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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
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Reviewed September 10, 2011

Me and my Partner had a great stay at this hotel. Was there 26/8 to 9/09.

Upon arrival, which only took around 15 mins on bus, we got to reception and greeted with a drink and the bellboy took our cases. The check in took around 10 mins which was fine by me. We got to the room and it was a good size, plenty of room for the two of us and the air con was a god send! beaut! haha. We had 2 double beds, the room was very clean and the maid service was excellent....if you want your linen changed, you put a card on the bed, otherwise it was just made and had swans made out of the sheets with freshly picked flowers which was cool. The towels were changed every single day and the fridge re-stocked daily.

The food choice was good, there's something for everyone and plenty of it, so if you read that there's no choice, it''s fuss pots! The Ocean Grill was amazing!! Best meal of the holiday, we also ate at the Octopus which was nice.

The staff are extremely friendly and will do anything for you. This includes all staff - bar, maids, reception, porter, entertainment ground staff. They all say hello and are great.

The pool area is nice, if dated and could do with a re-furb, but it was great....a big shallow area which you could just lie in and sunbathe and a deeper area for swimming and games. Also the pool bar serving the all important rum n coke!

The beach leads straight off the hotel grounds and is fab. People moan and go on and on about being bugged by the lucky men and women, but its all part of the fun! I had great fun bartering with them! They are so friendly too.....our fave being Pedro, who sells the jewelery, he would chat to us everyday, not asking us to buy, and he would teach us spanish and talk to us in spanish, so we would reply the next day in the correct wording. Also we booked trips with both Nelson and Ceazer.....we found Nelson more expensive than Ceazer even though they work for the same company, but again it was great to have the banter with them. Pedicures while you're sunbathing....magic! Lilly (no 8) is the lady for this.....there are also hair braiders which i also had done, lol. All in all, if you really don't want anything, a polite 'no thank you' is all that's needed, but if you actually make the effort to talk, they really appreciate it and you can have a real laugh with them.

We did 3 trips, each booked on the beach.....Paradise Island - you're not missing much if you don't do this...its a nice island, but the trip there was almost 3 hours each way in a hot bus...not much fun at all. The meal included in this trip was typical dominican food, so dont expect a gourmet meal....its spaghetti, salad, rice and beans, fried chicken etc. The island is smothered with jelly fish which are all over the island too, but they don't sting your hands, but do your body, so you are able to waft them out of the way when snorkeling...not fun for me as i'm a bit of a wimp.

We did the Jeep safari which also included a trip to the 21 water falls. This trip was good as it took us into the heart of the villages and we got to look around one of the communal kitchens and taste the dominican coffee and pure chocolate, lovely. The trip to the waterfalls was excellent....top tip, take a waterproof camera as you cannot take a normal one. You hire 'water shoes' for 2 dollars which are like plimpsoles, but you can just take your own water shoes as the men's were just normal shoes so not comfy or practical.

The last trip was a quad safari - take this with much caution as they do not have the same road laws as we do, or safety laws that we do...infact they don't have any!! My partners quad had not brakes at all, so he had to use gears to slow it down and mine had no back brake.....i came off mine going round a corner and fell 6ft down a ditch! driver error. I did enjoy this trip though, but thinking about it now, we wouldn't have got on the quads in this country, so just be careful.

Overall it was a lovely break away. We wouldn't go back, but that's just because we like to try new places - the worlds a big place!! We would recommend it to others...with or without kids.

Room Tip: take plenty of bite cream and wear mozzy bands or use repellent!! Use high factor 50
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Bicardi_Chick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2011

I have to say after reading some of the negative reviews on here I was a bit apprehensive as to whether this time round would be as good as the first time we stayed here in 2007. Well I can positively say we were not disappointed. As returning customers we were were given a gold all inclusive wrist band which gives you an invitation to the Managers Weekly Cocktail party and also unlimited visits to the A La Carte Restaurants. Check in was very fast and we we shown to our rooms within 10-15 minutes after all our group was checked in (there were 9 adults 2 kids) Bell boys took our suitcases up which arrived literally minutes later. Rooms are basic but what do you expect its the Dominican not the Ritz, thet still have everything you need in there to make you stay enjoyable, who goes on holiday to stay in and watch telly anyway. Rooms are fully airconditioned (thank god as it got incredicly hot) with nice size bath room and power shower, we did have an issue with the loo but this was fixed straight away. Wardrobe space if more than 2 people is a bit limited just ensure you do take extra hangers as there are not enough. We tended to stay around the main pool area and there was always plenty sunbeds so no need to fight over them, pool swim up bar opens at 10am! Entertainment staff never stopped, even though the entertainment was basic they tried their best to keep everyone happy and I would like to give a big shout out to Mini Me and his colleagues for making our stay a pleasureable one, like someone says below if you dont want to join in the days activities a polite no suffices. Quiet pool is very quiet with a nice bar area, lovely to get away from the hustle and bustle of the mainm pool. Beach - although this time I didnt sunbathe there I can say its lovely and gets a nice breeze in the afternoon, but this is deceving to the temparature so ensure you still wear high factor suncream. The beach is cleaned every day and water is not too cold. NIce to walk down the beach before the sun comes up properly. The A La Carte restaurants I cannot fault my favourites were the Ocean Grill and the Octopus they do lovely steaks! The buffet restaurant - if you cannot find something you like here then maybe you should holiday in England! I can safely safe there was no issues with flies either as reported below. There was so much choice and all was very yummy. In the breakfast buffet they offer an omlette and also a smoothie station and loads of other stuff to choose from like patries, pancakes etc etc. All in all I would recommend this hotel very highly. I would also like to thank our Thomas Cook Rep Helen for going above and beyond her call of duty - thank you! Will definately return to this hotel in the very near future, I personally love it and the employees go far our of there way to be attentive, remember they get paid pennies and tips count for everything no matter how small.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank bwfczoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2011

I have recently returned from here after a two week stay,our party consisted of 9 adults and two children.
What can I say .. it was everything I thought it would be if not better. (8 of the adults in my party had been previously 4 years ago and loved it then)
The Food was amazing , so much choice at every sitting in the buffet restaurant. How people can complain about the food is beyond me and if your a dessert lover like me well they where to die for. We where lucky enough to eat at all 3 restaurants twice and the food was amazing there also. The staff where very attentive and friendly, especially in the buffet , and always remembered what we wanted to drink
The rooms although very basic where very clean and comfortable , the air conditioning was a god send.
The Pool's where excellant with the main pool having plenty of sunbeds and shade if required and the entertainment staff working their socks off to get everyone involved. Dont worry though if you didnt want to join in you could decline or go to the quiet pool.
Although I didnt spend alot of time at the beach to sunbathe , I did go for a few walks and had a dip in the sea a few times , it was beautiful.
All in all I had a fabulous time and would recommend this place highly.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank Toni236
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2011

On first arriving the check in was complete chaos not enough staff and very disorganised (there was a mix up with my husband and i as there was another couple with the same surname which we found out the next day ) when we eventually got our room it was at the pool and next to the night entertainment on the ground floor (so noisy if you wanted a siesta we would put the tv on to drown out the noise),the room was very clean and a good size with two double beds the furniture was very old and damaged one of the drawers in the dresser didn,t close there were broken tiles the patio door didn,t lock all the time as they were very old we did get staff to look at it but still didn,t work .The bath had chips in it and rust at the plug hole which looked horrible.The food in the main restaurant was excellent the staff were lovely and very helpful the choice was really good you could always find something new to try or just stick to the more traditional choices ,the second week when the hotel was a bit quieter the selection wasn,t as good but still very good.The A la Carte restaurants were also excellent.The only downside was trying to get a drink with your meal water got topped up constantly but ther only one person serving alcohol or soft drinks .Enteretainment was very poor ok if you were a small child not really much for anyone older we spent most of the time at the quiet bar where a few couples would go and have a good time ourselves met some lovely people . Beach was great apart from beach sellers trying to sell anything from jewellery to a manicures constantly saying no was annoying. trips were good better to get off the beach much cheaper than reps and same trip .overall very clean, staff were great and food was excellent accomadation old area just ok entetaiment poor only 3* definatly not 4* won,t visit again .Previously been to Mexico was fantastic going back on our next trip.

Room Tip: Try not to get a room at the pool as they are very noisy
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank natalie b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2011

Have just returned from a twin centre stay in the Dominican, this hotel was by far the better of the two. The staff were very friendly and couldnt do enough for you. the food was good, always something we liked and something different to try. i strongly recomend the caribbean restaurant all the dishes were amazing. (I tried a bit of every ones!!) Pool areas were nice and you could always get a sun bed no matter what time of the day it was. beach was nice even the sellers were pleasant and would leave if you simply said 'no thanks' Rooms were basic but comfy and the quiet pool provided a good place to properly swim, if you fancy it. There are 47 cocktails on the menu all included, so we worked are way through them!!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank Poggy88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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