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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. However, it must be mentioned that, at the time of our visit, the resort temporarily operated under the name of BlueBay Grand. It had been called Blue Beach prior to the temporary takeover and, as far as we know, goes by that name once again.
Blue Beach 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 Blue Beach 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
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.
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, visit our YouTube channel for the tour video.
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.
Blue Beach 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
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.
The luxury dining experience here 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. Blue Beach 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
For tours and attractions, Blue Beach 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, Blue Beach 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.
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.
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, Blue Beach 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.