- Buffet fare is subpar for the price
This 600-room mega-resort -- one of the D.R.'s largest -- is the couples-focused answer to the more family-oriented Majestic Colonial next door.
Opened in late 2008, the Majestic Elegance is the newer, slightly more expensive sister hotel to the Majestic Colonial next door. With a renowned spa, nearby topless beach, a daily bikini contest, and the Elegance Club -- an adults-only section of the resort complete with ocean-view rooms and private access to a beach, two rooftop bars, and a VIP lounge -- the Elegance is geared toward adults. But the beach, giant pool, and reasonable rates attract many families as well. Newer is almost always better when it comes to D.R. all-inclusives, and this is a clear example.
By day, the only music you'll hear is the soft Latin jazz coming from the fake-rock speakers around the pools, but at night, there's more live music here than at most upscale D.R. resorts. There's a wide range of environments to choose from: A boisterous crowd gathers in the large lobby bar, a younger crowd takes over the nightclub, and more low-key live music can be found at the Plaza Bar.
The Majestic Elegance shares a resort complex with its sister, the Majestic Colonial. The resort is in Bavaro, which is technically the area that stretches north of Punta Cana Airport but is often considered part of the Punta Cana peninsula. The area is primarily covered in mega-resorts, but Bavaro is also home to a smattering of restaurants and nightclubs.
The beaches along this northern stretch of the coast generally see much stronger waves and have a steeper drop-off than those to the south, in Punta Cana. The beach here is no exception. It's beautiful but crowded. It has fine sand and clear water. The walk out into the water has a sandy bottom, so there's no need for reef shoes or sandals. The water is much clearer than it is to the north at Sivory but not as calm as it is to the south at the Barcelo resorts.
Staff quarter off a swimming area with buoys that seems too small for the amount of people on the beach. Signs ask guests to respect the swimming boundary, but no one seems to heed them, and no one seems to enforce these rules either. But be warned that boats taking snorkelers on excursions do blast up and down the beach and come very close to the swimming area. Swimmers should take great caution when going out of bounds.
There are bars near the beach but no regular drink service.
The water-sports center is well outfitted with watercrafts and features a PADI-certified dive center.
Large, modern rooms with exposed Jacuzzis, quality beds, and treats like flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and hardwired Internet. For an ocean view, you'll have to stay in the resort's adults-only section.
The Majestic opened in late 2008, so the rooms are clean and feel new. The sitting area lies beneath a funky, interplanetary art lamp, and the rest of the room is decked out in marble and dark wood accents. And the Jacuzzi, tucked into a nook between the bed and the balcony, begs for a soak.
The beds come with comfortable pillow-top mattresses, high-thread-count sheets, two pillows, and a basic comforter. They're far better than most all-inclusive beds, especially when compared with the beds at the Grand Palladium Palace, but not as nice as those at the Grand Oasis Bavaro.
There's no wall separating the bathroom and the bedroom. The toilet is behind a glass door, as is the marble rainfall shower, but this lack of privacy might irk some couples or families traveling together. The sinks and vanity are in the open bathroom area, which is part of the larger room.
The main pool at the Majestic is enormous, spanning the main stretch of the hotel, from the beach up to the lobby. It's absolutely giant compared with other pools in the D.R. and is rivaled only by a few gems, like the pool at the Excellence Punta Cana.
Smaller pools and fountains are also scattered around. The goal, with a slew of fresh plantings surrounding the pools, is to induce a grotto-like feel.
In 2011, the hotel built a new pool and V.I.P. lounge exclusive to the Elegance Club, the property's adults-only section.
There's a swim-up bar as well as multiple bars next to the pool. Bottom line: Guests are never far from a cold beverage at the Majestic. Kids hang by the Ping-Pong table and oversize Connect Four game, but the scene is pretty quiet as most families prefer the Majestic Colonial, where the Kids Club is located. Soft Latin music can be heard from the speaker rocks that line the walkway and the pool area.
The fitness center is huge, though scarcely used, plus there's Wi-Fi and hardwired Internet access (for a fee).
The fitness center is big, with many cardio machines, free weights, and spin bikes. There are flat-screen TVs mounted on the wall, and large windows help bring in plenty of natural light. Personal trainers are available. This is definitely one of the nicer and bigger gyms available at a D.R. mega-resort.
The Spa offers a good array of services and salon treatments, including eight different showers, two saunas, two Turkish baths, and an ice fountain for facial treatments.
Golfers will enjoy the resort's connection to Punta Blanca golf course; the front desk can also arrange transport to some of the D.R.'s other fabulous courses if you like.
There is a casino on site, which is shared by the Majestic Elegance and its sister, the Majestic Colonial.
Wi-Fi is available in the lobby for a per-hour fee. Hardwired Internet is also available in the rooms for a daily charge. The business center also has Internet access.
The evening entertainment is popular and includes some kid-friendly nights, like the magic show one night during my stay. Other acts included a dance show and merengue lessons -- all very standard for D.R. all-inclusives.
During the day, staff walk around with parrots and take pictures with guests. There's also a Ping-Pong table in the gameroom by the pool, and an oversize Connect Four game, which seems to be very popular.
At night, the disco bar blasts Beyonce and other contemporary dance hits until the early morning. Unfortunately, it can sometimes feel like a high school prom -- insecure teenagers crowded nervously around the bar while a lonely smoke machine blasts smoke onto the empty dance floor. The disco has great potential, though.
There's a giant pool and waterslide, but the Majestic Elegance isn't as kid-friendly as the Majestic Colonial next door (where the Kids Club is located).
The Majestic also has an excellent Kids Club available for guests, but it's located next door at its sister property, the Majestic Colonial. Featuring a mini-castle and waterslide, it's a hit with kids. There's also a game area with billiards, Ping-Pong, and foosball that's geared towards teens. Toddlers three and under can use the resort's "Babyland" facilities with a parent; there are also nanny services available for an hourly fee.
The buffet offers kid-friendly food like pizza and fries as well as more mature options (though complaints from adults about the food are common).
The hotel opened in late 2008, and is still very clean.
The Majestic Elegance is incredibly clean. This is partially attributed to the fact that it opened in late 2008 and the rooms are still very new. The grounds are well maintained with teams of groundskeepers constantly working on the place.
The buffet is average -- not great, not terrible -- but the sushi bar is a less common gem.
Overall, the food at the Majestic is fairly average for an all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic, which is to say not great. For those unfamiliar with the all-inclusive dining experience, the food might seem terrible at best, illness-inducing at worst. But compared with the other all-inclusives, the Majestic's grub isn't terrible, and some guests really love it. Just keep your expectations low.
There are two buffet restaurants on-site: Flavours (the giant dining room) and See & Sea (the beachside buffet). The pizza, advertised as baked fresh, is crusty and looks like it has been sitting out under a heat lamp for hours. The salad bar and rice and beans are always a safe bet. The made-to-order pasta station generates a huge line, which should be telling. See & Sea offers a lot of seafood options, as well as staples like pizza and burgers. And the view cannot be beat.
The Majestic Elegance also has a sushi bar, a somewhat less common sight among the all-inclusives. (The Iberostar and Grand Palladium resorts also offer sushi.) It's not the best sushi, and there are some strange combinations like the roll topped with ham slices (seriously?), but it's a unusual and very popular treat. The restaurant Nine Doors has a sushi buffet and hibachi rooms for larger groups. Reservations are a must, though, as this is easily the most popular restaurant at the Majestic.
Alternative a la carte restaurants include Asadito, an Argentinean-style steakhouse; II Botaccio, serving Italian food; and Limited Gourmand, which the hotel describes as gourmet international cuisine. La Bodeguita del Majestic, a fast food snack bar, serves late night grub like hamburgers, buffalo wings, and beers.
Name-brand liquor is a huge plus, especially when most D.R. resorts pour pure swill.
There are 11 bars on property at the Majestic. Name-brand liquor like Jack Daniel's is included in the all-inclusive package, which is not so common among the D.R. all-inclusives. There is a bit of a nightlife scene here, especially at the lobby bar, which starts buzzing in the afternoon. All of the giant wicker couch sitting areas are filled by 7 p.m., and the socializing doesn't end until midnight or so, at which point some guests move over to the disco.
A fairly standard all-inclusive weddings on the beach -- minimal options, and minimal privacy
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