my name is K. Müller and I was guest of your hotel. Together with my friend I had booked a double room April 23rd – May 2nd 2015.
You wonder why I waited 10 months to contact you? Although the Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa is a lovely hotel, there is one disturbing feature that keeps haunting me up to this day: Already on the first evening taking a stroll on the grounds of your resort we noticed an emaciated, neglected cat in very bad shape. The next evening, on our way to the dining room, we noticed another very young cat (maybe 1 year old) in bad shape and in an advanced state of pregnancy. We notified your staff so that the animal could be taken to a vet or to an animal welfare organization but your staff wasn’t helpful at all and seemed to consider this cat a vermin to be eliminated rather than a sensitive living being in need of help. Altogether we saw 4 cats at your resort which were all in the same state, looking sickly and nearly dying of thirst and hunger and, even worse: None of them was spayed or neutered! Many, many tourists, also we, were every evening busy feeding the cats because it was obvious that the hotel staff didn’t care.
Today I am asking you: Why aren’t these cats spayed and neutered to control reproduction? Why aren’t these animals vaccinated? Why are all other animals fed except the cats? Why does your staff treat the cats so badly, scaring them and chasing them away? Why aren’t you interested in these animals or rather in animal welfare?
If a beautiful hotel like yours took care of all the animals on its grounds its guests would be much happier not having to worry about animals in need during their vacation – and after!
We really liked your resort otherwise, the food was excellent, the rooms very comfortable. We plan to return to the Dominican Republic shortly but unless the situation of the resort’s cats doesn’t improve we will neither book your hotel again nor recommend it to our friends or acquaintances but go to hotels in Punta Cana that take care of their animals. We have also notified our travel agency of this.
My request to you: PLEASE GET THESE CATS SPAYED; NEUTERED AND VACCINATED! These animals belong to the human society for thousands of years and can’t be ignored! You would please many of your guests very much who would be much more inclined to return! I am looking forward to a positive reply.
K. Müller Germany
The entry on tripadvisor https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g147293-d292867-Reviews-or30-Caribe_Club_Princess_Beach_Resort_Spa-Punta_Cana_La_Altagracia_Province_Dominican_.html#REVIEWS received 68 Likes!
“we will not return…”
We stayed at the Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort and Spa April 23rd – May 2nd 2015 and, although we liked the resort, the rooms and the food very much, we will not return or recommend the hotel to friends unless the hotel has its resort cats spayed and vaccinated. It was very disturbing for us and many of the other guests to see the emaciated, starving, thirsty animals in advanced states of pregnancy and all of us were busily feeding every night while the staff completely ignored the situation. Also today, almost a year later, this is my most vivid memory when I think about the hotel. Next time we book a hotel we will make sure that it is one of the hotels in Punta Cana that already spay, neuter and feed their resort cats.
Stayed April 2015, travelled as a couple
632kmueller about Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa
The answer of the resort:
on behalf of the hotel Caribe Club Princess, we would like to kindy declare that we are frankly surprised by your words. We appreciate your understanding when we say that now, 10 months later, it is very difficult for us to know exactly which cats you saw , especially if we consider that none of the cats you see in our facilitiers are ours, but sneak into the hotel coming from outside. All animals that you see in our gardens are wild and free. The hotel does not have any pet. Ducks, peacocks, herons, frogs, birds … are some of the animals that guests daily see, freely walking or flying around our facilities. And indeed this is the first time we read something like that. Caribe Club Princess hotel has stunning gardens, including a authentic Dominican mangrove, which we care for and protect carefully. In fact its flora and fauna is one of the most important attractions that the hotel offers its customers. Also it is important to note that all our animals are wild, and indeed they are free to interact with the environment around them, going inside and out of our resort, hunt etc. On the other hand, as happens in many other places in the world, in the area around the hotel there are many cat colonies that roam freely through Bavaro streets, houses and even hotels. From the hotel management, want to make clear and evident, that all animals, despite not being our property, are treated with respect and affection, and are allowed to wander freely in some areas of our facilities, as long as that they do not present any kind of discomfort or danger to our clients. And in case that any intervention is needed, we contact the corresponding professionals ready and able to help the cats (or any other animal) if necessary. In fact we have several awards for our environmental protection and conservation of the flora and fauna around us. As you can see, we do everything in our power so that those abandoned and wild cats (or other animals) that roam around the hotel live in a dignified manner, without disturbing customers, or the rest of the animals around us. We are very sorry about what you saw, but we thank you for your understanding when we say it must have been an isolated case, and we want to make it clear that the hotel does not mistreat any animal, and also that all the fauna you see around is totally wild and native. And while it is true that we do not know who the owners of these cats, or where they come from, let them wander freely. Best regards
Hoteles Caribe Club Princess & Tropical Princess
All Suites Resort & Spa
Phone: 1 (809) 687 7788 Ext.: 4070
Fax: (809) 552 1965
Mail to Anberto Gomez:
with great pleasure we have read in your answer to Karin Müller that “all animals on the hotel grounds are treated respect and affection” and “that the hotel does not mistreat any animals”. We have of course shared your answer with all supporters of the petition and all followers on Facebook and Twitter who were waiting for your reply. Still, you admit that you are aware of the existence of feral cat colonies in your neighbourhood and whether responsible by ownership or not, we can only strongly advise you to use the excellent spay & neuter options that Punta Cana animal welfare offers and to participate in getting these animals spayed and neutered, thus adding to your awards for the protection of the wild local flora and fauna also the reputation of being animal-friendly as far as domestic animals are concerned and – what is much more important! - to prevent the consequences of overpopulation due to uncontrolled breeding. The first symptoms you have already encountered now and that this was no isolated case, proofs the statement of Karin Müller: “Many, many tourists, also we, were every evening busy feeding the cats because it was obvious that the hotel staff didn’t care.” Today tourists have become much too aware as to accept the habitual poisonings with which hotels formerly tried to solve the problems of stray animal overpopulation, once the situation got out of hand. Therefore prevention is the best way for all concerned to deal with this problem in the making.
For any questions or information please contact:
Sylvia Mendéz 809-7543885
Christiana Stämpfli 809-8808121
Viviana Vitariello 809-3090362
The Petition Team
Asociación para la ayuda y el apoyo de los criollos perros en Alemania
Teléfono: 0049 (0) 9952 2311
We would like to inform you that we already have been in comunication with Mrs. Sylvia Mendez , which informed us the procedure to follow.and we will do it.
Hoteles Caribe Club Princess & Tropical Princess
All Suites Resort & Spa
Phone: 1 (809) 687 7788 Ext.: 4070
Fax: (809) 552 1965
April 10th 2015 by Jennifer Schilling
Tonite my daugther Brienna decided we needed to save a hotel cat from possibly being “hurt” by the hotel or staff because of the problem here in the DR with strays. Let me preface this and say he was well taken care of, fed, great demeanor with staff & vacationers so it's safe to say he's a hotel resident! In any case he is an intact male and ready to make babies…babies that aren't needed! So we called Rescatame and Sylvia Méndez brought us a carrier. She contacted the hotel tourism director Alexander Freeland of Memories/Royalton Hotels who said he was more than happy to help us & contribute to the vaccinations & neuter fee to the rescue! So Max's (Yes, Brienna named him 8 days ago!) has had a bunch of petting by kids, some filet mingnon, a sweet pat on the butt to get into the cage & LOUD CHEERS and well wishes from vacationers & staff as we carted him off to the lobby! Every staff person we passed tonite said “Thank You” and shook my hand!! People were so concerned what we were doing with him..they told us they love seeing the cats & dogs because it reminds them of home and their pets! Clearly there is a desire for the safe & humane treatment of animals here at the hotel and by the residents as I witnessed 1st hand! Hopefully the hotel will set an example & make it easy for Rescatame to come in and help the animals going forward! Fingers crossed! Thank you Mr. Alexander Freeland, Viviana Vitariello and Rescatame for all your hard work! We were glad to contribute whatever could during our vacation! Hope to see u all again soon!!
December 2014 by Anja Mia Wagener
I stayed with my husband and our 2 children in the above mentioned hotel from the beginning til the middle of December 2014. For my husband and me the hotel was a rather unusual choice because it is very high class and we are down to earth people but we wanted to spoil ourselves a bit and enjoy life after 6 years without vacation. The resort is really beautiful as far as location, design and furnishings are concerned. There is an aqua park for children and, if desired, a personal butler is available to fulfill all wishes. Soon we noticed though the many stray dogs at the beach that were chased away by the security staff because animals are strictly prohibited on the hotel's premises. Most guests didn't seem to realize what was going on but my husband and I became quickly aggravated witnessing the hotel's policy. One evening on the way to the restaurant I met in the dark a small, very skinny and quiet dog. I realized right away that it was seeking help. I went to the restaurant, got some meat and fed it. The little dog dog took it cautiously but gratefully. Then I saw that it was injured. It had a big open wound at the back and several deep, strongly bleeding and festering bites at the thighs. Alarmed about the animal's state, I asked the hotel staff to help me to get the dog to a vet. I asked them to call a cab and find out the address and telephone number of a vet for me and told them that I would cover all costs Instead of help I encountered complete lack of understanding and total desinterest. The stereotype answer was: “Animals are forbidden on the hotel's premises!” Several men of the security staff tried to push me and the dog towards the beach in an attempt to handle the situation discreetly and to avoid escalation in front of the other guests. The dog, that had rested quietly in my arms up to now, became scared. I felt that it had encountered the security staff before and didn't expect friendliness from them. I felt a bit helpless because the security staff was very pushy, trying to force me to leave the dog alone at the beach where, I was sure, it wouldn't survive the night. Either it would die from its injuries or be killed by security. Meanwhile an English lady had observed what was going on and had joined me, concerned about the situation. She handed me some bags behind which I could hide the dog in an unobserved moment. Then I returned quickly to our room, with the dog hidden by the bags. I arose my husband and we knew that we had to come up with a quick plan to get the dog out of the hotel and into safety. At the same moment it banged against the door. 2 security guards dressed in black stood there, insulting and threatening me because I would keep a dog at the room. I denied this, telling them that they could come in and look but if they woke up my husband or my sleeping children I would make a complaint as a Diamond Club member. Luckily they left but the terror continued. The telephone kept ringing every minute, the hotel staff insinuated and insulted me. The situation resembled a mad rush. I searched an animal welfare organisation in the internet and found: RescátaMe I called, reached Viviana Vitariello who offered help immediately despite the late hour, sending a vet and a cab. The dog was small enough to be carried unobservedly in a big handbag past the reception and outside of the hotel. The vet Dr. José Malaret of the Clinica Animal in Bavaro examined the little dog: Apparently it had been hid by a car and half of its testicles had been ripped away. The little dog was obviously grateful to be treated by Dr. Malaret. My husband and I knew immediately that we would adopt the little “Miko” and so we arranged with the help of Viviana Vitariello everything necessary to ensure that Miko would follow us to Germany as soon as possible. The next morning I complained to the hotel manager about the hotel's policy against animals, even hurt and injured ones, and about the staff's behaviour against us, the hotel's guests, from the moment on when we wanted to help the injured animal. From this moment on it hadn't mattered anymore that we are Diamond Club members although it is advertised everywhere that Diamond Club members are VIPs and treated particularly well. Apparently the hotel management is convinced that guests don't care about anything else but their booking of a package of luxury vaccations. I had a long, very lively and heated discussion with several members of the hotel management. After that I found one morning the following letter underneath the door of our room with the promise to co-operate from now on with animal welfare:
I even suggested an easily realizable concept to support spay and neuter and medical care of strays conducted by RescátaMe: If every guest was charged only 1 US$ “environmental fee” to aid animal welfare in Punta Cana, the hotel could support RescátaMe with about 6000 US$ monthly! I will contact the hotel again and remind them of their promise to realize this! Meanwhile, still during our stay at the Royalton, the hotel manager Mr. Peralta and Sylvia Mendez and Viviana Vitariello from RescátaMe met and the Royalton donated 1000 towels for spay and neuter as a sign of reconciliation and a beginning co-operation. What I realized during this whole episode is that the hotel staff follow blindly rules without comprehending the sense of them. I believe that tourists with the necessary empathy and self-confident behaviour can do a lot for the animals in the Caribbean. I HOPE MY STORY WILL INSPIRE OTHERS TO ACT ACCORDING TO THEIR ANIMAL-KIND FEELINGS AND NOT LET THEMSELVES BE DISCOURAGED ! The animals have no one but us to speak up for them!
Anja Mia Wagener
Gladys Helen Frances Vatne, Norway, wrote about the Be Live Grand Punta Cana on Tripadvisor: I was there for 20 days. It was a great stay and a wonderful place. What shocks me is that this is not an animalfriendly hotel, what means that they poison the dogs at the beach that are nearby the hotel instead of helping them, neuter and spay them! When I saw the dogs it broke my heart. How can they watch them everyday without helping them? It makes me sick thinking about it. Unless they don't change their looks on animals I'm never ever coming back. It's a shame because it is a great hotel, great beach and good food.
Sylvia Rudolph wrote about the IFA-Villas Bavaros Resort & Spa (for English see below):
Unser Bericht zu IFA Villas Bavaros resort & spa unserem Aufenthalt in Oktober. Diese große Hotelanlage hatte vieles zu bieten und die Angestellten waren freundlich. Auch liefen Hühner, Pfauen und Pelikane auf dem Hotelgelände rum. Ein sehr schöner Anblick. Schon in der ersten Woche lief uns eine Katze zu, die trächtig war und auch noch zu unserem Bedauern einen Tumor hatte. Es stellte sich auch heraus dass ein Spinnenbiss auch noch für eine herbe Entzündung sorgte. Wir baten den Manager von der Rezeption die Katze zum Tierarzt zu bringen damit sie behandelt wird. Auch haben wir angeboten dass wir für die Tierarztkosten aufkommen, da das Hotel leider keinen Cent für die Katze investiert, die aber mit der Genehmigung vom Hotel dort leben durfte. Er versprach dass er sich darum kümmert und wollte am nächsten Morgen die Katze aus unser Zimmer zum Tierarzt zu bringen. Am nächsten Morgen hatten wir unseren Ausflug angetreten in der Gewissheit man würde sich um die Katze kümmern. Wir kamen am Abend zurück und es war keine Katze vorzufinden,so dachten wir. Es vergingen 2 Tage, sie kam immer jeden Abend zu uns Naja schade war das man sich nicht darum gekümmert hatte obwohl man es uns versprochen hatte. Am nächsten Tag hatten wir wieder einen Ausflug allerdings in der Nähe und dort lag ein Flyer von Rescatame aus. Uns hatte die Inhaberin des Geschäftes erzählt das diese Organisation sich um die Tiere kümmert und wir sollten dort anrufen. Hier muss man lobend erwähnen dass unsere Reiseleiterin sofort für uns bei der Organisation angerufen hatte und uns viel Glück für die Katze wünschte. Es dauerte nicht lange und schon kam eine Dame von der Organisation. Wir fuhren sofort zu unserem Zimmer und brachten die Katzendame vorerst zur Rezeption, wo sie dann über die Organisation zum Tierarzt gebracht worden ist. Man hat uns erzählt das IFA Villas Bavaros einer von den wenigsten Hotels in Punta Cana sind, die den Zutritt für die Organisation gewähren. Denn normalerweise dürfen diese nicht mal einen Schritt auf den Hotelanlagen setzten. Meine Kritik an IFA das sie nicht bei der Organisation angerufen hatten, obwohl sie die freiwilligen Helfer kennen. Es war bekannt dass die Katze einen Tierarzt benötigte. Das wäre kein allzu großer Aufwand gewesen. Ich denke IFA Villas Bavaros ist zwar auf den richtigen Weg, aber in den Augen eines Tierliebhabers ist das leider ein zu kleiner Schritt in Richtung Tierfreundliches Hotel. Auf diesem Wege mit unserer Bewertung möchte ich IFA Villas Bavaros nochmal einen Ruck in die richtige Richtung geben.
Translation: Report about our stay at the Ifa Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa in October: This great resort has a lot to offer and the staff is very friendly. Chicken, peacocks and pelicans run free at the resort grounds, a beautiful sight. During the first week we noticed a cat at the hotel that was pregnant, had a tumour and an imfection from a spider bite. We asked the manager from the reception to take the cat to the vet and offered to pay the vet's bill. He promised to do it the following day and we left next morning on an excursion, feeling reassured. When we returned the cat was gone. 2 days later she came back. She hadn't been taken to the vet. Next day we left for another excursion and found a flyer of the organisation RescátaMe in a store. The owner of the store told us that RescátaMe takes care of dogs and cats that need help and that we should call there. Our tour guide called RescátaMe for us and wished us luck. Soon a lady from the organisation came and went to the hotel with us. We got the cat from our room, took it to the reception where the lady from RescátaMe waited to take her to the vet. We were told that the IFA Villas Bavaro is one of the few hotels to let animal welfare workers in. Most hotels still won't let them step on the hotel grounds. I must criticize that the hotel didn't call RescátaMe although they know their volunteers. It was obvious that the cat needed a vet and it wouldn't have been a lot of trouble. I think the IFA Villas Bavaro is on the right track but it still takes a major step to become an animal-friendly hotel. With my report I want to encourage the IFA Villas Bavaro to make this move in the right direction towards spaying and neutering the animals at the hotel.