Engaging, to say the least.
April 30 to May 7, 2012
We made some friends from Newfoundland, reconnected with each other, and got engaged on our trip. On the way home, I had the window seat which reminded me just how small we are and how we should cherish every moment, rain or shine.
Check-in and Room: No issues, except they put us in a room looking onto the reconstruction of the pool bar and steak house that burned to ashes just a few weeks before our arrival. We asked for a nice room and that's what we got. We didn't ask to be moved because I had emailed in advance for a room in building number two knowing that it was close to the beach. It was actually right in the middle of the beach and the main lobby which was perfect for us. If we go back, I want that same room given that all the construction will be done by then and it will be kick-butt to have the pool bar right outside. The room was musty but we knew that in advance and brought along air fresheners. Smart right? They were cheap from the dollar store and did not work. I will bring Febreeze next time. The bathroom is open, but the toilet and shower have doors on them. If you need privacy getting dressed, bring a shower curtain or bed sheet and some tacks, you'll know what to do with them.
Language: I've heard of people complaining about the poor English at the resort. Shocking since you are visiting a Spanish speaking country, really? The person at the front desk was a little hard to understand but we managed. Also, it's fun to pick up a little Spanish and use it throughout the week. By the end of the week Victor was calling me Jefa (Heffa) which is the female word for Boss. Jefe (Hefay) is the male, but I wasn't about to start calling him that.
Weddings: Lots of weddings. There was a group with over 70 guests there. The other weddings were smaller and we peeked in on them to check out the dresses and decor. The beach weddings seemed a little too breezy for me and considering the amount of rain we had, too risky as well. The weddings in the pagoda were pretty and understated...and small. Not sure how you would fit any more than five guests in there. There were lots of wedding photos being taken on the beach that looked like a lot of fun.
Weather: It did rain a couple of afternoons and through the night. We soaked up the sun on the beach every morning and then went to the pool for some drinks when the sky started to darken. Once the rain came we went back to our room, napped, and got ready for dinner. It worked out just fine.
Reservations It sort of sucked having to line up to make dinner reservations every day but it made sense to do it that way. If you booked for the full week, it wouldn't be fair for people arriving the next day. Also, due to the fire, the steak restaurant was gone and therefore you had to make reservations at the resort next door if you wanted a steak dinner. I think once the resort is back to normal the lineup won't be so bad because you do not have to make reservations for the steak restaurant normally. It was really annoying to wait in line and find out the restaurant you wanted was fully booked - they should put a notice up as the restaurants get booked up. It made a lot of people angry.
Buffet The buffet was like anywhere else. They did have a lobster night one night and some other themed night that I couldn't figure out. I'm picky and I ate well at the buffet, morning, noon, and night.
Coffee It's worth mentioning that if you want a good cappuccino you have to go to the upstairs lobby bar in the morning and the buffet 'cafe' after dinner. Tiger puts on quite a light show if you ask for a coffee with liquor in it. They call him Tiger because he looks like Tiger Woods he says.
Japanese Restaurant Obama puts on quite a show. (Yes, he looks just like Obama, hence the name.) The clanging of the utensils almost killed me, but otherwise he was very entertaining. The food was probably the best meal I had at the resort, although a little on the salty side.
French I remarked to Victor that they must be trying to make it an authentic experience because they were actually quite snooty to us in this restaurant. The food was OK.
Steak House (at Majestic Elegance) The food was pretty good, they brought us some extra sausages and had a laugh with me when I spilled my drink. The service there was almost too good, we had three or four servers checking on us! They were all good-humoured guys.
Mexican: Even Victor couldn't find anything to interest him. I had some guacamole (spicy) with chips, then we went to the buffet.
Chinese: We got bumped by the large wedding party and didn't get a chance to try it.
Beach BBQ: We had this for lunch a few days - it was so good! They even had payaya on the beach one day to Victor's utter delight.
Favourite Food: There were these almond desserts at the buffet and at the BBQ that just blew my mind. I think they were made with sliced almonds and honey and then baked. They were perfection. And they might have even been good for me.
Food Tips: Remember to grab a couple of apples from the buffet for a mid-morning snack. Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you need to completely neglect your most important food group! Rinse it off with bottled water, not tap, of course.
Water: I loved that bottled water was available all day long and at any bar. It was nice not having to chase the maids down for it like at other resorts. Do they recycle in Dominican? I didn't see any recycle bins and I probably tossed enough water bottle to make a boat to sail back home in. Stay hydrated!
Romantic Dinner on the Beach: Worth every penny. Although we did have to again go the resort next door for this. It was a lovely night. The food was pretty good and the servers left you alone to be together. The setting was perfect. We reminded each other about the things we appreciate and love in one another and then he took a ring from his pocket and asked me to marry him...someday. As close to perfect as it can get. I now have a beautiful proposal story. Thanks Honey.
Drinks: Dirty Monkey and Dirty Banana - so good! The Majestic is yummy as well.
Entertainment: Karaoke was a blast, but I think just because we were lucky enough to be there the same week as a group of entertainers (the 70 plus wedding group). It was the best karaoke I've ever seen. Credit also goes to the guy hosting who would make each performer take shots of mamajuana (Dominican Viagra or so they say). He also busted everyone's balls and made them do a sexy dance after they performed.
The same guy along with a sidekick dressed in a scuba suit named Tuti, were the hosts of the Mr. Sexy and Bikini contests on the beach. FUNNY, really, really, funny stuff!
The entertainment in the theatre was TERRIBLE. Victor said it best when he said it was like watching a high school production. We left when they massacred Bohemian Rhapsody at the Tribute Night or whatever that was. I will say that their dancing was pretty good...but even Ashley Simpson would be appalled by their lip syncing abilities.
There was a beer drinking contest at the pool - say no more. I'm getting in on that next time!
Sand & Sea: I had a blast snorkeling every day. We took a banana with us every morning from the buffet to feed the fish - and there were tons! Like any resort, you had to get up early to get a good spot in the shade. There were plenty of staff on the beach to take your drink orders. I was feeling so at ease on the beach that I even went topless on our last day. You can walk along the beach and see the other resorts. Majestic by far, had the nicest location on the beach. Other resorts' beach areas were full of seaweed and just not as pretty.
Pool: Despite missing the pool bar, the pool was fun. There was a volleyball net and another bar just outside of the pool.
Gym: The gym was fine. The man who worked there was a nice guy and spent time talking to Victor. He really knew his stuff and was giving people advice. Of course not Victor, because he is a pro at everything he does. It was nice being on the treadmill facing the window. There was a tiny bright green lizard that I watched jump from leaf to leaf and climb up a post. Can't say the view is quite as good at the community centre gym back home. I made it to the gym three times on my vacation but haven't been able to get back into my routine now that I'm home. Oh the irony!
Culture: We met a man at the bar who was travelling alone. His name was Dejon (pronounces Dayon). He was from Serbia originally, lived in the UK and worked in Italy at a ski resort/vacation company there. They gave him credits to travel with each year and he told us that he often travelled alone all over the world. He said he like to see the underbelly of the places he goes to and so he always rents a car. He told us that he had been to a cock fight just that week! He apologised to me for how crude that sounded. He was an interesting man. As a matter of fact, Victor and I nick-named him The Most Interesting Man in the World...like the Dos Equis guy. It was Dejon that told me about the faceless doll. The life size dolls in the lobby had already caught my eye. They were so lovely and oddly faceless. The story goes that they are faceless because when Christopher Columbus came to the Dominican, he brought with him the Spanish and Slaves. They all eventually mixed with the Taíno tribes already present and the races all became mixed. DR celebrates their lack of a defined race and therefore their equality as a people by leaving the faces blank on these ceramic dolls. The skin tone varies on the dolls as well for the same reason. I took home five of the little beauties.
One more thing to note is how pushy the vendors are. They will stand right in front of you to try to stop you from passing their shop. If you show any interest in an item, they will immediately put it in a bag for purchase. We had a lot of fun with the vendors. There was a set of twin brothers - great guys - that we chatted with. You just have to be firm in your intentions and DO NOT pay more than 20% of what they tell you the price is.
Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g147293-d578371-Reviews-Majestic_Colonial_Punta_Cana-Punta_Cana_Dominican_Republic.html
http://www.majestic-resorts.com/en/majestic-colonial-hotel-punta-cana.html Pin It