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“After 12 visits it feels like home.”

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Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Ranked #7 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed September 25, 2009

After reading some of the reviews, I have to assume that most of these people have never been to the Carribean. Yes we have been in luxury hotels and many 5* plus and yes there is a difference. However you cant beat the price, the superb location, the great food and the wonderful people. The beach vendors are only annoying if you let it annoy and a simple no will do. The staff here work hard long hours and are willing to please if treated with respect. The view from the beachside dining room is the best in Puerta Plata. You get what you pay for and a whole lot more....... your vacation is what you make of it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank hugobar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 24, 2009

We stayed here from 8th Sep - 22nd Sep. This was our first time in the caribbean so we didn't know what to expect having read some reviews on here. We were moved from the Viva Wyndham resort due to it being renovated, which turned out to be a good thing as we saw the viva wyndham and it looked very shabby! on arrival we were welcomed with a lovely refreshing fruit cocktail & cool moist towels for refreshment. Check in was hassle free and the porter took our cases to our room in return for a small tip. Our room was lovely, very spacious, spotlessly clean, the air conditioning worked perfectly for the duration of our stay, maids cleaned our room/changed towels & replenished our fridge with fresh bottled water & a bottle of Coke on a daily basis. Our balcony overlooked the pool which could be a little noisy during the day whilst the animation team were entertaining sunbathers, however you dont go on holiday to stay in your room! Hairdryers are provided in the bathrooms & work fine (also GHD hair straightneners do work here with a U.S.A travel adapter!!) There's also tea/coffee making facilities aswell as an ironing board/iron provided. The grounds of the hotel are also spotless, the staff are always cleaning. Plenty of sunloungers surround the pool - even at weekends when some of the locals come into the complex there was still plenty of loungers to go round. The main restaurant (Hibiscus) offers hot & varied food. They have a daily themed menu(french, spanish, American, British) so there is always something you are likely to eat! You are entitled to 1 evening per week in both the a' la carte restaurants (Michelangelo's & Edens) Michelangelo's offers pizzas chicken & pork dishes etc whilst Edens is more of a steak house, so again there is something for everyone (my fiance is a very fussy eater & he managed for a fortnight without starving!!!) Drinks are all inclusive (rum with everything!!) The beer is kinda like weak Stella! Beware if you want Smirnoff vodka it will cost you about $8 a glass!! so go with the local stuff as its just as good & free! (measures depend on your barman!!!) There is a professional photography booth (Tropical Pictures) on the complex (next to Edens) we had photos taken by Willy & they are amazing, they were taken with no obligation to buy & you can choose the ones you like from their computer before you commit. He took 48 photos of us on the beach & we bought 10 for $70, they really are the best souvenier from the holiday!
We did 2 excursions - The Monster Trucks Safari, it was well worth it as we really got to see the true way of life over there! A local school where you can give pencils/paper/sweets to the kids & they are very grateful for what they get! on this trip you also visit a cigar factory, a gorgeous beach where we went horse riding (optional) and shown a typical Dominican house (their electricity supply comes from a solar panel & 2 heavy duty car batteries!!)
The other trip we took was to Paradise Island. We were picked up by a small coach at 6am. If you suffer from travel sickness like me, please beware that you are on a bus for 1 1/2hours on very bumpy roads in very hot weather! (so take some sick bags as I & others needed them!!) We were taken to speed boats which took us to the island (about 30mins away) the island is 50m x 15m & can get crowded quickly but well worth the experience - this really is how you would imagine the caribbean! The snorkelling here really is amazing, hundreds of jelly fish and fish of all sizes & colours, im not a great swimmer but life jackets are provided to keep you afloat! you only go as far out as you want & even only waist deep in the water you will be surrounded by fish! A trip through the mangroves then leads you to another beach where lunch is provided (hot dogs, chips, burgers etc) There is a VIP option for this trip allowing you a champagne lunch on a luxury yacht, we didnt do this part of the trip and still had a great day! It costs an extra $70 pp for the VIP part.
Evening entertainment at the hotel is limited as some nights they had a spanish singer etc although they also had a Michael Jackson tribute night, a Casino night where you can play poker, roulette & black jack, a magician, and a fire & water evening which was good.
This hotel/resort is great if you are looking for a chilled out holiday, the staff go out of their way to make you feel looked after. All in all we would recommend this hotel to others especially couples or solo travellers (very safe) looking for relaxation, great weather (it didnt rain once the whole time we were there) and a good all inclusive package.
I hope this review has helped

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank beanosteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2009

On arrival at Puerto Plata Airport, we were greeted by a luggage carrier who took our luggage and carried it to our bus for us. This was very nice but they beg you for a tip and as you have just got your money exchanged, you only have $10 and $20s with you.

Grand Paradise is only 10 minutes on the bus and when looking at the streets on the way, I was slightly apprehensive. It is like a third world country.

Then it changes...

On arrival at Grand Paradise Hotel, we are welcomed with a welcome drink and cool towels at reception. Check in was quick and we were upgraded to a Superior Room, courtesy of Thomas Cook as we were switched hotel from Fun Tropicale.

Room was EXCELLENT! Large sitting area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Bed was HUGE with a flat screen TV. If you tip the maids a dollar a day, they fold your towels into swans, heart shapes, peacocks and fill your fridge with bottles of juice and water.

Pool was great, and Alan at Sinners bar was great! The pool bar and Extasis bar were good too. Loved the fact we were right on a beautiful beach. My fiance and I walked along it nearly every morning.

Hibiscus restaurant is the main restaurant. Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food was good, not great. And it does get very repetitive. They do Italian, Dominican Republic, American themed nights which is quite good. One night, the staff moved all the tables and chairs on to the beach and we had dinner about 8 o clock that night. Was so romantic. Singers came around the table and played the maracas also.

Michaelangelo restaurant was slightly disappointing. You have to book your seat and can only go once per week. The food had no taste and deserts were cheap bought in cakes.

Edens restaurant was good and is a change to Hibiscus every day for lunch.

Entertainment could have been better but the guys try there best. The nights that were good were the Michael Jackson show and the Fire and Water Show.

Book excursions through your rep. Not beach vendors. They are so annoying and please BEWARE of time share reps. They wear blue polo shirts they come over to your sun lounger at the pool and try to sell you everything under the sun. That really annnoyed me as we paid to come and relax...?

Our rep was called Ant. He was very friendly and provided great information and enthusiasm. We booked Ocean World, Mega Trucks, Catamaran, and Paradise Island VIP cruise. Every excursion was worth the money and we had an amazing time on all of them. Ocean World is excellent but take money if you want photographs with dolphins and tigers. Mega Trucks was a once in a life time opportunity. We went horseback riding through the mountains over looking the scenery where Jurassic Park was filmed and went to visit the shanty towns which was so interesting and the kids are adorable. So much to say about that trip could talk for hours. The catamaran trip was a last minute trip booked the night before and turned out to be one of the best trips. The staff on board the boats were AMAZING! We had water fights with the other boat and went snorkelling, saw Enrique Iglesias's house... Can feel quite sea sick though. The VIP cruise has so much packed into the day... it is simply amazing! And when you visit Paradise Island... you then discover the real Caribbean... It is truely paradise!

We stayed from 25th Aug - 8th Sept and it was the best 2 weeks of my life. We took £1000 which was roughly $1500 and came back with change.

We also ate out at Hemingways Bar and Grill just beside the Plaza... That is amazing and very cheap. It is similar to TGI Fridays.

Will definitely be returning in the near future.

Thanks to everyone who made our holiday a holiday to remember

xx

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlannaJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2009

Just arrived home from a 2wk holiday.Room was a good size and clean and maid service good to.. Food pretty good although come friday and saturday the standard dropped and so did the service. The locals use this hotel on the weekends-which is not a problem- but everything turns spanish and nobody knows whats going on.The entertainment is not to good, so if you want very low key then this is the place for you. We were very lucky to have met such lovely people which we spent most of the holiday with, but if it wasnt for this then it could have been a long two week holiday with very little to do. On the whole it is a good 3 star hotel,but if you have a few extra pound to spend then go to the gran ventana next door which is ab fab and has all the other little extras.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Cav1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2009

I booked room with the Seaview and then read the reviews, i was a bit concerned as some reviews were not very good but my fears were proved to be unfounded as my stay in Paradise was a wondeful experience. The hotel is just steps away from the ocean. There's a bar right on the beach so you can get all the water and alcohol you need.

The excurtions were really good too. A little bit pricey, but you get a whole day out. I went Monster Truck, to see whats going on behind the hotel walls. Went to Paradise Island where you get the chance to snorcell. All inclusive - you go on a speed boat to see the mangroves. All the equipment is supplied also as food and drink is supplied. After you can buy CD as paparaci is filming all day. I also went water raffting and quad biking.

The Hotel was clean, warm and comfortable and the food was very tasty, didnt have any problems. The staff were all friendly and helpful and the locals made me feel very welcome.
Everynight was disconight, so that was so much fun, I made friends with the other holidaymakers. Good music and free drinks! There's also local bars & disco i think called "Coco-bongo" right off the resort at walking distance (3min) which was so lots of fun as well.

Overall, I had a good time, a nice tan, great memories. Would go again for sure & would recommend this hotel. Tho...I didn't spend much time inside except sleeping and showering.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled solo
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2  Thank KristineLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2009

Stayed at the grand paradise with my husband from the 25/8 to the 8/9 and had an absolutley fantastic time, we were supposed to be staying at the fun tropical but were moved to this hotel 2 weeks before we were due to go.
Loved the fact that the beach was right on your doorstep, a drink at the bar and a dip in the sea, what more could you ask for ?
Our room was great, cleaned everyday and fridge was topped up when needed and we were given fresh towels everyday, the only small downside was our roomview, tennis courts and if you looked through the trees the sea, did want a pool or seaview, but was quite thankful did not have a poolview as the music coming from the disco etc was quite loud.
The food was ok to begin with but like every all in holiday you do get fed up with it after a week, the omlettes and fried eggs were great a breakfast though.
Once the barmen get to know you the bring your drinks over to your table which is good.
The plaza is a 2 minute walk fromn the hotel and there is a good variety of shops there.
We met a great bunch of people when we were there, "the alan family "!!!! Monty, Anna, greig and alan jnr, alans uncle - Brian and Pops - Gordan and a young couple alan and natalie, has a great time with cocktails thaniks to natalie.
we went on 2 excusrions but we are definatley planning on going on more when we go back which we certainly will be.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kerry-chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2009

Me, My mum and sister were booked to stay at Fun Tropicale where we have stayed many times before and always really enjoyed it. However we were moved to this hotel on a week's notice so decided to stick with this hotel rather than cancel the holiday all together.
When we first arrived we were already comparing it to Fun Tropicale. We didnt like it at first as we were unfamiliar in the surroundings and didnt know any of the staff like we did at the other hotel.

The room was very nicely decorated and a good size considering it was a standard room. There was no hairdryer in the room so we went to reception and they had bought one to the room within an hour.

At dinner there was always a choice although after two weeks it did get quite repetitive. Breakfast was always our favourite meal, if a little hard to get out of bed in time after late nights out.
For lunch you could either eat at the main restaurant or at Eden's which was more snack foods and pizza.

The animation team are great and work very hard at all the activities throughout the day. They may take a little time to start talking to you but once you join in with a few activities they'll chat all the time. Shout out to CocaCola, Big Mama, Domingo (Blacky), Beauty & LovaLova. Really made our stay worthwhile and fun.

The shows at night were the only disappointment at this hotel as they use outside entertainment for different shows each night. I personally prefer inhouse entertainment as it is usually more funny and lighthearted.

Also, the bars shut at 1am and dont open until 10am the next day so if you've been to the plasa in the evening and come home wanting a drink, your only option is the drinks left in your minibar in the room.

If you want to get out the resort to do something in the evenings once the shows are over and the disco at the hotel is shut, the Plasa is a 5 minute walk and has CocoBongo (like a nightclub), Hemminways (Karaoke and Dancing), Roadway (Another club). All great fun. You have to pay for drinks there and they are quite expensive so stock up before you go out as they dont pressure you to buy a drink. If you go to CocoBongo at the weekends it will be very full as the locals go down there. I prefer it when its full and the locals will always want to dance with the tourists so it can be a little intimidating but they dont mean to be. Also at the weekends they have shows at CocoBongo which include The Mask, Spiderman, The Joker & BeetleJuice. Great fun to watch and join in with. They start at about 1am but defo worth a look.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay at this hotel after getting used to the place and are planning to return there soon.

One last thing, there is a guy working on the WaterSports called Ivan. He will try and get money or gifts from you for anything and can be very intimidating. Just remember everything without a motor is All Inclusive so you dont need to pay for it. We used the snorkelling equipment (AI) and he tried to get $100 from us for using it. You have to be quite firm and rude to him otherwise he'll be persisstant. Just a warning but he is easy to avoid as he's based at the Watersports.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank RepublicaD0minicana
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

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: $97 - $561 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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