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“A nice place if you want to spend all your time on the toilet !!!”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 29, 2004

Arrived on 14th June, place seemed OK. After 2 days we both had sore stomach and kept running to the toilet. After 5 days had to get medical treatment due to not being able to keep anything in my body and running to the toilet several times a day.

The food is of poor quality and the drink is even worse. There were lots of people who left on 28th June that would never eat in the restaurants and were best customers of the medical center and Pizza Hut at the nearby shopping center.

I would never return to this hotel. Definitely not a 4* Hotel.

3  Thank Fozzie_Glasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,734 - 4,740 of 5,674 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2004

Just spent a week at the Gran Ventana with 5 children. Have to say that we were pretty disappointed. This resort should not be considered a "family resort". The pool closes at 6 pm every day, so there was no swimming after dark which is what my kids enjoy doing in the evening when they don't have to lather on the sunscreen or fight for space at the pool. If you don't put your towels on a chair by 6 am forget about getting a spot at all. The same goes for the beach. The "playground" was extremely dangerous because the wooden playset was rotting, bolts had fallen out and boards were missing. The food was mostly good. The staff was very accomodating and friendly. I agree with another reviewer who said that the bathrooms were not very nice at all. Our air conditioner stopped working a few times, but the maintenance staff, although they did not speak English, was very nice and worked to get it fixed each time. Our television caught fire also, so maybe there was an electrical problem. The newer part of the hotel is built around the "quiet pool" where no children are allowed and of course that is where our room was so we had to walk quite a distance to the main hotel and pool each time to swim and eat. Why we got put by the "quiet pool" with 5 children is beyond me. Also, as a side note for those from America...there are a lot of Europeans at this particular hotel, I think we were the only Americans there...not that this is a problem as we met many very nice people, but there were a lot of topless sunbathers and swimmers which can make for an uncomfortable time at the pool and beach when your children are not used to seeing this. Then we spent easily an hour and a half at the airport where you must wait in the heat outside while standing in line at the ticket counter to check your baggage after being ATTACKED by baggage handlers each fighting to carry your bags. They practically grab your luggage and run away so another guy can't get it first. Inside the airport, we found a place near the gate to sit, again with no air conditioning and more cigarette smoke than one could possibly imagine. Unfortunately for us, after this experience we will not return to the Dominican Republic, although we heard from some others that Punta Cana is the city to go to. I guess we got bad advice from our travel agent.

1  Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
St. John's, Newfoundland
15
Reviewed June 27, 2004

I stayed at Gran Ventana for one week in April of last year. It was simply the best vacation that I have ever had! The food, the atmosphere, the staff, everything was wonderful. I loved how close the hotel rooms were to the main pool area, Aerobics room, laundry facilities and to the beach. A minutes walk away was a shopping area, a museum and taxi services. The night life was great! Just next door was a night club called "Crazy Moon" and in the shopping centre was "Hemmingway's" where you could go for some very entertaining karaoke.

The food was wonderful! Buffet style meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and lots to choose from. I didn't try out the other restaurants on the resort besides the main dining hall and the beach grill, but I hear they are fantastic.

The hotel rooms were beautiful, spacious and very comfortable. The housekeeping staff were very friendly and helpful. The staff in general was phenomenal! The "Fun Team" kept everybody entertained during the day, and put off some great shows in the evening. There were lots of activities for kids in the day as well, and there was an hour in the evening for an interactive kids show. Evening entertainment was provided by either the resort "fun team" or by other entertainment groups. Fantastic either way.

The pool was beautiful with a lovely swim up bar. There was a water volley ball area, kids area and even water aerobics during the day.

The beach was just fantastic. Lots of chairs available and thatched umbrellas for shade. There is a grill practically right on the beach so you can pop in for some french fries or a slice of pizza without having to go back to the main area (which really isn't very far anyway!). About half an hour walk down the beach will bring you to some "huts" owned by locals where you can buy many things like souvenirs and local artwork.

The shopping centre has a large variety of shops, jewelry stores, smoke shops, restaurants (even a Pizza Hut!) and several travel agents where you can book various tours. I would highly recommend taking the safari tour to the waterfalls. It's a lot of hard work, but highly worth it. The water falls were the most beautiful that I have ever seen. My only regret was that I didn't take more pictures. I'd recommend bringing a water-proof disposable camera along on this tour, (also wear something on your feet that you don't mind getting wet, and that wont slip off easily) you have to walk through a lot of water and if you choose to climb the falls, you don't have to worry about ruining your camera.

I would also recommend taking a trip to nearby Sosua Beach. Breathtaking beach lined with hundreds of local huts where you can buy just about anything. Be prepared for a lot of bartering! You can walk away with some great deals if you try.

I can't wait to return to Gran Ventana, in fact, I will be returning next spring with a group of 18 people.

Truly the trip of a lifetime!

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
UK
11
Reviewed June 27, 2004

Went end of May for 3 weeks on honeymoon. Very disappointed. The rooms were very basic and no room service available. The fruit basket on arrival arrived 5 days later after a couple of requests.
Food very repetative. Not much variety in drinks and cocktails change every time you order them. (some nice, some not - so when you find one you like is unlikely to get same again!)
Swimming pool nice.
Evening entertainment very average - bit boring some nights.
Went kayaking on local beach and saw a lot of human excrement floating around, and also on the beach further down. (We did not go back in sea after that!)
Probably better for people with kids as there are a lot of families and they seemed to make friends and have fun.
Is like a 2-3* quality in England - do not go if it is a special occasion as money could go a lot further elsewhere.
There are local shops close by but things such as sun screen, paper and snacks (crisps and chocolate) are very expensive. Also in the hotel a twix was £1!

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Lincolnshire, England
19
Reviewed June 16, 2004

Me and my husband just arrived from a 2 weeks holiday (1 June-15 June '04) and stayed at the Gran Ventana Hotel in Playa Dorada Resort. The trip was organised for my 40th birthday. We both have been on other parts of the Carribeans ie, Antigua and Mexico and to compare Dominican Republic to both places is an injustice. You have to go DR with an open mind and truly one will have a fantastic holiday. The DR locals are genuinely friendly. Going back to the Gran Ventana, this hotel has an open and airy reception area. Check-in was very quick and even dealt with my request to change buildings immediately. Word of advice if you prefer to have an ocean view room or just being near the pool area and restaurants, I would suggest pick Saona or Catalina buildings. If you prefer the quiet pool area, then Beata Building is for you. Beata building rooms is across the main hotel area, has its own bar and also one of the A'la Carte restaurants (Italian Restaurant) is located there. It also has it's own airy reception area with an added bonus of friendly and talented singing security people. The Tiki Bar at the Beata bldg has its friendly bar staff called Jacqueline who always has a smile and a song or two to for the patrons there. The food is good both at the A'la carte and the Main buffet area. Nightly Entertainment is good if you have children under the age of 12 but if you prefer to go out the hotel, the Playa Dorado resort have casinos and bars located at other hotels which you can walk to. Shopping is okay, best buys is Rum and for smokers out there cigarettes are fairly cheap. Keyword when shopping at DR is bargain....bargain all the time. So if you want to go to Dominican Republic and wanted to stay at Playa Dorada Resort..I strongly recommend GRAN VENTANA hotel for you to stay and try their genuine hospitality. It is a family hotel but couples, single people, beach lovers or people who want to chill are very much catered for....So start booking now and enjoy your stay at the Gran Ventana Hotel....

9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
west haven ct
14
Reviewed June 14, 2004

June 6-13 My husband and I took a trip to grandvantona beach resort with 10 other couples.Ages from 27-34. Half of us stayed 8 days and the other half came two days later and stayed 6 days.We had no problems with our room or checking in they were very helpful.They give you three voutchoirs to eat dinner with.Dureing your stay you are only alound to use thoses three resterants once,and you have to make resevations a day in advance between 3:30-6,no earlyer.If you wanted to make the reservation at the begaining of your stay thats not alound eather.So you have to eat at there buffay the other nights.You can eat at the buffay for breackfest and lunch,you must wear shirt and shoes no baithing suit.At the other resterants you may eat there as well but only one out of the three are open for lunch,ocean grill and there you can just walk in right from the beach.Food was,well I wasn't crazy for it,half of us liked it half hated it and the other half just dealed with it.Make sure you pack amodiem!!!!Not sure what it was but all 20 of us needed it several times dureing our stay. Its good to pack snaks for your self to take such as cearal bars,pop tarts,trail mix stuff from home that can help hold you over.Drinks were ok.You maybe wanna pack aliitle something in your suitcase if theres something you like to drink.There alcahol isn't top shelf,the wine I got use to it but its nothing like home.Intertanment,nothing dureing the day just maybe arobics my the pool.No music witch is nice to here when your on an iland drinking a pina coloa by the pool.swim up bar closes at 6.Chairs by the pool get taken quick,but we never had a problem and there was 20 of us.Chiars on the beach there were tons,and there huts all along the beach were you could be in the shade as well.As for the beach nothing like the caribian side.It looks alot like the new jersey shore.Theres stuff to do on the beach such as snorkling,wind surfing,boating etc...Tours wait before you plan,shop around there our plenty of pepole out of the resort who will get them cheeper for you.Look for lui,greate guy and very honest.Tell him the group of twenty sent you.We went on a speed boat for 20$ per person,they take you snorkling.Outback safari you gotta do it! 25$ p\p If theres anything you don't wanna miss its that.It was my brother-in-laws b-day they decorated the jeep,we stoped off for lunch and they made a buetiful cake.Pack lots of goodies for the children and be sure to take and extra suit case along just for the pepole that live on the iland we did and let me tell you it wasn't enough.Theres nothing more rewarding then to be able to share with someone that has no were nears to what you have back home.We brought candy witch isn't really recomended b\c they have no dentist,stuffed animals,puzzals,books,tooth brushes,pencials etc..the tour guided said if theres anything they need more its shoes,they only own one pair if that and its to go to school in so all the other times they go bear foot.Clothes as well.So even though you probably would rather not carrry that extra bag do it,its well worth it.the water fall be ready there awsome and the guys who walk you through they did a wounderful job.tip them good.They make 15$ a day,takeing pepole through these falls, it sounds easy but its a very resonsable job to have.Theres 28 falls we did 7,absolutly amazeing.Be sure to pack all your exspensive belongings in you carry on,all my jelery got stolen at the air port.Also at this resort theres children and lots of them so if your just looking for just adults here isn't were you wanna go.Shopping,theres a mall in the resort.Its pritty much all the same stuff around they'll bargain with you.Theres two clubs in the resort as well in the same place the mall is.There alot of fun,but drinks are on you.And its 5$ at the door.Casino my husband and I didn't go but pepole that were with us did some one and some lost.Ladys don't walk alone,the men there will hit on you right in front of your own man.All and all we mad the best of our stay,if I ever go back to the dominican it will be punta cana.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2004

we have just returned from a 2 week stay at this fantastic hotel (29 May 04 - 12 June 04), the only complaint is the weight we put on during our stay, even our teenage daughters!

The hotel was kept spotless, by an army of workers, washing the paths, sweeping leaves and even lining the sunbeds exactly straight on an evening in order to create such perfection. The rooms were kept extremely tidy, the nice little touches by the maids with the flowers and swan creations with the towels were appreciated and made things just that little bit more special.

The beach was lovely, the coral wasn't the best I've seen as people had probably damaged it over a period of time, but this didn't effect the snorkelling too much, my two teenage daughters spent countless hours enjoying the variety of tropical fish, and as was mentioned on here previously we took the odd banana and egg to feed the fish out of our hands. The beach is north facing so on the rare occasion we were unable to find a bed with shade, we just layed under the countless palmtrees.

The wind did pick up on a couple of occasions in the afternoon making it uncomfortable to sit on the beach, we enjoyed the pools, so this was no hardship.

The 2 guys on the beach in charge of the water sports equipment were so helpful, my daughters used the facilities to the full, the banana boat was 7 US dollars and the jet ski 26 dollars for 15 mins.

The pools were great, the large one was pretty well used, water volleyball was a laugh and water aerobics weren't too strenuous, for those who want to participate in the games at the side of the pool or just chill at the pool bar there were no pressure either way. With having a toddler I appreciated the shade from the poolbar, which also covered a small percentage of the pool, I found this a benefit during the hottest time of the day.

Food.. what can I say but "food glorious food", I am having trouble reducing the old calories whilst back in the UK.

The main buffet - breakfast time:

Omelets and fried eggs made to order just choose the ingredients, waffles cooked fresh, crispy bacon, sausages, rolls, bread for toast, cereals, fruit juices, coffee and tea, the list goes on.

The main buffet - lunch: we didnt use this too much through the day, due to spending most of the day in the water and couldn't keep out oi the water long enough to dry and get dressed.

Lunch: we tended to eat at the beach bar, which was a pleasure with the sea breeze, the view and none healthy food on offer!! hence the extra weight we returned with. selection on offer: Chili, rice, chips, barbie chicken, burgers, hotdogs, pizza, salad and a selection of cakes.

The main buffet - Evening: Always a large roasted joint (my little boy enjoyed the pig complete with ears and face), the chops and chicken cooked fresh on the barbie were my favourite, I couldnt get enough of them, chips, potato, veg, salad, fish, muscles, rice dish, the list goes on. I read on here the sweets were not sweet enough, boy were they wrong, I have the pounds to prove it

a la carte restaurants

My favourite was the beach grill in the evening, with the top meal being the grilled tuna steaks, (three of them) enough feed the family.

The italian was a good experience for the children the way they cooked the meat infront of you creating plenty of flames for my little boy to enjoy, the veal was succulent and the best choice by far.

The octopus restaurant was one that many people enjoyed the best, but the selection was not great for a young family, which was not a problem as the children went downstairs after for a buffet meal.

Drinks... we are not great drinkers, I'll rephrase that we weren't great drinkers, until our stay at the Gran ventana, but that soon changed, the rum was lovely, I tried all the cocktails quite a few times over and did get pretty drunk on several occasions, but this was part of the package.

Entertainment - I'd give this an Ok, 9.30 a mini disco consisting of songs from the birdie song to "I am the music man" and a few classic spanish songs thrown in for good measure and a little kids game to finish off with, a hit with my toddler, but a bit boring for the teenagers, then there was either dancers or games for the adults, then later a few songs to dance too, so the entertainments wasn't such a big hit, but the staff did their best.

The girl enjoyed the games room upstairs with table football, table tennis and 2 pool tables, these were free of charge.

The kids looked like they were having fun in the kids club. although the girls were too old, they did take younger children 3yrs if they were happy to stay.

The plaza was a stones throw away, we did watch a couple of films, in English with subtitles, only £1 a right bargain and made a change from the entertainment, quite a few went along to hemingways pub in the evening.

STAFF; I have never been to a hotel where staff worked as hard as they do at the gran ventana, we never wanted for anything during our two weeks stay, they couldn't do enough for you.

We feel that we made the right choice and it was worth every penny, best holiday ever and we will be back.

12  Thank fusspotUK
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $107 - $372 (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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