Our family had planned to pass the New Year here, but we checked out after one night vowing to never return!
Views entering Cap Cana are breathtaking, white sand, blue sea .... unfortunately not much else I can say positive about the place.
We checked in early afternoon after driving from Santo Domingo, I was charged the room fee for the complete stay on arrival (at US$900 per night for a 2 bed apartment), rather than them taking a guarantee on my credit card as most hotels do, plus an additional US$400 charge to cover being able to sign for food and beverage etc. against the room number. Check in staff were only able to give us two plastic room keys (for a party of 6) as they didn't have any others available (not sure what they did for the next guest who checked-in.) We asked for a resort map (Cap Cana is spread out over a really large area,) and after 5 minutes were given a tiny unreadable photocopy.
As we were here for the new year we asked about the activities planned for the 31st and decided on one of the restaurants in the Marina and for the Cap Cana New Years Party, which the guest services rep said they would set up and reserve for us .... (more on this later.)
We wanted to have a bite to eat, it was 3.00pm, a little late for lunch but for the "World's New Greatest Destination", there should be numerous options available and set off for the Marina .... the place was deserted we saw maybe 5 people in the whole area, and trekked to all 3 restaurants / terrace cafes and all were closed, we were told they would be opening at 6.00pm, so we phoned up the reception and apparently the only place available at that time was the pool bar at the Golden Bear Lodge, we we told we couldn't go to the Sanctuary Hotel as it was reservation only! So 30 minutes later we were sat ordering at the pool bar, a salad, 3 sandwiches, 3 personal pizzas and six fruit juices - which came to US$209!!! The food was good but US$209??
We then returned to the room to relax & freshen up, only to find that one of the bathrooms had no hot water, and the bath tub/jacuzzi was incredibly dirty and literally smelled of sewage, which we promptly reported and were assured would be rectified immediately. Fortunately the other bathroom was clean, had hot water and we were able to all take a shower. The plan for the evening was for my wife and I to receive a business colleague at Punta Cana airport who was staying at another hotel in the area, the rest of the family would use room service for dinner, and my wife and I would have a quiet meal in the restaurant after we returned. We confirmed with reception that the Magnolia restaurant closed at 11.30pm. We looked everywhere for a resort guide & room service menu in the rooms, but none were to be found, so also asked for one to be sent to the room. On returning from picking up our colleague at 10.20pm, we found that there was still no hot water, fortunately the tub had been cleaned, but still no room service menu (after phoning again they said they were still printing it out) so we all ventured to the Magnolia restaurant before they closed, only to find that they had actually closed at 10.00pm and were now informed that all the restaurants in Cap Cana also closed at this time! After protesting we were able to order some ice cream and chocolate mouses to be sent to the room, at US$14 plus 26% tax a pop, which arrived in a few minutes but the ice cream was almost completely melted..... better than nothing i suppose!
We hoped a new day would bring us some better luck ......
We awoke around 6.00am feeling rather hot, I thought that the aircon had been turned off, but on checking, there was not only no aircon, but no electricity or water at all!!! By 7.30am I decided to go off to the reception area (couldn't call as the phones were also out,) to see what was going on. There were other guests around with similar complaints, the staff were completely lost as they had no phones only offering the excuse that the whole complex was without electricity and the maintenance technician hadn't arrived yet! We finally got lights & water back at about 8.30am, but still no hot water in one of the bathrooms ....We had already decided that we weren't prepared to spend another US$900 per night here, so after showering we checked out preferring to return home to Santo Domingo. Check out took another 45 minutes, finally reversing the charges to my credit card .... The reception staff were always very polite and seemed genuinely sorry for all the problems we had, however this was one of the worst and most expensive experiences we have ever had in a hotel, for US$900/night we would expect to be treated like royalty, not to mention have hot water to bathe in.
The place is a long way off being ready for commercial operation, If i were Jack Nicklaus i would be very worried about tarnishing his name being associated with this hotel, he and the suffering guests both deserve much better.
I would not recommend staying here nor will we ever be coming back!
As a post script, after arriving back to Santo Domingo I received an e-mail from one of the guest services rep at 9.00pm advising me that he was very sorry for the inconvenience but he had not been able to contact the restaurant in the Marina to make our reservations for dinner that night or for the New Year's Party - Unbelievable! I hate to think what would have happened if we had turned up as planned at 8.00pm. to the restaurant.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It features a concierge service A flat-screen TV, iPod docking station, and CD/DVD player are included in all condos at Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge. The rooms are stylishly decorated in tropical colors and also boast a microwave and a minibar. Golden Bear Lodge features Jack Nicklaus Signature Course Punta Espada. Punta Cana International Airport is 16 km from Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge. The San Juan Shopping Center is 23 km away. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travel Republic (UK), Ebookers, Odigeo, Hotels.com, Traveltool, S.L.U., TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana