Historical Traveller Reviews of Barcelo Capella Beach Resort Hotel
t believe the bad reviews
from A TripAdvisor Member
First of all, when we booked our trip, we visited this site and were horrified to find some bad reviews. We were so nervous to go because of this. I must say, when we arrived (around 11pm) there was quite a long wait and drive to the resort but we were in good spirits and didn't really mind. Once we arrived and checked in, which was no problem, we found our room ourselves (we were offered rides on golf carts but decided to check it out ourselves). Although our room was in the older section of the building, it was great! The maid was so nice and made up our room everyday with clean towels. As far as the food went, we were pleased. The buffet was fine although we did grow tired of it by the end of the week! One night, we did go to the restaraunt on the beach and the lobster was magnificent! The swim up bars were also a nice touch and the drinks were great! At first we worried about the ice in the drinks but soon realized that there was no avoiding it and none of us got sick (make sure to drink the bottled water though-even brush with it too!). Water is available everywhere if you ask for it and the maids will also stock the fridge.The resort was also beautiful and the grounds were well kept. The staff was quite pleasant and willing to help.So, for all of you who are reading the bad reviews, please remember that the only people who write these are people who are 1. WAY too picky about insignificant things like not having wash cloths in the rooms or 2. those who had a bad experience which unfortunately can happen anywhere you go Remember, if you make an effort to be pleasant to the staff, they will return the favour!
from A TripAdvisor Member
The resort was beautiful but..........The people were very rude! The food wasn't good and it was the same thing night after night. The entertainment wasn't good either. The resort itself was very nice and clean. They had problems while we were there and had no hot water for 2 days. Also, the conquest agent told us we would have a coach bus to get to the resort (3 hrs) and we didn't, that's hard with 2 children and no bathroom. We had a 6 hr flight delay and the conquest agent didn't bother notifying everyone so my husband was on the phone at midnight trying to figure out what time we were leaving. We were very disappointed in Conquest Tours.
from A TripAdvisor Member
All these people writing bad reviews clearly don't know what they're talking about. I just came back a couple hours ago, and I am terribly sad that I am back in -20*C weather. There are drinks and food everywhere! Coco Loco has got to be one of the best. There are beautiful pools with in-the-water-bars and 2 buffet-style restaurants (El Pascador is the bigger better one with cute chefs). The water is a bit murky, but if you go on the shark-snorkeling trip (yes, sharks) you get to see the Puerto Plata crystal clear water on the white sandy beaches. Everynight there is a different show with the "Animacion" crew dancing rapturous dances all night long until 11pm after which you go to the discotheque at the Las Olas Grille Bar, during which you can dance with Pedro =] . You can haggle with the vendors but I think you should at least give them a decent price (they spend hours and hours in the hot burning sun dragging around their produce all around with them so their many children can go to school). Yes, you have to make sure they don't cheat you out of a good room and should fight a little for good service, but the vendors go away if you say "no" and most of the waitors smile. Beautiful resort with hilarious people! * * * * *
F.Y.I from Jenn
from A TripAdvisor Member
I recently returned from a week at the Barcelo Capella Beach Resort (February 28 - March 7, 2003) and, having read the other reviews before leaving, I thought I would write one of my own. The first thing I want to say is that this hotel should not be rated 5 star in terms of the food and service. First of all, we had to wait 2 hours for our room to be ready upon check in. No one helped us with our bags, told us where our room was, or provided us with the towel cards needed to get towels daily for the beach or pool. When we got to our room, the door was open and there was a huge puddle of water on the floor from the air-conditioner leaking. It took about an hour to get the room mopped, and our repeated attempts with management to improve the situation were ignored. The room itself was very average (with a sort-of ocean view!), much like any other room, but there is excellent satellite T.V. It was fairly clean, and we came to love the maids (tip them 1 dollar American a day and your water and pop in the mini-fridge are always restocked!). It was also impossible to call, whether collect or by calling card, from the room. Trust me, we tried for 2 days. Across the street from the hotel near the lobby there is a convenience store that sells calling cards, and the phone booth in front works well if you go through the Spanish calling card directions. We also had continuous problems with the safe. Things went uphill from there however. Though the food in this place is pretty awful (we all became ill and lost about 5 pounds each) you learn to live off certain items such as pineapple and the pasta bar. If you have a chance, go to the French restaurant, or visit the resorts souvenir shop-they sell Pringles chips. The staff here is fairly courteous but do not speak English at all. In terms of alcohol, apparently there are 17 versions of a strawberry daiquiri, because thats how many we got. The rum and lime juice is very good, just make sure to ask for rum and limon juice, otherwise you get a he entertainment shows at night were pretty good, and consisted of an opening singing act, an audience participation game, and a dance group. The best part of the trip, for us anyways, was at the disco. The party here runs from 11 to about 2 a.m. and is mostly geared towards the college crowd. There is a mixture of spanish music and newer R & B, dance, etc. They did play current music, but some nights the meringue-style songs went on far too long-just go upstairs and tell the DJ to play Michael Jackson or Britney Spears or whatever-he probably has it. Overall, the weather was beautiful, as were the grounds of the hotel. We met some great people from Toronto and Montreal, and we were sad to leave. I would probably not go back to the Barcelo Capella, but then again, I would never go to the same place twice. As a final tip-wake up early if you want to get a spot in the shade, or even a good seat near the pool. E-mail me if you have any questions.
worst resort ever
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I have just returned from a one week stay at Barcelo Capella Resort March 2-9th, 2003. We arrived by bus, a group of about 50. The reception area is open air and very very hot. We had to stand for quite a while in a line to check in and once this was done it was 2pm we were told to return at 3pm for our room key wherein we had nowhere to store our luggage and at 3pm had to endure another hot line up - If you are disabled this is not the place for you as it is spread out over quite a bit of property. We dragged our luggage to Block 4000 (thank goodness for that) as we were warned not to stay anywhere but block 4000 and I now know why. Our block was the newest and it was still musty smelling and the only thing you can do is leave your balcony door open although i did bring room freshner spray since I had read about this problem. One member in our group never had maid service from Sunday till Wednesday when they finally complained due to no toilet paper.I met 2 ladies who said the sheets on their bed were damp and they were in another Block. The front desk is of very little help as they speak limited english. They fail to tell you that inorder to get pool towels you must get a card from the front desk and since we didn't know this we were unable to get towels till the next day. If you want a remote control for your TV you must be standing by the front desk while someone hands their's in when they check out. At our intro session with World of Vacations our tour guide told us to stay away from most of the fancy drinks ie pina colada and banana mama as they contain a coconut substance that works as a laxative so in other words BEWARE OF YOUR CHOICE OF DRINK...also in the Dom Rep. you don't need a drivers licence to drive and you can drink and drive so BEWARE OF THE ROADS...outside of the hotel you are harassed by people on motorcycles as apparently they are considered Taxi's.The beach was disgusting very very narrow and rocky and the water is unswimmable full of seaweed except for one little spot which is obviously the spot photographed for their brochure ad. The vendors bug you all day long and they are very persistent. The main pool bar is very noisy and small and who would want to swim in water that is full of spilled drinks and probably has been urinated in by those who never leave the bar. It is also very very noisy with a boom box playing loud music. There is a much nicer pool but it is at the far end of the resort and not located by the beach at all and there is no shade and believe me it is hot and you cannot walk barefooted around the pool. I cannot even tell you what I thought or the other 50 or so people in our group thought of the food - 95% of it is uneatable. The hot food is mostly mushy something or other - no food labels - and it is not hot - what is supposed to be hot is COLD. Yes they did have a pasta bar of 4 choices but people were plenty sick of eating only pasta by the 3rd or 4th day and some ate it the whole time as it was the only thing they could stomach. I told our tour leader that the hotel is wasting a lot of money on food which is wasted each day as we could not eat it. A lot of people were sick and confined to their rooms due to the food. There is lots of food but it is horrible. Yes, they do have 2 ala carte restaurants - one of which you can only go to once with a reservation the other one is about $20 US each and why should we have to pay to get a decent meal when we paid for meals with our package. Also if they can cook decent food at the ala carte restaurants then they should cook decent food in the buffet...who wants mashed potatoes for breakfast? They were probably left over from the night before dinner. The grounds are beautiful I will say that - but if you came for the beach/food forget it. They do have entertainment - it is the same dancing group every night and the same 2 singers every night whose attire was borderline risque. The first three nights the entertainment consisted of getting the audience up doing silly things and nothing else. The MC's go on and on in Spanish while 95% of the crowd is English speaking. The staff in the restaurants and bars speak Spanish only so if they don't understand you they walk away. Why can they not have at least an English speaking supervisor who you can go to with questions re the food etc. I couldn't leave this resort fast enough and I will never try a Barcelo Resort again nor will I go to a resort I haven't heard of from someone who recommends it. So people if you read a review recommending this resort don't believe it - How can my group of at least 50 be wrong.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Well let's just say that our trip to Barceló Capella Beach Resort was a disaster.......our trip started on Feb 28, 2003 till March 7, 2003. The trip of torture. First off, we arrived at the hotel at 1.30 after and hour long bus ride through the ugly city, check in time wasn't until 3.00pm so we had to wait in the lobby, perspiration and sweating was the major factor. Everyone in the reception area spoke no word of English so we didnt know what to do. At 3, we got our room keys and there was no direction to the room. We had to find it ourselves. We were in the 4000 rooms so that means on the opposite side of the lobby. No one helped us to the room so we had to walk and find it ourselves. We entered the room and the door was open.....with a flood...our air conditioner was broken....the door was wide open and no one was coming to fix it. After and hour of trying to get help a plumber came and fixed it. But of course we got no courtesy room or a switch of rooms; we got stuck with that one. After that problem was fixed, we went for dinner which sucked. Everything tasted like fat oil and the restaurants smelled. I only ate pineapple, watermelon and crackers for the whole vacation. On Tuesday we had a free dinner at the French restaurant which was very worth going. After being on the island for 5 days, we needed food. The service is poor and the staff is very snobby. They dont appreciate tips so dont bother offering. By the mid week we started to go to the disco on the resort. That pretty much made the vacation. We meet people who were the same age and we all hung out and partied together. The pool areas are very beautiful and the grounds are well taken care of. Flamingo's and peacocks are roaming around the front entrance in a little pool...so be aware of that...but more or less, if the food was at least a bit satisfying, then I would say that I would go back... but be prepared for no energy, because the food is not what you would appreciate.
We booked our trip online a week before leaving and thought we were getting a sell off vacation at a five star hotel. Boy were we fooled. We arrived late in the evening to the Capella after being told by the guide about the all inclusive we would receive (of course that is what we booked) and the free use of the in room safe. Soon after arrival several in our party were told to follow one of the hotel people and bring our luggage. We wondered what was going on but complied. We were walked to another hotel which they assured us was part of the Capella. By the look of it, it was obviously the poor mans Capella and the lack of courtesy and personell soon gave us a sinking feeling. We later realized this was not the Capella at all, nor is it on the map for the Capella, nor was it near the beach, nor was it all inclusive. Too tired to argue went to our room which was not what we expected. We had selected the king sized bed as well as a non smoking room. We came to realize over the course of our stay that there were no rooms like that where we were nor were there any rooms with two queens as had been the other selection. We expected water coming from the taps, cleanliness, quiet and the free use of the inroom safe we had been told about. None of these were to be. We were also told that snacks and and drinks awaited us on the beach. Again, a misrepresentation. The hotel we were in was not all inclsive, we had to sign for whatever was in the minibar including water. We could not enjoy a free all inclusive drink around the pool nor any food at the restaurant on the premises. Only after we hiked to the other end of the Capella were we able to have the all inclusive meals and drinks but don't try to take anything back to the hotel we were staying in. As it was now after midnight we went to bed determined to straighten out the misunderstanding in the morning. Unfortunately, this was not to be a night of sleep as the bus and two stroke motorcycles used as a taxi service ran all night at 10 minute intervals and slowed down for the speed bumps in front of our hotel. Two days later we were no closer to getting satisfaction from our Sun Wing representative nor the hotel. We were told this was what we had booked regardless of the many times he told them that this was not what was represented to us. We determined to make the best of it and listened while the Sun Wing rep told us of the trips that were available to us and what his persoal favourites were. He obviously had not been on them because again we were mislead and I was injured on one of them and thought I had my arm broken by the guide who was hit in the head with the sail boom on the catamaran and stepped on my arm then fell on me. He required stitiches and in time I discovered my arm was not broken but here I am 3 weeks later still all taped up. The trip to Santo Domingo does not include the market regardless of what they tell you as well. To top it all off, I was robbed. We left our luggage in the care of the hotel personel on the last day. We no longer believed anything they told us so we did not spend the day on the beach and come back to clean up before the flight took off. Those that did received the use of a room with no water. The flight home was uneventful and we didn't care that it was -17C when we arrived we were so glad to be home. Actually, we did not arrive home until 4 am as we live outside of Toronto and the flight didn't get in until 2. Unfortunately, the next morning I realised the lock had been taken from the suitcase and my jewelry was missing. A call to the Canadian Embassy in the Dominican to report the theft resulted in more frustration as we could not find anyone that spoke english and the Red Seal reps here offered no satisfaction again for the trip we had not booked. We have stayed at other Islands in the past and never had this type of experience. Unfortunately, we are still having nightmares about it.
This resort is just okay
from A TripAdvisor Member
Trip: Feb 9 to Feb 16, 2003. There were 8 people on this trip (4 adults and 4 children). We all believe that there are 4 important factors to any vacation: 1. Resort: The grounds are very clean, spacious and beautiful. 2. Beach: The water is NOT crystal clear. It is very murky and wavy. Not much room to swim in due to the coral reef. 3. Weather: Amazing! 4. Food: Very, Very, Very disappointing ! There are 2 buffet restaurants that are identical - so just consider this one restaurant. There are 2 a la carte restaurants - one on the beach which had only 4 items to choose from (if they were in stock) and one French restaurant which is NOT part of the all-inclusive plan. ($35 US per person). So your only option was the buffet. Many people were sick from the food. The buffet items are recycled. If chicken was served for dinner (which sits out for hours) you will find the same chicken in a rice dish the next day. Although the had theme nights, the food never changed. It was the same every single day! We ate toast for the first 3 days and pasta (without any sauce) for the remainder of our trip. Disappointing when you pay all-inclusive! There was not one meal that we could honestly say was "great"..., not one meal that was "good".... every meal was just "okay". Again, very, very disappointing. Overall we do NOT recommend this resort based on the quality of food and the beachfront (ocean) location. If you measured the resort from one end to another, 95% of the ocean area is not accessible due to the coral reef, rocks, etc... Please take these two issues into consideration before you travel to this resort to avoid disappointment.
Playa, Caribe, Sol i Capella!
from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife and I were looking for an inexpensive but much-needed getaway to a Caribbean island and we got it - the DR and the Capella. We chose a 5 day 4 night all inclusive package in the middle of February to escape the northeastern winter doldrums and payed only $1400. Although I read some negative reviews and heard tourists at the resort complaining about this, that or the other thing, we had an excellent time. I took the advice of a previous reviewer and requested a room in the 4000's upon check in. After some negotiating, we recieved a room there. The room was very clean (the maid was prompt and friendly) and we had no problems with the hot water. The only problem we had with our room was it looked out onto some building that had a loud-generator like sound coming from it. The lack of a view didn't bother me at all since we were there to enjoy the sun, sea and pool. As far as the grounds go, the resort has two pools - one near the beach and one further away. The one near the beach is the more lively one and that's where the day's activities are held. Both pools are very clean and have bars. If you are into a more quiet time, go to the pool further from the beach. The main pool has a men's and ladies bathroom nearby, both of which were very clean. While we were there we saw workers and lanscapers constantly maintaining the grounds - from mowing the lawns to cleaning up leaves. They did an excellent job because the place looked great. The beach and the warm Caribbean Ocean were a treat for us, especially knowing that our area back home was in the process of being hit with the 4rth largest snowfall in our history. The one drawback about the beach was the part near the pool - it was very rocky. It made it difficult to get in the water. That problem can be solved if you go about 50-60 yards up towards the thatched - hut disco where the beach and the water are really nice. The food was plentiful for all three meals. There was your typical buffet style meals for tourists from North America and more "ethnic" Dominican and Latin American food. What was really great was the freshly blended fruit juices for breakfast and the omlettes. Again, lunch was also buffet style as was dinner. Our dinners had ethnic themes: one night would be Italian, another Meixcan, etc - all inclusive! I must also mention drinks. Everywhere you went Presidente (Dominican beer) and mixed, tropical drinks flowed like from fountains! (try the Coco Loco - rum and coconut juice) There was NO WAY that you could go hungry or thirsty on this trip. There was something for everybody. The service, as in all other places I have visited in Latin America was slow by North American standards. Be patient, courteous and understand that you are in a foreign country where people do things differently at a different pace! If you keep that in mind you will have a great experience. The staff (waiters, waitresses, cooks, maids, etc) rarely speak much English, but by and large they are friendly and pleasant. The evening entertainment is somewhat limited. Somewhat varied shows that include lots of audience participation is what you get. Then its on to the disco from 11PM to ??? We never ventured out of the Resort at night so I don't know about other options. One of my more pleasant suprises was the gym. It had good equipment from a modern bench, dumbells (up to 50 lbs.) 2 treadmills, stationary bikes and nautilus equipment. On the other hand, the biggest nuisance had to be the beach peddlers selling everything massages, braids, Cuban cigars, hats, etc. If you do choose to buy something - haggle, haggle, haggle! You'll see how a pair of beach sandals go from $30 dollars to $8 in a matter of seconds. It was tough leaving the Capella. We had 5 days of great beaches, plentiful sun, a warm beautiful ocean and food and drinks galore. Although I agree that the Capella may not be a 5-star resort, for the money you pay, its a tough place to beat.
not a five star hotel. needs better service. vendors on the beach never leave you alone, seaweed in the water, not so nice staff and the food was mediocre. will not go there again. needs lots of improvement.
Top Local Tips for Juan Dolio
Whale watching at Samana
Go with a guided tour not on your own. The guides will get you with a bonafide boat. The resort staff will help set the tour up for you. Cheap Carribbean website got us registered for our resort and they contacted us after we arrived to set up our off site tours.
El Peor Hotel !!!!!!
Regrese junto a mi esposa de un viaje a Santo Domingo. El hotel que recomendaron en Travel with Sears, Aguadilla fue Barceló Capella en la playa de Juan Dolio. Bueno, la planta física exterior y restaurantes estaban bien pero la habitación fue una soberana pesadilla. La condición de la habitación no llegaba ni a (1) estrella. El baño en todo momento tenía hormigas, lavamanos manchado, pisos sucios, no habían toallas durante el día. El aire acondicionado no lo pudimos usar ya que cuado lo encendíamos salía un olor insoportable, se lo notificamos al hotel pero no hicieron nada. También una de las ventanas del cuarto estaba rota y se no hacia difícil abrir la dichosa ventana. El televisor de la habitación estaba socio y con hongo y para colmo no se veía bien, llamamos a un técnico el cual nos dijo que no podía hacer nada por que supuestamente era un problema con un cable que no encontraban. La habitación no contaba con la iluminación mínima. Los muebles estaba sucios y mal olientes, ni = hablar de las cortinas llenas de polvo. En resumen la habitación era un total desastre. Pedimos un cambio de habitación pero el hotel lo único que nos dijo fue que podían hacer nada porque supuestamente el hotel estaba sobre vendido. Para su información tengo fotos de la habitación si es que se le puede llamar de esa manera, yo le llamaría corral de cerdos.