I had never done an all inclusive before, although I've been on many cruises. One of my friends and I decided to go on vacation for a week to just get away. I was getting a little bit nervous from some of the reviews that were on here, but my expectations were blown away! We went with the Royal Service option which was really worth it. You get your privately stocked bar in your room, priority reservations to many of the restaurants, have your own private restaurant and bar, private pool and pool bar, and private beach area. If you can do the Royal Service, I highly recommend it!
TIP: I understand you are at an all inclusive, but tips go a LONG way. The bartenders and waiters work 12 days in a row with 3 days off to leave and see family (many of whom live 2 hours away). They make $20 per day and really survive on tips. On a side note, the landscapers (who trim and cut with machetes) only make $200 per month! If you can afford to take a trip here, you have the couple extra bucks to help these people out and TIP!!! You don't need to tip much, as just a few bucks will make them so grateful. Plus, tipping gets you faster service anywhere!
1) Check In - Many complaints were up regarding the long check in process. We arrived at the airport. Had our bags taken by one of the workers and we were taken around the line and through a separate security line. We were brought to the counter for our transport and were on our way to the resort within about 20 minutes arriving at the resort within 1 hour of getting off our flight. This was quite different from many others who were waiting in long lines at the airport. Upon arriving at the resort, we were taken to check in which was easy as can be. Offered us drinks and snacks. Check in took a total of maybe 10 minutes. They explained what the resort had to offer and reservations for restaurants, room service, etc. We met our "butler", Rondon, who took us on a 15 minute tour of the Royal Service area. He was absolutely phenomenal to us throughout our stay. We did not use him much, but he was on top of everything we might need. Whenever he saw us walking around he made an effort to talk to us. Get to know your hosts, butlers, waiters! You'll learn a lot about how these workers live on the outside. You'll appreciate what you have much more. Thanks, Rondon!
2) Food/Service - If you are expecting a 5 star NYC restaurant, then you are going to the wrong place. The food is still very good, but to go to a third world country (resort or not) and expect 5 star dining is just stupid. Lots of seafood (which I love). We ate at Gabi Beach a few times, went to Mole which was delicious, the Japanese restaurant which was good food and a lot of fun with other guests at our table, and Aqua which was also very tasty. Breakfast was great although I have one warning. In the DR, they do not refrigerate the eggs so beware if you eat eggs you may have some GI issues. Try the different fruits because they are much better than you get anywhere in the states. There is also a Dominican Night at Gabi Beach on Wednesdays where you can get some truly Dominican food. The service was solid. Throughout meals, we constantly had waiters/waitresses coming to us to refill drinks and ask if we needed anything else. Sometimes I couldn't drink fast enough before they came back! There was only one meal at Gabi Beach when we waited for a long time for food and drink. If you complain about the food, leave the resort and take a peek at what is around you.
3) Room Service - Speedy and quick. Tip a few bucks when you order. The workers will be exceedingly grateful and you may get a little quicker service as well. Good selections and nice and easy. Free with Royal Service. Did this many times for snacks and coffee.
4) Bars - All I have to say is Juan. Juan was our bartender at the main pool for almost the entirety of our stay. He was right on top of whatever we needed. Extremely friendly and talkative. We tipped him small to start the week and bigger at the end of the week. Just be friendly with the staff and they will do whatever you need. Juan was right to our service whenever we came to the bar, and he was the same for many others at the bar with us. There were some complainers and whiners at the bar, and those got slower service. I don't blame the workers for that though! You're on vacation. Enjoy yourself! We also had a great time with the workers at the Lobby Bar. Every bartender there enjoyed the vacationers' company. They had very fast service all the time. I never waited more than about 2 minutes for a drink, despite some very busy bars. Same thing with Gabi Beach bar. Drink selection is wonderful. You can get pretty much anything you want. If you have something they don't know, tell them how to make it and it'll happen! Just fantastic. Thanks Juan!!!
5) Beach/Pool/Resort Grounds - Beach is absolutely beautiful. Lots of spots to sit - chairs, cabanas, hammocks, beds, etc. And if you get a little too much sun, they have lots of shaded areas. The water is crystal clear, although a fair current. Could probably snorkel or dive from shore on better days but be careful. The pools are pristine and the workers clean the pools by hand. Just fantastic, and good fun. Great place to meet other people. The resort grounds are gorgeous. Like I said, the landscapers do everything by hand. Appreciate it! People complain about the size of the resort. WRONG! Everything is within walking distance. You can pretty much walk everywhere within 5 minutes. You wait longer for the trams (which are really only needed for handicapped people) than walking. If you don't walk this place then you are just lazy.
Overall, we had a fantastic time. The service was top notch and speedy. The bartenders and servers were fantastic. We met a lot of other friends while there from all over. Be social and you may leave with some new wonderful friends. And most of all, appreciate what you have and be mindful of how these people live outside the resort. But BE OPTIMISTIC AND POSITIVE. If you go into a vacation expecting a bad time, you'll get it. Make the most of what you have and you'll have the best time in the world like we did!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you so much for your detailed, encouraging and positive review to all the trip advisor´s travelers.
I really appreciate the time you took to share your experience with us about all the facilities you enjoyed here, as well as for trusting your vacations to us regardless your nervousness, We are very glad to learn that we exceed your expectations !
Once again, thank you so much for your recommendations and hopefully we will be welcoming you sooner than later.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.