Arrival – We were greeted with cold towels and a drink, of which I passed on to head to the front desk to check in. We were greeted by Richard (I hope I got his name right). We requested, through our travel agent to have a room on an upper level, not on the ground and not facing construction. Well, when we checked in, we were assigned a room on the ground (it wasn’t facing construction), room number 3112, but this was quickly changed to room number 3312 after a quick trip to the front desk! We had NO problems changing our room. It was also stated by our travel agent that we were celebrating our honeymoon, but nothing special was done for us. There was a bottle of wine with 2 wine glasses when we got there (of which everyone receives), other then that, no extra perks which was disappointing, but, what can you do – I wasn’t about to spend my vacation complaining about the little stuff. I should note that the ground floor smelt a little musty, but the room we changed to, was not. It was very clean.
Rooms – As mentioned, the rooms were very clean. Room is huge, double sinks, toilet behind a frosted glass door, HUGE shower with 2 shower heads…we had a king size bed, leather couch, coffee table, desk and chair…our view was of the beautiful wedding gazebo and pool. Our maid was Laylea and she was always given something nice as a Thank You. Our room was always cleaned around the same time, after breakfast but before lunch. Not once did we have any issues with our room, nothing was broken and we never seen any bugs and believe me, after reading some reviews about cockroaches, this was the thing I feared the most! It was spotless!
Internet – Cost was $5 for 30 mins…however, when we went, it was free due to the ticket printer not working – this was a bonus. I took note of either 8 or 10 computers, located in an air conditioned room.
Grounds/Pool/Beach – What can I say about the following, the grounds were always kept clean, you’d always see someone doing something with the flowers, maintaining the grass…they were never in your way. The grounds were beautiful with little ponds, palm trees, flower beds, bushes…beautiful. The pool was amazing and NOT cold like some people have written. What the hell do you expect, it’s a pool! The water was warm, not freezing; it was so refreshing…even in the shady spots. Some people are too damn picky in my mind – which is the main reason why I decided to write this review. For those complaining about the small stuff, I’d like to know what hotels you stayed at, because this one was well worth money spent! Loungers were always found at the fool…we didn’t stick around where the Animation team was, rather our spot was always in the middle or near the end of the pool (down by where the last bar is, where the table and chairs are located). That bar opened for service at 12 I think. The pool was always clean, it wasn’t loud, again, because we stayed clear of the Animation team, not that they weren’t good, but, we prefer to relax and not be bothered to take part in shows. We always found a spot with shelter too, for shade. Next, the beach, ahhhhhh, the beach!! We spent our mornings at the beach, and our afternoons at the pool. The beach was a tad bit windy but it was a comforting breeze, the waves were high, but not rough enough in that you couldn’t swim…there was some coral, so, I would recommend water shoes…but it was absolutely amazing. The beach was VERY clean, well maintained, never once did we have an issue with not getting lounge chairs, nor shade. We use to go for walks down the beach to check out other resorts, but we were always glad to get back to our own beach…the beach bar that we went to was the bar that was part of the Steak house and Seafood restaurants. My female cousin and I never got our drinks there that were the job of our husbands!! So, to speak of what the service was like at the bar, my husband would have to tell you, but he never came back complaining so that was good. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what time it opened either, we brought down our travel mugs and they were always topped up! For those getting married, they have a beautiful set up on the beach!
Food/Buffet – We ate at the buffet every morning and for lunch…there was always plenty to eat. Some foods were labeled, some were not, we stuck to the basics of what we knew and we didn’t get sick. I had stomach issues on Wed, but I highly find it unlikely it was from the food, more from the fact that I was drinking a lot, and not drinking enough water. One day I had a hamburger, cut into the middle, and it was fine, bit into the edge and it was red. I didn’t eat the rest and went back for something else – problem solved. The next time I had a burger, I asked the chef to cook it black, he did, and it was great and I didn’t get sick. The food was the same ol same ol every day, with different assortment of things, like for instance, one day it was white rice, then seafood rice, then veggie rice…and so on…you’d always find chicken, whether it be grilled, baked, deep fried, fries, different assortments of pizza, beef, steak, lots of fruit, deli meats, salads, pasta, different assortments of pasta sauces, some Dominican foods which I didn’t bother with, if I didn’t eat it home, I wasn’t eating it there! They had a juice machine, but if you wanted pop or something different, the servers would get it for you. (Hi Padro!)
Restaurants – We ate at the Steak house twice, the French restaurant once, which required reservations, the Chinese restaurant once, which is in the same restaurant as the Japanese (Japanese rest. requires reservations and is off in another section of the restaurant) and the Mexican restaurant:
Steak house – First night I ordered the grilled chicken, it came with a Caesar salad, it was good. Second night I ordered the steak, cooked WELL, that too came with a Caesar salad (which was a little runny, due to the lettuce being wet). My husband ordered the steak twice as he enjoyed it so much the first time…he ordered the other salad that was on the menu the first night, wasn’t too fussy on that and so he went with the Caesar the second night. Both nights were busy, as there were 2 wedding receptions, but the service was still good, and on time. We didn’t feel rushed. The first night we weren’t told about the buffet in which you could pick up your breads and deserts, we went up anyway, the second night we were told to help ourselves.
French Restaurant – It too was good, the service was good. My husband had the sirloin, me, the chicken which was served on a bed of rice and was stuffed with mashed potatoes, with garlic, YUMMY!! For our starters, we both had soup, I had the one that mentioned lobster and I’m not sure what he had…don’t remember, but, both meals were good.
Chinese – For our started, husband had the egg rolls which he said was good, me, I went with the fried chicken, I lost one on the floor taking it off the stick 🙁 The other one was good though LOL. We both ordered the Beef in Sweet and Sour sauce, well, the sauce wasn’t very good, very disappointing, it kind of tasted like throw up in your mouth – sorry to be disgusting but I’m being honest…the couple we went with both had the Chicken Chow Mein and both said it was VERY good, they shared some of it with us LOL. Service was good, we didn’t feel rushed and we always tipped!
Mexican – We were served with nachos prior to ordering, which was funny, because we were thinking, funny we haven’t seen any nachos yet! Viola, there they were. We all had the chicken fajitas, which were good. They had salads to select from in a buffet format. Again, service was good, we didn’t feel rushed and we always tipped.
Bars – Our evenings consisted of hanging out at the Lobby bar, both upstairs and down. Plenty of room at the bar and many seats to people watch and enjoy your drink. The service at both bars were fine, we didn’t wait long for someone to approach us to serve us…some drinks took longer to make, but that didn’t matter one bit to us…we tipped here as well. It didn’t speed up the process; it was more of a Thank You for doing a great job. We went outside to another bar that is just outside the lobby, near the gazebo…this was nice, and because there was always someone there playing music…service was good there as well. Overall service was extremely good!
Vendors – 2 of the 7 nights that we were there they had vendors set up long the walk way in between the theatre and lobby, this was convenient for us because we didn’t leave the resort, except to go on our excursion. They were pushy at times – nothing different there!
Theatre – HUGE and the chairs – very comfy. We attended the Michael Jackson show only, it was good…my husband fell asleep through it, but I thought it was good LOL.
Excursion – Saona Island – Expensive and really not worth the price, glad we did it, wouldn’t do it again. It was a 2 hr bus ride to the boats…we took a speed boat over, got dropped off at the sand bar to locate the star fish, were in the water for 10-15 mins, were served drinks, got back in the boat, over to the Island, spent roughly 2.5 hrs there, had our lunch…went in the water a bit…the beach isn’t as nice as it appears in the pics, the beach back at the resort was much nicer in my opinion. Lots of hornets I thought. We took a catamaran back that was fun…lots of drinks, fruit being served, and of course dancing!
That concluded my review – after reading some reviews on here prior to our trip, I was scared to death, but, we had a GREAT time, the staff were great, the service was good, the rooms were clean, the drinks were good, the beach and pool were amazing, the food was good – what more can you ask for…some people are just extremely picky and love to ruin it for others, you make what you want out of YOUR trip…your not in the US or Canada any more, so get over yourself and enjoy the surroundings and have a blast, cause I’m telling you, you WILL!! I would DEFINATELY go back to this resort, in a heartbeat!! 🙂