I traveled to the Grand with a friend the week of Feb 23 - Mar 2. We picked the resort based upon the fabulous trip advisor reviews, and we were not disappointed. There were a few things that could use some improvement, but it was nothing to earn anything less than 5 stars for the total experience. Overall, the place was immaculate and extremely well manicured.
We arrived and were greeted with a glass of champage and were basically told not to lift a finger. We were able to get a room with two beds, which was important to us. I had emailed the hotel a few weeks ahead to request it.
Our room was on the 3rd floor on the back side of the resort facing the other Iberostar. It was very quiet. I didn't mind looking over the other hotel as some other reviewers did. The room had 2 double beds. We were brought our special (feather) pillows. The room also had a table with two chairs and a chaise lounge. It wasn't overly large, but it had plenty of room. The bathroom had the jacuzzi tub (we didn't use), a vanity with two sinks, and a rainshower head for the shower. I didn't enjoy the rain shower head as it made it difficult to shave my legs in the shower. The hairdryer had decent power, but it was a safety type that you had to hold the button to keep it on. If you have difficult hair, I would suggest bringing your own. (I wish I had.) Ours didn't work (only came out cold) when I tried to use it the first night. I saw our butler on our way to dinner to let him know. We had a new one when we returned. I did find the bed slightly soft for my taste.
We got fabulous service from almost everyone from the front desk check in (Freddy) to our butlers (Henry and Victor), to the waiters (Jorge), and the pool bartenders/waitresses (Leide & Lely). Everyone seemed happy and greeted us when they saw us. The butlers always had wine chilling for us when we came back from the pool. Our mini bar had things we didn't want in it, so we asked for more of what we did. We didn't have to remind them after we asked once. If you took two drinks out of your wine glass, it would be topped off at lunch and dinner.
The breakfast buffet had tons of options from omelets/eggs and waffles/pancakes to cheeses, lox, and cured meats. The fruit selection was very good, and they had a smoothie bar. The coffee at breakfast was almost sludge-like. I ordered cappucinos after day two when I saw someone else with one.
Lunch had about anything you could possibly want including salads, chips and homemade guacamole, grilled chicken/lobster tails/hamburgers/steaks, and fruit/dessert.
We did not eat dinner at the buffet, but we were told by others that it was very good. We ate at all 4 ala carte restaurants. My favorite was the Japanese. We got fantastic service at all of them except the Surf/Turf. I felt like we were kind of herded in and our waitress (same one both nights) was not very friendly and didn't provide the service as in the other 3. The food was good there, but the experience was much less enjoyable.
Yes, I got a few things during the week that I liked less than others. If I didn't like it or how it was cooked, I got something else from the buffet.
I only had one drink the whole time I didn't like (bloody mary) because it was just standard bloody mary mix and vodka. The house white & rose were actually very good. I preferred the white house over a couple of the bottles they brought us special. It didn't seem a problem at all at dinner if you wanted to order one from the list. They had more "top shelf" liquor at the bar by the lobby than at the pool.
I had emailed the hotel a couple weeks ahead and asked for reservations for the first four nights at 6:30 (we like to eat early). They were not able to confirm at the time, but our butler arrived with reservation slips on our first day. We were able to secure 6:30 again the other 3 nights.
The cabanas were great. We did get up early to be at the pool at 7 to reserve our cabana. I need shade as I am very fair. I didn't mind being up at that time. It was very peaceful. The annoying thing was observing people reserving them then spending the day at the beach. There didn't seem to be any policing of that. One day, we noticed one that was empty all day. Someone showed up about 4:30 PM with a bottle of SPF 8 tanning oil and applied it and went to the pool. They had a "sunscreen bar" at the pool concierge. I would still recommend bringing your own if you burn easily. The highest SPF appeared to be 30, and it wasn't the best waterproof sunscreen.
The whole experience was relaxing and fabulous. I don't think I could stay at a non-grand again. I was absolutely spoiled for a week.
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Iberostar