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“The perfect resort for us”

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BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only
Ranked #3 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed February 2, 2014

All in all an excellent vacation at a great resort. Although the resorts on average may be a bit nicer at Punta Cana than Playa Dorado at Puerto Plata, we had a great week-long stay at Bluebay and would give it 5 stars for the Puerto Plata / Playa Dorado area for a great price. The resort itself was pretty much as described on their website and in the reviews we read. The food was quite good (but not excellent) and plentiful. The bars in the hotel were quite good, with nice, responsive staff who definitely took care of you with a few dollars tipping each day. The alcohol was not “top shelf”, but was nonetheless quite good. The mojitos in particular were great (unless they ran out of mint by the end of the shift!).

Bluebay has the best beach and beach location on Playa Dorada. It is on the very eastern end and the beach turns kind of south-facing there. The sand is nice and the beach broad, with good swimming out front and a good supply of comfortable beach lounges. The snorkelling right at the hotel is not very good, as the water is cloudy from the wave action. However, a 20-minute walk along the beach to the east had nice live coral and fish with less cloudy water within an easy snorkel from the beach.

There were quite a few activities going on at the pool area, but we did not take part in many of them, but those who did seemed to enjoy them quite a bit. The Anamacion team were fun, personable and kept things going. Although a few reviews mentioned some “adult activity” going on around the pool after hours, we saw none of that. The clientele seemed to be about 50% European, 25% Canadian and 25% American, which was a fun mix. They have daily Spanish lessons, bike tours, games, pool Olympics, etc.

We did not take any of the hotel-sponsored tours. The people who did do them said they were good, but they are very expensive for what you get and like all tours of that sort you are trapped into a half day or full day of doing only what is on their agenda. You can nearly always find a much better price for doing the same kind of thing on your own. For instance, a taxi from the hotel to Sosua is $60 for the day (but the taxi driver is yours for the day), but a bus from the highway (a 10 min walk away) into Sosua or Puerto Plata is about $1, and the exact same tour groups can be negotiated in town for a lot less (friends paid $30 each for the “waterfall tour” in town rather than the $60 at the hotel). But booking things at the hotel is easy, so that might be preferred. I did my open water scuba certification through the group with a booth at the hotel and it was great. The instructor was fabulous and it is a real SSI or PADI certification (you can choose which you want to do; they are equivalent in the end) that includes 4 30-min dives on the reef at Sosua, plus transport and pool lessons.

One fun afternoon excursion from the hotel is to walk 20 minutes east on the beach to the point. There is good snorkelling there and the beaches are gorgeous. There are also two small restaurants/beach bars there not affiliated with any hotels. We had some beers at the Elvis Restaurant run by Mama Rosa. We didn’t have enough cash on us otherwise we would have had some fresh fish or octopus caught on the reef that morning. One word of warning: we had no troubles going or coming back, but we were warned by several people (locals and tourists) that there can be “mafia” on the beach who will try to steal your bag or money, so I’d recommend going in a group and not taking anything more than you need for lunch and beers. Another good excursion is a 20 minute walk west on the beach to the Orange Market, as small collection of stalls selling tourist souvenirs. Be sure to have your bartering hat on!

The rooms were Spartan but clean, with just one piece of furniture and a bed and closet. That is just fine for us, but some people found it a bit barebones. But all our time was spent out of the room except to sleep, so it didn’t matter. The main pool can be a bit noisy at night (they put on shows with music and a microphone until 11 PM), so if you want to get to bed early make sure your room is at the back away from the main pool, or else is down near the spa and spa pool. One other negative we heard was someone in a main floor room having bugs (centipedes) in their room. We were on the second floor. Be sure to ask for a balcony, as not all rooms have them.

All in all an excellent vacation. If we go back to Puerto Plata we’d definitely stay at the Bluebay again. It’s a bit more expensive than Cuba, but the food is far better. And it’s a bit less expensive than Punta Cana, and a lot less expensive than the Mayan Riviera, but the level of luxury is a equivalently lower (which was fine with us). We got good value for our money – everything we were wanting in a resort and nothing extra that we weren’t wanting to pay for. So we give it 5 stars of 5 for what it is. If you want serious luxury, it might not be 5 stars for you.

Room Tip: Any room facing the main pool is quite loud until 11 PM. Not all rooms have balconies, so ask for on...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jrmansfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,192 - 2,198 of 5,844 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2014

We just returned from one week at Blue bay and we loved that it was adults only, no screaming kids, hooray! It was our first time at an adults only but we have been to several other all inclusive resorts in Mexico, Cuba and Dominican. We are a couple in our forties.
It started off not great as we requested a 2nd floor room with a balcony. Well our room did not have a balcony at all even though online it says all rooms have a balcony or terrace. This is not true and I am surprised how other reviewers have not mentioned this! In fact many people we spoke to did not have a balcony or patio. We went to the front desk and I nicely told them that I was not aware that some rooms did not have one and could we please have a room with a balcony or patio any floor. We were quickly shown another room, 4104 which was ground floor with a huge patio. This room was much better as it also had a huge closet. It was quite private too, quiet as it was farther away from the pool and entertainment theatre. We were very happy with the 2nd room, great maid service the whole week(though we do tip everyday)
The food was excellent here, buffet and all 3 a-la-carts! Service was always very good, never had to wait much for anything. I have to eat gluten free and I still had lots to choose from. Drinks were great, my only complaint is the lobby bar is CASH only bar which I seriously have never heard of from an all inclusive resort!! Drinks were about $4-7 and yes they did have the high end liquor there like Baileys. It was empty all week long. I heard it was a new thing, they need to rethink that. Not a good welcome to the resort.
The beach was beautiful, not rocky at all, with lots of palapas and BEDS to lie in. The towel game is played here so you need to reserve your chairs early.Beach bar was 24 hours food and drinks. Some evenings there was a disco there for dancing starting around 11pm until 1 or 2. There is no other disco there which is strange For an adults only resort. Yes there are a lot of vendors on the beach. Be very firm and they will leave you alone. We loved cheapy Willy though.
Pools were nice, and clean IMO. Loved the swim up bar.Lots of activities here and I recommend participating. We just loved the animation crew, especially PEKI ("PEKI broke the bike"- inside joke lol) and LEO! My hubby even won the sushi making competition. I was a close 2nd though. Evening entertainment was awesome, especially the poolside fire and water show! Really great entertainment crew, it is very loud from the rooms so avoid the 1000-3000 rooms as they are extremely close to the theatre. The noise does end by 11 and then the resort is really quiet.
We did book one excursion, through Luis on the beach. He was much cheaper than through the hotel and I recommend bookings through him! We did the waterfall one, only $50 each and includes a wonderful lunch and rum and cokes! This excursion should be listed as extreme though. We were told it was a hike to the falls then you can jump or slide down the rocks, but u didnt have to you can walk down. Water shoes are recommended but u can rent them there for $2. It was a challenging walk, about 30 min.,passing through several creeks with big slippery rocks. Once u are at the 1st waterfall (u wear a life jacket and helmet) you have to swim through beyond freezing water to a wooden ladder, then swing across the rocks with a rope. There are guides to help u. Then you have to either jump from quite high into water or slide down slippery rocks. OR you can come back down the ladder and ropes. No walking down. I had a panic attack when I hit the freezing water so I turned back and sat on the rocks and waited (with another lady Lu, nicest person ever!). Hubby did it, there was 6 more waterfalls after the first one and he said the 1st one was the easiest! But the lunch was great and we were also taken to a local village, cigar making store, plantation, and other great sights so it was great. Just FYI that the waterfall part is not for the faint of heart!
This resort is mostly couples, but there a a good range of ages. The grounds are beautiful and we liked that it was a smaller resort. Be careful not be taken in by the concierge or people on the bridge to the beach for their "vacation club" talk (unless you are into that) We were approached about 4 times but we quickly said no and they left us. Another couple we met went to it, not knowing what it was, and they said it was 2 hours of high pressure sales talk. They got nothing for attending.
We would return to this resort as the staff definitely make this place wonderful! We also had great weather, plus 30, except one day in rained until 3pm.

Once we were home, I called my travel agent and she also did not know about some rooms no balconies. She was told we would get 2nd floor with a balcony. So just FYI if a balcony is important to you. Upgrade to a villa if you can. Feel free to message me with questions. :)

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank lovinbrandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

We have just returned from Bluebay as a couple in our 30's. I completely agree with Sharron's review previously. The staff are excellent!! On first impressions it looks nice. Resort is beautiful & we extremely enjoyed the Safari & Dune Buggy trips. The people we met from all over the world were fantastic & met some friends for life. All in all an enjoyable holiday & inexpensive for Carribean. Loved the waitresses at night, Becky in particular!
The negatives are these plastic cups & chairs. I felt over dressed at night for this reason. There were a severe shortage of ashtrays so people had no choice to use cups with water. These were then cleaned & re-used. Yuk!
The first room we were allocated was extremely outdated & certainly not 4 star. It was also crawling with ants in the bathroom. The reception staff did listen to our concerns & we got moved to an upgraded room the next again day. This was a room without a balcony.
There are so many different types of rooms & villa's. We were charged the same as friends with huge, beautiful rooms with balcony.
We also paid 120 dollars to get our mini bar stocked up for a fortnight. It was only stocked 8 days out of the 14. This should be included in price!
The Spa area is much nicer, but no alcohol served at all.
If I can give you any tip at all avoid the pools, particularly the swim up pool bar. We witnessed people drinking there all day without going to the toilet (yip, releived themselves in pool!) then they would chuck their fag ends in the pool. The water levels were never tested once, confirmed by other holiday makers! There was algae in the pools & cracked tiles!
Surprise, surprise, ear infections were rife!
2 young men ended up in hospital with severe ear infections costing £3,500 upfront in medical fees! One of them was deemed unfit to fly so still stuck there for another week.
My partner picked up ear infection 2 days prior to departure so we went to pharmacy. He got treated with anti-biotics & ear drops which only cost 30 dollars. When we returned home we got an emergency app at docs who told us that he had a serious bacterial infection spreading to his face. The doc said 9 times out of 10 this is caused by a dirty pool and algae! He is now on a 10 day course of anti-biotics & might need hospital attention. A complaint has been lodged with First Choice.
Remember to be courteous to the beach vendors! They are so lovely & some people were so rude to them. They are just doing their job & they appreciate a water from time to time.
Unfortunately won't ever go to a Bluebay hotel again.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We visited this resort two years ago but unfortunately since our last visit I feel this hotel can no longer be classed as a four star. I'll start with the good points before voicing my concerns. The staff at this resort are some of the friendliest I have met at an all inclusive resort especially Pablo at the beach bar who always welcomed us with a smile and Loretta who also served us at night in the beach bar who had excellent customer service skills and was always smiling. The entertainment staff worked really hard and we're always happy and smiling. The food in the main buffet restaurant was always good and a good variety was always on offer. Unfortunately this is where my positives end and my negative view starts. Upon arrival our room still had the dirty bedding on and used products scattered around the room so we had to wait around one and a half hours for it to be cleaned not a good start after a nine hour flight. In the first week alone we had to get them to the safe in the room twice eventually they took it out and replaced it with a different one, the hair dryer had to be repaired, the door cards had to be replaced, phone in the room never worked to try and ring reception so we had to trail down every time we had a problem,no hot water in the evening and during our 3 week stay we were often left just one towel between the two of us, yes if you contacted reception they would bring some to your room but this should not happen in a four star resort. There is a lack of comfy seating around the hotel, the area around the bar at night consists of a small amount of plastic chairs and tables resulting in the guests sitting on the sun beds, the beach bar has no seating at all apart from the walls leading down to the beach as it turns into a restaurant at night so you cannot use the tables and chairs that are used in the day as they are now used by the restaurant. The beach bar would be lovely to sit at on a night if they would invest in some nice rattan furniture and placed opposite the fish restaurant this would be versatile for use during the day and night and I'm sure everyone young and old would welcome, after all when your dressed up on a night in your nice clothes do you really want to sit and drink on a wall? The spa pool used to be somewhere with comfy seating where you could relax and enjoy a nice quiet glass of wine or beer, this no longer happens as you can only serve yourself with hot drinks from a machine or squash. I really feel the management have made a mistake changing this because unless you want to trail all the way through the grounds to the main bar or beach bar that only have one member of staff on, the only other alternative is to go to the bar which I consider to be the only one up to standard at this resort with comfy seating and proper glasses ( which I will rant about in a moment ) but surprise surprise this is a CASH ONLY bar which is the first I have seen out of many all inclusive resorts I have visited. So unfortunately if you don't want to pay out any more money because remember we have already paid for our drinks then you are stuck with plastic chairs and now my main complaint plastic glasses. I have travelled around the world and stayed at hotels with no stars at all but have always been served my drinks at night in a wine or beer glass but not at this resort, for 3 weeks I have had to drink my cocktails,wine,beer even my coffee from paper or plastic cups and glasses . I have no problem at all using plastic glasses and paper cups during the day at the pool and beach bar but when I'm dressed up on a night I do feel I'm old enough and mature enough to be trusted with a proper glass after all there are no children running around and it is after all a four star hotel ? You can only have a proper glass when you are in one of the restaurants with your meal and after that you have no chance. We did get a glass a couple of times when we asked for one at the beginning of the holiday but then we were refused and told plastic only. I feel the management are trying to cut corners by reducing staff, closing drinking areas, not providing adequate seating or providing the lack of relevant equipment which could easily be rectified but in doing so are losing the customers they rely on. I will unfortunately not be returning to this hotel again as it's the simple things in life that make my stay enjoyable and not having to complain about glasses and seating.







Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Sharron O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela V, Public Relations Manager at BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2014

Dear Guest,

On Behalf of Bluebay thanks for spending your holidays in our lovely hotel!

I have reviewed your comments with the staff, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience, we feel we provide good value and quality.
We appreciate your feedback, which helps us get better.

Best Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

The location is great, within a security gated section of coast containing a number of modest-sized hotels. Outside the resort are landscaped lawns, a golf course and small shopping mall. The hotel is on the best part of the beach and has immaculate gardens, laid out with a village-type feel. Access to the beach is via a short walkway past lily ponds with fountains. There are three swimming pools, one with a swim-up bar. The resort is all-inclusive through First Choice. Food is fine, with a good choice and well presented and there are three speciality bookable restaurants. Just two small things would make it perfect. First, although our room was of a good size, there was very little storage for clothes - just a wardrobe and a very small three-drawer chest. The other thing that bothered us was that the rooms do not have net curtains so all ground floor rooms have their curtains permanently closed to stop passing guest from looking in.
Best of all, check out the price. You simply cannot do this quality of Caribbean holiday for anything like this money. Highly recommended. Our second visit and not our last.

Room Tip: We asked for and got a quiet room so were away from the entertainment and had fewer guests passing o...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela V, Public Relations Manager at BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2014

Dear Guest,

On behalf of Bluebay thanks for spending your holidays in our lovely hotel!
Your kind comments will help us get better in the future.

We look forward welcome you back soon!

Best Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at blue bay for our honeymoon and just returned last week. We had a lovely time, the accommodation is modern and clean, the rooms are spacious and most of the staff are friendly and helpful.

It's a great resort if you want to spend time as a couple or get involved with the animation team and play some games - we did a bit of both. We often went down to the beach on an evening which was very peaceful but close enough to get drinks from the beach bar! On other evenings we would watch the shows or join in with the karaoke. My husband played volleyball sometimes during the day as well - but if we didn't want to join in we weren't pressured. The music is fairly loud but it helps give the pool bar a bit of a party atmosphere and they don't really turn it up until about 3pm in the afternoon.

The sun beds were in high demand around the pool which meant we couldn't always get near an umbrella which was a problem for my husband as he has very fair skin.

The food was great - always lots of choice in the buffet restaurant and something for everyone. We ate at the Chinese and steak al a carte restaurants also which were pleasant but not amazing. Rafael one of the waiters went the extra mile in greeting us every morning and taking an interest in what we were doing each day.

We did 4 excursions which were booked with Thompson before we left the UK - outback safari, ocean world, puerto plata city tour & cable car and horse riding. All of the excursions included transfers to and from the hotel and were well organised. The only one we were a little disappointed in was the city tour - the whole day was very rushed from one place to another and for a 'full day' activity we were back at the hotel for 3.15pm.

Our only other disappointments were the lack of clean beach towels at the hotel. Almost every time we went to replace them at the little market towel exchange they didn't have clean replacements. We ended up keeping the same towels for up to 3 days at a time. Also the cleaner would regularly take the dirty towels from our room but forget to bring clean replacements. This was rectified with a quick call to housekeeping.

The reception staff really let the resort down. We reported a few problems and nothing was resolved first time. There was never an apology or a smile with their service.

Overall though we had a fantastic honeymoon and really enjoyed the resort and local town.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Lucy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela V, Public Relations Manager at BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2014

Dear Guest,

Thanks for your feedback, and for your kind comments, our staff work really hard every single day to keep the hotel in the best conditions.

We look forward to welcome you back soon,

Warms Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

I will start this review off by saying that yes we are members of the vacation club and have been for the past 7 years. Every year it has got better and better-you are treated like family and welcomed home with open arms! Thank you Judith for your assistance this year-champagne always taste better in Puerto Plata! And to George, Mayo, Commando and James Bond-you guys rock! The food was great with lots of choices and the different theme nights in the buffet restaurant were always a great suprise. Some of the staff at the front desk and the buffet restaurant could use a few lessons on manners-actually very rude to my husband-but that isn't enough to stop us from our next visit that we hope will be in March. Beautiful grounds and clean no matter what time of the day or night-best thing of all is no kids! Inez you are doing a great job and thanks for listening to us crazy Canadians! We love it and you will too-just relax, kick back and enjoy the vacation - remember that you are on Dominican time! There will always be something that someone isn't going to like-reviews are like that ! Try it-we did and have never regretted it-get going-book it-there isn't any snow there-I promise!

Room Tip: Upgrade if you can to a villa!
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Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank LindaDB2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela V, Public Relations Manager at BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2014

Dear Guest,

On Behalf of Bluebay Staff thanks for spending your vacations in our lovely property!
We are happy to review that all our efforts are appreciate by our invaluable guests.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 Business Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $96 - $270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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