Date of stay: April 2019
|Beach seating area||6/10|
|My final score||7/10|
Easy to find
We departed from Santo Domingo at about 9:30 am and got to Punta Cana at around 12 am. The hotel was easy to find and drive to. Once at the main gate of the RIU Republica the security guard asked us ID (be sure to bring the ID of the person who made the reservation).
After that, we parked our car at the medium sized lot right next to the front desk area.
Check-in time is at 3:00 pm, we got there early (around 12:30 pm) with the hope of checking in and eating at the buffet while waiting for our room to be ready at 3:00 pm.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out our rooms were ready for us! We proceeded to leave our luggage in the room and head to the La Altagracia restaurant to have lunch.
Lunch at La Altagracia
La Altagracia is one of two restaurants, the other one is Mangú, which has an open buffet both for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu is quite varied any given meal and also varies somewhat from day to day.
There were plenty of options, from italian, spanish and chineese to japanese and dominican cuisine.
I’m a vegetarian so that reduced my lunch options but I found the menu to be varied enough for me to be happy (after all I had been going to the gym every day for a month so I could eat whatever I wanted during my 3 nights stay at the RIU Republica!)
I had nachos (with all the works), pizza, rice, black beans, salad and an assortment of small desserts. All this divided into 3 different trips between our table and the buffet.
We were assigned room 0186 which was on the first floor about five minutes walking distance from the front desk, 4 minutes from the La Altagracia restaurant, 4 minutes from the nearest pool and about 6 minutes from the beach.
By now you realize this hotel is big! but back to the room. It was medium sized, perfect for a couple. Once you walk through the door you’ll find a closet to your right (with a small safe, hangers and ironing board) and the bathroom to your left.
The size is perfect and everything was in its place. Most importantly it was spotless! There were two separate sinks next to each other, designed for couples.
The lighting was great, bright white lights made the bathroom look modern and clean. The shower was spacious, it had only a half glass instead of a full glass door, which made it difficult to operate the shower head at full pressure without splattering water all over the bathroom floor.
I ended up only opening the water a quarter of the way which meant poor water pressure.
One major flaw was that there are no windows in the bathroom and the extractor was not working, this meant if someone went number two the bathroom was a hazmat zone for a while.
The rest of the room
We had a king sized bed with four pillows. It was kind of hard but comfortable, we were able to sleep well all three nights of our stay.
There’s a “glazed” window that lets you see the contour of whoever’s taking a shower in the bathroom, I don’t know if double rooms with separate beds have this feature also but I hope not!
There is a nigh table to each side of the bed, each one with a bed lamp attached to the wall. One electrical outlet on each side and USB charging ports on the right side of the bed next to the phone.
A medium sized TV equipped with cable is right in front of the bed and a small living room to its left. There’s a small balcony on the other side of a glass door which was great to dry up towels and bathing suits during the night.
The A/C was working fine, we set it to 21.5 degrees Celsius and were able to sleep comfortably, although it never got that cold. With the help of a small ceiling fan the room was quite cool during the day and cold at night for a great night’s sleep.
Beware of your room’s location!
We were traveling with another couple and they got assigned a room quite far from us which was closer to the theater. They had trouble sleeping the first two nights and requested a room change for the third night because of the noise.
I don’t know if this was due to the fact their room was close to the theater or if it was a high traffic area but they said people were loud all night long.
Ahhh, the beach
After a quick nap, we hit the beach! Located just after the front pools and behind a sand bar (you can’t actually see the beach from the hotel), it was stunningly beautiful.
There are chaise longs exclusively for the hotel guests, some are in the shade and some are not.
The following days we discovered the truth behind the saying “the early bird gets the worm” so if you want a front line chaise long you better get to the beach first thing in the morning and claim it early!
There was yellow flag flying on this beach, a yellow flag means the beach is somewhat rough, and indeed it was. medium to somewhat strong waves came crashing down on us the whole time we were in the water but we loved it.
The temperature was great, and we ended up in the water for about 2 hours before we decided to try one of the pools. It’s worth noting that there was NO seaweed anywhere on the beach (outside or inside) which was the opposite of what I was expecting so that was a very welcome surprise.
I counted 5 pools, 2 had swim-up bars and one was a small pool with a volleyball net in the middle and groups used it to play volleyball.
We ended up using the same pool every day because it was less crowded. The pool we used was right next to the water slides, it didn’t have a swim up bar but a waiter was constantly taking orders and bringing over any drink you wanted.
There was a speaker with loud music almost at all times in this pool but you get used to it and at some point in the day, they move it over to one of the other pools.
On the days we were there the hotel’s entertainment crew organized a dancing lesson, a swimming competition and a water polo game in this pool at around 10 am.
The water was perfect and you could spend hours in the pool without getting cold.
The water park
Made up of 4 water slides the word “park” is used loosely in this instance. Having said that all slides are FUN! They’re fast and furious, and when I say fast I mean it.
I didn’t do all 4 (two are not covered and seemed quite steep for my taste), the two I rode were plenty fast and so much fun. I highly recommend you ride them at least once.
Dinner at the Indian restaurant Taj Mahal
No reservation necessary to dine at this or any other restaurant in the RIU Republica, however, you may need to wait to be seated since it works on a first come first served basis.
We were asked our room number and how many people were we, they then gave us a token that vibrates when your table is ready. We waited for about 10 minutes.
Service was ok, not rude but not especially friendly either. There’s a buffet with side dishes and entrees that you can eat from while waiting for your food.
You don’t order at this restaurant, they instead prepare you a four-dish menu and place it on the table. It’s like a sampler of 4 Indian dishes (it’s not sampler sized though since it’s a lot of food).
No vegetarian options were served as main dishes which was a let down since there are a LOT of vegetarian options in Indian cuisine. The seasoning was somewhat washed down and our first dinner was kind of a letdown.
All four of us were left hungry since we didn’t like the food that much so we thought we’d also try the Italian restaurant “Tarantella”.
We got a token to wait in line there too but quickly realized we’d have to wait too long and decided to hit the dinner buffet at the La Altagracia restaurant where we had lunch earlier.
The buffet was, again, more than adequate and all four of us liked it. We realized that the dinner buffet was comprised of some of the dishes served on each of the other restaurants so there were, Japanese, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and other options.
After dinner entertainment
On our first night at the resort, we decided to check out the evening show which started at 9:30 pm. We got there about 40 minutes before the show started and it was difficult for us to find decent seating for 4 so take that into account if you want to catch the shows.
The entertainment team was dancing with guests as a preshow. The evening’s show was titled Burlesque and was a series of dances with female and male dancers to different songs.
The dancing was actually very good and the choreography was entertaining. All four of us were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the show. If you’ve been at a resort before you know these shows are a miss most of the time.
If you’re still reading and want to know about late night entertainment you’re out of luck! We went to bed around 11 pm and had a great night’s sleep.
Want to go partying outside the hotel? Skip the regular lines at Coco Bongo Disco!
My favorite meal: breakfast
The meal I was really looking forward was breakfast. There’s something about resorts breakfast that makes me salivate, pancakes, waffles, crepes, french toasts, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, jellies, jams, peanut butter, “mangú” (mashed plantains), fruit, granola, many types of bread, I mean what’s not to like!
I liked everything I tasted, except for the cereal selection which seemed cheap and the flavor was almost nonexistent. Also, the orange and the lemonade is mostly water.
There’s a wide selection of real-fruit juices but they’re also watered down which was a letdown. We had this buffet-style meal at the La Altagracia restaurant where, along with the Mangu restaurant, are the only two restaurants open for breakfast and lunch.
After about half an hour of post-meal rest (to rest the belly) we hit the beach again.
Back to the beach
The beach was again great. Nice temperature, not crowded and seaweed free. Two of us went kayaking (which was included) and two of us went walking for a while. The coast was beautiful, a light breeze and plenty hot!
The water was still a little rough which made it more fun. The color of the water was turquoise and beautiful. After a few hours, we went back to our pool to wait for lunch time.
Lunch at Mangú restaurant
This is the only other restaurant open for lunch other than La Altagracia. Think of Mangú as a smaller version of La Altagracia (main buffet) and therefore the variety of food is way less. This was the only time we ate here since the main buffet is WAY better.
I’d say the only justification for eating here is if your room is on this wing of the hotel and La Altagracia is too far or if you are not very hungry.
Dinner at the Italian restaurant
On our second night, we decided to try the Italian restaurant. We arrived at 7:30 pm and didn’t have to wait for a table. This restaurant is also a buffet so you can begin eating right away.
I found many vegetarian options and this was, for me, the best meal I had at the hotel. The rest of my group didn’t think too much about their food but I loved it.
I had pizza, spinach cannelloni, eggplant Parmesan, Foccacia, among other things. Afterwards, we finished off our hunger at the La Altagracia buffet where there was a larger array of desserts.
We thought something called “beach party” was a night show but it was just that, a beach party. They played music in the beach area and people danced but we didn’t stay for that. We called it a night early and binged watched “Naked and Afraid” on the Discovery Channel.
Breakfast time came again, and the menu was the same as the day before, no complaints here! But by lunchtime, I realized that I was getting a little tired of the same food.
We repeated the same recipe as the days before: beach, pool, lunch, pool, dinner, night show.
We decided to play it safe and went straight for the La Altagracia buffet. Same flavors, similar options but good overall. After dinner, we went to the same theater as the first night to catch the night’s show.
The show this night was a circus act comprised of balancing, juggling and a whole bunch of ripped guys that made me rethink the amount of food I had eaten these past few days!
The show was good, young guys and girls put on a decent show. Some of the things they did were impressive and others were kind of boring but their effort showed all night.
Some mistakes were made but we didn’t care, the show was entertaining and jaw-dropping at times. It lasted for about an hour and we were left content and ready for our final night’s sleep.
You know the routine of the last day, you wake up, get your luggage almost ready to go and go for breakfast and a final dip in the pool before check out time (12:00 pm). Instead of the pool, we decided to hit the hot tub located in the spa, it was free and empty.
The hot tub area was desolated, quiet and very well decorated which made it a perfect final morning at the RIU Republica Punta Cana.
Checkout and farewell
The line to checkout was long but the checkout process itself was very fast. They give you a piece of paper with your room number at the front desk which you’re supposed to give to the main gate guard when you leave the premises.
Final thoughts of the RIU Republica
The RIU Republica is a great hotel, decently priced and the quality-price ratio is good. The staff is not overly friendly but they’re ok. The food was good, not great. The pools and the beach were amazing and our overall stay was great.
|Beach seating area||6/10|
|My final score||7/10|