Ocean Blue & Sand

Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic | 4 star resort
 
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This 4 star resort is located on Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana.
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      TravelPod Member ReviewsOcean Blue & Sand Punta Cana

      Reviewed by banshee

      Lovely

      Reviewed Jun 18, 2013
      by (1 review) , Canada Flag of Canada

      Fabulous resort, friendly and accomodating staff, love Mike's Coffee shop.

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Historical Traveler Reviews Ocean Blue & Sand Punta Cana

      Very nice place to stay

      from

      we just have returned from christmas vacations. We spend 12 days at the ocean blue beach and golf resort.

      The hotel is pratically new and kept very clean. The decoration is really very beautiful, the patios are amazing.Rooms are clean and nice, very big.Ask for villa 8, 9 or 3 and 4.

      The swimming pool is very big, so that you never feel bad about the crowd.You can easily find chairs available, so as tha beach, but between the dec 27 and juanary 1st tha hotel was full, so you'd better reserve your chairs soon in the morning.The beach is really fantastic.Beach and pool are very clean.

      Food is not bad at all, excellent breakfast, good dinner only lunch is poor.The staff was very friendly.Beautiful spa.(Milka for the massage is great!)

      Some bad stuffs though, service was not good, always nice , but really not organised,so that when the hotel was crowed you had to wait pretty long at the buffet.NO light in the rooms!!!! Still a good place to return to.

      Absolutely beautiful and relaxing

      from

      My family spent Christmas at the Ocean Sand and Golf resort from the 18th- 25th. It was a amazing trip, this place is so clean and is surounded by beautiful gardens and fountains. The food was really good, we went to the Italian, mexican and american restaurant first and then found that the buffet topped them all. There wasn't anything you couldn't get there. The people there were very accomidating. Christmas eve day Santa arrived by parachute, that evening in the theatre they had a party for the kids and they all received a present. The weather was beautiful and we couldn't have asked for anything better. The resort was only at 35% occupancy. No waiting for anything. The ammenities were all very close.

      Wonderful Vacation

      Extremely Good

      from

      My wife and I spent a week at Ocean Blue in early December and thoroughly enjoyed it. I make no apologies for the length of this review as I wish to give a detailed account of what you can expect.

      HOTEL--- The hotel itself is very nice with marble everywhere and the bathrooms in the hotel are very clean and luxurious in appearance. The hotel rooms are in three storey buildings which give it the feel of a little village. The main path from the reception to the beach is flanked with palm trees and they play soothing music along it at night. On the way to the great beach(very nice sand) you pass the 2 pools which are huge(approx. 25 meters x 50 meters). Yes the pools really are that big!! One of the pools tends to have all the activities and the other is quieter, so everyone is accomodated.

      FOOD--- The breakfast buffet is the weakest of the meals but that said there is something for everyone and they will make omelettes to order. The bread is I believe made in the afternoon so tends to be a little stale the following morning. Lunch brings the choice of 2 buffets and my wife and I both felt the one by the beach was better. Again plenty of choices so everyone's tastes can be accomodated.

      Dinner---Best meal of the day as in addition to the main buffet there are 4 restaurants included. The Italian and Dominican restaurants are excellent. The Route 66 is pretty good and the Mexican is the weakest, using american cheese, not mexican(although the chicken fajitas are good). Portion sizes are smaller than in the U.S. but fine for normal appetites. The decor of the restaurants is excellent. The Italian restaurant was closed on the Saturday evening for a private party which I thought was unfair as you have paid to be able to go to all the restaurants but it was the only night that happened. We popped in on the buffet a couple of times and that also was good with fresh salmon and a chicken carvery one night, and roast lamb and beef carveries another night. As far as the pay restaurants(we had a meal included in our package)--the wine cellar is very nice but has some of the same dishes as the other restaurants(Italian and Dominican) although with larger portions, and the seafood restaurant is actually a lobster meal on the beach. Lobster is excellent but I had got the impression from the literature that there was an actual restaurant with choices. If all this is not enough there is a coffee bar which is very nice with coffee/teas and lovely cakes. There is also a sports bar open until 6a.m. which serves snacks after 11p.m.

      ROOM--- Very nice size we had a king size bed and the room is 15ft x 24ft. There is also a chaise lounge, wardrobe, fridge etc. There is a nice balcony, the floors are marble and the bathroom is 9ft x 9ft. The bathroom is lovely with 2 person jetted tub, separate shower and 2 sinks. Minor issues with the bathroom are that not all the water drained out of the bath but the maid cleans it out daily, the shower had a slight leak where the glass met the bathtub(just use a few towels) and the towels and toilet paper could be softer. As far as maid service we followed the advice we had read online and left a $2 tip each day. This resulted in fabulous service. We got plenty of towels, our fridge was always well-stocked and we even got face cloths a few days but these seem to be a rarity. In addition our maid even made a towel into different figures--one day a heart, the next a swan and decorated them with flowers. If we put our sign out saying we wanted the room cleaned it was usually done within 1 hour!!

      SERVICE-- generally very good but it definitely helps if you speak Spanish. The staff are friendly but their English is limited.

      JUNIOR GOLF SUITES PACKAGE-- My wife and I had booked this as part of our package, and I would say the results were mixed. When we arrived the hotel had lost our reservation so had to wait half an hour for our room. We had to ask for our fruit platter, and for no apparent reason it did not come one day(Monday). We never received our fruit basket or the slippers and robes. The horse back riding was great and the massage was superb. The catamaran ride was a lot of fun but we had to wait half an hour for no reason other than the men at the boat shop just kept talking to each other. We never used the 24hr room service because when I accidentally called the first day and asked for towels, they were puzzled by the word. This did not give me confidence they would handle a food order in English very well--I'm sure if you speak Spanish it would be fine. The VIP service was mixed. The ladies were very helpful but the men generally seemed to shirk doing work. One man we asked to help us contact the van company to take us to the airport handed me the phone when he was put on hold and left the room. When a spanish voice came on I was lost because I do not speak Spanish(which is why I had asked for help). The man never did return to the room but fortunately a lady was more helpful. Overall, I liked all the extras included with the package.

      Activities--vast range. The climbing wall is pretty big and the activity staff are extremely helpful. If only one person wants to do an activity then they join in to make a game of it. I even saw a guest doing baseball batting practice with a member of the activity staff pitching and fielding for him. The aerobics classes are expertly run and I would say the activity staff get 5 stars in anyone's book. The bowling alley opens at 3pm and has free pool, air-hockey and table-football. Bowling is $15 per lane per game. This is a great deal if you have a big group but not so good if there are just 2 of you.

      OFF SITE Activites--- Horse riding great(I had never done it before) and I would highly recommend the safari trip as a way to get a feel for the country. In particular we went with Outback Safaris--excellent. All their guides are very friendly and they want you to have a good time. They tell you about the country and if you are lucky enough to get Rafael he is brilliant. Make sure you take some money with you as the trip takes you to a coffee/cocoa farm where you can but coffee/cocoa/vanilla at unbelievable prices. The only criticism of the trip are the roads which are not their fault.

      General Comments---Roads in the Dominican Republic are poor--mainly potholed, so expect a lot of vibrations when travelling. I viewed it as a free rollercoaster ride. Taxis are motorbikes and the driving style is slightly chaotic but everyone drives the same way. Either trust your driver or close your eyes!! Weather was fabulous 85F but can be breezy. Does rain abit but generally blows over in a couple of hours. Most of the time it is sunny. The people are friendly and proud of their country. 90% of them work in tourism. You do get vendors approaching you on excursions but they understand NO. At hotel there are timeshare/condo people who approach you but again just say NO. I would recommend this hotel for families and people who want a great holiday but do not expect perfection. If you do not mind the odd mistake you will overall be very happy. Final advice-- Domincan time like most of the Caribbean is slower so when someone say 5 minutes they mean anything from 10-45 minutes!!!

      Very nice place for quiet vacation

      from

      We went to Ocean Sand the week of December 11-18/2005.

      There were 8 of us - 2 younger couples - 1 older and 2 singles. No complaints about flight -the usual-small plane - tiny seats, bad food...no complaints.

      Check in: was partially done on the bus on the way to the resort. We received our wrist bands and room numbers - in the lobby we only picked up our keys so it was very quick. We received nice refreshing cold towel and welcome drink on arrival.

      Grounds: Beautifull!! resort is quite large - from lobby to beach about 7-8 minute walk but they do have a shuttle going in circles. Two huge pools with swim up bars. Lobby was huge! Check-in part was air-conditioned. Contemporary furniture - gorgeous coffe tables and bamboo sticks everywhere. Public bathrooms were also very nice and clean - all marble. I guarantee you will be amazed with lobby area - truly something to see. They have a nice air-conditioned gym with all new equipment. There is a bowling alley with 6 lanes and pool tables upstairs. Tennis courts, archery etc.

      Rooms: Nice and spacious. King size comfortable bed, living area with day bed. Very nice stylish furniture. Mini bar stocked daily (no beer...). Bathroom was gorgeous - all marble, two sinks,phone and 2 person jacuzzi tub - nice to get into after a full day at the beach. Big terrace.

      Our a/c wouldn't go over 19 degrees - thermostat was busted so it was very cold if you left in on. We used ceiling fan to sleep. Nicest accomodations we had so far and we have been to many places in the carribean.

      Food: Great! No complaints what so ever. Buffet breakfast - I love eggs so omlettes every day. Buffet lunch at main restaurant or beach grill. Try the chicken- simply amazing ( grain fed properly ). Dinner either at main buffet - always lots to choose from or in one of many a la carte restaurants without reservations! Me and my wife liked Mexican the most as we are a bit into spicy foods. There was American (did not try), Italian (very good), Dominican (good). Best part was Mike's coffe house - great coffes (hot and cold) and pastries or cakes. Espressos gave you a nice kick for you to keep going.

      Bars: Several bars all over the resort. The lobby bar had live music in the evening. There was a beach bar, buffet bars, sports bar, disco bar, casino bar...Drinks were good and plenty. The biggest downfall ( I will complain to Signature vacations) was NO INTERNATIONAL BEER SELECTION. Brochure states they do have it. Since I'm a beer drinker I even called the resort to ask and was told they have Haineken, Budweiser and Corona in International restaurants - nowhere to be found!

      Beach: Best part of the resort! Amazing. White sands and tourquise water. The widest beach from all neighouring resorts. We went for an hour long walk on the beach to a resort we got married at 2 years ago (Grand Paradise Bavaro) and none of the resorts had nicer stretch than Ocean Sand.

      Lots of chairs-no morning reservations required. Beach bar 10 seconds away. Rock climbing wall, watersports, beach volleybal, bocce etc.

      Overall it was a truly 5 star property for Dominican standards. Always great service with a smile. Please try to tip whenever you can as these people make less in a month than some of us in a day. We left toothpastes and brushes plus chewing gum and money for our maid. This staff costs arm and a leg there. Some of the things they could improve on:

      -international beer selection as stated

      -maintance of the rooms- our ac was working but at same temperature, problems with the phone and safe next door in our friends room. We also had a small leak from ceiling in our bathroom - weird for a new resort.

      -we got cheated couple of times at a casino in Plaza Bavaro - the kept taking our money even If we beat the dealer. When we complained dealer would talk in Spanish to manager behind him and pay us back on blackjack table. If you play better watch closely.

      -lady in a pool bar would never smile no matter what you did....

      I would recommend this property to anyone. I don't think I will come back myself only because I never stay at same resort twice - I like to explore but who knows - maybe one day....

      Paradise found at the ocean blue

      from

      My husband & I stayed at the Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort from November 30th- December 8th. First off I will address some questions I had before we left Canada to the resort. There was some confusion re: Ocean Sand & Ocean Blue there were huge price differences between the two when we went to book. They are the SAME RESORT 100% .... Villas 1-6 are on the Ocean Sand side, the fronts of the villas face the pool view, actually villa 1 is closest to the main lobby area ( restaurants , coffee shop, theatre etc) # 6 is right at the edge where the beach starts, great ocean view in villa #6. Also villa #5 & 6 have great wicker patio furnishings where as villas 1-4 have regular resin furnishings. The rear view in these villas backs onto the LTI resort area, but there is plenty of jungle atmosphere to block the resort. Villas 7-10 are on the Ocean side, front view is of the pool & the back overlooks the natural "jungle" very pretty actually. again villa #6 is closest to the "spa" main buffet restaurant & activity area, with #10 being on the beach, the best ocean views are from villas #6 & #10. Honestly though this resort is huge, and not in a bad way. Every aspect from landscaping, the building structures & ammeneties is first class. Imagine marble and high end furnishings in the elaborate lobby, same goes for the rooms & most restaurants. There are many water features fountains, lazy rivers etc. The pools are the largest, cleanest and most well designed pools I have ever seen. The beach is amazing, large & spacious. My husband is 35 & I am 32, this was our first trip to the Dominican, we chose to vacation here after cancelling our vacation plans in the Mayan Riviera due to Wilma... We have been to the Mayan 9 times, also to Cabo, Los Cabos, Vallarta & Cuba. In my opinion this was my favorite vacation destination ( resort) yet... here's why: I have never felt more relaxed & rested after comming home from a vacation ever- sure the flight is long, but the resort is just amazing, if you want to party you can, if you want to just R&R you can. We never made it to breakfast once, slept in till 10:30 or later every day, hit the beach every day between 11-12:30 we never had any problem getting a chaise lounger, they have so many... We just pulled them along the sand & found a quiet place- we felt so secluded & private even though the resort was fully booked. We would head to the pool around 4pm & swim, usually relax in our room for a couple of hours & head out for dinner & the coffee bar which is great, they have so many fresh made deserts, specialty coffees & teas, even organic teas & iced coffees. The coffee bar staff are like "coffee artists" just watch what they can do with the caremel

      & chocolate... one night we went to the bowling alley, they have pool tables & air hockey tables too

      (fun, fun)the shows were a lot of fun, they were at 10:00 pm nightly. the disco was fun too, we went a few nights for a little while. We heard people compalin about everything while we were there, from the liquor to the service-some people were just disgustingly rude... We did tip daily, always at the coffee bar, at our evening meal & to the maids. I brought gifts for the maid & put $5.00 in with the gift each day, along with a small note card thanking her for her hard work & wishing her a great day. She would stop me each day to thank me & she did go all out in our room, the best towel arrangements which are not an important factor into the holliday, but sure make you feel good, she would pick fresh flowers for us each day for our room. Our fridge was always stocked & we had extra pillows & towels. The room

      was very clean including a daily floor wash. The towel arrangements were an extra but aside from this the service is the same weather you tip or not. I was actually pleased to see this. People who think they should get better service because you tip have it all wrong. These workers truly did treat every guest the same, which is how it should be. If you can not afford to tip, or simply dont want to then you should not be peanalized, since you are at an all inclusive. And although I like to tip to show my appreciation I never expect to get special treatment. People compalined about this a lot, but the Dominican people are just pleased to be working ( they sang a lot while they worked) and we always received smiles and a HOLA! but maybee it's because we were just very happy to be there. As for the food, it was very good. The beef is not what I am use to in Canada or the USA. It is very Rich tasting almost impossible to eat for my husband & I, so we went fore the chicken & bbq salmon filets, great. With the great selections of food anyone can find something, if you don't like what you tried, don't complain- try something different! The bartenders are a little "green' and often make the drinks too strong, or can be difficult to understand, but if you take one minute to explain they will listen & are happy to make anything for you. Some peolpe were being sarcastic and making rude comments to the bartenders and the dominican staff did not understand the sarcasm, which is understandable, so don't think of them as rude, they are just more laid back & actually very professional.

      I know this review is very long, but for anyone who is thinking of this resort I wanted to give you as much of my own insight as possible. Oh one more thing...This resort has cute little shuttles that are going all around the resort all day&night so for handicapped people, or those who don't want to walk a lot this is a great service. They have the most amazing buildings, lots of pillars, oversized lanterns & tons of flowers & trees. At night all of the walkways are lit up & it is just so beautiful. I am taking my mother here in February, I was so impressed with this resort I changed our vactaion from Los Cabos to here. Have a great vaction!

      Just like the photos!

      from

      We went to the Ocean Blue with mixed feelings after reading the extremely negative and the most glowingly positive reviews. We took our 18 year old daughter with us Dec.7 -14th and were pleasantly surprised to find that it looks exactly like all the photos! It is a very clean, beautiful resort, not at all crowded, a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere with very gracious, friendly staff. We tried out all the restaurants, other than the two where you had to pay extra. It was good to learn that they have recently changed the policy and you no longer need to make reservations at any of the included restaurants. It seems that all the food is prepared out of the same kitchen and not totally authentic Mexican,Italian or American. We found something to please each of us at all the places we tried. The decor in each one is very well done. By far the best food and classiest restaurant it the Dominican one -La Casa. We were not familiar with the types of food and had to wait until someone could come and describe the dishes and flavours before ordering, but were extremely pleased with what we had. For the less adventurous eaters, Garlic Prawns with mashed potatoes, broccoli and carrots are a safe bet. I ordered something called Guinea Hen with Guavaberry sauce. It wasn't at all what I expected it to be but was very tasty. We enjoyed our dinner so much that we went there twice. The second night I ordered 'grilled fish' and it was as delicious and well prepared and as anything I have eaten anywhere, in any fine restaurant in the world. 'To die for' is the Coconut dessert, similar to a rice pudding with brown sugar and cinnamon.

      We heard from other diners that they had unhappy experiences at the Mexican Restaurant but our dinner was pretty good - not great. The best thing we sampled there was a pasta with pesto sauce and chicken. The good news is that you can always find something else to eat at the buffet if you don't like the other places. We were well fed! The beach restaurant [La Cana] has delicious chicken all day long as part of their regular food. For those of you from Canada, it reminded me of Swiss Chalet chicken. They serve burgers, pizza, salads, fruit, ice cream etc. It's very casual with sunbathers strolling in wearing their bathing suits.

      One small problem in the restaurants is with ordering. It seems as though only one person in each place is available and speaks enough English to take your orders or answer questions about the menu. That part takes time and as long as you are relaxed and patient it is fine. Drinks are served quickly when you arrive and the food comes quite quickly too once you have finally placed your order! There are many people there serving the food but they don't seem very confident yet in approaching the guests. Sometimes it is difficult to get anyone to bring coffee or tea after dinner but it will eventually come if you are persistant and patient. The staff are very nice and try to please, but I think it mainly a language problem and perhaps lack of experience.

      We had a few minor glitches with our first room such as the patio door not locking.We also didn't get a pool view as requested. The next day we requested a new room and it was taken care of right away. One day the safe malfunctioned but they fixed it within an hour. Another day the guest above us was showering and I noticed water coming through the light above our tub. I called guest services and it was taken care of immediately. We really have no complaints about the service. The rooms are clean. There is musty smell but I have found that to be true anywhere with the same climate. Things don't dry very well, it's humid all the time - forget having nice hair!

      We heard many complaining customers in line at the airport. They either had many more problems or else liked complaining! From what I heard though, the Ocean Blue seems to be a very good place in comparison to others. There are people at each hotel trying to sell time shares, although they don't call it that. We were not harrassed very much but in other resorts it seemed to be a really major problem with people even waiting outside the rooms of guests and not taking no for an answer.

      There is also a scam going on at the airport. We were asked for $10 each upon arrival by someone wearing a security uniform. We mentioned it to our Transat rep. and the money was reimbursed to all those who had paid. While we were waiting for our flight at the gate, another very young security man was going around sitting down near the customers and asking them for money. The only money you have to pay is $20 per person when you are checking your luggage to depart.

      The evening entertainment wasn't really worth seeing and we missed several. As we have seen in other places, they mostly have choreographed dancing and lip synching. One night they had a "talent show" or something at the poolside and it apparently became "unsuitable for family viewing" and offensive to several people from what I heard. As has been mentioned in other reviews, the beach has a lot of topless bathers. So if you are uncomfortable with that idea, don't go! It seemed to be more family oriented around the pool with nice shallow wading areas too. All in all, we were very happy at this choice of a resort and would recommend it.

      Great place

      from

      My fiance and I stayed at Ocean Blue for a long weekend in the beginning of December. It was very beautiful. The beach and pool were gorgeous. The waitstaff was all very friendly, but did not speak very good english. We do know some spanish which was a big help. The buffet restaurant service was very slow, and the food was typical of an all-inclusive. All in all, it is a great hotel!

      Just got back

      from

      My boyfriend and I just returned from the Ocean Blue Golf and Beach Resort for our first trip to the Dominican Republic. The best thing is the beach. You can walk for miles either way. We were in Villa 5 in a standard jr. suite with a pool view which was a good place to be. The next time I will upgrade to the Deluxe Jr. Suite which was sold out before we booked. In our room the shower was in the jucuzzi tub and there was no way to take a shower without getting water all over the floor. I was told in a deluxe room the shower is separate plus you get alcohol in your room and some other perks. They are a little stingy with the bath towels so ask for extras daily and stash them. Duke was great at check in! He always greeted us with a friendly smile and a hand shake. Smiles are sometimes hard to come by but I understand that is everywhere not just this resort. I made it a game to see if I could get them to smile. They are constantly cleaning and manicuring the property. The food was typical of an all-inclusive resort. There are many specialty restaurants for dinner so it's worth trying them all. There is also a small casino. We did not find much to do as far as shopping and sight seeing but the beach makes up for that. Don't be in any big hurry no matter where you go. I had to keep reminding myself that I was on vacation. We tipped several bartenders and waitresses thinking that would help but it didn't. We know very little Spanish but the language barrier was not near as bad as I had heard. I need to learn it anyway. Did I feel like a princess? No, but for the great price we enjoyed our stay and would return.

      "Fabulous Resort"

      from

      Me and my husban stayed at the resort from OCT:24-31 can't really complain about this hotel. Our garden view was beautiful. The grounds are impeccable and the beach was really nice. The food was good and the coffe place so good,and very confortable the service was very goog. Check-in was very fast, rooms were big(we had a Jr. Suite) the room was nice and clean all the time. we had Soda,water,coffe,tea,cream inside the room. we are thinking to go back to this hotel again.we had beautiful time.

      TripAdvisor Reviews Ocean Blue & Sand Punta Cana

      4.00 of 5 stars Excellent
       

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