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“Was Great Trip!”
Review of Occidental Caribe

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Occidental Caribe
Ranked #60 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 29 February 2012

From my experience, in the same moment that we come, they received us with the whole help and necessary information that up to the moment we needed. In the whole trip they attended to me with many happiness and predisposition, making me feel reception for them. They are a Team of agreeable persons who made that my vacations are remembered by many happiness and gratitude....I want to return there!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Soraya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,652 - 3,656 of 9,293 reviews

Reviewed 29 February 2012

Honest & to the point. We are not a fussy and high maintenance couple. Have been to 2 other resorts in the Dominican that were awesome but this resort failed badly.
Service -- Poor
Buffet Food -- Bad
Lobby -- Plain
Lobby Entertainment -- Bad & Non Existent
Rooms -- Old & Plain ( unless in new section )

We were both sick off & on for 2 weeks --- Enough Said!!
Should be rated as a 3 star then you would know what you are getting
Feel free to e-mail me for any further info. colleen_mcmain@hotmail.com

  • Stayed: February 2012
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2  Thank Premiumblonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Stayed at the Barcelo Punta Cana with my husband and 19 year-old daughter from February 18th - February 25th, 2012. Had a "tropical" suite with Transat Holidays Prestige Class Inclusions, at a cost of $1500. per person. This was our first visit to the Dominican Republic. We were there for some R & R and to look at a property where we could bring the rest of our family (twelve people including adults and small children) next year.

First the good - this is a nice property with lovely grounds, great pools (we only frequented the "quiet" one) and beach. The staff was very friendly and did their best to accommodate our needs. Concierge service, bathrobes, slippers, beach towels and daily replenishment of the mini bar are good features of the Prestige Class.

Now the bad - unfortunately, the Barcelo Punta Cana falls far short of delivering the luxury and services touted by Transat Holidays as per our experiences outlined below:

- Although there is a separate check-in for Prestige Class clientele and we were the only ones in the queue, regular guests were actually being processed quicker. It took at least a half hour for us to be checked in. As well, it would be in much better taste to leave the welcome letter and bottle of rum in the room than to hand it to guests at the front desk, a rather gauche practice.

- Prestige Class offers dedicated room location, however, our first room was a Tropical Suite located in building five, one of the older buildings. The room was fine but is tired and dull looking and we soon discovered that there was no hot water in either of the bathrooms. We were unable to change rooms because the hotel was full, we were unable to transfer to another hotel (at an additional cost to us) because there was no availability and the hotel was unable to rectify the problem except for a short period of time on Sunday night when we had luke-warm water. (By the way, although we apprised the Transat Holidays representative of the problem, he never got back to us during the remainder of our stay to verify if the situation had been taken care of - so much for customer service!) My first bath in two days was followed by a flood from the bathtub pipes that we had to mop up with bath towels, and although we alerted the front desk to the problem, it was only much later in the evening when we once again spoke to them that someone from maintenance was sent to the room to investigate. We were still without hot water on Monday so after lunch I stood my ground with front desk and guest services personnel and insisted on meeting with the General Manager. She met us at the suite and discovered for herself that indeed, we were without hot water. This resulted in our being transferred to one of the hotel's Presidential suites. This is a huge, well appointed suite with magnificent views of the ocean. Her intervention certainly saved the day and for this we are very grateful.

- One of the two elevators in building three was out of order intermittently during our stay. As a matter of fact, we got stuck in it for a couple of minutes with the guest relations employee who was taking us to view our new room.

- Pre-arranged dinner reservations in the a-la-carte- restaurants are acceptable only if one has the flexibility to change the timing of these dinners. We were given reservations for 6:00 p.m. every night and when we told the front desk personnel that these were not suitable for us (we do not eat dinner at home that early and we certainly do not expect to be dictated to when on holiday), we were told that nothing could be done until the following day. At that point, one of the front desk employees was able to change our reservation for Sunday night and then we waited for an hour and a half while one of the tireless guest services employees worked on changing our reservations to more reasonable times ranging from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Curiously, regardless of the time we went to the restaurants, they were only ever three-quarters to half full.

- The noise from wedding parties, other revelers and music echoed throughout the hotel way past all reasonable hours. While we understand that people are on vacation and wish to enjoy themselves, it is unfair to keep other guests up until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. and even later. Several people we encountered during our stay described this hotel as a "party hotel". Had we only known.........

- There is a dearth of umbrellas at the pools. After having been kept awake every night by loud music and partying one had to be up, dressed and downstairs no later than 6:45 a.m. in order to secure a prime spot under an umbrella or palapa. It became a race against time!

- There is a marked discrepancy between the food in the a-la-carte restaurants and the food at the buffets which for the most part, although plentiful, was inedible. (We have been on two school trips with our daughter when she was in high school to Greece and Spain, and the food provided on those trips was far better than that at this hotel's lunch and dinner buffet.) Most dishes were swimming in sauce, unpalatable and lacking any visual appeal. Ordinary items such as orange juice and skim milk were only available at the Prestige Internet Lounge. The Pizzeria (where the very personable Nilson was on duty) and El Mirador were good alternatives to the lunch buffets. The food in the a-la-carte restaurants we frequented was comparable to that found at the Iberostar and Grand Palladium resorts we have stayed at in other countries, however, the buffet food is way below the standards of these other properties.

- Smoking is allowed throughout the hotel, in all public areas such as the lobby, lobby bars and sitting areas, hallways, etc. In this day and age, one would think there would be designated smoking areas. For example, one bar and sitting area for smokers, the other for non-smokers.

We have travelled to various countries in the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe and this is the first time we have encountered so many issues with a property. We are not so naive as to expect that a 4 1/2 star resort in the Dominican Republic will compare with a 4 1/2 star in New York, but we do expect it to be well maintained, offer good food and comfort to all guests. We acknowledge the fact that all-inclusive resorts must cater to a broad range of tastes and clientele, however, we feel the Barcelo Punta Cana did not meet the standards we were expecting. Since our return home, our research indicates that complaints about the plumbing (problems with both hot and cold water, leaks, etc.), the food, the rooms, etc. go back several years and seem to be ongoing. We witnessed a number of angry and disgruntled hotel guests venting their frustration at the front desk and guest services counter during our sojourn at the hotel.

Although the room we were eventually moved to was great and the employees hard-working and eager to please, this property just has too many negatives to consider a return visit. When one comes home more tired and stressed out than when one left for a holiday, it cannot be deemed a success. We will definitely not be returning to the Barcelo Punta Cana.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Cynthia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

We have just booked our 7th trip to Barcelo Punta Cana. Panic set in when we thought the hotel was sold out for the dates we planned - searching for another resort that could even compare was very stressful! We have traveled to Cuba and Jamaica but Barcelo Punta Cana is our absolute favorite.
The pools are beautiful and clean. The beach is stunning and the waves are a ton of fun! The resort is considered big but easy to get around. Food is good...if you can't find something than I would be very surprised. Rooms are clean and more than suitable. Staff is friendly and helpful.
There is nothing I would change about this resort...trust me...you will love it!!! :)

Room Tip: Upgrade to a ocean/pool view....you won't be disappointed!
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank LovinBarcelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

I stayed in 7202 (unrenovated section) from 20Feb-26Feb and I have mixed feelings about the resort.
The grounds are well landscaped and groomed daily, the lobby & public areas are kept very clean and are well maintained.
Pools: The main pool is very large and crowded near the swim-up bar, but lots of chairs & room as you moved away from there. The "quiet" pool is smaller, but near bars and has an area for swimming laps. They also have a kiddie pool which my kids would have enjoyed up until about age 5. The pools close at 7:00 PM.
Bars: The lobby bar was always busy, the bartenders were friendly but rushed to fill your order and move on the the next customer. They used the house brand liquor (Royal) for all of the included drinks. The Sports bar is near the quiet pool, more relaxed, pool tables, ping pong, TV's tuned to various sports. The Theater bar is the all-night bar with younger bartenders and catering to 20 somethings after mid-night (also snacks after 2300 - more on that later). The Pool bar was busy the entire day and was pretty much taken over by the younger guests by mid-afternoon. It closes at 6:00 PM. The Beach bar was my favorite. Multiple bartenders kept the line moving and were pretty good about remembering what you drank. They used the Ron Barcelo rums instead of Royal, poured a generous shot and were a great bunch of guys. It closes at 10.
Food: Roma was just God-awful. Tomato & proscuitto in olive oil appetizer was 3 slivers of tomato, ten slices of proscuitto the circumference of a nickel and as thin as Saran wrap in italian dressing, the 2 stuffed manicotti were the size of cigars and the bechamel sauce had so much flour that it tasted like paste and hardened as the dish cooled, tiramasu dessert was thaw & serve floating in chocolate flavored water, my coffee order never arrived. Tokio was just OK. I was seated with a group of Russians who remarked that they had better japanese food in Moscow. The biggest part of teppan dining is the show, but our chef was just going through the motions with no flair or style. Alcazar is the main buffet (full breakfast, lunch & dinner). The salad greens & raw vegetables were fresh tasty. A wide variety choices and the only things that were immediate turn-offs were the ham salad (green?) and the pre-made "sirloin steaks".. The pasta at the pasta station was very good and the chef had a habit of breaking out into song while he was cooking. (note: if you try the Domincan Cod Stew be aware that it is not boneless). Simon Pizza (over Marlin) had surprisingly good pizza for lunch. They were also open for dinner on 3 nights while I was there. I spoke to people who enjoyed the mexican restaurant for lunch, but it was on the opposite end of the beach from me and i never made it there. Marlin's "continental" breakfast buffet was very good. A fresh egg/omelet station and a decent selection. Their mashed bananas would have been very good if they could find a way to keep them hot.
Late night snacks: The Theater bar advertises "sandwiches & pizza" after 11:00 PM. It was actually a buffet of greasy cold french fries, greasy limp homemade tortilla chips (no salsa or queso), greasy fried chicken (just a chicken that had been chopped up and dropped in a fryer), cut up hot dog wieners, breaded fried hot dog wieners and limp greasy fried plantains. Pretty much the most revolting food you would ever want to see after a day & night of drinking. A woman asked the bartender where the sandwiches were and he replied that what they had was what they always have.
Beach: Wonderful. A nice, long stretch of well-groomed sand. Plenty of chairs. No umbrellas, but there is a large shaded area where the chairs went quickly.
Activities: The animation staff was always working. They kept organizing volley ball and other beach games, dances and contests at the pool and put on a fun little PG rated "Carnival" on the 25th.
Room: My room overlooked the pool. I could see the ocean from my balcony and hear it at night. Absolutely no complaints about the location. The room was clean, there was no mold or musty smell. I'm used to sleeping on a firm mattress so the bed was very comfortable to me.
Critical areas: Unfortunately the hotel seems to be suffering from neglect, as though Barcelo has concentrated their resources on the big complex and forgotten about this one.
The shower had a 60 second cycle between all hot & all cold, plaster cracks and ill-fitting tiles in the ceiling, rattan unwinding or missing from the furniture, door shelves missing from the mini-fridge, a little 27" CRT TV, an iPod dock/clock that wouldn't connect or charge, a Guest Services notebook with only German & Italian, a "24 hour medical office" that was NEVER open, ALL of the ice machines in Bldg. 7, 6, 5, 4 & 3 (I didn't check 1 & 2) unplugged and empty, in the elevator that serviced Bldg. 6 & 7 the only button that worked was for the 4th Fl., the rooms need new paint and color scheme (tan & white doesn't exactly evoke the Caribbean), there are numerous terra cotta tiles missing from the roof, the concrete pool is long due to be drained and scrubbed and the AC is pitiful; I had the thermostat set at 18C (65F) and the lowest the AC ever brought it to was 23C (73F). It was actually cooler to sleep with the balcony door open than with the AC running full blast.

Barcelo Punta Cana is on a downward slide, which is a shame because the people are great and there is a lot of potential here. The unrenovated (superior) are 3* at best. The renovated (deluxe) rooms may not be far behind. I spoke to a group of 6 Canadians who said that they had been here 3 times over the "past few years" and that they would probably go somewhere else next time because their deluxe rooms were "starting to look shabby".

To sum it up. I payed $172/night and that is probably where the the price point is, not the $256/nt their website wanted for the same room. At my price I'm satisfied, at theirs I would be upset.
I'll return to Punta Cana, but not to Barcelo's Punta Cana.

Room Tip: upper floors, facing inward, in Bldg 7 have the best views and are closest to the beach & main p...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank bill m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Caribe

Address: Carretera Macao s/n | Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23301, Dominican Republic (Formerly Barcelo Punta Cana)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#53 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $143 - $374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Caribe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 798
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Breezes Punta Cana
Barcelo Punta Cana Resort
Barcelo Premium Punta Cana
Barcelo Dominican Punta Cana
Punta Cana Barcelo

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