Arrival: 12/13/08 - 12/20/08
Arrival at the airport was without issue.
Rooms are nice. We had a view of the pool and we loved it. Most of our requests had to be made twice but everything was eventually taken care of.
Restaurants and Bars:
All foods and drinks were great. Wide variety at the buffet. We especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant.
Beach was awesome, we walked it every day in both directions. Swam in the ocean and laid by the pool every day also. Grounds are VERY well taken care of and there is constantly work being done.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not go on any tours because we enjoyed ourselves in the resort so much and didn't need to leave.
We heard a few horror stories from couples staying at other resorts, but we did not have any to share regarding Ocean Blue. We had water pressure, hot water, and electricity every day. We will definitely return...I'm already looking forward to going back! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have. email@example.com
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Maureen Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Arrival: Dec 12/08 until Dec 19/08
It was great trip in and the airport was so cool. We where greeded into the Punta Cana with so much love and we will go back in a heart beat. We have been to Cuba, Jamica. and other places once and have never returned. But we are looking forward to comeing back because it was a wonderful trip and place to go.
They where clean and the bed where so nice. We both sleep like little babies.
The bathroom was very nice aswell.
Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants and bars where great too. The workers where so so nice.
Oh they where clean and the two pools where so big. One word ..Beauitful
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Yes all great and fun
Only thing I can say is its worth seeing and going too. I work in a hosiptal here and meet many doctors there from other hosiptals all over the world.
I will tell others about our great trip too.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Arrival: 4th Dec- 18th Dec 2008
Arriving at the airport was great though it was a bit different to what we are normal to eveyone was very friendly and taking pictures. collecting our luggage was very quick and our transfer was also great.
The room we stayed in was absoultly lovely very clean and well layed out. we were very happy.
Restaurants and Bars:
yet again no complaints all restuants and bars were very clean and the food was delicious, so much variety.
the beach was stunning i dont normally walk much on the beach let alone go in the sea but i did both many times. both pools were spotless and lovely to lay around. the grounds were my favouite beautiful plants eveywhere and taken care of brilliatly.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
unfortunatly we only went to Manati Park where we swam with dolphins, a brilliant day out. there were so many trips avalible all very well priced there was something for everyone no matter what age.
the only complaint i have is i had to come home, i absoulty loved it and had such a lovely 2 weeks. i will be going back very soon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Sue Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Arrival: November 20 to 27, 2008
Smelled Musty and Mouldy
Restaurants and Bars:
clean but service was slow
Beach was clean....pools were cold
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Upon arrival at the Ocean Blue I smelled a musty room. I put it down to low
season and the rooms closed up....Well much to my surprise and I do have a
high black mould allergy I got way too sick, breathing and sinus problems. I
was in full asthma attack! I also want to say that 35 of us went to that
resort for my daughtrs wedding and 29 got sick with a virus....it was not a good trip at all.
Money spent and waisted because not everyone could attend the weeding due to
diaherra and vomitting.....Mother of the bride was sick and in bed by 8 pm. email@example.com
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Don and Lynn
We just returned from a Punta Cana wedding at the Ocean Blue. Almost all 34 guests ended up with stomach upset which manifested itself in many forms, one of which I’m still recovering from one week since it started up. I’ve been to Dom. many times and this is a first major problem. Not only our party, but 16 in another wedding were sick as well. As to the state of the rest of the guests in the hotel, I’m not sure, as with a large party you tend to stay to yourselves. With this alone it was bad enough that I spent a large time in bed or at least in my room and not too far from the toilet. I can however say that there was a large space on the shelves where their version of Imodium usually sits.
That stuff will pass in time but get this. We were sitting at the pool when a awning made of ceramic tiles approx. 12x8ft. came crashing down on a patio belonging to a ground floor suite. Luckily no one was under it at the time!! So now I’m thinking,this hotel is not that old. But wait, that night a larger piece drops off. Approx. 20x25ft. It was an “L” shaped piece that should have been even stronger. This was up near the photo and the souvenir shop if you have ever been there, and it landed partially on a main walkway. Not enough, how about the fact that as I say, a relatively new place is repouring the large theatre floors. This all adds up to a poorly built and run resort and one that should be avoided.
This is only some of the highlights. If you wish more contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In short, this is a fantastic resort. This was our fourth trip to Punta Cana, and our second to Ocean Blue and Sand. It didn’t disappoint us the second time around. To get a drink at any bar was only a matter of a minute, or two. Mike’s Coffee always had a lineup when we were there, but it’s the best coffee we have ever had. Starbucks doesn’t come close, and either does Tim Horton’s.
The food at the restaurants was great, and we never had a problem with a lineup, or service.
Leaving Punta Cana was the only problem (which it always is). The new roads make the bus trip faster, and leaving at 7:30 in the morning, meant we were on the “milk run”. We made stops at quite a few different hotels to fill the bus up.
Travel Agent (Canadian and Western New York residents)
Our hats are off to Penny at Breakaway Travel, on Taunton Road, in Oshawa. We had a choice of one week at Excellence, or two weeks at Ocean Blue and Sand. For the money, we decided on Ocean Blue and Sand. It was with Transat Holidays for Ocean Blue. We booked it with Penny five months in advance.
Penny also told us that the amount shown online (for all Canadian travel websites) must comply with all other websites. Therefore, if you book online the price is the same, no matter where you go. However, if you phone, you will get a cheaper price.
This is great news for all travelers. Also, for Western New York residents, you can check it out versus your own travel agent/website. You would fly out of Toronto, and with the Canadian dollar being cheaper, you will get further savings.
Breakaway Travel can be found online at www.breakawayonline.ca. There is a 1-800 phone number that can help all Canadian residents from your gateway, and New York residents from Toronto.
We are not trying to push Breakaway Travel, but the personal treatment we get there is the best we have found.
Tickets have changed, and now it’s a piece of paper, and not the old traditional tickets we are used to.
For parking at Toronto Airport, it’s Skyparx for us. Skyparx has the cheaper price for valet parking for 2 weeks, but was a couple of extra minutes away from the airport.
The total cost for fifteen days was under $125 CDN for the valet service. All you have to do, when you return, is call them and they pick you up. It was nice, since the car was right there for us.
We have traveled on Air Transat, Air Canada, and Skyservice to Punta Cana before. Although we booked our holiday with Transat, we flew via Skyservice.
We had prebooked our seats, so we were in row 5 near the front of the plane. The food has gone downhill over the years, but it’s better than nothing.
On the return trip home, Paul was able to get into the cockpit and talk with the pilot and copilot. This may have been possible, as Paul has flown a Cessna before, and the Stewart on the plane (Boeing 757) expressed this to the pilot.
The movies for October, included Get Smart, and The Hulk.
Ocean Blue & Sand Review
Because there is so much to tell about this resort, it is also broken down into sections for ease of use. Just pick the title of what you want to read and enjoy!
The bus only had eight of us going from the airport to the hotel (25 minute drive). We thought we would have a long wait to check-in, but you don’t worry about your luggage until after you have checked-in.
It was only a matter of minutes to check-in. You get your bracelet, room number, keycard, and map of the resort (that also includes your free bowling game). The reception area is air conditioned and is a welcome relief. Since we were there early (11:00 am), we had to wait until almost 3:00 pm until our room was ready.
The original reception area is under construction, so it’s now on the “other side”. Hopefully by the time you go, all construction will be finished.
Be warned about the people wearing the “H10 Premium” shirts are saying that they are the concierge. They are no more than time share people. The time share now owns half the hotel and has set up office in the Reception area.
The mortgage for a time share (over 25 years) is at an 18% interest rate. Not worth the time.
• Bell Boys
After you get your room number, you go back to get your luggage. This is where you will see the bell boys. You can’t miss them. They wear white shorts with white shirts. They have a big blue belt on, and wear hats that look like pith helmets. We thought they were going on safari.
They will mark your luggage with your room number and take it to your room.
We were in room 9319. This meant Villa 9, third floor, room 19. Our room had two queen sized beds, an 8 drawer dresser, television cabinet with fridge that included soft drinks and water. There was also a sofa and coffee table. We had a clock/radio beside the bed.
There is a large closet that contains many hangers, the ironing board and iron, an umbrella, and the digital safe. The safe only requires four numbers to be entered to use it. It’s your choice of numbers too.
The bathroom has two sinks and a huge Jacuzzi tub. Be warned about the Jacuzzi. You must fill it up over the holes by over 7 cm (3 inches) or else the bathroom will be soaked all over (we found this out first hand). The water pressure was great and there was plenty of hot water too.
The balcony had a view of the pool and ocean (you just had to turn your head to the left for the ocean view). The balcony had two chairs and a table, where we sat at night with our cigars, champagne, and cognac.
The grounds are beautifully well kept. People are working on them constantly. Even in the lobby, you could probably eat off the floor, it was so clean.
There are fountains everywhere, as well as a small pond around the buffet restaurant. If you look closely enough, you will see fish in the pond around the buffet restaurant. There are also flamingos by the buffet restaurant and the occasional white heron will fly in to be with them.
Two flamingos decided to escape one night when a big storm was approaching. If it wasn’t so dark, we are sure we would have added the picture.
There are two pools at Ocean Blue & Sand. Both seem to be the same size. One has yellow lounge chairs at it, the other has blue lounge chairs at it. Both have swim up bars and Jacuzzis. Because it was the off season, one of the swim up bars was not open and that pool was much quieter, so we spent time there.
The deepest the pools are is about 5 feet, or 1.4 metres. The pool water is as warmer than the ocean water. The pools are not spaced far from each other either, so going from one to another is only seconds apart. Some women do go topless at the pools, as well as the beach.
We have been to resorts to the north and south of Ocean Blue & Sand, and found this beach to be the best there is. The beach is very wide (from the hotel to the ocean itself). In fact, we think it may be one of the widest in Punta Cana. There are plenty of lounge chairs (blue and yellow). We never had a problem getting a chair at the beach any time of the day. Please note that we like to be close to the water and we found that most people liked to be farther away from the ocean.
We can’t say enough about the ocean. The colour of it is perfect. The waves were great to play in (only a few days were red flag days). Try the boogie boards on red flag days – we had a blast with them. We did sea kayaking for the first time in years, so it was a great experience.
The water is warm as bath water. Even if it rains, stay in the ocean, it really is more fun.
You will also see pelicans flying from time to time. They mainly stay closer to the boats by the LTI resort.
• Beach Vendors
They are located right next door to the resort, so you won’t have far to walk (the LTI resort is on the other side). If haggling over price is the name of your game, you will have fun to get stuff “cheapy cheapy”.
• Mini Market (on-site)
You can find everything in here that you want. You name it and it’ll be here. T-shirts, postcards, souvenirs, first aid medicine, inflatable toys, dresses, bathing suits, etc.
We did send postcards are they were 2 for $1 US. The stamps for each postcard (international) are $2 US.
• Cigar Shop (on-site)
We did purchase cigars. Paul had a field day in here. He ended up with 3 boxes of cigars by the end, and smoked most of one box during our two week stay. The one cigar that Paul wanted (for only one cigar) was $75 US. This wasn’t purchased. They also sell paintings in the store, but we never looked at the prices.
• Harrison’s Jewelers (on-site)
Jo loves diamonds and this place was another paradise to her. She found a ring she liked and it was $1,500 US. We were told that the prices for the same type of ring would be cheaper in Canada, so we left without anything.
• Metamorphosis Spa (on-site)
We never tried it out, but got some prices for those who may be interested.
Massage - $90 US and up
Couples Special – half hour massage - $180 US
• Ocean Tower Casino (on-site)
We aren’t big on gambling, but we did play the slots and lost. There are lots of card tables, but hardly anyone was at them. Most were on the slots. In case you are wondering how much we lost it was $2 US – we played the twenty-five cent slots and allocated ourselves with $5 US each.
• Strike (bowling and Teen Club)
You must bring socks with you to bowl. You do get a free bowling game, but this time, we didn’t play. Strike is now mainly the teen club.
• Mike’s Coffee and Tea
Mike’s opens at 10 in the morning and closes at midnight. The coffee is really good here and reminds us of Starbucks. In the afternoon, when it was hot, we went here for a frozen macadamia caramel. It was fantastic.
They also have international newspapers here (taken from the internet). They are a couple of days out of date, but you can find what is happening in the world. Since we missed the federal election in Canada, we found the results a couple of days later. Please note, we did vote in the advance polls prior to leaving for Punta Cana.
• Overtime Sports Bar
This is more than a bar. Large televisions, if you really want to watch sports. Have a drink at the bar and enjoy. We played three games of pool here, before dinner. The table isn’t level, so it makes for great fun.
• El Carey/La Tortuga Buffet Restaurant
Even through there are two names, it’s the same buffet in the middle. We ate here for all of our breakfasts, a couple lunches, and a few dinners that were fantastic.
For breakfast you could get pancakes, yoghurt, French toast, cereal, croissants, omelets and even hamburgers. The waiters will come over and serve you coffee too.
For lunch at this buffet, you could get almost anything going. Pasta at lunch was big on the menu. They had grouper, pork chops, steaks, chicken, ice cream, pastries and more at lunch. Once seated, you could order a drink.
The dinners were Chinese food night and Dominican night. The Chinese food was actually better than you can get at some Chinese restaurants in Toronto.
• La Cana Beach Restaurant (Buffet)
We ate here for most of our lunches. They had great pizza, chicken and hamburgers here. Once seated you were served a drink of your choice. This restaurant is right by the beach and always has a nice breeze blowing through it. It is the only “outdoor” restaurant where you can smoke. All other restaurants are indoor and air conditioned, so no smoking is allowed. One day they set up barbeques on the sand, so there was a choice of barbequed hamburgers, or steak.
If you see Carlos here, let him know that his “papa and mama from Canada” fondly remember him. He is a great waiter.
• Route 66 – American – a la carte
Imagine “Arnold’s” from Happy Days, and this is what the inside of the restaurant is like. Even Fonzie’s motorcycle is in it. We knew that the food was good here, and it was one of the first restaurants we visited.
Paul had the rib eye steak with Cajun sauce for dinner. The steak was 8 ounces and took up more than half of the plate. He couldn’t believe it, but he did eat the entire steak. The sauce was nice and spicy too.
Jo decided on Cajun shrimp and chicken in pasta. She loved the spicy Cajun sauce. So, if you like spicy food, this is one of the places to be.
• La Casa – Dominican – a la carte
We thought that this restaurant had the best ambience of all of the a la carte restaurants. Since we knew the manager/hostess of the restaurant (Maria), she would let us in early.
The head chef, Alejandro, met us before the restaurants opened. He is in charge of all the restaurants at the resort. Alejandro introduced himself to us, and made our meal one night. It was outstanding.
It was very nice inside with soothing music playing. Jo had shrimp, mussels and fish with rice one night and garlic shrimp another night. Paul had garlic fish (3 fillets) and finely sliced beef in Creole sauce another night.
Since Paul would wear a dress shirt, dress pants, and a jacket for dinner here, the Dominicans appreciated it. To them, it was showing respect for their culture. We would get top notch service.
Maria would always come over with the mamajuana for a toast every time we would come in.
• Margarita – Mexican – a la carte
Be warned if you don’t like hot spicy food. If you don’t, it may not be the place for you to be.
The taco trio is one of the best samplings of Mexican food. It gives you a pork, beef, and chicken taco.
• La Brasa – Caribbean – a la carte
This restaurant is the only a la carte that isn’t in the “restaurant strip”. La Cana becomes La Brasa at night.
This restaurant has the best view, since you are right at the beach and ocean.
For dinner we had Jamaican – shrimp with mussels and rice.
• I Mascherati – Italian – a la carte
The décor in this restaurant is the best of the a la carte restaurants. All of the restaurants open at 6:30, but we would arrive at least 20 minutes prior to get in.
The restaurant is always packed, and there is good reason for it. The menu is loaded with everything, from lamb chops to pasta, from beef to chicken.
When we first went to this hotel in 2006, we thought that it was a bit overrated, but coming back, we thought it was one of the best.
Of course dessert here is tiramisu.
• Showtime – Entertainment
The shows start at 9:30 pm. This was too late for us, since we are always up before sunrise. However, the theatre is under construction and the shows are now held in the lobby.
• Kids Club
This was closed while we were there. It has a play area and an enclosed building. It was probably closed, due to off season.
• White Sands Golf Course
We never went golfing, but it is only a matter of minutes away. It’s a par 72 course.
This resort is absolutely fantastic. We can’t say enough about it. There was a friendly smile and “hola” from every staff member. Even the bartenders would shake your hand and introduce themselves.
We made friends with many Dominicans and have their phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. It really is true – the Dominican people are very friendly. We go for not only the sun, sea and sand, but the Dominican people as well.
The maids, bellboys, waiters, waitresses, and bartenders would get tips. For the less fortunate, we left sewing kits, clothing, and sandals.
We had 5 kilos (about 11 pounds) too much in weight going down, but due to what we left, we were fine on the return trip. Skyservice did not charge us the excess weight going down to Punta Cana. They were going to, but Paul explained what the items were for. We were told that we would have to have a letter into Skyservice at least 4 weeks prior to departure for approval.
They have a daily “newspaper” at the buffet restaurant you pick up each morning. It gives you the daily activities, which restaurant will be closed that night, weather (usually wrong), and announcements. Since it was Paul’s birthday the month before, Jo had it announced. So, look for the Ocean Post.
The food was fantastic at all of the restaurants. Jo mainly drank champagne down there, with each meal. Not that we are big drinkers. About 4 per day each, and that is a lot for us.
We did have a problem with our safe, and within 10 minutes, the safe was fixed. We tipped the man, who came to fix it.
People will come around the pool area to take pictures with animals. Depending on the day, you can get your picture taken with either a monkey; iguana; or parrots. Another woman photographer stays by the beach for pictures. You aren’t obliged to purchase the pictures, but if you do they are $8 US each.
We took about 400 pictures ourselves. As for filming, we shot over 3 hours of tape. We are still adding pictures to webshots, so what you see today, may change to more in a week’s time.
They advertise this as a four and a half star, but really it’s a five star hotel for Punta Cana. Please note that security at Punta Cana airport is very intense. Everyone must remove their shoes and have them x-rayed. The tourist card is exactly the same. You complete one to get in, and a new one to get out. Both are exactly the same.
Now that we’ve been here twice, do we come back again, or try somewhere else?
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Travel and Arrival:
My 15 year old son and I stayed at the Ocean Sands from August 2 - 9. We were flying Skyservice out of Toronto, Ontario, and I had paid the extra $15 per seat to choose our seats ahead of time. I didn’t want to leave it to chance that we might not get a window seat either coming or going. I also put some thought into which side of the plane I wanted chosing the right side going down and left coming home. I chose well as our view was the one where you could first see land. It was a 4:25 pm flight, landing at 8:35 pm and it was on time. Unfortunately I was the only one shown to the left counter, and was searched. A box of donations that I was taking with me was cut open, and I could no longer carry it easily. When I left the inspection I totally missed the counters that I was supposed to go to. This was because everyone else had gone through I just headed outside. Of course I had offers from some locals to drive me for free, but since I read the other reviews I knew nothing was for free. Another passenger advised me that I had to go back inside to find out what my bus number was. I went back and found out my bus number and went back outside only to find the bus was broken down. We waited close to an hour outside before a replacement bus came for us. Unlike a previous reviewer, there were no drinks on our bus, even though we went through the exact same Tour operator.
Once again, unlike a previous reviewer, there were no drinks waiting for us. Instead we were shuttled in the reception check in and waited .... again. The check in process was very long and disorganized. Eventually I got my room key, towel cards and were told that our luggage would be up in 10 minutes and wait for the train. Since it was now past 11 PM, and it was very dark, I decided not to venture out on my own until I got to my room.
Our room was 9221 on the second floor overlooking the pool. It had two queen beds, sitting area, and a large balcony with a table and two chairs (one of them reclined), TV, coffee maker, fridge, clock radio, and a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. I checked the safe right away and found it broken. I had to wait until the morning to call for service (8 am) and then waited until after 9:30 before the repairman came to fix it. As a result I missed part of my orientation with my Signature Rep.The other thing that was weird was where they put the coffee maker. There was no plug visible so I moved it. After housekeeping came in, I noticed that they pulled out the dresser and plugged it in and left the dresser on an angle. I had problems with the safe the next day again and had to call for service at 8:30 pm. It didn’t get fixed again until close to 11 pm. Thank goodness I decided to pull my trip voucher for the Outback Safari out the night before the trip, because if I had waited until the morning of the trip, I wouldn’t have made it. All my money was in the safe and I wanted to buy souvenirs on the trip.
They were very clean. I would often drink my morning coffee (with Bailey’s) and see the cleaning crew tidying up the grounds.
Very beautiful. My son did find a patch of coral close to the beach and took some pictures with the underwater camera. The waves on our beach didn’t seem as rough as it did to the right of our beach.
I spent time at both pools. One was much more active than the other. There were some tiles missing, but that’s minor. There was always an employee coming around cleaning up left over cups left around the pool.
I spent most of my time drinking at the swim up bar, although I did visit the beach bar a few times. The lobby bar had a great deal of liquor choice and there was nothing that they didn’t have that asked for.
I ate at the buffets for most of the meals. There was always something for me. Omelettes were awesome, so were the crepes. They had steak one day and there was a sauce that was amazing. It was so good. Mikes coffee house was great. Even my son loved it. You’ll make time for this place; in fact that was where we went first after our luggage was dropped off. We also went to the Mexican and the Italian. One of the waiters from breakfast knew it was my son’s birthday and asked us to come to the Italian. He arranged for a birthday surprise. The musicians and staff dimmed the lights and came out singing with a cake and candle. Thanks Martires!
Casino, Shows or other activies
We went to one show, but couldn’t understand what was being said. It was too loud and the speakers echoed. They were doing the classic dances and it looked lovely, but too loud for me. I saw the Casino, but decided to hang onto my money. I still have my “Strike” bowling coupon. We never made it there. We did take out a kayak one day, but decided that lounging around on a raft doing nothing was much more my cup of tea. I would get myself to the buoy and anchor myself to it and just lay there. I did find that they ran out of towels quickly. One morning they didn’t have towels when we went, so we went back when the said to but they still didn’t have any. We had an early tour the next day so we had two day old towels with us. We took them back when we came back, but there were none. We ended up having them for 3 days, but somehow got an extra two towel cards out of it. I’m not exactly sure how that happened though.
I didn’t get bugged by the time share people at all at this resort, but by the water sports centre is a booth for a timeshare at the resort next to H10. I found them to be very rude and asked questions that were really none of their business. I would never go to that resort because of the way they talked to me. Stay away from these people at all costs. I also saw the vendors that set up shop near the front entrance. Unless you are really good at saying NO all the time, if you see them, stay away. I actually had them pulling me towards them, and had to get away from them. The beach vendors were similar.
Overall, the resort was nice. I’m not sure if I’ll be back because I’d like to try other resorts to compare it to. I’d like to give it another try though....
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
We stayed from 31st July - 14th August with my children aged 13 and 10.
We flew with First Choice in standard seating and upgraded the IFE for £5 each - well worth it. You can watch films at your convenience. Service on both journeys was good.
Very good - one drop-off at Barcelo and on departure, we went straight to the airport. On arrival at the hotel, Reception directed us to a conference room where First Choice guests were given their room allocation and towel cards.
The room was massive and certainly adequate for a family of 4.
It had 2 double beds and even the sofa bed was like a proper single bed, unlike our recent experience in Fuerteventura where the sofa bed had seen better days. Exactly what I had asked for in my email and overlooked the blue pool.
Maid service was good - they worked very hard. We sometimes had loads of towels and at other times barely any, but we just asked for more as they were usually somewhere in the vicinity.
Although I understand standard rooms do not get beer replaced, we did ask via a little note in Spanish, and these were left in our fridge.
We felt the bathroom needed updating. Several fittings were loose or hanging off and the towel rail above the bath was quite dangerously loose. We made 3 requests to get this fixed, and finally asked the First Choice Rep to intervene, which seemed to do the trick.
Food & Drink
This was the best thing about Ocean Sands. We had deliberately picked a hotel that had plenty of bars and restaurants, as we hate to do the same thing every day, and Ocean Sands certainly delivers. Buffet food was great - loads of choices - the kids preferred this, but we also ate in the Italian, Mexican and American Diner. Our favourite was the Italian. Food was top quality. Service in all 3 was excellent. Service in the buffet restaurants was a bit hit and miss, but it didn't really worry us.
Our favourite bars were Overtime (best service), the Lobby Bar (had good atmosphere) and best of all, a relaxing tea-time drink before getting ready at the Beach Bar overlooking the ocean.
The kids didn't participate in the organised activities. They were more than happy with the Climbing Wall and Strike and during our second week the Teen Club opened which was a real hit (its upstairs in Strike, but we didn't see any signs indicating this, so would be easy to miss if you didn't know). It's called a Teen Club but it actually caters for kids from ages 7. The club rules state you need to show a membership card, but this wasn't introduced during our stay. It has several TVs with WII consoles, pool tables, table hockey and a big plasma screen. It gets very busy at night, but is quiet during the day if the kids want to get out of the hot sun.
We used both pools, but found the blue pool to be quieter, although very hot with little sea breeze. We also used the beach which was gorgeous. We're not usually beach people but this beach was so incredible, we just couldn't resist. Kids swam in the sea for the first time and loved it.
We found Punta Cana airport chaotic on departure, and the First Choice rep was nowhere to be seen. We were directed to a queue for another flight leaving after ours and it was only when we queried it that someone came over and directed us to the correct queue.
I knew from previous experience that we had to fill out a departure form and found some on a desk. We saw everyone doing this in a mad rush before going through security - a very long queue!
We did notice there is a lot of building work going on, so hopefully there will be an improvement in the near future.
This was the best holiday we've had - exactly what we've been looking for - we didn't want to leave. The weather was perfect every day with thunderstorms in the early evening. Good quality, family time together. Our only criticism would be general housekeeping - if the management addressed this, I would call this hotel perfect. We will definitely return.
We flew from Manchester to Punta Cana, we flew with Thomson. The flight was very good, more leg room than most we have been on. What can you say about an eight hour flight, except that we made it through it!!
There were 7 in our party altogether, 6 of us and one other. When we got to check in they didn't seem to know we were coming, didn't seem to have any record of us, they had a record of the one other person, but not our party of 6. I was a bit concerned at this as we were coming to get married, I was thinking if they didn't know we were coming, do they know we are getting married. The member of staff that dealt with us on reception was very good, he looked a bit confused when trying to find us on the computer, as our reference number appeared to be for someone else but he dealt with it speedily and was very pleasant (I had read other reviews that stated the reception staff were unpleasant and rude, this was not the case with us). He asked us to wait while he sorted it out, he took about 10 mins came back to us and said they would give us all a room upgrade, so we weren't disappointed. We were in Villa 6, on the third floor which was good. He gave us our room key, we went to our cases, the bell put our room number onto our cases and we went to our rooms. Our children got on the trolley first because there wasn't any room for us. When the trolley took a while to come, we (my now husband and I) decided to walk to the villa. When we got there our bags had arrived and we went to our rooms. The rooms run on consecutive numbers i.e. 6307,08,09. So again we were please that we were all close to eachother, although 08 and 09 were on the other side of the building so our two older childre were opposite us but we had the better view of the pool and the sea!!.
The hotel itself is lovely, rooms were very nice and we didn't need any other bulbs in the rooms (we had read that the lights could be a bit dim, this did not seem the case to us). There was wear and tear in the rooms but again not a problem. One thing to mention once you have put all of your clothes away in
the dressing table drawers, don't open all of the drawers at the same time, it can tip up. Very stupid of us, be we managed to do this (you thinking why would you have all of the drawers open in the first place, well to be truthfull, I don't know why we did either but we did and managed to tip it up, totally our fault, not the fault of the hotel of the furniture). We didn't request anything speacial before hand but we got all we needed, two beds in each room as there were 3 adults in one room, two and child in one room and one in the third room. We didn't have a single complaint about the hotel. We also found the water pressure in the showers to be okay, and was always hot enough.
We pretty much used all of the a'la carte (sp) restraunts and found them all very nice, although I didn't go to the Mexican as I don't like spicy food but other in my party did and really enjoyed it. We didn't go to the restraunts that you had to pay for as we didn't feel the need.
Mexican - Members of our party that liked spicy food really enjoyed this restraunt.
Route 66 - We all enjoyed this restraunt, we went there three times in total and enjoyed all times, very nice, the service was good and the food was lovely.
The Italian - we tried this once, it was okay but we didn't go back there again. Domincan Restraunt - This was where we had our wedding dinner, which we really enjoyed. We only visited here once.
La Brasa - The food was okay here, the starter of chicken wings was absolutely lovely but the main wasn't as good but we still really enjoyed it. The service here was really good.
We had breakfast here every morning and always found something to eat (well I ate the same thing every morning). There was lots of variety and all in our party could find something to eat, even my daugher whom is very picky. The have a section where you can choose your ingridents for omlettes, which i visited every morning. There was various other things like hard boiled eggs, bacon, and the normal breakfast stuff. The had a bread counter, different breads and rolls. You could also make toast for yourself here. They also had counters with lots of sweet things, fruit, croissants so there really was something for everyone. We also never had any trouble getting a table of getting coffee in the mornings. The service here was very good.
We went here a few evenings and the food was lovely, my husband seemed to especially like the chinese counter where you could choose your own food to put in it. They also had a pizza section, spaghetti section, meat sections where they carved the meat off the bone, cooked steaks and various other meats. Some of the days they had a fish sections but as i'm not a great fish eater, didn't visit it once. The had dessert sections with ice-cream which I visisted on every vistit (I love ice-cream). They had the normal things like chips. The had a selection of cooked vegetables, cooked potatos. They had
fresh fruit section at every meal. I've probaly left some things out but you get the picture, I felt they had lots of variety.
Snack Bar/Restraunt by the Beach
We tended to go here most lunch times as it was closest to our villa, the beach and the pool we tended to use. It was very nice. It had a selection of food, rice, chips, pizza, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, fish and again ice-cream, which I had every time I went in there. Really enjoyed the food her as well.
The possible only complaint that I may have had was that my niece that came with us is vegetarian and they didn't have as much choice but saying that she never went hungry and enjoyed what she did eat, she would have just like a bit more variety.
Mikes coffee shop was also very good. It has a variety of tea and coffee and lots of cake to eat with your tea and coffee. A nice place for just relaxing out of the wonderful heat. We went in here a few times and enjoyed it very much.
We only went on two excursions, the Monster Truck Safari, which we all enjoyed. I would recommend this excursion to anyone, this is the 4th time we have been on it (we have visited the Dominican Repulic a few times previously). We also went horseriding which we really enjoyed. This was only a two hour excursion (although from start to finish, this took about 4 hrs).
Things to do
There was a bowling alley, which had table football and pool also. They had a climbing wall, trampolines, archery, tennis, bikes. We went to the bowling alley and my daughter tried the climbing wall. They didn't try the rest as they like the pool too much.
On the whole we had a wonderful time, really enjoyed our holiday/wedding and would be happy to return here.
Review of the Wedding
Once we had checked in, I waited until the next morning after breakfast to see if the wedding co-ordinator had been in touch. As there was so much confusion at check in, I thought it would be best to go to guest services to find her. They managed to track her down on the phone and I spoke to her, she had an appointment booked with us for 2pm that day, so i breathed a sigh of relief, they knew we were here. I was thinking that if they didn't know we were coming at check, they might not know we were here for a wedding (paranoid I know but............)
We had the meeting with Massiel (I think that was her name, I don't think Julissa is doing weddings any more). She has all of our e-mails printed out (although there wasn't that many, we were only having a small one). She also had our translated documents from WEDO, which I heave a great sigh of relief. I knew they would be there, but as I hadn't had any confirmation from WEDO that they had sent them or the hotel that the hotel had recieved them, you do tend to look for hicups when there are none. Any way, we sorted out the flowers, the trio, where we were having our wedding dinner. We did originally want Labrassa, but someone had already hired it out as a private reception so we could'nt let us have it there so we had it in the Dominican Restraunt, the wedding co-ordinator suggested this to us as she said out of all of the restraunts, this one was the more elegant looking, so we went with her suggestion. For the flowers you have to pay before they are delivered as it it is cash on delivery, so we dropped the money off the next day. We also found out that our wedding was now at 3pm instead of 2pm, which we were pleased about also. We asked about the photographer and she said we had to deal direct with the photo shop, so after finishing with her we went there. We opted to have the silver option, you get 2 photographers, 100 photos - photos taken before, during and after the ceremony. We also booked to have it videod. Once we had been there, we went to the spa, I wanted to have the bride package. I booked that. So upto that point everthing was sorted.
The Wedding Day
On the day of the wedding, at the spa I had a manicure, pedicure, hair and make-up done. I was very pleased with the hair and make-up. I also booked for my three children to have their hair done, but wasn't very impressed with what they did, I could have done better myself. Once that was done, I went back to the room to wait for my other two girls to finish at the spa. Husband to be went to the best man's room to get ready. The only real hitch on the day was that when my daughter went to get into her dress, the zip broke. So, while my other daugher was doing the ties on my dress, my other daughter was in front of me so I could sew her into her dress. That was about the worst thing that happened, so really the day went perfectly.
The photographer came around 2:30ish to take pictures of me in my room and around the hotel. The other photographer went to the best man's room to take pictures of the groom.
At about 2.55pm, massille came to take us down to the beach, we finishe doing the photos around the hotel and got on the golf cart. The beach wasn't far, I probably could have walked there. Once we got the the beach, we walked to where the ceremony was going to take place. Whilst walking past the beach restraunt, I heard loads of cheers from everyone around, that was really nice.
We had the ceremony, it took around 15 mins, we had the champagne and then we took lots of photos on the beach. Once we had finished with the beach, we took photos in the grounds of the hotel. We probably finished all of the photos by about 4:30pm. The photographers that we had were great, especially Diana, she tooks lots of lovely photos.
Once all of the photos were taken, we went back to our rooms for a little while, just to cool down. As we were having our meal around 7:30pm, we decided to go bowling. So around 5:30 we went to the bowling alley and played until our dinner. Its was great fun, we don't have any professional photos of this but the ones we have, I think are wonderful. We had to have two lanes, I won on the lane I was on and the best man won on the other lane. We finsished this just before 7:30, so went straight to the restraunt for our dinner. I actually can't remember what it was that I ate, but I did enjoy it, and so did everyone else. We originally want to go the La Brassa, but everyone agreed, with hindsight, that we were glade where we went. We didn't find anything wrong with La Brassa, but we did prefer the Dominican Restraunt. After we had eaten, we came out and had to have a few photos done on the swinging seats, so we did. We then went over to the bar near the reception to have a drink, but we were all really tired and didn't stay there long. We went back to our rooms. This was probably about 10pm. We had had a wonderful day, I couldn't have asked for a better wedding, exactly how we wanted it.
We stayed from July 4 – July 11th and had an awesome time. It is a lovely resort and I would recommend it to everyone.
Check in went very smooth. We’ve been to many all inclusive resorts so I pretty much know the routine, but didn’t think much about the lack of information until later for someone that has never been. They took our luggage off the bus and left it up front with the bellboy. I was shocked at the number of bags sitting there yet to be delivered to the rooms. In the past we were given a card to hand the bellboy so he would know what bags went to what rooms. The front desk didn’t say a thing to us. We just went back and pointed out our bags and had the guys write our room number on the luggage tags already attached from the flight. They also didn’t bother to tell us where the room was located, but again we just figured it out on our own. Not to worry I’m on vacation and had 7 days to find it. Luckily it only took about 10 mins. Our bags found their way to our room by the time we took our own little tour around the resort and had a bite to eat.
As we were leaving the check in area someone ran up behind us saying wait, wait please come sit and let me tell you all about the resort and invite you to a special breakfast. Thank goodness I read up on the forums before going because I knew to avoid this timeshare sales pitch at all cost. I just turned and smiled and told him we were headed to the bar to get a drink and we’ll see him later. He said he would wait for us. Well he waited a long time because we didn’t go back. I actually saw several poor souls sitting at breakfast and walking around the resort area giving up there vacation time getting stuck in the sales pitch thing.
We stayed in Bldg 4, room 4126 which was on the end, bottom floor. Each of the buildings are shaped liked rectangles with a courtyard cut through the center. Our room was on the back side facing LTI resort (behind the trees). I was a little disappointed about that at first but later was glad because it was so quite and I could sit out back in the mornings drinking my coffee in my gown with no one looking back at me. We didn’t have ANY water pressure. When I say ANY I mean ANY. We really should have asked for another room, but I really liked our location as it was in the center halfway to the lobby and restaurants and halfway to the beach. As I said before we’ve been to lots of all inclusives so I just dealt with it and didn’t get upset. I didn’t hear of anyone else having the water problem so it’s not like that everywhere. We just got unlucky on the water part. And, it wasn’t because of the early evening showers; it never changed even at 11:00 at night.
The resort has two really large pools, The first one has yellow umbrellas all around and another, just as large has blue umbrellas all around. The blue pool is the closest to the beach. Both have swim up bars. It seems that the blue pool is the loudest and most activity. This is where the volleyball net was set up. The yellow was less crowded and quieter.
The front of the resort is the lobby with a small lake right behind it and a walkway going through it. As you go over the walkway there is a row of restaurants. The steakhouse (which you must pay for), the Italian, Route 66 (set up like a 50s/60s American diner), The Sports bar, Mike’s Coffee, The Mexican, followed by The Dominican restaurant. On the right of the lake is the Casino and on the left of the lake is Strike, the bowling alley. Right beside the lobby is the theatre. There are tables and chairs set up outside on Restaurant row. In the evenings this is where all the activity was. There is live music in the lobby every evening and it stops when the show in the theatre is on and starts back again once that is over. Oh yeah I forgot to mention on the right of the lobby is also The Wave which is the disco. There is a sign out front that says no one under 16 allowed. My 15 year old went in a few times with no problem at all. She didn’t say long because most of the people in there were 17 – 20s age group and she felt to funny being there. Strike in the early evening was full of younger kids around 6 -9 age. They would play on one of the 2 pools table, the ping pong table or the fooseball table. It was very hard to ever get to one of these. In the sportsbar was another pool table. It was my understanding that in 2 weeks the upstairs part of Strike was going to open. It was for the mid teens, with more pool tables, video games etc. This would have been perfect for us as we have a 13 and 15 year old.
We mainly ate in the buffet which was behind all of the restaurants and also in Route 66. The steak was wonderful, but don’t order it med rare. My daughter did this even though I told her not to and she ended up sick that evening. It only lasted that evening thank goodness. Mike’s coffee is a MUST. You’ll love it if you like Starbucks.
The beach was very nice. It was a bit wavy on some days and flatter water on others. All depends on the weather out at sea. There was a little seaweed, but who cares it is the ocean where else is it suppose to be?
I would say the resort does need to use all the money it is taking in for building repairs. There were missing tiles in the pool as I’ve seen others write about. But again so what, it didn’t bother us at all.
All in all I would say it was a wonderful resort and we had a great time. For all you lucky ones that are planning for your upcoming vacation I hope you have a blast!
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
The Clark Lancashire UK
Arrival and Flight
We flew with Thomas Cook from Manchester which wasn't great. We had long queues at check in and on the flight our seat back TV wasn't working correctly and we wasn't the only people on the flight with this problem. This made the 9 hour flight seem a bit longer but no worries we were on our way. We landed at Punta Cana on time but had to wait on the runway for half an hour as the airport was busy so no where to park up. Baggage claim was Dominican time so another hour wait until we had our baggage and off onto the coach to take us to resort. We dropped off at 5 hotels before we reached the Ocean Blue which took around another hour. Check in was quick without any problems They try to send you to another table on the way out saying these guys will let you know everything about the resort but these are reps from H10 who are really trying to get you to buy into other resorts and want you to go to a presentation promising you all sorts. We just walked past saying no thanks. We heard about this on previous reviews so was prepared it's the last thing you want after a total of 16 hours travelling.
The rooms were fine maybe not 5 star but were spacious and had everything you needed for your stay. Big bathroom with Shower over Jacuzzi tub and two hand basins with a big mirror and hair drier. The maid service was a bit hit and miss but they have so much to do. We had to ask for beer, water and Pepsi every few days and they missed bringing us towels one day but we still tipped every other day and they were pleasant enough so no big deal. Just a couple of minor problems with the safe not working when we arrived but it was fixed within half an hour and we had a leak in our bathroom roof which again was fixed promptly. We sat out on the balcony a few times having a drink which had a table and two chairs. Initially we wasn't too happy about our room being at the back of villa 8 with no real view because we wanted a pool view but it turned out better really because at night time it was a lot quieter at the back as everybody coming home later on wasn't walking past your room and heard from people at the front that it was a lot noisier there
We found the food amazing!!!!! We heard people complaining about some of the food and couldn't understand it. The buffet was great with an incredible choice of food, Any choice of meat, Chicken, Beef, Pork, Steak, Kangaroo,Rabbit you name it they had it. A Fish cooking station, Pizza, Burger,Pasta, Chinese, anything you wanted. They also had a massive choice of desserts Cakes, Jelly, Ice cream etc. We also visited some of the speciality restaurants but our favourite was the Mexican, we loved it and went back four times. We also went to the Caribbean grill on the beach twice which did a really nice steak. The other restaurant we visited was the American Route 66 which was ok without being spectacular but did have a very nice Pork ribs one night. We didn't try the Italian or Dominican restaurants because you had to wear long trousers and shoes and I didn't take any so if you want to go to these make sure you pack some.
Our favourite was the Lobby bar which had live music on every night and was generally good fun with all the staff having a good laugh and entertaining everybody. The swim up bars were ok a bit hit and miss with service as was the pool bar. The sports bar was also very good with excellent service and was nice and cool as well. Drinks were very good but if you want premium spirits you must ask or they will just give you the local stuff but they do have Absolute Vodka, Bacardi Rum and Jack Daniels etc just ask and they will happily oblige. They also have Budweiser at the Lobby and Sports bar but again you have to ask however the Presidente Beer is also fine.
Beach and Pools
Absolutely spectacular!!!!! what can I say the beach was like a post card and the best beach area out of all the hotels on that strip. The two pools are huge and are cleaned all the time. The blue pool was the quiet pool and the yellow pool the activity pool so a bit noisier. Both pools have swim up bars. The blue pool did close for one day for cleaning and this does happen most weeks where one of the pools will close for cleaning. We thought this was a good thing as at least you know it's being looked after and that the water is clean and safe. One of the best things was the amount of sun beds both around the pool and on the beach, they were always available no matter what time of day so no need for the towel game yet amazingly people would still go and reserve them early on then not come back for hours!!!!!!!!!! there really was no need.
The grounds were immaculate with people working on them throughout the day it was non-stop and they do a really good job.
Activities and Entertainment
We only went to the evening entertainment once and it wasn't for us. They do work very hard but we preferred the Lobby bar with a nice cold beer and a chat with everyone we had met. The daytime activities looked good if you like that sort of thing but again we preferred to chill by the pool or on the beach. There was also kids clubs for Teens and I think 4 years to 8 years and 9 years to 12 years.
We went on two tours which were the Bavaro Splash and the Tropical Storm both were excellent and the tour guides were brilliant and really made every effort to make sure you had a good time.
Departure and Check Out
No problems with either.
There was only one thing that could potentially have spoilt our stay we called this the invasion of the **********!!! This happened on a Friday lunch time when around 350 of them arrived until Sunday lunch time when they left. Oh my god you have never seen people drink so much alcohol in your life and have total disregard for anyone else on the complex. It was a bit like what we call in England a club 18-30 break or maybe Spring break????? rolled in to 48 hours!!!!!!!!! I'm not saying it was everyone of them as a lot of the ********** were shaking their heads in disgust too but a large proportion. There behaviour was shocking which I won't go in to but many people complained and they did bring security out on a number of occasions but they knew they was only there for a couple of days so turned a blind eye really. I believe this sometimes happens on occasions when the hotel is not at full capacity but it wasn't fair to all the other guests who were impeccably behaved the whole two weeks we were there. Anyway all the Brits, Americans and Canadians just let it pass and by Sunday afternoon all was perfect again. However on the whole we had our best Holiday ever and would definitely recommend it to Families and couples alike we really can't complain about the things you go on holiday for i.e.: Hotel, food, beaches and the people who were all so friendly. I forgot about the weather which was also fantastic, out of our 14 days there we had 13 days of unbroken sunshine with temperatures of 90+ every day. A great place to go you must try it you won't be disappointed.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Meghan & Jill Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
We are two sisters (age 22 and 28) who visited Ocean Blue from April 28 - May 5, 2008. This was our first trip to Punta Cana but our second time visiting the country; we stayed at SuperClubs Breezes in Puerto Plata several years ago.
We booked through selloffvacations.com and flew Air Transat out of St. John's, Newfoundland. When they recommend you arrive 3 hours early, they really mean it! We showed up roughly 3 hours early and a long lineup had already formed. We did not, however, have any trouble getting two seats together. The seats were pretty small and we were lucky that no one else sat in our row of 3 seats or else the flight might have been much more uncomfortable (as it was on the way home!). Despite the cramped quarters the flight was fine and time passed fairly quickly. The service was good as well and we were served a hot meal of Chinese food – a delicious surprise! Upon arrival at the Punta Cana airport, we got through customs and collected our luggage fairly quickly and with no trouble. Then we headed outside where a row of buses were lined up to take the passengers to their respective resorts. The bus was air-conditioned which was much appreciated.
Check-in went quite smoothly as well, we were given bracelets, two room keys, two towel cards and a map of the resort along with information about the bars and restaurants. The resort's shuttle then picked us up at the reception area and brought us to our villa. We stayed in villa number 3, which was well positioned about halfway from the lobby and the beach. We requested poolside but were given a room on the opposite side of the building facing the resort next door. However the view was fine and we did not mind, as we didn't spend much time in the room anyway.
This resort is absolutely beautiful! The grounds are very well maintained and there are flowers and trees all over. On the main walkway from the buffet to the pool area there are rock-shaped speakers that play music, which we thought was a nice touch. The layout of the resort is also excellent. All of the restaurants except the two beach restaurants are arranged in a row like a little town near the lobby. The shops are also nearby, as are the theatre, bowling alley and spa. The pools are centrally located, and there is a main walkway that you can take from one end of the resort to the other. This made it very easy to get around and remember where everything is. We also loved the décor of the entire resort, it was all very modern and stylish which made the resort feel very high-class. The walk from the lobby to the beach is about 10 minutes, and the shuttle goes by fairly often to transport guests all around the resort.
The beach at Ocean Blue, as with most beaches in Punta Cana, was spectacular, featuring white sand, palm trees and beautiful turquoise water. Unlike the usual straw palapas found at most resorts, Ocean Blue has shelters constructed of wooden posts with a covering over them. These are interesting for a change and we found they provided adequate shade, though probably not as much as the straw palapas. It is still probably a good idea to make sure you have on lots of sunscreen when lounging under these shelters. We swam in the ocean several times which was wonderful. The water was not too rough, and on most days it was nearly as calm as a swimming pool. On one day though we did have fun playing in the waves.
Like the beach, the pools at this resort were also fabulous!! Both pools (blue and yellow) are huge, and each has a swim-up bar. We found that the blue pool was normally less full and was nice for relaxing and lounging in our inflatable chairs, while the yellow pool had a better view of the poolside entertainment and was much more lively. We used both pools a lot. The poolside entertainment was usually pretty good and featured lots of little competitions like ring-toss, a dance competition, and some other games. There is also a kid's pool and a hot tub. We liked the hot tub because it was very large and could fit lots of people at a time, which is nice because sometimes with smaller hot tubs it is hard to get to use them because they are always full of people.
A note about saving chairs: we are pretty easy-going people and didn't bother with saving chairs at the pool or the beach. We found that we never had a problem getting two seats together at either pool or at the beach, even in the shade. The only way we thought that saving a chair would be useful would be if you want a spot on the beach with nobody in front of you.
Weather of course was beautiful! There was some rain on a couple of days, and one day there was thunder and lightning. The rain was usually short-lived, although one evening we got stuck in a restaurant for a while during the rain. Luckily the sports bar was next door so we quickly ran over there to wait it out. The only bugs we noticed during the whole week were some ants on our balcony that did not bother us.
Just like everything else on our vacation we loved our room! It was huge, and featured two (very comfortable) queen-sized beds plus a sitting area with a couch that was the size of a twin-size bed. The room was tastefully decorated with nice art on the wall. There was a TV, fridge (stocked with pop, water and when we arrived there were two beers in our fridge that did not get replaced when we drank them), clock radio, coffee maker, hairdryer, electronic safe, and umbrella. The air-conditioning was excellent – so efficient that we were actually cold at some points! The balcony was large and had two chairs and a table. The closet was fairly large and the room also had a full-length mirror. The bathroom was also beautiful, with double sinks and a huge whirlpool tub. We always had enough towels and face cloths. Our only complaints about the room were that the clock radio and coffee maker did not work. This was not a problem, however, as we had brought our own alarm clock and we preferred to get coffee with breakfast or at Mike's.
This place is full of bars! We spent most of our time at the lobby bar and the sports bar. Staff at both of these bars was very friendly and helpful. The lobby bar is where most of the activity is at night and it can take a while to get a drink there. There was live music most nights we were there, which was really nice. The sports bar is a 24-hour snack bar with hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, chicken wings etc. We had much-appreciated hot dogs there the night we arrived. We mostly drank Presidente (delicious), but also experimented with some of the cocktails. We enjoyed the strawberry daiquiri, pina colada and dirty monkey. We discovered that at Route 66 they have cranberry juice so you can get cosmopolitans, vodka cranberry, etc. We once asked for cranberry at the lobby bar and were told they did not have any, but didn't check at any of the other bars. Ocean Blue has TONS of premium brands. You can get Budweiser beer and lots of name-brand liquors such as Bacardi, Malibu, Kahlua, Baileys, Canadian Club, Absolut, Tanqueray and many more. Drinks are also included at the disco, which was very lively and sometimes featured theme nights. We had lots of fun dancing there!
Mike's Coffee was one of the best parts of this resort. This is just like a coffee shop you would find at home, and serves all sorts of coffee drinks, smoothies, teas and pastries. We found the drinks excellent, just as good as anything you would find at a place like Starbucks. The teas served there are actually the Tazo brand served at Starbucks. We tried cafe latte, cafe mocha, and the frozen drinks which were all excellent. The frozen coffees were nice to enjoy by the pool. Any coffee lover should definitely consider a trip to Ocean Blue!
We ate at the main buffet most days for breakfast, where you can get almost anything you could possibly want – omelettes, bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, pastries, pancakes, crepes, fruit, yogurt, etc. We discovered they had nutella spread which goes nicely on crepes. There are a few different types of juice as well as champagne if you feel so inclined. A couple of days we were late for breakfast so we got continental breakfast at the beach, which was not as impressive but still hit the spot. We ate lunch nearly every day at the beach buffet. They serve delicious pizza there, as well as hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soup etc. We liked the pizza, fries, and hot dogs the best. There is also dessert and ice cream at this buffet. At each of the buffets there is a station with different types of breads and rolls, and there is olive oil, balsamic vinegar and different flavored sauces you can use to dip the bread in. For dinner we ate twice at Route 66 which serves American food. Steak is good there, as were the ribs. Something nice we noticed at Route 66 were brand-name condiments – Kraft barbecue sauce, A1 steak sauce, Tabasco, and Heinz ketchup and mustard. The Heinz was also available at all the buffets, as was Hellmans mayonnaise and Kraft salad dressings. We also visited the Mexican restaurant twice and enjoyed it, especially the chicken tacos. We went to the Italian restaurant once and – you guessed it – it was quite good. The chicken dish was particularly good, and featured red pepper and asparagus sauces over chicken breast, topped with melted cheese. One night we dined at the buffet which was also pretty good. We did not visit the Dominican restaurant, and the beach restaurant was closed most nights due to weddings and other functions. We did not visit either of the two restaurants that charge an extra fee.
As mentioned above the poolside entertainment was usually pretty good, and we went to a few of the shows at night as well. The theatre where these take place is beautiful and the shows themselves were also good. We saw the Chicago show – an abbreviated form of the musical, the Copacabana show, and the magic show. The magic show was very impressive! You can tell the entertainment staff practice a lot and their costumes are very good.
Something unique about Ocean Blue is that it includes a bowling alley. Our package included one game which we used and had lots of fun! The game is ten-pin and the system is computerized so you don't need to know how to score the game. Make sure you bring socks as you need to wear them with your bowling shoes. Our shoes were very clean and appeared to be fairly new. In addition to bowling, this facility also houses table tennis, air hockey and pool tables. The décor was very cool and retro. This is a fun way to spend a night!
Ocean Blue has an Internet café which charges $4 for 15 minutes, $7 for 30 minutes, or $12 for an hour. We found this quite pricy compared to when we visited Puerto Plata, but we still found it to be the most cost-effective means of keeping in touch with our loved ones.
We visited the casino one night and spent $20 on the slot machines, which we lost pretty quickly. However, someone near us won a fairly large prize while we were there. We are not big gamblers so that was our only experience in the casino, but it was fun while it lasted.
On the resort there are a few shops including a cigar shop, a jewelry shop, one that we did not visit that appeared to sell mostly clothing (here you can get things with the Ocean Blue logo on them), and a gift-shop type store that sells sunscreen, snacks, souvenirs etc. Our Transat rep told us that this is the best place to get vanilla, rum, and coffee since they are authentic and the prices are the best you will find anywhere. Indeed, we checked and the prices were very low for all of these items. However, this trend does not carry over to other items such as snacks, which are quite expensive. The store takes pesos as well as US and Canadian dollars.
Just off the resort there are a few stalls selling t-shirts, paintings, cigars etc. We visited these stalls once to buy a painting. The vendors are as pushy as they are anywhere else, but we had no trouble bartering with them. We also found the vendors spoke very good English.
One night, some vendors were allowed to set up tables at the resort. We had planned on visiting their tables, but when they were setting up a couple of them spoke to us and were extremely pushy, tying necklaces on us, asking for kisses etc. This was too much for us and they were not selling anything of interest to us so we avoided these vendors for the rest of the evening.
There is an ATM on the resort near where all the reps for the travel companies are found. Our rep told us that it is better to use the ATM than to get money exchanged, as the ATM gives a better exchange rate.
Checkout was just as smooth as check-in for us. Our flight left early in the morning, so we had to check out around 5am and leave the resort around 7am. Since the buffet does not open until 6:30am, we did not have time to get breakfast before we left the resort. Then upon arrival at the airport there was not much food to buy, so we were quite hungry. If your flight leaves early in the morning, you might want to bring some food back to your room the day before departure to make sure you have something to eat in the morning. When we arrived at the airport there was another long lineup, but everything went very smoothly with security. The airport staff told us that absolutely no liquids are allowed on the plane, so we put all our liquids in our checked baggage. However, we did see people with lip-gloss and other items on the flight so security does not seem to enforce that rule too strictly.
Ocean Blue was absolutely perfect. We were hard pressed to come up with any criticisms, and when we did they were fairly insignificant issues. We were not approached by any salesmen, although we did hear of people who were. We would not hesitate to visit this resort again and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful place to vacation!
Travel and Arrival:
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Ocean Sands from May 8-15. We had pre-booked our seats so we didn't have to arrive at the airport within the three hour recommended timeframe but a bit later. We were flying Skyservice out of Toronto, Ontario and it departed on time at 2:30 PM. The flight down was uneventful but excellent and we arrived in Punta Cana at 6:40pm. Customs and Immigrations went smoothly and retrieving our luggage was quick. Once out of the terminal we went to find our Signature Tour Rep to see what bus we were on and then went to get two cold Presidente for the ride to the resort. The transfer to the hotel was about 40 minutes with one stop at another resort.
We were greeted with a welcome drink called, "Ocean Blue" when we arrived and then proceeded to the reception check in. Here we were given our room keys, towel cards and a map of the resort. Everything went real quick. A bell boy was located to take out luggage to the room and we walked instead to our room so we could take a look at our new home for the week.
Our room was in building 9 on the second floor overlooking the pool. It was a great room with a king size bed, small living area, large balcony with a table and two chairs, satellite TV, coffee maker, fridge (stocked with pop, water and beer) large bathroom with double sink and a Jacuzzi tub. The maids kept the room very clean and stocked. Tipping always helps.
The grounds were kept immaculate.
Well kept and clean. Breathe taking.
There are two pools at the resort which are side by side in the middle of the Ocean Blue and Ocean Sands accommodation section. Both pools were always clean and well kept. There was never a problem getting a chair no matter what time you went.
All the bars had great service and drinks. For the fancier drinks the lobby bar (La Cana) is the best but we really enjoyed the beach bar the most since this is where we spent most of our time and got to know the bartenders well there. They always served us quick and that was even before we tipped them.
We ate at the main buffet every day for breakfast and twice at night and at the beach restaurant for lunch every day. The rest of the times for dinner we did the a la carte restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Dominican and Route 55). We particularly enjoyed the Dominican restaurant (La Casa). Overall we enjoyed all the food.
Mike's Coffee House:
This place deserves its own review. If you love coffee and any type, this is the place to go. Opens at 10:00am. It's a must on this trip.
We made it to one show on our last night (Copacabana) and it was excellent. Wish we had seen more.
This is a great resort with lots to do and I will definitely be going back.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
A group of 18 adults stayed at Oceans Sand H10. This is our second time at this resort. We were in Villa 9. Great location. The food was very good. Last year 38 adults stayed at this resort and had a great vacation. It was clean. This year we found that the pool was dirty (very dirty). They allowed the children (DR children, lots of them) to throw plastic cups, utensils, plates and even chicken bones into the pool. Everyday we would be stepping on some type of debris. The bartenders could not speak English even a little, so they just kept saying "Sorry". The sax player only played once in the lobby (last year played at least 4 times). I have personally found that this resort has gone down and is now only should be rated 4 Star.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
We had 30 of us on the trip together. There were 15 kids (ages 8-16) and 15 adults. We flew direct flight from Cincinnati on USA 3000. The flight left 15 minutes early and arrived about 20 minutes early. It was a very good flight. When we arrived in the Dominican Republic we were sent straight to the line to buy our tourist cards ($10 per person) The line was very fast moving and there was music playing to enjoy. Once we got to the baggage claim we started pulling our bags off and 2 guys came with carts and started stacking our luggage up. This was a big help but we did have to make sure that they didn't leave with our bags until all 42 bags were accounted for. They kept wanting to take them to the bus but we were able to hold them off until we got all the bags and golf bags. We followed them straight to our bus and got on and were greeted by an Apple Rep. Our bus was full of people going to Ocean Blue so we didn't have to make any stops on the way there and it took about 30 minutes.
At the resort we were directed to make sure all our bags were there and then go to the check in. We did not upgrade to the elite but our check in was very very fast. We were greeted with drinks from servers that were very yummy. It was the ocean blue drink. Then we went to the lobby bar. After that we went straight to our rooms and waited about 20 minutes for our luggage to get there. The room was great. Yes it did smell a little musty but in that climate what do you expect. I never did see a bug in our room all week. The only one that I saw the whole week was on our last night on the floor in the casino. I don't know what the difference is between the rooms for the elite and the junior suite but I thought that ours was just fine. There is a little wear and tear but nothing that you can't live with.
We were very concerned about having the time share guys bug us but I can honestly say they never did. On the first day they invited us to their talk for the next day and we told them we would let them know and we never went. That was all we heard from them. The beach vendors all had the same stuff. We did buy some stuff from them but they were very pushy with the younger girls.
The grounds were beautiful!!!! There were always people working on them. While we were there we saw 3 weddings. The last wedding we saw they were taking pictures right outside our balcony and the grounds keepers really groomed the flower and trees right before the pictures but they didn't really need it. They were trimming the palm trees every day. It was a good walk from the beach to the lobby but if you didn't want to walk it the tram ran all day long. The kids liked riding it around and at first the driver was getting annoyed at them for riding but we gave him a few dollars tip and he was fine. He never did say anything to them about riding but you could tell he was a little annoyed at first.
The food was good. We enjoyed the Mexican the most. The best way for all of us to eat together was to go as soon as they opened at 6:30. We never had a problem eating together and there were always at least 20 of us eating together. THe kids liked the buffet the best. Breakfast was really good. The omlets and the french toast were our favorites. We didn't eat at either of the resturants that cost extra. We were down at the beach a couple of nights right by the lobster one and the only time we saw anyone eat from there was on one of the wedding nights. We never saw anyone eating on the beach. We really didn't like the Route 66.
For our whole group Mike's Coffeehouse was hit at least 2 times daily by everyone. It was really good. THe kids had enough frozen coffees to last them a life time. The kids loved the bowling alley. THey only bowled one time but they were there a lot to play pool. That was there time to get out of the sun and their evening activity. While they were at Strike the adults were the lobby bar. We were there every night before and after dinner. It was a great place to hang out.
The two pools were huge and clean. We were always in the yellow pool. We each took turns getting up at 6:00 a.m. to get chairs since there were so many of us. We saved about 20 chairs a day and we would just go down and put towles of shoes on them and nobody bothered them. We loved Victor the bartender at the yellow pool poolbar. He was great and would make whatever you like. He was gone on our last two days and it was not the same without him. There were always activites somewhere around the pool.
We went on the Bavaro Zipline Adventure . It was awesome. They were very safe and nice. Our guide that rode the bus with us to the Zip line place was named Stevenson. He gave lots of information and helped reassure the little ones that were going on the zip line that it was very safe.
Be sure to take lots of $1 bills. We had great service at the whole resort. I don't know if it is because we tipped so good at the beginning but it that it why it is totally worth it. Bartenders will remember you and the maids took really good care of our room. We left our maid anywhere from $3-$5 a day and she always made sure we had towels and everything. On the first day we left her a note with her tip for 2 more pillows and extra water and when we got back from the pool it was all there. Then on about day 4 our hairdryer stopped working so we left it on the bed with a note saying it was broken and when we got back we had a new one. I would say the 3-5 dollars a day was worth it.
On our last day before we left 6 of the ladies decided to get a massage. If we paid for 5 we could get a 6th one free. We had ours done outside cause it was $15 cheaper than if we did it in the spa. Plus it was nice being in the open air and listening to the ocean. With us all spliting the cost of the 6 massages it cost about $63 each. It was a 55 minute deep tissue massage and it was great.
All in all this was a fabulous trip and we would all go again in a heartbeat. With our group being so large we were a bit concerned but it was great. I would recommend this resort to anyone.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Shelley Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Four of us (2 adults and 2 teenagers) flew Club Class with Air Transat. Terrific service and lots of elbow/leg room. Also our bags were first off the flight coming and going, so getting through Customs was faster. No lineups at the ticket counters either. Definitely the way to fly!
At the resort we had the Elite Club upgrade. After checking in we were driven right to our villa in a little tram and our bags were carried up to our room. Large room with pool view and since it was an end unit we had two balconies - one with view of pool and the other with view of ocean. We were in Villa 10 on the 2nd floor. Gorgeous. Wonderful maid service. The upgrade came with 24 hour room service (used it twice), half hour massage at the spa (wonderful!!) that my daughter and I used. The other "freebies" included we did not use, so I don't think I would upgrade to Elite again. Only difference between Junior Suite and Junior Deluxe (Elite) rooms is the size, and since we were only in our room at night, I don't think I would pay the extra for the Elite again.
We had heard bad things about time share guys but we only saw 2 the whole time we were there, and they did not bother us at all. Both of them said "hello, how are you, where are you from", and that was about it. No pressure at all. Same thing with the beach vendors. They are funny and polite, and if you say you are only looking, or you have no money, they smile and leave you alone. Lots of fun bartering. Many of them speak good English.
The grounds were beautiful and immaculate. I don't know how they manage to look after this huge property, but somehow it always looks amazing. It's a longish walk from the beach to the restaurants, but there is a trolley that runs constantly and all you have to do is wave at the driver and he will pick you up and drop you off wherever you want. It's fun and efficient.
Food was plentiful and varied. There is definitely something for everyone and lots of it! Our Elite package included dinner at one of the "extra" restaurants and we chose the El Bodegon. Disappointing to say the least. It had been highly recommended, but our meat was not edible. Service was terrific though.
Mike's Coffeehouse lived up to its reputation. The Frappacinos were the best, and the cakes and goodies were as good as anything back home.
The two pools were clean and large. We used mostly the yellow pool because our room looked out directly over it. The blue pool is quieter if that's what you prefer, but the yellow pool has the better swim up bar and is right next to the beach. The yellow pool is also very convenient to the beach restaurant where you can eat in your swim suit, and there are also public washrooms nearby. Lots of poolside chairs, but it's a good idea to stake out your chair with a beach towel by 8:30 or 9:00am. Once you have your towel on the chair, nobody takes it for the rest of the day. Beware of the hot sun by mid day. It's nice to have an umbrella.
Lots of beach activities, but we did not use any. The bungie trampoline looked like fun. Beach was clean and had lots of loungers and sun shades. Always seemed to be a place to sit.
There is a disco every night that starts at 11pm. My daughter went twice and had a blast both times. The lobby has a small jazz combo 2 or 3 evenings a week, and it's a nice spot to sit and relax at the end of the day. Really good bar service also. The staff put on live theatre performances each night in the outdoor theatre starting around 9:30pm. We saw the Lion King, Copacabana, and Chicago. Pretty good entertainment, especially for amateur performers.
There is a Casino and a bowling alley, neither of which we used. There is also a gift shop (not much to see or buy there), photo shop, jewellry store and clothing store all in the lobby area.
We did two excursions. The Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure was absolutely top notch and we would go again in a minute! Our guide was Eddie and he made the day. Excellent English. Very funny, knowledgeable and entertaining. If you only do one excursion, make sure it's the jungle trip. We also did the Marinarium trip which inlcuded snorkelling with sharks and stingrays. Also very fun.
Take lots of US $1 bills for tipping and small purchases. We took $150 in one dollar bills, $50 in five dollar bills and $100 in twenties. Even after tipping the maid $2 daily and other incidental tips for the bellhop, bartenders, excursion guides, etc., and purchasing souveniers, we still came home with about $50. If you go through Air Transat there is NO DEPARTURE TAX. With Air Transat the $20 departure tax is included in the cost of your trip.
In short, this was a wonderful trip and we are already planning to go again next year. I have nothing but good things to say about the Ocean Blue Resort.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Laurie Kingston, ON
Flight was late leaving London due to a fuel shortage on the returning flight. The pilot told us they only got enough fuel to go to Nassau and had to stop and refuel. As a result, we didn't leave London until after 5:30 pm and arrived in Punta Cana around 11:30 pm. Ride to the resort was interesting to say the least, pitch dark and more pot holes than I've ever seen! Had to stop for the cows on the road. Arrived at the resort after midnight. Check in was very quick. The clerk advised us that the only place to grab something to eat was at the Sportsbar.
We had asked if we could upgrade to the Elite club but nothing was available. Our room was OK, beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The furniture was old and beat up and the bottom drawer in the dresser was broken. The room was very musty smelling but with the humidity there, I wasn't surprised. Towels always felt damp.
We tipped the maid $4 each day (3 women in the room) and she always cleaned it well and left extra towels and water.
We tried the Italian, Mexican (twice), Dominican, Caribbean Grill and the Buffet. All food was very good. Only bad thing was the Italian white wine - horrible!
The Buffet is huge with salad bar, hot section, dessert. For breakfast, they had an omelet section, french toast section, pancakes and crepes, juice bar. Lunch had hamburgers, cooked meat sliced by the chef (beef, pork, turkey), pasta section. Never left hungry, always went back for seconds!
The beach bar was very difficult to get served. A lot of people at the bar . The bartenders would ask what you want and then forget due to number of other drinks being asked for.
Favourite bar was the one in the lobby. Bartenders were friendly and made great Ceasers - they call them Bloody Ceasers - I think they were made with tomato juice, not clamato juice, but they still went down pretty good! One person in our group kept drinking the house drink - Ocean Blue. Had Blue Curacao, Triple Sec, Rum (of course) and lime juice.
Beach and Pools -
Two pools, we stayed in Villa 5 so went to the Blue pool. As with other reviews, stake out your spot early. Try to get a spot with an umbrella, you will need it later in the day.
In a word - immaculate. Very clean and tidy. Even the ashtrays are cleaned and have a stamp in the sand of a big O. The lounge chairs are all over the place at the end of the day and during the night, the chair fairies come out and in the morning, they are all lined up again.
Beach was clean, a little garbage at the end of the day but cleaned by the next morning.
Didn't do any of the activities. Did go to the spa fpr a coconut treatment - for $105 US we got the following -
10 minutes in a sauna, 10 minutes in a jacuzzi, coconut exfoliation and a 40 minute massage with coconut extracts. Couple of things to note - they wanted us to go out to the jacuzzi with nothing on - when we went outside, there was a maintenance man out there. Good thing we had our bathing suits on!
For the exfoliation and massage, they gave us a thong to put on.
Skin felt amazing afterwards and the exfoliation helps to give an even tan.
We went on two tours - Bavaro Runners and Marinarium snorkeling tour.
On the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventuretour, we saw a typical school, sugar cane plantation, coffee and chocoate plantation, typical Dominican home, went horseback riding (just around a trail) and swimming at a nice beach. Beware of the 'bus' ride. The roads are awful - more potholes than I have ever seen. I sat at the back and my butt was sore for 2 days afterwards. Our guide was Pepo and he was a riot. English wasn't bad. They certainly keep the beer and vitamin R (rum) flowing.
The marinarium snorkeling was amazing. I had never snorkeled before but it wasn't difficult - only once did I go a little deep and get a mouthful of salt water. The fish you see out in the open are yellow and purple. Nothing like you see around here. In the cage where the nurse sharks and stingrays are, it isn't that big. Problem was that these are nocturnal and they aren't real active during the day. There was 1 nurse shark that was swimming around, the others were under the coral resting. We also say a couple of huge stingrays (barbs removed) swimming around. After snorkeling, they took us on the ride down the coast to a shallow area where we could get out and wade around and drink! They also like to give out the drinks on this tour.
Each tour was about $85 US.
If you go on a Transat tour, make sure you go to the morning meeting after you arrive. Stephanie is the Transat rep and gives you an overview of the different things offer, inlcuding inside tips. Coffee and vanilla is cheapest in the Hotel gift shop. She also recommended the two tours we went on. Stephanie also recommended a shop to buy jewerlly where they arranged for a cab to pick you up and bring you back - free of charge.
Bought 2 silver rings, 2 amber necklaces and a larimar pendant for about $150. Stuff on the beach is either fake or very cheap.
I would go back to this resort, but would get the upgraded rooms to Elite Club.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Marion Havre de Grace, MD
The rooms were nice no complaints except there was a bug in my drawer that kind of freaked me out. Only bug I saw thought. We tipped the maid a dollar or two each day and they really appreciated it.
Be prepared for some long waits. It pays to be ready for dinner at 6:30 Go and put your name in right at 6:30. We ate at the italian restaurant twice. The chicken breast dinner on the menu was very good. All the food was better than I have had at other all inclusives, especially Can Cun. If we were really hungry we would put our names in, hit the buffet for a small apatizer plate to curb our hunger and then get a drink and go back to wait for our reservation. That seemed to work pretty well. If you like coffee go to Mikes Coffee house it is way better than the buffet coffee, also the almond cookies are addictive, really good, and only at Mikes.
Without a doubt go to the swim up bar and ask for the Hoolio(sp?) Special. Hoolio is one of the bar tenders and made the most refreshing frozen drink. I dont think the Absolute vodka is really Absolute, but the Jack Daniel's is real.
Beach and Pools -
Go before 8:30 if you want a chair with a pad and to be under cover if you get hot. Also get to the gym early no later than 8:30 or nine if you like to run on the treadmill. There are only 2 and there is a 30 min maximum on the tredmills. I made sure I got off after my half an hour was up and there was always someone wanting on it. Unfortunatly other guests were very inconsiderate and would ignore the rule of a half an hour hog the treadmill and make you wait. So go early and please be considerate of the other gym goers it is not your personal treadmill and should be shared in a considerate manor.
I prefered the snorkel tour we signed up for that was offered at the beach water sport location more than the apple tour desk snorkeling excursion. The apple one was way to many snorkelers in the water. The one we booked from the beach was better. The ride to the reef was kind of anoying we kept getting sprayed with water in the face but once we got there he gave us food to feed the fish and it wasnt crowded.
The beach was very beautiful and I would go back in a heartbeat.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Detroit Metro on USA 3000 with Apple Vacations. Flight was at 6:00 AM, we arrived at Berry Terminal at 3:30 and already there were 75 to 100 people in line. Apple Rep was there and kept everything went smooth and was checked in around 35 minutes. Flight was about 30 minutes late leaving and other than some turbulence everything was fine. Meals will cost $5.00 on the flight.
Punta Cana Airport
Check in was fast and efficient. After leaving terminal and hanging a quick right the Apple Rep is there and directs you to the numbered bus in that will take you too your resort. We waited at least 30 minutes for 2 people we were dropping off at Princess Bavaro. We were the fourth and last stop. 40-minute trip to the resort.
Ocean Blue Room Observation
We had requested poolside, second floor and got neither. My travel agent had requested and I had e-mailed them twice with no response. Check in was fast and the room was ready when we arrived # 5126, All Apple clients are in Villa 5 except the Elite rooms are Villa 6. Now I wish I would have upgraded. The elite rooms are nicer by far. I'd compare the rooms to a Quality Inn in Villa 5 and a Marriott in Villa 6. Our room was showing signs of wear and tear but decided not to press the issue and change rooms. My thought was I saw enough of Americans being rude that I'd keep to the room we were given. Our maid did a nice job and I left her cash each day.
Ocean Blue Staff
Exceptional service except for the people in Check In/Check Out. Everyone seemed happy and pleasant to help you. Time Share guys were very pushy and I finally went to all costs to avoid them. Be aware that after check in they take you to a table and start hounding you right away. I sat through a 10-minute talk and let them think I was going to the Monday morning Breakfast. We blew them off and never went. They will call your room to remind you.
Average and neither of us got sick so all was good. Really liked the La Casa De Mi Abuela, Dominican Restaurant and the I Maracherati,Italian Restaurant. Breakfast was by far the best and Beach Restaurant was very convenient.
Again the food was average but you won’t go hungry .
Pools and Beach
Very nice beach just like 7 Mile Beach on Grand Cayman and the beach at Gulf Shores Alabama. No complaints at all on the beach. The Yellow pool is the party pool and other some Americans getting drunk and acting like fools one day they were fine. When at the pools we staked out a spot at the Blue Pool, Plenty of umbrellas but you way want to take a long nail to keep the umbrella up. Plenty of chairs at both the beach and pool all week.
Did the full day on Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure. Had a great time with a super host and the folks along on the trip were great. If you are at all going on a day trip, please take school supplies to drop off. They love anything you can spare. When we got there the kids were sharing pencils. I took two bags of supplies for them to distribute.
My only note of caution is to pay attention to both messages being announced and the boards. It is very loud in the airport and sometimes they don’t post all information so you need to ask at the gate.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Renée and Phil Sudbury, Ontario
Just returned from a one week stay at this resort on Saturday, Jan 26.
On departure, our flight was delayed from Pearson Airport by 4 hours. Skyservice plane seating was very very cramped but the booze was free, we watched the bourne ultimatum. The "meal" was a turkey sandwich. We arrived in Punta Cana at 1:15am. Lovely air conditioned bus. On the drive to the resort you will see that this is a third world country, there is a lot of garbage lining the streets. A real eye opener, to make you appreciate the luxury of the resort and back home too. Arrived at Resort at 3am. Check in was fine.
We stayed in villa 2, on the ground floor. Room was nice, two beds (comfy), couch, had a hard time locating the fridge (inside cupboards lol)! Bathroom shower stall had a half a glass door so water went everywhere. Marble bathroom, was quite lovely. Had a jacuzzi tub (took an hour and a half to fill!) and a balcony overlooking the grounds. Bring a travel alarm clock because the wake up calls didn't seem to come through. Be sure to keep your money, jewellery, and things of value in the safe - one lady in our group got a necklace stolen from her room. We tipped a dollar per day plus a little gift for the housekeeper. Leave tips/gifts on the pillow for the maid to take it, they won't take gifts that are placed anywhere else.
The buffet "La Torenga" was awesome - HUGE - lots of selection and very good food. A vegetarian in our group was very pleased as well. They have a "diet" section too. Table service was great. We were with a group of 26 and it was never too much trouble to put the tables together for us. We ate at the Italian a la carte restaurant
and had chicken - there were only about ten things to choose from on the menu. The chicken was awesome. Appetizer bar was great. House wine is included (popular with our group), but you pay for wine from the wine list.
Lots of bars to choose from! My favourite was the swim up bar. Try the Sammy Sosa or Miami Vice - mmmm. Sports bar is open til 6am. We tipped about 3 dollars per night and the service was really good. At one fo the bars, we got there and the bartender was "back in 15 minutes" - guests were behind the bar making their own drinks - you wouldn't see that in Canada!
Beach and Pools -
There are two pools - yellow and blue - because the resort wasn't too full, the blue pool was the only one open. The pool was very nice. The beach was awesome. Easy to find a shady place to sit. Coming down the beach on the left side, there was about 30 vendors' huts. So shopping is close. The vendors won't bother you when you're relaxing on the beach.
Beautiful, well kept, always staff working at sweeping/scrubbing/cutting vegetation/etc.. Beautiful flamingos. Some of the walkways are uneven, one of the guests in our group stumbled and broke her arm. Watch your step at all times! The concrete is slippery after the rain.
Animation staff was excellent! Aerobics, dancing, activities in the pool, drinking competitions, every day. There's a nice broadway show type theatre, we saw "Chicago" and "CopaCobana". Lots of fun. The animation staff did a great job and keeping the guests pumped up and having fun. Especially at the disco. What a great job.
Took the "Outback Jungle Safari " tour with "Monchy" as our guide - he was graet - very funny and knowledgeable. If you book with them, ask for Monchy, he won't let you down! We saw a typical Dominican Republic house, a school (where we were able to drop off gifts/school supplies-bring balloons!!), we learned about cocoa, sugarcane, coffee, etc. Was very interesting. On the way there, we saw where they dry out the coffee beans, with the men standing on the beans spreading them out - kind of funny to think they're standing on your coffee!
Went boogie boarding on a secluded beach where the Carribean meets the Atlantic - the colours of the water were spectacular.
We went on the Santo Domingo tour - the Capital of the Dominican Republic - was a four and a half hour drive from the resort. We stopped in La Romana on the way for "toilets" at a gift shop - by toilets I mean holes in the ground. The tour guide was awful, we couldn't seem to understand any of the languages she was trying to speak (English, Spanish and French - we are fluent in English and French). The history and culture of the city was interesting - be prepared to walk though! Eat before you go because there is no breakfast and lunch is at 2pm. Would I recommend this tour? For a history buff, yes. For a 20-something party animal, no.
In conclusion, I recommend this resort to anybody, real friendly staff, always with an "hola" for you. I would go back in a heartbeat!!
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Spent Dec 17 to 24 07, here with my friend and her 30 year old daughter. Great experience! Resort is well laid out -- although it is a long way from the beach to the buffet restaurant, the layout of the villas means you can walk in shade almost all the way. And lunch in the beach restaurant had good variety and quantity. Staff exceptionally friendly. Also lots of staff in buffet and other restaurants.
Good food in the main buffet. A la cartes were mixed (Dominican, American, Mexican) but Caribbean was best. Really appreciated the “no reservations needed” policy and had no trouble getting a table when we wanted to eat.
A few bugs.
We were in the Ocean Sand side, facing the bush. A pair of roosters provided special wake-up calls most mornings around 8 a.m.
At least one review suggested that the “morning briefing” was to try to sell time-shares. This was not our experience with Signature Tours – our rep gave a number of tips and described several excursions. However, timeshare reps lurked near the buffet and, as another writer reported, seemed quite aggressive.
Unlike most other resorts I have visted, internet access here meant taking the time when you paid for it, i.e., if you pay for an hour, you have to use it right away, not 15 min today, 10 min tomorrow, etc.
--if you want to read in your room, bring a light bulb.
--like all resorts, bring an insulated cup or bottle for your drinks – saves on disposables, gives you a bigger drink (fewer trips to the bar), and stays cold and sand-free!
--the almond cookies are amazing. If you have a craving for them, try Mike’s – often had them when the buffet did not. However, these cookies were best when fresh – the humidity made them soggy instead of crisp.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Arrived at Punta Cana 12/28/07 for a weeks stay. The
locals are quite eager to grab you luggage and lead
you thru the airport. One of them took out luggage
and walked us literally just 50 feet to the Apple rep, who was around the corner. They pointed us to the Apple Bus and at least he took out luggage to the bus
also. The Apple bus stopped at 4 hotels, with the
Ocean Blue being the last stop. Took about 40
minutes. If you've never been to a 3rd world country
before, the bus ride thru 'town' is an eye opening experience.
Check in at the Ocean Blue was very quick, due to a very early arrival, and being in the Elite Club - which has it's own private check in. The put us on a cart & drove us to our room
Due to being a family of 5 with older kids, we needed
2 rooms. We were in Villa 10 (all Elite club rooms)
which is closest to the beach. The Villas are on opposite sides of the 2 pools. Villa 6 is closest to
the beach on the other side of the pools. One of our
rooms was 2nd closest to the beach end - which made for a 30 second walk to the beach.
Our room was at the back end of the Villa. Rooms on
the front end have their patio facing the pool area.
Rooms on the back end have their patios facing the back of the resort, in our case a 6 foot high chain link fence wrapped in barbed wire.
Our Elite Club room had 2 Queen size beds, a larger TV
than in the non-Elite Club rooms. It came with 2
bathrobes, beach towels. It had a safety deposit box, a large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub & shower. Double
sink, Phone & hair dryer in the bathroom also. Had a
stocked mini fridge and liquor. Room was clean, no
problems with bugs or leaks. Maids did a great job
keeping it clean. Had a fruit dish each day also.
The safety deposit boxes make a distictive tone for each key pressed, so you may want to make sure no one is listening when you open/close it.
Note that as soon as you walk in, you see a card key in a small box on the wall. If the power goes out pulling & reinserting this card is how you reset the breakers. Happened once on our trip.
Overall I rated the food as average with some
disappointments. Worst was New Years Eve dinner
where it really looked like they recycled the Salmon.
Buffets were decent. Main buffet restaurants served breakfast, lunch & dinner. Beach buffet had lunch - plus you could walk in wearing just a bathing suit.
Buffets had standard menu. Plenty of fresh fruits & breads. Breakfast had eggs, pancakes, bacon etc.
Some of the a la cart restaraunts require long pants
for the men (not the kids) Liked the Italian one
the best. Dominican had good soups, OK for the main
course. Didn't care for the Route 66 place at all.
The Elite Club comes with 1 free dinner/person at one of the 2 pay restaraunts. We chose the steak place & it was the best food of the trip - excellent.
Mike's Cafe is praised in every review I've ever read- and rightly so.
Elite Club comes with conceirge service. They made
mistakes in our dinner reservations every time. We
were always able to get it straightend out.
They have a 'sports' bar, which is really just a regular bar with several TV's, a pool table (the only
level one) and a few sports items. They served food
late at night. Watched the season finale of the
Pats vs Giants there in a packed house.
There is smoking in this place so be ready for that if you go in.
Each pool has a swim up bar. The main lobby has a bar which was a very nice tiem at night. They have 1 or 2 people playing live music.
There's a bar on the beach and another one adjoining
the beach buffet. Most of the beer is el Presidente
on tap. They ran out of bottled beer rather quickly.
2 huge pools. The Blue one is closer to the beach.
There's a jacuzzi pool inbetween the 2 large ones, but it wasn't that much warmer than the regular pools (which are unheated). The pools have a large wade in area (like walking into the ocean) a pool volleyball
area and a swim up bar. Pool needs a few more chairs
in busy season as they all get claimed by 8am. Pools are covered by 1 inch tile squares. There are several spot swhere tiles are missing, but not a big deal.
Pool was kept clean very well.
Beach has fine sand and that gorgeous blue-green water. The swimming area is roped off. The swimming area extends out to about where the water is 6ft deep
or so. Beach is very long. The water activites use
the area just outside the ropes. It gets a little
rocky by the water activities station; this is also where you exchange beach towels. But exchange them early; in busy season they're out of fresh towels by mid-afternoon. There was also a trampoline/bungy jumping station ($7)
They could use a few more trash cans on the beach and have the existing ones emptied more often. A lot of people simply left their trash by their beach loung chairs rather than walk to a trash can.
The beach loung chairs are also snapped up by 8am in busy season. So get up early & drop off a towel/book on whatever chairs you want.
Between the beach & pool is an area set off by palm trees & bushes, covered by sand, where the kids can play beach soccer/football.
The non beach grounds were kept extremely clean. The resort is very new looking. Along the main walkway they pipe in Caribbean music thru speakers that look like rocks. Most of the restaraunt adjoin one another in the main lobby square which also contains the theatre, the casino, the small disco club, & the Strike bowling complex.
The Strike Bowling complex is a 6 lane bowling alley with sometimes malfunctioning automatic scoring. You can set up bumpers in the alley for the little ones.
It also has 2 air hockey tables, but the puck is in sad shape & the airflow is poor. It has 1 pingpong
table with very poor conditioned paddles. The
upstarirs has 4 unlevel pool tables. They really need to address the equipment in here. The kids enjoyed themselves anyway.
They have plenty of water activities that you can sign up for at the station at the end of the resorts beach.
Kayaks (free), catamarans, banana boats, parasailing, windsurfing. You can sign up for excursions there also.
They have a 'Kids Club' where you drop your kids off and 1 or 2 memebers of the staff keep them engaged all
day long at various venues & activities. When we
were there we ran across them several times, although
we never dropped of our kids there. They had about
20 kids, ranging in ages from 7 to 13 or so. While
they 1 or 2 staff members looked to be doing their best to keep the kids engaged, it certainly looked like any kid could wander off whenever they wanted too. If you use it, make sure your child can handle gettign seperate from the group and knows where to catch up with you.
Didn't try the Casino. Looked in once at the Disco club. Not that big & was rather empty. Mike's cafe is fabulous. The main lobby bar was a great time too.
Great place to meet new people & talk over drinks.
The Theatre had what I would call cheesy dance shows.
They had some good crowds in there when we poked our heads in.
Did one snorkling tour only. There's plenty of
excursions if you want to sign up. There's also 2 dozen or so tents just outdie the resort on the beach that are run by local merchants if you want to shop & haggle.
You will also, especially if you're in the Elite Club, get hounded by the resorts vacation club
representatives (aka timeshares). They pretended to
be Apple reps to get our attention. TO be honest,
while we ended up spending an hour listening to the 'pitch' ; they didn't pressure us when I got up to leave and even ended up giving us a $100 voucher towards an excursion.
They shouldn't push so hard to set up meetings and be waaaay more upfront about it.
Overall we had a 3.5 out of 5 star time. Weather was
very good. Mainly minor annoyances that you hope you don't get in a suppossed 5 start resort, but nothing that ruined the vacation.
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
Sandra Ontario, Canada
Just got back from Ocean Sand Beach Resort (Punta Cana) Jan 3rd, 2008
I read the reviews and just want to put in my 2 cents worth.
We went with a group of 10 adults and 1 teenager.
We just loved the resort.
Food was fantastic, the beach awesome and resort very clean.
The only negative is we all found the entertainment in the Showtime building very weak, We were not impressed at all.
The time share guys you can just say no and keep walking. No biggie.
I would recommend this resort to anyone. Everything was wonderful and we had a great time.
The resort has very hard working staff and they were exceptional !!!
Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort
My one daughter absolutely loved the kids club. The two women, Bela & Nersy were absolutely fantastic! The kids loved dancing every night at the mini disco.