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Reviewed 19 April 2012

We are a mid 30's traveling couple and did extensive research planning this trip as it was the first time in quite a while that we would be vacationing alone without kids or other couples. We stayed for 5 nights, April 12-17. We were very impressed with most every aspect of the resort and its staff. The best thing Zoëtry has going for it is there Staff. They do try so hard to please you. The ones that stand out are Edward, Neilson, Juan Carlos, Kenny, and many others who I only remember faces. We of course had few instances where service was slow, and requests were either not understood, or forgotten, but where doesn't that occur. The fact that you tipped, or you didn’t, didn’t influence how you were treated. I will attempt to confirm or deny the previous tripadvisor posts on certain subjects as I read every one of them. Just some quick ones. Yes there are small geckos running around, but only saw one in our room, and it was about 3 inches long. We did not have any problems with bug bites per say. We had a couple here and there, and we did not even use bug spray our entire stay. If you are going to have problems, it seemed to us that it was from being out on the beach. Not sure what they are, but I would probably advise some repellant when going out there possibly. Language barrier is not as great as I have read. We had very few problems communicating. We had only one meal where we waited about 30 minutes for our main course. The rest were fine. More than enough hot water. If we had an issue, someone was right there, every time.

Punta Cana airport is much better than I thought it would be. Its open air with thatched roofs. You de-plane onto the tarmac and a bus takes you to the baggage claim area. Trip from airport is a little over an hour with no stops and yes, it’s a little bumpy, but to be honest, the long trip gives you a great chance to see what the Dominican is really like, and how the locals live. Trip back took a little longer because we stopped at Dreams and Excellence. VIP Travel services handled our transfers and highly recommend them.

When we arrived at Zoëtry, we were immediately impressed with the resort. They really have done a beautiful job with the rustic architecture and grounds. Immaculate. I enjoyed looking at how they built the massive thatched canopies in the common areas. The wooden walkways provided charm, although you do need to be careful as they are very uneven. We saw no issues with not having enough light at night to see your way. Edward took us on a tour of the resort with our welcome drink in hand, and then to our room. Our door key didn’t work, and it only happened one other time during the trip, but I can tell they have some issues with it. We loved our second floor room overlooking one of the pools. The sounds from the water jets in the pool made relaxing on our balcony great. We spent a lot of time on the balcony just watching the wildlife, and eating our meals. We had more than enough hot water the entire stay. Yes, the bathtub takes a while to fill up, and water pressure varies, but not an issue. Bed was comfortable. Plenty of storage space, and the room safe is large enough for an ipad or small laptop. The room fridge had sodas, beer, and a couple small bottles of alcohol. I did have to call room service to have it re-filled as it didn’t seem to be on their daily checklist. This was fine, as I could request exactly what I wanted. Air conditioning worked fine. It got to about 74 in the room during the day, but we had to turn it down at night. Shower drained fine

My wife and I thought the food was very good. Presentation was very well done as well. We really enjoyed eating a variety of foods, and we were not disappointed. Not sure why people think there are limited options if staying at the resort for 7 days or longer. There were at least 8 entrées on every menu, not to mention that they will make whatever you want basically. Room service was usually pretty fast, and like most everything we tried. Breakfast was either eaten on our balcony or at Amaya. French toast was excellent. The Amaya breakfast had a daily spread of fruits, pastries, and cheeses available, as well as the menu. We ate lunch at Indigo everyday. This is the restaurant out by the beach. To be honest, I only had one thing for lunch all 5 days (so much for variety) was the Lobster Pizza! They have a brick oven pizza maker, and man were they good. Of course chips and salsa were good. Salads were good, and French fries were excellent! Dinner is served at all three restaurants, Olena being the third I haven’t mentioned. Most nights one of them is either closed, or having a private event. Olena is by the lobby, and it’s the fancier of the three. We like it very much. The “Beach Party” the have on Friday nights was held in Amaya due to the strong winds. I think this is typically tried to be done on the beach from what I read in previous reviews. It was great. All the lobster and steak you want off the grill, along with pasta, and numerous other options. The wine pairing dinner is on Wed nights, so we were disappointed not to be able to attend it as we were told it was great. Desserts were fair. I loved the chocolate cake at Indigo for lunch, and the ice cream at Olena for dinner. Coco Café was a little café you could get coffee and pastries. It was very good.

Spa was great. We really enjoyed our 70 min couples massage. We added 50 min to our complimentary 20 minutes. It was $220 total. Spa is very much under utilized. We went there every afternoon to sit in the warm waters, and were alone most of the time. They were having issues with the steam room, but sauna was fine. There are switches to turn on jets and fountains located all around the pool deck. They are on timers.

There is no real nightlife at this resort of course. We loved that aspect for this trip. They play some music down in the lobby bar, and that’s about it. There are three guys that serenade you at dinner sometimes, but nights are very laid back and relaxing. On Wednesday and Friday nights they have a free shuttle that will take you to the Dreams sister resort about 15 minutes away if you want more “fun”. Other nights they will call you a cab at your expense. We didn’t go because that would again entail be getting off my lounger.

Beach was fair. Its on the Atlantic side so the wind is going to blow. Sand was good, but there was a lot of debris a couple of days. Not sure if its from the river that comes into the ocean nearby, or the windy rough weather we had a couple of days. They had guys out there cleaning it up every morning with rakes and wheelbarrows. Water cleared up fairly well our last two days. Wasn’t a big issue for us as we don’t enter the water much anyway. You could walk either direction for miles. The beach outside the resort was pretty heavily covered in debris. This is because the resort is very remote of course. We walked both directions with no issues though. No vendors harassing you which was a god send. This can be so unnerving other places we have been. Such a welcomed sight.

Pools were great. Really comfy loungers! They were constantly trying to vacuum up wind blown debris and sand out of the pools. They tried very hard.

We had no issues with the selection of alcohols either. They had top shelf selections for everything. If you want a bottle of wine, ask for a bottle and they give it to you. You want a bottle of champagne, ask for a bottle and they give it to you. You will have no problems in this area. They will bring drinks and food to you at the pools or the beach if you ask. We thought the selections of house reds and whites included in your all inclusive were good. They had many other extra cost bottles available.

We didn’t try any of the other free activities. You could wind surf or take a hobie cat out. Snorkeling didn’t look to be much of an option while we were there because of rough seas. There is coral off the beach so I think it could be an option at another time. Lots of people took advantage of the free horseback riding which looked fun, but it would entail me getting off my lounger so I didn’t do it. There were cooking classes, aqua aerobics, and dance lessons, but we just weren’t into it this time around.

We did not use the gym, but it had plenty of equipment do whatever you wanted. My wife is a personal trainer and even she didn’t workout once which really surprised me. Made me feel better though .

We were not harassed by one single timeshare person. Not even sure where they were if any.

Our favorite part of this entire stay, was the fact that everywhere we went, it felt like we were the only ones there. I know there are only 51 rooms, but it truly feels like there are 4. It was such a nice change from the overly crowded resorts we are accustomed to. It was definitely worth the extra money for this aspect alone. We would definitely return in a heartbeat to this resort. The people are so inviting and genuine, and I would like to thank them for making our trip special and memorable. We look forward to being “Welcomed Home” again!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the pools and the gardens withing the resort seem to have more privacy than the oceanfront rooms.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank jdday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paco A, Guest Relations Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2012

Dear Guest

Thank you so much for such a detailed review about your stay.

We really appreciate the fact that you mentioned the things we do right and also the ones we need to improve because that way, we keep on working hard to make them right.

We look forward to welcoming you back in our property and make your next experience even more memorable.

Namaste

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Reviewed 19 April 2012

There are many positives to Zoetry which really made me wish I enjoyed our stay. The staff is really welcoming and very friendly. They were the best part of our stay, especially the women working in the restaurants who were always so nice to my baby boy. For an all inclusive, the food really was quite good, had lobster on most dinner menus, eggs benedict in the mornings, capucino cafe on site with little patisseries. Despite previous reviews, food came promptly after ordering. Very drinkable house wines. The landscaping is quite lovely, with peacocks roaming about. The spa was very nicely done. Plenty of umbrellas and loungers on the beach without being overcrowded. My issues may not bother others, but I found the rooms to be too dark. I admit when we were first showed our room, I was immediately disappointed. Instead of being light and airy with the breeze flowing through as I would expect at the beach, they're painted a dark coral and have thatched huts, more Polynesian in theme. It felt more like being in a cave. We specifically asked for the Taino suite in order to have a separate living space as we were traveling with our infant son and wanted to be able to put him in another room for naps. The suite rooms are connected by open entry way and so not immediately adjacent. Weirdly the living spaces did not have phones or televisions which are present in the bedrooms. At one point we experienced late night disturbance by neighboring guests and despite having a living space I had to get up and walk to the managers desk so as not to wake my child. The manager was very gracious about resolving the situation the next day and moved us to villa. And again despite having a very large living space, again no phone or television to make the space functional. It's very odd. Granted one might wonder why this would be an issue but we had several days of rain and were stuck inside for large portions of the day and a television in the common area would have been entertaining on these rainy days. Both rooms we stayed in had outdoor showers with no other options. Normally this would be quite luxurious but due to the rain, the mosquitos were out in full force and with the added humidity of the open shower area, it felt like i was always fighting off the bugs. As I take showers at night, this often felt a little creepy. And to make it more uncomfortable the pathway toward the commode was through the shower room, I felt like I was always tiptoeing on the floor to avoid the wet areas. The beaches were okay but had a significant amount of seaweed. Having never been to Punta Cana before, I can't compare it to other areas on the island. My gauge for rating vacation spots is based on how much I miss my own home. And that's the problem, halfway through our stay, I started counting the days because I missed the dry comfort of my home.

Room Tip: Would not book the Taino suite. I suspect the second floor rooms are bit nicer and likely not as a dark.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank frugalgourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlainBERTHELOT, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2012

Dear guests:

Thank you for your review and many postive comments.

Concerning your particular issues, we are truly sorry to hear that even after moving you to a different Suite - you saw exactly that the living room was separate, etc. -, you still chose to stay in it without apparently being totally convinced; we really wish we could have made you happier / actually, many guests appreciate very much our outdoor showers in that type of Villa-Suite...

Even though controlling nature is beyond our control, we still try to daily remove as much algae, etc. as possible from our beach; also, when it rains, we have several indoor activities available for our guests.

Should you need any additional information, please contact us at Concierge.Zoapc@Zoetryresorts.com .

In the meantime, we thank you again and look forward to welcoming you again to our wondrous paradise - especially, so you can kindly give us a chance to show you our improvements -.

Best regards,

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Reviewed 17 April 2012

They have perfect resort concepts and staff to be a 5 star only if they were better located and spent more on maintenance and bug control (at least in the rooms).
The beach is on the worst side of the bay where debris wash-up and brownish water are not inviting. That is probably contributing to the excess number of beach bugs that can leave you with itchy red dots all over your nice tan.
Apart from the fact that our roof was leaking, the rooms have high humidity which is probably contributing to the presence of cockroach and bed bugs that can also alter you tan by lack of sleep.
The pathway is original but, just like most of the villas (leaking roof and worn out wood), would need renovation.

Room Tip: Ask for second floor for better view.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Marc R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlainBERTHELOT, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2012

Dear guests:

Thank you for your review.

We respect your own, very personal opinions about our location / our resort is nestled in a beautiful, secluded tropical natural area...

We do fumigate constantly and our maintenance staff is always working to better our product.

Should you need any additional information, please contact us at Concierge.Zoapc@Zoetryresorts.com .

In the meantime, we thank you again and look forward to welcoming you again to our wondrous paradise - especially, so you can kindly give us a chance to show you our improvements -.

Best regards,

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Reviewed 17 April 2012

From the moment that the staff says "welcome home", to the door opening on Junior Suite #19, we knew that this was going to be a most excellent vacation. Size does indeed matter and the smaller the better as far as my husband and I are concerned. There are so many staff members ready at your beck and call in this 51 room resort that you almost start feeling a little guilty at all the pampering. Trust me, you do get accustomed to it. The room was beautiful, the grounds exquisite, the staff delightful, kind and caring, the food muy excellente! Drinks were flowing non-stop and even when it rained, we still felt as though we were cradled in the lap of luxury. Definitely time for practicing Spanish, but you are after all, in the DR. Relax and let go. By the time it is time to leave, "welcome home" is no longer a cliche, it is indeed, the truth.

Room Tip: I really do not believe there are any "bad" rooms. It would be very helpful however, if couples who bring infants are not placed near any who do not. Only had two couples this time, but it was still uncomfortable for the predominantly adult clientele.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank evike_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paco A, Guest Relations Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2012

Dear Valued Guests,

Thank you for letting us know that you enjoyed your visit to our hotel.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards...

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Reviewed 17 April 2012

There are good things about this resort, it is quiet, the staff are extremely friendly and helpful, the gardens are very pretty, the communal areas have scale and are architecturally arresting, and the rooms are of a good size.

Having said that, we had a terrible time, the longer we stayed the more we wanted to leave.

The main fault about this resort is the voracious insect population. My wife and I were bitten all day and all night, every day we were there. It is no exaggeration to say that by the time we left, we were completely covered from head to foot in over 150 extremely itchy bites each. These bites didn't come solely from mosquito's. Other guests were also riddled with bites.
In the evenings we always covered up and wore jungle strength repellent. The entire resort was bombed one night with insect killer and our room was fumigated twice and still we were bitten - a lot.

The advertised free activities are simply vehicles to actively generate extra cash.
Short horse rides commenced with photos, and were followed by aggressive attempts to extort money for overpriced items, covered in pictures of you on a horse.
The free massage was followed by various leaflets advertising very overpriced treatments.
The free water-sports were of limited choice, and always came with an offer of one of two expensive trips elsewhere. Every day the water-sports guy tried to sell us a trip, even giving us his cell number when he had a day off.
One night there was an art display, everything was for sale, coupled with some of the most persistent selling, all evening, every time you passed.

There were three restaurants, but every night there would only be a choice of two and sometimes only one.
Our British Airways holiday brochure was misleading regarding the available restaurant choice, also stating there are two restaurant choices for breakfast, there is one.
The quality of the cooking was mediocre at best. The menu was badly conceived, and in some cases was nothing better than over-decorated inedible rubbish. Very little of the fish was fresh and locally caught, and a considerable amount of the vegetables looked frozen and prepacked. To their credit, when we complained, they did their best to make our dining experience better, but off-menu was the only way to get better food.
There was no chef at the entire resort during our stay, just cooks, and it showed at every meal.

The facilities were also on the poor side, the main pool had flaked paint floating around abundantly.
Our room jacuzzi had many tiles missing, and the sink waste pipe leaked, needing repair.
The gym equipment was quite old and the gym was too hot with weak air-con.
The steam room was broken; when fixed it was like a steam room but with the equivalent of a small kettle on simmer providing the entertainment.
There were permanent repairs taking place, not maintenance but full blown catch-up repairs.

I cannot recommend this place at all, which is a real shame because all the staff, from housekeeping to the general manager were exceptional and tried really hard. But there are issues here in the most important areas that utterly ruined our experience.

Room Tip: Choose a room in a different resort
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Ackhurst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlainBERTHELOT, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2012

Dear guests:

Thank you for your review andknd comments regarding our staff.

We apologize for the inconviences you encountered over your stay; please find our comments per each point you have kindly listed, as follows, respectively:

- Bugs: as we are in the middle of a tropical paradise jungle / isloated, there are indeed jungle bugs in our property; although we fumigate contstantly and thoroughly, totally controlling nature's way is beyond our capability;

- Horse-ride: this is the first instance we hear about and will investigate with our third-party vendor/Horse ranch, in order to fix any TBC potential hard-sell techniques they may be using without our knowledge or consent;

- SPA: our sample massage indeed is complimentary for all our guests and again, this is the first time we hear any sort of complaint about this amenity; perhaps in your specific case, there was a slight confusion...of course, in the end each of our guests is free to simply take the complimentary 20 min treatment, without any further committments;

- Water-sports: all freely-included activities are available as advertised; depending on each guests' interests, the staff offers off-property excursions which logically come at an extra charge; yet, here again, we have never heard of any hard-sell whatsever and each guest is fre to choose as they wish; actually, most of the time we hear good comments about this third-party partner, beacuse their friendly staff give are very informative and always willing to assist;

- Art display: in this case, we have already spoken once more to our vendor, as to avoid overwhelming our guests;

- For a 51 Suite resort, we believe our Food & Beverage offer to be very adequate; we always have at least 2 Breakfast options (i.e. Amaya restaurant and Coco Cafe), as well as Room Service and event the Indigo Resturant when applicable; we are sorry that the Menus & respective dish preparations was not to you particular liking; this said, when told we are known to always provide our guests with any dish they would like us to prepare, in any fashion - if ordered, even fish & chips...even though, we believe that part of travelling to different countries entails having an open-mind as to explore new Culinary experiences, local fare; etc.

- As you witnessed, in order to up-keep our beautiful & nature-friendly resort we constantly are maintaining our facilities in consequence;

- As of today, Sunday 22 April, 2012 we have brand-new, state-of-the-arte Gym Equipment, whcih we hoope you can use for yourself in the near future;


Should you need any additional information, please contact us at Concierge.Zoapc@Zoetryresorts.com .

In the meantime, we thank you again and look forward to welcoming you soon once more to our wondrous paradise - especially, so you can kindly give us a chance to show you our on-going product & service improvements -.

Best regards,

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