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“Great hotel and vacation”

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Puerto Plata Village Resort
Ranked #35 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Kirkland, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great hotel and vacation”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I don't require much when on vacation: beach, sun, food and of course accommodation. I have found all this and more at Puerto Plata Village. The beach is beautiful, the sand is white and the sea is clean. Although older, the hotel is spacious and comfortable. The rooms, the pool, as well as the entire site, are very clean. Air conditioned rooms have sattelite tv, comfortable beds, and the hotel provides a wifi internet connection. The food is plentiful. A variety of exotic fruits at breakfast along with the usual eggs, cereals, pancakes, crepes, an assortment of pastries and anything else one can desire. Lunch can be had at the beach or at the hotel dining room. Lunch and dinner are buffet style and just as varied as can possibly be. Salads, meats, pastas, rices, potatoes, fish and desserts at every meal. This all inclusive also has a la carte restaurants on the hotel site.

Above all else are the staff at this hotel. I have travelled to numerous countries and seldomly have i seen friendlier, smiling, jovial and caring people. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. I have been, and will continue being, a happy and satisfied 'repeater' customer.

Thank you PPV.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lila B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Peterborough
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

TRIP DATE: Jan 18, 2013 to Feb 01, 2013 (two weeks)

SYNOPSIS: Nolitours, Puerto Plata Village, Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, DR

This was our third visit to this property, and not much has changed. It's not fancy, the rooms are dated but clean, the food is good and the service is exceptional. As long as you're a low maintenance type and don't need marble countertops and stuff like that, this place provides great bang for the buck. We will be back, hopefully for a longer term.

Note that I was sick BEFORE we went and didn’t feel all that well while I was there, but I’m still giving it a good review. There were a few disappointments, but overall things were good.

The GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY

The GOOD:
Food, service, cleanliness, our room, pool swim up bar, piano bar in
lobby, some live entertainment, nice beach club, Presidente beer on tap, nice selection of specialty restaurants (Dominican, Italian and Mexican), free internet in lobby and pool areas.

The BAD (or maybe I should say The NOT SO GOOD):
Some loose tiles on pool deck (make that quite a few loose tiles), no chicken BBQ on beach, mustard hard to come by, relish forget it, no resort wide internet.

The UGLY:
They seem to have done away with the beach BBQ dinner and party. Here’s hoping they bring that back.

For starters, this was the first time we have flown CanJet. Both flights were fine and the airline 'food' and service were acceptable. The flight was on time. We actually left the gate 5 minutes early on the way down.

It should be noted that there have been some cutbacks at the hotel and Nolitours has reduced the star rating from three stars to two and a half stars because of this. The only real differences we noticed were less choice at the carvery station at dinner time, a few less maintenance/gardening staff, no live band (last year they had one once a week) and the BBQ beach party is no more. I'll miss that. The beach BBQ party was one of the things they were doing RIGHT. They claim that some people complained about having to eat at the beach but IMHO it’s a cost reduction. There still is a beach party, but unlike former years, they no longer tie in serving dinner, the evening's entertainment and the bonfire. So RIP beach BBQ party. You'll be missed.

Actually, we missed the beach party because by the time we knew there was one, we had already booked a specialty restaurant for the same time period.

OK, it's now a two and a half star property and it doesn't pretend to be anything more. It's a little older but they seem to be pretty well on top of the maintenance. If you're looking for marble tiles, lobster and prime rib, this isn't the place for you. That said, we found the food, service and cleanliness to be exceptional for this star level. The common areas and grounds are all pretty nice and well maintained. To be honest, there were quite a few loose tiles on the pool deck, but they are not going anywhere. They just wobble a bit and may squirt some water from the joints when you step on one after a rain. Nothing too serious. The pool isn't large by current standards, but it's a reasonable size and the swim up bar was very enjoyable.

And there were lots of little unexpected extras that made the overall experience very pleasant. For example, there was a piano bar in the lobby each evening except Thursdays. The live entertainment/dancing on Wednesday nights has been replaced with A DJ (and a troupe of dancers) and he did a great job getting people dancing and having a good time. The major evening shows were performed by traveling entertainer groups from Santo Domingo (quite good and pretty professional) and the remainder of the shows were performed by the 'small' animacion team. Fortunately there wasn't too much of the silly audience participation games. When they threatened Karaoke, I made myself scarce ....

Occupancy was low during the week, but both weekends were Dominican holidays, so the place was packed. My best guess is about 45% during the week and pretty well full up on the weekends. I expect this will pick up later in the season. There were a lot of trainee employees around. There were a lot of repeaters and long term guests (two months or longer). For what they are charging and what they are providing, this place should be full.

CHECK IN

Since we had an early flight, when we arrived, our room wasn't ready. We got our armbands and headed for a nice lunch and a few drinks. A short time later we were given our room key, towel cards and remote for the TV. The staff at reception were friendly, efficient and most important, proficient in English (and as far as I know, a few other languages such as German and French). They got us checked in and taken to our room quickly.

ROOM

Instead of a suite, this year we had a superior room with a balcony/patio and a bar fridge. Unlike previous years there were no washcloths provided. Maybe you only get these with a suite. We asked the maid about this and she said she would see what she could do. And she managed to provide one each day. It really wasn't an issue because this is common in the DR and we always bring a few of our own.

The room was basic but quite serviceable. It appeared to be recently painted and pretty well everything was in good condition. There was no stopper for the sink drain. No issue there either since I brought my own. As for the shower, there was lots of hot water, but it was impossible to avoid a puddle on the floor, no matter how you arranged the curtain. The water simply followed the wall and tub rim and ran down onto the floor. It would be pretty easy to add a corner dam to stop this. However, it wasn't doing any damage so what the heck.

The air conditioning was a bit noisy but otherwise worked well. Towels and bedding were replaced daily, although the towels disappeared early in the morning and reappeared some time later in the afternoon. It's necessary to plan around this.

There was good storage with a large closet area and plenty of drawers. The TV was an old CRT type but it worked well

We felt quite safe and comfortable in this room. I regularly left my laptop, cell phone and tablet computer on charge and nothing was ever touched.

GROUNDS

The grounds were clean and well maintained. There's a fair bit of greenery and trees, all carefully groomed. There's a kids club with playground and six clay surfaced tennis courts that didn't appear to be used much. Every day the tennis guy would sweep the leaves and dust off the courts, but we rarely saw anyone using them. Since our room overlooked the courts we had a pretty good sample size.

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 clean and well maintained. The pool also 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.

FOOD, RESTAURANTS and BARS

There is one main buffet restaurant and according to the hotel description, three specialty ones (Italian, Mexican and Dominican). We got offered a fourth (Creole) which was a surprise. All were offered, one night at a time. It was pretty easy to get reservations for these. We ate at all four and found them pretty good. I liked the Italian best. The specialty restaurants seemed to be only offered three or four nights a week, as I said, one at a time. On those nights, usually both the buffet and one specialty restaurant were open. Other nights everyone ate at the buffet. We found the food to be quite acceptable. There were lots of choices and it was easy to find something that suited. Surprisingly, most nights there were expensive things like olives on the condiment trays. They had packets of mayonnaise and ketchup (and mustard week one but not week two) but no relish.

Bacon seemed to appear about once or twice a week. Personally I didn't care much for the sausages offered, but the omelets made up for that.

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. OK, sometimes they didn't have spoons, but they did have the knives and forks. 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. No rotisserie chicken alas. Pretty well all the salads and other food was catered from the main hotel kitchen. Burgers, hot dogs, chops, steakettes and fries were prepared at the beach club. Of note, the beach club was the only venue that served fries. There was also rice, pasta, veggies, fruit and desserts. Quite a complete selection for a small area.

There are bars located in the lobby (not open a lot), near the pool, the swim-up bar and one at the beach club. There's a fifth bar in the disco when open. Drinks were also available in the restaurants at meal time. Of note, Presidente beer was served. They seemed to switch between serving Brugal and Normandy rum. 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.

I have one final note on the food. I noticed a Cristal Food Safety Award posted in the lobby area. These things are not easy to come by. Of note, no one we associated with during our stay reported any food related illness. Bravo.

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 this year the supply of beach loungers was just barely adequate. Once a truck showed up with an additional supply. This evaporated in about 5 minutes. The beach beds that were there last year are gone. Mother nature has done them in.

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.

INTERNET

There is free wifi internet in the lobby and pool areas. Just connect to their router and go. There are also a few internet stations just off the lobby. Also free.

COMMENTS

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

1) For those that care, there were individual packets of ketchup (not Heinz) and mayonnaise. Week one there was Heinz mustard but no relish.

2) The beer served was Presidente on tap. This is a GOOD thing.

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. Maybe 2-3 times per week.

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. Of note, the beach club was the only place that served fries.

6) The beach BBQ party is history. So sad; we enjoyed this.

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. The second weekend there was a convention and 700 Dominicans arrived. That kind of overloaded the buffet when the convention hall emptied out.

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

11) We had some very nice roasts (beef, pork and ham) and we had roast turkey once at dinner. In the words of another guest, it was "awesome". And I agree.

12) The staff really tried to please all their customers and would literally bend over backwards to try to help.

SUMMARY

I'm never quite sure how to rate a two and a half star property. If you get what you paid for, how do you rate that? So, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'll use 5 to represent the expected, smaller numbers for un-good things and larger numbers for good things. Using that scale:

Food - 8
Service - 11
Room - 5
Pool area - 6
Facilities - 6
Cleanliness - 8

So, the accommodation was acceptable, the food was plain, but good and plentiful, the place was clean and the service was good. There seems to be a great staff. What else can you ask for? All in all a pretty good combination. We had no major complaints.

This property is exceptionally good value for the money. I'm surprised it
wasn't full. It should be.

Would we return? YES. We wouldn't even think twice about it.

Oh, and they claim to be handicapped accessible. I'd agree with that statement with the exception of the Italian and Dominican specialty restaurants. Both have stairs that might represent a challenge.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank BobFromCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Let me start by saying this is not a bad place for the money but if you can afford to spend a little more I would recommend going somewhere better if you are looking for more then just very basic accomodations to get R&R as this place is dated and starting to fall apart and there is not too much to do for the younger crowd as the clientele appeared to be mostly young families and retirees.

The staff however is good and the animation team works hard to get people involved in the pool-side activities. The facilities are very basic and there is only one pool. The food is not very good and the drinks are so/so but for the price paid $800-$900 (late January) including flight from Toronto I cannot really complain.

I did get travellers diarrhea on the 4th day but I cannot say 100% if this was due to the food or not.
I would recommend however to keep away from uncooked fruits and veggies to be on the safeside and to talk to your doctor about taking anti-diarrheal vaccines/medications before going to the Dominican if this is a concern.

I went with two other friends in our late 20s and we all had the same impression of the resort.
We all decided that next time we vacation we would save more money and spend a little more and go to at least a 4.star.

Some additional facts about the hotel that may be useful:

If you need a safe its $23/week extra.
There is free use of bicycles for 1 hour....but only 1 hour.
There is a 30 minutes free tennis lesson available, after which time if you want additional instruction it will cost $10/hour I believe.
The hotel has free wi-fi and 2-3 computers for use free of charge.
The onsite discoteque was pretty dead and outside of fooseball tables/pool tables by the main bar there was not too much night-life at the resort. The animation team did however host a fun beach party one night and their version of the Lion King by the Pool on another night which I thought was entertaining.

Although the hotel is not located on the beach, they do have a free shuttle service that runs during daytime hours from the hotel to the beach and there is a bar and snack bar on the beach which patrons can use without any extra charge.

So overall I would say you get what you pay for and while my friends and I will not return, for travellers just looking for a very cheap place to just sleep, its okay and in the same vicinity of the majority of other hotels which generally are in the Playa Dorada Complex by Puerta Plata.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

My family and I were there June 2012. We were a group of 17 and got 6 rooms.
To get a better understanding of what transpired in our trip and the reason we ended up at this Resort. My mother and aunt are timeshare holders at a Resort nearby, which is currently closed due to renovations. That resort is accommodating their Timeshare holders in Puerto Plata Village so that is the reason we stayed there.
Let the nightmare begin. I’m going to try to make this short. Out of the 6 rooms we had, we could only keep one room unchanged, the other 5 rooms had to be switched around because they either smell like pee, had mold, ants or no AC. One even had the front door lock so rusted that you didn’t even need a key to open the door. We found some decent rooms, but the ant problem never went away. The Resort puts Red Tropical flowers on the towels in the bathroom and the ants are attracted to them, so needless to say, we couldn’t use the towels for a while.
On the weekend the Resort gets full of locals, which is fine, until you read the rest of the story.
We tried to go to the club on Saturday night but we just did not feel comfortable with the crowd and one of the local girls bumped into my cousin as if she wanted to start problems, so we left. Monday to Thursday there was nothing to do at the resort. Very little entertainment. The Club is closed during the week. The food was HORRIBLE. The mash plantain (Mangu) and sausage they served there is not at all what mash plantain should taste like. Their Papaya and Mango didn’t even taste like fresh fruit. We got attitude from one waitress the first day we ate breakfast there, but the manager apologized to us and served us for the rest of our stay. The Casino across the resort was ok. The beach was ok and they did have games but not every day. Didn’t care for the food provided while at the beach. Didn’t mind the short ride to the beach. By Wednesday we started to see locals again by the pool, which again, we were fine with it, until Wednesday night when my family and I, and the rest of the people that were actually vacationing there were at the little show they make by the pool and here comes a group of about 5 male tourists with a group of local females that appear to be all teenagers and started dancing on the dance floor and chairs as if they were having sex. Needless to say we all left because of how nasty and uncomfortable the situation got and we complaint to the security guards and they finally told us that the “locals” that were at the club that Saturday we got there and those girls that showed up with the tourist are all prostitutes ( Not that we couldn’t tell). Later that night security had to be called to go to “the” room they were staying in because someone complaint about the noise. Turns out the group of men and girls were all staying in one room for the night to take care of their business, so security had to kick them out.
I’m just glad that we didn’t spend much time in the resort itself, since we were doing outside activities and excursions. And thank God for the staff that kept some of us entertained every night after everything died out. They even walked us to the Casino across the road to make sure we got there safely. I wish I could give more details of the whole nightmare, but then it will make this too long. Just know that MOST of the negative reviews and pictures are TRUE.
Value was great. But remember that in must cases, you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Marlene C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newfoundland, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Sorry to be rude however, my husband & I arrived a PPV on Sat. Jan. 5, 2013. We were very very taken back when we arrived. We booked our trip thru RCI and felt they would be a reputable company. The resort was very dated. It seemed that the resort was for the local people to vacation at. ( don't get me wrong, we love the Domincan people, but our standards of a resort are quite different coming from the US.

We stayed for less than one hour, never unpacked & I am happy to say that LifeStyles Vacation Club nearby got us into a room in under an hour thru their very professional team! We are members of LifeStyles and no one in the area can beat their resort!!! at 5 star by far!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Paradiseseeker91210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

GREAT FOOD ANDTHE BEST ACTIVITIES EVER

I stay at Puerto Plata Village Resort and Spa and i had the best experience ever. I end up at Puerto Plata Village Resort and Spa because I did not find any other hotel with available room at any price except Puerto Plata Village Resort, it was December and all hotels were booked. I was very reluctant to make the reservation there but I had no choice and made reservation expecting the worse because I have stayed at "better" hotels in the area and were dirty, poor service,boring activities and limited choices of food at a much higher prices. when I arrived the staff when out of their way to help me check in when i forgot the company vouches and to get my group in adjacent rooms. The activities personal was tireless. They were up by the time we wake up and were the last to retire to bed. I had the opportunity to enjoy a show by a group of valet from Cuba that were a dream.

I recommend Puerto Plata Village Resort and Spa to any body that will want to have fun and get more than their money worth.

Thanks to every one in Puerto Plata Village for a great time.

Diogenes Diaz 12/28/2012

Room Tip: I loved my room near the registration office bu,t far enough to not be disturb by the late arrival o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rosayra G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hope Mills, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

The food and servise were good but the room and the hotels are old and it makes you feel that is dirty. It needs maintenance. the good thing is the there is always rooms available for last minute mini vacasion.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Drnt50
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

Property: 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:
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Puerto Plata Village Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 385
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Puerto Plata Village Hotel Puerto Plata
Sun Village Resort & Spa

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