If the Dominican Republic is your destination and you’re wondering where to stay, have a look at our review of Ocean Blue & Sand by H10 Hotels – Punta Cana.
Punta Cana is one of the most-visited destinations in the Caribbean. Travelers adore this region of the Dominican Republic for the beautiful weather, 40 kilometers of gorgeous beaches and turquoise waters, and the tropical atmosphere. Plus, there are several stellar golf courses in the area, interesting shopping experiences, exciting side trips, and an endless list of exhilarating activities and attractions. To sweeten the deal further, Punta Cana is one of the most affordable Caribbean destinations with a wide choice of resorts offering an extensive choice of amenities.
An outstanding resort that specializes in extensive amenities is Ocean Blue & Sand by H10 Hotels, located right on the white sand beach of the Arena Gorda, Bavaro area of Punta Cana. With a variety of suite options, a wide range of dining choices, a spa and fitness center, and sports and entertainment for the whole family, time spent here isn’t just a get-away, it’s a vacation to remember.
Ocean Blue & Sand offers an upgrade to become a ‘Privilege‘ guest which essentially offers access to an upgraded experience at the resort, including better rooms, concierge service and butler service, reservations with priority seating at all a la carte restaurants, access to a private area of the beach and its specialty sun loungers, premium drinks, and on and on. The upgrade is a bit pricey but it’s worth it if you enjoyed being skipping lines, sit-down breakfasts as opposed to buffets, and generally being pampered.
Guest suites come in several different layouts — Junior Suite, Junior Suite Pool View, Honeymoon Suite, Privilege Junior Suite, and Privilege Junior Suite Pool View. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning plus a ceiling fan, a flat-screen TV featuring international channels, an electric coffee maker, iron and ironing board, an in-room safe, and a complimentary minibar with soft drinks, beer, and water that are restocked daily based on consumption.
Rooms are spacious and clean with modern decor and a separate sitting area. Many of the rooms, particularly those in the Privilege category, have undergone recent renovations and upgrades. However, some are still in need. And, it should be noted that only a select few actually have an ocean view. Most do not.
Gastronomy includes 7 themed a la carte restaurants, including Sensai for Japanese cuisine, Margarita for Mexican, Route 66 for American cuisine, the El Bodegón Steakhouse, Mascherati Di Venezia for Italian, and Blue Moon for a gourmet experience. Villa Marina is available for a sit-down breakfast for Privilege guests. There are also 2 buffets, a coffee house, and 11 bars and lounges, including a piano bar. The restaurants all feature modern and interesting decor and the food is very, very good. However, a la carte theme restaurants tend to fill up quickly.
Two pools, one of which features a swim-up bar, and an outdoor Jacuzzi can be found on the property, and various forms of entertainment can be found around the pool/sundeck area, such as Aquagym — a fitness program run by the resort activities team. Plus, there are activities on the beach. Uniquely, there is also a sports center, a bowling alley, and a rock-climbing wall on the property. These particular amenities are quite different from most resorts in the region. So is the on-site Dive Centre that offers diving and PADI training courses, for first-time and experienced divers.
For extra fitness, Ocean Blue and Sand also features the Despacio Spa Centre and gym. This is a great place to go for relaxation massages and beauty treatments. A Kids Club (ages 4 – 12) and Teen Club (up to age 17) offer excellent day and night activities and entertainment, with the teen center containing video games, table games, and billiards. There is also a babysitting service available (at extra cost) so the adults can dance the night away at the Wave Disco, attend a nightly movie at the theatre, or take their chances at the Ocean Tower Casino.
Free wi-fi is available throughout the resort. Plus, there are several event and wedding facilities. At an extra cost, there are laundry services, medical facilities, and car and bike rentals to round out the on-site conveniences and comforts. Oh… and we almost forget the shopping center.
We found this to be a pretty extensive list of amenities, certainly more than most resorts in the region. And it makes sense that with so much included on the property, the resort grounds are huge. So to add to the convenience, there is a shuttle that makes its way around the premises every few minutes, to pick up and drop off guests wherever they need to go.
Overall, this resort scores well with guests, many of which are repeat visitors. And we can see why. However, though many booking sites give it a 5-star rating, we are more inclined to give it a 4 or 4.5
Excellent location. Spacious rooms. Plenty to do on the grounds of the resort for adults as well as children. Good food at all restaurants and the buffet restaurants offer plenty of variety. Rates at Ocean Blue & Sand tend to be more affordable than at most comparable luxury resorts.
Due to erosion and other factors, the beach area is narrower here than at most competing resorts. The pool can be crowded so seating around the pool can be difficult to find. Suites facing the pool are prone to noise from the pool area, including loud music from the DJ. Restaurants can also be crowded with long line-ups and wait times unless you’ve paid for the upgraded Privilege experience.