Old Reviews - Now Larimar Punta Cana (NH Real Arena)
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
Judy Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Arrival: Dec 7-14, 2008
We were at the NH Real Arena from December 7-14. Here are our thoughts on this resort:
Airport - The process at Punta Cana Airport was pretty effecient. After we processed at the airport, we were taken to our bus transport where we then sat for about a half an hour waiting for other people. I guess our waiting wasn't anyones fault, the airline had lost their luggage.
Arrival at resort and check-in. This was also fast and efficient. We had upgraded to Paradise Club which meant that we could check-in in the paradise club lounge. We really enjoyed the upgrade to paradise club, used the complimentary internet daily, would stop in and get a bottle of water and the room location was nice. Check in was literally 5 minutes and we were on our way to our room. First room was room 1381 (I'll get to the reason we changed rooms later). The room itself was very nice, a corner room with the large corner balcony. It overlooked a paradise club pool and had an ocean view. We checked out our room and then off we went to look around the property.
First impression -
The property itself is nice, very clean and small enough to navigate without any problems. I think it struck me as more of a hotel in Florida than the Carribean. Just little things like the lobby being closed in and air conditioned. Well, supposed to be air conditioned, the air wasn't on all the time and it was hot and stuffy. We did notice that there are cracked tiles in some of the hallways and lights that didn't work. To us it looked like the resort was built very quickly and maybe not the best workmanship. Now watching them work on the project next door one day, with the available resources that these workers have to work with it is pretty impressive how quickly they do finish these projects. When you would unplug something in your room, some of the outlets would pull out of the wall. These were just little things that we noticed, nothing that would change our opinion about the resort.
First night we went to the lobby bar to get a drink. The service at the lobby bar is SLOW. We found as the week went on that if you went and sat at a table, you are more likely to get served than actually sitting at the bar (just our experience). We would also walk in the sports bar and grab a drink as that was faster and more efficient.
The reason for our changing room came the next morning when we found that we had no hot water. After a cold shower, off to the lobby to report the water problem. We were told that it would be taken care of right away. Well, from Sunday until Tuesday evening we went to the lobby numerous times about not having hot water, each time being told a different story. By Tuesday I had to take one too many cold showers. I had tried really hard not to let something that seemed so trivial get to me, but, by Tuesday, it did get to me. Finally Tuesday, they offered to move our room. So, off from the lobby to check out the room we would be moving to. First room they showed us, I first went and checked the water. Surprise, no hot water here either so back to the lobby. It was Tuesday afternoon that Clara in the Paradise Club found us a suitable room and we moved to another room. She is so very helpful and nice. This room was an ocean front suite and is absolutely beautiful. Huge balcony, large round jacuzzi tub on the balcony along with an outdoor shower. The suite had two bathrooms, a dining area, sitting area with a tv and seperate bedroom with another tv.
Our room was always cleaned promptly and really, they did a good job. One day our room didn't get cleaned until after 6:30pm. (not a complaint). There was a transit strike one day and a majority of the employees couldn't get to work. Management had posted this information asking guests to please be patient as services may be limited. Again, no big deal.
The Beach is very nice. A little seaweed, but, it's cleaned regularly and often. Never had a problem getting a palapa or chairs on the beach.
Pools - we spent our pool time in the Paradise club pool. They were very nice, the water was a little cool for my liking, but that's just my opinion. I think it was most peoples opinion as it was not common that anyone was in the water.
Pool Bars - WOW. These bartenders work so hard and are always smiling and very pleasant (Robert and Dariana). They made some pretty good drinks too. I did notice that the shakers, etc were all rinsed in tap water, which bothered me a little bit since I was so careful not to drink the tap water. We're still, a week later, having a little stomach issue.
Sports bar - Nice. This was the best and easiest place to get a drink. It was fast. They have 3 pool tables and a bowling alley. Also, TV's around the room to watch if you choose.
I have to confess that I can not comment on night life as by 9ish, we were exhausted and just went to bed.
Al a Carte restaurants - We arrived Sunday afternoon, made reservations Monday morning only to be told that the first reservation we could get was Thursday. So we made reservations for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I think that if you're there for only one week, this makes it really hard to get reservations when the first available sitting was Thursday night.
Festival buffet - The food was good. I don't think either one of us could have any complaints about the food here. Felix the omelette guy was so nice and always remembered your name and where you are from. The service here was sparatic, sometimes you could get a drink as soon as you sat down, others you would finish your meal and leave without ever getting even a glass of water. Maybe if there was a drink dispenser here as there is at the beach buffet, that could solve the not getting a drink problem. I don't have a problem with getting up and getting my own.
The beach buffet restaurant -it was nice and convenient so as to not have to leave the beach/pool area. The food was good, not great but good. Not much variety from day to day, but, if we wanted something different, we could have walked to the other buffet.
Check out process was quick and painless also. We had a later flight so we checked out of our room and left our luggage with the bell boys.
Leaving at the airport was quick and easy. All in all it was a nice week. I would give it a 3 1/2* rating as the resort still has a way to go on the service issues and building issues (water issues).
This was my 32 trip to the Dominican Republic and we made a great choice in picking the EdenH.
We flew Skyservice, pre-booked emergency exits seats (13A & B) both ways which were great, lots of leg room well worth the $35 each-each way. Flight was 3 hours late leaving Toronto due to the hurricane in Cuba where it was evacuating people that wanted to come home. Flight was a smooth 3 hrs 24mins down and 3 hrs 35mins home. Arrived in Punta Cana at 11:45pm local time. No movie on the way down. Luggage was fast coming off the plane, out of the airport and on the bus within ½ hour.
Check in: Arrived at the EdenH, check in was at the Paradise Clubroom (Mirage) even though none of us were staying in that section. (we figured it was because it was so late). Check in was smooth; they took us to our room with luggage in a golf cart. First he took us to the 3rd floor and tried to get into room 1332, we told him that we were in room 1434 so he took us up the stairs This hotel is 4 stories and has lots of elevators in the buildings. They didn’t give us an envelope upon checking in but a brochure of the hotel that we heard later was out of date (the hotel just opened, how could it be out of date already!) no room service menu (we were starving) or a la carte reservation sheet. We tried to call room service a few times then the front desk but no one answered the phones. We finally gave up and went to bed, as it was now 2:30am.
Lobby: The lobby is very large and very attractive with all kinds of seating available. The colour schemes here and through out the resort is orange with green and white. It is air-conditioned and also has the Paradise Club Lobby, guest services and the Lobby bar is off to the left.
Room 1434: (Deluxe) Our room was large with a king-size bed, plasma TV, couch table and chair. Bathroom was open concept with large Jacuzzi tub. (which I only used once or twice) toilet was behind frosted glass door and the shower is behind another frosted glass door, large with a rain shower head, great pressure and tons of hot water! Balcony had 2 chairs and table, our balcony was on a slant facing the pool and a good view of the ocean. We had a fruit plate and bottle of rum on the table upon arrival and gift of coffee.. Room was spotless and the bed was very comfortable with 6 pillows. Nightly turn down service and they replaced the towels that we had used that day for showing. Bar fridge was re-filled daily with Coke, Sprite, water and beer. Beach towels in the room upon check-in. Ironing board and iron. Electronic safe. We had lots of large bath towels and at least 2 face clothes everyday. Plenty of closet space along with drawer space.
Pools: This hotel has 7 beautiful pools and pool areas. The main pool is large and approx.. 36 in water loungers, it also has an edge the runs around the pool just under the water level so it is easy to climb out if you don’t use the stairs. The pool closest to the beach has a swim up bar and is a good size too, no in water loungers here. The quiet pool is located at the top end of the main pool and has the in pool loungers also. The colour of the pool bottom is beautiful and matches the ocean perfectly when you look down from you room. There is also a small kids pool but this is out in the sun with no shade near by, didn’t notice anyone using it as all the kids that were there used the beach. There is also a small pool at the end of each building by the beach which is for Paradise Club (Mirage) guests only, they also have their own bar. Pools are small I can’t see there being enough room if everyone that belongs to the Paradise Club (Miarge) section wants to use this area during peak season. Tons of loungers around the pools but not much shade, a few umbrellas here and there. There is also a splash pool above the Sports Bar at the Tantrua Bar!!!! (which no one believed me until they saw it for themselves).
Bars: There are so many bars here that you never have to walk far to find a cold drink.
Fiesta Buffet is air-conditioned, the food section is in the middle with 3 seating sections running off of it. There were a lot of food choices, lots of meat and veggie dishes, pizza, pasta bar, fresh breads and rolls and great soup. (Never ate lunch here) We did breakfast here every morning; fruit assortments varied from day to day one day there would be lots to choose from and the next only one or two items. The toaster was the slowest one I had ever used and then you had to put it through a few times just to get your bread toasted but not really a big deal. Omelet bar was very good and fast as they had two people making the omelets and eggs. Bacon, sausage, cold meats, cheeses, yogurt and juice bar.
Ola Restaurant: this restaurant is by the beach and pools and is open air, beautiful view of the ocean! Serves Lunch from 12 noon until 6pm. Great selection of hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, nachos and cheese (cheese is served cold), salad bar plus a selection of potatoes, veggie, fish and meat also the best-roasted chicken.
Asian A la Carte: Service was good. I tried to order a dish and the waiter told me no you order this one so I didn’t know what I was getting until it came to the table, chicken on skewers and a plate of fried rice. Chicken was good and the rice was okay (not my favourite restaurant) we both order the hot & spicy shrimp soup, the broth was nice and hot (heat wise) and hot & spicy but it had 1 lonely little broken shrimp in it. We would have preferred to sit where the were making the food but we were not offered this we got a table up against the wall by the door which I did not like. Service was great.
Shore Grill A la Carte: I really enjoyed this restaurant, the seating the atmosphere everything was great. We both started with the Caesar salad, which they make right at your table. I Ordered the Ribs, which were really good but my baked potato, and veggie were ice cold. My husband ordered the 24oz burger which is really a 4 oz burger max. He said it was very good, his baked potato and veggie were steaming hot, go figure … we both ordered the clam soup which was a fishy broth with a whole clam (shell and all) he really liked it but I didn’t eat it. Service was great.
Entertainment: Never went to the theater so can’t comment on the shows. Did see the Fire show on the Friday night, which was very good. They had a giant screen in the courtyard, which they show recorded concerts by the Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley and Cirque du Soleil.
Sports Bar: We visited the sports bar a lot, played pool and even bowled twice. Great Pina Coldas here!!!
The room is a nice setup of seating etc. popcorn machine in the corner, nothing on the walls, the pictures etc that were in the Shore Grill should have been hung in here beer and pop pics and posters.
Beach: What can you say that hasn’t been said about the beach in Punta Cana? The beach in front of the EdenH is very wide and lots of shade and loungers. They have aerobics on the beach every morning. The beach is keep clean with the men raking the seaweed a few times a day. But, people please put your plastic cups and cigarette butts in the garbage!
Overall: We really enjoyed this hotel and would not hesitate to return. The staff was great from the waiters and waitress in the restaurants, the guys and girls at the bars to the maids who kept our room spotless and well stocked of towels etc. We did have a small leak in our room from the AC and they were there and fixed it before we returned to our room.
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
EdenH Real Arena (Le Mirage)- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
My fellow travelers were Rob , Peter, Tammy (all 3 from Halifax, NS), Charmaine and Wilf (from Mississauga, Ontario).
We stayed at the EdenH from May 3rd- May 10th, 2008.
The Airport: I absolutely loved the airport in Punta Cana, it was unlike any other airport I’d seen before. It just looked like a giant hut that you would see on a tropical beach! It was also almost completely empty, so the lines were very short and the atmosphere was relaxing. It was a great start. The weather was cloudy but warm the day we arrived. We got on the bus and it was a fairly short drive to the actual resort. The bus we were on made a few stops at other resorts first, so we got to check out the competition and get views of other places we may want to try out in the future.
Check-in at the Hotel: The check-in situation was very scattered, and had us all waiting around confused for awhile. We had our own private V.I.P room for check in, but once we "checked in", we were not allowed to take our items to the room until several hours later. We arrived early in the morning and would not be allowed to check in to our room until 2pm. At first we thought this would be fine…I had read the reviews and knew about this. Luckily, we had family who had arrived a bit earlier that day (took a different flight), so we went to grab our suitcases and take them to their room. We were planning on leaving them there and then transferring to our rooms when necessary. Sounds like a fairly simple plan, right? Well, it sure didn’t work out that way. We had to practically wrestle our suitcases away from the attendants out front. We tried to explain that we were just going to drag them to our friends’ room, but they didn’t want to hear it. We were all really uncomfortable with our luggage being out in the main yard in front of the bus where they had planned on keeping it for hours. We also wanted to get some of our stuff out of them. Finally, after many failed attempts to just sneak by the attendants with our luggage, we convinced one of the attendants to bring our luggage to that room. I guess the problem wasn’t so much that we wanted to take our luggage earlier; it was just that the attendants wanted the tip for bringing it to our rooms themselves.
The Rooms: Upon first entering our friends’ room, we were pretty surprised. We were greeted early on by mosquitoes and the view out from their balcony was horrible. Their room faced a large fence and a guard standing there holding a gun! We all had a good laugh, but I was pretty glad it wasn’t our room. We were getting the "Le Mirage" upgrade, so we were hoping we weren’t on the bottom floor. Previous reviews had mentioned the awful mosquitoes on the ground floors, so I called my travel agent a few months before going and requested that we don’t get a room on the ground floor. When we finally got into our room, we nearly slipped on the floors because they had JUST been mopped and were soaking wet. Nevertheless, we were excited because the rooms were very visually appealing. The bed was extremely comfortable, and we had a fantastic view of the large main pools. We would have preferred a view of the beach, but were really excited about the view either way. I ran out to the balcony to check out the Jacuzzi. I had been so excited for it…in fact it was the reason I urged people to upgrade to the "Le Mirage" package. To make a long story short…the Jacuzzi poured out nothing but cold water all week. It was also full of bugs. I never got to use it but am not sure if I would have anyways since I would have been eaten alive by mosquitoes. The bathroom was nice, however my in-laws (Charmaine and Wilf) had a nasty incident with the shower itself. The showerhead fell off while Wilf was taking a shower and hit him on the back of the head. They called and had it fixed right away, but he’s lucky he wasn’t hurt any worse. Housekeeping was awful. Our fridge was always missing something when it was replenished. Apparently you had to leave a tip inside the fridge to get beer. We tried that; no beer. There were three days that housekeeping didn’t show up at all. I’m not sure why. Normally we wouldn’t have cared that much, but the only way to get your beach towels washed and get new ones was through housekeeping. We had to complain to the desk about the housekeeping and the fact that we weren’t getting our beers (typical tourists, huh? Need our beer!). Once we complained, they took care of the situation right away. The men working down in the V.I.P room were VERY helpful, but the women ignored us most of the time and looked pissed off. The mosquitoes were a big issue for all of us, it seems like it’s not just the ground floor that’s affected. Pack your bug spray!
The Food: I enjoyed the food quite a bit, as did my fellow travelers. The omelet guy (Felix) was awesome, and always remembered a face. He flirted a bit with the women, and made easy friends with the men. I can’t remember his name right now, but we really thought he was great. An important notice though for travelers who look forward to having a morning mimosa (champagne and orange juice): They don’t have them at this resort. Well, perhaps that isn’t entirely true…I asked for one everyday and they looked at me like I was crazy. I did end up getting one on one of the last days and was happy about that. Most other days I ended up just drinking champagne. Seems a little extravagant for breakfast, doesn’t it? The buffet was probably our favorite place to eat. The grill by the beach was not too good, just really had a lot of finger foods. To be honest, I am only saying it wasn’t very good because my boyfriend and his family didn’t like it. I am a finger food lover so I was very pleased to have some lunchtime Nachos and fries. I would like to make a big warning now for future "Le Mirage" package buyers…just go to the buffet for breakfast. They have a big selection and the v.i.p section is never packed. We went to the Italian restaurant the first morning because we felt so privileged as Le Mirage travelers. It’s a sit-down breakfast with very little selection. We were the only people in there and it was pretty awkward. We would have gotten up and left if we hadn’t been the only people there. We were really excited with our package to have gotten a VIP Lobster dinner during our stay. Since we were all traveling together, we arranged to have one massive dinner in one of our rooms instead of all eating separately. One of us is a vegetarian, so we arranged to have a special huge vegetable meal just for him. Two of us don’t like lobster, so they told us they could bring us steak instead. We were so excited! We decided to order 1 bottle of white wine, 3 bottles of red and a bottle of champagne to come with it. We arranged it for the end of the week so we were expected it to be messed up by the time the dinner came rolling in the room. Yes, it was messed up! There was one vegetarian meal, which was just a small plate of carrots and beans. The vegetarian from our group is also a diabetic, so clearly he needed a few other food groups in there. There were no steak meals, it was all lobster. Instead of our assortment of wine, we wound up with one bottle of champagne and 2 white wines. I felt bad because I’d been the only one in the group that wanted either of those…everyone else wanted red. We left the room after a few bites and went down to the beach just in time for the pig roast meal.
Events held on resort: The first day we got there we were told about the pig roast. They had two of them while we were there. Although the animal roasting itself didn’t interest us, the other food was pretty good. Tables were set up outside and we were able to sit together in the evening watching the sun go down while enjoying our food. We didn’t stay out long for the first pig roast because we were really exhausted from our flight that morning. However, we did stay out for the second pig roast, which was our last night there. After they cleared away the tables, came the limbo contest line, the dancing to the live band and the crazy fire guy. The crazy fire guy was a man covered in wax who did all kinds of tricks with eating fire and lighting himself on fire. Hence, the title I gave him as "Crazy fire guy". The limbo contest was SO much fun. Not only are you trying to get under the stick without falling backwards, but they are pouring some kind of sugary alcohol drink in your mouth while you are going underneath the stick. My boyfriend is 6 foot 8 and managed to be one of the last people in the contest. I have no idea how that wound up happening but it was so much fun to watch. Then came the dancing! Everyone was dancing without a care, and it was the perfect ending to our vacation. We were so upset that we had waited until the last night to go to any of the nightlife events. The only other event that we went to see was "Chris Blizzard", a guy who was on Oprah and sang a lot of famous songs. Nothing too interesting there, to be honest.
The A la carte Restaurants: We attended 3 different a la carte restaurants. The Italian restaurant was the best and we wound up going there twice. They had the most delicious blue cheese pizza I have ever tasted! The grilled eggplant was also delicious as an appetizer. It tasted just like lasagna. The service was great, the waiter (Eddie) joked around with us and kept referring to us as "Family". Whenever we were short on wine, he would apologize and send over extra. The romantic restaurant, in my opinion, was terrible. I actually had to spit my food out into my napkin because I couldn’t bring myself to swallow. The others seemed to enjoy it okay. The Asian restaurant was great too. Each evening for dinner we were missing a person from a group because we ran into "digestive issues" while there. We each brought a pack of Imodium with us and I’m quite sure we didn’t get to bring any home.
The Drinks: The drinks were really tasty, but you really had to know what you wanted. There were no drink menus to order from, so you had to either get the waiter to suggest something, or ask strangers what they were drinking. Again, I wound up drinking champagne by the pool. Favorite drinks would be the sunrise tequilas, daiquiris and chunky monkeys. The chunky monkey is a drink that tastes like chocolate and peanut butter. Our bartender in the VIP section’s name was Raoul, and he took great care of us. He would bring you another drink before you were even finished your first one. A great drink to get in the sports bar is a "Sammy Sosa", which is a white, blue and red drink. My favorite drink of the week though would have to be the "Chocolate Martini" from the main night lounge. So delicious!
The Pools: I have to admit that I really loved having the VIP treatment and pool to ourselves. If someone who wasn’t VIP even walked in our area, they would get kicked out. It was nice to have the pool basically to ourselves and our own bartender with no line up.
The Beach: The beach was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. White beach sand, and the water was the most gorgeous shade of turquoise. We traveled to Mexico the year before and the beach was nothing compared to this one. The vendors on the beach are just as annoying as the vendors you see on any tropical beach. My favorite line was "Please, Miss…come see my shop…we’re having a special sale today, 99% off".
Extra-Curricular Activities: I won’t go into great detail since this is getting VERY long, we chose to do the dune buggy trip one day and the snorkeling/swimming with sharks adventure another day. The dune buggy trip consisted of riding around a small local village in dune buggies (2 people per buggy), going to an amazing Clearwater beach, and horseback riding. The snorkeling trip consisted of a catamaran ride with entertainment and drinks, snorkeling in a patch out in the water filled with tropical, colorful fish and swimming with the sharks and stingrays. Ofcourse the sharks were nurse sharks (I was still terrified), and the stingrays had their stingers removed. We got to have our pictures taken with the giant stingrays. Both trips were one in a lifetime type of adventures and I can’t urge how much people should do them. They may seem scary at first…but they are worth it!
The Gift Shops/ Shopping Opportunities: The Gift Shop was really nice, but extremely expensive. We all had a feeling they were ripping us off. One of us bought suntan lotion and a bandana that seemed to come to about 75$ Canadian. No use fighting it though. I really liked the jewelry and pictures frames inside the store. The jewelry was cheap quality but really cute. It was cheap in cost as well. I bought a beaded ring for about 2 dollars Canadian. One afternoon we decided to take the free bus shuttle to the shopping plaza, which was literally 1 minute away. We all laughed that we had waited about an hour for a shuttle to come and drive us down the road. The shopping was okay, but a lot of the stores sold similar items.
The Staff: Okay, here is where I get to speak about some very special people who made our trip the best it could be given some of the circumstances. Eddie from the Italian restaurant always had us laughing with us sarcasm and witty comments. Felix the omelet guy was the friendliest and most laid back worker at the entire place. One day while he was preparing our eggs, he moaned, rubbed his stomach and said "Man, I am so hung-over. Big Party last night". What a laugh riot! Lenardo was a younger looking waiter who was usually in the buffet VIP section. He was very accommodating and tried really hard to please us. He brought us a bottle of Champagne when he wasn’t supposed to, and when we were leaving gave one of us his phone number so we could keep in touch. Great guy…but I don’t think we’ll be making any long distance calls to talk to the guy. Wilton was the strangest and nicest guy in the whole resort. He would walk around in the morning at the café mumbling over and over again in lightening fast speed "Papa mama café". We tried imitating and saying it as fast as him, but it’s just not possible. He has the sweetest smile when you actually can get him to show you!
Overall: We enjoyed the trip, but didn’t get the best service (minus the individuals I just mentioned). I was one of the people who went down and didn’t want anything to get to me...but it did. The resort is absolutely beautiful; they did a fantastic job on designing it. The beach and location is incredible, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever see a beach that gorgeous again in my life unless I return to Punta Cana. Out of a 5 star rating, I would give the Eden H a 3 and a half star rating.
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
Our family went there on August 24th for a week, we were the orange braclets and we didn't upgrade to Paradise club. First of all, the staff and place are amazing!! Even though we were not the VIPs, we were treated like one. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the openness of their bathroom, which I noticed is now the trend in Europe and Asia Pacific resorts. We have no issue with such design. We find it fun, especially our daughter can watch TV while in the tub. My husband even wants to remodel our ensuite based on this design! However, if you don't feel comfortable, I believe you will get the enclosed bathroom if you upgrade to Paradise Club.
As with the private pools for the Paradise Club memebers, they are the two smaller pools closest to the beach. They are small, and we didn't see a lot of people there. Most of the VIPs went to the main pool or the beach anyway.
EdenH got the best strip of beach. It's wide, clean, and the sea is calm. The resort built a lot of cabanas, so we didn't even need to wake up early to reserve one. We sometimes will pop by the beach in the afternoon, and we have no problem finding a really good spot.
As with food, you do not get privilege as VIP to get booking into any of the specialty restaurants anyway. The buffet restaurant serves good variety of good hot food, so is the seaside grill.
Mind you, we are not drinkers, so we can not comment on the quality of their drinks, but Presidente is good enough for us!
We have been to other AI resorts in DR, both in Punta Cana and Bayahibe, all 4.5 stars to 5 stars. To be honest, EdenH is the one that's closest to what we expect from a 4.5 - 5 stars. It's new, but you can tell they are working very hard to meet all customers' expectations. We are definitely going back next year.
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
Renee, Eric & Remy Toronto
Arrival and Flight
We booked our trip via Conquest, this was our first time with Conquest, and it’s not bad. We flew Canjet, and we it’s basic, with no onflight entertainment. We were given cold sandwiches, and non-alcoholic drinks, and $5 for alcoholic drinks.
At arrival, we were taken to the resort via a big tour bus. We were the only family to EdenH, the other were to other resorts. The bus ride was extremely safe! Our guess is the result of the tragedy a few weeks ago in La Romana, Check in was a breeze, we were taken to our building on a golf cart, and along the way, the bellboy gave us a mini tour. Great service, great people!
A big thanks to PCMike, we were assigned to room 2443, which was on the 4th floor of building 2. We have spectacular view – both ocean and pool!! We loved the room; it’s modern, clean, and bright. The open bathroom didn’t bother us at all, as our daughter can watch TV while in the tub. The shower stall was big, and we got plenty of hot water. The resort provides satellite channels, more channels than we even wish for!
Our mini fridge was stocked up everyday. When I left a note for more water, we have 3 big bottles the next day, and every day since.
We only dined at the Buffet every night, and for lunch we went for the seaside grill. The Buffet has a good variety to choose from, they have different theme every day, including Chinese theme! We found our daughter’s favourite dumpling in sweet and sour sauce. The only down side was their ice-creams at the buffet, they taste very artificial.
The seaside grill has the best pizzas, you can taste the freshness!
My husband booked the Asian restaurant, but the only available slot was at 8:30 pm, which was too late for us. We end up going back to the Buffet that day. My husband said the staff who was doing the booking has the worst attitude in the entire resort. You either take it or leave it kind of attitude. But otherwise, everyone in the resort was wonderful, always with a smile, and always trying to help. We have the best server at the Buffet – Juan. He knows our drinks before we even settle in our seats, and he will come by and play with our daughter.
We are not big drinkers, but the Pina Colada (non-alcoholic) is the best from our experience with other AI. It’s not watered down, and my 3 year old even know how to order it at the bars!
We visited the Sport Bar once, and we walked up to the bar at the roof top to look at the amazing décor!
Beach and Pools
We spent most of our time at the small pool (the closest one to the buffet restaurant), which was clean, and there weren’t a lot of people, so our daughter can play, splash and scream as much as she can without bothering other people. We love how they built lounging chairs/areas in the all their pools. It’s a great way to get tan and stay cool.
There are pools especially for the Paradise Club’s guests, which are closest to the beach. They are small, and I didn’t see a lot of people there. Most of the Paradise Club guests spent their time at the larger pools, or on the beach.
The beach is spectacular, clean white sand, and not too choppy waves. There were plenty of shades for everyone, and no one needs to reserve chairs with towels. We can find a good spot even in the afternoon. Maybe it’s the low season.
There were security staff along the beach, and we saw two guests from other resort wandered over, and was guided out of the resort by the security.
Beautiful ground; a well blend of modern and Caribbean style. It’s different from other AI resorts. Maybe it needs a little more colored flora; but we know they are coming. The resort has been only opened for 8 months!
Activities and Entertainment
Most of the entertainment shows were held at the Crystal Theatre. It’s indoor with air conditioning, what a change from the open air theatre – no more bug bites, and no need to spray yourselves with insect repellent after dinner, and wash them off again when you head back to your room. LOVE the idea.
We only went for the Latin Party (I think they have replaced the Beach Party with the Latin party during the low season), which was held at the Crystal Plaza. The plaza is in front of the lobby. GREAT show, with a lot of fire throwing, juggling. You can tell the entertainers are highly professional.
We also attended the
Departure and Check Out
We have late check out, again thanks to PCMike for arranging this. Our daughter was able to catch some zzz before heading to the airport. We were picked up promptly at hotel, and delivered safely to the airport. One puzzling thing was that we never got a chance to pay for our departure tax. I thought at some point we have to hand in $75 USD for the 3 of us!
It’s with great pleasure to meet up with PCMike at the resort! I’ve also told him that we would DEFINTELY go back next year for 2 weeks stay, and will invite my sister’s family to come with us.
I would definitely recommend this resort to everyone. It’s a new resort, and it’s improving everyday. It has great people, great management, and great potential. Definitely a 5 stars.
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
Arrival and Flight
USA 3000 Flight was wonderful. Crew was great on both flights
Were beautiful, very clean and loved the balcony that over looked the resort. Huge Jacuzzi tub in the room, my son loved to fill it and watch tv from it after a long day.
Restaurants were great..Loved the Asian and French. Americano was wonderful but if you have children there is not so much for them to eat and the Hamburger which was 24 ounces was served rare. The Buffets were delicious and don't miss the beach party!
Beach and Pools
The Beach was beautiful and the water sports were plenty. They were so helpful to give you a lesson on the Catamarans and not to worry, should you tip it over, as myself and my son did, they are out there in minutes to pick you up. I can't say enough about how wonderful the whole water sport section was!!
The pools were absolutely beautiful and they had so many fun activities to do. My 10 yr old loved it!
The outside of the resort was so well maintained and it was one of the most beautiful resorts I have stayed at. The beach chairs were not a problem and the pool chairs were mostly empty.
Activities and Entertainment
Activities were plenty. I was disappointed there was not really any shopping but this was in no way the fault of the hotel. We did find a gentleman working in the tour section that called a friend and he came and picked us up and took us to his shop and we got to watch them make cigars and we bought some T-shirts from him 2 for $20...it was a pleasant trip only 15 minutes away..If you do nothing else on the trip...you MUST get a massage on the beach. I got the 80 minute and it was WONDERFUL!! ask for Damalia (think the spelling)
We did not go on any tours but we did go parasailing and it was great. The driver let my 10 yr old "drive" the boat and he thought it was awesome!!
Departure and Check Out was uneventful except I did not like that you had to go turn in your towels and give them a ticket back. I did not get this part...I don't want responsibility for turning in towels or I would be charged $20 per towel...this was not a good way to end an otherwise perfect trip...I hope they do something about that system
I'm not sure how the vacation could have been better...it really was wonderful. I will warn you to upgrade before you go. I have never been to a resort where you had to upgrade to get better drinks. The cheap alcohol is terrible. This was a new experience to me. I upgraded after I was there. Everything else was so great it made up for it. There is not very many workers that speak English, so it can be a problem but what can you expect when you go to another country. This should not ruin your vacation.
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
Annick and Sylvain Blainville Qc.
Section: Paradise Club
To start, I would like to thanks all the staff at the Edenh for the mostly warm welcome. Especially the staff from the VIP lounge, Staff from the dinner a la carte, Ramon and Fransisco at the VIP Pool and finally Mike Bryant (Punta Cana Mike).
AIRPORT; Upon our arrival we quickly recieved our luggages (lots of helper to carry your luggages, for a small tip if you want) and we were directed to the bus, which took only 20 minutes.
Hotel; We arrived from a late flight 9:00 PM. If you are at the concierge section please go check in to the VIP lounge. If not at the Check in counter. Both were quick and people were nice.
After our check in we took a cart ride to our room.
Our Room; was really clean with a king size bed and the jacuzzi on the balcony. The shower was huge, and plenty of hot water, and pressure was execellent. We had a Ocean view, Just amazing! The mini fridge or bar was filled with beer, pop and water. We ran out of water in the fridge once and we called room service and within minutes they arrived with some. We also ordered beer one night and also was quick. We had breakfest in our room, took 20 minutes.
Bars; Of course our number uno choice was at the VIP Pool with Ramon. (Check youtube "Ramon VIP Pool" to see him) We also liked the Tanthra Bars with a super warm pool. The Alisios bar was really nice but we found it quiet, when there was no Karaoke night.
Mosquitos: We did not see any, not in our room or outside at night. The only bugs that we saw were flies, but really few.
Elevators; I did not count how many there was, but a lot. We were on the fourth floor and we found the elevator just fine. We did not have to walk really far to find one .
Restaurants; For breakfest we could go to the buffet or at the Cinq Terre restaurant (if VIP, pink bracelet), We love having breakfest at the Cinq Terre, few people going and great service.
For Lunch we went to the buffet twice and was great, pasta was good, of course we did not like some of the food, but in general it was good. The restaurent at the beach, had some good chicken, burgers and fries. American food. Finally all the dinner a la carte were amasing, steak, fish, squid, porc etc. The wine is ok but I had better. We were serve without waiting to long. The Shore Grill and Asian was the top but also liked Sens (French Romantic) and Cinq Terre (Italian). The staff were always smilling.
Activities; We are a couple early 40's and we loved the activities, we wake up early (7 AM) we did the cayak, parasailing, swimming in the sea and snorkling. To be able to see the fishes you need to put some crumble of bread in a plastic bottle and crush the bottle to empty the air, put the cap back on the bottle. I found no fish until I arrive close to the security barrier. The bread crumbs are the key of seing any fish. We saw plenty! But If you want to see more fish you will need to do some catamaran. They go snorkling, we try the Marinarium and theTropical Storm, WOW!
At the hotel, they also give a free biginer scuba crash course (in the pool). And if you want you can go deep in the see ($$$). The Gym was nice, ok it's not the GOLD gym but we are not here for the gym. If you want some pictures, sned me a request.
Our goal for this trip was to relax but have fun at the same time. We did reach our goal!
Do we recommend the Edenh: Absolutly!! and for all the family.
We would go back anytime.
NH Real Arena (formerly called EdeNH)
Deb Pittsburgh, PA
We booked our 4 night stay through a travel agent and Apple Vacations. At the airport, we were met by porters who took us directly to the Apple van. They had all our info ready and we were at the Edenh in about 15 minutes.
At the Edenh we were directed to the Paradise Club private check-in. We were given great fruitty drinks, checked in, but told our rooms would not be ready for a while (it was only 11:00 and check-in is at 3:00), so we understood perfectly. Ramone the bellhop, asked us if we wanted to change into swimsuits or go to eat. Ramone drove us in the "golfcart" to the beach end of the resort, explaining everything as we passed, to the Olas buffet on the beach. Food was "normal" with pasta, burgers, french fries, chicken and all very good. You can also get wonderful breads, desserts, salads, and ice cream here. I must say, we all enjoyed the breads at this resort. They were all tasty and fresh! Afterwards, we headed back to the lobby area to get changed into our swimsuits. Ramone saw us on the way and gave us a ride. It's not an incredible walk, but seems that way in the heat. And being fully dressed. ; Ramo ne checked with Paradise Club and found one of our two rooms was ready. He drove us and our luggage to room #1360 (building one, third floor, room 60) the higher the room number, the closer to the beach. We put our teen+ kids in this room as it had two double beds. We were next door in room #1362 with a king size bed. When we got the key to this room, it was filled with "happy birthday" balloons for our daughter (a request made by our TA). She loved it!
After we changed clothes, we went first thing to the Paradise Club private pool just outside the front (beach side)of the building. There we met Carlos, the bartender at the swim-up bar. We loved him. He would even come out of the bar and serve us pool-side. He even told us to "slow down on the tips" (we tried to tip him a buck or two when we were not soaking wet), as he said "it is my pleasure to serve you!". Imagine that?! He would automatically bring refills of the drinks we had that day and even made some suggestions for other drinks to try. What a remarkable guy, he was so upbeat and funny- he really made the trip for us!!!
We wondered down to the beach a couple times, but really liked being at the private pool, so spent most of our time there. The beach, though, is out of this world!!! Wonderful water and the softest sand! Pool and beach lounges are very comfortable and never could we not find 4 together. We didn't see much in the way of bar service on the beach. I think Edenh really cuts their staff during low season. That was also very apparent at the Ala Cartes and buffets.
We went to the Shore Grill and the Asian ala carte restaurants. Husband and I went alone to the Shore Grill since the kids were being lazy and wanted to try the room service. Anyway, we waited about an hour for a table for two and when we finally got seated, there were half of the tables empty because they had not been cleaned. Staff ran around like crazy because it was short-staffed and they had closed two of the ala cartes that night. Food was wonderful, I had a beef tenderloin and husband had the ribs.
Even though low season, I think it is probably not the best move to close any ala cartes. It seems there is then not enough seating for the number of guests. The one night we ate at the Olas buffet - seafood theme night. Although I didn't see any seafood that I wanted, no shellfish anywhere! Except mussels - yuck! They had fish on the grill and that was about it for "seafood". We ate the grilled beef - okay taste, but pretty chewy and husband said the fish was okay. That night, we had originally tried to go to the Italian ala carte. We stood in line just to get a "buzzer" for about 1/2 hour and the line never moved. We finally gave up and went to the buffet. They only opened the Italian and the "adult only" Senses ala cartes that night. Anyone with kids obviously tried to go to the Italian. And it seemed a lot of people didn't even know about the seafood night at the beach buffet. We only found out about it because we were told by our apple rep, Santos, to pick up a daily activity sheet in the lobby. It would have been a good idea to print these and deliver to the rooms the night before. It included the "drink of the day", the entertainment that night, and the ala cartes closed that night.
The four of us went to the Asian ala carte on our last night. We couldn't get seated at the hibachi grill, so ate at a table instead. No problem as we've seen the "show" elsewhere. The food was awesome, although the small gourmet portions left us wanting much more. The service here was terrific as well. Servers made suggestions that were very tasty. Beef skewer appetizer and Chicken skewer for main entree. Husband had the salmon and loved it.
We also ate at the Festival Buffet for breakfasts and once for dinner. Food was good, but nothing to "write home about" like the ala cartes. It was a lot of common buffet type food and a bit repetitive. There were some Dominican food on the buffet and some very tasty. Felix the egg/omelet maker was so friendly and very good, but it took a bit too long standing in line for either. It was much easier to just eat from the buffet tables. Paradise club had reserved area in the Festival Buffet. I'm not sure the point of that, because although we got coffee poured, so did the other areas of the buffet. We never got offered juice, so went to buffet and served our own. It just didn't seem like any special service, maybe just a better chance to get seats. However, it was never overly crowded in the buffet anyway.
We all tried room service at one time or another. Once you got someone on the phone to order (not always easy - again I think they were overwhelmed) service was fairly quick and you got what you ordered - at least most of it - one time we got more breakfast than we ordered. LOL The club sandwich, chef salad, eggs, cheese plate, and fruit plate all very good. I do think the Paradise Club upgraded room service menu should be just that. No real main entrees, just sandwiches and salads. I'm not sure what part was an "upgrade". Maybe we never got the true Paradise Club upgraded room service menu.
In the early months of the resort, people were bragging about the "all they could eat" lobster on the buffet! So we go in June and see it offered at the Shore Grill, but for $29.99 extra. What???!!! Especially with the Paradise upgrade - we get charged for something that other resorts offer as included, and without any upgrade. I do think it is very wasteful and probably ridiculously expensive to offer it on a buffet, but it should surely be available as included at an ala carte. This is an island resort and no crab or lobster on the menus anywhere that I saw. We really didn't expect to eat mostly beef dishes - we get that in abundance here it Pittsburgh! We really enjoyed the grilled lobster at the "Lobster House" ala carte when we stayed at Excellence last year and looked forward to having some at Edenh.
Our rooms were beautiful, although workmanship was a little sloppy. It appears they rushed to open prior to or at least during high season. That's understandable, but I think some problems are now showing up. Our toilet backed up twice in our five days there. We had to call late one night for maintenance. He came in about 20 minutes, but the second time was on the morning we were leaving. We ended up leaving the room before anyone showed up to fix it. It never did flush right the entire time we were there. We really feel it was "set" wrong to begin with, so the flow was not proper. But thankfully, we had our kids room to use, or it would have been a major inconvenience.
Also, the Paradise Club rooms have the bathtub jacuzzis on the balcony rather than inside the room. We never used it once. Partly because we couldn't get a light to come on on the balcony. We asked several people and finally got a working light on our last night there. So now we were able to "check for bugs or anything" in the tub or on the balcony, but then we couldn't find a switch to turn the light off for some privacy. And honestly, getting into a bathtub in swimsuits just seemed strange. After all, this was the size of a little larger than normal bathtub. It was not a hot-tub or what we would call a two person jacuzzi. We had used an in-room two person jacuzzi at another resort a lot and loved it.
The casino was fun. It's a bit small like other resorts. They had some tables of blackjack, poker and roulette and about 30 or so slot machines. The staff was not friendly there, but I've heard they are not Edenh staff, but a sub-contracted company. They acted as if you were "bothering" them if you needed help with a malfunctioning machine or needed to cash out or break a bill. We never saw so much as a smile until the husband tipped them when he cashed out on a slot machine. He even got a "thank you" then as well as the smile. Funny how money can change someone's demeanor!? LOL But at no other place in the resort did a tip seem expected and when we did tip, we received absolute gratefulness.
Check out and the trip back to the airport went very, very smoothly. We'd all go back in a heartbeat because nothing was enough of an issue to even think much about. It is a fantastic resort with awesome staff. In summary, the resort, the pools, the restaurants, the beach, the activities, the amenities, and especially the staff were all absolutely perfect. Once the workmanship shortcomings are fixed and the staffing at capacity and fully trained, it will be a resort very hard to top! And it does seem the management is listening to complaints and trying to make corrections. One that I witnessed, was that the music at the pools was changed from piano, spa music to the typical upbeat Dominican music. I was so very glad to see this happen as the music is a big part of the tropical ambiance we look for. I don't want to hear music I'd listen to at home.
A big thank you to the staff at Edenh. We loved our vacation!
EdeNH Real Arena Punta Cana
Terry & Marcia Guelph , Ontario
We had a choice of either flying Westjet or Air Transat; we opted for Westjet. Flight was great, on time; we had the exit row down and back and no-one was in the third seat either way. The baggage allowance was unbelievable - well over 100lbs each which allowed us to bring Punta Cana Mike some goodies for the Kids. (Tennis racquets and balls as well as sets of badminton)
Was very smooth. We met with Francisco in the VIP lounge and got our entire info package and were assigned a room on the 4th floor facing the pool and overlooking the ocean.
Met with Mike, (friendly, knowledgeable and a perfect Gentleman). He introduced us to Clara Escribano who was the Manager of the Paradise Club.
Clara was always helpful and always smiling which for the first 2 to 3 months was not easy all the time, I would suspect.
Well laid out and spacious, lots of storage area and a nice area to sit on the couch or nod off, as the mood struck you.
There was a King size bed as requested and I didn’t need any time to get used to it; it was great right from the start. There were 4 pillows supplied and were almost large enough.
The bathroom was well laid out with a huge shower and good lighting. The whirlpool was on the balcony and was the source of much entertainment.
There was also an electronic safe, large enough I would say for anything you brought on vacation.
The fridge was well stocked and a note to the staff as to what you wanted was all that was needed to ensure you had your supplies.
We tipped the maid every day; they do work hard and do a fine job.
Pool & Beach
The resort is on one of the nicest beaches in the DR and its location ensured pretty calm waters and a clear beach.
The beach was raked almost every day to rid it of the seaweed the tide brings in, just like every other beach I’ve been at in the Dominican Republic.
There is a vacant or undeveloped beach next door that was not raked each day, however when the tractor with the automatic sand rake arrives for the hotel, it would be a good idea to continue on to the vacant beach also.
There were a good number of palapas and more being built.
The pools were kept very clean and were large. All 3 pools at the front area had swim-up bars.
The towels were plentiful and clean
The loungers were very comfortable however not all of them had arrived at resort by Feb 14th so there was a rush on early in the morning to secure one for the day.
I should note at this point, that in my opinion MANAGEMENT should have had more chairs. Getting a chair at 6am is ridiculous!!!
However the GUESTS bear the majority of the blame for lack of chairs in MY OPINION.
Guests would save 2 chairs at the VIP pool, then 2 in the shade by the big pool and then 2 at the beach under a palapa (a palapa that they would not share with any one as they wanted only 2 people). People would save chairs all day for friends that never arrived. People would reserve chairs at 6 am and never get to them until 11 or 12 if at all.
People would grab bundles of 6 towels for 2 people??
Food and Restaurants
We ate only at the buffet and the beach restaurant.
The food was always the way it should be, hot for hot foods and cold for cold foods.
There was lots of variety and the presentation was always entertaining.
There is room service but we did not make use of it, with the exception of our included in- room lobster dinner. That was great.
We enjoyed the resort and would recommend it to all.
EdeNH Real Arena Punta Cana
Lisa Orillia, Ontario
The Punta Cana airport really is too small for the amount of visitors they get each week! You will just have to be patient! Everyone rushes - don't the luggage will be a while!!! Relax! We always get a bell hop luggage guy - they appreciate it! He carries everything to the bus!
The rooms were just wonderful. We upgraded to the Oceanview which put our jacuzzi on the balcony. But we did not have the pink wristbands or the private pools. Our friends had the reg. deluxe room - open concept. Didn't feel it was necessary to upgrade - nice but not necessary! Knowing that (open concept rooms) before you go don't complain deal with it! It was the same concept as the Majestic Colonial. The resort is new so if a tile is missing - whatever - they will fix it in the summer when the rooms are available for repair!!! I have been to the Caribbean a lot musty smell - put fabric softner sheets in the air conditioner out take and all is wonderful!!! We had 4 rooms and only one room with the smell. We took a flyswater for the mossies and we killed two! Problem must be fixed.
Restaurants Buffet - great pasta and they grill meats on the grill. Steak was really good and so was the fish. Breakfast had loads of selection!!! Buffet accomadated larger tables - we really appreciated that. Grill near the beach - good pizza, fries dogs, burgs etc.... Salad bar really good!
Italian - good - food was good had to seperate group into two tables - didn't accomadate larger groups. Slower meal but great atmosphere - relax and enjoy!
International Grill - remember warm water lobster is way different than cold water lobster!!! Steak was wonderful. Service good but again slower restaurant relax - your on holidays!
Asian! A MUST!!!!! To get the grill on this one you must line up!!!! Joe lined up at 4:40 to get the 13 of us at one grill - they only hold 12 but they let us have it because of my 6 year old son! The show is WOW!!!! and the food was the best!!!! I showed up at 4:50 and became the bar wench. While the others waited! Good meeting people and we had soooooo much fun!
My guess is the grill by the ocean will open eventually for dinner and that will greatly reduce the wait lines. For now if you want a sit down dinner ya have to line up! I knew before I went that it was like that! So no biggy!!!
Swim up bar - Alexis made me sooooooo laugh it was so funny!!!!! Balanced beers on his head - said "Why Not" all the time - way funny! At the lobby there is one guy that juggles the bottles too much fun! The lady bar tender at the Casino makes GOOD drinks!!!! Dirty Monkies, Screwdrivers with Polar Ice, Miami Vice and some blue drink - way yummy!!! As far as the complaint "not enough alcohol" ask for mucho mucho and well you will be more than fine!!! I still think Presedente is the best!!!
Beach and Pools
Pools are lovely! Loads of room. Two private pools for the pink bands and One smaller pool with swim up bar and large pool and kiddie pool for everyone else! Beach chairs already knew I would have to get up early for shade so nothing I didn't already know!
Coming along. Remember two months open!!! Gardens are starting to take shape! Saw a lot being done while we were there! Foutains are lovley!
Dance lessons, in pool and out of pool excercise class, volleyball and I saw yoga. They do not offer games and activities like you see at other resorts. The painter - very interesting and excellent with adults! NOT good with children! He is very sarcastic so if you can handle that it is worth trying - for me he was too sarcastic especially to children (had one in tears) told me it was good for her and when challenged he is extremely deffensive! He can dish it but doesn't like taking it! We decided to pass! If I pay $20 American I want to feel good when I finish!!! Nightly entertainment was REALLY good!!!! The night shows are worth staying up for! Don't miss the Circus and the Techno show - break dancers are amazing and we danced sooo much!!!
Tours Mike's Marina Fishing Charters for fishing!!!! Wow great!!!! This is our third year with Mike and I would not fish with anyone else!!!! My son is now six and this year he caught a Barracuda so he tells us! It was his highlight to his week!!!!! Picked us up right at the beach! and dropped us off there! Just the best!!! As always!!!! Caribbean Festival - third year for us!!! I brought a photo album from the other two years and the crew loved it!!! Snorkeling was wow and the stingray exhibit great! We so enjoy the crew! They make it for us!!
Catilina Island - LONG TRIP best site seeing ever! Unfortunaltly the dive company at the resort hires a different company for the diving in Catilina! The equipement was awful! I jumped in the water and the PFD didn't inflate! Lots of other problems - I ended my dives and snorkelled. The eqipement at the resort was great and the Instructors good - Catilina I would walk to the Melia - they are Scuba Caribe? and everyone that booked with them had a great time! and good equipement! Hope the company at Edenh does the same. They did give me a partial refund the next day but not the first dive I so wanted in the ocean!
Golf - Espada was just too much - to rent clubs and round etc almost $450 per person had a great round at the course across from the Hard Rock Cafe! It use to be a Sugar Plantation!
The Edenh is new but way fun!!!!!!!! No worries!!! I saw some people taking pictures of the light fixtures that didn't have covers! They pulled the lightbulb out to make it look better for their complaint! Another man went into the ladies bathroom to take a picture of the one missing sink (two were fine and working) scared the life out of my 11 year old daughter! This place is GREAT and was a GREAT price!!!! We had a blast!!!!! The best was meeting our new friends from this forum!!!!! We would adopt their son if they would let us!!!! Can't wait to meet up with them again!!!!! No worries enjoy the resort - any questions PM me!! daydaydayo
EdeNH Real Arena Punta Cana
Jennifer Northern Ontario Canada
My husband and I traveled to the EdeNH Real Arena on May 10th – 17th 2008 with Conquest Vacations. We are both 25 years old.
Flights: Our flights were with Air Canada and left on time with no problems. We really enjoyed the seat back TVs with new release movies that was offered on the flight. It took awhile to get the luggage after we landed but everything arrived in one piece so we were happy. There was only one other couple in the van with us so we had only one stop before our resort. Everything went smoothly.
Check In: Check in was smooth and efficient. We changed our room to a pool view because of the negative comments we had read about the garden view. Turns out we didn’t even sit out on the balcony and only really used it on the first morning to check out paradise.
Room: The room was clean and nice. I found it to be a bit plain but it was only a standard room. I really liked the opening between the bedroom and the bathroom as I could talk to my husband as I was getting ready for dinner. The Jacuzzi was nice, took awhile to fill up but it worked fine.
Restaurants: Being that it was low season the restaurants opened on a rotation basis. Unfortunately because of this we were unable to try the Romantico restaurant. There are 4 a la cartes, 1 buffet restaurant and 1 beach buffet. We really loved how you didn’t need to pre book reservations at the a la cartes and were able to go as many times as you wished in a week. We never had to wait more then 45 minutes for a table and we were a group of 8 every night for dinner. We ate at the Asian twice (one hibachi and one menu), Shore Grill twice (American) and the Italian once. None of us enjoyed our food at the Italian, my food was incredibly salty. However my risotto appetizer was AMAZING!! We were there for over 2 hours which was really long, the food was slow coming but nobody ever had an empty glass so needless to say some were quite tipsy by the end of dinner.
My favorite restaurant was the Shore Grill. They had yummy Steak, Ribs and Seafood. The Asian was great as well, we had sushi for one of the first times. The Hibachi was really yummy and we had tons of food. A great stir fry with beef and chicken and veggies and shrimp. On Thursday we had the beach party which is something not to be missed! A HUGE buffet on the beach with roasted pork and beef, pastas, salads, potatoes…. YUMMY! The beach buffet had the most amazing French fries, pizza, fried chicken and soft serve ice cream. We did the buffet for breakfast every morning, they rotate bacon every other day, smoothies with fresh fruit, omelets and awesome mashed potatoes and pastries. We ate there once for dinner when we arrived (it was almost closing so not a great selection) and also once for lunch. They also had 24hour room service (we heard it was good but never tried it) and a sports bar that had hot dogs, homemade chips (yummy!) mini burgers…. You never went hungry at this resort.
Bars, Activities and Entertainment: We spend a lot of time at the bars on the resort. The pool bar was amazing. Alexis was always full of energy and had a few tricks up his sleeves. We went to the lobby bar every night to meet up with everyone before dinner and to have a pre dinner drink. There was one bartender who was amazing however I do not remember his name. We also went to the sports bar and the Tanhtra bar. I did talk to Mike about the music at the Tahntra bar and he did say they tried to play disco type music but there was a lot of problems associated with that and they prefer not to have those type of problems on the resort. They did however have a DJ most nights in the lobby bar for a few hours which was fun. They also had karaoke night, they had movies in the courtyard and I even saw them play Nintendo Wii one night in the courtyard on the big screen. We went to the Wednesday night show which was good and we went to the Casino a lot.
Beach and Pools: Amazing, the beach was cleaned every day. There were tons of huts on the beach with plenty of shade and chairs. Not sure if it was because we went during low season but we never had a problem with the chair issue on the resort. Lots of traffic in the water on the beach with was annoying at times especially with the helicopters and the parasailing, not much we can do about it though. Water was beautiful and there was a bit of seaweed but nothing compared to other resorts further down the strip.
Grounds: In a few years the grounds will be beautiful. There was a lot of work still going into the grounds at this resort. Nice fountains and very clean everywhere. We saw people washing rocks one day.
Tours: Went on 2 tours, Saona Island and Marinarium. Saona Island was boring in my opinion. The bus ride was long, saw some culture, farming and the famous Higuey Church. Stopped at a store where they wanted $9.00 for 2 bags of chips and didn’t barter at all. Took a speed boat to a natural swimming pool where they had starfish, that was the best part of the trip. The beach on the island was rocky in the water and your first step in the water you would sink in sand up to your ankles and it was yucky. Buffet was ok, drinks ok. Vendors on the beach coming up to you every 5 minutes asking you to buy things. Had a massage cost $70 for 40 minutes. Too much in my opinion. Would not recommend that tour. The Marinarium on the other had was amazing and would recommend to anyone. Snorkeled with Sharks and Stingrays, very cool. Then we partied on the boat with dancing and stopped in the middle of the ocean to have drinks in the water. We also went to the Mangu Disco one night and thought it was ok. The downstairs area seemed to be more fun then the upstairs. $8 cover and a $20 shuttle to the Disco. Drinks were quite expensive and there are a lot of locals there.
Departure and check out: Went smoothly we were on a late flight so we had to leave our luggage in the lock up with no problems. Our shuttle was scheduled to pick us up at 5:10pm. At 5:03pm the hubby was still in the pool. We made it to the shuttle on time and were the only ones to be picked up. Two porters grabbed our luggage at the airport and we had to run to keep up with them. We only had $1.00 left over but since they took our luggage and started walking with it before we could say anything and they brought us to the wrong line I don’t feel so bad.
After we found the correct line, check in was very fast. The airport is not air conditioned so it’s very warm so make sure you dress accordingly. Our flight was on time and we landed a half hour early.
I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone thinking of traveling to Punta Cana. I would return in a heartbeat if I could. Staff was friendly, resort was clean, no problems at all. Only one person we met wouldn’t go back (didn’t like the quality of the alcohol, we thought it was fine). We met TONS of people and had a blast. The nightlife is not the greatest so if you’re looking to party then this is not the resort for you. Great quiet spa type resort.
EdeNH Real Arena Punta Cana
Brenda and Daniel Halifax NS
Arrival and Flight - We stayed here from April 26-May 3. Travelled with Air Transit Club Class (worth every penny) Arrived mid-morning so we had the whole day at the resort.
Rooms - We upgraded to Deluxe Concierge Room. Room ready about 2:30. We had a third floor room which was very nice and we enjoyed the outside jacuzzi tub, it was nice to get into after a day at the beach. We were also entitled to a lobster dinner - room service brought this and set everything up for us on the balcony. Lots of English TV stations. Mini bar and lots of water stocked every day. Our room was cleaned early in the day as we were out of our room by 7am. We didn't get a chance to visit a Presidential Suite but I heard they were very nice with an outdoor jacuzzi and shower on the terrace.
Restaurants - we ate at the buffet only two nights. Buffet had a good variety of food. We tried all of the Al la Carte restaurants:
1. Italian - this was very good, we ate here twice and service was very prompt
2. Shore Grill - ate here once, they do need more wait staff as service was very slow - I didn't get the appetizer I ordered but I did enjoy what they gave me. In the most recent reviews, however, I hear the service has improved. 3. Hibachi Grill - if you don't get to eat at the grill table you don't get much on your plate - we were disappointed and didn't try to get into this restaurant a second time.
Incidentally, it was the day after we ate here that we were told that the a la carte restaurants open at 5:45 and not 6:30 so that would explain why the hibachi tables were full at 6. 4. Romantico - we ate here on our last night. Food and service was really good. The decor is different - done in red tones.
We got a "beeper" for the Romantico restaurant. Our wait was 45 minutes which wasn't bad. We usually eat early so that was the only time we had to wait.
The pink bracelet folks has the option of eating a la carte at the Italian restaurant from a set menu. Waffles are advertised but they don't have a waffle maker yet. This may be the only place to get bacon as the buffet had bacon once during our stay.
We usually had lunch at the beach grill. The food was good and they have plastic plates so you can take your lunch back to the pool or beach.
Bars - We had top shelf liquor. Loved our waiter Ramon. He treated us like royalty and our glasses were never empty. Lobby bar was very busy before supper. I usually went to the bar to get my drink.
Beach and Pools - The beach was breathtaking. We have been to the DR many times and Bavaro beach is one of our favourites. It was strange to see folks walking toward the beach at 5am to get a chair. I went for a walk every morning and nobody on the beach at nearby resorts. Even at 10:30am there were still chairs available on the beach. The security guard on the beach will remove your belongings before 7am so it wasn't uncommon to see people wrapped in their towels sleeping in beach chairs at 5am! The water was very calm and great for swimming.
Grounds - very nice - will be beautiful when everything has matured.
Activities and Entertainment - we didn't see any shows as we're early risers but I heard that some of them were very good. The lobby has a sheet that is available every day with the list of activities and what a la carte restaurant is closed that night. The animation team doesn't approach the guests to participate, you just show up to play.
Tours - as we have been to the DR many times we have already done the tours
Departure and Check Out - our bus left at 7:20am. It is advertised that a continental breakfast is set up in the lobby for those leaving early or going on tours. Unfortunately, this was not the case on the day we left and unless you paid for the upgrade and could eat at the Italian restaurant then you were out of luck.
Conclusion - we had a wonderful vacation and would recommend this resort. We met some great folks - hello to Barry and Pauline from Nfld. and Jen, Tim and Jane from Michigan. We didn't get to actually meet PC Mike but we did see him on a few occasions. He's a busy guy.