Rooms: The supersaver room that we had would likely disappoint most people. My opinion is that it was more of a 3 star level. It was clean, with sufficient storage, and had good air conditioner & ceiling fan. The curtains blocked out most daylight if you wanted to sleep in. However, the beds and furniture had seen much better days. One bed had a sag in the middle such that it was 3 inches lower than the other. Beds were twin size. The patio door was very difficult to slide. Most drawers did not work very well. I never did figure out how all the 3way light switches worked. The frig and drinking water are generally restocked about every second day. Since we do not spend much time in our room on any vacation, this accomodation was passable for us. We did sleep well.
Restaurants and Bars:
Las Arecas is the main buffet, and was excellent. The variety of food and the service are exceptional. I would rate this restaurant 4 to 5 star. La Bamba and Cocos are beach buffets that offer considerable less variety than Las Arecas, but for a snack or quick lunch when you are only wearing your swimsuit they are perfect. The is a Pizzeria, which is handy for a quick pizza for lunch, but otherwise not remarkable. An Italian restaurant is a fair hike from the hotel, which we didn’t bother with. The steakhouse offers a variety of meats such as pork, ribs, chicken and a ribeye, but that’s about it. It would be a valid choice if you wished to be served your meal instead of using a buffet. The last restaurant offers a menu that cycles between three types of cuisine: Asian, Mexican, and Caribbean. All meals are buffet, and we really liked the Mexican and Caribbean food. If you like to try different fare, then this is a good choice. By the way, I would highly recommend the coffee when the Caribbean food is offered! House wine (white, rose, or red) is available for lunch and supper.
Amazing. The two-storey apartment blocks are like living in a tropical park. The plants, palm trees, shrubs and flowers are wonderful. The walk to the beach is very short, only about 5 minutes or less. The beach is the best I have ever seen: miles and miles of white sand, clear turquoise & green water, mostly polite waves, plenty of space, and many palm trees. Walking along the shoreline is a very popular activity for many people. The two pools are good, and one includes a swim-up bar. There is a collection of "shops" about 15 minute walk south of the hotel, on the beach. This are interesting to browse, but prices are not necessarily better than in the hotel or on Caribbean street.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Activities were good. A variety of shows are offered including two Vegas type dance shows: Latin Tropical, and Dominican. Some musical offerings include Grease, and a Michael Jackson show. Variety shows usually had several couples competing against each other, all in good fun, which were ok but not what we generally prefer. They also had a "Carnaval" every Thursday night on Caribbean street with other shows, music, dancing, and shopping. A beach party features a circus type of show, which is more for kids. Most shows typically start at 9:45 pm and last 45 minutes. We took a shopping tour, which is not as much of a shopping tour as some may expect. The tour includes a cigar factory, a fruit rum factory (not a distillery), a Taino cave, and a larimar/amber museum at the Palma Real mall. We really enjoyed the tour mostly for these extras. If all you want to do is shop, I believe there is a free shuttle to the Palma Real. Other hotel activities include dance lessons (merengue, salsa, bachata: lots of fun), bingo, free non-motorized water sports (kayaks & catamarans). The staff is very good and excellent at getting audience participation.
This is a "European" hotel, which means that many ladies will never wear out their swimsuit tops. After Spanish (and Portuguese), German is probably the most common language. Other languages include English, French, Italian. Smoking is very common, which we don’t appreciate much, and it was sad to see that many used the glorious beach as an ash tray.