We were exhausted from so much fun. It only rained the day we left. Sailboats we great, 30 minutes at each turn. Available 9am to 6pm except at sailing classes at about 11am. All the staff were nice, even though we only spoke English, we had no problems.
Food: Food was great at the buffet for breakfast and lunch. The variety was very good, we have nothing but praise for this setup. Each day when we all set at our table, we would look to see what each of us picked out, we taste tested many items from each of our selections. We went to all the reservation required cafes and the Italian gets or vote as the best. 1. Italian 2. Mexican 3. Café at waters edge We did not like the Oriental, maybe our taste needs that night were just not in line with the food. Good thing about the buffet is that it was always available as a backup.
The late night pizza café was tasty too. It opens at 7pm until very late.
Room: There were no bugs to be seen, I really think they must still use DDT down there, as we did not even see any mosquitoes. I did see the guy on a scooter fogging the streets outside the hotel. Our room was well cleaned each morning, with towel swans to surprise us upon return, each day different style. The local iguana was friendly as an old house cat. Immaculate landscaping too.
So many towels each day…maybe the $2 tip we left in room was appreciated more than you think.
Drinks: Drinks at the poolside bar were nice and convenient, and you could carry drinks to your beach side lounge chair.
September must be an unpopular time, as we had no problems with finding locations on the beach, reservations, taking out the sailboats or waiting in line for most any activity.
Snorkeling: Snorkling off the beach was fantastic. Bring some bread from breakfast and see the feeding frezy underwater. If you have the need for a camera before your travel, I suggest looking into a waterproof. We bought a Fuji xp10, and it did so well above and under the water, great special effects too.
Didn’t use the room safe, put valuables in a large suitcase and locked it.
Negatives: Negatives: Pools close at 6pm. It would have been nice to see an adult only pool open to about 10pm, they probably have reasons based on past history, but the lighted pools sure look inviting after dark. I did have a little musty smell from the AC, sprayed it with Clorox that we brought with us.
The wifi was about $1 a minute as we paid for 24 hours, but it worked for only the 10 minutes while we were at front desk.
Organized crime: Organized crime: At the aeroport outside Santo Domingo, the Hertz rental car agency is the practicing scam artist at its worst. How this continues at such a name brand, and in a country that is trying very hard to end corruption? Existing damage was not listed on form as we went to pick up car, I would not sign until all was noted, and at return, they try to say there was more damage than when picked up. 1 hour to get into car after landing, and they pretended not to understand me until I asked to contact the police. There are many other rentals to chose from, at least 6, and there was another at the hotel…. More to it than this, but Hertz has lost us as a customer at all locations. Everywhere else we went, we felt safe. At most all locations for shopping, there were guards in the parking lots. As we drove around the area between Santo Domingo/Bayahide/Porta Cana we enjoyed the freedom of being in our rental car. We never felt unsafe, even at night. We did miss a few turns, but managed to get back on track. There we lots of fuel stops that took both DR $ and USA $. Driving requires being alert and is very active. The motorscooters are everywhere, and they know how to drive. Don’t feel threatened by their passing or getting in front of you at red lights. They speed off way before you will. You passing them again as you reach speed is expected. Tailgating is normal by all. It is to your advantage to have a small car to maneuver thru traffic. Yes we saw a few stray cows and goats, and your windshield will be cleaned at red lights if you are 1st or 2nd in line. I see much construction on large future highways underway, in a few years driving in DR will be vastly improved. And it looked like a few shopping centers will soon be opening.
We walked to the other resorts nearby, all seemed excellent choices.