We arrived at this resort to a heavy rain storm on March 22nd and it continued the next day. The staff explained it was unusual but they always help you make the best of it. We were a bit disappointed with our original room in building 1, 3rd floor right behind the show pavilion and all you could see was a dirty roof with air conditioning units. To our despair it was actually raining through the wooden ceiling as well both in the room and on the balcony. Thank goodness it was a corner room with a second window looking out at the mountain. It was very hard to sleep that evening with all the noise from the show as well. That is the end of my whining! The next day the Transit on staff rep. helped us relocate to a much nicer room in building 12. This is a newer building, very quiet and the last one before the beach and the seafood/disco restaurant. The staff are all delightful and will go out of there way to help you. As far as food, anyone claiming there was "nothing to eat" must have a very irregular diet. I have celiac disease so if finding food was going to be a task, I would know. Every day there was an amazing variety of food. I don't even think there was a breakfast item that you could have that they missed except perhaps for bran cereal that my hubby likes. The sausage and bacon may not be exactly as in N. America but that is what you get. The other restaurants were great as well, those that we were able to try. They did somehow confuse our bookings and we were not able to try them all, our friends who did, enjoyed them all.
Drinks were always available and if you made a request they would attempt to fulfill it. On the rainy days there are some nice shops both in the resort and right next door in the two story shopping plaza. Do you get accosted by pedlars, yes but if you tell them no thankyou they leave you alone. I actually found the organized pedlars on the beach more menacing than the ones at the plaza. The beach was lovely. So many people told us that we were going to an inferior beach but as far as I am concerned coming from Ontario where our sand is brown too, who cares what colour the sand is? They cleaned the beach every day of debris and garbage and the water was a very nice temperature. If you are a walker or runner you could go for a very long distance very safely. Watch the sand though, it gets hot anytime after lunch from the heat. Don't miss the excursions! I don't think it matters who you buy from just buy at least one. You will enjoy getting to see the country. We did the Runners tour into the jungle where you get to see a bit of the local life and scenery as well as another super beach for body surfing and another lovely meal. This is an entire day of fun! We also did the Cable car tour which takes you into the city and up the mountain to see the sights. This is a good excursion for shoppers to get rum, cigars, jewelery etc. I don't think we would have felt the same if we missed these outings. This is not a rich county in general. So to think that they work so hard at giving you luxury that most of them will never know, be very thankful and enjoy your time away remembering how lucky you are to have the opportunity to travel. We actually saw people looking for food at the garbage dump so it is sad to think of the people complaining about this resort.
Things I would suggest: Save your chair early (one set, not one set at at the pool and one set on the beach like some did)
Take a lot of US $1 for tipping, this goes a long way with your maids and servers.
Take about $25 dollars of extra items from the dollar store to give as gifts. This country is in need of crayons, pencils, pens and writing pads etc. I also took toothbrushes, hair items, soap, clothespins and items that are used in the home as well as small toys.
If you go on the Runners tour, they stop at a school and the children come out for candy. Bring some from home because buying a bag there cost $8 US.
Take adequate sunscreen at least a 60. Others who had 30 burned the first day we did not. If you want a higher value sunscreen there the most they had was 40 at a cost of $25 US.
It was a wonderful trip, we met many people from other countries and I would easily go back again. So my suggestion is stop worrying go and enjoy your trip!
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Puerto Plata Hotel Puerto Plata
- Puerto Plata Barcelo
- Grand Flamenco
- Occidental Grand Puerto Plata
- Occidental Grand Flamenco Puerto Plata
- Grand Puerto Plata
- Flamenco Occidental
- Barcelo Puerto Plata Dominican Republic