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Reviewed 6 January 2012

Just got back from 6 days at iberostar punta cana.

Good excellant beach
Terrific barstaff.. Jenny and lewis
Fun poker table
Decent prcing
Fun entertainment


The average....
Food ok nothing special here
Pool decent not great
There were a few things to do onsight but not a lot.
Grounds were kept pretty well

The poor
The frotdesk and how they treat you.. Arrived in room to broken tv and no ac.. Took 2 days for them to admit ... Yes ir doesnt work and we will have to move you.... Waited till 530 to get original room upon arrival.. 2 and half hours past checkin... Moved myself to new room... Broken tv in new room.. Gave up on that.... Both new and old rooms extemely musty odor!!!.. Wife has allergys... Not pretty!

The absolute disgusting....
The terrible smell for two days all around the cxompound after it poured for 10 minutes 1 evening... Raw sewage ???? Who knows??? When the breeze blew it my way , i wanted to gag!luckily it was our last 2 days and we left!.... Disgusting!

  • Stayed: January 2012
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3  Thank Strazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2012

We stayed here the week after Christmas, including New Years Day. I have to say, that earlier last year we also stayed at Iberostar in Riviera Maya, so even though the two hotels are different, I couldn't help but compare them in some respects.
The ride from the airport was quick, the check in went fast, with no issues at all. Our room was ready and the reception clerk took us to our room right away. We had a partial ocean view room (#5244) on the Punta Cana side. The room does face the ocean, the view, however, was partially blocked by a big palm tree, which was not a big deal for me, personally. We could still see the ocean, the beach and the pools from our balcony.
I heard about all the construction going on, but really, once we got to the room I kept wondering what was it that they did, because the room could really use some remodeling/painting. Everything was functioning properly, but you could tell the building is very old. Same thing with the pool - it is old, scratched and all. There was a guy cleaning it daily though.
The pool (both of them) was also waaaay smaller then the one in Riviera Maya (but that one is really hard to beat :-)). Knowing that this is a Holiday season and it would be very very busy, reading all the posts on here, I had very very low expectations. However, I never had a problem getting a chair either by the pool or on the beach. It was busy, true, but they still had enough chairs for everyone. Same thing with the La Marimba buffet for lunch - it was crowded, but there was always a table for everyone. The food here was ok, I guess, nothing special. I'd say very similar to the food in Iberostar in Riviera Maya. We normally had breakfast at one of the buffets in the loby, I really liked the one on Punta Cana side better, but they were pretty much the same.
Had no problem booking our a-la-carte reservations. You have to make it in person in the lobby though. For a-la-carte we went to Maria Bonita (Mexican), La Marimba (International), and the Steakhouse. I liked the Mexican restaurant - food was great, great salad bar, good service. La Marimba was also nice, very good service as well.
Steakhouse was not so good. I mean, the food was great but the service was painfully slow, we had to ask 2-3-4 times for drinks. Just a side note - a lot of staff in restaurants, the bar, maids - do not speak English or speak very very little.
The beach was just beautyful, better then the one in Riviera Maya. Plenty of chairs, plenty of room for everyone. The water was a little rough though, so we couldn't do much swimming over there.
We also went to the Bavaro side, we can use their pool but cannot order from their bars, use the towel service, etc. We just brought our drinks with us when went over there.
They have this little waterpark-kind of structure with several slides for the little ones, which they absolutely love. :-) The Bavaro guests have different color bracelets from what Punta Cana/Dominicana guests have - but only grown ups. Kids had the same color bracelets in all 3 hotels, so my daughter had no problem getting soda from their bars. ;-) The kids club is located on the Bavaro side as well, and here I must say I liked the one in Mexico better, same goes for their mini disco at night. It was ok, my daughter loved it, they took them to the pool and had some competition for them, and also went to the beach to build sand castles, so they did have fun. Because all 3 hotels use this same kids club, they separate the kids from Bavaro into one group, and then the kids from Punta Cana/Dominicana - into a separate group, and so the kids have different activities. My daughter ended up in an all-boys group, which she wasn't too happy about.
The animation staff was good, nightly shows were ok. New Years eve celebration was great with a special show, gala buffet (reservations required), fireworks, disco (we didn't go, but I hear it was a blast).
So all in all this was a good resort, and I was about to give it the highest rating, but then the day of the departure I had to deal with the bell boys and that's when I changed my mind. :-(
As I was told, I called the bell boys an hour before our scheduled transportation and they said they will send somebody over right away. 30 minutes later - I called again (and again those guys don't speak very good English, but I did repeat over and over the time of our airport transportation). Anyways, he did eventually come and get our luggage, took it to the lobby, and I did tip him (not sure why, really :-/). So when our transportation got there and our luggage was sitting by the bell boys desk, he goes "Do you want to go get your luggage because they're about to leave" :-O Silly me, I thought that's what bell boys do - carry luggage :-( I mean, I don't mind carrying it myself, but all of our party were sitting in the bus so I was basically stuck with 5 or 6 pieces of luggage myself, and the guy saw it. Did I not tip him enough, is that it?
Anyways, other then this, everything was just great. The maid was very nice, our room was always clean, we had flowers and towel animals there every day. The New Years gala buffet was awesome. Food was good, the service in general was way better then what we saw in Riviera Maya.

Room Tip: If you get an Ocean View room - just be aware, you will hear the music the night they have beach party.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank TheBeginner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2012

Stayed in the Hotel for a week at the end of October. Hotel itself isnt brand new as it was built in 1997 and renovated in 2003. You can tell its age although there is a lot of ongoing renovations.
The room weve stayed in was very spacious with balcony overlooking the swimming pool as well as the ocean. Hotels service is top notch from cleaning to dining. Great food and drinks with few a la carte and two main self serve restaurants. Variety of different cusine from local with loads of seafood to thai or mexican.
The main thing that makes this hotel is its staff. Always smiling,singing and entertaining.
The hotel has one of the nicest beaches on that part of the coast. Soft sand, crystal clear water and plenty of sunbeds. Cleaned couple times a day.
I can definitely recommend it to everyone who`s looking for a bit of paradise!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Majkidublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

it's a good place, not a great place. beach was nice and clean, but crowded. The buffets were tastey but unoriginal. The staff was very fun and energetic. The room was clean, but nothing fancy. We went for our honeymoon, i wish we had spent a some more money and gone to a nicer place.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank TONY P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

Positives first: The beach is fantastic. Crystal clear water, a bit choppy at times, but beautiful to look at and fun to swim in. We never had a problem getting a spot even though we would get there after 11am most days. Also, it felt very safe with lots of security. This hotel has a ton of water activities, all for free, including catamarans which are loads of fun (if you know what you're doing). There are sailing lessons for the basics ($40 for 1 person, $60 for 2 people), but it definitely helps to speak Spanish as most of the water sports staff (besides the front desk person) speak little English.

The food was hit or miss, but they definitely had enough good food to make up for the misses. The desserts are a bit lackluster, but the fruit is amazing, especially the fresh coconut, mango, passion fruit, and papaya . We tried out some of the restaurants. The "Oriental" had a great appetizer bar with sushi, yummy soup options, and all sorts of good food on skewers. The entrees were very mediocre, however. The menu could use some tightening up as it is all over the place trying to tie in food from every part of Asia. I appreciate the idea, but I think it tends to affect overall quality. The ambiance here was quite lovely, though. The Steakhouse is on the water, and since it's not air conditioned, men can wear shorts. The sirloin is something to stay away from, but the ribeye was fantastic. We did not enjoy the "upsell" on the bottles of wine here, and the rudeness of the waiter when we were disinterested, but this type of attitude was rare as most of the staff was wonderful. Lastly, "La Sibila" (Gourmet Restaurant) had a simple menu with surf/turf options which were all cooked and prepared just right.

The coffee was really good, especially at the bar. Other highlights include paella and softserve just steps away from the pool and beach (served in the same spot that magically turns into the Steakhouse at night with the simple addition of tablecloths).

The rooms are comfortable and clean, but could use a facelift. There were some unidentifiable spots on the underside of the top blanket, which I was none to thrilled to have touch the pillows when the bed was made up. As for convenience, all the rooms are in an accessible area since the hotel is essentially two long buildings, so you are either closer to the restaurants on one end, or closer to the pool/beach on the other. The furniture is all quite heavy and none of the pieces have felt padding on the legs and are resting on tile floors, so anytime our upstairs neighbor moved anything (which was too often too count), you could hear a loud screeching on the ceiling. It also doesn't help if they like to wear heels indoors. I would ask for a room on the top floor next time to avoid having to deal with this.

For the most part the staff is very warm and hospitable. We would leave a few bucks for the cleaning staff every day or two and the rooms were made up extra nice with fun towel arrangements. You can also leave notes for any special requests (like beverages in the mini fridge) or just a simple "gracias".

The Punta Cana/Dominicana difference is hard to understand. The hotels are basically intertwined and you end up on each other's side without knowing it. As far as I could tell, the only difference was the rooms (Dominicana has a different condo-like layout), but you share most of the same facilities. We did want to go over to look at the Bavaro's pool once just to see, but were kicked out within moments of stepping on their side--even after explaining that we were just there to see if we would perhaps like to stay there next time we book a trip. I guess you pay for the exclusivity.

New Year's was a blast. The buffet was fabulous and the outdoor party on Bavaro's golf course was super, with a good DJ and the ocean breeze, as well as fire pits lit up in the sand and complete with fireworks. Transportation however was very disorganized. There was no line and everyone essentially mobbed the entrance of the bus after having waited a good 20minutes+ to be picked up only to be dropped off at the Bavaro hotel only, leaving you to walk 10-15 minutes to the Punta Cana in the wee hours of the morning.

Negatives: Entertainment or "La Animacion". Every night after the kid's show, there would be "entertainment", but really it was like watching terrible television and reminded me of awful Game shows on Telemundo, with occasional sound clips to keep the upbeat vibe. The show was entirely based on audience participation, which can be fun for a bit but grows old quickly. I would have definitely preferred more choreographed shows. On an evening stroll through the Bavaro we did see a bit of a show that was a professional looking number from "Chicago", but sadly this was not the case at the Punta Cana, with the one exception of New Year's eve. That night here was a really fun performance of 70s hits by a professional dance troop. I would have liked to see more of that.

The gym only had 1 functioning treadmill, and though I was there for a full week--the other 2 never got serviced. Also, although the gym is right on the beach, the palm fringe that overhangs the roof obscures what could be a beautiful view. They really should cut that off so that you can actually look out on the water during your workout.

What was also a downside was having to reserve jacuzzis ahead of time. Often the slots were filled up if you wanted to go that same day. (This goes for the sauna and the steam room as well.) While it is really nice to have your own reserved private jacuzzi, it's hard to schedule this when you are on vacation and want to have freedom and flexibility. I would have preferred that they block off free time when anyone can come use the jacuzzis and keep a block of time for scheduled private time. The water temperature was also not close to hot enough. And lastly, a simple thing to help with the comfort of the locker area is to have hangers on the shower stall/changing areas.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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9  Thank ciaoduh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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