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“Great Relaxing Vacation” 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 #74 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great Relaxing Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

My husband & I traveled together for one week at this hotel. We are pretty easy to please & found this through Apple Vacations. We got a deal and headed to Dominican Republic again despite not really liking D.R. (Puerto Plata) the last time we went. We went to Puerto Plata the first time and this time went to Punta Cana instead.

The Arrival: when you first arrive in d.r. their is a band hoping to receive some money for playing for you as you arrive & go through customs. D.R. is very hard up for money. This is just the type of country it is so expect it. One of the band members was playing & kicking the basket for money directly in front of you as you walked by exiting customs on the way to your van for your hotel.

The Hotel Room: We stayed in Room:4109. We booked a standard room which was automatically upgraded by Apple to a deluxe garden view room with a king size bed. We tried to upgrade to an ocean view if their were any available but the staff said their were no ocean view rooms available.
Pro's of the room: the garden view was nice! It was better than our view at home in NJ! It came with a nice flat screen & a small couch as well. The balcony had a nice view of the pool. The room was kept very clean, the bed was always made & their were plenty of fresh towels. Our room had a rain shower which was really enjoyable.
Con's of the room: If I want to be picky, I would share that their was no shampoo, full length mirror, alarm clock or iron in our room. We got an iron eventually cause we asked. The only existing mirror is in the bathroom. Their isn't a bureau to house your clothes only these pantry-like closets next to the bathroom. The other furniture looks very outdated & dusty. The worse part of the room was the smell of mildew/mold when we first entered. One morning they told us their would be a scheduled fumigating if it was okay with us, which I thought was kind of odd but thought might be really helpful to us later. I never saw any bugs in our room-Thnk God!

Food: the food was awesome considering it was all-inclusive. We had western egg omlettes every morning, but their were tons of choices (always fresh bread, corn muffins, oatmeal, cold cereals, bacon/sausage, waffles/pancakes/French toast. We were blown away by the quality & variety. At lunch time-theirs always hamburgers, French fries, & a couple of days we had seafood combo over Spanish rice on the beach! That was amazing! Dinner was a choice of the Italian restaurant (get the steamed salmon) or the Mexican restaurant (not my fav)-the fajitas were okay or you can go to the buffet again.

Excursions: We booked with Johan (boisterous guy on the beach). He is very friendly & respectful. We drove speed boats & snorkeled with him and we also booked the all day safari-which I loved! The safari was with Leo & Martin & included zip lining, horseback riding, swimming on Macaou Island, visiting the school, walking around town & into the market(we got great video) & also visiting an ordinary Dominican home on the mountain. Here we also bought some cinnamon sticks, and chocolate cocoa.

Recommendations: Carry some American Imodium just in case, stay away from the mean girls at the gift shop, bring some lip balm SPF 45 as well as good sunscreen (d.r.'s sun is brutal), join in the Club Lookea's activities (even though their mostly in French, you'll get the hang of it). It's fun!
The drinks are watered down so be prepared. Try Mama Juana-from the Mama Juana Store-it's yummy, he makes it homemade (but get it from David from the shop guy down the beach). If your buying cigars, buy from David. A set of Cohibas-get David to crack them open for you & pay no more than $45.00 even though they try and charge you more.

Feel free to contact me with any questions-I will be happy to respond :) Happy Vacationing!

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view a couple of weeks in advance of arriving. The A/C worked well but their was a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,117 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (305)
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Lehigh Acres, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

Week of May 8 to May 12, 2013..I had read so many reviews about the hotel. Be aware there are two in Arena Blanca and other is Cayena. Cayena is an older hotel where I believe the most of the complaints are for, the other is remodeled. My husband and I stayed in Bld 3 remodeled and very convienant to everything there. Check in was a breeze and so was check out. We never had a problem compared to the reviews that I had read prior to my trip. The Staff is Awesome!!!. Shout out to Felix and Anthony. Room was great, Bottle of Champagne waiting for us. Everywhere we went we felt like we were amongst friends. The food is very good, different variety everyday. The staff always made sure we had drinks in our hand. I must say that Felix the bartender on the beach is awesome. Very attentive and drinks was great.Many people returning there always ask for Felix. I must say hello to our friend Anthony in Entertainment he is just a great guy all around. He made us laugh we had such an awesome time hanging out with him. It's a great and friendly place, I would definitely return there. Many thanks to our Apple Representative. See you guys soon.

Room Tip: Must stay in Building 3
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

- Hotel has a french 'club/group' so be aware that the resort is basically french and spanish only
- The resort is small which was perfect for our first time - Everything is a 2 minute walk (including the beach)
- The restaurants were good. Fajitas were unreal. Breakfast was AMAZING every single day.
- Employees were so friendly. We made friends with all of them as they were close to our age!
- As two young pretty girls ... we got heckled by men/boys the whole time. Nothing crazy but be aware.
- The biggest CON was that people are constantly annoying you on the beach/resort for you to buy their cheaper excursions!!!! You learn to just say "no gracias" but some times they are very persistent. Just don't pay much attention.
- Rooms were great. Nice and clean everyday. No issues what so ever. We stayed in "3" and it seemed to be newly renovated.
- Didn't get sick before, during, or after the trip.
- The water is from bottles/jugs when they put it in your drink or if you get it at the beach. The citizens dont and cannot even drink the water.
- There were shows every night. They were good (mainly because our new friends were the stars of them!!!). The dancing and music was fun.
- There was a bar/disco every night. It was fun but not a lot of people went (I guess there were a lot of families/children/older people than we expected there to be).
- The travel to and from the airport was fine. BUT we almost missed our shuttle bus to come home because we were told a certain time that was wrong by our rep. I HIGHLY suggest checking this time the day before or the day of leaving. Super important.
- We went on the catamaran ride. Drinks but hardly any food. Snorkling + sharks + sting rays! Well worth it.
- Overall an awesome trip. I thought the resort was great. No complaints!

Room Tip: Get a newly renovated room. Top floor. We stayed in 3.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

I am From the United States and I stayed at Arena Blanca VIK for my 50th birthday. I stayed for 7 days. My room was very comfortable, and it even got very chilly in the middle of the night. I was treated very well and really enjoyed my stay. Fatima our housekeeper really decorated it up for my 50th. The bed was a king and it was very comfortable. I thought the food was great everywhere even the hamburgers at the beachside. I especially liked the omelette Leonardo made me every morning with a smile and a knuckle tap. The animation team was awesome and very talented and friendly. Manuel was exceptionally friendly. Francesco at the restaurant in back of the Italian one made me a special b day dinner drink and awesome cake decorated with flowers. I was really impressed. We saw two very expressive shows while we were there. One was a jungle like show with lit torches and awesome very fit and quite trained in dance. The other a acrobatic show with really fit young men, that comparably to a Las Vegas show, really top rate act. I was quite impressed. One thing, you get the ping pong paddles at the yellow animation team shack out by the beach, and as far as balls missing at the pool table, yes there were, but we made due and had a nice time playing, we just used two number 2 balls. Your fun is really what you make it, in this life. Really there was only one thing I really didn't care for was having to keep track of the the safe key, because it was 75.00 if you lost it. I would have preferred a touch pad combination. Oh and the beach was really amazing:-) the disco was a little lame, but only because they didnt play more bachata and merengue music. I really didn't care for the 70 s music that they played. I would have preferred more bachata and merengu. I will return in September.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

The resort gets 4 stars, the service and customer service gets 2, so I averaged it out to a 3 star stay.
I flew in on Delta which was great. There are many flights that arrive at the same time and therefor there is a long wait for customs. However, the line didn't take long and we were through it before we knew it. They do charge a $10 USD fee to enter the airport (only payable in cash) so don't forget to bring that. We pre-booked transportation which was great since we just met them right there outside of customs. I paid $25 for a roundtrip ride.

We arrived at the hotel around 2:30pm and were well aware of the 3pm check in rule so we weren't terribly upset when they said our room wasn't ready. They gave us our wrist bands so we could eat and drink and said they would call our names to receive our room keys. It took about 2 hours of waiting in the lobby until I finally told them I didn't care what room we had I just wanted to start our vacation and so they switched us to a room in building 4. The employee we dealt with at the front desk spoke excellent english and was very nice.

The room was simple but very nice. It included a balcony, which looked out to a small garden. It was hot in the room and the AC was set at about 24 degrees Celsius (for us westerners that's about 75 degrees F. We tried to turn it down to a more desirable temp but it didn't work. I guess that is the temp you will just have to live with.

The room looked as though it had been renovated and had plenty space. There is a safe in the room but you have to pay extra to use it. We brought an old fashion lock we bought at Walmart for a dollar and just put it on our suitcase to keep our Valuables safe.

There is no shampoo or conditioner so make sure to bring that. I forgot sunscreen and they were charging $30 for a small bottle so don't forget that as well.

The good:
1. The beach is BEAUTIFUL! Gorgeous, warm, crystal clear blue water. There are plenty of beach chairs for everybody even in the shade.
2. The pool is nice and not overcrowded.
3. There is plenty of food and plenty of choices, you will not go hungry at this resort.
4. We loved the coffee machines, so delicious!
5. The shows were some of the best I've seen at all inclusives.
6. The snorkeling off the beach is pretty decent, bring your snorkel gear.
7. The local vendors have a HUGE market just a short walk down the beach from the resort....they are a bit pushy but it is a great place to shop.....always bargain with them!

The bad:
1. If you are not French you will be treated as a second class citizen. Accept this fact and you will enjoy yourself, Expect to be treated equally (like we did, silly us), and you will be highly disappointed.
2. The food is not first class. Like I said, you will not go hungry but you really can't be picky.
3. There are many things to do at this resort however, it is hard to get to do them. We wanted to play pool and couldn't get anybody to give us the balls and were told they were lost. An hour later we saw a French family playing pool. Hmmmmm?! We want to play ping pong... Sorry no equipment. They have many board games and books... All in French. The kayaks and sailboat rides are included but every time we went to the water sports area they told us we were too late and to come back tomorrow, even at 8 am.
4. NO SWIMUP POOL BAR!!! No self respecting resort doesn't have a swim up pool bar!
5. The drinks are sugary and watered down, the beer is worse than PBR, the top shelf liquor costs more...a lot more!
6. Try to go 10 minutes without somebody trying to sell you something (timeshare,excursion,etc)......I dare you! They literally wait for you outside the exits of the restaurants. Very annoying!
7. If you are an American you will be lucky to get any type of service at dinner time. Go to the bar first and get a drink to bring to dinner.

Overall we had a lot of complaints about the service and felt like we were treated very poorly, but, still had a good time in sprite of the employees and other guests. We would not go there again and instead would choose a different resort.

TIP OF THE DAY: Bring a large insulated cup (coffee mug, termal,etc) the drinks are tiny and they are happy to fill up a bigger cup for you. ( everybody was jealous of our Starbucks mugs!)

Also, bring your snorkel gear.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
VHAB, Public Relations Manager at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our VIK Hotel Arena Blanca for the enjoyment of your holidays, and for letting us know your opinion about your experience with us.
We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences encountered during your stay and truly regret that this may have prevented you from enjoying the vacation you were expecting.
Once again, thank you so much for bringing these comments to our attention so that we can continually improve our services.

Francisco Amancio E.
Guest service Manager
VIK hotel Arena Blanca
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

We stayed 7 nights "all inclusive" for $950 including air direct flight from Chicago O'hare! GREAT value! I really enjoyed VIK hotel's beautiful calm water beach, perfect location on Bavero Beach. We walked up 1.5 miles each way and felt ours was better than most other resorts for calm water. Section by Barcelo Bavaro Palace Resort on opposite end from VIK near the lagoon is also nice but might be lot more expensive.

**3 to choose from each night (Seafood is extra $$)
**Fresh food but not for spicy taste buds, they don't grow or buy Serrano or jalapeño in DR. Pizza place doesn't have any chili flakes either take few packets of chili flakes. (If you like spicy) We do, so had to raided the Chinese station every night for their chili sauce.
**Service was excellent on most days! We didn't like Ms. Ycenia at International restaurant section 3. (Understandable staff works 12 hours a day for 12 days for only 3 days off. Maybe this was not her HAPPY week)
**Spanish is must, FOR vegetarians it's hard to explain NO Carne! Although Veggie options are limited, not a veggie friendly resort! We ate mostly pasta’s and Chinese at the international restaurant. However DO Learn few Spanish words or write them on a note card. Dominican's think Chicken, Bacon, Ham and Fish are NOT meat items. (We didn't know how to ask if broth used in soups was vegetarian, IF Veggie options are important to you than lean these words). OR I hope restaurant will improve their labeling, with our suggestions cards….

**Resort has plenty activity which we didn't participate.
**Beach is amazing and just perfect white soft sand, but resort attracts mostly European crowd so some nudity is found at the beach. NOT appropriate for kids, but you can just move.
**Nightly shows are amazing. We loved one show which was 4-5 guys performing gymnastics and hip hop mix - excellent.
**I think this resort invites professional groups to perform every night, which was great. Some days entertainment group employed by the resort performed which was just OK! We hear about a Michael Jackson show, which we missed as they only invite this group once every 15 days.

**We had to change our room from bldg 3 to 5 due to my mom's knee problems.
**Bldg 3 rooms are much better, but 5 is closer to beach so much shorter walk for ppl with walking problems.
**Room and bathroom are clean but prepare for some bugs, and occasional water outage, power outage etc.… (bug repellent is useful on tours if you choose to do safari)
**In bldg 5 we had to ask maintenance to fix our shower – and there is no rain shower!
**No bathroom amenities. Bring your own shampoo, conditioner and shower gel - or else you'd be calling lobby every night for supply like we had to….
**Internet in Lobby only if you’re lucky to have connection. Lobby is near bldg. 1 & 2 but far from beach and pool.
**GOOD thing room was always cool we had no issue with AC.

**We found some shops just to the left of the resort for souvenirs! Although you’ll have to hustle for the price you want. Unlike Mexico you’ll find prices are little on higher end! That’s due to Europeans spending in EURO! But surprisingly they bring $ to spend not Euro.. All shops will accept $ and give you market rate.
**We did noticed lot of shops in town area while driving by, but it’s hard to get there.

**VIK Resort allows some excursion sales guys who hang by the restaurant entrance to sell.
**We asked around and found one person whom we can trust, and bought two tours for $55 each per person. Safari & SONA Island, both are most popular and were amazing! Although we later learned some ppl paid $40 and $45 for Safari trour.
**FYI They say less time than actual, 4-hour safari tour took 8 hours and the 8-hour SONA Island took 12-hours. Pick-up time is early morning around 6:30am or 7am.
**ON the SAFARI tour BRING some candies that don’t melt, boxes of pencils, pens, crayons, and note books to hand out to poor kids. Tour makes stops at some poor sections of the town and farm where you can hand these out to kids. Tour will also take you to a school where you can buy these items if you don’t bring any, but the guide will suggest you give the items to poor in farm area and not at school in town. We wish we had at least some candies to hand out at school – FYI if you choose to treat the kids at school….
**SONA Island is a national park with yet another perfect water beach and natural beauty. There is a stop at natural pool to see Beautiful Star FISH! It’s a booze cruise!

DR is a perfect Beach getaway! Our vacation was lovely all in all…

Room Tip: BLDG 5 is close to beach, 1 close to casino, 2 close to lobby, 3 and 4 near pool and restaurants.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Nantucket, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We are a family of 3 who stayed a 4 nights "all inclusive" for under $500! Restaurants were all good, didn't have to book and never waited. Food was fresh and had great flavor! Service was always excellent! There was much so do, our daughter enjoyed the kids camp in the morning and we relaxed by the pool. Other guests mainly European all seemed to be having a great time! There was a show nightly, Michael Jackson was brilliant! Our bed was very large and very comfortable, bathroom was also large and rain-head shower fantastic. No bathroom amenities, however. Room was always cool with the AC. Beach was lovely and lots going on! All in all, for the price we recognized the great value vacation in the sun!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
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
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#53 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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