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“Quiet jewel”
Review of Alsol Del Mar

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Alsol Del Mar
Ranked #45 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
NYC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Quiet jewel”
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Loved the big suites and sophisticated mod decor, the private Jacuzzi on our deck, the sweet and helpful staff, the views from the third floor. (I swooned at the sight of the lagoon with seabirds flying around and waves crashing against the rocks; we were in building 10 but I think the third floor of buildings 9 and 11 would offer delightful views too.) The beach isn't as nearly good as Punta Cana's, but I liked Alsol's mellow vibe and personal attention much more than the scene at Punta Cana resorts. For me the quiet was a plus; I could see how it could be a minus for others.

We did like being able to walk to Sanctuary (across the as-yet-undeveloped beach, where we saw a beautiful photo shoot in action) when we wanted a change of pace -- you have to get a letter from the front desk to use your all-inclusive status there, and we found that service wasn't nearly as good (even though we tipped!), but it was nice to have the option of a livelier spot with bigger pools and more food options, since the unchanging menus got old fast. Overall, the food was fine; the grouper ceviche (which I believe was offered at both Sanctuary and Alsol) was seriously divine.

You can take a cab for $3 anywhere in Cap Cana; we went to the sister resort at the marina one night and found it freakily quiet. It was like fake Main Street in Disney World, false storefronts with nothing behind them...post-zombie-invasion, sans human beings. (FWIW, we also found the dinner buffet at Luxury, the resort in the marina, to be vile.)

I'd encourage both upgrading (since our suite was truly fabulous and still quite affordable) and going all-inclusive, since Cap Cana's development has been, shall we say, slow to happen and there aren't many other food options. (That said, we had a nice kitchen and if we'd stopped at the grocery store on the way to the airport, we could have stocked up if we'd wanted to save $$.) My husband had to do some work while we were there, and the free wifi was fast and consistent.

We took the advice of another tripadvisor reviewer and tipped the maid a bit every day (rather than at the end of our stay) in the hopes of getting better service, and I think it worked -- we got two beers and two big water bottles in the fridge every day instead of one, which seemed to be the norm. Tragically, no towel art, though. :) Oh, and we had no issues traveling in the off-season -- there was a thunder shower every day, but it was very short (if intense) and kind of romantic in its way, and the prices were great. Overall, a top-notch choice for a quick getaway!

Room Tip: Third floor, buildings 9-11 all have lovely views.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
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English first
Middletown, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 6 August 2014

What a pleasant surprise and wonderful vacation. Our travel plans were disrupted at the last minute and we had to change destinations. We found Alsol Del Mar by a stroke of good luck. My five children and I were treated like family by the gracious and attentive staff. The beachfront unit was spacious and comfortable, the grounds were beautiful. We loved the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary as well and spent many days there enjoying the poolside activities. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the variety and choices. Overall, the friendly staff rally made this resort excellent. I hope we will return next year. Tina D

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Thank tinadan2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

This place is terrific! We were looking for a quite resort and this was perfect. Let me emphasize quiet. If you are looking for "Party Rock Anthem" to be playing at the pool, head next door to Sanctuary. Most days, my husband and I were the only ones on the beach. It was absolutely wonderful.

Speaking the beach, it's on the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps others paid more attention in geography class, but the chilly, choppy, cloudy water came as a surprise to me. This resort is FANTASTIC - but the beach may come as a little bit of a shock if you're expecting clear, warm, calm waters. There is also the issue of seaweed. The hotel goes to great lengths to remove this daily, but it's just unavoidable (again, Atlantic). So the beach swimming wasn't optimal, but the outstanding staff, accommodations, and peaceful atmosphere more than made up for it. The pool is right next to the beach, so that's where most people hung out (we always opted for the beach with the empty cabanas!). So many resorts we'd looked at warned of chairs/umbrellas being taken early in the day. This is not a concern at Alsol Del Mar! The beach was never crowded and always perfect.

We learned that there are only 14 rooms for the resort to rent; the rest are condo owners. This must explain the quiet atmosphere during the week. If you come Monday - Thursday, you'll likely be one of the only people at the resort. On Friday, there was a young boy running around the beach with his dog, Lola. He and his family lived in Santo Domingo and came to Alsol Del Mar on the weekends. So, the place does get a bit busier on the weekends, but overall it was still never overcrowded or uncomfortable.

There was never a wait for any meal, which was very nice. Alsol Del Mar's restaurant is great. The food was usually pretty good, definitely better than we'd anticipated for all-inclusive. Be mindful that there is very little English spoken by the waitstaff, so we did have a few meals where we attempted to say the name of the meal and the wrong thing arrived (again, no complaints!). So, I would recommend taking the menu and physically pointing to the item you'd like to order to ensure you get what you want. There was a Dominican night with authentic D.R. meals, which we really enjoyed. But other than that, the menu is pretty much the same each night, so you may want to go to Sanctuary now and then. Be sure to get your letter from the front desk first, and make a reservation at the respective Sanctuary restaurant you prefer. The front desk will call you a taxi, which is $3 and less than a mile away. During the day, we walked to Sanctuary - just maybe 1/4-mile down the "beach" (not really able to walk on the beach due to the large rocks, so it's not the prettiest walk to Sanctuary, but it's very easy).

There is only one type of red and white wine offered, and it is a little rough. But it's all-inclusive, and there are always plenty of other beverages to choose from. We only tried the pina coladas, which were always fantastic! There is a cocktail tasting on some days. Lots of fun!

Checking in is pretty easy. Make sure you bring a printed copy of your confirmation. I misplaced mine and it made things a little trickier, but that was my fault. Just make sure you have it printed and it will be a breeze.

We opted for a 1-bedroom suite rather than a junior suite, since it was our honeymoon and we wanted to splurge a little and get the balcony jacuzzi. The jacuzzis located next to the pool actually are not heated, so if you're looking for a hot tub, you should be sure to request a room with your own. The jacuzzi was not filled up when we checked in, but we placed a call and they filled it up later that evening. The next day, the water was still cold, so we called back and they fixed it right up. They do not add any chlorine or chemicals, so the water does get nasty pretty quickly and/or evaporates (no cover). It was too warm most nights to sit in the hot tub anyway, so we never asked for it to be filled up again, but if you get one and want to use it daily, you'll probably need to ask for it to be emptied/refilled every other day.

Next to the jacuzzi was a huge balcony with a full sofa, two chairs and a table. I did notice that our balcony was easily 4x larger than the junior suite balconies. We found the coffee served in the restaurant to be much too strong, so we opted for making coffee in our suite (full kitchen included!). No better way to start your day than sitting on a balcony facing the ocean, sipping coffee!

Our suite was great - cleaned immaculately. The cleaning crew does such an amazing job. They do come multiple times per day, which was a little bit of a shock. We'd go to dinner for an hour and come back and our shoes would be lined up, bed made, etc. They work very hard. They'll also come by each night around 8:00 to ask if you need any more bottled water/soda/beer. They're just terrific.

At first, I didn't like our view of an abandoned construction project in the next door lot. There is a partial ocean view, but it's on the back side of the property (Building 10), but this actually grew on us over the course of our stay. I think the rooms facing the inside of the property and with full ocean view would have been much louder and less private. I know the staff would have gladly moved us if we had asked, but we ended up liking the location of our room.

My only "complaint" would be the air conditioning. The living/kitchen/dining area was always very cool and consistent, but my husband and I could not manage to get our bedroom area cool enough. We'd both wake up literally sweating through the sheets, and there aren't any ceiling fans, so that was a little tough.

On the topic of sleep, the beds are very, very firm. This was an adjustment for me, but my husband loved it. So, just FYI in case you're someone who is used to a soft bed.

Both my husband and I did get travelers stomach on this trip, unfortunately. I'm not sure how you avoid this, but I did order an antibiotic prescription from my doctor before I left, which came in very handy. I would highly recommend doing this if you ever tend to suffer from travelers stomach.

The resort offers lots of activities throughout the week and one that I would recommend is the shopping trip. The bus takes you about an hour away to a mall where you can buy souvenirs and get cheap snack food. We ended up paying $4 for a bag of Cheetos at the front desk out of desperation. :) Stocking up on $1 Pringles at the mall would have been wise. Since there isn't a gift shop on the property, the shopping trip is also a good way to grab a couple of goodies to take home, too. There is a gift shop next door at Sanctuary, but again you'll pay top-dollar.

Let's talk about tipping. Please do it. This was my first all-inclusive experience, so the concept of not tipping made me feel uncomfortable, especially when you see how hard the employees work, learn the average wage of a DR employee and the long distance they travel each day to come to work. These people work their tails off. Believe me, they deserve tips. Be sure to bring lots of $5s and $10s before you come. Obviously it is not required and they never expect a tip, but they certainly earn it and you can tell how much they appreciate it.

There is a $10/person charge when you enter the country (again, pack lots of small bills!). You'll have to pay this for each person in your group before you can exit customs at the airport. I would also highly recommend you set up transportation with the resort before you arrive (Saskya was so helpful!). There is also airport staff to set it up for you, but after a long flight to a foreign country, it's a lot easier to have someone waiting for you. Our flight was three hours late, but our sweet driver waited for us, and even offered to share his fries and salami with us from the airport cafe outside the airport. The charge is $30 each way and it's a very short ride to the resort - less than 20 minutes.

This place is great. If you're looking for a quiet, beautiful place to stay in the D.R., you will not be disappointed! This is the only place we'd ever stay in the D.R.

Room Tip: 1-bedroom suites have much larger balconies than junior suites, but maybe not optimal views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank FranNathan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Medford, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Above all else, we came looking for a relaxing time. We found that at Alsol Del Mar.

The three of us have been friends for 6 years. We like to have some fun and get wild occasionally, but we can do that at home. This vacation was a retreat to relax, and of course have some fun after we get our share of laying out in the sun. I absolutely, without question, suggest going for the all-inclusive option. Once there, realizing all you have to pay for is some small souvenirs and tips for the staff (bring a good chunk of ones for them, they deserve it), it actually makes it more relaxing not needing to worry how much each drink or meal costs.

Arriving at this beautiful resort, you are greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne on the verandah overlooking the entire resort. We were in heaven. Prime selfie locale. We had a junior suite, on the second floor. The porch was appreciated while my friends napped and I read in the setting sun. There were a few quirks to the resort (we ordered room service one morning and had no forks in the cabinet to eat with. When requested, they never arrived.) but they were so few and far between we never let it bum us out.

The staff was what really won over my heart. Yes, the pool (and lovely, convenient pool bar) was amazing, the beach was great, the fact that there weren't many people at the resort besides us (maybe 40 people besides us, tops, in this gigantic resort) was a plus.

I corresponded with Karen over email before we got there to see if we could get a room with a view and she kindly helped. Victor checked us in and happily dealt with our excitement and answered all our questions. Michael was a ball of excitement when we had our first caipriña tasting and had a smile every single time we saw him. He led the activities and made sure we had some fun while we soaked in the sun. Miguel and Geraldino and all the bartenders were friendly and excited to pour us drinks when we wanted to have some extra fun! (Make sure to try a few shots of the Mamajuana!!!)

Definitely take a trip to Sanctuary at least for the restaurants. If you want a little more of a crowd and people to play beach volleyball with, head over there. Their pool bar was fun and we did get dragged into water aerobics on the last day but we had a lot of fun. If you meet Bottom Line Bob, talk to him long enough to get a free necklace. I still love my little wooden turtle necklace. Just saying. The atmosphere is different here however. Alsol Del Mar has fewer people, so it becomes a small community of guests. We made quite a few friends while there.

Great friends, Gorgeous hotel, and a phenomenal staff made this our best vacation together to date!! We plan to return in the next few years.

Room Tip: Request an ocean view and an upper floor so you have a little more privacy.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
5 Thank Tim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We just returned from a week at Also Del Mar. We booked the trip on a whim when it popped up on my Expedia screen. Being fair skinned and sun sensitive, we do not often vacation at the beach, but we have done all inclusive resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica. It seemed like a perfect get away after a summer filled with too many obligations and appointments. We travelled with our three children ages 16, 18, and 21.
After a quick, easy flight and a long sweaty wait in the airport immigration line, we were greeted with champagne and smiling faces at the resort. We had two junior suites which were in different buildings but fairly close. Both rooms were lovely. The kid's room faced a lagoon and had a side view of the ocean and ours was ocean front. Next time I think I would get a two bedroom suite (they have a sitting and dining area) just to have a little more space for everyone to spread out, but I think a little separation and privacy suited everyone well on this trip. We spent a lot of time on our balcony just enjoying the beautiful view.
The resort is very nice and is quiet and relaxing. We enjoyed the selection of food available in the restaurant and the beach grill.
We did visit the neighboring resort, Sanctuary, on several occasions. Their front desk was able to make change for us when ours could not, and we needed batteries and snorkel gear which we found in one of the shops. There is also a little medical office there, which was good to know. We ate at The Wok, which we thought was just ok, and The Blue Marlin, which we liked very much. Everyone was wonderful and very helpful. Our kids spent most of their time at Sanctuary. The more active atmosphere was appealing to them and the friendly staff made the feel welcome, particularly Junior, who was just wonderful. We also enjoyed the shady beach area in the hotter part of the day.
We all enjoyed exploring the lagoon beside the resort where we saw many fish in the beautiful crystal water.
The most important thing to say about this resort is that the people set it apart. I am sure there are many beautiful places to stay in Punta Cana, but I do not believe any other resort could excel at customer service like Alsol Del Mar! Every staff person we came in contact with was pleasant, hospitable, and helpful. The dining service is top notch and they will do anything they can to meet your needs. For example, one evening our older daughter was all set to have gnocchi, only to find that it was not offered that night. Edwin, our server, noticed that she was disappointed and, miraculously, the gnocchi appeared! Also, on our last day we had very little time for lunch and Santiago put together a wonderful family stye meal for us so we could catch our ride to the airport on time. These are only two small examples of the outstanding service that was such an integral part of this resort.
Our room was serviced in the morning and in the evening another maid came by to check if we needed towels or beverages. The fridge in the room was stocked with 2 beers, a coke, diet coke, and sprite, and 2 liter bottles of water. and was restocked daily. Bottled water was always available at the pool bar. Our AC was not cooling properly but after a call to the front desk it was fixed immediately.
We had such a wonderful relaxing week and wish it could have been longer! Special thanks to all the people at Also Del Mar who made it so special. Some names I do not know, but I want to recognize and thank Edwin, Confessor, Santiago, Geraldino, Jeisty, and Juan Carlos. And especially, Ezequiel, who went out of his way every day to make sure we were well taken care of and remembered that we love mango and need extra shade!. I apologize for not remembering everyone's name and I know I have misspelled some, but please know that you all made out visit so special!

Room Tip: We had 9201B and the kids had 10302B -junior suites. Next time I will request 9201 A & B as the...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank minamarkwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We came in for a wedding. The room was beautiful with a great view! Food was great by the pool! The pool was awesome and the Staff was really nice!!! BUT, The air conditioner in our room never went below 26 degrees Celsius, which is 79 degrees! At night around 230am it would stop running as if it was controlled from outside the room, and it would get up to 28 degrees!! or 82 degrees!! We stayed Friday and Saturday Night and slept from 3am-7am on Friiday and 2am-7am on Saturday. Because the upper bedroom was so uncomfortably hot, I moved down to the couch on Saturday night at 5am where it was a little bit cooler. We left our toddler with Grandma for the weekend hoping to sleep in for the first time in a year, and no such luck. Really disappointing! The worst thing is Maintainance was sent up a couple times on Saturday morning to "fix" the AC. They need to review the Air system there. We won't be back, because on vacay, we need our sleep!

Room Tip: 5301 had an awesome view and location, but if they dont fix the AC, avoid this one!!!
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ryan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

I spent a week at ALSOL Del Mar with my daughter and some friends. It was without a doubt my best holiday ever. The physical resort was spectacular. The staff was outstanding. They were personable, professional, and reliable. Special mention to Mikael the entertainment director! The food was delicious with a wide and varied selection.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank SandraOolup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alsol Del Mar

Property: Alsol Del Mar
Address: Boulevard Zona Hotelera Marina Cap Cana, Punta Cana 51101, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Alsol Del Mar 4*
Number of rooms: 122
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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