Sunday, January 1, 2017

Stay Report: Melia Caribe Tropical (Punta Cana, DR - December 2016)

Stay Report: Melia Caribe Tropical (Punta Cana, DR)
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

My family and I recently traveled to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  We were staying there for the holidays and decided to try the all-inclusive Melia Caribe Tropical.  The hotel is operated by the Melia Hotels International, based out of Spain.  They operate a variety of hotels throughout the world, mostly resorts catering to large groups and holiday-makers.  This was my first time staying at a Melia property and my first time at an all-inclusive so I was not sure what to expect.  Here are my impressions.

Overall:  Overall the property is very large and has a lot to offer with a variety of restaurants included.  The hotel has various levels - there is the main level for all guests; there is a separate level called 'The Level' which is adults-only and has its own pool, restaurant, and rooms; and then there is ClubMelia which has its own perks.  We stayed in the general area which also had its own pool, restaurants, and rooms.   

The pool was large enough that it never felt crowded and both chairs and towels were always available.  The chairs were on a first come basis, and many people got there in the morning and put their towel down to claim their chair for the entire day.  The property also included access to the beach - access to beach included beach chairs of which there were plenty.  The Level/Club guests had their own access to the beach with their own chairs.  The beach was nice, some parts had a bit too much seaweed but overall it was a nice beach with plenty of access.  The rooms are spacious and each come with a balcony, a nice perk.  The service definitely needs improvement though.  

Rooms: The rooms were spacious and comfortable enough.  We had two rooms and each room was laid out the same.  As you entered, there was a closet on your right - the closet contained shelves and hangers and it had a safe.  On the left was the full-size bathroom with a toilet, a bidet, a wide sink, a standing shower, and blow dryer.  As you came inside the room, on left were the two beds with a nightstand in the middle and on the opposite side was a stand with drawers underneath and a TV and coffee/tea maker on top.  The drawers underneath contained a fridge which was stocked with free water, soft drinks, and beer.  Further along in the room was a sitting area with two chairs on one side a lounge - this lounge was big enough for a kid or small person to sleep in.  Beyond that was the balcony with two chairs.  

The beds were comfortable but they were definitely not the double beds as advertised - I
would say they were a Twin XL and only one person could fit on them.  The only issues with the room was the service - the beds were made up but the amenities in the room nor in the bathroom were replenished.  Also, the service came at various hours, sometimes at 5p and sometimes at 8am.  It was on request that items would be restocked.

Food:  The hotel is an all-inclusive so all food and drink are included in the hotel price.  The hotel offers a range of restaurants from buffet to Mediterranean, Dominican, and Mexican.  Overall, the quality of food is average - its not gourmet but decent enough.  There is enough variety to please most palates. We ate at the Level restaurant one night and it was similar food but just presented in a better fashion.  Drinks were also complimentary including soft drinks, beer, and house wine.  Overall, the variety of food and drinks included was more than I was expecting

Entertainment:  There is a variety of entertainment available at the hotel.  They have a casino, a kids park, pools, gym, and the beach.  They also have a nightly dance show which is very interesting and got better each night.  

The hotel also offers a gym and spa.  The gym was smaller than I expected - it could fit 10-20 people max - but it had the basic equipment for a nice workout.  A lot of guests choose to run/walk around the large property as that also provided some good exercise.  The hotel did offer aerobic classes - both in the gym and the pool.    

The hotel also has free wifi throughout the property.  This is definitely a nice perk as you are connected throughout your trip.  The wifi was stronger near the longer (for picture posts) but was decent enough speed at the pool and beach area for basic email and connections.  

Service: This is an area where the hotel is definitely lacking.  There was chaos at check-in but we finally managed to check-in.  Even though I had already checked-in online, I still had to go through the process all over again so the online checkin was worthless.  We had asked for one king-size bed room and one with 2 beds, but that was not available so we asked for two rooms close to each other.  Our check-in attendant did not know the layout of the hotel and gave us rooms and opposite ends of the building so we had to go back and adjust our rooms and tell them which rooms we wanted.  The hotel operates trains to get from the main lobby to the beach/pool and room area.  There are 3 different lines and the trains are supposed to run every 10-15 minutes.  We one time waited for over 20 minutes for a train and nothing showed up.  The train system definitely needs to be worked on as it currently does not work.

As I said earlier, the service for the rooms also needed improvement. The attendants came a variety of hours and were good at replenishing the fridge, but only replenished the tea and bathroom amenities when requested. 

Checkout was equally as chaotic and there were some very rude attendants who were arguing with the guests.  They definitely need to fix their check-in and check-out procedures.  There was one positive aspect to the service - Alber Batista, from Guest Services, called to find out who our stay was and when I let him know of the issues, he apologized and provided extra assistance and compensation.  He also followed up the next day to ensure everything was ok, which was especially appreciated.

Conclusion:  Overall, it was an average stay.  Positives included the large-size of the property so there was plenty of room at the pool and beach; the all-inclusive covered a lot more food and drink than I expected; and there was enough to do at the property not to get bored for at least 5 days.  The negatives were the service at check-in, check-out, and room attendants

No comments:

Post a Comment