My family just returned from our vacation yesterday. My husband and I along with our children visited the Dominican Republic for the first time and came across this hotel on TripAdvisor. We stayed 9 nights.
We booked w/Expedia and had been told that we had a room with an ocean view. I was also told that there was no guarantee (of the view) and to wait until check-in and see what the hotel had available.
I had pre-booked/paid for the airport transportation online from PUJ. However, because there are no Alsol del Mar signs on the street around the hotel, we were brought to the wrong location twice. Our taxi for our trip back home was late because they also went to the wrong location. They need some better signage. I was worried that our taxi wasn't going to show up and that we'd miss our flight home.
Upon arriving to the hotel, the bell boy (I think it was Sandro) helped us exit the taxi, then we were greeted by the concierge, Jhoangli. He was very welcoming and made us feel at home. The floral fragrance once you walk into the lobby is a little strong to us, though. I also found the temperature in the lobby to be too cool (sometimes cold) during our stay.
Nicolas, the bartender, was great. He's very pleasant. He gave my husband and I champagne and slushies for kids. I don't drink, so he asked what else I would like and swapped my champagne for lemonade. We all liked seeing him in the lobby. It was fun to chat with him. When we'd see him (or Horacio), he and my husband would talk about sports, especially basketball, and I know my husband enjoyed that considering we were on vacation during the NBA Playoffs.
This hotel is very quiet and relaxing. We, literally, were the only ones out at the pool one day. Maybe more than once :-) . It was a little odd at first, but we enjoyed the lack of noise and crowds. It is a very calm place, and time seemed to stand still. I liked hearing the sound of the ocean with the perfect volume of music by the pool. Not too loud, and not too soft.
Our room faced the back of the hotel on the ground floor. The first thing we see from the very large sliding glass doors are two abandoned buildings. Not what we expected. You probably would have a good view of the ocean from the 2nd or 3rd floors (facing the back), but from the ground, it wasn't very good.
The room itself was HUGE. It was a two bedroom unit with a large washer and dryer, a full-sized kitchen and new appliances. A great room, but we didn't like the view, so the next day (because we had come in during the evening after dinner), Jhoan let us know what was available, and we moved to another ground unit (was two adjoining rooms, actually) with a pool view. The ocean was partially visible from the room and fully visible once we were out on the patio - much better.
Jhoan really wanted us to be happy with our room, and we appreciated his help. The kids had a smaller room with two queen beds, flat screen TV, a washer and dryer, and kitchenette. Our rooms had the ability to be closed off from each other, but we left the doors open. Our unit also had a pool/spa on the patio which was convenient. The patio spa had many, many loose and missing tiles, on which my daughter hurt her toe. We were also a very short walk from the hotel pool and poolside restaurant.
The other concierges, Yvelicce, Victor, and Pedro were also very pleasant. You definitely get the vibe that everyone wants you to enjoy your stay. I happened to be walking to our room one evening and saw Ana Cristina, the Housekeeping Manager, and she asked me how we were enjoying ourselves and if everything was well in our room. I speak Spanish (not fluently, though), so we had a great conversation. She was SO friendly and even helped me with my español :-) .
Speaking of the housekeeping, our room was cleaned very well. Señora Elena was very thorough. I liked her. She let me know that she was going on vacation, so we didn't see her for our last two days. I liked knowing that we would have someone else coming to clean our room, as were used to seeing her. Yadira cleaned our room, and I enjoyed meeting Maria, as well. They all did a great job. They were quick yet did not sacrifice cleanliness for the sake of speed.
I like meeting people and talking to them, and the maids were very friendly. Even a maid who never cleaned our room, whom I'd see around the property, was friendly. I'd see her, and we'd exchange pleasantries. I can't remember her name, but she has a ponytail and wore eyeliner and clips in her hair. She was pleasant. I mention her appearance because I know management reads these reviews, and I want her to know that she contributed to my stay being a memorable one.
Yuli and Michael were usually in charge of entertainment. My kids enjoyed the games and crafts. We also enjoyed Bingo, which Michael organized.
The servers at the restaurants were very friendly. I always liked seeing Luis. He was SO pleasant and has a friendly smile. He was always in a good mood. Cristian was good, too. Sergio, the manager, was fantastic. A very nice man who wanted us to enjoy the food and our stay. We really liked Hossee. He would bring our evening room service. He was awesome. A great disposition. José was helpful as well. Morning room service was brought by Jean Carlos. He was very tall, so my husband, a former basketball player, talked to him about basketball, too. Jean Carlos was friendly, and we enjoyed his service.
About the food, but I'm sorry to say this, as I know the folks work very hard, but it is not great. I so enjoyed our stay, but the food was just okay. We would ask for a steak cooked "medium," and it would usually be very well done. Not tasty for us. This was most of the time. We asked for scrambled eggs once, but we got several plates of sunnyside up. Yuck. I think there should be additional training here. I don't fault the workers. I recommend that upper levels of management be more clear about what "medium" or "scrambled" actually means. I even asked for the eggs using Spanish, so it wasn't a language issue.
We ended up going with all-inclusive, though we didn't begin our trip that way. I HIGHLY recommend it. You're going to pay 18% tax and an additional 10% service fee every meal.
You can also go to the sister resort if you have all-inclusivity. The Sanctuary is busier and noisier. We were always glad to return to Alsol del Mar where it was quiet.
But, be forewarned, it seems that once the workers find out you are from del Mar, they are RUDE. After having very friendly service at del Mar, we were not thrilled to have the attitudes from Sanctuary. Not sure if they're snobby or feel inconvenienced by our presence, but they were not what we were used to. I know this is an Alsol del Mar review, but this is relevant if you use your all-inclusive letter there.
The friendliest people from Sanctuary were Raul Mendez at Casa Bella, Cesarin and José Miguel (Bell Boys?), Bolivar from restaurants, the hostess from the Italian restaurant and Blue Marlin (long, dark pontail), Maria and Manuel from breakfast buffet at Casa Bella. I'm not implying that ALL the others were rude, but these people stood out as friendly. They could have been from Alsol del Mar because they were that friendly and customer service focused. It seemed natural.
As I said, the food is so-so at Alsol del Mar, but our last evening there, we ate at The Grill, their poolside restaurant, and it was our best meal of the vacation. The boneless chicken tenders were super-tasty. We had them for the first time. I ordered two additional plates because the family really liked them. The freshly made BBQ sauce was very tasty. I have to mention that the ceviche and steamed grouper with garlic sauce were very good, too. The fresh - squeezed orange juice at breakfast was delicious. The guacamole was tasty with either of the freshly fried plantains or chips. The beef was flavored but overcooked. The chicken breast would be okay. Not great but okay.
'Sorry to be long, but I appreciated the detailed reviews on this site when planning our vacation. To sum it all up, you will have a relaxing vacation at Alsol del Mar. The people are fantastic. They are hard-working and make you feel like a welcomed guest. The rate is good, too.
Btw, My husband thought the beds were too hard. They were on the firmer side, but I was able to sleep well after I got used to how firm they were. I typically am a back-sleeper an didn't mind the extra back support.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Cap Cana, this 254,000-square-foot private beach complex features spacious suites ranging from Deluxe Studios to 2 Bedroom Suites, all finely designed with innovative architecture and Caribbeanstyle decorations. Guests can enjoy our beautiful white sand beach, large infinity pool with a swim-up bar that cascades into a serene hot tub area, complete with a gorgeous ocean view. Between the wealth of amenities we offer, the pristine facilities, and our devotion to exceptional hospitality, which is felt from the moment you arrive and are greeted by the spectacular panoramic ocean view in our lobby. These are just some of the many reasons why Alsol Del Mar offers guests the very definition of a luxurious Caribbean lifestyle. Conveniently located, Alsol Del Mar is just 15 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport, in close proximity of the famous Punta Espada Golf experience, which is considered the best golf course in the Caribbean, and near the Cap Cana Marina, which is considered one of the best in the world, accredited for its superior fishing. ... more less
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