My wife and I (53-59) stayed at Blue Bay January 13-27th., 2009. We booked our vacation last summer for a very good price through Sunwing. We booked early because ‘adult only’ was very important to us due to last year’s debacle. Our flight was delayed a little due to de-icing, but not a big problem. We paid the extra money to pre book our seats in Elite class and was it was well worth it, with extra 10 KG per person, lots of leg room and express check in both in Toronto and Puerto Plata.
Check in. Very efficient and fast, we were approached by a staff member with a tray with a Canadian flag on it, two warm towels and a glass of ice tea. 5 minutes later we were in our room (#7112). Within 10 minutes of being at Blue Bay my wife’s first comment was " this place is civilized"
Room. Very spacious and to our surprise a sitting area with 2 very comfy chairs for reading or watching TV. King size bed, dresser, 20" TV, huge closet with room safe ($30.00 for 2 weeks) and 3 drawers below. The closet had 4 doors and a light in it which turned off when the doors were closed. Marble and tiled bathroom with hair dryer. Never had an issue with water temperature or pressure, and we did shower at different times. Our room was one minute from the main buffet and pools, and also the quiet bar and pool, 2 minutes to the beach. Beach towels were in our room when we arrived and were changed every day or second day. Housekeepers were efficient and did a good job.
Food. Excellent, plenty of variety in the buffet for all 3 meals. There was an egg station at breakfast, along with a smoothie station. Lunch and dinner the pasta bar will make to any dish you like. A different theme every night for dinner, roast beef, pork, fish, turkey, you name it and was very good. We ate 3 times each at the El Pescadores (fish) & the El Dorado (steak) al a carte restaurants. The Mahi Mahi and grouper were excellent and the Argentinean steak and Chateaubriand for 2 were so tender you could cut them with your fork. We ordered medium rare and that is what we got. The best appetizers for us were the shrimp and avocado salad, breaded calamari and shrimp and grouper lasagna. Service was wonderful and they had a name tag on our table–nice touch. The snack bar at the beach was great for burgers, sausages, chicken, pizza and fries. How some people say they could not find anything to eat, blows me away. My wife does say that she would like to see an alternative to the hot cereal (oatmeal) offered at breakfast and that is the traditional Caribbean cornmeal.
Bars. There are 4, swim up, pool/entertainment, quiet and beach. Like most other resorts (Riu’s) the main brand of liquor is Normandy, which well how can I say it nicely– not top or middle shelf (a euphemism for awful), but with a smile and a por favor, you can always get Brugal(3 grades) & Russian Vodka. That is what I did and all was good.
Grounds. Well kept and maintained. Statues and romantic dinner set up were really a nice touch.
Tours. We have been going to the DR since 1989, so we have done them all previously.
Entertainment. We watched two shows, the Cirque du Soleil, and the water ballet. Both were good and worth the time. At our age we did not participate in any games, and after the first day of saying No Gracias, they left us alone and concentrated on the younger set. The animation team do work a long and hard day, and are always smiling and laughing. I got tired just watching them.
Pools. There are 3, the 3′ deep swim up, the 4′ sports activity pool and the 4′ quiet pool (very small) All were clean and well maintained. A wee bit chilly for the first 30 seconds but great after that.
Beach. Clean and well maintained from what we could see, as we spent our time at the pools.
Staff. Very helpful, from Sr. Oscar Lora the G.M. to the groundskeepers. Many a time we saw management helping out in the restaurants, cleaning and setting tables for more guests to use. Sr. Lora has his finger on the pulse of this resort and it carries over to the staff.
Overall. All my comments so far have been very positive, however, we all know that no one resort is perfect. Here are my thoughts to enhance the positive:
More shade around the pool areas along with small tables to put your drinks, book, or camera down. Umbrellas for every room, believe me we did need them. Perhaps candles in the buffet for dinner. We were asked to fill out a questionnaire while sitting at the back of the buffet restaurant one night and could not read it from lack of lighting. A proper lounge or lobby bar would be a good addition, since the only bar open after 11:00 PM is the beach bar so there really is no alternative. At other resorts, we used to enjoy a drink or 3 relaxing in a nice lounge bar with friends after the entertainment is over. Housekeeping should clean the room at the same time every day, so guests can plan around that. Now having said that, would we go back? A big YES for the first time. we have never gone back to any resort we’ve been but are planning a return visit to Blue Bay in 2010.
Any questions contact PM me – Captain2002