November 2008: Majestic Elegance is located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, in Arena Gorda (Bavaro Beach), next to Macao beach, 30 kms away from Punta Cana Airport, 1 hour from La Romana Airport and 3 ½ hours from Santo Domingo’s International Airport. Majestic Elegance Punta Cana opened its doors to guests on Friday, November 21, 2008, after having the date pushed back several times. Pat and I had originally been scheduled to stay there from November 16 to 23, but due to the delay in opening only got to spend 2 nights there. We spent the first part of our week at its sister hotel, Majestic Colonial, which is adjacent to Majestic Elegance, an excellent hotel, and I will be updating my review of Majestic Colonial from two years ago as well. As I start this, I have to emphasize that we were there on opening day and the day after. By the time you read this, many opening day issues will already have been resolved. I spoke to a number of people there who have promised to send their reviews when they return. Most agreed the hotel will be fabulous once everything is up and running and the staff gain a little more experience. Some arrivals who were unaware of the delay in opening were understandably upset, but management was doing everything they could to compensate for this, ie by making all the facilities at Majestic Colonial next door available to them. Some people chose to remain at Majestic Colonial where they had been for the first part of their stay. Make no mistake – Majestic Elegance will be one of the premier hotels in Punta Cana, it’s just going to take time for everything to run smoothly.
We packed up and arrived at Majestic Elegance on Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. They have a beautiful lobby very similar to Majestic Colonial, but the top level is smaller, and the lower level is more than twice as large From the upper lobby you have a beautiful view of the whole resort, right down to the ocean. The upper lobby will also have the Internet Center and some shops. As we were in the Elegance Club section, we were taken to the VIP lounge at the Elegance Club for checkin, where we joined other people waiting for their rooms. We were told our room wasn’t ready yet and it would be 3 p.m. before we could check in. The VIP lounge has comfortable seating, and drinks and snacks were available. Free internet access will be available there, it wasn’t yet set up. Unfortunately the air conditioning wasn’t working in the lounge and it was a little sticky, and it was pouring with rain outside. We were given a pamphlet outlining all of the hotel facilities. I’ve been told that in the future they will bring the guests to the VIP Lounge by golf cart, instead of having to walk.
A little after 3 p.m. the concierge took us to our room, a Junior Suite – the room was absolutely beautiful! We were in Room 4233, which was on the second floor, on the back side of the building away from the pool, but had a nice view of the ocean. The concierge showed us around and advised us that someone would be in shortly to program the TV. (They have brackets on the walls for the TV’s, but ours was just sitting on the table). Someone arrived promptly to program the TV and hook up the phone. We had also discovered our refrigerator wasn’t working, and it was promptly replaced, and stocked with beer, water and pop. This is replenished once a day. Internet access will be available in the rooms for a fee, but was not yet working. We had no hot water initially, and then the water was off totally for a while, but within a few hours we had both hot and cold water. We found that you had to let the water run for a while, particularly in the tub, for it to get hot. The room did not yet have all of the advertised amenities such as. 4 bottles of liquor, alarm clock radio, DVD player, pillow menu and aromatherapy for pillows, newspapers, etc. We did have an iron, and bathrobes. We had a coffeemaker but no coffee, creamer, sugar, etc. until the next day. We had a very comfortable 4-poster king-size bed, with nice pillows. Nice rugs on each side of the bed. Furnishings are very modern, from the square toilet (the one thing Pat did not like), a shower with 3 different settings, double sinks, and a beautiful 2-person Jacuzzi located in the corner of the room by a window. There is an electronic safe, lots of closet and drawer space, and a separate room service closet. (At first I thought the drawers were hard to close, then realized that you just push them gently and they close on their own.) Lights go out automatically when you leave the room and come on when you open the door. There are basically two types of rooms – a Junior Suite or a Suite, which is two rooms divided by a sliding door. Other categories are determined by location. I’ll outline these further in this report.
In walking around the grounds, there were construction workers still finishing things in some areas, but having toured the resort the Tuesday before, it was amazing how much had been done in just a few days. 500 of the 600 rooms are complete, and it’s mostly inside work for the remaining 100 rooms, so shouldn’t cause disruption. The pools are all filled and operational. The main pool is 400 metres long, running the length of the property and include two integrated jacuzzis. Some of the bars were still being finished. The landscaping looks pretty good considering it is new. They put it in a month or so ago so it would grow a little bit. In a year or two it will be beautiful. Plaza Colon is an outdoor area with tables and chairs and a stage for live entertainment. They had a band playing here in the evening. The adjacent building will house some shops and Coco’s Nightclub, not finished yet. The building is a replica of the Alcazar de Colon in Santo Domingo. The theatre and bar on the opposite side of the resort is complete – we didn’t see any shows though.
The beach is of course gorgeous, and they have many palapas already constructed for shade, as well as many chairs available. There will be a separate area for Elegance Club guests, but this was not set up yet.
Dining: There will be 6 restaurants to choose from plus La Bodeguita del Majestic at Majestic Colonial for late-night snacks. Flavors is the buffet restaurant. Argentinian Steakhouse – not sure of the proper name for this one, in the brochure we received it’s called Asadito, but on the hotel website it is called West Meat Corp. – they had no signage up yet for any of the restaurants. – no reservations required Il Bottaccio – Italian Restaurant – no reservations required Restaurant 9 Doors – this is a Japanese restaurant and will have 9 teppanyaki tables and a suishi bar – wasn’t open yet. – reservations will be required Restaurant Limited Gourmand – gourmet restaurant – reservations will be required. – (children over 12 only) See & Sea Restaurant – located at the beach, will be open for continental breakfast and lunch, and in the evening is the seafood restaurant. La Bodeguita del Majestic – This is actually in the Majestic Colonial section, across from their theatre – open from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for snacks. As there were not many rooms occupied, there were only limited dining facilities available while we were there. The main buffet restaurant, Flavors, will open when the occupancy is higher. We were told for the first night only two restaurants would be open – the Italian Restaurant, Il Bottaccio, and the beach restaurant, See & Sea, which is the seafood restaurant. We were also told that for breakfast the Italian restaurant would be open for a la carte dining, and only a continental breakfast was available at the See & Sea Restaurant from 10:30 a.m.. We later found out the Steakhouse Restaurant was also open for dinner that first night, and for breakfast the See & Sea Restaurant had a full breakfast available. We went to the Italian Restaurant for dinner, it’s a lovely big restaurant. We ordered and our meal was served in a timely manner. Staff is new, so service was a little tentative, but no complaints, they are really trying. We had Caesar salad and pumpkin soup, and I had veal scallopini and Pat had lasagna (called “over-baked” lasagna on the menu, I think maybe it should have said “oven-baked” : ) After dinner when we were walking around we talked to someone who said the steakhouse was also open and he had just had a fabulous steak. The next morning we went to the Italian restaurant for the a la carte breakfast, as we were not aware there was a full breakfast available at See & Sea Restaurant. The Italian restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch for Elegance Club members only. There were few people there. We ordered eggs, sausage and toast (they had no idea what toast was) and ended up bringing buns. It was kind of funny because they served breakfast as a 3-course meal – first they brought a plate with just scrambled eggs on it, a little later the sausage came, and then later on the buns. They’ll get the hang of it, I’m sure.
Our last night we went to the Argentinian Steakhouse for dinner. This was somewhat of a disaster. They did not have enough menus for everyone and orders were not being taken. The staff seemed confused. People were walking out, some having waited over an hour and had not even had their orders taken. We waited about half an hour for a menu, and then it was a while before our order was taken. It was another half an hour or so before any food arrived. We ordered a Caesar salad, soup and steak. The salad was fine, although it took us a minute to realize they had brought the dressing separately. We ordered onion soup, Pat’s arrived steaming hot and mine was lukewarm – it was really good though. It was a long wait until the steak arrived – I ordered Churrasco and Pat ordered the Chateaubriand. The food was fine, but it took over two hours to have dinner. We opted to skip desert and went to the bar for our coffee.
When we left the steak restaurant we noticed that the Gourmet restaurant was also open, but I didn’t get a chance to speak to anyone who had eaten there. Something I haven’t seen before – in all 3 of the restaurants we ate at, they all had an open or glassed off kitchen area so you can see the chefs at work. We ate Saturday lunch and Sunday breakfast at the See & Sea Restaurant at the beach. A very good selection and good service. Once their main buffet restaurant is open this restaurant will likely not serve a full breakfast, just a continental breakfast from 10:30 a.m.
The Kids Club, Casino, and Sports Bar are located on the “Caribbean Street” at Majestic Colonial., accessed by a walkway from Majestic Elegance.
Rooms are large, with lots of European marble, king-size four poster bed or two full-size beds, complete bathroom, Jacuzzi for 2, walk-in shower with 3 functions- rain, massage and soft, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, 32” TV, satellite TV, DVD, telephone, hi-speed internet connection available, mini-bar, safe, coffee machine, desk, iron and ironing board. Connecting and handicap rooms are available.
Majestic Elegance – Pool or Garden view – 473 rooms *Jr. Suite: Large and comfortable hotel room with an Indoor Jacuzzi for two, pool or garden view, two full-size or king-side beds.- Max occupancy 4 people *Colonial Jr. Suite: Same as above, but has both an indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi, on higher floors. Max occupancy 4 people *Majestic Jr. Suite (swim up room): Indoor Jacuzzi and is located on first floor with direct access to the Swimming pool and has a small private garden. Max occupancy 4 people *One bedroom Suites: one bedroom suite with an Indoor Jacuzzi, a sliding door connects to the living room area. Max occup. 4 people Elegance Club (Adults Only section with Majestic Supreme service) – 127 rooms The Elegance Club accommodations are in buildings at each side of the resort, closest to the beach. There is a separate pool for Elegance Club guests with bali beds, loungers, tables and chairs. and bar service. They were just finishing the rooftop bar area, so it was not open yet *Jr. Suite: Indoor Jacuzzi, pool, garden or Ocean view, Majestic Supreme Service and facilities. Max occup. 2 people. *Majestic Jr. Suite, Same as above, but located on first floor with direct access to the swimming pool and small garden. *Swim up Suite: One bedroom Suite located on first floor with direct access to the swimming pool and small garden, Indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi,. Max occup. 4 people. Room and living room divided by a sliding door.
*Ocean front suites: – Ocean view. One bedroom Suites, room and living room divided by a sliding door. Max. Occupancy 4 people
Majestic Elegance Club Inclusions:: *Two private swimming pools *Private beach area with “Bali style” beds *Private and personalized check in *Complimentary late check out (based on availability) *Two private ocean front roof top bars with hors d oeuvres and drinks *VIP lounge at the lobby with library, table games and free internet connection *Exclusive access to “Il Botaccio” Restaurant for breakfast and lunch a la carte *Room service included 24 hours *In room bar selection with up to 4 bottles of liquor per stay (ej. Vodka, Whisky, Rum, Baileys) *Bottle of champagne in room upon arrival *Access to 13 bars throughout the property (4 bars exclusive for adults) *Butler service during your stay *Express bell boy service *Surprise gift in room *In room beach towels *Pillow menu *Aromatherapy for pillows *Robes and slippers in room *Bath Kit *DVD’s selection *In room newspaper *Espresso machine in room ( suites only)
There are 8 bars plus 4 additional bars for Elegance Club guests only *Lobby bar *Disco bar *Plaza bar *Wet bar *Beach bar *Parrots bar *Lobby bar *Midnight bar
The spa and gym are not finished, but guests can use the facilities at Majestic Colonial. They have a wonderful spa there.
See our weddings page for details FACILITIES AND SERVICES FOR ALL GUESTS STAYING AT THE MAJESTIC ELEGANCE PUNTA CANA *Refreshing towel upon arrival *Welcome cocktail upon arrival *24 hours All Inclusive *6 restaurants *9 bars located in different areas of the hotel. Open during different hours *Premium drinks in all bars *Room service included
*Daily stocking of mini bar
*Sports bar / Discotheque with drinks included *400 meter long swimming pool *Casino located at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana (2 minute walk) ($) *Gym *Spa ($) *Golf nearby (300 meters away from hotel main Entrance) ($) *Theatre for shows and entertainment team with day and night activities *Supervised Kids Club for children (at the Majestic Colonial) 2 minute walk *Nintendo’s for children in kids club. (at the Majestic Colonial) 2 minute walk *Caribbean street with boutiques (jewelery, cigars, souvenirs, mini market, photo shop, pharmacy, clothes) ($) *High speed internet in all rooms ($) *Wireless internet in Lobby and Convention Center ($) *Convention Center for up to 600 people ($) *Business Centre with internet access ($) *Gazebo for weddings ($) *Wedding facilities: Catholic church and gazebo, beach and tropical gardens. ($) *Umbrellas, towels and lounge chairs at the beach and the swimming pool *Bath robes in room *Slippers in room *Medical center ( 24 hrs.) ($) *Laundry Services ($) *Live Music at the Plaza bar ( night) *Live piano at the” Limited Gourmand Restaurant”. Adults only *2 integrated jacuzzis within the main swimming pool *Guest Service (flight confirmation, car rental, excursions, and help with any special needs) *ATM machine. Major credit cards accepted *Tennis courts with lights *Audio System *Plasma TV *Iron and ironing board *Basketball area *Ping-pong, pool tables, darts, etc. *Soccer field *Water sports available *Elevators in each building *Handicap rooms available
Majestic Elegance is a new hotel – there will be growing pains. Go with an open mind and you will enjoy…it will improve on a daily basis! Staff are friendly and eager to serve you. You have only to look at the success of Majestic Colonial to see what it will be. With special thanks to Ricardo Espinosa, Annmarie at Majestic Colonial Guest Services, and Angel, our concierge at Majestic Elegance.