Just returned from our 8th visit to the Gran Ventana. We are A.I. travellers - Puerto La Cruz in Venezuela, Margarita Island, Panama, Mexico,Cuba and the Dominican Republic where we stayed three times in Punta Cana. We have also stayed at two other resorts in Puerto Plata and the G.V. is definitely the best. Also, some of the other resorts we stayed at were 5 star. There is a reason that the G.V. is number 4 of 46 resorts in Puerto Plata with number one being the sister resort of the G.V., the Casa Colonial which is not an A.I. There is only one A.I. resort rated above the G.V. and that is a 5 star and more expensive.
We visit the Dominican twice a year for two weeks. We like the resort because it is small, safe, the beach is the best on the Playa Dorada and we get to meet lots of people from different countries as well as being very affordable. This time we met some people from Sweden, some people from Ontario including a couple from our home town. Last year we met people from the village where we were born in the U.K. and reunited with them this time. It was their 31st stay.
I am an extremely fussy person especially about food and cleanliness. Don't believe some of the reviews when they suggest the food is recycled the next day. One of the girls who used to be in the buffet is now in "pest control" and goes around the whole resort every day checking on everything including the rooms, the kitchens, pools and public facilities. There is food in the main buffet to suit all tastes. I personally love the tropical fresh fruit and the fresh fruit smoothies in the morning. We like the a la carte restaurants and the Ocean Grill is our favourite. We also like the Octopus.
The rooms are small but VERY clean and who in their right mind stays much in their room when on holiday! Last year the old type TV was replaced with flat screen and all the rooms now have keyless entry.
Last year for those who like their electronic devices, the WiFi is now free around the lobby whereas last year there was a charge.
The Ocean Grill was redecorated last summer and we noticed new cushions in the theatre area.
The animation team do their best to keep everyone entertained and work very hard. As the entertainment ends early for some, the young people can go to the Plaza which is just a few minutes walk where it continues into the early hours.
The beach vendors are polite and not usually persistent. A polite no thanks or no gracias and they are on their way. Their prices are high but can be brought down considerably. Even though we have not bought anything from them for years some of them remember us and always speak. I buy jewellry from Alberto at the Larimar Shop upstairs in the plaza just outside the resort. He made earrrings out of a ring I bought from a beach vendor yrs ago. Global economy has hit the D.R. and many of the resorts in Playa Dorada and the stores in the plaza have had to close down due to this.
The beach is the best in the area and is raked every day by the groundskeepers who work very hard. We love you "Mr. Coconut Man" even though we don't know yr. name but you always wave to us and we love to watch you climbing up the trees. There are loads of palapas and even on the first day when we arrived mid afternoon we found a tree to sit under. Swimming is safe and there is a coral reef just in front where the snorkellers can go.
The staff is the best - Danilsa, the guest services rep; Dominga in "Pest Control" who we knew from the main buffet; Raoul in the buffet; Porfino & Nicolo, the smoothie guys; Maria who used to be in Ocean Grill but is now in the Octopus and buffet; our maids on the 3rd floor Saona, Bernardina and Lidia and Juan on the front desk.
Most of the money you pay for your travel package goes for the air fare, taxes, transfers, etc. and only a small % goes to the resort which explains why it is not much more money to go away for 2 wks. than one week.
Can't wait to go back in October with all our family this time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Playa Dorada, a gated oceanfront community on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is home to Gran Ventana Beach Resort, one of the country’s friendliest, most welcoming hotels. Located directly on the beach, our Puerto Plata beach resort boasts three pools, a kids club and an airy, cool and fresh lobby. We also offer a superb, all-inclusive value for families, couples and group vacations. ... more less
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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