Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana
The Punta Cana Princess offers an exclusive location with a white sandy beach bathed by the Caribbean Sea.
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"Four star quality"
Rowena from Canada on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
370 people found this review helpful
We traveled by Air Transat from Toronto on one of the planes with the newer seats with lots of legroom –very comfortable. They did not check weight of carry-on at departure, just the total weight of our two checked bags. There was a long line but with lots of attendants at check-in, it didn’t take long. A pleasant flight - on time departure! - with edible food catered by Quiznos.
On arrival at Punta Cana, the planes land and a large flight of steps are brought up to the plane. There was a long row of large planes from several countries there. We had a long walk from the plane to the entrance to the thatched roof terminal. The line went very slowly, since each couple has to stop to have photo taken with a couple of costumed girls (for sale at departure). Once past this, things went rapidly past customs officials. There are two official forms given to you on the plane: a credit card sized tourist pass and a form to be filled in with name, passport number etc. They don’t look at them - just throw them in a bin and wave you on to the next station for passport stamping. We then had to find our luggage, which took awhile to be unloaded from the plane. The signage is not good for the luggage carousels or for finding the buses, but just follow the crowd. Just as you head out, a gauntlet of semi-official looking locals are very eager to grab your bags and carry them the 100 yards to the bus for you for a tip. A simple No, gracias is sufficient. Then you get to a semi-open area with little booths – look for the one for your tour operator to find out which bus is yours. There were NO Air Transat people outside to direct us to the bus (there was a lot full of busses and vans), but a helpful Nolitours rep pointed it out to us. It seemed mass confusion from the time we left the plane until we were processed and on the bus, but the hundreds of people (at least 2 plane loads) were on the buses and on their way in about 30 minutes.
To the Resort:
It was a nice modern bus, with air con but no bathroom on bus. The ride took about 35 minutes, slightly bumpy but no big deal. Not surprising there is malaria in the Punta Cana area, since there are numerous swampy areas near most resorts (Check with your doctor about prevention!). We were able to get a glimpse of the local area on the way- stores and resorts and some dwellings. The driver and rep dropped others off at their resorts first then the PC Princess – only a couple of minutes apart – they were next door to each other.
Punta Cana Princess::
Check in was smooth, with a cold cloth and a tasty cocktail. Our room was ready (about 2:15 pm). Our large luggage was tagged and we walked over to find our room, to find the bags delivered about 5 minutes later. Excellent room, large, clean and in good condition. Flat screen TV to watch the news and weather – 30+ channels and several in English! Mini bar with beer, sprite, coke and water- refilled daily. The roomy bathroom with two sinks had lots of hot water to shower, and toiletries.. It compares to a good Canadian hotel room, except there was no Kleenex. The room safe is free, and there are also slippers, robes, coffee maker, beach towels and an umbrella for your use.
Yes, people reserve chairs in spite of the sign, but we always found some, sun or shade as wanted – on the beach and by the pool. A lovely downpour one morning at 9 AM fixed those who left towels out early! We saw several (when they turned up several hours later) wringing the water out of their towels. Fresh beach towels were put in the room with the evening turndown service and the bar was replenished if necessary during the daily maid cleaning and in the evening.
The Buffet was good, some dishes somewhat repetitive but no one will starve. You are greeted with a different cocktail each evening on the way in. On a couple of nights 3-4 tables of souvenirs were outside the buffet with extremely aggressive salespeople. A firm No, Gracias and for one the raised hand did the trick. The buffet has theme nights: Mon- Italian, Tues – Dominican, Wed – Asian, Thurs- Gala, Fri –Mexican, Sat – Sea Food, Sun – International. We took a pass on the Dominican night (rabbit and goat) and went to the TexMex a la carte- very good. The best we found was the Mexican night at the buffet –great! As we have found with buffets the world over (including U.S. & Canada) sometimes the food was not as hot as it should be. Check the metal dish (carefully) if you are in doubt and point it out to staff if it is cool. The squeaky wheel usually gets results eventually. A great variety of cheese and fresh fruit was almost always available – and excellent yogurt –not too sweet. Every night there is a pasta bar where they will make to your order. There was a roast of some sort every night, and fresh chicken breast and fish, which was cooked to your order. Veggies were salad, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and some green beans - which needed more moist cooking! There were usually one or two more unusual veggies too. Bread was great - with whole wheat always available. The “La Petite Fondue” is a must visit. The servers are very attentive, and show you how to do everything. Our favourite appetizer – the shrimp! You dip the shrimp in egg , then bread crumbs and then 20 seconds in the hot oil. Excellent. The Bailey flavoured chocolate dessert fondue was absolutely decadent!
OH the Beach!
We walked a long distance along the beach every morning, past several resorts. The beach is miles of fine white sand, with shallow water. Wonderful! The yellow flag was out the whole time we were there, with 1-4 foot waves, but the sand slopes gently into the water so it was fun to play in the surf. A little seaweed washed up at high tide but not a big deal. To the left down about 2 resorts was a flea market, with many booths selling tourist junk and very suspicious looking bottles of liquor and cigars.
Time Share Pests::
There were a number of time-share pests along the beach, usually hanging out at the boundary between the resorts, but once one accosted us on the resort. They have a very smooth patter, making you think they are actually from the resort and you can get a deal if you go to their resort the next time, but beware of them if you don’t want to have an hour or two of sun time wasted by high pressure sales people. Time-share pests can be identified by the rectangular, black rimmed ID card worn on a cord around their neck. They are usually wearing white shirts. Hotel staff usually has distinctive uniforms with the resort name embroidered on them.
Check-out Procedure - simple!
Phone the desk to collect the bags, the porter is there in a couple of minutes to carry or drive your luggage to the lobby. Just turn in your keys and wait for the bus. The slip of paper you are given at checkout is needed for the bus, and be sure you are on the right one (and your luggage). There are LONG lines at the airport ticket counters, very poor signage as to which line you should be in. Here they weigh both the bags and the carry-ons altogether. It is expensive to be over weight - $20 (U.S.) per kg.
Punta Cana Airport
Very poor for souvenirs – one store for general souvenirs and liquor – very overpriced. I bought a little car in the Resort gift shop for about $3 US and saw it at the airport for $12. Good choice of fast food, pizza was cold, though. Great viewing of planes coming and going!
Punta Cana Princess
Pros – Four star quality, lots of food variety, only 250 rooms, adults only, lots of little bonuses like no hassle beach towels, free bottle of rum etc., beautiful, clean, not crowded, pleasant staff, great pool and beach, interesting a la cartes, access to food & entertainment etc. at 2 other Princess resorts and Casino by shuttle bus.
Cons – could have some more lively entertainment in evenings, needs something like a piano bar for evenings – lobby is too big and spread out for people interaction.
Yes, we recommend it to others. We might go back again, but like to try new places and new islands. If we return anywhere, this would be high on our list
Irene from Canada on Jan 1, 2009 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
376 people found this review helpful
Arrival: December 14-28, 2008
Flight was on time with no incidents. Took about 70 minutes to get our luggage as there was many flights arrived at the same time as us. We had club class but with all the chaos, our bags wen not off first. No biggy, by the time we retrieved our luggage, we grabbed a Presidente each, had that, headed for the bus, waited for another couple (there in about 3 minutes) then we were on our way.
We requested the same room as last year (our 3rd visit to this resort). On check in we were given another one. When I mentioned our request there was no problem changing so we were home.
Restaurants and Bars:
What else can I add here that hasn't been mentioned in the last 2 posts. Excellent. I also love what they have done with the area at the Mare, it's beautiful. They have extended the patio, put in lovely rocking chairs (3) and great seating, along with papalas with circular seating at the side. Again, beautiful.
Immaculate. My only (and mine only) problem was the pool water was cold. Being a non swimmer (I don't get the initial shock over with in a second) I walked in and crept slowly towards the pool bar. Nelson was killing himself laughing at my antics (as was my husband and everyone sitting poolside at the bar). Once in, it was beautiful. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense, but I do too being such a wimp.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn't partake in too much of the activities, nor did we do any tours, as we (especially hubby) were there to veg. Night entertainment could do with a little "help" but no big deal. You could always go sit at the beach, have a nightcap and look at the beautiful stars.
Would we go back. Honestly I don't know. We have been there 3 times, it's a small resort, very familiar to us, but ask me again in 3 months and my answer will probably be YES, YES, YES.
"This is a first rate hotel and we would highly reccommend it"
Susan and Bill from Canada on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
386 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Dec 31st-Jan 7th
We booked with Air Transat but flew with Sunwing. We booked and paid for emergency row seats and there was lots of room. The flight was on time and a speedy trip thru cusoms. They don't even look at the passport.
We found it a little confusing to get our vouchers to the hotel as everyone tries to line up at their travel agency in a pretty small area so lots of conjestion. There were only 6 of us in a small van that dropped off 2 at another resort and then on the the PCP. Check in was a breeze--You are greeted with a nice cool wash cloth and a cold drink. Everything is explained to you about the room and within 15 minutes you are in your suite with your suitcases. Front desk staff speak good english and are very helpful
We had a room in building # 2 on the third floor and our balcony faced the ocean with the pool off the side. You are greeted with 4 bottles of alcohol, a fully stocked fridge, a fruit tray and the room decorated with towel art and bathroom strewn with petals. Really a nice touch. The room consisted of 2 queen beds , flat screen tv.(that had lots of english channels)a day bed, balcony with 2 chairs, in closet safe and a large bathroom. The maids were excellent--they had turn down service each night and your fridge was stocked daily. I would say that all the buildings are well located with no one having to walk to far for the pool, lobby or the beach.
Restaurants and Bars:
We arrived on New years Eve and the hotel offered an amazing buffet. You were offered champagne as you were escorted to your table. The restaurant was decorated with New Years signs. The servers were dressed in black tie and the service was second to none. Your glasses weren't 1/2 empty before they were filled again.
The food was incredible. They had a shrimp tree that stood about 3 feet high, lobster, smoked salmon, stuffed turkey breast with camebert cheese, 4 pepper steak and that is about 1/2 of what I can remember. The desserts were to die for. After supper we headed to the lobby for entertainment by a 5 piece band which had everyone up dancing. At midnight all the hotels let off fantastic fireworks for about 30 minutes. Let me tell you there is no greater way to spend new years eve than on one of the most beautiful beaches.
We found the food to be great. I am not sure how people could complain about it at all. The buffet offered over 10 kinds of rolls and buns, lots of variety of salads ( one day I saw they offered caesar salad with 3 different kinds of olives and anchovies).
Most mornings we had breakfast at the beach bar because there is nothing like sitting and overlooking the ocean. They didn't offer as big of a selection as the main buffet but we didn't find anything to be lacking.
Lunch-You can also eat at the buffet at the beach (one day they had a barbeque) or at the buffet. Lots of variety. If you were still hungry for an afternoon snack again the beach bar offered items like nachos, chicken wings, sandwiches etc.
For supper we ate a few nights at the buffet--and it was excellent. There is a smoke free area at the buffet and they will ask you when you enter.
Some of the theme nights were: Seafood night, Dominican night, Asian night and one night a beach party where they moved all the tables and chairs down to the beach.
There are 4 a-la-cartes and we enjoyed 3 of them. We didn't make it to the Seafood one on the beach which is the the bar that turns into a-la-carte at night. We heard it was very good though.
We ate at the Fondue restaurant--it was excellent and offered items like Cheese fondue, chinese fondue and dessert was a chocolate fondue with baileys--to die for. Service was great The Tex Mex restaurant we ate at twice. Service was good but more mixed than the other restaurants.
They start each table with homemade nachos and 4 sauces and a wonderful tasting Margarita. Some of the food offerings include, filet migon, back ribs, chicken wings,stuffed chicken. Lots and lots to choose from. One word of advice is the appetizers are huge and can fill you up. The Italian restaurant was also excellent. We had lasagne and spagetti marinara. They quickly offer you 2 helpings so we were full.
Service was excellent and you will not want for food or drink at any of the bars or restaurants. There are 4 bars--one on the beach, one at the beach, lobby bar and pool/swim up bar. There is a great variety of drinks--and if you a re with Air transat it entitles you to top shelf brands. It was great to have Kaluha or Ameretto for an evening drink. All the bartenders were very professional and remembered what you liked to drink. There was never a lineup which was nice. They also will take your drink orders on the beach and bring it to you .
The pool quite large with a swim up bar. It was spotless and never a problem to get loungers any time of the day. There is plenty of papalas available and a few beds around the pool also. The beach is spectacular ---I would have to say the best of any we have been on ( been south over 20 times). You could walk in both directions for many km. The beach water was warm and offerd a nice sandy bottom. Lots of action on the beach with vendors, parasailing, tours and a 15 minute walk to the market.
Again there was never a probem finding a lounger on the beach. We found unlike other hotels along the strip ours wasn't crowded and you weren't tripping over each other--many others we thought you looked like were sardines packed in.
There was always a nice breeze so no need to sit under a papala unless you wanted a nice afternoon nap!
The grounds to this hotel are immaculate--someone was always cleaning so no garbage lying around. There were lots of statues and the gardeners were always busy.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
There is as much or as little as you want to do at this hotel. The activity directors will keep you busy around the pool or at the beach but they leave you alone if you are there to relax. You have access to the other 2 hotels where there is a disco and much more action. We attended the show one evening and it was typical of what is offered at most resorts. There are lots of tours available but we were there to relax. We did however meet many tourists who did the tours and they were pleased. One couple did the horse back riding, the deep sea fishing and the trip to Samoan Island. The only comment we could offer the hotel is that in the evening it would be nice to have a piano player in the lobby rather than the small entertainment they do offer ( most go to the other hotel) The lobby bar is a great place to relax and meet others.
Other Comments: This is a first rate hotel and we would highly reccommend it. We liked the size of the resort (250)the fact that is was adult only and fact that we had the access to the other sister resorts. We didn''t use the restaurants at them but in the lobby are the menus for you too look at. These must be reserved as least 24 hours in advance. The a-la-cartes at the PCP needed no reservations and this worked great. There was never a problem getting in and I think the most wait anyone had was 15 minutes. This resort also has access to the Metamorphin spa and an exercise room located out the front door of the hotel. There is also a mini spa located by the pool. We met many people from across Canada with the make-up of this resort being about 60% Canadian, 20 U.S. and the other 20% Europeoan. Staff were professional and friendly. One other perk with Air Transat is free internet located in the lobby. This was our first trip to Punta Cana and the first trip we have been on that we weren't ready to return home. It was a perfect way to ring in 2009 and the Punta Cana Princess know how to celebrate in a first class way--- thanks to the managers and staff for making this a dream vacation and a dream resort. firstname.lastname@example.org
"* We enjoyed our stay here very much."
Debbie on Oct 1, 2007 >
Visited on: Oct, 2007
377 people found this review helpful
We spent the second week of our Punta Cana vacation at the Punta Cana Princess All Suites Resort & Spa. This hotel is located in Bavaro, 35 minutes from Punta Cana Airport.
Punta Cana Princess is the Adults Only resort of three Princess resorts located here – the Tropical Princess and the Caribe Princess. They are sister hotels of the Bavaro Princess, located a couple of hotels to the south. As you face the beach, Paradisus Punta Cana is to the right and LTI Punta Cana (Cayena Club) is to the left.
Punta Cana Princess All Suites Resort & Spa was built 4 years ago. It started out as a family resort but was changed to an Adults Only resort (18+) 2 years ago. Its sister hotels, Caribe Club Princess and Tropical Princess were originally Hodelpa hotels and bought by Princess Hotels 6 or 7 years ago. Bavaro Princess which is on the other side of Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, used to be a Melia hotel. Guests staying at Punta Cana Princess are free to use any of the facilities at Tropical Princess or Caribe Club Princess, they cannot use facilities at Bavaro Princess. (Bavaro Princess guests who have the Platinum upgrade can use facilities/restaurants at any of the Princess hotels.)
Punta Cana Princess itself is a very compact, self-contained resort, about a 5 minute walk from the lobby to the beach. Guests can also use facilities at the Caribe Club Princess and Tropical Princess, a short walk away, or they do have a shuttle that leaves from the lobby on a regular basis.
Checkin is at 3 p.m., checkout is noon. Late checkout may be available depending on availability or they will provide a courtesy room where you can shower and change. Checkin was quick, you are given your wristbands according to the package you have – regular, Platinum (for Canadians it is called Regency Club), or VIP. You are provided with your electronic room keys, a map of the resort, as well as an information sheet and luggage tags. You find your luggage and the bellboy will put the tags on them with your room number and deliver them to your room. They weren’t busy with checkins when we arrived, so we got to ride with our luggage to the room.
Packages and their Inclusions:
Basic All-Inclusive Package *All Inclusive 24 hours
*Safety Deposit box (free of charge)
*Mini bar in room (Water, Soft drinks, Beer) stocked daily
*Butler service by the Pool & Beach (Drinks only)
*1 Buffet and, 4 à la carte, (Italian, Tex-Mex Steakhouse, Seafood and Swiss) and 1 snack bar, with Additional use of 5 a la carte restaurants (Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Brazilian, Dominican) and 1 buffet restaurant located at Caribe Club Princess Tropical Princess Beach Resort & Spa
*3 bars (national and international drinks included, premium brand drinks not included), Additional use of 7 bars located at the Tropical and Caribe Club sections.
*Weekly Dinner Beach Party (weather permitting)
*1 Swimming pool for adults. Use of pools in entire complex.
*Gym, Sauna and Jacuzzi at the mini spa (located next to the beach restaurant)
*Nightly Entertainment at lobby area & Shows at the Serenata Theatre located at the Caribe Club Princess
*Discotéque Areito* (entrance free, national drinks included until midnight, after midnight drinks at a charge)
*Free use of non-motorized Water Sports
* Daily organized activities
*Introductory scuba lesson in pool (1 lesson per person per stay)
*Tennis, archery, bicycles, games room and mini golf
*Church with religious services (located at Caribe Club Princess)
*Free transportation to Tower Princess Casino (located at entrance to Bavaro Princess) and Caribe Club and Tropical Princess.
*Use of all facilities and services at Caribe Club Princess and Tropical Princess.
Platinum/Regency Club Upgrade –
(this is the package that all Canadians with Transat Holidays have)
In addition to the basic all-inclusive package:
*Use of bathrobes and slippers in room
*2 Beach towels in room
*Use of sunbeds at pool and beach
*Nightly turn down service
*Restaurant reservations by phone from 9 a.m. until 12 noon
*24 hour room service
*Fruit basket on arrival
*15% Discount for spa
*1 bottle of rum (per room per week)
*Free internet access (20 minutes at a time)
*Premium brand drinks – (aged liquors or wines not included)
*3 cigars in room per room per stay
(Guests with Platinum/Regency Club Package can upgrade to VIP Package for an additional $22 US per person per night, but it's probably cheaper just to purchase the upgrade features that you want individually.)
*Use of sunbeds at pool and beach.
*Nightly turn-down service.
*Restaurant reservations by phone from 9 a.m. until 12 noon
*1 complimentary gourmet dinner either at “La Cava” (international) or “El Pescador” (fish and seafood) restaurants (per person, per week) – make your reservations at least 2 days in advance – only valid for stays of more than 4 nights, You must stop by guest services the day you are going to these restaurants with your VIP restaurant special coupon, and they will give you an invitation you need to get into the restaurant).
*3 cigars (per room, per week)
*1 bottle of rum (per room, per week)
*Use of bathrobes during your stay
*20 minute massage per person, per week. Make your reservations at the spa or mini-spa.
*Premium brand drinks in all the bars of the hotel, including the ones at the Caribe and Tropical Princess resorts. Aged liquors or wines not included.
*1 Open Water Dive (per room, per stay, certified divers only, proof of certification required). Weather permitting. Make reservations at Dive Center at the beach from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
*1 hour of motorized water sports (per person, per week). Make reservations at the Dive Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*1 hour of internet service (per person, per stay) at computers located in lobby. Must be used all at one time.
*24 hour room service (menu in room), allow 45 minutes for delivery of order.
*Minibar included – filled daily – 2 – 1 litre bottles of water, 2 coke, 2 7-up or Sprite and 2 local beer.
*Beach Towels located in your room – can be exchanged at Aquatic Center at beach.
*Honeymoon Suites Inclusions (based on minimum 5 night stay)
*Restaurant reservations by phone from 9 a.m. until 12 noon
*24 Hour room service
*Use of sunbeds at pool and beach
*Fruit basket on arrival
*1 twenty minute massage per person per week
*1 twenty minute romantic massage per couple per week
*1 bottle of Dominican Rum
*1 Breakfast in room (per week)
*Romantic dinner (one per stay) at one of the restaurants on property
*Private Merengue and Spanish lessons
*Private Check in and Check out
We were given the honeymoon suite right at the beach, and it was awesome. We had two balconies, one looking straight out to the ocean, and one overlooking the resort and the beach and ocean. We were on the third floor (top floor), room 5217. The honeymoon suite is decorated all in tones of white. It had a king-size 4-poster bed with netting, nice wicker furniture, a sunken living area with TV, coffee table, and minibar, 2 phones, and an alarm clock. The minibar was restocked daily with water, pop, and beer. TV channels included Court TV, TBS, USA, CNN International, ABC, Cartoon network, nickelodeon, ESPN, several sports channels, CBS, BET TV, FX – science fiction channel, Showtime, Animal Planet, PBS, TNT, Family, Turner Classic Movies, weather channel, Disney channel, and an adult channel. There was also a lounge chair in the room that was so comfortable, actually I think it belonged out on the balcony but because of the rain they had brought it inside.
You insert one of your keys in the slot to operate the electricity in the room.
There was a huge walk-in closet containing the electronic safe (included, and was large enough for my laptop), ironing board and iron, umbrella, and lots of space to hang clothes as well as shelving, and lots of space to put your suitcases.
The bathroom in the Honeymoon Suite was very large. The thing I liked about it was that it had a door on it, it was not open to the rest of the room and there was a window to let in natural light. It contained a beautiful large Jacuzzi tub surrounded by candles, a vanity with double sinks, and a separate shower and toilet stall. We always had good water pressure and lots of hot water. They provide amenities including shampoo, bath gel, shower cap, small bars of soap, hairdryer. We didn’t have any facecloths in the room, so I just used the ones we had brought. Recommend you always pack a couple of facecloths, I don’t think I’ve stayed anywhere in the Dominican Republic where we’ve been given a facecloth every day. I did ask guest services if they had facecloths at the resort and was told they do. There were 2 telephones in the room, electricity is 110 V so North Americans do not need an adapter.
We tipped the maid every day and maid service was very good. Nightly turn-down service was provided.
I took a number of pictures of the room when we arrived, but due to camera difficulties, it appears that all but one has disappeared into cyberspace, so you’ll have to take my word for it that the honeymoon suites are lovely.
There are 7 honeymoon suites in the resort, some are two levels, with the Jacuzzi and a daybed on the second level.
The rest of the resort is 263 deluxe/superior suites, they are all the same. They are a good size, with a living area and balcony. No Jacuzzi tub, just a regular bathroom (private). If you look at my photos, I have a number of pictures of the deluxe suites.
Grounds, Beach and Pools:
The grounds are really lovely. Everything is perfectly manicured and there are lots of “Taino statues” throughout the grounds. Everything is kept spotless. Rooms are located in several long 3-storey buildings vertical to the beach (you can walk all the way from one end to the other in an open covered hallway at the back of the building if the weather is rainy), and there are 2 villa-style buildings with garden views closer to the lobby.
The pool has a walk-in beach-like entrance. Water was a little cool at the beginning of the week due to all the rain, but had warmed up considerably by the end of the week, the same with the ocean. There was a nice swimup bar, and the pool was kept very clean. The pool is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There are guards at the beach who may ask to check your band before letting you into the resort.
There was a fair amount of seaweed on the beach that they worked hard to keep cleaned up. This, of course, was more than usual because of the heavy rains.
The beach is gorgeous, very wide, lots of palapas and lounge chairs. There are gorgeous sunbeds for guests with VIP, Honeymoon or Platinum/Regency Club packages only, security was quite diligent about checking to see if you were allowed in that section. The sunbeds were really comfortable, but a lot seemed to not have a top on them, which makes it very hot being in the direct sun. They had them both around the pool and at the beach.
They do have a sign posted saying that you cannot reserve loungers or sunbeds with towels or other objects, and if they are left unattended for more than 30 minutes, they will be removed and other guests can use them. It wasn’t an issue when we were there, we never had a problem finding a spot. The hotel was at 90 per cent occupancy during the week, and by the time we left it was at 100 per cent occupancy. There were guests there from Germany and Spain, as well as North Americans. In June they have a lot of guests from Puerto Rico, but during the winter months, the majority of guests are Canadians and Americans.
For Canadians traveling from Canada - I took a look at the Transat Holidays new brochure, and want to point out that the picture of the resort shown is very misleading.It is an old picture, and does not show the mini-spa at the beach, and the vegetation looks very sparse. I was advised the mini-spa has been there for 3 years, so the picture is older than that, probably taken shortly after the resort was built. I also noted that they make reference to the “Regency Clubhouse” in the brochure, which makes it sound like there is a separate “clubhouse” for Transat Holidays guests, but this is not the case.
I was told that all “Regency Club” guests would be in Buildings 4 or 5, which are the best location. If you purchase Oceanview you would be in Building 5, rooms in Building 4 would have poolview and some rooms also partial oceanview.
Bars and Drinks:
There are several bars at Punta Cana Princess, the main Oasis Bar in the lobby, the pool bar Splash with swimup bar, the beach bar at Mare Nostrum, and another bar set up in the middle of the beach.
There is also butler service at the bar and beach for drinks only.
If you do not have the Platinum/Regency, VIP or Honeymoon upgrades, there is an extra charge for drinks with premium liquor. Be sure to request premium liquor, otherwise you will likely get the national brand.
Budweiser or Heineken beer is available at all the bars at Punta Cana Princess (served in plastic glasses at the pool or beach, and they may not have both kinds at any given time)
Lobby cocktails include Mai-Tai, Merengue, Coco Loco, Tropical Princess, Sex on the Beach, Bavaro Princess, Pina Colada, Caiprina, and Margaritas. They also make great Caesars.
I drink white wine and thought their house wine was pretty good.
Buffet Restaurant (Casabe) – no reservations
This is the main buffet restaurant at Punta Cana Princess. It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch, and 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. for dinner (Monday nights is dinner at the beach, weather permitting, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Due to the rain caused by Tropical Storm Noel, they did not have this the week we were there.
Later in the week they did some painting and colour changes in the buffet restaurant, all new tablecloths and cushions in brown and orange. The restaurant is open-air, with smoking and non-smoking sections.
We ate breakfast here every morning. I liked their coffee. Lots of selection for breakfast – omelettes and eggs cooked to order, pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage, toast, cereal, fruit, a good selection, including a diet station. We also had lunch here a few times. They have a sub station with sandwich stuff, salads, as well as hot entrees and soups, hamburgs, hotdogs, etc. We only ate dinner here twice, on our first and last night. The first night we had turkey, it was very good, it was Americano night. The last night was Mexican night, with burritos, fajitas, chili con carne, to name a few things. They always have a pasta station at the buffet restaurant..
Overall I thought the buffet food was pretty good, you certainly won’t go hungry. I noticed the quality control manager frequently checking temperatures of the food in the buffet and the Food and Beverage manager was always visible, both at the buffet and other a la carte restaurants.
This open-air restaurant is located by the beach. It is open for breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., Continental Breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon, lunch buffet from noon to 4 p.m., teatime from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and snacks from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. (so basically 24 hours). It is also the Meditteranean/seafood a la carte restaurant in the evening. We never tried it for breakfast, but had lunch here most days. There were salad items, hotdogs, hamburgs, a sandwich grill if you wanted to make a toasted sandwich, pasta station, icecream and other deserts.
El Higuero Buffet Restaurant – no reservations – located at Caribe Club Princess
You also have the option of going to this buffet restaurant at Caribe Club Princess. We never tried it. I understand they serve different food there from the buffet at Punta Cana Princess, ie. if it is Mexican night at Casabe Buffet, it will be a different theme night at El Higuero, and the food is different for the theme nights.
A la carte Restaurants
There are 4 a la carte restaurants at Punta Cana Princess, and you also have the option of making reservations at any of the 5 a la carte restaurants at Caribe Club Princess or Tropical Princess (guests at those hotels cannot eat at Punta Cana Princess or use the facilities). There is a shuttle you can take, or it is a leisurely 10 minute walk from the lobby of Punta Cana Princess.
Reservations were required for all a la carte restaurants at the time we were there, and can be made at the Guest Services desk between 9 a.m. and noon. You can make reservations for up to 3 nights at a time. They have menus for all the restaurants at Guest Services so you can look at them ahead of time. I have been advised that starting in December they are going to a "no reservation" system for the a la carte restaurants in Punta Cana Princess, only the a la cartes at Caribe Club/Tropical Princess will require a reservation.
There is a dress code for the a la carte restaurants - Men are required to wear long pants, collared shirts and closed shoes. Shorts are fine for the buffet restaurants.
There is no limit to the number of times you can eat at the a la carte restaurants as long as you can get a reservation.
Rio Grande Tex-Mex Restaurant – Punta Cana Princess
This restaurant is located close to the lobby and buffet restaurant. Ambience was nice, the tables were nice, we were able to sit side by side on bench seats. You are given a Margarita when you arrive and they give you a basket of corn chips and dipping sauces to start with. Service was good. I had the filet mignon with baked potato and vegetables, and a caesar salad to start, and cherry cheesecake for desert. I have to say it was the best meal I had on this trip to Punta Cana. We had coffee after the meal, they seem to know how to serve regular coffee in the evening at this hotel.. Other menu items included ribs, wings, and beef or chicken fajitas, etc.
Il Bacio Italian Restaurant – Punta Cana Princess
Located next to Rio Grande Tex-Mex Restaurant, near the lobby. Usual Italian fare, they had Bolognese Lasagna, Pizza, Fettucini Alfredo, etc. I had the Fettucini Alfredo, it was just okay. They had a trio of musicians going from table to table, who were entertaining and took requests, we gave them a tip, although noticed many did not tip them. My only complaint on this evening was that they had loud music playing in the Restaurant, it was hard to even talk to each other, although another couple we spoke to went a couple days later and said the music was so low you couldn’t even hear it :)
La Petite Fondue – Swiss Restaurant – Punta Cana Princess
I really liked this restaurant, mainly because it was something different from the usual a la carte restaurants. There is a fondue pot on each table and you are given two forks each.
We had French onion soup as an appetizer and they brought a basket of rolls. You have a choice of the following fondues: Cheese fondue, a Bourgionne fondue of beef, chicken, and sausage (hotdogs), Chinoise fondue – beef slices dipped in boullion, or a Neptune fondue – fish slices and seafood dipped in boullion. All come with several dipping sauces and a plate of French fries.
For desert we had a chocolate fondue made with Toblerone chocolate, served with marshmallows and fruit, it was excellent.
Mare Nostrum – Meditteranean/Seafood – Punta Cana Princess, at the beach
We did not eat here, as I am not a fan of seafood, although they do have beef filet on the menu. It’s right at the beach, so would have been nice for dinner.
Some of the menu choices included Grouper filet in coconut sauce, Mare Nostrum seafood mixed grill, grilled lobster, Beef filet in green pepper sauce, Grilled salmon filet and Seafood Casserole
Sombrero Restaurant – Mexican – Caribe Club Princess
Located at Caribe Club Princess. Main course choices included beef filet, Texan fajitas, chicken fajitas, shrimp quesadillas, grilled ribeye, fish filet, taco combos, chicken chimechangas, pork filet. We did not eat here. Had a reservation for Saturday night, but saw that it was Mexican night at the Casabe buffet and decided to stay at Punta Cana Princess.
Mama Mia – Italian – Caribe Club Princess
This is a second Italian Restaurant, located at Caribe Club Princess. We did not eat here. Too many restaurants, not enough time..
Some of the menu items included Bolognese lasagna, Ravioli Napolitana, Pizza, Spaghetti, Linguine with marinara sauce, Tagliatelle with mushrooms, Fettucini Alfredo, Chicken breast, Beef filet and Shrimp.
Shanghay Chinese Restaurant – Caribe Club Princess
We had dinner at this restaurant . The food was good and there was lots of it. I had the beef chow mein, but service was very slow here. They had a large group of people at one table and that may have been the reason for the slow service.
Menu choices include sushi rolls, curry shrimp, crab and salmon, seafood fried shrimp, seafood casserole, lobster pieces in oyster sauce, Pekinese duck, Teriyaki pork, beef filet, goat casserole, beef or chicken chow mein, fried rice, as well as appetizers..
El Pilon – Dominican restaurant – Tropical Princess
Located at Tropical Princess, we did not eat here.
Main courses included goat country style, Grouper filet, Chicken leg Creole style, Pork filet, Sautéed snail meat with fine vegetables, Sirloin in onion sauce, as well as other Dominican Specialties and deserts.
Rodizzio Brazilian Restaurant – Tropical Princess We didn’t eat here. Didn’t see the menu for this one, if it’s like other Brazilian restaurants we’ve been to, they serve all different kinds of meat.
There is also a Creperie located at Tropical Princess (near the beach) that looked interesting, but never did try it.
There are also two restaurants that you can pay to eat at
El Pescador Restaurant - $$$ - Specialty Fish and Seafood - Caribe Club Princess.
El Pescador Restaurant is available at extra cost - $25.00 U.S. per person plus taxes (total $32.00 U.S.). It is located at the beach at the Caribe Club Princess. If you have the VIP package, you can dine at either this restaurant or La Cava free of charge, once per week. The menu choices include a grilled fisherman platter, grilled lobster, grouper filet charcoal style, and grilled shrimp. We did not eat here.
La Cava Restaurant - $$$ - Wine Cellar and Gourmet Cuisine - Caribe Club Princess
La Cava Restaurant is available at extra cost - $25.00 U.S. per person plus taxes (total $32.00 U.S.). It is located at Caribe Club Princess. If you have the VIP package, you can dine at either this restaurant or El Pescador free of charge, once per week We chose La Cava to eat at. The food was very good. I had the Shrimp Surprise for an appetizer which was very good, Pat had the Asparagus soup. Entrees included a beef filet, Red Snapper, Palillotte bell pepper, Grouper filet in puffed pastry with saffron sauce, Pork and sweet and sour sauce, Top sirloin in sauce and mushrooms, Chicken mignon in curry sauce and mushrooms, a NY sirloin au maitre d’hotel butter, Duck with honey and thyme sauce, Entrecote served in 3 pepper sauce, Lamb loin au rosemary butter, and Grilled lobster.
Pat and I both had the NY sirloin and it was excellent. They also have an extensive wine list if you want to purchase a bottle of wine. Service was good. My only complaint was it was very cold in this restaurant. Pat was fine, but I had a sleeveless dress on and I was freezing. One couple moved to a table outside. So bring a sweater just in case..
Room service is included free for guests who have the Platinum/Regency Club, VIP or Honeymoon packages. If you do not have a Platinum or VIP package you still have the option of Room Service, but it will cost you a $20.00 U.S. service charge plus 26% taxes each time.
Items available through room service include: soup, Caesar salad, garden salad, pizza, calzone, choice of pasta, eggs, sandwiches, grilled porkchops, chicken burgers with french fries and coleslaw, plus deserts. It states to allow 45 minutes for room service, we did not try it.
Daytime Activities and Sports
Punta Cana Princess has its own animacion team that lead activities on the beach and by the pool – dance lessons, aerobics, games, volleyball, etc. You are not pressured to join in.
Sports activities available include tennis, archery, bicycles, table games and mini-golf.
The Animacion office is located at the beach, where they have games and books (leave your books here when you’re finished with them, or leave them at the library in the lobby).
The Animacion team also has a small show or games in the lobby in the evening, and once a week they do a show at the stage on the beach in front of the Animacion booth. Otherwise you can go to the Serenata Theatre at Caribe Club Princess where they have a nightly show. We’re not big on these shows, and we only went once, it was a comedy show, and we didn’t stay for the whole show. A lot of people seemed to be enjoying it, though.
There is a disco at Caribe Club Princess, Areita Disco. We did not go. National drinks are included until midnight, after that you have to pay for drinks.
There is a shuttle to the Tower Casino from the front lobby, which is located just outside the Bavaro Princess. It’s about a 10 minute ride via shuttle. The shuttle starts at 7 p.m. and goes to 5 a.m., every 20 minutes or so. Just look for the shuttle with the Tower Casino logo on it. We went once to take a look. It’s a lot larger than other resort casinos in Punta Cana, but it’s not Vegas. We played the slots for a while then left. Not many people at the tables. We were there fairly early in the evening around 9:30 p.m., I’m sure it gets busy later in the evening.
Wireless internet is available in the rooms here. It is run by an outside company (they manage the wireless internet in a number of hotels in Punta Cana) - you can sign up in the lobby by the computers (the ones across from the front desk, not the computers by Guest Services – the ones beside Guest Services are only for Platinum/Regency Club guests.) Wireless costs $10.00 U.S. per day. For $15.00 U.S. per day you can rent a laptop with wireless connection (note you will have to give them a credit card imprint as security for the laptop.) I bought the wireless for the week, unfortunately due to the location of our room (right at the beach), I couldn’t get a connection in the room, and only occasionally on the balcony. Ended up taking it down to the pool or lobby.
They also have two computer stations set up in the lobby that cost $10.00 U.S. per hour. You can use this 20 or 30 minutes at a time until it’s used up.
If you have the VIP package, you get a card entitling you to one hour of free internet, but it can only be used at one sitting, ie. if you only use it for 40 minutes, you’re done.
If you have the Platimum/Regency Club package, you are allowed free internet access at one of the two computers set up beside Guest Services on the other side of the lobby. You are restricted to 20 minutes at a time unless no one is waiting.
There is a souvenir shop/general store near the lobby, as well as a souvenir stand by the pool. There is a bikini shop at the beach and a Caribbean gift shop next door on the beach. Dominican vendors also come into the resort a couple of times a week and set up their stuff – be sure to bargain.
You can get your luggage wrapped in plastic for $7 US per suitcase, this is located in the lobby.
There is a spa located close to the front lobby. (Take the first road to the left outside of the lobby). It is run by Metamorphosis Spas, and they have a full range of massages, body treatments, salon services, etc.). If you have the VIP package you get a 20-minute free massage – I opted to purchase an additional 25 minutes for $35.00 U.S. to make it a 45 minute massage. Braids are available for $1 each. Other prices are what you’d expect to pay at home.
There is also a Mini-Spa located right at the beach. There are two massage huts, as well as a sauna, gym and Jacuzzi. Also had a massage here, it was very nice.
Watersports is run by Pelicano Watersports and they are located right at the beach, in front of Building 5. Note that if you pay for watersports activities or excursions with a credit card, they charge you 9% more than if you pay by cash.
Non-motorized watersports are included with the basic all-inclusive. There are charges for motorized watersports and instruction.
They have a full range of things available - There is windsurfing, catamaran, wakeboard, banana boat, crazy tube, waterskiing, boat trip to the wreck Astron, boat trip along the coastline, snorkel trips (3 hrs. $39 US), bottom fishing, sunset boat tour, deep sea fishing, Speedcat (like a small catamaran with an engine that goes really fast). You can book parasailing here - $49 US for 10 minutes, or $89 US for tandem
Excursions include the Tropical Storm Sunset Tour, which includes a lobster dinner at the Jellyfish Restaurant, catamaran excursions, excursions to Catalina Island and Saona Island. Dive packages, PADI open water dives and certification available.
With the VIP package you get 1 hour of free motorized watersports. You can do different things that add up to one hour, such as banana boat, waveboard, waterskiing, or on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can take a free 1-hour sightseeing boat trip up and down the coast.
Medical Services – near the lobby, available 24 hours. (extra charge)
Weddings at Punta Cana Princess usually take place at the gazebo at the beach, beside Mare Nostrum Restaurant. There is another gazebo near the Spa at the front of the property, which is also used for weddings, with a garden setting.
For information on the wedding packages available at Punta Cana Princess, see our Weddings Page
Take U.S. currency, cash is best. You can pay for virtually everything in U.S. dollars, and even if you exchange your money for pesos at the front desk, you will get the best rate with U.S. dollars.
Tour reps have desks in the front lobby, and you can book any number of different tours through them. They have the usual jeep safaris, boat trips, trips to Santo Domingo, Manati Park, etc. New this year is a Zip Lines Tour (Canopy Tour), run by Bavaro Runners.
Here you can also check your flight information for your flight home. Be sure to check the night before you leave to make sure there are no changes in your flight times.
Calling home to Canada
I made one phonecall home, from our room. There is a $2 US service charge for them to connect you with a Canadian operator. Just dial “0” for the hotel operator and ask for a Canadian operator. I have a Bell calling card, and just used it to make my call.
Weather and Bugs
We arrived here on Sunday, October 28. It was a rainy day because of Tropical Storm Noel, and the rain lasted through Monday. Tuesday was mostly overcast, but dry, and by Wednesday the sun was shining again and the rest of the week was fine, although Saturday and Sunday were really hot and humid.
No problem with mosquitos. We had a few small bugs in our room (teeny tiny ones), I think they come in with the flowers they use to decorate the room. Not a big deal. Just don’t leave any food out.
We enjoyed our stay here very much. What I liked about this Adults Only resort is that it’s very compact, and offers everything you need for your vacation in one spot. While you do have the option of going to its sister resorts’ a la carte restaurants, there are 4 a la carte restaurants right at the Punta Cana Princess. It takes 5 minutes or less to walk from the lobby right through to the beach.
Staff at the resort are very friendly, and most speak at least some English, and many speak English very well.
Management was always visible at the resort, and are genuinely interested in guests’ comments and ways to improve things.
If you have any questions, you can contact us and I’ll try to answer them for you.
Special thanks to Jesus Tabliega, Eric Rodrigues, Raul Cedano, Diana Casoliba and guest services staff for all their assistance.