Went to the reception gave our name and was given a key and room number room 10317 wasn’t told where it was, had to ask and was sent the wrong way (great) after walking round for 15mins found another member of staff who pointed us in the other direction great found our room (no thanks to reception). I had to go to reception to get the safe key and we went straight out for some food as it was about tea time.
As we walked around to the buffet we noticed that the pool that should have contained the resident flamingos was empty, we ate and went to the room for an early night. I got to the room and got into bed (more like the North Sea) this bed was the worst bed I have ever had the misfortune of sleeping in. I thought I’m going to sleep, ill report it in the morning managed about 2 hours all night (bed was great).
Next morning I told the maid about the problem she said no problem, and we went to the welcome meeting to see our rep Monika. She did the welcome meeting and we asked where the flamingos are? She didn’t know anything about them or why the pool was empty at this point. We left the meeting and went to the beach. On the beach there was no brollies or cover they had been removed and people were having to use beds stood on their ends for cover (very nice like the pictures in the book, not).we thought we will see the rep in a few days to book a few trips as i was going scuba diving.
On the Sunday morning as I was going to breakfast there was a couple of painters, painting the floors. By dinner there was a total team painting floors all over the complex everywhere you went painting. After finding a route to the buffet (was like being in a maze),we had dinner and went back to the beach. I thought I’ll call and get a drink on the way on to the beach think again they had painted around the whole pool and bar (no drink). I went to the toilet and as I walked there I walked over a section of path to my horror I was on freshly painted floor and burnt my feet very badly (what kind of idiot paints a floor in the height of the sun and doesn’t seal the area of) I jumped on to the sand in severe pain and looked closely at the floor to see it was bubbling it was that hot.
By early evening my feet were in agony walking on them was very painful. Next morning we went to see the rep and told her I showed her my feet with the paint burnt into them and asked why are they painting the floors she told us they do all the maintenance this time of year(why were we sent here during this period?). I said where are the brollies on the beach she replied there wasn’t enough so they took all of them down (didn’t make no sense at all). Her advice on the painted floors was don’t stand on them (strange I would never have thought of that) I came to the conclusion that she wasn’t bothered so left my partner to sort out the trip (best part of the holiday).
The next day my partner had a bad stomach and the following day I was the same we asked about and we were not alone, asked one of the staff in the buffet and he told me the food was bad (great it was getting better by the day).
The following day they started to seal all the floors(with a lacquer) they had painted the fumes were shocking I got constant headaches while this was going on. I managed 2 dives while I was there had 20 planned this was because of the pain in my feet and bad stomach and constant headaches.
As our first week came to an end we were fed up the entertainment was the same each night and you could set your watch to the songs. But then one night came and there was a big fuss around the reception all dancers in the reception I asked what was going on and was told the Canadians are coming (must have done our big reception before we got there, not). We sat there as over 300 18-21 year olds poured into the hotel some even younger.
The next day they were all over the complex drunk shouting blocking up the bars. Come the evening and it was worse, was like Ibiza they put a big show on that night in reception which was American themed and the bar was solid you couldn’t get served after waiting around 30 mins for a drink we went to our room. We went to sleep on our lovely bed which was never sorted and at 3am we were woke to a group of kids shouting and screaming till around 5am this happened every night till we left despite complaining.
So what with whole place being in maintenance, me burning my feet, the bad food, and the surprise 18-30 club it was the worst holiday I have ever been on the trip home couldn’t come quick enough.
I would like to say this place is nothing like it states in the book the rep even admitted that the English season is set out for maintenance there. We was also told that had we come two weeks before the whole roof was off the reception and main bar.
If we had been told this we would not have gone. For us this was a total waste of money. The place has gone right downhill. This place is nothing like advertised and that’s being kind.
I summed it up as a total waste of our money and time.
I have never made a complaint about a holiday before as normally the good bits turn up and the bad memories are forgotten but in this case the only good bits about the holiday were what we had to pay extra for (trips, food and drink)the rest was poor very poor.
As a person who takes a minimum of two holidays per year. Plus scuba holidays this was the worst holiday I have ever been on in 20 years.
Travel operator: thomas cook
the gala meal christmas eve was a disaster turkey meat was red - raw the chef laughed when we said no thanks as it was uncooked.
The hotel was not overly clean although the staff did try if you mentioned it.
If it rained in the evening there was nowhere for entertainment to take place as it was all outdoors so it was just back to your room.
I would never go back to this hotel but would go back to dominican as we have enjoyed other hotels in the past/
I did have to visit the resort doctor because of gastro entiritis-who blamed the weather for causing this.
Travel operator: first choice
Trips were rather expensive if purchased of the reps but you could buy them of the beach although we didn;t we know people who did and they didn.t have any problems
The food was good with a wide variety of things to eat although the best time to go in is 7.30 the food seemed to be warmer then. Chips are available at lunch times but not in the evenings so if you want burger and chips eat at lunchtimes.
The rooms are cleaned daily and are done well with the mini bar being replemised everytime.
Overall a great hotel.
Travel operator: Going Places
The food is fantastic with lots of choice. We are avid travellers and think the food in this hotel was superb. The grounds are beautiful and so is the beach.
The only thing that we were disappointed with was the evening entertainment which starts quite late for children. We made lots of friends and spent the evenings in the reception area.
I would also just like to add that the rep from manatee park was very pushy and we learnt that several dolphins at the park have died due to being kept in an inadequate tank so we refused to go there. The rep became very rude when we questioned him about this.
Beautiful Hotel, my kids aged 14/8/10/3 loved it.
Travel operator: First Choice
The hotel is wonderful. We stayed in the standard rooms which were quite adequate with plenty of room, 2 large double beds. They were a little bit "tired" and could have done with a lick of paint. There was a slight musty smell in one room, mostly noticeable if the air-con had been off for any length of time, but given the humidity I suppose it’s not surprising!
The hotel is set in fabulous grounds. One tour operator (not ours) described it as having a jungle feel and they are right! All the buildings blend into the background, flamingos and peacocks wander around the lake, and soft music piped throughout the grounds, it has a very tranquil, relaxing feel.
2 pools, a relaxing pool by the spa, and main pool with children section and swim up bar. Both very clean.
The beach is out of this world. Clear blue water, calm and soft warm white sand. Plenty of loungers and shades available, no having to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve them! We did walk further down the beach past the area reserved for this hotel and found it wasn’t so clean.
The hotel staff are very warm friendly people. I've heard other people complain that if you speak Spanish you get better service, but when Spanish is their national language then communication is easier but most of the staff have basic English and sometimes schooldays French was recalled!
We got by with the food. I wouldn’t say it was wonderful but no problems with it. Teenagers complained of no chips in the evening! But chips were available in the restaurant lunchtime and on the beach snack bar, but the food tended to be cold from there.
The hotel is described by First Choice as 24 hr all-inc. The drinks stop at 2am in the disco (the late bar) and the only food available once the main restaurant closes is the pizzeria, which does only serve pizza.
The rooms have fridges re-stocked daily with water, Pepsi and 7up. No beer as in some hotels. Five a la carte restaurants - Mexican, Brazilian, Spanish, Italian and Seafood. There was a charge to eat at the seafood ($40pp) and the Spanish (not sure of price) but the others were free.
The activities available in the hotel were amazing. If you don’t want to just laze around the pool or beach then there is always something to do. In the evening the children’s show would start about 9pm (lots of people complained this was a bit late for them) and the adult show at 10. These were the only evening entertainment though.
There is one shop in the complex. Quite pricey but sold everything! From sweets & chocolate, drinks, cigarettes, toiletries, medicines, sunglasses, clothes, souvenirs, postcards and jewellery. But on a Friday night local traders are allowed into the hotel and set up stalls selling their goods. The place takes on the atmosphere of an out-door market. But remember to barter - we were told offer a third of what they originally ask and go from there! Good fun.
The only down side to the holiday was my mum being ill. And she wasn’t the only one. There was a very bad stomach bug doing the rounds. I'm not talking 24 hr holiday tum here. This started on the 3rd day, and while writing this we've been home 2 weeks and she still has it. There were not a lot of British holidaymakers there but every group we spoke to were affected by it. One group had gone as a party of 28, and 24 of them had it. Many people had to have treatment from the hotel doctor (remember you have to pay up front and claim back on your insurance after returning home) and some were even referred to hospital because of it. At first our rep and the hotel were denying there was any sort of problem but as things got worse they couldn’t deny it any more. We were told that it wasn’t just isolated to our hotel so the assumption was that it was a virus in the area.
Illness aside, it was a wonderful holiday and I wouldn't hesitate to go back to this hotel again.
Travel operator: First Choice
The Hotel was fairly nice and clean and we had a lovely seaview room near the beach - got a fruit platter and rum to our room once a week.
We didn't like the area itself too much as there was not much to do in the evenings at all (so we stayed in and watched TV most nights!) and you could not possibly go out of the complex at night time. There were also loads of pot-holes.
The maid service left a lot to be desired! We had to persistently chase for towels most days of the 2 weeks we were there and most of the staff at the hotel could not speak English which made things very difficult.
There was loads of seaweed on the beach each day which was cleared up about 7 a.m. by staff but it all soon came back by lunch time and was not a joy to swim amongst in the sea. :-(
Also, the "Entertainment Team" played the same records every single darn day for the entire 2 weeks and very loud music on the beach so we couldn't even sunbathe in peace.
All was well the first few days until I came down with bad D&V and hot sweats. This started about 3 days after arrival and continues now, 7 weeks after we have come back. Make sure you pack some Imodium whoever reads this .... you'll need it but the bucket load! The food was luke-warm most days, even when they had just brought it out at 6:30 p.m. - not very nice and there wasn't a lot of choice either.
We travelled to some places on the island but thought Bavaro was such a long way from nowhere and the excursions were incredibly expensive - over
Travel operator: Airtours
Special restaurants were poor except for the Brazilian which at first seems poor but wait until they bring the meats around.
Rooms adequate & cleaned daily.
Beautiful tropical grounds with flamingos, ducks & peacocks & lakes & fountains
Entertainment staff were enthusiastic & nightly shows were excellent.
Scuba diving not very good for competent divers & not very reliable.
Reception staff were unhelpful& rude. Seem to get better treatment if you are young ladies &/or speak Spanish!!
Travel operator: first choice
We arrived at the Airport after a long but comfortable flight (Excellant Movies for the Teenagers!) The Airport at Punta Cana is small and compact but also very efficient at getting you moved on quickly!
We were on the coach 1/2 hour after departing the Plane.
The Journey by coach to the hotel was relatively quick (20 mins) and we dropped off at 2 other hotels!
First impressions of the hotel was Wow this looks good! The check-in was also quick and efficient and we were in our air conditioned room within 45 mins of arrival.
The bags were delivered to the room within the hour (Dominican Time)
The rooms where clean when we arrived, albeit our rom had a slightly damp aroma, which never really went away. The hot water wasn't working but once the staff were notified it was put right immediately.
The maid was in daily and filled the Fridge in the room with Water, 7 up and Pepsi. Very refreshing after a day on the beach. Cable TV in all rooms gave a good variety.
The food in the Buffets was good, but the Ala Carte Menus in the 5 restaruants was even better. (We found the Mexican to be the best!)
The location is Idyllic on the Atalantic coast with a Beach to die for! The security is very god and we weren't bothered at all by beach Vendors.
Activities are great Scuba Diving a special treat for us! We ghad the Free session in the pool and then signed up for a day course and went out diving on the reef. (Again a real wow)
The one draw back was that Liz, my wife, found that some of the staff would prioritise men over women when serving at the bar. Apart from that we found the staff to be pleasent and helpful.
The swim up bar was occaisionally crowded and got a bit raucous at times. The entertainment was typical of in-house stuff, we didn't watch much. But they tried their hardest.
Great for tenagers, our 2 aged 13 + 16 had a whale of a time and didn't have any problems at all. There was a huge mix of people from Europeans, Americans, Canadians, South Americans and Costa/Puerto Ricans again this added imensly to our holiday.
We are sold on the caribbean and are loking to try another Island next year!
Travel operator: First Choice
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