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“Spring Break Destination”
Review of Occidental Caribe

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Occidental Caribe
Ranked #60 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 30 December 2011

My friends and I visited Punta Cana for spring break. Booking a room there can be tricky and they moved us multiple times. After you figure out the logistics, it is smooth sailing. The people are friendly and the rooms are beautiful. Only thing I did not like was the food. The breakfast was excellent but the lunch and dinner buffets are a no go for vegetarians.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank collegetraveler27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,774 - 3,778 of 9,427 reviews

Reviewed 28 December 2011

Big resort with a good entertainment program throughout the day for adults and children alike, as well as evening entertainment in the amphitheater with different well-produced shows each evening starting at 9.30 pm.
I was there for a week with my partner and found the staff were all very nice. Special mention to Héctor ('Sapito'), one of the entertainers, Maritza Báez, our room cleaner, and Santa Lugo, a waitress at 'El Marlin bar', for really making a difference. Really genuine people and very welcoming. Real asset!
As far as the hotel itself is concerned:

1)Maintenance was a bit poor for being part of the Barceló group! We had a very noisy room the first night (make sure they don't give you room 2113, next to the Casino!) so we changed rooms on the 2nd day. We were meant to get an upgrade with views to the ocean. However a big palm tree covered all the balcony so not much or a view. Anyway, we were not bothered about that. What really concerned us was that our door lock was broken and 2 guys had to come and fix it twice! Also, the alarm clock wasn't working (they said they'd replace it but they never did!), desk lamp not working, telephone with no line, and toilet cistern not flushing! However, the bedroom was quite bright and spacious, with plenty of storage with hangers and the bed was big and comfortable. Also, satellite tv and aircon in all rooms.

2) There is an internet room in the hotel and a wifi network throughout the hotel, but this is not free of charge. You can purchase a 10USD voucher to use a wificonnection for 24 hours (probably the best value for money) spread over 3 days (e.g. if you log out the timer stops!). If you use one of the hotel's computers the price sky rockets to 5USD for just 15 minutes of use, so if you're planning to use the internet, make use you have a laptop or a wifi enabled cellphone/device.

3)Food left a lot to be desired at the main buffet restaurant 'Alcaraz' . It was always overcrowded and we had to queue for some of the food. Also, the quality of the food was quite poor. Having said that, waiting staff did their best to accomodate guests and brought drinks to the table always with a smile. My advice is that you have breakfast at the Marlin buffet. It's a better location in front of the pool and it would appear few people realise you can have breakfast there. For lunch try and go to El Mirador restaurant, near the quiet pool. It's a 'a la carte restaurant' with some decent food but with the advantage that you don't have to book in advance. As for dinner, always try and book one of the several a la carte restaurants in the resort for dinner. Even if they don't give you a pre-booking voucher at chek-in, you can always go to the customer service desk (opposite reception) between 9 am and 4 pm to check what restaurants have availability for the day and make a reservation in one of them (all part of the all-inclusive package!). They have some decent food there, especially recommended is the Tokio restaurant as the chef cooks the food in front of you.

4)Alcoholic drinks in the 'all inclusive package' were of very poor quality. The cocktails were undrinkable. E.g. they made 'mojitos' with cheap mint liquor, rather than spearmint leaves! Piña Coladas (supposed to be a typical Caribbean drink) was appaling! We tried a few of the cocktails in the menu but gave up trying as they were all just as bad as each other. They only used cheap, nasty spirits/liquors with the exception of Baileys and Barceló rum. Also, the local beer 'Presidente' was ok, as were the white and red house wines (although Chilean). You had the option of purchasing premium brands, e.g. Henessy brandy or Johnny Walker whisky from USD 6.00 a shot.

5)Pool areas are fantastic. There is a massive pool with entertainment thoughout the day and a swim up bar, a quite pool with sunbeds in the water if you just fancy some relaxation, and a children's pool complete with slides. There are adequate sun loungers around all pools but make sure you get a towel before 10 am or you might have to wait for the clean laundry van to turn up! The water, however was quite dirty in the quiet pool, could do with some proper cleaning! The nice swimming pools made up for the hotel beach requiring cleaning and the sea always being rough. Unfortunately, we were unable to swim in the sea in the whole week of our stay or use the non-motorised water sports facilities, part of the all-inclusive package. We were told by the locals that the water is always quite fierce over that part of Bavaro Beach as it's open to the Atlantic Ocean. Apparently, the nice, calm Caribbean sea only starts about 2 miles south of where we were!

All in all, it wasn't a bad experience. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an afordable all-inclusive relaxing package. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone looking for luxury or attention to detail.

Room Tip: As I said above, avoid room 2113 next to the Casino!
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank esddjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2011

just got back from a 2 week stay at the barcelo our 6th in a row at the resort spectaculer ocean views best beach in bavaro fantastic staff manny manny thanks to sandy pfeils and her wonderful staff for making our stay so enjoyable are only complaint was this vaction was not long enough to the people who complain about this resort that it is not good enough for there standards well stay home in the frozen north and play with the remote control

Room Tip: upgrade to superior deluxe oceanveiw, rooms in northwest area of resort are quite recommend building...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank morningsidetoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2011

This hotel is beautifully designed and because of its spaciousness one doesn't feel too oppressed by the other guests.The location is not very central, you would need a taxi if you want to go outside the hotel, but if you want a quiet holiday , it is perfect. Meals offer a great variety but the food can vary between spicy and well seasoned and bland or cold sometimes.Drinks are the usual poor quality you get in all-inclusive resorts. The pools are big and beautiful but sometimes dirty.The beach is wide, there are enough beds and you can walk for miles if you want.
What we didn't like at all was the animation at the hotel, which is minimalistic.Often they cancel the program without warning and dance lessons can be as short as 15 minutes(instead of 30)because of all the hassle to gather enough interested people and all the listless comments on how to do the steps correctly,only interrupted about 20 times by the animateur's saying:I love my job.Evening shows are just as forced and the showmasters do little more than present their flawless bodies.I was also shocked by discriminating remarks of security staff against my spouse , who is a black Dominican,and was still more annoyed as the guest service desk didn't really react or apologize after my complaint.On the other hand, most of the staff in the restaurants, bars and doing the cleaning are very friendly

Room Tip: I'd opt for a room on a higher floor with sea-view
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank roadhitter_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

I just returned from my honeymoon 3 days ago. First of all the resort is beautiful and has a great pool and beach. However the food is reason enough not to go there. It was hard enough trying to make reservations for dinner even though there was no reason to even need reservations because there were plenty of open tables. Food was literally tolerable at best. I watched a guy eating next to me pull a maggot out of his hamburger. No lie! None of the "beef" tasted anything like beef. On a positive note, it was cleaner than I expected and we stayed in a updated room and it was sufficient. The staff was great though. All in all, I would definitely not recommend this resort and will not be going back to a Barcelo resort.

Room Tip: ask for the room upgrade, we did and it was a great ocen view. If you do not upgrade you will more...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mark n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Caribe

Address: Carretera Macao s/n | Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 23301, Dominican Republic (Formerly Barcelo Punta Cana)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#36 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#53 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: ₹ 8,272 - ₹ 24,686 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Caribe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 798
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Breezes Punta Cana
Barcelo Punta Cana Resort
Barcelo Premium Punta Cana
Barcelo Dominican Punta Cana
Punta Cana Barcelo

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