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“I can't wait to come back”

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Greenland, New Hampshire, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“I can't wait to come back”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Previous reviews made me nervous about the groupon deal that we booked, but I am glad that we didn't listen to them. I went with my friend, a single girls tropical vacation, and we had an amazing time.
Our room was in the 42 building and I have no real complaints. Our fridge was well stocked and we had more than enough towels for the 2 of us. The beds weren't the most comfortable ever but when we asked, we were given extra mattress pads over the mattress. I actually appreciated all of the stairs because we overindulged on food and fruity rum drinks...so the exercise was welcome! We did utilize the shuttle service at times, which was as good as any "public" transportation can be I suppose.
A representative found us on the morning of our 2nd day there. We were already interested in the VIP upgrade but didn't know what it entailed exactly. I enjoyed the tour and found our rep to be very helpful. I have to admit, I was sold when we were given pina coladas at Serenity Beach. My friend and I were offered a deal that worked for 2 young single professionals. We obviously aren't going to be shareholders anytime soon and he knew that. It was very reasonable considering we plan on vacationing together in the future. I appreciated the flexibility of the contract. When we start our own familiies, we can branch off to our own contracts. I didn't feel pressured at all.
We had 2 reservations originally, and when we upgraded we were given reservations at the VIP restaurants for the rest of our stay. Honestly, members should have this perk. All of the restaurants were wonderful. Just that perk was worth the upgrade when you consider you would probably be paying $80/person at any of those restaurants normally. The buffets really weren't bad. Sure, they probably would have gotten old after awhile, but there was a great variety at each of them.
Obviously, the service increased when we were upgraded to the gold bands...you get what you pay for. However, we felt the service was more than adequate before the upgrade. We treated the staff with respect and tipped those that deserved it and were treated very well.
I think that the people who gave bad reviews went in expecting to receive VIP service while paying the groupon rate. That is pretty unrealistic...life doesn't really work like that. I would have had a wonderful vacation whether we upgraded or not. I am very happy we did though. We will certainly be coming back and also will be planning vacations to the other parts of the world that we now have access to. I do highly suggest this resort and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Rachel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Fort Frances On.
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

After reading such horrific reviews I actually tried to change my resort but was unable to. Now I realize I had nothing to worry about. We traveled through Nolitours and did upgrade to a Jr. Suite, which talking to many people I would say is a must do. The Jr. Suites are very large, bathroom is massive with separate toilet, separate shower, jacuzzi tub, and double sinks. The beds are comfortable but to say bouncy is an understatement. The fridge was only filled 1 day, but that kind of stuff doesn't bother me. I saw the guy in the hallway, asked him to restock it and he did. The balcony had real aluminum chairs, not the cheap plastic ones. Only real complaint about the room is the lack of dresser. Again, we were in a Jr. Suite., which with Nolitours are near the beach.I understand the standard rooms are very dates and more up the hill where we did notice the bad smells sometimes while walking. Spend the extra $$$ and upgrade and save yourself a week of complaining. The grounds are quite nice. But as many many reviewer have stated there are many stairs. I think we counted 90 stairs from our room to the lobby. Not all at once as the resort is on levels. Climb 20 stairs get to a pool, climb 13 more stairs get to another pool, climb 15 more stairs get to buffet ...etc. So plan which restaurant and what pool you want first thing in the morning. We did prefer walking down the beach then going up to the tropical section of the resort. We found the pool over there and the surroundings to be more our style. Less of the party type over there.
Food was your average all-inclusive. Nothing fantastic, but definitely not horrible. But if you're planning on having a good feed of seafood think again. We didn't see any seafood all week except for the lobster tail at the welcoming party that was terrible. As for the welcoming party, it was what I looked forward to the most. Turned out to be a HUGE disappointment. They tell you the first bus picks you up at the lobby at 6:45. We were then and when we arrived we were about a football field away from the stage show and the food. Obviously people were there a long time before us. There was little food left and what was was cold and not good. There are no restaurants or buffets open that night as all the resources are used at the party, so I left hungry. Aside from that little party everything was good. We sat around and asked ourselves how people could complain so much and terrify everyone. Trust me, its not that bad for the average winter vacationer. Maybe the 4.5* is a little high but if you get a good deal and are able to climb stairs then absolutely come here.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bjbing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walton, New York
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We traveled here in May of 2012 with family and friends. We found the resort to be HUGE and quite beautiful, however the rooms were in desperate need of repair. Broken window, air conditioner and refrigerator in our room alone. Ants seemed to be a real problem in every room we encountered. Over all we had fun and made the best of things. The time share sales people were annoying and did not take no for an answer. The other employees at this resort were friendly and helpful. Maria who was our expedia rep was exceptional! If you do decide to go to this resort, make sure you upgrade before hand. We tried to after we arrived and were told it wasn't possible unless we bought into the time share.

Room Tip: upgrade before you go!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank tbck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

My husband and I booked our trip via cheap Caribbean. This was our first time to the dominican. We are avid mexico travelers and had our destination wedding there a few years ago. We have also traveled to jamaica and the bahamas. We were just looking to get away for some sun and relaxation for a good price. When backing out the air from our package we were paying about $25 a day for the resort itself. I am an avid trip advisor follower when researching vacation ideas. So I saw the good, bad, and the ugly as far as reviews go. We knew the potential areas of concern prior to going.

We flew out of Philadelphia with a layover in Miami on American airlines. The flights were perfect. No issues with timing or baggage, etc... Once we landed we're found Olympus tours that took us straight to the resort. The drive was only about 30 minutes and was fun. We met a couple from Vermont on the bus ride that had been to this resort two other times and never had any major issues other than getting sick once.

Check in was simple. There were only about five couples checking in at the same time. The concierge offered us a welcome drink prior to checking in. Once at the counter, the lady checking us in just performed her job without any extra enthusiasm. (This attitude was what we encountered most of the time from the resort staff.) She made copies of our passport, gave us our three dinner reservations, room cards, towel cards, yellow wrist band, etc... Our previous experiences with check in have generally been more friendly and welcoming.

Then we were taken to our room. Building 42 was closer to the beach and lower level pools. We were fortunate in that we had the updated orange themed room. It was beautiful upon a quick glance. Once the bell hop left from the room we started noticing some flaws. The walls had some cracks, decorative bedding had green stains, orange chair had several large dark stains, paint touch ups were done in a different color, and we didn't have any towels. When my husband called to get towels he got an attitude on the other side of the phone. Within about a half hour we had towels....but never did we have wash cloths. I also immediately checked for bugs in the bed and didn't see anything that would cause concern. Oh, and we had two double beds instead of a king. The bathroom was beautiful and had no major issues. The walls were very thin between rooms. All of this did not bother us too much as we can typically roll with the punches. We figure we are only in the room to sleep, shower and change. Fortunately for us, we had hot water all week, except the morning we left. The water pressure was also fine during the week. The air conditioner worked fine and the power only went out once during our eight day stay.

We had dinner the first night at the Dominican restaurant. It was really good. Service was also very good. The other restaurant we ate at was Johnny's and again the food and service were excellent. There were a lot of empty table at the a La carte restaurants. We heard a VIP member saying that because members did not have to make reservations, the restaurants would keep several tables open in order to accommodate them. The other nights we ate at either buffet, the beachside barbecue, or the welcome party. The dinner buffets were good. The variety changed slightly from night to night. We preferred the Casablanca buffet on the tropical side of the resort. It had a better lay out of food and tables. The breakfast buffet got old after a few days. My husband and I tried to change up what we were eating so the monotony of breakfast would not get too bad. The lunch buffet at the Pearl offered a wide variety and selection. We typically ate lunch down by the activity pool. There was a snack area where you could get burgers, hot dogs, pasta, fruit, etc... The variety did not change much here. The welcome party buffet area was large and extremely crowded. I did not eat anything because it was too hard to get anything without other guests running into you. My husband had some pasta that was just okay. I thought there would be multiple buffets scattered around to service all few thousand guests. The one night at dinner we were told we could not have water because they had no more glasses. Overall...the food was good. Things we ate had flavor and we enjoyed. I did get sick one day from undercooked eggs.

The drinks were really not that good. After a day, my husband was drinking straight rum just to trying to get a buzz. The drinks at VIP beach were amazing. We hung out here for a day and a half. The service was great at this beach with chairside service. (this is the type of service we r used to all around the resort).

The grounds of the resort were beautiful. The beach was stunning. It was raked everyday. The entertainment staff was great! The evening shows were decent. There wasn't as many activities during the day as my husband is used to. I prefer to relax in the sun, but he likes to play pool volleyball, horseshoes, etc... Not once was a game of pool volleyball started.

The cofresi side of the resort was very spread out with a ton of hills / stairs. We did not mind the exercise at all but we saw many people struggling. The resort does offer shuttle service to guests. This along with the VIP golf carts can get a little dangerous at times as they speed around the resort grounds.

The spa was great. We had side by side body scrubs and massages. It was a great way to relax!

Our biggest complaint were the spring breakers. We booked this resort because on cheap carribean's website it clearly states that no one under the age of 23 is allowed at the resort without a legal guardian. We knew going away in march that we would see spring breakers at the airports, on the planes, etc... But the groups of drunk careless teenagers was outrageious. Thankfully there were no spring breakers in either room next to us.

The timeshare sharks were a pain. The first morning my husband told a guy off saying that we were there to relax not to buy a time share. We didn't need someone to give us a tour of the resort and to tell us what areas we could use or could not use. The resort map booklet states which areas are for members only and we enjoy roaming around the resort to find things ourselves. By a few days in we just told the sharks that we already did the tour and then they were friendly to us.

Overall....we would go back to the Dominican but probably not to this resort. We enjoyed our stay. The service has a long way to come in order to really compete with Palace resorts, Secrets resorts, or Dreams resorts (where we typically stay).

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank traveling-em81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed at the Cofresi Palm last week during the typical "Spring Break" time of the year. Being a little nervous that some college students would be out of hand, we were extremely pleasantly surprised at how relaxing, but fun our vacation was. The hotel takes certain precautions to ensure that no one comes in huge groups to take over the resort and ruin your vacation. Our room was subpar, but if you want to get the most of your vacation, you won't be spending much time there! Parts of the Cofresi did emit a suspicious smell, so we spent the majority of our vacation at The Tropical which was less than a 5 minute walk from our room. The hotel was much nicer there, better food, closer to the ocean, and a really fun pool area. The entire Animation Team made sure there was never a dull moment. Choco Choco, John Cena, Jhony Bravo, Poochy, Lenny Kravitz, Tahiti, and Michael Jordan all made sure everyone was having a great time and hosted many fun events. At night we usually went to the Colosseum which hosted a show similar to a Vegas show with dancing girls and the Animation Team that kept us laughing the whole time. I recommend scheduling your vacation over a Sunday because the welcome party was definitely the best night of the whole trip including great food and drinks, fun entertainment, and great service. I definitely will be coming back for more!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ali P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 15, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed for 5 nights at the Cofresi Palms Resort. We purchased the deal on Groupon. For the price we payed, we have no complaints. However, I would definitely not pay full price. The room was average, water worked and was usually hot, fridge didn't cool much but it wasn't a big deal. I did meet some other guests during my stay that had greater issues such as Mosquito infested rooms and water leakage issues. So I could understand their frustration.
We got there Sunday night just in time for the VIP party. They have this welcome party every Sunday night and everyone is invited. It was extravagant and lavish to say the least. Good food and great entertainment. Of course all inclusive means unlimited drinks (alcoholic and non) however we did find that the drinks were probably watered down. I got mixed drinks throughout my entire stay and didn't feel a buzz not one night. Not even when I drank 4 drinks. Which on any other night would put me right to bed. The drinks were still tasty though. Beer and wine is probably safe since you can't really mess that up.

The most annoying part of the trip was definitely the sales pitch when they attempted to get us to buy the VIP membership. A gentleman approached us on our first morning and told us be was going to give us a tour of the resort and all the pools, etc. Little did we know we were signing up for a 3 hour sales presentation where they show you the villas, gourmet VIP restaurants and everything else. Membership costs 50,000. Of course everything was beautiful but we declined which he was not very happy about. He then offered us a "student package" for 5,000 leaving 3,200 down payment that same day. We declined that as well. At this point I wanted out because I had yet to even dip my toes in the pools or beach, which hello! that's what I came for! Not a half day presentation!! And luckily I declined because I later googled it and found complaints board full of people who regret buying the membership. So just say NO! tell them you are not interested and end it before it even starts. You will enjoy those three hours at the beach rather than trapped at a table with a pushy car salesman!

Restaurants were overall good. They have two international buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ate there every morning and didn't get tired of it during our stay. For dinner you can eat at a la carte restaurants that you have to make reservations for, which is a bust. We were put at the same restaurant twice, which wasn't bad but we would have liked to try something different. The Brazilian steakhouse was good though.

The beautiful pool beds and canopies are pretty much off limits. Selfish people "book" their beds the night before by leaving towels, shirts, or anything they have and leave it there overnight. The earliest we made it up one day was at 8am and they were already taken. Not by human bodies but my shirts and towels. So don't expect to use those at all. There is still plenty of chairs though and other areas where you can expect to lounge. The resort itself is gorgeous though, awesome poolside bars and even Hugh Heffner style cave bars in the water. Just neat looking stuff.

Overall the service was great, at least we didn't experience any problems. And again, for a group on deal it wasn't bad. I wouldn't mind going again but wouldn't want to pay much more than what wet payed.

Room Tip: Rooms by the bar are very loud at around 2am when everyone is leaving.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaritzaR767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

I cannot even express how disappointed I am that Groupon is even offering this deal.

1) The accommodations are supremely SUB-PAR to what was shown in the pictures. We had no hot water, and in one of our rooms the actual faucet fell off of the wall.

2) The resort itself is one big timeshare scheme. They HOUND you at breakfast until you go with them. I mean hound you, we hadn't even finished and there was some guy all over us asking our names.

The timeshare thing is all for the VIPs, who get to use everything, they advertise something like 14 restaurants, we got to eat at 3 regularly because "all of the reservations for dinner were full, which was so untrue because there were open tables.

There was also a VIP party on Sunday night. There was promise of lobster...it tasted like it had been blended and sprayed with Windex.

The entire staff pretty much ignores if you if you have a yellow wristband on (the one Groupon people have to wear)

3) Then entire resort smells horridly of feces. Maybe it's the cheap PVC piping they use for their drainage.

4) The food was horrid. Who wants to eat "Salami Stew" for breakfast? 3 out of the 4 of us got sick from it. And we barely drank the alcohol because what was the point when they watered drinks down so badly.

DO NOT STAY HERE!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kikikarpus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managementteam55, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this review, March 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are really sorry that we did not meet your expectations, anyhow we appreciate that you took your time to write this review.
Your comments are taken very seriously, we will use it to improve our product and we apologize for not being able to help you, enjoy your vacation.
We appreciate your observations which are treated with the utmost interest, since we believe that this is the best way to know what specific points we must focus our attention to improve in all aspects.

Best Regards,

The Management
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 Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort

Property: Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Address: 1 Paradise Drive | Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Be Live Grand Carey)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 468
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort – Dominican Republic is the newest jewel in the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. Nestled along the Cofresi beach shores, and overlooking the sparkling Caribbean sea, this resort caters to the luxurious enjoyment of both families and couples looking for that perfect getaway. With 468 well-appointed accommodations that range from Adult Only Spa Suites, to Standard family friendly rooms located in a quite setting between the ocean beach and spectacular pool, this is a paradise worthy of the Lifestyle name. The resort was created with space and comfort in mind, making Cofresi Palm a relaxing, enjoyable and satisfying experience for all guests and their families. All rooms have air conditioning, cable television, phones, and ceiling fans, while the decor has a distinctive design, featuring dark wood furnishings. Shaded patios and verandas provide a relaxing place to gather in some of the units. Providing both service and features that are standard for a Lifestyle property, the Cofresi Palm offers a unique luxury accommodations experience. Cofresi Palm provides the easy, relaxed ambiance of the Caribbean in an opulent and elegant setting. Experience the array of beauty and excitement that Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Village Puerto Plata
Sun Village Hotel Cofresi
Dominican Republic Sun Village
Sun Village Dominican Republic
Sun Village Spa
Sun Village Resort Dominican Republic
Sun Village Resort Puerto Plata
Sun Village Beach Resort
Sun Village Resort Spa Puerto Plata

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