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Hotel Colony Bay Hotel 3 star
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Uvero Alto PUNTA CANA DO Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Nouvelles Frontieres Hotel Club Punta Cana is the flagship establishment of a new generation of hotels run by the Hotels Clubs group, formerly known as the Paladiens. It has a spa centre, a children's club with a proper swimming pool, and numerous forms of entertainment to offer. The many sports facilities includes a high tech modern fitness centre managed by l'Usine, a select sports club operating in Geneva and Paris. Everything is close at hand, be it the beach, the swimming pool, the 2 restaurants, or the bar. This friendly sized resort offers an all-inclusive formula that has all you need to please a clientele essentially made up of French-speaking guests (the only such establishment in Punta Cana), a trademark of any Nouvelles Frontieres establishment.

This hotel review is a translation from the French by the agency Traductéo.

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      Colony Bay   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

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    Location

    The Nouvelles Frontieres Hotel Club Punta Cana is located on Uvero Alto beach, from where you can admire the main cordillera. It is to the far north of Punta Cana, the touristic epicentre of the country, with its 25 mi of beaches on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, 37 mi from the throbbing town of Higuey (1 hour away). The picturesque farmers' village of El Macao is a few mi to the south of the complex. It takes around 20 minutes to get there by car. The airport of Punta Cana is an hour's drive away (approximately 37 mi), and the airport of La Romana is 2 hours away. The Santo Domingo airport is located 4 hours away by taxi (127 mi).

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    The rooms are tiled and relatively spacious with a simple interior (white walls, no paintings). They are equipped with a flat screen satellite television set (numerous channels), a free key-operated safe, a fridge (with courtesy bottles of water), individual air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a phone. They also have a balcony with a small table and two white plastic chairs. The French window that leads out to the balcony is fitted with a mosquito net. The sea is visible from some of the higher rooms, especially in buildings 1 and 2. The marble-clad bathroom includes a bathtub with a flexible shower, a toilet, hospitality products, and a hair dryer. There are 23 junior suites located in building 5 that benefit from a large bubble bath, a separate shower, and a double wash basin. These are ideally suited to families, as are the 16 communicating rooms also on offer at the resort.

    Overview 7.70 /10

    The establishment (formerly the Colony Bay) was built in 2007 and underwent in-depth renovations aimed at satisfying the high standards set by the Nouvelles Frontieres Hotel Club concept. With only 215 rooms spread throughout five 2-storied buildings with a local architectural style, this is a hotel that was designed on a human scale, a rare feature on an island known for its gigantic resorts! The beach, the swimming pool, the two bars, and the two restaurants: everything is close at hand. The reception desk is located in the shade of a large palapa, with the sea visible beyond the lagoon swimming pool. There is a slight slope that leads down to the pool, which is very nice and includes 3 small islands with a palm tree on each one. It covers a total area of 1100m² and its maximum depth is 2m. The solarium terrace includes a plastic deckchairs and palm leaf thatched sunshades that spill over on the lawn, offering the perfect place to relax in the shade of the palm trees or on one of the very trendy brown deckchairs. Other spots are equally available and well-suited for a quick nap, such as the lobby where an apple-shaped seat with enormous cushions awaits your visit. It's hardly surprising that the hotel organises siesta workshops!
    Children are particularly well looked after in the huge children's club, with its own 31.5 inch deep swimming pool and its basketball hoop. Many original activities are on offer, such as a climbing wall and treasure hunts. As for the fitness centre, it is managed by l'Usine, an upscale fitness centre established in Geneva and Paris. Guests benefit from the expertise of a personal trainer and can get fit on high tech machines. There is a special bodybuilding room and another area dedicated to lessons (yoga, pilates). A third wing that houses the spa centre completes the U shape, and thus the logo of the company! The spa is open from 8:00am till 8:00pm and includes a sauna (extra charge), Turkish baths (extra charge), and 6 huts for treatments and massages. The evening shows are held in a large amphitheatre located next to the swimming pool.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The day kicks off under the large thatched roof of La Palapa restaurant, from where guests have many breathtaking views to enjoy. It is a perfect setting for a pleasant breakfast, served from 6:30 till 9:30am. Pancakes and omelettes are prepared just the way you like them right before your eyes. For lunch, served from 12:30pm till 2:00pm, there is a buffet selection with grilled dishes and show cooking. In the evenings, from 7:00pm till 9:00pm, head for the Uvero restaurant, next to the lobby. The theme changes on a daily basis: Dominican, Italian, fish, gala, international, and even Ottoman (Turkish)! The chef is Turkish and his kebabs are out of this world! The El Cortecito (named after a village close to Bavaro) is nestled between La Palapa and the Uvero. This small restaurant serves lobster for dinner for a supplement of £21.50, but you have to book in advance. The poolside bar welcomes those who have chosen to sleep in for breakfast after 10:00am. It also serves snacks from 2:00pm on, and has some treats in store if you're feeling hungry at tea time. Try the El Merenguito Beach Bar and its cocktails from 10:00am till 6:00pm and from 11:30pm till 1:30pm. It has a dance floor where you can try out your merengue or bachata dancing skills! Finally, the lobby bar, Las Velas, awaits your visit from 5:00pm till 11:15pm.

    Beach 8.45 /10

    Unlike Bavaro Beach, Uvero Alto is not protected by a coral reef. It is also more exposed to the wind and the sea can get quite choppy, but generally it's quieter and less crowded. The beach is supervised and a flag indicates the safety level for bathing. There are also signposts that indicate the presence of rocks. With a superb beach of fine sand lined with massive coconut trees that conceal the resort's facilities, you'll quickly get the feeling that you're a world away from everything! There is more than enough space, with not one hotel in sight, and if you swim out for a bit you'll be able to admire the central mountain range in the distance. Deckchairs and palm leaf thatched sunshades are neatly laid out, unlike the haphazard arrangement of parasols sometimes seen in other Punta Cana hotels. However, water sports are limited to kayaking and body boarding and the area is not ideal for snorkelling. There are showers and a beach volleyball pitch next to the swimming pool and the beach bar.

    To know

    Nouvelles Frontieres has established a partnership with l'Usine, a company with fitness centres in Geneva and Paris. Guests benefit from the expertise of a personal trainer and can get fit on high tech machines.

    While most of the resorts in Punta Cana offer the same excursions to Manati Park or the islands of Saona and Catalina, Nouvelles Frontieres has developed a smarter way to discover the region. Its Nouvelles Rencontres excursions, limited to small groups, offer original activities that often offer interactions with the local population. In addition, Nouvelles Rencontres workshops are organised on a daily basis, where guests get to meet local craftsmen who teach the tricks of their trade, such as cigar making, palm leaf hat weaving, traditional cooking, Caribbean art...

    These workshops are free, but if you want an in-depth presentation of the island's culture, there are excursions for which you can pay and that will take you to small villages where you can share a meal with the locals and discover their culture and traditions. The Dominican Republic is the biggest exporter of organic cocoa. The excursion organised around the theme of chocolate takes you to Hato Mayo province, some 2 hours away (68 mi from the hotel). Guests get to visit a cocoa farm and are shown the various phases of chocolate making, before visiting the cocoa plantations and sharing a local meal with the women of the "Association des femmes unies" (association of united women). The visit includes a tasting session centred around hot chocolate, as well as cocoa jam and chocolate-flavoured wine. The "Discovering Dominican painting" excursion will enable amateur artists to let their talent run wild and learn the basic techniques of tropical landscape painting. It will also allow them to return home with an original work of art. However, guests should leave some space in their luggage to bring home some Larimar jewellery (a semi-precious stone that exists only in the Dominican Republic). Finally, discover the Dominican way of life at Christian's place, a colourful character who welcomes you in his ranch in the middle of a beautiful and natural setting, about one hour away from the hotel. You will be given the opportunity to discover aromatic plants, lovely flowers and fruit trees, and to taste all sorts of local specialties: chocolate, coffee, tropical fruit, and even some fortified rum! A striking feature is that everyone is always in a good mood.

    You can also buy cigars and rum from the souvenir shop in the hotel lobby, open from 8:30am till 9:00pm, which includes a large selection of newspapers.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, stretching, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, aqua gym, aerobics, football, volleyball, beach volley, basketball, kayak, dance, step, bums and tums, water-polo, surfing, fitness

    • Hairdresser
    • Safe
    • Solarium

    advantage

    • The human scale of the hotel
    • The ultra modern fitness centre managed by l'Usine.
    • The children's club with its swimming pool and numerous original activities

    disadvantages

    • The airport is a 1 hour drive away

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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