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“Had a good time, but won't be back.” 3 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)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 45 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Had a good time, but won't be back.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

I traveled with a group of 8 friends to the Tropical for 7 days. We purchased from Groupon for $875 per couple.

ROOM was nice. Our reservations were not kept for rooms in building 5 or 6 (away from lobby/food/main pool) after 2 confirmations and we ended up in building 1, closest to all of it. It ended up not being a big deal though. I had no major issues with room. I slept well, and the maid service was good. We did hear of water/drainage/power issues from multiple other people.

SERVICE was hit or miss. Some were wonderful, and some downright made me feel uncomfortable. My group are all avid tippers. We choose to tip (I'm an ex-waitress) because we like to. Tip or not, some workers never cracked a smile or just ignored you. Many others were very hard workers, friendly, and a pleasure to talk to. It was 50/50 for me. If you like to tip, bring change. I took $200 in singles and smaller bills for tips and small purchases. I guess it is difficult to get change so bring it!!!

FOOD. This was my biggest complaint. I was stomach sick by the 4th day, my friend on the 3rd, another by the end. A few of us were fine. Don't know what it was, but I was eating dry footloops,chips from the shop and bananas by the last few days. I couldn't manage any wonderful frozen drinks or Presendente beers the last 3 days of my trip. I was afraid to put anything in my stomach at that point. I felt ok as long as I kept to very simple items. I love to try new food so this was huge disappointment.

EXCURSIONS were amazing. We went to Ocean World and the waterfall jumps/hike. Both were well worth every dollar and were the highlights of my trip. Ocean World was a great day. We choose the Sea Lion encounter which is a once in a life-time experience. Loved it. The waterfalls were a total blast, adrenaline rush. Major fun, but it is a physical day as well. Series of many falls, big jumps, and deep pools of water. Walking up the forest, through the rivers and falls. It was my favorite day.

BEACH was pretty great. The Tropical is in a nice cove area, nice to walk on day and night. The water was great, smooth sand in most areas, nice waves, and good swimming. I'm quite sad I'm not there right now. We strolled it every night. It was great and I felt safe. There was not a whole lot there as far as shells and snorkeling, the waves were good for playing, knee boards and I even saw some surfing. Some venders were repetive and it did get annoying at times but most of them were still very friendly and accepted a no.

GROUPON and VIP: I did not know that the Groupon deal included limited VIP access. Really all that means is that we could go to one of the VIP beaches (Harmony Beach)which is a nice area on the property/beach with cabana beds, cooling pools, 2 bars, and waiters. Over all it was a really great area, and the drinks were by far much better. There was a Groupon representative there who gave us a short rundown on what we had access too, and that was it. We met him in the lobby and he answered a lot of our questions and he was very helpful.

We were not happy with a pushy time-share stalker who we basically had to be rude to so he would leave us alone. He actually moved our drinks from our table to one closer by the enterance where he could wait and watch us finish our lunch after we arrived. We knew we did not want any part of it even with whatever upgrades it may have given us, but that was ignored. It was rude and not necessary.

We went to one entertainment show. We left after 15 minutes. It was terrible.

The pools looked nice but we spent our days on the beach. I was suprised by the vendors allowed by the pool on the property. If they would leave you alone as you pass by instead of always approaching you to come their way...i had to pass them between my room and beach. It became know as the Gauntlet among our group.

I mostly enjoyed my stay, made the best of it and had fun, but I would not come here for a beautiful, romantic honeymoon. Big let down on the food, and the few rude staff.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My 2nd time visiting DR….Prior to booking and leaving for our vacation in Puerto Plata my wife and I did our due diligence. This resort “Life styles” is “time share” (Reviews) everyone complained about the salesmen pressure, but gave no solutions. The first thing you are given when leaving the airport from cheapcaribbean is a small brown envelop with a card on the front, The staff give you a time when to meet the hotel /TS rep, he will give you information about return transportation to the airport. They said not attending forfeits return transportation…. if you don’t show up, you miss the connection etc. (BS). They are going to sell you the multiple excursion packages and they will hand you off to a 2nd salesman who takes you on a 1 ½ hr time share sales pitch.
Upon check-in a yellow wristband is given with a black band each side of the ” lifestyle” name when booking thur-(cheapcaribbean.com) If you purchase any variation of time-share you are given a different colored wristband VIP….more weeks purchased band changes color, guest of TS investor different color band and the list goes on, all have variation of privileges.
Upon check-in you are given two restaurant reservations. If you want additional you need to request in the lobby between 9-10 am you’re told I’ll put you on the waiting list. If you don’t have the VIP status on the wristband you will never get the reservation.
This is how we did it… The guy that approaches you about the preset meeting get a commission for passing you on to the 2nd salesman. So we made a deal with him, we asked what $ he made, we told him we would match it, if he got restaurant reservations that night in specific location. He said give me an hour….he returned saying they would be in our room be the end of the afternoon…4pm it sat on our bed waiting for us. The next morning at breakfast, he came and collected his fee and said have a great vacation…no more harassment. Keep in mind these guys are out to make a living just like us.
All of these guys are looking for dollars…money talks…put the money in front of the bartenders and wait staff get better service. One dollar goes a long way. I believe the drinks in the non VIP areas are watered down…These are “well” drinks all VIP are “call” drinks.
We do not like organized excursions…over priced….We sort-out a local official government tour guide, His name is Carlos Martinez cell # 829-521-5821 H# 809-26-1653 carlos_guia¬_oficial@hotmail.com For $50.00 dollars a day, 1-6 people… works for tips….nice comfortable minivan with AC….Carlos took us site seeing…old city Puerto Plata, cigar making, city fort, top of the mountain cable car, unbelievable views, botanical gardens, great local restaurant and higher end shopping. Carlos speaks great English and is very knowledgeable about the area…he will take you anywhere you want to go. Great guide had a great time. Carlos kept ALL predators away and felt very safe traveling with him. Carlos can also be found on the beach in between guides. When you exit the resort on to the beach, look to the left past the light blue restaurant you will see a purple flag flying when he’s on the beach. Tell him Neil sent you… I don’t get anything except the gratification of knowing I helped someone who helped me.
Room: power goes out at least 4 times a day…minutes at a time, no big deal, don’t set the clock… Room okay for sleeping and showering. Minimal towels only two pillows, insisted on more and got them right away. I travel a lot and stay in many hotels 4-5 star for business, this is not close… but I knew that from the get go, however, these guys are out to take care of you like most resorts… I’m always firm and polite when making requests and we had all of them filled. These guys use a networking system; everyone gets a piece of the pie.
Food: buffet style not that great, passing grade….all site restaurants average, my wife is a chef always disappointing when you now you can cook better at home. Would I return…? Yes to DR…. Not to this resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My husband would like to thank to all of yor hotel staff the hard and great work during our stay.
You did a really great job.
Special thanks to Johon Cena, I attended many of the stretching classes and especially enjoyed them.
You really made our 2 week stay unforgettable and wonderful.
Thank you!

With our best regards

Maria and George from Budapest, Hungary

Room Tip: Choose a quiet room far away from the restaurant?
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank N S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Accord, New York, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Our first vacation to the Dominican Republic was to Lifestyle Tropical resort and "what a Blast" the staff was OUTSTANDING!!!! hats off to Hector aka Michalel Jordan from the entertainment team around the pool this young man really went above and beyond.....
Only complaint the lack of hot water, or sometinme no water to shower..
Going again very soon...
Became a VIP Lifestyle member...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

I don't even know where to begin with this place. We were scheduled to stay 5 nights (2/3-2/8) but were forced to stay 3 extra nights because the noreaster back in Boston canceled our flights back home.

We went to Lifestyle with 17 people, 13 of which were in 2 villas. My girlfriend and I, as well another couple stayed at the Tropical in VERY basic rooms. They had the gold blacelet which gets you into everything. We had the yellow bracelet, which CheapCarribean.com told us was VIP, but couldn't have been further from the truth as we couldn't get into any of the "nicer" restaurants or beaches on the whole resort (unless you paid off the bartenders or the security) in some places like serenity beach.

The villas themselves were awesome, they had their own pool, flat screen tv, bedrooms, wifi, and a person that came every morning to make a crappy breakfast for them so they didn't have walk to the crappy breakfest buffet like the rest of the pool souls at the resort.

In our room at the tropical all the power went out the first night, which was pleasant. Certain things didn't work like the TV or the fridge; but we weren't there to stay in the room, we were there to drink and relax and as long as our AC worked I didn't really care. The AC in the other couples room didn't work any night for the entire 8 night stay and regardless of how many times they called to have it fixed no one ever showed up.

The first night we were there was the night of the super bowl and they put on a huge "superbowl party" where they had a massive tent with tons of overcooked, tasteless food. They did however have a few bar tents set up to drink. They had the game on 3 huge projection screens with the audio playing on a giant stage set up for music, it was pretty legit....that is until midway through the 2nd quarter when they muted the game and a black Kenny G came out and played the saxiphone for 20 minutes. It was the most bizzare thing I've ever seen. Anyone there who actually wanted to watch the game, left.

Food:

I'm not a food critic and I know I'm spoiled for growing up in New England and eating great food all the time but I've traveled all over the world and have never eaten food so bad. The only thing that I could stomach each morning was an omelate which they overcooked each day as well as (dominican style) fruit loops in a bowl of (I swear to god) breast milk. You know it's not good milk when they keep it mixing all day in a slushy machine.

Best food advice I can give is make reservations for the places that ARE NOT a buffet. The italian restaurant (Belini), the chinese food restaurant, and the mexican restaurant were the only ones we liked and ate at multiple times.

Service:

The only thing worse than the food was the service. They were the most unhelpful, manipulative, and shady people I've ever encountered and to make things comical, under each persons name tag was "we're here for you" which was like a slap in the face. You expect to be pestered by people trying to sell you things when you go to a country like this but the extent in which people go to sell you anything is both ridiculous and annoying.

ALSO: If you want to make it back home alive, stay away from the catamaran!!! For $70/person we were told we could go on a 25 person catamaran all day and drink, eat, and go snorkling. This was the only thing we left the resort to do. We all woke up early to catch an 8am bus that took us 30 minutes away to a catamaran which already had 50+ people on it (there were people on the roof it was so packed!!) We thought the tour guide was joking when 17 of us showed up and told us to head onto the boat. Long story short we didn't get on the boat (cuz we had a brain in our head) and demanded they take us back we were curse out the service people and after an hour got our money back.

Money:

Bring cash for tips, specifically all smaller bills because they WILL NOT break down USD for you even though they have it.

Last little story that pretty much sums up this place: The Wifi "Business Center" charges $4 for 15 minutes of wifi. We walked in and gave the kid working there 4 $1. As we were leaving this couple walks in and said we'd like to do 15 minutes and hands the kid a $5. The kid looks at the guy right in the eyes and says "Sorry sir, I don't have change for that" and the people walked out. We couldn't believe it, we had just given the kid $1's, he had them right behind the desk but he lied about it anyways. This happened everywhere! They would lie right to you face, even the "currency exchange" station refused to break down $20's for you.

I'm clearly venting but this was one of the most ridiculous experiences I've ever had. I don't understand how there are any positive reviews on this site about this place. Once again, I'm not rich, not a snobby food critic, and I've never written a review in my life, just couldn't let this one go after that experience. Beautiful beaches, beautiful resort (externally), but everything else was brutal. If you want a nice tropical experience go to Aruba, it'll be more money but at least you won't feel like you're being taken advantage of.

Room Tip: Don't stay in Tropical, rooms are a dump, stay at Confresi or in a villa if you can afford it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Chris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkley, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

The staff is great until something happens. My cell phone was taken out of the room safe. They have a gaurentee on the reciept but did not honor that. I am out $300 even with insurance.
They also target you to listen to their presentation to sell you a vacation club. It took half of a day.
NOT HAPPY!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I would like to begin my review by thanking John Cena for exhibiting the utmost professionalism by guiding me through my entire vacation and letting me know about the resort's daily activities. He made my vacation stay the easiest I have experienced with great ease. My vacation In the Dominican Republic was the best ever and I will certainly visit again in the very near future. It's superb service from employees like John Cena. He deserves a promotion and a raise. He is very intelligent and knowledgeable.

Room Tip: No comment, I had the best room service provided by Mirella? We love her. She's very attentive t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managementteam55, Manager at The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear guest,

It is of great honor to us to receive a review like this one that you have kindly shared with us. Your compliment towards our staff really shows the readers the true results of our efforts to provide a unforgettable experience and also help us to always improve our service. We are glad to see that we have achieved your satisfaction and we hope to have you with us at our Resort in the near future.


Best Regards,
The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 On the Beach 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 Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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