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“Experience in itself and would not return!”

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Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pedro Gonzales
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Experience in itself and would not return!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2012

I have travelled to a few countries in this area and I have to say that this was the worst we have seen. Our premium room was missing night stands and tables. The premium rooms are approximately two years old and they look to be about 10. Things falling apart, holes in walls and leaking water. Speaking of which the hot water in our rooms ran brown all the time. The only good thing was the shower it was awesome.

Our friends had about $100 stolen from their room. Where was the security when you needed them or did they have the key that let the person in....who knows!

The food was not very good. Found that there was the same stuff most of the time. Breakfast was our stable meal. Can't go wrong with eggs. We all four of ended up really sick and I mean sick. Couldn't get out of bed for two days. I have been home for 6 weeks now and I still am not back to par.

The grounds of the Dunes are beautiful. They really do take care in this. The flowers and the fountains are well taken care of. We found some of the people friendly but for the most part the employees were too busy talking or texting on their phones to take the time to help you out. Didn't see much of the entertainment crew around the pool. Not much activity as far as we were concerned and we spend quite a bit of time around the pool. Read three books that is how quite it was around there.

Would I return or recommend this resort to anyone....not in this lifetime,

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
10 Thank cam4bam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2012

Thought I would write a review because I stayed at this place and had a great time! A lot of reviewers seem to have unrealistic expectations, South America/Caribbean is not Europe or America! Don't expect the Hilton or Four Seasons and you might just enjoy yourself! This place is pretty much better than any Cuban resort: the weather is ALWAYS good in Margarita (no rain and 40C everyday); the food is better than Cuba; everything is cheap in Venezuela and you can find whatever you want; Porlamar, Margarita Island is actually a pretty good place to shop; weekly/bi-weekly rates are comparable to any Cuban resort. If you're thinking of going to a Cuban resort why not try the Dunes instead?
I only have a few cons...
Con: the water at the Dunes beach is a little bit rough so not the best swimming.
Con: Can be hard to change money, ATMs pay the official exchange rate which is garbage.
Con: it's illegal to change money on the black market, however, you get twice as much money back! Margarita is cheap when you change money on the black market and expensive if you don't!
If you do decide to stay:
Check out Playa Zaragosa, it is a pretty little beach town which is a 2 minute walk from the hotel. Zaragosa has lots of great little restaurants along its beach boardwalk, the beach here is calm and great to swim way better than the Dunes private beach. Locals go to Playa Zaragosa so it really comes alive on weekends (and probably holidays?).
Take an island-jeep tour, these can be arranged with the hotel, ask for Manuels' tour he showed us a great time and his tour was a highlight of the trip.

Room Tip: Recently built suites are available and nice!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
19 Thank Anton1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampere, Finland
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2012

We stayed at Dunes for two weeks, at the old side.
But first: Please notice that since there's two exchange rates in Venezuela you need to have a lot of cash when going, using your credit card will be very expensive since you get almost double the amount of money when changing on the black market (The guy at the beach gives good rates!). Also, when leaving, we had to pay 120 usd (2 persons) on the airport to get out of there. And the cash machines there don't work. And they go through your luggage by hand in front of everybody, so hide your dirty underwear!
Anyway, the Dunes resort is a big area and the garden, the trees and flowers are well kept and beautiful. The old side buildings are nice looking, and the rooms are big but quite old. They should touch up the rooms before they get any worse. Our bedroom floor flooded every time it rained (on second floor!)
We only ate occationally at the restaurants, the food was good and a big plus that the nice chilean wine included! Also there were free drinks at the beach and pool all day, and free hamburgers and hotdogs by the pool as well. Nice touch! The beach was stunning, even though the sea was rough most of the time. You were not allowed to walk the beach outside Dunes with a bag or jewellery on, or up to the wonderful lighthouse. We were told there's a chance to get robbed by gun men.
We liked the shows, the movie theatre, the pool tabels and the "library" as well.
Notice that there's an other and a bit bigger minimarket (in one of the older buildings) than the one at the reception. The travel agency there was good, the trip around the island by jeep was a great fun! You get cheaper and good tours at the beach as well.
A special thanks to Frank at the reception who did whatever he could to help us.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Susanna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2012

This is an older resort that is in remarkably good shape. The grounds, buildings and public areas are well maintained. The old section rooms need redecorating inside but even they are reasonable considering the price of this all inclusive.
It sells itself as a 4 star, however 3 would be more appropriate as you can't safeley use the ocean on this beach due to insanly high waves and undertow. Forget about snokling or kayaks etc. also the food is nothing to get excited about. That is not to say the food is bad, just boring.
We took the premium room in the new section, primarily because of all the reviews saying that was the way to go as well as the tour operator brocure which sold it as "adults only". We were serinaded to sleep EVERY night with kids still crying and carrying on after 10pm in the other rooms, so It is child friendly if that's what you want (we didn't). The pools at the main resort were dirty for the two weeks we were there, but you could find shade there. The pool at the premium section was clean but the sun would tear your skin off. Down by the beach there is some shade out of the contant wind under the palm trees which was very nice.
Dining was as I say OK but boring. We found the restaurant in the old section much better than the premium one for breakfast and dinner and the beach restaurant for lunch. The Premium was usually too crouded and noisy. The a-la-carte screwed up our reservation twice. The one time we did eat there I found the staff very unfiendly and the food only margially better, so when they screwed up the resevation on my birthday I was only too happy to go elsewhere.
Conclusion:
If you have kids and you want a cheap vacation in a relatively clean resort without any bells or whistles this would be OK but I might recommend Cayococo or Peuto Plata before this place even though it is cheaper

Room Tip: premium second or third floor have balcony
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Al_Wright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2012

if you dont expect to much, you will appreciate dunes. if you go, ask for the premium part of the hotel not much expensive. the wifi is not in your room you have to go in the lobby area and its not very fast. for the food its average everytime, not bad but nothing fancy. not much activities on the beach except volley, no sea doo, windsurfing, boat ride etc. the resort is not near anything you always need a taxi. but you have to go on the jeep safari tour its cheap and awsome...

Room Tip: ask for the premium part of hotel
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank plegault68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

the hotel nice lots of thing to do there and relax at your own pace
plenty food and drink i enjoy it there just the time was short because of flight changes
travel agents especially from trinidad and tobago should be punish when this happen they should refund the people some money or be charged or bear the extra when flight changed and not short change the people
some have to earn the money very very hard
and some even a life saving
also the hotel manages and owers should look at the type of treatment these agent give there own people

Room Tip: say what u like before so they put u in a location suited 4 u i stayed premium it was quit and safe
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank junior642000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port of Spain, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

Dunes was a fabulous experience, and with my tour operator, who also offered shopping trips almost every day, I had a great time seeing quite a bit of the island. (The retail side anyways).

Nice malls and cute things to get. Visit the flea market (with your belongings kept close) to find great stuff for nice prices. Nothing serious, but you can find awesome pearls in there, which is what Margarita is also known for.

The resort is spread over a sizeable parcel of land and is quite gorgeous. Certainly neo-Caribbean with that large splash of Spanish influence.

The staff are all gracious and attentive, there are smiles everywhere, and learning some simple Spanish phrases goes a loooong way. The only downside is the blah food.

The beach is nice and lively and the restaurant there is the best for lunch. Many grill & fast food options to choose from, sort of like a getaway from the lame fare in the regular buffet restaurants. Each night at the main restaurants were basically the same stuff with a "theme" that didn't really make much of an impact. The meat tends to be hard and overdone.

The nightly shows feature some solid dancing and awesome performers; and the nice family atmosphere means that guests are pleasant and in a great mood, good for making friends and mixing.

The premium pool is the utmost best, and the bar staff everywhere are pretty great.

Also, this may be a deterrent, but there are a couple kittie-cats that roam around, VERY CUTE, very harmless.

There is also a herd or two of CAPYBARA that wander the property, if you are lucky, you may get to see these awesome docile herbivores in the evening around the grounds. An absolutely unexpected and delightful opportunity!

Room Tip: Don't change your money in the bank, you will get the best price for your $ at the beach hut tha...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FritataZed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort

Property: Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort
Address: Calle Campo Elias | Sector El Pueblito, Pedro Gonzales, Margarita Island 6301, Venezuela
Phone Number:
Location: Venezuela > Insular Region > Coastal Islands > Margarita Island > Pedro Gonzales
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pedro Gonzales
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 578
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dunes Hotel And Beach Resort
Dunes Hotel Margarita
Dunes Resort All Inclusive Beach
Dunes Beach Resort
Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort Margarita Island, Venezuela

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