We (me, wife and 3 year old) just got back from a week here. It was great. This was our 3rd trip to an all-inclusive in the DR, and the second one in the Punta Cana Area. Overall we had a great time and would actually go back to the same place again. That says a lot of me because I always want to try something new and have never been back to the exact same vacation place a second time. Here's my breakdown:
Transfer to/from resort was wonderful. I emailed Conexion tours in advance to arrange a van for us. They were waiting for us at the prescribed time on both ends with our names on a sign, all for $150 round trip. It was about a 45 minute drive.
Check in and check out were extremely quick and easy. It helped that we stayed Thursday to Thursday instead of checking in/out on the weekend.
The Room was really the only thing that could use significant improvement. It was kept extremely clean, and the A/C worked perfectly, but the beds were horribly uncomfortable. The beds are really my only complaint from our whole trip. Having a stocked fridge, patio, and all your toiletries provided was really nice. The shower worked great other than the drain being extremely slow. It’s had to blame them for that because I’m sure it was clogged by years of people’s sandy feet. It’s not that the room was bad; it was on par with the other places that I’ve stayed in the DR. Besides, you don’t go to a resort in the DR to sit in your room. We spent more time in there than most would because our daughter needed a nap every afternoon and went to bed early.
The staff were awesome in every interaction we had. From check in to all the bars, dining room staff, activity staff, housekeeping and especially the explorers club. I got the feeling that they all truly love their jobs and sincerely cared about me having a great time. Their English was all excellent. I was not expecting it to be so flawless. Almost every employee spoke fluent English.
Other guests were mostly Canadian and American. There were only a few Europeans, noticeably British and Russian/Polish. There was a huge variety in age fairly evenly split between kids, teens/college age, middle age and seniors.
Bars were excellent. The selection of “high end” liquor available was a pleasant surprise. All the bartenders were extremely attentive and friendly. There was very rarely a wait for a drink, and that was only when it was when a big group just showed up to the bar together, when or someone who ordered 10 specialty drinks for their group off in the distance. The pool bar was the best. The beer was coldest and the bartenders were the most entertaining and attentive.
Food was great. Because we had our 3 year old with us, we only ate at the buffet (for our main meals). As far as buffet goes, this is the best I have had. It beat most of the $30-$40 ones in Vegas. I was really surprised at the quality and variety of the foods offered. Yes, many of them are repeated on most days, or every few days, but what can you expect? How many different options do you need? There were plenty of choices for a week’s stay. Most of the dishes I had were excellent. The little grill restaurants were great spots for lunch, but I wish they opened a little earlier (most didn't open till 12:30), but that just allowed more time for pre-lunch drinks!
The grounds were immaculate. I don't know how they do it. All the sidewalks, building walkways, etc, were always free of sand, stains, leaves, etc. No shoes needed. The plants and landscaping were also great. The roaming peacocks were a big hit for our daughter.
Pool was perfect temperature, crystal clear, and seemed very clean. There was always floating mats available. The 3 food depth was great. I only wish that they had at least one area with a zero entry or only 18 inches deep for the little kids. That is really the only thing missing from making this a perfect family destination. We ended up playing by the pool bar because it was the only spot shallow enough for our daughter to stand in the pool.
The beach was great with plenty of wind to keep you cool. The sand was not as nice as what you find at the southern Punta Cana beaches or much of the Cancun area, but the water was gorgeous and a perfect temperature. There was a roped off area for swimming that had nice sand on the bottom. Yes, there is lots of coral around, but that’s how this island is. Stay in the roped off area and you won’t have any problem with coral.
The explorers club was pretty amazing. It’s like free camp for kids. Drop them off after breakfast and pick them up before dinner. Our 3 year old loved it and made some new friends. The staff there were great and keep the kids engaged doing constructive and fun activities. They give you a cell phone in case they need you.
All in all, it was great and I would highly recommend for almost anyone. It is great for a family or couples of any age. Maybe not a singles kind of place, but great for everyone else.