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“Our first all inclusive trip” 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
Bowmanville, Canada
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Our first all inclusive trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Since this was our first trip out of Canada we did not fully know what to expect. We had heard lots of stories and read a few reviews on trip advisor but the pictures don't tell the whole story. Getting through customs was a new experience for us as well as our first ride on a big jet. The ride to the hotel was quite an experience in itself but pleasant nevertheless. Checking in was a very slow process that could have been better with more staff. It is not like they didn't know when we were coming or how many. The rooms were nice and clean. The beds and the pillows were firm. The staff were great everywhere we went. There was a great variety of food but at times it was lacking flavour. I guess they leave out the salt and spices for a reason. With the pool closing at seven every night it gave little chance to cool down after or activity for children but without lighting or life guards it would be too risky where alcohol is free. Although there was nightly entertainment of sorts it started to late in my opinion. I enjoyed the Karaoke but once again with so many singers and starting at 9:30 not much chance for a good rotation. By the time we get wound up it is over. The magic act was great but with a late start many children would have missed it. The fact that it gets dark earlier should be considered when programming there entertainment. The beach was super clean compared to the resorts around us but the pedlars were annoying to say the least. This is of course no fault of the resort and the security was good in that respect. Every one of the staff including the grounds crew kept busy in spite of the heat and did not stop for the rain. I was impressed by the bartenders and chefs and all staff in general. The front office staff however could be more helpful I think with breaking down bigger bills. The banks at the mall are pathetic so unless you go there with ones and fives you are stuck with far too many pesos to keep track off or get stuck with. Although tipping is not required it is fully expected and appreciated but strangely not in pesos. lol Although the money thing is not a direct reflection on the hotel it is a customer service advice. Maybe trip advisor can advise travellers to take smaller bills. The excursions have no reflection on the resort either so I would only say they are grossly misleading as advertised with many truths omitted although educational and informative. The excursions were costly enough without the high pressure sales pitches along the way tugging at our hearts and wallets. I will go back for sure but will happily stay on the resort. All inclusive with no hidden extras.

Room Tip: I was told to avoid the pool side because of noise but not from the pool itself but the nightly ente...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
JBohmann, Public Relations Manager at VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Thank you for staying at the Gran Ventana Resort. We are delighted to read that overall you enjoyed your stay with our hotel, especially as your international trip! We will share your kind comments with the staff, and we will pass along your feedback to our team. Your comments are valuable to us so that we can continue to improve our service. We look forward to welcoming you back on a future visit.
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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 (525)
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We decided to try this hotel, since it's a partner of the 5 star Casa Colonial non-all inclusive hotel nearby, which we loved. VH, however, was a huge disappointment.
~Rooms are really outdated and beds were so hard, we had to ask for an extra cushion comforter just to bear it. Shower didn't work well, low pressure.
~Food - buffet was super limited, especially if you don't eat junk food all the time. We do not eat meat, so we had almost nothing to eat. We complained and the kitchen chef was nice enough to modify some dishes for us and provide more veggie options thereafter. Octopus restaurant had delicious seafood entries, however, hotel has a ridiculous rule that you can't go two nights in a row there. It would be ok if the other two restaurants were open, but they were not. We had to go talk to management again to get a seat. They only let you RSVP in person at the buffet every morning and by 9AM all seats were taken.
~Drinks - yucky slushy drinks and cheap liquor. Only thing that was ok was local President beer.
~Service - when we complained about food and rooms, buffet and restaurant's lack of open seats, they tried to accommodate us, but a guest should not have to do that to get proper service.
~Beach - lounge chair typical woven plastic, not very comfy, beach has some stony and seaweed parts right in front of this hotel, so you may need to walk to the sides beaches.

Overall, we will not return to this property unless they drastically make over their rooms, food and drinks. We stayed at Barcelo next door last year and for a similar cost in their VIP rooms, got much better rooms and a much better buffet selection.

Room Tip: Stay away from pool facing rooms. This hotel's entertainment is near it and is super loud and ru...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
JBohmann, Public Relations Manager at VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Thank you for posting your comments about your recent stay. We are so sorry to hear that you did not thoroughly enjoy your recent visit to Gran Ventana. Our sister hotel, Casa Colonial, is a luxury vacation experience, whereas our goal is to offer an affordable vacation for a fun family holiday. The once per week of stay rule in the a la carte restaurants is something that was established many years ago as a way to help us service all of our guests clients. We do our best to inform visitors what our resort is all about on our website, but we do apologize that we did not meet your expectations.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

My boyfriend and I wanted a American Thanksgiving getaway and picked Puerta Plata as our destination. Originally booked Be Live hotel, but changed last minute due to the reviews. Hotel was very clean and well kept and staffed. The location is really great, located within a hotel/ condo complex area with a common mall in the middle as well as PizzaHut. We did several trips and was close distance to the center of town (unlike the Rio which is in the middle of nowhere). Beach was well kept with workers cleaning it every morning. Drinks were good, brought our own Bubba Kegs and never had a problem. Negatives: Since we went in November, they only had one restaurant open a night so if you didn't book 4 days in advance you were stuck with the buffet which was not so awesome and lacked variety. Thank goodness for the Pizza Hut down the road. Unfortunately, the beach was ok, if you walked down to the right you would think the ocean was a landfill with tons of trashed washed up and several hotels that lacked upkeep. I've been to Punta Cana and I am used to the beach sellers but Puerta Plata were obnoxious. Every 5 minutes someone would try and sell you everything from jewelry to adventure trips. They even set up seats right next to the entrance to the beach so you had to pass by them. We often did the pool for some peace and quite and walked to the flee market down the beach for our shopping. Nightly entertaining was AWEFUL. Both my boyfriend and I in our 20's and found lots of other guest around the same age and all had similar feelings. They often did Mr. and Mrs Gran Ventana which was degrading and just cheap. Day entertainment was also very stale and did the same thing everyday, bingo, pool volleyball and pool tournament/ ping pong tournament. We had mostly cloudy weather and the entertainment crew did not help guests not want to simply run back to their rooms. Overall, save your money and go with the Iberostar, thought by picking the #3 rated hotel was good enough but would have spent the extra money after all.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the suite, they don't tell you that the suites are the only rooms that have a decent...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Scarborough, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

i have just got back from here, and oh my god it is such an amazing place! i can not understand why people are complaining about it, its lovely! all the staff are amazing and very very hard working! the entertainment staff are excellent, they defo make your holiday!! Even the vendors on the beach were friendly, yeah they ask you to buy things, but thats there job! Thats how they make a living, get money to look after there families, youve just gotta understand there life and where they are coming from! all in all everything was perfect, and i am proud to say i will be returning with my mum next year in November and this time were going for 3weeks instead of 2, this is because we enjoyed it that much! i defo reccomend this hotel!
Thinking about visiting the Dominican? GRAN VENTANA is your answer! You will not be let down! :)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Miller Place, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I went by myself to Puerto Plata and stayed at the VH Gran Ventana. The hotel was not fancy but your typical carribean resort. The staff was very friendly. Beware that everything in the hotel is an x-tra charge. Internet service was only avail in the lobby for a fee of $6US/hr. Do not forget to bring anything either because there was a small selection in their gift shop. The buffet was extensive but for the small selections avail it was good. The bar had limited drink selections and you really couldn't request a drink. There was a nice band that played over the weekends..a mix of spanish and english music. The beach was clean but the vendors will drive you insane!

Room Tip: If you like action, get a room pool-side view because every room has a balcony.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
JBohmann, Public Relations Manager at VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Thank you for posting your comments about your recent stay. We are delighted to read that overall you enjoyed your stay with our hotel. Thank you so much for your kind words about our staff. We are sorry to hear you were bothered on the beach. We did want to let you know that as of December 1st, the resort WiFi is now free of charge! Your comments are valuable to us so that we can continue to improve our service. We do hope to welcome you back in the near future.
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Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I will say this... I went to the Gran Ventana with high expectations. It sat so high on the list of Hotels for Puerto Plata, that I thought for sure it would be awesome.

The reception was good. Welcomed with some nice fruty drinks and the staff was top notch in receiving us. They put me and the people I went with in different ends of the hotel and would not accommodate us as we wanted without one of us sacrificing our king bed suite. So we were far apart. As I walk in my room, the first thing I see is a TV from the 80's sitting on the desk that looked horrific, i rarely watch TV and when I checked out they apologized for it, they say it should have not been there. No coffee maker and no iron in the room either, HUGE NO NO, in my book.

The food the first day was bland and nothing to cry home about it, the worst part was the selection, which was very limited every night of the week. The service was good but it was clear they did not have enough staff for the demand, but the staff they did have worked VERY hard to please us. The food did get better in the buffet restaurant, BUT the selections were still very limiting.

The beach was nice and big, but the vendors get to you after a while. Just too many of them and I understand they are just making a living, but I wished it was a private beach towards the end of my stay.

The rooms and grounds were impeccable. The hotel does work very hard to have a very clean environment and everything seemed to always be pristine.

The A La Carte restaurants were phenomenon.

The whole thing about the locals and the weekends I did not see. I did speak to the hotel staff and they kept mentioning that was not the case any weekend. It was not the case the weekend I was there.

Lastly, no nightclub or after hours entertainment. Big NO NO as well. If you wanted after hours you had to go outside the resort. After 1130PM, they have a cart with sandwiches, hot dogs and limited drink options and nothing else.

Room Tip: The A La Carte is the way to go. The buffet has limited options.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarborough, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

My daughter and I stayed here for 2 wks 11th-25th Nov 2012 first impressions lovely.The next day we took a 5min walk to the plaza shopping mal and was approached by many sleezes that dont take no for an answer this was very off putting.We headed back to the hotel and didnt go out for 3 days we felt like we were in jail.On the plus side the food was good no one starved the staff were very friendly and everywhere were spotless they were always cleaning.The entertainment was rubbish on a night that they brought in on a plus the entertainment team that are there was good the shows that they put on for us.The vendors on the beach were a pain at first but once they got to know you they left you alone.
We will be back next year as you couldnt wish for nicer peole in the hotel and i will be recommending this hotel

Room Tip: Our room was a standard twin and it was perfect
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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 2
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:
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach 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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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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