I was a little apprehensive after reading some of the negative reviews before arriving but my concerns were unfounded.
I went with two friends, my 9 month old daughter and my friend's 3 year old son. We chose this resort because it was supposed to be family friendly and it most definitely was. Most of the staff love children and went out of their way to make our children laugh and smile. They accommodated us at every meal and we never felt awkward when the children were cranky and not on their best behaviour. That being said, if you are looking for a really romantic place or a couples party place, I don't think this would be the best resort for you. However, there are wonderful lounge areas all around the lobby and restaurant areas where you can sit and have a drink and chat.
The grounds of this resort are lush and beautiful and meticulously maintained. There are a huge variety of trees and plants and it was rare to see a fallen leaf on the ground. Near the main lobby there are flamingos, storks, peacocks, ducks, birds and turtles and multiple pools and gardens. The swimming pool areas are beautiful and very large. There are special shallow areas for children and that enabled me to seat my daughter in water that came up to her waist (maybe 6 inches deep) and play with her and her toys. This section curved around and gradually got deeper until it joined the main area of the pool. There were also two small children's pools and many families were taking advantage of these areas with their small children.
I found the reservation system for the specialty restaurants very simple to use. We booked most of them on the computer terminals in the main lobby and used the lobby phone to change one of our reservations to an earlier time that was not available on the terminal. No waiting, no hassles. The food was quite good and was generally served in a timely matter. They were very wise to serve the children's meals first (and very quickly) so the parents could help their child eat before their own dinner arrived. Crayons and colouring pages were provided at every meal to give the children something to do.
We stayed in building 29 and it was quite near the pool area, maybe a 2 minute walk. Although the resort was large I did not find it too big. Our room felt very central and was maybe a 6 minute walk to the lobby, and a 5 minute walk to the beach, a bit longer if you're casually strolling. My times are with a stroller and baby so it's really not that bad. However if you do have mobility issues the distances would be difficult to traverse. My mother has a walker and I definitely could never bring her to this resort, she wouldn't even be able to get on the trains - the step up would be too much for her. The trains run one way around the resort and can take 2-3 times as long as walking however they're quite nice and the drivers drive very safely (and the kids love them!). I did not find the size of the resort to be a negative in any way. In fact it made the resort seem very spacious and not crowded at all, despite the amount of people there over March break.
The beach was beautiful and the water was very nice to swim in but I didn't spend much time there because of my daughter. I saw security guards all over the place and they were very friendly and helpful.
We found a few ants and 1 cockroach in our room by the patio door but I thought that was acceptable considering the climate and that I probably find more spiders and fruit flies in my own home. Otherwise the room was clean and a good size (and we had a basic room). The maid service was good except for 1 day when the maid didn't do a very good job. I think we may have been her last room and she was behind schedule. One big mishap was that the maid left our patio door unlocked and our front door was left slightly ajar - not so much as to be obvious from a distance but noticeable from up close. We forgot to mention this to the hotel. I'm always cautious and lock everything of value in the safe anyway so there wouldn't have been much to steal besides clothes and toiletries. The only other negative would be that the shower didn't drain well; the shower floor wasn't graded properly and the water pooled by the door. Oh, and although they did provide a crib for us I didn't end up using it because it was quiet small and made of metal and my daughter kept banging her head on the side as she rolled around. It would be fine for a younger baby who is not going to be as mobile.
The biggest annoyance was a day trip we had planned through our tour operator - Transat Holidays - that was supposed to pick us up at 7:15am and never showed up. Our Transat rep. was very apologetic and handled the situation as best as she could but it was annoying to get 2 young children up that early for no reason. The tour operator they booked us with was not very helpful. We called when the bus didn't show up and my friend tried to arrange to go on a slighter later tour with her son. The representative she spoke with on the phone said 'no problem', the bus will pick you up shortly, then after waiting for another hour they said they wouldn't be able to take her. I believe the second trip was called Bavario Runners. Although the Transat rep said they never had a problem with this company before I wouldn't recommend them as they seem unreliable and it was the only company that Transat dealt with for the day tours (it might be a different company for other types of tours (ie boats tours) but I don't know for sure).
Overall I would say it was an excellent resort and would not hesitate to book another family vacation there.
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- Also Known As:
- Punta Cana Melia Caribe Tropical
- Sol Melia Punta Cana
- Melia Caribe Punta Cana
- Melia Punta Cana
- Melia Caribe Tropical Punta Cana
- Melia Tropical Punta Cana
- Melia Hotel Punta Cana
- Melia Caribe Tropical Resort
- Punta Cana Melia Caribe Resort