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“You Get What You Pay For”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“You Get What You Pay For”
Reviewed May 30, 2011

Over the last 5 years, we have taken six previous all inclusive trips with Cheap Caribbean and have enjoyed them all. This most recent trip, however, was most disappointing. The Lifestyles Resort in Puerto Plata is not up to Cheap Caribbean standards yet according to their representative at the resort, Cheap Caribbean routinely books 82 of their rooms. In this case, it is all about “you get what you pay for”. First of all the membership (ie: time share) sales people are the most aggressive and annoying of any we have encountered anywhere. They even follow you into the restaurants and pester you while you are trying to eat. We finally took the tour just to get the T-shirt to wear just to ward them off. The desk staff and the concierge , while pleasant enough, left something to be desired. There were 22 people on our bus from the airport to the resort so check in was a bit slow. At check in we asked about dinner reservations at the 4 specialty restaurants and were told we would have to make reservations everyday for the next day and that reservations would be taken between 9 and 11 at the concierge desk. When I stepped over to the concierge desk to find out about dinner options for the day of our arrival, I was told the reservation time was between 1 and 3. You would think that 2 people at adjoining desks could at least give the same information. It turned out the reservation time was between 1 and 3, reservations must be made in person, and can only be made for the next day. This is quite odd and is a major inconvenience especially if you decide to leave the resort for site seeing. On all our previous Cheap Caribbean all inclusive trips, the resort took reservations upon arrival for our entire stay. To make matters worse, on 2 different occasions I was the 5th person in line at 1 o’clock and when my turn came I was told there were not any reservations available. Now how can 4 people take up all the reservations for both the 6:30 and 8:30 seatings in all the restaurants? My only speculation is the time share owners get preferential seating at the restaurants and the other resort guests get what is left over. As a result, we were only able to eat at 2 of the restaurants during our 5 days and the other times had to eat at the buffet. Please be aware that the wine that is served in the buffet and even in the specialty restaurants is simply undrinkable, very sweet for both the red and the white. The only decent wine in the whole place is at the VIP beach and they close at 6PM. We noticed that folks who drank wine at dinner were going to the shops on the resort, buying their own wine and bringing it to dinner. That is pretty bad when you have to go buy your own wine at an All Inclusive resort. I also found that the drinks were not consistent. Again, the drinks at the VIP beach bar were good, the drinks at the other bars had a very distinct chemical taste no matter what you ordered. Don’t know if it was cheap in house liquor or old mixers. We ended up saving empty soda bottles and going to the VIP beach bar late in the afternoon, ordering several glasses of their wine and pouring it into the soda bottles to take to dinner. The food has been addressed on other web sites – it is just barely OK, nothing to rave about, and again, not what we have come to expect from other Cheap Caribbean recommended resorts. The resort obviously has some electrical issues. We did have a severe thunder storm one night which caused a power outage but we found that the power would just take a notion to go out for no apparent reason. Sometimes it would come back on and sometimes we had to call for maintenance and I assume they flipped breakers because the whole resort did not always go out; only certain sections of some rooms. The same is true of the satellite service. It was off more than it was on for the 5 days we were there. When it is working, the channel selection is great but don’t count on it working. There was not any entertainment that we could find at the resort so most evenings after dinner were spent trying to watch TV. The housekeeping staff is pleasant but not up to speed on consistent leaving of linens. Most days we did not get a bath mat, some days no hand towels and some days no wash cloths. We left a tip everyday but it did not seem to help. There have been comments about the comfort of the beds. We found them tolerable – a thin mattress on a wooden platform - so if you like firm beds, which we do, then they are OK. The hotel part of the resort has some age on it. The rooms are very small, poorly equipped and have not been updated recently so be prepared for chipped tile on the floor, chipped Formica counters in the bathrooms and chunks of finish missing from the furniture. Our “upgraded” room held a king bed, one straight back chair and a small chest which held the mini-bar (a dorm sized refrigerator) and 3 drawers. The resort charges $3 per day for the safe in the closet. They are building more villas in the time share section but not updating the rooms of the hotel. The regular beach was OK with lots of loungers and security but it is several steps up from the water line. The beds on the VIP beach I can’t speak to because we were never able to get one. We are early risers and noticed that folks were in line by 7:30AM to get one of the beds. The beach did not open until 8AM and I was not up for spending an hour standing in line. We spent most of our time at the “quiet” pool which is surrounded by buildings 5 and 6. The main pool has loud rap music or some loud game going on all the time so reading or napping is not an option at the main pool. The swim up bar is at the main pool and really is a swim up bar. The water around it is at least 6’ deep. If you can’t swim you can’t get to the bar and they do not serve decent drinks anyway. The whole hotel section shows a general lack of management. While the staff was pleasant, they are obviously poorly trained and supervised. Unless you are interested in buying a time share, I would not recommend this resort.

Room Tip: The quiet pool is close to Buildings 5 and 6.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Marysk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Willoughby, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2011

I read some mixed reviews about this hotel and I wanted to put my own review on here. My husband and I just went here for our honeymoon...it was fantastic! Both the employees and guest were all so unbelievably nice and helpful. David at the pool bar was great! Everyone smiled and so was happy, it was such a pleasure to be around. The hotel was very clean! I saw people cleaning all the time, either outside doing landscaping or cleaning up the walkways or cleaning the hallways in the hotel. My only complaint is that we didn't have a choice for dinner, we always got dinner but when you go to make reservations they just told us what was available. We did get to go to all of them though. I would definitely go back and recommend this place to anyone. Be careful on the taxi rides though....they're crazy!!! :)

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank smile_1124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2011

Just returned from another fabulous 2 weeks holiday at this resort. The Presidential Suites are huge and extremely well equipped with high quality furniture and accessories, huge balcony areas, in fact the entire suite was massive. We were really pleased with the suites as these are newly opened so they were exactly as described, if not better. Plasma TV’s and huge Jacuzzi – what more do you need!!
The restaurants were superb, the Azul a night to remember! Staff as always, courteous and well trained to look after their guests.
This is our 11th trip to this resort, it just improves each trip. I read so much negative comments, but you get what you pay for, go cheap with Cheap Caribbean, and that what you get, a cheap holiday staying at the hotel, which is more than adequate and very well positioned looking out over the ocean. Stop complaining about such mundane things as ‘how long it takes to get an iron’ – WHO CARES! Your on holiday, enjoy it and look at all the positives instead of the most minute problem, which will hardly ruin a holiday!

Well done Lifestyle, as always SUPERB!
DAVID, DONCASTER UK

Room Tip: book at finefurnitureco@aol.com for the best deal!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DavidWomack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 26, 2011

I am staying at this hotel right now. We can't wait until Sunday, May 29, when we can check out. This country is known to have electric outages. Most businesses have a generator for back up. This hotel only had a generator for the VIP area. The rest of the guests were without electricity and water for hours today. The customer service is terrible. We requested an iron last evening to prepare for dinner and it took 2.5 hours and 5 phone calls to get it. They said they were delayed by the rain. We are 100 feet from the lobby office. We will never stay here again and will be sure to let our friends know not to stay here either!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Neveragain070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beachwood,Nj
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2011

Just got back from our trip.. We are a lesbian couple and went on our first vacaction together. We were a little worried after reading some posts regarding the D.R. being intolerant of gays especially women. We made lots of new vacation friends while at Lifestyles, and nearly everyone was unphased and quite nice to us.We had only one negative
experience with a staff member. We were in the pool and I gave my girlfiend a hug and one of the staffers said to us "not here!" and then acted like he was playing around, he didn't seem like he was playing. it was a little unsettling, but all in all out of the hundreds of other people we encountered who were really just nice, we just ignored it and did not let it bother us. We thought the food in the buffet was EXCELLENT, great choices( i am vegan, my girl , NOT!) We ate at the Chinese Restaurant, it was DREADFUL, great service, just bad food, liked buffet better. couldn't get reservation in other restaurants. The pool was great, loved the swim up bar, swiiming across six feet of water to get to it was amusing!!! Beach was just ok, its very small, no chairs down there and next a a filthy municipal beach, the water was great, just the beach not so special. Spa services outrageously overpriced, though we haggled a lower price. Great Drinks, great service regardless of tipping, Everything ran smoothly from start to finish inclluding the shuttles to and from hotel and airport. Just bring your vouchers a few people didn't and i caused a lot of drama with the shuttle drivers, but it still worked out well. We had a really great time.

Room Tip: we asked for a king bed loved our view from room
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank elenita145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Brunswick
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2011

Went to Lifestyle Tropical Resort May 18th - 23rd with my husband, 20 year old son another couple and their 3 kids (19, 22, 23). Checked in and 2 of our rooms were in Building 3 the other 2 were in Building 1. Went to our room and the floor was soaking wet (tile floor) and was very slippery. They said it was because the air conditioning wasnt working properly. I asked for another room and was put into room 4117 in building 4. So now we had 1 room in bldg. 4, 1 in bldg. 3 and 2 in bldg 1. I would have preferred if we were all in the same building. The power went off on the first day for about 1/2 an hour there was a thunder storm not sure if this was the reason but we also had lost power on our last night again another thunder storm. The first night we ate at Casablanca (the buffet) it was terrible I said to my husband I think we made a mistake. Fortunately the next day the food seemed to do a complete 360. We had breakfast and it was pretty good. Omlette station was decent. I was afraid to eat the fruit and fresh items. Luch was always good at Casablanca but I gotta mention the Hambugers and hot dogs are pretty gross. Dinner was pretty good as well. The roasted chicken they had every night was really good as was the pasta station. We ate at the Mexican restaurant and was very very happy. The food was delicious. I had filet Mignon Fajitas. Make sure to have desert and coffee here. We also ate at the Blue Lagoon. I had the linguini with shrimp which was amazingly good however not much shrimp I should have asked for more shrimp.

The pool was really nice. I sat at the swim up pool bar every single day for hours and it was a lot of fun. The 20 year olds we were with enjoyed games in the pool every day. Volleyball tournaments, olympic style games. There was morning pool aerobics every day @ 11 am.

One night while going to dinner we past by the pool bar and saw a woman (47 years Old) laying on the ground and she was blue. My friend is an RN and saw this and ran over to start compressions. The woman had a heart attack my friend ran the entire code. It was a very scarey night for all. The woman had died.

It was a good trip for the money but would I go back again? no I will stick to the Atlantis in the Bahamas. The rooms at the Atlantis put these rooms to shame. The beds are horrible I might add. We did have a good time in the end because of the people I was with not because of the hotel.

Oh I also had a massage which was really good. There is not much nighlife unless you drink. We went to the casino every night which opens at 7pm. The 20 year olds mostly played beer bong with others at the hotel. Not much for the 50 year olds to do. You cant go to town on the drive through to the hotel from the airport it was pretty scarey looking.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cole617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2011

We recently stayed at this resort for 6 days. The resort is beautiful and the staff is really friendly. The food is average didn't really like the breakfast it was repetitive daily. We did end up upgrading to VIP and I think that made our stay more enjoyable. The VIP beaches are beautiful but if you want to get a bed in the shade I suggest you wake up early and put something on the bed to hold your spot. The VIP restaurants were GREAT especially the Jazz restaurant! The rooms were nice but the beds were not as comfortable as I would have liked. Overall we enjoyed our stay and look forward to returning to this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NycFoxy
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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