Old Reviews – Barcelo Capella Beach

My husband and I visited the Barcelo Capella Beach Resort at Juan Dolio Beach in the middle of December 2007. Well…..overall it was an ok resort; certainly not the 4.5 stars that it states, more like a 3.5 stars by North American standards. I mean we had a great vacation: warm weather, beautiful beach, flight delay on return but all in all, we had each other to share all the good and bad.

The Resort

Check-in Staff – depends who you get, some speedy & English is very good, others sloooooow & English is mediocre.

Food service Staff – Most were friendly. Most spoke minimal if any English at all. They were good at their job, but their customer rapport was not great, maybe it was the language barrier.

Activities Staff – VERY fun and entertaining but that is WHEN they are holding their scheduled activity. We found that: signage never told you WHERE the activity was being held; it never started on time; sometimes it never started at all. Very unreliable. A great variety of activities.. that’s IF they actually conduct them.

Entertainment – VERY good, we had a LOT of laughs. However not all of the shows would be rated “General” and maybe not even PG-13. Some were more like for 14+.

Food – Ahhh.. what a LOT of people go on a vacation for, but.. NOT US. We are easy-to-please eaters. The buffet was 3 out of 5 stars. I mean it was not God-awful, yet it was not super-tasty. Others we spoke to found the food very bland, but I prefer bland over too spicy, too salty and over-seasoned. I always found something to eat. The variety from day to day or meal to meal wasn’t great, but the buffet itself offered SO much each meal that how could you completely change over everything in a buffet daily?? Breakfast was the best. Desserts were not great unless you love cream pies and whipped cream cakes a lot. I don’t! Yes I did find flies flying (and landing) on the food on a few occasions. If you have allergies, look out… the patrons there don’t care about using one serving utensil for one dish… they just use a single utensil for several dishes and food gets everywhere. Also if you’re vegetarian, look out for hidden sources of recycled meat in the salads!

Rooms – well.. mediocre. I’m sure they are GREAT for Caribbean standards, but not so great by North American standards. Beds were old and lumpy. Bedcovers were quite old. I just could NOT get over how humid the rooms were. There was only air conditioning and the central fan, but the fan did NOT quash the humidity! I wish there was a ceiling fan or even a portable fan to ventilate the rooms better. I ended up always opening the patio door and our front door to ventilate the room. Housekeeping was inconsistent. Sometimes she’d fill up coffee and sugar, sometimes not. I highly doubt glasses were properly cleaned daily. I heard from other guests that some rooms were so moldy that they were inhabitable. As well, they cleaned the rooms very late in the day, usually after 4 pm!!

Bonus – and highly appreciated was the room safe. It was great because you could program in your own code. We never worried about our valuables.

Beach – was beautiful. Everything you could ask for in a beautiful beach. I found it a bit crowded on weekends when the locals would come for their weekend passes, but that was ok, since it was only weekends. The beach is consistently combed so that no large rocks, shells or trash accumulate.

Property – the maintenance staff that groom the walkways and greenery are very good. They also leave you alone, so I wouldn’t ask them for directions or help with anything.

Security – I always felt secure. The security guards were always present.

Tours – because we were so close to Santo Domingo we were privileged to take tours that didn’t cost us a full day of travel. You MUST go on a tour or two while in Juan Dolio. The history is fascinating! Very educational! The tour guides very knowledgeable and very hospitable!

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