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All reviews leisure team bedroom apartment a la carte restaurant dominican republic jean carlos muchas gracias small resort beautiful resort private beach la romana wonderful beach coral reef beach bar turquoise water all inclusive package the general manager santo domingo
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Reviewed 21 March 2017

Stayed two weeks in March with my wife, 9 year old son, and mother-in-law and was very frustrated by many things at this resort. Air Transat advertised this resort as a four star all inclusive ....it is neither.
Firstly I want to say we are well-travelled, go-with-the-flow Canadians who are not complainers. However, this resort tested our ability to keep our mouths shut. We got the garden-view 2 bedroom suite that we reserved (Manorca building) only to find it was really a parking lot view. The room was clean but didn't have a mini bar as advertised. We had 2 bottles of water (for four of us), no soft drinks, and no beer. The air conditioner in the living room never really worked but the bedroom units worked well. Over the first couple of days we had a lot of house-keeping issues. No mini bar appeared after several inquires at the front desk, toilet paper and hand soap were never replaced, and one of our maids was less than friendly. After 4 days of fighting to get toilet paper and soap we finally got fed up and complained to our Air Transat rep. He was able to get me a meeting with an As. Manager. She said all the right things and promised a much better experience for us moving forward. Two days later, and nothing resolved, I realized all my complaints had been forgotten the second I walked out of the lobby. At this time I realized that we had focused our anger in the wrong direction. This hotel is what it is....it is Air Transat that just plain lied and misrepresented this resort. As a family we made the decision to stop complaining about things that were not going to change and just do our best to enjoy the second week of our trip.
FOOD- there really is only one buffet to eat at and it served the same food day after day. The food is fresh but it is the same over and over again. No butter for first week, no peanut butter, and whoever heard of an kid-friendly (as advertised) resort not having ICE CREAM. Really.....no ice cream....unless you want to buy it at the little store on the resort. The a la -carte restaurant was cringe-worthy. No matter how early your reservation-several items on the menu were not available. It became a game of watching other people eating their food, sending it back, or trying to swallow the food. This resort does offer a 'special' bonus at dinner time . The bug man comes with a leaf-blower fogger that sends a cloud of death throughout the entire resort. The horror on the faces of people trying to cover their mouths and their babies was priceless. The fact that the resort fogs at the same time as the buffet opens only shows a total lack of managment and common sense.
POOLS- no complaints here. The two main pools were spotless and very nice to swim in. I will say the kids water slide section was a double-edged sword. My son loved it but with no supervision it quickly descended into the Lord of the Flies. Staff were on hand but were clearly not comfortable saying anything to a guest about their mis-behaving children. This is more a statement on parenting skills than a fault of the resort.
STAFF- Although we had a good experience with some of the staff and quickly became friends with these few....most of the staff were unfriendly and didn't seem to really enjoy their job. I have to qualify this as the staff probably got this way over time due to the patrons who stay at this resort. This area of the D.R. Is clearly for Europeans. 90% of the patrons of this resort were from two countries. These countries ween their enfants on ice cubes. After a week of trying to strike up a conversation, or even saying a friendly "good morning" and being met with cold blank stares it's easy to see why the staff are the way they are.
BARS-As stated in other reviews the pool bar often ran out of beer. The main bar was under-staffed. Rather than having one area of the bar for ordering drinks....people just walked up in every direction and staff just helped whoever in whatever order they saw them. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO BEACH SERVICE. You run out-you go get.
BEACH- no complaints here. Appears all of the resorts in this area had their piers destroyed in a recent storm...this resort is the only one that has re-built their pier. It's perfect for chairs and has two stairs directly into the water. The man-made reef attracts many fish for snorkelling.
Overall this is a physically beautiful resort that quickly falls apart on closer inspection. There is no management here whatsoever. The condo owners were clearly not happy when the resort switched to become a all-inclustive resort..we got a few comments from them. Although I have said many negative things about this resort I think it has a market. People who have had previous vacations ruined by wall thumping music and drunken idiots will appreciate this place. I will say it was very safe, very clean and very quiet. If you are reading this and have already booked your trip here I have a few things that can make your stay better. As far as money goes there is no ATM machine on this resort. The nearest one is a 20 Minute walk to the next resort so take enough pesos/American dollars for your trip. You will need to buy your own water at the store each day just to survive. Also, pack enough bars of soap for your duration, coffee for your room, peanut butter for toast, and sadly, pack your own toilet paper. We actually locked a roll in our safe for back-up. Sadly, when we mentioned this to another couple they had done the exact same thing!

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
12  Thank canuck425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2017

This used to be the best deal in town! Quiet, with a great Italian restaurant. Now it seems to have been taken over by an all-inclusive management. Terrible food, and for some reason they play the music very loud, and have employees trying to get you to exercise on the beach. Awful. The property is so beautiful, but now they have ruined it. They have moved the kids play area to the farthest corner, next to the nature preserve. So parents can't sit at the bar, beach or pier and see the kids. food situation is awful. No more Italian restaurant (homemade pasta from a wonderful husband wife team) and now they are building a sushi restaurant, which is completely ridiculous, as it is not safe to eat any uncooked fish on this island, as there are NO SAFETY REGULATIONS. I have been to this resort many, many times, but will no longer return. I can go to any of the resorts and get the same thing, loud music, lousy food.

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank RollerDiscoPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2017

We visited the hotel in February-March 2017 and it was a great time.
Very nice hotel. Magnificent territory. Many flowers and trees. Clean and comfortable rooms. The beach and the sea are magnificent. Special thanks for the animation. Spanish lessons-Gracias. The best dance lessons from Gregory and Jesus. Excellent zumba. Guys are real professionals. We also liked playing bingo. The animation was fun. Muchas gracias!!!
Very good restaurant. Thanks boss-chef!!! Everything was delicious!
The staff was lovely everywhere.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank NastyaZ58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2017

The minute we entered we encountered terrible management. Front desk was unable to handle my family of 4, another couple and 2 guest complaints happening at once despite having 3 people behind the front desk. That was our first impression and it was not wrong, all week we dealt with terrible management and poor service. Jose, bellhop was very friendly and patient. He brought us to our room, opened the door to a gorgeous 2 bedroom 2 bath condo our jaws dropped as we thought we booked a regular hotel room. Simply beautiful, it was Majorca building. However we had to change rooms because the water pressure was so poor I could not use the shower, it was little more than a trickle and the toilet was broken. Jose drove my husband to 3 different rooms to find a satisfactory one. I think all Majorca has this pressure problem. Next, the food, we arrived after lunch, snacks were horrible, we were offered a burger patty on sliced bread or a pizza on a tiny tortilla chip. I let it slide knowing this was the case from reading other reviews, hoped for that amazing dinner. But the amazing dinner never appeared. The buffet is not big enough to handle the small crowd at the hotel, not enough tables, not enough food. Trays emptied seconds after they were brought out and not replaced until 1/2hr if replaced at all. The breakfast lacked, I have an egg allergy there was nothing for me to eat other than bread and fruit. No cereal, no muffins or cakes, no croissants, no yogurt. I went hungry until lunch everyday which is not something you want on vacation. My husband and I enjoy espresso with breakfast, on a daily basis we were told "no espresso, only at night". We have never heard the word "no" at a resort before, we were shocked. So hungry and agitated about my coffee was how I started every day of my vacation. Not good. Lunch we learned quick to be there when it opens or you're out of luck, waiting on a table then the food disappears. Dinner at the a la carte was a disgrace, we dined there 3 nights, all 3 they lacked 4/6 appetizers and 1or2 out of 3 entree choices. The steaks they use are a very low quality, so tough my fork wouldn't go into it. We tipped very well the first 5 days until I was told no yet again for a simple request. My husband went to complain to front desk, after that we were suddenly offered espresso with breakfast, too little, too late on my last full day.
Everything is rationed worse than Cuba at this place, one flimsy napkin per place setting at the buffet, even when they serve saucy ribs! So cheap to remedy put a stocked napkin holder on each table, small things that create comfort are easy ways to improve guest experience.
Our maid was wonderful, our fridge was always well stocked (caballo building).
The beach was the most gorgeous we've seen, the pier is delightful. The water is crystal clear and calm, the snorkelling is fantastic. Shallow 4ft and you see all kinds of fish. We loved the waterpark too.
My other issue with this place is that it comes off as very family oriented, 2 and 3 bedroom units, waterpark, tons of things on the beach to entertain the kids, BUT there is no kid friendly food anywhere, no French fries, no real pizza as their website displays, no ice cream. It was frustrating at times trying to find something my boys would eat, sometimes a plate of French fries or a peanut butter sandwich is all kids want. Simple improvements: add peanut butter packs by the bread. A bag of frozen French fries.
I would love to read the improvements suggested on trip advisor are made, we would love to return, but we won't consider going back to encounter the same thing again. It's a shame, the hotel is gorgeous, clean, very comfortable for families, but very poorly run. Everything felt cheap, everything was rationed. I never felt that in Cuba, a country where it would be expected. We left very disappointed in our holiday choice.

Room Tip: Avoid Majorca building, no water pressure
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank jlogozzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2017

The site is absolutely gorgeous. The accommodations are spread out in the configuration of a little town, not overcrowded with guests, interesting mix of guests from eastern Europe, Canada and local? - I think - spanish speaking anyways. The beach is beautiful, water is turquoise, sunsets are amazing and the pier sticking out into the ocean is very pleasant. This place is also very safe place, excellent for families and kids. There is an arcade room that is fun for a few nights. The food at the main buffet setting is excellent but the a la carte restaurant was ridiculously slow and not impressive for all the fuss of reserving. The sushi place is a nice change but extremely mediocre in quality.
The pool layout is very beautiful and the water park - for children -is fun when turned on. I did find it strange that the "included" water sports- such as the catamaran and kayaks required a cash deposit to take out.
i did find it extremely disappointing that no one seemed to smile - apart form the "leisure team", the security, and the water sport/ activity lady and the cleaning staff- for the first 2 days. i did find it annoying that the front desk had no clue why the sushi place had been closed for 2 days and had no clue about the meal hours or availability of snacks. I found it amusing that the main staff started to smile after I wrote an email to the hotel suggesting they should hire staff who smile. There were a few who seemed happy to be working and be in our company: Surary, Dihania and Jean Carlos. I would not want to blame the staff for being overworked and inefficient - they seemed to work 14 hours with no break and I would also pace myself in the same situation. However, these were my holidays that i paid for so I was extremely disappointed with the very poor service, the extremely low quality of the bar drinks. Awful local alcohol and the mixes of the worst quality. Wait times of 10 minutes to get a drink... Forget having a margarita here on your all inclusive plan. You'll get some kind of sweet syrupy orange alcohol with sweet mix. Forget having a nice fresh juice with fresh fruit and lime. Only sugary crap from the pre-mixed crap and a tiny piece of lime....as if it was as rare as a pink diamond. Oh and did I say they run out of the really boring pale beer, run out of tonic water, run out of soda water, run out of pinacolada mix, run out of gin....on a fairly regular basis???

Redemption is in the beauty of the location as a paying customer, i think that is insulting on the part of the resort management....The natural beauty is a given...the ball is in your court to match the beauty and quality of the surroundings. Please, make an effort to earn your 5 stars. Please make it so that I a amazed by the service, quality and attention to detail.

..

Room Tip: Stay close to the pool. You don't get the noise from the beach and it's a short walk to the beach.
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Isabelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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