Recently returned from our 2 week vacation @ VHGV (Feb/4 - Feb/18) departed from Winnipeg Via Airtransat, My wife and I are in our 50's and travel yearly. This year we were part of a group of 10 (see John G's Post). I think John was very accurate with his assessment of VHGV.
Overall - We had a fantastic fun time, Traveling as a group certainly made the trip better, however I think we would have had a slightly lesser opinion if we were traveling as 2, I personally prefer newer and larger, but hard to find in Puerto Plata.
Departure / Check in - We traveled Airtransat out of Winnipeg Club Class for us this was well worth the additional $$$. We arrived in D .R. customs was fast and friendly (watch out for the luggage grabbers) people who will I D themselves as a Airtransat rep. then attempt to walk your bags 25 feet for a tip, Just say no.The bus trip to our resort was about 20 min. and check in maybe 40 min. all good by me front desk staff friendly and speak English very well. A safe is $16 per week worth the security.
Friends - As I stated were traveling as a group of 10. This was a first for us & something I hope to do regularly. This frees people to do things they may not do if they are alone IE: deep sea fishing, everyone has a great scene of humor got along the whole time. My heart felt thanks to everyone in our group.
Rooms / Resort - The resort is older and dated though still in good condition thanks to the endless work of staff. 2 pools, bars 4 opened at various times, 3 a la carte's, 1-2 buffet & one snack shack at the beach, plenty of chairs and loungers @ the beach & pools. never any problem getting a chair, no need to put towels out early. Maid service was very good (Rm.1234 was cleaned before 10 a.m daily, it's where they start each day) We left tip$,toys & chocolate every day (remember to leave a note if you leave gifts otherwise the maid service can't keep anything) towel art only twice in 2 weeks. beer, pop & water in the mini fridge daily. No coffee maker in the rooms unless you upgrade to a suite however about 7:30 you can get a coffee just outside the buffet 1/2 hour before it opens.
Animation team: OK but less than I've experienced in most other trips. Evening shows disappointing but who cares I didn't come here for that and usually can't stay awake that long.
Food - Breakfast: very good variety with an omelette / egg station a must try.
Lunch: main buffet was good but the same each day as was the beach snack shack but between the 2 you still have lots to choose from (hint: try the wings & pizza @ the beach snack shack)
Dinner: buffet very similar each day other than the carvery stations but still better than many other places I've been to. A la Carte: All 3 were good not great, but good. I liked the Italian the best. would like to see an Asian (cook at the table) a la carte added.
Airtransat Rep - Jenifer did a great job to assist me with some issues that needed attention, Thank you Jenifer. She also helped other people who were stormed stayed & abandoned (from Air Canada) something to think about when booking your next trip.
Excursions: Did monkey jungle tour (Zip line) 5 star, City tour & cable car 4 star, Deep sea fishing 4 star & catamaran 3.5 star. all booked from James in the plaza at a reasonable discount (Sorry Jenifer). Just to mention we required certain needs that you can only get by booking someone who can arrange for private transportation, your travel Rep is restricted in this way. You can get a massage on the beach for a reasonable price.
Wifi slow but free in the lobby & a few $ in your room per day.
Beach venders: plenty, but no problem if you say no. I did see a group of people who looked at almost every bodies goods then complained that they were been bothered all the time??? think it through people.
Plaza: 5 min. walk good way to kill a few hours and pick up your gifts for the people you left behind (hint shop upstairs for the best price), ATM machines and money exchange available.
I would not return to this resort mostly because I like to try different places. I had a very good vacation here with some great people.
If I can help you with some information please contact me, sorry for being long winded
- 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