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“Alex M...Great Family Vacation Spot” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Punta Cana

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Occidental Grand Punta Cana
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Calle Friusa, Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #57 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Alex M...Great Family Vacation Spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

This resort was a blast for my family and friends. We were a total of 10 people and a great time was had by all. The beach was amazing and it stretched for miles on either side. Lots of palm trees for shade with a convenient bar to order all the rum and coke you can drink; as well as beer and other drinks. There is also a buffet restaurant located at the beach which made it easy for the kids to eat and get back to their fun. The rooms were spacious and very quiet. The beds were super comfortable. Food was also very good!! Late night brick oven pizza and tacos was the best!!

Room Tip: To better access everything get a room between the beach and the resort lobby..
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (815)
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Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

A good location a nice place to relax. The staff is friendly and attentive. A variety of food should satisfy almost anyone. The beach is great and the water is always warm. A few topless females, but not overwhelming. The resort is good for all ages and families. Great transportation to and from the resort to the airport.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

My wife and I arrived at the Accidental Grand for what SHOULD have been an 8 day stay in a Royal Club suite from November 30th to December 7th, 2012 -- which we booked online through tripcentral. However, when we arrived at the exclusive check-in for Royal Club guests, we were told that they could not place us in any of their Royal Club accommodations as they had been over-booked. They apologized and offered us a partial refund (amounting to the difference between a Royal Club upgrade and a regular priced resort room), a miniscule amount in fact, and based upon their non-discounted rack rates for non-package guests! Absolutely ridiculous!! We refused this so called refund in favor of the resort placing us on a prioritized waiting list for a Royal Club room when one became available instead. After about an hour of waiting around, we were told that no Royal Club rooms (let alone the Suite we paid for) would be available for about 3 to 4 days. Far from impressed with the way this situation was being handled, we asked that the resort management be contacted and made aware of this problem. In the meantime, all we wanted was to get ourselves situated, somewhere, anywhere, and hit up the world famous Bavaro beach for some much needed R&R for the rest of the afternoon.
Enter Edificio 11 Room 320. A semi-clean third floor room with a king sized bed, a newer model flat screen TV, and a decent sized balcony overlooking the Home Run Sports Bar and pool area.
The door to our room was worrisome however, and appeared as if it had been forced open by the looks of the repositioned chain-lock (please see our pictures for details). When my wife went to find an electrical outlet to charge her phone, she discovered that several of the outlets in our room appeared very unsafe and in dire need of repair, certainly not up to any kind of safety standards code I know of for an international hotel chain (again, please refer to our pics here). Credit where credit is due, the housekeeper didn't neglect to stock our mini-fridge up with El Presidente beer once I had tipped her for the favor. All settled-in for the time being, we left to go enjoy the beach finally...which was absolutely gorgeous I must say! The only real redeeming quality of the resort so far -- aside from the drink straws and cigarette buts strewn everywhere upon the sands in the Royal Club section of beach, which remained ever-present day after day. The wife coined it "Ashtray Beach", yet it was still better than most other stretches of sand in the Caribbean that we have been to. These are the kinds of things which tend to differentiate the 2 and 3 star resorts from the upper echelon resorts. Beach grooming, smoke-machining to keep pests at bay, and other such luxuries were simply not the norm at this apparent 4 star resort.
The service staff at this resort ran the gamut from genuinely very friendly and concerned, to totally aloof and disinterested. We found the bartenders to be nice enough, but the various cocktails we ordered were watered down versions of what we had come to expect, especially when considering the premium brands used. The slush type cocktails were also improperly prepared and served. I began ordering only beer, a single ingredient not subject to bartender interpretation, hence a consistent and predictable taste in my cup.

This review may sound a little on the critical side so far, perhaps even a tad nitpicky, but there is truly no excuse to allow even an aging resort such as this to falter in services and accommodations that would not take very deep pockets to fix and maintain.
Overall, we found the food uninspiring and quite bland. The hotdogs we had at the Sports Bar were undercooked and we both had the runs that night as a result, pleasant. The buffet was well lit and comfortable enough, yet again the food selection was scarcely appealing, and we avoided the cold bar items altogether after hearing about a couple who got sick after having only a salad and some fruits. The saving graces were the Taqueria Restaurant located above the main foyer which served up some decent pizza and burritos, and the exclusive Royal Club restaurant which offered more than the standard fare with good friendly service -- but very small portions, and a very poor wine list. All in all, if you are a food and beverage afficionado, your money would be better spent at a resort with one more star, and looser purse-strings when it comes to food acquisition and management (ie: Hard Rock Hotel or Riu Palace). By all means however, if you are a spring breaker or on a tight budget and just want someplace to crash after getting trashed every night, then you might not be disappointed with the Occidental Grand Punta Cana Resort.
The nightly entertainment was good, and the "Copacabana" performance was a refreshing change of pace from duelling with the mosquitos after dusk elsewhere on the resort grounds. They had a saxophone player in the band who was outstanding and could cover almost anything! The street stall vendors were very in your face and aggressive in their attempts to sell their wares to guests we found. You should always try to bargain with them if you do want to buy something, but you need to have some solid negotiating skills to haggle their prices down.
Note: DO NOT BUY CIGARS FROM THESE VENDORS!!! Cigars sold outside of the duty-free shops at the airport and in the major cities are sure to be home-rolled fakes with black market labels. Another hint, if you are in the market for cheap cigars in the Dominican, realize that to secure the genuine article, you must visit either a factory or a plantation. None of the name brand cigars that the duty-free shops sell are worth the price, but at least you can have confidence that they are real...and were kept at proper humidity inside a humidor.

The best memories of our stay:

1. A few very nice hot and sunny days right off the bat.
2. Some very nice Royal Club guests we met on the beach (who shared our plight).
3. Deborah, our Air Canada tour representative, who proved very courteous and helpful.
4. The open concept Moroccan style front lobby / lounge at night for a relaxing nightcap.
5. The fast cab ride over to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Resort when we departed after a few too many “dealbreakers” at the Occidental.

The dealbreakers:

1. The "Jacuzzi" is not heated at all. It is just a large round pool with jets. Epic fail.
2. Unless you take a poolside lounger back to your room with you, good luck securing one during the day unless you wake up at the crack of dawn!
3. Overall lack of food prep hygiene, limited menus at the a la cartes, bland food offerings, and watered down drinks.
4. Some walrus of a European lady blatantly blowing her nose repeatedly in the Royal Club jacuzzi while I looked on in horror from my sun-lounge just a few feet away!! Never again.
5. The lack of any kind of proactive frontline management at this resort to crack the whip on any of these issues. A case of too little, and too late...quite a popular management style at the lesser star resorts in the DR apparently. I'd like to meet these Ostriches and see just how dark their ears are from all those years with their heads buried in the sand while the terrible reviews just keep accumulating here on tripadvisor.

TIP: If you do decide to risk it and stay at this resort, be sure to ask for a second floor room, and not a first or a third as they are highly prone to flooding when it rains hard for any length of time. It was literally raining from the ceiling in our bathroom the night we had a big thundershower! I'm surprised that nobody has any good electrocution stories to tell about this place yet?

Caveat emptor!

Room Tip: Look elsewhere.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear 24860point2,
I am very concerned by your review. Thank you for taking the time to provide so much detail. I welcome the chance to speak with your directly about your experience so that we may take the necessary steps to improve. I’ll reach out to you directly via TripAdvisor today.
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the great weather we have in Punta Cana, the service of our bartenders and the performance of our popular saxophonist; however I’m sorry to hear about the several inconveniences you encountered during your stay with us.
I apologize for the issues we caused you by not having your room at the Royal Club. Please know that during the time of your visit our hotel was overbooked due to high season; when we realized this situation we did our best to accommodate guests in other rooms and offering them an appropriate refund. I’ve addressed this situation with our manager, so that we can take the necessary steps to avoid this issue to be repeated in the future.
Regarding your overall impression of our accommodations, please know that I have shared your comments with our maintenance manager and we are currently verifying that all equipment and roofs are in perfect condition and working correctly for the safe of our guests.
I’m sorry to hear about the inconvenience you encountered at the beach, please know that we have set up a new policy to free up chairs that have been unattended for more than 20 minutes. Our team monitors the chairs and will do their best to assist all guests that are in need of a chair. Also our team cleans the beach periodically, however it seems that we need to reinforce our cleaning measures, I do apologize for the discomfort we caused you and I assure you that we will reinforce this procedure.
I also want to reassure you that all the alcohol served in the resort is certified and we constantly have inspections that verify the quality and service we offer; our cocktails are not watered down and our staff is well trained for the preparation of beverages.
Please accept our apologies for failing your dinning expectations; our team strives to offer a variety of choices at our buffet and four gourmet restaurants, including a large variety of fresh fruits, gourmet salads and many food stations including a carving table and omelet station. With our four a la carte restaurants, guest can choose from a steak house, Mexican specialties, Italian gourmet and Asian cuisine; I assure you that all the food is prepared fresh daily. We understand the importance of an incredible dining experience, and I’ve addressed your review with our executive chef as to enhance our quality standards.
It saddens me to hear your disappointment about the service we offer, I will speak to our guest services manager regarding your comments about our staff. We hope that you will give us another chance to welcome you.
Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
island lake
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Overall the hotel is average and you will be happy here because its clean and the beach is very good. Food, beds, showers are all average for Caribbean.

Pros:
Very good beach
Crepes available at every meal
Pizza available all night til 6am
Free entry to Mangu (but Mangu only busy 2am-4am)
Big quiet rooms and clean hotel
Gym

Cons:
Rooms are humid
Dominican staff are not friendly
Nightly shows are boring
Music is bad (all sad and slow Spanish stuff, NO raggaeton, no shakira, no Mana, no English)
Phone calls are $2/min to Canada and must be made in lobby. You can't use phone cards.
Internet is $16/hr (not a typo)

Tip:
Free water bottles at the lobby bar

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

This vacation spot was a great time for my whole family. I went with my parents, two brothers, husband and my 4 children ranging from 4 to 10 years old. Food was good...variety and a few locations...plenty of bars too at convenient locations. If you are canadian and are travelling with Air Transat, you have many benefits without extra cost...private breakfast with same variety as buffet but served to you instead, and private beach area and bar exclusive to air transat visitors only. Rooms were cleaned daily. My parents' room had an issue with air conditioning so they moved them to another room...oceanview. Nightly entertainment was good. I even got a glimpse of them practicing for their next series of performances and looks even better. Weather was great...not too hot...enough sun for a good tan but a nice breeze that there was no humidity...beautiful weather. Sometimes light rain at night but never in the day....it looked cloudy every morning we woke but the sun was out by about 10...never failed. :)

Our Air Transat rep Marie-Claude was very honest and open about what our stay will be like and she was right about everything....never tried to sell us anything and warned us about what and who to be careful of.

Esperanza was the employee that worked in Kids Club and was amazing and so much fun with the kids. She was always smiling and happy to see my children. She even sang happy birthday for my daughter on the stage and made her feel very special with all eyes on her and a big applause. :)

The worst part of the trip was the airport...where the pushy men were overly-aggressive about handling our suitcases even when we said no. They will take your luggage off the belt to claim it...I would advise you to take it from them as soon as possible and firmly say no. We had little luggage and 6 adults and we told them no but they insisted and literally took the luggage from my brother's hand. My brother said if you want to take it, take it but I'm not paying you....he took it...then after walking the measly 20 feet he stood there waiting for money. My brother said I told you I'm not paying you and he walked away mad. Leaving to go back home they swarmed us like bees and had 6 men on our luggages even after we said no...they ALL stood there and wanted their own tip...my Dad trying to be nice gave $2 to one guy...and they all came to my Dad for money until he raised his voice to them to please leave us alone. It was ridiculous.

Room Tip: Our family had 3 different rooms...oceanview of course was nice for the view...room is the same as t...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

I was so scared to actually go on this trip after reading all the reviews. However, I was nicely surprised by what an enjoyable,fun time we had! The rooms were much bigger than I expected,food offered was much healthier than I expected(I figured it would be all pizza and chicken nuggets), and the entertainment was just that-entertaining! We weren't even royal club! We had a fabulous time.Great value for the money. We woke up every day and went to the beach (stunningly beautiful!),went on an excursion every afternoon( yes we had to haggle but they ended up being waaaaay cheaper than we pay in Florida),and went to dinner and a show in the evening. Sometimes we would go to event they had after the show if it was interesting(karaoke!). I loved how it was so international and we really got to meet a ton of people from all over the world. It was the first time I have seen topless people on the beach- kind of embarrassing for my 14 yr old daughter ,but she got to see how other countries "holiday". We will be back!

Room Tip: We stayed in building 11, second floor. I have no complaints. No noise,no bugs,very spacious,midway...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

I went to Occidental Punta Cana and was an amazing experience. The Fun Club team is really good they exceeded my expectation especially Maria La Cubana, she is so professional and the shows every night are wonderfull.
My kids enjoyed too in the mini club they have professional people there to make you feel like king.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Punta Cana

Address: Calle Friusa, Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#36 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#51 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Grand Punta Cana 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Occidental Punta Cana
Flamenco Punta Cana
Grand Flamenco Occidental Punta Cana
Punta Cana Occidental Grand Flamenco
Occidental Flamenco Punta Cana

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