Riu República – a comprehensive review of this adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Most all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana lack a certain special atmosphere but Hotel Riu República is definitely unique. It is a very social resort with lots of activities going on, where most of the people are looking to socialize and have fun. Even though Riu República Punta Cana can be easily named a party resort in Punta Cana, it is much more than that as the quality here is surprisingly high and there are also quiet pools and many areas to relax in case you’d like to have some Me-time.

Another thing you shouldn’t miss are the massive Riu Pool Parties off-property (hence nobody gets disturbed), which are some of the best parties you can find in Punta Cana. To know how this works, what Riu República excursions you shouldn’t miss, what you should take care of when traveling to this Punta Cana all-inclusive resort and what you can expect regarding the Riu República food, continue reading this extensive and honest Riu República review.

This is an extensive review of Riu República. If you’d like to know some general information about accommodation in Punta Cana, you can continue reading all the insider tips on how to find the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana and my recommendation on how to save money during an all-inclusive holiday in Punta Cana.
There is also a separate review about Riu Palace Punta Cana here on Punta Cana Travel Blog.
If you’d like to party, definitely check out the article about the Riu Party events.

Where is Riu República?

Riu República Punta Cana is located, as the name implies, in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Within this area, you can find Hotel Riu República in Arena Gorda, a beautiful stretch of beach with mostly other all-inclusive resorts. It is bordered by Hard Rock Punta Cana in the north and Occidental Caribe in the South.

To get to Riu República from Punta Cana International Airport, it is most recommendable to prebook an Riu República airport shuttle, as Uber in Punta Cana is not allowed at the airport pick-up area and taxis are not always offering the best price and/or service. If you’re traveling solo to Riu República, a shared airport transfer* is available for below 10 USD, if you are a party of 2 or more people, a private airport transfer from Punta Cana Airport offers a better price-value-ratio. The driving time for a Riu República airport shuttle* is around 25 minutes and the distance from the airport to Riu República Punta Cana is around 15 miles.

 The official Riu República address is Carreterra El Macao – Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic (even though you can’t send or mail anything to this address).

When leaving Hotel Riu República walking, there is not much around. This being said, the only way of getting around – besides enjoying a walk at the beach – is by ordering a taxi. Besides this, there is a connection with the Punta Cana public transport from the main entrance of Riu República to the provincial capital of Higuey every half an hour in case you feel adventurous.

Definition of Riu República

Riu República Punta Cana is a stand-alone adults-only resort, approx. 2 miles away from the other Riu Resorts in Punta Cana (Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Bambu, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Naiboa, Riu Palace Bavaro). However, except for the Riu Party events (where you can enjoy free shuttles), there is no need to head over to the other Riu hotels as you have everything included at Riu República. Find out more about those events below in this extensive Riu República review or in the separate article about the Riu Parties. You find also much more information about Riu Republica excursions further below.

Even though Riu República is the only official name, you might come across the following names in other hotel reviews, booking engines or travel blogs:
– Riu República
– Riu República Punta Cana
– Hotel Riu República
– Riu República Adults Only
– Riu República All Inclusive Adults Only
– Riu República Resort
– Riu Hotel República
– Hotel Riu República All Inclusive Adults Only

All of them are describing the same hotel, the hotel this Riu República review is about.

Overview of Riu República

Let’s start with what you can expect when booking your stay at Hotel Riu República. In general, the hotel is one of the larger all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, featuring more than 1000 rooms (1382 rooms in total to be exact) and a size of more than 40 acres. It is also one of the newer hotels in Punta Cana, as it was only built in 2016.

Furthermore, the lobby is not located at the beginning of the property as in other Punta Cana Resorts, it is rather located in the middle. The lobby is divided into two parts – a pretty barebone area just for checking in and a much nicer area next to it with lounge furniture, the lobby bar and several places to sit and mingle.

Riu Republica, a adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana with a lot of party options

In this area, you can also find one of the à-la-carte restaurants, the Riu República spa, the 24/7 sports bar with pool tables and snack area as well as the disco, one of the most important (and active) places for the nightlife at Riu República Punta Cana, which you can read more about further below in the entertainment section of this Riu República review.

When walking from this central area towards the Riu República beach, you’ll first pass the large open-air theatre, which is home to the nightly shows. Walking further, you have the main accommodation buildings to the left and the right, which feature 4 stories and are home to most of Riu Repúblicas’ rooms. On the ground floor of the right wing, you also find a convenience store, further à-la-carte restaurants and the main buffet.

Riu Republica Punta Cana, a adults only all-inclusive resort

After the buffet, that’s also when the accommodation buildings are ending, you’ll reach the most active area of Riu República Punta Cana: the pool area. You have three pools here (or actually five if you consider that the swim-up bars’ pools are separate from the main pool) with the one next to the buffet being the most active one. Here you’ll have daily gatherings, daily pool activities and a super active crowd which is always looking to get to know new people.

Riu Republica, a adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana with a lot of party options

 But also if you prefer it a bit quieter, Hotel Riu República won’t disappoint you. The pool right next to this active “party pool” is very quiet (even though you will hear the music from the neighboring pool) and ideal for relaxing and chilling out.

Riu Republica Punta Cana, a adults only all-inclusive resort

 The third pool in this area is another social pool with a swim-up bar and tables and seats in the water even though it is not that active. But it is better if you want to talk to other people as the music is not that loud in this area.

One of the many pools at Riu Republica Punta Cana

As you can see in the photos, Riu República Punta Cana is predetermined to be a social resort. It is one of the few all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, where you find that many extra tables and seats right IN the pool, hence you can mingle here the entire day. From those pools, it is just a stone’s throw to the beach of Riu República Punta Cana.  At the northern end of the beach, you can find a hidden beach bar, where it is usually very quiet and where you can enjoy a nice cocktail with an ocean view (or palm tree view 😉 ).

A beautiful beach bar at Riu Republica Adults Only Resort in Punta Cana

But that’s not everything what Riu República Adults Only is about as there is another part of the resort behind the lobby. Besides some more Riu República rooms in this area, you have another 4 pools (which brings up the total pool count to at least 7, depending on how you count it), another large buffet, 3 more à-la-carte restaurants and even more swim-up bars.

One of the many pools at Riu Republica Punta Cana

 And even though Hotel Riu República is an adults-only resort, it is also a resort with a water park in Punta Cana, which is pretty cool if you want to have some fun with your friends.

The water park at RIU Republica in Punta Cana

 In total, the resort extends around 1800 feet from the beach, which means you walk around 6-9 minutes if you’re coming from the very back of the resort to the beach.

The beach at Riu República

But how is the Riu República beach?

 As everywhere in Punta Cana, you’ll find a beautiful stretch of beach here at Riu República Resort. Fine sand, a blue ocean, a few decent waves and marvelous views are what you can expect.

The Riu Republica beach, one of Punta Canas beaches in the Dominican Republic

 However, there is one particular detail where the Riu República beach is a bit different from other Punta Cana beaches. The palm trees are all very young (and therefore less high) the access to the beach is through a path that is bordered by two dunes protecting the resort. This is neither good nor bad, it is just a different setting compared to what you might be used to in other Punta Cana resorts.

The Riu Republica beach, one of Punta Canas beaches in the Dominican Republic

 If you want to explore the different beaches of Punta Cana walking, Riu República All Inclusive Adults Only offers a perfect base for that. You can walk nearly forever in both directions, passing different types of beaches. If you head to the southeast, you pass the Arena Gorda Beach and the Arena Blanca Beach, which are both lined by many other all-inclusive resorts. You can continue walking here for 8 miles without your feet having to leave the sand.

In the other direction, you only have Hard Rock Resort & Casino Punta Cana before reaching a particularly pristine beach section. Here you can see the full beauty of Punta Cana’s nature and can also continue walking for around 4 miles.

The beach Arena Gorda in Punta Cana behind Hard Rock Hotel

The rooms at Riu República

Riu República features 1382 rooms and is one of the largest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. It might even be the second-biggest stand-alone hotel in Punta Cana after Hard Rock Punta Cana with its more than 1800 rooms. The rooms are allocated in 4-story buildings and have all been newly built in 2016.

As Hotel Riu República is one of the larger all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana it might also happen that you have to walk a little bit further to the beach. The furthest room is around 2000 feet away from the beach, which is around 7-10 minutes walking. However, the majority of the rooms are at around 1000 feet or closer, as the bigger accommodation building is located closer to the beach.

In total, you can choose among 9 room categories, even though not all of them are always available. Most of the Riu República rooms are only differing in the view or the available bedding. If you want to have a bit more luxury and space, you can also opt for one of Riu Repúblicas’ suites:

  • Double Standard
  • Double Room (with garden view/courtyard view)
  • Double Standard Partial Ocean View
  • Double Standard Ocean View
  • Triple Room
  • Suite
  • Suite Jacuzzi
  • Ocean View Suite
  • Family Room (2 Double Rooms)

 All of the rooms are spacious with at least 375 square feet and are equipped with 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed, a sofa, lounge area, WiFi, television, air-conditioning, minibar, coffee-making facilities, a balcony or terrace and a liquor dispenser. Especially the liquor dispenser will make many (party) guests at Hotel Riu República happy as it is pretty nice to have your own bar in your room, particularly as all the bottles feature premium alcohol.

The rooms at Riu Republica Punta Cana

However, Riu Republicas’ rooms were probably the only thing which not convinced me totally when staying at the hotel. Even though the hotel is pretty new and was built from scratch around 6 years ago, the rooms seem to be a bit run down. Don’t get me wrong, they are comfortable, you can sleep well, you have everything you need – but considering the young age, there were a lot of traces of wear visible. We also missed a few more plugs to charge our electronic devices.

 But still, we absolutely enjoyed our stay in our Riu República room. The minibar was fully stocked, the bathroom super spacious (even though a fan or ventilation was missing) and the sofa very comfy. Considering that many young people are traveling to Riu República Punta Cana, which might be their first holiday overseas, the rooms are comfortable and satisfying. You also have to take into consideration that Riu República is not a high-end resort, it is one of the more affordable resorts in Punta Cana.

The rooms at Riu Republica Punta Cana

The WiFi also worked well, even though it is limited to a maximum of two devices per room (or three, if you are traveling in a party of three, I assume). If you wanted to connect more you first had to log out manually from one device and afterwards connect to the other, which was a bit of work. If you constantly want to connect more devices, you can purchase additional access codes at the reception (or simply buy a local SIM card).

While most of you probably will book the standard category, it is worth mentioning a few things for some of the other rooms and suites at Hotel Riu República.

The rooms at Riu Republica Punta Cana

In case you’re traveling as a group of friends, the Riu República triple rooms are the best choice for you. With two queen beds and one sofa bed, they are the only option with three beds. There are no quadruple rooms at Riu República Punta Cana. If traveling as a party of 4, it is best to book two double rooms.

If you prefer Riu República with an ocean view, you can book one of the ocean view rooms. The amenities are similar to the other rooms and suites, the only difference is the view of the ocean from your balcony. However, availability of those ocean view rooms is very limited.

Booking and Prices at Riu República

Riu República All Inclusive Adults Only is a hotel where everything is included: all meals, drinks, the room, all of the amenities described here in this Riu República review and much more. It doesn’t matter where you book, all of these base services are always included.

However, it is still worth having a second look at where you get the best conditions. Different companies are offering different perks, hence you can check out the following pages for booking one of Riu Repúblicas’ rooms to see where you get the best deal.

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Rates for Riu República Punta Cana usually start at around 95 USD per person per night in the low season and 135 USD per person per night in the high season. With these prices, Riu República sharply misses the list of the cheapest resorts in Punta Cana but is definitely one of the more affordable all-inclusive hotels in the area.

 Please note that Riu República is not available through all of the well-known online booking agencies, which is why the table above is rather short. If you find a website where the hotel is shown as sold out, I’d recommend checking another website, ideally one of those mentioned above, to see if there is availability. You can also check out the Riu website directly.

As always in our hotel reviews, we’re also making an extensive price comparison between the websites to see where you get the best deal. For this test, we assume different scenarios:
Scenario 1: a couple traveling in low season (01-08 December) 
Scenario 2: a couple traveling in high season (15-22 February) 
Scenario 3: 3 adults traveling during the summer holiday (20-27 August)

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All prices were taken on the 22nd of June 2022.

As you can see, the summary of this price comparison is pretty short. There is a price parity between most of the major online travel agencies, hence you can book at your preferred website.

Very important: Prices can vary from one day to another, they might also be different depending on the country where you are located. Make sure to check booking, payment and cancellation conditions, as they might vary widely. It pays off to compare different platforms, but it is also worth to skip some of the cheapest offers if you don’t know and/or trust the company. If booking directly with the hotel or with renowned platforms like Booking or Expedia or leading tour operators like Apple Vacations, Sunwing Vacations or Virgin Holidays, you are usually making a good decision.

If you have not booked your flight yet, you can also check if it is cheaper to book your trip to the Dominican Republic as a holiday package. This means you’re booking your flight and hotel (and usually also a shared airport transfer) in a package from a certified tour operator. Sometimes this option is cheaper, but sometimes it is more expensive, hence it is worth comparing the prices.

Restaurants and bars at Riu República

Considering the size and the number of rooms at Riu República Punta Cana, a lot of restaurants and bars are needed to satisfy more than 2000 guests – and exactly that’s what the hotel is doing by offering the following:

  • 2 buffet restaurants
  • 7 à-la-carte restaurants
  • 3 snack bars
  • 13 bars

In other words, you are never far away from something to eat or to drink and both are available 24/7. The quality of food and drinks is also absolutely fine – a bit surprising considering we are talking about one of the very affordable resorts in Punta Cana.

But let’s dive a bit into the details of Riu República’s food and drink service.

Riu Republica Food: buffet restaurants

Hotel Riu República is one of the few all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana which has two main buffet restaurants that are (usually) always open. Especially the “La Altagracia” buffet is enormous, it nearly has a crazy size and is one of the biggest buffets I have ever seen in Punta Cana. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect that much of cozy dining (or lunch or breakfast) atmosphere here, it is more a means to an end.

The buffet restaurant at Riu Republica All Inclusive Punta Cana

 However, the food at Riu República’s buffet is great. As you can expect from such a large buffet, there is something for everyone. Pizza, pasta, fresh meats, grilled fish, Dominican favorites, fruits, desserts, ice cream and much more. They even have smoked salmon, sushi (which should not be taken for granted considering Riu Repúblicas’ prices) and there are also plenty of freshly prepared salads. The buffet also features plenty of show cooking stations.

The buffet restaurant at Riu Republica All Inclusive Punta Cana

“La Altagracia” buffet is located very close to the main pool and the beach, hence it is your perfect lunch option when enjoying your day out there.

 The “Mangu” buffet at the other end of the resort, close to the water park and 4 of the other pools, is a little bit smaller and therefore has slightly fewer options, but it is still a full buffet with even more options than what other Punta Cana resorts are offering in their main buffet.

The buffet restaurant at Riu Republica All Inclusive Punta Cana

Both buffets feature air-conditioned inside dining and outdoor seatings. The service is quite impersonal but effective.

Riu República Food: à-la-carte and specialty restaurants

Let’s continue with the à-la-carte and specialty restaurants in this Riu República review. In total, you can enjoy 7 restaurants, which are all open for dinner, including:

  • Steakhouse à-la-carte restaurant
  • 2 gourmet à-la-carte restaurants
  • Spanish restaurant (Tapas)
  • Indian restaurant
  • Italian à-la-carte restaurant
  • Asian restaurant

Usually, 4-6 of those restaurants are open each night.

 Riu Repúblicas restaurants are operating under a no-reservation policy, hence you can visit all of those restaurants for dinner whenever you want and as often you want. It is recommendable to be there for dinner between 6.30 and 7.30 pm (at the very latest 8.00 pm), as they fill up and have limited capacity. Obviously, in case you don’t get a table at one of the à-la-carte restaurants, you can always head to the buffet(s), which is open until 10 or 10.30 pm every day.

The restaurants at Riu República Punta Cana have a certain peculiarity when it comes to dinner restaurants. While usually – in other all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana – all themed restaurants are à-la-carte restaurants, this is different for Riu Repúblicas’ food options.

For example, the Asian restaurant offers full buffet service, but only for dinner, and is completely focused on Asian food. They have tons of sushi here, a lot of green and exotic salads and many warm dishes which are famous in Asian cuisines, such as Chow Fan, Chop Suey, sweet and sour combinations or fried vegetables. There is also a lot of raw fish such as Ceviche, Sukimi or Tuna Carpaccio in case you like those options.

 The Indian restaurant works differently. Here you’ll have an appetizer buffet with a lot of Indian flavors and dishes as well as a general dessert station. For the main dish, you get a tasting menu with different small bowls, it is basically like a trip through Indian cuisine. While the choices of this menu were not that abundant, the taste was outstanding – I would bet they have an Indian chef there.

The gourmet restaurant “Kulinarium” was the third restaurant we visited during our Riu República stay – and this one is a genuine à-la-carte restaurant. You have different dishes with meat, fish or vegetarian options, including appetizers and desserts to choose from the menu. Even though it wasn’t an experience we will remember for our lifetime, the quality was perfectly fine and the dishes well presented.

 In general, I was surprised about the level and quality of the Riu República food, considering it is one of the more affordable all-inclusive resorts. As long as you don’t expect top-notch dining cuisine from Michelin-awarded chefs, you’ll have great experiences here and can have a feast for your taste buds. The no-reservations policy comes also in handy, as this gives you the flexibility to go for dinner whenever you want. In case you have to wait, you’ll get a small beeper that will vibrate once it is your turn. In the meantime, you can have a drink at one of the bars, which is never far away at Riu República Punta Cana.

Riu República Food: snacks

In case you feel like having a little snack at any hour which is not the usual breakfast, lunch or dining hours, you can choose between 3 snacks at Hotel Riu República.

There is a pretty cool jerk station between the main pool and the beach, which serves freshly grilled chicken, hot dogs and much more (meat only).

The snack bar and grill at the beach at Riu Republica

The terrace of the main buffet restaurant “La Altagracia” is also open much longer than the buffet and is perfect for a quick pool bite. Last but not least, you have the 24/7 sports bar, which also has a selection of sandwiches, nachos, hamburgers and other snacks, which are available all day and night long here.

Riu República bars and drinks

After all the food, how about some drinks? Riu República Punta Cana won’t disappoint here either. Of course, we are talking about one of the best party resorts in Punta Cana, hence it would be weird if there is a problem with when the alcohol is flowing.

Depending on if you count the swim-up bars as one bar or two bars (because the swim-up bars have a bar accessible from the pool and a separate section as a kind of dry area), Riu República features around 10-13 bars.

One of the bars at Riu Republica

As you can imagine, with so many bars, your next drink is never far away. Particularly the pool bars (there are in total 3 swim-up bars at Riu República) and the lobby bar are also great for socializing, in case you are looking for like-minded travelers. The good thing about so many bars – which are also well-staffed – is that you never have to wait a long time for your drink, not even during the peak hours at the theatre bar or the lobby bar.

The menu with all the drinks at Riu Republica, a adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Furthermore, you can expect some good quality drinks as Hotel Riu República has a decent choice of international brands, such as Johnny Walker Red Label, Dewars White Label, Smirnoff Vodka or the prestigious Dominican rum Barcelo Imperial. This is in-line with other all-inclusive resorts in a similar price range.

Entertainment, service, sports and party at Riu República

Let’s talk about entertainment in this Riu República resort review, one of the reasons most people are coming here. But don’t worry, even though the hotel can be considered a party resort in Punta Cana, it is not overly chaotic, you won’t find drunken people sleeping somewhere on the floor and there are always quiet spaces if you need them. As described above, some of the pools at Riu República Punta Cana are quiet pools, the à-la-carte restaurants are offering are really attractive dining experience and at the beach, you can soak up the sun without being surrounded by music or party people, especially when visiting the hidden beach bar at the northern end of the resort.

 But what’s on offer for you if you’re looking for fun, if you want to socialize and if you would like to enjoy the one or other party in Punta Cana?

First of all, you have the pools which were already described above. I have never seen such an active crowd at any of Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts. Especially in the main pool next to the buffet, there are always people and there is always something going on – sometimes just socializing, sometimes some themed activities or pool parties with the entertainment staff.

Party and socializing at Riu Republica in Punta Cana

 Besides those pool parties during the day, you have one massive nightly party per week called Get Together Party, usually on Wednesdays, which is part of the Riu Party program. It is a themed party night at the big open-air theatre, which indeed is a huge spectacular show and party. The themes are either white party or neon party, depending on which week you are traveling. The party was the best resort party I have seen so far (and I have visited at least 30 all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana … ) and it included a lot of special effects, a great DJ, an amazing saxophonist, a very animated crowd, dance performances, balloons, decorations and much more.

Riu Get Together Party at Riu Republica with a Neon Party

 When it is not Wednesday evening, you’ll have other show performances waiting for you. The same here, it was impressive to see how everyone is enjoying these shows as usually just a small part of the guests are joining. Here, at Riu República Punta Cana, the theatre was packed and hardly a single seat was left.

Nightly entertainment at Riu Republica Punta Cana

 Starting from 11 pm, you can hop over from the Riu Get Together Party or the daily evening shows to the Pacha disco. And again Riu República was proving why it is one of the best party resorts in Punta Cana: while in most other all-inclusive hotels in Punta Cana you can manually count the number of guests (because there are hardly any), the disco of Riu República Punta Cana was packed. Here, you can enjoy a true night of fun with like-minded people. The Pacha disco deserves the word “party”. I have never seen a disco so packed in an all-inclusive resort.

The disco at Riu Republica Punta Cana

But that’s not everything regarding Riu Repúblicas parties. As a guest, you also enjoy access to two weekly parties (on Mondays and Fridays). Those events are the biggest parties you can find in Punta Cana (along with Coco Bongo Punta Cana, which is a separate excursion) and are taking place at the exclusive Riu Party venue in the main Riu resort, approximately 2 miles away from Riu República Adults Only. There are free shuttles from Riu República to the Riu Party venue, leaving multiple times from Riu República between approx. 3 pm and 4 pm and returning between 6 pm and 7 pm. If you’d like to know more about these unique Riu pool parties, check out the separate article about Riu Party or have a look at the following photos. It is an event you shouldn’t miss and an unparalleled highlight in the entire Punta Cana party scene.

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