from Toronto, Canada
Submitted on 02-10-2016
We just spent the last week of September at the Now Larimar Resort in Punta Cana . On the whole experience combined, I would say I was moderately satisfied, nothing special . Iā??ve been to better places for less, considering the ratings some vacationers are giving this place . Partly my opinion is low because the staff become quite irritating with the sales pressure to get you to buy into the ā??NOWā?? chain of over 50 hotels. When you check in, you are given a coupon booklet, which starts t...
We just spent the last week of September at the Now Larimar Resort in Punta Cana . On the whole experience combined, I would say I was moderately satisfied, nothing special . Iā??ve been to better places for less, considering the ratings some vacationers are giving this place . Partly my opinion is low because the staff become quite irritating with the sales pressure to get you to buy into the ā??NOWā?? chain of over 50 hotels. When you check in, you are given a coupon booklet, which starts the smooth talk to go to a meeting for a free gift with a talk about these resorts. Just say NO ! NO free gift and NO meeting, goodbye ! It also got irritating that they continually wanted a particular response on ā??how are youā??, they tell you to say ā??Excellenteā??ā??. Probably managements directive to get reviews that everything was excellent . Not ! Even a server, Juan F. in the buffet wanted me to write an excellent review of him right then while I was sitting eating in his area . That ticked me off. These are bad hotel decisions that hurt positive reviews .
I am breaking down my observations into the categories most readers would want to know more specifically of, rather than only a blanket * ranking . (later)
HOTEL: The resort is on its second owner, approximately 9 years old, and starting to show its wear and tear in places, needing some proper attention . The restaurant chairs leatherette covers are even peeling off . But honestly, if you had a nine year old house, it too would start needing some repairs . Some people care to do those repairs, and some donā??t .
SERVICE: I must say that overall the service was always good. Most every employee tried to make things good or fill your request. They work long hours and have many many vacationers to serve to make happy .
ROOMS: Our room was spacious, stylish and in good shape. Air conditioning was very cold, so we just lowered it a few times . A good working safe included . The bar fridge was usually filled with alcohol and non-alcohol drinks, but it barely worked to keep them above room temperature, with no control to cool it more . Our bathroom shower door was installed tight against the counter so that honestly only a person with a 34 inch waist could squeeze in . I know because I have the skin marks to prove it ! The maid kept it clean, with the odd towel shortages . The beds were firm, as most hotels like to have for longevity purposes, ā?? like it or lump it ā?? . Our toilet didnā??t flush very well, especially with something extra in the bowl, ( plugging up easily) because there is a very low water pressure in the hotel, so even the shower spray was Very weak . Our toilet needed a tank repair because it wouldnā??t stop running after the flush . Probably other rooms had similar flush and shower inconveniences because of the low water pressure .
Some rooms along the bottom floor of inside corridor were not as private and sometimes could be noisy .
FOOD : On average, the buffets were good. There was a lot of selection because it is serving a large number of guests. The trays were mostly kept full, the rare wait because a popular dish was cleaned out. And commonly the trays of hot food became cool as the staff tried to look after so much at the same time . Some mislabelling of the food items happened. ie. The roast of lamb ā?? was actually a ham ! And one time the pork tenderloin - was really back bacon ham !
The a`la carte restaurants were better than the buffets. The best was the French restaurant ā??Mercureā?? . Very good . ( Formal dress code, semi-enforced ) . The Mexican ā??Tamarindoā?? was good, and the BlueWater Grill was good. The Asian ā??Spiceā??was good, but you must reserve ahead for this one .
As often happens, no matter how hard you try, our bodies arenā??t use to the germs and viruses in these places, and we eventually got the ā??trotsā??.
BARS and DRINKS: Many different bars located around the resort . Waitresses were busy with the many guests, and tried to give everyone equal attention. Some vacationers think they deserve better attention and complain . The beer tasted good, and so did the cocktails. The alcohol was fine for the mixed drinks. Whoever thought that they are using bad booze and watering them down is probably a hard core ā??alchieā?? who wants it halfā??nā??half !
The main lobby bar ā??Momentsā?? was a nicer bar . The pool and swim up bars were fine . The Sports Bar was kindaā?? shabby and dirty. The pool tables had destroyed felt tops, and warped slate . Ten pin bowling in there was $10 US a game plus a shoe rental charge ? . Evening entertainment outside in the lobby plaza was always serving alcohol . No shortage of booze !
POOL: For the main resort, Now Larimar, there is one main large pool. It is always 4 feet deep, and clean. Many lounge chairs, but as usual, the popular places get reserved by towels starting around 7:30 am. Some shady canopy structures also helpful . Daily activities in the pool can be lots of fun and laughs.
There is another pool at its adjoining sister resort, Now Gardensā??, that you can take a trolly to use. All other pools are now private and taken away and given to guests they can squeeze more money from to call them ā??Preferredā?? members . At approximately $450. US per week, the extras offered are not much or worth it . Itā??s a very bad move by the hotel to ā??two tierā?? your intermingling, side by side guests. Theyā??re better ?
BEACH: Excellent big beach. Cleaned early every morning, but some sea grass will wash up eventually through the day. Itā??s not much and absolutely no bother . The sand is very fine and soft . The ocean is nice to stand up in and play , with a roped off swim zone. There are lots of grass roof umbrellas for shade, but they can be popular and taken fast .
PROPERTY : Large grounds, well kept, clean, and attractive .
FITNESS CLUB : Excellent facility. Commercial grade equipment, well kept and clean . Seldom used, lots of room and availability . Courteous attendant .
ENTERTAINMENT : Something every evening, earlier for children and later for adults. They are mostly good shows. Remember itā??s not Las Vegas .
WIFI : Seems to be an important need or desire for vacationers nowadays . It is available, but can waiver in and out alot. They donā??t have as much infrastructure like more technologically advanced countries I suppose ?
That was my honest description .
I didnā??t like the ā??time shareā?? hassle that the Now hotel encourages . And I was sick of being told to say excellenteā??. I wonā??t return because of that bother .
My opinion of the resort as it is : 3 1/2 *