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Riu Naiboa Punta Cana

The Riu Naiboa Punta Cana is a small 4 star hotel within the six resort Riu complex in Punta Cana. Being part of the Riu complex allows the clientele to use the facilities of (most) of the other Riu hotels on the property. Guests are not allowed to frequent either of the Riu Palaces (the 5/6 star resorts). This hotel is quite small with only 362 rooms, but is kept incredibly clean – especially for a four star resort. Remember that Riu markets predominantly to Europeans so you will be in the midst of a mostly European crowd; something we tend to enjoy. The only thing to keep in mind about European crowds is that smoking is somewhat more prevalent in Europe so there may be a cloud of smoke hanging over the resort. Also, when you hear about Punta Cana topless: this is it. Topless suntanning is the norm in Europe; after a couple days you won’t even notice it.

The service at the Riu Naiboa Punta Cana amazed me; I remember our first trips to Punta Cana and struggling to communicate with staff. Our Spanish has improved dramatically since then, but the language skills of the staff at the Riu Naiboa are amazing. We heard staff members communicating in English, German, Italian, Dutch and of course Spanish.

The rooms were small, but very well laid out for a four star resort. Everything worked well and the maids did a great job of keeping the room clean throughout our stay. There are complementary safes in every room – you feel a lot safer knowing that your valuables are locked away. There is also a minibar that is restocked daily; make sure to leave a note (and tip) for the maid explaining what your favorite drinks are.

The layout of the Riu Naiboa Punta Cana is something that you should make sure you understand well before booking there. This hotel is NOT on the beach! The Riu Naiboa is hidden behind the Riu Taino hotel, leaving guests with a five minute walk down their “Caribbean Street” to get to the beach. We really weren’t sure about this setup before we got there – we like to walk straight out of our room and onto the beach. However, being able to use the facilities at all of Riu beachfront resorts mitigates the aspect of being away from your hotel. Unless of course your wife forgets her book or sunglasses or lotion in the room. Other than the errands my wife routinely sent me on, we didn’t need to go back to the hotel at all during the day.

The food at the Riu Naiboa Punta Cana is quite good, even by Punta Cana standards. The buffet restaurant (El Cohiba) offers a decent variety of dishes; most everyone should be able to find something they like. Guests also have access to the Riu Steakhouse and Mediterranean a la carte restaurants which are a nice change from the buffet, but you do need to make reservations.

As far as nightlife goes, this hotel beats out most in Punta Cana. There is the Disco and also the Pacha nightclub if you want to go out dancing at night. Keep in mind that drinks are not free at the Pacha! The reason that most resort discos are lame is that most of the guests just went there to relax; a disco isn’t much fun if there’s nobody in it. At the Riu Naiboa Punta Cana, guests from all six Riu hotels who want to party go to the same disco, making it a pretty vibrant spot.

The pool is somewhat small compared to other hotels in Punta Cana, but is kept very clean and never seemed to be over-crowded. There is a kids’ section at one end of the pool, a nice pool bar and a waterfall feature that is pretty neat. Not the best pool in Punta Cana, but definitely passable.

The Riu Naiboa Punta Cana has a decent amount of sports and activities. There is a supervised kids area for ages 4-12 that’s open daily. Sports activities include: windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, pedal boats, boogie boards and snorkeling.

The snorkeling is a lot of fun here - there’s a shipwreck out on the reef that’s a blast to investigate with fins and a mask. The kids will have a blast swimming around the boat.

Tips for the Riu Naiboa Punta Cana

  • Bring about $150 in ones for tipping. You’ll get better service and these guys deserve it.
  • If you like snorkeling, bring your own equipment – you’ll get good use of it here. They do lend it at the beach, but only for a half hour at a time. I’m never sure how well it’s cleaned and the stuff never seems to fit kids very well.
  • Keep some leftover bread at breakfast to use when you’re snorkeling, the fish love it.
  • Bring a beach bag – it’s a long trip back to the room (believe me I know).
  • The beach market is about a fifteen minute walk down the beach, you can get all your souvenirs here.
  • Bring a room deodorizer, the rooms tend to get a must smell because of the humid climate.
  • The Riu Naiboa is the “Punta Cana topless” spot because of the European crowd.
  • There is a no-smoking section in the restaurant.
  • Men must wear pants for dinner
  • For more reviews, maps, hotel and pricing information visit our Riu Naiboa Punta Cana booking page.
  • Check out my “what to pack” page

Contact Info for the Riu Naiboa Punta Cana

Telephone: 809-221-7515

Fax: 809-686-6077

E-Mail: hotel.naiboa@riu.com