What a great place! We left Tues Feb 26th from Toronto via Air Transat/Canjet. Took off 10 minutes early. Plane was old and we were squished in, but flight was quick and uneventful except for rude woman in front of my hubbie who left her seat reclined the whole time, including the meal time. Luggage came quick and there were 2 buses leaving for our resort, a big one and small one. We got on the small one, and thanks to a TA person, we got the seat behind the bus driver – that’s the side of the bus to get if you can because you will get the better view of the ocean. The drive is about 40 minutes and is so beautiful, the time flies. We recorded the trip and the video is fantastic. You can see this area will be soon be developed because the beaches are gorgeous and the road is fantastic. Kudos to the Dominicans for building such a fantastic road through the mountains (and solid rock in many places).
We got our room key during the bus trip and the bus took a slight detour through Las Terrenas which is a typical town. Note the shopping isn’t great, a few lovely high end shops which are expensive and the rest are typical tourist shops with t-shirts, paintings and cheap jewellery. We took a taxi to town $ 10 each way. Our room was 1207 and at first I was pretty dismayed thinking we were in building 12 when we emailed and asked for building 1, 3 or 5. Found out when we got to front desk that they remembered my email and put us in building one, 2nd floor, exactly as we asked. When does that ever happen when a hotel is at full capacity? The front desk is extraordinary – they appeared to try 100% to help out everyone, with a smile! An example, our first day there, I saw this ginormous bee on the beach, looked like 3 bees stuck together. I am allergic so put my epipen in the beach bag. The next day, while floating on my floatie, I felt this sharp sting in my arm. My hubbie was with me and immediately pulled a large 2 pronged stinger out of my arm. I kept my arm in the salt water, and then rubbed it with sand. Then we watched it and I seemed to be ok. Later we went to the front desk to ask what the “bee”was. The girl there was so sweet and attentive but obviously had no clue what I wanted, she asked me where the bug was, and I told her on the beach, in the water. I think she thought I wanted them to go find it and get rid of it! But she continued to smile and assured me they would try their best. Now isn’t that sweet? Carlos is amazing as are all of them. So impressed with their service and attention to all their customers. BTW never saw that bee again and no one else got stung so don’t worry about it. It is really a water beetle!
Our room was perfect, Jacuzzi tub that worked well, separate shower, hard bed as others have said, small icky pillows. Note ladies there is no full length mirror; if you want to know which shoes to wear with your dress, you have to climb on the bed or the stool! However there is a magnifying mirror in the bathroom if you want to have a massive view of your pores. It was cleaned well every day, early, and restocked the fridge daily. Our beach towels were in the room when we arrived. We also had turn down service every evening – room 1207 is an upgraded suite for $ 10 extra each per day which was well worth it. We got a small bottle of rum in the room, robes and slippers. It was a 2 minute walk to the lobby and beach which we love because we always go well equipped with bubbas, floaties (note to Canadian, get your bubbas and floaties at Canadian Tire b4 you go) and a ton of other stuff to lug back and forth.
The beach is drop dead gorgeous, so pristine and unspoiled. It is clean and fairly calm –yellow flag for 5 days and then it poured rain our last 2 days which was sad… You can walk forever on the beach, after checking out with the security guards and each end of the complex. I really liked Wilson –the one guard who was so sweet and friendly. If you think of it, try to tip these guys, and the maids who clean the beach bathrooms, the greeter at the buffet and others who aren’t as likely to get tipped. They really appreciate it. The snorkeling isn’t special, hate to say. The reef which is actually exposed during low tide is dead but we were able to see some fish. Lots of people snorkeling late in the day.
The buffet was very good, always something to eat, pasta station very good. We had 4 specialty restaurant dinners included but only booked 3 (btw easy to book at the main lobby, no problem or lineups!). We started with the Seafood – wasn’t very good.. Then the Italian, it was pretty good and then the Gourmet which frankly wasn’t good at all. I didn’t see anything I liked on the menu so ordered 3 starters. They got that all mixed up and never did get the smoked salmon which I really wanted, and was afraid they may deliver after my dessert! Note that they will ask you for your room number at these restaurants which we thought was weird and actually refused to give it to them the first time as upgraded booze can be served and charged to your room (you sign for it) but we wondered if something would be charged from the restaurant to our room. That didn’t happen though, not sure why they ask.
The timeshare guys are fine now - didn't bug us at all and were friendly and professional.
Only negative most people mentioned is lack of something to do in evening. The shows are held in a small theatre and no one could be bothered to go there from the lobby bar so we never saw one show. A couple nights, a guy with an electronic piano played either at the Snack bar or in the lobby. It wasn’t great; a small band would have added a lot to the atmosphere and some of us danced even to the bad music from the one guy. The disco opens so late, we didn’t go to it either, think it opens 11 or 12. So we hung out in lobby bar every night and had a good time thanks to people we met from Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Oakville, Chile (crazy Dave) and Austria. There are 2 pool tables (no chalk) and a fooz ball table that I got addicted to.
There is a small grocery store just a 10 minute walk from the hotel on the main road to your right which has Clamato, Gatorade, Cranberry juice, booze, cigs etc. Note that there is a fairly high percentage of smokers at the resort but the inside buffet, specialty restaurants and parts of lobby bar are non smoking.
All in all, highly recommend this resort and had a wonderful time, and even though we have never returned to a resort (and we have been to over 20) I would go back to this resort in a heartbeat.