Was this the nicest, most luxurious resort I have ever stayed at? No. Was it still a beautiful property with a gorgeous beach? Yes! Did I still have a fabulous trip? Yes! The positives: Beach--soft powder white sand with beautiful warm water. Also, I never had a problem getting a beach chair. The pool was also very large with warm water. It wasn't super deep, either. The food was delicious! Breakfast was a huge buffet with just about anything you could think of--homemade smoothies, eggs cooked to order, homemade yogurt bar, cereal, oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, donuts, churros, cold cuts, hot lunch items, fresh fruit,eggs, bacon, etc. There was a snack bar poolside that was open 11 to 6. They cranked out fresh, hot pizzas all day, plus there was a selection of hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, chicken, etc. For lunch, there were 2 buffets--a casual one where you could go in your beach ware and a more formal one that had a larger variety of items. For dinner you could either eat at the buffet or order off the menu at one of 2 restaurants (an Italian one and an "international" one.) I liked the fact that you could eat at the ala cart restaurants as many days as you wanted to during your stay. Also, they did not require you to make reservations ahead of time. I never waited more than 5 minutes to be seated despite eating at various times throughout my trip. I would highly recommend ordering the fish, as it was always fresh and deliciously prepared. The resort was small and easy to get around. Service was very good on the whole. There were always more than one bar open, so I never had to wait long for drinks. The negatives: Smoking is allowed throughout the resort with exception of the restaurants. It was really annoying to have smoke blown in your face at the beaches and pool, Also, you could not sit in the lobby or enjoy drinks at the bars without inhaling in tons of smoke. There weren't a lot of things to do at the resort during the night time. The animation team did play a game every night at 7:30 that was basically name that tune--but it was conducted entirely in French! At 8:30 every night was kids disco hour on the main stay, even though there were barely any kids staying at the resort. 9:30 was showtime. There were a couple outside shows that were good, but the ones performed by the animation team were awful! My room was very large and up to date. I had a large balcony with a table and chairs on it. The hotel provided absolutely no toiletries--not even a bar of soap, so make sure you bring your own. The shower got warm, but never super hot. Also, it had zero water pressure. Finally, there were not hot tubs. All in all, I had a wonderful vacation. I probably would not stay at this hotel again, unless they modified their smoking policy and at least provided some smoke free areas at the beaches, pools, & bars. Also, I booked the optional transfer vouchers through the cheapcaribbean website with Olympus tours. I would advise against doing this. After arriving at the airport, I was given a card by the transportation company stating that I had to meet with one of their reps the next day in order to receive my return pick up time. I took time out of my vacation to meet the rep and she never showed up for this meeting! I went the next day and she didn't show up again. I had guest services call the rep, who said she would meet me in 30 min. Again she never showed up. I had a rep from a different company call and was told that my rep no longer works for Olympus tours and that the new rep would meet with me at 5:30. I met with her and she still wouldn't give me a pick up time! I had to call the night before to confirm a pick up time. When I did, the rep told me to call her later because she didn't have my paperwork with her! Avoid using this company--it is not worth the stress! Taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap.
This was our first all inclusive vacation and it was very relaxing. We started off in a bad situation missing our connecting flight in philadelphia so we had to spend the night there and I made the mistake of not buying the travel insurance. The service at the restaurants is terrible and the food is not very good. The pizza/grill bar is where we found the best food that is available to the vik hotel arena Blanca side. There are vendors set up inside of the resort and they are very pushy, they will bargain with you but expect to spend a lot of time with people trying to sell you junk or overpriced photos. We had originally booked 4 excursions but the tour company (ocean adventures) who we booked through Olympus forgot to pick us up on the day it was scheduled and they never called to let us know so we sat in the lobby waiting an extra 30 minutes in case they might show and ended up calling our tour representative and he said he would call us back. When he called back, he said it was cancelled due to the weather... It was sunny, blue skies and calm winds. As far as value goes, the Vik cayena is in the same resort but it is a more exclusive spot and they do a much better job with serving the customers. Plus you will get access to the swim up bar which the vik hotel arena Blanca does not have. Punta Cana is an awesome destination but I would not recommend the Vik hotel Arena Blanca to a couple looking for a getaway.
Loved our direct flight from Cincinnati to the Dominican on Sun Wing out of Montreal. Free champagne, hot meal with choice of red or white wine, hot towels, snacks, mints and movie. Great service and would definitely fly with them again! The VIK Arena Blanca Resort: This is an older resort but very clean which was important to us - clean room and bathroom. Flat screen TV mounted on the wall but hardly was used. Bathroom was just remodeled using an open concept and pretty stonework. Although we were to have an ocean view room, none of the rooms could have had much of one. Although we could see a little sliver of the ocean, that makes it an oceanfront room. The room was everything you would need for your stay. Three of us girls staying in one room, we could have used another mirror - only one was in the bathroom. Food: Food was good. There are some different dishes there but they also have food that anyone would like. With the all-inclusive, there is a Mexican Restaurant (would give it the lowest rating), and Italian Restaurant (very good!), an International restaurant (didn't eat there) and then the nightly buffet. Different food each night but there was always a pasta bar and stir fry bar. Both are very good. Lunch was at the brick oven where there is pizza, fries, roasted chicken (very good!), hamburgers and hot dogs. I guess there was a buffet for lunch as well but we never went to the buffet for lunch. Drinks: Lower shelf alcohol. Think it would take a lot of it to even make you tipsy. We drank frozen drinks with rum most of the days on the beach. Tried some of the other drinks and they were o.k. Several locations on the resort to get drinks which is nice. Resort: small and easy to get around. Saw other resorts where it took you 20 minutes to walk from your room to the beach. We were in Block #4 (room 4109) and we were literally 2 minutes from the beach - if that long. Like I said, a little older but very well maintained. Lobby has free Wi-Fi so it was crowded in the evening time after dinner with everyone wanting to get on-line. I believe they probably have just so many license so we had to wait to get on line at times. We heard from other resorts where you have to pay for Wi-Fi so this is def. a perk! Pool is nice. Pretty clean - needed a little maintenance but fine. They had water exercises each morning and that was fun! No hot tub that we could find, though. Plenty of seats around the pool and no need to have to reserve early in the morning. Entertainment is limited. Pool aerobics in the morning, some beach games during the day and one night there was a "party on the beach." It is pretty family oriented with a Kid's Club - no kids with us so don't know that much about it. Beach: Ah, beautiful! Softest sand I've ever felt! There are lots of huts on the beach with chairs but you must get up EARLY to get the front two rows. if you go out to the beach after 8:00 a.m., more than likely the huts are taken and as hot as it gets, you need that relief from the huts. We spent the majority of our time on the beach and loved it! Took walks up and down. Lots of people trying to sell you everything from jewelry (pretty cheap), cigars, hair braiding, pictures with live parakeets, monkeys, snakes (Yikes!), etc. Just ignore them and they will go away and not bother you. Saw other resorts from the beach view and I believe The VIK has probably one of the best parts of the beach. Excursions: All kinds of excursions to choose from. We decided to go dune buggy riding and it was fun. Angel from Olympus Tours is great to work with. Honest and cares about you having a fun time. Service: I would lower this down on the scale a bit. We have been to other Caribbean resorts where they wait on you hand and foot. I guess we missed the beach service and pool service. At other resorts, there was always someone there getting you a drink whether by the pool or the beach. Not here. You get it yourself. Kind of slow getting your drink orders at breakfast and dinner as well. That type of service was not top-notch but our maids, bartenders, etc. were extremely friendly - the bigger tip, the more friendly, found out! Culture: We are Americans who speak English and found very few Americans who travel to Punta Cana. Was told the country that comes there the most is Russia, then France (lots of French speaking people) then Canada and Europe. More Americans are going to Punta Cana but not like Cancun or the Bahamas or Jamaica. Found it somewhat difficult to understand them and for them to understand us. We had heard that from others but until you live it for a week, it does make communication difficult. Overall: We like going to different locations so not sure we will come back to the Punta Cana in the near future but if we do, I believe we would stay at the VIK again. Biggest reason: Clean, good food and room was close to everything!
Service was awesome!!! People in general were extremely friendly. The room and the common areas were kept very clean. As far as the food goes, you get what you pay for, it's not the best all inclusive type of meals we've had, but there's enough to choose from. The Seafood and the Italian restaurants were the best. Entertainment from the staff during the day and every night was something to look forward to. In general VIK Arena Blanca is a great place to stay at with your family. We read a bunch of bad reviews after we had booked it, which got us disappointed, but once we got there we figured that there's people that complain about everything and anything! We were a large group of two families of all ages and we all had an amazing time!!! ;)
Great beach and pools. You will want reserve a shaded spot by 8:00 AM, but it's that way everywhere. Food was good at buffet. Dinner at specialty restaurants was very good with good service by staff. Check-in took about 45 minutes. A lot of people arriving at once. Most, like us, arrived at 1:00 PM. Check-in is at 3:00PM. Many thought their rooms should be ready and waiting, and complained. I found the lobby bar an excellent way to pass the time while waiting for room assignment. All-inclusive, of course. The rooms are showing their age a little, but ours was clean with beautiful view of pool and ocean. We upgraded to ocean-view room. It was worth it. Our trip was for four days and three nights, which was about right for my wife and me. Remember the sun-screen or you will be sorry. Also, English is not the language of the country. Don't expect everyone to be fluent. A lot of the guests will be German, French, French Canadian, and Russian so expect a little communication gap. I found that a smile, and a "good morning", or "good afternoon", goes a long way. I would go again.
this hotel is one of the best, the staff treat you like king the drinks are amazing i will definitely go back, the only thing i didnt like is i was trying to get cash from my credit card they charge me 34$ us when i withdraw 150$ us so i dnt know why it is so high orther than that i have lots of funnn
The resort was smaller, but we liked that. We did not want to trek a long way to and from our room, as well as the other places on the resort we walked to. The food was AMAZING, although the Mexican restaurant was closed....we were very disappointed about that. The pool area and grounds in general were kept very nice and clean and were simply beautiful. I loved that all the buildings on the grounds were open air (with the exception of the hotel buildings). The staff, although a bit difficult to communicate with if you don't speak Spanish, was very accommodating and friendly. The beach area is a public area, so the groundskeepers do not maintain it. Thus, there was a little bit of trash in the sand (cigarette butts, plastic utensils, straws), but not enough to deter us from the beauty before us. Vendors trying to sell their goods and services, but a 'no thank you' was all we had to say and they were on their way. They were harmless. The liquor included with the inclusive package was not top shelf, but that was probably a good thing. :) When we wanted top shelf, we just paid for it. No worries. We upgraded our room to Building 3 (at the recommendation of other reviews on the Trip Advisor website), which was supposedly refurbished. However, the bathroom was not refurbished and needed a bit of upgrading. Once again, this was not enough to deter us from having a good time and enjoying our stay. Not a huge, five star resort, but definitely good accommodations for the price we paid.
The VIK Arena Blanca is one of the best resorts one can reside while in Punta, Cana. The food is superb. The rooms are super clean and the service can't be matched. I was treated like a Queen. The frig. was stocked daily with water. Room service was prompt and my cleaning person was very helpful. The resort is small enough to feel safe, but large enough not to become bored. This includes shops and a flea market within walking distance. The Animation team was full of activities and ideas to make my stay amazing. After dinner each night there was entertainment, dancing and of course open bars in several locations. Please be sure to take the Santo Domingo tour and Dr. Fish spa day via Olympus Tours. Thanks Ira H. for helping me select a vacation I will always remember.
I'm going to write my review so that people won't be hesitant about buying like I was...me and my family of 4, daughter of 3 and son of 14..I will break down the vacation in different sections..we went for 7 days from Wednesday October 12 thru Wednesday October 19th. We got a good price..all inclusive you can't beat the price...we travelled thru Frontier which isn't bad at all despite all the negative reviews only thing I can say is bring snacks..nothing is served on the flight without paying for it..once off the plane DO NOT CHANGE MONEY! U.S.dollars are accepted in the D.R. go thru customs bring $10 per person to enter the country..walk past the hoarde of people trying to sell other resorts and go directly to your shuttle we went through cheap carribean and used Amstar which was perfectly fine. They were prompt and on time..once we got to the resort we had to wait a few hours as our room was not ready till 3pm..we went to the pool and ate lunch came back at 3 and our room was ready got our cards for our towels (you use the cards to get your towels at the pool and just return them when you are done remember keep your cards they charge you $20 if you lose the towels/cards) got our room keys and went to our rooms the rooms are perfectly fine..PLEASE USE THIS TIP! I see alot of reviews saying the A.C., or the fridge dosent work...leave your card in the slot as soon as you open the door and leave it placed in the slot for the remainder of your trip thats what keep the power on..this way your fridge is always cold, your room is always nice and cool...just check after the maid cleans the rooms cause sometimes they remove them, but not always..the pool is beautiful sometimes you have to look for a hut to lay under with chairs, but we can always find chairs for every member of my family...they have dance classes everyday for salsa, merengue, and bachata 3 times a day..they even have excersise classes in the pool, they have games where the kids can win prizes everyday...the beach is even more beautiful, we spent every day a few hours on the beach...if you have teenagers just warn them that women atleast European women sometimes get topless...just a warning..the buffet is were we ate everyday and I can't tell you this if you are spanish you will enjoy every meal..do not let the reviews deter you..the buffet had something different everyday we were there and everything was fresh from the food to the fruit...they have wine and beer also on tap ready for you...can't tell you about the other restaurants cause the buffets were more than enough for us..they so have fun shows at night from Michael Jackson show, to a dance shows from every nation, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS THEY HAVE A DISCO TO DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY they don't promote it much not sure why cause it's fun, but it's right after the dance show from 11pm-2am right next to were the shows are performed...just ask someone and they will direct you...also for late night food, they have sandwiches and soups at the sports bar which me and the wife enjoyed very much...they beach is beautiful to walk through at night with your partner...we even ventured off into other hotels to see what it was like and I can tell you they are nothing but boring, saw people just walking around looking for something to do...there is plenty to do at arena blanca...the animation group tries to hype everyone up and for everyone to have a good time...the people are friendly and always greeted everyone....they have different animals from a monkey to and iguana and different types of birds for you to take pictures with...the photographers know what they are doing and go around taking pictures all day long...I can say the people there work long hours and are there all day from morning to night to make everyone feel comfortable and to make sure they have a good time...PLEASE TIP even if it's a dollar or 2 bring small bills with you..they do have alot of people that hassle you just a little, but once you say no they know who you are and leave you alone...no need to be rude a simple no will suffice...this is one of the best trips I have taken and will definitely will be back....
After reading several reviews on this hotel I almost cancelled. Glad I didn't. It was a great value and we liked it very much. Room was fine - we saw "ZERO" bugs in seven days. That's saying something for a tropical site. Air conditioning could have been better but it was adequate. Staff was fantastic. Not too many English speaking. Lots of German speaking quests. The food - GREAT! Breakfast buffet was as complete as it could be. Lunch and dinner buffet was filled with a different assortment daily. They do a great job of offering a diversity of items over a weeks menu. You will not go hungry and you will not be bored with the offerings. Pizza, fries, dogs and burgers available throughout the day. Open bar was more than we expected. Available all day and evening. Not premium but good. There is no gratuity added to your bill so leave a little at the bar or in the dining rooms. A few bucks goes a long way and is greatly appreciated by the help. The Olympus group that Cheap Caribbean uses in Punta Cana are great. The airport, transfer people and hotel reps were excellent.