I have travelled to Mexico twice, Jamaica 5 times and Punta Cana once. I stayed at 5 different Sandals Resorts, Moon Palace, Sun Palace, Occidental Grand and Bavaro Princess.
Dominican Republic Arrival
Dont get it twisted. I'm not a whiner or a complainer; I just need to tell the truth. If you can’t handle it just skip my review.
You have to pay $10 per person to get into the country. Workers will try to grab your bags to take them to the shuttle/taxi etc. Don't let anyone carry your bags unless you are ready to start handing out tips left and right. We called them the “bag snatchers”. They take your bags before you even get out of the taxi/shuttle. They roll them 2 feet then they say “tip for me"?
We paid extra for a private car for four people and they put us on shuttle bus, the driver asked for a tip too. Are you kidding we paid extra for a private car didn't get it and now the driver wants a tip too WTH*
20 minute ride to the resort
At the resort you get greeted with a cold washcloth and a small glass of ice tea. Make sure you ask for two room keys. Sometimes the keys lose the swipe code. It's irritating to keep running back to the front. Just get 2 and carry both. Also your room key sides into the card system inside the room for electricity and for your air conditioner to operate. Bring your own washcloths-they don’t have any. The towels are rough-like they really hurt.
There is Blue Bay staff walking around trying to “Invite you to a VIP Presentation”
It’s the resort timeshare/point system sale BEWare!
If you don’t mind noise from the stage events-partying- everyday pool ruckus then pick building 1, 2, 3, or 5. Building 1 &2 are on the side and back of the stage. Building 3 & 5 are right in front of the pool. Buildings 4 & 6 are little bit further back but still in eye-shot of the pool. Building 7 and 8 are toward the spa and the back of the resort. The back balconies of 7and 8 face the small pool. Please be mindful this is a small resort. Only 3 pools- one swim up bar, one for lounging and volleyball and the other is the size of one you'd see in a backyard. The swim up bar pool has about 50 lounge chairs 1 cabana, the volleyball pool has about 20 lounge chairs and 2 cabanas and the spa pool has about 12 lounge chairs and some table and chair sets.
The resort was clean, the grounds were well kept and the pools were clean as well.
A lot of staff was pleasant but the desk staff lacked customer service skills.
Tip- the king size beds are horrible. I know it sucks to think of getting two double beds in your room but it’s worth it the king size bed fills like your laying on wood- no kidding!!!!! Like a bed from the Flintstones cartoon! The double beds are softer-decent! We stayed in room 3208 with 2 double beds and a balcony- secret you get free wireless from the balcony in that room (Hotel casa colonial connection). The VIP Villas are very nice.
Room 3208 Beds were ok, Water pressure was good in the shower, the air conditioner worked and free Wi-Fi.
Food-ugh!! I quickly had lowered my standards of good. Good meant edible! Food was recycled throughout the day. Leftover breakfast became lunch with a sauce on it and lunch became dinner with vegetables mixed in or something.
For Breakfast the banana bread and omelets were good. You can count on Potatoes for every meal. Service is slow. This is the time to tip- they will always make sure you are taking care of- it matters believe me. After asking 4 times and waiting 15 minutes for a Pepsi we quickly found out!
WARNING. Pay in pesos or cash don’t use your credit card or go to the ATM machine. I paid for excursions and other purchases with my card. I signed for them to charge $540 for the excursions; I got back home it was $562.50. This happened on 3 other transitions as well
The alcohol is not top shelf. Wine and beer was nasty. Bring your own liquor. The seafood and the steakhouse restaurants are good. Steakhouse (French onion soup, beef fillet- medium well, and the warm amaretto were my favorites there). Fish and seafood (the appetizer was good it had calamari, fish, hushpuppies, mussels and shrimp. I had the chicken and my husband had the mahi- mahi).
EXCURSIONS- Excursions are cheaper at the plaza and the beach. The plaza is within 3 minutes walking distance within the gates - its safe! Beware the locals hound you BAD! Just say NO and mean it. Just keep walking it will be ok! Stuff at the plaza is old, some outdated and dusty. The exchange rate as of Feb.25th 2013 was $1 converts to 39 pesos. 995 in pesos=$25.50 American dollars.
The extreme package included 3 adventures $150us pp. 8/9 hrs: waterfalls were scary to me and it was about 20-30 minutes of hiking to get to the falls too...ugh, horseback riding was ok- I was expecting healthy horses and riding somewhere, not just up and down a hill. The zip lining was a lot fun. Paradise Island was $120 pp. 12 hrs. Everything was good with this trip except getting in and out of the small motor boat. The lunch with the excursion was good. Paradise Island was very pretty with good snorkeling. My husband saw a big barracuda. Bring a waterproof bag- everything gets wet.
BEACH-Windy after noon, the sand is like brown gravel with murky water near shore. But it gets beautiful the further out you look. Lots of beach chairs available. Vendors everywhere trying to sell their “Stuff”...….I got so tired of hearing “hey my brotha from another motha” “hey my sista from another mista”
Shout out to Jamaica, Lorale, Rogue, Wendy and Anyelo.
Drinks-Lorale and Rogue
Buffet Service-Wendy and Anyelo
SPA- Maritza did a fantastic job with my hot rocks massage $80us.
Photos- Jamaica takes great pictures and he's personable.
I won’t go back to Puerto Plato, but I’d consider Punta Cana again!
I rate them OK because I enjoyed the 7 days of 90+ beautiful sun-shine weather with my husband!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- BlueBay Villas Doradas is an Adults Only 24 hour All Inclusive resort in Puerto Plata, was completely refurbished in 2006 providing facilities and rooms of the highest quality. This hotel in Puerto Plata, which is only for the over 18s, is an ideal place for couples to relax or enjoy their honeymoon or wedding. Its location - literally next to the 18-hole Playa Dorada golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones – makes it a favourite among golfers.The hotel’s rooms and suites are equipped to the highest standard, in keeping with the quality of the resort and its recent refurbishment – all include cable TV, mini bars and ironing facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bluebay Villas Doradas Hotel Puerto Plata
- Bluebay Hotel Puerto Plata
- Bluebay Hotel Doradas
- Blue Bay Getaway Villas Doradas
- Blue Bay Getaway Dominican Republic