Dates we stayed - Feb 11-17, 2011
- Better than average at Caribbean all inclusive resorts. (We have also been to Cuba, Mexico and Jamaica – although Jamaican food was quite good also)
- Evening snacks (10-12 pm) – very poor choices and not tasty (hot dog – mystery meat, or ham n cheese sandwich)
- Beach café – quick with decent variety – pizza, hamburger, nachos, menu also available with burgers, fries, wraps, etc
- Three a la carte restaurants – (1) Octopus – Caribbean cuisine – tasty food, best of three a la cartes, small size and drab ambiance, (2) Iapore di Mare – Italian cuisine – ok but only slightly better than buffet, and (3) Ocean Grill – Meat/fish/seafood – good food and best service of any of the three restaurants, would rate 2nd out of 3 a la cartes.
- Did their jobs but did not smile much and not quick to respond or to get what you asked for.
- Bartenders were the happiest but they were regularly tipped, and if tipped well they tended to remember your order.
- The entertainment staff was also usually happy which leads me to believe they liked/enjoyed their jobs as they were happy without regular tips.
- Did not go on any but they did offer various options.
Entertainment at the resort
- There was something each evening and it was generally entertaining. During the day there was pool tables, ping pong, bingo, aqua fit, drinking games, and on Thursdays vendors came to resort with tables of wares.
- Clean, good size. Beds – double size (for two adults), two in the room, a bit hard but generally comfortable. I heard a king beds are available.
- There was a small fridge that was stocked daily with 2 beer and 2 pops, and a jug of water to drink or brush your teeth with.
- Lighting in the room was ok to poor, 2 small lamps at the bedside and 1 stand at the far corner of the room.
- A/C worked very well.
- Showers – hot water, good pressure
- Three in total
- 1 large in main area with a swim up bar in it, graduated slope for young/small children to walk in, volleyball in pool activities.
- 1 kids pool just aside to main pool, much smaller and predominantly used by kids.
- 1 adult/quiet pool – out the front of the hotel and up a short walk then off to the right.
- All were good pools, none heated, but warm once you are in them.
- All had a lot of loungers around them, tables and umbrellas for those who want to go out but want to stay out of the sun.
- Short walk from any room – lots of loungers to lie on.
- Sand fleas – my husband got many bites and they were very itchy.
- When it was windy at the beach sand got in your drinks if you did not have them in a sealed mug – bring a sealed mug. There are no tables on the beach, at all. Your drinks and belongings have to sit in the sand, not ideal. The wind was nice in the heat though.
- Vendors – a lot of vendors selling wares/services – by the end of the first afternoon we must have said no at least 30 times. Too many times and annoying but they are allowed to walk the beach and offer their wares to every person on the beach every day.
- We rented a car from budget, one day, compact car. Very reasonable price, but the driving in some areas was crazy chaotic. Then we drove to Cabarete and walked through the shops. It was about 40 min away from the resort but it was a way to see a different way of the locals’ life.
- Hot, very hot and humid, use sunscreen, we saw more than one person there who thought they did not need sunscreen and were walking tomatoes for at least 2-3 days.
- Clouds almost every day by 4:30 and on, with occasional clouds throughout the day every day.
- ½ day of rain on one day and 2nd day of occasional showers.
- Clean, organized, tastefully decorated – walked outside resort at night – felt safe, no issues.
- Plentiful if you know where to find them and in some cases have transportation to get there.
- No casino at this resort.
- Paradise resort next door – 5 minute walk. Slots, blackjack, and Texas hold’em. Small casino, with nightly tournaments (9 pm) single table with buy-ins of $1/$2, a minimum buy-in of $50. Players are a mix of locals and tourists.
- American Casino – much larger, various slots, blackjack, Texas hold’em. $1/$2, a minimum buy-in of $40, will start with 5 players, quickly fill to 10 with a waiting list. Players are a mix of locals and tourists.
- Drinks available free to players at most casinos
- Do not need to be a guest at any particular resort to play at the associated casino.
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Ventana Beach Hotel
- Gran Ventana Dominican Republic
- Gran Ventana Puerto Plata
- Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
- Hotel Gran Ventana Beach
- Grand Ventana Beach Resort
- Gran Ventana Hotel Dominican Republic