I would like to give you a clear idea of what to expect from this holiday resort: the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is my list by number:
1. Annoyances – see notes below
2. Dangers – see notes below
3. Things to be aware of - – see notes below
4. Room cleanliness = 9/10
5. Resort cleanliness and standards = 2/10
6. Service offered in restaurants = 9/10
7. Service offered around resort (front desk, guest services etc.) = 2/10
8. Safety standards around resort = 2/10
9. Food and drinks quality = 8/10
10. Entertainment within the resort = 8/10 if you like all that noise and loud music
11. Beach and ocean = 10/10
12. Pools = 9/10
13. Gardens = 8/10
14. Layout = 8/10
1. Annoyances. This resort is designed with low costs in mind. They have managed to reduce the costs of staying here by reducing their control of health and safety as well as by allowing touts to line almost every path within the resort itself. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful stay then beware. The hotel takes money from touts. Each business selling days out, excursions or ‘’trips’’ pays the hotel a fee in order to stay and sell within the resort. To give you an idea of the extent of this problem, I will list the touts around the resort:
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner there are several touts asking you if you want to go next door to see a ‘’better’’ resort and get a free t-shirt, massage, hat (sometimes they offer all three). These touts can become quite aggressive and pushy when you decline their offer. One tout told me that I should not lie on the beach all day and that I should do things, go out and come and see the resort next door. He insisted that my way of spending my holiday was ridiculous. He was extremely rude.
- Evening meals at the buffet restaurant: there are girls in feathers and fancy dress who drape themselves over you as you leave the restaurant. A photo is taken of you, whether you like it or not, and then you can buy it at reception for ten dollars. These alternate with men holding a plethora of animals (none of which are native to Dominican Republic, by the way) including parrots, iguanas and scary monkeys. The same hounding ensues, unwanted photos and lots of fake smiles.
- Buildings: EACH BUILDING of rooms/suites has its own tout selling you over-priced excursions.
- Pool area: Have two stands with touts selling over-priced scuba diving trips and another selling trips to Higuey etc.
- Beach area: if all else fails and the resort is quiet then touts resort to walking around the beach looking for business.
To avoid the touts at the buffet restaurant, use the back entrance. It is a lot quieter as are the pool and the beach at that side.
- Internet: it is extremely expensive to use the internet within the resort and only possible in the lobby area. Beware as they change fees for usage regularly, it seems to depend whom is managing the desk.
- Lost bookings: they could not find my booking when I arrived. They made many phone calls and made me wait for two hours and then finally gave me a room. I know of another two guests who had the same problem. One guest was placed in the wrong resort and another had to wait for hours while they found him a room. When he finally got taken to his room, there was somebody else in it!
- Animators: these guys play rather dangerous games around the pool and generally make lots of noise to looped loud merengue music. If this is you thing then it is perfect. If you need peace and quiet then just walk along to the next pool and beach area which is completely silent and relaxing.
2. DANGERS: the resort has several health and safety issues which they seem to ignore. I went during the rainy season which means there is a lot of water everywhere. Here is a list of dangers:
- I saw several guests slip on the marble floors in the lobby. It is beautiful but made of marble which is renowned for being slippery. You can imagine when it is wet.
- Yellow paving. These paving stones are throughout the resort. They are extremely dangerous when wet. Guests slip on them at a rate of about 5 an hour. One lady slipped during storm and had to go to hospital. The resort staff was unhelpful and aggressive despite her condition. They also refused to accept any public liability.
- Dark stairwells: the stair lights, in the buildings, are on a timer. If it goes dark before expected then you have to walk up slippery stairs and on slippery floors without being able to see where you are going.
- Hairdryers. The hairdryers are located about 12 inches above the bathroom sink. This is extremely dangerous.
- Plug sockets in suites: the plug sockets have all seen their day. Quite worrying really.
- Water drainage: during the annual rains, the resort gets completely flooded because they have not installed a drainage system. Guests were walking around knee deep in mangrove water, critters as well as the water from the burst drains.
- Drains and pipes: he waste water/sewerage pipes are old and inefficient. This results in their being quite a bad smell at times. Another worrying point is that they had held the sewerage pipe together with a plastic bag at one point………………..
3. Things to be aware of:
- Dominican belly: many guests got bad tummies. The water from the taps is not drinking water. Use bottled water to brush your teeth and to avoid the salad which is washed with the tap water.
- Moto-taxis: these are a very cheap and cheerful way to get around. You can pick them up on the roads outside the resort and the guard at the gate can also call one for you. These are not licensed drivers. Their driving is fast and furious and they are the victims of the most incidents on Dominican roads.
- Driving: unless you are used to driving with unruly drivers around you, I would suggest you avoid driving on this island. Drivers cut across roads and drive unnecessarily fast at times. This is not to mention the host of other dangers on the roads such as small children, horses and ponies grazing, people ambling and crazed moto-taxi drivers. It takes a certain kind of driver to drive and survive on their roads.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.