Sirenis Resorts Punta Cana: comprehensive review

Overview: I recommend Sirenis Punta Cana to certain people looking for an all-inclusive beach resort. Those most likely to enjoy Sirenis Punta Cana are those who have or don’t mind children and who enjoy the company of Europeans.

Personal experience:

My wife and I spent 6 nights in early August at the resort (daily blog entries from that stay can be found here: first impression, first full day, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5). We will recommend it to any of our friends looking for an all-inclusive beach resort. If we returned to Punta Cana we would strongly consider another stay at Sirenis, but would also be willing to try out another resort in the same area.

Food: We loved the food. The buffet was always excellent with perhaps 10 entrees at dinner time. There were always several that I really enjoyed. I believe that the food was inspired by European tastes since the resort’s guests were mostly European and since I had never heard of most of the dishes before. I tried many new dishes at Sirenis, something I really enjoyed (especially since many of them were very good).

At lunch the buffet was passable. There was a mediocre pasta station where they would heat up already cooked pasta while you chose what kind of sauce you wanted. Luckily there is a second lunch buffet with a smaller but better selection. Here they always had a grill where they were cooking up ham steaks (a bit saltier than I like), pork cutlets (good), or beef (a bit tough).

About 60% of the time the buffet had delicious, fresh mangoes. They always had some melon, banana, and pineapple. The cakes and puddings seemed very popular with kids. I only tried one type of cake, an interesting one that looked like some kind of European pastry.

For dinner, the resort also has 8 restaurants, 7 of which are included in the all-inclusive (the other is $35/person). I generally thought the buffet was better than the restaurants, but each restaurant was a nice change of pace featuring food not really found in the buffet. The crepe restaurant was interesting, a totally new experience for someone who had only ever heard of crepes before thanks to an IHOP breakfast menu. My chicken crepe was good. The steakhouse was also good, as was the roast duck in the Chinese restaurant and the chicken in the seafood restaurant (the menu was all seafood except for the chicken dish). The veal in the Italian restaurant was not so good and the “gelato” was a joke. Of course, what’s to complain about? You can always leave the restaurant and go to the buffet without spending extra money so if you don’t like your meal it’s really not a big deal.

The buffet does open all night. I went there at 1:00 AM to check it out and they had a few choices. None looked especially good but I ended up trying a type of Dominican sausage (probably the only authentic Dominican cooking I had the whole stay) that was pretty greasy for me.

All in all, the food was the best part of the trip. I ate a ton, tried many new dishes, and found many that I really enjoyed. Those of you on a diet, should seriously consider not going to an all-inclusive.

Of course the other part of an all-inclusive are the drinks. The ones at Sirenis were good — they had a large cocktail menu and while they didn’t use name brand alcohol, I can’t taste the difference. There were bars all over the place, on the beach, swim-up bars in the pool, in the lounge, and in at least some of the restaurants. A drink was never far away.

So we enjoyed the food. The resort itself was beautiful. I’ll have some pictures soon. We didn’t spend much time in the room, but it was very nice. I would note that they don’t seem to vacuum (they mop) so if you get sand in your room it seems to stay there.

We also enjoyed the beach, the ocean, and the pool. The pool only had one shaded part so for people (like me) who go to the Caribbean to hide from the sun you’ll have limited options during the day. The shade part is also where some annoying kids liked to hang out. They did all kinds of crazy things from dropping plastic cups to the bottom of the pool where the rest of us would step on them, to throwing hard balls that hurt when they hit you, to just swimming and splashing obliviously.

Now the good news is that the pool is huge. If you don’t need shade, you can easily find a kid-free zone.

The other good news is that the pool seems to be open at night. I’m not sure if this is official hotel policy, but I did see people swimming at night and I never saw anyone hanging around by the pool to stop night swimmers.

Possibly bad news is that there were no lifeguards by the pool or the ocean. That didn’t bother my wife or me, but I could see some parents being concerned about there being no lifeguards.

The ocean was as good for swimming as the pool — the water was always calm while we were there though I’m not sure if that’s true year-round. The beach was an assortment of people from kids, to 20 somethings, to 40 and 50 somethings. Very rarely did you see someone over 60 at the resort.

Bikinis seemed mandatory for women. I think I saw one or two little girls and maybe an old lady in normal bathing suits. Some women went topless. Men wore swimming trunks or speedos.

What I’ve described so far was the backbone of my experience. We slept in the room (and on the beach), we ate, we hung around in the pool, and in the ocean or on the beach.

There are one or two other things worth mentioning. There is a night club and a casino. I didn’t even enter the casino but I did check out the night club where they play Spanish language music and where people actually dance well. I was out of place there, even more than I am in regular night clubs.

A few negatives: Not much went wrong at Sirenis. I did have an issue with my room’s safe key. And I did leave a note for housekeeping to leave me extra water which was ignored. Sometimes making reservation for the steakhouse is difficult. We did find about 5 mosquitoes in our room when we first arrived. After killing them we didn’t see any more the entire trip.

Well that’s my review. Great food, beautiful resort and pool, nice beach, calm ocean, and a great time. Considering the quality of the room and the food, we found this to be an excellent value. I think the normal price is about $170/night.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Sharon says:

    Sounds like a neat place! When you say all-inclusive, was that for the resort itself, or flight + hotel? I assume the weather was good, but were the rooms airconditioned or have ceiling fans? At least you left before the hurricane season arrived! I’m not sure how large a resort it is, but was a bit surprised that there’s only one pool. I imagine I’d hang out more at the beach anyway, however. As far as food, you mentioned having crepes (more European influence) and wonder if tortillas aren’t a part of their meals? In general, pork, chicken, and seafood and of course the fruits are good on Caribbean islands, as in Mexico, but beef is not one of their specialties, unless cooked for a long time.

    Thanks much for the review!

    Sharon

  2. James Trotta says:

    It’s an 800 room resort and the pool is huge. The one pool at Sirenis is bigger than all the other hotel pools I’ve seen put together (maybe). I have pictures.

    I think I had a soup with tortilla in it, and there were tortilla chips available as snacks (with cheese) that were very popular with the kids.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great location…the staff in the resort were superb really friendly loads of activity around the pool…really loved the pool arobics…couldn’t fault anything apart from my comments on the bad points.

  4. […] cheapness often stops me from doing the excursions and things they sell at the resort. I preferred the Punta Cana resort and beach. The water in Cancun was too rough while we were there but I’m sure that’s just an […]

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