I usually do not write reviews for resorts but I do find it interesting to read what some travelers have to say about a particular resort that I might have been to and in the case of the Sirenis Cocotal I feel the need to write one to set a few things straight.
First off, lets discuss the star ratings of resorts in the Dominican Republic, particularly in Punta Cana. So many people b&^%h, moan, whine and complain that they paid for a 5 star resort and feel like it was a 1 star experience. If these whiners actually think they are going to get a 5 star experience by US standards for 8 days 7 nights for around 850 a week all inclusive at the Sirenis, then they are either non-seasoned travelers or they live their daily lives in fantasy land. Is this resort 5 stars by US standards, no, but if you actually took the time to absorb the caribbean experience, learn the culture, truly get to know the people and visit the real country then you will understand that this resort is 5 stars by Dominican standards. This is still very much a 3rd world country and if you actually understood this you would understand how good the experience at this resort actually is!
Next, heres another point that absolutely boils my blood! So many people complain about no one at the resort speaking english and that the staff should speak english. Hello folks, wake up and smell the coffee and pull your head out of you a^&, you are in a SPANISH speaking country, make a little effort to speak a little spanish and you will get the same respect in return from the workers. Its a funny thing, I have been to Punta Cana 17 times and 7 times at the Sirenis and NEVER one time have I ever had a problem getting something I needed. Sure, you run into the occasional worker that can speak 0 words of english and what you might need, you do not know how to explain in spanish but what you will find at this resort is if you run into this situation the worker will bring someone back to you to resolve your issue that does understand. In this day and age folks, technology is a wonderful thing, use your darn phones or tablets with an english to spanish translation app and hello, guess what you can communicate and the workers will very much appreciate it!
Now lets talk about the supposed lack of service that people complain about. Sure, you might run into the occasional worker that isnt completely "on" that day but guess what folks, they are human beings and are allowed to have an off day every now and then. Slow service in the buffet in regards to getting drinks? Are you serious?! I have NEVER seen this issue before and as a matter of fact there has been times where after eating my dinner that I felt like my bladder was going to explode because of all the water, soda, wine, beer, etc. that numerous workers would bring. Sure there may be a little barrier in understanding about a mixed drink you might want and you might get the occasional daquiri when you order a margarita, but SO WHAT, chill the heck out, down the drink and enjoy the night, you are on vacation.
Workers being rude? Ok, this one leaves me perplexed! People complain that workers are rude when they ask for something, the workers walk away and dont come back. Well let me translate this situation for you. I have seen this dozens of times a trip where an english speaking person will have this sense of entitlement attitude that they are better than everylone, and when they ask a worker for something it is done in such a condescending tone that even though the worker may not fully understand do you think they are really going to get someone for you who does when you treat them this way? I have seen people act like because they "have money" that these workers should kiss their a&& and actually snap their fingers at them like they are dogs. Treat people with disrespect and you will get disrespect back! I know thats a tough concept for complainers to understand!
The service it what keeps me coming back to this resort and heres why. Two trips ago to the Sirenis in Nov 2012, I had been on the beach one day and asked one of the bar tenders if they had lemonade. It was apparent he did not understand what I wanted so Juan Carlos disappeared for a while and came back with the resorts bar manager, Daniel, and Daniel asked what my request was. I explained to him that I wanted to know if they had lemonade and he understood and stated that they did not. Daniel in turn explained this to Juan Carlos. Fast foward...next day at the pool, Juan Carlos spots me and what do you think he does? He brings a huge gallon jug of lemonade to me to mix with vodka. You might ask, I thought they didnt have lemonada, they dont but when he got off the day before he went to a shop outside the resort and purchased some Countrytime Lemonade with his own money and brought it to work with him the next day! And up to this point I had not yet tipped him so he wasnt just doing it for the money, he was doing it because he understands what good service is. And people want to complain about poor service at this place?! Unreal!!!!!!!
People complain about the slow service at the lobby bars and pool bars. Ok folks, if you sit there with a pissy attitude interuppting them and being rude, of course you will get slow service. Go to a bar in the US, snap your fingers at the bartender and wave money in their face and see where that gets you. Weak drinks? Yes numerous travelers complain about this. There have been many nights at the Sirenis lobby bar where I didnt know what country I was in, couldnt find my room if you had paid me to and woke up hours later passed out somewhere! Now I can take my liquor and this happens to me from the drinks here so I dont get what people are complaining about. Just to name a few bar tenders in the lobby...Palaco, Jimmy, Salserin, Daniel, Jimmeny, Conchita, Fedor...these guys are top notch bar tenders. Every one of them imemdiately knows my drink when I sit down...now why is this.....hmmmmmmmm...maybe about the mutual respect thing...just a thought! Slow service at the pool bars? what a crock of dog excrement! Two bartenders usually work each pool bar and there are anywhere from 100-150 guests at a time in the pool area where the bar is so of course there will be a slight delay but these guys enjoy their job, just show them some respect and patience and you will have one hell of a buzz before you know it. For example, charlie at the Cocotal pool bar...fantastic worker...Ive seen him run the bar by himself during high season and I never wait more than a couple of minutes for a drink. Ask Charlie to make you a "TUCAN"...its a specialty drink he came up with...it wont disappoint!
Complaints about housekeeping? Sure, some days these ladies might not get around to your room till later in the afternoon but usually one woman has the responsibility for two buildings with 24 rooms in each..so naturally it will take some time. So what if you get back to your room and they are cleaning, pop open a beer, share a drink with them and RELAX! My room each and every day has been clean and smelling fresh with a slight hint of bleach so its obvious they are cleaning! Throw them a few bucks each day and your room will be so clean you could eat a steak off the floor!
Complaints about the food. Is the food here going to be confused with a fine dining rest in an upscale section of Manhattan, NY...no but what you will get is a wide variety, fresh, and an abundance of everything. If you cant find something to eat here than you cant be pleased. In fact, I have eaten at the steak rest here a few times where after the meal I thought how ashamed an Outback Steakhouse should be with their product compared to the meal I just ate! Rude wait staff in the buffets? Youre nuts....for example...Anna in the cocotal buffet is an absolute gem! Will do anything for you. Nothing better than breakfast when "coffee boy" is working...he will surely bring you out of your hangover.
So folks I could go one for 10 more paragraphs but I hope you get the point of my ramblings...you are on vacation, have realistic expectations, relax, enjoy, brush up on spanish a bit, and treat these workers like you would want to be treated and you will be back for you 8th time like I will be in 63 days!
Ask for an ocean view room in building K on the Cocotal side...stunning views!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.