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Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
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Reviewed 7 January 2012

Pluses---We had a wonderful week filled with beautiful meals and very attentive helpful service. The property is beautiful and the pools are also. The beach directly in front of the resort is beautiful also. The management strives to please each and every guest. No is not in their vocabulary. That level of service is very rare these days. Some of our meals were the best we had ever had (lobster Paella oceanfront and an unbelievable seafood platter) We got off the property for a bike ride with a hotel employee who was very charming (however, the bikes were old and rusty:)

Minuses-- The elevated wooden walkway is dangerous, rotting and unsafe. Service was a little slow when we first arrived and they were 100% booked. There is a real problem with communication as most of the staff do not speak English at all. Of the few that do they stood out as stellar! The beaches nearby have a lot of trash on them.

Overall-- This property is NOT a Ritz Carlton. Expectation level should be adjusted because this resort is in a VERY poverty stricken third world country. However, you are treated like a Rock Star the whole time you are there.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stacy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
patriciaguadalupe, Public Relations Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your detailed review. We are beyond thrilled you enjoyed your stay with us!

Best,

Guadalupe Olguín

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

My husband and I took our honeymoon here and loved every minute of it! We were there for a week before Christmas. We were met with fabulous, attentive service. Right away the staff asked our names and remembered us the entire trip. Their English was very good and they were very kind to help me with my Spanish when I wanted to practiced. It really made us feel at home. The food was excellent. We enjoyed the variety offered between the 3 restaurants. Take advantage of the local buffet - it was a treat for sure. We also had an opportunity to participate in a special dinner where the head chef made a 5 course dinner of items he was trying out. That was a great experience as well. The weather was alright while we were there. The staff said that December is when the temperatures aren't quite as high and the wind was pretty high at some points. On the days were there sun wasn't out or it was a little too windy we took advantage of the spa. We had a complimentary 20 minute massage and access to the jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna. If we ever wanted a quick breakfast we walked over to the coffee shop for some of the best coffee I've ever had. The pastries were decadent as well!

We would also recommend using the bug spray that's included in the room. We didn't use it and paid for it with lots of mosquito bites. As for bugs though we never saw bugs in our room - and I certainly appreciated that!

We really can't say enough about how much we loved this vacation!! We were already planning our trip back before we left. Take advantage of everything the Zoetry has to offer!

Room Tip: When you get there - ask if an upgrade is possible. If there's a better room they might be able to bump you up! We loved our room!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Amanda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
patriciaguadalupe, Public Relations Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2012

We are delighted you had an excelente¨stay with us and are looking forward to having you back! Best regards,

Guadalupe Olguin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

I went to Zoetry last year at the end of March. I still remember names of staff people that made a difference. Ramon, Carlos #1, Carlos #2, Hipolito, Yolanis, Benjamin, Gregorio, Delaney, Juan, Fernando, Vladimir, just to name a few. My Wife and I took our first trip away from our then 4 year old little boy. We stayed in an ocean front room which was amazing. We skyped daily with him, we called once per day as well, it was the perfect way to keep in touch yet relax and unwind. The staff at Zoetry make the Resort. The accomadations are not lavish, but they are very quaint and approprate. One morning i was not feeling too well, due to the fact that i drank way too much the day before, at about 11 am one of the waiters from the restaurant came to me and said, "what no drinking alcohol today? and i explained i drank enought he day before to kill a herd of buffalo. About 15 minutes later he brought me some homemade soup that he said was like american chicken soup, he said it would make me all better. It was a seafood base brothy soup. i ate it, and within about 30 minutes i felt like a million bucks and was back in business. I do not speak spanish fluently, but do speak a little, and i ask questions and make an effort to speak their language in their country. They appreciate that, they also appreciate that we have chosen to come to their country and support their livelyhood, which is tourism. I wish i could go back to this resort every year, because i would, i wish it was a little more affrodable, in fact i am going back to the DR for spring break the end of march, and this time taking my son. At Zoetry kids are welcome, but you have to pay full price. I cannot afford to pay full price, but if it was the same deal as Dreams or NOW where you basically pay their airfare, taxess and insurnace, i would go back without hesitation every year. We have booked at NOW Larimar andhopefully it meets our expectations. There is not much to do there, but drink, relax and enjoy the company of the people you came with and the fantastic staff, and i dont know about the rest of you, but that is what i go on vacation to do.

Room Tip: Go ocean front, 2nd floor, you can leave the doors open all night and listen to the ocean
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alpenadoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana Review

My wife and I stayed here in the DR (Dominican Republic) from Dec 16-23, 2011. SKIP to the end for some of the “Buyer Be Ware” statements. We’ve stayed at the Zoetry resort in Riviera Maya (RM) in 2010 as well. Our overall experience at both resorts were very good and each resort has its advantages and disadvantages, but nothing that made the experience horrible or unpleasant. We really did enjoy our entire stay!
The grounds at DR are gorgeously landscaped and extremely pleasant to view. The rooms were very modern, with A/C, TV with just over 100 channels, nice soft beds and very clean…much better than in RM. The lobby bar in DR is in a triangle shape and very conducive for conversations and a great place to hang out and be social. Room service and laundry were excellent. We placed a large order and they did forget one of the items. Before we could call them to request it though, they had already caught the error and had it to our room, which was actually pretty impressive! The food was excellent, though with only 3 restaurants, the menu will get to be pretty small any longer than a 6 day stay. There were times they didn’t have the lobster or tuna, which was disappointing. The beach and pool area were great, though we did have some windy weather and rain. Simply moving away from the beach and inland to the winding pool gave us enough coverage from the wind when it was quite windy. The staff are all pleasant, especially Kenny at the lobby bar. The band walks around near dinner time and plays for most of the tables. They are entertaining and nice to listen to, though again, after 6 days, you’ll likely hear the same songs over again. Not a big deal. They do have wifi on the resort and we could access it from the pool, beach restaurants, lobby bar and our room. This may have been more of a curse though, as I found myself updating Facebook and checking stocks and news when I should have been relaxing! Still, a nice feature. They do have an internet café near the lobby where you can access the internet for free as well. There is also a coffee café that is like a mini-starbucks with coffee’s, latte’s, tea’s and a variety of donuts, cookies, and deserts…all for free. The gym is small, a little dated, but it worked. The treadmills are in kilometers per hour, so you’ll have to do some mental math when running! The ride from the airport wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be, though people are crazy!
There are only around 53 rooms here, which was great. For the first several days, you really felt like the entire resort was yours. There were maybe 20 couples there? By the time the Christmas vacation crowd showed up, a few days before we left, it had nearly 40 couples, but it was still very nice. Restaurants were more crowded and it was harder to get beds at the pool, mostly because people woke up at 8:30am to "save" beds by putting blankets and a book down and then not showing up until Noon! This ticked us off, as a bed would sit vacant for 3 plus hours 'saved'...very inconsiderate. But, do as they do to beat them at their own game.


Now, I’m going to list all the “Buyer Be Ware” gripes. By simply being aware of these things and maybe avoiding some, your trip will be an even better experience. We received $200 resort credit when we got there. However, it’s divided into nearly unusable increments. We received four $10 coupons for wine. The house wine was actually great, so no need to use these. However, if you did, the cheapest wine on the menu was $22, so you’ll still be spending at least $12 for a bottle of wine because you can only use one coupon at a time. We also got two $40 coupons for the Spa. However, the coupons are for massages and the higher priced items that are on a “list” that we never received at check-in, apparently. So, my wife booked a $39 pedicure, only to find out she couldn’t use the coupon on it, so she simply canceled the appointment. All of the spa treatments are ridiculously overpriced. Even if you used the coupon, you’d still end up paying the same or more for what you would in DC or CA, and even more if you don’t have a coupon at all. Also, at both DR and RM, we’ve had scheduling problems with the Spa. We had a 20min complimentary couples massage, which we booked for Noon on a particular day. When we arrived for our appointment, they had me booked for Noon and my wife booked for 1pm?! We were polite, but firm with our disappointment in this and they finally were able to do the massages at the same time (noon) but in different rooms. Just make sure you confirm with them every detail. This really plays into the main problem with the DR, which is language. In Mexico, everyone spoke English very well and were really pleasant and conversational with us. In the DR, they knew enough to get by, but there were definitely barriers and that led to the staff not interacting much with anyone. There were several main staff members there who could speak English very well and were very pleasant, it just seemed like some of the Spa staff and restaurant wait staff were lacking a bit much.
We did sign up for the horse back riding, Authors Dinner and Wine pairing, but other couples got shafted a bit. While these are advertised as “complimentary”, and they are, there are only 8 spots every Mon, Wed and Sat for horse back riding and limited seating for the dinners. Usually, the next days schedule is dropped off at your room by 10pm in the newsletter “The Sundial”. It will tell you what is going on and then, and only then, can you call and reserve a spot. So, 1) you have to be quick! And 2) sometimes if you talk to the front desk, they will get you on the list earlier than when the newsletter goes out, but this causes problems when you think you’re the first one calling to sign up when you get the newsletter, only to find out that it’s 10:01pm and it’s already booked to capacity! I would suggest going to the event anyways to see if there are no shows, which there always seems to be at the dinners or insist that you be placed on the list. They will usually accommodate you. We did this for the wine pairing dinner and they put us on the list anyways. As it turned out, about 8 chairs sat empty the entire night from no shows!
We went on a bike tour as well. One, it had rained and was sprinkling out so we got all muddy. Not just mud, but clay…so be careful if it’s wet out as the bikes are just cruiser types with no rear fenders. Also, the ride was rather unspectacular, though the guide, Vladimir is a totally cool guy. We rode past the stables where we dropped the horses off and further down that road is a rice field where you may see some workers. Other than that, that was it. On our way back, we stopped at the stables again, pet the horses and watched them do a few tricks, but it all seemed pretty impromptu. I think the main reason for stopping was to go to the “store” there where they have fake cigars, dusty paintings and local trinkets but seeing how most of us had already stopped there during the horseback riding, this was kind of a bust. The bikes were horrible, I traded my 1st bike because the tires were flat and even my 2nd bike had a flat front tire. But, they only have 8 bikes, so really, someone is going to ride the crappy bikes anyways. They work though…could use some oil too!
Next, if they try to hit you up to join their travel club, just decline. I was told it was ‘free’ to join and thought it was just a rewards club. It’s their version of time share. You basically pay an exuberant amount of money to get “deals” and “discounts” that might pay off if you go on a LOT of vacations. They also have an add-on where you can go to the Sheraton and Marriott lines of hotels for $548/week, however, when you look at the list, not ALL Sheraton’s and Marriott’s are included…just the ones they allow on the list, of course. In the end, it was 90 mins of blathering that we could have been in the sun. For 40 years “in the club” getting 25% discounts on trips and such, they wanted $59,000 US dollars!! Then after some magic, the number was down to $25,000 and you only had to pay ½ now and the other ½ could be on a 5 year payment plan. The math they used to show you how much you could save on your current trip was greatly exaggerated. They do give you a free 3day certificate for any AM resorts stay, but it’s heavily restricted, costs $125 to “activate”, which must be done within 30 days, is only good for 18 months, can’t be used at Zoetry or Secrets (or it becomes a 1 day certificate) or holidays, etc, etc. Skip it!
This last one really ticked me off. They advertise “Cigar rolling”. RM did this and it was great. The guy came, rolled cigars, let you roll cigars and then you had the opportunity to buy his companies cigars. Here in the DR, there was a guy rolling cigars on the side to draw you in. After that, I had a necklace around my neck, a cigar shoved in my mouth and lit and rushed in front of a table filled with boxes of fake Cubans and fake Dominican Republic cigars too! The DR cigars are made in an economic free zone, so it’s not as cheap as you would think to buy them in country. This is because they have to export them and re-import them to sell them in their own country. Anyways, at a 5 star resort, you would expect the management to not subject their customers to this type of low life. It was a high pitch sale the entire time and he was trying to get one of the guys we went bike riding with to buy a box of “real Cubans” for $800!! If you want a cuban, go to Cuba or Canada, street vendors are NOT going to have them…no matter what! If you know what a Cuban cigar is and can enjoy it’s flavor, you aren’t buying from a street vendor in the first place. These cigars are for the idiots who want to tell everyone they smoked a Cuban or to bring some home to their buddies. The vendor even played it up…you’ll have to take the cigar bands off the cigars so the customs agents won’t take these away from you. The only problem is, you could leave the bands on because they are all fake and the custom’s agents would likely know that too and just laugh at you! At anyrate, I pulled my biking friend to the side, did a quick search (thanks to the wifi by the pool!) on fake cigars and showed him the labels were wrong (even the DR labels were wrong for the Cohiba’s!) and the ‘warranty’ labels all looked faded and photocopied. The vendor wanted to see what I was showing him and I told him “No! I’m going to show him…just wait”. Well, he pretty much shut his mouth after that because he knew his game was up. Just very disappointing that the 5 star Zoetry management would invite this low-level crap to scam all their customers. So, just bring your own cigars and don’t spend a nickel on these guys.
With all of that buffoonery aside, which you will avoid anyways, this was still a fantastic trip that we thoroughly enjoyed. It was beautiful, the food was great and the rooms were perfect! Order the vanilla ice cream for room service…it’s the best I’ve had!

Room Tip: Room 32 was nice. Jr Suites were fantastic!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank birch23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

The Zoetry is picture perfect, but remember that you will be in a very poor nation. Upon arrival the staff will make you feel very special, "Yes" is by far their favorite word. However, delivering was a problem. Their English was rough and a lot of times led to miscommunication. You'll soon realize they will say Yes to you for everything, but don't believe it until you see it.

I loved our "hut", the room was so interesting. Yes, we had a few cockroaches, yes there is a musty smell, but you're staying in a thatched roofed room which was really neat. You cannot expect to stay at the zoetry and have a room like the Ritz. This place has a lot of atmosphere and is a unique experience.

The activities included were a huge plus. Although they did not seem well attended, they were always staffed and ready to go at the proper time.

We loved that every meal was a menu and not a buffet, that is a HUGE benefit.

Do not expect fast internet, great AC or great english.... if you want those amenities, do not go to DR in general.

Do not ask for a wake up call... and bring your own clock. There are literally NO clocks anywhere! One day they called 10 min early, then the other two times we asked for a wake up call they never called.

We LOVED the room service. When we called for anything it was brought promptly and the daily champagne was really fun.

DO the "Romantic Beach Dinner", it's extra $, but WELL worth it. The whole experience was so romantic and made the trip super special. When we came back to the room, they had the champagne waiting, along with the jacuzzi filled and rose petals everywhere. It was gorgeous and a fantastic touch.

It's hit or miss on many items, and I do believe they do everything they can within the countries standards.

Take advantage of the activities listed on the website (write them down, bc they don't really list them anywhere when you're there). Do the complimentary massage and play in the spa!

Listen, it's expensive, it's a unique experience and you cannot go into it expecting everything to be perfect. If you want state of the art, perfect conditions, perfect english and amazing service then you probably should not go to the DR. If you want a stay at a place you'll remember forever, have some stories to tell and beautiful pictures, expect some kinks in the road, but Zoetry was very special.

Will we return, no. But, we were happy with our decision and enjoyed our relaxing trip.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Tara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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