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“Great value for a great beach!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

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VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   White Sand, carretera Arena Gorda | Bávaro, Punta Cana 290217, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #73 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Minnesota
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Great value for a great beach!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

If you are interested in a relaxing beach vacation at a reasonable price, you will should be satisfied here. I spent a week here and found it very relaxing. The beach is beautiful white sand, the water blue with a sandy bottom for great swimming, and the beach goes on forever in both directions for wonderful beach walks. There was a flea market close if you felt like doing a little shopping and can handle the sellers talking non-stop and trying to lure you in. The size and layout of the resort made it very convenient. I was in an oceanview room on the third floor, but still only 130 steps (I counted) from the beach. My room was not renovated but was clean and had a nice balcony with chairs and a view. Food and drink was very easy and stress-free to come by. There were two bars in the beach area, so only one day was there a line to get drinks. For some reason, one bar was closed that day. The drinks were served in small plastic cups, so I usually ordered two. Food was served near the beach from 11 until 6pm and included pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, sometimes chicken and pork as well. During the lunch hour they added a buffet of salads, desserts, and a few side dishes inside one of the beach bars. The main buffet was quite close to the beach and had a full buffet at lunch time with plenty of options. Breakfasts were excellent buffets with plenty of choices including great sausages and bacon. There was a station where you could have eggs or omelettes cooked to order by a very friendly and efficient cook. Evening meal options were the buffet or the two a la carte restaurants - Italian and seafood. I did not eat at the seafood, but ate several times at the Italian. I did not have any of the typical Italian pastas, but instead enjoyed steak Gorgonzola and salmon fillet. Both were excellent and the starter of Mussels Gratin was also great. A HUGE advantage of this resort is that you do not have to reserve for the restaurants - just arrive. I can never be bothered with the rigamarole of this reserving that most resorts seem to have, so rarely use them. The evening buffet was fine, nothing special, on the two occasions I ate there, but you wouldn't go hungry. The house wine at the resort was quite bad and seemed to change for the worse later on in my week. You can purchase wine in the restaurants for about $30 a bottle. It took me until my last night to wonder, why I am trying to drink this poor wine when they have a first class, great tasting draft beer in Presidente. The resort supplied two large bottles of water in the room fridge each day. So water was not a problem like at some resorts where you are scrambling each night to make sure you have enough water. Also nice was having the same friendly and hard-working chambermaid the entire time I was there. I brought some small gifts from home and tipped $1 to $2 per day. Internet access was available for $2 for 15 minutes at the internet room near the front desk. I wanted to attend Catholic mass on Sunday and this resort did not have. There was a church in a shopping area not too far away. When I asked at the desk they said a taxi would be $15 each way. But I discovered the location of the church on my beach walk and it was only about a half hour's walk down the beach and maybe two blocks inland. Near the Captain Cook Restaurant. Easily walkable for me and a lot cheaper. Was able to give the money to the church instead.
Some of the beach chairs were saggy and broken, but there were plenty of them and little tables with cup holders. Some of the staff were not as friendly as you might expect but maybe I am comparing to Mexico. At night the beach was lit and guarded with security. It was nice to be able to see the water and watch the waves a bit after dark.
The hotel was filled with friendly people from all over the world and it was interesting to talk to them and hear all the languages. I'd stay at this hotel again if I could get the same price.

Room Tip: Make sure you get oceanview if you requested it.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Moncton, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

It was my first time at the Vik and it was the best vacation ever, people were great, rooms were perfect the beach was excellent...the restaurants were very good....It was perfect.
We will go again next year, and I can't wait....I'm counting the days already...

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

My husband and I were looking to relax and this was a great place for it. There are no clocks in the restaurants, bars or bedrooms. So we really were able to disconnect, which was great. The place was quiet and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. The majority of guests are couples and there were only a handful of kids.
We really enjoyed the landscaping and we liked the smaller size of the resort because it made it easy to exxperience everything. And, the staff came to know us. They would have the drinks ready for us at the bar, coffee sitting at the table for breakfast and beer at dinner time.
For us the buffet was better than the a la carte. Both are included in the stay but the service is tons better at the buffet and the dining rooms are much more spacious than the cramped a la carte spaces.
We were in 3119 and the view was great. You get the garden, pool, and ocean. This is not a renovated room but we were very happy.
Overall, our time there was wonderful and we are planning to go back. And hopefully we will bring friends and family with us.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cleburne, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2011

I booked this resort because it was the cheapest price I had found for Dominican Republic for a week long stay. That being said you cannot expect 5 star amenities for a 3 star price.
The beach was wonderful. We had no trouble getting a palapa and chairs because my husband would wake up at 6am and go reserve them. He liked to sit down there and read before anyone woke up.
The pool was very nice.
Our room was wonderful. It was a non renovated room, but we were upgraded to an oceanview room at no extra charge. The young man who showed us our room options was very helpful. The room he showed us was on the third floor which was too many stairs for me (I am young but quite ill) so I asked him if anything was available on a lower floor and he immediately found one for us.
I won't comment on the food since I am a very picky eater. I will say that there seemed to be a large variety of different kinds of food I would never eat. I must say that breakfast was wonderful and that the man who makes the omelets deserves commendation. They were great. They also have the best ice cream ever.
The people who try to get you to go tour the Cayena beach resort are pushy and quite annoying. You try to be nice the first couple of days, but by the end you just have to put your hand up and say not interested.
Thankfully this was not a party resort. We wanted something quiet and low key.
So if you are looking for an inexpensive resort, are not party people and are not overly concerned with staying at a luxury resort I would recommend VIK.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2011

Tried Punta Cana for our 2nd chic trip. The hotel is located in a great spot on the beach. Loved shopping @ beach shacks in bathing suit & drink in hand. The hotel was pretty nice overall. Needs some updating, some areas more than others, but looks like things are proceeding in that direction. Had some issues checking in- waited quite awhile. When we finally got to room, it was less than impressive. After a stroll around the hotel, we returned to front desk & expressed our dissatisfaction with room. Clerk Freslin V. was very gracious, asked us to be patient a litlle while longer & he'd see what he could do. After 1 or 2 more mamajanas in lobby bar, he showed us 2 other rooms much better suited for 3 women. Maybe we lucked out because the hotel didn't seem overly crowded, but they moved us to an ocean-front jr suite. By the time we returned from dinner, a 3rd single bed had been set up. My overall impression of the staff was good- most were pretty friendly & nice, & more so if you tip! The food was ok. I'd say the breakfast buffet was decent, with the egg/omelette station very good. Lots of fresh fruit with all meals. Lunch by the pool was good- the grilled chicked&pork were really good! Fries were decent, pizza hit&miss. Had hot dogs, but on rolls, not buns. Only 2 sit-down/ala carte style restaurants, & they weren't too good. For dinner, I preferred the chinese stir-fry station at buffet. The shows were alright, but there really isn't much at this resort at night. Went into the disco as it was the only place to get a late-night drink. Was really loud, really dead & really run-down. Did go to Imagine one night & that was a good time for most part. It's in a cave, so that was definitely cool to see. Would be great @ Halloween! It was packed with tourists bussed in form resorts & lots of local people. Was very difficult to dance & have fun w/ guys constantly coming over & grinding on you. Glad I went once, but wouldn"t go back. That's probably my overall take on this trip. It was nice cause it was vacation- layin on beach, drinkin+eatin all day, whenever you want. No housework, pets, bills to write, etc! The beach was GREAT, but just resort aftet resort after resort- maybe a house/condo here + there. I'm not a big fan of AI's either. We did take an excursion to Catalina- it was total rip-off. Spent 6+ hours in van driving around countryside & stopped for gas + $ to buy gas 4 times! All this to go off-shore snorkeling from a beach that wasn't as nice as the one in front of our hotel! Really make sure you know what's involved with your excursion- what kind of vehicle you''ll be in, how many others, transfer/return times, etc. I was very upset- it was a complete waste of $$ & a whole day of vacation! When we did complain to the guy we purchased it from, he said he'd try to get us 50% of our money back. It took him a day + a half, but while we were waiting for our airport transfer home, he dropped off a 40% refund. I know it was better than nothing, but still- a whole day!!! I guess I'd even consider the hotel again if I just wanted to chill on the beach with my husband & daughter. There's really not much else to do. One thing I did NOT like were the vendors in the hotel & on the beach. We were beseiged on the way to dinner, the shows, the beach... Although all vendors wern't around every day, when they were, they were pushy. "No gracias" did work most of the time, but it really was annoying when I was there to relax. Again, I can't stress how nice the beach was. It definitely rivals the soft, white sand of Cancun & MR. But, in my humble opinion, thats where major similarities end. Punta Cana did not make me want to give up time in Puerto Morelos. I'd definitely consider another trip to another area of DR, but this fall, I'll be going BACK to PM. Also, our 1st girls trip was to Breezes, Runaway Bay, Jamaica. I was not overly impressed w/ resort, but loved Jamaica. Just bringing that up because I'll be returning to Jamaica before Dominican.

Room Tip: bldg 5 closest to beach
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2011

I just returned from a week at this resort. Let me preface this by saying that it's best to keep expectations in line with price. This is a very inexpensive resort in Punta Cana so my expectations were according to what I paid. That being said, here is my review:

ROOMS
I had a non-renovated room and it was fine. Very spacious and very clean, and all rooms have large balconies. The pillows need to be replaced though, uncomfortable. The decor of the non-renovated rooms isn't bad at all, sort of a tropical theme/feeling. However, if you book a king bed it's true that they do push two twin beds together. I was in the room alone so it didn't bother me, but if I were a couple, I wouldn't like it. It's pretty tacky to do that, they should get real king beds. However, overall I enjoyed the room quite a bit. Nice bathrooms, even in the non-renovated rooms.

GROUNDS/POOl/BEACH
This is a smaller resort, and everything has an open-air design which I really enjoyed. The grounds and gardens are beautiful. Pool is lovely and spacious. The beach cannot be beat. It really is on the best stretch of sand around. Plenty of chairs and shade huts.

FOOD/DRINKS
I felt that the food and drinks left a little to be desired, but again this isn't what you would call a luxury resort. The breakfast buffet was very good and incorporated tropical/latin foods. Lunch and dinner buffets were really just OK. It would have been nice to have seen more latin influences in the food. More fresh foods would have been nice too. Only the Italian a la carte was open during my stay and it was again just OK. I didn't feel the food was any better than the buffet so I only went once.

Drinks were a bit of a disappointment. The ones they serve on the beach and in the pool area come in tiny little cups. You need 3 of them to make a regular sized drink. No garnishes at all, just a straw stuck in the glass.

SERVICE

Generally, very friendly and helpful. But the hotel needs to do a better job keeping food items stocked on the buffet. Sometimes things like ice cream or the omelette toppings would empty, and just sit there for a long time before being refilled. That really shouldn't happen.

No beachside service: if you are looking for a resort where waiters will bring you drinks on the beach, this isn't it.

There are some very questionable jewelry vendors who come to the hotel on weekend nights. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of them. They will absolutely rip you off and are aggressive in a bad way. This was disappointing. I know they are not really part of the hotel but the hotel could be a little more selective about who they let onto their property to sell stuff.

OVERALL

This is an older, smaller resort that doesn't have all the amenities of the newer, larger places. At the same time, it's small size is a positive because it's very laid back and relaxing. Easy to get from your room to the beach, to the dining, etc.

It is not a party resort. The crowd is either families or older people or couples. Very quiet at night. Not a scene for singles.

Would I stay here again? Yes, but only if I got another good deal. I don't think I would pay top dollar for this resort or go during peak season. But if you can snag a deal, it's worth it. Also if you just want to be in Punta Cana on the beach in an amazing location and not spend tons of money, this is a great place to be.

Stayed May 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caracas, Venezuela
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2011

This hotel/resort is well equiped with many options to get some rest and spend pleasure time with your partner. It has one warm pool divided in two zones, one for children and other for adults. It depends on your height. Also, you can find a jacuzzi in the middle of adults part but the water is quite cold. On the other hand, and THE BEST of this facility is that is in front of the Bavaro shore, a beautiful beach with typical curved palms to take spectacular shoots with your camera. Also, the sand is terrific!!. There are all comodities such as towels, chairs, "chiringuitos" (umbrellas made by dry palm leave to protect from sun), tables and 2 bars to get drinks. Moreover, there are 3 restaurants available: Italian, Sea Food and Buffe, and 1 snack bar. This one is quite good!. The food is good in average. If you decide to get All Included plan, you'll enjoy of all foods and drinks for free. Whisky is not included. Furthermore, there are 2 tennis courts and a gym. Is very convenient that they provide tennis raquets and balls for free. My wife and I enjoyed playing tennis everyday. For those who enjoy night life you can find pool tables, table soccer, a bar, performs from animators, dancers and shows, and a discoteque to shaking bodies with latin rythms. Lastly, the room: this is an hotel which is currently improving their facilities. Therefore, you can find old and new rooms. We had lucky to enjoy both of them, and I can say that the old one was better than new one. But they are improving fast and getting new one would be better if you decide to stay at this hotel. There are several convenient reasons to choose this hotel, but I'll tell what's the WORST about it: sometimes, specially at the begining of your stay, your rest would be compromised by people whom are selling RESORT PACKAGES and offering you an upgrade to change your accomodation to a VIP area nearby the hotel. In my opinion, those people are very direct and sometimes annoying. I'm quiet person character, but I was mad since selling approaching constantly. I had to avoid this approaching arguing "I don't have money for an upgrade and I don't interested to know about this 'VIP' treatment". To sum up, this is a Hotel/Resort as well, and you'll find comodities very interesting and helpful to aim to enjoy your stay. VERY IMPORTANT: Internet only on lobby and very expensive. Ex.: 15 min = USD. 2.

Room Tip: Ask for new accomodation
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Address: White Sand, carretera Arena Gorda | Bávaro, Punta Cana 290217, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#52 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#62 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — VIK Hotel Arena Blanca 3.5*
Number of rooms: 447
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The VIK Hotel Arena Blanca is placed overlooking the incomparable beach of Bávaro, just 30 minutes away from the International Airport of Punta Cana. This hotel in Punta Cana was renovated in 2006 to be able to offer a wide variety of environments: ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vik Hotel Punta Cana
Lti Beach Resort Punta Cana
Lti Punta Cana
Lti Resort Punta Cana
Lti Beach Punta Cana

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