Old Reviews – Ocean Blue and Sand

Arrival – Just returned from a one week stay at this resort on Saturday, Jan 26. On departure, our flight was delayed from Pearson Airport by 4 hours. Skyservice plane seating was very very cramped but the booze was free, we watched the bourne ultimatum. The "meal" was a turkey sandwich. We arrived in Punta Cana at 1:15am. Lovely air conditioned bus. On the drive to the resort you will see that this is a third world country, there is a lot of garbage lining the streets. A real eye opener, to make you appreciate the luxury of the resort and back home too. Arrived at Resort at 3am. Check in was fine.

Rooms – We stayed in villa 2, on the ground floor. Room was nice, two beds (comfy), couch, had a hard time locating the fridge (inside cupboards lol)! Bathroom shower stall had a half a glass door so water went everywhere. Marble bathroom, was quite lovely. Had a jacuzzi tub (took an hour and a half to fill!) and a balcony overlooking the grounds. Bring a travel alarm clock because the wake up calls didn’t seem to come through. Be sure to keep your money, jewellery, and things of value in the safe – one lady in our group got a necklace stolen from her room. We tipped a dollar per day plus a little gift for the housekeeper. Leave tips/gifts on the pillow for the maid to take it, they won’t take gifts that are placed anywhere else.

Restaurants – The buffet "La Torenga" was awesome – HUGE – lots of selection and very good food. A vegetarian in our group was very pleased as well. They have a "diet" section too. Table service was great. We were with a group of 26 and it was never too much trouble to put the tables together for us. We ate at the Italian a la carte restaurant and had chicken – there were only about ten things to choose from on the menu. The chicken was awesome. Appetizer bar was great. House wine is included (popular with our group), but you pay for wine from the wine list.

Bars – Lots of bars to choose from! My favourite was the swim up bar. Try the Sammy Sosa or Miami Vice – mmmm. Sports bar is open til 6am. We tipped about 3 dollars per night and the service was really good. At one fo the bars, we got there and the bartender was "back in 15 minutes" – guests were behind the bar making their own drinks – you wouldn’t see that in Canada!

Beach and Pools – There are two pools – yellow and blue – because the resort wasn’t too full, the blue pool was the only one open. The pool was very nice. The beach was awesome. Easy to find a shady place to sit. Coming down the beach on the left side, there was about 30 vendors’ huts. So shopping is close. The vendors won’t bother you when you’re relaxing on the beach.

Grounds – Beautiful, well kept, always staff working at sweeping/scrubbing/cutting vegetation/etc.. Beautiful flamingos. Some of the walkways are uneven, one of the guests in our group stumbled and broke her arm. Watch your step at all times! The concrete is slippery after the rain.

Activities – Animation staff was excellent! Aerobics, dancing, activities in the pool, drinking competitions, every day. There’s a nice broadway show type theatre, we saw "Chicago" and "CopaCobana". Lots of fun. The animation staff did a great job and keeping the guests pumped up and having fun. Especially at the disco. What a great job.

Tours – Took the " Outback Jungle Safari " tour with "Monchy" as our guide – he was graet – very funny and knowledgeable. If you book with them, ask for Monchy, he won’t let you down! We saw a typical Dominican Republic house, a school (where we were able to drop off gifts/school supplies-bring balloons!!), we learned about cocoa, sugarcane, coffee, etc. Was very interesting. On the way there, we saw where they dry out the coffee beans, with the men standing on the beans spreading them out – kind of funny to think they’re standing on your coffee!

Went boogie boarding on a secluded beach where the Carribean meets the Atlantic – the colours of the water were spectacular. We went on the Santo Domingo tour – the Capital of the Dominican Republic – was a four and a half hour drive from the resort. We stopped in La Romana on the way for "toilets" at a gift shop – by toilets I mean holes in the ground. The tour guide was awful, we couldn’t seem to understand any of the languages she was trying to speak (English, Spanish and French – we are fluent in English and French). The history and culture of the city was interesting – be prepared to walk though! Eat before you go because there is no breakfast and lunch is at 2pm. Would I recommend this tour? For a history buff, yes. For a 20-something party animal, no.

Conclusion – In conclusion, I recommend this resort to anybody, real friendly staff, always with an "hola" for you. I would go back in a heartbeat!!

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