December 2006 and December 2008
I originally wrote this review in December 2006. We stayed at Majestic Colonial for 5 days in November 2008, as a result of which I have updated some of the information in this review.
Arrival: Our second week in Punta Cana was at Majestic Colonial, a $15.00 cab ride away from Palma Real.. Majestic Colonial is located immediately south of Grand Paradise Bavaro. (November 2008 – the new Majestic Elegance is right next door to Majestic Colonial). It is about 30 minutes from Punta Cana Airport, 90 minutes from La Romana Airport, and 3-1/2 hours from Santo Domingo Airport. As you enter the hotel the front desk is located to the left, guest services and the lobby bar and seating is located to the right. There is a staircase down to the ground level, also a glass panel elevator. Checkin was quick, we received our wristbands and an information package consisting of two room keys (don’t lose them or they’ll charge you $90.00), a map of the resort and information regarding the resort restaurants and facilities, and then the bellboy took us to our room. The rooms at Majestic are beautiful, large and nicely decorated. We were in a second floor Oceanfront Junior Suite, steps from the pool and beach. The room had a king-size bed, a Jacuzzi tub, walk-in shower with a glass door and separate toilet stall with glass door, 2 double sinks. We always had hot water. The living area had a sofabed, desk, and coffee table. The room is open concept, ie there is no division or privacy between the Jacuzzi tub and the rest of the room, which could be a problem for families staying in one room. It looks beautiful, but it would be nice if they could add a curtain or blinds that could be put down to afford some privacy when using the tub. Amenities in the bathroom included a basket with shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, sewing kit, shower cap, comb, shoeshine sponge, Kleenex. There is also a makeup mirror and hair dryer. In the closet you will find lots of shelves and space for your clothes. There are also 3-drawer nightstands to put things in. Don’t put your things in the cupboard closest to the door. This is a room service unit that can be accessed by staff from the outside to deliver room service orders or collect dishes and laundry. In the closet there is an electronic safe (included), big enough to hold a laptop. I have a 15.4” widescreen and it fit just fine, you just have to put it in vertically on an angle and prop it up at the back of the safe. Bathrobes and slippers, along with an iron and ironing board, are in the closet. Glasses and a bottle of champagne awaited us, and later they brought a small bottle of rum. All guests receive a bottle of champagne in their room on arrival, the bottle of rum or whisky is in the upgraded rooms and suites only. Two bath towels and two hand towels are provided (plus you get two extra towels if you are lucky enough to get swans). Facecloths were kind of hit and miss, some days we had them and other days we didn’t. I had brought one from home, though, so it didn’t really matter. We had 4 pillows in our room. Two were flat and lumpy, two were just flat. I do understand they have ordered new pillows. The room had a phone, and TV with North American, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, and South American channels. (They get CNN). Air-conditioning worked well, and there was also a ceiling fan. The minibar was replenished daily, and contained 2 beer, 4 pop (they had Diet Pepsi), and 4 bottles of water, along with 2 chocolate bars. Bottled water is also readily available at all the bars.
There were plastic chairs and a table on the patio, mid-week these were replaced with brand new aluminum chairs. November 2008 – we had a ground-floor Junior Suite this time, I like the upper floors better.
Room Descriptions: All of the Junior Suites at Majestic are the same. size. Upgrades are related to location or whether they have an outdoor Jacuzzi or larger terrace. Following is a list of the various junior suites and suites available. Standard Junior Suite – 538 square feet Contains one King or two double beds, Colonial style furniture, Full bathroom with jacuzzi tub, walk-in shower, hair dryer, ironing board and iron, bathrobe and slippers, air conditioning, ceiling fan, satellite TV, direct phone line ($), Hi-speed internet connection ($), Room Service ($), free minibar restocked daily, free safety deposit box, separate door for room service, desk and sofa in living area, balcony or terrace with table and 2 chairs. pool or garden view. Maximum occupancy – 2 adults and 2 children or 3 adults. Majestic Junior Suite – 538 square feet Same as Standard Junior Suite on interior, with the following extras: Outdoor Jacuzzi located on terrace, private garden area with direct access to swimming pool, all located on ground floor, two lounge chairs in garden area. No children allowed in these rooms, adults only. Maximum occupancy 2 adults (The terrace for these rooms is private in that there is no path in front of you so nobody can walk by, but people sitting around the pool have a clear view of these rooms. Maybe when the gardens grow a little bit more it will be more private. It would be nice if a lattice of some kind was put up in front of the outdoor Jacuzzi to give privacy – I don’t think they’re used too often.) Colonial Junior Suite – 538 square feet Same as standard junior suite on interior, with the following extras: Outdoor Jacuzzi on private terrace, rooms located on 2nd and 3rd floors, pool or garden view. No children allowed in these rooms, only for adults. Maximum occupancy 2 adults. (Third floor Colonial Junior Suites are nice, they have vaulted ceilings) Majestic Suite – 1,076 square feet One bedroom suite with two separate areas, living room and bedroom, divided by sliding door. Living room area has a desk with internet connection and telephone, 29” TV, two sofas, and a balcony. Bedroom area is the same as a junior suite. Garden or pool view with large terrace. All suites are located on the 4th floor. Children allowed in these rooms – Maximum occupancy 2 adults and 2 children. Colonial Suite – 1,076 square feet Same as Majestic Suite but with an outdoor Jacuzzi on the terrace. Pool view. Children allowed in these rooms – Maximum occupancy 2 adults and 2 children. They also have a Presidential Suite which is over 1,600 square feet, and has a huge rooftop terrace – very impressive. You could have a party for 100 people up there. They have some specially-equipped rooms for disabled people, ie. wider doors, grab bars. Clock-radios are being added to all the rooms, both Junior Suites and Suites. Coffeemakers in the suites only are being replaced with Nespresso coffee makers, and DVD players and a stereo system are also going to be added to the Suites only.
Guest Services: Annemarie is guest services manager at Majestic Colonial (as of November 2008). It is at guest services that you make reservations for the Gourmet and Japanese Restaurants, and they can also make reservations for golf, and help you with any other questions or concerns you have. You can contact guest services at: email@example.com
Changes to All-Inclusive Plan
Changes were being made to the all-inclusive plan, effective December 23, 2006, as follows (as far as I know this information is still correct in November 2008): All international premium liquors will be included for North American guests (while we were there only a few were included, the rest were available at an extra cost). There will still be an additional cost for beer other than Presidente and wine other than the house wine. Room service is available in the Standard Junior Suites at additional cost, but as of December 11 will be included in the upgraded Junior Suites and Suites.
There are a lot of ponds and fountains throughout the resort. Christmas lights were everywhere, with a big decorated Christmas tree in the lobby. It is beautiful at night with everything lit up. The huge swimming pool runs through the length of the resort. It’s length provides several different areas to sit in, some more quiet than others. Found the pool water cold, but refreshing. It’s quite a shallow pool, less than 4 feet deep I think. There is also a small kids’ pool in the area of the main pool. We liked to sit at the end of the pool nearest the beach, it was quiet there. The area around the swim-up bar in the middle was where the Activities staff hung out, and then there were quieter areas up closer to the lobby. The hotel was 85 – 90 per cent full the week we were there, and it didn’t seem crowded. There were lots of chairs available, even after 9 a.m. in the morning. (November 2008 – the hotel was completely full and it still never seemed crowded, and we were always able to find a spot at the beach.)
The beach is beautiful, you see lots of people walking the beach every day. The Bahia Principe hotel is about a 10 minute walk down the beach, and the new Riu Palace is about 20 minutes away. Grand Paradise is right beside Majestic to the north. There are lots of palapas on the beach, no problem finding a place to sit.
Weather and Bugs
There was no problem at all with bugs or mosquitos the week we were there. The weather was generally good. It was quite windy the beginning of the week, but the winds calmed down toward the end of the week. It did rain at some point almost every day, but didn’t last long. Temperatures were in the mid-80’s during the day, dropped to the 70’s at night, it was very comfortable.
Restaurants: You can eat at the a la carte restaurants as much as you want (if you can get reservations) There is a limit of 4 bookings under one room number. The Japanese and Gourmet restaurants are the only ones you need reservations for, best to make them as soon as you arrive. While most people did dress up a little for the a la carte restaurants, the only restaurant that enforces a dress code for men is the Gourmet restaurant – long pants and a collared shirt required. No "muscle shirts" allowed at any of the restaurants at dinnertime.
Main Buffet Restaurant
The main buffet restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 12:30 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. for lunch, and 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner. It is enclosed and air-conditioned, up near the lobby. They had a fairly good selection of food. Fresh-made omelettes in the morning were my favourite. The crepes were also good. They did have some pre-made omelettes, fried eggs, pancakes, etc., but I found these were cold. Toast always took a long time, had to put it through the toaster several times. (November 2008 – enjoyed the food in the buffet, felt it had improved from the first time we were there. Their pre-made stuff in the mornings was still cold though). At lunch time they had pizza, salads, cold cuts, as well as different meats, fish and vegetables, fresh bread and rolls. The rice and red beans was my favourite. They also have a pasta bar. I like their French fries, but they’re really greasy. At dinner there was a choice of meat and fish, vegetables, salads, rolls, etc. as well as pasta. You could always find something you liked. There was fresh fruit and deserts, but not a large selection. We only had dinner here once, as we went to all of the a la carte restaurants. A hostess will seat you when you enter the buffet restaurant, and then someone will take your drink order. I usually like to drink white wine, but I did not like the white wine they served in this restaurant at all. I did not try the red wine. Some of the a la carte restaurants had a different white wine that I liked better.
La Hispaniola Beach Restaurant
Open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for continental breakfast Open from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for lunch and snacks This is an open air restaurant at the beach/pool area. At night it becomes the Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurants. We had lunch here a couple of times. They serve hamburgs, hotdogs, salads, and usually a paella or something with fish in it., and also have a pasta bar. I had a hamburger here the first day and it was still pink in the middle, so that kind of turned me off. Had pasta another day, that was very good. (November 2008 – they had added a sandwich station, where you could get a sandwich made to order). Never tried the continental breakfast there, it opens too late, and it didn’t really seem to have “breakfast” foods, there were things like cheese and ham and dinner rolls. November 2008 – service very good, plates cleared right away, or in some cases before you finished eating, ie. Pat had a hamburger on his plate and picked it up to take a bite and his plate was taken away 🙂
Steakhouse – Rodeo Grill
Open 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (in half of the Hispaniola Beach Restaurant) This was my favourite restaurant, we ate here a couple of times and had the Chateaubriand, and it was very good. There is also a Caesar salad station where you can get fresh Caesar salad. We ate here again in November 2008 – was very good, but service was a little too fast in this restaurant.. Someone was there to take our order before we even had a chance to open the menu.
Seafood Restaurant – Tres Carabelas
Open 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (in other half of Hispaniola Beach Restaurant)
We don’t like fish, so didn’t eat here.
Le Gourmet Restaurant – requires reservations No shorts allowed. No kids under 12. Open 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This restaurant is located up at the lower lobby. Had the Surf and Turf and Pat had a chicken dish, both were good. The other entrees on the menu were seafood.
Oriental “Matsuri” Restaurant
Open 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. This is actually two separate dining areas – one is the Teppanyaki tables – you have to make a reservation for this. This is show cooking where the food is cooked in front of you. It was good. At the end of the meal they give you a shot of “mamajuana” to try, the Dominican cure-all. Actually, I think they had a jug of it in all the restaurants. (November 2008 – we ate here again, didn’t enjoy it as much as the first time. No mamajuana served.) The other section of this restaurant is the Chinese portion, no reservations are needed to eat here. We had the chicken chow mein and Szechwan beef. Appetizer choices were egg rolls or won ton soup. It was pretty good. There is also a buffet sushi bar.
Caribbean Taino Restaurant
Open 7:00 p.m. to midnight for dinner This is also a “two-part” restaurant. They have a buffet of Dominican/Mexican food, as well as a menu you can order from. You can just have the buffet if you want, or just order from the menu, or have both. We had a 3-meat entrée with baked potato from the menu, and also sampled some stuff from the buffet. (November 2008 – we ate here again, it’s pretty much the same)
Piano Bar (upper level of lobby) – open 9 a.m. to midnight Lobby Bar (ground floor) – open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sports Bar/Disco – open 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Theatre Bar – open 8 p.m. to midnight Plaza Bar – open 5 p.m. to midnight Pool Bar – open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swimup Bar – open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beach Bar – open 9 a.m. to midnight As of December 11/06 all international liquors are included for North Americans.
Beer – Presidente Beer is included in the all-inclusive. Other beers such as Coronna, Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller, or Heineken are $3.00U.S. a bottle.
They make good Caesars, they have Clamato juice! Their welcome drink, the “Majestic” is also really good. In the evening, outside the lobby, they set up a table with hors d’oeuvres and serve a special drink, I think it was something different every night.
Entertainment and Activities: There is a big board just outside the entrance to the lobby that tells what the activities and entertainment are for the week. During the day the activities staff has pool games and contests in the area of the swimup bar and on the beach.. On Caribbean Street near the front of the resort is a games area with a giant chessboard, foosball, two pool tables, and a pingpong table. They also have games and books to lend out.. Next to this area is a well-equipped gym (included). Tennis courts (day and night) are located at the front of the resort, and they are going to be adding a baseball diamond as well as walking trails through the mangroves At night, after dinner, people would congregate in the lobby areas, or wander through the shopping areas. There is a Harrison’s jewellery store off the lobby on the Reception level, they have beautiful stuff. There is also a clothing store (very expensive) (November 2008 – the clothing store is gone, and has been replaced by the internet lounge), and a cigar shop. On the “Caribbean Street” adjacent to the lobby is where you’ll find a Mini-Mart, souvenir shops, paintings, Internet Centre, the Sports Bar/Disco where you can watch sports games on big screen TV’s, and the casino and theatre. They were in the process of opening up a “café” where you could get late night snacks. We never went to the disco, but drinks are included. (November 2008 – internet lounge has moved to the lobby, they now have a place here called La Bodeguita del Majestic where you can get late night snacks such as burgers and wings. It is open from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) On Dominican night vendors had stalls set up around the lobby entrance. There is a beautiful theatre where they put on evening shows. The seating is very very comfortable – I fell asleep there one night. We actually only watched a couple shows for a short while. There was an Acrobatic show, a Michael Jackson show (I’ve only seen about 25 of them). Others that we missed – Ideal Couple, His and Hers, Magician show. A waitress will come around and take your drink orders in the theatre. What we enjoyed the most was the saxophone player that played in the outdoor plaza every evening. There are tables and chairs here, and bar service, and it was nice to just sit back and relax and listen to him play. There is a casino with table games and slot machines. Drinks are included. Pat played Blackjack one night and ended up about $50.00 ahead.
There is a Kids’ Club for ages 3 to 7, located near the front of the resort near the theatre. Next to that is a Teens Club for ages 8 to 14. They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Kids’ Club looked interesting with its castle and swimming pool. Parents are encouraged to go there with their children
There are several golf courses in the area – Cocotal Golf Course, White Sands Golf Course, and Punta Blanca – contact Guest Services for information and pricing and to make reservations.
A nice full-service spa, with indoor treatment rooms, as well as massage beds at the beach. There is a water entrance that connects to the pool. In this area are outdoor spa tubs and showers that you can use for free. I didn’t discover until the last day that the spa tubs actually had hot water in them. In fact, the whole pool area around the spa entrance is much warmer than the rest of the pool. I did go in one day for a massage – 55 minutes for $80.00 U.S. Also had a nail polish change done for $10.00 U.S. (hands and feet).
(November 2008 – went for a massage which was very nice, also had a nail polish change done)
Hair Braiding and Tattoos: Next to Mariana Watersports at the beach is a place where you can get your hair braided, or temporary henna tattoos. I paid $7.00 U.S. for 5 braids. Also got a temporary tattoo on my ankle for $15.00 U.S. that’s supposed to last two weeks. She said to come back the day I was leaving and she would touch it up for free, but I never bothered.
T-Shirt Painting(New in November 2008)
Antonio has a place at the beach where he will handpaint a t-shirt for you. We had him make a few with our logo and name on the front and the website URL on the back – he did an awesome job. (If any of the forum members are interested in buying a “Debbie’s” shirt, just ask him about it – you could probably get your forum name added on the shirt as well.
There is an ATM machine in the lobby as you enter where you can get pesos, or you can exchange money at the front desk. If you take U.S. cash, there is really no need to change it into pesos.
Mariana Watersports is located at the beach. Included items are snorkel equipment, boogie boards, ocean kayaks, and a scuba clinic in the pool. Also included are catamarans and windsurfers, but these require a security deposit, ie. credit card, and must be reserved one day in advance. Here you can also book fishing trips, parasailing, boat trips, etc.
The tour operators have desks in the upper lobby area where you can book excursions – jeep tours, boat trips, 4-wheelers, day trip to Santo Domingo, trip to Altos de Chavon, boat trip to Catalina Island, horseback riding, etc
November 2008 – The Internet Centre is located off the lobby. About 8 computer terminals, lots of comfortable seating and tables and chairs. Internet cost is $5. for 30 minutes. If you bring your laptop, you can get internet in your room for $10.00 U.S. a day. (good idea to bring your own cable).
There were lots of weddings at this resort while we were there, either on the beach or at the gazebo in the gardens near the lobby. Information on their new wedding package will be posted shortly on our Weddings Page along with contact information. Medical Services and Pharmacy Located near the theatre.
If you have a late flight, you might be able to get late checkout. The cost is $40.00 (up to 6:00 p.m.). You will have to go to the front desk the day before you leave to see if a late checkout is available for your room. Note that you must take your room cards to the front desk and have them re-programmed before 12 noon on the day you are leaving, otherwise you will be locked out of your room at noon, even if you arranged for the late checkout. If you do have to vacate your room, they have showers adjacent to the reception area.
We really liked this hotel. Accommodations are beautiful, the grounds and pool are nice, the food was fine, and the staff and service were great. Management seems committed to continually make improvements to the resort. There are lots of things to do if you want to, or you can just “veg out” at the pool or beach. If you have any other questions about Majestic, you can e-mail me. Special thanks to Ricardo Espinosa and “Majestic Mike”, for all your assistance during our stay.
November 2008 – the hotel was as great as I had remembered!