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“You get what you pay for” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Tiny, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“You get what you pay for”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

On the higher end of pricing along the Playa Dorada complex list of hotels, but well worth it's cost.
Accomodations: rooms are small but adequate, although the construction lends itself to more like being in the projects than at a resort. But unless you spend a whole lot of time in your room - its no biggie. If you have trouble with stairs, do not get a second or third floor room.
Food: definitely up there with the best in the entire complex at Playa Dorada, and you cant beat the beach bar for great afternoon lunch.
The Grounds: Nice, and accessible to the beach quite easily. There is definitely a lack of breeze through the grounds, and can get quite warm at times. Find a shady spot near the pool.
The Pool: your typical resort pool, kind of small for the number of guests on a non beach day, but adequate. Pretty noisy, really not any where to escape if you want a quiet time with your better half.
The Beach: much calmer here than around the corner at Paradise, but it does get busy in high season and finding a spot is not easy! LOL
All in all I would say that if you are planning on Playa Dorada, this should be your first choice if food is at the top of your list. Otherwise, I would give it an average Playa Dorada rating.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dog517
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
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ny
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

My husband and I with our 2 kids under 10. We booked and Jet Blue informed the hotel of his birthday we at least expected a balloon for him at Dinner since I myself emailed the manager but nothing. I was disappointed since we have been traveling to DR 15 years now and we normally have helpful members in the hotel however this was the worst service ever. We arrived taxi's are easy and charge $35 USD per car so all four of us fit for $35 beats the $35pp Jet Blue charges to coordinate transfer. We got to the hotel after 5:30 PM and was told the room was not ready (check in is at 3PM) however he processed us and we were told to come back in half hour the hotel was almost empty so I am not sure why our room was not ready? There was nothing but coffee or tea available at this time we needed to wait till 6:30 to get something. Other folks had welcome drinks we did not get this till after we were almost checked in. I also kept looking at the bar tender because I knew he was supposed to bring us a welcome drink. The service really surprised me. The room is small we did get a pool and and beach view a little of both in building 2. there is no iron or iron board very little draw space there is a ice bucket (no ice machine?) no coffee maker either. Breakfast you can find something to eat (local food also) and the same for lunch and dinner. We enjoyed Ocean Grill they can cut down the portions also if you ask the staff in the restaurants and beach bar is NOT pushing for tips they provide the service with a smile and my husband tipped large in the mornings and my kids could go up and get their juice with no problem. The guy in the pool bar he would pretend he did not even hear my kids until I called out to them if they were okay then he would watch me and smile then serve them. The kids club is "sad" the lady was doing towel check and kids club and did not care to speak she said oh no activities we are in slow season now so u can just come in and play. she had a nasty tone to my son when he was returning the ping pong ball and racket so my husband spoke up behind him and all was well. I feel like traveling now in their "off season" you are missing out on the good service everyone is so not caring the animation team is a joke he played bingo once let 2 boys (maybe 7 and8) play and when my son saw them playing he thought it was kids bingo so he came and asked to join he told him no that he is a baby and that it is for Adults, but guess what the two boys continued playing with the adults. Management needs to tell the team that ALL should be treated equally if you allow one kid to play then all should play. There is clearly issues with staffing at this resort. Our maid was lovely we took them gifts and they appreciated it. The Beach was lovely dont go for the resort go for the beach. The gardeners will give you coconut and keep hunting you down for tips one day i had no money on me because i went swimming, he came with a coconut i told him no money he said later no problem, u know when I came back to eat he ran from the other side to come up to me asking was the coconut good so yes i tipped him, be aware of the guy on the horse that takes u for rides he begs sooo much then he called $40 to go to the flea market when we came back he said and if you can give me a tip and that if i can leave my son's shoes and shirts for him because he had a son. Mind you we ate at the flea market and we bought him food and drink and got the horse a pack of biscuits. Anna at the buffet was lovely and explained a lot about the resort they need a map or a list of activities. We booked at the last minute so that is why we went there, it was lovely if you put aside the lack of certain things I truly enjoyed the beach and the food was good, the guy cleans the pool while you are in it so be aware of the soap and brush. When i visit next it would be to one of my old favorites "Tell it only to your best friend".

Room Tip: building 2
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sharon042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2013

We came back from VH about week and a half ago and I can say that this was the best holiday we have ever had.
The hotel is very nice with a good concept of the buildings and facilities which are located in one place and you can reach everything you need within short walking distance.Everywhere was perfectly clean ,we had our towers changed every day and got complimentary inflatable mattress to use while on our holiday.
The food was looking and tasted good,excellent presentation ,good quality.
The staff was friendly and dealing in professional manner.
The only a bit of inconvinience were the vendors on the beach ,but when you ignore them they dont hassle you.
With many thanks to the whole staff of VH Gran Ventana and hoping to see you again.
Nadezhda Vasileva and Ivan Raychev

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Nadezhda76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

This was our 3rd stay at this hotel. We were there during the end of September/beginning of October.

What makes this hotel for us, is the staff. They are always friendly, always smiling, from the bar staff to the gardeners, maids, everyone. Some even recognised us (genuine recognition, not just because of the repeat guest wrist band). In particular we have to point out Luis, who was fantastic at looking after us at the pool bar of an evening. He always went above and beyond what you would expect, and had a fresh drink on your table before you'd even finished the one you were drinking. Out of everybody there we always find him to be one of the nicest most genuinely friendly people you could wish to meet.

Some things have changed since we were last there. It was VERY quiet, we have been this time of year before, but never have we seen it as quiet as it was this time. I think this is down to the economy as it was reflected through all the hotels and the plaza. As a result, in the hotel, the bar at the quiet pool where we like to spend our afternoons and some full days, is closed both during the day and evening. Even when the Italian restaurant is open it is closed. There is a drinks machine on the bar where you can get water and fruit juice, but we did miss seeing Jackie there during the day (she is on main pool bar now) and we missed not being able to be there during the evenings, as it was our favourite bar at night. The beach bar was only open certain nights too. It has always been nice to have the option of where you'd like to go, and it was a little disappointing not to have those options available. I understand this has been done due to the numbers staying there, but as a repeat guest we expected to be able to go to our usual favourite bars, and we were unable to.

We went to the a la carte's three times. Twice to the ocean Grill, and once to the Italian. We couldn't fault the Ocean Grill, good food and good service both times. This, however, could not be said for the Italian, which was very disappointing as during previous visits the Italian has always been our favourite and the one we look forward to the most. When we got there we had to wait quite a while to be seated, which was strange as the hotel numbers were so low. We were asked what drinks we'd like, and left to look at the menu. Whilst my drink arrived, my hubby's did not. I had the salmon to start, my hubby had the soup. Both were very good. When it came to the main course my hubby didn't receive what he'd ordered. He'd asked if the steak could come in a different sauce and was told it could, but when the steak came it came without the sauce ordered. I ordered the steak as well, both our steaks were of poor quality, they were mainly fat with very little meat actually on the steak and very tough. It was impossible to eat mine and I was very disappointed. We asked where the sauce was for my hubby's steak and they said he'd ordered it dry (which he hadn't). We pointed out that his drink still had not arrived at this point (a beer). We carried on eating (or in my case trying to) and as we'd finished, his sauce for his steak arrived, and we were asked if everything was now ok. My hubby left after over an hour, still not having received a drink. We have always had fantastic food and service at the Italian on our previous visits, so this was very surprising. I did note that the lady who usually fronts the Italian was not there, but I don't know if that would have made any difference. Some of the people we spoke to had fantastic food and service there whilst we were there, so maybe we just had a spot of bad luck.
The food in the main buffet was very good, as usual, and the food in the ocean bar at lunch was fantastic too. As always, the hotdog stand at night was great for if you get peckish late at night. They also do butties too which are very nice. I took one up to my room and put it in the fridge one night for in case I missed breakfast or felt like a snack in the day.

We were very happy with our room, we had a sea view room (through the palm trees). It was a lovely room and very quiet in the Soana building. Usually we stay in the Catalina, but I would be happy staying in either.

We waited for the influx of rude locals at the weekends (going off reviews I read before we came), and to be perfectly honest, it didn't happen during our stay. Yes there were some locals, but the numbers, whilst we were there at least were small, and we didn't find any behaviour rude or overly loud (which is all we'd be bothered about with anybody, whatever their origins). We've seen far more locals coming at the weekends during our previous stays, so for anybody worrying about it, from what we saw at least, everything was fine.

The beach is as lovely as ever. I loved my coconuts, excellent for if you aren't feeling well, have had too much rum the night before, or just if you enjoy the drink as I do. I did get my nails done on the beach by Lilly (no 8). I have to say I wasn't very impressed, I didn't know before having it done that she only does one design on everybody (probably so that she can tell who to ask for custom), and although you got to choose your colours, I was disappointed with the lack of a choice of design. I found her quite abrupt, and the polish started to chip very quickly. We met someone who ended up going to the salon inside the hotel, by the lobby bar, paid half the price she paid on the beach, had many more colours to choose from, was able to choose the design, had a better experience as it was more comfortable and air conditioned, and she felt it was far better quality too. So if you want your nails done by all means check out the beach vendors, but it may be worth your while (and purse) to check the one inside the hotel too.
It did seem to take a bit longer than usual for the vendors to get the message that we were not interested in buying, but please remember this is their source of income, and it must be hard during these quiet times. The only time I got really annoyed was when one of the vendors, Elvis, who tried to get us to buy things every day, several times a day, even though we stated that we were not interested in purchasing anything at any point, started asking us to get him drinks of beer from the bar. He wasn't joking. We heard him ask others too. If he'd have been thirsty and wanted a soft drink, water or juice or something, fair enough, but to ask us to go fetch him beer we thought was more than a bit rude. I appreciate this may not bother some people, but it did bother us. He wasn't very happy when it was refused, even though it was done politely. It must be noted though that the hotel is not responsible for the vendors and any annoyance caused by them is not the hotel's fault. All in all we didn't find them a problem.

We were very surprised when we ventured outside the hotel, half of the shops in the plaza have now shut, the second floor is virtually empty. The Roadway bar has now shut too, we were a little disappointed at this as we liked to go there for a meal or two usually. We went to Coco bongo's one night just to see, as we were up very late and we'd never been there (we aren't really clubbers), and we were the only people in there!

Would we go again? Yes, although we'd like to do a bit more exploring too, going to other places. Gran Ventana is still a holiday favourite to us. Sun, sand, and lots of smiling faces, and I've never been anywhere with so many repeat guests, most of the guests we met were repeaters, it's also the only hotel we've ever been to more than once.

Room Tip: The rooms in the Catalina were being renovated during our stay, so for the time being the Saona may...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mungypup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

I went with my bf here in Feb 2013 because it was the best price for the high season time ( February) and it got decent reviews.
The staff were really nice and good to us.
We both really liked the food and the drinks. The beer Presidente is awesome and we enjoyed the steak that was served at one of the restaurants.
I didn't really like the beach so much and the entertainment wasn't that great. The rooms were clean and the foyer of the hotel is lovely.
the swim up bar is really nice. It was just a bit boring unless you do excursions and I recommend the Catamaran. it was only 60$ and you go away for the whole day to snorkel and eat and be on an amazing boat with great music. It was the highlight of the whole trip. Paradise Island was also nice and the food was really good that was provided to us.

Overall I wouldn't return for the high price $ 1250 each, but if it were 700$ It is a good value.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank See A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013

Just returned great vacation!

Great staff fine hotel
The friendly wait staff was always available and willing to assist buffet style meals always had plenty of variety to choose from breakfast lunch or dinner, chicken pasta fish beef eggs desserts pastries and more

Pool area was a relaxing hang out, swim up bar or poolside lounge chair, beach area has authentic palm beach umbrellas to relax under and get out of the sun, get their early and bring a snorkel and mask you can purchase one for under $10.00 their are plenty of fish and coral reef to explore and refreshments are nearby just off the beach for cool drinks, open to resort guests.
note there are local venders who peddle souvenirs and services directly on the beach and can be somewhat annoying, if you let them, no thank you a couple of times and they tend to get the point that you aren't there to buy they generally leave by 2:30 or so.

Activities are limited and the shows are small but are well done, we were not looking for a "spring break" type of atmosphere but a relaxing stay

Small shopping plaza is located within 1 min walk from main lobby but located within the confines of the secured resort area you can find any necessities and souvenirs sunscreen lotion gifts etc you should bring some small denomination bills for exact change and tips $1-$5 small bills are hard to come bye atm advances are in $20.00 increments and there are charges to do so, exchange rates are posted in the hotel daily at this time approx. 40 Pesos to 1 USD some shops offer change back in USD you should ask when making a purchase

A great overall experience

It is worth noting that a good portion of their guests are repeat customers some I talked too have been coming back 6/7 + years and knew each other on a first name basis this says alot about the staff and hotel.
I would like to thank the staff and the grand Ventana resort for making this a most pleasurable stay and recommend them for anyone looking for a relaxing vacation retreat

NEW HAMPSHIRE
U.S.A

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank mnick2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JBohmann, Public Relations Manager at VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
We are truly delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you so much for posting your comments and feedback – these are very useful both for us and for future guests. We will certainly pass your thanks on the staff. Our returning guests are members of our Fidelity Club which offers many resort benefits, so be sure to sign up before you next visit – you can find information on our website. We look forward to seeing you again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2013

had a great two weeks holiday the food was excellent as there was plenty to choose from the staff are very helpful and friendly the resort is very clean .the rooms are a great size and also kept spotless by the maids who clean the rooms daily all in all a great holiday met some very nice people would definitely return .

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 12lorr01
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

Property: 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:
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:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
Reservation Options:
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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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