A Party of eight travelled with Thomas Cook, Flight was good we had good leg room ,food was good.
We arrived at the Hotel,Check in was fast a bit to fast they gave us a form to fill out and a complemenry drink which we had no time to fill the form in or drink the drink,
We were led to our rooms the cases followed,
The rooms were a bit drab and dark we thought out dated furniture,the bathrooms were fine small bath with shower above,we had the little bottles of shampoo etc,hair dryer in bathroom not to good.But all was very clean.There is an iron and board if you need to iron,coffee pot in room with all that you need,fridge was well stocked with water and juice just ask cleaning staff if you want diet coke or more water.
We all went to the main restaurant for the evening meal,the food was very good the soups were lovely.salad bars fab.Breakfast was good except for the flies on a lot of the food,and also black birds flying down pecking on food this was a big turn off for people in our party,the restaurant is mostly open area very hot and some times we did not feel that we wanted to eat because it got to hot.Wine is served with the meal which was nice.The displays in the restaurant were lovely,all looked clean and waiters and staff seemed to take care when handling food.
The next few days of our holidays we spent around the pool it was lovely,plenty of beds we got clean towels,the pool area was always clean,as we fell into are holiday we did realise that the other hotel was closed for refurbishment and if hotel was up and running that we might have been a bit short of beds and space,There were beds on the beach with plenty of cover with a small beach bar the waiters did come around sometimes and bought us drinks but if you were a bit out of the way it was a bit of a bum going to get drinks,there were toilets on the edge of the beach and they were kept clean.
We tried the oriental restaurant the starters were good we were not impressed with the main meal and we did feel that we were rushed and they wanted to get us in and out as quick as possible.
We tried the steak House which was the best place to eat but could only go once because it was booked up which was a let down.
Also we went to the sea food restaurant which was the same place as the steakhouse most of us enjoyed our meals again the starter were the best.
Drinks were plenty but I did have a problem explaining that I did not like my drinks filled to top with ice(sensitive teeth)had to throw some ice out of my drinks.
Casino the only public area that was air conditioned so we always went in to cool off and had a bit of a flutter the slot machines are not what the British are used to but we all enjoyed having a dabble,and being in the cool.
Staff at this hotel were good,the entertainment staff worked very hard and put on good shows,waitress service while show is on, again if other hotel was up and running things might be a bit tight and slower.
There is some shacks to the right of the beach if you want to buy gifts or rum etc.You have to barter they start with a high price so you start bidding with what you would pay in England stick to it and you will win.
We went on a couple of trips the jeep safari it was good fun worth the money.
Also we did the catamaran which was my favourite we were picked up from the hotel and drove for 2hrs to the other end then we got on the catamaran drinks were flowing we did a bit of dancing then were taken to a small island for a meal and drinks back on to the speed boat did some snorkelling it was good fun,although some of our party did not enjoy the ride back to the hotel the roads are bumpy and if you are tired it does seem a long way,
We all did get board by the end of the holiday we are not keep fit people or darts, air gun shooting or the other stuff that they put on for you,we would have liked to have got out of the complex but there is nothing out side that is in walking distance to do.
The down side now, I did get a really bad stomach and was ill the last 4 days of my holidays I had to take stuff to stop me running to the loo so I could get home,now I am home 2days later I am still running to the loo,hence until I get to see my doctor I cant say if I have got salmonella poisoning but I still feel poorly stomach cramps running to the loo feeling sick.
To sum our holiday up I can say we will not be going back to the Dominican,although we enjoyed some aspects we did feel it was not what we expected and all agree that this hotel is not a 4* plus hotel we are all well travelled and think this hotel has got room for improvement.
Elaizabeth & Bob Newfoundland
We are a couple in our early 50's.This was our 6th all inclusive, our 5th stay at an Iberostar, our 1st stay in Punta Cana.
We were there for 2 weeks.
Arrival and Flight
The flight was typical squatty Air Transat.We had pre booked the emergency exit seats and are glad we did. The flight was uneventful. We arrived at the resort at about 1 am, there were 6 other couples only checking in at the same time,and it went quickly.We were shown to the elevator of the building and told which way to turn when we got off. We found our way with no problem and our luggage arrived in short order.
Our room was third floor overlooking the grounds.We had asked for 4th floor but didn't get it.We did get our requested king sized bed.Based on the other Iberostars we have stayed at,this room was in need of refurbishment.It was clean, the bed was comfortable,there was no musty smell and there was no sign of any bugs of any sort(except for the dragonfly that flew in through our open patio door.)There were plenty of towels and facecloths(the facecloths were actually small hand towels)and there was a coffee maker in the room.The mini bar was kept well stocked and there was plenty of bottled water.On the down side,there was a huge crack in the sink,the light over the tub blinked constantly, the air conditioning was too noisy to leave on at night, and we had to fiddle with the sensor on the patio door frequently to get it to work.They fixed the blinking light after 2 requests.Our hair dryer only blew cold air, and was replaced after we reported it at the desk.We also reported the noise of the air conditioner but if they looked at it it wasn't any quieter.The lock on our door was hard to open the first couple of days, then as we tried to leave one evening,we couldn't get out!After a few minutes as I was about to call for help,my husband got it open.We reported it to the desk and when we got back to the room it was at least fixed to a workable level again.There was no privacy chain on our door,only the holes where one had been.
We had an issue with disruptive neighbors one night(from 3:30 to 5:30 am).I tried to call the desk but could get no answer.Then I dialed 0 and told them the problem,they transferred the call,and I still got no answer.In the morning we asked to be moved, but they refused,saying they were full.They did assure me that they would post security in the area that night.We did not hear any more noise until the last night and it was short lived.
The food was quite good in both buffets. There was plenty of variety and it was hot enough.On other visits to the north coast and cuba we found the beef to always be too tough,however at this resort it was more tender.As non smokers we sometimes had trouble getting a table in the non smoking section at the main buffet.There was about double the ammt of tables for smokers.While the service at the buffets was by no means bad,we have had better,particularly at Iberostar Costa Dorada,where we were used to beverage glasses and coffee never going empty until you said stop.We frequently would have to ask for more coffee etc.at Dominicana.It wasn't that the staff weren't working hard, we think that they didn't have as high a ratio of staff on the floor as ICD.
We went to the mexican restaurant twice, the carribean twice the rock cafe twice and the steakhouse once.We enjoyed all with the mexican being our favourite.The service was good but again not quite up to the standard of Iberostar Costa Dorada.
Good service,we never had to wait long.Plenty of slushy sweet drinks which are my favourite.They have champagne, and do try a Kir Royale which is champagne and black currant liqueur.We also enjoyed the ice cream bar by the beach.They had an iced cappuchino which I think I was becoming addicted to!
Beach and Pools
The pools were perfect.We generally stayed at the beach until late afternoon and then went to the pool.At that tine of day we didn't have a big problem getting chairs in the shade.The water was quite warm, especially the pool on the punta cana side.The Punta cana pool is als a little more shallow tha the dominicana side which I liked.
What can we say about the beach that hasn't been said?Awesome about sums it up.The sand is like powder,the beachfront is perfect for long walks which we enjoy.The water was slightly rougher than we were used to but great.Beware of a small block of reef in the middle of the swimming area.It is not marked and we found it the hard way! The only downside of the beach is the forever present plague of chair reserving.While there were plenty of chairs,the shade under the palapas was Always taken up with towels etc(not people)by no later than 7 or 8 am.Hubby often went down before 7 am to have difficulty even at that hour to get shade.He thinks that people reserved the night before and obviously the resort is turning a blind eye.We would be in our chairs by 9 and would observe surrounding resesved chairs not becoming occupied until as late as after lunch.
The grounds were impeccably kept there were always workers tending them.There is even a giant star(the Iberostar logo)cultivated out of flowering shrubbery.There are flamingoes,peacocks,turtle and fish ponds,and even,it seems, a pet chicken who wanders about at will!
Activities and Entertainment
The star friends are constantly on their game keeping the guests entertained,and work very long hours.There are plenty of activities if you choose to participate,such as horseshoes,volleyball,water polo,archery,water aerobics,step class,and more.We didn't use the fitness centre or the spa as the weather was too good.The nightly entertainment was good and on par with Iberostar Costa Dorada.The live band and singers were quite good.It seems all the Iberostars we have visited pretty much do the same shows,so some of it we were tired of.The cigarette smoke was really bad at the shows.We only went into the disco for about 5 minutes on our first night and didn't go back.I guess our age shows here.
We went to Manati Park . It was Ok,small scale,nice for children.They have animals to look at ,a dolphin show,a Tainos Indoan show, a parrot show, and a horse show which was cancelled the day we were there.
Hubby went on a 2 hr horseback ride which he enjoyed.They did not have helmets.
Departure and Check Out
Our checkout was at 5:25 am and the bus was to arrive at 6:25 am. The buffet was open with breads and fruit available.Our bus didn't arrive until 7:20 am,then when we arrived at the airport we found out that our flight was 2.5 hrs delayed.Thus after a 4 hr wait at the airport and a 4.5 hr flight it made for a very long day.
I wanted to add another point.
In true Iberostar fasion, there was a fruit platter and a bottle of rum waiting for us when we checked in with a note thanking us for choosing Iberostar again.Then on our anniversary there was another fruit platter and rum.I was dissapointed,as I had hoped for champagne.However about a half hr later a knock came on the door,and there was a porter with an ice bucket and champgne and glasses!It made the day.We got a laugh as well because the card that came with it was signed Happy Birthday!I guess some things get lost in translation.
Al in all we had a wonderful vacation.If this had been our first resort we probably would have thought it perfect.However Iberostar Costa Dorada remains our first choice.The Punta Cana area is generally more costly for us than the Puerto Plata area,and though the sand is nicer,we don't feel that that point alone will bring us back there.Would we recommend to others? If they are set on going to the east coast....yes.
We have been travelling for several years so my review is partially based on our previous experiences which were:
Feb 24-03 2008 - Bavaro Princess, Punta Cana Dec 04-11 2005 - Iberostar Tucan, Riviera Maya, MX Jan 27-03 2005 - Barcelo Maya Beach, Riviera Maya, MX Jan 23-30 2003 - Barcelo Maya Beach, Riviera Maya, MX Jan 19-26 2002 - Tamarijn, Aruba Mar 22-25 2001 - El Dorado Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya, MX Jan 28-04 2001 - Riu Yucatan, Riviera Maya, MX Feb 21-28 2000 - Iberostar Dominicana, Punta Cana
A group of 6 of us booked Iberostar Dominicana through Apple Vacations out of PIT for 2/1-2/8/08, paid US$2684 for 2 including taxes, insurance and discount through Doylestown Travel (base rate $1200 pp). We are in our upper 30s and travelled with my parents and my aunt and uncle.
The USA3000 flights no longer include a free lunch. It is now $5 for a sandwich if you want one. They do provide headsets for listening to the movie but make sure you keep them for the flight home or they cost $3.
You have to pay $10 per person for a tourist card upon arrival at the airport. The $20 departure tax is included in the Apple package.
The weather was nice. Temps in the low 80F, partly cloudly, with occassional showers (nothing to worry about). It could get a little cool for just a bathing suit sometimes especially late in the day if the sun wasn't shining and the wind kicked up.
If you want to use the safe in your room it cost $2/day (I think it should
be included! this is an all-inclusive, right?). Make sure you ask about
it when you check in because they won't ask you and then you'll find
yourself having to go back. (Even though we were told it cost $2 a day,
they never did charge us for it.)
We were in rooms 4046, 4039, 4015. They gave us the impression that our rooms were all near each other, but 15 is not exactly clost to 39! I even emailed the resort in advance to try to get rooms close together. We heard later that the resort was overbooked.
In the room there is a mini bar that is stocked every other day, a coffee makeer & coffee, TV, Closet, storage bench, a sitting bench, and we had 2 double beds. In the bathroom they do provide some toiletries; shampoo, bath gel, lotion, comb, shower cap, soap. There is also a hair dryer. The shower/tub was great. Great water pressure and temperture.
The beach seemed really crowded to me this time. Lots and lots of traffic walking up and down the shore. The beachfront in front of the Dominicana and Punta Cana is a little crowded due to the fact that these two hotels run perpendicular to the beach and all the people from these hotels congregate in the same area. The beach in front of the Bavaro was more spacious as that resort is spread out more and runs more parallel to the beach so they have much more beach front. All that being said, I never really felt crowded in and we never had any problems getting chairs or huts.
Many people from many different countries visit the Iberostar. You will see alot of topless women and skimpy bathing suits.
The pools are pretty. There is no pool bar. The water is cold (usually is this time of year)! The ocean water was slightly warmer. The beach is beautiful but I think they all are in Punta Cana. The iberostar really
takes good care of their beach. There are lots of places to put your
trash, ash trays, and the staff does a great job keeping up with it all.
I loved the sports bar which I don't think existed the first time we were here. It is back out across from the lobby, so I don't think that many people know about it. We found it to be a great place to hang out in the
evenings and play cards. Also the Super Bowl was on here. The only thing
I didn't like about it was that you had to pay to use the billiard tables, the dart board and the air hockey. (Again, isn't this an all-inclusive
resort???) It is also an a la carte restaurant and you don't have to make reservations.
We all really liked the variety of foods available even though sometimes we weren't quite sure what it was. I definately think the food has improved since our first visit here. The steakhouse is located at the beach restaurant on the Punta Cana side. Your table may be in the sand so you might not want to wear high heeled shoes. The rib eye was very good! The seafood restaurant is located at the beach restaurant on the Dominicana
side. The fish soup and lobster soup were both good. The shrimp and the
Grouper were also very good. There is also an ice cream stand open during the day by the beach restaurant on the Dominicana side.
As is usual with most all the resorts we've visited, the sporting equipment could use some help. Their so-called bocce balls were all silver with hand written numbers on masking tape taped to them. I guess this made some sense to the activity people with whatever organized game they used them for, but it was a little weird to us trying to play a regular bocce game.
The grounds are landscaped and beautiful, with fountains, ponds, gazebos, and lots of wild life. The courtyards inside the hotels are also beautiful.
We spent a beautiful week at the Iberostar Dominicana.
Our friends were put in a very easily accessible first floor room as I had requested being that her husband is recovering from knee surgery.
Jerry and I were so comfortable in a suite on the second floor of a bungalow which is what we always enjoy being on. We prefer second floor for the island breezes and have always enjoyed our balcony in the afternoon and nights. The grounds and rooms were very clean and the staff seemed to always be working to clean and improve. I get up every morning to watch the sunrise and there would be workers raking the beach of seaweed from the tide before 7am. I have found that Punta Cana has the most beautiful and inspiring sunrises of all my travels.
This beach is to me the most beautiful in the world. I play in the water at least 2 to 3 times each day we are here.
My husband gets a kick out of all the different people from all over the world and is a walker so he goes out and finds interesting sites and then we go together to explore. Our friends loved the Palapa’s and we always try to go to a resort that has them right on the beach as this is our favorite place to spend the day…
I have to say the food was not exactly what we were used to at other resorts. They perhaps need to be trained in certain areas like making omelets and I would like to have seen more of the Dominican dishes.
All in all a beautiful week in my favorite country for getting away from our coldest week of Cleveland winters…
BACKGROUND:My Husband (37), daughter (15), and myself (35), just returned from a week at the Iberostar Dominicana in Punta Cana/Bavaro. We're from a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. We traveled with Apple Vacations, which is our 4th vacation this year with Apple Vacations, and our 2nd stay with Iberostar (Jan. we stayed at Iberostar Maya in Mexico Riveria Maya just north of Playa De Carmen). We chose to stay at Iberostar based on our stay with them in the Riveria Maya...that was a beautiful updated resort, the pools were awesome, restaurants were mostly inside and air conditioned, service was outstanding, our room and building wowed us...I wish I would have written a review of that resort, only thing bad there was the beach wasn't great, not clear water, rough water. So since we've traveled so much this year, Apple said they would give us free room upgrade, so did Iberostar at booking time. We scuba dive and snorkle, and loved our dive trips with Dress el Divers, that is located at the all the Iberostar resorts. We in advance of leaving were told we could have an upgraded suite (free upgrade) close to the dive shop and beach. We had a great direct flight from Cincinnati, USA3000 does a great job, and a speedy transfer with Apple to the resort.
OUR ROOM: When we arrived and checked in we were given a room at the "Punta Cana" resort (which is the low-end building, and lowest priced) the farthest possible room from the beach, I explained to the desk clerk about our upgrade, they acted like they didn't understand me. So we get to the room and there is a family already in it. So it takes another hour to get another room, in the same building. The room smells of mildew, and only has 2 twin beds, we requested 2 double beds. We go back to the lobby to try and find the Apple rep to see if she can get the room upgrade fixed, she's no where to be found, the other travel company reps tell us " she hardly ever keeps posted desk hours, you'll be lucky to find her in a few days". So, I go back to check in desk and ask to speak with a general manager, it takes another hour to do this, and after having to become somewhat aggressive in temper...we finally get a suite upgrade to Bavaro buildings. Yes, it was better located right across from dive shop and a row away from beach...but I wouldn't have paid $5 more for it. Again it smelled of not only mildew but at times raw sewage. This "suite" was a tiny bit bigger, yet still had the 2 twin beds, and a "sofa" that they threw a single sheet on. No extra top sheet, no blanket, no pillows, the size of a love seat not sofa length, and hard as a rock. Our air conditioning barely worked, the refrigerator didn't stay cool, no ironing board, and no chairs on our patio. Yet the shower had great pressure and hot water all week.
I knew it was a waste of time to complain, and to just get over the room and start trying to enjoy the week.
Yet, we started itching in bed the first night and by the end of the week I took all our covers off the beds and found dead bugs that looked like little crabs and also "bed bigs". Which I saved in a baggie, and 'm taking to our family doctor in the morning.
FOOD: We've found that we don't travel for the food, we keep very low expectations when we travel out of the states, and mostly at all-inclusive's, we usually eat more at the buffets than the "specialty" restaurants, that way you can sample a little bite till you find something worth eating. In Riveria Maya Iberostar the food was o.k., my husband did get sick at the sushi place. Yet, we thought the food was actually better at this Iberostar. Even though we got "upgraded" to a Bavaro suite, we still had to walk further back to the Dominicana to eat or drink because of our color of bracelets. The Oriental dinner was actually pretty good, I ate sushi and didn't get sick. We liked the steakhouse on the beach, other than bugs on our feet. The StarRockCafe was so-so...they had strong drinks from the bar, but it took a long time to get served our dinner. All the staff in all the restaurants or buffets...were super friendly and worked very hard, we had very good impressions of them all. The restaurant cooks and servers were basically the only people all week who engaged us in conversation, we really enjoyed them. We drank water at all eating places and had no health issues, yet we used bottled in our room, even to brush teeth and clean toothbrushes.
THE BEACH: We are beach people not pool people. We rate this beach 2nd in our family travels, Paradise Island Nassau Bahamas still is the top for us. We stayed further south last summer in between La Romana and Bayhibe Dominican Republic at the Sunscape...the beaches down there are no where as nice as in the Punta Cana/ Bavaro area, too rocky down there and the water isn't as clear. We found this years beach at Dominican to fine sand, very clean, not too rough of water because of protective reef, yet enough waves to have a great day in the ocean. Water was pretty clear that you could see small fish around you as soon as you got in, and there were several small reefs you could easily swim out to with only your mask and see larger life and coral. I was very upset to see so many people actually go out and stand on the coral reefs, or dive down and break of pieces of it. They were basically killing it, but that's a whole other environmental rant.
This was our first beach that we saw as many topless women as we have ever seen. Which didn't bother us, nor did it seem to bother anyone else. Yet, if you think it's offensive, this probably isn't the resort for you, lots of Europeans ((more on that below)) and not just topless on their sun chairs, but up and down the beach everywhere all day. We spent 90% of the week at the beach. Good breezes, a bit cloudy in the mornings, but clears up perfectly by 11 am. Plenty of chairs and shade huts, yet people do seem to get up and reserve them by about 8 am, leave their stuff on them while they go and eat breakfast.
EXCURSIONS:My husband has completed two vacations diving with Dressel Dive shop, he did his coarse work at home with our local dive shop and his open water certification with Dressel in Riveria Maya, and this trip completed his deep diving/navigation certification with Dressel. With both locations my daughter and I have taken day long excursions with the dive shop along with husband for us to snorkel. We have had much better excursion day trips with the Dressel Dive shop vs. taking excursions with Apple. With Apple they take hoards of people, not only from the resort your staying at, but also from lots of other resorts, and round you up like cattle on a charter bus picking up everyone from other resorts takes up too much time. Plus with such large groups of people it's not as personal and private attention as Dressel. Also, with dive/snorkel trips with larger groups you don't see as much ocean life when 50 people all get off a boat as when 20 people do.
Last year we went to Catalina Island...it was beautiful...only 10 of us with the dive shop on a basically deserted island, the most beautiful beach I've ever seen...Catalina Island excursion is the one to take while in the D.R., but go with Dive shop, not tour group like Apple. This time we took the Dressel trip to Saona. we left with about 15 people from our resort in a smaller tour bus and drove to the Iberostar in Bayahibe. We picked about 5 more people there, they put the scuba divers on one boat and the snorklers on another boat. They offered soda, rum and beer all day on the boat. We did one snorkel spot for about an hour while other boat went diving, then we met up with the divers on the island for lunch. The beach was rather rocky and very shallow, we were very disappointed with the island. Yet, very surprised by the great lunch buffet we were served there...better food than at the resort. While there we saw many other tour boats bringing in large groups...I'm certain we had a better lunch and trip then them...Dressel did a great job with a small group and the people they hired to cater our lunch. Then we separated again of an hour or so to snorkel and dive. Then met up again at a sand bar in the middle of ocean that was really nice and clear and saw many starfish. Although again I had issues with people holding the starfish out of the water for such long periods of time. Then drinking games started while we were at the sandbar, most had a great time and were safe and didn't take it too extremes, yet one man from Demark downed an entire bottle of rum himself and the ride home on the bus with him, in a small Speedo was an adventure to say the least, and a jaw dropping experience for our 15 yr.old daughter. A local Dominican tour guide named Jose' came on the trip along with our Dressel Dive tour guide and he was excellent, he taught us so many things about the local culture, and pointed local plantations and tress...we really adored him...and tipped him well.
ENTERTAINMENT: Being active beach people, usually after dinner we're ready for bed. We did stay up late one night and see the Michael Jackson show, and I have to say it was the best all-inclusive show I've ever seen. Possibly, I drank too much that night, or just having some "old school" American culture for a few hours hit the spot. The lip sync was poor, but the dancing and costumes were pretty good, I felt like I was back in junior high, and had forgotten actually what good dance music from the 80's was like. Everyone really seemed to enjoy.
THE POOLS: Again the pool isn't a big deal for us, yet we went twice after the beach. This resorts pools stink compared to Iberostar in Riveria Maya. Not nearly enough seats, you must have to get up real early to get any seat at all and put your stuff on. The pools are small, and they were not very clean. Puna Cana and Dominicana do not have a swim up bar and you can't get a drink at the swim up bar at the Bavaro without the proper bracelets, I tried.
THE BARS: Typical all-inclusive bars...the beach and pool bars serve weak at best, local drinks, icey like drinks usually like soup. The lobby bars are the best with top-shelf international booze, which you have to
ask for by brand name to get. Yet, the lobby bartenders know how to make a strong drink without having to ask for a double. A good spot to hangout prior to dinner and afterwards. Live local bands have always been my favorite at the lobby bar.
Be very cautious of the wet tile walk ways not only by the pool but in all areas...not only when wet either...flip flops are very dangerous for walking anywhere at this resort...the most slippery place I've ever seen...I just about fell several times a day, and saw many others fall, and saw a handful of people later in week with bandage legs, feet and arms.
All in all, I would in a heartbeat go back to this resort area...the beach is wonderful, yet I probably wouldn't stay at this particular resort again unless I heard that they had upgraded the rooms. we love the Dominican Republic, the people are kind and friendly, it has beautiful landscapes and many places to explore. With either trip we have never felt unsafe at the resorts or even when we've taken taxis into the small village towns.
We place the Bavaro/Punta Cana beach area on our short list of places to purchase a beach condo in the future.
The Iberostar Dominicana does not reflect in our opinion the rating of a 5 Golden Apple , yet a 4 Red Apple.
We vacationed at the Iberostar Domincana Resort December 16-21. I would like to advise anyone planning a trip there not to go the the resort website to book it on your on. Our original departure date was suppose to be December 15th, however, the South East Coast of the US was grounded because of fog. When I called the customer service line to assure that I would have a room the following day, they would not even listen to my problem because it was within six days of the actual reservation. They told me to contact the resort directly. So standing in the airport I had to try to learn Spanish and re book my reservation. It was a disaster and no one was being any help. Everyone kept telling me to call my travel agent and would not accept any of the info that I had from the resort website saying that there was no way to modify my reservation. Basically I flew to the Dominican the next day on a promise that I may have a room for all of the five days that I had booked but I would not know for sure until I arrived. When we did finally arrive, the resort was beautiful but our room was of course not what we had booked and we spent our first vacation together in separate beds. And by a miracle when we paid an extra 231 dollars we were guaranteed our full stay. Our only other real disappointment was with the food. There was an abundance of it but I guess we have simpler tastes as far as spices go. Even the American food didnt taste American. I guess the true statement of a good vacation is would we ever go back...well...the beaches were beautiful, the weather was great, and the rum was tasty. Though the wait staff and entertainers were friendly, I would have to say NO to the resort for that lack of customer service via their website and a MAYBE to Punta Cana just to give it a second chance.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon at the Iberostar Dominicana the first week of December and we had a great time. I won't go so far as to say it was perfect but I will hit on the good and bad points.
The Good: The service for the most part was good. Its a little slower than it is in the US, but that is to be expected, its a cultural difference.
Mostly everyone would smile and do anything we asked. My wife and I both speak a little spanish which seemed to help, but the staff was very eager to help. We got to know the staff in the main buffet, the open air theatre, the bartenders and the maid. We tipped those who regularly took care of us, but it did not determine the level of service. The young lady who took care of us at breakfast was one of our favorites. She always brought our coffee and splenda to us right when she saw us.
The grounds were exceptionally clean. Beautiful landscaping and wild animals. I got to see 2 male flamingos strut their stuff for the female who was in heat. That was cool. Everything was clean and our maid Iris did a great job on our room. We did tip her a few dollars a couple of times.
The food was decent. there was always something good to eat. The specialty restaurants were great. we ate at the steakhouse, the Mexican and the Caribbean and the star rock cafe too. My only issue with some of the food was that the beef was often over tenderized. My wife said it was because they over marinated it in acidic marinades (like pineapple) which left it with a weird texture. I will admit, I was longing for some American food by the end of the week. The milk there is not the same as it is in the US, and I am a big milk drinker.
The pool was great, always clean. Towels were plentiful too. I did find out that although some people said you had to reserve chairs really early, every morning after breakfast we were always able to get seats under a palapa near the pool. I was also always able to get a chair at the beach too.
The staff was good, but I didn't always participate in everything, some of it was kinda weird, but they tried hard to get everyone participating. I would have preferred to play more water polo, but when we did play, we had trouble getting people to participate. I guess the people who were there the same time, just weren't water polo types.
We didn't go to the shows in the evening. They started at 9:30, but by the time we had spent all day in the sun (from 7:00 on) by 9:30 we were unwinding and half the time snoozing.
The only major complaint was the bed was too firm. It was a cheap hotel mattress. My first night back, I slept like a champ in my bed.
We both had some stomach distress, but I believe its because we were eating way more than what we normally do, prepared way differently than at home. I don't think anything wasn't prepared properly, just not what we were used to.
All in all, I would recommend it to anyone, its a great value for the money. Next time I will probably visit a resort that caters more to the Americans, like sandals or sunscape.
My husband and I and another couple stayed at Ibero Star Dominicana for 7 nights from March 4th to 11th, 2006. We felt we were very well taken care of by friendly people that paid attention to details in a tropical paradise.
We agree that we have picked a good time. It is sufficiently hot but not muggy, even a little cool at night. Bring a long sleeve shirt if you choose to go at this time. We had 1 or 2 overcast days but it cleared out before noon.
The hotel ground is a vast stunning exquisite garden with free roaming flamingos. The beach is gorgeous. It is the tropical paradise we are looking for. I don't see any eye sores during the whole stay to ruin this paradise image.
The 3 Ibero Star hotels are next to each other. There is really no ocean view room in Punta Cana and Dominicana. Bavaro have only junior suites. If you need a map you can contact me.
The hotel is not brand new but is well kept. People work around the clock everywhere to take care of every little detail imaginable. Bring you own time piece since there is no clock in the room. It has a faint musty smell but did not bother me. We tipped the maid $2 every day. The mini bar is always filled back up. Upon check-in, I asked to be changed to a pool-side view and got one the next day.
There is an activity schedule you get in the orientation packet. I tried to bring it with me all the time. There are dance lessons and they can be fun.
The entertainers tried to engage people in all kinds of friendly competitions and they can be fun to participate and watch.
The included water activities are non-motorized. We tried catamaran on a windy day and that proved to be quite a challenging sport for novices like us. For $65 per person, you can enjoy a half-a-day snorkeling trip and for about $150 per person, a scuba-diving trip. Since my philosophy is to not pay anything substantial if I am on an all-inclusive vacation, we did not do these excursions and we were quite content. The couple traveling with us did the snorkeling trip and they seemed to be happy about it.
Around 7-8pm, a jazz live show starts on the Punta Cana side and we liked to stroll over there after dinner. At 945pm the daily show starts at the Dominicana side. The staff try very hard to put up comedy skits with US/European references but I think most people would rather watch shows depicting local culture.
The Disco starts at 11pm. Normally it is a good starting time but since the show is a disappointment many people hope it starts earlier. There is a salsa contest in the Disco one day and it was extremely entertaining for me.
In general, although we are perfectly content to just relax in this tropical paradise, night life is not as satisfying as some people may expect.
We had most breakfasts and dinners at the 2 main buffets next to the lobby.
In my opinion, they are better than many of the Vegas buffets with a wide selection of food. I am a seafood lover and I practically eat fish, mussel, and shrimp every meal. I was constantly thrilled to find abundant tropical fruits and fresh made juices and smoothies. My non-seafood loving friends seemed to have enough choices themselves. Among the hundreds of items the only disappointing thing for me is Sushi. We had 3 reservation meals when we dressed up a little. The gourmet one in the lobby is very good. The only choice of main entry is lobster and it was huge. I love the singers in this restaurant. My American friends seem to be happy with the steakhouse as well. The tropical restaurant by the beach is not bad either although the food did not taste too different from the buffet. I would suggest trying the Mexican restaurant since I heard good things about it.
We had most lunches at the beach buffet where they have a cookout every day.
>From seafood casserole to hamburger, they are surprisingly not bad at all.
Whenever I feel hungry I always find somewhere serving food I like.
Lobby bar makes the best drinks. The Palapa bar by the beach is so so but you will probably never walk to the lobby for a drink. We typically tip the bar tender $1 per every 2 drinks although some people don't tip them. If you are one of those people who has to have a certain brand, ask the bar tender and sometimes he has it under the counter.
We drank bottled water and water served with our meal. But I somewhat question the quality of the water served with our meals. It should be purified water but somehow it has a discernable taste.
Getting in and out of the country
The time at airport can be tiring but I completely expected that. We left the hotel at 130pm, arrived at the airport at about 215pm and by the time we were at the gate waiting to board the plane, it was 415pm.
Stuart Quebec, Canada
Our family of three (parents and daughter) spend two weeks at the Iberostar over Christmas and New Year. We have visited this resort before (and have submitted reviews of it) and again we were not disappointed. Of course, the weather plays a huge role in a vacation like this, but were were blessed with 13.5 days of sun!
The resort was beautifully decorated for the Festive Season, with lights on all the trees – quite a sight at night. The staff went to great pains to put on special activities – Santa arrived by helicopter on the 24th, there were Gala dinners on Christmas Day and at New Year, New Year was recognized at different times as 2006 arrived in different places in the world, and the party to bring in the year at Punta Cana was one great bash.
One of the things we like about this resort is that it attracts people from all over the world, and particularly from Europe. Germany, Holland, France, Spain, Russia, Italy, England, Austria and Poland all seem closer after meeting people from these countries.
Thanks a million to all the employees of the resort who worked so hard to make the guests welcome. This includes the people who clean the pool and grounds, who serve at the bars and in the restaurants and who entertained us day and night. Special mention for Nelson on the breakfast terrace, Johnny at the beach bar, and animators Willian, Mini, Eizabet, Cisa, Mac, Romero, Mickey, Jack and Ding Dong. We will never forget you.
Marcy New Jersey
My husband and I, with our two older teenagers, just returned from a week's stay over Christmas. We had a terrific time! The true test of a resort is when it is fully occupied, and we had a great time! This was our 15th all-inclusive vacation, our 4th stay at an Iberostar.
The grounds are beautiful, flowers, shrubs and fountains; tiny white lights illuminate the tree trunks at night. Swimming pools, guest rooms and bathrooms clean and well-maintained. But the real glory is the beach: soft white sand and gentle lapping waves. (at dawn the maintenance men rake the seaweed into piles for removal, so all you see is sand).
We enjoyed 3 specialty restaurants: the Mexican, the Asian, and the gourmet, La Sibila, though it should be noted that this restauruant has a fixed menu, no choices. On Christmas eve, a grand buffet was served, complete with candle centerpieces. Grilled lobsters, beef Wellington, caviar, shrimp, lamb chops, sushi bar were the highlights. All week the food ranged from very good to excellent. We never got sick (nor did we hear of anyone who did), though gluttony would have been the reason. At breakfast, fruit smoothies and made to order omelettes were favorites.
The staff was universally helpful and friendly. Organized daytime activities include horseshoes, darts, riflery, soccer, archery, bocce, volleyball, water polo, aerobics, bingo, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, and "Olympics".
Windsurfers and kayaks are available, and the opportunity to snorkel and scuba.
Showtime in the evening can be a disappointment; silly shows put on by the staff.
Helpful hints: -the rooms dont have clocks or radios, bring your own if you need music or to know
the time (we asked for wake-up calls and they came promptly, twice each morning
-the light in the rooms is weak, bring a booklight for night reading
-before 6 pm, swap your towel for a clean one. in the mornings, the towel hut doesn't
receive its fresh load when it first opens at 8am
-the beach buffet at lunch is most crowded between 12:30 and 1:30. Eat later, or
count on cruising around for a table (when the resort is
-men should pack a pair of slacks to wear to specialty restaurants
-the towel hut has backgammon and chess sets, and books to borrow
Have fun, enjoy your vacation, contact me with questions
Singer & His Wife
We have just returned (10/28/ - 11/06) from the IB* Dominicana and it exceeded our expectations. When we arrived we were greeted with smiles, a glass of cold punch and a sense that the staff was there for us. We were right; the staff will do whatever it takes to keep people happy. The front desk was pleasant, professional and accommodating and fulfilled our request. Guest relations were always willing to help and they are the folks to make your specialty restaurant dinner reservations.
We had no problem with the food. Plenty for everyone and we ate salads, veal, deviled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, pork, roasted pig etc. etc. etc..
Things we normally would not have eaten at an all inclusive but never had a bit of stomach problems; not even indigestion. The cold food items were on refrigerated tables and the hot dishes were kept hot on heated brick "tables" adjacent to the grill. We drank only bottled water and NEVER used the tap water to brush out teeth; only bottled water. The water served with meals was potable and never created a problem. Drink plenty of water because of the heat and humidity one can easily dehydrate in a hurry.
Service at the restaurants/buffets was great. We ate at the La Sibilia & Maria Bonita specialty restaurants and enjoyed them very much. The maid service was great. Our room was done by 10 a.m. everyday. Our mini-fridge was always re-stocked with whatever we asked for.
The beach is OUTSTANDING. We have been to Cancun and the Riviera Maya for the past nine years and the beach at the Iberostar wins hands down. The beach is not the amazing blue of Cancun but the water is far more manageable. My wife spent more time in the water over nine days than she has over the past nine years. We have also stayed in LaRomana and we prefer the beach in Punta Cana. The man made beaches in LaRomana cannot compare to the miles and miles of shoreline in Punta Cana.
The grounds are beautifully tropical and well maintained. The entertainment staff did a great job and were very respectful to their guests. We did not have much interaction with the entertainment team, since we spent 95% of our time, on the beach, walking the beach and hanging out in the ocean. When we did use the pool we found it refreshing, clean and had plenty of space for everyone.
The Apple rep at the IB* was very informative and did a great job. We had no problems with transfers from and back to the airport. Customs at the airport was a breeze. The airport is hot but what the hey, you're in the tropics and that's why we went there; for the warm weather. Work on your Spanish, German or French because the staff understands these languages much better than English. We speak a decent amount of Spanish and had no problems communicating.
We found the Iberostar Domincana to be a family resort with something for everyone. Although , we were not traveling with children we did notice the interaction of the children's program directors with the children.
My wife and I both thought the staff who worked with the kids ; were wonderful.
We will definitely return.
Carrie Baltimore, Maryland, USA
My fiancee and I were NOT impressed with Iberostar Dominicana. We went to Punta Cana because we could not go to our original honeymoon destination in Cancun. The Iberostar Dominicana has 5 golden apples on the Apple Vacation site, so we were hoping for a romantic, beautiful honeymoon week with exemplary service and accomodations. We were very dissapointed with Iberostar.
The Room: When we arrived at our room, it was so dissapointing. It was very clean, but the bed was old and squeeky, the furniture and everything just seemed so outdated. We couldn't believe this was 5 golden apples. My fiancee tried to take a shower and the tub filled with water because it was clogged. We called the front desk and they sent a maintenance person right away. We spent the first hours of our honeymoon listening to a maintenance person with a plunger trying to un-clog the bathtub and sink. Needless to say, it didn't put us in the mood. On the bright side, the housekeepers always did a great job keeping the room clean, getting the sand off the floors and replacing towels.
The food: We went to the buffet for dinner on our first night and were practically run over by several very rude Europeans. It seemed like they see you coming and make an effort to stand in your way. The food was not really good. On the days we went off the resort, the local food tasted much better, but it was like the hotel wanted to try and make American food. Example: the pizza was made with ketchup. Most of the children at the resort could not behave in public. Two of our reservation dinners were ruined by couples with screaming kids. The best food (though still not great) was in the Mexican Restaurant and the Steak House.
The bar: The first day we arrived I drank (no exaggeration) 15 pina coladas and rum & Cokes trying to catch a buzz. I was unsuccessful. I'm not a frequest drinker, so for me not to get a buzz, the drinks must be really watered down. The bar staff was nice. Don't let the rumors you hear about tipping fool you. You don't get better service by giving them a buck. It actually seemed to get worse for us.
The beach: The beach was beautiful as long as you didn't look away from the water. The people who took off their tops and wore speedos should consider either going to the gym or putting on more continued to walk around, breasts flagging in the wind, like they owned the place. It was disgusting. I felt sorry for the American parents. I wouldn't want my kids to see that and there was no safe place.
The Service: Overall, the people who worked at the hotel were very nice. They had empty plates off your table very quickly. On our first day, they asked us how our stay was and we explained the ordeal with the clogged tub. We told them we were honeymooning and were hoping to have a romantic evening. The man said he'd send a bottle of champagne to our room. He never sent it.
The Vendors: The vendors at the shops on the resort especially angered my fiancee. They hassle you constantly to come into their stores. You cannot walk by in peace. We expected that outside of the resort, but it made us angry that we had to deal with it inside.
The other guests: The people who visit this resort don't seem to know basic manners. We were there for 8 days, so we saw multiple crowds come and go. The people just seemed to have no class. Everyone was over 35 years old. Many families with children. It's not a good place for honeymooners.
The Good Things: They have a wild rooster who sleeps on the arm of a chair at the outside theater every night. If he's sleeping, you can pet him. They also have 5 wild flamingos living in one of the fountains. You can bargain with the annoying shop vendors and get decent prices on souveniors. The DC-6 night club is pretty cool and usually boasts a young crowd. The big buffet stays open late if you need a snack.
If I were in charge of the Apple rating system, I would give this resort 2-3 apples.
Sorry this review is a month over due….but I finally have the time to write.
This was our second time to the Iberostar complex however our first time to the Dominicana side. My husband and I were traveling with good friends and celebrating our 26th "legal" year of togetherness.
We traveled via USA 3000 (Apple Vacations). Flew out of Pittsburgh, PA. Flight arrival and departure times were actually a little early as everyone was boarded and there was no need to wait. Not a problem!
Upon our arrival at the Punta Cana airport…the line was forming at the first desk to purchase the tourist cards. As my husband and I were waiting in line we were motioned over to the passport check in desk …paid our $10 each and were given a tourist card without having to fill it out. Our friends who purchased theirs at the first desk had to fill them out. Humm……a way to make a few extra $$?? – Not a problem with me….as long as I can get in and out of the country on them.
Upon arrival at the resort…around 12 noon….we were told our rooms would not be ready till 3pm. Ok…we took the time to leisurely walk the resort....eat a bit….and refresh with an Ice Cold el Presidente!
At 3pm we were told our rooms had been upgraded to Junior Suites. What a pleasant surprise. The rooms were very nice....actually more room than we needed but the resort was definately not at full capacity and you could tell they were doing renovations in the rooms of the main resort.
The resort grounds were lovely and we enjoyed our walk to the beach each and every day. The staff at this resort was wonderful. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants and only ate at the buffet a few times. The food at the buffet was not overly exceptional but it was good and plentiful.
We were surprised to learn that some friends we had made over the years at the vendor huts to the left were no longer there....as those huts have been removed to make way for new resorts being built. We did find them however at a small shopping complex that you can be transported to.
The only slightly negative thing I will say …..and this bears true where ever you go….be careful on the tile everywhere! It is very slippery when wet and we saw quite a few people fall. I myself fell when entering the pool at the very shallow end, and there was one person that fell and broke her hip. It’s a matter of being safety conscience. (And wearing the right shoes.) There were small little signs posted along the walkways…but when I say they were small…they were small!
It rained for us each day…but not all day and did not hamper our vacation in any way. This was a wonderful resort and anyone planning on booking at either the IB Punta Cana or IB Dominicana will NOT be disappointed. I am already planning our next trip back to Punta Cana!
This was a special trip for us, to celebrate twenty years of wedded bliss! and we did so in the nicest place. The IB Dominicana is breathtaking at first glance. I knew we had made the right choice we we arrived at the hotel and got off the bus. The grounds are beautiful, well kept and inviting. The staff was polite and helpful. We had a standard room and although I love ocean view rooms as much as the next person, this did not diminish our stay in any way. Our maid kept our room clean and stocked. I would like to thank the person who left a review stating they made little gift bags for the maid...what a great idea, I am glad I made the effort because I felt it was much appreciated. I bought a few things at the dollar store( pretty hair clips,inexpensive jewerly,nail polish,etc..) and packed them, I put two dollars in the gift bag and left it on my pillow daily. We went on two great excursions, The Outback Jungle Safari and the Marinarium, both excellent trips and a good value compared to other areas in the Carribbean. We bought crayon,copybooks, art supplies pencils,paper, and coloring books to give to the driver of our Outback tour for the school children. We almost cried we he delivered them! The children are so thankful, again, most definiately worth the effort and the room in my luggage was used for gifts to take home. The day of our anniversary was also my Birthday, my husband had talked to the staff at the steakhouse earlier in the day ( a little secret) and at diner I was surprised with a cake,flowers and staff singing Happy Birthday in several languages, until they figured out I spoke English! I loved the Hotel, a massage a the spa was great, the pools and beach are lovely. We met great people from several different countries, and even a set a newlyweds from our own neighborhood! Being friendly really does enhance your trip any where you go. The only downside I can think of is I did have a few stomach issues. I am a bit concerned about the refrigeration at the buffets. Overall, it was a very good trip and if we ever return to the Dominican Republic, we will definately stay at this hotel, without question.
Marlene Cornwall, ON
First of all the resort was beautiful, the food was great at the buffet restaurant was amazing. Some beef meals at the A la Carte restaurants do not have the same taste as Canadian Beef, so you are safe with the fish and chicken. For fussy eaters (Kids) the menu was very accommodating. The Kids Club had something for all ages. My daughter is 10 and at first did want to join until she met some girls that were in the club close to her own age that were from the United Kingdom. She made friends for life. This vacation was the best....the staff were great and love kids. Just be sure to watch you kids in the pool since there are no lifeguards. The resort offers boggy boards and noodles for the pool. The only negative comment is: For the pool area....European woman were going topless when it is indicated everywhere that there is no topless by the pool. The resort does not enforce this rule. It is a little shocking for us from North America that are a little more conservative on certain things.
Other than that it was a great vacation.
My family, husband, wife, and children (21 and 18) just returned from a week at the Iberostar Dominicana. I would highly recommend this resort and will consider returning to it on subsequent vacation.
The main buildings in the resort are beautiful and the grounds have many palm trees, lush foliage, and are very well maintained. The two free form pools are large, well kept and well landscaped with a lot of greenery and trees around them. The beach has soft, white sand and the ocean is clear blue. Since there is a coral reef about 1/2 mile off shore, waves coming to the beach are more like gentle swells, which makes the water very inviting for swimming and other water activities. Our rooms were in bungalos, not the main hotel buildings, and were spacious, clean, and well kept. The air conditioner in one room struggled to keep the room cool and comfortable. On one occasion, we called the desk because our air conditioner stopped. A maintenance person arrived within 5 minutes and corrected the situation immediately. Overall, the facilities are clean well kept. Outstanding!
The food at the buffets were varied, plentiful and delicious. Waiters at the sit-down restaurants were very helpful. The bartenders were very friendly at all of the beach, restaurants, hotel lobbies, clubs etc. locations. The staff provided a wide range of activities during the day at the beach and pool areas but guests could just as easily relax in their beach chairs or take excursions instead. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality and professionalism at the shows in the evening. In addition, the disco is a nice alternative for older kids later in the evening.
Our only issue was that it was very hot in the middle of the day (I guess that's what happens in July/August) so we took it easy then and cooled off with water activities in the ocean and in the pools.
We would highly recommend this facility and this chain of all inclusive resorts.
My family and I just returned from 8 days at Iberostar Dominicana in Punta Cana. Overall, we had a phenomenal time. There are some very great points of the hotel, staff, etc., and only a few less good (not bad) points.
We flew with Apple tours and it made the trip for me, my wife and my two little girls easy to negotiate. We traveled on USA 3000 airlines and was pleasantly surprised that it included headphones, a movie, meal and additional beverage service.
Upon arrival you are greeted with a visual treat. The grounds are astounding and the staff are ALWAYS working to improve it...all day, every day..and it shows.
I could probably write a book about the staff. I have never experienced the kind of service that I did, mostly from the Star Friends staff, although the waitresses were also outstanding. The real shining star here are the "star friends" staff. They are in charge of the entertainment (both daytime and evening). They were unbelievable. By the time we left, we felt like they were good friends, not just staff members. The majority of the wait staff were also fantastic, with some very few exceptions. They are...I did not find a friendly bartender the entire week and the people at the ice cream shop were also quite snippy. Finally, my kids performed in all the shows with "Lucy's Club" and the staff there were also fantastic. The staff were certainly one of the highlights of our trip.
The food was plentiful and mostly always available. The flavors were a bit bland. Everyone said not to eat fruit or vegetables...we ate fruit at every meal weren’t ill once. Overall, I would rate the quantity of the food a 5 (out of 5) and the quality a 3 (out of 5)
Upon arrival we were upgraded (without even asking) to a Jr. Suite. The room was beautiful and I thought that it was quite large. The only downside for me on the Jr. Suite was, it was quite a hike to the pool/beach (the silver lining was, I got additional exercise) and the air-conditioning was HORRIBLE. I called the front desk 3 times asking for someone to come and look at the air-conditioning. Either they sent someone and I didn't know it or no one ever came. The room was so warm I had trouble sleeping. After the first several days, I assumed that it was as good as it was going to get so I just dealt with it (a wet towel with ice on the back of my neck). It wasn't until I was checking out that I spoke to several people (all from the hotel, however) and they said their rooms were cold (I would have given my right arm to be cold...just once!). Honestly, the lack of air conditioning in the room, entertainment center, buffet restaurants and specialty restaurants were the worst part of the trip by far and would be the only reason I didn't go back there. I understand that I'm in the tropics and I wouldn't mind some of the facilities to be open air, but when you can't even get relief when you return to your room, it can get on your nerves quickly. I also had to chase after the maids several times for towels, water and toiletpaper (this was AFTER tipping them quite generously).
You could be busy all day, every day...if that's what you wish. They certainly have enough planned and unplanned activities for you to do. Again, the activities were run by the Star Friends" staff and they are second to none.
The Pool & Beach:
The pool is huge. At times it was pretty cloudy...but I suppose it's hard to keep it crystal in 100 degree heat with so many people in it. If you want to reserve a chair, plan on getting up and heading to the pool with towels at around 5:30 am. The beach was beautiful. The sand was soft, the water clean and beautiful. I was told that it would be very "sea weedy" but it wasn't bad at all. The only problem I had was that I was expecting the Caribbean and on the Atlantic Ocean, it's still pretty wavy (if that's a word).
1. Get to the pool/beach by 5:30am to get the seats you want
2. When going to the shops on the beach bargain hard. You can even barter (we did! and got some rum and jewelry for free...and not just the free necklaces)
3. Brush up on your Spanish. The staff speaks English, French, German and Spanish, but the more you know, the better you'll make out.
4. If you're American, don't count on meeting a bunch of friends there...unless of course you speak French, German or Spanish...Americans are the minority there.
5. Tipping is not mandatory or expected (but it sure doesn't hurt)
Overall...we had a wonderful experience and the pluses certainly made up for the few minuses. I would rate it a 4 out of 5. What in the world does Dale P'alla mean anyway?
Just returned from 8 nights at the Iberostar Dominicana.
Had a great time, nice place, soft sand, warm water, free drinks.
Fact 1: Don't be fooled by the 'Two" hotels in which you may use both facilities.....so it's like a two for one deal. It is but one hotel with two sides and a different name for each wing, not a bad thing but not as advertised.
Fact 2: NO MOSQUITOS! Not a single sighting or bite. If you stay around the beach you don't need to take medicine. Again not a single sighting.
Fact 3: Water is fine, you may wash and brush and drink the water. Lets be real, changing of anyones diet will produce a softening......or liqufication in your regularity (if you catch my drift). You will need your Pepto or Imodium. BUT don't think brushing with bottled and turning down ice or the water from the waitress is going to stop a trip to the bathroom. Enjoy yourself and just plan on it......
Fact 4: The buffet will get boring but the food is far from "Bad". The resturants are good and reserve your tables when you arrive, as to get it out of the way. SteakHouse, Seafood, Mexican were best. Rock Star Cafe was great and a good alterative to the buffet for you do not need a reservation.
Fact 5: Getting a shade hut on the beach is a blood sport. If you think your going to party all night and be in the shade on the beach the next day.......you'll learn a lesson. If you do not have your towels down on some chairs by 6:00 a.m. you will be sunburned. Shade huts are a must, if you want a good one 5:30 a.m. is even a little late.
Fact 6: Notice to Americans. Iberostar is prodomitely European, in fact I joked that the Punta Cana was East Berlin and the Dominicana was West Berlin. German and Italian are the widely spoken languages there.
Fact 7: If you do not like cigarettes or smoking you will want to avoid all public indoor spaces. Everybody had a butt going in every room, beach, resturant, bar, even while getting food from the buffet!
Fact 8: The staff seems to get stiffed on tips from the majority of the guests. We tipped our favorite bartenders and waitstaff, and the service was 110%. A dollar once in a while will get you top shelf booze the moment you step to the bar and a full drink to your table as you finish your last sip. It may be a cultural thing but the Americans took good care of the service and the service took good care of us.
Fact 9: If you are a young couple (under 35) looking for action this may not be the best choice. The disco is small and the casino smaller. The entertainment is weak at best, but they try hard and in many ways the shows would be considered cute. The Iberostar is fine for just hanging on the beach thats for sure, the sand is soft and the water is warm. If you get a hut it may be considered perfect by some.
Fact 10: There were many kids at the Iberostar. At times at the pool you could walk across the water on their heads. But a corner could always be found to just float and sun yourself.
Fact 11: Do not pay more than 50% of said item. Even while shopping in the resort. Except lobby gift shop.
Fact 12: BlackJack rules are a little different there and heavily in the Casinos favor. Many an empty pocket left that place. Keep an eye on the dealers ALWAYS. We caught many mistakes, there were a few each night! Know the game and know what you have on the table. Your cards and money will be gone before your finished adding them up. The dealers have a funny way of dealing past a seventeen and winning with twenty twos.
Fact 13: We had a week of sun!
Fact 14: Excursions: There were more reports of excurions being "un-fun" than "very fun". More people we spoke with wished they had stayed on the beach, regardless of the event. Long bus rides and late departures were the norm.
Also, Dolphins should swim freely and not be in cages so we can take a picture.
All in all we give the Iberostar Dom./P.C. on a scale of ten.
Beach people: 4
Entertainment (day): 8
Entertainment (night): 4 (they try hard though)
Great place for the money. It is what it is, very relaxing. firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Just returned from Punta Cana and it was totally unforgetable. Everything was perfect. The weather was great. Hot and sunny every day and a nice cool breeze blowing on the beach. Our stay at the Iberostar Dominicana was excellent. We were upgraded to a junior suite and it was really nice. Our rooms were very clean and the maid cleaned them daily. The mini bar in our room was stocked everyday. The entertaining staff made our vacation extra special. There was never a dull moment. They were all so funny and fun to watch. Our favorite was Mini. He was great. Cisa was alot of fun and we will never forget her. We could always find something we liked to eat at the buffets. My favorite meal was at the seafood restaurant. It was delicious. The meal at the steakhouse was excellent also. The drinks were yummy. Some were stronger then others depending on which bar you got them from. We went to the disco every night and loved the style of dance. We took one excursion. Our choice was the Kon Tiki tour. It was a lot of fun. The rum ( ron) punch was good and we all managed to drink too much!! We went snorkeling and had a blast. The staff on the Kon Tiki were great and well entertaining. Our VIP rep was Francis and he was great. Also at the check- in desk is Waghner. He was always smiling. We will return to this resort. We have nothing bad to say only good. The staff was the best. The grounds were beautiful. The beach was beautiful. The food and drinks were good. I am sad to be home and wish the days didn't go by so fast, but we will be back.
Returned on the 7th january for the second time and booked again the day we got home! we first visited the iberostar dominicana last august and it was unbelievable! the place, the people and the martini! It was amazing, the star friends: jack (hillarious), Mac (lovely and my brothers best friend who we still talk to on msn) yamilli ( wonderful and hillarious with a crazy laugh) martin (so sweet and likes bryan adams) jose ( wot a stud) cisa (always dancing and is in love with my brother) anna ( lovely personality) lucy ( absolutley crazy but lovely) casdandra ( a real sweetie) archie ( a real ladies man but with a huge heart he took care of me all fortnight) arkel ( lovely and shy) minnie (head of entertainment and hillarious and lovely) ding dong ( who wont leave you alone but hes lovely) and Noel ( well what can i say, he is soooo funny, loving and amazing!! ) The hotel is beautiful and the beach is to die for! The food is lovely and the drink is even better! The people make the holiday!! Not just the Star Friends entertainers but the whole staff crew, from the waiters to the pool cleaners they are unbelievble. Noel the towel man/ star friends entertainer is lovely he is funny, witty, cheeky ;) and amazing!
We took our second visit to the Iberostar Dominicana on the 15th December and it was the best xmas of my life , the people make you feel so at home, there was me my mum and brother and we had the most amazing Xmas! The resort was beautifully decorated and the food and staff were as lovely as ever! The disco is great for anyone who isnt an OAP! (and there were some of them in one night!!) Anyone from 15 (even thought you're meant to be 18) to 60 was in the disco which created a wonderful atmosphere! The entertainers leave at about 1am and 3 nights a week there is a dance competition before they go! After they leave the music carries on till 3 and then food is available all through the night! me and 6 friends who i met on the plane journey had a pizza at half 3 am every morning and were up sunbathing at 7am on the dot because the atmosphere is constant you never want to sleep! however for people who prefer a laid back holiday (like my mother) it is always relaxing and you do as much or little as you want and its not noisy if you dont want it to be! Overall an amazing holiday and im going back on the 24th August! email me with questions or comparisons if you have been i would welcome your email's! Lelly4dunk@aol.com
This holiday was the best holiday I have ever had! I went with my parents and sister for my 19th birthday! Everything was so clean and neat! The maids that cleaned are rooms were goddess! especially because they had to clear up after me & my 13yrs sister! We got new towels everyday & are chiller was restocked everyday! The entertainment staff were fantastic! I couldn't pass any of them without them shouting to me to say hello are coming up to me to give a hug and a kiss and make sure that I was enjoying myself! My parents told Mini (entertainment manager) that we were there for my birthday and they made such a fuss over me! Firstly we went to the buffet restaurant on the Dominicana side for our evening meal & our waiter, Franklin, arranged fro the chefs and all the other waiters & waitress's to come & wish me a happy birthday! But that not all they did! They got drums, were clapping there hands and singing and dancing around my table for about 10minutes! Then they brought me out a cake! It was brilliant! No words could describe how happy i was! & how shocked i was! my parents didn't even know Franklin had arranged it! It was so nice how Franklin went out of his way to make my birthday the best i have ever had! Then the star friends came in and Cisa & Cassandra came to me & sang happy birthday! We went to watch the entertainment that night & before it starts they give out diplomas. They called me up on stage and i got a Star Friends hat and T-shirt a bottle of champagne & a diploma for my birthday! Then Arkelly (entertainment assistant director) said they had a surprise for me! Everyone in the resort, including guests, sang happy birthday to me in french, spanish & english! then Mini and Archie brought out a huge box! Inside they told it had my birthday cake! It was one of those tiny me to you cakes you can get from clintons! In a huge box! It was fantastic, everyone was laughing! It was truly amazing! If you are going to the iberostar dominicana look out for Lucy, she is absolutely crazy! Also Cisa, she's great. Then there's Ding Dong! who wouldn't leave me alone for the whole holiday! There's Martin who is so sweet! I loved him! And Mac, who will say he's from liverpool but he's lying to you! He just likes saying Liverpool!!!! And Archie! Archie was fantastic! He was fun & joins in for most of the nights entertainment! Mini will be the funniest man you will ever meet in your whole life! All of them were brilliant! i don't have a bad word to say about any of my holiday!
I feel Iberostars are kings of mid-price all-inclusive: they go beyond what is required.
FOOD Buffet restaurants are adequate, while there are enough good-to-excellent a la carte restaurants to enjoy a different cuisine every night. Top-shelf liquor available.
LAND The flamingos, birds, turtles and fish are wonderful. Landscaping is gorgeous. These are also inside the hotel.
SERVICE Helpful. Staff friendly and accommodating.
PRIVACY No one hustles you on the beach to buy time shares or jewelry; there are just photo-ops with animals (parrots, monkeys).
BEACH Impeccable, and long enough for walks to other resorts. No seaweed on beach or in water. Wonderful waves.
SPORTS Just three tennis courts for the three hotels, always booked for prime time, but courts are available off-peak, from noon to 3:00. The usual activities for those that want.
ROOMS OK, air-conditioner and fan, two double beds, adequate lighting, cable, stocked refrigerator. Dank odor in room disappeared with a candle, but got in clothes.
QUIET Rooms are reasonably quiet. Ours looked out on the usually-deserted shopping street, where hammering often started shortly after 8 a.m.
PEOPLE French, Spanish, US and German.
SMOKING Smokers are kept to their area of the open dining room. A la carte restaurants are closed, and no one¹s allowed to smoke.
ENTERTAINMENT Bad. Some may get a kick out of raunchy Mr. and Miss Iberostar contests. Typical of their shows was a sketch about "how Iranis and Iraqis meet": they shoot at each other, stop to pray to Allah, then resume shooting.
TOWEL AND CHAIR SUPPLY Excellent at both beach and pool.
ISOLATION English-language newspapers were rarely available. Rooms got CNN and ESPN, but not Fox; we watched the Super Bowl in their "Star Rock Café."
This Hotel is amazing. It is a must for anyone looking for a fantastic
relaxing holiday with activities on hand if you want them. The all inclusive
nature means that you don’t take any money with you as all food, snacks,
drink, water sports, and activities is included. We had the best time and
are definitely planning to go back.
We flew with Direct Holidays through My Travel and paid for an upgrade to
Premier Class. The flight was great and the upgrade was well worth it for
the free drinks and extra legroom. However the crew were a bit snooty.
The staff go out of their way to ensure that you are happy and encourage you
to join in with all the activities such as aerobics, darts, shooting,
football etc. The ‘star friends’ organise the day activities and at night
put on shows in the theatre, which are great, fun and good to watch whilst
sipping on one of the many cocktails.
The food was amazing and I'm a very fussy eater but every night was spoilt
for choice. The main buffet restaurants are full of salad platters, meat
platters, and have an amazing array of hot foods. The speciality restaurants
are also great and the beach side steak restaurant was fab. At lunchtime you
can chose to eat either in the buffet restaurant or down at 1 of the 2 beach
bars/restaurants. The drinks are great to; good wine, beer and all the iced
cocktails are to die for.
Everyone tells you to beware of buffet style servings and not to eat fruit
or veg, but we ate it every night and weren’t ill once during our 2 week
The rooms are great and the junior suite that we had was huge. There is a
slight musty smell, but I have found this in many hotels in tropical resorts
due to the humidity. All you need is to pack a small fragrance candle and
the scent of that will solve the problem.
After eating so much every day, all day, I had to keep my size 8 beach body
trim so I did the aqua and beach aerobics. It’s great fun and a good 30 mins
of exercise. The tennis courts are also included in the price and the courts
are great to play on in the late afternoon.
The Pool & Beach:
The pool is huge, and very clean. There is a slight problem with early rises
reserving sun beds, but my advice is head to the wonderful beach. Usually we
are pool people, but the sand is so nice and white and the water fairly
clear that you’ll probably end up there every day. Plus there is a lovely
breeze that comes of the ocean that you need to cool you down, cause it is
hot!!! Unlike neighbouring hotels, Iberostar Dominicana has parasols for
shade on the beach and the seaweed is cleaned away from the sand every
This hotel is 1st class, and you will not be disappointed.
Doug and Connie Near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Well hello everyone, again here on Debbie's site to give our review. Yup again another review for the Iberostar Chain. We are just getting time to send in our review now... a few months late. My husband and I went to punta cana from november 10-24/04. Our second time to the D.R and first time to punta cana. You can read our reviews here on the website both under Iberostars' for Paraiso Beach in the Mayan from last november and from Coasta Dorada in Puerto Plata from the year before.
I must say.. we will still travel to the Iberostar chain this next trip.. however,, I do think this hotel pails in comparison to the other Iberostars. Had this been our first trip to a hotel,, it would have been amazing... but i'm a little bias as I would have to say I wouldn't return to this particular Iberostar.
The trip there normal,, check in was a little hectic.. but only because there was 2 bus loads of people from alberta canada as we were because of a wedding party. That part took a little bit of time to get through,, but hey.. what are ya gonna do eh?
The room we were first put in, was a mistake by the staff.. It ended up being a courtsey room used by travellers who got to stay at the resort all day. We had emailed the resort prior asking for a general location and room style. We were put in a room with 2 double beds and the room was not cleaned. This was fixed in well enough time by us calling the hotel desk, a maid came to the room and soon enough we were back at the desk, with a copy of the email and reply from the hotel, and we were put in a more sutible room. A lovely plate of fruit, desserts and rum was in the room the next day with an apology note.
The resort is a little older, but is still amazing and beautiful. People going this year need to remember that it was hit really really hard by the hurricane.. so the palm trees were a little bare,, and the gardens just coming back.. but was beautiful the same.
The food was like any other carribean resort. You are at a buffet. The food will be buffet styled. If you want steak and potatoes everyday with a cute little garnish.. stay home and eat at your local hilton otherwise,, enjoy it. The speciality restaurants are great.
The entertainment staff as usual,, probably my most favorite part of the trip were amazing. My husband and I are in our late twenties and early thirties. We love dancing, and having fun. If you want the entertainment staff to be your friends.. have fun. We were in several contests the first week and won a dancing contest and 2nd for best Iberostar couple. We were beat by a cute little italian couple.. and they were probably in their 60's and had the best time with it.
We learned how to merengue and bachata by the pool and our favorite part as with all of our Iberostar vacations is doing the Dale Pala at night and by the pool. The artists of the songs are on the other reivews if you are looking for them.
There were some things that did need attention to but again.. those were only things we noticed because we stayed at Pairso Beach last year in the Mayan which was a newer hotel. Some rooms from our talking with other guests needed some attention too. Ours had 2 floor tiles loose.. the only reason I noticed this though was becuase it was right where my suitcase was. The hotel was being refinished though.. again.. because of the hurricane damage.,. so i'm assuming any other complaints people have were due to either reconstruction or revamping due to that.The bathrooms in the room needed a little attention and yeah the tub didn't drain great.. but it didn't have water sitting in it for hours like some of the reviews say so.
The beaches are amazing.. go a little tothe right of the beach off of the Bavaro resort and you'll have better snorkling. If you are worried about the fine sand blowing everywhere.,.. get a palapalla near the edge of the water.
Our weather wasn't the greatest compared to normally travelling during November.. but even now,, months later the weather is nothing like it should be. All carribean areas' weather are weird since the hurricane's and tsunami's. We had about 5 days of rain. But don't let people's rainy holiday discourage you. There was still lots to do so enjoy it. Go snorkling in the rain.. we did.. and the fish are better because they rain they think is food.
Now I got sick which is a first for all the times we travelled. I only mention this because there were many many people sick this time from the resort. It is now chalked up to the fact of the hurricane and doing something to the filtration of the water or what have you but on day 8 I was sick (started day 7 evening) until well after we returned. I spent the second half of our vacatioin in the room with fever, diahrea, vommiting, for the first 3 days then nausea for the rest of the vacation which made eating or doing anything beside sleeping unbearable. This was the ONLY time i've been sick while travelling. The only difference was that I didn't drink as we are trying to concieve.. so who knows.. my husband still drank and was not sick. So maybe there is something to the whole myth of alchol killing some bugs in water.. who knows.. but upon my return and speaking with the greatest travel agent ever Tara.. she went with a group of people where over like 60% of them came back sick too. I am chalking this up to who knows.. I did go to the doctor.. but nothing showed up... so word to the wise... But in all fairness.. November is flu season apparently in the D.R... but it did ruin my last week of the holiday. Luckily,, we meet so many friends while there... that Doug had lots of friends not to metion the star friends to hang out with in my absense.
Again, the star friends were great..,. upon being able to return to the evening shows.. they all acted like life long friends and were genuinly sad that I wasn't there for the dancing and such. Tip them when you leave.. they deserve it.
So go to this resort without hestiation. Will I go back... nope but only because there are so many other hotels with the Iberostar chain I want to try. The people are great.. they do their best... one word of caution though.. there were many people coming back from Punta Cana developing Malaria. It is from Mosquito's. wear mosquito repellent. I always wore it.. still got bit like crazy but I do at home too.
You'll enjoy yourself. Don't look for the bad things.. enjoy the good..and make friends and you'll have a good time.
If you have any questions you can email us. Our email is on our previous posts.
Jan & Bob Milwaukee, Wi
Just back from Punta Cana. We will never go back. The food was awful. We found it to be chore when we got hungry to have to eat their food. We have been back for 5 days and still have the diarrhea. Every plate I ever grabbed had either food left on it and a oily film. I will say the resort was very clean and pretty. So was the beach and our room.
Our apple rep Bianca was a gem and is a true people pleasing person. She goes above and beyond what she has to do for her customers. The Dominican people are very nice, there were some language barriers. It would be best to learn a little Spanish. We were very disappointed by the clarity or should I say no clarity of the ocean waters. When we were in Mexico and the Caymans you could see 30 feet in either direction. But in Punta Cana 5 feet.
We did have a problem with getting picked up a couple times, due to the language barrier.
We went on 3 excursions,
Marinarium (swimming with the sharks) not worth the money.
Monster Truck fabulous. The Haitian kids on the last stop by the voodoo doctor need the most. If you bring stuff pack a suitcase full of cloths, t shirts, pants, jackets anything and old ball caps. Even some of the women need stuff. I seen a baby that could use a new bottle and nipple. Kids range from 1 to 17 or 18. The boys love the balls caps and girls cloths any kind, but the boys need cloths too. I brought school supplies and wish I would of known to bring all this other stuff. I gave quarters to some of the boys and they had no interest. Probably because they can't get to anywhere to spend and do not understand the concept of money. These people only eat once a day and are very poor. They all line up when you get there and your tour guide will hand out the items. Bring Kleenex, you will need it to wipe the tears away.
Our last excursion Sonoa Island ok but not worth the money. They do have lots of beer and alcohol on board of all excursions and will try to pour it down your throats. I haven't commented on everything because I could go on forever and anyone who wants to ask questions can email me at email@example.com.
My wife and I-59 years old, plus my son and his beloved stayed at the Iberostar Dominicana in Punta Cana for the week of 1/9 to 1/16/05. We have been to Iberostar many times in Puerta plata, Cosumel, and Playa Del carmen. This was our first trip to Punta Cana and although we had a great time, I think we would go back to Puerta Plata or the Mayan Riviera next time. This is a beautiful resort that needs a little fix up on the rooms which are showing their age. The bathrooms particularly need to be refreshed and fixed up. The beaches are the best that we have ever seen- except for the outer Exumas in the southern Bahamas. Lots of great food. We ate at the Oriental, tropical and steak house specialty restaurants all of which were quite good. One of our group was very sick for two days and I had about a half day of illness. Don't have a clue as to why or how....
You should be aware that this is a very large facility- must be 2000 people between all three Iberostar units, plus you are right next to many other big facilities such as Riu and Secrets. The resorts extend for miles and there is always a big crowd walking the beach. We would have liked less people and more accesible facilities. The animation team tries hard but is overwhelmed with the large number of guests. This is a mostly European resort and they all seem to smoke constantly. This is not a problem at the beach, but certainly is at the restaurants and nightly shows. The weather was wonderful- partly cloudy, low 80's, some quick rain clouds that started and ended within minutes. We booked with GWV and flew from Boston, Ma. The trip down stopped at St Kitts and took about six hours, trip back was 3 hours and 45 minutes. Iceland Air is a really good charter group. Overall, we had a great time and so will you!!!!
We stayed at the Iberostar Dominicana from January 2 2005 through January
9, 2005. We have previously stayed at Iberostar Hacienda Dom. in the DR and
Iberostar Pariso in Mexico, also a few others various resorts in parts of
Mexico and the Caribbean. We have so far liked the service at the
Iberostars and try to stay there when we vacation. This was our 1st time to
We flew GWV/Iceland air out of Boston. It was a 3.5 hour trip and
uneventful. Checkin was a breeze since it was a charter we just follow the
signs and are bussed to the resort. We had many drinks at the lobby bar
before heading off to our room!!. The rooms are not as nice as the other 2
newer IB's we have stayed at but certainly not bad.
The beach is long and beautiful but so so windy that we often had to tip
another lounge chair on the side of us to block the wind. The ocean was
also very wavy with quite a bit of undertow. I don't know if it is like
this all the time or just this time of the year. The weather was not the
best but it wasn't horrible either. The rain would come in the form of a
black cloud that would last for about 5 or 10 minutes. Not really a
problem, we would just go to the lunch area and have another drink and play
cards until it passed. It rained at night quite a bit. There are many
topless and bottomless Europeans. By bottomless we mean thongs ahah! Some
on beautiful people and some on not so beautiful people.
The staff is terrific. Always hard at work and smiles for everyone. We
tipped here and there throughout the resort with $1 bills. Also we brought
along some school supplies and left them at the front desk for the
representive to pick up. As per the instructions on Debs dominican travel site. The food is typical AI, if you can't find something you like then something
is wrong with you. We ate at the Oriental restaurant and had mixed reviews.
My wok dish was fab my husbands pork fritters were horrible. The gourmet
restaurant only served lobster but 2 of us asked for something else instead
and got a good filet mignon. The steak restaurant on the beach was not so
good and the Mexican restaurant was okay. we had no problem getting into 4
specialty restaurants when we were only supposed to be allowed 2. We just
asked at the reservation desk.
We liked the buffet restaurants on the Punta Cana side as it seemed to be
less crowded. They also serve a cook to order steak and chicken area in the
buffets which was great. You have to wait in a long line for that though.
Breakfast is my favorite and we all enjoyed the chicken at the lunch
buffets. Again the lunch area on the Punta Cana side was less
crowded. They do tend to run out of coffee cups and juice glasses around 9
am though. You just have to wait for a clean cart to be brought out. At
times it seemed very crowded at other times not at all. Paella lunch day
was so crowded we couldn't find a seat.
The entertainment was typical, we always enjoy the audience
participation shows better than the Broadway night theme shows. We went to
the casino a few times but it was very warm there, no air-conditioning for
some reason. Our friends like to play black jack so they liked having that
available. The disco was filled with the 20 something and younger crowd.
Children are not allowed in under any circumstances. You need the adult
wrist band to enter, it doesn't matter if you are with parents or not.
There were many more teens and 20 year olds here than at the other 2 IB's.
We didn't go on any excursions. We went to relax and get tanned and
that's exactly what we did. For $1069 pp it was a steal. Our friends were
upgraded to the jr. suites and we went to the main hotel. Their suite was
nice but they got rained upon at night when walking back to their rooms
where we had the covering all the way back to ours. I wouldn't bother
paying the extra money for a suite unless you have children along.
Only my husband got some stomach upset as he did last year but the rest
of us did not. He was annoyed and ate only bread and pepto bismal for the
day. I took a pepto chew tab everyday. Yes my tongue turned black but the
tummy was fine.
Every other year we bring the kids along, age 16-23 for a xmas present
and we may very well head back here next year as I think they will enjoy
the evening entertainment better.
we have just returned from the iberostar dominicana for the second time! we went in august and returned quickly again at christmas! we are planning on returning again next august and hopefully xmas! the hotel is out of this world! food is beautiful, location is unbelievable and the people are amazing! i cannot fault the hotel at all and would have no reservations with reccomending this hotel to anyone who wants a fab holiday!
Phil and Teresa Derbysire UK
Having just arrived back from the Dominican Republic stopping at the Iberostar Domminicana, here is my report !!!
This is my second visit to the Dominican travelling from Manchester UK.
We chose to fly with My Travel in the first class part of the air craft or should I say "Fat class" I have never travelled with such a bunch of arrogant, obese and ignorant bunch of travellers in all my life, 50% of the travellers brandishing Tag and Rolex watches made the stewards run around like second rate waiters (How they keep professional I don't know, one fat munnter was extremely nasty and how she fitted in the seat was a mystery to me).
The flight was around 8 hours but very bumpy but apart from that not to bad.
Once at the air port in the Dominican you pay you $20.00 visa on entry and then off the get luggage, the porters will take your luggage for $1.00 per case so just let them get on with it!!
Getting to the resort from the air port takes around 2 hours on normal roads, no cross country stuff to this resort.
Once at the resort it is very clean and well organised with minimal waiting around the reception area, you bags are taken to your room by the porters, $5.00 will cover that!!
The rooms are clean and the mini bar well stocked, we did tip the room staff on alternative days only a couple of $ but they only get around $50.00 per month so every little tip helps and they do appreciate it, we also take old trainers, baseball caps, sweets and pencils. On tip if you do decide to give them something leave a note as well as security will take gifts of them!!
The resort was sold to us as a small complex, which it is but no one told us about the three other resorts that it is sandwiched between!!!! This makes the beach crowded, however we did find a quiet spot behind the water sport hut!!
The food within the buffet bars is OK but not fantastic, nothing wrong with the quality or any thing like that it was just not special un like some other resorts we have been to. The special restaurants are much better and the wine in the French restaurant is actually quite nice or maybe it was because the normal wine takes some getting used to.
The facilities are good and the gym well equipped, although one thing really did bug me, yes the gym is for every one but I don't understand why, mainly the Americans go to the gym with a book or magazine and read for half an hour during a work out.
The gym temperature is about 30° and not a bead of sweat in sight, I'm not fattist but come on put some effort in, cut down on the pork pies and maybe they will lose some weight!!!
The pool area is clean and getting a sun bed, with umbrella was never a problem although we did spend most of our time on the beach.
As far as service is concerned we NEVER had to wait at the bar and tipping was not the normal thing to do. All the staff work very hard and like getting involved. I'm not sure about the evening entertainment, it was a bit "basic" and the beach party goes on till around 1 am and is very, very, very noisy, but that is only once every other week!!
All in all it was good and we enjoyed it but we would not go back, only because we like the more quiet resorts.
If you are doing to this resort for the first time to the Caribbean you will love it, if you have been before and are expecting quiet empty beaches this place is not for you, but the service and staff do make your stay enjoyable and it beats the Med hands down.
When we looked back it, it was a good holiday and value for money however there are better places, Serinas Punt Cana for example but it think that was just an extra ordinary place in the middle of no ware.
Enjoy your stay if you are going I would give it 85/100 and that's very good!!
Stuart Quebec, Canada
I lhave just returned from a two-week vacation with my wife and
teenage daughter. We have stayed at this resort in the past and
returned because we loved it. In previous visits, we only spent one
week but this time we had two, covering Christmas, my daughter's
birthday and New Year. We were not disappointed.
Because I have posted reviews in the past, I will not repeat
information about the location and buildings in any detail. I will only
say that, as usual, they were beautiful and clean. Moreover, the
resort was nicely decorated for Christmas.
Summary of Highlights of our Vacation
1. We e-mailed the hotel in advance, asking for a general location
in the building. We got it!
2. We liked the fact that there were people from many countries,
from most to least frequent: Germany, France, Switzerland, USA,
Italy, Spain, England, Russia, Austria and Canada. It was fun to
meet different nationalities and learn from them.
4. The staff, particularly the Star Friends, worked extremely hard to
give everyone an enjoyable time. They are there for you from 10 in
the morning when they start organizing activities until 1 in the
morning of the following day when they leave the discotheque.
They are friendly, humorous, encouraging and just a joy to be with.
We thank them all for a tremendous vacation.
Here are their names with a laudatory comment for each: Anna (for
simply being such a lovely person), Archie (for lots of attention,
particularly at dancing, archery and shooting), Cei Ce (spelling? for
her perseverence with a dance and steps novice), Jack (for that
ever-present grin and great dancing demonstrations), Jameli
(spelling? for great stage work and for guidacne on the dance
floor), Jose (for being a cool cat), Noel (for making towel gathering
tan event to anticipate), Lucy (for her jolly smile all kinds of support
our singing), Martin (for great chats and constant laughs), and Mr.
(for these crazy conversations).
5. Christmas was special, with Santa arriving by helicopter on the
24th, followed by a great gift-giving ceremony on the beach and
then a delicious gala dinner at the buffet restaurant.
6. My daughter's birthday was special, firstly because we spent it in
such a beautiful setting, far removed from the -20 degrees Celcius
that we left, but also because of star treatment, capped off by a
presentation on the nightly stage and a Happy Birthday sung by all.
Then there was a beach party that night - we danced on the
sand to two live bands from 10.30 to the wee small hours in the
and strong sea breezes.
7. New Year was a blast. First there was another gala dinner
(different menu) then a great countdown to the magic moment of 2005. Balloons, confetti, fancy hats and masks, noisemakers,
dancing and music. We had it all.
8. Stage shows gave us great laughs from the antics of members of
the audience who were willing to take part. The Star Band was
versatile and the Iberostar dancers excellent. The Star Friends
their acting ability to the full! Yes, some of the skits
were corny, but it was all in good fun.
The stage announcers deserve mention: Mini and Arkel kept us
entertained with their lively comments.
9. All staff were friendly - be they waiters and waitresses, barmen,
groundsmen or room maids. The service manager even came
around the pool one day, seeking comments and asking for any
criticisms. He really wanted to know if there was anything that could
be done to make our stay better.
10. Although not a resort activity, we took the snorkelling/diving day
trip to Sanoa Island, courtesy of Dressel Divers. It took about 11/2
to travel each way to the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus on the
Sea. Here, the water was flat and the calm, on constrast to the
rolling, sometimes wild waves on the Atlantic side. However, this
made the snorkelling and diving great - the clear water gave us a
chance to see coral and lots of marine life.
11. Spanish is the language of the staff, but they make every effort
to communicate if you do not speak it. In our case, that meant
English or French. Although the staff vary in their individual
language skills, there was always someone who could
communicate to people in German, Russian or Italian.
One or Two Small Gripes
No review is complete without a couple of complaints. Here are
ours - which did not in any significant way spoil our vacation:
1. We turned off the air conditioning in the room at night but left the
fan on. Unfortunately, it squeaked so we turned if off too.
Consequence - a warm room in the morning.
2. We managed to mask the noise of a dripping toilet by keeping
the bathroom door closed.
3. There was a small leak in the roof in the bathroom with a small
amount of moisture that would drip on your shoulder from time to
We enjoyed a wonderful vacation and we thank everyone at
Iberostar Dominicana for making it so.
It is very upsetting when you plan a vacation, spend a large sum of money and expect a time that is as enjoyable as it is advertised and then to find that our expectations did not even come close. This is exactly how I felt after taking a vacation during the dates of October 15 –October 22 to Punta Cana. During these dates we stayed at the Iberostar Dominicana. I don’t think words can describe the disappointment I have with the time that we had during our stay at the stated hotel. I do understand that things can’t always go perfectly but as a paying customer, potential future customer, and referral source we do expect it to be quite close, this was not the case.
Although I plan on listing the numerous things that I was not pleased about on my travels I will say overall that I could probably name or count the people that were actually helpful or friendly on one hand. To be staying on a resort 8 days exclusively with people that are continually rude was very frustrating to both me, and my partner. What was even more frustrating was to hear that other people at surrounding hotels were and I quote “treated like kings and queens” and we were sitting in a hotel that we felt was not even at best satisfactory. Please see below for a list of our numerous concerns. This most definitely confirmed the fact I would never stay in an Iberostar in the future it also questions my first experience with Apple vacations as a whole. If Apple vacations is willing to stand behind a hotel of this nature that is very difficult to justify future vacations with this company.
1. When we checked in immediately the receptionist informed us that the room that they were assigning to us was not a very popular room due to the numerous issues with the bathroom. First, why would someone start out by saying we will not be pleased with the room and then instruct us to just check it out just in case we could tolerate the imperfections? Would you want to “check out” a room that people have repeatedly complained about? We decided to stay in the room but the ceramic bathtub was chipped and extremely unattractive as well as the toilet.
2. We insisted on carrying our luggage to the room upon check-in. The bellman had explained we would be receiving our luggage within 20 minutes and they would bring it up. We agreed. About 3 ½ hours and 4 phone calls later we received it. During each phone call placed we were hung up on in the middle of our sentence. Two incidents within the first 4 hours of our arrival this was just the beginning.
3. On the same day we travel down to the pool side bar where they explain the selection of liquor to us. Only one kind of beer offered and a very limited liquor selection were explained! Cocktails were extremely unacceptable the entire time
4. At many points during my vacation I needed to use an iron. I was extremely surprised to find that a hotel of that size did not have any in the room for easy access. I had to walk down to the lobby a great distance away while trying to get ready to retrieve the iron each time. That was extremely inconvenient.
5. The next situation came at the Rock Star café. We walk up to the bar while waiting for our table and I will never forget the name of the gentleman, ******, who seemed to help 4 separate customers as he ignored us. We waiting at least 10 minutes as he continued to help customers that kept coming up to the bar and we then asked him to assist us and he proceeded to give an extreme amount of attitude as though we were out of line for asking. We clearly had been sitting waiting for assistance. This was the beginning of the mass amount of unprofessional behavior that we saw not only at the Rock Star café but throughout the entire hotel.
6. The food overall was mediocre to say the very least. Although it is understandable that in open air restaurants it is difficult to control the insects coming and going the food was left open and uncovered. Due to the large amount of flies, etc… on the food throughout the buffet we were uncomfortable with eating a large amount of the selections.
7. We had made a reservation at the Mexican restaurant one night during our stay. Our reservations were at 9:30 pm. We were aware that there was a 15 minute grace period, we were however, 17 minutes late and were told that we could not come in and eat and they sent us away. This resulted in missing our dinner completely! 17 minutes late! I know there has to be boundaries but they had just seated others just before us. Again, we were met with more unprofessional attitudes.
8. We had then attempted to make a reservation with the spa. When we met with the woman she had stated that the time we asked for was not available to service two people at once due to lunch breaks. We asked her then to tell us what would be convenient FOR HER. We set up a time and came the next day when SHE INSTRUCTED US to schedule. She did NOT greet us in a professional way and then informed us that the other woman to help perform the massage was at lunch. My partner had to then “keep himself busy” to wait his turn. I was upset and had expressed it to this woman. My partner then had stated throughout the massage he observed her inappropriate facial gestures to me etc…. Are these the types of employees that are hired in a 5 star hotel?
9. Our next interaction with the staff occurred when I attempted to order a drink (Tom Collins). I had been receiving this drink the past 3 days. The bartender replied to my request by saying that they do not make that drink in the resort. I had told him then that I had been receiving it not only in the resort but at this same exact bar the past 3 days. He looked down immediately and said ok I’ll make it. Again, another example of horrible customer service.
10. We had made reservations at the steak house. We were looking forward to that meal until someone had the bright idea of placed a board in front of the grill which caused the smoke to come pouring out into the dining area. We had asked them to move the board or attempt to correct the situation as did many other people dining near us, nothing was done. We ended up leaving half way through out meal because the smoke was just too thick to continue eating.
11. In the room we were provided a small mini-bar. At one point my partner had pulled out what appeared to be sparkling water. He went to open the drink and not thinking anything of it took a sip out of it. He realized that it tasted funny and had asked if I had previously opened it. Once he had learned that I had not he stopped drinking it. He commented on how the seal had been broken and how the water tasted funny. It appeared as though someone had opened it and filled it with tap water. Could this have been a contributor to our stomach problems we experienced while on the trip?
12. We often frequented the grocery store within the hotel for food items. Not during any of those visits did we meet anyone remotely friendly. When I was cashing out one afternoon I had asked the woman at the counter to repeat the amount I owed in US currency. She then snatched the money out of my hand and started mumbling things in what appeared to be Spanish. That pretty much was the straw that broke the camels back.
These are 12 separate items that are just the big things in my mind. I have NEVER in my life been so disappointed with a vacation. It is not only the disappointment it is the fact that we were stripped of memories. We are frequent travelers, having just returned in July from Cozumel we were extremely excited to be going on this vacation to Punta Cana which was totally ruined by a poor hotel. I would hope that the experience that happened to us never happen to someone else. It is a shame when people ask us how our vacation was we have to reply with such negativity.
This was my third visit to an Iberostar hotel and the only one I would not recommend. Except for the Pagoda resturaunt, the food was mediocre. The kids club was catatonic ; my two boys simply would not go and sit and sit with a coloring book. The two pool tables at the theatre were broken; the foosball was broken; three of the four internet terminals were broken; the tennis court was broken( supposedly from the hurricane); some of the hobie cats were broken.
The staff was nice but in private conversation you were left with the impression that hotel was not a friend of labor and that the hotel took advantage of its staff. This was kept very quiet for fear of losing jobs.
My kids used the pool quite a bit but it was diffucult to get a chair and certainly not one in the shade since because most patrons believed that they owned the chair by placing a towel on it, whether they intended to return or not.
Luckily the beach was beautiful and the surf was rough enough for some mild boogie boarding. With all the vacation choices available in Mexico and elsewhere, I would not be inclined to return.
a party of 8 of us stayed at the dominicana from the 6th to 21st of sept 04.the hotel was beautiful we new it would be because we have been to the carrib twice before and stayed in iberostars.the staff food everything was lovely until hurricane jeanne hit that was frightening the hotel was in a mess but the staff tried uery hard to put you at ease.we went with my travel we went prem gold the service was rubbish the computer for the tv did,nt work the food was rubbish.anyway the rep in our hotel *** she was called was useless after the hurricane we never saw her at all we never got any information until the night before we was due to come home.payed a lot of money for that holiday the dominicana lovely anyone going there will love it but my travel would never go with them again.
hey guys well i got back last night and dr was nice and relaxing the beach was nice and sand was so soft i wished i could have stayed there the people were very nice a lot of people from europe were there i rented atvs and went on a monster truck sarfai i saw the sugar cane a witch doctor house and a cock fight the food was good i had emailed the hotel liek 3 days before i left asking in spanish for a suite and they gave me with no charge the airport is like 30 to 45 from the hotels i would have rather had a direct flight it pays to have the food and drinks included but right outside the hotel is the slums and poor people but i would go back there in a second