Traveled May 30 - June 5, 2014 Note: There is a rooftop terrace in at least one building by the beach - standing at the lobby looking towards the beach it's the building closest to the beach, on the right. Hike up to the 4th floor and you'll find a great spot to take in the views of the entire beach - it's gorgeous! There was never anyone up there, and no indication that it was even there (that I noticed anyways)... just something we stumbled upon one day... I booked the Seas the Deal package and ended up with Breathless. It was a little disappointing at first, as I had my heart set on Iberostar Grand... but I ended up being perfectly happy at Breathless. It's a bit far from the airport, so I recommend private transportation instead of shared - definitely worth the extra money. That way you're not stopping at a bunch of resorts on the way, wasting more time. I've booked through CheapCaribbean.com 3 times now and have never had any issues with anything, including the transportation they arrange for you. It's great to know everything is setup and ready to go upon your arrival. This is the first time I did private transportation and will continue to do so in the future - you get the same van, but you don't have to worry about being packed in and stopping all over the place. The resort - it's great, not too big, not too small, and brand new. You can walk from the lobby to the beach in 5 minutes or less. At night, all of the pathways are lit up with neat color changing lights - a nice touch, I thought. The rooms are nice, nothing fancy or different from other places I've been, but most definitely good enough. I will say that upon checking in, we did upgrade to the xhale club with a swimup room... not sure I can recommend it. I've always wanted to try a swimup room, so that part was cool... but the cost (just shy of $500 US) wasn't worth it. I would have been just as happy in another room without the xhale upgrades, which really didn't seem to be anything at all (in my opinion). There was a private portion of the beach and a special restaurant available to xhale members only - the beach was nice, but no better than the "regular" part. The restaurant, Strip Grill (I believe), wasn't something I tried, so can't comment about it. The pool right outside our room was private as well, and there was another one closer to the beach. My advice - try out the regular rooms/services before upgrading to xhale, you may find that it's not a necessary expenditure. Beach - lovely! The beach sort of curves in and out instead of just a straight shot, which I liked. The sand is not white like closer to the airport (Bavaro beach, I believe), but gorgeous anyways. During our stay there were plenty of chairs to choose from. It was a bit breezy out there, so most days we were posted up at one of the pools... but no complaints about the beach. We also borrowed one of the kayaks for a bit, which was fun (and free). Pools - awesome! There are several pools to choose from and my favorite was the "party pool" towards the front. It had a second, elevated pool with clear side and bottom, which was really cool. Most of the time they had some music playing or the E-team was there doing some kind of event. Service - not bad at all! My friend and I are tippers, so maybe this affected service. There was always someone getting you drinks no matter where you were - beach, pools - even sometimes sitting out on our balcony at our room (may have been because of xhale/swimup room). They always seemed happy, which is a miracle considering they're there from sun up to sun down just about every day. Restaurant service was good as well, no complaints. The bottom line - these people work hard and were a pleasure to be around - they deserve some tips here and there!! I will say that housekeeping seemed to be on an odd schedule... they didn't come at all one day, and usually late afternoon/evening on the other days, but always different. It wasn't a huge deal, just odd. We had a towel issue a few times, but a quick call to the appropriate department and someone was always there to rectify the issue. Entertainment - magnifico! We only got to catch a couple of the nightly shows, but they are definitely worth it. World-class? No... but pretty darn good! The circus one was my favorite. The E-team folks really do a great job, throughout the resort. I recommend the shows to everyone - they are a great way to unwind in the late evening, with drink service, of course! The E-team does activities at the beach/pools throughout the day, but they were never in your face or over the top trying to get people to participate... they had fun with it, left you alone if you wanted, and kept everyone entertained. Great job! Food - delicious! We are not foodies, but the food was pretty darn good. The breakfast buffet is pretty standard and has plenty to offer, no complaints. We had lunch at the hamburger place at the beach and that was good as well. Dinner at Spumante (Italian) was our favorite. We tried Coquette (French) and while I'm sure it wasn't bad, it just wasn't our style. Silk City hibachi was good, but not much of a show like I'm used to at other hibachi places... he kind of just stood back there and cooked (note - you do need reservations for hibachi, but nothing else). I really enjoyed the sushi they served prior to dinner. The dinner buffet was like breakfast - pretty standard, not bad. Drinks - good, most of the time. My friend and I enjoy our cocktails, and we're not lightweights. If you order a drink off the menu or simply ask them to make you something, it will most likely taste fine but it will be weak... and they'll use cheap liquor. BUT... specify a liquor, drink, etc., and they will be happy to make it for you. People that complain about the drinks are nuts... all you have to do is politely ask for what you want. Want it strong? "Fuerte". We sipped on Absolut, Stoli, among others all week. I will say that the bar at the pool closest to the beach was the toughest one to get a "top shelf" drink.... I don't know if they just didn't have the good stuff or what... but any other bar it wasn't a problem. Overall this trip was fabulous. Our second time to Punta Cana, and Breathless didn't disappoint. Sure there will be little things here and there that could improve, but when you're in paradise it's hard to worry about it. I would have no problem returning to Breathless and/or recommending it to others. *****If you have any issues or are not happy with something there, just let them know!! They are more than happy to take care of you, and work hard to please!*****
My boyfriend and I visited Breathless 4/18-23. I was a bit reluctant to try, but did the Sea's the deal thru CheapCarribean.com - not knowing which of the three hotels offered I would get prior to the week before I was to leave. I was left with Breathless and was very pleased after arriving and getting to our room. The rooms are very spotless! The grounds are very well kept. I witnessed a worker almost each morning from my balcony manicure the grounds with very little tools - they use their hands and a knife to cut grass and weeds - who does that these days? I never heard a blower or mower in the 6 days there. They respect their guest! I read the reviews on the food - People, please.... This place has 11 restaurants on its grounds. Can all the restaurants be that bad? I'm a foodie and I do travel often - There isn't anything wrong with their food. They do a good job giving their guest variety in food choices and the food ain't bad! You're going all inclusive..... I believe their breakfast buffet blows most all inclusive places I've been to out the water. They offer a variety of breakfast items including a few omelet stations where you're able to create your own. The property does a great job entertaining its guest - they go all out to entertain as well as having various theme nights. The day parties by the pool are a hoot! I can't say enough about their staff.... They do go out of their way to help with any request or needs you may have. I highly recommend this hotel and I know it will go up the chain (still new) for being the top 10 resorts in Punta Cana. Don’t sleep on this property! The downside complaint is the language barrier.... English is not their 1st language so have patience with the workers and staff as they try to understand your needs (can be frustrating but you're on vacation - and time isn't as important - have patience with them - they try)! I’d come back again in a heartbeat! Oh, please do the romatic dinner (cost is extra). If you're traveling with that someone special this presentation of dinner on the sand at the edge of the water under the stars will leave you BREATHLESS!!!!!!
Preface – this resort officially opened the day we arrived. Although we were not informed that this was a brand new resort (there were already reviews about the resort…apparently written by the resort staff) we understood there would probably be a few systems they needed to work through and that we needed to be patient. What this resort does really well:. You cannot beat the genuine sincerity of the Dominican people. Everyone was incredibly gracious and helpful. Having traveled in the Caribbean extensively, it is rare to find locals who act like they want you in their country and go out of their way to ensure you feel welcomed. The resort grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The pools are extravagant and numerous. Our room was a decent size, very clean, had modern furnishings and the shower was 4’x6’. There was also a 2 person ‘hot tub’ on our balcony. The breakfast buffet (The Spoon) is extensive and clearly your best option for expedient service. The poolside attendants are typically attentive and ensure you have a beverage. The entertainment staff does a good job with planning events and engaging guests. The beach has a beautiful view and the resort provides comfortable lounge chairs, yoga platforms and watersports. Opportunities where the resort can clearly improve: Food service. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a 2. I am 6 months pregnant and this was the most important amenity for me. The first day, we were impressed with how attentive the staff was and how prompt the food arrived. Since it was the first day, very few guests were on the resort grounds and the wait staff handled everything beautifully. Each day, as the number of guests at the resort increased, the food service unraveled a little more. The food is regularly undercooked (a major health concern for me right now), the wait time for your food is unacceptable and many times you do not receive what was ordered. Once we waited 45 minutes for our appetizer before we walked out of the Tapas Restaurant. The Strip Grill sat us right away and then we waited 20 minutes before a server came by to take our order. It was 35 minutes before my omelet arrived and the eggs were raw on the inside, nor was it the omelet I ordered. While the website boasts of 14 places to eat, 7 of which are sit down restaurants, only a few (tonight there were 4) are open for dinner. The most infuriating part is that the resort has elected to ‘slow things down in the kitchen’ because service has been so poor. So only a small number of tables could be seated at each restaurant. With the exception of Kibbeh, we were told that each restaurant had at least an hour wait and to just come back. If the resort wants to slow the kitchen down so that their wait staff can keep up with demand, they at least need to provide a buffet option as an alternative. Tonight we decided to eat at Kibbeh. It is the exact same menu they have had each night, consisting of 1 starter, 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. You would assume the staff would know the menu and what each item is – they don’t. The starter never arrived, the appetizers we received were not what we ordered. After we finished those, the same waiter brought us another round of the exact same incorrect appetizers. I broke open one of the little wraps and asked the waiter was it was. The waiter shrugged and said he didn’t know what was plated. The entrée arrived 45 minutes after the order was taken. We had to request that our dessert be brought and the waitress forgot what was ordered. Our experience at the Japanese Restaurant 2 nights ago was the worst service we’ve received thus far… I’m hoping you see the pattern. Bottom line, the wait staff has not been trained and they are overwhelmed. They look incredibly busy but are not productive. The resort has not set their people up to be successful. All orders are taken by hand, no systems are in place to track orders and it appears that the staff has no concept of zones and what is expected of them. Buffett Suggestions – Currently, flies run rampant anywhere there is a buffet with the worst being at the open air buffet, Sofrita. They literally cover everything. The resort needs to look at options to trap the flies or provide a better technique for covering their food. Room Service – We ordered a cheese cake and a crème brulee. Both were not fresh or made to order (so it should have been a quick delivery). We were to told it would take 30 minutes, over an hour later, it showed up. Other guests we have spoken with all indicate that the wait time has been about 2 hours and the food is always cold. Other notes about traveling to the Dominican Republic: RE: PUJ....There is nowhere to eat after you get off your plane. You must go to where you check in if you’re looking for food. I bring this up because it’s about a 45 minute drive to the resort from the airport. There is a $10 entrance fee when you arrive. Not a lot of money but good to know so you can have cash ready. Hire a shuttle service to get you to the resort and back to the airport! Bring lots of $1 bills for tipping The Dominican is a Spanish speaking country - do not assume the locals know your native language. Be patient if you run into a language barrier situation...chances are they are frustrated too and would like for you to make an effort to speak their native language since you're in their country.
Just returned from a 7 night stay at Breathless Punta Cana. LOVED every minute!!! This is a gorgeous, fairly new luxury all-inclusive resort located on the beach about 40 minutes from the airport in Punta Cana. We were greeted upon arrival by bellhops who took our bags, yummy purple welcome drinks, and check-in personnel who immediately seated us and got us all checked in. Our room was on the second floor (tropical view) and faced out towards the gym and spa. We could see the ocean from our glass door and balcony. The room was spotless, roomy, very welcoming. There are lush robes and slippers provided, a stocked minibar (water, soda, juice, beer), hair dryers, a room safe, a private jacuzzi tub on the balcony. In your room each day is a printed schedule of events, restaurant times, dress codes, etc. That was very helpful--we went straight to the buffet (it was around 2:30pm) and were pleasantly surprised by the variety and choices of foods. Then we grabbed our swimsuits and headed to the foam pool party. AWESOME!!! Don't miss this one--they spray heaps of foam into the double decker pool and everyone dances and drinks in the foam! Loved it! Drink service is fantastic--they have lots of wait staff who just walk around the pools, decks, and beach CONSTANTLY taking drink orders and bringing you drinks. I've never had such consistent, all-day, all-night service! We spent most of every day at the beach since that is our favorite and the reason for choosing a beach destination. But there are multiple pools and pool decks spread out over the property and you could spend all day at any of those as well. The property is kept spotless day and night. Seriously there was a pool cleaner that was in the pool from early morning until evening every single day, wiping and scrubbing the tiles by hand. You never see garbage on the ground or left on tables...the employees constantly pick up and clean everywhere. Every evening we would shower and dress for dinner and the show/entertainment for the evening. All day and night there is something to do if you want...but you also have the choice to go to one of the quieter out of the way areas of the resort and just hang out/relax. We felt like you could be happy here if you want to party all the time, or if you want to relax. They do play loud dance music at the afternoon parties by the main double decker pool and at some of the evening events, but like I said, this resort is large so you can get away from it if you want to. They have an Entertainment Team (E-team) that plans activities all day and night. They are FANTASTIC!!! Young, energetic, fun people that get you involved (if you want) and also get to know you. The printed schedule each day shows the activites at the beach, the pool areas, etc. We had a ton of fun doing water polo, a mud party at the beach, beach olympics, beach aerobics, ocean aerobics, beach olympic games, dancing, and various other games on the beach and in the pools. If you go...get involved! Most of these are easy and fun ways to get to know others and have a great time. We especially liked Franklin, who was new to the E team and so much fun! Evening shows: The Circus show was excellent, the Dance party was fun, enjoyed the Belly Dance show and the Masquerade party after (they gave out masks), the Dominican Night Show was well done, and we went on stage as one of the couples for The Perfect Couple show! One of our favorites was the White Beach Party where you wear white (anything from dresses to shorts to swimsuits, doesn't matter), they have a dj and stage set up, acrobats, guest drummer, guest belly dancer, limbo contest, skin painting--sosososo fun!!! Because it was October, they did a 3 day Oktoberfest party at the main pool every afternoon--served grilled sausages, beer, desserts, Red Bull, had contests and games. They do so much to make it relaxing and fun at the same time! We walked for miles on the beach--if you turn left (facing the ocean) you can walk a really really long way. If you turn right, you will go down past Dreams (a sister resort), but can't walk quite as far. You will run into locals trying to sell you things on the beach, but you can just say gracias no thanks and move on. We did buy a few things this way. We took our own snorkel gear and snorkled right there on the beach--there are some small croppings of coral (in front of the exhale club beach area) where you can see a variety of small colorful fish. Not great snorkeling if you have snorkeled all over the world, but still fun. They do have snorkel gear at the resort that you can use also. We had NO PROBLEM with seaweed while we were there, which really surprised us after reading the reviews from this summer. I think we were just lucky with the ocean currents. We did talk to others on the plane on the way home who stayed at other resorts in Punta Cana our same week who did have lots of seaweed. We swam every day in the ocean--the water is as warm as a bath!!!!!!!! Food--We were very happy with the food at the resort. Again, pleasantly surprised as we had read bad reviews. I don't know if those are people who just like steak and potatoes or what, but we loved the variety of foods available and the local offerings. We thought the food (and the atmosphere) at the French restaurant was the best. Second was the Japanese restaurant where we ate both at the Hibachi grill (the only place you need a reservation) and at a regular table outside. Outside at that restaurant is wonderful--it is in a quiet secluded area. We ate at the buffet every morning. A few lunches at the buffet also, but mostly we ate lunch at the beach grill where they had a decent variety of food, and very good quality for a beach grill. We did not attend the time share presentation (it's a breakfast the day after you arrive) as I don't enjoy that. We did an excursion that we booked at the Amstar desk in the lobby area. It was Outback Safari Jungle tour and we really enjoyed it. Well worth the money to see some of the country. Every encounter we had with staff at the resort was great--superb service, cleanliness, friendliness. We would definitely go back!
My husband and I got a great deal through Cheap Carribean for this new resort. We almost changed resorts after reading the reviews but decided to go. We went 1/25 to 2/1. Let me first say that the resort is gorgeous. The pools, beach, rooms, layout, architecture and color schemes are interesting and well thought out. Always plenty of lounge chairs at the pools! The staff are all very friendly and helpful. A slight language barrier but with hand signals you could always get what you needed or wanted. There are a few issues that they need to solve. FOOD. The food was ok. We have been to the Dominican five times to more expensive and less expensive resorts and are aware of the particular nuances in a foreign country. The food at Breathless was basically ok, just not memorable.....with a few exceptions. The buffet in the morning was excellent with a huge selection. Lunch is ok with a grille area at the beach and one buffet restaurant open. Dinners are interesting. There are definitely long waits if you want to eat around 7 or so. If you go at 6 you can get right in which is what my husband and I did. We ate at the Italian twice. It was ok and the only reason we went back is because each night only a few restaurants were open. The French....we ate at twice and again it was good. Although the first time I was there I got the surf and turf and it was very good. The second time was lamb chops and they were very tough and chewy. My husband had the duck which was also tough and chewy. The biggest issue they have in general at Breathless that everyone was talking about was the temperature of the food. Everything was just barely Luke warm in the French, Italian, Latin and other a la cartes. Most people like their food to arrive hot which gives you the indication that the food up is fresh and won't give you stomach issues. The only real star of the show was Silk City Hibachi which was spectacular in every way. Food preparation, service, quality. It was awesome. The coconut flan was divine for dessert and the hibachi was great. I have never had such tender beef at a hibachi and you get chicken, beef, shrimp and octopus along with other items. The SPA. Beautiful place! They should give you a little tour first so you know all that they have there. I found the steam and sauna by mistake! Anyway had an excellent massage with Elisa. She had magical hands and gave a noteworthy massage. COFFEE....ok we are morning coffee drinkers. There is the coco cafe which has one surly man (the only person at the hotel who was less than happy and helpful) working in it each morning who usually did not get the order right. Also one morning my husband was there around 7 and he said he wasn't open. Another morning they weren't open at all till later. Not enough staff when it was open in the morning to handle the people that wanted coffee. There are no TO GO cups so he gave my husband our coffee in little cheap clear plastic glasses which obviously doesn't work! Other resorts have areas where you can go anytime and grab a nice mug of hot coffee to take down to the beach or somewhere and relax. I realize they are trying to offer more upscale service BUT when you are in the Dominican you just love their coffee and have to have it! After a day or so we realized that in the buffet there was another place to get lattes and fancier coffees. So we went there for our coffee but again no to go cups so you either used a cup and saucer or nothing. Now all that being said there are coffee and cups in each room. However no hot milk and of course no specialty coffee drinks. So who wants to brew coffee and have nothing but sugar to put in it? ROOMS....the rooms were beautiful, spacious and with great beds. Jacuzzi on the balcony is very nice. There is sporadic refilling of the mini bar. All we used was water from the mini bar and I was always calling or chasing the guy down to get more water bottles. Now again to be fair you can get water bottles at every bar and that's what we did, but it would be nice to have water filled in the room. Housekeeping was also sporadic. Several days I called for the room to be made up around 4pm. The first day I got there I found our maid in the room and gave her $5. The next day I gave her $5 and every time I saw her in our room doing something I gave her $5. Usually I do this because then you get great service. Although she was very sweet she didn't get that the money I was giving her was so she wouldn't forget us each day. Now all that said...she had a ton of rooms she was working on each day. Perhaps they have too many rooms assigned to each person because the rooms are large and require a lot of service. Just the shower and jacuzzi cleaning must take a while and she mopped and changed our bed daily as well. OTHER....we didn't really go to the shows because I am an early to bed and early to rise person. We heard they were good. The shops need a bit of help. Not much to buy there really. Three little shops. While we were there they didn't do any type of shopping night like a lot of the places do where outside vendors come in. My husband and I went to the little shopping area outside of the gate and would have shopped there except we felt like food for sharks. The people came out of their shops and followed us with very annoying banter. If they had just left us alone or simply said hello we would have gone in all the shops but they were just too much pressure so we walked away. There is not much service at the pool for drinks. If you want to be waited on you may be at the wrong place. There were nice bartenders and some servers but they couldn't keep up. We tipped everyone that gave us a drink but they just didn't have enough people. Santa at the pool bar tried to do it all but she is only 1 person! My husband and I don't mind getting up to get a drink...we need the exercise! One thing my husband and I are unsure of is whether we would go back to an all adult resort again. It seemed that the noise level was very high with screaming and banging of doors all night long (we were on the second floor pool and ocean view). It seemed that the people got away from their kids and acted crazy. One group was mooning over the balcony in the broad daylight! (These were not 20 something's either...they looked mid thirties). It seems in a family resort like Dreams (where we stayed previously) it was much quieter and the people were more "normal" and not drinking all day long! Bottom line is that this resort is about a 3.5 star right now. It has moments of greatness and they are on their way. However it's not 5 star even in the Dominican. I would recommend going there now if the price was very reasonable. However they are not really ready to be a 5 Star!
First let me say the people who work in the resort are unbelievable. They are extremely hard working and their sole job is to please their guests. In my opinion the staff are the best assets of the resort. Upon arrival we were greeted and offered a beverage. Check in was easy and as luck would have it our room was ready, which was surprising seeing that we arrived well before 3PM the check in time. We were told we had been given an upgraded room on the first floor. We had a patio jacuzzi tub. We could walk right from our patio into a very pretty pool the snaked along down the side of our building. We did in fact float down that pool on several occasions which was very relaxing. That pool was hardly used by anyone which was very nice. The room was as described, king-sized bed with iron, ironing board and hair dryer available, all in working order and toiletries available if needed. We brought our own. There we a couple of issues with the room, one the overall lighting in the room and bathroom was very dim. This was especially a problem in the bathroom when trying to apply make up or shave. The bed was very comfortable, dare I say the most comfortable of any hotel I've stayed and I used to travel a lot for business a few years ago. The pillows were too soft for my husband and I. The guest information and services book located in the room said they offered a pillow service with a choice of several different types of pillows. However, when I requested the service I had to speak with several different staff members before I got someone that was familiar with my request and then I was told it was for EXHALE CLUB MEMBERS ONLY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE IF THAT WAS MADE CLEAR IN THE GUEST SERVICES BOOK . The building we were in (rm 1130) was located in an area of a lot of action at night you could hear the music and entertainment . Also you could hear the shower running and the toilet flush when the guest in the rooms adjacent and above used the facilities. I would recommend trying to get a room on the top floor if you're not adverse to climbing stairs and desire a quieter setting when your in your room. Housekeeping was very good. We request an early morning cleaning as we tend to get up early (usually 6:30 AM). There were plenty of restaurants to choose from and you only needed to make reservations for one (Silk City) Japanese Hibachi style. Breakfast is buffet style offered at SPOONS. There is an enormous selections of fresh fruit, cheese, meats, eggs, breads and pastries. There's no reason even the pickiest of eater wouldn't be able to find something to satisfy the palate. They also offered a made to your liking omelets and waffles station. Plenty of beverages such fruit milkshakes which my husband and I enjoyed . I especially like the Passion fruit milkshake. If your a coffee drinker , which I am , you might find that you best best is to get the Cafe Latte or Cappuccino. We ate at all the restaurants with the exception of Kibbeh (Lebanesse) and Sofrito (Latin /Creole) due to lack of time. All of the restaurants have great atmosphere and exceptional staff and service. The food leaves something to be desired. We rarely had a meal where the food was served hot (unless it was at the buffet for breakfast or lunch prepared for you). The food at the alacarte restaurants was presented beautifully on the plate. However, it was generally just luke warm or cold. The beef dishes we typically fatty with the exception of the steak prepared at Supamante (Italian) which was lean. Also when ordering items form the menu I was told at 2 of the restaurants the items I selected were NOT available that evening (So why were they on the menu?) . Also be aware that their interpretation of the dish may NOT be what you would typically expect. We did NOT use the room service so I can't comment on it. There are several pools to choose from, depending on what you want to do. If you want to be where all the action is then make your stake at the large FOAM POOL near the FOAM bar and experience the FOAM PARTY or sit near the TWIST AND SQUEEZE swim up bar. If you prefer to just relax lounge by the pool area closest to the SURF GRILL. The beach area was NOT as big as I would have liked. The paplas are very close together and not many or them. There are several cabana style structure available but you'll have to get up mighty early to stake your claim on one. The lounge chairs are plentiful but typically placed in close proximity. They ocean is very warm and on several occasions the waves were great if you like to body surf. They have plenty of activities on the beach e.g. yoga, volley ball and even beach parties in the evening. Beverage service is available on the beach and poolside by very attentive staff but not intrusive. They will fetch anything from the drink of the day, water, cappuccino and even popcorn. One of my favorite places was COCOs for my mid -morning cappuccino. They offer a variety of coffee drinks both hot & cold and decadent sweets and the ladies that work their are beyond competent. We received $200 of SPA coupons. You can't use all $200 at the SPA. There are coupons that can be used toward a bottle of wine, a Romantic Dinner for 2, and some for the SPA services. Be careful when using the coupons for the SPA services the coupons CANNOT be used for just any SPA service. I booked and appointment for a mani-pedi ($74 US ) I was told that neither the $20 or $40 SPA coupon could be used toward the service. When booking appointments ask if the coupon can be used for the service you are requesting. I did NOT ask and paid $74 for the mani-pedi plus 20% tip. Also they automatically bill the charges to your room so be sure to get a receipt. I believe the coupons are just away to get you into the SPA and sell the services. They should disclose in writing which services are exluded. If it's night life your looking for there are plenty of clubs to hang in with varied atmosphere. We attended several of the events and the entertainment is good quality better than most resorts. Weather was great mostly mid 80s. It did rain hard for about 15- 20 minutes a couple of days, but that was it. The evenings were warm with a light breeze. Overall I would say we had a very nice time mostly due to the staff. I would give the resort overall 3 stars, they really need to improve the quality of the food they serve in the restaurants in the evening.
As a solo traveler to Punta Cana, I was nervous in the months leading to my trip. This was my first time traveling solo out of the country and I was unsure what I should expect. I arrived at the airport with my passport and travel voucher in hand and my reservation was confirmed and ready to go. The flight to Punta Cana was slightly bumpy but nothing too dramatic. The arrival to Punta Cana was so beautiful. The airport looks nothing like you would ever see in the US. The roof of the airport is made of thatch, which are dried palm tree leaves. And the humidity is real! It hits you as soon as you step foot off the plane. There is a bus that takes you to the actual airport arrival terminal. The flight attendants did not have any customs forms for travelers so we had to fill them out once we unloaded and arrived to the terminal. After this, I paid a mandatory $10 entry fee, got my passport stamped and proceeded to pick up my luggage.There are people (not sure what the technical term for them is) who are standing and walking around asking you for assitance. You can either accept or reject their help. I decided to accept their help because quite simply, thats how they make their money. The worst part of my trip was the unanticipated $70 taxi ride to the hotel. There is a book/board that displays the cab fares for the different hotels but I did not know this before hand. The breathless hotel and resort is about 30 minutes away from the airport and is actually in a city called Uvera Alto, Dominican Republic. If you dont mind a scenic route, stay there especially if you have no intention on leaving the resort. Its a good way to see some of the culture and surroundings of the island. THE RESORT WAS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. And if your frugal like me and only purchased the international text plan for your phone, there is great news, the WIFI is FREE! And you stay connected throughout the resort, even on the beach. While at the bar I would FaceTime friends and family. The beach is beautiful and the resort has a lot of options and amenities. Nightly live entertainment. The drinks were weak but hey, the alcohol is free and you can always ask them for an extra shot or two and mix it in. The pools are fabulous. I think there are about 6 pools on the resport. The resort is absolute paradise. There are swim up pools, a main pool and an "party pool" where there is a swim up bar. Oh, the staff is very friendly and nice. EVERYONE is ready to accomodate your every need. When I arrived, I wanted a king bed instead of two queens and I asked the concierge if I can get my room switched and his response was "anything is possible". Also the unlimited free mini bar service AND THE JACUZZI ON THE BALCONY was amazing. The room was clean with a shower and a separate toilent & baday, double sinks and nice decor. I spent my first night in the room ordering free room service, sipping on some dominican rum and soaking in the jacuzzi on the balcony. Absolute bliss. One thing that I will caution travelors should know basic spanish, even if its just to name things. Some people speak better English there then others. Some can be fluent and others speak very broken English. I must say that those who had heavy dealings with customers were pretty good at speaking english. Also most of the TV channels are in Spanish. The worst part of my trip was the line at the airport to get back home. I flew with Frontier airlines and the lines were extrodinarily long. They were operating flights to Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and I also believe New York. Every one of those flights were full flights, which means long lines. As a result the flight was delayed an hour. It was good & bad. Good for those who were arriving late (the recommendation is to get to the airport 3 hours early for international flights) but bad for those who thought they would be home at a certain hour but arrived an hour later. If anything frontier should have had more representatives at the ticket counter. Lastly, in order to get to your gate, you must walk through different stores. I guess this is their way of catching the eye of travelors and buying things on the way to their departing gate. Overall, I would certainly go back. It was a great experience. Next time I will take someone with me.
A friend and I decided to take advantage of the Deal of Fortune earlier this month and we were assigned to Breathless Punta Cana. I will start with the Pros then address the Cons. Pros: The grounds are absolutely gorgeous! Although there was construction going on nearby we were never disturbed by the noise or the workers. It actually wasn't until we left the resort that I remembered construction was happening as we drove by it. Spoon (the buffet) was wonderful. I was absolutely impressed by the variety of food they offered, how delicious everything was and all the healthy options. They even had a vegetarian section at each meal. We had breakfast at the Spoon every morning and whenever dinner was disappointing at the other restaurants we'd head over the Spoon to make up for it. :) La Coquette (the French restaurant) was AH-MAZING! There was a wait to get in and the service was very slow but, oh my, the food was certainly worth the wait! My friend had the lamb chops and although my steak wasn't Medium as I had requested it was very flavorful. The Vol-au-Vent we had as the appetizer was out of this world. Also their Creme Brûlée was the best I have EVER had. Culinaria was also phenomenal. I tried a steak there. It was so tender I cut into it with a butter knife. Yum! I also want to give a HUGE shout out to Jhon (that's how it was spelled on his name tag.) He was the ONLY person at the resort that seemed to understand that he was in the hospitality industry and he served us well and was always looking out for us. His service was a cut above and beyond! One day walking over to bar to grab 2 bottles of water he came over (to chat I thought.) When he asked what I was doing I said I was going to grab some waters, he stopped me, told me to go back to my table and said that he would bring it over. It was surprising and refreshing considering the service we had gotten used to at this resort. Which leads me to the cons.... Cons: I have never in my life experienced such HORRIBLE customer service on any vacation. I have taken many cruises, stayed at many all-inclusive resorts and never in my life have I encountered such RUDE and dismissive service. It was actually quite shocking. I am not in the least bit high maintenance and this experience just helped me to realize how true the old adage is...you don't know what you've got till it's gone! LOL I will say I would attribute 1/2 of the blame to the fact that the vast majority of the staff DO NOT speak fluent English. So right there, most people you speak to are not going to understand you, cannot fulfill your request and cannot communicate back to you effectively. I've also never experienced this at any resort I've stayed at. Our bad service started at check in. We got off the shuttle and were escorted inside. One person pointed us to a man who was siting behind a desk for us to check in with. We approached him, said hello and he looked at us like we had rudely interrupted him. We say "Check in?" He then dismissively points us to a lady who is already checking in another couple ... so confused we walk over to her. She makes eye contact with us and in our broken communication we tell her the man told us to come to her. She looks at him exchanges some tense words in Spanish. Then my friend and I proceed to watch them argue about who is going to help us. REALLY!? Next we check into our room. While unpacking a lady unlocks the door and just walks into our room. She looks to be housekeeping. We're a little stunned that she never bothered to knock. In broken English she tells us she's bringing us towels and makes her way to the bathroom. 10 minutes later we decide to change out of our airport clothing. Luckily I was mostly dressed when a man walks into our room (again..without knocking)! Mind you my friend is in her undergarments. I say to the man, "Excuse me we are getting dressed!" He continues to walk further into the room babbling about water, he was about to see my half dressed friend until I scream NO THANK you so he can leave. At first I thought he was sketchy until it dawned on me once again we were dealing with a language barrier (and they were probably not notified that we had checked into the room.) From that point on we locked our door every time we were in our room! The entire trip housekeeping could NOT keep our bathroom properly stocked with face towels! What in the world!? Housekeeping would always forget. We’d have to call numerous times for someone to bring them. No Lie! I called one day and just told them to bring us 6 six face towels to last us the remainder of our trip and so we could end the ridiculous cycle! When you are fighting just to get basic service like face towels, privacy, someone to check you in, oh and just a drink it becomes tiresome....I’ll get to the drink next. I have dozens of examples subpar service but I'll leave you with this last once. Near the Barefoot Grill there was a man cutting fresh coconuts. My friend had gotten a stomach bug and I knew coconut water with all it's natural electrolytes was just what she needed. I approached him as he started to walk away for a minute. I said, "Excuse me can I get two coconuts?" He literally looked me up and down disgusted and said, "AYE AYE AYE!!!" I said, "If you need to go somewhere I can wait until you come back." Thinking maybe he had to go to the bathroom or something. He goes to that pool bar comes back, cuts one coconut (obviously ticked off) and hands it to me. I put two fingers up and said I asked for 2 please. His response, "NO!" and he turned and walked away! I gave the one to my friend since she needed it but the first thing she said to me when I got back was, "Was he giving you a hard time? I could tell all the way over here just by his body language!" UNREAL! Several times we kept asking ourselves how in the world this resort had such high ratings but we finally figured it out. The entertainment team is constantly asking you to pull out your phone and write a trip advisor review on the spot and they keep stressing that you mentioned them in the review. Luckily for us the wifi closer to the beach was not as strong so we were able to avoid the pressure. If you're looking for a resort with nightlife, music (American Music mind you), a party atmosphere but care nothing about customer service? Then this is the PERFECT resort for you. However if you're used to service like the kind you'd find a Majestic Elegance (which is where we went last year) or any ordinary US hotel, you need to brace yourself for an "other than" experience at this place. My friend and I made the best of our time and made sure to have fun despite the horrible service. However, I will NEVER come back to this resort nor will I EVER recommend this resort to anyone. The CONS way out weigh the PROS, unfortunately. I meant take a picture of the metal trash can our bathroom that was more rust than metal and the little lever to step on for the top to pop open was literally in pieces on the floor FOR ALL 6 DAYS! Not sure who would pay full price for this place. SKIP IT!
Thank you to all of the individuals that made our Honeymoon and easy and relaxing experience. First, if you are booking your trip through Cheap Caribbean call their hotline and book your trip through one of their reps. Our rep gave us a great deal and was able to provide us with more detailed description of our upcoming trip. If you do choose Breathless, please prepare yourself for an extremely enjoyable experience that will satisfy all of your senses. It's an easy trip from the airport to an resort that creates a calm experience for all that are their. The drinks are top-shelf, the variety of restaurants for dinner are wonderful, and the food that is served was surprisingly awesome every night. Please note that my wife and I consider ourselves "foodies" which means we know how to prepare quality dishes and know a high quality dish when we eat it. The dinners were at least 8.7/10 at every meal! What more could you ask for?!?! Please do yourself a favor and upgrade to the Exhale Club. This will provide you with a better overall room, entrance to their lunch restaurant; which you can not use if you are not in the Exhale Club; and overall top-notch service with a staff there just for Club members. Once you are settled you will do what my wife and I did and spend all of your time on the beautiful PRIVATE beach. We were NEVER bothered by someone selling something. The only people that came over to us was the staff asking if they could refill our drinks! Even at that they only came over when you waved them over or every 10 minutes. To add to that, the staff did not wait around for a tip. They were all smiles and truly looked happy to work there. If you were to give them a tip(which we did) they gave you that little extra attention that made everything just overall better. Overall, do yourself a favor and book your trip to Breathless if you are a young adult or retired. At the end of the day the trip will be between you and whoever you travel with. No kids, no one trying to sell you stuff, and no distractions. Have fun, be safe, and make sure to wear sunblock! Love, Donnie & Jacki
I decided to book a trip here with my girlfriend. As it was the opening weekend we knew that they would be very eager to please or still figuring out the process. Unfortunately for us, it was the latter. Te cigar bar and casino have not yet opened. Multiple restaurants are not open on a given night which leads to long wait times at the select few that are open. We booked an excursion to the seaquarium. We were told to be in the lobby at 7:15. At 7:30 we had the front desk call the company thy was supposed to pick us up. We were initially told that they came to get us and left because we were not outside. That wasn't possible because we'd been waiting since 7:10. After some more probing we were told they never sent anyone to pick us up. Finally, after demanding a straight forward answer we were told that the trip was canceled. Frustrating but made sense as it was raining that morning. Overall, I think the resort has potential, however they need a few months to figure everything out