Guests have access to the tennis courts and fitness center at sister properties
Beach sits about a five- to 10-minute walk from the rooms
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)
The Naiboa offers the least expensive rates of the five resorts on the Riu complex, and it is readily evident why; 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.
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.
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 at the Naiboa were renovated in December 2015. The wicker furniture and headboards we saw on our visit were replaced with dark wood furnishings, tube TVs were upgraded to flat-screens, white plastic patio furniture was updated, and modern lighting fixtures were added. Purple floral artwork on the headboards tries to enliven the nearly colorless decor (each bed has a purple pillow and blanket).
All rooms have breezy balconies or patios, closets include laptop-sized safes, and liquor dispensers offer “on tap” bottom-shelf booze. There is an additional fee for Wi-Fi.
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.