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Reviewed 24 May 2011

We stayed at the Now Larimar from May 13-May 20th, 2011. We arrived to a room that was ready for us. It was very clean and the linens smelled lovely. The only thing missing were the robe and slippers as well as a menu for room service. Within an hour of asking, we recieved those items. The pools are very clean and well kept. The pool bartenders are very friendly and could make anything we ordered. The rum is top shelf and very good! Always try the drink of the day, they are delicious. The bars are plentiful so your cup will never be empty. The outside cafe, near the pool bar, has a delicious lunch each day. Make sure you try the grilled chicken legs, they are to die for! The food from the buffet is always good. It's also nice and clean no matter when you arrive. There is something for everyone. The food at the restaurants was always delicious. Neither I or my mother had anything that we didn't like. The steaks are out of this world. It's also nice and clean no matter when you arrive. The entertainment each night is worth seeing. Sometimes it's interactive with the crowd and it's always fun. It's a good palce to meet other people as well. The photography team does a great job taking pictures. Have your picture taken, you won't be disappointed in the quality or the price. Each night there is a movie on the beach, one for kids and one for adults. The disco is open air and a great atmosphere. We did not use the casino but there is one open each night. The beach is amazing. There are plenty of chairs and huts for you to get some shade if needed. The water is warm and the breeze is gentle.

Room Tip: Get a 3rd or 4th floor room
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank MandyRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobertoAvila, Guest Relations Manager at Now Larimar Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2011

Dear Mrs. MandyRN,

First of all we would like to thank you for posting such a lovely review about your recent stay at our Hotel, we hope that in a near future you will be able to visit us again and as a repetitive guest you will receive a warm welcome back! .

We appreciate your gratitude for this kind of commentaries as it is prove that all our efforts are working and make us feel that we are doing well.

We hope to see you soon in Punta Cana!!

Giannina Centti
Customer Service & E. Concierge
Now Larimar & Secrets Royal Beach

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2011

We spent a week at the NH Real Arena/Now Larimar. We have been to several 4 and 5 star all-inclusive resorts and this resort is more like a 2 or 3 star. Although we had fun, I do not feel we received good value for our money.

We reserved a Paradise room. When we arrived we were thrilled with the quick check-in offered to Paradise guests. Unfortunately the visitors who were last off the bus were still waiting to check in an hour later. Interestingly, the non-Paradise check in was empty. We had requested 2 rooms on an upper floor adjacent to each other....one with 2 double beds and 1 cot and the other with a king bed. We ended up with one room on the main floor and one upstairs. There was no cot and no king bed. The cot finally arrived and we had to switch rooms the next day so we had a king bed.......still 4 doors away from our kids. When we tried to make our dinner reservations we could not get anything we requested. We had to take 2 dinners in a row at the Asian restaurant and another dinner was at 9:45 pm. Basically we couldn't choose a single dinner reservation we wanted - we had to take whatever was left. There is a dress code, long pants, no flip flops and collared shirts for men. We frequently saw men in jeans, flip flops and t-shirts. When my husband tried to get in with dress shorts and a collared shirt he was turned away.....very frustrating. I'd rather have dinner with a man in nice dress shorts and a golf shirt than a man in jeans and a t-shirt.

The resort is very clean - both inside and outside. Unfortunately there was a big party group at the swim up bar one day and it took the staff 2 days to get the pool clear. I guess drunks don't feel the need to use the bathrooms.

Food is presented nicely, but the flavour is certainly not good. Food is warm at best, repetitive and not very tasty. The service in the a-la-carte restaurants is not worth the effort. If you are 5 minutes late they will deny your reservation. On the other hand, we had an 8:00 reservation one night....they called us at 7:30 and told us to come right away.....needless to say, we didn't. We didn't always get what we ordered, food came far too quickly and not at all hot. Stay away from the beef and pork - very tough. The chicken cooked at the outdoor grill is good. My son ended up with Salmonella poisoning the day we got home - he was very sick for 2 weeks - the rest of us battled diarrhea for a week. In hind sight, I'm not surprised at all that he was as sick as he was. The food was never hot, even at the a-la-carte restaurants, and they always reserved food that had been out at previous meal.

The nightly entertainment is below par. Singing, dancing and lip syncing shows are not worth the time. Our 16-year old had fun at the night club. If you're taking someone under 18 it doesn't seem to be a problem getting an "adult bracelet" allowing them to get alcohol.....most of the teens had one......not sure if this is a good thing or bad - I guess it depends who your teen is.

There are very few activities for teens during the day. Most of them cost money. Banana boating, snorkelling, parasailing, bowling all had charges. Apart from that, there really wasn't much for teens to do. There are a couple sailboats and kayaks but they were not available due to the wind - I've never known a day in Punta Cana that doesn't have at least some wind, so I fail to understand why they even have the boats if they're not going to let the guests use them.

Paradise rooms boast premium liquor, robes, free internet and fruit baskets. Robes were too small for even my 12 year old. The fruit basket consists of a banana, an apple and a slice of watermelon. Premium liquor was only available in the Paradise lobby which is on the other side of the resort. Internet is free but there are only 2 computers and usually had to wait 30-45 minutes to use them. The only advantage to the Paradise rooms is the location - we were close to the pool.

Pablo at the swim up bar and Felix at the omelet bar are both fabulous. Unfortunately there is a big language barrier so it was very difficult to get what you wanted from the majority of the staff - even management.

There is no shortage of chairs - nice to not have to get up early to reserve them. The beach is beautiful but is has a lot of seaweed and the staff is not diligent at cleaning it up - there is always a lot and you have to step over/through it when walking the beach near the water.

In the end we had a relaxing time - just what the adults needed but the kids were a bit bored. It's a great place to go if you're in your 20's and plan on being drunk the whole time - probably won't notice the terrible food and below average service. But if you have any kind of established taste buds, desire for good service and expect attention to detail, I would not recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank Plopehead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juana Lene H, E-Concierge of Social Media at Now Larimar Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2012

Dear NOW Larimar Valued Guest,

Thank you for your time and effort writing a review about your vacation experience at our beautiful Resort NOW Larimar.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you have encountered during your stay. We hope that you are feeling better by now.

Please kindly remember that requests can not be guaranteed prior to arrival and are based upon the hotel's availability when you arrive.

Your days at Now Larimar Punta Cana will begin and end with superb, reservation-free dining. Take in the cool Caribbean air at seven gourmet restaurants; with so many choices you are sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience at every meal.

We regret not being able to meet your expectations. We take every comment serious and your points of criticism are beneficial suggestions to us to improve the service quality to our valued guests like you.

Thank you again for your genuine feedback.

It will be a great pleasure to be able to serve you again in the future as one of our precious guests.

Respectfully,

Juana Lene Hoffmann
E-Concierge of Social Media
NOW Larimar Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Av. Alemania S/N , El Cortecito, Bávaro Beach
Provincia La Altagracia
Republica Dominicana

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Reviewed 22 May 2011

Just returned from a five day stay at Now Larimar Punta Cana with my girlfriend. We took a considerable chance with this place since it just opened and there were no reviews yet. We were looking for the typical tropical getaway - an all inclusive resort for a few days to enjoy the sun and some relaxation. One thing is for sure with this place - you definitely can't judge a book by its cover. I'll start with the pros. The resort is very well maintained and kept looking clean and inviting at all times. The pools were quite nice, and the beach was just as beautiful as you'd expect from the Caribbean, including all the expected water sports. I'm not sure if this time of year is considered the off season, but the resort was not crowded at all, which was excellent - there was minimal competition for beach huts and poolside real estate. The room was spacious and clean, and included a large hot tub in addition to a separate walk in shower. Apparently every room at the resort has the hot tub, and this was a huge selling point for us. Just be careful because many of the rooms on the ground floor seemed to have their hot tubs on the outside patio vs inside the room itself. Our room was on the fourth floor so luckily the hot tub was inside and we still got to enjoy an outside terrace as well.

Now for the cons. As I mentioned before, Now Larimar looks great on the outside. While I have a few minor critiques that I'll mention later, the main flaw with this resort is undoubtedly the food, which was absolutely awful. Everything (and I mean everything) tasted like cardboard. Everything from the breakfast at the main cafe to the restaurant dinners had a similar aftertaste, like the ingredients were kept in a plastic vacuum seal that left some kind of residue on all the food. Nothing was even remotely good. After 4 days of this I was actually looking forward to getting back to New York just for an adequate meal. That smell, the aftertaste... I feel like I may never forget it. It didn't just taste awful, but wreaked havoc on my stomach. To paraphrase Louis CK, every trip to the bathroom was an EMERGENCY. I'll just leave it at that. And I'm not a food snob - I've been many places inside and outside the States and this is by far the worst food I've ever experienced in my life. I guarantee your third grade cafeteria had higher quality ingredients than what they use at Larimar. On our second to last night we snuck into the resort next door for dinner (I believe it was called the Secrets Royal Beach). The food was far superior to anything that was being served at Larimar. That pretty much solidified my opinion. To add insult to injury, we received the wrong room service on two separate occasions. We ordered chicken tacos twice, first time we got chicken nuggets and the second time they sent tuna sandwiches. I suppose I could see mixing it up the first time since both meals involved chicken... But tuna sandwiches? How do you mix that up unless you're either stupid or worse - you don't care. Never did get those tacos (I'm sure they were terrible anyway). Ended up launching the tuna sandwiches off the balcony. Sorry to anyone who swam with them the next day. Long story short - if food matters just the slightest bit to you, do not go to Now Larimar.

A few more cons: Pools close at 7 so forget about night swimming (though we did it anyway and no one seemed to care or stop us). You can't get a beach towel past 5pm either. Pretty much all water activity is discouraged past 6pm, which makes no sense to me at all. I thought night swimming was a given at these places. Even 8 or 9 o'clock closing would make more sense. Oh, and the swim up bars? They close at 6 as well. The one and only proper bar (where you can get drinks other than overly sugary pina coolatas and presidente) has last call at 12:30. The "nightclub" closes at 1:30, so real nightlife options are non-existent. All of these early close times indicate to me that this resort is willing to do anything it can to cut back on operating costs, regardless if it inconveniences the guests. And you won't find any of this information on their website either. The bed was hard as a rock and the air conditioning barely cooled the room down. Much of the staff could barely understand English. Obviously I don't expect everyone to speak the language, but the resort is supposed to cater to its customers (who are mostly North American with a few Europeans sprinkled in), not the other way around.

Although it looks great on the outside, Now Larimar has some serious internal flaws and I would definitely NOT recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: make sure hot tub is IN the room
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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10  Thank chriselfdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juana Lene H, E-Concierge of Social Media at Now Larimar Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2012

Dear NOW Larimar Valued Guest,

Thank you for your time and effort writing a review about your vacation experience at our beautiful Resort NOW Larimar.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you have encountered during your stay. We hope you are feeling better by now.

Guests from Now Larimar are not allowed to use the faclilities of Secrets Royal Beach.

AMResorts, provider of sales, marketing and resort brand management services, officially debuted Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana (formerly NH Royal Beach) and Now Larimar Punta Cana (formerly NH Real Arena) in the Dominican Republic on May 1, 2011. The introduction of Now Larimar represents the brand's entry into the Caribbean and emphasizes AMResorts' investment in the popular vacation destination of Punta Cana.

We regret not being able to meet your expectations. We take every comment serious and your points of criticism are beneficial suggestions to us to improve the service quality to our valued guests like you.

Thank you again for your genuine feedback.

It will be a great pleasure to be able to serve you again in the future as one of our precious guests.

Respectfully,

Juana Lene Hoffmann
E-Concierge of Social Media
NOW Larimar Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Av. Alemania S/N , El Cortecito, Bávaro Beach
Provincia La Altagracia
Republica Dominicana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2011

A group of nine family members stayed at this hotel for five nights. The hotel was nice and the rooms were spacious and clean. The food was good but not great. When I initially booked the trip, the name of the hotel was NH Real Areana Punta Cana. When we arrived to the hotel, the name had been changed to Now. The front desk staff told us that reservations were no longer needed for the restaurants, which I thought was great. However, when we arrived at the restaurants, they were always at full capacity. Service at the restaurants, especially the buffett was the worst. Every morning we had to wait about 10-15 minutes just for a cup of coffee. The employees were not really nice at all. I however, would like to give a shout out to Romulo, the bartender at the swim-up bar. He was great in that he was very attentive and polite. Not sure if I would return to this hotel.

On my last trip to Punta Cana, we stayed at the Majestic Elegance and it was wonderful. We didn't return there on this trip because the hotel was fully booked.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank JessfromChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juana Lene H, E-Concierge of Social Media at Now Larimar Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2012

Dear NOW Larimar Valued Guest,

Thank you for your time and effort writing a review about your vacation experience at our beautiful Resort NOW Larimar.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you have encountered during your stay.

We regret not being able to meet your expectations. We take every comment serious and your points of criticism are beneficial suggestions to us to improve the service quality to our valued guests like you.

Thank you again for your genuine feedback.

It will be a great pleasure to be able to serve you again in the future as one of our precious guests.

Respectfully,

Juana Lene Hoffmann
E-Concierge of Social Media
NOW Larimar Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Av. Alemania S/N , El Cortecito, Bávaro Beach
Provincia La Altagracia
Republica Dominicana

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2011

Positive points:
You can get how many towels beach you want...
The pools are fine.
Negative points:
Bed bugs!!!
Service
Food
Hotel maintenance

Overall: I spent 5 nights in here and that was enough, if you are looking for a nice vacation place in the Caribean go to Mexico, way better!

  • Stayed: May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
5  Thank CiciNono1304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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