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Review of Occidental Gran Hotel Playa Dorada

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Occidental Gran Hotel Playa Dorada
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Dorada Complex | P.O. Box 609, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 42 hotels in Puerto Plata
Newark, New Jersey
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

Let me start by saying this place is in the middle of nowhere! So its not like we could walk out and explore the country a bit. The room had a country feel but unfortunately my pillows had that country smell (if you've been to a farm you know what I mean). The reception area was pretty and the staff seemed helpful. NO INTERNET ACCESS at all- the connection kept "dropping' so instead of writing back to the States I had to call (very expensive). The food was good but nothing I'd write to Mom about. Kind of boring during the day- once you've rented a jetski or a horse you've pretty much did it all.
The nightly shows were good- and the night clubs were empty and weak. The all- inclusive drinks? even weaker- I couldn't even reach a buzz with the stuff they were serving (and I drink like a fish when on vacation). Oh yeah, did I mention it floods when it rains??? yes.. the water was a bit above my ankle in certain areas of the resort. I can't complain about the price, but I guess I got what I paid for. I couldn't get out of there quick enough! What can I say? Bad things happen to good people.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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91 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

Travelled with a friend for a quick getaway. She was pregnant so we asked for a room close to everything if possible. Arrived at the resort and our room was horrible. Old beds and furniture and it was about a 10minute walk from anything. Balcony faced a back wall and parking lot. Tried to get staff at reception to move us to a room closer to the restaurants/beach but were told they were upgraded rooms and we didn't pay for one so they weren't going to move us.

Talked to our Signature representative in the morning and because it was a weekend, she couldn't move us to another resort. Asked us to come back the next day and she finally was able to move us to the Marien Coral (an amazing place).

The staff at the Occidental Gran were very rude and not helpful at all, was happy to leave. Even if I hadn't been travelling with a pregnant lady, I wouldn't have been happy with this place.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2010

There was ALOT wrong with this hotel so I will list them:

*NO swimup bar, NO minifridges in room, NO water activities, NO bicycles available (all listed in brochure)

*travel brochure listed jacuzzi, but it was inaccesible because it is located in VIP members only area

*Ice machines were broken.

*Bottled water had to be purchased! (We were told it was free, as our trip was "all-inclusive"

*Maid came into our room and our ajoining room with her key even when we had the "do not disturb sign" up. she would do this EVERY SINGLE DAY! took our clean towels, left dirty ones. cranked the a/c, moved our stuff around. (Again, we did NOT want any cleaning service during these times). she also left patio door unlocked.

*called down to front desk to request towels. they never came. my roommate called twice more, and nothing. 3 hours later i had to go to the front desk, and we FINALLY got them.

*beds have bugs in them.

*sheets smelt horrible.

*pool closes at 6pm

*no water pressure.

*never any hot water.

*food selection was disgusting. (most options at buffet had meat and my best friend is a vegetarian. im vegan and could barely eat)

*too many peddlers on the beach

All in all I would NEVER go back to this resort....The staff are amazing! Nice people! But unfortunately thats not enough. I cannot even remember the amount of people we talked to that had the same experience as us. Most were not satisfied.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2009

This was the worst place ever to stay at. I think that the people that write the good reviews are the ones that live there and go there on weekends. They pay $10 a night and drink and eat everything up. The pool was crowed with locals. They kick you out of the pool at 6 pm. Nothing to do at night unless you want to watch the same show every night. The resort is very risky. Locks don't work on the sliding glass doors. The A/C leaks all over your room. The food is lousy. The beach is nasty. The water is not clear at all. The pools are dirty. Charge for everything including towels at the pool so keep an eye on them. People will steel them to turn in for money. They offer horseback riding what a joke. You have to travel to get there and then it is ponies that go in a circle. You have to pay for real horseback riding. The hound you to join there time share. Worst vacation ever.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Ontario
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

My daughter wasdiagnosed with cancer in May of 2006. After only three months in July of 2007 she relapsed. They started another round of chemo and radiation and this December 2008 before she was even finished we were told that her cancer had spread throughout her central nervous system and there was nothing more they could do for her. My oldest daughter wanted me to have a break and since her and her husband were going to the Dominican I thought about it but I couldn't justify leaving Jenny. Jenny decided in the meantime with my parents going for their yearly visit to Florida to go and spend her last time with my mom and dad in Florida. My daughter and son-in-law were booked into the Barcelo but we couldn't afford the price since I haven't worked in three years since Jenny was diagnosed so we booked our trip with the Playa Dorada. Upon arrival I was totally disgusted. The room stunk so bad of mildew and the mattress was black with mildew. It was truely disgusting. The only people that worked there that were friendly were the bartenders. The drink selection was so limited though, they didn't seem to know how to make much of anything, eg. daquiri. The food was terrible, tasteless and same old same old. The a-la-carte was completely disappointing. In the grill everything everyone seem to ask for, steak, prime rib, we were told the were out. The mexican was disgusting and after talking to another couple we by passed the Itallian. The entertainment was the same everyday. The worst thing though was that while we were in line in the buffet room for breakfast right behind the guy making the eggs ran A MOUSE!!!!!!!! I was sooooooooooooo disgusted. I don't know if it was because of the food but I ended up very ill and had to be taken by wheelchair to the airport, through the airport and also have a wheel chair waiting for me at the Airport in Toronto, Ontario which took me to the limo for the hotel. I was in bed for a week and had to go to the doctors for anti-biotics. She thought maybe it was travellers diahrea but after tests were done she said no. It was probably a severe case of food poisoning. I needed this trip so bad and needed the get away so very bad and instead it turned into a horrible nightmare. Even one of the V.I.P people that give you that tour for time share said the resort should only be rated 1! I think that is pushing it. It was the worst trip I have ever taken. My daughter was at the Barcelo and it was amazing and my last trip to the Dominican was to Punta Cana to the Bavaro Beach Resort was the best trip ever. I wish I would of known. It was money I couldn't afford but a rest I needed but if I had of known I would of stayed home. I have never been so disgusted in my whole life!
North Bay, Ontario Canada

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2008

Six of us just spent 8 days at the Playa. We ranged in age from 13 to 47. All of us had an awesome time. We found the staff and people of the Playa and the Dominican Republic in general to be very friendly and outgoing. They want you to be happy.


That being said - this is not the RITZ. It is not a 5 star hotel - and they don't pretend to be. It is a very reasonably priced all inclusive with all the food and drink you can possibly enjoy.

Want great drinks ? Tip the bartenders a dollar. They will call you by name and wave daily - and pour heavy.

Want great food ? Go to the CASA GRILL restaurant. RAMON is the best Manager and the food is outstanding. The level of service and experience far exceeds the other two restaurants. Italian is the least favorite - with small portions - while the Mexican again is very good. Try the Ribs at CASA GRILL. Amazing.

The maids gave us extra towels daily just by tipping daily.

The ocean and beachfront are beautiful. Not sure where the other reviewer was staying - but we had oceanfront rooms - and the pool and ocean were spectacular. You can walk for miles on both sides of the resort - and into Puerto Plata ( 10 minute walk ).

Trips ? Book them in town - and Make sure you do the JEEP TOUR with the 7 waterfalls. Just amazing - and cheap - about $35-$40 per person US. You will not regret it.

Paradise island Trip also recommended !

There are wonderful vendors on the beach - but they are very friendly and nice - and you can get some great deals there too !

There's a club called the Congo Boingo nearby that the 20 somethings enjoyed....stays open until 4 am.

The only negative I'd point out is that the Show staff does shows nightly - and the shows are put on outside at the open air Theatre. Great premise - but they are ridiculously loud and booming. The MCs are more than full of themselves - to the point where you cannot hear anything but them. Also - if you have a room nearby - you will hear the show constantly - until midnight daily. Again - the staff puts on a fun show - but it is way too loud

Overall - I think this hotel is an OUTSTANDING VALUE - and we have stayed at 3 other all inclusives.

I already miss it !

  • Liked — Amazing Value For All Inclusive
  • Disliked — Nightly entertainment too loud considering room locations
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Planet Earth
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2008

After reading other reviews before and after our stay, I will try and be as objective as possible, however; the magnitude of how bad this bad vacation experience was still lingers.
So...where to start?...

Resort: First of all, this is a lower end resort, and we knew that going in. We were still shocked and disappointed by the poor quality of the resort itself. The grounds were flooded (it does rain in DR) and the beaches were covered with trash and debris. The resort beach is in the corner of a large cove, so all the garbage that drains from the hillside streams blows in and collects in that area. They never really got the beach cleaned up, but they did make good efforts.

Our studio room was fine and was kept clean regularly. The hotel staff tried to please (sort of) but were indifferent to any complaints. We were with vacation club members and were promised that water and sodas in our room would be replaced every other day. That did not happen, and when we asked politely and repeatedly, the staff forgot how to speak english.

The food was beyond medicocre, but who goes to the tropics for fine dining? You can in fact, live on fruit and pasta. The coffee was a terrible instant swill from a machine. Bring your own, but wash the coffee pot in your room very carefully...

Excursions: We did a spa retreat for the girls to the Jasmine Spa located out of town in the hills. A very nice place ran by a lady named Anis. They treated us well and gave us the run of the place. Probably had the best meal of the trip there.

We did a horseback ride off-property with a German/English dude named Johnny. Good horses and good ride, but the tack is old and left me with a sore backside. Saw some great sights for cheap ($35US).

Diving: On our last day, we booked 2 dives off Sousa Beach for $40US each. They took us about 200 yards offshore in very rough
seas. The visibility was so poor (<4') and the currents were so bad that NONE of the dive party even considered a second dive. My wife and I got separated from the group at about 60' down
(I guess- my depth gauge did not work) and we had to hold hands to keep from getting lost. A very bad scene. It was extremely dangerous and foolhardy for them to even take us out.
Once we made it back to shore, we were treated to an endless parade of beach vendors hassling us non-stop.

Lastly, the resort is populated by a host of losers and bad characters from all over. I must say that for the most part, we
met lots of really nice, normal folks and made some good friends. However; there were a couple of greasy slime-balls from NZ and Australia hanging out drinking non-stop at the beach bar, after they had just been kicked of their last hotal for fighting.

On our last night, everyone in our group left the main beach bar for bed and I stayed behind for a minute to get one last beer. Out of nowhere, one of those losers blind-side punched me in the face for no apparent reason, then skulked off and hid. I had never even spoken to, or looked at them. Apparently, that is thier hobby and and idea of a good time. Again, they did the same to a German fellow at their last hotel before they were kciked out.

Security did nothing but escort me to my room like I was the perp. The next day, the hotel management did nothing. As you can imagine, I am still very shocked and upset. Guys like that will eventually really hurt someone bad - and probably get away with it.

There are many other resorts in the DR and the rest of this world that you can visit rather than spend your time and money at this one. Trust me when I say - DON'T COME TO THIS DUMP.

p.s. - If you have already booked, so sorry. Those louts are supposed to be there through around 12/13/08. Watch your back if you come here. No one else will.

Stayed November 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Occidental Gran Hotel Playa Dorada

Address: Playa Dorada Complex | P.O. Box 609, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Occidental Gran Hotel Playa Dorada 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Occidental Gran Puerto Plata
Playa Dorada Puerto Plata

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