We travelled as a party of two couples in our mid/late 40s and arrived home on 27th July 2012.
We had a really great holiday and overall are very satisfied with the value for money offered by this hotel. You can get better if you are prepared to pay more but this hotel really does represent good VFM for an all-inclusive package. We spoke with many who were on their second or third time at Blue bay.
I’m yet to find the perfect hotel but can’t understand people who give Blue Bay really bad reviews.
The hotel was very quiet during the week, not a queue in sight and busier at the weekend with local and USA weekend visitors. Everyone was well behaved.
Firstly, the other people staying at the hotel during our stay were great. Everyone joining in all the fun activities, mostly British but also some really lovely people from Norway, Belgium, Germany, Dom Rep, Canada and USA. We beat them all in the aqua volleyball matches. You know who you are.
No bugs, flies, snakes, creepy-crawlies, spiders, beetles or cock roaches.
Staff – contrary to one report I read we found all the staff to be very attentive and smiley. We were served copious water and drinks with our meals and always served with a smile at the main food hall. Anyone criticising the Blue Bay Staff must have stayed at a different hotel to us. I was always referred to as ‘Sir’ or ‘My Friend’ and the ladies as ‘Madam’ and was told ‘you’re welcome’. Well done Blue Bay staff, our service industry in the UK has a lot to learn from you. Nobody asked for tips and those tips I did give out were gratefully received with thanks. I was not treated differently for tipping.
Animation Team – all brilliant (James Bond, Mayo, George, Yayi, Commando, Teddy Bear, Jamaica etc) and got us involved in fun activities throughout the day. These people are dedicated to their work and I admire them for their enthusiasm and energy – well done and thank you for making our holiday special and memorable.
Food – The main food hall was very good. Plenty of variety with themes running weekly. Breakfast was plentiful with omelettes and eggs made to order and a very big selection of hot and cold items. Something for everyone. You would have to be an extremely fussy eater if you were not happy with what was on offer. The themed Fish, Oriental and Steak Restaurants were available to book at no extra cost. We did not like the fish restaurant, limited selection and what we got was poor. The Oriental was satisfactory, sushi offered on the first visit but not on the second. The Steak Restaurant was the pick of the bunch with plenty to choose from and the meals we had on both visits were fantastic. Wine and other drinks are served at all the food outlets and are unlimited. Just ask if you want a glass for the beer.
Drinks – On the whole these are good. The local Beer ‘Presidente’ is ok and available on draft everywhere. The white wine is drinkable, if a little sweet and the red ok but not to my taste, both were 9%. The spirits are 40% proof and a local brand called ‘Royal’, tending to be a little sweet for our liking. We tried the Whisky and then avoided it. G&T and Cuba Libre tended to be our favourites. Ask for the ‘Brugal’ Rum rather than the local brand, it is normally stocked behind the bar but not in general view. The cocktails were freshly made with large measures and every drink had plenty of ice to help keep you cool. Try the Banana Mama. Drinks were available 24 hrs, but a short walk to the beach bar needed after midnight. There is a special spirit in the Dom Rep known as 151. This is like rocket fuel and is 72% proof. We tried some from the pool bar and it was an interesting experience. Three couples from the Scottish Olympic Drinking Team (I think that’s who they were) were staying at the hotel at the time and their advice was to write your room number on your forehead if you planned a drinking session on the 151 !!!. Oh, by the way, no fresh mint for Mohitos. If this is your tipple take some with you. Drinks around the pool are served in plastic cups. Take your own fancy plastic glasses if you wish, they will gladly fill them for you.
Rooms – They are not brand new but are kept clean and tidy by the maids on a daily basis. We stayed in 3203, just off the pool on the first floor and our friends in 3303 on the second. The Air Con was excellent and adjustable. No problems with noise after around 11:30 pm when the pool bar shut. Water was provided in the fridge and replenished as required. The beds were basic but very comfortable and we all slept well. The TV in the room had a selection of American channels as well as foreign and English speaking channels showing live sports and news; I watched the Grand Prix and the Tour de France from the comfort of my bed. There are higher quality appartments on the site, these being part of the timeshare side of the business. I’m told they are quite lavish but again you need to pay for that privilege. You may get asked if you want to look at the timeshare apartments. We declined and were not pestered. We were more than satisfied with what we were provided with.
The coffee machine in the room was great with plenty of Santo Domingo ground coffee provided. We used milk from the breakfast bar and kept it in our fridge.
Dom Rep electricity is 110v and uses 2 pin USA type plugs and sockets. Your European and UK plugs will not fit. Our travel kettle, GHDs, USB iPOD chargers all worked ok but the mains shaver not.
Pool/Beach Towels – Fresh ones provided in your room and can be changed as many times as you wish. They are coloured blue.
Ocean World – A fantastic day out. Us boys had the day pass at $69 and the girls did the dolphin experience for $109. They were elated with their dolphin experience and well worth the cost. Each pass to Ocean World includes a hot/cold buffet self service lunch which was more than adequate.
Adults Only – not the main reason we booked but it was noticeably quiet and relaxing and I will take this into account when booking my next holiday. We did miss our own kids, and were glad to see them on our return.
Beach – The location is excellent, right next to the hotel but as soon as you arrive there you are pestered by men selling excursions, clothes, wind chimes etc. Their efforts are commendable but tend to take the gloss of what could have been a few quiet afternoons down on the beach. They will sit on the end of your sun beds and even nudge you or whistle at you if you are napping just to ask if you want to buy anything. We chose to stay by the pool with the entertainment team rather than face a barrage of hard sell. A lovely young couple we met at the hotel were miss-sold a fishing trip by ‘Elvis’ on the beach. It cost them US $130 and a hard lesson learnt. Buy your excursions from your rep or the hotel reception, at least you know where they are if you have reason to complain. As mentioned by others, the water is cloudy, not dirty, but stirred up by the continuous onshore winds, no good for snorkelling. Plenty of beds on the beach and always someone willing to drag one down to you if you need one. The beach is covered by patrolling security guards but only if you keep to the left hand side. Beware walking past the right hand side of the beach perimeter as this is not patrolled. We were warned of this by our rep at the welcome meeting. Some ignored this advice and got into bother.
Pool No.1 and Swim-up Bar – it would benefit from a refurb.
Plaza – this is the nearby shopping centre but not part of the hotel. We were pestered and made to feel uncomfortable as everyone seems to be watching you. There are lots of shops selling lots of tack and hardly anyone shopping there. I can’t see how this place survives as a business.
DR Pesos Vs US Dollars – it seemed very odd that the most common currency on the island was the US Dollar. The entry and exit tax at the airport can ONLY be paid in USD or Euros (10 on the way in and 20 out) and they do not accept DR Pesos or UK Sterling – bonkers. Thankfully my mate had some USD to lend me to pay our inbound tax. You also need to fill in complicated landing and customs cards, not easy after a nine hour flight when all you want is a swim and a beer! Beware, these forms are required on leaving the island too. If I was travelling again I would take two thirds of my money in USD and one third in DR Pesos. The rate for changing Sterling to USD was poor as they first change Sterling to DR Peso, then Peso to USD.
Like others, we heard that Thomas Cook will be pulling out of Puerto Plata later this year. Apparently the investment is moving to the political heart of the country in Punta Cana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- BlueBay Villas Doradas is an Adults Only 24 hour All Inclusive resort in Puerto Plata, was completely refurbished in 2006 providing facilities and rooms of the highest quality. This hotel in Puerto Plata, which is only for the over 18s, is an ideal place for couples to relax or enjoy their honeymoon or wedding. Its location - literally next to the 18-hole Playa Dorada golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones – makes it a favourite among golfers.The hotel’s rooms and suites are equipped to the highest standard, in keeping with the quality of the resort and its recent refurbishment – all include cable TV, mini bars and ironing facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bluebay Villas Doradas Hotel Puerto Plata
- Bluebay Hotel Puerto Plata
- Bluebay Hotel Doradas
- Blue Bay Getaway Villas Doradas
- Blue Bay Getaway Dominican Republic