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Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Marisa 
Richmond Hill, Ontario
February 2008
We just returned from Barceló Capella in Juan Dolio (we were there 6 years ago) well what a disappointment! Looks are deceiving. Although from afar it looks beautiful, get a closer look, It was filthy!! Everything was broken especially the toilets. We started off in bldg 3000 & demanded to be moved to building 4000 which was a bit of an improvement.

Beach - although may appear beautiful does not even get raked of the thousands of smoke buds left there. There is no where else to put them!! most resorts have many designated smoke pits, not this place. Garbage will sit for days before it ever gets cleaned up.

Food – terrible – definitely no more than a 3 star. I could not even tell you what half the food was. I have traveled all over the caribean & mexico & have never in over 15 years gotten sick. I traveled with 6 people & every one of us got sick. Vomitting, diarreah, fever, chills, you name it! maybe if they cleaned this place up once In a while the virus or whatever made us sick could have been prevented. There were even people vomiting in the dining area!!!

We could not wait to get home, I would never recommend this place to anyone no matter what the cost!
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Jacqueline 

January 2008
My husband and I visited the Barcelo Capella Beach Resort at Juan Dolio Beach in the middle of December 2007.

Well…..overall it was an ok resort; certainly not the 4.5 stars that it states, more like a 3.5 stars by North American standards. I mean we had a great vacation: warm weather, beautiful beach, flight delay on return but all in all, we had each other to share all the good and bad.

The Resort

Check-in Staff – depends who you get, some speedy & English is very good, others sloooooow & English is mediocre.

Food service Staff – Most were friendly. Most spoke minimal if any English at all. They were good at their job, but their customer rapport was not great, maybe it was the language barrier.

Activities Staff – VERY fun and entertaining but that is WHEN they are holding their scheduled activity. We found that: signage never told you WHERE the activity was being held; it never started on time; sometimes it never started at all. Very unreliable. A great variety of activities.. that’s IF they actually conduct them.

Entertainment – VERY good, we had a LOT of laughs. However not all of the shows would be rated “General” and maybe not even PG-13. Some were more like for 14+.

Food – Ahhh.. what a LOT of people go on a vacation for, but.. NOT US. We are easy-to-please eaters. The buffet was 3 out of 5 stars. I mean it was not God-awful, yet it was not super-tasty. Others we spoke to found the food very bland, but I prefer bland over too spicy, too salty and over-seasoned. I always found something to eat. The variety from day to day or meal to meal wasn’t great, but the buffet itself offered SO much each meal that how could you completely change over everything in a buffet daily?? Breakfast was the best. Desserts were not great unless you love cream pies and whipped cream cakes a lot. I don’t! Yes I did find flies flying (and landing) on the food on a few occasions. If you have allergies, look out… the patrons there don’t care about using one serving utensil for one dish… they just use a single utensil for several dishes and food gets everywhere. Also if you’re vegetarian, look out for hidden sources of recycled meat in the salads!

Rooms – well.. mediocre. I’m sure they are GREAT for Caribbean standards, but not so great by North American standards. Beds were old and lumpy. Bedcovers were quite old. I just could NOT get over how humid the rooms were. There was only air conditioning and the central fan, but the fan did NOT quash the humidity! I wish there was a ceiling fan or even a portable fan to ventilate the rooms better. I ended up always opening the patio door and our front door to ventilate the room. Housekeeping was inconsistent. Sometimes she’d fill up coffee and sugar, sometimes not. I highly doubt glasses were properly cleaned daily. I heard from other guests that some rooms were so moldy that they were inhabitable. As well, they cleaned the rooms very late in the day, usually after 4 pm!!

Bonus – and highly appreciated was the room safe. It was great because you could program in your own code. We never worried about our valuables.

Beach – was beautiful. Everything you could ask for in a beautiful beach. I found it a bit crowded on weekends when the locals would come for their weekend passes, but that was ok, since it was only weekends. The beach is consistently combed so that no large rocks, shells or trash accumulate.

Property – the maintenance staff that groom the walkways and greenery are very good. They also leave you alone, so I wouldn’t ask them for directions or help with anything.

Security – I always felt secure. The security guards were always present.

Tours – because we were so close to Santo Domingo we were privileged to take tours that didn’t cost us a full day of travel. You MUST go on a tour or two while in Juan Dolio. The history is fascinating! Very educational! The tour guides very knowledgeable and very hospitable!
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Cindi 
New Brunswick
December 2007
Hi its Cindi from New Brunswick and i was at the Barcelo Capella from nov 19-26.. First of all the resort it self is ok,, i have been to punta cana 3 times, puerto plata 1 time and la romana area 2 times now.

I was the only one on the bus goin to the capella so i was the only one checkin in at that time, as said before the check in is a lengthy process why this is im not sure.

the room was adequate,, lots of hot water for showers after i figured out how it worked,, u push in the button and then turn on the tap,, beds were confortable but as said before pillows were kinda lumpy. One thing i noticed about my room it had a "feather" bed on top of the mattress this was a nice touch. I was in room 4118 on the first floor hence the first night at 2am i found a little friend in the corner of the bathroom,, a lil 4 inch crab,, i have been on the bottom floor of resorts before and always put a towl under the door at night but being sleepy,, i fogot that first night. so the rooms were fine except the pillows and never noticed until the next day u have to plug in the fridge urself.

the resort was clean,, didnt have any incidents, the shows and the disco are good, one thing i did notice which i was disappointed in every other resort had their animation team at the disco to help with dancing,,, but not this one..

the animation kept u busy if u wanted, or left u alone if u didnt want. the vendors on the beach were there all the time but not much hassle a No Gracias did wonders.

the resort it self is ok,, i would never go back because of the layout,, i didnt even find the 2nd and the biggest pool until the 2nd day i was there and it was in the middle of the other side of the resort, and there was no "lobby" that u could sit around in the evening and hang out.

I only went to the buffett as i was off resort a lot and didnt want to have to book a place to eat,, im not even sure where the other restaurants were. Im some what picky on my food but always found something to eat.

Would i go back to this resort probably not,, i have stayed at the same resort in the past,,, but im not going to at this one..

I would recommend it,, as there is nothing wrong with it,, it was a good value for the money its just not what im used to.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Chantal 
Woodstock , Ontario Canada
November 2007
I also have stayed in Barcello Capella beah in Domincan Republic. This was in april 2003 and was gtreat!! the food was wonderful ,service was great and hotel was beautiful!! The beach was not raked and coral was rough on the feet to get into the water. But I would say i would go to dominican over mexico for the service any day of the week!!

I also stayed at the Paya dorada hotel in Porta plata and it was great also. Food, service and entertainment were great but the disco was a little like a pick up place. I would suggest an inhouse disco for next time.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Halifax visitors 

March 2007
We (two couples mid 40's),just returned from Dominican on March 5, 2007.

The grounds at the Barcela Capella were very beautiful and well manicured.

There was however in the middle of the resort, a small pool near the entrance of the resort which housed about 4 flamingos which looked very pretty until you walked by them at mid afternoon and had to run or cover your nose as the smell was less than appealing. The beaches were nice, however quite rocky in the water. I would recommend taking water shoes or move further down the beach where it was quite nice and sandy. There were allot of vendors on the beach which became VERY annoying as they would not leave you alone. If you sit behind the rock ledge, it is better as they are not allowed beyond that point. The check in process was not to say the least, satisfactory. There were three people behind the desk, only one girl working the desk, the other two-I'm not sure what they were doing. The one waiting on us pretty much ignored us and waited on others and they spoke very little English. The rooms were very musty smelling and they were quite dated and not very clean on our arrival. They could definitely use a facelift. In our friends room, the shower from above leaked down all the time. There were tiny bugs present in the bathrooms. We lost a light bulb or two throughout the week. The rooms were cleaned each day and the mini bar restocked with water and pop which was nice. We were sitting out by the pool later one evening, which was near the restaurant. I saw one of the staff come out with two buckets and filled them with the pool water and went back in the restaurant. He did this a couple of times.My curiosity got the better of me so I took a trip to the washroom and saw him dumping the pool water into the buffet trays...so they heat chlorinated, peed in, pool water and use it to keep the food warm....NICE! The food other than sitting in peed in pool water, was not bad. There was always something you could find that would fill you. The wine was awful. The staff for the most part were nice...I don't know how many times we heard, "It's my Birthday today" though (Tip grabbing mechanism). There were lots of activities near the beach to participate in and some of the shows were very good. The beach music was getting old by the end of the week. The weather was fantastic and overall not a bad experience. I would definitely not say that it was a four star - three at best.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Bonnie 

March 2007
We went to the Barceló Capella February 24-March 3rd/07. 7 days too long. I would rate this hotel as a negative 10 if I could only because of the reception from all the staff. The hotel its self is about a 3. We didn’t even bother going over to the Barcelo Talanquera because we were told we had to pay extra money.

Once we arrived in Santo Domingo we went to our bus only to have to sit there for 45 minutes and wait for what??? We still don’t know. We traveled with our family of 9 including 3 children.

The rooms were OK. I found them to be clean. There was a problem with small ants all the time. The TV was terrible. The remote never did work, so we used our hands. No point in getting a new one it would have taken us days to get our point across. The pillows are definitely lumpy and bumpy. I’ve never ever laid my head on anything so uncomfortable.

Before arriving at the resort we asked for a crib to be put in one of the rooms for the baby. We finally received it 3 days later and about 100 phone calls.

I have to say the pasta was good, but how can you screw up making pasta? Basically the food was disgusting.

The resort is very heavily sprayed with chemicals

My husband took our grandson to the bathroom and saw three waiters come in use the bathroom and leave without washing their hands. GROSS. One day when we were in the pool we noticed a dead bird floating in it. One of the bartender reached in grabbed the bird with his bare hands and through it into the bushes. He then proceeded back to the bar to make drinks and cut up pineapple for the tourist. How GROSS. No wonder we were all sick, 2 of us for 4 days.

While asking for drinks at the bar one day the bartender said we had to pay extra for a particular drink, I said no way, this is an all inclusive and were not paying anymore. During lunch that same day I asked for the same drink, surprise surprise they didn’t ask us for more money.

We travel all over the Caribbean and have never ever found a place so disgraceful as this place

I don’t always believe everything I read, but next time I will pay closer attention to all the complaints. This place is definitely not a 5 star.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
MVBO 
USA
October 2006
Photos
We vacationed here from Oct. 7 thru Oct. 14, 2006. We booked with American Airlines Vacations, traveling out of Boston on a non stop flight to Santo Domingo. This was our second stay at this resort the first time being 5 or 6 years ago. We had no problems checking in and just being polite, making small talk and saying I hope I can see the ocean from my room, got our room changed from “hearing the ocean” to seeing the ocean., without even asking. Housekeeping was excellent. Service at the bars and restaurants varied depending on who was working, but all in all, they staff were polite and worked very hard. We always tip, but I don’t think you’d get any less service if you didn’t.

Although we had a really nice, relaxing vacation, I am sorry to say it seems this part of the island is being neglected in favor, perhaps, of building up the Punta Cana area or Mother Nature is doing her thing with the beaches of the world. Wherever we visit, our main interest lies in the beach and water. I know a lot of this cannot be controlled by the resorts; nature takes its toll sometimes. On our first visit, we were in an ocean front, first floor room, this time also an ocean front, but on the fourth floor. The area in front of the two buildings closest to the water, does not offer access to the water without water shoes, and even then, it is a little treacherous getting in and out. I missed being able to walk out the front of the building and settle on the beach right there. We had to walk to the other side of the property, which really wasn’t a big deal, but even there the water was a disappointment. It was pretty tricky getting in and out unless you managed, by luck, to find a soft, sandy, entrance without a big dip to trip you up getting in and out. This would have been easily overcome had you been able to see the bottom, but the water was really murky this trip. I don’t know if it was the time of year, or as I mentioned above, just a natural occurrence over the years. No longer crystal clear water in this area of Juan Dolio. Actually, you couldn’t see any part of your body underwater and this makes me a little nervous in the ocean. I also couldn’t help but notice how they let all the vegetation take over the view of the ocean, thus ocean front did not mean ocean view except for the glimpses of water between the trees. I know a lot of places are letting things go “back to nature”, but just some trimming of the trees and bushes (I’m not talking palm trees here), would have made all the difference. There was also a lot of dead vegetation that could have been cleared out to make things look a little tidier from a view point.

The other problem this trip was that I became ill, mid week. I am very careful what I eat and drink, and I don’t overdo the sun exposure, so I’m pretty sure it was from something I ate. On the other hand, my husband will eat anything, and he did not get sick at all. The only thing I could pinpoint that I had eaten in the 24 hours prior to me getting sick was slices/chunks of cheese from the buffet. I had some for lunch and then again supper the day before I became ill. Still can’ be certain, it could have been anything. It only lasted 24 hours, so I didn’t let it ruin our trip. Made the best of our last two days but by then I had lost my appetite and only ate some peanut butter crackers I brought from home.

The other downside was the constant parade of tiny ants in the bathroom. I noticed them the first day, called the front desk and they sprayed the room within hours, while we were exploring the resort. They were back two days later. The maids always decorate with flowers from the property so I thought perhaps they were coming in with them. But, even though we were on the fourth floor, there were ants out on the balcony also. Since they didn’t seem to be anywhere else in the room, and I had all our toiletries in plastic bags in the bathroom, we just lived with them.

Although, this really isn’t a negative observation, you can’t help but notice this is no longer a resort that attracts vacationers from all over. On our first visit, the resort was packed with families, couples, and singles, from the USA, Canada, and many European countries. This time, the majority of guests were Dominican.

I hope this isn’t coming off as complaining, because as I said, we had a nice, relaxing vacation. As a matter of fact, either because of a drop in the number of foreign guests or the time of the year (first visit was in Feb.), some days it seemed as if we had the beach to ourselves. There was no need to save a lounge chair any of the days we were there, even the weekend. Beach towels were plentiful. We’d turn ours in at the end of the day and get clean ones for the next day instead of getting the towel cards back. There was no wait in the buffet any time of the day, and our room was always made up before we returned from the beach which was sometimes as early as 1pm. There were plenty of clean towels put in the room daily and the mini bar was replenished daily. We were served promptly at the bars and any time we asked for bottled water, sometimes 4 at a time to take back to the room, we were given them.

There is a coffee pot in your room with two 4-cup size bags of coffee daily. Just sugar (no the ants were not any where near the sugar, so it wasn’t the sugar attracting them), but they didn’t have creamer. I wish I had known about the coffee pots because I lugged mine all the way from home. They have the usual bathroom amenities, shampoo, soap, shower cap, sewing kit, etc., but no wash cloths. I know to bring mine from home from past visits to the DR (for whatever reason, a lot of the resorts just don’t supply them). I save the old tattered cloths all year, bring them along and toss them as I use them. The TV was small, probably a 19inch, with remote control, but sometimes reception wasn’t that good. That is ok by me, I could live without TV, but my husband likes to watch it when we are in the room. There is also a safe, large enough to hold your camera, phone, paperwork, etc. with a digital locking system, which was nice, no key to carry around. We received two keys to the room (without asking), as you need the key to run the AC. As others have said, and going back to our first visit, when you go out on your balcony, do not close the sliding door. It locks automatically. ???? This time we noticed they have a screen on one side of the sliding door (it does not move), so you could leave the door open and leave the AC off. I found it extremely hot and somewhat humid this time of year so we couldn’t live without the AC.

There is a pool with a swim up bar near the beach and then there is larger pool in the back of the resort. Also there is a kiddy pool in front of the ocean front buildings.

There are three restaurants, the buffet, a grill open for lunch and reservation only for supper, and the French restaurant which is not included in the all inclusive. They did not enforce long pants for men at the buffet or grill but I’m sure they did in the French one. Meals are from 7am to 10:30 at night (various schedules between restaurants) and bars from 10 am to 2 am, again various hours for each bar. I always bring an insulated cup for drinks, and they did tend to run out of plastic cups, so this wouldn’t be bad idea for the beach and pool area.

They have daily lessons for scuba diving in the pool and various daily activities around the pool. Sometimes they had the staff down on the beach with music for water aerobics. Nightly entertainment was the usual for all inclusive we’ve been to, starting off with a kiddie show then various themes nightly till about 11pm. The disco opens at 11pm, at the grill restaurant down by the beach.

There were paddle boats and kayaks but the week we were there we never saw anyone use them.

They have a jewelry shop, clothing shop, and mini mart on the premises, all overpriced, but something to look at when the sun gets too hot for you. Also a few slot machines, but not a real casino. There was a “pool hall” on the beach (my husband was in heaven, USA having beat Jamaica, Dom. Republic and France), with some game tables also, and a small gym “hut” right beside it. Never more than 2-3 people at a time in either place. I missed that they didn’t have a “lending library” as I always run out of reading material no matter how much I bring. They had a spa, and a basketball and tennis court.

As you exit the lobby, across the street are some shops and then you can make your way down to Juan Dolio Blvd. We didn’t explore this time on foot as we did that before and it is usually the same items for sale in all the shops near by. We did have a tour guide drive us, in his own car at his suggestion, into San Pedro, $25 round trip. It was a small down but very busy and very crowded. I’d suggest you go with someone that knows the area as the environment can be intimidating if you are not used to this way of life. We wanted to buy cigars, a piece of jewelry for my charm bracelet and cigarettes. The “cigar factory” was actually just a store front set up for a demonstration of cigar making for tourists, but the cigars were reasonable enough and my husband said they were good. We were taken to local shops for jewelry, but I wanted a good piece, not the usual tourist souvenirs. He even took us into a pawn shop, but I had no idea what was real and what wasn’t, so I told him to forget the jewelry. He took us to a large grocery store. Picture Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving! I really wasn’t up to “shopping” so we just purchased cigarettes in the front and left. But, if you have the stamina, I’m sure you could get whatever you needed or wanted in this store and for a lot less than what you’d pay from vendors on the beach or the resorts’ mini stores.

Speaking of vendors, they really were a nuisance this trip. Over the years we’ve learned how to deal with them whether we wanted to buy something, just look, or just say no. But some of these guys would not take no for an answer. And since there were not many people on the beach, the same vendors would approach us over and over all day long. I tired to be polite at first, but it wears you down. It got to the point where I wouldn’t even raise my head any longer, just shake it and wave my hand. Sometimes that didn’t even deter them. I understand the beaches are public and these people are trying to make a living, but they really shouldn’t be coming right up to your chair when you are not making any indication that you’d like to see their goods. I probably would have bought more souvenirs if they let me approach them because once you started looking at something, the others would all gather round.

We’re still puzzled over the fact that this resort looks like it is not going to be catering to crowds any longer, yet they are building a huge, three story building right beside this resort on the same stretch of beach that is not all that nice any longer. I’m wondering what the future holds here.

All in all, for the price we paid, I feel our visit was worth it and I‘m certainly thankful for being able to squeeze in an extra vacation this year, but due to the beach erosion and murky water, we would not return to this area. I have photos, and I’m going to try to scan the map of the property now, so if you would like to see these, or have any questions, you may email me at MVBO@aol.com
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Laura 
Brampton
January 2006
It was HORRIBLE.

The food was not appeling both in apperance and tast. Both my husband and I got sick. Teh rooms were so disgusting you never took you're shoes off.

Every time we took a shower you took a bath at the same time. To get towels you best call in the morning and expect them by 6:00pm. The beaches were o.k. but you got swormed by vendors. The resturants were not good at all. There was rats outside the resturants and cockroches EVERYWHERE! The service was horrible both at the buffets and bars. Most of the time we got our own cutlery, napkins and water at the buffets and to get a drink at the bars took sometimes up to 1/2 hour. The swim up pool bar is no point there is never a full time bar tender there. We will never ever go back and definatley do not recomend it!
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Dexter 
Lynn, MA.
August 2005
The reviews are fairly accurate, after staying there 7 days. We opt to save money and stay at the Comfort Hotel directly across from Reception area. It was very peaceful and quiet, and we had the pool to ourselves. The rooms were great, a/c was great, room service great. In the morning you can get coffee or snack at their restaurant.

As everyone claims, the landscaping is beautiful. The grounds were 1st class. Their entertainment was great. The staff was professional, and friendly. We only ate at all in-clusive, restaurants. The food was not good, but I didn't go to a 3rd World country to eat food. The meats were like leather, everything overcooked. Stay away from salads/breads/cold cuts and fruits. There were bugs and flies everywhere. Because everything is open air, the birds fly in to your table.

The Vendors are annoying, a real pain, all day long. However, I didn't let them bother me. The other dissappointment, there's no place to go off the resort. The extra trips offered, cost too much.

Like the weather, we have no control over the Airlines, American Airlines sucks, we all have horror stories about them. Our vacation was great until arriving at the airport to discover our non-stop flight to Boston would be delayed 9 hours, because, they didn't have a "fresh" crew to fly us.

They had to wake up a fresh crew fly them from Miami to Santo Domingo. Spending 9 hours in the airport was fun. For the money, the resort was o.k.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Steven 

August 2005
The Good:
1. The Capella Beach Resort is a very nice-looking infrastructure & landscaping on its 70,000 square meter property.
2. This resort is reasonably priced and is one of the better hotels in the Juan Dolio area.
3. The CBR is a short drive to the international airport outside Santo Domingo (about 30 minutes).
4. The bellboys were attentive & friendly. You can tell who gets tips at this all-inclusive hotel.

The Bad:
1. Service is absolutely terrible. This is especially true for the front desk area during check in, check out & even for simple services they handle such as wake up calls. One morning we did not receive a wake up call and the front desk person simply lied and said he'd even sent a bellboy to knock on our door. The check out process lasted 45 minutes-- incredibly long for a hotel in which all is included and we did not even open an account for incidentals. Service at the restaurants was fair at best too.
2. Rooms: Rooms are spacious (we were in the beach facing 4000 block) but they are deteriorating. The bathroom fixtures were worn & some ceiling tiles had deteriorated & rusted. The bedspreads had a terrbile musty smell as if they's been wached with salty water, as did the pillows. The TV did not include a remote in our room.
3. Food:
Good variety but mediocre quality. The beer was A+++.
4. The Beach: The beach is was created on a rocky shore as sand was shipped in. The rocks are still present & the beach is sub par. The Metro Hotel next door has a much better beach.
5. The Pool: This property has over 300 rooms & the pool area can become very busiy & noisy at peak hours.

During a 1 week Sunday-to-Sunday prepaid stay for a family of 4 we wound up bailing out on Wednesday, seeking better accomodations elsewhere. It took us 30 minutes to get to attendant at the front desk who only had 1 customer in fron of us. As this was somewhat unusual for the front desk person, he held us up for another 10 minutes as he consulted with his superior whose response was "If they want to leave, let them leave!". Free at last, no one bothered to ask if we were satisfied with the property.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
David & Sandra 
Ontario, Canada
March 2005
We arrived mid-afternoon and were checked in promptly. We were a little concerned about the two people at the desk complaining about their rooms but were taken quickly to our room. It was quite far back from the lobby and beach and we had to be driven on a golf cart with our luggage. The room was old and musty. I know this is a Caribbean phenomenon but my husband could not stand the smell as it was very strong. We opened the windows but the mosquitoes then invaded us (no screens) so we closed them again and my husband went to the desk before supper and got our room changed. They wanted us to move immediately so they could clean our room and give it to someone else. We gladly did! We were moved to the building of the two guys who had been complaining earlier. They were still out in the hall complaining to whoever would listen. The next room did not smell musty and was a lovely room. It had been somewhat refurbished and was quite large. Only one problem with this room – it was on the 4th floor of the building and there were no elevators! This was fine for us but would not work for an elderly person or someone with young children. The bathrooms were old in both buildings and really need to be upgraded. When I took a shower, the water was warm and then trickled down to a drip about halfway through. It came back after a few minutes. Not sure what that was about! I think the maid might have been filling her bucket in the hall?

The grounds of this property were lovely. Flowers everywhere and the property was always well groomed. They put a lot of work into maintaining it. It was very nice to walk around and look at the flowers. Palm trees were mature and the whole place was a picture perfect tropical setting. In the morning, you would see lots of workers cleaning the grounds.

The beach was a disappointment as I am one of those people who likes a long, white sand beach with NO ROCKS! The beach was rocky and really disappointing. I hate seaweed and the water had lots of it. I have been on a number of beaches in the Caribbean and this was not one of the nicer ones.

The pools were nice but when I go to the Caribbean, I like to swim in the ocean as I can swim in a pool any day at home. There were several pools which appeared to be clean. The pools looked small and crowded.

The entertainment was the usual fare although they did have a nice theatre with a bar and waiters would bring drinks to your table. They seemed to at least have practiced for their performances which can be sketchy at some of these resorts. The costumes were nice but lots of skin showing. It was just so-so entertainment.

The food at this resort was the biggest disappointment. We had spent a week at another resort just prior to this weekend and the food there had been excellent. The food at Capella was bland, just warm – never hot and frankly, I was a little nervous to eat at this hotel. I have been to the Dominican Republic twice in the last year and this was my third trip. I NEVER GET SICK! That all changed at this resort. I had to get antibiotics which I am still taking after arriving back in Canada. I have a friend in DR who is a doctor so luckily I didn’t have to pay for a doctor to come to the hotel but I would have otherwise. Once you get traveler’s diarrhea, your fun ends! I got to the point where I couldn’t look at the food. I was really glad we hadn’t booked there for a week!

The staff were not great. A few were friendly – most were not. They didn’t try to be friendly at this resort. Comparing it to the resort we were at first, I would say they were not enjoying their jobs very much. At the other resort, everyone was friendly. At this resort, I would have to say the front desk staff were the unfriendliest and the least helpful. You will not get a lot of info here unless you ask. My husband and I love to talk to the locals but it was not always easy here. The Dominicans are generally friendly people but not at this hotel.

Lastly, I was really glad I was only there for a couple of days. After having traveled substantially in the Caribbean and experiencing hotels from 3 to 5 stars, I would have to rate this as a 3+ because of the awful food and the service. I would not stay at this resort again. There are much better resorts in DR .

If you want more info you can email me at thecurveslady@msn.com .
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Debra and family 
Ayr Ontario
March 2005
My husband and I took our 13 and 10 year old children the first week of March and I can't say enough about the resort and especially the staff. The bartenders and waiters were so nice and helpful. I had seen the reviews on here after we had booked our vacation and I was so impresses with everything.The food was incredable and you could order steak and grilled chiken at the grill and eat a gormet meal while looking at the ocean. I would recomend this resort to anyone wanting a tropical getaway with lots or nothing to to. It depends on you.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Samia 
Ottawa Canada
March 2005
This was my first trip down south, and despite some of the rough edges I absolutely loved it. I can't tell you whether I'd go to this resorort gain because I haven't gone to any others yet.

We went with Sunwing, and our plane was skyservice. Getting there was a Nightmare. We had a surprise stop at Puerto Plata where we had to get off the plane and wait for them to clean and then allow us to reboard. I've looked at our booking itenerary and I still don't see the Stop written anywhere on it.

We were told that from the airport in Punta Cana the bus ride would be 45 minutes. The bus ride was 3 hours and nobody knew about the timing, not even people who bought packages from other companies.

The Food was fine, even though I am the pickiest person in the world. I tried everything but I ate the buttered rice with vegetarian curry on it all week. THe vegetarian pizza was HEAVEN. They also have this pasta bar, and that was really really good. I'm picky so I didn't get the sauce I picked my toppings (onions and cilantro. I didn't trust the meat) and had him cook the pasta/toppings in garlic butter sauce only. It was awesome.

They have two buffets which have a large variety of food. They have two A la Carte restaurants. You can make two reservations per room on those, and so we went to Las Olas (The grill) and that was HEAVEN ON EARTH. I ordered the calamari for appetizer and the grilled chicken breast with fries for my meal. The dessert was great. We decided to stick with this restaurant and not try the other one because we were happy with with it. Great food next to the ocean whats better than that.

Rooms. Okay here's the part we were not happy with. The pictures on the web page do not look like these rooms, mind you we were in the 2000's and those were built in 84 I believe. You know you have a problem when you take a shower and still feel grossed out. The washrooms were disgusting. A lady in our section complained and got a better room in the 4000's section which were apparently built quite recently (those rooms were amazing). I figured it was safer to stay in the 2000's because it was right next to the main entrance, and whether you're walking out alone during the day or in the middle of the night, there are always guests arriving or leaving. I looked at the 1000 section and ours were ten times better than those.

We had an unlimited amount of water and pepsi in our fridge. We tipped the cleaner and left a note "mucho agua por favor" or "mucho pepsi por favor" and she always left us what we asked for.

The resort itself has a lot of greenery and is absolutely faboulous. They do clean the swimming pools. the three days I sat by the pool I watched them clean it ever hour (with the net). The pool had killer chemicals in it because it dissolved the nail polish right off of my toe nails. (I had gotten a pedicure before I went and it was gone the first night. I repainted them and that was gone the second time I went in to the pool).

The ocean. Yes there is a lot of coral. Buy some Water shoes for $7.00CDN >From your local dept store and take them. However if you decide to go >into the water go by the "Grill (Las Olas)" restaurant. There is virtually no coral on that side of the resort.

The vendors weren't that bad. I just said "No Tenga Dinero" and they left.

Everyone speaks english, the cleaners understand it but don't speak it, either than that everyone tries to speak (you do know that in countries where english is not the first language the coolest thing to do is speak english. They want you to speak to them in english and they will do their best to speak back in english).

The only two words I knew in spanish before going were "Si" and "No" I had no problems communicating with the staff, or even the locals.

We took one trip. It was the trip to Santo Dominigo (half day shopping trip). If you decide to take it...TAKE FOOD, Take granola bars from home with you, and bring them in your bag when you get there. I brought a bottle of water with me and yes it wasn't cold when I got there but it was soo worth it. Bargain like no tomorrow, and give them attitude. My attitude changed as soon as everyone got in my face to sell me stuff, and that "take it or i'm not buying" really worked. I got necklaces half hemitite half plastic for fifty cents (knocked it down from five dollars), I also bought my sister two coconut rings for which the lady wouldn't give them to me for less than 20.00USD. I knocked them down to 3.00USD (1.50 each).

The cheapest store is the "strawberry" accross the resort. You can bargain there too, but the prices are low to begin with (there she won't knock it more than 25% but even if you didn't bargain you'd get a good deal).

BARGAIN Bargain BARGAIN. The tourist guide will tell you they won't go lower than 75% TRUST ME IN SANTO DOMINGO THEY'LL GO TO 90% IF THEY SEE THAT YOU'RE NOT DESPERATE FOR THE ITEM.

Oh one more thing, when you go to this trip fill your carry on with granola bars, pringles, and anything you like in packaged form. I don't eat pork so when I was hungry at night I was saved. The buffet dinner closed at 11 but they had hotdogs, hamburgers, and ham and cheese sandwiches till 2am. I went to look for food once since I do eat hamburgers, but they didn't look very appetizing so I went back to my room and had a nutrigrain bar and some lays stacks.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Katheryn 
Canada
March 2005
Barcelo Comfort

Stayed here -- the quieter complex across the street from the Barcelo Capella -- with my 14 year old daughter from February 22-28.

Arrived in middle of the night and though I'd called twice to alert them to our very late arrival, and had paid for the room starting the day before, no room was available in our hotel. We were checked into the hotel partner just across the street though after 20 minutes or so, and by 1:00 the next day moved to a room in the right hotel.

I found the service nearly universally helpful and friendly and while many of the guests do not speak Spanish it's not hard at all to get most points across.

The beach is okay but on the noisy and crowded side. The grounds are lovely, and our room was fine, clean, plenty of hot water, fine AC.

FYI: There is only 1 restaurant and bar in this hotel and nothing, not even a bottle of water, is included in the all-inclusive deal. Not a big deal but worth keeping in mind when returning from the other side for the evening.

Food is cafeteria style and quality, though good grilled fish and chicken, decent baked stuff for breakfast. Yogurt and not bad pizza always available. As for the lament about the milk in the coffee:the carafes of milk are kept on a burner (as in Europe) for cafe au lait and the top layer tends to be scalded, thus the bit of crap that might separate and float up in the cup: easy to skim off with a spoon. Worth noting: the coffee -- and cappachino -- are delicious.
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Tracey & Mike 
Canada
February 2005
This was our first trip to dominican and we were a little worried after reading some of the crazy reviews online we went with an open mind and wow we were so impressed we had a wonderful vacation at this resort...to start rooms were nice and clean and fresh towels everyday we stayed in the 4000 block ground floor about the musty smell complaints ( huge exageration) this is a damp country same with mexico and cuba to be expected..open the window and this is gone in a few hours it is because the rooms are closed up when no one is staying in them ... mini bar restocked daily and yes we had a remote control...food at this resort was awesome lots to choose from pasta bar and grill section is delicious make sure to get up early the breakfast is really delicious...service is awesome they are asking you what you would like as soon as you sit down the staff here work so hard and do not stop..bar service great as well if it is busy well you have to wait your turn just as you would anywhere else it is not because the staff is rude they are busy! lots to do here as well if you wanted to relax there sections that are quiet if you wanted action well there is music playing as well as aerobics and dancing etc...mini golf awesome....volleyball , tennis and if you were not sure what you want there was a place for that as well ...beach is man made built on a reef so there are rocky areas lots of sand areas where you can suntan as well snorkelling was nice lots of nice fish to see...we went on the saona beach trip it was awesome lots of fun very beautiful and well worth it ...careful how much you drink though remember you have to take the bus back to the resort as well hehe.......i would definately recommend this resort to anyone great time ..
Barcelo Capella Beach Club - Juan Dolio
Andy 
Canada
February 2005
This being our 4th trip to the DR, but the 1st time I file a review on Debbie's site. I do it this time to hopefuly alleviate some of the fears that others might have about this property.

I'll try and address the concerns other have posted and give my thoughts. I had read that.... (others) Rooms are musty / unclean.

(My take) We stayed in the 4000 block which is the newer of the 2 blocks and the room was fine. Musty at 1st we ran the AC for an afternnoon with the patio door open and it was fine after that.

The room was cleaned everyday. We did leave $1 US and had brought some little trinkets that we left daily as well, which may have helped. But no complaints here.

(others) Lack of choice in food.
(my take) We never had a problem. There was always a good variety so if you want something different eveyday it shouldn't be a problem. We especially liked the omelette station for breakfast and the pasta station for lunch or dinner, but again plenty of choices, some you can tell are geared toward the European palet but hey that's alright.

We avoided the French restaurant because we didn't feel the need the spend another $25 and we had heard is wasn't worth the money.

(others) the beach is weedy, rocky and unatractive. (my take) partly true. The weedy, rocky part is obvious on one side of the resort, but down toward the sunset part, much nicer with no weeds. The snorkeling is pretty good if you go out far enough toward the buoys. But either way you will need water shoes.

(others) Bar service is slow.
(my take) We never encoutered this. At it's peak I waited perhaps 2 minutes to get my beer in my Tim Horton's travel mug refilled (bring the mug). and no I was not tipping at the bars.

(others) Peddlers a pain on the beach
(my take) True. But we knew this and by now you know what to do. A simple no or avoiding eye contact will suffice. We found a spot elevated from the main beach area (near the beach bar/restaurant/across from the massage hut) that they never came up to so this time we didn't really encounter this.

Summary
We know a little very basic spanish and used it whenever possible, and they do appreciate the effort. A smile and a gesture goes a long way in getting what you want.

From DR standards yes this is a 4 star property, if you don't believe me just talk to anyone who's stayed at the Talenquera nearby (a 3 star) and you'll likely have a new perspective on the Cappela Beach resort.

If you're already booked, stop worrying you'll have a great time and bring plenty of film/digital card, you'll be taking a lot of sunset shots.