This was my first trip to the Dominican Republic and relative to two "luxury" hotels in Santo Domingo where I've stayed (Nicolas Ovando Mgallery and Hilton), the Westin Punta Cana clearly stands out because it is not only new but also clean and crisp and has a high standard of in-room facilities. The Westin also is relatively (!) cheaper than other high end properties in Punta Cana / Bavaro.
However, comparing the very high absolute price with what that money can buy in other countries (e.g., Mexico and Miami), I still was very disappointed by the overall experience. While the rooms are spacious, the modern-sleek style of the property also can come across as a bit sterile, and there are a few clear downsides due to which I wouldn't want to stay there for a long time:
1) The rooms have very poor sound insulation - bring ear plugs. I even heard every step in the room in the floor above!
2) The menu of the Brassa Grill at the beach is extremely short, standard, and boring. The Anani restaurant has a few more imaginative options but a sterile interior (it's mostly indoors and the small outside area is in a corner of the property far away from the beach).
3) The breakfast is distinctively boring and apart from the very good egg station doesn't offer many tempting options (e.g., very limited choice of fruits, no freshly made muesli, no specialty or local delicacy to which one would look forward to). A good thing is that breakfast is until noon.
4) The gym has sparkling new LifeFitness cardio equipment and free weights but just two randomly chosen machines (for chest and shoulders) but nothing else (e.g., nothing for back, legs etc.); there is a lot of empty space in the gym and it almost looks like they ran out of money for properly equipping the gym.
5) The waiters at the beach stubbornly ignored me - I even waved at them and called them when they stood 4 meters away and looked at me but they still would choose to walk away.
Therefore I left with a few regrets and really nothing I could point out as a high-light. This is just not enough to justify a trip to the resort and paying such a high price (e.g., by comparison, the beach clubs in Boca Chica offer a lot more style and vibe). It would be really great if Westin could be a bit more imaginative!
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