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Reviews (7,269)
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Reviewed 9 July 2008

We choose Domincan republic for our destination wedding because the wedding coordinator said it had great beaches and was more afordable than some of the other countries nearby. It's more affordable because the country is poor and dirty! Driving from the airport all you see if tiny shacks and garbage everywhere. We were going to rent a car and travel the island after the wedding but when we got there we discovered this would be way to dangerous. The driving there is horrible and the people there outside the resorts just want your money.

DO NOT USE CREDIT CARDS THERE. Almost everything that went had hundreds of dollars of fraudulent charges on their credit cards within a month of returning. Even people that used their credit card once on the resort at the souvenier shop. Nobody left the resort because it was so dangerous, so obviously the apple guys that sold us excursions somehow stole all of our credit card numbers. I was very careful due to the warnings on the US department of state website about credit card fraud and visitors being targets for criminal activity.

We were married over a month ago and the wedding certificate that we were suppose to get within 1 week still has yet to arrive. The staff there is very unresponsive to my numerous emails and attempts to contact them. The worst part is there is nothing we can do if they do not send it to us. The wedding itself was very unorganized. The wedding coordinator we met our first day there and never saw her again. The original wedding coordinator is out having a baby. They told us that our wedding was booked the day before that we had asked for and they had confirmed. Our destination wedding coordinator had to argue with them and force them to change it, which meant our wedding was immediately followed by another wedding and our dinner was delayed as they somehow got to eat first.

The resort itself was ok, but i prefer to go somewhere where they don't beg for tips and its ok to leave the resort.

  • Stayed: June 2008
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1  Thank milwaukeewiWi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2008

My husband, my 2 children and I stayed at the iberostar punta cana June 17-25. We stayed at the Parisio beach/delmar Iberostar last August and we came to the conclusion that this resort was not as nice as the one in Mexico. The positive---- The landscape is beautiful, everything is groomed nicely, and the workers at the resort are very nice and eager to please. It is not necessary to tip, but they really do appreciate it and they deserve it. The beach is absolutely gorgeous, just like all of the other reviews say. The sand feels like flour under your feet. My children really enjoyed this beach. If you are offended by nudity, you do not want to stay here. We had to tell our children that people from other countries don't see a problem with being topless and it is just something they do. It really wasn't a big deal. After seeing a few it was almost like you didn't notice it anymore, they just blended in with the crowd. Most of them should have kept their tops on, I was not impressed, and really didn't see the point of walking around with half of a bathing suit. Although my kids did not take advantage of the kids club, other children seemed to really have fun. The schedule was full of activities, things like archery, tennis, art, water polo, water soccer, water trampoline, dancing for children right before the nightly show etc etc. I would recommend this hotel for families. There are places to go that are more quiet than others, but if you want more lively, you would want to hang out on the dominicana side. The FOOD---it was average by all inclusive standards. If you have stayed all inclusive before you will most likely agree. I am not a picky eater at all, and at times I found myself going through the buffet and not ending up with much on my plate. The food in Mexico was much better in my opinion. Breakfast is usually my favorite meal at all inclusive resorts, and I found it a bit strange, and not very good. The pancakes didn't taste like much, and they always had deli meats that looked like they had been there for days, don't eat them! They had wierd things like onion rings on the breakfast buffet, maybe its a European thing. I also read other reviews that said one buffet catered more to europeans, and the other catered more to americans, and I looked at both buffets (punta cana side, and dominicana side) and they were exactly the same. Don't get me wrong, some things were really good. There is plenty of choices and the presentation of the food is beautiful. They have several reservation restaurants on site besides the buffets, and we found them all to be good. We did mexican, seafood, and the gourmet, which is a 5 course meal and lobster is the main course. I got sick and was not able to eat mine, but my son and husband were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. There is a sports bar as well, and it was pretty good, but we talked to others who thought it was awful. Make sure you get your reservations squared away as soon as you get there. We did not have any problems, but we talked to others who did. Alcoholic beverages---- The lobby bars have the best tasting drinks, and the one on the beach (dominican side) has the worst, I call it rot gut liquor. If you want premium alcohol you have to ask for it, and it is not a problem. I have read many reviews complaining about the drinks being terrible, but it is most likely because they did not ask for the better alcohol. We purchased our own big mugs before we left for our trip, and had them fill it up in the lobby with the better alcohol. The negative--- The rooms----They could use some renovating, and it seems like they are in the process of doing that. We initially had an ocean view when we got there, but the mattresses were so worn out it was obvious to the eye, and the body. After two nights I could not stand it anymore! We asked to be moved, and we found out that they had a brand new set of rooms on the punta cana side (just a few months old) not even on the map yet. We switched and it was a little better, but not great by most standards. The maid service was horrible once we moved rooms. We tipped the first day, and when we didn't have facial cloths or enough water for us to all brush our teeth we didn't tip again. One morning around 5am my husband went down to the lobby to ask for water and the guy at the desk said he did not have access to any water until the maids arrived. So lets see, we are at an all inclusive resort, and we have enough beer in the fridge to get you drunk, but no water! We have animals made out of towels with flowers all over, but not water. We also went 8 nights with out one single wash cloth. She didn't refill the soap and shampoo dispenser either. So make sure you bring a couple of wash cloths from home. Overall this is a good place, but I didn't feel like they paid much attention to details. Like the floors were somewhat dingy, and the restroom on the punta cana side had a broken soap dispenser, and it was that way for my entire trip. This resort does not live up to the iberostar standard. I still enjoyed my trip, but I would choose another resort for a return trip to punta cana.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank reeLouisiana_US
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2008

This was our first time in Dominican Republic. Being honest, several friends advised us not to go to Punta Cana, because of their horrible experiences out there. My gut feelings were assertive. Once we got off from the airport, we confirmed what our friends said about the place. All we saw for the next hour dumped garbage all over the places, and dust. What a mess. Our nightmare did not even start, yet! Our stay at the Iberostar Punta Cana hotel was more than a nightmare. Food was tasteless, and waiter and entertainment staff were inattentive and careless. If you do not show them up the tips since the beginning, they just ignore you for the entire week. The rooms are deteriorated, and the restaurants are overbooked. Therefore, they just allow you to reserve one or two times for the week. Staff is very rude and inflexible. One day we dared to go to Higuey, a close small town, and we got so scared, because the habitants use to chase you even you ask them to leave you alone. We did not know what they wanted from us, but it was so scary experience. Bottom line, CANCUN IS THE BEST PLACE TO GO IN THE CARIBEAN. We have been there ten times, and we never got disappointed about anything. Mexicans are wonderful people to share your spare time.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Connie59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2008

We just returned from IB* Punta Cana and can't say enough great things about the resort. the staff was friendly and warm, the rooms were clean and so were the grounds.

After the airport arrival and finding our transfer, we were whisked away to the IB* in an airconditioned bus. The driver drove just like the rest of the Dominicans and we all had a great time laughing during the ride. It was about 35 min. to the resort. We got there around 11:40 AM and found a room to be ready for us. We were taken to the room by the bellboy. At first I was nervous because of the construction going on in the building but it was at the other end of where our room was. And once inside the room, with the AC running you don't hear any outside noises, unless it's directly outside your door.

Our room was clean, cool and comfortable. We had the towel art on the bed and chocolates. We settled in and headed to the ocean. The ocean was just beautiful. The sand was white and powdery and clean.

Each staff person we met and dealt with was friendly and kind. Everywhere you went, there was someone cleaning or serving. The pools were clean and relaxing. We never had trouble finding chairs, even at 2 in the afternoon.

We did catch a virus from home and brought our colds with us so we visited the IB* clinic and were well taken care of. We made use of the internet cafe as well.

The food was great and there was always a variety of choices and places available to eat . We had 3 reservations but only used 2 due to my illness. The lobster dinner was great and very romantic. The Dominican people try very hard to make things perfect. The steakhouse meal was great as well.

I would return to this place as soon as money allows!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank micie66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2008

We are a 44 year old couple from the UK and went to the DR Iberostar (Punta cana) from 6 - 21 June 2008. We have read all previous messages, mainly from the USA, and were a bit unsure as to whether we believed them or not. This is our experience:

Check In - Very Painless after an 8 hour flight.
Top Tip - I agree with other posts where you give 20 dollars to the check in girl and get an upgrade - we did and got a sea-view (although you cna't really see the sea as there are coconut trees in front!) I had a ready made Spanish script for her but she - and all the other members of staff, spoke perfect English. 10/10

Room - No problems at all. Room was always clean, if a little dated. Annoyed that the staff/bell boy, pointed to where we should go (300m) "to the left" !! After a day travelling - not what we wanted. Our colleagues had the same. Please insist on being taken to your room. 9/10

Grounds - Well documented.... lovely, as were the Rooster, flamingos and peacocks. 10/10.

Beach - here we go ...... Lovely 10/10. Not "out of this world" but excellent. Beaches in Greece, Cyprus and S. France are equally as good.

Palapas/Shade on Beach - 1/10. ALL countries reserve sun beds under the palapas (US, Germans (who invented it and are very good at it), Dutch, French and Brits.) You either conform to getting up at 7am to reserve your bed or sit in the sun all day. We had to follow suit as removing personal belongings from reserved beds does not warrant the impending arguements. You are on holiday after all and do not need the grief - even if you are right. I'm ashamed to say I reserved beds too. I have to say that I "liberated" a few sunbeds as some folk take the micky by reserving beds and arrive at the beach at 11.30. Many genuine other folk are searching for shade well before then and I got sick of it (we were on the beach by 9am). Therefore I moved their towels and hid them at the other end of the beach!!! Really childish but very good for the soul!! Watching these Frenchies argue with people who genuinely did not have any towels on their beds when they sat down (as I moved them - and they couldn't believe their luck!) searching up and down the beach for their towels was SO SO amusing. They then lost their 10$ each deposit for their towel. C'est Le Vie I think they said....
There are signs on the palapas and in the welcome papers saying not to reserve, but the hotel do not take action. I argued and argued with them to remove towels but nothing was done - and is unlikely to either - no matter what.
There are however, hundreds of beds around the pool and on the open beach.

Pool - 10/10.

Food - 6/10. Personal choice here. We do not like buffet food - and we knew the score before we left the UK of what to expect. The food was great and many variations - all others loved it but we prefer a meal not a plate full of little odds and sods to eat. Personal choice as I say. Food pretty much avail. 24/7.

Hygiene - 8/10. We both had tummy bugs for 6 days on arrival. really bad with cramps and after effects. Imodium is a must. That cured it and the remainder of the hol went well. Do not brush your teeth with bathroom water - this may have been the reason. All other water/ice (allegedly) is purified.

Water Sports - 10/10. for $40 you can learn to sail the Hoby Cat (catamaran) sail boats. 6 of them available an hour a day - once you know how to - free for an hour every day. I loved it. As are kayaks and windsurfing.

Drinks - 8/10. Staff are brilliant (a $1 a day to Johnny ensured premium service). Vodka - although opened in front of us, was watered down. Half a glass of vodka with a splash of coke would still be clearish in the UK, not there - which suggests some jiggery pokery going on! You could not even taste it either which will explain no hang overs. Whisky was 100% as was Gin. Cocktails are rubbish.

Overall - great place. If you love buffet - you'll love this place. Cancun was the yardstick and this just failed to match it.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank jeffh-j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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