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“I wouldn't return. Beware of bait and switch.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada

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Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Complejo Playa Dorada | P.O. Box 337, Puerto Plata 332, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 42 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Toronto Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“I wouldn't return. Beware of bait and switch.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

I must admit I was a bit obsessive when it came to reading reviews of this resort prior to leaving. W stayed feb 21-28 2013. And booked a superior gardenview room. I emailed the resort two weeks before leaving and requested a oceanview and name dropped TA, as I noticed they have been replying to only positive reviews for the most part. This review may get long but Ill give an honest review of the resort, and my experience as well as others.


TLDR; just message me any question you may have


When we arrived we noticed an older(70s area) lady who was having an issue with the front desk, she had booked a superior gardenview, and was given a 4th floor "upgraded" two bedroom, since she was on vacation with her husband who also had replacement knees, she was very upset at the amount of stairs, as well as the spiral staircase he had to climb. The man at the desk was nice enough to her saying he was unable to help, at first I thought this was normal and not the hotels fault.... We were lucky ( or the TA name drop ) and were upgraded to a ground floor suite.

ROOMS|
We arrived to a minor flood in our bathroom, the toilet was leaking from the handle... It was almost midnight, but they did send someone out right away to fix the issue. Our tv was listed as a LCD flatscreen however we had an older 27" tube, we needed to return to the front desk as the remote didnt work.( no worries didnt kill my vacation,but was a sign of things to come) they give you a single key, to prevent running the AC all day which is fine, but for people in groups it becomes a large hassle. Our room was not secure even tho we didn't have any issues with theft etc. the pins to secure the sliding door was drilled to the outside and you could easily open the door with a small twig or something ( we found this out after the siding door locked behind us on the balcony. The room was average clean, we did get sheets with very noticeable stains the one day I forgot to leave a tip. The sofa was dark brown with some questionable looking stains, but I didn't use it and we don't spend much time in the room anyway. We got a bottle of water and a bottle of pop each day, the one day I left pesos in the fridge I got two cokes and two waters. We were in building 3 and Wednesday night nolitours does a beach party until 12am that sounded like it was going on in the room above us... I'm only 30, so I'm not grey but it was pretty loud even for me.

BEWARE OF THE BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!! Many traveller we spoke too who booked via nolitours superior gardenview, were given 4th floor rooms in the "attic". We got a room to shower in after checkout and got a chance to see these, the views are mostly roof of third floor, the rooms are two bedrooms with a kitchenette, I can see why people didn't like these rooms especially anyone that is older and has trouble with stairs, I suggest emailing them ahead of time to ensure you don't get these 4th floor rooms. Because the hotel was quite full some couples spent everyday trying to get a new room with only a few having success moving to lower floors.

GROUNDS: the resort is showing its age, there are a number of bars, and areas that are no longer running, the sports area has LCD tv wall mounts where tvs once were, there are a dozen or so umbrellas at the pool and none on the beach only loungers. The resort has small things like toilet paper holders missing, some toilets are missing the doors for privacy, things like the swim up bar stools are in need of replacement, one was even missing completely. None of these things ruined my vacation, but you can see where some of the bad reviews do have merit.
It seems like everything is done to the bare minimum, tile falls off the wall, no replacement tile just white drywall mud in its place... These things don't bother me, but I feel it necessary to let other travellers know before they go..

BEACH|

It was windy when we were there but the beach was nice, the sellers are everywhere, and they will ask you a lot, a quick no thanks, or a headshake no when you make eye contact and they will leave you alone. The market down the beach is the same way. Loungers can be found, you may end up like me and drag two from one end to the other as they do get sparse in certain areas.
There is no actual beach bar but one close enough, they have a coco oasis but it was always closed... The snorkelling is nothing amazing but you will see some fish right off the beach.

FOOD/BAR|
The food is very average, personally I have stayed in resorts in Dominican and Cuba in the same price range with better quality and selection. I was able to find something to eat at every meal, however the selection was very odd at times. It seemed like keeping costs low was the main objective but the more I looked the less it made sense. There was one day in a week with bacon for breakfast, however a few days there was chicken wings. Salami and sausage most days, ham twice. The omelettes were good however the "ham" at one point was two completely different meats, one of which looked and tasted much more like hotdog. Orange juice was served twice in a week, but if you asked a server they would get some from the bar for you. There was a main island buffet with 8 hotel pans per side, unlike most buffets where each side is different items, there was normally 10-12 items instead. One time there was buns taking up a pan on the main buffet that were also in the bread area, and there seemed to be no reason for them to be there. The first day they had fajitas they have tortillas for them... Three days later they didn't have any. I didn't get sick and I didn't go hungry, but I also didn't enjoy the food very much, and felt like I had got better quality at other resort chains for similar money spent. I was staying during the highest season of the year. When a resort should be at the top of their game. The bars serve classic brand of all liquors. Bohemian beer from bottles. No brugal and no presidente. The drinks are strong and the liquor low quality, it's your perfect all inclusive bar. No 24hr bar. That doesn't bother me the main bar by the beach closes at 1am disco at 2am. I was in bed by midnight anyway.

A few things of note: there is an American guy named James in the plaza by the resort that sells excursions, we booked with him and save about half the resort price, same tours cheaper price go talk to him, he will sit down with you and give you a lot of good information...
TAXIS you can get a ride into town for $10usd. Just say you know that you can because that's what you paid yesterday. We went to la sirena grocery store for redbull snack food and coffee because it was $4 a lb there and $11 at the resort its like Dominican Walmart but you need pesos. We also had dinner at la tarappa pizza which was amazing... $20 for return ride with the taxi guy waiting an hr for us to eat dinner... Amazing restaurant, we went between 6-7 and had the place to ourselves both nights.

DON'T BOTHER GETTING PESOS IN CANADA. YOU'LL GET A BETTER RATE AT THE HOTEL. 40 to 1 for us and 37 to 1 for cad last week.


Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

Room Tip: Avoid 4th floor rooms if travelling as a couple or have issues with stairs.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janett J, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Dear Leines123,

We want to express our gratitude for choosing Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, on behalf the management we sincerely appreciate your time for posting your comments.

We lament that your stay was not satisfactory, we would like to express how deeply sorry we are of knowing, that we could not ensure you a pleasant stay.

We would like to extend our apologies for any and all inconveniences that you experienced during your vacation. We have already take note about the remark that you mentioned.

We hope that you can provide us another chance to serve you as you deserve.

Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,977 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (288)
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English first
Pickering, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

This is not a huge resort , which is good for people like my husband with a bad back , some resorts just have way to much walking , in saying that , the resort is on a compound which offers a shared plaza , that includes shopping , pizza hut & other restaurants like sports bar ,
It offers very friendly staff , the resort is clean and the food is also pretty decent . !
my favorite part about this resort is that the buffet restaurant is located directly adjacent to the beach , it is the best with the morning coffee . also to note , it has an amazing golf course within walking distance ,

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janett J, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Dear playaallday,

On behalf of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, thank you for your comments.

It is with reward that we learn that your last vacations at our resort were awesome and that you have enjoyed with the variety in our offer.

We are grateful for taking your time to post your review and for being a loyal repetitive customer

We all look forward to welcome back in the nearest future.

Best regards
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Sterling, Connecticut, United States
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

I went to Grand Paradise as an RCI member from 2/11-2/18. I went with my 2 friends and we had an amazing time! EVERYONE is so nice to you there. I had booked a 2BR Suite with RCI but when I got there we were given 2 1BR Suites a floor apart. This was kind of a letdown as we all wanted to hang out together...but we adjusted. I got the 2nd floor. We were in the 1700 block and although the balcony faced the tennis courts and this was the access way for the people that worked in the hotel we had no problems with this because of the fact that everyone was so sweet.
We have to give Happy Boy his props for being an AMAZING Water Aerobics instructor ;) I have video of him on my Facebook page.
Donkey and Manny always kept the crowd entertained.
Ruth, the hostess at the buffet is an awesome woman, she always greeted us with a big smile and did her best to remember all of our names and everyone else that went to the buffet she is just great. Pablo in the afternoon was always very good to us and I must say that I fell in love with Ramon who works in the evening at the buffet. He was very attentive and very easy on the eyes...if I could have taken him home with me in my suitcase I definitely would have!
The only thing that any of the employees at the Grand Paradise want to do is make your vacation the best it could possibly be.
The only problem I had there was on Valentines Day at the Italian restaurant when my friend ordered a rib eye from the cash menu. The steak was not edible and could not even be cut with a knife. I told the waiter that I did not want to pay for it because she could not eat it.
After putting us off for over a 1/2 hour we just put the money for the steak on the table, because he had told us he would have to pay for it if we did not, and left never to return...we were perfectly happy with the buffet..
Yes, there are alot of vendors on the beach but if you tell them no they go away...Sandra that sells tours on the beach has great deals and she is a wonderful woman as are Isabel & Celina that do the braids. All three of us got them in our hair. Before you do your haggling with the vendors on the beach visit the mall close by for pricing...they have the same items and then you have some haggling ammunition to use when you buy from these guys. They will give you great deals.
One thing I must add is Beware of the Mamajuana :)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We would like to recognize some staff member who made our holiday enjoyable. The entertainers were LA Baby, Donkey, Manny, Happy Man and our lady who cleaned our room. Our room was located at 4301, from Feb10 to the 22.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janett J, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Dear Jeannine B,

On behalf of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, Thank you so much for posting you comments.

We feel very proud that our employees were one of the reason that you have had a great holiday, be sure that we will congratulate all member for their hard work and performance.

Best regards from all of us,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sweden
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Had to check in at a A.I-hotel although this is defenitely not my glass of rum. Huge hotel with 90% canadian guests walking around stuck to their big jugs. A little bit like camping to me. Read some reveiws concerning bad stomachs due to ditto food, but must say this is bull...it. Icecold drinks are probably the reason why some feel the "Montesuumas Rev.".
The resort needs some refurbishing and is far too big to my taste. Chaos in the restaurant due to all guests running loose searching for what to eat and what to eat with. Boring evenings despite two bars (two are closed) and something they called "show". Disco? Forget it. Outside the resort it's dead, dead.

Room Tip: Avoid poolside and ask for second floor with seaview.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We spent the entire week last year trying to avoid time-share salespeople. On the beach, on our way lunch/dinner, by the pool, everywhere, we were followed, harrassed by time share salespeople, presumably with the hotel. We politely we weren't interested day after day after day. We pretended we spoke another language, ignored them etc. Nothing worked. I like to go on a holiday where I can do what I want to do and not simply be someone to sell something to. Would never return.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janett J, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Blink 89,

On behalf of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, we sincerely appreciate your comments which are for us a real feedback.

We feel sorry about the points that you mention you went through with your vacations, you can be sure that we already transferred the message to all the departments involved. Our main priority is to feel our guests welcome and become their allies during their treasured vacations.

We can guarantee you that the negative issues that you experienced do not represent the culture and tradition of service in our resort.

Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We went to Grand Paradise from Feb 15 to Feb 22.

Before going on the trip I saw a lot of negative reviews and I was really worried about the quality of the trip. Needless to say the resort was great and I have no complaints at all!

Rooms: We got room 1640 which is on the fourth floor. I went on this vacation with my friend. We each got our own room, a kitchenette. The beds were comfortable, I had great sleep every night. Our room was located in building 14 so it was facing the ocean. When going to bed we could hear the waves. The maids did a great job cleaning the rooms, always fresh new towels and drinks were always restocked. My friend and I left little gifts and tips. You get one room key per room, and you need it to activate air conditioning. Don't be concerned about the room getting too hot because the AC works extremely well and cools down the rooms in no time.

Food: A lot of the reviews said that food was bad, that is very untrue. I am a rather picky eater and I was never hungry! There was always food which was delicious.
For breakfast there is an omelette bar every day, it is delicious! One can always find fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, sausages, potatoes, cereals and much more. What other breakfast food do you need! There are also different kinds of juices, milks and hot drinks.
For lunch there was variety as well. Salads, hot and cold meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables and fruit. There were also a lot of desserts, different stuff every day.
For dinner there was the most variety, with salads that are different from lunch and hot food as well. I strongly advise you to check out the grill every night which is on the right side as soon as you walk in. Every night they have a special there and I was always happy with it. It ranges from steak, chicken, kebabs, stir fry, tacos and many more. All of which were delicious. There is also all kinds of pasta available for those who like it.
Also make reservations at the other two restaurants, we liked Eden better because of the kind of food offered there. During the day at the Eden restaurant there is a snack bar, it is also open starting at midnight.
Sometimes there is a little line up in front of the buffet, but the wait was never longer than 5 minutes. They were very quick to seat people so long waits were never an issue and we went during reading week so it was busy!
*Side note: none of us got sick from the food and we ate a variety of everything.

Service: The service was so friendly! All of the workers starting with gardeners, cleaning ladies and all of waiters and waitresses always smiled and said hello. While eating the waiters are very quick to fill up drinks and provide drinks from the bar as well.
Entertainment staff was amazing! Especially Happy Man, Manny and Donkey. The shows which they put on were hilarious and they always recruited people from the crowd which was entertaining. They always walked up and talked to everyone around the resort and were extremely friendly. Keep up the great work!

Overall it was a great experience, I wish I never listened to the negative reviews because the trip was very good. Would definitely go back again!

Room Tip: We were in room 1640, it was great as are all rooms on the 4th floor because they are a lot bigger t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janett J, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Kasi Z,

On behalf of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, we sincerely appreciate your comments.

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay at our Hotel. It is obvious that you have enjoyed your stay ,as much as we did, taking care of you. We are indeed delighted . Thank you for your wonderful comments and for spending your holidays with us. .

We all look forward to welcome you back in the nearest future.

We are very pleased to know that our employees were one of the reasons that you enjoyed your vacation. We will congratulate Happy Man, Manny & Donkey for their hard work and performance.

Warm regards from all of us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Paradise Playa Dorada

Address: Complejo Playa Dorada | P.O. Box 337, Puerto Plata 332, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Paradise Playa Dorada 3.5*
Number of rooms: 425
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Also Known As:
Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
Paradise Beach Club Puerto Plata
Paradise Beach Resort Casino
Paradise Beach Puerto Plata
Paradise Beach Club Casino

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