Grand Oasis Punta Cana Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel Resort Reviews – Grand Oasis Punta Cana

  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Bea ~ Cambridge Ontario

November 30 2009

Arrival: Nov. 22/09
Arrived Via Air Transat which was booked with Nolitours.  The flight was great and service wonderful.

Rooms:
This resort is classed as a 4 1/2 to a 5 star resort but, I would be kind if I rated it a 3 star.  The rooms were terrible, mold and musty smelling.  The safe didn’t work and it took 3 days to address this issue alone.  It also took 3 days to get towels to have a shower, it’s a good thing I brought my own.  The tub wouldn’t drain and you ended up standing in water as you showered.  The toilet was a tight squeeze to close the door for privacy and if you were tall your knees would be cramped up gainst it when closed.  I am 5’9

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffets had pretty much the same food day in and out, it was never hot but the variety was good enough to find something for everyone.  The staff always made you feel welcomed and worked very hard.  They are such wonderful people.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The whole grounds around all of the pools were in repair daily.  The walkway tiles were uneven and easy to fall on and at night the lighting was very bad and it became a dangerous situation.  The beach and pools were clean and the workers cleaned the seaweed from the beach every morning.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I have been to the DR 7 times and I didn’t bother with tours this time as I have done most of them.  They didn’t have much entertainment during the day and at night it was hit and miss.

Other Comments:
I am not at all fussy and respect the hard working and kindness of the people in the DR but of all the times I have been to the DR (7) I can honestly say this is the worst resort I have stayed at.  The pictures and info on the websites are very misleading and are not at all like they advertise.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Danielle ~ Oshawa ON

October 2009

Arrival: Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, 2009
We were with Nolitours, Cameleon section. Building 9-10 and 11. Buildings are 3 years old and furnished with very modern furnishings. Looked great. Our 1st room was 10313. The view was facing the side wall of building 9. Our second room was 9109 with a much better view of the pool and Aqua restaurant. We did not see any of the Oasis Punta Cana rooms but spoke to a couple from Woodbridge who requested a transfer from Cameleon section to Punta Cana section due the proximity of the activities and the main poll section. The Cameleon Section is more of a "secluded/quiet" area, which we really liked. We did not mind the walks for the A La Carte. The beach is a very short walk from Cameleon section.

We send 3 emails to the resort prior to departure to ask for a king size bed instead of 2 doubles and never got a reply from the actual resort. I had finally emailed the HO and they replied that I needed to persue this with the resort directly and provide an email address, but never got a reply. Upon arrival, we asked for the king size bed and were accommodated, exepct for the wall view. We did speak to the room manager but were advised tospeak to the roommanager the next morning.Went back the next day to request another room due to the view of the wall. Our Nolitour Rep., Andre, spoke to them and they accommodated a better room. In fact, ground level with a view of the Cameleon section private pool. Beautifull. They offered an upgrade to Building 7. It’s a suite with a $50.00/each per night with Ocean View, outdoor jaccuzzi etc. We declined. We were then offered the room in building 9 with pool view and it was perfect.

The bed sheets did not fit the size of the bed so you woke up 2-3- times a night sleeping directly on the mattress…yuk

Nolitour claims that you have in-room beach towels but you don’t. You have to play the towel card game. We were given a 10oz. Rum Bottle upon check-in right at the check-in counter. Did not receive the bottle of water and light snack upon arrival but it was no big deal.

We had to ask to facecloths on day 2 and the maid gave them to us every day thereafter. You get 2 bath towels and 1 hand towel daily. We tipped her 50 pesos everyday and tipped the water person the same. We also left a note everyday to get an additional 2 bottles of water, as you are allowed only 2 bottles per day and must pay for the additional bottles from the fridge. You are also allowed 2 Bohemia beers and 2 pop. I was warned to be careful as they would try and charge you extra $$$ for stuff out of the bar fridge even if you did not take any and they in fact did try to charge us. We forgot to take an inventory of the stuff in the fridge when we arrived. However, I very firmly informed the check-out person, who happened to be the room manager for that section that we did NOT take anything other than 1 pop and they waved the $$$.He tehn waved the 290 pesos extra and only charge for the safe.

The initial room that we were into had a broken parts on the safe’s door. We did not feel comfortable at all using it. It appeared that someone previously try to break into it.

Washroom is much smaller that others I have seen. You cannot have 2 people side by side getting ready. Shower is combined with Jacuzzi tub. Lots of hot water, in fact burning hot water. After you set the desired water temp, it then varies from hot hot to lukewarm every 30 seconds or so.

AC worked beautifully for us. But we ran into a couple whom in 5 days had been in 5 rooms due to no AC. Remember that day time temp right now are 40 to 45 degrees. The last room they were in was the room directly above us and no AC. They were informed that the entire building had no AC and they were working on getting it fixed. He as furious. We also heard others complaining of the same.

We attempted to make a few local calls from our room but never once got anyone to answer the phone at reception/guess services. Similarly for room service, the phone never get answered. All of this during daytime hours. We had to walk over to the Oasis Punta Cana reception to make calls as the service is not available from the Bavaro/Cameleon section. We had been advised by the Nolitour rep. that LOCAL calls were $1.00 per minute and they tried to charge us $2.00 everytime, but after disputing the charges, they would agree to $1.00/per minute. You have to give a $10.00 deposit and after your call is completed, they give you the change.

There was mould on 1 wall of our room (directly opposite to the bathroom wall) and mould on a lamp shade on another wall.

It appeared to us that the higher hierarchy of the staff, the more you got attitude. Maid and water person were great, most restaurant servers were amazing. Most of the restaurant staff were the longer term employees (2-3 years).

There’s a little strip mall beside the Punta Cana Section lobby and it’s very similar to going off resort. They take your hand to lead you in and they beg you to buy something. Very expensive stuff.

As it is low season, not all A La Cartes are open every night. Your welcome package tells you about the different restaurants and type of food and hours of operations but that is for high season. We would have to walk around to try and find which restaurant was open and when. They should really provide you with an up to date schedule. After trying to phone to find out which were open when, and no one picks up the phone, we finally walked over to Oasis Punta Cana Guess Services to get the info.

Food at Aqua, exclusive for Cameleon section; had breakfast there every AM. There’s an omelet section and breakfast buffet, juicing/champagne/smoothie bar. Absolutely amazing. The one night they were open was another amazing experience. Surf and Turf, beef tenderloin and prawns were fantastic. Rigoletto, Italian Restaurant; was so amazing and our favorite. We visited X2. Tex-Mex; hubby likes that stuff and I don’t but we went for him. Nachos, salsa and guacamole was amazing but that’s all. My hubby had the ribs and I ordered the BBQ chicken. Ribs were OK (only 3 ribs served) but chicken had funky taste. (That’s the night my hubby’s stomach/diarhea issue began). I am not at all saying that the illness is the resort’s fault but had not been of resort in the prior 48hours. Never went back to Tex-Mex. We did not make it to the Japanese due to open/close issue and reservations are required. We also missed the Beach BBQ which was during Shawn’s hospital stay. On our last evening, we were going to try La Marre Seafood but someone told us that Windows buffet were having a Japanese theme night. It looked amazing so we decide to try it a 2nd time. We had been to Windows buffet the 1st night and as we arrived late, the selection was very poor, everything was cold and service was non-existent, but again it was late. We plated our "Japanese" food and!

most of it was average at best. Most of it frankly was North American Chineese food and lots of deep fried stuff. They did however have Sushi and California rolls, wasabi etc.

There are a minimum amount of Palapas on the beach and as it was extremely hot, you had to get to the beach early to get one. Many were available by the pools but we are beach people. Many many beach vendors and as it is low season, low business, they are more persistent than ever. Only ran into a "time share" person on our last day. The trick with the beach vendors, is to tell them very politely that you have been there many many times and they understand that you don’t need anything. The braid lady (not from the resort, asked me at least 2x daily. The massage lady, also independent from the resort, is the same with2 offers per day, but I heard from people who have used her that for $40.00 for 1hr, she is amazing. She will take you off resort to do this. The beach is cleaned of seaweed 2-3 times daily. The bartenders; some are great, others are not very friendly. We tip at every trip to the bar and with some, it’s almost like it’s expected especially at the Beach Restaurant!
Bar. Our private pool bar-tender was outstanding. The Beach Restaurant’s Burger/Hot Dog & Fries stand is really good.

We did not attend any of the evening entertainment. Acutally we did walk over and as the music was the thump thump stuff, we turned around and left. We prefer to enjoy an after dinner coffee sitting by the beach and enjoying the sound of the waves.

The resort Medical facility is very efficient. If your needs are due to an external injury, they likely will treat it at the resort. As my husband’s symptoms (sever cramping, fever and diarrhea) we interna, the doctor immediately referred us to the local International Hospiten to see a specialist. We were required to pay $20.00 for the taxi , there and back. Our RBC Inssurance covered 100%. We encountered some difficulties in communicating with the specialist but the GP was great and explained/translated everything for us. We both feel that the 2 days hospitalization may have been a bit of an overkil.as soon as the 1st ivy and meds were administered, the diarrhea at all but stopped. The doctor wanted to ensure that no more symptoms were present and that all food would be digested properly but a very minimal amount of food was given Great care for the patient, however, if you stay with the patient, you only have access to a very small cafeteria which opens at !
9AM and closes at 5PM. Stock up on snacks/food and water. By mid-day on day 2, we had to be firm that it was time to leave and that oral medication maybe a better treatment. As I am somewhat familiar with reading blood work results and after looking a the initial and the second blood tests results, there was absolutely NOTHING out of the ordinary. All was within the ranges. The doctor then agreed to discharge him.

Due to my husband’s illness, we also had to cancel our only excursion with Punta Cana Mike’s Dominican Adventures for the Boca de Yuma Tour. Mike did, however and very graciously if I might add, offer a smaller, modified excursion to include a trip to the local office supply store to purchase the paper work books and a most humbling visit to our favorite school in the Bario. A quick visit to Steve’s bar and finally a lobster lunch at Mike secret spot. We stopped at Don Lucas Cigar Factory and store to purchase cigars, 20lbs of Santo Domingo coffee (the best coffee in the world) and a few little souvenirs.

We had a great vacation but I would not want to be at that resort in full high season. The beach, in comparison to othe resorts appears to be smaller. If we were to find the same priced package again, we would return but we would not pay the regularly priced packages

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Emil ~ Toronto

July 2009

Arrival: June 29 to July 5
AIRLINE & VACATION PACKAGE

Sunwing, All-inclusive Deluxe Club. Booked via Sunwing Vacations website.

DESTINATION FLIGHT Boeing 737-800, new plane? Departed gate ~25 minutes late, + ~20 more waiting for runway. Mild turbulence mid-way for a few minutes. Good communication from flight deck. Technically we were late by ~40 minutes but considering it was a direct flight it seems we should have been there earlier.

RETURN FLIGHT On-time departure, arrived early 45 minutes. Mild turbulence mid-way for half hour. Really good communication from flight deck.

OVERALL FLIGHT; Overall good performance and service. In-flight meal a surprise. Staff curteous and friendly. Some conflicting info about flight itself; website said route was via Puerto Plata. Phone-in confirmation said direct to Punta Cana. At airport check-in, staff said it was via Puerto Plata, boarding staff said it was direct. Turned out flight was direct. AIRPORTS

Toronto Pearson Term 1 – ticks like a fine watch but security check is inconsistent; seems to be both strict and lax at the same time. Some are asked to remove their shoes before they walk through, others are not. Some are asked to keep in line and drop everything onto the inspection belt, others allowed to jump queue. Note to CAATS staff; there’s no need to be rude. Just because someone reponds a bit slow, or confused, or asks a question, doesn’t mean you can be indignant and condescending.

Punta Cana – simple, effective, works pretty smooth, except the 40" flat-screen monitors incorrectly indicate which baggage-belt is for which flight. Then after 10 minutes standing about wondering, someone will walk by and shout to the crowd where their luggage actually is. This also happened on other belts while we waited, both trips to Punta Cana.

TOUR/VACATION REPRESENTATIVE
Were told to meet him at 8:00 am on morning following arrival. He arrived at ~8:35 and informed that 8:00 was incorrect; it was actually 11:45 and he would return at the proper time because he had other resorts to visit first. He arrived around noon and we had an info session. We and all other guests attending expressed dissatisfaction with rooms provided and after some contentious discussion he agreed to feedback to Sunwing and help out with the hotel and would let us know next day as to Sunwing’s response.

HOTEL SHUTTLE
Sunwing Counter easy find. Shuttle was modern air-conditioned bus; trouble-free, about 15 minutes. Driver and assistant very helpful, courteous, and gave a friendly, humorous information session during the drive to the resort. Needless to say they got a nice tip.

CHECK IN & LOBBY Arrived approximately 10:00 pm. Check IN relatively easy and quick. About 10 minutes, during which the front desk staff provided information about the hotel, amenities, some rules, regulations, precautions, extra cost items, etc. They also provided some printed information in an arrival "packet". Within 15 minutes we were in our room. The lobby and the immediate area are truly "Grand" with double opposing curved staircases and very inviting lounging areas.

Rooms:
ROOMS: 3-stars

Immediately disappointed with the room. Building 4, 3rd floor, pool view; No way whatsoever 4-star. At best 3-star. Everything very poor; musty and mouldy odour, stained floors and walls, crumbling plaster painted over, uneven tiles on floor & walls of bathroom, several areas of soiled, stained or deteriorating tiles and grout, dirty and dusty closet, dated furniture subject to multiple repairs, balcony door impossible to lock, rusty and mouldy door jambs, Hallways and stairs poor, doors soiled, rusty, or poorly finished. Stair steps broken in places and pieces missing or loose. We looked at some of the other buildings and found little difference among them. We spoke immediately to front desk and expressed dissatisfaction that this was not accommodation we paid for and expected, and asked for a better room. Were told deluxe room was only one they had and only Master Junior Suite was better. Plus hotel was full and nothing else was available, return at noon next day and also speak to the Sunwing rep. Next day, after speaking with the Sunwing rep, where all the guests of Sunwing attending complained of poor room conditions, we again spoke to the front desk to 2 different staff members and were told that we had to speak with the manager, but we would get another room at 3 pm. At 3 pm, went to front desk & found different staff again. After speaking with 2 new staff and 1 previous staff and getting similar responses from each, all the staff scattered. After waiting several minutes one of the staff spoken to previously came out and we had to be very forceful in asking for the manager as they had promised. In the exchanges and discussion with staff they gave every possible excuse about how rooms were classified. First they only had 2 types of rooms. Then they classified their rooms as standard or deluxe based on view and location. Then they had some rooms that were recently renovated but were not as nice. We went to see but in effect it was only slightly better. Returning to the front desk we stated it was no better and they offered yet another room in Building 6. We accepted this room despite it being smaller, mostly because it was much cleaner. So far nearly a day of our vacation was lost already as we were still packed while negotiating. The lack of an alarm clock not a problem. Cleaning staff was OK. We left a $2 US every day. Somehow the AC kept resetting itself; we would set it low-fan, 25 degrees, but every time we came back to the room it was set to high-fan, 20 degrees, which made the room far too cool, more like 15. This went on all week. The bed was firm yet comfortable but the pillows were small, thin and lumpy. On day 2 things got interesting. We had been approached several times by sales staff trying to sell time-share packages which we declined. Suddenly they seemed much more aggressive. We declined a couple more times but on the third occasion we walked away only to have another individual approach us saying he was the supervisor of sales and that we really should go to the session to get "important information" that was "very valuable". He was very forceful and was quite upset when we refused, and demanded (!) that we attend. What followed was a 3-hour waste of a beautiful, dry, sunny afternoon having a 25-year vacation membership package pitched to us, neatly priced to fit our budget, after they had conveniently found out what our budget was. And, of course, an upgrade to our current room was included. NO SALE, but we did end up finding out that they did have even better rooms in building 3 and building 7 that were reserved for the club members. Frankly, they weren’t that much better; just bigger.

Restaurants and Bars:
RESTAURANTS: 3-stars

WINDOWS Buffet; Food fairly good at all meals, good range of choice and quality. Seating plentiful. Staff for the most part was good but some had bad attitude. Wine had an odd flavour but was OK. The name WINDOWS is fitting due to the large tall windows on 3 sides. Despite the windows being always wide open, there’s very little airflow and it gets sticky hot. There are about 15 tables on the outside but it’s too few given the size of the buffet. But I suppose one can’t complain about it being hot in the tropics. The other thing is that insects and birds get into the building, so it’s a bit concerning to see a bird on a table or a chair nearby while dining, but to be fair very few. Floors were extremely slippery a couple of times. And, hey Grand Oasis Chefs; FYI, lots of people like goat meat so there’s no need to call it lamb.

24HR SNACK BUFFET & BEACH GRILLE
On arrival this was the only place to get a snack. Despite it being relatively early (10:30 pm) there was very little available; hot dogs, hamburgers, & fries. Nonetheless we made a decent cheese & tomato sandwich which the chef very happily allowed us to toast on the grille. Hit the spot! Did it again later in the week and the chef recognized us and went one step further by offering to heat and toast it in the pizza oven. Double-good. Fried chicken was very good at the beach grille.

ITALIAN
Nice, cozy. Meal was good. Nice menu choices. Too hot however for July 2, the AC was not turned on and there were not many windows.

MARE
Didn’t dine there as the menu choices were repetitive and uninviting. The location is very nice however under a huge canopy close to the beach where guests can sit and relax during off-dining hours. Part of the Snack Bar is also used for this restaurant setup.

JAPANESE & AMERICAN Restaurants
Did not frequent as we are not fans of Japanese; would have tried American if not for the $18 US cover charge.

BARS: 2.5 stars

All drinks weak and inconsistent, sloppily made. We had to wait two days to finally get a proper Mojito. They kept offering similar with flavoured syrup which was horrible. Half the soft-drink & juice fountains didn’t dispense. Bar counters were always wet or sticky. Half the time the bar staff was grumbling to each other instead of serving, and even though my Spanish is fractured I could tell they were bitter. A couple of bartenders were more interested in developing their bottle-handling and spinning skills rather than serve guests even though it was very busy at times. Several were more interested in chatting up the girls. Everything was served in plastic glasses or Styrofoam cups, but you could ask for a proper glass or ceramic cup, but again some bartenders would oblige, others would bark back that they didn’t have any. The music volume was too low most times and sometimes nearly inaudible.

24 HR
Ridiculously poor service by every bartender that worked there. Half the time the power was out and they couldn’t supply hot water or coffee.

PATIO POOLSIDE BAR This was the bar we frequented most. Centrally located and near the pool with two patio areas; one above on one side, the other at grounds level on other side. It was nice to sit above under the canopy and enjoy the cool breeze during the hot afternoons. One of the bartenders, If I recall correctly was named Alzeides, was very nice, enthusiastic and accommodating to our requests with a warm smile and took action to get some mint.

Beach/Pools/Grounds: BEACH 4.5-stars superb, absolutely no disappointments, fine white sand, lots of shade, lots of chairs, lit at night, beautiful clean water. Some sand-fly bites and sea-grass but that’s expected. GROUNDS 4-stars superb, clean, maintained, well-groomed and landscaped. Nice layout, very compact and easy to get around without feeling crowded.

CASINO; $5 coupon at check-in but you can only redeem it if you purchase $20 play.

POOLS
1 pool, clean, warm, busy, didn’t try it; I like the beach better

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Didn’t try any but there was a good choice.

Other Comments: TO ANYONE CONSIDERING THIS RESORT:

Make sure you understand what you are getting. For me it was not 4-star, considering cost. But I could have overlooked it had it not been for the poor staff service and attitude. Nonetheless if you end up like me, let it go and remember to still have a good time doing what you enjoy; life is short.

To GRAND OASIS: You have to clean up to call yourselves 4-star. All your rooms need much better maintenance and a thorough clean-up/refresh. Your staff needs improving also; half were friendly, helpful, prompt, the others were indifferent, condescending, and grumbly. One person at the front desk in particular was positively awful; he treated both myself and another guest with obvious disdain after we questioned or asked for explanation. I understand the time-share Vacation Club sales thing but they are far too aggressive! They are everywhere and they don’t take repeated nos. If they need to be there then at least teach them to appear friendly and approach with a smile. In no way is this 5-star like some web reviews/sites say. Also definitely NOT 4-star overall. Some things yes, but most not. 3 star overall at best.

SUNWING: I suggest you take a close look at the relationship that exists between Grand Oasis Punta Cana and Sunwing. There is too much misinformation and too many misleading statements. If this resort had been rated at 3-star at a cost 25% less then there would be no issues; ultimately we (and other guests to whom we spoke) feel we did not receive what we paid for.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Gretchen ~ Pittsburgh, PA

May 2009

Arrival: April 17 – 24
Just a short 20 minutes from the PC airport. Luggage arrival quick and easy, apple tour buses ready and waiting and a nice cool welcome drink at reception.Check in was excellent. Room was available upon arrival.Didn’t take long to settle in and start enjoying the sunshine! For us, it feels like coming home. We have tried another resort in the PC area and made the best of it, but we keep coming back to the Grand Oasis time and time again. We are probably planning on returning to Puerto Plata in the spring and will probably stay at the Grand Oasis Marien. We get home and are ready to go again!

Rooms:
We are repeaters and have come to love Block 7. Jr. Suite wonderful as always. Beach was our back yard. Great for watching sunrises from the patio. Maid Service was excellent, no problems with safe and no problems (in 9 years) with anything being stolen from our room and we have left valuables out in the open. Use common sense, put your passports and wallets in the safe and perhaps if you brought a priceless piece of jewelry and don’t feel 100% safe, perhaps you shouldn’t have brought it or perhaps ask the hotel to place it in their safe. Building 5 is also enjoyable especially the third floor with cathedral ceilings. If you have young kids who still enjoy an afternoon nap, perhaps when booking ask not to be placed by main pool area.

Restaurants and Bars:
Windows for breakfast is just wonderful. We have a new secret dining destination, Aqua and spent many a evening there for dinner. Atmosphere was relaxing, romantic and the food was just wonderful. This restaurant is part of the Bavaro suites, but we were able to frequent. The Italian ala cart is also a favorite. Didn’t find the opportunity to try the new Japanese venue, because we really enjoyed Aqua. Best kept little secret of the resort! SHHHHHHHHHH…. The Beach Bar is great for lunch and the burgers, fried chicken and fries are hard to beat! Windows also offers variety for dinner as well. I have never experienced any problems with the food in all the years we have been visiting and often think people tend to indulge in too much sun, alcohol and food and when they start to feel the effects, of course it had to be only the food! Take a tummy test drive the first day or two and see how it goes…Also a good tip is to bring all "pharmacy" items with you from home. Cheaper that way…

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is wonderful and great for swimming and morning walks. The staff does a wonderful job of raking the seaweed and the temperature was just great. If you like a lot of afternoon activity the main pool area is great, but we prefer the adult pool for relaxation. This pool also has its own bar with Nicholas, who is one of the resorts nicest bartenders. The layout of this resort is great. Small enough to navigate, but never feels like it is crowded even when the hotel is at full capacity. If you have teens, this is a great resort that allows them to venture off a bit without the worries. My kids have outgrown the kids club and going to the DR has now become our week away from the kids, but when they visited and were younger the Kids Club was pretty fantastic.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Since we have been to the Dominican Republic 9 times, we have done more than our share of excursions and have come to appreciate just relaxing and enjoying the people and the sun. Over the years we have found the Soana Island and Outback excursions the most educational and enjoyable. The half day Outback trip was a great addition a few years ago since the full tour is a very long day. Don’t be afraid to venture off the resort either. The shops down the road are great fun to shop at and there is also a new little bar just outside the shops that is a lot of fun as well. Do what you feel comfortable with. We recently stayed in Puerto Plata on our own this past October and am so glad we did it. The tour guides have a tendency to "keep you on the resort" for their own benefit. Just take common sense with you and you will be fine, just like you would anywhere else. The DR has a lot of history to offer and it is a great place to explore! The vendors on the beach are trustworthy. Captain Cooks is a great experience, but stay away from a newer tour group, Tuitti Fruity. Just not as organized as some of the more experienced guys on the beach. The vendors even at the resort, if you are not interested, politely say so and they may nudge one more time, but they got it. I have fun with them and a good rule of thumb is 1/3 of first asking price. But remember everyone has to make a living, so don’t be insulting either.

Other Comments:
Ladies, we all pack enough and probably too much clothing…please wear some of those clothes to breakfast! I appreciate that we are all on vacation, but really, save the bathing suit (even with the cover up) for the beach or pool, it is only a few 100 yards away and is not going anywhere) and as I mentioned this resort layout is great and it would take only a few minutes to go back after breakfast and then change into your suit. As far as "chair saving", we spent many a morning drinking our coffee on the patio watching this ritual. Not my cup of tea, but it provided early morning entertainment. I don’t believe in this practice, there are enough chairs either in sun or shade for everyone, but I guess it happens at all the resorts. I believe it is a bit rude if you place your towel at 5:30 am and don’t come back for hours. Also if you have some extra room in your luggage for some school supplies, throw them in. Any items are always appreciated and accepted. Any remember your maids. That is probably one of my favorite rituals before visiting, picking up the maid’s gifts for the week. The staff at this resort is great (tipping at an all inclusive is not required, but don’t we basically tip if the service is appreciated?) and remember no one or any place is perfect so if you are experiencing some sort of problem, approach it with courtesy and a smile because remember you are on vacation,, enjoy yourself and BE HAPPY!!!

gknepp04@yahoo.com

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Ken ~ Newfoundland

May 2009

Arrival: Apr 30 – May 7
Booked with Sunwing. Flight left on time. Arrival was smooth. Luggage showed up and was easy to find bus to hotel.

Rooms:
Our standard room was adequate , no critters around, bed comfortable by hotel standards and was clean. However some minor things like new paint would go a long way in some places. Maid service was good on our floor. Tips and some small dollar store gifts given to maid each morning which was appreciated and probably helped with service. All part of the game I guess.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet had selection to fit all appetites. Stayed away from deli meats but that’s a safety thing for me. A la carte restaurants were all good with quick and friendly waiter service.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pool and pool decks clean. Grounds well maintained. Beach was clean with seaweeds cleaned daily.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Hotel had selection of non motorized activities to try. Did a jeep safari tour which was not free. Good way to see village life, which is eye opening. Caution if you have body conditions like sore back, neck etc, would not recommend as ride can be quite bumpy in places.

Other Comments:
Caution: try not to book your trip around any DR holidays as Dominicans seem to like to spend holidays at the resorts. We had influx of over 400 of them invade the resort for May labour day holiday which made bars and restaurants much more busy and loud. Would recommend this hotel given what we experienced at the price we paid. Bon voyage!

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Kim ~ Ontario, Canada

April 2009

Arrival: April 12 – April 19
We arrived at the Hotel at 11:25am and were told our room would be ready at 12:00, We checked at 12:00 and were told it would be ready at 1:00pm, then 2:00pm then finally we were told that check out wasn’t until 3:00pm.

Rooms
The room was clean and the air conditioning worked well, The power went off about every two hours for a few minutes and the toilet didn’t flush properly. The room was always cleaned by 11:00am

Restaurants and Bars
The restaurants were good, Windows had a large buffet and tried to change things daily, Service was excellent

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Alot of activities in the pool and the beach, both were kept very clean. Staff was very friendly, Great activity staff, gets the kids involved as well. Nightly entertainment, lots of audience participation great shows.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went to Dolphin island/ Dolphin world. We paid $300.00 for two participants and 1 observer, We got into the water, the Dolphin swam by us twice, Staff was yelling at you to look at them for pictures, the dolphin kisses you, you go into the middle and the Dolphin swims past you for about 5 minutes then you get out of the pool. The website shows people feeding the Dolphins we asked and were told no. The website also shows the Dolphins swimming up and lifting you out of the water, this did not happen either. Then they sold us a disc with the pictures for $30.00. We had to wait an hour for our bus that had no seatbelts and it was the wildest ride of my life, I dont believe there are too many rules of the road there.

Other Comments We were unfortunately in destination booked through Conquest when they went bankrupt, the Hotel told us about this by slipping a letter marked urgent under our door demanding $250.00 a night for the entire 7 nights of our stay, They claim that they were not paid by Conquest. The staff at the desk didn’t seem to offer much support or understanding, they would not arrange for a shuttle when asked, they did however advise us that we could not leave the country owing money. It made things little more frustrating, other than that I feel that this is a beautiful place to bring your family.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Rosie ~ Toronto

April 2009

Cameleon Rm 15111

Rooms
was very clean and spacious the maid service was very slow but they do a good job towel service was 1 person mini bar was another and maid another friendly service but slow

Restaurants and Bars
excellent food lots to choose from

Beach/Pools/Grounds
pools were spotless beach was busy not enough shade people would put their towels their before 7am trust me because it was like a game to me try and get shade could not beet the early risers selfish people they would actually not show up 4 hours later beach was as clean the staff work hard 2 keep it clean some tourist R slops

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
I went para sailing loved it and I did the aqua fit almost every day was good

Other Comments Beautiful resort slow moving staff but very helpful and friendly TIPS take a cooler type mug take old towels leave them on the shaded area before going to bed have a great time

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Ginnie ~ New Jersey, USA

March 2009

Arrival: Dec. 2009
My husband and I arrived via a van which we booked through orbitz, the transportation co. was coco tours. I got the transportation for free because of a $75.00 discount I found through retailmenot.com, otherwise it would have been $52.50 roundtrip. We were meet by the staff who took our luggage and held it while we checkin. Check in took about 15min., our room wasn’t ready so they suggested that we change and go swimming or go have lunch. We came back in about an hour and were taken to our room. When we got to our room the key didn’t work the staff member that escorted us went to the lobby to get another one, that didn’t work either. He figured out it was the device on the door, said he would get maintance to fix it. If you’ve ever been to the D.R. reparing something doesn’t happen in a half hour, and hour or sometimes a day. I went to the front desk after 15min. and the manager came up with me and got things moving. All we wanted to do was put our bags in the room and head to the beach. He was very nice and had it fixed in a half hour. So now we are an hour and 45min. in to our vacation at the resort.

Rooms
our room was in the first bldg. to the left coming out of the lobby, facing the second bldg. we think it was room 2103. The room was clean, spacious and had airconditioning that worked! It was simply decorated and had plenty of room to hang clothes and more than enough drawer space. The tv worked but was a little hard to see from the bed. The bed was comfortable and spacious. We were supplied with towels and bath products we had a blow dryer and if we asked for more towels they were given to us. Our refrigerator was always stocked with soda, beer and water. Our toilet flushed and we always had hot water, that was wonderful we have been to the D.R. several times before and it was hit or miss for those luxuries. We had a balcony with a great view of the gardens and could see the ocean. The room was on a corner which we really liked.

Restaurants and Bars There were plenty of restaurants to choose from. Windows, buffet always had plenty of food to choose from. We found it very hot in there most of the time. The service wasn’t that great, they were very attentive at the stations though.

Mare was turned into an outside restaurant in the evening, it is located by the beach garden cafe. This is a seafood restaurant, the food was o.k. but alittle unusual. American Grill is above the Beach Garden Cafe it is only open for dinner. The food was good and plentiful, the service was very good. The decor is Western and interesting to look at. Da Mario is and italian restaurant, this was our favorite. The decor is comfortably elegant, they make great cosmopolitans there. The food is plentiful if you want dessert don’t eat everything! They have very strong expresso and the service is great. The Beach Garden Cafe has a great assortment of food, we ate there several times for lunch. The fries in the D.R. are really good! We didn’t go to the restaurants that had an extra charge, no need too.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds were beautiful and very well layed out. There were many seating areas you almost have to look for some of them, they are tucked in and private. Sitting under the arbor was especially relaxing. There were plenty of lounge chairs around the pool and on the beach. You could also sit under a hut not only on the beach but around the pool as well. This resort afforded you the opportunity to be involved in activities or have all the privacy you need. The pools were interesting, inbetween a couple of the buildings the pool runs inbetween them. You could walk out your sliding doors take about 7 steps and go into the pool or you could sit in your lounge chairs right outside your door. There was and adult pool for adults only, a bar and a jacuzzi (which was cold). The swim up bar in the main pool was a great place to keep cool, relax and have a drink.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
There were plenty of poolside/pool activities, there were daily activities on the beach as well. You could organize a pick up volleyball game, bocci ball, or pooltable tournament of your own. There is a casino on the premises, we walked through it was inviting. There were shows every night, being we’ve been to the D.R. before we have seen comperable shows and chose not to attend. You could use the snorkel equipment, canoes and any thing that wasn’t electronic for free. There were excursions that left from the dock daily.

Other Comments Usually we participate in the activities at the resort but this time we went for pure relaxation. Others told us about excursions they went on; for the most part they enjoyed themselves and felt it was worth the cost. We bring items for the maids and their families, we left something for them daily along with a few dollars, They were very appreciative.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Jeanette ~ PEI

March 2009

My husband and I stayed at this resort Feb 19-26th 2009….. Our flight was with Sunwing andit took off on time with no glitches….. This resort was a 20 min ride from the Punta Cana airport, Check in – We left our bags with the bell men and waited to be checked in. It was slow, but we’re very easy going and once it was our turn the front desk staff was very pleasant.. The Oasis Punta Cana section was overbooked so we were given a room in building 15 (Bavaro section) it was a further walk from the beach but we enjoyed this section. We had a bar close too our room and the greatest bartender ever Franklyn you rock. The room was beautiful with a king bed, sitting area, bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, separate shower and separate toilet. The room was cleaned daily and our maid did a great job, towels were always in our room by 5 pm .. The food in the buffet is typical, if you dont enjoy typical dont go all inclusive…

We ate at 2 ala cates The American Grill and the Italian.. We enjoyed the Italian more than the Grill but both were good.

The pools are beautiful, however we are beach people so never reallly used the pool…With the exception of the nice seating area above the swim up bar, where we met some great folks from North Cape, PEI (you guys and gals are great.)

Beach was better than we thought after reading some of the reviews. yes there was seagrass the first 2 days but the staff did a great job cleanning it up every day. We never had a problem finding a lounger.No problem getting beach towels we left our towel at end of day and got our towel card back and got fresh towels in morning. Only real con was the safe’s in room broke down a few times and wouldn’t open but security would fix in less than 15 minutes.

Overall, we had a good, fun, relaxing time. A lot of the staff really go out of their way to make you happy.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Mary ~ Toronto

February 2009

Arrival: Feb 18 – 25
We had contacted the resort ahead of time to guarantee that we would have desireable rooms. We were in adjoining rooms, with a view of the ocean and also the town street that the dogs frequent during the night hours. Check in was easy as the Cameleon lobby is small and not busy when we were there. There is another lobby, much grander, in the main hotel and it was always busy.

Rooms
The rooms were clean and looked new. They have alot of wood paneling and that gave off a smell until it was aired out. The a/c did not work properly in the one room, would not shut off and maintained the same temp all the time, the other room the a/c did not work despite many requests to have it repaired. The conditions of the bathroom area varied, from okay to not great. The pillows on the bed were what seemed to be foam that was cut into pieces and then stuffed into a case, most uncomfortable.

Restaurants and Bars
The restaurants were well decorated and an effort was made on the food however, the quality was not what we hoped for. The best was Aqua, for the Cameleon guests only. The Wines were not acceptable! We had to purchase a bottle with dinner at anywhere from $40. up, $40. got you a wine that sold for $16. in a store there, and the other drinks were all out of machine except for the bar at the Cameleon area where the used a blender and fresh fruit. Only the beer was acceptable.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was beautiful, the Grand Oasis is at the very end of the line of hotels so there were fishing boats in the area. You could walk a few miles and the ocean was good, for the Atlantic. This area is not the official Bavaro Beach as I was led to believe, that area is a bus ride away. There were another 8 or 10 resorts along the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did not partake in too many of the activities the area around the main hotel was very active with many 20 somethings, a very busy spot at all hours. We went on diving trips through someone on the beach who has a hut in front of one of the hotels, it worked out fine. Went to dive/snorkle on the Caribean Sea, much more beautiful water in that area. The wind was always at the beach and the water was stired up so the snorkling off the beach wasn’t any good. The Casino was a joke, the slot machines were ancient and didn’t work properly.

Other Comments The staff try to do their best, however very little English is spoken or understood. The down side was two days before we left 2 of us got sick, throwing up and one was so bad she had to be admitted to the hospital overnight! I had to stay in and just drink water for two days, and now that I am home have stomach problems and went to the Doctor. This type of problem has nevered happened to me before, and I have been to many islands, so all in all I would not go back to the DR.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Marion ~ Oshawa

February 2009

Arrival
We arrived after a very long delay at the airport….

Rooms
After being exausted from a 15 hour day we finally arrived . My first thought on the room was YUCK whats on our toilet seat. Turns out what looks like urine was leaking from somewhere above and if you didnt want to be hit with it while going to the bathroom you had to time it……

Restaurants and Bars
We spent 7 days eating cold food because nothing was ever hot except at one of the a la cartes. You could be first in line or the last and food was always cold with undercooked meat(If thats what it was)

Beach/Pools/Grounds
pool was good/beach weedy and unkept

Other Comments I would NOT reccomend this place to anyone it was awful from the start with the exception of the drinks which were always good and the sun was always shining. Everyone has their hand out looking for money here and there is no escaping vendors because they are everywhere on the resort with shops right there begging you to come in everytime you walk by. Either the staff choose not to speak english or they really dont because there was always a huge language barrier. I really cant believe this is suppose to be a 4.5 star . I wish I had of read the reveiws better before booking …..There was alot of unhappy travellers at this resort who like me were glad to be leaving.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Marie ~ Simcoe

February 2009

Arrival: Jan 31 – Feb 7
Not quite the "private" check-in as advertised, but there were only 2 couples arriving at that time, it took more than 2 hours to get the room ready. The other couple got to their room right away, as did others who came after us. We just got to wander around in clothes that were more appropriate for a Canadian winter. Our luggage and carry-ons were safely stowed away in a room in the lobby until our room was ready, and there really was no place to change our clothes anyway.

Rooms
Clean, comfortable. Whirlpool tub, couldn’t turn it on, Air conditioner, couldn’t turn it off. Opened the patio door at night so it was a good thing we were on the 3rd floor. Major problem with the safe. Had a person come to the room to activate it, he left saying the "safe has a problem". Made numerous trips and calls to the reception desk.One call, the person on the other end slammed the phone down in my ear. We were even told we would not have to pay for the safe, a sort of apology for the inconvience. (That turned out to be a lie as I was charged and charged more than the $21 US dollars we were told it would cost. Guess that was for the inconvience of putting up with us?) More than 24 hours later, the safe was magically repaired. Hotel policy forbids anybody coming to your room to work on the safe unless you are present. Officially, there were 2 visits. The first one could not activate it, the second, it was already activated and fully functional. Suspect there was a visit in between these other 2 when somebody did actually get it to work properly.

Restaurants and Bars
Enjoyed the food. Bars were good. The people working restaurants and bars were extremely friendly, willing to please. I made the staff happy by requesting the music to turned on at one bar. Apparently somebody had complained about it. Come on people, you are on holiday. Enjoying the whole experience means listening to the music as well as soaking up the sun.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Grounds were kept clean. Hardly spent any time on the beach. Way too few lounge chairs for the number of guests, and lots of people left their towels on the chairs day and night, so as always have a spot on the beach. We were there a week and never once got a chair.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Ads in travel mags boasted a piano bar. No piano, no music and the bar was never opened in that room. One of the entertainment crew had recently been fired and we never really had any interaction with the rest of the crew. I suspect they were keeping a low profile so as not to attract the attention of their manager. Other guests had commented that the person who was fired was popular with the guests and very unpopular with his manager. They suspected he had been fired as an example to others. The result was that the activities were very low key, and from my vantage point, non-exictent. We did go on the Bavaro Runners tour, and our guide and driver, Alex and Orlando made that trip what it was. THAT is something I would recommend to anybody wanting to get out and see the countryside. Just remember that you will be hit up with people trying to sell you stuff. It is a poor country and these people rely on us for their living.

Other Comments Would not recomment this resort to anybody. The handling of the issue with the safe resulted in so much frustration, that I really and truly wanted to go to the airport and book a flight home. I appreciate honesty, and felt we did not get that from the reception staff. Usually, my approach to vacation, is that I am having a good time, even before we leave the Toronto airport. That was not the case with this resort. I am, however looking forward to having a good time next year, because I want to have a good time and I won’t be going back to this resort.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Dave ~ London, Ontario

February 2009

Arrival: January 25th – February 1
We flew out of Toronto January 25th through Sunwing. Trip was booked through itravel2000. Our departure was delayed about 20 minutes due to required plane deicing which of couse is to be expected when flying in the winter. We arrived at Punta Cana airport and after obtaining our luggage were quickly shuttled off to the resort. Our arrival at the resort was very quick – less than 1/2 hour. Check in on the other hand was disgustingly slow. We were supposed to have private check in but I didn’t see that. Over 2 hours for checkin of about 30 people. The rooms weren’t ready but we expected that as we checkin isn’t until 3:00 in the afternoon. We finaly got to our rooms around 4:30 – thank goodness we had changed. We had the run of the reort once we checked in even though our rooms weren’t ready. We paid for a safe however upon arrival to the room the safe wouldn’t work. Never did get a working safe – however they did refund the safe rental charge.

Rooms:
The rooms were very nice. We had been upgraded to the Bavaro section so we were in block 11. Onsuite jacuzzi, shower flatscreen TV coffee maker etc. The room was spotless and the airconditioning worked way to good. Felt like we had gone back to Toronto. This wasn’t a problem as I don’t use air conditioning a lot anyway so we turned it off and opened the patio door. The view outside our room was that of a lazy river style pool and if you looked out over the railing you could see the ocean. Very nice. We had a second floor room with access to both stairs and an elevator if desired.

Restaurants and Bars:
We primarily ate at the beach bar and the buffet (Windows). The food at both was very good. We ate at the Tex Mex (American Grill) once and wouldn’t go back. The service was absolutely terrible, over an hour to get our dinners, and then were told that we could have coffee but not dessert. The meal was just okay at the Tex Mex. If you went hungry at this resort it would have to be due to be being a very fussy eater as the buffet had a very good selection of food.

Service at the bars was excellent – no problem getting served.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach and pools were great, pools were clean, and they did their best to keep the beach clean. There is a bit of a problem with seaweed washing in but when the ocean is calm there is no seaweed.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on the Zip Line tour which was excellent. They really make sure that you are safe and know how to use the equipment. We also went on the Tropical Thunder happy hour cruise for the sunset tour. Another great experience.

Other Comments: Overall I can’t really say anything was bad, however the staff mainly gave lip service as to getting the safe fixed. I realised that it would never happen so I asked for a refund the 3rd day which was readily given. There was one major drawback and that was the beach chair bingo. People using their towels to reserve the chairs and palapas even though it stated on our checkin paperwork that this isn’t allowed. It wouldn’t be bad if the people actually came out in reasonable time to use the chairs that they had reserved however more than often it would be late in the day before they actually came out. We got a good deal on this trip so it was well worth the money. I will definately go back to the Domincan but not likely to this resort unless I can get it cheap again.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Kathy ~ Trenton

January 2009

Arrival: January 07-21-2009
There was a 2 hour delay out of Toronto , so our arrival went smoothly as we were the only couple to check in. That limited us to taking the room that was avaiable , it was very nice except far from the beach ,they did tell us we could move later in the week after some check outs, but we elected to stay as it was a nice room just not preference in location. I did e-mail ahead for a request but as it goes reception forgot it.

Rooms:
our was very spacious as were all the room in the Bavero Camelon section.Big walk in shower also a jacuzzi tub which we never use. When we arrived there was no air conditioning so our room was at 25.8 very hot for sleeping it was fixed within 24 hours but again, towards the last couple of days, again the tempature was around 25.8 it was uncomfortable but they were trying to do repairs, A/C was not fixed before our departure. very hot and humid.

Restaurants and Bars:
very pleased with all resturants and bars. remember a small tip goes a very long way to having great service. we were always taken to a table very quickly and the service was very good. Selection of food and beverages excellent We never had any complaints or problems.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
the beach was very clean and raked, lots of chairs , they could use a few more palapas and repair the one that need it. Pools were clean and comfortable tempature. landscaping very well done. every thing was very nicely done.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
there were many activities on the beach and around the pool.lots of games to play if you wanted too. Kids club looked like fun for the small ones face painting , they had a place to go and play inside out of the sun and give mom and dad a break,we did go on a 1/2 day 4 wheeler tour on the beach it was okay.we find the tours very exspensive and quite often diappointing for the amount of money put out, we did hear others complaining of the same. staff works very hard with long hours and low pay nightly shows were the same as usual Micheal jackson, folklore, they did have a circus act it was very good and the beach party was also good we enjoyed ourselves very much

Other Comments: My personal comments : we definialty will return if the price is right, Floors in the Windows resturant very slipperry ,needs to be degreased, they could use a few more staff as some nights looked liked they under staffed and over worked, some staff looking not so happy as the week wore on, but trying to cover with a smile. It’s too bad as they do work hard and such long hours. the other issue is if they are under powered to run the air condition they should find a solution to this as we were very hot and uncomfortable trying too sleep.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Blair ~ Ontario

January 2009

Arrival: Jan 16-23 2008
This was a Sunwing Vacation and from the moment go once again Sunwing delivers as a more frills airline by going way above and beyond on smiles, service and then sum! We arrived at airport, everything was so organized to find our way to the proper bus. 20 minutes to hotel which got us there at 11:30pm. Checkin took 30 minutes for about 20 couples which to me is very impressive. Right away we were impressed with the clean and palatial lobby, not to mention the great music coming from the disco upstairs.

Rooms:
Our room was in building 5, one of the oldest ones and slated to be renovated. A well used room, however it was very clean, beds were comfortable and everything worked just fine. The A/C didnt pump super cold air but was acceptable, after all I did come here for the heat! The next morning we asked to see a suite not because anything was wrong with the room and we took the suite (sweet) upgrade. What a room which an oceanview and just an awesome setup. We did get a sewage smell in the room for 2 days but it was after a monster rainstorm, no big deal to me, it was not unbearable at all and you have to keep things in perspective when travelling.

Restaurants and Bars:
We hit the disco 30 minutes after we checked in, and then just about every night of our stay after spending hours at the piana bar (no piano but the bartender Abel kept us entertained and a couple nights there was Karaoke). Great 2 bars. As for the beach and pool bars, perfect! We went to the texmex and italian places twice each and again above and beyond service and great food. The Windows buffet was also an astounding selection and terrific, specifically the porage, wow!!! Nothing was ever too greasy. The second night at the Italian place the Caesar salad had too much dressing for me compared to when I had the night before but no big deal, they brought me the Caprese salad with a smile. There really is something for everyone’s taste and the food is not just good, it is great!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was great, sure there was seaweed but this is the ocean and it makes for much better fish watching, I spent hours 20 feet from shore where the seaweed is, closer to shore it is clear and perfect. Saw a ton a wonderful fish and even a seasnake.The pools were perfect too! 3 of them!!! The ground super clean and I didnt worry about a broken tile here and there. I should also say we never felt there was a feeling of being super busy. Never had to wait in lines longer than a minute literally and it is large enough of a resort to keep quiet areas quiet and exciting areas like the disco upbeat, also not so large you couldn’t walk it in 10 minutes which I like very much.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We took the Cigar factory free tour which was short and nice to see, and I am not even a smoker. Also took the Saona Island/Catamaran/Speedboat/Starfish tour. This was $80 per person and worth it 1 hour into the 2 hour busride when the drove us through Higuey to see the city and cathedral, WOW! Keep in mind it almost always takes longer to drive/do something than they say so the 2 hour busride turned into 3 (fine by me, we get to see more) and that also means the 90 minute Catamaran took 2 hours, tons of fun. This is a long day excursion but so worth it!!! We also took the 90 minute bicycle ride the hotel offers for free, breathtaking, easy enough for anyone to do. We also took a short walk into the village to a market, felt perfectly safe, had a drink from a local and didnt get sick at all (we didnt take any shots/medicine).

We also did the parasailing, perfect!

Other Comments:
I would like to point out a couple things:

– I travel a fair amount, been all around North America, UK, South Africa, India, Australia – My wife doesn’t travel as much but has been on a Cruise and all over North America. – We both agree you would have to work very hard to find fault and issue with anything. It amazed me to read prior reviews of this hotel and even the Dominican that were so negative to complain the hotel needs tlc. Who cares about some cracked tiles, the place was immaculately clean, all the time. The workers have a stronger work ethic than most people I meet and work with in "civilized" countries. The food was so much more than we expected. I am a VERY picky person and take service very seriously. What kept amazing me was all the small things that were consistently done to provide the WOW factor, to me that is always the hard part to deliver on for a hotel/service business, and they did deliver.

I should also comment on the vendors, they were tons of fun to speak with and always very polite if I said no thanks. Then again I enjoyed speaking with them and learning about them, even after taking their time and still saying no thanks, very polite.

So stop setting yourself up to expect the world, stop readying yourself to complain and find fault, if you do speak to someone about it.

I had expectations of service with a smile, cleanliness and good food. We got so much more and would go back in a heartbeat.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Kathy ~ Ontario, Canada

January 2009

Arrival: Dec. 27, 2008-Jan. 3, 2009
We left Toronto at 6:30 a.m., arriving at Punta Cana at 11:30ish. We were booked through Nolitours-Air Transat so were staying in the Cameleon section of the resort. Picking up the bags went quickly despite another flight from Toronto at the same time. We arrived at Grand Oasis Bavaro shortly after midday, booking in through the Punta Cana side’s big lobby. One of the big differences between this resort and others is that there is no long driveway to the resort flanked by lawns and gardens (such as the Catalonia). Grand Oasis Bavaro/Punta Cana is right on the road and all their beautiful property is on the other side. I had chitchatted on e-mail with the Rooms Manager, Caren de Vries and she came out from the back office to greet us. Our 2 rooms were not quite ready but we expected it at that time of day. So we did all the paperwork and headed off to the buffet, Windows for lunch, then a tour of the resort. After relaxing on the patio at the Beach Grill and enjoying a few drinks, we got our room cards and headed off with our luggage.

Rooms:
Our rooms were located in the Cameleon section, Building 11 on the 3rd floor, as I had requested. We had rooms 11304 and 11308. Both were beautiful, clean and very contemporary in decor. Even flat screen TV’s! We were really impressed. We had stayed before at Casa Del Mar in La Romana and while we really enjoyed it there, my kids both commented that our rooms at Grand Oasis Bavaro were far nicer. We had 2 queen beds in each room, constant hot water and great air conditioning the entire week. We were allotted bottles of water, 2 beer and 2 pop each day and they were replenished faithfully. We had great room service, usually done by midday or shortly after.

Restaurants and Bars:
We basically found the food really good at this resort. We did not find Windows the best buffet we’d ever eaten at, but there was lots of othe choices at the a la carte’s. We loved Da Mario’s, the Italian restaurant and ate there twice. Also the Tex Mex was quite good. Only the Japanese restaurant required reservations and we ran out of time to eat there! Aqua, the restaurant located by the Bavaro section, served a great breakfast buffet. We ate there every morning and enjoyed the ambiance, plus being so close to our rooms. Also ate there for dinner one night and again it was quite nice. We managed to get a table outside and really enjoyed it there. We found the waiters really nice at all the restaurants. Yes, there were times when the tables before us were not cleared off very quickly, but if we wanted to sit there, we just moved the dishes to another table and continued on with our meal. No big deal. We enjoyed lunch at the Beach Grill(that is also the Seafood Restaurant at night). It was nice and close to the beach area, and we could be back on the beach again in no time. We were here over New Year’s and on New Year’s Eve, there was a big gala dinner at the big buffet, Windows. They closed the a la carte restaurants so everyone went to the Gala. THAT night the food was amazing at Windows! It was really delicious and they pulled out all the stops. All the tables and chairs were covered with white slipcovers so very elegant looking.

Beach/Pools/Grounds: This was an absolutely beautiful beach and you could walk for ages in the northern direction, which my husband did every morning. One of the many really nice things about this resort was its location on the beach. It stretched lengthwise along the beach, not deep from the beach. So there was alot of beach associated with the resort but it was also very easy to access your room or the pool or restaurant, etc. Another reviewer put it right when they said it was a "cozy" resort. It’s still a big enough place with lots of areas to explore and walk through but it was not enormous, which we liked about it. We found the beach quite clean most days, with people constantly walking through and picking up the plastic glasses etc. Although the water was not really clear right in front of the resort because of the currents kicking up the seaweed and sand, it was still nice to swim there because the sand underfoot in the water was that soft soft ripply sand. A 5 minute walk up the beach brought you to the really clear aquamarine water where it was decent snorkling. That was also where the beach was undeveloped so it was rather nice to have just green bush and trees to look at instead of resort buildings and bodies! Our resort was very lush and green and beautifully maintained all the time. There were some flamingos and egrets and turtles in the various ponds around the place. I think there were at least 4 pools at this place, which is rather unusual for a resort that size. We avoided the big central pool because of its busyness and noise but really enjoyed the snake shaped pool right in front of Building 11. It was definitely a very calm oasis all the time. Some people just stayed around there with their loungers all day. This pool was also right below our rooms but it was never noisy at any time. All the pools looked very clean to my eye but there were always people maintaining them daily also.

Bathrooms off the lobby and on the beach were always quite clean considering the number of people using them! I always use that as a barometer in a resort!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Our kids went parasailing right off the beach and loved it. It would be a good idea to try to be the first of the day, then they seem to keep you up longer as an advertisement to others!! They also went on 2 1/2 day excursions. One was the Zipline Adventure which was very well organized and very safety conscious. The other was the 4 wheeler (ATV) excursion with the Bavaro Runners I think. They really liked both of them very much but were glad it was just a half day away, as they hated to leave the beach too long! We booked both of them with our Nolitours Rep with a credit card with no problem. Our 2 Nolitours Reps were very patient and helpful with us and others and very professional.

Other Comments:
The New Year’s Eve celebration was amazing! I was abit worried that my kids (ages 22 and 23) would find it too quiet compared to their usual New Year’s parties. But they loved it. First, as mentioned before, the Gala dinner at Windows buffet. Then there was a pretty good theatre presentation with entertainers and dancers imitating Madonna, Janet Jackson, Elvis, even Usher.

The backup dancers for these imitators were absolutely amazing. They obviously were the same people for each performance but could have held their own on any dance video. Then there was a beach dance party starting at 11:15 p.m. There was a DJ setup on the beach and my son, who is also a DJ, was quite impressed with their presentation. After 11:00 p.m. the dance party started and it was great music…a little bit of everything. It was all very organized and timed just perfect. Everyone was dancing and hopping to some extent. They did the countdown to midnight and of course many people had noisemakers etc that the resort had handed out. Then the most fabulous fireworks show I have seen in ages! Only the one at Disneyworld was better! It went on for ages and ages and was the most perfect ending of the night for us! It was a really happy and fun evening! We went on to bed but our kids stayed up dancing for a few more hours. The next morning the beach was surprisingly clean considering there had been a beach party there until 5:00 a.m. apparently!

We had friends staying the exact same week at the Riu Palace Macao way up the beach and their time was not so positive! They all had tummy problems the entire week! We NEVER had any problems, but were very careful to just use the bottled water. We also tried a wide variety of the food offered and nothing bothered us. Back to the Riu, they found it very very large to get around, plus their air conditioning never worked well, with their sheets and towels always feeling damp and clammy the whole week! Also, their New Year’s celebration was nothing compared to ours. No beach party or anything! So…..it made us feel even happier with our choice.

This resort has been receiving quite a few negative reviews lately and I just want to reassure people that it IS a lovely place and definitely worth visiting and we really really enjoyed ourselves. However I did agonize over my decision beforehand because I kept reading those darned reviews!! I’m rather angry at myself now that I allowed those other bad comments to ruin my anticipation! I do have certain standards and expectations but learn to accept things done abit differently in the Caribbean. Yes, there were probably lots of "little" things that bugged people, but those things are found anywhere in the world, especially in Canada and the U.S. I feel sorry for those people that go looking for problems. Go with an open mind and let things "flow over you"! And don’t forget to ask for things with a smile on your face and in your voice! You will love it there!

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   C & D ~ Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

January 2009

Arrival: Dec. 28th-08 to Jan. 5-09
We have been to the Dominican many times over the last 20 years and of all of our trips, this one tops the list as the œworst ever.The resort was a gross misrepresentation of the product being offered down right disguisting. The property is listed as a 4-4.5 by Signture and Sunquest you are lucky if it is a 2.5/3 star rating. The lobby was full of disgruntled or furious tourists at all times during our stay. I am normally one not to complain and always make the best of a situation when travelling, however, I have never been so disappointed in a property in all of our travels….

Rooms:
I was sweeping my own floor in my room because the dirt, dust bunnies and hair (many types of body hair) all over when we got there, was completely gross and disgusting. The toilets in all four of our rooms plugged or didn’t work continuously, our shower leaked lakes on the tile floor with every shower, the girls room had a leak from the room above that the water ran out of their light fixture (isn’t that safe). These complaints were brought to the attention of staff at the front desk that would simply write your room number down, and that they would get someone to look after it.only someone never showed.

Restaurants and Bars:
We spent the week serving ourselves; which is exactly what we and all other tourists did, from every cup of coffee or water that we wanted (that is if you could find a clean cup to drink out of); to cleaning tables off (which I did many times myself), so that our families could sit down to eat- that is if you could find a clean plate to eat off of by the serving area. We always had to walk around(sometimes 5 minutes) and wait for clean plates to arrive so that you were able to get your meals. Tables in the buffet were never set or reset; at most we could count was 8 serving staff in the restaurant; a total joke for the size of the facility. Food trays were always empty and never replenished in a timely manner. Many tables sat empty and unset while people where lined up 50+ deep at the door waiting to get in. Food in the buffet was generally cold, salad was repulsive (frozen, wilted and two days old) and the RAT that ran across our feet in the Seafood Restaurant pretty much did me in. The only hot meal all week was the meal in the TexMex restaurant and fresh salad one day at the beach restaurant.

Beach/Pools/Grounds: I have to admit that the beach and the grounds were beautiful. It was all downhill from there.

Towels- or once again, lack of – what a frickin joke. You could rarely get a clean towel each day; then when you could and went to change it in at the end of the day they wouldn’t give you a towel card because you were too late. They were always out; usually all clean towels gone by ten in the morning. Clearly, once again, no staff to keep up with the demand.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Our two families did have loads of fun at the beach with the kayaks, banana boats, parasailing, the segways and a beautiful beach spot 15 minutes down the beach to the left for snorkelling. The guys/kids also went ziplining which was "ok"…

Other Comments:

The only thing "GRAND" about this place would possibly be the staircase in the front foyer.There was no attention to detail or customer service at this resort in any way, shape or form. The management is obviously running the place into the ground. There was never an adequate amount of staff for the buffet, the restaurants, the bars or the beach. The only place that had staff was the Casino, actually 26+ of them most nights standing around and doing ABSOLUTELY nothing. Just a thought, maybe they should consider sending them to work where they are actually needed serving the tourists in the restaurants, the buffet, the bar and the beach.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Carleen ~ Vancouver, BC, Canada

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 28th-Jan 6th Booked our trip with Air Transat- Nolitours. Our plan was delayed 4hrs at YVR so we did not arrive untill 3:30am.

Staff were somewhat friendly and spoke moderate english, got our mickey flask of rum and were escourted to our room- (by an eager porter looking for a tip)

Rooms:
First impression good- we were in room 11109 (swim out room in building 11)… room was spacious, bright, seemed clean….. over the next 6 days we had some not great experiences with room such as: the stinky/musty/tropical/cigar/urine smell, bed was hard, had 1 gecko in room, were told we were not allowed to flush toilet paper, maids forgot to clean rooms one day, air conditioning work but had only one setting – mega cold-, barely any hot water,

Restaurants and Bars: We found over all, the restaurants to have really bad service Aqua- Exclusive (Cameleon etc)- OK, very bad service, tables not cleaned, pre-used silverware sitting at place settings, food most often cold with flies around. WINDOWS- usually something edible, bad service in most sections- but good waiter in the back middle section finally took care of bringing us drinks, water, cutlery etc. Often flies around desserts (because all have sugery glazes on them) and fruits. Food recycled from meal to meal and not really refrigerated. De Mario- Good Food, ok service– GONG SHOW to get reservations at any alacarte restaurant- what they do is let the rest. fill up at 6pm and then start taking a waiting list after that time- so if you send one member from your famliy up from the pool to book a table they had to wait sometime 30-40 mins to get a time to come back…poorly managed (often tables sat empty for long periods of time after first dinners left) Beach Garden- ok if starving- got shooed out of sitting inside at 3pm because they were trying to get tables ready for the dinner sitting but didn’t close untill 4pm- fries were always cold (ON THAT NOTE- SAW HOTEL STAFF WITH A CHIQUTA BANANA BOX CARRYING COOKED FRENCH FRIES FROM BEHIND WINDOWS REST. DOWN THE PATH TO THE BG REST- not covered) DIdn’t go to Seafood restaurant American Grill-Tex Mex– Great food (veal tenderloin was hubbys fav) again same type of mis-management as de mario- one night we waited outside untill 630 cuz they were seting tables, but were told the ‘cooker hadn’t shown up yet’

*note- they say you can only go to the alacarte restarants 1 time, but we actually went to the Italian 2 times and tex mex 3 times nobody asked for our coupon

*bars were ok, drinks sometime rancid/strong- all alchohol was fake? (baileys in similar bottle but called sallys, no premium labels- all Brugal?)

Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach- lots, walked past the 3 resorts to public not crowded beaches that was nice too Pools- nice, favorite was the new one out back by building 15? great bar there often quite- NO HOT TUB- what looks like a hot tub on the map is actually colder then pool its near by. Pools were kept clean/with out much debris, and i actually saw somebody scrubbing the ‘scumline’ 2 times while there

Grounds- really nice, pathways a little rough for wearing high heels but pretty flowers, flamingos and turtles to look at

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: _Borrowed Kayaks- paddled that was fun

-Did Zip Line with Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure (AWESOME) cost $220 cdn -Was supposed to go the Marinariam tour but company FORGOT to pick us up- we waited at designated location but no one every showed up and we got to watch the boat drive away from pier with out us (was told we were getting refund- will check credit card again to see if processed)

– took free shuttle to "nicoles" which is a store of a french canadian lady that sells jewlery, vanilla $3, santo domingo coffe $5, hand rolled cigars god prices.

Wanted to get to hard rock cafe at the end (to get some stable food) however couldn’t peice together enough information from the 6 people we asked about the ‘free shuttle’ to the ‘plaza del mar??? shopping centre’ which may or may not pick up a couple times a day

Other Comments: We tried to enjoy oursevles but in the end the minor details got to us— especially the extra 16hr delay for the way back…. at the resort we found if you spoke spanish you got better service, howevereven then you might never get your drinks at dinner, and don’t even try to ask for a modifcation to a meal at the a la carte restaurants. Our resort was set about 30mins away from others like Bahai PRincipe etc- there were 3 of us out there, you can see the marinarium and reef explorer locations from the hotel beach- they are right out front. There is a very agressive market across the street from the hotel- ‘my friend, my family come have a look’, we would walk past to the "mini market" to get snacks much cheaper then resort mini-bar and store… (price on resort for pringles $5usd mini can, $3 chocolate bar) In all like a said we went there with an open mind, we tried to like it but in the end were defeated by the continual rude/inattentive service. I would never go back to the Dominical Republic not just based on this experience- but flying from Vancouver is 6hrs 30mins there and 8hrs 30mins back— to enjoy nice beaches, tropical destination etc- I could do that in mexico within 4-5hrs….

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Debra (Simplydeb) ~ Aurora, Ontario

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 15 – 24, 2008
The flight down to Punta Cana from Toronto was comfortable. We left Toronto late 45 mins. late, but somehow managed to arrive only 15 mins. later than our original arrival time. The tail winds were with us! The resort is only a 15 min. drive from the airport. We were greeted by a friendly fellow at the main reception desk and we were checked in and in our room within 15 mins. of arriving at the resort.

Rooms:
Our room was in building #9 on the Bavaro side of the resort. We had a king size bed and it was very comfortable. The room was very clean and faced the Aqua restaurant and beach. There was a slight musty odour in the room which my spouse was convinced came from the air conditioning unit, so we left the AC off and used the ceiling fan and left the windows open for the breeze to sleep in the evening. It did seem to make a difference. The buildings #9, 10 and 11 on the Bavaro side back onto a small village which has a pack of wild dogs roaming the street and they bark often. I was awoken a few times during the night by the barking. I’m not sure if we had the AC turned on and the windows shut if it would had made a difference. In any event, you could hear them barking on and off all day…and night.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was plentiful and there was a good variety, however, I found all of the food that was suppose to be hot either cold or luke warm. We ate at the Aqua restaurant twice for dinner and once for breakfast. Each time the food was luke warm. The two times we ate dinner there, the food was overcooked. We ate at the italian restaurant once. I had the cream of carrot soup which was hot and delicious, but the pasta was cold. We ate at the American Grill twice and although the service was slow, at least the food was hot and not too bad. I found a work around to get my food hot at the Windows Buffet. At breakfast they will make an omelet while you wait. You pick out the ingredients and they whip it up and put it on the grill in front of you. For dinner they have the same idea, but with a Pasta Bar. You pick your pasta, sauce, extras and they put it in a pan on the burner in front of you. I ate omelets and pasta for a few days to get my fix of hot food and both the omelets and pasta were very tasty!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were spotless and beautifully maintained. The greenery was lush and spectacular. All the pools were clean and well maintained. I read before I left that the seaweed on the beach was a problem, but I certainly didn’t see much of a problem. There was very little seaweed and any that was laying around was swept up often. The beach was beautiful, white sand, blue ocean. We walked about 45 mins. down to the far point and back every day. It was an amazing stretch of beach to walk..just beautiful. We had the resort pretty much to ourselves when we first arrived and had no problem finding a beach chair pretty much anywhere on the beach. People started arriving and the resort became fairly busy about 2 days before Xmas, but we still managed to find chairs.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on the Bavaro Runners excursion at $60.00 US per person and I would definitely recommend it. It was a full day of excursion through the Domican countryside which is beautiful…sugar cane fields, rum, horseback riding, rum, lunch, rum, cigar rolling, rum, cocao/coffee farm, rum, and lastly a spectacular beach called Macao beach were we went boogie boarding and of course..rum. The resort has a different nightly show at 9:30 each evening. One night was the Michael Jackson show. My spouse is not a MJ fan and even he was impressed. The shows are definitely well done and alot of fun.

Other Comments: I would go back to this resort again if they could guarantee me hot food and I would stay in Building #7…across the other side of the resort away from the barking dogs.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Jennifer ~ Northern Ontario

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 2008
We stayed in the Cameleon Select area of the resort in building 10. Check in was a breeze with a drink ready and a bottle of rum as a welcome. Our beach towels were already in our room and we were on the beach in less than 1/2 an hour.

Rooms:
Our room was great. Big and clean. We found the maid service to be good if a little late in the day – they come and take the dirty towels and then come and clean the room restock the towels and the mini bar in three different trips. The food was good.

Restaurants and Bars:
The only restaurant that we didn’t get to was the seafood. The Japanese was VERY good (and didn’t cost anything with our Cameleon Select room). The buffet had tons of choice and is all "American" there’s no hint that you’re in the Caribbean in the food. We thought that was too bad but the others we were with were very happy about it.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds are gorgeous! There is sea weed on the beach but it’s not bad enough to be a problem and they are always raking it up.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on The Reef Explorer, The Marinairum, and the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure tours. I would recommend all of them!

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Lori and Al ~ Mitchell, Ontario

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 19 to Jan2/09
We arrived Dec 19 and check in was a nightmare. We have travelled extensively and this is the slowest I have ever seen.

Rooms:
We had to change rooms 4 times to get a satisfactory one. First one was on 3rd floor and we had requested 1st as I have mobility restrictions.Next room was filthy, next room the door lock had been kicked in and patio door lock broke, toilet did not flush, phone did not work, and the list just went ona nd on As by this time it was 3am we kept this room for the night with a chair pushed up against the door and a screw nail in patio door. This was all Friday night. Took until Monday to get satisfactory room.

Restaurants and Bars:
Cold and raw food everywhere. The food is hardly 3 star. The buffet is always cold unless you had an omelet or pasta.Meat cooked at cooking stations you had to tell them to keep putting it back on or it was raw.DiMarios food terribleCeasar salad tasted like it was rolled in fish, meat tough, all was cold, waiters slow. Tex Mex was good but you can only go once a week.Careful of using minibar in room. The give you 2 pop, 2 beers and 1 big water a day. If you use anything else it is very expensive.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds maintained well, but not 4 or 5 star.Pools clean. At adult pool the no children rule not enforced. To get in the jacuzzi one day I had to tell 6 kids to leave. Their parents were sitting right there. Another day had to tell other kids they did not belong. Staff does nothing about this. The pools are clean and good temp. Beach nice once seaweed is cleaned up. Not enough chairs. Constant battle and sometimes people stealing chairs, saw arguments on the beach for stolen chair and stuff.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on the shopping trip to Higuey and it is a rip off. We were to see a cathedral, tobacco place, market, have a Dominican lunch, and guided tour. We saw the church, one shop and a grocry store thenthe driver took us back to the hotel. We couldn’t get through to him as he spoke NO English. Booked trip for speedboats and Sunwing rep wrote down the wrong time so they never came to pick us p. Took right up until we were getting on the bus to go to the airport to get money back.Sunwing rep was MIA for a few days!

Other Comments: We were at this resort in Feb 06 when is just changing from Punta Grand to Sunscape and it wa first rate. That is why we went back! The resort did do a very nice job of the Christmas celebrations and New Years Eve. Can’t believe that a resort can go that far downhill in 2 1/2 years. Would never go, and would think twice about any Globlia resort (the parent company).

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Iris and Bill ~ Winnipeg

December 2008

Arrival: Dec 22 – 29
No problems with the arrival on Skyservice…they even had a lot of legroom and nice hot meals (the last we would experience until flying back on the evening of the 29th). Nolitours was very efficient on pickup, etc.

Rooms:
Excellent rooms on the Chameleon side. Never lost power, hot water most of the time, good bed and pillows, excellent maid service, even had excellent service on the room safe activation. We were first ever to use this room…nice. However, we did experience a small shower leak coming from the light above the shower from the room above.

Restaurants and Bars:
The mode of doing reservations for the a la cartes was bizarre. Sometimes you needed to, sometimes not. The fact that we had paid more for the Chameleon "preferred service" (read not requiring any reservations) made no difference. Really, the only extra was being able to eat at the Aqua restaurant, which didn’t have much selection and waiters with attitude. They would walk by apparently busy but never serve you with coffee or water. If you served yourself, they would get annoyed. Windows restaurant, the main buffet, had a decent selection of foods, but all food was cold eg. saw a lady scoop up some mashed potatoes, sniff, and plop it back disgustingly into brand new tray brought just brought from the kitchen. This happened with many other foods. The only selection that was warm was the pasta and omelletes / egg bars that prepared the food on a grill right in front of you. Had a meal at the Italian, same cold / lukewarm food (probably brought in from the Windows restaurant almost next door. The only decent warm food was at the Japanese restaurant as the food was cooked right in front of you on a huge grill. GENERAL RULE OF THUMB IS DO NOT EAT ANY MEAT, including chicken, pork, hamburgers, etc. as almost all meat was blood red inside. Saw a mom feeding her young approx. 4 year old son raw hamburger. The food is not 4 or 5 star quality, as the resort is rated.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pools are beautiful but cold with no hot tub in sight. Beach was the reason we came to Punta Cana. No disappointments here with the beautiful white sands and the miles of undeveloped beaches west of the resort bordering the natural reserve.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on the Marinarium tour. OK. Our daughter went on the "dune buggy" run. Aside from the usual equipment problems, such as wheels falling off, etc., had a great time, especially swimming in the caves.

Other Comments: This is not our first trip to the Dominican. From the food point of view, it has been the worst. Even a 3 star rated resort (Barcelo Dominican) from last year had much better (hot) food and service. Won`t go back to this resort.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Cher ~ Cleveland, Ohio

December 2008

Arrival:   We arrived November 30, 2008

Rooms:
Jr. master suite Room 7313 Little MONSTERS IN OUR BED DAILY (gecko’s)

Restaurants and Bars:
4 restaurants 3 bars No matter if you had breakfast, lunch , or dinner the food was always COLD in the main restaurant (windows) The food in the Italian restaurant was good… The hamburgers were always undercooked !!! Fries were good !!!!! The same thing cooked everyday in the main restaurant(Windows) The bartenders were wonderful,(mario is the greatest ) the drinks are a bit strong. The flies in the buffet style restaurant are very very annoying .Please dont forget to Tip the wait staff, they go there best to refill your beverages and clear off the dirty plates !!!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The white sand beaches were fill with seaweed !!! the ground are well maintained the seaweed was cleaned up by 7am. At lease they tried to clean it up ????

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Cancelled Monday & Tuesday ! Thursday was cancelled because the wasn’t any electricity On that side of the resort including Block 2,4,&7 where we stayed

Other Comments: Gecko’s were everywhere including in our bed under the covers !!! A vacation team bugging us to buy a time share during our whole stay. When the lights went out , all management offered us was 1 candle, Not even to give us another room !!! I dont recommend this resort to ANYONE !!! Find a better RESORT !!!! Overall the staff was wonderful, if you speak Spanish !!!

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Hlywud/the Warden ~ Ontario, Canada

October 2008

We flew out of Toronto on Skyservice 757 in Row 21, lots of leg room. Uneventful relatively smooth flight arrived ahead of schedule time at 10:20 am, customs was very quick, luggage quick and onto bus to resort with Grande Presidente in hand within about 20 minutes of arrival, 15 minutes later we arrived at the resort.

Check in at the resort was very efficient, with welcome drink in hand, we were greeted by Guest Service Manager Jose Sanz, who registered us and then took us to our beautiful suite and within 15 minutes we were back at the lobby for the afternoon at the pool and beach. I previously emailed resort requesting a room with an ocean view on an upper floor. We got exactly what we requested and more, a beautiful 3rd floor Master Suite, with magnificently polished marble floors, king sized canopy bed, lovely sitting area, an in room Jacuzzi and a balcony Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean and beautiful beach. Quite a pleasant surprise for us. One word describes these accommodations “Magnificent”.

There are lots of lots of shelf space and hangers in closet with an electronic safe available at no charge. The bathroom toilet area was although small size but very adequate with its own privacy door and was flanked by a huge walk in shower with its own privacy glass door as well. The dressing area had two sinks and supplies of shower caps, sewing kit, face cloths, and lots of towels, body lotion, and body gels.

The balcony was a good size with two chairs and round table as well as rack for wet bathing suits, as well there was a very large 2 person Jacuzzi that overlooked the ocean,

Maid service was excellent—usually cleaned by noon. Each night we came back to find a turn down service has been provided and a fresh supply of towels.

Cameleon section rooms which we visited were nice clean and well decorated junior suites considerably smaller than our room, but would have been very acceptable, and there was a lazy river between the blocks for the guests to use and bar service provided direct to your lounger.

Resort is very nice, but needs to be maintained with a bit more TLC in the common area of the resort, but I was assured by Senor Sanz that this area will be renovated as soon as the new addition is opened and operational.

As far as layout the resort is very easy to get around. Grounds are lovely and have some beautiful foliage and plants with a family of egrets and flamingo’s wandering around their own ponds.

The beach was better than I anticipated as I had read there was a lot of seaweed in this location; I had been previously at the resort next door a few years back and had no sea grass problems.

Seaweed was raked up meticulously every morning but more small amounts flowed in as the day went on. This is a seasonal thing in the area of Cabeza de Toro. I had also read previously about all the boat traffic and fumes from the Club Nautica adjacent to this resort, this posed absolutely no problems at all during our stay.

There were plenty loungers available at the beach and the pool with adequate shade available. While the resort workers raked almost all the resort beach area daily the guests need to spend a little time thinking about all the debris (napkins, paper plates, cigarette butts etc.) they left around the loungers on the beach and at the pool. Would you through your garbage on your own backyard or patio area? I think not!

This is not a garbage disposal area; there were garbage receptacles available at many locations on the beach and around the pool. One thing that the resort could do is provide some plastic ashtrays throughout the resorts common area, this would definitely help alleviate some of the cigarette butts that people just crushed into the sand or left in a drink glass near the pools.

As I mentioned in my conversation with Senor Sanz, this becomes an unnecessary resort problem due to the lack of intelligence of some tourists, Senor Sanz agreed that an introductory letter in the registration envelope asking guest to treat the facilities as if it were part of their own home might help rectify this. He also was going recommend that a supply of proper plastic ashtrays be placed in the pool and beach area.

The main pool is a decent sized with lots of palapas and loungers. No problems with the towel game being played as there are plenty of loungers available; the pool was definitely in need of a refurbishment as there were lots of spots where the paint was gone from the bottom and near the sides also. The pool was a popular spot in the afternoon especially if any the sand started to blow on the beach but it was very hot and one had to avail themselves of the water frequently to stay cool. Temperatures for the week ranged between 30C and 32C.

There also was a pool available in the Cameleon Suite area with a lazy river running in between the blocks of rooms, these were in very good condition.

Food and service was excellent in all the a la carte restaurants.

We tried the Italian a la carte, the Seafood and Tex Mexican restaurants and enjoyed them all immensely. The wait staff was very attentive, courteous and polite; it is our opinion that these were the best a la carte restaurants that we have visited in our many visits to the Dominican Republic and rate close to any 5 star restaurants we have used.

The Windows buffet always had something to suit everyone’s palate but was consistently the same everyday. The air conditioning unit was not operational therefore the windows were opened to help with air flow but it was quite hot and did tend to attract some flies.

Entertainment in the evening didn’t really impress us it also started at 9:30 pm and I am an early riser and generally to bed quite early. Lobby bar (Umbrella) and court yard was the place to gather/hang in the evenings for a few evening cocktails under the stars.

Sports equipment was available for all ages at this resort, shuffleboard courts, bocce ball courts, volleyball, tennis, wind surf equipment, hobie cats, kayaks, sail boards, table tennis, pool tables, foos ball and even a ps2 station for the video addicts. In the afternoons the animation team led the games at the beach and around the pool everyday.

The resort while it is listed by most tour operators as a 4.5 star in my opinion doesn’t meet those standards, but was a solid 4.0 star that could be improved with the TLC that I mentioned previously.

We would return if the price was right, I am sure that once the addition is operational and renovation programs which some were in progress are completed this resort will live up to the standards

Pictures can be seen here
http://www.worldisround.com/articles/348712/index.html

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Diane ~ US

September 2008

August 29 through September 6th 2008

There were six of us, all mature professional women. Five of us had been to this resort four years ago before the management change and enjoyed it very much. We decided to take a chance and go back to the same resort. This was a disappointing decision especially since one of our group hadn’t been there before and it didn’t live up to our expectations.

We found the staff very nice, helpful, and fixed a small problem with our reservation very happily as well as some other maintenance issues. The grounds were kept very nice as was the pool and beach area (for the most part…there are slobs no matter where you go that need someone to stand next to them and pick up after them 24/7). It was also nice to be fairly close to the airport so that we weren’t driving for an hour to get to our resort.

The food seemed to be the biggest issue. Plenty of it at any hour, always something you could find that was suitable for your taste buds, however, the FLIES and other types of flying insects definitely knew where the food was being served also. I am speaking specifically about the Windows Buffet (which is where we mainly ate as we were on vacation and preferred not to make reservations for dinner). FLIES crawling around on all the food was very unappealing and I don’t understand why because it is a restaurant. My roommate and I both ended up with the intestinal thing (no we did not over indulge but I certainly have wondered about the flies).

We all love Punta Cana and will go back again, but trying a different All-Inclusive resort each time is definitely the way to go.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   

July 2008

Maintenance and upkeep of the hotel is terrible. The property was sold to us as a 5 star hotel but by the tour operator, Sunwing Holidays, but the only thing that was 5 star in the hotel was the size of the rooms. All rooms on the main floor are very moldy. The mold most likely lives in the air conditioning. I had to change rooms twice and although the smell in the last room I stayed at was not as bad as in the previous ones, I could not spend any time in my room, only when I had to go to sleep. Returning home I had to wash all my clothes three times, even those ones I did not wear at the hotel. Most clothes still smell bad of mold. Mold is very unhealthy and toxic, it can cause bad migraines or serious lung problems mimicking Tuberculosis, et

We were not allowed to put our wet bathing suites on the balcony to dry them, we had to leave them in our cold air conditioned rooms. Of course they could not get dry inside the room, they just simply soaked in more mold smell. It was impossible to adjust the cooling of the air conditioner, so it was either very cold or too hot when we turned it off I asked guest services at the hotel to clean the air conditioning in my room, I do not know if they did it or not, the smell of mold was still prevalent when I checked out.
I spoke to guests staying on higher floors, They did not have mold but they lacked water pressure in their room, they could not take showers. I found live cockroaches running around in the bathroom .

Food was mediocre but the selection was good. We were allowed to have dinner 4 times in different restaurants within the resort. 2 of these restaurants were bad. I can recommend only the American Grill or the Di Mario restaurants where the food selection was limited but the servings were tastier than in the main restaurant serving buffet food. They served stale Italian Focaccia bread, un-toasted with a thin slice of cheese and a bit of Prosciutto Do not eat desert at any of these restaurants though. 90 % of the food is imported, the deserts tasted like card board freshly taken out of the freezer.

There is lots of food going to waste at the buffet (Window) restaurant. After each meal all the untouched buffet food is thrown into the garbage even though the country is very poor with many people starving on the island.

The beach is nice but for some reason they cut most of the branches of the palm trees, so there is hardly any shade. I had to get up at 6 a.m. on my vacation every morning to secure lawn chairs with umbrellas on the beach. Do not go to this property in July and August. Since the hotel is owned by a Spanish hotel chain, most guest were from Spain and Europeans take family vacations in July and August. While there were very limited number of people from English speaking countries, they had huge Spanish families. The hotel is catering to kids. There is not much adult entertainment and with the exception of the front office, the staff does not speak English. It was surprising that the host of the evening entertainment program did not speak English either. I have been at other resorts, even 3 star ones in the Dominican Republic where they had much better entertainment and many more bilingual staff

Drink selection was good, they even served imported wine and other alcohol. Landscaping was nice, although during the period I stayed at the hotel there was construction going on at the middle of the resort as well as at the next door hotel. It was impossible to enjoy quiet time on the beach due to the construction noise from both directions

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana    Andre ~ USA

June 2008

Rooms
We stayed at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana in room 8700 in May for a week. We were originally given rooms 5210 and 5212 when we arrived but because the paint was peeling off of the walls and both refrigerators were not working we were switched to another room. The other issue was that we were given these rooms and when we double checked our paperwork we noticed that we were supposed to have a 3 bedroom apartment (which is why we got room 8700). You would think that they would have just given us the right room from the start but that didn’t happen.

The 8700 room was not ready for anyone to stay there. There was a towel soaking up the leak in the closet from a broken air conditioner which means that some worker knew that there was a leak.

This place has some upgraded rooms which are pictured on their site but be wary of the bait and switch. When you get to the resort you will find that if you want to stay in these rooms the guys at the front desk will ask you to pay an additional $50 per person per night to stay in these rooms. Most couples I saw paid it because the standard rooms were in such bad conditions. On a 2 week vacation that is another $1400…unthinkable.

The electricity went out in the resort on our last day and we were told that the entire area was having problems but when I went to the Sunscape hotel next door the electricity was working there.

Restaurants
The food was absolutely horrible and there were many fruit flies in the Windows Restaurant and other restaurants as well. Usually when there are this many flies around there is definitely a cleanliness problem.

Bars
Extremely slow service at the bars…very strange considering how many bars they have

Beach and Pools
This is probably the only good thing about the place…many activities at the pool and activity staff seemed to be the only ones working.

Grounds
Not so impressive…have been to a ton of other places and this place was not as well manicured as the rest and the only animals they have are roaches, flies and mosquitoes.

One of the cooks in the Windows Restaurant tried to sell me a necklace. Which means that he would have left his area where he was cooking to get a necklace and try to make some money. What is going on at this place???

The workers at your Spa are extremely lazy and do not want to work either. I visited your spa 4 times over the span of 3 hours in hopes of getting a spa treatment and was turned away several times and told that there was no one available to help. When they did find a person to help her that person said that she was too tired to do anything. It was one excuse after another excuse to not work.

Departure and Check Out
I decided to cut my vacation short and leave a week early but since I prepaid they needed to have a copy of my credit card to refund me the additional week. The week after I got back my bank called me up and told me that someone tried to use my card in Miami. This is the only place where I used this card because I paid for the next hotel with another card. Please be careful.

Conclusion
My biggest concern was the vulgar language being used by workers of all levels at your resort. Since I understand Spanish I was able to figure out exactly what they were saying but having to listen to that kind of language is offensive and shouldn’t be tolerated.

I feel as though we were under unsafe and unlivable conditions for the majority of our trip. Most of the workers at this resort are also very lazy and seem to just be hanging out socializing as opposed to doing their best to make their client’s stay as good as could be.

I have never had a worse vacation and given the reduced amount of time provided for vacation in the United States it is a greater loss for us to have gone to your resort than just financial.

I would never go back to this resort or any of its affiliated resorts even for free.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana    Brad ~ Ontario, Canada

June 2008

Flight
Great flight with Sunwing every thing was on schedule

Rooms
Upgraded to building #7 beautiful big room except one morning had two cockroaches

Restaurants
Ate only in the buffet great food service was a little slow, seemed a little understaffed

Bars The staff works hard but the drinks are not up to par, seems like they are watered down. The coca loco were not good here and that is the only drink that we enjoy

Need another beach bar by building # 7 as the nearest one is at the main pool area

Beach and Pools
The adult pool was full of children . No stairs in the main pool only ladders, very difficult to get in and out on the plus side they were clean and warm

Beach was 88 degrees and beautiful but a lot more seaweed then resort further up

Grounds the area is nice but needs work didn’t see staff working on the grounds as we have seen at other resorts we have visited in Punta Cana
Smaller resort and everything is convenient

Activities and Entertainment
there were there but we did not participate

Departure and Check Out
No problems with check out and the new way they have the check in at the airport everything went smoothly

Conclusion The rules of the resort are not followed

1. adult pool always had children in

2. dress code for supper was not enforced

There are time share and people trying to sell condos at the bars, pools and restaurants, you are on vacation not looking to buy real estate There was lots of plastic glasses and litter on the beach and common areas There is lots of construction right on the resort and beside I would not go back to this resort as the resorts further up the beach like the Bavaro Princess and the Palladium are far more superior as far as the beach and grounds

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana    Veni ~ Montreal

May 2008

Arrival and Flight: This was my first ever trip to the D.R., so I was a bit nervous about how the procedure would be. Arrived at around 6PM on Friday, May 2nd. In and out of the airport very quickly and easily. Well organized and efficient! Walk out of the plane, grab your suitcase, find your mini-bus and GO! The people there were soo helpful and friendly. No stress at all.

Rooms: Blown away! We had the ground-floor room which was huge and comfy beds. AC worked a bit too well ’cause the room would get so cold that when you finally decided to go outside into the heat, it was a shock to system! Ceiling fan, to me, was enough!!! Our maid was the best! Although she spoke no english, we still got along quite well by the universal method of sign language! Once she understood a request, she would drop everything to comply! And always smiling! If you want the safe, it will cost you an extra $18 USD and for this, you’ll have to go to the main lobby Punta Cana (not the Grand Oasis side). Fridge always stocked and fresh towels, daily.

Restaurants: I ate solely at Windows! Fantastic buffet where everyday, something new was on the menu. The staff there were very friendly and are constantly running around to clear away plates and refill empty glasses. I had lunch once at the American Grill and at the beach-side resto. Both were good also.

Bars: LOVE IT! I don’t know about the Punta Cana side, but for the Grand Oasis side, we had a waiter walk up to our poolside terrace to serve our drinks! From our morning coffee (D.R. coffee will cure anything!), to lunch time beer, to evening drinks! When I would actually make the effort to leave the room (!), the bar next to the American Grill would be my watering-hole! Regardless, all the bartenders are very friendly and would sometimes show-off à la Tom Cruise in Cocktail, which I really liked!

Beach and Pools: Clean, clean, clean!!! There’s always someone doing something to maintain the beach/pools.

Grounds: Absolute beauty. Just like everything else, the grounds were always clean, well groomed and had the odd gardener here and there doing something.

Activities and Entertainment: Very inviting. Nobody would feel left out, the person running whatever activity would encourage people to join and make sure everyone was doing something to participate. And soo much fun too! Wherever you would go, there was music playing and people dancing! Tours: Didn’t do any of the tours ’cause this trip was basically to get the feel. No doubt, I will participate in the tours/excursions when I return (in which will be soon). Just remember to have a minimum of $100 USD (per activity) set aside for this and sign up with your travel guide (in our case, Nolitours). We heard scary tales of people signing for tours with "guides" they met on the beach, getting assigned an activity (and paying in advance!!) just to find out after that it was all a hoax (and pre-paid activity money lost).

Departure and Check Out: Piece of cake. We had to check out at 12PM, but our mini-bus was scheduled for 2:30PM. No problem, ’cause they kept our suitcases in a courtesy room. And just like the arrival, the departure was very easy ’cause I found everything to be well organized.

Conclusion: I found that if you approach a staff member with a smile and a handshake, regardless if you have an issue or a problem, things will get done quite efficiently. All in all, I really had a good time and like I mentioned earlier, I will return before the end of the year, so much I appreciated and loved the experience.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Dennis

April 2008

My wife and I have traveled to the Dominican Republic a dozen times and have never experienced a property that we would never return to; now we’ve found one!

The (upgraded) room was too humid for habitation. The bed sheets were always damp as were the towels, our clothes, books and papers. The sliding door did not have a screen so attempting to dry out the room with outside air only served to welcome mosquitos into our clammy abode.
Two attempts by "maintenance" succeeded only in temporarily stemming the flow of water/condensation from the ceiling AC unit.

The food was poor to mediocre but we just could not get past the flies that were constantly on the food in the buffet serving areas, on the baskets of bread, on our plates, silverware, napkins and our food once it was in front of us. I have never experienced such unsanitary conditions anywhere in our very extensive travels. Table clothes are not routinely changed between diners; stains and spills from earlier diners only attracting more flies.

Our only respite from the flies was one a dinner at the Italian restaurant one evening.

It defies my understanding why this property is not experiencing widespread health problems among its guests.

The staff was nice, but have not been trained to be neat or attentive to the needs of their guests. A simple thing like having "cafe con leche" arrive promptly at breakfast more often than not just could not happen.

I could go on and on but good reader I trust you get the message.

We would certainly not give the management of Grand Oasis Punta Cana 5 stars or 5 apples. A 3 would be most generous.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana    Amber ~ Calgary, AB, Canada

April 2008

Grand Oasis Cameleon Select Club / Bavaro Suites

Arrival and Flight April 10, 2008 – Air Transat Flight TS138, after being stuck on the tarmack in the plane for 4hrs during a snow storm we were finally off on our 6.5hr flight there. Thankfully the plane was not full as it was more comfortable to have to be on for 10.5hrs.

Rooms : Junior Suite in building 7 – they were spectacular and just like the rooms shown on the website which was nice, however I could see it being disappointing if you were in a standard room only seeing pictures of these rooms for sure.

Restaurants : I have to say I was impressed with all the restaurants, however my favorite was the Aqua which is mostly specific to the Cameleon Select Club as we can go in without a reservation at any time. I find the best thing to remember is that you can’t expect it to be like home, but for being away I found it quite good actually. I was never sick, but stayed away from the salads as all the lettuce is washed in tap water which you can’t drink.

Bars : Great service and the bartenders were great.

Beach and Pools : I found that the beach was great, white sand and good water. The first few days were a bit murky as there was quite a bit of wind, but the last half of the trip was calmer and the water was clean and clear which was nice and I spent more time in the water then. I did not spend any time in the pools at all to be honest, however saw them cleaning often and others seemed to enjoy them as well.

Grounds : They were always working and keeping things neat, tidy and clean around the place. After it rained one night they were out picking up everything that fell and cleaning things up nicely.

Activities and Entertainment : There was plenty to do and the entertainment was quite good as well.

Tours : I didn’t take advantage of any tours this trip as I was simply going to relax and unwind on the beach, but others who did were really impressed and seemed to enjoy their outings.

Departure and Check Out : April 17, 2008 – Air Transat flight #TS139, check out was great as I only had to pay an extra $15 to keep my room for 2hrs longer. Departing through the airport all went without a hitch and it was nice to be on my way home.

Conclusion : I was impressed with the overall atmosphere and service provided at this resort. Keep in mind I did pay the extra to book as part of the Cameleon Select Club to ensure a suite in building 7 and some of the other little extras which made the entire stay that much more enjoyable. I decided before I went that I was going to spend the extra upfront and hopefully ensure a better time than try to fix it when I got there. I found the people to be friendly and helpful, but you do have to remember they are on Dominican time and everything will get done, just not always right away like back home.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Katerina

April 2008

We stayed there for the first week of April’08. It was our first Caribbean vacation, but I have to admit I expected more for the money.

Pros: 1. Room was in a good condition (bldg#2 – we gave a $20 tip to get a better room), maid service is excellent (subject to a $4 daily tip) – Angela was great – the room was always clean and the fridge was well-stocked. 2. Overall resort was quite clean and 50% of staff was friendly. 3. Resort doctor was very nice and helpful – my Daughter was very sick for 4 days with the stomach flu. He gave us some kind of medication (everything is Spanish) and she was in a tip-top shape after 12 hours! Plus we didn’t have to pay anything, b/c we were able to use our insurance (not counting tip, of course). 4. Pool – great. 5. Weather and ocean – really enjoyed both!

6. Haven’t seen any bugs, roaches or rats – progress!!!!!

Cons: 1. Terrible Food!!!!! The "best" place at the resort is considered to be the Italian Restaurant, but in my opinion, I would rather go to Olive Garden. We ate there once and my husband got sick! Stay away from American Grill – food is simply inedible. Windows (buffet) is great for breakfast or lunch, but dinner selection is very poor (at least they compensate with the friendly staff!!). Seafood place is acceptable. Room service selection has ONLY 6 sandwiches for lunch and dinner. 2. Impossible to make reservation to the restaurants if you don’t tip! My husband didn’t tip and the rep gave him American Grill reservation for 8pm at night, saying that this is only one availability for the entire week, b/c somebody cancelled. When we got to the restaurant – the place was Empty!!!! ….Later, I spoke to another rep – Annie, who was very kind and helped me to get reservations for every night of our 1-week stay there. 3. Beach is not very clean. Aside from the seaweed (which is cleaned daily), watch out for broken glass.

4. ATM machine dispense only pesos – bring cash with you!

Overall, our experience was o.k. Would I recommend this place to anyone? Probably yes…, but only for students.

Hope it helps.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Andrea ~ Brampton, Ontario, Canada

April 2008

Pictures Link: http://travel.webshots.com/album/563045309mFrSWZ

Arrival and Flight: Flew Air Transit from Toronto for an early departure at 6:30am. The flight was uneventful and slept most of the way. Arrived in Punta Cana Airport around 10:40. Customs went quick and departed the airport to the hotel within 45 minutes.

Resort: Located within the Grand Oasis Punta Cana is the new section Grand Oasis Bavaro Suites (please do not confuse it with The Grand Oasis Punta Cana).

The Grand Oasis Bavaro Suites is not like your typical resort which have large lobby but has its own small lobby that caters to the Cameleon Select Club. This section is brand new and was pretty much completed while I was there other then the elevators. This section has it’s own pool, restaurant and bars as well as full access to facilities and services at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana (guests at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana do not have access to the faculties at the Grand Oasis Bavaro Suites)

Check In: Check in went quick but the room was not ready. This I find typical with many resorts that I have been at that have early flights in so my girlfriend did as they suggested and went and had lunch and roamed the resort. We finally got back to the lobby around 3:00pm (we had to test out the coco locos at all the bars) and our room was ready.

Rooms: Our room was in building eleven on the third floor and it was a great room. It was all brand new with new drapery, plasma TV. Furniture, beds, digital safe, etc. And everything worked. The maids took good care of us while we were there and we tipped them for it. There was always plenty of water, beer, soft drinks, coffee in the room. You really could not ask for more when it came to the room.

Restaurants: We didn’t go to any of the a la carte but ate at the main buffet "Windows" our buffet restaurant "Bavaro" and the "Beach Garden Cafe". Both buffets (Windows and Bavaro) were excellent but Windows seem to have a larger selection of food and the service was much faster. As for the "Beach Garden Cafe" it was great. Buffet style with plenty of choices as well as a BBQ station outside for hamburgers, hotdog’s, Chicken, etc. It was also open 24hrs with snacks from 11:00pm to 6:00am.

Bars: We checked out all the bars and the drinks were great. I did find that the service was not as good at any of the bars as I am used to at other resorts I have stayed at. At times there were a huge line ups at the "Beach Garden Cafe" on the beach. The only time you would see all three bartenders working was when management came around. Also they had a problem with keeping up with clean glasses which they did remedy by using plastic cups but only when management told them to get them.

Beach and Pools: Didn’t go to the pool but spent the days on the beach when we could. There’s not too much to say about Bavaro Beach but beautiful as usual when the sun was out but we had rain for the last four days and it was quite windy making the ocean ruff and causing the beach to get lined with seaweed. Oh well who cares about a bit of seaweed anyways when your in paradise.

One strange thing did happen to me on the beach was that one of the workers at the water sport center recognized me from the Grand Oasis Marien in Puerto Plata which I had travelled to last year twice. It seem so weird that someone would recognize you from the island.

Grounds: The grounds were kept immaculate. Beautiful.

Tours: We did the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure and enjoyed our day with our guides. Excellent tour and worth the money we spent.

Check Out and Departure: Had to be the worst day. Got up early since we were leaving the resort at 8:30am and finished our packing and then went to breakfast. When we got back to the room our card would not work and could not get in the room. When we went to the lobby there was no one there so we went over to the Grand Oasis Punta Cana lobby and found out they can not program the card so we had to wait until 8:00am for our lobby receptionist to come. I can’t figure out yet how you are suppose to check out and 7:20 when there is no one there until 8:00am. Oh well every thing did work out and we left the resort at 8:45am only to find out when we got to the airport that our flight was late (Skyservice). It made it a long day but the trip was well worth it.

Conclusion: This is the first time in 10 years that my girlfriend and I had a chance to get away and we had a great time at this resort. For the right price I would return to this resort again but I would only rate this resort as a 4 star since. I have stayed at better resorts in Punta Cana.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Caireen ~ Kahnawake, Quebec

April 2008

Rooms We got a good deal from Sunwing (after a cancellation of our Mayan Riviera destination just one week before!! with no explanation!) so we were debating upgrading to the suites, but ultimately were still on a budget so chose the "deluxe room". Initially had some problems, which gave us about one hours worry about our choice, but front desk and maintenance were quick to fix an adjoining door which had swelled open (maybe a family had been there all week and kept it open?) Also took a little wiggling to get the balcony door secured to my boyfriend’s standards. Room was huge with King-sized bed, comfortable, with a closet with shelves and lots of drawers to put our stuff. Not the case in all rooms as we got a glimpse of a few down the hall. Could be the difference between a deluxe and standard room? Also suite rooms in Building 7 definitely nicer, but we ended up liking our room in Building 3 very much, close to beach and activities and as one woman in 7 said "much closer to the bars to get a drink!" However, one thing we noticed….DAMP. Took two days for our towels to dry from home and clothes and sheets always a little damp, which strangely enough didn’t bug us while there but as you will see cost us on the way home!! Jeans not a good idea in any case, as I like to wear jeans capris and skirts. Not a good idea with the humidity!

Tahira, our maid, was quick to answer any concerns about the room if spoken to directly, esp. about our preference for Coke Light and a remote that worked. Otherwise clean towels, face cloths and room every day. Did tip her few bucks a day, she obviously worked hard all day, but always had a smile or singing.

Restaurants We had no problems finding something to eat at any time of day. Buffet breakfast had alot of selection, Carlos, our AM waiter always ready with a smile, high five and my tea, was the best, there for breakfast and lunch. Dinner waiters we found hard to get drinks from or missing cutlery, just seemed not to care as much as earlier staff. We ended up eating and leaving quickly to go to the pool bar to relax after dinner. We also tipped when we had good service, but guess the evening waiters actually never got to find that out! Italian was ok, but our reser was for 9:45, and we ended up pigging out at the beach grill on chicken and fries so we wouldn’t be hungry!!! Needless to say we were still a little full. We missed the seafood place because I got sick (tried to blame the food, but my boyfriend was quick to point out the amount of rum I had the night before….oops) But we didn’t think we missed out on much because was so windy couldn’t have been that pleasant. American Grill we ate at twice and really liked it…loved the chips and salsa before the meal! First time we had resers, second time on our last night we just walked in and asked if we could be seated. Good beef enchilada in the combo, liked the fajitas.

Also, could still find food to eat when i was not feeling my best…nothing a little white rice and bananas couldn’t fix!

Bars No complaints there…when I found my drink a little weak at the pool bar just asked for a little more rum. No problem. May have been the start of my downfall that day! My boyfriend thought the Presidente beer on tap tasted like Coors light, but we also loved the Vodka and orange with fresh orange juice….and can’t forget the BananaMamas! Little too sweet to drink all week tho’. Pool bar very refreshing to sit in the water and get your drink or wander around the pool with it.

Beach and Pools Beach was great, always cleaning up the seaweed, and always found a nice place to lounge when we wanted. Took a long walk to the left past the other resorts (we’re really nosy about how other people are living!) and found the undeveloped beach and the sunset our first day there. Meant to go back but just never made it. Main pool was nice and refreshing , alittle bit of debris floating, but a guy cleaning it during the middle of the day. Always noticed someone cleaning something! Was windy some of the days we were there so could understand. other pools looked nice but never made it to swim as main pool more active and closer to the bar!

Grounds Just amazing and beautiful! Took way too many pictures of flamingoes for my BF’s taste but they made it seem more like paradise. Maybe saw some kind of a funky squirrel or rodent run across the end of the hall, but it’s open, what can you do.

Activities and Entertainment BF caught a beach volleyball game and was quite happy, we did the banana boat for $10 bucks each one day and the 1 hour snorkelling from the glassbottom boat for $20. Was worth it, as bread in hand attracts many coloured fish, blue and yellow, with some duller striped fish and some blending into the coral. Caught two shows which were entertaining, but missed alot of them as just getting through the kids show required more alcohol than I could handle all week! My son probably would have loved it, but….little too much! Disco was fun and packed the one night we made it, with animation staff staying to get the party started…they work long hours!! Casino was fun as my bf won on the 25 cent slots…I managed to grab $175 of his winnings…paid for our dunebuggy excursion and more. Animation staff also busy all day doing all kinds of exercises, games, dancing, etc. Fun to watch, didn’t get too involved tho’.

Tours Through Sunwing, booked the Country Adventure tour, which we figured, you can’t visit a country without learning a bit about it. Didn’t regret it one bit, very interesting and entertaining guide Alberto, forgot the school supplies I meant to bring for the kids, but others remembered. Really an experience to see how other people live in other countries. Bought some oregano off of the woman who’s house (shack) we visited, then raw sugar and vanilla at the ranch. Then had some panicky thoughts going through customs with an unlabelled container of green leaves and white crystals!! But had no problem there. Found out I was allergic to horses at the ranch…travellers, a little Benadryl, Gravol and Immodium can’t hurt and make sure you have your Ventolin if you’re even a little asthmatic…you never know what your trigger will be (I’m a Nurse). Missed out on swimming at the beautiful beach because others in our group had dinner resers and we were late already. Oh well.

Next we took the Tropical Storm Happy Hour Sunset Tour. Got stuck on a boat full of french-speaking people but luckily found two other english couples. Got to snorkelling point and unfortunately the "Tropical storm" part came out….the waves were too big and the boat ahead of us were rescuing their passengers as we got there!! Apparently some tail-end of a hurricane was causing big waves….and clouds! There went our sunset…no wonder I had too much rum. Still had fun but wouldn’t do this tour again…only rum, coke, sprite, orange soda and beer on that boat. But the little bottles of mamajauna with our pictures on them were cute and only 10 bucks.

The 3rd and final excursion (we found out we’re not lounge people) was the dunebuggy ride. The MOST FUN we had all week….awesome, we were filthy and loving it. Finally made it to the Macao Beach we had missed earlier, which was amazing…but alot of kids and people trying to sell stuff while you’re trying to wash off! Cheapie, cheapie, just 4 u! Then back in the dirt and off to a natural pool in a cave….equally amazing. At the end they offer you horse riding…I skipped this time!

Departure and Check Out Went fine at the hotel. get the phone cards to call home though…my bf mistakenly made a ten second call home to Canada and it cost us $9. Phone cards are $20 for 18 min, internet $5 for 20 min, but for two days one of the computers was free so everyone kept sneaking on! Ok, here’s the thing about damp rooms….you’re luggage weighs a heck of a lot more going home than when you came. I bought some souvenirs, but nothing major, some pareos and necklaces for the kids, three little bottles of rum and coke light for my bf. However, when we got to the airport, they told us both our bags were overweight and charges us $100…between the two of us 10 kilos over. I can’t figure out how since when we left both bags were under, but when I unpacked my jeans felt like they came out of the washer damp….that’s all I can figure out….but caution for anyone who likes to skirt the limit, they will charge and we weren’t the only ones because they kept announcing for all the people who paid overweight charges to verify their receipts at the airport. I’m thinking some kind of scam too, but whatever…they took american or canadian, they didn’t care as long as it was cash!! I felt like a criminal.

Conclusion We definitely had a great time, our first trip away from the kids by ourselves as a couple, you could definitely have a romantic, fun, amazing time here. We have no idea what a 5 star would be like, but we’re not fancy smancy people and Grand Oasis suited us just fine! had a little of everything for us. We also like the size of the resort, not so big you needed a trolley to get from place to place, could walk to everything easily(especially when a little sick and needed to get back to the room quick, LOL) We would consider bringing the fam back here if we ever considered bringing the kids back with us, but I think we might keep it our little place for now (there’s five of them!!)

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Keith

April 2008

We stayed here the week of March 22 -29. The resort is lovely but the room we had was terrible. The plumbing for the tub would not work and after 3 days they came only to make it worse. We never did get it fixed. The bath room switch for light and fan and bedside lamp would not work and we got it fixed after 3 days. The sunwing rep tried to help us but did not have any luck either. The front desk only wanted a upgrade at 50.00 a day. The morning we were to leave we lost all power in the resort and had to finish packing in the dark as they had no back up power. I would not rate this resort a 4+ it is more like a 3 even though I have never stayed at a 3.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Terry ~ Halifax, Nova Scotia

March 2008

We just arrived home from our vacation at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana.

Vacationed from March 22 – 29, 2008 with Sunwing Vacations – Pleased with our carrier. This is an average/usual charter flights with mimimum legroom. We received our free glass of champagne, headsets and movie. Choice of meal on both flights. Beach towel in room. Welcome information meeting with free bottle of rum.

This resort is located between gated off Club Med and the Natural Beach Park you cannot get access to the entire beach. There are 3 other resorts located in this location. The beach has a lot of seaweed. There was a tropical storm the week before which gave the beach more seaweed then normal. If you walk up past the 3 resorts the beach there is gorgeous and wonderful to swim. I would not recommennd the beach in front of the resort for swimming.

The beach has lots of huts for laying under but you need to get up early in the morning to reserve these places. Beach side there is a restaurant which serves breakfast and lunch and serves as a a’la cart resturant in the evening. (Not sure of name as it wasn’t mentioned on the door or at the reservation desk). Also by the beach is a snack bar with hamburges/hotdogs and chicken fries and condiments. Beach Gardern Bar located between beach area and pool area.

Watersports – free kayaking and cataman – (need a free lesson) if you cannot drive a catarmarn. We did have trouble getting the free catamarn lesson. For payment you can snorkle on the beach $10.00 not a great spot for snorkling, glass bottom boat ride $10.00 for $20 glass bottom boat and snorkling for appromately 1 hour. We did the glass bottom boat ride didn’t do the snorkling because we didn’t know you could and information there was not great but others on the boat did go and it was a great spot to see lots of fish. We were on the boat and thru out bread and yellow/black fish just bubbled to the top also seen a few blue fish. This is the area a lot of catmarman and snorkling tours took thier people. Banana Boat $10.00 (I think). I believe you can also book a fish tour as well. This is the area you exchange your towel.

The resort has two pools adult and general swimming pool with a kiddies pool area. Didn’t go to the adult pool so I don’t know what it was like. Swim up bar and a pool bar which opens later than the beach bar and is open late into the evening. Lots of activities going on at the pool area, spanish lessons, dancing, volley ball etc.

Bars – there is the swimup bar, pool bar, beach bar, adult pool bar. Unsure of what times the pool bar opens but is 12:00 or later, I believe the beach bar is 24 hours. Swim up bar closes at 6:00 p.m. Pool bar is the congreation area in the evening before the show and during and after the nightly show. Piano bar opens at 10:30 p.m. Karoke on Tuesday and Sautrday. not a lot people here usually. Disco bar open 10:30 p.m. only went once not a huge crowd.

Nightly entertainment – in the covered theatered. Movies every evening before the kids show (Kid particpate with singing and dancing). Then the main show which a differernt theme every night. Michael Jackson show is great. They also have audience particpation shows and the dance shows which showcase thier native dancing. Beach party was simply a show with audience participation hamburges/hotdogs.

Managers party was orange juice and champagne and entertainment staff dancing with us!

Resturants – Main Buffet good food average amount of selection. A’la Cart – Italian – Awesome service and food. Tex – Mex (Amercian Grill) average food – no steak. Didn”t try the others. I seen the Japaense and the Aqua restaurant and there was a fifth down by the beach but I don’t know what it was called. You can make reservations in the main lobby between 8a.m.- 11:00 a.m and 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. reserve early.

Lobby area and grounds looked wonderful. Our room was huge and so was the bed. Everything worked in our unit no problems with cleaniness. Loved the safe. $18.00 – you progamed in a code no key to lug around loved that.

The room were not overly fancy but they were nice.

La Fieston tour – long travelling time.
Travelled to the Artitist Villiage simply stunning and beautiful. Boat ride was great offered food and drinks. Food was hotdogs. Entertainment – dancing both watching and participating. Sailed past millionaire homes like Michael Jackson, Michael Jordon, Jennifer Lopez, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton.

Then off to our stop with snorking on a reef. Very good snorking here. Includes was a buffet and banana boat and tubing boat rides.

We had a great vacation and enjoyed our stay. We would not go again because of the beach but if your not a swimmer in the ocean it would not be a huge issue.

If you want to ask any question email me at terbearg@hotmail.com with Grand Oasis in the subject line.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana    Penny

March 2008

The Seaforth & District All Girls Marching Band along with chaperones (group of 53) from Huron County, Ontario, spent March Break at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana. The purpose of the trip was a performance and humanitarian tour. The girls gathered donations and school supplies to help school children at the little school in Cabeza de Toro near the resort. Caren DeVries, rooms manager at the resort, helped us set up preparations for our week and everyone had a wonderful time. The staff at this beautiful family friendly resort went out of their way constantly to ensure that our group had a memorable stay. The Band performed on stage at the resort, as well as at the Beach Party, The resort provided a truck and translators to accompany our group to the school where they performed and gave gifts of much needed school supplies, shoes and hygiene supplies. The highlight of the trip was a suitcase full of recorders (the musical instrument taught to grade 5 students in Ontario)… The girls had fundraised to buy them as gifts for the Dominican children. Bandmembers and chaperones returned to the school to teach the teachers and students to play and left the recorders for them to begin their own music program! The work at the school was very educational for our pampered children….seeing how their small gifts could make such a difference. The girls had a wonderful time taking in all the activities the resort had to offer and chaperones were extremely pleased at the level of security on the resort. I have travelled to Grand Oasis twice before and have no desire to even try out any other resorts….Caren and her staff always make me feel like a valued guest….I encourage anyone travelling to this resort or any other to remember the families that live in the area….School supplies and hygiene items are in short supply and will be greatly appreciated.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana    Blair and Wendy ~ Oshawa

March 2008

Just book it and go. Not enough can be said to convince you. What a terrific time.

This may be long but we touched most of the things that may interest you.

We flew out of Toronto February 24 2008 and returned March 2 2008 with Air Transat. We arrived as usual in the evening about 9:30pm. It was an uneventful flight. Our return trip was the same but was late due to a previous storm. No big deal.

Our tour rep in Punta Cana was Audry and she was able to direct us through out our holiday to ensure we were getting the best out of everything. Great job Audry.

Our suite was 9202 on the Bavaro side as indicated. The grass was very manicured and lots of work going on in upgrades but never annoying or bothersome, work must go on. The room was so fresh and new, just a couple of months old, complete with a small bottle of rum. What a wonderful room it was. Big flat screen television, a writing desk, a nice sofa and an abundance of pillows on the bed made it luxurious. All the usual amenities with in our room beach towels instead of lining up for them. We tried to turn them in for fresh ones at the beach shack one day, but they were always running out. Some people used three or four a day, very unnecessary. It’s only sand. The easy way to get new ones was to give them to the maid and fresh ones were put in your room before they went to the beach shack. The bed was a king and was very fancy. The bed was so comfortable but the room was a bit cold. The air conditioner was not controllable. It was on or off. We turned it off during the day and on at night . Extra towels on the bed for a bit of warmth made the nights so comfortable. I could not be bothered to ask for maintenance to come. It was easy to get around the workings of the air con. The bath was large and had a Jacuzzi tub that we used, the shower was great and the toilet was in a room of it’s own off the bathroom that made it real nice. Beautiful marble fixtures all around and the floor and walls to match. Lots of storage space throughout and drawers. A closet with hangers that were removable not the half hangers that you cannot use out of the closet. We hung up shirts and bathing suits to dry on them, very handy. Lighting was very nice and not to bright. The balcony faced the exclusive pool and had two comfortable chairs and a table. If you had a ground floor suite you had chaise lounge chairs at your door and the chairs. Juan was our exclusive waiter to the Bavaro and he always offered a drink. After your first order he always knew what your order was. ( Try the vodka and fresh watermelon juice, wow.) The Bavaro side is quite quiet which is nice. You never had to walk far to find the noise and excitement. The room had a safe which we used and we even got a $10.00 American tab for free at the casino every night. Don’t be fooled, nothing is free. After a couple of drinks and a hope full winning streak it cost over $70.00 to walk away, all the time the dealer saying how close we were to winning the big one. Stay away. Mosquito’s were around the room a bit. Never saw one outside but the new rooms had floor drains in the bathroom in case of a water leak and I think they come up the drain that is not capped to the outside. I put a book over the grate and we found it to be better. The nightly hunt for a couple of mosquito’s before bed was a ritual but not a big deal. A towel at the door on the floor may be of use to keep the mosquito’s out.The fridge was real cold if the cupboard doors were left open. The fridge will obviously over heat and not cool in an enclosed area, so the doors were always open. Nice cold water, pop and beer. The water bottles were the one litre size, so bring one from the airport if you want a smaller one for the beach. Very big water bottles. But handy in the room, and the bathroom for brushing teeth. There was a coffee maker and it also came in useful for tea if you brought back bags from the entrance of Windows restaurant. The bars served very good clean cold water. I am very careful when it comes to water and this was very clean. Not a problem. Elena was the maid. Few English words but I am the foreigner, no big deal, we laughed together anyways. Funny when language doesn’t work you can still figure things out. Her English for mosquito made me laugh all the time we were there. Mow-kito. She did a fantastic job. Always on the go and efficient. I tipped everyday, three dollars a day, about twenty for the week, not many others were tipping. It was hardly noticeable but I knew they were not as when I did it was a big deal to the help. They thanked and thanked us for the tip. We left small trinkets as usual but the skipping ropes, hair ties, young kids Disney underwear and the Hot Wheel cars that were only a dollar at home went real well.

We had our own exclusive a la Carte restaurant, no booking needed, just show the yellow wrist band.

The restaurants were very nice, we did the American Grill twice and the Da Mario once. Both were very good. The steak and pork together kabob was absolutely fantastic. We had the buffet dinner once but otherwise we did our own a la Carte for the rest of the time. I had steak with fried onions with the best ever creamy mashed garlic potatoes. There was two huge strips down each side of the meat and I could only eat one side but they were awesome. Wendy was able to clean the rest of them up, she is a potato nut.The Windows buffet was pretty good, a different theme every night, but we get tired of dinning out every night so the overabundance of food gets tiring. Lots of variety including fishes and some sea food. During lunch there was lots to eat as well. We made the mistake of having a huge Cesar salad at the Beach Garden Cafe for lunch and you know what happened. It had been made fresh in front of us but afterwards we realized that it was sitting in the open and not refrigerated very well. But live and learn. Beach Bar-B-Que on Thursday night with a party. It was no big deal.

The bars very fast and full of fun. Lots of good times for all. Again I tipped and was embarrassed a few times as even during a long line up I would pass by and they would yell at me asking if I wanted anything. Great bunch of guys. We talked to the Manager a few times. Very nice and they have allot of great ideas for this place. Great job so far. The beach was AAA and very busy. Not so much walking south but endless to the north. The water was calmer than we expected due to the reef. We sat near the towel shack most of the time and had some great laughs at the people working the shack as well as the hair braiding women. Olla, Hello, Bon Jour, with big smiles only to see the smiles disappear when they were turned down. Funny. Too expensive for something that looks so foolish on allot of people. The beach vendors were very good and easy to deal with. We found out from Don and Nancy, a fantastic couple we met there that cruising the other resorts sometimes saves you allot of shopping time and money. Their shops are reasonable and allot less work to find things you want. Water was so clear and warm, however a long walk of over two hours north away there was a lagoon that they took catamaran rides to. It was called the natural swimming pool, the smell was off and you could draw a line through the middle of when the colour changed from blue to brown. The smell was coming from a stream running into it. We did not walk in the water or on the beach there. It was the Bavaro Barcello 4 in one. They had allot of sickness there, no wonder.

The grounds were absolutely gorgeous and well maintained. Broken things from the drunken nights before were fixed within a day.

Activities were around for everyone but we were in a quiet mode so we watched and relaxed. A friend that we had met from Sirenis Tropical had started here and was just as much fun this time as last. Great job Jordan, he calls himself Micheal Jordan, to much.

We did not tour as most tours offer sand, sun, beach and rum, all the same as the resort, why leave? We did do the bike ride only to find out that they took use to a vendor at the end of the ride and expected us to shop. Not. The bike was so uncomfortable, the seat was broken and the tires wobbled bad. The catamaran and sail boards were there to use. The guys in the shack tried to scam $10.00 lessons but I read up well on the resort and the lessons were included. They showed me how, to little use as the catamaran went everywhere but where I wanted it. We headed to shore with the greatest force and beached it. Whew. Let me off. Tennis, gym, snorkling, volleyball and shuffle board for entertainment if you like. The Micheal Jackson Tribute was pretty good and the only show we went to. It was generally to late for us as we never left the sun any day.

Checkout was great as we had the room for longer due to the late flight, costs a bit but worth it. Check out was a little confusing as we had the room longer and paid and simply vacated the room and moved our luggage to their locked room. I thought they understood, but no big deal. The ride to and from the airport was nice as it was only 20 minutes. Unlike Sirenis which is an hour away, and BuMmPpyY.

Don’t hesitate, just go. Great people, great sun, great sand, great times. What a wonderful stay. Thanks to Air Transat for putting it together and to all the people that make it great. Air Transat included, by surprise the $20.00 U.S. departure tax. Thanks Transat Guys. More 151 Percent Proof Rum for us.

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  Grand Oasis Bavaro/Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Gretchen

March 2008

Just love the short 20 minute ride from the airport to be greeted with cold towel, fresh cookie and rum punch. Check in was a breeze and Building 7 was as beautiful as ever. This year we had the second hot tub on our patio looking out to the ocean. Weather was just wonderful and the service remains what I believe to be the best in Punta Cana. A warm thank you as always to Caren for making us feel like we are returning home again and again, Nicholas at the adult pool, the maid service and all staff members who constantly go out of their way to make your time in the sun is something to treasure.

Grounds – lush and kept beautiful. I have one pet peeve in this area though – I don’t understand why guests can not return an empty glass to the bar where they filled it in the first place instead of just placing it on a wall…

Beach – enjoyed the expansion by re-locating the local merchants. Was happy to see that they were in walking distance. Always enjoy playing the game with them. Seaweed raked every morning! No problems with getting chairs.

Pools – wonderful. Great selection. We spend most of our time at the adult pool, but do miss the privacy wall. Would like to see some sort of privacy regained in that area again.

Food – made reservation at Italian restaurant for anniversary. Whole meal was outstanding! Windows offers great variety for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch at the beach bar and hamburgers on the beach also hit the spot. No problems with the food what so ever. This year I noticed how much more flavor the fruits and vegetables have than here in the states. You should never go hungry at this resort and quality was great.

Room – we stayed in Building 7 again and enjoyed every minute of it. Maid service was great every day. No problems with hot water, mini fridge or AC at all.

Entertainment – this was our 7th visit to PC so we kinda pass on the majority of shows, but please do not pass on the Michael Jackson show. It is spectacular even seeing it again.

Something New – we took the bike ride with JC and other guests. It was relaxing and is a great idea. Will definitely do it again when we return. Tours leave everyday at 10 am and sign up is at Tennis office.

Punta Cana is growing by leaps and bounds. Amazing how things have changed over the past 7 years, but always still worth the trip. The people of the DR are an amazing group of people. Always there with a smile. And if you have the room, throw some school supplies in your suitcase for the children. This year, I gave our supplies to the Outback Safari crew who will get them to deserving kids. Every little bit helps…

I enjoy our time at Grand Oasis and would recommend it to anyone. And of course, we will be back…

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  Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Barb

March 2008

My best friend and I just returned from a one week vacation at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana. We holidayed from February 26th – March 4th. I can’t say enough positive things about this resort! The food was fantastic with a great variety to suit all tastes. We ate at two of the three a la carte restaurants. The Tex Mex was okay but the Italian was superb!

The only negative comment I have is that there was a group who were consistently noisy until all hours of the morning. This didn’t allow my friend to get much sleep. I had taken ear plugs with me so I was fine.

The beach is awesome and the pools superb.

We booked with Sunwing and had no problems with the flights. They served tasty meals and were very pleasant to deal with. I am already planning a second vacation to the Grand Oasis Punta Cana.

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  Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Jennifer ~ Winnipeg, MB, Canada

February 2008

Arrival – A group of 6 of us flew down with Sunwing vacations. This was frustrating for us as originally it was a direct flight, and then after we booked, they changed the flight to go through London, Ontario. Sunwing also changed the flight times. Arrival at the resort was smooth, however many people rushed the desk, and I would assume that it took quite a bit of time to get checked in if you were not first in line. Originally we had asked for rooms on the upper floors, but were told there were no other rooms and placed on the first floor of building 5.

Rooms – In building 5…NEED UPGRADING/REPAIR. Of the three rooms that we had, each had it’s own individual problems ranging from leaky plumbing, to having locks on the doors that don’t work to (in all three rooms) a cockroach problem. One room had no alarm clock and the other a phone that didn’t work…we asked several times and only the phone got replaced, regarding the alarm clock, we never saw it. When presented with these issues we were informed that the only thing they could do was upgrade us to building 9, at a cost of $100 per room. Also they offered that if we wanted we could get our room fumigated (but we did not want to get poisoned ourselves and thus opted not to get it –> we wouldn’t stay in a house that was fumigated at home, why would we do it here where standards are much lower). Despite the fact that all three rooms tipped very liberally, the maid service was poor, and they would often knock on the doors at 8 a.m. even when we had the do not disturb on the door. Very annoying. Overall, we really only stayed in the rooms to sleep, but small attention to detail would have been nice and would have made our stay much more enjoyable, and less frustrating.

Restaurants – Food was great. We went to the Windows restaurant, as well as Di Mario’s and American Grill. No problems and lots of selection, however, if you are a vegetarian you may have some trouble being satisfied if you don’t intend to expand your palette during your stay. Desserts were spectacular! One thing that would be nice is if they got drink machines in the buffet. Often we would be done our dinner and just getting our drinks.

Bars – Bars everywhere and the alcohol is plentiful! Bartenders were very polite and recognized you quickly! Great service! YAY BAHAMA MAMAS!

Beach and Pools – 3 pools – all were great and cleaned regularily. Very accessible and the common pool does not allow topless which is really nice if you have a family or are travelling with a group. The beach was nice..yes there was seaweed, but it’s the ocean so not the biggest deal in the world. Really nice soft sand and never had problems finding 6 loungers all together at either location.

Grounds – Meticulously maintained. Beautiful. Attention to detail.

Activities – Lots of fun. Animation team going all day and all night trying to get people involved. Really fun and enjoyable for people of all ages. Great job!

Tours – We walked 2 resorts down to Natura Park and took the 1hr snorkelling excursion for $15. Perfect amount of time and the reef is right there so it only took a minute to get there. Great value! We also did the Outback Jungle Safari ! It was a great day and they take you to numerous places that expose you to the Dominican Culture. We were also able to give a large donation of school supplies which I was informed would be allocated appropriately (they look out for the community!). Excellent job again Outback Safari…we will continue to support your business each time we visit the DR. P.S. if you want to buy coconut oil, do it on the excursion it’s the cheapest there!

Conclusion – All in all we had a really great vacation, but the Grand Oasis needs to pay more attention to detail and have more focus on customer service. I would recommend this hotel for a vacation, but would say that you might have a more enjoyable time in blocks 7 and higher as the rooms there were gorgeous and maintained (according to other friends that we met and they showed us their room)!

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  Grand Oasis Punta Cana   Jennifer ~ Prince Edward County

February 2008

Arrival – No problems. We flew in with Air Canada, it was great. At first my husband and I didn’t have seats together, but once the plane took off, they did what they could do, and we sat across from each other.. loved the food!!

Rooms – Building 11, everything looked new, it was beautiful, house keeping did a great job. Still working on the pool just outside the building, but it will be nice when they are done.

Restaurants – We had no problems with the food, we went with a group of 6, two with allergies, everyone found something good to eat.

Bars – I only drink beer…. it was good, and we had no problems with the service.

Beach and Pools – Once again, Beautiful, and clean. Some seaweed on the beach, but every morning the men were out raking everything up.

Grounds – Everything was clean, cups were always picked up around the pool. Someone was always cleaning, either the pool or around the pool!!! We could always find chairs, like I said we traveled with a group of six and we had no problems Finding a group of seats, either on the beach or around the pool.

Activities – That is one thing we didn’t join in! We watched, it looked good!!! Everyone around watching it seemed to enjoy it.

Tours – My husband, and friend went on the " three hour tour" of deep see fishing. My husband does not like fishing, but really enjoyed it, he said it was an experience. They caught 6 fish between the two of them. They loved it. They booked this from Philippe, The guy sitting on the beach!

Also booked a four wheeler tour on a ranch with Clenel, (great guy) The tour was really something to see. Glad we did it. I am still in contact with Clenel. And we also took a cab into to town, they took very good care of us.

Conclusion – Before we went, we were very worried, because of what the reviews said, Once we got there, we saw it was not true, the "klan" really enjoyed themselves, it was clean, the rooms were beautiful, the staff was very friendly.. from the moment we got there.. (thanks Hosea.) The food was great, we had no complaints.. Come on peaople what is your problem? You want to have a great trip, go to the grand oasis! It’s all what you make of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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