Rated 3 out of 5 by MDK76 Beautiful hotel and facility with awful service
The hotel and the facilities were great. The rooms were new, clean and comfortable. The pool and beach area were very nice and child friendly. The service, however, was very poor. The food at the 2 restaurants was mediocre and the service was awful. It took over an hour and a half to get a child's pizza from room service. In the restaurants, it was impossible to get anyone's attention. The language barrier was also an issue. Many of the staff members did not speak English well enough to communicate with guests.
February 20, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by Hpf30 Not ready for prime time
Experienced platinum member but this has got to be one of the most disappointing stays.
Let's start at the beginning with the airport pick up arranged and re confirmed day prior
No sign, no person nada, no apology
On to check in. 30 minutes with NO line just inexperienced front desk clerk
No rooms with the bed type requested even though hotel empty
Now on to the rooms. It is like the designer never worked on a hotel before. Bathrooms have no door. No privacy. Can't use the bathroom to shower and to... At the same time
Three draws the size of a nightstand and 5 hangers. Can't unpack clothes for one nonetheless two people!
Service is slow. It is the Caribbean. Expect it
But today no hot water. No maid service at 330pm
What is good. Warm, caring wait staff.
I would wait until this hotel gets its kinks out before choosing this hotel. The lack of a door, place to unpack... I guess just be prepared to live out of your suitcase.
And to fellow platinum members be prepared for NO recognition
December 28, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by andrea09 Wish we stayed longer!
My husband and I were looking for a unique place to go for our honeymoon, and we are so glad we picked the Westin in Punta Cana.
Upon arrival at the airport, make sure you've booked transportation to the hotel in advance. There's a bunch of guys offering to give you a ride for $30-50...a huge rip off considering the hotel is less than 3 miles away! If you call the hotel, they will arrange a personal taxi to pick you up, for a predetermined price.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by this gorgeous view from the open-air hotel lobby, looking out over an infinity pool to the beach. The staff welcomed us warmly and we were given fresh squeezed fruit juice - so delicious! SPG helped me book the honeymoon, and as a platinum member, they upgraded us to a junior suite for the week.
The staff is absolutely what sets this hotel apart, and we made several friends the week we stayed. Everyone is so friendly and while some members of the staff speak English, some do not. It's handy to prepare and learn some basic Spanish phrases if you don't speak Spanish.
The hotel is secluded, but there's a shuttle that runs about every hour to various points within the complex. In the village there's a pharmacy, grocery store, several restaurants and the Four Points. The shuttle also goes to the golf course, La Yola restaurant and makes a stop during the day at ojos indigenas. (More on that later!)
We hit the beach almost immediately, and when we returned to the room we had been gifted a welcome basket with fresh olives, cheeses, cured meat and bread sticks. It was a very nice touch from the hotel to congratulate us on our honeymoon.
The beach is beautiful, and the water was so clear you could see the bottom. We actually found a live conch one day! Make sure you bring snorkeling gear! The staff maintains the beach well, and it's right next to the kite surfing beach - so you can learn kite surfing one day if you're adventurous.
The restaurant Playa Blanca is within walking distance of the hotel (it's just beyond the kite surfing beach). Definitely recommend going there for dinner one evening! It's open air as well, and a similar menu to the hotel but a bit more romantic than the Brassa restaurant.
We used my platinum amenity for breakfast and elected to not use green choice. (I'm all for extra points, but I felt this was a better use for our stay!) The breakfast is the best continental breakfast I've seen at a Starwood property. There was an omelette station, fresh fruit, some traditional Dominican breakfast dishes and typical American/European options. The breakfast is $11 per person if you'd like to pay - a great value.
For activities, there is a representative from a local tour company offering day trips. We went on the Catalina Island excursion, and were a bit disappointed. The guide told us we'd be able to go snorkeling and fishing, which is what we really wanted to do, but the water was WAY too rough to see anything, plus the "reef" was just a huge underwater rock. Even though the tour didn't meet our expectations, we were happy to see the scenery of the island and we did note it was WAY better than being in Chiberia!
Ojos indigenas is within the resort complex, and is free for guests at the Westin. The shuttle will drop you off, and you'll need to go to the building located in the fruit garden to get a green wristband. I wouldn't recommend getting a guide - the walk is a very easy walk and we actually walked in flip flops. Ojos indigenas contains a series of lagoons, connected by an underwater river. The water is this amazing shade of blue and the water is so clear you can see fish and turtles swimming right next to you! There are three lagoons you can actually swim in. When you reach the end of the trail, you're left beach side on the other side of the forest. You'll need to hike back to the original entrance to pick up the shuttle. Bring a couple extra bucks to get a drink (Presidente!) to cool off after your walk. Pack a snack too, as you can spend a couple of hours walking throughout the forest.
I read the previous comments about how the hotel treated platinum members. We experienced extreme professionalism from the staff, and the upgrade to the suite was *VERY MUCH* appreciated!
All in all, we had a wonderful time at the Westin and plan to return for subsequent anniversary trips!
February 20, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by TomB01 Great Vacation at the Westin Punta Cana
My girlfriend and I just returned from a week at the Westin. Given the length of our stay, we thought a lengthy review might be useful to others.
Quick Background: 30 somethings, no kids, golf package for me, both of us had all inclusive for drinks and food at the hotel and the other restaurants except La Yola and Tortuga Bay hotel.
The location is outstanding, no more than 5-10min from airport. We had the VIP service which I would encourage everyone to get (only available for those staying in the Punta Cana Village properties as its the same owner of the airport). Our flight landed at 11:40, we were checked in and poolside by 12:45pm and we took our time.
The place is extremely clean, well maintained facility and rooms. Hotel is U shaped so everyone has a good view of the pool and at least some view of the ocean.
The pool is spectacular, has to be 65-75yrds long, and my girlfriend loved the beach.
Bathroom door issue seems to be fully resolved.
All small stuff, we had a studio room but it would have been nice for a small dresser to unpack some of the clothes. A little more seaweed at the beach then other places, still plenty of blue ocean.
The overall decor does seem a bit sterile, lots of beige etc. I think this will change as the vegetation grows in but they might want to think of punching it up a bit.
We had a very good/wonderful experience with the food, and I envision that it will only get better. Pros: The breakfast buffet is great, with a rotating set of local dishes as well as traditional food, omelette station, fruit etc.
The experience really improved on our third day, when we were talking to the head waiter Juan and he invited us back to lunch the next day to try Dominican food not on the menu. We ended up having fried fish (snapper or grouper) served with head and tail, with fried plantains and avocado, it was outstanding. The head chef of the entire complex, Santiago, came out and told us if we wanted anything else special that week just let him know, he mentioned paella and we took him up on the offer. Two nights later we had a custom dinner (no extra charge) lined up with Tapas, served table side. It was nothing short of spectacular. He also sat with us for about 30min, discussing the improvements they are trying to make (more on this below).
Dominican night is Friday night, with live music and a full buffett of Dominican food. It was both fun and really good.
Playa Blanca and the Grill at La Cana have great menu's with plenty of fish and dominican food, as well as traditional American dishes. The Grill is open only for lunch, but definitely check it out. Great pool there as well which is free to use. You can also walk to both right along the beach, no need for free shuttle.
Lastly, the drinks are fantastic everywhere at the Westin. Not many places are muddling fresh fruit for drinks served poolside, but they do here.
Its obvious they still have some work to do, and they know it which is great. The ambience at both Anani and Brassa are sterile. For Brassa this is a real shame because its directly on the beach with awesome white canopy overhead. The place should be packed every night, but it still doesn't have an identity.
The menus at both places are plain, talking to the Chef they are going to make changes. I would encourage anyone that if they want something special just to ask and they can make it happen. I also think that there will be changes over the coming months to add more local cuisine. Overall food quality is solid, I think there was only 2 dishes that were overcooked or dry, not bad considering we were there for a week. I would like to see them add more sauces. Also, make sure to ask about the specials, the staff doesn't always remember.
Pros: In short, they were the highlight of the trip. They GENUINELY WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, which I think is rare. It was like this from the time we checked in to the time we left, without any gaps. I would also encourage anyone visiting just to talk to the staff, they are really interesting people.
A quick, but INCOMPLETE list:
Reservations: Jessica was outstanding in helping me put together the package. I can be a PITA and she was very attentive in the months leading up the vacation, she also checked up during the stay which was great.
Bell-hops: Vicente and Maximo would see me coming with golf clothes on and my clubs would be out instantly. They were also very attentive to my GF.
Check In / Concierge: Lucy (I forget the other two concierge's!!), Emelio and Carlos were all great, helped resolve the few questions I had regarding the bill, changing golf tee-times, booking spa treatments etc. They invited us to special events and arranged transportation when we needed it. Juan Carlos at the poolside towel station might be the friendliest person I've ever met.
Wait Staff: They try so hard, and it shows. Juan and Elbon at Anani, Juan (head waiter) and Johnathan, and Kelvin at Brassa and the entire pool staff were awesome. For example, Juan would wait until my GF got back from the buffett before he brought her coffee, even though its 80 degrees out! The other Juan arranged the special lunch I mentioned previously. Johnathan's personality was tremendous. Language was never a problem, I found that pointing at the menu items was an easy way to avoid any issues. It also gave us the change to learn a little spanish.
Finally, if you do one thing, make sure you hang out at the Lobby Bar with Shenily, Yefri, Kenya, and Katherine. They make great drinks, maintain a great bar, and have a great time doing it. They were a pleasure to get to know and were a definite highlight. We made sure to stop by and have a couple at least once a day if not more.
Not many obviously, again most spoke very good English, and it is the Dominican so we should be patient. Their still working some kinks out service wise, but mostly where you would have two people asking you the same question 2 minutes apart, not a terrible problem. They also need to remember to know the specials.
Golf, especially Corales is spectacular, my GF loved the spa.
I would encourage Westin to make an all-inclusive package more prominent. When we told people where we were going, the first they always ask was is it all-inclusive? Maybe they're trying to avoid it, but the sense I get is that if they can maintain the level of service and keep making the food better it could really be a standout.
Make the decor more lively in the restaurants, for example the menu's look like standard Westin Menu's. I'm in the DR, yet the first thing you see when you go to eat is something that looks like I'm at the Westin in Detroit!
Shuttle service is very reliable, would like to see more options in the morning and evening to the village.
Overall, the place is great and it will keep getting better as long as they keep working at it.
May 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by KKkids Family vacation
GREAT Experience! People were wonderful - Manny F&B manager was particularly great. All staff responsive and helpful. Beautiful facilities, much calmer atmosphere than you see in many all-inclusive DR hotels. I do wish that there were adjoining rooms available, but, wonderful hotel, food, staff, beach. Will definitely return!
March 5, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by MikeRennie Best Vacation Yet
I spend about 50-75 nights a year in hotels for work so I want to relax when on vacation. This is the perfect place for it. the beach and pool are fantastic and the staff are the friendliest I have ever encountered and was genuinely interested in making our stay as pleasant as possible.
the food is good, the drinks are excellent and nearby play blanca is only a short walk on the beach and the food is so good, my wife and I ate there several times.
My wife and I will definitely return since this property is our new favorite. our stay here was more enjoyable than our than our stays at the Westin in Maui or Cancun (but they were also enjoyable).
February 6, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Caree getting there but needs a bit more time
We checked in on Dec 20. Check in and check out is SLOW and there random charges on your bill so I suggest checking your room bill every day.
The hotel is beautiful,clean and open. Small resort and intimate. Rooms were very nice and after 3 changes of keys,our keys finally worked. The staff is very lovely. Many very sweet and helpful employees.Now..the kitchen, I do not know what goes on there. It may take a while to get food and sometimes not the right order. This needs to be improved upon quickly. The beach and water is beautiful. We ate at 3 of their sister restaurants and loved all 3. Many of our family members went on several excursions and although there were a few bumps, they enjoyed the choices. We are already returning in February and are looking forward to a smoother hotel and seeing our fav employees and staff again.
January 6, 2014