It was my intention to provide a full review of SCC as details about the resort were a bit vague. Trip Advisor reviews were a huge help for my visiting SCC - I hope I can do the same for someone else...
Arrival: If you walk into customs and are disheartened by a long line, don’t worry – it went quicker than I expected. In the first line, the DR collects $10/person and gives a receipt. In the second line, they take a portion of the receipt, and then you finally meet with customs (which took about 30 seconds). TIP – keep handy your baggage claim tickets you are given when checking in at your airport of origin. An agent compares them to your bags to make sure people aren’t walking away with your things (as the customs line took about 20 minutes, and your checked bags are sitting around in the meantime.
Transportation to SCC: easy to get a cab, and the resort is about 10 minutes from the airport.
Front Desk/Check In: We travelled with another couple. At check in, they had our rooms booked at both ends of the earth. As several other people mentioned, they worked with the staff to adjust rooms. We did the same and in a manner of 15 minutes, we had adjoining rooms. Call ahead if you’re looking for something similar. Although it was booked as one reservation, the resort did not take this into account. Otherwise, the desk staff was great. Lime or cucumber flavored water and a cocktail await when you check in, and they have incense burning to create a relaxed atmosphere. TIP: bring small bills – the front desk cannot always accommodate making change. If you’re going to tip the staff, good for you, they deserved it - 1’s and 5’s are ideal. If you’re all inclusive and too cheap to reward hard work by people in a poorer country, you’ve got issues beyond the scope of this review…
Rooms (pros): We stayed in a junior suite (3034-3037) near the steakhouse. The upstairs has a great ocean view (highly recommended). The bathroom was large (separate shower/tub), the bed was very comfortable, and I am relieved to report no material problems. They provide a safe and enough closet space for two. I was very happy with the condition of the room considering some of the reviews.
Rooms (cons): I share the sentiment of others; the rooms could use a few dollars in renovations. The coffee table was chipped and bubbled, and the floors were not smooth in some spots. I honestly didn’t care; if the rooms were top notch, I’d have to pay top notch money. TIP: watch the shower – sometimes the water temperature can vacillate quickly. If you are sunburnt, prepare to duck and weave like Ali...
Housekeeping: Ugh. They cleaned the rooms just fine, but forget about restocking the fridge. If you’re low on drinks, call room service (even the front desk struck out when we asked them to refill). Room service tended to show up at 6-8pm, a rough time when you’re getting ready for dinner.
Maintenance: One of our balcony chairs broke. I told the front desk, and a worker was there in 10 minutes. He placed a new screw or two in the chair, and flew out of there like he had to catch a plane. He failed to notice a key piece of wood that was cracked. We didn’t use the chair again. TIP: if you need maintenance, don’t let them go until they have truly fixed the problem.
Pool/Beach Area: Great (with 1 big exception). Cory-Santana (who I assume will comment on this review), give my thanks to Carlos, Bernardo, Eddy, and Martha for their friendly and fantastic service. There was chair availability and plenty of other room around the pool area. The pool bar is a big plus, and it’s where I spent the majority of my time. There were a few kids every now and then, but a filthy look in their direction got them moving along. Oh – Cory? Have them replace the white queen on the beach chess set; it’s almost broken and bothered me to no end.
Exception: When asked about the price of 2 t-shirts, a vendor said the price for both was…wait for it…$100 USD. He and I would have had a problem, but my working knowledge of the DR criminal justice system prevented the instigation of any unpleasantries. TIP: The vendors are awful. Shop off the resort if you can. Also, if you claim to have no money on you, they’ll simply say “take it now and pay me later”. It’s high pressure sales, and not what I want when I’m in the pool area. If you must buy from them, they’ll come down in price – they did every time. Just don’t expect a great deal.
Food: The food was decent. Here’s a breakdown of the restaurants. Not all of them are open every day. There are many places to check the schedule. Other reviewers have complained about this, but simply plan ahead – it was no big deal…
Capriccio: Italian themed. My least favorite. The chicken cattciatore was fine, but nothing jumped off the menu. The pasta with crushed red pepper had a nice zip to it, but you’ll get better selection and quality at Olive Garden. Someone else mentioned scrapping the Italian theme for something Dominican – good idea.
Steakhouse: Nice place, good atmosphere. Food was ok. I wasn’t a fan of the filet. Stick with the ribeye, and make sure you get the chocolate cake dessert with ice cream – a must. TIP: they have limited seating for 6+ people. If the seats are taken, you wait. Make a reservation if you’re in a group.
Blue Marlin: I attended the seafood buffet night. They had a large selection (as well as non-seafood items). The food was good and the atmosphere is great (open air over the water). I should note that I went once for lunch, and the service was the slowest of all the restaurants – be prepared. Also, the restrooms are located outside the building (about a 30 second walk), as the Marlin is near/over the water.
The Wok: I had dinner outside. The servers will provide bug spray if needed (I didn’t have a problem). The atmosphere was nice, and the food was good. TIP: call ahead if you would like to sit at the hibachi table.
Casa Bella: CB is the spot where the breakfast and lunch buffets are served. Opt for the omelet station instead of the scrambled eggs. The selection of items is decent, and the food is ok. I’m not looking for gourmet stuff until dinner anyway, so this worked fine.
There was no strict dress code for the restaurants (golf shorts were fine). Other sources note that long pants are required for men, but it was not the case. Shoes and shirts are necessary if you enter a building serving food, but nothing resembling a formal night on a cruise ship.
Room Service: I ordered room service once. They quoted me 40 minutes, but the food arrived in 70. It was worth the wait, as the food they delivered was accurate, larger portioned, and very good. TIP: don’t over order. There’s nowhere to put a lot of leftovers, and food left out will attract pests (tiny ants in my case).
Spa: The spa offered a deal where they added 20 minutes to a massage, so I took the dive. The deep tissue massage was not worth the higher price tag. However, the facility itself was very nice. You can spend $20 and have access to the facility for the day which includes a quiet pool area, hot tubs, steam room and sauna. The seating area is in the shade, so if you overdue it (sun or booze), it’s a nice tranquil place to hide out if you need privacy.
• Pack aspirin, Imodium, sunscreen, any anything else that you know might cost you a fortune to buy in a foreign country. You’ll be glad you did.
• Although my weather was great, do take care if it is wet. The outdoor areas are indeed slippery.
• Tipping the staff is a help. Tip well early and you’ll have their attention all week.
• If you’re having trouble finding gifts, wait until you leave. The portion of the airport dedicated to departures is much more modern, and there are plenty of stores with a better selection (another reason to ignore the resort vendors).
• Try mamajuana once (an wood infused alcoholic drink), just to say you did.
• The language barrier for servers, bartenders, and other client facing staff should not be a concern. Housekeeping and maintenance staff are tougher to communicate with.
• I know this matters to a lot of people, so I’ll share – every public/restaurant bathroom I used was very clean. SCC took the time to attend to this, and it was a welcome surprise.
I looked around at different places in the DR and chose SCC based on the strength of the reviews. It was my first time to PC, and I was pleasantly surprised. This is a “third world” country, and although one would have no problem nitpicking, I am happy with my experience at SCC. If I were to return, I’d be waiting for the staff to cheer “welcome home”. SCC is a nice place for first time DR vacationers, and the recent change in management leads me to believe that there is nowhere to go but up…
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.