We stayed here for a week in April. We didn't hate it, but we would not go back. I got really sick from something I ate or drank.
Rooms: We were in block 7 near the beach, 3rd floor.
Good points: We loved the location. Room spacious, very clean, airy, nice balcony with drying rack and quiet. Partial ocean view to the side. It's true the furniture is dated, decor is plain, tv is from the 80's, but it works so who cares. King bed was comfy.
Not so good: We had a lot of problems when we first got the room. We had arrived at 12:00 and didn't get into the room until around 15:30, so it was really annoying to waste a further hour for repairs to be done. The safe, which we had been warned to use, wasn't secured to the wall. You could just carry it out! The phone in the room wasn't working, so I had to flag someone down. They fixed it, but we wasted most of our first day waiting around. Later we had to have the fridge changed, as it wouldn't cool. Toilet flush was very weak and we had to have it repaired. Shower head was modern, but installed improperly so that you had to stand within 2 inches of the wall to catch the water. Hot water was pretty reliable, but not the pressure. The AC worked to cool the room, but was really loud. Lots of hangers in closet, but they are the kind that fit into a slot, which is worn out so many just fall down when you put the clothes on. There is only so much you can complain, so we just got on with it.
Grounds: Awesome gardens, manicured lawns. Great layout, pathways, nicely lit. Above average lush garden feel and variety of tropical plants.
Staff: Very nice, friendly and helpful. No complaints.
Restaurants: Below average buffets. Not great variety. Even so, if the preparation at least had been good, it wouldn't have mattered. Watery trays of scrambled eggs, very often with egg shells within. Bacon left rubbery, on the odd day it was present. Whole loaves of bread left on the cutting board with a knife, except many times there was no napkin placed on the end, so who knows how many hands touched it. Gross. I complained to a food & beverage manager. Nothing changed. At lunch the steamed vegetables were either almost puree they were so overcooked, and other times practically raw. Not impressive at all. The soups were the exception and were always delicious.
SICKNESS : I got a bad case of gastroenteritis within 3 days of arriving, which I have NEVER gotten despite 3 years of living in Mexico and having travelled to many countries. I never left the hotel, so I got sick from the food or drink in the hotel for sure. I had to go to the hospital, and it's lucky I had insurance because the charges were more than the cost of the entire trip. My husband got sick also, but not as severely as me. Luckily the hotel had an excellent Doctor Nestor in house. We were really grateful for his expert assistance. He is certainly a credit and an asset to the hotel.
A la Carte Restaurants: We had to book early in the morning, like before 8:30 a.m to get a choice of restaurants and times. We could only book for the next day. Overall the food was quite good in the a la cartes. The Brasilian was really hot inside and super loud. The service was really slow and most of the meats weren't very good with a few exceptions. Spanish resto was excellent. Great service, good food. We went twice. Italian resto was excellent, food & service. Japanese was the show in the center. Food mediocre. Show and enthusiasm excellent. Mexican resto, food mediocre nothing special. Great decor.
Nice coffee shop near the theater area which we enjoyed a lot. Great coffees, nice ladies working there.
Beach: Great white sand beach. Nice swimming area. We found it to be a huge problem to get a beach chair. The hotel was full the week we were there. The first day we showed up at 9 a.m and they were all gone. The next day we got there at 8 am and managed to grab 2 chairs. We made a lot of observations that day. Tons of people were reserving their chairs early and showing up hours later. Others were there, but then disappeared for hours, leaving their stuff on their chair. We saw that some people in groups had a little set up at the beach AND the pool simultaneously, so they were hogging extra chairs. One family of three was hogging 5 chairs on the beach, 3 in the sun, and keeping 2 in the shade to go back and forth. Meanwhile some elderly ladies were on the sand and obviously uncomfortable. We confronted the family and got them 2 chairs. It was a big pain to have to rush early to secure a spot. When we left for lunch, we took all our stuff with us to give others a chance.
The towel system is the kind you hand in a card to get a towel. Standard for 3 stars. The day I had to go to the hospital by ambulance I obviously couldn't hand in my towel before the designated 6 pm curfew. Forget trying to get a clean towel the next morning, you have to wait until after 1 pm. I told the guy I was in the hospital all afternoon and night. He said "that's not my fault". Charming.
General: Bank machine in the lobby was never working. We tried it a few times. It was right next to the restaurant reservation area, so we kept seeing others try it also. It never works.
Vendors came to the hotel one night. They should really have them set up in one general area, so that you could decide to either go shop, or give it a swerve. They have them ALL OVER the resort randomly. They were really insisting you look, accosting you at every table you passed. We had to deploy evasive manoeuvers to escape!
You get what you pay for. If you got a cheap deal, then you could decide to roll the dice and take your chances with the food. Not everyone got sick, but I know a couple people other than myself who did. Regrettably, we will not be returning.
We enjoyed building 7 near beach and pool.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you very much for the review. We are glad to read that you found our staff to be very friendly and hospitable.
We consider important to inform you that we have a consultant with an international and well-known company named Cristal Americas, which on a frequent basis audits our hotel in all Hygiene and Sanitary procedures. In addition to this, we have a Quality Assurance Department in our property to ensure the proper follow up on Food & Beverage procedures; also, we have no reports of illness cases in our hotel, we can assure that we take our clients health very seriously, therefore we make sure that our food and beverage processes are carried out accordingly to the sanitary regulations.
We offer you our apologies if in any particular manner you felt uncomfortable due to the souvenir offer that some salesmen do when passing on the beach. We can assure you that it is not their intention to cause our dear guests any discomfort with this, but to provide them, always they are interested, with the very valued service of offering a souvenir of our country to take home.
Thank you again for sharing your comments and we are looking forward to host you in our property again.
Barceló Dominican Beach
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.