My first visit to the Barcelo Capella Resort Beach Hotel was December 7-21, 2012. Before travelling, though, I carefully read review after review on this hotel and must say I arrived there full of apprehension, based on many of the reviews I had checked out. I arrived rather late in the evening after a full day of travelling and was whisked away to the Front Desk for check-in. Now that happened to be a Friday and that is the day that many of the Dominicans will check in for a weekend stay. Whereas I had read on Trip Advisor of a gentleman who arrived on a Friday also but who had experienced long line-ups at the Front Desk, I had no problems whatsoever.
After my first week at this beautiful hotel, I realized that something had changed in me……….I had never been happier!! Because I wanted to recapture that happiness once again, I returned to the Barcelo Capella March 1-22. I find myself wondering, after I have just reread most of the reviews once again, if many of the people who wrote comments on this particular hotel actually were staying at the Barcelo Capella, but I’m sure they were. I encountered NO problems whatsoever over the 5 weeks I was a guest of this hotel.
So, I’m going to give you kind of a walk-through of my experiences while staying at the Barcelo Capella. A warm greeting by staff as soon as I left the van which had transported me from La Romana Airport. Check-in on the second visit went as smoothly as the first visit…..go figure!!! I had done my homework, as most every traveler does. I read extensively on just about every site I could see which had reviews on the Barcelo Capella and, as I have said earlier, my first visit was filled with trepidation. The concern I felt was wiped away almost instantly, never to return. The lobby is relatively small but, oh, so gorgeous.
Because I had read the reviews, I knew enough to request that I stay in the 4000 building, which faces the oceanfront. I had a beautiful view of the gardens and the El Pescador Restaurant was just to the right of my building. I had a wonderful bed and certainly no problems with pillows!! I remember calling the Front Desk in my December visit as I was having a problem with my TV. Within 5 minutes someone was knocking at my door to help me with the problem. My maids, my wonderful, beautiful, caring maids……there never seemed to be a moment that they were not smiling at me as they passed me or when they happened to come to my door. Phenomenal attention is given to the guests by the Housekeeping Staff. The only small negative I can relate is that my room entrance looked out onto an area where a disco across the street would play music until 2:00 a.m. Earplugs in…….no problem!! From reading the reviews, I also knew enough to take a face cloth with me, plus of course, gifts for the maids. While one reviewer mentioned rust spots in their tub and that they didn’t have a shower curtain, I had no rust spots in my tub and I certainly had a shower curtain. Another reviewer mentioned a rusty fridge in their room. My fridge looked like it was brand new and was well stocked each day with plenty of water, Coke or Sprite.
Now, let’s go on to the Restaurants. El Pescador, the main restaurant which serves a buffet for all 3 meals. I don’t even know where to begin telling you about this restaurant. I have never, ever seen such smiling hard-working staff in all my years of travelling. Yes, some of the food was different from what I was used to but, since I was visiting the Dominican Republic, why wouldn’t it be different? I certainly tried to taste most of the food. Senior management were on site in the El Pescador non-stop and jumped in quickly to help out when needed. The Chefs walked around constantly making sure everything was running smoothly. I would be greeted so often with handshakes, hugs and/or kisses on the cheek by the staff. I felt like I was part of their family. Actually, while I was there, a Health Inspector came to inspect all the hotel and, in particular, the bars. I was told by the resident Health Inspector that the Barcelo Capella Resort received a 93% rating!! I would call that a fabulous rating!! I would see the resident Health Inspector checking everything on a continual basis.
I did not eat at the El Batey de la Costa Restaurant so I am unable to discuss the food, although I did chat with one lady who told me that she and her husband had eaten there and they had thoroughly enjoyed their meal. On one evening I ate at Chez Fontaine, the French restaurant. I had a wonderful meal there served by warm and very competent staff. Now we come to my most favourite restaurant, Grill Las Olas. I wandered along a path beside the ocean one day in December and found this absolutely beautiful little piece of paradise. I would say that there were few days during my 5 weeks at the Barcelo Capella Resort that I did not eat lunch at the Las Olas Grill. There really isn’t anything nicer than sitting in a restaurant listening to the ocean and watching the waves hit the shore. You order from a menu at Las Olas or there was also a buffet offered. I absolutely loved having lunch at Las Olas and all of the staff were unbelievably friendly and very professional.
Talking about staff, I do want to say that there really was not a spot on the entire resort where staff did not wave to me, greet me with a smile and give me a hug as they hurried on to their jobs. I never encountered one staff person who did not acknowledge me with a smile and a hello. Of course, they do not speak fluent English……..we are in their country and I found it so nice to try and learn a little bit more Spanish with each passing day. One person wrote that they had seen broken plate shards on a pathway!! Really???? Believe me, no one walked those pathways more than I did and not once did I see even a piece of waste on the ground. I never even saw cigarette butts now that I think of it. Pathways were constantly being washed by staff. Two men were constantly wandering the Resort looking to spray where it might be needed.
Okay, let’s discuss one of my favourite spots….the bars!! Staff………once again, I stood in awe constantly watching their expertise and quickness in serving drinks to so many people on a constant basis. There is the Carambolas Bar at the north pool (you can also swim-up to the bar), the Flamingo Bar in the entertainment area, the bar at Las Olas, which by the way, has a disco until 2:00 a.m. each morning. Finally, there was the Las Redes Bar attached to the El Pescador Restaurant and looking out over the other two pools, once again offering a swim-up bar. Pools were incredibly clean and tested each and every morning and one day I sat and watched a scuba diver checking out everything beneath the water line to make sure all was clean. I never ever saw anything but extremely clean pools. A water slide is located at the north pool. I had a facial at the Spa and definitely plan on having another facial in June!!
The grounds…….where do I begin? Suffice to say that the grounds were magnificent and very well landscaped. A photographer’s paradise, really. Security is everywhere, whether hotel security or the police. Security is extremely tight with people leaving and entering the main area of the hotel. I felt completely safe, especially nice to say when I was travelling on my own. On the way to the Las Olas Restaurant, you will find an exercise building plus pool table and a tennis court. Oh, and let us not forget Melvin, the aerobics instructor and his great staff. Every day at 10:00 a.m., workouts were on the beach and dance and Spanish lessons were offered throughout the day. Tours to many different areas are also offered on the premises as well.
Mass is said each Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in building 2000. This building also is where you will find the Tour Operators and the computers, for which you pay $2.00 US for each hour. Well, have I sold you on the Barcelo Capella Beach Resort? I hope so, because I believe in it so much that I am returning there in June for my birthday!!
I would definitely suggest requesting the 4000 block.............it is well worth the extra cost.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.