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“5 Star Hotel Vacation Paradise.” 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 #19 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Manchester, New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“5 Star Hotel Vacation Paradise.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Corfesi Palm is a great place for Vacation as long as you do not mind
a lot of stairs. The Room in the new part of the hotel are the best. We had First floor
43 Building and you could not ask for better. There are many restaurants 11 and we loved
the Pearl buffet style. There are also many many pools. The VIP area is available on the
beach for everyone near the Topical. There is a nice beach for build 43 also.

Waiting for a shuttle is the pitts.they are old and bumpy. Find how much to rent a golf cart
for the time you are there. We should have done that but we walked or took the shuttle to
eat and shows. Shows are free and fantastic!!! Start late for me 9:30 pm..

Room Tip: Building 43 or any close to the Pearl Restaurant is great. FIrst floor is good and you see the...
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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1,866 reviews from our community

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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 (575)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Overall rating: 4/5 -- which was a pleasant surprise! We booked through Living Social, got 4 nights for $320 for 2 people, and definitely enjoyed ourselves. It was my girlfriend's first trip overseas, and I've been to much of the world, including most of the Caribbean and Mexico, so we're able to provide you a nice, balanced review of the experience. Now, into the details!

I read over 200 TripAvisor reviews about this place, and was expecting a 2/5 or 3/5 experience. Cofresi is part of the Lifestyles Resort complex in Puerto Plata. It's huge and can be confusing, but if you nail it like we did, you can have a great time for almost no money.

CONTENTS: (a) things every traveler cares about, (b) things unique about Cofresi and the D.R. (including "The Pitch"), (c) Tips and Tricks, (d) Conclusion.

(a) Things every traveler cares about:

CLEANLINESS - 5/5. Spotless from top to bottom. Even the grounds were meticulously well maintained, from plants being trimmed to bugs being sprayed for and pools swept. It's hard to keep things clean in the tropics, and these folks nailed it.
* D.R. is known for bugs. We didn't find it too buggy, and the staff spray for bugs daily, but there are definitely mosquitos out at down and dusk, and in some spots, the afternoon. Bug spray highly recommended.
* Couple small-ish things in the room, like bug-eaten curtains, a burn-stained lamp shade, a power outlet cover that wasn't screwed in. Rather than detracting from the experience, they added to its charm. It wouldn't be the Caribbean or Latin America without some of that.

STAFF - 5/5. Friendly, courteous, responsive. I read other reviews that noted nicknames; we only saw name placards with full names that sounded legit. Super nice people, as the Dominicans have a reputation for being. Bit of a language barrier, since the DR accent is unique (it's Caribbean-influenced; my Spanish is based on how they speak in La Frontera, so very Anglo-Mexican. My Argentine and Spanish buddied say they can't understand the Caribbean Spanish accent either, so I didn't feel so bad), but it's nothing that can't be cleared up with some clarifying questions and changes of phrasing. Don't be afraid to ask questions and request repeated directions; they're totally cool about it. CAVEAT: "the pitch", which I'll address below.

WATER - 4/5. All bars and restaurants serve bottled water, so you're good to go sipping from that cup they fill at dinner. We brushed teeth and showered without incident with tap water. Only reason it's a 4 and not a 5 is that we didn't try drinking the tap water. As a frequent visitor to Mexico and the Caribbean, I'm not down with risking a bout of Montezuma's Revenge.

FOOD - 3/5. This one takes a little more coordination and thought to get right, but if you do, you won't be disappointed. MAKE SURE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER. To do so, you either have to call/stop by guest services between 9-11am or 3-4pm on the day you want to dine. It's a little disorganized, and has to do with the various VIP levels getting first dibs before the "blue band" commoners like us. See our breakdown of each restaurant, below.

(b) Unique things about Cofresi and the D.R.:

HOTEL: huge. I bet they can fit thousands of people in all the rooms they have. The maps are a bit confusing, but it doesn't take long to navigate, and you can't really leave the resort without knowing it; it's well-gated and traffic-controlled. We felt completely safe the entire time.
* The shuttles -- we found that our longest wait was less than 10 mins. That said, we got really lucky several times and just chose to walk other times. Make sure to tell the shuttle drivers where you're going. Contrary to appearances, you CAN WALK between Tropical and Cofresi; just wave and say "hola, buenos tardes" to the guards. As long as you're wearing a band you have free reign.
* The grounds -- again, very well-maintained. Impressive, really.
* Sports complex -- decent for what it is. Tennis (court's a little banged up but we had fun), paintball, climbing wall, bowling, mini-golf, etc.
* We stayed in the 3000's, just down the hill from the main lobby Cofresi pool. It was a nice central location that allowed easy access to everything. We had a little veranda for chilling out in the evening or stretching in the morning. Pretty nice, really.
* The shower head needed a little CLR (Calcium, Lime, Rust remover), because the water pressure was low, but the water was hot, flowed regularly, and was clean.

RESTAURANTS: At dinner, take note - you get one helping of each course (first, main, dessert), no subs. Buffets are all-you-can-eat.
* El Pilon: bottom of the barrel for dinner. 2/5. We had dinner here on night 1 and didn't finish. Below college cafeteria level. BUT, MUCH better for breakfast, especially once we found the omelette line. They bill it as "Authentic Dominican Cuisine" but they didn't have yuca, jamon, etc. Basically a human food trough if you're in a pinch.
* Belini's: Italian, up at the Residences, quiet, decent food. 4/5. Staff could not be nicer. We befriended one and he hooked us up with a poolside table and comped after dinner drinks. It's the little things.
* Casablanca: the "main" buffet over at The Tropical. 3/5. Food choices and quality are fine. Pasta station is key for dinner; omelettes for breakfast. Large seating area.
* The Pearl: big buffet, same options as Casablanca and El Pilon, right next to the pool at Cofresi.
* Blue Lagoon: at The Tropical, overlooking the VIP beach and the ocean. Food was fine; 3/5 for the seafood, 4/5 for the soup and apps. Nice atmosphere, good for breakfast.

DRINKS - 4/5
* There are bars everywhere! You can't leave your room without running into one. The Bartenders are nice and efficient. They tend to fit 15-20 people. Some are swim-up.
* They have a specialty drink menu, and of course you can order off-menu. Lots and lots of rum.
* Only one kind of beer - El Presidente. It's good; your typical Latin American light lager.
* The quality of the dinner wine is mediocre. Drinkable table wine, for sure, but don't expect better quality than something you'd pay $6 a bottle for in the States.

COFFEE - 5/5
* This gets its own category because it's just. so. good. Local shade grown Dominican coffee is some of the best in the world. Not sure the stuff they serve on resort is shade grown, but the flavor is outstanding. We brought a bunch back.

POOLS & BEACHES - 4/5
* The beach is very so-so; 2.5/5. Disclaimer: I'm a native Southern Californian with a heavy bias toward certain beaches. The beach at Puerto Plata is fairly well kept, but no waves, and definitely some smelly effluent draining into it at a couple points. I'm a fairly big risk taker in the ocean but wasn't comfortable going in over my head. The sand isn't that nice either; nothing the resort folks can really do about that.
* Pools - there are so many! 5 on the Cofresi site, another 3 on The Tropical site, and then several on each of the other sites. The upper level pool at Cofresi, right off the lobby, was our favorite. Best view of ocean and mountains, best breeze when other places are stuffy, most laid back. The pool down by the beach / El Pilon definitely had more of a party atmosphere, which looked fun but wasn't what we were looking for on this trip. Lounge chairs in the pool was a very nice touch.
* Cabanas - several at Cofresi, and covering Tropical's "VIP" scene. Basically covered king-sized beds. At VIP they have wait service, too. And hot tubs.

PROGRAMMING - 3/5
* There are small events every hour and every night. Most are high school quality; well-meaning, but cheesy and under designed. We attended "Spectacular Show", which was a kind of variety show, and left after about 10 mins.
* The VIP party is supposed to be pretty awesome, according to several other guests we spoke with, but we weren't interested in going, so we skipped.
* We wanted to take out an ocean kayak, but we had yellow flag days and they weren't letting anyone. I have extensive ocean kayak experience, and the sea wasn't that high, but I can definitely see why they'd have a policy like that, especially if most guests are unexperienced.

GYM - 3/5 (grading on a curve)
* For what it is, the gym is fine: two treadmills, two ellipticals, six spinning bikes, free weights (dumbbell/barbell), a power tower, and a multi-lift machine. It's a little small, but very well-kept; once again, the staff were friendly, service-oriented, and welcoming.
* We took the "stretching class", which was basically the gym attendant leading the two of us through random individual stretches in the middle of the gym floor.

"THE PITCH" - 2/5
* Everyone who gets a Living Social or other all-inclusive deal to Lifestyles Resorts should be ready for this one. They will arrange a time the morning after your arrival to pick you up by golf cart and take you to the sales center. It's very modern: while plastic, straight lines everywhere. You'll be offered a drink of your choice, then taken upstairs.
* Once upstairs, you'll be seated at a table with a sales rep. He'll be young, good-looking, and very smooth -- at least, ours was. Said his name was "Brownlee". Very nice guy, clearly very good at what he does - a classic confidence man. We knew there was no chance we'd be interested in purchasing -- and a word of caution to those who are interested, below -- so we bantered for a few mins, he asked us a ton of questions about ourselves, shared some of his own, and then we shut him down before even going on the tour; we wanted to get back to chilling by the pool and we'd already walked the grounds. Both of us are lawyers, and I'm fairly well-traveled, so it was pretty easy. Just be EXTRA FIRM. If you're interested, there's no harm in learning more. We knew we weren't, so we just said no, thanks. At one point he was like, "would you be interested even if it was only $1?" Yeah, they'll go there. The whole thing is shady; they don't do deals over the phone or online, only in person on-site. I checked them out after getting home, and I'm super glad we didn't even consider. I'd be very, very, very wary of signing a contract with these folks. What they're offering is dubious at best, and sounds like it's expensive and tough to get out of.
* That said, it's only 30 mins of your time; totally worth the trade off for a great deal on a quality all-inclusive experience.

SHOPPING -- there are a few shops on-site that sell sundries, tourist kitch, local coffee and rum, and jewelry. I was actually pretty impressed by the jewelry shop and the guy running it. Very nice and knowledgable, not pushy at all. Apparently the D.R. is known for amber and a semi-precious stone called "larimar", which is only mined in-country, and is a sea-blue stone with whitish features throughout. I found it very pretty and bought a couple pieces for my parents.

(c) Tips and Tricks

AIRPORT TRANSFERS - 5/5. We booked a few days ahead of time with Sun Transfers, a Spanish company that handles airport transfers in several countries. Would DEFINITELY recommend. It's nice to show up in a new country and see your name on a sign announcing that, yes, you will get to your destination without hassle. We paid $79 including insurance and extras; the going rate quoted at Cofresi was $55 each way. Our driver, Hector, took us both ways, and was on time, nice, and appropriately chatty. I asked him to take us the long way to Cofresi so we could see the town and he obliged. Also upon request, took us the fast way back to POP.

LANGUAGE - most people speak some English, but the accent doesn't translate well. I speak some Mexican spanish, and communication was mostly ok. Folks are patient and appreciate the effort of visitors speaking some Spanish; my doing so clearly got us hooked up with better service and gratis drinks. If you want to learn ahead of time, check out Duolingo, a free on-line application.

MONEY - don't even bother changing to D.R. Pesos unless you want to tip in local currently, hang out in the town, or keep some as a souveneir. I changed US$40 and was literally giving pesos away as tips on the last day. The hotel shops didn't even accept local currency. DO bring lots of US singles and Lincolns for tipping the staff. They really earn it and really appreciate it.

SUNSCREEN - it's the tropics; bring a bunch. The airport shops at Miami airport have a good selection if you don't want to check bags. You can buy it on-site, and it's really not too much more expensive than what you'd pay in the States.

BUG SPRAY / WIPES - bring it.

ATTIRE - it's a casual atmosphere resort-wide, and I was glad to have brought a couple pairs of pants, collared shirts, and shoes for dinners, which are a little dressier. Not a great deal of modestry required.

MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER - either 9-11am or 3-4pm depending on the day. You can find out at the front desk, guest services, etc.

(d) Conclusions - we really had a positive experience! Would recommend if you're looking for a low-key, no-frills, all-inclusive experience with a nice pool, nice people, abundant drinks, and decent food. It's essentially a "land-based cruise." There are other options for activities, like the cable car up the mountain, the park/forest, the town, etc., that we would've explored if we were there longer, but for this trip, we decided to just take it easy. Would we go back? Maybe in a few years; we prefer camping, hiking, seeing new places, exploring art and architecture, etc., so it's probably not on our radar in the near future, but we're very glad we went.

Have fun and good luck!

Room Tip: If you want a "party" atmosphere, stay in the 4000s by the lower beach and pool. If you wa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

My wife and I returned from Cofresi on the 27th. We would have liked to write a great review which surpassed our expectations, but that is not the case.
To be fair, the resort is beautiful and has a magnificent presence. Added to this, the people who provide the various services are the friendliest and most helpful that can't be found in too many places. However, this is where the good marks start to dwindle. Here is why:
- The VIP/non-VIP label is a major issue. You are tagged with a VIP bracelet, but you are prohibited to enter some beaches, pools and restaurants that are pictured in their ads as part of their sales pitch. Reason: you must become a Member (Black or Gold band) by purchasing some way overpriced homes or villas that can be rented to other people. Read the fine prints.
- The food is not the best. It could be better. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the same, repetitious and not good enough to have it all the time.
- The bars are ok. But if you are allergic to bees or fear them, that is also an issue, because they are everywhere as well as the flies.
- The rooms advertised at a rate of $230.00 per day and given at a discount are not worth half of that price. Poor lighting, water pressure, AC are some the issues experienced during our visit there. It equates a standard room rated at $60.00 + tax and fees in the US.
- The entertainment was so-so, nothing spectacular.
To summarize it in one word: BEWARE…..







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































VI

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Room Tip: Get a Junior Suite or better. Do not settle for anything less. Pool side or Ocean side.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Loretto, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I would like to say thank you to Julio Nice and Shaggy YCMB who do an outstanding job at entertaining the guests at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort. We thought our evening was ruined because of a sudden thunder storm but Julio and Shaggy went above expectations to keeps our group and other guests laughing and not caring about the weather and the much anticipated Sunday Welcome Party. I have always been impressed at how outgoing, friendly and talented the entertainment staff is at Cofresi, tropical and LHVC.

Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Overall I enjoyed it and would go back but there are things that should definitely improve , in my opinion. The good: - The facilities are generally very nice and cozy. - The pools are very nice and clean look . - The beds on the beach are awesome . - The service at VIP Beach is pretty good. - Harmony Beach cofresi good animation . speddy . shaggy and nice thnaks you all we coming back soon and edward the bartender crazy guy lol

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I went with a group and we had an awesome time in this hotel, never a dull moment thanks to the service and great people we met especially Julio Nice, Shaggy Ycmb & Coco Loco. They were extremely funny and very attentive making sure we enjoyed our selves to the fullest. If you visit this hotel make sure to pass by the entertainment area, they will ensure you a great time.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I cannot say enough great things about my experience here. What made it an amazing time was the service, Julio Nice and Shaggy Ycmb in particular. They are the entertainment there! Extremely funny, and they make you feel at home. I was there for four nights, but they remembered my group and I after the first day. We found ourselves going back to the Cofresi beach where they were at everyday. If you visit this resort, you will want to make sure you find these guys. They will ensure you a great time. Thank you Julio Nice and Shaggy YCMB for such a memorable experience! -Evelina

Stayed October 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#16 On the Beach 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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