The low ‘flower rating’ is mainly because of the food poisoning, and the initial room we were given. Other aspects of the resort – service, restaurants, beach – were pretty good. This was our 4th trip to Dominican.
Don’t pay full price for this hotel – in Feb we paid $650 per person per week, incl air, taxes and fees. That is the right price for this resort. If you pay $1000 or more, then I think you can find a nicer place, or one that is in a better location (closer to excursions).
Air canada vacations – we were able to ‘check in’ on the bus! So we got off the bus and already had our room key, just walked to our room, changed, and went to the beach!
Rooms: Very disappointing. We had a room in D7 building. The room was dark. Two single beds were small and not too comfortable. Not enough pillows. Toilet ran constantly, and did not flush properly. Lack of lighting in bathroom made it difficult to shave without injury. NO additional electric outlets in the room. I have a sleeping device and I (eventually) found a questionable-looking extension cord to plug it into. but then the bedside lamp was not plugged in, so I couldn’t read at night. Nowhere to plug chargeables like ipod, phone unless I unplug my sleeping device. The fridge stopped working, and although I mentioned it, it was never fixed. The TV cable signal was very static-y (not a huge deal for me, I didn’t go to watch TV) Our air-conditioner stopped working 4 days before we were supposed to leave. They sent someone to check it out – he said something to me in spanish about ‘compressor’, but I didn’t get it! It was not fixed that night. I complained again 3 times the next day (not because I’m anal, but I wanted it fixed before I had to sleep at night) After the third time, the manager explained that the compressor was gone, and that it could not be fixed. They moved us to another room.
The new room was much better – high ceilings, toilet worked, fridge worked, a/c worked, TV cable was clear (we even got more channels???) and the bed was a king-size bed that was more comfortable. Too bad we didn’t have this room all along!
Restaurants and Bars: Buffet was fine. Don’t expect to eat the same as you do at home. For example, the lineup in the morning for toast was a bit ridiculous – maybe instead of complaining about the line, you could change your routine and just not eat toast?? Desserts are never what we are used to at home. No problem for me – there are plenty of other ways to put on weight. hard to eat vegetarian (not a surprise, just a comment). You have to watch, a few times I went to grab vegetables – like green beans – only to discover there was bacon mixed in.Not really complaining, I’m not a vegetarian, I just like to eat a lot of veggies. But if I was vegetarian, it would be a challenge! Think I’d be eating a lot of pasta… But you don’t got to a resort in the dominican for the food. All in all it was good, but not outstanding. If you’re a picky eater, I think I would avoid Dominican (and probably Cuba). Food at resorts in Mexico tends to be better. A la carte restaurants a little disappointing c/w other resorts I have been to. I like to go to an a la carte to spend a bit more time, but I felt rushed through my meal. Italian restaurant not good at all. Everything was too salty.
Mediterranean food was very good.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Very nice beach – HUGE, in fact! Lots and lots of space, never a problem getting a chair – even if you wanted a chair in the shade. you couldn’t always get a palapa, but you could put your chair under one of the many trees and it was fine. Pools were nice. Not sure if I was allowed to use the smaller pool at what used to be the "club diamond" end, but nobody kicked me out and it was very quiet. Grounds were lovely. Nice place to do my morning run! Only thing I didn’t like were the constant trams shuttling people around the resort. The resort is not THAT big that people can’t walk, so I’m not sure why it was necessary. I have been to a much bigger resort (Grand Palladium in Mayan Riviera) where trams were needed, but they were not needed here.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Resort is too isolated. Too far from excursions.
If I were to return to this area, I would probably look to stay in Cabarete or right in Puerto Plata.
Other Comments: Big downer: my partner got food poisoning at the resort. This was on the 3rd day of our trip. The doctor at the clinic confirmed it was food poisoning, and we hadn’t eaten anywhere except the resort. Laughably, the doctor says "what did you eat?" Really?? After 3 days at an all-inclusive resort, you want a list of what I ate?? So of course there’s no way of knowing what caused the problem. It wasn’t seafood, b/c we didn’t eat any, but other than that?? On the positive side, the medical clinic on the resort was very good (and thankfully so was my insurance!!) He spent a night in the hospital in Puerto Plata (fun 1-hour trip by "ambulance" – thought it was so ironic that I might die in an ambulance, the way they drive!!) There were 2 other couples from the SAME RESORT at the hospital, also with stomach ailments!!