Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel Resort Reviews – Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana

  Occidental Grand Punta Cana    Lindsay ~ Maryland

December 2 2009

Arrival: November 15-21
I hadn’t arranged transportation to the hotel in advance, but there was a swarm of tour/taxi folks standing by at the airport and it took about two minutes to get into a cab and on my way.  The ride was about 30-40 minutes long, but I found it very interesting.  There was a bit of a hold-up at check-in; I believe the one family must have been having a problem, because after they were taken care of the (short) line moved very quickly.  I was given my keys, towel cards, and a map of the property, and handed over to a bellhop who drove me to my building in a golf cart.  I found this helpful since there was a little distance between the buildings and I was hauling luggage, plus the bellhop gave me the lowdown on where everything was.

Rooms:
I stayed in building 24.  The room was a little musty, probably because of the humidity, but after the first day I didn’t notice it.  The staff kept the bathroom spotless and provided fresh towels and linen every day.  I stayed in what I believe is called a ‘junior suite,’ which included a king-sized bed, a spacious bathroom, a neat little sitting area, and a balcony.  The AC was powerful and always working well while I was there.  The only problem I’d mention about the room is that the shower had a tendency to leak quite a bit, so take care with the shower curtains.

Restaurants and Bars: I traveled alone and so I did most of my dining at the buffet (it’s not much fun to sit waiting for your food in an a la carte restaurant with no one to talk to).  I did try the Mexican restaurant, which was pretty good.  It was very difficult to get reservations; I was there in the off-season and even so you’d have to book 2-3 days in advance.  The buffet was sadly mediocre.  If you are a gourmand you will be sorely offended, but if you’re just looking to keep yourself going it’s fine.  Breakfast was always awesome, there were fresh fruits, breads and pastries at every meal, and a carving station and a gentleman making fresh crepes to order were nightly high notes.  I also tried the snack bar by the pool, which was fine for what it was, and mostly offering burgers, dogs, and fries.  Bars seemed to be everywhere, and I always found the bartenders friendly and the drinks tasty (if a tad under-liquored, but then I like my drinks strong).  I loved the swim-up bar, which had a !

curtain of water cascading down all around it.  I did not visit the disco, but I’m told that if you’re into clubbing it’s THE place to be.  The other bars on the property close up by 12:30 or 1 am.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were beautiful and impeccably kept.  The beach was gorgeous, the water was lovely, and the multiple lagoon-style pools were awesome.  The smaller pool by buildings 24 and 22 seemed to be a refuge of sorts for folks tired of the bigger crowd and the music at the main pool, and I always found that area very quiet.  Another detail worth mentioning is that two inlets in the big pool were fixed with benches and whirlpool jets, which made them great places to relax.  There was some reserving of chairs (although signs indicate this is against hotel policy) but I always managed to find a chair where I wanted.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: By design, I spent all my time on the resort by the pools and the ocean.  There were staff members running a schedule of activities (many of them in and around the main pool) for those interested, and you could borrow snorkeling equipment, though I’m told there wasn’t much to see near the beach.  There was a watersports pavilion down by the beach where for an additional fee you could parasail or sign up for scuba or snorkeling tours.  You’d also see folks around with binders, wanting to offer tours or horseback riding.  There were several shops selling clothing, hotel sundries, cigars, and crafts in a small building near the lobby.  The hotel also allowed vendors to come in a couple nights a week and set up on the path between the stage and the lobby.  Some people found this a sort of annoying gauntlet on the way to and from dinner, but I enjoyed the chance to browse through jewelry, wood carvings, and other items.  Don’t forget to bargain- the first price you are quoted wi!

ll be wildly inflated!  Merchants will cheerfully dicker in either US dollars or Dominican pesos (worth about 35 to the dollar as of Nov. 09- the ‘logo shop’ on the property will change dollars, pounds and euros to pesos and give you a reasonably accurate rate of exchange).  There’s an atm in the lobby if you run out of cash, but it only dispenses 500 and 1000 peso notes, so it’s important to be quick with your math.  I’ll also mention the spa on the property; it of course costs extra, but they have some great deals and a very soothing atmosphere.  I had a full body massage there that was fantastic.

Other Comments:
Overall I had a fantastic time.  My goal was to spend a week relaxing in the sun and the water, and to my mind the reason this resort is great is because it helped me do that without throwing up any obstacles to relaxation.  Every member of the staff that I met was friendly and helpful.  Only two bits of advice you should keep in mind: DON’T drink the tap water (the staff kept the room’s minibar filled with soda and liters of bottled water), and DON’T get suckered into listening to the pitch for the occidental vacation club!  (If you get a note under your door that the hotel wants to give you a ‘free welcome gift’…IT’S A TRAP.)  Other than that, I have no reservations about recommending this resort to anyone considering an all-inclusive in the Dominican.

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  Occidental Grand Punta Cana    Zdenka and Milan ~Burnaby, BC, Canada

November 29 2009

Arrival: November 2009 The resort was great, well maintained and clean, staff was friendly, curteous and always helpful. We ate mostly in the buffet restaurant and some lunches at the beach restaurant.  Enjoyed the beach every day, sometimes we have spent time at the pool, where there was great Spanish Music and activities. Only think I would suggest would be to take scented candle or something like that, due to moisture, the room smells a bit musty, which is normal in this climate.

We will definitely go back at Punta Cana, loved it, even though it is quite far to travel from Vancouver, due to stop in Calgary. We went para-sailing, what an experience!

Rooms:
King size beds quite comfortable, fresh linen daily, fan and air conditioner.

Restaurants and Bars:
Great, good food – always something to find; especialy the fish dishes and papaya was out of this world.  Great baked goods and pastries.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Super, also great for young families.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There is enough activities for everyone.  Did not go on any tours, the trip to Santo Domingo takes apparently several hours there and back, and since we stayed only one week, we just enjoyed strolling on the fantastic beach and swimming. Next time deffinitely!

Other Comments: We had great vacation, no complaints whatsoever!

Don’t forget, we are spoiled where we live and I truly believe that the staff at the resort is trying to please us very much, they appreciate visitors because they rely on tourism very much.

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  Occidental Grand Punta Cana   Hlywud ~ Canada

November 2009

Arrival: Oct. 29 – Nov. 5 2009
Arrival was by private transfer and was quick and uneventful, although we did miss our pre booked connection due to flight number being changed. Our flight to the DR was #248 and was via Puerto Plata, flight from POP was #247 which was not on the arrival board at Punta Cana airport, we arrived early and our private driver was looking for flight #248 and we did not see his vehicle in the parking lot.

Rooms: On arrival at he resort we were immediately whisked away and registered in the Royal Club, a one bedroom suite, 2nd floor ocean view, simply beautiful. Within 10 minutes of arrival we were at poolside having an ice cold Presidente.

While we were in the Royal Club, I did take time to visit the Transat Preference and Prestige rooms of people who we made friends with at the airport on the way down. These rooms were very nice with spanish terra cota tile floors and well appointed rooms with a king bed, a full bath and a small sitting area adjacent to patio doors to a balcony that looked out in both cases to the pool area. Honestly these rooms would have been very adequate for our stay.

Restaurants and Bars: Even though we were guests in the Royal Club we visited and used various buffets and a la carte restaurants to gain a good perspective of the entire resort. Main buffet was very good for breakfast with separate omelette and egg cooking stations, there was a a large selection of fresh fruits, juices, smoothings and many other foods available for our enjoyment. We also did eat one night at this same buffet, there was a huge selection of various meats and vegetables available, nobody certainly should ever go hungry. The Dining area was very well appointed and also airconditioned. Like most buffets the food could which was on steam tables could have been hotter but in comparison to other buffets it was on par. Beach buffet, an open air restaurant on the beach buffetted by a nice breeze off the ocean had an excellent selection of pizza, meats, cheeses, fruits salads and veggies, something for everyones palate. Japanese a la carte was quite good especially for those who like oriental cuisine, we are not into the sushi culture so stayed away from the appetizer sections of the menu. Our main course was very good and steaming hot and was very enjoyable. This particular a la carte is not a teppenaki style restaurant. Italian a la carte was indeed a nice suprise with a exceptional range of pasta dishes as well as main courses cooked with an Italian flair, food was well presented and quite hot. There also was an excellent salad and soup bar available. Brazilian a la carte, well the steak was very good and cooked to perfection. I overheard many people saying that they expected a Brazilian Rodisserio type menu with many types of braised meats brought to the table on larger skewers, when actually it is more like a grill restaurant.

Royal Club restaurant (members only) was a beautifully appointed room adjacent to the RC jacuzzi pool, air conditioned comfort with eloquent service and a fine menu of appetizers, soups and salads with a different daily menu of main course dishes. Any we had were marvelously prepared and very tasty. This restaurant was open to members for breakfast, lunch and supper, we tried them all and were very impressed with the service and food quality.

Beach/Pools/Grounds: Bavaro beach, what is there to say other than it is simply beautiful white sand and gorgeous blue colourations of the ocean. The resort had staff who were continually grooming the sands to make sure that there was no tourist generated debris around any of the loungers, when a glass was empty it was quickly removed, ash trays were available at all the palapa’s. All the pools were very nice well maintained and were very child friendly with walk in sections that gradually went to a depth of just over 3 feet. Swim up bars were available at the 2 we briefly visited. 90% of our time was spent on the beach.

While the Occidental is one of the older resorts in Punta Cana, arriving you are greeted with a large marble and spanish tile floored open air lobby that just sparkles. From the lobby you are led through a pathway of red painted and white curbed winding roadways through the myriad of beautifully white painted spanish style buildings with orange tile roofs, pools and gardens that are meticulously maintained by a very friendly staff who alway greet you with a friendly "hola". 

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Off resort we went to the El Mundo Meijor Children’s orphanage in Higuey.

And of course dis our usual afternoon at Steve’s Corner bar.

Other Comments: The resort was very well maintained and clean, staff was very friendly and accomodating. Public washrooms in the lobby are were very well maintained and clean as they were in any of the restaurant area. One exception was the large washrooms adjacent to the evening theater, I was told that a number of toilets in the ladies side did not flush and was in need of a complete refit. The resort 2 years ago when I was there, they had started a complete renovation program of its rooms and this is now an continuing process spearheaded by their resident manager. I definitely did see a lot of wonderful improvements in the resort, and am sure more will be taking place in the near future. 

Personally I do not see why anyone can not go to this middle of the road solid 4+ star resort and have a wonderful fun filled all inclusive vacation.

Please note that even though we stayed in the fantastic Royal Club section, has absolutely no bearing on this review, as I tried to see and use as much of the resort as possible to give a true perspective of what to expect. I met with and discussed the resort with the resident manager and went over many of the points that would be included in this review.

Hlywud

Photos

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  Occidental Grand Punta Cana   Lori ~ Connecticut

November 2009

Arrival: October 25 – November 1, 2009 DON’T GO! After the trip was booked, I read several of the reviews on this website and kept an open mind. Boy, was I wrong to do that!  All the bad things listed are true, whether we experienced it ourselves or met others who did. We found it difficult to communicate with most of the staff.  It would be wise to speak fluent Spanish if you go here. The people trying to get you to buy a time share (vacation club) are annoying!  They keep hounding you.

To sum it up, we all came home with diarrhea and will never go back!

Rooms: The rooms were very large and comfortable, though most of the lightbulbs did not work.

There was often a strong sewage odor in the room and our shower water smelled like gasoline!  There was no hot water at 11 am the day we left.

Restaurants and Bars: The food was ok, there wasn’t a theme to the meals at the buffet as advertised.  It was much of the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We went to the Mexican restaurant and that was good.  We couldn’t find anything on the Italian menu or the Oriental menu that we liked. You have to ask about the Steakhouse because they won’t tell you about it.  Don’t bother with the dress code.  They’ll let you in in shorts and sandals.

The bars were ok.  Lanquage barrier was difficult, so it was best to order off from their drink menu.  The cascading water from the swim up bar is neat, but you have to cover your drink to get out from under the water.  Not too many people stayed seated.

Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was nice except on the weekend when people left behind plates of food and other garbage. 

The pools were nice and clean.  We spent much of our time at the pool right in front of our room (Building 24)so that we were close to our bathrooms.  It was also quieter – away from the beach and the main pool with all the activities.  The grounds are just as pictured, however there was a strong smell of raw sewage in many areas of the resort.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: The daily activities were repeated every day. We watched a few of the shows at night.  I would rate them as average.

We went on the Party Boat with snorkeling and the natural swimming hole and drinks (rum and coke, and beer).  It was an experience.  One of the motors broke – the lower unit fell off.  We retrieved it and went along as though nothing happened.  Though it took longer to get back with only one motor. Not all prices are final.  You can negotiate prices with them, so don’t go by the price they give you.

Other Comments:
Prices are expensive for necessities.  Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and medicines for upset stomach/diarrhea.

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  Occidental Grand Punta Cana   Harold ~ Canada

August 2009

Arrival August 1 – August 8:
The arrival to Punta Cana is an experience in itself the airport is built like a huge palm tree hut, very folkloric and nice, the customs people and in general everyone was very nice. Once Leaving customs our bus was waiting no problem there taking us directly to the resort.

Rooms:
The room was good as hotel rooms go it was big and had all the ammenites you could need for the short whiles that you will be in the room.

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurnts were all great. the central Buffet restaurant featured evrynight a different type of menu, one night Dominican food, another night seafood, mexican etc. no chance of getting bored. The specialty restaurants wer alos very good they all have a dress code in effect and require reservations whic you should do once you arrive to get the best days for you.

The swimup bars are always great anywhere you go and this one is no exception.

The sports bar right over the pool has a great view while you snack on the burger, fries, onion rigs etc. that you eat between meals.

In essence the food is great and abundant

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beaches in Punta cana are all great, white powder sand, blue ocean and you can walk miles in either direction.

The pools are great they have a long river like feel to them and even some jaccuzis on the size directly connected.

The grounds in general are very well maintained and clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The entertainment was nonstop all day long at the pools with all kinds of activities as well  as on the beach where there was anything from morning excersize up to beach parties at night.

There was also a nightly show in the central theatre which always involved guests making it a must go evry night.

There are many tours offered through the carrier but the one I took and completely enjoyed was to marinarium where the highlight of some of things done there was swimming directly with sharks and stingrays to me when going back to DR will go with thinking about it.

Other Comments:
In general this resort is great at a very good price and when returning to DR would at my top list to return to, althogh I am planning to try another resort just to be able to compare, so I hope that Occidental hasn’t spoiled me for the other resorts

  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Joe ~ Chicago, IL

July 2009

Arrival: July 15-21 Well, we just got back from our week long stay at the Occidental and honestly could not have had a better trip! It truly is a shame that so many of these reviews are negative because not one person in our group didn’t have the time of our life. Granted we are all between the ages of 22-35 and can make the most out of anything, it will definitely be a place where we will all visit again very soon.

Typically, each night we ate at a different place then the night before. Every restaurant had delicious food and the service was great. I do not remember much spanish from high school but every person that we had interacted with throughout the resort was more then happy to assist us in english if they needed to. For breakfast we ate at the buffet each morning. Then typically switched between the beach and the pools, of course close to a bar. Then for lunch, we enjoyed the beach club which also had awesome food.

As far as excursions go, we decided to go on the party boat which offered scuba diving on the reef, then drinks, and then a natural pool where we all just drank and had a great time with the other people in the water. 4 of us went parasailing and had another great time, along with kayaking.

Throughout the day, there were more then enough lounge chairs on the beach. But if you wanted to get a palapa(hut/umbrella) on the beach, you had to get there alittle earlier. Not a big deal at all.

As far as people trying to sell you stuff, it was also not a big deal if you have a little patience. All you have to say is "No gracias los siento" if you are not interested, and they respect that. Throughout the area, there will be many places where you can buy items. Realize this, it is perfectly normal to barter with whatever is being sold. There is no need to be arrogant though if you do not get the price you want. I personally purchased some paintings that would most likely sell for $80 for one in the US, and got two and some marble turtles all for $45 total.

I think most people that put these arrogant reviews up just don’t realize that you have to understand our standards here in the US are different then those in other parts of the world. Meaning, food is going to be a little different then what you are use to in the states, and not everyone is going to speak perfect english that works there. If you want the typical party vacation or Florida vacation, go to Cancun or Florida. But if you want to have a great time that’s different then what most people from the states are use to, come here. You will meet people from all across the world. It was actually a great time knowing that there were not a ton of people vacationing there from the US. I can’t stress enough if you come here to just be open minded and leave your proplems at home. I couldn’t be more honest when I say this resort/trip was an unbelievable trip. Cheers!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Jessica ~ NJ, USA

July 2009

Arrival: June 16th-24th
We arrived at the resort at around 1pm and there was no one else checking in at that time so there was no waiting in line. Rooms are usually ready at around 3pm but ours was ready when we got there so that was a bonus. Our travel agent had requested a specific building and floor for us and they were able to grant our request for the building but not the floor…this was not a big deal.

Rooms:
When we arrived at our room we noticed that there was only 1 king bed so we asked housekeeping to bring us another and by the time we got back from lunch the second bed was in the room all ready to go. We were in building 12 on the second floor and the room as spacious and well kept. we had no problems with the room except for the design of the bathtub…the water pools up at the end of the tub without a drain so you just had to sweep it to the other end with your foot. Not a big deal to us…things could have been worse. we had no issues with bugs, leaks or any water issues. we lost power once for about 10 minutes but that was during a bad storm so it was not a surprise and didnt really affect anything. our room was cleaned and restocked on a daily basis and after the first day we asked our maid for extra waters and she was more then happy to provide them daily.

Restaurants and Bars:
We ate lunch and dinner at the buffet every day and had no problems finding something to eat. they have many resturants at the resort but having had stayed here before it was just more convenient for us to eat at the buffet…we would eat dinner as late as possible so we didnt bother with the other choices. we would stop at HomeRum every day for a little snack after the beach…they have nachos, hot dogs, burgers, chicken, fries, etc. The bar in the main lobby was always full of people hanging out and service was very quick. the lobby was a nice little hang out area for the time after dinner and before heading over to Mangu. We went to Mangu every night…its free to enter but you have to pay for your drinks. The music is good and the crowd is a mix of resort customers and locals so it is always entertaining even just to people watch.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is absolutely gorgeous…you can walk for miles and miles in either direction and no one will bother you. We never had a problem getting a beach chair at any time of the day but if you want one under and umbrella i would suggest getting there early…people tend to put there towels and items down and then disappear. This was my 3rd trip to this resort and my first time going in any of the pools. I took a quick dip in the pool closest to the beach one day and it was perfect!! The entire resort is just so well kept and gorgeous. there is never trash lying around or anything you just wouldnt want to see. the workers really take care of everything and everyone is very friendly. I dont think there was a single person that didnt say "hola" when passing and this goes for workers and tourist alike.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We visited the spa on the resort one day to treat ourselves to birthday massages and WOW they were fantastic!! the ladies there are super nice and the massages we very relaxing.

Other Comments:
This was my 3rd trip to this resort and I would return in a heartbeat. if you have any questions please feel free to contact me…

jettibear78@aol.com

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Mark ~ Barrie, Ontario, Canada

June 2009

Arrival: April 16 to April 23
Good, no delays, nice air conditioned bus. Fairly quick check in, about 15 minutes.

Rooms:
Not bad, good size, full king-size bed, large pillows, clean. Sitting area with 2 nice rattan chairs with large TV (about 5 or 6 english movie channels) Large bathrooms, hot water in the morning, luke warm in the afternoon. poor design of bath tubs (water runs onto the floor no matter how careful you are. They’ve even put a drain there just to help with this problem).

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet food was good, a mountain of bacon most mornings, they need a toaster that does both sides of the bread at once. No end to the drinks at all the bars. All the "a la carts" were good. Mexican my favorite. All staff very good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
3 hugh pools, clean, fairly warm, grounds clean, nicely appointed, beach very good. Could use a few more chairs at the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Bavaro runners excursion was very good (full day with as much beer, rum and pop as you can drink.) Bavaro Splash speed boats was not so enjoyable,(the snorkling was good, but they make you go too fast on the speed boats which was not only too dangerous, but you constantly trying to wipe the salt water out of your eyes – I love to go fast, but this was very uncomfortable.)

Other Comments:
The only reason I won’t go back, People constantly bugging you to buy a time-share in the place. We were asked 5 times in one morning alone. We actually got suckered into the 45 minute presentation that lasted 2 hours, and it was really in your face, hard sell. I won’t go back, sorry.

thatsthat@rogers.com

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Andrea & Kevin ~ Brampton, Ontario, Canada

June 2009

Date: May 10 to 24 2009

Flight-Airport-Check in: Our flight to Punta Cana was an early flight out of Toronto flying Canjet. This was our first flight ever with Canjet and I was impressed with the flight and service they offered. We arrived in Punta Cana on time. As always everything went smooth at the airport and finding our bus was easy. The drive to the resort is only 20 minutes from the airport. Check in at almost all resorts in the D.R. Is 3:00pm so you only receive your band and are told to go have some lunch and come back later for your room.

Room:

We made three room changes before we got our final room. Our first room was in building 23. There was nothing wrong with this room other then the location. We went to the Air Transat Concierge in the lobby and ask for a room change and were told that they could not make the change that day but the next day. We were fine with this so we stay in the room the first night and the next day around we went back to the front desk. Unfortunately we did not get the same concierge as the first day and he gave us the run around sending us to a room in building 26 that was under maintenance and was not habitual. Realizing we were not going to get any help from this guy we went and talked to our Air Transat Rep (Andre). It only took him a few minutes to get things sorted out and get us a room but because it was too late in the day we could still not move until the next day. Oh well we were there for two weeks so one more day did not matter to us. We got moved the next day to building 25 on the third floor and were quite happy with our room. Our maid (Celsa) made our stay in this building exceptional. Whenever you asked her for something she was back with it in less then 5 minutes. The room was always clean and she replenished our fridge and coffee everyday. We never went without anything. Note: We never did see the concierge that gave us the run around again at the resort after that day.

Grounds-Pools-Beach:

The grounds at the Flamenco are mature with lots of palm trees and tropical foliage. They have their own landscaping crew so it is kept up very well. There are three pools that are used by the whole resort. The fourth one is only for the Royal Club. We are not pool people so we did not use them but they looked well maintain. The main pool which is quite large has a pool bar and the Sports Bar (Home Run) above it. The beach as always is just beautiful and the resort kept it well cleaned and raked.


Restaurants-Food:

We only ate at the Main Buffet, La Fontana Pizzeria and the Beach Club. The main buffet always had a good variety of food to choose from and was very good. We also enjoyed the Pizzeria “La Fontana”. The pizza and calzone were excellent but you have to be patient because it is very popular and getting a seat can take awhile sometimes. You don’t need a reservation for the pizzeria. As for the Beach buffet, it was good as well except 3 days a week they would close the main buffet at lunch so it became very busy and was hard to get a table. We did try the Sports Bar (Home Run). They serve hamburgers, chicken burgers, hot dogs, fries and nachos. My boyfriend didn’t like the burgers and I found the food a bit too greasy so we stuck with the beach buffet.

Bars-Drinks:

What can I say but “EXCELLENT”. All the bars had good service and the drinks were great. Wilson who mans the lobby bar through the day was just terrific and made one awesome Banana Mamma. Also make sure to try their drink called “Dominican Flag”. It taste great and looks really cool.

Staff-Service:

Other then our problem with the Air Transat Concierge when we first got there, we found the staff very helpful and the service to be great. We never encountered the problems others have written about in their reviews about this resort.

Vacation Club:

This resort (like many others) does sell timeshare or as they put it “Vacation Club”. Unlike other resorts, I did not find them that annoying. We did do the tour just so the guy would get paid (they get paid for each couple/person they bring in) but we did not buy and had no intention of buying since I already have time at another resort. Once you do the tour they don’t usually bother you again.

Rain-Flooding:

Unfortunately for us we did get rain the second week we were there. On the Saturday before we left we got hit with a major storm around 4:00 in the afternoon. It caused extensive flooding in the resort as well as some of accommodation buildings leaving guest in a foot deep of water in their room. Walkways were completely flooded and the pools ended up over flowing causing more flooding. This is not the first time I have been to a resort in the Caribbean where massive rain has caused the resort to get flooded. This is the Caribbean and when rain does come it can come. I have been knee deep in water for three days and it does not deter me from going. Remember you are not home and different elements of nature effects us ever where.

Conclusion:

We had a good time at this resort regardless of the few problems we had (forgot to mention the sunburn my boyfriend got and needed medical assistance, excellent medical staff by the way). Would we go back? Yes, but only if the price is right and with so many other resorts in the D.R. to choose from it will be awhile.

Any questions email me: ondabebe@gmail.com

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Sara ~ NS

May 2009

Arrival: April-May
Arrival was very quick. When we landed there was people there to help and when we were getting onto the bus they had no room for us but eventually found a bus with room. Nice drive to resort. Got to see alot. check in was quick. however we arrived at 9:30 AM and we couldnt get into our room until 3PM. that was the only big issue we had. recommend having bathing suit etc in carry on.

Rooms:
Our room was on the 3rd floor. it was great. it had alot of space. very clean. my hair straightner, battery charger etc worked . i took a converter just incase but it was not needed which was great!

Restaurants and Bars:
We had a hard time with the food at first but eventually got the hang of it. lots of variety with the food. Bars were great. you didnt have to wait long for a drink.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The resort was very well kept. they had garbage cans everywhere. pools were awesome. beach was great too!!! it was a little windy but it was good with the heat.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did parasailing, the dune buggy trip (highly reccommend it-you really get to see how people in punta cana live) and we also took a boat ride over to the shipwreck.

Other Comments:
Overall our vacation was fantastic. the people were very nice, helpful and patient. We went off the resort twice – once into the town – and once down the beach to little shops. found the people very pushy. wouldnt take no for an answer. Bring lots of sunscreen. we brought 1 bottle and ran out. Guys need long pants and dress shoes for dinner. girls dresses and/or skirts.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Kathy ~ Toronto

May 2009

Arrival: April 25 to May 2
The arrival was smooth. The coach that took us to the hotel was old but did the job. Tips started here. The bus driver and leader wanted their tip. this was only the beggining. Baggage claim was also smooth. Check was fast and easy. We did not have an option as to the room we got. The guy at the reception was rude and pushy. We had to pay 25 US for the safe. non-refundable.

Rooms:
The room was in one of the renovated updated biuldings. 26-102. The room quality did not exceed my expectations. The furnitue was old and ratty, but the sheets were clean and the room was clean aside from the moldy smell. We asked to change rooms because the smell was bad, they told us they were fully booked and could not move us. We told them the mold was strong, so they sent someone up to spray the room. The second day the mold mad us sick, but I presume our bodies got used to it as the rest of the vacation the smell did not seem to effect us anymore. As long as the AC was blasting it was ok. We noticed on the second last night that the sliding door was cracked and never locked properly. This was kind of a concern because we were right by the beach and this area was open to locals or anyone that wanted to stroll through the resort after going to Mangu. The maids were great. cleaned the room regularily. Aside from the rust in the bathtube and the discolouration on the groute on the floor everything they could clean was spotless. These small things were typical as the hotel is over 12 years old. overall it was ok. not up to par. but it fit my expectations after reading the previous reviews.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet was ok the first few days, but then I quickly realized that the same food was made on a daily bases. there were not changes. They use little spices in their foods, but this is typical as most dominican food is back to basics (tomato sauce on pasta was just that, boiled and pureed tomatoes). Breakfast (as mentioned by others) was amazing. Made to order omlets were great. All meat was greasy, but again, this is the way they cook. lunch and diner were the same with the exception of some minor changes. I dont think the food made me sick, it was the mold in the room. My friend did get sick from the taco place, as the chicken was undercooked. Pizza was ok, if you like goat cheese. Beach buffet was just the same was the main buffet. didnt eat much of the meat, but others that did said it was good. We tried 3/4 a la carte restaurants. The Mexican was ok, resembled the buffet alot. bland. the italian was good but not great. the soup was terrific here, but the pasta lacked spices. finally, the steakhouse was amazing. The steak was big and juicy and full of flavour. we were seranaded by a live Mariachi number. it was nice. At all restaurants drinks and wine were refilled regularily. Orders were taken fast and food was brought to the table fast. by day 5 you will be bored of the repetitive food. but it was ok as long as you dont expect too much. friut was all sooo sooo good and fresh. Passion fruit was so good I have never thought anything could be soo yummy. drunks were great. too little alcohol in them, so we always asked for them to make them stronger. bahama mama and the tikki tikki were amazing.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was gorgeous. Would have been even better if people didnt reserve spots early in the morning to get the umbrellas. In 7 days I didnt even get the umbrella once. The pool was well maintained, but again the spots were all taken early in the morning. Most of the time these people dont show all day, or they leave their towels there overnite and come for an hour or two. We go fed up and just watched, it they were there for a while we just took over their spots. the staff were always cleaning up and making sure everything was up to par. everything was very well maintained.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There were no activities until the 2nd last day. there was never any music by the beach. the nightly entertainment was very well done, and every night there was a new show. we did the catalina VIP tour, and it was well worth it. you get to see the local life, plus some history of the area. then you see old ruins and a cute town, Los Altos. Which is at the edge of a cliff. You walk down some steps and take a misssippi boat to the end of the river where you get on a catamaran. you sail the ocean to Saona island where you snorkel. they did not give new snorkle, it was used and kinda gross. from there you said to a virgin island, catalina island. Which was gorgeous. so beautiful this was worth it in itself. if it wasnt for the locals hounding you to visit their shops it would have been mucb better. then you are back at sea where you eat a great lunch with lobster. here we had the freshest pine apple i had ever tasted in my life. it was soo good. (it was nice to have a break from the bland and repetitive resort food) You spend another hour at sea and then arrive at a port where you are escorted to shore and take the bus back. Again this bus was very old. the shocks were old and it was a very bumpy ride. and fast. too fast. but this is typical of dominican driving. Thsi triop was well worth the 135 US. Do it if you can. it was a full day and a great experience.

Other Comments:
Punta Cana is beautiful. You should expect to be hounded to buy things at all shops, be prepared to see the same things in each shop too. You can hagle with the owners for less than half of the inital asked price. the hotel staff are very attention and responsive. They try their hardest to please you. I know a lot of people complained about the langugage barrier. but english is not there native language, so they dont expect them to speak it. its fun trying to get your point across, they try and it usually works. although some do not speak english others speak german, italian, french, english and spanish. Our tour guide was great as he spoke 4 languages. all menus and signs are in french, english german and spanish. the staff and anyone you encounter expect tips for any little thing they do. if you try and tip everyone for services that are in their job description you will be out a lot of money. we tipped at all a la carte restaurants and if someone went out of thei was to appease us. Such as at lunch when a waiter noticed i was drinking orange juice, and brought me an orange based alcoholic beverage. if you leave the resort be prepared to be hastled to buy again. the locals are very forward but also very touchy. dont be surprised if they touch you or try to kiss you. this happened a lot. we also noticed with some staff that they were less receptive toward the end of our stay as they focused on the new comers more. the maid was great -Aldamira! loved her. this is a quiet resort. mainly couples and older people and families. I know they market it to be good for young people but its the opposite. there were barely any young people when we went. All resort workers and locals try to suade you to go to Mangu. there are mainly locals here and they stare and try to dance with you and do not take no for an answer. they play the same music every nite. all in all the resort is ok. we only paid 1000 canadian for it, so it was worth the price. had i paid what others did i would have really been dissappointed. as long as you dont set your expectations too high, you will have a great time. anywhere the resort lacks, the beach makes up for it. the staff was great with the exception of a few, but i did not let them ruin my spirits. all in all this was an ok hotel. when i go back to punta cana for the beach (because it was soo beautiful) I will not be staying at this hotel. Only because our room could have been better (not as bad as some of the non-renovated rooms we saw)and when we complained we were not taken seriously) and because it was dated and the food was bland. I would like to try something newer.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Anna ~ N.B

April 2009

Arrival
Arrival was great. Quick bus ride to the hotel. Very quick stop for a beer on the way there. The bus "assistant" wasvery nice …….very quick check-in check-in counter was not busy Friendly staff brought our bags right up to our room and all was good.

Rooms
Our room was on the back on a second floor and the room smell in their and out side so dint open the balcony door for 2-3 days it;s all got better but the Room was nice..bed was comfortable

Restaurants and Bars
the food was good the bar drinks were good too

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pool was beautiful .. we did enjoy the pool nice and the Beach was amazing and the water was blue……..Throw a beach towel over your chair early in the morning or else you will not find one!…….. the grounds were also gorgeose

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
we did go to the Marinarium {marine park & aquarium} the only thing i wish it;s was longer days it’s was so nice swim whit the shark and small gold fish we have paid $89.00 each……. i thing

Other Comments staff was friendly…….. very nice had a good time here, the weather was great ,,,,,,,,,,,,I don’t know that it really should be 4.5 stars though………Overall, the trip was fantastic If you get a good deal, come here. Don’t pay big price and you will be satisfied. Throw a beach towel over your chair early in the morning or else you will not find one! Overall, the trip was fantastic

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Deb ~ Saskatchewan

March 2009

Arrival: March 20 – 27
Arrival was great. Quick bus ride to the hotel. Very quick stop for a cervecza on the way there. The bus "assistant" took our orders right after pick up and we pulled over and were handed a bag of beer. Took about 10 seconds!! $5 US per beer. We booked through Transat so had a very quick check-in at the Transat only check-in. The other check-in counter was not busy either tho. Friendly staff brought our bags right up to our room and all was good.

Rooms
Our room was on the third floor which I would reccomend. The other couple we travelled with got a second floor and had some leaky areas and musty smell in their room. Third floor had great raised ceilings. Room was nice. Nice little balcony overlooking the pool. Great place to have a cervecza in the evening before heading down for supper. And I also enjoyed reading my book and having a coffee out there first thing in the morning, in the hotel supplied robe. Bed was comfortable. Shower was fine once I figured out how to turn on the shower head! Leaked onto the floor every time we showered (perhaps causing the leaky ceiling on second floor??) A/C was working great. Comfy room. Wear your slippers (supplied in room for transat guests)while walking around in room. I stepped on a piece of glass getting out of bed one night with bare feet and cut my heel quite badly. Was a small piece of bottle glass hiding in the tile grout. Easy to miss but not fun when you find it in your heel.

Restaurants and Bars
Bars are all great. No shortage on drinks… and certainly never watered down!! Cesar at the sports bar is great and various others around the resort. Lots of fun! Restaurants were good. The buffet by the beach is great, don’t have to leave the beach for too long to get a good hot meal or a snack. Great service from the waiters and waitresses too. Never a shortage on drinks. The main buffet was good, didn’t eat there much. The A La Cartes were very good. Mexican was least fave, loved the Oriental (order extra sushi.. mmm good)and the Steak house had great steak and mashed potatoes. Ribs were good too. Italian had the best desserts. The Mahi Mahi with veg. lasagna was mucho delicious! Sports bar was good for snacks and good quick breakfast for the Transat guests.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was amazing, sand was white, water was blue, all gorgeous. Can walk for miles up and down the beach in front of the resorts. Many vendors down the one end if you want to do some bargaining. Lots of vendors walking up and down with the "cheapy, cheapy, almost free" they didn’t bother you if you said no gracias and they were alot of fun to spend some time bartering with if you like to do that. Pool was beautiful winding through the whole resort. Grounds were also gorgeous, and always being tended too. Millions of photo ops!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Went on the Tropical Storm Sunset Lobster tour. We had a great time. It was a bit breezy and cool that day with some rain so it was a little cold on the boat but we just danced and moved around and thouroughly enjoyed ourselves. The lobster supper at the JellyFish to end the evening was a highlight. Cost was about $129 US I think. Enough, but it was worth it. We went parasailing on our beach and that too was great fun. Lots of different vendors on the beach ready to sell you a parasail ride at any time of the day.

Other Comments We had a great holiday. Not a 5 star but still a wonderful resort.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Heather ~ Nova Scotia

March 2009

Arrival: Feb 14 to Feb 21
We arrived at 11am , were checked in right away , it went very smooth , the ppl were all very nice and helpful

Rooms
We had a jr suite , it was spacious and clean . The bathroom was clean and nice , and it had a beautiful balcony

Restaurants and Bars
There were several restaurants , we went to the Mexican one and it was very nice . The buffets were great and there was always something there that you liked . The waiter and waitresses were all very helpful

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pool was awesome !! as was the beach , lots of chairs and shade area . The beach bars were great , go look for Migel he makes the best drinks

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel the entertainment at night was hilarious and they really encouraged the audience to get involved . Right next door to the resort , on the property there is a diso called the mangu diso .. it’s the best , the drinks are prices so do your drinking for free at the resort . The music is great there .

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Jennifer ~ Chester Basin, Nova Scotia

March 2009

Arrival: March 1 – 8
LATE,LATE,LATE, and with no remorse or sympathy from Air Transat. We sat a the airport in Halifax for over 3 hours all because they only have one plane capable of taking off from Halifax(apparently, anyway) Once we finally arrived in Punta Cana everything went smoothly and quickly. We boarded our nice air conditioned bus and hit the road. It takes about half an hour to get to the resort. Passes quickly. Check-in went smoothly, rooms were ready for us

Rooms
the rooms were supposed to be recently renovated. I still don’t see how. I guess time really is different in the Dominican. Looked about 10 years old anyway. The bathtub allowed water to flow out on to the floor everytime you showered, so be careful when you get out. Ceramic tile floor is very slippery.Ample hot water in the early morning, not so much left by late afternoon. Maid service was attentive, room was clean.

Restaurants and Bars
Food was okay. I’m not going to jump up and down and gush about how fabulous it was, but no one starved to death! The steakhouse was great, just not a lot of food. The Italian was really good. The Mexican was only okay. The Oriental was good, just not great. The Buffet was great at Breakfast, and okay the rest of the time. Roast Chicken and roast port were great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pools were nice, not heated so when the sun wasn’t out all day they got chilly. They also close the pools down at 7pm!! I didn’t know we were suppossed to be in bed by 9 on vacation. Jeez! The grounds were nice, kept very clean and neat.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went horse back riding on the beach. It was fun, although the horses are pretty skinny and I am a bigger girl, so I felt bad for them. It was worth the $30 dollars we paid for 1.5hours

Other Comments I had a good time here, the weather wasn’t the greatest(not the fault of the resort, I know)I don’t know that it really should be 4.5 stars though. More like 3.5. If you get a good deal, come here. Don’t pay a really big price and you will be satisfied.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Noreen ~ Nova Scotia

March 200

Arrival: Feb 23- Mar 3
We arrived late in the evening. We booked with Transat. There were no problems with the check in. The staff were very friendly. No problem at all.

Rooms
We had a beautiful room in building 26 facing the beach. I guess we were the overflow but this worked out great for us. It was a large clean room. The water force was not very good but no biggy….

Restaurants and Bars
We really enjoyed the bars and the restaurants. We really enjoyed the Steakhouse. There version of medium rare is actually blue …not good but we went back for a second dinner and asked for well done and this was good. The staff was very friendly in the a la carte and the buffet. It was pleasant. There was so much to choose from that you are sure to find something that you would like.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pools were great. We would spend alot of time at the beach and in the afternoon we would go to the pools to cool off. This worked great because the pools were a little cool. The grounds were kept very clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went on the Bavara runners. This was great. It was a full day of activities. we enjoyed it. It was worth the money ($85 per person)

Other Comments We looked at the reviews before we travelled and some of the reviews were not very promising. However;;;;it was a pleasant trip for us and we will surely return to this resort. To us it was really a 4 1/2 star….I beleive that those people that complain alot have very high expectations when they go to an all inclusive resort. .The weather was great…beach was amazing…food and drinks were plentiful and you didn’t have to cook or clean. staff was friendly….what is there to complain about

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Valerie ~ Halifax

March 2009

Arrival: Feb 22 – Mar 1
We arrived at the resort around noon. Very friendly and quick service. Gave us our bracelets and set us loose on the resort while waiting for our room.

Rooms
Our room was very spacious and clean. Bathroom was large, but really could have used some updating in the shower. Some of the tiles were coming away from the wall. We always had fresh towels for our room and for the beach. The slippers in the room came in handy when we tracked some sand into the room and didn’t have to walk on it in our bare feet.

Restaurants and Bars
The buffet was always amazing and plentiful. Could always find something we loved there (their mashed potatoes are to die for). When in doubt, we always went there. Omlettes made to order were amazing. I didn’t care for the italian restaurant, but my husband loved it. The food at the oriental restaurant was good as long as you weren’t too hungry, but it was uncomfortably cold in the restaurant itself. The mexican restaurant was tasty, but the tables are a little too close though and it made it impossible not to hear the conversations going on next to you. The steakhouse was excellent, and I didn’t even mind that they don’t know what well-done means.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was AMAZING. Pools were immaculate. We didn’t spend much time at the pools. There was always a nice cool breeze at the beach, so we didn’t feel the heat so much there.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went on the Bavaro Runners Tour. Defintely loved it and would recommend everyone to take it, just to see how the people live and work is worth it. For only this tour, I wish my children were wish us on the trip; just so they might appreciate what they have back home. We also did the Marinarium Tour. It was really great once I got over my fear of jumping off the boat in really deep water. You were able to swim with nurse sharks and hold a stingray (that part I left to my husband…I was happy to snorkel with the pretty little fishes that were really close to the boat). We also went to a natural pool. Also, lots of drinks on both of these tours…what else??

Other Comments This was my frist trip to the south. Thoroughly loved it. It was a dream come true. I would recommend this resort to everyone!

andyval@eastlink.ca

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Jean ~ New Brunswick, Canada

February 2009

Arrival
Feb 16 2009 early afternoon No problem at check in every thing went smoothly

Rooms: Building 24 Rm 101
Our room was beautiful super clean bath robes and slippers comfortable bed beach towels daily in our room turn down service and treats in the evening bottle of rum and fruit basket on arrival

Restaurants and Bars
all restaurant were excelent the pizza was amazing Buffet had a great selection with very friendly staff

Beach/Pools/Grounds
W spent our time on the beach well maintained and beautiful people selling things all day cheapy cheapy

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
we did no tour this time relaxed on the beach

Other Comments This was our 5th time to DR The best yet We would go back to this resort We loved it. we had a delay on check out but we were well looked after until we could leave for the airport 3 hours later we had regular updates on weather conditions and made the best of the extra hours

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Susan ~ Nova Scotia

February 2009

Arrival: Feb 7 – 14
Got there early in the day after leaving Halifax at 6:30 am. Arrived at the hotel where it had been raining off and on all day.

Rooms
We stayed in building 12 which was a good location. Close to the beach and close to everything else. Rooms were immaculate and very nicely appointed. The king size bed was actually that, not two twins shoved together. The pillows were great too. Lots of hot water and water pressure.

Restaurants and Bars
So many to choose from. I especially liked the beach bar which was convenient and you didn’t have to walk a mile to get a drink. The food was superior in the buffet and the a la cartes. Great drinks and they were generous with the liquor.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was 5+ star and the grounds were very well maintained. The pools were clean clean clean, just not warm enough. That might have had something to do with the fact that it rained for our first 4 days.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We didn’t do any tours this time because we have done them all over the years. Just went for some R & R

Other Comments I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Doug ~ Goderich

February 2009

Vacation Photos

Arrival: Jan 24th to Jan 31st
We arrived a bit tipsy, but check in was a breeze. We were taken to our room right away via a comfortable golf cart and a friendly driver who loaded and unloaded our luggage.

Rooms:
We stayed in building 13 (room 118 ground floor). The room was clean and spacious. We never had a problem with hot water, it was plenty hot and available all the time. We had one mishap with the shower head, but maintenance fixed it that day. AC was cold all week, and we never had any issues with power outages. Restaurants and Bars:
The Buffet: I thought the buffet was quite good, they have fresh fruit, omletes, fried and poached eggs, pancakes, pastries, crepes, what more do you want for breakfast? I cant really comment on the lunch in the buffet as we never went there for lunch. Since we are beach people, we ate at the Beach Club which is a mini buffet aat the beach’s edge. Burgers, fries, fruit, pasta, salad etc. We went to the ala cartes every night except for 2. Those 2 nights at the buffet were also good, with lots of choices. Don’t forget, your in the Dominican, not Toronto. Don’t get picky over the food.

The Italian Rest – never made our reseservation, too many mammajuana shots that day..ugghhh. We heard it was good though.
The Mexican Rest – Awesome, we had the quesadilla and the burrito and both were good. They also have cheesy nacho’s which my fiancé loved and became addicted too.
Home Run Rest – This is the restaurant that’s above the swim up bar. Its available for breakfast in the morning to Air Transat guests only. It opens at 11am for the rest of us and stays open ˜til 6pm. Typical sports bar food which is yummy burgers,hot dogs, fries etc.

The Oriental Rest – This was our favourite!! Very good sushi and great dinner plates. We had the Chow Mien plate and the Scallops and Prownes plate. Super good. If you like asian food, book this place twice. Las Riesa (steakhouse) We had this the last night we were there and it was also good. A word of advice tho, if your hungry, order the rib-eye, as I ordered the steak and Potatoes an the steak could fit in the palm of my hand. The Rib-eye was much bigger. Don’t get me wrong though, the steak was very good but gone in three bites.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The Beach was awesome. I’m a bit biased here because I tend to like beaches a little quieter than this one, ie cuba. The sand was soft and there was an abundance of chairs. I laughed one morning, as I saw a couple come down at about noon, to find that their towels we gone that they put there most likely by 7am. I hate people who do this. They got what they deserved. The beach bar was awesome and J. Carlos was a great bartender until he kept feeding us those mammajuanna shots (refer to Ittalian nite).The pool was nice, but we are mostly beach people so we didn’t visit there much.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
My fiancé and I ventured out to Steve’s Bar on Wed to meet up with other TA members and had a blast. Make sure you go on the Wed of your visit there.

As far as tours go, we did one excursion to the Marinarium which was awesome being able to swim with the sharks and rays. A truly great experience.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Veni ~ Montreal

January 2009

Arrival: November 3, 2008 Well…It’s a bit complicated. I did not book this trip with a Tour Operator, I instead used the "build your own trip" option with Expedia. I spent an hour on the phone with the Customer Service at Expedia going through EVERY detail. I received my confirmation via e-mail and all was perfect. This was my second trip to the D.R. so I knew what to expect at the airport and how to find the transportation to the resort. The flight was good, no delays. The bus ride to the resort was fun. Check in was ABSOLUT HELL. I payed for a 13 day stay in the "premium class" room, they had me booked for 5 days and the Hotel was sooo full that they could not extend my stay. Try to imagine a person sitting in a lobby in full winter gear, sweating, while everyone else are in they’re bathing suits, yelling a a Customer Service Rep. at Expedia (on my cell because those "pay phones" in the lobby will drain your credit card). 2 hours, an appology and refund for 8 days from Expedia later, I decided to stay the 5 days and make the best of it and spend the rest of my vacation in the city with my Dominican friends. All through out my 2 hours sitting in the lobby, the staff were extremly nice towards me, they served me drinks and chit-chatted with me while I was on hold on the phone. The staff at the Reception area were the best.

Rooms:
I was in building 24, ground floor. The room was nice and spacious but the washroom could use a slight updating…the tub was a bit small and the shower head was installed too close to the wall. You are practically kissing the tiles when you are washing your hair! The locks on the door and balcony work well but you have to pay if you want to use the safe. The room fridge was replenished daily and you have all the fixings included with the coffee maker. There was an iron, ironing board, hangers even an umbrella available in the closet.

Restaurants and Bars:
All the restaurants (buffet and à la carte) were good, no complaints. The bars closed fairly early.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
BEAUTIFUL! Occidental is a good size resort so the beach seems almost endless and pools every where! The grounds are very well maintained too. Take advantage of the schuttle service, trust me! Unless you are actually strolling, you’ll find the route long from the bar or restaurant to your room.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The "Mangu" is a dance club situated in the entrance of the hotel. Guests of the hotel don’t have to stand in line to get in but the visitors do. Fantastic club with 2 dance floors. I don’t know if guests of the hotel pays for the drinks, but if it’s not too late, there’s no need ’cause there’s a bar in the main lobby, anyway. There’s an outdoor stage also, try to see a show, it’s fun.

Other Comments: There’s not much more I can say about Occidental because my stay there was cut short, I felt like I had to rush about just to able to take advantage of anything. For all it’s worth, the staff and the service were impeccable but I’d rather visit another resort the next time I go.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Shane ~ Manitoba

January 2009

Arrival: January 4th to January 11th 2009
arrived at the airport in Punta Cana about 3:00 and got to the resort about 4:00 as some idiots on our bus wanted to stop and buy beer at a little store which turned out to be about five minutes from the resort

Rooms:
rooms are clean but are very out dated mainly the bathroom which is the worst we have ever seen showers hardly had any pressure, tubs are very small and old and just really YUK!!!

Restaurants and Bars:
we ate at the Italian which was good the services was fast and the food was hot , the Japanese which was very bad food was bad service was very slow it took over an hour to get it and we ate at the mexican it was alright but definately not 4 star quaity the buffetts are OK but go for the food that is cooked right in front of you like omletes and the pastas otherwise most of the food was luke warm at best all of the bars are good maybe even the best we have seen as the drinks are definately not watered down but not much of a selection.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
the beach is the strong point of this hotel as it is a hundred times nicer then any we have stayed at in Mexico the pools are nice and grounds are very well kept down side of the beach is the guys trying to sell their junk all day long everything from cigars to statues and jewerly the pools downside by the swimup bar is the music which starts as soon as the bar opens

Other Comments: would propably not go back but enjoyed it while there this hotel should definatily be down graded from a 4.5 Star to maybe a 2 star if it is not upgraded soon as the lobby and the rooms are really starting to show lots of wear and tear

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Brian ~ Winnipeg

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 29, 2008 to January 5, 2009
Left Winnipeg on Decemeber 29, at 7:00. AirTransat/ SkyService. I believe the temperature at the time was -20. Arrival into Punta around 2:00. Two hour difference in time. So it was just over a 5 hour flight from Winnipeg. It must of been about 25- 30 Celcius when we arrived in Punta Cana. No issues at the airport. Just a hazzle trying to find what the numberof the Bus was which takes you to the resort. We were the only couple going to the Occidental. Others on our bus were headed to the Ocean Blue. It took us about 30 – 45 minutes to arrive to our hotel.

Rooms:
We were in the Preference Club part of AirTransat. No problem with the check in. Problem was when we went to our room it was still occupied. We were in Bldg. No 23, 3rd floor, so they quickly found another room for us on the same floor. Room No. 23-307. Prefernce Club really is nothing extra special. Free Bottle of Rum was only 350 ml. Fruit tray, looked like it was left over night. only the turn over service where we got a new beach towel every day. There were minor issues with the room. It was clean, the remote didnt work. We weren’t there to watch Tv so it wasnt a concern. The Balcony light was broken, complained but it was never fixed. The showerhad no pressure. Wefoundout from a couple we met on our last day. That there is a ring on the spout that you pull down, which enable you to have a shower. Duh! How are we to know if you aren’t told. Lesson for next time.

Restaurants and Bars:
All restaurants are in the same area. 4 A la Cartes. Brazil/Mexican/Asias/Italin. Along with the Buffet, Beach Bar, HomeRum(Preference Club was Breakfast.) Met some people who got sick from the Asian, we went anyways. Big mistake got sick as well. 2 1/2 days to recover. Lots of time spent in the Bathroom. Pizzeria hand tossed little greasy but fresh. Buffet decent for the food selection. Service was very good in all Restaurants. spent New years there. All Al a cartes / buffet offered the same menu. Lobster and Steak. Was very good, best meal we had all week. Beach Bar had great french fries. As for the bars, service a little slow, flavored drinks really sweet. Domestic alcohol. International drinks were charged around $5Us.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Prefence Club had there own section. Not much there, just closed off at the end of the Resort,on the Beach. Lots of Beach Chairs, butthey are scooped up qiute early. always managed to find a few. Lots of vendors on the beach trying to sell you something. Beach was well kept, water was rough everyday we were there. Grounds were in great shape well maintained. Its easy to find your way around the complex. There were 3 pools one with a bar around. Not a lot of people at any of the pools. More so on the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
They had shows on every evening we were there. Nothing spectacular. New years they went all out. Had Isay it was similar to a Circus High Wire Act. Very Good, well done. Offered Hats and Party Favors to all in attendance. |Didnt see much of the Animation group so cant comment on that. Went to Sanoa Island saved $30US instead of going thru Transat went thru Caribe tours. Only problem was 95 % spoke another language we were the onlyones to speak english.

Other Comments: Last day we checking out to leave Bus was suppose to pick us up at 12:20 nothing turns out there is flight delay. Pushed back to 7:20. Transat tells us to go the Beach enjoy a few extra hours here. Shower at the spa again( which isnt whats it all cracked up to be) Okay we are all set to go again. Oh Sorry another delay pushed back to 10:55. Unreal, end up leaving Punta Cana at 2:30in the morning. There’s more. While we there for our last day the water was out. Itturnsout they were taking water from the pool and using itin the Restaurant. I dont know about you, but that’s pretty disgustuing. Turns my stomach, maybe thats Ive been feeling under the weather. So what turned out to be a good holiday, makes me wonder about going back there. feel free to email me

smithbri@mts.net

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana    Stephanie

December 2008

Arrival and Flight: Arrived 7th of December 2008. Flew with ArkeFly. With a stop over in Puerto Plata.

Room 1: Building 11 Room 234, was not renovated, air-conditioning was noisy and the walls were dirty with mold.

Room 2: Building 12 Room 124, was renovated, water with no pressure in the room and in front of the laundry (not very quite place).

Restaurants: We tried the Italian, which was nothing special! We tried the Mexican that was just "so-so". Ate all our breakfasts and most dinners at the main buffet and after a while my boyfriend and other 10 people went to the hospital due to supposed poison food. (high fever, vomit, abdominal pain and diarrhea.)The tablecloths were not clean and also the chairs and sofas were dirty. Not very hygienic.

Bars: Barman loves to serve alcohol.

Beach and Pools: The beach was always kept clean and guarded. We never spent time at the pool.

Grounds: Beautiful gardens.

Departure and Check Out: No friendly employees at the reception.

Conclusion: We were at this resort in December 2008 and unfortunately we are not happy because of the supposed poison food. We, therefore, decided to do not return.

Medical service in the hotel: A consult cost $95,00 and they will always send u to the private clinic.

Hospiten Bavaro: This is the only private clinic in the area, good structure, clean but the personnel of the hospital is not qualified. They are happy to keep you longer in order to gain more money from your insurance. Doctors do not speak English and are not so willing to explain to you the situation of the ill person.

In conclusion, this was not an enjoyable holiday.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Linda ~ Alberta, Canada

November 2008

My daughter and I spent a week at the Occidental Grande Punta Cana from November 9 to 16 this year. As other reviewers have commented, we wondered if those who posted bad reviews had stayed at the same place. Our junior suite was comfortable and certainly more than big enough for the two of us, and the housekeeping staff kept it very clean and tidy. We found the staff in general to be very pleasant and helpful and although tips were certainly well-received they were not necessary for good service (and strong drinks) at the bar. We are both vegetarians and we found that there were many more vegetarian choices at the buffet than at other all-inclusive resorts where we have stayed. The food was not outstanding but it was good for the most part and we particularly enjoyed the pizzeria, the taco stand, the beach bar buffet lunches and the Mexican a la carte. The ground were very well maintained and the beach was lovely. Yes, all of the beach umbrellas were reserved at the crack of dawn but we found plenty of shade amongst the palm trees by the small beach bar (adjacent to building 13). And the nice young bartender there (whose name I can’t remember) mixed the best drinks in the resort. I would certainly return to the Occidental Grande and would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana    Ron & Wendy ~ Ottawa-Valley, Ontario, Canada

November 2008

Arrival and Flight: Arrived Oct. 26 for 7 days. Flew with Air Transat. The supposed added leg room on their planes was noticed. Seemed to be more room than the usual charter flights. Booked with Air Transat Vacations which included the "Premium" package.

Rooms: Building 25 Room 115, which was located close to the beach.

Restaurants: We tried the Oriental, which was excellent! We tried the Mexican which was just "so-so". Ate all our breakfasts and most dinners at the main buffet. Always found plenty of variety to suit our tastes. All lunches at the beach buffet were very satisfying.

Bars: Very pleased with all the bars and their service.

Beach and Pools: The three large pools were very clean and well-maintained. The gorgeous beach seemed to go on forever. The perfect weather complimented this wonderful trip.

Grounds: Beautifully maintained resort! Very clean with mature vegetation.

Departure and Check Out: Everything went smoothly and without a hitch.

Conclusion: We were at this resort in October 2006 and were very pleased with that holiday. We, therefore, decided to return. The "Premium" package with Air Transat Vacations had some pleasing amenities such as: much larger rooms (also more updated), bathrobes supplied, towels in the room (no towel line-ups), allocated area on the beach (which they seemed to enforce).

We learned a few more Spanish phrases over and above Debbie’s Spanish list. This seemed to add to the enjoyment and interaction with the appreciative staff.

In conclusion, this was a very enjoyable and memorable holiday. Certainly would return to this resort.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana    Steve & Kathy ~ Philadelphia

November 2008

Our trip was won by my wife Kathy on a radio contest, Run by Apple tours(4 nights/5days))

Arrival and Flight: On Monday, 11/3, USA3000, all was good. Like the informality of the airline. We arrrived around 1:30pm and checked into our room immediately. The resort seemed to be about 60% full. I was told that November is a slow month. Picks up in December. At Checkin was not informed of safe, so, had to return and purchase key. I think it was $10.00 or $20.00 for 5 days. Free for Royal Blue package. Also, Balcony door was broken. Reported to desk. Kept our valuables on us. Within 2 hours when we returned to the room it was fixed.

Rooms: Building 13, 1st floor, very comfortable with exception of bath/shower which is very outdated. Spoke with honeymoon couple who upgraded to Royal Blue hoping their bath/shower would be improved and it was not.

Restaurants: After reading reviews decided to eat lunch & dinners at buffets and Pizza/Taco places. Enjoyed both. The chicken and Roast pork melt in your mouth. Wish Pizza & Taco places were combined. They’re next to each other and could only order one or the other. Found Bread, rolls and pastries very good. Breakfast(omelettes/eggs) was good but pancakes didn’t taste quite like pancakes. Fruit was also fresh & tasty.

Bars: Homerum was closed for renovations. Didn’t hang out a the bars(just got drinks). Went to Steve’s Corner Bar one afternoon which is a 1/2 block from the resort entrance(Read about it on this site). Met Rob & Kenny who were very informative and helpful. Rob actually assisted Kathy in shopping. Kenny educated me on cigars. Enjoyed their company immensely.

Beach and Pools: Beautiful and clean. Upper 80’s all week and ocean water had to be in the upper 70’s. No issue with finding a chair by the pool or ocean. Was surprised that the pools were restricted after 7:00pm.

Grounds: Easy to find your way. Paths were very hot. Was hoping to spend my days bearfoot. Not possible.

Activities and Entertainment: Somehow we missed out on a beach party Tuesday night. Didn’t participate in the daily activities but found the show at night entertaining for the first night(very interative with the audience) but not something you’d want to entertain you every night. Repetitive. Also, The primary adult entertainment started later than preferred(9:00pm-10:00pm).

Tours: Went on snorkle cruise which we reserved just outside the resort on beach. Enjoyed very much(snorkle & natural pool in the Ocean). I think 1/2 the price of Apple tours. Also, went Parasailing through the same outfit. Nervous about it(1st time) but no issues and great view.

Shopping: Kathy usually scouts one day and buys another. Well, we first went across from the Plaza Bavarro(same side of street as Steve’s Bar) and the salemen were very agressive getting you into their store and all over you. It was annoying. Next day went to Plaza Bavarro and they urge you into their stores but are not so aggressive. She bought there. Not so bad. Would not shop across the street from Plaza Bavarro.

Hospitality/service was great. We rarely tipped(just for shuttles(to the gate) and sometimes for drinks). Still provided good service. This surprised me after reading some of the reviews. We asked Maria to stock our fridge with pepsi and she did this daily for us. We tipped her daily since we were not certain if we would have the same cleaning person but she did our room all week.

FYI. On our last night we were going to return to Steve’s corner bar, have a drink or 2 and pick up a shirt & hat. Well, it was raining some that night and we were advised by security that we shouldn’t walk there(1/2 block from the resort entrance). It wouldn’t be safe. He implied that only undesirables would be on the street that night. We were told by Rob that the bar does have a security guard at night but obviously getting to and from was the issue. This screwed up our plans for the night but we’d rather be safe. The location of the resort is a good one for shopping at the Plaza.

Departure and Check Out: All went well.

Conclusion: More entertainment choices in the early evening either inside the Occidental or outside(seemed to be out of the question) would have made the vacation much more satisfying. Also, the time share salesmen were a nuisance and the fact that you had to negotiate every purchase was also a pain. You never had a feeling that you got a deal even when you got 50% off the original price. The weather, beach, pools, food, drink & hospitality were major pluses. If rating this vacation on a scale of 1-10 I’d give this vacation a 6.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Kristin and Ian ~ Alberta, Canada

October 2008

Arrival and Flight: the flight was good we flew with Air Canada and everything was fine. When we arrived we went through the airport quickly and the bus ride to our hotel was fun. When we got there the check-in was also very fast and we had our room by about half an hour of arriving there.

Rooms: we were placed in building 13 and it was very nice. The beds were very comftorable and the air conditioning worked great. Everything worked well, and the patio was nice too. We had a mini fridge that would get re-stocked every morning.

Restaurants: the buffet was amazing! every night they had something different, and it was always great. so much to choose from and always great fresh bread and fruits. breakfast was good the crepes are amazing and supper was always good too. For lunch we usually went to home rum, the snack bar and it was good to get nachos and burgers and fries. The a la carte dinners are absolutely amazing. The italian and mexican ones are the best the oriental was really great too though. We loved all the food that was there.

Bars: the bars were also very great. they made lots of good drinks and the drinks were always very strong. the service at the bars were great and they never expected a tip.

Beach and Pools: the beach is amazing.. so beautiful. we spent a lot of time at the pool, because of the swim up bar:), very nice pools as well. always clean and good temperature.

Grounds: the grounds were always kept clean and we always saw people taking care of them. beautiful resort

Activities and Entertainment: the nightly show was okay we saw it a few times, the lobby bar also had some activities going on at nights. The disco bar Mangu was cool and had good music, lots of people there.

Tours: we went on a speed boar tour where you ride a two seater speed boat around with about 16 other boats and they lead you out to a spot where everybody gets out and snorkels. I would recommend this trip for sure. it was only a 3 hour trip but the boats were very fun and the snorkelling was amazing!

Departure and Check Out: Our flight did not leave until 9 at night, and check-out was at 11 so for an extra $30.00 we got to keep our room as late as we wanted to which was very nice for pretty cheap. the check out was extremley fast and easy. when we got to the airport we were very excited to see a wendys and had some supper there and then the flight home was great too!

Conclusion: i would highly reccommend this resort to other people, my boyfriend and i absolutely loved it and would go back again but we are not picky at all. I did not see many families with children but it is great for older or younger couples. We had an amazing time and did not even have one bad experience at all, the people were amazing, the beaches were amazing and the food was great!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Mike aand Carly ~ Mass, USA

August 2008

We just returned from the grand flaminco in Punta Cana. I don’t know where the other reviews are being written from but we cannot wait to go back. The staff was great and attentive, we were upgraded without asking, the beach was spectacular and extremly clean. We meet 2 people in particular William from the entertainment group who was great and Fidel angel from the food services and were just plain friendly. I will say that showers in the bathroom could use a little work and the main resturants were OK, I would recommend the Buffet. Always something to do especially for the kids. I do agree that the TIME share thing is a waste of two hours a typical scam to take your money (stay away from the guys in the white shirts who are going to give you free gifts for listening). Just say no.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Jessica ~ New Jersey

July 2008

Arrival and Flight – We arrived on July 8th and had a smooth check in. We got to the resort at about 1:30 and our room was not ready yet so we left our luggage and went over to the beach buffet for some lunch and took a walk on the beach and around the resort. We headed back to the lobby at around 2:45 and our room was ready.

Rooms – Our original room was in building 13 which is one of the newly renovated buildings. The newer rooms only have one king size bed and since we didn’t want to share a bed for 3 weeks we requested they bring another bed. It did take 2 days to get the bed but since we had to wait we asked to be moved to a 3rd floor room – they have higher ceilings and have a nicer view – so they moved us to building 12 with a great view of the entire resort. The second bed was in the room before we return from the beach that day so from then on it was smooth sailing. Our room was clean everyday without a problem. A few times we didn’t get a refill on the bottled water in the fridge but we would just find the maid and she was happy to give us what we needed. The only issue we found was in the bathroom but it was not a major issue. When taking a shower the water would sometimes fall on the edge of the tub and then roll out onto the floor but there is a drain right there and most of the time we just put down a towel and all was fixed. We lost water pressure a few times but it was usually at around 6 – 630 when it would seem most people were getting ready for dinner. We lost power once for about 20 minutes but it was during the time when we were relaxing before dinner so we were not really affected by it at all.

Restaurants – for lunch we mostly ate at the main buffet and never had any issues finding food to satisfy our tastes. There were a few times when we missed lunch at the main buffet so we headed over to the snack bar Home Rum where they have burgers, hotdogs, fries and things like that. Our 1st week there we did try the Italian and Brazilian restaurants once each and they were great but we decided we enjoyed the buffet better so didn’t make reservations the 2nd and 3rd weeks out. There was always a wide variety of foods to select from with plenty of fruits and desserts to enjoy as well. Neither one of us got really sick from any of the food just a stomach ache for a few days but nothing a quick trip to the bathroom didn’t fix and it didn’t mess with the vacation at all.

Bars – We don’t drink at all so didn’t really have a need to visit the bars often. We did go to the beach and lobby bars daily for water and orange juice and the bartenders were always friendly and smiling.

Beach and Pools – the beach is PERFECT! Clear blue water every day a little rough a few days but nothing major. The beach was always clean and we never had a problem getting a beach chair even though we didn’t make it out until early afternoon. A few days we left our stuff on the beach and would walk down the beach and our stuff was always there when we returned. If you walk down the beach to the right of the resort you will walk along the Palladium Resort property and then just after that is a local area called Playa Cortecito. When looking down the beach you will see some boats out in the water and that is right where Cortecito is located. Lots a little shops there that more or less sell the same stuff put it’s a nice little place to walk down to if you want to do some shopping. There is always plenty of security on the beaches so we felt safe enough to walk down the beach even at night to meet up with some local friends we had made.

Grounds – The upkeep of the grounds is amazing. They are always cleaning, trimming or sweeping something even if there doesn’t appear to be anything to work on. The entire resort is well kept and beautiful day and night.

Activities and Entertainment – The nightly shows are entertaining but after the first week we stopped going because they are the same every week. They also have vendor that come out to the resort every Friday selling the usual jewelry, paintings, cigar and things like that. There is a disco on the resort property – Mangu – that we went to every night and had a blast. The downstairs plays a variety of Spanish music and hip hop but if you go up stairs it is mostly techno music. It is open to everyone on the island including locals so it’s a great place to dance and meet new people. There are some people that go there just to find a tourist for whatever reason so just be smart about what you do. But we were there 3 weeks and never had a problem with anyone that we met. Some guys will push you do dance even after you said no but most respect what you say and will move on. Security is very tight at the club and they are very aware of what is going on at all times. The club doesn’t close until everyone is gone so we were there most nights until about 5am. There is an outside sitting area that you can go to if you want to chat or just sit and relax.

You can also walk out of the main entrance to the resort and there are some bars and shops around the area. We walked out one night after dinner and there are a few open air bars. The shops were all closed but there was still a bunch of people out on the streets. If you walk down to the right a little bit you will come across the Bavaro Princess Resort which has the Tower Casino.

Departure and Check Out – we left on July 29th and check out went very smooth. After checking out and paying the phone bill we went to breakfast before boarding the bus to head out to the airport.

Conclusion – I would and will return to this resort in a heartbeat. I will be more then happy to answer any questions anyone has just contact me at Jettibear78@aol.com.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Chrissy

July 2008

Good and Bad – it was just "okay"

June 22nd – 29th (Air Transat)

Well, to start off, I have to say that I’m going to be completely honest about everything. This review may be long, and my standards are not extremely high, but overall I was not very impressed with this resort. Before I chose this hotel, I read the reviews, and for the most part they were negative. But, I decided I was going to try it out considering this was my 3rd time in Dominican and each time I like trying a new resort. I traveled with my Uncle, and this was his first time traveling to the Dominican. I don’t think he got the best first impression of this beautiful country, especially going to this resort.

the ROOM: since we flew with Air Transat, we were in building 25, which is where the "Premium Club" members stayed. The room looked nice, and it was definitely cleaned daily and thoroughly, but we had some problems with it. Our floors in the room were soaking wet for hours at a time.(each day) Literally soaked – so slippery that someone could fall and break their neck. The bathroom was not so great; in major need of an upgrade. First of all, the shower water was medium to cold every day. The entire 8 days that we were there, we had about one hot shower each. Next, everytime one of us would shower, the floors all around the tub were soaking wet as well. Another downfall was that the patio door for the balcony did not lock. It seemed as if it was locked, but if you gave it a real pull, it would slide right open even with the "lock" in it. Other than that, the beds were comfy, and I didn’t spend much time in the room anyways. The room keys did not work most of the time – and we had to switch them several times for new ones.

the BEACH: well, no complaints here whatsoever. The reason I travel to Punta Cana is for the magnificent beach. It’s amazing! I went on this vacation to get away from stress, and this beach made that happen. The water is clear and turquoise – just like a postcard. The sand is white and you could walk along that beach for hours and hours. The water is also very warm.

the GROUNDS: the people cleaning and maintaining the grounds of this resort do an excellent job. They honestly never stop working – even in extreme heat. The grounds were very clean and nice, but unfortunately even from the exterior view, the buildings are in need of significant renovations. There were 3 pools – all very clean. My favourite was the one with the swim up bar! It’s too bad the pools are only open until 7 p.m. This resort is huge. I’ve been to large resorts before, but this one is extremely big and does involve alot of walking. So if you’re someone who is not interested in doing alot of walking, this resort probably would not be the best choice.

the DRINKS: the wine wasn’t the best – but I personally am not a wine person. My favourite bars were the pool bar and lobby bar. I basically drank Tiki Tikis the whole time – I loved them! Their most popular drinks were: mai tai, sex on the beach, melissa, margarita, etc..

EXCURSIONS: I did one excursion – which was the 4wheeling (ATV). It was the best! For someone who is really interested in this kind of thing, I recommend this excursion. It was 45$ if you went with someone. It was well worth the money and the people I met on that trip were absolutely amazing! I met some people on that trip that I spent the rest of my week with! My Uncle did the Saona Island excursion and he seemed to have enjoyed that as well. I wish I would have went on it, but I didn’t have enough time. Apparently that excursion is about 14 hours in total!

the WEATHER: was fantastic! We basically had 8 days of sun. There were a couple days where it would rain for about 5 minutes and then clear up. The temperature was about 35 Celcius and very humid. SPA: I recommend going to the spa located near the lobby on the resort. It is extremely relaxing and the prices weren’t too bad. I got an hour and a half massage for 80$ and it was the best massage I have ever gotten.

the ENTERTAINMENT: was decent. There were nightly shows that were alright; I went to a couple of them. There were daily games and activities for children as well. The reason that there might not have been as much entertainment as I expected could be because it’s "off-season".

the FOOD: I was not looking forward to this part of my review. This is the main reason why I rated this resort a 2 star. In my opinion, the food is one of THE most important parts of a vacation – especially the cleanliness of the food. There was a huge selection of food, especially at the 2 buffets, but I said I would be completely honest in this review and here it goes. My uncle has Ecoli poisoning, my friend that I spent almost my entire trip with now has Ecoli as well. Both of them were at the hospital a couple days after returning from this resort – they needed shots of Demerol and gravol and are extremely sick. I, myself, have stomach problems from the food too. I have been to 3 resorts in the Dominican and this is the first that I have ever experienced problems with food like this. I also read some other reviews about the same type of illness being caught from this particular resort. Overall, the people that I met made my trip worth while. I met SO many people and let me say that the local people – the workers – are the nicest people in the world. I hope my review helped you out.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Jack

June 2008

This is just a general comments in no particular order. We visited the Occidental (not so Grand) Grand Flamenco, Punta Cana, from 11th June to 27th June and i can only presume that it was a different place than your Jason from Toronto was at, out of a party of 22 (wedding Party from Scotland) – 17 of us had stomach problems some more severe than others, you are hard pushed to find hot food, unless it is cooked in front of you which always had a queue, the choices were limited as they kept running out, and the salad was plentiful but always lying in a pool of water – from an unknown source. The whole place is so dated and badly maintained, after heavy rains the buildings were leaking all over the place (in the rooms and out). Although free the alcohol was dire and no international drinks were available (i.e. brand names) we would gladly have paid for it if it had been available. The ground staff worked very hard to keep the place clean, the beach was superb, the sun loungers were in really bad condition on the beach and at the pools (beware if you have back problems), the rooms were kept clean, and the fridge stocked if a tip was left, night entertainment was good and varied the entertainers worked hard with limited resources, all in all we would not go back to the same place but would try a different resort.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Jason ~ Toronto

June 2008

Arrival and Flight
Air Transat June 6-13

Rooms
Clean, fresh, spacious. Beds were comfortable enough but don’t expect the Hilton. King bed is a king (not two twins pushed together). Plenty of room to store clothing (closet, drawers, shelves) and bathrooms were spacious. No bugs in room for the entire week. Lighting in bathroom not bright enough for hair or makeup, but again, good enough to get by. Sitting area and balcony very large. Over 75 channels on cable television.

Restaurants
Outstanding. Main buffet has an amazing variety and is not cheap with meats. Expect white-meat chicken, steaks, prime rib, and other expensive meats even at beach buffet and other restaurants. No cheap drumsticks or ground chuck here. Overall quality of food at all restaurants and a la carte (except for the Oriental which was not well liked) is superb. None of the five people in our group got sick or stomach cramps from undercooked meats or foods served in the danger zone. Salads, fruits, and vegetables were plentiful. Line-ups never lasted more than 3 or 4 minutes. Servers were friendly and accommodating. I would return to the Occidental Grand based on the quality of food alone.

Bars
Friendly and prompt service. However, beware of the following: if you order a Pina Colada or Daiquiri, you will receive a virgin drink. To receive an alcoholic beverage, you must order a Pina Colada “with rum” or a Daiquiri “with vodka”, as an example, if you wish. White house wine is fantastic but red house wine is horrible. I mean horrible.

Beach and Pools
The beaches of Punta Cana are world-class and are undisputedly the best in the Caribbean. Lush white sand, tall palm trees, and beautiful blue water all along the beach. The palm trees at night are lit at the Occidental and are wonderful to see. The pools are large and free-form but were cool at times if you were in the shade. No hot tub on the premises unless you are in the Royal Club (premier class).

Grounds
Well-kept, clean, safe. No issues. Buildings are a little aged but are homely and spread out closely together. Walks between the beach and the pool/buffet were not even 5 minutes. No need for shuttles to get from one point to another. Compact and pedestrian-friendly.

Activities and Entertainment
Plentiful. Nightly entertainment a blast.

Tours
Many available off the resort for an extra fee.

Departure and Check Out Easy. Drop your keys off and go. Luggage storage available for free on day of departure and showers available at spa for free if your check-out is well before your flight. Conclusion A true 4-star property. Food was simply amazing and rivalled quality in Canadian restaurants. I never expected to see chicken breast, turkey, and prime rib. Service was exemplary and no complaints. Will be back!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Leeann, Rick and Adam ~ Labrador, Canada

June 2008

Arrival and Flight
Halifax May 3-17

Rooms
bldg 13

Restaurants
The buffet was good, lots to choose from, always lots of fresh fruit…. Definitely no complaints for the buffet.. we at at the Italian(not so good) pizza was great!!! We paid extra for the Royal Club and the restaurant alone was worth it.. yummy!! Breakfast at the Royal Club restaurant was slow so I wouldn’t suggest that but the buffet was great so it didn’t really matter

Bars
We paid extra for the Royal Club so we were supposed to have premium drinks… not!!! They had the bottles hidden under the counter, we did get bottled beer though and we are beer drinkers so it was ok. I am also a amber rum drinker and I was disappointed in the choices. Our usual bartender was less that happy to be working so I was also disappointed in her attitude. Our bartender at the swim up bar was awesome.. Alfredo rocked and the bartender at the lobby bar makes the best sour margaritas!!

Beach and Pools
Great as everyone else says.. the royal club chairs were excellent.

Grounds
Clean and beautiful

Tours
Saona Island sucks.. Outback Jungle Safari was ok, the marinarium was awesome(the one where you swim with nurse sharks and manta rays)

Departure and Check
Out When we got to the airport, there was no place to change our dominican money back to american or canadian which was very frustrating.. also they never took our Dominican money because they said they couldn’t change 1000 pesos.. come on that is rediculus… it’s only $30.. they had wadds of American and wouldn’t change it into American either….

Btw the hotel wouldn’t change our pesos either

Conclusion I have been in the Dominican before and I was quite disappointed in the overall feeling of this trip, people were nice but not like I have experienced in other places. There were a couple of workers that stood out to me, but not a lot! I had the feeling of being ripped off where ever I went.. Rum was 16.00 american a bottle.. come on people, Cuban rum is only 6.00 a bottle for a litre. I will not be coming back to the Dominican!!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   The Thompsons ~ Halifax, Nova Scotia

May 2008

This was our 7th visit to Punta Cana and the reviews do help us choose so here are our thoughts on the Occidental Grand:

We were there from May 3 – 10th, 2008. We flew with Air Transat which was organized and efficient both coming and going. We left an hour early on the flight home so if you are thinking of taking a taxi to the airport to avoid the 7:00 a.m. bus pick-up at your hotel just be aware the flight might be able to depart early if all passengers are there.

Clarification on Transat Premium and Royal Club. The Transat premium package does not mean you are in the Royal Club area. This means you cannot access the Club beach area, bar, pool, or private restaurant. Our travel agent at Selloffvacations.com told us we were Royal Club but that is not correct. What the Transat Premium package does give you is access to the larger rooms in buildings designated as “Transat Premium”, a separate check-in counter in the main lobby (but as only one person works it, the line up was actually longer than those non-Transat customers checking in at the front counter), there is no concierge service, the separate breakfast they describe is only a continental breakfast in the Homerun Sports Bar and not the private Royal Club Restaurant (so buffet is much better choice for your breakfast), a small bottle of rum upon arrival, and beach towels in your room each day. The 5 a la carte reservations you are guaranteed are given to you when you arrive – you have no choice in the time or days of the restaurants you want to visit. We had a large group of 27 and our days, restaurant choices, and times were all scattered so they were useless to us. When we tried to make changes they simply said there were no openings or if there were they could only accommodate 5 people. If you have a small group you might have more success trying to make changes.

Beach:
The beach in Punta Cana is second to none, regardless of the resort you stay in. Note: the area referred to as Bavaro Beach (Barcelo Bavaro Palace, etc) is sheltered by a reef so water very calm. But … in the Occidental Grand area waves were a constant and while we enjoyed them they were consistently strong enough to knock down small children or be difficult for elderly guests.

Pools:
Typical of Punta Cana resorts – large and clean. There are several seats at the swim up bar. Pools are not situated immediately on beach front so you could not slip easily from beach to pool and back again. They closed the pool closest to the beach mid-way through our stay to do maintenance and it was still closed when we left. We usually move from pool to beach but at the Occidental this was not as convenient so we primarily stayed on the beach.

Rooms:
The Transat Premium rooms are the largest and best appointed rooms we have experienced in Punta Cana – even larger than the Barcelo Bavaro Palace. All have King sized bed with a seating area separated by a large curtain. The seating area was a double pull out bed and had a mattress similar to a bed versus a pull out style. We heard from others in the non-Transat rooms and many were unhappy with accommodations as they only had 2 twin beds and when pulled together were not of same height!

Note: your room keys don’t work all the time and you will have to go up to the lobby to get new ones. Our group of 27 all had this experience at least 3 times during our visit!

Food:
The buffet was not as good as other resorts we stayed in but certainly there was always something edible. Breakfast in the buffet was excellent. We discovered after a few days the Taco and Pizza snack bars (walk up the outside winding white staircase) and both were incredible. We had Taco’s and pizza for supper at least 3 times! Unfortunately the Italian restaurant left only one person out of several able to eat their meal as the pasta was “soap” flavoured and none could eat it. This was a common complaint. The Brazilian is very good but note you cannot order steaks – there is no steakhouse at this resort. I suspect you might be able to get one at the Royal Club private dining room only. The Mexican was ok but you are better off eating the Taco’s.

We were disappointed by the a la carte’s. Over the past 7 years we have noticed a vast improvement in the food offered at both the buffets and the a la carte restaurants at Punta Cana resorts and we have become used to excellent meals at them. The Occidental does not measure up to the overall excellent food quality compared to other resorts in Punta Cana. But again, you could also eat Taco and Pizza which we did frequently. Note that the pizza served at lunch time is not the same as that served in the open-fired oven in the evenings by the Taco bar and so don’t get discouraged if you don’t like the pizza at lunch in the beach buffet!

Also note that they closed the main buffet for lunch after we were there 2 days because they said it was a slow time so we only had the beach buffet or the Homerun for lunch choices as the Taco and Pizza outlets only opened at 6:30 p.m.

There is one other food venue – called the Homerun or the Sports Bar. It is located directly above the swim-up pool. They serve fries, burgers, and salads. It is open all day but closes at 6:00 p.m.

Television:
You don’t need it on vacation but we always come to Punta Cana during NHL playoffs and it has become a tradition to watch games either in our rooms as a group or in the sports bar. We could not get the games at the Occidental in our rooms!! And as the Homerun Snack Bar closed at 6:00 p.m. we could not watch any games after 6:00 p.m.

Entertainment:
The stage show each night is standard for Punta Cana and we don’t watch any more but for first time travellers you should certainly grab a table and catch a show or two. We were extremely disappointed to learn that the lobby entertainment ceased the week before our arrival due to their slower season. So the reviews that state there is nightly dancing in the lobby only apply up until the end of April.

We were also disappointed that the disco did not open until midnight. We are not old – most of us are in our mid-40s and 50s but to try and stay awake until midnight and then get up at 7:00 a.m. to enjoy a full day of sunshine is not on the agenda. We did go to the Casino one night next door at the Princess and that was enjoyable.

We found Julio from the water sports outlet to be exceptional in helping us organize parasailing, snorkelling, banana boating, and a private sunset cruise. We paid $27.00 per person for a 3 hour cruise that included booze, snorkelling, swimming at the natural beach, and cruising with music and dancing and because we had 27 people we had the boat to ourselves so we were able to do what we wanted without offending anyone. There are much larger boats that take 100+ people but you will pay $80 per person (and get exactly what we did) so if you can get your own group together it is definitely worth the adventure.

People/Staff:
The nicest we have encountered in Punta Cana. Everyone was friendly and tried to help as best they could. We had absolutely no complaints in this regard.

Overall: We had a wonderful time. Rooms were A+, Food was C – (Taco’s, Pizza and breakfast buffet were A+), entertainment in lobby was non-existent, beach A+, pools B+ only because of their distance from the beach. Would we return? The cost of $1068.00 per person plus tax was well worth what we received in value. However, we would likely pay the difference of $300 and go back to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace where we have golf included, a disco that starts at 10:00p.m. (and includes free drinks), a larger casino on sight, the ability to eat at more than 20 restaurants that mostly have excellent food, and the NHL playoffs any time we wanted to watch.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Megan ~ Saint John, NB, CAN

May 2008

Hello Debbie
I have just returned from a trip to the Occidental Grand Punta Cana with two of my girlfriends. We had a wonderful time a few mishaps, but overall a great experience, so I thought I’d share my experience with anyone who plans on attending this resort. Arrival and Flight Two of my friends I travelled from Saint John to Halifax on the bus and flew out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport, unfortunately we forgot to print off our hotel vouchers, so luckily we had 7 hrs to wait before our flight, so we found a security guard who was extremely helpful in finding us a printer to print off our vouchers. We did have to leave airport on a shuttle bus to the nearest hotel Quality Inn, where they let us use their business center for free, which was very generous of them, so we left the concierge a tip 🙂 When we returned back to the airport my friends and I played lots of cards, so I suggest if you have a wait its best to learn a few card games before you leave and bring a deck of cards.

Our boarding was quick & easy, the flight went by fairly fast, West Jet was lovely, they feed us and also served a light snack

Once arriving in Punta Cana airport we retrieved our luggage quick and easily and boarded the bus to our resort. There was other people on our bus going to different resorts, luckily we were dropped off first. On the bus ride the tour guide taught us some spanish words that would be ideal to know and also gave a round of Presidente, the local beer down there (with a charge of $4 US a bottle)

Rooms
When we arrived to the resort, we got there at 11:00 am, and we unable to check-in until 3pm. Our luggage was stored in a spare room our front of the resort. We were kind of uneasy about our valuables being taken away from us, but once seeing the beautiful resort you kind of forget about it. Unfortunately we had no idea what was going on, we tried to find a washroom to freshen up in. So note: Use the lobby washroom, don’t run around the resort trying to find another washroom.

After getting freshen up we went and explored the grounds and hung out by the pool.
At around 2:30 pm we went to go see if we could check-in which we could. When we arrived to our room we were on the bottom floor. The rooms were very neat & clean, as well as very spacious. Since there was three of us girls we had three beds which was delightful, because no one really likes sharing a bed. However, I think we were suppose to be Premium Club which are buildings 23, 24, 25, we were put in 26 which is NOT Premium club, but the room met our needs so we didn’t complain. Watch out

for little unwanted guest! We hadn’t seen any lizards being there and on our last night we found a little gecko on the wall. Luckily my friend was a superstar a captured the little critter in ice bucket and threw it out of the room.

Also there was a lot of power outages, but this is to be expected. You are staying in a third world country, so please if you stay here, be accepting of these flaws, because honestly we saw a woman yell at one of the employees about this, and it wasn’t his fault and there was really nothing he could do.

We also encountered a little setback at 5:30 am to our room flooding. One of the pipes on the back of the toilet busted and flooded our whole room. We just laughed it off and took tons of photos of it. We did go to the front desk to be moved to a new room. This was probably one of the worst moments of our trips and probably the only complaint we had, because the guy serving us at the reception desk was extremely rude! He laughed at our situation and when we started to become upset at the fact that he wouldn’t do anything for us, he attacked us by saying we must be Canadians because were complaining so much. Finally after an hour and a half of arguing we finally ask another guy who worked out front driving golf carts if we could get a new room and seriously within 15 minutes we were in a new clean, dry room. I guess the language barrier has a lot to do with it, but also the fact that yes they are from a different lifestyle which is much more laidback than our Canadian lifestyle.

Restaurants
The restaurants were ok at best, if you are Premium Club you’ll get 5 a la’ carte reservations made for you. Unfortunately most of ours were at 6:30 pm and this wasn’t great because we’d have to leave the beach at 4:00 pm so we’d have enough time for us three girls two shower and get ready for our dinner reservation. After eating at the Italian and Brazilian restaurant we decided we’d stick to the Buffet, which was very delicious and always something to be found to eat. However, the first night eating here we were a little uneasy at what we could actually eat, because we had all been warned don’t eat the chicken or the beef. Everything is very suitable to eat, we had no problems at all. Everything was well cooked and delicious.

The snack bar by the swim up pool was always nice for lunch. Us girls went everyday around 12:00 pm, never had a problem with line ups until the last day, I guess some kind of Beach Party was happening that night so more people were at the resort. Again this snack bar was great, everyone was so friendly and helpful. Also one of the gentleman that worked there brought his cat to work everyday, so I always had a little friend to say Hi to when we went there. Yes I like my cats! lol..I missed my kitties from home 🙂

The Pizza and Taco restaurants were very well liked. We never tried the Taco bar, but friends that we met there said it was very delicious. For the Pizza restaurant, its open until 6:30am, which is great from drunken pizza after the Mangu! I highly suggest eating after drinking, or you may not make it out the next morning. 😉 The pizza doesn’t taste like home, the first time you try it you may not like it because the cheese tends to be a little runny, but seriously give it a try, it’ll really grow on you.

Bars The two main bars we went to were the one in the main lobby and by the theatre. Both are very friendly and fast! However, you really need to push yourself up to the bar or you won’t be served for awhile. We would hangout by the Theatre bar while the shows were going on, and than move into the lobby bar later.

Tips $ were greatly appreciated, especially to the waitresses in the lobby, who serve drinks and pick up your empty glasses.

Beach and Pools The beach is beyond words, we never ever had a problem finding a chair to sit on, but again we went in an off season, so if you go in March, I heard there is more trouble finding a seat on the beach, but in our case never a problem. Its much breezier on the beach, so don’t be fooled that its not that hot WEAR LOTS OF SUNSCREEN!! I learned my lesson the hard way.

The beach has beautiful tall crisp blue waves, fine white sand, it truly beyond words.

Grounds Very well maintained! These employees work very hard. Even after a rainstorm these men will be out sweeping away the water, so you don’t have to walk through it.

The resort in itself is beautiful, definitely take lots of photos.

Activities and Entertainment
You will probably never we bored at this resort. They have a team call the Fun Club that have a schedule listed by the theatre they have planned activities all day that you can partake in. Unfortunately us girls were there to work on our tans, so we really didn’t do many of the activities. We did however one day go for Spanish lessons. We were approached on the beach by one of the employees of Fun Club, so we decided to give it a try. They are all so enthusiastic! 🙂 Its a really good time. For night time they have nightly shows at the theatre. Some are well worth it and others not so much! For the bad shows we mostly just stuck by the bar. Also try to partake in the skits, they are so much fun! My friend & I did karaoke one night, it was a lot of fun!

Also the MANGU is a must! They have the most interesting little characters running around there, there is a pimp, a little midget girl, and a Marilyn Munroe look alike. Its a lot of fun, if you like being cramped in a dance bar with techno music. We didn’t go downstairs much, it was more of an older crowd with mambo music. It interesting though. Also, this bar doesn’t close until everyone leaves so you can party all night!! Also

I suggest, bring cards would be a very good idea. Many rainy nights the girls and I would sit in the main lobby having drinks and playing cards.

Tours
For excursions, I had my heart set on swimming with the Dolphins, but after hearing about all the other excursions we decided to choose the Marine Resort where you snorkel with coral reef and tropical fish, than you move into a fenced in area with nurse sharks and stingrays! It was amazing!!! Def give it an A+! The cost was $83 US. After swimming you get back on the boat where you given a light snack and drinks, while also dancing to different songs! This was the party boat!! Def a lot of fun and totally put us into the party mood. You also get to swim in a natural bath pool which is about 4 ft deep, and you are served different kinds of alcoholic drinks. This excursion is probably more for the adventurous type, but there are plenty of others that were highly recommended. Such as the Rum Runners, were you get a look at the Dominican lifestyle and the Catamaran. We were going to do this one, since my friend did it the year before, but I guess I was looking for something a little more adventurous, so I preswaded the girls to go swimming with the sharks. They truly loved it!! 🙂

Departure and Check Out
As for checkout, this was a little bit of a mess. The night before we decided to pack our bags so we’d be ready for our early morning checkout at 6:30 am. However, we had a mishap the night before with a pipe bursting in our room and we had to switch rooms, which at this time we were very disorganized and had no idea where anything really was. Well this disorganization lead to my two friends misplacing their passports. They frantically looked every where but could not find their passports. No one working at the resort was helpful in trying to help them contact someone about this situation. Finally we got a hold of an emergency line with our travel agency Transat Holiday. This gentleman on the phone told them that a medicare card and drivers license would be suitable to board the plane, so at this time they stopped looking for their passports and we checkout quick and easily.

Once arriving to the airport we waited in line to check our luggage, when getting to the front of the line we were informed that medicare cards and driver licenses were not suitable to board the plane with, you need either a passport or your drivers license and birth certificate. Unfortunately, the girls didn’t bring their birth certificates thinking they wouldn’t need them since they had their passports. So I highly recommend bringing all the appropriate I.D, just in case.

Luckily there was our Transat travel agent at the airport trying to call different places to get the girls on that flight, but unfortunately it was West Jet that wouldn’t let them on, so I had to board the plane alone and fly back to Halifax alone. The girls were very fortunate to find their passports hidden in their luggage and boarded a later plane that night out of Punta Cana.

Conclusion Overall, this trip was quite an experience we had a lot of ups and downs, such as not having our hotel vouchers, the power outages, the flood in our room, the little extra guest we found in our room the last night, and the girls losing their passports, but at the end of the day we wouldn’t change anything! These little troubles are what make the trip so memorable, if everything went smoothly, what is the fun in that. The girls and I have so many stories to tell, unfortunately you do have to be a certain kind of person to accept all these minor flaws, we are all fairly laid back, so it was more funny once we made it through these troubles. But truly we wouldn’t have changed a thing! This trip was def a 10 out of 10!!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Carol

May 2008

Just returned from Punta Cana May 3, 2008 stayed at the Occidental Grand.

This was our 6th visit to Punta Cana, we always stay at a different resort this year it just happened to be the Occidental.

When we first arrived I was very impressed the grounds are beautiful and our room was very nice. I even told my husband that maybe the hotel should be upgraded to more than a 4. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!

We arrived on April 26th on Sunday 27th we came from the beach to have lunch, no power no water in the restrooms, they had large tubs of water for people to wash their hands, if you had to use the bath room they got really gross very quickly! Power & water restored after about 5 hours. I figured okay so the problem was temporary I WAS WRONG AGAIN!! On Monday the same thing again, Tuesday was even worse, we had no power in our building for over 24 hrs. After being on the beach all day and the public restrooms having no power & no water, we went to our rooms to shower and get ready for dinner. Well imagine your surprise when you have only bottle water and no power. At about 10pm on Tuesday night they gave us a room in other building they said the transformer had blown and they would have it fixed by noon the next day. We took the key and went to the assigned room, when we entered the room it was already occupied, I was just glad that no one was home! So we went back down to get another room when we got to the next room it had not been updated in years, the good thing is we did have water however. it was all over the bathroom floor the toilet leaked! Thank God that by 4 pm not 12pm the next day we were back in our original room. On Friday night we had rain and I was very happy that I only had shoes sitting on the one side of the room as the ceiling in our original room leaked!! This hotel has some definite maintenance problems. I would not recommend that you stay there!

As I said before this was our 6th visit to Punta Cana, in all of our visits only one other time did we encounter a problem with the power and that was after a rain for only a few minutes. So if you go and I would say go to Punta Cana don’t stay at the Occidental Grand! We hav

e stayed at the Riu Palace Maccao, The Majestic Colonial, Bavaro Palace, Bavaro Beach & Secrets (now Dreams)

We had good to great accommodations at the other resorts.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Geraldine

May 2008

Just returned from a glorioius one wk stay at the Occidental Grand Punta Cana. Very Very Clean. Staff was friendly and helpful. They love Canadians. The buffett was great, even for picky eaters, we could always find something normal like turkey, fried chicken, salads, rice, pasta. It was great and everything didn’t taste the same as on some of the resorts I’ve been.

A couple of small things, like our complimentary bottle of rum never did show up, even after mentioning to our AirTransat rep twice. As well, the couple travelling with us had a phone that did not work and complained many times, but it never did get fixed or replaced.

All in all it was a great trip, and Yes, the beach is the best one ever!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Hillary ~ New York

April 2008

I just returned from two weeks at the Occidental Grand Flamenco Hotel. After reading terrible review after terrible review I was really nervous that the place would be awful. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

First off, the beautiful beach and weather would have made my vacation alone. When we first arrived we received a 1st floor room, but it smelled slightly like mildew so we asked to be changed. We were changed the next day without a problem to a second floor room. The rooms were gorgeous, spacious, and well maintained.

My family and I traveled with Air Transat, which is a "Premium Package". This simply means that there is a special roped off area on the beach just for Premium members so that you do not have to fight for chairs as much. There was also a special breakfast place for Premium Members, but we preffered the buffet. The final difference was that premium members are located in four designated buildings, for whatever reason.

I read multiple reviews that complained about no hot water and power outages. The reality of that situation is that the Dominican is a third world country, it’s not the United States! In my fourteen day stay, I might have taken two or three cold showers, and the power went out twice. This is only because the island has more demand for power than it can actually supply, therefore these incidents are common. Personally, this didn’t affect me in the least because please–who wants to spend time in your room when you could be outside enjoying the beautiful weather?

As far as food went, the buffet was excellent. We also enjoyed the Oriental Restaurant, but we much preferred to serve ourselves as the food wasn’t anything special in the restaurants.

As far as nightlife goes, I have one word: MANGU! Disco Mangu is currently the number one club in Punta Cana, and arguably the best in the entire Dominican! The first floor was modern hip-hop, reggaeton, merengue, and a few other genres. The top floor was techno/house music–both were exceptional.

I also heard many complaints of the staff not speaking enough English. Having traveled into the country to the real Dominican and seeing the schooling, I’m surprised that they can speak English at all! However, everyone I spoke to knew English very well except for a few bartenders. Some staff members even went as far as to try to help me learn and improve my Spanish. The staff is truly wonderful.

In conclusion: I would recommend this hotel to anyone! If you’re thinking of traveling to Punta Cana, the Occidental Grand Flamenco is an excellent choice!

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Tony

April 2008

We have just returned from a stay at the Occidental Grand in Punta Cana. As this is one of our many visits to the area, we feel qualified in commenting on this resort. Our stay was in the premium club with Air Transat.Our objective was to relax on the beach and just veg out, as we have done most of the day trips offered.

Flying on West Jet is a Dream. The Air Transat staff seemed to always be late and would apologize constantly. Told them to allow more time for meetings.

The hotel was very clean with friendly staff for the most part. Food in general was ok but we have been used to more variety in similar resorts. I found that when ordering drinks from the bars (not in a rush) that certain bartenders spent as much time doing shooters as they were working.

The room was clean and neat but the showers were terrible with little or no water pressure.

A trip to the Oriental restaurant was as follows: 1. seating at table for 9:00 and had to be shared( no problem very nice girls for company) 2. water in glass 9:30 with order taken at 10:00 3. food arrives at 10:40

4. exit at 11:00 before dessert arrives

Before you pass judgment read on.

A trip to Italian restaurant (which was busier) as follows: 1. seating at 6:30 with wine and water at 6:35 2. meal arrived at 7:00 after entries 3. desert including liqueurs at 7:30

4. left large tip with handshake at 9:00

As I run my own business, I know the value of good service and product, and would not rate this as a 4.5 star. Maybe a 4?.

My advice for you would be to spend a few more dollars and stay at the Bahai Principe and see what a difference there is. You get what you pay for.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Bryan

April 2008

I stayed April 4th through April 8th and I must admit I have read others reviews and this being my first vacation in a long time plus leaving the states. I could not have been more pleased. The staff is so friendly, the rooms are clean and great. I too stayed on the ground floor and the balcony was very spacious. It’s a great location if you want a little of relaxing, fun and sun. Be back in October 08 for a longer stay. One more thing, if your worried about the food, trust me no worries on this resort. The Lobster House Private dinning was more than one could expect and truly private.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Rebecca

April 2008

I had the pleasure of staying at the Occidental Grand Punta Cana from March 25 to April 1. I arranged my vacation through Air Canada Vacations.

Check-in
As I was staying in the Royal Club, when I got to the resort my luggage and I were whisked away to the Royal Club reception. Check-in was quick and efficient.

Room
My room was spacious and clean and the bed was very comfortable. I was on the ground floor, so I had a terrace. The terrace was also quite spacious and surrounded by lovely greenery. My room was kept very clean. The maids would come in and clean it in the morning after I’d gone out, and would return again while I was out for supper to check my room for fresh towels and to turn down my bed for me. The fridge was always stocked with a variety of beverages, and all I did was leave a note for the maid if I wanted more of something. The bathroom had a tub and a separate shower. The bathtub looked like it had seen better days, but it didn’t bother me because the shower was just fine. If I wanted to have a bit of a soak, I just went for a swim in the pool, which was nice and warm. The maids really appreciate a tip. Every day I left $1 and a small gift for her, and on the last day I left a bit larger of a tip because my room was always kept in tiptop shape.

Restaurants
The first day I tried the Home Rum Snack Bar. The food wasn’t stellar, but it was quick and suited its purpose at the time. In the evening, I walked down to the main buffet. There was lots of choice, and what I tried was good. The next day, I went to the restaurant at the Royal Club. The food was fantastic and the service so friendly that it’s where I ate from then on in. They were very accommodating to someone who was there all by herself. Their English wasn’t perfect, but I had no problems communicating what I wanted or needed, especially since I have a nut allergy. I can’t comment on the Beach Club or the a la carte restaurants, as I didn’t feel the need to try them out.

Beach
The beach was absolutely beautiful and well-groomed. Every morning someone raked the sand and made sure that it was tidy. Empty cups and water bottles were collected regularly. Guests staying at the Royal Club had their own area roped off and had nice, cushioned beach chairs. There was plenty of shade if you had too much of the sun. It also had it’s own bar that was exclusively for the use of Royal Club guests. The bartending staff was always friendly. I’m not much of a drinker, but I did enjoy my fair share of pina coladas.

Pools
I really only swam in the pool at the Royal Club, but I took walks around the whole resort and saw that the pools were all clean, well-maintained, and conveniently located.

Activities and Entertainment

There were lots of activities if you found yourself bored with just lounging around on the beach reading. I was provided with a schedule of activities when I checked in. However, for the most part, I was quite content to sprawl out on a lounge chair and read for almost my entire stay. There was nightly entertainment, which I hear was good, but I was so wiped out by the sun that I was in bed by 10 p.m. almost every night, which was when the nightly shows began.

Tours
I went on the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure full day tour, which is $85 US if you arrange it through your hotel. It was a lot of fun and I met many interesting people and got a chance to see a bit of the Dominican Republic outside of the resort. Pipo, our tour guide, was very entertaining. The one place that I was looking forward to was seeing a school. If you bring supplies to donate to the school, you are able to go in and meet the teacher(s) and see the classrooms. Check out the "Giving Back" section of the Bavaro Runners website to see what kinds of things schools need. If you arrange your tour online, there is a bit of a discount.

I also went to Manati Park to swim with the dolphins. It was about 10 minutes and was in a pool, but it was really neat to be able to touch the dolphins. The rest of the park was lovely. You could walk around and see different kinds of animals and there were shows a couple of times a day, including a horse show, a bird show, a dolphin and sea lion show, and a recreation of a Taino dance in the replica Taino village. The package for swimming with the dolphins was $85 US, but it is much cheaper if you just want entry into the park to take a look around. A very colourful bus picks you up at your resort. You can catch another bus back at fairly regular 2-hour intervals.

Shopping
The shops on the resort are a bit more expensive and prices are not really up for negotiation. I took a morning to walk to the market outside of the resort. Most of the shops had pretty much the same thing, and you can haggle there. The shopkeepers can be quite aggressive, so it’s not for everyone . . . and it’s better to go with someone else, as I had a rather unpleasant experience with a shopkeeper who tried to get frisky and much to personal with me when I was in his shop alone. I think the best purchases I made were when I went on the Bavaro Runners tour. I also made an arrangement to be picked up to go to a shop called L’Torpedo, where they sell quality larimar and amber jewelry, as well as cigars. I also picked up some flavoured rum and coffee while I was there. The prices aren’t cheap, cheap, but you were guaranteed that what you got was the real thing.

Overall I had an absolutely wonderful time and definitely plan on returning. It was the best thing I’ve done in a very long time. Next year, my mom and I will probably go. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxing time. I particularly recommend the Royal Club.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Norma ~ Moncton NB

March 2008

On march 1st to march 12 we stayed at occidental grand Punta Cana. We were 8 and we totally loved this Resort. The food, the pool, the beach and the Disco were all that we wanted. We had had a great time. You can e-mail me for more details.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Auley and Lesley ~ Montreal, Quebec, Canada

March 2008

Arrival & Flight: Dorval airport was a nightmare, leaving home at 4 am to make the flight for 6.45 am. Made the flight with not much time to spare! Flight just under 4.5 hrs – PC airport beautiful. Only problem was, this being our first trip to the Caribbean, I had not booked a ‘package’ so there was no transport waiting for us when we got there. Had to take a taxi there and back. We arrived at the resort around 1 pm but our room was only available at 3 pm. So we relaxed in the bar. Finally, at 4 pm our room was ready. This was the biggest problem we had, waiting for our room. Maybe our flight time had something to do with this as check-in is supposed to be at 3 pm. The key for the safe has been increased to $25 but well worth it. Now, a quick change and headed for the beach to take a look! No disappointment there. Beach is wonderful with soft, white sand. Lots of people but plenty of room.

Rooms: The room was just as the pictures show it on the website. Spacious, with a king-size bed, and very clean. We were on the ground floor in Edifice 24, 5 mins from the beach or the main lobby area. The toilet did run occasionally, but a little playing around in the tank and the problem was solved. No complaints about the room at all. I left gift bags on the bed every morning for the maid as we were told that things are hard for them to find and they don’t make very much money. Toiletries, hair accessories, perfume.

Restaurants: Lots to choose from. We did them all. We especially enjoyed the Mexican and Oriental. As it was our anniversary while we were there, we went to the Lobster House for supper that evening. Yummy! (BTW, where the beach buffet is during the day, it then transforms into the Lobster House in the evening! We spent 3 hours walking the beach that day looking for it, only to find that it was on the property!) There is also the pizzeria and taco house for night-time eaters. We had breakfast daily at the buffet, and a couple of suppers, and there is so much food! Something for everybody. Also, at the restaurants, you CAN drink the water they provide. It’s the tap water you can’t drink.

Bars: The two main bars are in the lobby and at the beach. Such friendly bar staff and the waitresses just as friendly. Give good tips and you’ll never be thirsty! They work hard to please with constant smiles on their faces. That goes for all the staff. So happy and eager to please. “Hola” to everyone they meet. Be warned about the guys that greet you in the resort, constantly. They are looking for time-sharers! We did get sucked in for a meeting, and learnt from that. However, did get a tour of the Royal Club etc, but found it too stuffy and boring for what we wanted.

Grounds: Exceptionally clean. But do be warned, it only rains for about 5 mins in the evening, and it rains! but the grounds can be slippery right after. The grounds crew dry them off pretty fast, but still slippery right after.

Activities: There are dance lessons daily down at the beach, along with beach aerobics, volleyball etc. Fun to just watch or take part in. Every night there was a show, some of which we watched which were absolutely incredible. The work that they put into it and the costumes! Amazing. I took so many videos. After the show, they all come back into the lobby and there would be dancing, or karaoke. Always something going on. Just a wonderful, ‘family-feeling’ atmosphere. You really feel like you belong there.

Tours: We didn’t do any excursions this time. Just wanted to relax, and that we did! We did, however, do the parasailing which was awesome. Definitely want to do the banana boat next time.

Departure: Except for the fact that we had to take a taxi back to PC Airport, everything went to plan. Except to arrive back in Montreal in shorts, with snow everywhere!

Conclusion: Starting to plan our next trip to the same place. Does that tell it all? We thoroughly enjoyed it and it was just what we needed. Before we left, we were trying to find fault with something, but there wasn’t anything that we could come up with. It is a perfect place for a restful, relaxing vacation. Would definitely recommend it. Any questions or information needed, send me an email at lesauley@videotron.ca.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana    Rob-Roy ~ Nova Scotia

March 2008

Arrival & Flight: Departing Halifax was a tad slow due to maintenance issues. Flight was fine. Busy day at PC airport, but finding bus was quick. Transfer to hotel speedy and check-in was fast and smooth.

Rooms: Typical 3-storey resort buildings. Our room was in Building 12, just over half-way to the beach. This was a very quiet building, something to consider if you travel with two children (as did we) and want to get them to sleep on-time! Although our agent and brochure said "two-beds" the room had one queen and one pull-out couch (a twin bed is available on request). No problem though, as we are low-maintenance. After all the room is NOT whre you want to be on vacation. By other’s account, it seems that the premiere rooms services are just slightly above regular room services, while the Royal club is much superior for those that need more catering or amenities. Some rooms have been recently renovated. Ours was basic, fine enough but perhaps not at the level of 4.5 stars. No problems though, nice and clean building.

Restaurants: Plenty to choose from. The buffet was fine, somethings were great, most were at least average. Always easy to find something suitable at nicer resort when choosing the buffet, the OGF is no exception. The beach buffet is only average. The a-la-cartes are not something our kids typically enjoy…so we stuck with buffets mainly. The Mexican appears to receive praise, however. Once again the Royal Club offers higher service and was well talked about on the volleyball courts! The evening grills on the terrace offer fantastic fajitas and pizza…great for those late-time munchers.

Bars: Plenty of them, very popular. Exceptionally fast and cheerful service and the bartenders appreciate small tips! Juan Carlos at the beach bar was the busiest man around, but always had a smile and a handshake for us. Lobby bar in the evening was a pleasant place to gather and meet other tourists. -Beach and Pools: Beautiful beach, well groomed, kept very clean. Lots of loungers and towel service is efficient. Great and very safe beach for walking with markets about 30-45 minutes in either direction. Pools are clean, free-form and the kids loved them. Nice resort for those of us that enjoy sand, sun and water activity.

Grounds: Well groomed trees, clean paths and nicely painted and clean building exteriors. A pretty-loking resort.

Activities: Always something to please you. Julio on the beach is a fun guy to arrange Para-sailing, etc. with. We enjoy kayaking, banana-boating and so on. Easy to book anything you enjoy…3-person para-sailing was a blast. Great beach and pool activities…nice mix for kids and adults.

Tours: Lots available. As this was our 5th trip here, we generally beached-it.

Departure: Efficient, quick check-out. Tranfer to airport and departure fast and check-in went smoothly.

Conclusion: Fantastic resort for beach-lovers, for those wanting to relax or to play a little and to have a cocktail and put a few pounds on. No hesitation recommending the OGF to anyone of any age. It was our fifth Dominican trip, and the beach in front of this resort is the best we’ve seen. Consider the Royal club if you need pampering but overall this was a great vacation.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Judy and Graham ~ Pubnico. Nova Scotia

March 2008

Rooms – Super, clean and bottle of rum and fresh fruit in room on arrival,quick baggage delivery to our rooms. Each of us a pair of slippers and robes, cool drinks keep up everyday in room fridge, beach towels refreshed daily,all round cared for to the best.

Restaurants – we only dined at one of the five restauart as we like the buffet and easy to go to after a beach day.ate at main buffet for breakast and evening meal, lunch at beach buffet all food was enjoyable and alot to chose from.The beach buffet there was a young man name Lewis, what a great waiter, friendly , never missed aday making us feel special.Also at the evening buffet there was also Robinison, cool guy and could ask for better service.

Bars – We are not big drinkers but what we did try was great, staff always friendly.

Beach and Pools – Beach was great, had to go early to mark chairs for the day, but that was fine, worth it to get a hut as my husband isn’t a sun nut like my self.The club guys and girls worked very hard at keeping us entertained,they deserve a great big applause A, we became very fond of Yasmal, wish our trip would have lasted longer.Pool was very close to our room so was always nice to take a refreshing dip on our way back from the beach at the end of our day, always clean.

Grounds – Well kept, clean and well lite at night time.

Activities – Totally amazing, beach , pool activites, the club sure make your stay fun, they all seem to love and take great pride in there jobs, the long days and hours never seemed to be a problem with any of them, dance, party, smiles full time. Please give them special thanks from us. Miss you Yasnal.

Tours – Only did Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure,day trip, very nice way to see some of Punta Cana, our guide " Mini Me" and "Rafael" was awsome, kept us on the edge of our seat,I would tell everyone to join this tour.

Conclusion – Just Wonderful, Wouldn’t change a thing, thanks to everyone, from check in to check out and all in between.

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  Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana   Tammy and Larry ~ Nova Scotia

March 2008

Arrival – We arrived shortly after 9pm and everything went like clock work. Customs was a breeze and our luggage arrived shortly after. Next we located our rep who gave us our Bus number. Upon finding our bus which was simple enough we were taken to the resort where check in was prompt and easy.

Rooms – The room was just as shown on the internet. Clean ready and waiting for us. No Complaints, everything was great and kept that way all week.

Restaurants – We had reservations for 5 of restaurant but due to a picky husband we only tried a few and setteled for the buffet. The buffet was great and had lots to fill the fussy one. We usally ate at the beach buffet at lunch and the main one for breakfast and supper. At night the Pizza place was a regular beacuse it was the best.

Bars – As we don’t drink we can only say the drinks we had were good and always cold.

Beach and Pools – The beach was the best part for us and we went swimming every day. Most people saved their chairs early but we always were able to get chairs if we looked hard enough.

Grounds – Grounds were clean and well kept. We saw very few bugs and never had a problem with any.

Activities – We took in the nightly shows and enjoyed them all. The Michael Jackson show was the best of all. Hats off to all the performers and keep up the good work.

Tours – I would recomend the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure and had a blast. Denillo was the greatest guide and had a full day but never a dull moment. Everyone should take the tour,if you do nothing else.

Conclusion – This was our first trip to the Dominican, but not the last. I would not have a problem staying here again and planning for next year already.

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