If the staff would have been friendlier I'd have given the resort 3 circles vs 2, but the truly polite and friendly one's were few and far between.
When we arrived at the desk the staff member was friendly, when he went to pull up our reservation it couldn't be found. After about 30 mins of calling and searching something was found. I say something because it wasn't what we reserved. There was my wife, step-daughter and myself so we had reserved a suite with a king and a single. The gentleman behind the desk asked, "how about a room with 3 beds", in a somewhat excited voice. What was probably our mistake because we didn't ask, but didn't think we needed to, we said sure. I was assuming, and we know what happens next, that at least we'd have 2 queen sized beds...nope. 2 doubles and a single. I'm 6'2", my wife is 5'9", for the week all 3 of us had our own beds. Not catastrophic, but not what we reserved. After the amount of time we'd already spent at the desk we all agreed it's no big deal let's just keep it.
The two biggest disappointments were the food and the indifference of the staff. The breakfast's were good, but other than that i'd give the rest of our meals perhaps a 3/5 rating. The lunch buffet's were marginal. Some of the food looked like it had been used from the previous day or 2. If it's unpeeled fruit, not a big deal. Soggy, wilted lettuce, not a good thing. Some of the fish's should have been passed on down for bait.
We ate 2 meals in the restaurants. The first meal was in the italian restaurant. The food wasn't bad, it just was pretty bland. I ordered the fish, mahi i think, if not then grouper. Nothing special as far as taste. I don't need anything to blow my socks off, but I'd like a little bit of flavor. My wife ordered the ravioli and was not able to eat it. A few others at our table chose not to eat their ravioli either.
The second restaurant we ate at was the steak house. It also wasn't bad, just nothing special. We had a wedding party of about 25, so I understand a party that big takes time, none of us had any problem with that. And really the time for the food to come out wasn't bad so I do think they did fine with the size of our group.
I had the chicken, it was good enough, tasted like a rotisserie chicken I can pick up at one of the stores state side. The folks at the table who had the steak, I forget the cut, seemed pleased for the most part.
It was after dinner at the steak house that I had become pretty fed up with the staff though. There seemed to be quite the resentment and or indifference to waiting on us. They had asked if we wanted coffee, a few said yes including me. I think it took longer to get the coffee than it did the food. One of our party members changed her mind and wanted a coffee, I requested one for her. After asking for the third time we pretty much figured out she wasn't getting one.
There was one young man in particular that I'd noticed never made eye contact with anyone at the table when serving us. He brought the food and delivered it in a hurried manner and was the same when clearing items. Not until the end of the meal did he decide to engage in conversation. Myself and two other men of the wedding party were sitting around talking when he approached us asking, "service was good yes? Everything was good yes?" We were all 3 a little surprised at this, first, because he hadn't said a word all evening. Second, because we were surprised he considered what he had just given us was "good" service. And third, because I have never, in any all inclusive that I've been to, ever had a staff member be so aggressive in looking for a tip. Let alone a tip after such poor service.
While passing most staff members in the corridors very few made eye contact with me. If I said hello, buenos dias or buenos tardes first they would respond in kind. If I didn't speak first, they might say hola as we were passing shoulders. And I point out shoulders specifically because perhaps it's a custom or tradition that I'm unfamiliar with in the DR. I've never encountered this in Mexico or central america. At that point it seems a bit late to be extending a greeting, but this is just my opinion based on my experiences.
My wife also broke her toe on the second to last day that we were there. It was on the beach, an accident that I don't fault the resort for at all, a true accident. However, there was absolutely no help from anyone in trying to assist me in getting a wheel chair for her. I called the front desk myself from the phone located at the dive facility. I told customer service what I needed, they said they would rent me a chair for $20/day. A bit steep in my opinion, but I had no choice so again no big deal I'll do it. I asked if they would bring me a chair, they said they are unable to, I need to come to the main entrance and get it myself after filling out the paperwork. I said I'd be happy to if someone would please bring the chair right away so I could get my wife to our room. Not an option. I offered my room number, they had my credit card on file for any charges, which is what the paper work was all about, the charges, but would not bring the chair.
Now, the property is narrow and therefore long, with the main entrance at one end and the beach at the opposite. It was over 30 minutes from the time I left my wife to the time i was able to get back with the chair. All I wanted to do was get her to our room to start icing her toe.
I went up on Saturday to make arrangements for transportation to the airport on Sunday. They asked if I needed help with the bags when checking out and I said yes, if we could have someone to our room at noon I would appreciate it. None to our surprise the help never arrived. We left our room 10 minutes past to make our 15 past taxi. Since we were the only one's in the taxi we weren't to worried about the taxi leaving us, but it's still a matter of principle.
We traveled a long way to make it to this destination and were hoping for a very nice experience. We have all 3 traveled extensively and understand the dynamics of cultural differences and protocol, so we all have open minds. Big picture, a smile and a hello go a long way with us, you'll definitely be getting one back. And again, I understand the economic differences, I love to help others as much as I can, smile and greet me and I'll show my appreciation. There was one young man, who looked like he was 15, he was the most pleasant person I came across. We'd stop and chat, his english was much better than my spanish, but in the end we left smiling and laughing. Those occurrences were few and far between.
The island is beautiful and the culture vibrant, I'm sorry to see the staff have such a negative impact on my and my family's first visit to their island.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.