My husband and I stayed at the Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, Peurto Plata, the week of January 12 - 19 2013. We have vacationed in the DR before so we knew what to expect and we got exactly that, a very affordable vacation at a nice resort. The resort is very old so there is always something that needs to be tended to, but it's not in bad shape over all.
The rooms were small but neat and cleaned well every day. We heard that some people had problems with no hot water, but we always had plenty of hot water. You only got 1 key card per room, which works fine for us, and that key card is what operates the room air conditioning. The rooms are not big and the AC is strong, it literally took a few minutes to be more than comfortable. The mini bar had a full bottle of water and pop daily, no booze. We had a nice size balcony that easily fit 2 chairs and a small table.
The food was just fine, we never went hungry. The main buffet could get busy at times, but that's to be expected. There was always a meat, fish and pasta option and always plain rice and potatoes and fresh bread and buns. The meat is different than in North America because it does not come from North America, it's a bit 'gamier' tasting and a bit tougher, but just fine. I would not recommend having any meat cooked less than well done. Breakfast and lunch were always good and the soup was always really, really good. The Italian restaurant was very, very good and the 'grill' restaurant was just okay.** It is the only resort I've been to in the DR that served actual cows milk for coffee, not rice milk BONUS ! **
The staff were all very, very friendly and really went out of their way to make you feel welcome. When we checked in it was after 10:00pm and there was a big line up, but the staff did great. People grumbled that they had to wait, but we just sat down in the lobby until everyone was gone.
The pool area is neat and clean with lots of lounge chairs and shade. In my opinion the pool could have some improvements. It was too cold, too deep and there was no where to 'hang out' in the water, there were a couple of 'stools' at the swim up bar, but because of the way the sun comes around, that bar is in shade by noon. The jacuzzi pool is warmer and has seating all the way around it...that's where I hung out and was often in there alone. The entertainment at the pool is typical, funny guys keeping things light and up-beat, very nice bunch of people. Donkey, Happy Man and Many really made our trip 'fun'. The other nice thing about the pool is beside the bar they have a coffee station set up all day, which is great for this coffee addict !
The beach was brown sand but lovely. There are in my opinion far too many vendors, but if you are not interested just be insistent that the answer is NO. There are plenty of lounge chairs and shady spots. The pool towels they supply are surprisingly good !!
The nightly entertainment is a bit weak, but the folks are so nice and are doing their very best with the supplies they have. The 'show' doesn't start until 9:00pm, sometimes 9:45pm, so there is a big void between dinner and the show... it gets dark around 7:00pm so you can't even walk on the beach... the shows should start a bit earlier. We went into the disco for about 10 seconds, it's small and for the younger crowd... but it only thumped until 1:00am and then it was silent. No problem with that !
Don't bother bringing money for the casino. We went in and there were 2 other people in there pulling on penny slots. It's old run down and if they were smart they would find a better use for that spot.
Shopping... there is a mall literally a 2 minute walk from the front lobby. It is a small mall that has a GREAT little spot for an espresso ! The prices upstairs are better than the prices downstairs. There is also a little shop right in the lobby for a few over priced trinkets, cigarettes and sunscreen etc.
All in all it was a great vacation. It was not a RIU Palace, but neither was the price tag. We literally got exactly what we paid for and that's hard to argue with. If we got the same type of pricing I would visit this resort again.
We had a partial pool view and it was fine. I don't think I'd want to be facing the pool cl...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 24, 2013
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On behalf of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, we sincerely appreciate it. It is with reward that we learn that your vacations at our resort were awesome and that your enjoyed with the variety in our offer. We are grateful for taking your time to post your review and for your recommendations.
We hope that you will return to our resort in a near future.
We want to thank you for recognize the hard work of our employees, we will congratulate Donkey, Manny & Happy Man for their great job.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.