Ocean El Faro

Ocean El Faro
3.563.563.563.563.56
3.56 based on 66 reviews
#39 of 104 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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Good Hotel but Service could be a lot better

, Stoney Creek, ON
2023-01-29
There are so many reviews to dig through and so many that don't look promising but overall I would recommend this hotel. We travelled with 2 children ages 5 and 18 months.

We stayed from January 20-27th. When we arrived at the hotel the lobby is very grand and beautiful. Upon arrival staff was friendly and helpful at the front desk and the bags were delivered to the room so you do not have to wheel them to your room. The entire resort is probably an eight-to-ten-minute walk from beach to lobby. They do have shuttle buses that will bring you around if you don't want to walk. The main strip is great with everything right there. There is a store (which is grossly overpriced unless you don't care about money but that also comes with travelling so make sure you bring everything you need), all a la carte restaurants (I think there is 6 total plus the buffet unless you are on the el beso side or a privileged traveler I believe there is a few more options for you), bowling alley (we didn't try it), sports bar, the entertainment spot, teen club, spa, gym and a coffee shop. My husband and brother in-law tried the gym out and said it was pretty good.

The coffee shop is fantastic with lots of options for everyone. It does get busy so pack your patience especially when it first opens (7am). A suggestion would be to have it open at 6:00 or 6:30 as a lot of people are early risers.

The a la carte restaurants - we didn't try them until day 3. I think the app got updated halfway through our trip and it fixed the glitch everyone's talking about with booking HOWEVER if you go on at 7 to book a restaurant for 6pm, I bet you it will be available and while your screen is spinning it will say full. Best bet is to book in person at the desk. Be there at 6:45 to avoid a long line up. You will find most restaurants aren't even that busy so not sure how they are full. You might even be lucky to walk up to one in the evening and ask to get in. We only tried the Steakhouse, Margarita and Route 66. All were fantastic. Gerson at Margarita and Jennifer at Route 66 were great. Don't waste your time at the buffet for dinner, book the restaurants you won't be disappointed. Room service was good as well for the kids. Easy to get them chicken nuggets and fries at any time when they were hungry. The snack bar was okay good for a light snack – plate of fries or nachos was always an easy pool side snack. Buffet is the same as any other all inclusive just meh. Something that was helpful for me with kids was I always took food with me back to the room after we left the buffet for the kids to snack on later (pancakes and pizza were perfect).

The pool/beach bars are understaffed. Pack your patience or bring your wallet more then $1 a day and your guaranteed to get a drink fast. We found that if you're not tipping a good amount daily, they don't bother with you and you'll wait 25 minutes for a drink and they will purposely serve other people before you even if you came first. Bring a big cup from home or else you'll finish your tiny cup before you get back to your chair and you just wasted 25 minutes.

The beach is great for kids to dig and play. Go early in the morning to get a cabana to have shade for them. The waves are rough and it is very rocky but a short walk down the beach to the left leads you to a little bay that is great for swimming with the kids. No rocks but also no chairs as it is off the resort but everyone swims there.

The pools were good. Main pool was the party pool. Loud and good entertainment. Hard to get a drink. The next pool closer is to the ocean is quiet and less busy. Bring your towels again early to get a spot with an umbrella. We never had a problem or had a problem getting clean towels. The lazy river was fun bring your own tube from home to avoid disappointment. We just got a few at the dollar store and left them there when we came home. The waterpark is good. My 5-year-old had fun running around and going down the waterslides. My youngest wasn't allowed on it – the whistle blower will find you. The main pools are great for littles as they have a ledge they can stand on and play and cool down. There is also a park that was great and never busy.

Our room was in building 7. It faced the main pool which we enjoyed when we went back to the room you can watch all the drunk people for entertainment and enjoy the music in the afternoon. The room was clean, tv worked well with a lot of stations, good shower and my 5-year-old loved the jacuzzi bathtub. We had a “crib” for our daughter in the room which was just a pack and play so as a warning to other mom's its not a crib just a pack and play that they pile blankets in for the babies to sleep on. Bring your own or let them sleep with you. The maid our first 2 days left nice towel arrangements with flowers. We left her a 10 tip on day 3 and never seen another towel arrangement or anything above and beyond. The person that stocks the fridge the first day we left a 10 tip asking for it to get stocked with lots of beer and water. That day it was full and even had a bag of nuts in it. Every day after that lots of water but only 2 mini cans of beers. Fill your cups at the bar before you go to your room to have drinks in your room.

The WiFi was from the beach to the lobby worked well everywhere.

My only negative review for this hotel would be that the staff is very money hungry. We paid enough money to stay at the resort and we brought $70 worth of tip money and flew through it and still felt like it wasn't enough. Anywhere else the staff would be grateful and appreciative for whatever amount you gave them even if it was only $1.

Overall, I would recommend this hotel but wish the staff was more friendly and attentive to you as this is an ALL inclusive resort. [Details]
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The strong points
Very clean Good a la carte restaurants Great pools Lazy river Beach
The weak points
Service is poor Need more staff They expect tips for everything
Certified

Beautiful place and great service!

, Saint Hubert, QC
2023-01-16
We loved it! Checkin was a little rough but after that it was smooth sailing! [Details]
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The strong points
service, cleanliness, food variety
The weak points
check in was chaotic , room was musty smelling
Certified

Ocean el faro review

, Toronto, ON
2023-01-05
Basic value resort. Did not try to be impressive not even to a returning guest. [Details]
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The strong points
Swim up room. Nice size resort Coffee shop New years entertainment Piano bar
The weak points
Can't walk far on the beach A la carte booking system A la carte food Buffet very repetitive. Wait service at swim up rooms Seemed short staff at a la cartes and coffee shop
Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
None in place. Sanitizer pumps didn't work.
Certified

Very Good

, Innisfil, ON
2022-11-28
The Hotel is one of the most beautiful hotel when i stay in Dominican Republic.10 star!
Service 8 star.Alexandra server on the beach Fantastic!
Entertainment10 star!
Pool service for adults 4 star!
Rooms always clean ,fresh towels,-10 star! [Details]
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The strong points
Beautiful View!
The weak points
Difficult to book a la cart restaurant even we try 7.00 am. Also far to walk to restaurant.No bus. Only last day Eduardo was helping us. Very friendly person willing to do extra miles.Should be bus schedule and posts when is stop!
Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
Ok
Certified

Met Expectations

, Stoney Creek, ON
2022-05-07
It is a 4 & a small fraction star resort. Not 5 star certainly however it really is not priced as such. $1,200 CAN each including flight and transfers from Toronto is an outstanding value. [Details]
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The strong points
The lazy river The swim up bars Presidente on tap The wide selection of fresh food Most staff are friendly The bones of the resort are very very good and newish -- opened in 2017/2018.
The weak points
Restaurant booking/entry is a joke. Some staff won't give you a glance unless you are holding a $5 US cash tip for them. Many staff either speak not enough English to be useful or pretend not to speak English due to poor attitude or lack of motivation.
Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
Excellente!!!

Beautiful Resort with great service

, Oakville, ON
2022-04-26
Our stay at the hotel was great. I loved the freshness of the hotel as its clean and newly built. The layout and design of the hotel is really nice.
Lots of pools and lazy river for having fun in the water the whole day. Multiple restaurants of different cuisine with good food. Would appreciate more vegetarian options. The entertainment and the shows in the evening were nice too. Beach was very clean and water was great. The service of the hotel was also great. No complaints overall. Good value for money. [Details]
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The strong points
Newly Built, Lazy River, Multiple Pools, Drinks Service, Beautiful Lobby, Hotel layout and Design, Service, Beach was clean and nice.
The weak points
Vegetarian options should be increased for vegetarian guests Include ice-lollies, Ice-cream bar should be open for a longer duration
Certified

Privilege experience

, Montréal, QC
2022-03-21
It was a great resort with lots to do. Clean with big rooms. Good beach but requires water shoes. Food was ok (first time in DR). [Details]
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The strong points
Clean resort and pools, nice big rooms, lazy river
The weak points
The travel club solicitors were very pushy
Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
Good measures in place and all employees wear their masks
Certified

Very good vaction .

, Montréal, QC
2022-03-01
very clean beautiful modren hotel .. nathing to complain . the size of rooms are good with all needed equipment . [Details]
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Certified

Book at Own Risk!

, Guelph, ON
2022-02-24
Our children booked the Junior Suite Swim Up at this hotel and upon arrival realized that their sliding back door to their room that went to the swim up pool did not lock. The advised the front desk who said they would fix it but did not. On their third night there while they were away from their room, someone broke into their room and stole money and damaged the onsite safe while doing so. My son and his roommate immediately went to the front desk to report it. This is where things get upsetting. The front desk instead of having concern for my child, in turn accused them of breaking the safe, with no logic with why these kids would need to break into a safe that only has their own belongings in it. They proceeded to tell they boys that they would either have to pay $480 USD for the safe or they would kick them and their 3 other friends staying at the hotel out on the streets. (keep in mind the other 3 boys were in different rooms and also had money stolen but no damage in the room). We had the one boy's parent call the front desk as he is from the Dominican to talk to them and at this point we thought everything was handled. Nothing would be done about the money that was stolen but they were no longer asking for the money to replace the safe. Until last night the day before their departure. 10 security officers showed up at our kids doors and demanded that they either pack up their belongings and leave the hotel or pay the money for the safe. They would not leave their rooms even with parents on the phone trying to speak with them. The forced them down to the front lobby to pay for the safe. When the father tried to communicate with the front desk they claimed to not speak English. We all know that the front desk employees always speak English. The boys paid for the safe and were then left alone.

There is zero logic in anything that this hotel did to these kids other than to mark them as easy targets upon the arrival knowing that there is no way parents were going to let them leave this hotel on their own in a foreign country ensuring they would get paid. 3 days of their trip was ruined by the stress and fear that this hotel put into these kids who are simply trying to get a vacation away.

Book at your own risk! [Details]
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Nice place for the price at that time , not a 5*

, Orleans, ON
2022-02-22
We got a really good price but i wouldn't probably not return there as its not a 5 stars hotel and very disappointed on food / restaurant.

A bit far from the airport and the beach wasn't good [Details]
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The strong points
Easy access, layout (pool / restaurant / shop etc... ) of resort is awesome ,everything is centralized. Clean overall Good service overall Sections for kids / adult only or senior
The weak points
Food wasn't for a 5 stars hotel All restaurant were short staff or disorganized Lobby , staff etc... have no change. We brought 100 x 1$ just for tips on everything and ran out quickly. Gift shop is so overprice
Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
All good , a bit disorganized for PCR test procedure and long wait
Certified

Awesome Family vacation

, Sarnia, ON
2022-01-28
Overall we are loving our holiday. We have travelled south for many years. Buffet is good. A la cartes are exceptional. Pool and beach set great, lazy river and kids water park is amazing! Very clean property. [Details]
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The strong points
Overall we are loving our holiday. We have travelled south for many years. Buffet is good. A la cartes are exceptional. Pool and beach set great, lazy river and kids water park is amazing! Very clean property.
The weak points
The staff really vary in service attitude and overall language barrier has been challenging. I dont expect staff to be fluent in my language but when asking for common items... Staff should know the words ie salt , or rare, well done in steakhouse.

Review

, Calgary, AB
2022-01-28
Great weather and clean accommodations. [Details]
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The strong points
Excellent service
The weak points
Na
Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
Good cleaning process

Great experience at the hotel!

, Surrey, BC
2021-12-17
So far I had a great experience. Staff is amazing and very helpful. The food is good and it has very reasonable hrs.. the time for opening and close. [Details]
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Life to its fullest!

, Owen Sound, ON
2021-12-16
excellent food life I liked the restaurant zakura and the steak house really very good, the entertainers excellent show [Details]
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The strong points
the food very varied for my taste
The weak points
The bar lacks more elaborate drinks and more presentation for my taste in Canada we have more elaboration and more reduced sweet touch

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]
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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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