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“Great value and lots of fun” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vista Sol Punta Cana

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Vista Sol Punta Cana
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av Alemania s/n | El Cortecito, Bavaro, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Bavaro
New York. New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great value and lots of fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We all really enjoyed our stay here. The beach is stunning and the pools are beautiful. Gorgeous mature grounds with peacocks strutting freely. We had no problem with the food or water. Most of the food was delicious and the Italian and Mexican restaurants were excellent. The day time entertainment staff were very good and we had excellent service everywhere. The show s at night were really poor however. It's a shame. Something should be done to improve the quality of the shows. It was the only thing that really let the place down.

Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Just returned from staying at this resort. I'll start by saying I enjoyed this resort. It looked as other people's pictures portrayed. The rooms are spacious, at least the 5000 block are, which happens to be close to the beach but also beside the Presidential Lifestyles (I think that's what it's called), so you hear their entertainment if sitting on balcony in the evening. The whole place is kept clean and tidy. Free wifi at the entertainment area was a bonus, but if you went later in the day, it was slow with many people there. The only drawbacks I have with the place would be the beds, they are hard as rock and extremely uncomfortable and the air conditioning doesn't always work. It would be nice if there was a ceiling fan or a desk fan. There wasn't always hot water in the middle of the day, but that was no hardship, the shower drain was really slow, sometimes flooding part of the bathroom. I found the select and variety of foods in the buffet to be appealing, unfortunately I did not get a chance to frequent the a la carte restaurants. The beach restaurant food was totally gross. The best bars I found were the main pool bar and the lobby bar. Would I return to this resort, probably not, due in most part to the issue with the beds. I woke up sore every morning but also had trouble getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. Other than that, anything else that I had a negative comment on I could deal with again, just not the beds.
The main pool area could get kinda busy as most families used this one, as well, the scuba folks use this pool for instructions. I kinda liked the beehive of activity. There are 2 other pools that are much quieter but also lack enough loungers.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I'd like to rate this a 3 1/2, which I think this is what it deserves, consistent with the "star rating" for hotels in the Caribbean. It was somewhat better than "average" but not "very good".

Our family of five (kids aged 19, 13, 11) stayed at the Vista Sol from February 15 to 22, 2015. We travelled direct from Ottawa with Sunwing (see the comments at the end of the review related to Sunwing).

We read a lot of reviews about the hotel before going. These were either very positive or very negative, so we were quite concerned, not knowing what to expect. The good news is that, overall, we were quite pleased with our vacation at the Vista Sol. Check-in was no problem and our “Family Duplex” room (2306) was really quite nice. We had a large, two story loft-style room where the five of us could stay together. This is a real rarity in the Caribbean, where we usually have to get two rooms. They brought and set-up an extra bed for us right away, so we ended up with two queens and two single beds, which were all very comfortable.

The building we were (2000 block) in was centrally located, near the main pool, the buffet restaurant, and the theater. The Vista Sol is a very large resort with 3 pools and beautiful garden-like grounds. The beachfront was wonderful – lots of space and trees for shade, with lovely white sand. There was always some kind of activity taking place, and in fact we won two bottles of rum by playing some of the games. We also played beach volleyball every day, and used the tennis courts a few times.

It was interesting to note that the guests at the hotel were primarily German, Russian and French, with some South Americans, and relatively few Canadians and Americans. The staff members were mostly very friendly, although a good many spoke little to no English – this was a challenge in particular with the waitresses in the specialty restaurants.

Some of the issues were encountered that we feel the Vista Sol could easily fix:
1. Having to line up every day to book a spot at a specialty restaurant for that evening is annoying and a major waste of time. Why not let guests book their three restaurant visits at one time?
2. There are not nearly enough beach loungers around pools 2 and 3. If we did not go and “towel” some chairs at breakfast time, there was no way we would get a spot. Most days we spent the morning at a pool and the afternoon at the beach (or vice versa) and we often had trouble finding any chairs available.
3. The free internet, available only at the theater, is incredibly slow and unreliable. I assume this is because they would like to sell you their premium internet service instead. This is not acceptable for an “all-inclusive” resort, where everyone has a smart phone, tablet, laptop etc.
4. The food at the specialty restaurants (Gourmet, Mexican, Italian) is really very average at best and often dried out, and not very warm. The staff will not let you order more than one appetizer, one entrée or one dessert. Why? Sometimes our kids didn’t like the main courses and wanted two appetizers, but the staff were completely unwilling to allow this (maybe a language issue). Stupid! Of the three, we liked the Mexican the most, primarily because of the self-serve “buffet” items that you could help yourself to. The Italian was the most disappointing - maybe because we have high standards, with such great Italian restaurants in Ottawa.
5. The main buffet needs way more variety. The food was OK, but fairly bland (not as bad as Cuba though - nothing could be THAT bad). After only a week everything seemed the same every day. The desserts are especially tasteless – Vista Sol really needs to hire a chef who can bake pastries! Also, the music in the main buffet restaurant was the same at breakfast, lunch and dinner – the same tired old 1960’s vintage Las Vegas “lounge lizard” tunes over and over and over. How about mixing things up?
6. The evening shows start much too late – 9:45. Who wants to wait until then, after a long day at the beach, playing in the sun? We were all too tired to attend.

Sunwing:

We were delayed leaving from Ottawa by an hour and a half, because a flight attendant had called in sick and they had to get a replacement (apparently she was phoned at the rink while watching her daughter’s hockey game). While it is understandable that people get sick, it seems that Sunwing doesn’t have much of a backup plan in place, so a planeload of passengers was kept waiting while they scrambled to staff their flight.

Our return flight was also delayed - by 7 hours. The excuse this time: the plane was delayed getting to Ottawa from Cuba (and from there to Punta Cana). You might think that being given an extra half day at the beach would be a good thing, but not if it happens after you have checked out, you have no hotel room to use, you have to access clothing from previously checked suitcases, and instead of leaving at 4 pm and getting home at a reasonable time (one of the main reasons you picked this vacation option), you leave at 11:20 pm and get home at 3:30 am, not being able to sleep a wink on the flight. These delays seem not to be an isolated incident with Sunwing – which is making a name for itself as being quite unreliable.

The flights were OK, although they cram in so many seats that a tall person such as myself will have their knees jammed up against the seat in front. This is very uncomfortable, if not physically debilitating, for a 4 hour flight – especially if the person ahead of you tries to recline their seat.

Sunwing’s food service consists of a very average sandwich and a pack of cookies. Personally, I think they have cut things back so far that I would debate using them again – direct flights notwithstanding.

Room Tip: The “Family Duplex” rooms are really quite nice and can accommodate a family of 5. We had a large, t...
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Brunswick, Canada
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We just arrived back from a week stay at Vista Sol. I will try and be brief. This is a large resort but feels small. It is a short walk from the front desk to the beach and all of the entertainment. The check in process was slow...very slow. But once at the desk they took their time and explained everything so I appreciated the slowness of the check in once we were at the counter. The grounds and facilities were very well maintained and our room was cleaned daily. The food was average. I didn't see much of a problem with it. We went to the Mexican restaurant 1 night and it was good too. I would keep an open mind with the food. Some items they offer are: pork, pork chops, turkey dinner, seafood, chicken etc. The beach is amazing. Get there early if you want a lounger...same as anywhere else I've been to. Things needing some improvement. The beds felt like we were laying on a stack of pallets!! So uncomfortable!! Check out was disappointing. Our pick up time was 3:10 am and we had to check out at 11 am. That's a long day of not having a place to shower or rest before you leave. The staff really didn't understand English very well. All other resorts I've been to have staff that understands English. Attentiveness was weak. All other resorts had staff that would get drinks for you during dinner etc. this one didn't. Not a big deal but a difference anyway. I asked for a blanket from the front desk and didn't get it. Not a big deal but...

All in all we had a fantastic time! Nice clean resort, decent food and service. I've had better for around the same price.

Room Tip: Swim up rooms in the 10 block were great
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I recently visited the resort and my friend and I had a blast!! The grounds are kept very well. The staff was cool and friendly and very accommodating. It's has direct access to the beach and it's very well guarded at night to prevent any guest from harm. The buffet was cool. The breakfast wasn't the best meal but there's something for everyone. Also there is a option for made to order omelets. The staff is attentive. I never had a empty cup or glass of whatever beverage I had at the time. The rooms are comfortable. If you linen is not up to par just asked the very available housekeeper to change it and it was done. No problems. I read reviews about the shower and water spilling on the floor. The shower had a mount or can be used handheld. You have to be a moron to know how to operate this shower. Lol. You do have to pay for WiFi. Not included yet price is fair of purchase over a span of days vs individual days. The shows performed are stunning. You will be amazed. Gift shop fairly priced on most items but bring your swim attire don't buy on sight. Too expensive. You get 2 cards to give on the beach to get your beach towel rental. Best to bring your own. You have to make reservations with 3 different restaurants on the resort. There is a abundance of pools. It's a public beach do you will have vendors and they are friendly aggressive a simple no is fine. Didn't go to resort restaurants or snack bar cheaper to go yo walking distance resistant Captain Cooks best lobster ever. The rooms are fine. On occasion saw a few ants, but nothing alarming. If I left something out that's my fault. If I have more to share I will go into further detail. I would recommend this resort. BTW... For the review involving race.. Seriously. You are on vacation who cares about the other guest think. It is about the facilities and service the resort offers. Keep it simple. I'm African American. I had no such problems with guest or staff. Everyone was cordial and approachable. Don't let that review sway you otherwise.

Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurel, Maryland
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I went to Punta Cana this past weekend for my birthday with three of my friends and we definitely enjoyed our stay. Now for the breakdown...

The Resort
The resort was very large and included a pool, a theater with free wifi), a disco, a spa and its own beautiful beach. The pool included a swim-up bar and the hotel lobby and the beach area also had their own bars. Unfortunately, we did not get one of the newly renovated rooms but our room was still very nice and clean and in the 2000 block. The rooms balcony overlooked the pool area and luckily our building was in the center of the resort. The rooms did not include irons or ironing boards. You have to go down to the desk and request one. Peacocks and chickens roam the property during the day and locals walk around the beach with iguanas and lemurs for people to pet. Overall, it is a gorgeous property.

The Staff and Service
The Staff tend to everyone very quickly. The only thing that upset me was the check-in process. Our room wasn't ready until about 5:30pm even though we were expected at 3pm. The staff goes out of their way to assist you and they are extremely polite.

The Food
This was definitely the low point of our trip. The buffet food looks and smells great but is completely TASTELESS! If you book this hotel, make sure you make dinner reservations each morning for the Mexican, Italian or Gourmet restaurants located on the resort. We ate the buffet food for dinner on the first night and were terribly disappointed but still decided to give it another chance and were disappointed again at breakfast. We finally made reservations for the Mexican restaurant and that was great, quality Mexican food! Even though we noticed the restaurant food was better, we didn't want to eat it for the rest of our vacation so we ended up eating off the resort also.

The People
If you are African-American like me and my friends, I wouldn't suggest this resort. All of the staff are Black Dominicans and most of the guests were White or Hispanic Europeans who STARE LIKE CRAZY! One of my friends even thought she overheard a woman asking a bell hop how we were able to afford to stay there. I would recommend staying at chains that more Americans book, as Americans are more used to seeing various races on a daily basis.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We visited Vista Sol January 16 - 23rd. We arrived in late afternoon and were greeted by friendly staff and porters. We got a safe ($10 for entire stay) and was shown to our room by nice young man who didn't speak English but hey, we're visiting another country ;). He was able to communicate effectively with us and was appreciative of a tip.

We had booked an ocean view and received it in the 5000 block. We headed to the beach happily. The first two days were good except for the annoying time share people and the constant sales pressure to purchase excursions or massages. On Sunday at the lunch buffet I got very sick from eating beef, I know it was the beef because my husband didn't get sick and that was the only difference in our meals. I was stuck in the hotel room with stomach problems and nausea from Sunday until Wednesday when I finally went to the doctor. I was able to leave the room Thursday afternoon to enjoy the beach.

The doctor recommended IV fluids but I didn't have $510 US on me so instead I received ambulatory treatment for $250 US. I had loosely been diagnosed with some kind of parasite or ecoli. I made a complaint with the Sunwing rep who was unable to do anything for me and my husband other than write a report and inform me to complain formally once I got back in Canada.

The staff at the resort were all pleasant and helpful. No issues with language barriers anytime we needed to deal with them. The hotel was good about delivering water to my room. The store was well stocked with gatorade which I needed from dehydration from having severe tummy troubles due to poor food quality.
Guests are mostly Russian, again no issues with other guests.

The time share staff blocking paths to get to rooms, beach and buffets became a bit much especially when ill. We did not get a deal on this resort because we booked and paid 6 months in advance and it sucks to get sick and wait for the supplier to get back to us regarding our issues. I did not get to any a la cartes because of the sickness. But the line-up looked like it moved fast.

I would return to this place if the food issues were sorted. The beach is beautiful and has lot's of shade. The staff is warm and friendly.

Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vista Sol Punta Cana

Address: Av Alemania s/n | El Cortecito, Bavaro, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana > Bavaro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Bavaro
#9 Casino Hotel in Bavaro
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Bavaro
#12 Spa Hotel in Bavaro
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Bavaro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Vista Sol Punta Cana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 470
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The location and the lay-out of the hotel is such that it possesses an ample beach that offers one of the largest amount of square meters per guest in the vicinity. The existing beach vegetation has been re-distributed to ensure adequate space for those wishing to enjoy sun or shadow. Together with the pristine beach and the transparent blue sea water our clients will find the relaxed atmosphere they are looking for. The beach is also ideally suited for long walks. Vista Sol Punta Cana has 471 rooms, the right size to be able to provide a personal service to our guests. Together with the colorful mature tropical gardens it offers two unique selling points when a hotel selection is to be made. Vista Sol Punta Cana is the perfect option for couples of all ages, honeymoons, romantic getaways or just to get away from it all and relax in peaceful tropical setting. WiFi is available throughout the hotel. Free of charge only in and around the theater and at an additional charge everywhere else. Evening entertainment includes professional shows and a discotheque where the drinks (local brands) are on the house. For golf aficionados the nearest golf course in only five minutes away (green fees payable), for shopping aficionados the largest local shopping mall - Palma Real Shopping Center - is nearby. Vista Sol Punta Cana further offers 3 pools, kids pools, 2 jacuzzi, 3 tennis courts, mini golf. Mini club, 7 bars (including the beach bar and pool bars), a sportsbar, 1 bufet restaurant and 3 a la carte specialty restaurants ( Mexican, Italian and Gourmet). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carabela Beach Resort And Casino
Carabela Beach Hotel Punta Cana
Carabela Bavaro Hotel
Carabela Bavaro Punta Cana

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