My husband and I went to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of July and the hotel of our choice was the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana.
It was by far the best hotel I have ever stayed in, everything about it was just amazing.
The Majestic Colonial is a five star, ocean front resort. We booked through Thomson and it cost around £1800 for two for a seven night break, expensive but worth every penny.
As soon as you arrive at the Majestic be prepared to be blown away when you enter the lobby, marble floors, rattan sofa's and iron chairs all greet you, as well as a giant palm water feature. Believe me it was stunning. Checking in was very easy and you are given a cocktail while you wait.
When we got to our room the first thing you notice is the air conditioning, it is so welcoming as the heat in the Dominican can be unbearable. The rooms are so nice and cool.
All rooms are Junior suites and they are magnificent. Marble floors, a whirlpool bath, a large walk-in shower, a kingsize bed, satellite TV, sofa, ceiling fan......you could go on forever about all the things you can find in the room. Best of all was the free minibar which was restocked daily, mainly soft drinks and a couple of beers though. Each room has a garden view or pool view, and has either a balcony or terrace. The rooms are also cleaned every day, and the rooms have sensors so that the maid will not go in while you're there.
The pool has got to be one of the features of this hotel, it is 400 metres long and goes from one end of the hotel right down to the beach. The pool never felt overcrowded as it was so,so big. It was that warm I think we spent most of our time in the pool.
Surrounding the pool were lots of sunloungers and we always got one no matter what time of the day it was. You also got a towel card and could get clean towels whenever you needed them.
The hotel was all-inclusive so all our food and drinks were free, we mainly ate at the buffet, I have never seen so much of food, we were overwhelmed when we first saw the amount of food you could choose from. There are 7 restaurants, including 5 a la carte; Italian buffet, Spanish, Oriental/Japanese, Steakhouse grill, Caribbean and seafood.
The food was good, well cooked and tasty.
There was also a Theatre for shows, Sports bar/disco and a casino. As well as a few shops and bars.
I must also give a mention to the friendly and very happy staff. Nothing is too much trouble and everyone is always smiling. The Dominican people were great and made us feel so welcome. They were always trying to teach us Spanish.
We only left our resort for two excursions but I feel you could go for two weeks and never leave it, it was simply perfect. If ever we visit the Dominican again I would not think twice about booking into the Majestic Colonial, it really is a five star hotel!
I have just returned from a fantastic all inclusive holiday in the Dominican Republic. I'm tanned, relaxed and happy! It was one of the best holidays I've ever had. I have so much to say about the experience that I've decided to split it into two opinions. In this one, I will focus on the hotel I stayed in, and I'll write another one about my observations of the country in general at a later stage. **** BOOKING I booked my stay at the Hotetur Villas Dorada via tvtravelshop.com, a site I've used in the past and have always been very happy with. The holiday itself was an Airtours package, although they now appear to have changed their name to 'Mytravel' for some reason. The flight and accommodation tickets arrived two weeks before the departure date. This isn't an opinion on Airtours, so I won't go into too much detail about the flight and tour rep, etc, suffice to say the flight was as pleasant as nine hours in an economy seat with no TV (the system went down) can be, and no more or less hellish than package flights I've experienced in the past. The rep was pleasant and friendly. Thankfully, we didn't have to see too much of her as we didn't experience any real problems during the holiday. The hotel was described as quiet and relaxing, ideal for couples and those looking to get away from it all. I got the impression that it wasn't particularly suitable for children, so I was surprised at the number of families with young children who were staying there. I have to say, the hotel didn't really seem to cater for kids, as the childrens swimming pool was minuscule and there wasn't any sort of alternative menu or entertainment offered for them. It seemed to live up to its description, and to be aimed towards couples of all ages and those looking to relax and unwind. I have a feeling that tvtravelshop.com advertise this hotel with the kind of major discount I re
ceived throughout the year, so it's worth having a look at their website from time to time to see if it's available, rather than booking straight through Airtours. **** LOCATION Hotetur Villas Dorada is situated within the Playa Dorada resort in the north of the country. Playa Dorada is the biggest resort on the island, consisting of fourteen all inclusive hotels ranging from three to five stars in quality. The resort has its own mall, discos, casino and golf course. The nearest actual town is Puerto Plata, which is about ten minutes away by car. Because the resort is in the North of the country, it's surrounded by the Atlantic, rather than the Caribbean, sea. The water?s a bit colder and less clear that the Caribbean, but the Caribbean beach of Sosua is only 25 minutes away by car. It's probably best to travel there if you want to snorkel or scuba dive, as visibility is much better than in Playa Dorada. **** FOOD The all inclusive package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at 'Las Garzas', the all inclusive buffet. There's also a chinese restaurant called 'Jade Garden' and a fish restaurant called 'La Pescador' where holidaymakers can enjoy one meal per stay. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the Chinese and Fish restaurants, and would happily have eaten at the buffet for every single meal, as there was so much choice available and the food was so fresh and delicious. The menu choices at the restaurants were very limited, and you had to pay extra for drinks, whereas at the buffet you could just walk up to the bar, select your drinks and take them with you to your table. Buffet breakfast consisted of a choice of cereals, yoghurts and fresh fruit to start. You could then choose from a selection of breads, cakes, meat and cheese and hot foods such as scrambled eggs, mashed potato, sausages, bacon, french toast, muffins and waffles. Ther
e was always a chef on hand to cook you a fresh omelette or fried egg if you wanted one. Lunch and dinner were very similar. Soup to start, and then there was always a selection of salads, rice, meat and fish dishes, pasta and fast food such as burgers or hot dogs. I soon learned to avoid the pasta, as it was invariably overcooked, but generally speaking everything else was very tasty. One thing that did disappoint me was that dishes that were described as 'spicy' were not what I'd call spicy at all. I love hot, spicy food and by the end of the holiday I was craving a hot curry. Perhaps I should have sneaked in some chillis to spice things up a bit! The desserts were also disappointing. Dominicans seem to favour cake as a dessert - I noticed this in the cafes and restaurants of the city as well as in the hotel - and I consider cake as something you have with a cuppa in the afternoon, not something to follow a substantial main course! Ice cream was offered about three days in the two weeks I was there. I'd have loved it if it had been offered every night, as the other desserts were just not my thing at all. As well as the cakes, there was often a kind of stodgy blancmange or jelly, or shortbread biscuits. Fresh fruit was available about every three days. **** DRINK 'Local' spirits, beer and wine were all included in the all inclusive package. The local spirits were actually quite nice, particularly the rum, which I drank quite a bit of in 'Cuba Libres' (rum and coke) and 'Santa Libres' (rum and lemonade). The beer is called 'Presidente' and is quite weak, but pleasant enough when served chilled. The wine was frankly ropey, and I avoided it after trying it the first night I was there. Soft drinks and fruit juices were also available at no extra cost, and some of the non-alcoholic fruit cocktails were quite nice. The locals drink raw coconut
juice and sugar cane syrup, and you can get hold of this quite easily for a few pesos (about 20p). The former is a natural laxative, and the latter is apparently an excellent hangover cure, you have been warned! **** ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment team at the hotel were really amazing. From eight o'clock in the morning to midnight, they were giving it their all, trying to persuade us 'whitey-whiteys' to get up and join in their 'crazy games', such as water volleyball, bowling or pool pillow fights (!) In the evening there was always either a dancing show - the hotel employs its own dance troupe - or a fun competition such as Miss Villas Dorada or karaoke. My only gripe is that I'd have liked a bit of a dance now and again, but apart from a couple of Merengue songs before each show, there wasn't really the opportunity. **** ROOMS Our room wasn't brilliant, had been repaired badly in places and lacked even a single picture to brighten it up, but our bed was comfortable and we had a shower AND a bath, plus cable TV. A maid cleaned the room every day. All rooms are fitted with an air conditioning unit, which is vital as the temperatures soar well into the thirties on most days. All the rooms are well away from the pool and entertainments areas, and are surrounded by foliage and plam trees, so are very quiet and peaceful. **** POOL There were three pools - the main pool, for swimming and games, a pool with a bar you could swim up to and order drinks from, and a kiddies pool, which was tiny - more like a mini jacuzzi than a swimming pool! The pool was cleaned each day, seemed very safe and was pleasant to swim in, but there were definitely not enough sunbeds, and unless you got down before 8am each day, you would have to wait for someone to leave before you could bag one. The pool is situated right next to the buffet restaurant, so you can
stroll in for breakfast and lunch whenever you feel like it. **** BEACH The hotel has its own stretch of beach complete with palm tree shelters and sunbeds, but it was plagued by beach sellers trying to flog everything from stuffed toy monkeys to lurid oil paintings, and there was no way of escaping the harrassment. Maybe I'm just weak, but I couldn't stand being badgered when all I wanted to do was laze around reading my book, so I avoided the beach after the first try. **** VALUE FOR MONEY? I paid £629 for two weeks all inclusive, and a further £200 for trips when I got there. It was well worth the money. Endless sunshine, plenty of food and drink, a beautiful tropical paradise...I'd happily have paid double! The Dominican Republic is usually cheaper than other Caribbean destinations. I'm not sure why. Having recently been to St Lucia, which is five times more expensive, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the Dominican Republic more. The people were incredibly friendly, the hotel was lovely, we didn't have to worry about money all the time, and everything was taken care of for us. Another big plus is that we didn't have to worry about getting 'holiday tummy', as we were assured that all water and ice used is bottled and all the food was freshly cooked - something you can't be sure of if you're eating in a different restaurant every night. One thing I would add is that it can be tempting to stay in the hotel and not bother venturing out into the country itself, as you have everything you need for a lazy couple of weeks in the sun at your fingertips. But it really is worth making the effort to go on a few excursions to see how the people live and what the countryside is like, so you can at least say you saw something of the country itself and not just the hotel. I'll go into more detail about the trips I went on in my second opinion about the country in g
eneral, but if you don?t get the opportunity to read it, I recommend the following trips : - A catamaran trip including a scuba dive or snorkelling session so you can see the wonderful coral reefs and tropical fish in Sosua Bay - The 'Monster Trucks' tour or similar drive into the countryside in a big truck, so you can see how the Dominicans live and some of the local wildlife. - A trip to Puerto Plata, to see the Amber museum and rum factory. - A trip to Sosua, to haggle at the famous flea markets. Even if you don't end up staying at the Hotetur Villas Dorada, I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time if you choose the Dominican Republic for your holiday. I for one am already planning my next trip there, and I CAN'T WAIT!
My husband and myself went on holiday to the Dominican Republic in December 2000 and had the best holiday by far for years. We stayed at the hotel "Rui Mambo" on an all-inclusive holiday which we managed to get at a great price deal from the TV Travel shop on Sky television in the UK. We paid £705 each for 2 weeks all inclusive including insurance for the holiday. Everything about this hotel was first class, the rooms were clean and attention was given to the smallest of details and the mini bar in the room (which was all part of the price) was topped up every two days. In the mini bar was Gin, Whisky, Rum, Brandy - but you could have any of the drinks changed on request which was done for me as I drink Vodka and not Gin. As well as the spirits there was a good supply of soft drinks, cola, Fanta orange, Sprite, Bottled water and diet coke. The staff both in the hotel itself, entertainment staff, restaurant and bar staff all gave you first class service. The food was great and a different theme was given to most evening meals. In the two weeks we was there we had a brilliant time relaxing by the pool, enjoying a cocktail or just sipping our drinks from the Coconuts or pinapples that they had on offer during the afternoon party by the pool which was held once a week. The hotel also is on its own complex and very safe, in fact the security is great and you feel totally at ease all the time, even going for a walk on the beach at night time. All in all a great choice for a holiday and we have our fingers crossed to be able to go again in December of this year.