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“Disappointed”

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Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Ranked #7 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Waterloo, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed April 12, 2014

My boyfriend and I just returned from a 1 week vacation here. We had never been to the Dominican Republic before, so it's hard to say if the issues we had with this resort were standard throughout the country or were unique to Grand Paradise, however, we felt that the resort fell short of our expectations in many ways.

When we arrived for check in, we found ourselves waiting in line for about 20 minutes. The staff was kind and courteous, but they could certainly have used another employee at the front desk. The room we had reserved was extremely small, dingy and run down. We booked a queen bed, but the bed we were given seemed to be much smaller than a queen. The sheets were extremely scratchy and the air conditioner was very loud and right next to our heads, making it very hard to sleep. The refrigerator had only four things in it: two bottles of water and two bottles of coke. If you wanted juice, beer, or another kind of soda you had to go down to the bar.

The trip we booked included only 1 hour of free wifi, which had to be used consecutively. We had to pay 48 dollars for wifi throughout the week, which could only be used on one device. We also had to pay 20 dollars to use the safe in our room.

After the first night, we decided to upgrade to a suite (the junior suites only come with two queen beds, not one king bed, and also do not have balconies). We had to pay 120 dollars for the upgrade, but the suite was much more spacious and much quieter, although it still had the scratchy sheets and nearly empty refrigerator.

Both the suite and the regular room were adjoined with another room. We were able to lock from our side, but we could always hear the TV going and people talking through the door.

The resort itself was much smaller than we were expecting. The main pool was the only one large enough to swim in. It was always a few degrees to cold to lounge in-- if you weren't moving around you would quickly become too chilly. There was a very small children's pool off to the side, which we never saw anyone using, and another jacuzzi pool that could only fit a few people at a time. There were never enough shaded lounge chairs to go around. People would get up early to reserve them by 7:30 and then only use them a few hours in the afternoon. More available umbrellas or other shading would have reduced this problem.

There was one main buffet restaurant. The food was pretty bland and there were not a lot of options. We got really sick of it by the end of the week. Also, the waiters will bring you a drink once, and, after that, you will have to try to flag them down if you want a refill. There was also a snack bar which operated from 12-4, which had french fries, hamburgers and sandwiches. Between 4 and 6:30, there are no food options available. We didn't initially think this would be a big deal, but we returned from excursions around 4:30 twice, and really missed being able to grab a snack. It would be nice to have the snack bar open all the way until dinner.

The beach was beautiful. You could see the mountains in the distance, and the water was always perfect. Vendors often came by, trying to sell things, but they were not pushy, and would leave after hearing that we were not interested in buying anything.

We still enjoyed our trip to the Dominican, but would certainly not come to this resort again. Although the staff were friendly and helpful, there were too many negatives and too many added costs to make it worth while.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank 697Laura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Hamilton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2014

We were blessed to be able to travel, I am not picky about anything, there was always enough food to find and an assortment, never was hungry. The staff was happy & accommodating. Booked two wonderful excursions, Damajaqua Cascades made me 20 again, the strength & organization of the guides it was like I was going down the falls on their backs, they made it effortless, awesome experience. Isla Paraiso, snorkeled crystal clear fish filled coral reef waters...dancing on the catamaran with plenty to eat, stop for lobster too. Other than the long bus ride this excursion was perfect! Outside our resort was a little pony that would pull tourists by a cart. If anyone is planning on traveling, please pack a little something...a rope was used as a girth, reins were rubber tubing, hoofs were a mess...this pony needs a early Christmas present. Hope to see you again Grand Paradise to eat out in your open beach restaurants everyday...best view ever.

Room Tip: Wednesday night is white beach party, loud music until midnight, you might want a room facing away...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Wendy42014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

Great hotel, family friendly and the staff is great. Especially the entertainment crew. Meet Amauri, Jose Pilar, Yanet, Joel, Luis, Aris and Jonathan. They will make your week. Had a great stay and we would love to go back.

Room Tip: The room facing the pool it great to keep an eye on the activities going on during the day. Its also...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Joao M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominican Republic
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

My vacation was verry but verry fun thank to the entertainment staff the are joel and yocasta, they are verry fun and we play ring tossin darts we do aerobics and the night shows is verry beautifully. ....

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank elcasanov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

First visit. Stayed March 31-April 7, 2014. Husband and I had a very good time. Hotel itself well kept, variety of rooms to choose from, good and bad areas depends what want. Suggest download map in images or maps on Google and stay away from getting a room by the disco unless you are going there. Loud, thumping & booming base till late!! night. Avoid connecting doors-make for thin walls. Mind you hotel pretty full if not completely full so any requests try booking early and get written confirmation directly with hotel management. Hopefully they will honor it. I was happy to get my ground floor since heard large elderly group of 20 put on 2nd and 3rd floors. They were not happy.Food excellent choice and both quantity and quality. Loved the ability to be outside under stars right on ocean eating. When light rain sat just under shelter. Met a lot of really nice Canadians my age so made various friends so great time. Not for young or teenage children. A lot of 20's and up. Staff for most part pretty good. Do watch out when leaving TOLD US WE DIDN'T PAY OUR INTERNET BILL and since husband couldn't locate his mastercard receipt we ended up paying again. Another couple we knew same happened but she had receipt so they had to give them the voucher on check out. Without voucher can't get on airport shuttle for home flight. Don't misplace that!! Sorry that design of swim up bar keeps it totally shaded. You can get cool getting and drinking beverage.(even on sunny day). Long stretch of beach to walk on. Some swim areas can have a lot of seaweed and beach workers slow to remove it at times. Overall enjoyed the hotel. our room block 8 (101)

Room Tip: download hotel image map of resort from Google. Check where disco is Which floor really depends o...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Tracynfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orillia, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2014

I have just returned from grand Paradise, Playa Dorada Complex in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. I again was not disappointed. It was wonderful to see DioMendes, Janett in reception, Luis and Carlos the two bartenders at the pool bar. Unfortunately all the amazing and wonderful animation staff from last year has been replaced.....Life goes on I guess. It was different this time around. I had been told that they are under new management (or maybe new owners, not sure), but there seemed to be less interaction from the animation staff???they only paid attention to certain people and didn't mingle as much as the last 3 times I was there. The food was excellent as always the room was amazing (we upgraded to a suite-room 1512) absolutely beautiful. eden's was great, but again Michelangelo's was not very good. I would definitely recommend this place again, because as I said this was my 4th time here. My friend and I paid a great price and most definitely got our money's worth. Beautiful weather and a great holiday....thanks Grand Paradise
I want to add that the staff in the buffet are so hard working and friendly....it was great

Room Tip: Ground floor and try to upgrade to a suite. Well worth it
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank odie001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, ON
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2014

Stayed March 18-25th
It was a good time, nice resort.
I have been to better, I have been to worse.
There was 13 of us. My husband and I and our 4 children and my son's friend was in our group.
We had 3 rooms booked, requested close together, if not connecting, and NOT the 1st floor.
Got 3 rooms on 3 different floors and 1 room wasn't even in same building. Took 2 days before we could get 1 room connecting to ours (which was on first floor , from the beginning ), so our oldest son got a room in another building for the week. (He didn't care.....but I did.....lol )

I tried to book the a la carte the next day, and all they had was the day before we left, at 1 restaurant. We discovered that the restaurants also have a "cash" menu, so they try to get people to go and pay for their meal, which limits the 'all inclusive 'ones.

They have about 8 umbrellas at the pool, and you have to get up before 7 if you want one. they have no umbrellas on the beach, so shade is very limited.

The pool is nice and they have a swim up bar that is always in the shade. The second pool they advertise is like a wading pool.

They have no waiter/waitress service at beach or pool, but the bartenders were pretty quick, and of course if you tipped well, the service was quicker.

They stock NO beer in the fridge. If your room has 1 bed you get 1 large water and 1 pop, if your room has 2 beds you get 2 large water and 2 pop.

The main buffet is from 7-10,12-4,6-10, they have a restaurant on the beach that opens at 11-4 then it turns into an a la carte, then at 11:30pm it serves food again.. At the pool bar they serve cookies, fruit and sandwiches at 5pm. What I didn't like was there was no food at all times throughout the day, which I believe there should have been, even if it was just popcorn, nachos, something!

Beach was nice, small but nice. The resort provides "boogie boards", the kids had a blast with them.(you have to sign them out)

Lots of vendors coming by to sell stuff. Just say no if you are not interested, and always cut the price in half.

Beach market down on the left, about a 10-15 min walk, there is 2, one is the 'orange market' and there is another right beside it about a 45 second walk (less pushy)

There is a mall in the middle of the complex (outside the hotel) about a 5 min walk, (if that), you can get coffee, vanilla, sunscreen, smokes, liquor. There is a bank and clothing stores, novelty shops. Smokes,sunscreen,chips, are all cheaper there.

Entertainment was ok

Overall I had a good time, it is what you make of it and who you go with ( I think )

I wouldn't pay a whole lot of money for this place and don't expect fancy. We had a building close to the check in and it was quiet, the buildings close to the beach are very noisy at night, ( the other half of my group stayed there)



The staff are very friendly and helpful, but overworked.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NolnJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Paradise Playa Dorada

Property: Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Address: Complejo Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata 332, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Paradise Playa Dorada 3.5*
Number of rooms: 425
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Also Known As:
Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
Paradise Beach Club Puerto Plata
Paradise Beach Resort Casino
Paradise Beach Puerto Plata
Paradise Beach Club Casino

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