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“Not owners” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lifestyle Hacienda Villas Del Mar

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Lifestyle Hacienda Villas Del Mar
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Ranked #21 of 45 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Not owners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2011

We 1st found this place cause a friend of the family is an owner so we went with them and stayed in a villa - 2 years in a row , beautiful villas your own private pool cook kitche ect

We went back by our selves 2 yrs later by paying a lady we found on eBay selling get weeks

Again the resort is amazing the houses are great , all the restaurant beside beside the buffet are the VIP restaurants the best . Love the fact of having a house but also being connected to a resort the golf carts are a plus. The bar staff wait staff pool boys maid provide great customer service and are so friendly

negatives

A lot has changed over the past few year, policies about eating at restuarants on certain nights is a little ridiculous they have gotten stingier with the beer (they stock ur fridge in your room with beer ) the first two times I was there if we ran out of beer there was no problem calling the front desk for more - however the last visit this was not the Case. We were 3 couples in a 3 bed room villa they gave us 7 beers a day - that's 1 beer each when we tried to get it restocked they would say ok and never come. We finally went to customer service and they said it is there new policy of 7 beers a day a villa - really ? We are paying the all inclusive rate don't understand - and the customer service department sucked " that's the policy to bad " kinda attitude dont work they should try to keep us happy for what it's worth to them

Anyways besides the few little problem we love the atmosphere and will be back hopefully there will be some new policy's implemented about the beer situation

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sugar1203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

This has to be one of the best holidays I think I have ever been on. From the moment we arrived I have never felt like such royalty. The resort screams out VIP every where you go from the fine dining restaurants to the pools and private beaches.

The staff are very friendly and can't do enough to help with everything you want. I would defo recommend this to anyone who wants the 5** treatment. Just make sure you are in the VIP areas because I'm not so sure it's as good if you don't.

I have already booked to go back again with a group of my girl friends for a 2 week break at the end of the year.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nikkie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Plainfield, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

Where do I start! Check in took an hour and what made it worse was the fact that it was 4:30am when we arrived at resort. Didn't get into room until about 6am. If you are not V.I.P. don't even bother! I can't speak from a VIP experience, but as a regular visitor, it was by far the worst experience. We had a 2 bedroom suite (residence suites) and only had a tiny tv in the living room. No tv in any of the bedrooms. Not that we go on vacay to watch tv, but we were room bounded for 2days due to hurricane Irene. I spoke with two difference personnel and neither of them would accommodate our request for another room with TV's in bedrooms. The manager stated they did have rooms available but would not move us. If we were to pay for a residential suite we would have tv's in bedroom. I had already spent enough money for the trip and was not going to pay for an upgrade. IN past experiences, if a resort was aware of your dissatisfaction with the room they immediately upgraded you so long as there was availablility. No one at Lifestyles had any intensions of even checking if they had availability. They simply stated "all rooms in this part of the resort are indentical, but we do have different levels of accommodations such as presidential suites " meaning, if we wanted to pay more for our stay she could move us. The food was not typical, I was looking forward to fried cheese, mango, and fried salami, Never got it! Some foods were better then others. Then we were denied towels at the towel station because during check in they never gave us or explained we would need towel tickets to get towels by the pool.After being told to go to the front desk where we checked in to get tickets, they told us there we would have to go back to the residence suite area to obtain tickets. So in other words we had no towels that day! We couldn't get any reservations for restaurants, only the Mexican Place. My husband had to go complain a few times to get reservations made for the week. Then we had no hot water for a day and the phone in the room wasn't working. We had water coming in through the window in living. When we actually tried to watch tv there was a black square that would appear in the middle of the screen every 15 secs. We would have to hit a button on the remote to get rid of it.Imagine trying to watch the news on the hurrican coming and having to hit a button every 15 secs. After all of this, still no one took interest in changing us to another room. Unbelieveable! The property was beautiful, but again only if you have bought into the resort and have VIP access. In my opinion the resort does everything possible to make you feel less important to force you into buying the luxury aspect of resort. Its all a sales pitch and is terrible! I will never go there again!

Room Tip: I heard that booking through cheap carribeans was much cheaper. People paid $20pp all inclusive per...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank angelicah_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Puerto Plata hotels

Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

I just went for 5 min, just to look.
I'm very lucky, I just wanted to see if something change;

- We learn from our mistakes, nothing has change, it's horrible, old, same durty game, I spoke to a guest: Never got the villa, customer service nasty.

>> Stay away from this place, it's the worst place on the Island <<

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BKLYNCANADIAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stowe, Vermont
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2010

Let me begin by saying that parts of resort are lovely the owners only beaches are fantastic and some of the food is excellent !! But you will not get to see any of this unless you are an official owner I am the daughter of one and still received a hard time getting all these benefits because my father was not with me at the time even though his contract says it includes all family members and villas which by they way never seem to be available ( they hold them till you upgrade to a higher membership). In saying this I would suggest any one thinking about purchasing a membership here do not!! They make promises they do not keep everytime they build a new members only area they add another level of membership and if you dont upgrade your contract A.K.A give them more money you do not have access to this area also the older VIP areas that you do have access to are then open to the public . The VIP customer service representative V .Paul was rude and didn't even try to resolve any of my issues and basically ignored me I was treated terribly by him .As a guest of a member all you receive is access to the older VIP area that is now dirty way to crowded the food is awfull and will make you sick and a selection of bad restaurants and bars you have access to are terrible plus your harrassed all day by sales people offering memberships about the only good thing is the servers and bartenders the people of the D.R are great... Also if you dont have a blue, gold or black bracelet good luck getting into any restaurants at all with out standing on a huge line all day . I understand that you get what you pay for when vacationing but theres no need to lie to people this resort promises the world and does not deliver.The entire place is one big construction zone building more VIP areas so they can charge more money to gain access to these areas. Also nothing worked the Gym at the spa only had one working machine out of six plus the hot tub and relaxation pool was broken I talked to a guest that said it had been broken for 3 weeks the gym at the other side only had one working machine. This place is a joke spend your money elsewhere.........

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank stoweboarder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackwood NJ
Level Contributor
57 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2010

The key to understanding reviews of this resort is that V.I.P. members get a very different experience than do V.I.P. guests or renters. Guests are marked with a "blue" VIP wrist band and members with Gold or Black wrist bands. None of this is defined on the resort website. Furthermore, members and their guests are treated differently depending on the membership level - and it is this differrence which results in members saying things like "i can't understand how anyone can say anything bad about this resort" while some guests reviews report some very bad experiences - and for both to be accurate. Our group of 5 couples with "blue bands", as guests of a premium member, had some very bad and some very good experiences. Resort policies differentiating between members and guests are meant to reward current members, and to attract guests to sign up for membership. However, these policies result in some terrible experiences for blue band guests, and negatively impact the resort and members in the long run, so the tactic backfires. The fact that the overall rating of this resort was in the 30's for Puerto Plata Resorts seems to validate this. Management should consider other ways to reward members that don't significantly detract from the guest experience.

We planned our trip a year in advance and had an e-mail from the member explaining what to expect, but much of it turned out to be contrary to resort policy. Check-in took a long time as we realized that we would not be getting what was stated in the e-mail from the member. Starting with airport arrival here are some highlight and lowlight experiences:

- Gold members (GM) are picked up in a beautiful stretch limo; we were picked up in two mini vans, with broken windshields, a shattered side window, no seatbelts, and no A/C.
- We expected a new 5 or 6 room Villa. Policy is these villas are only for members. As Blue Band VIP guests (BG), we were split up into two older adjacent 3 bedroom villas. This was a huge Villa with with 2 private pools, and an annex that included a large covered outside "hangout" area - kept very clean and two additional bedrooms. Only the bedrooms have A/C in these older Villa's. There were several maintenance problems but all were resolved very quickly (A/C not working in two bedrooms, shower head clogged, drain clogged, etc). For about 5 hours each day, we had an attendant cleaning our villa, others would show up to clean the pools daily, deliver soda, water and beer, etc.
- BG's get to go to the VIP Gourmet restaurant once during their stay. Service is impeccable here and food is very good. The backlit menu's are a nice feature and top shelf drinks are very good. As BG's this is typically your only dinner in an air conditioned inside restaurant and your only dinner with top shelf drinks.
- One of our big let downs was being unable to go out as a group and get some good tropical drinks as most restaurants and bars for BG's do not serve top shelf liquer. It is important not to misinterpret this - like you may have read on other reviews, i am not saying that the wine was not to our liking - the wine served to BG's has a funky taste and is simply not drinkable, and the same is true for many of the tropical drinks. We talked with many other guests that had similar opinions. Near the end of our trip, we learned that even BG's can get good drinks at a few locations including the Sports Bar , the Bar at Jazz, and VIP beach bar - there could be others. Also near the end of our trip, we found a couple recognizable bottles of wine for sale at the shop and we purchased them to bring to the BG restaurant's (about $30 for a $10 bottle of wine). Resort management should fix this situation and members should encourage them to fix it. Resort Membership is sold on the basis of members being able to "rent" Villa's to friends/others. Blue wrist band guests should be able to enjoy a good tropical beverage or glass of wine while on vacation - especially if they pay the same VIP daily food and beverage charge as members.

- Exploring the resort our first night, we came across "Blue Lagoon Seafood restaurant". It was a members only night so despite lot's of available seating, we could not get in for dinner that night - a reasonalbe policy to have members only nights. So we booked Blue Lagoon for another night. On BG night at Blue Lagoon, the inside restaurant is not open, so we ate mediocre food outsiide with the heat and the insects and could not enjoy a good tropical drink or glass of wine with dinner.
- BG's are encouraged to eat at the outside "Buffet" restaurant "Casablanca". We were told this at check in and again at the Blue Lagoon on our first night. On our first night, we did end up getting a late seating at the mexican restaurant. they had a covered outside area and an uncovered outside area,nothing inside. Workers are trained to spot the blue bands so despite lot's of open space in the covered area, we were taken to the uncovered area (presumably just in case a large group with gold bands show up). We were just happy to not have to go to the buffet - but this changed quickly. We had a great Sangria at the registration desk upon arrival, so we ordered Sangria. Here, the Sangria was virtually undrinkable. The margarita's were undrinkable. About half of our group had an "ok" dinner and about half could not even eat what they ordered. To be clear, this is not a complaint that food was not prepared to our liking, but rather much of the food at this restaurant had a funky, terrible taste to it and was honestly not edible. Fortunately there is a store right next the the mexican restaurant where i was able to purchase a can of Planters Cashews and a bottle of sparkling water for $20. The servers at this restaurant did everything they could to try to please us and seemed upset that some did not eat or drink what we ordered. We gave them a good tip for thier efforts.

- On day two, we had breakfast at our villa. A nice touch and while many in our group ate the eggs, they had a differrent taste to them. 12 packs of mini boxes of cereal were also provided at our villa and sustained me for breakfast. By midway thru the trip, 4 of 10 in our group had severe diaherra, 4 more had lesser cases and only my wife and i were not impacted at all (thanks perhaps to cashews and sparkling water). One couple ended up departing a couple days early after not being able to leave the villa due to illness. Two others stayed but could not leave the Villa for very long to enjoy some of the other features (like Ocean World). As we talked to many people, we found out that others did get diaherra. The resort tracks reported illnesses but most cases go unreported so the data is not meaningful.

- Azul is a fantastic restaurant and is available to BG's for $79 per person (in addition to your daily VIP charge). I believe GM's pay the same daily VIP rate but they can go to Azul for no extra charge. We came across Jazz which is a beautiful New Orleans themed restaurant with a nice menu, but BG's cannot eat here for dinner. BG's can eat lunch at Jazz but only outside and with a small menu. We did eat lunch here and it was good, but i was turned off at the dozens of tiny insects on the table and especially under the placematts. When in a tropical island, with the only A/C in your villa being in the bedroom, it is nice to have a relaxing dinner/meal in an air conditioned restaurant with a good tropical drink. GM's have many opportunities for this but under the currrent policy, i reemphasize that BG's typically do not get this basic need during their vacation except one night at VIP gourmet.

- Sunday evening is the VIP Party where GM and BG's are treated the same. This was a well organized, fun event with good entertainment, dancing, fireworks, great drinks and an incredible variety of international food, most of it good to very good (Swordfish, Sushi, Filet Mignon, Roast Pig, Tempura vegatables, pasta, salads, etc). Over 1000 people attended - very impressive.
- BG's also get to enjoy Ocean World day time and the Party at the Casino at night - both were excellent! In Ocean World daytime, the shark, dolphin, bird and sealion shows were fun to watch; there were no big crowds and plenty of seats in the shade for the show. The bars sell top shelf and a large variety of beverages. For the evening at Ocean World, BG's should arrive early as you can enjoy a live band, top shelf drinks and great service prior to the Bravissimo show. The show itself was terrific. However, best to wait in line early to get into the show to get good seats as the stage is surrounded by 4 x 4 feet pillars. Our view was obstructed so we only got to enjoy the left side of the show and could not see the middle or right side of the stage.

- GM's staying in Villa's get golf carts to travel around the resort. Since we were BG of a premium member, we did get a golf cart. If you are a BG of a non premium guest, you do not get the cart. The golf cart is great but the resort is also great about sending a van to pick you up and take you where you want to go, so it is not a necessity.

- Also as BG of a premium member, we were able to have a BBQ at our villa one night. They set up a grille, serving table with tablecloth and serving trays and send over a cook and server. They prepare and serve fish, steak, pork, salads, vegetables, drinks, dessert. Everything was great and it was a fun night.

A resort exective visited us at our Villa two days prior to our last day when she learned about the couple that departed early due to illness. She was very interested in our constructive feedback and genuinely concerned about some of our experiences. We were appreciative of her taking the time to talk to us. She said she will investigate some of our issues and she took a couple immediate steps to ensure that our last couple days were great.

- If resort management and resort members want to turn around the signficant negative reviews, they should clarify policy regarding entitlements for different levels of members and guests. They should also recognize that the ability of members to rent or have guests stay at the resort is critical to success and they should eliminate the basic things that prevent guests from a good experience. They can do this while still preserving some perks for members.

This resort provides lot's of jobs for locals. Virtually every Dominican staff member and worker that we came across was friendly, hard working and seemed appreciative of the opportunity for tourism to bring jobs to the region. The level of service was exceptional. At VIP Gorrmet, we had 4 great people attend to us constantly (Francisco, Pedro, Rita Christina, and Nicolas were all amazing). Our terrific VIP reps Madaline and Indiana stopped by daily to talk to us and see what else they can do. Our room attendant (Bolena) worked so hard to keep our rooms clean and was so plesant. When our golf cart died one day, the first staff member that passed us stopped and said he would get us help. A moment later, 2 people arrived and fixed the electrical connection that vibrated loose and we were quickly back on our way. If you walked down the road, staff in golf carts would ask if you want a ride.

Overall the resort was beautiful and we can see why many members enjoy this resort. As blue wrist band guests, for too much of our vacation, we felt like Very Unimportant People (V.U.P.'s) . Had we been able to enjoy good meals and drinks every night like members, we might have a very different opinion. However, with the current policies, we would never return and would never recommend anyone go to this resort as guests, unless the member was with you and you got member treatment. We gave good tips to all the workers in appreciation for their service and we hope this resort can resolve the issues so it can continue to provide jobs for the locals while treating both members and guests to a great vacation experience.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank michettism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2010

The place is under-construction, trucks at 6 AM !!
The lobby is old and dark, I had to wait 4 hrs, from 12:30 till 4:30 for them to find me a room, I was suppose to get ocean view, jr Suite...
I got a room, more like the project....
The food was horrible, but they have the best coffee and all you can drink "May be if you drink the place feel like a 5 ***** !
Stay away from this place, there is much nicer place, cleaner on a much nicer beach!

>> THE VIP IS NOTHING, YOU WONT GET THE SUITE, YOU WONT BE ABLE TO BOOK THE RESTAURANT, ALL YOU CAN DO IS GO TO THE BUFFET MORE LIKE CAFETERIA <<

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BKLYNCANADIAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lifestyle Hacienda Villas Del Mar

Property: Lifestyle Hacienda Villas Del Mar
Address: Cofresi Beach | PO Box 608, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
Number of rooms: 42
Also Known As:
Lifestyle Hacienda Villas Del Mar Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Hacienda Hotel Del Mar
Lifestyle Hacienda Puerto Plata

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