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“DO NOT TRUST SECURITY OR NAULITOURS REP AT THIS HOTEL!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pedro Gonzales
London, Kentucky
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“DO NOT TRUST SECURITY OR NAULITOURS REP AT THIS HOTEL!!!!!!!!!!!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

Hello everyone! My husband and I just got back from Dunes resort on Margarita Island this morning. I feel VERY compelled to warn fellow travellors about this horrible place!
The resort itself is beautiful not by Aruba standards but as far as South American it is very well maintained, clean and hot water everyday (we stayed in the premium section). The problem with this hotel and the island is the security is very corrupt. Including the national guard at the airport. my husband and I had a few drinks at the pool bar from approx 5-630, and then went to the Talapia Restaurant. I noticed my husband and the other 2 tourist we were sitting with going from having a couple social drinks to totally being intoxicated within minutes. At the time we didn't think much of it. I went to my room where I found the door closed and locked as I left it 30 mins prior when I unlocked the door and went in I found my room had been ransacked. Someone had taken everything out of our suitcases and thrown our clothes all over the room. We had items stolen from us. When I called security they were more interested in keeping me quite so the rest of the tourists didn't know what was going on. "Carlos" from security threatened to call the police if I didn't be quiet. I encouraged him to call the police to have the corruption dealt with as it was obviously an inside job as there was no forced entry. He insisted that the head of security and guest services rep Marcos and naulitours rep Smirna would come to our room and deal with everything in the morning. The next day came and went no tour rep, no security, no phone call. We didn't leave our room the whole day as we were scared the person would be back. Tuesday we proceeded to the desk of Smirna, she was very cold and unhelpful. Her remarks were very condescending and stated she didn't see it happen so she doesn't know. She called the manager of security and Marcus (guest relations ) they said security was not called by me that night another guest called because there was an altercation between myself and another guest. This was securities report to deal with the break in to cover up the corruption and lies.
Following this disgraceful meeting we ran into the people that we were with on Sunday. We were told 2 of them were definitely drugged and the one guy 6'2 220 lbs didn't make it to his room he passed out in a lounge chair right in front of a security camera and was robbed of his gold Jewelery, watch and sunglasses!! He didn't have any recollection of this happening. He too went to report this to no avail. We were promised answers and of course got nothing answered we just got followed and intimidated by security for the final 2 days there. If this wasn't bad enough when we were in the airport the second last security point they seperate the men from the woman. The national guard searched my purse and tried to steal $300 from me!!!! I saw the green 20$ bills in my purse and he was trying to distract me by telling me to take things out of my bag. I told him I thought my money fell out of my wallet not wanting to accuse him of stealing so he gave me my purse back with the money.
If you are brave enough to go to this place after what you have read here please be careful and don't trust anyone especially the people who are suppose to be the ones to protect you. All in all the food and drinks were okay at this resort. The beach is beautiful, the hotel staff tell you to be careful of the people on the beach however, if you want to go on an awesome excursion I totally recommend Bernie he is a great man and i very fair, he also speaks English which is a bonus. His excursions are exactly the same as the hotel but 25% cheaper. On the beach the exchange rate for Canadian is 17 to 1 bbs and the American money goes a lot further. I read other reviews stating they like Canadian money better, that is not true today bring American the best rate is 24 to 1 bbs.

Thanks for reading my report, what I'm telling you here is not exaggerated. My husband and I travel 3-4 times a year we have been to the Carribean, central and south America and have NEVER experienced the corruption even in Mexico, Belize, Panama, Cuba,Honduras, Columbia.....I have never wanted to come home during a vacation in my life until now!!!

Thanks!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Tracey N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Brantford
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Just got back from a week at the Dunes Feb 27-Mar 6. HOT, HOT, HOT. We were in the premium section in building 52 on the (1st floor) second level. Our room was great, king bed, dresser, mini fridge, table and 15" flat screen tv mounted on the wall. The room was clean and bedding crisp. The bathroom was modern with a large shower. The bathroom water had a slightly beige tinge to it which is probably minerals in the water. You are only washing in it not drinking it so this was not a problem. I didn't wash out any clothing because it did stain the white towels. Our A/C worked fine and on a few occaisions we turned it off because it was too cold. There is a free safe in the room.

The food was great,, you have to remember where you are!! There was bacon on 2 days (do you eat bacon every day at home?) and lots of selection on the buffet for all meals each and everyday. Breakfast has the fresh egg and empanada stations and lunch and dinner has fresh pasta and empanada stations each day. There were pancakes, oatmeal, croissants, buns, breads, cheese, lots of veggies, potatoes, rice, chicken, beef, pork, salads at every meal including breakfast and lots of fruit, watermelon, cantaloupe,pineapple and bananas. Soup every meal as well. Desserts were cakes, fruit, rice pudding, flans, etc. After the 3rd day there was a conference of some sort with a lot of Spanish speaking people arriving so there was now a larger population in the resort. We made an attempt to be in the restaurants shortly after they opened for two reasons. 1, for better selection in case anything ran out, 2, less hands in there to contaminate the food with germs of any kind. We did not see any wiping of tables with disinfectant at any time, just a dusting off between diners with a napkin so we were mindful of not putting our cutlery directly on the tables etc. Every little precaution helps with so many people using a facility.

In the premium section you have your own pool and restaurant and bar. The pool was great the first day but turned cloudy after that. The pool staff was there cleaning but it took until the end of the week to clear. I have had a pool myself and know that once it clouds it can take a lot of time to bring it back. During this time we chose to use the main pool which is huge, 10 ft deep in the deep end and very clean.

They serve local alcohol and a drink called kaipirrinah was great,,, muddled limes with sugar, white rum and water I think, mmmm. We saw white and dark rum, vodka, beer, red and white wine (red was great) and some others.

There were more Spanish speaking tourists than English speaking, some French and some German. Some staff spoke english and those that couldn't tried. The shuttle runs every 5 minutes or less so no problem getting from premium to reception if you didn't want to walk.
The beach is awesome but as others said, the security will stop you if you have cameras etc because of "banditos". The first time we walked the beach we didn't have anything with us and we did not get stopped.
The grounds are well kept, lots of flowers, a couple of lighthouses, fountains etc.

The restaurant at the beach has great hamburgers and french fries, a buffet, chicken burgers, etc. French fries come with the burgers but you can ask for them alone (potats frites).
The waves were huge and it was red flagged all week. The vendor in the first hut from the restaurant sells t-shirts, dresses, shorts, bags, souvenirs etc and will exchange money at 20Bol per US $ which is about the highest you can get.

All in all a great time, would not likely go back,,, too many other places to try yet.

Room Tip: Premium was great but we did not see what the regular rooms were like.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank K A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013 via mobile

Okay so this place reminds me of Cuba with guaranteed good weather because the food is exactly like Cuba if not actually worse. It's a shame the way this hotel is run because the beaches and the weather are beautiful and so nice but the food once again it's actually hard to eat by the end of just a one week trip and I am not by any means a picky eater. I must admit the people here are very nice if you try to speak a little Spanish to them or talk slow and smile, it will definitely help you. It's just the standards are a lot lower here in this hotel, more like a two star I'd say. We stayed in the premium rooms, that looked like they were 15 years old but fine for us. The standard rooms shouldn't be even offered really(looked ruff!), or be offered for no more then maybe $400 $500 tops. If you have booked this trip already don't worry it's interesting new place to try, just be very safe and careful down there and everything should be just fine. The weather is awesome and fun! Please be careful of a little short fast walking man on the beach who owns a little fish restaurant. His name is GustavO, and sometimes he says things that he wants to keep true, BUT unfortunately does not keep true. Please be very weary of this man and his lies he tells. Nice man , unfortunately tells lies and did not keep his truth he says. Please be careful of him! All in all I must admit this place is what you make of it. We met great friends and new people, had a great time with the weather and ocean and friends. The Food was garbage,(but do able,) but was a fun experience to see. Good luck.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank G-TOWN81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed at the Dunes from Feb 6-13/ 2013.The resort was very well kept and was large.We stayed in the premiun section and was glad we did as speaking to other tourist it was a smart choice.The staff were very friendly and helpful,and language was not a problem.We found the food to be very different from what we are used to but the food we ate was tasty.Don't forget we are in their country so don't expect our type of food.The day time excursions are really cheap compared to other countries.We found booking excursions were even cheaper and better if you book them in the lobby travel kiosk than with nolitours.We found many places to exchange US money for bolivars,evan at the travel desk.They were giving 17 bolivar to 1 US dollar.Also we found it better to pay for things in bolivars rather than US at any place there.If you find you are not happy with the food at the resort there are many good places to eat off the resort,just asked the bell boys.The cabs were also very cheap just make sure you get it from the resort and see if they will wait or pick you back up at a certain time.For the money it was a good deal as the weather was perfect. Enjoy just be aware of the food variety.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for premiun rooms
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Les J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

I spent a week at this hotel with another couple, and we met alot of great, fantastic people. From the people on our flight from Southern Ontario to the staff at the resort, to tourists from Venezuela and Argentina we met alot of nice people. This made our vacation for sure. :)
We flew Canjet out of Toronto which was very disappointing. We arrived at Pearson at 9am for our 12 noon flight to find out that we are delayed by 5 hours, and then in reality did not leave Person until 6:10pm. CANJET SHOULD BE COMPENSATING US IN SOME WAY FOR THIS SO EMAIL THEM. As they knew on Tuesday that they would not have flight for us, and did not notify us.

I have to say as a travel agent, considering the price that people paid for the standard rooms $700 per person in January this resort was OK. If you did your homework on the hotel and surrounding area before going, you would of known not to expect a 5* hotel considering the price. Even for the premium rooms which we paid $1600...so $800 per person for 1 week all inclusive in my opinion is cheap. Yes as other people have stated the food was not the best. There was no variety at all. There was only bacon on 1 day, the fruit trays were picked over, and the food in the trays at buffet were either cold, bland, or just did not look appealing to even want to eat. There were pasta stations evey night and the omelettes in the morning. You could make a grill cheese for breakfast as another guest told us he did, or lettuce and tomato with their lunch meat which was good. There were pancakes every morning as well.
The beach buffet for lunch had good grilled chicken breasts with french fries and coleslaw which was ok as well. It did get old though. So considering everything on the Island is soooo cheap we went off the resort many times and had supper. We went into Juan Greigo and ate at La Mama's and the Steak House right next door, and then we went into Polamar and ate at the Hard Rock cafe. Normally when we go on vacation we do not like to eat at restaurants that we have at home, but considering we were craving some different food, and good at that, we tried the Hard Rock and it was great.
My husband can speak a bit of spanish and from communicating with the staff there at Dunes as well as with staff at the restaurants in Juan Greigo, the main reason why there is no variety of food, what we were told was because of supply and demand. Remember Margarita is an Island and they must import alot of food, and they are having a difficult time doing this.
For example, we had salad every night at our hotel at the buffet, and when we went to La Mama I ordered a caesar salad and the server told me they didn't have it. So thats my take on the "food" issue on the entire island, and unfortunately Dunes has been effected badly.

The rooms were very basic even in the premium section, however again, if you are paying $700 or $800 per person in January, I don't know what more you would be expecting from the hotel. I made sure I brought lysol disinfectant spray with me for the first time on a vacation as I read the reviews and some others said if you have a ground floor room, you will have bugs.
Needless to say we had a ground floor room, and we had no bugs whatsoever.
I kept my suit case on the dresser, rather then on the floor and I had no issues. My husband used the closet to place all his clothes in, and no concerns there either.
I also brought a small bottle of febreeze with me, just incase the humidity made the room smell damp. I never used it at all. The a/c ws cold, and my room was simple but perfect.
I heard while we were there that some people who booked in the standard rooms were very uspset upon arrival and asking to move hotels, and slept on top of their blankets in their clothes the first night we arrived.....which I think is crazy......if you would of had a travel agent that does reserach for you, or you do your proper research yourself you would know what to expect. You cannot have wine taste on a beer budget, or book the holiday inn and expect the hilton. You paid $700, suck it up and enjoy the beach, sun, pools, drinks and think WOW am I lucky to be here and not at home in the -50 that Northen Ontario had while we were away that week.
It is looking a bit tired the resort itself, nothing a few fresh cans of paint couldn't brighten up, and yes the furniture is a bit older in the lobby bar, but look at the pics that people took and you will see that before going. Make an educated vacation booking and don't bash the resort afterwards if you don't do your research before hand.

If you want a week of guaranteed sun, and great drinks, and a week of R N R and u can get this place for $700 or $800 I say do it. If you are a picky eater, or don't want to go off the resort to eat and try different things, then do not go to this resort.
Would I refer my clients here???? Only if they know the good and the bad and do their homework. Its a gamble. I personally would not go back to this resort, as my husband and I love to try authentic dishes of the country we are in, and Dunes did not provide us with that at all.

But we did meet people that have been to this resort 4 times now and they know what to expect and they stay for 2 weeks and from Ontario paid $2600 for 2 people for 2 weeks.
So its all about how much you want to spend and the reserach you do on property and area you are staying in , and what is most important to you.

Room Tip: Premium rooms for sure.....yes you can take a shuttle that comes every 5 mins or so, or you can walk...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank mich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
240 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

food was horrendous... book the premium side... regular side was apparently a nightmare... pools were lovely... food was the worst i have ever seen on any vacation... raw bacon was served on the 2 days that it was on buffet... and then non existent... the grounds were clean and staff were friendly... rooms were extremely dark not able to read in....

Room Tip: pay for the premium upgrade...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 416GYPSY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We travelled to the Dunes Jan30-Feb6. I want to start off this by saying we are not picky people... we have been a tonne of places and always stay at mid-star resorts.. I understand that you get what you pay for. I will start off with the pros of the Dunes.
Pros
- Fantastic pools! our 2 year old LOVED the mushroom pool we couldn't get her out!
- Don't have to save lawn chairs... there are MORE than enough at anytime during the day
- Kids play areas, we loved having a place in the shade to take our daughter where she could play, it was fantastic!
- The beach is beautiful! Yes the water is super wavy but the beach itself was lovely.
- Lunch restaurant on the beach is fantastic!!
- Staff are amazing!!! Yes most speak no english... but you are in their country learn their language!
- A La Carte restaurant was great... even when my daughter threw up all over the table.. they brought the food back to our room for us to eat so she could go to bed!
- Mini fridge in the room is essential since the food is bad!! When they had good food we'd stock pile it in the room!
Cons
- The food... I'm not picky and most dinners I couldn't even look at the food. The food was BAD. Who serves fish pies for breakfast!! Give me some pancakes!
- The rooms are ok (premium)... but ours had a broken U pipe on the sink and nasty sewage gases stunk up the room threwout the night!
- We ALL got sick from the food... my husband was so bad he had to be hooked up to an IV... luckily the staff/doctors and nurses there are amazing!!!
- The juice... ok this is minor but having a 2 year old you need juice... orange punch is not a juice... thats all they had!!! Luckily I brought our own!
- Bugs in the room... don't leave ANYTHING out or you'll have ants everywhere!

Room Tip: Pick premium!!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank meghan g
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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