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“For average turist, OK. High standards? Don't come.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada

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Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata 11111, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Atlantic City, New Jersey
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“For average turist, OK. High standards? Don't come.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

MUST praise Jose Rojas, who helped me finish and email some work I had pending, allowing me to use his work computer for over an hour when the internet center was closed on Sunday morning. Kudos to him, that's wht I call going the extra mile!!!
Like I said in the review title, if you or your party are the average turist looking to save a few bucks, then YES, this is a place for you, (because the beach and pool are fine) like most hotels in the area. However, if you're used to the higher quality food, accomodations and service, you must look elsewhere. We were "Member's or VIP Club", whatever they call it, and I can say that our rooms were decent (refurbished), even though the condition of the furniture was mixed, some a little beat up, and some was newer. We had access to the "Members only" restaurants, and the food was just average+. The buffet was average at best.

Room Tip: Get the VIP
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
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Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

We went there to celebrate my husband's birthday and what a shock after what we're used to in accomodations....The room was rennovated, I guess that's what they call it but everything was pretty rough...the furniture was beat up, the 2 beds in our room consisted of one with a broken boxspring so we settled for the other one, which was less V-shaped! As for the dresser, you had to hold up the drawers because they were all broken. The missing patio furniture on the balcony was also a let down. We had a fridge that came fully rusted and beat up inside, plus it wasn't stocked with anything, including water like it's supposed to be! At an all-inclusive, we had to buy our own water & beverages to stock our fridge on this resort! If they tell you they have in-room safes, just know that these are pretty old, not the kind where you use a digital pad and create your own combination, these are the ones from antique roadshows where you slip in your key & lock that you get from the front desk...really secure! This place is notorious for running out of stuff like: alcohol, garnishes (i.e. you ask for a Caipirinha but they can't because the hotel ran out of limes), coffee often runs out at meals including breakfast (yikes!). The food lacks variety and not that great. Stick to the beans and rice and you won't be disappointed or get sick! If you like dyed wieners, dry hamburgers and fruit sitting in the sun all day- every day, head for the beach buffet! LOL! My husband got sick off of some of the fruit at buffet, it was terrible, be safe take Dukoral or comparable preventative medicine before you go. The beach is nice but the loungers are pretty sad and beat up, if you want a good one, go early and save it!

We went through iTravel 2000/Nolitours/Transat for this trip, and I would advise you to be cautious if booking with them... They advised us that if we spent an extra $86 we could get an upgraded room which includes a balcony & fridge. So, trusting them, we did spend the money but only unfortunately realize once we got to the resort that all rooms came with balconies & fridges. Upon our return, we contacted iTravel 2000/Nolitours/Transat and explained that, after viewing 4 rooms we settled on one that was somewhat what we expected, because at this point we were exhausted from travelling & also of looking. We also expressed our concerns over the room & resort's condition, far below what we expected, and they offered nothing to that would make up for our troubles, not even offering us a refund for the upgrade cost! After years of loyalty to these companies, we saw just how much they value customers, so BEWARE!!!

YES THERE ARE SOME GOOD POINTS....STAFF! STAFF! STAFF! Especially Vancillio & Roberto at the bar! Although they ran out of most stuff, Vancillio (with Roberto's assistance of course!) definitely made sure there were limes for my Caipirinhas! Of course the minute these guys were off, my drinks were unavailable, guess what? they ran out of limes on those days! LOL

Another bonus is the beach is nice, but be careful, as you know the north coast can be a bit rough!! 5 Stars also go to the beach excursion vendors Ramone, Anna, and Jameson (think that's the last guy's name!) anyway, their excursions are the best prices...and these guys work long hours for little pay and they offer the best rates...they're the vendors on beach wearing white golf shirts that have a logo on the back with their excursion company's name. Don't worry about the beach vendors, if you don't want anything let them know, they'll leave you alone, they're just working...but you have to find the Monkey man, well you'll hear him coming..."I got the monkeeeeys"! He's a lot of fun!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

Stayed here in February 2013 and definitely wouldn't go back...Room was rennovated but furniture was beat up, good thing we had 2 beds in our room, one had broken boxspring and other one wasn't much better but at least the boxspring wasn't broken (i.e. didn't have a V-shape!). the dresser drawers were broken, balcony with no patio furniture, fridge was all rusted with broken drawers inside, safe was pretty old (get lock from front desk for it, not a combination/electric type). Hotel always ran out of stuff like cups for drinks, alcohol, no coffee in mornings often, beverages at buffet often run out, food always the same and not that appetizing...beef & pork was like eating a shoe! got sick off of some of the fruit at buffet...if you still plan on going here, invest in Dukoral. If you go to the beach there are lots of chairs but go early if you want a good one because majority of them are broken. Entertainment was cheesy, would have been better to have nothing at all.

We booked this trip with iTravel 2000 and the provider was Nolitours/Air Transat who encouraged us to get an upgraded room (incl: balcony & fridge) for an extra $86 only to find out when we got to the resort that the rooms all had balconies & fridges. iTravel's agent was the one who encouraged us to upgrade and when we complained to both iTravel 2000 & Nolitours about having to look at rooms 4 times by the time we found something close to what we thought we were paying for (since we were tired of looking at rooms by then after a long flight) as well as general complaints of the state of the room & resort...they did nothing to compensate us for our troubles, not even refund our $86. They basically brushed us off...after being loyal customers for years with these companies, this is the service they give their clientele.

Good points: All the staff, very nice people...especially bartenders like Vancillio & Roberto, these guys are awesome. Thank God for the staff and these 2 bartenders, that's what made our trip more pleasant because the resort was such a disappointment. Beach is nice, excursions are really good and best prices from Ramone & Anna (vendors on beach, you'll see them with the white golf shirts with Excursion company's logo on back). Lots of vendors on the beach but just let them know if you're not interested they won't keep hounding you...look for the "I got the monkeeeeys" guy, he rocks! You'll hear him coming!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

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!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Our fridge leaked all over the floor, our bedding was not changed the entire week(when my friend threw up on one of them), the power went out 4 times, there were cock roaches in our building, we were supposed to have a renovated room but didn't receive one. the food was awful, but thankfully there is a store on the resort where we bought snacks. we were given one complimentary bottle of drinking water for the entire week. our room was clean. We managed to have fun but I would not reccomment this resort and definitley wouldn't pay to go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Groves, Texas, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

American Airlines put us up in this flea-bag place after they cancelled our flight. Thank God it was only for one night. It was so dirty, I was actually afraid to sleep in the bed. No washcloths. No phone. No television. No drinking water in room. We had to walk down to the dirty outdoor cafeteria and pour it out of the big water jugs that are supposed to go in water coolers. The glasses in our room that were supposed to be clean had dried toothpaste scum in the bottom. I wouldn't feed the food they had on the buffet to a homeless person! Bed was hard as a rock.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pickering, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

I spent a week at this resort in February 2013. Its greatest strength is its proximity to a beautiful beach. Our room was clearly one of the renovated ones--its decoration was a little austere, but it was very clean and the beds were comfortable. We got to see one of the non-renovated rooms on the last day, when we were allowed to use it after check out time. VERY glad we had been in a renovated one. The courtesy room had eye-searing bedspreads, and a cockroach in the bathtub.

In terms of the food, we were able to try all 4 of the theme restaurants, and ate at both the main buffet, and the lunchtime buffet at the beach. The food was pedestrian but adequate. I recommend avoiding beef--some of the chewiest meat I've ever been offered. The fish and chicken were generally good bets. There were many minor, amateurish problems, like running out of cups, rum, diet cola etc. I disagree with the reports of watered-down drinks. I found that everything I ordered had lots of fire in it! At least until they ran out of rum...

The staff were extremely variable in their attitude. Some were very friendly and accomodating, others reserved to the point of near hostility. Our lack of Spanish was likely one source of the problem...but surely anyone who works at this type of resort should be able to deal with English speakers. I got the sense that the employees' attitudes simply reflected their personalities. Evidence of a lack of training.

Most unpleasant were the constant appeals to buy stuff. On the beach we would get harassed every few minutes by someone with sunglasses or stuffed monkeys. And in the resort there were attempts to sell vacations, as well as tourist grot. I can't really fault the resort for the people on the beach, but I would have appreciated not being bothered on the grounds of the resort.

In all, we generally enjoyed our stay. The price was extremely reasonable, and we were tremendously lucky with the weather. We had the concierge book us a private tour of Puerto Plata, which was definitely a highlight of the trip (in spite of getting totally fleeced in some souvenir shops--make sure you negotiate!). But I don't think we'll go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada

Address: Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata 11111, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada 3*
Number of rooms: 411
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Also Known As:
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
Tropical Playa Dorada
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada Resort

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