I cannot relay how disappointed I was on my recent stay at Oasis Hamaca in Boca Chica and how much I could not wait to leave. Starting with the management’s terrible attitude with regards to issues and guests this attitude tolerates a staff which are apathetic and incompetent. The general grounds are nice, however the rooms (aside from the newly renovated rooms) are some of the worst I have stayed in at a “resort” quality hotel. I will review in detail my stay below. But overall I would seriously recommend anyone to STAY AWAY from this hotel, the problems, terrible service, inedible and unsanitary food and negative attitude of the staff are not worth the few dollars you might save over a better resort in Punta Cana or elsewhere in the Carribean.
Check In and Staff;
I came with a group of over 60 people on a company retreat. After reading the reviews of the resort I called the resort and upgraded to one of the newly renovated rooms and this upgrade was confirmed with reservations. When we arrived in the morning, we were told the rooms would be available by 2 PM. At 2 PM we went to the lobby (which had over 100 people in line all yelling and no A/C so it was near 100 degrees. The manager had issued some rooms to our group. They returned immediately (after having to take all their luggage themselves to the other side of the resort) because there were people already in the rooms (this happened over 8 different times!) or they were issued a room with 1 King bed for 4-5 people. Several reservations were lost and could not be found (everything was pre-paid and reserved) and we were told that our upgrade was not approved by the manager (even though it was confirmed by reservations).
Upon hearing of all the problems, our group coordinator asked to deal directly with a manager and we were told both managers were at lunch and there was nothing they could do! (Our coordinator was issued 2 different rooms the night before, both having people already staying in them and was eventually upgraded after 5 hours of waiting until 1 AM). After some yelling, the manager came back from lunch and told everyone to wait. After about 2 hours (and no sense of urgency or even caring that there were 100 or more unhappy people in his lobby), some in our group were told they would be given roll-away beds (which never arrived) and some had their rooms switched and a few were waiting until after 6 PM to get a room only to find out they were already occupied.
We were told that we could not get the $30 a day upgrade, but they had a $50 a day upgrade available. After 3 hours in a sweltering hot lobby, we took it as I was tired, hot, sweaty and sick of arguing and being ignored. After dragging the luggage up to the 6th floor (no lights in the tiny hot elevator and it was not working for the trip back down to the lobby) the keys did not work so I had to go get them redone, which took another hour. Once in the room I actually cried it was so dissappointing.
The $50 upgraded room was terrible. It was decorated worse then a cheap Super8 motel and the AC was marginal at best, the bed had springs you felt and the bedding was old, stained and worn. The sliding door out to the balcony was broken and a 3 inch gap was left at the top and it did not shut all the way and the handle was broken. I just prayed for no rain as it would get the room soaked as there was not roof on the balcony. We also had NO hot water the entire stay and one night had NO water at all in the shower, it just stopped working mid shower so I had to rinse my shampoo out with water from the sink.
But compared to some of the rooms of others in our group we at least had no bugs and it had no apparent mold. One person in our group even had a mouse (which took them 30 minutes to come check on and they tried to kill it by snapping its neck but it escaped). They were reluctant, but eventually changed their room. In our group, there were many instances of mold, incects, AC not working, no water, dirty and no lights (mostly on the “garden” side of the resort). Of the 20 plus rooms only 2 did not have an issue.
On the 2nd day, I went to the room at 6PM and it still had not been cleaned even though I had a sign to clean the room on the door. I went to the management who, after a small argument where they insinuated that I put the sign on wrong, said they would have it taken care of immediately, (mostly because there were 4 other rooms on my floor which were not cleaned either) which ended up to be after 7PM. My mini bar was locked on the 2nd day and 2 hours after I called, a man arrived with 2 warm beers and 2 warm cokes and he set them down and rudely said that since we check out tomorrow they would not unlock the mini bar. I was definetly ripped off on the $50 a day upgrade, what a joke. When I went to complain and ask for one days’ refund of the upgrade since my room was not cleaned and I feel I did not get standard service let alone upgraded service, after 1 day and waiting 2 hours to talk to them, the manager did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge me, but told the staff member to tell me the request was denied.
The buffet is terribly unsanitary. There are tons of flies on EVERYTHING and it is luke warm at best. It takes 2-3 requests for the servers to bring anything to drink and the final night we were told to go get our own coffee and water. The coffee is cold and the milk curdled. I drank cold black coffee, water from a bottle from my room and a roll in the morning as several people were getting sick from the food. The evening buffet was marginally better, but they had a grill so you could at least get grilled food. Sunday evening they had grilled lobster, which was the best thing I ate all week at the buffet. The chicken at the beachfront snack bar was by far the best food on the property and the paella was freshly made on the weekends. We ate at the Italian restaurant and enjoyed the AC and no flies and the steak was actually quite good, however the pasta was not very good and the portions are extremely small so order 2-3 of everything. The other restaurants were closed or booked up.
Entertainment and pools
By far this is the highlight. The entertainment staff was energetic and always had something going on. Beachfront games included aerobics, volleyball, soccer , dance lessons and evening activities. The shows were actually very fun and entertaining. The pools on the beach side were nice but the chairs are old. Go early to get a seat under the canopys. Be sure to bring a towel or two of your own from homw as they kept running out of towels and you can only exchange them once a day between 3-6 and you get a card to get some the next day (if they have them) and they are thin and smell a bit funny.
The pools are only open till 7 PM and by the end of the weekend get pretty dirty. The ocean is very shallow and calm, warm and a pretty shade of blue. It is great for the kids because it is so shallow with no waves, but on the weekend be careful not go out past the marked areas as there are tons of boats and jet skis zooming around and I saw them almost kill a few folks snorkeling. The bartenders are pretty good, but I suggest you find one, tip them and stick with them and they will take care of you, a few bucks will go a long way to getting you nice, strong drinks quickly. The people from the vacation club are very persistent but if you tell them you are very unhappy with the resort and will not be returning, they seem to leave you alone rather quickly.
On a side note, checkout is as terrible a process as check in so allow for a few hours (unless you are arriving or departing during the week as it is much calmer). It seems that every weekend, the hotel is overrun by locals who buy a day pass or come to stay for one night. I only saw a few prostitutes but perhaps that is because I did not stay up to go to the disco which was booming well into the early AM.
I have to say this was one of the most disappointing and miserable experiences at a place, which bills itself as a resort. Not necessarily because of the facilities (the beach area and grounds are very nice) but the service, rooms and management did not seem to give a hoot what the problems are or to try to solve them. Apparantly, the resort was recently sold to a Spanish management company, who replaced most of the old staff, cut the budget and seems to be running the place into the ground.
On a side note, several people from our group had been coming there with their families for years and are part of the vacation club and have since vowed never to return as the place has deteroriated so much in the past year. Although the newly renovated rooms are remarkably better then the older rooms, the experience with the staff and management is still the same. I am not a spoiled American tourist and have stayed all over the world in less than 5 star accommodations and have to say that this was one of the most disappointing and terrible hotel experiences I have ever had. Going there expecting a resort and getting cheap rooms, nasty food and nastier attitudes is not my idea of a resort vacation. I have stayed at several other Oasis brand resorts and Oasis should be ashamed to have such a resort bearing its name. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY OR PRECIOUS VACATION TIME ON THIS PLACE.
The bay itself is calm, clear and beautiful blue. The beach is sandy. But beware cautious of the boats passing by at high speeds outside of the marked swim zone.
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