The hotel grounds are fabulous they are well maintained and immaculate. The rooms are very spacious even though the bavaro is classed as junior suites the dominicana rooms are only slightly smaller.
They are cleaned everyday. Leave a tip for the maid and she will top up your mini bar everyday for you.
Our disapointment was with the food. The hotel boasts that it has many a la carte restaurants but you are only allowed 2 reservations per week. when we stayed at the bavaro we were told to go in the morning and if they had any free reservations we would be allowed to eat in the ala carte restaurants. The dominicana it doesn't work like this. you walk up to the desk and before you even open your mouth they say we are full!.. when we booked the reservations that we did have they just wouldnt listen we ended up missing one of our reservations because we didn't check the ticket that they gave us. they had booked the wrong day. we tried to book somewhere nice for our wedding anniversary they just didn't seem to care. the girl seemed to want to just book any 4 dates and get rid of us. I think what frustrated me over this was, on the 3 occasions we did visit the a la carte restarants there were only about 10 people eating there at the same time as us. so they were clearly not full each night.
There are two buffet restaurants. one on the punta cana side and one on the dominicana side we tended to have breakfast in the punta cana and went to the dominicana side for dinner. The reason for this being in the punta cana restaurant you had to ask for a drink which I found really strange. the one time they did ask they asked my husband if he would like a drink because he said no he didn't ask anyone else at the table.
The domincana staff were excellent. They served you water with your meal and then asked the children what they would like.
The food!!!... There are two restaurants on the beach that served food during the day lunchtime.
One of the served every day. chicken burgers, hot dogs, nachos, cucumber tomato rice, pizza fajitas and some deserts EVERYDAY nothing changed.
The other restaurant served all of the above as well as ribs and steak EVERY DAY nothing changed.
The buffet - domincana side (punta cana side is closed) - it was really nice at lunch time the usual pizza, chips, chicken burgers. but they did have some variation it was better than the evening meals.
THe evening meals consisted of chicken, pizza chips burgers hotdogs. always had a roast(either pork,lamb,turkey, beef) but nothing special after visiting the bavaro a few years ago I found it all a bit of a let down. It has spoilt my memories of the place and I don't think I would ever waste my money and go back again.
The worst bit!.. the noise. you want screaming, shouting, banging of doors then you go to the dominicana this ranged from around 1am through to 3.10 am when everyone gets kicked out of the nightclub. and I would like to say that the guests that made all the noise were not british.
A plus! the doctor my daughter was ill for 4 days when we were there we visited the doctor cost us $295 dollars but the lady doctor was really great she helped my daughter and for 3 days after she called every day to make sure she was okay.
To sum up: I used to be an iberostar fan a big one couldn't praise the place enough after our latest visit im sorry I couldn't recommend the dominicana to anyone but I would recommend the bavaro I hope it hasn't changed since we were last there. The place is stunning, it is clean it is immaculate but if you are paying
Travel operator: Direct Holidays
Travel operator: first choice
Travel operator: First Choice
We had a good sized fridge which was refilled with beer water and soft drinks everyday which came as part of the all inclusive package. The hotel itself was spotless, someone cleaning and washing floors all day.
You couldn't fault the food, there was something for everyone I can honestly say that no-one would ever go hungry, they even had a vegetarian section.
The staff work tremendously hard, doing long hours but they always have a genuine smile on their face and are always ready to say 'Hola'and do everything to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
The only downside is that, although the entertainment team try very hard they still haven't got it quite right and they don't have any shows like traditional dancers etc, there is really nothing outside of the hotel so if like us you like to go out now and again to a bar you are stuck with the entertainment in the hotel.
Apart from that we had a perfect holiday and if you get a chance to do the helicopter ride along the coast it is definitely an experience.
The outback Safari is very good too and you get a chance to see the real Dominican Republic. Our guide Nacho was quite a character and will have you in fits of laughter all day.
I would go back again but not to this resort, we like a bit of freedom
Travel operator: First Choice
The worse thing about the holiday was the transfer from the airport 1hr 45. (2 of us upgraded to PremierGold
Travel operator: Airtours
Previously stayed at the IBS Costa Dorada in August 05 and although we would definitely go back there don't think we would return to the Dominicana.
Punta Cana airport was an experience. Quite a trek when you get off the plane in 80 degree heat but to see a thatched open airport. it was great. No problems getting through either arriving or returning. Very smooth. The porters especially on the way home were hilarious, grabbing hold of the suitcases when they are unloaded off the bus.
First impression of the Dominicana was very impressive. We had 3 rooms booked and although we had requested ground floor and adjacent rooms as we had children they couldn't accommodate these requests. Two of the three rooms were fine, one was damp and had black marks on the ceiling, walls but as we only slept in them wasn't too much of a problem. (Didn't think this was on for a 4* hotel though.)
Food was OK - we didn't think it was as good as the Costa Dorada - not so much choice. However still plenty to choose from but it is the same pretty much every day. Certainly didn't have to dress up for dinner if you didn't want to. The buffet restaurant felt more like a school canteen as it was very busy.
Maid service as ever brilliant.
Entertainment - some shows excellent others awful. Avoid "Tutti Fruiti" at all costs! However the star friends were brilliant. Made an effort to talk to you and involve you if you wanted to join in but left you alone if you weren't interested. The kids disco finished at 8.30 ish and then there was dancing where the star friends invited you to dance with them. We all enjoyed this, our teenage children, my parents in their 70's and myself and other half. This went on till 9.30 ish when it was certificate time! The show started at about 9.45 and usually over by 10.45 followed by more dancing! There was a disco that started at 11 if thats your thing and also a casino.
Everything based at the Dominicana, so those staying at the Punta Cana and Bavaro had to come over to the Dominicana. Sometimes difficult to get a chair if you arrived later than 9pm.
Fabulous beach. Sea gorgeous. Cool but so clear. Bit rough when entering but fantastic. (Better than the beach at Costa Dorada). Beach was too busy for our liking - rows of sunbeds as far as you could see. Didn't stay round the pool as it was too hot but very pretty. Lovely breeze on the beach.
Weather was fantastic for the 2 weeks we were there. Did rain a few times mostly during the night.
Drinks were better branded than at the Costa Dorada but there were no self service drinks machines on the beach and the only one in the beach snack bar closed early as they laid up the restaurant at 4 ish. Not really a problem as the beach bar stayed open all day and late into the evening.
My husband and his father had a massage on the beach 60 dollars for an hour they thought it was wonderful.
Watersports easily available. Banana boat 10 dollars a person. Kayaks, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding available from 2 points on the beach. Very well organised. Just have to watch out about 5 pm when they land the boats on the beach!
Didn't do any trips as we enjoyed the sun and the sea too much.
Unfortunately had to use the doctor, very friendly and helpful. But charged 300 dollars for an ear infection, makes you grateful for the NHS back in the England.
Mix of nationalities, but mostly Americans when we were there.
We had a relaxing holiday in pleasant surroundings but wouldn't go back - too big and busy for our liking.
Can't wait to go back to the Dom Rep but will return to the Costa Dorada next April.
Travel operator: first choice
We tried all restaurants with good reviews. Hotel staff always had a smile and were very helpful,maids kept our rooms clean and tidy every day.
Having sister hotel next door there was a good choice of entertainment. Definitely go back again. Only downfall,journey from airport (2 hours)
Travel operator: my travel
The location is great you have sister hotels on either side when we pulled up to reception everyone on the bus said wow.
All the staff are so friendly with great big smiles on their faces all the time.
Only small grumble no air con where entertainment was. The waiters and waitresses are always available to get you drinks, cocktails included.
Went on outback tour great fun worth doing.
Travel operator: AIRTOURS
The accommodation and staff we found excellent. But the daytime entertainment was not as good as we expected.
The food was nice and a good choice of different restaurants, although buffet was a bit repetative, we still managed to eat loads of it haha!!
Biggest down point for us was, after the beach bar, which closed around 6, the lounge bars had no atmosphere & a bit dull, with no music, or bar stools. So it felt a bit like you were waiting around for a bus to arrive ....
Having no sister hotels nearby, there was little other choice.... but at 11 the disco opened which was good.
Travel operator: thompsons
The beach was well laid out with plenty of canopies and beds. It was one of the highlights of the hotel.
The rooms were clean but a little cramped for 2 adults and 2 children. The bathrooms were adequate with a shower over the bath.
Maid Services was excellent with the mini bar being restocked daily. Satelite TV included Disney Channel for kids.
Breakfast and lunch buffets were very good with plenty of choices. Dinner buffet was excellent however specialty restaurants were hit and miss. Avoid Star Rock Cafe for good food although it is A/C which can be a welcomed relief I recommend you go for after dinner drinks.
The Steakhouse on the beach was very good and informal. The Oriental was just ok. We liked the buffet and did not try the others.
Daytime entertainment was excellent with plenty of variety. The evening entertainment was tedious and we spent most evenings at the beach bar drinking cocktails.
Loved the snorkeling off the beach a couple of reefs less than 10m out from shoreline.
Overall a wonderful family holiday and would whole heartily recommend it for both families and couples alike.
Travel operator: Direct Holidays
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