Natura Park Beach Eco-Resort & Spa Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Natura Park Beach Eco-Resort & Spa

Arrival: January 29 to February 5 Our arrival was around 9 pm. There were 10 of us checking in. The staff was organized for us. Unfortunately our room was not as we had requested. Because of the late check in there were no rooms left to move us to, but the following day we were moved close to the beach. They do try to accommodate.

Rooms:

The resort rooms are in need of a remodeling, but are always clean. Most mini bars do not work. A/C is sketchy. Sometimes your room could be made up at 9 am or as late as 5pm. The service is the same whether you leave money on your pillow or not. You need to ask for extra water bottles. DO NOT DRINK THE WATER FROM THE TAP.

Restaurants and Bars:

The main buffet served breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was lots of food. One section was a selection of Dominican foods. The middle section had a selection of pasta, breads, meats, fruit, deserts. Each night had a different main course (meat). The food was good but lacked seasonings. The meat was always well done. The main bar was next to the main buffet. The drinks were served in real glasses and lots of alcohol was used. Table service is slow, so recommend ordering at the bar. This is the meeting place and can be very busy. The entertainment stage is next to the bar. The beach buffet served a light breakfast and lunch. Sometimes the chef would be cooking up paella or a surprise for lunch from the bbq next to the beach buffet. Behind the beach buffet was a hot dog/hamburger stand. The beach bar served their drinks in plastic cups (6 oz). We found the drinks to be inconsistent each time. They used lots of alcohol and syrup and in a small cup not so good. Recommend bringing your own travel mug for a longer more consistent cold drink and not so many trips to the bar. There were 2 beach bars and a swim up bar. But do bring your own mug.

In the evening there are 3 a la carte restaurants and the times and dates are already scheduled for you. Even though there are several seatings you are never made to feel rushed. Please note that most of the staff speak very little English. So don’t expect a lot of answers unless you are pointing to the menu. They do not understand. Fortunately one of us speaks Spanish and this opened lots of doors. Very enjoyable conversations were had. The La Perla became the seafood restaurant in the evening. We did not read the menu carefully and missed out on the lobster because it was labeled mixed seafood grill. We were not thrilled with our choices but we are the ones who made the choices. The staff was great.

The Media Luna steak house. Only used for the evening meal. The setting was charming as the restaurant was surrounded by water with flamingos, ducks and geese. We ordered medium rare rib eye steaks and they were cooked to perfection. The menu gave you a choice of french fries or rice, our steak came with a baked potato as well as the rice. The staff was very accommodating as we asked to change our table and they did it immediately. The Gondola – Italian restaurant. The food was very tasty and the presentation was wonderful. We had the mixed grill and the curry chicken. The curry chicken was the best meal I had all week! The service was great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

The grounds were mature and well laid out with ponds and bridges. There were boxes along the trails loaded with bread to feed the geese, ducks and fish. The pool was small compared to other resorts. It was about 4′ deep and was a great place to cool off or play with the kids. There was aquasize classes in the am and pm. The beach. If you wanted a lounge chair, you needed to claim it by 7 am or have a hard time to find several together. As most people kept their lounge chairs all day. We found the east side the best place as it was closest to the washroom, buffet and bar. The beach is cleaned every day of seaweed. It is fine sand so no need to wear shoes in the water. The water is warm even though it is on the Atlantic ocean. The swimming area is buoyed off to keep boats, etc away. Within this swimming area we found the best snorkeling with lots of colourful coral and fish. There is a reef that you can see about ½ mile away. See below.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

The animacion crew had activities all day long from mini golf to meringue dancing. Then in the evening they were part of the entertainment starting at 9:30. The evening shows were good. Sometimes it was audience participation and some nights there was a Magician Act or a Michael Jackson impersonator. Go early to find a spot as it gets very busy. The resort had boats for hire to take you to the reef (about 3 minutes away) to snorkel or dive. Approx $10 US. There were also catamarans, paddleboats, kayaks, and wind surfers but you need to sign up early for these.

Off the resort

We went on the Marinarium ½ day snorkeling adventure. If you like to party this boat would be for you. We snorkeled for about 20 minutes (in a crowd follow the leader) and then swam in the nurse shark and stingray pen. Then back on the boat to a natural lagoon where they served us drinks in the water (we could stand up in) and then lunch more drinks and dancing back to the dock. I would recommend the Reef Explorer if you want to snorkel. We went on the Mega Truck excursion. We left at sunrise and came back at sunset. Very long day 11 hours. Gave us an overview of the country away from the resort. You had the opportunity to buy coffee and cocoa from the locals. I don’t think this excursion was worth the time or the money. There is a bus that takes you to the shopping outlet mall from the resort. We didn’t go but heard mixed reviews. There is no 2 pm bus.

Other Comments:

There is too much tipping at this resort. We spent $50 in one week tipping from the bell boy, bar tender, restaurants, the troubadours, maid, concierge. Everyone seems to have their hand out.

Bring bug spray as we had quite a few mosquito bites in our room while sleeping with doors shut. There is a general store but the prices are ridiculous. A bag of pretzels is $8. So bring your own salty snacks as the resort does not serve them. There are lots of vendors on the beach and some evenings by the main restaurant to buy jewelry, paintings, carvings, rum, etc. They are not aggressive but looking to them means you want to buy.

Over all impression
The resort was favorable and worth the money. If this was you’re first all inclusive you would be awed. The resort had the cliches you would expect to find in a Latin country. We have been to all inclusives on the Pacific, the Caribbean and now the Atlantic and feel if we were to go back to the Dominican Republic we would look for a higher rated resort in the La Romana area. The locals have recommended that area to us.

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