Travel operator: thomas cook
We stayed her for two weeks 10th of june - 24th june 2009 leanne 29 and rob 26 years
The staff are very friendly always eager and on hand to help not all can speak english that well but you will find a few who can, but they still do their best.
also you must pay a tax to enter the country of $10 each and when leaving $20.00 dollars each so make sure save some money for the return trip your deposit for your deposit box will cover most of it.
On arriving checking in found it very quick you do however as most places have to pay deposit for safe in room untill end of holiday which is advisable just for safe measure but i must admit left our bags on the beach and pool on their own with no problems. They also have dancers which perform for you with a drink while you check in hospitality is at its best here.
The tropical side are suites which comprises of living room basic ,a bathroom and large double bedroom and air con advisable at night to shut door to bedroom for best use of the air con, Mosquitos there are alot there if you suffer with getting bit you will def get bit here. doctor advised a 95% deet in the repellent and as we usually get bit we only got bit when didnt use it. The maids are great they keep everything clean and bathroom looks lovelly ( you will have to see !surprise) can tip if you wish
leave by television. A bonus here alot of american channels great movies.
You can also upgrade such as the main disco is not included in the all inclusive package so if you pay $5 dollars each a day for the rest of your stay though,cant just do for one night you will get another band and free drinks in disco as drinks in disco are $5 dollars each and you drink 5 then you can see the saving. there are many other extra packages the one we did for the last four days as a treat to ourselves as had some money left over we moved to the cocotal part of the building to a suite with jacuzzi free top up of booze in room a romantic meal for one of the nights a lobster meal on the beach it was beautiful and watch the sun set the waiters were on us hand and foot a brilliant.free laundry which is expensive, free room service which on them dodgey days of booze night before last thing want to do is fave people downstairs in canteen. there are many others but no first hand experience. there is also a presidential suite which im hoping to have for wedding next year. there are upgrades frp
Money is another thing we decided to get pasos which is their money for the dominican but everything over there is done in dollars so better to get dollars. Also make sure you barter with the locals for jewellery pictures anything trust me they tripple everything epecially if english lol
FOOD AND DRINK
Food at the hotel is fantastic such a wide range of food to suit everyone healthy to greasy lol will find something to suit everyone.
you may suffer with a bit of loose stools but its probably to do with the change of food we had that but no stomach ache. would not drink to much coconut or pineapple drinks not if heavy drinking anyway as water infections and they a natural laxative lol. the reps told us at meeting possible if get a bad stomach it might be to do with dehydration when was the time you suffered with stomach pain from that seemed to me they said it to cover themselves.
Also they may tell you not to go with locals for excursions as they have no insurance this is not true and some of the best excursions i have been on have not been with the reps and the reps are more costly.
If you go down by the pool there is francis who always wheres a horse t shirt if try to lower price he will can haggle a little.
Im an excursion queen first thing i do when get to hotel is find out reps deals and if locals are safe then theirs. i can assure you that they are.
the definite musts of the holiday if cant afford to do it all is 1/$40 each Catilina island which if you like snorkeling and getting a real feel for marine life this is an amazing place to do this did not realise how many colour fish had teeth but dont break skin lol such an array of fish i had never seen before or colours make sure take bread rolls from canteen stuff them in bag dont let them see as they dont like you taking food out of canteen. more the better the people that did not do this saw less and if diving make sure take bread as they do not supply it as a rule and you will find you wont see as many fish. It was like paradise underwater. 2/ speedboats $110 betweenus half a day but what a day. racing across the coastline for sometime then tie the boats up in open water and snorkeling which they provide and went with thomas cook and the locals did this trip twice. the best one was the locals with francis (horse t shirt BY POOL) as they had more one on one time for you took me and partner we held starfish felt coral held and saw other strange creatures that never seen before. amazing!! take bread !! arrive by coach well lorries with no windows lol litterally like the lilt advert open top bus. cool breeze though!!. 3/ the ultimate experience has to be swimming with dolphins a 1/2 day trip and something worth paying for approx $180 dollars but worth every penny thats for both of us. thing to be wary of the tour operators say that wwf does not agree with the locals we have large penns out at sea but would prefer you to spend an extra $300 dollars each to fly to ocean world- it maybe me but what is the difference from an animal trapped in concrete in ocean world to being a penn in the sea? where is the dividing line?? you also get to snorkel with rays and vegetarian sharks huge these are! BIGGEST FISH I HAVE SEEN! 4/ Be weary of the buggy and quad trips there are different ones as reps dont usually do these trips as too many injuries but i can assure you the one i went on cost $120 for two of us and we drove to the beach stopped off at beach and drove back and spent most of the time in a que no fun what so ever. 5/ alot of people said the megatrucks were good who went on but we did not do that excursion. there is also only one shopping trip and thats available on a tuesday with thomas cook. 6/ swimming and snorkeling with rays and sharks with thomas cook also very good but remember if on budget go to the locals.
WHAT TO DO
there are so many activities to do as excursions i have not named all. we found ourselves as usually party people stay awake at night sleep all we wanted to be awake in the day not to miss a day and some nights be in bed by eight from the activities of the day. This hotel is what you make it you can just laze in the sun or you can get involved with the games they have running at different parts of day or mad for it excursions like me.
this has a small swim up bar with approx four stools but the pool is the largest pool i have ever seen all different depths and even the tallest of you will be happy you cant touch the floor in some parts upto 7ft7 in places. Its kept very clean with loads of sun loungers and the beach right next to it.
the carribbean has to be the place for its puriest fine grain sand and light blue oceans with a tropical breeze and you can feel the satin beneath your feet as you walk amongst the tall shaded palm trees you even have waiters sometimes pass and they will get you a drink while you watch the world go by and catch up on your tan, very hot out there so becareful so many people had been burnt the first day looked like lobsters!!!
SPA & CASINO
The spa offers a gym and massage treatments rangeing from $25.00 upwards but massages are brilliant if been for a two hour gallop on horse back which i absolutely loved then need it for the aches and pains. The jacuzzi was luke warm not as hot as we have here and the long bath had many jets but it was freezing i suppose as its always hot out there they prefer it but again excellent service and lovelly staff they may have had other amenities but this is just what i experienced.
The casino quite a small one but none the less still two roulette tables and black jack and poker the usual and to be served by a waitress as you play without having to get up. about fifteen bandits. you only get free drinks in the casino in your all inclusive if you play the table and machines.
we missed most of the evenings from being to tired from the day but they did have childrens stage shows on about 7pm and then the older entertainment from 9.30 which would include spanish dancing one night then mama mia grease and hypnotists all sorts for the whole family. thomas cook quiz night.
Travel operator: thomas cook
Travel operator: thomas cook
Arrival at hotel was great, greeted with a refreshing cocktail which is much appreciated after the hour drive from Punta Cana airport.
Rooms were great size, we had 2 rooms next to each other on Tropical side, although I'm not sure what the difference is with the Cocktail side.
The grounds are lovely, always see staff looking after the gardens etc. The pool was a great size, with different depths which was good.
Hotel is right on the beach which is a lovely beach, the sea can get a bit rough but that's because it's part Atlantic part Caribbean sea.
There are 2 main buffet restaurants and a selection of a la carte ones, we managed to get into 4 of them and they were all great!
Entertainment at night is OK, we would go to the shows which lasted until about 10.30 and then would go to the lobby bar for a few drinks, there is a disco and a casino but we didn't go to either so not sure what they are like but I know the drinks in the disco aren't included in the all inclusive package.
We just did the one trip out to the Isla Saona which was absolutely beautiful, just how you imagine a Caribbean beach to look - pure white sand and crystal clear waters. It does get quite busy with other tourists but we were lucky enough to be the first there so we got to see it before all the crowds arrived.
All in all a great holiday, just what we were after, sun and relaxation! Our rep thought it was strange that 4 girls in their 20's were there but we loved it!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
When we arrived at the hotel, we were amazed yet again. We were greeted by the friendly staff who gave us cards to our room and towel card, then they had a porter man to bring our suitcases to our room so we didn
Travel operator: thomas cook
Firstly you need to remember that this is a third world country with a tropical climate and the native language is Spanish. With a tropical climate comes tropical inserts and wildlife. It does not hurt to learn a few simple Spanish words/phrases such as
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Hotel was beautiful and so clean and well maintained.
The beach was amazing, sea warm, pool clean and tidy.
Restaurants clean and food delicious.
We went for one week and ate in a different restaurant every night - Mexican, Italian, Seafood, Chinese, French (Creperie), Steakhouse and the buffet. There was an extra charge for the Gourmet ($25 pp) but with the restaurants being so good there was no need to even try it.
Cocktails were excellant - try the Sirenis Special - really good. Girls loved the milkshakes.
The entertainment was very professional and we especially loved the "Grease" show. The entertainment staff were really nice and didn't bother you if you said no. I thought there may be a few probs with having two pretty blonde girls 18 and 16 years old but the staff were very professional and didn't letch!!!
The rooms were spacious and very clean ,we were in block B, fridge restocked with soft drinks and water daily, extra water available at any bar foc.
We girls all had massages - $25 for a half hour relaxation massage - which were excellant (the best I have ever had)and I'm sure my celullite looked better after, wish I had this on the first day not the last!
Transfer was by private minibus and took about 50mins on their hairy,scary roads but definitely worth the journey once you got there.
Anyway our third time in Dom Rep and it just keeps getting better, when can we go again!!!
If I was you I would book now.
Travel operator: Thomson
The entertainment team work very, very hard to keep everyone entertained and to be fair the entertainment is of a good standard.
The hotel is clean although there is a problem in some of the restaurants with keeping flies off the food.
All the staff work very hard and go out of their way to help you out.
The only problem with this hotel is the food, if you are going as part of an all-inclusive, it is a big part. The food options become very repetitive and boring. There is not a great choice of a childrens menu despite the fact that this holiday caters for "families" and 8 of the 14 days we were there we spent on the toilet!
The food lets this hotel down in a big way. Yes, I know it is a third world country, and you expect the food to be a bit iffy, but the prices you pay, you would expect better.
Travel operator: First Choice
We up-graded our flight with First Choice and found this service to be excellent - the extra leg room and in-flight entertainment meant that it didn't seem quite as long as the other times we have flown to the Carribean.
The hotel was a lot larger than we have previously stayed but this meant that our 17 year old son had plenty to entertain him throughout the 2 weeks. Although the hotel is named as 2 they both operate as one and if you need anything then just ask at the desk that happens to be open and they will try and accomodate you.
The rooms were basic but clean. If you tip the maid early on you will get the fridge re-stocked with more drinks than without tipping. Fresh linen was changed on a daily basis.
The pool - in one word massive!! The sun bed fiasco that we were expecting actually wasn't a problem! We would arrive at the pool at about 9:30 - 10:00am and would always find sunbeds and shade. The shade may not have always been the parasols (which there are too few of) but the palm trees provide adequate cover from the sun. Just as we were leaving last week the resort had a new supply of sunbeds delivered so there shouldn't be a problem. We were told that if you tip the towel guys they will reserve you a parasol and sunbeds in the place where you want them - didn't try it!
The food was good - didn't try the themed restaurants as we were given mixed reports by some of the fellow guests so we stuck to the buffet, which was good. Plenty of choice and if you really get stuck then they will try and provide something! No probs at all.
The beach - glorious but it could do with a bit of a clean up due to inconsiderate holiday makers throwing their litter, cigarette ends etc away on the sand instead of using the multitude of bins provided. The coral is great for snorkelling with a plentiful supply of fish!
Trips - Swam with the sharks! Carribean festival - was a little bit dissapointed with the length of time you are on the boat, the long journey to the place and the fact that the boat didn't venture off the beaches reef, but in saying that the experience with being close by to the sharks more than made up for it. Don't expect the sharks to be little, and ask one of the guides to do your photos for you - ours have come out really well.
Did the Jungle safari trip - good day out. Visited homes, schools, did boogie boarding and alot of drinking!! The guide was really funny and very informative about the local culture etc and he made the day for a lot of us!
The added bonus with this trip is that some of your money will be helping support the communities in need.
Would we go back - Yes if we were taking children, but now that this was the last holiday with them, then sandals - couples only holidays will be the order of the day!!!!!!
To anyone who is thinking of booking - go ahead you'll enjoy it and don't take too much notice of the iffy reports cos you'll find they are mostly written by Canadians and Americans (no other comment!)
Travel operator: First Choice
Our room was in H block which was ok it was cleaned every day the norm not matter where you go leave the maid a tip they are worth it and work very hard and you might get a gift left with you towels. Hotel isn't self was very clean even the beach was sweep!
The hotel is a little out the way you can take a 20 min walk if its not to hot to the main gates! (so you can tell is a very large hotel) and walk another 15 mins to some shops which are not that good buts it's a nice walk out.
We found the staff nice! but they were nicer if you gave the bar staff a $5 or $10 tip! but you should not have to do that to get severed when your all inclusive! Otherwise they just sever someone with a $ in the hand me and the husband worked it out they must be earning some tip money would tip a busy barman at home to get a pint! If so do so! The bars do get busy they entertainment was good just one down side the night time show does not start till 10ish which is a little late we thought when you have to get up at silly a clock to get a sunbed down on the beach or round the pools!
Take a t-shirt and a bag down they with you to leave otherwise you might find that your hotel towels has been taken off and put on the floor to make room for someone else!
Watch out for the little bugs on the beach and the night time bugs that bite. Take a jar of Marmite and start to take a spoon a day a week before you go. I only got a few but they were lots of folks that got loads if you do not like the stuff get vitamin B or yeast extract which is the same and have heard it work's.
I would go back to the hotel
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
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