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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Brooksville, Florida
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“We would visit again”
Reviewed September 27, 2010

Food at the buffet and restaurants was exceptional. Service was good, better if you spoke spanish.
Everything was well kept and clean. We missed having a desk in the room. Internet was only available in the lobby at a charge. Cheap carribean had a personal consultant for us. Through them we had access to the VIP beach area which was great. Three whirlpools, beds on the beach and a bar with top brand liquor and snacks. The swimming pools were large and kept up nice. Towels were available nearby as well as a bar. Oceanworld was next to the resort and it was a great attraction. For encounters with the dolphins, sharks and rays there was an extra charge which we were unaware of. The tours offered were good value and interesting. We would go again if we have the chance.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank cj726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2010

I want to be as fair as possible because I was in dire need of a cheap getaway vacation for a few days ...and I did come back fully refreshed.

The Good: The Sunday night Welcome Party has pretty good food. Nothing spectacular, but still appreciated. The VIP Beach is beautiful and very relaxing, the drinks and food on the VIP beach are the best in the resort, but they close at 6pm. The cleaning staff is very nice, friendly and check in and check out were smooth. Damajugua Falls is a must see, and the cable car is very close.

The Bad: The food was a 2 (out of 10). The 24 hour food is not completely accurate as you can only get some stale cold fries and hamburgers after normal dinner hours. Breakfast is good, but it is exactly the same every day. The drinks anywhere except the VIP beach taste like gasoline. The location does not allow any exploration on your own. Its an escape in itself to get out of the resort; that is after circumventing all the staff which is trained to prevent you from exploring on your own. And then you get to a dirt road which leads to more dirt or a highway on the right. The Concierge desk is horrible. It is policy at the resort to exploit the guests, so no matter how you phrase what you want, the concierge just gives you the rehearsed answer. I wanted to explore on my own and not pay the hotel taxis $90 USD per day to drive me a hour, but they are trained to ONLY send you to their people, their taxis, their excursion director, etc. They refuse to dial a phone number they are not affiliated with, and you must clear all of your calls with the resort staff first! Trapiche is the only restaurant I ate in and it was truly bad. The "Security" staff watch you eat breakfast every morning and then follow you as you leave aggressively telling you that they have a free gift for you "over there" (timeshare meeting). Blue Lagoon, Jazz Lounge and Bellini are only open on Wednesdays to people who are not "Members." It was ridiculous.

I paid $ 7 USD for a bottle of water. Every restaurant in town you are "allowed" to go to charges $ 15 - $ 40 USD a plate! This country has completely adopted USD as thier own currency. Even the homeless people calculate what you are giving them in USD. It was ridiculous.

The people have no love or pride for thier country and it was an extremely disappointing trip to see such opportunistic con-artists. I had more than a few bad experiences.

The BEST experience was walking out of the resort, flagging down a motoconcho, going to town and walking into a hole in the wall restaurant which had the best food, nice people, amazing pastelitos - ALL FOR 150 pesos for two people. Oh, and the motoconchos just ask for a tip, so 300 pesos each they were happy with for the entire day. A far cry from the taxi guys who were demanding $ 90 USD or they would leave me in Sosua!

Cabarate is by far the best beach and nicest atmosphere on the North Coast, with cute little boutique hotels. I would stay there IF I ever visit again!

I would never visit DR again and I did not like the all inclusive option. The country is a ri

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank SueEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2010

My wife and I have traveled the world and we have never been so happy about our beach vacation as we were at Lifestyle. The room and bed were excellent. The service was always cheerful and prompt. The buffet food was the best ever. First time I can honestly say I was not tired of it after a few days. I had filet mignon at the Mexican and the seafood restaurants that was superb. The local seafood (Hake, King Fish, Mahi, Lobster), fruit, and plaintain dishes amazed me. The VIP beach area with beds, free top shelf liquor, free snack menu and even free cigars was excellent. I honestly do not see how anyone can complain about this resort. I highly recommend this place and Cheapcaribbean.com (VIP bands included at their always great vacation prices).

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank getstronglastlong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
naperville, il
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2010

I would like everyone out there to know just how awful this place really is…

On my way back from the beach there was a small shower area where you can rinse your feet of the sand. Since the workers were awful busy cleaning and scrubbing it down, I decided to walk to my room and rinse my feet in the tub. When I arrived to my room the housekeeper was awful busy cleaning my room – and it was only 9am! When I found there was no water coming from the tap (it was running again in 5 minutes) my housekeeper noticed my distress and left the room, only to come back again with what turned out to be a bottle of water. The woman knelt on her knees and rinsed my feet. I was awfully humbled by Jacinta’s kindness, compassion, and willingness to go that extra mile for a complete stranger.

When I went to the buffet to get a smoothie the chef was working awful hard to make breakfast for those standing in line. I was alone at the smoothie station. The smoothie person went to get additional supplies. But some other awfully hard worker came to my recue and whipped one right up for me.

Prior to leaving for this trip I had a bit of a stomach flu. My first morning there at the buffet, the waitress exchanged pleasantries and asked me how I was. I told her. She poured my coffee, left, and returned a few minutes later with a hot cup of peppermint tea and told me it would make my stomach feel better. Who knew she would be awfully right! I now keep peppermint tea at home too.

When I got laryngitis for laughing so hard at the pool bar for two days, the awful nice bartender, Miriam, at the front lobby bar, learned how to make a hot tottie for me to sooth my awfully sore throat. I am forever grateful to her.

When I had a special request for a friend’s birthday, the staff, including Denise and Lucia, went out of their way to make the evening very special for her – including an awfully good birthday cake and balloons.

When lounging in the awful hot sun and soaking up the countless rays of sunshine the activities/animation/dance group was always there trying awful hard to make us laugh. From 9 am to 11 PM – every day. My aplauso goes out to each and every one of them: Roberto, Darinel, Jeramias, Bon Jovi, Carmelo, George, La Pluma, Joe and countless others who worked tirelessly to entertain us all – forgive me for not listing everyone’s names.

I could go on and on about how awfully good the service is here. I do not wear a gold vip bracelet. I am not a vip. I’m an ordinary person going to an ordinary 3.5 star resort that happens to employ extraordinary staff. Yes, there are wristbands that classify the services you are entitled to with the gold bands at the top. But if you don’t have a gold wristband, don’t fret, these people will go out of their way to help you within the guidelines they’ve been given.

Now, I vowed never to write one of these awful reviews because the less people that know of my away-from-home paradise, the better my chances are for reserving my next trip. But after reading some of the reviews, I felt the need to give you all another point of view.

Needless to say I love this place something awful and can’t wait to return again in November.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
24 Thank michellenalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2010

As a worldly traveler and a hotel manager myself, I have never experienced such discrimination and lack of customer service in my life!!!! Read all the reviews, the color of your band means everything!! The entire facility is centered behind you buying their timeshare package and becoming VIP as they call it even though there was nothing VIP about it!! You are constantly reminded that if you are not VIP you can't get dinner reservations because they get first priority, you can't go into any of the beaches or pools with Bali beds. So you are stuck next to the bali beds while you lay on a broken dirty lounge chair.

Everything went wrong from beginning to end and they never cared to fix it.
Our reservation was never entered into the system because as the manager put it the "VIP customer service rep had an emergency and had to go home early!!" So we were stuck arguing in the Tropicana lobby for 2 hours where the "manager" Porfirio argued with us and refused to accomodate us as VIP and charged us a transient nightly rate, put us in a standard room with the paint chipping off of the bathtub. Next Morning we had to switch rooms and were given a blue band "as guests of the member" All i kept hearing was "well you simply have a blue band"!!! they are not kidding when they say the color of your band means everything!!! You basically can't do half of the amenities unless you purchase the timeshare VIP package which they constantly approach you to take a tour and buy!!!

Food: Terrible! very little choices, never saw a shrimp during my entire stay! Ate at Jazz in Presidential suites the filet mignon came out cold and hard & the Lamp chops looked like "cat" chops, horrible!!! The Asian restaurant left little to be desired with a 2 1/2 hour dining ordeal for a Prix Fix Menu!!! I never rush when eating an appetizer so after seeing the parties of six and seven around me being served I asked what was the delay they said they don't put your order in until you've finished your appetizer!!!!! we waited 2 1/2 hours for cold food that wasn't edible... My reservations were made for BLue Lagoon but the reservation was "lost" yet I had a print out from the manager himself!!! They did nothing to accomodate and simply said NO! I would never go back here nor recommend to anyone!! listen to the reviews!!! In a nutshell, we were harrassed for taking the towel out of the beach "this huge gorrilla man stood in front of us and physically threatened us "if we didn't give him the towel we would be in trouble" There was no hot water, they tlod us we couldn't get anymore champagne because "you drank it all"!! it just got worse and worse every moment.. All we kept hearing was NO without giving us options!! This trip was a nightmare!!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Gamblet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnesville, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2010

If you want to feel like a not important person, go to Lifestyle and wear a white bracelet. We were treated like someone who had wandered onto the resort without an invitation. I couldn't get a drink of water from the bar in the check in area because the bar didn't open for fifteen minutes. I guarantee that if I had had a gold or black bracelet, I would had been given the water. The dining rooms were filled and we couldn't get a reservation for four of our seven days. The reservations were to start at 8:00 in the morning. At 8:30, they were filled. (again wrong bracelet). We were promised two bottles of rum, a pound of coffee, a beach bag, and a shirt just to listed to the sales pitch to buy a condo or to buy into their vacation deals. This was a lie and we walked out of the presentation. If you lie at the beginning, you will lie to make a sale. We tried to get a ride from Ocean world, but were told by the Lifestyle representative at the park that he was not an employee of the resort and he could not help us. Again the color of the wristband determined our fate. There were golf carts at Ocean World that belonged to Lifestyle but not for use by White wristbands.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank EVicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, CA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2010

Liked - All Inclusive drinks; poolside/beachside service at VIP areas
Disliked - Sales sharks, indifferent and rude employees, restrictions for non/pseudo-VIP vacationers

Upon our arrival, they had our two rooms in 2 separate buildings, but corrected that right away and check-in went smoothly. The rooms are very tired looking and decor is dated and in need of a major overhaul (floors appeared dirty but it was cracked tiles). It took 3 requests over 2 days for them to replace a burned out light bulb in the bathroom. I don't think they've ever made any improvements to the property since it was built. Thank goodness the AC worked and they kept the mini fridge stocked. At least the beds and linens were clean. The hotel and resort is definitely a budget property. We had adjacent rooms and they were furnished slightly differently...resembling eclectic, garage sale furniture finds. They do have beautiful condos, villas and residences there which are generally newer, better maintained VIP properties and a big step up - and they WILL try to sell you and show you all the great bennies so get ready for a LONG 3-hour presentation and tour.

The service is very spotty. We had some people who were really helpful and friendly and others that would try to avoid eye contact as much as possible. We got a huge runaround our first morning with our prepaid arrangements - wasting 3 hours of our day for nothing. You will learn about Dominican time really quickly as nothing gets taken care of with any speed.

Good luck getting dinner reservations. The woman normally at the desk is like the reservation nazi and is not very helpful as there were NEVER reservations available. We were there 7 days and never got to eat at the seafood restaurant. Luckily, we were helped by another woman one day and she was able to get us into the Mexican, Asian and Italian restaurants before we left. Good thing because the buffet gets tiresome. They try to provide a variety of foods, but it all tastes the same. Beware of the sweets/dessert table as there not only fruit flies buzzing about but also fearless birds that will try to sneak in a snack.

The property is very large and has nice amenities though many are reserved for their paid VIP members who zip about the community in golf carts. Unfortunately, unless you are a VIP member, you are restricted to certain areas adjacent to the hotel. The hotel does have a semi-private beach walking distance to Ocean World and is generally quiet during the week and good for kids. Their main pool had many activities, music and a swim up bar if you like that sort of thing. I saw them clean the pools each day but they were still dirty and gross with all the people that jump in and out of them or maybe the pool filters are not functioning. We had access to 2 VIP areas (through a Cheap Carribean promo) which made things a little more bearable but unless you are a paid VIP member or a 21-year old fast-tracking to be an alcoholic, I'd look for another property!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank TigrMama
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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