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“Beautiful property, but bad food and too many swindlers!!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ocean Blue & Sand

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Ocean Blue & Sand
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Free Airport Transfer
Ranked #26 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, but bad food and too many swindlers!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Ocean Blue and Sand's property is kept very clean, from the rooms to the pools and beach. Beautiful layout and beach location.
Pros: Amazing, fun bartenders. Clean, gorgeous grounds. Laid back casino. Beautiful spa and skilled massage therapists.
Cons: Constant spanish techno music at pool and the discoteca...never a change in music. Other resorts I've been to have a good mix. When we asked the bartenders if they had any other music types or maybe a few songs in English (most of the guests there all spoke a primary language of english), they said that's all they have.
-There were vendors on the resorts property (on the beach and next to the pool) that would follow you around, pressuring you to buy whatever they were selling. We bought one item on the beach because we thought it was safe since they were on the the property, but it was in fact 20 dollars cheaper in the gift shop.
-The food is not good; the best meal I had was a cheeseburger from room service. The buffets recycle food from the day before's lunch and we found that most of the "specialty" restaurants use the same food and sauces that are used at the buffet. The best restaurant was the mexican and steak house. However, on the plane ride home, I heard many people complaining of their food at other resorts so maybe it is just the area.
-My fiancé and I went on this trip with my parents; we booked with apple vacations (which was great and Francisco the resort rep was so helpful) and my parents got put with funjet (this is because we booked with vacationstogo.com and you can't pick which agency you will have). We had booked excursions before we got to DR, and long story short, the FunJet rep that works at Ocean Blue and Sand (his name is Pierre I believe) told my father the dune buggy company we went with was no longer in business and they were not going to show up to pick us up and probably stole our money. The Funjet rep (Pierre) even called the company because he said they didn't speak english. After I heard this (I speak spanish), I called the Dune buggy company myself who indeed spoke English (the owner is from Germany) and said they were very much in business and the reason the resort was telling us this is because they have contracts with other companies that they want us to use and book through them. This incident ruined a whole day of my fathers vacation because he thought he had booked with someone that had his credit card number and would use it for whatever since they were "no longer in business".
- Also, as soon as you arrive at the resort, these reps (again Pierre) tries to make an appointment with you the next day that they say is "very important breakfast", but is actually a sales pitch on their condos/time shares there....don't go!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServiceOBS, Guest Relations Manager at Ocean Blue & Sand, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
First of all it is a pleasure for us that you have chosen Ocean Blue and Sand by H10 as your holiday destination. We want to thank you so much for your contribution on this review about your vacation experience with us.
Thanks once more for the feedback on this review about your vacation, we will be glad if you give us the opportunity to show you the changes made on those areas of opportunity that you mentioned. With those valuable comments you will help us to increase our level of customer’s satisfaction.
Thank you for sharing tips of your valuable experience with others through Trip Advisor.

We look forward to welcome you to your home away from home.

Best regards,


Judith Ripoll

Guests Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We have been to Punta Cana many times. So, I would have to say that Ocean is a cut above average, but, not the best. Still, I would recommend to not be disappointed! Resort was very clean. The bedroom furniture nicer than most. We were here in November, since it is a "slower" season not all restaurants were available all of the time. We ate at the La Brasa steak house & it was very good!! Some of our group tried the italian, the mexican and the coffee house/pastries. All were very good, La Brasa being our fav. The rest of the time we ate at the main buffet. Main buffet would have different themes & we were always satisfied with something or several things there. The beach buffet during the day had fewer choices. Most days they even had the same dishes. The staff at the beach buffet were not as friendly, but, we loved sitting out under the awnings and enjoying the view. The rest of the staff were very friendly, especially if you show them some courtesy & they also appreciate when you can speak some spanish even if it is something small!! Please remember a lot of these people work 14 - 45 days staight before getting some time off!! I was very impressed that the majority of them could still smile and be friendly! We also were impressed with the Circus show in the theatre. The other nights were very reminiscent of other resorts, but, I have to say Ocean has some really good dancers. We went into the casino one night. Had fun. Won a little. Disco same as most. It opens at 11:00 pm & stays open till 3:00 a.m. Our group had 3 rooms. The week we were there unfortunately, it rained quite a bit. Two of our rooms flooded in the middle of one night from a storm!!!!! Do not leave your clothes on the floor! There is a straw market to the left of the beach with just about anything you can think of to buy! Be prepared to haggle! This resort has sailcloth for awnings on the beach vs. palapas. We prefer palapas!! Also, it is posted everyday on the activity sheet that the resort does not condone saving chairs,but, there are alot of inconsiderate people out there. So by the time we would get to the beach, late morning, all the covered sites were taken with the majority of the people to never be seen at their sites!!! Over all, we enjoyed our vacation. If this is some of your first experiences with all-incl., it is great!! If you've been to many, you will find this to nice, but, kind-of average!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServiceOBS, Guest Relations Manager at Ocean Blue & Sand, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Thank You so much on behalf of Ocean Blue and Sand by H10, for your wonderful review and for sharing with others your pros and cons about you vacation. we are also glad that you found the property beautiful and the staff of ocean blue friendly as well.

We most gladly will like to welcome you again,

Best regards,

Management
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Balderton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

My husband and I went for a 3rd visit to Ocean Sands and Blue for 11 nights Nov 2nd- Nov 13th.
Our 1st visit was fairly good for the money although you had to complain to get things done.
Our 2nd visit we took our daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren and found it had changed; food didn't seem quite as good.
This our 3rd visit we couldn't wait to get home, it was complete waste of money.

The advice I can give you is don't waste your money, it has gone badly downhill.

The food is disgusting always cold even in the speciality restaurants.
The Privilege section is a complete joke you will not get any of the things advertised on the website. Service was very unpredictable some were fantastic some were plain lazy.
We paid £758 extra for 11 nights of privilege and we never got anywhere near what we should have had. We had to constantly ring to get the mini bar re stocked. They put small bottles in the fridge not big bottles as shown in their brochure.
Out of our eleven nights we only had seven nights of the turn down service.
There was no welcome fruit or sparkling wine.
No towel for the beach in the room for the first morning
No upgraded toiletries as advertised
In the VIP lounge you had pour your own drinks the staff were very rude and arrogant and never offer to help you, there was hardly ever any ice, popular drinks ran out, and you are told to go to the bar yourself. In fact they very rarely spoke to you, or acknowledge your existence.
We witnessed staff members coming into the lounge and taking food (intended for guests) and give to the local beach traders.
The special beach area was far too small for the amount of VIP guests
We asked for a copy of our bill the night before we departed, it was in local Pesos, we asked to have converted to US Dollars and was thrust a calculator and told to do it ourselves.
FORGET PRIVILEGE IT’S A BIG CON
This is a time share hotel for H10 and the only person who seems to get recognized is an H10 member with their Gold band.
We went to the beach early one morning to watch the sunrise and the guard who was supposed to being watching over the property and guests was fast asleep on a bed (some security).
On the subject of security we had a really bad rain storm one day and had to run for cover under the restaurant, we left our flip-flops on the bed to secure it for when the rain stopped. We went back to the bed and my husband’s reef flip-flops had gone, when we made it obvious that someone had stolen them, the traders who were sitting with the guard ran. My husband went over to find his shoes buried in the sand where the guard was sitting (obviously they were going to be taken by him, for traders).The guards are very corrupt, we watched them steel bottles of water and coke from the ice buckets by the beds and give to the traders.
The beach is eroding quiet badly and the day before we came home they put tape right across the beach so you couldn't walk down in certain areas. Not the most attractive site when you are looking out to sea it’s like being in a crime scene.
I was completely bitten to bites on the sand there was obviously a problem with sand fleas.
The Ice machine at the bottom level of each villa could not cope with volume so half the time you could not get ice and if you were lucky enough to get any it always had black bits in(so one would assume not cleaned out very regularly).
We were in villa 10 and always when you looked out of the lower stairwell there were bags and bags of rubbish just left there.
Many restaurants where closed on different nights making trying to get a reservation quiet difficult.

We did mention our various problems to the Judith the customer relation manager, she did with the help of Francisco try to improve things. We were invited to a private Chef gala meal which was wonderful. But why should they have to put on a show like that for one night. With the money it cost to stay at this resort, every night should be special.

A lot of the general staff run the resort the way they want totally ignoring the instructions of their managers.

Believe me, we have travelled a lot in the Caribbean, there lot better resorts to visit, which are of much better value.

Room Tip: Rooms over looking the pool are better than garden views
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServiceOBS, Guest Relations Manager at Ocean Blue & Sand, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
First it is a pleasure for us to know that you have chosen Ocean Blue and Sand by H10 as your holiday destination for the 3rd times despite the experiences according to your comments. We want to thank you so much also for your contribution in this review about how was your experience here. we really apologies and at the same time appreciated that you contributed with feedback so we can increase our level of service. as well we want you to know that we really take you comments at heart, and assure you that everything said in there is been taking care of.

Thanks once more and we look forward to see you again here with us to show you the changes made.

Best regards.
Management
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Pros: The beach was great. Pools were awesome. The rooms were clean. Staff was friendly.
Cons: too much walking. Food wasn't that good, very repetitive. H10 people pretty much stalk you and the vendors are the worst. Drinks were weak unless you ask for more alcohol or specifically for top shelf.

Was there for a week for a wedding which was the Best part of the trip.
I've been to the D.R. 4 times now. I wouldn't go back to this place if I travel back.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServiceOBS, Guest Relations Manager at Ocean Blue & Sand, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Thank You so much on behalf of Ocean Blue and Sand by H10, for your wonderful review and for sharing with others your pros and cons about you vacation. We are also glad that you found the property beautiful and the staff of ocean blue friendly as well.
We are sad to know how you feel about the cons of the resort but as you saw here, we have a train that goes around every 5 or 8 min. to avoid the elders a long walk, but we do respect your point of view and have take them into consideration to avoid futher inconviniences.

Thanks once more for your visit and your comment.

Best regards,

Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

This is not the resort for you if you expect good food, service or rooms.
Rooms:
We were a party of 6; every one of us changed rooms at least twice, some three times.

There was a musty mold odor in almost all of the rooms (some overwhelming) and we were in the privilege section. Keep in mind that half of the rooms (over 300 of them) look out to the pools/gardens and the other half look out to the service road. Half of the hotel will be disappointed in their view.
My bathroom ceiling leaked every day, everyday maintenance came to fix it and everyday it leaked again. There is a mini frig in every room, this is not a mini bar as we know it in the states. This is not a stocked bar with snack and refreshments. You will receive two beers, two waters, two juices when you arrived. If you want anything restocked you will have to TIP very well before this happens, even then it will be minimal.
We didn’t have a problem with towels but then again this was off season!!
Restaurants:
It’s the same food every day and it is less than desirable. Except for Mike’s coffee don’t expect a dessert that you recognize by site or taste!!! Enjoy the cookies from Mike’s; it’s the only dessert eatable. Now, if you like pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs….they have plenty and they are about the best thing you will eat here. Not exactly what I expected from the Caribbean. OH and don’t expect to have seafood here, they don’t have any with the small exception of some fried pieces of something, I couldn’t tell what kind of fish it was. No shrimp, scallops, grouper, tuna, flounder or anything that swims in the sea. Who would have thought?
Tipping:
I understand the concept of “all inclusive” and that you should still tip when you receive good service. However, you will not receive good or sometimes any service until after you tip. I had to wave a $1 bill over my head to get served coffee one morning and the restaurant was practically empty. Of course after you tip they remember you and things start to get better. But I don’t understand why this has to happen in the first place!!!!

Bottom line, this is an economy line resort. If you can afford better please do!! You are not going to enjoy this resort if you expect good food, service or accommodations.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Destin, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

I stayed with my sister, my daughter, and our niece from Nov 3-7, 2012. What a great time we had! The staff is what we miss the most. These people are happy day and night! They greet you woth a smile and a genuine happiness to see you that makes you feel like you are family. We took signed up for the Santo Domingo tour with Olymous tours and experienced more of the same there. Our tour guide Carlos Villalobos and driver Alejandro were awesome and showed us Santo Domingo as only a local could. We felt like we were on a day trip with family! We plan to return to Ocean Blue again next year and we also hope to see all the people that made our vacation so memorable!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012 via mobile

Just terrible service. Bad manners from everyone except Cesar (food & drinks director). The infrastructure of the entire resort is just plain cheap. If you don't complain they will give a room in the third floor where you have to walk up and down 3 flights of stairs every time you go to/fro your room.
The only positive is the many activities which are entertaining.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ocean Blue & Sand

Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ocean Blue & Sand 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the wonderful beaches of Bávaro, and immersed in tropical foliage, close to the White Sands golf course, the Ocean Blue and Sand is an all-inclusive resort featuring suite accommodations, two luxurious pools, casino, spa and fitness center, dive center and an extensive activity program including childrens' and teen mini clubs, to make your stay an unforgettable experience. All-inclusive: Meals, drinks, cocktails and snacks included 24 hours. Some additional services are available at additional charge. Lobby with Free WiFi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ocean Blue Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Hotel Beach
Ocean Blue Resort Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Golf Beach Resort Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Dominican Republic
Punta Cana Ocean Blue
Ocean Blue Hotel Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Resort Dominican Republic

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