Occidental Punta Cana

4.0 star rating

Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 6589 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-4

    Value

    Value-4

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    The Resort is Open but no one is here

    Reviewed by 2skidivers(Breckenridge, Colorado) on Nov 24, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    I really wanted to rate this resort higher but because of the restrictions due to COVID-19 and the very low occupancy, it was not as good as it would normally be. The biggest difference from normal operations is the buffet. Guests are not allowed to touch the serving utensils so the kitchen staff has to serve you. That makes the buffet more like a cafeteria than a buffet. The islands where there would be salads, breads and desserts are closed. You have to wait in line to be served and the grill and steam tables are not set up for that. The ala carte restaurants are open on a rotating schedule, usually only one a night. The main buffet and snack bar were open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when there were more guests. During the week,only the Carocolas Buffet was open for all meals and because of low occupancy, the food selections were limited. The theater could not be open because of "social distancing" so the entertainment was live music in the Lobby Bar. On the positive side, rates were very good, there were plenty of chairs around the pool and on the beach and the service was excellent. We were able to get reservations for the ala carte restaurants easily. These were very good and the hamburgers and crepes at the buffet were great When we stay at Occidental Resorts, we often book the Royal Level at a reasonable cost when we make our reservation but it was not available. An upgrade was available when we checked in but the cost was outrageous. Most of the resorts in Punta Cana are not yet open. Until recently you needed to have a negative COVID-19 test within the last 3 days to come to DR. This was changed so you just fill out a health questionnaire on arrival. Arriving passengers are randomly selected for a test prior to immigration. If you are selected, you may be charged for the test. I don't what happens if your results are positive. You may be put on the next flight back or placed in quarantine for your stay. The resort is doing everything they can to prevent the spread of any contagious disease. If you are afraid of getting sick, hide in your basement. If you want to live (do things and enjoy life), go on vacation. The people of the Dominican Republic will appreciate your visits

    So terrible I still see it in my nightmares

    Reviewed by ????? ?(United Kingdom) on Nov 24, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    This was my first time in this hotel. My opinion may seem subjective, but I have to say I’ve been to 2 more hotels in the Dominic Republic during my stay there in November 2020 (including same chain hotel Barcelo Bavaro Palace) and I simply compare. I had a booking with Occidental hotel but I was taken straight to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace on the 3rd of November. I was informed that Occidental Punta Cana was closed since spring. I spent 4 amazing days at Barcelo Palace (check out my other review), but at 6th of November, I was informed that Occidental Punta Cana is now open and I have to check out and go there. My mom, who arrived later, was taken straight to Occidental (which opened at 5th), so we both checked in there on Saturday, 6th. We were checked in early (lucky!), but the room we were given had broken air conditioning, so we spent extra 4 hours going back and forth to the reception before we were given another room. The hotel seemed empty at that time and I couldn’t get why it took so long (of course, I gave tips). When lunchtime came, locals arrived to spend in the hotel their weekend. The ghost hotel became party nasty chaos. The manager of the hotel claimed only 30% of the rooms were taken, but trust me, it was at least 70% (as we saw in the evening which rooms are occupied). All locals wore masks, as well as staff, but some locals didn’t not keep distance, and at some places, it was just impossible to keep that distance (main and Beach buffet - simply no space). Queues were massive (20 minutes to get rum cola at the bar anyone?), especially to the buffet. People would start queuing at 6 (dinner is 6:30) and the queue would still be there at 9. People were allowed to buffet by groups (around 30-40 people), others had to wait outside. This still wouldn’t help as there were not enough food cooked, people would be crowding, especially near something like meat or fish. The first night at the hotel we didn’t even manage to get hot food because of insane crowds, so we had some ham and salad. There’s not enough staff obviously: tables were dirty and not served, you can never get a waiter to bring you drinks, not enough people to serve you food (as you can’t do it yourself now). Seriously: just 2 waiters for 50 tables? The second evening as staff was unable to clean tables in time, despite coronavirus norms each table in the buffet was served (there should be some tables not served so people cannot sit there and safe distance is maintained). Next morning we had to get up at 6 to get breakfast. The breakfast, as well as other buffet meals in the hotel, was poor: no vegetables in the morning, a variety of eggs and bacon/sausages, some fruits. I usually had omelette cooked for me, but if you come at 8:30 there’s a queue of 30 people at least to get to the buffet. Locals usually skip the queue, literally putting the plate over your head and screaming: “Amigo, give that to me”. And amigo gives, instead of serving the person in front of the queue. Apart from a low variety of things, I had my meals undercooked (raw pizza and raw crepe). Only one bar works at the beach (VIP bar is for VIP guests only), there’s always a queue, and every second time I came to the bar they “didn’t have” champagne. Once I saw champagne was delivered and in 5 minutes I came to the bar and asked for it. I was told they didn’t have it. After some time, they magically “found” if for me. It is hard to blame waiters and bartenders: they were swamped I don’t even know how they survived. On Sunday, there was a fight in the queue to the lunch buffet. One man was kicked in the head by another one, there was no security to prevent that or stop. The attacker was stopped by other people around (women!). It was extremely scary! I saw the blood on the victim’s head when he made attempts to stand up. I am not a snob, it was a national holiday weekend for locals and they wanted to have fun. I don’t mind people partying, dancing etc. while they re not spoiling it for the rest of the people. I mean, they can have their fun and loud games at one pool while “relaxing pool” is obviously a place for someone who wants to chill not to listen to 20 people yelling and singing songs. At night, I expect to sleep soundly, not to wake up at 2 o’clock because someone is screaming “Help me!” or to the noise of loud music coming out of giant speakers. When things are banned, I expect them to be regulated. There was no attempt to forbid portative speakers at night, porcelain plates were ok to be taken to the pool area (people swam while eating), people were not asked to leave pool area after sunset. People get crazy when there are no restrictions. 2 night after we, as well as our people from our group, started to complain to our tour agency representative. He tried to prove us that’s how it should be and the hotel does it’s best, “it is just weekend”, “locals will leave”, “hotel will improve its service - they just have been closed for too long and need some time to get up to speed”. But I didn’t fly to the other side of the planet to be a guinea pig for my own money! Next day we were moved to the Royal Level, our room was upgraded for free to the one with jacuzzi, we were given access to VIP bar at the beach and VIP restaurant. In the evening, as 90% of people in the hotel left, the main buffet was closed. Next day another buffet at the beach was closed in the evening, so only a la carte left and our VIP restaurant. A couple of days after they opened the beach buffet for dinner again as some more people came. That’s when I had that famous raw pizza and gave up on the hotel. A la carte: I do not expect much from a la carte at the resorts of this level and usually prefer buffet. But what I saw was a disaster. Asian was average and edible. Mexican was disgusting and tasteless. Grill restaurant was just awful: steak was ok (overcooked average quality meat), instead of half-chicken and grilled vegs we were given breast and boiled carrots, but my “favourite” was “garlic mushrooms with ham” which were sliced mushrooms from the can covered in snot-looking powder-made gravy with pieces of ham. Vip: VIP bar is a huge plus - little queue, good variety of import liquors. Jacuzzi is a plus too, I just wish it had hotter water and wasn’t that tacky. Tacky - that’s the word for this “recently renovated” hotel, which always had something broken, either air conditioning or flush in the toilet (they didn’t manage to fix it in our VIP room). The whole first (ground) floor rooms had no privacy and one couple literally had their jacuzzi in front of the reception. Vip restaurant had pretentious menu: scallops, truffle salt infusion and so on, but I wish they did something simpler but tastier. Main dishes were mainly ok (big portions of meat or fish), just tasteless: little or no sauce or spices, sometimes even no salt. Starters were ridiculous: tiny salads full of onion, a little piece of blue cheese covered in a thin slice of salmon etc. Again, not enough staff. Speaking about something good in the hotel: the beach is wide, long and amazing, a lot of shade from palms, clean ocean. Although the ocean is not calm: big waves are not for people who don’t swim (like my mom) or little kids. In the evening there was entertainment: live music (the same songs every day, but who cares). Royal upgrade in this hotel was stated to be 35$ pp per night, which doesn’t worth it at all. We spent 6 nights in the hotel (4 of which in royal level) and I paid extra to move back to Barcelo Palace. This hotel really shocked me. In my opinion, the problem is NOT in locals, who just came on holidays like I did and had fun as they used to. The problem is in the hotel management, who packed the hotel without decent covid regulations, proper security, enough staff and food. I know this year was challenging for all of us, but that’s not how things should be. There are questions to the Barcelo brand too. As I spent 4 days in the Barcelo Palace, I expected the same quality in a little (just 200$ less per 9 nights!) cheaper hotel of the same chain. The difference is massive! I can agree that food expectations and tastes can vary for people, but you cannot ignore such things as violations in security and COVID regulations. Choose smart, as a lot of hotels are not what they are used to be before COVID.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-2

    Could have been better

    Reviewed by devorah r() on Nov 15, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    I am giving three points because of customer service, their staff does go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable but besides that, i was not happy with the stay, my room had an empty mini bar which according to my reservation was included, i had to call more than once to get the mini bar filled, I didn't get enough towels so i also had to call mote than once, to finally get towels, the food at the buffet was pretty good and the buffet staff was excellent, it is a small resort so it is easy to walk around, again the staff it's well trained and goes above to help, I probably won't be returning because the drinks were water down too much and there was no scotch in the bars, you had to go to one specific bar for a scotch.

    Amazing, Amazing, and Amazing!

    Reviewed by Johnny_Pacelli(Laval, Canada) on Nov 06, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    Been going to this resort for the past 20 years with over 25 stays there. Simply amazing. Rooms, food, service, grounds, beach; everything is fantastic. Such professional and caring staff looking after your every need; this resort is heaven on earth. Looking forward seeing you very soon.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5

    GREAT FIRST TRIP TO PUNTA CANA

    Reviewed by tennesseejohn2019() on Jun 22, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    Exceptional greeting and hospitality and compassionate service from Juan Corporon in First Club! He made this trip the BEST! THANK YOU JUAN!! Angel Javier was always smiling and very helpful at the First Club desk! Luis Jimenez was always fun at bingo and nightly entertainment. Best housekeeper ever was Liboria Santillan. These were just a few! Thank you all very much!!! Resort , pools, beach, and buffet were all exceptional! Tour to Santo Domingo a must do trip! Hope to see you next year!