Iberostar Punta Cana
Travel Blogs from Punta Cana
Another lazy day at the pool. Entertained by a very drunk mother-daughter couple. Strolled to the beach and filled souvenir bottles for folks at work and collected some seashells. Oh yeah...and walked wayyyy down the beach to go topless. Really enjoyed the ocean waves and took some pictures. Finally enjoyed the best plantain chips and steak at the Seaside Grill. We spent some time packing up for the journey home ...
Late rise. Breakfast at the world cafe Floated around and read in the pool before enjoying an hour at the gym. Grabbed a quick snack at the Coco Cafe Read on the balcony before heading to the beach to be thoroughly baked. Enjoyed a 1/2 hour of yoga with instructor Lisa. Returned to the room to wash sand from unnamed places. Tried to get a table at the Sea ...
... and daughter combo shouting "I love you!" Nothing says fun in the sun like a picture of your mother with a medic after sustaining a head injury. - Dinner at Bordeaux was amazing, complete with a champagne drink to start which was my favourite drink of the whole week. It's a restaurant I would never thought to go to alone so thanks, Stacey! - I think this is the day we discovered the pretzels.....I really liked those ...
Big plans today! We were off shopping at a local souvenir shop, "Nicole's" after a bite to eat at the buffet. It was crowded but we spent a couple hours in total and managed to pick up most of our souvenirs. We decided to check out the gym before lunch. Boy was it warm! Then off to the Barefoot Grill for chicken and beef tacos. We had to scramble to eat our few chips ...
... the resort to get the lay of the land and attended the meet and greet with Michaim. Then off for a day of rest on the beach under an umbrella. We took a break from reading and snoozing to pick up lunch at the Barefoot Grill. Burgers and hot dogs...mmm. We then returned to resting under the umbrella in the shade. Somewhere near 3:30 ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Iberostar Punta Cana
Iberostar is Fabulous!
Our week at the Iberostar (Sept. 16-23) passed much too quickly and we definitely want to return to this wonderful place. We took an Apple Tour from Baltimore, Maryland to Punta Cana and highly recommend it. The Apple Tour representatives at the Punta Cana Airport and the hotel were very helpful and professional. It was obvious they enjoy their job and are very proud of their country.
Our reservation was for the Iberostar Dominicana, but we think we stayed at the adjacent Iberostar Punta Cana. The hotels are identical and have full exchange privileges. In our opinion, the Iberostar Punta Cana is quieter than the Dominicana and that's what we prefer. The hotel staff was excellent -- friendly, accommodating and efficient. Maid service was excellent. The room was stocked with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water (a gallon of bottled water as well as 16 oz. bottles). All of our water bottles were sealed so don't freak out about some of the other reviews which claim that the seals are broken and the water is tainted. Not so in our experience!
We also found the food to be excellent, with the buffet restaurants offering such a wide variety of items that everyone should find something they like. The gourmet restaurant was outstanding. Although a dress code is stated requiring men to wear long pants at dinner, it was not enforced while we were there. We wish it had been enforced because some of the guests dress like John Belushi in Animal House. But that gave us some good laughs and entertainment while we were enjoying the delicious food and excellent service.
The majority of hotel guests are European, and they smoke, smoke, smoke. The buffet restaurants have a non-smoking section, but we wish the bars also had some non-smoking seating.
The restaurant staff is constantly refreshing the buffet food. If a dish is empty, it is quickly refilled. If by chance, the restaurant staff hasn't yet replenished an empty platter, just ask and they will quickly do so -- and with a big smile! The bars serve name brand liquor and the drinks are excellent.
The Iberostar beach is beautiful. The sand is very fine and soft and the water is beautiful. There were no seaweed problems as some other reviews claim. Yes, there is occasionally a little bit of seaweed on the beach or in the ocean, but if that offends you there are beautiful large swimming pools to enjoy. We were always able to get beach umbrellas and chaise lounges at whatever time we arrived at the beach.
We took the trip to Saona Island and it was a very long day, leaving the hotel at 7 a.m. and returning at 7:30 p.m. The best part of the trip was traveling through the Dominican Republic country side and seeing the way people really live. Our guide shared lots of interesting information. The Dominican Republic is a very poor country, but the people are rich in spirit and national pride. The Saona excursion includes a catamaran ride to the island with music blasting away and free-flowing rum and beer. Lunch is served on the island and then you have a speedboat ride where you are jammed together in very tight seating with other tourists -- some of whom have had way too much to drink by that time. There is a short stop in a lagoon where you can hold a starfish. The bathrooms on Saona Island and at the bus parking area where you board the catamaran are dirty and disgusting. There was a 20-minute stop for shopping and that wasn't long enough! There is beautiful amber jewelry, and a gemstone called Loramar (found only in the Dominican Republic) that is an opaque aqua color -- both at very reasonable prices. The Saona Island excursion cost $80/person, but other than seeing some of the real Dominican Republic, we would not recommend it. The beach at the Iberostar is much nicer than the one at Saona.
The rooms at the Iberostar are very comfortable and clean. The bathrooms have a bathtub, shower, sink with large counter, toilet and bidet -- all in excellent condition.
The weather was excellent during our stay -- a couple of brief tropical showers on 2 days, but otherwise sunny and delightful. The TV has CNN but not the weather channel so trying to stay current with storm predictions takes some effort -- particuarly since CNN focuses on U. S. weather.
To summarize, we highly recommend the Iberostar Dominicana/Punta Cana. We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation and absolutely want to return there!
Paradise with a smile!
The Hotel - Great rooms, perhaps in need of a little updating but still furnished and decorated to a high standard. Reception area was simply beautiful- arranged around a huge pond with water feature (not forgetting the fish and terrapins!). Great seating and bar areas. Pool was beautiful and plenty of sunbeds and palapas (sunshades) both at the pool and on the fabulous beach.
Entertainment - All bar areas had evening entertainment of varying lengths and volume - so there was something for everyone. Very professional shows in the Dominicana area which I would recommend you see.
The Food - anyone who complains about the food must be mad! There is something for everyone - fish, meat, BBQ, mexican, lobster, salads, rice, pasta - I could go on and on - we were there for two weeks and I didnt eat the same thing twice. Just wonderful.
The Staff - save the best until last - they are wonderful and helpful (although reception a bit surly!). The maids, waiters, cleaners etc - all go about their work with a huge smile on their faces. They were a pleasure to meet.
Punta cana dominican republiic. We stayed at the Iberostar Punta Cana and it was so wonderful. All the workers were friendly and so awesom. The weather was great. The pool was warm and the ocean was clear and warm too. The beach was clean and a lot of unbrellas. Always one available. The restaurants were also clean and very good food.. The outdoor cookouts were very entertaining as well as yummy eats. The nighly entertainment was also spectacular!! We never made it to the night club because we were so tired from the day. The casino was ok, fun for entertainment but not for big gamblers. My husband and I think the resort is definetly the five golden apple. We went the last week of Jan beginning of Feb in 2004. oh yes the drinks were good!!
Topless bathing in beach and pools
This is not a family atmosphere. There is topless bathing on the beaches as well as in the pool area. I read soooooo many reviews about this resort but none had mentioned this aspect. I was quite surprised considering the details of some of these reviews. We were a party of 9, 6 adults/3 kids. Besides this prominently overlooked fact, the resort was fantastic. The staff is extremely courteous and accommodating. Check-in and check-out was very smooth. The grounds are beautiful. The food is ok. They don't have very much variety for veggies or just chicken eaters.. Most of the variety was in pork or beef. Overall, the experience was very pleasant.
Wonderful hotel and people!!!
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday at the Punta Cana Hotel, Dom Rep. From the minute we boarded the aeroplane to the time we came home, we were treated to first class service all the way!!!!!
The hotel itself is very well laid out with beautiful pools and the most amazing beach. We had no problems finding sunbeds on the beach or by the pool, and always managed to have parasols too. The hotel was divided in to 2 parts - Punta Cana and Dominicana. The Punta Cana side was quieter and more relaxing, whilst the Dominicana side had many activities by the pool side during the day and excellent shows at night. You are free to use either side at all times for both eating and entertainment.
The rooms were of a good size with superb air conditioning (absolutely essential), and the mini-bar was replenished every two days. The usual displays made with the towels and flowers appeared every few days too.
The food was superb in all of the restauants that we tried (about 4 of them) and we regularly saw the staff checking the temperatures of both hot and cold food. We had no ill effects from any of the food, unlike other hotels in the area!!!! The drink was plentiful too. The staff soon remembered what we like to drink and kept us well 'topped up'. (Slipping them the odd $ helps too).
As for all of the staff at the hotel, from the gardeners to the entertainers, I have run out of superlatives to describe their frendliness and desire to ensure you have the most relaxing and enjoyable stay. They are the most willing and helpful race of people I have ever met. They are smiling from early morning to late at night and genuinly enjoy serving you. Our First Choice Rep was excellent too (Flavie).
We went on 3 trips, helicopter trip, Saona Island and outback safari, and enjoyed all of them. They are quite expensive but very good value for money and the drink flows freely all day!!!
We took dollars with us and changed some of them up into local currency(pesos), but there is no need to, dollars are freely accepted by eveyone.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone and we are considering returning next year. The only downside is that it is quite isolated. We usually enjoy visiting the nearby towns using local transport, this was not possible from this hotel. Also be careful of the paving when it rains, it becomes very slippery!!!!
Remember that when you leave the Dom Rep.(if you travel with First Choice), they will charge you for every kilo over your luggage allowance, this can lead to a big bill at the end of your holiday- even if you were over your allowance on the way out(and got away with it)!!
All in all 10/10 for the hotel.
We have stayed at Iberostar Punta Cana 2 times, Iberostar Dominicana 1 time, Riu, Bambu 1 time and Melia Caribe 1 time. We will go back to Iberostar, Punta Cana this December. The resort, beach and people are great. Yes, to be honest, you do get sick of the buffet after 5 or 6 days, but the Iberostar is the best. Melia Caribe is SOOO big and the train rides get old after a day or so. Riu resorts are overall very good. Riu Bambu is great, because you can go to all other Riu resorts, except the Palace. The Palace is fun to look at, but the people that stay there are stuffy!!!! Take the pepto bismol and you won't get the stomach problems!
Iberostar Punta Cana-2nd trip and time for a change
We spent 7/16 through 7/23 at the Iberostar Punta Cana. We are a family of 3, my husband, myself and our 6 year old son. This was our second visit to the Iberostar Punta Cana. We had initially planned a trip to the Mayan Riviera this year, but changed our minds a couple of months ago when we got a great deal on Punta Cana. What luck! Missed Hurricane Emily and the two tropical storms that followed! We had wonderful weather the entire week we were there.
Check In/Check Out
I will start out with the bad part of the trip-here goes. We arrived late Saturday evening to absolute and total chaos. Nobody seemed to know what they were doing or where to send us when we arrived. Our check in packet was short our towel cards, safe instructions, and my son's wrist band. We were told to come back in the morning for these things. Our luggage never made it to our room, it was sent to someone else's room and took about an hour to find. By the time we had our luggage, there was no place open to eat, I had to feed my son ice cream for dinner. When we went to the front desk to get the arm band and towel cards the next morning, they tried to put us off again, but we insisted and finally got them. Before we left, my husband and TA both e mailed the resort and told them we were returning guests and requested a late check out for the next week and a room upgrade. We got neither. When I was making reservations for the ala carte restaurants, I asked the guest rep. about our e mail. She made sure we had our fruit plate and bottle of rum that afternoon as well as an invitation to the return guest cocktail party on Wednesday and also informed us that the manager had approved a late check out. The Friday before we left, we went to the front desk to do the express check out and confirm our late check out. Nobody knew anything about it, the girl from guest services wasn't working and they said to come back in the morning. Went back Saturday am, absolutely no late check outs on Saturday. I told them the whole story again, but was unsuccessful. The lady working at guest services was to get back to me that morning, but she totally blew us off. We ended up checking out at noon, leaving our luggage in the hospitality room and using the showers there. Using the hospitality room was no big deal. They have the two separate, private showers and toilets. There were lots of people leaving, but everybody was quick. My husband and I were more than willing to pay for the late check out. What was so upsetting is that someone told us we could have it and then nobody knew anything about it. The whole thing struck me as disorganized and dishonest. I think the whole problem is traveling on Saturday. It is a very busy day, lots of flights arriving and leaving and is just generally a mad house. Avoid Saturday flights like the plague.
We stayed in room 5308. We had a standard room. The beds are very, very small. My son actually slept on the couch which he loved while my husband and I took the beds. The pillows were flat and scarce. We asked for extra pillows two different days and had no luck our entire stay. The room was clean and the mini bar was restocked daily. The maid made us towel swans and decorated the room with flowers and petals. The resort is very pretty. There is always someone working and cleaning. The grounds are perfectly manicured and lush. There are peacocks, flamingos and assorted other wildlife on the property. This resort is really starting to show it's age. There were cracks in the pool, some of the buildings looked a little rough, the chairs and cushions were older and needed to be spruced up and/or replaced. We always had plenty of hot water. The resort has several gift shops where you can purchase toiletries and souvenirs. Toiletries are very expensive-take everything you could possibly need with you. Last year the prices for souvenirs were very reasonable, they have definitely raised them. Its worth a walk down the beach to the vendors to barter. There are two ladies who braid hair by the Dominicana pool. They work fast and charge $20 for half a head and $40 for the whole head. The spa lists hair braiding on their menu, but they don't do it-you have to catch the poolside ladies. They really do a good job. I had mine braided on Thursday, today is Monday and it still looks good.
The pool is nice. If you are not into playing the saving chairs thing, don't stay here. You will never get a chair by the pool. One day we asked for a chair (we were told last year, just ask, they will accommodate you) and were told no "no more chairs". The beach was beautiful and cleaned every morning for seaweed. The water was a beautiful blue. There are some rocks in the beach that fish will congregate around. We actually fed them some bread and were impressed with the number and variety we could see. The waves are much rougher in the morning than later in the day. Getting a chair on the beach wasn't a problem if you got there before 9 am. Don't count on finding one under a palapa without saving it before hand.
The buffets were plentiful. The food is very good and always has some variety, but after a week, trust me, you will be very tired of it. They generally serve a different meat every evening. There is always pizza, fries, spaghetti for the kids. One thing to be aware of; well done means medium rare at this place. Watch to make sure meat is cooked thoroughly. The lunch buffets pool side are also very tasty. The Punta Cana side serves grilled/rotisserie chicken that is really good. The hotdog's and burgers (if they are cooked thoroughly) are also tasty. We made reservations at the Steakhouse, Mexican and Chinese. We were not impressed with the food at all. The Steakhouse meats were tough, chewy and undercooked. My husband said it wasn't worth putting on long pants for and would have preferred the buffet. The Mexican restaurant serves cold Coronas-that might have been worth it if it hadn't been so HOT in that place. My son ate from the appetizer bar at the specialty restaurants.
The Dominican Republic's greatest asset is their people. They are hard working, friendly and go out of their way to make sure you are having a good time. The people at this resort work very hard and seem happy to do it. The only staff member we encountered that rubbed me the wrong way was one of the Star Friends. The resort was having an evaluation and this particular Star Friend was going from person to person on the beach telling them to give the Star Friends good ratings. "We work hard, we deserve it". He also kept telling me his name. I think he thought I would give him some good words; he was wrong. This was rather inappropriate. No please, nothing like that-he was completely serious. One of the ladies from guest services also told us about the evaluation, but it was just an FYI thing, no demanding good ratings.
We went snorkeling with the Marinarium tour. They take you out to this aquarium where you snorkel and see nurse sharks and manta rays. Swimming out to the aquarium was very rough; I thought what have we gotten into. What I didn't realize at the time was that a tropical storm was passing and the water was extra rough. We made it and were totally impressed. Our 6 year old astounded us with his snorkeling abilities and we all got to see the fish, manta rays and sharks. It was amazing. After the snorkeling, they serve beer, rum and coke and snacks. We sailed to a sandbar type area and swam, drank and listened to Bob Marley. It was a great day. They took pictures which could be purchased for $10-great photos. Watch out for the jelly fish-my husband got stung on the arm. The people on the boat took good care of him.
Punta Cana is a great vacation spot. The people are wonderful, the beach is gorgeous and the weather and scenery are tropical. We will not stay at this resort again. We have had wonderful experiences with the Iberostar chain in the past and we might use them again. However, it might be time for a change. If you have any questions, please feel free to e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best holiday ever
Just got back from the Iberostar Punta Cana/Dominicana hotel and I have to say it was the best holiday I have ever had!! There were 4 of us mum, dad, brother (19) and myself (17).
We flew with First Choice and couldn't decide whether to upgrade to the premimum class but decided not to in the end, which was the right decision as their planes have just been upgraded and the seat pitch in economy is now 33" plenty of room even for my dad who is 6ft 3. Flight was 8hr30mins but there was plenty of entertainment including films, music, games etc.
On arrival we met with 'sexy Hector' as he was called and were greeted with cocktails while we waited for our room keys etc.
The rooms we stayed in were very spacious, we stayed in the 6000+ block near the main reception. We later found out from friends we met that we had bigger and better rooms than them despite upgrading or anything! If you like to spend time in your room the television had loads of channels with at least 4 showing english/american movies 24hrs a day. The maid comes every day and makes the beds, changes towels etc and we even found that she tidied and folded our clothes! The maids were also very trustworthy we left our mobile phones, jewellerey and money out and all were very safe. TIP; the maid leaves little flowers with the towels throw these in the bin as soon as possible as they have little tiny bugs on, they wont hurt you or do anything but they do look like ants!
There are two main pools in the Punta cana/Dominicana resort, both are very big and spacious, the one nearest the pool restaurant is perhaps the more lively of the 2. There is another pool a short walk from these at the Bavaro hotel which you are allowed to use but your wristbands do not work for food and drink! Entertainment in the pools include water polo, water volleyball, aqua aerobics. You do have to get up early if you want to reserve sunbeds but this is the same everywhere you go!
The beach was fantastic. Pure white sand and the sea was as clear as anything. There is a lovely breeze near the sea which makes it more comfortable to sunbathe in. You can get free hire of Hobie Cat for 1hour each day they will ask you if you have sailed before and offer you the choice of an instructor for $39 but this is a rip off as the boats are so easy to sail!! You can also do paragliding which is well worth the $85 for 2. The entertainment team also organise volleyball and football on the beach everyday as well.
FOOD AND DRINK:
Absolutely everything you could possibly want! I don't understand those that complain because although the food is similar every night there is so much selection that you dont have to choose to eat the same food every night. The best restaurant to book into is the Oriental as the food was delicious and the place was air conditioned! Both the pool and beach restaurants were nice to eat in for lunch although the pool one offered a wider selection including pasta, pizza, hotdogs, burgers, chips, salad etc. I recommend working your way through the cocktail menu and trying the different drinks because they are too die for!! especially the blue daiquiris, the banana daiquiris and the Mai-Tai. Also it sounds funny but their vodka and lemons are also very refreshing and easy to drink! remember if you want Smirnoff just ask for it but becareful this seems stronger than there own brand and they don't use measurements for the drink!
During the day there is always something going on and is organsied by the fantastic 'Star Friends'. They will approach you and ask you to join in, don't be shy they are not pushy and you can say no but i recommend do it because you will have such a good time especially the dance lessons and the olympics. The Star Friends especially Mickey, Mac, Brownie, DingDong and Mini were absolutely brilliant and you should get talking to them.
Every night there is a show on at 9.45 some are put on by the star friends and others by outside dancers. The ones by the star friends are the best ones and are hilarious!
The place to be every night from 11 o'clock and is the place where you will meet and chat to lots of different people. It starts off with old school disco music but it does get better! The star friends come in every night bout 11.30-12ish look out for mini and pedrito on the dancefloor because they are right little movers!! Every Mon, Wed and Fri there is a dance competiton in there if you don't want to take part there is room to watch, this goes on between 12 and 1. On these nights the music is quite spanish but american and english music is still played quite alot. The barmen in the disco are great they always have smiles on their faces and dance along to the music, watch out for Miguel! The disco finishes at 3am and if your feeling hungry the bar outside will serve you chips just ask Jose! or you can go to the Dominicana buffet where you can get pizza etc be aware of Robin and Juan the legends!!
Great place to meet people. Join in the fun and speak to the staff because they are all really friendly and funny. Girls look out for Mickey, Mac and Brownie they're hot! Had a brilliant time and miss you guys already adele, louise, helen, abbi, dave, sonny, rob, lee, anthony, timmy, john, chris, ron, olly!
Iberostar Punta Cana - Excellent Choice
We had stayed at the Iberostar Punta Cana from May 20, 2005 thru May 27, 2005. We had booked with Apple Vacations, who streamlined the trip from Philadelphia through our entire stay.
I must begin by saying that TripAdvisor was very helpful in choosing our ultimate destination and then we visited the resorts' website for more information. We had stayed in Building 6 next to the lobby area.
The room was spaciuos and comfortable. The TV had satellite channels which came in handy on those rainy days! The water pressure was even excellent compared to some vacation spots in the U.S. The fridge was stocked with bottled water, coca-cola products, and of course cerveza, I wasn't to fond of the flavor however I did enjoy the Presidente on tap. The water in the room is not purified but is good for showering and brushing teeth. All other ice and water in the dining areas are purified and was of no concern to us.
The food choices were plentiful and the picky eaters that we are we found something everyday each course. We were a little disappointed to discover the soft serve ice cream machine on our last day! Although, the hard ice cream was a sure treat every day. The speciality restaurants, Mexican and Steakhouse were satisfying. No complaints in the food area, matter of fact no complaints at all except providing an adaptor for the iron ( $rd 20).
We spent each day at the pool, we never really had any problems finding a chair under a hut although it is ok to move the furniture around to find the perfect spot just as we did. The resort offers various excursions but we found the inclusive snorkeling and kayaking to be just fine. You can catch a lot of sun on the water so take up one of the 2. Also offered is wind sailing, wind surfing, and scuba diving which requires a little training at no extra cost.
Ah the nightlife, after dinner we spent some time at the Punta Cana lobby bar playing cards and drinking away. One night we watched a show at the Dominicana stage and that was too funny. They really got the crowd involved and just made us laugh throughout the show. We played some pool at the Star Rock Cafe with a couple from Boston and after many rum and cokes, gin and tonics, we headed next door to the disco/dance club/whatever you wanna call it. We were well out there by the time it opened at 11:30pm and after so much dancing we were exhausted by 1am.
Overrall our experience was superb, the servers work on hand and foot, the maids will run down the hall to get you pillow cases and the maintenance men will visit you at anytime you have a problem with your safe. Do bring playing cards or games for rainy days or passtime. Perhaps your own snacks too (us $2.12 for a Twix bar). We will be travelling next summer to another Iberostar resort, possibly Cozumel!
More then great
When we went to Punta Cana we had an idea of what we were going into as it was recommended by some very good friends of ours. The island was wonderful the people at the resort were so helpful and tried hard to communicate with us in our English language, and we would try a bit of the domincan lingo. The kids that worked for the resort were the best they were there to make sure the vacationers were having a good time.
Lots of things to do at the resort, and there was a couple of excursions and I would highly recommend the Jungle safari the guides were wonderful and the scenery was just beautiful. We stayed at the Ibeorstar Punta Cana and we have never been so impressed with the cleanliness of the grounds and the rooms, and every morning when you came back to your room your room would be cleaned with fresh flowers on the bed in different style. The only bad thing was at the airport on the way home going through the security they confiscated all of our new batteries, still in the packages. saying we could not take them on the plane and yet on the way in we could not put them under with our luggage so beware of that.