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“Awesome girls vacation”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed November 9, 2012

I just returned from this resort and our overall experience was great!!! Four of us gals decided to do a girls vacation in honor of two of the four of us turning 30 and we found a deal through cheapcarribbean and booked. We were leary because information was hard to find, but we were not disappointed. I think there is something for everyone at this resort. They did mess up our room reservation and instead of having 2 rooms with two double beds, we had two rooms with only a king bed, but we just let it go and it didn't really matter to us. We are very low-key girls, so it doesn't take too much to please us. The resort got better the longer we stayed there because we were very confused at first as to what our wrist band got us, where we could and when, how did the shuttle work etc and there was not a lot of assistance from anyone that worked there. If you called the front desk, they rarely answered and in the evenings, there was not always people readily available, so we got most of our information from other travelers, which actually worked out just fine. Be aware the first full day after you arrive, you will be forced by the men in the white polos who wait for you to finish eating your breakfast to go receive your free welcome package and they are very pushy and rude. The man we met at the place they take you to though was great and we didn't have to go on the 2 hour tour like most everyone else did because we made it very clear we were not interested in a timeshare. I know others were not as fortunate. We ate at the buffet a lot and also some of the other restaurants and decided the buffet (Casablanca) probably had the best food. Bellini and El Pilon were good and the Blue Lagoon was awful for dinner. We were disappointed in that. Besides Blue Lagoon, all the food tasted great, but we all did get that nice little bathroom bug, but it didn't really hurt anything. Nothing that ruined the vacation. We did do a couple of excursions through the hotel too and some were worth it, others not so much. Go find Joel on the VIP beach and he will set you up with a great massage in the spa and Juan can sign you up for snorkeling, parasailing, etc. What was great about both of these guys was we booked the first day we got there and they remembered us and talked to us frequently, especially Joel. He was great!! We also did the City tour and it was ok. It got to be a long four hours and the flea market they hype up at the end of the tour is actually just a souvenir shop in the city that has crap not worth buying. You can get better at the hotel. We also booked snorkeling through Juan and we enjoyed it! If you get motion sickness, this may not be for you or take pills to help with it. The best excursion we did I booked before we went through Iguana Mama to 27 Waterfalls and it was the greatest thing of the whole trip!!! Look them up online and book through the website, it's totally legit and worth every penny!!! Our guide picked us up just as the email stated, gave us great information about the city as we drove to the falls, we had great guides throughout the experience and the food we got there (part of the package) was the best (and easiest on the stomach) of the whole trip!! Book through them, not the hotel. The hotel takes you on different stops, only half of the waterfalls and one couple told us they ended up at a cock fight somewhere in the city on this tour. Also, check out the shows in the Colleseum each night....very entertaining!!! Overall, this resort is great and I would love to go back!! The staff is what makes this place wonderful and they are all so kind, especially the bartenders and waiters/waitresses. Some other things to know before you go that would have helped us: Free wi-fi is only at the VIP beach and the signal is not great. The drinks are better tasting at the VIP beach...tip a little bit and you will be rewarded :) Being VIP doesn't acutually mean you get into all places....you may not qualify for certain areas/restaurants of the resort. Bring candy to use in addition to tips. A couple said they bring chocolate and leave them for the staff and they love them because it is not something that they always get. Book a shuttle before you go to and from the airport through Olympus, which operates out of the front desk of the hotel. We had Barney on the way there and he was awesome!! If you are staying at the Tropical, you can go to Confresi and use their pools (which we found to be nicer) and you can also eat at some of the restaurants there too. The club or discoteca, ICE, is at Confresi and it is worth at least one trip. We also struggled to find a direct website to the hotel, but I believe if you go to Lifestyles.com you can find the hotels there. Also, DO NOT make a collect from the room and put it on your credit card. None of our cell phones would make calls out, even with international packages and one call to a cell phone voicemail for 2 minutes cost me $42 collect!!! Dial 0 and have the operator charge it to the room. For five calls, it cost $20 and this included actually talking. The most important thing to remember though is too much pina colada and mamajuana makes for an interesting night!! Enjoy the resort and the wonderful people that work there! The more you interact with them, the more enjoyable it will be.

Room Tip: We stayed in the tropical and it was very basic rooms, with a patio, quick walk to food, pools and t...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank AmberDos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 9, 2012

Let me first start off by saying I got a unbelievable deal with airfire and the resort. However from what I understand the resort thru Groupon and Cheap Caribbean does these farly often.

The Resort itself is great. Grounds are well taken care of and basic rooms are nice for the most part. Other then low water pressure sometimes, I have next to no complaints about the room I had at the Tropical.

The Food...well thats the low point of the resort. You will read other reviews stating they got sick and try as you might...you will most likely get sick as well. However I only had a unsettled stomach for one day. I dealt with it and still enjoyed myself. Buffets aren't as bad as you might think but breakfast is the same every day.

Great Beach and the VIP is a real plus. They really take care of you and as long as you get there early (9am) you should get a nice bed.

Some Tips I picked you:

-Tip your maid so you make sure you get plenty of bottled water. between the lack of clean drinking water and amount of free drinks you will be getting you need to stay hydrated.

-Whether you like it or no, the clip board "timeshare" goon squad will find you sooner or later to go on your welcome tour your second day (part of why its so cheap as its to get you to buy in). Suck it up and go on it early. If you already know you are not interested, be friendly but blunt. Don't fill out the survey so they can leverage your personal info against you and be clear from the get go (interrupt them if you must) and let them know you aren't interested and that you are wasting your and their time. We were in and out in 20 minutes and by being honest from the get go.

-Go to the Sunday Welcome party! Besides the food and better drinks, its a all around great production. Great dancing, performers, and feel throughout. The Thursday Ocean World Party is pretty good to, if nothing else check out out show and get out of the resort.

-Meet other people if you plan on going on self guided executions. Its too expensive for just two people to get a taxi but if you go with 6 its pretty reasonable.

-Go to Ocean World. Besides it being within eye shot, Swimming with the dolphins is worth the price! Also don't let the tour guys fool you. They say there prices are set by ocean world. We did the Royal Dolphin swim and managed to get the sea ion encounter thrown in.

-Dance clubs were kinda lame. So were the Coliseum shows. You can feel free to skip them.

-Too much load music by the entertainment team all day by the main pools. If you are looking for someplace quiet to ready, seek out the beach or one of the smaller pools.

All and all, this is a deal oriented place. They take care of you...but within reason. You are given a nice resort with just enough to do if all you want to do is relax. Don't go in expecting much more then 3 stars, but if you are looking to get away from it for a reasonable price, I really Recommend Lifestyles Resort in Puerto Plata!

Room Tip: Its worth it to get a safe. they are cheap and worth the piece of mind.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

I had the most amazing time during this trip. I met the most incredible people from all over the states. The staff made me feel at home. The entertainment crew left a few tears of joy, and sadness when it was time to leave. I want to Thank Happy Man, Booty Tang, Caramelo, Johnny Bravo, Blacky, and Everyone else who made sure at all times I was happy and having a great time. I would most definitely return back to see all my friends!!! ☀☀

Room Tip: Rooms by the pool are lots of fun. Different activities such as Dancing, games, yoga, etc. took pla...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Anyie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

In early Oct 2012 we rented a home for a week in nearby Costambar Beach, and under the advice of a friend we extended our stay with an extra 4 days at LifeStyles. What our friend said was: “worth checking out for a few days to see if that works out for you.”

Given the advanced “insider information” our four days were superb, but we’re never going back! Why you might ask? Well, as the saying goes, “the Devil is in the details”.

1- Don’t even think of going there unless your rental arrangement includes a “VIP – Gold status” (i.e. a bracelet you wear during your stay.) Good luck to the unknowing who book through RCI or “discount” travel agencies.

2- Upon checking in, your highest priority is to immediately secure your dinner reservations at your chosen restaurants. Big smiles and all, the next day you will be informed about which restaurants were “not available” and time changes at other venues. (While chatting with others who had paid $$$ for “membership” some reported having the same problem and at times having to eat at the open buffet.)

3- Who to rent from? Oh what fun. By examining the photos of the various offerings right here on Trip Advisor I found 18 different web listings for the same resort. They each may well be different corporations, but they all share the same common restaurants and beaches. Instead of that we explored HomeAway and VRBO to rent from a “member with Gold Status”. Even then, the Resort knows you are a only a renter, thus your “Gold” restaurant reservations have lower priority. (Hopefully TA will accept the screen photo of my Excel spreadsheet showing these 18 websites.)

4- When to go? Beware of “high season”! During our early October visit the problem was that many of the restaurants were really only open 2 or 3 days a week, but getting lounge chairs at either the beach or the pools was no problem. Ah, but it quickly goes downhill from there. Other prior visitors, “$$$ members” and staff commented on the need to secure a lounge chair before 7 AM. Worse yet, while the Resort’s expansion has blossomed in recent years, their limited beach areas remain the same and readily get overcrowded.

5- Side Excursions? If you have ever felt gouged by the cost of a “shore excursion” on a cruise ship, here you can save your money. Simply walk closer to the main entrance and just after the Presidential Suites go left 200 Ft. There you can negotiate with the local taxi drivers. (What we found is that some of their glorified tours were nothing more than transportation, then passed you onto local guides such as at the Fort and Amber Museum. Our guide’s contribution at the top of the tramway could have easily been done by any taxi driver at far lower cost.)

6 Transportation – Golf cart included? Sometimes rental offer a golf cart, yet some reported finding “none available” when they got there. Frankly a golf cart is a mixed blessing, sure it sounds cool and during the day it can save you 10 minutes waiting for requested transportation, but at night you better have memorized a map of this large complex.

7- Beware the “sales pitch”! No sooner you arrive you will be accosted by their unrelenting sales pitch, including “today's special”, purchase a membership before 5 PM and start enjoying your “upgraded status” right away. Suckers, anyone?

Oh well enough said. Deep down I believe in karma, when travelers cut through the phony/complicit reviews and tell it like it is – Have fun!

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
5  Thank rodrigt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

I am getting ready to book my trip back to this hotel again. I often read the trip reviews before I go... that's just me and what I like to do... call it catching up on current events. I was so disheartened to read such horrible comments from recent guests. I've been coming to this hotel 2-3 times per year since 2006 - I was just there this past June.
The hotel management and staff take pride in this establishment. The grounds are immaculate and they are constantly cleaning up after the guests. They continue to upgrade and add to the beauty of your surroundings and since I’ve been coming here, the size of this resort has doubled.

Miriam and Gina are in the lobby bar of the Tropical - they've both been there for many years. David, Nicanor and Happy Happy are bartenders at the pool bar. These people have always been extremely courteous, professional, and helpful. They enjoy what they do and take pride in their work. They never forget a face and welcome you back with a smile and open arms – no matter how busy they are.

The animation team - Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Carmelo, Sexy Blacky, to name a few - are there to engage the patrons - and they do a great job - they make you laugh, encourage you to participate and even if you are a bystander, you cannot help but smile at some of their antics.

There are nightly shows at the Coliseum and a poolside show once a week. The dancers work extremely hard to entertain you. Darinel is an excellent dancer and always a joy to watch... as is Roberto and Sharina. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen the show before… I look forward to seeing them again and I know these people work their butt off morning until wee hours of the morning again – all for the purpose of making us, the guests, smile, and laugh and to have an all-around great time.

The Sunday Welcome Party is always spectacular and I try to never miss it. The saxophonist can take on Kenny G any time – his music is mesmerizing.

The wait staff at the VIP beaches is always very attentive whether I leave them a tip or not. The atmosphere is luxurious. The beds are clean and you cannot help but to be relaxed in this place!

The housekeeping services are excellent. I’ve never had a problem with the level of service I’ve received. Anything I’ve asked for, I’ve gotten. They do remove the towels when they clean your rooms but they are replaced in the afternoon as soon as they can – freshly cleaned. I have my favorite – Jacinta – she truly goes out of her way to help you and meet your needs.

I’ve never been sickened by the food – ever. I’ve been to all of the specialty restaurants and there is always a good selection of food. I do prefer some restaurants over others, but these are personal preferences and have nothing to do with the quality of the food that is served. I am always able to find a large variety of food at the buffet and have no problem eating there every night.

The massages at the spa are wonderful and priced appropriately. I’ve had them there several times and I’ve always walked away feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Then you have the Lifestyle staff that want to bring you to the presentation… a firm “no” is all that is required. These people are just doing their job – and that is to try to bring you to the presentation.

There is a class structure based on the wristband you wear. Some bands allow you more perks such as access to exclusive VIP areas or top shelf liquor but this is because that person paid a lot more money than most. I have never been treated anything less than ideal by any of the staff because of the color of my bracelet. And I am not a member - usually, I book through Cheap Caribbean like most of you.

Please remember that this is not a 5 star resort and you did not pay for a 5 star resort. However, it is a beautiful resort in a beautiful tropical setting with a staff that is eager to please you if it is within their power to do so. To suggest otherwise, I would question your expectations. There are imperfections all around us and there will sometimes be a wait to check in – or a radio that might not work – or even someone that cannot accommodate all of your desires. But for me, when all is said and done – this place is a home away from home – and that is because of the warmth and the genuine, heart-felt sincerity of the staff.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank michellenalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

I am surprised by the negative reviews. I have been lucky enough to stay at the resort 5 times since I celebrated my 40th birthday there in 2009. I have never had a problem wth the food making me sick, or by poor service. I return because of the consistent quality and friendliness and prfessionalism of the staff. The barkeeps are super, especially David and HappyHappy, the entertainment fun and enthusiatic! I like the price - I am not a member and always book on one of the low cost websites. I have been approached about the timeshares, however I politely decline and am not bothered again. I return tomorrow for another 6 days. I will post again next week and let you know if there has been a change, either way! =)

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank 48Gee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I Brenda Skinner and my daughter travelled to Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) . This Oct- 2012. While there we meant an array of friends who we still keep in contact. We meant people from all over the world. The trip was truly worth the cost. The Food was fantastic along with the excellent service that was presented to us .I especially enjoyed being waited on Melissa Ventura, who was kind, bubbly, and made sure that we had more than we need to accomadate all of our food need. Thanks Melissa. Ms. La Barbie , Denise Lopez was a gem she was the best hostess, greeter, activity coordinated in the world. She showed us much love and a lot of fun things to do while we were there. There were a lot of people who made the trip superb, but these two ladies really made the trip SPECTACULAR. Thank you both for your time and consideration that you gave to both me and my daughter. Ms Melissa Ventura and La Barbie Denise Lopez.. I give Lifetstyles and the two ladies on a scale from 1-10 a 100- SALUTE.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Brenda S
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

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:
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $100 - $276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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