Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Reviews

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Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)  

Avenida Alemania S/N, EL Cortecito, Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana Dominican Republic

"very energetic animation team"
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Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Reviews
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Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Bavaro Beach Dominican Republic

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Based on 69 reviews

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Information


Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) is a five star luxury resort that distinguishes itself by offering deluxe spacious rooms, fine dining and personalized service.

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Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Reviews

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 4.3 of 5 69 reviews
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"Absolutely no complaints."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Barbara from Edmonton, Alberta  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
322 people found this review helpful

Arrival: December 18-January 1, 2009
Great - airport was wonderful - looked like a grass hut - no outside walls - what a difference from our international airport in Edmonton. We cleared the airport quickly. Bus was waiting to transport to the hotel/resort.

Rooms:
Room was great. Cleaned regularly, towels replenished always, fridge stocked with soft drinks, water, beer daily. Everything was clean and done efficiently. Great job!

Restaurants and Bars:
Visited all of the a la carte restaurants (twice) in two weeks. No waiting - good service (except for Christmas day - a little slow - but short of staff). No problem. Food was plentiful and great in all restaurants and the Festival Buffet. Bars were great - especially the sports bar - quick and efficient and make excellent drinks. The omelette guy (Felix) was great to talk to and remembered who you were and where you were from. Plenty of choices and fruit and fish were provided daily (many different types/varieties).

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beaches are excellent, cleaned daily. Sand is fine as silt and wonderful. Pools were clean and cared for (many of them - lots of choices). Grounds were cleaned on a regular basis. No complaints.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on the Bavaro Runners tour - informational and good. Also did the Tropical Storm tour - swimming was available in the coral reef - equipment and instructions provided. Great fun! Also went to the Adventure Park where grandson swam with the sea lions. Only complaint on this one was that they sell CD's of all your experiences for a mere? $75 US. Wow! Hardly worth that considering that you could get the same service from Tropical Storm for $35US.

Other Comments:
We thoroughly enjoyed this resort, the staff were friendly and helpful. We have absolutely no complaints and would recommend this resort to anyone (except that there wasn't a lot to do for teens - bowling, pool table, etc. were provided - but not a lot of activities for this age group). I would visit this resort again in a heartbeat.

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"We had a “beautiful” view of a run down resort"

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 3.5 of 5

Posted by:  Bill and Bobbi from Wisconsin  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2009
293 people found this review helpful

Our anniversary is January 25th and we have been traveling to the Dominican Republic for ten years (nine to Punta Cana). We always book through Apple Vacations and have never had any bad experiences. For the past few years, we have paid for the additional room upgrades, which we have been very happy with. As this would be our 40th wedding anniversary, I contacted the travel agent well in advance to request a pool view or ocean view room as part of our upgrade to the Paradise Club.

Our arrival at the resort gave us an indication of the type of indifference we were to experience throughout our stay. When we arrived at the Paradise Club check in, we were never offered a glass of punch, which we have come to expect. The room was quite crowded so we were patient, but when we finally were able to check in, we were treated as if they were too busy to point out whether we needed towel cards (towels were furnished without cards); that we could make reservations with the Paradise Club for the ala carte restaurants; or that they were there to help us with any of our needs. We actually had to coach them and ask about various amenities we could access. We definitely got the “bum’s rush” from the Paradise Club. Unfortunately, we met several other couples who had upgraded and had experienced the same attitude.

We were taken to our room, which had a “beautiful” view of a run down resort, next door. My husband went back to the Paradise Club and asked to be moved to a nicer room and was informed that none would be available until that Monday. He was also informed that someone from the Paradise Club would contact us on Monday to discuss the move. Come Monday, we realized that this was not going to happen so we decided not to “uproot” ourselves and stay in the room.

Our experiences during our previous stays at other resorts were very positive. The servers, bartenders, maids, etc., have always gone out of their way to please the visitors, and always with a smile and a friendly “hola”. No so with this resort. Indifference is the best word to describe the attitude of the people working at the resort. In the buffet restaurant the staff seemed very determined to avoid eye contact with the diners. If coffee and juice or water were ordered, you might get just coffee or just water…..never both. And to try to catch the attention of the servers again was difficult, at best. I saw many, many people just get up and grab silverware and napkins from the serving station and grab their own coffee. No smiles. We generally tip the locals very well, but there were only a few times we considered any of the servers worthy of a tip. One morning my husband tried reversing the procedure. He got the attention of one of the servers and asked for water, giving her a tip at that time. She then disappeared and we never received the water.

We did manage to finally make reservations at some of the ala carte restaurants. We were quite disappointed in the Asian restaurant where we experienced the typical indifference by our server. While removing a salad plate from my husband’s side of the table, the server spilled dressing on his shirt and pants. He never apologized and for the rest of the meal he served other diners…..suddenly we had a new server. We were disappointed with the food after reading all the positive reviews of the Asian restaurant. After our meal we decided to go to the Paradise Club and make reservations for dinner for the following evening. We sat down and were told that the gentleman was busy and then he proceeded to carry on a conversation with his fellow employee for over five minutes while we just sat there and cooled our heels. I was so incensed that I demanded to speak to the general manager. We were handed off to three different people in the process, but finally after remaining firm, we were taken to the general manager’s office. We explained that if the resort were ours, we would want to know that service was not up to par. We explained our disappointment and we felt he handled the situation well. He upgraded us to the presidential suite at no charge and told us we would be contacted by 10:00 a.m. the next morning to move. We received a call at 8:30 from the bell captain, who had us moved into the suite within 10 minutes.

Restaurants were a great disappointment, especially the buffet. Our favorite was the shore grill, not just because the food was great, but the servers we had there were fantastic. Bars were great, especially the main pool bar. Two years ago we stayed at Ocean Blue, where “Ramon” worked the pool bar. Before we booked at this resort, I was online viewing some pictures and discovered Ramon now works at EdenH Real. In fact, he was one of the main reasons we booked at this resort. Alexis at the main pool bar was also a great guy…..very entertaining! After we moved into the new suite, we met Philippe at the Paradise Club south pool. What a truly attentive person he is who obviously loves his job and loves doing all he can to please people. When Philippe was on duly, we, and everyone else were treated like royalty. He just couldn’t do enough to make us comfortable and happy. He is truly an asset at this resort.

We did not venture off the grounds, nor did we go on any tours. We did all those during our early years of vacationing in Punta Cana.

The grounds are beautiful and we were surprised at how full and lush the plantings and palm trees are considering it’s a fairly new resort. The beach is fantastic with plenty of palapas. We never had a problem securing a chaise lounge.

We love going to the Dominican Republic because the people are so warm and friendly and seem so genuinely happy with what they have. We have been reluctant to go elsewhere like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Aruba and Mexico because of comments other people have made about the locals not being as friendly. We have never written a review for any of the other resorts we have stayed at in the D.R., and perhaps we should have. But with the bad experiences we had in general with the employees at this resort, we felt compelled to write a review. Perhaps someone at the resort will read this and maybe make some changes. We would definitely not stay at this resort again. We will continue to vacation in Punta Cana and hope that we don’t ever experience the indifference we experienced at EdenH Real.

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"We loved this resort and would go back in a heart beat."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Paula from Whitby, Ontario  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
197 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan 17 - 24
We arrived at Punta Cana Airport on time and wisked through customs. Lined up for the Air Transat rep to find out which bus. Loaded and ready to go. Smooth ride no on board narrative which i missed. We booked the Mirage option so we checked in through the VIP lounge. Quick and effortless. Our room was ready which was a pleasant unexpected change.

Rooms:
We had emailed ahead to mention that we were belated honeymooners. We arrived at our door and found a "Honeymooners" banner on the door.(Nice touch). THe room was beautiful. Located on the second floor overlooking the gardens in the center about halfway between the buffet and the pool. Lovely swan towel decoration sitting on the coffee table. The room had a nice king size bed, a jucuzzi tub in the bathroom. It was a nice size. The rooms were cleaned everyday along with clean towels. Most of the days i had facecloths but no biggie as i had brought some from home just in case. After we got back from the beach that afternoon we were greeting with a lovely fruit plate and a bottle of rum.

Restaurants and Bars:
We only ever serviced the beach bar and the bar at the plaza. Always taken care of with a smile and great service. The buffet was great. Food was always hot and lots of variety. I am a picky eater and don't like to venture too much and i always found something to eat. We tried 4 of the A La Carte restaurants. THey were wonderful. Great service, good food. I liked the Italian the best if i had to choose one. We did not try the Asian restaurant.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
THe beach was great. No matter what time of day we went down we were always able to find chairs and shade. Beach vendors are not permitted on the grounds which was different for me. I always get a kick out of them. But the minute you hit the boundary line they were waiting for you to come and visit their store for the best price.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not do any activities except a couple of hours snorkelling trip off the reefs. It was very nice and my husband enjoyed feeding the fish and taking pictures.

Other Comments:
We loved this resort and would go back in a heart beat. Already looking forward to our trip next year.

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"I would definitely return to this resort."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Beverly  on Jan 1, 2009  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
327 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 18-Jan 1
After arriving at the open airport and receiving our luggage we were a little confused as to where you were suppose to get your bus. We missed the Air Transat counter which was to your right when you exit the luggage area.

Rooms:
Excellent clean rooms. The only complaint would be the turn down service you are suppose to receive with Air Transat le mirage package. We only received it twice in the 14 days that we were there. We did put an extra key card in the light switch which we left in all the time to keep the air conditioner running but as soon as you open the sliding door it shut off. We were in block 2 with the odd numbers as the even numbers had the view of the construction site. My brother had the paradius club room the only different is the that you are closer to the beach and the bathroom is an inclosed area with the tub outside on the balcony.

Restaurants and Bars:
We did do all the a la carte restaurants. When you book the Japanese restaurant asked to sit at the grill as this was entertaining. All the restaurants were excellent my least favorite was the American Grill.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Well kept grounds, beaches and the pools. No problem with people bothering you on the beach as security was at each end of the resort. Once you leave the resort you will be bothered especially to the north. We would show up around 8-9 in the morning and there was still chairs to be found. After 9 it was getting impossible to find one.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did do the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure. It was ok. When they say you go to a sugar plantation you really just pull off to the side of the road and they cut down a sugar cane to share with you. The last stop was to a beach but the waves here were a little to rough to swim in. I also did the Tropical Storm tour this was excellent. You got to up and down the coast line and also see the shipwreck. They did have nightly activities in the courtyard were the restaurants are.

Other Comments:
The only complaint is with Air Transat as they did downgraded us on the back to Edmonton. We are still waiting for our money back for this and also my kids seats which I paid for they never got they put them farther behind us. The hotel was great but Air Transat we still have issues with.

I also meet up with Mike at the resort to hand over some school supplies which he was greatful for. If you decide to go shopping there is a market south of the resort by the big slide go inside to do your shopping as it is cheaper then the outside market. To the north there is one close by and there is one farther around the inlet which is also an outside market they had good deals there. It is cheaper to by your gifts at the market or even at the WBA shop at the resort then it is at duty free in the airport. When you buy your liquor pack it in your suitcase and not your carry on as my husband found out they kept his.
Overall I would definitely return to this resort.

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"We made the best of our time."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  CaraSue from Missouri  on Jan 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2009
333 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 15-22
We vacationed at Eden H (NH Real Arena) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from January 15-22, 2009. We also vacationed at this resort last year during the last week of January/first week of February. I felt that due to problems that we had last year I would be fair and give this resort another chance before giving a full review.

I will start with last year's portion. We booked our vacation through a travel agent. He actually was advising us to not go to this resort as it was new. We liked the price and it looked great so we went knowing that there could be little things because of the recent opening. He was not able to get much information for us at all regarding the Paradise Club, etc. as it was all called different names. Even when he called he was not given a definite answer. We arrived at the resort and nobody told us to check in through the Paradise Club..not even the gentleman at the front desk. We were taken to our room, which was the last room on the front corner of building #2. This is the side that faces all of the construction. We had nothing in our room waiting for us other than a lot of mosquitoes,no drinks in the refrigerator, no rum, no robes, etc. Our power was out off and on. Our bellboy said that he would take care of all of this. He is the one, who in fact, brought it all to our attention. We called down and ultimately went down to the lobby after nothing had been done. We then went back to our room and that night a gentleman from the Paradise Club called our room and asked if we were going to come to our meeting. We went down and told him that we knew nothing about coming there. So he took care of getting drinks to our room and rum,.it was all the next day,but at least we did get the stuff.

We woke up each of the next few mornings with a construction truck on our patio, supplies in our Jacuzzi tub and still tons of mosquitoes, likely due to the huge puddle of water outside of our room. We called numerous times about all of this and nothing could be done. Finally our room was changed to a 4th level room facing the pool/ocean. Much better. Unfortunately, half of our vacation was overtaken by workers at our doors and mosquitoes. In this room we arrived to half full bottles of pop in our fridge and no towels. Called down to get robes and towels. They arrived. The robes were made for a toddler, I believe. I then decided to contact *****, who frequents the TA message boards. ***** lets everyone know that you should come to him with any problems or concerns so I decided to do just that. When I contacted ***** I started going over the problems and told him that I just wanted to make him aware of things that were going on. He was quite short with me on things and then told me that he would take care of things but that he had to go and pick up his girlfriend so he didn't have time to do anything now. I was a bit stunned by this. We later received a call from Clara, the manager of the Paradise Club, asking us to come down and speak with her. We explained all of our problems to her and told her that we understood that we were going to a new resort but that these little things were problems and had ruined much of our time on vacation. We also explained how we were never able to get into an a la carte restaurant as they were always full. One of the days, after waiting in line for quite awhile, they told us that they were full, we were the next in line. We didn't understand why we couldn't have been told before we got up there. Clara gave us a voucher to return before 11/2009. We told her at that time that we were not trying to get anything..we just wanted these little things fixed vs. cutting into our time. We definitely didn't decline the voucher though. The lobster dinner in our room was the best meal that we had that visit. We didn't receive that this time, unfortunately. We booked our 2009 vacation and kept in constant contact via phone and email to confirm the reservation. We had no problems with this. There definitely is a language barrier when calling in though. We were excited for this vacation and looked forward to it being so much better. We knew that we had to arrange our own airfare. We did not realize that we had to arrange our airport transfer. Not a big deal at all but definitely would have been nice to know instead of being screwed by the v.i.p. guys at the airport/resort. To elaborate,we had no clue where to go for transportation. We went to the v.i.p. guys (that is who we had last year) and they asked if we had a voucher to get to resort. We told them that we did not. They take us outside to one of their buses. They tell the guys there and we also tell them that we have no voucher. They say no problem as they load our suitcases into their van. We get onto the bus and take the last 2 seats remaining. They then come back to us and ask again for our voucher. We let them know that we have already told them that we don't have a voucher. They tell us it will be $40. So this is just an FYI for those who do not have transportation arranged from the airport to the hotel.

When we arrived we knew to immediately go to the Paradise Club check in. Everything went smoothly there for the most part. The gentleman was new (1 month) and was training another gentleman. You will definitely find that there is a very high turnover at this resort. We only recognized a couple of people from last year but none in the check in or guest services. We were taken to our room 2465. We could tell that the resort had done a lot of work to make things nicer and complete. It had really improved. There was a nice sidewalk on the side that was once swamps and gravel and the lobby in building #2 looked pretty complete. We went into the room and the refrigerator was stocked, we had rum and fruit, towels, robes (adult size) and slippers. The room has a great view and is a nice room. It is the closest to the suites and faces the pool side/ocean. We were very pleased with the room. We chuckled and kind of rolled our eyes about the outlets falling out of the wall as you plugged in something, the chipped wood on the headboard and dressers and the beat up lamp shade. We weren't going to let those things bother us and felt that since this was technically a free stay, that we weren't going to complain about anything at all,and we didn't. The resort did not seem full at all. In fact, guests were sent over from Dreams as it was not complete yet.

Paradise Club Check in::
There was a foul odor almost every time that you went in here. Very much a sewer smell. If you want to get onto a computer here you will have to wait awhile. We had brought a laptop with us as last year we were able to have internet access (free) anywhere in the lobby area. Not this year. Now you must purchase a password if you want to use your internet, unless you want to wait for the ones in the Paradise Club. We purchased 24 hours for $25 (I believe). We could use our laptop anywhere this way (using their password..make sure that you disconnect each time you are done). Our last day we had 14 hours left. We always disconnected. We then all of the sudden had 15 minutes left and then 2 minutes! It was ridiculous and obviously just another way for the resort to get money. The drinks are not cold out of the refrigerator in the Paradise Club.

Rooms::
Everything was great. As I stated before, we laughed about the little beat up things. Housekeeping comes later in the day, which we liked actually. They are quick to come in though if you don't have a Do Not Disturb sign out (which we had to go down and ask for after being walked in on). So make sure that you get a Do Not Disturb sign. We love the closet space in the rooms. Your clothes will stink if you put them in the drawers,so avoid that. It's a musty, sweaty smell. Bring additional hangers with you as you will not have a lot in your room. We did not have problems getting towels. We did not have the soap bottles, etc. replaced ever. We would have loved to have had the soap replaced after we ran out but none was ever left. We rarely had hot water. This was a huge problem. No hot water at certain times of day,especially late night and early morning. A cold shower at 5:30AM is not pleasant. We never were able to use the Jacuzzi as you could not get any more than lukewarm water to come out. We called for a wake up call for 5AM. At 4:45 our phone rang for a wake up and also at 5:15. Lots of TV channels. If you leave your card in the power thing on the wall (you have to if you want power in your room) make sure that you remove it when you leave as the maid will take it if you don't. Just an FYI that you can stick anything in that..paper or whatever to make it work. We found that out when the maid had left it that way. We walked in when our room was being cleaned at one time and found that they do not replace your glasses that you drink out of in the rooms. They rinse,yes rinse,them out in the sink and not with hot water. That is a HUGE health issue. When you walk by their carts you will notice that they don't even have glasses on their carts. Also getting your refrigerator stocked is hit and miss. We always drank the water and pop and sometimes it would get refilled,sometimes not. It was never filled with more than 1 of each kind of pop..Sprite, Coke and Coke Light. They would not give you more than 1 bottle of each of those 3. You also had Presidente' beer (2 cans) which we never drank.

Restaurants and Bars::
Food: We made reservations for all of the a la carte restaurants. The waiters at all of the restaurants do not speak English well at all. The first one that we had was the Italian restaurant. Not very good. We did go there for a la carte breakfast one day and that wasn't too bad. It was really hot in there though. We went to the American restaurant next and it was not very good at all either. We didn't even stay for dessert. We decided that we would cancel all of the others except for the Japanese grill. We had breakfast and dinner at the buffet all of the other times. The buffet restaurant is ridiculously hot. Last year it was cool. It seemed as if they were trying to make it an open air restaurant,but it's not and they can't without construction. Service in there was very sporadic. You might get it and you might not. You might get it once and then never again. The food was very mediocre. Last year seemed better. I ended up sticking to the pasta each night after that. I knew that it would be good and it would be hot. All of the food at the resort has an odd taste to it, really can't say what the taste is. You notice it the most in the desserts. We ate at the beach grill a couple of times. The best was the chili. It was very good actually. We went to the Japanese grill the final night and we are so glad that we did and wish that we could have had it every night. Not your typical Hibachi show but the food is very good here. Just make sure to watch out for egg shells.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
Pools: Everything was always kept clean and the pools are really nice. We always swam in the Paradise Club Pool on the #2 building side. The unfortunate thing is that even though signs have been put up this year (last year it was ridiculous) there are still parents bringing their kids to that pool and nobody enforces the adults only rule. Many guests were grumbling about this. It is unfortunate that people don't follow the rules but more unfortunate when the resort does not enforce it. They do enforce the no green bands on that side though. The pool service was wonderful. We always had chairs (no matter what time of day) and would be brought a table if we couldn't find one. We were brought cool washcloths one day, which was nice. We had no problems getting drinks. Beer in a bottle is not typically kept very cold. The fruit kabobs are nice too. It was nice to have an additional towel waiting for us in our chairs.

Beach::
The beach is beautiful. They do have security on both sides this year but we did notice that occasionally someone without a bracelet of any kind would come and swim on our resort side and nothing was said. This was kind of surprising. They do a great job at keeping the seaweed cleaned and picked up along the beach. We always were able to get a chair (no matter what time of day) where last year we played the chair game. Palapas were always readily available. Vendors do not bother you much at all. It is mainly the photo guys and spa people. Gift Shop: Very pricey. Make sure that you remember everything that you need.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Activities on resort: We bowled one night. It was really hot in here also. The lanes are set up really nicely. It would be nice if you could pay in the sports bar but you have to go to the front desk and pay for your shoes and your bowling there. $10 for one hour and $2 per person for shoes. While we paid this,it's kind of ridiculous to make you pay for an activity like this at an all-inclusive resort. We enjoyed the casino as well. Very small but nice. Does not open until 4PM.

Excursions: We went to guest services and spoke to Danny (we really appreciated him during our stay) about excursions since we would be setting up our own this year. Last year we did Saona Island and absolutely loved it!! Danny had a guy come over from Barcelo who helped us with our excursions. We chose to do the Reef Explorer (owned by same people as the Marinarium). We absolutely loved this excursion! We were bussed out (maybe a 15-20 minute bus ride) to the Marinarium beach. There were tons of people doing Marinarium and maybe 20 doing the Reef Explorer. It was so nice to not be crammed onto a boat with 50 people at a time. It boils down to do you want to party or do you want to enjoy and relax? The Marinarium serves alcohol and the Reef Explorer serves fresh fruit, sandwiches, and juice. This was $89 per person (I believe). We were taken out in a small motor boat in groups of 6-8 to their island type platform. There were beach chairs, 2 chair massage stools, kayaks and snorkeling equipment. We were able to do all of those activities as well as swim with the sharks (nurse sharks which are docile) and stingrays (stingers removed). We also had our picture taken with the stingray. You can take pictures yourself and you can buy theirs as well ($10 each). We truly loved this trip and recommend going in the afternoon when we did. We also did the Santo Domingo day excursion. $75 per person. We enjoyed this but the bus ride is really really long. We left our resort at 6:30AM and returned at 8:30PM. We had to detour out of Higuey on the return home due to the religious holiday taking place the next day. We went to all of the Christopher Columbus castle, church, etc. and then did shopping. We then went to a Barcelo resort there for lunch (fantastic lunch). Drove by the Presidential Palace, the lighthouse and then to a cave (totally could have skipped the cave) which was so hot and a lot of rough stairs. Overall great excursions.

Renova Spa: I do not recommend this at all. We did the Moonlight Massage for couples on the beach. This was $300. We so looked forward to this and it came with champagne and chocolate covered fruit. We set it up for 10PM and arrived shortly before. Definitely a beautiful night for a massage and the beach part was great hearing the waves. Not a good massage at all. Way too much oil used and overall not a good massage. They told us that we could do our champagne there or in our room. We chose to take it back to our room. They would not allow us to take the champagne glasses to our room,so we drank from the bottle since we were not using a rinsed out glass. When we returned to our room it was 10:40. The massage was to have lasted 1 hour. Also keep in mind time for dressing/undressing; gathering the champagne and fruit and walking back to our room. Meaning we had less than 30 minutes of massage. Our complaint about this was not heard and it's very disappointing to have paid so much money and not receive what we were to have received.

Other Comments::
Overall Resort: When we set out at 6:15AM for our excursion there were no lights on in the hallway by our room. NONE. We decided that it was probably safer to walk on the outside. Wrong, no lights on throughout the entire resort other than people's patio lights or small buffet lights in the buffet restaurant. That is very unsafe. Lights go off outside fairly early at night (considering Casino and bars are open until 2 and 3AM. This is a huge safety concern. Pool lights go off at 11PM,another safety concern. It's very obvious that this resort really tries to conserve energy but there are safety issues that need to be taken into consideration. Pools close at 8PM. Too early, in my opinion. Tips are really expected here. An******* being this great, wonderful person who helps everyone with everything I would have to disagree. I contacted ******* before we went and let him know that we were using comp. tickets and wondered what it would cost to upgrade to a Presidential Suite as well as telling him that we would like to meet him this time. He did not give me a price. He asked me for my last name. I provided him with my last name and never heard back from him. I messaged him again letting him know that I had not heard from him. He messaged me again that he needed my last name. I told him that I had sent it to him when he first asked and was giving it to him again. I still never heard back from him. That was a disappointment. One would also think that when you are a coming on a comp. ticket that they would try to speak to you to make sure that all was going as planned. I think that they could avoid some problems.

Transportation: You read above about our transportation to the hotel. When leaving we asked for requests from staff on who to use and were told a Taxi. We started researching and found on the Punta Cana airport site www.dominicanairporttransfers.com. We used them and it was hassle free and great! It was $45 from our resort to the airport but it was only us riding. We did not have to pick up any guests from other resorts. We also paid online via paypal. The driver was there early to pick us up and got us to the airport safely and was very nice. Definitely recommend this company for transfers.

To sum it up. We had a wonderful time because we made the best of our time. Would we return to this resort. No. The biggest disappointment is that the resort truly is beautiful. It's a shame that they cannot get it together to truly make it a 5 star resort. We heard complaints from other guests and when we were checking out a guest who was also leaving was in a bit of an uproar over his unhappiness. So obviously there are a lot of problems still.

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"A jewel of a resort."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Dave from Sudbury, Ontario  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
301 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 3rd, 2009 to January 10th, 2009
My wife Kate and I along with our two boys 3 yrs and 5 yrs and 20 yr old daughter with her boyfriend arrived January 3rd, 2009. The host centre was well organized and had us checked in and packaged up and into our room pronto. Check in was congenial complete with liquid libations and interesting eats.

Rooms:
The design of the room is fabulous and state of the art with the open concept including partial partition between bath and bedroom. Risky design leaves one feeling airy and relaxed. Excellente! Bravo!

Restaurants and Bars:
There were 7 fabulous restaurants with the casual atmosphere of the beach and buffet restaurant to the semi-formal atmosphere of the other adventurous dining rooms. The bars were fun, energetic and great service. The staff are what makes the EdenH Real Arena sing. They are all so welcoming, friendly, quick to serve and interested in you as a customer. The staff enjoy children. I made friends with about 20 staff and knew them all on a first name basis. It was great to share stories and feel the passion of the people.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The landscape architect created an environment which is so pleasing to the eye and to all the senses. There is a myriad of vistas constantly popping up no matter where you walk in the resort. The wide open spaces with the greens and neutral colours create a soothing relaxing environment. It is typical to find a huge open window framing a palm. The grounds are award winning. There is ample choice between the many pools. The beach is supreme with plenty of palapas for everyone. The volley ball court attracts some serious contenders and fosters an open welcoming agenda for everyone. The pool staff and beach staff are engaging. It is such fun to join in an impromptu dance class on the beach or an aerobics class in the pool. There is so much beach activity going on with the complimentary catamarans, kayaks and the many other activities from flying boats, to para sailing to helicopter rides and more.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We always get adventuresome to see some local attraction when at a resort. We took advantage of the trip to M. Beach where the boogie boarding is world class with continuous six ft waves. Gives you a chance to mix with the locals and buy some fresh coconuts to drink.

Other Comments::
This is a jewel of a resort tucked on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. It is an award winning resort for its grounds, rooms and buildings.The management team has managed to assemble a great service team of unique individuals with plenty of personality who make you feel part of the family. Give them your name once and they never forget it. This is the perfect holiday place for both families and couples. Lots of room so you are not stumbling over one another. Lots of diversity between the beach and pool areas. The food is fun, creative and so tasty whether in the buffet or a specialty restaurant. Mike Bryant, manager of Public Relations is an interesting person with a great story of how he ended up there from his hometown of Belleville Ontario. When you arrive look Mike up sometime during your stay and hear his story. His office is to the right of the registration desk and down the hall. This is a no holds barred winning resort which will meet your every need. The EdenH REal Arena has it all! Treat yourself! You deserve to be spoiled.

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"I would recommend this resort, but would not go back."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Judy & Steve from Ottawa, Ontario  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
307 people found this review helpful

We flew WestJet, through Nolitours. Gotta love WestJet! We had a bit of a hard landing in Punta Cana, but the rest of the flight was quite smooth. We were served a Breakfast wrap and granola bars for breakfast, and had a yummy Turkey & Swiss Cheese sandwich, with granola bars, on the way back. Service was excellent.

It is only a 20 min. drive to the resort from the airport. We arrived at 12:30 and waited until 3:30 pm for our rooms – no problem, as we were aware check-in was at 3:00 pm. Front Desk staff was very friendly and spoke perfect English, so we had no language barriers. I immediately saw PCMike (Mike Bryant) and told him how much we appreciated all his posts. We tagged our luggage with our assigned room number and went off to explore.

We were in Room 1414 and had a wonderful view of the pool and the ocean. We did not have the upgrade, but we were very pleased with the view. The rooms are very spacious and there was plenty of closet space and drawer space. The safe combination was easy to set, as well. We had the opening between the bathroom and bedroom, but were aware of this before we left, so it presented no problem for us. The mini fridge was stocked on a regular basis and the room was cleaned in the morning. The air conditioning worked great and we had hot water every day – morning and night!

The main buffet, Festival Buffet, had one wing off the food area for smokers and two wings for non-smokers. We never had a problem finding a table. There is also an outdoor eating area off the wings and we ate breakfast out there most days. Table service for coffee and cleaning off dirty plates was hit or miss, but when we caught the eye of one of the servers, it was cleared immediately. The food there was okay… Met Felix, the Omelette guy! Very nice person…

We went to the Asian Restaurant and sat at the grill. It was a lot of fun and our group of 8 really enjoyed the food. We had no problems getting reservations.

The Italian Restaurant is another story… we had reservations at 7:45 pm. We were served an appetizer and soup. By 9:30 p.m. we were still waiting on our main course – we finally got up and left and headed to the Festival Buffet to get something to eat. Service was terrible. We did let management know…

The Senses, French Gourmet Restaurant, was quite nice. We had the beef tenderloin and crème brule. The food was very good and was beautifully presented. Service was excellent and everything was nice and hot. My niece’s reception was also held at Senses, where we had the entire restaurant to ourselves.

The American Seafood is bright and cheery. Service was great and we had a Caesar salad prepared right at the table. We enjoyed the food here as well.

The Beach Restaurant was where we had all of our lunches. It is a bit repetitive in the food, but the chicken makes it worth coming back to. It opens at 11 am and closes at 6 pm, so it is nice to have the option of eating there whenever you want. Some people would fill their plates and then head back to the beach or pool, which was a nice option.

We also had beach/pool service. It was nice having your drink orders taken without having to go to the bar. Service was a bit hit or miss, but the option was there.

The courtyard off the lobby was a popular hangout during the evenings, as all of the restaurants are right in front. They had various entertainment – concerts, Cirque de Soleil (taped shows), etc. The only problem was that there were never enough chairs.

We did not go to the Crystal Theatre – mainly because it was indoors and we wanted to enjoy the weather outside.

The Alesio Bar was very spacious and nicely laid out. Unfortunately, we did not hang out here because of the smokers. The Sports Bar is right off the courtyard as well and we also got our drinks there. There are also servers in the courtyard taking your drink orders, but on the night we had an a la carte booked, we had waited 30 minutes for our drinks to arrive and had to finally leave so that we didn’t lose our reservation.

Drinks were good. A favourite was the Sammy Sosa. I’m not sure what all is in it, but if done properly, it is layers of red, white and blue.

We did not do any excursions or tours – just relaxed and enjoyed the weather.

The beach was beautiful, as usual. We never had problems finding palapas on the beach, or chairs by the pool. There are lots available.

I guess the only negatives I would have to say about the resort are that there wasn’t a great selection in the Festival Buffet. It was pretty much the same food on both sides of the food stations and service was hit or miss.

I would recommend this resort, but would not go back. We like to try different resorts each time we visit the DR

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"We really enjoyed this property. Paying for the upgrade is worth the money."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Ted from Toronto  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
314 people found this review helpful

Arrival: November 10 to 17
Came in on Monday, so the PC airport wasn't busy and we got through real quick. The ride to the resort was real quick, 15 to 20 minutes. PC airport is modern.

Rooms:
Resort is relatively new, rooms are oversized, great king sized bed with crisp linen, lots of pillows and beautiful duvet. There is a flat screen tv with plenty of channels. Everything worked well. Service was excellent, you can request cleaning at a specific time. Free safe.

Restaurants and Bars:
We enjoyed the buffet for breakfast, way too much food, even had bacon every day-unusual for Dominican Republic. We enjoyed all the a-la-carts, especially the Asian. Order appetizers while waiting for the hibachi chef to complete the meal. The beach restaurant is convenient, we liked going over to the main buffet restaurant to take a break from the sun/heat. Self serve soft icecream by the beach bar is a nice treat. The resort was about 2/3 full so one restaurant was always closed-no problem for us.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
We were on the beach pretty well every day, played beach volleyball everyday and walked the beach everyday. You can walk forever-don't forget to bring along a thermo cup for your walks and to keep your drinks cool/hot. The resort is a perfect size, u shaped with a courtyard surrounded by stores, restaurants, casino, etc. If you want you can walk under cover through out the resort, very clever.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We where with a group of 11, and spent each day starting with playing tennis, then beach volleyball, long walks on the beach, more beach volleyball, and finally cards/casino. The tennis courts are fabulous, sandy surface-new nets.

Other Comments:
Bring along some school supplies. PC Mike will take them to a local school, the kids really appreciate it. Take advantage of Debbie's Spanish translation-the staff appreciate your attempt to speak their native language. One day they ran out of premium rum, so I switched to beer-not hard to take.

This was our second time at NH Arena, we've been at many other PC resorts, e.g. Palladium Bavaro, Bahia, Ocean Blue, etc., and we really enjoyed this property. Paying for the upgrade is worth the money, the rooms are bit nicer and closer to the beach. Request pool view.

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"* Service could use some improvement."

Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
User Rating:  Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena) Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Nov 1, 2008  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2008
313 people found this review helpful

November 9 to 16, 2008

We flew Air Transat Club Class to Punta Cana on November , 2008. Our first week was spent at NH Real Arena (formerly called EdenH Real Arena). Just a name change, no change in ownership or anything.

This hotel is located in Bavaro, about 15 minutes from Punta Cana Airport, 50 miles from La Romana Airport, and 120 miles from Santo Domingo. The cab ride from Punta Cana Airport cost us $35.00 U.S.

The hotel is located between Paradisus Palma Real and Los Corales, and is about a 20 – 30 minute walk along the beach from El Cortecito.

The resort is quite compact, and the layout makes it very easy to get around and find things. Its design reminds me of a combination of several resorts – Punta Cana Princess for the grounds, Ocean Blue for the courtyard area where the restaurants, bars, and lobby are, and Majestic Colonial for the rooms.

Check-In:
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. We were booked into a Paradise Club Concierge room and checkin was at the Paradise Club Lounge in the lobby, opposite the front desk. Note that Transat Holidays calls the Paradise Club Concierge room Le Mirage Concierge room. I don’t know why they insist on using different names than the hotel uses, it just causes confusion in my opinion. We were provided with a welcome drink and checked in and given a pink wristband, a map of the resort, our key cards and towel cards, and a slip to fill out with time preferences for our restaurant reservations. Transat Mirage and Transat Concierge guests only are guaranteed 5 a la carte restaurant reservations . The Paradise Club lounge was also the checkin for guests that had the Mirage rooms, they were given a green wristband.

The Paradise Club lounge has complimentary internet for Paradise Club guests, snacks, newspapers, a TV, coffee, drinks, and a fridge with beer, pop and bottled water.

During high season Mirage room clients will be booked in at the Paradise Club lounge in the lobby, and the Paradise Club guests will be taken to the respective lounges in buildings 1 and 2 for checkin. These lounges were not in use while we were there, but will be fully staffed during high season.

We were then taken to our room with our luggage by golf cart, which was located in the Paradise Club section, on the 4th floor. Note there are elevators in all the buildings.

Rooms:
The rooms are lovely - large and very bright and airy. We had a great view of the pool and beach, we were in room 1460. What was especially nice was the key cards for the door, you didn’t have to slide them, just touch them to the lock like a Paypass credit card. Apparently it will even read the card if it’s in a wallet. When you enter the room you have to place your room key in the slot by the door for the power to work.

Our room had a king-size bed, 2 night tables, a desk, dresser, couch, chair, and coffee table. Note that the Paradise Club Concierge rooms do not have a tub in the room, it is out on the balcony, that was a little disappointing, but the shower is large and very nice. There are double sinks and separate toilet and shower stalls, divided from the rest of the room by a wall, so the bathroom area is more private than their regular rooms.

The room also contained a 27-inch TV, telephone, coffee maker, clock radio with MP3 plugin – never did figure out how to stop the alarm from going off, it went off at 6 a.m. the first two mornings, we ended up just changed the time to a more reasonable hour.

There is a minibar which is restocked daily with beer, soft drinks and water. Leave a note and tip with your preferences.

Bathrobes and slippers were provided in the room as well as beach towels – we never needed to use the towel cards we had, we just exchanged the towels at the beach for clean ones when we needed them (towels are at the Watersports Centre). An iron and ironing board was provided. There is an ice bucket, and ice machines are located near the elevators.

There is lots of closet space and shelves to put your stuff on and the electronic safe is included. It is large enough for most laptops, you might have to tilt it up a little to close the door. One problem we had with the room was the door banging – changes in humidity make the doors swell and shrink and it was quite breezy while we were there. We solved this by putting a small pad of paper in the door as we shut it for the night.

The bathroom contained a hairdryer, makeup mirror, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, bath sponge, even a plastic brush and comb, sewing kit and makeup pads. Suggest you pack a couple of facecloths, as they are not necessarily left every day, or hide the ones they leave so they don’t take them. We started out with 2, but by the end of the week we didn’t get any. This is not unique to this hotel, happens in all the hotels we’ve stayed at.

We always had good water pressure and hot water. The Jacuzzi tubs are big and take a LONG time to fill up. As we had a Paradise Club room, we only had a tub outside on the balcony, so I only used it once.

We tipped the maid every day and maid service was excellent. I think this is the first hotel where we actually received turn-down service every night, and they literally did a cleanup of the whole room, ie. emptied garbage, washed dishes, left clean towels, etc.

In all room categories they are available with a king-size bed or two full-size (double) beds. The rooms with double beds may have a table and chairs instead of a couch.

The regular Deluxe rooms and Mirage deluxe rooms (same as regular Deluxe rooms, just in a better location higher floors overlooking the pool and extra includes) have an open concept bathroom (no wall), but have a Jacuzzi tub in the room. They are a little smaller than the concierge rooms (495 square feet), but still a good size. These rooms have no Jacuzzi on the balcony, just inside the room.

The Le Mirage Inclusions are::
- preferred room location
- Concierge service with direct phone line and private reception
- Minimum 5 guaranteed reservations for a la carte dining (Transat Holidays only)
- Separate checkin/checkout
- 30 minutes/person/week Internet access in the business centre (must be used in one session)
- Beach towels, bathrobes and slippers in room
- VIP amenities
- Turn-down service
- Fruit basket upon arrival and distinct identification bracelet
- One bottle of rum in room
- 50% discount on a 20-minute massage
- 15% discount on selected spa treatments
- Welcome gift in room

Air Transat inclusions for the Paradise Club rooms (Le Mirage Concierge) are the inclusions listed above, plus::
- Accommodations in more luxurious and spacious rooms (581 sq. ft.) with outside Jacuzzi and ocean or pool view, closest to the beach.
- Private continental breakfast (This is at the Italian Restaurant)
- VIP in-room lobster dinner (restrictions apply and this is for Transat Holidays guests only and is only available for a couple of months during high season (Dec. to Feb.)
- Premium drinks
- Private pool with butler service
- A la carte pillow and bath products (we never saw any pillow menu, but the pillows were fine).

There are about 20 larger oceanfront suites, but these are not sold through the tour operators, you would have to book these with the hotel. You can also purchase upgrades at the front desk after you arrive, subject to availability – the prices are posted. It’s probably cheaper to book the upgrade when you book your trip.

Some rooms with connecting doors are available.

Grounds, Beach and Pools:
The grounds are beautiful, I love the layout of the resort and all the palm trees and fountains.. Pools run down the middle of the resort, and rooms are on each side in 4-storey buildings with elevators. There are covered walkways to protect from rain and sun. For a new resort not even open a year the landscaping is very nice. They still need some umbrellas around the pools, there isn’t much shade there and people tended to be on the beach instead. I understand they are working on that. They were experimenting with some shade cloths on the pergolas.

There is a swimup bar in the pool right at the beach, the main pool, and a “relaxing” pool, as well as a kid’s pool. In addition there are two private pools for Paradise Club members at the front of each oceanfront section, complete with bar serving premium drinks.

When you look at the pools you will see they are not the “pool blue” most pools are, the pools actually have brown and white tiles in them and looking at them from the room, the colour matches the colour of the ocean.

The pools are open later than most resort pools, until 8:00 p.m. (bar service ends at 6 p.m.)

The beach here is spectacular, nice and wide, with lots of palapas. You can walk for miles in either direction, it’s easier walking in this section of beach, at resorts further north the sand tends to be deeper and harder to walk in.

Bars and Drinks:
Lots of bars around. There’s the Alisios Bar off the lobby (large and enclosed), open from 10 a.m. to midnight – they also have live entertainment here, and Karaoke once a week.

The Olas bar is at the beach restaurant, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Swimup bar – open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – the bartenders are quite entertaining – one day they were delivering drinks to guests at the pool on a bicycle while balancing the drinks on their head.

Tahntra Bar is next to the casino and opens at 9 p.m. This is a very nice open-air bar, they have lots of comfortable couches and even a splash pool.

Sports Bar – open from 3:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. – there are several pool tables in here and a bowling alley. Bowling is $10.00 an hour plus $2.00 for shoes – available from 5 p.m. to midnight. Automatic scoring, so you don’t have to keep score. You have to wear socks. Also a popcorn machine in the bar.

Theatre Bar - open from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Paradise Club bars – there is a bar at each Paradise Club pool, open from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Presidente is the main beer served at the resort, sometimes they may have Heineken, Coronna or Miller’s.

I could not get a drink menu at any of the bars. The bartenders will be happy to recommend a drink. I tried the “Carlos Special”, it was very good. Mostly I just drank white wine though.

Also loved the icecream machine at the main pool bar.

Restaurants:
The Festival Buffet restaurant is open for Continental breakfast from 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 a.m., Breakfast from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Lunch from 12:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Dinner from 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

There is a small open-air section in this restaurant.

They had a good selection at breakfast and I enjoyed their freshly-made smoothies and Felix’s wonderful omelettes!

We ate lunch here several times, was very good, with lots of coldcuts and things for sandwiches.

We ate dinner here the first two nights. Loved the food the first night, but I did not feel they had as great a selection of items as other resorts I have been to, but I had no trouble finding something to eat. I was told during high season there would be more variety available – at the time we were there occupancy was less than 50 per cent. They always have pasta and pizza available.

I was a little disappointed in the deserts available, not a great selection, again likely due to the low occupancy.

Service in this restaurant was good most of the time.

A La Carte Restaurants
All of the restaurants are located in the same area, opposite the lobby, with a central courtyard in the middle. This is where some of the entertainment takes place and they have tables and chairs where you can relax with coffee or a drink before or after dinner.

They have 5 a la carte restaurants, and reservations are required. If you are in a Paradise Club room, the concierge will have you fill out a form when you check in noting your preference for dining time, and will make the reservations for you. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. We didn’t get our reservations and found out they had not been made, but another concierge looked after it for us. Later on during the week we needed to change a reservation as friends were joining us for dinner, we assumed the concierge would look after this for us, but they just told us to go see the Reservations person at the Sports Bar.

For other room categories you make your restaurant reservations at the Sports Bar.

Dress for the a la carte restaurants is “Casual Elegance” – long pants and collared shirt for men, no flip-flops.

Asian Restaurant
Open for dinner 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

This was our first reservation, on Tuesday. When we were seated we realized that there were 3 Tepanyaki tables, but we were not asked if we wanted our reservation for a Tepanyaki table or to order off a menu. We would have chosen the Tepanyaki table. Actually while we were waiting for our food I made a comment to Pat that the food they were cooking at the Tepanyaki table smelled good, and one of the servers overheard me and brought over a small plate of it for us to sample! Our food was okay, but they didn’t bring me what I had ordered, and they ran out of white wine..

Cinque Terra Italian Restaurant
Open for dinner 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

We ate here on Wednesday. We had friends from Santo Domingo joining us for dinner. Service was very slow. Pat and I ordered spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce and they brought spaghetti with a different kind of sauce and no meatballs. Our friends pointed this out to the waiter and he did bring the meatballs. The thing was, our main course did not arrive until an hour after we’d had our appetizers. But, we were talking with our friends, so it wasn’t a big deal for us. We had coffee but elected to skip desert.

This restaurant is also open for a la carte breakfast for Paradise Club guests. We went there one morning, I think we were the only ones there. It was fine and service was great, but we found it just as easy to go to the buffet.
American Shore Grill Restaurant
Open for dinner 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

We ate here Thursday night and again on Saturday night - this was my favourite restaurant. The first time I had a salad, pumpkin soup (aka butternut squash) and beef tenderloin. Cheesecake and apple pie was on the menu for desert, but we were just too full. The second time Pat had the 24-oz. hamburger (really - that’s what it says in the menu, actually it is just a regular hamburger), and I had the “World Famous Ribs” – I actually enjoyed them very much – better than what I’ve had at our local Ribfests. Service the second time we were there was slower than the first time, but they had a couple of large groups they were serving. Senses Romantic Restaurant
This restaurant is Adults Only, and is open from 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

The décor is all in red and white – red chandeliers, white curtains and fabric on the ceilings, roses on the chairs – kind of cheesy. But the food was good and service was excellent. Olas Beach Restaurant
Located at the beach, this restaurant is open for lunch and snacks from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It’s the only open-air restaurant, all of the others are enclosed and air-conditioned. They serve hamburgs, hotdogs, chicken, pizza, salads, French fries, nachos and cheese, a good selection. We alternated between eating lunch here and up at the main buffet.

Room Service
24 hour Room service is included for all guests. The menu is quite limited, consisting of continental breakfast items from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and the entrees available from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. included Chef’s Salad; Cheese, Olives & Mustard/Raspberry Vinaigrette; Beef Carpaccio of Manchego Cheese; Caprese Salad; Ceviche; Cheese platter; Club Sandwich with potato chips; or “Make your own sandwich – choice of cheese, ham, tuna, and salmon with choice of bread, and Deserts consisting of cheesecake or Tripical Fruit Selection The literature indicates an upgraded room service menu for Paradise Club guests, but I didn’t see any signs of this?

Candlelight Dinner for 2
You can make arrangements for a private dinner on the beach or other area of the resort – see guest services for details.

Lobster Dinners
The Italian and Grill restaurants offer a lobster dinner at an additional cost of $29.99 plus tax.

Daytime Activities and Sports
There is no shortage of activities here, if you want to be active. You can check the activities board near the Buffet restaurant for daily events. They have dance classes, aerobics, cocktail-making classes, weaving classes, beach games, Spanish lessons, all kinds of things.

At the beach is a “coconut tree” for climbing (kind of like rock-climbing) – you get the harness from Animation. I never saw anybody doing it, but it looked interesting. They also have a bungee trampoline in this area, which is privately owned and costs $10.00 to use, again I never saw anyone using it.

There is an ocean trampoline in the water for kids.

The Animation hut is located next to the pool and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., where you can get board games, books, etc.

Tennis
They have 2 clay tennis courts at the front of the resort, open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Private lessons are available for $30.00 U.S. an hour, you make your reservations with Guest Services.

Watersports
See the Watersports desk at the beach operated by Sea Pro Divers for info on catamarans, party boat cruises, parasailing, glass bottom boat rides, sport fishing, diving, snorkeling, banana boats, kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing, etc. They also have a free scuba clinic in the pool every day.

Nightly Entertainment
They have various entertainment venues in the area of the courtyard

There is the Crystal Theatre where they put on song and dance type shows, some with audience participation. We’re really not into these shows, watched one for a few minutes.

In the evening they have large screens up in the central courtyard and we enjoyed the music videos, ie. Frank Sinatra and Bee Gees concerts..

On Latin night they had an entertainer who put on a “fire” show. He was covered in wax and lit various parts of his body on fire.

Since we get up early, we didn’t stay up for much of the evening entertainment.

Casino
There’s a small casino off the courtyard. There are 25 – 30 slot machines open from 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., and poker, roulette and blackjack tables open from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

Internet Access
If you are in the Paradise Club, you can use one of two computer terminals in the Paradise Club lounge off the front lobby for free.

There is also a business centre where you can purchase internet time. (Mirage room guests get 30 minutes free, to be used in one session). If you have your own laptop you can purchase wireless internet access in your room for $25.00 for 24 hours of time good for 6 days.

Hotel Stores/Shopping
There is a large gift shop at the hotel, and space for another store, maybe a jewellery store. Shuttle service is also available to the nearby Palma Real Shopping Centre. We meant to go and check it out, but we never got there.

Golf
Golf is available at 8 local courses. See your concierge or Guest Services in the lobby to make arrangements for any of the local courses or others located throughout the country

Spa
There is a lovely full-service spa run by Renova Spa, open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.. I had a combination massage which was wonderful. They also have two massage palapas at the beach which are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Watch for their daily specials!

Fitness Centre
Next to the spa is the Fitness Centre. Sorry, didn’t go in

Medical Services
24 hour medical service is located next to the gym.

Kids Club
Nino’s Kids Club is located near the buffet restaurant and is for children ages 4 – 12. It’s open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. At night it is open from 8:15 p.m .until 9:30 p.m. when the kids put on their shows and parents are invited to watch. I was told that during high season they bring in kids entertainers to put on shows.
The day I went in there weren’t any kids there, but I was impressed with the facilities they have. There is a full program of activities for the kids, they are divided into two groups – Cubs – ages 4 to 7, and Bears, ages 8 to 11.

Weddings
We didn’t see any weddings the week we were there. There are a number of packages available, starting from $649.00 U.S. For a description of the various packages, see our Weddings Page.

Currency
Take U.S. currency. You can pay for virtually everything in U.S. dollars, and even if you exchange your money, you will get the best rate with U.S. dollars. There is no ATM at the resort. Money can be exchanged for pesos at the front desk, or there is a bank at the Palma Real Shopping Centre.

Weather and Bugs
We had gorgeous weather during our week at this hotel, except for the last afternoon when we had some rain. It was hot during the day, but very comfortable in the evening, not humid at all. Didn’t notice any mosquitos, there were a few flies and bees around.

Meet and Greet for forum members
On Tuesday we went into El Cortecito to La Casa de Piedra with Hula and her husband and Mikefisher, and met some other forum members for a couple of drinks. These meet and greets are usually held on a weekly basis, a good way to put faces to names if you post on the forums.

Donations
If you want to bring school supplies or other donations (clothing, etc.) you can leave these items with Mike Bryant at the hotel. We had the privilege of going with Mike to a school in the barrio on his weekly trip to deliver school supplies and see firsthand the good that these donations do. The children are so excited to see him, and Magdalena is so grateful for the donations.

Summary
The staff at this hotel are great, they are always smiling and there is always an “hola” when you pass by. Service was good for the most part, but could use some improvement in the concierge area and restaurants. Quite a bit of English is spoken by the staff, the hotel provides English classes every day for its employees..

This is still a new hotel, not even a year old yet, and they are still working on making improvements in service and other areas. We really enjoyed this hotel, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and I’ll try to answer them for you.

With special thanks to Mike Bryant, Carmen Rosa de Torres, Priscila in Guest Services and Maria in Restaurant services.

Photos: http://travel.webshots.com/album/568959423JlYNlX

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