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“Great bang for thr price”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great bang for thr price”
Reviewed July 21, 2004

Dianne, Dale, Amanda and Marjorie from Ohio
Hola,We returned from our wonderful Dominican vacation on July 1,2004. We stayed from June 16- July 1.
For the price of this resort, I think you get one heck of a great deal.
The rooms are clean, well kept up, not the biggest in the world, but you're not really in the room that much!
In my opinion, the room could use some refurbishing, it seem this hotel is a little older.We did leave the maid a tip or little dollar store trinket every day, I think she liked it! There is a hair dryer in the bathroom, so you don't have to pack one.We were in the Catalonia building room 2219, its a garden room, but you could see the ocean also, nice view.
The food was good, not as good as we've had in the past. But quite a varity and plenty of it.There should be something for everyone, even the picky eaters!The desert are simply wonderful, the Dominicans know how to make some deserts!This is or 4th time to the D.R.
If you like your morning coffee or tea, they have a table set up outside the buffet restuarent, around 6:30a.m. The specialty restuarants, the Octupus was our favorite. Good seafood, the seafood cassarole was very good. The Ocean Grill is on the beach, real good steaks and very good grilled chicken. The Italian was our least favorite, but still was pretty good, I got the ravioli, real good too. At the end of your meal in these restuarants you must try the cappachino, it's very yummy. We ate our lunches most of the time at the Ocean Grill. The variety isn't as much as the buffet, but we really liked it just the same. Burgers, hot dogs, fries, salads, nachos, some deserts. It's the siiting by the ocean, and breathing in that ocean breeze, it's simply wonderful.
We did not take any tours this time, but did take the horse and buggy ride, went by the whole Playa Dorada plaza and also by some Dominican's homes. It was around 30.00. Lasting about an hour and a half. It was real nice. In summing this up, for the dollar, this resort has every thing you'll need or want. If you get the chance to stay here, don't hesitate.
Just a small note: from some of the people from ealier reviews, those of you that could only find salted peanuts and pinapple as the only edible foods, must have been staying at a different resort!!!!!!
adios and enjoy, Dianne, Dale,Amanda and Marjorie

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6 Thank DeeOhio
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 19, 2004

I actually have not gone to G.V. yet, my trip is scheduled for August..one of the amenties that I read regarding this hotel was that, there is jet skiing out of all the reviews I've read, i haven't heard anything about that.Does any one know if that is a water sport that they have?

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, UK
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2004

Hello, we stayed in June 04 for two weeks, as part of a wedding (16 of us).

Positives
* Rooms are clean and refurbished ok - no problem there.
* Local people seemed friendly
* Hot and sunny weather, most of the year
* Good if you like a typical package holiday hotel, not very good if you like to explore and leave the resort, although there is a shopping centre nearby.
* Children under 10 will love it, not sure about teenagers though.
*Clean, modern hotel, with friendly staff.
* Not many French or Germans. 70% British

Negatives
* Entertainment for the children is good, but not for adults. No discos, just a lot of tacky in-house entertainment.
* Rooms around the main pool are noisy
* Food for children and vegetarians is limited. But there is a lot of choice for meat/fish eaters. If you are into fine dining and decent food, the Dominican Republic is not for you.
* Beach is not that nice for swimming (apparently the South beaches are nicer)
* A lot of people had upset stomachs
*Paradise Island is a long way from the resort and costs a lot of money. Two hours on a sand bank! Go to Thailand if you want nice beaches/islands
*Lots of rather loud Americans and Canadians

Recommendations
* Pay for the airport lounge at the airport, well worth £10 each for a seat, air-con and a decent cup of tea, before boarding the plane with limited pitch space! + You beat the queue checking in. (Book with Rep)
* If you have no children, ask for a room by the quiet pool. As it really is quiet and there are no children by this pool.
* Visit Sosua, as has a a nice beach. (Get a taxis, as you can then spend as long as you like)
* Book your excursions on the beach and you will save a fortune. Same local tour companies/itineraries as the big UK tour operators offer + 50% cheaper in some cases.
* Visit the local Casino. Good way of spending a few hours one evening. (10 minute walk)
* Take some dehydration drinks and stomach upset tablets + mosquito repellent.

Enjoy your holiday, it really is not that bad! Especially if you go with other people, although on your own as a couple is fine for a week, but you may find it a bit boring for two weeks. Unless you are lay by the pool folk, then you will love it.

  • Stayed June 2004
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Helpful?
6 Thank sh3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 16, 2004

DON'T GO !!!

Let me start with the airport, you will have people jumping at you to take your bags so keep an eye on them because you will not know who has them. You will also have people asking you for money there so keep your money in your pocket until the last possible minute. The ride from the airport to your resort will be a real eye opener, but don't let it scare you like it did us. Once you get to the resorts you will see a totally different site. Tipping is a simple $1.00 per bag for everyone! We stayed at the Gran Ventana, it was not what we expected at all. If your looking for air conditioning you will have to wait until you get to your room because that is the only thing that has it and you better hope it works for you entire trip unlike ours that broke down everyday. Of course the "gift shop" has air,but there is only enough room for 2 people in there. Now onto the food, I hope your not looking for a great variety because it is pretty much all the same each day. We had to eat in the buffet everyday because we could not make a reservation for the 3 ala carte restaurants and this was because we would not give the man $$$ just to make a reservation and we later found out that they served the same food as the buffet, the only difference is they bring it to you. Hope you like chicken hahaha... The drinks are not worth the plastic cups they put them in. You order a strawberry daquari and it contains NO strawberries at all. They make it red with grenaden. Sometimes they are weak and sometimes they are to strong and that goes by which person you get it from and if you tip them. As for the pool you'd better set your clock for 5:30 that is if you want a chair and an umbrella and please take the pin from the unbrella because someone else will and you will be **** out of luck. If you want the beach you will have to do the same thing, but the beace is not all that, to narrow and alot of coral close to shore. Don't worry about the people on the beach trying to sell you **** just say no and they will leave you alone. If you decide to buy something do not pay their price, tell them what you are going to pay and stick to it they will cave. Some guy wanted to sell me a t-shirt for $15.00, I got it for $5.00.. The rooms in the hotel are at best ok, our bathroom ceiling was falling down and we had to spray for these little bugs the first two days we were there. The beds and linens smelled like mildew and it made our clothes smell as well. My wife had to wash everything when we got home. If you have young girls with you keep an eye on them. I had my 14 yr old with us and could not believe what these dominican MEN were doing (winking, blowing kisses, etc..) One guy grabbed his crotch whild winking at her. This led to a small fight which had to broken up by security from the hotel. Security told me I should not have said anything,but I guess that was because they both worked for the hotel. We never saw either one of them again so when I went to the desk it was just a waste of my time. Now onto the entertainment, there might as well be none, they call themselve the "fun team" they do pretty much nothing, they are not amusing nor fun and the shows at night are really not worth losing your sleep over, remember you will need your sleep to get your chair in the morning. Most of them as well as the rest of the staff don't speak anything but spanish. You would think that being a resort with alot of European and American travelers they would make the effort to learn. If you have alot of money you will have a good time, but that is only because you will be out of the resort and on day trips. It cost me $210.00 for a dolphin trip. It was well worth it,but who has that kind of money when your on a weeks vacation. THERE IS NOTHING TO DO AT THE RESORT EXCEPT LAY AROUND THE POOL. There is nothing for kids to do except look at breasts that are trying to catch a tan. Well I could go on and on, but the bottom line is go to Punta Cana instead. POP is not quite ready for the tourists yet. Perhaps in 5 yrs or so, but not yet. SAVE YOUR MONEY>
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 15, 2004

Just got back from two weeks in paradise.Stayed june/july2004 with my wife and son.Staff could not do enough to help,they were so polite and friendly.The place was spotlessly clean,with an army of cleaners on the go all the time.The food was great,always lots to choose from.....if you have kids that can be fussy about what they eat,don't worry.There are two resturant's to choose from during the day.The beach bar is proberly the best as you can go in, in your swim shorts.Tryed all the a la carte's carrabian was very good.Occtopuss was better my son did not like anything on the menu so they did chickhen and chips for him.The Italian was awefull.the maitre d' looked like a hit man,was rude and very unhelpfull.Would not like to run into him in a dark alley.The bar staff were very good and you never have to wait for drinks.The entertainment was poor,and i'm trying to be kind.They worked very hard and long but it really was dreadfull.May i suggest that you take a deck of cards as there are only so many times you can sit and watch people dance.The quite bar is great as you can just sit and have a drink and talk.The beach is great but does get very windy...but this is welcome as it cools things down a little.You do have to get out early if you want a bed round the pool with shelter,as there is not enough to go round.Keep an eye on your towel as they tend to get stolen if you leave them,and you have to pay for replacements.The dolphin swim is out of this world and a big must(see oscar in the plaza a lot cheaper than the rep)if you don't swim you can do an encounter instead.The discovery trip was great but it does make you value what you have when you see the poor kids begging.Take lots of pens and paper for the kids as they really need them.We took a load of my sons cloths than were to small for him and gave them out...by the look on there facses you would think that they had won the lottery.If like to swim go on the scuba dive it is brill.Above all enjoy your stay at a graet hotel,with great and happy staffs.Right now i'm off to the travel agents to book the gran ventana for next year..might see you ?

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 12, 2004

Thank you to all those who posted previous reviews. I read them extensively prior to booking my recent vacation to Gran Ventana (July 2-9). I have done a fair bit of travelling to sun destinations in the past and this was my third trip to Pueto Plata and the Playa Dorado Resort. To me the value of going the Dominican Republic is second to none. I can say with great confidence that the Gran Ventana is probably the best resort I have ever stayed at (which have been mostly 4 to 4+ hotels). Here's my overview. I travelled with my family of 3 and my mother-in-law who we booked a separate room for. Upon booking we made a request that the rooms be adjacent to each other (which there is no guarantees) and that we have ocean view - we got both. I should note that the ocean view rooms are partially ocean view as the buildings are not directly on the beach. However our room also had a partial view of the swimming pool. We were in the Catalina Buidling one of two buildings around the large swimming pool. This was a great location for us, because we were close to all the activity. Yes it is noisy during the day, but we were seeking a fun-filled holiday. From 12 noon to 3pm is Siesta, and the activities at the pool die down (i.e. games and music). This was the time that we generally had lunch and took a nap. Food overall was excellent. The fussiest of eaters is bound to find somethings that they like at the buffet restaurant (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There was a lot of variety and changes each night. The Ocean Grill on the beach was nice for a different setting at lunch, especially if you are on the beach. The selection is less than the buffet. For dinner there are also three a-la-carte restaurants and we ate at all. Again, great for a different setting and a very nice full-service dinner. We enjoyed all restaurants and there was good variety on their set menus. Make sure to make your reservations at 3:30pm the previous day as seating is very limtied. Thus with all the options for eatings, it's difficult to complain, especially when the food tasted good. Customer service all around was great. Lots of staff around to take care of your every need. We heeded the advice of others that provided reviews to get an extra room key to keep the A/C and electricity on while you left the room. There were times where one of us would need to leave the room with a key while another stayed in. Also I advise getting the lock for the safe for $9 US. We had a lot of valuables on hand that we needed to secure. The rooms were nice and clean. Most days our room was cleaned in the morning. As for entertainment, there are lots of organized activities for all ages should you wish to participate - both around and in the pool and at the beach. There is a schedule posted next to the stage. The night entertainment was not great as others have stated, but adequate. Some nights are better than others. The interactive shows are better, so the better the participation from the audience the better the show, so don't be shy. There is another part of the hotel that has the "quiet pool". If you want a peaceful vacation, request to stay at that location - however, you are further away from the beach, buffet, show and all the other activities and amenities at the main hotel area. It is nice there and my wife and I did spend an afternoon there without our son, but very quiet. We took the advice of another reviewer and took a taxi to Sosua one day. The taxi was $35US return and you pay when you return. We told the taxi driver to drop us off and pick us back up in 3 hours and he did. A trip to Sosua is a must and I regret not having made the visit on my previous trips. The beach at Playa Dorado is not great, but the beach at Sosua is georgeous. You could probably easily spend a day there on the beach and visiting the markets. I was tempeted to go back for a second day. There is a very nice plaza in the Playa Dorado complex. If shopping, this is a good start to gauge prices - expecially compaired to the vendors on the beach. Be sure to negotiate on the beach. The prices they quote start high. If you are buying rum buy it at the liquor store at the plaza. It is cheaper at the plaza than at the airport. Also eat before you go to the airport. The restaurants there are very expensive - we paid $19 US for two fast food meals. Once again, I thank all those who posted previous reviews (both good and bad) - they were very helpful! My stay at Gran Ventana was excellent, and although I prefer to stay at different hotels, I would easily go back to Gran Ventana in the future.

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10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hove, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2004

Stayed in the G.V. September of last year with my partner. Overall the holiday was very enjoyable and a relaxing experience. However, the only disappointment was the accommodation. The hotel room had a very musty smell, continuous throughout our stay and we ended up having to open the patio doors to air the room, despite the fact that we had air conditioning. Also, we had to have the room fumigated along with another couple which we met on holiday. We came up in bites and thought it may be sand flies from the beach until we found a squashed flea underneath the bedding. Apart from this, the location was picturesque and the food fairly extensive. We like to try alternative foods on holiday and there was a good range especially in the buffett - try the roast joints of meat - beautiful!! The Al-la-Carte restaurants were beautifully laid out although we did find the food in the Octopus restaurant a bit "different", foods put with foods that really didnt complement one another.

Good advice, when changing up your US Dollars into Dominican Dollars get friendly with your Rep. Our one gave us a really good rate of exchange compared to the in hotel Bank and those over the road.

We went on a few excursions. If you do any trips book the Catamaran. You have a whole day out on the boat and includes snorkelling at three different reefs. The crew were fantastic fun and very entertaining - PREPARE TO GET WET! All your food and drinks are included, although there is a tendency to feel sea sick on the way out to the reefs. DONT LET THIS PUT U OFF BOOKING. Once u get into the water and back on the boat the sea sickness goes.

Another trip (the most expensive) is to Saona Island where the Bounty advert was filmed. This is a very filled day. After a fairly long coach trip you spend time in an Italian/Dominican village with an ampthitheatre and the scenery is out of this world, after lunch you then take the coach to the airport where you take a 3/4 plane journey across to the south of the island. Here you are met by a speed boat and travel across the water to Saona Island. The speed boat takes about 1/2 hour and is well worth it. The island is beautiful. After spending 4-5 hours on the island, the return journey back takes you to a sand bank where you are allowed to swim and snorkel. The fish and starfish are truly amazing.

I guess, all in all, apart from the hotel room this is a very relaxing holiday. There is daily entertainment, which is geared more to the young people amongst us and evening entertainment is very limited. Everything shuts down by midnight and unless you venture out of the complex its BEDTIME for you.

One last thing, do go but if you can try and get a good deal on your holiday. Although they say its four star I would say more like 3 and I wouldnt want to pay anymore than £1,000. We were lucky and got a deal off the internet for £760.

Helpful?
2 Thank Helen73uk
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:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
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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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