OK, this one got buy me when I researched the website. Usually one can tell a lot by the photos, buy also what "isn't" shown. Also, the visitor photos can be much more informative then the "professional" ones.
Instead of the usual large all-inclusive (we're trying to eat & drink less anyway), we were looking for something a bit more intimate and "boutiquish". The PuntaCana Hotel looked like it would fill the bill, but in reality it is the central point for a very large golf, marina, and residential complex (The Punta Cana Resort & Club). The restaurants are scattered throughout this complex and you really need to rent one of the golf-carts to traverse the grounds. Of course that option should have given me a hint!
But, maybe I should have researched better. Nevertheless, below are some of the reviews that I hope you will find helpful:
GOLF - Outstanding. The courses are immaculate, well manicured, picturesque, and challenging. Some are inland, while some (Tortuga & Arrasise) are along the ocean. Nice!! The clubs they have for rent however are in contrast to the first class clubhouse and courses. Come on guys, spring for some new clubs and bags. The manuafacturers would probably provide them free just to market their products., The beachfront La Cana clubhouse is great, with all the natural stonework,19th hole bar (check out the view in my pic), restaurant, and spa.
BEACH - Not as pristine as the professional photos suggest! The beaches immediately on the PuntaCana Hotel grounds are rocky and not as well kept as they should be. Check out the only thatch umbrella there in the pic below. The better beaches are away from the hotel, i.e. Playa Blanca & at the La Cana clubhouse. You will need a shuttle or golf cart to get there. There is a stretch of nice deserted beach between the hotel and the La Cana clubhouse, but there are no beach chairs, so you'll have to lay down the towel just like at SeaSide Heights!
FOOD - OK, but I expected better since it wasn't all inclusive.
DRINKS - Expensive, but good quality. The taxes will kill you though.
SERVICE - No issues. Staff was accommodating and friendly.
TRANSPORTATION - This was a nice surprise. We pre-paid for the airport transfers. I was told a rep would be holding up a sign with our name on it. OK, this creates visions of all the limo drivers waiting at the big airports for you in the baggage claim area...Right? Wrong!! The rep was waiting for us at the bottom of the plane's gangway. She got us into a golf cart and proceeded to usher us through the VIP Immigration and Customs area, bypassing all the crowds. NICE!! That was the best arrival experience in my 10 visits to Punta Cana!! Tip - When using the hotel shuttles to any point of interest, make sure you get their schedule from guest services. The language barrier with the drivers could leave you stuck. These well established folks have some local political pull!! You can surmise that when the only advertising you see at the airport is for this resort!
FACILITIES - Clean and well maintained. You have typical rooms & balconies in the main area, and a large number of higher priced beach "casitas" available for larger families or for a different type of accommodation experience. Some can be well inland though and not really close to the beach!
ENTERTAINMENT - Huh? Where? Occasional keyboardist, but that's it!
GROUNDS - Well manicured and maintained. A pleasure to tool around in with the golf cart.
The hotel may have been one of the earlier facilities to get the Punta Cana resort area rolling. So perhaps in the earlier years it's business model and focus was different. Now, (but not in a negative way), it seems to be more of a "support facility" for the golf and land development within the complex. All in all though, we are glad we tried it. We needed a comparison and change from the usual large all-inclusive. It may appeal to some, but not to others, so sometimes "you just have to go for it".
In most "deluxe suites" in other hotels, the extra room is adjoining. here, the extra room...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.