Old Reviews – Occidental Grand Punta Cana

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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