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“Last Minute Vacation” 4 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
Ranked #29 of 100 Hotels in Punta Cana
California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Last Minute Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We added on to a group the last week of June 2013. A Family of 7 my Husband, sister teenage kids and adult nieces. Everyone enjoyed the resort. There is plenty to do for all ages. We departed LAX to Panama then to the DR on Copa Airlines. I will never do that again. The flight was brutal and Copa Air was not the friendliest.

We have traveled to many all inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya/Cancun, Jamaica. This is our second time back to the DR 1st time at this resort.

The front desk service was pleasant at arrival and we were checked in quickly. As the week went on we had several questions and some of the front desk staff was not so friendly. Take plenty of singles for tipping because they will not give it up at the front desk. We tipped all the bar tenders and waiters throughout the week as they work very hard to serve you and are very friendly.

The rooms were very clean everyday but our maid was very irritated when we asked for extra towels is as though we asked for the impossible. We still tipped her at the end of the week.

We had no problem getting beach towels or chairs by the beach or pool. The grounds are very well kept the pools are clean. The beach is very nice and the shopping on the beach is very convenient. We enjoyed the lobby bar in the evening, the sports bar and casino. We also bowled and played pool one night it was fun. The spa staff is very nice and the massaged were great and reasonably priced.

The food is good I but by the end of the week you get tired of it. The lunch by the beach had a variety. The dinner restaurants were good. I did not like that there were no reservations. Some were easy to get into. The Italian one was very good but our waiter was rude so half his tip went to the guy that brought our dinner who was doing all the work and was very friendly. The steak house was a ridiculous challenge. We tried getting in everyday and finally got in the last day we were there. The poor girl trying to seat people it was not her fault but she got yelled at every night by someone trying to get a table. Our waiter that night was horrible, so half his tip that I didn't want to leave him in the first place went to the girl seating everyone she deserved it.

They do allow reservation to the people who purchase the privilege package. For some reason this steak house is the most popular not sure why it good but not worth all the hassle. So if you don't get in the other restaurants are just as good.

As for the "privilege package" I would not spend the extra money. The beach are may have had better cabanas but there were sand bags all in front of it. As for the premium liquor at the bar my husband and son got to know all the bar tenders and once they knew they were tipper they always had the premium liquor. We had a great spot on the beach everyday with a clear view.

We did the snorkeling tour and swam with the sharks and sting rays and we also did the Outback Safari. Both were great and we were all glad we experienced it.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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7,498 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,557)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We travelled as a young couple in June 2013. This was our first trip to the Caribbean, and we had a fantastic holiday.

The room was large and spacious. The bed was very big and also very comfortable. The room also had a sofa, table, desk, mini fridge and television. The bathroom was lovely, also very big, with two sinks, and a bath and shower combination. Our room was on the third floor and had a large balcony with a table and chairs, with a view of the pool and surrounding areas (Sea view rooms are only available for privilege guests). Our room was in villa 9 and was a 5 minute walk from reception and restaurant area, and was very quiet in the evening. Fantastic air con in the room too.

The food was between good and excellent. The breakfast is fantastic with a wide range of food available, with fresh bread and fruit, as well as hot food such as eggs, bacon and omelettes. The lunch time food is a little on the repetitive side, basically pasta, burgers, nachos, pizza and salad, as well as ice cream and fruit. It is nice food but very boring after being there for two weeks. Dinner is good in the main buffet restaurant, but the themed restaurants and much better! we visited 6 out 8 (Missed the French and Caribbean) and all served lovely food. You have to get to the restaurants early or you can wait for between 30-60 minutes for a table (but you can go to the bar and come back again when your table is ready).

The staff are all so helpful and kind, they cannot do enough for you. Everyone from the staff at reception, to the house keeping staff and bar tenders were all so helpful. We tipped all the people who stood out to us at the end of the holiday, just a few dollars to show our appreciation. TIP; If a gardener or roundsmen offers you a coconut take up the offer, he will climb the tree in front of you cut a coconut off then cut it open and you can drink the milk from inside, amazing! (we gave him $5 for his trouble).

The beach and pool are both lovely. We prefer the pool, but went on the beach too.

Overall a lovely resort and very enjoyable and relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hampshire
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I have just returned from staying in The Ocean Blue Hotel and what a lovely holiday I have had with my friends. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The Buffett restaurant put on a "Theme Night" every night and plenty of food to choose from. Couple of the restaurants on site had an English barrier with the drinks and the ordering of the food. The swimming pools have a wow factor. The room was cleaned every day with fresh towels every day if you remember to put them in the bath the night before. We went on 2 Excursions "Caribbean Cruising Saona" WOW WOW WOW a must do trip, loved the speedboat, snorkelling, holding a starfish and swimming in the Caribbean sea and coming back on a catamaran, the lobster BBQ was nice but down to individual taste, only down side on this trip was the ants on the beach, loads of them. The "Outback Safari" was another WOW trip. Winston was our tour guide and what a funny and lovely and helpful guide he was. On this trip take colouring pads and crayons as you visit a school and see the children and this is a greatly appreciated or give a donation.. A very very bumpy ride into the mountains with a few stops along the way including a lunch. We only did 10 days on this holiday which was enough as there is nowhere to go outside the hotel not even for a stroll after dinner. The shanti huts on the beach selling items and you must barter. The whole holiday has been great from start to finish but have suffered diarrhoea when there and have it worst now back home with stomach pains also.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ontario
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

My family and I visited Ocean Blue and Sand last March. We had a wonderful time. We stayed in Villa 5 which was nice because we were by the pool. Our room was cleaned daily and we especially enjoyed the turn down service at night. Our daughters (4 and 10) were always excited to to see what kind of flowers were left as decor. on their beds. The only down fall to a room by the pool is that teenagers made noise at night. However a call to the front desk cleared that up right away.
FOOD- We really liked the buffet. Since we were with kids we didn't get a chance to eat at the restaurants. Many stations cooked food on the spot for you. We loved the seafood station (From tuna steaks to shrimp and calamari) The buffet always had food items for the kids.(If the kids are happy, mom and dad are happy) We always sat in JOSÉ FULGEUCIO'S section for our meals. José and his team were wonderful. They are such hard workers. They were very attentive to our needs and our children's needs. Thanks for making our stay pleasurable.
The resort has a few trolleys constantly going around the property to pick up or drop off guests. We really appreciated this service because our 4 year would fall asleep. (sleeping children are heavy)
One day the resort rented jumbo pool slides for the kids which was a nice surprise. There were always plenty of seats by the pool or the beach. However, if you get up a little earlier, you can sit where you want.
I think our favourite amentity at the resort was the coffee shop. We loved it. We would visit it after every meal. Our daughters loved the iced drinks (the staff would prepare whatever kind of drink for them minus the coffee)
The arcade/bowling alley was fun.
I guess the only downsides are the students on Spring Break and the Time share representatives. The highschool kids are fine. It is the older college groups that could get loud. But then again its their break as well. It doesn't matter where you are at, there will always be kids on Spring Break.
There were also men in white shirts walking around trying to sell time shares for the resort. They were fine. They were not as bothersome as some others have mentionned. We have to understand that selling timeshare is their job. Just let them know that you are not interested and they will leave you alone.
Don't forget to tip. A few dollars go a long way. The service staff work around the clock; be it cleaning, entertainment or in the restaurants.

Room Tip: If you want quiet, choose a Villa closer to the front desk. If you want more entertainment choose a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This review will be very honest coming from an English family of three, travelling with our 15 year old daughter. We have stayed in some very nice hotels and some not so good, so this review will be fair and should appeal to your average, hard working English family. I say English as each nationality is different and expect different things from a holiday.

I had read many reviews relating to Ocean Blue and Sands and found them to very random, some good, some bad but overall good. Of late though I did find that the ratings appeared to be slipping, which caused me some concern. To be frank, by the time we left I wasn't expecting too much.

We booked with First Choice and flew with Thomson. The flight was good, but the food was appalling, chicken noodles, which was a very odd choice. We didn't book the premium seats, unlike last year, but did we regret that decision? Yes, it is reasonably expensive, but do it. On a 9 hour flight it makes all the difference.

When you arrive in Dominican Republic you have to buy a visa and you MUST pay in dollars. They will not accept DR Pesos. Everywhere uses US dollars, so I wouldn't bother about Pesos.

I must say my first impressions of the hotel when we arrived was good. The lobby is large open plan, with the bar in the centre....very nice.

You are then given a wrist band, which is colour coded according to your nationality, which I believe is very significant.

Others that we saw arrive after us received a welcome drink, but we missed out on that. Also after getting our room cards, we were left to find the rooms ourselves, which is not that easy in a fairly big complex. However, looking lost we were soon picked up by a passing golf cart and taken to our room, which was good.

Although the overall look of the reception was impressive, my first experience of the service was not so good, which give or take the odd exception is how it remained. If you're expecting slick service and to be really waited on, then you'll be disappointed.

The room

I'm not saying we are serial complainers, but we do expect a decent clean room, or, as we regularly do, we will complain and swap rooms. On this occasion we were pleasantly surprised. We were in Villa 8, which is in a good spot, nice sea view overlooking the pool. The rooms were very spacious, with everything you need. The air conditioning was very effective and it was always very clean. One thing I had been concerned about was any possible damp smell. We experienced this in a room we had in Mexico, and it was horrible, however, with this room there was no trace of any smell at all.
I would therefore recommend Villa 8 overlooking the pool. The only issue I did have was with the jacuzzi, which was in the bathroom. I don't think it had been used for a long time, as when I did use it, it squirted out stale, stagnant, smelly water straight in my face.....nice!

Pools/grounds

There are two very large pools, which are lovely. Well maintained, cleaned every morning. There are plenty of beds, but finding an umbrella can be difficult.
The grounds are also very nice, well maintained, although they could be cleaner. I'm in no way saying the grounds are dirty, far from it, but there are small pieces of rubbish and cigarette ends dotted around.
One other thing I did find towards the end of our holiday was that, despite it being against the rules, people were putting their towels on the sunbeds from about 7 and then not appearing to use them until about 10.....frustrating when you are out by 9 looking for an umbrella. I would also add that the Brits were the main culprits here!

Restaurants

Now here lies a problem......there are seven restaurants - Buffet, French, Mexican, Route 66 (American), Italian, Steak House and the Caribbean (when it's not being used for weddings). A good choice of restaurants, the problem is, unless you are prepared to eat at 6-6.30pm, you cannot get a table. This was very frustrating and annoying. The fall back position is always the buffet, however, although it's okay, the food is not great and it's a bit of a cattle market, with long queues at each food station.
When we did get in the restaurants. We found the food to be pretty good. The best restaurant is the French, but be warned, men must wear long trousers and its adults only (they do allow over 15 year olds).
The queues to get in the restaurants and failure to get a table was a very common theme of complaint amongst the guests. We complained to the manager, who did make us reservations (which is only for privelidge customers) for all the restaurants, which was very good. Also, after we made an official complaint regarding the queues etc we were even invited to the weekly chefs table, which again was very nice.
The manager, Elvin, is really very good and did everything he could possibly do to resolve our problems (thank you Elvin).
The problem with the restaurants is that basically they are generally too small, short staffed and there are simply too many guests. They are also closed up by about 10.30 pm.

One place I would recommend is Mikes coffee bar. They have a whole range of coffees and snacks, similar to Starbucks really. A welcome break when you need some relief from the sun!

Service

Overall, not particularly good. Some of the waiters were very good and really efficient, such as Angel Louis at the lunch time beach restaurant. Overall though, the service is slow and the waiters are just not very switched on. In fact they can come across as being slightly rude. If you are used to really happy staff, rushing about, filling your glass to keep you happy, then you'll be disappointed. The service is okay, but NOT 5 star.
The Brits all wear silver wrist bands and we are greatly outnumbered by the Peurto Ricans (only a 25 minute flight away). We found they got a better service, which may have been because they are just so noisy! I did get a bit frustrated when you stood at the bar at night waiting to get served. Just as it would be your turn a loud 'hey' would be heard beside you and lo and behold it would be a Peurto Rican that would get served before you....oh well, it wasn't too bad. I would add though that they are possibly the noisiest people on the planet, but do enjoy a good time!!
I would reiterate though that some of the staff work very hard, particularly in the Steak House.
The cleaners in the bedrooms were all very good.

Entertainment

If you want 24 hour entertainment, then this is the place for you, but if you don't then that's fine too. If you don't want to join in then the Animation Team will leave you alone. The activities include, water aerobics, aerobics, step classes, a climbing wall, Spanish classes, dance classes and it goes on. At night it's just as busy!

Overall

This hotel is very nice, but it's not 5 star, but there again you're probably not paying a 5 star prices. We had our issues, which the manager did his very best to resolve, but would I go back.......Probably not!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Great hotel with very friendly entertainment staff, especially Wili Wonka who provided good entertainment throughout the 2 week stay. he worked so hard every day entertaining guests by the pool with some great games. The evening shows are also very good with a lot of variety. also Rojelio in guest services, very friendly & helpful, would definitely go back again!

Room Tip: Block 4 is good location as central for the pool & restaurants.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Prior Lake, Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

If you want a good place at a good price this is it. The pools are fantastic, the food is excellent, the shows are entertaining, and there's always something going on for people to do. They have enough choices for places to eat that you don't have to double up if you don't want to. The staff is very accommodating and friendly. The only downside was that 2 nights a week the locals can set up tables to sell you things, this wouldn't be a problem but they're kinda pushy to make the sale, just a little annoying as you're trying to get to dinner. But if you're looking for souvenirs for the trip they got what you need and with a little haggling you can get it for a good price.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 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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