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Reviewed 19 January 2006

We travelled to Costa Caribe Jan 5 to 12 and had a great time. After reading some of the reviews i was wondering what we were in for, but it was great. We are not that picky and found that the food was excellent, in particular we actually enjoyed the buffet as much as the restaurants. Lots of choice and you could get in and get out quickly. Drinks were good with lots of booze if you asked. We found that later in the day the amount of alcohol increased with each drink. Entertainment wasn't that great but by the end of the day we only wanted to hit the sheets.

Snorkelling was okay, water was rough out near the breakwall and was tough to see anything. We had a few good days though for snokelling. Beach was excellent, lots of room and the swimming was fine. Some small stones but nothing that would hurt your feet. Vendors are plentiful but a simple no thanks and they would leave you alone. Bargain with them as you can probably get 75% off what they originally ask. Head down the street in Juan Dolio to the plaza and price your goods to get an idea.

This hotel like any has its good points and bad, but we found the rooms clean, the service good, check in was fine and the beach was excellent. Yes the locals do come on the weekend but they mainly occupy the pool. It wasn't a problem. They do fumagate the rooms on a reqular basis but it is the dominican. I have found they do this regularly in many countries in the Caribean. Not a big deal.

Don't worry about this hotel, go planning to have a great time and you will!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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13  Thank DeeterD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2006

The positive reviews of recent visits are for the most part on the ball and I will not reiterate their detailed points. I just returned from my second annual golf outing at Costa Caribe and it was just like the first, GREAT. I will concentrate my comments on some of the broader isssues concerning this resort.

First and foremost, this is a 3 star hotel in one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. I know Hilton wants to think its a 4 star facility, but any worldly traveler (the biggest group of detractors) should know that this can not be so at these low prices. Money is being saved somewhere.

Regarding service, I never experienced a lack of effort or sincerity from staff for any reason. I did witness some very rude and arrogant guest behavior however. I sense a bad attitude or the worst luck imaginable in the comments made by detractors of this resort. I always say that service and tipping are different sides of the same coin as are respect and empathy. Simply put show some love and you get some back. Maybe this is why I always I feel that I am treated like a King at Costa Caribe / Guavaberry Golf Club. I tell my buddies to bring $100-200 in dollar bills to spread around. I tell my buddies to give the 4-5 main bartenders $5 the first time they serve you, exchange names and a smile and they will have your drink poured before you reach the bar all week. I left $3 every morning for the cleaning crew and received excellent service. When I sat down to eat, I would leave a couple of bucks as well. I know that many will disagree and say that you should not have to pay extra (generous tipping)for a appropriate level of minimum service. My question is what is that level of minimum service in a country wher people struggle to survive. Also what is the consequence of tone and demeaner when the staff you are yelling at may very well be living in a concrete shack.

A final word on the locals who "invade" during the weekend. All I ever see is people enjoying themselves
and having a good time. If you go to a foreign country, why not take in the local flavor. I admit there is little to do outside the resort, so let the outside in. The benefits outweigh the occasional line at the bar. If you embrace my tipping philosophy, you will be served first no matter who is at the bar ahead of you. It happened all the time during my stay.

Conclusion: Be nice, patient and generous and you can be King too. Most importantly, have expectations that match the price you are paying.

Enjoy

  • Stayed: January 2006
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14  Thank Navigator10700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2006

OK people,enough whining. I have now been to the D.R. 11 times in 13 years.I have seen better and much worse.We visited Jan5-12.A group of 10 in 5 rooms.Yes the rooms were not ready(are they here at 11:30 AM) but we were immedeitly served a welcome drink,told that our luggage would be put in our rooms,given our room numbers and our wristbands for id and told to go have a drink or swim and the rooms should be ready by about 2:30. 4 were ready, all by 3:30. If you are reading this then you probably have read other reviews,and some of those mentioned problems with the bar fridge..re charges.Knowing about this problem I simply told my friends to stay out of them until the next morning when we could confirm situation with Sunquest rep.Problem solved.No remotes in 3 rooms(I have run into this many times before,seems some people need to steal remotes,maybe local,maybe tourist,I dont care,but Im sure hotels would rather have you come and ask than to keep buying them.) We got 2 remotes at front desk,but yep never did get the 3rd. I did hate having to get in a different line at check in for a safety box. That could have gone better. The hotel is big.We got married at the Decameron down the road 6 years ago and is about half the size.There are 5 restaurants(3 maybe 4 open at a time)all ok not incredible but not dissapointing either.Breakfasts are good(even had bacon 5 of 7 days)and a light lunch at the beach grill did the trick.(open 24 hrs. The beach was not rocky like some say,it was more like a really coarse sand.It was ok(not as nice as Punta Cana but I didnt pay Punta Cana rates either.There were more beach and pool chairs than people...a real bonus...never had to run looking for one.I have only 2 real beefs whith this place 1...I love swim up bars...This had...repeat had one and for some reason they built a wall over the counter top so now you go get a drink, get in the pool sit on the stool under water and look at a wall......repeat as needed....hellllloooo.Also this is not really a complaint as much as a ..FYI..This place absolutely caters to locals and Puerto Ricans on the weekend. They werent a problem but we were the definite minority,as all the animation, shows, etc.became basically Spanish,with english basically spoken only if speaking to an English participant.Too bad it leaves a bit of a bad taste when you only matter when you are the only ones there.Lots of bars,,went biking in both directions,played tennis,mini golf,ping pong,drank some more,spent money with the vendors...ya take about 70% off what they ask and come up 10% if you want..if they want 10.get it for 3-4..we did a local snorkel tour OK I guess. Saona trip AWESOME. 3 jacuzzis (took all week to find the 3rd-2 hot--1 cold) No real local shopping, friends took 1/2 day Santo Domingo shopping tour..said it was great.well,thats about it,Would I go again yes,would it be my 1st choice no.. Report Card Hotel cleanliness..A
Beach..............B-
Food...............B+
Hotel Staff........B+
Daytime Fun........A
Nightly shows......B-
Disco..............B
Animation Staff....B
OVERALL............B

  • Stayed: January 2006
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24  Thank sierramar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2006

We stayed at this resort from December 30 - January 6 and had a fairly decent time.

Room - firm beds, over-powering air conditioning, felt secure, OK water pressure, always had hot water. There were MINOR bugs (one here or there), but this is expected as the hotel is OPEN AIR. Our room faced the generators, exhaust stacks, and kitchen - but we still had pleasant sleeps each night. Once we didn't receive an appropriate amount of towels, but it was remedied without our complaint within a reasonable time. My boyfriend's parents faced the same problem and they were provided with extra towels within a half hour.

Food - typical Caribbean resort food: bland, repetitive, meaty, starchy, some unidentifiable dishes. I never went hungry, but felt malnourished at the end of the week (dairy deficient, not enough fresh vegetables, vitamin deficient).

Beach - a bit disappointing. It's tiny. And crowded. We never had a hard time finding beach chairs. The vendors were PERSISTANT (my biggest complaint of the week). The resort played loud music essentially all day, which was also annoying. The water was warm, but not as warm as I would have liked (it took a while to get used to it). The beach was sandy, with lots of little shells, some sea grass. You don't need water shoes. We brought our own towels and didn't have to worry about the towel exchange.

Entertainment - I can't comment on this as we didn't take in a single show.

Customer Service - No major complaints. Travellers need to realize that the staff will respond to them with varying degrees of helpfulness / politeness depending on how the traveller treats the staff!!! We witnessed this first hand - pushy guests received poor service. It's common sense, really.

Day Trip - We took the day trip to Santo Domingo and it was an exercise in patience! There were too many people on the tour and too many activities scheduled for the day (we actually did not have time to complete all of them!). There was a combination of French-speaking and English-speaking guests on the trip. Therefore, the guide said everything TWICE, once in English and again in French. This made the trip VERY trying! We were swarmed by vendors at each site (tedious to say NO) and were asked by our tour guides and guides at the various sites to compensate them, as they are guides out of their love for the site and aren't compensated by the site itself (this I found very difficult to believe!).

Alcohol - The drinks were not that strong. It took several hours to feel tipsy. However, neither my boyfriend nor myself were hung over. The bartenders do have two types of alcohol, that in the large bottles (everyone gets this; it's weaker) and that in the smaller bottles (much stronger). Pay attention to what kind of alcohol your bartender uses for your drink. ;-)

Overall - We had a good vacation, but likely won't be returning to the resort. If you are expecting a high quality resort, then this isn't the place for you. If you can get a deal on this resort, I'd recommend it.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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14  Thank supersnazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2006

Hello everyone. I just stayed here from dec 30 2005 until jan 6 2006.

I have to admit I was terrified after reading the bad reviews for the resort.

Wether you enjoy your vacation here depends on what type of person you are. If you are expecting to be treated like royalty than maybe you should be spending a little more money to do so.

My room key did not work about 5 times on the first day wich was frustrating but the front desk employees were very kind and gave me a brand new room when I asked for one. Other than this there were no major problems.

The employees were great, the resort is one of the most beautiful i have seen, the rooms were clean and the buffet was good. There were some things i was affraid to eat but the large selection compensated for this so there was always something nice to choose.

One thing i strongly recomend is that if you plan on going here you participate in the Saona Island excursion. It will be an experience of a life time.

The resort did and amazing job for new years. The set up was beautiful. Food was great. There was enough lobsters to feed over 500 people. Orchestra, disco on the beach... just an outstanding job.

Don't let the bad reviews to scare you. Those people just have to lighten up, stop complaining about every little thing, make the best of their vacation and realise they are not the queen/king of England.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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23  Thank Curious14773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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