We stayed at the Majestic Colonial from October 29-November 3rd. We are very lucky that the vacation even happened, as we barely made it out of Cleveland before Hurricane Sandy brought major grief to the area. We rescheduled our flight to leave a day earlier. Thank goodness my husband is platinum through United, so they were more accommodating in getting us on another flight. After we made it through the initial stress, our vacation was on its way and it was definitely worth it! It was a great opportunity for us to get away and really enjoy quality family time together. It was a multi-generational trip consisting of my husband, my in-laws, my eight-year-old stepson and my 11-month-old son.
Arrival into the Punta Cana Airport
It’s definitely the coolest/strangest airport I’ve ever seen. It really looks like a hut! The guys offering to take your bags were a bit pushy, but after a firm “No”, they left us alone. The layout is a little convoluted and it took us a few minutes to find our transfer company, but we landed at a fairly quiet time, a Monday afternoon, so we didn’t have to deal with hoards of people. We were sitting on bus about 30 minutes after landing.
Our travel agency, All Inclusive Outlet (great company, by the way) arranged our transport through VIP. They were very helpful and professional and the shuttle was comfortable. The guides made the drive fun by telling stories of the country and pointing out landmarks on the way. The DR is a little rough-around the edges, much like Jamaica, but we enjoyed that it wasn’t totally Americanized like Mexico. Because we had to stop at other hotels first, the whole drive took about 40 minutes.
Hotel Reception and Check-In
Our check-in with very prompt and we were glad to receive our first of many Majestics! We were in our room with our luggage in about 10 minutes.
As other reviews have noted, there was a musty smell when we first entered the room, but it quickly dissipated and I only noticed it that one time. As I walked toward the balcony I saw a nice surprise, we had a pool view room when I paid for garden view. We really enjoyed sitting on patio watching the pool before heading to dinner each night. The bed and sheets were fine. I wasn’t expecting a Sleep Number bed with 300-count Egyptian cotton sheets anyway. The toilet was a little cramped, like people have said, but the huge walk-in shower totally made up for that. The AC worked perfectly and we didn’t have any maintenance issues at all. You could tell the room had been used, but there wasn’t anything more than normal wear and tear. It was very pretty overall.
Housekeeping was just fine. The housekeeper even folder our clothes and organized our toiletries. We always came back to a clean room every afternoon.
Hotel and Grounds
The grounds are meticulously maintained and absolutely gorgeous. The lobby is sprawling with a grand feel to it. We loved having drinks there after dinner each night! Again, you can see some wear and tear if you look closely, but nothing major at all. The fountains, flowers and other foliage are just breath-taking. Yes, there is construction on the other half of the resort, but it didn’t impact us at all. We only heard it when we walked by on the way to the beach. It wasn’t disruptive in the slightest.
We hit the pool first, as it was right below our room. Wow! I prefer the beach over the pool typically, but this one was seems to go on forever. We felt like we had our section all to ourselves. Yes, there were a few tiles missing here and there, but this certainly didn’t impact our enjoyment of it. The pool bar was an awesome place to hang out and play games, take a Zumba class and meet people from all over the world. My stepson had a blast hanging out at the pool bar and playing volleyball and other games with children from other cultures.
This was by far the best beach I have ever seen! The sand was soft and white and the water that postcard turquoise. It was choppy a few days, which I preferred for some awesome body surfing. When it was calm, we did snorkeling, and there were some cool fish to see. Look for the ones with the pointy nose! We didn’t have a problem getting a shaded sunbed right by the water at any time of the day, but I realize that we were there during the off-season.
The Kid’s Club was cute, a little run down, but it looked like they had a decent amount of things for kids to do. It had a pool with a slide, a playground and an inside area with video games, movies, a bounce house, etc. Unfortunately, my stepson was the only child there so we didn’t stay very long.
The food was really the only disappointment of the trip. We were rather annoyed that they only had certain restaurants opened on certain days. I understand that it is off-season, but I always pick resorts that have lots of dining options and didn’t like having to check the schedule every evening to see what was open to us. They canceled the BBQ beach party on our first night due to weather, even though it was clear all night. Therefore, we were stuck eating at the buffet and it wasn’t very good. Yes, you could find something to eat, but a lot of it was cold and dry. We found the same to be true for the breakfast buffet. Eggs on a buffet just don’t work. Just make them all to order. (They did have the fresh omlett station, which was pretty good.)The beach buffet restaurant, open for lunch and snacks, seemed to be much better, especially if you go early. Our dinners were also decent. I enjoyed the Japanese ala carte, but the rest of my family thought it was just so-so. My whole family LOVED the steak restaurant. They actually gave us the option to order from the steak or seafood menu, so that was nice. We found the Dominican restaurant to be pretty good. We didn’t try the French or the Hibachi. A repeat guest told that the food, especially on the buffet, is generally better during the peak season, as it turns more often. I guess I understand that, but the quality really should be consistent.
No complaints about the drinks. I actually liked the Dominican rum and if you wanted it a little stronger, just ask for a double shot and they will accommodate. There are plenty of bars around the resort, so you will always have drink in hand! Bottled water is available everywhere too, so no worries about staying hydrated.
We really had no issues with service at all. Everyone was very friendly, although they don’t fawn all over you like they do in Mexico. That was just fine with us, as we don’t need someone to carry our plates to the table or check on us every five minutes. I needed ice for my son’s milk cooler regularly and everyone was great in helping us. The beach and pool service was also friendly and prompt We expected much more a language barrier and we were fine with that, as this is THEIR country! However, everyone we came in contact with at least knew conversational English. I definitely think it’s important to tip to show your appreciation, especially because they don’t make very much money.
We did the Stingray Bay Caribbean Festival. We took a Catamaran to an enclosed area where you get to swim with sharks and learn about and touch the stingrays. It wasn’t very long, about 45-minutes or so, but enough when you have kids. Then we hoped back on the boat to go snorkeling. Unfortunately, we were not able to snorkle that day because the water was rough, but they took us to a calm area where we could wade. After we got back in the boat, they crew put on a show with brightly-colored costumes and we got to dance. They had snacks, including fruit, crackers, soda and alcohol after the snorkeling. We brought my baby on the boat and they provided us with a car seat for him to sit in more securely. (My mother-in-law watched him while we swam. Next year he’s coming with us though! ) The crew also played with him and made him feel special. I would recommend Stringray Bay as a worthwhile family excursion.
Shuttle Back to Airport
I met with our VIP rep, who was at the hotel for several hours every day, about scheduling our ride back to the airport. It was an easy process, although we were hoping Newark would have remained closed, so we could have stayed a little bit longer. HA! The shuttle guide was very friendly and got us to the airport in plenty of time.
The whole family really enjoyed our trip. Could you nit pick and find something to complain about? Sure, but the point of vacation is to relax and enjoy and we did just that! We are so glad that our boys got to experience such a wonderful resort in an even better country!
Go to the beach buffet early for the freshest food.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.