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“Back again!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   1 Paradise Drive | Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Be Live Grand Carey)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Bonfield, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Back again!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

We returned to Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa Resort again this year. A lot of the staff were the same and wonderful to see and to have look after everything. We were able to go to the Sunday night party twice and it was impressive each time. The sound system and the great music made the show spectacular. Fireworks at the end were good too.
The rest of the two weeks we ate most of our dinners at the specialty restaurants and particularily loved the Mexican and Indian. You might want to know that the Indian does have some spicey dishes. Casablanca was our preferred buffet restaurant. Even at lunch they did some pretty spectacular dishes and the staff is really special!
The room was clean with lots of hot water and towels and good satelite TV.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (734)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

So we chose this resort because it was smaller (less than 500 rooms) with lots of a la carte restaurants. SO VERY DISAPPOINTING. It is part of a huge complex which they will try to get you to buy into your first day there. If you don't then you're not a VIP and get bargain basement service from then on. Our room (a jr suite) had mouldy furniture, the AC only worked on high (64F) which chilled us to the bone, the sink started leaking and I got only 2 hot showers the entire time we were there. Oh and they also told us they were going to fumigate while we were booked in, for 'pest control' purposes - why would you do that with a guest in residence?!? They did honour our desire to not do it while we were there.
They may say that all restaurants are open to all guest every night of the week, but that is not the case. We were given three reservations without asking us for our preferences. We couldn't book at most because they were not available to us as we were not VIPs. The a la cartes' food was substandard to our tastes, the red wine was undrinkable and there wasn't a choice other than red or white.
The good stuff...
The buffets were surprisingly good, but the service lacked (wasn't offered coffee half the mornings). Good fruit choices (and freshly made fruit juices) and the salad bars were decent. Breakfasts were the highlight, and Mexican lunch. Local Dominican food was really good (stick with what you know, the Italian resto was very poor)
The pools were nice but Adults Only obviously means nothing as kids were in all those pools. The beach was very nice and quite swimable and there was lots of loungers and helpful staff to get loungers on the beach. No poolside bar service though. There were many vendors on the beach which tried to get your attention but they weren't pushy like the ones that were invited onto resort property.
The bars were well stocked with friendly bartenders, but none were in sheltered areas so if it rained then you either went without or got wet.

Room Tip: we had a courtesy room of a standard room and it was cramped. try to get a junior suite, they'r...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Just got home and want to go back already ! The room was huge and very attentive housekeeping. We had great service and everyone is so friendly. Our whole group had such a good time we are already planning to go back. VIP is an added benefit. Winsten took care of our group.
The restaurants served great meals and you cannot complain about the drinks. Get up early, secure a cabana and spend the day on the beach and the nights in the clubs. Do not miss the evening shows. Excellent entertainment. Travel around, participate in the events and have a great time.
Special thanks to Banana, Bon Jovi, Blacky and Bamboo for making our time so much fun. These guys work so hard, are very helpful and are so much fun. They make all the difference.
Until next time - Gracias.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

I have been to the Dominican 12 times and I love everything about it!! This resort was very accomodating and a lot of fun. I went down with three friends for a week and we had a great time. We stayed in the Cofresi section of the resort and had no regrets throughout the week. This resort was quite large compared to the other resorts I have stayed at but they make it easy to get around by providing shuttles to and from different areas of the resort. The clubs on the resort were actually a lot of fun once the night got started. We spent a few nights at ICE and tried out Vibe a few times at well and they were both a good time. The events that the resort and staff put on were wonderful, entertaining and always a blast to be at. This resort was very nice and I would suggest it to anyone. The only downfall was that it was pretty far from other things in town but you find ways around that if you are wanting to go out into town at night. The staff at the main pool of the Cofresi section of the resort were AWESOME! Blackee, Bambu, Sexy Banana, Bon Jovi, Donkey and Mosquito were all a blast to be around and they made our week what it was. They are all great guys and they do a wonderful job. Keep it up guys! :) In the end, me and my three friends has an amazing time together.

Room Tip: We had an standard room close to everything and it was very nice and quiet.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Quebec
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This is our 2nd stay in this beautiful resort and this time, it was even better than last time. They keep improving the beaches, the restaurants, the rooms, the entertainment and the staff is more than overwelmingly friendly and attentive. The VIP beach is the best private beach with beds (not chairs) we've seen in Any of our travel. Top shelf alcool and all.

We had no issues what so ever with dinner reservations for the a la carte restaurants. Just show up early morning and it's done.

Last year we couldn't do the sunday welcome party because it was rained out. This year we went and thruthfully, we have never seen anything like it. International buffet with lobster, Fish, meat and a veriaty of other dish that would be to long to describe. Plus the live entertainment and fireworks. They catered to more than 2000 people at the same time and that... Was a fete by itself.

As for the sales people, they do not bother you if you gently refuse their invitation. It is a vacation resort with a vacation club and thus it is necessary that they sell memberships with better amenaties and services for their members to anable ordinary travellers like us to benefit from their huge complex. We did the tour this year and chose to pass, but we are seriously considering joining the club on our next visit next year.

We would recommend this place as we did last year on trip advisor to anyone who's looking for a no non sense affordable vacation. Keep in mind...you always get what you pay for....we certainly did.

So complainers beware, it's because of you that people never get to enjoy places that could be fantastic for them.... And this place is one of them.

M & JM

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Waterloo, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This property has a TON of potential to be a wonderful escape, but know that there's other motive to get you down there than to get you an affordable, relaxing vacation at a reasonable price. To cut to the chase, if you're not interested in purchasing a vacation club or a time share, just say no to the VIP tour that they will offer you as you leave the buffet every morning and lunch hour.

Then, not so bad. Turn down the little perks that they're going to offer you and let them move on to someone else.

This was a completely passable vacation. We had fun. Got lots of great pictures. Ate pretty well.

My only complaints with this property are the pedestal treatment of their VIP clients, and the fact that they only stock the mini-bar once (only resort 4+ stars that I've ever seen do that). Most other resorts, if you get the VIP package, you get a couple extra restaurant reservations, maybe a super-nice room with a private pool, an extra lounge, or your lobster is included. Here the VIPs get golf cards, helicopter rides across the resort, sectioned off beaches (Better sand? Warmer sun? I dunno?), and access to a world that the rest of us can only dream of (I suppose).

Well, after coming back and reading up on how much their vacation club is and how much their time shares cost, I'm glad we dodged that bullet of what I'm assuming is a high-pressure sales pitch. They've created a passable, comfortable experience to entice you in to something ridiculously lavish. I get out of the country a week a year. Not for me.

So on to the rest. The room, 30723, was very nice. We booked two rooms on seperate reservations (long story), and the front desk staff was nice enough to put us next to each other, with the other two in our party in 30724. Our requests for upper room floors in a non-smoking room were met. The mini-bar is only stocked once a week, which I found odd, because it's usually stocked daily at other resorts. If the bar was right outside my window, that'd be fine, but if I want a beer at 11pm, I have to venture in to the incredibly loud, obnoxious-to-me dance club where you have to force your way to the bar, shout your order over the bass, and hope not to get clobbered going back across the dancefloor to get out of there with your wits in tact. An additional place to have a drink between 11pm and say 2am would make this place a lot better.

The beach was nice. Well kept. Better than we'd seen in Puerto Plata. There is the sectioned off VIP Beach staring right at you, but I liked ours just as much. I don't need a champagne drink to welcome me every time I wish to walk on the sand.

The towel card system was pretty standard. $20 to replace if you lose either the towel or the card.

Food was fine... we tried for a week to get in to the Italian or Mexican a-la-carte, but no luck. You go to Guest Services at 9am, and pick two a-la-cartes. If you get an envelope under your door at 5:00pm, you get to go (hopefully) to one of your two choices. They assign you three a-la-carte reservations when you arrive, and for non-VIPs, it's the three least full restaurants and the three least full times (think "Indian food at 10:00pm"). We made the best of it. I've had worse buffets at resorts. The late night buffet and the snack bar could use some more options.

Staff was pretty good. The dudes with the clip boards really want you to go on the activities. Anyone with a clip board likely wants your money. It's up to you if you want to hear them out or say no thank you. I'll warn you again about the VIP tour guy. He wants a LOT of your money!! We did book a horseback riding outing through one of these guys and the three that went on it had a fantastic time. You do happen to ride by local vendors that would like to sell you souveniers, but I can deal with that.

We did a couple of excursions we booked ourselves through the Transat representative. One got bumped from Thursday to Friday, but it wasn't a big deal.

Be prepared for stairs! If you're at the Cofresi Palm, you will almost certainly need to be able-bodied. Stairs everywhere as the resort is on a cliffside. There are ways around but they are very long and complicated. The Tropical on the adjascent property has better wheelchair acccess.

Overall, if you avoid some pressure sales situations with a friendly no-thank you or two (sales skills and objection handling has clearly been trained here), it can be a fine holiday. It's not the world's most lush all-inclusive, but it's not too bad. I've stayed in better and I've stayed in worse.

Room Tip: Ask for a non-smoking room on an upper floor when you book.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint John, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Resort was excellent, staff was friendly and helpful. Weather was good for most of the stay. Choices of ala carte were tough, all restaurants were excellent. I can't wait to go again..
Our room was clean and comfortable with a great view of the pool and the ocean.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort

Address: 1 Paradise Drive | Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Be Live Grand Carey)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 468
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort – Dominican Republic is the newest jewel in the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. Nestled along the Cofresi beach shores, and overlooking the sparkling Caribbean sea, this resort caters to the luxurious enjoyment of both families and couples looking for that perfect getaway. With 468 well-appointed accommodations that range from Adult Only Spa Suites, to Standard family friendly rooms located in a quite setting between the ocean beach and spectacular pool, this is a paradise worthy of the Lifestyle name. The resort was created with space and comfort in mind, making Cofresi Palm a relaxing, enjoyable and satisfying experience for all guests and their families. All rooms have air conditioning, cable television, phones, and ceiling fans, while the decor has a distinctive design, featuring dark wood furnishings. Shaded patios and verandas provide a relaxing place to gather in some of the units. Providing both service and features that are standard for a Lifestyle property, the Cofresi Palm offers a unique luxury accommodations experience. Cofresi Palm provides the easy, relaxed ambiance of the Caribbean in an opulent and elegant setting. Experience the array of beauty and excitement that Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Village Puerto Plata
Sun Village Hotel Cofresi
Dominican Republic Sun Village
Sun Village Dominican Republic
Sun Village Spa
Sun Village Resort Dominican Republic
Sun Village Resort Puerto Plata
Sun Village Beach Resort
Sun Village Resort Spa Puerto Plata

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