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Reviewed 2 January 2012

I have not been at an All Inclusive resort in the past but have talked to many people about the resorts they visited, here is a run down of what you need to know or what I and my family encountered.

First, when you book your trip, ask if this is at the arena Blanca or Cayene beach, big price difference, the Cayaene Beach area is separate and more expensive, they share the same resort general areas but have a separate pool and beach area, I heard the rooms are very nice and they do sell them as Time shares.

General information about the DR Airport and I am hoping the executives from the different Hotels help address the issues at the Airport with their Government, Expect long wait when you get off the Airplane, you walk directly into the terminal but there is a very long line, and there seems to be r4edundant lines, immigration, buying a $10 pass and then luggage..etc, this island lives off Tourism and they should make it easy for tourists to come in, the immigration officers were not very kind and not happy, they should be happy for tourists coming in, without them they would not make any living.

Once you're out, you need to find your travel agent and take their Bus to the resort, this was easy.
Once we got to the resort it took 5 minutes and we were heading to the room, the resort was quit, we went between December 17th and December 25th, not many people around which was good!
Room was ocean front 5211 and extremely clean, it was very old too but that's OK, if you want new rooms go to the Mega resorts and pay more. I would say it needs two things that can easily be addressed, Ironing table and Coffee machine, you know we Americans have to have our coffee in the morning, especially right in front the beach!
There was a small 19" TV but you're on vacation who cares about TV.
No WiFi access in the rooms.
Wifi in the lobby for a small fee but again, you're on vacation who cares.
Take your Pillow if you want a comfortable pillow, their pillows are like a rock and they are flat, they did bring more pillows when we asked but that's what they have.
Bed is comfortable.
Our Suit was big for all 5 of us.
They brought a good crib for the baby not a play pan.
They leave you 2 big bottles of water everyday.(in the Fridge).
The resort was very clean all around and the grounds are very well maintained.

People at the front desk were very helpful, and people all around the resort were helpful and cheerful! I did see the General Manager walking around but contrary to the people working there I did not see him taking the time to greet people which was very odd? That is my one complaint otherwise i would have given 5 stars to the Hotel, the General Manager is the face of the Hotel, it makes or breaks it, If I was VIK's management I would replace the General Manager right away.
Most tourists were Non American, the few that spoke English were Canadian, no complaints but most did Smoke so if you do not like smoke don't go to this resort. Of course aside from the Canadians I did not see anyone else tip.

Drinks were OK, Alcohol provided was a Local beer, and two choices of wine which were OK, I would offer imported beer and wine at some bars for additional fee if I was running the place, Coffee and other caffeinated drinks were available and very good. They had several machines around the resort that produced real good cappuccino's!

Ok, they give you beach towel cards when you check in, don't lose them! I lost mine but the front desk was nice and they replaced them for us, I guess they do that to prevent people from losing their towels? kinda makes sense because they are good towels.

The food, they had the main buffet restaurant which I should say had plenty of good food, I don;t understand the people that complained about the food? but there was everything you want ever night, No Lobster or NY strip but leave that for the more expensive resorts maybe? Vegetables were fresh, fruit was delicious and the people for the most parts were very friendly, we asked for milk for the baby and we had half a Gallon back! (there is a fridge in the room)

I also have to ask the VIK management to ask the Time share sales people to layoff a little and also the Vendors that come in for an exhibit a couple of times a week, they are pushy, there are additional ways to make money but that's a bit of a turn off.

We went out into town to get a glimpse of the DR culture and way of life, I don't think we got a real picture, they do have a nice super market so if you are sick of the resort food? you can go there and get some Cheerios!

There are other reviewers that posted good pictures so I don't need to.

Entertainment was good they had things going on at the main stage daily and things around the resort during the day, that same company manages the Kids club and that seemed to be excellent, see that's the benefit of the small resort you don;t have to worry about kids getting lost! we had 3 with us and they loved it.

Pools are for the most part cold as temperatures go down into the low 70's at night and they are not heated so don;t expect a plunge into a warm pool, water temp is about 74 I would say so pretty cold for me. I don't think anyone heats outdoor pools in those areas but maybe adding solar heating would warm up the water?

The Sea water was warm and clean.

Laying on the beach is great, you can get a chair anytime and it's clean, see they don;t use many disposable items and the glasses are plastic, so only straws. I wish we did this in the US!
Learn some spanish!

That's all folks, I hope I did not miss anything!
Oh, going back through the Airport was not pleasant either, if we can just avoid the airport we'd be OK! I thought Philly Airport was bad! No I was wrong.

Room Tip: Building 5 if you can get it!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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19  Thank DontpissofffKal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VHAB, Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistant at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2012

Dear guest!
Thank you very much for taking a moment of your time to leave such a detailed review of your vacations. We are always happy to receive the comments, because it helps us to make our service better.
Thank you for informing us about the situation in the airport, we haven’t even imagined that our guests have to pass through this before they get to the hotel. But we are very glad that after passing through some struggle in the airport you were able to fully enjoy your vacations. Thank you for the positive comments about our food, beach amenities, and the kids club, we are happy that you have enjoyed the service. We will definitely take into account your comments about the improvements in the rooms if those small things can make a vacation more enjoyable. Regarding the comments about the general manager – thank you for the constructive critics, all the management body of the hotel is reading the comments regularly, so if this is the point for consideration we will definitely work on this.
We are happy to hear that all in all you have enjoyed the vacation with us and we will be happy to welcome you here again.


Alexandra Surzhanskaya
Public Relations and Quality Assurance
VIK hotel Arena Blanca
E-Mail: c.socias@vikhotelarenablanca.net

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

My partner & I stayed at the VIK last Feb. The 1st thing I remember is a beautiful lobby entrance but from there it all went downhill. The reception staff were not very friendly, and the help is just looking for monetary handouts. We were told our room wasn't ready when we 1st got there but within minutes that had changed. Walking through the resort to our room was very eye appealing, but as soon as we unlocked the door to our room and walked in, I almost started to cry. In my best opinion....it was disgusting !!! Old, out dated, the " bar fridge " wasn't plugged in, a large gap in the entrance door. One of the days we were left a notice saying they were fumigating and to have all our belongings picked up off of the floors. The air conditioner didn't work all week, no remote for the tv, only a mattress on plywood for a bed, and so uncomfortable. the travel rep seemed concerned to my complaints and brought it to the attention of the staff, but nothing was ever addressed. the buffet seemed to be the same boring food over and over again at every meal. I'll definitely return to Punta Cana but never would we even consider this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2011
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4  Thank Ruby198412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VHAB, Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistant at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2012

Dear guest,
Thank you very much for devoting a moment of your time to leave a comment about us.
We appreciate all the comments because in this way we can always develop the best quality standards for our hotel. We are very sorry for the inconveniences you had during your stay and we hope that regardless that you were still able to enjoy your vacations.
You would really help us to improve by informing the room number you stayed in; in this case we will be able to investigate on the inconveniences that happened during your stay. Regarding the fumigation – we are really sorry that it has disturbed you, but in the tropical countries it is necessary process to prevent the insects from going to the rooms. Usually the guests are notified one day before and if the client considers fumigation not necessary we simply don’t do it, because the preferences of our guests are the most important priority. We are sorry one more time if anything prevented you from fully enjoying your vacation.
Best wishes

Alexandra Surzhanskaya
Public Relations and Quality Assurance
VIK hotel Arena Blanca
E-Mail: c.socias@vikhotelarenablanca.net

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

We visited the VIK in July of this year. The staff was friendly enough and the beach was nice (yes there are topless European people just like there are at ANY OTHER RESORT ... get over it!) Upon check in my friend and I received and envelope that said "Mr and Mrs Buggie" which was kind of funny since... we're both girls. But we just laughed and kept going. We had fun lounging in the sun and swimming (but look out for sea urchins, after snorkelling around the swimming area I've noted there is a lot of them) The staff was quite friendly especially the omelette guy who helped me after a plate fell on my foot and cut it! He is super nice also the bartender at the bar between the gift shops / by the entertainment is hilarious and has awesome tricks and even better drinks always mixed perfectly! The casino is pretty good but quite a hike. We got a good value for our money but had a few complaints: they run out of bacon...always, seriously if you like bacon you need to be up to get it by 8 am every morning! also on our last day there we noticed that the electrical panel box had caught on fire by the grill and alerted the staff, they didn't bother to even thank us for noticing which if we hadn't it would have been far worse than it was. (In the time from us noticing it until the staff came to see it had gone from simply smoking to huge flames!) so a thank you would have been appreciated, also when we arrived our tv didn't work but they replaced it the next day, and the sales people who come in are a lot more pushy than anywhere else I have travelled in Dominican or jamaica (yelling at us from across the pool which was pretty embarassing for us)

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank rauhamor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VHAB, Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistant at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2012

Dear client!
Thank you very much for taking a moment of your time to leave this review. We really appreciate your comments, because it is the way for us to develop and make our service better.
We are really happy that you have enjoyed our beach and entertainment program. We are also glad to know that the work of our employees is appreciated. We are sorry for the inconveniences that you mentioned happening to you in our resort and we want to say thank you for notifying the staff about the accident.
We are happy that you have enjoyed the vacations with us and sincerely hope to see you here again.


Alexandra Surzhanskaya
Public Relations and Quality Assurance
VIK hotel Arena Blanca
E-Mail: c.socias@vikhotelarenablanca.net

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Reviewed 21 December 2011

My husband and I stayed at VIK from Dec 8th - 15th.

We were in building 4, which was close to the beach. The room was decent, was a little annoyed that we got two doubles when we had requested for a king at the time of booking. We were told that we had to see the manager in the morning to request a change, which we didn't bother. We were always out and about so was just happy to have a bed to sleep in at night. There's no iron in the room. You had to request for it and was only allow to use it for an hour once it was brought up.

The food was pretty good. I always found something I liked. Didn't like the a la carte too much, but I think I just refer the variety that was available at the buffet. I like that we didn't have to wait to be seated at the buffet. The lobby had a great cappuccino machine which you can help yourself to.

They had a beach party (I believe it's every Tuesday) which was a blast! During the day, the beach wasn't too crowded. We've always been able to find a spot.

The staff were great! I thought the service staffs spoke English very well. They really do try hard and some try to teach me Spanish too. Though I didn't do so well, LOL.

Overall, it was a pleasant stay!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank YumeForever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VHAB, Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistant at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2012

Dear guest!
We are very thankful for the positive review about our hotel. We are happy that you have enjoyed the variety of food and our beach party- we always try to do our best to keep a buffet diverse and our staff is always ready to help you. Sorry if the separate beds in the room caused you any inconveniences. We will be happy to welcome you again and we hope the next time you will be able to learn even more Spanish.
Best wishes

Alexandra Surzhanskaya Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistent
VIK hotel Arena Blanca
E-Mail: c.socias@vikhotelarenablanca.net

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Reviewed 10 December 2011

Our family of 5 spent 2 lovely weeks at the VIK. We wanted to have our children(14, 12 & 7) experience a different culture all the while enjoying time together as a family in a sunny destination. We got exactly what we were looking for.
Positives:
Grounds-were very neatly kept, lush greenery and beautiful flowers. They were doing some construction around the pool area, but it did not interfere with our time spent by the pool.

Food-great buffet, plenty of choices. My boys are sometimes picky, but they enjoyed the food. My one son ate the chinese grill almost every night. Always fresh fruit available. The snack bar was good too. Pizza, burgers, fries...what kid wouldn't love those things.

Pool- LOVED the pool area. Always plenty of room to lounge, pool was clean and large. The water was a great temperature and the scenery around the pool was relaxing. I loved the little "island" in the middle...it was great for playing Marco Polo!

Beach-this was a highlight for our family. The beach was always clean and sometimes it was busy, but we always managed to find at least one chair to leave our stuff at. We spent very little time lounging at the beach and all our time swimming. We all loved the waves. The kids enjoyed riding the waves and jumping over them. The water was full of seaweed on a few days, but if you wear water shoes, it doesn't feel so gross. There were several topless women, but we explained we knew going there that this was the case. We just tried to avert our boys attention if we saw them.

Rooms- This was both a positive and a negative. The room was spacious with an extra bedroom and a sizeable balconey. It had a great view and the beds were hard, but comfortable. There were a number of english channels which was great when it rained, and the maids kept the room tidy and full of clean towels. The negatives were the dampness and moldy smell when we first checked in(the smell did go away after 1-2 days), the little bugs(not bedbugs though) that gathered anywhere you had food, and the shower that you had to hold close to your head if you wanted hot water. The shower was very high and the stream of water so wide that if you left it hanging up, the water was lukewarm by the time it hit your body. I just held it in my hand and it worked great.

People- Most of the people were extremely friendly. The bartenders and waiters knew us after a few days and had our drinks ready before we even sat down. The cook behind the chinese station was the same. He knew what my son liked in his food and just did it without having to ask. The front desk and reception people were knowledgable and nice, and the maids always had a smile. The vendors were really pushy...but just a simple "no, gracias" was enough have them leave you alone. They are not offended if you just walk by but I did see several vacationers who were rude to them and some even swore at the vendors. There is no need to be rude...this is there livelyhood, they are just trying to feed their families like we are. My husband loved the bargaining and we came away with a lot of great deals!!!

Entertainment- The entertainment staff were great. We were entertained each night with something different. We were there for 2 weeks and not one show was repeated. Loved the circus!

Medical Service-My husband got an ear infection while we were there and was able to see the Dr. right away, got antibiotics immediately and was better in 2-3 days. Doctors and nurses were friendly and helpful

The negatives
The rooms- as I mentioned above, smell, dampness, bugs and shower.
Distance from town- It is too far to walk to the market, and the price of a taxi is high.($10 one way)
Price of photos- They brought different animals to the resort to have your picture taken with but the price was $10 per photo. We got them put on a DVD, but still they were $10. We bargained down to 3 for $25, but still, way to expensive.

Our family loved this holiday and when we asked our boys if they wanted to come back on our next holiday, the happily said yes. Actually, they said they would prefer it over Disneyland! That's saying a lot. I would recommend this resort and the Dominican Republic to anyone who asks. Loved it and can't wait to return!!!

Room Tip: Corner suite on the top 2 levels have are family suites with an extra bedroom and a roomy balconey. Great views too!
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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17  Thank SLRTrail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VHAB, Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistant at VIK Hotel Arena Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2011

Dear guest,
Thank you very much for taking a moment of your time to leave this review. That’s really gratifying to hear that you and your family enjoyed so much the vacations in our hotel. We do appreciate your positive comments about our facilities, food and entertainment. Thank you as well for recognizing the work of our staff – we are always striving for excellence and the best service.
Thank you and we will be more then happy to welcome you again as a part of our valued returning guests.

Best Regards,
Alexandra Surzhanskaya
Public Relations and Quality Assurance Assistant
VIK hotel Arena Blanca
E-Mail: c.socias@vikhotelarenablanca.net

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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