Iberostar Punta Cana Hotel, Higuey
Reviews - Iberostar Punta Cana Hotel
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Iberostar Punta Cana Hotel
Never would reurnfrom A TripAdvisor Member
First time in DR - great experiencefrom pochtara
We had Apple package and we liked the service that Apple provides. The charter flight was great, direct from Milwaukee, WI, USA to Punta Cana DR. Movie, food, and service on the place were very nice. By arrival to DR airport (no AC, but it was not tool hot) Apple reps walk you through the custom and into the buses (big Greyhound like). You fill up the entry form (do not loose it or you will pay fee), pay $10 at the custom, pick up your luggage and walk to the outside where Apple rep will show you the bus. About 20min ride to the hotel and you are at the front desk. Here is the trick that other reviewers talked about, if you get the room fare away from the beach and you think you would like to move closer, offer the guy $20 for help to relocate. It probably won’t happen until next morning though, but the guy will call you in the morning and will ask if you still want to move and I bet you he will find something for you. Do not expect to change your room right away though it probably won’t happened, but if you be a bit patient and polite you will get what you are looking for with relatively small payment. I did give the guy $20 and he did call me back next morning asking if I want to move, but by that time we’ve decided stay where we were (5183 and 5184 by the left entrance to hotel complex) and primarily because it was so quite and so close to the evening attractions, stores, and biggest buffet restaurants (2 of them at the front desk).
The hotel complex has squared letter O shape starched from the reception area to the beach. Two such structures are in parallel to each other with two pools and walking paths between them. Each building has 4 levels. The rooms located such that the entrance faces inside the complex and the balcony is outside. Our rooms’ balconies were facing toward the pools, though we could not see them, they were more to the left. During the day pools are with people and if you room is close to them you might hear some noise from the room (but who in a world would stay in the room during the day on vacation by the beach?!). The pools are working until 7 or 8PM I think and nobody (except some few too excited kids) would be there swimming at night. One pool is close to Punta Cana site and another to Dominicana. They are exact copy of one another, but more day activities on the Dominicana site (water polo, dance classes, etc…) so it more noisy there.
The beach right next to the pools and it is gorgeous!!! It starches along the great barrier reefs, which are about 500’ away with number of hotels along: Bavaro to the right, Riu and others to the left. The ocean is very nice, but a little ruff since the Atlantic is pounding on the reefs. The sand is white and very small like a dust, which make the water by the shore white-murky at the time when most people in the water. There is a small coral reef right by our beech with all kind of fish on it, but it all sprinkled with white send. The better snorkeling spot is by the Bavaro beach to re right at the very left farther corner of their swimming area. It is clear and more corals in there and all kinds of fish and sea animal there.
Rooms in the hotel are very clean and have TV with cable and minibar with beer, soda, and water. The beer in minibar I think is much better then Presidente. If you like stronger beer, ask beer in the bottles at the bar. The rooms are not very big but spacious enough. No kitcheners, but with all inclusive, who cares. Nice bathroom with tub shower. We, as being adviced via reviews, were leaving mates $1 each day with note (always write a note otherwise they won’t touch your money) with our wishes for the minibar and the room was always clean and the minibar was full of goodies.
We did 3 excursions, Marinarium ($65), Seona Island ($80), and Outback Safari ($70). All 3 are very good. Definitely go to Seona at LaRomana. It’s a full day trip to the paradise. The sea at LaRomana is blocked form Atlantic and so calm and clear like in a pool. Lots of fun and rum on the way there on the catamaran. 3 hour on the secluded beach of the island with lunch on it. Take snorkeling stuff with you since they do not offer it on the trip. There are lots to see in the water: stars, lobsters, all sort of fish and shells. You leave from hotel early before the breakfast, so make sure you take some snack since you are not getting food until the lunch time, only drinks and a lot of it. At the marina in LaRomana there are a lot of local shops, which you can go around after you come back from the island on a speed boat (same boat that will drop you on the catamaran). I found that prices for big shells are probably the cheapest there that at the hotel’s local market so buy them there.
Outback Safari trip is just a lot of fun, rum with soda (they cal it half-and-half since the guide will mix rum and soda for you in the soda bottle in abut ½ proportion? So be aware it get to you after few bottles. We had one old guy from London who fall a sleep so to say after few bottles of ½ . The trip will stop at different places of the DR country side and also, it’s great, at secluded beach on the Atlantic side of the island where the waves are so high, you won’t believe it. You will swim there for an hour having more ½ in you?. Be cautious with your video equipment there since it is like a constant mist of salt water in the air form the waves all the time and I fried my video camera there shooting video along the beach due to the water damage.
Night life in the hotel is very nice. Small casino for people who like to gamble, every evening from 8PM StarFriends do some shows where you can be a participant if you want to. Later from 11:30PM there is a disco bar. My son was hanging there every night, then my daughter and wife got into it in the last few days too? It is a good place to meet new friends, though music according to my son is out of date.
Local shops inside the hotel are very expensive. The beach market to the right passing Bavaro is more entertaining and has much more variety. Pay at most 1/3 of the asking price. Overpricing of their product it’s the way the do their business there.
Gests are from Europe (England, French, Russia, and US). Topless women? – Yes on the beach, but you will get use to it after a while.
Okay I think it’s more than enough. Will I go back – in a heart bit!!! Iberostar chain in general is very good. From talking with people from other hotels (not Iberostar) on the excursions, our hotel chain is no comparison, the best in the area. I think beside the great service, food, location, entertainment, and rooms, the local people that serve and entertain you are the biggest treasure of this island. They are so friendly, open, and hard working you won’t believe – though they always smile to you and want to make you vacation smoothest ever. Shoot me e-mail if you have more questions/doubt: firstname.lastname@example.org
t wait to go back!!!from azifikare
A group of us were there for a wedding which took place on the beach. It was all very beatiful, just perfect like a scene out of a movie. All the wedding deatils were taking care by the wedding planner such us cocktails, music, dinner, cake, flowers, photos, video, and whatever else the bride and groom needed was made available to them. I believe all of this was included in the wedding package they purchased. I was only a guest so I'm not sure of the overall cost of this.
Everything at Iberostar Punta Cana was above and beyone all of our expectations. We also had children and teenagers in our group. They enjoyed their stay and activities so much that they asked for hotel jobs so that they could stay longer!
The food was amazing, we must of ate seafood everyday [salmon, fish, shrimp, squid, mussels, etc.]. I'm not a drinker, but the people in our group had no complaints, nor nothing bad to say about the bars/drinks.
The gardens were well kept and picture perfect. I enjoyed walking from the buffet areas to the beach, and to the hotel room. With all the food we were eating, these short little walks were very helpful. I was impressed with the sevice and the friendliness of the staff. Marcelo, Arinis, Nelson, Santos, Javier, Pilar, Roberto, Miguel, Eudin, Alexis, Elke, John, Robin, all the Guiselles, Cisa, Domingo, Rique, Milagros, Hector, and so many other great staff people we met there. It seemed like there were more staff personnel than guests!!
I did find things expensive at the resort like in any other tourist area. However, we took a cab to Higuey which is a little town about 40 minutes from the hotel. The cab ride for 7 people cost us $100US. In Higuey, we purchase a lot of our rum, coffe, and other souveniers. For instance, 1 pound of Ground coffe- Santo Domingo brand cost about $8US at the hotel. In Higuey, we purchased the same coffee and size for $3US. A small bottle of Brugal Rum [Extra Viejo] cost us about $3US in Higuey. The same bottle at the hotel was about $6. Different stores seemed to have different prices for things as well.
Anther group of us went to Captain Cook restaurant. For $50US you travelled via boat to the restaurant to eat all kinds of seafood. I'm not sure if it was an all you can eat type of restaurant but 4 huge doggie [bag] containers with lobters were brought back.
Bottom line, you'll need some cash if you want out of the hotel or to purchase gifts to bring back home.
It's all about one's individual expectations and tastes. What may be a glorious vacation to one person might just be mediocre to antoher. All I know is that all of us had the best vacation ever and we can't wait to go back next year!
Good, Bad, and the Uglyfrom A TripAdvisor Member
We travelled with 2 young kids... 2.5 year old and 7 month old. I was excited... my wife being a pediatrician was a hesitant from the beginning. We had to switch to Punta Cana after the hurricane hit Cancun.
The hotel is a very nice, clean, UNDERSTATED place. It is elegant as a much as a tropical location will allow. When checking in put down a $20USD bill and ask for there very best room. Only try this trick if you get to the hotel before 4pm. Otherwise it's a waste. We were moved from the back... where the buffet is... to near the pool entrance.
Iberostar Punta Cana and probably all Iberostar hotels were amazing with the kids. So if you think your off to partyland... this may not be the place for you. We were stunned to have our shy 2 year old jump on stage and start dancing with other kids... this was part of their MiniDisco, every night at 8pm
Food, great the first 2 days... then gets a little boring but ususally you have found something that you like to you just eat that... so for an all inclusive the food was very good, fresh, much of it made to order.
We did go to the Asian resteraunt... steer VERY CLEAR... but no problem cause the buffet was still open.
If you get sick while staying here... it's because you were marked to get sick... I highly doubt it was the hotel or their water as all of it is filtered and clean.
The pools very clean, the ocean was beautiful and ATLEAST 5 degrees warmer than the pool. You should NOT have any problem finding a Cabana by the pool before noon. On the beach that's a different story.
The bad parts are the beds... are very hard, like and old mattress from the 70's. The room service was too a bit spotty... but we didn't care as we didn't pay 5 star rates.
The ugly... that is very hard to find... probably none.
If we had to do it again... we would NOT book the Bavaro... it is too much walking... due to the villas layout... we would not book Punta Cana either because everything centers at the Dominica!
If you can get a good rate at the Dominica... take it. the lay out of the resort from left to right is Punta cana, dominica, bavaro.
Everything centered at the dominica for us. The pools had more shade, the outdoor grill, the dancing, the dance lessons, the shopping street (3 or 4 shops) the stage shows the vicinty of the Internet Cafe. Everything is in closer proximity to the Dominica. Hence the better deal.
This was our firt time being at an all inclusive and the bar was definitly set very high.
Lovely location! Great beach! What to expect.from AvrilLeech
FLIGHT - Flying with First Choice was definitely a notch above other carriers. The seats are a lot wider and there is more leg room. When booking, remember to book your seats together at an additional cost! If you do not, even if you are a couple, they will not automatically put you together. In fact it seemed that most couples who had not pre-booked their seats , were separated. "Extra leg-room" actually means the seats by the Emergency Exits, which are also used by some passengers to go from one side of the plane to the other. Not really an advantage!
HOTEL - When you book this holiday, be aware that these are two hotels in one, as the Iberostar "Dominicana" shares the same beach and swimming pool area, together with the five satellite restaurants and the "theatre" at the Dominicana is also shared by both hotels. Be aware that the number of rooms stated should be put together and this gives you the true size of the complex. The hotels are set in wonderful gardens which are kept beautifully clean. The beach is clean and the water wonderfully clear. This coast, however, is not calm and there are usually fairly large breakers, so not really ideal for children. The free-form pools are magnificent, however, and are very clean and inviting!
There is no swim-up bar although there are two bars on the beach. These bars serve drinks all day but the quality of the cocktails left a lot to be desired. The wine at these bars was also pretty undrinkable. The main bars in the two hotel lobbies definitely served the best drinks, whilst wine in the main buffet restaurants was very poor quality Spanish table wine. International wines could be purchased, however, from 20 dollars a bottle!
The rooms were very large but not particularly luxurious. They are air-conditioned and the beds are large and the sheets are changed once every two days. Clean towels are available every day, together with beach towels. There is a small mini-bar containing water, beer and soft drinks. There are no coffee or tea making facilities which we found annoying as it was a fair walk to the main bar, which was the only place which served drinks after the pool bars had closed. There was no iron or ironing board either in the room, although we were told you could go to reception and borrow one, not really very convenient!
FOOD - The two buffet restaurants, which are linked by a small brige, generally, served good food. There was a wide international range of dishes which were generally well cooked. The cold meats, however, were dreadful and should be avoided. The salad bar was good and there was a wide choice of tropical fruits. We saw little or no seafood served, however, which, for a Caribbean destination was very disappointing. The "satellite" restaurants were, generally, very poor. These have to be booked in advance, and, were very disappointing. This was not just our opinion, but the opinion of others we talked to.
ENTERTAINMENT - The entertainment ranged from "very poor" to O.K. The general activities around the pool area were, generally very good and the staff work very hard. The evening entertainment, however, was, generally not very good. There were a couple of shows which were rather mediocre for a 5 star rated hotel. Some evenings there were rather "juevenile" competitions like "Mr. and Mrs." and "silly" games on stage. Not what we expected.
Keep money aside for some excursions as they are generally well worthwhile.
Many of you reading this will think that we did not enjoy our holiday. On the contrary we did! It was thoroughly relaxing and just what we needed. Ours is just an opinion amongst many. We have tried to give you a few pointers and hope that these will be useful. We would also be interested to read your comments!
Laid Backfrom wovolasa
Hotel: Clean, location I guess Okay,too far of a drive from airport. Restaurants: Good, went to each one, nice option. Buffet: Okay, enough of selection to survive.
Alcohol: Okay, level of alcohol was middle shelf.
Daytime activities: Okay. If you wanted to play any type of activity, if it was scheduled, you couldn't play ie
bocce ball, horseshoes, etc. Should make available all day if you want to play but not the case. Everything is "SCHEDULED". Not for me. Won't go back. DON'T USE APPLE VACATIONS. MISLED ALL THE WAY!!!!
Iberostar Punta Cana--wonderful resortfrom Thorntwell
When we finally did get there, the airport is an open air airport. You go down the steps to the tarmack and walk in. They will stop you to take pictures with natively dressed girls. Just like the cruise ships. These pix are available when you leave.
As others have stated, you will have to have a state issued birth certificate and photo id or passport. (They did recommend women bringing marriage certificates to prove the change in name from birth certificate to current ID, but I wasn't asked for that.) Have your 10 dollars and pen ready to fill out your paperwork.
The porters will over-run each other to get to you to help you with their baggage. Let them help and give them a few bucks-we tipped a buck a bag. We didn't encounter any apple vacation look-a-like people trying to wisk us off to other places as we had heard about. Probably because we got there so late. Our apple rep was waiting right outside for us to direct us to our correct buses. The ride to the hotel was about 35 minutes. When we got there, they wisk you right up to the check in desk. We got mired down with searching for our luggage, so we ended up at the end of the line. Tip: let one person get the luggage and the other get in line. They are within eye-sight of each other. They will give you an envelope with all your information and wrist bands. There will be a person there to explain where your room is--they took us to the general vicinity of our rooms and then pointed us in the right direction. We did not get a drink on arrival. Again, probably because we got in so late. I did email and asked for an upgrade for our friends (and possibly something special 'champagne' maybe?)--it was their 10 year anniversary. This did not happen. They did get a king bed and unfortunately we got the two doubles. We did go down in the morning though and dear Andres said he would take care of us and change us to a king room the next day after some others left. This was done and was seamless. We packed our stuff up and the porter took it all over to our new room (which was overlooking the pool--very nice!) (my husband enjoyed it because there was a topless lady outside our window every morning--men!). There is a lot of toplessness down there. Heck, we even tried it! I think we had more fun rating all the ------- and voting whether they were fake or real. We got to the beach by around 8:00 to get seats. We never really had a problem getting a cabana. It did help to take a couple of our own towels to mark the seats. We never had a problem with someone trying to steal our seats.
The spa on the dominicana side is really cool. They have separate saunas for men and women. They even have a Eucalyptus Steam Room, which really clears the head and pores. The women's was not operational, so we used the men's. They have lockers that you can stow your stuff while using the sauna. Then they have showers with shampoo and body soap available. They even give you fresh towels. Jacuzzi's are free, but you do have to reserve them. I do recommend a nice massage for $25.00 right on the beach. We did that and then the jacuzzi and sauna. Then hit the beach to basque in the sun all day. Boy was that nice.
We took thermal glasses like suggested, but didn't use them. They had two sizes of glasses that they served their beverages in. If you get the bigger size, unless you're really into slamming them one after the other, you'll be ready for a new one just about the time you need to flip over!
The food was absolutely awesome. Those who stated they had trouble finding stuff to eat must be pretty picky eaters. The two buffets are pretty much mirrors of each other. You can have anything from omlets, pancakes, doughnuts, chicken, veggies, sandwiches, yogurt, cereal--you name it--for breakfast. For lunch--eat at the beach. You can either eat on the punta cana or dominicana side. They had the typical hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and cheese, pizza, ham, pork chops, fish, chicken, salads, veggies, dessert, so much, I really can't name them all. One day they did have a huge pan of rice and seafood--it was awesome!
When you get there, make sure to stop at guest services, just to the right of the entry to the punta cana buffet, to make reservations for your sit-down meals. They offer five different restaurants: japanese, steak house, tropical, mexican, or gourmet. The food was good. I was disappointed in the steak house--they tell you to dress nice and all, you do that, and then when we got there a family with three kids were just letting the kids play in the sand (the steak house is on the beach). Some people came walking in in jean shorts and tank tops. One family didn't even have a reservation, just slipped the matre de a bill. I think it cheapened the experience for us. The gourmet restaurant was absolutely awesome--you get to order one thing: Lobster. It is like a 7 course meal of absolutely delectible foods. The dessert is to die for. Tip: They say you can only have three sit down meals. After seeing how empty these restaurants were (which we never could figure out why), we decided to go and try to set up another sit down meal. I don't think they keep track of how many you've signed up for because we got a fourth sit down meal with no problems.
The rooms were pretty clean. Linens were changed daily. We didn't drink much out of our mini-bar, but they do give you 4 presidente beers, several bottles of water (which I did not notice that they had been previously opened), a diet coke, sprite and orange Fanta.
TV Channels are spotty. Sometimes we could get ABC out of NY (which was nice to keep in touch with back home) and other times it wasn't there.
We did do the James Bond speed boats out to snorkel and the Outback Safari trips. Three out of four of us did not like the James Bond speed boats. It was an extremely rough ride, you couldn't see because of all of the salt water being thrown in your eyes, and that's with sun glasses on. When you got there, you only got to snorkle for 20 minutes. I was surprised to see the guides standing on the reef. If you've ever snorkeled before, I'm sure you know you're not supposed to touch the reef. It says it's a half day tour, but for substance, I'd say you get less than 1 1/2 hours. The rest of the time is waiting around to get all of the boats up and running or getting to and from the business.
On the other hand, the Outback Safari is a must. This trip will take you through the country side, you'll see a typical native home, you will learn about their culture, their livelihoods and the land. You will taste fresh cocoa and coffee (even a cocoa bean straight from the fruit). You will have a nice lunch at a ranch. You will see iguanas, snakes and tarrantulas (all caged thank you very much!) The last stop will have you boogie boarding in the ocean at a private spot. (water was a little stinky. There was a guard there with an M-16. Little scary, but great photo op) It is EXTREMELY bumpy--when you get back from Punta Cana, you will never again complain about the condition of your local roads! It is a very long day. I would suggest booking this early in your vacation.
This area is not a place where you would go, rent a car and drive around. When you go to your resort, you will stay there and only venture out for your tours. After the ride in on the bus, you'll probably understand why I say the following...you will not want to rent a car and drive around to site-see. If you want a heart stopping adventure, rent a cab to take you to a nearby resort casino like we did. I thank God for answering prayers and we made it home safely. These cabbies know what they are doing and driving in Punta Cana is not for the faint of heart.
If you go to the shopping center down the beach, make sure you dicker on the price. Check from shop to shop--they all carry the same stuff. Their "cheap, cheap, almost free" isn't always almost free and you can most likely get a better deal.
Well, I hope some of this will be useful to you. We did have a blast, it was very relaxing, the temps were in the mid-upper 80s during the day and high 70s at night. It only rained at dinner 2 days for about 10 minutes, and one afternoon for about 2 hours. So, all in all, it was a perfect vacation. The grounds are gorgeous. Take some time to play with the Star Friends. I entered a shooting contest and won--Even though I'm no marksman! Even beat my hubby who is an avid hunter. Told him maybe I should go with him next time.
I heard some horror stories from people on the plane who attended other resorts. This resort will not give you a horror story. As far as getting sick. I'd say don't go hog-wild on alcohol and food. All in moderation will lead to a fun, worry free time! If you have any questions, feel free to email me: Thorntwell@aol.com I can send pix.
That's it.. The food was wonderful, everything you could possibly want. The activities team worked really hard, but do not force you to enter any games etc. They were hilarious.
The disco was good although 12-1am is Salsa.
The accomodation was first class. We always had fresh little flowers in the bathroom everyday. Towels and bed linen change regularly.
All the staff were friendly and helpful. The bar staff were excellent, we were always served within minutes and they kept their bar immaculate. Can't understand if customers complained about the food.. It was excellent. A huge variety to choose from.
Having 2 teenagers with us was a worry to start off with as we were not sure if the hotel would suit them, We needn't have worried, after the first day, they were away with the team having great fun.
We would thoroughly recommend this hotel to all. We can't wait to go back!!
great maid service,but.....from A TripAdvisor Member
Top Local Tips for Higuey
Nite life was very poor!! Improve the nite life entertaiment!!More salsa!!More chairs on beach!!!!
Sun! Brink LOTS of sun block lotion!
Too far for Western Canadians From Calgary, it took 13 hours to get there, 8 hours of flying time plus a stop over in Puerta Plata so they could clean the plane. People from Vancouver and Edmonton had to get to Calgary before spending another 13 hours travelling. There are lots of sun destinations much closer. And All-Inclusive Sun resorts are pretty much identical, so why fly so far for some warmth?
Other names for Iberostar Punta Cana Hotel
- punta cana iberostar
- Address: Playa Bavaro - Higuey - Dominican Republic
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