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“Nice but definitely not a 4.5 star” 3 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 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice but definitely not a 4.5 star”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Made the mistake of expecting a 4/5 star resort so depending on where you do your research, you may be surprised.
Food and restaurants were excellent. Lots of great variety and never felt like it was warmed over food when we dined in the main dining room. Three a la carte restaurants were great and provided a little more service.
The cleanliness of the rooms and resort overall is excellent. Never saw a bug anywhere! :)
Logistics are good - quick to pick up and get guests from airport to the hotel.
Rooms are rather small and disappointed there wasn't even a clock in the room. We were 4 persons and shared 12 hangers, 3 very small drawers and 1 shelf for our clothes - disappointing there aren't even hooks to hang night clothes in bathroom.
Beds are firm and pillows - you get 1 per person - are not great.
We booked a superior ocean view and received a lovely view of the utility road and listened to the churn of the fans and laundry equipment - not even remotely near the beach! When we asked about moving rooms we were told to come back in 2 days or pay an additional $58 per night.
Mini bar is re-stocked daily but the bare minimum is provided. We were 2 adults and 2 children and were provided 2 water, 2 beer and 1 pop. We only ever used the water and requested more water (leaving a tip too.) On the days we asked, we got 4 water. On the days we didn't ask, the tip was taken but water remained rationed at 2.
The Fitness Club is nicely located but smells awful and equipment pre-dates the caveman so don't go expecting a nice workout.
Needless to say, I won't be booking this resort again and will doublecheck the star rating before I reserve my next vacation.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 (785)
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English first
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

First week of December we went down to GV for our wedding. There was 31 in our group and for most of us it was our first time at an all inc. Before going into details, we chose this resort based on affordability and its rating. I'm going to be honest some reviews on here had me a little worried but as soon as we arrived all worries went out the door. If your looking for luxury, this resort is not for you. If your looking for quality time with family, comfort and hospitality then I highly recommend GV.

The resort itself is very well maintained. The grounds are just lovely! Yes it is a little dated but it wasn't a big deal for us. Not a very big resort, it was a decent size. The playa dorada plaza is literally outside of the resort. Takes 2 minutes to get there. Lots of gift shops. Some great bargains some not so much. Make sure to check out these shops first before buying from the vendors!

Rooms: since we were getting married we got an automatic upgrade to a jr. Suite. Really spacious room with a nice sitting area. Our fridge was stocked daily as well as towels. I don't even remember if the beds were comfortable because we'd be so busy during the day when it was time for bed we were too exhausted to even give it a thought. House keeper always left us towel swans it was a nice touch and we always left something for her too!

Food: They have one buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner. Food was Good, but to me, a little repetitive at times. The 3 a la cartes are a must! My favourite was the Octupus rest! Book the a la cartes early as they fill up quickly. During the afternoon they have the snack bar by the beach which is also the ocean grill at night. Loved the chicken wings and nachos!! And in the late evening 11-2 they had a hotdog/sandwich cart. Also had coffee and rum!

Pool/Beach: The main pool is a good size. Has a volleyball net and pool bar attached to it. Great for kids. We travelled with 5 children and spent most of our time in the pool as the beach water was too salty for them. every morning and every night the pool was cleaned. The beach is also very nice. Well kept, plenty of beach chairs to go around. Vendors are Everywhere on that beach. But a simple no thank you will have them on their way. The ones that approached us were nice and as the days went on they no longer came up as they knew we weren't interested in buying anything.

Drinks: No one in our group was fussy when it came to the drinks. The men enjoyed it the most. If your a wine drinker, i suggest you wait until you go to one of the a la cartes. The wine served at the bars is not the greatest..If your gonna spend most of your time in the lobby bar, see ANTONIO!!! Such a great character! Super friendly and offered fast, great service! & ask for the Antonio especial! Tasty, but killer!

Service: This is probably the one reason that'll have us coming back to this resort. The service was great! From the servers to the entertainers to the front desk. The only time we had to wait was during dinner at the Octopus. It took them awhile to bring out our main dishes but apart from that service was superb! JESUS was usually our server during dinner and at the late night snack cart. He is the nicest guy! Anything we needed he'd get for us right away! MICKEY on the animation team was a blast. Such a funny guy. Everyone got a long with him and he can dance! Front desk was always helpful and attentive.

Entertainment/Night life: Evening entertainment could be better I suppose, but when you go with a big group they are all the entertainment you need! Animation team really do try and they are good at what they do. They have something for children and adults which was nice. The night before our wedding we headed down to Coco Bongos. It was a little slow because it was a Tuesday but we partied like it was packed! Good music, nice people.

Wedding: Just Beautiful. We had our wedding on the beach and we were blessed with beautiful weather during the ceremony. Danilsa guest services manager was just amazing. She made sure everything we wanted/needed we had. She was so accommodating I can't thank her enough for all her help! The reception took place on the terrace across from the Octopus rest. It was beautiful. It overlooked the main pool and everything! We had the terrace all to ourselves. Service was great, food was delicious. Could not have asked for a more perfect wedding day!

All in all we had an amazing trip! I think people need to be a little more open minded and give this resort a chance. It really is great for the price you pay. If anyone has any other questions I'd be more than happy to answer them! Oh and If you have time to go on an excursion Paradise Island is a must!!!! We went with the VIP package on the yacht. It wasn't cheap but very worth it!!!! Spectacular views, great service and great snorkelling. Go see Super Julio from Hola Tours :)!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

I went here on my first ever holiday abroad and it's safe to say I loved it. I went with my boyfriend who has been every year for 11 years. The staff are lovely, the hotel manager sension, Maria in the beach restauraunt and many many more, alfonso the jet skii organiser, pedro(beach vendor) Tyson(no longer works there but visits us when we go) etc etc, just like family literally, they welcomed me with open arms when visiting here with my other half and his family! The food was brilliant so much choice! I was ALWAYS full :) my favourite been the octopus!! we always spent our days on the beach which is beautiful! And then a cool down In the pool before Going to gwt ready for our meal. One of the days we hired some motorbike out of the resort and alfonso took us to his home town and many other places which was an excellent day trip. Also for people who return to the hotel more than once are invited to a party every week where a prize of dolphin encounter at the ocean world is awarded to one of the people who are there which I must say we won (once when I went) and again when we didn't go( my brother in law won it). The rooms are very big and clean(my mother in law tells me they have now been refurb since my last stay) they now have flat screen TVs and decor is all white now. And for those saying that they only have rooms with 2 double beds and i can assure you there are rooms with queen size beds as we had one! I don't understand anyone who slates this hotel as I, my fiancee( he proposed at this hotel on the beach), my mother and father in law and brother in law all love it. They must do to return 11 times(12 this year). I simply cannot wait to go back this year 235 days to go!!!!!! :D

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Mixed feelings!
We booked for two weeks including over Christmas and New Year’s. We have travelled to many all inclusives including Cuba and Mexico and I read many of the reviews before booking.
Hotel-It was clean and nicely laid out unless you were by the quiet bar. Then you had to walk a distance to even get to the beach or the restaurants.
Room-My room was in the Catalina area (which I requested from reading the reviews) and asked for room 2213. The room was nice, clean and overlooked the beach and beach bar. There was no adjoining balcony so that was very nice.
Food-Ok, they say Cuba food is bad…... This hotel was so disappointing when it comes to food. I know it was filled to capacity for the holiday but the food was always the same except for the last three days when the hotel emptied out. Then it was not bad. The Ocean View restaurant was amazing and if you do go, spend the extra on the romantic dinner on the beach! Make sure you book it on a day that the Ocean View is closed. Very Romantic! Most places I visit, you can get food 24 hours someplace but not here, Lots of times during the day that you can’t get something to eat.
Entertainment-The same thing all the time! No entertainment at the beach at all as there were at some of the other hotels. The pool entertainment was the same thing day after day and got to the point where we had to go out of the hotel because we couldn’t bare it anymore. The Christmas Gala very disappointing! The New Year’s Eve was much better. Nice Fireworks, good entertainment. Lots of nights the entertainment was done by 10 PM.
Beaches-Our beach was probably the best along the hotel zone. Ours was clean but there was a lot of seaweed. As you walk down the beach, I was shocked at the garbage on the beaches. You don’t see this in Cuba or in Mexico were we go.
Staff-Mostly friendly as you get to know them. Jackie at the Quiet Bar is funny and entertaining all herself. Make a point to visit her. It is worth the walk.
Pool-Was nice and kept very clean.
Bars-Everything shuts down at midnight and they have one fellow pouring beer from a little stand that it takes forever to get served.
SMOKING-OK, I know this is a no-no in this day in age but both my husband and I are smokers. We booked a smoking room and got to the hotel only to learn that all of the rooms are non-smoking. I was not happy about that. Heard many of the smoking guests say that they wouldn’t have booked at this hotel had they known this. Neither would I have!
I wouldn't go back to this hotel or to Dominician....I will head back to Cuba.

Room Tip: Room 2213 is great location
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I have seldom read so many conflicting reviews for one property which leads me to set a baseline so that you the reader may have something in your life as a comparative. My only other all inclusive experience was a five star on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico (Excellence Riviera) which was wonderful. The Gran Ventana hotel is a four star property and the difference between four and five star is huge or perhaps it's just this hotel. I was part of a large group of 24 people and from our discussions my experience was not an isolated one. This hotel offers great pool areas and the beach is well maintained and as part of a large group we made our own fun and had a great time. I don’t really get the need for resorts to offer entertainment so I can’t comment on it only to say that Karaoke was the best attended of the week, except the New Year’s eve celebration.
The rooms are very basic with double beds only, minimal towels and terrible room amenities. The bar fridge is stocked with exactly two waters, two beers and two pop which are refreshed daily. The hotel would not give me more (2) bottled water when I asked since we were going on a day excursion and I wanted water for the trip. A veteran "all inclusiver" told me he would daily put a couple of bucks in his fridge and they would load it up with extras of everything. The hotel claims to have king size beds in their standard rooms but no one in our group had one and when any of us asked to change to a standard room with a King size bed (Queen didn't seem to exist) the front desk told us this was not an option. The location of your room will also dictate whether you sleep or not. The "quite pool" rooms are hit and miss. If you are unfortunately located on the peripheral wall next to "Roadway" night club you will literally feel the beat of the night as the non-stop dance music throbs until 5:00 am. One member of our group resorted to bringing in all the pillows and sheets from the bed and slept on the bathroom floor. She suffered through three nights until they finally were able to move her to an ocean view room. We ourselves moved rooms since we were originally located next to the entertainment area which had music until 12:00pm nightly. The question is why book these rooms at all if they know there will be a problem. One bellman's only job each morning was to move guests to other rooms.

Unfortunately the disappointments only started in the rooms and continued to the bar. First let me say the bar staff are very friendly and I believe are doing the best they can. However you will only receive service at the bar. There is no pool side or beach bar service of any kind. Perhaps this is one of the differences between four and five star. There is a bar drinks menu of typical tropical drinks. I don't know why they have a menu since they mix every drink with either a white sugary syrup slushy mix or an eerily similar pink sugary syrupy slushy mix thus ensuring each and every drink tastes the same. The menu had fruit inspired names which included bananas, pineapple, papaya and yet there in not a single piece of this fruit to be found at the bar. Efforts to get a mojito were daily met with disappointment. Without exception the bar ran out of mint by early or mid afternoon every day. - I am convinced they have a fresh ingredient quota since this is not the only item they would run out of at the bar or restaurants. Which leads me to the food- the less said the better. I can sum it up with one example. One of the largest food crops grown in the Dominican Republic is oranges- the hotel served Tang.

Room Tip: Quite pool rooms not on the "Roadway Club" side. Junior suites have king size beds but it...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
new york
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My family and I really enjoyed the resort.
people are very respectful strive to give good service,
the food is very good, the beaches are beautiful the rooms are large and comfortable definitely recommend it.
some people never happy with anything maybe looking for a resort of 10 stars for the prices of 4 very funny , maybe on the moon but to my very nice

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

A great hotel with great premium quality food, great beach, great excursions, great location(1min from golf and shopping), great pools and facilities. For a 4 star this is an amazing buy and is great value, it is a place where you'll enjoy paradise thoroughly. The staff was nice and the area is splendide. Great place for a simple, relaxing, comfortable, sunny, warm and enjoyable vacation for all! The only down point was the entertainment which was simple and ok, but still friendly and pleasant.

Room Tip: The best rooms are close to the beach on the pool side. Be sure you have a room located in the main...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 4 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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 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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