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Reviewed January 12, 2013

So I went here with a group of 6 girls for a 30th birthday party. We ended up having a fun time but....would I suggest it to someone else? Not at all. To be fair, we are all Manhattanites and are use to certain conveniences not offered elsewhere. If you do decide to go, here are a list of pros, cons, and tips to make your experience somewhat more enjoyable:

Pros:
-We did an all inclusive package from cheapcarribean.com. For $800 a person, flights, rooms, drinks, and food were included
-The beach is absolutely breathtaking
-Great weather/friendly staff/speedy check in
-They don't try to push the whole "buy a time share, get a free meal" thing on you
-Shuttle service from the airport is fast and efficient and tipping only a few dollars is fine
-The DR uses the USD as well as the Dominican Peso so you don't have to exchange your money
-You cannot drink the water but cups and purified water are available at every bar. You also get 2 large bottles in your room that can be refilled.
-Huge pool (no hot tubs or swim up bars though)
-For $2 a night you can rent a safe to put your passports/ipads/etc. in.
-You won't need cash. I do not lie when I say that no one is offended if you don't tip.
-Not a huge deal if you lose your room key. They'll gladly replace it for you at the front desk.
-Offer serve-yourself coffee by the bars in the morning. Excellent for those who can't communicate until they're caffinated.
-You may have to order 4 drinks at a time but they won't judge or complain!
-You won't get in trouble. Our first night we were so stoked to be there. After a few drinks, we went skinny dipping in the ocean and snuck into the pool after hours. Employees will ask you to leave in a very kind and respective manner.

Cons:
-The food is TERRIBLE and not offered very often. There are strange times as to when things open and restaurants have hip names to disquise the fact that they are just all you can eat buffets...Seriously, the best thing we had the entire time was rice. One of my friends only ate fries. 90% of our calories were alcohol consumption. Seriously seriously seriously bring cliff bars...by the time we got back to the USA all of us were ravenous and devoured anything and everything that we could find. If you are catering to children, hotdogs, hamburgers, and fries are always available. They are floating in grease and gross. Seriously, how do you manage to mess up a hotdog?
-Sorry excuses for bars and clubs. All of the restaurants and clubs have this hip, decieving names. We were starving by the time we got in at 10 pm and decided to hit up the one bar that serves food. It was literally sandwiches in a cooler that you can heat up with a panini press and 4 ounce plastic cups of beer/a small shot of rum and whatever sugary mixed concoction you choose.The club is empty, no one speaks english, and the music is ALL hispanic. Not that I'm against a little Latina dancing, but I don't know how to salsa (plus side is the dj will happily take requests!...if you bring them a cocktail).
-The rooms. hard mattresses to the point of being harmful to your back. No wifi. Smell like mildew. No bath products. I had to buy a $14 bottle of shampoo in the gift shop. Bad lighting. Sterile. No art on the walls. Not enough towels. We literally had to beg for a 3rd towel (we had three people to a room). The maids come at 7:30 so if you're partying, be prepared to yell at someone in the morning.
-They don't warn you about not drinking the water in some rooms, others they do. Don't drink the water!
-This sounds a bit superficial but no one is attractive. If you're going with a significant other that's all well and good but we were there to dance, flirt, have flings. The visitors here really look like they belong at an applebees in middle america. Don't expect a carribean romance to blossom.
-That being said, there really isn't anything to do but lounge by the pool, walk on the beach, and drink. No cultural experiences whatsoever. Good for a few days, not a week.
-The airport is atrocious. It's like the hunger games where they throw a crowd of people into a huge room with no instructions and you have to fend for yourself to get to your terminal. Expect to wait in a huge line during immigration, another huge line to have your picture taken, and another one to get back through security. GET THERE AT LEAST THREE HOURS EARLY!
-Hard Rock is better but you're not allowed there. We heard the clubs and restaurant at Hard Rock were great so we decided to go there and BUY a nice meal and dance and have real drinks. Guess again. You are allowed in the casino but you have to gamble. The restaurant is closed to people who are not all inclusive guests so we have to buy deli sandwiches. We got into the club but were promptly kicked out for not being guests even though we were ready and willing to pay for our drinks.

Tips:
-Bring a book! If you aren't partying, you'll get a LOT of reading done.
-Sneak into the princess resort! If you go out to the beach and walk towards the right (facing the ocean) you'll come across the princess resort. We stopped in to use the restroom and noticed they have the same color wristbands:) The princess serves proper drinks, has table service, and has a chef cooking up mussels and calamari pool side. We ended up spending the entire afternoon here at a table enjoying proper, refreshing cocktails, good service, and good food.
-Lower your expectations! After we realized we weren't staying at the Standard in Miami, we relaxed and enjoyed good conversation and fun. Really good place for a basic girls trip! Really bad place for a honeymoon!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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5  Thank kdsancken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VHAB, Public Relations Manager at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2013

Dear customer,

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Vik hotel Arena Blanca for your vacations, as well for letting us know about your recent visit; In our effort to continuously improve the quality of our services and facilities, we put our greatest interest and value in our guests’ opinion.
We regret that our hotel didn’t meet your expectations.

Sincerely,

Francisco Amancio E.
Guest services Manager
Vik hotel Arena Blanca.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

I'n not sure how to begin this review - how about I'm writing this review in the lobby of the VIK Hotel Arena Blanca.

First of all: There is no free wifi. There is limited wifi in the main lobby (which disconnects every 10 minutes).

STAFF:

One phrase that the staff here love to repeat over and over again is " There is nothing we can do for you". Problems started as soon as we arrived at the hotel. We requested to have a queen bed (and paid for it) however they gave us 2 double beds and said the phrase above. We thought our luggage was stolen after the bell boy took half an hour to bring the bags to our room (walk from the lobby to our room was 2 minutes). After waiting half an hour in our room, we came back to the lobby to only find him talking to his friends.

Your stay at this hotel will include staff badgering you to buy various activities. Each staff member will offer you a different price. We fell for this scheme unfortunately. We bought 2 tickets for a Bogie (4,000 pesos) only to find out from another couple that it was a waste of time. We gave the staff member a deposit of 2,000 pesos. The staff member who sold us the tickets left with us a persons number to call in case we needed to reschedule. When we called the number to cancel the ride all together, a woman picked up and didn't speak a word of English. We wanted to be courteous and cancel in advance, so we decided to go to the front desk staff and let them know of our dilemma, in hopes that they would be able to cancel the activity for us. The front desk staff and the manager of the night started interrogating us to find out who we bought the ticket from. We told them it was one of your staff members which they didn't believe and they made us feel like we were criminals of some sort. It was an embarrassing scene for us.

Towels

Stingy stingy stingy. We came back from an all day excursion only to find out that our rooms hadn't been cleaned. So i went to the front lobby to ask for towels which they caused a big stink about and asked us why we needed towels and asked us to wait until house service came. After much bickering, they finally gave us a towel after also telling me to talk like a normal person.

Beach Towels

One beach towel per person. You have to give them your guest card in order to get a beach towel. While we were getting our drinks late at night, the staff decided that they would take the beach towels that we left on our beach chairs. So now we can't get another beach towel (you are not allowed to take your room towels to the beach), we also can't get our guest card back which means that they will probably charge us for the towels (that they in fact have).

FOOD

Not the greatest but that's subjective to each person's taste buds.
The all day snacks are pre-made ham&cheese sandwiches and stale cookies.

Make sure you ask several people about which restaurants need reservations and which don't. Each staff member will tell you something different. On Christmas day, we asked the general manage of the restaurant do we need reservations. He said "No you don't". We waited in line for 20 minutes only to hear that we needed a ticket. We later learned that tour groups were given preference for all food and activities no matter who shows up first. It was very embarrassing to be escorted to the end of the line like we did something wrong.

NIGHT ACTIVITIES & BARS

There are no night activities unless you come with a tour group. The one club that this resort has usually has a total of 3 people in it. It is a small room where a "DJ" plays songs from his laptop.

CONCLUSION

Don't waste your time or money. As I said earlier, I'm currently writing this review in the lobby of the hotel. It has taken almost 2 hours with the internet cutting in and out. We have this time because we can't go to the beach or the pool since we don't have towels to reserve a seat. So it is either we sit in the lobby or sit in our room.

This was not a 4 star hotel by any means.

P.S.

There is no iron in your room. After we called the front desk to ask for an iron, they responded with " why do you need it". After an 1 hour and 15 minutes, an iron was given to us - which also made us late for dinner seeing that it was formal attire.

Bring lots of soap and shampoo. There was none in the room and so we had to pay $4.00 US per soap bar. A travel sized toothpaste was $3.00 US.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank A j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VHAB, Public Relations Manager at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2013

Dear client,

Please accept our apologies for the wrong attitude that some of our staff could had assisting you and for the inconveniences that you get through, thank you so much for bringing these things to our attention so that we can continually improve our services.
We feel very regretful that products and services did not meet your expectations.

Sincerely,

Francisco Amancio E.
Guest services Manager
Vik hotel Arena Blanca.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We just came back from The Vik Arena Blanca,I agree with some of the reviews, some of the staff are friendly & others are quiet rude & don't speak much english,they also have sales people that are allowed in the complexe to drive holiday makers mad,I had to call the reception one night to complain about a guy who drunk & making too much noise.
The bed sheets were too small so by the morning I find that I'm sleeping directly on the mattress.coffee machines in the lobby were always broken down,entertainment was nothing to shout about but it was only mainly for French people.
There was no iron in the room,no toilettories,we had to pay for the safe 2 usd p/n,
However, there is a resort next door called OCEAN BLUE where we met some people,that was more like it,it's a fantastic place if I were to go back I would deffenately go there.

Room Tip: I would ask for a newly refurbished room with a sea view & with a secured computerised key card...cos some of the rooms still have the old key system.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Haslah64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VHAB, Public Relations Manager at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear guest,

We want to thank you for selecting our Vik hotel Arena Blanca to pass your vacations and for sharing with us on this site your vacation experience in our hotel.

In our effort to continuously improve the quality of our services and facilities, we put our greatest interest and value in our guest’s opinion. Please accept our apologies for the experience during your visit and any inconveniences that this may have caused. Thank you so much for bringing these things to our attention so that we can continue to improve our service.

Sincerely,

Francisco Amancio E.
Guest Service Manager
VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Just came back from this resort. Excellent landscape, good food, warm ocean but very bad service. The staff members deal each other and absolutely ignore guests of hotel. On the other hand many sales agents catching you every 5 minutes and try to make you to buy some excursions, pictures etc. They interrupt you to have a relaxation and good mood. I will never again go to Dominican republic for vacation.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
7  Thank Joseph117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VHAB, Public Relations Manager at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear client,

Thank you so much for selecting our Vik hotel Arena Blanca for the enjoyment of your holidays, also for sharing with us your vacation experience on tripadvisor.

It pleases us to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. We appreciate your positive comments about our food and our beach.
We want to apologize for the wrong attitude that some of our employees could had while assisting you.

Warm regards from Punta Cana,

Francisco Amancio E.
Guest Service Manager
VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

well well just got back from 1 week hols at the vik hotel arena blanca and i must say it was without problems!! staff always smiling,room perfect(clean,no noise) n°3).
After reading few coms i got a bit scared but seriously far from it once you get there!
food at the buffet restaurant is just what you need and try the italian which is also good.
Pool is great but no pool bar u'll have to go to the beach bar or at the snack bar but hey no big deal!
if you fancy trips i would recommend you go left facing the beach to the pelicano hutt.much cheaper the the T.O'S and if you take 2 trips then you can lower the price...
The hotel has THE BEST BEACH!!!!!!! no doubts
ps:internet at the lobby ;)
please go there with no worries

Room Tip: the bloc i was in was number 3 room 1231 i think lol , right in the middle.take the safe just in case
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank GSR750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VHAB, Public Relations Manager at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear guest,

First, we would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Vik hotel Arena Blanca for your vacations, as well for letting us know about your recent visit.

Thank you very much for writing your kind opinion on this site and we hope see you soon in Vik hotel Arena Blanca!

Sincerely,

Francisco Amancio E.
Guest Service Manager
VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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