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“Great Holiday, Great Value”

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VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
Ranked #75 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great Holiday, Great Value”
Reviewed 6 March 2012

I have traveled to the DR six times in the past and this is my 2nd to Punta Cana. Overall this is a good resort and for the money we spent ($1100 with tax) it was a good deal. We traveled Feb 25 -Mar 4, 2012 out of Toronto. The resort is not large and it was a short distance to everything including the beach. There were plenty of pool/beach chairs but you have to claim some before 8am or so. The food was good and the variety was excellent. The 2 speciality restaurants do not require a reservation and you can go as many times as you like. They do require that men wear shoes and not sandals but you can wear a dirty t-shirt ?????. The Italian one was excellent and we went repeatedly. Teenagers with non-alcohol wrist bands have no problem getting alcohol at the bars, especially young girls (that's a negative). Young women who travel without escort to the craft market just down the beach should expect to get groped and kissed by the male vendors . Internet access was poor, out of 10 machines only 3 work and are slow. Price is $4 for 30 min but in reality you only get 15 min with this. The staff are very friendly and helpful (don't forget to tip). Problems like room switching and broken door locks are fixed in a hurry. The nightly entertainment was professional and not some lame show by the clubs animation team. Except the kids part at the begining which was the same every night. We would go here again !

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank feralToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (468)
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English first
Gatineau, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We travelled as a family of four, myself, my husband and his two daughters who are 11 and 13. We arrived from Ottawa at 2am and were shown to our room, which was small but clean. They had forgotten to put sheets on one of the beds and we were too tired to wait up for someone to come make up the bed so our first night’s sleep was uncomfortable. Our room had the bare minimum necessities; two double beds, a dresser with 4 small drawers and a closet with about 10 hangers. We paid $2 a night to rent a safe key to lock up our valuables. This was especially important as our patio door was temperamental and occasionally wouldn't lock properly (we called about this and they sent someone who locked it, but didn't fix the problem). The bathroom was very small which we really noticed since we were 4 people in the room. The window in the bathroom door was a little awkward - we covered the door with a towel for privacy.

We found the quality of the staff to be substandard. We were always served quickly, but the customer service piece was lacking. The bartenders wouldn't make eye contact when taking your orders or handing you a drink and seemed unimpressed unless you had tip money out on the counter. I didn't see a lot of tipping at the resort and staff were perhaps a bit miffed about that but our personally philosophy is that we'll tip to reward good service and don't feel that we should have to buy it. Needless to say, we usually spend at least $100 during the week on tipping and we barely used up half of that.

The food at the buffet was excellent. At our first lunch they were cooking ribs on the bbq that were "melt in your mouth". At dinner they had an Asian station where you could have a customized stir fry made (TIP - if you're going to tip, give your money beforehand because they'll take twice the amount of time to cook your food and it comes out really nice), the pasta station was also great and a few nights they also had a PHO station which I enjoyed. We went to the International A La Carte which we thought was horrible. My husband ordered the fish and his daughters ordered the chicken Cordon Bleu and both dishes looked and tasted the same. The Italian A La Carte was a bit better. The fried mozzeralla and Fetticcine Carbora were both really good. There's also a grill that opens at 11am until 6pm that makes great pizza, burgers and french fries. We snacked from there just about every day.

The kids enjoyed the strawberry daiquiris but personally, I found that all of the cocktails were just a sugary mess. The bartenders use a slush mix for all of the tropical drinks and I tried about 6-7 different ones from the menu but found them all disappointing. My husband did teach Felix, the bartender near the volleyball courts how to make Long Island Iced Tea which was good but otherwise I stayed with rum and coke or beer all week.

The beach was excellent. We didn't have a problem getting chairs each day. Sometimes we'd have to drag a few single chairs to put 4 together, but that was never a bit deal. The resort was pretty and we liked that it was smaller. The kids were comfortable going off on their own to swim or get a bite to eat.

One thing that did really impress us was the entertainment. I've been to 6 all-inclusive resorts in my life and although I'd rate this one in the bottom 3 overall, the entertainment was the best that I've seen. They seem to contract most of the shows out since we didn't recognize many of the resort staff. They had a Cirque de Soleil style show, a Circus show and a Magic show that we really enjoyed! There was also a kids disco every evening which the little ones really seemed to enjoy. It was lots of fun to watch them on stage.

Room Tip: We heard that the renovated rooms in building 4 were nice. Building 1 apparently had a musty smell...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaetz Brook, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

This was my first trip to the DR and, having read some negative reviews, I was a bit anxious. My worries were unfounded, this resort was great! It is small enough to make it easy to get to everything yet big enough that you had lots of room. The beach was absolutely amazing. The men in our group of ten, got up early every morning and "reserved" our spot by simply laying our towels on the lounges. It seems to be an unspoken agreement that one respects the placement of towels. The food was great (and I am a very fussy eater), plentiful and varied. The rooms are basic but clean and each has a balcony. We were disappointed that our group was split up, eight in one building and two in another but all you do is sleep in your room so we did not complain. There are no elevators so be prepared to walk up three floors. The people are super friendly, very happy to have you there. There is nightly entertainment and, though some of my fellow travellers felt the drinks were a little watered down, I found them just right. I would definitely go back to this resort...but maybe I am easy to please, just happy to be there in the sun. I never expect to be treated like a princess.

Room Tip: As a senior lady, I would ask for ground floor although there are porters to help you.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank darlene93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

I do not recommend the VIK Arena Blanca. We read the reviews on Trip Advisor and thought you just can't please all of the people all of the time. Personal experience has revealed the on-line comments were not far off the mark. The package we purchased was for a newly renovated room at a 4 star resort. We went knowing the VIK Arena Blanca was not a 5 star resort and were prepared to roll with the punches, however..... A fresh coat of paint does not constitute a newly renovated room from our perspective. The furniture was original to when the resort was first opened under previous management (used to be the LTI) and was showing serious signs of wear. The rain head shower did not work nor the plug in the sink. We were on the ground floor and the patio doors did not latch and lock properly which was a bit disconcerting. Newly renovated obviously means something different to everyone. The food was mediocre at best and the cocktails were substandard. The lunch buffet offered at the beach grill was an insult .... slimy burger patties, mediocre pizza, ham & cheese mini subs and some pasta .... There was not enough bar staff on at the two beach locations ... lineups were long. All common resort washrooms were poorly maintained and dirty. The sewage treatment for the resort was inadequate as you could smell sewer at various points through out the resort. The icing on the cake was the two huge cockroaches we killed in our villa and our room was fumigated while we were there. When we enquired at the reception desk about the fumigation, the front desk staff said it was to kill mosquitos. Mosquitos thrive in standing water not in our room. We knew they were fumigating for roaches and advised them we had killed a couple. The front desk staff was less than cordial after that point. This is not a 4 star resort .... 3 star at best.

Our room was on the ground floor and it was very noisy. All pedestrian traffic seemed to congregate outside our door and talk at all hours of the day and night. Sleep was a rare commodity for us.

The beach and water were spectacular. Beach chairs and huts were plentiful.

We will return to Punta Cana but it will be to the 5 star resorts we have frequented in the past.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank NautiGirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

If you read a few of the reviews on this site you'll get a good idea of what your experience will be like. Check in was an absolute mess (granted it was at around 2am) but after that got settled in quite comfortably. The rooms were pretty standard even though we had an older one in building 3 (only the first floor in that building is renovated). the food was edible, not great but not disgusting. This resorts main draw is definetly the beach, which is absolutley awesome and this is coming from someone who generally dislikes beaches (was only there to appease my significant other). All in all after the initial hurdle of checking in my stay was pleasant! Hope yours will be to!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Travelingcanuck88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

Beach was nice however, rooms were ok, food was not great and drinks were just boring. Drinks with prepared juice and flat fountain sodas. Not a blender insight.

We have been to Punta Cana before but can't remember if all the french guest were that rude and pushy. Made for crappy meals and entertainment. It seemed that eastern canadians were there in large quantity. Lots of French speaking.

Not a place I would go again.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Trussguy68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2012

I will keep my review short, as the guests we traveled with have already said it all. SherriH from Saskatoon has written a very truthful review of this resort. My husband and I had no complaints. This was my first all-inclusive experience and his 2nd or 3rd. I would most definitely return. I am VERY glad we chose to go even after reading some past negative reviews.

Room Tip: Building 4, 2nd floor had a great view of both the pool area and the beach.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tracy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about VIK Hotel Arena Blanca

Property: VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
Address: White Sand, Carretera Arena Gorda | Bávaro, Punta Cana 290217, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#61 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#64 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#67 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — VIK Hotel Arena Blanca 4*
Number of rooms: 447
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The VIK Hotel Arena Blanca is placed overlooking the incomparable beach of Bávaro, just 30 minutes away from the International Airport of Punta Cana. This hotel in Punta Cana was renovated in 2006 to be able to offer a wide variety of environments: ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vik Hotel Punta Cana
Lti Beach Resort Punta Cana
Lti Punta Cana
Lti Resort Punta Cana
Lti Beach Punta Cana

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