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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Bronx, New York
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Awesome Resort”
Reviewed March 23, 2011

Just came back from 5 nights trip to this amazing all inclusive resort. Rooms are obiously not 5 star and if you are going to DR for such rooms you shouldnt go. Check in and check out are a breeze. They even offer you a drink while you wait in the line. There are bars everywhere which serve all kind of drinks. You arent going to see all the name brands except in the VIP Beach bars but they are awesome. Food is great. Rooms are clean. Beach is Great!! Multiple pools with various sports activities with pool side bars are just exceptional. Resorts workers are very nice, always serve with smile. They are also very professional and friendly at the same time.Overall, Bars gets 4.5 Stars. Food get stars. Beach gets 5 stars. Pools get 5 stars. Resort workers get 4.5 stars. Dont bother to make reservation for the restuarants they have...just go to Casablanca for snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will not be disapointed. All incluside actaully means ALL INCLUSIVE at this resort.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MahabNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2011

My family took a vacation to Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa during the second week of March 2011. It was our first trip to Puerto Plata and after reading the reviews, we were not sure of what to expect but ending up having a wonderful time.
We landed at Puerto Plata Airport as per schedule with Jet Blue Airlines (non-stop) and got into our transportation which was already waiting for us. Baggage boys were already asking for tips to load our suitcases into the bus but that was ok, $3.00 total for 4 large pieces. The bus had some sort of AC that was not working properly or simply outdated. After a 30-35 minutes drive from the airport, we arrived at our destination. Check-in was easy but having arrived early, the rooms were not ready, got our welcome drinks after which we were taken to the buffet for lunch. After lunch we checked in at the bar in the concierge area for a few drinks, got our wrist bands and headed to our rooms. Because of the room type we requested, two rooms with door between rooms we were placed in Building 1. The bellboy took us to our rooms.
Our rooms were small but very nice, clean and fairly comfortable with air conditioning and a nice view of the complex from the patio. I had a king size bed in one room and two queen in the other, kind of comfortable but the pillows were a bit flat but ok. The rooms were kind of noisy during the 12:00am-2:00am period because of the nearby pool bar filled with a group of early spring breakers.
The beach was wonderful, mostly clean and free of debris. The water was clear but at times very rough due to high winds. I did not visit the VIP beach area even though we had access by booking through Cheap Caribbean. Actually, the beach was the same but the beach beds with the services made the difference. I am not the type of person looking for a sun tan (got a natural one) or like sitting around so the beach bed was of no importance to me. Most people we talked to would get up, wait in line at 7am, grab one when they opened. Spent about 2 hours per on the beach floating around.
The pools were very clean and there was no rush to get a lounge chair early, since there was an ample supply throughout my stay. The swim up bar was on the cooler side since it is sheltered by the roof and with the wind from the beach, not much people visited that side of the bar. Drink was unlimited so you could get what you wanted, whenever you wanted from any of the bars.
We ate at the Casablanka buffet for most of the time and had no complaints. Our favorite waitress was Juana Diaz who did a great job in making us happy during our stay. The food was ok, not as great as some other resorts we had visited. Breakfast was fabulous, especially the omelet station, make it as big as you want, no problems. We had dinner at the Indochina restaurant one evening and at the Italian Bellini restaurant one night. Got the bookings during the VIP tour (30 minutes) so did not have to join the line in the lobby to make reservations. Our package with Cheap Caribbean for twenty dollars a day all-inclusive could not have been better, the service was fantastic.
In terms of things to do on the resort, we attended the Sunday night welcome party which was fabulous, went to the Ocean world and Casino one night, took the ATV tour one day (all fun). If you should take an ATV tour, please walk with a sun glass and a bandana to cover your mouth from the tons of dust the bikes generate from the trails. The best tour on the trip was the zip line, short but exciting and a good experience for first timers. Tipping is very important at these resorts and could land you VIP services sometimes without having to pay the big bucks.
We visited downtown Puerto Plata one afternoon but not much shopping, everybody recognize tourists and wants to rip you off. Laid back and relaxed for a few hours every day and enjoyed the vacation. The guys at the pool bar were always ready to provide you with some sort of interesting drink.
All in all, we had a wonderful vacation and would definitely recommend LifeStyles Resort to anyone wanting to have a good time.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sahadeo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, TX
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2011

Everyone has posted so much about the resort, so I'll just give my thoughts on a few things...

Not everyone is hounded by the timeshare guys with the clipboards. They never approached me, not even once. Maybe since I was traveling with my teenage son for his spring break. I guess they were targeting couples. No complaints from me!

The run for the VIP beach beds is orderly, no injuries and a MUST do -- it is worth getting up early and getting a bed. If you don't get there in time for a bed and only get to come for the free WiFi, free sushi made-to-order, sandwiches, snacks, free cigars, Premium alcohol, good wine, etc.... still get to this area. No local vendors here either, although the beach below it is public.

There is another beach area below the pools but before the public beach where you can have the sand and ocean view without the vendors. They did have vendors at the pool areas a couple afternoons but I was glad to have the opportunity to pick up a few souvenirs here where I could "negotiate" price and get some local trinkets.

The rooms are fine! We brought our own pillows after reading reviews and didn't need them. Yes, the beds are firm, but not unbearable. We had TV with cable and working remote, beer, bottled water, 7 Up and Pepsi in the fridge every day. Our sliding glass door stuck some, and the showers did run cold a day or two if you took one at 6p when everyone else was, and no, they don't have shower doors or curtains, but just do as everyone says and roll a towel at the shower line and your don't have a problem. We were in Bldg #1, were not bothered by noise much with the exception of St Patty's Day night. There were some college kids here on spring break but we did not have any issue with them and enjoyed talking to a few who were having a great time. We saw no one "out of control" in any way.

The buffet has a large variety of food at every meal and whether you paid the $20.10/person through Cheap Caribbean or were a VIP in a villa, you ate at the same buffet. I don't know what people expect with an all-inclusive buffet, but the food was good, we tried pretty much everything and did not have any "stomach" issues...at all.

The Staff - I have traveled to numerous places in the Caribbean, and the staff here were some of the most friendly, happy, accommodating people I have met. Bartenders, maids, wait staff, pool staff, hotel staff, etc. All friendly, efficient and just generally pleasant. This can make or break your vacation!

I took a lot of $1 bills and tipped approximately $5 - $7 per day on average. A minimal amount of tipping goes a very long way in getting excellent service. Our drink orders were remembered, we got little extras from the maids, anything we needed, someone was there to help.

We booked tours in advance thru CC, mainly to avoid credit card fees or bringing a lot of cash, but found they were cheaper to purchase through the CC rep at the resort, and one we had booked thru the website wasn't even available but they gave us another tour to replace it without any issue.

Bottom line, if you decide you are going to have a good time here -- you WILL!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Angiem8
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 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

My fiancé and I went to LifeStyles Beach Resort to celebrate our 29th birthdays in early March. We had never been anywhere international so we were very excited/anxious/nervous as to what to expect, especially considering the mixed reviews...
We ended up having a terrific time! I will try to outline both the pros and cons and give details for a fuller picture:
When we landed at Puerto Plata Airport (the flight was non-stop and great!) CheapCaribbean's transportation was already waiting for us, we boarded their bus (a bit outdated but air conditioned!) and drove to the resort - the driver and guide gave us a little information about the DR and areas we were passing on the way. We were dropped off right in front of the resort and I ran in to check us in while my fiancé got our bags. Check-in was easy and I was told the room was where I requested (away from pool, upper floor, quiet area) in building 6. We received a welcome drink, got our VIP wristbands and were taken to our room by a bellboy - he pointed things out on the way and explained about the restaurants, areas, and beach.
ROOM: Our room was very nice. It was clean and fairly comfortable, with air conditioning already flowing (very important to me!) The bellboy explained several features and was off, leaving us to enjoy. My only complaints about the room were that I found the blow-dryer was broken and the king bed was very stiff. Still, not deal breakers though. We had a minifridge (with waters, beer and sodas), small coffee maker, TV, fan, balcony, great view and vaulted ceilings because we were on the 3rd floor.
BEACHES: The VIP Beach was AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL! This is definitely the area to be - top shelf liquor, food, great service and cold water Jacuzzis, oh and BEACH BEDS! The service, at times, was a bit slow, but we are from NYC where you wait for nothing!) There was also a few swings overlooking the beach below. As others have said, Cofresi Beach is a bit rocky and the water is more dark bluish than crystal clear. The water was warm and there were some great waves to catch. If you want to get one of the more desirable beds on the beach (elevated, king size, beds with shades, or beds on swings/with great views) you have to get up early to claim one. Most people we talked to would get up, wait in line at 7am, grab one when they opened, put a few magazines and a towel or two on and go back to bed. This seems to be the norm. However, you can usually get one in the afternoon or late morning when some people have already left. They will provide you with fresh towels if you ask. Another good thing to know is that there is FREE WIFI SERVICE only on the VIP beach, you have to pay $5.00 USD to use the internet/computers in the lobby for a half an hour.
POOLS: There are two pools for guests, one large with a swim up bar and one small that is quieter and more laid back.
FOOD: We had no big complaints about the buffet, which we ate every day. The food was actually quite good and varied day to day. My fiancé would have liked cow’s milk with cereal in the morning instead of goat’s milk. But overall – delicious! We also dined at the Asian restaurant one evening (you have to get in line, in the lobby at 12:30ish the day before to reserve one of the a la carte restaurants), which was just ok, the buffet was much better! Though the ambience was very nice.
ENTERTAINMENT: As others have stated that entertainment staff try very hard to involve guests and entertain them in their acts. We mostly we doing our own thing so we only caught a few shows – we elected not to go to the show at Ocean World on Thursday but did go to the Sunday night welcome party, where the food was good. This is a huge party with multiple dining tents and top shelf booze. We did not stay very long as we were flying out the next day, but people were dancing and having a good time, apparently the party goes til 4 AM.
EXCURSIONS: We elected to do two excursions while we were there – one through CheapCaribbean and one through IguanaMama . The former was to the top of the mountain in Puerto Plata on a cable car – a great time! We got to see the large statue of Jesus overlooking the island, saw botanical gardens, went to the Amber museum, the cigar factory, the town square, the fort, a church, the Brugal Rum factory, and had lunch at a typical Dominican restaurant where they had a pet monkey on premises – the food was also very good! Our tour guide was great and very funny and knowledgeable. We left the trip learning a lot about Puerto Plata and with a bunch of nice pics (cigars, jewelry, rum and knickknacks too!) Our only complaint was that the tour was looooooong - a full day, lots of walking too. We also had a jerky guy with us on the tour who asked a million stupid questions, made a million stupid jokes and held everything up which had everyone irritated, though clearly not the tour’s fault.
We also went to the 27 waterfalls through IguanaMama, which is the only tour company that takes you to all 27 waterfalls, not just the first 7. I HIGHLY recommend doing this – it was one of the best experiences of our lives – so different, thrilling and challenging, and unlike anything either of us had done before! Basically, you are given a helmet and lifejacket and hike/climb/swim up all 27 waterfalls to jump and slide back down. The tour guides help you every step of the way and assist you on all the difficult falls. You can elect to jump the high jumps or walk/slide down if you prefer. There are a few “mandatory” jumps but they are not that high up. The environment is BEAUTIFUL and the water was incredibly warm and clear. Truly – unbelievable. They also provide you with a Dominincan lunch afterwards, which was very good. We brought an underwater camera with us and got some amazing pics. It was stenuous exercise and if you are very out of shape you might not want to do this excursion, or elect to do only the first 7 falls. We left the resort at about 9ish and returned about 2ish (transportation is included). We were also the last ones to be picked up and the first dropped off, which was great. The falls are about 25 mins from LifeStyles.
VENDORS/TIMESHARE SALESPEOPLE: Yes, they are there and can be annoying. The resort allows vendors on premises during some of the weeknights. They are pushy but just be firm. There are a lot of vendors/vagrants in the city. They were selling various things or asking for money and the salespeople in the businesses can be pushy too. The tour guides do little to protect you from these people, especially at the fort and cigar factory when you are outside the bus. Just be firm and ignore/ walk away if necessary.
As for the timeshare people at the resort, they definitely will approach you and “require” you to do a tour to get your “welcome package” (2 tshirts, rum, and mama juana bark). The salesman started to take us on a tour but I firmly told him we were NOT interested in buying ANYTHING and he was pleasant, taking us back to the lobby area without any fuss. Some people did get roped into the tour and ended up spending several hours of their time with the salesmen, again, just be firm with them.
ADDITIONAL PROS/CONS/TIPS: Upon arrival we were told that we would have to leave for a flight at 11 am on Monday, so we were in the lobby checking out at 10am, getting ready to go to the buffet breakfast before the CheapCarribean shuttle came to pick us up…however, the shuttle was already there! Apparently, a flight some other people were on was leaving an hour early and we had to leave right then, without breakfast, which had me very upset, especially since it was NOT even our flight that had changed. We had no warning and nobody informed us that we were leaving early, luckily we were just there.
As for tipping, we brought 100.00 USD in ones which was recommended in other reviews and came in handy. The workers, guides, and drivers really appreciated it as it is a poor country and they work very hard to survive. Not mandatory, but appreciated. The dollar goes a long way and mostly we just tipped a dollar or two at a time, which the exception of the tour guides who we tipped a bit more. It’s also a good idea to have some cash on hand to purchase items you may want.
On the whole, we had a great time on our first international trip and would definitely recommend LifeStyles Resort to anyone!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank violette4774
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Beach, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2011

I'm not a picky person. I felt the food was okay. As a matter of fact we were well fed. We did not stand in line to make reservations at 1 of 4 restaurnat but stuck with the buffet which offered a variety every night. Breakfast and lunch we had buffet as well or sat at the VIP area and ordered sushi or sandwiches. The sushi was yummy. The room was small and dingy with a small tv with no remote. We were in a building close to everything but it was loud. You could not take a nap during the day or sleep peacefully at night. I would request a building furthest from everything. (keep in mind we were there during spring break which made for college kids partying) Our room was in a corridor that echoed so anyone talking, laughing or maintenance people with walkie talkies was like thundererous noise and you could NOT SLEEP. They could have done more to promote activities. I only knew of water aerobics and games because I read a poster but unless you were by the pool you wouldn't know. I had a massage at the spa which was lovely and also had my hair washed and blowed dried. The prices were reasonable. I didn't like that they allowed street peddlers to peddle their goods on the resort at the area between the pool and beach so you were forced to walked by them and they would ask you over and over. That was a real turn off. We booked the $20 night through Cheap Caribbean. Lifestyles is a holiday vacation club and I believe they partnered with CC to get people here and try to sell them a vacation. My husband asked the sales rep how much he made to take an hour of time to sell us and he said $20 so my husband offered to pay him to leave us alone and he did.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank abrunette70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2011

Depending on your status (bracelet color) when booking the trip you are allowed different benefits. I was not able to book dinner reservations for more than one day in advance and had to wait in line to get the reservations, if you were lucky and they were not all booked. I was also told that the rule is you can only eat once a each sit down restaurant and then were only allowed the buffet. The food is average, nothing gourmet but tasty. The service is very friendly and does a great job of allowing the guests to have a relaxing time. A major plus was the resort was pretty packed but you never felt on top of others. Take advantage of any shows they have off the resort, like the welcome party and the Vegas style show. A huge suggestion is to not book a room near the main pool because they play a lot of music and did have shows until moderately late. So if you want to go to bed on the earlier side or sleep past 11am, go for building four, five, or six. Like my title said, well worth the money but know the rules. Enjoy your vacation here or wherever you go.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank linsstiet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport News, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2011

Wasn't sure what we were getting into , but proved to PRETTY GOOD! We usually go on two cruises a year, but they're not making any new islands so decided to opt for an all-inclusive resort. The resort is very nice, or at least half of it is. The half we stayed in looked like an older property that has been somewhat updated. The room was nice, with a sitting area and a balconey (garden view). The bathroom left alot to be desired. The tub spigot actually feel out of the wall, but we could jam it back into the pipe and take a shower. Unfortunately, there were little tiny black bugs crawling all over the countertop. When I alerted the maid, she "no comprende", so ended up soaking the counter with Deep Woods Off and problem solved. The grounds are beautiful as are the beaches. Yes, they ask about joining the vacation club, which we did! Then we got some good perks like moving to a nicer room, still on the old side, GREAT dinner reservations on the nights we were there, FREE admittance to Ocean World and FREE casino show! Happy with ALL the perks! We did play golf at the resort next door, at a reasonable rate. Actually played twice, since the course it only nine holes! Hubby just used different tee boxes. Would NOT recommend venturing too far from the resort as it is in a very poor country and they drive like MANIACS on scooters! Next time would definately want to stay on the NEW side, which we can do with our Lifestyles membership. FOOD was pretty good at the buffet, RESTAURANT food was markedly better, all-inclusive does mean ALL YOU CAN DRINK! NEGATIVE, you can't drink the water (not even to brush your teeth), but they provide bottle water in your room, so not really a problem. WEATHER BEAUTIFUL, BEACHES BEAUTIFUL, D.R. HOSPITALITY WONDERFUL. They are a HAPPY COUNTRY!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JoJo0228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Property: The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 282
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within the sprawling Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, The Tropical offers a classic hotel vacation experience set within quaint, two- and threestory, Mediterranean-style buildings. The mood is laid-back and distinctively Caribbean. Guest enjoy all resort facilities and amenities (excluding the V.I.P areas) including swimming pools, a choice of excellent restaurants, exercise rooms, tennis courts, windsurfing and so much more. The Lifestyle Tropical is Ideal for couples seeking a private island hide-away with all the advantages of a world-class resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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