WE have just come home from our two week stay at the Grand Paradise Hotel in Puerto Plata!!!! We arrived on Sunday April 14 and left on Sunday April 28, 2013....This is our 5th time to the hotel and I must admit that there is more than one reason we keep coming back!!!
When you walk in the door you are greeted by the Hotels bellhops who always have a great smile (and because we've been there so often, a big hug), then off to the reception area where our friend DAMARYS, a young lady who really knows her stuff, had everything ready for us without any hesitations. Our room wasnt ready upon our arrival, we kind of anticipated that seeing as we had arrived so early, but it was no big deal, there is a huge, clean, bathroom where we were able to get changed and commence our holidays. Off to the bar we went to say "Hi" to the fimiliar faces. There are so many names I want to mention, but some have slipped my mind, anyhow, GUILLERMO was the first to spot us and came out from behind the bar to give us hugs and welcome us "home", our drinks were a little strong, but by the end of your holidays, you dont even notice...lol...at night we often retreated to the Extasis Bar by the pool for our "entertainment" of the night. If youre looking for broadway or Las Vegas shows, this place isn't for you, rather the entertainment staff go above and beyond to make you either part of their show or ensure you are enjoying their show. CHISPA is our main man!!! He is so good at what he does, and he rarely forgets a face!!! He's very warm and isn't afraid to join your table at lunch or come hang out with you during slow times. We are very hopeful to see him again in October!!! DONKEY is new and we didn't really get to now him like CHISPA, however his EMCEE skills are pretty remarkable, he knows how to get the crowd going. Our bella, BONBON, the "towel girl" was so sweet to us, everyday she worked, she made sure to come and say good morning to us and offered excellent service at all times!!! Our favourite bartender would have to be OSWALDO and his sidekick JOSE. Never did our glasses go empty when he was working, they always made time to ask how we were, OSWALDO has become like a brother to us....he sure is missed!!! The staff in the main dining area are prompt and at your beck and call. We were with a larger group and they had our table set and reserved at all meals, which was nice during the weekend when the Local people came to enjoy thier country. The A la Cartes haven't changed, the staff is awesome there!!! I wish I had written names down now!!! Make sure to seek out SPEEDY, the water sport coordinator!!!
There was much more variety this time around which we were grateful for as we were spending 14 days there. There was a different theme every night, if there you can't find something you like, then you too picky. At times there were line ups to wait to enter the dinning hall, but I can only see that as being a good thing...that means more and more people are coming back. The A La Cartes could use a change up of the menu, the food is okay, to be honest, id rather eat at the buffet, just my opinion, I invite you to form your own.
CLEAN!!! Our room was cleaned in the afternoon, which I thought was pretty perfect, and our cleaning lady was tooooo cute...she left fancy things made on the bed all the time. Our fridge was stocked with water and pop every day. We stayed in an Oceanview Suite, the sound of the ocean put us to bed every night.
The beach at this resort is like nowhere else in the Playa Dorada complex. It's clean, and huge. There are reefs not far off the shore where we saw a Lion fish, plenty of beautiful striped fish, Blue "Dory" fish and a great big old crab. Let me take a minute to talk about the vendors, or the "blue shirts" as you may have heard, yes, they can be a pain in the butt, everytime you turn around there is someone trying to sell you something, but listen, these people don't make a lot of money, the job availability there is low so they bust their butts trying to make a couple bucks to support their families. These vendors PAY a fee to be allowed to sell on the beaches. You can barter with them, their all very friendly and if you low ball them, they'll laugh it off and walk away. Or a simple "NO GRACIAS" keeps them moving too. BTW the stuff sold on the beach can be purchased at the Plaza"Cheapy Cheap", probably half of what they want on the beach. Anyhow, it's just part of the experience!!! And if you're looking for a good booking agent on the beach for Excursions, request to speak to either Gilberto or Hector (the protector), they have good prices and yes you are covered by insurance, their company is the same company that Nolitours books their excursions through.
YEah that was a crappy deal...it has become quite expensive and you can no longer log out to save your remaining time. I think that there have been enough complaints about that, I'm sure that when we return in October, their internet system will be a better deal for those of us who need to use it to communicate with our children.
Overall our time there is never money wasted, I am already counting down 5 months and 19 days until our next trip there...hope this helped you make a decision, I can honestly say that if you go with an open mind and normal expectations, that you will have a remarkable time!!! Hasta lleugo!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.