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BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only
Ranked #3 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“We enjoyed it!”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Traveled here a few years ago - so things may have changed. This is where my fiance proposed! We had a standard room - which wasn't fancy, but perfectly functional. The grounds/lobby had a lovely atmosphere with zen-like feeling. The food was good, with a selection of vegetarian/healthy food. The a la carte were ok. The best mojitos were by the spa pool!
We did a snorkeling catamaran trip that I enjoyed - my hubby preferred the safari trip where we visited a farm, elementary school, and a beach for boogie boarding. If you are looking for water sports, I recommend going to Cabarete for wind surfing/boogie boarding.

Room Tip: For a quiet room - ask for something by the spa pool.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank Wolflow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Bluebay villas

Short Version:
The total experience of the hotel is very good! Very nice hotel area and pools, the staff is very friendly and a good food buffet. I can really recommend it. (Some minor improvement areas exists, as always, see long version of the review)


Long version:
As mentioned above the hotel is very nice. The buildings with the rooms is in “bungalow style”, even though every building contains about 12 rooms. Maximum 3 floors high.

Rooms:
Most of the rooms have a terrace or balcony, but not all. The rooms are decorated with medium dark brown furniture and tile floors and bathroom. The finish of the rooms is more Caribbean than “western world luxury”. So if you are used to new western world luxury hotels, this will feel a little bit “simple”. But otherwise the room is nice. Air-condition works, ceilingfan and minibar exists.

Hotel Area:
Between all the buildings there is lawn with stone/concrete ails. Around the pools there is tile floor.
There are 3 pools with the pool area. 2 is located outside the restaurant. Here you can find a pool bar with free drinks. I recommend the “Pina colada” and the “Bana mama”, very good! At these pools there are some “events” every day, a few times a day. For example some simple staff dance show at the pool side, or a simple drinking competition or a water polo game. This was little unexpected, since we choosed the hotel due to the “no kids allowed” policy. But at these events it is not very peace&quiet. But it is maybe for 15-30 mins every time, and kind of fun to watch.

1 of the pools located at the spa, closer to the beach. This is the “Quiet pool”, here people just lay and tan and read books and so on. This is preferred of you don’t like the temporary music&fuss at the other 2 pools. But we actually lied more at the 2 other pools, due to the pool bar, and so on. I think the shows and so on are needed to activate people.
You can change to beach towel as much as you like at the shop at the bride to the beach.

The cleaning personal have carts, where some has lost the rubber part of the wheels, so sometimes they wake up people when they run around in the morning.. (due to the hard plastic wheels against the stone/tile ground.)

Food:
All meals are eaten (if you like) at the main restaurant, close to reception. It is always buffé. It is closed a few hours between the different meals. A snack bar is available at the beach.
The buffet is very fresh, and this hotel is smaller than some in the area, and this helps to keep the food fresher with a little less people running around. The food is a little varied, but after a while you will recognize the most, but is it a lot to choose from.
3 A lá carte restaurants (Meat, fish, oriental) are available in the hotel. We stayed for 2 weeks, and got 6 “tickets” to these restaurants. You have to reserve a table maybe 2 days before, otherwise its full. (But not physically, they only uses 50% of the capacity for some reason). We tried the all once, but since you need to reserve a table long before, the table reservation guy was the only of the staff that was not very nice, the food was not better than the buffé we didn’t bother any more, so we ate in the buffé mostly.

Drinks:
For breakfast fresh juices are available in a machine. Water and coffee is served at the table.
For lunch and dinner drinks is served at the table. (Cola, wine and so on)
Alcohol drinks and cola and so on is available all day in the pool bar and at the beach. When the pool bar closes at 6pm, another bar opens in the pool area 20 mtrs away.

Beach:
The beach is located maybe 50 meters from the end of the living area, and max 100 meters from the reception. You just walk through the hotel area, and the over a pond, on a little bridge to the beach. No road to cross, so it is very good and fast to access the beach.
The sand here is not the perfect white sand you see in a perfect postcard, it is more a regular beach. This applies the whole Playa Dorada area. It is a bit windy, and seems to always be like that, but it is nice with some wind when the sun is shining.
The free water sports, included in the hotel: We didn´t see much of them.. Maybe 2 plastic canoes and one very narrow sailing boat. No sailing catamaran or pedal boat.
Some a little bit annoying salesmen on the beach, desses,tshirts and LocalTalk souvenirs. But they are not a problem, and accept a "no thank you".

Summary: A very nice total experience, and nice with no kids running around. I would choose the same hotel again.


General info:
You can go on trips and so on, but since it is all inclusive you probably will spend time on the area, so remember to bring some good books/magazines.

Wifi is not included. Price ex:25hrs 25$, 60$ for one week. Works all over the hotel area except from the beach.

A small shopping center is available 150meters from the hotel, with pharmacy and more.

Most people sometimes gives some tips to the restaurant people and the bell boy and so on. Also on the trips.

“Playa Dorada” is a kind of “gated community” along the beach with around 15 all inclusive hotels and a golf course.
“Purto plata” is the closest town. It is just a few kilometers away. Or even closer.

Taxi
Taxi is relatively expensive to be here. 30 Dollar to go to and back to Puerto plata. But for 50 dollars you get a 3-4 hours tour of the town, where you also visit the Brugal rum factory, Puerto Plata cableway that takes you up on the mountain, 800 mts. (Ticket for the cableway not included. The 50 dollars is for the taxi. You will also get a “free” guide on the tour, but he will need a tip)

Trips
Diving (sold inside the hotel area, by the pool): We went to Sousa for diving/snorkeling. This was a good trip, especially the snorkeling was very good! Coral reefs with really a lot of colorful fish. Feed them with bread/banana and they will eat out of your hand. My girlfriend took the 1 tank dive, there it was not so much to see. But the rest of the group took the 2 tank dive, and the second dive was better. Prices: Snorkeling: 30$, 1 tank dive: 50$.

Offroad/quadbike tour 3hrs. (Sold on the beach.) This trip I cannot recommend, due to low quality and safety. The off-road buggies and quad bikes had no silencers, the chairs was loose, they had no starter battery, so the crew (mostly kids) had to run around with a separate car battery to start them and so on. So the quality and safety score was extremely low. Where I come from, these vehicles had been sent to the scrapyard 5-10 years ago. We also expected a “soft” tour along the beach, but is is really off-road on dirt roads with mud holes and so on, so if you decide to go anyway, take very resistant and inexpensive cloating. And bring earplugs. But is was fun anyway. Price 50-90$.

Horseback-riding: (Sold on the beach.) My girlfriend took 2 of these trips. One along the beach and one in the mountains, where they allegedly recorded the Jurassic Park movie. These trips was fun. No helmets available. Price 30$ per tour.

Weather
We were there in the first half of January. The weather was not very stable, some clouds in the mornings and rain maybe every second or third day. But, often it was for maybe 1-2 hrs, then it was sun again. Remember to bring sunscreen.

Cash/currency
All prices around the hotel and the trips and so on is in Dollars. No use to bring the local currency Dominican Pesos. To enter the country a fee of 10 dollars or 10 Euro is paid at the airport.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Magnus R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We enjoyed our stay despite having to change rooms 3 times. The first room reeked of cigarettes, the second had woodpeckers (I kid you not) living on the roof who woke us up at dawn. The third room was finally a charm. The beach is nice although I prefer the Caribbean side of the island and there are several nice pools. The food is ok, nothing to write home about but was fresh and abundant. Nicest touch was the bar service on the beach. Waiters come frequently and take your drinks orders. Good place to come if you are looking for a bargain.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fheller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

This was our second trip to Blue Bay, and we will definitely be returning, hopefully for 2 weeks (met a German couple who were there 5 weeks- very jealous!).
There was so much right about the resort, and the price is certainly right. We went for the gold deluxe package, and for the marginal cost there are so many advantages- bigger room, free wi-fi, champagne breakfast, 15% off spa treatments (his and hers deep tissue massages were excellent).

Resort:
Grounds were beautiful and very well maintained. Three pools- one spa, one sports and one with swim up bar for the party crowd. Plenty of lounge chairs. Pools were always clean despite rowdy crowd. Any plastic cups were put there by careless guests/drinkers.
Beach was a short walk over a beautiful white bridge away from the pool area. There were plenty of huts and beach chairs. The morning sun rises over the water, and disappears over the resort at dusk. Seaweed that drifts ashore is cleaned up every morning.

Rooms:
Rooms and furniture are a little dated, but adequate. There are no dressers, but extra large closets have shelf units. Showers are large enough for two, but sometimes water pressure is limited.

Food:
The food was good and plentiful. For breakfast you could order eggs any way at the grill. The breads were baked fresh on site every morning and were delicious.
Lunch had a pasta station along with a variety of meat. fish and vegetable dishes.
For dinner we did 3 a la cartes, the New Years eve and New Years Day special buffets and 2 regular themed buffets. Each dinner had a special carving.of ham, beef, fish, turkey, etc.
For lunch, because we were always at the beach, we enjoyed the beach grill- especially the fried chicken.
Every buffet had a selection of cheeses, salads, cold cuts and especially local fruits including pineapple, bananas and passion fruit. There were also fresh baked desserts- the selection on New Years Eve was to die for!

Staff:
All staff from Inez (general Manager) to the cleaning staff were very friendly and helpful. Waiters in the buffet and a la cartes provided quick efficient service. We always tipped after meals and for drinks because its the right thing to do, and it was very much appreciated.. It always surprises us that so many go to an all inclusive resort and forget the common courtesy of tipping for services rendered. Try not tipping in North America!

Conclusion:
There are lots of negative comments on here, but I say read between the lines- it is people expecting a 5*resort for a 3*price. These are people with expectations of luxury and gourmet cuisine- if that's all that's important go spend $4000+ for a week at another resort. Blue Bay gives great service and amenities at a reasonable price. We certainly got the feeling they were trying and doing their best to please. Enjoy it!

Room Tip: Building 7 or 8, facing spa pool- get a patio or balcony room
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

If you want 5 star, you have to pay for it. This trip we decided not to pay for it, but we still had a great time. This place is average. The place is clean with a very short 2 minute walk down a pat to the beach. The beach bar is open 24 hours with both food and drinks. The food was good, did not have a bad meal, but not outstanding. If you want to sit at the resturants, you must book early, however the buffet was perfectly fine. Bars are not top shelf but again, this is not a 5 star place. The rooms were small, but average for what you paid for. I recommend the balcony if you go during the rainy season so you have a place other than the covered areas around the pool to sit outside when it starts raining. Wait staff and hosts were friendly and funny. If you tip, they will remember you! Hotel offers free taxi from 11pm-3am (you have to say until 3am) to a "disco" for night time dancing (just around the corner). Activities all during the day. Remember to bring cash if you plan to leave- taxis are a little pricey but worth the trip out for a few adventures. Overall, I felt like I got what I paid for at this place. No complaints (except the safe in the room didn't work) and no outstanding statements. A good deal for the price!

Room Tip: Get a room with a balcony
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dickter8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

I had purchased a Groupon for a few days in Oct. 2011 at BlueBay Villas Doradas. When I arrived at the resort, they tried to say that the Groupon thing had fallen through and they wouldn't honor the Groupon. Then I whipped out the many emails I had from corresponding with a member of their staff that contradicted what they were saying at the moment and, well, let's just say they honored the Groupon.

The lobby is beautiful and the general grounds are well-kept. Rooms -- not so much. Reminiscent of seedy "hourly" motels. Bed similar to what can be seen in the Flintstone cartoons. One could find cleaner linens and seating in a Cambodian hospice. In order to get a superior room you must be a member of very pricey vacation club. The TV seems so so outdated, it makes you feel like you traveled back in time. Lobby "gift shop" has a few articles of clothing. They charged $30 for a tube of sunscreen and an outdated GQ magazine. I recommend you skip buying anything at the actual resort. $9/HR for WiFi access!! TIP: A 2 minute walk to the nearby "Plaza" gets you a cheaper, wider array of gifts/souvenirs and FREE WiFi!!! =D -- You can ask the front desk where "the Plaza" is. They'll point you in the right direction. The grounds are clean and there are a few pools to choose from. One of them has a swim-up bar. The spa area pool is better than the other pool areas; quieter.

Our first room had a cracked/broken window. After a quick call to the front, we were moved to another room, w/o incident. Strange stains in the bathroom: vomit in room 1; dried blood?/tomato sauce? in room 2. The tap water is 'non-potable'; The minibar was "free" for first night and it included a gallon of water + 2 beers + 2 sodas. There was cable: Playboy channel is free (an observation made by my boyfriend); other good channels include: NYC news & HBO. The in-room safe is $3/day.

This is an "adults only" resort. No kids allowed: big plus (for couples that prefer no little ones around). More of a senior, topless sunbathing crowd: Big minus. Young and active, adventure seekers need not apply -- this resort is perfect for people that want to just lounge ...

We didn't care for the food at this all-inclusive resort. My boyfriend's thoughts on this particular subject: "Better food can be found at Guantanamo Bay." and "So this is what it's like to taste my own urine" (after tasting his white wine) ... ... ... Snack bar is open 24hrs on the beach. Food is the same at all the restaurants. No social bars. TIP: Black birds flying around WILL take stuff off your plate. They have no fear! No respect! TIP: Make reservations at resort "reservation only" restaurants two days before you arrive at the hotel. They're booked a week ahead. If you even want to go. We got into El Dorado and it was just like the food at the buffet.

The customer service leaves much to be desired: Staff seems disappointed, annoyed, bored and indifferent; Most of them lack enthusiasm. Like they haven't had a happy pill in years. Some staff (Yellow Shirts) are reminiscent of New Orleans street hustlers. Very aggressive soliciting. They will hound you the entire time you're there to take the "timeshare tour" --- hold your ground. Don't give in like I did. They'll hold you hostage until you either give in or die trying to escape!

Overall: I wouldn't come here again. The 'beauty' of this place stops at the decor. Everything else: rooms, food, staff, customer service even the surrounding animals - range from poor to average, at best ... For the Groupon price I was able to get ($240 for 4 nights, which is 1/2 of what the average cost was for this time of year) it was easy enough to deal.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelJunkie6420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

My friends and I stayed at this resort for one week at the end of December 2012/ beginning of January 2013. There were 10 of us, ages 25 to 35. Overall we found that the resort was clean, the wait staff and entertainment crew were very friendly and the food was ok.

The Superior Deluxe Garden View Room was very basic - the bed was hard and uncomfortable. There were no dressers to store clothing, but there was ample closet space. There was an iron but no ironing board. The washroom was a decent size but there was no fan. Also, there was a constant loud humming from the air conditioning.

We enjoyed the food at the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner when we first arrived. There was a decent selection including breads, salads, vegetables, meat, fish and fruit; however, we quickly grew tired of the repetitive menu. Lunch was often leftover food from the previous night's buffet dinner. We enjoyed eating at the a la carte restaurants. The food was good with large portions, the restaurants were clean and nicely decorated and the service was excellent.

Playa Dorada was nice. There was a lot of seaweed washed ashore (at no fault of the resort); however, there were cleaners out every morning maintaining the beach. There was always space for our large group to sit together on the beach - the staff never refused when we requested 10 lawn chairs to be set up for us.

The beach vendors were extremely annoying! There were loads of them selling all kinds of junk. They walked by numerous times a day asking if we were interested in jewelry, wooden carvings, cigars, etc.

There isn't much to do on the resort at night. There's no disco and the pools are closed. I wouldn't advise leaving the resort at night unless you are accompanied by a large group. CoCo Bongo's is a small bar/club located in the plaza next to BlueBay Villas Doradas. There's no entrance fee, the music is good but the drinks are expensive. There is free shuttle service from the resort to Pure Nightclub and Casino Dream at 11 p.m. (pick up at 3 a.m.) - only a 5 minute car ride away.

Puerto Plata is run down and dirty, although the residents appear to be content.

We had a fun vacation and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but I likely won't return to Puerto Plata.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sonia1785
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only

Property: BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only
Address: Calle Principal Complejo Playa Dorada nr 538, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#1 Business Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only 4*
Number of rooms: 244
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

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