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“I was not happy” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Caribbean Village Playa Dorada

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Occidental Caribbean Village Playa Dorada
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Dorada | PO Box 653, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Pictou, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“I was not happy”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2010

I am an occidental first club member, at the occidental playa dorada, Puerto Plata. My wife and i decided to take our son, daughter, son in law, and grand daughter on a once in a lifetime trip. We were booked at the Playa Dorada, tickets were purchased, Everything was ready to go. One week before our trip, Occidental switched hotel's and sent us to the Caribbean village. OH MY !!! this hotel is separated from the beach by a golf club fairway, so little or no breeze to soothe the blistering heat. No suite overlooking the water. No beach bar service for club members. No BBQ night that club members are supposed to get. The hotel regular restaurant and bar service, were FAR better than the club member's service. The food at the buffet was excellent. All in all, the worst trip of my life.Think twice about purchasing an occidental club membership. You don't get what you're promised.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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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228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newfoundland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2010

My girlfriends and I went to the Carribean Village 2 years ago. I am only now getting around to writing a review.. lol
Depsite all of the negative comments we read before travelling down south, we had an absolute blast!! We got an incredible deal.. $900 taxes in pp.
Rooms:
The resort was not right on the beach but we did not mind the 10 minute walk every day.. It was actually nice to walk through the playa dorada complex and see all the other resorts and tourists!! The resort is made up of several different villas. We did not arrive until around midnight on our first night.. we were put in an older, more run down villa.. we seen a cochroach in our room (a very big one.. it put us all in a bad mood thinking they would be everywhere). I only seen one other cockroach after this, and it was closer to the beach. I think the reason it was in the room in the first place was because there are no screens, and the windows were open. There is a very distinct musty smell in the air in all parts of the Dominican, so don't just think it's this resort. After night one we wanted a nicer villa so they moved us closer to the entrance of the resort to a newer villa.. and with this one we had a balcony, and it was absolutely beautiful!!! It was a big bed with a seperater wall, a couch and tv set on the other side.. nice big clean bathroom! No complaints with this new room. The only thing I did not like was how we brought gifts for the maids, and did not leave a cash tip. Our other friends left cash tips and got little towel creatures put on their bed, and more towels/faster service... I guess they want money more than gifts.. one day they actually left coloring books (part of their gift, we thought they would bring it home to their kids.. guess they didn't like it).

Food:
The food wasn't amazing, but we always found something to eat. The fruit is delicious!! Best bananas I ever had. The Brazilian A La Carte was amazing! We actually went there twice, rather than going to the Italian restaurant for our second a la carte, as we heard the Italian was a little bland. I think breakfast was our best, tastiest meal. There was a PIZZA HUT in the playa dorada square and it was delicious, but they use goat cheese, be careful, your system might not be used to it!.. lol

Drinks:
There isn't much variety in the way of drinks, its either rum, vodka, or domestic beer. And I don't think they even had cola to mix with their drinks, just slush. All very sweet, fruity drinks. Delicious, but very sweet.. gave me a headache once or twice.

Beach:
Absolutely beautiful! Lots of vendors on the beach, if you're good at bartering, you can get some really nice souvenirs, jewelry, etc. for cheap. A little tip.. for those who don't mind walking- to the LEFT of the beach (when facing the ocean), we walked for about an hour until we found a HUGE market of vendors.. right on the beach.. with alot more variety of things to sell, and definately cheaper. These people were very aggressive but not harmful. Just wanting to make a dollar. So that was a very cool find.. bring your money if you wish to find this little spot, and be prepared to walk for about 45-55 minutes! Worth the walk on a beautiful day :)

Nightlife:
The 'disco' was very lame.. played music that was outdated 4 or 5 years.. and little selection. HOWEVER... walk into the square in the playa dorada complex and you will find COCO BONGO.. and have the time of your life! They had dancers there dressed up as superman, spiderman, beetlejuice, the matrix..etc.. the costumes looked like they were out of the movie itself!.. and the dancers were great! There is no cover to get into the bar.. but beware of what they charge you for drinks.. its never the same! And for those of you who smoke.. cigarettes are CHEAP ($3 CAD/pack) but they are all AMERICAN cigarettes..

Daytime activities:
Not much on the go here. They had water aerobics one day, and dance lessons another.. I think that was it. We did a a safari excursion which we all loved.. took us to a traditional school, house, 'cigar factory', a beach.. etc.. but it was nice to see 'outport' Dominican. There is an on store shop but it is very expensive so we didn't buy anything there. One day it rained so we went to the Square to do some shopping.. lots of little tourist shops.. and they barter as well, we got quite good at it so we got some fabulous deals!! One guy got used to us and knew us by name because we went there so often to get pizza hut, so we would just stroll around. You can get most anything at the square, it's just really expensive. You can find sunblock, cigarettes, tampons, you name it! Other than that, most of our time was spent on the beach or at the pool.

We were nervous after reading negative reviews, 4 young girls aged 23-26 but we had a great time! We felt really safe, even walking back to our resort by ourselves at 4 or 5 am from Coco Bongo. Julio was the night reception worker, and we just loved him ;) Not sure if he still works at this resort but he went above and beyond to help us.. gave us free calls home to Newfoundland! And free internet, unlimited. He loved us. ;) Overall a fantastic trip, met lots of people however this did seem like more of a retirement resort.. there were only 2 other guys on this resort close to our age and they were even younger than us.. everyone else seemed to be older. And the VIP room we were never allowed to use, not sure why. You can get most excursions for half the price at the square, so don't feel the need to book it through your tour guide, they make commission so it's almost double the price to book through them.. we found this out AFTER we booked and paid for ours.. and it was the same tour company at the square offering the same excursions!! Hope this review was helpful. :)

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2010

Caribbean Village Playa Dorada – Club on the Green
February 4, 2007 – February 12, 2007

My husband and I are 35 & 32 and have been to Tryp Cayo Coco, Cuba February 2002, Brisas Guardalavaca, Cuba February 2003, Hotetur Palma Real, Cuba, February 2004, Club Amigo Atlantico, Cuba February 2005, Breezes Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic February 2006.

We traveled from Halifax to Puerto Plata on an Air Transat airbus and returned on Westjet. We booked through SelloffVacations.com / Air Transat Holidays and paid $711 pp taxes included. We enjoyed our flight both ways but preferred Westjet. This package was booked 8 days prior to departure.

My husband and I were traveling with 8 family members between the ages of 30 and 60 for a wedding, so we had 5 rooms and 10 different opinions, 2 have never been down south.

Rooms:

The resort has many villa style buildings; our villa had a junior suite and 2 regular rooms upstairs and the same downstairs.

Our room 5223 consisted of 2 double beds with a night stand between, table & chair, dresser with 6 drawers, very old cable TV, dressing area before the bathroom consisted of a closet with hangers and safe, noisy A/C, ceiling fan, & working telephone. No Balcony or fridge in room. The bathroom had a mirror, sink, toilet, & bathtub with shower. My sister & her boyfriend had ADJOINING room 5222 a Junior Suite which they didn't pay extra for, there room consisted of everything a regular room had except a king size bed instead of 2 doubles, large balcony area, round table with 4 chairs, and what looks like a kitchenette with no fridge, no sink, no stove. My Mother and Step-father had the same type of room as us, room 5221, but there A/C wasn't noisy at all.

The Bride and Groom were given a junior suite with a super large balcony and a fridge.

Everyone was satisfied with there rooms and only the bride and groom were switched to a nicer room and this was only because of the wedding, they were upgraded.

All the rooms were clean and no one saw any bugs in the rooms. The only MINOR complaints heard were drinking glasses in rooms not cleaned/replaced & no Kleenex in rooms. Our room the shower didn't work when attached to the wall and had to be hand held, also the shampoo and conditioner dispensers didn't work.

Always had hot water and power, they have both 110v and 220v electricity in room and on balcony. We all went knowing it was a 3 star and were more than happy with the rooms.


Service:

The service was excellent for a 3 star. Ony at the pool bar was great. The only complaint would be service at the buffet at dinner. At breakfast and lunch there were plastic cups for drinks but not at dinner and I would have preferred getting my own to waiting to be served and there seemed to be a shortage of wine glasses. Service at A la Carte's was slow, but I think it's supposed to be a leisurely meal but a glass of wine right away would have been appreciated. Front desk staff was friendly and efficient. Carole the Air Transat representative will do anything possible to make your trip enjoyable. On the day of departure our flight left at 11pm, the hotel was full and the front desk wasn't able to get us a late check-out, we went to talk to Carole and she was able to get 1 room for the 10 of us to share.

Pool:

Pool was perfect, very clean and a good temperature. The stools were higher then usual at the pool bar, which I thought was great because people's butts weren't in the pool so hopefully not as much peeing in the pool.

The great thing about this resort is the large amount of loungers, no need to get up early. If you want to sit in the shade, grab a lounger in the shade, and then just move to another lounger to sit in the sun. Wonderful!!!

The whole time we there the property was at full capacity, but it never seemed busy, and locals never invaded resort.

Beach:

The beach was nice, NO the sand wasn't white and the water wasn't Cuba clear aqua, but nice. I never had trouble getting a lounger on the beach at anytime of day. The beach bar was O.K. with a variety of drinks and a small buffet available certain times of the day. The washrooms are also nice at the beach bar, not like the picture on trip advisor I have no idea what washroom that was but I never saw it. When walking the hotel beach strip one day we saw 7 topless bathers, so not very many.

Bugs & Animals:

No bugs in the bed and none in the room!!! No bugs in any of the food places!!!

Most of us received a few mosquito bites, and sometimes put on bug spray. But I get more bites in Canada in the summer time.

No cat's or dog's around the resort that I noticed. There were dogs and puppies on the beach.

Food:

Always plenty of food to find at the buffet. Missed not having 24 hr food and drinks, but at around 12 – 1am they would have hamburgers and hotdogs.

Weather:

Only rained a couple of times at night unfortunately in was the night of the Beach party & the night we were booked to go to the Brazilian a la carte.

Off Resort:

Casino with free drinks if gambling, Mall with a Pizza Hut and Nightclubs.

Wedding:

The Coordinator did a fantastic job considering not many people get married at a 3 star or at this resort....The resort had no prior knowledge of the wedding and were very excited to help in anyway....of course the bride and groom had all the appropriate paperwork, thanks to the Dominion Embassy in Canada that put a rush on everything and all paperwork was sent and returned within 4 days.....AMAZING.

The resort had the gazebo repainted just for the wedding. Wine and snacks were sat-up for after the ceremony, people playing music, photographer, decorated horse and carriage to take bride and groom to the beach. The coordinator arranged for the bride and groom to have a private supper at the Brazilian al a carte.

I will post wedding pictures.

Sorry for the late posting, half this review was written directly after the trip and half just now.

  • Stayed February 2007
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Great Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2009

As usual we were a little apprehensive about staying here after reading the negative reviews but I can honestly say that it was one of the best hotels we have stayed in abroad (and we do go away four times a year!)
The rooms were basic but clean, good aircon and no insects, towels were changed whenever you wanted. Cleaner left bottles of water in our fridge for us when we'd run out which was nice.
When we arrived we'd been given a ground room floor but they moved us immediately to a first floor room when we went back to reception.
The food is lovely, there are plenty of options, always a good selection of meat, pasta, salad etc - not to mention the dessert trolleys. You can help yourself to wine and soft drinks during your meals.
The two themed resturants are a must , really relaxing with delicious food and fantastic service. We saw people walk out half way through their meal - maybe they were expecting chips!
There is a quiet adult pool and bar if you want to get away from the noise of the main pool. The animation team organise pool games, water aerobics plus many other games and competitions such as darts, french bowls, table tennis, archery, crazy golf etc.
The animation team work really hard and also provide the evening entertainment which is alright as long as you like watching dancing.
The bars are good and alcohol is of a nice quality, they are generous with their measures and will fill any size glass/cup/botlle that you put in front of them 24 hours a day!
The staff all speak very good English because this hotel is mainly used by English and Canadians apart from at weekends when Domicans stay for a few days - some guests were uncomfortable with this but I thought it illustrated what a good hotel it was if the local rich people chose to stay there.
There is a free shuttle bus to the beach but it only takes ten minutes to walk there. The hotel has a free resturant and bar at the beach where you can sit in the shade and chill. The beach is amazing, if you walk to the right of the resturant (as you stand facing the sea) you can walk for miles and find yourself a private bit of beach.
The hotel is in a security guarded strip along with numerous other hotels, clubs, casinos and pubs but we found it quite safe to leave the complex. We caught local buses (20p each) to wherever we needed to go including the local mountain. The hassle from the locals was nowhere near as bad as we've experienced inplaces such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey. The locals here will take no for an answer if you tell them politely but firmly.
I would definitely return to this hotel if ever I came back to the same area, for the price we payed it was fantastic value for money.
Do not be put off by negative reviews - I have come to the conclusion that people only write reviews when they want to criticise rather than compliment a place!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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OTTAWA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

Well i ended up in this resort by mistake anyway - I was suppose to stay at Barcelo
Down the street in playa dorada but a friend messed up everything
When we first arrived there - the service was kind of alright
its true what they say (sometimes") PICTURES LIE
when we arrived there , the pool was way too small and it closed early
The bar was alright - served Domestic Drinks
There was a special Lounge - they would not let us in for some reason - ( and told us it was VIP) which was a lie - because when i spoke to the travel guide - they told me we had full access of this lounge .
The main reception was beautiful - nice view - but the rooms were awful - small . hot . and the fans did not work . the water had problems , the lights too.
it looked like the rooms were wearing down . so we complained several times- ..
since i am a friendly , and social person - i was cool with the guy that worked night shifts . so i did him a favor ( my helping out this lady that was complaining that some teens flooded they're rooms and water came into hers .. " i was drunk " so i pertended i was the night manager and took the security and plumer with me , and switch her rooms and spoke to the other teens , ( i m a teen myself) and every thing was perfect for her , she was so happy she kept on thanking me during the whole trip thinking i was a staff member - anyways .because of that , we were upgraded to a suit .. the next day by the actual manager - she made us happy - but some of friends remaining in the low class rooms which sucked - Carribean village is the furthest Resort in playa dorada - to get to the shopping plaza its about a 20minute walk . or you can wait for the little safari truck to bring people to the WORST BEACH ON EARTH- . there is no night clubs in the resort or Casino- you watch the shows the have outside -'' 1/4 or go to the disco which is full our boring people that don't dance " .. but if you get out of the resort and walk to the plaze there is 3 clubs - 2 that are good - COCO BANGO and a spanish club( but i do not recommend people to go to the spanish one too late - because things happen there easily - its safer at COCO BONGO -
WHen you take a taxi in the resort to go party at the cabareta beach ( BEACH PARTY IN MARCH between MARCH 16-28TH) it would cost you 70$ but as soon as u leave the resort Gates ( few steps ) it cost 30$

There is not much to do at this resort - one pool is always closed ( the deeper one )
BUT THERE IS A NICE GOLD AND MOUnTAIN VIEW -
I have to MUCH to say - but i don't want to SPOIL it for the people planning to go there -
BUt overall i would rate this trip 2/6

  • Stayed March 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Nova Scotia
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2009

For the price ,not bad.Rooms were big and clean,had to be transferred to another room after 3 days of no hot water.there was a shortage of towels and no washclothes.The staff was very friendly .The food was pretty much the same and yesterdays left overs,bland .A small walk to the beach and mall which we enjoyed because the weather was great .Over all not so bad ,we had a great time .The Puerto Plata Runners excursion was the BEST !!! Yea Elvis

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — No hot water or towels !
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2009

I was a little afraid after we booked this trip and saw the reviews.

This turned out to be one of the best vacations of my life. The hotel and room were very clean. The food was o.k. The hotel staff and servers were indifferent, but once you tipped them, they had a smile for you. I was shocked at the amount of vacationers who expected the world and didn't leave so much as a peso behind.

The entertainment was decent, although we didn't see to much of it. At night, we hit some of the local public houses and clubs in the compound and had an absolute blast. The club disco was a little busted but we still had fun.

We loved the snorkeling off of Paridise Island and the rum factory. The Cascades excursion was the absolute high point of our vacation, despite the Canadian Embassy and Air Transat telling us not to go.

Tonnes of things to do and places to see. I was afraid the walk to the beach would've been a drag, but it was nice to get a little daily exercise. The beach in not as nice as Punta Cana but it's a decent beach with food, booze and a place to pee in the middle of Feb. What else can you ask for???

We didn't have any trouble with insects. The beach vendors can be a little bothersome, but you just say "no thanks" and they were on their way. I wish the Dominicans would respect their environment a little more. For that matter, I was a little disappointed in my fellow Canadians who rarely took their trash with them when they left the beach!

Great vacation! We'd do it all again too!

  • Liked — $1.50 Coronas
  • Disliked — leaving
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Additional Information about Occidental Caribbean Village Playa Dorada

Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 653, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Caribbean Village Playa Dorada 3.5*
Number of rooms: 336
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Occidental Caribbean Village Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
Caribbean Village Playa Dorada

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