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“GREAT PLACE” 5 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 42 Hotels in Puerto Plata
A TripAdvisor Member
“GREAT PLACE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2006

I stayed at Hacienda Resorts (HR) in the Tropical Resort and Spa section from Feb 18-25 and had a wonderful vacation. HR has 4 distinct sections: Tropical, Residence Suites, villas, and little cabanas. My room was a single in Tropical with a queen sized bed. The room was very nice and clean. It had a spare but modern style to it with a nice balcony. It was close to the main pool and the beach, not too noisy, and kept clean. The weather was perfect everyday: about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, bright sunshine, no humidity, light breeze. The beach is about 3/4 mile in length and clean. I like to run on the beach and it was nice, hard-packed sand with next to no stones or shells. The water was great: clean, little seaweed, and a nice shade of indigo blue. People at HR didn't seem very interested in playing water or beach volleyball but at the end of the beach is Sun Village resort and everyday around 11am and then from about 3pm to 6pm, they have great beach volleyball games. I played there all week before I realized it was a different resort. No one checks your tags. The food was pretty good: plenty to choose from. I enjoyed the food at the Tex-Mex and Chinese restaurants. I didn't try the Blue ?, seafood restaurant. You need to be in line at the Tropical buffet restaurant by about 8:30 am to make reservations. Reservations go very quickly. I traveled alone and met some nice people. I never felt threatened though the Dominican men are very friendly and flirtatious. Being single, I had to be firm when I told them I wasn't interested in going to discos with them. But they took it well and again, I never felt threatened or pressured. Have a great trip!

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (681)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2006

Arrived Feb 9 and stayed for two weeks. It rained the entire first week, so we travelled the island by rental car. I suggest renting a car from the second car rental on the malecon. They are much cheaper and better cars. Can't remember the name, but it is the second car rental further up the beach from downtown Puerto Plata. The second week was nice weather and we enjoyed the beach and swimming. The water was not very clean and the beach near the water was mostly shade during the day, so we stayed on the second level up from the beach and it was ok. Beach chairs are scarce on nice days, so I advise to get there early and leave the towel on the chair. We did not stay be the pool because it was very noisey and the pool water did not look all that clean. Showers in the rooms were mostly either cold or warm. Only had one or two hot showers during the stay. We had a good room near the buffet and pool bar, king size bed, fridge, A/C, balcony with ocean view on the 1st floor. No problems with the rooms except they take your bath towels at 9:30am and do not return clean ones until 6pm. They do not provide wash cloths, so I suggest you bring some if you require these. We tipped our maid $1 at least every day and had adequate service mostly. The buffet was ok and the variety was ok. The pasta was great and so was the fresh pumpkin in the morning. The fruit shakes I enjoyed as well. They had a good variety and we certainly did not starve. The resort is quite far away from downtown and cab fair one way was US$17. We went one time, then we rented a car after that. The rental agency will pick you up and return you to the hotel for no extra charge. If you plan to drive into Santo Domingo, be careful and ensure that you have an experienced driver that is used to heavy traffic. We drove approximately 1500kms on our trip with no problems. We travelled to Haiti as well with no problems, but it was scarey at times. If you plan a trip to DR, Hacienda is ok, don't expect much for the price.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2006

Feb. 11 - Thought I'd write in and let you know about our 7 day stay at the Lifestyle Hacienda Tropical Resort in Puerto Plata, DR. We arrived and were quickly checked in. There were seven of us travelling together and three were booked in building 4 and the two couples were booked in building 5. When we opened the door to our room there was water all over the hallway floor. We quickly went to the front desk asking for another room and they moved us to building 4. Much better room and building, must have been recently renovated. If you are checking in ask for building 4. While we were there they were renovating one building over beside the gift shop, I'm not sure what number that building was, but once done would probably be the one to ask for when checking in.
There were only minor problems at the resort like power outages, but they never lasted long, sometimes no hot water and sometimes too hot, and one time we had hot water in our toilet, but we managed. The rooms were cleaned daily, at our building usually late afternoon. The maid did a wonderful job and was very friendly, nothing was ever missing out of our room and we always left her a tip, nail polish and other items, which she showed her appreciation. Sometimes there was a shortage of towels but we always had some by evening (I would suggest bringing two of your own towels either to use for beach or room, because sometimes they run out and face cloths because we never got any). The air conditioning worked but was quite cold and I would suggest some nice smelling candles to freshen up your room.
The buffet was excellent, lots to eat and good variety, omelettes and pasta made to your liking, roast turkey, Beef Wellington, seafood items and many of their own foods like mashed bananas and others if you wanted to try. Make sure to try the breads, freshly made everyday, delicious. We ate at the Blue Laguna restaurant, and had a great hamburger and French fries. The only thing my husband missed was ketchup. The ketchup there doesn't taste very good and seemed to ruin whatever you put it on. The pools were clean and you were always able to find a beach chair. They have a spa at the resort and my husband and I went for a massage it was great. They have a pamphlet but don't offer everything listed, but it was great.
We went on two tours, one the Northern Highlights tour, a long day, but a bit boring, toured the amber museum, cathedral, Fort, but the best part was a trip to Sosua beach where there was one kilometer of shops set up, lots of bartering going on. The best was the Outback Safari tour, very bumpy but lots of fun, lots to drink, a great lunch with entertainment and boogie boarding. Our driver was Scooby and our tour guide was Izzy. Excellent, easy to understand and very informative, lots of fun. Bought a few souvenirs, as the tour supports one local family and a school, with funds that they make.
We also walked down the beach to the left (towards Ocean World sign) and had supper at Chris and Mady's restaurant. What a great meal, the seven of us ate and drank for just over $200. The owner is originally from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. It was great to have a Caesar with Absolute vodka! While at the restaurant we noticed a mini shopping plaza with internet and phone access. What a great shop, before you go bartering on the beach or at the resort, stop at this place, the prices are fantastic, because when we went there and compared to what we had paid elsewhere, we found we were ripped off. It was nice to shop with no pressure and no bartering. They have internet use for $1 for 20 minutes. There is a cash machine on the resort, great for getting pesos and you can exchange your money in the lobby.
One night we went to the amphitheatre for Karaoke and two nights to the disco in the VIP area. What a great time. Speaking of VIP beware of the guys with VIP World t-shirts on, they stand at the buffet entrances trying to convince you to go to a VIP session to talk about timeshares. You do get giveaways, t-shirt, rum, etc. If you're not interested stand firm and say no. We went to a show one night by the pool, with dancing, fire, etc., it was very nice.
Overall very clean resort, friendly staff, nice beach, a great time.
Michelle, Manitoba, Canada

Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2006

If you dont mind OCCASIONAL hot water
If you dont mind waking up at 8am to wait in line until 9am to make a reservation for one of the "a la carte" restaurants...
(by the way only 2 out of the 6 listed are actually open for business)
If you dont mind a rusted "exercise facility"
If you can swim cause there are no life guards in case you drown...
If you're into going to one of them "timeshare" things
(they are tricky... they wear the same kind of polo shirts as the actual workers and they just cut you off on your way back to your room and then you get hauled away in a golf cart to their other resorts)
If you can haggle with the best of them... (these side walk merchants are a big rip off if you dont know how to haggle!)

But other than that this place is great! Drinks were good. Food (that was available at the main restaurant) was good. Tuesday night steaks were awesome. and the cleaning lady was nice.

Also, its a plus if you speak/understand spanish.

This is based on a true story from Feb 20-25 2006. Hope this has made your trip decision easier.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, MI
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2006

Please listen before going with kids! Pack a whole suitcase full of snacks and other items for the kids that might have nutrition in them. There are refriderators so you could bring yogurt or cheese too. The food has NO kids friendly food at all. You will live on pasta the whole week and some nights there is no pasta available...so bread it will be. The ice cream is good and safe too. DO not eat the meat or anything that looks suspicious. I wouldn't eat any salad either and limit fruit consumption. Every person we talked to someone in their party or everyone got sick, throwing up and diareeha. The water in the bars and at dinner is safe. It is all bottled. The drinks are safe too. The ocean is rough so waves are AWESOME! The pool is okay but only two pool boogie boards available. Bring toys for pool if little kids are coming. There is will be limited if any hot water in the room...do not let the kids drink any bath water (I put bleach in the water before they bathed). If you bathe early you might get warm water, if not until 5 pm. or so FORGET it. Tip your maid and get lots of bottled water. Bring lots of singles.... bell boys and car driver expect $! We brought a 6,5, and 10 month old, it was hard with food but they had an awesome time!! If you can afford it, go to Ocean World... it is great. Hang out at the grotto and watch the tigers being fed. Feed the love birds, and do the encounter with the dolphins.. WONDERFUL!!!!! The food was good there, stick with what is safe though. The tuna fish is safe and good everywhere we went. OH, eat lunch at the Laguna beach restraunt, easy for on the beach all day and recommended... great salsa! We didn't go out after 6 on the beach because of the fleas and mosquitos. Email me with any questions: jdietrich0368@wowway.com. Also,beware of your ride to Susua beach if doing snorkling trip.... old beat up van that is rusty and goes through the most impovershed parts of town. Remember this is a three star... I would definitely try to stay at the other 5 star resort on the Cofresi beach ... it is all inclusive 24 hour. This one has no food from 3:30-6:30. Snacks are very expensive at the gift shop, but there is a snack shop down the beach across the road with stuff..never got there, but heard it has stuff.

Anything else? Yes, don't let them put you in the suites....... stay in the yellow buildings..villas. The suites are the pictures you see that are bad on this trip advisor and they are real! They tried to put us there first...NOT!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central City PA
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2006

The grounds and gardens were beautiful and well kept. The pools were nice, well kept. Food was ok, not much variety - pasta, chicken, pork, beef was tough. Of course vegetables, salads, soup, rolls, good desserts. Very hard to get a reservation for the al carte restaurants, had to make reservation at 9 am by 9:30am all seats were taken. Our first room was very small no decor. drapes, bedspread, walls were all beige no color and no pictures on walls. ceiling fan, mini frig, TV, 2 chairs 1 small coffe table. The room overlooked the roof of the restaurant. Of all the room, we only saw maybe 4 that actually had a front oceanview. All had balconies with chairs, but the so-called oceanview were angle views. We complained about our 1st room because we are timeshare owners that had traded-in a 2 bedroom red time unit for this resort and were very disappointed. The 2nd day they did move us to one of the front oceanview rooms. It was slightly bigger still only had 1 king size bed, 2 chairs, couch that could have been used as a twin bed, coffee table and desk, TV, mini frig. A/C. This room was colorful with Caribean flowered drapes and pictures. We were told this was a studio for 4 people with privacy for 2 people. No way, it is just one room and one bed. We were glad no other couple had come with us. We do not know how the families with children sleep with the kids. The bathroom was bigger but there was no shower curtain so water everywhere. We were on the top floor (3rd floor) and it rained for 2 days straight, the hall flooded by our door 1" water, we had 5 drips spots from the ceiling ( 1 dripped that whole week) We were told Nov, Dec, Jan , Feb are the rainy season. March is when the days are more sunny. Rooms need more upkeep. Yes, hot shower, we had 1 all week! The other days it was either luke warm or cold or no water at all. And the power did blink off several times a day. Salesmen were always pestering you to look at the timeshare options. Clearly, if you were an owner at this resort you received better service. The staff were very nice. Would we buy a timeshare here, NO, Would we go back, NO. But if you do go, do take the ride on the cable car. The view was great. We had a guide that we tipped $25.00 he gave us alot of history and info that otherwize we would have just walked through the forest and not known what we were seeing. Taxis are very expensive. $40.00 from airport, another $40.00 when you go home. $35.00 to go downtown, but the driver stays with you even if you stay several hours, then brings you back. Do not try to drive yourself. They drive crazy, motor bikes cut in front and cars are zooming every which way. Let the taxi drivers take you. Many people from Canada, France, England, some USA. Many families with small children. We did see a few topless sunbathers. Vendors on the beach had permanant huts but were not pushy. 3 nights vendors from outside came in and setup tables near the restaurant. The shops in the resort were small not much stuff. Not even deodorant that I forgot. The shows are at the coliseum, all cement seats outdoors, the drapes and stage are exposed to the rain so very dirty and in bad shape. The one show we saw was OK local staff did the dancing. My husband quessed 700 poeple could sit in this stadium but only 52 people were at the Folklore show. This is probably a 2 star resort. They seem to be trying to make it better. someday maybe.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2006

If you are staying at the Haceinda Tropical make sure you stay in a rennovated room. You know you have a rennovated room if the hotel door is "WOOD STAINED". If you have a white door...RUN( don't walk) to get a room change.

Towels are SCARCE at this place, and they must not beleive in wash cloths. We had to pull teeth to get wash cloths, and they only gave us one! One time we got towels that looked old and had holes and frayed. It maybe a wise decicison to bring some of your own towels and wash cloths from home.

The Hotel is still going through rennovations..but it is a nice hotel. The food is okay, nothing really to write home about. The shows at night were not really that entertaining and the night club was the SAME crowd every night, but it was something to do.

When taking a shower, you may get all cold, or all hot water. The best time to shower is very early 6-8am or later in the day 12-1pm or very late at night 8-10pm.

We used Isaira Tours for our day tours and they have GREAT prices and tours. You can e-mail the owner or call him. His name is Martin Espinal and he can be reached at --- (office) or --- (cell). e-mail is ----

If you want to just get away and enjoy the great weather, and drinks then this is a great place for you. If you are looking for 5 star treatment, this ain't the place :)

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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)
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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 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 Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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