All opinions on this page are our own. We are not affiliated with the hotel.
Travel Dates: March 12 – 19, 2016
Weather: Rain for about 2 hours on the first day, hot and sunny the rest of the week (approximately 30°C, 86°F)
Room: Building 4, Floor 3- Ocean and pool view
VIP package included with Sunwing Airlines
Our overall rating: 9.5/10
We opted for an adults-only resort as this was the week of March Break in Ontario. We liked the fact that we would have access to the two sister resorts. We booked very last minute (the night before leaving!) and we could only fly out of Buffalo, NY. We paid just under $1700 each.
We arrived late at night (around 11). The front desk was friendly and polite. Our luggage was brought to the room very promptly.
Our room was on the third floor of building 4. Building 4 was between the lobby and the beach. It was about a 10 second walk to the pool. We would stay in building 4 again. We were happy with how modern and clean the room was. It was small, but had everything we needed. A flat-screen TV, a fridge (with pop and 2 beers, stocked daily), a couch and table in the sitting area, a nice sized bed with two end tables, a jacuzzi, and a bathroom/shower. There was a free, easy-to-use safe in the closet along with an umbrella, slippers, and bathrobes.
The only things we did not like about the room were:
- the pillows were very very thin
- bedsheets were fine, but the one blanket felt a bit musty
- the shower door did not go all the way to the bottom and the water leaked out a little bit (but easily fixed by putting a towel in front)
- the toilet “room” was very small
- we are a couple so it was okay, but there is no door to the main bathroom and only a frosted glass door for the shower and the toilet
The next morning, we woke to a beautiful view that we could not see the night before.
Walking to the breakfast buffet, we noticed that the grounds were lush and very well maintained. The lobby and the public bathrooms were very clean, and the bars offered quick service. The front desk always had small bills (to break big bills for tips).
The pool and the beach area were both great. The beach offered many shaded palapas (hard to get unless you went before 9 AM) but with our VIP bracelets, we were able to use the sun beds. They were aged, but comfortable. We walked along the beach – about one hour to the right, and 20 minutes to the left) – and thought this resort had the nicest beach area. There was no seaweed and the waves were big enough to have fun in, but not too rough once you went in about 40 feet. The entertainment staff would go around to gather people to play archery or other games, but there was no pressure to participate. Only 1 or 2 vendors would come around per day, and they were very polite and respectful of your space.
The pool had a swim-up bar with always prompt service. Since this was an adults-only resort, the entertainment catered to the guests. There was never any unwelcome loud music playing at the pool or the beach. The pool was very quiet until about 3 PM, and then the poolside activities would begin. They were short and fun to watch. There were lots of beach chairs, but not many open in the shade unless you went earlier in the day.
We opted to use the main buffet for both breakfast and lunch. At lunch, there is also a poolside buffet, but we preferred the main buffet for the cleanliness and the variety of food offered. The buffet host was very friendly and we never had to wait to get seated.
For breakfast, there was an omelette station with quick service. There was also a station making crepes and waffles, but these seemed to be made ahead of time – they were cold. There was a good selection of fresh fruit, yogurt, and maybe 3 types of cereal every morning.
For lunch, there was always a seafood station (fresh calamari or fish) or a meat station (chicken mostly). We preferred coming here everyday because the poolside buffet seemed to be more busy.
On site at Punta Cana Princess, there were 4 a la carte restaurants (they weren’t always all open). These did not need to be booked in advance. If you wanted to go to the a la carte restaurants at the sister resort, a reservation had to be made one day in advance at guest services. The last seating for these restaurants was at 9 PM. We usually went around 7 PM, but never had to wait to be seated.
Of course, we went to a la carte restaurants for all our dinners, instead of the buffet. The buffet had a different theme every night (Italian, Asian, Mexican…), it was always full, and people seemed to be enjoying themselves there, too.
La Petite Fondue (Punta Cana Princess)
The appetizer was not great (potatoes and cheese), but we loved our main. We ordered the cheese fondue but were not happy with it and they were more than happy to bring us a different order. We got the “Chinese fondue”, which was hot-pot. The meat, the broth, and the sauce were all excellent. For dessert, we got the chocolate fondue, which we really enjoyed.
Rio Grande Steakhouse (Punta Cana Princess)
We ate here twice during our stay. The steaks were good and we really enjoyed the cheese sticks. The fajita platters looked really yummy. At the end of the meal, they offered mamajuana shots, which was fun!
Mare Nostrum (Punta Cana Princess)
This is a buffet during the day, but is turned into a very romantic seafood restaurant at night. We absolutely loved the atmosphere. It is located by the beach, so you can hear the ocean waves as you eat. Our favourite dish for the entire stay was served here – Roman style calamari. The shrimp here was excellent. The service here was exceptional.
Il Bacio (Punta Cana Princess)
This Italian restaurant offered different pasta and meat dishes. The food was okay. This one was our least favourite one. They did have a cool coffee (Mayan maybe?) they set on fire. We didn’t order one, but our neighbours seemed to enjoy theirs.
Sombrero (Caribe Club Princess)
This was a more casual a la carte restaurant at Caribe Club Princess. We enjoyed their self-serve nacho bar and ordered 3 mains – chimichanga, beef fajita, and a steak. We were glad to have ordered 3 because the chimichanga dish was tiny (but so delicious!). The only downside to this restaurant was that there were some drunk patrons there who were very loud and rowdy. The staff did not seem to know how to handle the situation.
Shanghai (Caribe Club Princess)
I really enjoyed their welcome drink – some sort of a dragonfruit beverage. The food was mediocre. The restaurant was really empty.
During all our dinners, a mariachi band came around to play a song for each table. It was very hard to say no to them, and we personally thought it was a little awkward, but it was no biggie.
Every night, there was a show at the hotel lobby, but we chose to go to the bigger show at the sister resort. You could choose to take a shuttle over from the hotel lobby or walk (takes about 10 minutes). We did both. If you choose to walk, you can walk along the beach or take a path inside the resort. Every time we walked through the path, we were able to see turtles playing in the pond. We usually spent a few minutes with a drink at the Tropical Princess lobby on our wifi before the show. Their lobby was much more crowded during this time and it was hard finding a place to sit.
The shows were entertaining. It was easy to see that the animation staff were very hard working. There were some shows involving the audience, and some gala shows. They were fun and there were always seats available.
Overall, we had a great time at the resort and we would definitely return. All staff were friendly, food was great, and the beach was beautiful. This was a special trip for us because our first trip together was to Punta Cana (Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro- review coming soon!). Please join our mailing list if you’d like to be notified when we have the review up (menu bar -> Follow us!).
Till next time, Punta Cana!