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“Quiet and relaxing......”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 15, 2013

This is our second time to the Gran Ventana.....at first we were disappointed with our room...3353 our view was not the greatest and the noise at night of the delivery trucks backing up was not pleasant, but the air conditioning was awesome. The food was delicious. The buffet has so much to choose from and the food is good. The Octupus Restaurant is a must and the Italian Restaurant was also delicious. We only did 5 days and 4 nights....for us not enough. The drinks were good, mojitos were to die for. The quiet pool was quiet and the bartenders at that pool were super nice. The beach was nice but not enough huts. Even though your not suppose to save them ppl do it anyway. Told one of the managers they need more. We did get eaten up by mosquitos so please bring some repellent. OUCH!!!! Would I go there again ABSOLUTELY!!!! Would definitely request a room closer to beach. Overall: had an awesome time.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rafael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 14, 2013

We stayed at the Gran Ventana from March 18-25. It was an awesome trip. We had a junior suite on the third level so there were lots of stairs. We enjoyed the seclusion and sounds from the ocean which could be seen from our balcony. The staff were outstanding with very little of a language barrier. The grounds were immaculate. The food was good at the buffet, cant say great but my wife and I always found something we liked. The food at the A la Cartes was better than the buffet but still can’t give it a "great" rating.

The beach was brown sand but extremely soft and the beach was well maintained. We did have an issue with there not being enough palpas however there was an ample amount of shade to be found.

I see many people complaining about the vendors however as many of the reviews state a simple "no thank you" and they were on their way. People must understand that this is the way they make their living and feed their families.

Although there are many resorts around the VH, this was not a party resort. It was very quiet during the day and the evening festivities shut down at 1130pm on the nose every night. This was great if you were 80 years old however for people looking to party at night, this was an issue. Coco-Bongo was a night club at the end of the Puerto Plata Plaza. It was a 2 block walk away from the resort and was a happening place except that it was $6/beer. Please watch your change as I got completely ripped off on our first round at Coco-Bongos as they give you pesos for change and being a bit buzzed you are a bit slow at the conversion from US dollars to Pesos, they know that and try to take advantage as this happened to me twice but I caught it the second time. This is also an issue in the Plaza as well, watch your change!.

As for the excursions we did the Zip Lining. It was a great trip, really fun and interesting. The instructors were great and were extremely safety conscious. The monkey jungle was also part of the excursion and it was excellent with direct interaction with the monkeys. Watch the railings …there’s poop on them.

There is a flea market about a 20 min walk up the beach from the hotel with many different items, trinkets and clothing, basically, nothing you haven’t seen before if you are a traveler. If you have a taste for cigars, DONT buy them off the beach they are banana leaves mixed with cigar tobacco, I am a cigar person and I tried one on the beach and put it out after the first taste. Buy them from one of the many cigar or smoke shops in the plaza or in the resorts. There is an actual cigar shop in the plaza and the prices are only a couple of dollars difference from the vendors on the beach and contain no banana peels...lol. If I could make one suggestion to the hotel it would be that they keep the nightlife going later than 1130pm. People looked to be having a good time and to have them move to another place for the sake of a couple of hours of playing music that wasn't really disturbing to anyone anyways would be awesome.

All in all we had a great vacation and would not hesitate to return to this resort. It was well worth the money.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Reaper88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

I LOVE this place. Everything about the Gran ventana makes you feel relaxed. The pool area is perfect size, never have a problem getting a chair. Beach area is gorgeous with a reef to snorkel in right in front. We have seen many different types of fish and creatures there. The buffet can get repetitive but I usually switch from there and the beach snack buffet which has the best hamburger I've ever had! The a la cartes are amazing the octopus ribs are a favorite as is the italians lasagna . The drinks are great and plentiful, just like an AI should be! Looove the local rum! The entertainment is not Las Vegas style but then again, you aren't in Vegas! Its perfect for a fun night and they try really hard to make you have fun and laugh. We always have fun at the nightly entertainment, whether its karaoke or Mr Gran Ventana, Michael Jackson show, its always fun!
With the Playa Dorada complex right next door its nice to be able to walk over a pick up a few souvenirs, have lunch, get a presidente, or run to the ATM
The staff are amazing and always try to make you feel at home, the size of the resort allows them to remember you throughout your trip which I love.
Can't wait to go back in December!!

Room Tip: Catalina bldg if you like being by the pool and entertainment.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jaxsun10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

We booked the VH Gran Ventana as a last minute getaway. The price was right, aerial photos of the property promised lots of room on the beach, and my husband wanted to go to a place we hadn't already been.
We are not flashy people---we tried the Bahia Principe complex in Punta Cana last year and did not enjoy ourselves. This year was our fifth trip South, and first to Puerto Plata. We loved it! The resort is small and we saw many complaints on Trip Advisor that it is tired or dated, but it was super clean and well-kept. We didn't find it tired---just comfortable and relaxed. It rained for 3 days and there were plenty of places to get in out of the weather and enjoy the beverages. I saw complaints of the drinks being watered down and don't really understand the problem. Either I'm a light-weight, or the amount of alcohol in my drinks was just fine. Even if they were watered down I'm a) not paying for them individually and can have all I want and b) probably saved from huge hangovers for the number of them I ingested!
We spent a great deal of time at the beach bar, getting in out of the weather and eating fried chicken and nachos while watching the rain come down. The wait staff was friendly and gave exceptional service---the best I've received in four trips to the Dominican Republic.
The beach vendors are plentiful, but it's true if you give them a polite no thank you, they move on. The beach was gorgeous and uncrowded. We didn't get there until 8 or so in the morning and didn't have any trouble getting chairs or a palapa. Tipping the young man who takes care of providing the chairs certainly helps. Tipping anyone on this resort got great service (though the service was already good) and not a single person made me feel as though a tip was expected. It was a pleasant place.
We liked the layout as well. It was compact, with a short walk between all amenities. We didn't stand in line for anything except check-in. There are also plenty of public washrooms throughout the complex and they were all clean. We could always find a chair at the beach, buffet, and either of the pools. Oh, and the Octopus restaurant was awesome. We didn't try the other two a la carts, but heard good things.
Truth be told, if we decide to travel next year, we just may look for a week this resort is offered for a good price and go back. It saves the agony of trying to find something we might like better than this. It was the perfect place for the two of us to spend a relaxing week away. It's 20 minutes from the airport and the airport is easy to navigate. All in all, we were just totally impressed by how much fun we had, how convenient everything was, how good the food was, and how comfortable we were there. If I cold book again to leave this weekend, we'd be off, but alas---a fella has to work to afford these things. :)

Room Tip: The Junior Suites are definitely larger than the Superior rooms. There are three buildings. Buildin...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Crys G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

I travelled to Gran Ventana (GV) from April 2 to 9 with my children (11/13) and my wife. I generally had a good time. I will try to break down the good, the bad and the ugly, objectively. Just kidding, no ugly.

Travel: CANJET/Nolitours/Ken Copps at Belair Travel were fantastic. No problems, coming back the flight left early and we got in early.

Staff and Service: They try hard to accommodation at the front desk, bartenders are hard workers and they were always pleasant. The service at the buffet was off and on. Tip accordingly.

ROOM: We had a third floor at the back and loved it. We don't spend a lot of time in the rooms, but the beds are hard. My wife brought her own pillow and was happy she did. The rooms facing the pool can get a lot of noise from the shows and general nightly activities.

FOOD: The buffet was good with a lot of options but it’s always difficult to please everyone. The meats and omelets were consistent. I ate lunch at the beach restaurant and it was good, especially the chicken. My family opted to go to the buffet.

RESTAURANTS: Reservations will drive you nuts, so book them as soon as you can. We only booked the Italian and Oceanfront. Both were great but atmosphere at the Italian was wonderful. The food and wine were great.

BEACH: We spent a lot of time at the beach. The sand is great but it is not Varadero or Punta Cana but not bad. The wind was consistent. The water was colder than expected. None of those things bothered me as much as the "SEA URCHIN BED of DEATH". About 20 feet out, there are coral reefs and they have thousands of sea urchins. By the way, sea urchins don't move much so you are safe. But, if you want, you can find a way around. Go way left and there is a path through. Look for white sand or light blue water. You can snorkel and see fish as well.

Excursions: I brought off the beach, and we when to Paradise Island. It was great but it took about 3 hours to get there. They forget to tell you about the time it takes to pick up the other guests from other hotels. Regardless, the trip was worth it.

Entertainment: Just ok, some good dancers, karaoke was fun to watch but with YouTube be careful.

Drinks: They water down the drinks but try hard to make them good. Heard a lot of complaints, but I did not have any issues. Wine was good at the Italian restaurant.

VENDORS: If you let them bother you, they will. "No Gracias" works, they are not aggressive just persistent. I used it as a way to practice my Spanish. The Monkey GUY is hilarious.

RULES: This is where it gets weird. The buffet requires you to use Purell before you enter. Not a bad idea, but I have never seen this before. Also, you are not allow to hang your towels or anything on rail outside your room.

All in all, a good vacation, the Dominican are nice and friendly. The hotel is a good value for your money, as advertised. If you booked, ignore all our bad comments, we/they are just mad we/they are back at work!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

My wife and I stayed at VH from April 1 - 8, 2013. Amazing time! The staff were great and didn't have their hands out every two seconds expecting tips like on the other side of the Island...

Restaurants were good especially the Ocean view a la carte restaurant. We paid $35.00 USD for two Lobster dinners which was very well prepared.

I can't believe the negative reviews on here, don't listen to them. Critiquing the weather has nothing to do with the resort or staff. Also, don't bother listening to those who associate the venders on the beach to the actual hotel. If you want to purchase something from them, then do so. If you don't want to, say no. Don't critique VH over your inability to deal with persistent people.

Two beers in the fridge per day along with a couple pops and a large jug of purified water.

This place is great, we went as a couple this time but will be back with our two kids in the future.

FANTASTIC!

Room Tip: Stayed in #2102. Might be a bit loud for some but it's close to everything.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank M S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We stayed at the V.H. Gran Ventana from Mar. 14 - 21st and it was a great place to unwind and relax. There were 4 of us, my husband and I and my brother and his wife.
The staff were friendly and helpful. There is a bit of a language barrier, but they go out of their way to try and help you! Nothing negative to say about the staff!
We had originally requested a king size bed with ocean view, but when we got there (at 9 in the evening) we were told that there were none available and that they were located in the area across the street and not at the ocean so we took the ocean view rooms in the Catalina building, third floor and we couldn't have had better. We had room 2321 and my bro and his wife were in 2322. Little trek up the 3 flights of stairs, but it wasn't bad at all and I have a bad leg. It was actually nice as you got a bit of exercise and let me tell you, with all the eating and drinking, it was needed! Lol!
Though as others have said not much of the ocean is seen because of trees, but still very nice and secluded which was nice!
The food was wonderful, there was always fresh pasta with a different sauce on the evening buffet menu that was delicious and plenty of other stuff that you never went hungry. We dined at the 3 a-la-cart restaurants and I think my favourite was The Grill out by the beach. I had the fish at all 3 and it was excellent at all 3, but the best at the Grill. My husband & brother would be disappointed if I didn't mention the chicken wings at the grill for lunch! They looked forward to those everyday and couldn't wait till the next day to have them again! They were a bit obsessed!
It was quite windy the first 4 days we were there and so we stayed up at the pool. Hung at the kiddie pool actually as there were no kids in it and since it was only a foot and a half deep it was perfect to sit in the water at the edge with your drink and cool off! The sun was smokin hot and you will need shade as you could only sit out in it for 10 min before you were looking for shelter!
We did 2 excursions, one was the Bravisimo Show which honestly I could have done without. It was a Vegas style show that was just not my thing with the ladies in the costumes with the elaborate head dresses and men in costumes dancing to some song, over and over...we paid half price so it was 30 bucks each which included drinks which wasn't bad, I was glad we didn't pay full price. Others seemed to really enjoy it though. Ordered the beer and it was way to warm for my liking which was to bad!
Speaking of the beer, the brand there is President and it is quite good....if you can get it cold! At the resort it is on tap and nice and cold...please bring a travel mug, keeps drinks cold, they hold a lot and you don't have to carry those little plastic cups around and it's helping out the environment, especially at the beach!
We also did the Ocean World excursion and my husband and I swam with the dolphins and it was amazing! My sister-in-law did the sea lion and my brother swam with the manta rays and sharks (nurse sharks)... It was a blast and we had a great time and met some great people...shout out to Johnny and Juan!
Sooooo, now for the beach...it's beautiful and there is some great snorkelling right there at the resort but the vendors can be quite annoying! Actually they are very annoying, as you will find yourself saying "No, gracias" every couple minutes but they don't hound you, they will ask, you say no thanks and they go on their way.
My husband and brother golfed and couple times and said it was excellent and only a few minuets from the resort. The little shopping plaza was nice, but a few of the shops have closed and the stores all seemed to have the same thing in them. We did take a trip to a jewellers in town the you can book with your tour guide. The owner will send a taxi to pick you up and take you to her shop and then bring you back when you are done. She has beautiful pieces of amber and larimar the national stone of the island. Very good quality and good prices for what your getting and you know it's real silver...you can get stuff on the beach, but you just ever know what you are getting so be careful.
Overall it was a great vacation especially for the price we paid! The resort is beautiful, the food is great and the drinks are plentiful! What more could you want!

Room Tip: Catalina building ocean view...2321 or 2322 were awesome!
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Kare66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $111 - $371 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
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

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