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“Great beach getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

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VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   White Sand, carretera Arena Gorda | Bávaro, Punta Cana 290217, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #72 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Huntersville, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great beach getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2005

My girlfriends and I just returned from a beautiful 5 day vacation to Punta Cana. I was a little worried about going after reading some poor reviews but this trip was one of the best I have been on.

We booked through Funjet Vacations out of Detroit. We arrived on time and were quickly shown to our bus to the hotel. Check in at the LTI was no problem. We did have to wait for our room about an hour, just enough time to check out the grounds and get some lunch. Our room was the building fartherest from the beach but with the most spectacular view of the grounds and ocean. We were able to sleep with our doorwall open everynight.

The beach is beautiful. If you would like a lounge chair and a hut, I would suggest getting out there around 6:30 am to place towels on chairs. No one will bother them or move them. There are no clocks in the room so book a wake-up call then go back to sleep.

As for nightlife, there is none on this resort. The disco at LTI opens at 11 pm and is pretty much cleared out by midnight. The last night there we were taken by cab ($6 US) to the Munga Disco located at another resort (I believe it was the Occidental resort). We arrived at 12:30 am and there was still a line to get in at 4 am when we left. It is $6 US to get in but that includes one drink. There are 2 levels (only the bottom one was open on this Monday night). They play great native and american music that gets everyone out there dancing.

The food was wonderful. Even my friend who is a vegetarian found enough to eat without a problem.

The grounds are beautiful. I would watch out for the bugs. I got a ton of bites (my 2 other friends got none) so I would suggest some bug spray especailly if you are on the beach at night.

Have fun and enjoy. I would definetly return to the LTI.

Helpful?
11 Thank neesy2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2005

My girlfriend and I just got back from the D.R. after staying at LTI from March 20-24, 2005. Overall the hotel is about 3 stars. We had a very good time but the beach and weather had more to do with our good experience than did the hotel. This hotel (and most in the DR) is mostly European. I would guess that the hotel was 80-85% Europeans (approx. 60% German, 10% French) and 15-20% American/Canadian. This creates a very european atmosphere at the hotel, which was fine with us but may be a problem for some americans. Of special note: many europeans go topless at the beach.

Here's the breakdown.

Beach: 5 Stars-the beach has beautiful, soft, white sand and crystal clear water. The current is not very strong and it is very safe. The all inclusive package includes all non-motorized sports. I would encourage eveyone to take advantage of the free sailboats and kayaks. We paid to go snorkeling but didn't see many fish. *NOTE: the hotel has a bunch of cabanas but you need to get up EARLY in the morning to reserve them. Early means before 6:30.

Rooms: 2 1/2 Stars-Our room was clean and had a nice view but other than that I was a little dissappointed. I have stayed at hotels all over the world and would not classify our room as anything more than average. Pushing two twins together to form a King is not my idea of luxury. That being said we didn't spend much time in our room and the room was otherwise adequate. Free bottle of water and pop in the fridge was nice.

Grounds: 3 1/2 Stars-The ground were very well kept. They were clean, and pretty but not overally impressive.

Staff: 3 Stars-The staff was satisfactory and nothing more. They didn't go out of there way to be helpful but they were not rude either. It appeared that there were several activities for children which would be nice if you have kids.

Food: 2 Stars-The food was the biggest dissapointment of the trip. I tend to be a little critical of food, but my girlfriend and I agreed that the food was below average at best. Here is a breakdown of the food by restaurant. By the way: both of us got sick, which is odd for me. I have been to Mexico 7 times and never got sick so go figure.

Mirador: This is the main restuarant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While this restaurant had a variety of choice, many of them were not very good. The breakfast was satisfactory. I would stick with the croissants, bacon and cereal. The eggs and ommletes were good somedays and undercooked others. The fruit was ok. For dinner, I would suggest the pasta and bread. They had decent deserts. We did not have lunch here. No reservations needed.

Snack Bar: The snack bar was disappointing. Yes, you can get a hamburger or hot dog at any time of the day but the burger was overcooked, on an oversized bun, and had no cheese. And no, cheese is not an option. The hotdog was equally bad.

Bucannero: We didn't eat here much since the food didn't look so great. Although you could make your own ham and cheese. The deserts were pretty decent. No reservations needed.

Trattorio: Probably the best meal we had at the hotel was at the Trattorio. My pizza was different but good and the pasta was also pretty good. The desert again was good. Reservations needed. Note: You make the reservations the same day at the Mirador between 7:00 and 10:30 am.

Seafood Restaurant: We opted for the all inclusive meals instead of the ala carte. The all inclusive dishes were very ok but not great. We purchased a good bottle of wine which was nice. Reservations needed.

Bottom Line: I would not reccomend this hotel. If you get a great deal on it (like we did) you can roll with the punches and still have a great time. If you paid a lot of money you will probablly be dissapointed. If you are planning a trip check out the other options.

Feel free to email me

p.s. we paid a cab to take us to Santo Domingo (3 hours each way). While it cost 150 dollars I would highly recommend it to those who want to taste the culture of the Domincan. Driving through the country and exporing Santo Domingo was a highlight of our trip. I tend to be adventurous but would strongly advise NOT renting a car.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank blally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Ab
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2005

Had a great time at this resort, was there in the beinning of Feb. for two weeks we were a group of three Me(17) and my parents. Its been carzy busy, get back to normal. The resort, was greatly kept up, the grounds were great, never seen anything so nice. The people were every helpfull, and sometimes hard to understand,(they have to know at least three diferent languges so its the best they can to) but got by fine. The beaches are so nice the sand is like slik. It is a topless beach and there are many people that do have there tops off. The pool area is nice and relaxing, but it is a good idea to put your towles out when you go and eat in the moring. there is always something to do around the pool. The 24hr grill is really good, it kinda gets cold at night, but during the day great place to grap a snack. The food in the buffet, was okay, they have pasta every day, and always have something on the grill, its kinda the same type of food every night. the pizza place is okay, but the sea food place isn't the greatest(didn't go in but looked at a meun) the meun didn't look that good and it was all additional prices. The rooms were every nice and cleaned every day, but always but your towels on the floor or you won't get any new ones. The tv didn't really work that good, we only got a few channels but its not like you go on holidays to watch tv. We didn't get sick, we had brought all the medications but never needed them. so all in all it was a fun trip. We wouldn't go back to the DR because there are other places to go first, but would reconmend the resort to anyone looking for a great relaxing holiday. They aren't to many english speaking poeple there, there were more french and german.
If you have anymore questions feel free to e-mail me
jeanelle_malo@hotmail.com

  • Stayed February 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MaloTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2005

My friend and I stayed at the LTI Beach Resort from Mar 6-10. We were both nervous about the place because there have been so many negative reviews. However, we ended up having a fantastic trip--only wish we could have stayed longer.

I didn't have any problems with getting sick, although I came armed with Immodium. We mainly at at the grill for lunch and the buffet for lunch and dinner, both of which were fine. Breakfasts were probably the best at the buffet though--fresh fruit, omelettes/eggs made to order, breads. We did have dinner at the Italian restaurant--La Trattoria--which was okay, but nothing special. We chose to go back to the buffet for our last dinner because we liked having more options.

The staff was incredibly friendly. True, those at reception during checking in and out were not the most congenial, but we only had to deal with them twice, so that didn't affect our trip at all. The cleaning people, groundskeepers, waiters, and bartenders were all charming and a little spanish goes a long way with them.

The rooms are standard--nothing too special. We stayed in building 4 on the first floor and liked it. We didn't have a great view, but then we didn't come for a room with a view--we came for the beach! They were clean. We loved our cleaning lady--she brought us extra pop every day after we had requested it the first day. We did find one very large bug our first night, but that was the only bug we saw. I did have a problem with bug bites though. My friend didn't get bit at all and I had bites all over.

Although we didn't really participate in the daily activities, we watched the nightly shows which were fun (not incredibly professional, but we loved them nonetheless). We also did go to the Club at night, which was tiny and few people attended. I had fun dancing with the animation staff--they really do a good job of getting you moving! I did leave the resort one night to go to Mangu, the club at Grand Flamenco, which I recommend if you are looking for a more hopping night life. It stays open very late, plays a wide variety of music, costs $6 US to get there via cab, and $6 US to get in. I had a blast there.

All in all, for what I paid, this trip was a fabulous value. I would definitely stay at LTI again.

Helpful?
9 Thank ajane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2005

Hotel is a good 40 minute drive from Punta Cana Airport, we flew in at night so could not see much along the way.

The hotel has a large open lobby, marble floors and two out of six ceiling fans that actually work. Two gift shops ($35 for suntan lotion)and a cigar store are off the lobby.

There are five buildings three floors each, of approx 40 rooms each, all have either a patio (1st floor) or balconies. Only building 5 has actual ocean views on one side. Most have views of the enormous pool and garden area.

The main buffet restaurant serves breakast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast: This is the best of the three meals - made to order eggs and omlettes, European style pancakes (crepes), fresh fruits, pastries, numerous types of bread and rolls (excellent), cheeses, cold cuts, yogurts, cereals, bacon or ham, sausages, awesome potatoes!!, various milk shakes and more. A++ for breakfast.
Lunch: Sometimes great pork ribs (not like those in the US though), but always a fish dish, salads of all kinds, cold cuts, rice, a pasta station, awesome desserts and more.
Dinner: almost the same as lunch, but Turkey or beef or chicken, a pasta station not really much change from lunch. There are themes to each nights food but one would be hard pressed to differentiate them.

There are two "Specialty Restaurants" that need reservations made at breakfast of the same day. You can eat there more than once.
The Italian Restaurant is really just a Pizza Place with a small salad bar, a couple of pastas and deserts. there is even a surcharge for some of the Pizzas!!
Best bet is to go here at lunch time - no reservation needed and various pizza by the slice offered.

The Seafood Restaurant offers four entre choices, a fish, a pork chop, a chicken breast and veal slices - everything else - steaks, lobster etc have a high surcharge. Chicken and Pork chops were excellent. Slow service but good food.

There is another buffet near the beach that offers a much smaller selection of the main buffet. There is also a BBQ shack attached that is open from 11am to about 6am. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sliced beef, sausage and grilled vegetables.

There are bars all over the place - Main Buffet only offers beer (only Presedente - the local bear), wine and sodas. Drinks are more than strong enough and they just keep coming.

The rooms are large tiled floors mainly with twin beds pushed together to make a king, color TV ( 20") HBO, Showtime, CNN and various sports networks and french, spanish and german stations. a small refridgerator (ours did not work well) with a gallon of bottled water and a Pepsi and 7up in it replaced as used, NO IRON & BOARD, bathroom has a dispenser for soap by the sink and shampoo in the tub, DO NOT DRINK THE WATER FROM THE FAUCET - YOU WILL GET SICK!!. The bathroom door has glass windows in the top half - different! also, no wash cloths offered.

The beach is wonderful soft white sand with a slope into the water that is warm and even 20 feet out is not more than five foot deep, tons of huts to sit under, however by 6:30AM most all the prime ones have been taken with towels placed on them. Do not be shocked by the many topless women at the beach - very European.
Watersports are offered with hour maximum daily on snorkelling and kayaks (singles and doubles), Hobie Cat has to be sailed by a member of their staff however.

You can walk forever along the beach, to the left about 10 minutes are about 20 stalls at a "flea market" prices are absurd even when they expect you to bargain down 25 - 33% of the asking price. $25 for a Tee shirt at best you can get it down to maybe $10. For the more adventurous you can walk to the right about 40 minutes to TOWN but again prices are very high with few exceptions - coffee $3, local cheap rum $8 for a litre otherwise same ridiculous prices. Lots of women offering $10 massages.

There is nightly entertainment put on by the "Animation Team" very funny worth a giggle you need to drink heavily to appreciate this though. These same guys and girls work all day long getting guests to participate in everything from arobics to volleyball.

There is a very small disco open from 11pm to 2am but we never went and from what we heard from others neither did too many other people.

Buy a handpainted Tee shirt from the gentleman at the pool $12 - $14 a true peice of art!

We took a tour with Jurassic Safari an all day tour that leaves at 8:30am and returned around 6:30pm. You get to see the country to say the least. The people live in absolute poverty most do not have electricity or running water. Women collect water from dirt puddles and wash their clothes along the river. Children rush out to the street for you to throw them candy or when stopped to ask you for a dollar. They bring you to a Gift shop/Cigar store (very expensive), a typical Dominican House, lunch on a ranch (very good food) through a very small zoo with photo ops with a monkey, parrot, tarantula and snake, a walk across a cable bridge, a dip in the river, then off to a stall to buy rum - good prices, then through a sugar cane field and to the beach to boogie board. Alot of fun, alot of driving though. Our tour guide REGO was the most knowledgeable guide with answers to everything one could come up with. Beer, sodas and rum are offered constantly.

A couple of nights various sellers come to the hotel and set up stalls there prices are sky high, yet mainly the German and French tourists will spend crazy money on stuff it seems.

To summize: the hotel is good, the food is fair, the staff are friendly, the grounds are meticulously kept, the beach and weather are great, the agrovation of trying to buy something was not worth the effort though - the attitude of the sellers is disgracefull only topped by the attitude of the GERMANS (tons of them) and FRENCH - they push in front of you in a line.

A very relaxing 7 days but will try somewhere else next year though.

email me with questions papabear02649@yahoo.com

Helpful?
23 Thank themarkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambs, UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2005

We spent a week there, from 3-10 March, and would have stayed longer if we could! It has to go down as one of the most relaxing, hassle-free holidays ever. The check-in around 6.30 pm after a 10 hour flight from UK was very smooth, complete with welcome cocktail, and we were unpacking in the room within 10 minutes. The standard rooms are fairly basic, but functional. I believe the superior ones are a bit better. We were at the end of the 2nd block, on the ground floor, so the outlook wasn't fabulous (onto gardens) but it was conveniently situated for everything, and quiet. Blocks 4 and 5 have a better outlook but apparently a bit noisier. The food was more than adequate, although the buffet gets a bit repetitive. If you're smart, you never have to have the same thing twice, because there is a huge variety of dishes. Breakfasts are about the best spread I've ever seen. We ate in the a la carte restaurant just once, and were a bit disappointed with the service, although the food was good. The trattoria was good for lunchtime pizza, and the 24hr grill was great for burgers/chips at almost anytime. Drinks were quite adequate. The 24 hour all inclusive is a really good package, and the water/soft drinks in the rooms are restocked regularly. Pool and beach are wonderful - except for all the shade chairs being reserved from early in the morning. The entertainment team is enthusiastic, but not very talented. We didn't bother to stay awake very long at night. It would have been nice to have had more live music, with more of a Caribbean sound, to dance to - but this didn't spoil our holiday. I had a massage one afternoon, 30 minutes for $25, which I thought was very good. The facilities are generally well kept and clean. Check-out was also particularly trouble-free, taking about 5 minutes!
The only jarring note of the holiday was the $80 each we paid to take a trip to Saona Island. We didn't think it worth the money. The catamaran cruise back was basically no more than a very loud, frenetic booze-cruise. Do go along if you're under 30 and you want to knock back as much rum as possible in 90 minutes. The time on Saona Island was fairly pleasant, but no more so than the beach at LTI.
Can thoroughly recommend this resort for good value, comfort, and an all round pleasurable experience.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank EJWCambs_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2005

We just returned on Feb.26. 3 of them are there for the second week and will enjoy the sun a little while longer. No problem with check in. One group had their room before the 3:00 pm check in. We had to wait until 3:00pm. No big problem. Just relax with a drink at the Lobby bar. The Front Desk was very friendly and accomodating... We had a room in building One, which I do recommend. Very quite. Not a far walk from the pool, restaurants and beach. Pool was WONDERFUL... Get up early as everyone reserves chairs... So I went with the flow and always got the five chairs under a hut...Food: there is always something for any food preferance to eat. Breakfast was great, omelettes, eggs, bacon, toast. pretty much anything you would want. Lunch: you have your choice of the buffet ( which we never did), the grill; chiken was great, burgers, fries, hot dogs, the pizza was great at lunch at the italian restaurant ( thin crust and many choices). Dinner: we tried it all, Italian restauarnt was good, seafood restaurant was great. We paid for the great seafood and steaks and the buffet was also very good. You always had a wide variety. There was roast beef, wonderful turkey, pasta every night if you want... Great desserts always... Beach is beautiful. I walked a couple of hours everyday... It was always windy, which I did enjoy. We, unfortunately had a couple of days of no sun and rain... Oh well, nothing you can do about that. No real good shopping. VERY pushy vendors and not much choice. My only really bad comment was the housekeeping. They did not reach our room until 5:30pm. At this time we were always napping and our neighbors were getting their kids ready for dinner. was not a convenient time to be cleaning rooms.... Some days they only cleaned half the room( made new beds but did not touch the bathroom). The nightly shows were the same as every other resort. Very amateur... But still a nice time to enjoy an after dinner drink. I saw that the children enjoyed the earlier show that they were all involved in. The disco was quiet, but for a $6 cab ride, you can find a few good party spots. Try the Casino at the Princess Tower as well, only a five minute ride and free shuttle. I enjoyed this resort because it was small and quite.....I read all day, which is exactly what I was looking for. It seemed to be a great place for families as well.. We found the ENTIRE staff very friendly. The language barrier was not a problem. they were always very friendly with us.. They get you up to dance at the outdoor night and the Manager's cocktail party. Would I go back. No.. This is for two reasons: I saw other beautiful resorts there that I would like to try and I also like to go to different islands every year. BUT, if you are going, you should enjoy yourself. the International blend is great. Canadians, Americans, Germans, Italians and South Americans. PS. saw mosquitoes only on th first night and none of us got really sick. Just a few upset stomachs... Take Immodium and that should do the trick...

  • Stayed February 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Ottwatraveler
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
Phone Number:
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:
#42 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#59 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4 star — VIK Hotel Arena Blanca 4*
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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