Arrival was great as usual.. we flew Westjet from calgary via Toronto with an over night stay. Unfortunately on the way back we were to change planes in Ottawa back to Calgary, but a Saturday in Punta Cana Airport is a busy day, and althought the Dominicans are lovely people, they cannot organize a line up to the bathroom let alone a busy airport. Needless to say we were 2 hours late leaving Punta Cana and missed our flight from Ottawa, but Westjet was terrific, putting us up in a hotel in Ottawa overnight and flying us back to Calgary in the morning. Next time we are going Direct even if it is Transat’s cattle class..
The rooms at the resort are terrific, very spacious and roomy, and clean. Note if you are a sleep walker, you take your life in your hands because the jacuzzi tubs are in the floor right in front of the bed. Had a chat with the resort doctor who said there were a few broken bones from people falling in the jacuzzi in the middle of the night. There are still many problems to be solved, if that is possible in the Dominican. The sewer smells from the bathroom was almost unbearable at night time, we had to close the bathroom door just to sleep.Plumbing codes do not exist.. The Fire alarms also kept going off in the middle of the night, so a restfull sleep was never had. Power outages and air conditioning breakdowns are common and frequent.
Restaurants and Bars::
A good selection of Resturants. As We were in Buiding 2A, overlooking the Marina Restuarant we made this one our breakfast favorites. Service and friendlyness are outstanding.. the food is so-so, your typical buffet, half cold and average. Favorites were the Brazilian and Steakhouse and Marina Grill. Although we read reviews praising the Italian and Japanese , we were not impressed. Do not bother with the Tepinyaki Grill.. takes 2 hours to cook your food, it is cold and rubbery by the time he finally gives it to you.. We ate off the menu there one night and the pad thai resembled a poor impression of chop suey. The pasta was great in the Italian.. and be careful of the pizza in the buffets because it is made with goat cheese.
Beach/Pools/Grounds:: Wow… so many pools and all are just gorgeous.. they have to be because although the beach is beautiful, the water was so rough for the whole 2 weeks we were there, swimming in the ocean was next to impossible… never saw anything other than red flags, and the lifeguards pulling out the odd person foolish enough to venture in. The resort was many 30% full when we were there so we had our choice of pools, chairs, you name it.. Was kind of nice.
They are just finishing and furnishing the last couple of wings on the south side. The grounds, even though its a very new resort are simply beautiful.. Thay have a people mover that constantly roams around the resort to give guests rides around the resort which is a fantastic idea because the resort is huge.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
There are the typical activities including spanish lessons, beach volleyball, etc.. there are no water sports, obviously because of the rought water. The included snorkeling trip is a waste of time, they pick you up in a bus, take you to a boat, run you out in the water, throw everyone off for 10 minutes, the current is very strong, no good fish around, then they take you to the Shark and Ray enclosure to try to get you to pay to snorkel with them .. the Jungle tour was okay, if you like zip lining definately do that although for 80 bucks US it is kind of pricey. The trip to Saona Island is definately worth it.. Starts out from Casa de Campo,then speedboat down the Chavon River out to the sea, stopping at a sand bar in the middle of the sea where the water is waste deep, then on to the island where the beaches are great.. Unfortunately, the best beaches and true caribbean water is on the south side of the Dominica by La Romana, and there are very few resorts there.
Over all, the resort is great, and will be better when totally finished and they get the bugs out.. But if you want the true Caribbean water and beaches, Punta Cana does not have that. The resort is your typical Palace resort, of which we are members.The weather is beautiful and warm in December , which is why we went there instead of Mexico. Howerever, after staying there for 2 weeks, we would not return to this resort. At the moment I would have to give it a 4 star at the best.