I really should really know better. Luxury hotels in the Caribbean are for honeymooners, not solo travelers. I would have been better off at the Westin and I bet the wifi would have been faster too. But I was so pulled in by the Eden Roc Cap Cana. The photos online, the reviews, the private pool…everything was so tremendous that once my overworked brain found a (relatively) good deal on Splendia, I had to book it. And I did book it. And I confirmed with them my name and that I was traveling alone for a few days before my cousin’s wedding and wanted some peace and quiet to hang out and brush off the jetlag.
Still, the envelope in my room read “Mr & Mrs. Passportdelicious” and everywhere I went, the staff wanted to know if my husband was joining me. “Nope, it’s just me,” I would chirpily reply before delving into whatever dish or cocktail they put down in front of me.
Traveling solo in some parts of the world requires firm belief in oneself. Yes, it does.
I wanted to like Eden Roc. And I did, kinda. But it wasn’t my favorite hotel ever which at this price, it really should have been. (There’s a Grand Hyatt in Doha that currently holds pole position.) Here are my pros and cons of my stay at The Eden Roc Cap Cana…
- I loved the golf cart that came with my villa. Me and the golf cart had a lot of good times, driving around Cap Cana, checking out the new construction.
- The bartenders in the bar were the sweetest and nicest to me and made me all sorts of lovely rum concoctions.
- The bath products in the room were really really nice and in plentiful supply.
- The TV in the room was huge. If you’re into that sort of thing.
- The beach was lovely and small and private. People online complain about this, but I really liked it.
- I got a really good gel manicure at the spa.
- I had a “private” plunge pool.
- Cool iPad that controlled the lights in the room. (Although sometimes, I just wanted a switch.)
- The hotel slippers were cute and green.
- No Dominican rum in the minibar! Seriously…where am I??
- Staff on the beach were fairly absent and had shorter-term memories than I do. I just wanted some water. One day, it never arrived. The next, it arrived ages later.
- The pool area was seriously lacking in atmosphere and waitstaff, although the club leading into the pool was gorgeous and the staff there were friendly and nice.
- Dearth of bottled water. You are not supposed to drink the tap water at Eden Roc but you’ll be lucky if you get two bottles of Dasani a day. Small bottles.
- Late-running turn-down service. I was ready to crash by 8 pm and turn-down still hadn’t arrived by then, meaning I missed out on additional bottled water. (I suppose I could have called and asked for some, but I didn’t.)
- $20 surcharge for room service. Seriously? I think when you’re paying this much for a hotel room, $20 extra for room service is a joke. Especially when there are golf carts.
- My gel manicure cost $65 USD.
- SLOW wifi, particularly during peak periods at breakfast and dinner. Again, if you’re paying this much for a hotel, the wifi better be the super-super-fast kind. (My speed tests at Hotel Wifi Test — my new favorite website — came in at a very average 2.5 mbps.)
- My private pool was surrounded by wasps. Also, re the “privateness” of the “private” pool, anyone could have walked into the pool area at any time. And indeed they did, on my first morning when they were cutting the grass and spraying for bugs and on the 2nd morning when they were cleaning the pool.
- Housekeeping took at least one hour to clean my villa. Yes, I counted. I came back from the beach one afternoon to see that housekeeping was inside my villa. So I drove around and around and around on the golf cart waiting for them to leave. Finally, after an hour, I gave up and just went inside. They needed about ten minutes before and then they were done.
- Food was only so-so. At this price, I wanted to be wowed. I wasn’t.
So in the end…would I do it all over again? No. I mean, the golf cart was fun but I bet I could have equal fun somewhere else for a lot less money. The golf cart was just a bonus. Pay attention to my upcoming post on my stay in Santo Domingo for more on this topic.
I stayed at the Eden Roc Cap Cana for three nights in April 2015. Check out this post for details on my hotel stay research.