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“Family of 5 in one beautiful suite!!”
Review of Occidental Caribe

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Occidental Caribe
Ranked #60 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 18 May 2012

My family and I just got back last week from this wonderful resort…and there are plenty of great things to write about. We had a gorgeous room (able to get our family of 5 in to a big, 2 room suite…which for any folks with 5 family members you can empathize with how difficult this can be to book!) and a fantastic time at Barcleo Punta Cana!

Our room was a suite, which allows my husband and I and our three teenage kids to stay all together. After weeks of trying to find a resort that would accommodate a family of 5…Barcelo Punta Cana was a gem to find. There were two large and modern bathrooms…one for us and one for the kids. Marble and slate tiles, Jacuzzi tub and large stand up glassed in shower for two, double sinks in one. Lots of clean towels every day…lots of toiletries and soaps. The beds were comfortable…we had two doubles and one day bed for the youngest. All beddings were white with white duvets. I think, indeed we were in one of the renovated rooms…but I never saw any other rooms for comparison! We did need a duvet for our son…and it took 3 days and lots of persistence to get it but we finally did. Our room overlooked the pool and a bit of the ocean as well….I can see that some rooms would have had spectacular ocean views, so try and get one if you can. Being a suite, we didn’t think we could get moved to a similar room and have a better ocean view so we stayed put.

The pools were huge and clean (not sure why some people have left reviews that the pools were dirty…I’m a clean freak and the pools were spot on for me). We spent most of our time at the beach, but when we did hit the pool we stuck to the pool with more adults and the swim up bar. We never worried about our towels or losing them…we were booked under the Premium/Prestige class so towels were brought to us each night while we were at supper (with chocolates!!)…we often left our towels at the pool at the end of the day!

Food was great (not out-of-this-world!) but very, very good. Our favorites were the Tokyo and the Paris restaurants...but really, the buffet was very good as well. We have 2 great eaters and 1 picky eater and never was anyone ever hungry or dissatisfied. In fact, we of the heard groans about how full they were!! We were surprised that the wine we had with dinner was actually pretty palatable….a few night we probably had more than our share…never was our glass left empty. Breakfast was delish…make sure you give the omelet and egg guys a good tip now and then, they sure work hard and were very appreciative!

Ok. So, speaking of tipping (and I have a beef here for other reviewers). Seriously people, you are taking part in the hospitality of others…you should tip at home…so you should tip while you’re away. Many of the friendly workers are from Haiti and spending $5 or $10 a day showing the staff how much you appreciate them is just common courtesy. We tipped at breakfast, at the beach bar, at lunch, at dinner and later while we sat on our seats and sipped on drinks and the staff waited on us hand and foot. Between cash (probably about $100 over 7 days) and some great goody bags filled with makeup…we made sure the kind people of Barcelo knew we appreciated their hard work and loved being in their beautiful country. End of story folks…tipping is common courtesy.

My kids took advantage of the trapeze and were there for at least an hour or two a day. This is a must do!!! We have awesome videos of them flying thru the air and performing some pretty cool tricks. As well, the nightly entertainment was a hit with the kids (a bit meh for me) but the kids loved it. Never did the disco, but I heard that the place was pretty hopping and a bit of a mess some nights with “clashes” of cultures (and I’ll leave it at that).

The beach is gorgeous. Absolutely, positively, stunning. Chairs are a bit old, but the beach itself is raked and cleaned regularly. FANTASTIC. It’s about a 45 min walk to the little jumbled beach market…but lots of fun and good deals. Don’t buy anything from the vendors that set up some nights around the Barcelo pools…they are gouging you compared to what you’ll pay at the beach market.

My only two minor negative reviews about Barcelo are 1) the cleanliness of the room and 2) the change in vibe of the resort on the weekend. 1)…keep in mind, I am a neat freak and there were 5 of us in a two room space…but, in my opinion the room cleaning could have been a bit better. Things like garbage or hair that were on the floor at the beginning of the day were certainly still there in the evening when the room had been cleaned. Nothing crazy, but certainly would have been swooped up if a vacuum had of made an appearance!! All in all, the bathrooms were clean so I give the cleanliness a 70%. 2) we noticed that on the Saturday into the Sunday a lot of local or Hispanic visitors arrived at the hotel for short stays. I have no issue with that at all, except from the service we were used to, to the vibe of the resort, things changed drastically. The bar staff became very focused on the visitors that there were able to converse with in Spanish, and we were often overlooked or had to wait long periods of time. Up until then, bar service was fast and friendly. As well, there were some “miss bikini” contests that had us very amused but certainly edged over into very inappropriate behavior by 13 and 14 year old girls being judged on how they gave lap dances!!! Oh well, c’est la vie…we were just a bit surprised by how the very calm resort changed into a bit of a “you-know-what-show” on the weekend. Perhaps we just hit an odd weekend?

All in all…great resort, I recommend it for sure if you have kids…especially early teens. A1 beach, nice suite and the premium class is just that extra touch of attention.

Room Tip: Choose the Block of Rooms in the # 3XXX series.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank goodthingsinlife5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,600 - 3,604 of 9,423 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2012

First let me start by saying that the hotel is very dated. Everything was old. Walls and ceilings had visible repairs and stains all over the hotel. Caulking was used in globs for repairs.

When we arrived it was very hot. There was juice at the front when we came in but no cups. I never saw cups there.

We rented a suite and paid more to be in the premium club which basically did not give us anymore benefits than everyone else. They put us in a dark dingy room and said we would have to wait until the next day to get another room. The next day they gave us 3 rooms to look at and we went on our own to look.

We met with the Expedia rep the next morning and he was very short and rude with some of the guests. He was also very impatient. He had a very strong accent and was hard to understand. There is definitely a language barrier. We told him that we were thinking of changing hotels and he said basically that it would be bad for us if we did. He was never at the hotel when he said he would be and was even late for our meeting. He did call to see if we were okay with the new room. We basically said it was better than the last room but still not good. He never contacted us again during our stay.

In our particular room 2 of the lamps had electrical tape holding cords together as the middles were ripped.

We had no bottled water in our mini bar and had to request it the next day. Keep in mind you can't drink the tap water.

We had to bang on a ceiling light to turn it on. This was shown to us by the staff to do to get it on.

Our shower leaked all over and flooded the bath floor because the glass bricks were all cracked. I almost slipped.

Our bed was on wheels so it kept rolling away from the headboard. The mattress was thin and very cheap.

The phones did not work. We could not call out or check messages. Not even sure why they were there.

The TV's were very old box style and neither remote worked. I stopped by front desk one afternoon to see if they could fix them. Maintenance called our room at 11:30pm and wanted to come and fix them. We were sleeping so we asked them to come the next morning and they never came.

There were ants all over the sparse offering of hor devours in the premium club. Disgusting!!! The premium club was a small room with 2 computers. One did not work. One had the letters on the keyboard so worn out you could not see them.

The elevators in the main building were constantly out of order and restaurants were on upper floors. Therefor when you are dressed for dinner you're a sweaty mess by the time you get there.

A/c did not work in the bedroom. They never came to fix it.

The sliding doors were extremely hard to open and 1 of them did not lock.

The pool walls were really filthy and had mismatched tiles for repairs. The grounds appeared to be clean but were full of debris under the bushes which was very visible from in the pool. Also there were a lot of electrical boxes around the pool area that had exposed wiring.

The restaurant staff members were very nice but most did not understand English so when I asked for cream cheese, they brought me tea etc.

There was no elevator within 3 buildings from our room. We were on the third floor. So we had to use the stairs. Not a very relaxing vacation.

On a good note:
Our maid Carmen was great and the room was clean. The swim up bartender, Doreto, was awesome and the guy at the hamburger hut was the best. Great service from them at least.

Room Tip: Don't stay here. Trust this review. The place is so old and is falling apart.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Diane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Never have I ever been to a worst resort, with the worst service. In a nutshell, we paid for an ocean view, we didn't get one, and didn't get our money back. Nothing worked in our room, nothing was ever fixed. Our safe was broken for 2 days, we called 10 times before someone actually came. In those 2 days, we had money stolen from us, and nothing was done about it, even after reporting it. The staff was rude and the food sucked. The only nice thing about this horrible hotel is the beach, it is very clean. I wouldn't recommend this resort to my worst enemy.

Room Tip: DO NOT pay for ocean view, it's a waste of time and money, zero good views. Just never go here...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank j_draudt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

The trip was a celebration for turning 40 years old with 10 ladies in total. The hotel is very large and I think they are understaffed. The service was okay, at times the staff was indifferent during their interaction with the guest. The rooms were clean which is very important to me. I am a road warrior and have stayed at many hotels throughout the world. The hotel needs to do some maintenance (bathroom shower door needs to be fixed, after a shower the bathroom was flooded, light bulbs were out in the hallways for consecutive days, and the snack food by beach was cold to name a few). We had a good time, but it could have been better.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank newyork8losangeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We went to Barcelo May 3-7 2012. It was 6 of us girls. Upon arrival both of our rooms were not ready. We put our belongings in one room while we waited. The rooms were nice..only problem is we had ants in the bathroom & on the counter. Our view from the balcony was amazing! The bars were not as great as I wanted them to be. They have their own brand of liquor & only the basics. Margaritas were not good. Never really found a drink I liked. The pools were awesome! We always were able to get a chair & towel. We went on 2 excursions. Ziplineing & catamaran tour. Both were so fun! Our vip tours guide hunsey was very nice & helpful. Our guides on the tours were also nice except "papa raymond" was a little creepy. Hitting on my sister & saying he wanted her to be his 3rd wife. The restaurants we were able to eat at were good. Very hard to get a reservation at a desent time. We went to the casino & it was a joke. We went to Hard Rock just down the road to gamble. It was much better! The cab fare changed everytime we went.The staff at guest services were not nice . They seemed to cater to the spanish speaking guests not the english speaking. They made absoulutely no effort to help us. Overall we loved Punta Cana & would love to go back but we will not be staying at Barcelo. We would rather stay with a chain resort (hard rock) the staff spoke english & were extremly nice. Leaving punta cana my mothers luggage was opened & her make up strown all over & her $400 camera stolen. That's another thing I was so sick of tipping ppl. They would do so little & wolud stand there waiting for u to tip them. I get its how they make $ but man, it just got old

  • Stayed: May 2012
    • Value
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3  Thank traceydawn72
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: ₹ 8,249 - ₹ 24,164 (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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