I just returned from one week at the VIK Arena Blanca with my family of 4 (my husband and two daughters almost 20). We selected this hotel as it met our budget for the time of year that we were travelling (24 -31 Dec). We travel frequently to the Caribbean (2-3 times per year) mostly to 5 star resorts. We went to the VIK with an open mind fully aware that it is rated as a 3.5 – 4 star hotel, and we were pleasantly surprised! If you are seeking a cozy, unpretentious resort – this is the place for you. It is not grandiose or glitzy, but rather small and quaint. The staff is warm and friendly and appear happy in their jobs. We were very satisfied with the level of service from all of the employees, right from the first e-mail that I sent the resort prior to arriving. A quick summary of my perspective of the resort:
Lobby/Arrival: We arrived at 1am, so everything was pretty quick and easy for check in. The resort kept one of the buffet restaurants open (with a reduced menu) to allow those of us coming in that late to have a bite to eat. The lobby is not grand and opulent, but it is cozy and we found it to be welcoming. There is a small lobby bar and 2 self serve machines that make cappuccino, espresso etc.
Rooms: We had asked for rooms close together on the second floor, and that is exactly what we got. We did not have a renovated room (nor did I see one). Our room was very basic, king bed, dresser, small sitting area and nice size porch overlooking the main grounds, two closets, and small bathroom. Water was ALWAYS hot, ALWAYS great pressure. Clean, but definitely not glitzy. For us, this was fine as rooms are for sleeping and changing for dinner after a day at the beach. The room fridge was stocked with bottled water only. We were aware of this, and it wasn’t a problem – and we’d get a drink on our way back to the room. We were located in building 3. If you are making a request I would recommend building 3 or 4 – perfect location mid- way from lobby to beach. Beds were very firm, and pillows were fine (3 for a king sized bed, 2 for each double bed)
NOTE: Bring a facecloth, and if you are particular about soap, shampoo etc, bring your own. No conditioner or body lotion, just liquid hand soap and liquid hair/body shampoo in the shower.
Restaurants: There is one main buffet, a beach side grill and small buffet (for lunch) and 2 a la cartes. We found the food in the main buffet satisfactory but not outstanding. There is an egg/omelette station on the morning and pasta station at supper – so even super finicky people can find something to satisfy. The beach lunch buffet is smaller and similar to the main buffet, but the beach grill itself was quite good. French fries, burgers and pizza were our mid day meal almost every day. You could go into the beach restaurant in your bathing suit which was nice if you don’t want to get changed!! The pizza is popular and you may find yourself waiting depending on when you go. We found the a la carte restaurant food really quite good. There is an Italian and ‘Seafood’ restaurant. You can go as often as you like and there is no need for reservations. In theory this is really great, but the system for getting into the restaurant is a little haphazard and unorganized. We finally figured out that you either get to the restaurant for when it opens (6:30pm) and get seated right away, or wait until 8:30 or 9pm when the first/second wave of people have gone through and you can get a seat right away. But if you end up waiting in line, just head to the bar right there and get yourself a drink!!
Bars/Entertainment: The bars were all fine – I am happy if you fill up my bubba with some beer or rum cola – I don’t need top shelf liquor. The entertainment was the same as you’ll find in any resort – lots of energy and effort put into all the shows. One thing that we enjoyed: foosball, ping pong tables and pool tables both by the pool and by the theatre. Animation staff wasn’t too pushy – friendly and always let us know what was going on!!
Pool: We didn’t use the pool very often – but it was a nice medium size with lots of chairs and palapas. There is no pool bar, but there is a bar right between the pool and the beach, and one in the beach grill – all very close.
Beach: What can I say – it’s Punta Cana people. Beautiful!! There were lots of beach chairs at the VIK section of the beach and palapas. We did reserve a spot every day, but only because we liked the particular location. I’d go out at 8:30 am or so and there were still plenty of places to choose from. For those of you familiar with the area, the VIK is one resort away from the beach vendors (facing the water from the VIK , go to your left , pass the Ocean Blue and you’re there).
This is a bit longer review that I normally write, but I felt like giving a clear overview of the resort. For us, it was good value for the money. It is not the type of resort that we’d normally go to, but if we were looking to fit more trips into a year, we would definitely go back. The staff and management work very hard to make your stay pleasant and memorable and for us it really was!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The VIK Hotel Arena Blanca is placed overlooking the incomparable beach of Bávaro, just 30 minutes away from the International Airport of Punta Cana. This hotel in Punta Cana was renovated in 2006 to be able to offer a wide variety of environments: ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vik Hotel Punta Cana
- Lti Beach Resort Punta Cana
- Lti Punta Cana
- Lti Resort Punta Cana
- Lti Beach Punta Cana