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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
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Reviewed August 12, 2014

So, I decided very last minute to surprise my husband with a vacation. He was told literally hours prior to take off that we were NOT in fact spending the week off at home, but at a romantic location in the DR. I am the type of person that does a HUGE amount of research before I travel, and I must say that I felt that the things that went wrong, were not things that I would have read otherwise, unless it happened to someone else. This is a review that you should take the time to read if you are like me!

Allow me to start with some positives. We "splurged" on a junior suite, as opposed to a standard room. I don't know if there is a huge difference in the amenities, but as for what we got, the room was clean, modern, well ventilated (The AC was fantastic) and (as our luck would have it) on he ground floor, facing one of the many pools & beaches on the property. The grounds are well kept and the beauty of it all is quite impressive. This is really all that I can say that is "positive" about this place. I am not the type to complain! I appreciate good service... and am generous with praise where deserved. Please keep that in mind as you read on.

Upon arrival, we had (as I mentioned) paid for a room upgrade and the "Noli plus" benefits. Really all that this is, is a special bracelet that allows you on the VIP beaches (only some... and I'll get to that). When we got to the check-in desk, the clerk told us that we were upgraded and gave us a "regular admission" bracelet - with the room we had already paid for! I had to bicker for a short time before he realised his error and he handed us our benefits bracelet. He made us wear BOTH bracelets... we were the only people with 2 bracelets... anyhow! We got a lift to our room (the grounds are expansive and beautiful) so it was a nice build up of anticipation. The room did not disappoint! After a quick change we were out on the beach.

We found the VIP location nearest us, and were not allowed access as it was a "different" kind of bracelet (a gold one - which of the 2 we did not have) that was required. We did not dwell long and took a walk along the private beach (or at least we thought it was private)... it is not. There are merchants that string the beaches. They are not TERRIBLY pushy - but when I travel to all-inclusive... when I WANT to go out and be with the people... I like to leave the hotel first. I don't necessarily want them to be all over me when I'm trying to relax. They were overall respectful... but not my favorite I must say. We did not spend much time at the beach. The water is blue but cloudy. The sand gets unbearably hot mid day. We had phenomenal weather all week, so it was not a surprise.

We found a VIP portion of the beach that we DID finally have access to - which was fantastic but we didn't go there enough to really enjoy it - as it was a bit of a ways to get there and for which you had to go through the mini-market. NOW to explain the difference between VIP and Noli Plus... well - VIP (as you will learn) is a sort or "time share" program - SORT OF. They will explain it to you in detail - and I must say the offer is incredibly lucrative HOWEVER, they will not tell you how much it costs! Basically it's like being kidnapped (they stop in front of you on a path, in a golf cart after looking at the bracelet you have - if its not gold, they say they are taking you to see the other private beaches as part of a promotional offer... or something like that). They offer something pretty incredible as you are carted around by an agent (sales staff) taken to beautiful beach houses... that could be yours, "if the price is right" and if you ARE interested you have to buy it there on the spot! If you do not (which we did not) you get a small bottle of rum, and you are returned to wherever it is that they caught you. AFTER THIS POINT... you are of no use to them. If you do not have the stupid gold bracelet... you are no better than a commoner. WHICH is REALLY funny because I would say that 50% of the people at the place (there... AS GUESTS) WERE in fact commoners. There were more Dominicans there, with their families - having what seemed to be relaxing days at the beach, than there were all other types of visitors. This was interesting (to say the least) as that is the first time that I ever saw that, and which was evident not only by the language but by the fact that these people were often speaking on their cell phones (and I don't know many vacationers who spend their vacation beach days on the phone with mom and pop back home... and in Spanish). Just saying!

The food was mediocre at best. I am NOT a picky eater. I am very culturally aware being the most vast mix of nationalities that you can possibly imagine, however I did not understand why they would serve so much "local" food. Here's what I mean: at breakfast, there were on a few things that I was familiar with. The eggs and milk (first and foremost) don't taste like they do at home. That didn't take me long to get used to - but it was a set back. Other things you can get at breakfast... stew... yes you hear me - stew... and syrupy corn starch. Literally! I wasn't all to game to try it (I must admit)... but then again.. I shouldn't have to. Aside from that, we had all of ONE REALLY really great server, who was not only courteous but incredibly intelligent! The man spoke like 6 languages, all of which he learned over time from various guests who had stayed at the hotel. I wish I could remember his name, but I will most certainly never forget him! Unfortunately for us, her was only there 2 out of the 6 nights we were there. The OTHER staff on the other hand were... interesting.

Here's where I get shy in saying this out loud... but I feel like I wish someone had said it to me before I went. My husband is black, of Trinidadian decent, however he has a light complexion and green eyes (yay for me lol). I am of mixed race and completely racially ambiguous! We (in the DR) LOOK Dominican - HOWEVER we are not. Many (if not all) who worked at the hotel THOUGHT that we were Dominican... and once we clarified that we were not... it was as though they didn't believe us... or they didn't appreciate that we weren't. ***the next thing that I am about to say is completely racially void of judgement - but none the less true*** at this location (I speak for NO OTHERS) if you are of Caucasian nationality, you will be well treated. If you are NOT of said nationality, you may want to consider somewhere else.

My husband and I are tippers! As I mentioned, I appreciate great service. We did not GET service here. I served myself most of the time (likely because I look like a local)... but even when I did get served... we got NO attention. I had to go up to someone and ask for nearly everything that we needed. Can you imagine? Spending hard earned money to be "taken care of" and you spend your week getting up from the table every few minutes to get whatever it is that you need... like drinks or extra cutlery or napkins... because no one comes to see you? BUT (and this is the kicker) the people NEXT to us (who are white, French Canadians) who are doing nothing but complaining in French about nonsense things between them(we speak French - I know what they were saying...) who look down on the wait staff... who have come around to see them 3 times since we've sat down (but haven't seen us once) are being treated with smiles and pleasantries. They (the French Canadians) did not leave a single dollar on the table. I would ALWAYS leave at LEAST a dollar when we got up to leave, regardless of the negligence... thinking to myself, "Hey, maybe they'll remember us tomorrow and treat us better..." but they never do. One thing they are VERY good at is picking UP the tips though. The moment you leave (or when they sense you are about to leave) they start to hover in the general vicinity you are sitting in (without coming over to see if you need anything). Ugh - it was kind of insulting.

One of the best AND worst nights of our stay, was when my husband and I went to the hotel club. There were a BUNCH of locals... BUT that was honestly a positive. It kind of gave it a sense of home (we're from Montreal where clubs are basically open all week). There was a table where they were celebrating a birthday with cupcakes and balloons (adults obviously). And there was this couple who were amazing dancers! I mean - Latin dancing must be programmed in their DNA - but these two were so amazing to watch. The guy of the couple noticed me dancing alone (as Latin dancing isn't my husband's forte) and offered his wife to dance with my husband and for me to take a turn on the dance floor. It was so much fun, I learned a little two step dance and my husband fumbled with so much impressive determination that I was completely elated! Once the dance was over, my husbands spirits were lifted and the drinking began. My husband likes to go out - have fun and at times get a little tipsy. I am not a drinker strictly because I don't like the taste of alcohol. But I enjoy watching him enjoy himself. Drink of choice: Mamajuana. BE VERY VERY CAREFUL OF THIS DRINK. It's a mix of red wine, honey, rum... it's lethal. It's sweet and is supposed to increase certain desires... anyhow. My husband is a big guy and was taking shot after shot of the stuff. He was in a FANTASTIC mood and when we returned to our room, I was not expecting what followed. We got back, and he started being a bit irrational. He got very upset and within SECONDS was so ill, that it took 2 whole days for him to get better! I couldn't keep him hydrated. He could keep NOTHING down! I was scared out of my mind and was not sure how long I should stay with him before seeking medical attention. The WORST part about it was that I had to feed him... rice ANYTHING that he could stomach. Well - they DONT LET YOU BRING GOOD TO THE ROOMS... like under NO circumstances. When I spoke to the manager to tell him of the situation, he finally agreed to let me take some food to him. He was not courteous nor kind about it and even walked the food to my room, as if to make sure I wasn't lying. It was not a good moment for me, I was so worried for my husband, fearing he had alcohol poisoning and THIS, food manager was being a jerk to boot. Anyways... LUCKILY with calcium pills and the entire market worth of Gatorade, my husband recovered and we were alright. For like a day. On the 4th day, I got travelers you know what. The water is safe, they said! The ice in the drinks are from treated water... Well - I think someone, somewhere got lazy cause... I was stuck to my room (rather - a certain area in my room) for 2 days after I had ALREADY spent 2 days with my husband. NO BUENO!

NOW... I'm not saying that this would particularly happen to anyone else... but this was our experience. I guess when I think about it - a number of things that happened to us, could have happened anywhere... but it didn't happen anywhere - it happened HERE. We have traveled to other places, Jamaica, the US, Canada... we are not world travelers... but we are part of the working class that enjoy a vacation or 2 per year. It was sad that the idea behind the trip was of such good intention, with so many failed points. If you are like us, and not of the "Globe trotting" demographic, then I think that you can relate when I say that we hope for the best with what we choose and can afford.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope that this helps you in your planning!

Room Tip: Anything with a "Noli Plus" or benefits package, when choosing your travel package is worth it. It doesn't cost much "extra" but at this specific location, if gives you access to the nicer and private beach areas... well SOME at least!
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
22  Thank Vanessa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Management T, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for having chosen Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa Resort to spend your holidays. We appreciate you took the time to express your experience in this review.

We are deeply sorry that your experience was not as good as you had expected and that you were not completely satisfied with our service.
We wish to assure you that we take any comments as a constructive criticism.
Our management will take note of your comments to evaluate how we can improve our services.

Best Regards,
The Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2014

just came back from one of the funniest vacations I've had in a while the food was good but most importantly the entertainers they are what make the vacation worth it , Julio Nice is the funniest guy I've ever met the energy that man has is unbelieve if you vist LOOK FOR HIM he'll make your vacation worth while also Mickey Mouse he's a great dance and another funny one his jokes are to die for they are amazing at their jobs . if you look for them , you'll have a great time !

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank veecast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2014

I visited the Cofresi from 8/2 through 8/9 and I must say that the resort is Huge, definitely not dedigned for the elderly. However, the animation team was Fabulous! We loved speedy,mickey mouse and shaggy, they made our vacation worth while. The only reason the resort is receiving 5 stars is because of them! We all did get sick from the food at the Cofressi but overall not too bad.

Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank Evelyn A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2014

My family had a fantastic time at this resort. It was a beautiful resort with great entertainment. There was a variety of activities to choose from and an all-around great staff. I got to dance salsa with Julio Nice who was probably the most upbeat staff member we encountered. We miss you Julio! We hope to come back next summer!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank drgirl33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2014 via mobile

We just returned from the most amazing resort! The place was so upbeat and the entertainment was incredible... Especially Julio! He made my family and I laugh all day! What a great entertainer he was! He had some help from his buddies.. Shaggy, Speedy,Rambo, and mickey! The rooms were spotless and very spacious... I would recommend this place to EVERYONE!!!

Stayed: August 2014, traveled with friends
5  Thank funtime890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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