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“A thousand or less? It's worth it.” 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
Halifax, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A thousand or less? It's worth it.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Our stay at the VH Ventana in Puerta Plata was very nice. The resort itself is dated and not as polished as the other places we have stayed on the Punta Cana side. This resort has more English speaking staff (excluding the chambermaids), the food was a bit predictable but was plentiful and the best food we have had in the DR.
We took notice of how accessible this resort is for those with mobility issues and those with strollers/carriages. There are ramps into all buildings, a reserved area of the beach where resort workers aid in the transport to and from beach to the boardwalk/ramp, they use a golf cart to charter folks who require a little support getting around the resort, one area of the pool is zero entry and the bath tubs are low rise, the resort workers are very attentive and willing to assist.
The animation team were busy day and night but were never overbearing or pushy, they would announce what they were going to do and wait for people to come to them, they did not pester or pull at us to get us to get involved. The night-time entertainment was amateur (except for the magician...he was awesome!), time was made prior to each evening event for the children to dance with the animation team and they did not seem to mind that the children attended the evening shows and they were allowed to go up and stage and dance for a bit once the show was over. We did not hear any noise once back in our room other then the rain and coconuts hitting the ground during the rain (one and a half days).
The vendors on the beach were numerous! They would be overlapping each other, at any given time you could see 4 -7 in and 200 foot span. All it took was a wave of your hand to let them know you are not interested it was a bit of a deterrent to just chill on the beach, we ended up going down, going swimming and leaving to go sit around the pool.
The power went out several times a day, it would come directly back on but take a flashlight just in case.
The air conditioning required resetting (by us) several times a night, it seems to be preset for 22 with a med fan speed, so we would turn it down to 16 and set the fan on high, and before long it seemed to be back at the prior settings...maybe when the power would flick?!
This has been the friendliest resort yet! The fellow visitors (England, Sweden, Italy and Canada) and some of the staff were personable, interesting folks who we are glad to have met.
Check in was a breeze as was leaving.
You get extra beer in your fridge if you leave a few bucks in it in the morning before your room is made up.
The mountains are beautiful, they do offer excursions to the mountains (as well as other places), we did not partake.
We walked to the shopping center within the gated complex (took minutes) to get our souvenirs for those back home. Many of the shops are closed but there is enough to get a good variety without being pressured to by the store clerks. The disco Coco Bongo is in this center, as is a small pub.
As per usual the drive to and from the resort is generally entertaining.
We seen some neat wildlife, land crabs, anoles, and different birds and had a wonderfully relaxing time at the VH Ventana.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Catalina building, left wing, ground floor, 3/4 the way down and had no concerns...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 7
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, February 6, 2013
Thank you for writing such a terrific and detailed review! You really captured the essence of a Gran Ventana vacation, and the type of experience guests can have here – such great tips! We will certainly share your kind comments with the staff. We are glad you have a nice visit and look forward to welcoming you back on a future trip.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,984 reviews from our community

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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 (754)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

My Wife and I just got back from our 4th Dominican All Inclusive vacation. Gran Ventana, is one of the best of the four resorts we have visited so far (the only one at par would be the Iberostar - however, the Gran Ventana had a much better beach !). The food at the A La Carte's was great (especially the seafood). The staff were friendly and the resort very well kept. The lobbby was great (with free wifi and a great place to hang - especially when it rained). Only areas for improvement would be the entertainment and the daily activities... Other than that, as long as the weather complies, you will have a fabulous time.

Room Tip: If you want to be "near the action" - ask for a room in the main plaza - they have a side...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Brampton, Canada
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

My husband and I had a nice relaxing trip LOTS OF R & R and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS RESORT WOULD GO BACK AGAIN. When I read some reviews from others its like "SERIOUSLY" DON'T BOTHER TRAVELLING THEN.
The service and staff was awesome and the resort was clean and well maintained. There was a variety of food to select from at the buffet and different everyday and the 'smoothie bar' was my favorite every morning. The LA CARTE restaurants were all very good and our favorite was the italian restaurant. The beach was beautiful and we could walk out to our waists to the beautiful blue water to coral reefs and see the colorful fish. the walks along the beach everyday were beautiful. YES of course you have the vendors approaching you, but they need to make a living too! Our Travel Rep. 'Jennifer' was very helpful and pleasant and we booked two excursions with her. My husband booked the deep sea fishing, waste of money do some research and find another company to take you. I booked the spa day at the 'Jasmine Spa' it was about 40 minutes from the resort and let me say it was the most beautiful experience I have had.
The entertainment wasn't the best but that really isn't important to us when we go travel. We met alot of great people from around the world and would definitely stay at this resort again.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

My husband (30) and I. (25) wanted a romantic and relaxing getaway so we visited the Ventana at the end of January, 2013. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation and we WOULD go back! It was a great spot for young couples and young families.
To be honest, it wasn't all great... But, nothing could come close to ruining our time there.
We didn't know they had a separate hotel across the parking lot far away from all the action, and that's where they put us. It has a "quiet pool" and "quiet bar" ... But, walking through the parking lot to and from the beach, pools and bars (especially at night) was not my thing. We spent one night there and asked to move the next day. In our new room we had two double beds, a flat screen (10 English channels) and a great look out at the main pool.
The service was GREAT - staff go above and beyond and deserve tips, although they don't ask for them.
The food was amazing. For this reason I'd go back again. Coming from a picky eater, I was so impressed with their meals and always found something I liked. Still, I brought lots of snacks from home for the evenings and I'm glad I did, as there is no 24 hour snack bar.
The beach... Oh the beach... My heart is still there. It was beautiful. In just a few feet you were up to your waist in turquoise blue water with nothing but sand at your feet. I was in heaven. We walked the beach often and enjoyed stopping to swim along the way. BIG THUMBS DOWN to the vendors that literally come in waves and don't leave you alone. You must learn quickly to ignore and say NO before they get too comfy blocking your sun.
The resort overall, it's clean and cozy but a bit dated. It's not polished like a 5 star in say, Mexico. It's small, so you see the same travelers and staff all the time. You won't get lost and you would have no problem walking around on your own. There is a lingering smell of cigarette smoke in the lobby because it's open concept with breeze coming through. The beds aren't comfy, and knowing that I packed our own duvet and pillow cases for added comfort. (Call me crazy!) There were several power outages the week we were there, which was odd, and they do not keep a well stocked mini bar in your room. Two beers at most, max. Also, they say massage is available but you have to go to another resort for a good quality, very expensive massage. Also, NO irons in room.
Entertainment was for the most part kind of silly. We watched a few nights but kept to ourselves and enjoyed sitting at the bars and relaxing in the lobby.

Despite the few downfalls, we had a great time and we'd go back!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

First let me say that I am a former hotel and food and beverage executive from Atlantic City. I am writing this review honestly. Gran Ventana is a decent clean place with good food. It is not a 4 Star in the USA nor is it a 4 Star if you were in Punta Cana. It is a 3 Star but could really with a bit of effort become a 4 Star. The potential is there and the basics are good.
PROS...Food was generally very good with nice quality and presentation. Buffet needs to add variety to all three meals. I read reviews that it never changed and thought that it was probably typical for a buffet but it actually was less varied than other resorts. No theme nights, no special evenings, etc. that being said the restaurants were all clean and three gourmet rooms were all good with nice fresh food. Fish in all restaurants was very fresh and well cooked, nicely spiced with excellent favors. My husband and I ate in the Seafood restaurant, Italian and Gourmet and all three were very good. They were not Le Bec Fin nice but they were all good especially if you remember you are in another country.
PROS...Staff. When arriving to the Junior Suite that we had booked we noticed a large puddle on the floor of our bathroom. Most people would consider this a negative but the way the staff handled it made it a pro for me. A maintenance person quickly arrived to our room and suggested that we move to another. Guest Services called in the promised five minutes, sent a bellman to our room with new keys and efficiently moved us. After settling into our new suite the Guest Services rep. Called to make certain that our new room was to our liking. Our new room had a broken sliding door and they immediately sent someone to fix it which they did. So the staff turned a negative into a major positive.
Other staff were all very nice, accommodating and gave us their beautiful smiles as we passed by. Nothing was too much trouble. Service in the restaurants was efficient and pleasant. Maids and service staff were always working. The entire place was kept clean and as tidy and neat as you can when serving all of those people. The grounds were constantly being worked on and were very nice.
We did experience many vendors on the beach as others have discussed. They did not really bother you although they did come by frequently and try to sell their wares. I did purchase a couple things from two of the vendors and felt that I got a good deal.
One of the things my husband and I were looking forward to was walking around the mall next door and the other resorts in the area as well as the casinos. Well most of the other resorts seemed closed. The two adjacent resorts were open and my husband and I walked through them. The Bavaro seemed to be the liveliest of the resorts. But if you think you are going to a very lively area with lots to do you are mistaken.
The wifi is very difficult to understand. My husband and I thought we both read that wifi was free and it was when you were in the lobby. However it was very sporadic and if it was raining and everyone was in the lobby it was difficult to get onto the Internet. My husband is in sales so wifi is very important to us. We always buy wifi for our room but were unable to do so at Gran Ventana because there was no wifi in our room. I would get that the resort could make some deal with an Internet company and share some of their profits with them. All of the guests were complaining that they kept getting dropped off of the Internet and you had to keep getting new access codes to get back on. They did not have one code per day...they had many codes and kept handing out new codes to everyone.
As I said in the beginning this is really not a bad resort and could be so much better with a few upgrades.
First and foremost the bed was like a rock. I had read what other people said and thought "I don't mind a hard bed and neither does my husband" but this wasn't just a hard bed. It was awful. We got 10 pillows and extra blankets which we put under the sheet and managed to sleep better after the first night. This is an easy fix for management. Expensive but important and not difficult. Changing the mattresses would make this resort so much closer to a 4 Star.
Secondly the entertainment was inadequate. They don't even have to spend a lot of money to give everyone more to do. Perhaps they could have Spanish lessons, painting of pottery, making some beaded jewelry, water aerobics every day or more things to do while in the pool. We had been to Dreams Punta Cana several times and they had a ton of things to do which probably didn't cost very much! Bubbles, water events, dance classes,maybe movies at night. There was no time or English explanation of the evening events on the bulletin board so we never knew what was happening or at what time. One night they had a children's event on the stage and had little kids dancing the chicken dance. Really this could be substantially improved. I would bet that there are some people that work at the hotel who could put on a show at night that would be better than what they had. There has to be a lot more that they could do that doesn't cost much to help entertain the guests.
Another thing that the resort could do is remove some of the lower limbs from the trees down by the water. We had an ocean front suite but couldn't really see much of the ocean. If the branches were removed they could sell the rooms for more money along with an ocean view.
So bottom line is with a few quick fixes (new mattresses, upgrade Internet and better entertainment) this resort could definitely be closer to a 4 Star. They do have really good basics and a nice product and physical plant with a beautiful walkable beach.
All this being said my husband and I got an amazing deal on this place and went with low expectations. We were looking for a good inexpensive place to get away and be warm. We definitely got our money's worth and more. I encourage this resort to take it one step further.....make a few changes and re-market itself.....
Thank you.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orangeville, ontario
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Just returned from our 8th visit to the Gran Ventana. We are A.I. travellers - Puerto La Cruz in Venezuela, Margarita Island, Panama, Mexico,Cuba and the Dominican Republic where we stayed three times in Punta Cana. We have also stayed at two other resorts in Puerto Plata and the G.V. is definitely the best. Also, some of the other resorts we stayed at were 5 star. There is a reason that the G.V. is number 4 of 46 resorts in Puerto Plata with number one being the sister resort of the G.V., the Casa Colonial which is not an A.I. There is only one A.I. resort rated above the G.V. and that is a 5 star and more expensive.

We visit the Dominican twice a year for two weeks. We like the resort because it is small, safe, the beach is the best on the Playa Dorada and we get to meet lots of people from different countries as well as being very affordable. This time we met some people from Sweden, some people from Ontario including a couple from our home town. Last year we met people from the village where we were born in the U.K. and reunited with them this time. It was their 31st stay.

I am an extremely fussy person especially about food and cleanliness. Don't believe some of the reviews when they suggest the food is recycled the next day. One of the girls who used to be in the buffet is now in "pest control" and goes around the whole resort every day checking on everything including the rooms, the kitchens, pools and public facilities. There is food in the main buffet to suit all tastes. I personally love the tropical fresh fruit and the fresh fruit smoothies in the morning. We like the a la carte restaurants and the Ocean Grill is our favourite. We also like the Octopus.

The rooms are small but VERY clean and who in their right mind stays much in their room when on holiday! Last year the old type TV was replaced with flat screen and all the rooms now have keyless entry.

Last year for those who like their electronic devices, the WiFi is now free around the lobby whereas last year there was a charge.

The Ocean Grill was redecorated last summer and we noticed new cushions in the theatre area.

The animation team do their best to keep everyone entertained and work very hard. As the entertainment ends early for some, the young people can go to the Plaza which is just a few minutes walk where it continues into the early hours.

The beach vendors are polite and not usually persistent. A polite no thanks or no gracias and they are on their way. Their prices are high but can be brought down considerably. Even though we have not bought anything from them for years some of them remember us and always speak. I buy jewellry from Alberto at the Larimar Shop upstairs in the plaza just outside the resort. He made earrrings out of a ring I bought from a beach vendor yrs ago. Global economy has hit the D.R. and many of the resorts in Playa Dorada and the stores in the plaza have had to close down due to this.

The beach is the best in the area and is raked every day by the groundskeepers who work very hard. We love you "Mr. Coconut Man" even though we don't know yr. name but you always wave to us and we love to watch you climbing up the trees. There are loads of palapas and even on the first day when we arrived mid afternoon we found a tree to sit under. Swimming is safe and there is a coral reef just in front where the snorkellers can go.

The staff is the best - Danilsa, the guest services rep; Dominga in "Pest Control" who we knew from the main buffet; Raoul in the buffet; Porfino & Nicolo, the smoothie guys; Maria who used to be in Ocean Grill but is now in the Octopus and buffet; our maids on the 3rd floor Saona, Bernardina and Lidia and Juan on the front desk.

Most of the money you pay for your travel package goes for the air fare, taxes, transfers, etc. and only a small % goes to the resort which explains why it is not much more money to go away for 2 wks. than one week.

Can't wait to go back in October with all our family this time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Enjoyed my stay here, food and drinks were good. Rooms were good not spectacular and service was amazing. The beach is nice but there is coral that makes for good snorkelling but be careful walking out. The vendors on the beach were annoying and just sell the stuff you can get in the gift shop for triple the price.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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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
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
#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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