Riu’s newest property, Riu Republica, in the Dominican Republic will leave you in awe. Set on the gorgeous white sands of Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana, this Adults Only resort is the perfect place for singles, couples and friends to unwind amidst tranquil Caribbean scenery that includes coconut trees, sugarcane fields and stunning landscapes. This includes the Punta Cana Ecological Reserve where you can observe a wide variety of local flora and fauna and a coral reef which extends for 5 miles.
The resort opened in 2016 with a 5-star rating. It is an all-inclusive vacation property that features 1000 rooms, 24-hour service, a variety of restaurants, onsite concierge service, free wi-fi throughout the resort, and several non-motorized watersports, such as windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkelling. Tennis courts and golf courses can also be found in the surrounding area.
There are also daily fitness classes called RiuFit along with beach games, such as volleyball, that allow guests to interact. Visitors looking for even more physical activity will find a well-equipped gym, a steam room and Jacuzzi, and first-class entertainment shows.
The ‘party pool’ allows guests to mix and mingle while listening to a variety of music every day, and provides plenty of fun with foam parties and various gatherings.
For guests wishing to continue the fun into the night, Riu offers Pacha Nightclub, for great music, dancing, and a spectacular light show. Clearly, there’s plenty to do if you’re looking for an active and interactive vacation.
If, however, you would prefer to simply rest and relax, Riu Republica is the perfect setting with a wellness spa and a fantastic massage booth on the beach where guests can indulge in a variety of spa services. Although massage is not part of the all-inclusive package and requires payment, I witnessed this to be a popular aspect of the spa and of the resort. More paid features include a beauty salon and hairdresser.
For continued relaxation, two of three pools on the property are specifically for sunbathing and de-stressing, and the beach is nothing less than paradise with sugary white sand, turquoise waters, and palm trees lazily swaying in the breeze.
When it comes to meal time, Riu Republica offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as is typical of most all-inclusive resorts. And like most buffets, it seemed to be a hit or miss depending on the meal or the day. I feel this is one of the few areas of the resort that could use some improvement with a better quality of food.
However, there are also Italian and Asian themed restaurants on the property, along with a steakhouse, aptly named Grill-Steakhouse, which serves upscale dinners. A la carte restaurants require reservations so it’s wise to plan ahead if you’re not in the mood for the buffet. For a change of pace, this resort offers open-air dining perfect for an evening of romance.
Various bars dot the property where you can indulge in tropical drinks. For my experience, I found the service at all of the bars and restaurants to be top notch.
As for accommodations, this resort offers 9 different room configurations, featuring everything from standard doubles to family suites and triple accommodations. Although fairly sparse, the decor is modern and typically reflects a tropical setting. Housekeeping staff keeps the rooms clean and stocked with fresh towels and supplies.
Standard rooms feature two double beds with garden views, a small loveseat style sofa, satellite TV, a minibar and coffee maker, air conditioning and a balcony or terrace from which guests can enjoy the stunning view. However, unless you are prepared to spend the extra money to upgrade to a suite, you can expect your view to be gardens as opposed to viewing the beach and ocean.
Stepping up to a suite, guests can expect larger bed sizes as well as a hydromassage bathtub. Family suites feature more space and extra beds, similar to the Triple Suites that offer 2 double beds plus a sofa bed in the living area. Most amenities remain the same in every room.
Of course, there’s plenty to do off property as well, including ziplining, dune buggy safaris, horseback riding, scuba diving and snorkeling, cave explorations, wildlife tours, and much in the way of boat tours, including speedboats, sailboats, and catamarans. Riu’s friendly concierge can help with arrangements for all of these and more, in order to make your vacation an unforgettable one.
PROS: Property is new so everything is still clean and in good condition. Adults-only status guarantees a relaxing vacation away from children. There is plenty to do on-site. Great location. Service throughout the resort is outstanding.
CONS: Quality of the buffet could use some improvement. Onsite activities are limited.
Review and Select Photos by Adrian DiStephano