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“Disappointed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Ocean Blue & Sand

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Ocean Blue & Sand
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arena Gorda, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Bavaro
Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I read most of the reviews on Trip Advisor before booking. I was concerned, but at my agents insistence, I went ahead. I have found that most often what I read here is factual, unfortunately it was true for this resort, as well.

Lodging:
We were given rooms 7330 and 7331 for my four children, husband, and I. When we first walked in it smelled like mildew, which we felt was understandable with it being warm weather and all. However, we quickly realized that the smell was of raw sewage from the bathroom. That evening we called housekeeping to complain about the odor, after an hour they didn't show up. My husband called again and was transferred 5-6 times between reception and guest services. He finally had to get angry and tell them that the room smelled like "sh__", several minutes later a maid came in and sprayed the four corners of the bathroom, that was their resolution.
The next morning I went to the Reception desk and told Alexandri about the smell. He looked at me like he was in shock, and told me that they were fully booked and couldn't change our rooms until the following day. They wanted to send up a dehumidifier. I told him I didn't want my kids in that room one more day, they were smelling sewage and poop, and that the hotel was well aware of this being an issue, since it's on Trip Advisor. He called over the manager who stated that the reviews are not for their resort, I assured him they were. The manager did change our rooms to Villa 3, and we no longer had an issue with the odor.

Entertainment:
I found the entertainment staff lacking. Activities that were stated on the daily program, were either never mentioned or organized. They lacked the engaging factor. I've been to several all-inclusives, and this was the worst. The music wasn't on for the better part of the day, so while laying by the pool, all we would hear, were the drunks at the pool bar.
The staff at water sports was very friendly.

Dining:
The buffets and beach snack bar were good.
We went to Route 66 (American), Margarita (Mexican), Il Mascheratti (Italian), Mike's (Coffee Shop) and they were all excellent. The waitstaff was friendly, the food came out quickly, and it was delicious. Shout out from my kids to Cristobal at Mike's.

The market stall sellers in front of reception and restaurants were so aggressive, we didn't want to walk by them. It was very uncomfortable. We didn't come on vacation to be harassed.

This resort is huge and has great potential.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We were looking for a week of sun to relax, just the 3 of us and this seemed to tick all the boxes of nice beach, pools, all inclusive but still plenty of choice of restaurants and bars.
Firstly the pro's: the hotel is constantly being cleaned and maintained to a high standard, only the concrete around the pool lets it down but that's being picky. The staff are all friendly and welcoming but please refuse the 'welcome breakfast' with free gift as its a 3 hour timeshare meeting. We declined but had to be quite firm.
The beach is really nice, soft sand, warm electric blue water, lovely little row of shops to one side and again all the people are fun and friendly.
Room was spacious, clean etc. patio door didn't have a proper lock but had a safe so not too concerned although I imagine this would bother some people at night.
We were warned about Mosquitos before we went but took spray and wrist bands and only had a few bites, nothing to worry about.
Food was great apart from the steak house where I ordered rare but got medium to well done and the service was all over the place so wouldn't recommend that one restaurant, but the rest were good and the buffet was good too - something for everyone I think, even my fussy 7yr old.
One day there was a chocolate buffet which was good for the kids and another day inflatable slide in the pool which was a bonus.
Day trip we chose was caribean cruising and highly recommend it - fast boat out for snorkelling, starfish hunting (amazing!) lobster lunch on deserted island, catamaran back with great staff music and rum. Great day out, 7yr old loved it (but can be a long transfer to fishing village from hotel).
The spa was quite dated but the actual massages were really great and good value, would definitely recommend.
There are golf carts to take you around the grounds which is good on a hot day as its quite far from reception to beach.
Shop on site is ok but very expensive, not too much of an issue if you're all inclusive.
Now the con's: there aren't any bars apart from the sports bar and the hotel lobby. The Sports bar was usually empty and lacked any atmosphere so we only used the lobby bar and this gets really boring after a few nights, not the variety advertised.
The restaurants were only open certain nights so you had to choose when to go rather than having good choice, and their systems were not consistent. They were all no reservations but some you had to queue for, others had a buzzer, and could be an hour wait which is not great for kids. A couple of nights wee ended up in the buffet because restaurant queues were too long so not the best service. There is ony one buffet restaurant too so again it can become boring.
We booked for variety but that's not what we got.
Transfers! This was the worst! We were told 20mins from airport and this was reason for hotel choice because we don't want to sit in coach for ages with our little girl after long flight but it was 1.5hrs! Same for the day trip, we were told 40mins, it was over 2hrs! Never would have booked as I get travel sick and too long a day for our little girl. I would prefer them to be honest so you can make the right decision for your family. Can't bear being lied to, complained and was told it was because we had stopped at more hotels for other pick ups, but surely they know this!? Very poor.
So I would recommend if you want short cheap break without high expectations.
Overall we had a fantastic time and the cons were just little issues which could easily be resolved to make an amazing holiday.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Widnes, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

One of the reasons we visited the Ocean Blue and Sand was because of the "amazing" "fantastic" "out of this world" reviews. When we arrived we was hit with reality.

The hotel is lovely. The grounds are well kept and the view of the beach when dining at the snack bar is beautiful. However, parts of the hotel are worn, the beach itself was a little crowded and also a little grubby.

A lot of the amazing reviews previously written all seem to be based on the entertainment. I won't deny the entertainment team are great and most are very very friendly.

What people don't seems to be writing about is the 3 hour timeshare meeting the hotel INSIST you go on. They will find you if you resist and you will get mithered until you go. Also, after the 3 hours if you don't sign up for the £9000 timeshare they will act quite aggressive. How do I know this? Well it happened to us. Oh and we never got our free gift that everyone is promised. Still waiting.

Everyone in the hotel is given a wristband. Your colour wristband is based on your nationality. We was silver so the staff knew we was English. If you had a privilege wristband your treated like royalty. We was not privilege. Service was very hit and miss. Sometimes it was great and sometimes it was really bad. This really depended on who was serving you. We found that the waiters who got to know our faces couldn't be more helpful. Also, a little tipping will go a very long way.

The timeshare is based on being a PRIVILEGE member. This basically means your rooms are upgraded from standard. Your service is better. You have better quality of drinks, not local but imported. Better seating on the beach. Basically priority over everything and everyone not privilege. This is in your face a lot. It starts to grate on you after a while. I feel that I have worked hard all year to go on holiday only to be treated like a 2nd class citizen. Some people may disagree but one time at the snack bar we sat and waited for someone to come take our drinks order. It wasn't busy and in the end we got them ourselves, which was fine. The minute a family came with a privilege wristband, the waiter was straight over shaking there hand and asking if they wanted any drinks. I don't go on holiday to feel frustrated and angry.

I know you don't go on holiday to use the gym but I do like to go occasionally to try and burn off some of the excessive food and drink. This is no exaggeration, the gym if you can call it that is in desperate need of modernisation. It is tiny, the equipment is very old and dated and there is no air conditioning. It really is not good.

We did have a good holiday overall. The rooms are ok, a little dated but ok. You do get free wifi in your rooms. If your privilege the wifi is strong. If your not it is really weak. The entertainment is good. I can't fault the food, I thought this was really good and a lot of great choices.

The hotel allows market stalls on the grounds a few times a week. They can be quite aggressive getting you to their stall.

Oh and if one of the groundsmen offers you a coconut to have for you and your family. He wants money in return. We did laugh at this because we thought he was being nice until he asked for money ha.

Would I go back again? Probably not in a hurry. I think next time I will go somewhere where the level of service is not based on what wristband I am wearing. I would like to be treated exactly the same. I would of worked hard enough to get there.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Northwich, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Effort from the staff 100% for Xmas Day. Santa flew in by helicopter on the beach and all the kids got presents followed by a professional magic show. Xmas Eve excellent: gala dinner, shows and a mock nativity with real animals.

Hotel and staff in general excellent. Good choice of restaurants and spacious rooms. Plenty to do for all ages.

The only disappointments were the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room were not included in the all inclusive package, which has been the case at other hotels in the past and the pool was a bit cold. But that could have just been me as plenty of people were in it.

Would recommend car hire to see a glimpse of the island, which is cheaper than booking tours or taxi's. We picked up at airport and pre booked before our trip. All hotels are spread out along the coast so couldn't really walk into Bavaro along with other travellers.

Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

It was the second time when we stayed at the hotel Ocean Blue&Sand. We love everything in this hotel. Hotel is clean and very cozy. Rooms are very nice and comfortable. The service and staff are outstanding! Everyone was so friendly! There are a lot of restaurants with amazing food. And especially we liked entertainment team of this hotel. They work so hard all day that make great vacation for everyone: different games, lessons salsa, bachata by the pool and by the beach, beach party, different shows and dances everytime. Thank you, guys for everything! A special thanks want to say to Scoobydoo, Minimy and Willi Wonka that made our vacation wonderful!!! We are already missing for you! We love Dominican so much!!! And so want to come back soon!!!

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

My mom and I were here for a week and loved it! The restaurants were great the people were great and all the workers were great! We got to know a lot of the entertainers and they were so amazing! Scoobidoo, Mini Me, and Jack are definitely my favorite. Thanks for the amazing trip.. We'll definitely see you next year!

  • Stayed December 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This is my honest review of my holiday to ocean blue and sand Dominican Republic,Hotel and staff were fantastic food and entertainment also fantastic the hotel gave you what you paid for and much more could not complain and would go back I thank them for making my holiday! But when the aeroplane you are supposed to fly home on as an issue and no one is there to explain what is happening it started to go downhill 1st aeroplane grounded broken door rumour? don't know if it was true, so Thomson decided to fly another aeroplane in from don't know where it landed after 7 hours at airport but this plane landed with broken radar system so they tried to fix: flying over Atlantic for 8 hours with dodgy radar I didn't like the sound off, then pilot comes out to explain we are not going home we are going back to hotels plane has technical fault and part will be ordered from England and will arrive 3 pm tomorrow. having to re collect bags with 300 people and find coaches in dark is bad enough but 300 people booking in the same hotel is worse having to re book in to get a wrist band after 10 hours people are getting grumpy to put it mildly. Next day we were collected to go to the airport again 1.30 pm hoping they could fix plane I think, re booking in then to let people through security with the duty free they brought the day before just because they had recipes for it scary 100 ml liquids is the rule not bottles of wine and vodka and any other Ltr bottle you wanted to take through on to the plane .Plane part arrived and we boarded while they tried to fix it which took longer than expected I'm just glad they fixed it because by now people were tiered and a little bit angry we finally took off 1 hour 20 min late but overall 26 hours plus delayed,to arrive back in England to a letter from Thomson with no explanation no apology just saying basically go through your own travel insurance for compensation disgraceful. I have holiday booked to Mexico with Thomson in April I'm having second thoughts know???

  • Stayed December 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Ocean Blue & Sand

Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana > Bavaro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Bavaro
#3 Business Hotel in Bavaro
#4 Family Hotel in Bavaro
#4 Luxury Hotel in Bavaro
#5 Romantic Hotel in Bavaro
#5 Spa Hotel in Bavaro
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Bavaro
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Bavaro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ocean Blue & Sand 4*
Number of rooms: 708
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the wonderful beaches of Bavaro, and immersed in tropical foliage, close to the White Sands golf course, the Ocean Blue and Sand is an all-inclusive resort featuring suite accommodations, two luxurious pools, casino, spa and fitness center, dive center and an extensive activity program including childrens' and teen mini clubs, to make your stay an unforgettable experience. All-inclusive: Meals, drinks, cocktails and snacks included 24 hours. Some additional services are available at additional charge. Free WiFi available in all the Resort areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ocean Blue Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Hotel Beach
Ocean Blue Resort Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Golf Beach Resort Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Dominican Republic
Punta Cana Ocean Blue
Ocean Blue Hotel Punta Cana
Ocean Blue Resort Dominican Republic

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