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“Still a special vacation resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only Resort

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BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Complejo Playa Dorada, Calle principal, 538, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
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15% off room rate
Ranked #20 of 42 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Riverhead, New York, USA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Still a special vacation resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Second stay at Blue Bay, El Dorado, Puerto Plata, DR. Last trip was in July 2010
It was restorative and delightful for us. Just what we needed for a mid-winter break. Lots of reading, relaxing, and sleeping in the sun.
The resort is small compared to others in the area. I still got lots of exercise walking and swimming.
The landscaping is well maintained and lovely.
BEACH: Everything I wanted. The sand is not rocky. The seaweed is raked up every morning. The water is comfortable.
EXTREME SHORTAGE OF BEACH CHAIRS. By 7:00 AM all beach beds and chairs were taken, mostly with towels; not people.
On the plus side. One morning I woke at 5:00 and walked to the beach. The walkway is lit, the beach bar is open, and the fellows are there and ready to set up chairs. I watched the stars until sunrise.
Say "No, thank you." to the vendors. Be very firm if they try to sit on your bed or chair.
No beach fleas.

Negative: There is a walkway to the beach that is attractive. Unfortunately there is a stagnant pool of water along that walkway. That swamp/puddle stinks so much that I held my breath when passing in both February, rainy season, and summer.
POOLS: The bar pool is separate from the other main pool. That works for me. Neither pool is huge. Bar pool had water aerobics.
Volleyball was midday in the other pool. I was always able to swim laps, float around, and relax in that pool. Best of all for me, there are several beds poolside. One was always available when I wanted one.
The "serenity pool" really needs maintenance. The railing for the steps is STILL loose and rocks.
FOOD: plentiful and OK. I found the beef distasteful/inedible but the chicken and turkey were very good. I often gathered other chopped vegetables for the pasta bar.
I had a good chuckle about the "cranberry sauce" for the turkey. My best guess is that a can of jellied cranberry sauce was added to the turkey gravy.
The bread is worth the calories. On the bread table there is a bowl of spiced chopped tomatoes that make a tasty relish on many dishes and salads.
Chocolate croissants were available each morning. Delicious dark chocolate.
Smoothies: The morning fresh smoothies were no longer available! That was disappointing. There was a yogurt dressing for fresh fruit at breakfast so I made do with that. There are also tasty juices.
Salads: There were always an assortment of choices for salads. Balsamic vinegar was a nice find.
I rarely drink alcohol but suspect that the vodka was watered down. Wine was dreadful but the champagne was good.
I recommend bringing insulated cups.
Timeshare Salespeople: Someone here wrote that they can not talk to you on first and last day. That worked on the 1st day. Day 2 my husband told them that he had "pledged" himself to another salesperson. That was respected and we were not bothered.
Beds, pillows, and linens are lumpy, lumpy, and thin.
Rooms are bland but we did not plan on staying in the room.
INTERNET: knocked off often. $60/device/week.

BUDGET RENT A CAR: UNRELIABLE!!!!!!!!!!! Better of getting a driver. Budget rented us a car that was not insured. It was impounded by the police. Budget wanted us to hire a taxi to go pick up the rental car. They were disrespectful and argumentative.

Do not be afraid to ask for a driver/cab to take you for a half day in Puerto Plata. We had fun shopping and drinking beer at a beach bar while watching the kite-surfers.

We were there the 3rd week of February. Seemed to me that most people were over 55 years of age.

  • 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
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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THunder Bay
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We're on our last day of a 2 week vacation here and pleasantly surprised given some of the negative reviews. We did follow someone's recommendation and booked the "silver" package. I think it depends on what you want from a vacation - for us it's beach & golf. Don't particularly care about nightlife/entertainment. Food was good - if you want gourmet dining, go to Paris, nothing wrong with the buffet or a la carte restaurants. Service is outstanding.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Let me start by saying, we go south to lay on the beach and relax. No excursions or activities.
Pros: Small resort, easy and quick to get around
No children
Staff are very friendly and helpful
Beach is beautiful, you can take long walks in either direction
Grounds are beautiful
Food is OK, no reason for anyone to go hungry

Cons: While the grounds are kept very clean, I didn't find the room that clean. We started out with 2 glasses in the bathroom sealed in plastic but each day they were cleaned out and set on the sink. Made me wonder what they were cleaning the glasses with. We were on the 3rd floor so there were no cleaning carts up there, they had to carry everything up so I thought maybe this was why they didn't do a great job. Two days we had to search out toilet paper (to me this is an important room amenity)
The mattresses on the beds are terrible, one of those $98 5" cheapos you can buy at Walmart, also no fitted sheet so you wake up in the morning with half your body on the mattress YUK!
NO BAR!!!! Yes there is always somewhere to get a drink but no actual bar to sit at. We would go for dinner at 6:30 so there was absolutely no where to go sit and have a drink after dinner. Yes you could go sit in the theatre on plastic patio furniture but that is not condusive to socializing and talking to people. There is one table with 2 chairs by the pool which would have been an OK place to sit, they should add some more of these. The night show doesn't start til 9:30 so you have a couple of hours to kill. The beach snack bar would have been a good place but it closes at dinner and becomes an a la carte.
The night show is VERY loud and goes on til all hours of the night. Be prepared.
The rooms have no sound proofing whatsoever. The person in the next room was using the blowdryer at 10:30 at night and it sounded like they were in my bathroom.
The bathroom door comes into the room right next to the bed and there is no fan of any sort so not much privacy, Ok if you don't mind listening in, you can't help it.
There are 20 palapas on the beach. If you're not there by 6 am to put your towels on one, forget it. There isn't a lot of other shade. By 8 am all the intact loungers are gone. The rest are broken.
I'm still searching for that place that I could return to year after year but this is not it. It could be so much more with not much effort.
I've been to Puerta Plata 3 times now and this is the most disappointing. I will not go back.

Room Tip: We were in building 7 but not facing the spa pool. Very noisy at night. Also be prepared to do lot...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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central new york
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We just returned and had a great time. This resort is smaller than some and they hav their own interpretation of / translation of English. 1. Apparently "All Inclusive" only means room, food, drinks, and some entertainment. There was an extra $3/day charge to use the safe in your room and we had to pay for internet even though the website says it's free in the lobby. 2. We booked a Superior Room, which actually was the LOWEST level - we could have upgraded to Silver or Gold and gotten the room safe and internet included but it wasn't worth it. BlueBay is an older resort but our room was clean and spacious. The walls were thin and we could hear people outside and even in the next room if they talked slightly loudly, but we can sleep through anything. Some people complained that things didn't work in their rooms. Everything worked in ours (I never tried the coffee maker since there was always fresh coffee at the restaurants and bars - who wants to drink in your room when the weather is beautiful!) The staff is wonderful - always smiling and helpful, however, the timeshare sales people were obnoxious. They stopped us every time we walked down to the beach.

The food was only decent, not anything to write home about, but we were never hungry and we didn't blow our diets too much as a result!

Check out time is 12 noon. We did not keep an eye on the clock and were still in the pool at 11:55. When we got back to our room, neither of our keys worked! They re-activated one at the front desk, but really?? Another woman had the same problem.

Bring $1 bills - its much easier to tip with smaller bills. The website says tips are included but Rafael kept our cups filled with hot coffee after we tipped him once. Most staff was just so good that we wanted to tip them.

The beaches are owned by the government, not the resorts and there are a ridiculous amount of people selling junk on the beach. Don't make eye contact if you don't want to be hassled and don't pay what they ask. One guy wanted to sell me 3 bracelets for $80. I held out for $20 (I figured they were worth $7 each) I saw the same bracelets in a souvenier shop 3/$10.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the spa if you want quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We (2 couples) just returned from a 2-week vacay at BlueBay Villas Doradas. We were there Feb 4-18, 2013. There is much to like with some irritants.

Summary: We really enjoyed our 2 weeks and met some great people. The resort is really quite nice. We are happy we went and enjoyed ourselves very much; however, we are unlikely to return, mainly because of the rooms.

1. The size of the resort - Not too big, not too small. We soon recognized familiar faces around the pool, at the beach, in the dining room, etc. and made new friends among other vacationers. The resort was small enough that it was easy to get around but large enough that you could always find a quiet place if you wanted.
2. The pools and the beach - There were 3 pools: the “high energy” main pool with the swim-up bar; the more laid back but still fun “sports” pool beside it (volleyball and water polo games); and the quiet (and much smaller) spa pool. The beach is nice and quite clean. Deck chairs were pretty much available around the pools and at the beach. No complaints there (we were short 2 chairs one day but staff quickly located and brought 2 more to us).
3. The staff - Smiles everywhere. The wait staff quickly learned your preferences and would welcome you with a grin, a handshake (guys) or a kiss (gals). Kudos to Santa, Antony, Rafael and Carlos. The chap at the egg station (didn’t get his name) would cook my eggs and have them ready for me while I was making my toast. The animation staff was superb. George, Commando, Johanna, Susan and, of course, James Bond were just great. They really made the whole experience very enjoyable.
4. The food in the buffet - Surprisingly good. Excellent soups and breads (it would have been easy to make a meal just from the soups and bread). Other dishes were plentiful and fresh. Meats overall were fine but the beef and pork were a bit stringy/tough a couple of times. The salads, cheeses, desserts were quite good.
5. The nightly entertainment – We were very pleasantly surprised by the shows. The dancing was excellent and the costumes and energy levels were amazing. Audience participation was good and much appreciated (and fun – my wife and I won the “Ideal Couple”,

Not So Much:
1. The rooms - They are old, very tired, rather small and desperately in need of updating. The bedding, pillows, window coverings, bathrooms, shelving all need to be torn out and replaced and the rooms themselves need to be redecorated. That being said, the staff kept them clean, and the sheets were changed at least two or three times each week.
2. The rooms – We tipped every day ($1 on each pillow); nonetheless, although the room was kept clean and sheets were changed, towels were not always replaced nor was our water jug replenished. Our water was also turned off a couple of nights (not a big thing as it was back on by morning but, for instance, it was inconvenient when you couldn’t flush the toilet or wash your hands).
3. WiFi – We had upgraded to Silver which included “unlimited” WiFi. Not really. When you signed up, they would only only provide you with 10 hours access at a time and then you had to go back and sign up all over again for another 10 hours and then go back again and again and again.
4. WiFi – Access is limited to one device at a time. If you brought a smart phone, tablet, netbook, etc., you could use one at a time.
5. The specialty restaurants – The steak house was a major disappointment (the steaks were very poor cuts and you get the feeling they try to hide it with the different sauces they give you). The Asian was better, but nothing special. We didn’t try the fish. The buffet was easily as good as the specialty restaurants.

1. We were assigned to the 2000 block when we arrived. Our rooms (2203 & 2204) were directly in front of and facing the main stage and pool entertainment areas - not especially quiet and relaxing. They also had two double beds (we were supposed to have a queen bed). We returned to the main desk and requested new rooms – polite but insistent. There was nothing else available that day but we were moved the next day. Front desk staff was actually quite accommodating as they showed us 4 vacant rooms (2 in the 7000 block and 2 in the 5000 block) and allowed us to choose what we preferred. We took the 2 rooms in the 5000 block and were happy to move. The rooms were slightly larger, with queen beds, and were much quieter. We were happier in them (but see comments above).
2. The sales people – We really weren’t bothered too much. A polite but firm “no thank you” worked with both the staff selling BlueBay memberships and with vendors on the beach.
3. There is a little plaza about a 3-minute walk from the hotel (still inside the gated complex). You will find all the tourist trinkets you want there, but not much else. There is a Pharmacy there.
4. We pre-booked a ½ day city tour with Isaira Tours. Excellent and highly recommended. See separate review. Contact Mairobi at espinal30@msn.com.
5. I was involved in Little League baseball for years so I brought some old hats and balls (and chocolate bars) along with me. Our guide on our 1/2 day tour brought us to a baseball diamond where we handed them out to the kids. Such smiles...
6. We tipped fairly consistently. Every time we got drinks, we tipped $1 (that's only 25 cents per drink) plus we left a couple of dollars at meals and another $2 for the room service staff. They really appreciated it and it was not a big thing for us. Its the little things that count.

Room Tip: Blocks 5, 6, 7 & 8 are the quietest.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ossining, New York
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I just returned from a 8 day trip to BlueBay Villas Doradas. I'm not pointing out anything new here but here are my pros and cons:

1. The waitstaff and entertainment crew were awesome and always willing to go the extra mile with a big smile (especially if you tip a dollar or so- then they treat you like royalty).
2. The beaches and pools were lovely and we usually found chairs open but if there weren't any, we sat on our towels and the staff promptly brought us any that opened up.
3. The pool bar was tons of fun during the day.
4. Everything was clean and the maid service did a great job during our stay.
5. The spa was great! I got a basic facial and we did a couple's massage on Valentine's Day; both were relaxing and reasonably priced.
6. We received free WiFi and a Champagne Breakfast in Bed with the Golden Deluxe package which we loved. We brought the left over champagne down to the spa pool, in a water bottle, and made mimosas with the juice offered there. There is no bar at the spa pool so we got the relaxing experience but also had a few cocktails without walking to the other bars.
7. Luis on the beach is the man to go to for excursions. You can haggle his low prices down even lower and he is super friendly.
8. The buffet was pretty good. Nothing amazing but it's a buffet! Decent selection and I loved the fruit, bread and pastries. Their arroz con pollo was good too. The beef was kind of shady though.
9. The price...you can't beat it!

1. The "Concierges" are sales people. Yes, they will help you with various things but their #1 priority is to get you to buy their timeshare and sit through a presentation. They are relentless and don't take no for an answer. I work in Manhattan and I'm solicited everyday but these people were, by far, the worst and seemed to stalk you out during the day. The person I went with finally got suckered into viewing the presentation while I was getting my facial. Wasted an hour of his day.
2. The beach vendors do not let you relax. There are 10-12 on the beach at a time and they all come up to you with a sales pitch. Most take a "no thank you" and walk away but some are persistent. Don't buy from them. You can find the same stuff at the plaza (a mall type of establishment) which is a very short walk outside of BlueBay-still on gated property.
3. The restaurants were not good. I really didn't enjoy any of the meals at all three places. I actually preferred the buffet for dinner.
4. The beds were too stiff. The rooms are basic and small but I usually don't spend a lot of time in rooms on a tropical island.
5. No ATM. I was stupid and didn't take out enough cash for the trip (for tips and souveneirs etc.). There is no ATM on the resort but there is one at the plaza that dispurses pesos only. If you prefer another currency, you have to pay to exchange it at the plaza.

I am the type that is happy if you give me good weather, a beach and alcohol so overall it was a decent experience. I think I will try some other resorts in DR and other islands before going back to BlueBay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Frances, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

This was our 1st visit to DR. I'll start with the good things. Excellent ++++ staff! 3 pools. Always a lounge chair to be found on beach or pool area, otherwise staff would promply find some for you. Beach beautiful and clean. Is a smaller resort which I liked. There are always some sort of activities to participate in on beach and by pool,...its fun even just to watch. Excellent service at the buffet when seated, prompt service for drinks. Breakfast cook always smiling when cooking the eggs to your liking. So friendly. Felix who runs the bookings for the water sports was was extremely helpful and accomidating. He went over and beyond for us. When my husband tried to tip him he didn't want to take it. Bluebay is extremely lucky to have him as part of their staff. I can't say enough good things about him.
Food was good, no complaints. A la carte were good.
Took cab to sousa, cab on site wanted 60 and refused to drop his price, so we walked outside the gate and withing minutes a cab came and agreed to take us there for 40. He drives you there and waits for you, we went from 10-3. Did glass bottom boat/snorkling for 20 each which was well worth every cent. Excellent guide, he provided bread and bananas to feed the fish. We were surrounded by fish,...it was great!(they provide snorle gear)
Bad things- +++++ too many people on beach trying to sell you things. I found it very annoying, I would just shake my head no and they would usually keep walking but its bothersome when it seems as though it's every 10 minutes. Most of them friendly-like Cheapy Willy, I did buy a couple neclaces from him only becuase I found him entertaining listening to him on the beach.
Shower head broke the 3rd day, told front desk and not once did they attempt to replace it, luckily my husband thinks hes macgyver and brought electrical and duct tape which he used to fix it.
We were in room 1301. We had a cricket or something in our room which make it very difficult for us to sleep at night. We searched high and low for that damn thing and could never find it....we didn't sleep good because of that. Beds and pillows were fine. Room was basic but clean. we didn't spend much time in the room anyways.
Souveneirs were all the same and not much to choose from. Not much for shopping.
I don't understand why people complain so much, as guess thats just the way some people are. Despite the negative things we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I would definately go back, based on the staff, cleansliness and beach.

Room Tip: If you want peace and quiet than stay by the spa.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 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 BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only Resort

Address: Complejo Playa Dorada, Calle principal, 538, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 244
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BlueBay Villas Doradas is an Adults Only 24 hour All Inclusive resort in Puerto Plata, was completely refurbished in 2006 providing facilities and rooms of the highest quality. This hotel in Puerto Plata, which is only for the over 18s, is an ideal place for couples to relax or enjoy their honeymoon or wedding. Its location - literally next to the 18-hole Playa Dorada golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones – makes it a favourite among golfers.The hotel’s rooms and suites are equipped to the highest standard, in keeping with the quality of the resort and its recent refurbishment – all include cable TV, mini bars and ironing facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bluebay Villas Doradas Hotel Puerto Plata
Bluebay Hotel Puerto Plata
Bluebay Hotel Doradas
Blue Bay Getaway Villas Doradas
Blue Bay Getaway Dominican Republic

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