My husband and I took advantage of a Groupon special to stay at the "DON JUAN BEACH RESORT" in Boca Chica. Our trip was to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. I understand their prices are low… But that is NO excuse for running a resort that is literally falling apart.
Prior to our trip, we made arrangements for a transfer service to pick us up. The hotel management took care of the reservation and confirmed we would be picked up by an approved taxi service. We arrived on time - Thursday at 11.30am, but there was NO TAXI. I called the resort, and almost an hour later, the taxi arrived. He made it a point for us to know how he was taken away from eating his delicious lunch so he could come pick us up, how he is NOT TO BLAME for not being there on time, it was the management’s fault.
We arrived and check in was a breeze. We were escorted to our room and the view was SPECTACULAR... The room however, very outdated, muggy, wet, bugs all over and below "basic" standards. We were excited to see what perks were in our room given that this is an “ALL INCLUSIVE” Resort. Our mini fridge was completely EMPTY. The restroom had a teeny tiny soap bar and a hair cap. Only one big towel and one medium towel – THAT’S IT! Throughout our stay we kept asking – practically ended up BEGGING the hotel guest services to send provide drinks for us to enjoy inside our room, but unless we escalated, those drinks never made it to us. The times WE DID escalate, we received two bottles of water, two 7-Up sodas and a 40oz Brava Light Beer.
We went downstairs and got a bite to eat. The food was cold and bland. We then went to the main pool bar and asked what beer selection they have and to our surprise, they only offer BRAVA Light (Brazilian beer that tastes like skunky water). As far as alcoholic drinks, the only ones I recognized from the very lonely 10 selections were ONE bottle of no name Rum, Vodka and Wiskey – Everything else was unrecognizable. No fruit juices, just a swirly pina colada mix.
They make you really work to get a buzz… the drinks (beer or mixed) are given in cups that are 4oz. three sips and you’re done! Then, it’s back to the bar for another shot of beer or beyond sweet and little alcoholic pina colada.
We then moved on to explore the resort - The main pool is nice. The foliage and overall surroundings is very very beautiful. The beach is just steps away – It really is too bad that the beach SWARMMED by vendors. As soon as you walk in to the sand the vendors come at you like flies on poop. If you say No politely, they don’t understand. If you ignore them, they don’t understand. Eventually they call you bad names, give you dirty looks and walk away, but you don’t have a single minute to enjoy yourself. You are CONSTANTLY- and I mean that with extreme sincerity - CONSTANTLY harassed to buy glasses, pedicures, massages, frames, jewelry, food, tarot readings etc etc etc.
We arrived Thursday Night… The very next day we were at the resort, we were praying to come home. Our room had EXTREMELY THIN WALLS. We heard our neighbor’s romantic intimate encounters OVER- and OVER and OVER again – the sound was so clear, we could hear them talking, laughing, screaming, snoring, and say “good morning” and “good night” each day. The entire resort ambience just seemed so wrong. Staff is very poorly trained on customer service and etiquette. Managers walk around as if they own the place and they are too important to smile at the guests. Staff members seem scared to talk to the guests and don’t know the meaning of going the extra mile to make your stay a pleasant one. The “entertainment staff” spends the entire day at the main pool trying to make contact with the guests and watching each other’s back while they take turns to drink alcohol behind the towel room. The male entertainers are the only ones that somewhat make the effort to talk to the guests, while the women entertainers just walk around dancing to the same songs playing over and over again.
By the third day, we came across a restaurant next to the resort called “SPORTING CLUB”. They are NOT affiliated with Don Juan. Their Italian food is very delicious. They use fresh fruit for the daiquiris and pina coladas. Their Rum and Coke really is a RUM & COKE. You are at the beachfront enjoying the breeze and the beach without vendor harassment. The remainder of our stay, my husband and I ate at the sporting club most of the time.
It’s really a shame, because the resort has SO MUCH POTENTIAL. If the resort owners were to invest in this property, they would bring their success rate to new high. I say bring a line of consultants to revamp and re-train the Staff in proper customer care. Fire the sorry excuse for a chef they currently have and hire someone with REAL COOKING SKILLS. We love Dominican food, but the one offered at Don Juan was below standards. There is not clean environment. Flys swarm the buffet and birds come in and out as they please. Invest in new beds – the ones you have are sunk and not comfortable at all. Provide toiletries (shampoo conditioner, lotion and soap) to your guests – Really advertize your brand and make them feel appreciated. Offer a wider variety of alcoholic drinks, is Light Brazilian beer the best way to represent your country?
I can go on and on about things that are wrong with this resort, but I think I’ve said enough.
Will we go back to Don Juan Beach Resort – No way!
Captains Rooms have the Best View
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.