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“Hospitalized on IV and left 3 days early”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
Reviewed January 4, 2006

I read the reviews for this hotel before booking and I decided there were enough good reviews to go. Unfortunatly I wish I had have listened to the bad reviewers. Maybe we would not have had to leave 3 days early.

I must say, the resort itself was very easy on the eyes. This was the first trip out of the county for my boyfriend and I. From the moment we stepped of the plane we were in awe of the beauty! The resort itself was clean, staff were helpful and friendly, and the cosmetics of the hotel were great!

But that is where it ends.

On the 2nd day there, my boyfriend and I got extremely sick (we did not drink the water, did not have ice in our drinks, did not eat meat, and did not eat anything uncooked.)

I was hospitalized and put on IV, we had to be flown home the next day, from then on I spent a day in the hospital back home in Toronto, and spent the next month in bed very ill.

I somehow contracted bacterial stomach flu. Though I will never know how...

The doctors and the staff at the resort were very helpful and took great care of me as I was very scared. Though having bottled water brought to the room was like pulling teeth, as well as toilet paper, we waited hours before my boyfriend had to walk all the way to the lobby him being very sick as well.

The food was ok the first night, though there is not much variety and was not great at all.

The locals are all over the beach and will come harass you. They let the locals in the resort pools as well on the weekends.
That turned me off the most.

I must say I will never travel to the Dominican Republic ever again.

7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 2, 2006

We are three families from Vancouver, BC with kids (infant to teenagers) just came back from Lifestyle Tropical Resort where we spent the Christmas week. There is nothing wrong with this place if you don't expect much, but if you know what the good service is, prepare to be disappointed. We arrived late at night due to the flight delay and every family got a wrong room. Two family got a king size bed instead of two double beds and the people who booked a ocean view room, got a construction view instead. We've been told that all other rooms are occupied. Although we've been relocated into another room in two days, we still didn't get what we been booked. No apologies or compensation been offered. Food was OK, most of the time we eat at the main buffet. To reserve a restaurant for dinner you have to stay in a line for about half an hour in a morning. There is three restaurant available - Mexican, Italian and Oriental (apparently Chinese, it's called Bamboo) Surprisingly Italian was opened only once a week on Monday, so we didn't get there. Mexican was OK, salad buffet and main course to order. One thing is still a secret - when we made a reservation in a morning it was fully booked, but at night only two tables occupied in a whole restaurant, very weird. Bamboo restaurant wasn't impressive at all, maybe we are spoiled by the best Chinese cooks in Vancouver, but even the service wasn't at a appropriate level. Speaking of the service it seems that customer care is putted far away from this resort priority - no beach towels - have to wait a few hours to get some, no rooms towels - even leaving the tips didn’t help, still have to call a room service to get some, no shampoo in a bathroom, gym facility are rusted and broken, construction noise all day around (thank God they stopped at night). To be fair, rooms were clean. Daily activities were great - water aerobics, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, beach volleyball, ping-pong, scuba diving lesson in a pool. Every night they have different shows, which were fine too. We visited the Ocean World that is 10 minutes away walking by the beach. Word of advice - don't buy this tour at resort, they charge 100 USD per person for what will cost you 55 USD at window. 45 USD for 3 minutes drive? No thanks! Ocean world is a good attraction and we spent another 72 USD in addition to the general admission for the dolphin swim and it's really worth the money, it's a life time experience, our teenagers were very happy. One thing is crossed out all imperfections above - the ocean. It's beautiful, very warm, color of the water is simple amazing. We love it. To rent a water equipment you'll have to leave a 10 USD deposit, which is unusual for all inclusive resort. Actually the only one good thing to rent was the sea kayak, the other either been broken or useless. Weather was warm and we putted lots of sunscreen to not get burn. Overall it was a good experience, but we won't come here again.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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14  Thank avv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2005

Like many people, after reading some of the reviews on Trip Advisor, I didn't want to go! These fears diminished as soon as I arrived at the resort. The Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel (Hacienda Tropical) was kept fastidiously clean, staff were welcoming, food choices to meet all tastes and the room I stayed in was clean, albeit basic.

I was a single woman, travelling on my own, so safety was my number one concern. I needn't have worried. Because I was on my own, the staff made sure I was well looked after and did their best to make sure I had a lovely time.

My only niggle was the weather - torrential rain for a few days!

I would recommend this hotel to everyone.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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14  Thank JFT7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2005

Just came back from a week in Lifestyle Tropical resort. If you are looking for basic service and facility then this is the resort. It is clean resort, food is good, a bit repetative. Few times it was challenging to take a shower, especially in the evening, either no water, only cold or only hot. They are remodeling and updating rooms and facilities. Resort is beautifuly located, on a slop so you can see the ocean while sitting by the pool. Pool is OK, not super clean. Beach is OK but you cannot walk too far. One side of the bay has rocks the other Ocean World (heard it is not worth the money)

9  Thank Taiaandama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 30, 2005

I booked my holiday to the hacienda tropical, then I came on this website and read it's reviews, and I was dreading it. but when I got there I was pleasantly surprised. the staff were so friendly I must have said 'olla' about 100 times a day. the food did get samey but there were different stations, like a pasta station, and omelette station where you could pick what you wanted, then they'd cook it for you. when we were there we went to Ocean world, and swam with the dolphins, it was great fun. they got the dolphins to kiss you, and there was someone filming it so you buy that. we also went on the 'monster truck safari' which was a massive 8x8 truck painted like a zebra, we went through the Dominican countryside, it was great fun and we went to a school which monster truck had financially supported by donating 40% of all souvenir takings. we also saw a traditional Dominican home. Our room was good, massive bed and was very clean, our first day we only had really hot water, but after that it was fine. we had clean sheets everyday.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2005

We stayed here christmas of 04, i dont know where to begin the complaints so i will start with the room, we travelled from the uk so had winter coats on and when we got there we put them in the wardrobe only to find 2 weeks later they were covered in mould and smelt so bad it was just disgusting,
In our bathroom we had mould under the sink and the light fixture was falling out of the wall, the air conditioning actually leaked water so we couldnt use it, we did however ask reception to come and fix this but it took them almost a week for them to come and fix it,
The room was cleaned daily but dont leave personal possessions around as the cleaners do move everything im not talking about money i mean little things like makeup hairbrushes etc.
The power went 3 times whilst on this holiday and it took over 3 hours for them to fix it so we were sat in darkness for hours no power, so most people left the rooms and went to the bar.
The food was not great it was the same every morning although there was a wide variety of food it wasnt very nice and often cold, They do have a few resteraunts the chinese one is closest to the swimming pools, the italian one doesnt actually look like its a place to eat it looks like a hotel and is opposite the tenis courets, It took me an hour of queing to get a table for both (at 7 in the morning the que was already very long)
The bar was nice the staff are very friendly although whilst there one of the gardeners was making rude gestures, ( I am only 17 so this was very innapriopriate) so if your taking children keep an eye on the people!
The pools were clean and they did have scuba diving here although if you want a sun lounger by the pool you need to be there VERY early!!
The entertainment was the one part of the holiday that was fantastic! they had something different every night and it really was amazing!!
If you do venture out of the hotel be careful because its in the middle of nowhere so you need a taxi which the hotel will arrange but they have NO fear! they also like to try and rip you off but remember you can haggle with these people!
I would reccommend going to carbarete because the beach is nice, there are a good range of shops and pubs + places to eat they have an irish bar, chinese, american bar etc.
One other good point about the hotel was christmas they really did go all out for this they had ice sculptures, the tables were decorated but still the food was pretty crap, they had everything but it was cold.
They have an internet cafe and a shop there but they hcharge stupid prices for this so dont bother! One nice part of the hotel is the villa's search for hacienda villas and you should find them they do look much nicer, there is also a nightclub on campus..
(Good luck finding it because we couldnt!) one girl i spoke to who went there told me not to because its basically just all of the locals who basically perve on all of the girls and its full of prostitutes. I really tried to make the best of the hotel one of the staff dressed up as santa which was nice of them to do that for the children, the bar was nice although there units are much stronger so if you go all inclusive beware of this!! the entertainment was good but everything else was appauling.
I would NOT reccommend this hotel to anybody as it was without a doubt the WORST holiday we have been on, we previously stayed in carbarete so go there!
Attached are some pictures of the room, the beach, the christmas entertainment pictures, take a look!

Hope this helps with your hotel!

  • Stayed: December 2004
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11  Thank LauraMUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2005

I usually enjoy seeing how the "real" people live where ever I vacation and this trip was no different. Saying that we flew in to Santo Domingo had a car rented[actually a toyota deisel pick-up with 98,762 km. on the odometer]. Before I left Alamo quoted me a "price" that was very reasonable only to find out once I got to the D.R. it would be AN ADDITIONAL $300. I paid it and figured I'd call Alamo when I returned to get it straightened out. They said they would send me what I was over charged but never received a dredit or refund.
Since the D.R. is slightly larger than New Hampshire I had no doubt that I could cross the island in a few hours. If you have the time, patience, and the skills of a NASCAR driver go for it. It is a wonderful, scenic, educational, thrilling, journey to say the least. Just one quick example of what you night expect to see along the route are vehicles [bikes, 175 kawaski's, cars, tractor trailers-pre1970's, old men and children on donkeys, 1960's toyota pick-up truck's piled high[10-15ft.] with "who know's what" and then a few brave people sitting on top of that "cargo"]that for some unknow reason do NOT have working tail or brake lights. Extreamly hard to see in the middle of the night when you are moving 100kph. Not only that but don;t be surprise if you see lights coming towards you on the wrong side[your side] of the road. It's probably only a few cars or motorcycle's driving on the [wrong] side of the road right at you. I don't know how they manage to carry 4 people and 1 large [4 ft. long] propane tank resting on someones legs on a 175 kawasaki motorcycle. Quite an amazing feat but seen all over this wonderful country. PROCEED WITH CAUTION
OK where was I now...... the Hacienda Tropical. Nice place, comfortable, clean and I got an unbelieveale nightly rate[less than $50 per night/all inc.] We planned on staying there 7 nights. Since we got such a great rate and saved a few bucks I also reserved a room for a few 3 nights in PUNTA CANA [which turned out to be another wonderful driving experience, try it]. A few people got "upset stomach's" fron something. Sometimes you might want to be careful "what & how much you eat".
Personally I never ate so many rolls, bread, and fresh fruit in 4 days as I did there.
I was under the impression the weather was usually sunny . My wife if a "sun person" and was a little disappointed it did not show itself more often. Warm , humid but not much sun. Nice beach could get a litle rough at times. If you snorkel you can swim out past the breaking waves on shore and it's quite alot calmer.
Take a few roll from breakfast so you can feed the varity of colorful fish you will see while snorkeling.
Call me crazy but I especially enjoyed going down to the 24 hour bar around 2,3,4,or 5 in the morning. It really is rather funny what people will do after drinking large quantities of alcohol . Maybe it was just because of the tropical heat and not the alcohol at all that was the cause of some strange male "courting" displays of affection to the female species.
Mostly rated PG-13, but very funny. The 24 hr. bar is an old boat not far from the beach. The bartender[s] are great. A $2-3 tip when you first arrive will keep your glass filled all nite.
Sousa is a small town up the road that should not be missed. Small shops and bars lines the streets . You can purchase many unique "local" items here. Take a walk bown by the beach and check out all the vendors. Stop at the first vendor and tell PABLO that Pete said hello and I'll see him again soon. Also look for a little boy with Pablo with a great big smile, a catcher's mitt and a bunch of new baseballs. If you have any baseball items at home ,take them with you and give them to the kids....priceless.
As i said before i paid for 7 days at the Hacienda Tropical. After our 4th day there we decided to leave and head over to Punta Cana. It was approx. midnight as I loaded the suitcases in the truck to leave. Driving out of the resort and suddenly someone quickly shut the exit gate and told us we could not leave. My wife was very scared and nervous and did not know why we gould not proceed out. Then a well dressed man [the night shift supervisor] came out and asked "where do you think you are going?" I replied Punta Cana. He told me I could not leave and "get out of the vehicle, NOW".
I had to go inside the building and he gave me a bill for approx. $2500 AND TOLD ME I COULD NOT LEAVE UNTIL IT WAS PAID. Everything was paid for before I left the US and I told him that. Apparently the rate i paid and what the "normal" rates are were quite abit different.
The "discussion" got quite heated to say the least and I expected the "cops" aNy minute. Picture this....I don't speak spanish here is this "nut" running around yelling in spanish. Other hotel personal behind the check-in desk laughing. I didn't see anything funny about this situation and my wife was very scared. After about 1/2 of "heated" verbal exchanges and I PROVED that I had already paid for 7 days but only stayed 4 days did he finally lighten up. Actually he opened the door for us and told us we could "GO NOW" when I told him I think HE owes me MONEY FOR THE 3 DAYS WE WEREN'T GOING TO THERE. When he finally figured out that he was getting paid for 3 days we would not be there we were allowed to leave.
I have been 1/2 way around the world a few times and NEVER had an experience like this. My wife was in tears. It was not a pleasurable experience at all.
Would I stay there again? NO, but I would sneak in at 2 am just to go to the 24 hr."boat" bar.
By the way Punta Cana is "place to go". Much different than Purto Plata. Miles and miles of beach's, calm water, great fishin even from the beach, palm tree paradise. Last but certainly no least is the is the undescrible , warm, blue [1000 different shades of blue and green] water. If you have any questions [or need driving directions] just drop me an e-mail.
Have A Nice Day-----------OLA!!!

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
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8  Thank wokyourdog
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:
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $99 - $275 (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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