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Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

Center Valley...
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Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

Hi - I was in a villa at lifestyles Puerto Plata from 4/6 through 4/14. I wrote a full report for the villas page today, though it is not yet posted. Lots of good, but also lots of bad. If anyone has any questions, let me know.

Wilmington, Delaware
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1. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

I think reviews post after they've been reviewed by tripadvisor usually after a couple of days.

Center Valley...
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2. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

Yes, I am aware of that. Thank you.

Quilcene, Washington
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3. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

Welocme home Kelly,

Where do I find the "Villas page" sounds like you may have found some of the same problems we did this year, we'll see if our experience / complaints are similar. : )

Center Valley...
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4. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

birdman - we had many problems. So many that I forgot to even include a few in my review and unfortunately I haven't been able to find a way to edit it. There are two villas pages - I posted on both:

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147290-d627088…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147290-d647825…

Center Valley...
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5. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

I also made a mistake in my review. The original villa they tried to give us was 53, the villa we ended up taking was villa 30. This is a BIG mistake, as there is quite a difference between the two. I wish TA would let me edit my review...............

Center Valley...
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6. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

Bottom line is, the customer service in villas reception & in the bottom floor of the tower was abysmal. They were horribly rude and brought tears to my eyes on a few occasions. They could care less about fixing any of the issues we had. They just didn't care. The villa we ended up taking - VILLA 30 (my review is wrong) - was not horrible, but not great. For instance, all of the pool chairs were broken, so you couldn't sit comfortably in them at all. You either had to lay all the way down, or sit up with no suppoert behind your back. Also they were work, some ripped, and dirty. The umbrella was the same way - ripped, tattered and black with dirt (it was, at one point, a cream colored umbrella). Again, did these things absolutely ruin my trip? No. But, did I expect more for what we paid, and the fact that we booked through a Shareholder? Absolutely! It annoyed me, for instance, that the woman staying in the villa right next to us had a MUCH nicer villa (nice wooden / pleather loungers next to the pool, stainless steel in the kitchen, etc) had WON the thing through a charity auction. And she got a nicer villa than we did, even though we paid a pretty penny AND booked through a Shareholder. How did that happen? I still can't explain it.

Another example was: I really liked the smoothies from the smoothie bar outside the tower, but they closed at 5. I was drinking fresh watermelon, grey goose and ice - blended. I wanted the watermelon so I could make the smoothies for myself in the evenings, as it seemed to be the only drink that wasn't too sweet / heavy for me. Despite asking several times per day all week, and being told the watermelon was coming, it didn't arrive until around 5pm on our very last night there. Again, did this ruin my trip? No. Was it an annoyance I would have preferred not to deal with? Yes. Even if they had just told me from the beginning - "look, we normally don't deliver watermelon to the villa, sorry"....that would have been fine. But don't tell me a few times a day it's coming, when you know it's not.

The other big issue was the golf cart. It broke down on Thursday night, and we were told there was nothing anyone could do until the next day. But then when I started calling the next day, it took hours and hours for anyone to even come look at it, despite the fact that every time I called, I was told "10 minutes". At one point, I think it was my 13th phone call to villas reception, a different person answered other than the one I had been calling prior, and this woman told me there was nothing they could do in villas reception - I had to call golf cart maintenance, who of course, never answered the phone. But, why didn't the first guy I spoke with 12 times tell me he couldn't help me? Why not just tell me that instead of telling me you're sending someone in 10 minutes? Didn't make any sense. When the mechanic finally did come to fix the cart, it continued to break down for our entire last day which put a damper on things as I planned to run around and pack all my favorite things into the last day. The morning we left, the cart wouldn't start at all - we had to leave it outside the villa when we checked out...wonder if it's still there???

I could go on and on. Don't get me wrong, it was still a great trip, but was a major downgrade from last year when we stayed in a regular room at the Tropical. We expected better / nicer accommodations and a higher level of service in the villa, but actually it ended up being a total downgrade, particularly in the service area. It seemed that this year, the "gold" bracelets are moving more toward being the "yellow" bracelets of the resort. Unless you're wearing a black band, don't expect much.

Quilcene, Washington
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7. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

We were wearing black bands while with shareholders & it seemed they had to fight for everything we got; water, beer, alcohol, fruit platters ect., all things we were delivered within a few minutes last year with a smile.

Calling villa reception was a waste of time & it got to the point that I started going directly to the catering trucks to get whatever it was we needed, that seemed to work.

We like the resort & the amentities there but think it is time for the management to regroup.

I think they have way over extended themselves by adding the Cofresi & allowing the discount travel agencies to fill so many rooms they are not prepared or capable of servicing.

We'll see what the next year brings but I doubt there will be much improvement.

As I have stated a couple times now; if someone really wants to vacation at Lifestyles & have first class treatment in the future, they'd better find a shareholder that can add them to their contract as a benificiary.

Edited: 12:54 pm, April 17, 2013
Center Valley...
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8. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

birdman - I am currently in talks to buy in as a beneficiary under an existing shareholder contract. However, this worries me. And even more so now knowing that the shareholders themselves had to fight for everything they got this year? Such a difference from last year! And it will only get worse as they continue to sell memberships. Honestly not sure what to do now.

Liverpool, United...
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9. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

While I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, I'm glad it was not just me. I totally agree about Customer services, they hadn't got a clue. I always go to introduce myself to my rep, but this year, when I had issues to sort out, I was told that she is now based in Punta Cana, but will still deal with my enquiries by e-mail. I wanted to sort some things out face to face so this was not satisfactory. I asked if I could speak to another rep, but was told no-one was available. I had no problems booking restaurants, in fact that part of CS was great, but when I asked for a change of room, I was told nothing was available. I have stayed at Lifestyles often enough to get the difference between a standard room and a Junior Suite and had confirmed that it was a JS I had booked. The room was totally inadequate and they eventually moved us to a much better JS after 3 days. After seeing refs to "Rules of Occupation " docs on my booking, i looked it up and, though it was probably on the website for ages, it was the first time I had seen it, and I do like to read the small print. It seems that people who book through Shareholders are 4th in the pecking order behind Shareholders, guests who accompany them on the same booking, then members. That's probably why Kelly got a poor villa. They also insist on max occupancy in peak season, so if there are 2 people you wont get a villa, member or not and 4 people will only be given 3 beds, max. This is probably more relaxed if the resort is not full. When we got home, I decided this would be our last visit, however, after a month, we will probably have another go, but at our usual time, Sept/Oct next year.

Birdman is right, they have way overextended themselves, but there are too many members and from the experience we had, the staff need much more training. There were always non=members at the resort, but never as many as there are now. When guests booked through a travel agent, they knew exactly what to expect, ie no VIP. There was no "cheap" either. When Coffressi was being refurbished, we were told that the plan was to operate that as a hotel and have Tropical Resort for members only. This seems to have gone the way of many of Lifestyles grand plans.

At the moment, Lifestyles is about greed and I'm very glad we didn't upgrade past what we can afford to lose.

Hyannis Port...
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10. Re: Lifestyles Puerto Plata - Updates

Thanks for the info Kelly H. Has any access changed for those with gold bracelets? Sounds like you experienced a big change in customer service and the physical condition of the rooms/villa? We will be there in 10 days and "upgraded" a CC reservation by also booking through an owner so we would have access to the additional beaches, more top shelf drinks and more dining selections. Just hoping this does not change before we get there. Worse lets hope it does not change while we are there- can you imagine! One day access to Serenity Beach next day your escorted out!!