A Review of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – Check In and the Room

 

Ohhhh my gosh, you guys. Jason and I went to the Hard Rock Resort and Casino in May 2014 and haven’t stopped talking about how amazing it was since. This was the second trip we ever went on with our timeshare, and it was definitely the best one so far. ***In the interest of full disclosure, these photos were in no way shape or form expected to someday end up on a blog, so I'm sorry for how crappy the quality is!


The Lobby/Main Building From the Ocean Side
Through our timeshare, we received free shuttle service to and from the airport. The driver picked us up at a kiosk inside the airport and led us out to an air conditioned van. The drive was quick, easy and took us straight to the front of the hotel.  

When we arrived under the enormous, gorgeous awning at the front entrance, a bellman (? Security Guard? Man With Clipboard?) met us at the door and asked us our names. We told him who we were, but he had trouble finding us. I told him we were there through an RCI exchange and he quickly led us over to two nice ladies at a private check-in desk who were expecting us. I received a rose and we both received a tropical drink in a champagne glass. We were officially on vacation! 

I can't stress this enough...this place is huge. There are 12 suite buildings which are each the size of a regular Holiday Inn on this property, 13 pools, 9 restaurants, 17 bars and the lobby area is basically a mall with the casino as an anchor and a conference room the size of a football field on the other end. No exaggeration. 


Resort Map
I had done my research beforehand, and knew which buildings were closer to the beach. There are two rows of buildings that run parallel to the beach. The row closest to the lobby/mall area were the “B” buildings, and the buildings closest to the beach were the “A” buildings. We were originally assigned to a B building and asked to switch to an A building. We were immediately reassigned to building 8A. Seriously. Immediately. That has never happened to us before. We asked if there were any ocean view rooms available, and she didn’t even blink! She looked in the computer and there weren’t, but she basically acted like if there had been we would’ve gotten one.  A++++ in my book. (For the record, having the room would have only added one +. We loved the room we got that much.)

The Clipboard Man had directed the bellmen at the front to take our luggage when he led us to the check-in counter and once we were checked in, a bellman took us in a golf cart to our room and carried our luggage in for us. We tipped him a few dollars and immediately unpacked and changed into swimwear.

The closet was a good size and had plenty of hangers for my dinner dresses and Jason’s nicer polos. The safe was also a standard resort-size safe. It was about a foot high and 12-16 inches wide. It was plenty big enough for my Canon DSLR, my iPad, Jason’s Kindle, wallets, passports and my Sony NEX camera. And yes, I travel with two cameras, and I’m a terrible photographer. #judgeme

Standard King Room
One of the highlights of the room in my opinion was the pull out liquor dispenser! It’s basically this little cabinet thing built into a cabinet door that has a clear glass window so you can see which liquor you’re trying to dispense to yourself. Ours had tequila, vodka, bourbon and rum. We also had an abundance of Sprite, Coke and Coke Light (Diet Coke) to mix with them in the mini fridge. There were also a few bottles of water. 


Our favorite cabinet.


We were able to get a room with a king size bed. It also had a little bistro table with two chairs, a TV with cable (with 2-3 English-speaking channels that mostly only showed Mom and Big Bang Theory), and…yes, you’re reading this correctly…a two-person Jacuzzi tub in the middle of the room. THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM!

It was actually nice because there weren’t any bugs like there are when there’s a Jacuzzi on the balcony, but it was the only tub in the room or bathroom…so that was kind of weird. All-in-all though, we were highly impressed with the room.


Balcony Seating
The bathroom was just as amazing as the room and only about half the size. The shower had two shower heads and Jason and I got in the shower when we first got there (fully clothed! No TMI here!) just to see how big it was. I reached my arm out and couldn’t even touch him! 

The toiletries smelled like heaven and were from the spa. They had a sewing kit, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower gel, soap and a hairdryer available for use.




One thing that was kind of weird was that there were slippers available to use and there were hangers in the closet explaining how to buy robes like the ones in the room in the Hard Rock Shops, but there were no robes. We like spending a day in the sun, taking showers and lounging around the room before dinner in robes so I was kind of disappointed that ours were missing. We mentioned this to our concierge during our welcome meeting (more on that later), and she said she would send us some but never did. Whomp whomp.

I had read on TripAdvisor that some guests thought the beds were hard, but we never had that problem. We do like firmer mattresses, though, so that could be why we were pleased with ours. Nevertheless, there were a million pillows, the temperature in the room was easily controlled via the in-room thermostat and we were always comfortable. What can you complain about?

We also always had really good luck with the cleaning staff. The room was always cleaned, they straightened up everything, we never had any trouble with theft (and I accidentally left my iPad charging on the nightstand while we went to dinner one night) and the bedding was changed when we wanted it to. One interesting feature about the room is that there are two buttons by the door that look kind of like light switches, but they have symbols on them that look like women. One has an “X” through the woman and one doesn’t. It’s an alert to housekeeping that you do or don’t want to be bothered as opposed to those flimsy “do not disturb” signs that always fall off. If you press the button with the X, housekeeping staff either won’t or can’t enter with their keys—I couldn’t figure out which, but either way, they didn’t come in when it was pressed that I could tell.

View from our balcony.

Speaking of light switches, one final thing to note if you do stay at the Hard Rock PC, when you check in the desk attendants will tell you to watch a channel on the TV in the room to get acquainted with how the lights work and the different features of the room. We kind of laughed when they told us this.“We aren’t idiots!” we said. “We know how to use light switches! Please! What kind of people stay here that can’t work a light switch?!” …My last piece of advice to you today is to watch the TV channel that tells you how to work the lights, ha! It’s not complicated, but it’s counterintuitive and it will keep you from yelling at your significant other when he turns off his bedside lamp and the overhead lights come on… only to walk to the wall and turn off the overhead light and his lamp turn on. Their lighting does not a happy marriage make. Ha! 

Stay tuned to hear all about our food experiences, the pools and beach and the things to do on the resort.
 

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