Just as good the second time around. We usually find that we do not enjoy a resort as much when we visit a second time but were not disappointed even though it was about 6 years ago. Our only complaint was on check in when our room was not ready and after waiting for 4 hour we did not get the room we were supposed to get. We ended up in a first floor room where all the young families are located. However, we spent little time in our room and it was not really a big deal.
Staff - They are friendly and polite.
Restaurants - The main buffet restaurant is one of the best of all the resorts that we have stayed at. This is our 7th visit to Dominican and have also travelled in Venezuela, main land, Margarita Island, Panama, Mexico and Cuba. We usually stay at 4 star, 4-1/2 and 5 star resorts. There was something for everyone. My husband likes North American or British cuisine and I like fish and lots of fruit and veggies. The gala dinner on Christmas Eve was exceptional with lobster, turkey, etc. We did eat at the A la carte restaurants, the Ocean Grill which was a buffet restaurant on the beach during the day and I had Sea Bass done in coconut sauce, very delicious and at the Octopus, on another occasion. There was also a welcoming reception at the Octopus the second night we were there for repeat guests. We did not eat in the Italian restaurant which is over by the quiet pool.
Rooms - We just had a standard room but it was always clean and we never had to ask for clean towels or for anything to be replaced. We would have preferred to be on second floor but as hotel was completely full, due to many guests (Brits) being moved out of Barcelo at short notice.
Beach - One of the cleanest beaches we've ever encountered. They do not like you to reserve palapas first thing in the morning and then not return for hours. Although we have always been in the habit of reserving a palapa, we would always return there after about half an hour after we had had breakfast. But we did hear that towels were removed if people reserved them and did not return right away which is only fair. I am sure that people reserved some at the beach and then also some around the pool which really is not fair. We like to sit on the beach most of the day so did not bother much about the pool as we find it too hot and I particularly like the shade.
Bars - There are several and everything is close by as this is a small resort. For anyone who wants a quieter time, there is the quiet pool over the other side of the hotel lobby or you can go over to the sister hotel, the Victoria resort which is over by the golf course.
As we are an older couple we like to go somewhere where we can meet people from other countries who speak our language and we met some lovely people from Britain.
Trips - we had done most of them as it was our 4th visit to Puerto Plata. We did do Paradise Island this time and were disappointed because it was a long day in the sun with no shade. May be we are just too old for this type of trip as I read other reviews and people liked it.
Will we return for a third time. Yes, I am sure we will. We had a great time and one week is not long enough.