Ok so I just got back from this resort yesterday and I was a little worried after reading all the bad reviews.
1. I went with a group of 4 other girls, plus myself. We aged from 18-23.
One of the biggest things I can advise is to make sure you get there Monday-Thursday. A lot of the reviews said it took 2 hours for check in. We arrived on a Monday afternoon and it took us all of 10 minutes to check in. When the weekend arrived with all the locals (see #2), we understood what people were saying about it taking a long time to check in.
2. On the weekends, they give local Dominicans cheap rates and they come and literally take over the place. While some of the locals we met were really cool, most were extremely creepy men who just stared at us, a group of 5 girls, and it made us uncomfortable. Also the buffet lines got long and the pool got way to full. But this only was for 2 days and the other days were great. We met some really cool people from all over the US and some from the UK. People in general are really nice.
3. The staff are all, for the most part, extremely helpful and really nice. The only issue I think we ever had was that one day our room wasn't cleaned and I had to call the front desk twice to ask them to send somebody. We went to dinner and when we came back the room was clean. The next day front desk called to make sure our room was cleaned, so that was nice. THe toilet clogged 2-3 times, and we had to call more than once to get that fixed, but front desk would call us back every time to make sure somebody actually did it.
4. We were all from California,and all took quite a bit of Spanish in school so communicating with the staff wasn't too much of a pain. For some of the reviewers who complained that they don't speak English, that's on them. You're going to a foreign county, take the time to learn a little of the local language, it'll get you a long way.
5. Food is probably one of the reasons this place gets only an average review from me. While the variety was quite great, the quality wasn't so much. The buffet had very average food, and many times we only ended up eating some boiled vegetables or fruit because nothing else quite appealed to us. We were warned beforehand not to eat any raw vegetables, so the two stations of different salads were always skipped. The pasta station was ok, I'm not a big pasta person. The pizzaria by the pool was a huge saving grace especially at lunch time. I'm not a big fan of breakfast and while there was quite a variety of food, none of it was appealing to us. Dinner at the restaurants was pretty good. The Dominican food was good, however there were bugs in the bread so we sent that back. The Mexican TexMex was also ok. Again, we're from California so we're spoiled when it comes to Mexican food. The best dinner we had was at the Tokio restaurant for Japanese hibachi. It was really really good.
6. We did 3 excursions and I highly recommend them all. Snorkeling, zip lining and the banana boat. Snorkeling was $60, ziplining was $90 (totally worth it) and the banana boat was $14. They're very easy to book and the people helping with excursions really know what they're talking about. Listen to them.
7. The location is fabulous. Seriously one of the best beaches I've ever been to. The pools were great. The bars were great. We highly recommend the sports bar. Not too many people knew about it so it was always just our group and the room has 3 pool tables and is fully air conditioned. We met so many amazing people and bartenders there. Ask for Francisco to make your drinks, he's the best bartender ever! Ask for a Bob Marley shot!
8. The wifi, SUCKS. Seriously, it only works in certain areas and is ridiculously expensive. $50 for the whole week and it only worked in like 2 places. We had to get it to stay in touch with our parents, but if it weren't for that, we probably would not have done it.
9. Overall, the experience was fun. We had a lot of mosquito bites, bug repellent doesn't help much. So that was a huge bummer. The package deal we did with expedia had us flying airtran, which also sucked. All in all, I'd love to visit the DR again, but I'd probably be willing to pay a bit more and go somewhere nicer. But for what we paid and what we got, we really can't complain :D
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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