Written by Denise McCain.
The best part of the Dominican Republic is the beaches. These beaches are compact sand you can walk for miles on without struggling with balance or sinking. Nothing better than listening to the ocean, feeling the breeze, while casually strolling/wading along the beach.
The RIU Republica is a long property with two sides. Both sides offered the same amenities including dining, pools, entertainment, and activities. The ocean side had the larger areas. The waterpark side was much smaller.
Concierge service in the lobby.
WiFi password given upon check-in and was accessible throughout the resort.
The RIU Republica property sits north of Bavaro and not within the RIU complex with the other RIU resorts, so you do not have the exchange privileges. This did not detract in any way from the property.
Welcome orientation in the main theatre daily if you need anything at all from your tour company including excursions to finding your return airport transfers.
Rooms are beautiful blue, brown and white decor with seashell paintings on the wall. Elevators are offered for upper floors.
Mini bar and refrigerator restocked every other day. Wide variety of drinks water, pop, club soda, and beer. Alcohol dispenser with 4 fifths on tap.
Caution you must be very comfortable with your roommate if it is a friend. There is ceiling to floor frosted glass between the shower and bedroom leaving not very much to the imagination. Now, if one person is sleeping and the other wakes up to use the restroom the whole room lights up when the light is turned on.
Take an alarm clock. There is not a clock in the room. We requested a wakeup call at the front desk which never came.
DO NOT DRINK the water or brush your teeth with it. The hotel will provide bottled water for you to brush your teeth.
There is only one outlet in the room and two in the bathroom. In the age of technology, more outlets were needed but we survived.
If your room key gets near any type of electrical equipment like your cell phone or Kindle in my case, it quits working. You can get it replaced at the check-in desk. They knew us by name before we left.
To access the beach, you went over a sand dune. The resort always had sand sculptures to entertain you as you walked through. Vendors were allowed on the beach to sell their wares. You were warned not to buy from them. We were never harassed or harassed by any of them. Public beach.
The beach was absolutely amazing with three rows of palapas for shade. Plenty of plastic beach lounges on the beach in full sun. You did not have to struggle to find a place to sit. I walked ten miles each day and still did not run out of beach to walk on.
Life guards are present during the day. The ocean was rough the four nights we were there with “red” flags warning you not to go out very far. The waves were huge so there was a lot of wind-surfing, which looked like fun.
Splash Water World is an “adults-only” water slide with two winding slides and five racer slides. Brings out the kid in us all. Open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
There is a handicapped pool with a ramp for wheelchairs. It was just amazing to watch the staff help wheelchair-bound guests with life vests on into the pool to enjoy their stay just like everyone else. Highly recommend for anyone with disabilities. (No access to the beach area though).
Where to begin there are so many pools (9) on this property, each one very unique. Swim-up bars on both sides of the property. A long table in the pool to sit your drinks on while you swim. Built in lounge chairs in the water were very comfortable. Each morning I participated in water aerobics, which was well organized and enjoyable.
Activities around the pool were plentiful if you wished to partake such as mini-golf, darts, dancing, trivia, and several other events. One pool was dedicated to water volleyball with a sand volleyball court next to it.
Eleven bars including swim-up bars.
There is a bar no matter where you are on property. The main lobby bar even serves cappuccinos. My favorite drink while on resort was called a Sammy Sosa. This was red, white, and blue (strawberry daiquiri, Pina colada, not sure what the blue was).
The sports bar off the main lobby area has snacks 24-hours a day including fresh fruit, sandwiches, and nachos. Good to know for your afternoon flights coming in. Restaurants are not open yet.
Pacha Disco (11 pm – 2 am), your drinks are included.
All meals, snacks, and unlimited premium alcohol.
The food was really wonderful at the property and a wide variety. No reservations required. First come, first serve basis. Italian, Asian, Indian, Steakhouse, Spanish (not Mexican), and two buffets that had the best grouper I have ever eaten.
As mentioned above all the restaurants have specific hours.
- Breakfast: 7 am – 11 am
- Lunch: Noon – 3:30 pm / 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm (depends on side)
- Dinner: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Jerk Chicken Shack on the beach we hit every day.
If you hit in-between these hours, there is always food at the sports bar.
There is always something going on no matter where you are on the grounds.
- Live music
- Evening shows
- Daytime entertainment (there was even bingo)
- Pasha Disco (open six nights a week). drinks included
- Two theatres to choose from. The large stage is on the ocean side with dancing girls, beach parties, and other themed nights.
- Gym – Nautilus Equipment, bungee fitness, and fitness experts
- Spa (fee applies)
We were in Punta Cana for only four nights. The two times we went off property was not worth the effort.
1: Belle Mare Cigar & Chocolate factory tour.
You are shuttled to a modern building you would not think anything was inside. You walked through a small hallway learning about the process of making cigars. Once through, you see how they use the leaves to roll them. You have the opportunity to buy from a very nice selection.
From here, you enter a gift shop. Wish I would have waited for the airport.
Chocolate factory is on the other side of the gift shop where you are given a small taste of chocolate that is not there for sale. The shelves were empty except for a few bars of chili chocolate and funky white chocolate flavors.
We waited for the shuttle to take us back.
2: RIU Macao Casino
Free shuttle from the hotel. When we arrived with a busload of people, there were only 12 slot machines, a roulette table the hotel warned you not to play, and a poker table. We had to wait almost an hour for the next shuttle back to the hotel.
This was a very fun property and I would visit again.
Denise has recently merged with Classic Travel from International Tours of Lansing. She has been in the travel business for 20 years. Denise is a full-service travel consultant specializing in leisure and group travel including destination weddings. Denise is a certified AMResorts Master Agent, Sandals Certified Specialist, Globus Travel University graduate, and College of Disney Knowledge graduate. Her favorite destination is Ireland but very much enjoys the Caribbean and Mexico as well. Email Denise: firstname.lastname@example.org