Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Caribbean Islands (
-   -   Avoid at all costs! (

Willis Aug 20th, 2002 10:49 PM

Avoid at all costs!
I've recently returned from a week in the Dominican Republic. Originally we had wanted to go to Bermuda but with the recommendations from my travel agent and friends we decided to give DR a try. MISTAKE!<BR>In all fairness most of the disappointment came from our resort - The Fiesta Bavaro - one of 3 the Fiesta hotel chain operates there. The service people were very nice and accomodating and thats the extent of the positive news. The resort itself treated you like herd cattle or thieves. The Apple Vacations representative was all smiles if you had something nice to say but, if not, she was miserable and uncooperative. The food was moderate in quality and you ate what was offered that day or nothing! Everything revolved around standing in lines without air-conditioning hoping that by the time you reach the reservation desk there will still be a table available at 1 of the 4 restaurants. This is what I pay thousands for? Everyone has encounters where things don't turn out very well but in this instance I spent the entire return trip hearing about all the other horror stories from our fellow travelers. We will never use Apple vacations or Fiesta hotels again and, considering how wonderful our vacations have been elsewhere in the Carribean, we'll never return to the DR again either.<BR> I hope this reaches enough people in time to save their vacations.

Katie Aug 21st, 2002 02:54 AM

This Board has alot of negative stuff on the DR- I had a great time with Apple -The DR is a budget caribbean location offering great beaches and alot of fun- A vacation is what you bring to it. If you want alot a pampering expect to pay dearly for it

Melissa Aug 21st, 2002 03:30 AM

Why would your TA suggest the DR as an alternative to Bermuda? Did you not like the rates in Bermuda? Those islands are completly different.

Martin Aug 21st, 2002 03:50 AM

We stayed at the Riu Merenge in the DR. Found it excellent value for money.<BR>Staff couldn't do enough. Good watersports, beach etc.<BR>Food not bad. Rooms very nice. If you go to DR don't look for 5* luxury as you won't find it but great place for relaxation, sun & sea etc. for a very good price.<BR>Don't miss the "Monster Truck" safari (not jeeps) its superb!

pity Aug 21st, 2002 04:33 AM

Willis: the poor people of the Dominican would profit much more if you put your money into their economy rather than into the hands of corporate all-inclusives.

luv Aug 21st, 2002 05:55 AM

I'm sorry you had a bad experience at the Fiesta Bavaro but as Melissa stated I am somewhat confused as to why you chose DR over Bermuda. Were you trying to spend less? Nothing wrong with that approach, but Bermuda is one of the most expensive islands and I have found out that when you try and "budget" tropical locales you generally "get what you pay for".

smokenmirrors Aug 21st, 2002 10:37 AM

Midland, Texas would be prime choice #1

ohpleese Aug 21st, 2002 10:58 AM

Dear Mr. Cigar, Better we should just ignor these islands and let them fend for themselves. No jobs, no industry maybe they will just disappear.<BR><BR>At least the tourist industry brings jobs and money to the island, not the best solution but better than no industry at all.<BR><BR>There is no free fix, I wish we could all give money to these poor poverty sticken islands but unfortunatly the world doesn't run like that. A service must be provided to bring in money, the service they can offer is hotel and tourist services.

Elizabeth Aug 21st, 2002 11:06 AM

Ihaven't been to DR, but I heard that Caso de Campo was VERY nice...a luxury resort. You are saying that it doesn't have any nice resorts there. Isn't that a very nice resort? Anyone have feedback on that one?

Daniella Aug 21st, 2002 03:07 PM

Elizabeth, I don't have any feedback on the Casa de Campo but I too heard it was beautiful. There's also the Secrets Excellence property (formerly Royal Uvero Alot) which is great. I personally love the DR and would go back in a heartbeat. My experience was in Punta Cana at the Sunscape (formerly Mac Bavaro). Nice small resort (small in comparison to the rest), very welcoming staff, good food, beautiful beach, nice rooms...and the best part of it all, reasonably priced to boot. It's too bad you didn't like the DR Willis...I don't think you should judge the whole island on one hotel though. Better luck nextime.

anon Aug 21st, 2002 03:24 PM

You know, even if Willis was trying to spend less money on a trip there is no reason he should settle for less. He still paid good bucks and should get a decent trip in return.

Sandy Aug 22nd, 2002 10:54 AM

I stayed at Casa de Campo a few years ago. Nice place but mainly caters to golfers. If you like golf it is the place to go. If not, it can get boring.

Shelley Aug 22nd, 2002 11:02 AM

I am going to DR next week and I will be staying at Iberostar. Does anyone know about his resort?

Daniel Aug 22nd, 2002 01:24 PM

Very simple you did NOT go to the DR. You went to an all-inclusive that could be anywhere. The DR is an incredible country with incredible people- I've lived here 17 years in the Puerto Plata area on the North Coast. Our tourism is suffering enough without comments about a particular hotel reflecting on our whole country.

Sharon Aug 22nd, 2002 05:53 PM

If you're planning a cheap fix in the Dominican, make sure you stay in Punta Cana. The beaches are superior to Puerta Plata. We stayed at Bavaro Beach and Garden, where the food was quite good, pool was beautiful, beaches were awsome (that's what I go for) and the room was not great but not bad (who cares about the room when you're in the Caribbean right?) For $1400 Canadian it was a good deal.

Karen Aug 23rd, 2002 04:42 AM

I am going to the DR in October, and will also be attending a wedding there. I have friends who have been to DR on more than one occasion and had a fabulous time. Of course your hotel makes a big difference to your holiday, but there is so much more to see and do than sit in the confines of your wristband. Im really looking forward to seeing some of the history that DR has to offer, not to mention the watersports. I will be staying in the Occidental Playa Dorada if anyone has been there before it would be great to hear what you think?

moi Aug 23rd, 2002 10:58 AM

We've just came back from Fiesta Bavaro Aug-21st (were there also in May) ,yes this time the crowd was double ,the waiting lines for a la carte restaurants were much longer than when we were in May, but we were still able to book 3 nights (that we wanted) out of 7 , and we thought our meals (including the buffets ) all were good to excellent ! The hotel staff all are very hard workers who try their best . I've been to several islands ( yes ,Bermuda too ), countries , hotels , resorts, from 3 to 6 stars ,I can honestly say that the Fiesta Bavaro was the best value of them all , we were very happy with our stayings ( twice in within 3 months).Everybody has their own taste in food and what they like to do & see , BUT- tell me how many all-inclusive resorts that would give you 9 different choice of eating places ?unlimited use of a la carte restaurants , with the pity price we paid ? We went with another family , that was their 1st in the DR (they've also been to other islands & Hawaii ) they actually said that the Fiesta made them felt like ROYALTY .

Leilani Aug 23rd, 2002 11:30 AM

I have been to DR and was unimpressed. I stayed in Puerto Plata. The beach was nothing to talk about. Very ugly. The resort was so-so. People there kept on hounding you to see a timeshare for "only and hour". The only thing I enjoyed there was the horseback riding in the mountains and had lunch at a house who was kind enough to make lunch for the group (it was included in the fee). However, we went to Sousua for a day. The beach was nice but then again, nothing to rave about. The town was ugly. I've seen much better beaches. I heard Casa de Campo is beautiful as well as Punta Cana. But then again, who knows. I would never go back to DR only because there are other more beautiful and exotic places to see with just a few more $$$. It's just not worth paying any money for that kind of place.

Caribbean Specialist Aug 23rd, 2002 02:16 PM

The price for AI in DR and EP in Bermuda would be the same. So the Agent would make the same commission.<BR><BR>I did not like the DR either, but I stayed in Puerta Plata. I understand Punta Cana is much better.<BR><BR>My clients usually stay at Iberostar or Riu Resorts and I have had nothing but positive reports.

yes Aug 27th, 2002 09:34 AM

I've been to the DR several times as well as a lot of other islands .I myself love the DR and especially Punta Cana. To me anybody who wouldn't go to the DR just missed the boat ! Nice people in general , gorgeous beaches ,great food ,yum yum yum ,and you pay next to nothing ! For "JUST" a "BEACH" vacation ,Punta Cana is unbeatable!-IMHO .ENjoy !

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:25 PM.