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“not what we expected”
Review of Hotel Riu Naiboa

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Hotel Riu Naiboa
Ranked #80 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed April 5, 2013

totally not worth :s rooms are not good, it can not be called a resort ! its a hotel. Food sucks and the people who serve you are not polite. Animation guys are very nice but the shows are poorly. stayed 3 days in it and asked to be changed! we changed to Catalonia Bavaro ! and the change was totally worth it (: Catalonia was a real resort

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank GenyBrussels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 4, 2013

After having stayed at a Riu All-Inclusive (in Jamaica-Negril), my husband & I had no qualms about spending the extra $ for an all-incusive Riu in another location. Our oldest (daughter) is a senior in high school so we wanted to do a more "MEGA" trip for our kids' spring break, knowing that it could be our last chance to go TOGETHER for a vacation before she flies off to college/her own life. Our trip was comprised of what started out as a seemingly nice vacation to a growing collection of glitches-leading to our 2-day early departure. Upon arrival, we were greeted with bellmen, welcoming cocktails, and an English-speaking (reception)staff. While settling into our room/suite, my husband & I noticed: the power switches were very tricky, the reading lamp above my side of the bed carried an electrical current that continually shocked me unless its switch was off, a faint sewer-like odor, and realized we were located right next to the cleaning staff's utility room. The room was not much cooler than the outside, but the bellman assured us once we closed the door it would cool down. We're thinking, "how much time are we really planning on spending in our room anyways?" During the night, there was a CONSTANT knocking/pinging/clanking of what we're assuming were coming from the utlity room. I have been raised to "make the best out of what you have," and rise above minor incoveniences- I am NOT a high-maintenance person. But when I hear that level of noise EVERY time I turned over in my bed that night, I knew we'd have a problem. It was to the point where we couldn't tell the difference between the utility room knocking and someone knocking on our door. We spoke to someone at the front desk and she reassured us the noise was coming from the other guests-but miraculously, there was hardly any noise the next night. HOWEVER, the smell of sewer (possibly sulfur/well-water softener-?) seemed to hover stronger overnight.
If you have valuables, make sure to either take them WITH you when you leave your room, or be sure to leave them in the room's safe or else the cleaning staff will put it/them in the safe for you so that you get to go through the panic of having something stolen, storm down to the front desk, and have him/her show you a picture of your valuables and let you know the code to the safe in YOUR room where the employee was instructed to put YOUR valuables.
The beach, contrary to the pictures on the website, is about 200+ yards away from the actual (Naiboa) resort. The pool is lovely, plenty of chaise lounges, some with their own little shady huts. Once you get to the beach, it is breathtaking-it is CLEAN, the water is the brightest, clearest blue/turquoise I've ever seen. You almost can't see the horizon seperating sky & water. The BEACH and it's available aqua activities is the true gem here. We went on a snorkeling excursion, and other than 1 of the 2 engines breaking down on the way back (which was not the fault of the 2 "captains"-but DID cause our return to be set back a full hour), it was one of the highlights of our trip!
If you have teenagers, and there "claimed" to have been teen activities offered at the Riu resort(s), our teens weren't able to find any of them. There was a schedule of daily activities at the front desk, but in acuality, there were NO teen activities available-in Riu Naiboa nor at Riu Bavaro (the Macao was adults only). There IS a "Discotech" about 1/2 way between the hotel and the beach, but you have to be 18+ to get in, and it doesn't open until 11. So, our teens got to wander around 3 nights in a row for age-appropriate activities only to realize, there were none.
After 2 nights of noise, and the aromas, we figured out our suite, being directly above the exit of the kitchen, was also above the trash dumpsters. We decided to try and change our location, either to another room, or a different hotel. Once checkout was done (on our 3rd day) we were able to get a different suite, diagonally across the hall-better view, not as much noise, and a tropical view of the pool/courtyard. BETTER, or so we thought. The refrigerator didn't work, and after a night of rain, I got to step directly into a 4 ft long puddle along my side of the bed. Upon closer inspection, we saw that the wall beneath the window had already been treated for some kind of damage in the past, or the window leaked-either way left me with waking up to wet feet!! Having learned there are NO extra towels (as well as no washcloths-EVER) in the rooms, I was forced to dismantle the clever little towel-origamy animal and sop up the water.
Initially, the service in the bar/buffet was very attentive. We did notice, however, that once the survey was completed (Tuesday night at dinner), it very steadily declined to the point of me getting my own beverages at dinner on Thursday and my husband fetching our own carafe of coffee Friday at breakfast. NOW, having said that, my husband also realized that some people were leaving tips after every meal, which we weren't. Hmmm, we're staying at an ALL-INCLUSIVE, eating meals at a BUFFET (read: getting your own food), and yet there's STILL an expectaion of guests having to dip into their pockets every time we're attended to by the resort's staff?? What's the sense in staying at an ALL-Inclusive then??
If you happen to speak Spanish, then you will probably have an entirely different experience, but the language barrier is a pretty wide one if you don't. I had visions of my daughter, mother-in-law and I sharing a bonding time getting massages/manicures in the resort's spa...OH, but the spa isn't actually IN the resort at which you're staying, but in the Riu Bavaro next door. OH, and the receptionist can't speak English there either. So rather than spend upwards of $300 being uncomfortable/becoming frustrated trying to communicate what services we wanted etc, I ended up cancelling our appt and we did our own manicures in the lobby area of Naiboa, which was very relaxing, and we had a lovely time chatting among ourselves.
By our 4th day, our kids, although weren't complaining, were "vacationed out." And frankly, we were tired of having to "rise above" the mishaps/glitches. So, we checked out 2 days early, were back home in our beds by our 5th night, and have never been soooo happy to be back home!!
I would recommend visiting Punta Cana for a vacation, but NOT staying in Riu Naiboa!!

Room Tip: Make sure the location of your room is a decent distance away from the staff's utility room, and...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JenP699
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

The service in the hotel is horrible,starting at our arrival until our check out. The food was just nasty, a lot of flies all over the dining room, and no variety, for all the money we spent in this resort. I do not recommend this place is very expensive, we have to leave the place and went to a better one for the same amount of money. the rooms were very small and the mattress was a 10 years old piece, i felt all the springs that were in it. First Riu that i regret to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ingrid G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I was there with my wife just last week and did not like the way we were greeted if we were greeted at all. The moment I pull to the hotel welcoming area , there was no one to greet us, I had to carry my luggage to the front desk. My wife spoke to this person who she did note get his name neither did I r (my mistake) who said that our room was not ready and that the check in was at 3 pm. We arrived at 1 so we waited for about an hour or so my wife wentt to see him again and he gave her the same response that the room was not ready. Another 15 minutes went by and noticed that a couple that show up after us was getting check in by this agent who happens to be very friendly with them....My wife and I went to him and asked him again AND HE GOT VERY ANOID and said that those guest were there before our arrival and I told him that he was lying because when I was getting my bags out of my car, they pulled up right behind me. I have hear stories about certain hotel individuals that they give priority to tourist from Europe or Canada over anybody from the Dominican Republic my wife is Dominican and she told him just that . At that moment this lady that was with him working at the front desk came over and told us that she can do our check in even though rooms were not ready and that if we wanted we could go to the dining area to eat and relax. She did just that and gave us our bracelet to go and enjoy the place while the room was ready...the room was ready at 3 pm. After that we did not have any kind of problems with the service. Juan at the dining area was very good with us as well as Ruben and Margarita at the beach snack place was very helpfull

Room Tip: Try not to get a room above the entertainment area it gets very noisy with the night shows
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JSE65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Where do I begin....
I visited this hotel as a business trip. I am a home based travel agent and I like to visit properties so I can give first hand experiences to my clients. Although this hotel fits the budgets of some of my clients, I would not send my clients here! I'm big on customer service and we did not receive good customer service at this hotel. From the time we arrived at the curb to the time we departed the service was very lazy. No one greeted us when our taxi pulled up or assisted with our bags. We arrived at 11 am and didn't receive acknowledgement when we walked in by the front desk staff. No welcome cocktails ! After getting checked in, we were told that our rooms weren't ready. This was fine, we arrived early but no suggestions were given of what to do while we waited, no one offered to store
our luggage and we were directed to leave our luggage in an office. The bags weren't tagged or logged in and we didn't receive any receipts. Thankfully our luggage was there when we returned! We returned at 1:30pm and had to retrieve our bags, we were given our key and told we could go to our room. Our room was still being cleaned, bathroom floor was wet, beds were unmade and we didn't have washcloths. The maids were hurrying and had to find clean sheets a few times. We requested an additional blanket, more pillows and washcloths that took two days to get. After receiving the washcloths it was a fight everyday to keep them. We left them on the rack indicating that they NOT be removed and everyday we had to ask for them again. The beach towels we received were stained and it was a fight with the attendant to get clean ones!
Although we had crappy customer service, we did find staff that took extra efforts to assist us. Cesar and Simon did their best to help us with the washcloths and followed up everyday. Yokander and his restaurant staff were very helpful and remembered how we liked things when we dined. Marisol was very attentive at the specialty restaurant.
We visited Riu Macao and Bavaro and were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived. Francisco from Macao offered us a tour of the property and the rooms. We met friendly staff at the Casino also.
I have stayed at Riu Palace Punta Cana and I figured all of the properties would have the same level of customer service. Unfortunately the Naiboa does not! I would not send my clients to this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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4  Thank luvsharts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Two of us were on vacation here the first week of March 2013. Two females-29 years old. I find it's helpful knowing age/sexe before reading a review. Both of us have been to many all inclusives and we wanted a cheap vacation where we knew the beach was nice.

Food: Was just OK but we ate well and had big appetites. Didn't really go hungry. We never made it to a la carte restaurants but they have one on site and the other is at the Riu Bachata.

Hotel: It's decent and updated however the rooms are quite humid so things never quite dry which really bugs me when I'm down south. Room had a humid smell to it and really soaked into my clothes, took a few washes to get out. Grounds are nice, staff is friendly-not overly helpful but decent. You do not have access to the other Riu's, only if you book one of the 5 stars, they told us "you can look but don't touch!" We walked around the grounds of the 5 stars and it's quite the jump in quality, looking back I would have booked one of them instead and paid a little extra.They gave us one double bed and one single bed which was really strange. The single bed was so hard thankfully my friend does't mind a rock hard mattress.

Beach: Is nice, busy but there is a little food hut there which you can grab food and drinks by the pool. The beach vendors are really annoying by the end of the holiday but they're just trying to make a living. The beach is a bit of a walk but it's a nice walk with shops along the way.

Health care system: haha, never wrote a review on this however both my friend and I were hospitalized for an intestinal bacterial infection which required both of us to get an IV. We cannot confirm if it was from the food, water or even ice cubes but we both ingested something that infected us with this. Symptoms were not fun and we got extremely dehydrated.

Drinks: They were really good, very generous with the rum especially if you tip of course :)

Overall it was a fun vacation with a lot of good memories but if I could do it all over I would have paid a little extra and stayed at a 5 star. I usually love Riu's but 4 star Riu just isn't the same experience unfortunately. And I cannot confirm if it was the hotels fault that we got sick because many other people did not. In future if I return to DR I will take probiotics before and try to avoid anything that is washed in non filtered water...just as a precaution.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Nickey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

My lovely Significant Other and I spent a week at the Riu Naiboa in late February, 2013. We had a wonderful time - the weather was beautiful, the beach at Punta Cana was gorgeous, and the resort was more than adequate to provide a great, relaxing and fun mid-winter vacation.

The Riu Naiboa is one resort in a cluster of 5 Riu resorts in Punta Cana - they all share the same beach, beach house (with food and drinks), disco, and a few other amenities, but each resort has its own dining rooms, pool and bars which only its own patrons may use. The Naiboa is the least-expensive of the 5 Rius, but I still found it to be a very nice place. While it was the furthest from the beach of the 5 Rius, the walk was less than 10 minutes through the nicely-landscaped grounds.
Speaking of which, the grounds and pool areas were very well-kept. Our room was clean, comfortable and while not lavish, was niceiy appointed. The staff was all friendly and helpful. The food, while not top-of-the-line, was definitely adequate - I found something enjoyable at every meal (especially since I like Dominican-style food, which was very well done).

The nightly entertainment was surprisingly good and nowhere near as corny as I had expected. The drinks were good, while not top shelf (if you like Brugal rum you'll be fine). Bring some US one-dollar bills to tip the bar staff and you'll be treated especially well.
We went on a couple of excursions that we booked through Ismael, our rep at Olympus Tours (a great guy, by the way) - one was a day trip to Saona Island (a Dominican National Park), and the other was a full-day cultural tour that took us to a school, a cigar factory, a farm, and a basilica in Higuey (the closest city). These ran about $75US each per day; while we probably could have gotten a better deal in town bargaining on our own, we were only staying for a week and felt it was worth it anyway.

All in all, I never got a feeling that this was a "bargain basement" resort - as I wrote earlier, although the Naiboa is on the lowest rung of the Riu 'ladder' at Punta Cana, it was more than adequate for a great vacation. If you're looking for 'top shelf' all-around, the Naiboa isn't the place, but for a basic all-inclusive in a gorgeous location like Punta Cana, it's fine.

Room Tip: You have two choices - one side of the hotel faces the pool, the other faces the parking lot. If yo...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BarryBlue
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

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:
#69 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#72 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#72 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $135 - $270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Naiboa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 362
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24-hour All Inclusive Hotel Riu Naiboa opens all year round and is only 400 m from the beautiful Arena Gorda beach. The RIU Classic Hotels offer comfortable rooms and excellent facilities with great leisure and relaxation facilities, as well as international gastronomy. Enjoy a relaxing holiday - whether alone, with family, partner or friends! The location is ideal due to its proximity to Punta Cana Airport PUJ (25 km) and El Cortecito (10 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 362 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax at our spa or get in shape at the fitness center. 8 outdoor pools. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Italian restaurant and Steakhouse (alternating days), as well as 2 bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Naiboa Punta Cana

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