Travelled with GF for 6 nights (6/30-7/6).
The service is great - attention to every detail and very courteous and polite staff. On our arrival, our safe was broken. Upon calling the front desk, a service person was sent out within 10 minutes. As the person was fixing the safe, we received a phone call from front desk to confirm that the service person had arrived.
We had a second floor garden view - this is the way to go, imo. Most first floor rooms are along a very busy corridor with plenty of foot and service cart traffic. The doors aren't the most soundproof and plenty of noise comes through. (On the other hand, if you want an outdoor hammock - which I rarely saw being used by anyone, you need to be on the first floor because those are the only rooms with hammocks). We were placed in a building furthest away from the main action drag (3-4 min walk at most...this is a small resort). This was a plus. Many of the rooms by the pool/restaurants literally are 10-15 feet away from the pool/lounges. Those rooms had to constantly keep their blinds closed because you could clearly see right into the rooms from the pool/lounge area.
We did not have the "Excellence Club," which was another good thing. A couple we met had upgraded to the "Excellence Club" package. Their room was the exact same as ours. They talked about free internet in a special "Club" lounge, but I was able to get free wifi in our room the entire week. Not sure if this was a fluke or if everyone gets free wifi...it just sounded a bit hucksterish for them to advertise "free internet" with the club upgrade when it was available free of charge all along. The "club" people also get a better drink selection in the room bar, but we did not go to a resort to drink IN our room.
There's plenty of bars scattered all around the resort. The drinks are okay - not the best, not the worst. Some bartenders are heavy handed on the alcohol and some are too light. Special requests went mostly unheard.
The room was very clean, but needed some updates to qualify as a 4.5 star/luxury room. The shower head was barely hanging on as were the bed reading lights. Caulking was so messy throughout (especially in the bathroom) it looked like a 2nd grader was in charge of applying it. Some caulking had mold on it. Some paint was peeling from the ceiling. Some regular wear and tear type of stuff and some more severe that I would not expect to see in a resort of this type.
The grounds were immaculate, clean and trimmed and very beautiful overall. Don't miss the gardens/ponds area with flamingos, parrots (which you can feed out of your hand), turtles, and the like. We walked around that area and literally saw no one else there - not sure if it was the time or if people just don't know about the gardens. It's pretty interesting to have a giant parrot on your forearm eating out of your hand.
The beach was average. The sand was clean, but I was less than impressed with all of the wiring protruding out of the sand all over the place. There were electrical wires running under the sand to some of the palm trees and other beach lights. The wires would come up over the sand in various places - an overall messy look. The beach has a pretty steep downward slope before you get to the water. The water is very wavy. Upon arrival, I thought it was wavy just because of the winds, but it turns out it's like that all of the time. Fun for boogie boarding, but not the best for a calm swim. I've stayed at a resort more south (Barcello) previously with much calmer waters.
Best beach secret? If you're facing the water, go right about 100 yards. There's a nice quiet lagoon as the violent waves break off in the distance. You can also snorkel in this area - I saw some pretty cool fish, but the corals did not look healthy.
Horseback riding was fun and sad, at the same time. The ride was fun, but that's about it. The horses looked underfed with large hip bone prominences which should not be seen on a horse normally. Excellence (if you're reading this) - feed your horses properly!!! The ride was along the beach away from the main property. We did go in front of one other, what looked like much cheaper, resort area on the horses. I felt bad because our horses were pooping and peeing right on the sand in front of where those people were relaxing and swimming. Not the cleanest arrangement.
Bike ride was meh. It was about 30min long, went outside the resort along a semi-windy dirt road and came out on a semi-secluded part of a beach. The sights and the beach was pretty gorgeous, but get used to the fact that the beaches outside of the resort area are very dirty and littered. Lierally, hundreds of plastic bottles and other junk piled up right outside of the resort portion of the beach. This is not to fault the resort, this is real life in any developing country (I grew up in one, so things like this don't put me off). I just want to include realistic expectations for anyone that thinks those idyllic pictures of pretty beaches represent the real beaches outside of any resort in DR.
The food was okay. I was impressed with Spice and the French restaurant. The rest were underwhelming. Some portions can be quite small, but you can order multiple things off of the menu, even if just to try them. There is a "strict" dress code for dinner for men - no shorts, pants only. I would have no issue with this except for the fact that you'd see someone refused entry into a restaurant because they had shorts on and then inside the restaurant, I'd see one or two guys enjoying dinner in their shorts. Very inconsistent enforcement which defeats the entire point of having a dress code.
All in all, this was a bit overpriced for a decent resort with good service, okay food, decent beach/water (in the lagoon area), and very average rooms. I have travelled to DR previously for cheaper to nicer resorts. I would not return unless I got a very good/cheap deal.
Do not get a room on the first floor along any of the main walkways. The doors are thin and plenty o...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.