Just returned from a five day stay at the majestic colonial and for the life of me, I cannot understand where these 4.5 star overall TripAdvisor ratings came from! The number of obvious oversights in the housekeeping, cleanliness, food service, and hospitality had us, and the three other adults we traveled with, concluding that this was the "worst resort" we've been to. To be positive, the resort is large, has a great night club attached to it, and the grounds are pretty well maintained. There is also a nice beach (which all the resorts have access to). Once you get past these broad brush strokes, there are some really huge issues about this place:
- The rooms were DIRTY. The same toothpaste stains that were there when we arrived, scattered across the bathroom tiles, continued to be there 5 days in a row. The floor gritty before and after a wash, and plenty of ants everywhere. We kept track of a "special stain" (this red blob of god-knows-what) that was smeared onto the jacuzzi which evidently didn't once see a warm washcloth our entire stay. Inside the shower, the housekeepers had clearly wiped down the floor very nicely, but the shower walls being slimy? Back of the toilet being dusty? Mildew along the caulking of the sink? It's like there either isn't adequate training of the attention to detail with which the housekeepers should clean, or there isn't enough supervision. We never did get that iron we called for (twice), and when the front desk staff told us it was in the closet with the extra towels, we never saw the extra towels either... Our friends' complimentary resort-provided robe was home to a large brown, discolored "rust" stain along its belt. Apparently thought it was a better customer service move to stock the complimentary robe even with the mysterious poo-coloured stain on it? *sigh*
- Two days in a row, there were no towels available by the pool. The resort was probably 1/3-1/2 vacant... No towels? Where are they? The beds have two satin'y pillows, and two small cotton balls (with pillow cases around them). Not a big deal, but -- please, sir. May I have some more damn pillows?
- The professionalism just didn't seem to have an emphasis here. In most resorts, staff say hello to their guests (ad nauseum). You were lucky if you got a smile from an employee who you walked past, and the waitstaff at the restaurants or the bars were pretty indifferent at best. The classic moment was when our friend wanted to pack up her lunch and she was handed a styrofoam plate while she held a baby in one arm, and her plated food in another. (NB: She only possesses two arms). No offer to help?
- Food was only subpar, but to be clear, it was subpar if you ate thirty minutes after the buffet restaurants opened... This probably was also related to how tables of cold cheese and meat dishes would be "sweating" in their chilled serving stations as the mealtime went on. My wife is in dietetics (and underwent some fairly extensive food safety classes during her training), and there were concerning food safety standards in their buffets. DR is a hot country, but if you're having cold meats and cheeses, you've got to make sure they keep. There were two dinners we had at restaurants that were actually very good (Chinese Restaurant, and the Grill), but these were made a la carte. There has to be more done for maintaining food quality at the buffets.
With so many options for resorts, this is definitely not the place if you're an early 30's demographic who is used to higher quality hospitality. If you're a college student who's looking for a spring break sloshfest, this is fine and pretty fun (if you get a good price). But, this also felt much more like amateur hour than a high quality resort which knows how to deliver a professional experience. TripAdvisor seriously has to review these ratings, or anyone choosing this resort should pay attention to the reviewer's demographic and date of review submission.
For us, two different rooms of 4 adults having an equally bad experience is not just a fluke. The 4.5 guest rating either reflects the former glory years of this resort, or speaks to massive inconsistencies in their service. Not the kind of gamble I'd like to take on a future, pricey vacation.
Pool view rooms can be noisy. Ocean view rooms are quieter and beautiful.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.