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“3.5 star but with some good points” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Punta Cana

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Occidental Grand Punta Cana
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Avenida Espana, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 17 Hotels in Bavaro
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“3.5 star but with some good points”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Firstly, I have been to various parts of the Dominican roughly 10 times and have stayed in everything from 3.5 star to 5 star so my review is based on things that meet, exceed and fall short of this hotel's 4 star rating. It is not in my nature to criticize unfairly.

Check in - quick and painless. Our room wasn't ready til 3:30 but was no big deal since the bar was a welcome respite from our journey
Tips: ABSOLUTELY pay for a safe key. I think it was $25 for the week...small price for peace of mind. I wasn't overly worried about being robbed, but I'm not overly worried about car accidents either, but still carry insurance. Consider this 'insurance' for your valuables.

Room - due to several suggestions here, we requested building 11 2nd floor by email the day before and were given what we asked for. The room was great, no issues at all. We were greeted to bath robes, slippers, rum, a stocked fridge and a fruit plate. We stayed in 11-204 and had some view of the pool.
Tips: Unless you plan to be back and forth to the beach all day, any of buildings 10, 11 or 12 will suit you fine.

Food - First the good: the buffet had a great variety and there was very little I tried that I didn't like. This buffet rivals ones at higher class hotels IMHO.
Tips: At first I wasn't pleased they didn't seem to replenish the table settings very quickly but we learned if you drop your bag at an 'empty' table and go get your food, the place settings will likely be there by the time you get back.
Now the bad: The a la carte restaurants were a dismal disappointment. Granted we only tried the Mexican and Steakhouse, but there was little ambience/theme (no music? really?) and the food choices were limited and bland. We should have just eaten at the buffet every night (see above)

Grounds - Well maintained but a little 'plain' compared to others I've stayed at. The only 'complaint' I have is the ridiculous waterfall they have cascading over the pool bar, rendering it somewhat useless to anything but ordering drinks and moving on. We rarely saw anyone willing to stand/sit at the bar and deal with the constant waterfall. The beach is great but there an incredible lack of chairs. We weren't willing to do the 7am 'towel on a chair' game so as a result we only managed to get a chair once during our week.

Animation team - This is the first time I've been to a resort of any class that didn't have a team that was actively getting people to participate in fun pool games and the like. The only activity we saw in the main pool area was 4 of the staff doing a dance (once) and looking entirely disinterested, and water aerobics. There wasn't even a water volleyball game in action until the 2nd last day and I think they were all travelling together. There are some games played on the beach but they are not well advertised except on the daily activities board.

Shows - I am always reluctant to criticize considering I know how hard they work. Some shows were good (broadway) and some were boring (ok...most). The Emcee is incredibly difficult to understand, the choreography isn't great and their syncronicity needs work but hey, it's not times square!

Bar staff - All were great but some were real stand outs for us: Franklin @ Transat beach bar, Alexander/Jose Miguel @ lobby bar, Freddy @ pool bar, Aneury @ theatre bar
Tips: tips are not expected and I don't know if they help but I'm sure they are appreciated occasionally

General staff - Always pleasant and quick with an "Ola". The service at this resort was beyond their rating to me

Internet - I did buy the $60/week wifi so I could check on my business from our room and it worked fine.
Tips: I do believe the $25/25 hour deal is not just 1 clock day but 25 hours of online usage, so if you just need to logon, check email etc, go with that deal, just remember to logoff at the end of each session and it should last you the week.

Tours - The only one we went on was the "Sailing adventure". We paid $125/person from the Air Transat rep, and it included a catamaran ride, about 30 mins of snorkeling, about an hour at a sandbar where you play water basketball, and a wonderful thai lunch when you get back.
We had a wonderful time and the boat staff were a hoot!
Tips: We did talk to people who had bought a $45 version from vendors on the beach that seemed to include most of what we got except for the lunch at the end. Bang for the buck this might be the way to go.

Miscellaneous notes:
- If you want a meal out of the resort, we enjoyed going to "Captain Cook" which is right on the beach and is about a 15 minute walk down the beach to the south, or a $12 cab ride. The meal was quite good, we had what I would say is a 16 oz steak for $15. NOTE: this is totally my fault but I asked for a wine list, the waiter brought me 5 bottles on a tray and I selected the 2008 Marques De Caceres rioja expecting it to be $30-$40. The bill came and they charged us almost $65. I know this wine..no way it is worth that even at resort restaurant prices, so just make sure you get the price before you commit! We had also received a recommendation from an expat from Hawaii for a restaurant called "Citrus" but never got there.
- Get off the resort and walk around! We found it totally safe and enjoyed a couple beers at Steve's bar watching the locals go about their daily lives (some is quite interesting...young dominican girls with older caucasian men lol). Beer is cheap there (about $3 for Corona...less for others) and you can watch NFL and other sports I'm sure. You can't miss it, it's the first business you'll see once you exit the front gate
- The coffee at the lobby bar is better than anywhere else on the resort
- The bathrooms in the lobby are horrid - most toilets are 'out of order' and I won't go into details lol, and when you do find one it can take 5 flushes to get it to work
- Many of the sofas/chairs in the lobby are dire need of replacement
- The tile floors are absolute treacherous in flip flops if they are wet so please be careful!!!!!
- Everyone complained about the time share people but we really didn't see much of it. Yes, the 'concierge' in your building will try to get you to go to a meeting but we just found if we entered the building thru the side entrances we never had to deal with him. I'm sure the concierge is helpful for other things, we just didn't want to be bothered by the alterior motives. The only other "hasslers" are the ones standing on the paths trying to sell dune buggy trips etc but they do respect a firm 'no gracias'

In summary, I really have to say after much careful consideration, this property really is a 3.5 star but with some updates to the animation team (and overall getting people to participate), general repairs and improvements to the ala carte experience, that they could be a legitimate 4 star but are simply not there at this time. We absolutely had a wonderful time mostly due to the wonderful people we met and the wonderful staff but really can't attribute our good time to the hotel itself, save for the buffet quality.

Room Tip: Building 10-11-12 unless you can afford to upgrade to Royal
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

I stayed at the Occidental for 5 days.It was a short trip.The hotel rooms are a little outdated,but who goes to the caribbean to spend time in the room.The main buffet was OK,unless you are a pickey eater.Breakfast was great.Fresh omlettes every morning.The buffet down by the beach was good enough to fill you up and get you back to the beach.At night they had a pizza place and a taco place that was great.I went to the main buffet and picked then went upstairs to the pizza or taco place everynight.The beach was awsome.I never had a problem getting a lounger.Walk down to the right of the resort there are a bunch of shops and places to eat.Its a nice walk.The pools were great.The nightly entertainment was ok.After the show most people went back to the main lobby and hung out.The night club"Mangu" was closed for renovations while I was there.Overall it was a great trip.The price was right.Check in and check out went smoothly.Emely at reception was a sweetheart and super helpfull:) I would return again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Having booked hotel with Tropical Sky based largely on been told we would get a room upgrade I called hotel few days before arrival to check on this & re wifi .
On calling the hotel I was told no such request existed but they confirmed having wi fi ,chargeable locally.

I emailed Tropical Sky re but to date I am still awaiting a response & am now 2 mths back from holiday!
The false selling continued the hotel is not of 4 star standard, old & dated with paint peeling off walls . When it rains all areas flood so bad we actually left night early & almost had to swim out of the complex after waiting 35 minutes for concierge which didn't show.
Ques for dining constantly
No one asked /wanted to know why we were leaving early & to date Tropical Sky have never followed up with us either ??

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Punta Cana, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Dear LaraBIreland,
I’m sorry to that your experience at Occidental Grand Punta Cana was disappointing, and will follow up with you today via TripAdvisor as all guest feedback is truly important to us. We pride ourselves on providing guests with amazing vacations, offering high quality service, and we regret that this is not what you experienced.
I followed up with the manager of Travel Sky about your issues, and I assure you this will not occur again. In regards to special requests, we always do our best to accommodate them however it can be challenging due to high occupancy during this time of the year.
We are in the process of renovating our resort which will enhance the guest experience. The renovation includes a new decorative style and comfort to our rooms and restaurants, in addition to the Lobby Bar.
We hope to have the honor of welcoming you back in the near future, so that you can experience our refreshed property. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I will personally make sure that your next stay with us is most enjoyable.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We visited in Feb 2012 (mid winter break) & had a fabulous experience then decided to re-visit in Nov (pre-winter break)
Our visit in Feb was awesome which was why we snapped up the opportunity to re-visit in Nov.
Yes, we all see the bad reviews but everyone is entitled to their own opinion based on their experience
PROS - 1st visit we got a bottle of Rum & Champagne - VERY NICE
Check-in was very efficient ALL check in staff were attentive & helpfull especially Lenni at the counter where you get your safe lock / key.
The buffet food was very good with lots of variety, fresh fruit, eggs, omlettes, french toast, pancakes bacon, fruit smoothies etc. Dinner also extremely good; different theme every night but other choices available for the "picky eaters" - Massimo was a *Star* at the carving station for "Chicharones" & also the pasta bar. Never went back to our room hungry!!
We mostly ate lunch by the beach area which was good but the service a little sporadic. There's always the Taco & Pizza places in the upper area by the entertainment stage & large pool area.

Service in the buffet was fabulous - Rosanna & Louis (*SUPERSTARS*) were so friendly & attentive & always had the time to chat with us. Our only "gripe" was that the front eating area was closed & that large parties were waiting to be seated & no-one could see the 2 of us, especially at the opening hour for all service. Maybe the front area could be opened for larger parties of 6 or more.
Franklin at the beach bar was ALWAYS entertaining & courteous (as we remembered!)
We were in building 24 - "Jamalky" (not sure if the spelling is right), I think he was new from our last trip but was absolutely GREAT- Whenever he saw us he would always make a point of asking us if we needed anything or if everything was O.K. if we did have any issues he took care of it right away (face cloths, large bath towels - although hard to come by at times)

CONS - 2nd visit - We mentioned that we were returning guests - Bottle of rum in room, No upgrade etc. Not a big deal but why mention that you are a returning guest?? - Personally we don't expect any extra treatment but having the same experience as a first timer would have been O.K. Everything else same as 1st visit.
We did get invited to a "Returning Guest" party at the beach with entertainment which was nice but we still had to go back to the buffet for dinner. There's still a lack of chairs / loungers around the "quiet pool" & "Transat area" on the beach

We have recommended the Occidental Grand to friends & we hope that they have the same 1st time experience that we had. Haven't see much in the form of replies from the management on this site
P.S. Just found out that 2 friends are visiting this Feb - I hope they have a great experience

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

i was hesitant to book because of some of the reviews i read...we have timeshare we traded to this property,It may be why our experience was not bad.Our room was a 1 bedroom beautiful clean 2 bathrooms.Hotel is on a warm ,sandy,clean open area.Food was not bad in the buffet.you need reservations for restaurants dont waste your time in the italian one,Great experience in the steak one,We kept going back.We had friendly service and made lots of friends..Manny was helpful with our internet and a bartender Fekix made us delicious domenican flag drinks!!Not a 5 star resort but your not paying for one either.

Room Tip: get a 1 or 2 bedroom ..I hear the hotel rooms are outdated and depending were you are it can be nois...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

My husband and I and another couple stayed at the Occidental last year for 2 weeks. Although we loved the resort and all of the staff was amazing, we will not be going back this year. Last year we could only book our holidays at the time that they coinicided with the begining of March Break. Figuring that this was a well respected resort for the price that we paid, we expected to see families there during March break and we were ok with that knowing that it was not an Adults Only resort. Boy were we shocked. There was a group called Breakaway Tours fom Cananda that caters to High School students and apparently this is one of the many resorts that they book every year. Now a bunch of teens don't bother us, but these are teens that are there without proper chaperones, at an allincusive, drinking (many were only 15 and 16 and this was there first trip) and being obnoxious. They played lewd games on the beach...loud music and had no concern for anybody...if you left your lounger (even with your towel there) they would throw your towel on the ground, or event take them and your lounger. There were so many adults that had their vacation ruined by this group many of the people that we talked to were disgusted and said they wouldnot return..I feel sorry for anybody that is booked there this March break....just checked online and they are going to be there again.... Also the hotel was overbooked so we did not get to stay in the location we had paid for.
If they did not cater to this tour group (who by the way from what I have heard, paid less than we did) I would consider going again.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Norfolk, Virginia, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Anyone eager to travel must visit this resort. Here, I was treated with great service, an awesome atmosphere, and an endless array of fun activities. Whether we were drinking by the pool side bar, or meeting fellow travelers, the end result was always fun.

Room Tip: Go with the Royal Club.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Punta Cana

Address: Avenida Espana, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana > Bavaro
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Bavaro
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Bavaro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Grand Punta Cana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 852
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Occidental Punta Cana
Flamenco Punta Cana
Grand Flamenco Occidental Punta Cana
Punta Cana Occidental Grand Flamenco
Occidental Flamenco Punta Cana

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