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“Great, Small Resort”

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VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
Ranked #75 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 14 December 2008

We used Trip advisor extensively before booking this resort and we were not disappointed. We had a great room with “ocean view” (would highly recommend this option - well worth it), and balcony. I can say the room was bigger then in many North American hotels, clean, with fridge that is re-stocked daily with soft drinks and bottled water. There were two cabinets in the hallway, nice bathroom, king size bed and central a/c, which we only used to cool down the room during the day.

The beach is only steps away and can be reached within 5 min from anywhere in the resort. I will not dwell on the beach quality, since you can see pictures posted by others. It is fair to say that it’s EXCELLENT. One suggestion is to get there early (between 8-9 o’clock) if you wish to have your own cabana/umbrella. This is a small resort with few entertainment options, more on the quiet side, which was exactly what we were looking for. Most nights we were in bed by 11 and up around 7:30. This is NOT a party place by any means.

Food was tasty, with good selection everyday: salad bar, fruit, daily soup, vegetables, breads, pastry and deserts. I will not go into details on the food as I realize tastes vary and what might be great for me, could be inadequate for others. In any case, I have not seen anyone complain and could tell by the looks of other visitors that most were satisfied.

One complaint I have concerns the persistent and at times annoying tour/time share/ water sports salesmen. They are everywhere and constantly try to offer you something, especially if you are walking on the beach. We were told to bargain on everything and typical rate is 2-3 times LOWER then what they ask initially. We have found this to be true and once the salesmen stop smiling at you then you are getting a fair price.

Hope this helps. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank VentureTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 December 2008

Travel Dates: December 3-11/08.
This was our annual girls week away to Punta Cana. We chose the VIK because I knew of the location (right next door to the PCP which I stayed in 3 months ago). The price for this trip was $397.00 plus taxes ($308.00). We booked it to include oceanview in advance so we knew exactly what we should be expecting when we arrived.

Arrival: We arrived on time without any winter delays this year. Our arrival at the resort was very what I would call "out of the ordinary". I must preface this by saying that I have been to the Dominican 10 times over the last 3 years and have stayed in many different resorts in both Puerta Plata and Punta Cana. On our arrival at the VIK, we were not greeted by anyone, we had the bus driver point for us to go to the desk, and were not given any type of drink after our long journey. I though oh, well, this nicety was just forgotten or missed. What we really did not know, was that this is really the "norm" at this resort. None of the employees seemed happy or even happy to have us at the resort. It was a strange feeling. Unfortunatey, I know that this is my review, but the sentiment was felt by everyone else that we spoke to at the resort as well. I am used to seeing the employees dancing and singing and smiling all or most of the time. I did not see this AT ALL at this resort. It was kind of a strange feeling. Anyway, back to our arrival...........We received our room information, and it was exactly as I had asked for. We were in building 5 on the second floor facing the ocean. It was a beautiful view and I was very impressed.

Our Room: It was very very clean and well presented but dated. The hotel is currently in the process of renovating the rooms, one block at a time. I was not at all disappointed in the room. As others have indicated, it was a little stange to have half of the bathroom door with a window for all to see. The actual toilet area was kind of tucked around the corner of the bathroom, so not quite in the total view of everyone. You had one sink in the bathroom with your standard shower area. You have 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels.....so if you use facecloths, bring your own. Do not expect any other amenities...........bring all of your own soaps, shampoos, creams, etc...........you will not get anything here. Out of the 7 days we were there, we only had what I would call hot water 2 of those days. The other 5 was luke warm at the very best. The storage spaces are adequate. One side of the entrance to the bathroom is a closest which holds the safe and a place to put your clothes, the other side is another closet which has a place to put your suitcases and hanger space for more clothing. The dresser in the room has 4 drawers (good size) and a bar fridge. In the fridge, you receive 2 large bottles of water, 2 coke, 2 sprite which are replenished daily. The beds are ok, but very low to the ground. It felt funny having them at knee level. I had to ask for an additional blanket because I get cold in the night with the air conditioning. The pillows are the worst I have ever slept on anywhere in my life. I do not know how to stress that any stronger. They are made out of "chip foam" and stuffed into what looks like a pillow. I had to have four of them around my head to have half a decent nights sleep. If you have any spare room in your luggage, bring your own. The daily cleaning of the room was ok, with the exception of one day, they did not come until 6:30 at night. I just asked for clean towels and sent them along their way. You do not get any nice touches to your room as I have received at any of the other resorts that we have ever stayed in. I also found that a little strange as we always left money every day for the housekeeping staff. We did not have TV for 2 days as they lost their satelite. We did not have a TV converter for 5 days as they had run out.

Food: Good and bad.........The breakfast buffets were what you would expect from any resort. The lunch at the pool was very good. They had a great BBQ for lunch every day with Chicken, hambergs and hotdogs etc. They also had a pizza oven, and it was very good. The dinner buffets were very poor. No carving stations, they had a small pasta bar, a chinese section. By the time you had your food back at the table it was always cold. You had to get your water for yourself most of the time since staff were never really around. The tables were often dirty and you had to wait for them to be cleared often to sit down. If you finished your meal and went to get desert, your dirty diner dishes often stayed on your table for the rest of your stay. In comparison to every other resort I stayed at, the staff were always there to take your dishes away as soon as your pushed it aside or if your water glass was half empty, it was always filled. NOT HERE. This was very very disappointing to me. No exceptional service at all. To me, this makes or breaks a resort. Never once did I see a happy face welcoming us to diner.

Beach and Pool: All I can say is excellent. That is why we chose this resort. Lots of beach chairs, and shaded areas. Never once did we have to play the chair game.

Overall: I would not return to this resort. It was not a bad experience, but not a great one either. As far as recommending it. Just be aware. If you do not care about service, go for it. The weather was good, and the fun we had at the Tower Casino made up for the resort.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Vicki_Gordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2008

When we arrived, the LTI was undergoing a management change. It is now called VIK Arena Blanca. Some things might get better or worsen, it is difficult to say but overall, we had a wonderful experience. I was travelling with 3 other girl friends with extensive travel experience and we all have been to several resorts, all ratings, in the past. We tend to be picky but wanted a cheaper vacation this time. We would GO BACK!

In summary: NEW, CLEAN, GREAT SIZE, GREAT PEOPLE, LOTS OF ACTIVITY OPTIONS.

This is a small-ish resort. When we arrived, there was no band playing or special drinks or anything like this but we were greeted by very friendly people at the reception who called the waiter to offer us a cerveza! It was very kind. We then headed over to our rooms.

There is not too much walking to get to the room or to the restaurants/beach. Everything is nearby and all services are available. A 3-minute walk will bring you to the gym, medical clinic, spa or the casino (a small one).

ROOM: It was VERY CLEAN, the bathrooms are nice, it's all marble, new tubs, toilets, etc. The only weird thing is that the door has a window in it but we dealt with it by hanging our towel in it!
BEDS: comfortable but here is a tip: BRING YOUR OWN PILLOW. I noticed some rooms seem to have "normal pillows" but for us, it was those little half pillows and the foam in it was in thousands of little pieces so it was not very comfortable. We did not have an oceanview room or anything like this, but all rooms on the resort have a nice view anyway! The balconies are very nice and they have new furniture on them too (nothing fancy but nice). There is A/C, fan.

WEATHER: It was very hot during the day and at night, cool enough to wear a little sweater. The nice thing is that we only had our fan on and no need to turn on the A/C! Very comfortable weather. In the DR in regular season, it rains for a few minutes and it is sunny again. It happened twice only and it was nighttime.

RESTAURANTS: Only TWO a-la-cartes; NO reservations necessary. Service was extremely slow and food was not that good. I saw pictures from the old LTI and it may have been better back then. The Estrella del Mar serves different fish/meats and the Trattoria (Italian) is pasta or meats. Vegetarian options as well.

Filet Meunier at Estrella was swimming in butter! Don't recommend it but other dishes looked good. Oven macaroni at Italian was like Kraft Dinner. I would recommend the the lasagna. We waited in line since they don't do reservations: go early or be prepared to wait.

They alternate the restaurants (one night it is Italian that's open, the following night it's the fish one).

BUFFET: It wasn't the worst we had, but definitely not the best as in "nothing fancy". If you are a PICKY EATER, you will find a lot of things you like. No "theme nights", just a bit of everything every night. Pasta, stir fries (they make them for you), paella, lots of meats, fish, potatoes, rice dishes. Lots of fruit, vegetables. Desserts are ok. Breakfast: EVERYTHING, EVERY DAY.

LUNCH/SNACK BAR: It's the food place for lunch starting at 11 until 6:30pm. The pizza is DELICIOUS. They make hamburgers and hot dogs and there is also a mini buffet inside (you can also do the buffet at lunch). It is just around the pool. You can take your plate pretty much anywhere. There was a paella chef once during our stay and that was great!

DRINKS: A few bars, very clean. You know the ice cubes are made with filtered water too!
WATER: You can fill up your water bottles by any bars. They have fountains with filtered water.

The coffee machine in the lobby makes the BEST CAPPUCCINOS and CAFE con leche. We had several of those!! Good tea selection in little baskets. If you like peppermint, take a few bags when you see them: they go fast! If you like larger quantities of tea/water/drinks, BRING YOUR OWN BIG MUG!!

STAFF: Friendly if you make friends with them. Otherwise, not as friendly (surprisingly). However, they will always help if you ask.

ANIMATION: Great team! Very nice, lots of fun, lots of activities. Music wasn't great though and people didn't participate as much as on other resorts.

GUESTS/NIGHTLIFE: If you want to party, don't go there. It's dead at night. Crowd is mostly Germans, Canadians, a few south americans, French. Age group older than ours (40+) however there were a few of us under 35. You need to go outside of the resort if you want a nightclub. There's 1 bar at night and a disco that are usually....not very crowded.

BEACH: I would compare it to the Bahamas beach (Paradise island) if you've been. Little waves, you can walk for miles and miles on the beach and the water does not get deep quickly, bottom is clear, seaweed free except for 1 day that they all seemed to have come at once but it's a BEAUTIFUL beach, for ANY resort you go to that's on Bavaro Beach.

Overall for the price that we paid, we had a WONDERFUL vacation and it was just what we were looking for!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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6  Thank PickyTraveller77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2008

Hi everyone,

My girlfriends and I just got back yesterday from a week long stay in Punta Cana, DR.

We got to the Vik Arena as they were changing management from LTI, but the vacation were nonetheless simply amazing. Some of the highlights were the engaging animation/ bar staff, the buffet, the free-flowing drinks, pick up volleyball games, the hilarous games after dinner, the capaccino machine in the lobby, fellow travellors at the hotel and of course, the beautiful beach!

There were a few areas of improvement: better service at the a la carte restaurants, wine, and this hotel may not be the best if you're single and ready to mingle! But where they were lacking, they more than made up for in other areas. Towards the end of our trip, we were a big family of vacationers and it was really tough to say goodbye!

Keep up the amazing spirit..and thank you!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Soccergirl80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2008

I seen other reviews when i was booking.. "the pillows" "the water" etc, you guys must be millionairs with something shoved up ur azz. It was pretty much perfect (esp. for the price!), great food, room, people, service, views (30% topless) the only thing that would make it better is the booze was local, so tastes different, and not as strong, so you can drink all day! which might be a good thing for some. Just make sure you lock up valubles (safe) just because you are in another country, and money is of the essence. Oh ya, and make sure to go to the information session with your tour guide, we had to sit in with another group because we were already drinkin on the beach within the first 20min! it is only about 20% english speaking, and of course dont chug the tap water, but they give you more then enough, so no worries! Wicked time....

i'm still looking for the group of Canadians we met there... so if your out there let me know! Yee Haa... Woah Back!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KrazyKanadians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Address: White Sand, Carretera Arena Gorda | Bávaro, Punta Cana 290217, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#61 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#64 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#69 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $176 - $488 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — VIK Hotel Arena Blanca 4*
Number of rooms: 447
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

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