My husband and I are probably he easiest people to please. We don't get upset much and enjoy the simple things in life. So remember that while reading our review. Sorry this is a book.
The rooms were beautiful. Everything about them screamed luxury and class. There was a closet when you first come in to the room and next to it was a safe. The butler shows you exactly how to use it when he visits for the first time. Next to that is the bar area. It was stocked upon arrival and we also had plenty of glasses, coffee, teas and lemon lays, regular lays and banana chips. We also got some peanuts. The king size bed was a perfect size and we slept wonderfully. There was a small table to sit at and a lounger. The patio was my favorite place to be as they have a couch and table and chairs. We did NOT have a great view. Actually, it was probably one of the worst in the hotel. (7263). When we got there, he told us we had a GREAT room it was just WONDERFUL and when we got to the room after shelling out a LOT of money and booking 6 months in advance..I was pretty disappointed. We faced a more run-down hotel (that I think the staff stays at) with the TINIEST view of the ocean. We were trying to not let this get to us, but the pictures were very misleading.
The local is great because your one of the closest to the airports. It took us about 30-40 minutes to get there and once we got on the Iberostar property, it took another 10 to get to our resort since we were so far tucked back. It made me have a sense of security that not just any person would walk 3 miles back to the resort from the main roads. The Bavaro beach was beautiful but the ocean was a bit strong for our liking. It was hard to snorkel even by the beach as the waves brought too much sand up. When looking at the ocean to the right is vendors on the beach and to the left are the other 2 Iberostar resorts.
The resort is pristine. It was the cleanest place I have ever been to. From the cleaning of the rooms to how quick they turn over your table at the buffets. When you are in a restaurant they come over with a little spatula and clean off your table in front of you for the crumbs before you get dessert. We watched the "pool" boys cleaning out the pool once a day and the fountain in the middle. We also saw the men raking the beach of debris.
For the most part, service was excellent. You couldn't walk ANYWHERE and pass an employee without them saying "Hola!" It made for a very intimate experience. The best staff were the Star Friends. Some people saw them as a hinder in their vacation as they were always around and talking, but we enjoyed the company and laughs. Ayando (sp?) who did the Spanish lessons at 10 am was our favorite. He was awesome. The guys (and ladies) at the pool bar were so fun too. Spanish music would be playing and 8/10 times a song would come on and they would either be singing or dancing. For the amount of hours and days they work, they are very happy people. I played Bingo at 4pm with the Star Friends and won a massage!
One problem we had was that we left money down on the bed for our maid to thank her for cleaning our room. When we got back in the room at almost 4:30 pm, the money was gone and our room wasn't clean. I went down to concierge and talked to a bunch of people and Wanda (the manager) told me she would get right on it and talk to me later. Well, we had to go the next day to get answers because we didn't hear anything. Wanda came up with her manager and they ensured us that we are safe and gave us a couple's massage not to make it right, but to calm our fears. It wasn't really needed, but we accepted.
Upon leaving, we booked through CheapCarribean and we received a $200 credit at our resort. (that I used at the spa) Iberostar kept telling us we didn't qualify because we didn't book in October, we booked in November. Well, we did book in October and had proof, but I feel as though they just didn't want to pay for my spa services that totaled $180. Well, don't sign a contract saying its okay if it is not!
Upon arrival, we were told there were NO reservations all week. This made me VERY upset. We went down to concierge and gave them our room number and they only had 2 or 3 openings at the Japanese at 9 pm. WHY would we want to eat at the same place ALL WEEK? Our butler knew we were upset so somehow found reservations for the next few days at 7 pm. Funny how things just opened up all of a sudden. But it was like pulling teeth to get in. We went back Monday and made reservations for the rest of the week. My advice to you is not to give your room number when you first ask about reservations. I feel like they hold the "good" stuff for the more important, high roller people.
The spa was great. We got a couple's massage that was fantastic. I got a massage, facial and mani, pedi for only $180. Seems about right.
There were a lot of Europeans but we also met a lot of American's. The universal language between everyone was English, however if you know some Spanish, that would help A LOT. There are a few topless women and a LOT of speedos. Everyone commented on how the resort was full, yet everyone had room to swim. When we went to the resort next door, the atmosphere was much different. First of all, they were having a kids program and we walked in on them screaming into the microphone. Thank God the Grand was kid-free!
The food was excellent. I think I ate Lobster at every meal. If you did not see what you wanted out, ask and they will get it for you. I really wanted some french fries and asked, they made them special just for me. Some of it was weird though and not labeled. I think it was a little "extreme" for our tastes and maybe if you are a foodie, you'd appreciate it more.
All in all, it was a great resort. There were things that probably needed to be changed...(like more Cabana's or shade in the pool) and the employee's could use a lick more English just to communicate and not shake their head yes at everything. It is a beautiful resort and maybe we were just looking for a more "fun" experience and not so much "do it on your own". I would recommended this to an older couple, a foodie or someone who just wants to sit by the pool and do NOTHING else.
I was actually told by a LOT of other travelers that the Excellence was actually a much better resort. If we were to come back to the DR, that is where we would go.
Oh....and HI to all our TA friends we met on this trip!! :)
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Iberostar
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