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“Better Than I Expected”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed March 11, 2005

We've just returned from a one week stay at the Hacienda Tropical, March 4 thru 11, and were pleasantly surprised, even though the rooms have problems. We haven't done many Apple Vacations, but when we saw a discounted price on this trip we jumped.

The first impression of the room was an overhealming musty smell, and the first inclination is to open the patio door to air it out. Two bellhops, a maid and the vacation rep couldn't open it, but a maintenane person came to the room within half an hour and showed us the "trick" to opening the door (basically the track was broken). I suggest paying the $24US for the safe in the room. Several people complained that their patio doors wouldn't lock and our maid left it open one day. Other problems: The refrigerator was noisy, so we unpluged it and mopped up the defrost. A wall sconce shade fell off the wall in the middle of the first night. We told our vacation rep and it was repaired two days latter. The air conditioner leaked about two quarts of water on the floor the first night we used it. We mopped up the water and didn't use the AC again. There may be a shortage of hot water when everyone showers around 6pm and the maid may have to return in the evening to supply clean towels if there weren't any available when she cleaned the room. There's also a shortage of beach towels. The matresses are shot and extremely uncomfortable.

That may sound negative, but the room was clean, had a televsion with plenty of channels, and a balcony with an ocean view.

The other areas of the resort were very nice. The buffet had a great variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, several salads and local foods. Very healthy and I didn't get sick, which is a first for me!! The Italian and Blue Marlin restaurants were great, but the Chinese was quite disappointing the night we were there.

The grounds are well cared for and the staff is exteremly friendly. The beach is clean and the water pretty clear.

So overall we kept saying we were happy with the resort, especially for the price that we paid. I'd recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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9  Thank Dean H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,300 - 4,306 of 4,783 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2005

Arrived at the hotel and was placed in a double rather than twin room-the reception staff were not very helpful, though my holiday rep was able to sort this situation the next day. I was then moved to a room where the airconditioning did not work and the wardrobes were damp. The rooms were fairly basic but fairly clean. I did not spend too much time in my room so this did not bother me too much.
I could not complain about the food at all and found all restaurant staff to be extremely pleasant.
All the bar staff were very friendly and gave strong measures!!!
My favourite staff were the animation team-especially pineapple head, alexander, spahgetti and lorenzo-these guys made my trip what it was, they were so entertaining and made the daytimes by the pool a laugh. I have heard though that the hacienda are getting a new animation team in, and would seriously reconsider visiting the hotel as a result of this.
I would say the hacienda is a mediocre resort, with not much off the complex, and without the entertainment guys, would be a very boring place!!!

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
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3  Thank Chica-Bonita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto CAN
14
Reviewed March 4, 2005

I just got back from the dom rep. And all i can say it was a riot!.

the one and only thing i can complain about would be the food , enough selection but not the quality. so i just stuck with the pasta wich was quite nice actually.

The People there were amazing. pinaple head and alexander were just to much man , almost crazier then i am.

the staff was awsome , help us out right away when we had any problems.

The Night shows were a blast for sure... i wanted to get up and start shaking iT!!lol

i made a dum mistake bye inviting in some locals for a few drinks , and they eneded up stealing an $80 collegne , but sinece i newwhere they worked , went back got some local cops and got it back right away ..haha.

So i woouldnt hesitate if u wanna go , its worth the $$ you pay for sure

im already planning a trip back hopefully same time next year with some of the ladies we meet down there.!!!

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2005

My husband and I and another couple were there from January 29-February 5, 2005. Actually, we stayed at the Lifestyle Crowne Villas but had to go to the Hacienda for our meals and entertainment. Also, let me say that my husband and I have been all over the Carribean and Mexico. We travel at least 3 times a year and this was our first trip to the Dominican and my first review that I have ever written.

It rained almost the entire time we were there. You had to walk through huge puddles of water to get to the Buffet. The food was mediocre. The meat was so tough you couldn't even chew it. The best and safest thing to eat was the cooked to order pasta. The salad bar looked okay but there were times when I saw a fly on something and decided not to even go there. The Blue Marlin serves seafood and was very good. The Bamboo serves oriental food which was good but the server asked us to leave before we were finished with our coffee because another group was coming in and they needed time to clean for them. However, there were other people that walked in right before us and I didn't see them being asked to leave. The Italian restaurant was very good and so was the service. We didn't try the sushi.

The bars serve only Dominican Republic alcohol and I thought it was horrible. I couldn't even tolerate the foo-foo drinks (pina colada, etc.). I had also read a review that they didn't wash their dishes very well and that is true. We brought a small bottle of dish soap for the Villa and definitely needed it because I never saw our maid using anything else. But because of this fact, I actually had a hard time wanting to get a drink at any of the bars. I felt like it was very unsanitary and because of this, we didn't ever really hang around in the evenings or saw any shows. We either hung out at the Villa or went to the Casino.

The lobby bathroom was closed alot due to the rain or toilet back-up.

The staff wasn't neither rude or overly friendly.
The water was very rough while we were there and it just looked dirty and yucky as was the little beach. As for the scenery, there wasn't any. The pools looked alright but when we were around there were never any chairs available but again, I had much rather been at our Villa drinking from our own refrigerator and using our own bathroom. The area around the beach just looked dirty and very unappealing.

If you are staying at the Villas, they initially look very nice with your own private pool and a maid comes by every morning with orange juice, a fruit, cheese and pastry tray and she cooks you eggs. This was very nice and she cooked our eggs differently each day so it did not get boring. Our refrigerator was also refilled every day with water, diet and regular pepsi, 7-up and beer. When we asked for something special (more beer, less regular pop), they took care of us, but always after receiving a tip. One day, I gave them a whole tray of that morning's pastries instead of cash and we didn't see them the entire next day. Needless to say, we gave them a cash tip every day thereafter.

Also, the front desk didn't have a key to our villa. Said that the last people probably took it so we were never able to lock the villa when we left it. However, at 4:00 p.m. each day, we would have a personal security guard that just walked our grounds. When we were outside he hid, but one evening it was pouring and we needed a shuttle to get to the Hacienda to have dinner and we couldn't find our security guard to call us a shuttle. Oh yeah, our villa didn't have a phone. There were two villas thoughout the entire resort that didn't have a telephone and ours was one of them. It wasn't a bad walk to walk from the Villa to the Hacienda but as I mentioned earlier, it rained alot while we were there so we weren't walking much and also not at night. Anyway, by the time the Security guard came around, it was 9:30 p.m. and by the time the shuttle got us to the Hacienda the Buffet was getting ready to close and there wasn't much to choose from. If we had a phone, this would never had been a problem.

We also had bed bugs. I couldn't figure out where I was getting all these bites on my legs until one night I could barely lay in the bed and finally figured out the problem. After that, I could not get back into the bed and we couldn't call anybody since we didn't have a phone so I sat up in the living room chair until the next morning. When we told the maid, she had someone come by and spray the room and around the property and changed the sheets, but it didn't help. The bugs had to be in the mattress. One night, we for sure saw a flea as it jumped but I'm not sure if these other things were fleas. Obviousy this was very frustrating, along with all the rain and the bad booze, if we weren't with another couple, I would definitely had tried to come home early.

For such a poor Country, it was very expensive. A 6-pack of Bud at the Hacienda gift shop was $22 US, that's just crazy and I understand that they have to import it but even Presidente beer was expensive. We went to an Italian restaurant one night for dinner in the middle of no where and it cost us $110 US. No one spoke English and all we had was a couple pastas, an appetizer and of course a couple drinks, but that's what we would pay in the U.S., not the Dominican.

Trust me, there's a reason, why you don't see Puerto Plata advertised in the travel papers.

10  Thank MKW1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Mississauga, Ontario
110
Reviewed February 27, 2005

To start... please ignore any negative reviews. Also, dismiss anyone who puts the Chinese restaurant above the Italian. The Italian was really good, plus its the only place on the resort that has an espresso machine!! The resort itself was beautiful... wonderfully taken care of. You'll be right on the beach... well, you will have to walk down some stairs! The pools were well kept, but if you want to get chairs you HAVE to get up early! And please don't leave towels in the early morning and not come out until 1pm... that's just not fair. The food was good... but don't expect to love everything they serve... that's why they have choices. They have a snack "grill" by the 24 hour bar (lovingly refered to as the 7 to 7), they serve hotdogs/hamburgers/fries and really good nacho's. I don't know why eveyone seemed to love the Animation team... pineapple head was just annoying, and Lorenzo didn't seem that friendly (although his laugh is hilarious)! The disco was not the place to be the week I was their... but that's because we were always at the 7 to 7 and also because you have to buy your drinks at the disco.
Other issues I noticed people bring up is the cleanliness of the rooms... the maids do a good job, if you have bugs in your bead ... maybe you should wash your legs before getting in! I never showered in the morning (thanks to another review), after 5pm I never had a problem with hot water or water pressure. We chose to tip daily, so bring US$ in singles.
I had a great stay, very relaxing during the day, Lots of fun at night. If you choose Hacienda Tropical you will have a good time! Remember: Hacienda Garden is not the same thing. It is next door so you will be able to use all of the amenities at the Tropical, but it is much smaller.
Remember, have a great time!

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2005

My boyfriend and I have just returned from our 7 day holiday and i had to write this just to point out that i had read the reviews prior to going and was quite apprehensive yet had no need to be.

I cannot find fault with any aspect of our holiday... accommodation was fine, grounds well attended to, food was excellent (any accusations of food poisoning in previous reviews probably were actually cases of sunstroke due to the glorious weather!), entertainment was beyond expectations- options to join in, watch or have nothing to do with it- but how could you not with the likes of Pinapple head, Spaghetti and Sponge Bob leading the show!! Really was a holiday of a life time and i recommend it to anyone who isn't stuck up and moans for a living. Dom Rep is a developing country so open your mind, relax and enjoy the chilled out atmosphere!

Sarah, England.

18  Thank Sair666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2005

I just returned from a 5 day stay at the Hacienda Tropical in Cofresi and I have to say that it was better than I had expected. I was received very warmly in the lobby reception by the competent staff, who were most accommodating when I was not happy with the room that was initially assigned to me. I traveled by myself and did not want to be in a building that was far from lobby, pool, eating facilities so they quickly moved me to a building that was much closer. The room was very clean, had a double balcony and everything was in working order. I was pleasantly surprised by the choices of a la carte dining available and would like to issue a warning to future travelers to this resort GET UP EARLY TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS, by 9:00a.m. many of the restaurants were already completely booked and if something was available it was always for a late sitting which is at 9:30P.M. and would not allow you to watch the nightly show which begins at the same time, I set a 7:00a.m wake-up call every morning and lined up with others to make reservations which begin at 7:30a.m. The Chinese and Italian restaurants were my favorite! The breakfast buffet was also very good with lots of choices and fresh tropical shakes are made to order as well as omelettes. There is a snack area that is opened from lunch through early evening and then again for midnight snack located by the beach and I was very dissapointed with the food at this area, the burgers were very poor quality and not edible, as well as the other grilled meats that were offered. The french fries were always a safe choice as well as the sliced fruit. Be sure to say hello to Miriam who is one of the lovely bar tenders, she is stationed at the lobby bar and mixes the best Banana Mama's in the whole resort!!! I sat there a few hours one day and had some lively conversation with some of the other guests and my drink was constantly refreshed without my having to ask, I thought this was a very nice touch. The pools are very beautiful, but I opted to catch some rays at the beach instead, it is a beautiful area which is sort of bi-level and Carlos who works at the scuba/kayake rental area is very helpful in helping obtaining lounges and placing them wherever you liked. HOWEVER TOWELS WERE VARY SCARCE, this was the first time I have ever experienced this at any resort in Puerto Plata area!!!! You may want to bring your own as a back-up. Overall of the staff here were friendly, I would definitely return to this resort, I hope you will enjoy your stay at Hacienda Tropical.

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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12  Thank Marta P
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:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $89 - $269 (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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