My husband and I (both 30 years old) stayed at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana from 5/16/09-5/23/09. We booked airfare via Continental and hotel/transfers via Orbitz. We have stayed at a number of all inclusive hotels previously and rate our stay at the Majestic Colonial as good, not great. This hotel is a moderate 3.0 to 3.5 star all inclusive. We only paid $1050 for seven nights for both of us, so we were not expecting luxury and did not get it. It is very unlikely that we would return to the Majestic Colonial if/when we return to Punta Cana in the future simply because our experience was not so wonderful that we would not want to try something else. But I do want to make sure it is clear that nothing went terribly wrong on our trip either. It was just an “ok” resort. Luckily, I did plenty of research before going and knew what to expect.
Paid $10 per person upon arrival for the tourist card (a joke). It is purely money making. From there we were harassed by at least five airport baggage employees who wanted to take our bags from us so we would tip them. I knew what to expect ahead of time. Simply say, “no gracias” and keep walking.
Transfers using Coco Tours::
We booked our transfers using Coco Tours (paid via Orbitz). We had no problems when we got to Punta Cana, but had major problems when leaving. We do not recommend Coco Tours. Our scheduled pickup at the MC was 11:00 AM for a 2PM flight. We were waiting for our transfer from 10:30 AM. At 11:00 AM no one showed from Coco Tours. At 11:30 AM no one showed up. The bellhops at the hotel tried to help us by calling Coco, and Coco said that someone would be there shortly. We were not picked up until 11:55AM. (2 hrs before our scheduled departure). We were picked up with 3 other couples- all who also were picked up very late (30 min-55 min late) The lines at the airport are TERRIBLE. We checked in online but still needed to wait to check in our luggage when we got to the airport. (took 20 min) Then we had to wait to go through airport security which meant waiting on an additional three separate lines which took an additional hour and ten minutes. We almost missed our flight because of Coco Tours. We made the tail end of the plane’s boarding. We do not recommend Coco Tours- but if you use them, have them pick you up at least 3.5 hrs in advance.
Hotel Check In::
Hotel check-in begins at 3:00 PM. We had an early flight and arrived at the hotel around 1PM. Three times we were told to come back to the front desk to see if our room was ready. It was not finally ready until 3:30 PM. I was fine with having to wait for the room, but we should not have kept being asked to come back. When we arrived we received the handcloth, but no Majestic drink. No big deal, we walked over to the bar 🙂
We paid for a Junior Suite Garden View but were upgraded (thanks to Annemarie!) to a Pool View. We stayed in room 3322 (third floor of a three floor building). The room is very large, had high ceilings, a large ceiling fan, and has nice marble floors and counters. We loved the large Jacuzzi. These rooms are made for couples- not families or friends traveling together. As we knew ahead of time, the shower and toilet stall have frosted glass doors and the doors do not extend to the ceiling. We had no issues, but others may. We had no musty smell and no mosquitoes. Air conditioning worked well. Our mattress was horrible- very cheap thin mattress. Became very uncomfortable after a week of sleeping on it. Unlike others, we requested extra pillows and had no pillow problems. Our sheets/towels were not stained as others have stated in their reviews. One issue we had were ants. Dozens everyday all along the bathroom counter, bathroom floor area, hot tub area, and mini fridge area. At first I could deal, but then it just got annoying. I know this is the Caribbean and the humidity encourages insects, but this was ridiculous. The hotel needs to spray. Room was cleaned everyday around 11AM. Hotel also had a maid come around between 9PM-10PM asking if you needed more clean towels. This was nice except if you were sleeping or you have kids that were sleeping! TV offered the following English channels: CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, ESPN News, TNT, and USA. The room was nice, but not luxury by any means- cracks in the walls, missing cement and corking in corners, open electrical outlets in the walls with exposed wires. The maid never made any towel animals for us even though we were celebrating our anniversary. Our bath was never drawn and flower petals (or flowers) were never left in our room. We didn’t care much though. Our mini-fridge was restocked on a daily basis with soda, water, and beer. If we wanted something in particular, we left a dollar or two on top of the minifridge with a list of what we wanted. When we arrived we had a bottle of champagne waiting for us. Later that first day, we had a fruit/cheese plate delivered (no extra cost). (Not sure if this was sent by Annemarie of if this was standard). Second and third day we were sent (no extra cost) plates of white chocolate covered grapes (a bit unusual but good). Fourth day we received a plate of Italian meats. The first few nights a guy game around with a wine cart asking if we wanted a bottle of wine for our room.
Food: Breakfast: is excellent- made to order crepes, eggs, omelets plus hot chafing dishes, fresh fruit, fruit smoothies, etc. Lunch: is ok- indoor buffet has chafing dishes, burgers, one carving meat, made to order pasta, and salads. Outdoor lunch buffet has made to order grilled sandwiches, burgers, paella, made to order pasta, and a few other miscellaneous things. Meat quality was fair. Many foods are not kept hot enough/cold enough. Dinner: is a hit or miss here. Overall, with a few exceptions, we found the quality of the meat and dishes to be sub par compared to other all inclusives we had been to (the Palace Resorts in Mexico are way better in this respect) There isn’t much seafood, the carving stations serve dried out poor quality meat, and many restaurants serve reheated meat. We tried every restaurant except the Chinese. Japanese Restaurant: excellent and you should make sure to book your reservation as soon as possible. Great show and great fresh food. Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurants: At the steakhouse for an appetizer we had the tempura pineapple/chicken skewers which unfortunately did not taste fresh and instead tasted like it had been made hours before and were reheated and tough. The chateaubriand is excellent but its side dishes were fair- overcooked mini corn on the cob and cold, pre-made boxed mashed potatoes. The steakhouse and seafood restaurant are in the same room- steakhouse on the left side of the room, seafood on the ride side. The room has one kitchen- an open air kitchen where all food for both “restaurants” is prepared. I wanted to have lobster at the seafood restaurant, but my husband cannot eat seafood so one night we went and clearly explained this to the hostesses. For ten minutes they refused to seat us at the same table, insisting that we could only pick one. Eventually they caved and sat us with the two menus. My husband again ordered the chateaubriand- excellent. Seafood: I ordered the seafood enchiladas (not good) for an appetizer. I had the grilled lobster dinner which was excellent. Later in the week we again returned and had the same request. We were laughed at and sat at the bar. They refused to seat us at a table. After fifteen minutes I got up and asked when we would be seated and the hostess brought us to the seafood side of the restaurant, handed me one seafood menu and told us that only I could eat (not my husband) and that if he wanted to eat, he’d have to sit across the room. Extremely rude and very unaccommodating for no reason. Luckily, our server didn’t care and happily brought me lobster and my husband chateaubriand (yes, his third that week). Both were excellent again. French Restaurant: The pumpkin soup was excellent but the lobster bisque was terrible. I ordered the snapper which was good. My husband had the beef tenderloin which was very good. We both had the crème brulee with the alcohol on the side. Very good. Dinner Buffet: Fair- We were not happy with the dinner buffet because it was almost the exact same as the lunch buffet and did not have high quality offerings. Overcooked fish, no shellfish, overcooked meat, dried out carving station, etc. Like I said, it’s fine, but not great. Mexican restaurant: absolutely terrible. Don’t bother going here. My husband had the chicken nachos which were ok, my seafood cerviche was horrible. For main course, my husband had the “burrito” which was not a typical burrito and was terrible. I had the Fajitas- overcooked, reheated meat in tortillas. We certainly didn’t starve, but it isn’t the best food at an all inclusive either. Most of the restaurants offered a dessert buffet. Unfortunately it was always the same and the desserts were only fair. As I knew, room service was not included. We did not use it because the menu was very small and very expensive.
We don’t drink that much, but didn’t find the bars here as good as at other all inclusive resorts. First, unlike other better resorts, most of the bars only offer pre-made frozen drinks in large icee machines. No blenders to make fresh drinks with fresh fruit and alcohol. Also, no light beer is offered. Additionally, certain better quality alcohol costs extra. The two “better” bars are the two in the lobby because they have blenders. Make sure to ask for a “dirty monkey” (chocolate/banana drink), “banana mama” (frozen banana and grenadine), and the “majestic” (frozen creamsicle drink). Only regular presidente beer is served at the hotel. As far as wine is concerned, we tried the house white and house rose wine. Both were fine. I didn’t try the house red.
Grounds:: The grounds are beautiful and very well kept. Pool: The long pool is beautiful and is really split into two sections (wall in the middle) and is beautiful. But it only 3-4 ft deep in all parts. One half of the pool has a swim up bar. The side of the pool with the swim up bar is colder then the half without the bar. (we have no idea why). Make sure to bring pool floats with you. While we were there (last week) the entire area around the pool was under construction- the surrounding pool patio area which was made of cracked cement was being replaced with tiles. This will look much better once completed. Beach: Beach was nice with clear water. We recommend bringing water shoes because there are rocks in some places. If you snorkel you can see/feed some schools of fish. No reef is within swimming distance. We never had a problem getting chairs at the beach/pool around lunchtime. Don’t bother “reserving” chairs with a towel because rude people come by, take your towels, and put their stuff down. Three days we were there the pool towel service ran out of clean/dry towels. (TIP: lose your towel cards? Don’t pay the $20 for replacements. Instead, go get the same towels from the gym.) Gym: We used the gym a number of mornings: It is very small with 2 treadmills, two ellipticals, two bikes, some free weights, and some equipment. No fans or air conditioning- extremely hot inside. As far as the gym is concerned, the elliptical machines really don’t work very well. Make sure you are familiar with the metric system so you don’t try to lift too much. The tennis courts looked nice (although we didn’t use them). The softball/soccer field is a joke- flooded and coming apart Shows: The only show we went to was the Michael Jackson show which we both enjoyed. Casino: The casino consists of about 24 slots, and 4 table games. Very small, so don’t expect much. Sports Bar/Disco: The sports bar and the disco are in the same small room. We went to the sports bar one night to kill some time, it has one large projection tv. We never went to the disco. Internet/Making Calls: Internet costs $5 for 30 minutes in the computer room. If you want to call the US, buy a calling card in the lobby or elsewhere. When using the calling card in your room, you’ll pay a $2 connection fee (when finished with each call don’t hang up- follow calling card prompts to keep making calls to prevent additional $2 fees).
The Beach Party is on Wednesday night, but because it rained it was cancelled. Friday night is vendor night where the locals bring in jewelry/paintings/crafts to sell. Make sure to haggle with them for way less then they ask for.
There is a photography shop on site where you can book a one hour photo session (no booking fee). You meet them, walk around the resort and take photos. Some come out well, some not so well. If you want to buy them, each pic costs $10 for a 6×8 for $20 for 8×10 or $30 for 12×18. Each pic costs an extra $10 to have it on cd. We bought 3 6×8 prints. (they won’t let you pay to put them on cd unless you buy 5 or more pics) So, we bought the 6×8 prints and we’ll scan and blow them up. Service: Overall, the staff at the hotel is extremely friendly and helpful. The only exception was the two hostesses at the steakhouse and seafood restaurant who were actually quite rude. Day Trips: there are about six “activities” desks at the MC. At each desk sits a representative from the major tour companies. They expect you to book with the person from the tour company that you booked your trip with. However, you can sit down with each of them to see if they offer something that your tour rep does not offer. There may be some difference in price as well. We took the day trip to Saona Island: Don’t waste your money. One of the worst vacation day trips we have ever taken. Shopping: The hotel has about 10 shops itself: Harrisons’s jewelry (ridiculously overpriced- almost hilarious), cigar store (we were told by smokers that they were ridiculous), and other miscellaneous craft shops that were very overpriced. Instead, walk out to the main gate of the Majestic Hotels and go to the Punta Blanca Artisenal Shops (get souvenirs at WAY less). When we went we were told large oil paintings were $5-$25 before haggling. You can also buy tshirts, jewelry, and crafts. The hotel does not have a free shuttle to the Palma Real Shopping Mall and we were told it would cost $50 round trip to go, so we didn’t bother. The only shops (outside the resort) within walking distance are the Punta Blanca Artisenal Shops (5-10 min walk) and the ones that are on the beach (30 min walk on the beach to the right). Weather: I knew that this is the “rainy” month and it was. Out of 7 days, we had one sunny day, five completely cloudy days, and two almost completely rainy days. We also had some terrible thunderstorms at night. Resort lost power and it took the emergency generators a few minutes to kick in while you were in your room in complete darkness.
Overall, as I stated in the beginning of this review, this was a good vacation, but not a great one. For the price we paid, we had no major complaints. However, this was not a spectacular hotel and is only worth what we paid. We would only recommend this hotel if you get it at a great price.