First off, a dear friend of mine was able to book this hotel for us through her time share. Adults paid $50 a night & $24 for children (upto the age of 12). I have no idea what a regular night would cost in this old, disgusting hotel, but boy would I be mad had I paid more! It was 6 adults, and 3 children, but they charged adult price for our 13 year old, which we were not properly instructed about. We stayed 3 days, 2 nights. Had we stayed one more night, we would've been left without light or water in the entire hotel for 3 hours. We got that news as we were preparing for check out. THANK GOD. So let me break it down...
WHY I'M GIVING IT 2 STARS INSTEAD OF 1 (THE PRO'S): EXCLUDING RECEPTION, the rest of the staff members are very amiable and helpful. The crew team everyone raves about are pretty entertaining. Tuesday's at Coco Bongo's (local night club) has free cuba libre's from 11 until 1, but they're open until 6am. It was definitely my type of crowd and music (top 40 house mixes and beats all night). I have no complaints of the buffet food. All 9 of us found it very tasteful, actually. The beach is the highlight; clean, beautiful water. Now, on to the negative...
The incompetence of the staff behind reception is quite baffling. Upon arrival, it took a while for check in, but it was 9 of us, so I shrugged that off. We all paid separately for our parties, but they didn't have change for any of us in any currency. The receptionist promised us our change for later on in the day (in total $35). Our rooms were what they call the "apartment room". 1 adjoint room with a king size bed and an old tv, the other is a living room that stunk of rotten fish, with a small, broken sofa bed where they expected the 3 of our children to sleep in (ages 8, 11, and 13. Umm, right...). There are stairs to the second floor with 2 queen sized beds and another old tv. We had to constantly remind them of the remote controls that they keep with them behind reception. The fridge isn't even plugged in, because there's nothing in it. Just two cups on top of it for what? Come on!! Not even a bottle of water? I immediately called front desk to request a change of sofa bed and a much needed extra bed. He was about to give me a hard time, but I instantly shut him down telling him to speak to his boss. Fortunately, we were given an extra room with 2 beds.
We didn't get our change until the next night, and it was like pulling teeth each time we would go ask for it. The receptionists put their nice face on, and they act like they're doing everything they can to help out, but accomplish nothing until they see you pissed. Every time we were there, we would overhear other angry customers complaining about numerous things. They kick you out of the pool at 7pm, every night. Not a schedule I'm used to compared to every other hotel I've stayed in. We only got the chance to make our reservation in 1 of the 4 restaurants in the hotel. 3 random people recommended the Caribbean restaurant, so we went for it. One word: NASTY!! The waiter catered in such an abrupt manner, that my aunts were scared of asking him for anything. He said he would be sending the bartender to take our drink orders, but we all finished our food before we could get a hold of a drink. Again, I had to get angry so they could assist us; UGHH. Later on that night, those who had the cazuela de mariscos that had no mariscos, just all rubbery calamari, had stomache pains and spent all night in the bathroom.
THE WORST PART OF THE HOTEL: THE DRINKS. There are only 2 bars in the entire hotel, and they're both pathetic!!!! You can count in 2 hands how many bottles they have displayed. It's the cheapest brand of everything! Stay far away from the tequila and the amarretto. Truly nasty. You forget that you're even in DR. There's no such thing as Brugal, or Barcelo, not even Presidente beer! Again, pathetic! The only half decent drink was the pina colada.
I'm a Colombian New Yorker that has been living in Santiago, DR for a year now. I had family from NY and Colombia come visit me, and really wanted to give them a great hotel experience in Puerto Plata as we've always had before (Barcelo, Be Live, etc). This hotel was not only disappointing, but a HUGE embarrassment for my fiance and I. NEVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.