1-the service in general was terrible with the exception of one waiter at the grill restaurant at the beach- the rest for lack of better words were uninterested, defensive and rude.
2- food from Friday to Sunday seemed to cater the Dominican guests as opposed to international guests, by Sunday evening there was a change in the cuisine but again it was simply average and not the kind of buffet i was looking forward to going to as per my previous experiences in 2 other hotels in DR. this was our 3 trip!
3- the variety was not the best either, not much to pick from, sea food was non existent unless you wanted to pay $30US for lobster!
4- a la carte restaurants- were ok- the oriental was supposed to be the best but the food was far from authentic oriental cuisine as we eat in Japanese and Vietnamese/Chinese restaurants weekly! the Italian restaurant was a disaster, the waiter confused our orders, became upset when we asked for the menu again to confirm our order and threw our salad plates onto their serving stand! we called the head waiter, he too was rude but after a real lesson of waiting table etiquette he was so submissive and apologetic to a point that we had to tell him to stop apologizing as our evening had already been ruined- we never stayed for desert! The Pizzeria so called a la carte- was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT- thin crust was thinner than anything i had seen, you could not even cut through it because it was so dry- we ended up at the Buffet within 10 minutes! the worst part is you could not book in advance you had to go each morning to book your a la cartes and by the time you got there, some were already FULL so you had to wait until the next morning to find out which was open the next night!
5- the LOCALS were rude, uneducated, had no sense of social etiquette, loud, dirty, they would flock to the beach at the end of the day and make a complete mess of it! at the buffet they had no sense of lining up, count even count how many times I had to tell these people to go to the end of the line, there was no excuse me either, push you around and there was a real difference from the way the servants treated their own people to the tourists! at first i thought it was me but as i started asking people about their stay they felt no different to me. one morning, one of the locals rather than picking up his boiled eggs and peeling them at his table, he decide to do the peeling right there and leave a mess in front of the food display areas! UNREAL! one of the chefs was embarrassed and had a few words with him when he saw that because he noticed that a few people in the line up including myself were not impressed with that sort of behavior!
Long story short, I was not the only one complaining, there were other tourists we met along the beach as we walked passed several other hotels and they all said, they were annoyed with the locals coming into the complex! I want to enjoy the the culture but this was not the way I had envisioned the domincan people!
Good luck to anyone going to Puerto Plata complex Playa Dorada, you better be looking for a 5 star plus so that it is beyond the financial means of some of the people we had to endure. That said, this hotel had been rated 4 star, I would give it less than a 3 for the way i felt throughout the entire time i was there.
6- the beach was ok
7- LAST BUT NOT LEAST--- MY HUSBAND WAS THREATENED BY ONE OF THE LOCALS DURING OUR BREAKFAST WHILE HE HELD A FORK IN HIS HAND POINTING IN MY HUSBANDS FACE ASKING HIM TO STEP OUTSIDE DUE TO THE FOLLOWING:
-WE ARE SITTING AT A TABLE FOR 2
-THERE WERE 2 OTHER TABLES ONE TO THE LEFT AND ONE TO THE RIGHT
-SUDDENLY THERE WERE 4 PEOPLE TRYING TO SIT AT THESE 2 TABLES
-MY HUSBAND WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF 4 PEOPLE ON THE BENCH WHICH RAN ALONG THE WALL ON THE ONE SIDE OF THESE 3 TABLES FOR 2
-ONE WOMEN GETS UP AND STARTS TALKING OVER OUR TABLE TO THE MAN ON THE LEFT WHILE MY HUSBAND IS TRYING TO EAT BREAKFAST
-MY HUSBAND TOLD TO HER TO SIT DOWN AND IF SHE WERE TO CARRY ON WITH THE CONVERSATION OVER OUR TABLE THAT THEY SHOULD ALL FIND A TABLE FOR 6 PEOPLE!
- THE HUSBAND STANDS UP AND STARTS TO YELL AT MY HUSBAND FOR TELLING HIS WIFE TO SIT IN HER SEAT AS SHE HAD LITERALLY STOOD UP AND TALKED ACROSS OUR TABLE.
- SOME REAL EXCHANGE OF WORDS, WE ENDED UP BE SEATED ELSEWHERE AND THE MANAGER CAME TO APOLOGIZED BUT I NEVER SAW ANYONE ADDRESS THESE PEOPLE FOR THEIR SAVAGE BEHAVIOR! CASE CLOSED!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.