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Reviewed 8 September 2011

We stayed the week of August 27th-September 3rd-after Hurricane Irene. Perfect weather-every day! Check-in was fast and pleasant-we weren't given drinks as we saw others were later, maybe that was because we didn't arrive in a group? Great pools and the beach is beautiful! Most of the remarks in other reviews are true-beds are rock hard, but we got used to them. We never had enough towels and the ones we had were really dingy. Food was good-something for everyone. Yes, it does get repetitive as all buffets do after a week. There are also 2 snack bars on the beach, one that is open all night. The Creperie was nice for ice cream in the afternoon. We only had the 2 restaurants in our package-Brazilian and Dominican. They were ok-nothing outstanding about either.

The resort is gorgeous, I don't understand why the rooms are so bad. They definitely need updating. We requested a room with a king size bed and were given a family suite with 3 double beds and 2 bathrooms. (for 2 people!) Air conditioning didn't work and the mini-fridge didn't either. After a noisy night with people partying across the hall until 4 am, we went to the front desk to request a room with a king size bed and away from the noise. We were given a room on the Caribe side-ground floor across from the buffet and party pool. Not the best but a definite improvement!

It would be nice if guests didn't throw their trash and expect the staff to pick up after them. There were so many straws from people's drinks in the pool-it was ridiculous.

The staff is very accommodating-as with any resort there will always be workers that aren't as friendly as others or who don't speak English. We brought a book that had all the common phrases and words for traveling and the staff loved that we tried to communicate in their language. Seriously-they deal with people from all countries-why do we expect them to speak English? We are in their country-try to speak their language a little. I always tip for good service. They work so hard and truly appreciate a dollar or two.

Overall, it was worth the price that we paid. I would rate it a 3*. Next trip I would pay more to stay at a better resort, but if you are on a budget-I would recommend this resort. We don't like to go to the same resorts twice-there are so many to go to! We would return for the price we got-it is a good value. We met some wonderful people and had a great time hanging out with them.

Watch out for the vendors that the resort allows to come in. They set up right in front of the buffet entrances on both sides. They aren't pushy-they are downright aggressive! I enjoy bartering with the locals but this was too much. I don't know why the resort allows them to be there. One of them actually stood by the pool and was trying to steer us to the booths-we didn't even want to get out of the pool to try to get to our room without being attacked! There is a flea market if you walk towards the left on the beach. If you go right you can walk to Plaza Bavaro which has more shops, but is a few miles each way. Barter! You can get stuff for 1/5 of the price-start walking out the door and you see how much the price drops!

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions! I received a lot of useful information from Trip Advisor and would like to help other travelers. Thanks Joeylol for all your advice!

Room Tip: I would request a room at the back of the building if you are looking for a quiet room.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Kimmer48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2011

Hurricane Irene destroyed 3 days, but the resort kept us informed. We were able to enjoy the time in the lobby.

My sons (ages 16 & 10) loved the teen club with Carlos D and spent a large majority of their time there.

All the staff was extremely friendly and took care to remember us (with or without a daily tip). Tipping helps, but some will tell you "it's my job, but thank you". I wanted fried plaintains and garlic which wasn't on any of the menus for the day. The cook at the bar/restaurant near the beach happily obliged me and made me a plate full. That was really nice. They staff knew my family pretty well by the end of the trip as we are friendly people anyway.

My only complaint is activities - they need more for the kids to do in the teen center. They have 2 pool tables, 2 foosball, 1 darts, 1 archery, and 2 table tennis. Their wasn't much for the adults to do except drink once the pool closed at 7pm. We were disappointed the pool closed so early.

The beach was beautiful and clean. Our rooms were clean and not musty as I read in many reviews. We were upgraded to a family room. The family room only had one TV and it was in the kids' room so on nights we wanted to stay up late and watch TV, we could not.

We all got a little ill from the buffet food every single day. Due to the storms, the specialty restaurants were closed and when they reopened, the reservations were all booked. There was something for everyone to eat everyday - even my vegetarian son.

Room Tip: Know a little bit of spanish, it goes a long way - even if you have to carry a dictionary.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Soulful403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2011

My 4 friends and I arrived on 8/19 for a 5 night stay and had a great time!! While this is not a 5 star hotel, it suited our needs for the most part. It's beautiful, very clean and the staff are ALL wonderful :-) Check in was a breeze and we were immediately greeted with drinks. Elias at the front desk was awesome!! I was looking for an international sim card for my cell phone and he went out of his way to get me one on his day off and bring it me. As far as "specialty" restaurants, you only get El Pilon and the Brazilian restaurant. The girl that did our reservation, "Ana" was not that personable, wouldnt let us reserve both at the same time due to whatever dumb reasons so we were only able to visit El Pilon, which was very good!! No complaints from the buffet at all!! There was a different theme for every night, Dominican night, Mexican night, Asain, etc. So there was always a big variety to choose from. We stuck with the same waitress, Lissette. She became our "friend" fast!! She was awesome, made sure everything was good and kept the drinks coming. Carlos was also such a sweetheart. They were all great. Jeffrey from the front lobby and Rafeal form the buffet became my friend and I's dancing buddies at the Areito Night club. We had fun there too. :-)
Because of the all the rain from Hurrican Isabelle, our excursion to Saona island was cancelled but we did a safari instead and i had the time of my life!! it poured during that excursion as well but hey! you have to learn how to turn a bad situation into a good one. and well we are one fun group!!
Some things i will mention are, we were in the 3000 block (supposedly renovated area) and even still, the beds are on the hard side. The A/c was not working properly (we had to switch rooms) and stil,l the same problem. The toilet backed up, there are no soap dishes so u have to keep ur soap in your hand or do what i did, use the ashtray as my soap dish. The towels should be plush and not standard. The coridors are very dim and could use alot of extra lighting. The power went out a few times as well, But like I said, you have to learn to make a postive from a negative. I had a super great time and if i had to go back here I would. :-) The 3 pools are nice and clean and very close to our room. the beach not even a minute walk. So easy to get to. Funny how on other reviews I see people complaining about pushy timeshare people, we didnt have not one come our way at all during our stay. I give this resort a 3.5-4 stars based on over all appearance, friendlness, cleanliness and good food!! You will not regret it!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank maria_lola719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Stayed here with extended family from 8/9/11 to 8/16/11, the whole group had a great time. Booked a double but got a free upgrade at check-in to the two bedroom, three beds.

The beach was fantastic, as well as the main & kids pools which we frequented.
There was always a fun atmosphere at the main pool with swim up bar, the kids pool was more reserved, but is well shaded & nice when you just want to take it easy.

Buffet breakfast was always good, with dual omolette bars & plenty of fresh fruit, the freshly made "liquados" are delicious. DInner in the buffet was good too, with a different theme every night, foods from around the world.

The nightly shows at the theater near the lobby are great, something different every night. Our kids performed in a production of the Lion King, they had a blast & we had a great time watching it.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank mbergg63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Our family of five, 3 adults and 2 children (5 & 6 yrs old) stayed at Tropical Princess from Aug. 2-16/11 in 2 adjoining rooms. I always had fond memories of Punta Cana and the Princess resort because I married my husband in Bavaro Princess 7 years ago. At the beginning of the stay I was not disappointed. There were a lot of good things I enjoyed. However the last few days proved to be a little unsatisfactory. I will begin with the pros.
Pros:
1. the hotel is not as large as other hotels I have been to and it seemed that no matter where you stayed, you were close to the beach, the pool and all the restaurants.
2. there were 3 pools - although loaded with people - but always close to the room
3. well maintained grounds and overall very pleasant
4. The food at the Buffet restaurant was good with changing theme nights for eg. Oriental or Italian. There was always a lot of food and it was quite tasty. The decorations made from watermelons and other fruit were fabulous.
5. The weather was mostly sooooo hot, although we did get a little bit of rain on 2 separate days - thanks to tropical storm "Emily"
6. The staff seemed altogether friendly; especially "Eddy" in the snack bar at lunch
7. Drinks were plentiful and good tasting; although they didn't use premium brands
8. The value - the money we spend for the 2 weeks can not be beat.
9 The Beach was nice; some seaweed present but cleaned every morning. The ocean although not as beautiful as in Santa Clara, Cuba - still very inviting.

Cons:
1. Thieves in the room - We had money stolen from our room. It most likely happened while 3-4 technicians came in to fix 1 sliding door to the balcony. It's too bad we didn't know they would be coming or we would be there in the room to supervise. One word of advice - if you call for someone to fix something (as you will because a lot of things are broken) stay in the room while the technicians come. They travel in packs!
2. This is an older hotel and a lot of things are broken or will brake while you are there. For us it was the sliding door (in both rooms), the thermostat for the a/c, the toilet.
3. The rooms are very basic & there doesn't seem to be enough furniture; also the beds are quite hard. The washrooms are also very standard -Absolutely nothing special, but adequate for the money.
4. I hated the fact that the Buffet restaurant was not air conditioned. It was terribly hot most of the nights and it wasn't a pleasure to sit around. Just eat and get out.
5. The night shows started too late (around 9:30-9:45pm) so we only saw 1 - the "Lion King" put on for the kids at 9:15pm
6. No clamato juice - so no "bloody Ceasars" (my drink of choice)
7. The recliner chairs on the beach and pool are very old and a lot are broken
8. Sometimes there were not enough beds on the beach or poolside - So we had to wake up early to reserve our location. It's too bad some people reserve their spot and then never show up to claim it. Such a shame.
9. The "kids' pool" was always dirty. This was the pool closest to our room; we stayed in the villas. This pool is preferred by kids and their parents because it is not as deep as the other and it has a nice shape to it; as well as it is quite large. They cleaned it every morning (late) but it was never impeccably clean. As a matter of fact, one day they had to call for an emergency "poop sweep".
10. I wish I could share with all any experience from our Saona Island excursion - but I can't because the trip was cancelled without any explanation. Luckily Sunwing rep returned our money. Again tip - buy from your own tour operator - or you might not see the money once the trip is cancelled.
11. The a la carte restaurants are below par; especially the "Oriental" - for which there is a surcharge of $11 per person & half for the kids (If you are staying in Tropical Princess - you only get 2 free restaurants - The Dominican and the Brazilian - all other are surcharged) We like the Brazilian the most but I wish they would tell us not to fill up on fries or salad because there is so much good meat that just keeps coming and coming. The "Oriental" was the worst. It welcomed us by serving us a real cockroach on the menu; there was no atmosphere; it was loud from klinking of cutlery; the food took 1 hr to be served; my kids didn't get to eat as they fell asleep waiting; we left our main dish and went to the buffet.
And now for the finale:
12. Guest Services is terrible. We had a very unpleasant confrontation with Carlos who was translating for the Security Supervisor in regards to the investigation on the stolen mula. Carlos looked into our eyes and deliberately lied on the translation. It was definitely a show when we called him a great big "Liar" - Again shameful that Carlos is representing the whole resort. I wrote to the hotel but so far no answer from anybody, as there is no supervisor's name listed anywhere and guest services or the front desk would not give us this information. Even the official website for "princess resorts" doesn't have contact info.

Overall, I am still satisfied with the time spend in Tropical Princess. as this was what I expected from reading all the reviews. I knew there would be the bad with the good; but again the price we paid for this holiday would only be beat by going to Cuba & Cuba was far worse than this. I rate this hotel at 3.5 stars - but it's still better than a 4.5 star in Cuba (for eg. Melia Las Dunas in Santa Clara)

Room Tip: Buy Tropical Princess rather than Caribe Club Prin. (2 in 1) because it's cheaper and all is shared. CCP allows for more restaurants
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank Monikan21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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