Superb Hotel – Let Down By Details
We spent two weeks here 4-17 Jan. Lots of rain but that’s not in the resort’s control. At £750 for an all inclusive Thos Cook package from UK booked 3 months in advance we weren’t expecting perfection but were pleasantly surprised. The hotel is laid out in beautiful grounds, two and three storey buildings of very attractive design. Two good size pools and smaller quiet spa pool. All very stylish. Cross a delightful footbridge over a natural mangrove area with fountains that we thought was beautiful (no smell whatsoever in whole two weeks) to get to the beach which, whilst not pure white sand and turquoise sea, has a natural charm to it.
Location is in a complex of about 8 all inclusive hotels centred around a golf course about 3 miles from nearest town (Puerto Plata) along busy inland road. Whilst beautifully laid out it could be anywhere. Fine if that’s your thing but we found it a bit cut off and sterile. We used the local mini buses a lot but saw no other tourists leaving the resort complex unaccompanied by reps, tours or taxis which is frankly staggering. The whole set up is geared to make you take rip off tours. Our Thomas Cook rep Rachel even told us there were no local buses or shared taxis, only motorbikes or the ‘fixed price’ taxis (the price certainly isn’t fixed!). Don’t believe anything you are told by anybody here. Commision rules all. If you take a tour to Puerto Plata you will go to commision based factories and outlets mainly. You will see far more with a map and guide book. To get the bus just walk out to the main road, ignore everybody who approaches you (the taxi touts will tell you there are no buses too). Stand by the side road and within minutes a mini bus will pull up, usually with the door hanging open or missing altogether. Cram in with the always friendly locals with a friendly ‘Buenos Dias’ and hand 30 pesos (50p) each to the driver to get to Puerto Plata. About double to Sosua or Cabarete. We didn’t take any tours at all. Get out there and mix with the locals, it isn’t an unsafe country and is very friendly. You will be approached by tour touts etc. Just ignore anybody who approaches you, whatever they say and whatever uniform they are wearing. Like anywhere there are no doubt pickpockets etc but does that stop you going out in England?
Food is superb in the buffet dining room . Huge choice with something for everybody. All very fresh and hot. Service is perfection. Steak restaurant was excellent. Chinese was awful, frankly it was just western food with soy sauce poured on it. All you can taste is soy sauce. Not being fish eaters we didn’t try the fish restaurant.
Rooms are simple but adequate, spotlessly clean, ours did smell a bit damp when we arrived but it had been incredibly wet weather before we arrived. Don’t go here if you need internet access and don’t have your own laptop (safes are big enough for standard laptop). The hotel provides free wifi but there are just two laptops, often broken. You have to stand to use them. Expect to queue and there are NO other internet facilities nearby. It is a hopelessly inadequate service. Although it is free I would rather pay and not have to queue. There are plenty of sunbeds around pool and on beach.
The worst thing here are the disgusting aggressive time share touts who prey on hotel guests in the bars, in the grounds and on the beach. They are dressed in hotel uniform and will lie through their teeth to get you into the ‘hut’, promising ‘information about the hotel’, ‘room upgrades’, ‘free holidays’ etc and that it is nothing to do with time share. IT IS! They get commission for every person that steps through that door. Don’t do it!! The beach sellers are also a nuisance. Yes, they do go away with a ‘no gracias’ or just ignore them but they are still a happy to call out and wake you up every few minutes when you are trying to rest. Show any interest and you won’t get any peace although it is all done in a friendly manner. There are just too many.
To sum up, I can only assume the complainers must have paid well over the odds. This trip cost us around £53 each a day. We reckon we got through close to £50 of food and drink a day and we are not big drinkers. Therefore the flights and accommodation are virtually free! How can anybody complain at that?
Would we go back? No, we prefer somewhere with a lively town nearby. Lovely hotel but too cut off for us.
- 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