Colonial Club at the Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana, DR review, or “Donde esta leche de soya?”
We attended a wedding at the Majestic Colonial Result in Punta Cana, Playa Bávaro, Dominican Republic. This was my first experience at an all inclusive hotel and my second trip to a Caribbean Island, so I’m something at a novice at the experience, but here’s what I learned, both the good and the bad.
“It’s all inclusive!”
Unlike Michael Scott, I hadn’t given much thought to what “all inclusive” meant. When I was told, I think I replied, “Great,” because the annunciation on “all inclusive” was positive, so I could infer that this was a good thing. I didn’t know it meant people would keep handing me drinks until I basically begged them to stop. (It was really just the one bartender… I really should have gotten my picture taken with her.) When they weren’t handing us booze, they leaving it everywhere we went because we stayed on the Colonial Club side of the resort.
This adults only area’s version of “mini bar” was to put four bottles of booze and champagne in our room. Furthermore, the club lounge was also stocked with more booze as well as snacks, which was probably the best feature of the Colonial Club, because there’s nothing like the availability of a snack right when you want it. (The lounge closed at midnight, but that wasn’t’ hard to plan around.)
Even if you didn’t stay on the Colonial Club side, there was still booze everywhere. You go in the pool and there’s a swim up bar. You go to dinner and there’s booze, you go to lunch and there’s booze, you go to breakfast and there’s more booze – and not just mimosas, either. It was everywhere; in our room, at the lounge, at every restaurant, in the pool, sweating out of people’s pores… everywhere.
That’s not to say that the drinks had a lot of alcohol in them; they didn’t. But then, the drinks were kinda on the small side (well, that was really only at the pool), so there wasn’t always a lot of room for alcohol, so I did, at times, feel a bit full before I experienced the effects of the alcohol, but then I discovered the Caribbean Romance and after that, everything kinda fell into place… Or, I begun actively trying not to fall on the floor.
I also discovered I’m a member of something called The Square Mafia. I’d explain what that meant… but I got drunk and forgot.
Here’s how the Colonial Club side of the resort breaks down in terms of rooms.
Colonial Club Jr. Suite with Jacuzzi
This is what we had and this was totally fine. Sure, I’d like a bit more privacy when I use the bathroom and yeah, if it takes you less than five minutes to figure out how to use the bedside lights, you’re a certified MacArthur Genius, but generally, I was happy with the room. I did feel that I had to choose between “freezing cold” and “no A/C at all,” but that’s hardly unusual in my hotel experience.
Colonial Club Majestic Jr. Suite (Swim Up)
When they say ‘swim up,’ it looks like one could, if they wanted, swim up to their room, but there’s no steps and no ladder and the pool is higher on that side, so if you’re not up to pulling yourself out of the pool, I could see how that might be a chore. Also, being right next to the pool is both good and bad – the good is obvious, the bad is drunk bathers right outside your door, and if you’re by the swim up bar, well… I hope you don’t like afternoon naps.
Colonial Club Colonial Jr. Suite Ocean Front (Outdoor Jacuzzi)
This didn’t look too appealing to me; I’m pretty sure all of the outdoor jacuzzis are on the first floor and there’s no privacy from… well, anyone, really, so that didn’t appeal to me. It was very, “Hey, are you in the pool? Yeah, I know you’re in the pool, because I’m in my outdoor jacuzzi… six feet away.”
COLONIAL CLUB AMENITIES
If you stay on the Colonial Club side, you get a bracelet that I finally had to cut off when I got home and you share all this stuff with the other club guests:
· 2 private swimming pools with “Bali beds”
This was nice, although I wish at least some of the pool was deeper than 3 or 4 feet, but the family side wasn’t much different.
· 2 Private bars
The service was really good at the private bars.
· 2 Private swim up bars
The service here was trying to give me circus. It was amazing.
· Private beach area with “Bali beds”
I’m not a “lay on the beach in the shade or in the sun” sort of guy, so this was useless to me.
· Selected Premium drinks
I assume this was true.
· Room service included 24 hours
Very cool, but I didn’t use it.
· Exclusive access to “Le Gourmet”
No idea what this was.
· Restaurant for breakfast and lunch a la carte
Maybe there was a Restaurant on the club side? I totally missed that.
· In room bar with our selection of 4 choices of liqueur per stay
As previously mentioned, I dug it.
· Bottle of champagne in room upon arrival
By the time we got around to drinking it, I think we were impervious to the effects of champagne.
· Private and personalized check in
This went slowly (as does all paperwork at Majestic – they always seem to take the long way around and don’t have anything prepared), but there was booze and snacks, so the time passed well enough.
· Personalized Butler service during your stay
I had no use for that guy, but he was a nice guy.
· Express bell boy service
I guess so. We got our bag brought to our room fairly quickly.
· Superior Bath amenities
· In room beach towels
I’d have to say no, this was not a thing. They had this beach towel card system where you traded one card for one towel under penalty of death if you lose either one.
· Pillow menu/Aromatherapy for pillows
This was hilarious to read, so I liked that. I was quite happy with the pillows in the room, which is a total change for me – I never like the pillows in a hotel room, so well done there.
· Robes and slippers in room
I very much liked the slippers; the floor was stone and cold, so these were most welcome.
· Turn down Service
If this was a thing… we missed it.
· Surprise gift in room
The butler guy brought us each a hat because… I dunno.
· Complimentary late check out (based on availability).
I didn’t need it, so we didn’t need that.
· DVD’s selection at the VIP lounge
We hit the lounge for a snack before bed quite a few times and not only did I not see any DVDs there, but I don’t recall a DVD player being in the room.
· Newspaper available
I saw a guy with one, but where he got it, I couldn’t say.
· Majestic Touch during the stay
No idea what this means.
All of the restaurants were non-smoking, so that was awesome. There just weren’t a lot of smokers around that weekend; it was kinda incredible.
We visited the Mexican restaurant once, but as vegans, we didn’t find much to eat. I thought there’d be rice and beans for sure, but beans in general were just not around much. On the other hand, we did well at both buffets, so that was our primary source of sustenance. There’s also a French, Chinese/Japanese and [other] restaurants, so there’s certainly no lack of food to be had.
I liked the pools – generally, any pool is a good pool. Sure, I’d like a more robust filtration system, but I wouldn’t say the pool was dirty. They were too shallow and closed too early (I was thinking they’d be open till midnight), but I still spent as much time as possible in the pool. Chilling at the swim up bar was magnificent.
I’m not a beach guy, but the beach erosion was clear enough to see. (Thanks, Climate Change!) There wasn’t much to see when snorkeling and there was a tremendous amount of seaweed in the water – like an insane amount. (That’s why there was sushi everywhere, I guess?)
Pool bar, Pool bar, Pool bar! The other bars were fine, I guess – I got used to the private swim up bars, so every bar for the rest of my life will seem slow.
We’re not super into live shows and the main stage is an indoor/outdoor kinda thing, and it was way too hot for me under there.
The wifi was shockingly slow. It felt like dialup. The computers in the lounge was the only way to go if you must access the internet.
Yeah, I’d say there are enough vegan options here to have a comfortable stay, and the staff is willing to work with you, or at least try. The buffets have plenty of fruit, salad and other stuff, so you’re not going to starve, but you may come up a little short in the protein department. They do have soy milk, so that’s a big win in the breakfast department. It ultimately depends on what sort of vegan you are: if you’re one of those folks who what kind of glue binds the sole of your shoe to the interior, then you may not be ecstatic with your experience, but I was pleased enough. I’m sure there’s a lot of shared equipment going on, and I didn’t see many (any?) people wearing gloves, so if you’re sensitive about that sort of cross contamination, well, this isn’t the sort of place where they’re on top of that.
IS “ALL INCLUSIVE” ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE?
Kinda, yeah! The best part about going to an “All Inclusive” resort is the only thing you MUST carry around is your room key. I had no idea how liberating empty pockets could be, and since I didn’t get a sim card for my cell phone, I didn’t have that either.
I think the most clear thing I can say about the experience is I’d do it again. That, to me, is the best endorsement one can give.