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Punta Cana Dance Party

Guest post sent by Ree from Punta Cana | Published : 26/Dec/2005 23:00

Punta Cana Party

Punta Cana Party

Were it not for the feral chickens roaming through the resort, you might imagine yourself to be in southwest Florida at the IFA Ocean Village in Punta Cana. Bespeedoed Germans, Spanish↣ spoken all around (but you don't have to speak any), swimming pools, and beautiful white sand beaches complete this illusion.

To begin, a disclaimer: we stayed at this resort only because it was included in an all-inclusive Air Transat last minute package.

The village is arranged around several pools with adjoining bars. The rooms are decent and clean, and each has a balcony. Unlike most of the other Bavaro area resorts, IFA is set back from the beach leaving more space for palm trees, sports, and sunbathing on the beach. (Check out the seperate entry about Bavaro beach).

Punta Cana Party

Punta Cana Party

However, little things about the resort made our trip less relaxing. For example, non-motorized watersport equipment was “free” BUT you had to leave a hefty deposit. Who carries 200 dollars to the beach every day? In addition to that, the daily entertainment makes napping an impossibility at the beach and by the main pool. In our room, the fridge was loud with frayed wires creating a fire hazard. We were also told to use the safe in our room for passports and valuables- I’m not sure if it was a racket (we also paid $14 for the key for a week) or if there was an actual danger of theft. Then we spotted a giant cockroach in the hall (which could be inevitable in the tropics?).

Most importantly, there are no signs in the bathroom warning against drinking (or brushing your teeth with) the tap water. Woe to you if you drink that stuff - you will get the “tra-la-la”. Bottled water was not available in the hotel market, so we tipped the maid at the beginning of the week and were generously supplied with 2 bottles of water a day. In the buffet Restaurant Colibri, the staff works long shifts so I forgive them for being so disorganized that we were lucky to obtain a beverage before we finished eating. We tried eating in the “seafood” restaraunt which has 5 menu items- only one seafood and you must pay extra for it. After that experience we were hesitant to try out the sushi bar- especially in a country that doesn’t eat fresh fish. Plus, the ATM was broken all week, and the only options for withdrawing money were to walk to the next resort, or to take a taxi into town. Solicitors were allowed to enter the resort. I was offered drugs and an iguana on my way to the pool one day.

Lastly, the Air Transat official was unhelpful, warning us about participating in non-Transat organized excursions, which makes sense only if you consider the profit they must make from these activities. She discouraged guests from exploring outside the resort–but eventually we discovered it’s not that it’s terribly dangerous, it's just that there’s nothing to do there.

If you’re into organized group activities and mild inconveniences, by all means stay at the IFA Ocean Village. And if you don’t like it, you can always drown your sorrows in an impromptu all-you-can-drink buffet. It’s included! Despite all the negative details, if you still find yourself at this resort you will most likely enjoy your stay, because you can’t really complaint about the sun, sand, unlimited rum, and Caribbean breezes.

Punta Cana Alley

Punta Cana Alley