We went to Punta Cana as our family summer vacation this year instead of our typical cruise. After reading many reviews prior to going I had to stop because I was getting so nervous. I think that if you've ever done a Club Med vacation, or an all inclusive resort and have looked at the destination on line there should be little surprise. I think some of the reviews have been unfair and some complaints (which I'll address below) are simply ridiculous.
Arrival was great, airport to Club Med was only a couple of miles away. Shown to our rooms, Colon building was definitely a great location, just a short walk to Center of Village and pools. There are some buildings that are farther away but every building sees the ocean and palm trees. So what, you have to walk further if you didn't happen to get right next to center but you also had a little more activity in this area. We walked the entire path and at most the farthest walk at a strolling pace was 5ish minutes.
The rooms could use some updating,fresh paint and new mattresses maybe, but they are not sold as lavish five star luxury accomodations. The rooms are basic, with clean beds, balconies, working bathrooms, fridges and A/C. You are in Punta Cana..it is HOT. The A/C ran in our room all the time and although it looks like the temp doesn't come down much it is a lot cooler then outside and 75 in a room with the A/C fan does feel a lot cooler and is refreshing compared to outside. How much are you in a room when you go on this kind of vacation anyway!?? Us, not much! We did see some angry Americans complaining on one of the mornings after we'd been there a few days demanding to have someone change their resort or fly them home because there rooms were so awful. I couldn't see from looking in many of them as you walk by, or as they are cleaning them, that they were any different then ours. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a great luxury room and king size bed and the best of amenities, nowhere did I think that is what I would recieve at this Club Med. I think its all about expectations.
The pool area was very nice and although there are a lot of families there is plenty of space. To adress the bridge complaint by several others who gave reviews, is a joke. The pool is not ginormous and the walk from one side to the other, unless you walk reallly slow is maybe 30 seconds. We joked and laughed everytime we were on one side of pool and had to get to the other about all the bridge comments. The pool is not as large as some all inclusives I've been to but for this location, a family oriented place, it is well sized. There is a whole separate pool area for little ones with water slides, etc. Our daughter is 11 but the little tots looked to be having fun and wow were they kept busy, anytime we saw them.
Our daughter was hesitant to kids club because of the fear of language barrier. We brought her over and the G.O. there spoke French, Spanish and English very well. They took her right away to the other kids and introduced here. There is a predominant amount of French people at the club but the G.O's made sure to know who spoke what language so they could communicate. The most amazing thing of all events is how by Wednesday the G.O's plan and get all the kids to perform a show in the theater with well crafted choreography. They do all kinds of activities and boredom is never an issue. Once our daughter met some other friends they would come and go to kids club the pool or where we might be hanging out.
The food is amazing!! We preferred Samana as was a bit more indoors and seemed to be a bit nicer for dress, less bathing suits and quieter, but we did dine in Hispanola as well. Hispanola does get birds but they fly in and out, very expected for an - open seating enxt to the ocean with no windows - kind of place. The waitstaff cleared plates right away and so the birds didn't really have a lot of incentive to stay hanging around long. We say no fly issues in eiether restaurant as in other reviews. Both restaurants both had some tasty standard choices and some great "try it because it's new and we're somewhere else" choices that were amazing. The different kinds of fish were always well executed and delicious. The wine was nice, you just went and helped yourself to a bottle(s) for the talbe, there was also some really nice assortments of cheeses daily too.
The bar staff was very kind especially if you tried a little and said thank you in French or Spanish. I did get a cold cuppachino one day instead of a hot due to language issue but I asked again and got what I wanted, not an issue. Now on to the drinks; the beer - great! The staff knew to put a lemon or lime in mine by day two without asking. The wine was also good, red, white and rose options. Mixed drinks...so-so..the daquiris did seem to have rum. The vodka was more of a joke. I asked for a mixed drink one night and the bartender put half a glass of "vodka" in it, and I still tasted none and my husband laughed as he barely drinks vodka and would have noticed. I brought it back and got a beer, the bartender smiled and apologized...he gave the impression he knew it was watered down. So we stuck to beer and wine and one night I splurged and bought some of the higher shelf booze because I wanted a real drink. I could TELL there was alcohol in that.
The beach is private and HUGE! You can take out any sporting equipment you'd like and on the site they also have tennis and archery and circus. Plenty to do if you didn't want to just get away from work and sit by the pool or ocean and relax. The exercise classed they do daily are amazing, they kick your butt and the instructors are great. Zumba seemed to be the big hit as there was always a lot of people doing that class.
We could hear a little of the night life but it was muffled through the walls and we all fell asleep anyway due to busy days in the sun. Overall I would rate this is a very good family choice. There is plenty to do, for kids to do, to eat, to see, to try. This is not a five-star resort with luxury accomodations but we didn't expect that but we did get all the fun we anticipated with a lot of relaxation, fun, food and family time. Isn't that what family vacations are for?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the Dominican Republic in this all-inclusive family resort, designed over a long white-sand beach, considered to be the finest in the world. Travel to Club Med Punta Cana with your family and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in this resort which flourishes beside a lagoon surrounded by magnificent grove of coconut palms. Fun moments filled with memories await your kids at Club Med world-famous children's clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers from morning to evening, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals. This newly redesigned resort has something for everyone, with amenities such as: Baby Club Med™*, a new Spa* with private pool access, exclusive private Oceanfront Family Suites, new dedicated programs for Mini Club Med™ including Le Petit Tennis(R), circus school and Baby Gym(R), Passworld for teens, and more. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Club Med Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Club Med
- Club Med Dominican Republic