Riu Naiboa Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Gorgeous white-sand beach with watersports and volleyball
  • Inexpensive rates include unlimited food and bottom-shelf liquor
  • All rooms have breezy patios or balconies
  • Large, well-maintained pool has a nice adjacent bar and children’s pool
  • Family-friendly features include a kids’ club with arts and crafts and a game room
  • Guests have access to the tennis courts and fitness center at sister properties

Cons

  • Beach sits about a five- to 10-minute walk from the rooms
  • Rooms feature dated tube TVs and bathrooms with wear and tear
  • Only two on-site restaurants serving bland food
  • Fee for in-room Wi-Fi (free Wi-Fi in the lobby is on a time limit)

Bottom Line

The Naiboa offers the least expensive rates of the five resorts on the Riu complex, and it is readily evident why; rooms are dated, food is bland, liquor is bottom-shelf, there are pesky fees for Wi-Fi, and the beach is a bit of a walk. But once on the sand, the resort proves to be a solid budget option, as the beach is absolutely gorgeous, and offers plenty of water sports and entertainment. Families will likely appreciate the kids’ club and large pool, although some find the poolside activities to be more of a noisy bother.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

This laid-back property largely attracts budget-minded families and couples, but there are some rowdy college students as well.

Naiboa is a mid-range property, and the least expensive of the five resorts on the Riu complex. As such, common areas are dated and a bit stark, and despite having 362 rooms, the resort has just one main buffet restaurant and a reservations-only restaurant open for dinner. Nonetheless, the property maintains a relatively laid-back feel. Organized poolside activities can get loud, and at rowdy college groups can sometimes be found in the lounge, but the Naiboa mostly attracts budget-minded families and couples.

 Location

On a pretty, white-sand beach in Bavaro

The Riu Naiboa is part of a huge complex of Riu resorts located on a pretty, white-sand beach in Bavaro, an area that is largely associated as Punta Cana but is, in fact, just slightly north of it. The resort is about a 30-minute taxi ride (costing about $40 USD) from the Punta Cana airport, but once arrived, guests mostly stay on the property: There's not much outside of the complex's gates. Those looking to explore the local culture can drive about 10 minutes to the town of Friusa, which has a few restaurants and bars. There are also several golf courses within a short driving distance.

 Rooms

Bland rooms lack modern technology.

Rooms at the Naiboa are in need of renovations. The nearly colorless decor (each bed has a purple pillow and blanket) is bland, tube TVs are old, wicker furniture is of the IKEA variety, and small bathrooms show significant wear and tear. There is also an additional fee for Wi-Fi.

There are a couple perks, however, even if they’re not necessarily standout features; all rooms have breezy balconies or patios, closets include laptop-sized safes, and liquor dispensers offer “on tap” bottom-shelf booze.

 Features

Naiboa has many features, although not nearly as many as its sister properties.

The Riu Naiboa offers numerous features, the highlight without a doubt being the gorgeous white-sand beach, with a bevy of water sports and a massage cabana. The Naiboa is the farthest Riu resort from the sand, and it takes about five to 10 minutes for guests to reach the ocean from the property. This is perhaps why the resort has a small artificial beach by the pool for those who want to lounge on the sand but don’t mind missing out on splashing in the ocean. The Naiboa’s large pool is also a lovely feature, and includes a poolside bar, a children’s pool, a volleyball net, and loud poolside activities such as conga lines.

Family-friendly features include a kids’ club with arts and crafts, a somewhat dingy game room, and access to tennis courts at a sister property. Guests can also access the spa and fitness center at the Bavaro resort, as well as a fun row of beach shops.

There is just one main restaurant at the Naiboa, which serves buffet-style meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has weekly “themed” nights of various cuisines; food is mediocre at best. There is also a reservations-only option for dinner, and the hotel has a poolside bar and a lounge.

There is free Wi-Fi in the lobby, but a time limit applies.

 Bottom Line

The Naiboa offers the least expensive rates of the five resorts on the Riu complex, and it is readily evident why; rooms are dated, food is bland, liquor is bottom-shelf, there are pesky fees for Wi-Fi, and the beach is a bit of a walk. But once on the sand, the resort proves to be a solid budget option, as the beach is absolutely gorgeous, and offers plenty of water sports and entertainment. Families will likely appreciate the kids’ club and large pool, although some find the poolside activities to be more of a noisy bother.

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Hotel Features

Pool: N/A
Spa: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: N/A
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
Casino: N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Caribbean
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