My mother and I travel a few times a year to get away from the family business and wanting something new this year we chose the Dominican. The flight was pleasant. The arranged transportation from the airport to the hotel was quick and so was check in. They didn't have us on the list for the promised coupons in the hotel but one of the concierge fixed the situation quickly. Then started the problems...
1. The bell boys lost our luggage so we were sitting in our room watching tv for literally the first 3 hours of our trip.
2. After given two keys to the room, we realized once we arrived that to keep the power on for any reason in the room you must have one of your two keys in a slot by the door at all times to keep it running.
3. The hotel will not give you extra keys and they charge you $10 if you lose one so get ready to go everywhere together to keep everything on and comfortable in your room for your return.
4. The tv constantly got big messages displayed across the screen saying the bill had not been paid and service was going to be discontinued. When we informed the front desk they said it would go away in time. And yes after about 10 minutes of completely destructing any view of the tv it would go away only to appear on another channel.
5. They have climate control in your rooms so although you may set your AC down low it still does not get below a certain temperature
6. They did not have enough towels to cover all the rooms in the hotel. If we were lucky they would restock 1 a day. We called every single day for extra towels which would take at least an hour to arrive.
7. The staff will knock and wait less than ten seconds before entering a room whether the do no disturb sign is on the door or not. I was walked in on after getting out of the shower by a male employee who gave me less than 15 seconds to get out of the shower to answer the door.
Food and Beverages:
1. There is absolutely no AC in the restaurants so get ready to sweat. There is no need to clean up before dinner. In fact, at the hibachi it got so warm I had to leave without eating before I got ill.
2. Since we went in the off season only a couple of restaurants were open each day. You could find out the schedule on the printed itinerary that they put up around the hotel each day.
3. Even though it was the off season, if you don't go right at 6p when the restaurants open you will be waiting for hours. The two times we accidentally had this happen we waited 2 hours on the dot and gave up the second time at 2 1/2 before going back to our room from heat exhaustion.
4. The buffet food was horrible. The food was undercooked or overcooked and cold unless you had something made right off the grill (ex: eggs in the mornings)
4. Ordering from room service took over an hour each time and always came up cold or incorrect. They sent my first order up wrong three times before they got it right.
5. The signature frozen drinks like pina coladas, margaritas, etc. were pre mixed in a machine and always came out as a liquid instead of frozen.
6. We were told at the beginning of our stay that since we were not in the preferred part of the hotel that we would not be able to use all the restaurants including the ocean side grill that by far had the best food. If you do decide to visit this hotel, this is the only place that had decent food with fresh fish, steak, and shrimp right off the grill. After talking to management they agreed to let us eat in this restaurant although we were not preferred guests. I can say that if we weren't able to eat there we would have left the first day.
7. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: The hotel tells you that you can drink from their filtered water system. This is not the water that comes out of the faucet but the water they they pour from the pitchers at dinner or are in the big five gallon jugs at the pool. YOU CANNOT DRINK THE WATER!! On the fourth day of our trip my mother became bed ridden. Her temperature spiked, she was vomitting and had severe diarrhea. After trying to fight it off for a day she became so miserable that she went to go see the nurse they keep on staff at the hotel. They had so many ill people at that time that she had to wait until the next day. When she went back the next day they told her to come back in three hours. After finally seeing the nurse she was prescribed some antibiotics and sent back to the room. She spent the remainder of the trip miserable and in absolute pain. After getting back to the states she immediately went to the hospital to find out she had e coli poisoning and was severely dehydrated.
1. Outside of the concierge who helped us when we arrived and the nurse that had to treat my mother during our trip the entire staff was the worst I've ever seen. They were rude and hateful. They look at you with disgust and treat you horribly.
2. There was absolutely no staff for around the pool to check and see if we needed beverages or books or anything.
Pool and Beach:
1. The pool and beach were gorgeous until we got bug bombed!! During the last two days of our trip we were completely engulfed in pesticides that were being bombed on the outside of the buildings. The pools run between the two buildings of the hotel and they sprayed it right up the middle. Clouds of green murky smoke drove us out of the pool area and back into our rooms. This was done with absolutely no warning and at about 3p in the afternoon when the pool is in full swing.
1.Our travel rep warned us that even though there were many people that appeared to be employees on the beach that all extra activities on the water and all services in the spa could not be guaranteed by the hotel. All of them are owned by separate franchise companies and do not answer to the hotel in any way so if you're cheated...too bad.
2. On our fifth night, 100 or so teenagers checked in for their senior trip. The bars and restaurants were overrun with parading, unchaperoned children taking advantage of the drinking age. The remainder of our nights were spent listening to running and screaming and yelling into all hours of the night. We I called the front desk to report the problem the man told me that he was handling it and to stop calling because he would handle it. I informed him that this was my first time to call and I didn't appreciate my tone and I was hung up on.
3. This day in age I figured internet is included anywhere but it is $60 for a week of internet in your room. Mine wouldn't work for two days and the hotel wouldn't comp any time for me to use the business center. I had to buy more time by the minute to use their computers.
All in all, the island is beautiful. They have some wonderful excursions that I truly enjoyed, but this was probably the worst trip of my life. Not being able to enjoy a meal in AC with 90 degree weather (an unusually hot week for them they said), being bombed with pesticides, the rude staff, and not being able to stay healthy...we will never, ever go back. I hate to say that this one hotel ruined the whole idea of the Dominican Republic for us but after all our years of traveling we expected a great deal more than what we got. The Dominican is beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone but do not stay at this hotel.
I was quite shocked because it was bought and renovated (still in the middle of painting, digging, drilling renovations while we were there) by the Secrets Hotels. I would hesitate to stay with them again even after previous positive experiences with the company.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.