We traveled to this resort during our March break. We were a family of four and a grand-mother, so we had two rooms. We used to go to some of the Iberostar in Varadero (Tainos is our favorite), but it was a first trip to Punta Cana, primarly because we wanted slightly more food variety and quality, and warmer weather and water.
What was better than Iberostar Tainos in Varadero:
- More food variety available (butter, milk ,cheese, fruits, juices, wine, beer, bread, desserts...)
- Hotel rooms are of better quality and better maintained (repair guys walk with walkie-talkie and Dewalt tools... different than the hammer/screwdriver toolbag in Cuba...)
- Pool is very well designed for kids and was a lot warmer (for similar time of the year). Kids spent hours in it each day.
- We did not see any of the Dominican staff begging for tips
What was better in Iberostar Tainos Varadero:
- Cubans staff is more educated. They speak more languages and are generally way more interesting to talk to.
- Evening shows at Tainos were fantastic... The best evening show at Iberostar Punta Cana would have been the weakest at Tainos.
- Animators at Tainos were more friendly, funny and generally less loud or rude than in Punta Cana. Our kids did not connect well with any of the animators at Punta Cana.
- The beach at Tainos is larger, water access is easier (waves do not always break on you on entrance) and we could see lots of fish, pelicans and dolphins. In Punta Cana, I did not see any single small fish, bird or dolphin at the the beach over the whole week...
- Tainos is about half the size of the Punta Cana/Dominican, so we felt we never missed any of the activities that we wanted to participate into...
We were hoping for a significant upgrade from Iberostar Tainos to Punta Cana, as we paid significantly more. We pretty much got everything we were hoping for (it was STILL worth it), but to our surprise, it was not a complete wash... We were quite disappointed by the weakness of the evening shows (now convinced we were spoiled at Tainos...), although we did not think this would have turned out to feel so important in the end. We truly missed the talented and friendly Cuban animators from Tainos.
Finally, based on multiples friends which traveled to Punta Cana, we felt the odds of getting food sick were clearly higher than in Varadero... This proved true for us, as unfortunately, 3 out of 5 fell to a very strong food indigestion on the 5th day. We all hate the same thing for dinner. We saw a few other kids sick that day, but it was apparently not wide spread.
We will not be going back to Punta Cana next year as the memory is tainted now, but I would still recommend the resort, if you can avoid getting sick!