We just got back from the Caribe Princess, (6/1) so I wanted to post while the memories are still fresh.
Let me start with some generalities. I have read thousands of reviews over the years as we plan our trips—some of them just clueless. I have to assume they are written by first time travelers. 1) When you are down in the Dominican Republic (pick a country), you are a guest in their country. They speak Spanish as their language. Bring a phrase book or dust off what you learned in school. I used my awful college Spanish and it opened up a lot of doors for me down there. 2) It is the tropics and is humid 100% of the time. There might be a faintly musty smell associated with this. It goes away very quickly. 3) You might see an ant in your room. Not a big deal. Hopefully the geckos will get them quickly. 4) You are not on a culinary vacation. Do not expect Michelin presentations. 5) People sell stuff. Most of these countries are extremely poor. They stay alive by selling trinkets. If this bothers you, usually a simple “no gracias” will suffice.
Pros—Check in. Very smooth and easy. Nice lobby and they had a cocktail for us quickly as we went through the paperwork. Elias and Miguel were extremely efficient and cordial. We ended up with an excellent ocean front room. Met the now famous Jose Obama behind the lobby bar and he is everything written about and then some. One of the best bartenders I have met, and that is saying something. For piece of mind, rent the room safe.
Room—Excellent room. Extremely spacious, with our balcony right on the water. We were in the Carliillo (sp?) building which is a perfect location. Big bed, bathrobes, slippers, stocked fridge, nice bathroom. Everything was great.
Grounds—Very nice. Well maintained. The peacocks had just hatched their chicks, so that was fun. Plenty of flora and fauna to give you that tropical feeling.
Pools—Great with plenty of chairs. Every pool had a bar very close by. The pool with the swim up bar is the party pool The crowd was too young for us (18-25), but they were having a blast every day. Lots of music and dancing at the bar. Caution: watch out for the Mamajuana. Local drink that will absolutely sneak up on you.
Food—Meals were very good. This is an area that always receives a lot of attention. If you are on a culinary vacation, do not go to an all inclusive. Once you get over that, you will enjoy the food. The buffet was good, with a theme each night. Breakfast and lunch were standard and very tasty. Will not blow you away, but then you are just getting fuel to get back to the beach. The theme restaurants were very good. The Chinese and Mexican were quite good. La Cava (French Steakhouse) was outstanding. You will think you are in Provence. Food was beyond expectations!
Beaches—Beautiful. Good security on the beach. We left our stuff on our chairs during our swims/walks and never had a problem. Plenty of chairs.
Crowd—What a blast. Very few Americans. Met Russians, Germans, Brits, Aussies, French, you name it. Very diverse and fun crowd.
Customer Service—Outstanding. The entire staff worked extremely hard to make sure your every need was met. These folks hustled 24/7. We took down about $100 in ones for tips and that made a huge difference. By day 2, they knew my name and what I wanted. I was always served first. A dollar or two wherever we went made the difference. I became extremely sick for a whole day and the staff responded with some local remedies and checked on my wife the entire time. Bring Immodium and Pepto!!
Casino—Easy tram ride to a very nice casino. Free drinks and $5 blackjack tables. Spent a wild night there.
Dinner reservations—What a bad process. You have to get in line at 9am to be told there are no reservations left. After being polite but firm. I was able to secure mine each day. Funny thing is when we dined, there was never anybody there We were in La Cava for 2 hours and saw 1 other couple, yet it was “sold out” for the week.
Internet Café—personal vent here but the guy that works there needs to be fired. Extremely rude to myself and my wife. We had to change flights at the last minute due to illness and he turned off the service in the middle of our reservations and kicked my wife out so he could go to lunch. We missed that flight as a result. I hope to see him again.
Overall a great experience, especially for the money. I would highly recommend this property to anybody and we will return this year. We made many friends on the staff (thanks to Miguel and Jose Obama who helped us through my illness!) On a side note, do not go on the snorkel trips unless you want the party atmosphere. The locals allow the tourists to stand on the very shallow reef. As a result the entire reef is now dead. It is a silted over mess. The only fish left are there because the tour guides bring bread to attract them for the tourists. I experienced this on 2 different trips. Complete waste of money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on one of the most beautiful beaches of the Dominican Republic, the famous Higuey beach, and in an area where the beauty of the countryside and the delightful crystalline water, combined with fine and delicate sand, leave visitors with a strong feeling of pleasure and an exceptional sensation of relaxation and peace. Feelings which reveal never-ending possibilities as we stay in one of the marvellous Royal Suites, or allow ourselves to be seduced by the charming Honeymoon Suites, all of which include all conveniences. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Caribe Club Princess Beach Hotel Punta Cana
- Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort And Spa
- Caribe Hotel Punta Cana
- Caribe Hotel Princess
- Caribe Club Princess Punta Cana
- Caribe Club Princess Dominican Republic