I finally turned 30 this November. Although I couldn’t escape time, I was able to find a great temporary escape in Punta Cana. I took my best friend along with me and we ended up staying at an all inclusive resort, Ocean Blue and Sand.
We booked our trip through Apple Vacations (my travel agent, Sue, is amazing!) and we stayed in one of their standard rooms with two beds. Overall, we were happy with our stay. When we arrived, there was construction going on from the recent hurricanes, but the hotel can’t really help that. We stayed there November 3-8, 2017. Below is a breakdown of our trip.
Check-in: The initial check-in process was fairly quick and went smoothly. After getting our room keys, the staff took our bags to our room for us and we were given a tour of the property. My friend mentioned it was my birthday and they were nice enough to have a cake made for me and sent to our room the following day. Our biggest issue with check-in was that the tour of the property took forever and our guide tried to talk us into attending a timeshare presentation. We said “no” very firmly a couple of times, and then it was dropped.
The room: Was clean, with minor signs of wear and tear. Nothing too bad overall. The beds were not the most comfortable and the mattresses should probably be replaced. Housekeeping stopped by every day and restocked our mini-fridge, gave us clean towels, and tidied up the room (we left a few dollars as a tip each day).
The grounds: It is a larger resort, but we were able to walk everywhere we needed to go. The main pool was fun, with entertainment throughout the day. Our first day (Friday) had a decent amount of travelers, but plenty of space to move about. The weekend was frustrating though as there were several locals who were there and they definitely received preferential treatment. The pool area was kept relatively clean. The beach has signs of erosion but was still alright overall. I will note that if you are going on a trip to see beautiful beaches, this may not be for you. There are large blag “humps” in the water, assuming to help prevent further erosion.
The food: The food here was very good, especially for a resort. Dinner reservations aren’t required, but we had our Apple rep, Caesar, make them for us, and we were glad we did. With the reservation, we were able to walk up and were seated quickly. Try the Japanese steakhouse! It was so much fun and delicious. Our only real complaint was that although there are several restaurants at the resort, about half were closed each night so options were a bit limited.
The customer service: Overall, good customer service. Probably would have been better if we spoke more Spanish. Over the weekend, there were several locals there and they were clearly given more attention than foreigners. Oh, stay away from people in yellow shirts. They will try to talk you into attending a timeshare presentation. If you are firm with saying “No'” though, they will back off . Also, beware that in the evening, they allow vendors to set up tables near the restaurants and they will try to pressure you to buy their merchandise.
We enjoyed our stay here, but would probably try a different resort should we return to Punta Cana just to see what others are like in the same price range. For what we experienced/received during our stay, we thought it was just a little on the pricier side.