After reading many of the reviews posted I want to start mine with this- this is not America. If you are expecting to be in America while in the Dominican, this is likely not the place for you. If you want to meet people from all over the world and experience other cultures, this is a great place.
I am of the second group mentioned above and had a great time. Yes, smoking is allowed throughout the resort during the day time (the ban smoking in the evenings in the theater and bar area). That being said, I am non smoker and was not bothered by the smoking at any time. While there was an ashtray in our room, it did not smell smoky or like masked smoke. Smoking is very common & less frowned upon in other cultures, so this was not a surprise to me. Yes, you will see nudity of all different types(men, women, large & small) . If you are offended by either of these- you may not like staying here.
The checkin process could use some serious improvement. We arrived around 1:30pm & checkin is not until 3pm. They directed us to leave our baggage in the lobby & go to the buffet for lunch. We were uncomfortable leaving our luggage but realize there was a large staircase we'd have to take them down (and then back up if we did not). After pressing the issue they offered to lock our bags in a luggage closet. I am not sure why this was not offered right away. They then told us we would have to pay $24 for a lock for the safe if we wanted to use it. I stay in hotels on a weekly basis and have never been asked to pay for the safe. But we did. Once our baggage was stowed we went to the buffet & had lunch. There was a pretty good variety and after traveling all day it was nice to be able to sit and relax. As 3pm approached we headed back to the lobby. The gentleman grabbed an envelope & our luggage and we headed to our room. He was very kind & carried our bags for us. After we got to our room & unpacked we realized the room keys were not in the envelope that he left for us. We headed back to the lobby. They were very confused as were apparently not registered for a room yet and the primary key was missing. They gave us the spare and when we returned to our room the primary key was there. Very odd. We are still unsure what happened here. It wasn't until we checked out that we found there should have also been a remote to the TV in the envelope, but we honestly didn't mind not using the TV all week.
I was on the trip with a friend and our room had 2 single beds. In the US you are hard pressed to find any room with twin beds, but for our purposes they were sufficient, and actually quite comfortable.
The bathroom in our room had a separate water closet- which I always appreciate. The shower had a great water pressure. We only ran out of hot water once, and that was when showering just before dinner.
The resort is laid out in what they call "Patios" but I would refer to as villas. I really like this layout. Ours was located nearest the beach & pool which was ideal for us. Every room has a balcony or porch which was fantastic. We were on ground level and had a porch. It was beautifully landscaped & provided enough privacy to enjoy. The rooms are equipped with a screen door so you can enjoy the sounds of the jungle & ocean from your room, as well as the pleasant breeze. The rooms also have a coffee pot & TV (though if you plan to watch you'll need to request a remote when you checkin). They also have a blow dryer, which I have never seen this type of wall mounted unit before. It was not very effective so I recommend bringing your own if you want to style your hair. Also, the outlet plates are for the round prong outlets so I was under the impression that American appliances with the rectangle prongs would not work. There was confusion at the store w/in the resort & was sold the wrong adaptor (4$). I attempted to explain the confusion but was unable to convey the issues with my minimal spanish. It wasn't until the last day that I realized the outlets actually do take American style appliances, just the plate looks like they are round. I wish this had been explained sooner but overall it was not a big deal and I am sure my hair appreciated the break from hot tools.
The resort is beautifully landscaped and home to many exotic animals like flamingos and peacocks. it does not feel like a typical resort where the rooms are just lined up, there are bridges and a stream as well as many beautiful plants. The pool is quite large and an interesting shape that provides many places to sit & relax. There is even a swim up bar, however it is shaded which in March we would have preferred it be in the sun.
There are several restaurants in addition to the buffet. You must make a reservation for the restaurants. I recommend doing this as soon as you arrive. We waited a day and were unable to get a reservation until our last 3 days. The service at the buffet was always prompt & polite but at the restaurants you definitely should expect it to be much slower (avg 1.5 hours for 2 people to dine). That being said, it is vacation so why not sit and enjoy a few glasses of wine w/ dinner.
The employees are incredibly kind & fun. They have an entire team that works very long hours to keep the guests entertained. They have everything from aerobics to a beer drinking contest- really something for everyone. They often teach a dance by the pool or indoors you can learn to play dominoes Dominican Style. There is a nightly show at 9:30. I'd say there were average, some being better than others. If the circus show is there during your stay I highly recommend it.
We went on 2 excursions that we booked through one of the official travel agents at the resort & had a great time on both. I will say one of my biggest frustrations staying here is that they allow salesmen within the resort grounds who continually pester you to book an excursion. I much prefer to seek out the travel agents & book myself- it is worth the extra $5-10 to not be bothered while I am enjoying my vacation.
The beach was absolutely beautiful. There are 2 bars on the beach, countless beach lounge chairs (some even w/ grass canopies if you need to stay out of the sun for a bit), and plenty of room even when the resort seemed busy. The water was calm and clear for the most part.
This is the first resort I've stayed at that also included sea kayaks, catamarans, snorkeling & various other types of water equipment for FREE! I highly recommend taking out one of the kayaks for a beautiful view of the island.
As you can see, there are a lot of good qualities about this resort. My dislikes were the salesmen, slightly outdated rooms, shaded & slightly dirty pool bar, and the lack of on premise night life (though there are a few fun places within a 10 minute walk). I still would recommend this place as long as you are not looking for a super extravagant get-away.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Natura Park Beach Eco Resort & SpaExperience a holiday in complete harmony with nature at our luxury Punta Cana resort, Blau Natura Park. Lush tropical gardens teeming with exotic bird life are interspersed with lagoons and bridges along winding paths which lead to the beach. Our Punta Cana luxury hotel is located on the marvelous Playa Bavaro beach, one of the best in the Caribbean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Natura Park Punta Cana
- Natura Park Beach Eco Resort & Spa
- Natura Park Beach Ecoresort Hotel
- Blau Natura Park Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Natura Park Resort
- Natura Park Hotel