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“Barcelo”
Review of Occidental Caribe

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Occidental Caribe
Ranked #60 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed July 17, 2012

Where do I begin? Just got back from a trip 7/7-7/12 Only reason this place got a couple of 3's.The grounds are beautiful. Very Well Kept. The Restaurants were decent except the buffet. Now if this hotel only paid as much attention to the rooms then this place would be great.

Room: Our biggest complaint by far.First, Our room safe did not work it had to be fixed three times and all three times we waited in the room at least an hour for someone to come up and fix it. Second, towel racks were broken and water in the tub never went down so it was a mini pool in our bathroom. Third our fridge was broken and turned everything in it to ice including our Presidente beers. Fourth, did not get housekeeping until our third day including towels we had to keep catching the ladies in the hallway to get towels. BUT our room view was spectacular. Ocean view was amazing!! Bed was pretty comfy and the A/C worked ok.

Service: CHECK-IN was pretty bad. There must have been 5 people behind the desk and not one of them did the Check-In. Me and my wife just stood around for 20 min. then got in the Club Premium line and was immediately told that was for PREMIUM only. In all took almost and Hr. for check-in.

Beach/Pool/Grounds: The beach was amazing. Almost to the point where yoyu forget about all the nasty things about the hotel. Not many people bothered us on the beach which was pretty nice. The Pools were nice. It was kind of split into two one pool was a really chill pool with no swim up bar. FYI ALOT OF LOCALS COME TO THE BARCELO which kind of throws a wrench into some of the music played.( I am so Bachata'd out.)Not many Americans at the resort. It would help if you spoke spanish luckily I speak it so that wasn't an issue. Service at the swim up bar is Spotty at most. the first few days the bartenders were very rude sometimes waiting 15 minutes for a beer and no one is around. Last couple of days it got a bit better. Drink selection was pretty good had everything we asked for. Only beer on tap was presidente.

The grounds were amazing. Well Mannered. Well Lit. Easy access to the resort. Our elevators were broken most of the time but that wasn't much of a big deal.CASINO is awful!!!! Shows were very average. In all this property is not that big, compared to all the other resorts.Not much shopping to do unless you go off the reservation or to other hotels.

Restaurants: There are 6 restaurants including a buffet.
Buffet was ok. Good enough for some coffee and a snack. Not much of a selection.
El Conucho Spanish restaurant was good, Rude Service
El Mirador TEX-MEX was very good. Service attentive
Roma Italian restaurant very good also. Excellent service
Tokio Hibachi Style. AWESOME food. Service good.
Did not eat at Marlin or Paris Restaurants.

Overall Vacation was good. Got to be in the pool and drink and lay in the sun and get away from NYC for the week. I will def. be returning to DR. The country is beautiful. I will not stay or recommend this hotel to anyone. "

Room Tip: Premium Club is the way to go.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Wellington G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,430 - 3,436 of 9,291 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2012

4 day/3 nite stay. Day 1: easy check in around 3pm.
Room was average size, not too small. But, it had ANTS EVERYWHERE! On floor, counters, nightstand, bathroom counter, headboard,etc. We never unpacked. We complained twice by phone and 3 times at front desk. Finally mngr switched room(10pm). No more ants. Day 1 wasted

Day2-3. Toilet overflowed. Shower is nice but it soaks the floor. Booked excursion . ATV/ boogie car. Fun. (ATV more fun) $65/per. Shopping flea market is walking distance. Go there before u buy from resort.

Buffet had plenty food but poor quality.
Beach nice with plenty shade. Pools were nice. Bars were plentiful with fast svc. But drinks were terrible. No real ice/frozen drinks. Weak! House wines weren't food. Al la carte restaraunts were ok. Caribbean and Italian. We missed Japanese because of Day 1 room issue. YOU HAVE 2 MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER EXCEPT FOR BUFFET!
The entertainment was ok.
A lot of teens. No separation. They shared everything including the Bars!

Tips: 1. Reserve all dinner and excursions as soon as u can! 2. Check guest svc for dinner cancelations. 3.ask for discount when booking mult excursion. 4. Always negotiate price with sellers! 5. Don't pay for ride to flea market , walk! It's safe. 6. Don't drink the tap water! 7. When at buffet, after being seated, go straight to omelet/ pasta/ meat station 1st to avoid long line.

I will not stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2012
    • Value
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Thank Meagainstme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Let me start out by saying my husband and I don't complain about much when it comes to visiting anywhere outside our own home but after reading many of these reviews, we felt we should share our experience good and bad.

We traveled with family/infant June 16-23

Check in was ok, just very hot and humid. We waited about 30 min to check in.
We got 2 rooms since we took the family and we were accommodated side by side rooms. I called the Tuesday before we left and requested it and was happy it happened. We asked for a crib and after 4 calls/36 hr we finally got it. My husband and I got a deluxe king oceanfront room which was nice, no complaints. My daughters room was not very nice. They had a 2 dbl bed oceanfront room and when they walked in the closet doors were hanging off the hinge, had a terrible smell and the a/c wasn't working. They came up and fixed the doors, stuck coffee beans in the vent (i guess that what they do for smells) and did nothing w/ the a/c. They tried to blame the smell on the baby diapers but we hadn't been there long enough for her to dirty a diaper. After 2 days, they still didn't do anything about the a/c and the smell just got worse. On Wed, they noticed a leak in their bathroom and guess what was leaking?? Yes, the toilet from above. After that was fixed, the smell went away. A/C never really worked right. Now I know we aren't in the room much but when your traveling with infant, it's nice to be cool while sleeping. Buildings 1-3 were the updated rooms but would highly recommend upgrading your room from superior to deluxe.

Pool/beach were the best. The pool needed updating but it was still nice. Beautiful senery, breathtaking beach. There were 3 pool areas. One had all the entertainment and pool bar. We stayed around there the first few days but then got old...same entertainers, music but still a good time. The next pool is a fantastic kiddie pool with slides and the next one was a cleaner, quieter more relaxing area. You could put your lounge chair in the shallow part of the pool, they also had built in lounge chairs. The bar under the Tex mex was the best as well. Never busy and friendly. The staff/gardeners worked very hard in the early AM to clean up the grounds/pool area. It was senior week so there were loud, obnixous kids getting drunk but we just left that area. Drinking age is 18 so it does attract a younger crowd.

Food. Buffet was not great. You will find something to eat but it was dry and no taste. They have speciality nights such as asian/mexican/american night at the buffet but we usually ate at the speciality restaurants. Buffet is breakfast only and again we stuck with the omelett stations as DR food wasn't visually appealing. Upon arriving, they will give you speciality restaurant reservations. The best was the French, Japanese and Itailian. If you fail to get to your reservation on time, you are screwed. They will not seat you. We had the wrong ticket one night and didn't realize it until we were 30 min late to the right one and they didn't seat us. The pizza place by the pool was great and the grill was tasty. The buffet out by the pool was also good and we didn't realize that you could get all the breakfast food out there til the last day. Less crowded and just as good.

Drinks are good...just remember something, don't complain about them being weak drinks. If you want a strong drink, ask for it. The DR rum is great and they do have absolute vodka and one bar had stoli. Jack Daniels will cost you $5.00 shot and for dinner wines are extra, for example, Yellowtail Shiraz was $20.00 american extra. Mommajuanna is a great traditional shot...try it :)

Excursions...we did the zip line HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT. We also did the stingray and swimming with nurse sharks. That was also very good. The staff on that trip was superior.
My daughters went fourwheeling and they said it was fun. My husband and I went scuba diving but not recommended. Your on the atlantic side and not much to see. They did offer a trip to catalina island and that was an all day trip costing 200.00 pp They said it was worth it.

Please tip...we took 300.00 in ones and spent them. The staff works very hard and they deserve to be tipped. Trust me when your sitting at a crowded bar and you slid them a tip, you will be served faster than any other.

Some of the staff (women) are rude rude rude. Limited English speaking so just remember your in their country and just ask for someone that can understand you. They will help you.

They have a theatre with nightly entertainment which we didn't realize until the last night. Watch the entertainment board.

Recommended time to travel is Oct-April...IT GET'S HUMID!!!

Room Tip: Building 1-3 were the updated ones
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank kathyrn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012

My husband surprised me with a lovely trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic this past week. I had a great time..the service was AWESOME!! Friendly staff, clean facilities, Pools well taken care of, the Beach was reallyyyyy nice..Powdery sand, clear clean water. The best part of the resort was the staff..humble and super nice staff. Wish i could tip every single person there...from the bellman to the housekeeper ..two thumbs up! The all inclusive part was awesome..great drinks and food..i mean what more can u ask for?? Love it! We would pick this resort again for sure, specially once we have little one of our own =) the kids attraction look really nice. Definitely going to this same resort some time in the future..

Room Tip: For $40 dollars more why not choose the Ocean Beach Front View..really nice ;) specially at sunrise...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Angie071298
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

This was like our second honeymoon. We got a wonderful accoliade by all the personnel at the hotel from the busboy, maid, front desk and Director. We were there for 2 weeks and 12 days of a la carte dinners...it was amazing the food was great and the wine was very good. The buffet was good too with alot of variety of foods. We got upgraded from a Deluxe to a Suite (upon availability) ocean view. Our room was beautiful and clean and with 2 bathrooms, 1 bedroom and living room and a theraputic bath. The sand was cool and the water was crystal clear and always clean. There is also the Premium Club which was very good...quiet environment to relax and unwind, have an international drink and some fingerfoods...in the morning they also had breakfast if you don't want the crowd of the buffet. Water sports, activities, shows, Gala Dinners for returning guests...and lots to walk. The bar zone was all right their cappuccinos are very good or espresso with sambucca. Try it once and you will return...we give it two thumbs up!!!!! We are looking forward to going back March 2013.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank napoli4365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

I want to update my review of Barcelo Premium in Punta Cana! I was asked to write a review to help an employee out and I did - what a regret! We had the worst experience of any family vacation that we have taken in the past 20 years!!! Terrible service, terrible drinks, terrible treatment to their customers. Started the 1st day after our families were split up on 3 different floors and the manager response was "it is difficult!" The drinks tasted like sugar water! The worst drinks ever!!! Place so cheap that they did not even offer the light beer that they make over there. NO - I do mean NO FROZEN DRINKS!!! They ran out of drinks by 4 pm! If you didn't tip them every time you would never get waited on. On numerous occasions we would finish our meals before we could get a drink and getting a refill was a joke. Then they would get mad if we tried to get our own drinks. Specialty restaurants would be 1/2 full and we would ask to get in and they would not let us! Had to move rooms because of poor A/C and then they came in to work on it and made a total mud mess of the room AND they wanted us to wait to get it cleaned up. Then the dead bolt broke in the 2nd room! Took them over 30 min to even to the room and they came with screwdrivers and that's it! What a waste of thousand of dollars and 9 days of my families lives. Employees are rude and do as little as possible. The pool had allege and the water was murky! Scared to even venture into the pool. Room was not made up on 2 occasions. We had to call to get enough towels - they would leave 1 towel for 3 adults! Had to call every time to get a drink in our refrigerator. They brought 1 bag of chip the 1st day and that was that! Oh by the way we had bugs even after they "claimed" they sprayed for them! Thank god for their beaches and ocean! Do not go there ever!!! Barcelo should be embarrassed having their name on that resort! Anybody who posts anything nice is trying to help an employee. They offer you 30 min free internet if you give them a good review! I would never do it again!!!

Room Tip: There are no rooms that we saw that would be worth staying in - bugs every where!
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Brent H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

We ended a two week tour of the Dominican Republic with a much anticipated visit to the coveted Punta Cana region. We had been all over the country as invited guests of our neighbors who are Dominican and wanted us to see their beautiful land. They said they saved the best for last with a visit to an all inclusive resort on the beaches of Punta Cana. After we left they apologized profusely for what was the worst part of our two week stay. Our all-inclusive resort for two nights at $700 for 5 people included:

A very dirty beach with plastic cups, trash and cigarette butts in every step
A very dirty pool with plastic cups and trash at the bottom of the pool at 8:00am in the morning
An outdoor buffet with blackbirds perched on food trays enjoying the fare, and wait staff watching them without doing anything about it, leaving half eaten food by birds for guests.
A room with an external door that was frosted glass panes, leaving no privacy or shield from noise
Filthy dirty elevators with who knows what smeared on the walls
Stair wells in desperate need of power washing
Peeling paint
No assistance for a minor medical emergency on the beach
Unsupervised groups (hundreds) of teenagers with free alcohol
No beach or pool use after 7pm (to divert any drunk 14 year olds from drowning I'm sure, or they need that long to attempt to clean the pool)
Minimal air conditioning

POSITIVES:
The Japanese restaurant was the best part of our stay. But to get to the specialty restaurants you must make reservations the moment you check in or you'll have to eat buffet with the birds.

Wait staff in the restaurants were very attentive.

Entertainment was marginal for the Michael Jackson tribute, looked more like a high school musical although the dancer who was MJ was very good. Too much video of This Is IT for a show. Entertainment for the Puerto Rico show was excellent, great dancing and live music.

CONCERNS
At the beach our daughter was hit in the shins by a wayward Kayak at full steam. It knocked her completely out, as in she was unconscious for about 1 minute. Although hotel staff were just feet away and saw it, none offered to help. When we asked them multiple times for ice for her injuries we were told to go to the bar by the pool. Not sure this hotel can handle a serious emergency where alcohol, heat, sun and water are all present. A staff member showed up with a bucket of cold water and poured it on her head about 5 minutes after she came to which wasn't what she needed.

One of the families in our group, who are Dominican, had never been to a resort before. The first day the toilet in their room overflowed. The staff did clean it up but the a/c was also not working in their room so the stench didn't go away. When they asked for a new room they were told only if they'd pay $99. Which they did. NO HOTEL GUEST SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR A NEW ROOM WHEN WHAT THEY RECEIVED WAS SUB-STANDARD.

Overbooked and understaffed. Seemed like there were way more people here than staff or accommodations could handle. It was not relaxing nor did it feel like a resort - wouldn't even put this property in the same category as a resort since I have been to hundreds over the years.

Will I return - NOT on your life. I'd much rather go up to Las Terrenas in Samana and pay $180 a night at Hotel Alisei for a beautiful 2 bedroom casita with kitchen, terrific restaurant, gorgeous pool that's open all night, beach that's open all night, and a patio off each room that has a magnificent view of the ocean, complete with hammock and built-in outdoor sectionals.

Room Tip: I wouldn't choose any room here
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Lilusmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Caribe

Address: Carretera Macao s/n | Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23301, Dominican Republic (Formerly Barcelo Punta Cana)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#53 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $114 - $297 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Caribe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 798
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Breezes Punta Cana
Barcelo Punta Cana Resort
Barcelo Premium Punta Cana
Barcelo Dominican Punta Cana
Punta Cana Barcelo

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