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“Love this place but Mangu has gone downhill!” 4 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 #56 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Love this place but Mangu has gone downhill!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

This was my second trip to this resort and the first for my 2 girlfriends. They trusted me to decide on our destination. They were very happy with my choice. The beach is as always just amazing, weather was beautiful, & staff were friendly and welcoming.

We booked through Air Transat and had the Preferred Club. Our stay was from Jan. 7-14, 2014.

The room we shared in building 26 was much more dated than the one I had in building 10 back in Feb 2012, however it met our needs and we are not as fussy as some. ;) Our housekeeper ROSITA was fabulous. She must have thought we were slobs, 3 women can really trash a room with all our stuff! She was always very friendly and our room was always spotless when she was done.

The restaurants were very good and we liked the variety of dishes available at the buffets. A la Carte's were very very good as well. I would have loved to see a Seafood Restaurant added though. All the staff we had wait on us were very happy and personable. We loved the interaction we had with the staff.

I actually recognized 2 of my favourite bartenders from 2012 in the Lobby bar. I was very happy to see ONY and EMILIO! Love love love these guys!!! Also want to mention FIODALIZA who also worked at the Lobby bar. She was also awesome. Always great smiles, great service and great drinks.

Our Beach Bar bartender who deserves recognition is FRANKLIN. He was so fun, always smiling, and you can really tell he loves his job and enjoys meeting new people. He makes awesome drinks and we loved his Mojitos and the Franklin Special. He really was a joy to see every day, and we missed him terribly on his days off.

One excursion we booked this week through the SeaPro Dive shop was the "Booze Cruise" booked with "L.A". We spent 3 hours on a party boat, went snorkeling, and met other party boats at a private sand bar. It was the best party!!! We really had the best time! We highly recommend it! That said, a word of warning! LA was overly friendly and several times over the week attempted to get us to go off resort with him. We did not go, and are suspicious of any staff who would target vacationers in this way. After returning home and doing some research we found that he has done this before and there have been complaints of women being exploited for money.

Over all though, the good staff are truly what makes this resort an enjoyable stay, but this review would be too long winded to read if I named everyone. Rest assured they have many excellent staff members, from the entertainment crew to the grounds crew etc. I will only mention a few more names we really appreciated this past week as they deserve mentioning. Towel boy JOSH, Beach Security ISAIAS and of course our Concierge VICTOR. They are also friendly professional staff that the Occidental should be proud to have.

Now for my critisism....No the review couldn't possibly be all good, and it isn't. There are a few things that I feel needs to be addressed by the management if they wish to keep their faithful return vacationers.

1) One of the things I feel they need to offer their guests is FREE WIFI!!! I cannot stress to you enough the importance of this. Most vacationers demand it and I guarantee that your competition is offering it. To add insult to injury what you charge for your wifi is rediculous! $60 per week.....oh hell no.... Suck it up Occidental! Treat your guests to wifi. It will be much appreciated and will encourage new and repeat customers.

2) News flash...we shouldn't have to pay for a safe! That is a required part of our paid for accommodation. Cut the crap. Include the safe without extra charge.

3) The vendors the Occidental allows to set up inside the hotel's grounds are annoying and aggressive. I did not appreciate being harrassed every time we had to "walk the gauntlet" between the Lobby and the Stage.

4) The last complaint I have is regarding MANGU CLUB. I realize this is separate from the hotel but it is one the the reasons why people like myself chose to come to Occidental. I don't know who took over, who is managing, or who is making the changes to the club but STOP IT!!! They have ruined it for vacationers who remember what MANGU was like 2 years ago, when they had the best Electronica/House music, awesome DJ's, dancers, etc. Now they only play endless Latino House. Its not the same! Give the people what they want or they will stop coming and find somewhere else....and it seems that they already have, as the club was nearly empty when I did go and people who showed up didn't stay. 2 years ago it was packed every night and I didn't leave until at least 4am...it was that good! After seeing what they have done to the place now, I was very very disappointed!

In the end I would come back if only for the nice staff, good food, and beautiful beach. But not having the hopping dance club might deter me from returning, I have to be honest.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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English first
Lakefield, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

From the airport through check out myself my daughter and her friend had a great time ,room was clean right beside the beach plenty of food choice. I really cannot complain about anything . however you must book your choice of where to eat on your first day there or they well be booked up TC

Room Tip: complex 24 or 26 right next to the beach 2nd floor
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Cochrane, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We were there from December 27 2013 to January 10, 2014. Our first impressions when we arrived were "OMG, what have we gotten ourselves into". We flew with Air Transat so were part of the "Preference Club" area of rooms. After our lame separate area check in (they were not ready for us) we got a nice ride to our building. Impressive - a sign on the building said Air Transat Preference Club .... the fellow opened the door and BAM - an incredible musty/mouldy smell smacked us in the face and got into my lungs immediately. Disgusting. We went to grab a bite since it was 8:30pm and we had been on the go much of the day (from Calgary) and walked into the buffet only to find server people milling about, no tables set up, caring completely less about the people who had just walked in. We had to find a table that wasn't full of plates and uneaten food, had to flag someone down to come and fix up our table, then flag someone else down for a glass of water, and then we proceeded to try to find something edible at the buffet.

The smell in our room dissipated with the air conditioning running full time. The room was extremely OLD and worn out. Looks like they painted recently though. Furniture was a mess and most uncomfortable. Chipped paint on all of the furniture. No plugs in sink (which was plugged and not draining when we got there - took 24 hours to get that fixed) and no plug in the bathtub. Water pressure and temperature was fine entire time we were there.

Twice we had water running through the ceiling over our bathtub. Called once about it and I guess they "fixed" it somewhere because it stopped. The second time I just didn't bother calling.

While it is not very humid in Punta Cana, for some reason the room remained very damp and nothing ever dried .... ever. I guess they don't have dehumidifiers in their air conditioning? Seemed odd to always put damp clothes on. I found it you kept your clothes tucked in the drawers and closed up tight, this was your best bet. But if they go in damp, they will come out damp.

Food was boring and very repetitive. The spagetti fellows were great - we ate a lot of spagetti and chicken!!

Service was very slow - not sure if this is the Dominican nature but man, it gets frustrating to find coffee in the morning at the buffet and a glass of water or wine for lunch/dinner.

All inclusive never means all inclusive. While it is common to always tip your cleaning lady, you almost could not get a drink at the bar without waiving money around.

It's a small resort which is EXTREMELY old, but it is clean. The beach is freaking beautiful but the water itself, being the Atlantic ocean, can be pretty rough with heavy undertows. Not good if you want to have a swim or float. That's not going to happen in that ocean.

The pool is also a huge disappointment. If you want to wade around for the most part up to your thighs okay, but if you want to "cool your core" there aren't many places deep enough to do this. The main pool was kept pretty clean, but the other one was pretty dirty.

Unfortunately, we will not go back to this resort. If I had more money I would have gone next door and asked if they had rooms available. We had to make the best of it though - we were there for 2 weeks.

Room Tip: We were in building 23 and it was a great location. Not quite in the middle of the beach and main l...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Dear Jan S,

Thank you for sending us your comments, the satisfaction of our guests is our goal, and we are very sorry to read about your disappointments and your most detailed observations, it appears we didn’t meet our own standards during your stay.

We follow strict standards to ensure rooms are properly inspected and cleaned prior to the arrival of our guests; we do apologize for the lack of service provided. This is unacceptable and we’ve addressed it with our maintenance team who immediately performed a full inspection of our room. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Please accept our apologies for failing your dinning expectations; our executive chef and his team work diligently to offer a wide variety of food at our restaurants. We always use fresh products of the highest quality including a large variety of fresh fruits and gourmet salads. Thus we understand the importance of an incredible dining experience; we’ve addressed your review with our executive chef as to enhance our quality standards.

We do hope you will offer us a chance to gain back your confidence in product.

Many thanks,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We did a quick trip (Friday- Monday) to DR to stay at the Occidental Grand Punta Cana resort. The grounds, beach and pool are lovely and well maintained. There are multiple places to eat and Isilio at the Beach Bar was one of the few exceptional staff members with his friendliness and efficiency (we also tipped him quite well so maybe that's the key).
Unfortunately, there were issues that could be fixed if the hotel would pay more attention to guest details. Upon check-in, we were not told of any daily activities, or where we could find listings of such so we had no idea what was going on at the resort the whole time. Upon check-out, the attendant was rude and rushed and handed us a small piece of paper which we almost threw away. Come to find out, you needed to give this to the Transport driver.
The "concierge" in our building called us at 8:00 am the first day after our arrival and put a note under our door asking us to meet him in the afternoon for a "Free Gift". I suspected, and was correct, that this was just a dumb ploy to get us to listen to a presentation about "Time Shares" so we said "thanks but no thanks". When I asked him for help with dinner reservations about 15 minutes later, he responded that I could make them myself (this is after he had just offered to make them for us). Rude, Rude, Rude. He then proceeded to ignore us the rest of the stay.
The speciality restaurant food was average at best and the Italian restaurant was the worst. They did make great smoothies and omlettes however for breakfast and the brick oven pizza was really tasty.
The beach was beautiful and safe. They kept the "Hawkers" to a reasonable amount and if you said "no Gracious" they were very friendly and left you alone. I was expecting them in the DR, so it was not a surprise.
In general, the resort was pretty and seemed to have a lot to offer. Unfortunately, we never really got to find out what that was due to the lack of organization and staff attention.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

My husband & I stayed at this resort from 1/4 thru 1/11. We are Occidental OWNERS! We bought the vacation club in Costa Rica where they treated us like royalty. They gave us a deal we could not pass so we bought, although we already own a vacation club with Melia (which has a resort 5 miles away from Occidental in Punta Cana) and is absolutely TOP QUALITY FIRST CLASS SERVICE. Anyway, everything went downhill from the reservation call. When i called to make the reservation, the 1st thing the rep said 2 me was that i owed $185!! EXCUSE ME?!!? after being transferred to Melvin (who's awesome) we finally made our reservation. We initially did not plan to stay for 7 days however Melvin said "if you book 4 or 5 days, they are going to put you in a REGULAR ROOM, NOT the room you BOUGHT" so we booked 7 days. When we got there, they put us in the freakin BATES MOTEL ROOM!! There was hair on the floor in the bathroom, the bedding was as old as me, it was AWFUL!! it was NOT what we bought! We are First Club owners, yet we were put in a room as if we booked thru apple vacations or expedia. This was unacceptable. After raising holy heck, they showed us another room, which was the same "quality" room just bigger. this 2 was unacceptable. I finally spoke to a manager and was assured that we would be moved in the morning. At this point our vacation was RUINED. Keep in mind, we own another vacation club not too far from Occidental, and were so ready to call them to come & pick us up. The room we were in was awful. Hair on the floor in the bathroom, mold on the curtains, the air conditioning unit leaked (right over the door). Just awful. When we finally got into the room that we PAID FOR as MEMBERS, it was a little better but my vacation was already ruined at this point. We were told they only reason why we got this room was because another member had not shown up & they had been holding that room for him since Thursday!!!! ARE U KIDDING ME!! so when we checked in on Sat, you could have given us the room we BOUGHT but u were holding a room!! WHAT!! I am to going to get into much more detail about this PLACE, but I urge you NOT to stay in this hotel and DO NOT BUY THIS VACATION CLUB. If you are 30 and over and EXPECT to be treated with dignity and respect and get what you pay for, like peace & quiet during your vacation and in your HOTEL ROOM, do NOT stay at this hotel. Its loud and noisy EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. This hotel is for young kids, spring breakers, etc. Not for the mature refined adults. This message will be posted on every social media site I can find

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Dear Wonderwoman215,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. We regret to read about the lack of service you experienced, please accept our apologies. Our team is focused on providing the best service to our guests and it saddens us to know that we failed you. We are diligently working to address your concerns with our hotel staff and management to ensure that these situations do not present themselves again in the future.

If there is anything we can do gain your trust in our product and service, as a member of our Occidental Vacation Club, please do not hesitate to contact directly: itejeda@do.occidentalhotels.com

We hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back and show you the service for which we are known for.

Thank you,
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Matawan, New Jersey
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I just returned from a week at the resort. The staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful. With that said, the food is awful and repetitive. If you want to sleep at night get earplugs because the disco makes your walls vibrate at 11:30pm. The chair in the lobby are dirty and smell of sweat. The hawkers on the beach don't leave you alone and follow you around with no security taking them off resort grounds. The general condition of the resort is shabby and in sore need of renovation. It may have been grand once but it certainly is not grand now. Go somewhere else.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Dear 6254A,

We highly appreciate and thank your review, please accept our sincere apologies for this situation that does not reflect our attitude and service quality, for this reason it has been reported to our management for corrective actions be taken.

We are committed to providing our guests with an enjoyable vacation and it appears that we fell short of this during your stay. We regret to hear that your stay was not pleasant and we truly hope that you will give us another chance to welcome you.

Many thanks,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I wish I had something nice to say about this resort, but unfortunately I don't. Being a frequent Caribbean (and world) traveler I have had the chance to experience both good and bad resorts so I have a pretty good idea what acceptable is. Right off the bet I would suggest you go elsewhere if you haven't booked here, but if you have continue to read so you are better prepared for what's to come.
What topped all the wrongs of this hotel was another letter slipped under the door explaining that due to a computer error they had taken more reservations that they actually could handle and had rooms available for so they were looking for volunteers that were either willing to leave the hotel sooner to return home or go to a nearby hotel, but get 1-3 free nights at a later time or take an excursion to Samoa (island) to make room for the others.
Arrival and check in were pretty smooth and rather quick. The room was what really destroyed my whole experience at the resort. They are in desperate need of renovation. The air conditioner worked well, if it was kept at 75. Worked if we lowered it too but it leaked water, which made a puddle that two hand towels could not hold together so it would leak to out of the room, into the corridor and all the way down the hall. Walking to the bathroom was always a good balancing act between not getting wet from the water and not slipping at the same time. Opening the balcony door gave me a good workout because it would not easily slide and locking it was even harder. They had drilled holes on the panels of the door, which were held together by a metal stick. Strange. The drawers, mostly would not open and the ones that did slid out all the way and almost broke our toes. The bathroom was mainly ok, but the water would always leak out of the tub when taking a shower and no matter how good the curtain was adjusted it would get out. But they had it figured out with a second shower drain on the floor next the toilet. Even third world countries have better room conditions.
The beach was great, but if you went to grab a chair after 8, good luck finding one and the umbrellas were out of the question of course. 80% of the beach chairs were broken and would fold on you if you didn't lean on the back.
Also, the resort representatives that sit in the lobby of each "villa" stalk you to no end trying to get you to do the welcome tour and welcome package. They try to get you to have lunch or breakfast with them and they will sit and introduce Occidental and all their properties. I politely declined every day of my vacation, even though they kept stopping me, slipping papers under the door, and calling the room as early as 7:30AM. I clearly told the guy that having appointments, meetings and being on a schedule was exactly what I was trying to escape the 6 days on the island so the "welcome package" was a no go for us. However we did see many long faces at breakfast listening to the blah blah blah nonsense that they had to say.
Needless to say this trip was a rather unpleasant experience due to many wrongs that could have not been righted even with double amount of rights. From the staking vendors that sat up shop inside the resort selling souvenirs to the attitudes of some of the workers that have clearly never used the laughing muscles in their face. As a first time visitor in the DR it is safe to say I will not be returning. I go twice a year on Caribbean vacations and I am just so upset I gave my business to this resort rather than the ones in Cancun.
Lesson learned. Will never return.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the beach otherwise it's quite a walk. We asked and they places us in b...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
Dear Inavip86,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your experience at Occidental Grand Punta Cana. We are hospitality professionals who pride us on delivering world class service to all of our guests and us truly sorry we did not manage this for your stay. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience you encountered since you arrive. We have taken note and wish to thank you for all your comments. Please rest assured that we have already taken the appropriate measures to address the problem with our teams in order to prevent any future occurrences. These are of great importance to us and allow us to monitor and improve our service continually.

Also, your feedback about the Occidental Vacation Club staff has been addressed to their manager, and will take the proper measures so that you or any future guest feels uncomfortable with our staff.

We hope for the opportunity to welcome you back and show you our high standards of a true Occidental Grand Punta Cana experience.

Respectfully,
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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:
#35 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Grand Punta Cana 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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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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