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“Great Family Holiday”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 4, 2014

We had a great family vacation at the Gran Ventana. The staff were all very friendly and our rooms were very clean. The beds were very hard but found our backs were much better because of this. There were always people working around the resort to keep the grounds top notch. We had 8 people in our group and no problems with our rooms, we had 3 rooms together on the 3rd floor. There are stairs to climb but we had no issues with this and felt it was good exercise. The food was very good and a good assortment of food as we could always find something good to eat. The Beach Grill had the best chicken wings! The only improvement that I would suggest would be better lighting in the bathroom or at least a makeup mirror with a light. Also it would be nice if the vendors were not so bothersome on the beach but really all in all we had a wonderful vacation. We even booked an excursion through Elvis on the beach and it was excellent we had a great time at the 7 waterfalls and it was good for all of us ranging in age from 9-42!

Room Tip: If you like action book near the pool and the 3rd floor was excellent although if you have trouble w...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 3, 2014

Deciding we'd have a Caribbean holiday this year instead of Europe or America, after much searching we came across the Gran Ventana Beach Resort in the Dominican Republic which appeared to offer what we were looking for.
A little apprehensive as from a few of the photos the outside of the accommodation looked a little like Butlins - we needn't have been concerned as the rooms were excellent.
The hotel and grounds were as clean as any hotel I've stayed in (having stayed in quality hotels across the globe) so a big thumbs up for that Gran Ventana, showing others how it should and can be done.
The staff, regardless as to the role they had were as accommodating as could be and seemed to truly enjoy what they did so another big well done to Gran Ventanna.
Special mention on the entertainment team goes to Barbie, Blondie and Carlos Santana, all are a credit to the Gran Ventana Beach Resort and all clearly love their jobs.
The food choice was excellent in the main buffet (especially on the Wednesday) and the Italian, Beach and Octopus restaurants offered more than we expected, all provided a great choice and excellent service.
We found some of the entertainment shows excellent and some not so (accepting one can never please everyone) and being dancers we took every opportunity of dancing when the chance arose.
For us it would have been perfect if there had been another area where softer music was played so one could escape the main entertainment area when the mood suited, that said, for our stay not having this didn't spoil our holiday.

On a few days during our stay the beach (which is super clean and sandy) had a strong cross wind blowing, a little too strong though it was no problem going to the main pool area where there was no wind at all, all in all this hotel is located at a great location.

Small points:
1) there is an small area beside the pool to the left of the pool bar (pool side, photo attached) where there is a raised floor and I smashed my toes on this (thought I'd broken my toes though luckily for me not), something I am certain I am not the only person to have ever done that, this was mentioned to a member of staff who advised it'd be looked at (I'd be surprised if it has as he was rushing about doing other things).
2) It would also have been nice if at least a couple of the table tennis bats were in good condition for those that would like a proper game rather than a knockabout.
3) We thought it a little disappointing that one had to hire tennis rackets, for us this should be included in the hotel price.
4) On the main entertainment area, there are clear signs stating that this is a No Smoking area, this was more often than not ignored and certainly from what we observed never enforced, we personally had to change our seating several times to get away from those smoking.

These are small points thought points I hope others (including the Gran Ventana Beach Resort) will appreciate when reading this honest review.

Room Tip: Simple, if you want a quiet room ask for a room not facing the main pool/entertainment area.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Dale D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Went with my friends and it was wonderful! Food, drinks, and service was very good. The entire entertainment team was always friendly, special thanks to Carlos Santana, Blondey, Supertino 69, Barbie, Coca-Cola, and the guy who was always on the microphone (sorry I forget the name). They made a regular beach vacation fun and entertaining. Only downside was the beach vendors but if you went at early morning or later in the day there weren't too many. If you go off the resort, obviously be careful. Other than that, I would love to go back sometime in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Amy4567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2014

I went with my husband for 3 day and was a great experience, very clean, food very good and what is important great customer service. i would go again ad recommend it. The late snacks were a life saver for us, open until 2 am, all great!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PatVal123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2014

Myself and my wife had such a wonderful time at the Gran Ventana in February/March this year. We also celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows on the 1st March at the Gran Ventana. I cannot say just how wonderful everyone was, nothing was to much trouble and it all went so well that it was like a dream. The both of us did not have to worry about anything as Vilma, from Guest Services took care of everything. Thank you so much.

The hotel and staff throughout our holiday, as always, so attentive and helpful, and this is just one of the reasons that we keep going back to the Gran Ventana which is eight times now. We have been back again since and it was so nice to be welcomed back. Everyone there has a smile and a greeting to cheer you up.

The food and accommodation are to us, are excellent. I know you can't please everyone, but there is such a good variety of food that there is something there for all. The rooms are very clean and only a few that has not been updated yet, but they are still excellent.

The entertainment team work very hard and do their best to keep you happy. There is something going on most of the day usually around the pool and the beach, also the evening shows are very good too. The bar staff deserves a mention, they work constantly and are very helpful and usually remember what your drink is. The swim up bar and the lobby bar was our favourite. Pool bar during the day, and lobby bar for watching the shows, and excellent service from Antonio there with his staff.

To finish off, I cannot praise the Gran Ventana enough, as now with the new manager Oscar. It is going from strength to strength, and I can only say that I'm counting the days to when we go again, which will be three times this year. We love the place and all the " family " as we call them.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Howard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2014

I have to admit, I was quiet anxious about going to someplace we had never been before. I can honestly say that we will be returning and recommend this resort over any! EVERY staff truly welcome you with open arms. No task is too big for them, they embrace every thing they do with great pride! I have to say the entertainment team is awesome, Blondey, Cocacola, and all the team work LONG hours and always high-energy, always wearing a smile and have great patience even with faced with people giving them a hard time. We were really concerned about traveling with out 17 y/o because the website advertises more for the children...our daughter had the best time there than she has had on any trip we have ever took. ALL AGES are made to feel welcome, and activities for every age!
OUR ROOM was simple, no dressers/chests to place our clothes. BUT, I learned there is a ton of closet space with shelves just perfect for placing the clothes out of the way. Some rooms may directly face the beach, there is beautiful tropical forest type walk to the beach area, it somewhat obscures the view but in an awesome way. You do get a glimpse of the ocean. One this we learned, it is in the handbook they give to you...which we did NOT take the time to read...was the instructions of how to make the air conditioning work...you have to place your card key in the energy saver box on the wall as you go in your room...take it out when you leave. AWESOME concept, but I thought our a/c did not work..put the key in the box and ....taaa dahhhh...IT WORKS! Fridge has 2 cans of Presidente and bottled water and sodas! "Comfort" staff worked super hard and our rooms were clean everyday. They would come back by to see if we had enough of everything, towels, drinks, etc. The hotel fumigates once a week, some people were complaining but the locals say that's how you know it is a good hotel, because of the vector potential. Some hotels don't spray to control but VH Gran Vantana does. I will say it was a heart-warming experience to watch the ladies gathering the fresh flowers every morning for each room they serviced. They take pride in their work.
THE BAR STAFF were ALL awesome, I guess we spent the most time at the beach bar where Sanchez is AWESOME!!! He has tons of experience and knows how to please. Although, he had never been to Alabama before and before we left, he knew how to make a 'yellow hammer'! And...it was awesome! I will tell you that with the A I is the "local beer and liquors" which is actually my TOPSHELF here in the states. Presidente was on tap everywhere which is an awesome beer! And of course Brugal rum, which is bottled there in Puerto Plata. Touring the Brugal factory is free and very interesting. The pool bartender (don't remember his name) was awesome too. He said some of the older kids were trying to get our 17y/o to drink alcohol and he complimented her for telling them no, but was keeping an eye on her to make sure that she was safe. He truly felt responsible for everyone he served, I was impressed!
THE BEACH...I cannot say enough how the beach was awesome. They kept it clean everyday. There were plenty of chairs for everyone, people come and go all day so that was never a problem. The beach vendors were actually a pleasure to get to know. We did buy a couple of trinkets, but would say 'no thank you" and they went on. One day, it was overcast and no sun, so no one but me and my husband were on the beach. We were the only people for all the vendors. We ended up inviting them to sit and visit and had all the vendors sitting around us chatting and telling stories, it was great! They have 'numbers' that are assigned by the hotel, so if any get out of line, you know the number. Dominique and Carlos visited with us every day, they were never annoying, just trying to make a living and were very personable. We would invite them to come chat with us. Lily actually gave my husband his first pedicure every, she did a great job!
TOURS/Excursions...I do recommend booking from the hotel, they have 5 different tour groups that are insure and "licensed". (FYI...the driving in DR is horrific! Driving License was not even required until the year 2000. SO most still have none.) We did book a city tour from a vendor on the beach, it was cheapie-cheapie $30/person, we went on the Cable Car, Fort, Cigar making, Amber and Larimar Museums and had a GREAT guide. The down-side was we did get the ghetto-trip to the "preferred shopping" and felt a bit unsafe and tourist-target at times. I do recommend booking horse-back riding on the beach from the gentleman on the beach that has been family owned for over 30 years. We called him "El Capitan". Many others that have booked with him have been more pleased over the others.
I met a dear friend that will always be in my heart! He is a local fisherman named William. He saw I was snorkeling alone and was a bit afraid to go out to the reef by myself. He invited me and actually showed me the most amazing sites I ever saw. It truly was a "bucket list" experience. The spectacular coral, fish, and all the special creatures below was amazing. We even saw an octopus that he went back and got his spear to fish him for dinner. He dived for about 30 mins and finally succeeded. He came every day and asked if I wanted to snorkel. He truly became a special friend to me and my husband! We did not book anything special, this was right there at the VH Gran Vantana Beach!
I cannot forget the fabulous food staff! The Chef Helmet Sugg brings the local culture of foods together with his worldly experience. I had the pleasure of meeting with Chef Helmet. He first compliments his staff by saying that he had worked all around the world and the Dominican people are the hardest working people he has worked with and the Dominicans want to please with their performance set above all others that speaks for itself! The food is exceptional and a ton of variety. The caffé is local and absolutely like no other. The food was presented with beautifully carved arrangements every day. Chef Helmet even interpreted and shared a recipe that I requested for a local dish that the pastry chef created. THANK YOU!
The GM, front desk staff and the management team was always available and willing to please.

Room Tip: REMEMBER to place your room key in the energy saver on the wall as you go into your room if you want...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank BamaGirlzRock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2014

This was our sixth time to the Gran Ventana within the past two and a half years. Most call us regulars by now. We return because we feel that it is the best hotel in Puerto Plata for us to give our business to. The Gran Ventana, whether it is your first time experiencing the resort, or, like us, regulars, they treat you with the best service you could want and upmost respect.

My mother and I visited the Gran Ventana mid-May for two weeks and fell right back into the routine there. Being returners, they give you a gold bracelet and you get certain perks. Some of the perks included getting to our room and having a ‘Welcome Back!’ banner along the doorway which was so nice to see, along with a fruit platter, bottle of rum, and being invited to a Fidelity Club Party in which they recognize you for returning to the hotel and meeting the General Manager, Oscar.

This trip was great in that there were new activities to get involved with. Fruit carving, taught by some of the professionals that cook up the meals every day in the hotel, to the housekeeping staff doing a poolside example of how they make the beautiful swans out of towels each morning as they clean up your room. In addition, each week there is now a Manager’s Cocktail Party in that it recognizes all of the important people that make your vacation what it is, the staff. I felt that it was just another plus for how this hotel was, in that it was treating it’s staff right and showing how many people really are involved in making your stay an unforgettable one.

The staff are amazing, we wouldn’t have anything bad to say about any of them. The staff truly make you feel like family there and do their upmost to make sure your stay is the best one. Waiters, bartenders, housekeeping, security, front desk etc. Each and every one of them have a smile on their face and give you the odd high five around the pool and keep the fun alive!

Restaurants were better than our past trips. Not that we had any complaints before, but the a la carte restaurants’ menus have been extended and there is a wider variety in what to order.

The beach is the beach. It beats any backyard anyone living in a non-tropical country looks at and is very beautiful and kept very clean.

As far as tourist attractions, we have done basically everything from dune buggying, zip lining with the monkeys, horseback riding, climbing the mountain and going down the natural waterfalls, cable car, Puerto Plata tour, the Bravisimo night show at Ocean World, snorkeling etc.
Everything is great and a fun time and easy to book.

Another place I highly suggest is taking a day to go to Sosua beach. AMAZING. It is a beach right out of a picture frame. You can grab a cab to take you for I believe $40.00 to and from Sosua which is a 20-30 minute drive. Definitely worth it for a change of scenery.

If you’re interested in some local restaurants, we had more time this past trip to venture out and try some real Dominican cooking. ‘Los Dos’ is a small café type restaurant which is outdoors under a cabana that is very reasonably priced and great food. About a 15 minute drive from the hotel but in a cute location. My mother and I went there at least a few times. Definitely a tradition to return there each trip. If you’re pizza lovers, there is a place called ‘San Jorge’ which is a 5-10 minute drive from the hotel and it has excellent pizza. You can get a large pizza (12 slices) for maybe $15.00. Air conditioned and also has a side bakery with some baked goods that look and SMELL delicious!

Additionally, I had won a free massage at the Gran Ventana’s sister hotel, the Casa Colonial Spa Resort and it was amazing. I had given the massage to my mom for Mother’s Day/her birthday and she highly recommends going there for a spa day. The resort itself is beautiful and you can use their part of the beach, showers, steam room, sauna etc. while you are there. If you want 5 star, this is the resort. It is only 300 metres from the Gran Ventana as well, and if you go to the front lobby, the bell boy’s will gladly take you there and bring you back afterwards.

All in all, the Gran Ventana has captured us and makes us return year after year. I don’t think I have met one single person that said they wouldn’t return to this hotel. It is Grade A service all around.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Saona building, along with the Catalina building in the past. Both rooms are very c...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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Thank BEACHBUMCDN
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:
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $116 - $403 (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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