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“It's the best” 5 of 5 stars
Review of VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 43 hotels in Puerto Plata
orangeville, ontario
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“It's the best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

We have just returned from 2 weeks at the Gran Ventana. It was our 4th time and we will be returning again in November for the 5th. As usual the food was good with lots of choice and I am a fussy eater. It seemed to be busier than when we were there last (November 2010) with a lot of Canadians from the east coast - very friendly people. We met some people from New York - Mish and his friends, Bernard and Ruth from Doncaster, Jason and Oola from Ireland and Jackie and Trevor from Stoke, U.K. They all were very happy with the resort, although the young guys from New York felt that the Gran Ventana was more of a family resort than a party place which is true. If you want to do any trips it is best to book with the guys on the beach in the white shirts as they are definitely cheapper than with the rep. Yes, I agree the beach vendors are rather persistent but a polite "no gracias" and they go away. If you want to buy anything then you can barter with them. I found that they were more persistent when we first arrived and after a few days they did not even bother.

Oh, and stay away from the guys that walk down the beach with the bright yellow shirts as they try to sell you the time shares at the Grand Paradise next door.

As far as the evening entertainment goes, you can't expect it to be like Las Vegas but we did enjoy the kareoke.

To sum it up, the Gran Ventana has a great beach (the best beach in the Playa Dorada) with a coral reef with good snorkelling, plenty of palapas, good food with a great buffet restaurant and three a la cartes. Everything is close, the rooms, the beach and the restaurants and very clean - they are always cleaning even the walk ways but most importantly, it is very affordable. Can't wait to go back in November.

Jan

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (470)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2011

Each year we travel south to vacation at a resort. Prior to choosing, we check out reviews quite extensively. This year, based on some reviews, we almost missed out on what is now one of our favourites, We had the pleasure of spending a week at the VH Grand Ventana, in Puerto Plata, from April 8, to April 15, 2011. As a seasoned traveller, I cannot understand where a lot of the negative reviews come from. What does it take to please these people? Maybe they are people who could not be pleased no matter where they go. If this is the case, I recommend they stay home and complain about that.
Enough said about that,
This is my assessment on this resort:
All aspects of this resort exceeded our expectations. Absolutely no complaints about the rooms, beds, check-in, restaurants, food, pools, beach, etc. The brightest aspect of this resort is it's staff. They did everything they could to accomodate us to the fullest extent.

Room Tip: Don't believe everything you read.
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  • Stayed April 2011, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristol
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2011

Beach
Luckily the beach and weather was superb, beach sellers persistent but friendly.
Evenings, unfortunately there is nothing worth walking to in the area, unless you want to visit the American casino every night (promoted a lot at the hotel). So after eating our meal, we would stroll to the shops and 40 minutes later back at hotel to suffer THE WORST ENTERTAINMENT EVER! unless you like watching adults on stage making paper aeroplanes and playing musical chairs. Entertainment team lovely people but need some serious training, their dancing reminded me of jnr school end of year performance, I know it’s very negative but for 2 weeks the nights were very boring.

Restaurants were very good and clean, unfortunately in the main restaurant getting second glass of wine was a struggle not a chance of a third glass. They need to have a wine station so people can get their own this would take pressure off the very busy waiters, we only tend to drink with the meal so weren’t interested in queuing at the main bar to get a drink that’s served in a plastic cup.

Positives
The staff and locals are very friendly
Rooms are good nothing wrong with beds
Book trips on beach cheaper than hotel and it’s the same trip. 7 waterfall trip was great, some people thought it was just looking at them, not suitable for young children or anyone one arm or shoulder problems.
Food is ok plenty of choice, a la carte very good and you can get more than 2 glasses of wine.
Beach is lovely and clean and if you walk towards orange market the beach gets lovelier.
Beach/pool beds, there are plenty
Reception and bell boys very helpful
Negatives
You need to tip bar staff and omelette maker to queue jump (very wrong)
We tip as a thank you not to queue jump

People were buying local alcohol and taking back to the hotel, says a lot for supply at the hotel
Not enough umbrellas
unfortunately there is a nation that visits the island that have taken over from the Germans putting towels on the beds, they will be there before the sun is up and all umbrellas booked  my partner went for a run each morning at six and said towels were already there, they are easy to spot, will always have drinking flask in their hands, even take them into the sea.
Too many people are allowed to go into the restaurant in the day with wet clothes on the only stipulation was you must have swim wear covered, nice wet seats  luckily we never experienced but saw a lot of people with wet shorts

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Nova Scotia, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2011

Mostly lived up to the good reviews. A la cartes very good: buffet was generally good. No bacon with breakfast on some days and the orange juice seemed to have Tang mixed in with some days.

Great friendly service. Beach sellers not too persistent.

Lots of repeat visitors, some having been there more than 10 times.

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2011

This was my forth time in the DR, and the best one. We traveled as a small family of 4 adults. I called a rep at Cheapcarribean.com prior to us leaving the US to contact the hotel on our behalf to reserve a room in the Catalina or Saona building, since I read in the reviews that the Beata building was too noisy at some sections due to its proximity to Congo Bongo/ Roadway, which are clubs directly outside of the hotel. I believe that rooms are renovated in the Beata building, although I am not sure, but I still preferred a less fancy place to sleep at night. Upon arrival, our request was accommodated. The receptionists were very courteous and fast with check-in, we had no problems. The premises of the hotel do leave some to be desired since it is an older hotel, but the rooms were clean and the cleaning ladies did come every day and put clean towels, etc. No running toilets or dripping facets, no issues. The atmosphere of the room is more of the 80's style and resembles a motel room, but for those few hours spent in there, it was perfectly fine. The remaining supportive staff was very kind and professional as well, at the restaurants, at the bars, and pretty much everywhere.
There are three restaurants, an Italian, a Grill on the beach and a Fish place, I forget their names. Reservations need to be made early and a day or two in advance, and you can only have 3 per week in total. The reservation desk is at the Beata building between 8-12 AM. It is worth it, the food is better at all three places than at the buffet. The buffet was OK, but nothing spectacular, that is why I rated the dining option only 4 palms.
Private transportation to the hotel via taxi hired at the airport is half the cost of prearranged transportation.
The entertainment staff works hard, although the shows can be perceived as being of a liberal taste if you know what I mean. The guys dress up as women with fake boobs, etc, but still funny. Every night the staff members ask the guests to dance with them for a song, which I think is nice. You can also mingle with them after their shift is over at Congo Bongo, where they play the usual American crazy music at maximum volume. The Roadway does play some local music. The casino is a bit off site, about 15 minutes walking, but you can take a taxi there, which was free one-way at the time we were there.
The beach is immaculate, as always in the DR. There are the usual vendors walking back-and-forth on the beach, but at least there are no timeshare vacation head-hunters at this hotel, which is a breather.... Other companies do catch you on the beach though if you stroll along in front of the other hotels. Beware of yellow and white shirts who look more sophisticated than someone just hanging out at the beach.
Overall, I would strongly recommend this hotel to others and I will personally return to the same hotel in November. The price paid was well worth the service received.

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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2011

For the price i payed cant go wrong. The food was ok a bit salty not much selection the beef was tough and dry. The three restaurants were really good. The beach was nice ,the rooms were ok, drains were getting cloged, my AC had no Tstat,the night entertainment was really bad, bar cosed at 12 am .The disco is out of the resort, and locals are allawed in.Olso too many vendors on the beach,every two minutes they come and bug you.But overall it was ok,depending on your standerds and price you pay.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Nova Scotia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

Just returned from a weeks vacation traveling with my boyfriend and other family members (age range from 22-65). Overall great vacation, clean rooms and plenty of drinks (the banana mamas and gazebos were our favourites).

Room- Make sure you put your key fob into the spot on the wall next to the light switch so that the lights in your room and AC will work. It mentions this in the pamphlets, but that's only helpful once you make it into the room and actually read it. The beds as mentioned are quite hard but I never had a problem with them unless I was laying in it for extended periods of time. A reminder that if you want new towels put them in your bathtub, or else the maid will just leave them for the next day. The room was always cleaned first thing in the morning, and was always spotless with little flowers for decorations. The maids were always washing the floors in the halls or the bathrooms of the main buildings.

Food- The buffet always had lots of selection. For breakfast you can get eggs or omelettes made however you want at the buffet. There was always a variety of fruit and breads available for all the meals. Food was a bit repetitive, but how many ways can you really cook chicken, beef, pork and fish. No one went hungry, we could always find at least a few things to eat. The ham and cheese fritters were good, as were the beef tips. The chicken and ham at the grill (on the left) at the buffet for dinner was very good. The beef tips or beef stew were offered most nights for dinner and were generally quite good.

The beach grill offered food in between lunch and dinner if you get hungry. The burgers and sandwiches were good, family members lived off of the chicken there. The grill typed restaurant was fairly good, not a whole lot different than the buffet.

Pool- We only spent time here in the late afternoon due to the fact that there was little wind and got quite hot. Around 4pm we usually could find lounge chairs available.

Beach- We had no problems finding chairs and shade under the huts (even for 8 people). The vendors walking around did get a little tiresome near the end of the day, you can only say "no gracias" so many times. If you are looking to buy things it is nice to be able to shop from your chair though. We bought things from Pedro (#71) and had many conversations with him about travel and his family. The snorkeling off of the beach was very nice. Lots of coral and a variety of brightly coloured fish.

We booked our excursions through Daniel on the beach (white polo shirt). He gave us a deal because we booked an ATV trip and catamaran trip to Sousa through him. The ATV trip was a blast. When we missed our bus transfer to the 4wheelers we found Daniel who quickly called the company and got another bus to come pick us up. They aren't great four wheelers (a bit old and worn) but they work over the especially rough terrain. We paid the $5 for bandanas to cover our faces with. I can't imagine not having them due to the constant dirt and smile on my face. The Catamaran trip to Sosua was nice, although the snorkeling wasn't that much better than off the resort. Unless you really like being on boats you can probably save your money and just snorkel on the beach.

Entertainment- I had read that the entertainment wasn't great but I was optimistic. Unfortunately the reviews were fairly correct. The night they had dancers was quite good. The audience participation ones were fairly amusing (completely dependent of course on who is up on stage), however the other nights we found ourselves falling asleep in our chairs before the show was even half over.

Fun City Go Karts- One of the most fun days we had! In the lobby there are pamphlets for this. If you bring these with you for $25 you can drive unlimited all day, get a pepsi (no substitutes), a bag of chips, souvenir picture and taxi transfer to and from. We spent 3 1/2 hours here. I never noticed any helmets anywhere but I didn't feel unsafe without them. I found the seats quite hard on my back but they have pillows you can use if you ask. Make sure to ask to go "rapido" or you may be left with everyone passing you while you mosey on. We left a little sunburned, pretty dirty and with big smiles.

My only complaint of the resort would be the smoking. We have become accustomed to no smoking in public places in Nova Scotia and found that we were surrounded by smokers quite often. There are ashtrays all over the place (as well as empty cups that could be used as ashtrays) so the cigarette butts all over the beach we found to be rude and unnecessary.

The staff were great! Check in was a breeze, bell boys brought our suitcases to our room within 30 minutes, security stood at the entrance to our building all day/night. Bartenders were quick and seemed to remember our drink order. The men at the front were helpful when needing to call cabs or if you looked like you needed advice or directions.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

Also Known As:
Gran Ventana
Gran Ventana Beach Hotel
Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Gran Ventana Dominican Republic
Gran Ventana Puerto Plata
Gran Ventana Hotel
Grand Ventana
Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach
Grand Ventana Beach Resort
Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#14 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 3.5*
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