My wife and I have been Tripadvisor contributors for 23 years, and I have decided to write my own review for my latest trip to Punta Cana, specifically staying at the Occidental Punta Cana resort.
This was my very first solo trip, as my wife passed away in March unexpectedly. We would take this trip yearly, for my birthday, and I decided to continue the tradition solo. The very first resort my wife and I stayed at was this hotel, however this was back when it was named Occidental Pink Flamingo. I had read reviews that this hotel had been renovated, spending millions of dollars to do so, so I was excited to check it out.
The hotel is gorgeous and super clean! I have been to many resorts in the Caribbean but this is by far one of the cleanest! On top of being clean, the resort had quite a lot of activities for the guests, all day! Every guest seemed content and enjoyed all of them! The staff was attentive, friendly and always there when needing anything!
However, the one thing that seemed to not be included in the renovations, was the food. I have been to many resorts in DR, and I know what to expect, but this resort could use a major upgrade in their kitchen.
I was there for 10 days, and during that stay, not once could anyone find mustard! There were hamburgers, and hot dogs, but mustard was a nonexistent condiment in the entire resort. The ketchup, while present, is St. Georges, and that is not ketchup. Heinz ketchup is around in other resorts, so why not this one? Salt and pepper shakers were also a hot commodity here - if you had one on your table, hide it or take it with you when you went to get your food, because it would be gone! Everyone waned them, and it felt like they maybe had 6 total for the entire resort. They had many juices, but the orange juice was never fresh. It was like drinking an off brand Tang (or powdered orange juice). In some area's they would have french fries to snack on, but when the buffet had hot dogs or hamburgers, french fries were never there. An odd miss that could easily be rectified, especially since they do have them in the hotel. They would have 5 different rice dishes, but no french fries? The overall food rating I would leave, is a 3 star, though, it was 2.5 on some days. For a 5 star resort, this is something you wouldn't expect.
The hotel staff was great. Always attentive, helped with requests and promptly helped me when the television was stuck in a different language. Unfortunately, I had the misfortune of losing my mobile phone while there, and my son had to contact me with some very important documents for my return flight home. The Guest Service desk was extremely helpful, shout out to Anny who helped my son getting me the documents!
Over all, the stay was great, the people were amazing, but the food was laxed. The following rating is why I came up with an overall 4 star:
Hotel appearance and cleanliness: 4.5*
My stay: 4*
I'd also like to shout out Debbie and Dean from England who also were a huge help! Not only did they help me contact my son back in Canada, but they remained in communication with him to ensure I was taken care of when I discovered my mobile missing! Thank you both very much for your help! I hope you had a great trip and a safe return home!
The worst experience
(Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Sep 28, 2023
Unfriendly staff beach dirty and abandoned and got robbed when I purchased and item at the gift store by the stairs in front of the theater…this is bot the way i planned my vacation the worst experience
Had a great time, but food was horrible…
Sep 27, 2023
This resort was beautiful. overall, I did enjoy my time here. I went to relax and do nothing, so this resort is good for that. It only lost stars due to food and service.
on our first night, the roof of our room was leaking. we waited an hour before someone could come, (it was 11:00 at night) however I was grateful they honored our request to change the room. other than that, the new room had good AC, very clean, TV worked, and house keeping was good.
Next, the resort itself is very spacious. Never once did it feel crowded, and it was kept very clean. Lots of greenery, and the pools were a good size.
The beach was beautiful, they did make an effort to clean the seaweed every morning. However there are no umbrellas on the beach, so it is hard to find shade. There are also a lot of vendors, I just politely declined.
The entertainment was fabulous. Every single night there was some sort of entertainment. they had shows, live music in the lobby, games by the pool, there was always entertainment for everyone. very fun.
The service was OK. i’m usually ok to get up and get my own drinks or even fork or knives, however sometimes you would eat your entire meal before you could even get a glass of water. Service is slow at the bars as well, as they tend to give the locals special treatment.
Regarding the locals, I don’t mind them. they come Friday and leave Sunday morning. the only issue I have is with the staff because they would tend to the locals before me, even if I was waiting patiently in line. This became frustrating at times.
Lastly, as I previously mentioned, the food was really bad. Do not bother booking the dinners, they aren’t good. The main dining hall buffet lacked variety and flavor. The food was disappointing, as I have been to other parts of the Dominican Republic where the food was great.
- there is a pizza and taco bar (balcony near theatre) that is open from 6:00pm-3:00am which was nice incase you get hungry. the taste was OK, but when your drunk you don’t really care.
- drinks are really good I recommend margaritas, it was my go to. the drinks menu has variety, and coffee is also great.
- the towel hut closes 6pm everyday, be sure to change towels before then.
- the people at the punta cana airport are aggressive with asking for tips, so beware
- the shops have cute jewelry and there are plenty of shops to choose from
- A lot of the staff don’t speak english. And if you didn’t speak spanish, they would ask “why don’t you speak spanish?”….. I would say this affected rhe quality of service as well. people at the front desk are the only ones who know english
- there is also a disco from 11:00pm-3:00am however I never went so can’t say if it was good or not.
- shows include: circus show (this is AMAZING), karaoke, games on stage, disney princess, live singing (these were a few of the many shows they have)
- on saturdays they do a foam party at the pool, this is fun if you like to party. I enjoyed this.
- the snack bar near the pool, is not good…. your better off going to the buffet. It is the same fries, hot dogs and hamburgers everyday.
Lovely accommodations in a beautiful setting! Staff was just not friendly or accommodating.
Sep 26, 2023
Very Nice, spacious hotel room. Just had a few issues with the AC. Resort was large, so had to do some walking to get to the beach, which was fine. Had issues and challenges getting our choice of restaurants as we were told they were booked for all week at each restaurant when each one was never more than half-full. Were treated like second class citizens since we arrived under a pre-paid package. We had to go each day and ask a different person for dinner reservations, not to be stuck at the main dining room each night,
2nd time here. Always enjoy it.
Sep 25, 2023
This was our second time here. The stay was awesome both times. Lot's of food choices, beautiful beach, for the most part awesome staff. After hour activities are good. The spa was great the gym is small and old