This was our first trip to the DR as well as Melia Caribe so this review is a little of both. First off, if you have any reservations about going to the DR forget about them. Both resort and excursion staff were friendly and helpful. We had Royal Service and feel it was well worth it for the free wi-fi and room service, extremely attentive staff, and access to the GABI restaurant and VIP lounge. It was the off season, so the private beach wasn't much different than the general one, but I could see that being a nice to have during the height of the season. The Grounds: this place is huge, beautiful, and meticulously kept. It made me think of what a Vegas hotel would do if they had 200 acres and a beach. There appear to be two types of bungalows on the property, an older (but very nice) style and a newer type which we got due to Royal Service. The rooms were beautiful and comfortable, and in fact are the exactly the same as the "Vacation Club" rooms minus a kitchen stove. The bed was very nice, air conditioning worked perfectly, marble floors throughut. The beach was gorgeous white coral and well groomed, and effectively patroled by staff to keep sellers away and your personal items safe. We left our items for over an hour several times with no concerns about losing them. I had to laugh at some of the other reviews complaining about seaweed , it comes when it comes (we were there right after Issac and there was a little bit), but in the mornings I saw beachvacs picking up what they could before the day started. You'll definitely want to take the train, or if your are Royal Service, hop into a golf cart to get mainside to beachside. The Royal Service drivers appear to be picked from the best of the staff and definitely appreciate a tip, they were happy to get $1 per person for the four of us. I think they work hard to get selected to this position and access to tips is the perk that motivates them. And they are motivated, several times we were walking by choice when one drove by and saw our wristbands and immediately tried to pick us up! The beachside pool was very nice, never overcrowded and we appreciated the swim up bar. As Royal Service, we had access to a mainside pool that would have been very convenient, but it was down for maintenance during our trip. The Food: the two general cafeterias served good, acceptable meals all day long. The GABI was a bit higher end buffet breakfast than the cafeterias and a nice menu order place in the evening. The theme restaurants are definitely a cut above the cafeterias, but don't kid yourself about them being a true fine dining experience. The steak house, for instance, served a solid type of meal like what you would expect at that chain that starts with S. All of the theme restaurants were buffet style apps, salads, & deserts, with menu order mains. Our favorite was definitely the Italian. You will drink a lot of water here and the staff is absolutely relentless in keeping your glass full and plates cleared as you ate. We tipped a dollar a head, but the majority of diners appeared not to tip and I didn't see any difference in service. All in all , we were very happy with quality and variety of food, I rated 4 palms only because there was not a true full service made to order option available. One nit: the theme restauants require reservations made the day before. I get that, but sometimes, like when you don't arrive at the resort until 8 pm, or your excursion keeps you away from 6 am to 7pm, one might not have one. If it was the peak season and tables were full, I'd understand being turned away, but twice when we tried to crash and once when our reservation was mixed up, the greeter acted like it was such an issue to seat us and then we walk in to find only one or two tables occupied in the entire restaurant. The Drink: Drinks were always available and had decent pours. The well booze won't win any prizes but if you make a call they were always happy to reach under the counter and use the good stuff. A dollar tip for a call seemed appropriate. The only exception was Friday night at the Avenue Bar: there was disco night happening and the drinks were horribly watered down. Just to make sure I ordered a shot of tequila and it was watered at least two to one. No idea why it was so blatant at that one place and time . Final thoughts: We loved it and would go right back with no hesitation. The items I mentioned above are noted only as places for improvement. We made it to our last day before a concierge hit us up for the "vacation club" pitch, we went along just to see how the rooms compared to ours (practically identical) and there were no hard feelings when we declined to sit through the 90 minute pitch. We also apprciated the diversity of the clientele, which appeared to be 60% Latin American, 20% American, and 20% Russian. Every cash transaction we had was in USD, but no one will make change in USD so take plenty of small bills. Bring pool floaties from home if you think you want them. Personally, we prefer to book our excursions once we're there versus online just to keep more schedule flexability. ATMs dispense DR dollars, If you need extra USD, the Palma Real shopping mall a hundred yards away has banks who will advance on your credit card (at great rates, BTW, a dollar and change for a $200 advance). We were lucky booking in hurricane season and having Isaac blow through the week before, there was not a drop of rain our entire tirp.
My new wife and I statyed at Melia Caribe Tropical for our honeymoon. When we arrived, they upgraded us to a romance suite at no additional cost when it could have costed us $100 extra per night. The resort was beautiful and the grounds were very well maintained. The staff was freindly and helpful. The food was pretty good, but breakfast and lunch were only available in a buffet-style which gets kind of old if you are staying for a longer period of time. The dinners were great though. They have at least (7) sit-down restaurants to choose from - American, Mexican, Dominican, French, Italian, Mediterranean & Thai Fusion. They also have a Steak & Lobster restaurant and a Tepanyaki (Japanese) restaurant that are available for an additional cost per person. We ate at the Japanese restaurant and it was well worth the extra money. The drinks were ok. We liked the fact that the alcoholic beverages were all included and that you could pretty much stop anywhere on the grounds and get one. However, the juices that they use tended to be very watered down, which made the drinks pretty watered down. Our recommendation would be to pay the extra money, if you can afford it, and get the Royal Service. This is an upgraded service that includes access to the Gaby Restaurant and the Royal Service pool. We payed the extra money to eat at the Gaby Restaurant and it was amazing. The food and drinks are much better than what they serve outside of the Royal Service. Overall, we were very happy with our choice to stay here and we highly recommend it to any couple for their honeymoon or as just a nice vacation destination. We will definitely be going back to Melia Caribe Tropical!!!
If you like tropical feel and relaxation, this is the place for you. The service, rooms and food was outstanding. My daughter and I went as a graduation present to her from college so I wanted it to be amazing as a reward for all of her hard work. For a middle of the road "price-wise" property, they exceeded my expectation. would absolutely return again. They only negatives were the :sales pitch of the time-share" villas but worse the agents dismissal of us because we were women so we obviously could not make a decision without our men - NOT GOOD. I make more than my husband and frankly didn;t want to even go on the timeshare tour so he did us a favor and only angered me. The 2nd negative was on the check-out when we tried to pay for incidentals, the credit/debit card machine didn;t work so I had to be shuttled to an ATM to try to take out cash to pay. Caused a fraud alert with the bacnk. Finally don't use Safari Tours through Olympus it was too long and had lots of wasted time. Cheap Caribbean booking was perfect and seamless. I compared them to Expedia, Bookit and Last Minute Travel. They were the cheapest buy oiver $125 per person and problem-free. I would use them again, When I had a problem with Olympus they jumped in and took care of it.
This was our first family vacation to the Caribbean. We had recommendations to many different hotels, but since this was our first trip I thought we would be amazed with anything. To our surprise it was not! Although, the people were very friendly and the location was beautiful, the air conditioning in the rooms did not work properly. We ask to have this issue addressed but it did not improve much and we were not the only ones. We were traveling with some family members that had a different suite and had the same issue. We also heard from someone else, they had change their room 3 times and same problem. So not sure what was the problem. Another issue we had, was the distance from the restaurants to the rooms. They have a train available but it was always packed. We had to stand and wait around for to long. The whole experience was not really what we had expected. I would definitely look for other options in the future.
This is my second time booking a stay at Melia Caribe through Cheap Carribean. This resort gets better every time! There are many options for dining and activities throughout the day and night. I stayed on the non-level side both sides and was never lacking a place to eat or things to do! Activities range from volleyball, yoga, and dance lessons on the beach to pool games, water aerobics. We were kept busy (if we wanted to be) from 9 am to 5 pm on the beach alone! There is a buffet right on the beach for easy access to food while on the beach or at the pool. Other dining options on the other side of the resort are great for evening dining. From Dominican, to Mexican, Mediterranean, American...you could try something different each day. There is a nightly "show" with dancing before and after in the main lobby. So much energy from the staff along with patience and willingness to teach anyone how to dance! This resort is very large! Make sure to bring comfortable shoes :) However, they do have trains that run throughout the resort to get you where you need to go. They do a wonderful job at Melia making the grounds very natural and beautiful. Every morning you can find staff walking around with coconuts and they will cut it open for you to drink. I cannot say enough about the staff and their willingness to help. They checked on us multiple times after we checked in and were at our door within 5-10 minutes if we needed something. Great resort, great location, and great staff!
The decor of the entire site is unbelievable; first class in every way. The service personnel gave the highest performance available; there was no want of anything. The food, while plentiful ended up being less than stellar after 7 days; too much redundancy. The "fine dining" decor was excellent, the plating of the food, also. There is definitely room for improvement in selections and how they were prepared (this speaking as an American so one must bear in mind that other cultures don't always do as we). The greatest problem for us (4 adults) is that everything seems to be centered around drinking. We don't drink (Saved Melia some money on that end!) so the time lag from dinner, +- 7:30 p.m.) until the 10:00 entertainment almost became terminal in wasted time. Couple that 2 1/2 hour wait with overly loud, mediocre entertainment (apart from the Dominican review) and it was a waste. How to improve? Bear in mind there might be some older folk, median age 66, who don't drink, and would appreciate entertainment more age appropriate... not everyone just wants to get drunk and carouse!
We got back from a 9 night vacation at teh Melia Caribe Tropical and it rates as was one of the best family vacations we've had. The resort is huge and sprawled across many acres but easily accessible by a little train which takes you from all the various different places of interest or by foot if you're prepared to walk - we did both. It is absolutely beatiful with lovely landscaped gardens and ponds with flamingos and other birds as well as peacocks just walking around freely! Great family resort with fantastic service. Never have I seen such friendly staff so willing to assist and please. The dining options are many and the buffet restaurants are great quality - the best food I've eaten at an all inclusive - oysters, squid, fresh fruit, amazing desserts, ice cream with unlimited alcoholic drinks including cocktails!! FANTASTIC! Pools and beaches were great and never overcrowded. I would highly recommend this to anyone who appreciates beautiful peaceful surroundings with fabulous food and service. The only thing I didn't like was the concierge tryhing to get you to go to a vacation club presentation of 90 minutes - but if you're not interested just simiply say no and they're absolutely cool with that. Amazing, amazing, amazing............................
Let me start by saying I have stayed at many 5 star resorts before and this place is clearly not worth a 5 star rating. Lets first start by saying when you stay at a "all inclusive resort" you don't expect to be nickel and dimed the entire stay. First we arrived to the resort it was beautiful great garden views of gardens and pools. We go to check in and as always ask for any available room upgrades, they say sure let us show you about out Royal Service...they go on for about 5 min about this luxurious room and service, the only catch is they want to charge us 160 extra per night. We obviously decline and they go and show us some other upgrades available for more fees. So we decline unfortunately they do not speak good english and keep asking us if we speak spanish which we do not. ( I wish we did!) Then we finally get checked in the room was nice not great, but fine for what we need. After one night we wake up in the morning and in the bathroom we start seeing tiny ants, we figure we are in a tropical place and you will see some bugs from time to time. Unfortuntely that was not the end of our insect problem... the following night we see the biggest spider we have ever seen in our room, we call reception and they send someone to kill it. They proceed by coming with a guy with a towel and some how he is able to kill the spider. The next day we complain and they tell us the can fumigate the room OMG...who wants to stay in a room that has been fumigated!!!! So we demand a new room and they finally accomodate us. The new room is closer to the pool which is nice but it stinks of smoke. At this point we are just glad this room doesnt have bugs. The next issue is making dinner reservations you can only make it for the day of and the next day. So we try to make reservations and they are all booked...the only available options are 2 restaurants where you have to pay 39.00! or the buffet. What happened to all inclusive??? Also we had to make 2 local phone calls to call our excursion company and our return shuttle. As we check out we see a charge for 26.00 for two local calls for about 5 min. OMG!!! That is not even a long distance call. Issue 3 is the resort is much too large, you have to take a train trolly from one end of the resort to the other to get from lobby to beach/pool area. trains are often full during dinner or lunch times..very inconvienent when trying to make a dinner reservation or trying to make it on time to an excursion. Issue 4 from the min we checked in they kept pushing us to have breakfast with them to see their vacation club. It is obviously a ploy to get us to sit down with them to sell us some sort of time share. At every turn there is someone asking if we have been to the vacation club meeting. Very annoying... Issue 5 Internet service, they do not offer free wifi anywhere on the resort not even in the business center. They want to charge 15.00 a day. So we pay for one day and signal quality and connection speed is just horrible. Getting disconnected and having to resign in every 5min. In summary if you want to go to a 5 star all inclusive resort this is not the place. I would never go back to this resort!
Overall we were pleased with our stay. The resort and the grounds are fantastic and fun to walk around as well as take the mini trolley -trains. If you are experienced with all-inclusives then you are prepared for the dining options. The food was average as well as the breakfast and lunch buffets - fairly bland and predictable. Dinner reservations are required but it seemed that preferred times were frequently not available only to discover that the restaurant wasn't packed at that time when you walked by later. Also they indicate a dress code for dinners which we followed b/c it was nice to be out of beach wear but others did not. Also don't drink the house wine - it is TERRIBLE and will bring down your dining experience. Most of their English pamphlets have grammar errors or are missing information. Example: If you choose to use a calling card get full information when you check in. The stated connection rate for calling cards is RD$85 (approx $2-3 USD) -> we prepurchased a card for this trip and when we checked out found that they wanted to charge us between $250-$300 for phone connections back to the states so we could check on our children. We did manage to get a 40% cut in this but you need to ask about it up front. The poor english in some of their information creates questions. There are not many Americans at this resort - plenty of Canadians, Europeans and Russians (lots of Russians) so be prepared for lots of smokers -> but you can avoid them as well. Hope this helps.
We had another fantastic time at the Melia Jan 22 to 29, 2011. Pulling into the airport was great and we all know that feeling when you first pass through the airplane door and get that first breathe of the warm PC air. We passed through customs with ease, got our luggage and proceeded out the doors. IBK was right there with our name on a piece of paper/cardboard and were off to our van. Loaded the luggage and popped open our first Presidente’s “greenie’s” that were on ice in the van. Yeah, we’re here. Got to the Melia and there our names were on the board for arriving “Royal Service” guests arriving that day. Got to the RS lounge and when we told the receptionist our names, we were told we were VIP guests and handed an envelope with our names on it. It was the reservations I had requested for my 50th birthday along with note. They did try to put us in our last suite but there was someone already in it. Just about the same time, Eddie, our butler from last visit walked in. He will be ours again. Once checked in, we walked to our room as it isn’t that far and I’ve missed it the beautiful foliage. We passed the Gabi bar and OMG, the same bartenders. Have to shout out to Juan, Jose, Jorge, Pedro, Dulce Maria “the girl with the prettiest eyes” and to those I’ve missed (sorry). We arrived to our room 5123 and our luggage was already in the room. It was really good to be back. We did a little unpacking and had another greenie. We did have a little hick-up and I went to receptionist and we would be moved tomorrow to our original requested room 5033. Don’t get me wrong, room 5123 was just as nice a room but we wanted our old room back. As it took quite awhile to get to PC, hubby was beat and we retired early. Next morning, hubby was off to the beach and I relaxed on the balcony with room service for breakfast. I packed up and went to the beach to let hubby know that I would be at the Gabi awaiting our room to be ready to move. It was a good thing, as when talking with some people realized that we were 4 hours ahead of Vegas time not 3. I would have missed the first hour of the “Bears” game . After arriving in our room, I bee lined it to the beach to get hubby off his lounger so we could go to the Hard Rock Café at Palma Real to watch. After returning from the game, we cleaned up and went to dinner at Gabi. We spent Monday, 1/2 of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the beach. Shout out to our beach service staff Lorenzo and Santiago. We love our greenie’s and they brought it to us in an ice bucket, six at a time. Hubby had met a really nice couple (Dave & Mickey) on Sunday and they too enjoyed having our iced greenie’s right there when we needed one. Mickey was really glad hubby lent her his bubba the rest of the vacation as she doesn’t drink beer. Me, no way, I don’t drink fast enough to keep the greenie’s cold. The day of my birthday, when I got to my lounger, Lorenzo came up behind me with Champagne and OJ on ice. Again, always great service. Tuesday morning, we were off to go fishing. We did great as we pulled in 3 Dorado’s (Mahi Mahi’s). I will write a separate review for the fishing trip. We did bring one of the Dorado’s back to the resort and I want to give a special Thank You to our chef Allison Almonte as I think that was the best meal I have ever had and I’m not exaggerating. Again, thanks to Mike’s Marina (Mike F.) and our crew, Manuel and Mello. We did the meet and greet at Steve’s on Wednesday and was nice to see some TA’ers. Thursday morning we receive a special invitation to the Management Party for that evening. This was also my 50th birthday and we had reservations to Hokkaido. At the party, we met Lucy (Royal Service Manager) and Alessia (Asst. Guest Service Manager) and had a great conversation. Thank you both again for making our stay another great one. Met more of the management team along with other guests and had a really good time. We were sorry we had to leave it early but we had to leave for dinner. Hubby and Eddie set up a birthday surprise and the staff sang Happy Birthday to me and had a really nice cake. The food was fantastic and thank you to those at Hokkaido. For the other al la carts, we are people that don’t like to follow a schedule while on vacation so all but one meal was eaten at the Gabi. The food there is great and was hard just to figure out what I wanted each night as the menu was filled with a great selection. Thank you to the staff at the Gabi for making each meal a special one. I would name names but I know I would forget someone. Miguel (GM) you are the best, thanks again. Most nights we were at the Caribe bar and met a lot of great people. Serigo, your bar staff are the greatest. As we like to people watch, you can see they treat everyone with a big smile and Hola. To Marcos, Alejandro, Jesus and all the others, thank you. We did the Desire and Fire on Friday night and everyone had a great time. Our last day was the saddest as we knew we had to leave. We spend it saying good bye to all our staff friends we made on our last trip and the new ones we made on this trip. We cannot wait until we return again. From the RS trolley drivers, to our room attendant Ramona (same attendant we had last time), butlers Eddie and Nathan, the beach staff, restaurant staff, bar staff to the receptionist, and to anyone I forgot to mention, Thank you for another great vacation at your lovely resort. We will return again.