Debbie's Dominican Travel.com Old Reviews - Occidental Grand Punta Cana
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Linda 
Alberta, Canada
November 2008
My daughter and I spent a week at the Occidental Grande Punta Cana from November 9 to 16 this year. As other reviewers have commented, we wondered if those who posted bad reviews had stayed at the same place. Our junior suite was comfortable and certainly more than big enough for the two of us, and the housekeeping staff kept it very clean and tidy. We found the staff in general to be very pleasant and helpful and although tips were certainly well-received they were not necessary for good service (and strong drinks) at the bar. We are both vegetarians and we found that there were many more vegetarian choices at the buffet than at other all-inclusive resorts where we have stayed. The food was not outstanding but it was good for the most part and we particularly enjoyed the pizzeria, the taco stand, the beach bar buffet lunches and the Mexican a la carte. The ground were very well maintained and the beach was lovely. Yes, all of the beach umbrellas were reserved at the crack of dawn but we found plenty of shade amongst the palm trees by the small beach bar (adjacent to building 13). And the nice young bartender there (whose name I can’t remember) mixed the best drinks in the resort. I would certainly return to the Occidental Grande and would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Ron & Wendy 
Ottawa-Valley, Ontario, Canada
November 2008
Arrival and Flight: Arrived Oct. 26 for 7 days. Flew with Air Transat. The supposed added leg room on their planes was noticed. Seemed to be more room than the usual charter flights. Booked with Air Transat Vacations which included the "Premium" package.

Rooms: Building 25 Room 115, which was located close to the beach.

Restaurants: We tried the Oriental, which was excellent! We tried the Mexican which was just "so-so". Ate all our breakfasts and most dinners at the main buffet. Always found plenty of variety to suit our tastes. All lunches at the beach buffet were very satisfying.

Bars: Very pleased with all the bars and their service.

Beach and Pools: The three large pools were very clean and well-maintained. The gorgeous beach seemed to go on forever. The perfect weather complimented this wonderful trip.

Grounds: Beautifully maintained resort! Very clean with mature vegetation.

Departure and Check Out: Everything went smoothly and without a hitch.

Conclusion: We were at this resort in October 2006 and were very pleased with that holiday. We, therefore, decided to return. The "Premium" package with Air Transat Vacations had some pleasing amenities such as: much larger rooms (also more updated), bathrobes supplied, towels in the room (no towel line-ups), allocated area on the beach (which they seemed to enforce).

We learned a few more Spanish phrases over and above Debbie's Spanish list. This seemed to add to the enjoyment and interaction with the appreciative staff.

In conclusion, this was a very enjoyable and memorable holiday. Certainly would return to this resort.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Steve & Kathy 
Philadelphia
November 2008
Our trip was won by my wife Kathy on a radio contest, Run by Apple tours(4 nights/5days))

Arrival and Flight: On Monday, 11/3, USA3000, all was good. Like the informality of the airline. We arrrived around 1:30pm and checked into our room immediately. The resort seemed to be about 60% full. I was told that November is a slow month. Picks up in December. At Checkin was not informed of safe, so, had to return and purchase key. I think it was $10.00 or $20.00 for 5 days. Free for Royal Blue package. Also, Balcony door was broken. Reported to desk. Kept our valuables on us. Within 2 hours when we returned to the room it was fixed.

Rooms: Building 13, 1st floor, very comfortable with exception of bath/shower which is very outdated. Spoke with honeymoon couple who upgraded to Royal Blue hoping their bath/shower would be improved and it was not.

Restaurants: After reading reviews decided to eat lunch & dinners at buffets and Pizza/Taco places. Enjoyed both. The chicken and Roast pork melt in your mouth. Wish Pizza & Taco places were combined. They're next to each other and could only order one or the other. Found Bread, rolls and pastries very good. Breakfast(omelettes/eggs) was good but pancakes didn't taste quite like pancakes. Fruit was also fresh & tasty.

Bars: Homerum was closed for renovations. Didn't hang out a the bars(just got drinks). Went to Steve's Corner Bar one afternoon which is a 1/2 block from the resort entrance(Read about it on this site). Met Rob & Kenny who were very informative and helpful. Rob actually assisted Kathy in shopping. Kenny educated me on cigars. Enjoyed their company immensely.

Beach and Pools: Beautiful and clean. Upper 80's all week and ocean water had to be in the upper 70's. No issue with finding a chair by the pool or ocean. Was surprised that the pools were restricted after 7:00pm.

Grounds: Easy to find your way. Paths were very hot. Was hoping to spend my days bearfoot. Not possible.

Activities and Entertainment: Somehow we missed out on a beach party Tuesday night. Didn't participate in the daily activities but found the show at night entertaining for the first night(very interative with the audience) but not something you'd want to entertain you every night. Repetitive. Also, The primary adult entertainment started later than preferred(9:00pm-10:00pm).

Tours: Went on snorkle cruise which we reserved just outside the resort on beach. Enjoyed very much(snorkle & natural pool in the Ocean). I think 1/2 the price of Apple tours. Also, went Parasailing through the same outfit. Nervous about it(1st time) but no issues and great view.

Shopping: Kathy usually scouts one day and buys another. Well, we first went across from the Plaza Bavarro(same side of street as Steve's Bar) and the salemen were very agressive getting you into their store and all over you. It was annoying. Next day went to Plaza Bavarro and they urge you into their stores but are not so aggressive. She bought there. Not so bad. Would not shop across the street from Plaza Bavarro.

Hospitality/service was great. We rarely tipped(just for shuttles(to the gate) and sometimes for drinks). Still provided good service. This surprised me after reading some of the reviews. We asked Maria to stock our fridge with pepsi and she did this daily for us. We tipped her daily since we were not certain if we would have the same cleaning person but she did our room all week.

FYI. On our last night we were going to return to Steve's corner bar, have a drink or 2 and pick up a shirt & hat. Well, it was raining some that night and we were advised by security that we shouldn't walk there(1/2 block from the resort entrance). It wouldn't be safe. He implied that only undesirables would be on the street that night. We were told by Rob that the bar does have a security guard at night but obviously getting to and from was the issue. This screwed up our plans for the night but we'd rather be safe. The location of the resort is a good one for shopping at the Plaza.

Departure and Check Out: All went well.

Conclusion: More entertainment choices in the early evening either inside the Occidental or outside(seemed to be out of the question) would have made the vacation much more satisfying. Also, the time share salesmen were a nuisance and the fact that you had to negotiate every purchase was also a pain. You never had a feeling that you got a deal even when you got 50% off the original price. The weather, beach, pools, food, drink & hospitality were major pluses. If rating this vacation on a scale of 1-10 I'd give this vacation a 6.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Kristin and Ian 
Alberta, Canada
October 2008
Arrival and Flight: the flight was good we flew with Air Canada and everything was fine. When we arrived we went through the airport quickly and the bus ride to our hotel was fun. When we got there the check-in was also very fast and we had our room by about half an hour of arriving there.

Rooms: we were placed in building 13 and it was very nice. The beds were very comftorable and the air conditioning worked great. Everything worked well, and the patio was nice too. We had a mini fridge that would get re-stocked every morning.

Restaurants: the buffet was amazing! every night they had something different, and it was always great. so much to choose from and always great fresh bread and fruits. breakfast was good the crepes are amazing and supper was always good too. For lunch we usually went to home rum, the snack bar and it was good to get nachos and burgers and fries. The a la carte dinners are absolutely amazing. The italian and mexican ones are the best the oriental was really great too though. We loved all the food that was there.

Bars: the bars were also very great. they made lots of good drinks and the drinks were always very strong. the service at the bars were great and they never expected a tip.

Beach and Pools: the beach is amazing.. so beautiful. we spent a lot of time at the pool, because of the swim up bar:), very nice pools as well. always clean and good temperature.

Grounds: the grounds were always kept clean and we always saw people taking care of them. beautiful resort

Activities and Entertainment: the nightly show was okay we saw it a few times, the lobby bar also had some activities going on at nights. The disco bar Mangu was cool and had good music, lots of people there.

Tours: we went on a speed boar tour where you ride a two seater speed boat around with about 16 other boats and they lead you out to a spot where everybody gets out and snorkels. I would recommend this trip for sure. it was only a 3 hour trip but the boats were very fun and the snorkelling was amazing!

Departure and Check Out: Our flight did not leave until 9 at night, and check-out was at 11 so for an extra $30.00 we got to keep our room as late as we wanted to which was very nice for pretty cheap. the check out was extremley fast and easy. when we got to the airport we were very excited to see a wendys and had some supper there and then the flight home was great too!

Conclusion: i would highly reccommend this resort to other people, my boyfriend and i absolutely loved it and would go back again but we are not picky at all. I did not see many families with children but it is great for older or younger couples. We had an amazing time and did not even have one bad experience at all, the people were amazing, the beaches were amazing and the food was great!
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Mike aand Carly 
Mass, USA
August 2008
We just returned from the grand flaminco in Punta Cana. I don't know where the other reviews are being written from but we cannot wait to go back. The staff was great and attentive, we were upgraded without asking, the beach was spectacular and extremly clean. We meet 2 people in particular William from the entertainment group who was great and Fidel angel from the food services and were just plain friendly. I will say that showers in the bathroom could use a little work and the main resturants were OK, I would recommend the Buffet. Always something to do especially for the kids. I do agree that the TIME share thing is a waste of two hours a typical scam to take your money (stay away from the guys in the white shirts who are going to give you free gifts for listening). Just say no.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Jessica 
New Jersey
July 2008
Arrival and Flight – We arrived on July 8th and had a smooth check in. We got to the resort at about 1:30 and our room was not ready yet so we left our luggage and went over to the beach buffet for some lunch and took a walk on the beach and around the resort. We headed back to the lobby at around 2:45 and our room was ready.

Rooms – Our original room was in building 13 which is one of the newly renovated buildings. The newer rooms only have one king size bed and since we didn’t want to share a bed for 3 weeks we requested they bring another bed. It did take 2 days to get the bed but since we had to wait we asked to be moved to a 3rd floor room – they have higher ceilings and have a nicer view – so they moved us to building 12 with a great view of the entire resort. The second bed was in the room before we return from the beach that day so from then on it was smooth sailing. Our room was clean everyday without a problem. A few times we didn’t get a refill on the bottled water in the fridge but we would just find the maid and she was happy to give us what we needed. The only issue we found was in the bathroom but it was not a major issue. When taking a shower the water would sometimes fall on the edge of the tub and then roll out onto the floor but there is a drain right there and most of the time we just put down a towel and all was fixed. We lost water pressure a few times but it was usually at around 6 – 630 when it would seem most people were getting ready for dinner. We lost power once for about 20 minutes but it was during the time when we were relaxing before dinner so we were not really affected by it at all.

Restaurants – for lunch we mostly ate at the main buffet and never had any issues finding food to satisfy our tastes. There were a few times when we missed lunch at the main buffet so we headed over to the snack bar Home Rum where they have burgers, hotdogs, fries and things like that. Our 1st week there we did try the Italian and Brazilian restaurants once each and they were great but we decided we enjoyed the buffet better so didn’t make reservations the 2nd and 3rd weeks out. There was always a wide variety of foods to select from with plenty of fruits and desserts to enjoy as well. Neither one of us got really sick from any of the food just a stomach ache for a few days but nothing a quick trip to the bathroom didn’t fix and it didn’t mess with the vacation at all.

Bars – We don’t drink at all so didn’t really have a need to visit the bars often. We did go to the beach and lobby bars daily for water and orange juice and the bartenders were always friendly and smiling.

Beach and Pools – the beach is PERFECT! Clear blue water every day a little rough a few days but nothing major. The beach was always clean and we never had a problem getting a beach chair even though we didn’t make it out until early afternoon. A few days we left our stuff on the beach and would walk down the beach and our stuff was always there when we returned. If you walk down the beach to the right of the resort you will walk along the Palladium Resort property and then just after that is a local area called Playa Cortecito. When looking down the beach you will see some boats out in the water and that is right where Cortecito is located. Lots a little shops there that more or less sell the same stuff put it’s a nice little place to walk down to if you want to do some shopping. There is always plenty of security on the beaches so we felt safe enough to walk down the beach even at night to meet up with some local friends we had made.

Grounds – The upkeep of the grounds is amazing. They are always cleaning, trimming or sweeping something even if there doesn’t appear to be anything to work on. The entire resort is well kept and beautiful day and night.

Activities and Entertainment – The nightly shows are entertaining but after the first week we stopped going because they are the same every week. They also have vendor that come out to the resort every Friday selling the usual jewelry, paintings, cigar and things like that. There is a disco on the resort property – Mangu – that we went to every night and had a blast. The downstairs plays a variety of Spanish music and hip hop but if you go up stairs it is mostly techno music. It is open to everyone on the island including locals so it’s a great place to dance and meet new people. There are some people that go there just to find a tourist for whatever reason so just be smart about what you do. But we were there 3 weeks and never had a problem with anyone that we met. Some guys will push you do dance even after you said no but most respect what you say and will move on. Security is very tight at the club and they are very aware of what is going on at all times. The club doesn’t close until everyone is gone so we were there most nights until about 5am. There is an outside sitting area that you can go to if you want to chat or just sit and relax.

You can also walk out of the main entrance to the resort and there are some bars and shops around the area. We walked out one night after dinner and there are a few open air bars. The shops were all closed but there was still a bunch of people out on the streets. If you walk down to the right a little bit you will come across the Bavaro Princess Resort which has the Tower Casino.

Departure and Check Out – we left on July 29th and check out went very smooth. After checking out and paying the phone bill we went to breakfast before boarding the bus to head out to the airport.

Conclusion – I would and will return to this resort in a heartbeat. I will be more then happy to answer any questions anyone has just contact me at Jettibear78@aol.com.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Chrissy 

July 2008
Good and Bad - it was just "okay"

June 22nd - 29th (Air Transat)

Well, to start off, I have to say that I'm going to be completely honest about everything. This review may be long, and my standards are not extremely high, but overall I was not very impressed with this resort. Before I chose this hotel, I read the reviews, and for the most part they were negative. But, I decided I was going to try it out considering this was my 3rd time in Dominican and each time I like trying a new resort. I traveled with my Uncle, and this was his first time traveling to the Dominican. I don't think he got the best first impression of this beautiful country, especially going to this resort.

the ROOM: since we flew with Air Transat, we were in building 25, which is where the "Premium Club" members stayed. The room looked nice, and it was definitely cleaned daily and thoroughly, but we had some problems with it. Our floors in the room were soaking wet for hours at a time.(each day) Literally soaked - so slippery that someone could fall and break their neck. The bathroom was not so great; in major need of an upgrade. First of all, the shower water was medium to cold every day. The entire 8 days that we were there, we had about one hot shower each. Next, everytime one of us would shower, the floors all around the tub were soaking wet as well. Another downfall was that the patio door for the balcony did not lock. It seemed as if it was locked, but if you gave it a real pull, it would slide right open even with the "lock" in it. Other than that, the beds were comfy, and I didn't spend much time in the room anyways. The room keys did not work most of the time - and we had to switch them several times for new ones.

the BEACH: well, no complaints here whatsoever. The reason I travel to Punta Cana is for the magnificent beach. It's amazing! I went on this vacation to get away from stress, and this beach made that happen. The water is clear and turquoise - just like a postcard. The sand is white and you could walk along that beach for hours and hours. The water is also very warm.

the GROUNDS: the people cleaning and maintaining the grounds of this resort do an excellent job. They honestly never stop working - even in extreme heat. The grounds were very clean and nice, but unfortunately even from the exterior view, the buildings are in need of significant renovations. There were 3 pools - all very clean. My favourite was the one with the swim up bar! It's too bad the pools are only open until 7 p.m. This resort is huge. I've been to large resorts before, but this one is extremely big and does involve alot of walking. So if you're someone who is not interested in doing alot of walking, this resort probably would not be the best choice.

the DRINKS: the wine wasn't the best - but I personally am not a wine person. My favourite bars were the pool bar and lobby bar. I basically drank Tiki Tikis the whole time - I loved them! Their most popular drinks were: mai tai, sex on the beach, melissa, margarita, etc..

EXCURSIONS: I did one excursion - which was the 4wheeling (ATV). It was the best! For someone who is really interested in this kind of thing, I recommend this excursion. It was 45$ if you went with someone. It was well worth the money and the people I met on that trip were absolutely amazing! I met some people on that trip that I spent the rest of my week with! My Uncle did the Saona Island excursion and he seemed to have enjoyed that as well. I wish I would have went on it, but I didn't have enough time. Apparently that excursion is about 14 hours in total!

the WEATHER: was fantastic! We basically had 8 days of sun. There were a couple days where it would rain for about 5 minutes and then clear up. The temperature was about 35 Celcius and very humid. SPA: I recommend going to the spa located near the lobby on the resort. It is extremely relaxing and the prices weren't too bad. I got an hour and a half massage for 80$ and it was the best massage I have ever gotten.

the ENTERTAINMENT: was decent. There were nightly shows that were alright; I went to a couple of them. There were daily games and activities for children as well. The reason that there might not have been as much entertainment as I expected could be because it's "off-season".

the FOOD: I was not looking forward to this part of my review. This is the main reason why I rated this resort a 2 star. In my opinion, the food is one of THE most important parts of a vacation - especially the cleanliness of the food. There was a huge selection of food, especially at the 2 buffets, but I said I would be completely honest in this review and here it goes. My uncle has Ecoli poisoning, my friend that I spent almost my entire trip with now has Ecoli as well. Both of them were at the hospital a couple days after returning from this resort - they needed shots of Demerol and gravol and are extremely sick. I, myself, have stomach problems from the food too. I have been to 3 resorts in the Dominican and this is the first that I have ever experienced problems with food like this. I also read some other reviews about the same type of illness being caught from this particular resort. Overall, the people that I met made my trip worth while. I met SO many people and let me say that the local people - the workers - are the nicest people in the world. I hope my review helped you out.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Jack 

June 2008
This is just a general comments in no particular order. We visited the Occidental (not so Grand) Grand Flamenco, Punta Cana, from 11th June to 27th June and i can only presume that it was a different place than your Jason from Toronto was at, out of a party of 22 (wedding Party from Scotland) - 17 of us had stomach problems some more severe than others, you are hard pushed to find hot food, unless it is cooked in front of you which always had a queue, the choices were limited as they kept running out, and the salad was plentiful but always lying in a pool of water - from an unknown source. The whole place is so dated and badly maintained, after heavy rains the buildings were leaking all over the place (in the rooms and out). Although free the alcohol was dire and no international drinks were available (i.e. brand names) we would gladly have paid for it if it had been available. The ground staff worked very hard to keep the place clean, the beach was superb, the sun loungers were in really bad condition on the beach and at the pools (beware if you have back problems), the rooms were kept clean, and the fridge stocked if a tip was left, night entertainment was good and varied the entertainers worked hard with limited resources, all in all we would not go back to the same place but would try a different resort.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Jason 
Toronto
June 2008
Arrival and Flight
Air Transat June 6-13

Rooms
Clean, fresh, spacious. Beds were comfortable enough but don’t expect the Hilton. King bed is a king (not two twins pushed together). Plenty of room to store clothing (closet, drawers, shelves) and bathrooms were spacious. No bugs in room for the entire week. Lighting in bathroom not bright enough for hair or makeup, but again, good enough to get by. Sitting area and balcony very large. Over 75 channels on cable television.

Restaurants
Outstanding. Main buffet has an amazing variety and is not cheap with meats. Expect white-meat chicken, steaks, prime rib, and other expensive meats even at beach buffet and other restaurants. No cheap drumsticks or ground chuck here. Overall quality of food at all restaurants and a la carte (except for the Oriental which was not well liked) is superb. None of the five people in our group got sick or stomach cramps from undercooked meats or foods served in the danger zone. Salads, fruits, and vegetables were plentiful. Line-ups never lasted more than 3 or 4 minutes. Servers were friendly and accommodating. I would return to the Occidental Grand based on the quality of food alone.

Bars
Friendly and prompt service. However, beware of the following: if you order a Pina Colada or Daiquiri, you will receive a virgin drink. To receive an alcoholic beverage, you must order a Pina Colada “with rum” or a Daiquiri “with vodka”, as an example, if you wish. White house wine is fantastic but red house wine is horrible. I mean horrible.

Beach and Pools
The beaches of Punta Cana are world-class and are undisputedly the best in the Caribbean. Lush white sand, tall palm trees, and beautiful blue water all along the beach. The palm trees at night are lit at the Occidental and are wonderful to see. The pools are large and free-form but were cool at times if you were in the shade. No hot tub on the premises unless you are in the Royal Club (premier class).

Grounds
Well-kept, clean, safe. No issues. Buildings are a little aged but are homely and spread out closely together. Walks between the beach and the pool/buffet were not even 5 minutes. No need for shuttles to get from one point to another. Compact and pedestrian-friendly.

Activities and Entertainment
Plentiful. Nightly entertainment a blast.

Tours
Many available off the resort for an extra fee.

Departure and Check Out
Easy. Drop your keys off and go. Luggage storage available for free on day of departure and showers available at spa for free if your check-out is well before your flight. Conclusion A true 4-star property. Food was simply amazing and rivalled quality in Canadian restaurants. I never expected to see chicken breast, turkey, and prime rib. Service was exemplary and no complaints. Will be back!
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Leeann, Rick and Adam 
Labrador, Canada
June 2008
Arrival and Flight
Halifax May 3-17

Rooms
bldg 13

Restaurants
The buffet was good, lots to choose from, always lots of fresh fruit…. Definitely no complaints for the buffet.. we at at the Italian(not so good) pizza was great!!! We paid extra for the Royal Club and the restaurant alone was worth it.. yummy!! Breakfast at the Royal Club restaurant was slow so I wouldn’t suggest that but the buffet was great so it didn’t really matter

Bars
We paid extra for the Royal Club so we were supposed to have premium drinks… not!!! They had the bottles hidden under the counter, we did get bottled beer though and we are beer drinkers so it was ok. I am also a amber rum drinker and I was disappointed in the choices. Our usual bartender was less that happy to be working so I was also disappointed in her attitude. Our bartender at the swim up bar was awesome.. Alfredo rocked and the bartender at the lobby bar makes the best sour margaritas!!

Beach and Pools
Great as everyone else says.. the royal club chairs were excellent.

Grounds
Clean and beautiful

Tours
Saona Island sucks.. Outback Jungle Safari was ok, the marinarium was awesome(the one where you swim with nurse sharks and manta rays)

Departure and Check
Out When we got to the airport, there was no place to change our dominican money back to american or canadian which was very frustrating.. also they never took our Dominican money because they said they couldn’t change 1000 pesos.. come on that is rediculus… it’s only $30.. they had wadds of American and wouldn’t change it into American either….

Btw the hotel wouldn’t change our pesos either

Conclusion
I have been in the Dominican before and I was quite disappointed in the overall feeling of this trip, people were nice but not like I have experienced in other places. There were a couple of workers that stood out to me, but not a lot! I had the feeling of being ripped off where ever I went.. Rum was 16.00 american a bottle.. come on people, Cuban rum is only 6.00 a bottle for a litre. I will not be coming back to the Dominican!!
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
The Thompsons 
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 2008
This was our 7th visit to Punta Cana and the reviews do help us choose so here are our thoughts on the Occidental Grand:

We were there from May 3 – 10th, 2008. We flew with Air Transat which was organized and efficient both coming and going. We left an hour early on the flight home so if you are thinking of taking a taxi to the airport to avoid the 7:00 a.m. bus pick-up at your hotel just be aware the flight might be able to depart early if all passengers are there.

Clarification on Transat Premium and Royal Club. The Transat premium package does not mean you are in the Royal Club area. This means you cannot access the Club beach area, bar, pool, or private restaurant. Our travel agent at Selloffvacations.com told us we were Royal Club but that is not correct. What the Transat Premium package does give you is access to the larger rooms in buildings designated as “Transat Premium”, a separate check-in counter in the main lobby (but as only one person works it, the line up was actually longer than those non-Transat customers checking in at the front counter), there is no concierge service, the separate breakfast they describe is only a continental breakfast in the Homerun Sports Bar and not the private Royal Club Restaurant (so buffet is much better choice for your breakfast), a small bottle of rum upon arrival, and beach towels in your room each day. The 5 a la carte reservations you are guaranteed are given to you when you arrive – you have no choice in the time or days of the restaurants you want to visit. We had a large group of 27 and our days, restaurant choices, and times were all scattered so they were useless to us. When we tried to make changes they simply said there were no openings or if there were they could only accommodate 5 people. If you have a small group you might have more success trying to make changes.

Beach:
The beach in Punta Cana is second to none, regardless of the resort you stay in. Note: the area referred to as Bavaro Beach (Barcelo Bavaro Palace, etc) is sheltered by a reef so water very calm. But … in the Occidental Grand area waves were a constant and while we enjoyed them they were consistently strong enough to knock down small children or be difficult for elderly guests.

Pools:
Typical of Punta Cana resorts – large and clean. There are several seats at the swim up bar. Pools are not situated immediately on beach front so you could not slip easily from beach to pool and back again. They closed the pool closest to the beach mid-way through our stay to do maintenance and it was still closed when we left. We usually move from pool to beach but at the Occidental this was not as convenient so we primarily stayed on the beach.

Rooms:
The Transat Premium rooms are the largest and best appointed rooms we have experienced in Punta Cana – even larger than the Barcelo Bavaro Palace. All have King sized bed with a seating area separated by a large curtain. The seating area was a double pull out bed and had a mattress similar to a bed versus a pull out style. We heard from others in the non-Transat rooms and many were unhappy with accommodations as they only had 2 twin beds and when pulled together were not of same height!

Note: your room keys don’t work all the time and you will have to go up to the lobby to get new ones. Our group of 27 all had this experience at least 3 times during our visit!

Food:
The buffet was not as good as other resorts we stayed in but certainly there was always something edible. Breakfast in the buffet was excellent. We discovered after a few days the Taco and Pizza snack bars (walk up the outside winding white staircase) and both were incredible. We had Taco’s and pizza for supper at least 3 times! Unfortunately the Italian restaurant left only one person out of several able to eat their meal as the pasta was “soap” flavoured and none could eat it. This was a common complaint. The Brazilian is very good but note you cannot order steaks – there is no steakhouse at this resort. I suspect you might be able to get one at the Royal Club private dining room only. The Mexican was ok but you are better off eating the Taco’s.

We were disappointed by the a la carte’s. Over the past 7 years we have noticed a vast improvement in the food offered at both the buffets and the a la carte restaurants at Punta Cana resorts and we have become used to excellent meals at them. The Occidental does not measure up to the overall excellent food quality compared to other resorts in Punta Cana. But again, you could also eat Taco and Pizza which we did frequently. Note that the pizza served at lunch time is not the same as that served in the open-fired oven in the evenings by the Taco bar and so don’t get discouraged if you don’t like the pizza at lunch in the beach buffet!

Also note that they closed the main buffet for lunch after we were there 2 days because they said it was a slow time so we only had the beach buffet or the Homerun for lunch choices as the Taco and Pizza outlets only opened at 6:30 p.m.

There is one other food venue – called the Homerun or the Sports Bar. It is located directly above the swim-up pool. They serve fries, burgers, and salads. It is open all day but closes at 6:00 p.m.

Television:
You don’t need it on vacation but we always come to Punta Cana during NHL playoffs and it has become a tradition to watch games either in our rooms as a group or in the sports bar. We could not get the games at the Occidental in our rooms!! And as the Homerun Snack Bar closed at 6:00 p.m. we could not watch any games after 6:00 p.m.

Entertainment:
The stage show each night is standard for Punta Cana and we don’t watch any more but for first time travellers you should certainly grab a table and catch a show or two. We were extremely disappointed to learn that the lobby entertainment ceased the week before our arrival due to their slower season. So the reviews that state there is nightly dancing in the lobby only apply up until the end of April.

We were also disappointed that the disco did not open until midnight. We are not old – most of us are in our mid-40s and 50s but to try and stay awake until midnight and then get up at 7:00 a.m. to enjoy a full day of sunshine is not on the agenda. We did go to the Casino one night next door at the Princess and that was enjoyable.

We found Julio from the water sports outlet to be exceptional in helping us organize parasailing, snorkelling, banana boating, and a private sunset cruise. We paid $27.00 per person for a 3 hour cruise that included booze, snorkelling, swimming at the natural beach, and cruising with music and dancing and because we had 27 people we had the boat to ourselves so we were able to do what we wanted without offending anyone. There are much larger boats that take 100+ people but you will pay $80 per person (and get exactly what we did) so if you can get your own group together it is definitely worth the adventure.

People/Staff:
The nicest we have encountered in Punta Cana. Everyone was friendly and tried to help as best they could. We had absolutely no complaints in this regard.

Overall:
We had a wonderful time. Rooms were A+, Food was C - (Taco’s, Pizza and breakfast buffet were A+), entertainment in lobby was non-existent, beach A+, pools B+ only because of their distance from the beach. Would we return? The cost of $1068.00 per person plus tax was well worth what we received in value. However, we would likely pay the difference of $300 and go back to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace where we have golf included, a disco that starts at 10:00p.m. (and includes free drinks), a larger casino on sight, the ability to eat at more than 20 restaurants that mostly have excellent food, and the NHL playoffs any time we wanted to watch.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Megan 
Saint John, NB, CAN
May 2008
Hello Debbie
I have just returned from a trip to the Occidental Grand Punta Cana with two of my girlfriends. We had a wonderful time a few mishaps, but overall a great experience, so I thought I'd share my experience with anyone who plans on attending this resort. Arrival and Flight
Two of my friends I travelled from Saint John to Halifax on the bus and flew out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport, unfortunately we forgot to print off our hotel vouchers, so luckily we had 7 hrs to wait before our flight, so we found a security guard who was extremely helpful in finding us a printer to print off our vouchers. We did have to leave airport on a shuttle bus to the nearest hotel Quality Inn, where they let us use their business center for free, which was very generous of them, so we left the concierge a tip :)
When we returned back to the airport my friends and I played lots of cards, so I suggest if you have a wait its best to learn a few card games before you leave and bring a deck of cards.
Our boarding was quick & easy, the flight went by fairly fast, West Jet was lovely, they feed us and also served a light snack

Once arriving in Punta Cana airport we retrieved our luggage quick and easily and boarded the bus to our resort. There was other people on our bus going to different resorts, luckily we were dropped off first. On the bus ride the tour guide taught us some spanish words that would be ideal to know and also gave a round of Presidente, the local beer down there (with a charge of $4 US a bottle)

Rooms
When we arrived to the resort, we got there at 11:00 am, and we unable to check-in until 3pm. Our luggage was stored in a spare room our front of the resort. We were kind of uneasy about our valuables being taken away from us, but once seeing the beautiful resort you kind of forget about it. Unfortunately we had no idea what was going on, we tried to find a washroom to freshen up in. So note: Use the lobby washroom, don't run around the resort trying to find another washroom.

After getting freshen up we went and explored the grounds and hung out by the pool.
At around 2:30 pm we went to go see if we could check-in which we could. When we arrived to our room we were on the bottom floor. The rooms were very neat & clean, as well as very spacious. Since there was three of us girls we had three beds which was delightful, because no one really likes sharing a bed. However, I think we were suppose to be Premium Club which are buildings 23, 24, 25, we were put in 26 which is NOT Premium club, but the room met our needs so we didn't complain. Watch out

for little unwanted guest! We hadn't seen any lizards being there and on our last night we found a little gecko on the wall. Luckily my friend was a superstar a captured the little critter in ice bucket and threw it out of the room.

Also there was a lot of power outages, but this is to be expected. You are staying in a third world country, so please if you stay here, be accepting of these flaws, because honestly we saw a woman yell at one of the employees about this, and it wasn't his fault and there was really nothing he could do.

We also encountered a little setback at 5:30 am to our room flooding. One of the pipes on the back of the toilet busted and flooded our whole room. We just laughed it off and took tons of photos of it. We did go to the front desk to be moved to a new room. This was probably one of the worst moments of our trips and probably the only complaint we had, because the guy serving us at the reception desk was extremely rude! He laughed at our situation and when we started to become upset at the fact that he wouldn't do anything for us, he attacked us by saying we must be Canadians because were complaining so much. Finally after an hour and a half of arguing we finally ask another guy who worked out front driving golf carts if we could get a new room and seriously within 15 minutes we were in a new clean, dry room. I guess the language barrier has a lot to do with it, but also the fact that yes they are from a different lifestyle which is much more laidback than our Canadian lifestyle.

Restaurants
The restaurants were ok at best, if you are Premium Club you'll get 5 a la' carte reservations made for you. Unfortunately most of ours were at 6:30 pm and this wasn't great because we'd have to leave the beach at 4:00 pm so we'd have enough time for us three girls two shower and get ready for our dinner reservation. After eating at the Italian and Brazilian restaurant we decided we'd stick to the Buffet, which was very delicious and always something to be found to eat. However, the first night eating here we were a little uneasy at what we could actually eat, because we had all been warned don't eat the chicken or the beef. Everything is very suitable to eat, we had no problems at all. Everything was well cooked and delicious.

The snack bar by the swim up pool was always nice for lunch. Us girls went everyday around 12:00 pm, never had a problem with line ups until the last day, I guess some kind of Beach Party was happening that night so more people were at the resort. Again this snack bar was great, everyone was so friendly and helpful. Also one of the gentleman that worked there brought his cat to work everyday, so I always had a little friend to say Hi to when we went there. Yes I like my cats! lol..I missed my kitties from home :)

The Pizza and Taco restaurants were very well liked. We never tried the Taco bar, but friends that we met there said it was very delicious. For the Pizza restaurant, its open until 6:30am, which is great from drunken pizza after the Mangu! I highly suggest eating after drinking, or you may not make it out the next morning. ;) The pizza doesn't taste like home, the first time you try it you may not like it because the cheese tends to be a little runny, but seriously give it a try, it'll really grow on you.

Bars
The two main bars we went to were the one in the main lobby and by the theatre. Both are very friendly and fast! However, you really need to push yourself up to the bar or you won't be served for awhile. We would hangout by the Theatre bar while the shows were going on, and than move into the lobby bar later.
Tips $ were greatly appreciated, especially to the waitresses in the lobby, who serve drinks and pick up your empty glasses.

Beach and Pools
The beach is beyond words, we never ever had a problem finding a chair to sit on, but again we went in an off season, so if you go in March, I heard there is more trouble finding a seat on the beach, but in our case never a problem. Its much breezier on the beach, so don't be fooled that its not that hot WEAR LOTS OF SUNSCREEN!! I learned my lesson the hard way.
The beach has beautiful tall crisp blue waves, fine white sand, it truly beyond words.

Grounds
Very well maintained! These employees work very hard. Even after a rainstorm these men will be out sweeping away the water, so you don't have to walk through it.
The resort in itself is beautiful, definitely take lots of photos.

Activities and Entertainment
You will probably never we bored at this resort. They have a team call the Fun Club that have a schedule listed by the theatre they have planned activities all day that you can partake in. Unfortunately us girls were there to work on our tans, so we really didn't do many of the activities. We did however one day go for Spanish lessons. We were approached on the beach by one of the employees of Fun Club, so we decided to give it a try. They are all so enthusiastic! :) Its a really good time. For night time they have nightly shows at the theatre. Some are well worth it and others not so much! For the bad shows we mostly just stuck by the bar. Also try to partake in the skits, they are so much fun! My friend & I did karaoke one night, it was a lot of fun!

Also the MANGU is a must! They have the most interesting little characters running around there, there is a pimp, a little midget girl, and a Marilyn Munroe look alike. Its a lot of fun, if you like being cramped in a dance bar with techno music. We didn't go downstairs much, it was more of an older crowd with mambo music. It interesting though. Also, this bar doesn't close until everyone leaves so you can party all night!! Also

I suggest, bring cards would be a very good idea. Many rainy nights the girls and I would sit in the main lobby having drinks and playing cards.

Tours
For excursions, I had my heart set on swimming with the Dolphins, but after hearing about all the other excursions we decided to choose the Marine Resort where you snorkel with coral reef and tropical fish, than you move into a fenced in area with nurse sharks and stingrays! It was amazing!!! Def give it an A+! The cost was $83 US. After swimming you get back on the boat where you given a light snack and drinks, while also dancing to different songs! This was the party boat!! Def a lot of fun and totally put us into the party mood. You also get to swim in a natural bath pool which is about 4 ft deep, and you are served different kinds of alcoholic drinks. This excursion is probably more for the adventurous type, but there are plenty of others that were highly recommended. Such as the Rum Runners, were you get a look at the Dominican lifestyle and the Catamaran. We were going to do this one, since my friend did it the year before, but I guess I was looking for something a little more adventurous, so I preswaded the girls to go swimming with the sharks. They truly loved it!! :)

Departure and Check Out
As for checkout, this was a little bit of a mess. The night before we decided to pack our bags so we'd be ready for our early morning checkout at 6:30 am. However, we had a mishap the night before with a pipe bursting in our room and we had to switch rooms, which at this time we were very disorganized and had no idea where anything really was. Well this disorganization lead to my two friends misplacing their passports. They frantically looked every where but could not find their passports. No one working at the resort was helpful in trying to help them contact someone about this situation. Finally we got a hold of an emergency line with our travel agency Transat Holiday. This gentleman on the phone told them that a medicare card and drivers license would be suitable to board the plane, so at this time they stopped looking for their passports and we checkout quick and easily.

Once arriving to the airport we waited in line to check our luggage, when getting to the front of the line we were informed that medicare cards and driver licenses were not suitable to board the plane with, you need either a passport or your drivers license and birth certificate. Unfortunately, the girls didn't bring their birth certificates thinking they wouldn't need them since they had their passports. So I highly recommend bringing all the appropriate I.D, just in case.

Luckily there was our Transat travel agent at the airport trying to call different places to get the girls on that flight, but unfortunately it was West Jet that wouldn't let them on, so I had to board the plane alone and fly back to Halifax alone. The girls were very fortunate to find their passports hidden in their luggage and boarded a later plane that night out of Punta Cana.

Conclusion
Overall, this trip was quite an experience we had a lot of ups and downs, such as not having our hotel vouchers, the power outages, the flood in our room, the little extra guest we found in our room the last night, and the girls losing their passports, but at the end of the day we wouldn't change anything! These little troubles are what make the trip so memorable, if everything went smoothly, what is the fun in that. The girls and I have so many stories to tell, unfortunately you do have to be a certain kind of person to accept all these minor flaws, we are all fairly laid back, so it was more funny once we made it through these troubles. But truly we wouldn't have changed a thing! This trip was def a 10 out of 10!!
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Carol 

May 2008
Just returned from Punta Cana May 3, 2008 stayed at the Occidental Grand.

This was our 6th visit to Punta Cana, we always stay at a different resort this year it just happened to be the Occidental.

When we first arrived I was very impressed the grounds are beautiful and our room was very nice. I even told my husband that maybe the hotel should be upgraded to more than a 4. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!

We arrived on April 26th on Sunday 27th we came from the beach to have lunch, no power no water in the restrooms, they had large tubs of water for people to wash their hands, if you had to use the bath room they got really gross very quickly! Power & water restored after about 5 hours. I figured okay so the problem was temporary I WAS WRONG AGAIN!! On Monday the same thing again, Tuesday was even worse, we had no power in our building for over 24 hrs. After being on the beach all day and the public restrooms having no power & no water, we went to our rooms to shower and get ready for dinner. Well imagine your surprise when you have only bottle water and no power. At about 10pm on Tuesday night they gave us a room in other building they said the transformer had blown and they would have it fixed by noon the next day. We took the key and went to the assigned room, when we entered the room it was already occupied, I was just glad that no one was home! So we went back down to get another room when we got to the next room it had not been updated in years, the good thing is we did have water however. it was all over the bathroom floor the toilet leaked! Thank God that by 4 pm not 12pm the next day we were back in our original room. On Friday night we had rain and I was very happy that I only had shoes sitting on the one side of the room as the ceiling in our original room leaked!! This hotel has some definite maintenance problems. I would not recommend that you stay there!

As I said before this was our 6th visit to Punta Cana, in all of our visits only one other time did we encounter a problem with the power and that was after a rain for only a few minutes. So if you go and I would say go to Punta Cana don’t stay at the Occidental Grand! We hav

e stayed at the Riu Palace Maccao, The Majestic Colonial, Bavaro Palace, Bavaro Beach & Secrets (now Dreams)

We had good to great accommodations at the other resorts.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Geraldine 

May 2008
Just returned from a glorioius one wk stay at the Occidental Grand Punta Cana. Very Very Clean. Staff was friendly and helpful. They love Canadians. The buffett was great, even for picky eaters, we could always find something normal like turkey, fried chicken, salads, rice, pasta. It was great and everything didn't taste the same as on some of the resorts I've been.

A couple of small things, like our complimentary bottle of rum never did show up, even after mentioning to our AirTransat rep twice. As well, the couple travelling with us had a phone that did not work and complained many times, but it never did get fixed or replaced.

All in all it was a great trip, and Yes, the beach is the best one ever!
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Hillary 
New York
April 2008
I just returned from two weeks at the Occidental Grand Flamenco Hotel. After reading terrible review after terrible review I was really nervous that the place would be awful. I couldn't have been more wrong!

First off, the beautiful beach and weather would have made my vacation alone. When we first arrived we received a 1st floor room, but it smelled slightly like mildew so we asked to be changed. We were changed the next day without a problem to a second floor room. The rooms were gorgeous, spacious, and well maintained.

My family and I traveled with Air Transat, which is a "Premium Package". This simply means that there is a special roped off area on the beach just for Premium members so that you do not have to fight for chairs as much. There was also a special breakfast place for Premium Members, but we preffered the buffet. The final difference was that premium members are located in four designated buildings, for whatever reason.

I read multiple reviews that complained about no hot water and power outages. The reality of that situation is that the Dominican is a third world country, it's not the United States! In my fourteen day stay, I might have taken two or three cold showers, and the power went out twice. This is only because the island has more demand for power than it can actually supply, therefore these incidents are common. Personally, this didn't affect me in the least because please--who wants to spend time in your room when you could be outside enjoying the beautiful weather?

As far as food went, the buffet was excellent. We also enjoyed the Oriental Restaurant, but we much preferred to serve ourselves as the food wasn't anything special in the restaurants.

As far as nightlife goes, I have one word: MANGU! Disco Mangu is currently the number one club in Punta Cana, and arguably the best in the entire Dominican! The first floor was modern hip-hop, reggaeton, merengue, and a few other genres. The top floor was techno/house music--both were exceptional.

I also heard many complaints of the staff not speaking enough English. Having traveled into the country to the real Dominican and seeing the schooling, I'm surprised that they can speak English at all! However, everyone I spoke to knew English very well except for a few bartenders. Some staff members even went as far as to try to help me learn and improve my Spanish. The staff is truly wonderful.

In conclusion:
I would recommend this hotel to anyone! If you're thinking of traveling to Punta Cana, the Occidental Grand Flamenco is an excellent choice!
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Tony 

April 2008
We have just returned from a stay at the Occidental Grand in Punta Cana. As this is one of our many visits to the area, we feel qualified in commenting on this resort. Our stay was in the premium club with Air Transat.Our objective was to relax on the beach and just veg out, as we have done most of the day trips offered.

Flying on West Jet is a Dream. The Air Transat staff seemed to always be late and would apologize constantly. Told them to allow more time for meetings.

The hotel was very clean with friendly staff for the most part. Food in general was ok but we have been used to more variety in similar resorts. I found that when ordering drinks from the bars (not in a rush) that certain bartenders spent as much time doing shooters as they were working.

The room was clean and neat but the showers were terrible with little or no water pressure.

A trip to the Oriental restaurant was as follows:
1. seating at table for 9:00 and had to be shared( no problem very nice girls for company)
2. water in glass 9:30 with order taken at 10:00
3. food arrives at 10:40
4. exit at 11:00 before dessert arrives

Before you pass judgment read on.

A trip to Italian restaurant (which was busier) as follows:
1. seating at 6:30 with wine and water at 6:35
2. meal arrived at 7:00 after entries
3. desert including liqueurs at 7:30
4. left large tip with handshake at 9:00

As I run my own business, I know the value of good service and product, and would not rate this as a 4.5 star. Maybe a 4?.

My advice for you would be to spend a few more dollars and stay at the Bahai Principe and see what a difference there is. You get what you pay for.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Bryan 

April 2008
I stayed April 4th through April 8th and I must admit I have read others reviews and this being my first vacation in a long time plus leaving the states. I could not have been more pleased. The staff is so friendly, the rooms are clean and great. I too stayed on the ground floor and the balcony was very spacious. It's a great location if you want a little of relaxing, fun and sun. Be back in October 08 for a longer stay. One more thing, if your worried about the food, trust me no worries on this resort. The Lobster House Private dinning was more than one could expect and truly private.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Rebecca 

April 2008
I had the pleasure of staying at the Occidental Grand Punta Cana from March 25 to April 1. I arranged my vacation through Air Canada Vacations.

Check-in
As I was staying in the Royal Club, when I got to the resort my luggage and I were whisked away to the Royal Club reception. Check-in was quick and efficient.

Room
My room was spacious and clean and the bed was very comfortable. I was on the ground floor, so I had a terrace. The terrace was also quite spacious and surrounded by lovely greenery. My room was kept very clean. The maids would come in and clean it in the morning after I'd gone out, and would return again while I was out for supper to check my room for fresh towels and to turn down my bed for me. The fridge was always stocked with a variety of beverages, and all I did was leave a note for the maid if I wanted more of something. The bathroom had a tub and a separate shower. The bathtub looked like it had seen better days, but it didn't bother me because the shower was just fine. If I wanted to have a bit of a soak, I just went for a swim in the pool, which was nice and warm. The maids really appreciate a tip. Every day I left $1 and a small gift for her, and on the last day I left a bit larger of a tip because my room was always kept in tiptop shape.

Restaurants
The first day I tried the Home Rum Snack Bar. The food wasn't stellar, but it was quick and suited its purpose at the time. In the evening, I walked down to the main buffet. There was lots of choice, and what I tried was good. The next day, I went to the restaurant at the Royal Club. The food was fantastic and the service so friendly that it's where I ate from then on in. They were very accommodating to someone who was there all by herself. Their English wasn't perfect, but I had no problems communicating what I wanted or needed, especially since I have a nut allergy. I can't comment on the Beach Club or the a la carte restaurants, as I didn't feel the need to try them out.

Beach
The beach was absolutely beautiful and well-groomed. Every morning someone raked the sand and made sure that it was tidy. Empty cups and water bottles were collected regularly. Guests staying at the Royal Club had their own area roped off and had nice, cushioned beach chairs. There was plenty of shade if you had too much of the sun. It also had it's own bar that was exclusively for the use of Royal Club guests. The bartending staff was always friendly. I'm not much of a drinker, but I did enjoy my fair share of pina coladas.

Pools
I really only swam in the pool at the Royal Club, but I took walks around the whole resort and saw that the pools were all clean, well-maintained, and conveniently located.

Activities and Entertainment

There were lots of activities if you found yourself bored with just lounging around on the beach reading. I was provided with a schedule of activities when I checked in. However, for the most part, I was quite content to sprawl out on a lounge chair and read for almost my entire stay. There was nightly entertainment, which I hear was good, but I was so wiped out by the sun that I was in bed by 10 p.m. almost every night, which was when the nightly shows began.

Tours
I went on the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure full day tour, which is $85 US if you arrange it through your hotel. It was a lot of fun and I met many interesting people and got a chance to see a bit of the Dominican Republic outside of the resort. Pipo, our tour guide, was very entertaining. The one place that I was looking forward to was seeing a school. If you bring supplies to donate to the school, you are able to go in and meet the teacher(s) and see the classrooms. Check out the "Giving Back" section of the Bavaro Runners website to see what kinds of things schools need. If you arrange your tour online, there is a bit of a discount.

I also went to Manati Park to swim with the dolphins. It was about 10 minutes and was in a pool, but it was really neat to be able to touch the dolphins. The rest of the park was lovely. You could walk around and see different kinds of animals and there were shows a couple of times a day, including a horse show, a bird show, a dolphin and sea lion show, and a recreation of a Taino dance in the replica Taino village. The package for swimming with the dolphins was $85 US, but it is much cheaper if you just want entry into the park to take a look around. A very colourful bus picks you up at your resort. You can catch another bus back at fairly regular 2-hour intervals.

Shopping
The shops on the resort are a bit more expensive and prices are not really up for negotiation. I took a morning to walk to the market outside of the resort. Most of the shops had pretty much the same thing, and you can haggle there. The shopkeepers can be quite aggressive, so it's not for everyone . . . and it's better to go with someone else, as I had a rather unpleasant experience with a shopkeeper who tried to get frisky and much to personal with me when I was in his shop alone. I think the best purchases I made were when I went on the Bavaro Runners tour. I also made an arrangement to be picked up to go to a shop called L'Torpedo, where they sell quality larimar and amber jewelry, as well as cigars. I also picked up some flavoured rum and coffee while I was there. The prices aren't cheap, cheap, but you were guaranteed that what you got was the real thing.

Overall
I had an absolutely wonderful time and definitely plan on returning. It was the best thing I've done in a very long time. Next year, my mom and I will probably go. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxing time. I particularly recommend the Royal Club.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Norma 
Moncton NB
March 2008
On march 1st to march 12 we stayed at occidental grand Punta Cana. We were 8 and we totally loved this Resort. The food, the pool, the beach and the Disco were all that we wanted. We had had a great time. You can e-mail me for more details.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Auley and Lesley 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
March 2008
Arrival & Flight: Dorval airport was a nightmare, leaving home at 4 am to make the flight for 6.45 am. Made the flight with not much time to spare! Flight just under 4.5 hrs – PC airport beautiful. Only problem was, this being our first trip to the Caribbean, I had not booked a ‘package’ so there was no transport waiting for us when we got there. Had to take a taxi there and back. We arrived at the resort around 1 pm but our room was only available at 3 pm. So we relaxed in the bar. Finally, at 4 pm our room was ready. This was the biggest problem we had, waiting for our room. Maybe our flight time had something to do with this as check-in is supposed to be at 3 pm. The key for the safe has been increased to $25 but well worth it. Now, a quick change and headed for the beach to take a look! No disappointment there. Beach is wonderful with soft, white sand. Lots of people but plenty of room.

Rooms: The room was just as the pictures show it on the website. Spacious, with a king-size bed, and very clean. We were on the ground floor in Edifice 24, 5 mins from the beach or the main lobby area. The toilet did run occasionally, but a little playing around in the tank and the problem was solved. No complaints about the room at all. I left gift bags on the bed every morning for the maid as we were told that things are hard for them to find and they don’t make very much money. Toiletries, hair accessories, perfume.

Restaurants: Lots to choose from. We did them all. We especially enjoyed the Mexican and Oriental. As it was our anniversary while we were there, we went to the Lobster House for supper that evening. Yummy! (BTW, where the beach buffet is during the day, it then transforms into the Lobster House in the evening! We spent 3 hours walking the beach that day looking for it, only to find that it was on the property!) There is also the pizzeria and taco house for night-time eaters. We had breakfast daily at the buffet, and a couple of suppers, and there is so much food! Something for everybody. Also, at the restaurants, you CAN drink the water they provide. It’s the tap water you can’t drink.

Bars: The two main bars are in the lobby and at the beach. Such friendly bar staff and the waitresses just as friendly. Give good tips and you’ll never be thirsty! They work hard to please with constant smiles on their faces. That goes for all the staff. So happy and eager to please. “Hola” to everyone they meet. Be warned about the guys that greet you in the resort, constantly. They are looking for time-sharers! We did get sucked in for a meeting, and learnt from that. However, did get a tour of the Royal Club etc, but found it too stuffy and boring for what we wanted.

Grounds: Exceptionally clean. But do be warned, it only rains for about 5 mins in the evening, and it rains! but the grounds can be slippery right after. The grounds crew dry them off pretty fast, but still slippery right after.

Activities: There are dance lessons daily down at the beach, along with beach aerobics, volleyball etc. Fun to just watch or take part in. Every night there was a show, some of which we watched which were absolutely incredible. The work that they put into it and the costumes! Amazing. I took so many videos. After the show, they all come back into the lobby and there would be dancing, or karaoke. Always something going on. Just a wonderful, ‘family-feeling’ atmosphere. You really feel like you belong there.

Tours: We didn’t do any excursions this time. Just wanted to relax, and that we did! We did, however, do the parasailing which was awesome. Definitely want to do the banana boat next time.

Departure: Except for the fact that we had to take a taxi back to PC Airport, everything went to plan. Except to arrive back in Montreal in shorts, with snow everywhere!

Conclusion: Starting to plan our next trip to the same place. Does that tell it all? We thoroughly enjoyed it and it was just what we needed. Before we left, we were trying to find fault with something, but there wasn’t anything that we could come up with. It is a perfect place for a restful, relaxing vacation. Would definitely recommend it. Any questions or information needed, send me an email at lesauley@videotron.ca.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Rob-Roy 
Nova Scotia
March 2008
Arrival & Flight: Departing Halifax was a tad slow due to maintenance issues. Flight was fine. Busy day at PC airport, but finding bus was quick. Transfer to hotel speedy and check-in was fast and smooth.

Rooms: Typical 3-storey resort buildings. Our room was in Building 12, just over half-way to the beach. This was a very quiet building, something to consider if you travel with two children (as did we) and want to get them to sleep on-time! Although our agent and brochure said "two-beds" the room had one queen and one pull-out couch (a twin bed is available on request). No problem though, as we are low-maintenance. After all the room is NOT whre you want to be on vacation. By other's account, it seems that the premiere rooms services are just slightly above regular room services, while the Royal club is much superior for those that need more catering or amenities. Some rooms have been recently renovated. Ours was basic, fine enough but perhaps not at the level of 4.5 stars. No problems though, nice and clean building.

Restaurants: Plenty to choose from. The buffet was fine, somethings were great, most were at least average. Always easy to find something suitable at nicer resort when choosing the buffet, the OGF is no exception. The beach buffet is only average. The a-la-cartes are not something our kids typically enjoy...so we stuck with buffets mainly. The Mexican appears to receive praise, however. Once again the Royal Club offers higher service and was well talked about on the volleyball courts! The evening grills on the terrace offer fantastic fajitas and pizza...great for those late-time munchers.

Bars: Plenty of them, very popular. Exceptionally fast and cheerful service and the bartenders appreciate small tips! Juan Carlos at the beach bar was the busiest man around, but always had a smile and a handshake for us. Lobby bar in the evening was a pleasant place to gather and meet other tourists. -Beach and Pools: Beautiful beach, well groomed, kept very clean. Lots of loungers and towel service is efficient. Great and very safe beach for walking with markets about 30-45 minutes in either direction. Pools are clean, free-form and the kids loved them. Nice resort for those of us that enjoy sand, sun and water activity.

Grounds: Well groomed trees, clean paths and nicely painted and clean building exteriors. A pretty-loking resort.

Activities: Always something to please you. Julio on the beach is a fun guy to arrange Para-sailing, etc. with. We enjoy kayaking, banana-boating and so on. Easy to book anything you enjoy...3-person para-sailing was a blast. Great beach and pool activities...nice mix for kids and adults.

Tours: Lots available. As this was our 5th trip here, we generally beached-it.

Departure: Efficient, quick check-out. Tranfer to airport and departure fast and check-in went smoothly.

Conclusion: Fantastic resort for beach-lovers, for those wanting to relax or to play a little and to have a cocktail and put a few pounds on. No hesitation recommending the OGF to anyone of any age. It was our fifth Dominican trip, and the beach in front of this resort is the best we've seen. Consider the Royal club if you need pampering but overall this was a great vacation.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Judy and Graham 
Pubnico. Nova Scotia
March 2008
Rooms - Super, clean and bottle of rum and fresh fruit in room on arrival,quick baggage delivery to our rooms. Each of us a pair of slippers and robes, cool drinks keep up everyday in room fridge, beach towels refreshed daily,all round cared for to the best.

Restaurants - we only dined at one of the five restauart as we like the buffet and easy to go to after a beach day.ate at main buffet for breakast and evening meal, lunch at beach buffet all food was enjoyable and alot to chose from.The beach buffet there was a young man name Lewis, what a great waiter, friendly , never missed aday making us feel special.Also at the evening buffet there was also Robinison, cool guy and could ask for better service.

Bars - We are not big drinkers but what we did try was great, staff always friendly.

Beach and Pools - Beach was great, had to go early to mark chairs for the day, but that was fine, worth it to get a hut as my husband isn't a sun nut like my self.The club guys and girls worked very hard at keeping us entertained,they deserve a great big applause A, we became very fond of Yasmal, wish our trip would have lasted longer.Pool was very close to our room so was always nice to take a refreshing dip on our way back from the beach at the end of our day, always clean.

Grounds - Well kept, clean and well lite at night time.

Activities - Totally amazing, beach , pool activites, the club sure make your stay fun, they all seem to love and take great pride in there jobs, the long days and hours never seemed to be a problem with any of them, dance, party, smiles full time. Please give them special thanks from us. Miss you Yasnal.

Tours - Only did Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure,day trip, very nice way to see some of Punta Cana, our guide " Mini Me" and "Rafael" was awsome, kept us on the edge of our seat,I would tell everyone to join this tour.

Conclusion - Just Wonderful, Wouldn't change a thing, thanks to everyone, from check in to check out and all in between.
Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana
Tammy and Larry  
Nova Scotia
March 2008
Arrival - We arrived shortly after 9pm and everything went like clock work. Customs was a breeze and our luggage arrived shortly after. Next we located our rep who gave us our Bus number. Upon finding our bus which was simple enough we were taken to the resort where check in was prompt and easy.

Rooms - The room was just as shown on the internet. Clean ready and waiting for us. No Complaints, everything was great and kept that way all week.

Restaurants - We had reservations for 5 of restaurant but due to a picky husband we only tried a few and setteled for the buffet. The buffet was great and had lots to fill the fussy one. We usally ate at the beach buffet at lunch and the main one for breakfast and supper. At night the Pizza place was a regular beacuse it was the best.

Bars - As we don't drink we can only say the drinks we had were good and always cold.

Beach and Pools - The beach was the best part for us and we went swimming every day. Most people saved their chairs early but we always were able to get chairs if we looked hard enough.

Grounds - Grounds were clean and well kept. We saw very few bugs and never had a problem with any.

Activities - We took in the nightly shows and enjoyed them all. The Michael Jackson show was the best of all. Hats off to all the performers and keep up the good work.

Tours - I would recomend the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure and had a blast. Denillo was the greatest guide and had a full day but never a dull moment. Everyone should take the tour,if you do nothing else.

Conclusion - This was our first trip to the Dominican, but not the last. I would not have a problem staying here again and planning for next year already.