We chose the Dominican Republic for our first out of country trip and with having a few friend go to this resort we thought it would be a good choose. We were very happy with the first look of the resort and after checking in we were very happy with the staff. I thought the wait staff and lobby staff were fantastic. They were always smiling and never seemed to expect a tip. We both tried to speak what little spanish we picked up and everyone seemed to like that, they always replied with "mucha gusto" even though we spoke horrible spanish. Most of the staff would be singing and/or dancing while doing their work and always seemed happy to help if they could. The Michael Jackson show and the Grammy show at the theatre were excellent. The other show we saw was not for us. We didn’t have time to check out any other shows since we planned too much and something had to give. Trams ran all the time and I don’t think we waited more then a few mins between runs. The walk from end to end was nothing too bad if you didn’t want to wait. The hardest part of the week was getting change for tips but this wasn’t too bad.
Check out was easy and our tour opperator was great all the way to the security check point.
Arrival: Arrival was a little confusing but once we found our shuttle everything was good. When we got to the resort we were greeted with refreshing drinks and check in was fast. One thing you may want to watch is after getting to the room we hit the buffet and then the lobby bar. The rum and Coke I was given was strong, 151 was used. Not a big deal but after the early flight and having very little sleep the rum hit me hard. 😉 Front desk staff are hit and miss with good english but I found them all happy to help if you showed a little effort with some basic spanish. Believe me I am horrible with spanish but even then they were so happy I just tried.
Rooms: Our room was great. We found it large and roomy and after reading a lot about the rooms smelling I was happy to find ours was not bad at all. Our room was cleaned every day with towels made into swans, a rabbit and a cat. The A/C was a little loud and we had to leave the card in the pannel after about 4pm or it was too warm in the room till well after we turned in.
We talked with our maid and never did we go without a "Buenos Dias" in the morning. We did take little gifts down as well as a dayly tip, and she earned it. I could not have been happier with any of the staff working around our villa.
Restaurants and Bars: Main Bar was great but very busy at most times. Lobby wait staff were great and always watching to see if you needed a top up. We tipped on every third time served, $1 us, and we had no problems. The wait staff were all so happy and smiling everytime we saw them. There was never any pressure or feeling of needing to tip ether. Buffet was very good and I have nothing bad to say at all. Japanese restaurant was excellent. Mexican restaurant was very good.
Steak house food was ok but the service was horrible.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach was excellent even though the weather was windy and the waves were high. I was surprised with how little seaweed was on the beach and how the staff were cleaning up the beach all day long. Pools were always clean and the staff awesome.
Grounds were excellent and the gounds staff were happy to talk with us. The gounds staff don’t speak much english but like everyone else were happy to try. As a landscaper I was surprised at how clean everything was and how there was very little noise when work was being done.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: First day we walked down to the market on the beach. We had a lot of fun looking around and bartering for some souvenirs. I would not suggest going down to this market if you can’t say no or don’t want mass people trying to sell you anything and everything. Secound day we went on the Mega truck tour. This is a must if you want to see any of the Dominican. There are many tours like this so just check around and book the best looking one. Third day was a little shopping day and after going I wish we had saved the time since we could have found everything for the same price as on the resort.
Forth day was Saona island and if you have never been on this it is a must do.
I would recommend this resort to anyone and we are thinking about going back next year. Like many places if you look hard enough you will find things wrong but then again, you get out what you put into things.
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