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Review Summary


Pros

  • On a white-sand beach, with sandy access to the ocean
  • Two large freeform pools, one with a swim-up bar and ocean views
  • Beach activities including water sports and a climbing wall
  • Poolside activities including a pool DJ and poolside massage huts
  • Buffet restaurant with good variety, plus beach buffet for lunch
  • Multiple a la carte restaurants, including Asian, Italian, and French-Caribbean options
  • Plenty for children: kids' club, live theater, and teen-oriented game building with bowling alley
  • Spacious rooms with AC, safes, free mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks

Cons

  • Significant erosion and seaweed at the beach; strip is smaller than at competing resorts
  • Large crowds at pool and restaurants
  • Dance-club feel of pool won't appeal to those who prefer quiet
  • Music from pool DJ can be heard in rooms facing the pool
  • Long waits for tables at restaurants (except for Privilege guests) 
  • Cell-phone service spotty or nonexistent in some rooms
  • Occasional housekeeping and maintenance lapses in the rooms

Bottom Line

This 708-room upscale resort a 10-minute drive from downtown Bavaro aims to appeal to guests of all ages. The focal points here are the large, music-filled pool area and the mock town center -- not the small strip of beach. The rooms are spacious, but not as stylish as one might expect from this category, and not many have ocean views. There are plenty of dining options and lots of activities for kids and teens, and prices are among Punta Cana's most affordable for an upscale resort. Majestic Colonial Punta Cana has a better beach, so it may be worth comparing rates. 

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Scene

A crowded all-inclusive with a hopping pool complex, a restaurant-packed central plaza, and an unimpressive beach

The sprawling lobby accommodates the large number of people who pass through this popular (and crowded) all-inclusive resort

Though it has 708 rooms, the Ocean Blue & Sand isn't that large by Punta Cana standards. It is located on a long, narrow rectangle of land that touches the ocean (about a mile long and 2,000 feet wide). Still, the hotel packs as much in as it can into this footprint. One of the main hubs is a plaza styled after an idealized Caribbean town, centered around a shallow, fish-filled pond; this is where the lobby, casino, theater, game area with bowling alley, and numerous restaurants are located. 

The second hub is the long, large pool complex, flanked on either side by the room buildings. The pool is often packed with Latin American and North American tourists splashing along to the insistent "oonce, oonce, oonce"of DJ-led dance-club favorites. 

Preteens and teens, on the other hand, can often be found in the bowling alley, loaded with activities out of the rays. Those seeking quiet -- or their favorite team's game on the boob tube -- gravitate toward the small beach or the beachfront lounge, furnished with semi-private TV rooms and a terrace with a view of the waves. Entrance to this lounge is limited to those who pay for a Privilege package. Overall, this resort doesn't have a lot of quiet to offer; those seeking a smaller, more peaceful resort may prefer Alsol Luxury Village

Location

A 10-minute drive from downtown Bavaro and a 25-minute drive from the airport

Map of Ocean Blue & Sand

The resort is located in Bavaro, the epicenter of beach tourism in the D.R. It is right off a service road parallel to the highway named the Avenue of the United States, and shares its neighborhood with several all-inclusive resorts and real-estate developments. Various shopping destinations are within 10 minutes by car, giving guests plenty of options for off-site activities. (The highway is not a pedestrian-friendly, however, so a car, taxi, or tour bus will be necessary.) 

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Rooms

Spacious rooms with occasional housekeeping and maintenance issues; only some Privilege Junior Suites have ocean views

The spacious Honeymoon Suite includes a lofted living room area

Rooms are located in 10 large, three-story, open-courtyard buildings lining either side of the pool complex. They have a good dose of natural light, typically have a blue and white color scheme, and are decorated with large photographs of boats, beach hammocks, and similar serene tropical themes. The standard Junior Suites aren't quite as stylish as one may expect from an upscale hotel, however, and their tile bathrooms, with have shower-tub combos with jets, are a bit small. 

Rooms are spacious enough and mostly clean, though we found some long, alien hairs in our shower, and other guests have complained of occasional housekeeping issues such as mini-fridges not being refilled, towels not being replenished, and even the occasional cockroach. There can also be maintenance issues such as stained or broken furniture and faulty plumbing. The AC can't be individually controlled, which is a nuisance for some. 

All rooms have free minibars and free Wi-Fi, though the signal quality tends to be poor. Every room has a terrace furnished with a table and chairs, though most views are unremarkable, either of an unattractive, grass-lined path, other hotel buildings, or the pool area. Those facing the pool may hear their share of rhythmic bass when the pool DJs is working.

Many guests will find the upgrade to a Privilege Junior Suite worthwhile, as these rooms are closer to the beach and have a higher level of decor, as well as two-person whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms and upgraded minibars. Select rooms in this category get sea views

Cell-phone service is spotty or nonexistent inside some rooms, and those who have calls to make may find themselves spending a lot of time in the courtyards of their residential buildings. These courtyards are built around burbling fountains and are often equipped with cafe-style seating that's often claimed by older guests regaining their energy in the shade.

Rooms and Rates

Features

Two huge pools, tons of restaurants, and a teen center with a bowling alley

Unique on-site features include a bowling alley in the teen center-- allegedly the only bowling alley in the Punta Cana region

There are two spacious pools located in between the rows of room buildings. One is nearer to the beach and has a swim-up bar, and the one behind it has a fenced-off kiddy area. The whirlpool in between them has jets but is not heated, and there's another jetted whirlpool in the beachfront pool. The beachfront pool tends to be more crowded.

There are a plethora of food options, including a main buffet restaurant and six dinner a la carte restaurants. During our visit, an American family argued about whether to go to the burger joint, the Italian restaurant, or the steakhouse for dinner, then decided to go to the buffet, which was having an "Oriental cuisine" night. Other options include Asian and French-Caribbean. Privilege guests get an exclusive breakfast at beachside Cana, where a lunch buffet for all is also served. At dinner, a la carte seating is first come, first served, except for Privilege guests, who can make reservations. For drinks, guests can imbibe at the lobby bar, disco, or sports bar

After dinner, guests might choose to unwind at the casino, grab a latte at the coffeeshop, or play a game of table tennis by the bowling alley. Staff members proudly brag about the bowling alley -- the only one in the entire Punta Cana region, they'll remind you. The teen center that houses is a good indication that the hotel attracts a lot of families, and offers plenty of activities from foosball to video games to giant-size chess. There's also a live theater next door for evening shows. The kids' club, for younger children, is located closer to the shore, by the water-sports facility across from the monolithic climbing wall on the beach. 

Beach

A small strip of beach with seaweed and significant erosion

Strong waves have eroded the on-site beach into a small strip of usable sand, which is plagued by seaweed

The beach at Ocean Blue & Sand is not the highlight. Strong waves have eroded the shoreline, and the beach is now elevated above a small drop-off, with steps down to the lower level of sand and the water. During our visit, there was significant seaweed build-up. There are lots of lounge chairs, but because of the shoreline loss, they're incredibly crowded together. The beach was mostly ignored by guests during our visit in late July. There are a dedicated section and beachside lounge for Privilege guests. 

Amenities

Key Features
Pool
Fitness Center
Spa
Internet
Cribs
Kids Club
Jacuzzi
Casino
Hotel Services
Transport to / from Hotel
Concierge
Dry Cleaning
Free Breakfast
Laundry
Rental Car Service Desk Onsite
Room Service
Family Services
Babysitting Services
Cribs
Kids Allowed
Kids Club
Supervised Kids Activities
Things to Do
Beauty Salon
Business Center
Casino
Fitness Center
Gameroom / Arcade
Located on the Beach
Pool
Spa
Tennis Court
Room Features
Air Conditioner
Balcony
Television
Mini Bar (with liquor)
Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space
Internet
Address
Playa Arena Gorda, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Caribbean
Phone (809) 476-2326
Also Known As
  • Ocean Blue
  • Ocean Blue Dominican Republic
  • Ocean Blue Golf
  • Ocean Blue Golf Beach Resort
  • Ocean Blue Golf Beach Resort Punta Cana
  • Ocean Blue Hotel Beach
  • Ocean Blue Punta Cana
  • Ocean Blue Resort
  • Ocean Blue Resort Punta Cana
Room Types
  • Deluxe Junior Suite
  • Honeymoon Suite Privilege Club
  • Junior Suite
  • Junior Suite Privilege Club

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