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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
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Reviewed November 7, 2012

I have a house in Puerto Plata that I rent out in Puerto Plata so I am very familiar with the area and hotels. I have been to this resort before and had a great time. The staff is excellent and the rooms are very nice. My biggest concern with the DR resorts is always the quality of food. The selection is extensive and the quality is very good. I will continue to return to this resort in the future because they offer great value and a relaxing and enjoyable vacation experience. Again, all of the staff members are very friendly and helpful. I had the good fortune to meet the resort General Manager and he was very polite and anxious to help make our stay as enjoyable as possible. It's no wonder that the hospitality of the employees of the resort get their direction from the top! Thanks again for a great stay and I will be returning soon.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jon713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I travelled to Puerta Plata in the Dominican Republic on October 6th. It was my first trip to DR and I was uncertain as to what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.
When my friend and I arrived, we were assigned a room. The room was dated and run down looking. In addition, the sliding doors to the patio locking system was broken. We called reception and within 15 minutes someone came to repair it efficiently. Then we discovered that the bathroom ceiling was leaking, right from the ceiling light fixture!! My travel companion went to the front desk and we were assigned another room immediately.
Our new room was far superior quality, and on the second floor - it was decorated better and with lovely bedlinens. The room was super clean and the patio doors locked properly! It also faced the back and not the front pool area so was beautifully quiet.
The food at the buffet was excellent - a terrific breakfast, with lots of choices; hot cereal every day, cold cereal, 4 different fresh local fruit juices, fresh fruits, scrambled eggs, bacon, croissants, omelets made to order, and at least 5 other hot dishes, including local ones.
Lunch was equally good, with fresh soup daily, salads, and many hot dishes to choose from. Burgers and fries were also available.
Service was terrific - every single person was professional, friendly, and very helpful. Smiling faces everywhere.
Our only complaint was the espresso machine was broken at the beach bar, so there were no espresso based drinks except in the a la carte restaurant at night - it would have been nice to have the choice of espresso at breakfast and lunch.
Bar service was also great - super knowledgeable bartenders and over 20 types of cocktails available with local rum, vodka, tequila, you name it! Wine was poor, but better wine is available to purchase in the a la cartes.
A la cartes - as we were there during low season and the resort was only 25% full, only 2 were open. The lovely beachside a la carte, and the restaurant above the buffet area. Food was good at both, with good choice and different offerings from the buffet. Again, really good service - Gran Ventana has great people working there!
Unlike other all inclusives I have been to, in Cuba, the entertainment was really good and very diverse. A hilarious comedy routine, a Michael Jackson show, disco night and more. Great to socialize with the other guests we met, and enjoy watching the amazing and quite talented entertainment staff perform!
The beach was nice and the ocean water ok. Because it was low season, there were plenty of palapas and chairs, but in high season it would be madness! there were many vendors and we purchased a few small items. Again, really friendly and nice people, and we chatted at length to those who spoke English, and did our best with the little Spanish we knew with those who did not speak English that well.
We didn't do any days trips and the people who we met there that did, said they found them overpriced and not that interesting. We did take a taxi into Puerto Plata for a few hours but found it very depressing - SO many people asking for money, and the city itself feels a bit abandoned.
The weather was HOT and sunny every day - it rained torrentially around dinnertime on our last day - which was 9 days before Hurricane Sandy hit.
We ended up having a great time, met terrific people and had a really good experience. Plus, it was great value! Thank you Gran Ventana!

Room Tip: ask for a room that has been updated and that does not face the pool if you want a quieter experience
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Happycamper6626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We went for our honeymoon with our 14 month old sun and it was amazing from start to finish and i would go back tomorrow.
As we were on our honeymoon they upgraded us to a suite which was so so gorgeous.
The staff were so friendly, the entertainers were fab....evryday they had smiles on their faces.

We had gorgeous weather, it was the last week of december/first week of Jan, we had the occasional downpoor but its to be expected in the Caribbean.

The hotel was beautiful, it was sureal being so hot and seeing xmas decorations around the hotel. It was spotless!
The food in the buffett restaurant was fabulous, lots of choice and great quality. We went to all three of the al la carte restaurants twice too and they were equally lovely.

Perfect for couples or families that dont mind the 9hr flight.
Would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank EmmaGreggers1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

I have just returned from a 14 night stay at the Ventana. when I booked I was under the impression that I had booked into a 4 star hotel and when I arrived I found that the hotel was operating on a reduced capacity and that many of the extensive facilities such as the 7 bars and 3 a la Carte were not all available. Here are my ratings for the following.

Room - plumbing problems resulting in water seeping through the ceiling. This was reported on three occasions and I was finally moved to an alternative room after 3 days

Food - Low quality ingredients used. Many minced meat based dishes on offer that had gristle and bone in.

Beach - Too many vendors trying to sell you stuff, not a place to relax

Main Pool - Good. Pool Bar also good but closes at 6.00pm

a la carte restaurants - Only two open and only two sittings offered.

Evening entertainment -Poor, often provided by the animation team who were awful

Animation Team - Terrible. Often rude if you did not opt in for Bingo Bongo e.t.c.

Staff - poor customer service if they could cut corners they would. If you had to report a fault it took at least three attempts for it to be addressed. I informed them that my TV remote was not working and this was never addressed.

Overall I am very disappointed with this hotel and I wouldn't go back there even if it was offered to me for free

Room Tip: Although it is described as having three distinct villages the hotel was only using one block that was closest to the main facilities
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

Our trip to Jamaica was cancelled and we booked this thru itravel 2000 at 9:30 pm for a 6:20 am flight. Everything went smoothly but we had not slept and were very tired when we arrived. I wish that since we expressed how tired we were several times since our room was not ready that they had informed us of the quiet pool area where we could of easily slept. Anyways, our room was nice, the air worked well. Only complaints in the room are how little water pressure our shower had and how hard the balcony door was to shut. The beds were too hard for me but that's all in preference. The staff were pleasant and we made sure to tip because the service was great and they truly do appreciate it. The food was ok, they really needed more fresh fruit in the buffet, that was my biggest dissapointment. In the week we stayed there were only bananas twice, and the one time they were too ripe and surrounded in fruit flies. There are some stray cats and their kittens that hung out in the garden by the buffet. We fed them our leftfover scraps. They were so cute. It was hilarious how a couple found them offensive, they didn't even meow for food. We preferred to sit by them and enjoy their cuteness. There were a few beach dogs as well but they never bothered us. The pool area is nice, and there were lots of chairs. The beach was clean and beautiful but the playa dorada vendors can easily get annoying, especially the excursion vendors. Your best bet for security and peace of mind is to book thru the travel agency. We did a city tour and Paradise island, it was wonderful. While the vendors on the beach do get on your nerves you can barter a good deal, a 30 min massage for $20 or get your hair half braided for under $20. Please barter with them, never pay full price. We brought extra supplies for some of the ladies and their families, they were very appreciative. You have to remember that extra shampoo you have left etc goes a long way with them as a lot of the houses outside the city do not even have running water. All in all I would go back to this resort again, there are faults but this is one of the better places i've stayed at in the Dominican. We paid well under 800$ each for one week.

Room Tip: we were on the third floor, if you dont want to climb stairs ask for a lower floor. Its very humid.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Edenfamily88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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