Updated: Jul 15, 2019
As the title said I have mixed emotions writing this review, this trip left me feeling ripped off and upset because I was told this was a 4.5-5 star hotel, and it wasn't even close in my opinion. I just got back yesterday after a 2 week stay, we celebrated our wedding at the resort and honeymooned for a week.
So I will start with the positives:
The beach is BEAUTIFUL. One of the best beaches I've ever had the pleasure of using at an All Inclusive. Clean, no seaweed, lots of beach chairs and the water is turquoise and warm. The resort is older, so its trees and plants are all mature and beautiful. The resort keeps the grounds immaculate, and the gardeners deserve a big shout out! The swim up pool in the Diamond Club section is great, we ended up using it 99% of the time instead of the public pool. It felt cleaner and more private. Our Butler Emmanuel was fantastic. He checked on us every single day to ask us if we needed anything, and when we needed help he got on it ASAP.
Our housekeepers were great as well, we had the same women everyday and they did a great job.
The diamond club concierge was great as well, the girls in the office were always helpful! My wedding coordinator Ines was amazing!! I came in super stressed and she made sure our day was perfect. It was the most beautiful day, we couldn't have asked for better. She went above and beyond and we couldn't thank her enough.
The bad: The food and drinks were inconsistent, the food I found was over salted many of the times and just sub par. They have a huge selection, I wish they would have scaled it back a bit so they could focus on the food better. 4.5 star to 5 star resorts should have AMAZING food in my opinion.
Some of the bartenders were good, but trying to find them was hard. They rotate the staff constantly, so one bar would be good, the next day it could be crap.
My husband ordered a long island at the pool bar, and they had run out of coke. When the bartender thought he wasn't looking he put a brown liquor in the drink and served it to him. The drink was pure booze and they thought that was ok to serve.
The service was inconsistent, we tipped regularly to insure good service and it just didn't matter. Some of the staff really could careless and it showed, we couldn't even get them to crack a smile at times.
The restaurants don't take any reservations which is frustrating and sit half empty, but they make guests wait 20-30 mins to get in.
Jade the Asian restaurant was absolute GARBAGE. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. It was the worst meal I had at the resort. Their 'chefs' don't understand or know how to cook asian dishes and it shows.
All of the other restaurants aren't bad, Hunters has excellent steak, the Italian has awesome chicken parm and the Mexican was great!
The buffet has a wide selection, but again I found the food to be overly salted and mediocre. I actually stopped going to the buffet because one lunch I kid you not I found a staple sitting in one of the salad dressings. I ran over to find an employee and show them and he just said 'sorry' took it and walked off. That's insane to me, if someone swallowed that I don't even want to imagine the internal damage it could have done. Also HOW DOES A STAPLE FIND ITS WAY INTO SALAD DRESSING?
I was off put by that so I avoided the buffet for a few days.
The halls near the rooms allow a lot of noise into your room. During the day it's ok and even in the evenings. But late at night its terrible, guests having conversations or even screaming and fighting in the hall were so loud it felt like you were in the hall with them. On numerous occasions this happened at between 12am-4am. It happened to us our last week, but we felt terribly for our guests because it was nightly for them their entire week. Some teenagers (14-15yrs old) were left alone unsupervised (rooms to their selves and all) and were finding ways to get alcohol. Were drunk and rowdy all day and night. One night they were in the halls at 2am smashing plates and cups in the hallway, screaming and fighting each other. When my guest told me I was horrified to hear this is what they had been dealing with so we went to the front desk to complain. We spoke with a manager who didn't care. He said he would change their rooms, but we asked for some compensation because the resort was allowing this behavior. He said "we can't control how guests behave, I can't do anything more. We're changing your room that as best as we can do for you" Unbelievable, I brought over 30 people with me and they couldn't make it up to a couple who had been dealing with hell for almost the entire week? I quickly reminded the manager his bartenders are serving minors which is illegal in the DR as well as security is the resorts job and clearly the management was doing nothing about it.
There are vendors that come in selling touristy things Monday and Friday (which is insane to me? I've never had this at any other resort I've been too) These guys are PUSHY AND AGGRESSIVE. I had some of them yell at my guests, some say "well if you won't buy anything I have 5 kids give me some money" and the last straw for me was when they started to touch me and grab my arm to bring me over. I quickly told my butler and I think he spoke to all the vendors because after that, they all left me alone. The vendors are in the middle of the resort and they position themselves in all areas so guests have no way of avoiding them. The time share and spa people are also super pushy, I went for TWO massages and they still kept asking me every single time I walked by to go in. I told them I've also had two massages and they said "well why not buy another?" It just felt like all of the resort just looked at us as ATM's at points. By the end of the stay we just started ignoring the vendors and the up selling staff because we were so irritated from being harassed. I also noticed that there was mold in our room, I understand with their climate and the humidity mold is bound to happen. But when I wake up in the middle of the night GASPING for air because my throat actually closed shut from an allergic reaction to mold there is an issue. The AC filters clearly are not changed enough. Most staff don't speak English, I understand I'm coming to their country and they speak Spanish. But most of them couldn't understand basic requests or questions I had.
I know this is super long, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. Some people go to this resort regularly and put down anyone who says anything negative about the resort and say that the negative reviews are just from people who are impossible to please. We are not those people, we just had all of these experiences happen in the 14 days and it really ruined our vacation/honeymoon. Give me good food, good drinks and a smile from the resort staff and we are happy. And we couldn't even get that consistently. Truly a disappointing stay and waste of a lot of $$$
Date of stay: May 2019
Room tip: DC Swim Up Rooms are worth it for private swims