This is an honest review. My husband and I booked this trip last minute to celebrate his birthday and were really hoping for deluxe quality. Our experience was mixed.
1. Arrival at airport - yes, there are people there who will pretend to be your designated transfer service but in reality are there to entice you to "visit" another property. With us, it was not to sell us time share but rather to "show us" the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. We fell for it but in the end sitting through their presentation paid off as it is truly a very beautiful property. We did not buy anything but were able to enjoy the property for the day including a free spa visit and dinner at one of their excellent restaurants. It was our best meal that week.
2. Check-in -The staff was very nice and we were upgraded to Club Premium. If you can afford it, it really does make a difference. You will get an Oean Front suite, you won't need to pay to have dinner at La Comedie or any other restaurant. Check-in is quick and the staff at the club is very nice and will book you dinner reservations for your entire stay. Room service and mini bar items are included
3. Our suite was very nice and modern. The bed was ver comfortable. Huge TV, however reception not very good. There is a jacuzzi in the patio area; very nice! The bathroom area floods every time you take a shower. No big deal as you are in a beach environment. We left a 2-3 dollar daily tip for the maid and had everything we needed. Ours was bilding 1 so a little far from the main building where the restaurants and bars are but close to the adults only area which was nice. Mid way through our stay though we received a letter informing us that access to the adults only area would carry a charge of $14.00/day.
4. There are lots of activities, watersports, dance classes, games, beach excercise classes. The staff does a pretty good job of entertaining the guests if they choose to participate.
5. Shows - also pretty good though they are mostly dance shows. It makes sense though since a large number of guests are Russian and dont speak English or Spanish.
6. Casino - does not feel like a real one, not even like a cruise ship casino. Still my husband had a good time on the roulette tables.
7. Disco - nice, big but the DJ did not do a good job of getting people to dance. All of the songs are music videos shown on a large screen. There was some latin music which is what we were looking for especially since it was the Dominican Republic, but not enough.
8. Piano Bar - Right next to the casino and Excellen Piano Mant!! I enjoyed the music and sipped drinks while my husband gambled a little.
9. Drinks - true the frozen drinks did not remain frozen for long. The house wine is trully terrible. Other drinks are OK.
10. Food - this is definitely the worst area. The buffets always serve the same food and it is really not that good. Plenty of fruits but mostly unripe. Lots of salads but most of them full of mayo. It is hard to get an appealing simple lettuce and tomatoe salad. Even the breakfast, which is hard to mess up was not good. It seems like they have all the right material but somehow they are not able to prepare a good meal. The Japanese restaurant served sushi that was not even supermarket quality. It was all prepared in advance and did not taste all that fresh. The steak at the Steakhouse had no flavor. The French Restaurant was the exception.The food was great the first time we ate there, a little less great the second time but still quite good.
All things considered we had a great time but it seems like this property could make some simple improvements to give guests a better experience. I don't think we will go back in the near future. If we do go back to Punta Cana we'll probably try out the Hard Rock but would expect to pay quite a bit more based on the prices we have seen advertised. From what we expericed, it may be well worth it.