The resort lost marks due to the feeling of always being gouged, being under construction, and being isolated unless one is willing to pay exhorbitant taxi fares [by Dominican standards] or hire the facilities own vehicles at premium rates.
Cap Cana Fishing Lodge, marina and resort complex.
First impression: Cap Cana is an interesting place, right on the Eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, some 75 miles from Puerto Rico. Interesting because it is a man made construct that’s rather lacking the natural beauty of this stunning country. That said, it is new, clean, reasonably well maintained [several areas of broken and damaged pathway were evident] and in spite of the fact that there’s still construction going on north of the Marina complex, that construction isn’t very intrusive at all.
Pricing and value for money: We've spent the greater part of a month in Cap Cana resort, and the surrounding area. We discovered the prices to be wildly inconsistent with two significant exceptions, they were often not as stated or implied and they were all exceptionally high for this part of the world.
It [our stay there] began with an out of season verbal rate agreement - prior to arrival, implied and inferred, though not written.
Upon arrival at check in, although able to relay the name, time and date of the conversation, and the check in staff acknowledging it took place [the night before], the rate more than doubled with a shrug of the shoulders on the part of said staff. We were here, we were stuck [I was unwell the first three days], so hubby paid and decided to enjoy ourselves.
Our next surprise came with the evening meal, after a hard days travelling we weren’t hungry, so ordered light, I simply had a pumpkin soup, hubby had a small veggie pizza. We were informed the menu prices were $19. Tired, we skipped any alcohol, appetizers or desert and simply shared a single bottle of water. Neither of us took reading glasses to the restaurant so the pricing was illegible until the billing was read - $42 = single person pizza, one water and soup.
This carried over into activities like golfing, where by the time everything was done from the obligatory club and caddy hire to green fees it was around $300 for a single game. The last time we were there the old course at St Andrews was quite a bit less expensive than that – though it was a few years now.
Transportation around the complex; there are shuttle busses [free] which will take you to various places on this resort, they’re required usage as there are many “private” areas here where you simply aren’t allowed to wander. Even the beaches in some spots are private. There were no maps supplied, and it's not an english speaking country, so "point and go" can creat issues, fortunately most staff speak English, but other nationalities could have issues.
This was also the morning we discovered we “weren’t allowed” off the compound unless we took a taxi – which the resort had to call, or hired a resort car at $75/day.
Swimming pools, some you can use, some you can’t, if you make a mistake it’s often not long before you’re informed. We didn’t see any specific “private pool” notices. All pools were outstanding in quality and some exceptionally well designed and pleasing on the eye.
Self catering; I love to cook, but discovered that impractical. The main supermarket is by the airport, and although excellent, the airport is a $40-$60 taxi ride. Our neighbor took the taxi [we refused the luxury pricing] and were informed $40 but reported being hit up for $60 by the driver. When he questioned it the driver told him to get out or pay – his choice. The location was not one he preferred to exit the cab at by that time.
Complex shopping: there are two small “mercado’s”, or mini-markets on the complex, we found the prices a good 50% higher than Dominican norms and somewhat lacking in choice, but again big kudos to the staff at the shops – they spoke English more than adequately, were friendly, outgoing and exceptionally helpful. There were several other shops in the complex, and several boarded up ones. Those open offered typical tourist paraphernalia from gifts to swimsuits, but at what we felt were dramatically inflated prices.
Security is nice in any location, here there were guards about every 50 yards, day and night. We thought it was rather excessive but certainly had absolutely no issues with anything going walkabout. The security services were helpful, genuine and pleasant.
Electricity was surprisingly constant for the Caribbean, now blackouts or brownouts, but Wi-Fi was what can only be described as less than stable – fine when there, fast, but VERY unstable – if you’re doing anything, put it in a doc file then paste it or take a high risk of losing your work. Attachments were “difficult” to achieve most of the time, and we could see the complex’s Wi-Fi antennas.
The marina on the complex has water activities available. Pricing for water activities from sport fishing to glass bottom boat rides was in line with the sticker shock we received at our first meal, but the boats all appeared well maintained, stable and very serviceable. There were many private yachts in the marina and the standard appeared to extend to these as well.
The facility needs a "welcome package" put online at least, ideally presented to ALL guests upon arrival so they clearly know what they can do - where they can go - what's permissable, and more importantly what's not! - where the locatoins of everything are - better signage - some "you are here" maps for major spaces - and posted pricing for everything including cabs, pricing which everyone is required to adhere to. These policies need to be available to every guest irrespective of the means of arrival, Air, land or sea.
To sum it up, this area of the Dominican Republic to us came across as “resort anywhere”, it was manicured to the extent that nature was almost obliterated, there was no birdsong and little life other than what humanity intended to be there. There is a lot to do, almost all carries a price tag that’s closer to Monaco than Mona. It’s holiday resort central.
If the DR is your thing, and it’s certainly ours [we love it here] there are other areas that we found more enjoyable, certainly substantially better value. If you want sun, sea, palms and island breezes without budget concerns this could be ideal for you. If you want to mix with the jet set and get the same with little difference in price, there are options from Capri to Monaco that might just serve you better.
Biggest attractions or assets: Nice design, clean, reasonably new, upscale, staff, electric buggies for transport.
Biggest detractions: Poor value for money, isolated, detached from the culture, “resort anywhere” type feel and a place so full of do's and dont's that it's very easy to get quickly fed up.
At days end its all down to value for money - sadly lacking here.
Avoid rooms [mostly condo's] looking onto the marina bays or channel - when the fishing boats fi...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC