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Reviewed June 3, 2011

My friends and I went here as a college grad trip. None of us saw the reviews before we went, so we went with no expectations. That makes it easier for me to give you the nitty gritty as is, not because I read about it first!

1. Bring your own water bottles. They aren't readily available and you're going to get sick & dehydrated if you don't drink up as you soak up the sun.

2. The rooms are not nearly as pretty as the pictures. The hotel smells old. But considering you won't be in it all day, it's not a huge deal. Open your windows (expect some mosquitoes--it is the tropics) and let it air out and you'll be fine. I'm warning you though, the beds were really uncomfortable for me. Some reviewers seem fine with them, but I have a few back issues and they didn't help at all.

3. The entertainment and shows are all loud.. but if you're out and about all day, you'll be too tired at the end of the night to care. I know we were--and we didn't do much all day but lay out and swim. Bring earplugs if it bothers you.

4. The staff doesn't know English very well, so if you're going to a SPANISH speaking country, it helps to read up a little. Don't go expecting them to cater to you as Americans, because we were the only Americans at the resort. Everyone else was Russian, North African, European, French, Spanish (from Spain), etc. During shows and games they would often repeat the sentence several times in all of these different languages.

5. People of all ages were there, but I recommend it for those between the ages of 18-50ish. There's a lot of exposed skin. I'll leave it at that.

6. Bring bug spray. For some reason I was the only one getting eaten to death around sunset. If you're prone to get bitten, you'll need it because of the mosquitoes hanging around.

7. The food doesn't vary much, but it is good. The fish and meats are delicious, the fruit was always fresh and they did technically have a variety (just the same variety). I tend to eat the same things all the time anyway, so I wasn't expecting to be wowed by the buffet. They have the option for you to eat elsewhere, but you have to be up early.

8. There is no 24 hour snack. I'd sneak what I wanted in a napkin and my friend brought her own. There are two bars that are open most of the day. They're good and heavy on the liquor if you ask.

9. The staff is friendly. Especially if you're friendly back. Try to spark conversation or something in your bad Spanish.. they certainly amused by mine.

10. Go with a great attitude and actually try to have a great time. There's so much to take advantage of. The long beautiful beach, the large pool, the games (which if you win, you get a little gift), and the extra amenities.

I'd go back, especially with my budget. Happy traveling!

Room Tip: At least 5 water bottles on your own.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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8  Thank loveoften
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 16, 2011

A copy of the Letter I sent to Sunwing upon our return to Canada (not sure why our review is missing but I already posted the letter in Feb 2011. )

I returned home yesterday with my wife from a Sunwing vacation to the RIU Naiboa in Punta Cana, DR. The entire experience was a disaster from the misinformation provided to us before booking, to the 3 days spent in hospital due to poisoning from the room.

Misrepresentation leading to our purchase of the package:

Our Travel agent at The Travel Store guided us as best she could in making a decision on a destination based on bad information provided to her by RIU Hotels/Sunwing Vacations. The misrepresentation of the vacation was not her fault. My wife and I could easily see Teresa’s logic:
1. It is a RIU Hotel – We have not seen a RIU that was not excellent quality. (until now)
2. Listed as a 4 star resort by RIU and Sunwing, as such, we were expecting a standard of quality. (THIS IS NOT A 4 STAR RESORT by the standards of ANY destination.)
3. The Naiboa being included in a Sunwing package really sold us on the vacation as the ability to book with a Canadian company who ALSO has their own concierge services/staff on location were 2 items that would appear to indicate quality assurance.
4. List of amenities on the Sunwing vacations website and in the Sunwing Travel destinations information book all of which contribute to the 4 star rating. THESE AMENITIES DO NOT EXIST at the Naiboa.
• 24 hour snacks do not exist – period
• Alcohol on tap did not exist – period
• Junior suites do not exist – period
• Hairdryer in room did not exist – had to be requested from main desk and was only allowed to have for 60 minutes.
• Standard rooms are quaint, to be polite. Tiny, poorly maintained rooms. Nowhere near 4 stars.
5. The RIU hotel right next door to the Naiboa is under 24 hour construction INCLUDING open sewer work. Sunwing has a representative who is onsite twice a day, seven days a week – there is no way they are not aware of the state of this hotel. We were conveniently NOT made aware the noises, open sewer smells or that our resort grounds would be overrun with construction workers. And it was definitely not reflected in the pricing.

Transportation:
Sunwing employees on the planes and buses were very friendly and helpful, and all travel experiences were very positive.
The Resort in general:
Although this appeared to be an older hotel, the grounds were well maintained and the main public areas were very nice. However, of the 4 elevators only 2 functioned and my wife and I were trapped in one of them for a few minutes (the inside doors opened, the outside doors would not) we were lucky that an employee was walking by and he was able to hear us yelling.

The Staff:
RIU staff persons were great, except for the desk staff being either incapable or unwilling to help us – a different room from 7pm to 7am on our last day to avoid further sickness is not an outlandish request in my mind. Sunwing staff, both the concierge at the resort, and the staff at the office have been great so far.
Our Room:
We had booked a standard room which consisted of a small room with 2 small beds and a patio door that did not lock. Other people we arrived with found a local resident had slipped in their patio door and was sleeping in their bed when they first opened their room - The Sunwing concierge, Nicole, can confirm this. We asked our Sunwing concierge to upgrade from our room to a junior suite at OUR expense as this is a concierge service listed on the back of our Sunwing registration card. Our concierge informed us this is something she could not do. (Nicole was very genuinely interested in helping us out at all times and had she been aware this was part of her duties and of how to execute them, I am sure she would have. I would consider this to be a failure in her training from her superiors). Once we showed her this was on the registration card, she informed us there was no such thing as a junior suite at the Naiboa – this was confirmed by the front desk staff. We found this to be very odd - since it is offered as an option on both the RIU.com and sunwingvacations.ca websites. Nicole spoke to the front desk persons who offered us an even tinier room but with a bigger (double size) bed and a locking (after several minutes of fighting with it) patio door – which we had no choice but to take. This is the room we ended up with – Room# 2387. You could smell moisture in this room as the bathroom floor was wet from no apparent source each morning, but since we could not upgrade to another room or hotel we decided to make the best of it – we would only be in the room to sleep and shower anyway.
Hospitalization:
Sunday evening the back of my throat had a bit of a “tickle”, by Monday at supper time I was admitted to hospital with full blown lung infection and bronchitis. My wife was admitted Tuesday with the same – she felt 100% HEALTHY Monday. Our doctor at the hospital in Punta Cana was baffled as to how quickly we had gotten sick as a regular viral infection would take days or even weeks to develop to this severity AND both of us having it the same time was very baffling. He suspected we were both exposed to something - at that time we though perhaps the wafting smell of the open sewer.
We were released (3 days after I was admitted) at around 5:30pm on the night before our 7:30am checkout. (We were given four medications including needles we had to administer each other within 2 hours of our flight/departure while trying to pass through customs at the airport.) Great fun.
We went straight to our room to get everything in order for the next morning. Upon opening the door we realized what had caused us to be sick. Because my wife had put up the “Do not disturb” sign due to us being away, the room had not been open for a day or two. The smell of MOLD and mildew hit us right in the face. It was so bad in fact, that persons in the lobby in the hotel, at the airport, and even after our arrival home could smell the moldy odor on our clothing.
I went downstairs to the desk immediately to request a change of rooms (even with all of the issues and our ordeal I was polite) but I was informed this was not possible as the hotel was full. I explained why, and that we had just gotten out of the hospital. Seeing as this was one of three RIU hotels on the same property I asked if we could be moved to another resort, and was informed this was not possible either. We had no choice but to open our patio and room doors and just air our or room as best we could until bed time.
Post Vacation:
Upon our return we were instructed to see our family physician – which we did today. That turned into another $250.00 in prescriptions for inhalers and steroids.
In Conclusion:
We feel that The Travel Store has no fault in this fiasco and that they represented the package to us honestly based on the misinformation provided them, but we have copied them into this communication along with RIU Hotels and Sunwing Vacations so that everyone involved is aware.
This vacation was a misrepresentation of what we purchased from Sunwing via the Travel Store. Whether or not this is based on Information provided by RIU to Sunwing, or Sunwing itself is unclear to me, but we did not get what we paid for.
Above and beyond the misrepresentation, the construction made this a destination disaster. Clearly both RIU and Sunwing would be aware of this, and this inconvenience should have been reflected in the pricing AND divulged to travelers before booking.
The worst part of course was getting sick – not only the horribleness of the sickness but the time lost, vacation (although already going bad) ruined completely and the costs incurred. We see this as a direct responsibility of RIU Hotels as it is their facility to maintain and they refused to move us that last night as well. These hotel rooms are nowhere near what we have come to expect from RIU. However it is less directly, but also the responsibility of, Sunwing Vacations for peddling a package with such grossly misrepresented rooms along with construction inconveniences and the hazards of open sewers. Not properly rating this hotel, not properly informing potential guests and not properly arming their concierge with the knowledge or tools to allow us to book a better room even at our own expense.

As I am sure you can imagine, to say we are displeased is a massive understatement. This experience will not only affect our bookings for the next 40 years, but I am certain that my respectable opinion will influence all of our friends, acquaintances, professional contacts and any travellers who read the reviews we will inevitably post on the internet, in their future bookings.
I assertively request a response from both RIU and Sunwing to explain what will be done to repair our trust and also as to what actions will be taken to assure that others do not befall similar circumstances.
..................
We sent this letter to our travel agency, the RIU and to Sunwing.
The RIU people responded with a voucher for a 2 night stay at one of their other (or the Naiboa again) resorts. I was hoping for at least the 3 days we list in the hospital, but at least they responded and did SOMETHING.
Sunwing just respnded today (MAY 16, 2011 - 3 months later) And accused us of lying. Said we told their Sunwing Rep that I was in the hospital for pneumonia prior to our trip so I knew what was wrong with me. UNBELIEVEABLE!.
1.) I offered to sign a release of my medical records
2.) Our insurance company already has a release and would not have covered a preexisting condition.
3.) Peopel who fly with pneumonia DIE.

Absolutely shocked at this response. Cannot call, or email the Rep ewho sent us this letter as they do not exist in the phone directory of any of the Sunwing offices AND there is no return contact info in the letter. Of course not.

If you deal with sunwing, your only contact with them in regards to customer service si via a form you can fill out on their website. We got an email address ('customerservice@sunwing.ca') by searching the internet for others who had tried to contact them but this is not published on their website. Also not much use since the response time is over 3 months....

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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24  Thank Jay_in_NS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2011

We just returned from the Naiboa few weeks ago. .
Please always check for the bad reviews. My family and I just got back from there and we had the most fabulous time. After reading the reviews I was really worried about going; but I took for my trip my bad clothing, bad shoes yet in case something got stole.(nothing got lost) But, what a pleasant surprise. The staff was all friendly and the entertainment team were brilliant. The room was cleaned very well every day and the maid left us different towel. , the bathroom need to be fix . Food and Dining was ok. I was expecting better food but it was ok.
The Disco need renovation “modern disco design" It look like a bad bar....My nephew and Nice did not like the Disco at all.
Phone call out the hotel and internet service was expense, If you go out the hotel to the center of the town the phone call low cost. taxing will charge around $10
Also be careful with the small trip that they have to see the dolphin it is a rip-off. May sure you get what you pay for. Try to enjoy the activities that the hotel offer.(you pay for all inclusive)
I when on Business and Leisure and I was not too happy I was expecting better things(the can do better).The Macao it look better but we did not have too much time to explore the Macao hotel.
The hotel is like 20 min from the airport and town $35 if you do not have transfer include on your package.
ENJOY THE MOST YOU CAN
Breakfast in the morning by 9am
get going Game,Pool,Beach

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank zucaribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 11, 2011

We took our children for the March Break holiday to this resort. After travelling to many all inclusive resort, this has definitely made the short list. Our 18 and 19 year old's enjoyed the "Caribbean Street" as they could go to several bars, restaurants, disco, etc. at night. Casino at Palace Macau is just a short walk away. They were several spring breakers at all of the Rius and that made it a lot of fun for my teenagers.

The rooms were very clean and nice, however, they were getting a little dated.. HOWEVER, plans were on display in the Lobby for the renovations (to be completed fall 2011) and they are gorgeous. We cannot wait to come back after this renovation.

It is on a very nice part of the beach, and all in all, we loved this family vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank fun_in_the_sun685
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 11, 2011

When reading reviews and looking to book a resort, my husband and I said we just wanted great beaches and we knew this is what we'd be getting with Naiboa, but after staying there we know now that a beautiful location isn't enough. The room lacked style and comfort but was clean. We'd read about the noise so we brought earplugs and slept well. The pool was actually nice and we enjoyed it when we got back from the beach. Though the pool aerobics music was the same everyday and was very loud and I found myself wishing it would just go away. The food was unappetizing, we were REALLY unimpressed. Hope you like pizza and french fries! Obviously we didn't starve, but the lack of variety and flavor was disappointing. The staff wasn't friendly to us, we suspect they didn't like Americans. The construction was easy to tune out but the calls of "Psst! Psssst!" and "I'm hungry!" from over the fence on the beach weren't! Our room wasn't that close to the construction but there have to be lots of rooms that are and that would've been unacceptable for us. The hammering starts at about 8am and ended well after dark. We loved the beaches and the water was beautiful, and we had an amazing trip, but will we stay again?...No

Room Tip: We negotiated a room upgrade at the desk for 200$
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank TropicalEarls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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