Debbie's Dominican Travel.com Old Reviews - Colony Bay Resort
Colony Bay Resort
Chris Hens 
Belgium
May 2008
Arrival and Flight
I arrived with my daughter in the early afternoon on 5/05/2008! Upon arrival we were taken to a seperate check in and they had given us a suite which was amazing!! Rooms
Very spacious, luxury bed, beautifull furniture and a turn down service every night! The maids did an excellent job!

Restaurants
As there was a low occupancie when we were there, there was always one restaurant open each night but the food and service was excellent! I prefer the buffet as you have a choice but liked the Italian and the Steak House just as much!

Bars
The bars were always open, which is a good thing because with the heath we needed a drink on a regular basis! The bartenders were awesome, always laughing - singing and even dancing, just shows the great mentallity of this hotel.....

Beach and Pools
The beach might not have been as white as most people expect, but you have to remember that this is the atlantic ocean. Anyway, it is not for white sands that we are travelling, the ocean was awesome, not so calm but that is how we liked it! The pool was beautifull, so big that even if there were lots of people in it, you would still feel like you were swimming alone.....

Grounds
The idea of having everything so close and yet creating beautifull green areas in between is amazing! I have to admit that there is still a lot of work to do with the green areas but you have to remember that this hotel just opened so please give it time to grow!

Activities and Entertainment
Incredible how you can still create such a good atmosphere with few people in the hotel. There was always something to do and the entertainment staff is just great. They are always there and happy! Two thumbs up for Niky, David, Theodoro, Alexander and La Barbie.....

Tours
We did not take any tours but had a car to explore by ourselfs and just loved the country side. The hotel was situated between the ocean and some beautifull mountains so there was always a place to visit! Higuey is great but can get anoying after a while with the bad traffic (rules). We went to La Romana and Altos De Chavon and had a great time! I would advise people to go out and explore the country because the Dom Rep is not just beach and sun, it is so much more.....

Departure and Check Out
Very smoothly, done within 5 minutes! If you know what you have taken out you're mini bar and phoned from you're room you will have no surprises. I think that the people complaining about getting charged to much at check out just were to drunk during there holliday to remember what they have done.

Conclusion
Very nice hotel! Do not understand that people complain about it! I can understand that sometimes something goes wrong, but most of the time people just blow it up so much that they forget to enjoy there holliday!
Colony Bay Resort
Roger 
Russell, Ontario, Canada
May 2008
Rooms : Reasonable size, however no Queen size beds as advertised. Beds are on casters and do not lock. Therefore if you think of reading in bed in a sitting position leaning against the bed board, think again because you will end up on the floor. The bed sheets don’t cover the entire mattress; hence anybody who tosses and turns ends up on the bare mattress. I guess that’s the cheap version of bed covering. Fixtures are substandard and seem to indicate the resort was built on a shoestring budget with very little consideration for quality. This was apparent throughout the resort.

There is a bar fridge; however you are forced to sign a guarantee that you will pay for whatever you use in the fridge. So much for all inclusive? (Supposedly you get two free beers and two free pops) A matter of fact, the water in the Bar fridge would cost you three dollars for one brand and five for another. Though they said they would provide two bottles of water every day and leave it on the bathroom counter, they never did, even though you would remind them to do so. A matter of fact one is wise to pick up his water at the main bar at night before he retires otherwise you could end up with a hefty bill upon your departure for drinking the bar fridge water.

Service: Too many had access to the rooms. The maid, who would often forget to lock the patio door, the bar police who would replenish your room mini bar and log in the expense if anything that had disappeared from your room fridge. Then you had your maid again at night that would pull the sheets back to prepare your bed before we retired. We caught on very quickly and left the “do not disturb sign” on the door and left the TV on. The security was dismal at best. No double locks on your room door.

Restaurants: The Buffet roof caught fire the night we arrived; therefore it kind of threw a wrench in the process. Though I must admit, the hotel recovered considerably well despite the adversity. Food was ok, though I have seen and had better elsewhere in the Dominican. Service was acceptable but at time confused. Many times we did not get what we ordered, and that may be as a result of the language barrier. Most of the red meat is seasoned, and one had to keep an eye on the chicken. It was often undercooked. At times we had to clear our own table of dirty dishes.

Bars: the pool bar was probably the best and the most consistent. Mixed drinks were never the same at the other bars. Sometimes you would ask for a specific drink and end up with a completely different one. Dropped a glass once in the main bar and it took the staff 30 minutes to pick up the mess even though the bar wasn’t very busy. So much for service excellence and patron safety.

Beach and Pools: Probably the best thing there, the beach was very accessible and comparatively clean, though there was some hidden debris in the sand. Beyond the beach, a real travesty. Garbage city at it’s peak. You would think that the resorts consortium would take pride in the Dominican ECO System and demonstrate pride in the environment. Too busy making money I guess.

The pool was reasonably clean and well maintained.

Grounds: On the resort, clean and well maintained. Outside of the resort, the Dominican’s do not take pride in a clean environment. The countryside and beyond the beaches, it’s a graveyard of plastic garbage throughout.

Activities and Entertainment: I have seen much better in other resorts with a lesser rating. I found the Master of ceremonies belligerent and ignorant. Not a place for a Baptist Minister would enjoy spending time at.

Departure and Check Out: Some snags on check out. Some were told they had used the phone, when they did not, others had main bar bills charged to their rooms with a signature, certainly not theirs. At the airport, the bus line is in cahoots with the porter’s union. They hold you back before they let you descend to remind you of the weight limit for your baggage. To late by then, but the whole idea is to allow the porters to each grab a piece of luggage to carry eighty feet for you. So you get off the bus and it’s a fifteen minute search and rescue for your luggage. We had to retrieve our luggage from four different porters.

Travel Agent: Sunquest was our travel agent, and the representative was of no help. They even offered to move us and another couple we were with to another resort, however they offered a lower class than the five star rating of Colony Bay.

Conclusion: I would only rate Colony Bay as a three and a half, no more. They still have a long way to go to reach a five star rating. They do need to sharpen up on the service excellence competencies. Unfortunately, I will not return to Colony Bay and I will pick my travel agency more cautiously for my next travel plans
Colony Bay Resort
Lisa & Corey 

April 2008
Our trip began with a 2 hour delay out of St.John’s Newfoundland airport. We arrived late in Punta Cana, 1 a.m we checked in to Colony Bay after a long crazy ride to the resort. We checked in with no problems only that no one took our bags to our room or showed us where it was, but we managed to find it on our own after taking a couple wrong paths. Our 1st room had lots of flies and bugs in it (ground floor), I spent most of the night going around killing them. The AC worked wonderful at first but around 3 a.m it cut off and never came back on again making it very uncomfortable to sleep. The fan did not work, it was hanging not being attached to the ceiling.

First thing the next morning we went to the main desk and told them our problem and they moved us to a 3rd floor room with a wonderful view of the ocean and the resort. Our first night sleeping here we had problems with the AC as well and it continued to day 8. One day I went to use the toilet and felt water dripping on me, I noticed a leak in the vent above the toilet. I called the front desk and they said they would send someone there to fix it. Later that night when we return to our room the leak was much bigger and to use the toilet we had to hold a umbrella over us. It wasn’t till supper time the next day when someone came to tear out the whole ceiling to try to fix the problem. The maintenance person left a mess and disappeared without saying anything. We still were not ready to go to supper, actually we were still in our swim wear, waiting for him to return so we could get a shower. Over an hr later the front desk called me and said they would not be able to fix it and we would have to move to another room, I refused to move since all our things were unpacked and would need to be all packed again. So they said they would do their best to get it fixed that night. Around 9:00 the man we were dealing with told my husband that the air conditioning was fixed and that they replaced the thermostat with another one. We returned to our room around 10:30 got our showers & went to sleep, the AC worked all night. The next day around 3 p.m when we returned to our room from the pool we noticed the AC was not working again. The staff had a fruit plate and a bottle of champagne in our room to say sorry for all our problems. I went down to the main desk and the young man there jokingly pretended he was scared, I told him the AC was broke again and he said we will put you in another room. I told him the only way I would move again was if we were put in a suite. The manager told him to do so.

Our 3rd room, the suite. After we packed up all our things we had to go and recheck in and get new bracelets and then we were escorted to our room. The suite is very big. It would be nice to have a painting or two on the walls to decorate it up a bit, it wasn’t romantic at all. The floor was sticky from soda, I over looked this at first but for the 6 days we stayed in this room the stain’s stayed on that floor. Which I don’t understand because I did see the maid mopping it, maybe she should have used a little more elbow grease instead of quickly passing the mop over the floor. This did not surprise me though because in my opinion the maids did a terrible job of cleaning any of the rooms we stayed in. You always had to hunt them down for towels, face cloths, and toilet paper, it did not matter if you tipped them or not (we did at first). We stopped tipping figuring her service would get better but it did not change at all.

The beds; when we booked though sunquest they advertised 2 queen size beds, they are not, they are doubles. The sheets do not fit the bed, ½ way though the night you wake up on a bare mattress having to get up and fix it again. At first we did not have a blanket under the bedspread but after a couple days one appeared there. In the suite they just had a bedspread on the bed but I found a blanket in the closet that I put on the bed myself. The beds are hard as a rock, if you like it like that your in luck. Pillows are very flat and the pillow case only fits ½ of the pillow...again sanitary issues. The pillows in the suite are much bigger, I’m guessing because of the king sized bed, but again the pillow case did not fit. The beds as many other people have already mentioned are on wheels that do not lock, so be very careful when setting on the edge because you’ll end up on the floor.

The AC in the suite’s living room area did not work. The one in the bedroom area would only shut off or turn on if you did it yourself, no temperature control. The grout work in all three rooms were a mess, what was the owner thinking when he oked this work? The soap dishes, shower rods anything silver were already starting to rust. The rooms looked like it was 10-15 yrs old. The vent over the so called Jacuzzi was hanging off the ceiling, one day when we came back to the room it was on the floor, I went to the check in office and told them about it and a few hrs later when we were getting ready for supper again Maintenance showed up to fix it. The Jacuzzi had 6 jets that didn’t work right, it only made a wave in the tube, no force. The plug for the tub did not work, had to put a face cloth there which ended up being ruin because of rust stains.

The food; my husband will eat anything so he had no problem. Myself, I don’t like to eat the same thing everyday, and this is how the buffet was. There was no variety of different foods, Thank God they had the pasta section and French fries at lunch time cause I would have starved. I did lose 5 lbs, usually I gain weight when I go down south on vacation.

The ice cream bar only existed when a group called "Advantage Travel" came there for a week. We were there 4 days before they arrived and they did not offer it. Once the Advantage group arrived they had a big welcome for them with music and welcome drinks etc. A big show to impress them. The food got a bit better, they actually put decorations up around the buffet areas, it looked beautiful. The two buffets were open at all times and the 2 a la cartes "steak house" and "Italian" were open at the same time every night. When the Travel agents were not there they would open one and have the other closed and then switch it around the next night. The sports bar was closed while they were here because the resort does not have a conference room so they used this for their meetings. The lobby became the sports area and disco area. The day they checked out everything went back to the way it was the first 4 days of our stay.

The shows; the first few nights before the Advantage group checked in the shows consist of audience participation, which was fun at first but got annoying when they always tried to get you up on stage to make a fool of yourself. The animation crew did their best to put off a good show every night but for some reason were never able to start on time, which was suppose to be at 9:45. The shows always started ½ hr to 45 mins late. The only two great shows that we seen were the "Tropical show" and the "Michael Jackson show", but again this was brought in (paid dancers not belonging to the resort) just to impress the travel reps.

Animation Crew; the main boys you would see though out the day were Alexander (he started the day we arrived and he was the best of the all), Edwin, David, and Nikki. The rest would only appear at the show that night. I have to say Alexander made everyone’s trip a memorable one, I would like to have ½ the energy he has. He became a great friend for our two weeks here.
The owners/ manager of the resort; very rude people. Always around but never a hola / hello or anything back from them. You would think they would try to mingle with there guest if they are around all the time.

Spa; wonderful, I had a 80 min. massage for $90.00 and it was very much worth it. They even offer 5 min free massages around the pool which is a great idea.

Excursions; we only did one "the Caribbean Festival" in my own opinion I did not think it was worth $78.00. It was a long bus ride to the catamaran and once on it you never went very far, you could always see the beach area where we got a speed boat out to the catamaran. It’s a ½ day tour. Kids are free. You get to go snorkelling for about 15 mins to look at tropical fish then a little ride on the catamaran again to the shark and sting ray tank to swim with them for about 15 to 20 mins, which was amazing but really not worth the money. We spent most of our time on a bus going there and back to the resort.

Beach; wonderful and beautiful, very clean around the resort. Not the white sand that sunquest advertises but still really nice. Pool; loved it and they try their best to keep it clean of sand. Drinks; really strong, not watered down.

Weather; could not ask for better weather, did not see a drop of rain until we were going to the airport on our last day.

We checked out at 6 a.m on the 21st to go to the airport (though sunquest) and when we arrive we waited in line for 1.5 hrs when we were then told our flight was going to be delayed by 2.5 hrs.

I believe Sunquest is falsely advertising this resort as a 4.5 star. I would rate it as a 2.5 - 3 star just because the rooms are such a mess. The only way this resort will ever meet the expectations of a 4.5 star is if the renovate the rooms, fix the AC, put fitted sheets on the bed, teach the maids how to clean, and get a bigger supply of towels and face cloths, and get better pillows. I would also suggest to the owner to get his money back from who ever he paid to do the work in the rooms (grout) and get some one else in to fix it.

I work for a cruise and vacation company, I will not be recommending this resort to anyone nor will I ever return here.
Colony Bay Resort
BradAimee 
Buffalo, NY
April 2008
I am writing this review with a heavy heart. I truly feel for the people who work there. We were there mid April and met some wonderful, hard working staff members. However, I would not go back to this resort until some basic amenities are met.

Rooms: There has been no improvement on the rooms, since the resort has opened. Beds are very hard (if you like this your in luck), small pillow. Resort doesn't use fitted sheets. Therefore in the middle of the night you are sleeping on the mattress. We slept with our children, and as parents know, kids do not stay still while sleeping. The mattresses are becoming stained due to this practice. (Please pack some old fitted sheets). I was very concerned about skin infections or any other germs left on the mattress. There were no blankets on the beds, we had to use the bedspread, hoping the resort has washed them. Our A/C did not work when we arrived, but was fixed. Rooms are small, which makes it hard with a family of 4. Maid service was poor at best. Maids expect a tip, which I have no problem giving if they earn them. They did not earn them. One night we had no Toilet Paper and because we had no instructions on how to use the phone, I had to walk down to the front desk to request some. New towels were placed on dresser or bed, not hung in bathroom. Yes grout work is bad, construction is poor. Many other guest had A/C problems, no maid service, water an inch deep on bathroom floor, one couple used the complementary umbrellas in the bathroom, just to use the toilet, because the ceiling was leaking. Thought all of this should have been fixed by now.

Restaurants are average. Not much of a variety and food was often cold. They do have a wonderful pasta bar available daily. You can pick what ever you want mixed in with your sauce. Steakhouse was below average. Ribeye was the best, so please stick with that. Ceaser salad was interesting, some members of our party received fresh green romaine lettuce, while others received pale iceburg lettuce. Sirlion was tough to cut and chew. Many other guests got up and left, and went over to the buffet. Ice Cream is awesome. While we were there, the ice cream stand was only open a few days. We were informed that it was opened daily. Italian Restaurant was ok....we were told by other guest to only order the Lasagna. It was very good. Tomato mozzarella salad was very good. The lobster was never available. The only seafood was some kind of fish.

Bars were great !! Bartenders are awesome, drink were not water down. Especially the tequila. Boom Booms are one of the best drink. Bloody Marys in the AM are great.

Pool and Beach were beautiful and clean. We walked down to Dreams, which had a ton of seaweed, CB did not. The hut for the body boards and equipment was almost always closed. The one day it was open, we used the Body Board, but they were all broken. We made due and had a great time in the waves.

Animation team was great. They worked so hard on activities for the day and then tried to entertain the guests at night. They had endless energy. On member stood out. Alexander. He took the time to get to know my family and helped make our trip more fun. Evening entertainment was mainly games, that the animators tried to get the guests to do. It always started 1/2 hour late and was not appropriated for children. We would have love to see a Caribbean band or singer at least once. There was none. There are no extras at this resort, like others. No beach parties, no cookouts. Kids did enjoy the nightly mini disco and are still singing some of the songs. Video game room consisted of playstation, xbox etc..staff was usually playing and didn't move for the kids. Room was hot and stuffy, no air. Mini golf has not been started, and main casino is not even near being open. Small casino is off of the main bar. There was no day time activities for the kids and no activities at all for the teenagers. One plus with kids, is the resort is small, I felt safe letting my kids go off on their own.

Spa was wonderful. Staff very good at what the do. Had a combo massage for 80 minutes for $90. Worth ever penny.

So in summary, if you are going you will have a nice time, but please do not expect anything you would receive at a 3 star hotel. I would give this hotel a few different ratings: 4 from the lobby down to the beach, 3 1/2 for the food, 2 1/2 for the rooms (and thats being generous). Believe it or not, this is only a small sample of the problems we had. Thank goodness for "Boom Booms".
Colony Bay Resort
Vera 

April 2008
The week we spent at Colony Bay Resort was, in one word, fantastic. The resort is beautiful and very clean, the food is excellent, the deserts are to die for, and 99 per cent of the staff is hard-working, eager to please, and charming. It would have been nice to have pepper on the tables – we had to ask at every meal. The quality of some of the night shows is truly astounding, though the sound is a bit loud. I would like to focus on the activities, the ones you pay for and the ones that are included.

During our orientation hour, our Sunquest tour company representative explained everything, including tours available. Then we had only 5 minutes to decide what tours to go on, and we had to reserve immediately. She did not mention that Colony Bay also sells tours, but she did warn us not to take part in tours that are not offered by her particular tour company, as these could not be insured.

However, we would really have missed something had we not taken the tour sold by Antonio, a charming lad with an incredible smile, who can be found near the pool bar. He carries a binder with pictures of sights to see and of motorcycles. Don't be fooled by the casual hippy image – he is a bona fide employee of Colony Bay, as evidenced by the name tag. He sells motorcycle (Harley Davidson or scooter) and horseback excursions, and he is willing to custom taylor them to your wishes. We discussed with him which of the proposed sights we wanted or did not want to see, that we wanted no gift shops, and even requested to visit places not usually part of the tour. Antonio was more than willing to accomodate us. Although we were only two, the tour went ahead, at a time we chose. The motorized scooters were new-looking, fun, and functioned perfectly. Antonio turned out to be an excellent guide. Among other places, he showed us a cave with amazing stalagtites, and we swam in the crystal clear water in the bottom part of the cave. He would stop to show us different fruit trees, and to explain other items of interest found in nature. He was extremely attentive to our safety and immediately there to help with any difficulties, for example with putting the scooter up on its kick stand or getting it unstuck from the sand. Later we asked to go to a store for a pop, and Antonio obliged. For a more personal experience, we highly recommend a trip with Antonio. It's also a chance to help a local earn a living, instead of having all the comissions go to the tour company representative.

The animators do a fantastcic job, organizing games and dance classes around the beach and pool. They are also wonderful for getting single people up to dance in the evenings. All non-motorized activities such as snorkeling and kayaking are included at no extra cost, and of these, only the bicycle tour was a disappointment. It does not take place regularly at the times posted on the activity board. We had to ask for it, and we were the only ones going. It took a good 20 minutes before the key was located for the long chain, which locks the bikes at an outdoor stand, at the mercy of the elements. Even though we got the best pick of the bunch, our bikes had dry rusty chains, crooked seats and almost-flat tires. There is no air pump, no tool for adjusting seat height. We got underway an hour after the posted time. It was good to get outside the resort, but we did not get all the sight-seeing we hoped for. Instead, our guide repeatedly took us to gift shops owned by his buddies in hopes that we would buy something.

The following tours were sold to us by our Sunquest tour company rep. The Monster Truck tour was amazing, showing us the real Dominican people, their homes, various plantations, a school, a sugar cane factory, and inside a Voo Doo doctor's house. However, the glaring poverty of the people and especially the children is difficult to see. Small gifts of crayons, toys, plastic jewelry, candy, baseballs, baseball caps and gloves are very much appreciated.

Saona Island is breathtakingly beautiful, with its white beaches and turquoise water, but the tour is slow-paced. We spent a long time looking at very few star fish and drinking lots of rum. After, we had 3 ½ hours time to relax on the beach, and after lunch there is little to do but drink. The many vendors of necklaces, coconuts, sun tan oil, and massages are extremely pesky at first, but they lose steam in time and grant you some peace. We very much enjoyed the ride home on a huge sail boat, and again – all drinks are included!

Caribean Festival is much more lively, involving a large catamaran that takes you to a snorkeling place, and afterward, a kind of swimming pool where you can swim with sharks and sting rays, using masks and snorkels. All snorkeling equipment is provided. Although we were only permitted to swim at the surface and observe them from above, one could question the ethics of confining these magnificant marine species to a tank for the enjoyment of tourists. Some of the sharks had squeezed themselves into one corner, like sardines, and just lay there, on the sandy bottom, which hardly seems like a natural behaviour. The brochures depict tourists holding up a sting ray, but this wasn't done on our tour. On the way home, local youth performed traditional dances in the most incredible, colourful costumes. Afterwards, everyone can dance, and drink rum, of course!
Colony Bay Resort
 

April 2008
Flight - Left from Saskatoon to Punta Cana on the morning of March 26 and had to stop for twenty minutes in Regina to pick up other people. The flight went well although seemed very long when you are a smoker. The food on the plane wasnt bad at all and the service was good. We actually arrived in Punta Cana a few minutes ahead of schedule.

Airport - The airport security and customs were a breeze as was getting our luggage. We quickly found the Sunquest bus and ran to grab a few beer for the long journey to Colony Bay. We were on a full bus however, the only ones who were going to Colony Bay. We were the first stop which was a bonus, although the bus ride still took over an hour. It was interesting though as you drive through a few cities on the way so kind of neat to see the people and get a glimpse of how they live. The driving there has something to be desired and I really dont think there are many driving rules - at least not enforced that we saw. People pass with no regard to what is coming towards them!!!

Check-In - Check in went fast as we were the only ones checking in. We had to sign a form saying that if we used anything other than the two beer and two pop supplied to our fridge every day we would pay the extra fee. We actually ended up having some chips but first thing the next morning went and bought a new package from the store and put it in the fridge. A bit dishonest I suppose but so were lots of things that went on in the following days that were dishonest and not on our behalf either!!! We did also end up having a chocolate bar and didnt replace it so upon check out on the 2nd when we went to pay the ridiculous price of $3 for the chocolate bar we were in for a suprise as it actually cost $4 as they told us it was an extra dollar for the taxes. Oh well I guess we did enjoy the chocolate bar. After check in we were escorted to our room which was on the third floor in building 3. It was a smaller room than we have been in before but clean and spacious enough - I mean we didnt really go to spend time in the room anyways. The bathroom was large and there were plenty of hangers in the closet and three large drawers in the dresser so this was good as well. The beds were not queen size but big enough for us and very comfortable as well. The card that they give you on check in to activate the power in the room was put in immediately and we never took it back out until we checked out.
Colony Bay Resort
Roger 
Russell, Ontario, Canada
April 2008
Rooms : Reasonable size, however no Queen size beds as advertised. Beds are on casters and do not lock. Therefore if you think of reading in bed in a sitting position leaning against the bed board, think again because you will end up on the floor. The bed sheets don’t cover the entire mattress; hence anybody who tosses and turns ends up on the bare mattress. I guess that’s the cheap version of bed covering. Fixtures are substandard and seem to indicate the resort was built on a shoestring budget with very little consideration for quality. This was apparent throughout the resort.

There is a bar fridge; however you are forced to sign a guarantee that you will pay for whatever you use in the fridge. So much for all inclusive? (Supposedly you get two free beers and two free pops) A matter of fact, the water in the Bar fridge would cost you three dollars for one brand and five for another. Though they said they would provide two bottles of water every day and leave it on the bathroom counter, they never did, even though you would remind them to do so. A matter of fact one is wise to pick up his water at the main bar at night before he retires otherwise you could end up with a hefty bill upon your departure for drinking the bar fridge water.

Service: Too many had access to the rooms. The maid, who would often forget to lock the patio door, the bar police who would replenish your room mini bar and log in the expense if anything that had disappeared from your room fridge. Then you had your maid again at night that would pull the sheets back to prepare your bed before we retired. We caught on very quickly and left the “do not disturb sign” on the door and left the TV on. The security was dismal at best. No double locks on your room door.

Restaurants: The Buffet roof caught fire the night we arrived; therefore it kind of threw a wrench in the process. Though I must admit, the hotel recovered considerably well despite the adversity. Food was ok, though I have seen and had better elsewhere in the Dominican. Service was acceptable but at time confused. Many times we did not get what we ordered, and that may be as a result of the language barrier. Most of the red meat is seasoned, and one had to keep an eye on the chicken. It was often undercooked. At times we had to clear our own table of dirty dishes.

Bars: the pool bar was probably the best and the most consistent. Mixed drinks were never the same at the other bars. Sometimes you would ask for a specific drink and end up with a completely different one. Dropped a glass once in the main bar and it took the staff 30 minutes to pick up the mess even though the bar wasn’t very busy. So much for service excellence and patron safety.

Beach and Pools: Probably the best thing there, the beach was very accessible and comparatively clean, though there was some hidden debris in the sand. Beyond the beach, a real travesty. Garbage city at it’s peak. You would think that the resorts consortium would take pride in the Dominican ECO System and demonstrate pride in the environment. Too busy making money I guess.

The pool was reasonably clean and well maintained.

Grounds: On the resort, clean and well maintained. Outside of the resort, the Dominican’s do not take pride in a clean environment. The countryside and beyond the beaches, it’s a graveyard of plastic garbage throughout.

Activities and Entertainment: I have seen much better in other resorts with a lesser rating. I found the Master of ceremonies belligerent and ignorant. Not a place for a Baptist Minister would enjoy spending time at.

Departure and Check Out: Some snags on check out. Some were told they had used the phone, when they did not, others had main bar bills charged to their rooms with a signature, certainly not theirs. At the airport, the bus line is in cahoots with the porter’s union. They hold you back before they let you descend to remind you of the weight limit for your baggage. To late by then, but the whole idea is to allow the porters to each grab a piece of luggage to carry eighty feet for you. So you get off the bus and it’s a fifteen minute search and rescue for your luggage. We had to retrieve our luggage from four different porters.

Travel Agent: Sunquest was our travel agent, and the representative was of no help. They even offered to move us and another couple we were with to another resort, however they offered a lower class than the five star rating of Colony Bay.

Conclusion: I would only rate Colony Bay as a three and a half, no more. They still have a long way to go to reach a five star rating. They do need to sharpen up on the service excellence competencies. Unfortunately, I will not return to Colony Bay and I will pick my travel agency more cautiously for my next travel plans
Colony Bay Resort
Sandi, Sandi & Michelle 
Kelowna, BC - Canada
April 2008
Colony Bay Fun Lovin' Vacationers from K-Town (Kelowna) BC - Canada
Arrival and Flight
Arrived March 6/08 on AirTransat seated comfortably in the exit aisle (for 7 & 1/2 hrs I might add Steve) The flight was a cakewalk sprinkled with cheerful attendants and very edible food - turkey wraps - yum :-)
Our entry to this foriegn country was brisk and efficient particularily when a certain fellow Canadian named John mistakely took my bag - a local Domincan fella (airport employee) sprang into, in my humble opinion, unprecedented action racing out into the rain drenched parking lot in search of Mr. Johns' bus and my bag of essentials. In a word...miraculous human intervention...my Dominican saviour saved the day and brought my bag to my feet...Mr. John in tow :-) Ladies....this young man was a knight in shining armour, I must say, and my eagerly received reward to him was a kiss on the cheek and a day's wages in USD$$ (money well spent!). Needless to say my immediate impression of the Domincan Republic and the Punta Cana Airport was of mixed emotions both horrific and eupheric, with a healthy dose of confirmation in my belief of the human race as a whole. God love my planet and every soul on it (particularily those who retrieve every worldly possession I deem necessary to take on holiday).

Rooms
What a delight our room was (2 dbls) after reading such Hotel 6 horrors on this review! Everything (A/C, Lights, Phone, Shower, T.V etc) was in working order, replenished daily from top to bottom by a trio of stunning (these ladies should be celebrities in the Western World!) maids. Yes, the beds were short sheeted so to speak (w/ no fitted sheet) and rolled (frame on 4 wheels yahooo!) about the room through-out the night (depending on your cocktail consumption) but apparently Building 2 was the "prime buildling" being the most "completed" so maybe we were the lucky ones being blessed with an extraordinarily successful vacation with a comforting place to lay our heads each night. Security aside, myself nor did Sandi Sandi (2 travellin' single white women), for a moment feel unsafe or our credentials compromised - our safe was intact and our belongings not to mention our integrities honestly protected by every single employee of Colony Bay Resort.

Restaurants
Well....there was a small (understated as it was one of 6 inter-connected thatched roofs) fire on the roof of the main buffet restaurant upon our return Saturday evening from the Caribbean Festival Excursion (fabulous but we'll get to that later). What Sandi Sandi and I witnessed over the course of about 30 mins is nothing short of a humbling human experience (absolutely NO exageration!!). Not only am I amazed by the head chef proudly wearing his white chef's hat while wielding a mere garden hose on top of the restaurant roof extinguishing the fire but of my Canadian heritage as I watched in awe! as primarily Canadian man, woman and child rushed into the restaurant to begin the arduous task of hauling out every visible fixture from a room raining red hot embers. Wow what a sight!

AND

I haven't even mentioned the food yet! Which was splendid in its preparation, display (with magnificent watermellon carved art) and execution (my special favorites being Ramito and Junior our ever smiling and complimenting waiters). People...they had bacon...and plenty of it!!! What a treat it is to visit a country (nowhere to be found in any Mexican Resort) that serves bacon!!! I couldn't have been happier..that is until they brought out the "meat of beef" hahaha - which was a pool side joke and thoroughly enjoyed during our week of pleasure. Cuz really travellers...isn't that what its all about...pleasure? That is why it is called holiday :-)

Bars
The Sports Bar was a wonderful place to wind up our often lengthy days - We would traipse over after each and every entertainment show (masterfully led by Nikky-Colony Bay's version of an MC, who in his effort to say "clap" would rouse the crowd into participating by yelling "flap" "flap" "flap") with a group of funlovers and other than the subzero temp in the dance bar, it was as much fun as we could make it trying to learn to mambo, merringe and the like. The Colony Bay Animation Team was fantastic!! They worked tirelessly to put on good shows and entertain the crowd. I was often amazed to part with them in the Disco bar at oooh 3 am only to find many of them poolside (at their day jobs) by 8 am. I don't think these people ever slept! but you would never know it by their boundless energy and shining smiles!!

Beach and Pools
Our beach, a beautiful honey coloured sand was lovely. Albeit a very windy beach it was nothing a strong hairclip couldn't tame! It was very clean, I for one never came across glass, cigarette butts or garbage at all and seemed well cared for. Our pool was a highlight to the resort and was where I spent the majority of my time when we were on site and not off on excursions. It was very very clean and the staff were constantly keeping it in tip top shape! The chlorine level was perfect as many resorts that I have been to tend to overkill the pool with chemicals. It was sometimes a little chilly (being echo heated by the sun only) but that was even often refreshing after a long day of excursioning or sunning in the hot hot sun! The pool bar was a personal favorite spot of mine to perch my butt and meet new people and meet them I did!! If you want to see who's who and who's the new blood on the resort that day the poolbar was the place to be! Henry and JoseLuis's Boom Boom's were the best in the entire resort and I was surprised to often realize that hours had past while I was sittin' there sippin' Boom after Boom after Boom - Gives a whole new meaning to falling off your bar stool when you slip from it into the pool!! Fantastic!!

Grounds
The grounds, as posted by others, are very new. Their vegitation, flowers, shrubs etc having just been planted definately have some growing up to do. But you can easily see in their placement and tender maintenance each day, that it will be beautiful in years to come! I look forward to returning to Colony Bay in a couple of years to see just how it has matured. I'd like to add (negative review posters) that there is only one other resort that I have visited (to date) that I would return to, The Gran Bahia Principe in the Mayan Riviera. Colony Bay was an amazing vacation spot for both Sandi Sandi and I and while 5 star may be a fraction of an overstatement...it was 5 star in our hearts hands down!

Activities and Entertainment
As said above the Animation Team was delightfully wonderful and definately made our trip a fun and exciting one! The daytime activities were as per usual with the dance lessons, games, aquasize, etc. but we never ever found the staff to be pushy or insistant in any way. May have had something to do with the fact that Sandi Sandi and I were usually participating in one thing or another at any given time. We wanted that to be our vacation tho so perhaps a word of advise to the naysayers on this posting, if you don't want to do these things that are standard fair at an all-inclusive resort....perhaps you should vacation elsewhere or of another venue. Obviously that is what these places have to offer and it's well known amoung seasoned travellers. Our very heartfelt and special GRACIAS to:

Animation Team:
Nikky, David, Aberlado (Pappy), Michael, Gin Ger, Andy (Lenny Kravitz), Edwin & Hector (absolutely stunning Dominican men)

Waiters Extrodinaire:
Henry (Boom Boom Master), Luis Alberto, Daniel and Jose Luis! and Maria (can't say as I've ever spent more than 3 seconds being thirsty or without a marvelous cocktail!)

Restaurant Staff:
Junior (what a babe!), Ramito (one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen and was so quick with my Coka light!) and also Maria in the Steakhouse a la carte Restaurant (also exceptional meat of beef!) who was a shining light and a woman with a plan!! The Best of Luck girl as you work towards taking your Bar exam in your aspirations to be a DR Lawyer AND being a single mom with 3 kids to boot!! Talk about Girl Power!!

And of course to Patricia and Bony (from the Gem Boutique) - they were always waiting each day to eagerly hear of mine and Sandi Sandi's daytime adventures abroad!

Speaking of the staff right now I'm even getting teary eyed missing them and have never in all my years of travelling met a group like this. They were genuine, caring, sweet, enthusiatic, compassionate, endearing and earnestly appeared to love what they were doing. I have no doubt that I could go back to Colony Bay in a year or two and recognize many of them and be recognized myself. They were just that genuine! Colony Bay Resort is lucky to have these dedicated people working for them. They make all the difference....if you let them :-)

Tours
We went on the following excursions and would highly recommend ALL of them:

Saturday, March 8th, 1/2 day (12pm - about 6pm) - Caribbean Festival: We travelled by bus to Punta Cana (40 mins) and boarded a very large houseboat. We sailed out to a snorkelling location, with music, food, bevy's and entertainment gallor, we snorkelled for a while then reboarded the boat to sail to a large 2 part netted tank in the ocean where we snorkelled with nurse sharks (thrilling to say the least!) and then got our pictures taken with Stingrays! Wow what an adventure folks!!! Get past your initial fears and face your phobia's people!! I did and it was life altering experience and well worth the $$.

Monday, March 10th, Full Day (8am - 6pm) - Monster Truck Adventure Tours! Wow what a day!! We learned soooo much from this day. Our guide Joselito (Little Joe) and his crew were magnificent! We travelled the countryside to an authentic DR household and were graciously received by the Mr. and Mrs. (even after we traipsed mud and muck through their house! - it was spitting a bit at the beginning of our trip) learning much about their households, cooking, farming pratices etc. Then we were off to a school house to learn (from Joselito) about the country of Dominican Republic and Haiti as well. After that we had lunch and shopped creekside! We went to an authentic exhibition cock fight and learned all about the sport (I didn't participate in this event and stayed out of earshot being a fevered animal activist) yet truly understanding and respecing the differences of our cultures. At one point when the exhibition had begun and feeling very uncomfortable I walked out of the arena to find a Dominican man watching me...when he saw that I was upset and uncomfortable he walked up to me and with tender compassion in his eyes gently put his arm around my shoulders and led me further away from the furror. No word was ever spoken and yet again I was touched by genuine human compassion that superseeds any language barrior. A special gracias to that man as well - he'll probably never know that he changed me a bit that day as well. After the exhibition cock fight we then headed overland into the countryside to visit a Haitian village. What an eye opening experience this was to witness such absolute poverty. The Haitians had an abundance of gratitude for some very simple gifts like a bag of McDonalds toys for the kids and 30 or so toothbrushes. Please be sure to save gifts to give them in the village as they do need them the most. As we did, I would suggest you take clothes, shoes, hats and hygene products and as much of it as you can manage. If you are coming from an all-inclusive resort fill up your day bag in the morning before you leave with yogurts, muffins, fruits etc. and be sure to keep all of your hotel hygene products most of us never use - stock pile it, ask your fellow vacationers to donate theirs. Lord knows we pay big bucks for all of these things and if you take this excursion you are in a position to give it back to their country in a different way. Kind of a "full cirlcle" opportunity. We would heartily recommend the Monster Truck Adventure Tour - you will walk away from it knowing not only more about the country you are visiting but about yourself as well. Guaranteed!!

Wednesday, March 12th (7:00am - 7:30pm) - Saona Island Tour - Again WOW!! What a full day! This one was a little less "active" in the learning department but still very rewarding! We left the resort (at an unGodly hour while on vacation I might add) by bus to travel the 1 1/2 hrs to the town of Bahiyabe on the South West and therefore Caribbean side of DR. Here we boarded speed boats to take us just out of the bay to a waiting Catamaran! Folks if you have never been on one - WOW - What an experience!! And a hole lotta fun as well!! We all boarded the boat and off we went and man do they ever clip along!! We enjoyed lots of dancing, drinks and fruit for the duration of the Catamaran portion of this tour. Probably an hour or so later we reached our desitnation - Saona (pronounced Sa-Ona) Island and all got an eyeful of a Barracuda swimming under the Catamaran as we were waiting to board the speed boats to get us to the island. Once we were on the island we enjoyed a very authentic BBQ type lunch - yum delish!! lots of drinks - and much needed relax time on a fantastic beach. They offered massages of every description, (Sandi Sandi) went for the full body massage and is still talking about it to this day!! Some limited shopping and beach venders. All in all a great experience!! After about 4 hours of lounging and visiting with your fellow "Islanders" we again boarded speedboats which proceeded to take us back to Bahiyabe but not until we visited another very shallow spot along the way absolutely littered with Starfish! We all jumped in and had a swim and took pic's with the Starfish - Careful though not hold them out of the water for more than a minute as they will die very quickly!! We then all got back in the boats, had some more DR rum and returned to the Bahiyabe port and our waiting buses. It too was well worth the fare and we would both highly recommend this trip!

Departure and Check Out
Our departure from this fabulous place was delayed by 2 hours. We had checked the Sunquest binder (great idea by the way as we later found out that holidayers at other resorts did not have this information source available to them and never knew when they were coming or going not to mention were never able to even find their Vacation Representatives either! It was especially hard on the elderly vacationers!) earlier in the day and were delighted to be delayed by 2 more hours therefore we were scheduled to leave the resort until 8 pm that night - March 13th - giving us all more beach time and time with our new friends throughout the resort. Thank you to our Sunquest Representative Leoni who did a magnificent job over the course of our entire week!! As we had to check out of our rooms by noon, we packed up our bags and were able to leave them for the day in a locker type room entirely secured and accessible throughout the day as well. Towards suppertime I took what I needed out of my luggage and headed to one of the two public showers in the main bathroom facility in the lobby. This was a bit of an experience, tee hee again littered with negative remarks by people already miserable to be wrapping up their vacations. My shower definately left a bit to be desired but got the job done!! Having grown up backpacking and backwoods camping all of my life I couldn't help thinking that the set up would have been considered luxury considering some of the places and conditions my Dad (God Love Him) insisted we camp in and around Alberta and British Columbia. I am sure when we return to the resort in the future a more suitable and better equipped shower facility will be provided but as I said it got the job done with a little laugh and my ability to imitate the flamenco's out in the front ponds perched on one foot with little more than a hose to get the beach out of your.....ahem! I just snickered, had my shower (so to speak) and headed back to the fantastic lobby bar to visit our very handsome bartender Daniel for one last "Michelle Special" to sip on while awaiting the bus to take us back to the airport! The check out itself was quick and efficient by the hotel staff and the gents attending to the new arrivals and our awaiting luggage were very patient, especially after my 3rd trip back to retrieve items from my locked up luggage. Ever smiling (especially the fella with the fluorecent green braces) every one of em!

Conclusion
Having done a fair bit of travelling and with the attempt to be unbiased in my conclusion - I find I cannot....be unbiased that is. Yes, the resort is new and definately has some kinks to work out. Yes I would agree it should not be awarded a 4 1/2 to 5 star rating, but I would give it a solid 4 with the anticipation of how fabulous it will be next season. I've been to 3 star resorts and this one far exceeds that even as it is now! Our trip was .... everything we could have ever wanted and more but I believe that is also because we made it that way! Many (and I feel sad for these folks) are simply unhappy and complaining people, our world is full of them. If you go (anywhere!) with this attitude you undoubtedly won't disappoint yourself. But if you venture forth on your vacation of any destination with enthusiasm and excitement - guess what? that's what you're going to experience. We are very outgoing women (just ask our boyfriends) LOL - we wanted the vacation of a lifetime and we, perhaps the lucky ones - got it!

My advice (and I'm sure you are all waiting for it!) is that when you vacation, step out of the confines of which we all live in when at home, open your eyes and truly see, open your hearts people and embrace the new culture you are visiting. Speak with the locals (if you can and this does not always involve knowing the language), learn about them as they are very eager to learn about you too - share....share your kind words, your love and your acceptance and you will be given the magic of a wonderful vacation that Sandi Sandi and I experienced. Be careful and yet don't be affraid - they are as much a part of our world as we are. And when you leave, say thank you for having changed not only a small space on our earth but also perhaps a small space somewhere inside of yourselves.

Thank you to some very special people who shared in our wonderful holiday: Diana & Sheila, Cate + 5, Chris & Rick, Mike & Gino, Jeremy, Shayla, Debra & Eric, Ayla and many many more as well as the entire staff of Colony Bay Resort. Hope to see you all again one day soon!!!
Love, Live and Laugh......Sandi Sandi and Michelle xo
Colony Bay Resort
DJ and DJ 
Freelton, Ontario
March 2008
Just got back at 2 a.m. today. Had a great time at this resort. We were actually quite concerned after having read the previous reviews. Left on March 20, 2008.

Flight was smooth and we arrived in the evening, around 10 p.m. Reception was quick and easy. Our rooms were small but clean. The fridge is loaded with chips and snacks that you have to pay for. This was new for us. There is the usual two beers, two waters, and a couple of pops available every day in the fridge at no extra cost. We were in building four on the first floor. This resort is small so everything is close by. By the way, we had no problem with anything leaking or the air conditioning.

The lobby bar was quiet the first night but every day there were many many more people. I believe they had a full house while we were there. Food and drinks were great! The only downfall was the fact that you had to pay for premium liquor, for example, for a Martini.

The pool and whirlpool were clean except for the sand that was dragged in off the beach. They kept it very clean however. The grounds are still a work in progress but, coming along very niceley. We saw many changes just over one week! The first couple of days, the ocean was too rough to go in, but after that we swam in the waves and enjoyed very much. There were more rocks in front of Dreams than in front of Colony Bay. Use the boogy boards...they're great.

If you plan on buying anything, bring cash because they are not set up for VISA in the hotel stores.

We had massages on the beach...beautiful!

The shows are like in many hotels...boring. We didn't stay up much for these. They did offer a band in the lobby after the show for those who wanted to dance the night away....nice touch!

If you are a person who likes to work out on vacation, don,t count on the gym. The equipment is cheap and there is no air conditioning. Fortunately, there was a breeze when we went on two occasions. it's very small.

The only real problem we encountered was the sheets on the bed. They don't quite fit and the mattress doesn't have a cover. You may want to bring your own! We did notice a whole bunch of new sheets being delivered so this may be rectified soon.

If you're going to the plaza to do some shopping, don't expect much. The people were very kind and welcoming but each stand has the same thing. there is room for bargaining.

We have been to Dominican Republic many, many times to 4 and especially 5 star resorts. No, this is not a 5 star resort but it is a 4 star.
Colony Bay Resort
Cate/Lavenderswirl 
Nova Scotia
March 2008
Arrival and Flight One hour delay and then a smooth flight on an Air Transat Airbus 310. Duration 3 hours and 40 minutes direct, Halifax to Punta Cana. Our bus was easily found and we were on our way with 2 other couples who were staying at Sirenis. The drive was no longer that 50 minutes.
Check-in was smoothly handled and our request to be located close together and on the 3rd floor was readily accommodated. We had time for a bite and within 1/2 hour our rooms were ready.
At check-in, we were shown the list of items that were NOT all-included in our mini-fridges and asked to sign a paper acknowledging that we were to pay for these if they were used. The safe locks were free and we have paid 20US for them at other resorts. We were given two towel cards and one key which we quickly removed from its wooden tag bearing the room number. It was never a problem to get a second one if a companion was not nearby with the originally issued one.

Rooms If my description of the rooms differs from other posters, please check the dates of the reviews. Some of them are from February, and much has changed! Rooms were smaller than some we have had in PC, but larger than others. They had attractive colours, blue, yellow and greens, and crown mouldings around the ceilings. Energy efficient bulbs were of sufficient wattage to read, shave or apply make-up by. The dresser had deep drawers and the closets were enormous with plenty of hangers. It was spotlessly clean, and made up early in the day. Water temperature and pressure were fine, and it is advisable to take down the handheld shower nozzle first until you get used to the operation. Bed linens were not top quality but were pristine white and crisp. No extra blanket was needed if you set the a/c to a reasonable temperature. The large ceiling fans were wonderful, and we often left our patio door open at night to listen to the ocean with no worries of insects. The Uvero Alto area has a stiff breeze and this seems to preclude mosquito or fly infestations completely. We did not see a one. The flat screen TV had all manner of satellite channels and excellent reception the few times we actually turned it on to catch some CNN News. We had no water leaks, no interruptions from staff entering (a “do not disturb” sign was always respected). One a/c malfunction was attended to with an hour of our report.

Restaurants On the night we arrived, there was a fire which burned the roof thatch off the main buffet. It is believed that it was an electrical malfunction to blame. Fortunately there were no casualties. It was gratifying to see the initial shock turn to a full-bore cooperative effort on the parts of staff and guests alike, working in unison to clear the restaurant of furnishings, dishware and so on. I’d like to think that this was an example of good old Canadian helpfulness in a time of need; it’s what we DO. The management sent us a letter of thanks the next day. Dominicans and Canadians together make a good team!
At no time did the fire interrupt the exceptional food service we received. The Carite Beach restaurant became our breakfast and lunch space for buffet servings. Each night there has a theme. Sunday night is the seafood gala which we enjoyed tremendously. There was also a pizzeria and the Steakhouse a la carte available. We booked the Steakhouse twice and had very delicious food here, including wings, quesadillas, caesar salad and a choice of grilled beef, sausage, pork and chicken. I heartily recommend the rib eye, and be sure to specify how you like it cooked, erring on the side of rare or blue if you like it red. There was a very nice Argentinian Malbec on their wine list which held up nicely to the grilled beef!
Favorites of our group of 6 were the breads, bocconcini and olives, omelets from Marisol, the fantastic Dominican tomatoes and pasta. The servers deserve much praise for their never-ending smiles, efforts to please and prompt attention to guests. We really enjoyed the service of Ramito, Angel and Marcelina, among many!

Bars Top shelf costs extra here, which is not a 5-star quality. We did manage to get fine drinks at the lobby bar and the pool — beer, gin and tonics, vodka chi-chis, champagne. Careful with the BoomBooms! Fluorescent drinks might not be the best choice if you tend to overindulge! Thanks to Henry and JoseLuis at the swim-up for hours of service and amusing banter. JuanRamon and Daniel did a great job of keeping glasses full in the lobby, as did Cristian in the Sports Bar.

Beach and Pools Great effort has been given to keeping the pool, hot tubs, and beach clean since the early days of negative reviews. Uvero Alto is almost always windy and the sand becomes airborne unless the area around the pool is kept hosed down. When the vegetation grows in more, it will form a break. Washrooms, located near the pool and restaurants, were pretty much immaculate even after a long day of people in and out. Abelardo has soft fluffy yellow towels for you as often as you feel you need them. Beach is thoroughly raked and we saw very little glass, plastic or cigarette butts . . . Canadians clean up after themsleves extremely well, even trying to recycle all the plastic water bottles/cups!! :) Many of the palms are young, newly planted. There were ample palapas for the shade lovers and no contention about saving loungers as there were sufficient for all. Sand is a pale yellow, not brown, soft and warm.

Grounds As with the palms, gardeners were at work every moment planting hibiscus, yucca, bougainvillea, crotons and other native species. We remember how much growth there was year to year when the Grand Paradise first opened, so Colony Bay will be lush and verdant by next fall. Please be cautious walking on some of the rougher pathways back behind the buildings with the rooms – the concrete is uneven there. There are geese, ducks, flamingos and turtles in ponds in front of the lobby. Their enclosures were drained and scrubbed clean twice in our week.

Activities and Entertainment We knew the “drill” of a day near the pool after so many trips south, so we were beach dwellers during the mornings. The animation team did the requisite stretching, aerobics and dance lessons daily. We politely suggested that they mix up the music for these activities a bit more! “Unchained Melody” haunts us still! LOL They did not harass us to join in. We had full cooperation from these hardworking young people, especially when we saw a need to report some unseemly comments. Turns out it was mostly a cultural thing, and apologies were accepted.
The spa was also an experience worth mentioning – the masseuses were well-trained and did reflexology, chakra points, lymphatic drainage, shiatsu, deep-tissue, hot stone, and aromatherapy massages among other treatments! The anti-stress 80 minute massage left two of us feeling like we were walking on clouds afterwards.

Tours Having done these other times, we opted to stay beached this year. As usual, other guests returning from excursions waxed poetic about their experiences in Saona. A new one this year was Freedom Adventures to San Rafael del Yuma . . . reasonably priced! See Patricia (she speaks French and Spanish) in the jewellery boutique in the lobby for information. Ask about Lionel (Lee-oh-nel) and his excursion.

Departure and Check Out We checked the Sunquest book the night before and found that we had a delay of three hours in our departure time so we got to see our friends longer than we thought the next morning. When our bus did arrive, we were sad to leave our little community and new friends.

Conclusion The Colony Bay Resort, its owners, management and staff, deserve kudos for running an operation this smoothly after being rushed to open for the “high season”. Two months in, I believe, and the other 5 people in our group concur, they made our stay a pleasure. The fault squarely lies in the promotion being done by the tour companies who have represented the hotel as a 4 1/2 or 5 star. We were appalled to discover that there were such disparities in the prices guests had paid for their one-week all-inclusive stays. We booked in October 2007. Some who booked earlier paid much less, some more. Imagine our dismay, also. to find that travellers from much farther air distances had paid ONE-THIRD what we had for the same rooms, same service, same food and drink and the SAME March Break week!!! Though we are not litigious in nature, we do plan to approach this company from whom we have had superior service in the past, for compensation. What we loved best about Colony Bay was its small size — there were never any lineups anywhere. We actually saw the same people more than once during the week! We met some amazing folks at this small and intimate resort, and THEY and the staff made this one our best experiences on holiday. All our best wishes to Colony Bay as it grows and improves! Michelle, Sandi, Leah, Jeff, Lynn, Rick, Chris, Gino, Patricia, Audrey, Veronica, Dan, Paige, Cameron, Hanna, Patti . . . and all the others, THANKS! Where to next year, my friends?
Colony Bay Resort
Steve 
Ottawa, Ontario
March 2008
Arrival and Flight
Left Feb. 16, 2008 and rreturned March 1.
Skyservice flight was 2 hours late but ok. Bring your own food. I wish they would charge an extra $10 and give you something decent. The breakfast sandwich at 10:00 a.m. was basically inedible. The resort is approximately an hour from the airport over very rough roads. Check in was late around 3:00 p.m. and the room was still not ready. They did not have our special request made through the travel agent.

Rooms
In one word, AWFUL. The workmanship and finish were poor. No air, plumbing problems, no phone, small beds not queen size as advertised and moved around on rollers, not enough linens, no fitted sheets so you ended up on the bare mattress and the list could go on and on. The doors had no deadbolt, peek hole, strike plate , safety chain or for that matter any security at all. Staff left the door unlocked twice on us and could walk in whenever they chose. After a discussion with one of the owners who were on site because of all the major problems we were moved to a suite which still was decorated like a no tell motel but had air conditioning. The bad thing was that when it ran it was like sitting beside an airplane getting ready to take off.

Restaurants
In three words, poor at best. There were supposed to be three a la carte restaurants but there was one with only one item on the menu. The pizza was poor and the one buffet restaurant required reservation at night. They often ran short of food near the end of the meal periods. The people who said the food was good must never have been to anything but fast food or something. There was poor choice and some meat was very undercooked. There was almost nothing actually hot and the heating system for the buffet trays did not seem to be working at all. The breakfast was not too bad and the desserts were good.

Bars
Goos service and the drinks seemed fair to good. You couldn't get bottled water and were supposed to refill a bottle from your room. Only diet drink available was Coke.

Beach and Pools
The beach was brown sand not white as advertised and there was a lot of hidden garbage in the sand. The surf was rough the week we were there. The pools were cloudy, cold and sandy. The hot tubs were cold or empty and full of sand.

Grounds
You expect new vegetation but this looked hurriedly put in and not going to live in places. The quality does not come near what a 5 star resort would have. There were open access hatches with bare wire and pipeing everywhere and too many slip and trip hazards and bare wires and pipes to count. Overall an eyesore and danger. The ponds at the front of the lobby simply stank and were full of algae.

Activities and Entertainment
The activity staff tried so hard they were a nuisance at times. The shows were not as good as we have experienced before and there were not as many activities as advertised. The casino is not ready and currently consists of a room that will hold about 10 people. Overall a dissapointment.

Tours
Two very good tours, Saona Island and Monster Truck tours were very good all day tours. Good guides, you see a good bit of the countryside, and the value was ok.

Departure and Check Out
We transferred out to another hotel in the second week of our stay and could not wait to leave. I got the feeling the staff were glad to see us go as well as we had to go to them every day over something or several somethings that were wrong.

Conclusion
This was our worst trip ever in about 30 trips to numerous destinations. I could list pages of problems but I think you get the picture. This was advertised as a 4.5 star by Sunquest and a 5 star on the resorts own website. This does not accurately reflect the resort. In my opinion even with all the shortfalls corrected it will never be more than a 3 star. We stayed at the Iberostar in Punta Cana which is rated a 4 star and it would make this look like a 1 star. We are looking for money back because they ruined a week of my life. We finished our vacation at the Excellence which is rated as a 5 star and everything was great. You would never know you were on the same planet less in the same country.
Colony Bay Resort
Di & Wayne 
Winnipeg
March 2008
Arrival - arrived late ,waiting for a couple from Regina

Rooms - Clean. 2double beds not queen as advertised. A/C not working in two of the rooms we were in,and took the hotel staff a long time to come and check it. Bed frames do not lock, toilet ran all the time, the sink stopper one needed a knife to lift it.Leaking ceiling fan, needed an umbrella to go to the bathroom.musty sewer like smell on the first floor of our hotel

Restaurants - Average. If came late to the buffett food cold and slim pickings

Bars - The main bar was very good. Loved the banana mama

Beach and Pools - Pool small, hot tub luke warm. found the beach more rocky than the bavero side. the ocean very rough. lots of garbage around

Grounds - people working on the grounds everyday,area needs to mature

Activities - just average,nothing really for young adults to do

Tours - The only saving grace of staying at Conony bay were the tours, did the carribean festival- was great,monster truck enjoyed,men did the deep sea fishing- caught nothing but enjoyed it, ladies swam with the dophins-awesome

Conclusion - Tours only saving grace. Been to the dominican before,did alot of tipping and bring some small gifts, many not appreciative of same. Took the hotel staff a long time to fix things One of the most dissappointing holidays we have had in a long time. Would not recommend the Colony Bay.Iwould rate the hotel as a 3 nothing more,and have been to few hotels in the dominican. This was the worst holiday we have had in years. Not the best way to celebrate our 25th anniversary
Colony Bay Resort
Colleen & Nick 
Halifax, NS
March 2008
Arrival - No issues at all, we were the only group arriving at that time (6 of us). During check in, they brought us a welcome drink...very friendly:) We never had any issues communicating with anyone at the front deck, their english was great!

Rooms - Rooms were fine, nothing to write home about good or bad. Two double beds, TV, dresser, regular bath, etc. You are given a card for AC/power so we just left it in the whole time, that way we would always come back to a cool room:) We did have a problem with our AC one day, but it was fixed witin 5 minutes of notifying the front desk. The rooms were on the other side of the lobby, a differnt set up from most resorts that I have been to...but I thought it was a great idea (quieter at night). The resort is quite small, so from pool side it took less than 2 minutes to get to our room.

Restaurants - Food was awesome!! Only problem was that I ate too much!!! Desserts were the best that I have ever had! Breads were amazing! The steak house was good, I am not a fan of steak myself, but enjoyed all the other goodies that came with it! They serve a few courses (Salad and roll, Chicken wings (YUM!), steak and potato, and then your choice of dessert). They also have a pizza place, main buffet, and beach theme buffet that you can make reservations for each night as well. We did the Mexican (awesome) and International (good too).

Bars - The main bar makes some of the best drinks that I have ever had...they use sugar rimmers, chocolate, lots of garnishes, slushies, etc! My faves were Boom Booms, Banana Mammas, Miami Beach, and of course the beer with lime! The beach bar and sports bar were great too:)

Beach and Pools - Pools were great, not huge, but to scale for the resort. We did not use the hot tub...I never use them anywhere. The pool did have some sand in it, but who cares!! There was someone cleaning the pool every morning, so I know they were making a great effort to keep it clean. The pool is basically built right on the beach, which I loved, as I like to swim in the pool, but could enjoy watching and hearing the waves from pool side:) The beach was great too:) We did go for lots of walks and found quite a bit of glass just off the resort. They do keep the beach for the resort very clean, but off to either side there is quite a bit of garbage. They had boogie boards, so much fun in the big waves!! We like to snorkle as well, so went for a walk down past Dreams and the snorkeling was AWESOME! We went on a day trip snorkeling and it was better at our beach! We did rent the banana boat as well, we were the first to use it on the resort...really hard to stay on with all the waves, but lots of fun too:) The sand is not "white punta Cana" sand, but is still nice.

Grounds - Grounds were great, eveything was laid out so well. My only comment here would be that all the plant life needs time to grow in. However, coming to a new resort you should expect this. People were working everyday on gardens, buildings, finishing touches, etc. We loved it here;)

Activities - The animation team was awesome!! I was sad to read in an eariler review that they said they were annoying :( They had water aerobics, dance lessons, pool, ping pong, darts, etc. going on everyday...lots to do:) The dance lessons we lots of fun, we did them almost everyday. We went to the entertainment every night, it was good too! We also went to the disco every night, the Sports bar is the disco at night. The DJ would play lots of differnt music, we gave him all the CD's we brought when we left. The animation team also came to disco at night to party with us. BEST team from all the resorts that I have been to. We were sad to say good-bye to them all.

Tours - We only did one tour, the Carribean Festival, and really enjoyed it. You get to go swimming with sharks and sting rays, go snorkeling, and then cuise around on the cateamaran and dance:) I would recommend this day trip!

Conclusion - Overall we had an awesome time. The team there works so hard, and it shows...they made the trip for us! My biggest complaint would have to be the other guests...you did not see anyone giving tips or even saying thank you most of the time. I little appreciation goes a long way! We would take gum and pop to the grounds keepers everyday, tip the bartenders from time to time, and gave lots of goodies to our maids. We had a great time overall!
Colony Bay Resort
John and Wendy 

March 2008
If you like basic amenities such as hot water, clean pool, hot food, security, linens and toilet tissue - do not even think about going to Colony Bay. We were there Feb 16 to March 1 and encountered approximately 150 guests who were seriously disenchanted with Colony Bay. Workmanship is abhorrent. Will never come close to being a 5 star. Rooms are small and equipped like a Motel 6.

If the weather had not been good, the holiday would have been a total bust. Staff was friendly but there were many miscommunications. We have taken six holidays to the carribean and this one gets the award for being the worst (and very overpriced at that). If someone says it is new and it will get better, do not be fooled. We have been to two brand new resorts and they exceeded our 4 and 5 star expectations. The saving grace was the acquaintances we made and commiserated with. For some comedic relief- picture this: a fellow needs to use his toilet but water is overflowing from upstairs through his ceiling fan, being a resourceful guy he gets out his umbrella and is able to use the loo (true story). There are many other worthy resorts, hope your next holiday is exceptional but not at Colony Bay.
Colony Bay Resort
Joyce 

March 2008
We were at Colony Bay from Feb.16th till Mar.1st. We were lucky with our room but I feel sorry for others that had nothing but one disaster after another. We found the first week very stressful, everyone you spoke with had problems. The Sunquest rep was no help to anyone,she was very rude and wasn't interested in helping. The main bathrooms were all plugged up, no toilet paper or paper towels.The resort was constantly short one thing or the other. Chairs at the pool and beach were reserved by towel people or security guys that were paid off. Food was good some days not others,or was under cooked. Beach had brown sand not white and was very windy. Rooms were not like in brochure,2 double beds with sheets and a bedspread if you were lucky. Shower heads go flying when water is turned on, people were hit on the head,shoulders,feet. Some rooms were flooded from ceiling fan in bathroom from condensation or poor plumbing.No telephone lines to call loved one. This resort is not a 4 1/2 * or a 5*, this is a 3* and we don't think it will ever be more than a 3*. Everything was rushed to accommodate people in the prime season. We paid too much for this resort and would not recommend it to anyone. The entertainment was good when they brought in troupes besides that it was silly. But I must say the staff was excellent. Pool was dirty or cloudy,hot tubs full of sand. Sunquest were telling people the resort was 100% operational, funny they were making cement,building fences,you heard drills,power saws. We go on vacation to rest not all this.
Colony Bay Resort
Frank 
Toronto
March 2008
Arrival - February 24. Myself, my wife and 3 kids. The bus trip took no maore than 50 minutes and check in took less than 10 minutes.

Rooms - Not sure as to exact number but more than 200.

Restaurants - 4 restaurants. We tried only three of them. The food was above average for buffets. I did not try the Steak House. Although there was not a large variety, there was always something good to eat. The desserts were pressented very well. The fruit and salad were fresh. The staff cleared plates before you came back with your second helping. The food had flavour They were always there when you needed a wine or pop refill.

Bars - There were three bars and the service was excellent. The bar tender was pleasant every day. The pool bar had a swim up part.
One bar had nachos and popcorn. Ice cream was available all day long. The coffee was pretty good. Although machine made, the cappuccinos were good.

Beach and Pools - The pool was great. The staff cleaned the pool every morning. There were always enough chairs for people. I did not try the whirlpool, but I noticed they were sandy. I don't think it is a good idea to have the whirlpools so close to the beach. The beach had soft sand but it was brown rather than white. Jamie and Cheryl indicated that the lurury suites were 1/4 mile from the beach, but that could not be further from the truth. The furthest room was no more than 6 minutes form the beach. The area is rather breezy and the gust could be strong at times. It is not Aruba windy. My daughter and myself swam in the ocean everyday and had a great time with the waves.

Grounds - The resort is new so the grass was just laid and flowers were small. The trees were planted and should look very nice in a year or two. The staff were always cleaning. The washroom in the lobby area was very clean but the pool area washroom had a foul odor. The resort was small so everything is close.

Activities - There were no activities except the people wanting you to join in some pool game or water aerobics. This was annoying at times. The mini golf was not built but the water sport equipment was gearing up when we were leaving. The nightly entertainment was fair at best. The main casino is not ready but if you want to feed the slots, there are a few available.

Conclusion - Considerring the resort is work in process, I was satisfied. I would return and can see that the resort will be better in the future. At the moment, it is a 4 star resort tops.
Colony Bay Resort
Jaime and Cheryl 

February 2008
Location: Yellow Beach front north east coast more like 75 to 90 min from Punta Cana airport

All-inclusive- 215 guest rooms with close to 200 having major defects (we stayed in 4 different ones ourselves, and many of the other travellers there during our week also had to transfer to multiple rooms), double beds only in standard rooms not queen size like Teresa claims. Fourth room still had toilet and shower head that leaked. So-called luxurious suites with 4 deluxe units were still over 1/4 mile from windy wave pounded beach. According to Francois the great idea of having a " green room " left little to be desired as most days there was little or no hot water and when you remove the electrical card from the scanner when you left the room you were also shutting off your room's a/c and the bar fridge. I can't convey how pleasant it was coming back to a hot room and warm beverages every day. There were no clocks or clock radios in the room (actually anywhere in the resort). There were no privacy locks on the doors so resort staff could just walk in unannounced. By the way even after notifying the main desk of the plumbing problems in our fourth room it still took 3 more days for someone to actually repair half of them. Also all the rooms are actually outside (farther away from the beach,pool , bars) the entrance and main desk of the resort. In the 10 years I have been travelling to the caribbean I have never seen this type of setup before and it is extremely inconvenient especially with no phone service to the rooms. Each room also only has one key available (again very inconvenient).

Many other safety issues in and around buildings including open accesses to roof where a/c equipment, solar panels and electrical cables located (children were found up there one day trying to take in the view). There were also closet shafts off each floor leading directly to ground level or lower with their doors left open or unlocked most days (very irresponsible). Pool and Jacuzzis most days were either filled with sand or had some kind of scum floating on them. Three of the six days we were there either one or both Jacuzzis were not operating. We were told this was because of sand buildup in pumps (I guess they never heard of a filter).

Beach was basically unusable as it was either red or yellow flagged everyday with large waves and strong undertow. The Dreams resort next door had a reef farther out off their beach so it acted as a breakwall and provided them with a much calmer swimming area. Even beach volleyball was difficult with the constant strong winds.

Conference room not built yet.

Casino not built yet, however they do have a slots room with 15 to 20 older machines and two worn out gaming tables with the dealers pulling double duty as maintenance workers.

Most of the staff were willing to help or serve however many had trouble with the english language.

Grounds were not well maintained, Flamingo pond covered with algae, grass that had been layed was very uneven rock filled with block maintenance (service for plumbing and electrcal) wells located everywhere with their lids or caps removed (quite hazardous). The most regular service seemed to be the worker with the gas mask and rubber gloves spraying the grounds daily for the large hairy spiders roaming the grounds (hummm! gas mask, rubber gloves? seems toxic to me, however no warning to the public).

Brochure advertised mini golf - nope nobody told the resort builders about it.

Public restrooms were available off the main lobby and under the seaside buffet restaurant. Neither were very well maintained as far as supplies and cleanliness. We finally resorted to using only the leaky one in our room so we were only dealing with our ' crap' (i think) and not everyone else's.

Since the beach was not available that left pool side and the staff running the activities were relentless at bothering you to join in. It was basically impossible to just relax and read or suntan in peace and quiet. I realize it was their job to get people involved but they were too loud and extreme and should learn to accept no for an answer (if they could comprehend).

This resort is advertised as a 4.5* to 5* but as it stands right now it is less than a 2* and even fully operational a 3* at best.
Colony Bay Resort
Teresa 
L'Orignal, Ontario
February 2008
Arrival - We just came back from The Colony Bay Resort on Feb. 9, 2008. Have to say, the staff are super friendly and made our 1 week stay a very enjoyable one.

Rooms - We took a standard room which was very spacious with 2 queen size beds. We had no TV or telephone, but they supplied a cell phone at the front desk if we wanted to contact loved ones at home at no charge.

Restaurants - They have 4 main restaurants, all the food was beautifully displayed and had lots of variety.

Bars - We mainly used the bar in the hotel at night, but the swim-up bar and beach bar during the day were great.

Beach and Pools - Loved the waves at the beach. The pool is a great size and very well maintained.

Grounds - The grounds were nice and well-maintained by the staff there.

Activities - We really enjoyed the fireworks display at their Grand Opening on the 3rd of Feb. The evening entertainment was very enjoyable.

Tours - We booked the Caribbean Festival tour and Sonoa Island tour which I highly recommend both.

Conclusion - When we booked our trip we knew it had just opened days before we arrived so expected some little gliches, which were not so bad. The staff really worked 110% to make our stay an enjoyable one.
Colony Bay Resort
François 

February 2008
We came back from a week in the Colony Bay resort on February 7, 2008.

We had a wonderful time. It is a small resort (only 240 rooms) and feels very intimate.

Service - The staff is fantastic, friendly and eager to please. Most of them speak English and French, and Spanish of course.

Restaurants - There were 4 restaurants, and the two buffet ones were absolutely fantastic. The Grill a la carte was ok, and so was the italian one (mainly pizza).The three bars were amazing; The sports bar was opened 24h and had a pool table, a ping-pong table and a foosball table.

Pool - Very nice and well designed, although the wind brought a bit of sand in it. The hot tub wasn't ready, but we didn't care.

Beach - Marvelous. Lots of place, Lots of nice sand, lots of wave. Caution: if yoy don't like wind, you might be a bit disappointed. We loved it.

Rooms - they are basic (two double beds), but comfortable. It is a green hotel: the water is heated by solar panels, the light bulb are energy efficient and you have a card to insert into a socket to get electricity and to stop it when you leave the room. Great idea.

Activities - The amphitheatre was spacious and well designed. The entertainment was good, especially (and surprisingly!) the Michael Jackson Tours, a troup of dancers re-enacting some of Jackson's best choreographies.

Conclusion - Since the hotel just opened on January 31th, there was still a bit of work done on the satellite tv connection and the phones were not installed yet, but the hotel provided cell phone service to call home.The hot water was sometimes touch-and-go, but we did not mind. As we left, they were putting the finishing touch on the shops and the tennis courts. This hotel is a work-in-progress, actually a jewel-in-progress. For us, it was a 8/10.
Colony Bay Resort
Brampton 

February 2008
Arrival - We just got back from there yesterday and we had a fabulous time.

The service was fantastic. The friendliest and most courteous staff we have ever encountered. Always willing to go the extra mile to guarantee satisfaction.

Rooms - The rooms were very nice but the standard rooms have double beds and not the queens as advertised. We were moved to an Executive Suite which was awesome with a King bed and a sleeper sofa. We heard complaints about lack of hot water but we did not experience this.

Restaurants - The food was excellent. They have 4 restaurants: a main buffet, a beach buffet, a Steak House and a Pizzeria. We did not try the Steak House as the feedback from other guests was not good. However, the others were great. Tuesday night was an all you can eat LobsterFest!

Beach and Pools - It was very windy at the beach, making it impossible to do any of the water sports! This was our only disappointment.

Activities - The entertainment crew, "Animacion", were extremely good. They practically adopted our 17 year old son & 12 year old daughter as their own. They entertained the crowd all day and all night. The nightly entertainment consisted of two special features and crowd participation activities.

Conclusion - Bearing in mind that we were their first guests, the staff worked around the clock to iron out the kinks and although not everything was up and running, they were continuously working to address any outstanding issues.

Overall, we give it a 8/10. Can't wait to see it in full swing.

Pictures can be found here:
http://picasaweb.google.ca/nToxEk8d/ColonyBayResortPictures