November 6 to November 13, 2005
Location: Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort is located approximately 35 minutes from Punta Cana Airport. It shares its property with Ocean Sand Golf & Beach Resort. If you’re walking along the beach, it is directly adjacent to LTI Resort to the south, and the Iberostar Hotels are to the north. Ocean Blue and Ocean Sand are essentially the same resort. When you enter the lobby, the reception for Ocean Blue is on your right and for Ocean Sand it is on the left. Rooms along the left side of the resort as you face the beach are for Ocean Sand guests, Ocean Blue accommodations are on the right. Accommodations are identical, all room types are available on both sides. All resort facilities are shared between the two.
You check in at reception, unless you have upgraded to a deluxe junior suite or honeymoon suite. For these suites, which are in Villas 6 and 10, you have private checkin/checkout privileges at Guest Services, which is around the corner from the Ocean Blue reception. We just went into the Ocean Blue reception and they escorted us to Guest Services. On checkin you will be given a wristband, your room keys, towel cards, and a “Welcome Passport”. This includes a map of the resort and excellent information about all the restaurants and other hotel services. The occupancy rate was between 50 and 60 per cent the week we were there it seemed to be mostly Canadians and Americans.
Grounds and Beach
A nice thing about this hotel is you don’t have to spend a lot of time finding your way around. All the restaurants (except for the beach restaurants) are in one spot, across a courtyard from the lobby, and all other common areas are at the front of the resort by the lobby, with the two swimming pools in the centre of the two resorts. The villa buildings of the resorts are in a row along each side of the resort. There are palm trees and gardens throughout the property. The gardens are still young, but will fill in nicely as they mature. A shuttle runs around the resort on a regular basis. If you are walking, it would take about 10 minutes to walk from the beach to the lobby. There are two huge swimming pools, both with a swimup bar. The pools have a beach-like sloped entrance, which is nice. At their deepest point they are less than 5 feet deep. There are lots of chairs surrounding the pools, and some umbrellas for shade. The chairs around the pool are plastic, though, and not as comfortable as the chairs at the beach. Beach towels are available at the Watersports Centre on the beach. Due to lower occupancy, only the bar on the Ocean Sand side of the swimming pool was open. The one on the Ocean Blue side is a swimup bar only, and it was closed. The hotel is located on a beautiful wide stretch of beach. You can walk for miles in either direction. There was a little bit of seaweed washed up on the beach, but not much. There were some waves, not as calm as further south at PUNTACANA Resort where we spent our first week, and the water was not quite as turquoise blue-green as it is there, but still very beautiful.
A few palm trees dot the beach, offering a little bit of shade. They don’t have the traditional thatched beach palapas, they have constructed wooden pergola-type structures with a covering on top (see pictures). I didn’t find that these really provided much shade, though.
Weather/Bugs: We had a great week for weather, hot and sunny every day, it only rained at night a few times. Unfortunately one of those times was the first night we arrived, it started pouring rain while we were walking to the restaurant for dinner, we got absolutely soaked in just a few minutes! There is an umbrella in every room, too bad we didn’t bring it. The morning we left there was a change in the weather due to a tropical depression. First thing in the morning we could see the ocean was a very deep blue colour. A little while later the dark clouds rolled in and it started blowing hard rain off and on. There was absolutely no problem with insects or mosquitos.
There are 374 rooms on the Ocean Blue side, and 334 rooms on the Ocean Sand side, located in 10 buildings. It is interesting to note that this is one of the few resorts that allow 3 children in a room. Maximum occupancy is 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 children, or 3 adults and 1 child. All of the Villa buildings have inner courtyards, all decorated differently. Reminds me very much of the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus. I especially liked the beautiful pots of Trinitarias (bougainvillea). There are 3 room categories – the regular Junior Suites, in Villas 1 through 5 at Ocean Blue and Villas 7 through 9 at Ocean Sand, the Deluxe Junior Suites in Villas 6 and 10, and the Honeymoon Suites, also located in Villas 6 and 10. Regular junior suites are very spacious. All offer 1 king or two queen-sized beds, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, living area, full bathroom with Jacuzzi-style tub, hairdryer, telephone, cable TV, coffee maker, mini-fridge stocked with soft drinks and water, iron and ironing board, umbrella, in-room safe. There is no clock-radio in the room. We stayed in a deluxe junior suite. The deluxe junior suites are all in Villa 6 at Ocean Blue and Villa 10 at Ocean Sand, which are the buildings closest to the beach. We had a wonderful view of the pool and beach. These suites are larger than the regular junior suites, and the bathroom is different.. there is a window in the bathroom that looks into the rest of the room from the Jacuzzi tub (toilet and shower are private), which lets in lots of natural light during the day. There are blinds on the window that you can close for privacy. We had a 4-poster canopy bed and comfortable seating area, and nice wicker furniture on the balcony. There was no ceiling fan in our room, I was told rooms with 4-poster canopy beds did not have ceiling fans. The air-conditioning worked well, and we always had plenty of hot water. English TV channels available were Cinemax, HBO, ESPN, Disney, CNN, TBS WGN TNT, and the cartoon network.
A little tip – The power in our room went out one day, apparently very briefly. A few lights came on immediately, but the TV and most of the lights were not working. We just assumed there was a power outage and the generator was on. I happened to go downstairs a while later and mentioned to the concierge about the power being out. She told me it had only been out for a minute, and that I just needed to re-insert the card in the slot inside the door. I’m glad I asked, not sure we would have figured that one out for a while.