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Barcelo Talanquera Resort
Brian 

January 2008
My family (wife and 2 boys ages 15 & 13) went to the Barcelo Talanquera Resort on Jan. 13th to Jan. 20th 2008. We left for the Toronto Airport at 4am, Our flight left at 6:20 am, but no planes can leave before 6:30 am, and we would arrive in the DR at 11:30am. We paid a bit more to get better times for flying which meant we had almost a full half day on Sunday when we got there. We travelled on Sunquest. There was more turbulance going down then there was coming home. Also the plane was having a problem with the movie screens and only about half a dozen came down for the whole plane. Other then this the flight down was uneventfull.

It was so nice to feel the warm air and to smell the ocean when we landed. We were told to go to bus 3, but when we got on what we thought was bus 3 it was the wrong one. It was going on a cruise. We almost felt like staying on it instead. Finally we got on the right bus and our trip to the hotel was only about 30 mins.

From all the other reviews I read about this hotel I asked that we get 2 rooms in the 400 or 500 section. I had read that these rooms were better. We wanted to have 2 rooms close together. My kids were given 404 which was on the ground floor and we were given Rm. 443 which was on the 3rd floor. We were told that if we wanted to switch rooms for something closer we would have to come back the next day at 3pm.

Our room had 2 double beds. None of the rooms had a remote for the TV and the TV in my kids room had no color. When you tried to adjust it it either turned purple or green so they just left it on black and white. Also I discovered that our coffee maker didn't work and we had to plug it in the bathroom, which was the only plug the cord could reach. The food at the large buffet restaurant was quite good. In particular we liked the bread. There was always a good selection of different things. The kids also liked that they had french fries.Every meal we found a different variety of things to eat. We were a bit disappointed with the small grill down at the beach area. There wasn't much a selection to choose from and at no time did we see hamburgers which I had read were there. Try and reserve a night for the Italian restaurant. It was quite good. My wife and I also went to the French restaurant which was $21 each US but found it wasn't really worth it.

The bars, both at the hotel and the beach were great and the bartenders really did their job well. My kids liked the punch and coke. I loved the rum and coke,beer, pina coladas and sex on the beach (a mixture of punches and rum). My wife liked the beer and pina coladas.

The beach is less then 5 mins. away and it was just great. There were plenty of lounge chairs and yes, the vendors who come up to you do get a bit annoying, but if you just politely say "no thank you" they go away.

We did get a closer room, rm. 409, the next day. It had a king size bed which was good and the cofee maker worked. When we tried to get a remote for the TV we were told our TV was an older model that couldn't use a remote. After looking around my wife and I both thought that really any room in this resort would be ideal and so if we were to come back I don't think we would specify what section.

The entertainment was good. There were 2 pool tables (rather worn), 2 foozeball and 1 table tennis and tables and chairs to sit around the bars. Each night a group played mostly spanish music, but they weren't that bad. They also put on a show involving people from the audience each night.

This really was a beautiful resort with luscious gardens and many waterfalls. It was very clean. Each day the walkways were swept taking away any leaves that had blown down.

The weather was warm (26 to 28 degrees celcius) each day and only 1 day it rained and was cloudy. It can get a little chilly at night so bring a sweater.

We enjoyed the pool and got in every day. We also went swimming at the beach but there is alot of seaweed in areas. Our bus back left at 8:30am so we had to check out between 7 and 8am. Our plane left at 12:30pm and we arrived in Toronto at 3:30pm.

My family and I really enjoyed our stay at the Barcelo Talanquera resort and we would not hesitate going back there again.
Barcelo Talanquera Resort
Jessica 

February 2007
All in all we had an excellent vacation at this budget hotel. We paid a budget price (approximately $377 plus tax pp--Total $1303 for 2) and we got more than our money's worth. We were there between Jan 12-19 flew with Sunwing.

FLIGHT- Sunwing
EXCELLENT--this was probably the best flight I have ever had. The food was good, you had a choice of entree, plus free champagne (way down) and free wine (way back)--the meal was entree, cheese, dessert, crackers, hot bread, coffee, drink, veggies. More than enough to eat. Everything went on time, entertainment was good--current movies with free head sets, then a sitcom. All staff were great. One strange thing at the airport on the way back--the plane landed, who knows where, and all the passengers had to take a bus over from where it landed to terminal 1--there were some very grouchy passengers who wore shorts on the plane (and it was pretty cold on the bus) but all in all it cost about 15-20mins.

TRANSPORT--
The ride was long (normally it is 1.5 hours) and the bus caught fire in the back to we had to stop and wait for a new bus. BUT--this was done fairly quickly and the bus driver even stopped for the people who all had to go to the bathroom--BUT--the driver also ushered them quickly back onto the bus so it was wasn't a really long delay. Overall though the staff were pretty good. On the way back it was longer as there were more stops then when we got to the airport they wouldn't let us off the bus until all the porters removed the luggage. We had to sit in the bus watching the lines get bigger--some people were quite verbal about this (but they also had an even longer ride then us.)

RECEPTION:
Overall they were decent. They spoke pretty good english and we got a room in the 500 block which we requested when we booked. Later we found out other people didn't even request the ocean view but still got it, so, we tried to request it but we were given the run around. We were told to come back in an hour, come back tomorrow, come back on Monday--etc. etc. We never got the ocean view and if we were simply told we couldn't have it, it wouldn't have been so frustrating but we wasted so much time going back to the reception desk to simply be told that we could likely get it if we came back later. That part was a disappointment--we also requested to have our shower fixed but no one came to fix it.

ROOM:
As per the reviews that I read; I requested and got into the 500 building. If this is the best building in the place it makes me wonder about the other rooms! While the location was good (close to the beach)--that is about all that was great about it. The housekeeping service was decent--our towels were taken at about 9am and returned when the room was cleaned. It was cleaned one day in the morning the next in the afternoon but it was always complete by at least 4pm. We had to request our complementary water and soft drink but we did get it the day that we requested it (FYI--I never read in any brochure that this water or soft drink would be replenished everyday--so do not expect this). The beds and pillows were extremely lumpy and uncomfortable but we made due. The TV got lots of channels and my hubby was happy to be able to watch some playoff football games. The shower was a nightmare--you had to play with it for quite some time just to get warm water--if you didn't play with it you only got cold or extremely hot. Some nights the disco was quite loud and would delay sleep for a bit. Overall, despite these complaints--the room met our needs and surprisingly we slept pretty good every night.

FOOD:
I quite enjoyed the food--however, I am not picky--but there was a good selection everyday--some days of course were better then others but everyday I found something I really liked and enjoyed. I was more adventurous on this trip and I tried a little bit of everything. I especially enjoyed the morning smoothie (YUM!) and the fresh baked bread never disappointed. My hubby is more picky and less adventurous but he always found something to eat and usually enjoyed his meals. There were a few days where he was disappointed by the quality of meat but he expected this. That being said, some days he loved what was on offer--which he didn't expect either.

WEATHER:
I know the weather can not be controlled by the tour company or hotel but I thought it would be interesting for people looking to travel this time of the year (mid Jan). Weather was decent--it did rain everyday and one day it rained all afternoon but for the most part it was around 27-28 degrees. It was also quite cool in the evenings so don't forget your sweater like I did!

GROUNDS:
Impeccable! I never saw garbage on the grounds and the gardens were all very well maintained. They had lots of beautiful water fountains and water features. Also there were lots of fish, a few turtles and 4 flamingos.

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT:
This was on par with every other 3 star I have been to. The nightly entertainment that we watched was OK--some nights dancing (which isn't really our thing) and other nights audience participation shows which were funny. The actual daytime activities had no schedule (which was disappointing) so if you happen to catch and activity we would either watch or participate but because there was no schedule posted we aren't sure if we missed anything or caught everything. We also took the bikes out one day--the bikes looked old but worked great.

BEACH:
Was long and beautiful--we walked everyday and never ran out of beach. There was also ample loungers every day and there was no necessary need to 'save' yours with your towel (however lots still did this). The actual swimming, however, was not great. Even though we were on the beach everyday--we only attempted to swim twice--the first time all we could smell was sewage and once we walked in about 2 feet there was a 2-3 foot drop off in depth. You also couldn't see the bottom and you would touch weird things in the water. The second time--there was no smell but it still included the drop off and strange things lurking in the water--so in the end we stuck to the pool for our swimming.

POOL:
Lots and lots of very clean pools, more than enough loungers, great water temperature for cooling off. Overall the pool area was great. The only complaint would be the loud music--some days it was blistering loud other days just loud. I liked the music (dance)--but my husband didn't and he wanted to listen to his MP3 but with the volume he was not able to.

SHOPPING:
The hotel shop is way overpriced and many shops around the resort are too. Remember you can bargain with the shop keepers and if you check enough shops you will likely find a good deal. Also remember that if you find a price you are happy with--take it--we found that the prices could change from day to day. There are approximately 10-15 shops along the road to either the right or the left---take the bikes if you want to hit all of them in one day. Most of them carry the same stuff (we were mostly looking for cigars) but like I said each shop has very different price points and bargaining tactics.

SERVICE:
EXCELLENT!!!!! I have to say one of the best places I have been to for service. Probably 90% of the staff were quick, efficient and appeared to serve everyone equally. We did experience some slow but friendly service in the Italian restaurant but other than that all the service staff in the bars and the buffet restaurant were impeccable.

OVERALL:
In our opinion this was a great 3 star hotel. Overall we were not disappointed--yes I have tried to point out some of the downfalls of the hotel but there will always be something that doesn't please everyone in a 3 star. If you want a perfect vacation go to a 5 star and pay a 5 star price.
Barcelo Talanquera Resort
Mike, Dani, Brittney and Brigette 
Wisconsin
April 2006
My family spent March 24, 2006 through April 3, 2006 at the Barcelo Comfort Talanquera Resort in Juan Dolio. We are Mike, Dani, Brittney and Brigette from Wisconsin.

It was a beautiful place to visit, the resort looked nice, the grounds were nice, the resort was kept clean, most of the staff was nice……….Let’s start with the rooms. We were in rooms 404 and 405 for the first 3 days and they were terrible. They smelled very musty and after complaining to guest services and GoGoVacations, we were switched to rooms 523 and 524, which were much better – even though our air conditioner only worked half the time. The maid service in our new rooms was also great – our rooms actually got cleaned each day and we had new towels which was a far cry from the other maid we had the first few days.

Tanya in guest services is AWESOME! She speaks very good English and is very personable. She was always smiling and actually took care of us when our luggage was lost, when we needed to switch rooms, when our air didn’t work, etc.

Francisco is the BEST bartender we found in the whole place. He works the beach bar and usually starts at 2 or 3 p.m. Tell him that we say hi – please!

Waitstaff, Evelynn was our favorite. She worked the breakfast shift in the main buffet area. Very attentive and always smiling. The food gets boring after a while, we ate at Miramar, the Italian restaurant, 3 times to avoid being bored with food choices. After our third day, my family couldn’t keep any food in. We were not sick, but everything ran right through us. We found out from one of the employees later in the week that they don’t eat there because of that same reason. We escaped a few days to sample some local fare, which was quite good, and we kept it in.

The beach vendors will drive you insane! This is not like Punta Cana at all! They virtually stalk you all day long. After the 5th day, I had to move to the pool because I couldn’t even nap on the beach.

On both weekends of our stay, on Friday night the local Dominicans come to the resort for the weekend. They were the rudest people and made both of our weekends quite long.

This resort, The Barcelo Comfort, is not comfortable! We would never visit this resort again. I know it is rated as a 3 star, but I’d give it no more than a 2 star.
Barcelo Talanquera Resort
Lee & Louise 
Canada
March 2006
My wife and I spent 2 weeks at the Barceló Talanquera in Juan Dolio. Our travel period was February 27th to March 13th, 2006. Our names are Lee and Louise and we are both in our early 60s and live in the Ottawa, ON area.

The trip we booked was a Sunquest package through Online Travel Centre. Taxes in, our trip cost just under $3,000. Our tickets were delivered to the Ottawa airport as promised and we flew to La Romana via SkyService. We arrived at La Romana airport and were greeted by a large crowd of arriving tourists. We were handed a green form to fill out that appeared to be something that would be used at departure time. We had lots of time to fill out the form as the line up to get through customs was long. Make sure you have a pen handy as they can be hard to come by. Once we got to the customs agent, we were asked for our tourist cards. I had failed to check the envelope we received at the airport in Ottawa and didn’t realize that it contained the tourist cards until after having purchased two more at a cost of $10.US each. This was our own fault. Once through customs, we found a Sunquest person and were directed to the appropriate bus for transport to our resort. It took the better part of an hour to arrive as we had other drop-offs on the way and the traffic in San Pedro was quite congested.

I had read some of the reviews on this website for the resort and made a request to get a room in the 400 or 500 block. I was not able to convince the desk clerk and we were assigned room 117 which is in a single story building resembling a six unit motel. We were assured that this was a good room. The bellboy delivered our baggage and us to our room and we decided to leave unpacking until the next day. We were both tired and hungry and found out that there was a snack bar open in the dining area near the beach front. We grabbed a burger and fries, a couple of drinks and headed back to the room.

Now room 117 left a lot to be desired. The bed was a double with 2 thin pillows and a mattress that we are sure was stuffed with gravel. The general appearance of the room was that it was tired and in need of some repairs. The faucet on the sink had been replaced with a set that didn’t match up to the sink and if you weren’t careful, the water would flow onto the counter top and then down on the floor. Since we were both tired, we just passed out on the bed and decided to address the issue in the morning.

The next morning we had some breakfast and coffee and went to the reception area. We told the person at the desk of our dissatisfaction and I think he understood what we were saying but was unable to assign us to another room as they were full. The Sunquest rep did not show up at the time indicated on the information sheet displayed in the reception area and it wasn’t until 3:00pm that we happened to run into a person in the reception area who said he was standing in for our representative who was delayed at another resort. He asked if we had any problems with our room. He was also unable to get us upgraded.

It wasn’t until Friday morning that we were able to get some assurance that we would be moved to a better room. I think that it was my wife that made it quite clear that we were now demanding a new room. I had wakened up in the middle of the night on Thursday to use the toilet and walked into a half inch of water covering the bathroom floor. That did it for both of us and my wife’s French Canadian temper showed up. We finally got moved to room 419 and the difference was like night and day. The room was in relatively good repair and the king size bed was quite comfortable. We were able to convince the housekeeper that two extra pillows would be appreciated. By the way, don’t expect to find any facecloths in the bathroom. If you need them, pack a few.

In general, the resort is properly classified as a 3 star. The grounds are 5 star, the rooms range from 2 star to 3 star and the food is 3 star. This of course is only our opinion. The grounds are well maintained and there is a wide variety of interesting and beautiful vegetation. The pools are clean and well maintained. The beach is small and fills up fairly early in the morning. You have to be careful of the coral outcroppings in some areas but in general, the beach is well maintained. You can walk along the beach in either direction but make sure you wear something on your feet. I think we have said enough about the rooms other that to say that you should try and get something in the newer areas (400-500).

My wife is not too adventurous when it comes to food but she managed to find something to please her palate at each meal. Her biggest complaint was that the toasters took forever to make toast and unless you put your bread through twice, they did little more than warm the bread. I am not a picky eater and tried anything and everything that was offered. The pasta bar is good and fairly quick. You can also get eggs or omelets done to order and again, in fairly short order. There is also a spot where you can get what I would call, the daily special offering. I had excellent roast pork, salmon, small lobster tails, along with several other things that I am unsure of. I did get a shock on one occasion when I tried what I later found out to be passion fruit. Man, is that stuff sour and it does wake up your taste buds. As for the buffet offerings, the only complaint I had was that the beef cutlets were so tough you could not chew them. We both gained a few pounds so the food wasn’t as bad as some people have described.

Louise and I both found that the bars were better than the resort we stayed at in Puerto Plata a few years ago. The variety was about the same but I think the liquor had not been watered down. After tipping a few of the bartenders, we actually got our Margueritas served in real glasses and had the rims salted. It was only once or twice that we ran into apprentice bartenders whose drinks weren’t quite up to par.

The daily and evening entertainment was acceptable but by the end of the second week, it did become a bit monotonous.

We did book one excursion through the person claiming to be replacing our travel rep and the feature of the trip was the visit to Catalina Island. We were a little disappointed in that we paid a little more than some other people and received the same service. We were told the trip would last from about 7:30 am to 6:30 pm and included lunch with lobster and snorkeling equipment. Well, we didn’t get back to the resort until almost 8:30pm and were starved. The were several stops that were not mentioned by the sales rep. Things like a stop at some cigar factory, a tour of what were probably some very nice historical buildings and then on the way back, a stop at a souvenir mall. What made this worse was that we were told not to take any money with us as everything was covered so the first and last stops were a bit of a waste of time. On a scale of 1 to 10, we would rate this excursion a solid 7.

During the second week, we hooked up with two couples from Gatineau and decided to take a bus ride to Boca Chica and spend the day on the beach there. It is only about a 30 minute ride on a public bus and costs 25 pesos each one way. The beach is different than Juan Dolio and has white sand and you can walk out a fair distance and not worry about coral. The beach peddlers there seemed to have more food products such as shrimp, cheese, coconuts, candy apples and the Dominican version of Beavertails. You can spend the day on the beach and use the lounge chairs at most of the restaurants as long as you buy lunch and the odd drink. The restaurant we selected was the Blue Lagoon and the food and drink was reasonably priced. A large bottle of Presidente was 90 pesos and lunch was 150 pesos. We had club sandwiches with fries and 3 piece chicken dinners. The owner got out a bottle of some clear rum derivative and offered them free of charge as a digestif. Well we wound up doing shooters with him and wound up leaving the beach a little later than we should have.

We had been warned and had read that it was not a good plan to wear flashy jewelry and not to travel the streets after dark.

Please heed these warnings. We walked the kilometer or so from the beach up to the highway to catch the bus back to Talanquera. It was an uneventful walk and we stuck together and talked and joked. We arrived at the highway and there was quite a bit of auto, moped and pedestrian traffic. When the bus arrived, it was full and it seemed that all of a sudden we were surrounded by people trying to get on the bus. Two mopeds climbed up the curb and went behind us. Before we knew it, someone had snatched a gold chain and eagle off the neck of one of men traveling with us. It happened so fast that the young thief was gone and on the back of one of the mopeds and off down the road. We were fortunate in that there was a local gentleman there who flagged down a coach for us and we think he realized what had happened and explained this to the coach driver who took us back to the resort before something else happened. That put the damper on what was really an interesting and fun day

On the day we left, we had packed our bags and checked out of the room by 11:00am. We had worn bathing suits and shorts and put our warmer clothes in a bag and kept it with us. The plan was to spend the day around to pool and the go and shower, change and have a quick bite to eat before getting on the bus for the airport. The resort supplies a room in which to shower and change. The problem we had was first of all finding the room which was 302. It turned out it was not on the Talanquera grounds but down the beach to the left. There were no dry towels in the room and the air conditioner had not been on. At this point my wife left to complain to the receptionist. I said to heck with it and took a shower and dripped dry. Oh, by the way, no hot water. My wife wound up take a dip in the pool and then changed under cover of a towel. Do you think she was upset?

On arriving at the La Romana airport, we were again greeted with large crowds. Apparently two aircraft were late arriving which caused the backlog. Guess what, remember those green departure cards we filled out on arrival? Well we had to fill them out again. We paid the $20 per head departure charge to the person at the SkyService checkin. She was able to make change for a $50 and even accepted travelers cheques from one of the Gatineau couples. It was a bit of a bumpy ride home and it felt good to get home. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at leewain@hotmail.com.
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Roger 
Canada
February 2006
I agree with the majority of the comments of the previous reviewer. This is a 3-star resort that is tired.

Grounds.
Well kept.

Bars
No models to slow down the service.

Beach
No complaints, swimming was pleasant within the coral reef confines.

Food.
More of the same each day. Not very adventurous cooking, but we ate enough to be satisfied and didn't get sick. No problem in getting fresh drinking water at the restaurants each day and the staff would fill-up your own bottles without any fuss.

Room
We stayed in the 400 block. Far enough away from the nightly music around the pool area but not far from the restaurants.

Towel problems on a couple of days and also no hot water occasionally - in fact on one day there was no water for several hours. Try not to be housed in the 300 block, which is up the road and away from all the resort restaurants etc.

Attractions
We had a day trip into Santo Domingo with the Sunquest rep. Very informative, but be prepared to walk some ! We also went to Saona Island for a day. Very entertaining and well worth the money.

Comments
Having been to the DR at a 4-star resort I would not go for less in future.
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Cara 

January 2006
This is a 3.5 star hotel, just remember that.

Reception - No one here is really all that helpful. You are better off going to the Customer Relations Desk to the left of the Reception Counter. They seem more helpful, but they aren't really.

Towels - get them early or you won't get them at all. They were constantly running out of towels and they weren't honest on when fresh ones would be arriving.

Grounds - extremely well-kept. The pools were gorgeous and very clean. The gardens were well-tended. It was lovely. Flamingoes did smell at times and one was a bit mangey. But one night my husband was able to feed one of them a bun. Friendly enough. While we were there there were also some models at the hotel for a shoot on the grounds and beach. If they were suitable enough for a bathing suit catalogue, then why not for me?

Bars and Bar Service - offer a variety of drinks, some frozen drinks as well. Very kind and courteous barstaff. Orders were filled in a very reasonable amount of time. Some bartenders served the "pretty girls" first (the swimsuit models?). But generally, they were all good.

Beach - you really do need shoes on the beach. On the way to the water (down a rather steep hill) I stubbed my toe on a huge old piece of coral that I guess couldn't be moved when they established the beach it hurt like crazy. In the water, I continued to stub my toes and my kind husband went to our chairs and got me some flip flops. There is no windsurfing or sailing at either resort because of the reef. This was advertised in our brochures, but not available and apparently had never been available.

I didn't really like either of the two Barcelo's beaches. The second resort (Capella) had a terrible beach - all rocky and slimely. Seemed more dangerous.

HOWEVER, if you keep walking down the beach past the pirate ship (you'll know what I mean when you see it!), past Barcelo Capella, you will come to another resort. I'm not actually sure it is a resort, or condos, but no one is on that beach. It is right before a huge dock. At the time the dock was under construction. The sand is white powder, the water is perfect (some rocks, but shoes aren't really necessary) and the palm trees. When you look up after tanning and you see that blue sky and those palms and you hear the waves crashing...that is the perfect beach. There is a no trespassing sign, but no one said anything to us and there aren't many people on that beach at all. Enjoy!

Food - My husband was elated when he saw lobster on our first night (New Years) but I knew better. By the end of the week, be prepared to know exactly what is in each pot before you open it. And lobster's not there. Some problems some mornings getting juice glasses. Sometimes hard to find a table with cutlery. Some waitstaff are more attentive than others. Try different sections and then try to get back to them if you can on other nights. If you like sweets, then bring your own. Their desserts are pretty awful. Their cookies are all the same except sometimes they put chocolate chips in them or poppy seeds.

I will say to check that your food is thoroughly cooked. My husband came home with e-coli and he was sick from Day 4 onwards. I believe that it was runny eggs or maybe poorly cooked poultry that did him in (I don't eat eggs unless they are well-cooked and I eat no poultry). Perhaps get a prescription of cipro (antibiotic) and bring immodium and pepto bismol. There is a pharamacy down the road to the right of the hotel (Plaza du Chocolat) and the prices are not unreal for medicines, but they may not have what you like.

ROOM - We didn't really end up with a room, more like a villa. We were on the far side of the resort about a five minute walk from the beach. At night we heard nothing but crickets and jungly animal sounds. Very peaceful. We had a living with a bed and a pull-out coach, a dining room, a kitchen and then a separate bedroom. Bathroom had a hard time getting hot water, but just start it up and leave it for about 10 minutes and you'll get water. Also, the tap (hot/cold) seemed to be in reverse - cold was hot, hot was cold. I would suggest that you get a safe for your room. It was evident that someone in the past had broken into our room. I felt better knowing everything was locked up. I wouldn't trust the hotel safe to hold my stuff.

ATTRACTIONS - We didn't go with the Barcelo Scuba group, but we did go snorkelling at the Catalina islands. That was the best experience EVER. Just gorgeous. I didn't know how to snorkel, but I learned quickly. If you can't swim, just put on a lifejacket. All you have to do is float anyway to snorkel. The fish came right up to you. Would love to do that again.

Also went on a trip to Santo Dominigo with a tour. You can skip the Christopher Columbus monument. Stay on the air-conditioned bus! I was alarmed when we got there and three wild dogs were sleeping on the steps (honestly I thought that they were dead at first). This monument is a real waste. I guess if you're a HUGE Christopher Columbus fan...
Also went to Diego Columbus's house. Nothing is original. It's funny how in Canada and even the U.S. homes of historical figures are kept under special temperature settings and that there is even an attempt to make things look original. Not here. They even tore down a part of the house, just cause.

We went to some crazy "Crafters Marketplace". There are no crafts here. The moment you walk in the door, someone is "on" you. They are really like a personal shopper with a calculator. The instant my husband touched something the shopper said, "You like?" and then started figuring it out on the calculator. If my husband didn't look happy, the guy would say, "Discount" and then the price would go lower. All the stuff on the calculator seemed pretty random to me. Watch your change if you pay in American. One shop keeper owed me two dollars in change and gave me 2 dominican pesos and 2 american pennies. Thankfully, the other shop keeper knew that this wasn't correct and helped her.
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Owen 
Ontario, Canada
December 2005
Myself and 5 friends went to the DR for 2 weeks and had a blast. I had read bad comments on this site and not having been there was a little anxious, but you know, it's not that bad at all. We had requested beachfront rooms. Although they are the more modern rooms, be prepared to be kept awake cause you're very close to the nite clubwhich goes on until 2am. There's an internet cafe (without the coffee) that's open until 9pm.

Grounds - well maintained and clean.

Pools - four clean and well maintained pools.

Beach - The beach is small and a bit stony. The quality of the sand isn't great but it's not too bad. The beach vendors are the most annoying people in the world but after the first week they still didn't give up. Be persistant with them if you don't want to buy anything because if you dither at all they'll pester you to death. There are security guards on the beach though and if you do get harrassed by any of the vendors say it to the security. That's what they're there for.

Food - somewhat acceptable - the thing about the restaurants (including the italian) is that no matter what time you get there to get food, it's only slightly warm unless you get the fresh batch straight away, but it goes cold very very fast.

Drinks - The bartenders use local spirist and believe you me it's way too easy to drink a wagon load. Try a Bronx. It's gorgeous. Seek out a bartender called Vladimil and ask him to make you a Godfather. It's not up on the board but it's an amazing drink.

Gift Shop - rip-off, make a right outside the reception and you'll get everything at the shops for half-price after a short walk down in Plaza de la Luna.

Diving - Amazing altogether if you want to try something incredible. Talk to Miriam at the Talanquera diving school 9tell her I said hi) or Sandra at the Capella (tell her I said hi too). I had never tried scuba diving before and was very nervous about it but believe me when I tell you that it's an experience to lie on the Carribean Sea floor and see fish swiming past your mask. It's unforgetable. If you do go, make sure to get an underwater camera. It's so worth it.

Overall, this resort was well worth the money. It's a basic resort but you can have fun there and everybody is very nice. The staff are all very helpful and the barmen go out of their way to remember what people are drinking on a regular basis.

One thing to remember though, whatever you do, do not leave the grounds of the hotel at night. It's very dangerous. It's grand during the day but not at night.
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Sarah 
UK
June 2005
I Travelled to the Dominican Republic on April 24th 2005 with my partner and we went for two weeks. We booked this holiday as it was an amazing last minute deal advertised in a travel agents window it cost us £1200.00 all inclusive. The deal was originally a 2 week holiday in the north of the Dom Rep but as we wanted sun they were willing to change the holiday to Juan Dolio another reason for me wanting to holiday here is that my aunty is actually married to a dominican who lives in Puerto Plata and she is forever telling me how fantastic the domincans are and how beautiful the country is so i wanted to find out for myself! We flew from gatwick airport and we were due to fly at 7.10am checking in all went smoothly but after 2 hours of sittiing on the plane we were finally told we needed to get off as a part needed to be bought in and put into the plane we were given a five pound meal voucher and told we would recieve some news at 12.30 that afternoon! We finally took off at 2.45pm (NEVER FLY WITH MYTRAVEL!) We had the most uncomortable flight it was terrible! When we finally got to La Romana airport we got through emigration quite quickly and our cases were already off the plane about an hour later we were on the way to our resort everyone was quite unhappy as we had missed a day of our holiday and we were all really tired.

Check In: Service was fast, we recieved a welcome pack and our wristbands and a porter took our cases and showed us to our room. We tipped him five dollars but he seemed quite displeased with this i was to tired to care i just wanted to sleep!

Hotel Apperance: From the outside the hotel looks lovely, bright colours lots of trees and plants the grounds are very well mainted and clean, there was always a security guard on the front of reception. The flamingos were a nice touch but they smelt really horrible it made me feel sick LOL the fish were very nice and the bridges made it even nicer!

Rooms: On the first night i didnt pay much attention to the room but i did notice it was fairly big! Bed was comfy enough to sleep in only had 2 pillows though we asked guest service for 2 more but we never got them! After a few days the room began to smell musty and damp it was disgusting we opened the patio doors and had the aircon on full to try and get rid of the smell but it was no use. Plenty of storage space in the rooms for clothes shoes cosmetics ect. There was a fridge which on arrival there was a big bottle of water and a bottle of sprite in it. Bathroom was terrible the bath was forming mould the toilet didnt flush properly and there was hot water two or three times! Television worked fine the table and chairs in the room and on the patio were very useful!

Food: If like me you are a fussy eater you will struggle, for the whole holiday i lived on pancakes bacon and maple syrup plus abit of melon and pineapple for breakfast, for lunch it was chips and bread and for dinner pasta and salad. The snack bar which you will find on the beach opens 11pm-2am was a godsend PIZZA AND CHIPS YAY!! My partner will try any new food so he fount the food to be fine but me i was stuck i was buying big packs of lays potato chips from the hotel shop (Quite expensive if you pay in us dollars pay in rd pesos and you will be fine) The buffet does an awesome orange juice though very refreshing!

Drinks: At the bar you can get almost any drink you want from soft drinks to alcoholic drinks quite a big range of cocktails that kept me happy!

Pool: Very clean, nice and cool too after a few hours of sunbathing it was nice to jump in and be refreshed, plenty of space around the pool sunloungers go quite quickly so collect your beach towel and reserve one before you go for breakfast. Two bars around the pool area which was handy.

Beach: The sea was beautiful but thats about all i can say for the beach, as soon as you step onto the sand you get harrased by vendors trying to sell you beach shoes, beaded necklases bracelets, sarongs, tshirts, paintings absolutely allsorts i had my hair braided out there and having it done was a nightmare i got harrased so many times, some of them dont take no for an answer and you just have to ignore them then they leave you alone always haggle in price they will try and rip you off! They should not be allowed to sell on the beach holiday makers just want to relax in the sun wtih these people around its impossible!

Animation team: These people amazed me night after night, they always put on an amazing show, they were always full of smiles they put there heart into the shows. You can even take part in the events and win yourself a bottle of rum or as they call it a bottle of domincan gasolina!! Just make sure you drink whilst your there its actually classed as a fire hazzard on the planes!!

Gift Shop: Pay in RD pesos not Us$ otherwise it costs a FORTUNE!

Disco: The only word to describe this place is FANTASTIC, wonderful spanish music then upto date hip hop and rnb just what i like! Quick service one man i cant remember his name hes got a bald head and hes really light skinned, he was lovely always greeted us with ola and remembered myself and my partners drink every night. An amazing atmosphere topped off a wonderful day lounging by the pool!

Overalll: Definite value for money, rooms could do with a slight facelift staff were wonderful couldnt have asked for a better time. The weather treated us good it rained on the way back to the airport YAY. Glorious sunshine the whole 2 weeks. Would i return to the Dom Rep? Yes i would if you want sun and a good time and to come home with a nice tan then Juan Dolio is the place to go!
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Mary 
Maine, USA
April 2005
We just recently spent a vacation at the Barcelo Talanquera Beach Resort. It was a wonderful vacation and the staff was very courteous and nice. The food was wonderful and even the weather cooperated.
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Eva & Tony 
Poland
March 2005
My wife and I (27 & 32) just returned from the Barcelo Talanquera. We paid $1444 total (taxes included!) for an all-inclusive 1 week package from Newark, NJ. This was our fourth trip to the Dominican Republic and had previously been to Punta Cana (Paradisus), Puerto Plata (Iberostar) and La Romana (Sunscape). Although this was the worst property we stayed at, we knew what we were getting into and got what we paid for. We just wanted to get away from old man winter and get some sun. If you want 5 stars then pay for it and don't come here!

At first, we were very hesitant to go after reading all the negative reviews, but we found those fears unfounded. For the money we paid, we feel we got a great deal at this 3 star resort. I don't understand all the complainers, either they were too stupid to do any research and know what they were getting themselves into or their travel agent simply misled them.

We flew Continental Airlines from Newark into Santo Domingo (why some people fly into Punta Cana and take a 3 hour bus ride is beyond me, STAY IN PUNT CANA!) and it was a 15 minute ride by Prieto Tours to the resort. Check-in was quick and we were given room #91. Big mistake, it was very damp, dark and run down. Also, it was right next to the pool bar and evening entertainment - very loud. After going back to see the manager and sliding him a 10 dollar bill, he put us in room #429; clean, quiet, balcony and had hot water every time I turned on the faucet - very acceptable. The maid came by every morning. When asking for a room, make sure you ask for the 400 (back of the resort-quiet) or 500 (ocean view right next to the disco that goes to 2 AM) series rooms, they are the newest buildings at the resort.

Grounds - well maintained and clean.

Pools - four clean and well maintained pools, lounge chairs go fast so reserve before breakfast.

Beach - acceptable -very small, does not have white sand (go to Punta Cana if you want white powder sand) lots of shade, bring aqua shoes if your going to go in the water, snorkeling was great just bring some bread to feed the fish, make a left at the beach and go for a walk to the Capella next door a much nicer beach. We spent one day on the Capella Beach. Beach vendors are VERY ANNOYING but a simple NO will be sufficient enough to send them on their way. They shouldn’t be allowed to disturb the guests and have their goods set up on the beach perimeter.

Food - acceptable - keep in mind that this is a 3 star resort with a large variety buffet to choose from. Don't worry you won't go hungry if your not too picky.

Thebeach buffet was also acceptable. I didn't see a shortage of plates, spoons etc. if you’re missing something, just ask one of the wait staff and they will be happy to supply you with any utensil requested. Chill out, you're on vacation! The Italian restaurant was good, we went there twice and it was nice to get away from the buffet. FYI, bring your empty water bottles to the buffet to be refilled, you only get 2 bottles per room and if you throw them in the trash you'll have to buy new bottles in the gift shop.

Drinks - the resort uses local watered down liquor. Just say much rum and the bartenders will be happy to make strong drinks. If you tip, they'll remember what and how you like your drink. If you want premium liquor, you’ll have to pay extra.

Animation team - they work very hard to get the guests involved in activities and there were a couple of funny late night shows. If you participate in the show and win, you'll be rewarded with a bottle of rum.

Gift Shop - rip-off, make a right outside the reception and you'll get everything at the shops for half-price after a short walk.

Disco- the DJ Sucks, he played Dominican music early which was cool then shifted to crappy rap for the rest of the evening.

Overall, this resort was well worth the money. We had the most fun at this resort in comparison to all the other resorts we stayed at. The visitors here were very laid back and mostly from Germany, U.S.A., England, Poland and France. The staff is not rude, they are just overworked. Many of the employees were genuinely nice and tried to help in any which way. Perhaps the best asset this resort has is their hardworking staff. Bring a lot of $1 dollar bills to tip. If you're on a budget and can accept some imperfections then this is the place for you, just make sure you get a good room. If you require a high standard then pay for it and go elsewhere.
Talanquera Resort - Juan Dolio
Ben 
St. Catharines, Ontario
March 2005
My friend (27) and I (29) from St. Catharines, booked the Barcelo Talanquera last minute (booked Wednesday the 9th to go Sunday the 13th). After taxes and travel insurance the total was $1603.00 for both. We purchased through Signature Vacations on SellOffVacations.com. Very easy transaction.

After reading these reviews I was a little frightened, but I needed to get away so bad I didn't care what happened. We went with open minds.

Flight: On time (6:30 am) if you don't count the de-icing, reasonably comfortable. 3 1/2 hours travel from Toronto.

Arrival: La Romana airport 10:30am. On the bus 90 min. Arrival at Talanquera about 12:30pm. We were already warned on the bus that we would not be checking in until 4pm. We were prepared for this and had brought a quick change of clothes in our carry-on.

Check In: A bit of a line up, as expected. I had my mind set on getting a room on the beach in the 500's due to reviews on here. I was prepared. I had met a cashier at WalMart that was from DR and spoke Spanish. I had her write me a very polite note asking for my room, and I was willing to pay for what I wanted. I handed the note to the guy (I can't remember his name, he's tall and lighter colour. Speaks english quite well and is very professional.) He said he'd check. He came back and said he didn't know and I'd have to wait until 4pm. I discreetly put $40 US on top of the note and asked him if he could check again because I'd really appreciate it. With a quick grab of the cash he told me to come back at 3:30 and he'd take care of me.

We got our bracelets and headed for bathroom, food, booze!

3:30 came and so did the key, room 503. You can see all the available keys on the block behind the counter. Look for them. The 500's aren't labeled.

Room: Bottom floor, near end of building, close to Disco, facing the beach. Not much to it. Clean white tile floors throughout. I did a quick inspection and didn't find any bugs, rust or dirty sheets.

Small patio area with 2 plastic patio chairs and a small plastic table. Had a huge bunch of trees and bushes 20 feet in front of patio door. I didn't notice until later but they were there to hide some sort of air conditioner or something. Only heard it at night on the patio. Close the doors and you can't hear anything. Same with the disco. If you listened real hard you could hear a little bit of the beat. Who cares, we were at the disco most nights anyway.

There was a little bit of a musty smell but that's what happens on the beach. There's going to be a little humidity. You will notice it when you get home. But one wash took care of it for me.

The mini bar had 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of pepsi. That's all you get for the week! You have to go to a bar or restaurant and get them filled daily. A little annoying. So, we bought a couple more bottles and filled them at the bar every morning. Problem solved.

The lighting in the room was all fluorescent bulbs. Talk about "the ugly lights". Not the most flattering illumination. The whole resort was lit with them. Turn them off and flip on the TV. Problem solved.

Pillows were lumpy, beds were pretty damn stiff for my liking. Drink a truck load of Caipirina (by Jose Ramirez at the Beach Bar) and pass out, problem solved!

The shower had hot sometimes, cold most. It won't take long to figure out the 'schedule'. We'd go the beach first thing. Go swimming and go back anytime after 12 and have hot showers. Did you really want to have a shower, and then go in the sand and salt water? That is because you crazy. Hot showers and sunburn don't mix anyway.

I went to get the safe key. AVOID the short girl behind the counter. Attitude problem, can't speak english when you want something. Charged me $38 US and didn't have change for $40, imagine that. She wrote me a note that said she owed me the $2. The next day I asked my rep. Stephanie (popsicle lady) about it, after the orientation. She went down and had a pretty heated little chat with the girl. I was laughing pretty hard. Then went to the manager. I got $300 DR back (about $12). It's only $4 US a day with Signature ($28 for the week). Not sure if it's the same with others.

Maid/Maintenance Service:
For some weird reason our room was not serviced the second day. I didn't even notice till 10pm. I went to the front desk and they came with towels shortly after. I also mentioned that the air conditioner didn't seem to be working. It was never really cold but it kept the air moving. No one came for the A/C but we really didn't need it and didn't mention it again. It was acceptable and we found ourselves just covering with sheets anyway.

Grounds:
Gorgeous! Awesome plants and cacti. Flamingos and fish. Bridges. Just awesome.

Pool:
Only went once. Yeah, it was colder than the beach. You get used to it and it's really refreshing. Very clean. Lots of space. I think it shut down about 9pm.

Beach:
Don't go here if you think it's white sands and blue water. It's not. You can see the bottom when it's really sunny. Don't go too far out without goggles. The ground jumps up quickly and there's sea urchins. Perfect for snorkeling an hour a day, every day. Go out past the markers to the far right towards the big logs out there. You will find lots of really clear spots with tons of fish circling you and going in and out of some coral. So cool. Take a banana, squish it in your hand and they will all come over to you and start eating. Stay still and hold out a banana and they will come over and start eating it right out your hand.

The sands are darker at Talanquera compared to the Capella (to the left 2 min down the beach.) but the Capella water is REALLY rocky. If you go there, go in on the right near the logs in the water. No rocks there.

Talanquera beach doesn't have rocks like that. You can go in anywhere. We did the Capella beach twice. Stayed on ours mostly. Before 8:30am and after 11am you can get chairs. Some days were worse than others. We never had to wait/look to long.

Yes, the vendors keep coming up to you. Massage? Braids? Cheapie, Cheapie. Happy Hour. Today, almost free. When you are all creamy white they know they got some fresh meat. Don't buy anything from these guys. It's so much cheaper out of the resort. See shopping.

Shopping:
Go out of reception to the right. 2 mins and there will be the same paintings as on the beach and they say $10. Same pic on beach $60 - $85. Pretty sad really. Keep going PAST Chocolate Plaza (rip off... won't bargain... not much there.) Keep going another few min. There's another plaza type place. WAY BETTER.

Want beer, RON, smokes, water? Go left out of reception. About 20min walk (it's not that bad and I hate walking) to the main road. Go left, there's a store. $2.50 for 1 pound of coffee and you can get RON for $4 a bottle. Brugal (the good stuff) is about $10 (regular) - $12 (special reserve). There's a decent little jewelry store there too. Carton of Marlboros $15 US. Just watch the guy at the counter. When he scans stuff in he manually changed the price. I said hey, it's 400 RD pesos not 440. Oh, he says, ok. Nice try. Just watch the computer screen. When he tells you the price in RD pesos grab the calculator and divide it by 27 (that was the rate when we were there. If it's not even (eg. $32 US) hand him $30 and say you don't have 1's and you don't want pesos. Seemed to work for me. Water is about $0.60 US a bottle. Not the $1.50 they want on the resort.

Food:
I have NO IDEA what these reviews are talking about. I stayed at Barcelo Palace (5 star) in Punta Cana last year and was reduced to eating bread, butter, and fries. I ate anything and everything here. We couldn't stop. We NEVER got sick and never had the runs (ok, well, maybe from the booze. You eat a truck load of food, burn in the sun all day, so swimming, drink yourself into a coma...yeah, things might *clears throat* loosen up a bit. The toilets in the Disco are the BEST. Big stalls, clean. Nice place to take the newspaper you get everyday. LOL Especially when you don't wanna suffocate your trip mate!

Best food was omelet bar for breakfast. Pasta bar for supper. Hamburgers at the beach KICK BUTT.

Weather:
Perfect all week. Forecast was calling for thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday. I have NO CLUE where they got that from. It started raining as soon as we got on the bus to leave. PERFECT! It let us feel a little bit better about leaving!

Casino:
A few minutes on the shuttle. We went with $30 one night for an hour or so. If we got lucky we were going to go on an excursion. Didn't work out that way but it's was ok for a little while.

Overview/Tips:
We had a fantastic week. If all you want to do is drink and get a sunburn this is the place. Do whatever you want! Don't be afraid. Wanna grab food from the buffet and eat on the beach? Just DO IT. No one is gonna say anything. Be comfortable. Just don't be rude to other guests. Some people are just jerks.

Talk to people. We made a few new friends and had some fresh stories to talk about.

We did talk to a few people in the 300’s that had a run in with a cockroach or two. One girl was screaming so loud that she woke a lot of people up. LOL Stay away from 300’s.

However many US $1's you bring, bring more. I'm telling you, you will not get ANY change in US except for the internet cafe (which was $4 an hour, air conditioned, high speed, just don't check your work email like I did.) Take a calculator when you go shopping unless you are really confident in your math skills. They keep yapping when you're trying to do the math.

10 minutes can mean 45min. 5 min can mean an hour. A half hour can mean 5 min. It's all a little confusing but we weren't in any hurry. We just kept laughing and making bets to see how long it would REALLY be to get what you asked for.

Ask a cabby to take you to El ConCon (we didn't do the lobster at the Choclate plaza). I paid $5 US for the cab. Probably could have done it for $4. Good food, really cool little restaurant. Great service. Lobster is about $26 US (750 or 800 RD pesos). It's pretty small (1 lb I guess) but really good. Nice little treat.

We never saw our rep after the meeting on the second day. She said to bring stuff we didn't want to keep (mugs, sandals, medicine, etc) to the airport and she'd collect it all and give it to the needy. Sounded great, didn't happen.

Sorry so long, but I didn’t think the reviews were completely fair. Going to a 3.5 star wanting 5 star service. People all have different expectations. We wanted sun, booze, fun, music, cool people. We got it all. I would go back. If I had more money, I might so somewhere else but it was worth the cash.

Write me with any questions.
atomic.ben@cogeco.ca