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Reviewed 1 May 2007

Date: April 21-28

Very beautiful and clean resort. We travelled with 11 people and had 4 rooms in building #1 in the Golden section. It was great being closest to the beach and pool. There also was an indoor and outdoor restaurant close by so that we didn't need to travel to the main lobby area. The resort is huge but the trams come every 2-3 mins- even at 2:00 a.m. in the morning. They are always cleaning and maintaining the resort inside and out and the staff are most friendly. The big dissappointment was the food. This was our 4th all inclusive (2-DR and 2-Mex). We have never experienced such poor a la carte dining anywhere. I can say that we never experienced a single poor a la carte at any of the other 3 resorts- Here we had 4 bad experiences.
Don't do the lobster beach BBQ- as others have mentioned it is not so good without the lobster. I felt so bad for the wedding party beside us who obviously were looking forward to a nice meal. The Groom was very distraught- don't blame him!The BBQ steak was like chewing on your boot!
The Japanese was probably our best outing however if you are looking for authentic taste and presentation- you'll be disappointed- I would give it a 5 out of 10.
We thought the next night at the Italian restaurant would restore our pallet. We arrived and found 2 people from 2 separate tables returning the food on their plate. 1 from our table had to do the same.
Finally came the Steak house. We arrived once again to have the table beside us very upset with their meals. The 7 of us who ordered the rib steak couldn't cut the meat. Bring a steak knife. 2 from our group ordered the tenderloin- it was the only meat that was edible.
I have never experienced such poor quality of food for a la cartes. I have never witnessed so many people returning food.
It's too bad because the place really is beatiful. It is great for families kids and even singles. Our 19 year old lived every night at the Disco- meeting girls every night- he had a blast.
With some effort on the a la carte dining this could be a 5 star facility however I would rate it a 31/2 or 4 max. The beaches are definetly 5 star. Even better than when we stayed further down the beach at the Paradisus. You can't even compare the dining at the 2 facilities.

Tim- Toronto Canada

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
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8  Thank T4796B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2007

Terrible hotel. If not for the lovely beach stretching on for miles, and the fact that we prepaid, we would have left.

My husband and I have vacationed in the Caribbean at least ten times over the years. Within the last 6 years we've taken our son to the Melia Caribe Tropicale in Punta Cana 3 times and the Barcelo Colonial in Mexico once (both All-Inclusives and both lovely). While no hotel is perfect, this one truly seemed to be a mill, moving hordes of people through it as cost effectively as possible.

Service: awful. Check-in was a nightmare. Won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say we were shuttled back and forth between the Punta Cana And Bavaro lobbies 3 times (they didn't seem to know where to put us!) and then given unactivated room cards by mistake making it impossible to enter the room. On and on it went like this the entire week we were there.

Food: awful. The 3 times we tried to make reservations, the line required at least a 45 minute wait (that was their estimate!), so we gave up. The dinner buffet dining room is like a cave with no windows and more crying babies than we have ever encountered in our lives. The indoor lunch buffets next to the pool that are supposed to be air-conditioned did not have even remotely functioning air-conditioning making the outdoor snack bars the only acceptable option for lunch. The food there was disgusting. This was the only resort we have ever been to where we got sick (and no, we did not touch the tap water, are careful with sun exposure, and do not overindulge in alchohol).

Atmosphere : awful. There is not enough room here for the number of people using this resort. Always an ordeal to find chairs at the pool or beach. The pool is VERY crowded, with many rowdy drinkers and unsupervised children. The pools at the Melia put this to shame. Some parents actually let their children eat their hotdogs in the pool, so you can see what type of oversight is (or is not) occurring here.

Recreation: awful. At the Melia and Barcelo our son enjoyed playing board games, miniature golf, shuffleboard, life size chess, pool, foosball, etc. We would not expect any resort to have all of these, but this hotel had nothing. Their miniature golf was in a disgraceful state of disrepair, and when we tried to play pool at night, we found that they required quarters. Not one person could help us find change and we never saw anyone play the whole week we were there.

Beach: amazing. The only reason to come here, but there are miles of beautiful beach in Punta Cana, and better hotels.

Don't be lured by promises of a 4* experience with the price of a 2* hotel (we were).

Stayed: April 2007
6  Thank Dobergrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2007

We stayed the week of April 14th to 21st. Flight and transfer was great no problems. We were Royal Golden so check in was on the bus. Our friends and us both had ground floor rooms in building 65 and 64.

The hotel is big but has a good transportation system.
The room was clean and beautiful. Maid service was hit or miss. We couldn't get towels and our friends couldn't get beer in their mini fridge. I don't feel the towel thing is the maids fault there does not seem to be enough linen for the resort.

Had a couple of problems but nothing that would ruin your vacation. On Sunday, we discovered the whirlpool tub was leaking. We called royal service and they had a worker there in 10 minutes. Quickly fixed the problem even thought he had limited equipment to work with. The other problem we had was with our mini fridge. On Monday the fridge was not cold. It took 4 phone calls, 1 from us, 1 from the head maid, and 2 from the Air Transit rep, before someone was sent. No big deal just used lots of ice and a garbage can. When the man came on Thursday to fix the problem he felt that picking up the fridge and slamming it on the floor three or four times would fix it, lol. Finally he just went and took a fridge from an empty room.

The buffet - had no problem finding any thing to eat. Lots to choose from. Yes there is a bad smell around the resort that I feel is caused by sewer gases . The sewage system is not really to Canadian building codes but hey your not in Canada..

We had 4 a la carts but only used 2 because we didn't feel like being on a schedule and having to get dressed up while on vacation.

Pools were nice but we didn't spend much time there, too many kids and too busy. We went to spend time on the beach anyway. Beach was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Don't miss the sunrise it is worth the early wake up time. We went early a couple of mornings later in the week to get good chairs in the shade, but had no problem getting loungers at any time during the week, you just had to look and move them were you wanted to sit..

I would not pay for Royal Golden again. It was nothing special for the extra money paid. Employees, with the exception of guests services and the lobby shop employees, were friendly and helpful. However I did not like how some of the guests talked down to the employees or just acted like they were there to be their servants. Hello and thank you is not hard to say. Don't leave your manners at home just because you are on vacation.

Bring lots of one's for tipping, the people work hard. They also love to get baseballs. Had some of the best service when we handed out baseballs we had brought with us.

This is a perfect place for a family vacation. I would return again in a heartbeat just for the beach alone, but would not recommend this for a romantic getaway or single people. Would have liked to have stayed longer. Most relaxing vacation we have ever had.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Buffercat101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2007

What a LARGE beautiful place, met husband for a relaxing get'a'way and it was. the food was great and do know that you can eat bfast anywhere and lunch by the pool(beach) and dinner, you do not have to go to lobby buffets. We stay in villa #2. Great location. do get up and save loungers. You will find something after lunch but do need shade which is plentiful most of the time. We thought this was a great place but very large but had everything you could need. Bar tenders great and you got anything you wanted. I drank the specials and he drank vodka tonic to scotch & sodas to specialty drinks. They are not shy with the liquor, what you want is what you get. Never visited the disco. The French alacarte was just fabulous. do make reserv. for those asap. The beach was great, the rooms, fantastic and large, the maids wonderful. There is a cheat sheet in info book for you. Had no problems. Stayed in club golden and liked it mainly for location. Not one person we talked to was dissapointed but you either like the place or not. It is large but never a trouble getting a ride to the lobby. We prefer a smaller place but had NO complaints about this place. The market at the place was just fine. The lobby bar drinks are the best. Not sure why. You can specify what you want and amount of liquor you want but they were just better. Do try the Mama Juana. Try each specialty drink, it is paid for and DO take a thermal mug. Enjoy and relax.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank Bevwav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2007

It's been almost 20 years since I did and all-inclusive and I have to say that this resort reminded me how great all-inclusives are.

We booked the Club Diamond package...and it was worth every penny.
We stayed April 20-April 27.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we quickly noticed how friendly the staff was.
They directed us to the Club Diamond office where we checked in. The girl who checked us in was very pleasant and did a great job orienting us with the complex.
She encouraged us to book our a-la-carte meals right away as they book up quickly.
The rooms are nice and all have similar layout.

We had minor issues, such as brokem TV cable and a crack in the hand-held shower, but were quickly fixed.
Each room has a safe, but there is a fee to use it.
It's well worth the money to have peace of mind.

Since it was evening time, we were tired and had just enough time to try the main buffet off the main lobby and grab a bite.
The buffet has a theme dinner every night and the spread is huge. There is something for everyone. The presentation of the food was top notch as was the quality.

In the morning, we were able to appreciate the beauty of the grounds. They were lush with vegitation and were kept immaculate.
As a Club Diamond member, we had the opportunity to have breakfast every morning at the Italian restaurant (Il Capriccio) or the main buffet at the lobby.
We liked it better than the main buffet as it was more intimate.

The water in the restuarant and bars are all filtered EXCEPT he tap water. Do not drink the tap water.
Use one of the 1.5L bottles of filtered water they supply in the stocked fridge in your room to brush your teeth..

In the middle of the complex, there is a road used by the shuttles to taxi people from the lobby down to the beach. They are very frequent, so little need to wait.
We preferred to walk. With all the eating and drinking we were doing, we needed all the exercise we could get.

The pools are beautiful and they all have swim up bars.
We really liked hanging around the 2 pool near the beach as it was steps from the beach and had everything near by like 2 snack bars and 3 drink bars.
There is a huge variety of drinks to choose from and they were very generous with the alcohol.

There are always activities going on, such as beach aerobics, beach volleyball, bingo near the poolside.

I'm a sailor, but unfortunately only got to sail once as they had the red flag up most days (high winds and choppy water).
But if you like water sports, go to the dive shop and book a time as you need to book 2 days out.

Right beside the dive shop, 2 lady's set up to do hair braids.
They work as a team and do a quick job. My daughter loves what they did to her hair.
They usually set up there around 9:30am.

We did our 4 a-la-carte dinners over the week.
Our favorites were the Japanese, Italian and French.. The Mediterranean was also good, but slightly smaller portions. But each restaurant served high end meals.

After dinner, we head over to the Tropicana theater where there is always something for the kids followed by the main show.

Just North of the main lobby are the shops. You can buy local crafts, alcohol, coffee and cigars.
I liked their coffee, so I brought home a few bags.
There is no haggling in the main stores, but you can haggle with the vendors set up in the courtyard.
If you don't mind a 35-40 minute walk down the beach, there is a strip of shops also where you can buy local handywork and clothing.
Haggling is a must and you should be able to talk the merchant down at least 50% of what they asked.

Dealing in US currency is the easiest, so bring sufficient funds.
You also want to tip the staff, particularly the cleaning lady. You will be amazed on the level of service you get.

This was an amazing trip and we are planning to come back again next year.

  • Stayed: April 2007
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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10  Thank Humidor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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