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“Attitude is EVERYTHING :O)”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Andover, Minnesota
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Attitude is EVERYTHING :O)”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Greetings - My fiancé and I stayed at Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa. The establishment was nice, but we preferred the pools and beach at the Cofresi Hotel next door (which we had full access to as part of our package.) We did not like the color-coded bracelets indicating what part of the Tropical resort we could and could not use - you are very limited if you are not part of the total VIP package (like an owner of the Lifestyle plan or a registered guest of an owner). Go on the tour if you have an hour or two to spare - it's worth seeing the different houses or suites and other amenities owners get to utilize. But don't be fooled by the sales pitch - do the math, factor in all traveling expenses and it's not even close to being a "good deal".....your better off renting from one of the already established owners that advertise on VRBO.
Our room was on the first floor by the pool. At times it was quite loud because of the activities going on with the Animation Team. We did not mind the noise because we love to hear and see people having a great time!
However, there was a lot of rain (tail end of Hurricane Sandy) that came through on our 3rd day and our room actually flooded. Our sliding glass door was closed (it did not lock) but it was coming through anyway. House cleaning came to clean it up however once they saw how much water was in the room, they said we would have to relocate. We found humor in the situation and they moved us to the 3rd floor for the remainder of our stay. It's stuff like this that makes memories! Towards the evening of our 3rd day I was not feeling well, and on the 4th day I spent the ENTIRE day in the bathroom. Being sick on vacation is NEVER fun, but I did only gain .2 lbs the whole time while on vacation! LOL! The STAFF at the hotel are FABULOUS! Shout out to Sexy Banana! I left gifts on my bed every day with a thank you note for House Keeping - they were very appreciative. Even though it is an ALL INCLUSIVE vacation, we tipped $1-$2 for every drink, and every meal at the buffet or restaurant we tipped at least $2-$4. We plan on returning because it rained the last 3-4 days of our vacation and we have more excursions we want to do! Plus, the STAFF is WONDERFUL and THEY are the ones that will keep vacationers coming back!!! (Oh yes, if you do end up having a very bad upset stomach, ask the bartender to fix you a drink called the Boomba (sp?). It tastes absolutely horrible, but it really does work for an upset stomach - sip it and give it a few hours to work. I only wish I had known about this when I first started showing signs of having to spend the day in the bathroom! HA!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank Blue0117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

From check-in to check-out, exceptional service. Fantastic room and consideration given to my requests as I was traveling alone. Had problem with rental car and Manager went above and beyond to assist me! Super staff & extra effort to make up for the torrential thunderstorms. Even more empathetic to our American friends trying to escape the terrible mess in NY and NJ. Better than ever and why I keep going back. Gracias! It rained for 4/6 days but not on my parade! LOL.

Room Tip: I like buildings 5 or 6, simply as they are further away from the main areas - reception, activities...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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3 Thank 48Gee2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sparks, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We chose Lifestyles Resorts to honeymoon as we had never been the Dominican Republic. We stayed in a one-bedroom suite which was spacious, clean and more than big enough for my husband and me however, there was nothing about the suite that wowed us. Our bathroom leaked from the ceiling during our entire stay...our bathroom floor was always wet. The shower was open (no curtain or door) so water got everywhere every time we showered.

The resort itself is ENORMOUS, beautiful, and well kept. The entire staff onsite are friendly. There were several pools, bars and beaches for lounging . VIP beach was our favorite. The bartenders were always generous and friendly. The food was okay. My husband ended up getting sick after eating at El Pilon, the Dominican restaurant. Although there were multiple restaurants, only few of them were ever open for some reason. Sadly, we didn't get to eat at 3 of the restaurants we really wanted to eat at. You have to make a reservation every morning between 9am-11am to eat at a restaurant otherwise you were to eat in the buffet...which is not good. The service in the buffets was a hit and miss. Sometimes the server checked on us every 10 minutes or not at all. One night we ate at the buffet and went without drinks throughout our meal. It was awful.

We were not at all impressed with the entertainment. Our first night there, we went to a night show at The Coliseum and some of the dancers had runs in their tights so big you can see it from the audience. I was embarrassed for them. They weren't in sync- some of the girls had no idea what they were doing. Worst yet- one of the dancers/singers who was on spotlight was lip singing to "My heart will go on" did not know hardly any words of the song. It was awful. We were shocked. It was the first and last show we watched.

We had issues with the Aqua Center as they took us snorkeling on a TERRIBLE day (Flags were red). The water was so bad; we had to swim to the boat because the boat could not come up to shore. My husband and I got terribly sea-sick that we had to jump off the rocking boat and swim back to the shore. I can't believe they allowed us to snorkel and thinking it was safe. They should 100% cancelled the trip and refunded us our money. We demanded a refund as we did not get to snorkel and they refused. I was able to talk with the manager and he let us do another excursion at no additional cost.

We very much enjoyed the VIP Welcome party, however, it was one of our memorable moments while at the resort. It was over-the-top with the amazing food, fireworks, music...it was wonderful!!!

We we're skeptical about booking at Lifestyles after reading the reviews and wish we had honeymooned elsewhere.

Bottom line: beautiful resort, okay food, good service, poor entertainment. We will not be returning.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank j n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southwick, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

My wife and I bought this trip form Cheap Caribbean. The company did not provide clear material on what the facilities we were going to were actually like. All material on this place uses images form the timeshare owners' areas called VIP. This is not he standard for non-VIP guests of the resort. Non-VIP rooms are substandard by any measure.
Lifestyle Tropical is more like a tired cluster of old, cheap, dirty, poorly maintained motels along a small bay on the Atlantic Ocean than a true resort. My wife and I have been to a few all-inclusive resorts with amenities held for only timeshare owners. We have been to places with restrictive dining times similar to cruises. We have been places with terrible economies and crippling poverty. None of this prepared us for Lifestyles Tropical. This review will be lengthy as this place was remarkably frustrating. I have never returned from a trip angrier or in more need of a vacation.
To be fair, we had a storm come in and so we lost 4.5 out of 7 days to weather. This weather forced us to deal with the additional flaws of the facilities. There is nothing to do and nowhere to go if it rains. This review is intended to cover aspects of the trip we found intolerable with good weather. The rain simply made things go from bad to worse.

The room: I brought a book to read, but could not do this in my room as the AC couldn't keep up with the humidity, and we had no furniture on the room beyond the lumpy old mattress. The floor of our room was never mopped with anything but water. It had a sticky greasy patina that felt like old suntan lotion or a light film of syrup. When you think of the facilities here, think no tell motel, but dirty and old. This is a room we would never have stayed in had we seen it ahead of time. (Images on internet are of VIP suites) We would have changed our room but after speaking to other guests with similar concerns we realized, we had one of the few rooms with a working toilet, hot water, no apparent mold, mildew, or bugs, and AC (until the storm hit). So we counted our blessings and stayed.

VIP: This is the code for timeshare owners here. The business model this place has adopted includes VIP trappers present at the one and only buffet dining hall every day for lunch and breakfast. Prepare to be asked how long you have been there and if you have taken "the tour" every day multiple times a day. Taking "the tour" will not alleviate this nuisance. I am in sales and have never experienced a higher pressure less professional group. You will be lied to. I agreed to take "the tour" out of professional respect for another sales person and was assured I could complete the minimum pitch within 20 minutes. (I knew this to be a lie, but gave him the opportunity to tell me the truth. As with all of the natives involved in tourism, he chose to lie to try to secure my business. This is the norm here.)Once arriving at the VIP tower, I gave the sales team 20 minutes to wrap things up then dismissed them and walked away. As with all timeshare driven resort, the pitch will take about 2 hours unless you are strong willed and advocate for your release. By others' reports the tour involves driving around to all of the newer, nicer facilities you cannot access unless you are a VIP member. I'm not sure why a place would put you in their least attractive facilities with brutal dining restrictions as a way to entice you to buy in to the place.

Dining: The Casablanca buffet food is fine though I did see Kingfish steaks go from a dinner carving station to breaded and fried lunch two days in a row. You will have access to the buffet located at the sister resort (Corsi), though newer and nicer, the food is comparable. You should receive 2 reservations for the specialty restaurants upon arrival. Ours were both for late in the night (8:30 and 9PM). If you want different times or want to try other restaurants, you need to go to guest services daily at 9AM to request a reservation. They will take your information, put you on a list and at some point in the day you might find a new reservation ticket slipped under the door of the room. As the VIPs get the run of the place, you will be able to access better dining if/when they cancel. That said, the restaurants were never at capacity the entire week we were there. I do not understand why they made this process so cumbersome and unfriendly. The entire establishment is run for the VIPs with non-owners treated as an afterthought.

Drinks and tipping: Drinks are heavy handed here. (Very heavy handed) My wife and I tried to drink vodka sodas but had to switch to beer due to the excessive pours. Tipping will get you better service, but unlike many all-inclusive, "no-tipping allowed" resorts, the staff expect to be tipped so you run into a situation where you may need to compete in tips for better service once the few bars available get crowded. (Of the 15 bars available only 4 remain open past 5pm) Aside from this, drinks were often made incorrectly as the language barrier interfered with ordering. (My Spanish, though serviceable is weak as was their English.)

Smoking: Wow. The 70s are alive in the Dominican Republic and every would-be millionaire and true man (and some women) is enjoying their fake Cuban cigars everywhere. If cigars weren't being enjoyed, there were still plenty of good old fashioned cigarette smokers everywhere. (At the bars, buffets, restaurants, pools, beach, lobby, gift shops, guest services, buses...everywhere.) There was no relief from it and as all good smokers will do once of their leash, these people went bananas with their addiction. There are no "no smoking" areas so be prepared.

Activities: There is a reef right next to the resort. It is unprotected and struggling, but still provides some decent snorkeling/diving. Do not pay for snorkeling. Gear should be included if you do not have your own. They will tell you there is nothing to see in the bay to sell you a trip (another lie? shocking). All activities are priced as though we were still in America. Some were more expensive than they would be in the U.S. This is nothing like Cancun or Cozumel; these folks do not know how to run excursions. Keep in mind they are only focused ion you money not your pleasure. They have not figured out how to create a good experience to increase sales. They just take your money, try to keep it instead of cancelling (due to the weather, one group had a dive rescheduled 3 times even though they only wanted their money back), and push you into some event or facility to extract more money from you such as a gift store. I will offer 2 examples. One, the Amber Museum; this dump featured a 20 minute tour and a 30 minute wait at the gift shop. Second, horseback riding offered through John Wayne (I know…that's the name he's using.). This 2 hour (actually ended up being 1.5...lie?...maybe) ride took us through some mountainous trails and was to include a break where we would be given some type of snack with refreshments (beer and other drinks would be extra). The break took place at someone's farm. The only refreshments offered were beer and soda. (Beer here was $2 US per bottle, just like home!) To be fair, the guides were good and the vistas were beautiful.

Selling: Every appointment made by anybody anywhere will lead you to a sales pitch. The company that provided our transportation to and from the airport (Get a cab it is cheaper, faster, and more convenient (We waited at the airport on our return home for 2 additional hours.) forced us to meet with them our first full day there to "arrange return transportation". this ended up being an opportunity for the company to sell us additional activities. I have been to Mexico several times and have also been to China. Both places have aggressive sales people especially vendors at tourist s traps, but they are nothing like these people. The Dominicans do not barter well and will walk away from business if they cannot gouge you on the price. You will be inundated with VIP marketing. There are sales boards in the buffet hall with images of all the nice places you cannot go.
Lies: The lies begin with the images on the internet. All images are only of the VIP areas and rooms. Do not be fooled. From there assume every one selling anything is lying to you to get your money. You will be promised times, food, drinks, prices that will never come to fruition. Be wary and be smart. This resort is designed to do one thing-convert tourists to VIPs.

VIP beach: You will have access to this place. The liquor here is superior to the other bars the food is not. (Stick with the chips and salsa.) As this is the only free internet access point, it is mobbed by people with devices, tablets and laptops.

Bravissimo show: This tawdry affair is "like" a Vegas show in the way it has young women with enhanced breasts in small outfits with big hats. Aside from that it is a loss of a couple of hours and an excuse to drive people into the small casino at Ocean World.

Weekends: This is when the locals enter the place on day passes. Expect the resort to be filled with children and people form the area taking a weekend holiday. No problems here just a large influx of people.

Beach and Pools: The pools are all nice with a few exclusively for adults. The beach is wonderful and a nice walk. (Though not at night; this is a dangerous country for tourists.)

Takeaway message: Do not go here. There is no value here. I know the price is enticing as it was for me. Do yourself a favor and go elsewhere. Though, if you are in your early 20s and have not traveled much, this place would be a great "Spring Break" type of vacation.

I hope this lengthy review prevents at least one couple from being punished here. You are welcome.

Room Tip: Building 5 is the newest of the buildings. Building 2 is by the service entrance and you will be awo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
26 Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

I was there for 1 wk, Nov.9th-15th. I Really enjoy my stay. Mainly because the staff are just amazing and the place is very nice (the resort itself,the rooms,the beach).
We also eat very well.The waiters were always very kind, smiling,helpful, house keeping and maintenance as well, the hotel manager easy to reach and very kind , entertaiment staff (Tairis particulary) very friendly and not to disturbing eigther. All this makes a wonderful ambiance and put many good energies together, all over. We had bad weather for 3 days and it didn't really matter ! The resort is not too big so the service can still be very personalized.
At the main restaurant buffet they keep 3 chefs to cook fresh pasta or special of the day, special salads ect. At breakfast fresh omelets and milkshake. So it make a big difference to be serve at the buffet by the personal and have it warm and at my own seasonning.This is to me the secret of such a succes on personalized service. Differents a la carte restaurant are also available, you just need to go by the Guest relation office the same day before 10 am (8:30- 9am better) to try to place a reservation. Sometimes it work good,perfectly, sometimes not (to late or to early hours reservation) and they are not all open at the same day, it is a rotation system. Anyway, the buffet is great and you can also acess an other buffet restaurant at the next door resort as it's all the same partnership (some other pools and bars as well).
I liked also the beach (it's not a dream white sand and turquoise water),it is just nice, a small bay ,some vegetation at the extremety and a bit of waves, warm water,very pleasant.
Go for it without hesitation,it is defenetly a nice spot.
Thank you very much to all the LifeStyle staffs to create a pleasant holiday for us.

Room Tip: If you like it more quiet, section 5000 and 6000. In general good anywhere.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Isabelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

My sister and I stayed here and we had a blast. The staff members make this the place to be. Very friendly helpful and most of all fun and entertaining. We stayed for five days and I must say each day was full of fun. We are planning to go back in the near future.Lenny Craviz, Happy Man, Barbie, Johnny Bravo, Carmelo, DJ Yilson, Tairis, Droopy, and Put Tan all made this trip an enjoyable experience. This is a must go if you like to party and have fun.
Tee from Maryland

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tee220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lantzville, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2012

we stayed in a junior suite. there was a coffee maker and mini fridge stocked up with bottled water, beer, and pop every day. air conditioner and a ceiling fan kept it cool. balcony overlooked garden area. the resort was well kept with a lovely beach.

  • Stayed October 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Elaine W
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 Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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