Hello again! This was our 2nd time staying at the GBP in Punta Cana. We had previously gone 3 years ago, but got an entire week of non-stop rain and hurricane-like weather. We figured that we would try this resort again as we felt that we didn't get to see much of it a few years ago.
Having stayed in the Club Golden 3 years ago, we noticed that there were really no perks to paying the extra money, so we cheaped out a bit and stayed at Club Premier. HUGE mistake...we put up with one day as being a "basic Premier" guest, then found ourselves politely complaining at the lobby desk. The basic Premier armband is orange...this allows you very limited resort access. We actually felt like the scum of the resort because we were actually asked to leave one of the buffets and pool areas because our armband was orange. The only access you have with the orange armband is to the Premier buffet (which is absolutely pathetic) and the outdoor beach buffet, which is on the other side of the resort.
Since we were returning guests to the GBP, the lobby attendant upgraded us to the silver armband, which is "Premier VIP" ...this will allow you access to the Bavaro section and buffet, which is massive compared to the Premier.
PUNTA CANA AIRPORT:
-if you have never been to the Punta Cana airport, here is some useful advice...they are very pushy once you get off the plane with your baggage. We had men grabbing at our luggage offering to carry it for you etc etc...be wise and don't hand it over. Everything they do they expect a tip for.
-we have heard from another couple that they rig their luggage scales to make your luggage "overweight" so you have to pay extra when departing. It is wise to either purchase a portable luggage scale or use the one in the lobbies of the resort before leaving to go back home. We did not have a problem as we had a portable scale and our luggage was very light.
-make sure you have all of your travel documents on hand as they are very disorganized once you pass through customs and wait in line for your transfer to your resort.
-Men, be aware of pick-pocketing at the airport...either put your wallet in your hand or your carry on.
-rooms are very spacious and clean. (when the maid decides to clean it)
-Premier rooms have all of your basic needs: hairdryer, body wash, shampoo, mini fridge with beer, pop and water. There is also a coffee machine and ironing board, iron and umbrella. The only difference we had when we stayed in Club Golden was that we got bathrobes, slippers and snacks in our mini fridge.
-Premier rooms are the lowest on the scale...they are the farthest from the beach and are as basic as you can get.
-There were a few days that the maid did not clean our room at all, which was highly annoying. It seemed that she only cleaned the room if we left a tip on the dresser. She also hardly ever gave us fresh towels...she always hung up the same damp ones that we had used previously.
-Towels are very rough with stains on most...pretty disgusting for a supposedly "5 star resort".
-Beds are very hard and pillows were full of lumps...I am always grossed out by hotel/resort bedspreads, because I know for a fact that they are not cleaned in between guests, or ever. Just think about it! lol
-If the maid leaves little red flowers on towel designs or on the sink, make sure you toss them as they are full of bugs.
-Lighting is very dim in rooms and bathroom.
-Sliding door for balcony access always comes off its tracks as well....also, do not close it behind you because there is not a handle on the other side to get back in. Very stupid design.
-Make sure you leave your luggage on top of the couch or table, as we found many small black bugs on our floor. We always kept our luggage closed and zipped up.
-Premier pool is large and loud. Lots of activities and loud music. Pool was very clean and well maintained. Lounge chairs go fast, so make sure you are out there early to grab some. I would say no later than 10am.
-Bavaro pools are a bit smaller but still the same activities. These pools have alot less lounge chairs as well.
-Punta Cana pool by the beach is massive and very very crowded. This is a popular pool as it is closest to the beach.
-Ambar pool you will not have access to.
-Grounds are kept beautiful...there are always people trimming bushes, flowers and cutting the grass.
-Lounge chairs are always kept neat and clean for the start of each day.
-Lobby areas are large and kept very clean as well.
-Resort is massive so you can either walk or take one of the trolleys that are always running.
-Very disappointing...food was very repetitive and reused. Whatever was out for breakfast is out for lunch. Same with lunch and dinner.
-Coconut oil is what they use to cook their food, which is a natural laxative...so make sure you have some Pepto and Immodium on hand.
-Bread was always stale and the cheeses had mold growing on them.
-There is definately something for everyone however...I just stuck to salads and the occasional potatoes, rice and fish if it looked like it was fresh.
-Buffets were a hit or miss....there is a theme every night (Italian, Asian, American, Spanish etc etc) It seemed like every theme was the same however, except for maybe 2 dishes.
-Food is definately edible, but nowhere near a real 5 star resort. They reason is because this resort is massive. When you have to prepare food for that many people the food will be mediocre.
-We had a choice of 4 a la cartes. We chose Italian, Garden Grill, Gourmet and Japanese.
-Italian restaurant was disgusting. I had the tuna, which I couldn't even cut with a knife and my fiance had the steak which was very overcooked.
-Your appetizers and dessert are buffet style as well, which is really annoying.
-Garden Grill was very disappointing, as we had heard good reviews about it. I was served a rotten piece of corn on the cob and 4 bacon wrapped mini shrimp on a skewer. My fiance had the mixed meat dish which consisted of chicken, small steak and a hotdog! We were very disappointed with this restaurant and disgusted with the staff as well.
-Appetizers and dessert are buffet style again!
-Gourmet restaurant was absolutely delicious...we were finally pleased with a meal and fabulous service and NOT having to get up for a buffet. I had the lobster and my fiance had the steak once again. Everything from appetizers to desserts was great.
-Japanese was delicious as well. Make sure to book the show section. They give you ALOT of food so make sure you're hungry!
-a bit cheesy, but the Michael Jackson show is always a hit.
-Karaoke bar is good for night time if you are bored and not into going to the disco.
-Disco is very loud and full of scantily dressed teens and cougars...so if that's what your going for then have at it!
-Casino is alright, except for the fact that you have to pay for your drinks which does not make any sense!
-Hacienda shopping...you will get harassed, whether you enter it or are just walking by. They will offer you free stuff, but watch out. We called it the sharks tank...once they lure you in, good luck getting out!
-very beautiful, but very very busy. Good luck trying to find a decent lounge chair after 9am.
-Would we stay at anoher GBP again? No.
-This resort is more close to a 3.5 to 4 star.
-Make sure you know at least some basic Spanish phrases...language barrier is very difficult if you don't.
-Beer and wine are terrible.
-Mixed drinks are ok and very strong....be aware of the creamy drinks as they are made with coconut and goat's milk...natural laxatives again.
-If you order drinks from the waitresses at the lobbies, make sure to tell them you want alcohol in your drinks...they will try to get away with giving you non-alcoholic margaritas and daquiries as they come out of a slushie machine!
The majority of the staff at this resort are very friendly, but you are bound to come across the rude/miserable one during your stay.
-if you receive an envelope in your room with a letter saying that you are eligible for a free welcome gift at the Preferred Guest desk, DO NOT go! They will tell you that you are winning a free pair of sunglasses but you will not get them! They will also try to suck you into a tour of the Esmeralda section which is a time share trap! They will harass you non-stop so just ignore the letter and move on.
Any questions, feel free to message me.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC