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“Beatutiful but desolate”

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Fishing Lodge Cap Cana
Ranked #88 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Upland, California
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beatutiful but desolate”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Pros: Great service and friendly staff. Shuttles between properties are quick and efficient. The property is beautiful with an amazing pool.

Cons: The resort had very few guests. Food selection at the only open restaurant was limited and often certain ingredients were not available. The resort lost power randomly through out the week. Staff was hard to understand and most spoke little English. Our room had ants in it even after the room was cleaned they returned. We found the mattress to be very hard. Dominican Republic tax is 16% and the resort adds another 10% "service charge" to every purchase. That's 26%!

Room Tip: Request a room on the second level near the main pool.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BertoJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2012

My husband and I spent a week here for our honeymoon in March, and have been raving about it ever since! We had read all the reviews prior to booking, so we were prepared for a resort that was still under development and very quiet. The Fishing Lodge provided us a very private, high-end honeymoon. I would recommend that if you are looking for a typical all-inclusive vacation with bustling activity and nightlife, then you should go elsewhere. But if you are looking for your own private piece of paradise, then you won't be disappointed here.

THE RESORT:

The resort grounds and buildings are absolutely breathtaking. Extremely well-maintained down the the tiniest detail. Everything is brand-new and CLEAN!! (Cleanliness is my primary focus when choosing a hotel/resort: Fishing Lodge was IMMACULATE!)
Also of importance is that the resort, as well as all the others inside Cap Cana, felt very safe. The entire Cap Cana complex is walled in and has a security gate. Furthermore, each of the resorts has its own security gate. We felt very safe walking around any of the Cap Cana grounds at night.
Yes, the resort is still under construction in some areas, but it honestly did not affect us at all. The construction was mostly at the far reaches of the property, so we never heard any noise from it.

FOOD & DRINK:

When they are fully operational, they will have several restaurants and bars, but at the time they only had the one fully operational restaurant (the Bistrot). This has fantastic food, a beautiful setting overlooking the marina, and the most friendly and attentive wait staff.
There were 2 additional bars as well: 1 behind the lobby and the pool bar. The pool bar (Bohio Bar) was a great outdoor tiki bar with the best bartenders who we really enjoyed spending time with! Bohio Bar also offers a great light fare menu up until 5pm (I believe), which can really save a lot of money if you are not all-inclusive.
We chose a non-inclusive plan: just the room and the nominal fee to use the sister resort down the road: The Sanctuary. Until the resort has more eating/drinking options, I believe this is the most economical option. Since we were not trapped by an all-inclusive plan, we felt like we had a ton of options. We ate somewhere different every day: Bohio Bar, the Bistrot, room service, and then multiple restaurants at the Sanctuary (recommend the Blue Marlin!), out on excursions, and even at a restaurant outside the wall (La Yola, an unbelievable open air restaurant over the water at the Punta Cana Resort & Club next door).

ACTIVITIES:

Although, the Fishing Lodge itself was quiet and did not have a lot of planned activities since there were so few guests, we were busy every day! It was great having access to the fully operational Sanctuary next door: we were able to join in on their planned activities, be around a ton of people when we wanted, and then return to our privacy at the Fishing Lodge.

We joked that we had our own 2 private pools at the Fishing Lodge because we were the only ones ever there, which was great!
Other times, we would take the free shuttle (almost always available on demand; recommend just calling before you leave your room) to Sanctuary to enjoy their pool, equipped with a swim-up bar, lots of people, and floats. Sanctuary also has a couple swimming beaches, along with a schedule of planned activities like pool volleyball and rum tasting sessions. I'd also recommend Sanctuary's beautiful full service spa.

Jessica, Fishing Lodge's very helpful concierge, also arranged for multiple excursions outside of the resort. We went horseback riding along the beach through Scape 2 Cap Cana. We spent half a day on a Deep Sea Fishing Cruise and caught 2 mahi! And our favorite excursion was a full day, all-inclusive "Discovery Cruise at Cap Cana" through Marinarium. It was pricey but completely worth it!

THE STAFF:

All of Fishing Lodge's staff was absolutely wonderful! Everyone we met was exceptionally friendly and bent over backwards to give us anything we asked for!
All of the staff actually speak English so well that I felt bad for not knowing more Spanish! It's clear that the staff works very hard to be so fluent in English to prevent any communication issues.
Marsi at the front desk made arrangements for us to be picked up from the airport and made us dinner reservations at La Yola.
Jessica the concierge was a joy to work with: she arranged all of our excursions including spa reservations. When she found out it was our honeymoon, she arranged to have a lovely fruit plate and champagne sent up to our room.
When we asked Juan at the Bohio Bar if there were any cheese plates on the menu (we were planning on enjoying a nice bottle of wine we had brought from home out on our private balcony), he talked to the chef at the Bistrot who custom-made us a gorgeous cheese and fruit plate to send up to our room.
Juan Dario at the Bohio Bar was such a fun, attentive bartender: we really enjoyed our time with him! And Christian at the Bistrot was so sweet and a good server; we always enjoyed talking with him.
I apologize for leaving out a lot of names; the entire staff was fantastic and really went above and beyond to give us a truly special honeymoon. Thank you!!

Room Tip: Bring lots of small bills for tips. And bring a fair amount of cash for excursions. Sometimes the cr...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Bacchus_RI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2012

I've been to 8 different resorts in the Dominican Republic. This was by far our best experience. The staff was a delight to be around and the resort was everything we hoped for. We had a huge three bedroom apartment, they catered to our every need and made this a very fun vacation for our 3 year old.

Room Tip: Room 5055 has an excellent view of the entire premises.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Robinson I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, Mississippi
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2012

this is a grand hotel, just in the beginning. We were there for 5 days and I must say it is lovely. the architecture at the hotel is amazing. It is like a quaint village in spain. The suites are fabulous. It has a lot left to be done , as far as amenities, but it is quite wonderful. The people that run the hotel are friendly and professional.. I would like to say hello to vianel and all his staff, they are excellent.

Room Tip: try to get a suite.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank mbritt1681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2012

The resort lost marks due to the feeling of always being gouged, being under construction, and being isolated unless one is willing to pay exhorbitant taxi fares [by Dominican standards] or hire the facilities own vehicles at premium rates.

Cap Cana Fishing Lodge, marina and resort complex.

First impression: Cap Cana is an interesting place, right on the Eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, some 75 miles from Puerto Rico. Interesting because it is a man made construct that’s rather lacking the natural beauty of this stunning country. That said, it is new, clean, reasonably well maintained [several areas of broken and damaged pathway were evident] and in spite of the fact that there’s still construction going on north of the Marina complex, that construction isn’t very intrusive at all.

Pricing and value for money: We've spent the greater part of a month in Cap Cana resort, and the surrounding area. We discovered the prices to be wildly inconsistent with two significant exceptions, they were often not as stated or implied and they were all exceptionally high for this part of the world.

It [our stay there] began with an out of season verbal rate agreement - prior to arrival, implied and inferred, though not written.
Upon arrival at check in, although able to relay the name, time and date of the conversation, and the check in staff acknowledging it took place [the night before], the rate more than doubled with a shrug of the shoulders on the part of said staff. We were here, we were stuck [I was unwell the first three days], so hubby paid and decided to enjoy ourselves.

Our next surprise came with the evening meal, after a hard days travelling we weren’t hungry, so ordered light, I simply had a pumpkin soup, hubby had a small veggie pizza. We were informed the menu prices were $19. Tired, we skipped any alcohol, appetizers or desert and simply shared a single bottle of water. Neither of us took reading glasses to the restaurant so the pricing was illegible until the billing was read - $42 = single person pizza, one water and soup.

This carried over into activities like golfing, where by the time everything was done from the obligatory club and caddy hire to green fees it was around $300 for a single game. The last time we were there the old course at St Andrews was quite a bit less expensive than that – though it was a few years now.

Transportation around the complex; there are shuttle busses [free] which will take you to various places on this resort, they’re required usage as there are many “private” areas here where you simply aren’t allowed to wander. Even the beaches in some spots are private. There were no maps supplied, and it's not an english speaking country, so "point and go" can creat issues, fortunately most staff speak English, but other nationalities could have issues.

This was also the morning we discovered we “weren’t allowed” off the compound unless we took a taxi – which the resort had to call, or hired a resort car at $75/day.
Swimming pools, some you can use, some you can’t, if you make a mistake it’s often not long before you’re informed. We didn’t see any specific “private pool” notices. All pools were outstanding in quality and some exceptionally well designed and pleasing on the eye.

Self catering; I love to cook, but discovered that impractical. The main supermarket is by the airport, and although excellent, the airport is a $40-$60 taxi ride. Our neighbor took the taxi [we refused the luxury pricing] and were informed $40 but reported being hit up for $60 by the driver. When he questioned it the driver told him to get out or pay – his choice. The location was not one he preferred to exit the cab at by that time.

Complex shopping: there are two small “mercado’s”, or mini-markets on the complex, we found the prices a good 50% higher than Dominican norms and somewhat lacking in choice, but again big kudos to the staff at the shops – they spoke English more than adequately, were friendly, outgoing and exceptionally helpful. There were several other shops in the complex, and several boarded up ones. Those open offered typical tourist paraphernalia from gifts to swimsuits, but at what we felt were dramatically inflated prices.

Security is nice in any location, here there were guards about every 50 yards, day and night. We thought it was rather excessive but certainly had absolutely no issues with anything going walkabout. The security services were helpful, genuine and pleasant.

Electricity was surprisingly constant for the Caribbean, now blackouts or brownouts, but Wi-Fi was what can only be described as less than stable – fine when there, fast, but VERY unstable – if you’re doing anything, put it in a doc file then paste it or take a high risk of losing your work. Attachments were “difficult” to achieve most of the time, and we could see the complex’s Wi-Fi antennas.

The marina on the complex has water activities available. Pricing for water activities from sport fishing to glass bottom boat rides was in line with the sticker shock we received at our first meal, but the boats all appeared well maintained, stable and very serviceable. There were many private yachts in the marina and the standard appeared to extend to these as well.

The facility needs a "welcome package" put online at least, ideally presented to ALL guests upon arrival so they clearly know what they can do - where they can go - what's permissable, and more importantly what's not! - where the locatoins of everything are - better signage - some "you are here" maps for major spaces - and posted pricing for everything including cabs, pricing which everyone is required to adhere to. These policies need to be available to every guest irrespective of the means of arrival, Air, land or sea.

To sum it up, this area of the Dominican Republic to us came across as “resort anywhere”, it was manicured to the extent that nature was almost obliterated, there was no birdsong and little life other than what humanity intended to be there. There is a lot to do, almost all carries a price tag that’s closer to Monaco than Mona. It’s holiday resort central.

If the DR is your thing, and it’s certainly ours [we love it here] there are other areas that we found more enjoyable, certainly substantially better value. If you want sun, sea, palms and island breezes without budget concerns this could be ideal for you. If you want to mix with the jet set and get the same with little difference in price, there are options from Capri to Monaco that might just serve you better.

Biggest attractions or assets: Nice design, clean, reasonably new, upscale, staff, electric buggies for transport.

Biggest detractions: Poor value for money, isolated, detached from the culture, “resort anywhere” type feel and a place so full of do's and dont's that it's very easy to get quickly fed up.

At days end its all down to value for money - sadly lacking here.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms [mostly condo's] looking onto the marina bays or channel - when the fishing boats fi...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kelpie_Noir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NOLA
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2012

We vacationed at the sister property, The Sanctuary Cap Cana where the Front Desk Manager, Hector arranged a shuttle to this property, all built around the Marina. Absolutely beautiful, romantic & located in the Marina. We walked the property & there is a quaint church on the property & many amentities & shops(soon to open) at this new property. We enjoyed the pool as it was beautiful & expansive as well as the pool bar with it's many TVs. We ate at the Bistro Restaurant where the food & staff were both excellent. Though this is a new property & quiet for now, we had lots of fun. Once this secret gets out-it should be buzzing with vacationers by the season kick off. We toured the new modern rooms & they all have nice views & amenities. Tough choice on which property as they both are beautiful, each with unique features & both with excellent service & staff. We will be returning as soon as we can & it will be tough as to which one we will stay at-perhaps split the time between the 2.

Room Tip: If you like the Swim Up type of room, those are beautiful-next to the restaurant & looking into...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cbsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2012

The Fishing Lodge is a magnificent Marina Property, that has reciprocal privileges with The Sanctuary. You are transported there via Golf Cart.
It is very new, so there are not many people, but the peace and quiet can be very relaxing.
You can go to 8 different restaurants, one at Fishing Lodge, 3 at The Sanctuary, 2 in the Marina, and 2 on the adjoining Punta Cana Resort property.
There are a lot of out side activities to do such as Golf, Dune Buggy's, Snorkeling, Segway, Boat Ride.
The staff are wonderfully attentive and helpful. Yessica and Andia helped plan our activities and made sure we had a wonderful time. Both Luis's and all the Bellmen were superb and helped us shop, took us to the Sanctuary and other restaurants, and even to our exursions.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Hilary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fishing Lodge Cap Cana

Property: Fishing Lodge Cap Cana
Address: Calle Paseo de los Pescadores, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#72 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#76 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 299
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at only 10 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport, in the largest and most luxurious Marina of the Caribbean, and surrounded by the famous beaches of white sand of Punta Cana and Cap Cana, Marina Sands is an impressive luxury resort of 299 suites of different and generous dimensions, decorated with top quality materials and furniture designed in true Mediterranean style.Five thematic restaurants, five bars, four swimming pools, a Dominican style chapel for weddings and mass, a state of the art fitness center, commercial boulevard with shops and boutiques, restaurants and bars, disco and set of activities and exclusive services that will satisfy even the most demanding.Marina Sands guests can take advantage of the magnificent Punta Espada Golf Club, regarded as the best Caribbean Golf course in Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as other top courses in the area. Also available are aquatic activities, animation, children's activities and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fishing Lodge Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana

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