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“We WILL definitely go back...this is quite a place!”

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Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana
Ranked #102 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We WILL definitely go back...this is quite a place!”
Reviewed 20 February 2010

We just returned from The Golden Bear Lodge and had a wonderful 4 night stay! This hotel is beautiful and certainly seems "undiscovered" right now as we were one of a few couples at the resort.

We loved staying here especially because we love golf and the beach. We played two rounds of golf during our stay...one at Punta Espada which we HIGHLY recommend. It is just a short ride (in a golf cart) from the lodge and is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. We spent our afternoons at Caleton Beach which was such a treat...beautiful beach with food and bar service...lounge chairs...and a beautiful pool if you get tired of the salt water which we did not.

If you love golf, this is definitely a great place to go. Las Iguanas golf course (which sits directly behind the property) will soon be complete and this will make this destination one that all golfers pursue.

We had a very quiet stay because the resort is so new, but again, we don't think The Golden Bear will stay "quiet" very long. Go now...before everyone else discovers this great place in Cap Cana!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank golf4us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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69 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2010

We stayed for four days at the GBL and enjoyed every moment of it. We got a great one-bedroom appartment, but the best was the absolutely fantastic service from everyone in the hotel. The kitchen was particularily good. We really felt special. The fact that the hotel was not on the beach was overcompensated by the friendly staff always driving us the few minutes to the most gorgeous Carribean beach emaginable.
Mr Thomas

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SwitzerlandThomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Punta Cana hotels

indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 January 2010

Read all the reviews but believe this one.If you stay at this hotel and have a bad time you need to see a doctor for you have no heart.Everything here is first class period no exceptions.When you leave there is a part on the Dominican that goes with you and hopefully some that stays.I could go on and on about all the good things but you need to go an find them out. If you smile and relax ther will be no dissapointments.The staff will care for you like family they include,Erme,David,Joel,Calvin,Manuel,Carlos,Boris,bartenders,Sauel,Emily chef,Luis ,Gregory,Maximo plus Wanda and Lisandra.If you make a decission to stay at the Golden Bear based on reviews, consider this one.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fungolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, CO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2010

Having just returned from an unforgettable, week-long stay at Golden Bear, I feel compelled to share my experience with other potential visitors.

I read the negative reviews with concern before my arrival, and I am beyond happy that we stuck with our gut and decided to visit Golden Bear anyway. I strongly urge you to do the same. This is a top-notch resort and property, and they deserve to be successful. Just as importantly, you deserve to enjoy the kind of experience that we just did.

It sounds to me like these reviewers were visiting at the same time. We did not experience any of these issues, and any time we had requests, they were handled professionally and efficiently.

Many of the reviews take direct aim at the staff of Golden Bear. Ignore what they said - the staff is absolutely wonderful! To say they were courteous and attentive would be an understatement. By the time we left, we felt like we had made a whole new group of friends. We are counting down the minutes until we can return.

We chose to purchase the "Endless Privileges" All-Inclusive Package. When they say "all-inclusive," they mean it. It's all taken care of, including gratuities. The truth is, though, that the service is so good that you might find yourself wanting to tip people anyway.

Included in our package, aside from the stunning room/apartment (more to follow), were round trip airport transfers, unlimited food and drink - including room service, maid service 3 times per day, champagne and fruit daily, a bottle of rum, worldwide phone service, internet, certificates for a 20 minute massage for each person (which we used as a credit towards longer massages), access to spa and fitness center facilities, and - last, but certainly not least - two certificates to play the Punta Espada Golf Course ($330+ value, and worth every penny - truly outstanding).

ARRIVAL

We were greeted at the Punta Cana (PUJ) airport by a representative from a local company, arranged by the hotel. Finding them was no problem, as they had a sign clearly displaying my name. The representative spoke excellent English, and he shared with us some preliminary information about the Dominican Republic that set the tone for our stay.

Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted by Ramon - great guy! - and we met Kenya and Nicholas in the reception area. Kenya and Nicholas were our go-tos with any questions or concerns, and they took care of arranging shuttle service for us or any other needs. In fact, they were so kind as to arrange for us a trip to La Romana to see a Dominican Baseball game. They speak English fluently, so communication was not a problem at all.

THE ROOM

Ramon and Lorenzo escorted us to our room, and we were giddy the moment we set foot inside. This is more of an apartment than a room. The wonderfully spacious apartment featured two bathrooms (1 full and 1 half), a washer/dryer unit, a fully-equipped kitchenette (full refrigerator, sink with disposal, coffee maker, and panini maker), a large dining room table, a living room setup (with a couch, chairs, and TV), two terraces overlooking the Las Iguanas Golf Course and Caribbean Sea (one terrace includes a personal plunge pool!), a spacious bedroom (including a king-size bed and a desk), a closet with a safe, and a luxurious bathroom (including two sinks, a jacuzzi, and a beautiful shower with two shower heads).

The apartment is air conditioned and very comfortable, and it was the perfect "home base" for our stay. The minibar is really your full refrigerator, and it is stocked fresh each day by the Golden Bear Staff. You'll get some champagne each day, a couple bottles of wine, as much beer as you want, bottled waters, sodas, etc. You can also order room service to have gourmet food and more drinks brought right to you if you don't feel like going to the restaurant.

The maid service is excellent, and each time we returned to our apartment after going to the beach, pool, or golf course, it was nice and clean.

THE FOOD

The food may have been the highlight of the stay. Everything was immaculately prepared and delicious. For breakfast and dinner, you eat at the Magnolia Restaurant, and for lunch, you eat at The Grill, which is beside the pool.

Before talking about the food, I need to make mention of the wait staff. Joel, Boris, Jesus, Carlos, and everyone else were wonderful. They all have a great "positive energy" about them and make you feel really good. They are incredibly attentive, and they go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of.

The food itself was delicious, and the portions were very large. You will not leave hungry, that is for sure!

THE POOL

The pool is very large and beautifully designed. When you sit beside the pool, you have a great view of the golf course and the ocean in the distance. Saul, the bartender, will prepare you some nice drinks while you enjoy the sun and the view.

THE SPA

The spa is not 100% complete yet, but it is open and functional. Chances are you just want a massage, and the massage rooms are set up and ready to go. Both my girlfriend and I received excellent massages by any standard. There is also a hot tub, sauna, and post-massage sitting/relaxation area. The steam room was not yet ready during our visit, but I believe it will be ready soon.

THE BEACHES

We chose Cap Cana because we heard that the beaches are second to none. You will not be let down. There are (at least) two beaches nearby -- Juanillo and Caleton. The sand is just perfect, and the water has all the brilliant shades of blue -- Absolutely beautiful. You can't help but be happy on the beaches.

CAP CANA

There is a Cap Cana shuttle service that you can take - at no cost - to go to the marina, the beaches, and other restaurants. The drivers are friendly and courteous, and they arrive within 15 minutes of your call. All the local attractions have the phone number for the shuttle, so it's just a call away. There's even a mini-market in the marina where you can pick up wine and food to prepare in your apartment. We didn't do that, but if we had known more going in, we might have.

PUNTA ESPADA GOLF COURSE

If you are a golfer, you must play this course. All the incredible reviews you'll find about it online are true. Two rounds were included with our all-inclusive package, and this was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. There is a $20 caddy fee and a $20 cart fee, and you may want to tip your caddy. Also, one day, my girlfriend went with me, and there was a $20 fee for her to walk the course -- well worth it.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dkonigs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2010

We recently stayed at the Golden Bear Lodge & Spa. As a disclaimer, I have never posted on Trip Advisor and I am not an overly finicky traveler. I can certainly appreciate the start-up pains that a new resort goes through, having stayed in everything from established first class resorts in the Caribbean to, well, less established places in the Middle East. That being said, we were thoroughly disappointed with the Golden Bear. Like some of the earlier posters, we too were without water and electricity during portions of our stay (I've stayed in war torn areas of the Middle East and never had a problem to this degree) and found that the resort was unable to satisfactorily respond to relatively simple requests (i.e., map of the premises, fixing problems in the room). As it was clear that the staff was overwhelmed, our requests were delivered gently and with courtesy, but were suprisingly responded to with shrugs or long delays before a problem was fixed (i.e. two days without hot water). Just an average level of customer service would have made our stay much more tolerable. There is one dining option on location and, while the food is good for the most part, they need to provide guests with a less formal dining alternative, as you are pretty much stranded at the resort (unless you rent an electric cart for $US50/day). My guess is that the resort will probably be a lot nicer a few years from now once the golf course opens, the staff has learned a bit more about basic customer service and the resort figures out how to provide consistent electricity, water and VOIP to its guests.

As a general matter, most people we spoke with at Cap Cana who were staying at either the Golden Bear or Sanctuary were having lots of problems during their stay and said that they wouldn't return. Misery loves company but it would be great if there was no misery in the first place.

I wish them the best of luck but luck is really opportunity plus preparation. The Golden Bear has not adequately prepared for its guests at this point.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank WhyJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2010

I have traveled to the Dominican Republic many times and this is by far the best property I have had the chance to stay at. The entire Cap Cana project is spectacular and the Golden Bear Lodge fits right in.

I also have a philosophy in life which is fairly simple ''Manage my expectations''.
The Golden Bear Lodge did manage all my expectations. More on this below.

We stayed there from January 2nd to 9th. It all started with a warm welcome at the reception, a beautifully decorated ocean view suite (1400 square feet fully furnished apartment) with a private plunge pool.

The food was simply spectacular all week. A short, well thought menu was proposed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food quality, presentation and portions were outstanding. Simply the best shrimp gazpacho, seafood soup, lobster and scallop ceviche, duck magret ,beef tenderloin and of course, red snapper to die for. Did I forget, finely cut fresh vegetables, portobello mushroom risotto with truffle oil and sorbet served between meal courses to make room for well crafted deserts.

My congratulations to Head Chef José F. Alias, Chef Gregorio & kitchen staff for making our stay such a pleasant one.

Wines selection was also good and prices were fair. Servers were very professional, attentive and didn't take any shortcuts. Ie: walk around the table vs. walking behind you all the time.

Again here, my special thanks to Joel, Erme and Boris for being such professional servers all week. Your kind attention made us feel like home.

The hotel reception staff also helped us to book excursions, taxis, golf cart rental and my 2 golf rounds at the magnificent Punta Espada golf course. They were very friendly, helpful and took ownership to book the above and confirm with us later.

My girlfriend got a great massage, manicure and pedicure at the Spa.

The Bell boys were also very helpful and would go out of their way to drive us to the golf course or the spectacular Caleton beach.

The room (apartment) was clean, the morning and evening maids were nice and polite.

So now onto the ''managing expectations part''

One reading the above thinks everything above was perfect ?

Well of course we had some ''incidents'' during our stay but nothing to prevent us from being extremely satisfied guests. We had lukewarm water one morning.
What did we do ? We went for breakfast and they fixed it while we were eating.
If you stayed in the Caribbean before you must have experienced this...
Room phones work over VoiP technology and didn't work on one occasion. So what ? Has the internet not ever gone down in your own home ?
A walk to the reception is only a few meters away...
At least this property provides low-cost / direct-no operator international calls.
Both times, problems were fixed rapidly and with a smile. Being polite with staff anywhere I've traveled has always helped :-) Michael Bublé CD playing all the time over dinner ? You should be talking to your spouse / family instead of paying attention on what music is playing in the background.

This property is only 2 months old. Like anything new, some kinks / growing pains are to be expected. And we knew this when we booked. We also knew it's a quiet place as the entire Cap Cana resort is mostly comprised of privately owned villas, hotel rooms and condos. Owners are not there year-round...We felt like we got 100% of our money's worth and would recommend this property to anyone who likes amazing food, large rooms with spectacular views of the ocean, friendly and professional staff, access to one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, a Senior PGA Tour golf course and last but not least, only 15 minutes from the airport.

As a conclusion, in 2009 we had the chance to stay at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix, the Martinez hotel in Cannes, the ''Mas de Pierre'' and ''Moulin de Mougins in Provence (Relais & Chateaux) and it's famous Roger Vergé restaurant.
And had lunch at the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. None of them were perfect either. Would we go back ? Of course.

As you can see, we like to travel to nice places. The Golden Bear Lodge is no exception, it has a bright future and I hope you have chance to stay there one day as I am sure they will manage your expectations as well.

I also wanted to rectify some of the misleading comments posted by some recent travelers.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rickmobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2010

We stayed at the Golden Bear over New Years for 4 nights. While the exterior of the resort looks good, it is clearly not ready for occupancy. They were unable to provide the basic services expected of even the lowest level of hotel (i.e., hot water) or an even remotely acceptable level of customer service. This resort was not cheap and is promoted as a luxury resort. A quick rundown of the issues we experienced:

(1) the room initially assigned to us was not ready for occupancy. It had no
phones, a broken full length mirror with large shards ready to fall off, and stains on the furniture.

(2) After complaining to management and enduring an hour and half wait for resolution of the
situation, we were assigned a new room, a one bedroom suite, that was on the outer rim of
of the property. We asked to be moved to a
building closer to the main lobby/pool area and were told that it was not possible because the resort was
completely booked. Mind you that during our entire stay we saw no more than 4
other parties at the hotel, so this statement seemed suspect.
(3) on our first night, we were looking forward to showering after a long day of travel and discovered there was NO HOT WATER in the unit. We called
the front desk from the one phone in the unit that worked (there were two
additional phones that did not work; part of the Golden Bear’s constant refrain of form over substance) and were told that someone would be
down to fix the water "in five minutes." No one came and we called
repeatedly over the next hour and half to no avail. The person at the front desk was very unprofessional and clearly hadn’t been trained to handle any customer issues, as we were either told that someone was on their way to fix the problem (which they weren’t) or our calls were put on hold, then disconnected. Requests to speak to the manager were denied. We eventually
decided to go to the front desk to deal with the situation in person.
We were then told that the lack of hot water was systemic to the
property and they were working on it. We told him that a little bit of initial honesty from the front desk would have saved us an hour and a half of calling and waiting. The front desk manager then told us to go
have dinner and that we would be "taken care of." This was of no use to
us, since included in our room rate was two meals a day, including
dinner. This was typical of the empty gestures at customer service we
received throughout our stay.
(2) When we left dinner we were told the hot water had been fixed. When
we returned to our room there was STILL NO HOT WATER.
(3)That same night, the air conditioner vent in the bedroom made such an
extremely loud humming and rattling noise that it was impossible to sleep in the
bedroom. We called the front desk numerous times and were even hung up
on. No maintenance or other customer service individual came to the
room to rectify the situation. We were simply told that there was nothing they could do (not even that they would ask someone to fix it in the morning). As a result, one of us slept on a couch in the living room
and the other slept on the floor of the
living room.
(4) At around 6AM that morning, the power went out and WE HAD NO ELECTRICITY IN THE UNIT.
Along with no electricity, there was also no running water. At 8AM that
morning, we reported to the front desk that there was NO ELECTRICITY, NO HOT WATER, NO WATER AT ALL, AND THE EXTREMELY LOUD HUMMING AND RATTLING NOISE EMANATING FROM THE BEDROOM VENT.
(5) Upon returning to our room late in the afternoon we were told that
the bedroom vent issue had been fixed (apparently the air duct or vent hadn’t been secured properly, thus the source of the loud noise), the electricity had returned, and
there was hot water. Upon returning to our room we discovered that
there was STILL NO HOT WATER, though to our relief the other issues had been resolved (we were pretty much at wits end at this point).
A "manager" came to our room about 30 minutes later and discovered the
hot water was not working, sent someone to do something and five minutes
later we had some hot water (see, it’s not that difficult).
(6) At about this time during our stay, all 3 phones in our unit
stopped working (why have 3 phones if none of them work?). We told the front desk about the issue and it was not
resolved for the 3 days remaining of our stay.
(7) The resort supposedly offers room service but there were no room
service menus or any other information whatsoever concerning the resort, spa etc...
in our room.
(8) We asked for a map of the cap cana development and were told by the front
desk they did not have one.
(9) Towels, toiletries etc... were not replenished by the cleaning
staff, only when we asked did we get new towels.
(10) The "mini bar," which consisted of a few bottles of beer and juice,
was never replenished.

As a general matter, the customer service at the resort, absent one or
two minor exceptions (the bellboy and lead waiter in the restaurant) was
abysmal. Throughout our stay we had the sense that no one was in
charge (at least no adult). Simple requests (e.g. a map of Cap Cana development) could not
be fulfilled. Moreover, the absolute basics of a hotel - hot water,
electricity, the ability to sleep in a room without excessive noise, could not be provided by
the hotel. In addition, we had two meals a day in the restaurant included in our rate. While the food was generally fine, the main restaurant tries too hard to be fancy, focusing on form over substance. The resort should do a favor for both the guests and the staff and make the restaurant more casual - it is a golf resort after all. Meals became long ordeals (even though we were usually the only patrons in the restaurant) of overly formal service that the staff had trouble with. Also, if you are going to offer a meal plan and have only restaurant for breakfast and dinner, there should be more variety on the menu and more choices (i.e., every night there were the same 5 entree options). In addition, a tip to the resort - please don't play the same Michael Buble cd over and over again at the restaurant at all hours. Get another CD! In sum, the Golden Bear has a lot of work to do; most importantly providing basic services (i.e., hot water) to its customers and some serious customer training to its employees (enough so that they can at least act like they care or will try to fix basic problems in a reasonable amount of time).

Jack Nicklaus’s picture is plastered all over the hotel, but he should be ashamed of this ripoff. We wonder if he knows he awful an experience his Golden Bear Lodge & Spa has provided its customers?

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank woz3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana

Property: Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana
Address: Cap Cana, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#66 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#80 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Xeliter Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 90
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 
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Also Known As:
Golden Bear Lodge Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana

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