Old Reviews - Punta Cana Princess All-Suites & Spa
Punta Cana Princess
Mike & Cyndie Winthrop, Maine, USA
Arrival: November 4 to November 14, 2008
My girlfriend, Cyndie and I, (The Maineacs), just returned from another super fantastic vacation to the Dominican Republic, this time at Punta Cana Princess, Nov. 4 to Nov. 14. This was our ninth trip to the DR, and 2nd time to a Princess Resort (1st was Bavaro Princess).. First year at the Iberostar Costa Dorado in Puerta Plata, second year at Bavarro Princess in Punta Cana, third year at the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus in Bayahibe, fourth year at the Iberostar Punta Cana. Fifth year at Casa del Mar. Sixth year at Sunscape the Beach. Seventh year at Punta Cana Grand. Eight year at Casa del Mar. Read on to get some pointers on the resort. Thanks to all who gave input in helping us decide where to go (Especially Lea).
We are from Maine, and our trip departed from Boston on American Airlines. We took the bus from Portland, ME and it drops you off right at your terminal. Worked out great Our vacation was booked through Vacation Travel Mart, and Beth Miller again found us the best deal anywhere, for the ninth straight year. No one has come close to their prices, plus you accumulate mileage, which we will use next year for our 2nd free trip!!!!!!!
We were able to use the check-in kiosk at Logan and it took us 5 minutes to check in. Glad we didn't get to the airport 2 hours ahead of time. Flight down was thru San Juan and flight back was thru JFK. Flights were all on time.
Arrival in DR
Arrived in Punta Cana and we were met by our tour representative from Caribe. Had one other couple on our van and we dropped them off first, Took about 30 minutes. Nice new van.
No wait whatsoever. No large tour (Apple, etc.) was checking in. No greeting drink!! Who cares. I had a drink in my had from the lobby bar right away. No charge for room safe - yeah!!! We thought we had VIP but I didn't ask then. We were on 3rd floor of Bldg. 4 facing pool and ocean. Fantastic room and view. Cathedral ceiling. Luggage was whisked away to our room, and by the time we arrived at our room the bags were right behind. As to VIP, the only thing I cared about was the gourmet dinner at La Cava and the internet access.
Room was fantastic. AC worked great, always on - they had a card in the wall switch. The best hot water and water pressure of all our trips to date. Coffee pot in room. Everything was perfect. No bugs. When I saw that there were no bottles of liquor I figured out that there must have been a mix-up. Later that night I emailed Beth miller at Vacation Travel Mart telling her that I thought we didn't get VIP. The next day our room phone rings and it is Beth!!! She had called the front desk and corrected the mix-up and we had our VIP. She also said that because of the mix-up she bought us a private dinner on the beach!!!!! Talk about fantastic service. None better!!!!!They were all set to move us into Bldg. 5, etc., but we were all settled and we loved our room. We went to the front desk and tols them we were all set, and they gave us our new wrist bands, and cards for massage, inernet and gourmet dinner. We were all set!!!!!!!
Restaurants and Bars:
The best food overall that we have had to date. Buffet was great. Seafood night was super. Fantastic fish and sushi. We probably ate half of our dinners at the buffet, it was that good. The ala carte restaurants!!!! Since you didn't have to sign up to eat there, and you could eat there as many times as you like, this made for great dining. We didn't find a bad thing to say about any of them.
(Mexican) - Great. As other have said - the filet, the filet, the filet!!!!!!!!!!!!! And many margaritas!!!
(Gourmet) La Cava (next door at Caribe) - Maybe the best ala cart restaurant for food and atmosphere that we have ever had in the Dominican Republic. It is like going into a wine cellar. Food was exquisite. I had snapper and Cyndie had duck (quack, quack). Just fantastic
(Seafood) mare Nostrum - This was also great. The appetizer was to die for. Very simple. Shrimp broiled in a butter sauce. We were there asking for more bread so we could sop up the remaining butter sauce. We definetly took an extra cholestrol pill that night!!
Dinner on the beach/wedding gazebo!!!!! About as goog as it gets. Appetizer was again simple but delicious. Large avacado filled with shrimp with a Romalade (sp?) Sauce. We almost got filled just eating that. Then we had steak (filet) and lobster. Great bottle of wine, or was it two??
Julius (Julio) Caesar was our waiter. Great guy. He also worked lunch and dinner at Mare Nostrum.
Had a great beach party on Tues?? It was all great but they had all the food on tables in one long line, which made for a long line of people waiting. If they had it broken up in stations then it would have been better.
What can I say. Anything and everything you want - just ask. Top shelf drinks aren't a high priority for us, but when it is available, we will and did partake. Caiprinha's. and many Manhattan's ;-) Had any drink or liquor that you could think of. If you thought the drinks were too weak, just ask for more "ron". They will give it to you with a smile.
Met a nice gentlemen from Toronto(via England) at the lobby bar and he was sipping on a Scotch. So asked him what kind, he said Johnny Walker Black, and I said that sounds great. So I was sipping on many of these the rest of our stay.
As many of you know, you can walk for miles to the left or right. Not as calm and clear as CDM, but always kept clean. Did miss the snorkeling somewhat, but we became "pool Maineacs" for this trip. No major problems getting a palapa or bed if you wanted. We didn't use a bed at all. I was in the water (pool bar) all the time Always stayed at the palapa closest to the pool bar.
It was fantastic and large with sloped gradual entry at each end. Brought our own floats. Nelson at the pool bar was the best. Every time I would turn around he would have another drink ready for me. What a guy!!!!!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Everyone was wonderful, friendly, and always going out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. Maids were great. Fridge always restocked each day.
Animation team. They were great kids, but with this being an adults only, they could do without the constant chatter. Also at night in the lobby, they would show up and try and entertain. One night they had a piano player/singer which was great, and another night they had a band and singers which was great. Until the animation team would get involved and try to sing BADLY.. If they just kept the piano player and band it would have been great. Never made it next door for entertainment. We were there to relax and unwind, and we did.
Hi to all the people we met from afar Okla., Canada (all over - especially Palsmom), PA, England, and Ireland. I think we Americans were in the minority, which is fine with us. It lets us meet more people from away.
No problem at the airport. Flew through JFK, We arrived back late in Boston and we stayed at a local hotel, and took the bus back to cold Maine the next morning.
So sad to leave. We would go back to this resort in a minute. Maybe even next year!!
Overall it was another fantastic trip to the DR. We never made it to any of the local bars to meet up with some of you. We just vegged out and lost all sense of time. We were on vacation to decompress, and we surely did that. As usual, please email or PM us if you have any questions. Photos will be up in a couple of weeks on Webshots. email@example.com
Punta Cana Princess
Mary & Jeff Columbus, Wisconsin, USA
We went from July 11 to July 18, 2008
This is kind of a long review - but I really wanted to give as much info as possible. We had read reviews on line and everyone has a different insight.
We chose this resort because it was adults only! Do have my own family child care and have kids everyday. This was a great resort for us. If you want to get your kid fix go to the sister resorts. We walked thru the sister resorts and were glad to get back to a small quite area.
Arrival and Flight
We had an early flight out of Chicago 8:00 a.m. but could not get a direct flight so we had to go to San Juan 4 1/2 hours flight, had a couple hour lay over then on to Punta Cana. We arrived at the airport about 5 p.m. It was a long day.
I had read online about the "bus boys" taking your luggage and wanting a tip. So we just said no and carried our luggage around the corner and found our travel rep. If you didn't know any better you would be sucked into this gimmick.
Had a great rep and were on the road right away. Since it was the end of the day he had to get to a bus stop, so the driver took the long way around and we got to see the sights of Punta Cana away from the resorts right away. What a poor country. The roads are terrible and I would never rent a vehicle to try and drive around there. They are crazy drivers! Most people are on small motorcycles/mopeds, some times 3 people to bike. We even saw a family of 5 on a bike!!!! It was an experience just driving to the resort.
Got to the resort and check in was fast, got a nice cold drink and cold wash cloth. Then off to our room. I had requested building #5. It was closest to the beach, farthest from the lobby, about a 5 minute walk. Our luggage arrived about 5 minutes after we got to the room.
We were on the ground floor overlooking the pool. This was ok with us. If you want to see the beachocean you'll need to be on the 2nd or 3rd floors. The ground floor rooms do have a musty smell when you walk in but you get used to it. I did take a candle to help with the smell. Another couple on the 2nd floor said that they didn't have any smell.
After seeing the resort I believe that all the buildings were in good locations for getting around the area.
There could be some updating but overall we were happy with the room.
Our last night there we had toliet trouble. I went to the lobby to report this (10:30 p.m.) walked back to the room and a repairman was there within 5 minutes and had it fixed within a 1/2 hour.
It was very hot and humid while we were there and all our clothes got damp and never really dryed.
The maids kept things cleaned up. We left small tips daily.
My husband and I are not picky eaters and were interested in trying new foods.
The food is different tasting then the States. If you are picky you still should be able to survive.
We ate breakfast in the buffet everyday. Huge assortment for breakfast.
Tex Mex - steak house - was ok, steak sure was different but really can't complain. The air conditioner was not working that night and it was very hot in there!
La Petite Fondue - this was interesting eating here. We had to wait about 45 minutes but it was worth it. Depending on what you order you get a fondue pot with cheese/or oil for cooking. We had a shimp plate and then assorted meat tray. It was a fun time. But might not be for some picky people or those in a hurry.
II Bacio - Itailian - I was'T too sure about eating here as I need to stay away from pasta. But the food was great. Again, a very different menu and different tasting but good.
Mare Nostrom - near the beach area - we had lunch here. We happened to be there when they just started grilling outside. So we had fresh meat, but I would be very careful if you come later in the afternoon as you don't know how long the raw meat has been out.
We eat several dinners at the buffet area and were never disappointed.
We had no problem at all with the service. We did leave small tips at each meal but it didn't make any difference in the service we got.
There was a bar in the lounge, at the pool, near the beach and on the beach.
Service was great.
We paid for the VIP (premium booze) we had to ask for it. But it really didn't make much difference. We tried just about every drink you could think of!
The bartenders were great and did remember you!
The "butler" service on the beach was not there very often but it was just a short walk to the beach bar.
Beach and Pools
Both areas were clean and great!
We had no trouble at all with getting a lounge chair or a beach bed.
We did not even have to get up early and save a spot.
It was a very quite time so maybe at peak vacations times you might have trouble.
Very clean and beautiful
Activities and Entertainment
The Entertainment team really tried to get the peo ple involved.
If you weren't interested they left you alone.
We had some younger crowds (20's & 30"s) there and they had a great time and it was entertaining just watching them.
After 6:00 p.m. it dies down and you might want to go to the sister resorts for more entertainment .
Each night about 9:30 there was some entertainment in the lobby - we visited a couple of nights and enjoyed it.
We did go to the Caribe resort one night and then took the shuttle to the Casino.
Casino was very clean and nice but very small selection of machines. I broke even and my husband lost $60.00. Don't plan on winning alot of money.
We planned on going to the Disco but it didn't open until 11:00
We were usually beat by night and it really didn't bother us if there was no night life.
BUT, you can make it what ever you want. There is always something going on near by.
We took the Bavaro Splash trip - this was a small speed boat - 2 person - which my husband drove. We went out to an area where the company had set up for snorkeling. This was a great time! My husband had never snorkeled and loved it!
We also did the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure day tour. This was a long day but very interesting. We had a great group of people on our bus and everyone was entertained. We had a short horseback ride, toured a school, local home, cocoa/coffee plantation/sugarcane field, one man cigar factory, eat lunch then went to a beach. The ride was very bumpy (bad roads) and lots of driving around seeing the countryside. The beach area needed to be cleaned up but the water was beautiful. Over all it was a good day and would recommend this trip if you want to see the area.
We also took the ATV ride. This was OK. I don't think I would do it again. The trail area was the same location as part of the day tour. The trails were very bumpy/rocky and not enjoyable for me. We also drove threw a garbage pit, which I thought they could have kept off the trails. We ended up on the same beach as the day tour but there was no area to change into a swimming suit so we missed out cooling off.
You will need to add atleast 1 hour on the beginning of your tours for pick up time and 1 hour for drop off times.
You will be picking/dropping off at other resorts.
This made for a long day and could cut into your relaxing beach time!
Departure and Check Out
I really don't know how you can not have a great time here. It is what you make of it.
Note:We did speak to one young man who was supposed to have company from another resort visit him in our resort.
He and some buddies came from Miami for a long weekend. BUT a guest had to pay $95.00 per day and had to leave by 6:00 p.m.
So they had to find places outside the resorts to visit. This got to be very costly for them.
This is not a singles resort.
We had a great time and would come back again.
Punta Cana Princess
My new husband and I vacationed at Punta Cana Princess from May 25th to May 31st 2008. We had a wonderful time. Check in went smooth. They even brought us drinks while we checked in. We purchased the Platinum Honeymoon package through our travel agent, and our package also included VIP bracelets which gives you access to the beach beds and upper shelf liquor. We also received a bunch of little freebies which you pick up at the customer service desk, including (2) 20 minute massages, one romantic massage, one romantic dinner, and one dinner at either La Cava or El Picador. The romantic massage is a 20 minute massage that you receive in the same hut. For our 20 minute massages, we stopped by the huts at the beach spa, and asked them if we could have our massage now without scheduling, and it was not a problem. Since the beach huts were all two beds, it was just like the romantic massage. For the romantic dinner we could pick the restaurant of our choice. However, for this meal, they do not give you a menu so I don’t think it matters what restaurant you choose. They give you a nice table with little flowers on it, and the service is extra nice. You get the Lobster and filet mignon which was very good.
Because we were honeymooners, we were also invited to the honeymoon dinner. This took place on Wednesday at Mare Nostrom. They first served champagne and appetizers outside then took your picture with a wedding cake and two of the staff members. This picture they give to you the next day at guest services for free. They also take of picture of you alone kissing, but that one you need to buy. The appetizers were really good, Brie on toast, smoked salmon on toast, and others, but those were my favorite. They then serve shrimp appetizer, salad, Lobster and filet mignon, and a piece of the cake. It was all very good!
For breakfast and lunch, we often went next door to Caribe Princess, because my husband liked the slightly larger selection. It was also fun to see some little kids (for a few minutes!) and experience more of a French cliental. We ate one dinner at the Tex Mex and it was wonderful. If you are craving beef, this is the place to go. We also ate at La Cava which was very good. For change of pace, visit the Crepaerie on the Caribe side for lunch.
This resort is remarkably clean. I got a blister from wearing a pair of flip-flops, so for the rest of the week I carried my shoes and walked barefoot almost everywhere I went. Except for walking on the beach, I didn’t even get one piece of sand on my feet!
The honeymoon suite 4205 was a beautiful white room, with the Jacuzzi on a second level inside the room. We were able to see the ocean very well from our second floor balcony. Some people say they don’t go on vacation for the room, but we used our Jacuzzi twice, and loved it! It is very large, and you have a great outside.
We never had the need to play the towel game, even in the early afternoon there was at least one beach bed open. The resort has many lovely bars to choose from. There is waiter service on the beach, but it is spotty since one person runs the service and mans the beach bar at the same time. The next bar is only a short ways away at Mare Nostrom. The pool bar is fantastic for lazy afternoons, and socializing. The lobby bar has the largest selection and they make fantastic espressos.
We walked to Steve’s bar, which only took about 20 minutes, if that. As long as you are wearing sneakers, it’s not far at all. Just go out the lobby, turn left and go through or around the spa onto Caribe property, then walk through to lobby of Caribe and turn left behind the golf course. At the end of the golf course is Bavaro Plaza, and a block later is Steve’s bar.
Maid service made it to our room in the early afternoon. They did a great job keeping our room clean. We received turn-down service every night. Every one working there was very friendly, and I am still singing “Hola” to everyone I meet. I can’t wait to go back!
Punta Cana Princess
I found this year, Punta Cana in general was different to me. From the time we arrived at the airport and got on the bus, it wasn't the same. For 30mins they Blasted the music and never spoke a word to welcome us or anything. The tour rep on the bus stayed down with the bus driver until we arrived at the different resorts. It was never like that before?
I can't get over the FLYS!!!!! We didn't like any of the food at the restaurants, so we stuck to the buffet the whole week. There were flys in everything!!!
It was GROSS!! I have welts all over me and used bug spray the whole week!
There was not one area on the resort to get away from them!! Only the room.I'm wondering if it was just this resort or Punta Cana in general? I never saw a fly in Punta Cana Before??
Now the room, can't complain really. I asked for 2nd or 3rd floor and got ground, but it was good. I found the paint falling off the walls and the tub had a dirt ring around it. The glasses in the Bathroom were Rotten when I went to use them, but honestly Debbie... I couldn't care less about that.
The sheets were cleaned everyday! Very DAMP and musty though.. but clean.
The maid was tipped everyday but when I asked for extra Aqua in Spanish in a note... she wouldn't do anything for me. Oh Well. Air Conditioning was EXCELLENT!! the Mini Fridge was warm the whole week.
The resort was SOOOO Clean! Beautiful Grounds!! No problem getting a chair or bed on the beach or by the pool! Water and Weather was Excellent!
Until Thursday Came along and all these people showed up for a Disc Jockey Convention!! Holy Crap what a nightmare!! If I only had to know this was going on that weekend at the Princess Hotels... I would never of went near that Area or resorts in Punta Cana! They took the whole resort over! The pool was Raided and Loud and nothing but yelling and cursing and loaded people screaming! We were all disgusted. I know there were a few people who complained, but nothing that we know of was ever done! From Thursday On, this mostly ruined the trip for us. We found the pool too crowded and most of them were in building 5 with us and there were two nights they had I-Pods on docking stations playing music before going to the Disco. Most people didn't stay at the pool after they came. They didn't want to be around it!
I found that there were locals selling stuff next to our loungers on the beach!
I never saw this in Punta Cana Before?? We always went to the vendors on the beach set up in huts, But there were Time Share Everywhere Approaching you and locals begging you to buy cigars and Cigs and Jewelry everywhere. This also pissed me off as I got away from the pool because of the rowdy crowd and then people on the beach driving you nuts!
I think I was just poisoned at this time.
I really am disappointed with paying $2600.00 taxes in for this resort. I really did not enjoy it at all. The only highlight of my trip was going to Steve's bar and making my donation for the children.
I'm not the one to complain.. but I will never go back to this resort. I feel for the money I spent, I could of went to the Bahia or Melia or anywhere and got better.
Punta Cana Princess
David and Robin Halifax N.S.
We just returned (April 21, 2008) from a 2-week stay at the PCP and wanted to share our experience with the hope it may help others prepare for their trip, or otherwise enjoy their trip to the greatest extent possible.
We selected the PCP based, in large part, on the reviews provided by Debbie’s Dominican and Trip Advisor websites. We found the reviews for the PCP to be both accurate and helpful.
Firstly, we would return to the PCP. We found the resort very clean and the PCP staff made up for any shortcomings that we experienced. This adult’s only resort is small (270 rooms) and very quiet. If you want to dance, and party into the wee hours, and participate in the nightly entertainment you simply take the free shuttle (or walk) next door to the adjacent Princess resort, and disco; PCP guests have full access to the adjacent Princess resort. For us, this was the best of both worlds.
The rooms were very nice, and exceptionally clean. The free safe helps put your mind at ease during your stay. Buildings four and five overlook the pool, and are closest to the beach. All of the rooms (all five buildings) are the same. The only rooms to avoid are those on the ground floor next to the building entrances (noise and traffic).
The food in general was very good. The buffet was one of the best we have experienced. A la Carte was hit and miss however. Service at the a la Carte sites is general slow and unorganized. The previous web site reviews cover the various a la carte restaurants quite well. Avoid the Petite Fondue Restaurant however. One significant shortcoming was the poor quality of the house wine, especially the red. A good selection of International drinks was available, but you must ask for them specifically.
Pool / Beach
The resort was at capacity, however we never felt crowded, except for the pool / beach cabanas. There are too few, and they are too close together. The “towel game” is in full effect (both at the pool and beach) and you will need to be out before 7 am to have any chance at reserving a pool or beach cabana. We feel this problem must be addressed by PCP as it was a general complaint / topic of conversation around the resort. One observation about the Punta Cana beach zone (in general, not specific to PCP)… it is extremely crowded during the day. The powerboat traffic is constant and excessive, you cannot swim outside the marked areas or you will be at risk, snorkeling is out of the question, unless you go via tour boat.
The resort was fogged for insects periodically (we understand this is the same for most Punta Cana resorts), and insect control was sprayed around the resort. Notwithstanding the fogging the “no see ums” in the lobby area were a constant problem (bring repellant / afterbite). We had no issues with the insects, however if you are sensitive to insect controls be forewarned.
Punta Cana Princess
just returned from pcp,april 5-12 the most boring resort i have been to,entertainment was pathetic,rooms were clean,food was o.k. ,absolutely the worst service in the resteraunts i have ever experienced, not enough chairs at the beach or even at the pool,had to lay on a towel on the sand while other guest would take up a bed and beach chairs.i will never stay at another princess resort anywhere.
Flight from Hamilton, ON
- flight from Punta Cana was late so our flight was delayed 1.5hrs. (6pm). Pilot made up about 30min. of this.
- flew Skyservice for the first time and they are very good.
- got through customs/luggage and sitting on the transport bus in 30-40 min (Transat rep. Ready & waiting)
- as we were the only people checking in at 1am, everything was taken care of in 5min.
- given a room in block 5 ( rm # 5008 main floor ). Had previously requested an upper level room in blocks 3,4 or 5. but none available that night. Works out we were satisfied with this room & remained there for the week. Bags arrived quickly to our room
- I was hungry so we went to the 24hr. beach bar/grill and had a freshly made grilled chicken on a bun/fries/salad/Presidente and it was very good and Andy on the bar was a riot. What a great view as we sat on the outside deck of this beach front restaurant listening and viewing the waves
- King bed in a very large room that has separate bathroom with two sinks, bathtub with shower.
- electronic safe in closet.
- Step down into a large sitting area that had a sofa with large cushions & trundle bed under it. coffee table, TV & fridge stocked daily with water, pop & beer. Patio doors open up from here to a nice patio with two chairs & a table.
- Rooms were cleaned daily usually before noon. Nightly turn down was a nice touch and generally room was made up with fresh flowers.
- Usually received daily clean beach towels to our room, bath towels, “a” hand towel. Face cloth hit & miss. (but no problem as we have learned to bring our own face cloths)
- this resort has good to great food at all the A la carte’s , buffets and beach grill. The seafood restaurant was very good as was the Italian. Punta Cana Princess recently dropped the reservation requirement at the A la carte's and we think that this works very well. The buffet always had plenty of selection to suit our tastes. We did not go to any restaurants off the resort at the sister resorts but I was told that they were very good. You will need to call & reserve at those restaurants.
- Punta Cana Princess has a large beach for a resort of this size. They offer plenty of beach cots both under the beach huts and in the open. If you want one of the beach huts in the prime locations you better get there by 8:am. They also have about 30 beach beds in a roped off area and they usually go early. We didn’t try them because they don’t allow for you to sit up. The beach is cleaned & raked early in the morning.
- (I find it amazing by how much trash [ empty cups straws etc ] is left behind on the beach each day by some guests. Shame on them!!
- They have drink service at the beach although spotty at times.
- the pool is about 4’ deep all over. It really is a good size for a resort this small. It has plenty of cots and a few beach beds. As with the beach the earlier you get there the better your location. The towel on the cot game is in play here even though signs are posted to refrain from this practice. (Early bird gets the worm.)
- The pool has a swim up bar & waiter/waitress service at poolside.
- Lots of organized activities by the animation team at the pool site in the afternoon
The lobby offers some form of entertainment most evenings. Lobby is large and always a good place to sit and people watch. They also have evening events at the beach weather permitting. You can go to the sister resorts for nightly entertainment.
- all very nice and work hard to get people involved in variety of activities.
- we found all staff very friendly and appreciative of our efforts to speak Spanish. They were always very polite and often replied in english.
We have stayed at two other resorts in Punta Cana, one of them a family resort the other an adult resort and they were both very nice 41/2 – 5 star ratings.
We prefer Punta Cana Princess for its size and the general layout of the resort. It is really easy to find you way around.
The food was great and staff very friendly.
We will return here as soon we can & would recommend this resort to anyone looking to kick back and take it easy.
Punta Cana Princess
Claude & Ginette
My wife and I are just back from a nice week of vacation at the Punta Cana Princess. Overall it was almost perfect and we'll return there for sure. We had few quick showers during the day and some serious rain during the night. All together we had plenty of sun.
Here are a few highlights about the Punta Cana Princess:
Small size resort; we loved it, everything was nearby.
We had access to the sister resorts, but we did not spend too much time over there. I suggest that you avoid the Chinese restaurant.
There was a new "no reservation" policy for the four "à la carte" restaurant. Fantastic!
Food was good but this is no gourmet heaven. Table wine is ordinary, white was less watery than red.
We love children, but this adult resort is quieter than all the other places where we've been before.
Nightlife is basicelly non-existant which was in line with our expectations.
Interesting crowd with Canadians (French and English), French, German and Russian.
Beach was perfect except for those sand fleas which did a great job on my legs, maybe they liked the rhum circulating in my blood. My wife had the same amount of rhum, but she saved the bites.
Punta Cana Princess
Sandra Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Puta Cana Princess Resort...Jan.25th to Feb.5th
Flight was great ..arrived in Puta Cana on time..Had to sit on the bus for over an hour waiting for Air Transat rep... to arrive...NOT FUN!!!!
Check in was ok had to wait for the room..
Room..4018..Needs to be renovated..musty smelling..bath tub very dirty..lamps falling apart..comforter on bed old and worn out..burn marks all over bathroom counters..
Staff..very nice, really friendly.
Food and service good...
Entertainment..Was really bad..you can't even really call the nightly entertainment ...entertainment..it really needs to be looked at and improved....
The grounds and pool where great..
This resort is a 3 definitely not 4
Wouldn't return unless the rooms where renovated..Felt very uncomfortable in the room...
Punta Cana Princess
Allan New Brunswick
A friend and I vacationed at the PCP for 2 weeks from Jan 17th-31, 2008. This was our 14th trip south, our 7th to Punta Cana and our 3rd Princess resort having stayed at the Bavaro and Caribe previously. This was our second stay at an Adults Only resort (1st was the Palladium Royal Suites) and it suited our purposes very nicely and we enjoyed our time here very much. The 2 weeks at the PCP just flew by and it was time to pack and come home before we knew it! We would rate the PCP right up there with our stay at the Royal Suites. There were good and bad at both resorts but the good certainly outweighed the bad. Overall rating 8/10
Check-in was quick and easy and it took us no time at all to even find our room. It did however take a while before the Bellboy showed up with our luggage. Which wouldn’t have been a big deal except it was late around 11.30pm and we just wanted to get settled in and go to bed.
Room- We were given room 4101, in building 4 second floor at the end of the hall. Being at the end of the hall was nice as we didn’t have people walking past our door at all hours. I was a little disappointed at first that we did not end up in Building 5 but it turned out to be a nice location. Our balcony had a view of the whole resort, from the ocean, in the distance past the pool area, up to the buffet and the lobby. We were very central to everything – the beach, pool, restaurants, and lobby were only a few mins walk away. In our Regency Club room were beach towels (which were replaced regularly) bathrobes, slippers, a fruit basket, cigars (3 per week), two 750ml bottles of rum to take home (1 per week), plus one bottle each of Rum, Vodka and Whiskey. There was also a programmable safe (no fee), coffee maker, umbrella, Iron and board, and a mini fridge with Beer, Sprite, Coke, and Water all replaced daily. The layout was very nice and there was plenty of closet and drawer space. Although there was no jaccui tub in the separate bathroom, it was a nice size with double sinks, a hair dryer, and lots of hot water and good pressure anytime we used the shower. Down a couple steps from the bed area was a sitting area with a chest, daybed, and a coffee table. The maid did a good job keeping our room clean although a couple days it was quite late in the afternoon when it was done. One day one of the balcony chairs broke and the maid had both chairs replaced right away. Another day we told Guest services that our toilet was not working properly and it was fixed before we returned in the afternoon. There was also turn down service which however was somewhat spotty. Room – 8.5/10
Layout- The PCP itself is a small resort which suited us fine cause you do have access to the other 2 sister resorts if you so desire. We walked through the other resorts a couple times and visited some of the a la cartes but other than that we mainly stuck to the PCP itself. There is also a train which runs from the sister resorts to the PCP lobby but there was no set schedule for this. It is very easy to find your way around the PCP, no worry of getting lost here. There was just 2 paths which ran down both sides of the resort from the lobby to the beach with several crossing paths between the two. Everything was off of these two paths. You could see from one side of the resort to the other no problem. At the front of the resort was the lobby, buffet and 2 a la cartes. The room buildings ran down the sides to the beach. About 2/3rds of the way down was the pool area with a pool/swim-up bar on one side and a 3rd a la carte restaurant on the other side. The paths ended at the beach where the beach bar/ restaurant was located. This became the 4th a la carte restaurant in the evening. The grounds were nicely done and well kept. Layout 10/10
Staff – Since this is a smaller resort one gets to know the staff and they get to know you. Most of the staff were very efficient and pleasant and seemed to always be happy and would go around joking and singing while they worked. In the lobby bar with Ingrid and the swim-up bar with Nelson, Kelvin and Augustus you would hardly finish one drink before they were checking to see if you wanted another. There was even bar wait service around the pool and at the beach as well as in the lobby in the evenings. Empty glasses were constantly being picked up and the bar areas were kept very clean and tidy. There was no language problems here at all but they really do appreciate you trying to speak to them in Spanish. Most of the staff were very friendly and even as you passed them on the pathways would greet you with an ‘Hola’. A lot of the staff even took the time to ask you how you were and how your vacation was going. We would have to say this was the best overall service we have received from a resort vacation. Staff 9.5/10
Buffets– Since this is a smaller resort it does not have the selection we’ve had at bigger resorts but the food itself was good. We mainly ate at either the main or beach buffet for breakfast and lunch. There was not much difference between the two buffets that we noticed. The main buffet had smoking and non-smoking sections. I found the soups and breads very good. At breakfast they quite often had smoked salmon and cream cheese at the main buffet. At the beach lunch buffet they had great fried chicken. They also had a Nescafe Coffee machine at the beach restaurant that self served various coffees that were very good. This is where I’d go for my early morning coffee to take back to the room. We only did the buffet one night for supper but again found the selection limited. However there never was the long lines at the egg or pasta stations that we have had at other resorts. In fact the pasta guy could be compared to the ‘Maytag’ man. A couple days they did do special lunches, such as a beach b’que at the beach bar area. Buffets – 8/10
A La Cartes – There are 4 a la cartes at the PCP for which no reservations are needed with another 3 at the Caribe and 2 at the Tropical that are included but which require reservations. Reservations were easy to make at the Guest Service desk in the mornings. You can make them for 3 days in advance. The first week we were there the a la cartes did not seem too busy but the second week they picked up quite a bit. Note that Monday nights only the Tex Mex a la carte is open since that is the scheduled beach party night.
Il Bacio – Italian Restaurant located at the PCP next to the buffet. We ate here twice and both times were great. Both times we walked right in and were seated. Even got the same table both times. Service was great, we never had an empty glass and the staff were very laid back and even joked around with the guests. We never felt rushed and both evenings were nice relaxing nights out. To start you get a cocktail and an appetizer plate with bruschetta, flat bread and prosciutto as well as a bread plate with oils for dipping. You order your first and main courses off the menu and desert is brought around on a cart. Afterwards they offer coffee, drinks and/or Mamajauna (which they keep coming)! I had the salad both times and the Seafood Linguine and Shrimps for my main courses. All were very good with the Shrimp being my favourite (but I love Seafood).Server even asked if I wanted more shrimp! Friend had the soup and the Filet both times. A little salty (as were a lot of there food) but good. The second time there Emilio from the lobby bar walked through and stopped to wish us a good meal. We would have to say this was one of our favourites . 9.5/10
Mare Nostrum –Seafood Restaurant located at the PCP beach restaurant. We ate here 3 times and had good luck the first times but the third was not as good. Not that the 3rd time was bad just after such very good service the other times it was a let down as we saved it for our last night. All three times we were able to get right in. The beach bar is located here so if you have to wait there is a patio area where you can have a drink and wait for a table. Here too you are brought a cocktail, basket of bread and a garlic shrimp app dish. You order you 1st and main courses off a menu and desert is brought around on a cart here as well. In between the first and main courses you are also brought a lemon sherbet drink and after the main course you are brought a finger bowl with lime water in it. Some nice touches! Food wise it was very good, we tried the calamari, salad and grouper crevice as apps and the Lobster tails, Mixed Grill and Seafood Casserole as Main dishes. I preferred the Mixed Grill to the Casserole and everything was very good. This was our other favourite. 9/10
La Petite Fondue – PCP Fondue Restaurant located on the path to the beach right beside the pool. We ate here twice and the 2 times were like night and day. Although the food was very good both times, service was quite bad our 2nd time there. Glasses were not refilled and it took almost an hour before our 1st course arrived. Staff seemed very disorganized and not as friendly. 1st time every time a server went by they asked how everything was – but not the 2nd time. 1st time we got right in but the 2nd time we had to wait by the door for 45 mins even though others walked right in. 1st time we were brought an app plate with pate, cheese, and prosciutto but not the 2nd time even though I asked. Both times we had the Shrimp app for 2, Beef plate for our main course, and the chocolate fondue for desert. Portions were a lot smaller the 2nd time. They bring out little bowls of sauces for dipping and with the main course they bring a plate of fries to share. Had we gotten the service we did the 2nd time on our 1st visit we would not have gone back. 7.5/10
Rio Grande – The PCP Tex Mex restaurant located next to Il Bacio. We had heard great things about this a la carte and were looking forward to dining here. We ended up only eating here once. We got right in and service started off really good. They bring a basket of nachos chips and 3 sauces. We both had the Caesar salad as an app which was alright. For our main course my friend ordered the Filet and I order the Baby Back Ribs which was a mistake cause there seemed to be a problem with the ribs and we had to wait for about an hour between courses. Several times a server came over and said the ribs were taking a little longer. When the courses arrived my friends filet was over done and tough and all we could figure is they tried to keep it warm while they waited for my ribs. We left before desert and coffee. We did decide to give this restaurant another try just to see if it was a bad night. The second time the restaurant was full and we were told by the hostess it would be a 10 min wait while she reset some tables, which was OK. Another couple came in after us and were told the same thing but when one table was set the hostess came out and showed the other couple to a table and told us we’d have to wait. We were not impressed and decided to eat elsewhere. 5/10
We had stayed at the Caribe Club Princess a few years ago and were looking forward to revisiting several of the A La Cartes there. However some were not as good as we remembered. We also decided to visit the Caribe Lobby one night and we could see the difference between the two places. The PCP is certainly a step up from the Caribe.
Shangay – The Asian a la carte located at the Caribe. When at the Caribe before we ate here 3 times and enjoyed it very much. We even got the same table we had those 3 times before. This place was as nice as we remembered. Both the food and service were good. You get a plate of Sushi to start, followed by an app plate with spring rolls, chicken and beef skewers and wonton wraps. Then you order your 1st, main and desert courses from the menu. I had the Shrimp course which was very good. We would have eaten here a second time but the 2 weeks just flew by and we preferred the idea of not having to make reservations at the PCP. 8.5/10
El Pilon – The Dominican a la carte located at the Tropical Side. Last time we only did this a la carte once but I had always said I wished we had gone back. So I got my chance and it was worth it. Service here was very nice. Staff were friendly and smiling and the restaurant is nicely decorated. Food too was good but way too much! They bring an app plate to the table. We both had the Dom soup which was more like a stew and was very filling. I had the pork and he had the beef. Both were very good and well presented. Meal was well spaced and glasses were never empty. Remembered the hostess, Maria Ortega from 3 years ago. Ordered coffee and Mamajauna after dinner and it was on our table 1 min later! A very nice evening. 8.5/10
Mamma Mia – The Italian a la carte located at the Caribe Club side. When at the Caribe before we ate here 3 times and they had a great app buffet bar. Well not any more – the app bar is gone. Where at the PCP restaurants the staff were mostly smiling and friendly it wasn’t this way here and service was just OK. The food was good but not great especially compared with what we had at the PCP Italian Restaurant. We only ate here the once. 6/10
Sombrero – The Mexican a la carte at the Caribe. We had eaten here twice when at the Caribe and it was on our list to do again but we were sorry we did. Again the staff were not smiling or friendly and it does effect the service. They bring you a Margarita to your table but it was not good. There is a app buffet bar which is just OK – it does however have nachos chips and guacamole. We both had Tortilla soup and it was not like any Tortilla soup we’ve had before. Had to wait about 20 mins before we even got our soup. I had the Chicken Fajita and it was good but way too much for 1 person. Friend had the Shrimp Quesadilla and his looked more like an app portion compared to mine and had only 4 small shrimp in it. We left before desert and coffee. 5/10
Things of Note about the PCP
• The PCP had the best selection of international drinks of the resorts we have been to. Bailey’s was available at all the bars just not all the time.
• There were no towel cards – not sure if this was just for VIP or everyone.
• The menus for all the PCP, Caribe and Tropical a la cartes were available in the lobby. As well the PCP ones each had a table set up outside each one with the menu available there.
• The buffet had linen napkins and table cloths at all meals and it’s own bar. The staff would even go to the lobby bar for international drinks not available there.
• The pathways were lined with ‘speaker rocks’ playing music. In the early morning they even played softer music.
• The PCP was the cleanest resort we have been to. Even the beach restroom was very clean no matter what time of day you went in. Cleaners were all over the place keeping the floors swept and polished and it showed! In the mornings the maids were always out washing down the pool deck area.
• Not the peace and quiet ‘adult only’ that we had at Royal Suites. The animation team were always around the pool in the late afternoon and up at the lobby in the evening. No real quiet spot to hang out in the evening.
• There never was a lack of pool or beach lounges available through out the day.
• Saw a few guests with mobility problems and this resort seemed easy for them to get around. No common area was located up any stairs except the lobby which had a ramp.
• The internet was never a problem for us. Yes you had to wait a few times but never that long. Noticed a lot of people with laptops in the lobby area since WIFI is available ($).
• The no reservation thing is new for the PCP and they haven’t quiet got it figured out yet. If you show up and the restaurant is full they do not take your name or room number. You basically have to wait by the door for the next open table. But be aware this does not always work either since others can walk right past you and end up with a table ahead of you.
• At some of the bigger resorts we have been to we have commented that they needed benches along the pathways – well guess what they had them here. As well Garbage cans were well spaced along the paths and around the resort.
• The buffet has themed dinners which are on a weekly rotation. Themes included Dominican, Mexican, Italian, Asian, Gala, Seafood, and International (I believe).Monday night is the scheduled Dominican beach party but both Mondays we were there it was held at the buffet due to bad weather. • The swim up bar was located so it was in the sun which was nice since you didn’t have to wade through the chilly part of the pool to order a drink.
Some of the best assets that the PCP has is its size, the friendly smiling staff, a la carte choices, good International brands, and the fact that it is Adults Only. Overall we had a very good two weeks at the PCP and it is one of the top 3 resorts we have stayed at so far.
Punta Cana Princess
Diane & Paul
Lobby is beautiful and desk staff were very friendly, and had cold facecloths for us along with a cold drink. Luggage arrived in the room shortly.
Very nice and spacious. We booked a "king size" bed but got
"queen" - not a big deal considering it was so comfy. Staff were able to move our room from the 3rd floor to the first to accomodate my husband's difficulty with the stairs. No bug in the room.
Buffet - ok.
Steakhouse - very good and they have an excellent marguarita.
Italian - very good.
Chinese - best wontons I've had in a while.
Seafood - steak was good but lobster was kindy of mushy.
Staff were pretty friendly and eager to please. VIP choice drinks were always available. I'd like bigger glasses to reduce the number of trips to the bar.
Ocean water was nice and warm; had whitecaps the first week there. Beach beds are comfy, and staff brush them off and set towel down for you. Seaweed was in the water and washed up on the beach - sand was nice and soft.
Meticulously kept. Workers were always doing something. They would climb trees to provide fresh coconuts.
The animation teams work so hard and make activities alot of fun. I would have liked to see volleyball in the pool but they only offered water polo. Archery equipment was dreadfully old and in disrepair. They're was only one or two bows which isn't enough. Maybe a little more evening activity could be added.
Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure excursion was awesome! Our guide, Miguel, is alot of fun and made the trip a great time too. Had to cancel a marina tour and the refund was done without problem - as long as it's not less than one day prior. Lots of outings offered but prices were only provided verbally by the Air Transat rep.
This was our first visit to the Dominican Republic and we'd definatley stay at the Punta Cana Princess again. Had only one rainy day and the staff are all so nice.
Punta Cana Princess
This was our second trip to the PCP over Christmas.
Flights there and back were nothing short of excellent. We flew Club Class (Air Transat) this year, check in at both airports was a breeze, seats 1A&B both ways. Actually left early leaving and returning. Apart from being on the bus for more than 3½ hours due to a major mix up and no one having a list of the passengers they should have on their bus. We boarded the bus about 12:10pm, didn't set out to the various hotels until after 2:00pm, then after the 3rd drop off we came to a closed road due to construction and the driver had to find another route which took us back almost to the airport again. In the meantime, we passed the Tropical Princess and wanted to get off (we were next door), but they wouldn't let us, 40 minutes after passing the Tropical, we were finally at our destination. Total bus time was longer than the flight. All this was soon forgotten when our favourite Bartender, Deyinaria, passed on the fruit drink for us and brought two ice cold Presidentes. We had arrived in heaven.
The weather was beautiful. Had some really freaky, fun, rain showers (horizontal and major windy), we also had the classic "Dominican rain", 10 minute downpour then beautiful sunshine again, these too were fun. Having been to the DR so often, we kinda could predict them, so headed to the pool bar and pulled a table and a couple of chairs under the shelter, had a bevy, watched the downpour and everyone scurrying out of the pool so that they didn't get wet , was a lot of fun. The last 3 nights (overnight) it rained heavily, loved hearing it on the roof as we were on the top floor. Apart from that, it was HOT, HOT, HOT!
We were in building 5, room 5213 and the view of the ocean and pool was amazing. We had a little problem with ants so make sure if you spill some sprite, milk or even coffee, clean it up and the problem goes away.
We loved our night maid, she was a sweetheart, and for a $5 US tip in the fridge, we got 3-4 Presidentes (2 in the icy part of the fridge) as well as a restock of their Resort Beer, Soberanna, which is really hoppy, but we found the answer to that, pour out the neck part of the bottle and fill with Sprite and it's okay dokay.
As we were there over the holiday season, I think they got a little confused with their night themes in the buffet. The last week (Christmas week) Asian, Dominican and Italian night they were playing English music. (If I never hear a Celine Dione song again it will be too soon LOL). I think they did this to cater to their audience tho' because the second week it was mostly English speaking people. The Christmas Eve buffet was beautiful and we met some wonderful people.
One night we were at the beach bar (24 hour) and about 11:00pm all these choppers kept flying overhead and going so low that I thought they were going to land in the ocean. My first instinct was that someone was lost out in the ocean, but when we asked one of the staff, he said no, that they must have had a report that Dominicans were trying to flee to Costa Rica.
I think we were there about 8-9 days before we even ventured out for any length of time in the sun and usually only to dry off after being in the pool (unfortunately I don't swim well, so the ocean, for me, was not an option, as just walking at the water's edge would knock me off my feet, but everyone else was having a ball and I loved watching them.
As for the suntan! I have some colour, but when you are coming back to frigid weather, walking around like Nanook of the North for 3 months, it doesn't matter, who's gonna see it .
Hubby decided to have a massage the second week and said forget it, they give you a gentle back rub, pull your fingers and you're done!!
The gift shop/mini market was handy but certainly not cheap but this is something we expected so weren't surprised. Last year they were individual stores, now everything is one. It is all priced in US$ so if you paid by pesos, they took 1 x 30 and that was your price (they gave 30 to the US 28 to the CDN, lobby gave 31 and 29). It was $2US for a small packet of Lays chips, (sorry to those that don't smoke) $7US for a small pack of smokes, $5 US for a can of Presidente and something like $50 US for a wee cover up that I paid $6 for at Sears.
Everywhere was immaculate, the only complaint we had was that their loungers (both on the beach and by the pool) could be repaired and recovered. If you're back can handle lying on broken slats and no support, then you are fine, unfortunately I couldn't and ended up not being able to walk for about 4 days. The last week, I had Jim pull over a chair from the bar, sat on that and put my feet up on the lounger (worked for me and the next day I saw a lot of people do the same thing, OK there was no seats left at the bar, but we were comfy. The tropical/caribe have had their chairs all recovered and you couldn't find a bad one, so we ventured over there many times. The second week, it was really busy there tho' and we didn't want to take away their space.
We never had a chance to try the beds as they were booked by 7am every day, but no biggie. Although they have signs saying that guests would be allowed to remove belongings if the person vacated for longer than 30 minutes, who wants a confrontation while on vacation.
Talking of the Tropical/Caribe, they were pretty reluctant to give the VIP-Regency Club drinks to anyone from the PCP. Hubby asked for 2 Buds, and we were told they didn't have any left, the guy behind him was immediately served with 4 Buds. hmmm. We tried again at the Lobby bar on our way back and were told no, we could only have the draft Presidente. Hubby settled for that and I (being me) said, hang on a sec, even for VIP, the bartender phoned someone, came off the phoned, said he didn't know, I got my bottle of Bud (hubby had is draft Presidente).
For those that like their premium beer etc., they changed the second week from Bud to MJD, so if that is your flavor, it's there now.
All in all, everything was wonderful and we wouldn't hesitate to return to the PCP.
Punta Cana Princess
al and loredana
Just got back and got to experience tropical storm huego.
The hotel got 2 days of rain and the fun times never stopped.Hotel staff are among the best ever. We stayed 2 weeks and had never a dull moment thanks to
diablo and blondie.justine and rory plus all the other great friends we met. The maids keep the rooms clean and safe. Nothing ever missing.
Now these reviews are not just ours but from imput from other guests'.
The main desk gets a ranking of 3 out of 5
food a 2 and a half
a la carta restaurants 4 out of 5
beach 4 and a half
rooms a 4
spa a big 5 plus
drinks a 4
overall a 3 and 1/2 plus
Punta Cana Princess
We've recently returned from a 7 night stay at The Punta Cana Princess (PCP). There were 3 couples ages from late 30's to late 50's in my group. Five out of six of us had stayed at other all inclusives so we had something to compare the PCP to.
We all had the VIP package so after a quick check in, we went right to the VIP desk to pick up our information. I highly recommend the VIP package. It was well worth it.
We went to our rooms and had our luggage about 5 minutes later. The rooms were a nice size and perfectly clean.
The grounds were amazing. They were well taken care of and spotless. The pool was the perfect size for a small resort and also spotless. The pool bar was a fun and friendly atmosphere.
The beach was beautiful. The waves were big enough to have fun in yet small enough to just float around. The water was a pretty blue. Having the VIP package allowed us to use the beach beds and gave us bar service on the beach. That in itself was worth getting the VIP package. We also did the 1 hour boat ride that was included in the VIP. It was a lot of fun.
The mini spa was perfect for our complimentary 20 minute massage (vip package). Having a massage while hearing the waves break behind you was so relaxing.
The entertainment staff kept people having a good time with volleyball, aerobics, softball... but I was just there to relax so I chose not to participate in the daily activities. The nightly entertainment was silly but again, I wasn't there to be entertained. We enjoyed the music and the cocktails. We met a lot of nice people and had lots of fun with the bartenders and cocktail staff.
By 12:00 am things got pretty quiet but you could always hang at the beautiful beach bar 24 hours per day.
The food... Here's where my review will get more negative. As a self proclaimed "foodie", I thought the buffet food was mediocre at best. There was always something that I liked but it was just ok. The a la carte restaurants were better (except the Asian place, it was awful).
La Cava (also included with VIP) was amazing. The atmosphere was great and the food was even better. The Italian and the fondue restaurants were also good. The Dominican beach party was very nice.
Don't forget, men must wear long pants to the al a carte restaurants. We saw a lot of people get turned away in shorts.
If you are going on vacation for gourmet food, this may not be the place for you.
I would highly recommend The Punta Cana Princess for anyone that wants a quiet and relaxing vacation. We had a great time and can't wait to go back again.
Punta Cana Princess
Couple Gatineau, Quebec
We ate at the main buffet during the day and dinned in the restaurants at night. Overall, the food was okay at the main buffet. We found that the main buffet lacked diversity at the best of times but especially for breakfast. I was disappointed at the lack of shrimp except for one night when it was a seafood theme. The restaurants were much better.
Mare Nostrum was great for lunch and midnight snacks but was extremely disappointing for us at dinner - the shrimp entree was too spicy (i.e. a whole jalapeno for 5 little shrimps was overpowering) and the lobster was mealy in consistency. Tex-Mex, Fondue and the Dominican were also good but the best being La Cava. La Cava was wonderful in presentation, ambiance and top-notch food.
What more can you say except 24 hour booze! Drinks were great. Some people had trouble being their own liquor control board and others seem to manage without becoming belligerent. The only complaint is that we paid VIP class which was suppose to enable us to have International drinks - and there were none available...or so we were told. The wine was drinkable but I must admit I was happy to have a real drink of wine during the middle of the week from the bottle we had purchased at the duty free shop.
We loved our room in the 5000 block. Our room was on the 3rd floor overlooking the ocean. The only thing I would improve upon is to stock the mini-bar with Presidente beer and not that cheap stuff. After speaking with our maid Maria, all was arranged for Presidente beer for the week, although it would not arrive until 3h00 pm and be warm. This was usually when we came back to the room and would have enjoyed the Presidente cold.
We found the grounds to be very nice and well kept. Every morning the staff was sweeping and chatting which was neat to listen to. The pool and bar are very nice. Upon close inspection - yes, the pool needs to be painted. Every morning there was someone who had to clean out the pool of plastic glasses as well as the beach. We tourists seem to be a messy bunch - shame on us.
The beach sand is wonderful. Nicest sand I have ever seen. Although, we were slightly disappointed to see that clean up of the beach seaweed was not a regular thing. Some days it never got cleaned up at all. If you wanted a front row hut, you had to get up early to “reserve”
them with a towel, boo
k or saddles. I generally don’t like that kind of thing, but what else are we suppose to do? The beach beds were very neat, but as we like to read and the beds did not tilt up - we preferred the chairs and hut.
Overall the service was good. Some servers were better than others (Nelson, Francisco, Alfredo, Serapio, Maria and Dhoralix) and they always had a nice word to say and big smiles. Others looked tired. We realize that these people work very hard without much break.
The 24 hour room service was a plus and it permitted us to eat early on our wedding day and breakfast in the room. As long as you calculate a wait time of 45 Dominican minutes (= 1+ hour standard time) and did not mind your order being somewhat varied (I asked for salad and got fries) it was worth it.
Our one complaint here was having to check out by 1h00 pm on departure day but we were not leaving the hotel until 6h00 pm. They do offer access to a room for showers, but by the time it was our turn (after waiting 45 minutes) the bathroom was a complete mess. We had to hunt for clean towels, the floor was flooded, the sink and counter dirty, and the room smelled strongly of mildew.
Yes, we got married there! It was...uhm...a nice experience. First of all we had to have papers translated and legalized here in Canada, so that was a little costly. Second, we were experiencing problems with communicating with Francelia the wedding coordinator in setting up the wedding logistics prior to leaving. When I say problems, I mean that she was not fast at returning emails (3+ days) and then would only answer 1 question out of 6. This was frustrating for us as we are used to communicating quickly and efficiently through email. Then 3 weeks prior to leaving, Francelia sent us an email informing us of a new DR government fee for the judge - an additional $360 US to the already $950 US wedding fee. We were not happy but had our hands tied at this point.
When we got to hotel, we had a lovely and delicious fruit basket in our room with DR sparkling wine. The sparkling wine, in our opinion, is only acceptable for mimosas - which is what we used it for.
We met with Francelia 2 days before the wedding and she was very nice and very overworked. We now understood why she did not answer our emails quickly - she coordinates every single detail by herself for the
3 Princess resorts. She sometimes has upward of 4 weddings a day!
Our advice to others wishing to marry there - don’t pick your location until you are there. Francelia will take you around and show you what is available. We had originally selected the beach pergola but once we saw it, and the fact that speedos for out of shape men and likewise bikinis for ladies who should not, I quickly changed my mind.
Not to mention the occasional topless lady walkers. I could not see myself showing photos with that type of possible background. We felt that we wanted a more private ceremony. We then dealt with the spa which has a beautiful and private inner garden. We had to pay a little extra to use it and in the end it rained so hard that morning that the grounds were soaked - so we moved everything to the little chapel. The spa was quick to give us back our money. Note here: bargain bargain bargain...take whatever they say is the price and cut it in half.
All in all, it was nice ceremony but a bit pricy for what you really get. I did get a lovely bouquet but the flowers and decor was missing from the chapel. If I had to do again...I’d probably go somewhere else like a Sandals.
We payed extra for the VIP package with Signature which is suppose to give us private check-ins. This was great at the Ottawa airport when we flew out. We bypassed the long line up and had direct check-in. Five minutes later, having sailed through security, we were sitting at the bar having a nice drink. What we were not told is that it does not apply to the return flight from DR and of course, that’s where it all fell apart for us...leaving Punta Cana. We got to the airport 2 hours early and then ended up waiting over 3 hours to check-in. It seemed that all flights were scheduled to depart at the same time! Our plane was boarding and we were still 25 people deep in line! I had to yell out that we were about to miss our flight when a Signature rep started taking us and other passengers out of line and escorting us to the front of the line. We then had to run through security, customs and try to find our gate in a mass confusion while dragging two senior citizens behind. We did finally make it but we were all winded and not impressed. We then had to wait on the tarmac prior to take off because of the line up of airplanes. Finally we take off 30 minutes later and as I looked back I saw at least 8 planes lined up on the tarmac waiting to leave. I can only surmise that Punta Cana Airport is beyond it’s capacity to handle the influx of tourists having been to Punta Cana 5 years prior and not experienced any problems. This has definitely killed any possibility of returning to Punta Cana in the next couple years or until I hear that they have upgraded the airport.
Punta Cana Princess
We arrived at the Punta Cana Princess at 6.30 pm and check-in was quick and easy. We were given room 5004, attached a label to our luggage and then walked to find the room ourselves. The bags were delivered within a very few minutes of our being in the room. We did not upgrade to the VIP package but had a ground floor room near the beach overlooking the pool. We had bath robes provided and also beach towels were in the room even though we had been given towel cards. The room was very pleasant with two double beds and separate seating area. There was a coffee maker and a digital clock, ample storage space and hangers, and also a TV with a good number of channels in English. We were also pleased to have a room safe provided free of charge which was programmable with your own numerical code. There was also a fridge containing soft drinks and beer. We never touched the soft drinks and only had a couple of the beers so I am not sure how often the fridge was replenished. There was a 2L bottle of water which we used in the bathroom for teeth cleaning and also to make coffee. We left a note on the first morning requesting extra water and always got it after that. The room was kept spotlessly clean each day and fresh towels provided. We tipped a small amount each day and had flowers and towel sculptures left by the maid.
As other reviewers have said, the beach is fabulous. There were a great many people playing the “towel game” and although we are early risers and were actually sitting on the beach by 8 am all the palapas near to the ocean were already reserved. No big deal, we found a place we liked and sat there every day. The towels provided for the beach are collected from the aquatic centre which was only open from 9 am – 5 pm which I did not think was quite long enough. Also the actual towels were often in really poor condition – thin and even holey! Let the hotel down in my opinion.
The pool is really nice and because the hotel is for adults only, never felt crowded. We always moved our “camp” up to the pool mid-afternoon and never had any trouble finding beds and shade. The reason we moved from the beach was that we received a number of insect bites in the late afternoon on the beach. I was badly bitten around my face and eyes and even ended up having to see the hotel doctor. One eye was so badly swollen, it was almost closed. I looked ghastly! The doctor is located 24 hours at the Caribe Club. I spoke to him by phone and then the bellboy took me over to see him on a golf buggy. The doctor spoke excellent English and was thorough in his treatment. This incident was the only thing to mar a really excellent vacation.
We had breakfast everyday in the main buffet restaurant. We liked the fact that a young lady meets and greets and shows you to a table. However, we did find that service in the buffet was erratic. There was no shortage of staff or willingness but the waiters and waitresses seemed to rush around a lot and not achieve all that much. They were not very good at topping up water or wine at dinner but this was just a minor irritation. We found the food to be hot when it should be or cold when required. The variety was not huge but there was always something acceptable. We preferred to eat dinner at the a la carte restaurants when possible.
Lunch was taken at the beach bar. The setting is superb and they did a really good job of keeping the sand out. The food was always the same but varied and enjoyable. The waiters went to the bar for drinks for you. Some days they did a barbeque on the beach and provided a delicious sangria.
On Monday night, they move all the chairs out of the buffet and on to the beach. The Mare Nostrum becomes the buffet for the night. Now this is just my personal opinion but WHY???? We absolutely hated it. You had to walk on sand in your good sandals, it was too dark to see, could not find a table and it was impossible to get a drink. The food was not very nice either. They also allow traders to set up stalls on the path to the beach and they were unpleasantly persistent.. We resolved not to go to the beach night on our second Monday and were able to book the Tex Mex that night.
We had no problems booking a la carte restaurants. We went to the lobby in the evening to Guest Services and never waited more than a couple of minutes. We could book 3 nights at once. We went to all the a la cartes at the Princess twice and once to the Dominican at the Caribe. The Dominican was by far our least favourite. The staff were surly and the food tepid. My friend had an upset stomach after we had dined there. That was the only tummy troubles we had.
We enjoyed all the restaurants at the Punta Cana Princess. Le Petite Fondue was fun and the melted chocolate dessert was to die for. The Italian was good but portions huge. I had a pizza and could only manage a couple of slices. They were very worried that there was something wrong with it and wanted to get me something else. I was just stuffed. The Tex Mex was excellent and I can recommend the Fillet Mignon. I am not a big meat eater but I enjoyed this.
We only went on one trip which we booked via the aquatic centre. It was the catamaran trip. The cost was $84 each for the whole day. We walked along to the left of the hotel to get to the boat but were brought back by Jeep on a 20 minute drive which was fine. The catamaran was much smaller than the ones we had traveled on around Puerta Plata but this was nice. The day was varied with a trip around the wreck located by the Iberostar, snorkeling time, a big beach slide, a visit to a shark/ray sanctuary and then to a natural swimming pool. The bar was included and a light lunch. A lovely day.
In the evening, the animation team put on some kind of a show in the lobby. We did not like this. It was very unsophisticated and not in keeping with a 5 Star Adults Only resort. It would have been much more preferable to have say a pianist playing there each night. There was not a great deal of seating in the lobby and this could be much improved. The only other alternative is the beach bar. This is a beautiful location but all the drinks are served in paper cups which is not great at night.
In conclusion, we rated the Punta Cana Princess very highly and would return. The fact that there are no kids is a huge bonus. We walked around the two sister hotels and found the atmosphere manic. We were glad to return to the calm of our own hotel.
We have been to quite a number of hotels in the Dominican Republic over the last ten years and nowhere is perfect but without doubt the negatives at this hotel were far outweighed by the positives.
Punta Cana Princess
Agron (Goni) New York
I always wanted to go to Dominican Republic for a nice week of vacation.
I had heard of the Punta Cana beach from a friend of mine who went there
in 2002 and had told me that it was great. After some shopping around in
the Internet for a nice resort in Punta Cana, I decided to get the Punta
Cana Princess deal, because of the price and the size of the
resort-small (270 rooms) and for adults only. I went there with my
cousin and as two single guys we wanted to make the most out of this
vacation in terms of fun, beach and meeting new people.
We arrived at the Punta Cana Princes in a 30-minute minivan ride from
the Punta Cana Airport. The scene was beautiful, but the roads weren’t
impressive. We must remember though that for someone who travels there
from the United States it is kind of hard to understand the living
conditions in the DR. However, I saw a lot of roads under construction
and that is a good sign because the government should do something about
making the ride smother from the airport to any resort. That would
attract more tourists!
So, we were at the resort at around 12:00PM. Vacation Express Agency,
with which I had booked the vacation, had not made the reservation for a
room with 2 queen size beds, but with one King size bed, which I thought
was not cool. The reception employee, Monica, a very sweet and
professional girl, helped us get the room with 2 queen sized beds and
the whole time we waited there, we made fun of the situation and had a
nice time. Meanwhile, Monica told us to go and get something to eat at
the Casabe buffet until the room was ready. So, that was the check-in:
very smooth and professional. To be honest, everyone at the reception
desk was very helpful and friendly, and I don’t really understand some
other commentators (below), who have a different opinion. I spent a lot
of time in the lobby, because it was a nice and a beautiful place to
linger, and I observed the professionalism and courtesy of the employees
and that’s why I know that they (employees) were really doing a great
job. And if people really complain about the time of check-in, I’ll tell
them: WHAT’S THE RUSH? You have gone there to relax, and so: RELAX!!!
The view is great, the pace is slow…
We got the bracelets on our wrists and it marked 5-star (Punta Cana
Princess *****) sign on it. We were supplied with a map of the resort,
with a descriptive info of the buffets and a-la-carte restaurants and
their schedules. So we went to our room…
Our room was excellent. Once you open the door, the card must be placed
in the slot (that activates the power and AC in the room and should
remain there-if you take the card out, the electricity goes off after 5
minutes, which was a bad thing for the alarm electronic watch), there
was a very nice stream of cold air coming out of the Air Conditioner!
The room was very spacious. We got the 2 Queen-size beds that I told you
about. There was also a pull out bed in the living room area in front of
the TV. We also had a balcony that faced the beach. The decor in the
room was simple yet very nice. The mini-fridge was stocked with beer and
soda, but we rarely used them.
The bathroom had two sinks, which was nice. The bath/shower was
spacious. The water temperature was great, and I read somewhere that it
took a “good two minutes for anything other than cold water to come
out”. This is not true! Period! The hot water came out instantly!
Closet and drawer space was plentiful. You won't have trouble finding
drawers for all of your stuff, no matter how much you bring.
We were on the second floor. Sound proofing of the rooms was decent, as
long as people kept their doors closed. Maid service was great. It
didn’t matter if you tipped them or not, they did a good job: provided
new towels every day and cleaned the room very good. She (Letitia) even
organized the utilities that we had just left around the sinks, such ad
toothbrushes, combs, etc. We didn’t tip her every day, but we left her a
good tip the day before we left and we got a good room cleaning even
though she didn’t know if we were going to tip her or not-understand?
The beach was wonderful! It was like in Paradise-quiet, beautiful,
relaxing! It felt like you never had any problems in the world and you
will never have… you forgot about everything else and just focused on
the present moment—how to enjoy this moment and how to make it last
forever in your memory—that’s quite a feeling, huh?
The sand was white and soft and the sea blue and calm. You could just
have stayed for hours swimming. It was great! Before I went there I read
in some reviews that you need to get up early in the morning in order to
get a palapa (I guess this is the name of the unmovable umbrella made
with dry palm leaves), but it wasn’t so! You could get one of those,
although the vast majority of them were taken. You could leave your
towel there the whole night and so reserve your place for tomorrow—even
though this was not recommended, we so this happening. Generally, the
rule was that if you leave the towel in the lounger unattended for more
than 30 minutes, somebody else could sit in the lounger!
I used the poll only for one day. The water was warm and felt good—but
the pool wasn’t deep and frankly the sea water is better and more fun
for swimming. The service in the pool bar was not as fast as in other
bars, but you have to consider that there were a lot of tourists who
used the pool and everyone of them wanted a drink, so expect to wait for
a drink there.
_THE BUFFET AND A-LA-CARTE RESTAURANTS_:
I really liked the food at the Punta Cana Princess!
There are two buffets: “Casabe” and “Mare Nostrum”. And there are 3
a-la-carte restaurants: “Tex-Mex”, “Il Baccio” and “La Pettit Fondue”.
The only one I didn’t try was the “Pettit Fondue”
For a guy who likes a nice piece of juicy steak, “Mamma Mia” a-la-carte
restaurant is the ideal place. This restaurant is part of Punta Cana
Princes, but it is located in the next-door resort. A shuttle takes you
there—free of charge. You have to make a reservation though one day in
advance. Also, I liked the fillet mignon at the “Tex-Mex restaurant”.
“Mare Nostrum”, which at times turned into an a-la-carte restaurant, had
nice and tasty sea food. Even in the buffet the food was nice. Someone
in his/her review said that the food in the buffet was staying there for
a long time!!!—I have seen many times kitchen helpers replacing food
even when it wasn’t yet finished, so they were caring about food. Some
other people said in their comments that they had diarrhea. I don’t know
what they have been eating back home and if it has been so different,
because I, also have observed that the food was checked very often by
this very hard-working Food Quality Control Inspector—Rut is her name. I
have been in the food business myself for almost 7 years, and I could
appreciate the quality of food in Punta Cana Princess.
I read a comment and I laughed so hard! One tourist said that employees
don’t really understand English, so it was hard for her to order food
during her vacation, because she had said “easy on the grease” and she
got grease!!! HA-HA-HA … ONE ADVICE FROM ME: IF YOU ARE SPOILED, MAYBE
VACATIONS OUTSIDE THE U.S AREN’T FOR YOU, ALL RIGHT?
There were many tours offered, like the Monster Truck Safari, Caribbean
Festival, Horseback Riding Safari, Santo Domingo visit trip, Saona
Island (Isla Saona), etc. I chose the last one, a sail boat trip to the
very beautiful island of Saona. This was a great trip, from the speed
boat to the sail boat; in the sail boat there was music, dancing, rum
and coke—great! From the island we went to the National Park of Star
Fish (that’s the name I guess!!!). And then in a speed boat back to the
shore: in the speed boat the fun tripled!!! It was very beautiful and
worthy. This trip takes place only on Wednesdays, so plan it in advance.
Also, I should have gone to Santo Domingo (trips on Tuesday), since I
like adventures and getting to know new people and places—maybe next
time! Our representative, Francis—Coco Tours (Vacation Express), a great
guy, helped us decide on this, and every word he told us was true. He
told us about everything in the resort and what was going on outside the
resort and how was life there and so on. We got useful information for
discos, how to get there, the prices and the taxis and how to get back
and stuff like this. Without this information I don’t think we would
have enjoyed so much, because we would have taken the time to learn
things and derivatively not spend much time on the fun. So, we are
grateful to him and another representative—Jose Manuel (Expedia.com)—for
the time we had and we strongly recommend Francis (and Jose Manuel) as
I would definitely go back! It was a very good experience: a combination
of beautiful weather, exceptional service, great food and plenty of it,
generosity and over all super-friendliness of the employees and the
locals (I really did not go there to meet tourists, since I know how
relatively unfriendly they are). I got to meet Francis, Jose Manuel, Rut
(Food Quality Control), Monica (at Reception), Amalfis and the other
girl (from Higuey) whose name I don’t remember now (who work at the
Photo Desk), Luisa (at Mare Nostrum), mi kuñato (at Casabe), Letitia
(our Room Maid), Orgalita (at Mangu), Glenn, etc, etc.
Punta Cana Princess
We got back Sunday morning from a glorious week at the Punta Cana Princess. Our experience went way beyond our expectations as we'd read a lot of negative postings. We are actually considering returning.
Sunquest states in their brochure that the hotel is a 20-minute drive from the airport. What they fail to tell you is that we had to stop at 3 other hotels on the way which makes the drive last just over an hour. Our arrival at Punta Cana airport was very quick and very well-organized. We arrived at the resort around 10:30 p.m. and check-in was quick. We bought the VIP package and the front desk clerk gave us our VIP bracelets and asked me if I minded coming back between 9:00-12:00 the next day to pick up my package which was locked at guest services and she didn't have a key. I really didn't mind because I wanted to make all our a-la-carte reservations the next day after breakfast anyway. They tagged our luggage with our room number and it followed about 5 minutes after we'd let ourselves in our room.
Overall Cleanliness & Layout
One word - spotless! From the rooms, to the lobby, to the grounds - there's always someone cleaning. Also, the proximity of every service at the resort is pretty close. In our opinion, this was definitely one of the advantages to a smaller resort.
We had room 5205. Third floor, king size bed, full bath. We'd requested Bldg 5/3rd floor and got it. Our view was beach and pool bar. It was cleaned every day in the morning and towels and beverages were replaced/replenished around 6:00 p.m. every night. Each room has a big golf umbrella and bathrobes that you can use during your stay. The safe requires you to program it with your own 4-digit code. We had no theft problems while we were there.
Arrived at Guest Services shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. There was one couple in front of me waiting to make reservations while another couple was finishing up. My total wait time was about 15 minutes so no biggie there. I was able to make 4 reservations at once including La Cava which was part of the VIP package. She told me that I could reserve another if I'd like but only later on in the week and at least 24-hours prior. She also informed me that the opening of à-la-carte restaurants varied from day to day. I found this out while making our reservations. For example, I would ask for Brazilian for 8:30 on Monday and she would reply "they're closed on Monday but I can give you Brazilian on Wednesday and Tex Mex on Monday". FYI - all the à-la-carte menus are on a rack next to Guest Services and you can look at them any time which makes it much easier to make your choices. She then gave me my VIP envelope which included two cards for massages, two for one-hour Internet service, two for motorized water sports and two for La Cava.
Just one word of advice: if you like wine with your meal and plan on drinking from the wine list, the prices are very high. We knew this before leaving so bought 3 bottles at Duty-Free and didn't regret it. For example, a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz was $15 US and we only paid $10 CDN at Duty-Free.
Dress code: the Buffet insists that you wear a t-shirt or some sort of cover up (males & females) at breakfast and lunch as you will be refused entrance if you're just wearing a bikini top and pareo, if you're wet or in your bare feet. Dress code for all the à-la-cartes stipulate that men have to wear a collared shirt and long pants. No restrictions on footwear for men. Hubby wore leather sandals. Men were allowed dress shorts at the buffet for dinner.
Breakfast was always at the buffet and was always good. Yes, it can happen that all the silverware isn't on your table but we never experienced a staffer not setting the table for us or not coming back when we requested a missing piece. We can't understand why others had such a problem with this. I can understand vegetarian posters who've complained of lack of choice, but I'm also under the impression that it doesn't matter where you go in the islands, you're pretty much out of luck if you're not a meat or fish eater. On the other hand, if you're not vegetarian and can't find anything to eat, then you should rethink travelling anywhere. Hubby actually heard someone complain that he couldn't find anything to eat because he was a meat n' potatoes kind of guy, yet there were meat and potatoes on almost every menu and at buffet. Yeesh!!!!! Makes you wonder what they eat at home. We, on the other hand, love to try new things.
On Sunday, we had a reservation for the Mediterranean restaurant. It's on the beach next to the 24-hour beach bar, therefore an open-air space. Then the torrential downpour came at about 5:30 that evening. We retired to our balcony to wait out the storm which never let up for the rest of the evening. Guest Services called to advise us that the Mediterranean restaurant would be closed, however they were moving us to the Tex Mex and still offering us the Mediterranean menu. Great service indeed! Hubby had steak and I had lobster tails. Yum! We brought our own wine and there was no problem whatsoever.
Monday night we ate at the Tex Mex. We both had the filet mignon. After reading a lot of reviews on this site about overcooked beef, we decided to order medium-rare (we both like medium) and it was cooked perfectly (medium). Again, no problem having our own wine served.
Tuesday night we had buffet* which was terrific. There's a lot to choose from and like breakfast, everything is replenished accordingly. The food is fresh. What's supposed to be cold is cold and what's supposed to be hot is hot. We lucked out that night as they had whole suckling pig at the roasting station. Desserts were very good too.
Wednesday night we had Brazilian. This restaurant is on the beach at the Tropical Princess, a 4-minute walk. If you're a meat lover, you'll love this place. There is a small side buffet open for sides like salads, veggies, etc. Then a waiter comes out 5 different times (courses) with meat on skewers which he carves on to your plate. The order being, chorizo sausages, chicken, fish, pork ribs, turkey and finally beef. Needless to say, we were stuffed when we left.
Thursday night we buffet again and it was just as good as on Tuesday.
Friday we went to La Cava at the Tropical Princess and it was really good. Hubby had beef carpaccio and I had shrimp and lobster cocktail. We both had lobster tails which were huge. Dessert was good too. Again, no problem bringing our own wine. Wine was very expensive here but they had an impressive wine list. Be warned that service may be a bit slow for some of you. The whole meal took about 2 1/2 hours, but we're used to it so it didn't bother us. Just wish we'd brought two bottles of wine. Also, on the night of your reservation, Guest Services will ask you to present yourself at their desk 1/2 hour before your reservation. They then print out an invitation to which they staple your card to and you bring this to the restaurant. They will also arrange for transportation but we opted to walk over. It's only about a 4-minute walk.
*Note: We went to dinner around 8:30 p.m. every night and there was never a shortage of food at the buffet.
This was one of the highlights of our trip. Deyonera (?) and Emilio were the best. Always friendly and fun to be with. Try a Coco Loco. They're amazing. Deyonera makes the best shaken Margaritas I've ever had. There was animation every night at the lobby bar which generally started at 10:00 p.m. A lot of it was funny and it was loud as other travellers have posted, but it lasts until about 10:45-11:00. Then it gets quiet again. If you want quiet, go to the beach bar which is open 24 hours, weather permitting (open air). It seemed to only close on our 2nd and 3rd night due to rain. The disco and casino were at the Tropical but we never went.
We didn't use the pool at all. Since our room overlooked the swim-up bar, we took the opportunity to observe, more than once, guests who sat there for a very long periods time and drinking heavily. Draw your own conclusions. Thanks, but no thanks. I'm sure the ocean water is much cleaner. The pool is attractive and there never seemed to be a problem finding a lounger. Workers hose down the sidewalks every day that surround the pool.
The beach at the PC Princess is one of the less congested we saw on all our walks. It didn't matter what time one would get to the beach as there were always palapas and loungers available. We stopped setting our alarm after the first day. The water was warm and we had quite a few waves during our week which was fun. We tried the VIP beds once but ended up under palapas all week. We only saw butler service twice during our week but to be honest, we weren't really paying attention as we read and walked the beach a lot.
I disagree with some posters who've said that they cater to the 18-30 crowd. Not so. If you want to participate, you can. For example, after animators invited us to play volleyball twice and turning them down, they did not ask us again. Can you blame them? I looked at this as being courteous and not disturbing us. As far as "guests entertaining guests", I disagree with that too. They tried hard to get people to participate in the lobby bar, but they also respected people who weren't interested. Guests who did participate were having a great time. If animation and shows are important, walk over to the Tropical for the show that starts at 10:00 p.m. every night and go to their disco and/or casino. There's plenty to do if you really want to.
There are two spas - one at the PC Princess on the beach and a more formal one shared by the Princess and the Tropical. I was given the choice for our massages and I picked the formal one because it was so quiet. The massages were wonderful. They're usually "hit or miss" in the islands but these were really nice. We'd booked 8:30 a.m. and it was a great way to start the day.
We tipped the maid $1 US/day. We also tipped at restaurants and the lobby bar staff, who, I will add, never looked at the amount - very professional. So it didn't matter if you were tipping them $1, $5, or $10; everyone got the same friendly service.
Please refer to my posting in the DR Travellers' Forum entitled "Skyservice from PC to Montreal - Warning".
Overall, we can't wait to go back. If you have any questions, please fee free to address me in the Forum.
Punta Cana Princess
Moira and Tony England
My husband and I have just returned from this hotel and we were disappointed enough to write a review for your site. Unfortunately the service in the hotel was not of a 5* standard. The staff were pleasant enough and the setting beautiful in lovely well maintained grounds. The beachfront was lovely and the fact that this is an adult only resort a welcome change for the Dom Rep. However, the animation team, who are extremely hardworking, only cater for the 18-30 set. They don't entertain the guests, the guests entertain the guests with "Mr Punta Cana", "Miss Punta Cana" and "The perfect Couple" competitiions running every evening! Also the only place to sit in comfortable chairs and drink out of a glass rather than a plastic mug was reception, lovely until 9.30 - 10 pm when the animation team arrived to start their silly games. At this point the decibels hil the high 20's and the chance of holding a conversation with anyone disappeared. The only alternative was the beach bar, plastic chairs, plastic cups or your room.
The buffet restaurant was good, good choice of food, well presented but if you were able to find a table that was laid up properly you were lucky. The waiters and waitresses, when asked for the missing items, say "yes" and disappear never to be seen again. We just gave up and robbed what we needed from tables near by. The alacart restaurants were all very disappointing.
Food was poorly cooked, tables not laid up properly, staff badly trained although willing, plates so hot they burnt your hands, food on them tepid at best. My advice, stick to the buffet restaurant. Rooms were nicely laid out but watch out for the cockroaches! Tell the maids to lock the patio doors if you don't want to be infested with mosquitos, but check they do, because even though we were on the ground floor our were constantly left open after the maid had been in.
The sad thing is this resort could be excellent, but its staff are not trained well and there is nowhere comfortable to go to escape the animation set in the evenings.
Punta Cana Princess
Maria and Clive (44 & 42) England
Having just returned from the Punta cana Princess and having had the best time I felt I should lrt people know that the staff are NOt rude or unhelpfull quite the oppisite the staff cannot do enough for you with or without a tip. They even cooked us pizza in the beach bar at 5am when we retunred from the disco a little worse for ware.The food is great I am a veggie and I ete very well over the Whole of my two week stay and my husband had no complaints at all in fact he said the buffet was one of the nicest and we have stayed in alot if all inclusive five star hotels in the carribean . The rooms are fine with everything you need not the best I have seen but no complaints we had a room by the pool oppisite the pool bar very handy as we did not go for the VIP which had a lovely veiw and was both equidistant to the beach and buffett. The beach is beautifull and one of the nicest beaches I have seen ,you can walk down the beach for miles looking at clear blue water whilst walking on puffy white sand heaven! The hotel is very small but you can use thetwo hotels nearby they run a shuttel bus to take you there but you can walk there yourself in five mins either from the front lobby or downn the beach depending on where you are going from. There is a Disco in the other hotel which is open untill very late it was great fun lots of the locals use it to so there is a good mix of people . The first tome we went we paid ten dollars to get back to the hotel. By the time we went for the second time we had found it was a five minute walk and very safe as it was enclosed hotel grounds with security men posted at all the entrances! All in all I cannot fault this hotel if you want nightime entertainment then you would need to try the other hotel as this is doest not have a great selection but as I have said you can be in the other hotel in 5mins. One thing I forgot to mention lots of resturants to choose from as well.So have a great holiday we did.
Punta Cana Princess
My sister and I travelled to the Punta Cana Princess two years ago and returned again this year. It has since become an adult only resort where the kid's pool has been filled in and the kid's activity centre has been turned into a Swiss Fondue Restaurant (a la carte).
The bus ride to the resort from the airport was a little long since we had to drop off passengers at 3 different places which prolonged the advertised 20 minute drive by about a 1/2 hour. Only 4 of us were checking in and all went well. There was a light rain when we arrived and the porter suggested we wait so he could drive us to our room along with our luggage. Nice added touch on his part.
The staff is very flriendly with everyone from the gardener to the kitchen aid saying "Ola" every time they see you. The grounds are very well maintained and everything is beautiful, including the statues which provide good picture backgrounds.
The beach is the most beautiful I have seen in the DR. It is long, wide, fine white sand and the ocean is warm. The beach is never too busy that you cannot find a "hut" or a chair. The VIP package provides access to a large four poster sun bed right on the ocean front. The swim up bar is enjoyable and never very busy.
I requested building 5 but it was not available since the resort was full. Strangely enough, we were assigned the same room we had 2 years ago in building 3. The room is clean, flowers are added to the bed and the bathroom every morning.
The buffet food is good for the DR but like any other resort, it does not catter to vegetarians. I knew that before I went and was prepared to lose weight. They use very little spices when preparing food and a lot of it is bland. One night, in one pasta sauce, I found they had added basil. Otherwise their idea of a vegetarian is a person who eats rice, pasta, vegetables and fruits. They forget that we too require protein, fiber etc. Eggplant was used in large quantities to decorate the section containing different salads so I expected to see an eggplant curry, or eggplant stew but not one eggplant dish was prepared all week. It would be nice if they introduced a section of vegetarian cooking as more and more people are becoming vegetarian. It's not like meat eaters would be cheated since there are many varieties of different meat dishes at every meal. They even put meat or seafood in salads which is totally unnecessary.
Overall, a wonderful experience once again … Would I go back? Guaranteed -- next winter for sure!!
Punta Cana Princess
We just got back from this beautiful island. We were pleasantly surprised with our accommodations and surroundings. The pictures I searched out on-line do not do this facility justice. The grounds are absolutely beautiful....incredibly well groomed and immaculate.
The staff were friendly and very accommodating. Couldn't have asked
for a more relaxing vacation. There was never any big rush to get
chairs at the pool or at the beach. If you want a laid-back vacation with no children and a smaller resort, this is a good choice. The buffets were good, along with the al la carte restuarants, and
especially the Beach party night. The VIP package is well worth the
price with many extras. We will definitely return to this hotel, there is much comfort in a smaller resort, getting to know staff and other vacationers.
Punta Cana Princess
We travelled with friends to the Princess Hotel, beautiful place, beach was gourgeous and the pool as well. One problem was when our friends got their clothing stolen right out of their room. Not very Happy!! Staff was extremely rude and actually called off our bus before we signed somehthing saying we wouldn't come back for reimbursement. So it was sign or stay. Would never go back.
Punta Cana Princess
In my humble opinion this is one of the nicest resorts in the D.R. The hotel is beautiful, the grounds are very well kept. The pool is large and has an abundance of lounge chairs. The bars are all strategically placed for a minimum of walking and the staff will bring you a drink at your lounger if you are patient. The beach and ocean are beautiful but you must get up early if you want to secure a seat on the ocean front.
The loungers under the cabana's with an ocean view are a hot item.
I enjoyed all the food in all the restaurants and buffets. I took a capsule called PS 8 twice daily, from the health food store, and never suffered any illness for even a moment. Every day I ate fresh fruit and the most beautiful tomatoes chased by copious amounts of drinks full of ice with no ill effect.
I think the biggest plus for this resort is the staff, maids, waiters, etc. were all wonderfull. I loved the smallness of this resort and the fact there were no line ups for anything. If you need a nightclub fix, go next door.
The only downside to this resort as it is at any resort is...... did you guess what I was going to say........******** tourists, but you knew that, right.
Punta Cana Princess
We just got home yesterday from our second visit to the PCP. We are two couples from Toronto in our early 60’s. We had a wonderful 2 weeks again.
This hotel may not be exciting enough for some people but it’s perfect if you want quiet, no line ups, good food, and great staff. We went VIP this year and felt it was well worth the extra money. However the gourmet dinner at the Cava at the Caribe was a disappointment.
We like this hotel because of its size. When you leave your room it’s a 2 minute walk to either the beach, pool, food or bar. Big resorts where you have to walk for miles or get a trolley are not for us.
I can’t say enough about the staff. We were all sick with this stomach virus going around Toronto while we were there. Chef made up applesauce for us and food was delivered to our room. Guest services were really concerned and documented where we had eaten etc. It wasn’t food related as we all came down with it at different times and after different meals. The wait staff always noticed when someone in our group was missing and inquired as to how we were when we were back to eating again.
I know everyone has different expectations about a resort but we will certainly go back there next year.
Punta Cana Princess
Getting there and arriving:
Our flight out was painless. We departed 30 minutes late from Toronto but arrived pretty much on schedule. Couldn’t get a Presidente on our arrival, everything was closed (approx. 10:00pm. It was about 65 minutes from the airport to our hotel (3 drop offs before us). Only 8 people checked in, again painless. The place was deserted. We were given our room number, bracelets, etc., and were pointed in the direction of our room. No problem, we aint going there yet. We need a welcome drink in the DR. Straight to the bar, had a couple of Presidentes each and headed off to our room (the time is now after Midnight and the Lobby bar is closed).
Perfect. We were in building 4(Thanks Ruth, aka, mra, but we couldn’t get building 5 because we were not VIP), second floor (room 4102) and the view was of the garden, which was basic, but definitely pretty, but when you looked to the left you could see the pool and the ocean. Room was large quiet and spotless. Sunken living room, large closet, about 14 drawers, the TV worked (remote in room) as did the toilet, fan, AC. The fridge had lots of water (2 large bottles), 2 bottles coke, 2 Sprite and 2 very strange beers, Soberana (very hoppy)). This is the first time we have gone anywhere and never asked to be moved. The magic touch was the coffee maker, and there was 2 packs of coffee, so I would get up around 7:00 am, turn on the coffee and, lo and behold, Hubby would waken up with the smell of fresh brewed coffee and our day(s) began.
With or without tips, never really changed. Sometimes we would have another pouch of coffee, but no water. More water, no coffee, no everything one day (after a few $$ tip and presents) but a quick call to the front desk took care of everything we were missing in about 10 minutes.
Funny story, we had purchased a couple of cans of Presidente and met the maid one night, Jim tried to tell her that he didn’t like the Soberana but preferred Presidente and did she have any bottles of that instead, she said “beer no good” get good beer”, she took his tip, removed the Soberana and never came back, I thought it was priceless. I told him, you said you didn’t like it so she took it away and assumed you were going to “buy” your Presidente.
Beautiful. It is very small and laid back (quiet). There are a few stores on site: Mini mart, jewelers, art store, and cigar place. When you walk into the cigar store, it is Air Conditioned and they give you a “free cigar”. We bought his/hers cigars but mostly we purchased our gifts next door at the Caribe/Tropical resort (cheaper).
Bars and Restaurants: Now this is where it gets interesting! No one knew what the heck was going on. We tried several times in the AM to make reservations for the a la carte restaurants, but the ones we wanted were “fully booked” only to find our they weren’t even open. When they were open, and fully booked, there was about max. 10 people in the place. Oh well. We definitely wanted to book the La Bocia, because we just love lamb chops and they had them on the menu. Couldn’t be done during our 2 week stay when we wanted to go. No big deal it turns out, because we met a couple there that went for the lamb chops and they said that “if you like chewing Danier Leather then they were fine, hmmm.”.
The buffet, the food was there! If you are a major seafood lover and like pretty heavy sauce, you will like it. It was too much for us, because all the beef, pork, chicken, etc., was like shoe leather. The seafood was excellent, but 14 days on rich food is not for us. We had a good fall back tho’, the pasta was always freshly made. (They could make everything a little warmer tho’. They seemed to have mastered the process of ground beef because their meatballs and lasagna were excellent (but only showed up once in the two weeks we were there).
The Egg Man: Oh Well, I still didn’t receive an over easy egg. He (they) tried for 14 days. Maybe next year!
My Favourite Topic: The Washrooms:
They were immaculate, what more can I say. We wandered over every day to the Caribe/Tropical and I went back to go the PCP to go the “loo”. I went once in the lobby of the Caribe./Tropical and only 2 were kinda’ working (those ones were clean). One had no toilet seat and only 1 door semi closed. The Tropical only has one “hole each, one male one female” on the beach for a multitude of people. Ours had 5.
I guess we were Spoiled:
We went over every day to the Caribe/Tropical for a drink and/or something to eat and check it out and I was literally disgusted. I am a smoker, however, I can always find an ashtray or improvise, (get a Presidente in a plastic glass, keep the warm stuff, put in a little sand, use it as a ashtray, and put it in the garbage when you leave, which we always did, not there. If you plan on going, keep your eyes down. I got (in my 14 days there) 3 plastic forks stuck up my foot, The place was littered with French fires, bits of Pizza, dirty diapers etc.
All I can say is what a pathetic performance. Bring back the Piano Bar for an Adult only resort and stop playing among yourselves. You are literally pathetic.
24 hour service:
It would be nice to know where it is?? The beach bar (where the 24 hour service is supposed to be is closed on (what we found out) on Tuesdays and Fridays) and becomes the buffet area, but someone forgot to tell the right hand what the left hand was doing and nothing was available after midnight one night of our stay, then another night we were told the beach area was closed because it was raining, hello, it rained for 10 minutes.
Eating off Resort:
We only ate at the new place over lunch, Le Creperie in the Caribe/tropical, and Jim renamed it “La Crapier . I have never eaten anything more disgusting in my life!!
Go every day to the lobby to find out what the heck is going on.
Would we go back?
Absolutely!! But, if you want action, this is definitely not the place for you!!
Punta Cana Princess
Just got back from 2 weeks at the Punta Cana Princess ( Dec. 5 to 19) and thought I would share my findings with anyone looking for reviews. We had a great holiday. Along with the fact the resort is a little smaller (at 270+ rooms) than some and is adult only (according to staff this may change back in Feb.) it is a very quiet and relaxing setting. On the other hand, if you want more action & activity, you have the option to go next door to 2 large sister resorts and use the amenities and restaurants there. The rooms, resort, pool and beach are kept very clean.
The food is fairly typical what you find in most D.R. resorts but plentiful and lots of variety. One would be hard pressed to not find something they like. The D.R. often gets a bad rap for people getting sick on the food or whatever but my own observation is that it is generally over consumption of sun, alcohol, & food, in that order. As is the case with traveling to any strange country, you might get thrown off a bit (and yes, I do) but this can be minimized if you “ease into it” slowly and don’t go at it too hard at the start.
The staff is great. While predominantly Spanish, they always seem to be able to communicate or will get someone that can. One has to empathize that they are dealing with English, French, German, and a host of other languages. Most important, they are a friendly (if you are) courteous, congenial people who seem happy to do for you what ever they can. I tip the occasional dollar out of appreciation (and also because they don’t receive gratuities as most operators suggest in their brochures) but it is not necessary in order to receive good service. A smile and simple “gracias” will go along way.
The beach is rated by some travel magazines in the top 10 beaches in the world for a good reason. It is white, wide and long.
To summarize, the 5 star rating by some operators might be a bit of a stretch but it is definitely 4+. Good bang for the buck. Go and enjoy your holiday.
Punta Cana Princess
We just returned from Punta Cana Princess where we spent 7 nights (May 24 - May 31). This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic.
Flights: We traveled on American Airlines from STL to MIA to PUJ and reversed to come home. The flight down was fine, although Miami Airport is not very smoker friendly. *NOTE - AA is very strictly enforcing their 50 lb. weight limit on each checked bag. Whether this is something new, I don't know because I usually fly charter. The lady at the check in desk at STL was very nice and allowed us to rearrange items in our baggage to get under the 50 lb. limit. The flight home was a nightmare. We arrived about 2 hours and 20 minutes before our scheduled departure. We waited in line at check in for probably half an hour and then had our baggage pulled for inspection. When we finally got to the ticket counter, the lady checked all of our light bags through first and took the heaviest one last. Luckily, she was not paying attention when she weighed it (or she took pity on us) because it was 3 lbs overweight. Most of the people around us had to pay extra for their overweight luggage. OK, finally got our baggage check and then had to rush to our gate. BTW, most of PUJ airport is open air and not air conditioned, so be prepared to sweat. Flight to Miami was pretty turbulent, although on time. We get to Miami and were informed that because Miami has no waiting area for international travelers, we had to go through immigration, reclaim our checked baggage, go through customs and then re-check our baggage all before our connecting flight boards. Immigration was like a one mile walk from the gate we disembarked from, so we ran to immigration. *NOTE - immigration is much quicker with a Passport than other ID. Got through immigration and ran to reclaim our luggage. We waited over an hour for our luggage before AA discovered that they had routed our luggage to the wrong carousel. Rather than tell us which carousel our luggage was on, they were going to hand truck all of our luggage to the carousel we were at, which meant that they were bringing about 10 bags every 10 minutes. We finally got smart and followed one of the hand trucks to the other carousel, reclaimed our bags and set out running (with all luggage in tow) to customs. We were fortunate, because our connecting flight was later than most, and a gentleman who worked for the airport took pity on us and rushed us through customs and baggage check in, otherwise we would have missed our flight, as I am sure many other passengers did. As it was, we barely made it to our gate (which was about a mile and a half from customs) in time to catch our connecting flight to STL. From now on, I am flying charter or no way at all.
Check-In: We arrived at the resort around 3:30 in the afternoon. Check-in was a bit disappointing. Our reservations were for 3 adults (myself (age 35), my husband (age 45) and his brother (age 40)) for one room. This seemed to baffle the clerk. They had only prepared our key cards and towel cards for two people and did not have any of our freebie coupons (for our VIP package) ready when we arrived. Finally, they gave us an extra towel card, but said that we would have to return the next day for another key card because their machine was out of order and that we would have to return at 6:00 PM to pick up our freebie cards. We had to ask for the drinks that we were supposed to receive on arrival. They were also visibly upset by the number of bags that we arrived with (7 total - 5 checked bags and 2 carry-ons for 3 people). *NOTE: The front desk and guest service people speak barely enough English to get by, so be prepared to have to spend a little time there if you don't speak Spanish. We finally got to our room at around 4:20 PM and our bags arrived about 20 minutes later. We decided to relax in the room until time to go back to get our freebie cards and dinner. When we returned to the lobby to get the freebie cards, they once again had only prepared for 2 people and proceeded to argue with us that we were not entitled to cards for 3 people. We finally prevailed but were told to pick up the cards the following morning. We then went to the main buffet for dinner. This was really disappointing. While they have a large selection of food, most of it appeared to have been setting out for quite a while (i.e. quesadillas that were just tortillas because all of the cheese and filling had melted out). They have the makings for a salad, but these are sparse and the dressings are kind of scary (either very runny or very lumpy). The desserts are phenomenal and there is always a selection of ice creams as well. I returned to the guest service desk the next morning to get our freebie cards and they were still not ready. I did finally get them at around 1:00 PM the second day of our stay. At that time I also booked our first a la carte reservation. I requested the Tex Mex restaurant, which I was informed, was closed that night. Wound up at the Italian restaurant at 9:00 PM. From what I could tell, they only book like 2-3 tables per half hour reservation slot, which baffled me because there is like 30 tables in each restaurant and plenty of staff, so make your reservations early. If you have the VIP package, you can make your reservations anytime and if you want, you can book for your whole stay at one time. Also note that you have to take the card that they give you to the restaurant with you or they will not seat you and don't be late or they won't seat you.
Breakfast: I'm not big on buffet breakfasts, so I only ate breakfast twice during our stay. Breakfast is a buffet, and is edible. They have a wide variety including sausage, eggs, bacon, French toast, pancakes, and many native dishes. They will also custom prepare omelets. They also have bread and a toaster available. There is a large variety of juices. My husband and his brother were very satisfied with the breakfast. However, I will repeat that this food sets out for long periods of time so don't expect anything spectacular.
Lunch: We did not eat at the main buffet for lunch so I cannot comment on that. We did eat at the beach buffet (Mare Nostrum) and ordered room service a couple of times. Mare Nostrum has better food than the main buffet, although there is less selection. However, they do have pizzas and freshly grilled foods. This food was edible but nothing spectacular. Room service was decent. We had burgers and "fried potatoes" (French fries) and a Caesar salad. The burgers were pretty good although the buns were twice as big as the burgers. Fries were good. The Caesar salad was made with regular iceberg lettuce that was wilted and drowned in dressing, but had a good flavor. They always seemed to forget the cole slaw that was supposed to accompany the burgers.
Dinner: Once again, I repeat that the main buffet is somewhat disappointing. The food sits out for long periods of time. I will say that they do have a variety (theme nights). They did Mexican, Italian, and Oriental on the nights that we went to the buffet. The food is edible. The A La Carte restaurants are a different story. We went to the Italian and Tex Mex restaurants and both were excellent. The guys also used our freebie cards at El Pescador (seafood). They were not impressed with the food there. We also went to the beach party at Mare Nostrum one night. This was probably the best buffet food we had the whole time we were there.
*NOTE: My husband and I both got sick during our stay (him for 2 days and me for 4 days with terrible stomach cramps) and all 3 of us had diarrhea. We were very careful not to drink the tap water not even to brush our teeth. We are pretty diverse eaters, but we finally decided that the sickness was due to the oils that they prepare their food in. We had taken Pepto Bismal with us as well as antibiotics from our doctor, but neither of these seemed to do much good. When I got home a friend who travels a great deal informed me that "Airborne" is what we should have taken. It is like an Alka Seltzer that you take once a day and you can buy it at Wal-Mart, so I would highly recommend this. My friend said to start taking it the day before you depart.
Resort: The resort is beautifully landscaped, although some of the flower beds around the rooms were a bit overgrown with weeds. The cleaning crews are out early (around 6:00 am), but they didn't disturb me at all. I usually slept until 8 or 9 am. They are all very friendly but most don't speak English. There are a few "creepy crawlies" around, mostly ants but some centipedes and lizards. I would not want to be on the ground floor and I think that the 3rd floor rooms have the best views. Although it is no fun hiking the stairs all the time, it is definitely worth the view and then the only critters that you have to worry about are the ants.
Room: The rooms are the best part of this resort. We were in room 4211. In some other reviews, it was stated that the 5000 building was the best, but I thought the view from our room was great. We had a great view of the pool with the ocean behind it. The rooms are very spacious with plenty of drawer space. The lighting is kind of poor, even in the bathroom. They have these great magnifying mirrors in the bathrooms, but it is too dimly lit to use them. Our room had 2 double beds and a sofa/daybed thing that also had a trundle bed that pulled out. There is a phone by the beds and also one in the bathroom. The maid arrived at the room later in the evening for turn down service, to replenish bath towels and to restock the mini fridge (VIP perk). The maid service was excellent here. I took along some coloring books, crayons and candy from Dollar General, which I left for her each day along with $2 USD. The room was always immaculate, she stocked the fridge and replenished coffee in whatever quantities I requested, and always came by in the evening to restock the fridge and towels. She also left pretty flowers in the bathroom and on the pillows everyday. Most of the maids speak little to no English so I went prepared with appropriate Spanish phrases for the things that I needed to request. A word of warning, I have some pretty serious back problems and I had a back ache the entire time I was there. The mattresses are VERY firm on the beds, the "daybed" has a covered foam pad on it that is about 2 inches thick that sits on a solid board and the trundle bed is just a VERY firm mattress on a frame. The patio/ balcony chairs are resin with no pads and the chairs at all of the buffets / restaurants had with very thin pads (if any). Basically, I'm saying that if you can't handle some pretty uncomfortable sitting/sleeping arrangements, keep looking. Also, take an expired credit card or some kind of card with a magnetic strip, because there are these little readers just inside your door that you are supposed to put your key card in to activate the electricity in your room. Without it, you come back to a HOT room. We were fortunate enough that someone left their key card in our slot and we never took it out during our entire stay.
Pool & Beach: The pool appeared to be the largest of the three sister resorts (Tropical Princess and Caribe Club) and it was very well kept. Always clean and there is a "pool boy" who works on the pool all day long. The beach is nice as well, although on this particular stretch of beach there are these pine needle like things that wash up on the beach all day long. They rake them up every morning, but they continue to wash up all day. There was a breeze that blew through all day and night during our entire stay which helped to cool us off from the 90+ degree weather. It rained 3 times during our stay, each time lasting less than one hour. Beach towels are kind of a pain in the rear end. They give you these cards that you have to take out to the beach to get your towels (each person gets one). With the VIP package we also had 2 additional beach towels in our room. The towels are pretty threadbare, but don't loose them because for each one that you don't turn in, they charge you $15 USD. To get your card back, you have to go back to the beach between 7 am and 5 PM, but the pool doesn't close until 7 PM, so we had to take wet towels back to our room every night and then exchange them in the morning. Also, in my opinion, the lounge chairs at the pool and the beach have to be the most uncomfortable that I have ever lain in. They are these resin things with canvas pulled over them and the cross braces are in all the wrong places and about half of them are broke. However, the resort was not anywhere near capacity at this time of year so we did not have to "reserve" lounges the way some people had complained of.
Activities: The "animacion" staff was great at activities all day long and was very friendly. I'm not much of a joiner but my husband and his brother took part in many of the activities, such as pool volleyball, beach volleyball, bocce ball, dance lessons, etc.. In terms of other activities, Punta Cana Princess doesn't really have any, however, we did find that the sister resorts (which we had sharing privileges at) have a game room, pool tables, shuffleboard, miniature golf, etc.. My husband went to the gym and the spa and said that they are very nice. I had my free 20 minute massage by the beach and it was wonderful. The hot tub is also located in the beach spa area, but we didn't try it (it was too hot outside to get in a hot tub). My brother-in-law used his free motorized water sport ticket on a banana boat ride which he said was a lot of fun, but they were not offering any other kind of motorized water sports at our resort (or so they said). He also went to many of the evening activities that they had (i.e. Kareoke, comedy shows, movies, etc.) and had a lot of fun at those.
Shuttles: These run pretty regularly between the resorts and to the Casino. NOTE: The blue topped shuttles run between resorts, red topped ones go to the Casino.
Shopping: Only 3 shops on this resort - Tobacco and Jewelry, Crafts and Art, and Mini Market. There are more shops on the sister resorts, however, and the shuttle takes you almost right to them. Beware of the "street vendors" that the resort allows to come on grounds sometimes in the evenings. They will definitely try to gouge you. And always remember to bargain and be prepared to walk away. They will follow and come back with a better price. Also, shop around before you buy anything. Also, the vendors and store clerks speak better English that anyone.
Casino: The shuttle ride is a little intimidating since you go off the resort to get there. When we arrived, there was a guy standing in the parking lot toting a shot gun which was a little scary, but I think he was security. If you play in USD, you win USD, but if you play in RDP, you win RDP. The casino is open from 5 PM until 5 am. Most of the dealers, floor people, and waitresses speak little to no English. And be sure to take your ID with you if you intend to cash traveler's cheques. They will cash traveler's cheques for USD at the cashier cage at the back of the casino. Pretty nice casino though pretty small with maybe 20 tables and around 100 slots.
Nightclub: I didn't go, but my brother in law did. Drinks are free from 11 PM until midnight. After midnight, it is $5 USD for national beer and $10 USD for mixed drinks. They also allow the locals to enter the club, so definitely don't go it alone. It gets pretty wild there as well from what my brother in law told me.
Security: There is always an abundance of security people roaming around the grounds and if you don't have your wristband, you don't get on the grounds. Don't loose your wristband, because they will attempt to make you leave the grounds if they find you without it. Security people are always carrying their night sticks at the ready and they are NOT friendly at all. Also, these people speak NO English.
Check-out: This was disastrous. We were sent a slip by our shuttle service stating to be in the lobby at 12:50 PM to meet our shuttle. When we arrived at 12:45, we were told that the shuttle was to leave our resort at 12:50 PM. I still had to check out. The desk clerk was rude, in my opinion. I owed for some phone calls that I made from the room, $14 USD. I handed the clerk $20 USD and he insisted that I pay with exact change. Well, I thought he said $15 USD (I remind you that most people here don't speak much English and I speak no Spanish) so I handed him a $10 and a $5. While holding onto my $35 he wanted to know if he could give me $1 in RDP. After a bit of discussion, I finally realized that he said $14 so I handed him $4 in ones. He gave me back the $5 but kept the $20, $10, and $4. When I asked him for my $20 back he handed it to me and said "Have a nice life".
Overall: I would give this resort a B-. It is beautiful and most people are friendly. Food at the a la carte's is good on the whole, but the buffets are definitely lacking. Comfort is lacking as well, in terms of seating and sleeping. Also, activities are somewhat lacking at this resort, but you can also hop over to one of the sister resorts. I felt very safe at this resort and there is a safe in your closet. I had a relaxing vacation here, but it could have been better. I doubt we will return to Punta Cana, because there are so many more places to explore, but if I did, I will probably try one of the other resorts. My husband, however, disagrees and says that he would return to the Princess again.
If you have any questions about this resort, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.