Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana Review

Well at last here is my review of here. I have to say that this in some ways has been the hardest review to write. I don’t think I have been able to sum up in even the length of this review about how special we think this resort is and how much we want to return. I do hope I have managed to do this justice though. 
Firstly let me apologise about the length of this review as I will try and include as much detail as possible. I will try and split this into sections to make this easier.
This is my 1st stay here, we stayed for 4  nights, this was the 3rd hotel in a tour of 3 that we did over a 2 week period. We checked in on the 21st of June after leaving Dreams Punta Cana.
Transfer
We transferred from Dreams Punta Cana to Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana. It was an easy transfer of about 1 hour.
The 1st thing I can say about this place is WOW! As soon as I saw it I was like an excited child. It was stunning. I had completed lots and lots of research, seen 100s of photos but being here for real took my breath away. It was out of this world.
Check In/Out
As we were in a private taxi it was only us checking in. We had arrived early, about 2.30 the room was ready but before we headed there Kary came and greeted us. She showed us a quick tour around. And made us feel very welcome straight away. It was great to meet her after having emailed her before we left. She told us we would love our room and might not want to leave it…she was right and I’ll come to that. There is a golf buggy transfer from the lobby to the fortress or it is a quick 5 to 10 minute walk. With it being out 1st day we got the transfer.
Check out was easy, we had arranged for our bags to be collected and then got a buggy to the lobby. I was so sad to leave that day. It had been a trip of a life time and definitely had ended on a high.
Room
We were in room 3040, I’d emailed before to ask for room with a view and WOW this couldn’t have been any better. Kary was right as soon as I saw it I didn’t want to leave. Words alone can’t describe this room so please check out my photos. It was a honeymoon suite with a pool. And it was HUGE. The massive bed, the big living are, the huge bathroom with separate bath and shower and double sinks. And then there was the balcony, about the same size as the bedroom and living area together, with an amazing pool 2 sun loungers and a shaded area with a table and 2 chairs. We spent hours by our pool every day, I didn’t even want to put on my ipod as the stillness of everything was wonderful and I wanted to enjoy it. It was just perfect.
 There was a good supply of toiletries in the bathroom, a great mini bar with Fanta, sprite, coke, coke zero, water, juices and some beers. There was a great espresso machine which a couple of coffee shots, the 1st day I left a note and tip asking for “mucho café” and they happily obliged.
There was a great walk in closet for cloth storage. The safe is free and we made sure we locked everything valuable away; we always do this just for our peace of mind. Maid service was always excellent as was turn down service; I love the nice petal and rose touches they did at night.
We had a fruit platter and a bottle of champagne delivered to us, which to celebrate having arrived in paradise we enjoyed on our balcony. The view from that was out of this world.
The Grounds
This deserves its own section; the attention to detail here is phenomenal. I have never been to a hotel that is so stunning that no matter where you turn there is something else that takes your breath away. The fortress area with a water fall in the middle, art pieces around every corner, the shopping area, lobby and steak house which feels like you have stepped into Italy. Then the more tropical feel as you head towards Trump beach. I recommend taking the time out to walk around and explore there is so much to see. The crab pool is a must see.
Food
I’ll only cover off the options that I actually tried here, however there are different options as well such as pool service for food and the Italian which we didn’t try.
Breakfast
Casabella – Buffet and A la Carte option
This was a great place to enjoy breakfast. They have takeaway coffees here as well as being able to sit down for breakfast. I enjoyed the buffet but you could also choose to have dishes cooked as you wished. It was nice to sit outside here and enjoy the morning sun.
Room Service
This was fantastic for breakfast we ordered this twice. Enjoying a cooked and continental style option. As it was our anniversary we were given a champagne breakfast which we ordered from the concierge at the lobby. I recommend ordering this early if you can or you might have to go for a different day or time than you initially want. It was a brilliant champagne breakfast though and a fantastic way to start the day.
Lunch
Casabella – Buffett
Great choice here and it was brilliant to have something light before our trip to the airport.
Blue Marlin
My favourite spot for lunch, service was great and the food was fantastic, the crab cakes are a must try. You get a beautiful breeze from the sea sitting here.  I love the fact that the menu changes from lunch to dinner later on as well. We met some guests who didn’t know that so they’d missed out on trying here at night time, please go its worth trying.
Dinner
The restaurants are on a rotation basis but there are copy’s of what the rota is around the resort, outside the steakhouse, fortress and near the reception are a couple I can remember.
Room Service
As we were in awe of our room we choose to enjoy dinner on the balcony the 1st night. There is a great room service menu with a wide range of options. It did take longer than they had said but it was worth the wait.
Steak House
I was really looking forward to trying here after reading so many great reviews but I think we got it on a slightly off night. How they seated people was a little strange with everyone getting shown to one small section. It would have been nicer to have been more spread out until it filled up. There were lots of different waiters serving us, our orders got mixed up with the steaks cooked the wrong way round and sides mixed up. The steak was ok but not the best we had this trip. Hubby tried the 3 sausage starter and WOW that is a huge starter.  I asked to check if the brownie had nuts in it, I’m not allergic just don’t like them, luckily, the waiter tried to check with a couple of people then without getting an answer said it didn’t and took my order….it did have nuts, the ice cream that came with it was ok though.
Blue Marlin
Brilliant setting for having evening meal and enjoy the sun set. It was beautiful. One of the best starters of the holiday was the seafood trio, the lobster cake was fantastic and I could have eaten more of them. I had the paella and hubby the lobster. I finished with the chocolate fondue which was also the best desert of the trip. It was great watch the sky turn different shade of purple and red and the sun went down and the lights under the blue marlin and the romantic dinner spot were beautiful.
Wok
This surprisingly for us was our favourite here, I say surprisingly as we are not usually sushi fans however this was great. As choose to sit outside and not at the show tables. We asked for a sushi platter to share then for me spring rolls and hubby won ton soup followed by stir fry for us both. We really enjoyed these and when I do go back here I will be eating here more than just the once.
Bars
We didn’t drink at the swim up or at the blue marlin bar so I will just report on the rest.
Love  Bar – at the lobby
Great barman here, I think it was Javier (but I lost all the names I wrote down sorry). He was fantastic. Again the attention to detail is beautiful, it is a church style and during the day nice and cool. We often sat outside here, by the top pool and there was no one else around. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. The other outside area is also nice, one night we sat here and it feels like an Italian courtyard.
At night the entertainment happens in the Love Bar or on the terrance by the love bar. We were early risers early back at the room so all we saw was the piano player one night. Which was still a lovely touch.
Ocean Club Bar – in the fortress
This was a great place to have a drink during the day or on an evening. It was quiet but you always got talking to the same people here and the bar staff.  My husband enjoyed watching the tennis here, as Wimbledon was on, while I lazed by our pool in peace and quiet.
Pools
There are 4 pools in total, the Ocean Club pool, the swim up bar pool, a pool outside the love bar at the top of a waterfall and then a lower pool. We always saw plenty of seats at the Ocean club pool. We never saw anyone at the upper pool, so not sure if it is really used. The swim up bar pool did seem the busiest but I’m not sure what time all chairs are taken by.
With only 4 nights and our own amazing pool we didn’t use any of the others.  
Entertainment
The team are amazing, always walking around with a smile on their faces. They start early and always say hello as they walk through. They are never pushy though at trying to get you to join in. Everyone down by the swim up bar seemed to be having fun though.
Beach
The resort beach it’s self is quite small and with only a little shade. However it did look very nice. We are not beach people so didn’t spend much time here. There are 2 great beaches either side of the resort though and some of the rooms looked as if they actually walked out on to the start of trump beach.
Other information and tips
There is an internet cable in your room; there is no wifi in the rooms. There was wifi around the resort and found good signals at the love bar and ocean bar.
Please tip if you can afford it and if you feel the service deserves it.  Tipping for us didn’t give us better service but rewarded good and great service.
VIP/Unlimited Vacation employees – yes they do look like the staff, you can see on their badge that they work for unlimited vacations though. Even though I knew about them and had spotted them at both dreams resorts it wasn’t so easy here. It was only after talking to one person for a while that I was able to work it out. He was not pushy at all though, was very nice in fact.   
Vendors  – A quick no thank-you and continuing to walk on worked great. Generally we don’t make eye contact or look at the stalls and this works, we are not rude just firm in our response. We never felt hassled or that we had to change our route.
I would like to say a massive thank-you to Kary and Marco, it was a pleasure to meet you and I am so happy that the hard work you are putting into here has been paying off. You truly have an amazing resort here and it has definitely jumped to my number 1 hotel.  There are other staff I wanted to thank as well but I have unfortunately lost my contact names I wrote down. There was a barman who would cover at Ocean Club I think his name was something like Browlon (bad spelling I’m sorry) as well as all the other staff at the hotel, you are all amazing and I am constantly day dreaming about returning.  
Keep Dreaming Big 
Emily 🙂
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My Review of Dreams Punta Cana

Well here it is at last…my review of Dreams Punta Cana. 
Firstly let me apologise about the length of this review as I will try and include as much detail as possible. I will try and split this into sections to make this easier.
This is my 3rdstay here, this time only for 5 nights (the previous stays were both for 14 nights), this was the 2nd hotel in a tour of 3 that we did over a 2 week period. We checked in on the 16th of June after leaving Dreams La Romana.
Transfer
We transferred from Dreams La Romana to Dreams Punta Cana by a private taxi, great driver who we had used for a tour last year to Altos De Chevon. He spoke excellent English and was able to tell us about the areas we were seeing on the drive. We had prepared for a 2 hour drive but it took about 1hour 30 and was great to see the sites on route.
 Check In/Out
As we were in a private taxi it was only us checking in. No cold towels and champagne to greet us but when we got to the check in they called the bar and asked what we liked they quickly brought us 2 beers. We had arrived early, about 2.30 the room wasn’t ready but as check in wasn’t until 3pm that was fine, so we took a seat and enjoyed our beers. 10 minutes later they came to tell us our room was ready. We were in building 1 (right by the beach) so headed to our room. When we got to our room the door wouldn’t open, neither or the keys worked. This happened back in 2007 when we had used the keys incorrectly but luckily this time we didn’t need to walk all the way to the lobby as building 1 has its own concierge. Jhonny was fantastic, he went and checked and said the battery had gone on the lock. He had only checked it a couple of minutes previously. We went to another bar and while he took care of it. About 30 minutes later and it was fixed and we didn’t have any other problems with the lock.  It wasn’t a big deal,  nothing a drink at the bar couldn’t solve.
Check out was easy, we spoke with preferred club concierge the day before and they helped us arrange out taxi to Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana. On the day our luggage was picked up from the room and taken to the lobby for us. We then checked out at the preferred club lounge before heading up to the lobby. You get a ticket to confirm you have paid and you need to show this to the bell boys when you get in your transport from the lobby.
Room
We were in room 1309, great room with a sea view. This was the exact same room that we had in 2008 and WOW…the trees have grown! The sea view is still there but in 2008 it was more impressive. The room was renovated and brilliant, clean and bright. We had a plate of apples with a note saying there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us, we just had to call for this. The room was bright and clean with great air con. There was a good supply of toiletries in the bathroom, a great mini bar with Fanta, sprite, coke, coke zero, water, 2 juice boxes (love these) and some beers.  I left a couple of dollars in the fridge the 1st day with a note asking for more beers which they happily added. There is a good coffee maker and again on the 1st day we asked for extra coffee and got plenty. 
There was decent hanging space for clothes. The safe is free and we made sure we locked everything valuable away; we always do this just for our peace of mind. Maid service was always excellent as was turn down service; I love the towel art that they do. 
We didn’t experience any problems of noise from the hall or rooms next door. We always ask for a room away from the stairs so less foot traffic, think that helps.  
I love building 1 as it is close to the beach end of the resort, near the restaurants we mainly eat as and near where we like to sunbathe, please keep in mind this is a 5-10 min walk from the lobby area though.
Preferred Club
We had been upgraded to preferred club and enjoyed the preferred lounge. The bar with a wider selection of beers and some nice snacks (the chocolate fruit was my favourite), there are 2 computers in here as well. It’s a great place to enjoy a drink and the terrace is nice here as well. All the preferred club staff was fantastic.
I loved the preferred club breakfast option at Oceana. This was a great place, love the a la carte option and great choice. This is a brilliant perk of having preferred club.
Ideally I would like to see a preferred club pool here and I think that would add even more value to upgrading.
Food
There are lots of choices available, with more restaurants than night I will only write about those I visited.
Breakfast
World Café – Buffet
Great choice here, I love the made to order omelettes, lots of cooked breakfast options as well as fresh fruit. There is an outside area but for some reason this year it wasn’t set up as well as it has been in the past. Only a couple of tables, that weren’t in the best of condition and you got forgotten about with drinks, we didn’t get any a couple of times.
Oceana (preferred club guests)
This was a fantastic a la carte option. Loved having breakfast here twice with a huge choice and brilliant sea view setting.
Lunch
World Café – Buffett
Fantastic choice here, I love the pasta station which was cooked to order. Huge choice, a couple of things did seem to change on a daily basis but the popular, salad, burgers, pizza etc. was always there.
Oceana
My favourite spot for lunch, it gets busy so recommend you go early. A la carte menu, good service and a great club sandwich.
Preferred Club
Some lovely snacks here at lunch time, great sandwiches and some nice chocolate fruit.
Just to note it is great to see the food option at Barracuda bar again, they had it the 1st year we visited and it vanished for a while. It’s great to see that back. And of course there is the bbq on the beach option.
Dinner
Wine Room
WOW great addition to the resort. We ate here the 1st night and our last night. You buy a bottle of wine, which starts at about $26 and you get a more private dining experience. It’s located between the Seaside Grill and Oceana restaurants. You can order off of both those and the Portofino menus. Cipriani is the best waiter at the resort who takes great care of you. I highly recommend eating here at least once during your stay.  Food was great both times we were here, grouper shrimp and brie, & salmon the 1st time. The second time was crab cakes (WOW) followed by beef and bacon skewers lovely.
Seaside Grill
It is open air so no air con. Service was quick and it was a great salad bar to start us off. A little too much sauce on the rack of ribs for me but hubby loved the surf and turf combo.
Portofino
Out of my 3 stays here this has always been my favourite restaurant (although I think the wine room wins now). It was great to see that it hadn’t change much the menu here is definitely what I perceive as more traditional Italian then the one at Dreams La Romana. Great views from here and a nice place to see the sunset. Lovely bread and oil mix to snack on while choosing your meal. Service was very good here. It did smell a little musty when we 1st went in but the air con was definitely on here.
Mexican
I really like the layout of this restaurant, the big wooden tables and chairs and traditional style.  Service was great, chicken wings had too much sauce and fajitas not seasoned the way I’d normally have.  It wasn’t bad just different. Hubby loved his beef toasts and tequila steak.
Room Service
We ordered this a couple of times. Loved the pizzas, they are small though. The delivery was very slow one night the rest of the time it was within 45 minutes.
Bars
There are a lot more bars that what I am going to report on, but I only want to mention the ones I actually used.
Lobby Bar
We enjoyed having a drink here to cool down during the day or at night after dinner. There has been some great touches added, small snacks given out when you are sitting having a drink, amazing chocolate display a couple of nights and tea and coffee selection to help yourself to during the day.  Table service was good and bar service was good through the day, a little slow at night.
They have a singer on here which felt louder and more intrusive this year than in the past, more a volume thing than anything else.
They have premium beers here, just ask, sometimes it was bud or miller or corona. It changes so just check with them.
Sugar Reef Bar
Wish they still had tables and chairs in the shade here as it is a great place to have a drink during the day. It’s the other side of the swim up and a great view of the beach.
Oceana bar (the middle of Oceana and Seaside grill)
Great place for pre-dinner drinks; excellent service and table service and they have introduced the snack dishes here as well.
Portofino Bar
Amazing views from up here, great location for a wedding dinner, although as it is outside you take the risks of it being too hot. There was a wedding here the night we came up. It was still private for them while we enjoyed a drink at the bar before eating.
Preferred Club Bar
Great place for a drink with added choice of beers here, the spirits were pretty much the same as the lobby. It was nice and cool and a great place to get chatting to other people.
Other Bars
The great thing about this resort is you are never far away from somewhere to pick up a quick drink. On top of what I’ve mentioned you have the Barracuda bar (midpoint of the pool), Veranda bar near the lobby. You also have the theatre bar and the disco.
Pool
We love the pool here, we are early risers but even when we were by the pool there were still plenty of chairs available until about 10/11am. We did still see people finding spots later on though. I was worried about the towel game but didn’t see it happening.
The pool is huge, it goes from the lobby right down to the ocean. Plenty of spots to choose from, areas where more kids hang out, near the iceberg, people who want to be in amongst the entertainment, by the swim up bar and the the middle area. We usually picked our spot outside of building 6. It’s the same place weve sunbathed every year we’ve been there, quiet but close enough to a bar. The pool service was much better this year from drinks which were great.
Entertainment
The team are amazing, always walking around with a smile on their faces. They start early and always say hello as they walk through. They are never pushy though at trying to get you to join in. Everyone down by the swim up bar seemed to be having fun though.
Beach
This is a huge beach where you can walk miles and miles in the sand and see very little. The sand is a little browner here, and the sea not the crystal blue however it is much bigger.  There were plenty of chairs around for people and some of the entertainment takes place down here as well.
SPA
1st tip is to keep an eye out for the spa specials. I got the combination massage for 90 minutes I think it was and it was about $30-$50s cheaper than the normal price. It was fantastic and really helped my neck which had been playing up for a few days.  I love the spa setting here.
Core Zone
This was a disappointment this year, in the past my hubby and I have enjoyed a couple of beers watching a football game or playing pool here. This year they don’t serve any drink here and there has been a big shift to this feeling as if it is just for kids. I am pleased the kids have this area as well and there are some great activities here for them. It was just a disappointment for us.
Internet Shop
There are 2 places, 1 by the lobby and 1 by  the core zone. Internet computers (there is a fee from $4 for 15 minutes, it is cheaper to use wifi $25 for 25 hours on 1 device over 6 days. The 1st day I was here it wasn’t a good experience with them, refusing to sell me wifi for my ipod as they said it didn’t work. It had at Dreams la romana who have the same wifi provider. I paid for the 15 mins only after explaining I wasn’t happy at all. When I met Vanessa the following day and found out we had access to the preferred lounge she hadn’t heard of the problem before and got me a wifi pass sorted out. The signal wasn’t great in my room but was ok on the balcony and excellent by the pool and at the lobby. Wifi is a much cheaper option for you.
Other information and tips
Please tip if you can afford it and if you feel the service deserves it.  Tipping for us didn’t give us better service but rewarded good and great service.
Please check the dress codes of the restaurants, this is for men mainly, some restaurants you can’t were shorts at and we saw a lot of people having to go and get changed. There is a notice outside of those restaurants which tells you what is ok and what is not. Also you can check the Dreams website before and it lets you know, so you know what to pack. Personally we liked the dress code as for us we felt it brought elegant feel to the evening meal.
VIP/Unlimited Vacation employees – yes they do look like the staff, you can see on their badge that they work for unlimited vacations though. We were only asked about this once on our 1st day here down by the beach, and we said we weren’t interested and they left us alone.  
Vendors  – A quick no thank-you and continuing to walk on worked great. Generally we don’t make eye contact or look at the stalls and this works, we are not rude just firm in our response. We never felt hassled or that we had to change our route.
I would like to say a massive thank-you to Vanessa, Jhonny and Ciprian as well as all the other staff at the hotel, you are all amazing and did a great job making our return trip special. 
 

 

I will post this to tripadvisor shortly but in the meantime I hope you find this useful.
Keep Dreaming Big
Emily 🙂
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Dreams La Romana Review

Well this is the long awaited review of Dreams La Romana…..I can’t recommend this place enough. I truely love it here and will return again one day. It was such an amazing stay and a friend of mine has just booked based on my recommendation. Thank-you to everyone for making this stay perfect.
Firstly let me apologise about the length of this review as I will try and include as much detail as possible. I will try and split this into sections to make this easier.
This is my 2nd stay here, this time only for 5 nights (the 1st was 14), this was the 1st hotel in a tour of 3 that we did over a 2 week period. We checked in on the 11th of June.
Flight and Transfer
It was a 9 hour flight from the UK, with Thomson. We were in standard class and paid the £5 each to upgrade our entertainment, mainly so we can use start, stop, pause and not wait for the loop to restart. As we had booked through Caribbean Warehouse transfers were through VIP transfers who have a desk at the airport. It was just the 2 of us in the comfortable taxi, the drive was good, some of the roads are great, others are very bumpy; I enjoyed the journey and got some great pictures on route. We were lucky with the traffic and it only took 1 hour 10 minutes, previous year was 1 hour 30.
Check In/Out
We were the only people at check in, we didn’t get champagne or cold towels, we were booked preferred club and the main desk got the bell boy to take us there with our luggage. When we got there Eddy (fantastic drink server at the preferred club lounge) quickly brought us champagne and the preferred club girls checked us in, welcomed us home and wished me a happy birthday. Huge thank-you to Glennis, Fabiola, Pitosca and Berkis (the preferred club concierge who were all amazing). Fabiola especially went out of her way and even got hold of a recipe we really wanted, it too her some hunting it down but she managed it.
Check out was very easy, our luggage was taken to the lobby, we got a ticket to confirm we had settled our bill and you need to show this when you got to leave.
Our Room
Our room was 7339, and it was fantastic, the girls had decorated my room with balloons for my birthday which was such a great surprise. We also had a welcome home again letter, a fruit and cheese platter and a bottle of champagne. The room was bright and clean with great air con. There was a good supply of toiletries in the bathroom, a great mini bar with Fanta, sprite, coke, diet coke, water and some beers.  I left a couple of dollars in the fridge the 1st day with a note asking for more beers which they happily added. There is a good coffee maker and again on the 1st day we asked for extra coffee and got plenty. 
There is plenty of drawer storage and good hanging space. The safe is free and we made sure we locked everything valuable away; we always do this just for our peace of mind. The view from the balcony was of the preferred pool and partial ocean view. I loved sitting there enjoying a drink on the afternoon or evening. Maid service was always excellent as was turn down service; I love the towel art that they do.  
We didn’t experience any problems of noise from the hall or rooms next door. We always ask for a room away from the stairs so less foot traffic, think that helps. We did speak to another couple staying in block 5 who did have very noisy neighbours though; it got better after they left.
Preferred Club
We spent most of our time in this area. We loved this area of the resort and to us the preferred club upgrade is worth every penny. We met some people who upgraded when they arrived, some who upgraded halfway through their stay, everyone we met at the preferred club really enjoyed the extra perks, the pool, the bar, the lounge with snacks from morning until night and the computers as well as the free wifi being the top things. The preferred club is quiet which is perfect for us however for those wanting to be in amongst the main entertainment this happened on the main beach and by the main pools. The preferred club pool was great and we are early risers and were often by the pool on our own until about 9am. There were still least a couple loungers available all day, although not always with shade. The bar here was fantastic about 10am each morning as it opened they often came around with fruit sticks which was a lovely touch. Pool service was brilliant with them being proactive in getting your drinks for you.  Jenny was brilliant during the day.
The preferred club bar was a great place to make friends on a night time, we got chatting the same 3 couples each day and night and it was a great laugh. After 3pm you also have the best barman ever….Hector! We were so pleased to see him again this year and we were sad to leave him again, we have talked about him often in the last year between visits and he is a great asset to the team.
Food
There are lots of choices available, with 7 a la carte restaurants and 5 nights we chose to go to those we loved or missed last year. It is those as well as the breakfasts and lunch options that we experienced is what I’ll write about.
Breakfast
World Café
Great choice here, I love the omelette station, lots of fresh fruit and cooked breakfast options. We enjoyed sitting in the outside area here. 
Preferred Club
A continental breakfast was on here, mini croissants, toast, fruit etc where you could help yourself. Nice to do if you are just after something light.
Room Sevice
Good choice and it was delivered in the 40 minutes they had said.
Lunch
Seaside Grill
This is a great a la carte lunch option. Good menu and once you are in good service. We did find it very strange that ourselves and a couple in front of us as well as everyone behind us started getting pagers and asked to wait for a table when there were plenty of tables available. Someone did come and get us about 20 minutes later and person on the desk said they had been paging us, our pager had never gone off though. Recommend having the tuna wrap!
World Café
We didn’t use this much last year as it seemed so busy this year it was much better so we used it a couple of times. Lots of choice available. I loved the pasta station here and highly recommend trying that. Great waiter at the outside area, who remembered our drinks the next day, wish I could remember his name (on his badge it begins with a B but his real name was Francisco).
Cocco Café
Really like this place, nice to grab a couple of small snacks, variety of coffee drinks and use the internet computers (there is a fee from $4 for 15 minutes, it is cheaper to use wifi $25 for 25 hours on 1 device over 6 days). Book exchange is here as well, and the air con is good here.
Pizza Station
By the main pool they have a pizza and hot dog station; I love that you can grab a couple of freshly made pizza slices from here.
Dinner
We always eat early, latest was 7pm, we didn’t have a wait anywhere.
El Patio – Mexican
They went above and beyond expectations for me. Knowing it was my birthday when we arrived the preferred club girls asked where we were planning on eating, we’d already decided that if the Mexican was open this was where we’d go so we let them know. Less than an hour later they had organised a decorated table for us and it was perfect! Jesus the waiter was fantastic, perfect English, but also speaks 3 other languages!
I had the Tacos Tacos Tacos which are more like fajitas but that was what I loved, you can ask for the hard taco shells instead though. Husband had the burrito and thought it was great. Margaritas were very strong but nice.
A huge birthday cake was presented to me at the end of the meal which I asked to be shared with the staff in the end as it was so big. It was the perfect birthday meal.
Jungle – Dominican
Lovely setting on the beach, where you’re feet are in the sand. Good service here and the goat was lovely, 1st time I’d tried it and really enjoyed it. We loved the white bean sauce that was served with the rice and this was the recipe we managed to get hold of, can’t wait to try it at home.
Bordeaux – French
We love the setting here, air con is good here as well. Snails, steak and lamb chops were all excellent. The French onion soup was ok. Javier is an excellent waiter who served us twice this trip and very attentive.
Portofino – Italian
This is a nice elegant setting and really enjoyed it here, going twice. The steak here was the best we had all holiday, out of all 3 hotels. Service was great the 1st time (Javier) the 2nd time it was a little odd, with the waiter trying to get me to put his name on trip advisor. Which I have chosen not to do, I am only putting the names of people who have me a great WOW moment.
Bars
There are a lot more bars that what I am going to report on, but I only want to mention the ones I actually used.
Lobby Bar
This was better this year with service seemingly improved however it could still be frustrating, with table servers needing drinks, people not knowing how to wait their turn etc it could be slow at the bar. When waitress service was on this was mixed. One day we sat there for a couple of hours with friends and we had fantastic service, with us hardly ever having an empty drink, tipping $1 or $2 a round. Another time it was very slow. There is a good selection of drinks here, you could get bottles of bud here most of the time.
Veranda Bar
This is beside the Seaside Grill, Bordeaux and Portofino, it is good to be able to get a drink here if you have to wait on a table. There are fewer branded drinks here and I’ve never found branded beers at this bar.
Preferred Club Bar
This for us was the best bar, best service and the best drink choice. Miller, Corona, Bud and about every spirit you could imagine. Hector the best barman ever! It is quiet and somewhere great to make friends away from all the entertainment.
Entertainment
There is a huge entertainment program day and night. This isn’t something we want to join in but for those we spoke to they certainly enjoyed the variety of the daytime activities.
Extra Information and tips
2 other members of staff that need to have a mention:
Browlio – great barman, last year worked on the preferred club bar, he has now moved I think to the pool bar. We met him again this year when he was over at the preferred club and he remembered us, he is a great guy, very friendly and has a good laugh with everyone.
Marlen – WOW this review could not be written without me thanking Marlen for a great stay. She is attentive to her customers and really wants to know how she can make the place better for everyone. She listens to any concerns that people have and acts on them immediately. She is a true asset to the hotel and the company and look forward to seeing her again in the future.
Please tip if you can afford it and if you feel the service deserves it.  Tipping for us didn’t give us better service but rewarded good and great service.
Take a walk along to Bayahibe, it’s a great village and worth a visit. There is a lovely Cuban café as you get to the village, nice to sit and have a drink and a snack if you like. We went along twice and also went to give donations to the local medical centre, the school and an animal charity. If you would like more information on this please let me know.
Please check the dress codes of the restaurants, this is for men mainly, some restaurants you can’t were shorts at and we saw a lot of people having to go and get changed. There is a notice outside of those restaurants which tells you what is ok and what is not. Also you can check the Dreams website before and it lets you know, so you know what to pack. Personally we liked the dress code as for us we felt it brought elegant feel to the evening meal.
VIP/Unlimited Vacation employees – yes they do look like the staff, you can see on their badge that they work for unlimited vacations though. Husband was aware they were there but as we were about to get shown to preferred club they did stop us, husband thought they were staff but I spotted the badge straight away. I politely said that we were not interested and they left it at that. Once more they did stop us but a quick no thank-you was enough.
Vendors  – A quick no thank-you and continuing to walk on worked great. Generally we don’t make eye contact or look at the stalls and this works, we are not rude just firm in our response. We never felt hassled or that we had to change our route.
To see 100s of pictures please check out my previous posts and if you have any questions at all please let me know.
I will be posting this to tripadvisor when I have all 3 reviews written.
Keep Dreaming Big
Emily 
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Holiday blues and life!!!

Well I can honestly say I feel so guilty at the moment…..I have been back nearly 2 months and I have only 1 out of the 3 reviews written. I have suffered the holiday blues worse than ever this year. I guess the more exciting, wonderful and amazing trip you have the worse it feels. Maybe because I visited 3 hotels I am having the holiday blues 3 times worse!
Well anyway, the holiday blues, the laptop problems I’ve had, the fact I’m researching buying my own slimming world franchise and the reality that I wont be getting away on holiday for probably the next 3 year (money!) has really delayed my reviews. I am very sorry for that but I am excited to see that people have still be visiting my blog to get help on their future trips.
So I am here now making a promise to you all. I will post now my Dreams La Romana Review and I promise by Sunday the other 2 reviews will be also be posted. On sunday I will then make sure I upload the reviews to trip advisor as well.
I am very sorry that this is taking so long but please be assured that I am 100% committed to help you all so please feel free to contact me with any questions you have.
Keep Dreaming Big
Emily 🙂
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Photos….1st drafts

Well jet lag is a killer but while we’ve now got all the washing done and waiting on it drying I thought I’d start on the photos. Please keep in mind these are a 1st draft so the albums are BIG!!

They have not also split perfectly which means that you’ll have to skip across a few albums to see them but I have tried to put a note beside which numbers you might want to jump to. I am planning on making much smaller albums but with a weekend away planned this weekend that will take me sometime so in the meantime I hope these help.

This album is the drive from the airport to Dreams La Romana, the stay here as well as the trip around Bayahibe and the donation stops.

https://picasaweb.google.com/103295035758494614427/DreamsLaRomanaPart1?authkey=Gv1sRgCJr_xt6o_b66wAE&feat=directlink

This 2nd album is still photos of Dreams La Romana up to photo 166 then it moves on to the journey to Dreams Punta Cana and Dreams Punta Cana it’s self.

https://picasaweb.google.com/103295035758494614427/DreamsLaRomanaPart2AndDreamsPuntaCanaPart1?authkey=Gv1sRgCLOYl5_25M2engE&feat=email

Here are the photos now of part 2 dreams punta cana as well as moving on to Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana. 1st 31 are Dreams Punta Cana then the journey to SSCC then from 53 onwards is Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.

https://picasaweb.google.com/103295035758494614427/DreamsPuntaCanaPart2ThenSecretsSanctuaryCapCana?authkey=Gv1sRgCKXVtp_epf_aQA&feat=email

As I say sorry for the length of the albums there are also a lot of personal scenery photos for myself as I’m a photographer at heart who needs A LOT of practice 🙂 sorry as I know some of these will be boring for you to see…..please feel free to skip past those.

Anyway I hope they are of some help to you

Keep dreaming big

Emily

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SSCC final day

Well it’s with a very heavy heart I’m writing this, sitting at the Ocean bar with less than 3 hours left in paradise. This tour has been an amazing experience and one I hope to do again…just need some lottery winnings!!

Last nights meal at the WOK was fantastic, we choice a sushi platter to share, hubby’s quote “I’m not normally bothered about sushi but that was great”, I had the spring rolls then the stir fry, both were fantastic, hubby had the won ton soup then stir fry and he agrees that’s been our best meal here.

We had a couple of drinks at the Ocean bar, watched a few people fully clothed take a dip in the pool to cool down!! Clearly they were having a great time 🙂

It was another very early night. We were woken to ask if we’d like to change room, some problem with the air con in the fortress, we were sleeping already so didn’t bother, it got hot later on but still bearable. Speaking with Kary this morning she was full of appologies, hey these things happen and they were dealing with it very quickly so what more can you ask for. It didn’t bother us at all.

This morning we’ve lazed around the pool in the room and now we are all packed. Checking out soon then a bit of lunch before heading to the airport. It’s a very long trip home and to readjust need go stay up about in total about 36 hours to get body clocks back in sink so hoping we sleep on the plane. Hey of we don’t it’s all been worth it.

Thank you to everyone that’s Enjoyed the blog. I’ve loved live posting and will post more info when I’m back home.

Please keep the questions coming.

Keep dreaming big

Emily 🙂

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SSCC day 3

It’s been another very Hot 24 hours, hubby and I were saying yesterday that we’ve had amazing weather this year. Normally we’ve had 1 full day rained off and quiet a few 10-20 minute rain showers. This year unless it has been when we’ve been sleeping we’ve only had rain the one day, which was the morning we were leaving Dreams La Romana and it had cleared up by 11am.
I hope the great weather continues for everyone after we go home. Oh and just to let you know it has forecast rain for our fortnight here, so try not take too much notice to the weather reports unless they are coming from the locals. Denise does a daily report from Bayahibe which is worth looking at, on Facebook it’s on a page called discover Bayahibe.

Yesterday we met Marco before lunch, he is the rooms division manager and a great guy. He was very excited as that morning SSCC had jumped on #6 on trip advisor. It is absolutely deserved and great news and recognition for all the hard work the team have put in. I’m sure it will keep climbing higher.

Lunch at the blue marlin was wonderful again, crab cakes followed by the mahi mahi. Great dishes and great service. We took a quick walk around the rest of the resort and it really is stunning with excellent gardens.

We chilled out at the Ocean bar with mareno serving us as well as fransis, both great guys.

Dinner was at the blue marlin last night, the seafood trio, the lobster cake was fantastic, i had the paella to follow which was great, hubby had the lobster which he thought was ok. I had the chocolate fondue to finish and it was lovely. Great service and brilliant place to see the night to a close. Again we couldn’t make the nighttime entertainment, you’d like we were a lot older and not in our 30s!! But it was back to the room to chill out.

This morning we had the romantic breakfast delivered, part of the anniversary package. We had been told it’s a continental breakfast with champagne but if you wanted to exchange for American/cooked breakfast you can let them know an hour ahead. We did this and it was great. Sitting having that by our pool. 2 glass of champagne later and then I’ve slept in the sun for a couple of hours 🙂

We are enjoying a couple of drink in the Ocean bar before having to confirm our transfers for tomorrow. I’m going to be really sad to leave here tomorrow. It has been an amazing trip and one I won’t forget, plenty of fantastic memories have been made and we are already thinking about when we can come back.

For now at least we still have 1 more night which we are going to spend at the WOK.

I’ll try and write again before I leave tomorrow and then will have full report when I get back. Over 2000 photos taken so I’ll get them uploaded quickly, there will be uncut versions for those in a rush to see them and then it will take me more time to produce a much cut down slideshow for each resort.

Any questions as always please let me know.

Keep dreaming big
Emily

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SSCC day 2

Yesterday was a very lazy day, staying much all day on the sun terrace at the room enjoying the pool.

Blue marlin for lunch was fantastic, a great breeze, good service and very nice blue marlin salad followed by garden pasta. It’s a beautiful setting to top it all off.

We went to the steak house for dinner which was ok, the service was good with lots of waiters making sure our drinks weren’t empty. Onion rings followed by the sirloin for me, hubby had the 3 sausage (huge starter) followed by the rib eye, they mixed up the order, cooking the wrong steaks the wrong way but it was still good food, just not the best steak we’ve had this trip (portifino at dreams la romana still holds the torch).
We had a quiet drink at the outside area of the steakhouse, beautiful setting and then the tough days sun bathing got the better of us and it was back to the room for an early night.

The early night meant I woke naturally about 5am and realising I was up in time for some perfect sunrise shots I was out of bed and out the room with camera in hand within minutes. I was so surprised to see the papers had already been delivered (and our request of the british copy was there, thank-you to the fortress concierge).

Great spot for the photos was the turret by the ocean club pool. I saw no one for about 45 mins, then a couple looking around who quickly vanished again. I got some good shots but the clouds didn’t quite cooperate so not the horizon pics I wanted.

Anyway breakfast buffet this morning (can’t remember the name right now), great choice and good service. Then relaxing at our room pool again.

Heading to lunch again now and will post again tomorrow.

As always any questions please let me know

Keep dreaming big

Emily 🙂

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Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana

We arrived here about 2pm yesterday and Well I’m not sure I can’t start this post any other way other than saying WOW. I really feel like we have landed in heaven here. The 1st thing that hit us was the stunning property, it so much like an Italian village.

Kary met us when we arrived, it was such a pleasure to have her show us around. She clearly gets on well with so many of the guests, stopping for hugs, asking how people were getting on. It clear she is one special woman 🙂

She did warn us that when we saw our room we might not want to leave and boy she is right! We are in the fortress, I think it’s the honeymoon room but in the map it says the room number is classed as the imperial 1 bed suite. Anyway it’s HUGE! With is own pool and gets the sun from 8am until late so not sure we will be leaving here too much. thank you so much to Marco and Kary when I asked for a room with a view you excelled in everyday. A bottle of champagne and fruit plate quickly arrived after we got to the room, again huge thank you.

There is a great shuttle Service to and from the fortress to the love bar, or it’s an easy 10 min walk.

We did venture out to look around, the spa looks stunning, the swim up rooms look perfect, straight to the pool from your door! We found the crab waterfall area. The pools all are beautiful and the swim up bar was busy.
The lobby bar was very quiet and we were on our own on the terrace for about an hour late afternoon.

We enjoyed a drink at Oceana and the love bar last night before heading back just for room service. Food was good, it did take a little longer than they said. Quite impressed with the menu choice.

It’s about 12pm on our 1st full day and we are probably now going to venture out for another look around and some lunch. Room service breakfast was excellent, timely and lots to eat. We’ve enjoyed the peace and quite by our pool and will be back for more this afternoon.

This place has certainly jumped to our number 1 resort!! We just need to think about how we can come back. We still love dreams and will return in a heart beat to both of them, and they are a more affordable option or us but here is really special. Here’s hoping the stay just gets better and better 🙂 I think the next few days are going to fly by too quickly.

Any questions please let me know

Keep dreaming big

Emily

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Dreams punta Cana day 5

Well it’s another very hot day today, sorry this post is a little late, my wifi credit ran out this morning and it didn’t seem right to get another voucher when just there for another few hours before leaving for secrets.

Yesterday saw a very hot day and me in the shade by 10am!! We enjoyed breakfast at Oceana, 1st time I’ve even had pancakes for breakfast (the diet flew out the window as soon as I got on the plane 🙂 ).
I had an amazing spa treatment, the 80 minute combination massage special, $90 is a great deal.
We had a few drinks in the preferred club, got speaking to a guy who has used the baby sitting service and thought it was fantastic, they used it so they could enjoy the dine around offer (dinner at another resort) and also another night. He though it was great and recommends it.

We spent our last evening meal in the wine room, we had all to ourselves and Ciprian was the perfect host. This time we ordered off the Oceana menu, we both had the crab cakes (WOW) followed by the beef and bacon skewers which were also great.

I took lots if night time photos before heading for an early night. We ordered the anniversary package bottle of champagne and then also a couple of pizzas later on (hubby loves the pizza)!
It took a lot longer than the time given but was still good when it arrived.

We loved seeing here again and there have been fantastic changes, such as the wine room. I’ll post a full review when I get back to the uk but as always any questions please let me know.

Keep dreaming big
Emily 🙂

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