I must admit I was a bit obsessive when it came to reading reviews of this resort prior to leaving. W stayed feb 21-28 2013. And booked a superior gardenview room. I emailed the resort two weeks before leaving and requested a oceanview and name dropped TA, as I noticed they have been replying to only positive reviews for the most part. This review may get long but Ill give an honest review of the resort, and my experience as well as others.
TLDR; just message me any question you may have
When we arrived we noticed an older(70s area) lady who was having an issue with the front desk, she had booked a superior gardenview, and was given a 4th floor "upgraded" two bedroom, since she was on vacation with her husband who also had replacement knees, she was very upset at the amount of stairs, as well as the spiral staircase he had to climb. The man at the desk was nice enough to her saying he was unable to help, at first I thought this was normal and not the hotels fault.... We were lucky ( or the TA name drop ) and were upgraded to a ground floor suite.
We arrived to a minor flood in our bathroom, the toilet was leaking from the handle... It was almost midnight, but they did send someone out right away to fix the issue. Our tv was listed as a LCD flatscreen however we had an older 27" tube, we needed to return to the front desk as the remote didnt work.( no worries didnt kill my vacation,but was a sign of things to come) they give you a single key, to prevent running the AC all day which is fine, but for people in groups it becomes a large hassle. Our room was not secure even tho we didn't have any issues with theft etc. the pins to secure the sliding door was drilled to the outside and you could easily open the door with a small twig or something ( we found this out after the siding door locked behind us on the balcony. The room was average clean, we did get sheets with very noticeable stains the one day I forgot to leave a tip. The sofa was dark brown with some questionable looking stains, but I didn't use it and we don't spend much time in the room anyway. We got a bottle of water and a bottle of pop each day, the one day I left pesos in the fridge I got two cokes and two waters. We were in building 3 and Wednesday night nolitours does a beach party until 12am that sounded like it was going on in the room above us... I'm only 30, so I'm not grey but it was pretty loud even for me.
BEWARE OF THE BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!! Many traveller we spoke too who booked via nolitours superior gardenview, were given 4th floor rooms in the "attic". We got a room to shower in after checkout and got a chance to see these, the views are mostly roof of third floor, the rooms are two bedrooms with a kitchenette, I can see why people didn't like these rooms especially anyone that is older and has trouble with stairs, I suggest emailing them ahead of time to ensure you don't get these 4th floor rooms. Because the hotel was quite full some couples spent everyday trying to get a new room with only a few having success moving to lower floors.
GROUNDS: the resort is showing its age, there are a number of bars, and areas that are no longer running, the sports area has LCD tv wall mounts where tvs once were, there are a dozen or so umbrellas at the pool and none on the beach only loungers. The resort has small things like toilet paper holders missing, some toilets are missing the doors for privacy, things like the swim up bar stools are in need of replacement, one was even missing completely. None of these things ruined my vacation, but you can see where some of the bad reviews do have merit.
It seems like everything is done to the bare minimum, tile falls off the wall, no replacement tile just white drywall mud in its place... These things don't bother me, but I feel it necessary to let other travellers know before they go..
It was windy when we were there but the beach was nice, the sellers are everywhere, and they will ask you a lot, a quick no thanks, or a headshake no when you make eye contact and they will leave you alone. The market down the beach is the same way. Loungers can be found, you may end up like me and drag two from one end to the other as they do get sparse in certain areas.
There is no actual beach bar but one close enough, they have a coco oasis but it was always closed... The snorkelling is nothing amazing but you will see some fish right off the beach.
The food is very average, personally I have stayed in resorts in Dominican and Cuba in the same price range with better quality and selection. I was able to find something to eat at every meal, however the selection was very odd at times. It seemed like keeping costs low was the main objective but the more I looked the less it made sense. There was one day in a week with bacon for breakfast, however a few days there was chicken wings. Salami and sausage most days, ham twice. The omelettes were good however the "ham" at one point was two completely different meats, one of which looked and tasted much more like hotdog. Orange juice was served twice in a week, but if you asked a server they would get some from the bar for you. There was a main island buffet with 8 hotel pans per side, unlike most buffets where each side is different items, there was normally 10-12 items instead. One time there was buns taking up a pan on the main buffet that were also in the bread area, and there seemed to be no reason for them to be there. The first day they had fajitas they have tortillas for them... Three days later they didn't have any. I didn't get sick and I didn't go hungry, but I also didn't enjoy the food very much, and felt like I had got better quality at other resort chains for similar money spent. I was staying during the highest season of the year. When a resort should be at the top of their game. The bars serve classic brand of all liquors. Bohemian beer from bottles. No brugal and no presidente. The drinks are strong and the liquor low quality, it's your perfect all inclusive bar. No 24hr bar. That doesn't bother me the main bar by the beach closes at 1am disco at 2am. I was in bed by midnight anyway.
A few things of note: there is an American guy named James in the plaza by the resort that sells excursions, we booked with him and save about half the resort price, same tours cheaper price go talk to him, he will sit down with you and give you a lot of good information...
TAXIS you can get a ride into town for $10usd. Just say you know that you can because that's what you paid yesterday. We went to la sirena grocery store for redbull snack food and coffee because it was $4 a lb there and $11 at the resort its like Dominican Walmart but you need pesos. We also had dinner at la tarappa pizza which was amazing... $20 for return ride with the taxi guy waiting an hr for us to eat dinner... Amazing restaurant, we went between 6-7 and had the place to ourselves both nights.
DON'T BOTHER GETTING PESOS IN CANADA. YOU'LL GET A BETTER RATE AT THE HOTEL. 40 to 1 for us and 37 to 1 for cad last week.
Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
Avoid 4th floor rooms if travelling as a couple or have issues with stairs.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.