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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Boston Mass
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Wish it was longer!”
Reviewed June 12, 2009

After reading all of the bad reviews I was getting a little worried about going but went ahead anyway and was so glad!

We arrived 2 hours before check in and were given a room right away with no problems and were at the pool within an hour of arriving.

Pool:Within 5 minutes of being at the pool we were approached by super friendly staff asking if we wanted to join in the pool games. They had activities every day that were as fun to watch as to join. You will also learn the choco choco dance and song. All of the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming so don't brush them off or be rude to them. They work long hours and still have a smile on their faces at midnight. My friend and I are 21 and 22, similar ages to them so we made friends and had great fun. Manny, George(of the Jungle), Roberto etc.There were always enough chairs at the pool/beach even if we got a late start. Water is the perfect temperature, cool enough to be refreshing but never too cold.

Food&Drink: I am one of the pickiest eaters around and found something to eat everyday, I was never hungry. If I can find something to eat, anyone can. The only restaurant we went to was the Bellini Italian. Staff was great and food was good we even went a second time later in the week. Pool bar is the best with David at night! The bartenders were so friendly and fun. No need to tip but if you do you will get a better drink. On the first day we got drinks in paper cups and we tipped 2 dollars, our next drink was garnished with fruit in a big glass. A little respect goes a long way here. The bar does close around midnight but the chinese restaurant is open all night and with a little fun we had a few nights of cerveza delivered out to us at the bar from the restaurant until way into the night.

Beach: Agua center staff are great. Manuel, Luis, Marco(Polo)... Non-motorized sports included as well as free scuba lessons in the pool. Beach volleyball is a good laugh. Got a coconut to make a drink in straight from one of the many palm trees. The actual beach is public but there is a beach for the resort that is gorgeous and has many shady spots. Down just a few steps is the real beach. There are some vendors but politely say no thanks or get talking to them and you could learn a lot about the DR. It is a little rocky under the water but is okay to swim. Walk a few feet down the beach towards the VIP section and it has a lot less rocks. The water does have a lot of waves and being not the strongest swimmer I was a little nervous but it was no problem it's not wild or anything.

"Bad": VIP salesmen-They'll say just a few minutes of your time we'll take you to see you'll get rum and some free tshirts. We knew better and said later, maybe tomorrow etc. They stalked us at the pool and beach when finally we told them we were poor students who had no money and no interest in buying a villa. Once they knew we weren't interested they left us alone we'd walk by and get "Hola Amigas! Como Estas?" instead of convincing. Tell them straight out if your not interested and you'll have no problem. We did meet people who ended up buying a villa and were exited about it and felt they got a great deal so if you are in the least curious go ahead but if not say no and that's it. Helicopter-A couple times a day right near the pool, didn't bother us except one day it was low and blew our stuff all around. If your looking for absolute peace and serenity it'll bother you, if not it's fine.

Nightlife- The shows at night were entertaining. First few nights we couldn't find the theater but just ask it's in the VIP area. They do pick people out of the audience for competitions before so be ready! I had to dance after being volunteered so watch out! We went to the disco 1 night and it was completely empty (it's the only place drinks are not included so I'd say that's a big factor). If you want a disco/nightclub go to the ocean world casino or we were told nearby "Sasoa" is the place to be. We left and went to the pool bar where we ended up almost every night. Lots of people and a good time to be had.

Fun Facts:
Tips not necessary but nice touch and get slightly better service.
Rooms cleaned every day.
Make dinner reservations early if you want a restaurant.
Don't drink the water. We even brushed our teeth w. bottles but don't know if it's needed.
Fridges stocked every day w. water,soda,cerveza.
Safe costs 20$ for 7 days or 3$ a day.I left money FOR the maids and they didn't take it so It's probably not even necessary but we bought one anyway.
Pools "close" early but we had a few jumps into the pool in the middle of the night..oops
Almost everyone speaks at least 2 languages. Spanish,English,German,French,Italian were all widely spoken.

Excursions: We went to Ocean World. Literally 5 minutes up the road. LOVED it. Swam with Dolphins, Played with Sea Lions, Snorkled etc. Great day and very worth the price. We almost didn't do it because it was expensive to swim with Dolphins but very glad we did. Our tour organizer was Cheap Caribbean/ Turinter Tours. Dioby was the guy we organized with at the hotel he gave us some money off and wrote it on the ticket. Once at Ocean World we had to wait almost an hour to get in because they wouldn't let us in because we didn't pay enough. Although he made a mistake, he did come in person to Ocean World and got us in without having to pay another penny. Bring extra money for food/drinks/pictures (if you do encounters). Also don't worry about bringing too much stuff as they provide free lockers.


Overall we had a great time and had no big problems. My friend even said she'd like to come back for her honeymoon (LOTS of honeymooners there). If you want to relax and have a good laugh and some fun on a gorgeous island..GO!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JSWAN53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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miami fl
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
3 Thank rozie214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank luna_llena_1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Va
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chazzz20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank casualthoughts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RuthieCab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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.

Info:
·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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank myvacationnation
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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