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“I really enjoyed myself” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“I really enjoyed myself”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

I read all the negative stuff before I left which actually prepared me for the worst case scenario. However I had the opposite experience with this resort. I loved my vacation there.
I have been to many resorts in DR and many other countries so I know what I like and what to expect when travelling to poorer countries that being said nothing surprises me.
We had no trouble checking in they were ready for us and we came in from santiago so not on a shuttle. We went to our room and didn't like the location (by the pool too noisy for me) just went back to desk and asked for something else and we're taken to another room immediately and that's the one we took no problem they even helped us bring our luggage and stocked the fridge for us since it was empty.
I like Dominican food a lot so I had no problems with the buffet yes it is a bit repetitive but it was hot and good I'm sure most people could find something to enjoy. You can take a shuttle to the other hotel in the complex the Cofresi Palm and apparently their buffet has more variety because it's bigger. I can't say for myself since I never bothered to do that.
The a la carte restaurants we're good. The only thing I really didn't like about these restaurants was the system for getting a reservation. You go at 9 am and wait inline to be put on a waiting list for one of them and then in the afternoon you find out if you're in or not. That was a little weird since then we never knew if we had reservations or not so we would come back early enough just to find out when we had to get ready. they should have a system like everyone else and give you a reservation right away but I believe they are waiting to see how many VIP'S want to go and they give them priority. Whatever! Anyway afterall was said and done we did get reservations where and when we wanted but I bet that would not e true of high season and it would really frustrate me.
we tried Mexican good food nice atmosphere,Dominican good food but not everyone would like this place,seafood I had filet mignon which was good had to pay extra for lobster why bother since I love lobster but not rock lobster so much and I doubt it's worth the money. we tried the asian one to and it was very tasty and you can get more than one appetizer if you want which I did and they didn't disappoint and this one had a beautiful ambiance to it. there are also a brazilian one and italian and if you are a vip member there are more choices i believe.
The VIP beach which you are allowed to use if you travel with certain companies I believe I really enjoyed. We did have to go a bit erly to get the bed we wanted but there was always beds available. Beds on the beach I loved this concept. Plus this is where the good liquor is the ones with the names so better drinks which are brought to your bed. There is food available so many lunches we just stayed there. Sushi bar on this beach also pretty good sushi too.
I loved also the beach itself but I like waves and it is very wavy unfortunately it is also a bit rocky and seaweedy on your feet if your not in the roped area (water shoes would have solved this problem) I spent many hours in the water anyway so I had fun.
Not too many people trying to sell you stuff on the beach so that was nice there are stores on the beach though because the beaches in DR are public.
The room was nice enough for the amount of time we spent there it was humid but we left the air cond on all the time and it kept it dryer.
Their cleaning staff is so so I speak spanish so I would leave notes if I needed something and sometimes it was granted and sometimes not so I guess you take your chances.
the room was kept clean enough.
I didn't really enjoy the tour you take at the beginning for the villas member thing but you can avoid it by just not going to the appointment but many people upgraded since the deal is pretty good.
Anyway I hope this is helpful don't listen to all the negative stuff and see for yourself.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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3,425 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012 via mobile

I've been to this resort many times and for the price we pay we can't complain! There are plenty on restaurants to eat at, many activities, lots of pools, nice beach and most important great people that work there to make your holidays unforgettable! The animation team is just great! Thanks to Barbie, "Lenny Krevitz", Johny Bravo, Droopy, towel boy Jorge, Pedro "happy happy" bartender at the beach bar and all other staff members for a great week!

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan City, Indiana
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We were able to get a pretty good weeklong deal through an RCI guest certificate and paid very little to upgrade our stay to all-inclusive. The Tropical isn't the fanciest place I've ever stayed, but it was clean. And you're in the Dominican Republic -- why are you in your room when you could be on the beach, at the pool or taking some excursion four-wheeling or horseback riding???

I liked that RCI members have dinner reservations made for them already when they get there. The resort has several dinner-only restaurants (reservations required) and two buffets at which you can eat any meal without reservations. I loved Blue Lagoon for seafood, and also enjoyed El Pilon (Dominican cuisine) and their Brazilian steakhouse. I would avoid Trapiche Paradise (Mexican). Buffet fare was usually pretty good.

Too many pools to count, and some with swim-up bars! The best pools are in the Lifestyle Cofresi Palm resort next door, which you can walk to within a few minutes.

All the staff were very accommodating, kind and helpful. They were part of what made the trip so special for us! I especially liked our waiters, and the photo staff that walked around the resort snapping photos to sell to vacationers later.

The nightly entertainment wasn't always the best, but at least the resort always had something going on. There is also a big Ocean World casino and Sea World-type park next door that other visitors seemed to like. We didn't make it over because we were having too much fun! Hopefully we'll go back some day!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Gainesville, Florida, United States
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We booked this hotel through CheapCaribbean.com. Of course, all the photos looked great. The hotel itself was nice. Main gripes:
1. They ask to meet with you right away to give you a 'welcome gift' and tell you about their VIP service. Beware: this is a time share presentation. Although they don't call it that - it is!
2. Requested a quiet room. Gave us a room by the pool where the 'boom-boom' music is the loudest. However, they did eventually give us a more quiet room.
3. Our room was supposed to be ocean view. Couldn't see the ocean unless you went out on your lanai.
4. They have several restaurants on-site but only open a couple each night. Although we were there 4 nights, were never able to get into one except at 9:45 at night. Way too late to eat a big meal.
5. The computer automatically assigns each guest one good restaurant reservation. You can go at 9am to Guest Services but they won't change your reservation. They put your name on a waiting list. However, we noticed that many of these better restaurants were fairly empty. We assume that people who have pre-assigned reservations never cancel them. Hence, you can never get in. This is a terrible setup and needs changing.
6. Prices for excursions were way overpriced from the hotel. If you went directly to the outfits vis phone or internet, they were way cheaper.
7. We signed up with Aqua Center Dive in Sosua from the hotel. Was supposed to be a boat dive. It was. But, you had to swim out to the boat and then swim from the boat back to the beach after the dive. They did not have a pier where they docked the boat. Of course they don't tell you that. We did two dives and they were the worst dives I have ever done and I have gone diving all over the world.
8. The guys in 'white shirst' try to sell you excursions. Beware: they are dishonest!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Houston, Texas, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We saw an internet ad for "villas" and because we had a large group and wanted a "quality" experience, we contacted a representative. The villas were unavailable at the time we wanted so we were presented with other options including the "Presidential Suites". They were large and well appointed and looked like they would meet our needs. We were promised that we would have all the same benefits as if we were in the villas - except a private pool and breakfast cooked in our rooms. We would still get golf carts for transportation and have room service and liquor service to our rooms.The "all inclusive part" was an extra daily fee and we felt it was expensive but not excessive. We had very high expectations because we paid the "upgrade" for the VIP gold bracelet package. We arrived in Puerto Plata and were met by a VIP representative who took us to a Van for transportation to the property. It was not very comfortable but the driver was very nice and after 40 minutes, we arrived. The property was huge, a sprawling development of 6 or 7 different beaches and many specialty restaurants and several pools, tennis courts and health spa. We were glad we would have the carts for transportation or we would not be able to enjoy all it had to offer particularly because two of our party were older and had mobility issues. We were told there were busses and vans that ran continually throughout the property and were available on request but at busy times there might be a little wait. At check in we were presented with our "packages" and bracelets and told about how much would be charged for key loss etc. They were professional but not overly friendly. What struck us immediately is how many uniformed personnel there were. There were more employees than guests. Although we were glad to be providing help to the Island, its easy to "do the math" about how they can pay so many people ........ and still make a profit. What we were to find out was that quantity did not mean quality. The first problem came immediately, We were informed that in spite of consistent communication and availabillty of phone and email about the payments, we were never told that because this was one of the busiest times of the year for them and there were certain things that would not be available. The first was one of our suites. We had booked and payed for 4 two bedroom presidential suites but when we checked in, we were given only 3 and two "studios" to accomodate the others. There was no apology - no effort to "compensate" us in any way. In fact when I complained to the "customer service person" - "Amber", she had the gaul to say "You are lucky to have these - you could have had no room at all." That was our first experience of what this organizations ironically calls "customer service". The second was after checking in we asked about "our" golf carts which were numerous and everywhere. We were told we were not getting any even though we were told we would get 1 for each of our suites. I explained our situation with limited mobility to no avail. There were to be no carts for our entire stay until after most of our party had departed. The next was after check in we went to make dinner reservations for the "specialty" restaurants and were informed there were several that were not available for various reasons. The Brazilian would not be available due to its not being able to "accomodate such a large party". Even though these things were known in advance, no effort was made to make us aware of any of this nor was any of it on the web site. We tried to make the best of it and booked several excursions including golf, horseback riding, fishing and a special "island snorkling trip" as well as an outside trip to a spa in the mountains. We thought we would be able to have many of our meals in the Presidential buffet and others on the property. We expected the food to be high quality. To make a long story short, with some exceptions, (Wilgree at the VIP desk, Lilo, the tennis pro, Miguel, the golf coordinator) the rest of the staff was mediocre and were abviously wanting to be "tipped' even though it's supposed to be "all inclusive",The food in the presidential buffet was inconsistent poorly done and tasteless. Very limited choices and not well prepared or presented. We tried several of the other buffets and were similarly unimpressed. Even the one at the Tropical (Casablanca) was at best just OK and mostly poorly seasoned, overcooked and not appetising. We have been to these types of resorts all over the world and have had much better food in the majority of places. As for the specialty restaurants, they had much better presentation, but only the Mexican,(Trapiche) and the Jazz were better than average - but not great. Even the "big deal" VIP Gourmet was not up to expectations and be careful where you eat, they allow people to smoke at the next table while you are still eating. There was one restaurante at the "tower" the Azul on the 4th floor that had what I would call good food, but it was very small and difficult to get to and not open on the weekends - in fact none of the restaurants are open on Sunday due to the "managers" party - a huge extravaganza- with horrible food and fireworks. The two Sundays we were there, it poured down rain and no alternate plans were made even though rain was predicted. The biggest indicator for me is that no effort was made to make things better for us in any way. The so called custome service people made it clear that we were not "owners" so they could not do anything for us. We came to understand very clearly from "Amber and Laura and a third very overwieght and unattractive woman with dark straggly hair who was working on the weekend when the other two were not available - that customer means owner and if you do not become a member, you do not get any "service". They never once called us nor offered anything to compensate us for any of the problems we were facing. We were unable to enjoy most of the resort due to the transportation situation and some of our party were pretty much confined to the one facility. Were there good things - sure every experience has goods and bads but the overwhelming majority of this place is horrible when compared to other value destinations around the Carribean and Mexico/Central America. Oh one more thing - becomming an owner has its own special rewards, apparently you can pay for the right to go there any time you want and choose amoung upgrades like "golf carts" and helicopter or limo rides from the airport - all of which are "extra". Then - get this - you still have to pay the same weekly service fee as a renter - gotta love it - but you will get "customer service" LOL

Room Tip: They reserve the right to put you wherever they choose without notice - it is in the fine print of t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I attended my cousin's wedding in October (Columbus Weekend) with a group of about 25ppl staying at the Presidential and Confresi Palm Suites. We all enjoyed the beautiful wedding and fabulous Lifestyles Resort.We were all VIP and was able to enjoy everything at resort. Our VIP Rep (NORA HAMILTON, was great!) Luckily it was October so the temp was in the mid to upper 80's during the day (with crazy humidity) because the A/C in my Junior Suite (Confresi Palm) did not work so great; however the room was comfortable.

Pros: beautiful scenery of the Dominican mountains from high points throughout the resort, swimming pools VIP pool w/the Hookah bar was super fun, the drinks were also better at the VIP pool. Actually all of the VIP areas were really nice, the night club ICE was decent and had mix of all music...............the DJ was even nice enough to find a fairly new hip-hop song my cousin kept requesting as she danced the night away, lol, and the Welcome Party on Sunday is FABULOUS (a must do)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cons: outside of the VIP grill the food on the resort is not very flavorful good for nourishment, but not a delectable enjoyment. the beach is not very clean or welcoming, its public so you are prone to vendors trying to sell you "authentic" oil paintings and other "do-dads". The nighttime front desk staff at Confresi Palm is not the friendliest, so save your questions/concerns until the morning and direct them straight to your VIP rep (Nora was fabulous and I loved her English accent).

The resort is so huge, my husband and I plan to return with our 2 children and more family members next year.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Falls Church, Va
Top Contributor
423 reviews 423 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I booked this resort through RCI. Though the resort has a mandatory all inclusive of $350 per day for four up to people (not a bad deal). We arrived and had a warm greeting, but soon learned about the whole wrist band system. We also were made aware of the restaurants and beaches we were not allowed at because of our blue shiny wrist band. The initial impression of the room at the Presidential Suites was 5 stars. Be aware that you have to climb stairs if you don't get a ground level suite. Fridge was filled with drinks and the WiFi worked although intermittent. We had a small sliver of ocean view. I wish the units were closer to the water - first issue. We had our power go out a few times but immediately came back on - to be expected in a third world country. The entire reservation system for dinner was obnoxious - second issue. We were automatically assigned to the Chinese restaurant the first night and it was atrocious. The food at the resort was mediocre at best even at the VIP restaurants. It got pretty boring and felt the same no matter were we went (with the exception of Jazz). Servers definitely expected tips and I felt like the service was better when they knew you tipped. We had a welcome dinner scheduled and even had personal blue shirted concierge introduce himself and come to our room - third issue. The welcome party had decent food but our personal concierge turned out to be one of the many hustlers at the resort trying to get us to tour and buy into the property. His name was Junior and he became very rude and aggressive when we indicated we we'rent interested. He had at least three of his white shirted cronies trying to get us to tour the whole week. To top it off, it was pouring rain at the welcome party. Unless you were completely drunk, it wasn't fun huddling in a tent to protect your self from the rain desperately waiting for a ride back to where you were staying. I had to call security to get a special ride for my aging parents. It was a nightmare and management was entirely to blame - fourth issue. The beach wasn't that amazing and having to take a shuttle from the Presidential Suites to get there was a pain - fifth issue. No swim up bar (the one swim up vodka bar was shut down) - final issue. Overall, if the room at the Presidential suite hadn't been as nice, I wouldn't recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
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Additional Information about The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 282
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within the sprawling Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, The Tropical offers a classic hotel vacation experience set within quaint, two- and threestory, Mediterranean-style buildings. The mood is laid-back and distinctively Caribbean. Guest enjoy all resort facilities and amenities (excluding the V.I.P areas) including swimming pools, a choice of excellent restaurants, exercise rooms, tennis courts, windsurfing and so much more. The Lifestyle Tropical is Ideal for couples seeking a private island hide-away with all the advantages of a world-class resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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