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Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
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Reviewed 18 April 2010

This is one of the more difficult reviews I’ve written; I’m so torn about the experience I had at Zoetry. In some ways, it felt like a fabulous 5* getaway. However, at times I just wanted to go home early. I rely heavily on the reviews I read on TA, so I want to be thorough, detailed and honest about our stay with the hopes that it will educate future travelers.

My fiancé and I spent 5 nights at Zoetry Agua over the Easter holiday. We were looking for peace and quiet, relaxation, good food, good drinks, and some sun. The pictures and info on the website coupled with the reviews made me believe Zoetry was the place to find what we were searching for.

The transfer service went off without a hitch. When we exited the airport, our driver was already waiting with a smile. Many glasses of champagne and about an hour later, we arrived at the resort. The ride was much easier on the way to Zoetry since we couldn’t wait to experience the resort. Our luggage was whisked away and we were checked in within a moment and off on our tour.

The grounds are amazingly beautiful and peaceful. I can’t say for sure what the occupancy level was when we were there (we heard anywhere between 20-40%) but we never felt like there were many people besides us. This was one of my absolute favorite things about Agua. At times, you really do feel like you have the entire resort to yourself: the gardens, the restaurants, the beach or the pool. There’s no fighting for chairs here, no need to wake up at the crack of dawn to get a good spot. They really try to emphasize relaxation and tranquility here.

The room we booked was a Jr. Suite with a garden view - #9. The rooms, as everyone has already mentioned, are beautiful. I especially loved the mix of rustic and modern amenities/feel of the room. However, once we checked in and got settled, the issues began. I won’t drag on about the problems we experienced but if you are interested in asking questions, please don’t hesitate to send me a private message.

• The blinds in the bathroom were stuck partially open when we arrived, so I was unable to take a shower without displaying my “au natural” self to the other guests.
Although we called maintenance, it took nearly an hour for them to arrive. This normally wouldn’t be a huge concern, but given the emptiness of the resort, we would have hoped for slightly quicker service. We had just arrived and I really wanted to freshen up!

• There was no pillow menu as described online.

• Our international phone calls would not go through. We had to call the front desk multiple times to have them put the calls through, but this often didn’t work either.

• Food service was spotty- about 9/10 times the wrong food was brought to us. For example, one morning we ordered two orders of French toast and an omelet with ham and cheese. We got one order of pancakes and an omelet with onions. We ordered one pineapple and one grapefruit juice and got orange. This happened all the time!

• Housekeeping was not 3 times/day, as described. This wasn’t a particularly serious issue to us; however, the housekeepers would leave large piles of garbage (room service plates, empty bottles of champagne) in the corner of the room rather than disposing of it.

• Around 3am on our second night, we awoke to a large THUD sound. Our air conditioning had broken and it started making a horrible pounding noise which could not be stopped.

• Both my travel agent and I had communicated with the resort to ensure we would be able to horseback ride over the holiday. Both of us were promised this would not be an issue…until we got to the resort and we were told we could NOT horseback ride.

• Drink service on the beach was painfully slow – 45 minutes at times to wait for 2 bottles of water.

After a couple of underwhelming days, we decided we needed to have our room switched. We were told by reception that they would send Natalia to us immediately. 45 minutes later she hadn’t arrived and, when we called back, they said she was off the property. They said they would switch our room to the one next door but we would have to wait a few hours.

At this point, I just wanted to go home. However, this is when things began to turn around. We asked to speak with Natalia Redondo, the GM of Zoetry Agua as soon as she arrived back on the property. This woman is an absolute gem. She cares SO much about the resort, the guests and does her job incredibly well. She listened to our concerns, displayed genuine empathy, and resolved our issues immediately. The rest of the trip, we received 5* service. We were given a GORGEOUS Caribe Suite with a plunge pool and outdoor shower. Natalia also arranged for a private dinner in the resort “gazebo” that was delicious, memorable and very intimate. Lastly, Natalia was able to set up a private horseback riding session for my fiancé and I. It was plainly obvious that she wanted to ensure that we had the experience we had hoped for and intended to have.

Had we not asked to speak with Natalia, I would have been horribly disappointed with our experience. However, she made the rest of our stay as good as it could have been (within her own control.) Were there issues after the move? Yes – our shower was very hard to regulate in terms of water temp (scalding hot or freezing cold), one night there was no hot water at all! The plunge pool did not get cleaned and refilled daily and at times was too dirty to swim in. The food still ranged from excellent (steaks, risotto, crab lasagna, tres leches cake) to really unappetizing. Service still varied, but we absolutely loved Richard, Juan and Javier, who went above and beyond in SO many ways.

Some additional highlights: the Saturday night beach party, the mamajuana drinks, the super clean beach with its soft sand and the hammock in front of our suite which was perfect for reading in.

When all was said and done, we decided we most likely wouldn’t return. I feel we spent too much on the trip to warrant such a spotty experience. I can't justify spending that much again for such a gamble. We enjoyed portions of our stay and Zoetry Agua has definite potential, but it’s just not there yet.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank lostinmadrid28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZoetryAguaGM, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2010

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your detailed review, personally I thank you dearly for your kind words towards me, I am profoundly passionate about what I do and I am pleased to learn that not only does it show but it also contributes to make a difference.

While you were here and in our conversation, you expressed all the concerns and incidents you have addressed in your review; our improvement course of action is permanent, believe me when I tell you that none of what happens that is outside of the wonderful experience we want to make sure we provide our guests with, goes unnoticed.

We are working particularly on training, follow up gurantee systems and daily operation enhancements.

Once again, thank your for your time, we are working hard since it is very clear for us where we want to go, Zoetry Agua will be one of the top hotels in the Caribbean and we certainly hope that by then we will have the pleasure to have you back for another stay.

All our best wishes for your upcoming wedding, kind regards from Javier and Juan.

Yours truly,

Natalia Redondo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2010

After researching just about every island and every resort in the Caribbean I came across this little gem tucked in a canopy of palm trees. It had everything we were looking for. Small (51 rooms), all inclusive ala cart, beautiful grounds, simple yet extremely comfortable rooms and a staff so friendly they felt like family.
After a false start (AA lost our luggage) we fell right into relaxation mode. Our luggage was retrieved and delivered the following day.
Upon arrival we were greeted with a welcome drink and smiles from every one. We were shone the property and then to our room. We stayed in the Tiano suite which has a separate sitting area which is nice because my husband likes to read late into the night or early morning. The patio had a view of the ocean inviting us to sit and enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while the sun set. We stayed for 11 nights and the dinner choices at the 3 restaurants were a nice selection so not to ever have to choose anything more than once if you didn't want to.
Not enough can be said about the staff. I got to know almost everyone by their first name and was greeted each day with hugs and kisses. ANY thing you asked for was greeted with a smile, professionalism and promptly. If I had any complaint it would be that the walk from the lobby to the rooms and the beach could use some shading. The sun can be mighty strong and I avoided walking through miday. Christina is director of activities and was absolutely wonderful. We wanted to go diving and she arranged everything with a nearby hotel to take us across the Island to the Caribbean side whee the water is a little calmer. The ride over and back was fun as was the dive trip and the BBQ lunch on the beach.
I have nothing but wonderful memories and have come to love the people of the DR, they are a blessed people with much love in their hearts. Thank you all for making our stay PERFECT!
As to a couple of other postings from people who stayed the same time we did. I agree that this resort should be have adults only policy.
The mosquitoes weren't as bad as I read in the review. I came prepared with a bottle of vitamin B, Off repellent and some anti-itch cream. I only got bit 3 times and gave my stock pile away to another couple before we left. If your susceptible to getting bit start taking vitamin B a week before your trip. It truly helps.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gailsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2010

Me and my husband traveled to zoetry march 19-march 23, what we expected was a luxury small resort, with exceptional service, luxurious spa etc. I have to say it definitely came up short for us. We are pretty much easy to please and when on vacation I really never feel the need to complain, however there were some issues that truly aggravated us and left me disappointed. The style of the resort is lovely, and the idea behind the style of the rooms and such are nice but not luxury by my standards- I'm not a snob but working in the field I do and my previous travel destinations allow me to be a little critical. The rooms are very simple, kind of a tiki hut feel to them, flat screen tv (that only has one channel-but we don't watch tv anyway), 4 post bed, large bathroom with a soaking tub and shower. So here is where my complaints begin, HOT WATER- or how about even warm water? I could not get a consistent shower of warm water, not even hot-just warm would have sufficed- it was to me a nightmare (especially being 6 months pregnant) and 1 day we had no water- which brings me to why have a beautiful bath in a room if you can't fill it with warm water or any water- let alone hot water? I complained about this a few times but nothing was done so we got over it, but to me hot water isn't a luxury when paying what you do a night, it's expected- Our bed was unstable,it moved and made noises when you sat on it, someone came to look at it and tried to fix it by putting rocks (from the bathroom area) to stabilize the bed, well you know how that worked LOL- Found a few "critters" in my room, which I kind of choke up to just being in the DR, but I've stayed in beautiful hotels in the carribean and never came across that little problem- room service, was never consistent, there were numerous times that they didn't have what you asked for, at times didn't show up, etc- and we tipped- a lot! anyone who helped us we were very generous, from being served any meal ($10 at lunch, $10 pool service for just water bottles, and $20 at dinner). The gym area really needs to be updated, it was very very small, and very old machines, no stability balls and just not enticing. We thought there would be yoga classes daily but there wasn't. They had a stretching class though that was OK. The spa area is nice, just nice, but again for a "spa resort" the spa menu choices were to us very limited- and again the language barrier was a problem but you can get around that, but the steam room was broken the entire time we were there and again disappointed my husband as well as other guests. Finding towels in the Spa was also a daily issue. Towels at the pool, every day there was a problem, not enough, weren't available, etc- that is just ridiculous, and then a no ice problem existed as well, all resorting to the water issue at the hotel. There were glitches for us everyday but I think the only reason they really bothered me enough to complain was the price to stay here, don't charge four seasons prices and not meet up to standards that are even close.
Now to the positives, the food was really good, Fresh and tasty...we enjoyed the healthy options, and the service in the restaurants was great. The location is beautiful, the beach and water were more beautiful and the weather was fantastic.
One of our highlights of our trip was meeting with Charles Wills, me and my husband met with him for a session and really love what he is trying to do and promote for people with various conditions, disorders and diseases. His research and philosophies were educational and intriguing. His basic premise is based on stress management techniques to help people function better with things such as sleep disorders, pain and inflammation, weight management and digestive type disorders etc... He was a very nice guy and we could have spent hours just talking to him because the subjects were very interesting and personal. If you have any health concerns or just live a stressful life like most of us, it would be well worth it to at least speak to him and see if you would be interested in a consultation. I highly recommend it as it can be life changing for some. Overall it is somewhere where I would like to return to stay but management has to figure out how to correct some of these issues. The water issue has to be resolved, service has to improve, the Gym could use some updating and regular yoga classes would be nice. I feel that management may be looking for more of a retreat like setting but this place would be a perfect wellness type spa resort with just a little more attention to detail.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank alb1017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZoetryAguaGM, General Manager at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2010

Dear guest,

Thank you for your review and the time dedicated to it, we highly appreciate your feedback. I would certainly like to begin with our sincere apologies for the incidents occurred during your stay with us.

Regarding hot water, during the week of your stay unfortunately we encountered technical problems with our general water heating facilities which affected the regularity and stability of the hot water supply (actually, you will see that some other reviews that comment on the same issue, were with us during the same time). I am very sorry that our staff was not able to give you a more accurate explanation about it.
As for Room Sevice, we have incorporated a qualified Supervisor who has a detailed action plan to improve drastically the quality of this department, his dedication and committment are already showing results. The shortage of towels, water and ice were the result of a problem with our supply at that time, we have been able to find the adequate alternative with the guarantee of this situation never to happen again.
Finally, the gym is the course of being upgraded with more equipment and accesories, nevertheless we will incorporate more activities shortly in order to give alternatives for working out and keeping fit while staying with us.

I do want to concentrate on your final statement at the end of your review, where you say you would return if we are able to solve it all and uplift our attention to detail, we have either solved it already or are in the process with clear deadlines, would you give us a second chance then? Please contact me at info.zoapc@zoetryresorts.com or in Facebook through my profile Natalia Zoetry Agua, and I would appreciate it if we could work together on an option that would allow us to make it up to you and show you how serious we are about offering outstanding service and a wonderful overall experience.

Our sincere best regards,

Natalia Redondo
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2010

My wife and me spent 4 days in Zoetry last January. We were looking for a small and quiet hotel to rest for a long weekend. In our experience, Zoetry is the perfect place for that. The hotel is really beautiful, and the location is fantastic, as it is at the end of a very long beach, with all the big, noisy, all-inclusive hotels 20-25 away walking on the beach. We chose a room on the second floor by the see. Amazing!!. It was like having a house by the beach because the area is almost empty so all you see from the room is 2-4 meters of grass, 40-50 meters of sand, and a very calm see (with tasteful illumination at night. Perfect!!).
Another great thing for us was that the hotel is small and those days, it was quite empty so, many times it felt like we were the only guest.
Finally, the staff. I have been very surprised by 1-2 reviews I have seen complaining about the staff. Either we were in a different hotel, or they have a serious problem. This people were the most friendly I have found in any hotel in Europe or America, (meaning the continent). I understand the critics some travelers have about most of them not speaking english, but I saw all of them giving 100% trying to communicate and please non-spanish speaking guests. They often brought us snacks when we were at the beach, or by the pool. Cooked for us many local dishes out of the menu. In summary, they were all the time with a big smile, trying to please us in anything we needed.
In summary, a very beautiful hotel, fantastic location, and even better staff. We will go back for sure!.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank YariAngel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2010

We had a fabulous time. The staff was extremely friendly and accomodating. We especially appreciated Jose and Gregorio at the Canoa bar and Jordania and Rosa at the Indigo bar. Ernique and Andre were fabulous for food. Javier, David and Fernando were excellent servers. Our stay could not have been better! We wish everyone could have as good as stay as we enjoyed.The staff is what makes this resort spectacular!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kgrabow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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