This is our 7th trip to Punta Cana. We were there from Feb. 24-March 3. I would like to start off by stating that this staff was one of the most attentive of all the resorts we have visited in the past. Everyone did what ever they could do to possibly make your stay wonderful The staff was constantly cleaning, picking up, sweeping, trimming, serving, etc. If you needed anything, someone would always step up and assist...even if it wasn't their "job". I know that you don't go to a resort for the food, but for many other things...sun, sand, and surf! This property has 4 speciality(no smoking) restaurants that you need to make reservations for ahead of time...no problem with getting in whenever we wished. Japanese (not that show off type, but menu), Italian, French, and Steak house all had impeciable service and presentation. I wish with all the effort that went into the experience the meals would have been more than average...but they weren't. Everything presented was beautiful...but so-so. The buffet (indoor/outdoor, smoking/nonsmoking sections) also has some special nights and all are quite festive. The grounds were always being attended to as well as the pool areas. I had read comments where people complained about the ever present towel/chair problem...never saw it, but we were at the "VIP pool" area and there was always room. The crew cleaning up the sand area was out bright and early...I think that there is now a contracted crew that polices up the whole beach in front of all the resorts. This is such a great beach to walk for hours...and we did...the waves were a bit rough, but I think that was a leftover from a storm up the eastern US coast...all the seaweedy stuff that washed up on the beach was cleaned up in the morning. Who wouldn't enjoy spending lots of time there! We were in room 5002-ground floor and facing a pool reserved for German visitors (Sensimar section). It was very quiet and didn't hear a thing at all except for the last night. Room was comfortable and functional....especially for cleaning-the bed was on rollers and the housekeeping staff could push it out of the way to sweep...and they did! 4 large drawers and big closet, couch, work table, plenty of lights and a WONDERFUL SHOWER that a small family could all fit into. As with all resorts, the staff makes those towel animals, very cute. It was always nice to come in at night and everything was turned down and towels were replaced (although probably not the best environmentally sound practice). And now for the bed! The first night we fell into bed, totally exhausted, and probably didn't move an inch....that was the only night we slept....YIKES! The bed was just terrible....and almost everyone we spoke to brought up the bed situation, so it just wasn't us. The beverages were replenished every other day, but if you needed something, there was always someone nearby to bring it to you.....went through a lot of water, and they made sure everyone had at least 3 big bottles...you can't drink the tap water. I'm a Diet Coke drinker in a resort that serves Pepsi products but was able to purchase some in the store on the main building. Because we had been in the DR 6 other times, there wasn't an adventure that we planned on going on....although, I was ready to do Zip-Lining again...Our Apple rep (Alecia) suggested a trip into a little town about 20 minutes away. It was DR Independence Day and all the school children came out for a big parade...what fun! The country's pride certainly was showing that day...red/white/blue banners and flags all over. Our venture were to cigar and chocolate factories. Very interesting to see how the men individually cut, rolled and shaped the tobacco and all the yummy flavors of chocolate. I would highly recommend this FREE trip...such a deal...we were gone just a couple of hours and back in time for lunch and more beautiful Dominican weather. The grounds of the resort were beautiful and well attended...although never saw flowering plants (except for those on pillows and sinks in rooms) The resort was easily traversed...not too large and well laid out. There seemed to be more than the normal amount of people in wheelchairs....very accessible in main building, but no elevators in the VIP section. One more comment, and then I'll quit...maybe Americans are used to tipping, but we seldom saw this done. I always like to travel with plenty of singles so that the serving staff, housekeepers, bellmen, and beverage guy know that we appreciate their hard work makes our vacation much more enjoyable. I've seen staff run around for people that will barely acknowledge the effort...what is so hard about leaving a tip for them! The staff makes such a large part of the trip successful. If I was to return to this resort, I would certainly rebook the VIP section.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located on Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana * Inside the Riu Resort, along with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Naiboa hotels and the ClubHotel Riu Bambu * The Splash Water World will be opened from 1st November 2016 * 4-story building * Surrounded by 63,000 m2 / 75,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 50 km / 31 miles from Higuey * 30 km / 19 miles from Punta Cana Intl. Airport ... more less
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