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“Great beach for the $$”

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VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
Ranked #74 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great beach for the $$”
Reviewed May 15, 2011

Tried Punta Cana for our 2nd chic trip. The hotel is located in a great spot on the beach. Loved shopping @ beach shacks in bathing suit & drink in hand. The hotel was pretty nice overall. Needs some updating, some areas more than others, but looks like things are proceeding in that direction. Had some issues checking in- waited quite awhile. When we finally got to room, it was less than impressive. After a stroll around the hotel, we returned to front desk & expressed our dissatisfaction with room. Clerk Freslin V. was very gracious, asked us to be patient a litlle while longer & he'd see what he could do. After 1 or 2 more mamajanas in lobby bar, he showed us 2 other rooms much better suited for 3 women. Maybe we lucked out because the hotel didn't seem overly crowded, but they moved us to an ocean-front jr suite. By the time we returned from dinner, a 3rd single bed had been set up. My overall impression of the staff was good- most were pretty friendly & nice, & more so if you tip! The food was ok. I'd say the breakfast buffet was decent, with the egg/omelette station very good. Lots of fresh fruit with all meals. Lunch by the pool was good- the grilled chicked&pork were really good! Fries were decent, pizza hit&miss. Had hot dogs, but on rolls, not buns. Only 2 sit-down/ala carte style restaurants, & they weren't too good. For dinner, I preferred the chinese stir-fry station at buffet. The shows were alright, but there really isn't much at this resort at night. Went into the disco as it was the only place to get a late-night drink. Was really loud, really dead & really run-down. Did go to Imagine one night & that was a good time for most part. It's in a cave, so that was definitely cool to see. Would be great @ Halloween! It was packed with tourists bussed in form resorts & lots of local people. Was very difficult to dance & have fun w/ guys constantly coming over & grinding on you. Glad I went once, but wouldn"t go back. That's probably my overall take on this trip. It was nice cause it was vacation- layin on beach, drinkin+eatin all day, whenever you want. No housework, pets, bills to write, etc! The beach was GREAT, but just resort aftet resort after resort- maybe a house/condo here + there. I'm not a big fan of AI's either. We did take an excursion to Catalina- it was total rip-off. Spent 6+ hours in van driving around countryside & stopped for gas + $ to buy gas 4 times! All this to go off-shore snorkeling from a beach that wasn't as nice as the one in front of our hotel! Really make sure you know what's involved with your excursion- what kind of vehicle you''ll be in, how many others, transfer/return times, etc. I was very upset- it was a complete waste of $$ & a whole day of vacation! When we did complain to the guy we purchased it from, he said he'd try to get us 50% of our money back. It took him a day + a half, but while we were waiting for our airport transfer home, he dropped off a 40% refund. I know it was better than nothing, but still- a whole day!!! I guess I'd even consider the hotel again if I just wanted to chill on the beach with my husband & daughter. There's really not much else to do. One thing I did NOT like were the vendors in the hotel & on the beach. We were beseiged on the way to dinner, the shows, the beach... Although all vendors wern't around every day, when they were, they were pushy. "No gracias" did work most of the time, but it really was annoying when I was there to relax. Again, I can't stress how nice the beach was. It definitely rivals the soft, white sand of Cancun & MR. But, in my humble opinion, thats where major similarities end. Punta Cana did not make me want to give up time in Puerto Morelos. I'd definitely consider another trip to another area of DR, but this fall, I'll be going BACK to PM. Also, our 1st girls trip was to Breezes, Runaway Bay, Jamaica. I was not overly impressed w/ resort, but loved Jamaica. Just bringing that up because I'll be returning to Jamaica before Dominican.

Room Tip: bldg 5 closest to beach
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank roseqman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2011

I just returned from a week at this resort. Let me preface this by saying that it's best to keep expectations in line with price. This is a very inexpensive resort in Punta Cana so my expectations were according to what I paid. That being said, here is my review:

ROOMS
I had a non-renovated room and it was fine. Very spacious and very clean, and all rooms have large balconies. The pillows need to be replaced though, uncomfortable. The decor of the non-renovated rooms isn't bad at all, sort of a tropical theme/feeling. However, if you book a king bed it's true that they do push two twin beds together. I was in the room alone so it didn't bother me, but if I were a couple, I wouldn't like it. It's pretty tacky to do that, they should get real king beds. However, overall I enjoyed the room quite a bit. Nice bathrooms, even in the non-renovated rooms.

GROUNDS/POOl/BEACH
This is a smaller resort, and everything has an open-air design which I really enjoyed. The grounds and gardens are beautiful. Pool is lovely and spacious. The beach cannot be beat. It really is on the best stretch of sand around. Plenty of chairs and shade huts.

FOOD/DRINKS
I felt that the food and drinks left a little to be desired, but again this isn't what you would call a luxury resort. The breakfast buffet was very good and incorporated tropical/latin foods. Lunch and dinner buffets were really just OK. It would have been nice to have seen more latin influences in the food. More fresh foods would have been nice too. Only the Italian a la carte was open during my stay and it was again just OK. I didn't feel the food was any better than the buffet so I only went once.

Drinks were a bit of a disappointment. The ones they serve on the beach and in the pool area come in tiny little cups. You need 3 of them to make a regular sized drink. No garnishes at all, just a straw stuck in the glass.

SERVICE

Generally, very friendly and helpful. But the hotel needs to do a better job keeping food items stocked on the buffet. Sometimes things like ice cream or the omelette toppings would empty, and just sit there for a long time before being refilled. That really shouldn't happen.

No beachside service: if you are looking for a resort where waiters will bring you drinks on the beach, this isn't it.

There are some very questionable jewelry vendors who come to the hotel on weekend nights. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of them. They will absolutely rip you off and are aggressive in a bad way. This was disappointing. I know they are not really part of the hotel but the hotel could be a little more selective about who they let onto their property to sell stuff.

OVERALL

This is an older, smaller resort that doesn't have all the amenities of the newer, larger places. At the same time, it's small size is a positive because it's very laid back and relaxing. Easy to get from your room to the beach, to the dining, etc.

It is not a party resort. The crowd is either families or older people or couples. Very quiet at night. Not a scene for singles.

Would I stay here again? Yes, but only if I got another good deal. I don't think I would pay top dollar for this resort or go during peak season. But if you can snag a deal, it's worth it. Also if you just want to be in Punta Cana on the beach in an amazing location and not spend tons of money, this is a great place to be.

Stayed May 2011
Helpful?
9 Thank SunLvr101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caracas, Venezuela
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2011

This hotel/resort is well equiped with many options to get some rest and spend pleasure time with your partner. It has one warm pool divided in two zones, one for children and other for adults. It depends on your height. Also, you can find a jacuzzi in the middle of adults part but the water is quite cold. On the other hand, and THE BEST of this facility is that is in front of the Bavaro shore, a beautiful beach with typical curved palms to take spectacular shoots with your camera. Also, the sand is terrific!!. There are all comodities such as towels, chairs, "chiringuitos" (umbrellas made by dry palm leave to protect from sun), tables and 2 bars to get drinks. Moreover, there are 3 restaurants available: Italian, Sea Food and Buffe, and 1 snack bar. This one is quite good!. The food is good in average. If you decide to get All Included plan, you'll enjoy of all foods and drinks for free. Whisky is not included. Furthermore, there are 2 tennis courts and a gym. Is very convenient that they provide tennis raquets and balls for free. My wife and I enjoyed playing tennis everyday. For those who enjoy night life you can find pool tables, table soccer, a bar, performs from animators, dancers and shows, and a discoteque to shaking bodies with latin rythms. Lastly, the room: this is an hotel which is currently improving their facilities. Therefore, you can find old and new rooms. We had lucky to enjoy both of them, and I can say that the old one was better than new one. But they are improving fast and getting new one would be better if you decide to stay at this hotel. There are several convenient reasons to choose this hotel, but I'll tell what's the WORST about it: sometimes, specially at the begining of your stay, your rest would be compromised by people whom are selling RESORT PACKAGES and offering you an upgrade to change your accomodation to a VIP area nearby the hotel. In my opinion, those people are very direct and sometimes annoying. I'm quiet person character, but I was mad since selling approaching constantly. I had to avoid this approaching arguing "I don't have money for an upgrade and I don't interested to know about this 'VIP' treatment". To sum up, this is a Hotel/Resort as well, and you'll find comodities very interesting and helpful to aim to enjoy your stay. VERY IMPORTANT: Internet only on lobby and very expensive. Ex.: 15 min = USD. 2.

Room Tip: Ask for new accomodation
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Omar_Matamoros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Helens, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2011

Myself and my partner stayed here for 1week and can only say it was not enough the moment we arrived the bell boy took our case and showed us to reception where we were greeted by Joel he was very pleasant and friendly. We were in block 3 which is refurbished the room was clean and tidy and the balcony overlooked the gardens which was nice and well looked after. The beach was cleaned every morning and the beds were rearranged into a neat and tidy manor there was reports on here where people put there towels on beds to reserve the best spots but I didnt see that many beds reserved when we got there, the only thing I didnt like was the lack of room for you to swim due to water sports this will be my only complaint. The beach market was a great experience cheep items to buy there is clothes, pictures,cigars,rum, and loads of other things. The pool was also cleaned daily and again didnt have a problem here either plenty of beds and lots of space, the pool is no more than 1.2m (4feet) so this was good for my partner because she isnt the most confident swimmer. The vendors at the pool were not at all pushy like people have said if your not interested just say no they wont ask you again. The food was nice in the buffet restaurant but we ate at the the Italian & Fish restaurants most nights. The night life seemed entertaining we never actually stayed and watched a show because it was mainly for the children but we could see and here it from our balcony. The shop on the complex is very expensive we ran out of sun cream and it was around ($35) to get one so make sure you bring enough because it was very hot and we were using a bottle a day. I would defiantly go back .

Room Tip: Block 4 has pool view and Block 5 has sea view
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Phil420301982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2011

Despite the beautiful weather and beach I have nothing positive to say about this hotel. The food and drinks were horrible for the full 7 days without exaggeration. This is the first bad experience I've had and I have traveled all over. A huge disappointment to day the least.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank mlaselva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

embrun
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2011

My husband and i travelled to this place from April 1 to April 15th 2011 and started the night we got there the room key didn't work and when it did we had a room with 2 single bed.and pool view... with had pay for a king size bed and ocean view so finally the next day we got what we had pay for.. Resort is clean and room to no complaints about that.
Food was just discusting we had to force ourselves to eat on the second week it was really bad and we are not picky eaters..service was really poor no staff.. you get salesman coming to see you all the time to buy something even if you say no they don't leave you alone even if you are sleeping on your chairs they will come to bug you.. Even one guy came to see me and before he could start talking i told him no thank you i'm not interested and he called me ingnorant... some are ok with no. I will not send anyone at this resort i'm really descapointed...the spa is a go for it

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank denissylvie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2011

I traveled with a group of flight attendants and needless to say we all have a lot of experience with traveling and hotels. I would give this hotel 2 stars. The room was a decent size however it was not equipped with the basic amenities such as lighting, towels, shampoo/conditioner, iron and ironing board. There was only one floor lamp to light the entire room which made it difficult to get ready. It took us almost 2 hours, 3 phone calls and 2 walks to the lobby to finally receive bath towels and an iron. We almost missed dinner due to not being able to get ready in time for dinner because we couldn't shower without towels. The iron they told us needed to be returned as soon as we were done because other people needed it as well. Also, there was complete disregard for the do not disturb sign. The beds were less than normal and not comfortable at all. As for the food...if you plan to experience authentic dominican food, this is not the hotel for you. They had absolutely NO Dominican food. One night the food at the buffet was so bad we couldn't even eat. The seafood restaurant was good however. The staff did not know what was going on and everyone kept giving us false information. The drinks were very watered down and not tasty. For the amount of alcohol we drank...we should have been crawling on the floor. Not a one of us even felt a buzz. The crowd is also an older crowd so if you are young and want to party, this is NOT the hotel for you. In the evening there are souvenir stands and the guys are very persistent and annoying. You can't just look without being harassed to buy something. With all of this said we did manage to have fun because we enjoyed each other's company but the hotel was the worst I have ever stayed in. Especially since it was not the cheapest. Stay clear of this one.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank laxsamuri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Property: VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
Address: White Sand, Carretera Arena Gorda | Bávaro, Punta Cana 290217, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#59 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#64 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#67 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — VIK Hotel Arena Blanca 4*
Number of rooms: 447
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The VIK Hotel Arena Blanca is placed overlooking the incomparable beach of Bávaro, just 30 minutes away from the International Airport of Punta Cana. This hotel in Punta Cana was renovated in 2006 to be able to offer a wide variety of environments: ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vik Hotel Punta Cana
Lti Beach Resort Punta Cana
Lti Punta Cana
Lti Resort Punta Cana
Lti Beach Punta Cana

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