Having just returned from the Grand Paradise, Playa Dorada I was anxious to re-read the reviews of others on Trip Advisor. What stands out clear to me as I read peoples comments is that we each have different priorities and expectations from a resort and what is important to one person may be a complete non-issue for someone else.
The Grand Paradise was a good resort for the price point paid. It is a 3- 3.5 star resort in the Peurto Plata area, it may not be rated as highly if it were in the Mayan Riveria area. Having said that you will always run into people expecting five star service while only paying 3 star rates. So take some time to figure out what is important in a resort to meet your needs and don't settle for a resort that cannot meet those needs, you will not be satisfied, you will not enjoy your holiday and you will make everyone around you miserable as well.
We had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday at the Grand Paradise. It is located close to the airport, it is within a complex of resorts called PLAYA DORADA a secure community area with a nice shopping mall and restaurants and golf course all in walking distance.
BEACH: beautiful beach area, no problems with getting chairs ( some reviews complained of broken chairs --none were broken in the area we went to each day) You can safely walk this beach a good thirty straight minutes either way, at which point discreetly located security guards will kindly come onto the beach to let you know you are leaving the secured Playa Dorada complex area- after these points there are no resorts for miles so the beach is isolated.
Water was warm- swimming areas plentiful in all directions- people were snorkelling and finding schools of fish along the entire beach area. There is continual wave action, at times rougher, but always fun for swimming. No jet skis, parasailors or motorizes water sports facilites too close by which we appreciated.
Lots of vendors on the beach but they are all licensed, not making them any less of a nuisance but we accepted the fact this is their livelihood and how they put food on the table so we tried not to let it bother us- we did take advantage of their sales and massages which we loved.
We were surprised by the diverse quality, quantity and consistently flavourful food at this buffet. No complaints at all about the buffet, again understanding any buffet can get tiresome after so many days, but it went above our expectations. There is a chef at each meal time to cook a speciality prepared meat or egg creation.
There are two a la cartes, and we ate at both- no problem getting a booking- food was good- there was a good selection at each- service was good- Men need to wear long pants and closed shoes at the Italian restaurant but there were no clothing attire restrictions at the other a la carte.
We did find that the service staff were a little disorganized and not as attentive to your needs as they usually are in other resorts. At the buffet expecially it was difficult to get someone to bring water or wine, they were running in every direction- was not a big issue for us, we accepted it as it was and never dwelt on it in the least.
Friendly bar staff but you were never sure what you were getting, you could order one drink and get something completely different- maybe a language issue? It became a game for us to see what drink you would get in comparison to what you ordered- Again not an issue for us.
RESORT GROUNDS:- this is a small resort under 400 rooms, it is easy to get around, it is clean and groomed well-
ENTERTAINMENT: Typical resort shows each evening, some incorporated amazingly talented dancers. What we really enjoyed is that the shows are all located near the beach area, right at the main bar area where everyone always congregates so there was a real community feel each night .Each night there was music playing so patrons could dance before the shows at 10 p.m. It was a really charming setting whether you came down solely for a drink or to watch the show. The young entertainment staff have received some negative publicity on this site but from what we witnessed suffice it to say there are always two sides to a story. Tourists can get very bold, pushy, cocky, provacative, arrogant and elitist and when you add alcohol to this mix it only amplifies the situation and trouble is likely to follow. Some tourists present in such a condesending manner and with some self fulfilling sense of entitlement it makes me wonder why they ever leave their own countries since they have no respect for the peoples of the countries they visit.
We loved the ambience of this resort, the community feel and the relaxed low key nature of this setting. Tourism is important to their livelihood and they try hard to make people happy.
CHECK IN AND ROOMS:
I left this for last because if there was any major issue for us it was the fact this resort was overbooked when we arrived and even though we paid for an upgraded room it was not available. After much discussion, language issues and determination we were able to get our upgraded room one night later. It seems many of the travellers we spoke with had the same problems. This issue seems to be directly tied to your arrival day. If you are arriving mid week like we did room selection is limited so you get what they give you. Not a good way to start the vacation but with some patience we got what we wanted.
Rooms are clean but tired looking and in need of some upgrading, not unlike many resorts we have been to in the last few years. Pillow issues seem consistent at most resorts, linens are worn but clean. Maids do a great job of prettying up the rooms. In seven days we only had one day where water temperature was poor but not unbearable.
There are some unusual room configurations in this resort so you might ask to see your room first before checking in fully- They let us do that before we made our move.
Bell hops, maids, service staff are all polite and friendly. Front desk staff could warm up a bit.
I laughed in one review stating the pictures are better then the resort, this can apply to every resort and hotel I have ever stayed at. Sometimes the best way to "see" a resort is to go on-line to YOUTUBE- plug in the resort name and watch personal videos posted by others - this will give you the best idea of what to expect.
BOTTOM LINE: Any trip is what you make it, know what makes you happy and don't settle for less, if you do, you know you will be dissapointed and you will never be able to overlook anything that isn't up to your standards. Star ratings are there for a reason pay attention to them.
We REALLY enjoyed this resort, enjoyed the people we met and had a great getaway for an amazing price point. This is a family resort, a resort for couples or singles.
We would go back which says it all!
- Also Known As:
- Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
- Paradise Beach Club
- Paradise Beach Resort & Casino
- Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Hotel
- Paradise Beach Club Puerto Plata
- Paradise Beach Resort
- Paradise Beach Resort Casino
- Paradise Beach Puerto Plata
- Paradise Beach Club Casino
- Paradise Beach Club & Casino
- Reservation Options:
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