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Reviewed June 17, 2008

I would advise everyone to stay away from this resort. In fact, it does not even deserve the title "resort". 5 of us went for a birthday getaway and it turned out to be a disaster. The rooms were filthy and the place was taken over by the locals on the weekend. The toilet in our room did not flush; had to use the wastebasket filled with water to fllush it and in one of the rooms the shower curtain had feces on it. The patio doors did not lock, the air conditioning unit did not work, the sheets were grey, the food looked and tasted like slop and the management staff were rude. We had been booked to stay for 7 nights but checked out after 1 sleepless night and spent 12 hours in the airport awaiting our flight to head back home. I am not sure when some of the other travellers who gave a positive review visited this place but we were there less than 1.5 weeks ago and there is nothing good that we can say about this place.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank sunworshiper63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2008

I don't know where I should start... We just got back from a week @ Costa Caribe.I guess to sum it up -you get what you pay for. We booked through Interval International and I usually find that my vacation experiences turn out better than what I see on the trip reviews so I definately went with an open mind and a positive attitude. I will start with the positives.. a beautiful beach that they work very hard to keep nice,good music, beautiful grounds on the resort and great food! There were lots to choose from with the food -always healthy fresh choices if you wanted them.Definately see Pablo @ the buffet who makes the best omelettes! Our favorite restaurant was the Dominican one-Delicious! !Drinks were great too. Even the house wines were fine.So I will begin with the bad....SERVICE!!! I cannot stress enough how disappointed I was in the service. We arrived on a Saturday and as reported on previous reviews it was hectic due to Local Residents coming to the resort on the weekends. I felt like I was on Spring Break during that first weekend! Regina at guest services was really great and got us checked in after having to take over for a couple of other employees who seemed to have trouble finding our reservation. When we got to our room we noticed we had no towels so we requested some and waited 2 hours! That first weekend we spent most of our time at the pool across the street beside the Mexican restaurant. Service was terrible at the restaurants. The Ambar required getting your own drinks, silverware, etc. Plates, napkins, glasses were hit and miss on the table and sometimes if you requested a drink you would get it. At times there would be as many as 3 waiters standing by our table and never offer a refill of water. We observed lots of rudeness on the weekend. (EX: A woman was being pushed in a wheel chair to the elevator and as the door opened 3 people went around her to get into the elevator leaving no room for her.) Our second day we experienced several hours of no water and then no A/C. At that point I went to guest services. We were given a room that was a bit better but only had one light that worked. So on day 3 we requested a couple of light bulbs thinking that was the problem.. somehow that turned into an employee coming into the room and taking off two of the outlets and pulling the wires out and leaving, saying he would be right back. So after an hour of sitting there assuming he would be back the Maid brought some towels and noticed the problem. It took two more employees& two more hours to come and fix what had been done. I went by the suggestions of the reviews and left small gifts for the maid everyday in which she always took but sometimes didnt leave towels and we never had drinks in the fridge as mentioned in earlier reviews. On a positive note about the rooms-we never saw any bugs and we even opted out of the weekly fumigation of the room. The resort has definately seen some wear and tear but that doesnt make a difference to me as long as it all works! We tried to do the 2 hour 4 wheeler excursion but after finally getting our 4 wheeler started after several attempts, the tours guide's quit and we had to actually push him down the street and across the "highway" to the gas station. At that point I did not feel comfortable and insisted we return to the resort and we did- all the way pushing his 4 wheeler with ours. After a couple of days and a long story later we got 40 of the 50 $ back for that. I really enjoyed the aerobics on the beach and a couple of the choc. friends were nice but for the most part they seemed un-enthusiastic about what they did. All the pools were nice. Twice I encountered a male employee using the bathroom in the women's bathroom while I was there- different culture I guess??We didnt check out the casino or the golf so I cant really comment on that. The disco was fine. The gym was fine. There are vendors on the beach, as long as you have no problems saying "no gracias" its not a problem. They are actually very nice people just trying to make a living.Go see Mariel on the beach for a massage or mani/pedi. You will be thankful for the nice vendors @ the beach when you encounter the vendors if you do the Santo Domingo city tour. There are many kids as soon as you arrive to the city attempting to clean your leather shoes. No Gracias does not seem to work for them. They brush the cleaner on your shoes anyway in an attempt to get you to stop. Also, there is security from the beach to the resort. It always seemed very safe but beware that we were propositioned several times on the beach to buy some "things" the vendors weren't selling!!! The service was a bit better during the week than the weekends but all in all it seemed to be that the people who work there are not happy at all. We even observed an employee getting yelled at by his supervisor in front of many guests for not putting more food out in a timely manner. The entire experience was a learning one for me. I tried to keep in mind that it is a different culture. Fluent Spanish is definately a must as many of the employess do not speak English but do speak some other languages besides spanish I think. It was a beautiful place but I will not be returning or recommending this place to anyone. Just know what to expect if you are going here and make the best of it!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mhc777us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2008

I'm going to try to keep this as simple as possible and highlight the main points.

Hotel/Rooms - It has had its time, yet it's decent and acceptable. I would give it 3 stars. I'd recommend having a room either in the main hotel lobby section or one of the rooms closest to the beach.

Location - This hotel is located in a great area only 20 minutes from SAnto Domingo and 1 hour from La Romana. There are other hotels close by and a village in the area.

Beach - Nice but not amazing.. The ocean water is nice and clear, yet you can't swim out too far due to the coral reef being close by. There's also a roped off area where you can swim, so you are limited to where you can swim. Not a big deal though, as the sand and ocean water is amazing!!

Food - I give this two thumbs up!! Compared to your typical 3 star in Cuba or elsewhere, the food is much better at this hotel. Lots of selection and I'd recommend the Tex MEx for dinner a couple of nights.. Also, you can't go wrong with the 24hr burger, fries and pizza station.. There's also chicken, rice and more at the 24hr station.

Booze - Other than the beach and ocean, this is what most go for too..lol. The Presidente beer is great and there's lots more to drink up... I'd recommend the "mama juana"..lol.

Activities/Entertainment - The nightly shows are average and always a good laugh when they have the comedy nights that include audience members. The disco at the hotel is decent and gets packed on the weekend when a lot of the local DOminican's come in.. Either way, it's a great night out.. There are pool tables, foozeball (i.e. gitoni) and a nice big bar.

If you want to venture off the property at night, there are other hotels close by and they have some good parties too; either a disco or beach party. If you want to go to the city, then it's can be expensive by cab (i.e. $50+ to Santo Domingo) so I'd recommend going in a group to make it less expensive and safer.

4wheeling was amazing! I'd definitely check that out while you there, if you like to have some crazy thrills!!

Visit Saona island. It's a must!

The Guavaberry Golf Course was great too.. There's free shuttle from the hotel and it's only 10 minutes away.

People - This is the highlight of this place.. The employees and dominicans are one of the nicest and best people in the world.. Use some basic spanish phrases and it will only lead to more respect and good hospitality!

Value - Best price and overall package deal (i.e. location, weather, beach, food, etc.) I have ever had!! Only paid $397+ taxes..

Overall, having been on 15 all-inclusive trips now, this was definitely the top 3, if not my best trip to date. Go there with an open mind and enjoy the Dominican weather, culture, etc. I'm guaranteed you will have a blast!! Just don't pay an arm and a leg to go here.. If it's more than $1000, then I would look at staying at the Bahia Principe... Probably get more for your money at that place if it's at a comparable price.

Also, keep in mind that most flights from Canada don't fly into La Romana during May - October.. .They only fly into Punta Cana, which means a 3 hour bus ride to this hotel.. It wouldn't be worth doing, unless the flight is into La Romana.. I don't think any flights go into Santo DOmingo anymore..I could be wrong though.

Happy traveling!!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank David_NK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2008

This hotel rocks for young people! We traveled there during spring break (15 of us) and we had an amazing time!

First off, the Disco is actually decent. It is attached to the sports bar keeping people interested all the time! and generally in the same spot. They have black out lights everywhere in the disco portion which is kind of corny but really funny! You will also catch some of the funniest dancers in here.

The sports bar has fooseball tables and pool tables that usually kept everyone amused in our group. You can also pay extra to get top shelf liquor there (even though when we did it the bartender winked and didn't charge us!) This place was great because you could go back from dancing and talking really easily.

There were TONS of young people there. I think I only saw one family while I was there. Not only were there young people but the old people were HILARIOUS! We had many encounters with people older than us which brought on a lot of laughs including this old guy who used to pass out cold on the lobby couch every night and a rowdy crowd of middle aged ladies who could out drink us!

The beach is GORGEOUS! However, there isn't any shade so if you are prone to burning steer clear of this place.

The buffet was one of the best I have had at any all-inclusive including many five star resorts. The a-la cartes were hard to get space at as they were first come first serve but we still went a couple times.

The entertainment crew, chocolate friends are hilarious. It is a great way to start your night. The lobby bar goes outside which is really nice since most of the time lobby bars are inside. The bar always had room for our large group and had a nice amount of people always flying around it.

The 24-hour food saved us many late nights as this is the first place I have been to that the Snack bar that is supposed to be 24 hours really is!

The rooms were okay as long as you are not too fussy. We had no problems with hot water and had a great view of the beach.

I would love to go back to this place again! the drinks, food, staff, and night life are a lot of fun and were great for our college group. Best vacation yet!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank heathergiroux12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2008

My husband and I went to the DR Mar. 26- Apr.2, it was our first time traveling to the carribean, but what a time we had, we travelled with another couple, which made a world of difference.
Arrival was overwhelming, culture shock, but sailed through it with no difficulty, made it to our room 1620, fantastic, clean, NO BUGS comfy beds, our bathroom light wasen't working properly, called down to frontdesk it was fixed in 1/2 hour.The view from our room was beautiful. POOL was so good, not much service on the pool side, but if you bring a big drink cup, you don't have to get out often. Mango's has something everyone will eat, hotdogs, burgers, chicken, pizza, french fries. Buffet had lots of choices, My husband and I discovered that bananas should only be eaten right out of the peeling, HAHA. Food was great, we visited all of the a la carts, my personal favorite the dominican a la cart phenominal service!! The Beer is the very best, nicest tasting beer I've ever had. The beach was perfect, lots of loungers. The staff are exceptional, we tipped our maid everyday, as well as gave her a small gift bag full of little things, she was so sweet, Agripina, she came by our room, just to say thank you almost everyday, and on our last day just before departing, she found us and gave me hug and was full of thank you's!! Our husbands went on the 4-wheeler excursions, they are priced at 60.00 but you can go for 50.00, long lasting stories will be told for years to come, they had a great time!! My self and my friend went for a "into the sences massage" those little fingers kinda hurt..., but still yet another great story for us to tell, we all met a nice guy WILFRED, he took us on a snorkling excursion, to say the least...AMAZING, the boat ride had to one of the best parts, it's about 10-15 minutes down the coast of the beach, and then about 1 hour of snorkling, it was so amazing! The choco friends were hilarous, nightly entertainment was good. The best bar staff, CASER -"whoo ha"," heavy or not to heavy", this great guy is at the garden bar just before the buffet, he helped make the trip!!!
On the weekend when the locals come in, there is a secret pool that you can escape to...you have to walk a short distance by the tex-mex restuarant, there is usually no-one around, fill your drink mugs and head over, we spent a few hours there, very nice and relaxing! LEO was the sunwing rep, and he was fantastic, he had great stories to tell, and is a great person. No one got sick, we all had a great time, in future we will be making these trips a yearly event we want to travel to other countries BUT I WILL COME BACK , Coral Costa Caribe was incredible!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank kelliedavies22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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