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“Terrible beach and bad customer service” 3 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
Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Terrible beach and bad customer service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed today NEW

Our room was nice and spacious and the grounds beautiful. We loved the peacocks, ducks and iguanas on the grounds. The dining was good – good selection of fruits and very fresh. The coffee was terrible and they only have coffee machines that break down at least once a day and the line ups for coffee at breakfast are horrendous! Why would the DR who are known for their coffee serve such sludge! The A la carte restaurants have a terrible reservation system – you have to line up by 8:30 everyday to reserve for that night and often if you went by 9:15 they were full-up. They have quite a few annoying rules at this hotel – cannot take even a cup of coffee out of the buffet restaurant, cannot take any food out of the beach sports bar and the staff spend hours chasing people who don’t know the rules! The pool bar is closed in the evening - only 1 bar opened most nights. The bar at the beach party does not open until 10pm even though the party starts at 9:30 and all the guests are waiting. We travel a lot and have never encountered this attitude – the management need lessons in customer service – they should please customers first if they want them to return and after talking to other guests - they will not. The entertainment from 7pm to 10pm is non-existent except for one night a week (a Michael Jackson show). It was very quiet and boring in the evening and even the shows at 10pm were a hit and miss. Do not go for 2 weeks as we did and go preferably with other couples because there really is nothing to do in the evening. We travel alone usually and love to dance under the stars - not at this resort and it's unfortunate because they have a beautiful café-style set up by the pool that would be great for dancing, even to piped-in music. We suggested it to the manager but we’re ignored, so we’ll never return – I guess they don’t care!

Bavaro beach: What an overrated beach that is! What A DISAPPOINTMENT. It is the dirtiest beach we've been on in the islands! So many weeds in the water and even though they clean continuously it is always dirty the first 15 feet in the water and the water is very muddy and choppy and not only at our hotel. The beach at this hotel is much too shady and there are way too many trees. Everyone is always trying to find some sun and having to move chairs around - very annoying. Yes you can walk for miles but it is dirty and also very windy, the whole 2 weeks we were there. Maybe it's the time of year and if so, don't go in January. But really, don't go there!

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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789 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (115)
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English first
toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I like to read the write-ups on vacation spots to see what is up. I always tend to give the hotels the benefit of the doubt as some people are just too fussy and want a 5 star resort on a 3 star budget (this isn't happening).
The write ups were not very favorable and they just kept coming in worse as we got closer to our departure date of Feb 12/15 to Feb 26/15.
I decided to call Sunwing and let them know that they are promoting a resort where people are getting violently sick with e-coli, I decided that I wanted to change resorts, and maybe go to La Romana Viva Whyndam (which is a 31/2 star hotel), Sunwing advised that it was going to cost almost a $1000.00 extra, which was out of our budget so we decided to take our chances. Wellllllllll……did we ever. !st off we Paid for a Superior swim up room which we didn’t get and advised the front desk the same evening of arrival, Quelly advised that we would have to pay $10.00 extra per day (which was already paid for through Sunwing) and advised him of this, they said to come back the following day. The following day I went to the front desk and dealt with the lady boss and she got us room 10122 lovely room (thank you). Later into the 2nd morning we had a meeting with Jimmy the Sunwing Rep, I asked him straight up what they had done to rectify all of the bad publicity regarding people getting sick, he avoided the matter and wanted to get straight to selling the tours (very arrogant person, I’m disappointed with Sunwing having people represent their company like that he also was quite proud of his reputation on trip advisor). Later that day the cramping started over a period of 2 days I took 8 Imodium Pills and drank ¾ of a bottle of Kaopectate and was still unable to leave the room this continued for 4 days. It's not just the occasional trots, its like half an hour after you eat, you're done for!!!! stomach pain, hot & cold sweats. My husband was eating alone and bringing bread, cheese & bananas back to the room for me. One day I was able to report to Jimmy (Sunwing Rep) of my sickness and was told he will put in a report (didn’t write anything down), when I asked for a copy he advised that Sunwing advised him not to release any report to me…..
I was also in contact with Sunwing (in Toronto) asking them to please get me off the resort, they then advised me to speak to Jimmy who did nothing but advise it was reading week and nothing was available. Don’t forget I had booked this vacation for 2 weeks. People we had met were there for 2 weeks and they had to leave after the 1st week due to illness (food issues).
My Husband and I have vacationed in the Dominican many, many times so we are used to getting a little upset stomach towards the end of the vacation etc.
They also have a problem with the door keys, we had to keep going to the Reception to get them re booted which was a hassle.
The resort it’s self was lovely, the pools were nice, not enough lounge chairs in block 10, we figured out that there are approx 75 room 2 people per room 150 people and 28 lounge chairs around the pool and yes I have to agree people would put towels on them and be gone for the day. This was not fair to other people.
When I was able to finally get out of the room and wonder around the resort we did meet some wonderful people, who upon their return home have since been diagnosed with e-coli.
Some of the staff were exceptional, Maria Ventura she works in the buffet & Maria Isabel she worked the bar in the 10 block she made me some drink without booze to relax my stomach. Isabel all the best upon your new baby’s arrival.
The Beach was very disappointing, it has eroded away to nothing (all along the coast) in talking to the locals in the past 3 years this has been very predominant, the beach in front of Vista Sol was covered in Pine needles and again didn’t have enough lounge chairs for the amount of people. They also took away from the beach by putting a soccer area there which was not used that often.
Entertainment was So so, It would have been better to do the Diploma presentations earlier in the evening or give them out as they are won. It just gets tiring listening to it every night.
A Casino was advertised as being on the resort but there wasn’t one.
The a la carte restaurants you have to line up every day to make a reservation you couldn’t book for 2 or 3 days ahead. This was ridiculous people are on vacation and don’t want to spend from 9-11 am in the morning lining up to make reservations for 1 day.. The Beach Bar & grill the Hamburgers were absolutely gross looking, my husband tried one and couldn’t get is teeth through it, the only thing good was the French fries (when they were hot).
I could keep going on but enough is enough we have to move on.
Would I recommend this Hotel NOT on YOUR life.

Room Tip: block 10 our room number was 10122 advertised as a swim up room
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
saint john new brunswick canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Don't believe the negative this is a nice clean friendly resort. Stayed in swim up rooms they are the way to go. Everything close. Lots if food and drinks and of course great weather...I would come back for sure. Rosia maria and Wendy great waitress always knew our drinks and never had to wait. Jimmy from sunwing was kinda a goof always about the cash only thing we didn't book anything with him. Overall great place...

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

Perfect escape from a frigid February. Large, spacious, clean and comfortable rooms. Most have two double beds - we would have preferred one king bed. Lovely layout; beach, three pools, many bars, restaurants, lobby all easily accessible. Food quality varies, with the Sports Bar ranking the lowest in taste or variety. Wait staff in restaurants may not understand English well enough to get your order correct. Activities staff is excellent - look for "Sexy Belly, Mr. Wilson". Lots of variety in activities - aerobics, dancing, painting, etc. Evening shows are fun and varied.

Room Tip: Additional charge for king-size bed; not readily available; in low supply. Newer buildings have sma...
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York. New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 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 7
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
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 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 5
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 Hotel Punta Cana
Carabela Beach Resort And Casino
Carabela Bavaro Hotel
Carabela Bavaro Punta Cana

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