Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
February 16, 2003
We would walk to the beach, rather than sit around and wait for the shuttle. We felt a little unwelcome sometimes, as there was no place to buy food or drinks at any of the hotels along the beach, which are all-inclusive.
We were very disappointed with our options for eating out for dinner and supper -- within the resort complex, there was one Chinese restaurant, a restaurant at the golf course, a Pizza Hut and a lounge/restaurant at the shopping plaza.
We weren't aware until we got there that the complex was so isolated from any towns -- in Mexico, our hotel was right in town within walking distance of more than 50 places to eat, and there were several bars and restaurants on the beach. So most days in the D.R. we would either bring our own drinks to the beach, or walk about 15 minutes up the beach away from the hotels to where the locals had set up their own little restaurants. We could get a nice cool Presidente (the national beer) or a frosty Coke, for $1 or $2.
The beach was clean and calm, although there was good body surfing in some spots where waves breaked. There was also lots of coral in front of the Fun Tropicale's beach bar, so if you wanted to swim you would have to walk a little ways down the beach to find sandy bottom.
In the evening, we enjoyed relaxing by the pool with a rum and coke and watching the nightly entertainment. Local entertainers put on some lively, well-prepared Broadway-style shows. They would also try and get hotel guests up on stage for various contests, which was funny as long as you're not the one they select.
For our last three days, we opted in to the all-inclusive program and felt so special when they wrapped that blue plastic bracelet around our wrists! Now we belonged! We enjoyed being able to order fun tropical drinks. We weren't too impressed with the food at the buffet -- it was rather tasteless and bland, although there was a good variety. It really was geared towards a North American palette and featured things you would find at your local Buffet World. We thought it was rather ironic that they had a Mexican theme night one of the evenings we were all-inclusive, with tacos and other Mexican food, but no Dominican dishes to speak of.
We ate one night at the Italian restaurant, where the meals were prepared on a smaller scale and you could order seafood, and it was quite delicious. The pizza snack bar by the pool was good, and the snack food served at the beach bar was also okay.
While the hotel itself was great, we didn't like being inside the compound that was the Playa Dorada tourist trap, a sanitized representation of the D.R. that gives visitors absolutely no idea of what the country is really like. I'm sure there are people who never left its well guarded gates, but I would highly recommend getting out -- take the bus, take a taxi, take a tour and get out. Don't travel all the way there to just sit at your hotel!
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