this was booked from jaunt.ca, for a bit under $800 per person, double occupancy...this price dropped last minute to under $700 a person all in, but oh well.
this is a great all inclusive for a great value -- this is not a 5* hotel. but it is clean enough, you will food find to eat, there is always beer to drink, and the beach is right there in front of you.
check in - quick drive from the airport. quick check in but i made sure to be front of the line. they are not super friendly and welcoming, they just check you in and get the job done. rented a safe for $20USD.
rooms - bed is comfy, room is just the basics, a/c worked very very well. balcony door locked, quiet room. showers no problem, lots of hot water every day. toilets were great too. was worried with all the room complaints -- but we had no major issues at all. tv did not turn on one day, but went to front desk, they fixed this immediately and left a remote control (no remote control unless you ask). only minor complaints -- dusty closet shutters and lights, alarm clock was not working, one of the lamps was not working, very lumpy pillows (they should get new ones). but you'll be fine. one room key per room. you will get a big bottle of water and pop in your fridge, no beer.
pool - coooooold. clean but cold. not sure if they can control the heating...but it was too cold! spent most of the time at the beach instead.
entertainment - they work hard but they are amateur. do not expect anything super entertaining. you get 1 hour of free internet a week.
buffet - the staff work very hard and are very busy, there is something for everyone on the menu. not amazing food, but not super terrible like other reviews say. i am not an adventurous eater, so there was always carrots, broccoli, rice, pasta, that i could eat. the fresher breads are good. the men who cleaned up the plates & filled the water were very friendly as well and smiling. i was the most worried about all the food complaints on tripadvisor, but i had no issues.
snack playa - service here is great. prompt, always welcoming you and offering you drinks quickly. luis was always there and efficient to everyone and anyone.
a la cartes - they are nothing special, i preferred the buffet. big portions at edens. i did not like michelangelo (italian) at all. policy is men need to wear pants. they sent my bf back because he was wearing cargo shorts with a rolled up button up shirt. he went back to change into jeans...which was much less formal looking. service did not feel too welcoming or anything special. but the cake was good.
bars - thank you hugo & sandy, bartenders are always friendly
beach - yes, the sellers are there, give a firm no gracias and they will leave you alone. beach is RIGHT THERE, you pretty much eat on the beach for lunch. walk along the whole thing, it's much nicer/not rocky in the part outside of gran ventana & another resort to the right. to the left gets a bit murkier/dirtier but so does the far right of the beach too. this is not a white sand beach with turquoise waters.
monkey jungle & ziplining excursion - highly recommend this! booked tours through james at the playa dorada complex (search tripadvisor). was a bit sketched out at how dead this plaza was when we went on a cloudy day, but do not worry, it's safe and friendly. TOURS BY JAMES was very reliable for both tours booked and I HIGHLY recommend using him -- might be like 15min past pick up time but they are on dominican time :) MUCH cheaper than what the hotel offered the same excursions for.
set your expectations for a 4* and you will be happy. if you are a person who really needs a high level of customer service (wait staff carrying your plates to your table, prompt service, constant friendly greetings by all staff, beach drink service, pool drink service, 24 hour food, top shelf alcohol,lots of a la cartes and great food, room service, unlimited fluffy towels), then I would recommend going to a higher star resort.
if you want friendly service, beer, sun, beach, clean no frills room, this place is great!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.