We recently came back from a wonderful 5 night stay at Tortuga Bay. The service was impeccable and this beautiful hotel can truly boast some of the best trained staff I have ever experienced which is a testament to the very kindly and competent general manager Mr. Calcerano.
I'm not going to repeat the same information from previous posts except to say it is all true (the good ones anyway). We stayed in junior suite 6123 which was supposed to be an ocean view, but the majority of the view was the trees blocking the way so if a direct ocean view is important to you, definitely go with an oceanfront room. Even so, we enjoyed having our wine and cheese on the balcony every afternoon at 5:00PM, as we packed some special bottles from home to bring with us.
There is a market nearby where you can buy food, wine and snacks, but the red wine selection is limited if you like higher end wines. They did have some white wines with prices comparable to the states and we did pick up some decent pinot grigio along with cheese and crackers.
We ate at three on-site restaurants while we were there Bamboo & La Yola being the best (the river shrimp with risotto was really good at Bamboo, but make sure to get the risotto with white sauce as they made it with pink one night and it wasn't nearly as good). The Grill was awful, we tried it twice ordering several menu items and only a few were palatable, but the pinacoladas there were the best we had on the resort which is why we went back the second time hoping the food would be better. We also ate at Mama Luisa's off-site one evening, but it was only OK. We would try it again, but next time maybe order the Italian selections rather than paella since it is an Italian restaurant.
The only negative was the beach which had a major attack of seaweed while we were there making the entire beach unusable. This was a terrible let down for us as the primary reason for our trip was to enjoy the beach. We tried chartering a boat one day to get away from it (at great expense), but it was pretty much the same the entire ride. However, we did find one beach and one snorkeling spot that was at least somewhat usable that day. One day we booked a day pass at an all inclusive at Bavaro beach which was much better (the beach, not the hotel) so we got at least one beach day in, but we were happy to get back "home" to our resort at the end of the day.
Apparently, this has been happening on and off for five months all over the Caribbean depending on the side of the islands you are on. They did try to clean it every day, but the amount coming in made it almost futile. The Punta Cana resort next door had it much worse and the smell from it was literally toxic in several spots (you have to drive through that resort with your golf cart to get to La Yola and the lagoons at the ecological reserve). Finally on the last day we were there, the seaweed in the water on our beach did clear up (you just had to step over it on the beach) and we were able to get a great swim in on our last morning (figures). This was really a shame as the beach would be really beautiful otherwise. We did make the best of it and still had a great stay regardless and I'm sure it will clear up eventually, we just had bad luck with our timing. My suggestion to the hotel would be to offer free transportation to another beach area for guests to use while this was going on as Bavaro was not nearly as badly affected.
One other suggestion (not a complaint) would be to better promote the fact that you can buy prepaid cards to call home that can be programmed into the cell phones given to you when checking in (people from home can also call you on the cells as well). I had specifically asked how I could make calls to the states and was told to buy a prepaid cell phone in the marketplace. It wasn't until explaining what we wanted to Laura at the front desk that we were told that we could use the resorts' cell phone if we purchased some minutes. They actually sell them in the ATM machine near the lobby, but it was out of them so we had to go to the gift shop at the other resort to pick them up, but they did work great (it was inexpensive too). They should sell them in the lobby as it is a great feature that I'm sure more people would take advantage of if they knew.
All in all this is a very special place and everyone treated us wonderfully. We liked it so much we are already planning another trip for next year.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Mr / Mrs Neda,
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First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know your comments about your recent stay at our Tortuga Bay Hotel. As we are deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction, your opinion is very important to us.
Once more, thank you for your comments. We hope to be able to welcome you again to our Tortuga Bay hotel, and give you a “Leading” Experience.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.