Occidental Grand Punta Cana, Feb 24 - March 10, 2013
by Wendy Tuttle
(Armstrong, BC, Canada)
Toasting to the Island, show Respect
Family vacay - it was great. The hotel was very accommodating & supplied us with 2 adjoining rooms close to the beach to assist a disabled person in our family.Rooms
We'd booked junior suites; however there weren't 2 together but we had one suite and one very nice room. A few minor problems with a leak and one AC but they were corrected by the staff right away. Food
We found the food to be good to excellent, if you can't find something good to eat with 9 restaurant choices, then you've got a problem, we loved it there. The Italian restaurant was the least favourite, I think some changes to the selection on the menu is warranted, the Asian and Mexican were very good. Younger people liked the Sports Bar, there were lots of good choices at the main buffet. The beach restaurant was good, clean etc, could use a bit of variation in the menu so it's not the same every day, but it was fine. Service
The staff were so nice and genuinely friendly and helpful, not like they were just doing a job and this was the staff in every area of the hotel. Beach and pool
The beach, grounds, pools all areas were very clean and constantly being monitored to see if anything was needed to be cleaned.
There were only a few issues that we thought must be corrected, that's the issue of the lack of beach chairs, a huge problem. There were almost a couple of fights over people taking other people's lounges when they were out swimming. We had the same experience, someone came a dumped our stuff on the sand and took all of the chairs. Many complaints to the management. Same issue at the pool, but not as bad as the beach. When you pay a few thousand $ per person I don't think you should have to get up before 6am to go and put your stuff on a chair in order to have one for the day. There's room for more on the beach and the pool, there needs to be a chair person who has a supply in a shed and could go and get you one, I'd definitely look at this before going back again, it did mar our trip. I heard others say they wouldn't come back because of this. I have sent my comments in an email to Occidental's head office, they don't seem to want to deal with it though. Internet
WiFi is only good for one device, too bad as a lot of us carry 2. The $25 package is only good for 6 days, most people stay for periods of 7 so you end up with either no internet or you have to pay for the second 6 days just to have it for one day, usually your last day when you really need it. We did suggest that be changed to 7 days. Restrooms
Finally, the restrooms in the lobby are often plugged and overflowing, mostly in the am's. All the hotel need do is to put up signs in there requesting the no paper be used in the toilets as that's the issue. We spoke to a lot of people who didn't realize it's a problem in most tropical areas and they would have abided by the signs if there had been some, hope the hotel does that too.Best day was the Sunny Days Catamaran trip.
A smaller boat but it was one of those perfect days, the crew were wonderful, helped with the disabled person so she could get on and off the boat. A great day, I'd recommend this trip to everyone. Much better to be on this boat with about 25 people than on one with 150. Drinks and music were great, food was good and there was plenty. Loved it.
All in all, we had a great time and would go back to the Occidental -again something must be done about the beach/pool chair situation - but overall, staff, food, drinks, entertainment, all of it was so nice. Hope to go back to Punta Cana again next year.Tips
Oh, and take lots of sunscreen with you, it's outrageously expensive there in the shop. What you pay $7 for at home will cost you $30 there, and if you only read English, take your own books, you won't find much if anything there.