Family of 8 travelled from July 3-12. We all had a great time.
We were in buildings 82 and 91. 2 rooms were oceanfront and 2 were oceanview. The view of ocean was spectacular. We all had loft suites. The rooms were good but the stairs were difficult especially after a night of partying. I used the in room jacuzzi every night before dinner. The room was basic, nothing fancy. Standard mini bar filled everyday. There were menus in room for aromatherapy and upgraded pillows. We never ordered, felt it was overpriced. The maid left towel art everyday. Never a problem with fresh towels or hot water. Turn down service every night.
We mainly stayed at the Palace pool. Enjoyed the swim up bar. Bartender at the upper swim up bar was great. Look for William, he always made sure we were taken care of. No smoking in the pool at swim up bar, had to go to side or upstairs. The kids tried all pools at the resort and said they were all basically the same. The pools needed some tile repair but don't know how that would be done unless they closed the pool down. Saw man scrubbing pool every morning.
We spent majority of day at the beach and after lunch would go to the pool. No big deal finding available chairs. Towel game is in full force. We would just grab empty chairs and drag them together.
During the weekend there was a flood of Dominican families. Pool was so crowded with kids and not much supervision. Kind of felt like kindergarten recess. On Sunday all was back to normal. Nice to see people enjoying themselves and this is a family resort, so I can't really compalin. Just seemed soo overcrowded at the pool for those few days.
Dinners were good. We tried almost all a la cartes. If wait was too long we would try a different restaurant or head to buffet. The steak house and japanese were definitely the longest waiting time.
After dinner we would head over to the lobby bar for cocktails. Look for Milady, she will definitely make sure your drink is never empty. The staff at the bar were a lot of fun. We would sit at the bar and do rounds of shots.
After getting tipsy at the bar we all would head over to the casino. Nice place to spend the night. The guys all enjoyed the $5 blackjack and roulette. About 50 slot machines. No one came home big winners but we all had a good time. Some managed to come home with the same amount of money they left with. They had slot, blackjack, and poker tournaments. They were fun. I won $100 casino credit. They also had some kind of lottery and my sister won $100 cash. We were usually the last ones in there.
After casino, back to lobby bar for a few more drinks or shots and free wi fi. The kids would go to the disco and sports bar. They said it was average. They would stumble in around 4am.
We went to Hemmingway's piano bar one night. It seved top shelf liquor, specialty coffee, fresh fruit smoothies, and dessert. Nice and air conditioned. Kind of quiet in there but a nice spot to wind down.
They do monitor the underage bracelets but found if the older kids tipped they would get served by the male bartenders. Not too much by the women. The bracelets were all different colors. I couldn't seem to figure out the system. The kids were green, we had yellow- I think that was for Apple, and the rest of Palace had purple. I saw gold for Royal Suites and silver-I think for timeshare guests.
We enjoyed the spa. The prices were average, similar to prices in the USA. You could use the facilities for free. The circuit pool was nice. The gym was basic. Again a nice place to wind down and sober up a bit.
Our schedule for 10 days was breakfast, beach, lunch, pool, jacuzzi in room, dinner, lobby, casino, lobby and back to room and repeat x 10. Biggest decision was where to eat dinner.
We didn't try any of the shows. The shows usually remind me of a high school production and are not air conditioned. Maybe if I had small kids I would go but I tend to find them boring. Not the kids but the shows.
This is about my 8th time to the DR. Not my favorite resort but pretty good. The beach is breathtaking. At this resort you choose how active you want to be. Always someone trying to get you involved in an activity. There is always something going on. The resort is huge, 10 days is not enough to explore this property.
Never had a problem with the language barrier. The staff at the resort were great. No problems. You run across some that appear to hate their jobs and have an attitude but you will find that anywhere.
No one had any intestinal issues. All restaurants have someone standing at door dispensing hand sanitizer.
My sister had problems with constipation. She visited doctor on staff and received free medical advice. My brother in law appeared to have broken his toe but would have been $200 to have him treated. He just taped his two toes together and sucked it up. I'm sure all the alcohol helped too.
We met people from all over the world. Fell in love with Canadian trio of women. They were teachers on holiday and they definitely knew how to unwind and have a good time. Just wanted to give a shout to "Chi Chi" and her crew. Met a few from Texas and Ohio. My nephew seemed to latch on to them- sorry.
Our flight home was delayed 6 hours. We stayed at resort for as long as we could to avoid sitting in airport. Still sat in airport for about 4 hours. United offered food vouchers and free water. Duty free shopping was average. You have to know your prices. Coffee and vanilla were cheaper at resort. Some of the liquor was a good deal and you can't go wrong with cigarettes. We managed to come with max allowed for alcohol and cigarettes.
We all had a great time. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this resort. We met may people who have visited this resort 10+ times. That has to say something. If you are picky or don't like kids upgrade to the Royal Suites. If we didn't bring ours I would have upgraded but I guess it's nice that they still like to travel with us. They are all in college or off to college.
Any how, go and enjoy. I think the people that have had a miserable time here didn't do their research and their expectations were too high. The rating system for the hotels in the DR are not the same for ones in the USA. It like comparing apples to oranges.
buildings 82 and 91 were guaranteed at least oceanview. 8216 and 9114 were oceanfront.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.