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Club Med Punta Cana
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Reviewed April 7, 2012

Another fantastic stay at Club Med Punta Cana. It had just been a year since our first stay, but they have kept the programs, food, and shows varied and high quality. Of course the staff, especially at the kids' club (like Roger), remain energetic and creative. The resort was full, but it didn't feel like it. Suggestion: sign up for classes as soon as you get there. Looking forward to next year!

Room Tip: The smallest of the four room sizes was cozy but fine for me, my wife, and our 7 & 9 year-olds. Rooms in Cortez are quiet; don't know about the others.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank bergdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2012

Dear bergdoc,
Thanks so much for taking the time to review our Club Med resort. We’re happy to learn that you had “another fantastic stay” with us! We’re also pleased you enjoyed our energetic and creative staff. We appreciate your insight and know future guests will be grateful for your suggestion about signing up for classes early. We wish you safe travels and are looking forward to your return next year!
Best,
Your Club Med Team

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Reviewed April 7, 2012

Club Med is Club Med. It has its own spirit and culture. If you are looking for a secluded, peaceful resort with ultra luxury service making you feel like you are the only one in the world… Club Med is not for you.

Club Med is about fun, friendship, sports, relaxation and freedom for parents and kids, in gorgeous locations with a team of GOs who are there for you all the time, GO-style.

We have been to high-end peaceful reports (in Anguilla for example) and love it. But as a couple, not as a family.

We just spent 11 days at Club Med Punta Cana: 2 adults, 3 kids of 10, 6 and 1.5 years old…  It was just the perfect family vacation. I repeat: family vacation, ie for the kids as much as for the parents. This is what Club Med is about: kids. They are happy and entertained better than any other kids club we’ve been to on many continents. You (parents) are then free to enjoy each other in all the ways, all day and night (yes night too). When and where can you do this in a total peace of mind and have your kids beg you to stay out late so that they can enjoy the pajama club?  
 
The resort
The resort is gorgeous and very clean, all the time, from early in the morning to late at night. It is huge. Everything is spacious so - even during crowded weeks - you don't feel packed.

Around the pool, especially on the kids side, it is rather loud but hey…
Pool-side chairs: yes you need to book them early (i.e. 7am) even if Club policy says you cannot do it. Pile up towels, books, bags etc so that you can have a chair at 9am after breakfast. If you don't, get a chair on the beach (much easier) and come back at noon.

There are two areas where you can enjoy more silence (few people hang out there): the Tiara area and on the other side, towards the spa where you have huge lawn area without any activities. Maybe this is where they should have an adult-only pool.
If you want more calm: relax on the beach. Lots of chairs, few in the shade though. I don't understand why they don't have umbrellas at the beach.

Topless tanning is allowed (it's a French club) but we actually didn't see many showing off their latest silicon job.

Beach boys are friendly (thanks to Juan).

The rooms
Basic but clean. We booked a standard room. Since you are supposed to be outside most of the time, it worked out fine for us. A/C worked well.
If you plan to send your kids to Kids Club, request a building close to it. It will make your life just easier.
There is a "biberonnerie" by the Baby Club: a room where you can wash baby bottles, get free milk, baby food, cereals and kids snacks.

The GOs
Fantastic team.
Let's face it: it's hard (very hard) work. They must be friendly with everything one, from kids to elderly, from sport-oriented people to beach combers, form French to Americans. Barq (Chef de Village, Village Chief) is the archetype of the GO: always smiling, friendly, sweet… to a point where it feels sometimes a bit too sweet and too much… But it is Club Med style. We know it's a bit fake but we like it.

Most GOs are truly wonderful. They go the extra-mile to make you feel good and entertain you. You should actually do lunch or dinner with them and go beyond superficial conversation: they are all great people.

Adult activities & The Bar
The range isn't great. Archery, tennis, rumba, snorkeling, kayak, scuba diving (paying). I wish they had more.
I recommend to go jogging before 7am, in the resort and along the beach: memorable peaceful experience.
Saturday is a slow day: lots of people are off. No kids club . Some activities are closed.

The bar (main bar and beach bar) are nice. Quality of the drinks vary a lot, depending on the experience of the GO. Paying drinks (e.g. some wines or champagnes) are prohibitive
The spa is wonderful: peaceful and treatments are excellent. Massages in little cabanas in the garden… hum…

At night it's show time: 08:15 for kids, 09:30 for all. Shows are great especially when they include circus activities (Madou is a former Cirque du Soleil athlete. He is wonderful). Of course GOs make you dance and scream together, sometimes on stage: just go with it and "don't be shy" (a club mantra). Kulikitaka (look it up on YouTube) will resonate long after you've left!

Kids and babies activities
This will make your stay paradise: kids absolutely love it and you can enjoy your days and night alone or with your spouse (or whoever you're with).

GOs are much better than in other kids club we went to. They speak French and English (usually with a French accent but it's fun) and Spanish in many cases.

We have a long list of names of GOs to thank. I am afraid to forget some if I quote names: Alban, Anessa, Radhames (what a show man), Sam, Folka, Mark, Alexandre, Obed, Cadeau etc who took care of our two older kids. You will not believe the show that GOs can make your kids do in just a few days. Get your camera ready!

You have the option to let your kids do dinner with their team at 7pm and then see the kids show.
For an extra $30, they can join the Pajama club from 9pm to 1am…. while parents party!

The baby club (our daughter is 1.5 years) is excellent and clean. GOs are so sweet and caring. Thanks to the Daphnees (there are many), Noemie and all those who made our daughter's stay wonderful. At drop off lots of babies cry but GOs are excellent at calming them down.

Food
For such a huge resort, food is excellent and diverse. After one week you will know all the dishes and wish you could go outside to try other things though.
Again: talk to the Chefs: you will learn a lot.
Two restaurants, one sort of "open air" (Hispaniola ) even if covered and one with A/C. At Hispaniola there are a few birds around but (unlike what some reviewers say) it's not an issue at all. The view is wonderful. Service better outside peak hours when staff isn't rushed. Those are not waiters per se. Don't imagine you are in a real restaurant. This is a fancy buffet. Many staff were very friendly, especially when you treat them with a smile and respect. (Saying "Hola, como estay?" to local staff won't hurt you!)
BBQ on the beach (lunch) was average. No fish.

The language
Club Med being French, you will find lots of French and Canadians at the resort. But rarely with the negative attitude often associated with the French. So let's say it's a trilingual resort (French English Spanish) with a French accent.

The Boutique (store)
Nice friendly but small and prohibitive especially for common stuff. Be ready to pay $40 minimum for sunscreen so pack everything in advance. There is only one store and you can't step outside the Club to shop around so they have strong pricing power and abuse it. Usually, you pay with your room key associated to your account but when you pay cash, insist of getting a receipt. In two instances, the salesperson took the dollars but returned no receipt, raising our suspicion about where the money went.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank FamilleFiore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2012

Dear FamilleFiore,
We’re so thrilled that your stay with us was the “perfect family vacation.” It’s great to hear that our wide variety of activities allowed many options for all your family members. We’re also happy to hear that our resort was gorgeous, clean and spacious, and that your family thought our food was excellent and diverse. Many thanks for reviewing our resort. We wish you safe travels and hope you and your family will visit again soon!
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team

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Reviewed April 6, 2012

This is a great resort for families especially with younger children. I went with my family and while there were not many young adults there were tons of activities, exercise classes, water sports, etc to keep me busy all day. The trapeze, tight rope and other circus equipment was a family highlight but expect long lines for the trapeze. Both restaurants are terrific with a huge variety of foods. Although the resort is large, nothing every felt very crowded and you can always find a table to sit at our a place to sunbathe by the pool. Accommodations were very comfortable and the pools and beach are picture perfect. I would also recommend the spa.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank carla s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2012

Dear carla s,
Thanks so much for giving our resort such a great review! We’re thrilled you and your family enjoyed so many of our amenities that we offer! Many thanks, again, for reviewing our resort, and we hope you and your family will plan a visit to see us again very soon.
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team

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Reviewed April 6, 2012

Our entire family was thrilled to go to Club Med for a third time. Our 2 previous experiences, Sandpiper and Cancun were beyond our expectations. The G.O.s, the amenities, the food were just fantastic.

Unfortunately, we were disappointed with our stay last March. Club Med was forced to cut prices this year in certain markets to cope with the recession and maintain its occupancy level and we felt the challenges Club Med is facing during our entire stay at this village. We still paid a higher price to spend our vacation at Club Med, so we were surprise that this village was just average. Still, Club Med offers plenty of activities and is a great formula for kids.

However, with over 550 lodging units and more that 1600 guests staying on site, this Club is currently not able to offer the same quality as in its smaller villages.

Airport transfer was a mess. No one was at the Club Med counter at the airport. It took us a while to find the driver outside the airport that had our names on his list.

Check-in was disorganised. The room was not ready, so he suggested that we go eat and come back a 1 1/2 later to get the keys. We did so and we were guided to our room by a G.O. that made long detours around the village since he did not know were the room was located !!! When we got to the room, we sat for another hour waiting for our luggages. Later during our stay, we found out that our room key was not activated for on-site purchases.

Fortunately, we had a nice confortable room located on the third floor of the Cortas building, which is conveniently located near the pool, theatre and main restaurant.

We then headed to the Mini-Club to check in our 9 year old daughter. We met the first G.O. that was friendly and made us feel welcomed. Because of the larger size of the village, the Mini-club has an enormous pavillion divided in multiple age groups and a dedicated swimming pool and playground. With over 200 kids attending while we were there, it's definitely a good thing that kids are split in specific age groups with specific activity programs for each of them.

Our 11 year old son went to the 11-17 year old facility - the ramp. However, this skateboard facility is no longer operating (they probably had too many injuries), so it just serves as a meeting point for the teens. The G.O.s at the ramp were not the most friendly, very untypical of Club Med.

The food is good but lacks variety on certain nights. The dessert buffet has little offerings. The snacks during happy hour were the same all week long. Hosts seemed confused at La Samana restaurants. We were assigned to tables still in use, not cleaned, to the baby corner, people assigned to our table, etc. La hispaniola restaurant is better. Its location by the ocean make it a perfect lunch spot, especially on the outdoor patio.

We attended many sports programs during the week : tennis, sports walks, sailing, scuba diving, aquagym. In general, we felt that the G.O. did not have the same energy and enthousiam has in the other club. You can feel they are working, which is not the impression G.O.s give you at other clubs. The water sports G.O.s are particularly challenged. They were short staffed all week long, so forget about getting a nice welcome from them.

On the plus side, we have to recognize the efforts the G.O.s put forward for the evening program. The circus crew is especially good. Each program we attended at the theatre was entertaining.

BEWARE NON-SMOKERS
The worst during this vacation was to be surrounded by smokers during our entire stay. The Punta Cana Village does not have designated smoking areas. So wether we spent time at the pool, the beach, any of the bars, the theatre, we we surrounded by smokers everywhere. Club Med Martinique is called les Boucaniers. Club Med Punta Cana should be name "Les Boucannés", which is French for smoke because this is what we ended up breathing all week long. In this era of public health awareness, there is no excuse for Club Med to have no consideration for non-smokers.

We hoped for a great vacation but it ended up short. We will reconsider next time paying this kind of money for just an average vacation and wait for Club Med to offer designated outdoor smoking areas before we try another village.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Juneau67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2012

Dear Juneau67,
We’re terribly sorry to learn that your third visit with us was not up to your standards. We’re happy to hear you found our circus crew to be entertaining as well as our theatre. We truly appreciate your insights and will look into your recommendations immediately. Thank you for reviewing our resort; we hope your experience does not deter you from another stay at Club Med.
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team

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Reviewed April 5, 2012

Awesome place. Something to do for everyone. The food is great, people are friendly, and commodities are excellent. Easy trip too from the airport, 5 minute drive. Punta Cana int. is the airport, and they have many non-stop flights to the US/Europe. Also, everyone who works at the club med is fluent in English, French, and most in Spanish.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Thank Eddie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2012

Dear Eddie M,
Thanks for the great review! It’s awesome to hear that you enjoyed our wide variety of activities, great food and friendly people. We wish you safe travels and hope you will visit us again very soon! Thanks again!
Best,
Your Club Med Team

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