Playa Real Beach Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Playa Real Beach Resort Juan Dolio
Great value holiday
Although a long drag from punta cana airport, and houskeeping being slow and short of reorganisation, i thoroughly enjoyed my 14 nights stay, good staff, food fine and facilities good
I had a great time! Would go again!!
I stayed here in February 2004. I was concerned about staying here as I had never been to the Dominican Republic before, and had not been able to find many reviews of this hotel. My fears were not put to rest until I arrived at the hotel. The hotel is beautiful, the staff very friendly and courteous, and our room was excellent! It was clean and we had excellent views of the ocean from our balcony. The a/c in the room worked above our expectations (even getting too cold at night!). I was disappointed with the beach as there were vendors that tried to sell you anything from CD's to braids. The water itself had a lot of seaweed, so we spent most of our time in the pool. You do have to get up early to get a lounge chair, but I believe that's the case with many of these resorts. I do wish that they would provide a map of the resort, as well as a list of useful information, as I did not find certain things (such as a phone) until the end of my trip. We flew into Santo Domingo and the ride to the hotel was only about 30 minutes or less from the airport. I have stayed at other all-inclusive resorts, and this one was not as nice as the others, but I didn't pay as much either. I would highly reccommend bringing along a spanish phrase book, as spanish is the OFFICIAL language of the island. I would definitely stay here again!! (Check out this web-site for more info on the Dominican Republic... ------------------------ )
The Playa Real is advertised as a four star resort.It is an outright lie. It advertises a magnificent beach for water sports etc. The only catch is--you have to be able to get in the ocean first. It's dirty with loads of black slimy seaweed, lots of rocks and a strong under tow. In order to go into the ocean at all you must walk a ways to adjoining resort and use their beach. The only reason I wanted to go to the Dominican was its fabulous beaches. Needless to say all I wanted to do was go back home. I can go in a swimming pool at home I don't need to travel 3 1/2 hrs on a plane. We were there 1 week as it took that long to get transferred to a different resort and never once got a face cloth. We requested ground floor room and was told that was reserved for us only to be put on the 4th floor which would have been okay but on the second day it quit working.On the bus ride from the airport the tour guy told two girls since they were the only ones he could bother talking to that the resort was only a 2 1/2-3 star resort.When asked how come it was rated higher in the brochures and on the net,he said so they could get clients.The only thing that saved our vacation (after another $500U.S. and a $70 U.S. taxi ride) was the transfer to Casa Del Mar in Bayahibe. It was fantastic.I don't think I would be interested in booking with Sunquest again and definitely not in La Romana.I feel they owe me a weeks vacation,I waited all year for this and they did little to make it enjoyable.
My husband and I just returned from this Resort. We ended up having to change resorts during our vacation. This resort was very dirty. The staff was not helpful at all, nor friendly. They would only rinse the bar glasses with cold water and reuse them for other customers. They didnt wash them between people. We watched them do this. The grounds were not kept clean. Nor the public bathrooms. The food we found always cold. In the morning you needed to go find a spoon for your coffee. They only gave you a fork and knife. We have been to several other resorts and are not picky people at all. But when you walk to your room and you can see where you walked, and debris on the stairs for two days, you know they didnt clean. Our room had no balcony, no air conditioner or hot water. They did finally change our room for us, but at this point we were to upset and decided to change resorts to make our vacation nicer. I would not recommend this resort at all and will never go back.
I'm not well travelled , but this place was DISAPPOINTING
I love good food, I love good drink, I love a hot beautiful clean sandy beach, I love ocean swimming and snorkelling. This place offered NONE of those things, I could write chapters but I'll be brief. The food was the worst - soggy over ripe fruit, Tang for orange juice, goats milk in pitchers of ice, soggy ice cream, fish, pork and chicken sub par and over saturated in grease, pizza reheated, soggy and flimzy, wine was garbage, beer was draft only and lacked substance. The beach was small, dirty , yellow, hard sand. The water was coral bedded, un swimmable, mirky so you couldn't snorkel very well, it dropped off steeply after several feet so wading was difficult. Most of the staff were only spanish speaking except front desk, bartenders and vendors (haha yay lets have more of those). I had stomach cramps intermittently thru out the 2 week stay, immodium helped. The trip to Saona island was amazing, gorgeous white thick sandy beaches, volleyball was fun there and snorkelling on near by island (started with an "M" i forgot the name) was great...Wow fish, vibrant colours!! THAT is what we should get at the resorts for a $1700 2 week excursion. I dont know what these other reviewers really enjoyed about this place , but I'm definatley going 5 star + AND reading reviews of picky well travelled people before i go to the dominican again! Hope this review helps those indecisive people looking for a bargain.
3 stars not 4 stars and not 5 stars
The usual route to Playa Real is to fly into La Romana. We flew into Punta Cana. Beware, this is almost 3 hours on the bus. Our guide didn't talk or provide any relief from the long trip other than 1 short stop.
This resort is a 3 star. Anyone looking for service or ammenities beyond that will not find them. Although the beach is not very good for swimming because of the rocky bottom, seaweed and debris, it does have a couple of nice boardwalks and connects to beaches of other resorts which is nice for walking. The beach vendors were excessive and some a little too pushy. Limited chairs on the beach meant getting up early to reserve seats. There were many complaints about chairs and towels being taken. This resort did not seem ot offer the comfort and security of leaving your things unattended even for a short time. The grounds and the pools were kept clean. The rooms were clean and we had no problem with towels or other necessities. Note that housekeeping often didn't finish making up rooms until 5 pm or later. The resort did seem to be understaffed for the number of guests. The guests were a wide age range with no specific age group as some resorts have. The bar service at times was very slow and the bartenders were not familiar with many exotic drinks. The was good and we only heard of a few people getting sick. The buffet restaurant seating was limited and often required waiting for a table and track down utensils. The a la carte restaurants booked very quickly. The shows and activities wer OK. We didn't find the Jacuzzi the brochure offered. The disco was small and had the pool table in it. The dry ice was a bit too much. Most of the music was Latin and many people would have liked to hear something familiar. We went to the many shops across the road and found they did not bargain.
Some were very unfriendly. Across the were several places offering many more excursions than at the hotel. Overall the vacation was good weather, 3 star accomodations and as always we met people from all over. It's a good time if you make the most of it. BRING YOUR OWN CUP/MUG.
Loved the seafood
found hotel rooms to be average, clean and roomy,didn't like towel situation,took them away in the morningand didn'tget them back some days till 7 pm. food was very good especailly the seafood restaraunt.
tv only had two english channels but not there to watch tv anyway.
staff were very friendly and very talkative.beach was nice but had to be down early to get a lounger. took a half day shopping trip to santo domingo, well worth the $25.Only drawback on our trip was landing in punta cana airport instead of la romana,it was a three hour drive to the hotel from the airport. All in all a good value for the money.
The Truth about Playa Real
Where to begin?
I guess at the begining. so we'll start with the trip there. Playa Real is only 1.5 hours from either La Romana airport or Santo Domingo, (With Canadian Roads and Highway traffic it would only be 45 minuits) but because it's the Dominican count on 1.5 hours. The ability to fly straight from Calgary is nice and less expencive that flying out of Toronto. But for that advantage you have to put up with a little travle time. If you fly direct from Calgary you will moast likely land in Punta Cana and that is 2.5-2.75 hours from the Playa Real. It is nice that you get to see a lot of the Dominican Republic on the drive but after 7.5 hours on the plane it could be a little much, and it is definatly something to keep in mind if you are traveling with small children.
The Playa Real it's self is very nice, It is now an Amhsa Marina resort and by the looks of it working hard to improve from it's Occidental days. While I was there the staff was constantly painting and fixing up, but it was all in the background and very low key and did not bother myself or the other guests that I could tell. The rooms are standard but quite nice and come mostly with double beds, There are King beds available but there are only ten or twelve out of three hundred and ninty some rooms so book ahead if you want one. (we requested a King when we arived and Pedro at the front desk worked hard to acomidate us but it took three nights due to the number of guests). The maid service is good and even though it is an all inclusive a little daily tip of a dollar and a chocolate will ensure great sirvice, and probably flowers on your pillow ( that's what we got). As for the other reviews complaining about lack of TV remotes, A.C. problems, and TV chanels and such just remeber it is a three star or three+in the Dominican, not a five star resorte in Florida. The TV chanals do include 5 or 6 english speaking stations including moviemax and NBC, and remotes must be requested from the front desk on an as availble basis. Any other problems with your room I suggest going to the front desk in person, the staff realy are eager to please and "Pedro" will see that things get taken care of as fast as possible. But if you just phone down you might be waiting a while because after all it is the Dominican and 30 minuits Dominican time is 2 hours Canadian time.
The weather and the beach are great. The snorkling is fantastic as the reef is only 200m from the beach (bring your own mask if you can) They do supply gear but as the snorkling is so fantastic it is popular and you might end up waiting for a while. For sunning there are lots of beach chairs available but you still might want to get up early for the best spots. The sand is nice but if your looking for white powder sand don't go to Playa Real or you'll be disapointed. The beach is great it's just not fine white sand. ( if you want that kind of beach take the day trip to Saona Island, it's a bit of a drive but the experiance is fantastic).
The food at the buffet is not fantastic, but it is good. we never went hungry but lets face it, it's still a bufett. The three Ala' carte resturants (Italian, Mexican and Seafood) are all fantastic. the food is good and the service is nice. The snack bar serves burgers, hot dogs and pizza from noon till five. the snacks are good just don't expect dominos pizza.
The day trips are all a little pricy at the hotell. They are cheaper at the little shop right across the street but I don't think the quality is quite as good. Definatly take the Day trip to Santo Domingo. For $55 US per person you get a great day of sight seeing and shoping, lunch and beverages. Of course if you want you can take the public bus for about 120 pesos or $3.00 US and pay the guides that hang around the bus trminal in Santo Domingo $10 Us per person for an all day custom at your request walking tour. You'll have to pay for lunch your self, and the bus might not have air conditioning but $13. US per person is a lot cheaper thn $55. and lunch will probably only run you $2 or $3.
To sum it all up it was a great vacation, and a fabulous destination to stay at. It is an afordable spot for a reason, so go expecting a three star, and be plesantly suprised if it has improved to a four star by the time you arrive. But if you go expecting Sandals five star you will have ruined your vacation befor you even arrive.
Dont plan on sleeping!!
My boyfriend and I visited in August 2003, checked in at 11pm only to find out our room had been double booked and the ocean view we were promised did not happen. We were okay with that, however we got to our room only to find out we had to sleep on a small pullout bed for 3 days. It was horrible...during the day all we heard was kids screaming by the pool and at night the disco was exceptionally loud until 4am.
Eventually we were finally put into a beatiful room with a great ocean view on the north end of the hotel, but that was about the only plus of our stay. To get this room I had to go through hell and back literally.
For 3 days I was told ur room will be ready in a couple hours....yea 3 days later and a lot of visits to the reception desk. On our last day, there was a huge leak in the bathroom ceiling which flooded the floor and it took maintenance 4 hours to respond. The food is pretty bad and it is impossible to go into the water without some kind of footwear because of the numerous sharp rocks in the water. To get a lounge chair on a weekend you have to wake up at 8am and put a magazine on the chairs, otherwise you will not find one. As far as the country is concerned there is a departure tax that you must pay in order to leave the country...and this must be paid in pesos. Definetly save some currency for this tax because we were unaware of this rediculous tax. I would not stay here again and would not recommend this hotel to anyone!
Occidental playa real...2 star
The People Here Are Very Friendly1. No Towels For 2 Days2. No Remote For The TV 4 Days3. No O.J But They Have (tang) Drink4. Hole In The Bedspread5. No Bacon For Breakfast6. Good Homecooked Food7. No American Music In The Disco only Spanish (r&b, Rap)8. Not A Lot Of English Speaking Staff9. Mattress Needed To Be ReplacedI would come back to juan dolio, but i would stay at the costa caribe hilton a 4 star hotel...laneice & big al
TripAdvisor Reviews Playa Real Beach Resort Juan Dolio
Travel Blogs from Juan Dolio
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