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“Fantastic experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

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The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Columbus Torre1 | Playa Confesi, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011 via mobile

The frst time in the Dominican Republic was in 2009 for my retirement (just me and my husband). This time we took our kids. They had a blast. I would recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
south carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011

I have just returned from Lifestyle Tropical Resort . I visited with one of my friends. Everything that people posted about the VIP beach is true. It is beautiful. We enjoyed relaxing on the beach beds very much. The bar staff there was quite friendly, especially Danny, Hector and Maria.

The concierge was not helpful nor friendly. The most insane thing is there are several restaurants on the property but only two are opened each night. La Casa Blanca (buffet) is open each night. You have to get in line each day at 1 p m to make reservations for the following evening. You may or may not get a reservation. We tried Indochine one night and were not able to eat the food. In fact, both of us got sick.
There are sales reps constantly trying to get you to do tours of the property or to use the spa services. Ocean World is truly a waste of money. The only thing we enjoyed was the sea lion show.
The nightly entertainment is good. We especially enjoyed the saxophone player (Frandy Sapp) on our last night. He was wonderful.

The power went out a few times. When there is no power there is no water. That is a problem. Most of the workers work very hard. Seledonia and Juana (La Casa Blanca) are wonderful! I would love to visit the Dominican Republic again and stay at a different resort. We booked our trip through Cheap Caribbean. Their representative there wasn't very helpful either. The thing that you have to remind yourself of is that D R is a third world country and try to make the best of your stay.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

If your thinking about renting here read this first! It may be lengthy but worth it..

We picked a villa because we were traveling w/our two kids ages 12 and 8 and we thought the idea of having our own pool was a perk. Well, we were treated perfectly once we arrived and checked in but when we were taken to our villa it was, as my husband put it "my first college apartment was nicer than this place" other than the pool of course. It was dingy, tiles broken, bathrooms dated back to 1970, cabinets in kitchen were old and had broken handles, and it was quite dirty. Our kids did however LOVE the pool and we didn't realize that ALL the pools in the resort closed at 7 pm. We stuck it out the first day and complained the following morning to our customer service person. They were quite responsive and kindly moved us to the Presidential Suites the following morning. The rooms were definitely more to our standards and what we are used to. We had plenty of room and it was more updated but we lost the private pool which was a downfall but at least it was clean. We booked through shareholders Reed and Lisa Scheilke from Prestige Worldwide Vacations because we heard booking though a shareholder is the way to go. We have to agree if you don't have a Gold or Black bracelet your in big trouble! Our restaurant reservations were made for us the first day there but we have to say eating OUTSIDE every night in the heat was aweful. After being in the 90 degree sun all day who wants to eat outside. The only restaurant that was inside was AZUL but you had to pay an extra $90 to eat there. NO way. If you didn't have a Gold or Black bracelet then you had to wait in line from 1-3 pm and got the last of the last reservations. The food was fair to say the least.

We had a golf cart which was a plus. We enjoyed our excursions. The Royal Swim w/the dolphins at Ocean World was fabulous and so was the 7 waterfalls. My husband was a bit annoyed that each excursion takes you multiple places in Puerta Plata where they want you to buy stuff.

We were immediately taken to the VIP lounge the first day surprised by getting bombarded by this man who wanted us to make a decision by the end of the day to pay $75,000 for a vacation club. Being that our first impression was the dingy villa, hot outside restaurants and me getting sick the first day (which lasted the entire trip and days after we returned home and I had to be medicated)....we just laughed at him.

We also lost power our last night which apparently happens here ALL the time. We were awaken at 2 a.m., no a/c it was hot and humid. None of us could sleep and the power never came back on as we left the resort to head to the airport. If this would have been our first day we would have left immediately! It was horrific!

DONT GO TO THE SPA!! Worst massage I EVER had and I get them all the time. I should have demanded my money back but I didn't. Big mistake!

All in all, it was a great vacation only because our kids had a great time and loved it but my husband and I have decided you get what you pay for. If we want upscale, indoor restaurants, clean and luxurious rooms/suites and no illness....we need to stay in the states.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2011

We just got back from a birthday vacation. This was my first time in the Dominican and at this resort. I had read the previous reviews and must admit that I was a little nervous but now I must say that people who had bad experiences either A) Booked cheap B) Have negative attitudes C) Have HUGE expectations, after all it is a 3rd world country (did you look outside the resort and see how these people live?!! I have stayed at many all-inclusive resorts in the Carribean and this was by far the BEST from service, accomodations and qualilty food/drink. I must admit that the ONLY way to book is thru an OWNER/SHAREHOLDER!!! Lucky for us, we went with shareholders Reed Shielke, who are good friends of ours, and we got the ROYAL treatment. Here's how it went:
1) Arrived from airport in a helicopter (yes I said helicopter!!!) -note: a limo is also available
2) Had champagne ready for me at the VIP desk.
3) Easy check-in and had villa ready and had VIP host book all my reservations for all my preferred restaurants for the week. Private golf cart to transport around the resort
4) Gorgeous 3 bedroom villa with private pool and all the comforts of home
5) Fridge stocked with beer, water, soda and snacks.
6) Daily bottle service of premium liquor to our villa
7) Daily maid service of breakfast (full breakfast with eggs cooked to order)
8) Access to ALL beaches and pools with cabanas and beds ready available
9) Delicious restaurants for dinner (my favorites were Jazz, Simply Gourmet and AZUL, which had a celebratory cake on my birthday ready for me and impecable cuisine)
10) Welcome dinner, we had preferred seating with flowing bottles of Moet Rose...yes MOET!!!
11) Limo service and front row seats at the Bravisimo show at the Ocean World
12) Limo ride back to the airport with access to the airport lounge for free liquor and snacks while we waited for our flight.
13) Friendly and sincere staff...when I left my designer sunglasses at the pool and shortly went back, the staff remembered me and saved them for me!!

Don't get me wrong there were some negatives such as we did have some traveler's diarrhea, which is common from going to different countries where food and water is processed different but nothing major. The people at the casino at Ocean World will try to rip you off so be careful. Also, nothing much to see outside the resort, except go snorkeling at Sosua Beach, the best on the island. Like I said...book thru a shareholder because everyone wears color-coded wrist bands and the best are GOLD (we wore black because we were with shareholders but GOLD get excellent treatment) however, some shareholders have better access compared to others. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Reed and Lisa at Prestige WorldWide Vacations.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2011

We booked our trip through RCI and had high expectations based on their description. Then I read other reviews on Trip Advisor and I became apprehensive. I was relieved to find that the resort and the experience as a whole lived up to our expectations. We traveled with 6 adults and two infants. The Villa set-up was perfect for us, having a mixture of couples and babies. The all-inclusive plan included breakfast prepared for us in our kitchen each morning and there was alway plenty of beer, soda, and bottled water in our fridge. When we wanted more, all we had to do was ask and it appeared.

We chose the VIP option, which allowed us access to a beach and additional restaurants that others didn't have access to. Of course there was the typical sales-pitch about becoming members, but honestly it was only an hour and a half, and not even unpleasant. Other members we spoke to admitted that they didn't get everything they thought they were signing up for, but they were back for multiple visits and seemed pretty happy about it. There are beaches and a couple restaurants that only members get access to, but as long as you know that going in, there's no disappointment once you're there, especially since the VIP areas that non-members do have access to are exceptional. The food in every restaurant was fabulous and offered something for everyone. We thought we were going to get a golf cart included (the RCI website touted it several times) but in the end, only members are given one. It would have been fun to have, but the shuttles were generally speedy and dependenable.

Getting aroung the resort was easy by walking or by shuttle. On one occasion we waited for a shuttle or 45 minutes, but during the daily afternoon/evening showers everyone uses them, including those with golf carts. The resort should probably anticipate this, especially since the showers were a daily occurance during dinner time when everyone needed transportation.

I can't say enough good things about the staff. Every person was friendly, generous, and willing to do whatever they could to make our stay enjoyable. One bedroom air conditioner in our villa kept going out, but someone was always there immediately to fix it. My dad got sick during the trip (no one else did, so not food/water related) and we were pleased with the medical care as well. The resort often called to check in on him, and came to the villa to check the water sources just to be sure.

The sales pitch may be worth considering if this is someplace you want to return to again and again, as several people we encountered there did. It cost each person in our party more to fly there then to stay for the week, but that is honestly the only reson we wouldn't go back. Overall it was one of the best all-inclusive trips I've been on in terms of the number of restaurants/bars available, quality of food, and variety of entertainment options, and service. If you can live without the ammenities of golf carts, helicoptors, and limo service, then this is definately worth considering for your trip. But be sure to pay the difference for the VIP package!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2011

The idea of a private 3 bedroom villa and pool, breakfast in the villa every morning and one evening with a private barbecue in the villa sounds GREAT. VIP beach and a variety of restaurants including a gourmet restaurant,, plus lots of amenities all make this resort unique. Our family of 5, children ages 17-24, and two other adults spent a week in a villa. We had a good time with some highlights and low lights.

We liked our villa and they honored our request and gave us a villa right by the beach. It was nice but not luxurious by any stretch. It would make a big difference if they would replace broken tiles, improve the beds, upgrade the water from the tap (not drinkable) and emphasize cleanliness. (We had maid service every day who did a decent job of light cleaning but I didn't see her use cleaning supplies (i.e. antibacterial anything.) ) Towels were fresh if we asked but most had holes in them and looked very worn. Beach towels were ragged and very faded. Making reservations at resort restaurants were not a problem since their guest services dept. took care of that. Service at the restaurants was good and the ambiance at their nicer restaurants was very nice. Our refrigerator was kept stocked with water, beer and soda. Almost daily someone came by or called to see if we needed anything. We did not feel a big pressure to buy any timeshare.
The major low light was the food. Five out of seven of us got sick throughout the week and two went to the onsite doctor who gave some meds. Two of us are still suffering. We don't know what caused the sickness but we believe it was on the resort because we primarily ate at their restaurants. Food presentation was not the problem--it was the taste-very hit and miss. Probably our least favorite was the Azul, their premier restaurant. It was lovely but we all hated our meal and we're not that picky. We learned not to order any fish-not fresh and often tough and chewy. Our fav restaurant was the tex-mex (fajitas were good) and it wasn't even a VIP. The Simply Gourmet was generally good too. Nothing was great. Most places had the same menu for lunch. I tried 2 days and just gave up on lunch. Three of us ate at the buffet and said it was decent. Bar drinks were fine, but often were either watered way down or they did not add alcohol if not requested. There were some other less important concern such as lack of friendliness with many staff in the hotel, poor signage giving directions around the large resort, and very little printed material about the area. When time to leave, we had arranged our own taxi driver to meet us at the VIP reception. When we asked him to drive us to our villa to load suitcases, they refused to allow him We had to lug them from the villa to the reception ourselves. Silly rule and not a good way to end our stay.

Our favorite off-site activities were Beginning Scuba with Diwa Dominica and climbing the 27 waterfalls with Iguana Mama. You save $$ by paying cash with Diwa and prepaying with Iguana Mama. Our trip downtown and to another beach (Cabarete) was made more fun by a guide we met off-site named Jose. We got our taxi and found him right outside the entrance. He approached us and asked to be our guide and we agreed. GREAT decision. When we wanted to go to the beach he arranged for the taxi and took us to the best, safest place and waited "in the wings" until we were ready to go. I would not have gone shopping without him. He made everything much more interesting without interfering with our time as a family. He charged whatever we wanted to pay.

Overall, we enjoyed our experience but will not be returning to this resort. Although we love the concept, the poor food and some missing touches are enough to cause us to look elsewhere for our next vacation.

Room Tip: Call a week ahead. Email too is not a bad idea.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Lifestyles and would like to go again. We loved having the swimming pool in the backyard, breakfast cooked daily, the many meal and drink choices, being on the beach and the alcohol delivered to our villas. We thoroughly enjoyed our waterfall tour, swimming with the dolphins at Ocean World and the availability of activities. We had a party of 21 people and even the complainers couldn't find any major problems. The staff was very attentive, addressed any concerns or questions and the pricing was very reasonable. We really liked the all-inclusive feature. If you go, make sure you get gold bracelets as it does make a difference. Given the opportunity, I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Address: Columbus Torre1 | Playa Confesi, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Crown Villas are the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity, as each is a small estate home with sumptuous, private three and four bedrooms that offer guests a unique and exclusive vacation experience. All of these villas are a classical Spanish Mediterranean style architecture, with red tile roofs, stucco plastered archways and distinguished stone columns with generous tropical gardens where hibiscus, bougainvilleas and other magnificent tropical plants abound. All have a private swimming pool, shaded terrace, veranda, kitchen, and a full private bath leading directly off each bedroom. The villas are furnished with rattan, elephant bamboo and a natural Caribbean wattle work and are equipped with air conditioning, overhead fans, and cable television. The Crown Villas are part of the all-inclusive Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort and guests have access to all the facilities of the Resort (excluding the V.I.P areas). A personal maid and an exclusive menu in each of the seven Resort restaurants complete these perfect accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Crown Villas Hotel Puerto Plata

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