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Reviewed August 27, 2011

Not sure why there are so many bad reviews here! I came back from Lifestyles this morning after staying a week and have nothing but good things to say about my stay.

I came with 2 of my girlfriends and we had an absolute blast!

The entertainment all around the pool is great. The guys who work in the shows and around the pool are very fun and good looking and are always making sure you have fun. The welcome party was wonderful...great dancing..music...fireworks..it was spectacular. The club was fun on the weekends. They play mostly dominican music - merengue, bachata, dembow..ect. Not for all crowds, but if you'd like to learn how to dance to Dominican music, you're in the right place.

The pools were awesome. The swim up bar was great. Had a great bartender too at the pool bar and the reception bar. I would see them every day, and they were so friendly, I had to give them all a hug when I left!

Not sure why people are complaining about the food. It was good stuff!! It's mostly Dominican food in the main buffet Casablanca. You're in the Dominican Republic, not America. Obviously the food is going to be different - DUH! I thought the food was great. For the most part, all of it was very tasty and there was a lot of variety. After a week there, I didn't get sick of any of the food, as there was so much to choose from. Went to the Asian restaurant, and it was also pretty good. Good service too.

The room was cleaned up always. The resort was spotless. There was always people cleaning the floors by the pool, sweeping leaves, mopping, landscaping. There were no mosquitoes on the premises....not even lizards which usually surround the island.

When hurricane Irene was nearby, there was a lot of rain and wind for 1.5 days, so the beach was closed because of the heavy waves, as were the pools. We ended up staying at one of the bars to pass the time. The drinks were pretty good. Make sure you get rum drinks with Brugal, and try the Presidente beer.

The resort is very large and pretty. It was nice walking through it from one end to the other.

The shows were fun at night. Lovedddd all of the guys...caramelo, scooby doo, cuchi..all of them so much fun. There was always something to do here. I loved it and definitely want to go back!

I still can't understand these horrible reviews. When you're in a different country, things are usually a little different. The service was great, the people were friendly....great place to be in..seriously, come here with friends/family, you'll have a blast!

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank nkkny1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

I was extremely sceptical of the Cheap Carribean $19/night deal. Also reading the reviews posted here I almost cancelled my trip. SO glad I didn't. I have no idea where all those who talked badly about this resort stayed.. NOT on this earth. The place was very clean. The amenities were awesome. The food was OK. If you think the staff was not polite did you stop to think of a language barrier? We are in their country. They speak Spanish! Don't get upset if they don't understand you!!!! I was there during Hurricane Irene & they wen't out of their way to make us comfortable. My only complaint is the limited wi-fi area. I will return and reccomend this resort to all.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Renee1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

This resort was not representative of what was advertised on the Cheap Caribbean website. Cheap Caribbean advertise this resort as a 3.5 star. In reality, it is at best a 1 star resort. My complaints are three fold: facility, services, and natural disaster.

First, facility was not representative of the pictures shown in your advertisement. Your pictures are of a room that is spacious, nice and clean. The room we received was dirty. The ceiling fan, vents, and floor had visible dust that had been accumulating for many months. The room was full of flies, ants, moths, tree roaches (yes they live in the trees but when they exterminated ffrom the many complaints the roaches came inside), and other bugs. The city dump is across the street and the same flies that in the decomposing garbage for the city are in the open buffet Casablanca (and other resteraunts). I saw flies in the food that was sitting out-When I told the staff to remove it because of the bugs they acted like they couldnt understand until I asked for management. Then Their English got better. The room had a molded smell. House keeping responeded by bleaching the room and bleached my suit case in the process and we could barely breath because the bleach was so strong. Now I have a discolored suitcase from the bleach. The sink kept clogging when you ran the water. The water was apparently contaminated and not drinkable. I became very sick after the first day and the staff stated that I should not have used the water out of the faucet to brush my teeth with (HINT: bring bottle water-they give you 3-4 bottles a day in your room but I needed 1 bottle for brushing my teeth and rinsing and had to share the other 2 bottles with my girlfriend to drink-ALL DAY). The only other bottle water is at VIP beach and that was a long walk for 1-2 bottles of water. We ran out of water daily (every morning) and could not shower till afternoon. Our neighbor took the 5 gallon water jug from the drinking dispenser in the hallway to his to take a bath with. The electric power kept going out daily, even before the hurricane. Hence, so did the air conditioner. It is very hot there, so no air conditioner and no water is rough. They advertised cable TV. The tv was an old 19" that needed a new tube. The picture was very snowy and most channels did not show. There were messages from the Dish provider that they needed to pay the bill (contact the provider). Our sheets were never changed. The tile in the shower was cracked and jagged, I cut my foot open while trying to shower. They did not have face towels and hand towels after the first day. They only gave us large bath towels and stated that they would bring them later (usually late night). They woke us up every morning at 7 am with loud construction noise where they were building a walkway. We compained to management daily, but to get another room there was an upgrade fee. I guess you have to pay extra for a clean, bug free room.

Secondly, natural disaster, Hurricane Irene compounded the horrible situation with her arrival. The staff wanted to charge us to call about air flight status. They did not want to give us regular updates, just kept stating they did not know status. Late Monday night, they stuck a flyers in the door to stay in room after 10 pm and to bring in patio furniture. At a 3.5 star resort, why should I have to drag in heavy patio furniture. Plus, as I mentioned the room was so tiny, imagine how this was compounded by the patio furniture inside. Once again we lost electricity (air) and running water. This was too much because I already had been sick with diaherria for 5 days prior and could not flush the toilet. This became a very unsanitary living condition. The beach and pool were closed due to the Hurricane for days. They did not give us evacuation information. We had to walk in the rain and wind to go eat because only VIP could have transpotation to and from resteraunts. Subsequently, my health concerns were compounded by a very bad cold. When I went to the gift shop to buy aspirin and cough syrup, they stated that it could only be obtained at the medical facility. The doctor stated that I had to pay for services and be reuimbursed from my insurance. He also stated that the aspirin was 1 dollar (US) per tablet and the cough syrup was 20 dollars (US) for a small bottle. He stated that it was at least 110% mark up at the resort and we could get it cheaper in town at the Farmicia. This is a scam!!! Why should I have to pay for medical services if it was their resort that made me sick. I had a full check up two days before I left for my trip and have been sick after the first day that I got there. My symptoms are: fever, diaherria, nausea, vomiting, foot wound, chills, night sweats, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, dehydration,and insect bites. All at your advertised 3.5 star resort! I missed my vacation because I was so sick and I am still off from work because I am still sick.

Thirdly, services-horrible! I emailed in advance about my food allergies to you and the facility. I was assured that they could accomodate my issues. Well, this is not entirely true. From onset they did not want to give us reservations in the resteraunt stating that they were full already (a lie that they tell all non-gold wrist bracelet guest). When I asked for management, they found a spot for us everynight. This covered dinner only. So for breakfast and lunch they stated eat at Casablanca. On the first day I got there a woman got sick in Casablanca and was taken out in a wheel chair. The second day, a woman had to be carried out by her husband - she was sick too. After the first time I ate there I too became sick as did many of the people who came in with us. With my food allergies there was nothing I could eat at breakfast. At lunch I tried it and became sicker. So after the first day I had to wait all day to eat until dinner. I asked for carry out of some dishes that I didnt think would make me sicker. This too became a problem. The staff acted like it was a bother for them to make meals without dairy. I had to get many managers involved before these issues were resolved. The general working staff is very nice and willing to try to help. The front line managers have bad attitudes and try to get you to pay extra for basic services you deserve from a resort. Upper managment is helpful, but it is a chore to get to speak to them to resolve your problem. Just skip the middle man and go all the way to the top or you will get very frustrated because the front line staff try to deter you from getting the help you need and act like you dont deserve help unless you are a VIP club member. My problem with this is-IF YOU WANT TO CATER TO VIP MEMBERS-STOP SELLING TO UNSUSPECTING VACATIONERS WHO PAY FOR AND DESERVE A DECENT VACATION! They need to be a TIME SHARE ONLY! ALSo, they do have people who hound you to buy a time share, but they profile guest by bracelets and brand name clothes. They wont bother you if you look like you cant afford it. (BUYER BEWARE- They have lots of time share levels and upgrade levels, but at the end of the day if you dont get the top level-you have to eat in the same resteraunts, same service staff, go to the same beach, same facilities. You just get a golf cart and a VILLA) From check in, I heard so many guest complaining I could not believe that this place is still open. Even for the extrememly cheap price-it is not worth it! I was in Hell for 7 days and I am still dealing with the after-effects. What the other bad reviews are saying are true. If you notice they are all saying almost the same thing.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Justice924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

reservation for the seafood and Mexican restaurant.. when I got there I was told there was no reservation available, however Casablanca was open I made it clear was that was unacceptable, I made prior arrangement, ask for a manager then suddenly one became available for the Mexican Restaurant for that night told me to come back the next day to make other reservation.. Casablanca was nasty I never could eat anything there for breakfast went for lunch I swell up like a pig after eating there.. went back to guess service ask if there were any other restaurant which we were told all restaurant were open during specific time period for lunch I was told no just Belini and Casablanca. Therefore each night at dinner I had to take a go box to eat left over cold food the next day.... by the third day I was sick as hell diarrhea nausea. I was there doing hurricane Irene they shut down the resort for three days nothing to do...I was too sick to do anything way.. I finally went to the medical facility they wanted to just give me Tylenol charge me a dollar for each pill.. told me I might have caught a parasites, from there water I never drink anyway accidently wet my toothbrush with it I now home still trying to recuperate from the vacation from hell. The staff had horrible customer service bad attitude room was dirty they never change bed linen.. We ask every day for them to clean, when you entered the room loud bleach smells just nasty when ask for clean towel they took forever to bring them up, would not bring up small face towel... We were supposed to have suite when we booked the trip however was told needed to pay to upgrade we refuse. At the restaurant the staff were not very accommodating to diets needs the made me wait for long time for simple meal.. several time mess up the meal had to call for supervisor at one point they were laughing while i waited..... After I called and spoke with management threaten with a lawsuit supervisor prepare my meal that night.. This is just a few things I have listed.. so much more.. Not to mention everyone of the vendor on lifestyle property was on scam the experience was so horrible If I never see that Puerto Plata again/LifesytleTropical Hell it won’t be to soon!

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Kay L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

We had booked this trip through Cheap Caribbean. I read the reviews on trip advisor before getting there and the review were right. Our white cheap caribbean bracelet did not give us the best experience and one of our group members ended up buying a $13,000 package valid for 41 years. Our group of 9 immediately got VIP and upgraded to the presidential suites and then our vacation became amazing just because we had gold bracelets.

We did not need to stand in a long line for an hour to book a restaurant like we did before when we had cheap carribean. If you do, try to get there early. It is around 1-2pm for dinner reservations for that day. The restaurants are presented beautifully. but some had ok food. The buffet offers pretty much the same food almost everyday, but it was pretty good. (Try to eat foods that are warmed because I got diarrhea the last 3 days from eating something that wasn't warm)

I got kicked out of a VIP beach because I was confused... so embarrassing. Make sure you go to the VIP beach on the right and not the left side when walking down towards the beach. After getting our gold wristbands we were able to go to Serenity beach where if you did not have a black or gold wristband, you were not allowed. That beach was so beautiful. Do not expect the water to be clear like in the south side. You can't see anything if you snorkel there.

Go to the Sunday welcome party. They had a live band, fireworks, and entertainment. If you booked through cheap carribean they will try to sell you these packages to get gold bracelets the next day after arriving. They will do whatever they can to get you to go on the tour. If you buy one, you can bargain with them! And make sure you take time to read the contract. They lied to us and said food was about $49 per week, then after they said it was $49 per day.

Don't buy tour packages/ excursions with them. They sell it for so much more. Try to find someone else. Bargin with the taxi drivers. Our group of 9 payed $130 for a tour guide and a driver to take us to church,city tour, 27 waterfalls, and cable car that leads to Isabel de Torres. We paid an extra $10 each for entrance to waterfalls 1-12 ($5 tip each) and $10 each for the tour guide with tip for the cable car. I spent $42 for the whole day including tip.

At the resort TIP! If you don't , they won't come back to serve you. Tip the maid too. I did not want to keep tipping everyday for breakfast and lunch, so I went to the main buffet and got my own drinks; therefore, I did not need anything else.

Room tip: Get the rooms by the main lobby (cheap carribean) VIP Presidential suites (get the second floor)
Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bernice415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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