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“Trip was saved by the great staff we found around!”

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed December 31, 2013

Our trip was saved by the entertainment team. Special mention to Salami, Speedy Gonsales, Rambo, Mickey Mouse, Shaggy, Barbie, Julio & Darling.

We booked our trip to arrive on a Sunday because of the Welcome party that they do every week. To our surprise, that week there was no party because the party was for the employees. When I'm happy to hear that the company cares enough for the staff to give them a party, the hotel was totally abandoned and the food was HORRIBLE! That was our first impression of the hotel and we had 12 days to go.

On the second day someone told us he would pick us up in our room to go for breakfast (we were amazed) to then find out it was just a trick to try to sell us the membership to Holiday Lifestyle Resorts. (After a couple of hours we told the guy we wanted to go to the beach, that's why we were there). I wish they told people what that was about before making you waste 2 hours of your holidays.

Because of our VIP package (blue bracelet) we could make reservations to the restaurants every night. But not to the other 11 VIP restaurants. That's just for the gold bracelet and the shareholders.

After those two first days of disappointment, we decided to change our spirit and enjoy whatever we found in our way or our holidays would be totally destroy and that's when we met the entertainment team. The hotel is huge!! You have access to many places (with the VIP bracelet) but we decided to stay in Cofresi pool by the beach because of the guys there.

The people in the VIP VN are AMAZING!!! Samuel, Miguel, Jose Antonio and the rest of the guys that can't remember their names are just a pleasure to treat with. We were so sad to say goodbye!

We would have breakfast every morning in Casablanca at The Tropical just because there we had JUANA Diaz and Jose Antonio. They made our mornings to be unique!!

Stay away from the VIP Beach bar. They are rude and nasty (the guys, the girls are nice). Won't even give names but we went once and never came back. The guys that serve you at the jacuzzis and the beds are pleasant though.

Our second Sunday at the hotel we had finally our Welcome party and have to say that is amazing. All the shows and entertainment of the hotel makes it worth it.

I don't know if I would come back to this hotel but at least I had a good time because of the people we met and I want to THANK THEM for that!!

Room Tip: Rooms is the ground floor are nice but be aware of the mosquitos!! :/ The light in the room is so...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank elianaalvarez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,205 - 2,211 of 3,773 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2013

Although the resort was lovely and great food, (I did take and antibiotic), the smoking killed this resort as a return trip. April showers were not much of a bother, huts are free and on the beach. Water is cool, but manageable. Watch the steps when wet, I fell down a few but no big deal just a bit of a bruise. My flip flops were not the best idea.

Room Tip: They tried to ditch us in a garden view even though we book ocean view. We had the room moved. The...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank thelmanewman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This resort is nice. The rooms are beautifully furnished in Orange and White. The staff here were great. The food was good.The entertainment was entertaining. My favorite event was the welcome party on Sunday. Live music and dancers. They get you involved, even the little ones. What made it so much fun was the foam party. We were covered in bubbles. what ever they used was even gentle on the eyes, no stinging, just fun.

Room Tip: If you can't take stairs, ask to reserve a floor level suite.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank pbearcarroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Management T, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review our Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa Resort. It is of great importance to know our guests experience in order to improve our services.
We are happy to know that our resort and service were up to your expectations.

It would be a pleasure to host you again in the future.

Best Regars,
The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

******WE DID NOT STAY IN VIP - A REVIEW FOR GENERAL TRAVELLERS!******

First off, my husband and I are Canadian, traveled over Christmas with my parents and booked through Flight Center and Nolitours. Our trip was a Friday to Friday. We DID NOT upgrade to a junior suite or have VIP access. We had a "regular" garden view room and access only to the non-VIP areas. I would say this resort over-promises and under-delivers in ALL areas and if you are not going to shell out to be VIP, don't even bother coming here. You WILL be treated as a second class citizen or hounded every day to check out the VIP packages.

FLIGHT
Starting at the beginning, we took Canjet - if you have allergies, bring your own food. Flight was fine, nothing horrible or spectacular. They offer sparkling wine on the flight down and free wine on both trips. They also provide a meal, but no consideration given to allergies such as gluten. Entertainment system is pretty basic with screens every few rows for everyone to watch the same thing. Bring your own entertainment if you aren't interested in the 6 month old movie they will show.

TRANSFER
Transfers from Puerto Plata to hotel were fine. The guides on the buses are pretty irritating. Be prepared for a 30-40 minute bus ride, although they tell you it's only 20.

CHECK IN
Front desk staff aren't that great or helpful. Only saw 1 smile in the 10 times I needed to go to the front desk. We received 3 a la carte restaurants for different places, days and times as my parents and they didn't really care. Just said to go to guest services.

ROOM
Standard rooms in the "NoliPlus" buildings are a joke. The king bed was not that comfy. Only 3 lumpy pillows and if you want a blanket, put it on the bed yourself... it's in the closet. Mini bar was stocked with 2 small bottles of water, 1 bottle pepsi (don't care, I don't touch the stuff), and 2 bottles of beer. There is a large bottle of water on the desk along with a small bottle of rum and a bag of mini marshmallows and peanuts.

Bathroom was lame and desperately needed to be remodeled with a shower that had poor pressure and lukewarm water. I'm not even remotely kidding about the pressure - it was as if there was a small dribble and the water would hit the faucet, not spray out...

Room overall needed renovating and one of our bedside lamps was connected to the outlet with open wires and electric tape (not safe!). Phone did not work properly either - had to be fixed and at one point was just dead. Walls are also paper thin and you can hear everyone walking by, the torrential downpours, dogs barking and drunks walking home in the middle of the night. Poor sleep quality.

HOUSEKEEPING
Room was "tidied" everyday with bed made and floor swept. That was about it. If you want sheets or towels changed, you leave a card on the bed or towels in the tub. Our bathroom was probably never actually cleaned as the stuff on the counter never moved which means that it was not wiped down. The complimentary toiletries are inconsistent - received 2 body wash and 1 shampoo and conditioner, but no lotion. My parents had no shampoo but 3 lotions... weird. If you want more of anything, you need to ask, such as coffee packets.

RESORT PROPERTY
Beautiful place with gorgeous views and lots of different pools and areas to hang out, but only one area on the beach for non-VIP guests. there are a total of 5 different beach areas.... If you have trouble walking, have a wheelchair or stroller, or arthritis in your knees (like my dad) this is NOT a good place to come. There are stairs EVERYWHERE with no elevators, ramps, etc. Not accessible and not even really family-friendly.

Pools are freezing cold but feel nice after a little while. You just need to jump in and then they are great after 2 minutes. Lots of swim up bars. The grotto vodka bar was only open on our last day and was pretty lame drink-wise. Ocean was much warmer - just be cautious of seaweed and rocks in water.

FOOD & BEVERAGE
Awful. Just awful! I don't expect much, but the Sunday Beach "Welcome Party" with lobster made me sick with food poisoning and I'm still not 100% better almost a week later. We were there for Christmas, and even that dinner was lame. Not up to the standard it should have been! All meat was overcooked severely or under cooked in the case of seafood and fish. Salads were actually the best part. The buffet on the "Tropical" side is much better than the Pearl, although one server, Nathaniel, really stood out and was so helpful and kind at the Pearl.

We went to the following a la carte restaurants:
- Brazilian: Good, but meat was overcooked as we went around 7:30pm
- Dominican: One of the best meals we had. I had the "lasagne" which was quite rich - could be split for 2 to share. Soup was really nice. Hubby had steak - don't order steaks anywhere. It's just skirt steak that's tough and overcooked.
- Asian: complete disappointment - Manchu Wok is a 5 star restaurant in comparison. Fried rice was just rice in soy sauce and the appetizers (spring rolls) were like the frozen ones you can get from the grocery store (like the no name ones, not even the higher end ones). I had fish and it was pretty good, but parts were under cooked.
- Mexican: Decent meal. Had nachos, salad and fish again which was cooked almost properly...

The wine is TERRIBLE!! It is absolutely unacceptable to have such awful wine available. It doesn't need to be fancy, but it should be drinkable. They served sparkling wine at the beach party and the Christmas eve dinner which was pretty decent. Not sure why they couldn't serve decent wine with dinner or at the bars....

Drinks are really sugary/fake and watered down for 'regular guests'. Pina Colada and Daiquiris are like drinking artificial crap with a bit of rum. NOT GOOD! Mai Tais and sangria were yummy though. And if you could get a really good bartender like Edward at the "Cheers" bar, he would invent delicious things. I did get a margarita with real lime one evening which was really nice. Made friends with some VIP guests and was able to get drinks from the VIP bar from them which were all made with real fruit and juice with potent alcohol contents. Banana Mamita was the best thing ever!!! Like a strawberry banana smoothie with rum - can't get them at the regular bar....

CONCLUSION
We had a decent trip, as the sun was shining, the weather was warm and there were lots of nice places to relax with incredible entertainment staff. I really want to acknowledge the following entertainment staff for outstanding service/care: "Salami", Jorge, and "Speedy Gonzales". They truly saved this trip for me. Without them, I would not have had nearly as many laughs.

The management of this company needs to understand something very critical: your REGULAR guests, BECOME your VIP guests... I will NEVER recommend this property to any friends, family or colleagues EVER. Your motto is "tell it only to your best friends". I will tell my best friends to steer clear unless they want to shell out tons of cash for your vacation club and be a VIP guest. Treat EVERYONE with respect, good food, good drinks and plenty of fun and they will return. I will be writing a letter to Flight Center, Nolitours, and RCI letting all of these companies know about your segregation of guests. I have stayed in other properties in Mexico that have had similar types of VIP programs and have never ever felt like a second class citizen which is ironic in that I am coming to your property for a vacation and spending money in your country.... You have some serious work to do with delivering on the promises that are set out by your marketing department. Cater the entire place to all guests at a high level and have one or 2 VIP beaches, restaurants and bars. Not the majority to make everyone else feel poorly while on vacation.

Room Tip: Don't go unless you are upgrading to VIP status
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Kate P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Management T, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 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.
Our rooms are in general in very good conditions even though, we have a continuous maintenance improvement plan in place for our rooms, Please accept our sincerest apologies, and know that We will be discussing your comments with our staff, especially with Housekeeping team and Front desk team.
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.

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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

What an amazing resort! I had a blast. My vacation wouldn't be anything without the entertainment staff! They keep you going all day. Such hard workers.. The work very hard hours and don't stop. You can never be bored. Thank you too Rambo, shaggy, speedy Gonzalo's, Julio nice and salami!! But SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TOO MICKEY
MOUSE!! My absolute favourite

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
2  Thank Kimera123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Management T, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear Guest,

We really appreciate that you took your time to write this comment, expressing how much fun you had at the Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa resort.
We are really happy that you liked our facilities and we will our entertaiment staff for providing a great hospitality.

Best Regards,

The management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

What happened to Lifestyle? This was not my first time coming there but it is probably the last. What happened to the Lifestyle resort? Seems like everything just turned to dust or worse. I hope management wakes up and takes notice that while they are possibly on vacation, the employees are taking a big break from everything too there.

The bad

Unhelpful front desk staff.
No respect for my time, no desire to assist with making check in faster, worried about keeping their jobs but unable to help with simple asks, even though they do speak english well. Took 30 minutes and help from cheapcaribean rep to resolve matters. These are not how employees at lifestyle were before, its first time I see Enmanuel working there for example, are they all new or what is wrong? To sum it up, any interaction with front desk leaves a bad taste in the mouth, nothing gets done, and you leave feeling like an idiot. Well maybe I am for booking my vacation at the Lifestyle.

The Room
The room was clean, the fridge contained beer and softdrink. Next day it took some arm twisting just to get another bottle of water. No more beer, you only get it on your first day. The room is very basic, nothing really to describe because there is only a bed, tv, and a table there. The toiletries were there, but some bottles were half filled, meaning other people before us used them, eeek. In the mornings there was no hot water and the stream was weak. I called the brilliant front desk for help. When they "fixed it", I tried turning on the water and..... drum roll please...... the shower knob fell off leaving only cold water streaming down... awesome. I called and was told to wait till next day. Next day they said they have to move us to another room. Instead of one king bed it had 2 twins, but at this point I didn't even say anything. I just didn't even want to try my luck again with them. It was it.

The food
We went to mexican restaurant on the first night. From my last time at Lifestyle, I remembered the menu and ordered their "filet mignon". What happened to the Lifestyle? The cut of meat I got this time was something like chewing sole of your shoe, perhaps except shoe would taste better. Awful. They had good tortilla soup. But Casablanca had much better food, much better. A lot of choices, and they had an amazing singer singing all night. Really putting in a lot of the energy, and the staff at Casablanca were always great. This is what old Lifestyle was like.

Pools/Jacuzzi
What's up with the COLD Jacuzzi at the VIP beach? Because its holidays does it mean the electricity gets turned off? The pools too. COLD. COLD. Would it kill the Lifestyle to just warm it up a little bit? Again, last time I was here at VIP beach, all the Jacuzzi were hot and nice. What happened?

To sum it up:
If you are getting this at $40 a night, like some people I talked to, you have nothing to lose, this is the cheapest resort for that kind of money. BUT if you are paying anything more, which we did, go somewhere else. Its not worth the hassle.

Room Tip: Check everything in your room
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank eugene n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Management T, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 28, 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.
Your comments are taken very seriously, we will use it to improve our product and services.

It surprises us that our front desk staff did not help you, we normally get very good comments about them.
Our rooms are in general in very good conditions even though, we have a continuous maintenance improvement plan in place for our rooms.
We must say that the level of satisfaction obtained concerning the quality and variety of food 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 offered in our Hotel have not met your expectations after all.
We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any difficulty you may have experienced during your stay.

Best regards,

The Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

If you are treated like a king the first stay and decide to waist your money on a membership with promises of grander, you will be in for a big surprise, come back again and see what you get. We were promised luxury like no other. Well they were right about that. When we got there our first room was right next to a very busy and noisy street, when we complained that the room was not only noisy but dirty to boot, they told us that we need to spend another $65,000 and upgrade or we will only get the worst rooms. Really? We had already made a huge investment and they have the gull to make that statement. After we complained to almost every one there, we were allowed to move to another room, this one even dirtier, filthy even, and had no hot water. With three days without a hot shower, they finally moved us up a level. We had three days left of our stay... the third room was ok but not nice or the luxury they lied about. Save your money for a vacation group that has a little more dignity.

Room Tip: Book some where else. Save yourself the hassle of listening to their extremely high pressure sales...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kellyalbers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Management T, Manager at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 28, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to communicate to us why our Hotel did not meet your expectations. The Cofresi Palm is committed to providing our guests with the highest quality services and facilities. We sincerely regret we fell short of our goal in this instance.

You willingness to share your thoughts is appreciated. I hope you will allow us the opportunity in the future make your experience at our property an unforgettable one.

Sincerely,

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

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: $90 - $270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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