We were extremely disappointed with our stay at this resort. My wife and I stayed at this resort last November with great expectations for our 30th wedding anniversary. I did not want to spare any expense so I paid the extra money and stayed on the "exclusive side" [Cayanna) of the resort with an " oceanfront room". needless to say, everything went downhill from the moment we arrived. When we went into the lobby the front desk attendant was told what we had booked and that we were to be on the "exclusive side". We even went so far as to show our voucher which confirmed our reservation. We're immediately told that it was time for our "orientation session". Being a seasoned traveler I knew this was nothing more than a timeshare scam and I told them I was not interested in the orientation meeting and merely provide us our room. After quite a bit of pressure attempted to be put on me go to the orientation session ( I am a lawyer in Canada and as such I am not very intimidated by timeshare salesman] We were finally showed our room. It looked nothing like the brochures and it was not "exclusive at all". The room was full of mold, the air-conditioning didn't work, the remote control on the TV didn't work and it was generally 2 star at best. I tried to talk to the bellman but he knew nothing or at least pretended not to be able to speak English . We immediately left the room to walk the substantial distance back to the main lobby. However, in our travels back we came across a sign directing us to the "exclusive” side of the resort. We tried to go into the “Kayane” side but were told that we required a "special bracelet" to get in. I tried to tell the attendant that we are supposed to be on this side and I and showed them my voucher. They did not care. We immediately went to the lobby and I demanded to talk to the manager. After what can only be described as an extreme exercise in futility with the entire front office staff pretending not to be able to speak English, they finally produced someone who could barely speak English. I was extremely upset over the fact that we had paid a substantial increase in price to be on the exclusive side and we were subsequently stuck in a substandard room on the common side. The staff simply would do nothing trying to claim that my room that I got was on the “exclusive side” which it clearly was not.
I finally got hold of our West jet representative who mediated the situation. She was extremely helpful and "went to bat" with us. She actually got into a loud “nose to nose” argument with the front desk manager in Spanish – thank God for her. We finally found out that they claimed that the exclusive side was "overbooked" and that we would have to be put into a" small room" on the exclusive side if we wanted to be over there. Since it had a private pool, Wi-Fi and numerous other amenities [which is the reason why we booked over there in the first place] we took a small room on the promise that in a day or two they would move us to our "ocean view deluxe room”. Our West jet rep even got us (without us evening asking) 2 free tours just for the inconvenience of having to put up with this crap – this was WestJet and not the resort – A+ for West jet and F- for Vik Arena) As the days went by we subsequently found out that we would never be moved into a larger room and we were stuck to stay for our 30th anniversary in a room that had two tiny single beds in it (the smallest single beds we have ever seen - they could not even be pushed together to make a small twin bed), a partial ocean view if you stuck your body out of the balcoony and hung over the sideand was so small you literally had to go out into the hallway to change your mind. It was truly a sad situation.
We became friends with the next-door neighbors who booked the exact same room package that we did and they had a beautiful large room with a big balcony and beautiful ocean view. We found out that they took the timeshare pitch and were given this room after taking it. It is clear that since I refused to be subjected to their hard-sell timeshare crap that we were stuck in a substandard room. No matter how many times I went back to the lobby to try to get us into a larger room that we had already paid for, I was repeatedly asked if I was ready for their "presentation". When I refused to take it they told me that no more rooms were available. This is despite the fact that we determined on our own that at least one third of the rooms on the "exclusive side" were empty the entire time of our stay. It is clear that they keep these rooms for the absolute suckers they convince to buy a timeshare at this place. Our entire experience with this resort is one big negative. While the non timeshare staff was friendly, the restaurants were good and the beach and pool on the private side were breathtaking and beyond any complaints, the mere fact that this organization ripped us off on our anniversary creates a major distaste in my mouth.
Upon our return to Canada and discussing this matter with West jet vacations, they immediately "stepped up to the plate" and gave us a major refund. They were extremely embarrassed about the misfortune we went through and independently determined that we were telling the truth .This is why we will always book through West jet vacations and will never come back to this resort again. I highly recommend Punta Cana but stay away from this resort if you're not prepared to buy a timeshare. This is the ultimate “bait and switch resort.
- 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