Dominican Republic Resorts Getting married in the Caribbean Reviews – Getting married in the Caribbean – Dominican Republic Reviews

Had a great time, very satisfied.
Hotel Be Live Grand Ambar (formerly Oasis)
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Philip >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Part One First the PROS, the weather was great, 83 degrees slight tropical breezes and no rain for the whole week. 7 wonderful pools, 1 child pool and 1 adult spa pool of the 7. The pools were clean a little cool but soon got used to the water once you were in. Lots of pool furniture for poolside and for right in the shallow edges of pools. Room was better than your average hotel/motel budget ones but not a suite/condo type of higher end either. Again like I have heard the hot water for the room took awhile to run before it was hot but once it started it was alright. The flat-screen TV was on an awkward angle to the bed. Had an nice balcony. We were in Room 30224 and the view was towards the ocean but there were other buildings that blocked our sightline. The housekeepers did a good job, we left 2 dollar tips on the pillows with some small make-up items for her everyday. The grounds were meticulous, the gardens/plant life were very well taken care of. All pathways, stairs and such were well lighted and maintained. The Ambar had 3 restaurants and 1 large buffet restaurant. The 3 were Brazilian, Mexican and Asian. The buffet was the same for every breakfast but changed up menus and mixed it up for lunches and dinners. They would even change the decor slightly at the entranceway to the buffet to reflect the type of menu for that meal. The Asian and Brazilian rest. were the 2 best and the Mex. was 3rd. But all were very, very good. Easily comparable to a high end local restaurant where a meal for 2 would be easily $75.00 without drinks. There were no limits on anything you wanted. We do not drink so cannot say how that part was. The staff was so friendly in every instance, most could speak some English and all always had smiles on their faces. They are very hard working and you do not see any standing about trying to look busy.The diet coke seemed to taste different depending where it was dispensed from! The purified water they served and swan in was good, no problems with any food or water, but they did emphasize not to drink from the tap water in rooms. We took Imodium with us but never needed it. The tour guide for us down there said you needed to make reservations for any of the 3 rest. But when we inquired with the staff they said no just to show up. But if you didn’t show up right at 6:30 and say maybe showed up at 7:30 you could then be waited on the terraces for up to 2 hours for a table. It wasn’t that the rest were full it was I think staff related along with the chefs handling the entrees. I would have given 5 stars but feel nothing rates a 5 since there is always room for improvement. Now the CONS, the beaches a Puerto Plata are ok but as we have heard not near as nice as Puerto Cana on the other end of the island. As a couple we do not care that much because we are more pool people than ocean people.
Part 2
There were certainly nice portions of the beach but not your pristine white sandy look.This is a critical one here and I want to emphasize if you are an older couple, handicapped with mobility, wheelchair bound or anything of this nature this is not the place for you unless you plan on staying on the upper tier of the resort. Grand Ambar is built on a hillside, on 3 tiers, it is easily navigable if you do not have any of those conditions I described. There are pathways and golf carts that I am sure they would send to pick you up but I feel that that would be very tiresome very quickly. There are NO RAMPS anywhere on the property. The Ambar was just renovated and reopened a month before we arrived, everything was fine but the property id made up of the resort, timeshares and purchased condos. If and when you go down to the beach you will be stopped by nice young men in white golf shirts asking if you have received your free gift yet? They want to take you on a golf cart tour of all the facilities and then go in for the pitch. We just refused and for the next 5 days if we bumped into any of these people they would ask again if we would do the interview. It seems they get $10.00 for each one. It wasn’t a big deal since I do not find it difficult to say no but this might make some people feel comfortable.The nightly entertainment was pretty amateurish, as you might expect. You will not see any type cruise ship performances here and you shouldn’t expect it. It is just not in the budget. But the staff tried hard and to some I am sure it was fine, especially the kids. They would do the kids show from 8:30 to 9:15 and then the adult would start art 9:30 PM. The adult spa pool was supposed to have an outdoor Jacuzzi but it never worked and you had to pay to use the indoor one that was actually inside the spa.You might hear that the town of Puerto Plata which is the closet town to the resort has a district sewer smell, we never went into town and the resort was 30 minute drive away so no smell there. I walked along the beach once and smelled something from a runoff creek but that was further up the beach from the official beach property. Everyday staff would rake the beach for seaweed and any other stuff that would wash up.I can’t talk again on the local’s situation since we never left the property. I would highly recommend going there for a holiday. Novitours treated us well and Air Transit flights from Toronto and back were also good, no problems there. Now the CONS, the beaches a Puerto Plata are ok but as we have heard not near as nice as Puerto Cana on the other end of the island. As a couple we did not care that much because we are more pool people than ocean people.
Part 3
There are pathways and golf carts that I am sure they would send to pick you up but I feel that that would be very tiresome very quickly. There are NO RAMPS anywhere on the property. The Ambar was just renovated and reopened a month before we arrived, everything was fine but the property is made up of the resort, timeshares and purchased condos. If and when you go down to the beach you will be stopped by nice young men in white golf shirts asking if you have received your free gift yet? They want to take you on a golf cart tour of all the facilities and then go in for the pitch. We just refused and for the next 5 days if we bumped into any of these people they would ask again if we would do the interview. It seems they get $10.00 for each one. It wasn’t a big deal since I do not find it difficult to say no but this might make some people feel uncomfortable. The nightly entertainment was pretty amateurish, as you might expect. You will not see any type cruise ship performances here and you shouldn’t expect it. It is just not in the budget. But the staff tried hard and to some I am sure it was fine, especially the kids. They would do the kids show from 8:30 to 9:15 and then the adult would start art 9:30 PM. The adult spa pool was supposed to have an outdoor Jacuzzi but it never worked and you had to pay to use the indoor one that was actually inside the spa. This was truly the nicest pool area, as you can see from the large cushioned recliners and porch in sunroom. It was truly Oprahesque! If you wanted to go inside the spa everything had a price but no limits to any access outside. You might hear that the town of Puerto Plata which is the closet town to the resort has a district sewer smell, we never went into town and the resort was 30 minute drive away so no smell there. I walked along the beach once and smelled something from a runoff creek but that was further up the beach from the official beach property. Everyday staff would rake the beach for seaweed and any other stuff that would wash up. I can’t talk again on the local’s situation since we never left the property. I would highly recommend going there for a holiday. Novitours treated us well and Air Transit flights from Toronto and back were also good, no problems there. We flew there on an Air Bus 330 and returned on a brand new A 330, each plane holds 300 and 2 left for Puerto Plata back to back and the same for the return. So that is 600 people going to that area. We all stayed at lots of different resorts in the area and on the return I talked to some people in the departure area of the airport and I got a sense that we had the best experience. It wasn’t that everyone had a lot of negatives but just that ours seemed the best.
Room Block
302
Room Number
24
A Lovely Week!
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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Renae >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
My husband and I stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar in early December 2010. I have been to the DR 5 previous times, and this likely was my favourite resort.
Arrival
Arrival is smooth, you are brought via trolley to the Ambar section, everyone goes into a room (no waiting in long lines) and is given an envelope with room keys, a map and resort information. Our room was not ready, so we had lunch and by 3:00 it was ready (we always have swimsuit, hat, small bottle of sunscreen etc in our carryons for easy access. I have yet to have a room ready if you arrive in the morning or afternoon) The resort is very large, so keep your map handy, and get to know the little transit system, which is colour coded.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach is amazing! We had rough-ish surf, but we enjoy that. Water sports tools without motors can be obtained for free. And although you are not supposed to, people get up in the morning and reserve the lounge chairs under the beach huts or pool umbrellas. We love the beach, so only went in the pool once, though it looked nice and was always busy (and had a swim up bar)
Other Comments
The Amber section is quiet – we could tell when we were in other areas of the resort as it was louder and more party-like atmosphere. We preferred that, but if you want to do the disco and do more partying, the Ambar may not be the section for you. There were lots of couples our age there (mid 30’s/early 40’s) but all seemed to want the same things from their vacation that we did – relaxation! All in all – we had a beautiful, relaxing week and left smiling and would go back again!
Restaurants and Bars
The buffets are the best I have seen in the Dominican. High quality foods and diverse choices. They will make food to order (eggs etc or freshly grilled meat) if you request. The service is very friendly. There is a buffet at the beach also – not as much choice, but we had lunch there daily. Make your reservations immediately upon arrival for the a la cartes – for the whole week. We did the hour we got there, and were told that some places were already full (but with some convincing, we did get in to each Ambar restaurant (there are 3). All of the a la cartes have very fast service – dinner rarely took more than an hour. We ate at the Japanese (which we really enjoyed), Mediterranean (the favourite for both of us), the Don Pablo (also very good – this is the most sought after al la carte, and the fanciest). The Italian, the Mexican (my least favourite, both in terms of service and quality of food) and the Seafood. One night we were supposed to go to the grill, but it was pouring so badly -our only bad weather day!- that we went to the buffet, where the dinner was lovely – carving station, big variety and good service.

The staff were all very friendly everywhere. The bars were all fast and good – they mix drinks VERY strong, so if you prefer less than 75% alcohol, mention it. There are lots of shops with the usual things for sale. The people selling the activity packages are a little pushy, but I just told the one guy that all my husband and I wanted to do was relax, and we did not want to go on dune buggies and he left it at that.

Room Number
64209
Rooms
The rooms are really big, gorgeous and clean. Large bathroom (which is not open concept like other resorts) with a separate shower stall. The door of the shower did stick a little, but no big deal. We had plenty of towels. The beds are somewhat hard, but I have been in worse (including in upscale Canadian hotels!). The minibar is filled daily with pop and beer and coffee for the coffee maker. We tried the pillow bar but preferred the regular pillows. The rooms in the Ambar section are very close to the pool and the beach, and the Ambar pool was adults only. The air conditioner is very powerful.
Feels like home
Hotel Barcelo Punta Cana
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Alex >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Business | Family
We are headed back for the 5th time this year 2010 for Christmas and New Year. We can’t say enough good about this place. We went the first time eyes wide open and it exceeded our expectations. The staff was great, food was great, everything was great! People who write bad reviews about Barcelo must be really high maintenance. What do you expect? This is a paradise and we call it our home away from home. We had a minor medical thing with a sprained ankle and the staff doctor and the hospital were fantastic. The Dominican people are warm, friendly and know everything about the world. We love it!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Fantastic!
Arrival
Arrival was perfect!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was like a Hollywood set.
Other Comments
We don’t expect perfection but the Barcelo Punta Cana was as close as you can get. Give these people some slack, they work their fingers to the bone trying to keep us happy. We love them.
Restaurants and Bars
Fabulous! All of them.
Rooms
Room was perfect!
Romantic and fabulous!!!
Hotel Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
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nancy >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
My husband and i went to the Majestic Elegance on Nov 26th.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The staff always have something going on, they will come and ask you to play but are not pushy.
Arrival
Our arrival was a bit rough, had to wait three hours for our room, did not really find out what the wait was but they set us up with drinks and a beautiful air conditioned lobby to sit in while we waited, we also walked around to get to know the resort.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach is amazing and clean, lots of beach recliners never have to go early and save them with towels like at other resorts.Make sure if you stay in the elegance section you go to the beach hut and sign out snorkel gear,boogie boards etc, they are all free when you stay in this section.
Other Comments
We have been to punt cana four times now and by far this is the best resort, all you have to do is ask and you shall recieve. I am planing next years vacation and I know it will be hard to top this resort, ENJOY if you decide to go!!!
Restaurants and Bars
The food was very good, did not get sick once, everyone there is friendly and helpful. We tipped a dollar at every meal, it is well worth it.
Room Number
3330
Rooms
The rooms were exactly as we had seen on the internet, we had requested ocean view but got pool view which was ok, you have to give a little when you vist third world countries.The room was spacious and CLEAN, NO BUGS ever.We stayed in the elegance club section a MUST if you want luxuary, our butler had a bubble bath with rose petals drawn for us after our day trip on the catamaran, how nice was this!!!Occasionally when we came back from a day at the beach our room was a little damp smell but I took febreeze amd a quick spray took care of that, you can also request a cinnamon scent for your room when the maids clean. Our room was cleaned daily with fresh sheets and towels.
The Majestic Elegance is exactly that, Pure Elegance and Excellence
Hotel Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
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Patrick >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Wedding | With Spouse/Partner
My wife and I travelled there April 2-9, 2009 and February 2-9. 2010 for weddings for family members. The Majestic was good to great the first time as it had just opened up 5 months previously November 2008. there were a few minor hiccups but nothing major and it was not taken of immediately. The second trip can only be classified as excellent to fantastic. Everyhtign was perfect. The food, the beach, the staff, the weather, the accomodations were fantastic. The Bavaro Beach is beyond compare and second to none anywhere else in the Cariabbean-spelling?? The wedding party thanked my wife greatly for recommending the Majestic Elegance to them.

My wife and I will be going back for aproximately 9 to 12 days in March 2011.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Always activities to keep you busy if you do not want to stay on the beachor by the pools
Arrival
This was great. We were greeted by staff who took our bags to our rooms. Chech in was wery speedy.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach is fantastic-42 km’s of fine white sand
Restaurants and Bars
They were great and highly recommend the Flavours Buffet, Italian restaurant and Steak House.

Lots of bars on site with different liquors and one national bear – El Presidente

Rooms
A great room that overlooked the courtyard where the nighlty enteraintment was held.
This resort is second to none
Hotel Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
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Kenneth >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
We stayed the week of Dec 04 to Dec 11 2010
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Lots of activities for all ages
Arrival
Very fast check in,and butler takes you on a resort tour while your luggage is delivered to your room.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds and the beach are beautiful.There is a winding pool hundreds of meters long lined with anything from swim up bar,lounge areas, bridges, kids area and theraputic areas and washrooms.
Other Comments
We booked the adults only area for a very small fee of $59.00 for the week and was it worth it.Priority check in,late checkout(up to 4 hours) past reg checkout at noon,newspaper,priority reservations for the French,Japanese,and Italian restaurants,also we can use the Italian Restaurant for breakfast,lunch,and dinner verus just dinner without adults only.There is the use of 4 extra bars on the beach that cater to your every need from premium drinks delivered to your beach lounge,to many types of fresh finger food 24-7.At these locations free internet also awaits you.If this isn’t enough how about Bali beds just for you.
Restaurants and Bars
Vast choice of restaurants and bars so numerous there is never a lineup
Room Block
4
Room Number
3416
Rooms
Large and well laid out.There is a large king canopy bed,plasma tv,dvd player and a jacuzzi.The room bar includes bottled water,various soft drinks,beer,champagne and four bottles of your choice of liquor.
Beside your door there is a secure cupboard that the butler accesses from the hallway and you access from inside for your room service.Thus no trays to trip on.,The shower has 4 shower heads(3 on the wall).Fun for all
Fantastic Trip
Hotel Punta Cana Princess All-Suites & Spa
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Michael >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
Myself and a group of friends traveled to this resort the week of December 4 2010 and had a fantastic time. All staff at the resort were terrific. Watch Nelson at the pool bar though as drinks truly are bottomless which makes getting out of the pool after a couple of hours interesting to say the least.Emilio at the lobby bar is also fantastic and quite entertaining. Reservations at the alacarts are not required, which was a suprise, but there was never an issue getting a table. The buffet has a different theem dinner each evening which was also nice. The food in general was terrific. Our only complaint would be the entertainment(animation staff). It is extreamly poor. The eavening entertainment is in the lobby, there are no where near enough seats and you can hardly hear whats being said. One day it rained all day and the annimation team was no where to be found. I have been to other resorts where when it rains the annimastion team will be in the lobby to provide some sort of activites.

All in all it was a great trip and I would not hesitate to return or recommend it to others.

Room Block
5
Room Number
5112
riupalace macao
Hotel Riu Palace Macao
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elaine >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
we arrived on the 2nd of december the hotel was very nice a realy good standared the room was nice and big and clean you have rocking chairs on the balcony. the surroundings are very well maintained and the staff are very friendly.It is the first time we have been in a 5 star and we would do it again it is a proper grown up hotel there were kids there but not many.they have good shows every night and they play bingo at 8.30 every night and it is free to play and there are some prizes which are ok for nothing. the beaches are lovley they go on for miles and the sea is lovley and warm there are some big waves.
the waether was good for the first week but the second week we had rain every day and it started about 3 in the afternoon and went on for a few hours i know you carnt garentee the weather but i think we were very unlucky.We went on a jeep safari trip and what a good day it cost us 89 dollars each but well worth the money and the food was very good as well i would recomend this hotel
Arrival
Restaurants and Bars
there was one lobby bar where you could get a drink and one just before where you got the towels from there was plenty of entertainment in the day as well the pool is only small but there was never antone in it i dont know if it was cold because we used to go in the sea which was nice and warm even though there were some big waves. the only thing is there is always a wind there so the temperature was not to hot the beach it lovley and clean and there is also a beach bar on the beach where you could have some dinner and a drink all in all it was very good and i hope this will help you decide
Room Block
on the side
Room Number
3329
The best time ever!!
Hotel Barcelo Dominican Beach
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Alvin >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
wow people who write bad reviews are incredibly bitter! seriously what else do people want? it is amazing, people are great, alejandro was the best waiter in the world. no one was ever rude and no one harrased us( we were a group of 16 17 and 18 year olds) in any way. poeple leart quickly your name and were very kind and full of life. the food was amazing and i never got sick once, and i have a very upseting stomach. the beach was clean i don’t know why people said it was dirty. Don’t listen to bad reviews about this hotel, they are not true at all, the service is the best i got to eat pizza at 5 am and sometimes at 3 am.

I really advise people to go and stay there, it’s the best!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
i didnt have time to do any of the activities exept for the snorquel but some of my friends that went to the other ones had blast
Arrival
The arrival was pretty quick, we got checked in in about 10 minutes and a very nice employee drove us to our room.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Everything was very clean, pools were amazing spetially the pool with the bar.
Restaurants and Bars
the people in the bars are amazing and full of life, the restaurants were cool too, the japanese restaurant was the best.
Room Block
96
Room Number
9633
Rooms
rooms were cool and the mini bars were refilled dayly
Another FANTASTIC trip tp the Palladium
Hotel Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
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David >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | Family
We spent Dec 2 – 16 at the Grand Palladium Palace and although the weather was wet the vacation was great as always. This was our 8th trip to this resort and once again we were not disappointed. The staff and management our amazing. They are always there to help and assist you as required. Due to the weather we spent most of our time by the pool at the Palace. William, Janiel and Rene at the bar are a riot. While my wife and I were off on an excursion they looked after my 75 year old mother and treated her like their "abuela" (grandmother). It rained 11 out of the 14 days but we stilled enjoyed ourselves. How anyone can say that these people are rude or that there is nothing to eat amazes me. If you learn please and thank you in Spanish then your on your way to a great time. Treat people like you want to be treated and things will go smoothly. Remember these are a poor but proud people. Try to get to know them and you see how wonderful they really are. We have never been disappointed and are all ready planning our return visit in May 2011.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Took the EXTREME QUADS for the 10th time and had a blast. We went the day after a rain storm and there was mud and water everywhere. It was great to see the gang at the yard once again.
Arrival
Upon arrival we were at the furthest end of the tarmac. Customs was a breeze. We have learned that the easiest way to get your luggage is to get a sky cap and he will wade through the crowds, grab your luggage and be on your way while everyone else is still waiting for there bags. The bus to the resort was 1/2 full and it was about a 35 minute ride. Our room was ready as always and we were escorted to our rooms.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
One word for all – ‘IMPECCABLE"
Other Comments
Remember that you are a visitor in their country. Show respect, use your manners and enjoy the ride.
Restaurants and Bars
Ample food. Wide variety to choose from and nothing to complain about. The lamb chops are incredible. The swim up bar at the Palace pool is great. William, Janiel and Rene keep the place jumping.
Room Block
84
Room Number
8401/ 8402
Rooms
Rooms were right beside the pool as requested and we never had an issue the entire stay. Turn down service every night and fridge was restocked each day.
the best
Hotel Barcelo Puerto Plata
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Nana >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
i stayed at barcello resort from 12-9-2010 to 12-14-2010. I had the best time. the food, staff, entertainment is the best. I strongly recommend this hotel to anyone. I will definitely stay there again
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
good
Beach/Pools/Grounds
it was chile so I didnt go to the pool
Room Number
11-203
What can you say WOW awesome place to stay
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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Betty Ann >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2010 | Wedding | Family
Hotel is really clean the food is great Japanese I think was my best choice but don’t take it wrong since all the restaurant and buffet was great.
Employees are always smiling and giving a good service I would definitely recommend this hotel to anybody
Great, solid 4 star
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe Cayacoa
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Alec >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Booked directly with West Jet. Agent stayed on the line till my e mail arrived, then went over to make sure all was correct. Complete package arrived all the same time. I pre paid for our seats both ways @ $10.00 PP each way. We flew out of Toronto, check in was a breeze. Flight left on time, encountered strong wind as we were flying into & over Thomas. Arrived only 30 mins late. Yes TV’s are on the back of each seat. 29 channels, 4 are PPV @ $5.99 a movie. The remainder 25 we lost two hours into the flight, also no TV till your almost 2 hours out of Toronto. Only thing that is free to eat, a drink with bits & bites. Later 2 cookies plus another drink.

Attentants were great both directions.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Activities all day at both the pool and beach. Animation Show was at 9:45 to 11:00 PM and I just couldn’t make it that late.

Disco started at 11:00, same location as the show.

Arrival
Only flight on the ground so things were smooth. Make sure you have all you paper work filled out before you hit customs abd immergration, both forms. After you get your luggage it is x rayed before you exit the building.

Check in down before you board the bus. Once on the ground at the resort tag your bag’s and your off to your room.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was OK, lots of shade and no fighting over chairs. The elevator worked great all week, no waiting to go up or down. Only draw back on the Cayos side was that there in no food at lunch. You have to take the elevator up then walk down over 200 steps to the Escondida side, you can also take the golf cart. If your dry enough you may go to the Buffet. Pool is small, however, bar was very good. Grounds are spotless and well groomed. Beach was cleaned daily before 8:00 AM
Other Comments
All in all a good solid 4 star. We would go again.

Departure was smooth as arriving. I thought the line was slow moving, however, when we got to the counter they have to hand write out all the info on the boarding passes. Good duty free shop.

Restaurants and Bars
All the Restaurants were great. Only thing with the Buffet, I did not get that WOW factor, nothing great just good. The service was excellent, the servers at the Restaurants, Buffet and bars were on you all the time to top your drinks up or get you something. Freddie a U.S. raised Dominican was a pleasure. He’s at the Buffet and then the Restaurant in the evening. Alway’s a big smile.

Buffet is air conditioned.

Rooms
Nice, big and clean. You get a welcome letter, fruit basket, 2 t shirts and small bottle of rum. Coffee maker & bar fridge in the room stocked daily. We had room 402, great view. Our daughter & her husband had room 301, it had a better view due to the fact it’s a corner room. There are 5 floors, the rooms 501 to 510, 401 to 410 and so on I think have the best views of the bay.

There is not much price differance between the sea view room’s and the suite’s, seeing were the suite’s were located, I would prefer the sea view room.

Awesome!
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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Cindy >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
This was my first time to Punta Cana, and now i know why people are so addicted to going here. The resort was amazing, clean, friendly staff, enough things to do on the resort to keep us busy for the whole week.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The Animation team here did a wonderfuljob ( hola lookie lookie, pistacho and ratata ) of keeping us entertained, from the mid afternoon pool games to the evening shows at the theatre.

off resort we went on PCMikes half day adventure, it was amazing, Dave was our guide, and i absolutely loved playing the dominoes 🙂

Arrival
Arrival was a little hectic and scary as we didnt know what to expect, when we went to get a shuttle to the resort and the guy came up and grabbed our luggage and took off to one of the shuttles, i got a little nervous, however a friend had warned me this might happen, just follow him to the shuttle and we got a ride right away to the resort.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach, pool, grounds is all very beautiful and kept very clean, no complaints at all!
Other Comments
We will Definately be returing to this resort ,only wish it could be sooner!
Restaurants and Bars
Plenty of places to eat and drink here, absolutely loved the pool/ swim up bar!! Staff there was very friendly 🙂 We loved all the restaurants we tried, French, japanese and the mexican , all had very good food and awesome service!
Rooms
Room was very nice, we had a junior suite swim up room, there was a fruit plate and champagne waiting for us, which we found funny because it was 2 women friends , not a couple LOL. the bathroom situation was a little weird, no privacy at all, so lets hope you dont get " sick" while your there .But by the end of our week, we didnt really care where we changed.
Absolutely a wonderful resort !!
Hotel Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
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Alice >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
I have been to the Dominican on 3 other occassions and this is the only resort that I want to return to. The buildings are quite new and updated. The service was absolutely wonderful and the food in the a- la carte was excellent. The room was the nicest I have ever had from the comfortable bed with a pillow top mattress to the pillow selection ( obus form as well) .. an inroom spa tub and liquor included in the room for free. The shower stall … well.. amazing doesn’t even come close. It had a rain shower as well as a hand wand and 3 body sprays… completely relaxing. A special thanks to a few of those that made our stay outstanding: Keyla at the front desk, Francis at the main Bar and last but not least our wonderful beach waitress.. Yolanda. Thank you all… we’ll be back!! a definate 5 star
Beach/Pools/Grounds
the Grounds were beautifully maintained and we saw weddings there everyday. It was a stunning background for a wedding!
Other Comments
One really nice touch that I have never seen is they welcome special events with a ribbon across your door saying… happy anniversary or happy wedding… etc… so nice !
Restaurants and Bars
Loved the Italian and Seafood a la carte restaurants. The food and service at the Steak house wasn’t up to par but didn’t ruin the night either. Unfortunately the only way into the French restaurant is if the man has complete dress pants, dress shirt and closed dress shoes… no sandals, runners or exceptions….
We love the place!!!
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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Cindi >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
After our FIFTH consecutive year vacationing at the Bavaro princess and reading all the other reviews, I finally decided to write my own review.

First off, I highly recommend going Platinum. We always have. We believe it’s worth it just for the easy check in/out and upgraded liquors alone. Then you have the room close to the beach, the use of the Platinum lounge (Ana is wonderful!), the great beach beds and beach service that is exclusive to Platinum people… the benefits are endless and it is WELL worth the extra dollars. Martires at the Platinum lounge is awesome and will help you with anything and everything.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The Outback Safari excursion is a must do. It is a lot of fun and you get to see some of the Island and how the Dominican people live.

We have found a wonderful restaurant off the resort-about a 10 minute cab ride. It is called Jellyfish and we always go there for dinner at least once during our stay. It is a little pricey, but well worth it. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is awesome!

Arrival
For anyone that’s never been to the Dominican, the one thing I will say is that it is HOT. Every year I forget how hot and as soon as I step off the plane, it hits me hard. You feel like you’ve stepped into a sauna. However, it beats the cold and snow any day! I always recommend for women to bring lightweight loose clothing and hair clips or scrunchies. Headbands are good for keeping bangs off your forehead. The airport is easy to get through. I recommend using one of the guys with carts for your luggage as you get out of the airport quicker. They never inspect your luggage and you don’t have to wait in the exit line when you’re with one of those guys.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The only thing to say about the beach is that it is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The sand is so white and so soft and doesn’t get overly hot. You can walk on the sand in bare feet in the middle of the afternoon and not burn your feet. The water is beautiful and warm.

The beach is optional topless, but we have found that relatively few people actually go topless.

Other Comments
We don’t speak Spanish, but have always managed to find a way to communicate (and it usually ends up being quite humorous for us and the staff). We have NEVER found that any of the staff look down on us for being American. Most of them are genuinely interested in our country and ask a lot of questions, although they all seem to think everything is near New York. You will find that Americans are in the minority in the Dominican. It is mostly Europeans and Canadians. We have always met great people and had a great time with them.

One warning for young single women/girls traveling to the Dominican…the entertainment staff (at all of the resorts, from what I’ve heard) are notorious for hitting on the girls. They are known for trying to hook up with girls/women and trying to get to America or Canada with them. Just be careful.

Restaurants and Bars
I’ve read a lot of negative reviews that focus on the food. First off, I have to say that if you want a 5 star American travel experience, then you would be better off staying in the States. For us, we want to experience the different culture that staying in the Dominican gives us. We have never had a problem finding food that we enjoy. Most of the food is wonderful. I think my Hubby could live on just the Mangoes alone. If you are Platinum, you have even more choices for food. We always eat at the A La Carte restaurants. We enjoy the tepanaki restaurant and El Gaucho the most. The Argentinian steak is outstanding! As Platinum, you also have the option to eat at the restaurants on the other Princess properties. Our favorite is the fondue restaurant. We love the pool bar. In the past, Reuben was the main bartender at the pool bar, but we were told that he moved to Spain this year. However, towards the end of our trip, we were told he was coming back, so who knows? Most of the bartenders are great. They do tend to move a little slower than in the States, but…you are in the Caribbean and EVERYTHING moves slower there. Again, with Platinum, you have upgraded liquor choices. The Platinum lounge has most top-shelf liquors available and Ana to serve them to you with a smile.

On the subject of water, you MUST drink bottled water. The water in the restaurants and bars is safe. The water they make ice out of is safe. The water that comes out of ANY faucet is NOT safe. We have found that people that get sick from the water make one of two mistakes: they brush their teeth with the water from the faucet instead of using the bottled water or they open their mouth in the shower without thinking. Either of these WILL make you sick. Keep a bottle of water by the sink and remind yourself to keep your mouth closed in the shower and you should be fine.

Rooms
The rooms used to be a little tired and in need of a facelift. We were happy to see that the renovations have started (and may be completed by now). We had a renovated room this year and it was beautiful. We did miss the old shot bar, though 🙁 One funny note, the renovated rooms have a whirlpool tub between the bedroom and the hallway to the bathroom. I "remembered" the hard way that where the tub is now is where you used to step down to go down the hall to the bathroom. I fell in the tub in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom. Ouch. Hubby laughed his head off until a couple of nights later when he did the same thing. Ha!
Best Place to Stay in Punta Cana!!
Hotel Caribe Club Princess
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Sunni >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
This was an awesome resort to stay at!! The place was clean, modern and well-kept, service was fast and good. They make you feel like royalty here! There were so many activities to do, and the activity leaders were fun, animated and great to talk with. We stayed for 8 days and had no need to leave the resort (other than the disco and casino just down the road). We could have spent another 8 days and not been bored. There were activities for kids and adults alike. While boating along the coast we noticed that none of the other resorts seemed to have the fun beach activities that the Caribe Princess did – this resort always had fun activities lead by the ‘animacion’ team and beach music – it was like a beach party almost all day everyday! This was for sure one of the best resorts in Punta Cana! I’m definitely bringing my entire family next November and my common-law spouse and I were so impressed with the resort that we forgot all about our plans to check out other resorts for our wedding next year. Because of the great service, atmosphere and people here we will be getting married at this resort next year.

** I’m not sure why some people are complaining about the weather or flights as these seem totally unapplicable to the resort itself, AND while here no-one once asked me for a tip – possibly if you go off the resort to the stores you will be asked for tips but definitely not while within the resort grounds**

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Activities on the resort were a lot of fun. There were contests, games, dancing and even a beach party! We only went to one activity outside of the resort which was the Scooba Doo (underwater bikes). It was o.k., but not awesome. The people taking you on the bikes were definitely not hired by the resort or it would have been a blast!
Arrival
Service was great, we arrived early and they got us our wristbands quickly and let eat at the main restaurant and roam around the resort until our room was ready.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
2 pools were great, one with a drink bar right in the pool. Activities/games were sometimes held at the main pool, if this was not relaxing enough the other pool was in a quieter area away from all the fun and games.
Other Comments
In our opinion there is something for everyone at this resort – unless you don’t like having fun! ☼
Restaurants and Bars
Always good food to choose from. 24 hr snack bar was good. Reservation restaurants were easy to make a reservation with, and the food and service at the restaurants was terrific!
Rooms
Clean, bright, modern, air conditioned. Serviced every day, fridge refilled every day with water and pops.
Fantastic!!!! WARNING THOUGH
Hotel Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
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Ann II >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
This hotel is wonderful, friendly, clean, beautiful and great food. I would stay there in a heart beat with many repeaters that make it fell like home. As well would recommend this as a great first time resort, you would not be dissappointed.
Have one Warning though there are sales reps for Royal Vacations that will try to take up much of your time to purchase. Well if you can avoid them by being firm at all cost would be to your benefit at least at this resort. I cant say anything from any other place just my experience. We purchased and now regret it to no end. Lets say they are not the most honest or informed sales reps. Try to get any straight answers you will get the run around, try to book and get prices you get the run around. My advice stay clear and DON’T buy. I am welcoming anyone who wants to contact me, I will be happy to share my experience regarding the issues. Don’t say I did not warn you I have the proof. If your hassled constantly just go up to the office and be firm that you want to be left alone then they will get the hint, they just waste your time on your vacation. They state only take an hour HEEEHEEE think again.
Can it get any better
Hotel Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
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Joe >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Never have I experienced a more relaxed, and catered to vacation. The people are always smiling and seem disappointed it they cannot do something to serve you. I plan on returning next year with more of my family. Here in Alabama we consider the gulf beaches the best in the USA, but even they cannot compare with you beautiful beaches. The snorkeling was much better than I had expected and I have been to some of the best. What else can I say? Just can’t wait to get back. Joe Scanlan MD
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Good selection of activities
Arrival
Good transportation by Hotelbeds, but had to visit other hotels and had some delay on return
Beach/Pools/Grounds
couldn’t be better
Restaurants and Bars
good choice of exotic style restaurants, but they almost drowned me with a great tasting wine or beer.
Room Number
2120
Rooms
Clean and well cared for, with a big Hot Tub that was filled daily by the maid service.
Great resort!!
Hotel The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium
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Veronica >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
My husband and I and ten friends went to this resort in November, 2010. Service was excellent, rooms were excellent and food was also excellent. Would definitely recommend staying here and would go again in a minute.
GREAT VACATION
Hotel Barcelo Dominican Beach
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chris >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
this was our 3rd time at the barcelo dominican and it was great.We enjoy the resort great ppl great place.the staff couldn’t be bettter and the bartenders are the best,very friendly……………and we’re going back in 4 weeks resort is beautiful grounds and beach maintained……………
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
wonderful enterntainment staff plenty to do if thats wat u want
Arrival
No problem checking in check in at 3 but if early you’re banded as a guest and the fun begins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
always enough chairs for everyone by the pools and beach never too crowded
Other Comments
Love this resort 4 time returner should tell you something
Restaurants and Bars
good food and great service.plenty of each around entire resort
Rooms
no problem with rooms clean and kept clean the entire stay
Awesome place
Hotel Iberostar Costa Dorada
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Lorrie >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Oct, 2010 | Leisure | Family
This is was our first trip to the Dominican and the Iberostar Costa Dorada did not disappoint us, other than the food was not great. We didn’t starve, but the 6 of us basically lived on chicken, potatoes, and bread. The Breakfast Buffet was good and probably the best meal of the day. The rooms are spectacular, the grounds immaculately kept, the beach fabulous and the staff are wonderful and very entertaining! We will definitely consider going back to this hotel in the future. There are Iberostars all over the world and will consider choosing one of these if we travel anywhere else.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
immaculate!
Other Comments
We went on a shopping/sightseeing trip, but we were disappointed in the vendors constantly after you to spend your money. Became very annoying.
Restaurants and Bars
Service in the bars and restaurants superb!
Rooms
Beautiful rooms!
wonderful relaxing vacation
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana
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denise >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
I have one question for the person who told us rui palace punta cana is not worth your money – stayed april 2010. Did you write up the review you did to ensure they would always be able to accommodate you? I have stayed at this resort four times in the past three years. I have gone to the Domincian 7 times total in the past six years. While there are issues at the rui palace they are not specific to the rui but to be expected at any resort in the Caribbean.
Arrival
The staff at the Rui Palace Punta Cana is very willing to accommodate people’s individual needs. The is a large amount of staff at the front desk, so if you have to wait it is not long.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
GREAT – could not ask for more. plenty of chairs, clean, shade with trees and umbrellas. as much sun as you want. drink servers are always available.
Restaurants and Bars
Staff is very willing to meet your needs and are willing to help with special requests. restaurants are clean and comfortable. tables are spaced nicely apart from each other. staff is very willing to pull things together to accommodate large parties.
Rooms
Rooms are large with everything you could expect. wet bar, safe, iron, jet tub, hair dryer, laundry service. maid service twice a day. wet bar service once a day and by calling.
Our second visit to the sirenis
Hotel Sirenis Cocotal Beach Resort Casino & Spa
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Chris >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
This was our second visit to the Sirenis Resorts. We first stayed in the Cocotal side in September 2001 when the resort was new and at its very best. This time we stayed in the sirenis Suites and must admit that the years have taken their toll on the resort.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The shows on offer we very good although at times they started a little late – after 10pm. There was no pressure to take part in any of the pool activities. You were able to just lie by the pool and read if you wanted.
Arrival
On arrival due to the time of the year everyone checked in at the Tropical Suites side of recption. We had the usual fruit punch given to us while we waited. Check in was very fast and without any hassle or selling of upgrades etc as previously mentioned in other reviews.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pool is one of the best we have seen in the Dom Rep although the tiles are in need of repair and some of the ladders in the pool had missing treads on the rungs. The beach is superb with plenty of beds and cover. We have been to the Dom Rep for the last 10 years and have never seen so many fish in the sea as we did here. Standing in the water with a bread roll you would very soon be surrounded by hundreds of fish.
Other Comments
We had a very enjoyable holiday. Would I reccommend this resort to people? I would have to say Yes although we found the constent harassment from the Vaction Club Salesmen to be very anoying. This went on from the second day right up to the last hour at the resort. Usually in other resorts once you have been approached and refussed you were left alone. Not here BE WARNED they will not take no for an answer!
Restaurants and Bars
Again, due to the time of year, there was only one specialised restaurant opened per night. We did not try any of these. The main restaurant was excellent and always had a wide choice of food available. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Drinks were very promptly brought to the table.

The bars were also very good, in particular the Lobby bar where their was always a friendly greeting and service.

Rooms
Do to the age of the rooms there was a couple of minor faults. The mixer unit in the bathroom could do with de-scaling and a few of the floor tiles had a hollow sound to them due to the adhesive drying up. Apart from that they room was very comfortable. The maid service was first class and the rooms were always cleaned to a high standard.
Great spot
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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Hlywud >  4 contribution(s) Canada
Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
Short and sweet of it.
Arrival
Airport arrival, luggage was last piece off, private transfer was great still beat the bus. We were greeted on arrival at the Bavaro lobby and immediately shuttled to the Ambar and greeted by Sr. Vila, the GM and his assistant Patricio, with a cool drink and damp face cloth. Within minutes our bags were in our room and we headed to the lobby for a cool pre supper drink. This management staff were the most hands on staff I have seen at any resort, they were on the beach checking things out, poolside and in the lobby and always were asking how things were going.

Asst Mgr. Jorge Abreu even gave his cell phone when I need to make a local call, not that is service.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
All were wonderfully kept and very clean, a tribute to the hard working staff.
Beach and pools were handicap accessible.
Other Comments
A definite 5 star, superbly managed and maintained spotless 5 star Adult only resort.
Will be returning.
Restaurants and Bars
First night, Don Pablo Gourmet was super with the best service seen in a long time. We followed with the Bella Italia the next night, it also was very good, Night 3 was the El Olivio Mediterranean which was a bit more balnd but still tasty and well presented. Night 4 we went to the Palmyra buffet for an excellent selection on Asian foods. Night 5 we attended the Garden Grill in the Punta Cana section and has a wonderful rib eye steak cooked to perfection. We finished off night 6 back at the Palmyra buffet for an excellent assortment of foods. One thing I must say the buffet the food was steamy hot and served an excellent fare in the evenings, morning and at lunch although we did also eat lunch on the Patio by the beach.

Overall all food was 9 out of 10

Rooms
64308 third floor junior suite, stunning to say the least.
Annual Golf Trip
Hotel Stanza Mare
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Lisa >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
We stayed at a private condo in a project called Stanza Mare. I found this condo project through the Golf Reservation Center. This place is awesome. It is right on the ocean, close to several restaurants, bars and — the reason we came to the DR — golf courses. We had 12 people and used 4 apartments. We had breakfast every morning. We had a maid in each condo (awesome) for serving drinks. We had options for dinner including Italian, Tai, various American restaurants (Hard Rock Cafe / Tony Romas) — what was interesting is the food is really good. We were in Punta Cana for 7 days and had 4 rounds of golf in our package. We 1. played Punta Espada (AWESOME), Iberostate, Roco Ki, La Cana. Punta Espada — Just play it. If you play golf you will love this course. Plus they had a deal that included food and drinks. 2. Roco Ki — Difficult, take a lot of balls. There are narrow fairways and it is very difficult. Number 17 and 18 are really cool golf holes. 3. Iberostate — Awesome — Drinks are included which was a lot of fun for our group. 4. La Cana — It looked like they were fixing the golf course when we played. The course is a challenge to play so definately consider it but ask if it is under construction. The beach at Stanza Mare is huge. I found a link to it through google earth.

Good luck with your golf trip ours was a lot of fun.

robbed
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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gary >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
walking back to my room in the resort from the lobby bar fri nite was jumped from behind knocked to the ground had my blackberry taken injured my hip & thigh digital cameera was broken. the robber was wearing the uniform the employees at the resort wore. had things taken from the room. security did nothing, the resort did nothing. DONT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. WALK IN GRUPS IF YOU CAN. DIDNT FEEL SAFE THERE.
A True Paradise
Hotel Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
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Allison >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Whatever you do DO NOT BOOK EXCURSIONS FROM HOTEL STAFF WITH BLUE SHIRTS!!! These guys are only at the hotel to try and get you to buy time shares. They convince you they are your consierge and befriend you. They are selling trips to make extra money on the side. Their trip quality isn’t nearly as high as with Carlos (from the beach). Carlos is a great person who my husband and I befriended. He gave us the best deal and is just all around a really nice guy. We made sure to get a pic with him before we left. We booked the waterfall excursion with him and it was WELL worth it. Most unforgettable adventure of my life!!!! If you see him PLEASE tell him Allison and Bruce say hello!!!
Arrival
Arrival was so simple. We booked a van to pick us up at the airport through Viator (Coco tours). He was on time and friendly. We were checked in within minutes when we arrived even though it was a few hours before check in time.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
the beach was breathtaking. Yes vendors will try and get you to buy things but tell them no thanks and they give up quick. HOwever, many have great items which are worth bargaining for.
Other Comments
All around a great experience. The perfect destination for my honeymoon!!!
Restaurants and Bars
Buffet: EXCELLENT. Great variety and good hot food. They THOROUGHLY clean the buffet between meals. Edens: I prefered Eden’s over Michaelangelos but we only went once. I had the kabobs. Mine were delicious. My husbands were undercooked. Michealangelos: My husband preferred this restaurant over Edens. I thought it was good but I wasn’t a fan at the sauce.

Service is excellent at all of these restaurants. Tipping a dollar or two at each meal basically guarantees you are treated like gold.

Rooms
Beautiful design. I loved the blue and turquoise color scheme. Bed was a little firmer than I prefer but certainly not hard. Had a balcony with a view of the beach which was wonderful. AC worked great. Nice bathrooms. Always had hot water and good water pressure. HAd a kitchenette that the maid kept stocked with Coca Cola Sprite and water.
Awesome all the way! 2nd time visiting
Hotel Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA
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Darlene >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
I really don’t understand why there are so many negative comments.???? The place is beautiful, clean, great food and employees so polite. Helps to know some Spanish. We stayed from Friday to Friday and cost approx $2400 from NY. ..with upgraded swim out room.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Spent the week lounging and laughing. Swim up bar right near Unit 1. Bring your own blow up rafts if you are a pool person, like us.
Arrival
No problems. 1 hour drive from airport in air conditioned van/bus. Goes quickly. Roads improved from our 2008 visit. Pass through towns of their culture and poverty.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Well maintained and clean. Love their pool. It flows through out the whole facility. Swim up bar right near Unit 1.
Restaurants and Bars
Food always available. World Cafe is extra large buffet with everything, including carving stations, pizza, pasta stations, etc. But our favorite for dinner is the French restaurant– it has the best appetizers and entrees…from shrimp, snails, lobster, steaks, lamb chops. We ate there 4 nights. Each restaurant, except for the World Cafe, is not open every night, so plan ahead. The French is never open for lunch and does require dress code- pants for men. Also, it is upstairs- no elevator. Great view and there is a bar upstairs too.
Rooms
Stayed both times in Unit 1 with the swim out pool upgrade. Room has own patio with table and 2 chairs, 2 lounge chairs few feet away from patio and right in front of wonderful pool. Rooms have king size bed, 2 night stands, desk, small love seat, TV armoir, large closet. Had no problems with any bugs, or non working items. Air conditioning worked great. Rooms were clean and maid visits daily. Floors are slipper when wet, but ask maid for floor mats to avoid slipping.
Hot Hot Hot
Hotel Viva Wyndham Tangerine
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peter >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Sep, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Our first time in the dominican, we had a pleasant surprise when we arrived at our hotel,after along flight we were in need of some refreshments, we were greeted with a complimentary cocktail at reception which was welcomed very much. We were pleased with what we saw with the hotel.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The activities in the hotel was varied every day and night The animation team did everything possible to get everyone involved, they worked very hard from early morning till late at night and that was every day and night they liked nothing better than giving everyone a good time and a great laugh.
Arrival
The reception area was very clean and bright,the receptionists were very helpful and good mannered.The bellboy took our cases to the room and was very polite he asked us if the room was to our satisfaction and was we happy with the room.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds were lovely and well looked after.The pool was a good size and allways cleaned every day.The beach was nice but you were plagued with the looky looky people in the begining,but they became very friendly as the weeks went by
Other Comments
will definately be going back in a few years GREAT PLACE
Restaurants and Bars
The restaurants and bars were very good, you did have to queue a bit on weekends when there seemed to a lot of locals came for a few days, but overall was pleased with them
Rooms
The room we were shown first of all had no view at all,i went see if we could be moved to a room with a view,they showed us another room overlooking the pool and beach, which we accepted.There was no problem for the staff to do this for us without any fuss.
MOST AMAZING RESORT I HAVE EVER STAYED AT
Hotel Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana
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Launi >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
We were there for 7 days and it was the most relaxing, luxurious experience. From the food to the people to the room…everything was excellent. Our room was on the bottom floor with a terrace and a small bridge that went the the grass behind our room that was on the water. It is in the castle part. All of the 5 restaurants were really tasty. We would recommend for couples, we didn’t see any kids. Not really a party hotel, more a couples place where you can hang with other couples.
Pretty good for the money
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach Resort
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Justin >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Aug, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
The rooms were a bit outdated, but the problems encountered were fixed almost right away. one problem never fixed was with the plumbing in two of the three rooms we had, we put towels pon the floor, that was never fixed. The maids were really nice, gave you double of everything if you asked. The pools were great, we found out right away to put your towel in a shady spot early on, its mostly taken by 10 am. The floor gets really hot, i saw a child burned with blisters in his feet due to the hot floor by the pool. The restaurants are better than the buffet for dinner, so make those reservations. the beach was nice, if you find a gazebo, the sun is really a killer. The staff was amazing, everyone from the entertaining staff to the workers, always greeted you with a smile. No attitudes. I don’t think i would go back to any Playa Dorada resort but if you want to try something different (from punta Cana0 which is what we did, you’ll soon realize that there is nothing better that those resorts there.

All and all we had a good time.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
good
Arrival
quick and painless
Beach/Pools/Grounds
pools and beach are good
Restaurants and Bars
pretty good
Rooms
average-could get remodeled, outdated.
Good but few compliants
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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Marge >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Aug, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Overall we liked the resort. WE had a few complaints but our stay was very nice.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The only thing we did on the resort was use their snorkeling equipment as far as activities on the resort.
We went ziplining, horsebackriding, and swam with dolphins. The ziplining was fun and we got to see a rainforset ( Canopy Adventure). Horsebackriding was cheap and very fun! We got to gallop along the beach and the owners of the ranch took pictures of everyon on horses with your own camera multiple times. Even when we galloped! Swimming with dolphins was the most disapponting but still pretty good. They forgot to pick us up at the time we signed up for from the hotel and so we waited for an hour. The second time we wait ( we had to go on a later one) we still waited. ( the shuttles to the tours aren’t very punctual.) I love dolphins but we didn’t find it very exciting. The group was maybe a little to big and you didn’t really get to spen qualitiy time with the dolphin.
Arrival
We arrived in Punta Cana International Airport. We had a little problem finding the right booth to go to ( Coco Tours) to get the shuttle to our hotel. After getting on the shuttle it was a breeze. It brought us right to the lobby of the hotel.Check in was quick too and the bell boy brought our suitcase to our room.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The ocean was really clear. IF you take some bread from the resturant you can feed some fishes that swim around there. The pool water was warm, almost air tempreture the first day but seemed to get cooler and cooler as our stay progressed. 12:00- 5:00 seem to be a popular time so make sure you save a place in the chairs using the towel method if you want to go around that time in the morning.( especially if you want to sit at the end by the beach where the swim up bar and volleyball net is.) the grounds where very pretty and well taken care off.
Restaurants and Bars
The bars where good but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what drinks they have since there is no menu. People at the bar down by the beach ( in the La hispaniola) weren’t very friendly.
I favorite resturante was the mexican one. The chinese place had salty food, but the sushi was good. We didn’t get a chance to go to the japanese habachi because it was all booked past our stay. The french resturant was okay but make sure you order your meat medium if you want it well done otherwise they would overcook it. We mostly ate at the Buffet place since it was the only place open at a reasonable time for lunch and dinner. The desserts weren’t that great, but if you picked the right foods they tasted good. Most drinks were very sweet so i mainly stuck with water.
Rooms
Our room was nice. We had a Junior sweet with Jucuzzi. We had a pool view from the balcony. The only problem we had with our room was that the door to the bathroom door didn’t close. The shower, toilet and sinks are all sperate. And you can basicly hear everything and there isn’t much privacy.
Absolutely Amazing!
Hotel Dreams Palm Beach
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Arhea >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Aug, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Activities off the resort were so much fun! The bavarro runners tour and the Marinarium Marine Park were a delight!
Arrival
Check in was a breeze, we had to arrange out own transport since there is no shuttle service from the hotel.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was unreal.. It was stunning.. There are 3 pools and hot tubs.. We stayed in the preferred area, it was well worth it!
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants awesome and drinks, plentiful!
Rooms
Awesome!! The bed was extra comfy. The room was a little damp and musty smelling but we were given a dehumidifier, and we took air freshener,after reviews. The Jacuzzi tub was addictive!
Amazing resort, wonderful time!
Hotel NH Real Arena
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Renee >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Aug, 2010 | Leisure | Family
My family – myself, my husband and our 5 year old daughter stayed at this wonderful resort from August 27 to Sep 3. This is our 2nd time with NH Real Arena. We came here in 2008 when it first opened, we said we want to come back again, and we did this year. We will definitely go back next year!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went for the nightly entertainment 3 times. They start a bit late to my liking – 9:45 pm. We went for the Circus, the Multiplicity show, and the White theme show. LOVE the Circus and the Multiplicity. On the night they were doing the Multiplicity show, it’s on the day when Hurricane Earl was the closest to PC. We have the show at the roof top bar, and it’s fun! They have an acrobat, magician and live music! The Circus has the Cirque de Sole feel to it; and their acts were awesome! My daughter has so much fun just staring at their costumes and make up! Not to mention their acrobatic moves and mesmerizing singing. You can see that the entertainment team put in a whole lot of effort to make sure everyone enjoy their shows. We definitely did!

They also have a hip and cool Spa – RAM. And their Gym is right beside the Spa with full equipments.

Arrival
We booked through Transat Holiday, and arrival was smooth and fast. A tour bus picked us up with tourists for other resorts. NH was the last resort to drop off tourists, so we have the opportunity to check out the other two – IFA and Melia. We end up thinking NH has the best resort groud. We emailed NH’s Room Manager – Roberto a few weeks before our arrival with our requests and inquiry about the cost for room upgrade. Roberto has been wonderfully prompt with his response and with the detail of his response! We arrived at the resort around 5:30 pm, and Ramon at the front desk was extremely helpful. We were pleasantly surprised that they have assigned the same room we stayed at in 2008. Apparently they have taken the time to check their record! We were even more pleased when Ramon presented us with the a la carte booking for the rest of the week! They have prebooked the 4 a la carte for us, which I didn’t ask for. We thought we will have to book them when we arrived. Of course there were welcome drinks waiting for us.

We were then promptly cart away to our room.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
What can I say about the pools and the beach of NH! Just one word – magnificent! They have 6-7 pools in total, all well kept and clean. I saw staff checking out the quiality of the water of each pool every morning and at dusk. Our daughter is learning to swim, so we ended up staying in the small pool (the farthest one from the beach) most of the time. It’s quiet and we have the pool to ourselves most of the time! We went to the beach several times over the week too. It’s what I recalled from last time – long, wide with clean soft white sands. The surf for the first couple of days was choppy, this might due to hurricane Earl approaching. But after a day of rain, it’s back to calm sea again. This year we found that they have put up a lot more "huts" on the beach, so no need to fight for a shade. The ground has been kept immeculate all the time. We saw staff cutting grasses, trimming the vegetation all the time.

NH is not a resort that would have Salsa music blaring all day long. Instead, it’s quiet and relaxing. At the buffets, both Festival and the shore one, they have very hip European music in the background.

Other Comments
I’ve already told Roberto we are going back next year. NH Real Arena is a marvelous resort, everyone work so hard to make sure all their guests are happy and satisfied. I have to say NH is great place for relaxing, not a partying resort. Maybe it’s my bias, but NH is the best resort in PC!
Restaurants and Bars
Roberto booked all 4 a la carte restaurants for us, but we ended up just going to the Asian and the Shore Grill since for the two other occassions our daughter decided to stay in the pool till almost night time. Both restuarants were good. The Asian restaurant has tapanyaki setting, and we were happy with the food and the dessert (fried ice cream). The Shore grill has good steaks and fishes. We ate most of our dinner at the Festival Buffet. My husband actually said the food there was much better than 2 years ago! I’m a vegetarian, and I also found their selection of vegetable and fruit expanded. There were so many selections for you to choose from. Their dessert section definitely is a must visit! For lunch, we always go to the buffet near the beach. They have charcoal grill pork chops, chickens, and seafood rice/noodles, with a selction of pizzas, grilled sandwiches, vegetables to choose from. They also have soft icecream too!

We mostly get our drinks from the pool bar, and we went to the lobby bar – Alisio twice too. The staff were so friendly and always have a smile on their face.

Rooms
We stayed at room 2347, which is the regular room. We thought of upgrading before we arrive to the Paradise Club, but once we found out we were given the same room as last time, we decided to keep it. The room has a king size bed (we requested it), and they opened the sofa bed for us so our daughter can sleep in it. It’s clean, bright and everything is functional. With hot water in the tub and shower, no problem with flushing and the air condition was cold and in full blast. There was no musky smell at all. The mini fridge was well stocked. I wrote a notes asking for more diet coke, and for the rest of the week, we got at least 2 bottles stocked up in the fridge. The regular room has an opening between the bathroom and the room. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with this setting; however, we actaully love it! They have a LCD TV, with tons of channels, both English and Spanish.

Our room is facing the pool, with partial view of the ocean, on 3rd floor of building 2. very close to the elevators.

Super wedding week at the Dreams Palm Beach
Hotel Dreams Palm Beach
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carol >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Aug, 2010 | Wedding | With Group
My son had a wedding week from 20/8/2010 TO 27/8/2010 at the Dreams Palm Beach. We were there with aboout 60 guests. The hotel staff could not have been better. With so many check-ins quite close together, the hotel did a fantastic job of organizing them. We were directed away from the main lobby and desk to a side area. Here all the rooms, keys etc. were preassigned and we just had to pick them up. Super! They even had hors deourves and a bar set up for us! I’m sorry that at present I do not remember all the names but the concierge, the wedding planner, Julio and Ms. Frencis as well as Gasolina made our week fantastic. No one in the group had any complaints about the rooms or the food. They all agreed it was great! We had one private party on the beach and the wedding reception indoors. Both meals were done buffet style, at our request, and the presentation was quite nice. The wedding was on the beach and the decorations were beautiful. All in all it was a great week and we would definately be interested in returning to this resort.

One small thing did distract us during the week. There was no music at the pool with the bar. Everyone missed the music. They should consider adding this.

Great Honeymoon
Hotel NH Real Arena
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Kyle >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Ill try and write a short and to the point review. We both were very satisfied with the resort it was great and we had a lot of fun. It was also our first carribean vacation. There were some things we could critique about the hotel but nothing to complain about. They did an outstanding job.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went to the marinarium and the dolphin explorer. We had a great experience with the marinareum and a bad one with the dolphin explorer. The dolphin explorer was over priced, we missed a lot of the event because our driver kept us in the van for an hour while trying to find another couple at another resort. Then they wouldnt allow us to take pictures and charged an arm and a leg for thier own pictures. I implore you to not go on the dolphin explorer. The marinarium however was great. It was priced very well. We swam with sharks stingrays and in the coral with the fish and it was great. The people were extremely nice as well, we had a great time in this excursion.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds were very nice and there was an army on people keeping them clean. Id just look at pictures. What I liked was you could windsurf kayak and katamaran all for free. The people who rent them out are quite rude though. The only people in the hotel I thought were. Beach chairs were quite packed, but beach wasnt. they had security guards keeping away the local peddlers so that was very nice to not be bothered by them. The water was nice. Prabably not the best ive seen in the whole of the carribean but just as good as any other in punta cana.
Other Comments
We had a great time and would go back again. All the staff were extremely courteous and they went out of thier way for you. I could critique some things, but nothing bothered me and we are both fairly picky customers.
Restaurants and Bars
The bars were great. Never had to walk more than 100 feet to have a drink put in your hand. My wife thought Roberto at the beach bar was amazing. If you didnt get the paradise club you might have to wait for drinks at some bars. They didnt have a good top shelf selection though….just some nice gin, disarrono and nice vodka. No high end tequila and only dominican rum. I Read a lot of reviews saying the food was bad. I think this was prolly a little black and white. There was food that was very very good and there was also food that wasnt very good.
Rooms
The rooms have marble like floors and are very fancy with nice showers. The beds prabably wernt the comfiest but they wernt terrible either. Ours was near the beach, but i was noticing some of the rooms were near the dance club and if you go to bed before 2 those rooms would be awful.
Your Arrival
We arrived at the airport. The airport is very hot and busy. The apple vacation people were nice, they took us to the hotel. I was a bit apprehensive before we actually got into the lobby because of the area. You could see like poor carribean villagers and some piles of rubble and garbage piles then every so often you will pass some nicer resorts but can only see the gates. Once you get through the gates and get into the lobby, the lobby is very nice with fountains and….just nice. We booked the paradise club and for the little bit extra its really worth it….atleast to us. They seem to go out of thier way for you more and theres some extra amenities that are nice.
Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana–9 days is too long here…..A 4 Star at best..
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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Celeste >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family
We stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana from 6/29/10-7/7/10. A friend and I traveling with our kids. I am a 39 yr old single mom with my 14 yr old son and my friend who is a 36 yr old single mom with her 2 daughters ages 16 and 12. I WOULD PROBABLY GO WITH ADULTS ONLY NEXT TIME. My first time to DR and my friends 2nd time. Last year they stayed at Iberostar PuntaCana. She didnt want to return to Iberostar this year as it felt like a 3 star resort and wanted something better like a 5 star which is why we chose Bahia Principe..however after being here they liked Iberostar much better and she stated this was NOT a 5 star. Some reasons were that this resort is VERY large and alot of time was spent walking or taking the trolley to either the beach, lobby or their shopping/entertainment plaza. The grounds are beautiful and well kept, the rooms are large and clean and yes you will get some buggies but that’s expected in the tropics. This hotel did however spray an awful smelling chemical into the air from a truck to kill the bugs which was helpful. My perception is that you will probably get the same at most resorts here, so pay less if able…I can’t imagine they know how to do 5 Star as americans know 5 Star.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Our kids were bored from doing same thing daily=swim,breakfast,ping-pong tournament,water aerobics,swim,more ping-pong,lunch,bingo or darts at pool, water volley,dance lessons,swim some more,dinner,shows,Pueblo Principe(shopping/entertainment within resort)to play pool,live music, but I did enjoy myself regardless. I thought the shows were great, you must not miss the Michael Jackson show which is actually a tour group in DR that goes from resort to resort to perform and they were incredible and the audience went wild…even I loved it and I am not a fan of MJ. Do not miss the comedy show..the staff of the animation team perform this and it was absolutely hysterical. We missed the Lion King show but caught the tail end and we were sorry we missed it because it looked good. Get involved in the dance lessons, the water aerobics as the animation team once again is a blast…especially Amari..he made it so much fun for all of us. If it rains head to the main lobby and all activities are done there. We didnt do any excursions because we were too hot. The casino is small but quaint..I won $100 USD. The vendors in the middle of Pueblo Principe are extremely pushy and outrageously over priced..NEVER pay them what they ask for!! I got a photo album for 5×7 pics to fit 50 pics,a medium-sized clay PuntaCana doll/statue, a Lava rock necklace for my son, totem pole bracelet for son and they wanted $65 USD, I said no way, the "boss" put items in a bag and told me to take it to room and come back tomorrow with $35 instead. I did go back the next night with the items and said "I will give you $20" he grabbed the money without hesitations. On flea market night these vendors come into the resort and set up tables outside the villas..again very pushy, they grab your hand and tell you to look,they place jewelry on you etc…ONCE AGAIN never pay asking price..I bought a ring-costume type flower ring-they wanted $25..I told them the same ring sells for $5 in US stores and started to walk away and they offered it to me for $7–i took it.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
We took the trolley to the Beach as it was way too hot to walk for 15 minutes..thats how far we were from beach. The trolley runs continously so it was efficient. Twice at beach we were unable to find a hut let alone any shade which was well needed…we were only able to tolerate the sun and heat for a couple of hours so we headed to the main pool right behind the beach. Water looks gorgeous of course, sand fine and white, workers raking up seaweed, clean. The water was a little murky until you got about waist deep or higher, there were waves, not big but still ok to boogie board on. I personally enjoyed the pools more. Alot of activities at main pool(by the beach). I like the Pool by our villa in middle of resort best, especially the animation team there that made it enjoyable,bartenders very nice. Pools and bar at pools close at 6pm but most people stayed until about 8pm. Beautiful grounds but I understand most other resorts also have nice kept grounds.
Other Comments
Bottom line–dont bring tweens/teens here, the kids’ club is for ages 4-12 but should really be 4-9. This is a HUGE lovely resort,beautiful beach, awful food (other than specialty restaurants)but you will find something to eat. Nice pools and Americans are the minority amongst tourists. Mostly Canadians whom were rude to us and made comments often, others from Spain,Italy,Russia, Belgium. The staff was very friendly, kind people and fun. It helps to know a little spanish but most of the staff speak english. I tipped about $35 in the whole 9 days and was treated very well…$1-$2 tip a day goes a long way. Very hardworking staff here and they deserve it. A lot of smokers everywhere. Great to just unwind,relax, soak up the sun and fun but not for 9 days…5 days or nights is max here. Lastly at airport going home few travelers who stayed elsewhere all got sick with stomach issues…we did not at all. Those travelers stayed at Majestic Colonial & Excellence, Melia Caribe, Iberostar Domincana. Bring alot of sunblock–they charge $23 bottle, if you like american snacks bring that too…snicker bar=$2.00each, bag of Lays Classic chips=$10, small can pringles=$5…and these are only snacks available. have fun!!!
Restaurants and Bars
VERY SLOW serving! But that is everywhere in DR I am told. There are 2 main buffets, 1 in Punta Cana lobby which is one we used often and 1 in Bavaro lobby both air-conditioned but yet still not cool enough. There is a 2 snack/buffet-like bars by the beach and main pool down by the beach that we thought was a little better than the main buffet. All in all I didn’t like the food and I am not a picky eater by any means but it was worse than a cruise buffet. I filled up at breakfast as this was the better meal of the day, skip lunch most of the time and had light dinner. Every day had a theme for food but yet the food seemed to be exactly the same but in different variations. After 2-3 days of same food I got sick of it and stuck to rolls with butter and olives and cheese, the kids had fries and nachos with cheese sauce…you can only have so much white rice. I tried alot and didnt like it, the meats and fish taste different perhaps because of the spices used I am not sure but I had no desire to eat most of the time. NOW the specialty restaurants are a different story. We were allowed 3 reservations that we couldnt get into until our 5th,6th and 7th day there. We went to Japanese Hibachi, Tex-Mex and The Garden Grill Steak House…all were very very good..Garden grill the best. If they only served the same quality and prep of these foods daily then I’d say it was definately 5star quality food.
Lobby bar closed fairly early around 11pm and you could not get anything to drink anywhere except in the shopping/entertainment center called Pueblo Principe in the front of the resort. Sports bar there charged for drinks as they had domestic booze, the karoke bar and theater section served the free drinks. The drinks at the swim up bars were weak most of the time, depending if you tipped the bartender. Their frozen drinks were through a slushy machine and when liqour was added it was no longer a frozen drink..I’m guessing because the liquor was very warm as expected being outdoors.
Rooms
Large and clean but never seemed cool enough and I don’t feel it was the ac but that it was just miserably hot the whole time all day and night and the ac was unable to keep up. The maids do leave pretty flowers around—but throw them out as soon as you get them…this brought the bugs. I didn’t purchase the safe as they wanted only cash for it at about $8 USD, and I only had my debit card, therefore I used my friends’ safe. The Iberostar did not charge for using their safe.
Your Arrival
We arrived to resort at 1pm and told to come back to check-in at 3pm because our rooms weren’t ready(which we expected as check in is at 3), we were given bracelets and told to enjoy the buffet in the main lobby restaurant. We asked if we can upgrade closer to beach/main pool by the beach and was told we need to check with manager at 3pm. We went back to check in at 3 and told our rooms still not ready to come back at 3:30, so we did and asked for the manager but he didnt come in yet and told now only my friends’ room was ready and we were ok with it and decided to take my luggage to her room until my nearby room was clean. We were given rooms furthest from the beach and pools even tho we requested villa closer to both or either and they were unable to accomodate us so we took the rooms they assigned. Bellboy took us and our luggage to villa 18 just to find out the room only had 1 bed and 2 beds were needed for the 3 of them. Highly frustrated now we asked the bellboy to take us back to lobby and we asked for the manager. Again we are told he isnt in yet and no other rooms with 2 full beds close to each other was available but to check back at 4 or 4:30pm, now we are extremely frustrated, and tired from traveling since 4am and demanded they find us our rooms. The manager then walked in and seeing he was dressed in a tie I asked if he was the manager and to speak with him. The manager was very nice when we told him what was happening and surprisingly found us 2 rooms right outside the 2nd pool closest to the lobby which was fine, we didnt get into a room until 5:30 pm–highly unacceptable and this left us a bad taste in starting our vacation.
Loving Cayena Beach Club!
Hotel VIK hotel Arena Blanca (LTI Beach Resort Punta Cana)
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Skye >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went to visit the kids at an orphanage with Melanie from the office. She was a great guide. We learned more about the island and saw things that many tourists do not see. Definitely worth learning about.
Arrival
Very quick through the airport since they are looking for tips. Check-in at Cayena Beach was very smooth and bags were delivered to our room in a timely manner.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was cleaned daily by a cleaning crew who cleaned up the seaweed early each morning. The beaches were beautiful white sand with palm trees. There were plenty of watersports and activities daily. The pools were very clean and I saw a man putting chemicals in at least twice that week. The grounds were taken care of well and were always clean. We saw a guy with a machete knife trimmming the bushes. That was kind of fun.
Other Comments
If DR was closer, we would make this an every 2 year event, but we’re on the west coast and it’s much too long to make this trip too often.
Restaurants and Bars
Buffet was okay. The food at all restaurants doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but it was still good. El Cano lunch specials were really good, especially the crab stuffed chicken. Look for Pazqual when you go there. He’s a character and will make sure your meal is good. He’s the restaurant manager, I believe.
Rooms
The rooms were in good condition and we had no problem with them. Staff was very helpful if we had issues. The cleaning people decorated our room with flowers one day and put our bedspread into neatly decorated ways each day as well. There were small fruitflies that are all over the Caribbean that were sprayed for at least once during the week, but they didn’t bother us.
iberostar bavaro…3rd time
Hotel Iberostar Bavaro
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rich >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family
just back from iberostar bavaro for our third time….place hasn’t changed. thats a good thing! we arrived from chicago, as usaul getting thru customs smooth. off to hotel, quick! check in a bit shaky this time as there was confusion on our room. while we waoited, off to lunch and some grilled lobster in the buffet. all in all everything went smooth. only one problem the whole time…arriving in our room the tv remote was broke. notified the front desk that day and the next. was never fixed….totaly not like the the usual iberostar way of doing things. last day there we got to relax on the beach and enjoy tropocal storm bonnie roll by. was pretty cool. this was the the first time we had to contend with rain. duhhh it’s the tropics….. took a tour of the new grand hotel…wasn’t impressed. will probably go back a forth time. feel free tocontact with questions

rich and gayle

Good hotel, nice rooms, great service, nice restaurants, rough ocean
Hotel Excellence Punta Cana
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Julie >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
We had a good time, relaxed and had fun, weather was mid-80’s and VERY humid, short thunderstorms almost daily, which is to be expected in July, but was pretty uncomfortable at night when you were dressed up. Beautiful hotel, no wristbands needed. The resort is much larger than you first think, every time you walk around you discover something new, their map was a little hard to follow. Good service, nice people, great public bathrooms.

The orientation was useful, although they waited too long for no-shows.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We ziplined, which was fun but quite the workout (if you’re over 55, overweight or a smoker, or afraid of heights, watch out), you walk through the hot, humid jungle climbing tall platforms. Everyone was dripping with sweat. We bought the CD for $20, it was OK, but 90% is pictures of other people (you can’t bring a camera on the rides, you lock up all personnel belongings in a locker, bring Deep Woods off). Guides are excellent (the lead guy is hot!), very experienced, safe and nice. Wear sneakers! The open air bus trip was interesting, dirt roads in the jungles, don’t bring a lot of stuff with you. Ladies – this is a glamorous sport (go easy on the makeup). Go in the AM!! We were gone 8:15 to 1 PM, it’s not a 2 hour event like they tell some people. We also did the Somoa Island booze cruise, it was OK but I recommend 1 or the other, and not back to back like we did, the AC bus ride was LONG, and the same roads as zip lining so it was boring to me, bring a change of clothes and leave them in the locked bus, it rained when we got to the island and the entire way back so we were wet and chilly, many people on our boat got very sick from too much rum. The vendors attack you from the bus to boat, very annoying. One way is nice large Catamaran boat, one way is open air, small speed boat. Again, beware if you’re older or overwight, you have to climb up swim ladders and hop over seats. Beach barbecue was just OK, swimming was OK. The water at the resort was so rough, we did no included water sports. We went horseback riding along the beach, which was fun, go the day after their day off when they’re fresh, go in the AM! (cooler), they let you gallop (if you want) and take your pix, horses were surpringly responsive. Don’t pay for the extra horse riding.

No golf, but we didn’t care.

Arrival
Fine, nice people, lobby is beautiful, a nice place to hang out, bellman are great, they give youa warm welcome, champagne and an ice cold washcloth, we checked in and out quickly, although had to wait 2 hours until our room was ready because we arrived early (had a nice lunch and walked around). They provide change, but bring lots of small change for tips (USD, 1’s and 5’s) because sometimes it takes them a while to find some. Concerge was very helpful.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pools were nice, but shallow. Swim up bar was fun, and large. People are bad with reserving lounge chairs, and not picking up their wet towels when done. The hotel could have more baskets for garbage and wet towels to encourage clean up, and could do a beter job of cleaning up cups, garbage, etc. on the beach and pools. They often ran out of towels mid-afternoon (and after surprise rain) but would bring them to you when ready. They have nice lounge chairs with cushions, nice towels, and side tables. If you see chairs with rolled up towels, they ARE available! Beach was fun, nice view, quiet, NO boats (too rough?), a little windy, but that means no bugs and a cool breeze. We received no bug bites (sand fleas) but used bug spray on our feet. Beach and ocean were clean and nice for walking, but undertow / surf was very rough, they recommended NO swimming the 7 out of 8 days we were there (people went in anyway); we walked the beach in the daylight away from the resort and felt safe. The drink service was OK, could be a little better. Public bathrooms were very nice.
Other Comments
We had a good time. A variety of people and ages, most seemed to be from the tri-state area (US) so we had a lot on common. Many honeymooners, some families, some couples in their 40’s and 50’s, a few older. It was romantic and relaxing. Played a lot of pool volleyball. The hotel (as they all can) could make a few small improvements, but overall it’s a nice place and I would recommend it. Our only real complaint was the rough ocean. We’ve been to Jamaica and on the other side of the DR island and loved the water.
Restaurants and Bars
Beautiful restaurants, great service, no AC – wear loose, cotton clothes! They escort woman to their tables, we didn’t get a chance to hit every restaurant, but all were fine, except the Lobster House was full of gnats. Food was good, but we both experienced major diarrhea, do not touch tap water, bring Immodium!!!; do not not ignore warning signs (stomach pains) and stay away from coconuts. Grill on the beach was fun, great ribs. Sports bar was fun, ice cream and snacks. Drinks are good, top shelf.
Rooms
Great, very clean, garden view King, my husband is 6’5" and was very comfortable, layout and closet space was fine, plenty of room for your stuff, view was OK, giant palm trees, very private porch. Request the 3rd floor! Better view, quieter, high ceilings! Nice Jacuzzi, huge bed. 24×7 room service (limited menu), well stocked beverage bar, coffee maker, snacks were disappointing, TV was fine. Maid service 2x a day (use your Do Not Disturb sign!) Nice maids. They have elevators, but we didn’t use them.
Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/Ilovlos/GranBahiaPrincipeBavaroDiamondClubSection02#
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/lovlos
Gran Bahia Princiipe Bavaro – Diamond Club lived up to our expectations plus more!
Hotel Bahia Principe Punta Cana
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Kelly >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Myself (40 years old), my husband (43 years old) and our niece (15 years old) spent two lovely and relaxing weeks at the Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Diamond Club Section from July 8-22, 2010.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Regarding activities on and off the resort, I can’t review off the resort because I didn’t book any, yet there are a number available from the representatives who walk around the resort everyday.

On the resort you have the pools, the beach activities (non-motorized water sports-one hour free daily), the games around the pools and beach and the shopping in the resort at the front area to the left of the lobby. As well, there is a casino but I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has won at one in the Caribbean.

Arrival
When we arrived we immediately left our bags with the bellboy at the front entrance, walked 100 metres or so to the Diamond Club lounge and very quickly checked in with the incredibly professional Francy Dugarte, the Diamond Club Manager. She explained our a la carte bookings, gave us a map of the resort, and provided us with a cold welcome beverage. After signing for our electronic key we were directed back to the front area where a bell boy placed all the luggage in a tram and drove us to our villa #34 directly beside the Diamond Club pool. Alexandro carried all the bags to the third floor room and welcomed us with a smile.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
I can’t comment greatly on the services and fun available on the beach because I am pretty much a pool tourist but on the days I did walk down to watch my husband take out the catamarran, I found plenty of lounge chairs and a sandy ocean floor to walk on. The water is not as clear as it was during our last visit three years ago but it was quite wavy due to a storm system in the area. I did see an entertainment crew running games such as horseshoes and volleyball so it looked like there was plenty to keep you occupied on the beach. As well, there was a beach bar for guests with a slightly less assortment of drinks to choose from. The grounds are positively immaculate for such a large resort and you will always see groundskeepers out in the baking heat trying to make your day a visually appealing one. Positively no complaints with the grounds! There are an assortment of pools in this resort. There is a beach front pool divided into sections with the deepest area being to the right of the swim up bar. I was actually a bit surprised at how deep it is, a good 5 and a half feet because it came up to my shoulders so I don’t think I’d want too many little people in that area. This pool is positively CRAZY during the day with people and activities. If you are looking for relaxation, don’t sit at this one! This is the pool for those booked into the Junior Suites and not upgraded to Diamond Club. Like I’ve said before, book Diamond Club and avoid disappointment. This booking gets you four a la cartes instead of two per week along with a nicer breakfast and lunch and the exclusive use of the nicest pool on the property. Which brings me to the Diamond Club Section pool. I have taken both videos and photos of this area that speak for themselves. The links are attached to this review. It is a large free flowing pool with a swim up bar, pretty views to every side and plenty of lounge chairs. The towel service and bathroom is a 20 second walk and it is also directly on the transportation line that runs the length of the resort. A special thanks to Jose, the pool guy who kept the pool area clean and inviting during our entire stay. He greeted us each and every day with an "hola" and a smile, a very sweet man.

As noted on other reviews, this resort is very large but not daunting and very manageable with the "tram" transportation service that runs every 3-5 minutes along three seperate lines of the resort from front to beach.

Other Comments
This resort is a very solid 4.5 star and certainly a 5 star if you factor in the quality of the a la carte restaurants. The service was fantastic, the room location ideal, Diamond Club pool inviting and hotel as a whole completely lived up to our expectations and exceeded them! One last note that we found helpful when packing for our own trip. Men are allowed to wear dress shorts in the buffet restaurant, and all but one a la carte restaurant so if you wish to try the French restaurant you must wear long pants…no exceptions. I know that on the review sites the reviews for this resort differ greatly, with some loving, some hating and those that thought it just so-so. We are experienced 15 year + all inclusive travellers who have stayed at 2.5 star resorts, 4 star resorts and 6 star resorts and I can honestly tell you that we would return to the Diamond Club section, Premier section, the Ambar (adults only) or the Esmeralda section in a heart beat! I didn’t really go into the Esmeralda area review, but there is video about it on my video link. It is a smaller resort attached to the property directly on the beach but strictly for those guests who book there. It looked heavenly when we walked around it and when talking to guests they compared it to the Bahia Principe Ambar but for families. It is very tempting to stay there next time as well. You won’t go wrong booking the Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro but Diamond Club or better is a must! Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions regarding this review. My email is kcponce @ hotmail.com. Cheers and happy travels!

Kelly

Restaurants and Bars
When you book at the Diamond Club section you are allocated four a la carte reservations per week with your concierge. In addition, at the Diamond Club section you are provided with exclusive use of the Italian Restaurant for breakfast and lunch each day. It is only steps away from the Diamond Club pool and is a much quieter and relaxing breakfast and lunch experience. On the evenings we ate at the buffet restaurant it was just ok compared to the a la cartes but we never went hungry on those evenings and simply understood that the process of presenting food on such a large scale isn’t going to produce gourmet. Now the a la cartes are an entirely different story because they are all FABULOUS in their own unique ways! Our favourite was the Garden Grill located mid resort, with the highest quality food I have ever experienced at an all inclusive! The manager is Joselo, an incredibly friendly gentleman who will greet you with a smile and assist in making your dining experience a great one. I highly recommend you book this location as soon as you arrive. Our second favourite restaurant was the Italian Restaurant with a wide selection of main entree as well as an enormous variety of appetizers in a buffet style. I can’t say enough about the entire staff working in this restaurant from first thing in the morning when they greet you for breakfast till your evening dinner reservation. Very hard working, always with a smile and each one of them made our vacation a great one! Thank you Yulia, Jesus, Juddy, Ramon, and Rafael for your professionalism and daily smiles! Our third and final favourite that I’ll mention was the Japanese Restaurant. You have two options for eating at this restaurant, the tapanaki area where they cook the food in front of you and the table service. Don’t forget to request the tapanaki so that you aren’t disappointed. As well, just a tip, always double check your reservation slip after booking with the concierge to make sure the request is noted. We did see a family quite upset when they were seated in the table service area after believing they requested the tapanaki but unfortunately that area was completed reserved for the night and the slip was table service. The bar service was on par with the majority of other resorts in the caribbean that I have experienced over the past 15 years or so. The beer on tap was Presidente, there was champagne for mimosas and cocktails were colourful and well presented. There are blenders at the bars and I would suggest you request they be used for some drinks because the "slushi machines" don’t do them justice.

There were three bartenders who stood out as the friendliest, most professoinal and most customer service oriented during our visit. They are located at the Diamond Club pool.Thank you to Maria, Starling and Joselo!

Rooms
The room in the Diamond Club room was spacious and included two double beds, though king size beds are available upon request and if you aren’t travelling with a third like we were. There was also a sitting area with a table and two chairs, a television, dresser drawers, bedside table with reading lights on either side and enough closest space for everyone. My recommendation to you is to bring along extra hangers or ask your maid for additional ones upon arrival. There were only 5 hangers per closet side. The hangers you will receive upon request are wire hangers so if you have an issue with them, bring your own plastic ones. The bathroom consists of a jacuzzi tub/shower combination with marble surround as well as the sink and toilet. Don’t forget that the water is NOT DRINKABLE out of the tap at this resort and therefore you will have to brush your teeth using the bottled water provided. There are new bottles delivered to your room every day. In the room there is also a mini bar fridge that contains water, pop (pepsi, 7-Up and Orange) and two cans of Brava beer. The fridge is restocked as needed. Each evening when we returned back to the room, there was new stock free of charge. The fridge does have some extra room in the event you bring your own wine, liquor or refrigerated snacks with you on vacation.

As well, every room does have a walk out balcony with a small table and two chairs. I would suggest that you bring along clothes pegs or a clothsline if you wish to hang your bathing suits or towels to dry in the evening because there is no rack made available on the balcony and otherwise you are hanging items from the chairs or the balcony rail, neither of which are ideal. My only suggestion regarding the room to the resort is a drying rack added to the balcony, I have come across them at RIU resorts in the Dominican and Mexico.

The Best of the Best
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe Cayo Levantado
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David >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
Have you ever imagined floating away to your own private island…Than it’s time to introduce yourself to the wonders of Cayo Levantado. This resort sits on it own 1 sq. KM island about a 1/2 mile off the beautiful coast of the Samana peninsula. The main building houses about 96 standard rooms and a number of suites. The rest of the suites are spread out around the island in beautiful villa buildings. NONE of the rooms face the island’s interior. They all face the caribbean. The suites feature wonderfully appointed rooms with a bathroom to die for. As my girlfriend and I said from the minute we got there, we’re not going home!!!

This is the best resort in the DR. But don’t be afraid. As is the case in the DR, this is not an expensive vacation.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Wonderful Animation Team. Just loved the antics of Angel, David, and Natasha. Again, these guys are "no pressure" but offer a lot of fun.

If are are adventurous, head back to the mainland and go to Limon Falls and Playa Rincon. The falls are beautiful. Rincon is rated the 4th most beautiful beach in the world…no arguments here. For both excusions there are horseback rides in. At Rincon you are treated to a caribbean style Lobster lunch under a thatched roof.

Arrival
Arrival is quick and easy with the resort check-in on the mainland. A quick boatride and you’re at your dream vacation.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
They have 2 pools and a jaquzzi. All are very tranquil and there is not any of that lounger squating that goes on down in Punta Cana, not even from the Euros. The pools aren’t deep, .4 to 1.4 meters. So, you can walk or swim. People hung out at the pools until sunset. There are three beaches on the island. The resort utilizes all three even though one is technically a public beach. The public beach is the best. There are plenty of lounges there(no charge), a bar with cheap drinks, some wonderfully filling up a carved out pineapple or coconut. There is also a small trinket shopping area which feauters the most low key sellers in the DR. The 2 beaches on the hotel property are beautiful but small. One side has a pretty stiff wave set, not for the feint of heart, the other side is calm and tranquil as it is protected by a reef.

Just magnificant

Other Comments
As this is my sixth trip to the DR, I can say unequivically that these are some of the nicest people in the world. I have been to Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, but I can honestly say I will be returning to Cayo Levantado as this is the best resort in the DR.
Restaurants and Bars
There are three gourmet restaurants; Don Pablo’s is open every night and features a great surf & turf dinner, wonderful lamb, and a dessert they call a Mug of Hot Chocolate which is actually a mug of Chocolate Mousse topped with their version of whipped Cream. The Portifino and the Mediterrian Restaurants are beachside and alternate nights. At the Mediterranian you can have a Caribbean Lobster, or two, any night. The Portofino has some very nice Italian dishes. Thge main building features the buffet which is good everynight with a lot of variety. The extra special thing at the restaurants is how beautifully the plates are presented. Every night they feauture a special pre-appetizer and a special Dominican drink. You have your choice of all the well drinks as well as Red, White, Rosa, and Champagne. The service is incredible. All the staff try very hard to understand Inglais. Just try to use a little espanola and they will be very happy.
Rooms
Awesome!!! Please tip your room staff, They work hard, get paid very little, and they will reward you with beautiful towel scultures to welcome you home everday.
amazing
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach Resort
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kirsty >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family
my first holiday in the dominican republic was in july 2008 me and me family loved it the foods great the staff are really friendly and the interior is really nice . we retured to dominican gran ventana in july this year to be greeted once again by the friendly staff i would recommend you ask to stay in the catilina or saona block the bueta block is right next to the plaza mall and the bars with meens it’s quite noisey at night . but i would go back again any day.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
ok
Arrival
very friendly greeting
Beach/Pools/Grounds
pool and grounds are clean and safe
Restaurants and Bars
great range of food
Rooms
perfect cool rooms nice to cool down after the heat
Wedding in Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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jacky >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jun, 2010 | Leisure | Family
is a great place to get married. Lovely and gorgeous….
good but could have been better
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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Debby >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jun, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Beautiful facility and beach. Service ok. Great bar drinks and overall service. Food was below expectations. A number of people got sick – must have been food as we were all careful with water. Overall, great vacation. Not for singles but definitely for couples who want a wonderful time.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
always had to go over to the Bavar. Somewhat of a pain.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beautiful grounds. Great pool!
Other Comments
Would suggest that the hotel review its buffet operations. Great facility and service.

Would suggest more entertainment on site versus having to make your way to the Bavar. Often shows were full with Bavar guests and we had to stand.

Restaurants and Bars
Bars were great. A la carte: Suggest the Japanese and the French restaurants.

Buffet: OK but not great. Always the same and never enough of the feature meat. Service at the buffet was not that great.

Rooms
Large, clean and very nice.
Your Arrival
Some confusion upon arriva.. They drop you off at the Bavar and then shuttle you to the Ambar. Was somewhat a pain as most events took place at the Bavar site.
BEYOND OUR EXPECTATIONS!
Hotel Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
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ivelisse >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jun, 2010 | Leisure | Family
I have traveled many times to Dominican Republic, i was born there 😉 This was my first time in Punta Cana. I was very pleased with this resort, mostly with the service. WOW i have never seen so many people smile and look like they enjoy what they do everyday. Most important to me is cleanliness, we were part of the hotel that has privilige attention through their vacation club and I have to tell you my suite was cleaned TWICE a day, just like the cruise ships, they had a turn down service. AWSOME. I had to tell her not to keep replenishing all the alcohol in my room, the outside bars were enough for us. Our bldg was #10 and right next to it we had a separate area for VIP breakfast which turned into the beach restaurant for @ lunchtime for the rest of the guests. We also have a roped off area at the beach. I have to tell you that even the places that were not for VIP guests were also clean, we had some friends in other bldgs yes there is a difference in the liquor in the room, the ammeneties in the bathroom and the outside furniture is wicker not plastic BUT THE SERVICE is the same for everyone regardless your status.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
we did a catamaran excursion with VIVA COLONIA TROPICAL its right at the hotel, ask for valentinno..check them at vivacoloniatropical.com
we also did dune buggy through dirt & beach…great!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pool is very active with music and dancing & some contests BUT thats only at one end, the other end is a little quieter for those who want to rela & read a book….
Other Comments
I am very nervous & anxious when i go somewhere unknown to me, even though this is my homeland, punta cana was new to me and this resort was the best pick. We never saw anyone harrasing us for the time share but then again my daughter bought one the last time she was there 🙂 thats why we are now PRIVILIGE GUESTS…so you never now, if you have the time give them a try
Restaurants and Bars
we had dinner at all the restaurants, the mexican was our favorite because JONATHAN (our waiter) was the best. also the food was very very good and the mamajuana shots are the best. Tequila shots do not compare to this.
Rooms
amazing! is the only word to describe it…clean, beautiful,coMfortable…I DIDNT SEE ONE SINGLE BUG!!! BUT then again it may not be the season for them …i think is more into the july/aug months
Your Arrival
Check in was very quick but then again we also have a private check in lounge.
beautiful resort good food and drinks
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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maria- goretti >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jun, 2010 | Leisure | Family
we enjoyed our stay very clean and beautiful beach
pleasent staff.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
we did not activties in the resort.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
alway perfect plenty of chairs
Other Comments
we will be going back for another vacation at the Majestic Colonial.
Rooms
very clean and planty of towels.
Your Arrival
perfect.happy with the room and staff.
Excellent Hotel with great hospitality
Hotel Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
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Mett >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jun, 2010 | Leisure | Family
The hotel staff was the highlight of the stay. They were all extreamely courteous and friendly and accomadating to the kids.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The activities like the shows that they had needed improvement in quality.
Especially the bands. However most shows were entertatining.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
great.
Other Comments
The Laundry service is a disaster. I had an expensive sports coat ironed and ruined as a result when I wanted them to press the coat.
Restaurants and Bars
Absolutely no complaints. All the restaurants were great and the service was exceptionally good. The food was great and the service was exceptionally great.
Rooms
I lke the rooms except I do not like the washrooms "open concept". I prefer the washrooms being seperated by a wall within the same room.

All the rest was great.

Your Arrival
The arrival was messy that being the Tour operator for Westjet being disorganized on a very rainy day. We had to walk in the pelting rain with kids to a bus that was parked a bit of distance. I do not blame the resort for this episode.
Once we got into the resort all was smooth.
Exceedingly Abundantly above ALL I could ever have Hoped for… AWESOME- WOW – FABULOUS
Hotel Be Live Grand Marien (formerly Oasis)
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Mary Anne >  1 contribution(s) Canada
May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
This resort was More than I could dreamed it would be even after seeing photos on line, it was Beyond… our dreams… all the way,.,,,,, 4+ star
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
There is always something to see & do, the Pool games were lots of fun for us for an afternoon laugh… dancing lessons everyday at 5 pm, spanish also is taught pool side.
there is a nice pool bar & a resteraunt above it is airconditioned Italian cusine
Beach/Pools/Grounds
lovey, soft light gold/ beige sand… easy to walk on, and CLEAN beach
water was warm & lovely, lots of places to sun & also hide in the shade… mango trees all around provided a wonderful canopy over us on a day we so needed to rest & enjoy the breezes
Other Comments
I’d HIGHLY reccomend this resort , I cant say anything bad about it at all the only thing we found hard to deal with was the number of peddlers, selling their wares, and they hound you on the beach, or while on tour/ excursion in Puerto Plata, the people there need to make a living & so many are selling art, jewllery, carved wooden boxes, or in town square, a lilttle boy came and gave me a yellow flower tip tip tip – they ask if you dont… that was the only part of hte trip which made us feel like they could ruin a lovely time. yet knwoing they need so much.. be careful, and go with your gutt instink when you talk with them… I bouight some nice jewllery from a boy at the beach, and he was very easy to talk with… no pressure; then there are some who will tell you $250 US… for items we canget here at home at dollar store.. and pay a total of $10

they insist you wear this or that & they fill a bowl with things they want you to buy,… i certainly learned much and how to say NO.. and walk away.. strong & OK with not being taken.

Restaurants and Bars
WE loved the SANTA Fe- (mexican bar& grill) – had the Chicken Fahita’s and the portions were large, enjoyed also the 3 mix plate with shrimp and steak and chicken breast. this was our favoritw resteraurt a la carte; next ws the BUFFET, always good & more than plentiful, with fruits, and salads, and choice from the grill. such as porkloin, chicken breasts, fish, shrimp, pork roast, salmon, huge beef roasts, the display & garnishses were amazing… the staff -excellent & polite & always wanting to serve you more lots of servers, friendly warm, and obliging There is a Great resteraunt overlooking the, and it is air conditioned- serves Italian cusine, dress is nice shirts, shorts, but ladies take a sweater, or shawl… it teends to be tooo cool up there.

we had pork tenderloin, and beef tenderloin… was very good, as was the desserts….we were WOW’d again

Rooms
WE were surprized when we got an OCEAN VIEW ROOM, in Bldg 3
Kingsize bed… and warobe with lots of rooom to put away clohes, larege closet, and safe, bathroom was also a good size & the maids kept our rooom clean & adorned with fresh flowers & towel art each day; we made sure to tip here veryday & Ileft gifts for her ( perfume, soaps, candies, etc.)
Your Arrival
we arrived early in the morning around 10:30 am, such a warm wlecome & very efficient, our bags were kept secure by the front lobby watchman, and we could used the hotels resteraunts& bars, and pool while we waited for our rooms to be fully ready. WE were greated with pineapple & Coconut drinks, and BIG WARM friendly smiles and HOLA’s….
Nice resort
Hotel Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
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Abe and Maria >  2 contribution(s) Canada
May, 2010 | Leisure | Family
We flew West Jet out of Toronto great flight there and back. This is a very nice resort if you can get it for a sale price, we booked through my brother in law because he is an H10 member. There was 30 of us all together for my brother in laws wedding
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Only thing we did was deep sea fishing and was very rough seas that day no fish caught and most of us spent our time sea sick
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach is very nice but we are more pool people and spent many hours at the pool bar, all bars have really great service
Other Comments
This is a great resort if you can get it on sale I would never pay full price again, but we really enjoyed ourselfs very much
Restaurants and Bars
Bars are all great, buffet is always good but was closed a few nights do to the resort only being about 20% full, Route 66 is a great place to eat, ate at the Mexican and did not care for it at all and my wife loved mikes coffee shop evry night
Rooms
Rooms are big, like most reviews furniture could really use a update, A/C did not work very well at all, called main. and they said it was fine?? went to some friends rooms and they were much cooler. fridge was not stocked up every day with the two beers like most resorts we have been to. Maids do a great job roomed cleaned every day.
Your Arrival
Very fast no problems getting our rooms and off to the pool we went
A great week
Hotel Barcelo Punta Cana
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Naj >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
May, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Alright first of all arriving at the airport in punta Cana was an experience on it’s own, my sister an I have not been to Dominican republic for six years and it was wonderful to feel the open air and see the palm trees the moment you step off the plane. The airport is completely open as well and unique. I do suggest to book transportation to the hotel if you have not already and the best one would be coco tours. Once arriving I was hooked, the entrance is huge and very well furnished. In general the pool, the food, the shows, and the drinks are just amazing and let’s not forget the most beautiful part of the hotel; the beach.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
On the grounds of the hotel barcelo you can participate in the games the workers create for you. There are salsa lessons, contest in the pool area and on the beach. Beach and pool volleyball, water polo, arobics…and just plane dancing. Every night they host a singing and dancing show in the huge ampitheater; there you can order drinks, play pool and watch the show. For lids there is the kid pool call the varcy water park ; full of slides and water falls. There is also a day care for kids and a game room for teens, a sports bar for adults and a spa as well. They also have a huge trampoline and trapeze for the daredevils out there. Of course on the beach there is parasaling, windsurfing, and all that good stuff. And I wouldn’t know about outside because I never wanted to leave but they do host excursions to vie other islands and zoos ect.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pools are seperated in terms of quiet pools and one with music and animation. Both are really great to spend time with family . The quiet pool is next to the kids pool and also next to the restaurant a el mirador. It is very relaxing and calming. The pool located near the buffet is full of people who want to play pool volleyball and water polo and want to watch the workers dance and well…animate the ambience. The beach is amazing; it is so clean and blue and the water is very refreshing…all there is to waorry about is going to far into the water.
Other Comments
The staff at the hotel are very friendly and really are there to make your stay the best.
Restaurants and Bars
Where can I start? The buffet alcazar is the best for breakfast (I encourage to eat there every morning) a huge variety of sweet breads, crepes, pancakes, fruits, and traditional Dominican breakfast. Oh! And there is a chef that will prepare an omlette with your choice of ingredients. The other buffet called the marlin is perfect for lunch if you desire chicken, rice, French fries ect. Obove the marlin is the pizzeria don Simon…let’s just say it is the best thin crust pizza I have had to date. Then there is the restaurant el mirador that is also excellent for lunch and it is only open from 12 to 3, so hurry up and eat there , the food and salad is amazing. Of course all of these are walk in restaurants but make sure you slate dried up and covered up from the pool or beach before walking in. The al carte restaurants are given to you by reservation that the hotel kindly makes for you; there is the conuco that is fancy Dominican cuisine, the Roma which is Italian, the tokio which is a habachi style restaurant and there is Paris which is french cuisine. I wouldn’t know how to describe Paris because we did not get to eat there but all the al carte restaurants were beautiful in design and food to die for.
Rooms
The rooms are very elegant and I for one was surprised to gets room like I did. Each room has a balcony so don’t worry about having the one without. The beds and pillows are extremely comfortable and ofcourse each room is equiped with a flat screen tv (English and Spanish channels included) and the bathroom is very well structured with a shower head that is detachable and room service is always on point.
Totally Awesome, Well worth every cent
Hotel Iberostar Dominicana
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Mike >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
The Iberostar Dominicana exceeded both mine and my wifes expectations. We traveled there for our five year anniversary, and were completely blown away at everything, especially the staff. The people work from sun up to early morning hours, and all day long are singing and dancing, while smiling the entire time. They make you feel like there is no communication or cultural barrier. They make you feel like you are at home. From the time that we showed up, to the time we left, we were joking around and laughing with the staff and other visitors. Jonny P. and his fellow staff members at the bar are probably the best in the world. He was awesome, and weather you leave a tip or not, you will get the royal treatment. I have read many reviews before we went that said you get better service if you tip. I would say that you get the same whether you do or not. These people treat everyone the same, and I just cant say enough good things about them. Don’t get me wrong, we left tips because they definetly deserve them, but I don’t want people to miss out on this experience because they think they will get poor service without tipping, you won’t. Overall, this will be the only place I ever travel in the Dominican Republic. The only problem that we had was with our local travel agent, which was our fault for booking through cheapcarribean.com. This guy was a real ass! He scheduled an appointment for our first full day there, to go over what was available to us, and offer the excursions, and stood us up, and then did it again the next day. But that has nothing to do with the hotel.

All in all, I was very impressed, and am usually not with anything.

Excellent all the Way , this Resort exceeded our expectations, we had a marvelous time
Hotel Be Live Grand Marien (formerly Oasis)
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Barrie >  1 contribution(s) Canada
May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
The Resort was not only clean, and grounds well kept it was beautiful beyond description. Behind the resort is Mt Issobel Torres, which overlooks Puerto Plata. The days temperatures were around 30- 40 degrees incl. humidity sunny days for teh most part of our stay- we had a few rain showers, and one evening of "torrential" downpour" unlike anything I had ever experienced, the staff took it all in stride, and provided umbrella’s , and an extra glass of wine & beer while we waited for the rains to cease.
The view is breath taking, and the lay out of the resort is very walkalbe, and makes the most of all its ammenities. We always had fine service, and great food at all the resteruants. The staff was very gracious, and polite, alwasy keeping things in order. They were friendly & plesant, our room was well maintained, and each day we where graced with towel art, swans& hearts with flwoers. We left a ti0p and gifts for our maid each day ( fellow travelers had told us to bring small perfumes, and lipstick, and pantyhose, childrens vitamins, toothpaste, soaps, things that she might not be able to afford on her her meager wages.) Our miad was delighted to recieve the gifts we had brough _ i was also prpared with gits for children, toys & blow up balls… with smilie faces, and little girls jewllery, and things for their hair,.. Next time we will bring more school supplies, and ask the airline about bringing items down to give as gifts & to help families there
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We were only there 7 days. and we had 5 day trips 1) OUTBACK SAFARI – was most excellent, intersting, informative & fun- our guide KENNY ( ask for Him) was a fountain of knowledge- and also great fun. we toured sugard cane feilds, saw farms, visited a small school (where we took school supplies) & tasted fresh ground and brewed domincan coffee, we also visited the rural community that this OUTBACK supports, 1/2 of your fare goes to the school ! we had a great lunch at the outback headquateres, and then off to do some BOGGIE Boarding, body surfing on a very secluded beach; we also went to a mountain stream, and found a fresh water pool to swim in. that was perfect to get off the salt water. drinsk flowed freely all day & they took great care to see we were all happy & having a good time….. 5 stars!!!!!! ya ps- your travel group wont give you this partifular tour option… I booked all mine here online… from HOME and saved $$ and loved the freedom to choose OUR OWN TOURS 2) FREE STYLE Catamaran – what a glorious Day of Sailing and SNorkleing in Sosua Bay.. it cost us about $84 US each but well worth it for the experince of seeing thsoe incredible coloured fish.. amd corals. under the sea.again… go to the REAL DR online and book this EXCURSION. ( link provided below) you will NOT regret it 3) Puerto Plata Tours with HOLA – WE had GERMAN for our guide- excellent very knowledgeable about the history and area….. what an excellent value $37US each, the tour included: Brugal Rum Facotry, Jewllery Factory & Store ( Bring money), then a Cigar Factory & Store; next stop Fort San Filpe, then AMber Museum, then off to the Cable Car & UP Mt Isbobel Torres. to see a great view of Puerto Plata. there was cloud up there when we arrived at the top 300 feet up, but it did clear & I got some fabulous photos. http://www.therealdr.com/store/puerto-plata-excursions-80/ 4) DEEP Sea FSIHING — STAY AWAY FROM **GONE FISHING** NOT a good value & no fish or service….

5) We made our own Tour on Sunday- as we hired a taxi & went to church, and sight seeing.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Clean and lovely, very nice layout. always kept, each day grounds men were working, mowing lawns, weeding,.. keeping things beautiful. Beach sand was a light golden brown, soft, and free from stones, or cutting shells. it was nice to walk on. the ocean was also clean & warm nice to swim in. We enjoyed the pool, after our excursion days, to cool off & get refreshed. We also joined in some of those 4:00 O’clock pool side games.. was fun, the staff really get you to join and feel a part of a fun holiday comminity,..sometimes they dress up like caats, sharks, palm trees… and otehr tribal get ups… supperman also plays volleyball!

was fun, youthfull, and refreshing.

Restaurants and Bars
There are 4 a la cartes & 1 buffet which helps to keep variety the spice of life THe display of choices is beautiful, and a wonderful and tastey selection greeets you each day. Sunday there is a GALA Buffet dinner, all other reseraunts are closed, one night a week tehre is also a BBQ and Beach Party for all to enjoy. ( Unfortunately we missed that- as we were so tired from a days excursion we went to bed very early; but heard this LLUD party.. for hours… the next day I found out just who was making that racket outside OUR bedroom balcony it was the entire resort, all guests partied on the beach… oh well we still had a good nights rest, next time we will join them!
Rooms
The Room was spacious, and overlooked teh ocean, which was lovely, we could here the birds in the mornings, and thought the open air concept of the hallways was quite unique. The furniture was all wood & spanish with the Oasis, palms with the theme. clean rooms, with orange/ rust coloured cermanic tiled floors, bright yellow walls, and nice linens, and curtains.

We also appreciated teh safe provided, (you have to pay extra to get the lock & key)- but peace of mind is worth it- to keep vauables safe.

Your Arrival
Our arrival was smooth- we noticed jsut how small the airport was, it can recieve only one plane at a time, however the staff are helpful, and going through customs was noneventful, we all boarded small buses to take us to our hotels (quaint, small, bumpy little buses, with some airconditioning) and a very friendly & welcoming guide- takes you to your hotel. We enjoyed his descriptive tguided tour to our hotel which was only 20 minutes away. Upon arrival at our hotel, the porters greeted us & helped us with our bags, which nede to stay in a secure area until our offical check in time. WE had about 5 hours to enjoy the the resort, before our rooms were ready for occupancy. We learned alter from others to give a tip $10-$20 US and presto you WILL have a room… ( so we will keep that in mind for next time) the POOL was lovely as was the beach, clean and free from litter. WE were also greeted by a young gentleman in WHITE- we learned alter on that these "folks" are hired to bring you to the VIP area, where you are given the opportunity to sign and pay into a resort vacation program, and get better room rates & deals.

Our friendly "pal" met us almost daily…. and called us his borhter & sista from a differnt mother – how cute!… he made us feel warmly welcomed, and he wanted us to have a plesant stay.

Best holiday i hav eva bin on in mi life !!! 🙂
Hotel Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
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Danielle >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
May, 2010 | Leisure | Family
it was brilliant, i neva wanted 2 leave, the staff were the funniest people i hav eva met and the kindedest. the food was exceptional every nite and there is a wide variety too. the swimming pool was really refreshin n clear !! sensational !! it is gorgous weather every day, the beach was the whitest, softest, best sand you had ever walked along. the sea was as clear as glass and stretched as far as the eye can see.The rooms were cleaned thurally every day and were spotless, the beds where the comfiest i had ever slept on, the flour was clean and crisp. the tv was quite large, lots of wardrobe space and the bathrooms were spotless.the entertainment was excellent and every nite was different shows and performances and the last nite show was exceptional. i would recoment this hotel to everyone and i would go again in a minute.

the only thing i would say is that dont go there just for a week because it is 2 far to travel for just 7 days so i recomend goin for 2 weeks insted, but overall it is the BEST EVA !!!!!!!!!!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
the day trips were exceptional and i would advise you to go on them all, also there is a wide range of acitvities to do in the grounds including a spa, golf, tinnis, gym and many more.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
the pool was cleaned every nite and was cool and calm, they hav a seprate bit in the pool incase you want to have a game of vollyball and the staff regualy hosted games during the day. there is also a mini pool where your youngsters can go and make friends. also round the bak of the tennis courts there is a jaquzzi where you can chill. the beache was raked every morning so it looked clean and inviting every day, the sea was as clear as glass and relaxing. the grounds were simple to find your way around and spacious.
Other Comments
all i can say is that i would recomend this hotel to everyone and i would deffintly go bak there agen !!!x big thumbs up 🙂 xx
Restaurants and Bars
food was exceptional every nite and there was a choice of quite alot of bars to attend, otherwise go to the buffay witch was top standed every nite. the bar staff and waiters are very friendly and helpfull and the drinks were chilled and refreshing.
Rooms
everything about the rooms were top class !! do i need 2 say any more ?!!! x
Your Arrival
arrival was teriffic, you get the blast from the heat as soon as you get off the plane but you soon get used to it. the baggs came quite quick and the trollies were free so that was good. it is very easy to find your was around and the staff tell exactally were 2 go and reach your coach, it is very straight forward.
Amazing!
Hotel Blau Natura Park Eco-Resort
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Ryanne >  1 contribution(s) Canada
May, 2010 | Party | With friend
This is a great resort! I was surprised to see that the resort focuses so much on maintaining the grounds. Not a single complaint in terms of the staff, in fact many of them went out of their way to ensure we were having a great time! All of the bartenders at the pool bar were absolutely fantastic, especially Kelvin for getting us up and dancing every night! Plus the staff are very attractive, which helps! ;)Our Signature rep was also very friendly and helpful, we did some excursions and he definitely helped us choose the most memorable ones. I would say this resort is more geared towards a party crowd than families. Not saying that it was crazy and noisy or anything, just that the staff was pretty much all 20-30. That said, they were SO much fun! The Animation crew (in particular Romeo) always made sure we were entertained which was very enjoyable.

All in all, an AMAZING trip!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The Animation team kept us entertained day and night, I don’t think they ever took a break! With dancing, competitions and games there was always something to do if it was too hot to just sit by the pool/beach.

We did 1 excursion, Stingray Bay was one of the best experiences ever! We received a ‘stingray massage’ which was definitely a first and swimming with the nurse sharks was fantastic! The staff on the boat was also very friendly!

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Both the pool and the beach were great! The pool was convenient because the swim up bar opened early in the morning and it meant that you were covered in sand which is never nice when you have to re-apply sunscreen 10x a day! But the beach was amazing at night!!
Other Comments
If you do go, I’m sure you will have an amazing trip! I know we did- the trip was so great that we will definitely be returning very soon!

Enjoy!

Restaurants and Bars
La Perla was definitely the higlight. I even live close to the ocean in canada and I found that the seafood was great! La Cana, which is where we ate most of our meals was also very good, all fresh produce and very friendly staff. The steak restaurant was just like any steak restaurant in North America.
Rooms
The rooms were very nice. Before leaving I had read some reviews and they said that the rooms were less than desireable which prooved not to be true. The water pressure was fine and the rooms were immaculately cleaned.

We even made a mistake and ended up breaking our electricity– when the cleaning staff came they tried helping us and when that prooved to be difficult they helped us get the maintenance number. They showed up almost immediately and fixed it for us (even though it was our fault) with no fee to our room.

Your Arrival
Our arrival was un-eventful. We had to wait a little while for our bags to be delivered, but it gave us a chance to freshen up before going out. Probably like 15-20 mins wait. We were quite far from the lobby though (closest patio to the beach) so it was an understandable wait time 🙂
Terrific Vacation By Far
Hotel Melia Caribe Tropical
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RICK AND LINDA >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
My wife and I departed from Ottawa,Canada on March 20th,2010 and stayed at the Melia Caribe for 2 weeks. Our flight was very good with Canjet and we arrived at the resort at 11:30 in the morning.

No problems checking in as everone was very friendly and very helpful.Our room was indeed ready by 3 p.m. and our luggage was brought to the room before we could get in.We ended up at the Market Place restaurant for lunch and they had a very good assortment of food for everyone’s taste.Food was excellent,well cooked and presented in a very distinctive fashion.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Golf course near by was very good.I was picked up every morning at 6:35 for my 7:00 tee-off time.
Worth the 37 dollars american for the power cart,very nice and challenging 27 hole course.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pool was cleaned daily,grounds are very nice and tidy.beach was cleaned every morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Other Comments
This resort is definitely a 4 and 3 quarter star in our books.
We will more than likely go back in the near future.
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants are very nice and have a good assortment for everyone including families with young children. We met Julio and Johnny at the Avenue bar and they treated us like royalty. of the best bartenders that I have encountered on all of our trips.They both make GREAT mohitos.
Rooms
Rooms were very clean with lots of hot running water for the shower.
Safe in the room is a nice added touch But should be included in the price.It was worth the 28 dollar charge though for the 2 weeks.
Your Arrival
Well greeted at the airport,no problems finding our transportation to the hotel.
Check in was a breeze,people were very helpful and friendly
I would live here if I had enough money
Hotel Victoria Golf & Beach Resort
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Amanda >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Solo
As I have stayed here more than 33 weeks i total you would be correct in thinking I love this hotel, it’s staff. location, everything. But for those of you who haven’t yet visited my corner of paradise I will try to explain why I and many other people return year after year, sometimes two or more times in a year. (Don’t we Ruth!!)
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The resort is now quite low key with only a little live music three or four nightsa week but if you want shows you can go over to the Gran Ventana. Regarding trips they are many and varied, I have done just about all of them except fishing trips(my stomach doesn’t like boats!)I feel you need to decide what sort of trips would suit you, they can be booked through your rep, in the plaza, on the beach(not recommended) or through a local tour operator Martin Espinal of Isaira Tours, I have used Martin many times and never had any cause for worry or complaint, Martin tries very hard to make sure the trips are what YOU want to do and will adjust to suit you if it is possible
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The hotel is not on the beach but so close that it isn’t a reason not to go here. Beach is lovely, if there has been rainy weather the sea does dump rubbish but there is always a work party cleaning it all up as soon as possible. Normally no problem getting a lounger but if you want a shelter they are popular and you may end up towards the back of the beach under the trees, away from the sea but nearer to the bar! The pools are always clean which is a bit of a task as there is a lovely tree over the main pool which provides some shade but it does drop it leaves into the pool so some-one is normally cleaning the leaves out two or three times a day. Both pool bars open at ten, the quiet pool bar is open until six and is normally run by Anna, the main pool bar stays open until midnight.

The grounds are so well groomed they are beautiful, every day someone is doing something in the grounds, trimming, weeding or replanting.

Other Comments
This is a lovely quiet hotel that does not have any facilities for children so if you want to bring children I would suggest the sister hotel the Grand Ventana, likewise if you are party animals the Victoria is not for you. If on the otherhand you want a little peace and quiet, R & R and maybe some golf then the Victoria is just the place.You will find at least 50% of the guests are repeaters, ie. they are staying there for thier second,third or more time. That to me speaks volumes if people want to keep coming back time and time again. If like me you tend to be there at the same time each year you bump into others who are doing the same and you meet friends year after year.

Any questions feel free to join us on the travel forum and ask them, I’m amandalou.

Restaurants and Bars
Pizzeria is wonderful and open five or six evenings a week. There is a set menu but you can mix and match any ingredients you want and garlic is available but not put on unless you specifically ask for it. The Buffet is the main eating area. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. A wide choice of food at each meal with something for just about everyone. At breakfast the chef will cook omlettes, fried eggs, pancakes and waffles at your request as well as the many other buffet items, fruit, cheese, breads/toast,yogurts, milkshakes…you get the point. Lunch has soup, salads,burgers and again a variety of other choices.Dinner is often themed so you may have Italian, Oriental and Dominican different nights, with other foods available. The beach bar is open every lunch time and has a Mexican theme with Chilli on chips/fries, fried chicken, fish all available.The A’la Carte is open most night but has to be booked in advance, nice for special occasions but I will confess I don’t always go, no problem, just my choice.

There is also the option of eating at any of the Grand Ventana’s many eating places, main buffet, three A’la Cartes and a beach bar/restaurant. I have eaten at all the various restaurants and have no complaints about any of them.

Rooms
As a self professed idle bum I always ask for a room in either the first or second building and Marlyn Mendosa guest services has always managed to oblige so far!! That said even the furthest rooms are not that far from the main building. I have had a room with two doubles and another with a queen sized bed, both are lovely, for me an extra bed to spread all my ‘stuff’ on is wonderful.All rooms are cleaned daily and towels are changed when requested, if you want clean ones put the old one in the bath, if you don’t mind using them another day just hang them up. Fridge as I’ve said restocked daily and room to keep any chocolate you may have brought with you.
Your Arrival
Check-in is always easy with your rooms all ready and information given at check-in regarding the hotel facilities. While you are waiting you are given the ‘welcome drink’ which is a lovely non-alcoholic drink which after my 8-9 hour flight is most welcome.You get your room key and labels to put on your bags, then it’s only a quick trip on the golf buggy to your room where the bellboy will explain how the room is laid out and how to use the air conditioning. (A word to the wise here there are sensors on the patio/balcony doors and if they are not lined up the air-con doesn’t work, the idea is that if you want the door open you don’t need the air-con trying to cool all of Playa Dorada!!)Your bags if not brought on the buggy with you will be brought to your room very quickly. The ‘fridge has pepsi, seven up, water and two beers inside, restocked to this amount every day. If you prefer diet pepsi it is available, just leave a note on the ‘fridge.
Great as usual
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach Resort
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Alec >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Booked through itravel2000, price was fair to good. Flight was with Nolitour / Skyservice. They changed our flight from Fri 06:20 AM to Sat 3:40 PM, I was given the option to cancel with refund, I did and a good thing as Skyservice went under. I had re booked with Air Canada, flight was good, however, nothing free on the flight except a glass of juice.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Night Entertainment is good, however, I’ve seen better. Snorkeling very good in front of the resort.

Lots of Tour’s and plenty to choose from.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Great
Other Comments
Great all around resort. Very good experince and will recommend to others and will return.
Restaurants and Bars
Food has to be the best I’ve tasted in 8 trips to the D.R. All the A la Carte’s are good; Octopus – Caribbean Ocean Grill – Everything on the grill

Sapore di mare – Italian

Rooms
No problem with rooms. Maid service was good and room cleaned daily. Everything in the room worked. Water is in large bottles so bring a smaller one to top as required.
Your Arrival
Arrived at 8:30 PM, check in was fast and rooms were ready.
NH Real Arena…NH Really Amazing
Hotel NH Real Arena
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Diane >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Overall for the price we paid we were very pleased with NH Real. We booked "Le Mirage" through transat holidays with our Travel Agent at tripcentral in Bedford, NS. Didn’t see the need to upgrade to "Conceirge". Although we would upgrade to the NH Royal (adults only) if we return here. We are a married couple, aged 50 & 55. This trip was all about rest & relaxation. I booked NH Real because the beach and rooms sounded great (and they were). Here is our detailed review of the NH Real Arena:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We didn’t take any tours this trip. We only went for rest & relaxation this time. Shopping is an adventure in itself here. The prices at the hotel gift shop are very expensive. One small tube of sunscreen = $26 us. Thankfully, we bought plenty from home. We did want to purchase coffee and rum to take home and I found directions on the internet (can’t remember where from originally) to the Supermarcado behind Captian Cook’s restaurant in Cortecito. Overall their prices were about half of what the hotel gift shop wanted. We bought 6 large bags of Santo Domingo coffe @ 105 pesos each (hotel price 300) The best Dominican Rum 368 pesos (hotel price 575) Pringles 86 pesos (hotel price 150) Overall our shopping cost us $55.00 us for everything. Hotel shop would have charged us over $100 us for the same purchases. To find the supermarket….looking out at the ocean, turn left. The walk is about 25-35 minutes down the beach. Go past the restaurant that sticks out in the water about another 5 minutes…watch for Captain Cook sign. Turn in right beside Captain Cooks and walk through the alley. Be careful crossing a small paved road, as there are lots of motorbikes. The doors to the supermarket are right there. You should see a few metal carts outside the door. It is a real grocery store with set prices. The vendors along the way are very persistant! Be firm but polite. Don’t believe what they tell you! We mistakenly told them we were looking for the Supermarcado….and twice we were told that they was no supermarcado up there and we could buy from them…ha ha ha! As for the entertainment….we have no comment on this aspect of the trip. We never saw one show. We were usually in our room by 9:30-10:00. The shows didn’t start until 9:45. Didn’t use the Tantrah Bar upstairs either.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach…the reason we chose this resort…and it is gorgeous. We love to take long walks and this fit the bill perfectly. Waves not too big, soft white sand, no rocks. I love this beach. Yes…the towel game is in ‘full-force’ here. There were a couple mornings that you still could get chairs at around 8:30-9:00 but most mornings we had to get up around 6 and claim our palapa. Then back to the room for an early coffee on the patio…breakfast at 7:00…then hit the beach for the day. There are not as many palm trees on this area of beach so the palapas provide the most shade. We only encountered a problem on one day when a family of 5 parked themselves under our palapa. They never moved or touched our chairs..they just decided to squeeze under with us….we said "Hello" but got absolutely no response from either him or her. They just turned their heads away from us and kept talking in French. I thought "Hello" was a fairly universal word! We have galdly shared our shade before but were asked first. To be totally ignored I thought was a deliberate insult to my husband and myself. Yes…we ended up moving. It was just too darned uncomfortable and weird to stay there with them. The pool wasn’t used much by us since we’re beach people. I found it a bit too noisy and too many kids. Very hard to get a chair with shade at the pool. I didn’t even try. The grounds are very nice. A few more years will see the plants and shrubs mature and more flowering vines. Overall very tidy, clean grounds. One suggestion would be for the resort to provide a few benches or seating areas around the grounds. We enjoyed a stroll every evening but found nowhere to sit and jusy enjoy the atmosphere. We didn’t like sitting in the central courtyard because it smells of smoke from cigarettes eventhough it is open air, it is enclosed on all four sides by the buildings.

One afternoon we watched a maintenance worker scrub the beach rocks around the base of the palm trees by hand. He had a wheelbarrow with soapy water in it and a scrub brush…we went to the bar and got him two cold drinks. Smiles & handshakes were exchanged and we wondered what he’d make of our ‘gas powered high-pressure washer’ at home!

Other Comments
I must mention the service at this hotel…we were very impressed with the level of service we received. We thought it was the best we have ever had at any resort we’ve been to. We never felt any pressure to tip however we did when we felt it was appropriate. Being a ‘curious’ person I wandered over to the NH Royal one day and had a walk around their pool area. I didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed. I just wandered by and entered the property. The swimming pool is fantastic! It is a lazy river type. The lower level rooms all have sun lougers outside their patio doors right on the edge of the pool. It’s almost like having a swim-out room. It’s nice & quite, adults only and you have access to all the NH Real facilities & restaurants. And no kids allowed the Royal beach.

If we go back to this resort it would be to the Royal section for sure.

Restaurants and Bars
We mostly used the Festival Buffet for our meals. Selection was quite good. Yummy omelets for breakfast. Lots of fresh fruit available at all mealtimes. I was pleased to see plenty of salad veggies. Usually had 2 types of lettuce, arugula, ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrtots & beets, onions etc. Carving stations had turkey, fish, ham etc. Had grilled shrimp a few times. They had nice stuffed baked potatoes one night. Lots of hot vegetables. We thought the bread was very good. Nice dessert selection and ice cream. The service in the buffet was very good. But we found the staff very friendly and helpful. We usually lunched at the Beach Restaurant. They have a large BBQ grill set up everyday outside offering chicken, beef, fish, fried rice etc. Inside they have hamburgers, hot dogs, assorted meats, veggies, salad & desserts. It is best to go early when they open at noon…it is hard to find a table at around 2 when it is busiest. Somedays I just made up hamburgers and wrapped them in napkins to take back to our beach chairs. We only booked 2 a la carte restaurants. The Shore Grill – fair-good. We had the shrimp wrapped in bacon and the ribeye. The meal starts with an appetizer of nachos & a few chicken wings. Tasted ok but never warmer than room temperature. Other folks we talked to said the same. I think they must prepare them ahead of time and just serve them ‘as is’. Then came a ceasar salad…good but had at least qtr. cup of dressing poured on top of it. Even asked for dressing ‘on the side’ but still received the salad the same way. The shrimps were good but the ribeye was quite fatty. It tasted good…you just had to cut off all the fat first. It came with a baked potatoe. Dessert was a small cheesecake topped with a brownie & white chocolate decoration….very good. There is definate room for improvement at the Shore Grill Restaurant. Our second restaurant choice was the Asian-Tapanki – Good. We were seated at the cooking station and enjoyed the sushi, fried crispy onions & soup as an appetizer. The busboy was over-enthusiastic and absconded with my husbands soup and onions….we light-heartedly teased him when he returned and laughed it off. The main course was fried rice with egg & veggies, shrimp, chicken & beef…all good. We then were ushered to a large table for a dessert of fried ice cream. Overall we enjoyed this meal but felt a bit rushed. Although we understand the need to have the next seating on time…we felt that an offer of coffee with dessert would have been nice. After speaking to a few of the staff…they suggested that the French restaurant, Senses offers the best meal of all, they recommend the beef tenderloin……have to remember if we go here again. Anyone should be able to find a decent meal at this buffet unless they are super-picky.

NH Real also has a sports bar that opens at 5pm (I think). It has a couple pool tables, popcorn machine & a bowling alley ($10 per game to bowl) And a few TV’s.

Rooms
I had emailed the NH Real one week before we arrived requesting a poolview room. I never received a response back from them but we did get our poolview room. We were Room # 2143. The Punta Cana building, ground floor, Rm. 43. Very well appointed rooms with a nice big shower, separate toilet area with a frosted glass door, large whirlpool tub and the "infamous" hole-in-the-wall….it was a non-issue for us. I enjoyed soaking in the tub and watching TV at the same time. Adequate drawer & closet space. The safe is free. Iron came in handy twice. We did bring along extra hangers since you don’t get many. We packed facecloths but they do have them….the maid finally gave us some after a few days. Room had a king bed (very firm), 3 pillows, a small sofa, coffee table, armchair, bureau with 4 drawers, desk & chair, 2 nightstands with drawers. We thought the rooms were spacious. There is a terrace outside. Rooms do have coffee makers. Mini fridge stocked daily with beer, Coke, Coke Lite, Sprite & water.

The only issue we had with our room was mosquitos coming in when housekeeping was cleaning. The slippers provided made a good flyswatter….lol! No big deal but I think an upper floor would be better!

Your Arrival
We departed Halifax on Friday April 2 at 6:45am on Canjet. Flight uneventful and arrived at PUJ airport on time. Passed in our Immigration cards and got our passports stamped at the airport counter, through security…then unto pick up our luggage. Wait wasn’t very long. Boarded the bus and enjoyed the short daytime ride to resort (only 20 minutes). The entrance to the resort is very plain and minimalistic. The inside lobby is quite dark with all of the dark colours and wood. Very Zen looking with incense burning most of the time. We rather liked it….the clean, open, spacious feel. If you like a rustic, jungle-type property….this isn’t it. Having booked "Le Mirage" we were able to access the private Paradise Club Lounge. We checked in there actually. They offer a small bar, coffee, water, soft drinks, fruit, sandwiches, snacks, a nice seating area, internet access and always had staff on hand to assist. We arrived around noon and our room wasn’t ready, so we changed and headed to the beach…Wow! After a look around and a cold drink we checked on our room status again and it was ready at 1:00 for us…so off we went with the porter and our luggage.
We loved this resort!!!
Hotel Barcelo Punta Cana
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Kirinda >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
We loved this resort. Just big enough, not too big. Loved that it was right on the beach (BEAUTIFUL beach). The food was great. Didn’t really get to know the staff, not like in Cuba.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Did the sharks & rays snorkling tour-absolutely fantastic!!!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Fantastic beach-very big and clean! Lots of chairs and shade if you wanted it. Pools were great, big, clean and not too crowded. Loved the lounge chairs that were built right in the pool. Grounds were clean and well kept.
Other Comments
This was the first time in Punta Cana for us. We are going back next year!!!
Restaurants and Bars
Great food at all restaurants. Bars were plentiful! The bars were busy- it was spring break for college students too-aughhhhh!
We were very pleased to discover that our a-la-carte restaurants were already booked for us-very convenient!
Rooms
We were told that most people choose to upgrade to the prestige class rooms for an additional fee-we didn’t feel the need to. Our room was great. We had a 4th floor room which had a vaulted ceiling-nice and roomy feeling.
Your Arrival
We arrived late-after midnight. Check in was quick and easy. We were happy to find that snacks and drinks were still available-fried chicken and chips!YUMMY!
awesome resort
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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charlene >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Normally we do the shows but not this time we did go to the michael jackson show but left very quickly as there was no where to sit down and the screaming was very loud through the whole show from the audience.We did no tours this time went down with just the idea of relaxing and enjoying hubby and i being together only one day that i would mention after being at the pool with book in hand waiting to to breakfast one of the staff cameup to us and told us that we had to leave for about half an hour and take our stuff with us.Why well there were taking pictures of the pool and they didnt want anyone there for a new website well let me tell you that was not well received by money as now there would be a mad dash for the palapas next they said they were going to cancel the shoot in the end it did happen
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Well we only went to the beach once as i found there was quite a undertow which me not being a swimmer was not pleasant but having said that up every morning at six to secure a palapa at the pool.I was so concerned before we left home reading the reviews about not being able to secure a palapa but getting up and watching the sunrise everyday securing a palapa was one of the best parts of my day.Being fairhaired i really had to have protection from the hot sun.The pool was amazing and enjoyed every day with our new friends that we just met george and cavell from oshawa grant and janice from halifax and cathy and andre from bathhurst new brunswick. Thankyou guys you are the best
Other Comments
There was so much that we liked about Ambar their entire staff,Everywhere you looked the entire staff was always working cleaning gardeners cleaning staff desk staff everyone .You would watch the maids every morning out picking their flowers for the rooms.Oh i did forget to mention the lobby never before have i seen a more beautiful lobby new flowers everyday real orchids every day marble floors nice furniture absolutely beautful lobby.The cleaniness of this resort absolutely unbelievable.Oh and the butlers i cant forget them.I can home the last evening to a jacuzzi full of bubbles red flowers and petals in and around the tub a note from the butler saying enjoy your last romantic evening in punta a mat in front of the tub saying i love you.What a way to finish off a totally wonderful week.Without question we will return to this wonderful hotel.Been to a lot of resorts through the years but this one sure is a keeper and already planning our next trip back.
Restaurants and Bars
First off the buffet even the pickiest eater could find something to eat.One of the things that i liked the most about this resort was the presentation of the food all the vegtable and fruit carvings and the variety of the food.I prefered the main buffet to the beach buffet.As you walked in their was a girl with a smile good morning and she would put hand sanitizer on everyones hands.The restaurants well the one that we preferred not as much was the italian restaurant at ambar nothing wrong with it just nothing stood out with it.Next don pueblo totally different story very very nice it was so cool to watch the chef come to your table if you ordered chateaubriand and cook it right in front of you to your satisaction and also watching him make flaming bananas chambeau right in front of you.We went to the gourmet grill which was also very nice but the real highlight restaurant was hands down the italian restaurant at the new esmeraldo chocolate mousee to die for.We did so enjoy this.Dining with some special friends andre and kathy whom we had just met put the icing on the cake.This resort was awesome as well.We got to see in one of the rooms the rooms were beautiful but still i preferred the ambar.It was so quiet and laid back
Rooms
We found the rooms to be very large and beautiful.It had a beautiful king bed and every day the maids were in by eleven doing our room every day leaving a new towel art that we hadnt seen before.Every night we would come in to our bed being turned down with chocolates on the pillow.we were in room 61211 which was very close to the pool and the beach.We had a stacked mini bar which we did not use.The bathroom was large and spacious with a large walkin shower.The room also had slippers and robe and an unbrella which we never had to use.Upon arrival we found two bahia shirts a bottle of rum a fruit plate and a letter from management what a way to start a holiday
Your Arrival
well our arrival was just a little off nothing to do with the resort though.We were to arrive at the resort around eight in the evening and we are still in the air it almost felt like we were going in circles.Well in fact that is exactly what we were doing the captain comes over the speaker and tells us that we had in fact been going around in circles and almost out of fuel as we are going to have to land in la romana as there were no lights on the punta cana runway.He said this could take one hour or six hours.So we landed for fuel and had to wait for further instructions of what three planes were to do.After sitting for about two hours we were given the clear to take off although not quite yet all of a sudden we saw airport management running to the plane and then we hard this banging what now our tow bar is stuck to get the plane off the ground.Finally we are on our way to the airport arriving at our hotel around two.Everyone was grouchy sleepy and just plain frustrated but once we got through all that the rest of the week not a complaint about anything.Just a beautiful resort to enjoy
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/debbiescrr/sets/72157623716541263/
A Romantic Italian setting in Sosua
Hotel Piergiorgio Palace
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Debbie >  33 contribution(s) 
Apr, 2010 | Business | Solo
It was only a short, one-hour, drive along the North coast of the Dominican Republic from Playa Dorado, where I stayed the previous three nights, to hotel Piergiorgio Palace, located in the buzzing city Sosua, which stands out for her small and cozy beach, the many small shops, a wide variety of beach bars and the locals playing domino. Sosua is one of the nicest destinations in the DR, where you still can mix with the ever friendly and polite local population.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Piergiorgio is located at the end of a quiet and somewhat dark street, especially at night. Because I am a woman travelling by myself I ask the manager Louis if it is no problem to walk back from the centre of town to the hotel later tonight. It is only 5 minutes but it is better to be safe than sorry. Louis tells me that every building in this street has security in place and that during the seven years he has been working at the hotel never occurred anything unpleasant. The Beach, located at the Sosua Bay is only ten minutes away. Loida offers excellent soothing massages in the Piergiorgio Health Center, as I can tell you from my own experience. Beside the classic massage, Loida offers foot reflexology, cellulites massage, waxing, facials, and skin treatments.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The hotel has a mid sized, clean pool with sufficient sun beds. Here you can soak up the sun or read a book in a peaceful ambiance.
conclusion
Hotel Piergiorgio Palace Hotel is an excellent hotel, located in a quiet part of the busy town Sosua. Warmly recommended to those who like a calm and relaxed environment but also like to enjoy the buzzing energy and the many bars that Sosua has to offer.
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurant Puntilla Piergiorgio: The best what hotel Piergiorgio Palace has to offer is restaurant “Puntilla de Piergiorgio” where the Italian chef, Luciano Merlino runs the kitchen. Luciano’s main passion is to create deserts and other sweet delicacies but he is, without a doubt, also the king of all the other 160 items listed on the menu. The perfect location on the Sosua Bay makes the dining experience complete. No wonder that many wedding couples select this place for their wedding dinner and party. To enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in restaurant Puntilla Piergiorgio is a true delight. Bar The cozy hotel bar, painted in white and pink and located under the trees in between the pool and the restaurant, offers an enormous choice of international spirits and liqueurs. De bar staff is very friendly and talkative.
Rooms
Hotel Piergiorgio has 55 rooms. The best accommodations are located on the top floor and left side of the hotel. An apartment complex is obstructing the view of the rooms at the lower right side of the building. This is where I get a room and I can only barely see the water. I know I won’t be sitting a lot on the small, white and round balcony with only one old painted little chair while a table to put my drink on is missing. The room, which is really clean, accommodates two queen size beds covered with apple green bedspreads and further offers apple green curtains, a minibar and a television with satellite channels. The decoration suits the atmosphere of the hotel though I feel it is a little old-fashioned. The bathroom is very large. On the wall tiles: pink ones, white ones and those featuring matching roses. I think of Laura Ashley. The antique facets are white enameled and there is a large walk in turbo-power shower. No complains about water pressure, that’s for sure!
Services
Wi-Fi Internet is offered free of charge in the lobby of the hotel.
Your Arrival
The check-in procedure at the reception desk of Piergiorgio Palace is a breeze, one of the advantages of staying at a small hotel. The staff can dedicate more time to their guest because there are no busloads of tourist being dropped off from the airport. I say goodbye to the always-dependable Martin Espinal from Asaira Tours, who brought me here and who will pick me up in two days to bring me to my next destination. Hotel Piergiorgio Palace is a romantic hotel owned by an Italian, which is truly noticeable by the overall atmosphere and splendid decoration. The beautiful antique tile floors, romantic terraces adorned with various plants, flowers, tall standing trees and the view over the Sosua bay definitely impress me.
Most Beautiful Resort …What More Can I Say !!!
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe Cayo Levantado
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Sharon >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
My Husband & I along with two other Couples spent a week at the Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. It is one of the most Beautiful Resorts we have been to. A 5* for sure. No complaints!! Great Food ..Great Service and a beautiful Island. I read all of the reviews before leaving and have no idea where some of the complaints came from . We couldn’t have been treated better.Would love to return again soon
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The Best !!!
Other Comments
Overall Very Satisfactory!!!
Restaurants and Bars
We only did the Don Pablo …It was lovely !!…Loved the Buffets!
Rooms
Beautiful Rooms ….4 poster beds !!! Keep very clean !
Your Arrival
We arrived April 8th ..2010
Great time but….
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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Greg >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
…the service does not warrant the five star rating. It is generally poor. Plus having to pay for WiFi access in a five star when its free at Mom and Pop hotels everywhere is crazy. The beach is great, as everyone knows. The food is passable all inclusive fare. The facilities are good. The hotel is not as large as some, so that’s good. There is definitely enough to contribute to your fun. But service was not great.
We really enjoyed ourselves
Hotel Viva Wyndham Tangerine
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Kewl >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family
We had a great time. Spent 1 week as a family with 2 small kids 1) prebooked taxi to pick us up from the airport to the hotel with fivestardr@hotmail.com that took us comfortably on the half hour trip to the hotel. 2) Check in was quick- nice simple clean rooms – clean bathrooms – everything worked – hot water, mini fridge – plenty of bath towels etc. etc. rooms were cleaned and made up daily – nice towel art – friendly housekeeping staff – thank you Felicia – you did a great job with our room.. 2) Nice food – buffets were large and had sufficient variety to prevent monotony. different nites – different themes – oriental, italian, mexican, dominican, french etc. etc. the mexican ala carte was nice… 3) no bar in the pool..but by the poolside.. service was usually quick – Louis was surly – but the others were great – especially Victoria. 4) Animacion – the entertainment team – God its good to be young – sparkly, friendly, talented and sexy and apparently no need for sleep – they device games and activities all throught out the day to keep you entertained. pool side games, in the pool games, beach side games, dance lessons etc. etc. on nights with the disco – they dance with you into the wee hours of the morning…and then they are up and bounding a mere couple of hours later again. And their shows at night are fun and energetic.Be ready to do fun but embarrassing stuff if you are asked to participate…they also man the kids play area and watch the small kids during the day – nice.Hola Junior,Elesa, Chris etc. etc. 5) Nice beach – its a public beach – stray dogs and beach vendors abound – shoo the dogs away – politely decline the vendors….or bargain with them…and you will have no issues – the sea is a little rough, the waves are strong, it can get a little windy – yet lots of fun – beautiful ocean – kids can play on the beach – supervised – lots of kite servers – fascinating to watch them 6) Short walk on the beach to cabarate – quaint restaurants and bars – overpriced tourist shops. Tip – do your Internet browsing at Cabarate – much cheaper that at the hotel – but check out the shop in the hotel- better quality and similar prices on some stuff !!!

We had a great time – we were never bored or hungry. Perfect for a week’s getaway.

A Great Getaway, Great Beach
Hotel VIK hotel Arena Blanca (LTI Beach Resort Punta Cana)
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Michael >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family
We stayed at the VIK during the Easter Holidays this year -April 4-12. We had been to the resort 4 years ago when it was under LTI ownership and were impressed with it then, so we went back. I have to say that it is now better. My wife and I stayed in building 3, where we had stayed before, and were pleasantly surprised by the updated look of the renovated room. There were better beds (no more singles pushed together) good pillows ( a common complaint in other reviews of this resort, and one that I would definitely complain about if necessary), air conditioning that we actually had to turn DOWN, and more than adequate towels etc. Another plus was the variety of lighting options they have installed in the rooms, and the large screen satelite TV’s which have a variety of English channels. Our daughter and two friends were staying in Building 4 which was also renovated and had no cpomplaints about their room. Our maid sevice was excellent and the room was extremely clean.(thanks Confessora) The food has also improved. The buffet does not have the cooking oil smell that I remembered from the past visit and all food was prepared well and was varied. The Italian a-la-carte has improved imeasurably. There is a good selection of items on the menu. The bars were adequate and the servers fiendly. give Johnny at the Buchannero Bar at the beach good tips and you will be "my friend" and get great service for the duration of your stay. As far as the beach, what can I say? beautiful sand, water, waves, etc. The only downside is having to get up very early to claim your spot on the beach. I’d recommend by six o’clock. We left it until seven the first morning and prime spaces were limited.The towel system is very efficient – give them your cards at the beginning of your stay and turn in towels at the end to get your cards back. – SIMPLE – You can get your towels changed at any ppoint during your stay and the couple who run the towel business are very friendly and accommodating.

Overall, the service at this resoprt is great. All people we dealt with were friendly, accommodating and eager to please. One side note – avoid the pushy salespeople from the adjoing Cayenna Beach time share – REALLY ANNOYING – Don’t agree to one of their information sessions- this time we made the mistake of doing it. You learn from experience

Excellent!!!
Hotel NH Real Arena
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Margaret >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
My Boyfriend and I, with a couple of friends just arrived back from the NH Real Arena lastnight and I would go back tomorrow. We loved it, the Service, food, rooms, everything was wonderful. I would definitly suggust it to anybody! Go stay there, you will LOVE IT!!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
They had dancing, yoga and water arobics at the beach everymorning, but don’t worry there was a quiet side too go if you just wanted to relax. There was also great fun at the pool everyday. The activities workers always were around having fun and getting people to join in on the fun. They were very good at their jobs. The International entertainment was UNBELIEVABLE!!! AMAZING!! I’ve been to the DR from a 3+star to a 5 star and this, by far was the BEST ever!

Pre shows, beautiful singers. They had fire dancers, acrobats, dancers. Special people in the shows including, a Argentinan male dancer. Mexican Fire throwers. Cirque de Solie. And the disco tech was very fun and always full after the shows.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was perfect! as it always is. the best and widest! Pools were awesome! pool bar seperate (which is wonderful cause im not a big drinker all day) Big pool and a seperate quiet pool behind that. Also, two pools on each side close to the beach with there own pool bars for the Le Mirage Conceriage. The grounds were very well taken care off. Flawless!
Other Comments
This place was perfect and I would highly suggust it to anyone and I would go back myself in a heartbeat!
Restaurants and Bars
We didn’t get to experience the A La carts, we had friends arriving 4 days after we did and we wanted to wait to book then. Well waiting was the wrong thing to do…BOOK YOUR A LA CARTS ASAP!! when you arrive at this hotel, they book up fast and they’re not open all nights. Not a huge deal for us, but I wish I would have asked eariler, that was my fault. They have signs everywhere, at the entrance to the buffett and the lobby telling us what days they are open or closed. The Buffett was amazing tho, the had Oriental, Italian, dominican, international, mexican, and american nights. The food was always fresh and very tasty. Breakfast was to die for, Ommlettes, bacon, boiled eggs, lots of breads..everything. No shortage of great food!
Rooms
We got to our room and it was a garden view near the midpoint between the lobby and beach but a gourgeous view of a fountain and palm trees and gardens. There was a giant hole in the wall, which was interesting and not a big deal to us but might be to other people if they are travelling with friends, not much privacy!! The other couple with us got the Le Mirage Concerige rooms, which are closer to the beach but don’t have holes in the walls, They had to switch rooms to an upstairs floor because the room was very musty and damp. Upstairs is definitly better in that section, their second room was better.
Your Arrival
We arrived around 12:30 pm at the hotel, got our room at 2:30. We booked the Le Mirage Deluxe and the room was excellent! The check-in was fast and the had drinks and snacks, a big screen TV and couches to lounge on to wait in the Le Mirage section of the checkout. The lobby was very nice!
Most Memorable Trip/Wedding Ever!!!
Hotel Paradisus Punta Cana
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Fabi >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
On the day before the wedding the girls went to the spa (a little over priced) and the boys went golfing. They said the golfing was amazing for you men out there. The spa was great too. Best massage I’ve ever had. Sat in the massive hot tub after as it started pouring rain outside while we were getting our massages.
Some of our group did the Catamaran. Sorry can’t remember which one, but it takes you to a natural pool. Waist deep water. Warm. Absolutely beautiful. The staff on our boat were amazing. They also took us snorkling. I had never been before so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but everyone else who did said it was great.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was unreal!! Im not a big ocean swimmer so we hung out at the main pool most of the time, plus there was the swim up bar there, but the beach was gorgeous. The best I have ever seen. They have beds scattered everywhere. If you are in the Royal Service there is a little part of the beach that is sectioned off. There are always beds available there. The royal service also has there own nice quiet pool, but we ventured over to the main pool most of the time beacause thats where our group would hang out. We never got a chance to visit the Reserve pool (if you have the Royal package you can use the facilities in the Reserve section) which was very unfortunate.

The grounds were unlike anything I have ever seen in my life. Gorgeous greenery everwhere you look. I actually can’t explain how nice it was.

Other Comments
For a group of this size (50) people the resort was a little large. It was just hard to keep track of everyone, but as the days went on people figured out where the usual meeting spots were so dont worry about that sort of thing. For anyone who is planning on getting married here DO IT. it was the most amazing day of my life. The wedding planning staff on site are amazing. I can actually say that everything was perfect!! If any brides out there have any questions please dont hesitate to ask.
I would recommend this resort to anyone and everyone. Thanks Paradisus for making my wedding week the most memorable week of my life!!!!
Restaurants and Bars
The restaurants were average. My favorite was the Italian and the Japanese. Unfortunately 7 days was not enough time to try all of the restaurants, especially since you cant make reso’s so you have to wait in line, early, to get into a place. The steak house was also very good. Being from Canada we have some of the best beef, but I must say, I had the tenderloin (a little rare for my taste) but the most tender piece of meat I have ever had in my life!!!!
Rooms
Our room was gorgeous. Upon arrival, my fiance and I were upgraded to the Royal Service. We were getting married at Punta Cana F.Y.I and had a 50 person group with us!! Our fridge was stocked daily. Rose petals and little gifts would be left in our room everyday. Our room would be cleaned once a day, but when we would leave at night, they would sneak back in and make swans out of towels and re-stock our fridge again for when we strolled in at 3 in the morning. The bathroom was huge, our view was ocean front. We were in building #1, and we wouldn’t have changed anything about it. Expect there aren’t alot of drawers to put your clothes in. Actually I dont think there wre any! Our room was right on the beach as I mentioned and we were close to the restaurants and the main pool. We could call for a trolly when we were ready for dinner and it would be right outside our room within minutes. F.Y.I. it is a nice 7 minute walk to the restaurants. NOt as bad as some poeple make it out to be.
Your Arrival
We arrived in Punta Cana the evening of April 17, 2010. The baggage pick up at the Putna Cana airport was a breeze and our buses were ready and waiting to take us to the resort. The ride was swift and fun!!
Not gunna lie, once we got to the resort it was a little messy. The bus dropped us all of at the "Reserve" side when we were supossed to check in at the main lobby. Once we were picked up from the reserve side to be taken to the appropriate check-in, people’s luggage was left behind, therefore had to go back!! No one was too bothered by this, as we were all so excited to be there. For anyone who hasn’t figured it out yet from reading other peoples reviews, the "Reserve" is a resort within the Paradisus resort if that makes sense. You need a special bracelet to use most of the facilitites located within the reserve section. The resort is massive so you get around by trolly most of the time.
Had an unforgettable trip! Need help from past guests”
Hotel Occidental Grand Punta Cana
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Corey >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
I will just write a short blurb about our trip to occidental since this is more about finding out about drink ingredients 🙂 This was my wife and I’s second trip to the Dominican, but first to Punta Cana. We had a group of 20 friends (all between 22-35) going down for a once in a lifetime trip. Reading the negatives on this place (in trip advisor)had me trying to scramble with the travel agent to find other accomodations, but we went here. Let me tell you, if you are planning a trip to the Dominican and you have already selected your resort, stay away from the negative reviews. It is nothing more than stress and probably is 90% false. No one will ever be happy with everything. Our biggest repsonsibility all week was do we drink at the pool, the beach, do we go on an excursion, do we eat, take a nap etc. It was exactly what we wanted! The week was great, the staff was great (tried very hard), the weather was awesome, the beach was amazing! I will post more but my main reason for this post is to get some help from previous travellers. I am looking for the ingredients that go into 3 drinks that I fell in love with while I was there and forgot to ask. I was at the Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana from April 25th to May 2nd this year. I really enjoyed my stay and the resort, its staff, grounds, entertainment, food were excellent. During my stay I fell in love with 3 particular drinks there called the Flamenco Especial, Matai, and Tiki Tiki I am wrtiing this email looking for some help in identifying the ingredients that were in these drinks so that I can make them myself at my home to enjoy. In the FLAMENCO ESPECIAL I know there was Ron Barcelo rum, (which I bought 2 gold and 2 white down there) but beyond that I am uncertain. It had a banana flavour as well as coconut. I dont know if that taste came from the juice or other liquors. My guess Ron Barcelo white rum Banana Liquer either coconut cream or coconut rum or the juice was a coconut flavour (It was somewhat pink in color and the mix was a juice turned into slush (no prob just blend with ice here) In the MAITAI I am pretty sure I know all the ingredients but to make sure: My guess Ron Barcelo White Amaretto almond liqueur grenadine syrop Orange Juice In the TIKI TIKI I have no idea other than the juice was some type of mango. If you could help me out by listing what types of liquors were in these drinks as well as what type of juice was used (for the FLAMENCO the juice was frozen into slush) that would be extremely appreciated. I have been craving a Flamenco Especial for 3 weeks now and would love to be able to make them at home. Thanks and I hope to hear from someone
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The best excursion you can go on while you are there is the Tropical Storm party catamaran. Drinks, music, sunken ship, snorkelling, natural pool laggon in ocean, drinking games, huge inflatable slide, dancing etc. Ask for Sam he is from Autsria and the best guide.
Your Arrival
We were all from Moncton NB we travelled Air transat preference club (do this if its an option for you, great upgrade!)
We Got their early (10am) out of our group about 4 of the 9 rooms were already ready, so we lugged our stuff to their rooms and went to the pool bar.
Would stay again in a heart beat
Hotel Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
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Lib >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Didn’t go off the resort at all, was enjoying ourselves too much. We all came for relaxation and chillin.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Ahh the grounds, now that’s how I judge a resort, I’m a flora and fauna person. The grounds at Ocean Blue were just beautiful. Loved the ponds with the natural habitant in and around them. The pools were great, we stayed away from the so called "party poo" We are normally beach gals, but found the winds the week we were there to be abit too much. Hard to have conversations without sanding blowing in your mouth. But thats not the resorts fault, gotta blame mother nature on that one.
Other Comments
I really find it hard to read negative reviews about any of the resorts. Your in paradise people, where else could you go away and not spend another penny and eat and drink all you want. I think in this day and age, people want it to be like home, well it isn’t people, your in another country, which English is not their first language. Enjoy your time there and remember you left home for a reason.
Restaurants and Bars
We ate in the buffet most meals. Went to the Italian ala carte 2x and was very impressed with what we all had. Left with our tummys full with no complaints at all. Bars were all wonderful, all giving good service. Again didn’t find there to be such a language problem as stated in other reviews.
Rooms
We had 2 rooms, and each one was great. We stayed in building 4, and faced the back of the resort, which was our doing, we wanted a quiet room. Was very clean, and spacious. Never a problem with A/C or water, or any of the other things I’d read about people complaining about.
Your Arrival
We arrived late in the evening, check-in went very smooth. Luggage brought up to the room in short time. We stopped in the lobby to have a drink after our much awaited flight and start of our vacation.
The Perfect Family Getaway
Hotel Occidental Grand Punta Cana
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Erin >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Absolutely stunning resort. I don’t know where all the bad reviews were coming from. I traveled there in April 2010, with a group of 13 family members. We were delighted with the entire trip and would return!
Arrival
The flight was a little discouraging at first. Our flight was delayed by just over an hour, but we were all still excited. When we were about mid-flight, the pilot announced that we would have to take the long way (adding an extra 2 hours to the flight) to bypass a storm. Upon arrival to the airport, we were greeted by many people ready to help us. We got a cool, air conditioned bus to our resort. At the front desk at the resort, the staff were very organized and had our keys and room numbers waiting for us, it took only a matter of minutes to get up to our rooms and get settled away.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Clean, clean clean!!!!! Everything was great.
Other Comments
A great time had by all!! Choose this resort and you won’t be sorry!!
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants were DELICIOUS. I am still raving about the food on this resort. Something there for everyone to eat, and the cooking areas seemed very clean. I can’t recall how many bars there were, but no matter which part of the resort you were on, you were close to one! The swim up bar was a huge hit. The a la cartes were very nice, but the buffet was excellent too.
Rooms
Very clean!!!!!! Huge, comfortable beds, nice view, hot showers, and great air conditioning. The only complaint I had about the room was the service. The cleaners would sometimes not be by until after 5pm, which made it difficult to get showered and ready to go out to eat. But hey, you’re in Dominican to relax!! So we didn’t let that bother us too much. Talked to a staff member, and the problem was fixed.
Go to the spa! Ask for Rita!
Hotel Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
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Ali >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
We are a group of girls just wanting a week of sun and relaxation. That is exactly what we got!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We loved the massages on the beach! We loved it so much we went twice! There is nothing quite like having a massage on the beach with the breeze blowing over you and all you can hear is the sound of the ocean! The beach hut had four beds so four of us went at once. There is a day or two of the week where spa treatments are discounted. Please ask for Rita, Nancy, Aracelis and Attagracia! They were excellent!
Arrival
If most passengers on your bus are going to your resort, you might have a wait. It’s annoying as you make it. Grab a drink and enjoy the lobby.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
We love that the beach, lunch buffet and beach are so close. We got into a routine of beach in the morning, lunch and then pool in the afternoon.
Restaurants and Bars
The Japanese place was the best and definitely worth waiting 45mins in line for the reservation. Take a book or hang out with a drink!

Enjoyed all of the a la cartes and found that 7-7:30 was the best time to show up and not have a wait.

Rooms
We stayed next to the pool at GP Punta Cana last time. This time we stayed at the Palace next to the pool there. Be sure to ask at the front desk if your room has the beds you want (king or two doubles) so that you don’t have to go back to the lobby.
Allegro Puerto Plata
Hotel Allegro Playa Dorada
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Gerry >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Well this was my 2nd trip to DR and first to PoP. I had an open mind and was not disappointed. The resort was great, the people were nice and I loved the city. I will be returning to this resort with the kids in the new year.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The imagination crew were good. Most days they did some activities but I did not partake in any of them. They tried hard to keep the guest entertained and should be given a pat on the back for that as they did a good job. The evening entertainment started with a kids show then the adult one followed. I was there almost every-night and the shows were funny, and good. No its not Vegas but I had no problems with the entertainment. Again they all worked hard for the guests. I met a tour guide as I was walking to the Playa Dorada Mall, his name is Dominic and he was parked at the Wyndham hotel. He took me out on two excursions. He was a decent guy, always early for our pickup times and he did give us the"Dominican Experience". He was clear about the price for the taxi drive and his payment was what we decided to tip him. If you want the one on one/small group sight seeing then I would definitely recommend him. I booked through Didi on the beach as Manual was not there at that time for the City Tour just so I could go on the cable car(which I enjoyed). At the mall I used Julio to book for the dune buggys and that was fun but very wet and muddy so be warned.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach- what can I say other than it was beautiful. Well kept with lots of loungers to lay on. Pools were constantly being cleaned as were the grounds. This was a real nice resort, it was not perfect or super fancy but there were no major issues and the staff tried hard to make your stay good.
Other Comments
If you want more info just message me and I will go into more detail. I just skimmed over the points. But from the reviews I read before going down they were dated and/or not flattering and I feel this resort deserved better than that after I had a great week there.
Restaurants and Bars
Topaz Buffet-Food was basic but plentiful. It was not the biggest selection but there is enough variety to keep everyone fed and happy. No issues I liked it alot. The Lotus-Oriental A la carte, I had one supper there and it was a great meal and experience. Pancho Villa-pizza for snack/lunch daily and it was good, it is also the Mexican A la carte. I enjoyed my supper there once. I never had an opportunity to get to the Italian A la carte but ate there during afternoon snack and the food was always good and served fast. Bars, the wave pool was never that busy with good service Felix was an excellent Bar-tender. Main bar fast service most times but busy. The Palms bars- great service, great view of the beach and ocean. Franklin was an excellent bar tender. It would have been nice to be able to have a bar open past 1am.
Rooms
My room had a single bed and a daybed like couch that I used just to store suitcases on. It was on the ground floor looking onto the golf course which was nice. It was not the best room I have ever stayed in but it had what I needed and was clean. The AC worked great, fridge kept my water cool, always had hot water regardless of what time of day it was, my coffee maker wasn’t working but as soon as I notified the front desk it was changed. The maid did a great job everyday. My only real issue is the tv reception was not very good and there was no wi-fi but those are just picky points as far as I am concerned.
Your Arrival
I flew in via Canjet on Transat Holidays. Once cleared customs and headed outdoors there was a rep right there at the booth who directed us to the right shuttle bus. Within 20min we were heading off to our hotel. We arrived around 1030 but check-in time is 3pm. The lady gave us our bracelet for the AI and told us to try back at noon to see if our room was ready. I went back at 1145 and got my room keys. I had to wait a few minutes for the bellhop to show me to the villa but make it to the room and back in time for the buffet to open up for lunch at 1230. Overall very pleasant very efficient.
3 time back
Hotel VIK hotel Arena Blanca (LTI Beach Resort Punta Cana)
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Denise >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family
This is our 3 year and every year we have stay at the Vic Arena Blanca and we love it the staff is wonderful and friendly when we got there we were on the 2 floor my husband just had knee surgery so this was not good i went to the front and with no problems they moved us to the first floor. People say why do you go to the same resort well first the resort is so clean and the staff are so friendly and we love the food breakfast is awesome and at lunch the burgers and fries and hot dogs are so good and there-always fresh fruit and cookies and cakes and dinner is fantastic especial our pasta maker i had garlic and butter with there amazing meat sauce also a red with no meat and Alfredo our rooms were cleaned every day and we came back to swans made from towels and always fresh flowers,I go to the Vic because of the food,staff,and how clean it is the T.v works the ceiling fan is great the AC works the rooms are wonderful remember if you want all the leisureliness of home then stay home also i feel so safe I work for Tim Horton and i start at 5 so i am always up at 3 so i would get the towels and go to the beach to get our spot the security guy Gabriel always walk with me to the beach watch me place my towels as we walk back we have a smoke he saw me back to my room.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We have swam with the dolphin at Maniti Park which is beautiful they put on water show with sea lions and dolphin’s we did the Eco tour which is done on Segways and the one I recommend if your only going to do one is the boat they take you to coral ref’s and you swim with the sharks and sting rays we dance on the boat they had a wonderful lunch and drinks we had a blast they have a gym,spa night club a little every thing for everyone.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
always clean the guys every day raked the beach and cleaned up what ever the ocean sent in. also threw out the day staff pick up all cups and garbage you had they always ask do u mined we had games threw out the day and fun beach exerciser at night the had show for the little one and at 10 for the grown up the show witch usually are musicals are so good the staff puts on the show and they do a dam good job
Other Comments
Well when we return next year it will be at the Vic we had a wonderful week as always it a lay back quiet resorted and that is what i look for because I am there to relax and the Vic lets you do that You have to remember it’s not home and if that is what your looking for then stay home
Restaurants and Bars
Fantastic and wonderful food night after night
Rooms
We had 2 rooms that were always cleaned and the cleaning staff went out of there way to see that we had everything we need it
Your Arrival
When you get off the plain they move you threw quick and on to your bus and on your way check in is a snap and the bell boys are quick your not waiting a hour for your bag
Very nice resort Transportation problems sucked!!
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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Frank >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Overall we had a very nice vacation. The negative reviews about this resort must be from pretty unhappy people as we had very few issues. In fact, the ONLY issue was with the trams and service vehicles that travel around the resort on the sidewalks. We were always having to watch for them and get out of the way. If you have ever seen how Dominicans drive you will understand completely!! Other than that we had a great time until the flight home. When we arrived at the La Romana airport it was closed and we were informed by another PASSENGER that there was no plane to take us home. I asked our bus guide to contact Signature and was told very rudely by their agent – LAURA – that it wasn’t her problem and that the airport was responsible to accomodate us and then she hung up on me. So much for customer service. Then we come to find that SUNWING had not been able to get the plane going yet because of scheduling problems. We kinda thought that this would be something that was taken care of well before the time to send the plane – sort of like how they require us to PAY in advance…. Regardless, we were offered a $5 voucher for food and the airport opened approx 1 hour later and we were allowed to check in but were told that the plane had only just left and would arrive @ 6am. Keep in mind that all of this was going on from 1am until approx 3am for a flight that was supposed to depart @ 3:45am. The plane did arrive @ 6am only to do a touch and go because of fog and continued to Punta Cana to get fuel. We finally departed @ 9am. SUNWING is now 2 for 2 in screwing up on flights for us and I am thinking it’s time to find another travel provider. Especially as we were also told by the signature rep that Sunwing had bought them out so we could expect better service….. still waiting for that part.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Didn’t go off the resort but there was lot’s of activities to choose from and the animation crew was working hard to keep everyone entertained.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was beautiful but the water was a bit rough most of the time. We actually got washed ashore one day but it was ok. The same old game of palapa and lounger saving is alive and well @ this resort even though there are signs asking you not to so hopefully someone from your group is an early riser!!
Restaurants and Bars
Didn’t try any of the al a cartes but the buffets were pretty good and the selection was finne. You could always find something to eat.
Rooms
Rooms are a little dated but very nice nonetheless. Only issue was that the thermostat didn’t work so the air conditioner ran full tilt unless you turned it off. We just turned it off at bedtime and kept the overhead fan on. Actually slept better this way as it was way quieter!!
Your Arrival
The trip down was fine, but we didn’t realize that we were looking at a 2 hour bus ride to the resort. Be very careful to check these details out as the trip description said the resort was 35 minutes from the airport – I guess we needed to clarify which airport!! Check in was pretty quick and we were in our room within 30 minutes of arrival @ the resort
It was great got spoiled
Hotel Dreams Palm Beach
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John >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
I have been to the D.R. 4 times and this was the first one i attended and all the others were a let down after staying here. The service was excellent. The resort was great and felt right at home there. We just loved it. Since then I got divorced and went to another resort by myself and won’t make that mistake again. I am already planning a trip back to this resort. I recommend this resort to anyone that wants to get there moneys worth. I will be going back there very soon and hope to be greeted as I did last time. Hope to see you all there you won’t be disappointed.
John Sorensen
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Lot’s to do. You never run out of things to do. And the prices were not bad even your average Joe can afford them. The resort is hard to explain it is just so beautiful everywhere you go. They treat you like royalty. These people know how to run a resort. Everything is so clean and perfect.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pool was awesome and very clean. The beach is something you will just have to see on your own. We just loved it. And at night could not get any better.
Other Comments
This is a great place to vacation and you really get your moneys worh and I will be returning soon. Like I said have been to the D.R. 4 times and this was the best place by far.
Restaurants and Bars
All food was very tasty and the bars were top notch and it seemed there was never a lineup for drinks. They are great people that serve you and have no complaints.
Rooms
The rooms had everything you could possibly need. The AC worked great which is a big plus so you can get a good night sleep.
Your Arrival
Was great treated like royalty
Awesome!!!
Hotel Fun Royale Beach Resort
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Shiela >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
My second trip to the island and first to this resort. 14 wonderful days! Met some wonderful people who were on holiday as well, had our daily happy hour with Hector. He was willing to keep my Bubba jug full. The staff was some of the nicest people I have ever met. Smiling, dancing. They always appeared happy doing their job. Found it a shame that, they are fighting to get their rating back up. West Jet has them listed at a 3star resort, and Sun wing at a 2.5, but with the service and food, and the cleanliness of the rooms…this rating should be upped to at least a 4 star. Will I return to the Island…Yes…Will it be this Resort. Absolutely!!!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The hotel offered nightly trips to the clubs, we however did not partake. We did go off on our own to the casino one night, which the hotel made sure we had a free cab there. We booked a cab along with some other people and went into Puerto Plata for a day trip and toured the Rum Factory among others sites. We also took in a day to Paradise Island, Wow! is all I can say on that. A trip up into the mountains to visit a school, see the water falls. Another great day! Last trip was out on the Catamaran. A day at Sousa Bay, snorkeling and a 2 1/2 sail back. Wonderful! The animation team was a great group. High energy! Have to say I lost weight due to the water activities. Fun! Drawback – Same activities everyday…would like to see new for next year
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was nice, and was raked daily. The only draw back was all the coral right in front, but it was no problem to walk down the beach a bit. There you could wade right in, and swim with no problems. Spent most of our time at the main pool. Kept clean by the guys, who used the net a couple of times a day. The grounds were raked and swept daily. Very neat! Beach towels were big…NO…holes in them! Note: We did decide to sit at the quiet pool one day, about 10 days into our trip. We were there only a short time before getting our first bites on the legs. Mind you it had rained the night before, but we got up and returned to our spot at the main pool and all was good again.
Other Comments
One of the things that impressed me the most was the many loyal customers they had. Pretty much everyone that I met and spoke too, have been coming to this resort for 5yrs up to 12 years, some even said they came more then 3 times a year. These were people from Canada, England, Germany, and Sweden.
Restaurants and Bars
We had two great bartenders Rocco during the day and Hector in the evenings. Sorry to say I didn’t get the young lads name at the swim up pool bar, but he sure could mix a great drink and do a slam dunk from his station to the net! We pretty much had the same waitress in the mornings and same waiter in the evenings. Both were awesome at their jobs. Wish I could remember their names, but they each greeted us with a hug and kiss. The food was good and varied. We did not feel like it was the same every day. The extra pieces of chocolate cake were very much appreciated. Best pancakes ever! Going the extra mile for wine for us, who could ask for better service. Pizza as a snack by the pool was a daily event, would let you build it yourself if you asked.
Rooms
Our room was very spacious, lots of drawers and closet space. Our cleaning girl was very sweet; she left us flowers every day. The balcony was quite big and gave us privacy. The bed was comfortable and so were the pillows! Lots of hot water, but who needs that much when all you want to do is cool off. There were hairdryers in the bathrooms. A small fridge with a counter and cupboards.
Your Arrival
We arrived around 5pm. Checked in and had our bags taken to the room. They were kind and showed us the way to the dining room. Made sure we had a lock and key for the safe. Lucy (the spitfire) was there with a big hug and welcome. She was ready willing and able to answer any question that one may have. Go Lucy! The reception area was a very nice place to sit and relax; one could always feel a nice breeze
Relaxing – Beautiful
Hotel Be Live Canoa (formerly Oasis)
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Miranda >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
Relaxing – Beautiful
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Many activities excellent animation group to keep everyone participating. Off resort tours can be purchased at the beach for a much lower cost than from the tour companies. Saona Island was beautiful but for a full day trip only about three hours allotted for exploring. I would recommend Catalina if you are interested in snorkeling.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beautiful long white sandy beach with turquoise water. Tons of beach chairs not many teaky tents for shade. The ocean is roped off, alonf the rope is a man made reef, snorkling is FANTASTIC along this reef. A MUST SEE! Pool is huge and pool bar is beautiful. Again not many teaky huts but lots of chairs. Grounds were well kept as well. Very serene.
Restaurants and Bars
Buffet served breakfast, lunch, dinner and all night snacks. Dinner buffet was the only one that I didnt really care to attend. Lunch and Breakfast were good. Snack bar by pool and ocean served excellent burgers, chicken wings, pizza and french fries. This snack bar alternates the seafood and Mexican dinners. Mexican was tradition and good (but I made the mistake and had the shrimp brochette and it was not good at all) We did not attend the Seafood but I heard the steak there was excellent. No crab or lobster. The Japanese did require reservations and you had to be at the guest service booth by 830 am to get a reservation. Surely worth it! Sushi starter, chicken, steak, shrimp and fish accompanied by grilled veggies and rice. Lastly the Italian restaurant was AMAZING!! Excellent apps and antipasto bar. The entrees were very traditional and delicious.
Rooms
Room was beautiful…Bed was soft and had a slope, bathroom needed improvements(faucet was off the shower wall a bit) There was an iron board/iron, fridge, television, hairdryer and large make up mirror. The fridge is stocked daily with 2 pop and 2 beer and 2 water. Safe lock fee is 4 dollars a day. Maid service was phenomenal. There were sand flies on the furniture but was to be expected. We stayed in block 12 which was right by the ocean and pool. Excellent view very clean and quite.
Your Arrival
Flew Skyservice when checking in baggage was said to be way over weight however in bringing more stuff back it was way underweight. In the future if this happened I would request my bags weighed at another station as I believe the Toronto Airport did not get the correct reading on our luggage. Landed in Punta Cana rather than La Romana airport. Could be anywhere from 1.5-3 hour bus ride which is nice to see the surrounding area and towns. Check in was smooth, had to wait for our room but were able to enjoy the facilities while we waited. Bell boy holds your luggage while you tour the resort. Bring swimsuit/light clothing in carry on so you can enjoy the resort while you wait.
Tranquil, quiet, restful.
Hotel Sosua by the Sea
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robin >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Solo
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
AN ABSOLUTE MUST is to find Chiquito on the beach and sign up for his horseback riding excursion. The most fun I’ve had on a trip so far and I’m not one to leave the beach. Very local experience through the mountains and galloping in the river then home cooked meal for lunch by his sister in her village. His number is 809-977-4619. Tell him Robin sent you!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Private secluded cove and beach around bend in walking distance from busier resort beach. Small waves and crystal clear water.
Restaurants and Bars
Town is walking distance and busy enough for those looking for night life but also quiet enough for those that aren’t.
This resort was fantastic
Hotel Bahia Principe Punta Cana
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CJ >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Several friends and family went to the Bahai Principe Bavaro in Puna Cana for a wedding. The resort was amazing, people were friendly and all of us would return their again. I would highly recommend this resort – it was fantastic.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Lots to do if you had the time.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Our room was just outside the pool, which was beautiful. However we spent most of our time at the beach, which was lovely.
Other Comments
The other problem we had was stamps. Bought some post cards and could notlocate one stamp at the entire resort. However, that was the only blemish on a perfect holiday weekend.
Restaurants and Bars
Such variety and the food was amazing.
Rooms
Very clean, well stocked and beautiful. Staff was so friendly.
Your Arrival
No problem with the arrival at the airport or at the hotel.
It was a 6 STAR"dream" come true.
Hotel Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA
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MARY >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
We have been to punta cana 4 times before this trip to Dreams resort & spa punta cana. My husband & I both said this vacation was magnificant! I read the reviews of this resort after it was booked and I was ready to cancel. I am not sure if it is other resorts that write in bad reviews so you don’t go there but Im glad I decided to keep my first choice or we would have missed out on the very best trip of our life! The resort had 9 units with 3 or 4 floors to each unit. We were placed in unit 1 with a ocean view, balcony and the most beautiful room imaginable. Everynite our bed was turned down. We had chocolate on our pillows and red flower pedals sprinkled on our bed. We were not honeymooners, this was for everyone and the maid would turn on our radio with beautiful music to set the mood! We never came back until 2 a.m. every morning because we danced the night away in the great disco!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We go to relax at the beach and pool. We dont leave the resort. there are many things to do off the resort though. The pool activities are soooo fun because of the staff. The staff cannot do enough for you. Your glass is never empty and your face never without a smile because of the staff. Many thanks to Julio, Bernardo, Wilbur, 2Pak, maritza(one of our pool & beach waitress’)Isabell and all the others who made our stay unforgetable! I mean that sincerely!! You literally "want for nothing". Its all there for you and more. Wait till you see the gounds! I will not even try to explain it. You so need to see it for yourself. All I will say is that it is BREATH TAKING!!!!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was beautiful. If you are a beach walker go to the left not the right. You can only go about half a mile to the right. To the left you can walk 3 miles out to the next resort(solice). The pool is one lazy river starting at the begining of the hotels to the end at the ocean. 3 feet deep all the way with rafts available. Just beautiful and very well maintained. Water bars right there. Great!
Other Comments
I cannot wait to return to this resort again next year! The weather on March 22-29 was in the 90’s everday. Their rainy season is in may. dont book then!!!
Restaurants and Bars
What wonderful food! 5 resturants and a full buffet dinning room with about 14 different stations with unbelievable foods. If you leave hungry its your own fault. There are no reservations needed for the resturants. There is an Italian, mexican, japaneese, chineese & french. Unbelievable and most delicous. You can order anything and as much as you want. I thought the beef was of a better texture and taste than US beef. No joke. Dress is casual but nice. Men must wear long pants for french and mexican and japaneesse. Dress shoes for men, no sandels. ITs WORTH IT!!!
Rooms
The rooms are spotless,lite and airy. Beautiful open canapy bed(king size),plenty of clothing space in closet and drawers. Terrycloth ropes for your use for the week. chocolate on pillows and flower pedals on top of your rolled down bedding every nite. Hairdryer in bathroom and iron(planga) and board in closet. Balcony with table & chairs looking out on the carribean. WOW!
Your Arrival
I always love flying into punta cana because I love the thatch roof airport all open with a mariache band playing for you as you arrive. The girls at the airport are dressed in native red & white dresses taking your picture as you arrive. You can purchase this picture when you are sadly departing! And I mean sadly! Entry is smooth with lines moving smartly. No problems. Have passport & papers ready in hand.
Melia…Heaven on Earth
Hotel Melia Caribe Tropical
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LINDA >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Lots to choose from, but we did not do any, not enough time! Wanted to soak up the sun and drink good drinks!!!!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
You will feel as if you died and went to heaven. No pictures can describe how gorgeous this place is. The grounds are heavenly, all manicured so perfectly. So many huge pools. The Gabi pool was great and very private and laid back. Beach was beautiful beyond belief. Lots of chairs, beds, ect everywhere. Never had to rush to get anywhere to save a seat.
Other Comments
I cannot stress how amazing this property is. Before I went I read alot of bad reviews and all I can say to them now, is NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!! You would have to be crazy or a total snob to not like this place and think it is one of the most amazing resorts on earth. I would definitly without a doubt upgrade to Royal Service. They make you feel special and are there for your every need. It is worth every penny. We had the most amazing time, the staff catered to our every need. Interent service was free in the VIP lounge and we were happy to be able to communicate with home as the calling cards were a real hassle. All I can say is HEAVEN ON EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Restaurants and Bars
The restauants and bar areas were all just gorgeous. There were so many to choose from it was crazy! No problem getting reservations and you do need them. The Marketplace buffet was fabulous, all fresh cooking, something for everyone. Always good. The seafood rest. was great too, one night we had lobster and maui-maui, soooo good! Staff was incrediable. The Gabi rest was good. Buffet by the beach awful, did not go back. All in all, food was good, not great. Did not matter, the place itself was so amazing we did not care!
Rooms
We were in Villa 50 in the Royal Service section. Room was unreal! Gorgeous. We were upgraded at no charge to a one bedroom master suite. All marble. We had a kitchen, living room, dining rooom, huge bathroom, dressing area, jazcuzzi, huge bedroom and beautiful patio which looked onto the most gorgeous gardens. The fridge was stocked with all beverages, water, ect. We also had a free bottle of rum, which was wonderful. Room was spotless. So clean you could eat off the floor. Two LCD tv’s. We had a pillow menu to choose from each night, I choose a lavander pillow. The butler would come and infuse your jazcuzzi each night with coconut oil and fresh flowers. Maid would also pick fresh flowers daily for the room.
Your Arrival
The ride from the airport was a very short one. We were the first hotel, so we got to our hotel in less than 20-25 minutes. Upon arrival we were literally "whisked” away to the VIP lounge where Royal Service guests registar. The staff were so incredibly nice, warm, and welcoming. So professional. We were given a briefing on everything we would need to know and we were brought three gorgeous drinks on a platter which were amazing. We met our "butlers” who told us to call for anything we needed. We were so impressed by the welcome we recieved. Great first impression!
Amazing!
Hotel Be Live Grand Marien (formerly Oasis)
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Nicole >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
What an awesome resort! The rooms are beautiful and clean, the resort itself is fabulous, the staff are fantastic and the food is wonderful. It is the first resort of many (and I’ve been happy with them all) that I will return to. I recommend this resort to anyone! From the beach to the pool to the people…what more can you ask for. Go with a positive attitude, enjoy your vacation, and you won’t be disappointed!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Lots to do if you want to join but you can just relax and not be bothered if you would rather lay back and soak up the sun.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Tremendous!! What more can I say… 🙂
Other Comments
Go!!! You will not be sorry you did!
Restaurants and Bars
LOVED the food. This is the first time that I have not been disappointed in Dominican food and it’s the first time my husband has eaten more than fries. The a la cartes are great and who cares if there is a little wait – what else do you have to do? You’re on vacation!
Rooms
We were in building 9 – awesome rooms – well worth the extra little bit of money. However, my brother stayed in building 5 and his room was great, too!
Your Arrival
Air Transat is GREAT!!! my husband and I both really recommend them. Well done!
Photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/pullupsman
Videos: http://www.worldisround.com/home/pullupsman/index.html
La Romana is still the best place I’ve stayed in 10 Years of traveling
Hotel Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa
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Albert >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
I traveled to Dreams La Romana for my nieces wedding March 12-19th. My sister (48) joined me(54)for this trip. She has never been in the Dominican Republic and seemed very impressed with this hotel and the people of the country itself. A couple of weeks prior to the trip, I contacted the resort by email and requested an upgrade to a Preferred Club room. I was told by the manager they couldn’t make a promise, but that they would try. I also requested an upper room, two beds and if possible ocean view. Again, they said they would try.

I took my wife and kids to this resort in 2006 when it was Sunscape Casa Del Mar. We loved the place then and I was worried about all the extra new rooms that the restaurants would be crowded, the bars too busy to get a drink and that the premium liqueurs would disappear. I was wrong and the service everywhere was better than before.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
I spent most of my time on the beach. I can go swimming in and around a pool anytime, but beach, I can’t always get. I even stayed on the Preferred Beach a few times. There are always enough chairs, someone to get you a drink, etc. I could find shade when I needed it and sunlight too. Our group wanted to play volleyball and the group was set up. There were water aerobics offered every morning. There were always people going out to the bounce raft in front of the resort. I saw many people snorkeling in front of the resort out by a reef and much more swimming with the fish around the pier. The grounds are immaculate. The wedding took place in the gazebo by the ocean and was decorated perfectly. the had cocktails set up on the pier after wards and then dinner at the Seaside grill. They also had a DJ set up in back of the grill for the wedding party to dance.
Other Comments
Again, this is one of the best resorts I have ever been. The people are all friendly and will do everything they can to please you. I can’t wait to back here again in a few years and I promise I will.
Restaurants and Bars
We ate at the Mexican restaurant twice because another of my nieces had a small child and they seemed to serve us the fastest. We ate at the Himitsu, World Cafe, Portofino, Oceana, Seaside Grill and as I said El Patio. I can honestly tell you that we never had bad service or a meal. We rarely waited very long to sit down. Partly because we eat as early as possible and the restaurants tend to get busy later in the evening. at Portofino’s we were waiting for 15 minutes for the rest of our group of 10 and they came out the door to try to get us to sit early. We had a delicious meal at the Seaside Grill after the wedding. The World Cafe Buffet had more than enough choices. Of course you can’t eat a little bit of everything each meal or else you will get bored with the menu. We even went to the cafe one night after the disco closed and ha pasta, hamburgers and hot dogs. Again, no complaints. The Pizza at the pools is still the greatest after 4 years away and the fruit boat at the beach was always busy. I did enjoy that there was now a swim up bar at the new pool (that wasn’t there before) and I never waited for a drink very ofter. The bartenders tended to remember me by the Jim Beam hat I wore and came running whenever I showed up for a drink. I always give 1-2 dollars when getting a drink. They earn the money.

We spent many nights at the lobby bar. Always busy and always good drinks and service. We had to contend with about 70 girls from the University of Kentucky, but we had no problems. There were 40 of us there for the wedding and we all seemed to get along just fine. After the lobby bar closed we would go to the Disco.

Rooms
The room was 5244 I think. Anyway if faced the Preferred Club Pool, Bar, etc. and had a very nice view of the ocean. The room was fantastic. clean, large and had everything I have come to expect in this type of resort. We had special Gold beach towels to show that we were preferred club members. There was plenty of room in the free safe and the closets and drawers. There is even an iPOD docking station in the room. We always had fresh towels twice a day and the room was spotless every day. We always leave some sort of makeup and/or candy and money for the maids.
Your Arrival
We arrived after a long and hot bus ride on too small of a bus for the group. When we arrived after almost 2 hours. I went to the front check in desk and was told they couldn’t find my papers. I told them that I might have been upgraded to Preferred Club. The gentleman came running around the desk and escorted me to the front entrance and said Preferred to the man there and we were swept away to the Preferred Club check in building. There we were seated with Romy Martes who got us checked in and collected the $70 per day per person. They made sure we had drinks in this air conditioned building. I think we were in there for no more than 5 minutes and I had to explain that the lady with me was not my wife, but my sister and that I paid for her to come to my nieces wedding and that she was the reason for the upgrade. Romy said "Can I be your Sister too" We were in the room and changed into suits and left the bags sit right where they were. We would unpack later.
Heaven within paradise
Hotel Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
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David >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
This resort was so special and the staff are fantastic, from Andrea and pedro at La brisa to Rossi at the palace bar. the reception crew and the management team. Big smiles friendly service. The food was great and the room was made up so nice everyday and the minifridge fellow filled you up with what you wanted if you left him a note in spanish. Spreading a few dollares around to the staff made the smiles bigger, after two days thanks to my Canada tattoo the bar staff knew my drinks orders before I made it to the counter. They called me Captain and or Mr Canada! We loved it so much 8 of us are going March 2011!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Tons of things to do or just lay back and relax your choices are limited only by your imagination.
Arrival
Met at Airport by shuttle bus great tour guide stopped of and got us ice cold beer. Realy helped get us the mood to lay back and relax.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Best beach in the world cleaned daily and the tree trimmer climbed up and got coconuts for the ladies and trimme dthem up so you could put drinks in them!
Other Comments
For ebery positive review you read there are hundreds of satisfied people who just dont feel the need to spread the joy. for the negativve revies read them carefully and you will see why these folks did not enjoy themselves! In the Dominican you have to become Dominican chill out relax smile laugh dance and sing and don’t be in a hurry or in a rush and drop a few dollars here and there it brightens up their smile and your heart!
Restaurants and Bars
clean well run excellent staff and great management team. These folks work long long days so we can relax!
Rooms
Spacious new and clean
No Better Place for a Wedding!
Hotel Bahia Principe Punta Cana
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Sandie >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
Wow! For a large resort they do most everything very well.
We travelled as a group for our daughter’s wedding and have to say that it was wonderful. Jasmine, the wedding planner was terrific and definitely went above and beyond to make sure the wedding and dinner were as we wanted. Kuddo’s to Jasmine. The ceremony was on the beach with a musical trio playing. An aisle was decorated with flowers and led up to the arch where the ceremony took place. The ocean provided a beautiful backdrop (except for the folks who think it’s cool to be in a strangers wedding photos – no prob. we’ll just air brush you away!) The chairs were all done up with covers and ribbons and everything looked wonderful. It was a traditional but still casual ceremony. Of course, it goes without saying that the Bride and Groom were radiant! The judge speaks Spanish and Jasmine translates but that didn’t detract from it at all. At my daughter’s request we had a sand ceremony which was very nice. She used sand from home and from the beach there. The wedding dinner was in the Italian Resaurant – Il Capriccio. Although we had chosen to have the dinner in the public area of the restaurant, they did it up so beautifully that it might as well have been a private reception. They decorated the table with the items we had brought and added flowers and flair. Judy was the maitre d’ and was extremely helpful,he even checked with the bride before each course to be sure the timing was okay. The wedding cake was 3 layers and delicious! There was no way we could eat it all after our delicious meal so we asked the staff to enjoy it later. We were able to do toasts and all those good things. It was truly a great wedding!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
There were activities around the pools (not the Diamond pool – yeah) and at the beach but we managed to not be distracted by them. The shows in the evening varied some really cheezee, others were pretty good. They had new shows most of the nine nights we were there.
Most evening we spent on the terrace, drinking cappucinos and "Chocolate Monkeys" and followed it up with a train ride, twice around the resort.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
We were upgraded to diamond bracelets which allowed us access to the Diamond Pool and the restaurant nearby for breakfast and lunch. That was one of the best features. We had no problem getting chairs at the pool in the morning and would get 8 for our group. Some of us went to the beach which was very crowded. They certainly pack you in! We are shade lovers and there is an area with lots of palm trees so it was relatively easy to find chairs in the shade and then move about as the sun changed locations. Sand flies were a problem. Although we never saw them biting we had lumps and bumps, that appeared as hives later. My daughter, the bride, was severely affected. Some people were distressed by this others were okay. In the end, although a beach person by preference, I opted for the pool. The grounds are beautiful, very well kept. They can do things with a macheti that are unbelievable.
Other Comments
It would be convinient if the trolleys all met at a hub and you could transfer to different lines. Sometimes getting to the restaurants or the Ambar was a challenge for those with mobility issuse.

It was a great resort, the weather was terrific (only 30 mins rain at breakfast one day!)and a great time was had by all!

Restaurants and Bars
2 Alacarte’s were chosen for us (the whole group) and we weren’t sure we liked that. We could have tried to change the reservations but in the end it didn’t matter what restaurants we went to. Our favourite was the Japanese. It’s nice to have someone cooking in front of you and the food was good. All of the other restaurants would have a buffet for appetisers and dessert but you order the main course from the menu. The selection of appetisers was awesome at every restaurant. The lamb as a main course was excellent but the lobster was way overdone. You never went away hungry. They were very accomodating the 2 of us that had alllergies, offering at every meal to make us something different if need be.
Rooms
Our rooms were just as we requested, on the ground floor and together for the older group with the young adults a little further away. Rooms are clean and spacious. Some nights we received exta "warm" towels and some morning our room was decorated with flowers, towel art and balloons. We definitely felt welcome. Our room was always cleaned in the morning – perhaps it helped to have the "make up room" sign out by 9 am.
Your Arrival
Arrived via Air Canada Vacations out of Toronto at 1pm. Customs and Immigration was a breeze even though there was another plane load of people arriving at the same time. We were bussed to our hotel with a minmum of fuss and check in was relatively simple. As expected our rooms were not ready and we spent a lot of time sitting in the lobby waiting. After a little lunch our rooms were ready and they loaded up our luggage and took us off to our home away from home.
Better than expected! Great place!
Hotel Barcelo Punta Cana
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Laura >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
We traveled to Punta Cana on 1/16-1/20, 2010 (I was unable to change the stay date) for my brother’s wedding on the beach at the hotel. In our group was 17 adults and one 5yr. Our trip was booked through our local agent. It was through FunJet vacations. Once we got there all our arrangements were handled by VIP tours. I have been to Cancun, the Mayan Riveria, and this was my 2nd trip to the DR. All were all inclusive trips too. So I have a little something to compare this too. I was very nervous due to some reviews being not so great for this hotel, but I really think they were wrong. Or had very high expectations. You will certainly have a great time here. Other things, there are several gifts shops there. And prices are reasonable. There was also employees looking for kids to do activities and several photographers available too. So if you are planning a family portrait you can do it here. I have no idea what the print prices are though. Every bathroom I went into was very clean. There were constantly mopping floors everywhere. My brother and my new sister in law said the wedding coordinator and wedding planning itself was wonderful! They would recommend it to others too! Tipping helps with getting what you need. A couple of American dollars make employees very happy. Several of our group members did visit the casino and had fun along with the dance club. I also want to comment on the tv. On some of my other all inclusive trips the tv station selections were poor. This hotel had the best selection of television in all my travels. Many american movie channels, kids channels, weather channel, and even abc and cbs channels. Now I know you are thinking why do I care about the tv, well if you travel with children you will care. And if the weather is bad you would care. I would definately recommend this place to family and friends. Is it the Ritz Carlton, no, but it is nice for the money. We had a great time and hated to return to the weather in New York in January! We can’t wait to return again.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
This place is great. If you are coming to be active there is a lot to do. There is boating equipment down by the beach, the trapeze, and tons of activities by the pool near the Marina rest. But if you are coming to relax, you can certainly do it here too! There are many tours you can book off the resort. In our group some did ther bravo runner tour(great way to see the DR) and loved it, some snorkeled and loved it, and some parasailed. Just ask with the parasailing, they do do parasailing right in front of the hotel on the beach, but for some reason the ones in our group were picked up in a boat with about twenty other couples. And then they traveled to another area and had to wait as each couple went. The parasailing was cool, but that wasn’t what they wanted to do (all the waiting that is). So make sure you are going out in front of the hotel.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pools are HUGE here! There are 2 HUGE pools and then one amazing kids’ pool! Really, amazing! The pools were VERY clean. If you are up early enough in the morning you will see they come out and scrub the sides and vaccum too. Plenty of chairs to go around. It actually seems like there were more people down at the beach than by the pools during the day. The grounds are nice, there is someone constantly mowing, raking or painting there. The beach is BEAUTIFUL! You can walk for miles and miles! Not a lot of shells, if you have a kiddo looking for them, but there are a few. The waves are a little stronger than I’d like, especially traveling with a child, but they are fine. The beach is well maitained and cleaned everyday. Can’t say enough…beautiful beach and weather!!! This place is huge! Really! If we were looking for someone in our group, it could take you hours to find them! So it was a great group place, because if you wanted to plan something together you could, but if you want to be alone, you certainly can.
Other Comments
We were told by our travel agent to not bring a lot of cash, just a visa or m/c credit card. We found that our credit cards wouldn’t work often. You could get turned down, and then ten minutes later your sale would go through. We arrived days after the large earthquake in Haiti, so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the lines being down. Also one of our members charged her parasailing to her room. On check out day the ATM wasn’t working,nor were the credit card lines. So we scrambled to come up with money for her to check out. So be aware of that. The ATM was down more than it was working. Also, my only warning about this place, which really isn’t the hotel, I’m sure it’s like this at all the resort, is calling home. Calling cards do not work. So your only other option is to use a credit card or call collect from the hotel phone. I choose using the credit card, thinking calling collect would be more. I did have a Verizon cell phone with me, but it did not work in the building, only by the pool or beach. I did make some calls home to my husband and other children from the hotel room. When I returned home I got charges on my credit card for $80 a call!!! I called the merchant 800 number on my credit card statement and complained! I was told that it is a $15 charge JUST to connect your call and $4 to $5 per minute to talk! SO beware! I told them I was under the impression it was just standard rates and they never told me otherwise. THey then told me that they are "not obligated by law to tell the rates" unless we ask. It was partially my fault for not asking, but still ridiculous. So never assume. I did get them to reduce the charges after the fact, but I just wanted to warn other travelers.
Restaurants and Bars
My daughter has celiac’s disease, the 5yr who traveled with us. So I was really nervous about food. We ate often at the main buffet, but also ate at the Marina rest. for breakfast and lunch. The food seems to be much fresher at the Marina, and hadn’t sat out as long. Also to the side of the Marina there is a little hut and a man will make your eggs to order in the morning and in the afternoon they ofter chicken breast sandwiches, hamburgs, etc. Once we discovered that place, we ate breakfast and lunch there the whole time. For dinner it was the main buffet hall (sorry can’t remember the name of it. Just to the left of the lobby) and we also ate at the Marina and French Rest. Both were very good. And other people who traveled with us ate at the Japanese Rest. and they said it was really good! Make sure you make reservations for the rest. right away as they fill up fast. Some of us did get upset tummys and were in the bathroom often. But no one was in bed sick by any means. I don’t think that the food is bad, it’s just our bodies adjusting to the different oils and ingredients used to make the food. Also I think some of the others might have had tummy troubles from the sugary drinks too. My daughter was able to eat and had no trouble at all. I had emailed the front desk letting them know we may need assistance with her Gluten free diet, but we really didn’t need any help. They returned an email and said that there chefs would be available if we needed them. We did ask at the French rest. and the waiter didn’t understand about a plate being gluten free. But it was more of a language barrier thing. Overall, I think the food was good. Not great(more because I wasn’t sure of all the ingredients), but good. There was always something to eat. They have bottles purified water everywhere for you. The only complaint we had was there was no cold milk. We got warm milk and sour milk, but never cold milk. So that was disppointing to my five yr. old.
Rooms
Before arriving I had read in other reviews that blocks 1,2, and 3 had most renovated rooms. I emailed the hotel about two weeks before our arrival that we wanted all our rooms in those blocks. They emailed me back and said it was no problem but would cost $12 a night, per person to upgrade to the deluxe room verses the standard room. I emailed back that we would upgrade and would figure it out when we got there. The night before we left I received and email saying they upgraded the entire group for free. So we were all very pleased! All our rooms were very good/great. A few didn’t have chains on the door, so they were walked in on sometimes by employees bringing towels, or drinks to the frig. Heads up if you don’t have one on your door! The room safe was very nice, the bathrooms were very nice too. OUr hair dryer seemed to be very close to catching fire. But that was the only trouble with anything in our room. Our room was VERY clean. I had to look for dirt. A few of the others said they did have a few small spiders, but that was it. The frig was stocked with coke, diet coke, water and beer. We were in room 1206 and had a view of the vacant land next to the hotel and the ocean! So no complaints here! Some of our friends were near the casino and they said those rooms were very loud. So if you get near there, you may want to change immediately. One thing I’ve learned is, you need to be your own advocate. If you don’t like the room say so immediately they seem very eager to make you happy.
Your Arrival
At the airport we got on our shuttle bus to the hotel. The bus was nice, but the constant motion of it made of few of us motion sick. There was stops at other hotels to drop off guests, and speed bumps and constant swerving to avoid others on the road. So that was a long ride, but we had all been traveling for about 12hrs at that point and were hungry, tired and had been in constant motion for about 12hrs! Because we had a group, it did take about 1/2 hr for us all to check in. A few rooms weren’t ready, but were within a 1/2 hr. The bus back to the airport was much nicer, bigger and less stops.
If you are looking for a five star resort don’t go to the Riu Bachata who’s five star rating may be accurate if it was based on a scale of 15!!
Hotel Riu Bachata
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Marilyn >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Feb, 2010 | Leisure | Family
We travelled to this resort to celebrate our son’s wedding. We were a family group of 17 including 3 children and one teenager.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The off resort activities offered are expensive so we didn’t participate. Not many activities at this resort. Only have a couple of paddle boats and couple of kayaks which were not available most of the time we were there because of rough water. Even then, they are shared by all three resorts. Teenagers have very little to do. The younger children do have activities. Tennis courts etc are so spread out between the three resorts, they are hard to find and busy. The evening entertainment is absolutely pathetic! I’ve been to many other resorts and this one is the worst by far.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds and location are beautiful. The wedding in the gazebo was just gorgeous. I didn’t use the pool – it was very crowded. Beach was clean and there were lots of chairs. Swimming at the end of the Bachata property is very rocky. Go down towards the Mambo for a sandy bottom.
Other Comments
The wedding and people who helped us were excellent. Sunquest is not going to be much help if you run into problems. Our son became very ill ( stomach problems ) on our 5th day. (The doctor at the resort was very caring and professional.) Our son, who is 26, was taken by ambulance to Puerto Plata where he was admitted. We were all very worried and having to taxi back and forth. There was a phone for us to keep in touch with him at the front desk. One member of the staff at the front desk would allow us to call the hospital at no charge, and then the next one would charge us $1. I think they just pocketed the dollar when they felt like it. On the 6th night I approached a Sunquest rep to explain our situation – we were going to be late getting to the airport as we had to take a taxi to the hospital and have our son discharged – our flight left at noon. I asked if it would be possible to prebook a seat for my son in which he could stretch out and not be crowded. Also, not have to stand in the long check in line. He would not help me. He told me he could not do anything and that I should look for the rep who would be there. Now, how was that going to help us??

If it had not been for the beautiful beach and lovely wedding I would have called this resort a disaster. We stayed at the Bahia Principe San Juan 2 years ago and would recommend it way before this supposed 5 star. All in all, I have decided I will not be returning to the Dominican Republic.

Restaurants and Bars
There was very little variety in food at this resort. Not much fruit. The cooks gave you the feeling you were bothering them. I set a serving spoon back on the platter and one cook grabbed it and dropped it purposefully on the saucer it was supposed to be on. Constant little things like that made us all feel uncomfortable. The children could stand in the line as long as the adults then would be ignored by the cook until one of us appeared. All in all the serving staff were unfriendly unless you were forking out the cash – even then, if it was only a dollar or two, they were not impressed!
The two ala carte restaurants are in two sections of one building which is also the lunch buffet. You still have to serve yourself salad/ appetizers. Staff here were very pleasant and professional though. Although you were not limited to 2 meals here, we didn’t bother because the food was not very good. Bars serve weak drinks which is OK. Bartenders tend to pick favourites and ignore others. Again, money talks.
Rooms
Clean but beds hard. We might as well slept on the floor.
Forget about having your fridge refilled.( by the way at this resort the in- room bar and fridge are replenished every 2 days.) We only had ours refilled ONCE in 7 days. The rest of our group had the same problem, although, miraculously, they were refilled if you paid. Don’t stay in building #9. Rooms are moldy smelling and it is beside the bar that stays open 24hrs. Those close to the bar can forget about sleeping. 3 of our group of 5 rooms here, had to be changed, which they were good about. Air conditioners in half the rooms didn’t work. My son called for 2 days and finally repaired it himself. Rooms are supposed to have umbrellas, non of ours did. ( It rained for 2 days while we were there)
Your Arrival
Our arrival was fine – we were greeted with a cold drink. Only glitch was the man who was handing us our luggage said to my husband " you pay me". A omen for what was to come. Our rooms were not together as we had requested.
We went for lunch in the beach restaurant and one of the represntatives came over to "greet" us. I know he just wanted to make sure we weren’t a "wild bunch" who were there to party because he asked who was in charge of the group. That was me.
spectacular 3rd time here
Hotel Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
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jack >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
I love this resort, My wife and I have been to Dominican Republic for our last 8 vacations (I know, go somewere else. we cant pass on the best beach in the world for its price though). the palace is the 5th resort we have stayed in at Bavaro beach and we LOVE IT. I love the food and the people. I love the full ocean view room. My wife and I are there to lay on the beach and soak in the sun and RELAX, and we do.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
sun and drinks
Arrival
we book our own flights and times and we always take a cab from the airport. we usually stop and eat at a roadside place and grab a Presidenta beer. Once again we take our time and enjoy the ride and people.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Great pool but usually lay on the beach.
Other Comments
Most of the reviews I see are (or seem) to be from very uptight Americans, and yes I’m american, that expect to pay for a bargain and get attention and special treatment. Just go and relax and have fun, so you got sprayed by a sprinkler Geez! The golf is great and the fun for any kids is awesome.
Restaurants and Bars
we normally eat at La Brisa and love the food.
Rooms
Love the rooms, great flat screen TV’s and the air works great and comfortable.
Photos: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=345679&id=581055413&l=9d2f366edd
We had the best time and we could not find one thing to complain about.
Hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe AMBAR
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Cindy from Peterborough >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
I can’t say enough about this place. We had the best time and we could not find one thing to complain about. The food was awesome, the room was great and the bar at the pool was amazing!! They really know how to make your stay great.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the Tropical Storm tour. Its was worth the $79 that you pay. Its an all day cruise but remember to bring a towel. Our travel agent told us we didn’t need to but yes, make sure to bring one. They make sure you have a drink at all times if that’s what you want.
We also did the parasailing off the beach and that was awesome!! $89 for tandome sailing. You have to try it!!
Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was amazing!! We spent most days at the pool and hardly left it. I already miss our walks on the beach.
Other Comments:
We had never been to the dominican and wanted somewhere special to go for our 20th anniversary. We managed to find a minister that lives there (he is from the U.S. origonally) and he did our ceremony and we could not have asked for anything more. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me.
Restaurants and Bars:
We ate at the Japanese restaurant and liked it best, the Italian one in the Ambar wasn’t the best. We prefered the buffet most days over any of the a la carte restaurants.
Rooms:
Our room was a corner room in building 62, second floor. The maid was awesome and did a good job, we always left her something on the pillow. The bar was always stocked also. The day of our renewal we came back to get ready for dinner and our butler had been in our room and had run a bubble bath for us, left a bottle of champagne and lite and insence stick for us…how beautiful.
Got married at the Bahia Principe San Juan, 52 guests, great time!
Hotel Bahia Principe San Juan
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Danna and Iain >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
My fiance and I checked out several resorts in the DR before deciding on the BPSJ. We stayed in Punta Cana last year at the Blau Natura Park, and had enjoyed that trip, as well. Seemed that this year, the prices for Punta Cana were higher, so we decided to give PoP a shot. Well worth it, as the price difference allowed many more people to come to our wedding – we ended up with 52 from all across Canada, from age 8 months to 60 plus. Our vacation was fantastic, and overall, we found the BPSJ to be a clean, friendly, and fun resort. Our wedding itself was beautiful, fun and relaxed – really, everything we wanted it to be.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
I went to the spa and had the seaweed wrap, which was great, very relaxing. The girls were polite, and the coconut products they use smell wonderful. My bridesmaids and I got our hair done at the salon, but they did charge me more than I was originally quoted for my ‘special wedding hair’. We made a complaint, and after a few phone calls back and forth from front desk to spa, the situation was rectified. We went on the snorkelling/beach/lunch excursion, and the entire group was with our wedding. We had a great time, lots of drinks, and great lunch. Flying fish were swimming (flying?) alongside our boat – amazing! I think part of the fun might have been the fact everyone on the boat was with our party, as some friends went on a different day and weren’t as impressed. We also rented a taxi and went into Sosua, but had a bit of a detour due to language barrier. Went for lunch at a restaurant (Melia Mui?) in Sosua, and while the food was great, the service was extremely slow – we waited almost 1.5 hours for our meals, and had a limited amount of time in the city, so we were pretty irritated. Shopping in Sosua was a bit of a disappointment, but the trip itself was fun, and it was worth it to see life outside the resort, if briefly. We did stop at a supermarket to buy rum, which I would recommend – much cheaper than the vendors or gift shops. I would discourage you from buying anything from the vendors on the nights they come into the hotel and set up shop. Friends were offered prices more than $250 higher than what we paid for the same items on the beach.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach: My husband felt the beach was a B-. The beach is darker sand, and the water is a little murky. Our friends who have stayed at 5 stars especially noticed a difference. The hotel has brough in sandbags as a breakwater, which might seem a little unsightly, but they were really fun to swim to and sit on. The staff are constantly working, raking away rocks and cleaning away our empty cups. I didn’t find the ocean floor rocky as I walked into the ocean. Still great sun and lots of fun, but not the white sand and turquoise water you will find in other areas. Pools: The pools were very nice, lots of chairs, and the swim up bar was fantastic. There are activities going on for most of the morning (aqua aerobics, stretching, bikini contests), so it you are looking for peace and quiet, you might want to consider the beach or Golden Club. My one concern was that three of our guests got ear infections, two of them severe enough to warrant medical attention. We had to wonder if this was related to the pool. The towel lineup is a little wild, consider bringing your own.

Grounds: again, the staff are constantly working. Not so much as a stray leaf to be seen. Immaculate. If I could choose, I would like to see more varieties of flowers on the grounds, but that’s really splitting hairs.

Other Comments
Two of our guests had to use the medical facilities, both due to earaches. The first, a male in his twenties, went by himself, and was told that he needed to go the next town to get medication. He ended up in an ambulance on the way to Puerto Plata, and the hospital tried to give him an IV and get him stay for the night – for an earache! He’s in the medical field himself, so he declined, but they did make him pay $500+ up front for his care due to his insurance. The second, and more serious, was for our friend’s 8 month old, who also had an earache. Mom is a nurse, and was also surprised when they suggested an IV. However, the pediatrician was very accomodating and respectful, and they did not feel pressured. They were very grateful for their travel insurance, though, as they did need to stay longer because their son was not cleared to fly.
Other wedding matters…
Our wedding coordinator, Georgina, was amazing, very pleasant and professional. She seemed to be a pro at getting things done in a pinch. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous, and plentiful, and the ceremony went very smoothly. Our group was considerably larger than most destination weddings, but the Georgina and the staff made sure everything was perfect. We decided ahead of time just to go with the music the hotel provided, and we were glad to not have to worry about it. At the ceremony, the hotel provided a keyboardist, who was very talented. The photographer was lots of fun, and took some great shots, although the packages were a little more expensive than we anticipated. Our wedding meal was at the Italian restaurant with a special menu, and we were very impressed. Started with a shrimp cocktail, then a fish soup, breads, and for the main course, surf and turf: a huge lobster tail with tomato and cheese topping, and a large portion of steak with mushrooms and onions. The lobster was particularly good! In hindsight, I would have asked to substitute a salad for the soup, as it seemed guests either loved the soup or hated it. Our dessert was a chocolate mousse, as well as wedding cake, which was delicious. The staff were again fantastic, laughing as our friends’ children helped deliver wedding cake. Lots of drinks, very accomodating, plently of mamajuana and flaming cuacharacha shots!

Overall, we had a wonderful time, and I would definitely return to this resort. The staff were so good, we are considering trying other Bahia properties. Our wedding truly exceeded our expectations, and if you’re considering a destination wedding in PoP, I would highly recommend this resort, much in part to Georgina and the staff.

Restaurants and Bars
Buffet: we took most of our meals at the main buffet for convenience sake. The food was good, good selection, and lots of culinary staff replenishing as necessary. Bacon almost every morning, and it was great! My husband loved the omelettes, as well. The waitstaff were really friendly, and recognized us after a few days. Sometimes slow to get drinks if it’s busy – consider getting them yourself on the way to the table. As well, my father has celiac disease and had no trouble finding suitable choices at the buffet. Tex-Mex: I love spicy food, and this was probably my favourite of the sit down restaurants. I had my bachelorette dinner there, and the staff were super fun and attentive. They brought out huge sombreros after the meal, so we have some great pictures. Italian: Lunch buffet was fantastic, it became our usual after we discovered it. Pizzas were surprisingly good. Mediteranean: The meal was presented well, but I found my steak to be undercooked (and I like it medium rare to rare). Again, staff were great, and came out to sing a very enthuastic happy birthday to one of our friends. Fast food near the Diamond Club: I wasn’t as impressed with the food at this one, but I don’t like fast food for the most part. They serve burgers, hot dogs, chicken, soup and salad between meals. It was busy, especially with young families having a bite before the main buffet opened, and as usual, staff were great. We had two large groups go to the sit down restaurants (20 people or so), and both times, the staff initially denied that they could have agreed to the reservation, stating they couldn’t accomodate the group. After we showed proof, though, they made it work, and were friendly and attentive. We spent most evenings at the strip (Pueblo Principe), which is outside the main hotel area but still on the grounds. There are patio tables and nightly entertainment, and animation staff will try to get you to dance with them. We had a few good games of flip cup going, and the staff joined us for a while, as well as some other guests. Lots of fun! We had a great time in the kareoke bar, although it gets very smoky. The disco/club was fun, but beware the sticky/slippery floors. The dj takes requests all night, and there tends to be a lot of Michael Jackson, which was just fine with us.

We brought travel mugs as favours for our guests, which keeps your drinks colder, and means fewer trips to the bar.

Rooms
Our room wasn’t quite ready for us when we arrived, but we’re pretty easygoing. We were supposed to receive champagne and flowers and fruit in our room at arrival. The next day, when our wedding coordinator found out we hadn’t received it, it was there within an hour, along with t-shirts and a bottle of rum. Our AC was very cold, but I know some others in our group had weak or non-functioning AC. We tip the maid and fridge fillers daily, and we had a good supply of drinks all week.
Your Arrival
Arrival at PoP airport was uneventful. The airport is undergoing renovations, and it is pretty obviously under construction to update some very dated decor. AC rep checked us in on the bus on the way to the resort, which was great, and saved us a ton of time at the desk. We really appreciated that even though a few of us forgot the hotel vouchers, we were set up with our keys as soon as we got to the hotel. We were greeted by a group of other Canadians from Ontario as soon as we got off the bus with beers and Jets chants – definitely a highlight of our vacation! Hi to everyone from Bowmanville if you are reading this!
Wedding with Family!
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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Taylor >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did parasailing and Adventure Boogies, both of which were well worth the money! Parasailing may have been frightening at first, but it was such a rush! They accomodated us right away, were friendly, and made it a fun, safe experience. Adventure Boogies was $65 per boogie, well worth it for dune buggying across the countryside, seeing some of the homes, a chocolate/coffee plantation, a lagoon/cave, and Macao beach with horseriding! You sure get muddy though, so don’t shower beforehand, because you’ll be covered head to toe!
Beach/Pools/Grounds
What can I say? The grounds were huge and slightly confusing for the first few days, but after we got use to it, it was no big deal! The shuttle proved an issue more than a few times due to being full, so it would have been nice if they ran them more often. The grounds were very well kept though, and everything was just beautiful! Same with the pool.. The entertainment crew were great, the water was refreshing, the swim up bar was a neat touch, and it was a nice area to just lounge around in. Then there’s the beach.. White sand, clear water.. Everything you could ask for!
Restaurants and Bars
I have to say, before leaving on my trip, I heard a lot of complaints about food, so I was slightly leary about the whole food poisoning issue. I had none of that! I absolutely loved the food.. We ate the buffet twice a day and ate at an a la carte restaurant for dinner, my favourite buffet being La Hispaniola (the food was pretty good for the amount they had), and my favourite a la carte being Sakura. Some of my family members had issues with the food, and you obviously have to be cautious when it comes to tap water (don’t drink it!) and making sure your meat it fully cooked. The only "restaurant" I had a problem with was the small burger shack behind El Gaucho, as the burgers were undercooked, and when we asked for them to cook them a bit longer, they were less than friendly! They also have a restaurant, Licey’s, which is the only one not in the all-inclusice package ($40/person). They have a very nice selection, and I especially loved their seafood! Let’s just say it was money well spent, and I left feeling very, very stuffed.

One issue with the restaurants, however, is when you’re in big groups, they often get the food mixed up, and you’ll be switching around your plates looking for what you ordered, but the food quality is so good that no matter what you end up with, it’s bound to be delishh!

Rooms
The rooms were very nice! We stayed in a beach front platinum room, and i have no complaints at all, besides perhaps the shower, which had a drain that didn’t exactly suck the water down quick enough, so I had the issue of an overflowing tub on a daily basis. Otherwise, everything else was nice; the bed seemed comfortable, the jacuzzi was nice, and it was nice and spacious. Eevrything was always stocked up for us, so the maids did their job!
Your Arrival
The arrival was probably the most stressful part of the trip, but after that, it was smooth sailing. The people assisting us with check-in didn’t tell us where they were taking our luggage, they just pointed us to the shuttle and we were on our way, slightly concerned about our belongings. We were also separated from others in our group, since we were Platinum and they were not. Lastly, there was a room issue in which they gave our beach front room away to another group, but that was sorted out after one night!
Returned before and will return again.
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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ML >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
I first visited Bavaro Princess on a solo trip back in 2005, and have returned twice with friends, who also love it.
We will return again in January 2011, three of us who have been there before, and one ‘new’ visitor.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did not engage in a lot of activities, just a few shows to wind down at the end of a night after dinner, and a couple of aerobics in the pool. But there’s always something going on for those who want to be more active. Took the Outback Jungle Safari tour and highly recommend this to get a sight of Dominican life, also some of the proceeds benefit the children/schools. You can bring donations and give them to your Outback Safari guide, if possible they will stop at the school on the tour, if not, they will take the donations to them when school is open. Sales of all their t-shirts and such also benefit children/schools.
Arrival
Never had any problem with arrival. Sometimes communication is a little confusing, but if you just relax and let yourself be on ‘island time’ you will realize that it all works out. This is a little hard for some, especially after traveling since early AM and dealing with airport security and such. But remind yourself to Breathe in, Breathe out, and it all works out just fine. English speakers who complain about language difficulties really should stop and think. Spanish is the language of this country. Then with the coming of the resorts, Europeans came, and the workers learned French, German, probably other languages. English speaking Americans were the last group to start coming to Punta Cana, so it’s the last language the workers/staff learned in most cases. How many languages do you speak fluently? I say if you want everyone around you to speak English, then stay home or go on vacation to England.

You sure won’t get much sunshine there, though! 😉

Beach/Pools/Grounds
This is the best beach for strolling, swimming, sunning. Especially for those who like to walk on the sand. It’s like getting a free pedicure as the soft never too hot sands rub away all the winter roughness of your feet, and you see and hear the beautiful water. The pool is lovely, too. I liked to get up early some days and just jog around the pool, it would be sometimes no one else there but me, and very relaxing. Then later in the day, you could enjoy some pool aerobics, and a nice drink at the swim up bar.
Other Comments
Yes, some rooms may have been a bit worn looking but if something did not work, you just report it and it gets fixed. Not a problem. I have minimal Spanish, just a few words to say hello and thank you, so communicating on the phone was not the best for me, but if you just go to the front desk, they take care of whatever you need. Or see your Apple rep, if you are smart enough to book via Apple. Their price may be a few $$ more, (but sometimes not, it can also be a great bargain) but you get a really nice beach party, good room locations, easy alacarte reservations, and a rep is there every day to help you with whatever you need. It’s not just at Bavaro Princess, but at other resorts, if you are an Apple client, you get some extra special treatment. Apparently Apple pays the resorts well, and gets the extras for their clients. Though tips are included in Apple packages, I always still tip in DR, as these workers earn very little, and often have to live in a more expensive area near the resorts. They are also appreciative of small gifts, for themselves or for their children. So a combo of a couple of trinkets that might be expensive or hard to get for them, plus a few extra bucks that you really won’t even miss, is well worth it. But even if you don’t tip anyone, they are still very friendly and you get good service.
Restaurants and Bars
We have not visited the alacartes except for Chopin. This was very nice, still a buffet, but very different choices, and nice caviar for a treat. I suspect we will give other alacartes a try this coming trip, and if you book via Applevacations, as we do, you can make all your rez at your welcome Apple meeting, no need to pay for platinum or stand in lines every day. We liked the main buffet so much that we were happy eating dinner there every day, and also breakfast. We had lunch always at the pool/beach area because that’s where we spend our days, and didn’t want to be rude by coming into the main buffet in wet bathing suits! Every night is a different theme. So you’ll see some of the same foods, but many different ones each night at dinner. It is a very BIG buffet area, so look around first. Otherwise you might miss the American station offerings, the pasta to order, or some other special station like the one making a very nice Caesar salad a couple of nights. Be sure to try the ice cream, it’s like Italian gelato, and very good. Enjoyed time at the pool bar, and the lobby bar before or after dinner each day. Missed the beach bar, which was closed the last time we were there, but it was an easy walk over a few feet to the bar service near McPrincess. Hope the beach bar is reopened for our next trip as that is our favorite place to sit on the beach, near there. We had some drinks from our minibar, and joked that the beer in there (called something like Sobera) should be called Sober Beer cause it was very light, almost no taste. But still ok for a cold one on the balcony while you relax before getting ready for another nice dinner. Since I never drink sodas, it was icy cold water or beer for me on the balcony.

(The beer at the bars is Presidente, and that’s quite good, not the same as in the rooms).

Rooms
I’ve now been in three different rooms, all bungalow suites, and they’ve basically all been the same. Roomy, comfortable. The only thing I noticed was that when you get two beds, like we do, they tend to slide a bit too easily! Probably just need to lock the casters, of course I did not think of this when I was there, but will next time. On our most recent visit, they had put in bigger tv sets. Rooms were always very clean, they mopped the whole place every day. Sometimes the maid didn’t make it to your room till late afternoon, this only caused a problem for me once in a total of 21 days spent at this resort, so no big deal. Couple of bottles of water in the minibar (minifridge) which was good for drinking or making coffee. They give you some coffee and accessories (and a few tea bags) each day. I like to pack a small container of coffee creamer (dry) because that’s the thing I might run out of if I decide to relax on the patio/balcony with a second cup of coffee. No need to bring/buy water either. Just ask any barman for ‘aqua’ and he’ll happily hand you a bottle or two. And you can keep it in the minifridge for whenever you need it.
great hotel
Hotel Caribe Club Princess
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richard >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family
my family and i have stayed at this hotel 2 times in the past and have felt it is a great hotel..remember you are on vacation ,things happen out of the ordinary, run with it .think before you speak and enjoy surroundings and the resort .will go back , bavaro beach rocks
Grounds Are A Tropical Jungle … Best Beach In the World … Great Food and Accomidations … What Else Can You Ask For!
Hotel Melia Caribe Tropical
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George >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family
Well…my turn, hope you like to read! Can’t listen to the @!##@!@# about towels or making reservations or staff not speaking english or how long checkin took … and if you know how to give a tip or have any sence about you these things would not be a problem + almost everyone speaks english, except some of the maids … but you can get along just fine.

If anyone had a problem with this resort it would have been very specific and related to their room or an event like check-in or a bad employee. I have traveled all over the world and stayed in many classes of hotels and resorts, but this one tops them all. There are very few things wrong with this resort and these people should look past these issues and describe the resort for what it is. Any problems can be resolved quickly as customer service very responsive. I did not hear any complaints from the people that we spoke to (and that was a lot) from all classes of rooms, regular to RS (Royal Service). My wife talked to one American couple that had been to a wedding in Fiji and stayed in one of those villas that stands on stilts over the ocean. They were comparing the Melia Caribe to their Fiji trip and did say the Fiji trip was far more superior in many ways. So if you run across these kinds of criticism, take things into perspective…you can get private villas on the ocean with extreme luxury for $20000/week or more. For what you pay here, even in Royal Service (RS), this resort is amazing. I went next door to the Paridisus (which is owned by the same company) and in my opinion the resort was not as lush as Melia Caribe + there is a row of Villas on your left when going to the beach from RS beach area that are the exact same construction as the Villas in RS.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Dancing and Discos: There is a disco in the Tropical lobby. All welcome from 9-11 and 11-2 for adults only. The music is great. They also have a disco on the beach Wednesday nights (that was fun) … ask the front desk for the schedule. Oh, don’t miss a great party and show on Friday nights at the side lobby bar (I think it is on the Caribe side, but you can ask). They have fire breathing, a guy roller skating all light up with led lights and entertainers dancing to get everyone in the mood. There is also a Kids disco in the Caribe main lobby from 8:30 to 9:30. Shows: Start at 10:00 in the main lobby of the Caribe. Be careful or you will probably end up on stage as one of the performers. There are all kinds of stuff ranging from comedy to acrobatics, not bad … the kids liked it and we had a good laugh most of the time. I even made it up on stage for the Mr. Caribe contest, but luckily did not make it to the finals. There are nice mattresses in the lobby are that you can hang-out on and watch people. We had fun doing that one night for an hour or so. Kids Activities: This is definitely a family resort and there are things for the kids to do day and night. As I mentioned above, there is a Kids pool on the Tropical side by the beach. Beside that pool is a kid’s area called Flintstone Village, with you guessed it, a Flintstone theme. Here you will find activities for kids from toddlers to 13 years of age. They have different programs everyday to suite the age group. My 10 year old spent on day at the camp. He went rock climbing & horseback riding + other activities. We were there at a time when a lot of the older kids were at school and my 5 year old wanted to hang-out with us, so we never really took full advantage of the village. To make one thing clear, kids are allowed in all areas of the resort including RS pools and facilities. There are also babysitting services offered at $15/hr if you wish. You need to reserve 1 day in advance if will require babysitting. We did not take advantage of this service.
Arrival
If you have never been to Punta Cana, even flying into the airport is a treat. The terminals have thatched roofs and look like a resort not an airport. Customs was quick and friendly + they take your picture which you can get on the way back if you wish. The ride to the resort is short, about 20 minutes. When you arrive at the resort, you are overwhelmed by the landscaping and greenery. There are Peacocks wandering everywhere, Flamingos in some areas and tropical vegetation of all varieties. Front lobby is beautiful, not too much concrete (as in some posh resorts) and blended well with the vegetation. Arrival: If you have never been to Punta Cana, even flying into the airport is a treat. The terminals have thatched roofs and look like a resort not an airport. Customs was quick and friendly + they take your picture which you can get on the way back if you wish. The ride to the resort is short, about 20 minutes. When you arrive at the resort, you are overwhelmed by the landscaping and greenery. There are Peacocks wandering everywhere, Flamingos in some areas and tropical vegetation of all varieties. Front lobby is beautiful, not too much concrete (as in some posh resorts) and blended well with the vegetation. Check-in: We had booked RS and upon arrival we were brought to a separate area for RS check-in. We arrived at about 12:30 in the afternoon, about 2.5 hours prior to check-in time. I had emailed ahead and explained that we would be there early and would appreciate a room to be ready at that time, with a list of request from pillows to bar contents…to my surprise all was taken care of. The RS lounge was relaxing and elegant. We were served a beer right away (not into the sweet drinks) and the kids got a drink of their choice. Even the bracelets they put on for RS where more like jewelry than resort bracelets (they were so nice we wanted to keep them at the end of our trip but where told that it was against hotel policy)
Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pools: There are 3 pools. 2 by the beach that are identical. One is on the Caribe side and one is on the Tropical side. 1- The Tropical side pool is the kid’s pool adjacent to Flintstone Village. The pool is massive and has a swim-up bar, a kiddy pool and close to the beach and beach side restaurant. 2- The Caribe side pool is identical without the kids theme. 3- The Gabi pool in the RS service area. This is the one we spent the most time at. It is close to the front of the resort was right in front of our Villa. There was sand on the sides making you feel like you are at the beach. The design of the pool and attached restaurant is amazing. They even have a little snack bar that is opened all day and serves great chicken, burgers, ice crème, pizza and french fries + other stuff. This was a big hit with the kids and some days we didn’t even really need to go for lunch. At the Gabi pool bar and restaurant you can get all brands of liquor, even Canadian Whiskey, baileys, Stolichnaya, etc. … which made my day. The Beach: Well this is on “Playas de Bávaro” which is one of the best beaches in the Dominican. The sand is almost pure white. The only downer, if you want to look at it that way, was that you could not find shells. They were all caught up by the reef that was only 1km out and the reason for this pristine beach. There was always room in the RS area of the beach and I did not see any problems with room anywhere else along the beach. On the RS beach area you have a private bar + a waiter that serves drinks. The beach front of this property stretches for about 1km and is all beautiful, with palm trees naturally blending with the beach front. There are local shops to the right of the resort (when looking at the ocean). Again, there are some complainers on this site that have posted negative things about locals trying to ripe them off or “beware of these areas, they are dangerous”. All I can say is Buyer Beware, use your head, ask questions and barter…you’ll have fun! There are also shops about a 20-30 minute walk to the left. I ran every day along the beach about 10 k so I visited all these places easily. These shops are more like the front of a shopping village and when you go deeper into them, you will find stores that the locals shop at. I bought some different beer here (they only serve President beer at the hotel), they were called Bohemians; price $3/1 liter bottle…the beer wasn’t too bad. The grounds: Every kind of tropical vegetation you can imagine, all meticulously groomed. Peacocks, Flamingos, Wild Turkeys, and Fish in the lagoons … I think you can get the pictures. This was more like being in a well kept jungle. And that is why this huge resort did not feel so huge. There is transportation everywhere. A train goes around the like a bus every 5 – 10 minutes. In the royal service area there are guys with golf carts buzzing by constantly and they usually give you a lift.
Other Comments
Time Sharing: You will also find the Time Sharing people at the Caribe beach side restaurant entrance. They are not annoying as everyone seems to mention. If you say no, they leave you alone. And they seem to be in this location only and maybe in the lobby but as I said they are not as noticeable as people on this site lead you to believe. I really did love this resort and was curious about the time sharing, so one day I turned the tables on them, hounded the salesmen down to give me a quick overview of their marketing scheme (I am a business man, so I thoroughly enjoy this kind of stuff). In short, the fist guy I talked to was from New Jersey and was working there as a salesman. I don’t think he was expecting someone like me. I told him straight out, before all the fluff, I need to see a contract and if there is a possibility that I like their program, my lawyer needs to review all the contracts. He stopped the presentation and told me that he cannot give me contracts for the lawyer to review…and I said ADIOS. He was very rude. On my way out of their marketing office (nice set-up, looks like a North American marketing center) a manager approached me and apologized for the salesperson. He finally did give me a breakdown and when all was said and done, they wanted a minimum of $32000 for 50 years and a maintenance fee of $700-$900 /year. When he worked it out we would have saved $700 on our trip. No thanks, I can think of better ways to invest my money and I can save $700 by booking this hotel more creatively next time. No offence to the people that bought into the program…the Melia is a great chain with amazing resorts all over the world. Service & People: The staff all seemed to be quite friendly and helpful. You can always find one or two people that are not perfect, but with this many staff it is bound to happen. We left a tip for the morning cleaning lady and the evening cleaning lady. Always had everything prefect and fridge full of beer to boot. Take a hundred or so $1 US bills for tipping. You should always leave a tip after meals and sporadically when getting drinks. They do appreciate it but the service does not decrease if you don’t tip. Apparently their average wage is $130 – $150 US per month and as I mentioned before a large bottle of beer costs $3 … so it’s not the easiest country to survive in. The resort is one of the best I have seen for a long time and I will be returning at the end of this month. There is something for everyone at this resort. If you can, book Royal Service, it’s worth it for the Gabi restaurant and pool alone.
Restaurants and Bars
Again, I cannot understand some of the negative reviews on this site re: the food. These people must be chronic complainers or are use to some kind of unrealistic standards. The food is awesome. I am not going to breakdown the restaurants because we ate mostly at the Gabi breakfast and dinner. We went to the Japanese and Capri (seafood) and they were fine. But the Gabi has it all, great beef, chicken and seafood, on the buffet or you can order off the menu. My kids are 5 and 10. They loved the deserts, pasta and seafood at the Gabi. My last night I ordered 5 lobster tails, 3 grilled and 2 fried. As you will see, this restaurant is all open air under a thatched palm roof with incense going in the back ground and a glow of candles and candle like lighting everywhere. On my way to the beach one day I got a ride by the Food Services Manager and he gave me a bit of a run down on the food coming into the resort. All of the food comes in frozen (for safety reasons). They do not spare anything for quality and order Black Angus beef from Argentina. And if you don’t know, this beef is hormone free as there is a ban on using hormones in Argentina. Unlike poison US and Canadian beef that is so full of who knows how many hormones and has lost its true natural taste, this beef melts in your mouth … even the regular cuts. Oh yeah. Someone posted earlier that there is nowhere to get food after 11pm. Yes there is. It’s called the Dominican Restaurant (off the front Caribe side lobby) opened from 11pm to 6am. They’ll grill you up a small, cheap looking steak (at 2 am if you wish) that will melt in your mouth! + there are a lot of other items on the buffet. We also had lunch beach side buffets (there are 2) + Dinner at the Market Place buffet on the Tropical side. All was very good.
Room Block
49
Room Number
4923
Rooms
Room: We were located in Villa #49 on the 2nd floor directly across from the Gabi pool and restaurant (recommend any of the villas across from the pool highly). We could see the Gabi bar at night light up in blue and when the kids fell asleep we could even go for a drink at the bar, if there was a problem all my 10 year old would need to do is call us from the balcony. The room was beautiful 1 bedroom suite with two entrances to the balcony, 2 separate living areas – 1) kitchen/living room – 2)Bedroom with King size bed, large flat screen, 2 person Jacuzzi + double sink + separate washroom with shower and double sink. We have 2 kids as I mentioned above. They slept on the pullout couch in the living room. The whole place is marble. You have a full size fridge that is stocked with pop, water and beer + a bottle of rum on the counter. There is room service included from 8 am to 11 pm. If you like to get pampered get this room.
Don’t believe everything you read, this place is wonderful
Hotel Coral Costa Caribe
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Caitlyn >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Dec, 2009 | Leisure | Family
I have been to Coral Costa Caribe 3 times now. I have nothing bad to say at all about this resort, the people are wonderful, the food is wonderful, the resort itself is wonderful. I never had a bad experience in my combined 21 days there, which I think is saying a lot. All three times I’ve traveled with my family who are part of the Vacation Club. I couldn’t say enough about the company. They’ve been perfect. We’ve gone to other resorts, but I have to say, Costa Caribe is the best place to be a Vacation Club member.

Also remember, if you want everything to be perfect, you should have stayed home and done it yourself.

We had a great time.
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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Sherry from Edmonton,Ab >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Nov, 2009
Arrival: Nov.21-28,2009 Flew Air Canada from Edmonton-Toronto-Punta Cana and the flight was good, connection was tight on the Edmonton-Toronto connection due to snow in Edmonton on departure, but everyones’baggage made it through.The complaint we had was that on arrival in Toronto on our return trip we were supposed to have checked baggage right through. However we arrived at 1 am and the carousel did not open until 4 am so we were stuck withh our baggage at this ungodly hour and then had to proceed through normal check in again. Service was slow here with only 2 reps working for a while.Seats on our plane were better than a charter and flights were on time. Punta Cana airport was great, no problems here. In fact it was better service than at Toronto and Toronto had less people when we were checking in.

Rooms:

I was nervous here because of the mixed reviews and this also makes me feel like I should write a review. They were fine. I really liked the set up of the bungalow suites. We were in the platinum section, but some of the group was in the regular section and they were just as close to the beach. Also the regular rooms had a bit more of an updated look because they had more modern sinks, a jacuzzi, and new shower whereas our rooms had a regular tub,shower and sink and they were also bigger. Did not have the newest flat screen TVs, but it was fine. my sister in law had problems with hers. We also had a kitchen table, chairs and small couch as shown in the hotel pictures. The rooms look much like the pictures. There is remodelling going on, but it is screened off and they could not be heard.If you expect a new posh North American style hotel you might be disappointed, but we were very happy with the room. There are also very clean and we had extra bottles of hard liquor in our!

s, as well as water,beer and pop. The bathroom had the usual hair dryer and soaps and shampoo,etc.If there was a problem they would come to fix it right away and guest services in the lobby were very helpful. Also the staff in the platinum lounge were great.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was good and there is lots to choose from. Most people in our group liked the main buffet, which had different theme nights. You had to really look around to see what you wanted to eat, but there was an American station and an Italian as well. It also seems to have a large selection for Europeans especially for breakfastThere were also some yummy specialties such as fresh doughnuts, cinnamon buns iced with what you wanted , crepes, and one night specially decorated little sponge cakes.. Our wedding supper was in El Gaucho, the steakhouse, and it was excellent.TBone steak was cut thin,I but it was tender and very tasty. The guests could also choose a mixed skewer which I believe was good as well.We had an excellent caesar salad, a Pumpkin soup(ok), corn and baked potato, and chose a chocolate mousse for dessert. The wedding cake was absolutely delicious. It was a white cake filled with a bit of fruit and a very creamy but not sweet icing. We were seated separately! and were by ourselves for the first part of the evening so we were able to have our wedding speeches. The waiters were good as well.Some of our group ate at the Japanese,Tanuki, and they said it was very good. We also ate at Chopin, the international buffet and had a good supper there as well The setting is really quite nice in here for a buffet. A couple tried the seafood and Italian which they said was good. My nephew got sick one night after this and so did I, but it was just the night so not sure what it was.Although we could book a la cartes quite easily with the platinum lounge it was impossible to get our whole group in. It would be easier with a couple. Without platinum you had to get up and stand in line. Occasionally the beer wasn’t cold enough or they woulld run out of bottles/imports, but no problem.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

I love their beach and grounds,extremely beautiful. Pool was good as well, but did not spend much time here. Our beach was very busy compared to some resorts and a couple of days chairs were hard to come by. The weather was hot and quite humid, but we loved it, a bit too humid for some. Might be nice to see more fans in the lobby.The trams were great to get from one end of the resort to the other. If I missed one I would walk though, maybe a 10 min walk from the beach to the lobby.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

My tours were messed up but my husband went deep sea fishing with Mike Fisher and he showed up on time, although we weren’t, my fault, but did not catch much-that’s fishing. Booked online from home and Mike was very good. Golf was good but pricy. Some went on the dolphin swim and loved it. We also went with the hotel local snorkeling bunch from the beach and had lots of fine. I really wish I would not have missed Punta Cana Mike’s tour,

Other Comments:

The wedding coordinator,Francelia, was easy to talk to,very organized and set everything up. It went off without a hitch and was everything we wanted. They have a lovely little gazebo just off the beach. Pastor York performed the ceremony and it was lovely.He seems to be a wonderful man. We had 2 guests come in from off the resort that we had to pay for, but there was no problem.I might have to edit this but I can’t keep my eyes open. We had a great time.

Our wedding day could not have been more perfect.
Hotel Caribe Club Princess
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Cat from Barrie, ON >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Sep, 2009
Arrival: May 8-16/2009 Upon our arrival at the hotel we were eagerly met at the reception. Because I was already in the Domincan to meet up with the boyfriend we had not reserved the hotel yet. We had booked the wedding package online 3 months earlier, so the reception was expecting my relatives who were flying in the next day from Canada. The people at reception worked with us to get us the ‘Penthouse’ honeymoon suite and they made all the room reservations for my husband-to-be’s dominican family that would be coming for three days. We had no problems getting everything all set up. We were also told when we would be meeting with the wedding coordinator the next day.

Rooms:

We were very happy with our two floor honeymoon suite. Granted we were in the older building but the room was still immaculate.We had a huge canopy bed, sunken lounge/TV area and the second floor had another lounge area with a hot tub. We overlooked the pool and the ocean. What a great view! We had balconies on both floors. There were fruit baskets and bottles of rum delivered daily. My family and my husbands family’s rooms were across the pool from us in the newer building. The locks were broken on the sliding doors in two of the rooms, but as the rooms were on the second floor no one was to worried. Though my father did mention that their room faced another resort and below their balcony was a cart path for the motorized carts that delivered food and drinks to the beach bars and he could here these carts running all night along with the staff standing not too far away drinking and smoking while on their breaks at the beach bar. Though all around we didn’t really have much to complain about. Everything was very clean!

Restaurants and Bars:

This resort is not as big as others, so there are not as many a la cart restaurants and the buffet gets old really quickly. We definitely liked the chinese restaurant (which served sushi!) and the portuguese grill. The crepe cafe is NOT good. The bars served the typical domestic drinks and most of us drank their version of champagne for most of the trip. Their champagne is very light tasting and we managed to get pink champagne a few times as well.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

Beach was GORGEOUS! I love Punta Cana for this very reason and we all loved the beach. Lots of beach chairs, lots of space (read-no crowding,) not too many vendors and sun sun sun. The beach is soft white clean sand and the water is turquoise. We spent a lot of time playing in the pool while my husband’s family was there, we even taught my new nephew how to swim. The water wasn’t the cleanest in the pool, but oh well.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on one of the go-cart tours. I would not recommend these tours as we didn’t really think we got our money’s worth and these so-called go-carts weren’t what I would call safe. We drove on a lot of the main roads and with the way the locals drive around, it can be really scary, especially as there are not traffic laws and no ‘left’ and ‘right’ sides of the road, just you and other drivers trying to pass everyone. We did get to see Macao beach which is a beautiful undeveloped beach. It was too bad they only take you there to try and hawk you cheap jewelry and you don’t really get to enjoy the beach. It would have been more fun driving around the beaches.
My dad and husband went deep sea fishing but it was really rough and everyone got sea-sick. My husband said ‘first and last time for that!"
Other Comments
Our whole purpose for this trip was to get married and our wedding day could not have been more perfect. Francelia is the wedding coordinator for all the princess resorts and she is FANTASTIC! She took care of absolutely everything. We met with her once and she went over how the ceremony would come together. She went over the package we picked, flower we wanted (i told her to pick them for me) where we wanted the reception, ceremony on the beach, etc. We didn’t have to do anything!
The day of the wedding my friend and I went to the salon to get my hair done. The stylist did a great job. I headed back to my room to get ready. My mom and sister and friend came up and we all got ready together. My bouquet arrived and then the photographer came up about 20 minutes before the 2pm ceremony and got some great pictures in room. Then at 2pm, fashionably late we all went downstairs to the waiting golf cart to take us to the beach. They had decorated the golf cart with tropical flowers. They droves us around the pool to the edge of the beach. Francelia met me there with a bunch of tissues as we pulled up, as I welled up, just before I walked down the aisle with my dad. They set up chairs on the beach and made a trellis out of palm leaves, where my fiancee was waiting with the ocean in the background and the sun shining down on us. The ceremony was quick (10 minutes) in spanish for my husband’s family and in english for mine. We had no official wedding party as our wedding was small. I did not realize at the time, but during the ceremony a large crowd had gathered to watch our wedding take place. When I look back now at the pictures taken it seems that everyone staying at the resort was standing there in their bathing suits watching us. The wedding photographers and hotel security did a great job to make they kept everyone out of the wedding photos. After the ceremony we had champagne toast and we took some pictures with the cake, (how that cake did not melt in the Dominican sun is beyond me!) then we walked down the beach and took some more pictures. My sister ran back to the beach bar and got the photographer a bunch of beers so he took way more pictures than we was supposed to. We even got some pictures taken around the pool and in the gardens. The reception was held at the portuguese grill restaurant. They walk around with huge skewers of meat and slice it off the skewer onto your plate. Because there was only 17 of us, we didn’t have a private party, but dinner was excellent though we were kicked out of the restaurant at 8:30 after we had cake because there had another dinner seating. My husband was very annoyed by this and we ended getting more rum to our room and reservations at the a la carte for the rest of the week and some free massages. I was actually happy to take my wedding dress off after that dinner, we were all stuffed! All in all a great day! The wedding pictures were fantastic when we got them back. Any people that had somehow snuck into the pics were magically airbrushed out and we got the Photo Shop photo album as a wedding gift from my dad and it’s one of the best wedding albums I have ever seen. When most people see it, they can’t believe how well it turned out. All in all, GREAT vacation and magical wedding. Definitely the way to go if you don’t want to plan a wedding! Thanks for reading:)
First Naturalist Experience
Hotel Caliente Caribe Resort & Spa
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Bill >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Sep, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
This was my first trip to a naturalist/nudists resort and of course I was nervous. The place is gorgeous and looked like a great regular resort. In fact the only difference was (the naked guests of course) the high quality facilities but a less than expected number of guests. The grounds are divided into two elevations. You enter on the top of a bluff, the main dinning room, gym and cheaper rooms (in two towers) are here. Below are detached "Villas," and open air bar/snack bar, pool, massage table, beach, etc. To get from one to the other there are stairs or a long ramp.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The staff is very friendly and they take no notice of naked guests. They have two activities people who provide continual entertainment. The wait staff is attentive as is the administration.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds are extensive and quite nice. There are tennis courts, two pools, two hot tubs (one covered), a massage hut by the ocean. A tiny beach with lots of beach toys, kyaks, etc.
In the administration building you will also find a gift shop, business/computer office, excursions information and reservations and an equipped gym.
Other Comments
As I was traveling alone and as this was my first time at a nudist resort I was afraid I would be too nervous to interact with any one. So I contacted an agency in Cabarette and they provided me with an English speaking companion who could translate Dominica/Spanish for me and make sure I wasn’t sitting alone. This worked out great. I had made the reservation for two people and no one ever asked or said anything about the middle aged Gringo with the younger Dominican. (This is legal in the DR.)
Restaurants and Bars
I personally loved the snack bar on the lower level next to the beach and the activities (volley ball, etc) pool. But there is a swim up pool side bar on the bluff that is very nice too.
Rooms
We got the cheap rooms in one of the towers (much of the staff stays in the other tower). The room was very nice with a patio and view of the ocean and grounds.
The best part was our Wedding Day
Hotel Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana (Moon Palace Before)
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Svetlana from Philadelphia >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Jun, 2009
Arrival: May 29th Resort is huge, the property is very large although still in the works but absolutely beautiful.We were greated with a cold glass of champagne(very nice) and a flower for the ladies.

Rooms:

All the rooms are brand new and gorgeous. The beds are extremely comfy! The shower is fantastic, huge 2 person/2 shower heads(excellent)Jacuzzi tub in ground in the room. Flat screen tv, the room was very clean and cozy!

Restaurants and Bars:

The restaurants and bars are good, some better than others,but over all very good. Asian restaurant is delicious!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

So many pools and all are very nice. The beach is beautiful(water is a little rough but still fun) and the waiters keep coming around with drinks made to your order. The grounds are extravagant although it’s very easy to get lost on your first day, buildings all look alike, and there are so many of them(should have building numbers posted on them).

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

Zip line is awesome, horse back riding not bad(but the horses seem very thin).

Other Comments:

Over all a very nice resort, still needs at least a year until completely finished. Once it’s done will be one of the best in Punta Cana! The best part was our Wedding Day-May 30th, 2009!!! We had a beach ceremony which was gorgeous! Our photographer Arnaud did an amazing job!!! The pictures were breathtaking.To those who are getting married in Punta Cana I definitely recommend "Huellas del Caribe" photography service was outstanding! Arnaud was so easy to work with( very charming and funny)! Our wedding was Saturday, he met with us Monday to show our pictures and select the ones we want and had our photo album shipped to us in two weeks! Our video was also ready by Monday(video was beautiful).Thanks again Arnaud! You’ve captured our wedding day in breath taking photos that will last a life time!!! Amazing job. Our wedding planner Nancy and her assistant Maria were the BEST!!! They went above and beyond.We had a two hour private reception by a secluded gorgeous pool with it’s own open bar/delicious buffet and gorgeous palm trees all around with a cute lounge with sand under your feet and hammocks all around.The staff was so great and accomodating, they saw how much fun we were having, they even extended our reception to 4.5 hours free of charge! After we took the party to the lobby bar! The bartenders were great, the drinks were coming non stop for all! Had so much fun on our wedding day! Thanks again to Nancy, Maria,Arnaud and his video partner!!!

Best wedding ever!

My Wedding at Bavaro Princess
Hotel Bavaro Princess
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Marc from Gatineau, QC >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jun, 2009
Hello everyone! Let me explain how things went at this Hotel! First off, we were there from April 18 to May 2. We went to get married on April 23! We were booked for the Caribe Club Princess until 2 days prior to leaving… We get a call from our travel agent and Princess Hotels had overbooked the Caribe Club Princess and were sending us to the Bavaro Princess. An upgrade but that came with some stress as we had people book the vacation online and through other agencies. Princess Hotels took care of everything! Except our maid of honor, for some reason, she wasn’t transferred but that was taken care of right there! Top notch from Princess Hotels and our Travel Agency. We were a group of 18 in total! We flew Air Canada business class. From now on, I’m spending the extra cash for that! Everything went well, a slight delay on our way back but nothing drastic! Now the Hotel…

Check-in / Check Out:

Both went very well! Upon your arrival, mamajuana awaits you one after another! If you are getting married, they take you aside and give you a package and a nice Coco Loco! A girl will explain when you meet with your wedding coordinator and all that good stuff! No complaints here!

The Gounds:

The resort is HUGE. If you have disabilities, go somewhere else. The little train goes by every 5 to 10 minutes most of the times. You need to be fast to get room as it gets full quick. You can walk but like I said, it’s huge! Calculate a lot of walking depending on where your room is! Burns off the buffet food at least! Everything is well kept, flowers, trees, wildlife everywhere! They work very hard to keep it like that! Be nice to the workers and they will offer you a fresh fallen coconut to drink from! They pull out their machete and arrange one for you!

Rooms:

Rooms are very nice and clean! Musty smell is pretty much normal in all rooms that I have visited down south. We had room 888 which is a Honeymoon Suite. The only difference with other rooms is that we have a whirlpool tub and it’s pretty much opened compared to other rooms. The size is the same. Our shower was a stand up with glass. Safe was a combo safe as to other it was a key and required to ask for them at the reception at no cost. We had no bugs in our rooms… But others did! ;o) They do fumigate the rooms and the grounds to help control this. What can you expect; half the area is a mangrove! Back to the musty smell in the rooms, what can you expect? You are in a hot humid place, not much you can do about that.

Maids:
They work very hard and long hours. They sweep and mop the whole room including the balcony. They squeeze the mop by hand, they don’t have anything fancy to do that. They are very nice and always smiling. We left her $2USD daily and one day we left her $5USD. We always got fresh flowers and some kind of towel arrangements! Very nice to come in to! Our last day, we left her a ton of stuff like baby powder, deoderants, hair spray, a Frisbee etc. We did leave a note to tell her she can take what she wants and so the Hotel doesn’t say she stole it. Restaurants: No complaints there! The main buffet was very good and yes some foods are repetitive but there is enough there to have different stuff everyday! They have different themes every night! Breakfast is always good, go see Leonel at the American Station for your omelets! He’s a blast! I tipped him a few times as the service was impeccable!! Dinner at the buffet, go in the back and see Luis B. He will go out of your way to give you good service! We tipped him every day and he went out of his way for everything. He got us some stuff that was missing from the buffet! He’s also there in the morning for breakfast but shifts could change later on. We pretty much always went to the main buffet as the one near the beach wasn’t as good. We also booked the El Pescador, seafood restaurant! That was great! We had booked that on the same night that it was seafood night at the buffet. :o( We booked the Japanese restaurant, that was very good also! The sushi was fantastic and so was all the food they served us! For our wedding, we had booked the Italian Restaurant. We had to select a pre-defined menu for our guests. We had made a great selection! We chose 2 meats, beef and chicken and if they didn’t want that, they could have veggie pizza. Everyone was very happy and no complaints there also. Staff: Most people go out for their way to serve you. It’s hard to tip everyone and there are so many people there to help. Go see the same people over and over that way you can tip them! There is a blackjack table, this is for fun and the guy works for tips. Please be kind and tip him. I would tip him $1USD every time he would go through the whole deck of cards. Animation crew is good and the shows were fun to watch! Don’t expect Broadway shows though! I’m not going to give you more detail on this. I encourage everyone to go see for themselves! Guards are everywhere and do keep a close eye on our rooms. Take the time and say hi to them and offer them a drink from your fridge, they will appreciate it! Finally, I was told by our rep that most staff there work 12 days and are off 3 days. Some have to travel far to go see their families. Some are from Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo etc. They don’t get paid much because they are fed and lodged there also. Not many people tip them, if you get good service, please tip them, they will remember you afterwards!
The Beach:
Breathtaking! One of the nicest in the world! We had red flags on our second week due to jelly fish. They were really nice and colourful but there was only a few! But I also got the confirmation from a few staff that they spotted 2 sharks near by… hence, the reason why they used the jelly fish as an excuse not to freak everyone out. We went swimming anyways without issues. NOTE: The beach is not an ASHTRAY. Please people, when smoking snuff them out in a bottle of an empty cup and go put them in the garbage. There are enough garbage cans around for you. Cigarette butts everywhere on the beach including plastic bottle caps. People have no respect and litter. NOT COOL.

The Wedding:

Fabulous! Francelia our coordinator was great! The wedding was civil (not catholic) and took 5 minutes for the minister to say what she needed, 5 minutes to sign, 15 to eat the cake and drink champagne. The rest for pictures. We got married on Thursday April 23rd at 3:00PM and they already had people lined up for another wedding at 4:00PM! They have about 5 weddings a day there! It went very well and it was a dream come true! WOW! Well worth it!

Excursions:

We did the half day Quad (ATV) excursion! It was a blast! Bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty! The red soil creates a fine dust and stays on you for 2 days! J You do get wet also! They make you visit a small church in a village. The rep told us we didn’t stop, so we didn’t bring anything to give to the children and their mothers. Well to our big surprise, at that church, they expect you there and come see you. We felt really bad and advised our rep of this. So bring things like pencils, erasers, toothpaste, toothbrushes etc. No candy as that is basically useless for them. Trip was well worth it IMO.

Hotel Guest:

Our first week was great. People seemed to be friendly and it was cool. The second week wasn’t the same. I’m not going to mention nationalities in here but 2 really stuck out from everyone. Rude is a nice word to describe them. Loud, obnoxious and rude with guests and staff. The staff came to see us to vent because of these people. They think they own the world. Who would bring a portable sound system in the restaurant and blast their boring tunes over the Merengue/Bachata/Salsa already playing there? Moving lobby furniture to accommodate their group, taking all the room where people walk and didn’t put them back when they left. We got yelled at very rudely to move away because someone was taking a picture (40 feet away). They could have kindly asked us to move. Now they wonder why they are not the preferred guests when going to other countries. I was asked many times (in a very rude fashion) if they could have one of my cigars, I turned them down before they were done their sentence, if you can even call it a sentence (some were just grunts). As much as you tried to ignore them, it’s like they came out of their way to be that way and get noticed.

Conclusion:

Will I return to this hotel? Probably not as I like to try different places. Do I recommend it? Yes I do! Is it a 5 Star? Yes and No… Hard to rate IMO… Definitely a 4-1/2. Keep in mind that we are not at home. Yes there are mosquitoes so bring repellant but no big deal. There are sand mites on the beach also, some legs got bitten! Forget the bad reviews, those people complain for nothing. You are not in North America so deal with it! If you want N-A treatment, well stay home. Go, relax and enjoy the short time you have there!

The beach wedding was awesome.
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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Barb from Ontario >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2009
Arrival: March 27 – April 10 Greeted by nice young lady who gave us a "Majestic" drink, which was very good. We arrived at 1:00p.m. and the rooms were not ready. We were part of a bigger party that was coming for a wedding. We requested a room overlooking the pool and Janet was very accomodating. We were able to get into our room by 3. Unfortunately for the bride and groom, they were not able to get into their room until 5.

Rooms

Room was clean. We had no problem with the fact that the bathroom and the actual room set up. Shower was nice and big. Always clean towels and face cloths. Maid did a great job of keeping us in good supply and if by chance laundry was late, she always came in the evening and gave us the towels that we were missing. Fridge was well stocked and staff was very accomodating when we requested more water to be left. The balcony overlooked the pool which we really enjoyed.

Restaurants and Bars

Buffet had a huge selection. We figured out that it was necessary to tour the entire area before choosing what we wanted, to avoid overeating. There was fresh fish grilled every night, as well as fresh chicken or beef. Fresh pasta section was great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds

Loved the pool that ran the length of the hotel. Always a chair poolside or at the beach. Never had to search for a chair to sit in. Grounds were well manicured. Staff was on the beach daily to clean up debris that had washed up.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel

We spent our time relaxing and taking part in the celebration of the marriage of our son and daughter in law. Had a great time. The beach wedding was awesome.

Other Comments

We enjoyed our stay. To be honest, there were some small troubles encountered by different people in our party, but it was all correctable. We enjoyed our stay and would return for another visit.

The wedding was a huge success.
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Apr, 2009
My son Jay and my daughter-in-law Megan were married at Majestic Colonial, Punta Cana, on March 27, 2009. We had almost 50 guests in all so it was a large gathering. We were spread out through the entire hotel even though we had requested for the family rooms to be in the same general area. We arrived on Mon, 3/23. The weather that was very overcast and windy. We stayed at the pool and the water was very chilly considering the lack of sun. The next day it was more of the same weather, very windy on the beach but we still went. Each day the weather improved a little so by Friday, the day of the wedding, it was quite pleasant, warm and sunny with a bit of wind. Jay and Megan were married at 5:30 p.m. at the gazebo. It was very beautifully set up with a small table and a flower centerpiece, candles and chairs for everyone. Everything went off flawlessly including my grandson, Dylan, meandering down the very long aisle with his little ring bearer pillow in hand. After photos were taken, we proceeded to the upstairs bar for our cocktail hour. Megan and Jay joined us after a few more photos. We took a group photo on the huge staircase which joins the top and bottom floor of the lobby. I can’t wait to see that one! The reception was at the Presidential Suite in the building to the right of the lobby, oceanfront, on a rooftop. It was also set up very beautifully with a buffet dinner of lobster, beef, chicken and fish (that everyone raved about.) Two soups were served, pumpkin and vegetable, along with salads, fresh veggies, bread/rolls. The food was excellent. Megan had brought silver chargers (the large decorative plate placed under the dinner plate) along with navy blue cloth napkins and navy blue chair wraps with bows. She also placed a pair of flip-flops (hot pink for the ladies and navy for the men) on each chair. Although she also brought votive candles, it was too windy for the candles to burn. The men also got a Dominican cigar at their place setting.

The bar was well-appointed and we brought additional name-brands of liquor. The bartenders were very quick and were trying to please. They gave everyone whatever they wanted, shots, etc. They received lots of tips from everyone and went home very happy. The dancing was non-stop with Megan being the center of attention. Her dad called the wedding "Megan’s Ultimate Dance Party." I would have to agree. She did not sit down once and there were no slow songs. She planned out the music perfectly.

When it approached 11:00, the bartenders indicated that they had no problem extending the time. However, at 11:15 someone literally pulled the plug on the lights and very abruptly threw everyone out, quite rudely in my opinion. They said they were getting complaints about the music. Not to worry, everyone moved on to the new disco which was built when the Majestic Elegance was added. The party continued on there until ?????

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Majestic Colonial and the wedding was a huge success. Planning a destination wedding can be trying but I give Megan all the credit for being organized and having faith that everything would turn out all right. I would be happy to answer any questions, just email me.

THE BEST beach I have ever been on.
Hotel Melia Caribe Tropical
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Shawn from Nova Scotia >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2009
Arrival: March 27 to April 10 Took the evening flight from Halifax direct to Punta Cana on WestJet. What a great airline. Booked through Air Transit Vacations with Carson Wagonlit in the Halifax Shopping Centre. Jane is a great person to deal with. Very knowledgable and got us a great price. We arrived at the hotel at 10:00 pm local time. The check in was great quick and to our room in a matter of minutes. We travelled with 6 other persons and all were very satisfied with their rooms. Well save for the small event of my brothers toilet being located inside of the bathtub ………… small problem with the plumbing that was fixed in record time. The staff cannot be complimented enough. Thank you all.

Rooms

We moved three times after seeing our first room. The resort is older and in need of updating. The first two rooms were dirty and musty but the staff gladly moved us to another and were very satisfied at the end.

Restaurants and Bars

Nothing could be said that would describe the most fantastic food I have ever enjoyed in the Caribean. The main buffet was great and the restaurants were out of this world. Both the food and the staff were great. Getting reservations was hassle free except for one made for us by the Time Share guy, Dios. He tried hard but the reservation didn’t make it to the restaurant. The on site manager sat us anyway and we had a great meal and a great time.

Beach/Pools/Grounds

THE BEST beach I have ever been on. Not much of a pool person but the bar at the Caribe side was used extensively just before supper each nite. The bar staff in fact all the staff on this resort is second to none.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel

We went here for our honeymoon and spent much of our time with each other. We did do the parasailing thing, for someone afraid of heights it was the most peaceful experience of my life.

Other Comments

Thank you Jane, had a great time. Book us something/somewhere for next year your recommendation was great.

We were extremely pleased with our wedding day.
Hotel Melia Caribe Tropical
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Jennifer from Calgary >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2009
Arrival: March 21 – 28 We had chosen this resort for our wedding. We had 12 guests including us and we were all booked in the Royal Service suites. When we arrived, we discovered that our travel agent had booked everyone in Royal Service except for my husband and I. The resort did an excellent job at fixing this mistake and gave us a beautiful room in Royal Service. The staff upon our arrival were very friendly and helpful. We were immediately welcomed with snacks and beverages.

Rooms

The rooms were exceptionally clean and spacious with all necessary ammenities. The view from our room was beautiful and very private.

Restaurants and Bars

The food at the restaurants and snack bars was excellent. We were all extremely pleased with the food quality. The service was fantastic in every restaurant and bar we visited. Our food arrived quickly and our drinks were never empty. Also, the staff were extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome.

Beach/Pools/Grounds

The beach was outstanding. It was enormous and the sand was very soft and clean. There were lots of places to relax and several bars and restaurants on the beach. There were also various beach activities such as volleyball. The pools were clean and each one was very different from the next. There were several pools appropriate for younger children. The pools were each equipped with cabanas, which were an excellent way of keeping the kids out of the sun from time to time. The rest of the grounds were very well maintained and beautiful.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel

We went on a tour to the marinarium, which was a lot of fun. The boat played fun dance music and the staff on board were very upbeat and entertaining. This tour included snorkeling in the reef and with the sharks and rays. We also went to an area of the ocean where the water reaches your waste and enjoyed a floating bar, snacks, and lots of lively music.

Other Comments
We were extremely pleased with our wedding day. Our wedding coordinator (Laura) did a fantastic job of bringing everything together and making it run so smoothly. We were all very impressed and the gazebo where our ceremony took place was beautiful. After our ceremony there was a private cocktail party for the guests while my husband and I took a horse and carriage to the beach for photographs. Laura offered us many venues for our reception and it was very nice to have so much choice. We ended up selecting a plated dinner in the Mexican restaurant, which was delicious and the service was fantastic.

The resort offers someone to officiate the symbolic ceremony, however, we found our own officiant through our travel agent. I would highly recommend Rick York to any brides who are looking to get married in the Dominican Republic. He is a missionary from the United States working in the Dominican Republic. He speaks English and Spanish fluently. The ceremony that he performed was beautiful and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I couldn’t have been happier! I was a perfect day.

What a wonderful resort!!
Hotel NH Real Arena
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Leanna >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2009
Arrival: March 28 – April 4 We had 50 guests in our group, arriving from Canada and the U.S., to attend our daughter’s beachside wedding. The first 18 guests arrived at 06:50, the second 25 arrived at 10:25, and the remaining 7 came throughout the rest of the day. The transfer from the airport was well organized and we were all on site within the hour. Of course, rooms were not ready that early (and we didn’t expect them to be), but checkin went smoothly and everyone was poolside, with a drink in hand, in no time. We had asked for a courtesy room for a couple travelling with an infant, but the resort was unable to provide that at the last minute. Oh well.

Rooms

What a wonderful resort!! It’s not so big that you have to shuttle everywhere – everything is easily accessible. The rooms are spacious, clean and nicely decorated, and we all had rooms facing the beach and pool. The hotel upgraded the bride and groom to a beautiful beach front suite, and as the parents of the bride we had a lovely corner room with a gorgeous view. Request room 1374 and you won’t be disappointed.

Restaurants and Bars

The buffet is plentiful, well laid out and most appealing. We tried all the a la carte restaurants, and although all were delicious, our favorite was Cinq Terre (Italian).

Beach/Pools/Grounds

The beach is very large, with plenty of lounge chairs and palapas. Whatever time of day we went to either the pool or the beach, there was always chairs available in both the sun and shade. And, even better, they were all in good repair

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel

Most of our group signed up for some off site activity through the tour operator desk. Unfortunately, none of these excursions could be considered good value for the money. Deep sea fishing was supposed to provide a snack and unlimited beer, but they had to buy both. Dune buggy adventure was terrible – they were taken onto the highways, weren’t allowed to go fast or through puddles, and the machines broke down continuously. Every single person on that excursion (all 18 of them) complained.We booked the LaBarcaza Restaurant boat for an after party for 44 people and were very happy with their service. I’d highly recommend it to anyone – open bar, unlimited food, swimming, dancing, music. Huge fun.

Other Comments
The highlight of the week for us was the wedding of our daughter. The wedding coordinators(Mariana & Ana) did a marvellous job! The whole day went without a hitch and far surpassed my expectations. The hotel photographer is excellent and the pictures turned out beautifully. I found him a little expensive, but the wedding party said that his prices were on par with any professional. I had worked very closely with Mariana for a good 4 months prior to arrival, but I think that even without my requests and requirements she’d have put together a truly memorable day. Anyone with questions or in need of support on wedding issues just email me and I should be able to address them pretty easily.

All in all, I would highly recommend this resort to anyone. My husband and I have travelled extensively over the years, and have been pretty much everywhere. As far as a sun and sea holiday goes, you’d have to go pretty far to beat the EdenH. As a matter of fact, my husband and I own a travel agency in Canada and we wil be actively steering our clients to the Eden H. leannawaite52@hotmail.com

best vacation ever
Hotel VIK hotel Arena Blanca (LTI Beach Resort Punta Cana)
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tammy >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Apr, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
my husband and i stayed there for a second honeymoon. i am handicaped and they all just rolled out the red carpet for me rented me a wheelchair for 10 dolloars a day. i wanted another room so the manager there for no extra cost put us in a beautiful room right on the ocean in building 5 this is the best rooms and beautiful. in short they where the nicest people you can meet. now its april 2010 and we are booked to go back with six of my family. i think all of these bad reviews are from very hard to please people, i have been to sandles this is a six star and i will tell you we had just as good as a time and the entertainment was even better. i am a very fussy person and i couldnt ask for better.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
there is a fleamarket every thursday evening stay away from it. they just hound you to buy buy buy. they say "something is better than nothing ", they drive you nuts so beware of shopping anywhere.
Beach/Pools/Grounds
be aware that some vacationers come from different cultures and only a few will go topless. best beach i have ever seen.
Other Comments
what a beautiful experience and like i said i am comming back with my family a 93 year old and my 12 yr old my mother and farther and my husband, i cant wait to see all of them again at the vic blanca hotel i love it.
Restaurants and Bars
give a one dollor tip and they will do anything for you they appreciate it so much. make sure you book your ala carte soon as you check in.
Rooms
like i mentioned building 5 oceanfront rooms, this is beside the pool and infront of the beach and best rooms.
Your Arrival
book building 5 and bring proper clothing for the ala carte-no open toe sandles and no shorts of any kind for men they have to wear pants and women can wear skirts or anything aslong as it is not beach wear.
An incredibly frustrating experience.
Hotel Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus
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Lauren from Annapolis, MD >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Feb, 2009
I chose to do a destination wedding because I’m not a picky bride and wanted an intimate setting for my close friends and family (approx 50 people). I wanted a stress-free simple wedding and loved the idea of having someone taking care of my plans. My dad, who has stayed here a couple of times, highly recommended the resort to me. In July 2008, I contacted the resort through their website and confirmed a wedding date in January. I viewed the resort in September 2008. I met with ***** and he gave me a small tour. He gave me absolutely no insight into what my wedding would be like… I had to pry everything out of him. Ie) wedding time, marriage paperwork etc. I should have been concerned from the start, but just passed things off believing it was due to a slight language barrier or different culture. The wedding preview trip was an absolute waste of my time and money… I learned more on their website and bloggers. When I arrived back home, I confirmed with him that I would be having a beach wedding and beach reception. Over the next couple of months, I emailed him constantly, but received no replies. At one point, we had to call the corporate office to have someone force him respond to my emails relating to simple plans for my wedding. It was an incredibly frustrating experience. After I had my final guest list in December, I tried following up with him once again. When I received no response, my travel agent had to call the corporate office to get him to communicate with me. He finally responded saying everything was in order. (He didn’t even have my cake, flower, music, etc requests). On New Years, ***** sent me an email stating that he set my spa appointments and nonchalantly mentioned that I couldn’t have my beach party reception. He said it was my fault because I never confirmed it so they gave it to an incentive group.

Two weeks before my wedding, I find out the horrible news that he double booked my reception. I have emails from both him and me stating that I was to have the beach reception back in October. He tried to blame the whole situation on me. He later admitted that the wedding department didn’t talk to the incentive department and that’s how it happend. His only solution to me was that I could have my wedding Saturday and reception Sunday. Then I received no contact from him for a week! My travel agent and I emailed the corporate office, called the hotel, no one responded to us! My dream of having a stress-free wedding turned in to a nightmare. I had no idea what I was going to do. Iberostar knew I was powerless to do anything and didn’t care.

Fortunately, a friend of mine was married at Casa de Campo. She gave me her wedding coordinator’s info and I contacted her immediately. Luckily, they could make room for my wedding in Altos de Chavon and we started planning right away. When I sent ***** a letter canceling my wedding, he replied in less than 10 minutes! How pathetic. He never responded to anything I sent him over the past week when I was begging to know what would happen to my wedding. His response to my cancelation was that he was sorry, that he fixed the problem, and that I was still having my wedding there. I had to send numerous other emails to get him to understand the wedding wasn’t happening at IHD. I stayed 3 days at IHD before my wedding to spend time with our guests since it was too late for everyone to change their reservations to Casa de Campo. When I checked in, they were still under the impression I was getting married there. Then, everyone at the resort acted like nothing happened. No one called me to apologize etc. ***** did tell one of my guests to tell me that he scheduled a personal dinner for everyone the Friday before our wedding. He never contacted me personally to know that we had a Catamaran trip planned. Iberostar never compensated me for anything and never offered a formal apology. I had 42 guests staying there for my wedding who would of otherwise not stayed there. I cannot believe the resort did this to me on one of the most important days of my life so they could have an incentive event. In the end, ***** did me a favor. My wedding at Casa de Campo was incredible and everything I ever wanted. My coordinator, Betty, was extremely responsive and helped me plan a beautiful wedding in less than two weeks. Please feel free to contact me if you want. I don’t want to see this happen to another bride.

My critque of IHD:

Positives:

-Rooms were clean -Nice grounds, big pool

Negatives:

– Mixed drinks overly sweet and no top shelf liquor -Food is mediocre. Mexican restaurant is decent. -Beach is nice, but overcrowded. -No drink waiters on beach -Gym= gross/ not air conditioned

-Strict reservation policy and said they were full, but when visiting restaurant no one was there -No help with lost and found. A few of my guests had items "disappear" (ie cameras/cellphones) -Pushy photographers with animals -Disco smells like feet -Limited TV stations -Room keys constantly didn’t work -Odd outlets that weren’t quite European or American

The resort is gorgeous.
Hotel Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
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Tammy from Oakville, ON >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Feb, 2009
We have been back just over 3 weeks from the Majestic (would go back in a heartbeat) and were married Jan 27/09. We had a great time!!!! The resort is gorgeous. We were given one of the swim up rooms 3 up from the beach, had no complaints. I agree with others will absolutely NOT regret your decision to marry there!!! I had faith in my travel agent and she didn’t steer me wrong. This group was also a lifesaver as it answered little things that I hadn’t really thought of. The food at the buffet and the restaurants were very good. For the restaurants you don’t have to make any reservations, except for the Le Gourmet and the Tepanyaki cooking at the Japanese restaurant. The Tepanyaki cooking didn’t have much flare at all, but the food was pretty good. Room service was included as part of the wedding package but we didn’t use it. There was a bottle of champagne, cheese tray and fruit tray in our room when we arrived and a little cake arrived mid way through the week. There was even a banner on our door that said Honeymooners. My sister was celebrating their 1 year anniversary and they had a banner for that too. The beach was beautiful……..as far as the eye could see. We did go snorkeling on the beach and there were a few fish. Some of the group went on a snorkeling tour with the stingrays and sharks and enjoyed every moment. My now husband also did the Dune Buggy trip which he enjoyed but they do take you to a beach were there are locals trying to get you to buy things, if you go offer 30% of what they are asking. He did get some nice necklaces for me. When I checked in I was told to come back to the lobby the next day (Sunday) to arrange my meeting with Sandra, when I did I was told it was her day off, no problems though as I wasn’t getting married until Tuesday. My Mom and I met with her on Monday morning and she had a sheet of paper with all the things we had discussed via email on it. To note if you have agreed to prices or were told you qualified for the free wedding bring the emails with you in case they tell you otherwise then. I had brought my emails but didn’t need them, the only thing that was going to be an up charge was my bouquet The meeting took less than 20 minutes, during which time we discussed the, choice of salad for our meal, and music. honestly, it was SO easy!!!!

I gave her the CD with my music on it and she suggested we do the first dance in the gazebo after the ceremony which was perfect as I didn’t now when or where I was going to do it. The songs were all labeled on one CD. She then confirmed the time the flowers and photographer would show up at my room and the reception dinner. Sandra is very sweet and easy to work with. By the afternoon before the wedding the charges were on my room and paid for, no surprises.

The wedding day…….although it started out raining was absolutely perfect. By 2pm everything was dry and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Nobody should have any worries about getting married here. I had originally wanted white lilies and purple orchids as my bouquet but at 1pm the day of the wedding Sandra called to say the florist didn’t want to use them as they weren’t very nice looking, so they changed it up some. I thought it was very nice that they called first. What I got was absolutely gorgeous, because of the heat by the end of the night they were starting to wilt but lasted till then.. Our wedding was at the gazebo at 2pm. They decorate it beautifully, which rose petals all down the isle and beautiful flowers and music playing. It was very intimate so everyone could see and hear perfectly As the gazebo is off the beaten path there were no sunbathers in our photos, a few people stopped to watch when they passed but we didn’t really notice them. I had supplied fans/bubbles and jelly beans for my guests. Even the staff that was playing the music got into it. After the ceremony we had our champagne toast, they even had a fruity drink for the kids in champagne glasses. Then the first dances, it was the perfect location to have them. We had gone with the resort photographer, KIKO, highly recommend him, he had a few spots and poses already picked out but was open to any photos that we wanted taken, as it was very sunny he was very good at capturing me without my eyes closed. The photos were ready to be viewed the next morning at 11am, I purchased the silver package which came with 100 photos and could have purchased the rest on CD but didn’t as many of my group had cameras as well. I wasn’t pressured into buying more just given the option which I though was really nice. They were ready Thursday (wedding was Tuesday) at 11am, I got 2 sets of 100 photos (6*8), 10 photos (10*12I think), one CD of the negatives and a DVD of the photos to music. The package didn’t say the photographer would be at the reception but he was and took the cake shots and a photo of each of couples with us, very nice to have. We had our supper at the Steak House and the food was great. I had gone with the Chateaubriand based on reviews from facebook and was not disappointed. We had one long table in the corner that was perfect, I didn’t even notice anyone else dining, speeches were okay as well. The cake was awesome!!! We got the chocolate cake with the banana filling as the bottom layer and white cake with the strawberry filling as the top layer. They make THE best chocolate cake!!!

All in all, the day was one I’ll never forget. It was prefect and I wouldn’t change a thing. We had a small group, but everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed the resort.

Great wedding holiday for all of us.
Hotel NH Real Arena
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Sandra from Toronto >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Feb, 2009
Arrival: Jan 10-17 We were a large group from Ottawa and Toronto and arrival was very efficient and the staff were helpful and cheerful. They managed to get us all rooms quite close to each other.

Rooms:

Rooms were spacious, clean and beds were comfortable. The bathrooms are large and lots of hot water for showers

Restaurants and Bars:

All the restaurants are in close proximity to the lobby. The Asian and the Romantic French restaurants were exceptional. I was told the Italian was also very good but the night that we were booked there, we waited one and a half hours and still didn’t get our dinner. We left and went to the buffet, which was wonderful and very friendly. The buffets for lunch/breakfast are great. We also had dinner there a couple of times and found plenty of choices and helpful service.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

The beach is the best ever! The pools are also very good and all close to the beach which makes it easy to go back and forth. Lots of lounge chairs and shade under palapas and umbrellas. The grounds are lovely and well tended. The staff is friendly and always smiling.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

We did not go on tours as we were there for a wedding. The wedding celebrations were great and the wedding planners, wedding dinner, etc. were perfect. Lots of things to do in the vicinity for those who wanted, but we like to relax in the sun and enjoy the beautifuly weather.

Other Comments: Mike Bryant, who works at the resort but hails from Belleville, Ontario was a wonderful help to us all and a super resource for any questions people might have about this resort and Punta Cana in general.

The resort is new, very easy to get around and clean. My only downside to this hotel, is that all buildings are closed in. No open restaurants or bars, except the pool bar (which has great servers, who are lots of fun). It would be nice to have some windows that open so guests could feel the wonderful breezes of the tropics. Great wedding holiday for all of us.

The Outback Jungle Safari is the best.
Hotel Blau Natura Park Eco-Resort
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Jason & Cindy from Airdrie >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Jan, 2009
Arrival: Jan/5/09 – Jan/12/09 The arrival was a gong show at the resort. the did not have our reservations from signature. Was supposed to get a ocienview suit for or honeymoon, but end up with a room with 2 single beds. (ya not cool for a honeymoon) Our rep was useless, as a few people said , they were more interested in selling you tours instead of helping you with your problems.

Rooms:

Room was very clean, a/c worked great, fridge kinda sucked and we only had 2 single beds.

Restaurants and Bars:

Really didn’t care for the food that much, but whatever ! not a big deal.. bars are a little understaffed but they try there hardest.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

THE POOL is kinda small but the grounds and beach make up for it. It is beutiful!!!!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

EVERYTHING WAS AWSOME the Outback Jungle Safari Outback Jungle Safari is the best.. PLEASE DONT TAKE ANY OTHER TOUR GUID OTHER THAN THE OUTBACK SAFARI. there colours are orange and black. They are awesome, I am not big on history to much, but it was incredible to learn about the country from "jose" This tour outfit treated us very well and we had so much fun and CHEAPY CHEAPY ! Debbies d/r has the logo on there page. We also went on the party boat to go swim with sharks and sting rays (dont worry sharks have no teeth and rays have no stingers. This was also a great time. They even had a clown for babysitting on board.. We also did the dune buggies and atv’s also an awesome time and everything was…CHEAPY CHEAPY.. There is a guy in the resort that sells tours down near the towel shack, his name is edwardo, ask for him , he is a great guy, and cheaper than the tour operators like signature or sunwing..

Other Comments:

All IN all the first day wasn’t good about the check in. However we had a fantastic time everywhere there. all the hotel staff were great and all the locals. We had such a good time we booked another one there feb/23/09 32 MORE SLLEPS ! WOO HOO.. WARNING!!!!!! WE LIKE GOING TO THE CASINO 2 DOORS DOWN AT THE GRAND OASIS. THEY GIVE YOU 1 $25 DOLLAR CHIPS WHEN U WALK AND ESCORT U TO A TABLE CALLED CARRIBEAN ROULETTE OR SOMTHING LIKE THAT, ANYWAY YOU HAVE TO ADD UP POINTS AND THEY MAKE IT LOOK SWEET… WELL ITS NOT, MY WIFE AND I DUMPED $600.00 IN 40 MINUTES.. STAY AWAY…..

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