Punta Cana

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Best hotels in Punta Cana, based on:
#1 Excellence El Carmen
#1 Excellence El Carmen
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
50 reviews
ExcellentE!
What a wonderful vacation! My husband and I visited Excellence El Carmen February 12th to 19th. We are a couple in our late 30's and early 40's with 2 children that we left at home, we live in Manitoba, Canada. This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic. We've been to Mexico and Cuba multiple times on all-inclusive vacations, with and without the kids. The Punta Cana Airport: I was warned that the immigration line-up could be terrible, but I didn't realize HOW bad it would be. We waited in line with HUNDREDS of other people for 1.5 hours. It really was a super huge disappointment. We didn't make it to our resort until almost 6:00. Which meant we really didn't have much sun left for the day. I would 100% prebook VIP at the airport next time if I could. The transfer to the hotel was fairly quick, only about 40 mins with 1 drop off on the way. Once we arrived at the resort we were very warmly welcomed "HOME" by Edwin. Cool cloth to freshen up, glass of champagne, and a lovely walk through the lobby to the concierge who checked us in quickly and offered treats from the excellence club lounge from their chocolate party. We were then taken to our room which was fabulous! The room: Excellence Club Swimout suite. 5051 (5A). We were the first room on the corner. We were welcomed with fresh flowers, petit fours, and a bottle of sparking wine. We were also left with a full minibar and 4 bottles of premium liquor. The walk-in closet was so awesome for all of our stuff. I really appreciated having space to lay out our clothes without having to keep them in the suitcase. We were given bath robes and slippers to use during our stay. The bathroom was my only complaint about the room. It just wasn't private enough. The bathroom needs a separation. The toilet had a separate door, but it still didn't feel very private. I was always worried, cleaning staff, or anyone else would walk in while I was in the shower or something. You could actually see through the patio doors into the mirror where you could fully see a person in the shower. So I was always careful to make sure the curtains were totally closed. But it also meant that anytime anyone got up early in the morning or in the middle of the night to use the washroom, you woke up your partner. The bed was fine, totally comfortable, clean. The cleaning staff always made it up nice during the day, and we had turn down service in the evening. We were often in our room during turn down so didn't always get it. The swim up patio was hands down the best thing I've ever experienced at a resort! I LOVED having a little pool and a patio to hang out at. We could hear the ocean from our patio. It was lovely. I did find the main pool to be somewhat loud in the afternoons if I wanted to relax and read my book. But often we were at the main pool during the afternoons to enjoy the activities. The swim up pool was colder than the main pool but I enjoyed it, it was refreshing. I enjoyed being able to float and relax. Our room was on the A side and found it didn't get sun until around 12:00 and was gone by 5:30 - 6:00. It seemed as though the B side had sun the whole day. Main pool: lots of fun activities at the main pool where the swim-up bar is. We really enjoyed pool bingo and meeting new people. The drinks at this bar seemed to be VERY strong (or i just had too many ;). I believe the bartender here was Julio Caesar who was always helpful. The main pool closes at 6. So it felt a little early as we were really enjoying hanging out with people we met. This pool was quite warm! Restaurants: We went to Magna our first night as we were pretty tired from travelling all day and just wanted to eat and go to bed. The service was amazing, the food was delicious, portions were perfect (not too big). We booked the cooking show at Spice, you are supposed to call between 5 and 6 and then they give you a time slot. Ours wasn't until 9:00 but we were fine with that. We had a snack at the sportsbar and hung out with Felix for a bit. The cooking show was ok, Marcellano was our cook. He was friendly and the food was delicious. I think we had a quiet group, so it wasn't spectacular. The Lobster House for breakfast was delicious. It was so wonderful not to have to eat Buffet food all week. I loved that you could order what you wanted. We ordered room service for lunch one day because we just wanted to relax by our pool. Room service is awesome! We also ordered for dinner because after hanging out at the main pool we were exhausted. It was quick and delicious. We went to the grill one night. Super good! The bread with dips they give you when you arrive is delicious. We did have to wait about 30 mins when we went, I think we just went at the busiest time. We had the most amazing Valentine's Day dinner. It was outside the middle of the resort. They worked all day setting it up. They had an amazing saxophone player, a dominican band, and dancers. It was beautiful. The dinner was soooooooo delicious, the best I had all week. We enjoyed Chez Isabelle on our last night. We went with two other couples and it was SO lovely. Carlos was our server, and he always made sure our wine glasses were full ;). We decided to try the lunch buffet for a quick lunch, honestly, best buffet I've seen! There was so many options and the food was delicious. We tried Oregano for lunch as well, so nice to be in the open air by the ocean. The beach: so perfect. Soft clean sand. No rocks. The excellence club area on the beach was great. David would remember us by name and bring us to a lounge chair or bali bed and set up our towels for us. We felt so very well taken care of. Carmen would remember what we were drinking and bring them to us without us even asking. Excursions: We weren't going to bother this time around but a couple we met invited us on a boat trip. It was called happy Fish. They picked us up at 1:00 and brought us to a beach closer to downtown punta cana. It was a small-ish boat with only 11 passengers so it was nice! The tour guides were Daniel, Franky, and Rafael. They were so much fun and took great care of us! We went to a snorkelling area, and then a natural swimming pool area. They brought out a floating bar and served us drinks in the water! There was even a slide on the boat which was fun! We returned to the hotel around 6:00. It was a perfect day! Spa: this spa was so luxurious! The hydrotherapy was so awesome. It was such a refreshing circuit. We had a couples massage after and it was so lovely and relaxing. I also added the lifting facial mask. Absolutely no complaints. They do have daily specials so we did that. Entertainment: So fun! The Dominican band was great, they played at the plaza a few nights, then the shows at the theatre were fun to watch. Great dancing. Very entertaining! Staff: BEST STAFF I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED! I don't know if this is because we've never been to DR or because of the resort. Either way, I loved the staff here and had many great conversations with them. Alvin at the Martini Bar was one of my favourites, along with Joan who made sure making drinks looked fun! Yireny would come to our pool and ask if we wanted drinks and was always smiling! Jensel was a server at Magna, he was so friendly, polite, and took great care of us. Black Coffee and Spaghetti sure made sure that the guests were all having fun! The ladies at the coffee shop... Leocaria, Joandry, and a few others I can't remember! They made some pretty amazing coffee, love that this was available. Yanet was the concierge at building 5. She was always making sure we were happy. When we were sadly having to leave, Hector made sure our stuff was safe and that we didn't have to lift a thing. Happy Jaun made us want to stay forever! Very long review: I know there is so much more that I could add! It was overall the best vacation I've ever been on. Not having to fight for towels, chairs, or reservations at a la carte restaurants. Having a swim out room is the best. Staff was incredible.
#4 Bahia Principe Luxury Ambar
#4 Bahia Principe Luxury Ambar
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
901 reviews
Spoiled at Ambar!
We travelled as a couple to Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Feb 4-11,2020. We were completely spoiled during our stay here! At check in we received our welcome cocktail and cool cloth and were quickly checked in and upgraded to a swim out room at our request. Our butler was very attentive and always answered our requests and made a point of checking on us throughout the resort when we would run into him. The food is amazing both at the buffets and the a la cartes! There is something for everyone -you will never go hungry! We even enjoyed the room service! The beach is just beautiful and the ocean was unbelievably warm! We had a palapa each day so I could enjoy the shade while my husband could sun worship. The waiters on the beach were plentiful and checked back often for your order. The staff throughout the resort were the best we have ever experienced! So kind, helpful and always courteous. The rooms were always clean and the beds were pretty comfortable. We had turn down service every night. I did request extra pillows from the pillow menu. Coffee shop has great coffee. You can visit the adjoining resorts without issue although it's huge so bring your runners! We did not do any excursions as we have done most of them in previous trips to the Dominican. We enjoyed the music each night in the lobby but didn't go to any other shows at the theatre of sports bar. We loved our time here so much we are already planning to go back!
#8 Adults Only Club At Lopesan Costa Bavaro
#8 Adults Only Club At Lopesan Costa Bavaro
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
36 reviews
I do not recommend this hotel
Let's start by saying I would not recommend this resort but that is also due to a very unfortunate experience I had with drug dealers on the resort. Let me explain by giving pros and cons. Pros: • The resort as a whole is gorgeous. Can't say enough about the décor • Rooms are big, shower is AMAZING and well decorated • The food was fantastic. The Valley and the YOLO were our favorites • The workers, for the most part, were friendly • Beach is beautiful and water is stunning. (Winds were 40-65 km gusts but that is out of our control) • Waterpark is wonderful but very far from beach. Cons: • Check-in was confusing. Nothing clearly stated the different levels of check-in. I asked and was checked in at the Unique lobby(Unique/Adult/Reg) • Unique has it's own lobby area to check in, there is an adults only club but no one knew what it was for when we asked the staff but there was a sign stating adult check in to the left when we got off the transfer bus. • Massive lounge chair issue on the beach and around the pools. Most loungers were taken by 8am. Ppl were removing guests personal belongings and throwing them every and anywhere they felt when the original occupants were in the water swimming or gone for a drink at the beach bar. There were altercations on the beach a few times regarding chairs. There are people who stay in the Lopesan villas who have access to the beach and the resort chairs and have a roped off area to the left of the resort by the market. It was just …….. bad. Unique has it's own section but is barely used taking chair access away from everyone else but you can't take loungers from their section. Unique side was mostly ALWAYS empty yet they wouldn't serve anyone other than Unique members. • The rooms were not stocked consistently. One day the maid took our towels/face cloths and didn't give us any in return so we had to hand in our beach towels daily to be used as shower towels to get cleaned up, no coffee restock, there was blood on our sheets and pillow case, the toilet wasn't cleaned. I approached the maid a few different times for items missing but she had no idea what I was trying to say. I had to start leaving notes in the room written in Spanish translation on what I requested in the room to be refilled. I wasn't asking anything extra, just the essentials. • The resort is lacking garbage cans which created litter all over the resort. This is not a resort worker issue it is the guests not respecting the property at all. • Some areas are vey unsafe, adults only pool in particular. There are spaces between tiles with a 2 foot drop in between them. One lady fell through and broke her leg and a different man slipped and his leg went through the space to receive a HUGE gash bleeding everywhere. The staff didn't clean the blood up. The people staying at the resort had to get cups, fill with water to clean the blood by splashing water on it into the water feature. • The bathrooms around the resort were very untidy and many not working. There was used toilet paper on the floor in the rest room stalls, no soap/toilet paper or hand towel to dry. • The rooms were very wet. I understand the Caribbean and humidity but they could definitely use some dehumidifiers around the resort. It was very very smelly in areas, especially the lobby bar, to the point where we sometimes gagged and had to leave the area. • If guests are looking for pool or beach service there is none to be had so I recommend taking a BIG bubba to not get up every 5 minutes. • El a carte times were terrible and the restaurants are very small, not enough space for the amount of people staying at the resort. • Not much for activities around the resort (no tennis/basketball/etc.) • Nothing for entertainment Now the worst part of it all. ***4 days of hell*** COCAINE DRUG DEALERS. (this is long) The second night we were at the resort I was approached by a man in the adults only pool area asking if I smoke weed and would I like any, I said no. He then asked if I would like to do a line (cocaine) with him. I became very uncomfortable said no I don't do that and tried to turn away and ignore him. He then proceeded to ask if my friends did. I said no sorry, not our thing. He eventually went to his friend who was at the bar. My friend went to the bar for a drink and was approached by the guys friend asking if she wanted anything. We were very uncomfortable and left. The next day, in the adults section again, the same men came into the area. You could tell something wasn't right as the bartenders were acting very strange, intimidated. 2 of the women bartenders went behind the bar with one of the guys selling drug and eventually came back and placed something behind the bar. I'm not sure what it was. The next day, there was a commotion, altercation with these same men at the beach bar. This is when I realized one of the men was not wearing a bracelet and the other had on a regular bracelet (white not red), not the adults only. This confused me as how did he get into the adults section if there was no bracelet and the other bracelet was incorrect when security was clearly checking bands when we tried to enter the area. We started paying attention and noticed throughout the resort these men were speaking to many of the security guards and staff and when they approached a bar, the bartenders immediately would tend to them first. That same night, I was walking back to my room when one of the guys was following me in the hall on the 2nd floor. I was watching a hockey game on my ipad as I was walking to my room but could feel someone approaching and talking to me so I paused my ipad, turned around and told the guy I was not interested in what he had. I noticed there was a older couple ahead and told the guy I needed to catch up to the people ahead of us. They must have noticed I was in distress so they stopped to wait for me. They asked if I was in trouble, I said yes, the lady put her arm out so I was ahead of them creating space between me and the guy. (all of this would be on tape because of surveillance) We continued toward the elevator with the man still following us. Meanwhile he was saying racial slurs and being extremely rude. He was clearly under the influence of something, he was holding a beer in his hand. We reach the elevator and he gets in with the 3 of us. In the elevator he was getting up in the mans face making threats. We reached the 3rd floor where the guy got out continuing to yell at us calling us racists and such. The door finally closes and we proceed to my floor (4th) as they didn't want to leave me alone. The man said we was going to call security but I gave them information about the drugs offers and the fact we saw them speaking with security so I was scared to call them just in case they were in cahoots, gave my room number and they come to get me. (yes, I was terrified) We seen them the next day but avoided at every cost. I was so scared and have never had that feeling in my life. The second last night we were in the Valley restaurant and while getting drinks made we noticed the bartender passing something to a gentleman. Within minutes of that exchange, that same bartender asked if we wanted cocaine. I'm not sure what kind of operation this is or if this is normal for this country but I am very hesitant to return.
#12 Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
#12 Majestic Colonial Punta Cana
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
373 reviews
2nd time. Not the last
Stayed Jan. 26/20 to Feb 9/20, exact dates as our stay in 2016. Very popular resort for Canadians who return yearly. Once again, we upgraded to the Colonel Club. We felt it was well worth the additional cost. Separate check in, lounge, designated location on beach, pool, etc. Our butler, Alexander who was very attentive to our needs. Cannot say enough regarding the excellent service. Staff very attentive, warm and welcoming. From Candido's smiling face at the buffet, to Cedona at the Steak house. Knew both from previous visits. Hats off to Luis our waiter at the beach for my Caesars, Euclides at the pool for his kindness and Junior, the pool concierge who visited us regularly to see if we needed anything. Immaculate resort. Fun for all ages. Weekly beach party continues to be a success. Always knew what was happening as activities listed throughout the resort. Food good and plentiful. Steak house amazing. Mexican good. Did not go to other restaurants as happy with the buffet. All buildings have elevators and a completely covered walkway from rooms to beach, pool, front lobby, etc. Beautiful pool section for toddlers and young children located at the front of the resort. Beach is beautiful. No seaweeds. Large pool with quiet areas and active spots run by the fabulous activity team. Foam party twice a week. No issues with room. Lots of hot water. The circus was the best of the nightly entertainment with the Michael Jackson show next. Music and dancing proceeded the nightly show. Also have a piano bar in the main lobby. Only used our room to sleep and change for dinner. Stayed in room 3330. Great view.
#19 Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort Spa And Casino
#19 Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort Spa And Casino
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
61 reviews
Missing the past
We stayed here when it was IFA 7 years ago. Loved it. Went back. Totally disappointed. There was a sewer backup that smelled terrible and it was all around the lobby and in the Mexican restaurant. We were there for 4 days before we actually got a beach chair, twice, on the beach, despite a bunch reserved for the "Unique" which no one used. We never had one near the pool. All of the chairs were removed from the children's pool leaving parents to stand while their children played in the pool. Spent several days with the power going off and on. Several days without water off and on. It took a couple of days to get a beach towel. Little entertainment. In our room by 9:00 every night. I seen at least 4 people injured by slipping on wet marble. When it was smaller staff always cleaned and removed hazards.The mirrors in the elevators had the same mess, which looked like sneezes, on them the full 7 days we were there. There were 2 elevators close to our room, which, until the 6th day, only one worked. Check in was slow. Slow line, in the sewer smell to ask any question/request from the reception. Offered change, but never had change.Although it took us a year to save to come back, based on our past experience, I looked out of the bus window and wished for a lottery win to bring all of my children and grandchildren. The water slide park,, the archade, the beach, melted my heart wishing everyone could see this was changed as it took forever to check in, smelling sewer waste, gross elevators. Imagine your 5 year old grandchild touching that to show you something. Then, the little ones can't be long at the pool because it is hot and there is no where to sit. Can't sit at the beach or other pools either because there are no chairs. I feel really bad because I am not a negative person. I don't bad mouth people or businesses. But you went too big, too fast and did not consider your staff or your customers. Please think about the fact that without staff and customers, it doesn't matter who or what you are, you can't succeed. You might be busy until the word gets around, but eventually there is no one. Oh yeah and every shower leaks all over the floor. We were three different couples in three different rooms, all the same.

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