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Melia Caribe Tropical

Rating: Excellent Phone: Website:
Location: East Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: Punta Cana Contact: Value for money: Excellent
Food: Average Decor: Excellent Service: Excellent
I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone wanting to visit the Dominican Republic. The resort itself was beautiful and impressive. I found the staff to be very accomodating and helpful. Spent a lot of time at the beach, which was absolutely gorgeous. The food was so-so, although the Japanese and Mexican restaurants were very good. Was sad to leave at the end of my visit and most definitely want to visit this resort again.
Author E-Mail: [email protected] Review date: 11/6/2002



I brought my fiance to the Melia because I wanted to show her the place, look at their vacation club, and see the gazebo that they have for possible use when we get married. We had been apart on personal items three days before we met at the airport. We never shared a meal until we arrived on Monday. On Friday, we BOTH became VERY ill, both of us developing diarrhea, nausea, fever, and lethargy. Since we were scheduled to depart the next day and ,since our conditions were getting worse, we went to the hospital medic. He told us that we were severely dehydrated , feverish, and told us that we needed to go to the hospital for examination and be rehydrated. At the hospital we were diagnosed with moderate dehydration and severe gastroenteritis (the doctor at the hospital told us initially that we had symptoms of salmonella poisoning). We had to stay overnight, were given antibiotics and glucose. Upon departure, we were presented with a bill of over $3,000 for both of us that had to be paid before we would be released. We notified the hotel of all of this who took our information and referred us to an Elizabeth Perez. We sent all of the information to Ms. Perez. We never heard from them. After two emails and two phone calls, I was put in touch with a Dr. Frank Reyes. He asked me to get the results from the hospital. After a month of dealing with the hospital, I did. He THEN asked me to get the specific test results. After another month, I did. In the end, I think he hoped we would give up and go away. After all of this work and providing the documentation that shows how sick we were, they offered . .(are you ready?) a 20% discount on an upgrade the next time we stay at the resort. No mention of the $3,000 or any any payment of all or part of it. This was an insult.
At no time did they acknowledge that we had gotten sick from staying at their resort. As you can see, all they did was try to get us to go away. TWO people staying at the resort, eating their food, drinking their beverages get sick. How can this NOT be a cause of the resort? It couldn't have happened three days prior because we BOTH were not together. We did not eat at the airport or on the plane. Our first meal and all subsequent meals were at the resort.
I will never go back to this place. There is not doubt in my mind our illnesses came from staying at the Melia Caribe. They treated us like second class citizens all along the way; not returning phone calls, not returning emails, not responding when hosptial records were send, refusing to provide names of the hotel managers or other people whom we could contact. No one person treated us with respect: not Ms. Perez, not Dr. Reyes, and not their boss, Gledwin Mills. We were made to feel like an imposition, not a customer. All they had to do is what you or i would have done; accept the responsibility, make amends to your customers, and acknowledge that your customer was harmed.
Author: Arthur Posted at 9:18 08/25/2010
Check in was a joke... took forever - there were 11 of us... we had 4 rooms.. wanted to bump us up to a better room but the catch was 2 of us would have to share a room...
2 out of the 4 rooms were ready at 4:00 pm.. (arrived at 1:00pm) the other two were not ready until after 6:00! And, when they were ready NO TOWELS.
Advertised 10 great restaurants! But what they don't tell you is you have to call and make dinner reservations for each night called 6313 - for 2 hours! Told us NOTHING IS AVALIABLE FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK FOR DINNER RESERVATIONS unless you like to eat at 9:40! We only saw the inside of ONE of those 10 great restaurants (American Grill) not that great but MUCH BETTER than the buffet! Oh, you can get into the restaurants if you want to sit through their "time share" speech every morning at 9:00 -
So my family ate 4 days - 3 times a day at the buffet! Now, you get your own food - and you start to eat... suggestion: when a waiter finally gets to asking you what you want to DRINK order 3! 3 Cokes, 3 beers, 3 of whatever because it takes FOREVER for them to serve you with drinks. The Food is very different - taste and texture! Coke doesn't take the same, milk forget it... pancakes, French toast - gross... On to the pool.. beautiful pool with beautiful grounds... We were located in building 28 - a very nice location close to the beach and the pool - we got this because my dad slipped the guy $20.00 bucks at check in... If you happen to get buildings closer to the Market place.. good luck getting to the beach or pool. They have a "train/tram" come around and pick up people at certain spots. Would not want to wait for the tram every time I wanted to go to and from the beach! But the grounds are so big - you kind of have to wait...
Once you get to the pool or beach you are going to need a beach towel. WHAT A JOKE THIS IS... YOU WOULD THINK THEY WOULD HAVE ENOUGHT TOWELS FOR ALL GUESTS RIGHT.. WELL, THINK AGAIN. At check in you get "towel" card. When you go to the pool - you find the Towel hut ( good luck with that too.. not very convenient to find) If you have 4 people in your family - you get 4 cards. You go to the hut and see if there is towels... out of the 5 days we were told no towels 3 times. After 2:00 you can't get any towels! We talked with people who were using the same beach towel for 2/3 days! If you don't turn in your "towel" card when you check out... you are charged $25.00 each.
They advertise an arcade for kids! What a joke. The arcade consisted of ONE POOL TABLE, ONE PING PONG TABLE, ONE AIR HOCKEY TABLE AND ONE FOOSBALL TABLE. - THATS IT. My living room was bigger than the ARCADE.
Beds in the room were terrible to sleep on! Pillows were just as bad. We had no Wi-Fi because the "tower" was down in our area.
A lot of broken chairs both at the beach and the pool.
If you don't speak Spanish.. you are dirt! They go right over you. The Spanish people interrupt if you are trying to ask a question, and the hotel people respond to them before you... English speaking people are WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MINORITIES IN THIS RESORT.
Author: Cathy Posted at 19:17 07/25/2010
My wife and I just returned from our 2 night stay. I mention this because we were supposed to stay for 5 days and 4 nights but the friendly staff made it so unabearable for us that we booked the first available flight out of there. It is beautiful here, don't get me wrong the problem is you won't get a chance to enjoy it. The minute you try to leave your room, the staff descend on you like roaches trying to sell you a timeshare. We also were harrassed on the beach making that experience rather unpleasant. The dining experience was a complete deception. You had to make reservations with your respresenative in order to eat dinner which of course meant you would have to make an appointment to be sold a timeshare.
Author: Eric Posted at 13:43 05/7/2010
We just returned from our stay at the Melia Caribe Tropical for our first anniversary (July 3 - 10, 2008). We had an awful time; it was hands down the worst vacation ever.

Food: The food is mediocre at best; it's edible, but reminded us of a public school lunch. Breakfast is from 7am-10am... lunch is from 12pm-3pm... and dinner is from 6pm-10pm. Do not miss a meal.. because you'll just end up going hungry. The buffet restaurants (Turey, Marketplace, and Agora) are the only places to eat breakfast and lunch and the food is the same every single day - do not expect any variation. Also, the food seems to sit out for a while and was often cold. And children and flies seem to get into everything. On our second day, there was a worm (maggot) in our food at the Mexican restaurant; we complained but no action was taken. On our third day we were seated at a table that was completely covered in bugs at the Marketplace; they were literally crawling all over, under, and around the table and placemats. At the American Grill, there was a staple on the plate. Also, for dinner, you need to make a reservation for every restaurant... who knows why because they always seemed to be empty when we were there (but if you don't have a reservation they acted like it was the end of the world) and don't try to make a last minute reservation or ask if they have any availability at the last minute!

Room: When we arrived at 2:30pm, we were told that our room wouldn't be ready for at least an hour, so we went to go eat lunch (gross). When we got to our room, our luggage had not yet arrived and we discovered that the toilet bowl and bathroom counter was covered in bugs (guess they didn't spend that hour cleaning!). There was a card that said that the hotel cares about the environment and the sheets and towels would not be washed daily; but if you wanted your towels washed you could leave them on the floor outside the bathroom. We complained several times about the bug infestation in the room... until Sunday night when we yelled at the front desk and were moved to a second floor room. There were bugs there too. We spent the next day photographing the bugs (which multiplied daily) and we spent the rest of our vacation praying to go home.

Trains: You cannot walk anywhere; it is at least 10 minutes to get anywhere by train. That is assuming that they stop at your stop and you don't have to just leap out the moving train praying. Aside from the death factor involved with leaping from a moving train, you'd be better off just putting your nose to the gas pump because this train is blowing pure gasoline smelling fumes and who knows what else right into your face. It stinks! And it seems like it's going to completely fall apart before you arrive anywhere.

Service/Staff: If you, by some extreme misfortune, find yourself at this resort, get Patrick as your concierge - he was pretty good; always smiling, made all of our restaurant reservations, very warm. OTHERWISE... no one speaks English and they don't care if you have any problem with your stay. We spent half a day sitting at the Guest Services desk trying to complain about our room and the bugs and staple that we encountered in our food. No success. If you see a little motorcycle, segway, or golf cart coming you way, you need to get out of the way, because they're going to speed past you or they're going to run you over. Stopping is apparently not an option. Everyone is going to try to sell you a timeshare, which they tell you is an "Invitation to Tour/Preview" it was a 90-minute sales presentation. The bellboy who brought our luggage to our room broke our luggage. When you sit at the restaurant (especially the buffet) you need to bring a neon sign to stick on your head because they do not know that you're there and they really don't care.

Entertainment: Horrible. Just imagine putting on a CD soundtrack of a Broadway play and then lip-syncing and dancing around to it... welcome to the show. Casino is small and mostly slot machines and always empty. The only entertainment seemed to be watching a bunch of drunk 18-year-olds make fools of themselves, and leaping off of a moving train.

We could probably keep going... because our trip was just that bad and we were desperate to come home!! No one wanted to hear any complaints and they certainly didn't want solve any problems. We would never stay this hotel or any of its "sister hotels" ever again; this is barely a 2-star resort and is not worth the money or time.
Author: Erika & Richard Rappaport Posted at 23:08 07/10/2008
Your experience in punta cana seems like a night mare. I am scared to death to go to Melia Caribe Tropical in Jan.2008
Author: mporter Posted at 20:02 12/27/2007
Not all the restaurants are opened when they say they are, or at all. They tell you that there is food at night (9pm) buffet style, if the A la Carte restaurants do not have enough room, but if there are private functions going on, you are not permitted to enter, leaving you no choice but to buy potato chips or cookies at the gift shop. There was a couple of times we were at the buffet places ( which is the only place to go for breakfast and lunch) and the place was packed with more employees eating than resort guests, leaving the place cramped for space. There were 60 people in our party, and not one of our groups were given the dinner reservation that was asked for. The resort staff lied to us numerous times about confirming dinner reservations and changing them without our knowledge to suit other guests at the resort. We found out later that "Royal Service" guests were given our reservations.
Author: tripster74 Posted at 23:09 07/8/2007
just back yesterday (January 24, 2005). we loved it! don't believe all the naysayers. we had 1 day of rain and the rest were perfect caribbean weather. yes, the timeshare (now vacation club) people are there but they are not all over you all the time. they know how to take no for an answer. food was good (except for Mexican nite at the Turey restaurant). BE AWARE: 2 of the restaurants burned down while we were there. the Mexican and the Spanish buffets (Los Panchos and Alhambra) no longer exist. They were very closed mouthed about the fire.
Very European flavor. But we (USA residents) felt very welcome and comfortable.
It is a gorgeous facility.
Ocean is colder than expected (it is more Atlantic Ocean than Caribbean).
Author: kevin and maureen Posted at 12:19 01/25/2005
We stayed at this hotel for our honeymoon in October. I must say this is a lovely resort and we hated to leave after our week long vacation. The only problems we had was with the late 3:00pm check in as we arrived at noon. We were very hot and tired waiting for our room. We were promised a room upgrade but we did not get one. We were also supposed to get a fruit basket and bottle of wine we are still waiting!!! Overall it was a very nice resort but they need to hire front desk staff who know how to accomodate to peoples needs!!
Author: Melissa Braithwaite King Posted at 19:05 11/4/2004
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good:
A beautiful resort. Lovely landscaping, a variety of restaurants and your typical resort activities. A great place to just relax.

The Bad:
Expectations rise once you are awarded 5 stars!
The staff was attentive but could use refinement in the subtle ways one expects of a 5 star resort.
Also, getting around the resort is a bit convoluted as they have been merged with another resort, the "Melia Tropical" on the same property.

The Ugly:
All staff needs to be trained to maintain a high degree of decorum and courtesy AT ALL TIMES.
Activities subcontracted outside the resort, mainly 4x4 vehicle tours (quads) and horseback riding (organized by the same owners) left a lot to be desired. Timeliness, price and transportation to and from were a bit lacking.

Bottom line:
A great resort to just kick back, drink and relax, but needs to elevate its level of service and indulgence to their clientele should they wish to maintain their 5 star rating. Of course, it is relevant to add that timing can play a huge factor, as ever person's experience may be a bit different from the next.

Author: A recent client Posted at 16:21 11/3/2004
We chose this reort for our honeymoon. From the time we arrived, to the time we left, we expereince obstacles. It took three hours to get a room which was a regular room when we were told that we would get an upgrade because it was our honeymoon. The room was infested with bugs; ants (we think), roaches, and a wasp nest in the bathroom.

The food is digestable but not recommended. There are so many flies and childrens hands in and out of it that you question how safe it is to eat.

The resort is beautiful, however the layout is too large for the climate. To get to the lobby from the rooms is a long hike, and waiting for the train in the heat is very frustating.

The staff is rude. There were a handful that new what customer service meant. A handful speak english, making it EXTREMELY difficult to a problem resolved. At one point the customer service manager hung up on me. all I wanted was my room sprayed to kill the bugs.

The beaches were beautiful. However, don't be fooled by the family atmosphere. Some of teh women go topless, and they allow their young daughters to do the same. It was not what I would want my child to experience.

You had to make reservations for each of the restaurants. It was far from worth it. We ended up hungry many nights!

The package was booked through Apple Vacations and their rep. was awful. He talked a big game when we arrived, but when an issue arose, he was nowhere to be found!

We have now decided that that was an adventure and not a honeymmon.
Author: EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED Posted at 15:16 08/23/2004
I just came back from Punta Cana and stayed at the Melia Caribe Tropical. I read all of the reviews before going down there and what can I say: they are all true, the good ones and the bad ones. I guess it is all a matter of luck and having the right expectations.

First of all, it is a third world country, so the airport is typical of the region (very cute by the way, I felt on vacation as I looked out) and the road is a bit bumpy. Yes, it does take half an hour to get to the airport but hey, JFK is 45 minutes away from my house. I didn't expect the hotel to be right outside the door so this is not a problem.
Second, if you are expecting the Ritz Carlton in Cannes, don't go to DR. You go to DR for the clear water, white sandy beaches, dark mixed mestizo people who speak another language and exotic animals. By the way, I never saw a bird or animal inside a restaurant. That comment is very strange. The staff is very helpful, you just have to make the effort to break the ice. Let's face it, people who do not speak English or do not speak it very well (most of them know some) get intimidated when we speak fast and use a demanding tone. I went up to the bar and waited a couple of minutes, then I called the bartender and said "Amigo!! Una cerveza" He smiled, then I looked at his name tag and from then on I would go by and say: "Carlos, a beer please!" After that we were best friends and I always spoke English after that. I did the same thing with Santa, Asuncion, Ernestina, Pablo, etc. They didn't say much but they understood and got me what I wanted. I didn't tip them some times because I didn't have money handy but they didn't seem to mind. The Spaniards (who are all over) never tip, uhmm?
Third, expect a Hotel like no other. It's just beautiful: the lobbies (there are two), the gardens, the rooms, the pools, etc. They are all top rated. So expect physical beauty everywhere.
Forth: expect a regular breakfast and lunch buffet just like any other. At night, dress up and try the different a la carte restaurants. You'll feel in a different country every night and the food is great.

The luck factor:
If you are lucky enough to have a smooth check in process you are all set for the perfect vacation. If nothing goes wrong, then you will have no reason why to dislike this hotel. I talked to some people and they didn't have a problem at all. I also talked to some people who had problems with the room and I saw the frustration in their faces every time they went by. I had problems checking in, I was not lucky but I was able to move on and brush off those terrible incidents. Nevertheless, these are things that this hotel needs to review in order for it to continue to be visited by Americans.
A bit of background and some helpful hints: No one, absolutely no one can check in before 3pm. This is a NO-NO. Whatever!! but if you get there prior to 3pm, don't be disoriented. If you are, you'll end up sitting in the lobby (it's beautiful) drinking beer until 3pm. The reception people will tell you that you can go and have lunch at the restaurants by the beach, I don't know why they hide the fact that the Italian restaurant is open and how to get there. Have in mind that to get to the beach from the lobby you need to take a train for 10 minutes, it's hot and you have regular clothes. Don't believe them, the Italian restaurant is open and you can walk to it. So, have a beer and then go and eat but don't go to the beach, it's a trek.
At 3pm, pray that there are no problems with your room, if there is, your luggage will get lost, you will have to go back and forth on the little train all afternoon trying to fix the problems. The phone is not good, they tell you YES, YES and do nothing. This is the cardinal rule when visiting this hotel: the reception staff has one motto and I put this in capital letters, remember it and make decisions according to it. Here it is: AS A MEMBER OF THE RECEPTION AREA STUFF, I WILL ALWAYS SAY "YES", "WE ARE ON THE WAY", "IT'S BEING FIXED RIGHT NOW", ETC. BUT NEVER, EVER FOLLOW UP ON ANYTHING BECAUSE I WILL BE OFF DUTY IN 2 HOURS AND I REALLY DO NOT CARE!!! I dealt with 5 different people and they all did the same thing. They even look at you with that look as if you know that is what they are going to do. This is very sad because you pay your money to get something and that does not matter.
My problem: my problem was that I was given a room. I was given the keys and as I walked in the room I found myself standing next to a bed with a white sheet under which was what seemed to be two human bodies involved in a lovely act. I did not move, I couldn't. Then I don't remember how, I ran out, closed the door behind me and knocked. The gentleman was already at the door, I excused myself and told him that I had keys that open his room. We walked into the room to use the phone, lady wrapped totally under the white sheet, the reception said to me that there was not problem and that we had gone to the wrong place. H E L L O !! The keys opened the door and the number on the check-in card read that number. But saying this did not matter, I had to admit it was my fault and go back to the room. According to them, I went to the wrong place, yeah right!!! Once at the counter (after taking the train back in 97 degree weather), A gentleman (he probably wrote the motto above) said to me: "your room is facing the garden and it only has one bed" <motto smile> First of all, there is no garden view, if you don't look to the pool side you look to a fence and a construction site on the other side. Besides, we paid $150 more per person so that we could be on the second floor looking towards the pool. I told them that couldn't be but he said YES, THAT'S WHAT IIT IS. I told him that we had paid for the pool view and two beds. He said "fine, we will refund your the $20 per day you paid extra" No, no!! I said. Then he went back and came back with my hotel voucher, smiling he said to me: "Sir, you can not have, what you did not pay for. Not only do you not have two beds, you do not have a view of the pool" I took hold of the voucher, grabbed a pen and circle the areas as I said to him "Two dbl beds mean 'two double beds', 4 nights POV means 'Partial Ocean View' dos camas y vista a oceano!" He hated me for this right then an there. The motto came to play now and he said that we will have a bed but another one will be there in an hour. The second bed never came. Every time I asked they said it was on the way but it NEVER CAME!! We had not remote, it was always on the way, it NEVER CAME, we had not coffee maker, it was always on the way, it NEVER CAME. One day there were not towels, we asked they didn't come that day. There was not shampoo one day, we asked and we were told that the bubble bath was the shampoo. He he he...this was funny so we asked the first guy who came by where we could find some shampoo and he just knocked next door, no one opened, he slid his master key, went in and took the opened shampoo bottle. So much for security!!!

Anyway, take your time to enjoy the scenery and the exotic beautiful installations. If you have any problems with the reception staff, save your energy, they will not do anything about it. That is why I will not go back to this hotel. I already saw how beautiful it is but I do not want to feel as little as I did there.
Author: pamela mossuna Posted at 10:08 10/24/2003
Our long weekend stay @ Melia was simply delightful. The food could have been better, but it really wasn't that bad. The service there was good and the employees were all extremely friendly. Before going to this hotel I was told it was too big. I thought too big for them, might be o.k. for our very large group. Truth is, the place is WAY too big. No wonder there's a trolley. For those who don't mind waiting for this trolley 15-30 minutes or walking when u r tired of waiting, this resort is a good place to stay.
Author: JJ Posted at 10:51 09/22/2003
This hotel was heaven on earth. so many resturaunts and activities to choose from. The food and pools are excuisid. the powder white beach is amazing. The staff is unbelivable, Especially Ronny. If you go there, ask to see ronnny. I recommend this hotel.
Author: the pollocks Posted at 11:38 02/12/2003
Hello. My best friend and I stayed at the Melia and we must say it is like paradise. The workers were like brother and sisters to the both of us. And I must say the guys were beautiful. It was awesome to be able to ride the horses at night time..swim with the dolphins and go para sailing. It was a dream come true and we recommend this place to anyone!
Ashley & Kari
Author: Ashley McDannold Posted at 14:42 12/17/2002
Author: Joseph Zayas Posted at 19:57 12/16/2002

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