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Occidental Caribe
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Reviewed February 19, 2013

If I could rate this resort 2.5 I would. We (a young couple) were supposed to go to Cuba, due to last minute increases in price our travel agent convinced us to go to the Barcelo with presitage class.

Check in was great- arrived at 4pm (check-in time) room was ready, no line good to go. Room was average, we were in room 3233, bathroom was in dire need of updating, very small. We had paid extra for "ocean view" this consisted of looking out over the pool and off to the left was the ocean. The door to our room was over the main buffet, we could hear all rattles of plates and talking, starting at 6am and going on until 11pm. It didn't bother us too much as we sleep easily with background noise, but I can see this bothering people.

We were told when booking with presitage class (told through our travel agent) this meant bottle of rum in room (turned out to be a tiny bottle), cocktail upon arrival (turned out ot be nasty juice), free wi-fi (nope, had to be "club premium"), 24 hour lounge (nope just club premium), must be a miscommunication somewhere as I see others were also mislead through travel agents.

The main buffet we found horrible, we've travelled to 4 all inclusives (2 in Mexico and 1 in Cuba) and this has the worst food ever. For breakfast we found the egg man (made eggs any way you'd like) which we stuck to, and had toast. We didn't eat lunch here as we were always by the pool stuck to burgers or the pizzeria. Supper we stuck to bread and butter. Things were either not labelled or misleading (with one of us having severe fish allergy we need to know exactly what is in all food). The pizzeria was the best food outside of an a la carte, wait could be lengthy but if your hungry it's worth it. We visited the French, Italian, Toyko and Dominican a la carte. They were all good, Dominican coming in last place.

Service- front desk was good, asked for wake up calls, recieved them, needed someone to come look at safe, was there within 10 minutes. They have the strangest dining service ever. In all other all inclusives we stay at when you dine you have servers, they bring you drinks, clear your plate, ask how it is, and you tip them. Well not here. At breakfast no one brings you drinks, someone different clears your plate each time, you never see the same person twice and you never know who to tip. Never did anyone ask us how supper was in the buffet, perhaps they know its best not to ask.

We had relatives staying a few resorts down whom we met up with half way through our stay, they said they also were disappointed in the food, and noticed and notcied how servers and workers are never SMILING! or happy to be there.

The beach is amazing, while we were there we had 2 red flag days, 2 ambers and 3 greens. It was perfect. This resort was the smallest one we've ever stayed at which was great, you could be at any part of the resort within 10 minutes. It needs a lot of TLC and could do with being shut for a few months to upgrade and do some well needed customer service trainig.

I work at a resort so I know some things are out of your control- if check-in time is 4 you cannot expect your room to be ready at noon just because you show up early, You cannot change the physical structure of the resort just to please a guest. If you are going to the Bareclo do not let bad reviews bring you down, some people are just rude and always have to criticize everything. We had a great stay because we were there to be with each other.

Would I go back to Punta Cana? Of course. Would i go back to Barcelo? Not anytime soon, perhaps in a few years when some upgrades have been done. Would i recommend it to others? no

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Lovetravelling987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2013

Dear Guest,
Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Barcelo Punta Cana.
Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all feedback.
We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.
Concerning your comments about the quality of our food, we would like to point out that our menus are composed by carefully selected products, and done taking into consideration the diversity of our guests. Indeed, our satisfaction’s questionnaires always reflect high punctuations. Your observations are taking into great consideration and have been shared with our Chef for their analysis.
We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Hotel, and that way be able to change any negative perception you may have about us.
Kind regards,
Sandy Pfeil

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

A large group of us (21) stayed at the Barcelo from 2/6 to 2/13. Check-in was fast and efficient and our rooms were all ready upon arrival, with fruit plate and champagna waiting for us! My room was 3203 - it was clean, updated, and had a great view of the "quiet pool" and that beautiful blue ocean. The elevator was working all day and night, no problem there! Our room was cleaned every day with a supply of fresh towels (tip your housekeeper, people!!!) and we left a note (with tip) on our mini fridge at the biginning of our stay asking for what we wanted (i.e. two waters, two diet Cokes, etc) - and we got everything we asked for every day!
As for the beach towles - there are two blue towels in your room upon arrival. After you use these on your first day at the pool/beach, turn them into the towel hut (before 6pm)and you will be given two "towel cards". The next morning, take the cards to the hut and get new beach towels for the day. It is all explained in the welcome packet, but I guess some don't bother to read it!

Most of the time, the shower was fine. There were a couple of occasions with low pressure and limited hot water, but in a resort that size, you have to expect this, especially when the restaurants are all running their dishwashers and all the guests are getting ready for dinner! The shower head is very adjustable, so you can aim it where it isn't going to flood your floor! Everything else in the room was clean and functional.

As for the food - you have to remember that you are in a different country, with different ingredients, and different ways of preparation. Some of the choices at the buffet were a little strange, but I never went hungry! The ala cartes were good with enough choices to please everyone. Most of the meals at the ala cartes were so big that I couldn't finish! As for the reservation process - just ask your on-site travel rep (Delta, etc.) to make your reservations for the week! That's what we did and never had to wait in that crazy line in the morning!
Some of the bartenders don't speak very much English, it's true, but they are friendly and eager to please. I never felt that I was being disrespected at any time by anyone at this resort.

The disco smelled bad and, on the two nights we dropped in there, was only playing Russian dance music...there are a LOT of Russian guests at this hotel and in the area in general, so mabe they are being catered to a bit? It's ok, there usually wasn't anyone at the "Sports Bar" at night, so our group would have the place to ourselves! There is kareoke in the left lobby bar every-other night..and a local female singer on the other nights...so if you're not up for it, go to the right lobby bar! There was always something to do in the evening!

I didn't get a message, but most of the group I was with did, and they all said it was great!

All-in-all, it was a great trip! Make sure you book a room in buildings 1 - 3 and go to your orientation appointment the morning after you arrive (your "welcome packet" will have your time/location written on it - so READ YOUR WELCOME PACKET!)

Don't let these negative reviews scare you. Walk in with a smile and an open mind and you will have a great trip!

Room Tip: Ask your on-site travel rep to book your dinner reservations, save yourself some hassel!
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank itsmeSue42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2013

Dear Sue,
We would like to thank you for your feedback about your recent stay with us, being of the utmost importance for us and our main source to improve our facilities and service.
It's a pleasure to know that you had a good time with us and you will keep a good memory of Punta Cana and our Hotel.
We certainly hope you will decide to visit us again in the future, thus giving us another chance not only to comply with, but to exceed your highest expectations.
Yours sincerely,
Sandy Pfeil

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I had planned to go away on vacation with a girlfriend of mine between January 26 - February 2nd, 2013. Our plan was to book an all-inclusive resort a few days before we departed in hopes for a good deal. Rookie mistake - prices will not be lower during peak season if you go this route! We had our eye on a few resorts but by the time we were ready to book, the packages were already sold. We quickly selected Barcelo Punta Cana because we had both stayed at this chain in Costa Rica and I had a good experience with it in Cancun.

After we booked the trip with our travel agent, we came on Trip Advisor and were quiet shocked by the negative reviews this resort received. Dirty rooms? Maids stealing clothes? Rude staff? Terrible food? We were both worried about what we signed up for but told each other that we would make the best of the situation.

Dirty rooms? - the building we were in was outdated. I will admit that it was the worst room I have stayed in, and I've been to a lot of all inclusive resorts. The tiling and the bathroom were what made me feel a bit uncomfortable because I really enjoy cozy accommodations. THE GOOD: the bed mattresses were VERY comfortable and in the end, isn't a comfortable sleep the most important aspect of a bedroom?

Maids stealing? - we decided to avoid any stress about this and brought locks for our suitcases and lived out of them for the week. Problem solved! THE GOOD: we brought gifts and money for our maid and left her friendly notes in Spanish. By the end of the week we stopped locking up all of our belongings because we trusted her.

Rude staff? - these comments blow my mind. All of the wait staff were incredibly friendly! For example, in the buffet I was scopping ice cream out of the freezer and the container it was in kept moving around making it difficult for me. A waiter walking past me with a trolly of plates stopped and held the container down until I was finished scooping. It was the kindest gesture. I encourage you to ignore everyone who has complained about rude staff because I want to ask them - were you at all friendly to them yourself? Whenever I would see another traveller demanding a drink at the bar, or ordering an omelette from the chef without saying "please" or "thank you", my friend and I would joke that, "THOSE are the people writing nasty reviews on trip advisor!". Put yourself in their position. I would want people to treat me with respect if I spent 12 hours behind a hot stove cooking eggs.

Terrible food? - Like any resorts I've been to, I try to find "safe" foods early on in the week and stick to them. Breakfast - fresh omelettes made by the chef (really friendly man if you smile at him), fresh fruit and a bun. Lunch - avoid the buffet and get fresh pizza made in the hut by the beach on the top level. We found out about this near the end of our trip and wish we ate here all week! Dinner - the seafood restaurant is delicious. We did get tired of the buffet by the end of our trip so try to book a la cartes as much as possible. You can go to the lobby each morning and check on any openings for that evening.

My highlights:
Beach - ABSOLUTLY STUNNING! White sand beach and clear blue water. The water had a lot of waves but they were fun to swim into. This was nicer than the beach in Varadero.
Nightly Entertainment - the Michael Jackson and the Saturday Night Fever shows were the best ones. Where bug spray in the ampitheatre, this is where we got bitten the most.
Disco - it's downstairs beside the lobby. We walked in there one night right when it opened and it was dead. Maybe it got better later on but we didn't stick around.

Overall, I say go into this vacation expecting "the worst" and you will have a great time. You have to trust that these reviews are subjective and although you may find that you agree with them, like I did about the rooms, if you accept that that's what you may get you won't be surprised. Instead, you have the advantage of knowing ahead of time and can try to focus on the good when you are there.

booked this resort last minute with a girlfriend of mine

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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15  Thank MissMia321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear MissMia,
Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at the Barcelo Punta Cana.
Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all feedback.
We also are very pleased you enjoyed the all-inclusive program which includes a wide range of delicious food and beverage and the different activities.
It is an honor to know that our staff is providing our guests with the natural warm and hospitality that characterize the Dominican people. Please be assured that your nice comments will be forward to our staff. They will be delighted to know that they are making a difference in each guest experience.
We thank you for taking your time sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration.
Looking forward to welcoming you once again!
Best regards,
Sandy Pfeil

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed at the Barcelo Punta Cana Feb 7-15, 2013. There was a group of 24 of us all friends and family. We arrived to the resort around 12 am after a long day of delays and lost luggage, so we werent in the greatest mood when we got there and we were exhausted, staff was not very friendly at the front desk and not understanding.

We got in our first room which was room 4016, im not sure what to really say about this room other than it looked like a dungeon and was dark and smelled like fish bait. These was no way I was going to stay in the room another night, we were too tired so we slept it out and changed rooms the next day. This was not an easy take but we slipped a $50 and got moved to room 7422, it was much better, but it was a long walk to everything, anything was better than dontthe first room we had. You want to get into buildings 1,2 or 3, good luck with that though.

The toilets in the rooms barely flushed and plan on taking a hot shower during peak times or you wont have any hot water or no pressure, if you like cold showers then this is perfect for you. Air conditoner worked great and there were plenty of english channels on the 19in old school tube tv. I gave the maid some nail polish and a few ones throughout the week and we always had clean towels and the room was always picked up, as it should be.

The food was good, i would recommend the pizza for lunch or the restaurant on the far end by the adult pool, its the TEX MEX restaurant at night. We ate at the Japanese with was great, Italian wonderful and the French was okay. The buffet has tons of choices so im sure you can find something to eat. I was not impressed with the drinks at all, the booze was watered down and there is not such thing as a slushy drink..everything is on ice.

I went for the beach and the sun and i got just that , the beach is gorgeous and the pool and resort grounds are beautiful.

We did one excursion and that was a boat trip through the marina guys that walk around on the beach. It was a blast! we swam with sting rays and a shark, snorkeled and partied on the boat and played a fun drinking game.

I got a massage on the beach right at the resort and paid $60, plus a $10 tip, well worth it.

I would recommend taking a taxi over to the Hard Rock Casino, which is right next door.

Dont waste your time or money at the Market right next door, they are like leeches and dont take no for an answer. One women even blocked us in and shut the door behind us, i didnt feel safe there.

I have stayed at many all inclusives in Mexico and this one didnt meet all my expectations, mostly because of the room situation, it was just too outdated and the water pressure and hot water was an issue.

I would recommend this hotel for the beach and the pools, they are gorgeous.

This is a smokers paradise!! beware of that ...gross

Room Tip: Higher floors have better AC we stayed in 7422. 4016 IS TERRIBLE!!!
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Amanda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear Amanda,
Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at the Barcelo Punta Cana. Customer’s feedback is very important to us. We have reviewed your post regarding your recent trip to our hotel and we are deeply sorry that you encountered some issues during your stay, which resulted in you not having an entirely pleasing holiday, although we work really hard in order to guarantee a worry free vacation.
We thank you for taking your time sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration. Looking forward to welcoming you once again!
Best regards,
Sandy Pfeil

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Beach -- Outstanding! We walked in both directions and the beach at BPC is much nicer than at any other hotel. Powder white sand, though if you look close, there is quite a bit of red/pink in it. Really pretty. This is what we go for, so we were in no way disappointed here. There were always some waves, some days larger than others. We had a good time in the water.

Hotel -- Needs ALOT of love. From a distance it is a very nice looking hotel. Unfortunately, it is desperately in need of updating and repair.
--Our room was just ok, but others in our group had rooms that were bad bad bad. Others had rooms that were updated and nicer. I could go on and on, but no need, the rooms/bathrooms need help.
--Lobby and lobby bar areas were a bit run-down and again, need updating and love.
--Pools and pool areas were nice. Again, upating and repairs are needed.
--Staff overall was friendly and helpful. Some more than others. We tipped quite a bit and didn't have any really negative experiences with anyone. A few stood out from the others on the friendly side, were conversational, and seemed genuinely interested in providing a good experience for us.

Food -- having been to many other all inclusives, BPC food was actually better than many of the others.
-- Buffet. Different themes each night, much like other hotels do. We could always find something that satisfied us.
-- Restaurants -- We ate at the Japanese restaurant which was good, and at the Italian, which was also pretty good.
-- They also have a small buffet by the beach bar, which is where we usually ate breakfast and lunch. Someone is running a grill there throughout the day...eggs/omelets made to order in the morning, and burgers/hotdogs during the day.
-- The Tex-Mex restaurant is also open for lunch (no reservations needed), and that was also very good. Sandwiches, salad bar, or entrees. Several people we were with had the soup a couple different days, and really liked it.

Drinks -- disappointed. Nothing was really very good, or even consistent from one bar to the next. I liked the Presidente cervesa. Had a couple of good Bloody Mary's from the bar near the Tex/Mex, but also had one that was "chunky" from the beach bar. Had to dump that one. Overall, just nothing really tasty or special. The red wine in the Italian restaurant was decent I thought.

Smoking -- If you don't smoke, and it bothers you when other people do, do not go to this hotel. Lobby, lobby bars, even on the beach, there were so many people smoking all the time that we could not enjoy the open air in public areas. None of the other Americans we met smoked, but it seemed like pretty much everyone else did. Really really annoying.

Overall: I try to look for the positive, but there are too many not so nice things about this hotel so I would not recommend it to friends. If you are looking for a lower end facility on a nice beach, the BPC may be for you, but in general it attracts a lower class of people. We have stayed at the Barcelo Palace on Riviera Maya Mexico, and loved it, so we decided to give this one a shot, despite some less than stellar reviews, and to save some money. Won't do that again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank got2vaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear guest,
Thank you for sharing your experience at the Barcelo Punta Cana at Tripadvisor.
We are very so sad to read that we couldn´t fill your expectations fully regarding our hotel. We always try to keep our quality service, in order to satisfy the needs and expectations of all our guests.
We take all guest feedback very seriously because, therefore we appreciate all your positive comments and will ensure that the negative are worked on.
Thank you to give us your honest point of view about our hotel. On behalf of the entire Barcelo Punta Cana staff, please accept our apologize.
Kind regards
Sandy Pfeil

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