I too am seeking info regarding Agua Resort in Punta Cana/Dominican Republic. Am trying to plan a trip. I have reviewed the info on Agua's web site but would love to hear from somebody who has been there or knows somebody who has been to the resort!! I have not been able to find much info via a Google search and there are no postings on Tripadvisor.....Thanks
I just got back from a one week stay at Agua. Absolutely heavenly. I just posted a fairly lengthy review on Trip Advisor. You will not go wrong if youare looking for a first class vacation and value top notch service.
We recently returned from a pleasant seven night stay at Agua Resort.It hasa few minor glitches to work out but it should hhit its stridein the near future.
One needs to be a bit careful at the airport as the regular cab/drivers try to scoop you for the transfer to Agua. As soon as you clear the restricted area at the Punta Cana airport we started to look for an Agua sign in order to be transported from the airport to the resort. Immediately, we were approached and asked where we were going. We answered "Agua". The man picked up our bags and took us to his vehicle. After some questioning, we determined that this arrangement was not the "Agua" transport, so we grabbed our luggage and returned to the airport. Shortly thereafter Freddy from Agua appeared and took us to Agua. So just be mindful of the "aggressive", non-Agua transport drivers!!
Upon arriving at Agua we were greeted by Franklin and Marta. (Prior to arrival I communicated via e-mail with Marta, she was exceedingly prompt and helpful.) The resort is quite pretty with 2 bars and 2 restaurants (as of now - with a 3rd, gourmet restaurant due to open in Feb (?)). The architecture and landscaping is very nice as mentioned in previous reviews. We were shown to our room. We had booked a Deluxe Beachfront Jr. Suite which according to the room description was supposed to include a deep soaking tub; our room did not include any tub although other nearby units did. I would have thought that the front desk would have discussed with matter with us but the apparent change in room accommodation type was not mentioned. However, our room was very nice - with a large shower (about 5' by 5'), his and hers closets, a flat screen TV. My only suggestion would be to have the TV mounted on the wall instead of sitting on top of a table - this would add to the sleek look of the room. A note on evening turn down service - we missed turn down service on 3 of our 7 nights because we were still in the room after 7PM which seemed to be when this service typically was provided. Not a big deal in any way but just something to note - we nearly always had sufficient clean towels. The towels were nice and fluffy/plush. Similarly, on the first 2-3 days, the room was not made up until the afternoon (and we were out of the room around 9:30AM each morning). Again, not a big deal but typically the resorts with a 5 rating "mysteriously" know when you go to breakfast/dinner and usually provide room serving/night turn-down at that time. Housekeeping did do a thorough/good job. The room was virtually on the beach and had a wonderful view. There was a plunge pool which was finished in a pretty light blue/dark blue tile.
Which brings us to the restaurants. The food, staff and restaurant all were quite good. The beach bar and restaurant have great beachfront setting - perfect for lunch, afternoon snacks and cocktails, etc. On a couple of the rainy afternoons, we had cocktails & snacks, played Scrabble and watched the storm roll across the ocean - actually a fair amount of fun. The main restaurant is much more formal and is in an air conditioned building (breakfast is serviced outside on the terrasse over looking a pond and then the ocean). It is a pleasure to be able to eat dinner without worrying about being bitten by the bugs (because of the rain) - yet I believe that you could eat outside on the patio if you desired. The menus are somewhat limited; HOWEVER, the day to day chef (not the head/name chef but the chef who oversaw the day to day operations on site) is amazing and will do anything possible. After 3 or 4 days, we would speak with him in the morning about what creation he might whip up for dinner. I would say that you should not in any way be put off by the menu not being extensive because the chef is more than willing to work outside of the menu. To us it seemed as though the meat dinners were not the best dish inasmuch as it seems to be a bit difficult to obtain top quality beef. There are any number of other creations which are quite good.
The spa is quite nice and has the water circuit which has been mentioned and discussed in other reviews. My husband and I each had 2 massages. Our general thoughts are that while the treatments lacked in a bit of ceremony (i.e. Banyan Tree, Soneva or Four Seasons style), our first treatments were good and the second massages were very good. By ceremony, I just mean the draping of a sheet which allows one to drop their robe and get on the table without feeling like Lady Godiva, etc. and having the masseuse move about the table in a fairly silent fashion. Here, a towel was draped over you once you were on the table. Also, I did have a pedicure which had to be scheduled about a day in advance. At first I was a bit skeptical because it was very close to a "dry" pedicure (no soaking tub, etc). However, I was very pleasantly surprised and must say the my feet & toes were looking quite spiffy after the treatment!!
On to the pools and the beach! Before making reservations, we looked at the photos on the web site. We love to snorkel and were encouraged when we saw the panoramic photos on the resorts web site - our favorite snorkeling has been done in the Indian Ocean (Maldives & Seychelles). On the web site the water certainly looked turquoise and we were looking for to exploring the reefs. Unfortunately, the ocean water during our stay varied between blue/grey North Atlantic Ocean and a chocolate ocean. Apparently, there is a large river just a bit north (maybe 1/4 mile??) of Agua. It seemed as though every time there was a rain storm, then the ocean would turn chocolate. There were 2-3 times that we thought we saw a hint of turquoise ocean a ways down to the south but then it rained again. Perhaps we just had unfortunate weather - although we were there for a week and were able to get some sun most of the days. I noticed that a recent (TA) review of The Sivory resort commented on the muddy water, too. Although there were some bugs (mosquito like), they did NOT bother us at all while on the beach or at the pool. Despite the rain/storms, the resort had heavy equipment out on the beach and shore within a couple of days - cleaning up all the debris some of which was very heavy (enormous logs/trees??). (I did not notice any other resort cleaning up the beach so quickly.)
I usually try to book a resort which has "water toys" for my husband. He does not like anything motorized but does want things like a sea kayak, sailboard/windsurfing &/or some type of small sail boat. Aguas web site represents that it has a few of these items - kayak and windsurfing I believe. When we arrived, we were advised that they still were waiting for the items to arrive. This was a bit of a disappointment.
There were some bugs - similar to little mosquitos - but nothing too bad. I usually got 4-6 bites a day so compared to some of our other trips this didnt seem too bad but it did make one a tad aware of them. The resort does provide wipes with bug repellant so it probably was my own fault for not using them earlier!!!! Once I started to use them, the repellent seemed to do a good job
Oh, another supposedly upscale resort, The Sivory, is just a few properties away from Agua. However, there seems to be no comparison whatsoever - Agua is MUCH nicer!. We went by Sivory on three different sides (beach, front/entrance and a side). We did not see a room. Despite what is depicted in the Sivory website, I think I would have been extremely disappointed at Sivory and would not have stayed there. The beach was not picturesque nor was the beach furniture and setting anywhere near as nice as Aguas - Aguas was far superior (much nicer wooden lounge chairs w/new cushions) and cute thatched shelters for shade from the sun).
Another odd thing at Agua. On 2 separate days, my husband asked the front desk to change a $100 for smaller bills (for tips for the staff). Both times the front desk was not able to do this - it just seemed odd. Also, we noticed that the landscaping crew was working for days (at least 3) trying to get one area of the lawn mowed - again this seems like something they will get under control in the future. Because of the rain the lawn was getting too deep but for whatever reason they were not able to get even one particular area done in less than 3 days (and there still was lots of additional lawn to be maintained).
All and all, we had a nice time. This certainly seems to be the best resort (for those who prefer small, relatively quiet and upscale) in the Punta Cana area. My belief is that over the next several months a number of the minor item which Ive mention will be smoothed out and Agua could truly be a 5 rated resort.