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“Realistic expectations… great trip!”

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Milton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Realistic expectations… great trip!”
Reviewed January 21, 2014

We just got home from a week spent at Cofresi resort, and truly have not very many complaints! But this is probably going to be long!

We booked through selloff vacations, Nolitours trip, flew with Canjet, no issues with booking, flights or arrival, had a transfer to take us to hotel when we got there along with a transfer on the way back (some people booking with other companies/tour reps didn't have a transfer back to airport so double check this)

Check in was quick and smooth, small hitch, we asked for a room no higher than second floor (I'm almost 6 months pregnant) and for a king bed (we were celebrating wedding anniversary), we got a beautiful room on the third floor of course and with double beds (Building 41, room 41314), we're told to check back in in the morning and they would see about switching us, which was fine by us (we never actually did end up switching rooms as we found the room to be great). The room was great no issues with showers, or toilets, we always had hot water, AC worked almost too well (had to turn ac off too cold for me and we would turn on whenever we left the room), room did end up being adjoining but never had issues with neighbours being too loud. As for hearing everything in this resort as people have mentioned, some people and kids are loud, people love to slam doors too which yes can get loud but its nothing to be overly concerned about. We faced out onto the pool and beach, our building and building 40 are the only ones that do and i have to say there isn't really an ocean view so save your money! We were a 30 second walk onto the beach, pool is right in front of the building, bar directly behind the pool and the dominican restaurant where you could get coffee in the morning and snacks from noon-5. All pretty convenient. Rooms were kept clean, towels were always available, water was always replenished, we got extra pillows when we needed them, we left a $1 tip every morning on the bed and never had issues. As for sewage smell that everyone refers to yes it is present in a small portion on the resort, any 40 number buildings you will avoid the smell (these are upgraded junior suites so if you don't pay for that you won't get these rooms), as for all the 30 number buildings there is a small group of them that will smell it (we know people who got placed there and they were able to change rooms no problem so they will help you out, your not screwed if you do end up some where smelly). It's like 5-10 seconds of smell as you walk in one area of the resort, its not pleasant but not the end of the world either.

Restaurants: Buffet on Cofresi side was a 5 min walk from us (the 40 buildings are the furthest from the buffet), yes there are a lot of stairs but anyone in good health can manage fine, like i said I'm pregnant and managed. Now if you have little ones, avoid the strollers if you can, use a baby carrier to get around the resort! The buffet was called Pearl, food was fine, plenty of selection, but we did prefer the Casablanca buffet (one on Tropical side). You get 3 a la cartes when you arrive, if one doesn't work for you you let them know the morning of your reservation and they will try and change it, aside from those 3 if you want reservations on a day you don't have go see the girls at guest services between 2-3 and they will get you reservations. We ate at Blue Lagoon (seafood)… food and service was excellent, Bellini (italian) food and service were horrible, Johnny's (international).. food and service was decent, and at Indochine (asian)… food and service was excellent, they had bbq on the beach one evening, food was good and we recommend being there early or right on time! Casablanca was our favourite buffet as mentioned, the selection was great, the servers are great, Carmen makes great smoothies in the morning breakfast. Tip people and they will remember you and take care of you, $1 out of your pocket at each meal is still cheaper than the coffee you buy everyday at home!

Beach: So to clarify all the confusion around beaches and vip etc, there are two main beaches open to everyone! There are 3 vip beaches that you will be able to see easily when walking on the beach 2 of those are only for members and time share holders, one of the vip beaches is open to other hotel guests depending on what room you have booked (if you book through Noli and get an junior suite you get access, if you book a regular room even if it says Noliplus and vip beach included… it isn't!), there are a couple more you can't see at all so don't worry about them. The beach is clean and sometimes rocky depending on where you go, seaweed comes up more around the vip beaches than others but they are great at keeping it clean. The water can be pretty rough, this whole resort is almost in a cove like area so thats why you are getting this, walk all the way past the resort toward the Ocean world sign and you will find lovely warm and calm water (5 min walk down the beach, walking towards the right, look for the small stone sticking up out of water). The vip beaches are elevated and don't sit right on the beach, if you have access to vip beach and are on Cofresi side walk down the beach in the morning to get to it (only takes a moment or two), this area opens at 8am and you need to claim a bed asap (throw your blue towel on it), otherwise they are gone immediately (the ones that have shade at least), yes the swing beds look fancy but are actually pretty hot to be in when everyone around you closes up their curtains, grab the elevated beds that are larger and covered is our recommendation. If you want to sun tan then get just the beds that aren't covered. If you are on regular beach there are plenty of loungers available and some beds too so don't worry.

Getting around: Yes in sharing amenities with Tropical, this resort is pretty huge, but the shuttles that come around are easily accessible and come pretty quickly. It is also an easy walk down the beach to get to the Tropical side, you just cut through the vip beach (yes security will allow you to pass to access the pool and restaurants here), walking to Casablanca this way max 5 mins. To get to most restaurants in the evening just grab a shuttle and tell them were to drop you. If you are travelling with little ones, like i said avoid the strollers and do carriers if you can, if you do bring strollers leave the uppababies and bugaboo's at home will you and find a lightweight umbrella stroller!

Timeshare: We weren't bothered once regarding timeshares/vip sales, there are guys dressed in tan that will ask if you just arrived… say no, they will ask oh you got your tour then… say yes!… its that simple they will not bother you again! We actually liked the resort and amenities enough that we were interested in taking a tour but never got around to it, so you never know it might be something you decide you want to check out.

We didn't hang out much at the pools, but when walking through the area's the animation teams seemed really great at doing their jobs and the atmosphere was very fun and loud, it was truly a party!

The only issue we had was last day at check out, we had a late flight and checked out around 1, stashed our luggage in a room and were told we could come back and be given a room to shower in and get ready for our trip home which is what we did. Our transfer leaving to airport was at 540 and we were at the lobby requesting a room at just after 4pm… told to wait 20 mins, which of course we did, 430 ask again, someone says she is looking into it, time is ticking away… it took forever for them to get us into a room they didn't seem to care that our transfer was going to leave without us! We finally get a room at ten after 5 and the room key doesn't work! Bell boy runs back to lobby and comes back opens the door to the grimiest smallest closet of a room ever and at this point we have 20 mins to get ready, no hot water. It was a joke… so anyways we managed get back to the lobby get on the transfer bus and the guy is like you haven't checked out you are still wearing bracelets… are you joking us. We checked out they didn't take them off or give us a paper like they were asking for so we run back into the lobby and get them to cut the bracelets, the poor kid behind the desk didn't want to mess with the angry pregnant lady at this point. So if you decide to go for the option of a room after to clean up in go well in advance and be prepared it might be a scary room and when checking out make sure you get a little white slip after they cut off your bracelets.

All in all, we didn't have any VIP status at this resort and we managed just fine, had access to the things we needed, were comfortable, food was fine, i'm pregnant and didn't get sick at all, service was great from the servers and wait staff on beaches and in buffets, weather was beautiful, like I said we went with realistic expectation and had a wonderful time, my biggest tip is remember to TIP! These people work hard and will bend over backwards to help you show some appreciation.. allocate $30-$50 bucks in $1 bills when you get your US money, take care of your maids, your bartenders, and your waiters at meal times. We have been to many other resorts all over DR and this was one we would consider coming back to in the future and we wouldn't hesitate to send our friends too.

Room Tip: Any building 40-43 will keep you close to the beach and in nicer rooms, but these are all upgraded j...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sonya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed January 21, 2014

We travelled there with my sister in law and her husband for one week. Overall a solid value to be sure. My In Laws are members of Lifestyle Vacation club so we rec'd blue VIP wrist bands which were second tier bands. Actual members get Gold Bands. This basically means that we had access to about 80% of the resort. From a beach point of view this was fine as we spent our days on the VIP NV beach which was fantastic. Where the VIP bands really shine is with the food and drink. We had access to premium drinks all week which makes a huge difference. The buffet restaurants were OK, on par with a 3 to 4 star resort. The a la carte restaurants were hit or miss, Brazilian, Dominican and Mexican were all good but the Italian and Chinese were sub par. There were 3 or 4 restaurants that the Gold Band folks had access too that were probably very good as well.

The beach is typical of Puerto Plata and was quite rough with a significant amount of stirred up sand and seaweed. Great temperature though.

The staff were really fantastic and made the trip for us. Mickey one of the Porters literally made the trip, he was extremely accomodating throughout the week and is a proud Dominican. It was great to get to know about his country as it is a beautiful country with warm, proud people. Also Luis Alfredo who helped us out with drinks and food all week on NV beach. What a great, friendly young man, just an awesome guy. Also Carol at VIP Guest Services was fantastic.

A lot of people here complain about the people trying to sell you memberships... They called us at 8:00 in the morning on the first morning there to say they were waiting outside with a golf cart to take us for a "tour". This was a bad start as it is too early to bother people but in the end we did go for the tour which helped and so we listened to the sales pitch and politely declined. Again we were fortunate enough to be Guest Members.

I implore you to spend the money and go to the Paradise Island day trip. I have seen a lot of beaches and this place was easily the nicest I have seen. Worth every penny I promise. Perfect beach and really solid snorkeling.

Solid Value!

Room Tip: Buildings 40, 41 and 42 are the newest and closest to the beach. Try to get into one of these. Prefe...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Patrick K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2014

I just came back from a week long vacation at the Cofresi palm resort and it was fantastic!
Great view from different parts of the hotel especially the pool near the lobby, you can see the mountain and the ocean without getting out of your beach chair...staff was great especially the entertainment staff, salami, Julio nice and Rambo definitely made our vacation! From the Spanish lessons with Julio nice, the salsa lessons with Rambo to the aqua aerobics with salami...they all just made our stay even better...the bartenders were great Carlos always knew what we wanted before we even ordered, Jose Batista was a get waiter who waited on us at the VIP welcome party on Sunday..we didn't need to get up for anything...beach was great just a little seaweedy but all in all it was a great vacation!

  • Stayed January 2014
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Helpful?
2 Thank SammiBats_
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 review, January 20, 2014
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 you had a great time in our resort and we will congratulate our staff for providing a great hospitality.
It would be a pleasure to host you again in the future.

Best Regards,
The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrie,ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We just returned from Cofresi, landing back in Toronto at 12:30 this morning. We arrived at the Cofresi last Friday around 8 p.m. We booked through Nolitours - standard room. The room was large and nice, but a very, very long way from the beach. Something that isn't noted in anyone's review is that this resort is all stairs! Stairs to every single level! Lobby goes down to the bar area and one pool, then the buffet is down another level, and down, down, down. I have no mobility issues but could see this as a big problem for people who aren't aware of this.

Another thing we noticed was the smell of "sewage". It was in the air everywhere we walked here. Another disappointment, was that you COULD NOT get a coffee or a cappuccino at this resort! If you wanted a coffee, the only place you could get it was the buffet and only when that was opened. I look forward to a cappuccino in the mornings when I'm on vacation. Cuba makes the best ones ever. We were told if we wanted one, the closest place was the Tropical which you had to take a shuttle to. When we did go the other resort to get this, it was from a machine where you put the cup and press a button, not real with whipped milk etc., like a machine in a cafeteria.

We ultimately asked if we could switch resorts on the 2nd day, which seemed to not be a problem. We were able to switch to the Tropical which is the resort included next door anyway. This hotel was much more open, had a beautiful pool, and was more on one walking level. We were not VIP, but even if we were the beach was a big disappointment. It was filled with the nice lounge mattresses with white curtains which were pretty, but the beach was down from the resort quite a bit, and I found it to be dark. The beach had a lot of seaweed.

The good part of the resort for us were the a la carte restaurants (we were allotted 3 for the week). The Mexican was amazing, and the italian was also amazing. Both of these restaurants were within walking or shuttle bus distance. All of the employees were very nice at the Tropical, but we didn't have a lot of dealings with them at the Cofresi as we were only there for 2 days.

I see a lot of really good reviews from other people, but I guess they paid extra for the VIP or were members of the timeshare and in a totally different area than we were.

I don't usually write my opinion on here, but we unfortunately were disappointed. I went with my husband, sister and her hubby, all in our late 40s. The weather was amazing, so we made the best of it.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank dlbBarrie_ontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

This Hotel was amazing. The food was excellent, the staff so friendly and accomodating, the grounds breathtaking, and overall a great time. This was our second time at the Cofresi and I must say I would definitely go again and recommend friends and family. Last year we travelled with friends and had such a good time we returned our kids. Our kids room had a leak in the bathroom and although they tried to fix it, it was not happening. They did end up upgrading us to Jacuszzi Spa suites without even blinking an eye (something I was not expecting). The Sunday night Wecome Party at Lifestyles was absolutely the best show I had ever seen. The dancers were abosolutely amazing and it was overall an amazing time. Yes we did get approached to go on the tour, and we did last year. If you are not interested just say no. I did talk to alot of people who did join and become VIP members and not one of them regret it. It will give you access to more premium alcohol and nicer rooms but I still found the atmosphere at the Cofresi side much more friendly and fun. It depends on the individual if you want to join or not. Now for the entertainment staff. These boys showed me and my family such a wonderful time they are definetly worth the money you pay them. In my opinion they all deserve a raise. To Rambo (our buddy) thank you so much for your hospitality. We will never forget you and hope to see you again soon. You have no idea how much we apprecitate all that you do. As for the rest of the entertainment staff, Salami, Spinach Salad, Mickey Mouse, Speedy Gonzales, Shaggy, Julio Nice, Darlin, you all were absolutely great people and should be very proud of yourselves. I cannot imagine the hotel attaining a better group of staff than this. One more person worth mentioning, Mosquito. Sorry we missed you when we were leaving we did look for you. Hope all is well with you. Some of the reviews I have read about this resort is dissappointing. I will definetly go back.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JoAnne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014 via mobile

Been going to the lifestyle holidays complex since 2007. We go 2/3 times per year. We used to sleep in the Lifestyle Tropical and the last 2 times at the Cofresi. We specifically wrote in advance to request a specific room and when we got there we got the oldest room on property. First night we could not sleep as people in next room were super noisy and we felt they were in our room! We asked to be changed next morning, I asked again about the specific room and once again they just did not care and sent us to a quieter room but small and old with no furniture to put our clothes! I understand we are not shareholders but I believe in recognizing good customers like us and giving us the requested room was the least they could have done for us! We were not requesting upgrades! Other than that the a la carte restaurants on the Cofresi side were excellent. Special thanks to Darwin in the Indian restaurant. Great service. We did not enjoy some of the service in the main buffet so we ended up going next door to Casablanca buffet where workers were nicer! Next time we will go back to the Tropical.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 18, 2014

This was my first time being at the Cofresi and I was blown away! The entire resort is absolutely gorgeous and there is always plenty to do in resort wide activities and excursions if you can ever possibly get tired of laying on their soft sand beaches. And if there is ever a problem, the friendly staff are always there to help and the entertainers like Rambo, Salami, Darlin, Mickey Mouse, Speedy Gonzales and Shaggy always make sure you are having fun!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cassbeaudoin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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