We stayed at the Golden Bear over New Years for 4 nights. While the exterior of the resort looks good, it is clearly not ready for occupancy. They were unable to provide the basic services expected of even the lowest level of hotel (i.e., hot water) or an even remotely acceptable level of customer service. This resort was not cheap and is promoted as a luxury resort. A quick rundown of the issues we experienced:
(1) the room initially assigned to us was not ready for occupancy. It had no
phones, a broken full length mirror with large shards ready to fall off, and stains on the furniture.
(2) After complaining to management and enduring an hour and half wait for resolution of the
situation, we were assigned a new room, a one bedroom suite, that was on the outer rim of
of the property. We asked to be moved to a
building closer to the main lobby/pool area and were told that it was not possible because the resort was
completely booked. Mind you that during our entire stay we saw no more than 4
other parties at the hotel, so this statement seemed suspect.
(3) on our first night, we were looking forward to showering after a long day of travel and discovered there was NO HOT WATER in the unit. We called
the front desk from the one phone in the unit that worked (there were two
additional phones that did not work; part of the Golden Bear’s constant refrain of form over substance) and were told that someone would be
down to fix the water "in five minutes." No one came and we called
repeatedly over the next hour and half to no avail. The person at the front desk was very unprofessional and clearly hadn’t been trained to handle any customer issues, as we were either told that someone was on their way to fix the problem (which they weren’t) or our calls were put on hold, then disconnected. Requests to speak to the manager were denied. We eventually
decided to go to the front desk to deal with the situation in person.
We were then told that the lack of hot water was systemic to the
property and they were working on it. We told him that a little bit of initial honesty from the front desk would have saved us an hour and a half of calling and waiting. The front desk manager then told us to go
have dinner and that we would be "taken care of." This was of no use to
us, since included in our room rate was two meals a day, including
dinner. This was typical of the empty gestures at customer service we
received throughout our stay.
(2) When we left dinner we were told the hot water had been fixed. When
we returned to our room there was STILL NO HOT WATER.
(3)That same night, the air conditioner vent in the bedroom made such an
extremely loud humming and rattling noise that it was impossible to sleep in the
bedroom. We called the front desk numerous times and were even hung up
on. No maintenance or other customer service individual came to the
room to rectify the situation. We were simply told that there was nothing they could do (not even that they would ask someone to fix it in the morning). As a result, one of us slept on a couch in the living room
and the other slept on the floor of the
(4) At around 6AM that morning, the power went out and WE HAD NO ELECTRICITY IN THE UNIT.
Along with no electricity, there was also no running water. At 8AM that
morning, we reported to the front desk that there was NO ELECTRICITY, NO HOT WATER, NO WATER AT ALL, AND THE EXTREMELY LOUD HUMMING AND RATTLING NOISE EMANATING FROM THE BEDROOM VENT.
(5) Upon returning to our room late in the afternoon we were told that
the bedroom vent issue had been fixed (apparently the air duct or vent hadn’t been secured properly, thus the source of the loud noise), the electricity had returned, and
there was hot water. Upon returning to our room we discovered that
there was STILL NO HOT WATER, though to our relief the other issues had been resolved (we were pretty much at wits end at this point).
A "manager" came to our room about 30 minutes later and discovered the
hot water was not working, sent someone to do something and five minutes
later we had some hot water (see, it’s not that difficult).
(6) At about this time during our stay, all 3 phones in our unit
stopped working (why have 3 phones if none of them work?). We told the front desk about the issue and it was not
resolved for the 3 days remaining of our stay.
(7) The resort supposedly offers room service but there were no room
service menus or any other information whatsoever concerning the resort, spa etc...
in our room.
(8) We asked for a map of the cap cana development and were told by the front
desk they did not have one.
(9) Towels, toiletries etc... were not replenished by the cleaning
staff, only when we asked did we get new towels.
(10) The "mini bar," which consisted of a few bottles of beer and juice,
was never replenished.
As a general matter, the customer service at the resort, absent one or
two minor exceptions (the bellboy and lead waiter in the restaurant) was
abysmal. Throughout our stay we had the sense that no one was in
charge (at least no adult). Simple requests (e.g. a map of Cap Cana development) could not
be fulfilled. Moreover, the absolute basics of a hotel - hot water,
electricity, the ability to sleep in a room without excessive noise, could not be provided by
the hotel. In addition, we had two meals a day in the restaurant included in our rate. While the food was generally fine, the main restaurant tries too hard to be fancy, focusing on form over substance. The resort should do a favor for both the guests and the staff and make the restaurant more casual - it is a golf resort after all. Meals became long ordeals (even though we were usually the only patrons in the restaurant) of overly formal service that the staff had trouble with. Also, if you are going to offer a meal plan and have only restaurant for breakfast and dinner, there should be more variety on the menu and more choices (i.e., every night there were the same 5 entree options). In addition, a tip to the resort - please don't play the same Michael Buble cd over and over again at the restaurant at all hours. Get another CD! In sum, the Golden Bear has a lot of work to do; most importantly providing basic services (i.e., hot water) to its customers and some serious customer training to its employees (enough so that they can at least act like they care or will try to fix basic problems in a reasonable amount of time).
Jack Nicklaus’s picture is plastered all over the hotel, but he should be ashamed of this ripoff. We wonder if he knows he awful an experience his Golden Bear Lodge & Spa has provided its customers?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It features a concierge service A flat-screen TV, iPod docking station, and CD/DVD player are included in all condos at Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge. The rooms are stylishly decorated in tropical colors and also boast a microwave and a minibar. Golden Bear Lodge features Jack Nicklaus Signature Course Punta Espada. Punta Cana International Airport is 16 km from Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge. The San Juan Shopping Center is 23 km away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana