Punta Cana Visit
Posted 13 October 2009 - 12:35 PM
The trip started off interesting. Missed our first flight by 5 min. Got sent from EWR to JFK to go standby and missed that flight by 10 min. Was rescheduled for a flight later that night that had an 11 hr layover in San Juan getting us to the island a day later. After getting lost in Queens driving home, then trekking back up to JFK that night, we made it to PR at 2:30am. Rushed over to the Hampton Inn so we could sleep for 4 hrs and shower & then back to the airport for our quick little flight to DR the next a.m. Moral of the story...when your TA advises you to get to the airport 2 hrs early...you should listen to her Oh yea, and I slipped in a puddle at the airport & banged up my knee pretty bad too. Trip was off to a great start! LOL
But it got better!! Finally in DR we arrive in one piece (with little sanity left). After going through Customs (which was fairly quick), & paying for our $10 tourist card (cash only), we got our bags & were off to our first hotel, the Moon Palace.
At the MP we were part of a large group so we did checkin at the convention side of the resort. Quick and painless. Now this resort is not fully open yet so there were NO crowds anywhere. Like the MP in Mexico, this place is HUGE. Almost 2000 rooms. VERY spreadout. It is very minimalistic, very modern. Water seems to be the theme as there were fountains, infinity pools, lakes everywhere you turned. We were in the bldg closest to the main lobby bldgs which was good since that is where most of our activities were held. Most of the dining venues are in this area too. The staff everywhere we went couldn't be more helpful. We ate at several of the restaurants & the food was excellent. I loved the pizza & the steakhouse for dinner was fabulous. I will say this though, on the convention/catering side, they have not yet mastered keeping food hot & fresh. Some of the buffets I attended & the one gala dinner we went to the food wasn't good. Just mainly b/c it was cold. So if you're planning a party with 200+ ppl, that could be an issue. Room svs had the same problem, but not as bad. Speaking of rooms, they are very similar to the MP in Mexico. Standard rooms with sunken jacuzzis, king bed, table & chairs. Very spacious bathroom. Overall the suites got 2 thumbs up. Overall I like this resort but for me it's just too big. I did not get that "romantic Caribbean" feel to this place. It was beautiful & we walked around alot going "wow, how awesome is that", but it left me feeling cold. But on the other hand, if you're into all that modern, spacious, minimal style, it's perfect. Keep in mind, again, it's huge. Older grandparents etc will have issues getting around. There are golf cart trams that move people around, but that involves standing at the bus stop & waiting for them to come.
Next day, off to Excellence Punta Cana. One of my faves. I was there years ago when it was a Secrets & loved it then, & not much has changed. The pool here is fabulous. Very spread out throughout the entire resort. Lots of cabanas & beach beds all around. They have a very pretty wedding gazebo across from the beach, or you can do ceremonies right on the beach. They literally roll out the red carpet for you. The suites, while not the largest on the island anymore, are very comfortable. Jacuzzis in each, and the Honeymoon Suite has them on the balcony too. I highly recommend the Excellence Club for all the extra amenities. This resort sits on a great stretch of beach too. Food here again, was terrific. Keep in mind this resort is adults only. Very romantic location for a wedding. They average 1-2 weddings/day.
Now on to Dreams Punta Cana. Again, very large pool spread out throughout the resort. This resort sits on a very large stretch of beach, again, great for weddings. Plus they have lots of venues throughout the resort for weddings. Lots of really pretty terraces to hold small receptions and/or cocktail parties. As for the rooms, I thought the deluxe rooms were on the small side & would definately recommend at least upping to the jr suite for comfort. From jr suite & up they all have jacuzzi on the balcony. The Preferred Club suites are closest to the beach & in a great location. This resort averages 1-2 weddings per day but could do more during busy season (May/June). Overall this was a great family resort, lots to do for kids.
Next was Majestic Colonial. This was probably my biggest surprise during the trip. I really really liked this place. Very lush, tropical grounds. Like Dreams they offer lots of activities day/night for kids & adults. The swimup bar here was jamming the entire time we were there (even in the rain). Their suites were layed out nicely & very comfortable. Only "complaint" if you would call it that is their "open" bathroom. They have seperate stalls for toilet & shower, with frosted glass doors. So there really is no bathroom privacy. The shower is big enough to hang a robe on the end so you can dress before getting out. But when thinking of maybe 3 friends sharing a room, you're all getting dressed in front of each other. This is the same at the Elegance too. Their rooms are laid out the same (actually the resort is pretty much the same), their rooms are just a tad more upscale (darker woods, plush bedding etc). Their 1 bd Colonial Suite has an outdoor jacuzzi on a big balcony. Very romantic. Overall, this is a great place for a DW. Very "caribbean" feel to it.
Posted 13 October 2009 - 01:04 PM
Next day we move on to the Melia Caribe Tropical. This was once 2 resorts & now is one. The one resort's lobby they now use for their group checkin. Very tropical, lush property. They have 3 trolleys that move guests around day/night. This resort has 13 restaurants that require reservations the day of, however Royal Service guests get priorty. This resort does not have oceanview rooms due to the layout of the buildings. All of the rooms were roomy enough for a family, & the family jr suites have a dividing curtain from the kind bed plus playstation, bunk beds & cookies & milk. The family suites also all border the family pool. This resort has the Flintstones (how Beaches has Sesame St), so there were lots of Bedrock touches throughout. Very cute. The Royal Service here is very similar to the RS at the Paradisus resorts. Gabi Lounge, private pool & beach area etc. This resort (as well as the PPR) are within walking distance to the big shopping area (I call it the Tony Roma mall b/c that's where Tony Roma's is). Great beach here too. Another really great moderate property that exceeded my expectations.
Iberostar Grand. Wow! What a unique, romantic, luxurious property. Whereas the MP was minimal/modern, this place was funky modern. I loved it. Just over 200 suites so not big at all. This resort is adults only. All rooms come with butler service standard. Pools are spreadout throughout the resort. Very calm & serene place. But enough to do to keep you busy. Live music at night plus a disco in their ship (yes, there was a ship in the middle of the property). The touches of luxury were everywhere from the doors to the restaurants, to the artwork displayed, to the enclosed glass jacuzzi tub in the bathroom overlooking the jacuzzi on your balcony. My BF even took pics in the men's room b/c he thought it was so neat. Food here was excellent! Being that they are so new they have not done alot of DW thus far. However I see that as a good thing as they are very open to being as simple or creative as you want. They are in the process of putting packages together now as their books are filling up for 2010 so we should have more info in the near future. But in the meantime they welcome & are open to all ideas for weddings.
My final 2 reviews will be of the Paradisus Resorts shortly....got some wedding work to do first Putting some pics on FB too if anyone is interested.
Posted 13 October 2009 - 02:48 PM
Posted 13 October 2009 - 04:56 PM
Posted 13 October 2009 - 05:13 PM
Posted 13 October 2009 - 11:12 PM
I only saw a small bit of the beach, what it as bad as people say it is?
Posted 14 October 2009 - 12:03 PM
This was an amazing review, very helpful for people like me who have no clue on how the resorts look like and what they offer. Great Job. Thank you!!
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