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“WOULD WE COME BACK?”

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
New Haven, Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“WOULD WE COME BACK?”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Have a seat as this will be long but hopefully insightful;
My husband and I have gone on extensive vacations as a couple and now over the past 10 years with our daughter. We go yearly and primarily stayed in 5 star resorts so this was a downgrade for us but we could not beat the price. I got an email for a cheap, cheap rate and began reading the reviews daily until we let, needless to say I was a wreck and second guessing our decision.
Our roundtrip flight was nonstop and had no probles at either airport. Checkin was smooth and we arrived too early. We packed a change of Summer clothes into our carry-on and changed upon arrival. Then ventured off to lunch, came back at 1:00 and our Junior Suite room was ready. DO NOT book anything less than this, you will regret it according to these reviews and other travelers we met while there. The room, balcony and bathroom were perfect.
The walls are paper thin, the power does go out every day and we simply needed to reset our clock every night, not a big deal.
The mini fridge is only stocked on your 1st day but following other review tips we tipped a couple of bucks each day and got 6 beers and sodas daily.
Your bath towels are taken every morning (while we were at breakfast) by someone other than your maid, she comes in the afternoon to clean. You need to call for towels daily, they seem to have some comodity on them!
The pools are amazing along with the beaches, although they said the resort was fully booked we had plenty of options on where to hang out. We met great people from all over and our daughter made some new lifetime friends. Exchanging horror stories with these folks was hilarious. We were people watching all day as our resort had a "model" timeshare room and the golf carts arrived every few minutes with the "latest suckers" as we all referred to them. Some got into arguments and an actual fight broke out after a couple spent 5 hrs on the tour and still had been checked in, security had to be called.
Food, we had 1 reservation for the Asian Fusion at 9:30 pm, hello! our daughter is sleeping by then. Guest services was useless throughout the trip. We ended up eating at the buffets which wasn't bad but repetative. We preffered the Casablanca over the Pearl.
The Sunday Welcome Party was amazing, a must attend event. Thursday night is the Street festival and Bravisimo show, heard that was good to, did not attend as we needed to pack for our morning departure.
Kids Club; our daughter had a blast, Kudo's to Grace who we loved. She took the kids horseback riding, over to Ocean World and even tennis lessons at no charge. This allowed for some quiet couple time. Grace also ran an 8:00 show for the kids daily before the animation shows at 9:30 those were great too. The animation team was great in the mornings also with choices of activites. We loved Banana and Blackie most.
Bars; plenty of them in the pool and around the beaches. Warning; they serve all drinks in the small 6 or 7 ounce plastic cups. You need 3 cups to equal a can of beer. More experienced people knew to bring their own larger mugs and the bartenders were happy to oblige.
Since the resort is built in the side of the mountain there are many many stairs as other reviewers stated. We saw some serious falls and 1 man even split his head open. I myself triped and bruised my foot for 2 days. I took the golf cart during that time to get around. Ladies, no sense in packing any heeled shoes they'll stay in your suitcase.
My husband said it perfectly throughout the trip, "this place is DEFINITELY not OSHA or FDA approved!
By the way, we got out of the whole tour by simply telling our guide that I need a bottle of champagne brought to our room for our anniversary, handed him $20 and told him to keep the change. He loved us all week and simply said "hola" with a smile and a wave, we got the champagne and no headaches from day 1.
The vendors are not in any main isles or areas, easy to avoid but we did souvenir shop and never pay the price they ask!
Not sure if I forgot anything but feel free to email me with questions. Back to my original question "would we return?" Probably, now that we know how to get around the "quirks" and if we got the same phenominal deal we did. For the price we can actually take another vacation in the Fall.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Diane K
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, April 22, 2013
Dear Guest,

We appreciate the observations concerning the service at the hotel, and we are sorry that we were not able to impress you with some of our services and amenities at the resort.
We are in the business to bring an enjoyable and excellent experience to all of our guests.
The few times that we do encounter an unhappy guest we address the issue immediately and turn the challenge into an opportunity.
We must say that the level of satisfaction obtained concerning the quality and variety of food and drinks has always been very elevated according to the opinions reflected in our satisfaction questionnaires.
Besides, the selection of products that compose our gastronomically supply is done taking into consideration the diversity of the guests who visit us.
We sincerely regret that the quality of the food and beverages offered in our Hotel have not met your expectations after all.
Regarding the dinner reservations, we have a system, that depending on the amount of days of your stay you get pre-assigned reservations up on your arrival, then for the rest of the days you may go to the Guest Service department to make the reservations, other wise we have two big buffet restaurants with huge variety of food.
We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any difficulty you may have experienced during your stay.

Best regards,

The Management
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed April 20, 2013

The people were great, the service was wonderful and the resort itself was outstanding. The places is so big that there was always something to keep you content. Ryan our tour guy was very helpful and nice. The entertainment guy called Banana was entertaining.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank cheeeks5533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
1 review
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Mr. Blacky, Spaghetti, Banana, Mosquito, Super Tino, and Barbie keep this place happening. They keep the guest interested with games and contests. The food is good. Great variety. Very Clean!! The beach view and cabanas are beautiful. Awesome night life. The dancers are fabulous and their costumes bright. They keep you healthy with exercises. The best of the best is the VIP party...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank zumba_mami60946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enola, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

First, I will say that for the price we paid, EVERYTHING was Excellent. I'm not saying that we liked everything about the trip, but can you really complain when you are looking to get the lowest rate? This review may be long, but it will be thorough and will give you an honest idea of what to expect.

We booked our trip for the Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa through CheapCaribbean.com (CC). We got a fantastic rate of $1363... this was the TOTAL price for 6 nights (4/9/2013-4/15/2013) at an all-inclusive for two people INCLUDING round-trip airfare and the hotel/airport transfer. We were really skeptical about such a good price, but we were traveling with friends who had used CC before. So, we booked our vacation and chose the Superior Room (Ocean World NOT included).

My husband and I had gone to Jamaica many years ago to a very inexpensive resort and it was bad. So, our expectations for this trip were set low. I had read some reviews online about the Lifestyles Resorts so I was happy to see some good reviews mixed in with the bad. We had also been to Punta Cana a couple of years ago, so we had some idea of what the Dominican Republic was like and what to expect. We knew that there would be very few employees at the Resort that understand English. Most don't even speak any English or understand any English.

Now I will give you details and suggestions so that you can get the best out of your trip.

AIRPORT TRANSFER

Our CC documents (remember to print out and take that 17+ page PDF they send you!) said that when we got to the Dominican Republic that we would be greeted with someone holding a sign. That was not the case. You come out of the airport (where all of the taxi people hound you) and go to the CheapCaribbean.com/OLYMPUS TOURS stand. They will want your "voucher" for the bus ride to the hotel. This bus ride takes about 30 minutes.

CHECK-IN PROCESS

We were delivered to the Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort. Our room was ready, but our friends' room was not. We had booked at the same time, but under separate names obviously. We had requested our rooms be near each other and they were.

They slap a wrist-band on (which we HATE) and tell you that it's $100 if you lose it. They give you two towel cards and tell you that it's $20 each if you lose them.

THIS IS PROBABLY THE WORST THING ABOUT THIS RESORT... You are guaranteed a certain number of dinner reservations to the a la carte restaurants depending on the number of nights you have booked. We were told we were guaranteed 3. My husband and I got 3, but our friends only got 2. You do not get to choose your restaurant options or times.

You will be approached by a "Concierge" (these are the guys in the white polo shirts with clipboards). They will welcome you and say they will be your concierge for the week and will want to have breakfast with you and give you a tour of the resort in the morning. Unless you want to go on a Timeshare Tour with a sales pitch, AVOID THEM AT ALL COST. They will continue to approach you EVERY morning you go to breakfast, asking if you arrived yesterday (just say no) or if you had been given the resort tour (just say yes). They will leave you alone then. I did hear from various people that took the Timeshare tour that the prices ranged from $10,000 down to $4,500 for several weeks. I don't know if the price was for the same number of weeks, so IF you do want to get a timeshare there, just keep holding out until they get the price down. I also heard they get very rude if you take the tour but don't buy.

If you booked through CheapCaribbean.com, DO go see the Olympus Tour people -- they are in the Orange shirts. They will need to give you your pick-up time for your return flight. They will also tell you not to drink the water in the rooms, but the water in the restaurants and bars is okay. They also tell you not to go onto the beach after 7 p.m. because they are public beaches and there will be no security. And, of course, they will see if you want to buy any excursions but they do not hard sell you anything.

ROOM

We were in room 20725 which is a "Superior" room with a balcony that faces one of the many pools. I think this is one of the older parts of the resort. If you like nice rooms and extra amenities, I would suggest paying a little more to get a nicer room.

Each room had its own air conditioning unit and we had no problem with the A/C. The room is large but SPARSE!! It had 2 small end tables with drawers that weren't deep enough to hold much of anything, another small end table used for holding the TV satellite boxes, a chair, and two ottomans. There was no dresser to unpack clothes and there weren't enough hangers in the closet so we had to leave everything in the suitcases.

There was only a sheet on the bed. I did find a thin blanket on the shelf that you can use. The maids will fold this up every day. It barely covers the king size bed but the sheets don't stay tucked in either.

There were only two towels in the bathroom. It was very difficult to get the front desk and housekeeping to understand that we wanted WASHCLOTHS too. I would recommend learning the Spanish word for washcloths or take your own. They collect the dirty towels in the morning, launder them, and then return them to your room in the afternoon. Sometimes it was after 3 p.m. before we had clean towels.

There is a safe in the room that they recommend you use, but you have to pay to get the key which I was told would be $20 for our stay. That is non-refundable. I just kept everything of value with me all day.

There is a "refrigerator" in the room and they provide you with a couple bottles of water, soda, and beer. They did not refresh this every day. But, at the bottom of the stairs was a water cooler so we could refill our water bottles. This refrigerator does NOT get cold at all.

There are no elevators in these buildings, so if you have trouble with steps, you better ask for a ground floor room.

RESORT

Overall this is a very beautiful resort. It appears to be separated in two "sections".

Section one would be for the everyday people making reservations with rooms at the Cofresi Palm or The Tropical.

The second section is much larger and nicer with rooms in the Presidential Suites, The Crown Suites, The Residence Suites, Center Court, The Royal Villas, Royal Suites, and The Crown Villas. I don't know if you have to already be a member -- a.k.a, timeshare owner/shareholder -- to book one of these rooms or if anyone can pay the extra money for them.

They also tend to treat the guests differently based on the color of wrist-band you are wearing. If you have a generic yellow band, welcome to fourth class. You will be allowed to go to 11 restaurants, 13 bars, 14 pools, and 3 beaches.

Then there are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class wrist-bands that are glittery and labeled with V.I.P. I saw these in red, blue, and gold. I'm not sure what the difference is between the colors, but I think the gold may be for the shareholders. We spoke to a group of people with the blue bands and they said they paid extra for the V.I.P status but really didn't get anything extra for it. They still had trouble getting into restaurants. I think if you have the Gold band you are treated like royalty.

For those with the glittery V.I.P. bands, there are an ADDITIONAL 8 restaurants, 7 Lite Fare Bars, 15 bars, and 3 beaches that you can go to that the fourth-class people can't. Plus, some VIP people get golf carts to use to get around the resort. I don't know if that is for all VIP band colors or just shareholders. And, you CAN'T rent a golf cart.

That kind of made me mad when I saw the glittery bands in the restaurants that we were allowed to go to knowing that they had their own restaurants that we could not go to. The only beach of theirs we could go to was the V.I.P. beach. We just wanted to walk through Harmony Beach as a shortcut but security stopped us because it was for members only.

The COFRESI PALM has A LOT OF STAIRS!! If you have trouble with stairs, you should request a room at The Tropical. Of course, you can wait for a shuttle bus or find an employee with a golf cart to give you a ride.

The lighting around the resort at night is NOT GOOD. TAKE A FLASHLIGHT.

You may be doing a lot of walking between the two resorts, so take comfortable shoes or band-aids for the blisters you will get.

POOLS

There is a main pool at Cofresi which is down by the beach/ocean. This is where the Cofresi Palm Entertainment group will have the activities. They have chairs in the pool and a couple of hammocks hanging. There is a building off to the side (dive shop) where you will give them your towel cards and room number to pick up your towels. There is no swim up pool bar but there is a bar.

There is a main pool at The Tropical where the Tropical Entertainment group will have the activities. Towels can be picked up at the blue and white building (dive shop) by the pool. One section of the pool does have a swim up bar. Biggest problem here is that the pool is only shallow right by the bar and then it gets pretty deep... like 6+ feet. The lounge chairs are on the opposite side and you have to swim with your drinks or get out and walk. The shallow section is not very large, so it can get crowded quick.

The Cofresi Palm has a really cool pool up by the main lobby with a swim up bar under the building so it looks like you are in a cave -- the Aqua Bar. There is also another swim up bar on the other side (Cheers) but sometimes you can wait awhile before being served. These are supposed to be Adult only pools, but some idiots can't read. Why anyone would take their child in an adult only pool by a swim up bar where people are getting drunk and cussing is a mystery. This pool also has a waterfall that goes down to the other pool section and then that one has a waterfall that goes down to the kiddie pool section that has a waterslide and mushroom sprinkler thing. The kiddie pool even has little baby cots for lounging. So cute. There is a little hut by the main lobby/Aqua Bar where you pick up your towels.

They need more trash cans around the pool areas. People leave their cups sit and then they end up blowing into the pool. And there is no employee going around cleaning up or picking up.

They do not come and server you at the pools either. You have to go get your drinks yourself. If you want served, you have to go to the VIP Beach and snag a bed or be a VIP member and go to a VIP only beach.

NOTE: You must return your towel to the same place you picked it up. So, if you start out at one pool and are going to go to another, you will have to return your towel and then get new towels at the next pool.

The BEST BAR is BUBBLES which is on the V.I.P Beach. The Aqua Bar was our second favorite. My favorite drink was the Banana Mama!


RESTAURANTS

If you don't like the reservations you got when you checked in, you can try to get them changed or request a reservation if you didn't get one for the current day by going to Guest Services between 9-10 a.m. You can only do this on the morning (each morning) of the day you want (GO EARLIER THAN 9 to be there when they open... sometimes they open early), but you will most likely never get a new reservation. Since my friends had a different last name, our dinner reservations weren't even together. They had different restaurants and times than we did. The only thing we were able to do was to increase the number of people on our reservations to 4. So, don't get your hopes up about eating at the restaurants you want and just expect to eat at the buffets. Then if you get a reservation you like, you will be surprised.

The restaurants are not open every single night. The resort does not post what nights each restaurant is closed, either, they just give you the hours they are open. So, if you are trying to change your reservation or get a new one, be sure to find out when they are open, well in advance, or you may miss your window of opportunity SHOULD you be able to snag a reservation.

The two main buffets are The Pearl at Cofresi Palm and Casablanca at The Tropical. These are open every day pretty much all day and night, closing only for a couple of hours in between meals.

The Pearl has the best breakfast buffet. Fresh made omelets/eggs and pancakes/French toast. Casablanca has the omelet/egg station, but the pancakes/French toast are made and then put in a pot on the buffet... but, Casablanca has waffles.

Both buffets are decent for lunch. Casablanca usually has rotisserie chicken which is awesome. The Pearl seemed to do themed lunch buffets with one day being a Mexican theme. Dinner at the buffets is pretty much the same as lunch, sometimes with different carving stations.

The restaurants we could get into:

RODIZIO Brazilian Churrascaria (Cofresi Palm) - the restaurant is set up very nice inside. There is no menu, because they bring the meats around to you on skewers and you can eat as much as you want. There is turkey, chicken, spare ribs, steak, sausage, and a grilled pineapple (yummy!). Then they have a salad bar where you can get salad, side dishes, and dessert. There wasn't a huge selection of side dishes, but you get pretty filled up with the meats. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE!!

JOHNNY'S International Cuisine (Cofresi Palm) - this was the worst experience. It is in a room with no windows and has a horrible musty smell. It took an hour and a half for us to get our meal. The food was fine, but we couldn't get out of there fast enough.

BELLINI Italian Restaurant (Residence Suites) - this one is kind of out of the way and difficult to find (unless you take the shuttle). The food was excellent. The pizza is AWESOME! Better than the pizza on the buffets. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE!! And, if you can't get a dinner reservation, they pretty much serve the same stuff at lunch and you don't need a reservation for that!

THE BLUE LAGOON (The Tropical) - we tried to get reservations for this restaurant but got "wait-listed" and then no reservation. We did stop in for their "Light Lunch" which is basically hamburgers and hot dogs. Their "Late Night Snack" was the same thing.


NOTES:
We went to each of the restaurants we could find to look at the menus to see where we wanted to try and get reservations... then towards the end of our trip we realized that on the pillars of the buffets they had all of the menus posted!

If you drink soda for breakfast instead of coffee, you won't be able to get any. The soda machines aren't turned on until almost lunch time.



ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES

There are two Entertainment groups, one for the Cofresi Palm and one for The Tropical. So, when you are at the Cofresi Palm, you will only see an itinerary for what is going on in their area, and if you are at The Tropical, you will only see an itinerary for what is going on in theirs. They do not post each other's activities and they do not print them out anywhere, so you will have to remember or write it down. They really should do a newsletter and include everything for both. The Tropical really had the best entertainment group -- we loved Michael Jordan, Johnny Bravo, Lenny Kravitz, and John Cena (obviously American nicknames given to them over the years).

I recommend taking the Spanish lessons with Lenny Kravitz by The Tropical pool. I didn't realize there were five mini lessons so I missed 3, but Lenny gave me the paper for those lessons I missed. It's just a bunch of words and phrases that will be useful because, like I said, hardly any employees speak or understand English. The Entertainment people seemed to be the ones who spoke and understood English the best.

The BRAVISSIMO show that used to be at Ocean World is now done at the resort in The Colosseum. I was impressed with the costumes and dancing. It was Vegas-style. But, I can only listen to so many songs in Spanish and the entire thing was in Spanish.

The Thursday night VIP party is open for all to attend and is awesome. They have food, drinks, and music in the street. I thought this would shut down while the BRAVISSIMO show was going on, but it didn't.

The night club at Cofresi Palm is ICE. It is supposed to be open from 11pm-3am nightly, but the one night I was able to stay awake, we were there at 11:15 p.m. and they were not open yet. Just being down in the hallway by the Disco smelled so musty that I probably wouldn't have been able to go in anyway. My friends went the next night and said the smell was really bad inside too.

The night club at The Tropical is VIBE, but we did not go there.

The Sunday Night Welcome Party was held down on the Peninsula, which happens to be where they are expanding. It was an impressive spread. We didn't stay too long because it was VERY windy out there and I was cold. Even at this party they segregated. They had a really nice section "roped" off for the shareholders and then for the rest of us. They have tents with bars set up, but they have pretty much the entire wait staff there, so they do come to the tables to take your drink order. What they should have told us, and what I will tell you, is that the FOOD TENT is set up so that each end has the same stuff. Then there are the tables in the center of the tent with the lobster, crab legs, etc. But, if you start out on one end with sides and desserts, the other end of the tent is exactly the same... no need to stand in the line twice!! All restaurants, except the buffets, will be closed this night.


There are other activities, sports, and stuff at the resorts but we did not use them so I am not going to review them. We also didn't use the beaches other than as a shortcut to get from the Cofresi Palm to The Tropical during the day, and we didn't do any excursions. We just wanted to relax by the pool.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you made it all the way through this review, I hope it helps!

Would I recommend this resort? Absolutely! Will I return to this resort? We like to try new places, so unless we are just looking for a really cheap trip and this is the only one we can find, we probably won't return. However, knowing what I do now, if I had to do it all over again, I would absolutely still come.... I would just request a better room and maybe look into the cost to upgrade to VIP so we have more restaurant choices.

Room Tip: The COFRESI PALM has A LOT OF STAIRS!! If you have trouble with stairs, you should request a room a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed April 19, 2013

Ok first will start with saying I booked thru cheap carribbean and got and amazing deal for 5 days! I will start with the cons of the place
- Food just not good! Unless you are VIP you get less quality food. And its all iffy.
-reservations for dinner- worst idea and waste of time. Planned excursions so missed out waiting for reservations half the time.

Now the pros!
We stayed in the newer buildings(42) so everything was done real nice! Bathrooms great large clean room and nice deck.
-Maid awesome sweet and cleaned beautifully everyday.
-beaches/pool tons of options and cabanas at VIP pool great(get there super early!)
-staff was attentive and courteous to us at all times. Never had a problem with them once!
The grounds are beautifully maintained and cleaned everyday and yes there is A LOT of walking so this place isnt for the non physically fit as there are NO elevators!
Overall we had a great vacation minus food issues, and the over marketing kill to buy into time shares to get VIP. If I can afford a time share, I'd be purchasing one probably in a more prominent area. But be careful because they DO get rude when you say no. Literally was left to find our own way back to our side after the tour. Which was just plain rude! So note to people dont do the tour not worth it unless you really want a timeshare. :)

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Minimak2327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapleau, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 18, 2013

WE just came back from a 7 days vacation and we didn"t want to leave. If you know what you need to know about this resort you will love it. You sure should go and see your rep the day after your arrival and plan what you Want to do.The only thing i will say is make sure your food is well cook on the Sunday night VIP party...the rest of the time we had a blast..don"t listen to the negative comments.There is lots of stairs but we knew and we didn"t mind..once again it's a really nice resort to go!!

Room Tip: always upgrade to a junior suit...and try to book with Nolitour
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine C
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, April 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at the Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa Resort and We do not know how to thank you for this kind of comments. Posts such as yours delight us and gives us confidence to keep working hard to satisfy our customers and improve our service.

We are looking forward to welcoming you once again and continue providing the most unforgettable experiences.

Best regards,
The management
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Maybe you are like me and read the wildly different reviews and wondered “can people really have such different experiences staying at the very same hotel?!?” Hopefully, this review will help you to determine what the strengths and faults of this hotel are and how to have the best experience possible.

A little background: I was traveling with my husband and another couple. This is my third time to the area, 5th time to the DR (we have also visited Punta Cana and La Romana). We have stayed at 4-star facilities and mid-grade hotels at various locations. We have traveled extensively in the Caribbean and are very familiar with the area. I am also a firm believer in treating people with kindness and consideration – it always pays off, especially when traveling in the DR. So here it goes!

CHECK-IN:
I have to say that contrary to many of the reviews, our check-in could not have been easier. Based on the reviews, I knew to request rooms in the 40-43 buildings. We arrived at the hotel at 12 and when reiterating our request for the specific room, we were told that they would happily accommodate that but that the room wouldn’t be ready until 3 (which was expected). Our friends also were able to get their room in the same block of buildings and after eating lunch and looking around, we were able to check in at 3 without a problem at all. The front desk was very friendly and accommodating and I really had no complaints.

ROOMS:
Our room was room 42108 – lovely! Just like the picture! NOTE: if you want the renovated rooms, you have to request a room in building 40-43. They are the renovated buildings. They are furthest from the food but closest to the beach. A few things of note that have been mentioned by others: the walls are paper thin! Thankfully, we only had people on one side of us but when they were in the bathroom, we could hear them like they were in our room! It was a minor irritation but since neither of us were hardly in the room, it wasn’t a bother. However, I can totally see how this would be a problem – having some rowdy folks next door could completely ruin a vacation!

Also, the beds. I almost hurt myself because I went to sit on the bed and it was so bouncy, I popped up and almost fell! I don’t know whose idea it was to have such springy beds but they do. It was not bad to sleep on but if firm beds are what you need, this is NOT the place for you.

Also, the fridge in he room only gets filled at check-in. though they replaced the water everyday, they never replaced the sodas or beer.

BEACH:
Not the best. Because it is in the side o the mountain, the beach is small and the water a little rough. Clean but not the best for swimming.

GROUNDS:
The hotel is set in the side of the mountain so there is tons of climbing but the resort and the grounds are beautiful. We didn’t sweim in the pools but there are several of them and they were all nice and clean. The staff works so hard and they were always friendly. The shuttles were somewhat a waste of time – you could get there faster by walking but we did call fro one a few times and they came promptly.

FOOD:
As many of the reviews indicate, the food varies from mediocre to yummy all in the same day. We found the buffet at the Tropical (Casablanca) to have the better food and variety. For me, as long as I could find beans and rice and some chicken, I was good. We ate at the Mexican restaurant (yummy) and the Brazilian restaurant (also yummy). They assign you to the specialty restaurants but I found it easy enough to change them at Guest Services.

TIMESHARE PEOPLE:
So this is the real irritation. The Confresi is part of the Lifestyle family, which specializes in vacation ownership. These folks are everywhere. Good rule of thumb – if a person is NOT wearing a yellow employee shirt, they are timeshare people. Go right to the front desk, don’t let any of the employees floating around the lobby check you in because they will wrangle you into going to a timeshare meeting and getting all sorts of personal information from you. Be firm and clear and they will leave you alone. But I must admit it was a bit jarring when we arrived and they surrounded us like vultures. Pretty crazy. We made it an activity everyday to see how many people would get “caught” by the timeshare people. They are irritating but they are just doing their job, albeit bothersome.

VIP BEACHES:
We booked our package through CheapCaribbean and we were told we would have access to the VIP Beach. However, there are several on the property and the one you have access to is not a convenient location. Also, as others have mentioned, the only bracelet color that really matters are the black ones and the gold sparkly ones – if you don’t have one of those, be prepared to not be a VIP.

Is it a 4-star hotel? Not quite. But if you are looking for a budget-friendly vacation with a 4-star room, it is a good fit. Don’t go here expecting the moon – you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a relaxing time, this might be a good fit as it was for me.

Room Tip: Book in buildings 40-43.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rashida S
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, April 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

First of all we thank you for choosing our hotel Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa Resort for your holidays and for the time you took to share your review with the Tripadvisor community.

We would like to thank you for highlighting our strengths and weaknesses. Please be sure that your observations are taking into great consideration for their analysis, in order to improve the points you mentioned.

We hope to have you back at our resort very soon.

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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