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“Pretty good, but not amazing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Vista Sol Punta Cana

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Vista Sol Punta Cana
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av Alemania s/n | El Cortecito, Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #71 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
2 reviews
“Pretty good, but not amazing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

There are very mixed reviews about this place on this site, so we weren't sure what to expect when we arrived.

Overall: It was good. Nothing amazing, but good. Knowing now what to expect, I would stay here again for the price.

Food: The food was the worst part of the resort, to me. The a la carte restaurants (we had no trouble getting reservations for a party of six all week) are the best dining options. The French was pretty good (but not really French), the Mexican was OK, but the Italian was not great and took a long, long time. If you want to make reservations, get to the lobby at 9 or a little before. The line gets long quick.

The buffet and snack bar were hit or miss, and just about everyone in our party had some stomach issues at least one day, presumably from something we ate. The food isn't well marked, so it's often unclear exactly what you're eating. My advice: Stick to the basics: Rice, beans, chicken from the cutting station, fruits, omelet station, etc. (We also had one in our party who ate everything and felt fine all week, for what that's worth.)

The rooms: Simple, but comfortable. We had two double beds and alternated sleeping on them. They were a bit hard, but comfortable. Room had a mini-fridge (regularly stocked with bottled water) and a TV, but don't trust the channel guide in the welcome packet. Our AC worked great half of the nights, but it got a bit warm the other half (77 degrees at most). A fan would have helped. Shower had good water pressure and didn't leak.

The beach: Beautiful, breezy, shady. Water was calm and clear most days. There are people selling things on the beach, but the security guard does a pretty good job of keeping them from pestering folks on the beach. The Animacion staff is loud sometimes, but that's their job: To get people to have fun and get excited. We didn't have trouble finding six chairs to pull together each day.

We loved the beach bartenders, Washington and Manuel. They were friendly and always seemed to be having a good time. Ask for drinks "heavy" if you want more alcohol, but nothing seemed watered down. They seemed to pour with a heavier hand as the day went on. A "heavy" sex on the beach at about 5:30 p.m. was vodka with a splash of juice. (Not really complaining, there.)

Other amenities: Didn't do a whole lot of these. The dance show we went to in the theatre was fine. The disco seemed cool, but we were only up late enough one night to go to it. The three pools looked nice, but we never used them because the beach felt nicer with the breeze. Never saw the tennis courts. They may have been across the street. (Apparently they're building a casino in the same area.) Free internet is only offered in the theatre and it's a little spotty, but we rarely needed to use it. It's vacation, after all.

Staff: Friendly enough, though we didn't interact with them all that much (other than Washington and Manuel).

I would recommend this place to others, but I would tell them all of the above so they know what to expect.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Yes, I understand the room was cheap on Expedia, but customer service goes a long ways to accommodate travelers with a big group. I traveled with 9 people. Kids and Adults. When landing and before you hit immigration, you need to pay $10 tourism fee. No vans large enough to fit our crowd. Took two vans for $35 each. They will NOT settle or work with you on the price. You will need $10 for the safe deposit box if you want one when checking in. They only provide 2 towels at once. If you call for more, they give you attitude or never show up.$20 deposit fee for iron. They only give you 2 hours to use it. If you don't return it, they will end up charging you. We were first placed in the 4000 units - a/c did not work, room was old (after front desk advise they were remodeled), mildew smelling, sheets smelt like it was wet and you air dried them (smelly mildew). The tub was super high, one of our friends slipped and fell because they were high. The balcony door did not lock. After complaining, we had to pay $$$ to get upgraded to the 6000 units because they did not want to upgrade us for free. Room was better for some of us. Other rooms on others a/c still didn't work.. Balcony view was the ocean and the front door entrance was the pool view. All around customer service was horrible with just a handful of exceptions. We are Spanish speaking people and they looked at us like if we were talking another language or ignored us. The pool closes at 7pm every single day. That was a buzz kill. The food at the snack shop on the beach was the same exact food every single day and they were always low on plates, food, cups, etc. When we asked for more food, we had to wait 15-20 minutes. Food at the buffet was the exact same thing. No changes. Seemed like we were eating the same food meats every day. Who knows. Making reservations for the restaurants on the premises was insane. They said they were sold out, but when passing by the restaurants, they were empty. We were able to get one reservation at the Mexican place during our 7 day stay and it was NOT Mexican food. I asked for a second dessert and they lady gave me a dirty look and said NO, you are not allowed more desserts. One per order. I had to double check my wristband to see if I was still at a all inclusive. We had a few conversations with other vacationers and their experience was the same. One New Yorker said to stay at the Barcelo. When booking tours in the lobby, Joseph was awesome! Very polite, helpful, we asked alot of questions and he answered with a smile. We did ask locals when they talked to us towards the end of our stay, what is there to do around here, and they said nothing. Taxi's are motorcycles (no helmets). I didn't take a Taxi. On the way to our Zipline tour, there was an accident on the freeway (taxi) and someone was killed. You don't need to exchange, they accept cash when you take tours. Security on the premises 24/7 and you don't have think twice on walking around. Wifi sucked and super slow for those who love wifi. First time here in Punta Cana, and probably wouldn't go back. Just a check mark off my list. I am only giving it a 2 star because towards the end, people were nicer. Probably they changed shifts. Choose a different hotel if possible.

Room Tip: Purchase an upgrade to 6000 and up. The higher the number the better. Bring your shampoo, conditione...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Escondido, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We were first placed in the 4000 units.. Old, mildew smelling, sheets smelt rancid not fresh, air conditioning never worked. We were finally moved after complaining and were given rooms in the 6000 building much better newer building and air worked (most of the time) pool/bar front. All around customer service was horrible with just a handful of exceptions and the food was nothing to brag about.. Same food in the buffet every day with a dish change here or there. And having to make reservations for the restaurants on the premises was impossible.. We were able to get one reservation in during our 7 day stay and to tell you the truth food was just as bad as the buffet.. So in the effort of trying to escape having to eat at the buffet we were completely disappointed with dinner at the restaurant. While speaking to other vacationers our opinions were validated with similar complaints from them. Choose a different hotel if possible.

Room Tip: We were first placed in the 4000 units.. Old, mildew smelling, sheets smelt rancid not fresh, air co...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VistaSol_Hotels, Gerente at Vista Sol Punta Cana, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Google Translation
Agradezco sus comentarios,tomo nota de esos comentarios negativos que vamos a solucionar no dude de ello.
Sobre el tema de la comida,pues que puedo decirle...tenemos una gran variedad de platos en el buffet central al igual que en los restaurantes a la carta,quizás esa variedad no fue de su gusto,le agradecería me concretara mas la critica,por ejemplo,si les faltaba sabor,sal,azucar,picante,salsas,no se..
Pero le reitero su agradecimiento por la critica y vamos a revisar todo esto.
Att.Xisco Calderón.
Resident Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flushing, New York, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

First of all the hotel was great. My husband and I wanted to go on a little getaway for our 26th wedding anniversary so we got here on Wed., July 9 and are leaving Mon., July 14. We upgraded to VIP service, which has it pros and cons.

Pros: Awesome room. We loved it. It was spacious and so clean. The housekeeper does a great job. We watch Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel and the host of that show, Anthony, has shown his audience what to look for and the housekeeper past every single test:).

Pros: The private beach is great. We just walked a few steps and there it was. The security is super vigilante. We made friends with all of them but the one we spoke to most was Mario. He was super friendly with the guests. We really liked him. Someone else we really liked was the girl who gave us the towels each day and the drinks. Unfortunately, we don't know her name but she was young. She went around asking if we wanted to drink or eat.

Con: Not to be snobbish but if you pay the upgrade fee and are considered VIP, you should have a full bar; the only thing they had in the "VIP" is water, soda and beer. They should have something on the beach that you can get something light to eat.

Con: They should have activities near the beach. The building in the 9000s are totally remote and far from everything. Don't mind a bit of walking but it was kind of ridiculous that we paid for the upgrade butt the people who didn't had more things conveniently located to them.

Con: They should have a way that VIP guests can make reservations for any of the restaurants. The entire time here we were unable to make reservations because by the time she got to her desk @ 9:00am there was a super long line waiting. They might need to have more than one person making reservations at different places in the hotel.

Room Tip: If you can upgrade, do it. Rooms in the 9000s are worth it. We had a few cons but not with the room...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VistaSol_Hotels, Gerente at Vista Sol Punta Cana, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Google Translation
Gracias por sus comentarios.
He tomado nota de sus ideas sobre la zona VIP,vamos a mejorar el sistema ,tiene usted razón en esos pequeños detalles,gracias.
Att.Xisco Calderón.
Resident Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We had a group of 7 stay at Vista Sol from July 2-7, 2014. With the exception of the beach and grounds, our experience was very poor.

Service- overall very rude and oblivious. The front desk staff was by far the worst, the customer is obviously an inconvenience to the front desk staff. With the exception of Domingo at the pool bar, every staff member could have cared less about providing an enjoyable experience. We were lucky if they didn't out right ignore us.

Food- "Inedible". It seems more effort and money is put into providing numerous obscure, sloppy "mystery food" options than just providing quality edible dishes. The non-buffet restaurants were "ok" but there is definitely a ploy to force you into the Buffet. If you are told that there are no reservations left at the restaurants, don't buy it...we were told the same thing and then found that there was almost no one in the restaurants when we were there. We had to bribe the desk staff before we could get reservations.

Air Conditioning- one couple in our party had to switch rooms up to 5 different times before they received a room with working a/c. Another couple had a water leak coming out of the bathroom light fixture and was told the hotel was fully booked when they asked for a room that didn't have a life threatening water leak. They had to insist on a different room before the resort magically found another available room (wonder how they did that if they fully booked?)

We understand that this is not a high priced resort but it is not too much for a guest to expect friendly, caring service, decent food, and a room that isn't a sauna.

SPEND A FEW EXTRA DOLLARS AND STAY AT A DIFFERENT RESORT IF YOU VISIT PUNTA CANA.

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This resort is great...I loved every minute of it! My sister and I was there from June 26 to July 1st. WE HAD A BALL!! The room was nice and spacious. It could use a little upgrading but it was clean and comfortable. The grounds was immaculate, nice common area, several restaurants, three pools, the staff was friendly and the beach was beautiful. The entertainment squad was AWESOME! The food in the main restaurant (buffet style) was okay. You could choose from three other restaurants (reservations required). Also, we meet a lot of nice people.

If you want more for little money, I highly recommend Vista Sol.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room, I recommend a garden view room.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VistaSol_Hotels, Gerente at Vista Sol Punta Cana, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Google Translation
Agradecemos sus comentarios y esperamos verles nuevamente entre nosotros.
Así verán las reformas realizadas al igual que las mejoras.
Att.Xisco Calderón.
Resident Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Georgia
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stayed in the 7000 building at this hotel from 6/30-7/6 for our honeymoon; it was the first time in the Dominican for both of us. Overall we were very pleased with the quality and service that the resort provided and I would say that it exceeded our expectations based on the reviews that we read prior to staying at the Vista Sol.

Pros:

Beautiful beach with plenty of chairs in the shade available. Security kept any potential harassers away all week.

The pools were very clean looking and well maintained, they also had plenty of chairs to sit in.

The air in our room worked great (7000 building) and it was nice after a day on the beach to cool down.

Food was much better tasting than I expected and I always found something that I could eat. I'm extremely picky and would often eat the "American" food at the beach snack bar (hotdogs, burgers, and fries). I found the buffet food to be good as well and I could always find something to munch on.

Housekeeping was very friendly and did a great job keeping our room clean and stocked with water! Very important to drink the big bottles of water to avoid dehydration and possible illness from tap water. We always had at least 3 big bottles provided at all times.

"Joselin" who worked the "VIP" area of the beach was amazing. She was extremely helpful and brought us drinks and food whenever we needed it. She was very friendly and did her best to interact with me, even though I do not speak Spanish.

Cons: Front desk staff were "smooth talkers" and promised us an "upgraded" room for our honeymoon (we told them it was and asked for an upgrade if possible). After paying $100 US we were given a "superior" room in the 7000 building that looked just like the others. Unfortunately, it had two twin beds (rock hard as stated in previous reviews). It would have been nice to have a real upgrade (the 9000 building) especially since we paid extra upon arrival.

Water from shower did leak all over the floor but we were able to clean it up by throwing some towels on it after our showers

The alcohol seemed to be watered down to avoid people getting too drunk and possibly sick in the sun. My wife (fluent in Spanish) asked the bartenders and they just laughed but did not deny it. They also encouraged us to order our drinks "heavy" and take two shots each time we ordered them. Make your own conclusions about this one but it seemed like we could never get a "buzz" we just got really sleepy.

Some bartenders and other staff were less than friendly and did not smile, but they were always willing to try to help and they would make your drink as you ordered it. My wife was able to make some good connections for us due to her ability to speak Spanish and it seemed to help us a great deal to tip the "friendly" staff and return to them.

It was impossible for us to make reservations for the French restaurant on Friday and Saturday. The line was wrapped around the whole building and I did not want to wait 45 minutes just to be told that it was "sold out". I would like to see them improve this process.

General complaints/annoyances/observations:

The Russian crowd is very large at this resort and it was difficult to adjust to the difference in cultures and expectations of behavior. Many times I was "shoved" or pushed in lines trying to get food or a drink. Many people also talk very loudly at dinner and I would have liked to enjoy a romantic, quiet conversation at the sit down restaurants (the ones you make a reservation for). I expected noise and chaos at the buffets but I was disappointed in the behavior of everyone, Americans included, at the nicer restaurants. The Russians also seem very liberal with their nudity so be prepared to have men's "junk" in your face while sitting down due to their love for speedos. Women with wear thong bikinis and often go topless, even in the dinning areas, ie. the beach snack bar. The Russian girls, around 10 or 11 years old, also go topless which was uncomfortable for my wife and I, and felt inappropriate.

The toilet in our room was "cracked" in the bowl and the seat refused to stay up. It was annoying but ultimately wasn't a deal breaker.

The show staff tried hard but they were pretty lame and often got annoying. One particular staff member would yell out "Viva (enter country eliminated from world cup here)" constantly throughout the game. It ruined the atmosphere while trying to watch soccer and just wasn't funny. Also, during one particular show the staff dressed in "white face" (trying to look and act like white people) and committed several very racist, sexist, and just inappropriate acts during their skits. They were trying to be funny I guess but it was just offensive.

Tips: Make sure you get a "gold club" VIP wristband if you want peace and quiet on the beach. That area of the beach is secluded and there were private cabanas and many trees in the shade. It is away from the masses of people and the annoying "animacion" staff yelling every two seconds. Security also is tight in that area which kept harassers trying to sell stuff away. If they try to give you a silver wristband at check-in ask how much it would be to "upgrade" to the gold one. Even if you don't get a nicer room it is worth it for the privacy and peace/quiet on the beach.

It is a huge help having a fluent Spanish speaker with you but don't be afraid if you speak another language, it's worth trying to connect with staff and learn about their lives and the lives of locals in the Dominican. Trust me you'll appreciate your life much more once you get some perspective and consider all that you have in your life.

Overall I would stay here again because I knew what to expect going in based on past reviews and it met/exceeded my realistic expectations. While many negative reviews were true, you ultimately get what you pay for. We knew that this resort was cheaper than others in the area but it fit our budget and needs and we made it work in order to have a great trip on a beautiful beach. Don't expect 5 star quality and service when you're paying 3 star prices. You want 5 star book the Westin or some other resort on the island but be prepared to pay! The Dominican Republic is beautiful and I enjoyed laughing with the staff (I can understand Spanish well, just can't put together words to speak it) and learning about the history and culture of the island.

Room Tip: Ask for a "gold club" Gold wristband. It gives you access to the private area of the beach...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VistaSol_Hotels, Gerente at Vista Sol Punta Cana, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Google Translation
Agradecemos sus comentarios y tomamos nota de esas pequeñas cosas que le molestaron,para proceder a resolverlas.
Esperamos que en una próxima visita suya note las diferencias y puedan ver las novedades que tenemos para la próxima temporada invernal.
Att.Xisco Calderón.
Resident Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Vista Sol Punta Cana

Address: Av Alemania s/n | El Cortecito, Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#47 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#63 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Vista Sol Punta Cana 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Carabela Beach Resort And Casino
Carabela Beach Hotel Punta Cana
Carabela Bavaro Hotel
Carabela Bavaro Punta Cana

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