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Reviewed 23 March 2008

My husband and I just returned from Punta Cana a couple of days ago. We stayed a week and had a wonderful time. The beach was fabulous. We usually go to Cancun, better beaches in Punta Cana. Water was nice and when the winds picked up- lots of HUGE waves to play in! We loved the non-motorized equipment rental. Snorkeling gear, boogie boards, and kayaks all a blast! We got an updated room in Block 3, be sure to request this. We ended up getting lucky but very glad we did. The pool and staff were also great. The entertainment staff was hilarious..the shows also hillarious although probably not supposed to be. The only downfall was some of the food. Much of the food tasted the same and got a little boring after a week. Not sure if it was the water or food but we both got sick, so be sure to bring some immodium. The alcohol was also not top of the line. There were not many call brands and the beer on tap was not very good, and we ar beer drinkers. Do be sure to bring a insulated mug to keep your drink cool! All in all it was a very memorable vacation and would love to return with some friends in the future!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank clappyclappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2008

I will make it short.

We returned yesterday from the Barcelo. It is a beautiful resort if you stay in buildings 1, 2 or 3. If they put you in one of the older buildings, ask to be moved. Go see the head of reception. Tanya, she is great. Old buildings (4, 5 and 6) smell and the sheet are absolutely gross!! New building is a five star compared to the old ones.

The food is not to write home about but we did not get sick. The a la cart restaurants are not too bad. The Japanese one is a great experience. Our boys loved it. Overall, a 2.5 out of 5 at best.

The beach is fantastic. Great for smaller kids as well. Lots of walking, fine white sand and clean. The beach at the Barcelo is pretty clean except for the sigarette butts.

Beach towels. Bring your own or make sure that you have clean ones before you go back to your room at night. It is absolutely impossible to get a clean towel before 2 pm!

Staff. We love the D.R. people. We have been at the D.R. three times now. I don't know what they do to their staff but they are not too many happy people working there. There is the odd friendly staff member but most of them are miserable. As well, they seem to have no rules about staff eating while they are working. I found this very annoying.

Smoking. Lots of smokers. Make sure your room is a non smoking room if you do not smoke! As well, ask to be seated in the non-smoking part of the restaurants.

Overall, if you can get this trip for a great price, go for it. Would we go back? No! Try the Catalonia. Nicer people and better food. Beach is not better!

If you are late teens, or in your twenties, lots of people around and they seem to have a great time. If you are a family with young kids, ask for a suite, great kids waterpark (in full sun) and fantastic beach. Not a lot of other kids to play with. Put your name on your toys as well.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank Worldtaveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2008

We just returned from a week (3/12 to 3/18) at the Barcelo Punta Cana. It was really great, but read on for some really important warnings and advisories.

We were 2 families, a total of 7 people, 4 kids (10, 12, 15 and 16) and 3 adults. Every one had a great time. Every day was sunny, around the high 80s with a constant and delightful breeze. The kids roamed around alone or with each other and all made friends, especially through the trapeze. The beach is unbeatable: fine white sand, fun waves, an unreal blue/turquiose/green. The pools are fun and the new kids area is great. There are lots of activities like volleyball, water aerobics, etc. The kids loved the trampoline and trapeze, and the staff there was welcoming, supportive and loved to teach. We felt like we were in paradise every day.

The grounds are beautiful. It is a large hotel so be prepared to walk a bit. The food is good--a B- I would rate it-- and there is a huge variety. It is Dominican in nature, so be prepared for things you might be used to to taste a bit different (like hotdogs and cheese). Some other posters have written that lots of staff don't speak English...duh, it is not an English speaking country. If you want English, go to a different country. I didn't find the vendors to be instrusive. Like another hotel I went to last year, the alcohol doesn't seem to be very strong, which I think is a good thing. There weren't obvious drunk people. But, there is a lot of smoking. It is hard to get away from it.

We had a renovated room and it was lovely. The AC worked, no blackouts, the bathroom pretty, and the bedding was heavenly. There is a mini-fridge which is great. I thought it was quiet, but I wear waxy earplugs every night anyway so it is always quiet for me at night.

Now the advisories...the beach towel situation is ridiculous. They don't have enough clean towels and they need to figure that out. Other hotels can do it so they should be able to as well. You might want to bring a beach towel. Also, bring a travel mug to keep your drinks cold because they serve them in thin plastic cups. Our toilet didn't flush and it took 4 days to get it almost fixed. We always had to hold up the handle. But they kept plunging it when the problem was with the mechanism. I had to resort to dumping in half an ice bucket of water as I flushed to get the "stuff" to go down. But the worst thing was that the desk staff lied to us a few times. We left some things until past 7PM on the lounge chairs 2 times, including kids shoes. When we went to ask about them, the front desk people said they didn't have them. When the 10 year old asked about his shoes, he was told they weren't there. When his mom asked, she was also told that, but she asked for security and was brought to a lost and found and sure enough, found not just her 3 kids shoes, but the other stuff that was lost 2 days before. She also felt the security guard was getting inappropriately close to her.

But none of that interfered with our good time. I loved this vacation and so did all of our group.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank Whats4dnnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2008

Great location directly on the beach

I am 42 and my daughter is 18 when we travelled to Barcelo on 10th March 2008.

I would say that the hotel is getting a little tired now and could do with a refurbishment, in its day it would have been a good 4 star but I would only think it would make a 3 star now. Don't get me wrong this hotel is fine, it's better than fine, for what I paid I did not expect Buckingham Palace!

It was clean, the staff helpful, pools great and the beach is just superb. The food was fine, a good selection that even kept my fussy daughter full. In short there is nothing at all wrong with this hotel and I would stay there again.

There was one annoying problem that because some selfish people could not limit themselves to just 1 pool towel a day made pool towels very scarce.

Stayed: March 2008
2  Thank Ballsy66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Barcelo from March 6th to the 13th. This was our second trip to Dominican and the first to Punta Cana. First of all this vacation and hotel was great for the money we spent. The hotel was large with lots of activities, clean rooms and one of the most beautiful beaches. The staff were friendly, although please remember to be kind, tip and be somewhat patient because you are going to have to wait for some services, due to how large this hotel is and the amount of guests they need to serve.
The new pool and restaurant are great and I would suggest eating there for lunch because the food is better there then at the buffet. The ocean was wonderful and the beach was clean with plenty of chairs, although if you are the type of person that likes to have some shade you will have to get up early to get a spot.
We were lucky to get in one of the new buildings which is 1,2 or 3. I am not sure if this helped us but when I booked with Redtag I requested a renovated room and they put that request on our information.
Now if you are looking to experience the culture of the Dominican you have to book a tour, unfortunately my husband and I were a little disappointed that we were not able to walk around a town or a city, basically all that is there to walk to is the golf course, a smaller market that is located down the street about 15 minutes away and a larger market which is a 45 minute walk down the beach past resort after resort (tip: bring a bottle of water for the walk!)
As for tours we booked two:
The first was the reef explorer where you got to spend a half a day on a floating island, swimming with sting rays and sharks, snorkeling, a massage and sea kayaking. It was a great trip!
Secondly we booked the zip line tour. It was a great morning, the guides were great, friendly and created a wonderful admosphere! The zip line was fun and everyone seemed to have a great time! The drive to and from the tour was amazing because you got a chance to see the internor of the the island and the mountains. The equipment was in great shape and the guides were professional and safe. Any age would enjoy this trip!
We flew with air transat and I would suggest going to the information meeting if this is your first trip to the Dominican, also I would suggest booking your tours through them.
Now for the food...please bring upset stomach meds with you. Remember Dominican food is much different their ours and it is prepared and stored differently. I got sick our third day and my husband (who has a strong stomach) feel ill on the sixth day. Just ensure that you watch what and how much you are eating.
I was reading these postings throughout the weeks before we left for the Barcelo and I must admit that a few worried me but I hope that I can put your minds at ease and say that you will have a great time if you enjoy wonderful weather and a beautiful beach. Enjoy

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank seaoceanlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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