My friend Melissa and I decided to book a last minute vacation for our university reading week and head down south. Our intentions were: beach, booze, and maybe a few boys. Our travel agent was able to garuntee the first two and we'd have to look after the third! Our expectations weren't high. A 3 star resort is a three-star resort- However, we went into the trip with positive attitudes and had a BLAST!
Sunquest: After booking through sunquest, we flew by jetsgo-- no wonder why it went belly-up 3 weeks after our trip.... No point commenting on the exploding toilet, 4 hour delay or horrible food service. However sunquest was an issue. We were told we would be given a short tour prior to arriving at the hotel. However, after us two girls boarded this sketchy "bus" with another pair the tour guide asked if we could let him off at his home and the non-english speaking bus driver would take us the rest of the way. However the bus driver didn't know the way..... Let's just say it was a scary start for two young ladies travelling alone at 12:00pm.
Location:-It's located along a strip of other resorts so all of everything you need is located right near by. Just a short 10min bus ride to San Pedro de Marcroix. Yet if u are two girls travelling alone, leave the city before ciesta, as all the women go home leaving the streets full of shifty eyed men.
Food:- We found something. The breakfasts were the best, pancakes, eggs, fresh fruit, bread. Lots of options.
Lunch: A wide assortment of undercooked, old food, not well-prepared.. or salade, bread, grilled sandwhiches, fresh fruit. On my first day I decided to be adventurous and test out the dominican food. Yet once I found a large bone in my vegetable ball... I stuck with the basics. However going to a three star resort you can imagine that the food standards may not meet canadian expectations. All of the food is prepared using clean water.
Dinner: Same foods as lunch, you just have to wear clothes to eat. Make your own pasta was great!
A la Carte: they had 3 restaurants however Mexican and Italian were run out of the same location and alternated. You had to be up at 7:45 to wait in the long line yet if u arrived at 8 you were too late. Brazilian: the presentation was amazing- the food was served off swards, however the servers didn't speak english and couldn't tell us what we were eating. A few bites of liver later... we figured it out ourselves. Mexican: Great food, amazing salsa, although nothing on the menu for vegitarians, they would make you up some veggie tacos. the beef was slightly uncooked and the chicken was stringy, but the gaucemoley was amazing and the wine was endless.
Italian: I never got a chance to test it out but I heard it was great!
Beach/bar food: during the afternoon, and at the disco at night, you could get great pizza on the beach. very different topings from back home including spam and corn but still very good. They also offer cooked meets... maybe beef? hotdogs? chicken? it was good-- but ask him to put it back on the grill for a few more minutes once he tells u it's done.
Rooms: The beds were clean, the room was huge, the balcony was huge. The AC worked -- almost too well! The shower was sporadic, but that's expected in a tropical location... just plan your shower times and you'll be fine, plus who needs hot water after spending the day at the beach! The bathroom did have a few bugs, but after she cleaned it the first day they were all gone. And they resupplied you with fresh water everyday. Our room was great! tho some of the peole we met did have problems with their rooms, a firm request at the front desk and they would easily move you.
Beach: Great location! Our beach was made of soft sand and th swimming area had been cleared for sea-weed free swimming- but the water was VERY shallow. The beach was raked every morning. We took a walk along the other beachs, and I regret not brining my sandals as they for sure did not rake--- we had the best beach by far. Finding a chair was another story. At 8am, all the keeners would get up, put towels on their chairs and then line up for the A La Carte. However those that were making use of the disco.... had a few issues. Just be patient and they will have to run for the shade sooner or later.
We never had an issue with the towel service- they were nice big towels, clean (kinda smelled like bleach which was reassuring:)
Although their are trees brought in by the storm, they don't smell, they aren't in the way and they just kinda add to the view.
Peddlars: Although they come by for the first few days and attempt to sell you some stuff they weren't a big problem. For us ladies, we felt like we were in pretty women and just shopping as we sat:) A firm no gracios and they would leave you be. For you ladies travelling alone: young men would come by requesting the opportunity to be your "special friend" we found this kinda creepy as the suggestion of taking us to town, go swimming, taking naps and going dancing all for 200pesos didn't seem quite right. My travel partner melissa made great company!
Entertainment: The resort offered your regular resort activities during the day, including scuba diving in the pool, aqua fit, dancing lessons, spanish classes and the like. The nightly entertainment would consist of either a dance show... although it was good it got a bit repetative, or some sort of audience participation/ comedy show... normally consisting of champagne prizes!
The entertainment staff were very friendly, fun young guys... hold maybe that's because we were two girls travelling alone. However a firm no would also set them straight.
Although the beach and disco were located across the street, it was less then a ten second walk yet seperated the loud disco music from the est of the resort. Those that wanted to get up and book dinner could sleep while those that wanted to party could dance. The disco was small and quiet and a combination of 2003 American music with salsa and some dominican hiphop to mix it up, however the drinks were flowing and no bouncer was present to enforce any rules.
All in all, If I would suggest the Ocean Arc Decameron for anyone wanting budget travel. It is a great 3star hotel. and you get what you pay for.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
Perry & Sharon Canada
Let me begin by saying that prior to departure we read every single review of this resort, and almost didn't go there because of the negativity. There are very few decent pictures available online for this resort that actually show you what it really looks like, and that also seemed strange, so I remedied that. If you want to see my pictures, just go to http://groups.msn.com/OceanArcDecameronMarch2005/shoebox.msnw
There are two pages, and they are clearly labelled.
Without personally attacking all the negative reviews, I will say this; it isn't up to your resort to make you have a good vacation, IT IS UP TO YOU. If you, by nature, are a born complainer, don't go to anything less than a 5 star resort. Ocean Arc Decameron is billeted as a 2 to 3 star resort (depending on what websites you check), and that's pretty accurate. We left from Canada for our vacation, so our intent was to get rest, away from work, and away from -40 degree Celsius cold, and snow shovelling. All any resort really needed to offer us was a bed, booze, beach, pool and food. Mission accomplished. Our room was adequate, the drinks were just fine, the beach was beautiful, the pool was excellent and (as has been stated in many other reviews) there was always something you could eat at the buffet.
Rather than adding to the negative attacks on this resort, I offer my criticisms below as advice to the resort ownership and management to improve their reputation, since they do have so much to offer.
In reading all the other reviews, the single largest complaint was about the food. Ocean Arc Decameron's buffet sorely lacked variety. The food was undercooked a few times, and you could see leftover food being used 1 to 2 days later (ie. Tuesday lunch's hotdogs, became Wednesday and Thursday's breakfast sausage). Hotdogs are not breakfast sausages, and cooked and re-cooked over a couple days become rather gross and unappealing. According to your information sheets, you have 3 other on-site restaurants to choose from; Italian, Brazilian, and Mexican. You need to better utilize these 3 restaurants to break up the monotony and lack of variety that people feel from your buffet, unfortunately these restaurants are more often than not closed due to "technical difficulties". This means that on each night only one restaurant "may" be operational, and while you may have booked Italian, you could find yourself eating Mexican. Consistency is important! My advice; fix those technical difficulties, and have at least 2 of the 3 restaurants running daily. You have them, so why not use them? I realize that this means increased staffing costs, it is the same reason leftovers are used up, but with increased positive reviews of your food, will come increased revenues. People won't be scared away by rumours of bad food. Don't kid yourself, these reviews affect your revenues. We almost didn't go to your resort because of them. How many customers do you think you've lost because of these negative reviews?
My advice to your patrons who are having trouble with the buffet; get off the resort and try some of the local restaurants. I HIGHLY recommend the Robby Mar restaurant in San Pedro de Macoris. Tony (the owner) is a great guy, speaks excellent english, and the food is on par with what we expect from our restaurants in Canada. To get to San Pedro, walk out to the highway, turn right, and a bus will stop and pick you up, 20 pesos and 10 minutes later, they'll make their first stops in San Pedro (ask the doorman to stop on the road that Robby Mar is on). It is a short walk up the road, and you'll see a Coca Cola sign with small lettering underneath pointing down a very short alley to Robby Mar. Robby Mar is on the water, with a beautiful patio and clean washrooms. If you'd rather take a cab, it is 300 pesos (each way), don't pay any more than that.
Another consistent complaint was in the resort staff not being very fluent in English. This is true. This resort either needs to hire a few more people with better command of English, or bring in someone to train their staff. This leads into my next point.
My bride-to-be has a severe seafood allergy. In the Mexican restaurant, we tried very hard to explain to the waitress that her food could not be cooked near or contain any seafood. Her beef-dish was cross-contaminated with some form of seafood (the beef had a definite fish taste), and a very scary allergic reaction occurred. When we tried to return it, telling the waitress that it had been tainted by seafood, she thought we meant that we'd changed our minds and wanted seafood. Had the waitress better understood English this would not have happened, but without a better understanding of allergies, one day (if it hasn't already happened) someone will really get hurt or die. To the credit of the hotel, on the next day, I asked a gentleman at front desk who had very good English to write us a note (in Spanish) stating "severe seafood allergy, no seafood can come in contact with her food". We now keep this with her passport.
There is a lot more advice I could offer the hotel, but this just becomes pointless nit-picking. These minor details will be fixed over time as the hotel upgrades, and should not deter anyone from going to the Ocean Arc Decameron. If you have any questions about this resort, just send me an email at email@example.com (remove all the 4's from that address before sending) with "Ocean Arc Decameron" in the subject line, and I'll give you any info you'd like. It is a good economical resort, and that's the bottom line.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
Stewart & Mary Canada
Before beginning this comment, we would like to state that we are not looking for a palatial setting in a 3 – 3 1/2 star hotel. We do know that the star rating is very much lower than in Canada. Therefore our expectations were not high.
This is our second visit to Decameron. We enjoyed our first vacation, and when we were leaving, we noticed things were improving. Shade areas were built, painting was done, and things were being given a good cleaning. We decided to go back again, as we thought that things would have improved even more. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT. Nothing had changed, in fact, things had declined. We learned that new owners had taken over. We were told that the owners were Dominican, and they were not making any more improvements, as they were only interested in buying more property
We flew Sunwing, and were told we were members of the Sunwing VIP club, which meant we should have had express check in, concierge desk to make reservations at the three restaurants, beach towels already in our room, an exclusive block of rooms, and an exclusive bar area. None of this happened.
At the time of check-in, which was late at night, the lobby looked quite nice, but in the daylight, it did need cleaning up and repairing. The furniture in the lobby is wicker, and was starting to come apart. The cushions needed to be replaced, and the cushion covers needed to be cleaned. Nothing had been done to clean or repair them from last year.
Our room was on the third floor, which meant we were out of the mould. The room was bright and pleasant, although the only time it really smelled clean was just after the maid left. The sheets and towels never really smelled clean. There was an odour on the towels that smelled as if not enough soap was used. We had large towels, hand towels and a bath mat for the first couple of days, and then we were lucky to get one large towel, the bath mat never appeared. We never did get a face cloth. The beach towels smelled even worse, they always seemed to ‘just have come from the dryer’, but they had that strange odour too.
There were never enough loungers around the pool, and then to make matters worse, 100 students from Spain arrived. There were people lying everywhere on the concrete. It was an obstacle course to get to the pool, and then, because there were so many people, you could never swim.
We never went to the beach, because of the lack of loungers. The water was always so rough, looked dirty and smelled of fish.
The dining room was ok, but we were always afraid of falling because the floor was so slippery. It seemed that the floor was greasy all the time. I also noticed that the floor tiles were starting to lift and some people tripped on them. The food was ok, or so we thought. We both had stomach problems. And after a couple of days, it all started to taste the same. The wine never tasted quite right. One night it was so bitter I choked.
We got reservations at the Brazilian restaurant once, and really enjoyed the dinner. It was the best meal of our stay. We tried to make reservations at the Italian, and were told it was full. We stood in line, but by 8:15, we were told it was full. We tried four times, and finally gave up. We had tried the Mexican restaurant last year, and did not like it at all.
We did not even try the casino. Most people headed down the street. We knew from last year, that most of the slot machines were broken, and even if you did win, the pay out was very low. We also found the room to be very dark and dirty, and smelled of stale smoke. Service was good as long as you were gambling, but as soon as you stopped and just watched, they almost wanted to get rid of you.
Most of the staff was friendly, and talked to us. They worked hard, and had long days.
Our travel rep, Denny was fantastic. She was at the resort often, and extremely helpful.
We managed to stay at the Decameron for one week, and all the little things built up. The final point happened when we had our chairs taken by a Dominican family. We were yelled at in Spanish, and had no idea what they were saying. Quite rude, considering we were bringing tourist dollars into their country. Arrangements were made to have us moved to another hotel, and we finished our two weeks there. When we booked out, we asked for a taxi to take us to the new hotel. When we talked to the taxi driver, he said he had been told to take us to the airport.
We WILL NOT recommend this resort to anyone, and have talked to our travel agent and suggested that they not recommend it.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
We are a family of four from Sweden who recentlly came back from a nightmare
hotel! The Ocean Arc Decameron is classified *** but that must have been
years ago, and now the hotel is totally run down! Let me give you some
The rooms are damp and there is mouldspots!
The airconditon was very loud and not fully funktional!
The rooms is in a bad state, large holes in the bathtroomwalls in the
shower, the coldwatertap out of funktion.
The other bathrom flooded and out of order.
Mouldy scent in the whole room. The walls wet!
Dirty and unclean rooms!
The bathroom very dirty! Don't think it has been cleaned properly for years! The bufferestaurant: Very cracked and badly rinsed plates! Tables full of dirt and dirty, trashy tablecloths! Unfresh food , almost nothing that seemed do be fresh and tasty! Very bad
presentation of the food , mostly strange undistictible slobs! The staff in dirty clothing! The surroundings: The sunchairs in by 80% brooken and dirty by the pool and down the sea! And
The beach is not cleaned, large trees are laying in the beach front! Only at
this hotel it was like this! A lot of filth, like cigarettes and papper in
The lunch resturant in the beach:
Slobby dirty staff, who sitting and eating themselves most of the time!
Terrible food, we ate hamburger and all of us got sick. And another family
to! The hygine of the staff seem to be zero!
Very diry on the whole!
Unpolite and rude staff when we asked for a change of rooms ! We tried two
rooms in that terrible hotel and then we gave up!!
We moved to Barcelo Talanqera and that was heaven if you compaire it to
Ocean Arc Decameron!
Talanquera was also *** hotel, but this was correct and not a fake! TAKE MY
ADVISE , CHANGE HOTEL AND DON't EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING TO OCEAN ARC, it's A
NIGTMARE!! aLL THE OTHER BAD REWIEW ARE TRUE! This hotel should be closed
down! Or at least get it's right classification, at most *! We think it's a
disgrace that travelagencys sell this hotel and calls it a *** hotel!
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
Judy and Claude Canada
Hi my husband and I just returned a week ago from Ocean Arc Decameron. This is the complaint we sent in to Go Travel and after sending it, I realized we missed a few things. We would not recommend this resort to anyone.
My husband and I have just returned from 2 weeks at the Decameron Resort and to tell you the truth, for the most part is was horrible. When I booked this trip, it was a 3 1/2 start and then went to a 3 star. I want to say right up front, that I was not looking for anything spectacular, but I was expecting it to be clean, food and drinks decent to good and the beach nice. I called Go Travel before and after booking online about this resort and was told the following:
Resort was older, plain, but very clean
Food and drinks were good to excellent
Beach was gorgeous and just a short walk across a road
GO Travel Rep always available
This is what it was really like
Resort was older, plain, but very clean
Upon arriving, our first impression was that it was plain and looked to be clean. We were given a room on the ground floor. It was gloomy and dark, You could see the humidity in the walls and the mold in the bathroom. I suffer from asthma and this was a definite no. The patio door did not close completely, there was about a 3/8" gap between the bottom and top and it could not be locked. The bathroom sink was blocked and would not drain. The TV did not work and there was no remote. The air condition was not working properly. We went back to the desk and explained that because of my asthma we could not stay in this room. We were told that, there were no rooms available that day, but they would be glad to give us another room the next day at noon. We were told they would send someone to fix the patio door and the sink, no-one came that day or the next. We kept the air-conditioning going all night which was really loud, but at 5:30 in the morning I woke up choking and we decided that as soon as we could we would go back to the desk and see if we could get the room change earlier. When we went they said yes they would be giving us another room, but it would not be ready before 3pm, which turned out to be closer to 4pm. We eventually got a new room on the 3rd floor, it was clean and quite nice. The bathroom however, left something to be desired. The tub had been painted so many times that it could not be cleaned properly anymore. There was no way that I would sit in it to have a bath. Because of this, it gave the bathroom the air of being dirty, even though, I know are maid cleaned it everyday. One day, I even left her a note in Spanish, asking her to clean the tub. When we went back to our room the bathtub was exactly the same. The fixtures were all corroded and sometimes you could not shut the taps off. When you were in the shower the water would become a drip or shut off completely. You had to have a shower no later than around 4-430 pm because after that the changes of hot water or pressure were pretty slim. The hair dryer was hanging off the wall. This was fixed the second last day we were there. It took 2 days to get an iron and a remote control and if they had said we do not have any right now, that would be one thing, but they kept telling me it was on the way. When I would call back, they would say "OH it's not there yet". I want to say that our maid kept the room clean. However, there were 4 or 5 days that we had no bath mat and on one occasion, the towels we were given, although they looked like they came from the dryer, they smelled of Body Odor. We only noticed this after our showers and we ended up using our beach towels to dry off.
As for the cleanliness of the resort itself:
The bathrooms by the beach were semi-clean. Although the sinks and toilets and floors were washed daily, the wastebaskets in each stall were never washed the whole time we were there and with people throwing toilet paper in them, they were pretty disgusting (fecas all over them). Sometimes this washroom did not get cleaned before the late morning. I found this to be unacceptable, as often one or more of the toilets were blocked and could not be used. This washroom was beside the disco, so you can imagine what it was like in the morning. I did speak to our rep about this, the second day we were there, and he assured me that he would have it taken care of. (if he did, it was not consistent.) The washrooms by the reception were kept fairly clean also.
The pool area furniture was disgusting. The lounge chairs were canvas and the were filthy, I would not even lay in one with a towel. The plastic was also filthy (we have pictures. ) Not just the lounges but the tables and chairs too. The main bar by the pool was dirty, you could smell it when you were walking by. There were at least one hundred files at any given time. Now I have to say, that we did not drink at the pool bar during the day only around 3:30pm. This being said, I have been at a number of resorts and never seen or smelled anything like that.
The reception area on a closer look showed that the cushions on the chairs and couch were in bad need of a cleaning. The casino smelled so musty, I could not even go in there.
In the buffet restaurant the rags used to clean the tables were disgusting and sometimes when they washed the floors, the mop was so greasy, people were slipping all over the place. On the tables if you lifted the clean plate, there were food crumbs from the previous diner on the placemats.
Food and drinks were good to excellent
I want to say up front that the A La Carte restaurants were good, with the Brazilian being excellent each time we went there. There were no problems with breakfasts except that in the 2 weeks we were there we never once had bacon. Always sausages of some type or what they call ham, which is really klick, kam or spam. Also the juice or what they served as juice, I believe came out of a can (powder). Some days really sweet, others just like water almost.
At the start the buffet lunches and suppers were pretty good for a couple of days, then they started to slip. Some examples, my husband found a dead fly between 2 pieces of pineapple. One night the ham in the penne salad was bad. Wait in line 15 - 20 minutes for something from the grill and then it was not cooked. Sometime the lettuce and cucumbers tasted off. Desserts were very mediocre at best and always the same. The ham in the hot dishes was sometimes bad. (not the whole dish, but portions of it. The pasta dishes were edible but nothing to write home about. Some nights just the look of the food made us nauseous, on these night if we didn't have a reservation we ate rice and beans. The stews were fairly good, but too many of them. The soups depended on the day, one day it said crème of chicken but smelled and tasted like fish. The coffee was good. To say the least we suffered bouts of diarrhea throughout our stay, no matter how careful we tried to be.
The wine in the buffet was either watered down or they put ice cubes in it to keep it cold (even the red). We finally spoke to the manager of the buffet and she said she did not know anything about that, but she would look into it did seem to get better after that. At the bars, it was quite obvious that the bottles were being watered. One minute you would get a rum and coke that tasted good, the next time you might get one that tasted like coke and water. One night my husband asked for a Sambuca and what it was alcohol mixed with sugar. The margaritas were undrinkable at the pool bar. The amaretto that has the brand name Disaronno was so pale, you could see right through the bottles. The flies were so think around the bottle spouts it was disgusting. You never got the same taste in your drink twice. When asking the bartenders if they were watering down the liqueur they looked at you like they didn't understand and just smiled. One day, I saw them adding a clear liquid to an amber colored liquid in another bottle. The beer was good if you’re a beer drinker.
Beach was gorgeous and just a short walk across a road
The beach was just a short walk and we really didn't mind it. However as for being gorgeous, definitely not. The beach was often left unlearn from the night before, glasses all over the place. The debris from the ocean was more often than not, not cleaned up in the morning. There are large trees in the water, from the hurricane, and they still have not been cleaned up, these give off an awful smell as I guess they are starting to rot. We were told the water was clear and blue and the snorkeling on the left hand side of the beach was great. NOT TRUE. The water is so murky you cannot even see your feet and the whole beach if full of coral and weeds, You have to find a path and that it does not take long for you to reach the coral and weeds again, and we are talking about right from when the water is at your calf until you reach the farthest point out on the buoys. It definitely did not invite swimming and I go to the Caribbean especially for the swimming and the ocean. I can tell you we only went in a couple of times a day. When you came out you not only had the salt water but sand too.
GO Travel Rep always available
When we arrived our rep Wes, told us he would always be available to us either in person or by phone. He did say he had to help out at the Gran Caribe. We met him for the Saturday morning meeting and then did not see him again until the Monday, when we went to see him to pay him for our excursions, however he was not there at the time it was stated on the information sheet and when I went back to the beach some other people were looking him and I told them he was there. When they got there, he was already gone. Not to mention that the price he quoted all of us on the excursions were wrong, he said the changes had been made by his boss, but he was not told. Several people tried leaving him message on his phone and on the number posted on the information sheet but they never got call backs. When we went on our excursions that week, we picked up people at the Gran Caribe and we asked if they had seen ********there as some of us were trying to get a hold of him, and they said they never saw him, that Tina was there all the time to help them. I watched for him all week and only saw him again on the Saturday when he was doing another meeting with new clients. I did not want to disturb him so I decided I would wait and try his booth a little later. We never saw him again until the airport on the 25th of February. By the second week, we had kind of resigned ourselves to going with the flow, however we knew we would be getting in touch with you when we got home.
I would like you to know that my husband and I are pretty easy going. If any of the things had been consistent or as we were told they were, we would have made allowances. We complained at first about things, but then it got to be more trouble than anything else. We decided that we would come directly to GO Travel when we got home as our complaining did not do a lot of good there. With the exception of a good tan and a few good meals, we found that the whole trip very disappointing.
We spoke to quite a few people who have been going there for a number of years, anywhere from 5 to 15, and they were all really disappointed this year. They told us that even up to last year, they would have recommended the resort, (one of my acquaintances from did recommend it to me). They said that last year everything was clean, there was no watering down of the wine or the liquor. The food was good to excellent all the time. With fresh juice, ice cream etc. Things we never saw at all. A lot of the blame was put on new ownership, but no matter who owns the resort or how many stars it is, consistency and cleanliness is a MUST always. It seemed like they were always running short of:
Linen Napkins (at night in the buffy)
Face Cloths (we had one only one day, fortunately I had brought one with me)
I am not sure where the problem lies, but it looks like it is being run a shoe string. Everyone we talked to was going home to complain to their travel agent. We will not be recommending this resort to anyone and would hope that GO Travel does not recommend this resort unless the have absolute proof that there is a big improvement.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
My girlfriend and I were looking for a great holiday on a university budget and we found one. We stayed at the Ocean Arc Decameron Resort just outside of St. Pedro. We had a great time at this resort. We booked 2 tickets through conquest vacations for $1400 taxes in out of Calgary. At the resort we found out that Canadians from Toronto paid half of what we paid for the same trip. Torontoians get everything, don’t they?
Conquest – Our plane was one hour late to arrive in the Dominican but the Conquest bus was still waiting for us to drive us to our resort so that was nice. The bus needed some improvements but the Conquest guide was young and interesting to talk to. He told us anything we wanted to know about the villages we passed and the overall life style of the locals. I would recommend traveling with Conquest but their excursions that they try to sell you at the resort is $25-35 more then everyone elses prices.
Arrival – If I did this trip again I would make sure I flow into Santodimingo. We flow into Punta Cana and it was 2.5 hr bus ride from the airport to the resort. You get to see how the locals live in all the villages you pass through but for your money you lose 2 days sitting in buses or waiting for buses when you could be sitting on the beach.
People – The people are nice. The Dominican is not like Mexico. It is not Americanized yet. We only saw a few Burger Kings. The people don’t speak English that well so your best bet is to make friends with one of the entertainment staff kids and ask a lot of questions.
Food – I went there to eat great ocean food. I soon found out that Dominican people don’t eat that much from the ocean. They like to eat chicken. In every village there are 10 people on ever corner selling chicken. However, at the buffet they did everything for us Canadians looking for fish and served salmon, tuna and shrimp fried rice. From the buffet the only meal that my girlfriend and I got turned off by was breakfast. The omelet man was too quick in making his omelets so you always ended up with an uncooked meal. I had to lay down the law a few times and cook my own omelet.
Restaurants – The only bad thing about the restaurants was that you had to be at the front desk at 7:45am to stand in line to book a reservation for one restaurant that night. For the old people that are up at sunrise this is probably fine but I wanted to sleep in on my holiday past 7:30. The best was the Brazilian restaurant, they served ever type of meat dish all in one meal. Second was the Mexican – great tacos and third was the Italian. You could get pasta at the buffet at lunch every day so no big deal. The Italian and Mexican restaurant is the same restaurant, they alternate days so be careful on booking.
Rooms – We heard that some people had some problems with their toilets but our room was great. For a 3 star resort we dealt with the shower spraying in all different direction beside on you and the air conditioner buzzing a loud tune. The rooms are all around the pool so they are about a 5-minute walk to the beach. This was fine because the disco was also at the beach and ran till 2am and we didn’t want to listen to that. The maids came around at 9am so if you weren’t out of your room by then so didn’t come back till 6pm. We left her gifts and she left us a bed of flowers.
Pool – The pool was huge and cleaned daily. To bad they didn’t have more activities in the pool during the day. They have a basketball net and a volleyball court in the pool which never got used. However, they did use the pool for aerobics and scuba diving lessons daily.
Entertainment Staff – They have a board that shows what activities they have for the day. This board does not change. Must suck for the entertainment staff that have to work everyday. The have a lot of activities that you can do yourself. Basketball court, tennis courts, beach volley, botchy ball, kayaking, snorkeling, pool volleyball and pool basketball.
Towels – The towel booth is weird, you go get your towels at 8am and the kid is supposed to write you room number down but he hardly ever does. This is bad because if you lose you towel they charge you $20 US. They want all the towels back at 6pm but we just kept ours because by the time you get your towel at 8am all the old people are up and reserved their chairs on the beach. We were up every morning around 7:30am and went down to the beach and reserved our chairs because if you waited after breakfast you were left to sit on the sand or use broken beach furniture. They don’t have enough furniture for the amount of people that stay there. When checking out we found out that we needed to hand back our beach towel cards. We never had beach towel cards till the last day when I tipped the towel guy. He then gave them to me. Ask about these cards, you will need them.
Beach / Ocean – The beach at the resort was probably the 2nd best beach. It was soft brown sand, very nice. Every morning they had someone clean the seaweed that floated in over night. If it were a five star resort I would have like to see the sand screened from all the cigarette buts left behind. The water was not that crystal blue/green water that you want on your vacation. There was a lot of seaweed in the water that tried to pull you down. If you could get through all the seaweed you could walk out for about 150 yards on soft sand before the water got really deep. The beachfront also had 6 huge trees that floated in from the hurricanes. All of the resorts had these trees so it kind of wreaked the view. Yes, there are a lot of people selling stuff on the beach and by the end of the week my girlfriend was going to strangle the next person that asked to put beads in her hair. This type of selling is normal to me so it did not faze me so much. We went for runs down the coastline in the morning and you could run for 25 minutes before you hit a dead-end.
Night –Time Shows – What can I say; they pull people up on stage and make them do stupid things. The first night you laugh, the second night you leave early and the last night you don’t go. Unfortunately, there is such a huge time gap from the time you finish supper and the beach disco opens that people have nothing else to do then watch this elementary entertainment.
Bars – They have two large bars, one around the pool and the stage and the other at the beach. The bar at the pool opens at 10am and closes at 11pm. The bar at the beach opens at 10am and closes at 5pm. You never have to walk far to get a drink. They don’t use a blender for any of their drinks, so a peanut coluta is runny milk and a strawberry margarita is strawberry flavouring. They love their rum so that’s what I drank. However, we always asked for a side order of coke because a rum-coke means a cup of rum and a splash of coke. The beer was alright.
Beach Disco – Each hotel had their own beach bar disco club. Ours opened at 11pm and closed at 2am. A lot of time to drink. The music usually start off with 2002 English songs and then went into slim shady but the Spanish Slim Shady that is. We left around 12:30 –1 every night. We heard from others at the resort that you could walk down the lane to other resorts and pay $15 US and party at their beach bar if you wanted a change.
Off Resort Night Life – If you are looking for a party place… go to Cancun. If you were not interested in going to the hotel beach disco you had not much to choose from. The resort is 15 min from St. Pedro and 45 min away from Santodimingo. One cab ride to Santodimingo is $55 US.
Resort People – The majority of the people there also speak different languages. Out of the Canadians we met there were a lot from Toronto and Quebec. They all spoke in their original language so at first glance you didn’t think they were from Canada.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
Kelly Northumberland UK
I went to the Decameron hotel a couple of years ago with my family. I found it to be overall an amazing holiday. The accommodation was average, my parents had to change rooms once but other than that it was ok. Being only 14 at the time I was pretty naive to the people. The staff were very friendly, unfortunately some of the entertainers were too over friendly. Me and my two sisters had a few scary encounters with some of them. The entertainment was good. I enjoyed the food a lot, good variation and I thought the fresh fruit was gorgeous. Although my dad was taken ill for about 5 days due to drinking a drink with ice in (we were told beforehand not to drink their water). The beach was gorgeous, lovely soft sand and the water was pleasantly clean. The vendors were annoying and pestered us frequently and often. The pools were nice apart from finding the odd crab in there. I would of loved to go back to the decameron however they stopped talking international flights there from the UK because not enough tourists were going. When we went we were the only English family there the rest of the tourists were mainly German, then French and Spanish and then American. We often took bike rides along the roads near the beach. Got a lot of attention from the citizens.
On a whole I really enjoyed the holiday and would go again. Though after a couple of years ive heard its been redone and things so I don’t know how it is now.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
My husband and decided to book a last minute trip to the Carribean the week between Christmas and New Y. We found the Ocean Decameron on cheapcarribean.com with a very inexpensive price and on a whim, and in need of some sun, booked it. Neither of us had ever been to the DR before, and despite what some said about fearing for safety, etc, we decided to try it out for ourselves. We knew by the price and the 2 stars it was rated with that we weren't going there expecting luxury- but just hoping for a safe, clean place to relax.
When we arrived, check in went smoothly- people at the front desk seemed very nice. Instantly we knew even at the resort, we'd have a big language barrier.
We were pleasantly surprised by the size of our room, but disappointed when we went to sleep the first night. The bed was hard as a rock, as were the pillows. The sheets, pillow cases and bedspread smelled awful- we went out the very next moring and bought a candle. My husband saw a cockroach in the bathroom and our shower leaked at the ceiling when the guests upstairs showered. The maids did clean the rooms daily, even washed the floors and changed the sheets once during the week. They do come very late though, mid-late afternoon I'd say. I got the sense that perhaps they washed towels in the afternoon, becasue we would never get towels immediately replaced- they came around a couple hours later to deliver them. We had 2 hand towels the first day, as well as a bath mat- but didn't see those again all week. Leave your towels on the floor- they'll understand better that you wnat new ones.
I can't put my finger on it, but I just didn't feel completely safe, and we were not comfortable sleeping in the bed.
Meals- Staff were all very friendly and accomodating- brush up on your Spanish- they have minimal English. They like when you try to speak their language- it helps them understand you what you need or want.
The buffet defintely has a lot to choose from, and I mainly stuck to the hard boiled eggs and some toast- occasionally they had croissants, which were very good, as were the pancakes. There was a lot of "mush" or "slobs" of food that didn't look appetizing nor prepared with presentation on the mind. Absolutely something for everyone- prefferance is the key. We are Americans and most of the meats/potato mixed with who knows what didn't appeal to us, especailly for breakfast. I was very disappointed with the juice and fruit- neither seemd fresh, and a basic glass of OJ never presented itself. They were watered down and were bland. Even the cereal was bad- you'd think you'd be safe, but the milk tasted funny to me.
Coffee was very good though.
Again, quite an assortment- but the same odd dishes of unpresentable food. We didn't trust the meats, other than an occasioanl bite fo the pork. Pasta station was ok- but rich and heavy. Mainly stuck to the rice and salad- What you see is what you get with rice and salad. A lot of mystery at the buffet. Pizza bar by the beach was real good, but wasn't availlable everyday . One day we asked and they said, "No Pizza today." ?
Stuck mainly again to rice, salad, or pasta. Occasional good finds in the mystery dishes, but just not a healthy feel to the eating- not that you go on vacation to be healthy, but toward the end of the week, I had a severe stomach problem from it catching up to me. Alot of it looked rich and unappetizing. But again, this could be culture. Wine was said to be served with dinner and 2 or 3 of the nights we ate in the buffet- they had run out.
What you are not told is that to eat in any of the specialty restaurants, you have to make a reseervation. My husband went to the front desk 2 days in a row around 8:30-45 am, and they were already booked. You have to be there right at 8:00 am, if not before to make a reservation. The food at these restaraunts is much better, but for instance the Italian restaurant had a beautiful Italian menu, but you are limited to very few of the items in that menu you can order for dinner. Wine is plentiful in the restaurants.
On the whole, I'd say the food was nothing great at all- you get what you pay for- there's lots to choose from, and you'll find something to your liking.
Alittle disappointed with the drinks. I love a good pina colada, but was turned off by theirs. Again- you get what you pay for. The just put a liquid drink mix and some rum, threw about 4 small ice cubes in and that was the Decameron version of a pina colada. A bit disappointing and not cold and refreshing, but they do give you 2 at a time! and no drinks are frozen. Comes with the territory, but the pool bar had an awful stench to it- daily spills of liquor and beer add up, but it was always lingering. Right before you go into the buffet, plug your nose.
The grounds were minimally manicured. I wouldn't say this resort boasted luscious scenic views, but it was as tropical as one might expect. Thank God for the palm trees- they work alone.
+The beach was ok- water wasn't crystal Carribean blue, but it was a beach. The are slews of locals trying to sell you cigars, paintings, braids, and necklaces. Gets annoying..... Just say "No Gracias" and shut your eyes. We did buy some pineapple and coconut- yum! The freshest fruit all week- a man cuts it up for you right there for about $4.00 (U.S.)
There are shows at night- but thay consist of 3 staff memebrs calling guests up onto the stage to mimick dances and see who does the best impression- good for a laugh if you get some funny drunks- but nothing rehearsed, exciting, or entertaing.
BE CAREFUL if you go off the resort- we went into Santo Domingo for the day- took the wrong bus and ended up in the wrong marketplace- I feared for my life! ASK THE PEOPLE at the hotel exactly where to go. A taxi roundtrip is about $55.00- and the bus is about $2.00. ( a no-brainer) But, if you go the bus route KNOW WHERE YOU"RE GOING! Don't wear jewelry, hold onto your possessions, and dress very low key and casual. The "right" marketplace is nothing special anyway- lots of shops and souvenirs- typical, but cheaper than the gift shops and defintily more to choose from.
If you're looking for a low budget escape to an island- this is it. Don't expect luxury, don't expect specialty anything. This place is very basic- It is inexpensive, and you certainly get what you pay for. We were told by many that Punta Cana and Porta Playa are the places to be. We would never go back to the Decameron- I'd rather stay in the snow next time.
Ocean Arc Decameron Beach and Casino
Jackie & Ross Glasgow
ust got back from Decameron after 2 weeks all inclusive there with my boyfriend. We booked with Go Travel Direct and flew from Glasgow via Halifax on 28th August. Flight took 6 hours to Canada, and 4 hours to DR with an hour stop in Canada. Flights were pleasant. Our holiday rep Fernando was excellent and we found the staff in general to be helpful.
This was our first time in the Caribbean and we had a really good time. Yes it was basic and the bathrooms/food were of a lower standard than you get in Europe but for what you pay (we paid £699 pounds per adult) you actually get a really good value holiday. I've never heard of all inclusive holidays to the Caribbean being so cheap from the UK before, so we were excited to go somewhere different and went with a realistic expectation that we weren't getting a 5 star hotel. I think if you just bear in mind what you paid, you will enjoy what you get at the Decameron. The people in DR are very poor - they only get 4 hours of electricity a day in their homes for example - so it seems a bit petty to complain about trivial things. As long as your room is clean and your facilities work then you should just relax and let the small things go. We heard of people asking to change rooms but there was never a big problem about this. You may have to wait until the next day but they will try and accommodate you as best they can. We were lucky that we got a really good room with everything working, but if you need to change it's no big deal.
The pools and beach were great, staff friendly, and the grounds of the hotel were surprisingly nice. They appreciate it if you try to speak Spanish to them - so give it a go even if you can't speak it very well. They will appreciate your trying. We left a dollar a day for the maid and always got towels etc. They seem to clean the rooms in the morning then bring the towels round later so it may seem that you're not getting any if you return to your room early.
The weather was very hot - we went at the hottest time of the year apparently - and being pale wee Scottish people, we had to go in the shade a lot. September is the hurricane season but thankfully the DR escaped all that this year. Didn't get any hurricane probs - just got a bit cloudier the 2nd week and saw lightening every night but was still hot enough to sunbathe during the day.
The entertainment was ok. Every night they put on a show or got people up on stage to play games and it was usually fun to watch. The disco was rubbish as they just play Merengey music (it's like salsa and it's all they listen
to) then mixed in a few old pop tunes later on. We went on the Saona Island trip and that was fantastic. Just stayed in the resort the rest of the time. Was good to just chill out and be lazy for 2 weeks.
The only down side, if you could call it that, was that the food was pretty grim. It's not that it tasted so bad, it's just that everyone got diarrea during the first week and for the rest of the holiday we would get a bit of a sore stomach every time we ate anything. The rep said at the start of the holiday that everyone gets this and the food is cooked fine, it's just different from what we're used to, but it was still unpleasant. Nothing tasted like what you get here, which is what we expected anyway. But it took a while to get used to as they had lots of weird stuff as well, like pigs trotters and octopus. They had pasta/pizza etc too though so we always found something to eat if we weren't feeling adventurous.
The Dominicans love Rum and they do make really good stuff so try the 151 rum. Drinks were ok except the vodka - not very nice. I would go back to Dom Republic but maybe to a 4/5 star next time. But still it was good value for money, we had a brill time, and we're definitely glad we went. If you want a cheap holiday to the caribbean I would still recommend it, just be prepared for the food.