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“No way is this a four star hotel” 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 #4 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Kilwinning, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“No way is this a four star hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

This resort has seen better days but the staff are extremely friendly and the food is good. The buffet restaurant is the best as the A La Carte ones are'nt up to much. I was left wondering if there is a discount to be had if you had several tattoos as it was a game of trying to spot someone that didn't look like a Chav or a "gangsta" such was the array of body art on display. Call me a snob but it gave the place a certain image when everyone you saw was adorned with tattoos that would make a Maurii envious! Entertainment breaks the advertising mis- descriptions act. Beautiful beaches on your doorstep and snorkeling was good even though the reef is mainly dead. Still plenty of fish to see. We went in the middle of June for 2 weeks and the wind on the beach is constant and makes it a bit difficult for watersports.
If you are doing tours, save yourself a fortune and book direct. We did horse riding with lorilar ranch and it was a faultless, highly enjoyable tour. We also did the Puerto Plata tour of the cable car ride, the rum factory, cigar and amber factory ourselves and the taxi from Gran Ventana cost $40 with tickets for the cable car over and above this.
The 27 waterfall tour was quoted at $75 each with First Choice but we got a taxi ourselves from the hotel for $50 for four people and the price for the waterfall tickets are between 8 and 12 dollars each. Best place to buy souvenirs is the flea market on the beach about 15 minute walk to the left from Gran Ventana beach. Volcanic rock Necklace for 100 pesos compared to the original asking price of up to 1250pesos. Avoid booking the dune buggies with James in the playa dorado complex as this was the only tour we did through a middle man who was a really nice guy but the outfit that ran the buggies are a shambles. Our buggy broke down after the gear drive literally fell off, we than were given another buggy which broke down three times and all the buggies had tyres with punctures repaired with wadding stuffed in the holes. Very few steered very well because of warped tyres and axles. You can buy a video of this tour for$30 -don't waste your money.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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3,367 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
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English first
Kingston, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

My mom and I have now been to the Gran Ventana 4 times in the past 2 years (various times of the year), and will probably end up going once more this year. Whether we plan a trip last minute, or months in advance... we always have an excellent time.

From the minute we step off of the airport shuttle, to the minute we walk back onto it, the service is incredible. The staff at the Gran Ventana make you feel at home, as if they are your extended family. We have gotten to know everyone from the servers, bartenders, front desk staff, managers etc. and every one of them are very pleasant and polite when talking to you (and some will teach you some Espanol too!) Any kind of issue you have, they do their upmost best in helping to resolve.

In terms of food, the buffet has become a lot better than when we were first there at the hotel. The selection is great, and they always throw in something new every day of the week to switch things up whether that being bruschetta, a new pasta salad, or something new to grill. Breakfast is available in the buffet, for lunch there is the buffet or the Ocean Grill on the beach, and for dinner you can choose between the buffet or the 3 al la carte's (Italian - favourite, Octupus, or Ocean Grill). The al la carte's are amazing food, and are great quieter areas to enjoy your dinner (semi-formal attire required.)

Alcohol is never bad, the drinks are quite good with amazing bartenders that keep your drink full, and trustworthy enough that if you ask them to make something for you, they can make a mean “special” of their own! Fourth time returning, and they still remember my favourite drink… if that tells you anything about the service there.

Entertainment would be the only part of the hotel that could be improved. Although the shows such as the Magic Show blew me out of my seat, it was incredible! Other great shows would be the Mr. and Mrs. Gran Ventana which gets the audience involved and is a hilarious evening of entertainment. The animation crew definitely try their hardest and are really nice and energetic, but unless you’ve got a wild amount of tourists staying the same week as you, it can be quite dry.
The pool is great and kept very clean with a volleyball net in the center of it, along with a pool bar which is great when it’s so hot and no one wants to get out of the pool! There is also an adult/quiet pool which has its own bar as well that stays open if it’s busy enough. The pool I should also mention is the centre of the resort. All of the rooms and restaurants surround the pool.

The resort itself is kept extremely clean and is not necessarily too small, but it’s not too big. The walk to the beach is less than 2 minutes wherever your hotel room is, and the beach is incredible. I would say that the beach at the Gran Ventana is the best out of all the resorts along the beach. Kept clean and nice little huts to stay in the shade if needed. In addition, there is a bit of coral on the beach right by the hotel that you can go snorkeling by! Amazing! Take some banana’s out with you if possible (sounds crazy but fish love it!)

The hotel rooms have never been an issue for my mom and I and are a good size with mini fridges included that are refilled with beer each morning. Air conditioning has never been a problem for us either, keeps the room nice and cold! We had met a couple that did have a problem, and maintenance was up in no time to fix it. They keep a maintenance worker on during the night as well in case you have trouble in your room.

In addition, there is the Coco Bongo night club which is a 3-4 minute walk from the hotel, completely safe walk as they have security all the way down the street. On Tuesdays it is free rum and cokes, free admission any day of the night and is a fun place to go with friends or to walk down and enjoy some music!

Overall, this is by far our favourite resort. We haven’t tried anywhere else in the Dominican, which could be a plus or not in other people’s eyes. We’ve researched other resorts but the Gran Ventana keeps us returning every time. Also talking to other tourists in the airport returning home, we’ve heard not-so-great comments on other not-to-be-named hotels and made us feel so much more happy with our decision to stay at our hotel, the Gran Ventana.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

it was OK but I would never consider going back. :( Perhaps I was expecting more because of its 4 star rating but I've been to nicer 3 star clubs. The room was way too small for us - so much so that you couldn't fit a 'roll-away' if you wanted. The room would have been fine for a couple. There was only a small dresser with 3 drawers and the closet allowed for 12 hangers - not much space for 4 people to put clothing. (We asked about a bigger room but they could not accommodate us even though the club was clearly not full.)

The club was nice and the food was OK but I don't feel they put much effort into making the guests feel welcomed. We even discovered tipping in the dining room and a la carte restaurants didn't make any difference. They got to you whenever....more often than not, we got our own water, coffee, juice and wine. I will add that the fitness room equipment pre-dates the dinosaurs and smelled of 'pee'. It was gross! (Really don't know where the 4th star came from on this club.)

They ration the water bottles in the mini fridges. There were 4 of us in the room and we'd only get 2 bottles of water, despite leaving a tip and a note. We never consumed the beer or pop so you think they'd figure we just wanted water. Other clubs I've been to 'fill' the fridge - not this one. We 'shared' bath towels because we never had 4.

FWIW, I tipped the maid daily and brought an entire suitcase full of clothes and small accessories which I left on my pillow in a little pile every day. She took them but I never got any 'extras' like towel sculptures, or flowers on the bed or extra towels. When I did this in Cuba, the maid was so thankful, she even wrote me a little note in her best english - very touching :).

The relentless beach peddlars has gotten way out of hand at this club. It was like a swarm as soon as you set foot on the beach.

Had the room been better, it would have been more enjoyable, but I wouldn't go back to this one.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miller Place, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

My fiancé and I booked a last minute trip and seemed like a decent hotel. The furniture is outdated, old and not what I expected. The service is great. Stay away from the snack bar at night, the sandwiches are hard as bricks, and they only have one restaurant open every night for reservations which we didn't like and the food wasn't that great. If you want to eat good food go to the buffet best food there and the snack bar by the beach. If you plan to bring your own liquor like we did please don't leave it unattended for a second. We brought our own bottles of liquor from NY since we knew they wouldn't serve what we like, and some ghetto, un-classy, poorly mannered, un-educated guest from the hotel tried stealing it from us and the guy had the oddasity to tell my Fiancé that if he had seen him why he let him take the bottle, obviously if we would have seen him this person would have never even touched that bottle, and some flirty girl that was with them told him to give shots just to the girls, like the saying goes you can take the people out of the ghetto but not the ghetto out of the people. so never leave your belongings unattended, these people where foreigners just like us and its such a shame that we had to encounter such low class people. The hotel was good friendly people, no music by the pool, and no music at night either which we didn't like, the shows are good, they are not broadway but they are ok to distract you. Parasailing was great we had an awesome time (not included in the hotel package). The locals are very friendly, and the staff is great!

Room Tip: Third floor rooms have less noise, and ocean view are the best.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

My husband and I booked a last minute trip (booked on Friday, flew out on Tuesday) March 19th to 26th.
The resort is beautiful! We have been to many resorts, both big and small, and this one was one of our favourites.
Check in was quick. When we arrived in our room, it had 2 dbl beds, so we went back to the front desk and within half an hour we had a new room.
We spent most of our time around the pool and there was always a good variety of seating available. We were up for breakfast around 9 every morning and there was never a hard time finding chairs with umbrellas.
The resort is smaller, which we loved; everywhere was very easy and quick to get to.
We didn't spend too much time on the beach because it was quite a bit windier down there, but lots of chairs and the water was gorgeous! No problems with lots of rocks or anything like that.
Food was above average. We spent most of our time in the buffet and the beach hut and the food was always great, with lots of choices and fresh fruit. We went to one a la carte restaurant and it was ok...we preferred the buffet though.
Free wifi around the pool/lobby area was so much nicer than sitting in a tiny cramped room!

Overall, a great time and would highly recommend to anyone! We definitely will be going back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joliette, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

After reading ALL the reviews and following the recommandations of a client who's been to DR many times, we decided to stay at VH Gran Ventana for 1 week in june.
We don't regret our decision!! This hotel has the best location on Playa Dorada: best beach (we went looking at other hotels), nice landscape, good snorkeling (not as good as sosua but still), close to everything!! (20 min from airport, 10 min drive from downtown puerto plata)
Yes, this resort is getting old and tired but that's Puerto Plata's story!! And that's also why it's much cheaper than other places in DR...
But overall, it's a very clean resort and has a nice colonial look.
Since it's a small resort, everything is at a very short walking distance (2 min) which we truly appreciated.
Food was ok but a lot of things were not offered even if listed on the menus due to being in low-season. Still, we manage to eat very well,everyday and 3 times a day!!
The drinks weren't watered down AT ALL!! We even had to ask one bartender in particular to drop less booze in our jugs!! LOL
As for the staff, some were VERY nice and helpfull, some weren't AT ALL... As it is everywhere you go, you don't have to leave the country for that!! LOL But most of them were nice & polite.
Animation staff is doing their possible... You can't blame them if the guests refuse to participate...
As for the vendors on the beach, yes they are harrasing but when you know about it before arriving, it seems easier to deal with them. Don't be afraid to turn them down or to refuse looking at their junk; they're used to it.
Don't be afraid neither to take tours with the vendors on the beach, especially Neury and the guy with the silver tooth that I can't remember his name. They both work for the same tour company (GR or GM, can't remember). They're very safe and cheaper than the ones offered in the hotel. You can also get private tours if you ask them. We did cayo paradisio as a regular tour and 27 charcos as a private tour.
For watersports, you can trust the diveshop in the hotel. They have good prices.
Just keep in mind all is negociable in DR!! LOL And Puerto Plata region has SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH to offer!! Just kick back, relax and enjoy you trip!! ;)

Room Tip: We requested a room on third floor with king bed, close to the beach as per rewiews we read. We were...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Cleethorpes
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We have nothing but praise for everyone at the Gran Ventana, they made our holiday extra special. Everyone was pleasant, helpful and most of all caring and fun to be with. They all class you as one of their family, and nothing is to much trouble for them to help you with any problem.

Food was as always very good and a large choice, breakfast, lunch and dinner, there was something for everyone. There are three other restaurants that you can book instead of the buffet restaurant, but we still preferred the variety of food at the buffet. The waiters and staff including Augusto, who made us feel so welcome. As with the bar staff who were really good, even Jackie at the pool bar.

My son and daughter in law came with us which was their honeymoon. They were upgraded and a basket of fruit and bottle of rum, welcomed them in their room. Also given a romantic meal served to them on the beach on the Saturday evening.

I can only repeat that it is such a wonderful place for a holiday, we have been there a few times and booked another two holidays there. It speaks for itself. We were sorry to come home.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 3
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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family 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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