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“Don't even consider this place - book somewhere else!!!!!”

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Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pedro Gonzales
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Don't even consider this place - book somewhere else!!!!!”
Reviewed January 31, 2013

First off I'd like to say that I travel twice a year and I'm not a complainer. I understand the standards at third world countries and I go with the flow, but with this place, I draw the line.
THE ROOMS here are the worst I have ever seen. My first room was a mold pit. The bathroom had mold in every tile on the walls and floor and my lampshades were covered in mold. The bed sheets, comforter, and even the pillow cases had stains all over them. The base of my lamp had about half an inch of harden dust on it. The floors were filled with sand in every crack. After complaining for hours we got to see another 2 rooms before I finally settled on one that was pretty much the same but with a renovated bathroom that only had mold in the corners of the shower. We still had to shower with shoes on and we slept with cloths on every night. Definitely no romance on this trip.
THE POOLS are to be avoided. I have an inground pool myself and know what it takes to maintain a clean pool. The pools are so dirty that you can visually see it. They have no jets or filter in them to clean them. The water just sits there with no filtration. They have a manual cleaner on the far end of the games pool but its the size of a home pool. I think people are getting sick from the water in these germ infested pools.
THE FOOD is worse than Cuba's. For breakfast you really only have eggs. There is NO bacon, no sausage, no pancakes, no waffles. They don't have real butter for toast, it doesn't melt and stick to the lid of your mouth. I think its lard they pass off as butter. Lunch is probably the only time you might find something to eat. The burgers are not great but bearable. The hotdogs are nothing like ours and would avoid. The rice is just boiled. The fries are not to bad either. They advertise pizza but everyday they would say maybe tomorrow but they never did make any. For dinner you will get cut up chicken or beef mixed in with something, plain rice, 2 tray of mystery food, salad with only one mystery dressing, pasta, enpanadas, and for desert a couple of trays of cut up cakes that you have to be lucky to get if your early. The only fruits are banana, water melon and cantaloupe but they have no taste. This is your dinner every night.
We met about 6 people who were sick in bed the whole week from the food. There are no late night snacks at all.
THE SERVICE was the worst I've seen anywhere. No one spoke English. If you try to speak to them in English they will only walk away or ignore you. You will rarely see anyone cleaning around the resort. The table cloths are never replaced, they are always stained. One night the wind blew over the forks and knives off a table and the waiter just picked them up off the floor and put them back on the table.
THE BEACH was ok. Lots of chairs and shade but you can't go in the water as the waves are too rough, which is the reason there are no paddle boats, nor snorkling available.
ENTERTAINMENT is scarce. Only darts by the pool and water aerobics in the day. The night shows are so so boring and they don't speak any English at all so you don't even understand whats going on at the shows. They cater to the Spanish people and treat Canadians as intruders. If you are brave enough to go here, don't listen to the reps that tell you to exchange your money with them. They will rip you off. They tell you that the money exchange in town will only give you $4 (bulivars) to $1(U.S.) and they will give you 15 to 1 which you think is just awesome but in fact if you go to the money exchange in town you will get 22 to 1.
THE AIRPORT going home is an adventure. Be prepared to have your luggage opened and searched piece by piece in front of everyone and then before boarding the plane your carry on is once again taken apart in front of everyone and the drug dogs are roaming around everyone. Once your final carry on search is completed then you have the privilege of being body searched by one of the military officers. Once all this is all behind you and your on the plane to come home that will be the best part of your trip.

Room Tip: Pick a room at another resort!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
16 Thank 184Jenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Me and my mom went here as a christmas gift to ourselves. It wasn't the greatest. The weather was awesome and majority of the staff were very nice. Know your spanish though. Definitely do the jeep tour through the nolitour was amazing! We didn't find the food to be good at all. I lived on bread and had to buy pringles from the store on the resort. Rooms are very run down, but we made the best of it. We were only in our rooms to sleep and use the washroom and change. Beaches are public and they don't leave you alone. We were told there is a lot of theft on the island so don't leave stuff unattended or bring any valuables to the beach. So we ended up after the first couple of days just sitting by the pool so we could relax. Make sure you rent chair pads or you will kill your back and butt. You get them at the gym/spa on the resort. Before warned, at the airport when you leave they open up everyones luggage and go through everything. Just a heads up. It wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. I don't think we will be going back to this resort or maybe not even this island. We didn't have the greatest experience, but I mean you make the best of it. I would like to go into the main island of Venezuela and stay at a 5* resort because the weather was awesome and I would love to see Angel falls.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Claire R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

My friend and I stayed from Jan 09 till Jan 23, the first few days we were impressed and wondered about the negative reviews. The staff looked sad most of the time but were helpful and even though most didn't speak English our limited Spanish (we knew maybe 5 phrases) and hand motions seemed to be enough for communication.
The bar staff were great, I don't drink so they made fun of me playfully but made me smoothies and slushies in multiple flavors and even washed out the containers to make sure there was no alcohol traces. Breakfast was good, pancakes and omelets made to order. The beach restaurant also had made to order options and the grilled chicken and chicken burger were quite good. The service was not the best no real organization we sometimes ended up going out to the beach bar to get our drinks because we would sometimes be done our meals before they would come. The buffets however were risky and basically ended up being a game of Russian roulette. We went for 14 days on the sixth night I had the fish and my friend didn't, that night I woke up and became violently ill every ten minutes for the next 48 hours. My friend went out to get me water and found out at least 6 other people in the premium section were as sick as me. After that I only ate bread and rice from the buffet.
My friend two days after I got ill ate the chicken, she only had a few bites but it was enough and she was up all night getting sick. I've travelled in Asia and Africa previously and always eat from carts on the side of the road which I certainly would have thought riskier than resort food but have never been so sick in my life, after I felt better I had almost no voice for four days. We reported it to the hotel as did the others but it didn't seem to be viewed as a major concern.
I will say it was a major concern for the maids. I was touched to learn the maids called the Nolitours representative because they heard me getting sick and I didn't leave the room for days. Even after I had left and they cleaned the room again they still always brought extra water bottles so even if they weren't always smiling they did care.
Ultimately we discovered that guests who were returning visitors were shocked by how everything was, it was once a quality place but its been let slide to the point that I could not recommend this resort to anyone who likes to eat supper. We ended up hitting the beach restaurant right at opening (12:45) and again ten minutes before closing (4:45) and we bought some food in town.
The Island however is one of the most beautiful and quaint places I've been. The jeep safari is a must, and should be booked at the little travel place in the lobby those prices are the best. Our driver was awesome spoke good English (probably why he took the 6 Canadians) and he explained a lot of the island. The trip is a full day and you drive about 300km you sit in the back on a bench and the jeep we had was old and one of the windows fell out. I loved it but people who are nervous drivers or safety enthusiast may not enjoy it as much as I did.
The journey takes you to ancient forts, a beautiful church with stained glass windows, off roading by the water and mountains, to the best meal we had the entire trip (included we all got the chicken it was amazing) a boat ride through canals in a national park they show you star fish and pelicans and jumping fish the boat ride was worth the price alone, then to another beach where the pearls were the cheapest we found and there was a monkey she was adorable, then to a little market and then to this place with the most beautiful views we got great pics then back to the resort. All in just one day it was the best day of the entire trip.
We took the shuttle into the mall it was nice but you don't pay until you check out which was weird, it is a long day if you take the shuttle back, a cab is about 10 so it doesn't break you to take a cab back earlier.
We also took a cab to Playa El Agua, it was long and beautiful but dirtier than the beach at the resort. It was nice and the cab driver left us next to a cab stand so it wasn't difficult to find a cab when we wanted to leave.
I strongly recommend visiting the island and if you're prepared to bring or buy food or like being sick the resort isn't that bad. If it gets new management it could be nice again someday.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank AmiraNicholle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pedro Gonzales hotels

Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

I was there for one week from Jan 23-30/13. To summarize - you will be happy with Dunes if you have realistic expectations. It is a 3.5 star hotel so do not expect a 5 star service/rooms/food etc. Old section of hotel is close to lobby and beach and has more character. It does have few rooms that are not nice but they are willing to move you to a nicer room if you ask them. Food is not bad. Breakfast has fewest choices but lunch and dinner are quite good. Beach is very nice with lots of palm trees and chairs but there are big waves with strong undertows most of time so be careful. You can go on a number of organized trips or on your own by taxi. Taxis are plentiful and cheap (assuming you convert $1 for 15-17 bolivars which is not hard to do there). People and hotel staff are nice but do have limited English. There are lots of Venezuelan tourists at hotel so North Americans you are not king of the world there. So get real, stop criticizing and enjoy your reasonably priced stay at Dunes.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms at main level in the older secton of hotel.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Chris K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Positive; Great Beach, beautiful pool, ideal weather and temperature all week, helpful and supportive staff, international calling cards are very cheap (10 bolivares or $1.50US for 70 minutes), excellent air conditioning (we were in the premium building), drinks were not watered down, beach vendors are not aggressive at all (actually some were quite pleasant),

Negative; practically same food everyday, some food had no taste, dogs urinating on beach,, very limited spoken english and no french by staff (except for the Nolitour reps), time share people (they seem to target the younger crowd, we were not approached maybe because we are older), sick with vomitting and diarrhea on the last two days(wife and I) and we did not drink any water from faucets, night entertainment very boring, catamaran cruise offered by the Nolitour reps. not for older tourists (no seating on boat, spent two long hours in scorching hot sun with no lower deck to go to).

Not related to hotel but to the trip in general.....at the airport, be prepared to have your suitcases opened and searched on at least two occasions, once when entering the airport and again for all carrying-ons just before exiting the airport, oh and by the way, women on one side and men on the other for a final body seach. Before your carry-ons and personal items (purse, wallets, etc...) pass through the scanner, ensure you see all your items go through the scanner or to be safe, take all your money out of your wallets or purses before placing them in the tray....somehow, I "lost" $250US from my wallet....noticed it while in flight.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pierre G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

stay in premium section(better rooms) Stayed Dec25 2012 till Jan 16 2013. They have time sharing apartments and day and weekenk passes with the locals. Will not recommend to anyone. Had only the 2 bartenders at the premium pool side and a waiter in the am a the premium resto (tilapia) that were great. People nerver smile. This hotel tends to service their spanish relations instead of the Canadian travelers..example had movies in the evening always in Spanish and with spanish subs. They did noit keep activities board up to date. Everyone we met became ill of a sort either vomiting or diarhea. me not but hubby yes.Food not so good only pasta, rice, fruit (when they had) chicken(when they did not run out of) and salad was ok. So if you stay here do not expect but a 2 star hotel....

Room Tip: take the premium section for best rooms....if you have health or walking problems stay on ground flo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kathleen l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Well here's my story! Arrived in the evening to the Dunes and 1st night was a nightmare! First of all the room they gave us was very outdated, the bathroom if you want to call it a bathroom was in need of total renovations! the toilet did not work( standard rooms) so we thought lets just unpack a bit and go to the Tikki bar which was just in front and have a few wobbly pops then we can see about changing our room the next day.After a great night of meeting new people mostly from our flight I left my husband with them to go to the room for something and I couldn't open the door of our room with the key so on the shuttle bus that takes you to the main desk I go. I explained to the guy at the desk and he sent me back with a bell boy who couldn't speak English actually not many locals can speak English and he couldn't get the key to open the door so he says in sign language to stay here and I'll be back. Well here I am in the hallway waiting for this guy and the hydro go out! Pitch black I'm waiting and waiting and he never shows up so back I go on the shuttle to the main desk and I'm livid by this time, meanwhile I can see all the folks enjoying them selves at the Tikki bar! Got back to the main desk and I asked to be moved there and then, it's now 2am!, they can't move us till 1pm so the bell boy comes back and opens the door eventually, We were shown 2 rooms opposite the main desk and it was so much better, still standard rooms but much better! The vacation has begun!!!!!! We had a ball the rest of the week! The food is not that great but the salads and bread are good! oh and the deserts are good! Not much variety in food kinda the same everyday. The beach bar have burgers and fries are good! Your allowed 1 meal in the ala carte and it was ok. If you want to do the Jeep trip go see Bernie down on the beach, he's a lot cheaper than Nolitours is offering and it's so much better, he even took us to his Village where he lives and it was great to see how the locals live, very poor but they look happy. I guess the average wage down here is only $200 dollars so they depend on tips! 1 dollar here and there! So all in all it turned out a great trip but the resort needs renovated, very old. We really loved the beach and the pools! The weather was fantastic and thats really what we wanted in the first place nice and hot!!!!!!!!So would I go back....Not to this resort but for sure to Margarita Island!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kittybun
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 2000, 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:4.5 star — Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort 4.5*
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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