Barcelo Puerto Plata Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Barcelo Puerto Plata

Arrival: Jan 23 – 29 We left the Regina airport knowing that a long trip awaited, as we had to sto pto pick up Saskatoon passengers before heading out on the 6 1/2 hour flight to Puerto Plata. All we went well on the Skyservice flight, which was booked with Transat Holidays. We saw on the television screens we were flying over the Dominican Republic — odd, since Puerto Plata is right on the north coast. We were told it was raining too hard in Puerto Plata for the flight to land, and so we were diverted to La Romana, another tourist destination located in the southeast corner of the island. We had to stay overnight and wait in the airport the entire next day until being flown to Santo Domingo and bussed 6 hours to Puerto Plata. Arrival at the Barcelo wasn’t as smooth as I assume it usually is. We were all arriving at an unscheduled time, and guests who couldn’t leave Puerto Plata on account of rain were staying an extra night. We didn’t get the room requested, but it was clean.

Rooms:

We stayed in 10-122 and it didn’t have the greatest view (of a fence) but was quite close to everything, which we enjoyed. The room was a little tired overall. Some days we would get snacks (chocolate bar and chips) and other days we wouldn’t. Your room wouldn’t get cleaned unless you left a sign on the door and sometimes we forgot and had to call for the room to be cleaned later on, and they came promptly. The TV and mini-bar worked fine,but the hot water wasn’t great until about the fourth day.

Restaurants

The buffet was pretty good. The best was the individually-made omlettes in the morning or pasta at lunch or supper. Some nights there were different themes to mix things up. The snack bar by the pool was great during the day, with really good burgers and fries. At night food was out at the disco, which was the same sort of food and great to have. The a la carte restaurants were awesome. There are five on the resort, but we only tried three. All had a few courses and brought lots of appetizers until your main course. The Mexican and Italian were great — the food expected, and the Oriental was amazing. Be sure to book as early as possible to get into the restaurants you want. The Seafood grill was on the beach and supposed to be good, and the Brazilian restaurant we heard was good if you liked meat. Important — men must wear long pants and closed shoes to the a la cartes. Whichever restaurant we were ate, the service was absolutely excellent and often servers would go the extra mile to make the dinner great for you.

Bars

There was a lobby bar all day, a beach bar, a swim up bar, and a bar near the theatre at night.

Beach The beach was nice, although not the white sand found at Punta Cana. The resort is in a bay so the water, while not calm, isn’t completely wavy. Because of the resorts stretching each way, it is possible to run or walk along the beach which is awesome. Loungers were easy to find, unless you wanted one in the shade. There are also trees at the back of the beach you can find shade in. Watch out for the vendors — we found the closer you were to the water, the less they bothered you. Pool The pool atmosphere was great. Lots to do and lots of music — although it did get a big repetitive after a few days. This is where you wanted to be for lots to do, eat, and drink. If you want quiet, then head to the beach. Grounds The grounds were beautiful and well-maintained and clean. Entertainment on Resort This was really good. During the day there were activities all around the pool, although we didn’t find out about beach volleyball and kayaking until our last day there. At night there was a band and singers every night that were awesome and very professional. There were also some fun nights such as Karaoke night. The Disco on the beach was open every night from 11 pm to 2 am. Excursions The Puerto Plata Runners Safari Adventuretour was awesome.We went through Puerto Plata and up the mountain into the countryside. Our jeep safari took us to a true Dominican household, beautiful views, horseback riding, a traditional Dominican lunch, a beautiful beach where we could boogie board, and the tasting of hot chocolate, coffee, coconuts, and cigars. We learned how cigars were rolled and learned even more from our excellent guide, Giovanni. We went on a national holiday so didn’t get to tour the school, which is usually part of the day. Some tours include waterfall tours. The tour operator excursions do not include this as part of their tour as it is deemed unsafe by the Canadian government, but the excursions you buy on the beach will take you there. Quads/Dune Buggies If you don’t like to get wet or muddy, don’t do this tour! But if you don’t mind it, then hop in a dune buggy or stay a little cleaner on a quad, and spend three hours through the mud and a Dominican village. You even venture out onto the roads a bit. I heard the Paradise Island tour was very nice. If we had known earlier, we would have booked horseback riding with Cowboy Bill. He sits in front of the lobby bar at the Barcelo — you’ll know him because he is the only one in a cowboy hat. He is a Canadian who lives there now doing horseback riding tours. He has three different tours – a full day, morning, or sunset tour, and we would have loved to gone if we had found out about him earlier. Departure/Check-out Went smoothly, although ther was a long line when we went to check out at the checkout time of one o’clock. Other Many Canadians stay here, and many of them are French Canadians. The staff spoke fairly good English and many spoke French as well. We also got a massage and it was awesome – completely worth the money. If you are in the Prestige class, make sure you get your complimentary bottle of rumn and fruit tray — we had to ask for ours. Often when we went to the reception, we were sent to guest services, and then sent on to the Prestige Class services and then even sometimes the Transat representative… we just had to be patient as we figured out who to talk to for each. If you’re stuck go to the Transat rep first if there isn’t a line. Overall, I liked this resort although I wasn’t in love with it. I might try somewhere else next time, although I think for what we paid for our vacation, it was great value.

Photos: http://www.tpiworldwide.com/JulieFolkTPI/gallery.asp

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