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“We will stay with Varadero Cuba ”

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VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
Ranked #75 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
A TripAdvisor Member
“We will stay with Varadero Cuba ”
Reviewed October 22, 2004

LTI-Beach Resort Punta Cana Dominican Republik.
We started ouer holidays February 10-2004 and had booked a stay for 3 weeks at the LTI-Beach Resort Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Here is a excerpt out of my diary,which i wrote.
10 February 2004-Tuesday
The Tour bus from the airport to the hotel was waiting.Once boarded we were told that they had good news and bad news for us.The bad news: LTI was booked out and we would go to Ocean-Spa-Resort for 3 Days.The good news mostly empty promisses.Once arrived there with our group of 11 we ended up in one of the far back buildings with a strong smell of sewer.Even so this was classified a 4 star Resort.It took 3 trips to the reception for keys that did not fit the Safe deposit box.
13 February 2004- Friday
Today we will leave for LTI-Beach Resort.At 2:30 Pm the pick up was to take place but nothing happened until I got angry and demanded action.Then 2 taxis for our group were dispatched shortly.At LTI we got the room we asked for # 3105.It was supper time when we got there.
Tried to phone home with Canada Collect but next to impossible - no answer. Children’s show in the theater started at 8PM until 9PM.After that adult entertainment would start.But mostly always he same.
This Letter was mailed to LTI-Headquarters
Edmonton March 4-2004
To Whom it may concern.
This is to certify,that when our group of 11 were picked up by the Air-Transat Bus a Tour Operator from Air-Transat escorted us to our Hotel”LTI-Beach Resort”,for our three weeks holidays starting February 10-2004 until March 2-2004,we were told that they had good news and bad news for us.
The Bad News: LTI-Beach Resort was overbooked and we are to go to the Hotel”Ocean Bavaro Spa and Beach Resort”.This will require the first 3 days.
The Good News:
We would receive at LTI-Beach Resort a higher priced room with Ocean view.[Not true]
A free complimentary Hotel room safe and a free lobster dinner.[Only burned lobster and dry]
We would be offered as choice of a free week stay or 100.-$ US.[Free stay was never overed later]
Promises kept:Was only the free lobster dinner on the beach,which I could have done without.
My free safe voucher from Sears was accepted from me,despite the free safe promised.
The rest of the group without Voucher received their free safe.
The overbooking which took place fragrantly involved 11 Guest from our group from Edmonton,as well as 28 Guest arriving at the same time from Germany as well as others.
My number was # 104 if this refers to the total person's involved.For 39 I had names and addresses.
The overbooking interrupted our holidays because of packing unpacking,moving,waiting,
with almost a day lost from our stay.Extra expenses are also involved.
As seniors we don't want this extra stress.We picked a smaller size Resort of 447 rooms,
but had to stay for 3 days at the Bavaro Resort with 630 rooms.
Wnen we where waiting to be transferred to LTI Resort on Feb.13 -2004,we had to spent hours in the Lobby waiting and waiting until I finally go so frustrated to approach the management.
At this time 2 taxis were dispatched immediately.
On February 21 with the wrong year 2003,we found the included letter under our door at the LTI -Beach resort.
This compensation of 100,-$ US is not satisfactory.We are requesting 300,-$ US for each of us.Which would to amount to 600,-$ US.With this we will refund Sears the voucher for the safe.
Included: Copy of some other guests in ouer group
Copy of letter from Chantal Boucher[Assistant Supervisor Air Transat Holidays
Copy of names from German and Canadian Tourist
This letter was never answered by LTI Headquarters where this letter was mailed to.LTI-International Hotels
Humboldtstr. 140-144
51149 Köln
So my advice is be aware of overbooking.The food ? Always the same mostly chopped in small pieces.Dinning hall very dark and windy because same is open.That is when I got my cold.My wife said the food was terrible.
Rooms clean and well looked after.Beach narrow but clean.The hotel grounds covered by sales man selling time share apartments they claim are located next door.The hotel desk refuses to change larger US $ bills to single dollar bills to use for tips.Would tell guest's to use the bank which of course for an extra cost.
I could write much more for this is what I want to say for now.We been in Varadero a few times in different resort's and we like it there much better.Gerloen@telusplanet.net

  • Stayed February 2004
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 9, 2004

Excellent Resort with 5 star quality service since your arrival. Nice quality and clean rooms with good food. Nice pool and a lovely beach. Great Shows and a good Social Team to keep you busy during the whole day and night. I will can't wait to go back again......Gracias por todo!!!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 26, 2004

This resort was fabulous. Great beach.
Good food, good room. Free Presidente Beer!!
Went horseback riding on the beach....
what an incredible experience!!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 19, 2004

Just returned from a week at LTI. Even rode out Hurricane Jeanne!

Our travel to Punta Cana was Sept. 11 to 18, 2004. This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic and Punta Cana.

This is a beautiful Resort. The grounds are nicely landscaped and well groomed. Lots of green, lots of flowers, and very nicely laid out. The lobby area is open concept, simple yet functional, with a thatched roof and a pleasant lobby bar.

There are some small gift shops and bank and a hair salon in the resort. You can use U.S. dollars or convert to Dominican Pesos. We just used dollars even off resort.

We found the food in the main buffet restaurant to be of good quality with lots of variety, in a mainly carribbean style with other theme nights adding to variety as well. We always looked forward to meal-times.

The a la carte restaurants were pleasant, and food was excellent.

Many of the resort staff spoke English, and we used a Spanish / English phrase book to help out when needed. Our efforts to do so were appreciated by the staff who were always friendly and helpful.

The resort has a beautiful beach and lots of watersposts activities available. Also Beach volleyball and beach soccer were played.

The pool is gorgeous and has a kiddie pool as well. This is a good place for families with small children.

Our room was large and kept very clean with the fridge stocked daily with pop and bottled during the regular daily maid service.

My son-in-law and myself had some stomach discomfort on our third day, but we took medication and the symptoms were pretty much gone the next day. Never really interfered with our activities or total enjoyment.

Hurricane Jeanne arrived on the evening of our 5th day there, and the resort's building and structures weathered the storm very well. We felt completely safe in our rooms where we didn't even feel the wind. The storm did blow a little water seepage into our room at the patio doors making the floor damp in some areas, but the room and our possessions remained dry. From what we could see, all of the guest room buildings were left pretty much untouched by the hurricane winds and heavy rains.

There was minor damage to some of the other buildings, like missing shingles and some damage to thatched roofs, but no structural damage to the resort buildings themselves.

Lots of trees were blown over or broken, and the grounds had a lot of debris right after the storm, but within 24 hours the staff had most of the clean-up well under way.

Other Punta Cana resorts were more heavily damaged and their guests were transported to resorts with less damage. LTI maintained electrical power throughout the storm with its own generators although there were revolving black-outs as repairs were being made. We had short black-outs on running water in our rooms as well. It took a little longer for them to restore hot water for showers etc.

The phone service was out for about a day.

Some staff members had their own homes demolished by hurricane Jeanne, but remained on site to keep the resort fuctioning as much as possible. Some were even putting in 15 to 20 hour work-days to cover for staff who were unable to make it to work right after the storm.

A few of the tourists brought into our resort from other places which had sustained more damage were complaining about some pretty trivial concerns. (None relating to LTI) You can tell what is really important to people when you see how they deal with unexpected adversity.

From what we could see LTI did an outstanding job in providing for us throughout the ordeal.

Would I go back to LTI Beach Resort. Absolutely!

What about the negative reviews of LTI on this site?

Everyone has their own opinions, expectations and experiences. Ours was very positive. and this was our 6th Carribbean all inclusive vacation in 7 years and the first at this location.

All in all, we had a great vacation experience and would encourage others to consider this resort.

  • Stayed September 2004
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 7, 2004

I vacationed the week of August 13 thru the 20th. My husband and I traveled with our two children and my mother. We were very nervous after reading some of the negative reviews. My husband and I have never been on a vacation other than going to a relative’s home. So we did not have much hope of this being a good vacation. This was a wonderful and economical vacation for a party of five. When we got off the plane the driver took us directly to the resort in an air-conditioned mini van. Our rooms were not ready so we went to have lunch and by the time we came back we were ready to go to our rooms. I don’t understand how people complain about the food. There is so much too choose from. The people that work there were wonderful, very helpful and accommodating. I traveled with my children age 6 and 4 and they loved the young women named Bella that is in charge of the Smiley club. They spent 4 hours of the day with her and they loved dancing and singing in the shows every night. There is some truth to some of the emails. There are fly’s around the food, but remember you are eating in the open air what do you expect. There is no washcloth in the bathrooms if it’s that important bring your own. What I found not true is about the Germans being rude. Everyone we encountered was very pleasant. I believe this idea comes because of the language barrier. Of course I could not communicate but everyone smiled and said “hola” which is hello in Spanish. I did not find any special treatment for anyone. Of course I did have an advantage knowing the language but you must expect when traveling to any country or island that has a different language or culture that you will find some barriers in communication. The people from the activity committee, the check in counter and even the
Kids club all spoke a minimum of 4 languages. I found the show very good they had some professional dancers that did a great job and a magician that was great. The only show that was poor was the Karaoke night and that depends on the audience. If you go expecting a Broadway show or a cruise ship show you will be disappointed. Every night we laughed and enjoyed the games and shows. The group of guys and girls that are in charge of the activities and games do a great job. They do a wonderful job presenting the shows. So suggestions would be to take plenty of singles for tips these people get paid so little the greatly appreciate tips. I got all my jewelry that I don’t ware and picked up a couple of items from the dollar store and I would leave a couple of items with two dollar for the cleaning lady, she made sure our refrigerator was stocked up. My husband brought some inexpensive perfumes, chocolates, and nail grooming kits and was able to trade for souvenirs. Be ready to haggle for your items everything is negotiable. I did not like that the merchants are very persistent for you to purchase from them. Make sure you bring your toiletries, sun block, sun lotions, and basic stomach medications. They sell them in their stores but for outrageous prices. For example sun tan lotion was $20.00 us dollars. Drop by and look at Leonard’s Hanna tattoos we all got tattoos and had a wonderful conversation with him. Tattoos lasted about 2 weeks and very reasonable price; I wish we had them here in the states. My husband paid for a message but was a bit disappointed because it was supposed to be for 30 min. and the girl left the room lots of times so it ended up more like 15 to 20 min.
Pay after you have gotten your services done. I was tempted to get the braids on my hair so I would not have to care for it but I have very long hair and new it would take hours so I opted not to but they look beautiful on all the girls. Over all we had a wonderful vacation and are planning to go again next year just not in August it was awfully hot.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 23, 2004

We got a "last minute" deal through Vacations Express (I think we paid $299 all-inclusive per person for three nights?) It was more than we could have asked for!

The resort itself is very tropical and fun. It's not your classic frou-frou resort, it's more of a beachy, island-y kind of place. The room was gorgeaus and had a view of the ocean. It had a fridge, a king bed (decorated in a really cool tropical motif), and gorgeaus tile and marble floors and walls. Even the bathroom was impressive! The resort itself was great... beautiful beaches, incredible food, LOTS of yummy beer and drinks... just paradise for the money.

Here are some of my suggestions:

-If you're the type who goes on vacations to drink, lay in the sun, enjoy the beach and the ocean, and eat enough for a small army, this is the place for you!
-If you're squeamish about "native" dishes, don't come here... even their "American" foods, like hamburgers and hotdogs, have a "native" taste to them. Everything is either spicy, rich, cheesy or tomatoey... I loved it!
-The desserts aren't the best though... bring some cookies or candy if you're a sweet freak.
-Bring your own EVERYTHING because everything on the resort is, of course, really expensive, and our tour facilitator suggested that we not go onto the island to go shopping because of recent violence... however, you are very safe in the resort.
-Walk down the beach to the beach shops if you want to buy some native arts and touristy goodies... and NEVER pay what these folks tell you it costs! You can generally reduce what they tell you by at least half (i.e. if they tell you the windchime is $40, offer $15 or $20 and then pretend to leave... trust me, they'll take your offer!)

Have fun!!!

7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 22, 2004

I vacationed at LTI from August 4th through August 10th with my boyfriend and 2 other couples.
When we first arrived our rooms were not ready, no big deal, we had a few drinks, walked around etc. We were approached by an Englishman who told us that he and his entire family had ecoli and that we should stay away from the 24 hour resturant (which we did).
The grounds are very nice and the beach is beautiful.
Our rooms were by the construction of the new buildings which we complained about but the noise ended up being the least of our concerns.
By the third day half of our group was sick including myself and the rest fell sick closer to the end of the vacation. It was awful, not the way to spend a vacation.
I went to the doctor when I got home because I still wasn't feeling well and after weeks of aggrivation, we all have Shigella-a form a food posioning- a bacteria form- due to people not washing their hands after using the bathroom and preparing food. How lovely.
I will say I am open to other cultures, I travel a great deal including out of the country travels, and I have never encountered this before. The food was absolutley horrible and the fact that we all got sick and are still paying for a vacation that was supposed to be great is unacceptable.
My one friend had to be hospitalized when we returned home. The medication we are all on is called Cipro. I am currently out of work because the board of health went to my job and I have to go for further testing and doctor's bills to make sure the medicine is taking care of the problem.
I don't know how this place stays in business, it should be shut down, I would never recommend it, or go back by any means. LTI is definatley receiving a letter from me.
If you are planning on vacationing here, save yourself the money and aggrivation and stay home or choose another resort.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#61 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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