Arrival: Oct. 29 - Nov. 5 2009
Our resort arrival was by taxi and was quick and uneventful, although we did miss our pre booked transfer due to flight number being changed. Our flight from YYZ to the DR was #248 and was via Puerto Plata, flight from POP was #247 which was not listed on the arrival board at Punta Cana airport, we arrived early and our private driver who was looking for flight #248 and we did not see his vehicle in the parking lot. So after over a half hours looking and asking questions we took another taxi to the resort. I did apologize to Bronly the next day when he picked us up to go to the boys orphanage in Higuey.
On arrival at the resort we were immediately whisked away and registered in the Royal Club, a one bedroom suite, 2nd floor ocean view, simply beautiful. Within 10 minutes of arrival we were at poolside having an ice cold Presidente.
While we were in the Royal Club, I did take time to visit the Transat Preference and Prestige rooms of people who we made friends with at the airport on the way down. These rooms were very nice with Spanish terra cotta tile floors and well appointed rooms with a king bed, a full bath and a small sitting area adjacent to patio doors to a balcony that looked out in both cases to the pool area. Honestly these rooms would have been very adequate for our stay.
Restaurants and Bars:
Even though we were guests in the Royal Club we visited and used various buffets and a la carte restaurants to gain a good perspective of the entire resort.
Main buffet was very good for breakfast with separate omelette and egg cooking stations, there was a large selection of fresh fruits, juices, smoothies and many other foods available for our enjoyment. We also did eat one night at this same buffet, there was a huge selection of various meats and vegetables available, and nobody certainly should ever go hungry. The Dining area was very well appointed and also air-conditioned. Like most buffets the food which was on steam tables could have been hotter but in comparison to other buffets it was on par.
Beach buffet, an open air restaurant on the beach augmented by a nice breeze off the ocean made it quite comfortable; it had an excellent selection of pizza, meats, cheeses, fruits salads and veggies, something to suit everyone’s palate. Service by the wait staff was very good.
Japanese a la carte was quite good especially for those who like oriental cuisine; we are not into the sushi culture so stayed away from the appetizer sections of the menu. Our main course was very good and steaming hot and was very enjoyable. This particular a la carte is not a teppenaki style restaurant.
Italian a la carte was indeed a nice surprise with an exceptional range of pasta dishes as well as main courses cooked with an Italian flair; food was well presented and quite hot. There also was an excellent salad and soup bar available.
Brazilian a la carte, well the steak was very good and cooked to perfection. I overheard many people saying that they expected a Brazilian Rodisserio type menu with many types of braised meats brought to the table on larger skewers, when actually it is more like a grill restaurant.
Royal Club restaurant (members only) was a beautifully appointed room adjacent to the RC Jacuzzi pool, air conditioned comfort with eloquent service and a fine menu of appetizers, soups and salads with a different daily menu of main course dishes. Any we had been marvellously prepared and very tasty. This restaurant was open to members for breakfast, lunch and supper; we tried them all and were very impressed with the service and food quality.
Bavaro beach, what is there to say other than it is simply beautiful white sand and gorgeous blue colourations of the ocean. The resort had staff who were continually grooming the sands to make sure that there was no tourist generated debris around any of the loungers, when a glass was empty it was quickly removed, ash trays were available at all the palapa's.
All the pools were very nice well maintained and were very child friendly with walk in sections that gradually went to a depth of just over 3 feet. Swim up bars were available at the 2 we briefly visited. 90% of our time was spent on the beach.
While the Occidental is one of the older resorts in Punta Cana, arriving you are greeted into a large marble and Spanish terra cotta tile floored open air lobby that just sparkles. From the lobby you are led through a pathway of red painted and white curbed winding roadways through the myriad of beautifully white painted Spanish style buildings with orange tile roofs, pools and gardens that are meticulously maintained by a very friendly staff who always greet you with a friendly "hola".
One thing that does need attention is the roadway leading into the resort; it is quite rough and has many large potholes.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Off resort we went to the El Mundo Meijor Children's orphanage in Higuey.
And of course did our usual Wednesday afternoon at Steve's Corner bar which was a short walk from the lobby.
The resort was very well maintained and clean; the staff were very friendly and accommodating. Public washrooms in the lobby are very well maintained and clean as they were in any of the restaurant area. One exception was the large washrooms adjacent to the evening theatre, I was told that a number of toilets in the ladies side did not flush and was in need of a complete refit.
The resort 2 years ago when I was there, had started a complete renovation program of its rooms and this is now a continuing process spearheaded by their resident manager. The rooms that I did visit were very nice, and I am not prepared to say all rooms were like them but the occupants who we knew had no complaints.
I definitely did see a lot of wonderful improvements in the resort, and am sure more will be taking place in the near future.
As far as vacation club sales people a firm “no gracias” is all that is needed if you are not interested in a presentation.
Other comments an other review about hookers in the lobby was certainly not seen by us, in fact I even had to get authorization from Guest Services for my friend Punta Cana Mike to join us in the lobby for a cold beer before he took us back to the airport. We spent each evening pre and post dinner in the lobby bar and never saw anything that resembled this.
The Mangu disco is open for the general population; we never went there so I am not prepared to say what type of clientele was there.
Personally I do not see why anyone can not go to this middle of the road solid 4+ star resort and have a wonderful fun filled all inclusive vacation.
Please note that even though we stayed in the fantastic Royal Club section, has absolutely no bearing on this review, as I tried to see and did use as much of the resort as possible to give a true perspective of what to expect. I met with and discussed the resort with the resident manager and went over many of the points that would be included in this review.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.