My wife and I stayed at this resort July 17 -23, 2013. We were celebrating our 20 year anniversary. This resort was incredible. We would definately recomend to others. This is the first time we visited the Dominican, however, we have done a lot of all-inclusive trips over the years from Cancun, cozumel, Jamaica, bahamas etc.. This was our favorite place we have been. Like others on here I was a little concerned based on some of the reviews but this place truly is incredible. Beautiful resort with tons to do, beautiful beach and plenty of relaxing areas to enjoy some downtime with your spouse.
Pros: Most beautiful beach i've ever been to with tons of chairs and palm trees for shade. we never had trouble finding the perfect place to lay out in the sun and enjoy the ocean. The waves were very gentile, perfect for just enjoying the water. Water itself was very clear. The pool areas were plentiful. Even though my wife and I slept in most days, we never had any trouble finding chairs and loungers around the pool. The Japenese, Mexican and seafood resteraunts were really good and I would recomend all 3. The japenese and Mexican were our favorite. If you eat at the mexican sit at the bar area around the grill. Andrea was awesome he hooked us up with some morsels while we were waiting on our food that were outstanding. I recommend the pork tacos. The best pork I've ever had. Contrary to what people have said on here. The staff at the resort were all extremely nice. All it took was a hello and a smile and they were very eager to help. I speak very little spanish but never felt like I was treated any way but nice. If you are American I recommend going to see Ross in guest services. He was incredibly helpful and was able to make our stay perfect no matter what we needed. Thanks a ton Ross! We purchase Wifi for the week and it worked perfectly no matter where we were at on the beach. It really helped us keep in contact with family back home.
Cons: In all my years of doing all inclusive I have always found the buffets to be, well, average at best. But the buffets here were below that expectation. I wish I could say that everyone is wrong but I just really did not like them at all. The Santa Fe steakhouse was abolutely terrible. The worst food I have prolly ever been served. Avoid at all cost I dont care how much u like your steak.
Things we did: We started eating our lunches at the golf course. They have a menu to order from that is very good instead of going to the dreaded buffet. Strikers sports bar is another place that has buffet setup at lunch but is much better than the regular buffets. We brought our own 20 ounce insulated cup for our drinks that worked out great. bar tenders and even waitresses didnt mind filling them up. If you are craving a steak, go to the Chez resteraunt on the adult side. We didnt eat there but talked to several people that said they served a great steak, cuz remember Santa Fe is terrible. We went to the market to the left of the adult beach to buy cigars cuz those in the resort were more expensive than what u can buy in the states. They are very aggressive in there, but just keep sayin no gracias and get what you want and go. We reserved our resteraunt times as soon as we checked in. Times do run out so I recommend doing that. Ross will hook u up with that. We did some tipping as we went along but never found that we only got good service when we did. We did not upgrade to premium service. Contrary to what others have said, we were treated magnificently even though we were not premium travelers.
All in all this was a great vacation for my wife and I. We went there to relax and it was perfect for us. To me if you go on vacation for great food then u probably dont need to travel all inclusive but thats just me so the buffet was not a deal breaker for us. Just be ready to be patient. Dominican people seem to be very laid back and while they are extremely friendly I think their laid back attitudes can get misconstrued as not being helpful. but that is not the case at all. Remeber, you are not in America. Dont hesitate to tell the waiters that you are ready to order because it can take a while if you dont. We figured this out and they are very eager to help just waive them down if you have to to get their attention and they come right over and will take care of you. Thanks Barcelo Bavaro for a great week!!!!