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Reviewed September 20, 2017

I stayed here with my daughter in August. I had read many negative reports and was going in with reservations. I should never have been worried. We arrived and were spoken to by an allocated English speaking receptionist. Room was better than expected given reviews I had read and serviced daily. Food was good with a variety that you could have something different every day in all three meals, and you could request specially cooked dishes also. Service was brilliant and the animation team amazing. Daily entertainment varied and the team encouraged all clients to join in.Evening entertainments were fun and allowed even the most reserved visitor to be invitd to join in the fun. Enjoyed so much going back in December.

Room Tip: you can request twin/double/views etc
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank mumawana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 20, 2017

We arrived at the hotel after a short coach transfer from the airport. First impressions were fairly good, decor quite pleasant, more used to the art deco style of Riu hotel. We had stayed at 8 other different Riu hotels previously, so knew what to expect as regards free wi-fi, customer service etc. However our welcome drink was a little late arriving to check-in, but check-in was a quick painless event. We were given the usual envelopes containing room key, towel cards and hotel information, and directed to our rooms, our cases were brought up to our room about 10 minutes later.

The room was clean and cool, with the usual amenities of electronic safe, air-con and tv. There was a very efficient walk-in shower and hair-dryer in the bath room. There is body wash/shampoo and soap supplied. The beds were very comfortable. We had a good sized balcony, with modern furniture and a clothes airer. We were on the opposite side to the pool, so it was quiet and peaceful with lovely views of forested area.

The main buffet restaurant is air conditioned. Alas the food and service lets the hotel down. Food meant to be served hot was always cold or at best luke warm. It was of good quality and there was plenty of variety. The cold sections were excellent, plenty of salad, cold meats and cheeses. The breads were delicious.

At breakfast the usual offerings of bacon, sausage, fried, boiled, poached and scrambled eggs, along with pancakes and omlettes, and tomatoes, beans etc, all looked so appertizing but again they were cold. There were also cereals and salads and cold meats and cheeses to choose from.

Every evening there was a roast meat on offer, with an accompanying sauce, again cold.

The desserts were the normal delicious Riu cakes and gateaux, also cookies, rice pudding, yogurts, sweet pancakes, and a choice of 3 ice creams every evening and lunch time.

The service was lacking in the buffet restaurant, there was a definite lack of training and direction from those in charge. Very disappointing for us, as we are used to a certain standard from Riu. But 2 waiters did stand out, they were Alexx and Juan Carlos, who did their job exceptionally well.

There is one speciality restaurant which alternates daily between Italian and Steakhouse, we visited the Steakhouse 3 times during our 2 week stay, but did not try the Italian. On each occasion we both had the rib eye, the quality varied a little, but it was good and very tasty, and it was served HOT. The service here was also good.

Both bars are lovely. Buda's bar overlooks the pool and we loved to sit there in the afternoon having a couple of drinks while playing cards and watching people enjoying themselves in the pool. El Bolero bar is situated between the lobby and the al la carte restaurant, Panama, and is open from 6 pm to 6 am. The service here was exceptional, there is seating outside and in, and you can watch the evening entertainment here. We are early risers so would get up and go down to this bar at about 5 am for a coffee and log into the free wi-fi to catch up with emails etc while the sun was coming up. The staff would fluctuate between the two bars so a mention to all the ones that served us and made our stay memorable: a big thank you and hola to Crucita, Vega, Juan, Omar, Neftali (who was there every morning to serve us with coffee and hot chocolate), Gregorio,Zuleita, Carolina and Ramon.

The free wi-fi is available in reception/lobby, el bolero bar and around the pool. Some people did get a signal in Buda's bar also. It was a bit intermittent and slow at times but we found it ok for checking emails and facebook.

The pool area is a delight, probably the best we have been too, surrounded by trees, the beds are well spaced, there is a little island in the pool with coconut palms that provides shade in the pool. There are Woodpeckers, Palmchats, Doves, Pigeons, and Grackles in the trees around the pool. We also saw many lizards in the wooded area at the side of the pool.

The beach is lovely, with palm trees for shade, and soft sand, however the currents can be quite strong so care must be taken when swimming. At the beach there is a bar and restaurant which is open during the day, where you can get lunch. We sat there with a beer and watched the world go by, it was idyllic. The beach is about a 10 minute slow walk from the hotel along Caribbean Street, where you will find shops of all descriptions and a pharmacy and health centre, there is also an ATM.

You may stroll through the grounds of the other Riu hotels in the complex but you cannot use their facilities.

All of the reception staff were helpful and friendly. We had a couple of hiccups occur during our stay, but they were rectified immediately. The reception manager, Pascual, was exceptionally helpful, and went out of his way to ensure everything had been sorted to our satisfaction, he is a real credit to this hotel.

Evening entertainment starts about 8 pm with Children's disco, then bingo and then at 9.45 a show. We only watched the Michael Jackson show, which I have to say was fantastic, we have seen many versions of this show and this one was one of the best. There is also live music before the show, which was very good.

There are free buses operating 3 times a day to Palmareal shopping area, where there is a supermarket, bank, souvenir shops and designer shops, along with cafes and restaurants, and nice change for a couple of hours. Ask at reception for info.

We travelled from the UK with Thomsons, so a word of warning to other UK travellers, the Thomsons representative at this hotel is less than useless. Julian is only interested in making a quick buck, he does not want to know you if you do not book any excursions with him. We asked him to sort something for us with the hotel management, which he did not do, and resulted in us speaking directly to the management ourselves, and when we told Julian that we had dealt with it ourselves he looked vacantly at us, he just didn't have a clue what we were talking about. Other holidaymakers also had problems with him.

All of the staff we encountered in Reception, the bars and cleaning staff were very friendly and cheerful, lots of the cleaners singing while working. On our last day as we were leaving the room one of the cleaners came out of a neighbouring room to say goodbye and gave me a big hug, and she wasn't even the lady who had serviced our room, all we had done was say Hola to her every time we saw her.

This is a small hotel with a good mix of age groups and nationalities, we chatted to many people while there, Russians, French, and Americans as well as fellow Brits. I would not hesitate to visit this hotel again. If you have any questions please message me I will try and answer them.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front are quieter
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
13  Thank lesleyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 14, 2017 via mobile

This was officially the worst holiday I've ever been on. We wanted to go somewhere nice for my partners 30th birthday. I wish we had never gone.

The food was awful and they served the same things all day, everyday. And even though I was especially careful not to drink the water (I even brushed my teeth with bottled water), I still got sickness and diarrhoea. The cleanliness of the hotel leaves a lot to be desired and because of this, I also caught Hand Foot and Mouth disease. This not only ruined mine and my partners holiday, but I am still suffering the affects now, 3 months later, as all my finger nails and toe nails are slowly falling off.

Needless to say, I will not be returning to this hotel and I urge everyone to please spend your money elsewhere.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank SarahMcKinney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Naiboa, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2017

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns.

We are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests.

We regret to read that you have left our hotel with an opposite idea in your mind. We have sent your comments and suggestions to the respective heads of departments involved and actions would be taken to address all your concerns.

We hope you will choose to visit us again, and give us a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our resorts.
With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Naiboa
Online Reputation Manager
RIU.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 1, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here for 7 days. The rooms were spacious, although bathroom was a tad on the small size. Our room was fresh and cleaned everyday. No issues at all with the room. The restaurant / buffet was also quite good, and the staff amazing. I've read complaints from other travelers about food selection and variety and we found everything we wanted always. I also read complaints about staff, and I am guessing "you get what you give", as we found everyone from the desk staff to the bar and restaurant staff absolutely great! Sunwing rep Breney was truly helpful.

Room Tip: We had rooms 171 & 172, a nice distant away from the bar area and quick walk up one flight from pool and main buffet.
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JMay2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 31, 2017 via mobile

My boyfriend and I paid 695$ per person for 5 days, all inclusive including flight and airport transfer from Newark, NJ....for this price, it's worth it but if u paid more than this you'd give this place a one star instead of three. I found the hotel, even our excursions we booked through Viator as disappointing. People didn't go that extra mile even if you tipped them.

Incident 1: I understand this is the DR but I feel if your business caters to lots and lots of English speaking tourists, your front desk should understand and speak English. Luckily my 3 semesters of Spanish 10 years ago and my ability to retain what I learned in that class is very good. Without it, it would have been a real struggle

Incident 2: plan your excursions accordingly because u may not have lunch options available when u arrive back from your excursion. There is a snack bar that offers really terrible cheese and meats with a several flies swarming around the food in temperatures falling, I believe, below recommended and safe. If you arrive from your excursion after the hours of lunch this is your only option.

Incident 3: my boyfriend and I travel a great deal, we take 4 to 5 vacations a year, and I've been to very expensive islands like grand cayman, Bermuda and Bahamas....this by far has the most expensive souvenirs you will ever find. I found pencils in Grand cayman for like 1$ but the pencils I bought in DR are 5 dollars. The gift shop is astronomical and so are the shops in the resort that u pass going to the beach. I found a silk screen shirt for my nephew and they wanted to charge me 40$. They really take advantage of you because they know going outside the resort is not advised for tourists. I tell u this, we went to Jamaica, which has the same advisories for tourists and they didn't try to extort this type of money out of u. This is not just the resort but also the airport. I know the resort and aipoet will cost more than a local souvenir shop but I have never seen prices as high as this in other countries with currencies stronger than U.S.

Incident 3:
We couldn't find the Amstar representative to confirm hotel pick up and drop off to airport. It isn't the receptionist fault but she said she cannnot place the call for u and that I would have to place the call from my room. I asked how much and she said she had no idea. I used my cellphone and tried calling over 20 times till I finally got a hold of someone

Incident 4:
They're really presumptuous, nothing is labeled in the buffet, no prices are put on the phone in the room to see how much phone calls are.

The hotel was bad but all my experiences in punta Cana were terrible. We had one great snuba adventure, the experience was awesome. I told ocean adventures I wanted to purchase the professional pics they took of us under water and they said the driver would charge it to our hotel. We got dropped off, the driver said he will return and I never got the CD, I had to use long distance on my phone and called them and it was such a hassle I didn't even bother to buy the pics

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Charmaine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Naiboa, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2017

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns.

We are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests.

We regret to read that you have left our hotel with an opposite idea in your mind. We have sent your comments and suggestions to the respective heads of departments involved and actions would be taken to address all your concerns.

We hope you will choose to visit us again, and give us a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our resorts.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Naiboa
Online Reputation Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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