This resort has it all, from great food of all kinds, to friendly service, to a fantastic beach and pool and clean, comfortable and very spacious accomodations. This spacious resort was not crowded, features beautiful grounds, and extremely "user friendly" and easy to get around, you can quickly find shortcuts to your destinations.
We arrived at Punta Cana Airport with no glitches. After debarking the plane, there seemed to be a delay in entering the airport itself. The delay was due to the locals taking pictures of the each and every tourist standing with another local holding a parrot. Honestly, that could have been one of the things we could have done without. You’re anxious to get to your resort and any unnecessary delay is a hassle. We stood in line for approximately 20 minutes unnecessarily after trying to get off the plane for 30 minutes beforehand. They will offer you this photo when you arrive at the airport for your departure back home. But all in all, it went well and aside from the photo shoot, everything went smoothly and expediently. We arrived at the resort and were checked in immediately, without a drink and no fanfare.
We were led to our room and although beautiful, I had asked for a king bed with balcony. We were given a room with two double beds and terrace. I went back to the lobby and the manager, after some "searching" located another room. We were again led to our new suite, which was exactly what we had requested. The only negative issue with the room was that we were facing the parking lot of another resort. Who cares. For the amount of time we would be sitting out there, it really didn’t matter but the Cameleon Gold with Nolitours (Majestic Junior Suite) was supposed to provide us with separate check in, preferred room selection with DVD player and selected library, bathrobe, slippers and beach towels in room, and a surprise gift and welcome letter. We never got any of that except for the bathrobes but again, who cares. The room was cleaned every day, fresh towels provided daily, the 4-poster king size bed was comfortable and the mini fridge was always stocked. A 2-person jacuzzi is located right beside the bed, within the powder room section that featured a double sink and a huge walk-in shower with rain, message or stream and a sitting area, and another seperate access for a toilet. The sinks and jacuzzi are visible from the room but the walk in shower and the small area for the toilet each have their own frosted glass doors and are not seperated from floor to ceiling from the rest of the room if you get my drift.
Restaurants and Bars: Wow, what can I say about the food. Food, food, food everywhere. Reservation required for the Gourmet Restaurant but I was not impressed with the meal and I’ll leave it at that. The Japanese Restaurant does not require a reservation but if you want the section where the Chef prepares the meal in front of you, you need a reservation. It was probably the best meal I had during my stay. If you enjoy meeting people, that’s a good place to start. If you don’t make it to the buffet for breakfast (closes at 10am but OMG what a feast) you can go to the beach bar and they have just as good a selection for breakfast from eggs any style, to pancakes, french toast, healthy stuff, dry cereal, bacon, bacon and more bacon, sausages, beans, etc. You won’t go hungry. It is a huge building and the drink bar also opens at 10am. Then they take away the breakfast food and start with lunch. You can get pasta, grilled burgers, mussells and other fish, fries, nachos, etc. This bar converts to a steakhouse and seafood place for the evening and no reservations are required. The food was also good at both of these locations. We never tried the Mexican/Dominican restaurant nor the late night snack bar that served wings and burgers after 11pm. We never stayed up that late nor did we make it to the disco. Not my cup of tea on this trip. Since my Spanish is very limited, I could only understand that on Friday mornings only, there is this huge frying pan than requires four people to carry to a special grill directly on the beach. You can see this frying pan right behind the chef that prepares the eggs in the beach bar/restaurant. I could not understand what they prepared though. Maybe worth checking into.
We didn’t hang around the lobby bars too often but we did have drinks while we waited for our a la carte dining. I didn’t find the staff overly friendly at the lower level lobby bar but they were busy and remainded courteous. The upper level lobby bar was good though with friendly servers. The pool bar was another matter. Victor and Micheal were extremely friendly and entertaining. You will get a kick out of Victor with his constant "Yeah, yeah, yeah" and "WAZZ A-A-A-A-P". He was fun to watch and as long as he had an audience, he was happy and therefore, made you happy.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: We rotated from the Beach to the pool on a daily basis. The beach, upon first site, brought tears to my eyes. It is the most beautiful beach with huge palm trees, and plenty of palapas to sit under. Get there early if you want one though but there seemed to be no shortages for loungers. Servers, once they located you, brought you drinks constantly. We walked for 30 minutes one way on either side of us in the mornings. The other resorts did not seem to have palapas, and if they did, the wave action was more severe at other locations that some. I believe our beach had a reef further up that stopped much of the waves so that made it good to swim in. This resort offers the best of everything so enjoy. And bring your own snorkelling equipment if you have it because you can watch the fish swim nearby. They do provide these at the watersport hut if you forgot them and there really is no need to go on a Catamaran at a cost when you have it right there. There is no coral though. As for the pool, my goodness, what a huge pool at 400m long. Never too crowded except for the "kids" area, and the other bar which featured the swim up bar. The music was way too loud for my taste in this area, with the DJ screaming in the microphone. All the activities were at this location so if you’re up for action, that’s the place to hang out. People of all ages too. The pool also has no shortages of loungers but again, if you want a palapa, you have to get there early. We never seemed to have a problem finding one though. Coming in from the beach, we wanted some repreive from the sun and we always managed to find two loungers with some shade. The pool area is clean and the pool itself was refreshing with some jacuzzis in various locations.
The spa also has a little oasis for swimming and lounging in a covered building. It has a couple of small waterfalls and a jacuzzi. You don’t have to make an appointment to use this area but I never had a chance to use it.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No excursions this time. Our trip was mainly for relaxing and getting to know each other more since ours is a relitavely new relationship (less than 1 year). They do offer many off site excursions though, but I didn’t see too much on site activities. As mentioned before, we stayed away from the area of the 400m pool where all the activities took place. We also did not attend any of the evening animation in the theatre preferring to go for an evening walk on the grounds then sit on the beach enjoying the stars and a cuban cigar with an Amaretto. I would have thought that the beach would have been off limits after hours but no one stopped us and there was no other tourists around. Maybe we were not supposed to, but like I said, no one stopped us and no one patrolled the area.
All in all, it was a most glorious vacation and one I would recommend. I have to admit that checking the reviews scared me as there seemed to be a lot of negativity. You have to remember that a four star or five star in our country is not the same as in the Carribean. If you got there with an attitude that you expect the same kind of service and luxuries as you do at home, then you’re going to be disappointed. As long as the room is clean, the food is good, the staff friendly and helpful, the sun shines and the beach is to die for, what more do you want out of a vacation? I give this resort a five star plus, and would not hesitate to take my teenagers next year, which is what I’m seriously considering.