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“Exceptionally poor experience on a beautiful beach”
Review of Occidental Caribe

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Occidental Caribe
Ranked #60 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Exceptionally poor experience on a beautiful beach”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Good:
-Location
-Weather
-Drinks at the bar
-Nightly shows
-A la carte restaurant meals (require reservations)

Bad:
-Front desk/concierge service
-Front desk organization
---Although we carried a print-out of our reservation from Delta Vacations, we were told that our reservation was no longer available because it had been made for the month of June in their systems. While they sorted the issue on their side, they gave us temporary bracelets and told us we could eat dinner in the buffet restaurant, but the restaurant did not open for another hour. Meanwhile, we had to carry our bags with us and had nowhere to go.
-Buffet restaurant food
---Much variety, but low quality taste and presentation
---I have been suffering from food poisoning symptoms for 2 days
-Complete lack of cleanliness in the buffet and El Marlin restaurant (breakfast and lunch)
---This includes disgusting and stained tablecloths
---Birds picking food up from unattended dining tables and the buffet line
-A very noisy crowd of 200+ youth from the "Highway" group who completely dominated the main pool and the pool bar each day we were there

We lost several hours in dealing with the poorly run staff (waiting for over 90 minutes for a safe repairman who was "coming up right now" according to three separate phone calls, plus having to fight for a towel voucher that was not given to us at check-in). The extremely large/loud/drunk college-aged group completely filled the pool and was rowdy through 4am and 5am most nights.

This was the most beautiful beach I ever visited, but I will never go back to Punta Cana -- and especially not to one of Barcelo's hotels.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the quiet side of the hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Dear Julie,
Thank you to take your time to write and share your review in Tripadvisor. Checking your words we can appreciate you didn’t have a pleasant stay in Barcelo Punta Cana and we couldn´t fill your expectation about our property. We try to keep our quality service to give you our best and we take all guest feedback very seriously. We would like apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. Thank you very much again to give us your opinion.
Cordially
Sandy Pfeil
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We had a great time! Service was great! Food was good.Tokeyo was great! Enjoyed the pizza place. Rooms were roomy! Glad I booked a premium club suite! Angela and girls at club lounge are great! Rooms do need some updating, But we were not in them that much. Everyone working there was nice and helpful. The shows were fun! I hope to return again! The pool and beach were beautiful! I never had to wait for a drink. Thankyou Barcelo Punta Cana! If you are nice to the employee's, they are great to you! If you want the world go to a 5 star!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank blmorg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Dear guest,
First of all we thank you for choosing our hotel Barcelo Punta Cana for your holidays and for the time you took to share your review with the Tripadvisor community.
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 forwarded, especially to Angela. She will be delighted to know that she is making a difference in each guest experience.
We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Barcelo Punta Cana to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities .
We will be honored to welcome you back. Do not hesitate to contact us prior your next visit.
Warm regards,
Sandy pfeil
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

I just got back from a three night stay at Barcelo Punta Cana and I was fairly pleased. I'll start off by stating that I am not a very picky guy and that it doesn't take much to keep me happy.

Check-in
To begin, check-in was fairly swift although that may be due to us arriving just before dinner time.

Room
Considering that I only use it to sleep, shower, and change clothes, the room was good. I notice upon arriving that my room was missing an iron but that was quickly fixed upon bringing it to the attention of the front desk. I was in buliding 6 with a nice view of the main pool.

Beach
The beach was awesome. It was probably in the top two beaches I've been on. Plenty of chairs to lay out on.

Pool
The pool was just as good. I only spent time at the pool with the swim-up bar but the other pool looked just as good minus the swim-up bar

Food
Here is why my review did not receive five stars. The food was average at best. Out of the five resorts I've visited, the food here was the worst. I ate mostly at the buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I will say that the a la carte Italian restaurant was pretty good. The only problem was that you have to be up by 8 in order to get on line to make reservations for these a la carte restaurants. Now this is not the first resort I've been to that has this setup but I would really would like to know the method to their madness because as others have stated, more than half the time these restaurants are rather empty.

Drinks
I have no complaints here. Drinks were not watered down.

Entertainment
Other than maybe my trip to the RIU in Montego Bay Jamaica, the entertainment throughout the day was rather dull.They did have early morning/early afternoon activities on the beach and on occasion some activities by the pool but overall it just didn't seem as entertaining. Maybe I am just spoiled from my first experience at a different resort that set the bar so high. The nightly shows were average at best(once again ruined by my first experience that set the bar so high). These entertainment people work their buts off but I just feel like the overall quality was not up to par compared to other resorts i've been to.

Club/Disco
The Disco was actually pretty good. One of the reasons I like coming to spanish speaking countries is because they actually play spanish music which is my preferred music of dancing. Don't get me wrong, I like my house, hip hop, and raggaeton music but other countries usually don't play my salsa, bachata, and merengue music. They did a good job of blending all types of music. They did add a nice touch when they had a live band playing friday night.

Overall
Overall the resort was pretty good. As others have stated, locals do show up on the weekend but that didn't bother me one bit. I will say that for the price I paid, this resort was up to par. There is room for improvement and hopefully my review helps them going forward.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nando131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Dear Nando,
First of all thank you for having chosen Barcelo Punta Cana as your holiday destination.
We want you to know, that your opinion is very important and valuable to us. For this reason, your comments are taken with special consideration as they help us identifying our improvement areas, giving us the opportunity to correct them, and thus achieve to offer our guests a service of the highest quality.
We look forward to welcoming you on a future occasion, in this way show our commitment for service and customer satisfaction, and quality assurance stamp of our family Barceló Hotels & Resorts.
Sincerely
Sandy pfeil
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire UK
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

I have recently returned from Barcelo Punta Cana, and like many others having read trip advisor before hand was a little bit worried. However we had a nice week, the hotel has fantastic family facilities, the staff were a credit to the hotel, the beach was beautiful, and the food was absolutely fine.
Yes at the weekend it did get very noisy due to the amount of locals arriving, however they were no problem just VERY noisy as they generally seemed to be in large groups.
Our room was a superior ocean front and it was very nice, the bed was very comfortable, yes the hotel is getting a little bit tired in places, but the staff seem to work non stop keeping everywhere clean and tidy.
My advice is: book and pay for a 5* hotel if that's what you are expecting, however if you are looking for a well run, popular hotel,on a beautiful beach and your budget won't stretch to 5* prices, then for the price you will pay I really don't see what all the negativity is about. I would also recommend you book a superior room ocean view. Block 3 is very central.
In terms of the speciality restaurants, we ate at the El Conuco (Dominican), Paris (French), Tokio (Japanese) & El Marlin (Meat & Fish), all of which were very good. I never had any problems changing the times, neither did I queue first thing in the morning for an hour to get another reservation. It seemed a little strange that every time we ate in a speciality restaurant which was always between 6-7pm there were always quite a few tables free, even though there was a sign up saying all restaurant reservations were full? My only other comment is that they should drop the "no shorts" policy for men in these restaurants, as they did not enforce it, which annoyed guests adhering to the policy, and who wants to wear long trousers in 30+ degs anyway.

Room Tip: definitely book a superior ocean front, the main complaints seem to be with the standard rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SonieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Dear Sonie
Thank you for choosing Barcelo Punta Cana for your holidays and for the time you spent sharing your review with other travelers on Tripadvisor.com.
In the name of our entire staff, we thank you for highlighting out the excellent service of our friendly staff.
In regards to the restaurant reservations, please be informed that our sittings are coordinated for every half/hour, which means that you may see tables empty at 7.00 p.m., but those would be the ones prepared for 7.30 p.m. and 8.00p.m. And yes, sometimes tables saty empty, if guests do not use their reservations and do not cancel them. However, you may understand that we have no influence in tht case.
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.
Please do not hesitate to contact us prior your next visit.
Yours Sincerely,
Sandy pfeil
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hainesport
2 reviews
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Beach was beautiful (this is the end of the mixed review that was good). Our room was booked as Club Premium. It was a small suite, a little outdated, but soooo noisy we did not sleep the first two nights. People were very loud at 4:00 AM, but the front desk said there was little they could do about it (no security, no quiet time). On our third day there, they let in hundreds of high school kids and turned the resort into spring break, complete with too much noise and inconsiderate treatment. At this point we insisted our room be changed to a quieter part of the resort. It took hours, but our room was changed. The new room was over the buffet and still noisy, but was better. The food.... we have been home three days and both my wife and I are still sick. However, the typical Dominican restaurant (Conuco) was very good. Japanese was just OK. Italian was good. Regarding restaurant reservations, difficult to make or change ('All booked'), but none we ate in were ever more than 50% full.
When we arrived as Club Premium guests, our service generally wasn't any better than without this upgrade. We were given no information on the resort and were not even told about the Club Premium Lounge (open to Premium guests only).The Club Premium Lounge was small and inside (not open to the outside), but the staff and service here was excellent. We stayed at Barcelo Puerto Playa in the past and had a much better experience. Check out took too long, partly because they tried to charge us for trips we did not take. They finally overcharged us $9, but I ran out of time to argue. I am afraid that we are now soured on Barcelo hotels and may not return to the Dominican Republic.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HPBest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Dear Client,
Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Barcelo Punta Cana.
We greatly appreciate that you have chosen one of our Barcelo Resorts as your holiday destination.
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience at our Hotel. We greatly appreciate your feedback as it enables us to continue improving and providing our service for our guests.
Please feel sure that your observations are taking into great consideration for their analysis, in order to verify the points you mentioned.
We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Barcelo Punta Cana to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities and change any negative perception you may have about us
Kindest regards
Sandy Pfeil
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Oklahoma
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Twenty one of my family and friends arrived June 26th. Some rooms ready some not. Not a big deal! Got a drink, change of clothes and on to the beach! We were there for 7 days. Wednesday and Thursday were good. But Friday came and so do the locals! Not a lot of fun. Crowds in all of the buffets. Rude, people everywhere. We could deal with that because we stayed on the beach for the most part! The beach is the best part! Franklin is the hardest working dude on the resort! We were told the locals would be leaving on Sunday which they did. Then came the high school kids! Not a quite bunch if u know what I mean. They took over the pool, over 200 of them and music I still can hear! Didn't know anything about the locals,or the high school kids! Check this out before you go. We made our own fun but with all the crowds and noise, it took away from our vacation. We will not return to this Barcelo resort. We should have changed resorts. Do better research than I did! We stayed in the block three building. Our door opened right over the buffet. Lots of noise and smells. Food very average. Bars were ok. They were the best to work with! Again do your research and ask about locals and high school groups!

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Adstumac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 7, 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 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; therefore we appreciate all your comments and will ensure that those 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 for any discomfort you may have encountered.
Kind regards
Sandy pfeil.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I recently stayed at Barceló, and was highly disappointed. Upon arrival, we were given a room that smelled like mildew and was very outdated. When attempting to get my room changed due to these issues, we were told we had to come back in an hour. When returning, we were told we would have to wait until tomorrow, to see what was available. After speaking to multiple people, we were able to get our room upgraded( cost to us). Throughout this process we had arranged for our luggage to be delivered to our room. Our luggage stayed outside for approximately 2 hours until we retrieved it and took it to the room. When asked why our luggage was never delivered, we were told they tried to deliver it but their master key did not work. Throughout our stay we were not given good customer service, and it seemed due to the language barrier, we were a problem for them. There were many cases where they would walk away from me instead of attempting to see what my need was. Regarding the food, there was not many options. We were told to come down stairs at 9:00 to schedule to eat at a specialty restaurant. When we did do that, and was the second in line, they told us all restaurants were booked. At one point, we were getting food from the hamburger and hotdog stand by the pool, and the worker just shut off the grill, and put all extra food in a pan and walked away. He did not state he was leaving, or the stand was closed when there was a long line waiting.

This was not my first experience staying in the Dominican Republic, and I was excited to go back due to the amount of fun I had the previous time. I did stay at another resort, and was trying a different place during this stay. I was highly disappointed, and could not wait to return home. I would not recommend this resort for anyone.

Room Tip: Do not choose a standard room!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Traveler0278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barcelopc, Manager at Occidental Caribe, responded to this review, July 7, 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.
We apologize for the impression you could perceive for the language barrier with some of our staff members. Please allow us to inform you that most of our employees have good knowledge on many languages, such as English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian and so on; and our Human Resources Department is constantly offering courses to all our staff to reinforce the level of conversation, especially to those in direct contact with our guests. However, please be reminded that Spanish is our mother tongue and our knowledge and/or pronunciation of a foreign language might not be perfect.
We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at any of our Hotels, 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.
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Additional Information about Occidental Caribe

Property: 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:
#9 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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