Before I start my review I would just like to say that Iberostar Punta Cana and Iberostar Dominicana are literally the same hotel. They share the same pools, beach, bars and restaurants. I am unsure why this just isn’t classed as one hotel. The only thing I can think is that Thomson fly out to Iberostar Punta Cana on a Saturday and Thomas Cook fly out mid week to Iberostar Dominicana. I would therefore advise you to book whichever is the cheapest and most convenient for you.
We booked Iberostar Punta Cana with Thomson for our Honeymoon. We told the travel company of this and also emailed the hotel.
CHECK IN – Check in at the Reception was very fast. There was only one other couple that got off the coach with us. We were given two cards for the room and two towel cards. A bellboy then took us to our room with our cases.
ROOMS – Our room was a little smaller than expected and given that the hotel is supposed to be a 5*, I would rate the rooms to be 3*. Don’t get me wrong however, they were very clean and had all we needed given that we only spent time in our room to sleep and get washed/dressed to go out. I would have expected a room that has a 5* rating to maybe have had a luxurious feature such as a Jacuzzi bath or something but as I say this was not a major problem. We did have to pay $2 a day for a safe in the room which I though was a bit silly, all other All Inclusive resorts that I have stayed in in the past just have this included with no surcharge as it’s obvious that you will need a safe for your personal items such as passports etc.
There was a fridge in our room which was restocked every second day, it included beer, soft drinks and plenty of water.
The maid cleaned our room everyday to a high standard and often left our towels decorated in the bathroom and on the bed with flowers which was a nice touch.
POOL AREA – The hotel had a mixture of young couples/young families and older couples. There are times when the pool area is quiet and then it becomes a little more lively when the entertainment staff are working, which was great fun.
We would usually go down for a sunbed at around 8:30, we always found a spot and had no problems.
GROUNDS – The grounds are kept immaculately clean and there are always gardeners looking after the trees/grass, etc. There are also Flamingos and Turtles in the resort which were lovely to see.
STAFF – The Star Friends entertainment team work so so hard and are very friendly and a good laugh. In fact all the staff were lovely and friendly and were willing to engage in conversation, albeit little English is spoken. It is just a little hard if you don’t speak Spanish. We didn’t really know what was going on half of the time but we felt that it was a good atmosphere nonetheless and at the end of the day we chose to go to their resort so why should they speak English! We certainly wouldn’t speak Spanish in England.
We were treated very well because we were on our Honeymoon. On two occasions we had Fruit delivered to our room with a bottle of rum and a bottle of wine. This was a lovely gesture from the hotel.
ENTERTAINMENT – Entertainment day and night was good. The Aqua Aerobics was good fun through the day and very lively. The Michael Jackson show is worth a watch, again the only bad thing is that the shows are in Spanish but like I say, this is their main language and so it should be accepted.
FOOD AND DRINK – There was a good variation of food in the buffet restaurants and they were of above average standard. I wouldn’t give it 5* as to me if it was 5* then it would all be cooked to order etc but for buffet style food id give it at least 4*. Id also like to add that I was NOT ill at all during my stay.
There are two main buffet restaurants for the evening, either Higuey or Hispaniola. For some reason the Hispaniola was always quieter but they both served exactly the same food and we actually thought that the décor in Hispaniola was a lot nicer so we chose to dine in there on most nights. The waiter service in these restaurants was excellent.
We booked all the 5 a la carte restaurants on the day that we arrived with no problems at all. There is Mexican, Oriental, Gourmet (serves lobster), Seafood and Steakhouse. We enjoyed the food on the buffet the best in the Mexican Restaurant. The food in the A La Carte restaurants was more to a 5* level as this was made fresh to order. I would say however that the service in some of the A La Carte restaurants left something to be desired. We had a least 3 different occasions in which the service was very slow and we often were forgotten about and had to catch someone’s eye for them to take the order. In the Mexican restaurant our drinks order was never brought to us for the duration of the meal! We therefore finished up and had to go to the buffet restaurant next door to get ourselves a drink. Whilst in the buffet restaurant one night we were given a questionnaire to fill in about the hotel and we reported about the bad service. The Management picked up on this and called us two days later to speak to us about it. They were very very apologetic and as an apology they invited us to a special romantic dinner at the gourmet restaurant, which was fantastic!
One other thing I would say about the a la carte is that a lot of men were going in with shorts and t shirts and getting away with it, which upset my husband as he wore long trousers as they had requested and wasn't really comfortable in them.
They had an excellent cocktails menu. My favourite was Tropical Coconut. No alcohol through the day and then rum in it on a night. The fruit punch from the machine was also very refreshing whilst in the sun through the day.
SUMMARY – All in all I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone going to the Dominican Republic. I would certainly not hesitate to book this hotel again. Overall I would give it 4*. If you want a 5* luxurious hotel then book Iberostar Grand Bavaro, although the price tag will be substantially more!
Also, we took insect repellent but never used it or got bit. We did not take malaria tablets either. You must not drink the tap water. Lots of bottled water is provided.
You have to also pay $10 on entry and $20 on departure per person at the Airport. Be prepared for long queues with no air con at the Airport on the way home!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beautiful, sandy beach of Bavaro (Punta Cana). Friendly atmosphere. Beach restaurant. Set in a palm grove. Attractive pool area. All inclusive (generous, varied buffets for all meals). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Iberostar