First let me start by saying that we had booked through trip central and booked a prestige class room. The website that I looked at to book our trip indicated that we would have distinction collection inclusions. Well we did get some but not all. Here is what we did and did not get along with some additional comments.
Direct transfer between airport and hotel - both ways - yes. From the time that we landed to the time that we were in our room - it was just over an hour - quite quick - check in was speedy and simple, however we were first in line so that helped I am sure.
Free WIFI in the lobby - none - WIFI is done by a third party not the hotel - we had to pay them directly $60 US per week for one single device ONLY - we could not use the code given on a second device.
Welcome cocktail and cold towel upon arrival - none.
Designated reception area for check in - none seen but we were checked in very quickly at general reception area.
Beach towels, bathrobes and slippers in room - yes. This was a plus as beach towel service was not the best. Tried one early afternoon to get replacement towels and had to wait more than 2 hours, although told to come back in a few minutes. Had to hang around by the towel shop in order to insure I got them when they were brought over. Saw this same thing happen to to others on our last afternoon there as well - many frustrated people!!! I am thinking that the best time to exchange them is in the morning after they open (8:00 am).We decided to keep our towels and only exchanged them twice rather than get new ones. Also note that the only place to get clean beach towels is by the lobby pool and nowhere else.
Bottle of wine or local specialty in room upon arrival - yes - there was a 350 ml sized bottle of rum and a plate of fruit waiting in our room upon arrival.
Unlimited select international brand drinks - no - but this was indicated in the important information on the site that this is no longer available (or was an error in the first place). The standard white wine was not good at all, however the red wine was much better. My husband commented that the beer was good.
Minibar restocked daily - yes - included in this are two beers, 1 juice box, 2 bottles of pop, 1 small bag of chip type snacks, and 1 large (min. 1.5L) bottle of water (which you need because you cannot drink the tap water there at all). We took the bottle with us to the beach and they refilled it for us at the bar which made it for convenient rather than waiting in line all the time.
Concierge service - yes - but specified hours. This was for prestige clients for restaurant bookings mostly.
Turn down service - yes. This included fresh towels which I think was a plus, given how we spoke to others who stayed in the resort and said that they did not get fresh towels daily (or not enough of them)
A minimum of 3 guaranteed a la carte dinners per week. We arrived late at night and went first thing the next morning to book our a la carte (at the table for prestige clients) - we were given 4 for the week. Again, this was a plus, as spoke with others who did not get to book in advance for the week - just a day in advance which IMO meant that they did not get as much choice in seating if they got a spot at all. We ate in the Italian, Mexican, Brazilian, and Seafood - we enjoyed all of them, but thought that the food in the Mexican was the best, seconded by the ITalian.
Golf or spa discounts - we did not golf so cannot comment on golf discounts, but we got a 15% spa discount for a massage (again this was done for us at the concierge table for prestige clients). Husband enjoyed his massage.
Free safety deposit box - NO - this is NOT an inclusion per the hotel for prestige clients. The cost for a safety deposit box for the week is $17 US. Note that the safety deposit box is not laptop sized. The instructions for the safe were the standard ones but did not work for the safe that we had. I needed to have someone come down and show me how to use it - note that the service for this was immediate and impeccable.
There are designated buildings for the distinction collection clients and we stayed in one of these. The rooms were a good size as was the bathroom, and there were toiletries provided (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, comb, soaps) There was a makeup mirror with magnification on one side, and a decent hairdryer was provided. Sufficient counter space as well. There was a rainforest shower head in the bathtub/shower, but if you are over 6', you will have trouble standing underneath it without bending. We had good water pressure and hot water. Although we had a coffee maker in the room, there was never any creamer provided. When we asked, we were told that we had to get milk/creamer from the restaurant. We kept forgetting to get some and just ended up drinking our morning coffee without creamer/milk.
Our air conditioning worked almost too well - we could not adjust the temperature and so after being cold for a couple of nights, decided to turn it off at night (same for the fan). I would suggest that you ask for blankets (there is only a sheet and a very thin bedspread). We were not the only people who had this issue. Bed was ok for comfort. Balcony was great - we had requested a quiet room on the second floor with a king sized bed. We were put on the third floor at one end of the building. We were happy with our room. Maids were very nice and friendly! Room was adequately clean. There are no facecloths which is typical in the Dominican.
Beach - was lovely with plenty of areas to get lots of sunshine and plenty of areas under trees to get shade. Sand is light brown, but fine and kept clean regularly by staff. Plenty of area for swimming and can snorkel just off beach especially in front of next resort, where there are more reefs. Beach in front of our hotel was nicer for swimming IMHO.
Quite a few locals selling stuff on the beach, but we had no trouble saying a firm, kind "No, gracias" and they left us alone. If you are hesitant, they might see that as an opening. Can walk along the beach in both directions, we felt safe doing so alone during the day. We like beach volleyball, and fortunately brought our own ball. Although resort has a decent volleyball, the organization of beach volleyball was only seen 3 times at most while we were there.
Food - we have been to the DR at least 7 times, but usually in Punta Cana, never before in Puerto Plata. This resort ranked similar to a 4* resort in Punta Cana. Food was good quality, had sufficient variety, and there was plenty of it. Buffet at beach was good as well, with more variety than I have seen at some resort beach buffets. Beach bar often had a line up, but that was more of a staff shortage issue than anything else. Good variety of choices for a la carte restaurants.
Beach chairs - we spent almost all of our time on the beach, and because we went early never had an issue finding a chair there. If you arrived at the beach later than 10:30 am, you might have a problem finding a chair. We spent our last afternoon by the lobby pool and had no problem finding a chair there at that time.
Pools and pool areas were very clean.
Resort grounds and gardens were very well kept.
- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Puerto Plata Hotel Puerto Plata
- Barcelo Puerto Plata Hotel
- Puerto Plata Barcelo
- Grand Flamenco
- Occidental Grand Puerto Plata
- Occidental Grand Flamenco
- Occidental Grand Flamenco Puerto Plata
- Grand Puerto Plata
- Flamenco Occidental
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