Ocean El Faro

Ocean El Faro
3.393.393.393.393.39
3.39 based on 31 reviews
#76 of 99 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Punta Cana
Rated 4.5 stars
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Families Beware!

, Vancouver, BC
2021-08-13
I read a lot of bad reviews about Ocean El Faro before we left for our family vacation on August 1, 2021. I was disappointed but hoped that the people who wrote the reviews were just being overly picky. My intuition told me to cancel but my heart really needed this 5 star, all inclusive vacation. So, we packed up our 2 kids and set out on a journey that would rapidly turn into a nightmare. We did all of the typical things families do on vacation. We swam by day, dressed up for dinners, bowled and caught the evening shows. Our nightmare began when we went to make our appointment for our departure Covid-19 test; To re-enter Canada we needed a negative test result within 72 hours of our departure flight. This hotel tests guests for Covid on site in their private doctors office and results are returned in 24 hours.

We were given an appointment on a Thursday morning for a Sunday afternoon departure - leaving us outside of our 72 hours requirement as we were arriving in Canada Sunday night. Guest services told us not to worry about it, it is the processing time at the lab that is recorded on the document required for air travel. My husband went to the doctor's office to verify this information. They told him the same thing and added that they could change data on the document, like the time, if the time wasn't within the 72 hour window we needed. That did not sit well with my husband. He did not want anyone changing information on our results so we rebooked for the following morning (Friday). This left us with a tighter turnaround time to get our results back before our departure on Sunday. I jokingly said to my husband that they were going to give him a positive result for being so difficult. Lo and behold, when we got our results back Saturday evening - my results were POSITIVE, everyone else was negative! We all had been double vaccinated with Pfizer and had taken every precaution available. I started to cry in the doctor's office and the doctor told me that I will have to quarantine at the hotel for 10 days and the hotel would pay for my quarantine. I asked, how many people has this happened to? I was told it was just me. We were then sent to guest services to make arrangements for the 10 day quarantine.

Once we got to guest services, we were told - No, the hotel does not cover quarantine costs, even if you were exposed to Covid-19 at their hotel. You will have to pay $85 US a night and rebook your flight at your own expense. Lucky, my husband speaks Spanish and was working out all of the details on my behalf. Meanwhile, I asked the doctor and a different rep at guest services if I could please take a retest! I was supposed to leave the next day! They said they could do a retest but that they would not get the results back until Monday because the lab is closed on Sunday. That was not helpful to me or my family so I continued to cry. Their options made me feel helpless. The floor manager on duty, Johnny Onorio, even had the nerve to ask me to stop crying because it wouldn't change anything. Can you imagine asking a mother to stop crying when she was going to be separated from her kids and detained in a country where she doesn't speak the language?!! There were so many things running through my mind. In a moment of clarity, I thought why can't I just leave the hotel and get a rapid retest somewhere else?! I decided to Google rapid test clinics in Punta Cana and found one that would give test results within 5 hours! So my husband and I jumped into a cab and made the 25 minute journey to the lab at 10 PM, I took another PCR test, and we returned to the hotel. I went to my quarantine room while my husband returned to our 2 kids. At 5:50 a.m. he called to tell me that my results were released online and they were NEGATIVE!

Being a teacher, my first instinct was to tell the hotel about the rapid testing facility in Punta Cana so this never has to happen to another guest again - it can be a learning experience for all. I went to see the doctor and she was very happy for me and said that she would let others know about the rapid test lab. Then, I went to the manager of guest services, Carolina Santana, and she said she WOULD NOT tell others about the option to get a rapid covid test off site because it is not protocol. Protocol is to quarantine at the hotel at your own expense and get retested at the hotel even if it means missing your flight because their lab is closed on Sunday. I do not disagree with that plan IF you can offer a retest in a timely manner to confirm the guest actually has Covid. Since they don't process tests at El Faro on Sunday anyone who needs a retest on a Saturday at this hotel will be left unsupported! Carolina was not a flexible thinker. In fact she was rigid, unsympathetic and unempathetic about my situation. So, I repeated my issue to her, thinking that she couldn't have possibly understood what happened to me. But no, I got the same robotic response -”that is not protocol”. How can you be the manager of Guest Services when you don't take care of the guests when they need it the most? Carolina's attitude is negligent if you ask me - an absolute failure to take care of guests at this hotel. If a guest tests positive at your resort, it is your responsibility to assist them to get a timely retest so they can verify whether or not they actually have Covid before you start the process of charging them thousands of dollars to extend their stay. And in this case, I did not have Covid! I received a false positive from their private clinic and a negative at a public lab in Punta Cana (Referencia) and negative at arrivals in Canada (Switch Health) - all within 48 hours! If I had listened to Ocean El Faro, I would still be there in isolation away from my family - for no reason!

So, BEWARE OF THIS HOTEL - you will test positive for Covid here even if you aren't. When you do, they will not help you unless the solution aligns with their protocol. If I did not take matters into my own hands and do some quick problem solving, I would have missed my flight and I would have been detained at $85 US a night for nothing.

If this happens to you or anyone you know, please visit the Referencia Laboratorio Clinico. It is open 24 hours a day. The address is: Av. Boulevard 1ro. de Noviembre, Punta Cana Village, Edif. Belanova, Región Este, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. 1 809-221-5545

As an aside, there is not a lot of Covid prevention going on at this hotel despite their overuse of the word protocol. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style - for dinner you can eat at a restaurant or the buffet. To eat at the buffet, an employee gives you a flimsy plastic glove to wear to serve yourself. But that employee is not wearing a glove when they give you your glove - so the glove has already been contaminated! The dining room is mask free at the tables when you are eating so anyone can cough / sneeze or touch the exposed cutlery on the preset tables in the vicinity, drinking glasses are set face up so they can catch germs easily as well. The bowling balls are only cleaned on the outside, not in the holes where you stick your fingers. There is no social distancing going on in or around the pools. In fact, the staff in charge of the pool entertainment run contests where guests are unmasked in close proximity to each other (pool polo & volleyball, beauty contests, etc) And there is no contact tracing going on at all!. After I tested positive for Covid at Ocean El Faro, nobody asked me where I had been or who I had been in contact with…. so the protocol excuse given by Carolina seems very weak to me considering there are minimal precautions implemented that will effectively prevent an outbreak here. We will never be returning to the Ocean chain of hotels. I advise you to do the same. [Details]
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Certified

Ocean El Faro Review

, Kitchener, ON
2019-04-29
Enjoyed our stay [Details]
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The strong points
Very clean, staff friendly, great food, beautiful landscape, pools cleaned twice everyday, comfortable beds, no trouble getting into a la cartes, privelige a la cart breakfast was very good, pool bartenders very good, piano bar awesome
The weak points
Our butler was not the best, time share people annoying, think they rushed to open, tiling work not the best, low quality patio doors, very hard to lock, you are privilage, you still need to ask for premium liquor
Certified

Ocean El Faro

, Toronto, ON
2019-04-01
This resort is located beside a farm!!! For anyone with serious allergies I would not recommend this resort. I had to be relocated due to the overwhelming reactions to the smells of farm animals and their dander. I was relocated and was able to stay but will not return. Constant pressure to attend presentation for time Purchases also a hassle. Not impressed. [Details]
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The strong points
Butler service a nice touch.
The weak points
Food not particularly good.
Certified

A GREAT place to be!!!

, Truro, NS
2019-03-06
I really enjoyed this hotel and am definitely looking forward to going back in very near future! [Details]
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The strong points
All the restaurants, stores, spas, entertainment is all on one main strip which makes it very easy to find your way around conveniently. The rooms were very nice and spacious with super comfy beds!
The weak points
The communication between staff and tourists was a bit confusing at times but with more staff training in the various languages that will improve. Service was a bit slow in the restaurants but it is a new resort with all new staff!!!
Certified

Not a 5 star yet

, Kitchener, ON
2019-03-05
Check in was quick,room was ready early which was great.The room was very nice and well kept.The only real issue I had at this resort was the relentless H10 staff constantly asking us to go for a 90 minute presentation for theyr vacation club..This happened over 10 times during our 7 day stay and it got annoying real quick,as well as the staff trying to sell you various excursions,just keep saying no and continue on.Not all restaurants were open daily,some would close and reopen the next day,they say theyr understaffed and that is true.We had a rsrvtn at the steak house and waited an hour and a half for our meal,and the place wasnt even half full.The steak dinner itself was NOT good.I wouldn't want to see the animal this slab of fatty,grissled beef came from.You can order a better cut of beef but that was 45.00 U.S , no thanks.Avoid the steak house.Other restaurants were okay.I had my best meals at the breakfast/lunch and dinner buffets...Overall it was good,but theres lots of room for improvement...Also the lazy river was awesome!! [Details]
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The strong points
Room Friendly staff Nice pools Lazy river
The weak points
H10 and excursion staff
Certified

Great experience for new resort

, Brantford, ON
2019-02-23
Arrived at Oceans El Faro with high expectations and was not disappointed. This brand new resort is high end, all the finishes the al a carte's and the room was awesome. We were in a Junior Suite rooftop, very spacious, 2 washrooms and hot tub on the roof top. The buildings all have elevators and each of the buildings have 3 floors. Children's water play area was fantastic with the kids club right in behind and a lazy river was a wonderful addition. I would definitely recommend this resort to my clients. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
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  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Layout of the resort and the accessibility. The play area for children and the lazy river is an added bonus and wonderful for families. Enjoyed all the al a carte's that were open, food was very well presented and excellent.
The weak points
Still have construction going on (adult section) after talking to customer services it still has about 6 month before completion. They need to do a better job at marking foods at the buffet for gluten free restrictions.

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