address: Playa Arena Gorda | Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#68 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#71 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#72 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Naiboa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 362
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in Punta Cana * Inside the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Palace Bavaro and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu * The Splash Water World will be opened from 1st November 2016 * Separated from the beach by just the Riu Palace Bavaro * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 4-story building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. yards of tropical gardens * 50 km / 31 miles from Hig'ey * 150 m / 495 ft. from Caribbean Street * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Int'l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Naiboa Punta Cana

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