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Reviewed March 20, 2011

I went with one of my good friends (both in our mid 20's). We went with the following intentions, a clean resort, a nice beach, a fun night life, decent service, little expectations of "good" food.

Food - we were creative for breakfast, and had omelets or made BLTs. For lunch we ate pizza and fries at the snack bar and for dinner we preferred the Mexican restaurant (chicken quesadillas). The food was not overly impressive, but it was resort food and neither of us got sick from it. Bottled water is easy to come by, and the water in the coolers also never caused us a problem and as always full and cold.

Service - You have to remember where you are, and if you are patient you will come across some staff who speak english well. Eddy (one of the managers) was very helpful the first day and continued to be the rest of the trip. Emilio (a bartender) was always looking after us. We never had to ask for drinks (tip well on the first day, and continue to tip well throughout the trip). A little goes a long way!

Rooms - Rooms were run down, but clean. We asked to be in the main building since we were two girls on our own and found that these rooms were a little nicer than the ones on the outskirts of the resort. The water shut off every afternoon for a few hours and when we showered before dinner, the water pressure was low, with very little hot water to shower in. We made due and it didn't ruin our trip! If hot water is a main concern, shower early in the morning or later at night.

Other - There were always activities on the beach and around the pool to participate in. The snack bar, sports bar and disco are open 24 hours and because it was american spring break, there were always lots of younger people around. On that note I wouldn't recommend this resort if you're looking to get away from a rowdy crowd.

There is free wifi internet in the lobby which always had a strong connection in that area.

The beach was gorgeous. No problems with the vendors, just politely say "no thank you and smile :) "

All in all we had an amazing time and I would go back if my intentions were to go to a fun, clean, friendly resort.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Mamajuana_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2011

I begin this review with saying, "Always see for yourself." Although I'm writing abt my own personal experience, no individual is exactly alike so my likes and dislikes could be totally different from yours.
Let me begin with saying that I had an awesome time at this particular resort and so did my significant other. Before heading out there, we were a little hesitant due to all the bad reviews that we've read on trip advisory but needless to say, we had a great time. First and foremost, the resort was only 20 minutes away from the airport which i thought was great because after flying 4 hours straight, who really wants to sit for longer? I'll be honest: the room condition isn't great at all but I'll say it's abt average. I mean, after all, who really cares abt the room anyway? You're in there pretty much just to get rest but you spend most of your time either out doing some type of excursion or out on the beach absorbing the hot sun. The room is average in size with a nice size bathroom and an air conditioner/heater system that gives you the ability to regulate it as you please. It also has a balcony which i thought was very nice for my partner and I. Every day the housekeepers leave two bottle of waters with two glasses on the bathroom counter for your drinking water because it's highly suggested that you don't drink water from the faucet. It has a safe deposit box in the room as well that you must rent if you choose to use but my partner and I never felt the need to. We just simply locked all our important documents in the suitcase that we came with and took the keys with us wherever we went. It has a television set with a cable box to go along with it and a coffee maker we hardly ever used. We asked for a king size bed but we got two separate queen size beds instead in which we didn't mind because we used the other bed for miscellaneous reasons.

The resort is beautiful. It has three swimming pools and a jacuzzi which I absolutely loved. It has 4 restaurants, a 24 hour snack bar which I thought sucked and 5 bars. It has a mini golf club, a basketball court, tennis court, discotheque, spa, and a casino which had a required taste. You must go and check out the shows that they have every night outside on the stage at 9:45pm. They're awesome! The dancing collectively was on point (esp the women). They can really move and they put their all into it just to give the audience a show.

The cuisine was excellent. From American/Dominican to Mexican. The five Restaurants are:
Ambar: American/Dominican Buffet/Delicious
Santa Fe Grill: Mexican/Delicious however the rice and beans they serve is way too small
Rigolette Pasta Club: Italian/Fairly Decent
El Fergon: Dominican/Stupendous
The 24 hour snack bar opens from 10:00pm to 5:00am and then reopens from 2:30pm to 6:00pm. I didn't quite like the food here at all but, again, you must see for yourself. The drinks in my opinion are watered down. I'm from New York and I must say, the drinks are nothing like the drinks that we have here but it's an all inclusive package so what do you expect.

The People there are extremely nice and friendly. I have no complaints about the staff at all. They definitely try their very best to help you although most of them speak no English at all but with the little English that they do speak, they do a great job at finding out what it is that you need and providing you with them. If this is how they were trained, they were trained very well but if this is just who they are, they definitely would be the reason why anyone would want to come back to this resort.

The excursions were great. My partner and I did the Saona Island excursion which took us to the Saona Island in a speedboat which then stopped off at a pool for abt 30 minutes where we were able to swim before heading back on the speedboat to the Island. We reached the Island and spent abt 3 hours on the beach where we were able to relax, listen to some Dominican music and eat some Dominican food which was scrumptious. It was awesome! My partner and I were able to take some nice pictures by the beach and just enjoy each others company while soaking up in the sun. We also did the ATV excursion which is a four wheeler that takes you on a 2 hour tour through the small villages where you get to stop and see the sugar cane plantation and get to try some of that good Dominican sugar cane. We got really dirty after the tour. By the way, you have to sign an informed consent for this ride because it is a bit dangerous but FUN! Last but not least, we went horseback riding which was a bit scary for me being that this was my first time but very romantic. The ride is abt 2 1/2 hours long and it also takes you through small villages and by the beach where your tour director takes pictures of the two of you! So nice!

Overall, I would rate this resort as well as my experience here at Juan Dolio as a 4 on a scale from 1-5. We had an awesome time and we would definitely come back to the Coral Costa Caribe some time again. My Partner says this is home for us so if you're thinking abt coming to the Costa Caribe but you aren't sure because of the negative reviews that you've read, I say, see for yourself! Everyone is different! And, for the money we paid, it wasn't a bad trip at all.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LinLuvfromthegroup1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2011

I don't even know where to start. I had such a terrible time I couldn't wait to come home, which was a shame. To start we arrived at the resort and we no one knew how to speak English. I know this was a Spanish speaking country, but if they want to increased their tourism in their country they might want to start learning English. By the end of the trip it was very frustrating that I coudn't effectively communicate with the workers and I have taken 4 years of Spanish. When we got to our room it stunk so bad of sewage we had to open the door. The floors obviously had not been cleaned for years and showers we disgusting. My sister and I were trying to figure out why it stunk so bad around our room until we looked over the ledge and there was an open sewage streem from the entire resort flowing nicely by our room. If you are looking for soemwhere half way nice to stay THIS IS NOT THE PLACE! On top of the utterly disgusting room the food was jsut as terrible. By the end of the trip I had lost weight by not eating. At the buffet there was a disgusting smell coming out of kitchen. It got so bad I just got up and left and didn't eat dinner that night. We went to the Italian restaurant and got seated right away, but the service was nowhere to be found. We had to tell the waiter many many times that we needed water! Once we got our food an hour later it was cold and so salty that you had to cough it down. Lets just say we never went back....

If you read other reviews talking about the prostitution and hookers around the resort they are TRUE!! We had a guy who orders his prostitute for the week in the rooms next to us... it was so disgusting.

If you ever have a problem with your room don't count on management to help you, they are NO WHERE to be found! They are either in a "meeting" or "gone for the day" no what would a manager be gone at 11am for the day????

I could go on for hours, but I will spare you. If you are ever thinking about going to this resort DON'T!!!! It will ruin your trip and you will never want to go back to the Dom. Republic EVER again.....

Oh yeah and have fun coming home. In the airport you have to go through customs again and when you go to board the airplane there are security people AGAIN going through all your belongings and patting you down which you had to go through before customs.... Since when do we have to go through security twice and get patted down right before entering the flight. And don't count on ANYONE speaking English either...

If you decide to go to this resort all I can say is I warned you and GOOD LUCK....

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Tropicenvy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2011

Don't go there thinking that you are going to get good food, luxurious amenities, or New-York-speed service. Don't come here if you are looking for a resort with a hopping nightlife either. It is not a resort for the prissy or overly discerning. But for the money, it's a good value. The staff was friendly and would bend over backwards to help us. The beach and grounds were very nice.

Good:
The beach is a very short walk and it is clean and nice.
The grounds are stunning. Little islands with palm trees in the middle of the pool. Little waterfalls. Tiki hut grass bars. Very pretty. Lobby with marble and fresh tropical flowers.
The staff is incredible. Especially bartenders/waiters.
The sightseeing options: We took the tour of Santo Domingo and it was informative and fun. We heard good things about other excursions.
The room is no frills but they were large with large beds and the sheets were washed every 2 days, more if you request.
Juan, the fruit guy. He is a fruit vendor on the beach. His mangoes and sugarcane are delicious, which is great because the food on the resort is not.
The gnocchi at the Italian restaurant was good.
The events staff-they always have a little something going on. Bingo or a little show at night. It might be cheesy but it's still something.
Bottled water was plentiful.

Bad:
-The FOOD. Oh my goodness, the food was pretty bad. All of it. On the bright side, I didn't gain any weight on this trip.
Water temperature and pressure-pretty much a trickle of lukewarm water at all times. For several days there was no running water at all in the afternoon hours, then it would turn back on.
The pool-clearly dirty. We stuck to the ocean.
Vendors will approach you every 10 minutes or so on the beach. Turning them down politely does the trick.
Hard mattresses, but not unsleepable.
The service speed wasn't awful, but just know it's going to be slower than at home. Prepare to wait to be seated for dinner, check in, for tour buses, etc. Relax, you're on vacation.

Tips:
-DON'T do the horseback riding excursion-horrible!!!!
-Be on Dominican time, not American time. In short, relax, be flexible, and have a little patience.
-Smiling and nicely saying "no, gracias" to the beach vendors always did the trick. Do not engage them in any kind of conversation if don't want to purchase from them. It opens the floodgates.
-Pack an extra towel in your suitcase for times when the hotel is running low.
-Buy a beach umbrella and check it as baggage on your flight. Having an umbrella there enabled us to enjoy the beach all day without a burn. There is no shade on the beach.
-If the drinks are too sugary for you, they have Presidente beer or you can get the dominican rum and diet coke.
-The men are very forward about their sexual interest in women. Just to err on the side of caution, I would not advise women to walk alone on the resort at night, although I did not feel that I was in danger.

Overall, my family had fun on this trip. If you're looking for immaculate rooms, crazy nightlife, entertainment and adventure, or elegant food and amenities, it's not for you. If you want a calm, no frills vacation at the beach for an economical price, I recommend it.

Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
Thank peacelillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2011

Where do I start? Overall star rating should be 1 star not 3!!
1st. The hotel cleanliness was dreadful!! I have stayed in huts in Panama that were cleaner than this place. There was an open sewage river that ran right next to the hotel that made the rooms smell terrible!. The maids though were sweet and did the best they could.
2nd. Some days the room had no water and others we had no hot water. The showers would also shut off half way through the shower and turn on 5 mins. Later. We went to the front desk where 7 guests were complaining about the same smells and water problems and the staff didnt do anything. We even asked for the manager who never seemed to be there!!
With that said though the staff was always happy.
3rd. The food here was terrible!! Too salty and way over cooked but maybe that was on purpose to prevent catching something from the food? Trust me though you wouldnt want to eat anything that wasnt cooked.
4th and finally there were escorts EVERYWHERE!! I had read responses from management to bad reviews saying they restrict this activity but... It was actually the staff arranging this for guests. Finally it was obvious who the escorts were compaired to the guests and staff.
Sadly from our experiance I will never come back there again nor will I ever
recommend this place. To end on a positive note though, the beach was great!

  • Stayed: March 2011
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Thank angeladybdahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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