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“Big Dissappointment”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed June 11, 2009

Hello Everyone,
My family had planned a trip to this resort.The transportation was relaiable. However the check in time was extremly long. In addition to that one of our bathrooms flooding 3 nights in a row. The maintence people were very slow in getting this job fixed and did accomodate us to another room. Our TV remots did not work, niether did some of our lighting fixture. In addition, the bellman demanded a 5 dollar tip for each bag which was DEMANDED.
We had also purchased our tickets to go to SeaWorld a local park through our travel agent and had our reciepts. The bus going to seaworld would not let us get on the bus and they wanted us to pay admission before getting on the bus. We decided to walk instead and ended up getting into the park with our admission tickets. It was a great dissappointment to know that the bus guy was just trying to take advantage of us.
One of our family members got ill and the doctor on site told that he would accepted insurance, at the last min he changed his mind and requested that we pay 240 dollars for a consultation and antibiotics.
They told us they would have internet access in the rooms. It turns out they dont. The cost is billed per hour.
this is just some of the feedback i have. We did not have a good experience. The deal was good, but i would have rather paid more to get better service. You are treated like nothing but a dollar bill here

Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
3  Thank rozie214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2009

Ok, I have been to this resort 3 times since August 2008 since my husband works at this resort :) Travel to the Dominican Republic more than 10 times in the last couple of years so can compare with other resorts in area or other parts of country.

This place's clients are mixed, you find singles, couples and families. Depending on season it varies.

First time i went with a friend : with all inclusive in regular rooms
Next 2 times with children : VIP through a member - in suites
For Puerto Plata this is a very nice resort.

Beach: not big but better than the Playa Dorada beach where you have lots of hotels and everyone is on top of each other.

Rooms: regular rooms, standard hotel rooms with either 2 beds or 1 king
Suites in VIP - private bedroom (s) with living room and dining area. Very comfortable
Both always very clean and everything worked just fine.

If you go all inclusive and get a great price, you have everything you need from food, to drinks and entertainment. If you go VIP you get little extras which make the stay more "pampered". It's nice to go to the VIP beach where you can sunbathe in a nice comfortable bed and have your drinks and lunch served right there. So more choices. When I booked through a member, it cost me almost the same as the all-inclusive package I purchased the first time (around 1,000$/CANADIAN for the week including flight). They also have a nice VIP party one night with live band and great fency buffet.

Food: Good variety in the buffet. It's catered for tourists. A la carte : Italian is really nice, Mexican too, Chinese so so. Gourmet (just for VIP) excellent. You won't really get the Dominican food experience in hotel. Did not try the others.

Entertainment: the animation team take their work at heart. They do their best to keep everyone happy during the day with activities around the pool or at the beach. At night they put up shows which are quite nice. You have to remember they are not professionals, they are there make you laugh, to keep you busy if you want to and make your holiday enjoyable. You can always tip them at end of your stay it's a nice thing to do. These people make 200$/month which makes them around 7$/day and do not forget that they work from 9am to midnight and have 1 day off per week! So they are really dedicated!

Disco: since it's for guests only the music is more North American than Dominican. Some nights they put more latin music. But if you want the real Dominican experience you have to go out of resort and they are great places to go where locals go and you can dance all day until 3-4 am!

Excursions: TIP: you can always buy them in advance at expedia.com it's usually cheaper than when you buy it there!

Bad things: The vip salesman can be annoying but a firm NO will stop them. Helicopter noise can be annoying while sleeping at beach or around pool, but I know they are expanding complex and it will land somewhere else.

The best part: its employees
You will mostly remember how nice, friendly the Dominicans are from your waitress/waiter, bartender, cleaning lady to the entertainment team :)

If you are looking for th 5* experience you are in the wrong part of island, go to Punta Cana or Samana.

This resort it's a 3.5* - 4* for Puerto Plata.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank luna_llena_1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2009

I like the resort in General but it was not handicap friendly and small children were not very amused with the place. There was a little nudity at the pools( not good for children). I was also bombarded by salesmen that wanted to sell you a VIP membership, that got you absolutely nothing but free cigars and a limo ride. They, I would think would run more people off by having the sales people sitting at the bar, and at ocean world, and at the resturant, and outside your balcony, and at the pool, and at th beach and, well everywhere. That was the most annoying part of the whole trip. We also knew of a couple that were there, when we were there, and they sold them a membership after they had gotten drunk by the sales person. Don't go on the tour if you have been drinking. Everyone at the airport that touches your bag wants a tip. I don't care if they move them 20 feet. If you go, it should be someone without a creditcard, so they can't sell you anything, and you can't be handicap because you can't be wheeled anywhere and it is not so exciting for children. So if you want to see some nudity and eat also with an army of flies( there were more flies there than at the horse farm, that we went to) at Casa Blanco and relax. I would recomend it.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Chazzz20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2009

The Thos Cook brochure price was unusually low for what seemed to be on offer, so we set off expecting a catch at some stage. It didnt happen.

Outward flight was excellent, transfer painless, room excellent, great aircon, pretty location hard working and friendly staff. Food selection was varied and of decent quality - though meat quality was occasionally a bit sub standard - avoid beef and some of the chicken dishes.

We read virtually every review on this hotel before going and have to say, none of the annoyances were as irritating as we expected, (helicopter noise, VIP touts etc faded into the background after day 2). Highly recommend the megatruck excursion for the able bodied. Insightful and educational trip into everyday DR culture, (far more interesting than it sounds).

Highlight of the holiday? Has to be the DR people themselves - they are delightful, hard working, friendly, warm and proud folk who want to EARN their income, not survive on handouts. Be tolerant of storekeepers etc approaching you - this is THEIR culture, not yours. A firm no thank you usually does the trick.

Be warned, do not come to the DR with unrealistic expectations. A Caribbean vacation does not automatically mean ultimate in luxury. Lifestyle Tropical, however, is a good standard for budget travellers, offering excellent value - highly recommended if you can get it for the low price price we did.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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Thank casualthoughts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

the location was very good. the staff was very supportive and helpful. we had easy access to the city via private car service that was very affordable. i was a very safe environment. the rooms are large and clean. the front desk staff and the rci representatives addressed any concern and needs that we had promptily.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank RuthieCab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2009

I found the trip to be a great experience. I generally found many good points and a few bad points like all things. I also found all the advice on this web site to be quite accurate. If you are making your choice to go here based on these descriptions, think about other trips you’ve been on and compare. If the descriptions here are unbearable then you probably will not like it. Other wise try it out and have a great time!

Good points:
·Unlimited food and drinks all day whenever you want.
·Fabulous service- people always ask if you need more.
·Excellent weather – 85 deg F all day, night 72 deg F. Not humid, cooler than Florida. Almost no rain!
·Beautiful pools, landscaping, beach areas
·Many good excursions to be able to book thru resort or sellers at all prices
·Ocean World and Casino right there
·Transportation available and included for trips
·Theater shows every night, movies, club- all part of inclusive (all who stay)
·Kayaks and body boards included
·Excellent cleaning service- maids move furniture to clean behind, and actually clean the ceilings every day! They fill fridges with bottled water everyday and give more if you ask.
·No additional money necessary to stay
·No rental cars needed

Negative points:
·Once you arrive, a wristband is placed on and cannot be removed for the entire stay unless you want to pay $20 to replace it. These bands are color coded in four categories: all-inclusive (timeshare sellers will go up to you), RCI members, Original vacation club members, and Guests of the vacation members.
·The timeshare reps usually look for people in the morning to talk to, tour around VIP area and offer packages.
·Pools close @ 6, they should have at least one open 24 hrs.
·Beach closes @ 7, is public, and has sellers (I guess most do)
·Phones are impossible to call out of country, main desk calls are $2/min (bring international calling card or skype)
·“timeshare” representatives want to sell
·Non-members see what the members have and tend to want the other.

·Water in country not to drink from sinks, or use with brushing teeth
·Ocean water not bright blue (as expected)
·The resort is about 30 minutes away from the airport by car
·Non VIP are usually not aware that the club and theater (across from tennis courts) are included and do not have to be in VIP.
·The notable showers have a small ½ inch drop down so water easily goes to the rest of the floor. The showerheads are hand held sprayers so you can control the water direction
·Almost everyone speaks English
·There are few things non VIP miss out on-one fancy restaurant, VIP beach, VIP pool, included wi-fi spot. All else is shared. Even the helicopter is shared- costs $$.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank myvacationnation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2009

i was very skeptical when i read the reviews but went anyway. i was so glad i did, from the moment we stepped off the plane it was wonderful. it was a beautiful resort great service great food great people. the place truely was paradise. there is so much to do you can be as busy as you want or just relax and do nothing. i went with a large group and we were all happy. i very much recomend it don't listen to the bad reviews, i think those people would complain were ever they went.book now you won't regret it.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with family
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Thank dollster_9
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
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
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $87 - $253 (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 Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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