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Reviewed 2 December 2014

We had decided to take a seaside vacation end of November with my wife and 3 year old son to be out of the holiday period.We booked the hotel based on a package price and trusting the 4 stars sup. We were greatly disappointed on what we discovered.

The resort is nice at first glance. Direct access to the beach, nice pools, several restaurants, little shuttle that runs throughout the hotel to ferry customers from or to the reception which is at about 5 minutes walking distance.

We had a Superior Room, which is the basic room type. Although the room cleaning came every day, it was less than satisfactory. As the floor is broom cleaned, there is always a good quantity of dust and sand that remains and gets into the sheets if you are not careful. The walls are extremely thin and you are easily able to follow up on the TV program enjoyed by your neighbors. You can set the AC up only to 21°C so if you are not used to high levels or air-conditioning you are either too cold or too hot if you elect to shut it off before going to bed. The bathroom was in great need of a refresh with the shower door opaque from calcium deposit and mould growing in the corners. Do not try to take a shower between 4 pm and 8 pm or you will only get a cold trickle of water. There is a safe box in the room but you will have to rent a cylinder lock at the rip-off price of 4USD per day.

The food from the principal restaurant (buffet) would have been ok for a cafeteria, but we were expecting a little more from a resort that claims a “4 stars sup.” level. The waitresses are pleasant and smiling but might occasionally get mixed up between Coke and Coke light. The tables get a cursory wipe between customers, but not the table mats. Choose your chairs carefully to avoid stains on your behind. We finally chose to go to the other restaurants every evening where the food was acceptable though you might want to stay clear of the Asian restaurant. You need to book these other restaurants. You can do that only 2 days in advance and there are 3 services: 6 pm, 7.30 pm and 9 pm. The number of places is limited so be sure to book as early as possible if you want to have your preferred service. Strangely enough, half the tables were always empty even when fully booked. And don’t be too in a hurry when you book. Be sure to let the girl taking reservations the time to finish updating her Facebook status or fixing her ponytail.

The pools are nice but time has taken its toll. Several underwater lights were broken or missing. I am not an electrician but I do hope they removed the electrical cables. The chairs of the principal pool, where you can get the pool towels, are reserved even before the opening hours. Catch the pool boy early as the number of towels is limited and you might need to wait for the next batch from the laundry. We chose to go to the medium or the smaller pool where you can easily find a nice place to sit under a sunshade.

During the firsts days of our stay we were harassed inside the resort by an incredible number of locals who were trying to sell us excursions or boat trips. The persecution disappears however once you’ve worked your tan. At lunch time at the entrance of the buffet is a desk labeled “Come back to Dominican Republic” with guys trying to get you to go to a presentation of a company called Royal Holidays that has an office in the resort. However, when the discussion stats by “you’ve already won!” I hear “SCAM!!!” so we politely listened to the tout but did not go to the presentation. Some evenings some other locals install tables in the vicinity of the principal pool to sell necklaces or cigars; more harassment.

Internet was not available in the room (which can be a positive thing) so we had to go to the reception where the wifi was free. Free but slow. And horribly slow in the late afternoon. Count up to 30 minutes to download your emails on your smartphone.

A couple of shops are situated next to the reception where you can find the basics (suncream, electrical adaptors, etc.) as well as some clothing items and souvenirs. Some free shuttles can take you to some local malls every two hours. The shuttles usually start at the hotel so getting a seat on it is guaranteed. But you have to go through all the other resorts on the way so count at least 20 to 30 minutes’ drive time.

We initially wanted to enjoy a massage at the spa of the hotel but after seeing the quality of the other services provided we decided to abstain.

This resort clearly needs, in our opinion, some shake up in it's organisation and maybe a change of Chef in its kitchen.

Needless to say, we were greatly disappointed of the resort and will not be returning there or recommending it.

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Adrian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PrincessHotelsRD, Director General at Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2014

Dear Adrian G,

Your opinion is very important and assisting for us since it is the best way to know where we have to focus our attention in order to improve the quality of our services.

We sorry that we were not able to fulfill your expectations in our gastronomic concept, let me explain you we make menu changes throughout the year and their comments would be passed to our Executive chef to improve on any shortcomings.

We are very sorry of not having achieved your satisfaction and we apologize if you perceived lack of attention from some our staff member. I can assure you that it was never our intention, on the contrary our personnel is trained to accomplish our guests' requirements and needs as much as we can. We extend our sincere apologies if this was not the case.
.

There would be no biggest reward than to have the opportunity to welcome you once again and that your last experience not be a motive to not stay with us in the future. It’s our sincere hope to have a new opportunity to show you our commitment to excellence service. We are sure that in your next visit you will enjoy your stay having a memorable and enjoyable vacation.

Best regards


Federico Espinal
General Manager
Caribe Club Princess Beach Resorts and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2014

Not a lot to say really, other than we expected more, we booked this Hotel based on it being a 4 star... My husband and I travel enough and normally book 5 star and have been accustomed to a certain level of service, that we did not receive here.

We found the reception staff to be uncaring, and not overly helpful, (we wasted far too much time, waiting for things to get done) when it shouldn't have taken any time at all.. The phone in our room had no keys on it, so we could receive a call but couldn't make one, the TV was on it's last legs, buzzing and crackleling when we turned it on and the shower curtain rod had pitted rust through. And the drapes were half hanging off, the entire time we were there.. These things should have all been taken care of, and never neede me to make a complaint about.

We found the food alright,
The entertainment staff were great, Thanks to Spaghetti, our Grandson thought you were great..
needless to say we will not be visiting this hotel again.

Room Tip: 2nd or 3rd floor, near the main pool
  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank britchikincanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PrincessHotelsRD, General Manager at Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2014

Dear britchikincanada,

We would like to thank you for choosing Caribe Club Princess for your holidays and also for sharing your experience with us. Each criticism, compliment and recommendation will help us to improve our standards of services.

Thank you very much for your positive comments about the food and the staff. Especially Spaghetti, we assure you that your good wishes will reach his person.

We deeply regret that you couldn’t enjoy to the fullest and we hope you understand that it was never our intention to disappoint you in anyway.

All in all, thank you very much for your feedback and hope to host you again in the future at Caribe Club Princess.

Sincerely,


Federico Espinal
General Manager
Caribe Club Princess Beach Resorts and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2014

We stayed at the Caribe Club from 10th till 24th November, we had a great time and the weather was fantastic. The rooms are nothing fancy but we didn't go on holiday to sit in the room, the room was clean and comfortable the linen was changed regularly fresh towels every day and the mini bar and coffee was replenished daily. The staff throughout the resort are friendly the service at the beach bar and the pool bar was excellent. The food is very good there is a great choice at the buffet, we ate at the Mexican, Asian and Italian a la carte's (the Brazilian is being refurbished)
our favourite was the Italian but they were all good. The animation team do a great job around the pool and on the beach and the shows that we saw were very good. The lobby bar is a great spot after dinner and Candida has a welcome for everyone. I have read some of the negative reviews but can honestly say that we didn't hear anyone complain about the Hotel throughout our stay.

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank The_Flying_Fifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PrincessHotelsRD, General Manager at Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2014

Dear The_Flying_Fifer,

It gives us great pleasure to extend our gratitude to you for having dedicated a bit of your time to write about your experience here at Caribe Club Princess.

We are deeply honoured by your comments towards our hotel food and the staff. Especially to candida, we will pass your good wishes on to her.

All in all, thank you very much for your feedback and hope to host you again in the future at Caribe Club Princess.

Cordially,


Federico Espinal
General Manager
Caribe Club Princess Beach Resorts and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2014

My husband and I came here for our Honeymoon and had an amazing time! Mercedes at the front desk took care of us from the very start! She made sure we were happy and comfortable and had everything we needed!! She was wonderful and made us feel very special! The excursions offered on this particular resort and the food were both great! We drove to many other resorts to pick people up and heard negative comments about their resorts and weren't as impressed by the first impression when we saw the lobbies. I am super glad we booked where we did. The hotel rooms aren't fabulous and yes, due to the location, things in the room may start to smell a little musty, but when you consider where you are and their resources, it was more than tolerable! Spend more time at the beach and less time in your room! :)

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Kayla N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PrincessHotelsRD, General Manager at Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2014

Dear Kayla N,

It gives us great pleasure to extend our gratitude to you for having chosen Caribe Club Princess for such special occasion.

We appreciate the fact that you thought the lobby was great and that our staff was very nice, especially Mercedes. We realize she is a real asset to the Princess Hotels and we will pass your comments on to her.

Once again, we appreciate your feedback and we will be more than happy to give you a warm welcome on your upcoming visit to Caribe Club Princess.

Best Regards,


Federico Espinal
General Manager
Caribe Club Princess Beach Resorts and Spa

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Reviewed 25 November 2014

Remember you are on Island time! Check in is slow. We paid for the VIP upgrade and its it more than worth it. For starters we were assigned Robelin to help us check in and be our help for issues etc. He is extremely patient and thoughtful. When you tell him your issue there is always a long pause... then the action comes. Without him, I would probably reduce my rating considerably. The only sad thing is the poor guy worked every single day we were there -10 days and he was there over 10 hours a day. He better be up for a raise!

The resort was probably a 5 star in the 80's but time and tropical weather has aged the facilities to a 2-3 star. The king beds were comfortable but only 3 small pillows! The queen beds were next to impossible if your partner weighs more than you as the bed forces them to the middle and the lightweight gets to cuddle or cling to the edge. Hence a room change. Do not expect to have a working phone in the room. It took 5 days for both the room I was in and our friends to be able to communicate via phone. Who cares. Its a tropical vacation. Go sit on the beach.

The housekeeping did a good job but there was inconsistencies from day to day. Some days no bath mat. Some days I got my 3rd requested towel.. some days not. A few dollar tip and a gift ( gum/ fancy soap, pen etc ) got some added details and bonus drinks in the fridge! Turns out we often got 2 maid services a day, so if you set out a tip for the next day before dinner, it might be gone in the evening... but I started to get beach towels, and other nice bonuses so I continued to tip/ gift 2x a day!

The buffet was varied and the servers went above and beyond! The first 5 mornings we were greeted by Yernany and her smile set us up for the rest of the day. We really missed her the rest of the trip. The rest of the morning crew were nice but lacked her sparkle. Our friends under stood her baby might have been sick. We are hoping she and her family are well! Eddie and Francisca stepped in to make breakfast and lunch cheerful and Fran, Eddie, Roberto and Maximus made sure dinner and drinks were perfect. Monday AM by stomach was off, so I asked for sprite at breakfast. Everyone at our table was given sprite for breakfast... every day afterwards too! So sweet that they cared, I didn't have the heart to explain it was just the one day! A tip on the table got you very attentive servers in the future... but some days we forgot our money and the service really didn't change much.

There were 6 other restaurants to eat in but you needed reservations. I hope to address in restaurant reviews but as VIP you get 1 meal at La Cava or Le Peche. We chose La Cava and were considering paying to go again... IT WAS AMAZING! The other 4 restaurants were ok for a bland diet. The one we loved was the Dominican Restaurant. The food was very flavorful and although a bit scary sounding as it was all new, it was the one we wanted to return to!

People have commented on the mangrove smell. It smells better than that sewer smell you get in Vegas! Its not that strong, nor is it in all places and the turtles/ birds and unique vegetation more than make up for the occasional hint of mangrove essence.

There is a train that runs around the resort 24 hours if you are not able to walk the 5 or so minutes it takes to get to the front desk or around the resort. My friend has limited mobility so it was one of the reason we settled on this resort. The only problem is that you sometimes have to wait up to 15 minutes and there is no place to sit while waiting. Please install benches. Also many young people would jump on the train as it pulled in leaving older, less able and those with small children ( those that really need the train) fighting to get a seat. I was surprised by the lack of courtesy exhibited by many of the visitors from all nations. Maybe a sign with a gentle reminder would be in order.

On the weekends many locals come to the resort. The first weekend was a long weekend and it was a bit of a zoo. The only complaint I had was the buffet was SUPER busy and being Canadian we understand the need for orderly lines... apparently on weekends there is no such thing. People literally grabbed a plate and pushed into the buffet not caring about others who were "in line". We had to learn to be a bit more aggressive or go hungry! The weekdays were just fine and the second weekend was better than the first although definitely a bit more aggressive. Food was worth fighting for though! Lots of choice and changed themes daily.

Accessibility is an issue. No elevators. Steep ramps ( seem like after thoughts). All VIP rooms are on upper levels. Every room no matter what floor you were on, had a step from the sleeping space to the living room space so if you were in a wheel chair you would not be able to use half of the room. The bathrooms were large with accessibility handles. Some of the bathrooms had seat options and all seemed to have hand help showers... but the shower was not long enough if you wanted to sit on the "seat" to really shower. All 3 pools had shore style entries so you could easily get in, even in a chair.

Many days you could purchase gifts from tables around the main pool. DO NOT TAKE THE FIRST PRICE OFFERED! No seller will sell it for less than its worth, but they will gladly sell it for a mark up of 300-400%! We settled for no price more than 50% of their first price offered. Many for less than 25% of what they offered. Sadly what you see on these tables you will also see in every mall, every stall and every vendor table. I was not happy with the selection of tourist gifts. Talking with one vendor I suggested less tacky plastic souvenirs, and go higher end on jewelry and local flavored gifts. I would rather pay more for one really nice memento than get 4 tacky plastic ornaments of sexual acts and smoking dope. Grow up. We asked to be taken a nice jeweller and aside from the one on site apparently there isn't one. Driving around I agree. I saw only one I was interested in going to but no one at the resort knew of it. ( Nicole). Having said that her website looked like it might be the same Lorimar set in silver just displayed nicer. Lorimar is a beautiful natural local stone but its all set in tin or silver rather than done up with a nicer base. The San Juan Plaza was nice for clothes if you were a smaller size. Lots of name brand items but very expensive and not my size. The rest of the stores were tourist spots with the same jewelry as the our pool and those tacky plastic treats. The stores on the resort actually had fair prices and a nice selection. Hopefully by the time we go back, the shopping off resort can improve.

Room Tip: Due to the position of the buildings its really hard to get an ocean view. Most rooms face a pool and second and third floor rooms can sometimes see the ocean off to the side but its not a full view. Pools close at dark, so all rooms were quite quiet.
  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank Janv1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PrincessHotelsRD, General Manager at Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2014

Dear Janv1968,

We would like to thank you for choosing Caribe Club Princess for your holidays and also for sharing your experience with us. Each criticism, compliment and recommendation will help us to improve our standards of services.

Thank you very much for your positive comments about the food and the staff, particularly, Yernina, Eddie, Francisca, Fran, Eddie, Roberto and Maximus

All in all, thank you very much for your feedback and hope to host you again in the future at Caribe ClubPrincess.

Sincerely,


Federico Espinal
General Manager
Caribe Club Princess Beach Resorts and Spa

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