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“Mixed feelings”

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Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Ranked #8 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Yonkers, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2009

We arrived early Sunday afternoon and upon check in we were greeted with drinks. I was given the card key to my room right away. However, my travel companion's room was not ready until 7:00 pm.

The hotel is located on the beach and their is an abundance of beach chairs. The beach was cleaned every morning of the seaweed.

This was my first time staying in an all inclusive so I wasn't too sure what to expect with the food. The food was hit or miss. The omelettes and banana bread were great for breakfast in the morning. Lunch was usually hot dogs and hamburgers. Dinner was usually chicken, fish or pork which I thought was very bland. I was expecting the food to be more flavorful like the Dominican restaurants at home. The lasanga was gross. They had nice selection of cheese and the salad bar was good. All the drinks were watered down from juice, soda to the alcohol. Desserts were fairly good.

The staff at the hotel was courteous and friendly. They worked very hard. If you arrive at the hotel over the weekend please make sure you get to breakfast and dinner early. The hotel is usually at capacity when the locals arrive and it's more difficult to get a decent table. Other than that, service is good.

The large pool had clumps of hair floating around the pool for about two days which I thought was disgusting. There were also plastic cups floating in pool as well. The children's pool was fairly clean.

The rooms were neat and clean and the housekeeping cleaned the rooms on a daily basis. I did have a problem with the hot water. I had to call everyday to get hot water and my travel companion had a problem with the air conditioning in her room.

I'm not sure if we were bitten by no see ums, mosquitoes or bed bugs but whatever bit us caused us to start scratching feverishly around 2 am. Which I found frustrating because I sprayed OFF with 25% deet on us nightly. I have three bites in a line on my neck and leg and my five year old daughter has sixteen bites on her stomach, some on her neck and arms. After researching the internet, the pattern of the bites look like bed bug bites.

When we returned home , I took my daughter to the emergency room the Dr. informed me that the bites could be from bed bugs but not 100% sure. My travel companions had no such problem in their room. They sustained one or two bites being at the beach but nothing major. Please take the necessary precautions and check yfor critters in your room. If you notice something, please change rooms immediately.

I would probably recommend this hotel to singles and couples but not for families with small children.

Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank MS0574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (520)
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English first
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2009

The Grand Paradise Playa Dorada was an excellent choice. We all enjoyed this hotel. The rooms were fantastic with all the amenities you would expect in a 4 star hotel. Coffee makers in room with mini fridge and blow dryers. Nicely renovated rooms. The staff were friendly and very accomodating. The grounds are well kept and it has a great location on the beach. The food was excellent and all four of us always found something tasty to eat. The fajitas were amazing. Wished they served them more than once a week.

The interenet was not the most reliable but when you could log on it was quick enough. The pool area was decent but could the pool itself could be cleaned a little better.

Overall the hotel was fantastic and we would return.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelingraysgirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2009

My husband and I stayed for two weeks. The place looked really nice and most of the the people are amazing especially during the first week. The entertaiment staff did a really good job for what they had. We met four other amazing sisters from Ontario and hung out with them and two more amzing women from Sweden. Without them we would have had a terrible time. The seven of us made the trip an excellent experience.

RECEPTION/FREDDY
Well we got there they gave us the room different that what we requested. we paid for a superior ocean room upgrade with a king bed and got a standard ocean room with a double bed, we refused it and got a stardard ocean room with a king bed. The small petit women at the receptionist counter was rude and did not want to deal with us and sent another man over to help us out, thank you to the tall slim short haired man. We did not want our vacation to start badly so we agreed to stay there for now. The next morning we met with Freddy our travel rep, he seemed ok but told us that we choose to downgrade our room and then gave us a copy of what he had for our room arrangements, which of course was different than what we paid for, he said there was nothing he could do and to wait til we got home and complain. Which we will do.
FOOD
The food was ok but got a little boring after some time. The a la cartes were really good. I like the lazagna and the cheesecake the most. We ate at both places and the food, people, wait timeand service was really good. My huband had the steak and he really enjoyed it but wished the meat was bigger. Stay away from eating too much meat, if you don't you will find out why by yourself.

ENTERTAIMENT STAFF
Freshita was the best, she was so friendly, outgoing and made the trip for us and the rest of the ladies we were with. She remembered our names, sat with us, played with us and we wanted to take her back home by the end of the trip. We were really sad when we went our separate ways. We had mixed feelings about Lucas and My Baby but by the end of our trip we really enjoyed them as well, they were so much fun. Coco-cola Light, Mr Lova-lova, Blackie, La Bomba all worked hard to make our experience excellent. They were all amazing and we made friends with all of them, we plan to stay in touch. One female stood out and by the end of the trip we would do everything possible to avoid her, she was so happy and friendly the first week but would not stop crying and begging for money for medicine and food for her children. She even offered to take our credit card and bring back the receipt. There were other poeple at the resort she played the same game with. It was not too cool and pissed us off, we are still debating reporting her so I will not mention her name at this time. After her episode she came up to us to show off her new Armoni perfume she bought with her tip money-guess she should have bought food and meds instead.

EXCURSIONS
We have gone to the D.R. Many times before and have already gone on most of them. On previous visits we have done 27 waterfalls (awesome and very enjoyable) oceanworld, paradise island, rum factory, cable car, cigar factory, fortress priate tour to mention of few. This time we only went on two excursions. We have friends there and they are the best people to take you on private tours and they cost much less to go on your own, during you own time and not the buses.

The Puerta Plata Runners. The Puerta Plata Runners were ok, we went to a school where the kids looked healthier than many kids from our local schools and a family that was suppose to be poor. They had lots of land, animals and many different types of plants growing, these poeple are far from poor. The horseback riding consisted of horses walking and being hit (with his straw hat and not hurting them) by a man walking behind us to get them moving. They walked along the ocean for a little bit (5 mins) the ride all together was about 25 minutes. I was mistaken to think when the brochure said riding in the afternoon it did not mean all afternoon. Food was good and the ocean was amazing. Everyone was friendly, I would not pay that much to do it again. Maybe worth half the price we paid.

Rancho LoriLar (horseback Riding, 10 minutes from Playa Dorada Complex)
We booked the sunset tour. It was the most amazing tour we have been on thus far. Gayle is a fellow Canadian and owner of the business, Joyce is an American and such of wonderful person. Joyce gave us a lesson on how to ride and made sure that we were comfortable before we set off. Angel and Raffeal (sorry if the spelling is wrong) were our guides. My husband and I are not riders at all and they kept a close eye on us to make sure we were safe and having fun throughout the entire tour. These horses are beautiful, well fed and healthy. I could not see any ribs on them, they were gentle and I felt safe the entire time. I highly recommend this and plan to do it again and again. We rode up part of the moutain and waved at all the people we went by, everyone was very nice, then we went through sugar cane fields, crossed rivers and along trails. We went past two groups of wild horses and it was beauftful. We stopped along the way to give the horses a rest and we danced, had a water fight before getting back on the horses and rode back to the ranch. I was really impressed and a three hour tour is actually a three house on the horse. I cannot say anything bad about the tour at all. This was well worth the money we paid. My horse's name was Mickey and my husbands was Cracker-Jack, we both fell in love with them. Remeber to bring bananas as a treat at the end of your trip.

OUR ROOM
Well we got a different room that what we paid for so we were moved on the first day. Still did not get what we paid for but did not want to pay too much attention to the room. Bed was hard as a rock, and no hot water after the second day but the view was good. By the six day I was getting irritable and could not sleep, we were moved on the 7th day, this time we got the kitchen area that we originally paid for but still no seating area other than the bed. After we were settled and unpacked we noticed that the bathroom door would not close. We notified the rectionist, guest service, maitanience, housekeeping and every other staff we say regarding the door. We were told 10 minutes numerous times, told tomorrow, told they were going to fix it and but our last day the guest service lady finally told us that they have to order another one and that it could not be fixed. My husband even asked for a hammer to fix it and they would not give it to them. Instead of no hot water for some reason we had no cold water, I could not think which one was worse. There were maintenance people outside our room for the last 5 days working on pipes but we did not know why, I hope it was the water isse. Also we had to share our balcony with someone else. When I told the bellboy he told me not to worry because no one is in that room. He was right, there was no one at the time I mentioned it but they were there an hour later. They were spanish and argued a lot. We tried to make the best of everything and left the room everytime they fought or turned the t.v. up loud, sorry neightbours on the other side if we made too much noise, hope you understand why.

OTHER
The resorts opens its doors to the upscale residents of the island on the weekend. The service seems to go downhill at this time. Many of these people were very rude, do not believe in lines, waiting their turn, some would change dirty diapers poolside and leave them there, feces in the pool and much more. We left the resort to see the town after that. Thank you entertainment staff for saying something to them, it was nice to have someone to say something to them. Entertainment staff worked hard to make everything happy for everyone.
The resort itself was very clean, the beach was nice and the vendors would not bug you, a simple no thanks and they would move on. Yes we had to bring our beach chairs to the ocean but the 15 feet is not that far and it was so that the cleaners could come and keep things neat and clean for everyone. The chairs were plastic and very light, there were even people there to do it for you if you did not want to do it yourself. Well done guys.
If you are going to relax but the pool, do some sit seeing and do not care that much about your accommodations then this is a really nice place. If luxury is what you are looking for then Rui or Lifestyles is the place to go. I would return but not for the price I paid.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AlbertaMommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
keswick ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2009

My First trip with my 3 sisters to Puerto Plata from Canada
when we arrived ,we were greeted at the door with a nice cold cocktail which was very nice.
when we signed in they didn;t have a room to accomadate the 4 of us together so they
gave us a beautiful suite with a ajoining room so we could be together.
The staff was super they made our Holiday so much fun.... can't wait to go back.

Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank miskaangal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
swindon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2009

This hotel is the worst place i have stayed at, i have travelled around the world with thomas cook. i was so disapointed with this hotel, i just dont know where to start. we were stuck in the dreadfull place for three weeks.
rooms had water leaks daily. plug sockets hanging off the wall, staff entering your room whilst you was out, putting dreadfull pictures and shells on your wall.
Maids.... clean your room, then leave your patio doors unlocked, so locals could enter your room and take things. lots of people had things missing from their room, money, cameras, jewllery, sweets and chocolate etc.
Locals... they came every weekend, by the hundreds, they took over the place it was like we were invisable couldn,t get any service at all when locals were in.
Bar... all drinks were served in plastic / paper cups. had to drink local wine the whole three week stay as this was the only drink i could get served in a glass. the seating area in bar and resturant was £2 plastic white garden chairs. What a joke. Nowhere in the whole hotel was there a comfortable chair to sit in. Only in the mamagers office which i found out when i finally had enough and kicked up such a fuss i demanded a meeting with him.
Al a carte resturant.. only open two times a week if you were lucky. the meals in there was good, when you could get in there.
Entertainment... well they did their best, but very basic, and again in the evening it was held in a tiny room sat on hard chairs again, and it only lasted for one hour.. rubbish.
Reps... when i wanted to speak to reps to complain, they were very rude this was when you could find them to speak to, they always had an answer for every thing, but always on the side of the hotel not the costomer.
Beach... well lovely white sands, beautifull view... then powwwwwwwww looky looky men / women every 2 mins you want ou buy you want you buy ... NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO GO AWAY.
OMG what can i say just stay away please please please listen to me. DONT GO ANYWHERE NEAR THIS HOTEL.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank garyno2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Puerto Plata hotels

LANCASHIRE
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2009

Have just arrived back from 2 weeks honey moon in grand paradise after being moved form another hotel due to health and safety ???, our first impressions of the hotel where perfect, hot towles when arrive in reception, very poliet staff, check in was very quick and pain less after a 9 hour flight. We had a superior room and it was brilliant, big king size bed clean bathroom, only pop and water in fridge but did us just fine. use the beach vendors for any trips as thomas cook prices are double what they will charge you for the exact same thing, just barter with them.. we did jeep safari great for a taste of domincan life and the waterfall experience is fantastic, just make sure you take plimsole shoes as you have to rent these and there not very nice when they are still wet from previous user, paradise island is stunning and ocean world is a must if you have kids or are just a big kid at heart.
the hotel animation staff do try there best but it can get a bit repetative after a week, the italian is nice and the grill if good, try and book in these at weekends as the locals do come in and the buffet gets really really busy.
the beach located near the beach bar is perfect, especially when the sun sets.
this was our first time to domincan and we fell in love with it, I would return back to puerto plata and to playa dorado, not necessarily to this hotel, it is very clean but there is not much entertainment going n, this is the only major draw back.
if you are looking for luxury then this is not the hotel for you, if you want to go and have a relax and do everything in domincan time this is for you.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CALDAVIDSON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffs
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2009

We were moved to here after booking the Fun Tropicale like many of the guests.
The hotel was very nice but was looking forward to the 24 hr bar and the free horseriding which we didnt get at this hotel.
The last bar shut at 1am!!
Overall it was very nice, the entertainment was ok, a bit hit and miss at night and too hot inside when the Michael Jackson show (it was not bad) was on.
The food was nice always something for everyone and my daughter is a vegetarian.
We didnt go to the A La Carte restaraunts but i was told they were nice. Be wary of the small chubby guy on the beach selling excursions. We went to Ocean World and paid a deposit in English and luckily he put on the ticket how much more we had to pay when we got there....They wanted another £40 which i didnt have ( i only took enough for food, drinks, photos), but the manager was very good and let us in anyway.
Anyway thats about it really anything else just email me and ask...

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank biancohelen
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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 On the Beach 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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