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“It wasn’t a dream after all!”

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Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
Ranked #2 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed January 31, 2011

I doubted that it was possible, but our second visit to Zoetry was even better than the first. From the warm greeting upon arrival (“welcome home”) to the sad embraces when we departed, our expectations were exceeded.

We booked our trip with Apple this time. For some reason, that makes no sense to me, the rate (lodging) was quite a bit lower than what was quoted directly from Zoetry (maybe because the package included the plane tickets?). Included in the Apple package was round trip transportation to and from the airport. I was a bit leery of this since on the previous visit, Zoetry provided a very nice private SUV (and a bottle of Champagne!) for the trip from the airport. My fear was that we would be transported in a large bus and dropping other “Apple people” at their various destinations before going to Zoetry. We were the only passengers in the vehicle from Apple that was every bit as nice as the SUV from the previous visit (in fact it was the same company, Amstar) and the driver was very happy to stop at a store so we could buy a couple of cold Presidente’s for the ride (I bought him a coke).

For some reason we did not even walk into the spa on our first visit. Big mistake! This time we enjoyed a couple’s massage and spent several hours (during a brief rain) soaking in the hot pool and Jacuzzi. When the spa is not busy, a couple of the ladies will walk around the property letting you know of the “deal of the day,” which should be taken advantage of at least once. The costs of some of the services of the spa are negotiable.

Most mornings we enjoyed our breakfast while sitting on our lounges on the beach. A simple contact with room service (via the ladies at Indigo who were setting up for the day) brought prompt service. I could get used to being served breakfast on the beach every day.

The addition of the coffee shop is very welcomed. We enjoyed coffee, tea and even hot chocolate several times.

The food at each of the restaurants and the beach BBQ was very, very good. We enjoyed surf and turf (filet and lobster tail) more than once. The lasagna was also memorable – we’re still not sure what that unique spice was. Service was prompt and friendly (thanks Enrique, Jordanie, Carlos (all 4), Junior, Juan, Diane, et al).

Bar service, whether being served on the beach (thank you Caroline, Rosa and Yari) or at the bars (thank you Martina, Gregorio, Benjamin, Kenny and Angi) was wonderful. Great drinks, cerveza and mamajauna (Dominican “Viagra”) always available.

Don’t miss the cigar class, the beach BBQ and other daily activities. Cristina and “B 5” (Vladimir) do a great job.

The positives? First would be the fine people who work there. From “sand man” (one of the hardest working men I have ever seen) to Edward (bellman) to Werner at the front desk, to the maids to the landscapers (hombre verdes) to the leader (Jefe?), Natalia, this is one great group of people.

Second would be the true beauty of this idyllic property. Clean and verdant are two words that come to mind.

Third is the quality and variety of the food and the top service. From the beach to the bars to the fine restaurants, we were never disappointed.

The cons? A couple of days there were some people who could not find vacant lounges on the beach. This was caused by people who had left the beach but did not take their towels to the towel basket; rather inconsiderate if you ask me. It should be pointed out that the pool guy (do not remember his name) brought a couple of the pool “beds” to the beach for those who could not find a lounge chair. That’s service!

Some advice to make your visit even more enjoyable: Ask the people who are serving you their names and give them yours as well. Do tip when appropriate. A little $ here and there does not hurt anything. No one seemed to expect to be tipped but were quite appreciative when they received one. Be considerate of other guests and put your towels in the basket when vacating your lounge or pool bed.

We are very much looking forward to a return visit!

Thank you Natalia and team for a fantastic week in paradise!

We would be happy to answer any questions from anyone about our experience(s) at Zoetry.

Tomas y Amelia

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tbouy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 29, 2011

We stayed for a week and had such an amazing time. The staff were so kind and so helpful. I was amazed by how good the food and drinks were. It was truly heavenly. I can't say enough good things about this resort. Best all inclusive experience I've had.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank Webigail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2011

If you want to be treated like a King and Queen this is the place to stay. "The staff greeted us by our first names the second day of our stay. The Zoetry is a total relaxing atmosphere. If you want dancing or partying you can stay at the Zoetry and take a cab to their sister resort the Dreams which is 5 minutes away. We never did because we totally enjoyed the quiet, relaxing atmosphere the Zoetry offered. There are three restaurants available. There is a special each night along with the regular menu. The food is excellent and the service exceptional. The buffet on the beach was a special treat. We had four lobsters each. The Zoetry provides beach service on a constant basis. Not only for drinks but also snacks or lunch and dinner. Jari, Caroline, and Jaqueline do a wonderful job with the service on the beach. We highly recommend the Zoetry Agua! By the way, we talked with several people at the pool and Apple Vacations is the way to go. They provide a charter service you can not purchase yourself.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank BrianJanis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2011

If you're looking for a relaxed vacation where anything you desire is possible, i highly recommend this resort! Being there in the first week of January, we had decent weather with mostly sun filled days and very little rain (it rained 2 of the days we were there and never for longer than 20 - 30 mins) and the few times it happened the bar/resto was so close it wasn't a big deal. This resort is perfect if you're looking to get away with you're special someone and truly have no distractions. The staff are amazing and sincerely act like they are happy to be working there. Natalie the resort manager is a complete pro and runs an amazing team of staff that make every effort to ensure your stay is enjoyable and stress free. If you hate Buffets and enjoy good food (they have amazing soups) this is the place for you! Each resto features amazing menus with great variety and they're always open to substitutions! In a nutshell i would say this is a great resort for the 30+ individuals that are looking for sun, great food and total relaxation!

  • Stayed: January 2011
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Thank colinlewis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2011

My husband and I stayed for 5 nights in Jan. 2011. We paid ALOT for this trip - we booked through American Express, and the package, including air was $4650. Excluding air, this works out to about $670 per night for the hotel alone. Needless to say, this was the most we've every spent on a vacation and we were expecting a 5 star resort. (Sounds like many people were smarter than us and paid much less, which would explain why their reviews were very positive).

Overall, we had a fine time thanks to great weather. Also, the food was not bad and the resort is very pretty and serene (perfect for relaxing and doing nothing). I liked that it was quiet and we could always get chairs by the pool or beach. But we were disappointed with the sevice and the overall "experience" and do not plan to come back.

Here are some of the positives and negatives:

Check- in: Very nice. We had all the front desk staff to ourselves and they were very pleasant. Once we got to our room, however, we had to wait quite a while for our bags so that we could change and get something to eat.

The grounds: Very nice, but rustic. Specifically, we were on the second floor, and the wooden walkway to access the rooms on that level was downright treacherous, especially at night. The wooden planks were very uneven and broken - I would caution you not to wear any heel at all b/c you will fall. Also, the side barriers were very weak, so don't lean against them - I was convinced they would give way. The pools and beach were beautiful and clean.

The staff: Very polite, smiled alot, but did not seem very well trained. We thought the operation was rather amateurish. We routinely had to ask several times for food/drink orders. Language was an issue more often than we expected. Yes, I understand we're in their country, and all that. But this is a VERY expensive resort that caters almost exclusively to English speaking tourists. We did our best to come armed with spanish phrases for certain things we knew we would want. But whenever there was any kind of problem at all (i.e. a question about the bill at the spa, or a special drink request at the restaurant), no one could deal with it. I would strongly recommend that the resort have one person in each area (restaurant, spa, etc) who speaks English well enough to resolve any issues that may arise. Also regarding service, I should note that, for most of our stay, the manager Natalia was off the grounds (on vacation?) Our last day, she was back, and we noticed a marked improvement in the service. Suddenly the staff were much more helpful. This rubbed us the wrong way.

The Room: Large and nice, but way TOO DARK. At night you can barely see well enough to shower or put on make up. The minibar was NEVER restocked (and there was nothing more than a bag of peanuts as a snack anyway). I was also mystified by the fact that when I inquired about an upgrade that we were supposd to get, I was told that we already had an "ocean view" room. Um, I don't think so. If you go on the balcony and look to the right you can see, through the trees, a glimpse of the ocean. But we were most definitely facing the garden. Anyway, maid service was pretty good, although one day they just left our wet towels on the floor and didn't give us new ones, and another night they forgot to put pillow cases on our pillows. But they corrected it after we called.

One thing that really irked us was that two separate times we found maintenance men in our room with the door closed. One night we came back after dinner and went to put our key in the door and some dude opens the door and it really freaked me out. He then went back into our room and made a phone call (he called the front desk b/c he couldn't speak English and needed someone to explain to us why he was there, which was apparently to fix a leak). The second time, it was after breakfast on the day we were leaving. I went back to the room to brush my teeth and found three guys in there, one sitting on the bed watching TV. Apparently they were told we had checked out (which we handn't). This kind of thing just shouldn't happen.

The Spa: This was a major disappointment, especially considering how much they charge. It just so happened that the week we were there, the spa's computer was broken, and the manager (the only one who speaks even rudimentary English) was on vacation. So to book an appointment, we would tell someone at the desk in the spa what we wanted, she would promise to go to the boutique to use their computer to check availability and confirm with us later, which she invariably would fail to do, and we would show up for our appointment only to be told by someone else that they didn't have us booked. We also had some confusion over payment for services and use of the "coupons" they give you at check in for use in the spa. The whole thing was so stressful that I cancelled my last 2 spa appointments.

The food/drink - Not bad, especially since this is our first experience with an all inclusive.

In conclusion, had we gotten a "steal" on this vacation, we would have been pleased. But this place is way overpriced.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank travelbabymonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZoetryAguaGM, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you for your review, we appreciate your comments as when discussed personally, feedback is very valuable and helpful. We are glad that you enjoyed the attitude of the staff, beauty and tranquility.

As explained in our conversation, our staff is undergoing English courses and improving in their communication in this foreigh language, as it is something they must learn as adults at their own expense or through experience since it is certainly not something that is taught in school here in the Dominican Republic. Indeed, we do our best to make sure that we have at least one person in every area that could help, however ultimately our strongest English speaking staff is in Reception who are able to assist with any queires or concerns about any department (they have the training for it). We are providing all the necessary tools to progress in this aspect in order to avoid incidents and improve the smoothness of the experience for our guests.

As for the interventions in your rooms, there was a leak in your room that was affecting severly the room below, due to the urgency of the matter, our Maintenance Supervisor went to repair it. Our sincere apologies for not finding you in the restaurant and advising you on our necessary course of action. Upon the incident you had on the day of your departure, when the bellboy picked up the lugagge at your request, noticed the room as vacant (you were no longer there and he did not see the toiletries left behind by the sink that would signal your retun) and reported to Housekeeping who went in to clean and them at their turn reported to maintenance for the general check up of the room prior to the next arrival. As explained to you by email, it was all a misunderstanding and we are sorry that it spotted your last minutes at the resort.

The attention to detail you made not of in different areas have been followed up and training has been reinforced with the new staff members to have them up to par with the little things that make a difference. Thank you for your observations.

We assure you that we will continue to dedicate ourselves to produce and deliver an outstanding luxury experience.

Best regards,

Natalia Redondo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2011

As you’ll see, people either love or hate Zoetry Agua. The key is to understand what you’re looking for in a vacation and to set reasonable expectations. For us, the visit was just “okay” and I can only say that after getting a ridiculously discounted rate via luxurylink.com (highly recommended!). My main disappointment was the horseback riding that they offer (see activities below).

Airport to Check In
The transfer from the airport to the resort was satisfactory – on time, easy to find our driver, pleasant and courteous, but the vehicle was an old 5 speed van with a very sticky shift. Add bumpy roads and I was a little green by the time we arrived. HOWEVER, the ride back to the airport was great so I think it’s just luck of the draw. When we arrived, we were greeted with smiles and iced tea (a great touch but I did not enjoy the tea. Still extra points for effort). The lobby is gorgeous and we often saw staff cutting flowers from around the resort to decorate it during our stay. Check in was easy and we were escorted to our room.

**Minor improvement: post the itinerary and menus for the day in the lobby.

Our Room
We booked the Junior Suite Agua on the ground floor. This is essentially a resort/garden-view room with a serpentine swim out pool right outside our patio. The room was clean and laid out well. The bedroom itself is enormous, the closet space is adequate, and the separate toilet/bathing facilities were great. We never experienced the hot water/water pressure issues that others commented about.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that these rooms are not catered to the way that the deluxe rooms are. Our room was only cleaned once/day and even after repeat calls to the lobby (and quite a few tips!), our mini bar was never re-stocked.

**Tip: Get all of your laundry done before you leave. They can hang or fold everything, so we just asked them to fold it all and we threw it right into our suitcases before we left!

**Minor improvement: use a checklist system for the mini bar – give guests the opportunity to check off what they need in their rooms each day.

Security
Absolutely great. When I walked on the beach in the am, I had security detail keeping an eye out for me. For fun, check out the tops of the stone walls that surround the property (but don’t touch it!!).

Food
The food was okay. Better than most all-inclusives, but not restaurant quality. Choices are varied and you certainly would not have to order the same thing twice. However, you will get bored with the sides – often julienne veggies and mashed potatoes with the same sauce each night and for each entrée. And, as expected when everything is prepared in the same manner, you will notice that a lot of things taste very similar. Food was also slow to arrive (but that’s ok with us!!). Breakfast was a disappointment. The dim lighting at dinner was a little depressing and made the menu difficult to read. However, the café was AWESOME…we had more mocha lattes than I could count.

Activities
Honestly, we were bored, but I just don’t think we realized we were “activities” people until they weren’t available to us. Activities are minimal, and that’s the point. The pool outside our room was okay, but as expected got a little buggy after a few hours (hey…it is the tropics!). The pool by the beach was fantastic and beautiful and the beach was even better…very clean and well kept. Always palapas available. If you venture outside of the resort property however, you will encounter a lot of pollution and litter, so I wasn’t very comfortable swimming in the ocean. Since we couldn’t take more than a few hours of beaching it, we went offsite for zip-lining (don’t drink the cooler water!!) and swimming with dolphins – both highly recommended.

We did the bartending class which was very fun, the included massages which were about a 4 out of 5 (but we’re a little hard to please), and the horseback riding. The horseback riding sounded like a dream but, as a rider for most of my life, was the worst experience of the trip. The horses were skinny, had rain rot on their backs (from sweat and ocean water), gunky infected eyes, dirty pads under their saddles, and were simply broken in spirit. The men that led the ride would hit their horses hard and repeatedly, even if they were already galloping (convinced they’re cowboys I guess). After the ride, there wasn’t any water available for them and they still had to trek all the way back to their stables. Horrible experience and I was so disappointed that a resort like Zoetry would ever support this behavior. I know that the ride is “included”, but if enough people refuse to go, perhaps Zoetry can push pressure on the tours to improve the horses’ conditions.

Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
3  Thank SGM_and_LMM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZoetryAguaGM, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2011

Dear guest,

We were so distressed about your comments about the horses in the Horse Back Riding activity that I summoned up the owner of the Ranch. I showed him your review, he will take immediate action with his staff and overlook immediate improvements on the other aspects you mentioned.

We have been working with them since our opening, they provide this service to all the hotels in the area (and have been for the last 10 years) and are very respected and hadn't had a complaint about them. I have ridden with them myself and had a lovely time, I am so sorry that your experience was so negative and tainted your stay with us. The one thing to consider is that horses in hot & humid climates like ours, tend to be leaner and it is no sign of malnutrition, however your other observations about treatment to them and the equipment are of course not welcome at Zoetry Agua for our guests.

Thank you very much for bringing our attention over the matter.

Hopefully with time, what will remain is all the other positive aspects you did enjoy of your stay.

Best regards,

Natalia Redondo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

Pay no attention to the negative reviews. This is a lovely, peaceful resort where you can just kick back and do some serious relaxing.
The grounds are stunning and beautilly kept. The staff is amazing, warm and always willing to accommodate whatever your wish may be. The food is delicious and they will make you anything you request. the willingness to indulge all your pleasures is sincere and refreshing.
The rooms are beautiful having stayed oceanfront top floor-beautiful breezes, spacious and comfortable.
The staff are all lovely, genuine intent on making sure you are satisfied.
We loved out time here and would surely return!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank PSilvain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

Address: Playas de Uvero Alto, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#2 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#2 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $370 - $981 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Zoetry Agua Punta Cana 5*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly located along a 200 yard stretch of pristine beach on the easternmost Coast of the Dominican Republic in Uvero Alto, Zoetry Agua Punta Cana is a sanctuary of supreme relaxation integrated with nature. With 96 ultra-luxurious suites nestled throughout the beautifully-manicured gardens of this oceanfront Caribbean resort created from natural stones, hardwoods, cathedral ceilings and cane-thatched roofs, guests can spend afternoons swimming in the calm, tranquil ocean waters, under a palm tree in one of the inviting lounge terraces, or staring out at the beautiful garden or ocean views from their own private terrace or balcony. Zoetry Agua Punta Cana provides guests Endless Privileges® offering them limitless access to lavish amenities and services that include four gourmet a la carte restaurants, three bars and lounges, while the Sip, Savor & See Dining Experience provides 41 additional dining and entertainment venue options at nearby sister properties. 24-hour dining options allow guests to enjoy late night bites at Amaya. Or stay in and order room service. It’s all available at any hour day or night. The resort also features a luxurious spa filled with Natura Bisse products and an extensive menu of unique and indigenous body treatments. A full-service fitness center, salon and meeting facilities are also available to guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Agua Hotel Punta Cana
Agua Punta Cana

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