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“my secret pearl”

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Puerto Plata Village Resort
Ranked #36 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed March 16, 2012

I never wanted to do a review on Puerto Plata Village, because I wanted to keep this pearl to myself. But after going down in March this year and the Guest Services Rep. Carella asking me to review the resort, (because i've been there 8 times!), I felt I owed them that much.
I've been to Allegro and Grand Vantana and what used to be the Viva Wyndom, but for my money I keep going back to Puerto Plata Village.
First of all I have to say that do to a screw-up on the part of the salesperson for Puerto Plata Village with the airlines, they were dropped, from where we are from. My wife and I started to explore other options... Grand Vantana was very nice and directly on the ocean, it was also about 30% more. Viva Wyndom was horrible, and now is no more. Allegro, which is directly across from Puerto Plata Village was also very nice, but is more geared for familys with small children.
Comparitively, Puerto Plata Village has the best food of all the resorts we've been to. Their Italian alacart is uncomprimising in their quality as well as there service. Their swim up bar is the best we've been to, and that includes Blau Natura Park in Punta Cana.
The team of service people from the barmen to the people who keep your linen clean are top notch, from when you arrive, till the time you leave you are family.
One of the main reasons I've never spoken of the Puerto Plata Village in the past is because its never been crowded there and I didn't want that, or the price to change because it got to popular.
However, I feel an obligation to my Dominican family to let people know they're missing the pearl of the Caribbean if they dont go to Puerto Plata Village.
P.S. Tell them Rick sent you.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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8  Thank rickythebear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 - 186 of 676 reviews

Reviewed March 11, 2012

i being in many places but the animation in this hotel is fantastic, and the people are great congratullation to the owners

Room Tip: thes best shows in this areas
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank peguero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

I spent my third vacation at PPV from Jan. 28-Feb. 21 this year. The previous ones were 3/10 and 10/10. The primary reason is that I can get an AI room for a single for $45. The second reason is that it is right across the street from the casino where I play poker. Well, except for Friday nights, the poker games there have dried up and I had to go to the one by the Iberostar.

The staff is still top notch, with a couple of exceptions. First, although they had my docs printed out and ready to go when I arrived, I still had to produce my printed out confirmation page. Just an unnecessary hassle. And the security guy at the hotel started asking me for money/begging, but he was gone after a comment to a supervisor.

The food, well, I guess my system is too sensitive for some reason. Most people seemed to have no problem with it. Breakfast is good, but after that...This trip was the first time I spent money on restaurant food. BTW, go to Maimon for some awesome seafood. It will cost 1000 pesos($28) RT, but wow!

The rooms are the same old bland rooms. I heard they are changing out the Fred Flintstone TVs for flat screens, but that's about it for upgrades. I think what they really need is to change out the old wooden frames on the patio doors and replace them with sliding glass doors to open up the rooms. If you are not on the end, this is the only outside glass, and it is frosted. Kinda grim.

The wi-fi situation was interesting. In the past, I had to spend about $25 per week for a slow connection in the lobby only. At first on this trip I found a free signal in the lobby for a couple of days. Then it prompted me to pay for access, like $8/hour. After spending about 20 minutes getting an ID and password at the lobby desk, I finally got online. THEN, I found out they had free fast wi-fi in the buffet restaurant and pool bar, but they never told me. No wi-fi in the rooms yet, though.

A highlight for me is all the fun and fascinating people I meet here. This was true for about half of my trip. The other half was dominated by retired German couples. Not exactly partiers, except for one. There were plenty of people who had returned year after year to PPV and loved it. They were all great, and a pleasure to hang out with at the super pool bar. Dario, the pool bartender, is as perfect and professional as can be.

The music situation at the pool has improved. They have way toned down the music they used to blast out from noon to 3 PM, to the point of blessedly turning it off for extended periods. They added some Adele to the mix of usual Dominican music(the one thing I really don't like about this country.) They cut back on the animation team to three people, and they play the SAME set from 3 until 5 or 6 PM.

I hope Playa Dorada in general and PPV in particular get their business act together, and soon. The area is in serious decline, while the wonderful assets remain. It would seem to me there is a killing to be made by bringing people this budget friendly area of Playa Dorada.

I will probably return to PPV next year, but I will seriously consider other alternatives. If you are looking for a budget place, consider PPV.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to a suite. All they can say is no.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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6  Thank topdeckgames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

This was my first all inclusive and boy oh boy. Not enjoyable

The food was horrible, I got food poisoning the last day there from a burger. Not fun flying home.

The beds were unconfortable and never felt the sheets were clean there. One day upon returning the cleaning lady didn't take her tip. My husband went down to the room below she was cleaning to give her, her tip and he caught her brushing her teeth with someones toothbrush. Gross! Ever since then I lock mine up in the safe.

I would not go back here. I would rather pay a bit more money and stay at a 5 star.

Oh it's not beach front either.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank CdnShoeLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

We tried a second time staying here w many family members from the USA and DR. We were assured that our accommodations would be much better so we decided one more chance. Well, that is it! Why? A rat in our "suite" where we had three children! This was a nightmare and the manager was not very accommodating. After arguing w him, we finally had our suite changed but none of us in any of our rooms could sleep after that! We all left the next day! We asked for a refund for that one suite and the manager was unwilling to do that. I find this completely unacceptable and disrespectful to say the least!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank Leahbrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2011

Puerto Plata Village, Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, DR, March 2011

Things were kind of confused this year, so some background is required before I get into the review. This was not the trip we had planned. If things had gone to plan, this would have been a review of Fun Royale/Tropicale. As everyone who's read my reviews knows, I've always had a fond spot in my heart for that particular resort; not for the hotel itself, but for the staff. Over the years they've become just like family or close friends. The hotel (Fun
Royale/Tropicale) was a three star property at best but we've always been treated well and received five star service. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go to plan. The original booking was with Westjet Vacations for Fun Royale. Shortly after booking, Westjet dropped the property, so that meant no Westjet rep on site. No big issue there. Then the booking got changed to Fun Tropicale because the hotel block was being converted to condos. OK, so I
wouldn't get "my" room. I'll call that an inconvenience. Then, a mere thirty six hours before our departure we found out that Fun Royale/Tropicale would be closing their hotel operations for renovations in the middle of our trip, so we would be moved to Puerto Plata Village for the second week. They expected the renovations to take about 6 months (Dominican time). What we didn't know was that all the staff were also being let go and would be losing their jobs. If we had, we would have cancelled the trip. The emotional issues and
confusion surrounding the windup of operations made for a distinctly unpleasant week one and set the tone and our mood for the second week. This was trip 13 to the resort. I'm not superstitious but .....

Since he previous week was spent at Fun Royale/Tropicale, you might want to read that review prior to reading this one. If not, press on.

When life deals you lemons, make lemonade. I'd have to consider the move between hotels more or less a lateral one. But, in a situation like this, you can't help comparing properties. I liked some things at FR/T better and some things at PPV better. The hotels are both about the same rating, but the trip was NOT what we had originally booked or wanted. To be fair, under different circumstances we could have really enjoyed Puerto Plata Village, but not after
the emotional meltdowns (both staff and guests, mostly all repeaters) of the previous week. Due to the circumstances there's no way I can write a review of Fun Royale/Tropical that will be of use to anyone. My personal feeling is that it will never reopen again, so I guess it's a mute point. Despite this, my review for Puerto Plata Village is on the positive side, despite the upsets.

On arrival, we were greeted by the hotel manager and the guest services manager (OK, I know them both). The staff at reception were friendly, efficient and got us checked in and taken to our room quickly. Speaking of the manager, he is very energetic, personable and outgoing and seems to have some good ideas. I saw him frequently around the property introducing himself and talking to guests.

ROOM

We had a superior room with a balcony/patio and amenities (read as a bar fridge). The room was basic but serviceable. Just what you would expect from a 3 star property. If you are looking for fancy, this isn't the place. But it was clean and everything pretty well worked. When we checked in, everything appeared to be OK except the toilet which was running on at a slow rate continuously. It was just a tank level problem. The level was set high and
some water was trickling down the overflow tube. I corrected that issue myself; it's just not a holiday if I don't fix something. During the week one CF bulb in the bathroom went intermittent, and one of the bedside lamps stopped functioning. Since we didn't need either, I put off reporting the issues until checkout. Oh, and after four days in the room, the a/c started to drip on the floor. I assumed it was iced over so we shut it off for the day. When I returned to the room it was running again. This is the first hotel I've stayed in that turned ON the a/c when you're not there. Normally they turn it OFF. Whatever, we set the temperature setting a bit warmer and it didn't drip again.

So, no show stoppers here and we had no major complaints. None of the issues were reported until checkout. Oh, and we got wash cloths. I don't know if this is normal or was special for us, but some of the other rooms we looked into didn't seem to have them. Follow the standard DR procedure and take some inexpensive ones with you. Then you have that situation taken care of. If you don't need them and have them it's not an issue but if you don't have them and need them .....

GROUNDS

The grounds were clean and well maintained. There's a fair bit of greenery and trees, all carefully groomed. There are a few areas that appeared to remnants of what used to be pools/fountains but no longer used as such and they were empty.

The colour combos on some of the buildings were 'colourful' and in some cases maybe a bit too 'colourful'. One particular shade of green was especially bright.

It's an easy resort to find your way around. All the main common facilities (pool, entertainment area, buffet restaurants, specialty restaurants) are concentrated in the central area near the lobby. The disco is set aside away from most of the rooms.

The pool is nice and appeared very clean and well maintained. It has a very nice swim-up bar. With the exception of a few loose tiles on the pool deck I didn't have any issues.

The only comment here is that some rooms are near this area and may be noisy at night if you wanted to retire early. I'm kind of surprised that the late night entertainment wasn't moved to the disco to resolve that noise issue.

FOOD, RESTAURANTS and BARS

There is one main buffet restaurant and three specialty ones (Italian, Mexican and Dominican). We ate at all three and found them pretty good. I didn't care much for the Dominican one, but that might have been because we were late and the best offerings had been picked over.

Hotel occupancy was down, so some nights they funnelled everyone through one of the specialty restaurants. Other nights both the buffet and one specialty restaurant were open. We found the food to be quite acceptable. There were lots of choices and it was easy to find something that suited. It seemed to me that the chef had one spice combination that he liked and that mix was used a lot. It would have been nice to vary it a mite. That said, no one in our party nor anyone that we associated with got ill.

The tables were well bused and it was a rare event to sit down at a table that didn't have the proper utensils and cloth serviettes (napkins to you guys south of the border) already on the table. The top table cloths were replaced frequently.

The service was quite good. After the first day at breakfast the gals knew we wanted our coffee first thing. We'd no sooner sit down and the coffee was right there. Nice. The only thing was when they replaced your coffee with the second cup they took the stir spoon with it. This 'might' explain the odd missing spoon from an adjacent table. Don't blame the guy busing the table; blame a guest ....

There is a snack bar (burgers, hot dogs and pizza) near the pool and another snack bar at the beach club that served lunch from about noon until 2 PM. There was no rotisserie chicken alas, but most days there was baked chicken. Pretty well all the salads and chicken was catered from the main hotel kitchen. Burgers, hot dogs and fries were prepared at the beach club and the chicken was put on the grill to brown it up a bit. There was also rice, pasta, veggies, fruit and desserts. Quite a complete selection for a small area. I don't recall seeing fries at any of the other restaurants and it might well be that this is the only area where they are served on the resort.

There are bars located in the lobby, near the pool, the swim-up bar and one at the beach club. I believe there's a fifth bar in the disco. Drinks were also available in the restaurants at meal time. Of note, Presidente beer was served and most days Brugal was available. It wasn't the Anejo, but the Carta Dorada which is much better than Normandy or Classico. Pretty well all the other offerings were local.

After all that drinking it's nice to know that there are abundant washroom facilities and they are all pretty conveniently located. They seemed to be clean and well maintained.

BEACH

Overall the beach was pretty nice and one of the better sections of Playa Dorada. I can remember this area from years past and it has been considerably improved when the beach was built-up a few years back. There is a fair bit of shade for those that want it and there was no shortage of beach loungers. They also had about 5 or 6 of the beach beds.

The beach club is about a five minute walk from the hotel. There is also a shuttle that runs frequently if you don't feel like walking.

COMMENTS

Here are my comments about the hotel (in no particular order):

1) For those that care, the ketchup and mustard were Heinz (in the individual packets) and the mayonnaise was a brand called MacDom.

2) The beer served was Presidente on tap. Brugal rum was available but you usually had to ask for it. All the other liquors were local (read Normandy or Classico).

3) All the mix was bottled, not fountain. And yes, they had Diet Coke (called Coke Light there).

4) Bacon was a rare occurrence at breakfast. I only saw it once and that was our last day.

5) The beach club is a good place to have lunch due to the location. The food selection in the buffet was also good at lunch time. We ate most lunches at the beach club, but had several lunches at the buffet as well.

6) The beach party was very enjoyable. They served dinner at the beach club, had a show, put on some music, danced, had a bonfire and played a few beach games (like limbo). It's the kind of beach party I've been trying to talk the 'other place' into having for years now.

7) The pizza bar is quite good. It's different than at home, and the crust is pretty thick, but good. They pretty well cooked up small portions (6 slices or so) to order and you got to select what was on it.

8) There seems to be a lot of useable covered areas to use in the event of rain.

9) There were a lot of locals on the weekend. There were no issues. They behaved the same as the other guests.

10) There were two bottles of water in the room at check-in. When they were empty you could get them refilled at any bar. There were also dispensers conveniently located throughout the resort.

SUMMARY

As I stated, this was not the holiday we originally wanted or booked, but when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. So we made do. Even though we were in an emotional turmoil from week one, we had a pretty good time. We tried unsuccessfully to forget that first week.

The accommodation was acceptable, the food was fine, the place was clean and the service was good. There seems to be a great staff. All in all a pretty good combination. We had no major complaints.

Would we return? Likely yes. There doesn't appear to be any vacation packages departing from Toronto (or Ottawa), but there are from Montreal. I'm not fussy about traveling all the way there to pick up a trip. Hopefully one of the tour operators will pick up the hotel with a Toronto departure. Alternately, If I wanted to arrange hotel, flights and transfers separately, that would be a good option too.

Room Tip: Rooms away from pool/theater area are quieter
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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24  Thank BobFromCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2011

we stayed here in the spring of 2010 and had a great time as it was the first time that my g/f and i had travelled together out of the country. we got a lot of nice photos of the dominican. ate a lot of nice food. while we had a great time in puerto plata i believe that we would go to Punta Cana the next time we go to the Dominican. its more on the Caribbean side instead of the Atlantic Ocean side but thats just my opinion. ate a lot of good food.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank worldtraveller715
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Puerto Plata Village Resort

Address: Apartado 716, Playa Dorada Complex, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $77 - $154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Puerto Plata Village Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 385
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Also Known As:
Puerto Plata Village Hotel Puerto Plata
Sun Village Resort & Spa

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