We just got home from a week long vacation staying at the Celuisma Play Dorado in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. I'd read the reviews prior to our trip and really didn't know what to expect. I'm a firm believer that your attitude determines how great your vacation is going to be, but that being said, there's still some things that only experience can dictate. Here's my take on the Celuisma resort: The hotel is older, but our room was okay. We actually had a two story unit, but I can honestly say that I don't know why they would have the two floors. The first floor had a beautiful large dining room table with six chairs. There was a couch--if you can call it that. It was a 90 degree angle vinyl mattress on a wood frame. There was a small tv in the room and a small refridgerator. We never used this room. Why there would be a dining room table when there was no place to prepare food or a sink to do dishes in is beyond me. The only time we were in this room was when we came through the front door and went immediately up the spiral staircase to our room, or if we wanted to go out on the balcony (that overlooked a cement mini golf course--too funny!). A complete waste of space. Our room was clean and the towels and sheets were changed daily. We did have to ask for a washcloth and for the bottle waters that were advertised. Our bed was comfortable and there was a nice flat screen tv in our room upstairs. The hot water took over five minutes each morning to get to our shower...but when we got it, there was plenty of pressure and plenty of heat, so we could live with that.
I will agree with others that the staff was very friendly. However, there is additional "staff" there that are trying to sell timeshares to the renovated units and they are the most obnoxious group of people you will ever run into. They are EVERYWHERE throughout the resort and hound you constantly to attend their presentation. That was my biggest complaint.
The entertainment was fair--when they did it. It was scheduled to be every night, but there were two nights that we waited and it never happened. Many times they only spoke in Spanish and forgot to translate the "program" into English. That was sad.
The restaurants: Buffet was fair--sometimes delicious, but usually just fair. The best part was when we discovered that you could have made to order omelettes and smoothies for breakfast. The beach grill had excellent french fries, but that was about it. We were disappointed to discover that only the buffet and one restaurant was open each night. The specialty restaurants were very good on the night they were open. We especially enjoyed Kokomo's (the beach grill, but at night). The food was great and you couldn't beat the atmosphere--waves lapping on the beach...sunsets...moon rises!
The beach was excellent. Unlike the pictures from other reviews. It was clean and beautiful. There was no seaweed on the shore and the sand was soft even 20 feet out into the waves. There were no real waves, as there are coral reefs farther out preventing large swells. One day the waves were big enough to body surf, but that was not the norm.
The hot tub is a cold tub. Every day we asked them to turn up the heat and every day they said they would and never did. The last day we were there, the maintenance man said they were waiting for a part. Hmmm...we could see the water heater in the shed next to the jacuzzi and the pilot light wasn't even lit. Luckily, the weather was beautiful so we really didn't need a hot tub, but it would have been nice.
The tennis courts are clay, and are very nice. We were shocked to find that we had to pay for the lights at night...nothing on the website said anything about having to pay to play at night.
The pool was clean and nice. The only drawback was that it closes at 6:00 PM. The one arm where they have volleyball is nice, but it is the only entrance to the pool with stairs, so you would have people stroll through your volleyball game occasionally.
The grounds are beautiful. They even use some of the beautiful flowers when they make up your bed or deliver towels...nice touch.
There is a plaza less than a block away and golf courses surround the property. There is also a flea market about a half mile down the beach...that was a great find!
Well, I hope that this review has been helpful. I don't know that I would go to this same resort again, but we enjoyed our trip very much!
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- Also Known As:
- Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
- Tropical Playa Dorada
- Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada Resort