BlueBay Grand / Blue Beach – Punta Cana

REVIEW:

WOW! This resort impressed us! As a result, this review is longer than intended. But we couldn’t help it, there is so much to convey and include.

At the time of our visit, BlueBay Grand had just aquired the property from Blue Beach and was working hard to implement tweaks and changes in order to upgrade the experience for visitors and offer a property somewhat different from other island resorts. However, it should be noted that only a few months later, some behind-the-scenes issues involving the acquisition caused the resort to temporarily revert back to the name of Blue Beach. Either way, the property and amenities are the same so our review stands as it is. We refer to it as BlueBay Grand throughout our article since that’s what it was at the time of our visit. We await the result of where ownership will ultimately land and will adjust the review accordingly as soon as we know.


BlueBay Grand is approximately 20 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport but is actually located in a small village called Cabeza de Toro.  It sits on the same stretch of beach as Catalonia Royal Bavaro to the south and 3 other well-known resorts to the north – Dreams, Be Live Collection, and Natura Park Beach by Blau. However, all 3 of these large properties are built side by side, creating a very crowded and noisy area of the beach, whereas BlueBay is separated by a small docking area for fishing and tour boats plus a slight vacant area, so the hotel sits on a quiet stretch of beach all of its own and is protected by security.


This luxury resort is exceptionally clean and modern with an intimate set-up and comfortable size. Guests don’t have to deal with trams or shuttles in order to access everything, like many Caribbean complexes. Plus, it is easy to navigate with all buildings bordering a lengthy zero entry pool that meanders through the very center of the property and is absolutely stunning, especially at night.


The pool deck serves as a traffic route that connects everything and enables guests to access the property in its entirety within a 5-minute walk. To simplify, on the west end of the pool guests will find the hotel lobby, a convenient gift shop, a kid’s club, and one of the a la carte restaurants (Aretusa) with the gym, salon and Etra Spa located above. There is also a centrally located outdoor bar called Zoombar On the east end, you’ll find 2 more a la carte restaurants, some sports facilities and most of the daily activities, plus access to the beach and a beachfront lounge called Sur Le Mer.  It’s virtually impossible to get lost so guests can feel oriented and comfortable in a very short time.


Rooms are available as Junior Suites, Penthouses with a Jacuzzi, and 2 or 3 bedroom condo-style Family Suites with fully equipped kitchens and a second bathroom. Some also include a Jacuzzi on the terrace. All are exceptionally clean, modern and quite spacious, and include roomy terraces or balconies with spectacular views. The Junior Suite and Penthouse can be seen in our video below.

Though the 2-bedroom unit is the most popular choice according to management, for our review purposes we had a spectacular and spacious 3-bedroom layout, which was sparkling clean. We were surprised to discover the king bed located in the second bedroom rather than in the master bedroom, which was a bit odd. However, to consider this a drawback would be trivial and nitpicking when taking into account everything the suite has to offer.

To see the Junior Suite and Penthouse, plus tour the 2 and 3 bedroom suites in their entirety, please watch our tour video below.


Room features include a convenient safe, coffee maker, and a fridge that is re-stocked daily based on consumption. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort, including in-room, plus 42-inch plasma TVs (in the living room as well as select bedrooms) come with premium satellite channels. Bathrooms include walk-in showers (only), hairdryers, plus complimentary toiletries and bathrobes. Daily housekeeping and nightly turndown services are also provided.

Wardrobe style closets provide plenty of storage space and are a nice upgrade to the bedrooms. Another great feature is the dual thermostat controls in the 2 and 3 bedroom suites, allowing for different temperatures in different rooms. But, no doubt, one of the most convenient and unique features for a Caribbean resort is the in-suite washer/ dryer combo, which is surprisingly quiet and gives guests the option to launder clothes as they go rather than overpacking. There is also an iron and ironing board. The laundry facility is perfect for families with small children. There is also the advantage of taking everything home clean for quick and easy unpacking.


BlueBay Grand features an all-inclusive experience for those that purchase a vacation package (with or without flight), but it’s also possible to book the hotel and pay for meals and amenities separately. Gastronomy includes La Caracola, an international buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with indoor dining or covered outdoor seating. Plus, there are 3 à la carte restaurants serving dinner plus a bar and grill. This includes Aretusa, the gourmet/French restaurant (pictured below), Moma for Asian cuisine with indoor and outdoor dining, and the open-air Brazilian rodizio-inspired restaurant called Blue Wave for assorted grilled meats right off the skewer. To maximize space, Blue Wave’s terrace acts as the beachfront bar and grill during day time hours, for hamburgers, wings, and pizza, with stunning views of the ocean (pictured below). However, it closes at 5:00pm and is transformed into the rodizio a la carte which opens at 7:00pm.

Actually, ALL à la carte facilities open at 7:00pm so if you’re hungry before your reservation time, or even after your visit to one of the specialty restaurants, it is perfectly acceptable to visit the buffet as well. If purchasing meals separately, the à la carte restaurants are priced between $50 and $90 (USD) per meal. All restaurants, including the buffet, can be seen in our video.


BlueBay’s luxury dining experience includes being met by the hostess with a flute of champagne. The gourmet restaurant, Aretusa, serves an impressive and tasty chateaubriand with a blackberry comport, roast potatoes and baby asparagus, which we recommend. However, our favourite among the restaurants was the Asian-inspired Moma which serves an absolutely delicious meal. We encourage you to try the Spring Rolls, Sweet and Sour Pork, and the Pad Thai. Since everything is handmade on demand, there is a noticeable wait for your meal but the end result is worth it.

Like the rest of the resort, the Etra Spa, gym, and salon are intimate but offer a variety of services, including deep tissue massage. As an introductory special, 5 minutes of massage is randomly available for free by the pool. Drink carts sporadically service the pool area with simple drinks, while tropical and frozen cocktails are available at one of three bars. Unlike many resorts, Bali beds are complimentary at the pool as well as on the beach. Guests can look forward to artisan vendors who visit twice a week to sell their arts, crafts, jewellery, and locally made cigars, all of which make for great souvenirs.


Guests can expect to be entertained both day and night thanks to an enthusiastic and fun activities team that encourages participation in poolside dance lessons, water volleyball, bingo, ping pong games and more during the day, as well as Karaoke and more dancing at night. BlueBay Grand also hosts live bands and evening shows that encompass everything from circus performers to dance troupes to guests competing in trivia games. Of course, you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to, but getting guests to shed their inhibitions and have some fun together is something this resort does extremely well.

Since this is a family-friendly property, most activities are quieting down by 11pm and are over by midnight, so if you’re in the mood to party and are looking for something a little more lively, BlueBay offers nightly shuttle service to the disco at the Be Live resort down the street. Also offered is daily shuttle service to downtown Punta Cana for shopping at San Juan Mall and Plaza Los Americas.


For tours and attractions, BlueBay has an in-house tour operator (Best Day Travel) located in the lobby to help guests book various excursions. However, several are within walking distance from the hotel, including a party boat, a glass bottom boat, and Dolphin Explorer, which is a popular marine attraction featuring shark and dolphin encounters.

Indeed, BlueBay Grand is a compact resort, bordering on a boutique hotel given its small size, but there is no detail they have overlooked. This resort does most everything well and has it ALL, including Destination Weddings, with locations available on the beach or in the garden. (Watch our video below for visuals).

Most of the staff is multilingual and all are friendly and eager to please. We highly recommend this destination if you’re considering a moderately priced vacation that delivers luxury. We also recommend you watch our tour video of the resort, located below this review. It will give you an even better idea of BlueBay Grand Punta Cana.


PROS:  Clean, modern, relaxed atmosphere.  It is a luxury property without being pretentious.  There’s plenty to do if you wish to participate. The staff is very friendly and outgoing.  The grounds and views are beautiful.  The resort is almost all mobility-friendly and is currently working to complete the facilities.

CONS:  Room configuration suffers a slight design flaw in the 2 and 3 bedroom suites considering the kind bed is not located in the master bedroom.  Although most of the staff is multilingual, there are some still in training which can sometimes present communication problems.  However, BlueBay is well aware of the issue and is working to address it as they strive to perfect the property and the guest experience. 

Overall, there aren’t many cons associated with this property. It is extremely well done and continues to improve with BlueBay Resorts as the owners. 

All Photos and Video belong to Go GlobeHopper.  Please do not Copy or Share without Credit and Link Back.  Thank You. 

All Photos and Video Belong to Go GlobeHopper. Please do not Copy or Share without Credit and Link Back. Thank you.


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