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“We loved the whole experience and would go back.” 4 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 #5 of 42 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Chesham, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“We loved the whole experience and would go back.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2011

I saw this hotel in virtual view on their website so I knew what most of it looked like. What it didn't show you was how friendly all the staff are. We arrived at the Gran Ventana at 6 pm on Sunday night. We were met with a welcome drink. Check in was fast. You leave your luggage for the porters to bring to your room. Average price per bag is $1. Talking of $$, you must pay in $$ to enter the country, they will not accept ££. $10 each to get in, $20 or 800 local currency to get out. The room was very clean and a good size. The mini bar in the room is stocked with 2 beers, 1 bottle coke, 1 bottle of 7up and a large bottle of water. It's all you need when you will be doing all your drinking elsewhere. There are two poolside bars open and another bar opens up at 4pm so there is no queuing for your drinks. Sun beds are of really good quality and plentiful, umbrellas are of equal quality. If your an early bird like me, ( 7 am by the pool) there is a tea/coffee trolley available. The restaurant is excellent.. At weekends a lot of locals come in.Try and avoid being there weekend of 13th August, it is their Bank Holiday. There must of been hundreds of them. They can be very rude, pushing in in the restaurant, taking over the bar/pool etc. . But that is only at weekends. Knowing this, we booked our first excursion on the first Saturday, so we missed most of it. The entertainment team worked very hard keeping everyone entertained. The 3 A la cart restaurants were very very good. Service is excellent, I felt really guilty leaving without leaving a tip. There is nothing to do outside the Hotel except avoiding the timeshare sharks. The shopping mall is no different, it can be quite intimidating so we never ventured out again. We did get caught up in Tropical storm Emily and it did rain whilst we were there but it was still warm and most of the time the temperature was in the 90's. The beds on the beach were part of the all inclusive but yet again you have to be aware of the beach sellers. A nice polite no is all you need. Also the snorkeling on the beach is also free. Megatrucks excursion (Thomas Cook) is a must, as is Ocean world. I swam with and fed stingrays and swam with sharks, unknown to all those who did this we were part of the shark show. Ocean world is small but plenty to see and do. It was sad to leave the Gran Ventana. The only reason I gave the hotel very good and not excellent was the weekend takeover of the locals.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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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 (596)
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

We have just arrived back from a wonderful time at this hotel, I read all the reviews before I came and found them really useful so would like to write one myself in the hope to help others. This hotel has a lovely atmosphere, the people there on holiday and the staff were really friendly. It was our first time and the staff couldn't be more helpful, yes there were people who had been before, with gold wrist bands but they were as attentive to us, especially if you tipped a few dollars here and there! The hotel is spotless, I have never been anywhere where the staff clean so much. The rooms are fairly basic and there isn't a lot of storage but they were really well maintained. We changed rooms first day because I didn't want to face the pool as it could be noisy with the music playing, we asked for a quiet room that faced away from the pool, They did that straight away, it was really quiet so it depends what you like. All the resturants are good the al la carte are superb, especially the Italian. If you go the first morning they will book all three for the week for you and are well worth it. You can go to each once in a week and then again if you are there two weeks. The beach is superb, snorkling is a must, my one word of caution is the people pestering you to go on trips and have massages and pedicures, if you tell them the first day you have already booked with the rep, even if you haven't they stop pestering you and leave you alone. They were no cheaper than booking direct with the hotel, in fact my pedicure in the hotel was cheaper.
My one big negative was the weekend pass when the hotel suddenly become like a 18-30's for twenty four hours! there were lots of complaints-if you book one of the resturants for that night and go on an excursion do it then! The area of Playa Dorada is very quiet not much going on it wouldn't be for you if you like to go out and about as the only way to really do it is through excursions.
Overall we had a great family holiday and would love to go back! If you love beaches and crystal waters and nice food and atmosphere in an all inclusive environment then this is the holiday for you.

Room Tip: ask for room not facing the pool if you like it quiet.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south yorkshire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

On the whole we had a reallygreat holiday. The staff were friendly, the food was brilliant in both quality & choice, the cleaners were amazing in keeping the rooms spotless, the groundstaff keep the gardens lovely & the A/C works really well. The thing that lets this Hotel down is the entertainment, it is dire unless you enjoy merenge music which seems to be played non stop, its the same old, same old night after night apart from a "comedy" show performed by the animation team one night & a Michael Jackson tribute another oh & a truly awful dance show they were the only changes during our fourteen night stay. During the day certain members of the animation team worked really hard at skiving off, (you know who you are fellas LOL) whilst others like Donkey worked really hard at trying to keep people amused but most of the volleyball games, aerobics were organized by other holiday makers My partner & I spent most of our time trying to escape the merenge music at the quiet poolbar or going into the shopping center to try some of the bars there of an evening or believe it or not watching some tv while using the very handy room drinks supply.
We were also unable to use the pool for agreat deal of our stay ( we wern`t too worried as the beach is only a few steps away) as it was being refurbished something thomas cook didnt tell us would be happening when we booked although they are aware of this as its done at the same time every year just before Christmas.
If we could have had the animation team that were at the fun royal/tropical in 2006 with Mr Antonys cabaret /dance shows it would have been just about perfect.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room away from the bar/stage area
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
East Kilbride, Scotland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

We stayed there 9th to 24th July 11

Overview
Check in was busy as there were 85 people from our flight checking in. It went well.
We had asked for the quiet pool area, but the accomodation was closed due to the resort being quiet. The pool area, bar and Italiian Restaurant were still open though.
The resort location is great , private beach is the best in relation to the surrounding hotels. It seems that the hotel got the best location when built. As such there are more recently built hotels along the beach.
Everything about the hotel was great but it is in need of some cosmetic upgrading in the rooms and the resort in general just to keep up with the newer hotels that have come on the scene recently. Please do not take this as a big negative, it is not. It is just what we would do in our own houses.

Rooms
We booked two rooms and got them together. Ground floor. I would agree with previous posts that storage would be tight if 3 or 4 were in a room. Our TV was faulty and replaced right away.
Maid service was great. Daily change of linen & towels.The room fridge was topped up every day if required. 1 lge btl of water, 2 beers, 1 btl coke & 1 btl of sprite. We asked reception to change our soft drinks to diet/lite and it was done that day.
We were also with another family of 3 and hired 1 safe that covered us all.
Food
We used the buffet for breakfast/ lunch and evening meals. No problems whatsoever. The dining areas, 3 sections are under cover but open sided. Netting is around to limit birds flying in. A very few times were flies on the chilled sweets. What do you expect, the same would happen at home if you left a cheesecake in the open or we cooking a barbeque. Just ask/ mention to staff and it will be removed. To those who just want a moan... get a life.
We also used the three al a carte areas. Favourite was Octopus 3 times, Italian 3 times and ocean Grill 1 time. The Ocean was fine just no breeze that night coming off the beach and it was very hot.
I cannot understand that anyone could find nothing to satisfy an appetite at any dining time at this Resort.
Staff
Just like to commend ALL the staff in all areas.This is the biggest asset of the Resort. From Maids , Bar Staff, Restaurant Staff, Reception. A special mention must go to FRANCO who works at the pool bar.
I have always found that if you are polite to others you tend to get the same back. If you feel something is not right. Talking with people and not to them in the first instance also gets a much better response.
Trips
1. We went to Ocean world. A mix of Dolphin experience and swim with sharks. A good value day
2. Megatrucks tour. Fantastic day. Do the horse riding. A good mix and not too intense.We were well looked after. Part of this tour will take you to see the poorer side to Dom Rep life.We bought some colouring books and pencils from UK to give to the kids. We also emptied our fridge every day and handed to the kids our btls of Sprite and coke we had not used. We also saved our comp shampoos ect from the hotel bathroom. Never saw kids smile and seem pleased to receive gifts.
3. Fun city. Great afternoon.Take leaflet from stand near reception.Reception will call them.You get rtn taxi btl juice and pkt crisps incl in the price. It is just 6 mins tops from the resort. I t is a Go-Kart park with circuits to suit all ages. A $2 tip will get you the fastest speed rating.
Thomas Cook
Not an issue all went without a hitch.A special mention must go to Helen our Tom Cook resort Rep. THANKS
We all thouroughly enjoyed our stay at GV and thought it was good value for the money.

Hope this assists others. If more info wanted just PM me

Ronald
PS Hope the Carntyne Cartel are all doin fine

Room Tip: It is possible to request rooms with kingsize beds
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

Just back from 2 weeks in the Gran Ventana and had a wonderful time.

Travelled with Thompson's for the first time as normally use thomas cook. Thompson plane was fine room wise however the flight out and home was freezing cold so be advised to wear warm clothes.

Airport transfer - good 15 minutes.

Check in - Smooth with a welcome drink, room was not ready to after 3pm (knew this would be the case so no problem) so had a walk round complex and first impressions were good.

Room - Requested a high floor when we booked and we got this no problem, we had no complaints with room at all but know a few people who had to have their room changed but this was not a problem.

Facilities
3 a la carte restaurants - All were very good but our favourite was the Octopus.
Buffet Restaurant - Food was lovely and staff very efficent.
Beach Bar - Nice and relaxing.
Quiet bar - Nice to go here for a few drinks each evening as you get chatting to a lot of different people. Romeria bar man was great and served super cocktails.
Pool/swim up bar - Pool was great and pool guy constantly cleaning. Swim up bar great met with other couples hear everyday for afternoon drinks.
Pool bar - met up with friends each evening so we could hear entertainment and have a bit of crack but not be stuck in the middle of it.
Lobby bar - Again very efficent staff but this was the bar bar we used the least.
Entertainment team - worked hard to get people envolved but again its up to you if you wish to join in or not.
Gym - Believe there was one - could not comment was on holiday, come on relax and have a few weeks off.
Staff - All wonderful people and consently smiling and work hard to please holiday makers. Also consently cleaning around all areas.

Met another couple from Northern Ireland Rosie & Jim, (yes these are their real names)and 2 couples from Scotland, Allison & Craig who had their 10 year old son Lewis with them, (so they said but when seen very little of him as he made so many friends) and Doreen (does a good impression of the bag pipes) and Alec and we spend many a good night (and afternoon) drinking cocktails with them all.

Trips
Cable cars - great experience and was lovely at the top, they have a statue like the one in Rio (only smaller) and we had really nice photos that our guide took.

Jungle safari - Brill gets you out to see round the place. Takes you up dirt tracks that are very bumpy and you get to see how some of the locals live, bring sweets for the children. We where taken to see them making coffee, chocolate & cigars. Also where shown the locals making statues etc out of stone. If possible buy something of these guys as this project provides for 200 families that live in this area. After leaving this area we went to the waterfalls. This was great, when you arrive you can hire water shoes for 2 dollars. You have a guide who walks you through a jugle path and streams and over bridges to you reach an area with a clear blue fresh water pool and beautiful waterfall. You can climb this and other waterfalls with the guides we didn't but just had a swim and waited on the other coming back. Walked back and them had lunch. Would recommend this trip.

There is other trips on offer also, but we only did the above two.

Plaza
2 minutes up the street, they do try and drag you into their shops but a polite no is survice. Found the shops that female employee's worked in much better as they gave you time to look round without following you and made me buy things from them.

Overall had a brillant holiday and would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

Stayed here first 2 weeks of August 2011 with my friend and her two 14yr old boys. Check in was really quick and easy even though we had to wait 30mins for one of our rooms to be ready (just got a drink at the bar and had a quick nosey round) The rooms were a good size with a large balcony, air con (can be a bit noisy in some rooms) and a safe in the wardrobe (charge applies but worth the peace of mind). Rooms are cleaned every day and the mini fridge restocked with water beer and pop ( no extra charge).

Our only complaint about the room was the noise from the local disco until 2.00am every night which could only be heard if your room is backing onto next doors property (we stayed in catalina block rooms 2146 & 2147) and not throughout the whole of the hotel. This was not a huge problem as the reception staff are more than happy to move you to a different room if you ask. This will only bother you if you have young children and want an early nite.

The hotel is fabulous with a large pool area with swim up bar (adults only) and pool bar. Its a very short walk to the beach (5 mins max) which has its own beach bar and snack bar (this becomes one of the a la carte restraunts in the evening). There are 2 other a la carte restraunts to choose from as well as the buffet restraunt. (We only used the buffet restraunt as we found there was plenty of choice and something different every night.)

The Animation team were absolutely fantastic. There was something happening all day every day including aqua aerobics, pool volley ball, beach volley ball, beach football, pool games, table tennis and darts tournaments, bingo, quizzes, dance classes, spanish lessons to name a few .....and thats just the day time. the evening entertainment ranged from professional dance acts and tribute shows to karaoke and audience participation competitions (a sense of humour is a must - hilarious at times).

The staff work constantly to keep the place clean from the pool and communal areas to the restraunts and rooms. I have never been anywhere where the staff are so friendly and accomodating.

We made some great friends with the staff ( Mikey, Donkey and Mini Me from the Animation team. Gonzales - the hot dog man from 10.30pm til 2.00 am and Freddy and Saloman from the buffet (smoking section) We found that we got good service from the staff just by being friendly and polite. it's easy to say Hola (hello), por favor (please) and Gracias (thankyou). They will have you speaking a little spanish by the end of the week if you show an interest and think its great that you try. Tipping is not a must but is greatly appreciated if you wish to do so.

Go to the welcome meeting if you want to book trips. They are reasonably priced and you know you are safe with the companys they use. I would highly recommend the horse riding at Rancho Lorimar ( we went twice) and Paradise Island is great for the snorkeling.

All in all a great holiday and will deffinately go back.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

we were there from august 4 to august 11 , it was our fifth time in dominican republic but our first time at this hotel with our kids. The hotel is nice, room a little bit old but very clean . The main difference with this hotel is the service!! Everybody is smilling, helping you right away !! My daughter is allergic to peanuts and nuts, when we arrived at the reception, they called the kitchen to verify the oil and when we arrived to the restaurant, i was introduced to the chief, he came around with us to tell us what was ok , how they work etc... It was superbe and my daughter didn't have any problems during the week!!
A la Carte Restaurants are good, specially the italian but still, the best about those restaurants is the service !!!
Food is ok but they don't know how to cook meat... but still you can find all the time something good.
It's the paradise for snorkling just in front of the hotel!!! a lot of different fishes!!!
In Puerto plata it's one of the best hotel!! I would go back without hesitation!!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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

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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 506
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Also Known As:
Gran Ventana Beach Hotel
Gran Ventana Dominican Republic
Gran Ventana Puerto Plata
Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach
Grand Ventana Beach Resort
Gran Ventana Hotel Dominican Republic

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