Barcelo Punta Cana. Reviews

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Barcelo Punta Cana.  

Carretera Macao, Playa Arena Gorda Bavaro, Higuey, Dominican Republic

"beautiful and active hotel"
Posted by: netter on Jul 9, 2014
see all reviews

Barcelo Punta Cana. Reviews
Barcelo Punta Cana. Pictures and Information
Barcelo Punta Cana. Bavaro Beach Dominican Republic

#4
of 29 Hotels in Bavaro Beach

User rating 4.0

Based on 48 reviews

Barcelo Punta Cana. Information


Barcelˇ Punta Cana is a Barcelˇ All-Inclusive for adults, singles and families, where all meals, wines, local and international beverages, land sports and non-motorized watersports with equipment and some instructions, entertainment, and other activities are included in one single price.

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Barcelo Punta Cana. Reviews

Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.0 of 5 48 reviews
Excellent
  5
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  35
Average
  4
Poor
  3
Terrible
  2
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21 - 30 of 48

"It's not a 4 1/2 star hotel!!! And don't go during March break as they gear to University students."

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Julie  on Mar 20, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
361 people found this review helpful

This resort needs to pick it up on the service to meet a 4 star rating for me. Language barriers with front desk staff and concierge service and I felt they did not want to accomodate the guests and create a wonderful experience. Entertainment staff was excellent. They were busy throughout the day and night and deserve koodoos for a job well done. Definately made our evenings enjoyable.

Your Arrival:
checkin is noted on website as 3:00 p.m. we arrived at 2:30 were told checkin was at 4:00 and did not get a room until 6:00 p.m. So pack something on your carryon and plan to sit around for awhile.

Rooms:
a little paint does not upgrade the hotel to a 4 star. This resort, at best, would be a 2 1/2 star. The rooms are cleaned but basically-floors are washed and toilets are cleaned. The sheets, towels and pillows smell like mold and I'm not sure if they even use soap. When someone showered above us, a broken pipe in the ceiling would leak in our bathroom and would create puddles on the floor and drip over the toilet. We complained 5 times, even showing the housekeeping and the inventory people (yes inventory people-apparently they are worried we are going to steal the stained lamp, dirty towels and rusty cd player in the rooms), nothing was ever done. I was able to go to each area of the resort and fellow travellers were gracious in letting me view their rooms and they were no different. This is not a new resort as noted.
our room also had an inside and outside balcony.....section 3 over the french restaurant. Don't recommend staying there as you can hear the staff cleaning and preparing for the next day in the restaurant, cutlery and chatter after 11 pm also the bar was just outside the restaurant, which is were guests gather for after dinner entertainment, so this also echoes up through the inner balcony. Plus the doors barely closed which did not provide much of a sound barrier. Balcony door did not lock.
I strongly recommend checking your room before unpacking...and good luck getting a new room.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was okay at main buffet. Wide selection of food available but variety did not change daily. They did have a few speciality nights however still the same selection of food with a few add ons. Japanese restaurant was excellent, italian was okay and seafood, well I would have expected maybe seafood on the menu, but the fish was still good. we missed the french/Paris, but heard it was very good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
pools were cleaned daily. I think the family/kids area was cleaner than the recreational area were all the university students were. it's sad to say that the children behaved better than the university students.
Towels were a hit and miss-some days you would get towels that seemed they weren't even cleaned. Some were bleached (they were suppose to be blue) you had to register or get a card to get a towel. For prestige class, towels were suppose to be delivered to your room-again a hit and miss. You'd think they'd know 3 people were in the room and would give you 3 towels.
The grounds were clean, beaches were beautiful, the ocean was a little rough to swim in but if you walked down the beach there were other areas that were calmer. It would have been nice to see the beaches combed in the evening to clean smaller debris however all in all it was nice.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities were great. Lots to do for the kids and entertainment by the pool was good, if you can stand the obnoxious university students. The sip line, reef explorer and swimming with dolphins excursions were very good.

Other Comments:
When I travel I prefer 5 star and expect 5 star treatment as I pay extra for that. This resort was not by choice,however it is selling itself as a 4 1/2 star and giving 3 star service. If I had known it catered to university students, i would not have booked there. However, all in all the beaches were beautiful, the excursions (hosts) were great and I enjoyed my stay in Punta Cana. Would I go back? Perhaps, but I would choose a different resort.

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"Better than expected! Great place!"

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Laura  on Feb 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
352 people found this review helpful

We traveled to Punta Cana on 1/16-1/20, 2010 (I was unable to change the stay date) for my brother's wedding on the beach at the hotel. In our group was 17 adults and one 5yr. Our trip was booked through our local agent. It was through FunJet vacations. Once we got there all our arrangements were handled by VIP tours. I have been to Cancun, the Mayan Riveria, and this was my 2nd trip to the DR. All were all inclusive trips too. So I have a little something to compare this too. I was very nervous due to some reviews being not so great for this hotel, but I really think they were wrong. Or had very high expectations. You will certainly have a great time here. Other things, there are several gifts shops there. And prices are reasonable. There was also employees looking for kids to do activities and several photographers available too. So if you are planning a family portrait you can do it here. I have no idea what the print prices are though. Every bathroom I went into was very clean. There were constantly mopping floors everywhere. My brother and my new sister in law said the wedding coordinator and wedding planning itself was wonderful! They would recommend it to others too! Tipping helps with getting what you need. A couple of American dollars make employees very happy. Several of our group members did visit the casino and had fun along with the dance club. I also want to comment on the tv. On some of my other all inclusive trips the tv station selections were poor. This hotel had the best selection of television in all my travels. Many american movie channels, kids channels, weather channel, and even abc and cbs channels. Now I know you are thinking why do I care about the tv, well if you travel with children you will care. And if the weather is bad you would care.
I would definately recommend this place to family and friends. Is it the Ritz Carlton, no, but it is nice for the money. We had a great time and hated to return to the weather in New York in January! We can't wait to return again.

Your Arrival:
At the airport we got on our shuttle bus to the hotel. The bus was nice, but the constant motion of it made of few of us motion sick. There was stops at other hotels to drop off guests, and speed bumps and constant swerving to avoid others on the road. So that was a long ride, but we had all been traveling for about 12hrs at that point and were hungry, tired and had been in constant motion for about 12hrs! Because we had a group, it did take about 1/2 hr for us all to check in. A few rooms weren't ready, but were within a 1/2 hr. The bus back to the airport was much nicer, bigger and less stops.

Rooms:
Before arriving I had read in other reviews that blocks 1,2, and 3 had most renovated rooms. I emailed the hotel about two weeks before our arrival that we wanted all our rooms in those blocks. They emailed me back and said it was no problem but would cost $12 a night, per person to upgrade to the deluxe room verses the standard room. I emailed back that we would upgrade and would figure it out when we got there. The night before we left I received and email saying they upgraded the entire group for free. So we were all very pleased! All our rooms were very good/great. A few didn't have chains on the door, so they were walked in on sometimes by employees bringing towels, or drinks to the frig. Heads up if you don't have one on your door! The room safe was very nice, the bathrooms were very nice too. OUr hair dryer seemed to be very close to catching fire. But that was the only trouble with anything in our room. Our room was VERY clean. I had to look for dirt. A few of the others said they did have a few small spiders, but that was it. The frig was stocked with coke, diet coke, water and beer. We were in room 1206 and had a view of the vacant land next to the hotel and the ocean! So no complaints here! Some of our friends were near the casino and they said those rooms were very loud. So if you get near there, you may want to change immediately. One thing I've learned is, you need to be your own advocate. If you don't like the room say so immediately they seem very eager to make you happy.

Restaurants and Bars:
My daughter has celiac's disease, the 5yr who traveled with us. So I was really nervous about food. We ate often at the main buffet, but also ate at the Marina rest. for breakfast and lunch. The food seems to be much fresher at the Marina, and hadn't sat out as long. Also to the side of the Marina there is a little hut and a man will make your eggs to order in the morning and in the afternoon they ofter chicken breast sandwiches, hamburgs, etc. Once we discovered that place, we ate breakfast and lunch there the whole time. For dinner it was the main buffet hall (sorry can't remember the name of it. Just to the left of the lobby) and we also ate at the Marina and French Rest. Both were very good. And other people who traveled with us ate at the Japanese Rest. and they said it was really good! Make sure you make reservations for the rest. right away as they fill up fast. Some of us did get upset tummys and were in the bathroom often. But no one was in bed sick by any means. I don't think that the food is bad, it's just our bodies adjusting to the different oils and ingredients used to make the food. Also I think some of the others might have had tummy troubles from the sugary drinks too. My daughter was able to eat and had no trouble at all. I had emailed the front desk letting them know we may need assistance with her Gluten free diet, but we really didn't need any help. They returned an email and said that there chefs would be available if we needed them. We did ask at the French rest. and the waiter didn't understand about a plate being gluten free. But it was more of a language barrier thing. Overall, I think the food was good. Not great(more because I wasn't sure of all the ingredients), but good. There was always something to eat. They have bottles purified water everywhere for you. The only complaint we had was there was no cold milk. We got warm milk and sour milk, but never cold milk. So that was disppointing to my five yr. old.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools are HUGE here! There are 2 HUGE pools and then one amazing kids' pool! Really, amazing! The pools were VERY clean. If you are up early enough in the morning you will see they come out and scrub the sides and vaccum too. Plenty of chairs to go around. It actually seems like there were more people down at the beach than by the pools during the day. The grounds are nice, there is someone constantly mowing, raking or painting there. The beach is BEAUTIFUL! You can walk for miles and miles! Not a lot of shells, if you have a kiddo looking for them, but there are a few. The waves are a little stronger than I'd like, especially traveling with a child, but they are fine. The beach is well maitained and cleaned everyday. Can't say enough...beautiful beach and weather!!! This place is huge! Really! If we were looking for someone in our group, it could take you hours to find them! So it was a great group place, because if you wanted to plan something together you could, but if you want to be alone, you certainly can.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This place is great. If you are coming to be active there is a lot to do. There is boating equipment down by the beach, the trapeze, and tons of activities by the pool near the Marina rest. But if you are coming to relax, you can certainly do it here too! There are many tours you can book off the resort. In our group some did ther bravo runner tour(great way to see the DR) and loved it, some snorkeled and loved it, and some parasailed. Just ask with the parasailing, they do do parasailing right in front of the hotel on the beach, but for some reason the ones in our group were picked up in a boat with about twenty other couples. And then they traveled to another area and had to wait as each couple went. The parasailing was cool, but that wasn't what they wanted to do (all the waiting that is). So make sure you are going out in front of the hotel.

Other Comments:
We were told by our travel agent to not bring a lot of cash, just a visa or m/c credit card. We found that our credit cards wouldn't work often. You could get turned down, and then ten minutes later your sale would go through. We arrived days after the large earthquake in Haiti, so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the lines being down. Also one of our members charged her parasailing to her room. On check out day the ATM wasn't working,nor were the credit card lines. So we scrambled to come up with money for her to check out. So be aware of that. The ATM was down more than it was working. Also, my only warning about this place, which really isn't the hotel, I'm sure it's like this at all the resort, is calling home. Calling cards do not work. So your only other option is to use a credit card or call collect from the hotel phone. I choose using the credit card, thinking calling collect would be more. I did have a Verizon cell phone with me, but it did not work in the building, only by the pool or beach. I did make some calls home to my husband and other children from the hotel room. When I returned home I got charges on my credit card for $80 a call!!! I called the merchant 800 number on my credit card statement and complained! I was told that it is a $15 charge JUST to connect your call and $4 to $5 per minute to talk! SO beware! I told them I was under the impression it was just standard rates and they never told me otherwise. THey then told me that they are "not obligated by law to tell the rates" unless we ask. It was partially my fault for not asking, but still ridiculous. So never assume. I did get them to reduce the charges after the fact, but I just wanted to warn other travelers.

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"Spectacular"

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Irene  on Feb 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
348 people found this review helpful

Weather was fantastic as well as the beach with the spectacular waves.Plenty of beach chairs never had to reserve chairs.Buffet and a la carte restaurants were all fantastic.Service was excellant.All in all a very nice and welcoming resort.Would go back anytime because the beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.

Your Arrival:
Three hour delay at the airport therefore got in to Punta Cana later than we expected but every thing went well and fast at the resort.

Rooms:
We were located in the old section where the rooms were not renovated but still acceptable.We were in block 5 and the renovated rooms were blocks 1,2 and 3.

Restaurants and Bars:
Plenty of bars.Drinks very good especially the pina coladas.The Japanese Ó la carte was excellent.Good entertainement and delicious food.The dominican as well as the italian were very good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was breathtaking.The waves were something else.We were brought back to shore when a big wave hit.The waves were huge all week.We enjoyed playing in the waves all week.

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"Awesome stay at Barcelo Punta Cana!"

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Richard  on Feb 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
368 people found this review helpful

Went to Punta Cana from January 28th to February 4th, 2010. Overall, it was an awesome trip. First trip, but not the last, to the Punta Cana area.

Your Arrival:
Totally smooth transfer from the airport. Easy to find Nolitours desk and to be directed to the appropriate bus. Dropped off people at two other resorts. Total transfer from airport was about 35 minutes on smooth roads.

Rooms:
We stayed with Air Transat Prestige class. Our rooms were beautiful and newly renovated. They were not ocean view, but it didn't matter, we spent little time in them. Rooms in building 1,2 and 3 were renovated, ask your travel agent to ask for these rooms. Rooms were clean and well cared for. Nice ceiling fans and controllable air conditioning. Fridge well stocked everyday and linens changed whenever you placed the appropriate card on your pillow. (Trying to stay green and save water, you only get new linens if you request them.) Lots of towels which were replaced daily. Placed $1 US on the pillow everyday and received awesome service.

Restaurants and Bars:
Went to the Japanese and Dominican a la cartes. The Japanese was fun and had a good quality of food. The Dominican was good also, but the deserts were not the best. The buffet was excellent, therefore we didn't go to any other restaurants. Never a wait for a table, tons of variety, something for everyone. The beef (yes the beef) was very good and the pasta was made to order. Tons of different breads, fruits and desserts. More food than you could try in a week, all of it was good to excellent.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Best beach in Punta Cana! Why? Tons of room, as the resort in situated parallel, not perpendicular to the beach. Access to the beach was only seconds away from any room. The resort also had fairly calm waters for swimming along with huge waves to the north of the resort for the ultimate body surfing experience. Always lots of available chairs, although chairs in the shade by the pools were slightly limited. The shade sure was welcome from the hot sun and there was sufficient shade on the beach if you wanted it. The pools were simply beautiful and we spent most of our time at the "quiet" pool as we didn't want to be bothered with whistles blowing for the assorted water activities. Great volleyball court and it was fun to beat the firefighters from New Jersey who refused to allow subs for their team. It seemed that the Americans pitted themselves against the International community in volleyball, but lost most of the time to new friends from Canada, Argentina, France and Spain. Interesting to keep score in four languages!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Never did any activities off the resort. Just totally relaxed

Other Comments:
Of our group of 6, 2 of us managed to get diarrhea for at least one day. It had nothing to do with the food itself, but was directly related to the amount of different food and alcohol beverages we consumed in short order. If anyone is used to one type of food or cooking and suddenly eats and drinks different foods, chances are your body will react to the change!

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"Amazing time"

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Nancy  on Jan 19, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
376 people found this review helpful

I just returned from a week at this property and after reading other reviews was a little unsure of what to expect. I was with a group of 8, 4 adults and 4 children so the main selling point on this location was the amazing kids pool.

Your Arrival:
We arrived 2 hours later than expected because of flight delays. When we finally made it there, check in was very quick and easy. We had our room assignments and were being led to our rooms by the bell boys within 5 minutes of getting off the bus.

Rooms:
We had booked through Air Transat and were to receive the "DELUXE" rooms. We were placed in renovated rooms, which were beautiful. My sister in law had e-mailed the resort a week before arriving requesting that our rooms be near eachother.....we were placed 2 doors away from eachother. We had decided to to upgrade to the Ocean view rooms but were very pleasantly surprised to get the most amazing Ocean and Pool views!!

Restaurants and Bars:
The staff at the Bars and Restaurants were very good. We only tried 2 of the A La Carte Restaurants, as we could not get earlier Reservation times at the others and 9pm dinners for 4 kids is just not feasible. The Buffet Restaurant was good. You will only go hungry if you choose to. The French Restaurant was my personal favourite

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools were very nice, we spent the majority of our pool time at the kids pool, since we were traveling with an 8 year old, 6 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old. The Beach was kept clean, the waves were quite rough...which led to some amazing Boogie Boarding! The Grounds were kept clean, although I have to admit that they were very plain in comparison to some of the other resorts that I have been to. The children were all a little disappointed that there were no Peacocks or Flamingos on the resort...This is the first time that there were none to be found and they all really enjoy watching and feeding them. There was also a lack of the beautiful flowering bushes that we have all become accustomed to.

Other Comments:
Just a side line the medical services on the resort were great, one person from our group had to visit them as they had injured their toe. The Doctor was fabulous. The staff from the kids club were also great!

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/576393200kCybhd

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"Everything worked well"

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Lynne II  on Jan 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
309 people found this review helpful

Our first trip to Punta Cana. The resort was lovely, and the best part about Punta Cana was the sincere friendliness of the local people. They appreciate the toutist trade and make one feel very welcome to their country.

Rooms::
We were in building 3, facing the smaller pool and ocean. Everything worked well, a/c excellent. Loved the marble floors instead of carpet. Wish every hotel would do that. It was mopped every day. Only complaint was one night the eening entertainment was at the large pool and went on till 1am. Much too noisy for us old foggies who turn into pumpkins by 11:30! As with all hotel rooms I rinse out the glasses and cups before I use them...not sure of the way they clean them. Never saw any clean glassware on the service trolley! Cleaning, towels and beverages may not all be done at once, seems there are different people for different jobs so room may have been cleaned but towels may not come until evening. Housekeeping people are so grateful to receive a daily tip, please do that as it means so much for them. ... even a dollar per person per day means so much to them. Consider bringing treats that they may never otherwise see, the kind of thing you can find in the dollar stores here at home eg hair decorations etc. They are so grateful and welcoming people.

Restaurants and Bars::
A la Carte: Roma (Italian) excellent beef whcih you cannot find at the buffet; Tokyo: excellent; Marlin menu: excellent, Alcazar buffet: not so great. Lots of fruit but strangely not very tasty(watermelon, melon, pineapple, guava, passionfruit(yuk!)...none of it tasted sweet and ripe...wonder why? Breakfast egg preparation: excellent, poor cooks sweating over the hot stoves....how to tip the cooks in a sanitary way???
Beef consistently awful...like dry leather. Lots of Pork, usually good. Again the best part of all food services was the staff, willing to do anything to assist with a big smile.
I regret to have to say this but it is pretty consistent, be on the look-out for the brutish behaviour of most of the Eastern European guests, pushy, rude to staff and fellow tourists alike whether at the buffet table, omlette station, bar, pool or beach.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
Poolside much hotter than beach side. Was very windy so not much opportunity to go into the beautiful ocean, waves were too wild. Toplessness is very acceptable on the beach, but perhaps not at poolside out of good taste and courtesy to all customs, particularly families with older children.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Really nothing to do other than stay at the resort. If you are looking to snorkel this is not the place to go. Friends took the 12 hour bus trip to Santo Domingo and said it was a waste of the day.

Other Comments::
Walked to the Punta Blanca Artesian market(1km) or ($3 for taxi one way) and bought 705ml of rum for $5 US, same rum was $30.00 US at the airport duty free. Vanilla at themarket for about $3.00 US for a 450ml bottle (16oz) and at duty free same as $16.00 Worth the 2km walk from Barcelo to the neighbouring market. ...but vendors are very very aggressive, made us want to purchase our Rum and vanilla and get the heck out of the market.

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"A great place!"

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Veni from Montreal  on Sep 1, 2009  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Sep, 2009
286 people found this review helpful

Arrival: May 8-15
We were a group of 10 people staying for the week. After reading a few hair-raising reviews on the infamous Transat tour-operated Block 5, we decided to fly AirTransat but book seperately. Check-in was smooth thanks to Jean at the reception, easy to talk to and very friendly, he insured that we all got what we wanted and answered all our questions. But don't expect an "in-and-out" service if there's a lot of people checking-in at the same time, prepared to wait (the Main bar is right there anyway, grab a drink).

Rooms:
We all booked via i-travel and took the "superior room-all inclusive", double occupancy. The majority of the group got Block 6 and the rest got Blocks 4 and 7. These rooms were decent but they each had a small problem here and there (showerhead not working for example). I, on the other hand booked a week and a half later and got the renovated Block 1 (room 1223, which is Block 1, 2nd floor). This room looked like a junior suite when compared to the others! Fully renovated, huge room with practically a terrasse for a balcony, and the washroom! wow! Once my friends saw my room, they asked for a change and here is the catch: it is considered an "upgrade" and they had to pay extra (in the 100$ range). If you get the 3rd floor, your balcony is way smaller. I don't see the reason for the extra cost when I did not book any differently than the others so try to get Block 1 from the get-go.

Restaurants and Bars:
Our ├ -la-carte reservations were made at check-in and we all had a taste of them all with no complaints. The least enjoyed was the Dominican and my Dominican husband said the food was not as "authentic" as they led on but tasty none the less. The buffet answered all your needs in my opinion; breakfast, lunch or supper, it always tasted great. As for the bars, any counter that hands out alcoholic drinks, no question asked, is always great one! So no complaints there also but if you want particular drinks (Mudslides for example), you can only get them at the Main lobby bar. I don't know why.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beautiful and well kept. Absolutly no complaints.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The resort was buzzing with activities but aside from para-sailing, no one did anything else...too busy at the bars, you see!

Other Comments:
The lay-out of this resort is fine. Restaurants located in the middle and bars scattered every where. If you are a group of people though, try to all be in the same corner. One night, we accompagnied a friend back to Block 6 (from Block 1), and we felt like we were walking forever! Overall, great place!

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"We enjoyed this resort more than any other we have been to."

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Jeanette & Randy from PEI  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
235 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 13-27
We just returned from 2 weeks at the Barcelo Punta Cana.
We arrived at the resort at 11:00 am and got checked in, got our bracelets and were told our room would be ready at 3:00 pm, we were ready for this so we changed into bathingsuits and hit the beach. We went back to reception at 3:30 still original room was not ready. Jean at the front desk asked when we got to the resort and we told him and he made a few calls and switched us to a room that was ready (thanks Jean). When we got to our room 3327 we were impressed with the beautiful ocean view, breath taking. The room was nice and clean and bar was stocked.

Food:
We were a little confused with the unusal layout of the buffet restaurant the first night but it got easier as the days went by.The food at the buffet was fine sometimes great. We ate at 5 ala carte restaurants.. We enjoyed the Paris,Tokio,and tex mex. We did not enjoy the Italian or the seafood. We didn`t try the Dominican. We liked the Marlin restaurant for breakfast and lunch and they have the greatest hamburgers and I am not a burger and fry kinda person.

Beach:
Oh the beach, I never tire of Punta Cana beach but I enjoyed this section much better than other resorts I have been too. The beach is very wide and lots of loungers, not many palapas but you could always find shade. We walked the beach each morning for 3 hours and it is a very big part of our vacation. There were no vendors selling on the beach if you wanted some you could walk to the shacks and barter with them. The water was rough a couple of days (knocked me on my butt) but it seemed to calm down as the week went on.

Bars:
We enjoyed a couple bars at the resort more than others.The Bar by the quiet pool was great to get out of the sun for a bit. Keylin the bartender was very nice and funny we would stop by to see him after our walks and he laughed because we ordered water but it was only 11 am. Lobby Bar 2 was our favorite bar it was quieter but the staff were the greatest Tiofolo, Anjelo and Evelyn were very friendly and funny. They treated us great and talked baseball with us, refilling our glasses etc even before we left a tip. They made us feel like family.

Entertainment day time:
There were water arobics, volleyball, dancing, a few games around the pool and beer drinking games. They were fun to watch. OH MY GOD was the favorite saying of the DJ....

Nightlife:
We are not big on nightlife, we went to the show one night it was okay. We also went to the beach party on Sunday night with a couple from Miami and we had fun, we did the dance lessons and balloon race and watched the fire.

Maintenance::
The gardeners, painters, groundsmen, beach groomers etc were always working, cleanning fixing something to improve the property. I heard someone complain about the workers fixing things at 9 am in the morning, I found it great to see things being fixed up and care being given to the property.

We met with Sandy Pfeil the General Manager and dropped off school supplies for the kids. She is a very nice lady, we enjoyed our chat with her.

Summary:
My husband and I both enjoyed this resort more than any other we have been to. We have been to Dominican Republic 11 times and 2 to Cuba. We have stayed at 3 star resorts up to 5 plus star resorts and this one just felt like home. We cannot pin point one thing that made it stand out it was a combination of everything, we did not want to come home after our 2 weeks were done. We have no problem recommending this resort to others. We will definetly be returning next year.

jeanettestewart@eastlink.ca

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"They have a ton of fun drinks, let the bartender make you something."

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Melia from Vancouver, BC  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
262 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 23 - May 7
We booked our vacation with Air Transat, through a travel agent. I asked at the check-in counter about the travel visa and the attendant had no idea what I was talking about, but they handed them out on the plane. The Air Transat airplanes have very uncomfortable seats, compared to many other planes I have been on. We chose them because they flew direct to DR, but we did have a brief layover in Peurto Plata. Customs was a breeze, and baggage was quick and efficient. A porter helped us find our (air conditioned!) bus, and we were off to the hotel. Ours was the last one (of course), so by the time we checked-in, it was about 8pm local time. Check-in was very fast and easy, and the hotel manager happened to be working there. He was very nice and welcoming. We were lead right to our room. Because we booked with a tour, we met with the rep the next morning, and she walked us through the hotel, told us about the water, food, currency, customs, etc and about tour we could go on. For that reason alone, I highly recommend booking with a tour company.

Rooms:
Our room was good. Air conditioned, king size bed, everything was clean and stocked. We had a small balcony with two chairs, which was very nice. We were in room 7225, which is building 7, floor 2, room 25. Housekeeping didn't usually get there until 4pm, but once we figured that out, things were fine. We left $1 US each day for the maids, and they would spend almost an hour in our room every day. I heard that other rooms at the hotel were newly renovated, but our room was fine. I think all the rooms would be fine. Ours was far away from the big buffet and quiet pool, and faced the wall to the next resort, but that just meant that it was nice and quiet. Note that if you request/get an oceanview room, you will also be facing the pools, bars, etc, and it will be louder for you. But the hotel is in a U-shape, so all the rooms are fairly close to everything. We drove through the Punta Cana Princess next door, and I was amazed how far away some of the rooms were to eve!
rything else! At our resort, nothing was more than a 5 minute walk.

Restaurants and Bars::
The food, in general, was delicious tasting. The buffet was well stocked and had lots of variety. It had an omlette/egg station at breakfast and a pasta bar at dinner. The big buffet was only open 8:30-10:30, 12:30-2:30, and 4:30on, but there was another smaller buffet by the main pool that was open 6am-4pm. They also had an omlette station, and made fresh burgers and fries for the afternoon. The a-la-carte restaurants were all really yummy, especially the Japanese one. The service was great, and everyone was very helpful. Unfortunatley, we got a little sick the first week. I had taken Dukoral, so I wasn't too bad, but the boyfriend was very sick. Then, the next week, we both got very very sick and didn't leave our room or eat anything for 2 days. What we decided is DO NOT TOUCH DAIRY. We never drank the milk, but even cheese, yogurt, mousse (the chocolate "mousse," which is actually stiff whipping cream is what made us so terribly sick) is all bad. It's too bad because it all tasted so so good...

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
Beach was fantastic, as expected. Never had trouble getting chairs in the shade, we never had to lay out towels early or anything. On the beach they have palm shrubs, that are about 6 feet tall, so you just pull a couple chairs under one of them, and you're set! The pools were very nice, very clean. The grounds were nice, make sur eyou bring your flip flops, because the walkways get hot! The resort was very nice and clean and pretty.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
This hotel has a trapeze, and they offer classes everyday. I think that everyone should try this at least once, because really, how many chances in your life do you have to try a trapeze swing (and for free, no less!). They serve premium vodka (Grey Goose) at the "sports" bar downstairs. The casino is super expensive ($10 min per hand), and the payouts are low (for video poker, only 5/4, much lower than the 8/5 in Vegas and most other casinos). We didn't go to any of the shows in the theatre, but it did have a nice bar, which is fully staffed, but empty before the show starts, so a good place to hit if you want quick service after dinner. We rented boogey boards (for free) one day, but the waves aren't strong, so we mostly just floated around. The kids pool looked fine, but in general I don't think this hotel is best suited for little kids.

We went on Bavaro Runners Jeep tour, which was great, I highly recommend. The tour is awesome, the guide is hilarious, and the booze is included! Great photo ops, and a chance to see more of the "real" island. We also went on a sunset/happy hour cruise, with Tropical Storm. It was disappointing. The cruise itself was fine, but the snorkeling was only for 30 minutes of a 4 hour cruise, and the food was awful. The support staff were rude and extremely sexual, which I found very offensive. For example, I was heading to the bathroom (I was a bit seasick) and one of them grabbed me and pulled me onto his lap, as if I was supposed to give him a lap dance. When I forcefully said no, and pushed his arms off me, he looked at me like I was crazy and shot me dirty looks all day. Not worth the $109US, even if there was a ton of booze included.

Other Comments::
Overall, our trip was great. Even with getting sick, I think I would still go back to this hotel. The service was FANTASTIC, the resort was clean, and the beach was to die for! Except for $1 for the maids, we never tipped, and no one seemed to have a problem with that.

Suggestion: bring a travel coffee mug or other insulated mug, and use it at the bars. That was your drink will stay cold much longer, and you won't have to go get refills as often (the glasses they use are only about 5-6 oz, quite small).

Suggestion: bring a couple boxes of crackers, granola bars, chips, etc because sometimes you just want a snack, but don't want to trek down to the buffet. Or, if you get a little sick, having a "normal" granola bar will settle your stomach.

Overall:
You are on vacation, there to relax. Have a good time, and don't worry about too much. We met a couple who changed rooms 5 times(!!). Everything they thought was "wrong" with the room would have been fine with us. For example, our TV remote only worked when it felt like...who cares?? We weren't there to watch TV! Also, the hot water would sometimes cut in and out. Again, who cares? Most of the time you're so hot you want a cool shower anyways. Or sometimes they didn't have face cloths. If you need to wash your face that badly, use the corner of a hand towel. Another person tried to order Raspberry Stoli, and of course, they didn't have any. They have a ton of fun drinks, let the bartender make you something. If you don't like it, it's all included, so just order something else. You're on vacation. Relax!! Enjoy!!

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"We paid for extras we didn't get."

Barcelo Punta Cana.
User Rating:  Barcelo Punta Cana. Review: 3.5 of 5

Posted by:  Wanda from ON  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
270 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Apr 30 - May 7
Arrival was untime and we got to thr resort fast.

Rooms:
Rooms are abit out dated but clean and the bar restocked every day. House keeping was great.

Restaurants and Bars:
Oriental was great the rest was not that good. the buffet was good we had no service from any where because of Dominican holidys that our agent forgot to tell us about.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Clean beach and pools swim up was great.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No tours because of wasted time on resort they had great activities for the young nothing for 40+

Other Comments:
Over booked on the dominican holiday and the catered to them which was fine but we got no sevice we could'nt get spaces at beach or pool or entertainment and pushed and shoved at buffet. we were tipping all over the place to get better service but not . we also paid for extras we didn't get would only recommend for young people we will never go back and never us transat again.

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