from Boston, Massachusetts
Submitted on 01-07-2017
This was my third time staying in the Dominican and Cayo Levantado was by far the best resort I have stayed at, and the staff was exceptional and seemed genuinely happy to be there. The grounds were absolutely beautiful, you can tell how much time and effort is put into keeping it in such immaculate conditional. This resort is very laid back and relaxing, although the animation team kept everyday activities such as Boccia, Bingo, Darts, Spanish Lessons, Water Aerobics and Ping Pong really exciti...
This was my third time staying in the Dominican and Cayo Levantado was by far the best resort I have stayed at, and the staff was exceptional and seemed genuinely happy to be there. The grounds were absolutely beautiful, you can tell how much time and effort is put into keeping it in such immaculate conditional. This resort is very laid back and relaxing, although the animation team kept everyday activities such as Boccia, Bingo, Darts, Spanish Lessons, Water Aerobics and Ping Pong really exciting. Every night they have a ‚??show‚??, although it was usually a small live band that would play until 9:30 pm. After the band, they have an award show for all of the activity winners during the day. (I won two bags of coffee and a bottle of Dominican Rum) This hotel is not a party scene, however, I am in my 20‚??s and still had a great time especially on New Year‚??s Eve. The average age was couples in their 40‚??s-50‚??s, and 90% of the people we met were from Europe (I think we were one of maybe 4 groups from the US, which was totally fine)
Rooms: We got a room away from the hotel and really liked the quietest of the environment. Our room was spacious with a king size bed, a small living room, short hallway with a closet with a safe and full bath and a hot tub on the patio. The room was cleaned EVERYDAY, sometimes even twice a day just to add more towels. (We never had a shortage of towels!!) None of our valuables were stolen or ever felt like they were unsafe in the room. Also, there are small shuttles to bring you around the island and to your room, so do not worry about walking across the island every morning just to get breakfast. WIFI was available in the rooms (only connects to two devices at a time) and worked great.
TIP: Try to get a room away from the main lobby, definitely made this trip more relaxing.
Beaches: There are two beaches on the island, a private beach and a public beach. The private beach is ONLY available to guests of the hotel and has only one guy that tries to sell you the scuba and snorkeling day trips, but he is very nice and not too pushy as seen on other resorts. We did do the snorkeling trip, however surprising the visibility was very low (probably not the right season), and so I would not recommend it. The private beach was quiet in the mornings, and around 11 am they would upbeat play music (Everything from modern Radio Music to 70‚??s, 80‚??s music). There is a bar right on the beach and most days they had their chefs make fresh Paella on the beach for everyone.
TIP: The public beach is nice as well, but you do run into locals trying to sell you stuff from their booths. We never beached there, always kept to the private beach, nothing to do with safety reasons, just most guests stayed on the private beach and relaxed.
Food: Honestly, we have traveled to many different resorts and the food here was fantastic! Don Pablo was the highest end restaurant on the island, however, I thought each restaurant had great dishes. Each meal would start out with the chefs welcoming drink and small app, followed by you starter and main dishes and dessert. Definitely book your dinner reservations when you get there and explore them all! For breakfast, the buffet was great and provided many different options and the staff was very attentive. For lunch, we liked the poolside restaurant a lot and again provided good quality food and service. For New Year‚??s Eve, all guest ate at the Buffet, which had an amazing selection of food and desserts. The head chef even came around to each table with the manager to ask if everything was cooked to their liking!
TIP: Every night you have to bring a dinner reservation slip with you to your meal, you can change your reservation the night of (if needed) and they will have a staff member bring you the slip in an envelope to your room or if you‚??re not there they will slide it under the door. They were very prompt about this and even followed-up with a phone call to the room to double check we received it. Also, they seemed to have a good wine list with reasonable prices if you chose to drink something other than the house wine or from the bar.
Drinks: For the most part, the drinks were good and had no problems. If you‚??re worried about the drinks being watered down just ask for a little more alcohol, and they will be happy to do so (or even just ask for a shot instead) Beer selection was Dominican Presidente (Lighter Beer) or Dos XX‚??s (available in mini bar in room)
Service: GREAT! Never had to ask any of the staff to do something twice. Miguel was our ‚??Captain‚?? most evenings at dinner and was amazing. The whole animation team was very inviting, so please let them know! Adelphi (Sorry if I spelled his name wrong) was very very helpful during our stay at the resort. He was our go-to guy for questions or concerns and would check up on us almost every night after dinner with a short phone call to make sure we were happy! We have never had someone so concerned about our stay at a hotel before, really nice to see! Please note that your staff truly works hard, and it does not go unnoticed! Wish I could write down all of the names of the staff that made our vacation fantastic, but the list is too long!
Getting to the hotel: We flew into Santo Domingo around 3 am, we had a private driver bring us to the resort, which was about a 2 ¬Ĺ hour drive. (Highly recommend the private transfer, ours was set up by the hotel and was on time when we arrived to the airport, PLUS the car had WIFI) Then, there is a boat that takes you over to the island (about 15 min ride). We didn‚??t realize hour long the drive was to Samana from Santo Domingo when we booked, but still loved the destination. We did try to book a helicopter ride, but we were quoted a couple thousand dollars. If you can, I would try to get a flight into a surrounding city. If you are coming from the US, look into flying to Toronto (if you‚??re from the North) and then get a connecting flight to Samana or Puerto Plata, we heard it was a shorter drive to the hotel.
Just something to help you plan!