Before booking a room in this hotel, I had a look at most of the reviews in this page... I have to say, everything depends on your point of view...I decided not to trust many of them, since there were recent posts of people staying there like about a year ago...So things might have changed, and I'm writing this just the very day I came back from Capella. I wanted a getaway to a resort with the 3 B's: bueno, bonito y barato (good, pretty and cheap). Capella kind of met those requirements. I had stayed there 3 years ago, but paid almost the double per night...So I thought the price was fair this time (July 30-Aug 1).
Location: very close to the city, it took me about 45 mins to get there, from down town Santo Domingo, and I'm a very slow driver. It's about 20 mins from the airport.
Staff: I didn't have any bad experience with the staff, I have to say that sometimes people do not talk to them in a proper way (unfortunately mainly Dominicans) and every action provokes a reaction. I never had to tip anyone, but I did talk to them with good manners, always with a smile in the face, even when they weren't solving "my problem" at the moment.
Landscape: the gardens and outside area were well kept and clean, the infrastructure is really beautiful in general
Rooms: most of the negative reviews I read here included the bedrooms, I cannot complain...Although we got a room with only one bed (it was a (girl)friend and myself) the bed was quite big...king size maybe...it was not hard as rock...but.. anywayss...who goes to a resort hotel to spend all the time in bed?? (unless you're with a spouse or significant other)...The AC worked perfectly, and there was no leaking or flooding. There was a coffee maker, a small fridge with sodas (no beer, but I didn't care since I don't drink alcohol), iron and even a safe which was free of charge because it worked with a code instead of keys or the like. The bathroom was rather small, with only two towels, but there was hot water!
Pool: There are two pools, one close to the beach and the dining area, so is the one mostly crowded...and another one kind of hidden where there were usually less people..so if you want a quite place to relax away from the "locals"...stay in this one..there is also a bar you can access from inside this pool.
Beach: There's a large area and it was really beautiful the (only) day it was sunny during my stay. There were plenty of weeds by the shore (it was raining around these days), but you could go through them to clean spots in the water. The first day it was good, but after a few rains the waves gave a hard time...I can't blame the hotel staff for that!!
Food: Well, this is another one that get really low ratings. Like I said at the beginning, you get what you pay for. Do not expect fancy plates and a lot of variety every day, but try to combine and alternate places to eat. I'm a heavy coffee drinker, and I can say they have one of the best coffee with milk I've tried. The buffet was ok for the price you pay and of course you can get an indigestion if you make all sorts of combinations and eat more than your stomach can hold!! So pack a few alka-setzer (sorry if I misspelled it) just in case. If you go for more than 3 days you'll surely get bored of the food, so you can do this...you can reserve in one of the two included "a la carte restaurants". If you're not Dominican I highly recommend the "bohio dominicano" restaurant, or even if you (like me) are a Dominican who lives abroad and miss some good Dominican dish. You can try a different dish every night. Las Olas, is another option for lunch and dinner if you want to skip the crowd in the main buffet.
Disco: well, I'm not a party person, but if you like to move you body to the sound of bachata, merengue or reggeaton, you can drop by the Disco, which is Las Olas restaurant after 11 pm.
I know you guys were looking forward to this, here we go:
Check-in: I arrived at the hotel by 3, check in time, and even when it was a Monday and few people checking, they said they didn't have enough rooms ready.....I had to wait for about 2 hours to get my room, staff were sloooow, it seems there was not communication between the front desk and the people informing abt available rooms...I agree with other reviews this is one of the worst cons, besides having a very small lobby area, which is practically an outdoors one...Don't let this spoil your vacation, it's over once you get your keys....but cross your fingers your room has not things to get fixed.
Show: I'm not pretending to get a Vegas show, but if I didn't speak Spanish, I'd have a very hard time trying to follow some sketches in the night show which starts at 10 and lasts for about an hour. They have a kids show at 8, but parents hardly take their kids to bed and go back to the show...I mean that at least the one I got a chance to see was not apt for minors...it was kind of funny though, but if I were a mom I would had felt very uncomfortable. They need to teach at least the host some few more phrases in other languages...
Vendors: Oh my goooshhh!! I don't want to be rude about this one, since I know they're just trying to make a living, and I know the economic situation is really difficult nowadays..but for heaven's sake, vendors were really annoying in the beach...I had to pretend I was reading a book not to make eye contact with them...I'm not against it, but they should regulate the amount of people selling stuff there...there are way too many...Anyways the crafts are really nice, so if you want to take a few souvenirs home without leaving the hotel to get them, carry a few dollar and 5 dollar bills and negotiate the price, many tell you a price that is even 5 times more than what the item value is.
Well, that was my experience at Capella, it could have been different if I had been there on a weekend, which I've heard get really crowded with locals, and usually service cannot be efficient..Ah...if you really want a 5 star quality hotel, save a few more dollars and book in Punta Cana or Samana hotels :-)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.