Visited in early January with my college-age daughter. Overall we had a great time. (Over the past several years we have stayed at several different all-inclusive resorts - so will include a comparison in this review as well)
The resort is very large, but set up nicely in that it runs horizontally with the ocean so that there is an ocean view almost everywhere. The grounds are spectacular and even though the resort was at full capacity we never had trouble finding a chair. This week seemed to be a lot of French-speaking guests. We dined with someone from reception the last night who informed us that they had 500 French speaking, 300 English speaking (many from Canada), and 100 from Argentina staying at the moment....along with many from other countries - Germany, etc. Language was never an issue as everything was done in multiple languages - French, English, Spanish...
We stayed in the regular rooms -- I did walk over to the 'Five Trident' area and it looked very, very nice.
The beach was especially nice with a lot of palm trees providing natural shade and many, many beach chairs. We didn't have to worry about getting out early to 'save' a chair - there were many chairs available and it was always easy to find a shady spot. Sitting by the ocean also there was a nice breeze. A persistent volleyball game started in the morning and went all day for anyone that wanted to join in. The beach also had a snack bar/bar that operated beginning at 11:30. Tables were right by the ocean and they served a few basics (hamburgers, fries, salad). Bar was next door with a dance floor with 'lessons' several times during the day. The water was warm and clear and watersports were right there as well.
Was ok - we had a basic room - it had a sitting area with two daybeds that could be made up into single beds and another room with a king bed and a TV. AC ran constantly and it was very cold in the room. Had a corner mini-fridge stocked with water. We had a coffee maker but didn't use it. Nice balcony overlooking the ocean. Room was basic but worked.
Service was available for $55/week. At reception they warned that it wouldnt' work in the room, but we found it worked everywhere. However, only one person can use it at a time.
Was also very nice - large, with a large shallow end as well. The nicer cushioned chairs under the huts did fill up, but there were always chairs available.
The fitness/aerobics team and program was the best I've ever seen. Taught by an incredible group of energetic instructors in multiple languages throughout the day -- they had something for everyone. The day began with a stretch class, followed by 'abs and thighs', step, body sculpting, then water aerobics. The afternoon classes included zumba, pilates, stretch class, and ocean water aerobics. Aerobics was taught in a nice studio right on the beach with great equipment, towels, etc. Each day also had some sort of fitness challenge - a 5k run around the resort, triathlon, etc.
The resort has 14 tennis courts - made out of a strange surface -- seemed sort of a wooden surface which I was told was fast-drying. It wasn't too bad. They had a number of 'pros' who taught three classes daily at 9, 10 and 11, and then hosted a social tournament each afternoon at 4:30 with a different theme each day. The classes were just ok - mostly pros feeding balls to us in a line, but a great way to meet other tennis-playing guests and the pros would encourage us to play after class and set up groups to play together. Overall this was the most active tennis program of any of the all-inclusive resorts I've been to.
Was fun - available all day with a daily tournament with a different theme at 3:30 each day!
Overall Club Med has constant activities. Every half hour there were multiple opportunities to participate -- ping pong tournaments, boce ball, dance, darts, even trivia games at the bar each afternoon....non-stop. And the guests participate! The club had a very large concrete basketball area that also had a skateboarding ramp. We didn't see too many playing basketball and no skateboarding. Club also had a fitness/gym with treadmills, steppers, free weights and machines.
The kids program looked extraordinary! The kids area was huge and they all seemed to be having a blast! Hands down best kids program. Each night the kids put on a show for the parents.
Were great - every night at 9:30/10 there was a show. From staff performing a lip synch to old rock classics, the Michael Jackson show and flying trapeze show.
This was a highlight for many -- we didn't try it, but did enjoy watching. Seemed pretty safe how they have it set up with harness and nets.
The food was just ok. Lots of fancy concoctions whereas just a focus on making fewer things better would have been preferred. Also, the food is all out in the open with a lot of flies. I am not normally bothered by things like that but in this case there were a LOT of flies. My wish would be for them to keep the doors shut and put the food in containers with sterno undeneath and lids to keep the flies out. The Hispanola restaurant also had a lot of birds. We left our lunches alone for a few minutes to grab a drink and returned to find a black bird sitting right on our table eyeing our food!
COMPARISON WITH BEACHES TURKS AND CAICOS, BEACHES BOSCOBEL AND IBEROSTAR RIVIERA MAYA
What makes Club Med different? The staff and the guests. The staff are there not just to provide service, but to ensure that the guest have fun. We would find our tennis instructor at the pool doing the 'crazy signs', or in the evening teaching a dance class during happy hour. The staff would sit and dine with us in the evening, often facilitating conversations between guests that speak different languages. And the guests also are there to participate...to have fun...and to meet other guests. The last night we were there the fitness instructors conducted a 'zumba' class in the middle of the resort with probably 100-150 guests participating. At dinner it was common to be seated with other families or to be paired with other families during various games and tournaments. Club Med is for those that want to be active and that want to meet others. Don't go for the food and don't go for the rooms -- and if those things are very important to you then don't go.
The Beaches resorts had much better food, nicer rooms, well-stocked mini fridges with soft drinks, beer along with water, and friendly, fun service, but guests tended to stay with their families more and the programs were much fewer. Beaches also has a large gaming area with xbox, and lots and lots of video games which simply does not exist at Club Med. Iberostar Riviera Maya had very nice restaurants but staff was there to provide service, not to interact and activities were not as plentiful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the Dominican Republic in this all-inclusive family resort, designed over a long white-sand beach, considered to be the finest in the world. Travel to Club Med Punta Cana with your family and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in this resort which flourishes beside a lagoon surrounded by magnificent grove of coconut palms. Fun moments filled with memories await your kids at Club Med world-famous children's clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers from morning to evening, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals. This newly redesigned resort has something for everyone, with amenities such as: Baby Club Med™*, a new Spa* with private pool access, exclusive private Oceanfront Family Suites, new dedicated programs for Mini Club Med™ including Le Petit Tennis(R), circus school and Baby Gym(R), Passworld for teens, and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Club Med
- Club Med Dominican Republic