We were 20 adults and teens who travelled to the Memories Splash in February 2014. Most of the group stayed for 9 days. We were very concerned about the resort after reading the initial negative reviews. There are still some issues with the resort but nothing that was significant enough to ruin our trip. Overall we had a great trip.
Room - We contacted Whanda (who handles group reservations) in advance of our trip. When we arrived at the hotel, our rooms were ready and the check in process took only about 30 minutes for all of us. The check in was a bit hectic and disorganized but we were in our rooms within half an hour. We had requested rooms that were relatively close to each other and only one room needed to be changed to be closer to the rest of the group. My husband and I were the only ones who had trouble with our room (the TV wasn't working, our telephone wasn't working and at night we would get a large puddle of water in our bathroom). It took us 6 visits to the front desk before everything was fixed (we had to physically go to the front desk because we had no phone). We were a bit annoyed at the number of times we had to ask but didn't let it bother us too much. In the end, I think everything was fixed because we asked to speak to the manager - who actually ended up being guest services. After everything was fixed, we received a lovely cheese tray and bottle of champagne in our room. Other than the issues we had with our room, we thought the room was very nice. The bed was very comfortable. One suggestion, we had booked the Jacuzzi suite which had a king size bed. We had a few people in the group who didn't want to sleep in the same bed so they had their rooms switched to one that had 2 double beds. Those rooms were nice but didn't have a jaccuzi. Most of our group stayed in Building 5 - it was right at the quiet pool, was close to the buffet, and close to the Bellini Bar, the Mexican A la Carte and the Italian A la Carte. Buildings 7,8,9 are right at the activity pool and are close to the buffet and the Social bar and the Under the Sea restaurant. These buildings are also closer to the water park and closer to the Royalton. We were happy with the location of our rooms (the extra walk to the Social bar, etc is not a big deal).
Grounds/ activities - The hotel is large. It isn't on the beach but the beach is a short walk or trolley ride away. The Memories hotel has 2 pools, one was the activity pool and one was a more quiet pool. The beach was busy but we were able to find loungers quite easily when we would go there mid morning. Because there are no towel cards, people seemed to "save" loungers with a towel. A couple of times we pushed our loungers up against the "saved" loungers and when no one came to use the lounger in about an hour, we just took over the "saved" loungers. The beach itself is very nice, the waves are not too powerful but fun to float in. There are free non motorized water sports - we took a kayak out one day. In my opinion, the pools at Memories were nicer than those at the Royalton. The Royalton pools were much smaller. We enjoyed the Memories activity pool in the mornings but found after about 3 pm, it was too loud for us. So around 3pm, we would head to the quiet pool. We never had a problem getting loungers at either of the Memories pools (we didn't go to the Royalton pools). We really enjoyed the water aerobics at the activity pool (at about noon). The animation staff made the aerobics really fun. I also did yoga one morning on the beach (at 10:00am). It was fun and allowed for people of different ability levels to participate in. The water park was fun. The teenagers (and some of the adults) spent a few mornings or afternoons at the waterpark and they loved it. There were no lines. The safety standards seemed to be really high. My 21 year old son stubbed his toe one day and the life guards made a big deal about attending to it and taping it up. Other people have mentioned how slippery the tile surfaces are. I would agree - especially when they were wet. I would go for a run in the morning and I made sure to run on the ashphalt - not on the tiles. One of our group slipped and fell on the tiles and we were being really careful. We saw quite a few people walking around with removable casts...our guess was that they had fallen on the tiles. Management needs to do something to change the tiles or roughen them up so they are not so slippery.
Service /staff - We had only 2 occasions where I would say the staff were not pleasant. Everyone else was friendly and really wanted us to enjoy our visit. We did observe that the resort was understaffed. Bars that only had one bartender, housekeeping seemed to be working late into the evening (at 6:00pm they seemed to still be cleaning rooms - although our room was always cleaned by the time we got back at about 6:00pm). We had some exceptional service staff and I will note them at the bottom of the review
Food - The food was very good. We ate at the Memories buffet for breakfast, Royalton Buffet for lunch and every evening we ate at an A la Carte restaurant. We liked all the A la Carte's and ate at each on multiple times. The no reservation system worked for us...even in a large group. We would go to the restaurant and put our name and number of people down on their wait list. We would tell them which bar we were at and the hostess would come to let us know when our table was ready. On the last night, we paid $15 pp and ate at the Japanese (ZEN) restaurant. It was a great choice, the presentation was fun and the food was good. In addition to the restaurants, the Coffee bars were wonderful - every morning we would head there for a cappuccino and in the afternoon the kids would go there for a decadent dessert or ice cream. Bites was a favourite of our son, who would go there at all hours for a snack between meals. I think it also deserves a mention that the wine was very good. It was from Spain.
Pictures - Because our whole extended family was there, we had our photo's taken by one of the professional photographers. He took excellent pictures. The photo shoot took about 1.5 hours (12 people) and he took pictures in the eco garden and on the beach. When we booked the photo shoot, we were told that they expected that we would buy 15 pictures (at $10 per picture). When we went back to preview the pictures, he tried to sell us the 100 pictures that he had taken - he offered us a "20% discount" - for $800. We ended up going through all the pictures and purchased 25 for $250 (there were 3 families in the pictures). The photos were given to us on a CD (no printed pictures). I would recommend the photography studio but just be aware that they will try to upsell you all the pictures they take.
Staff who deserve a special mention - Antonio (royalton buffet lunch); Nelson (Royalton Buffet lunch); Nelson (Animation staff); Delby (Cafe Memories); Jose Louis Ozoria (Selections Buffet); Luis Gabriel (Mexican Memories); Carolina (Under the Sea, seating coordinator); Eurnis (Under the Sea); David (Memories Italian); Cherny (Zen Royalton).
Overall, I would recommend this resort. Although we had some issues, they were minor in the grand scheme of the trip and all our travellers had a great time. I wish you and your families a lovely visit at this great resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This wonderful stylish family oriented resort is located at Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, one of the most beautiful landmarks of the Caribbean. 5 Thematic Restaurants reservation-free dining +11 Bars +Water Park features a children pool with slides, wave pool, relax pool, Jacuzzi, Kamikaze, Space bowl, Black hole and lots of tubes with amazing surprises. In addition, the resort also boasts 3 pools. ... more less
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