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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed November 15, 2010

A simple review of this resort can be summed up as being a good value. The accomodations are clean and spacious. Balconeys overlook either the pool/beach or the interior of the resort. The buffet restaurant has a good selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pool bar is the place to go to meet the people. Beware of the vacation vulture salespeople, the circle the restaurant waiting for unsuspecting patrons, then swoop in for the tour and salespitch. If you say no, you will get no free gifts. Overall this resort is exactly what it says it is, an affordable vacation destination. Remember tips go a long way for great service.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hacm1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 15, 2010

My son 27 and I travel from November 7-14, it was the worst place ever I have possibly travel and I go often to Puerto Plata. The Cheap rate they give you is only to get you over there to sale you a timeshare. The Buffet is every day only some choices which is the same and most of the time everything reservation place is sold out. Best restaurant is Mexican. The Rooms TV was broken, phone didn't work and Hair dryer either , I had to walk to the Lobby all the time as phone is not answered in the lobby ever and when you need something in the refrigerator you get it after 9 hours only if you complaint about 5 times. They don't have towels by the pool after 10 AM so if you're not there by that time you have no towels. The SMALL bathroom is only a small shower no tub and you can't open the shower too much as it runs into the hallway. The internet cafe which they call it is 3 computers in the lobby which have been broken for a month now. Horrible Place!!!!!

Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank LBCLIFF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2010

We traveled on the $10 per person per day deal. We travel this time every year and were looking for a deal this year based on the tightening of our disposable income in this tough economy.

It seemed that everyone on our plane was going to the same place on the same deal which made our pre-paid transport very crowded and uncomfortable. Our initial impression was that it was a nice place. The check in was ok and we were patient because when our transport bus emptied, the lobby was loaded with people checking in. I asked to rent the safe at check in, and they gave me an instruction sheet and charged me $3 per day, which was fine. The safe could not work because it did not have batteries. After 5 calls over 2 days, I got my own batteries for the safe...when I complained at the front desk, I was refused a refund!

The room was far below our standards when we travel. Although the air was running when we entered, the smell of mildew was overpowering. The furnishings were in good condition, but somehow very outdated - it was asian style and somehow out of place in the carribbean!. The toilet was so close to the wall that we had to sit sideways to be comfortable!! and the window in the bathroom had to be held open with a hair band. After the 2nd day we noticed that the front door has been broken in and you could actually see straight to out terrace from the cracks. The extra latch was also broken off. The bed was extremely hard and I woke up every hr. We were in building #2 which is next to the working kitchen for the buffet. They take the food on carts from the kitchen and into a tunnel...this begins about 6 am!! And a group of men sing loudly at 7 am each morning. Our mini bar was empty for two days and my husband and I filled the empty water bottles at the water cooler down the hall. It is advised that you do not drink the tap water or use it even for brushing your teeth.

All staff - with the exception of the one who refused my refund for the safe- were very nice. Once the mini bar man showed up, he gladly gave us all we wanted. The chamber maid did a very good job every day. The staff at the VIP beach were very accommodating and I enjoyed the Sushi bar here. We tipped at every turn because these people seem very poor and were extremely appreciative and even surprised at times.

The most disappointing part of the trip was the food. We had great difficulty getting reservations to the restaurants. The only one that we ate at was the Italian and that was because we showed up and bribed our way in. Half the tables were empty anyway!! And what a disappointment...it was by the far the worst Italian food that I have ever eaten at a restaurant. We are not early risers and by the time I got to attempt to make a reservation, I was turned away with waiting list. The food at the beach barbeque was scary...we love shell fish, but I was afraid to try it for fear of sickness.

We did not spend much for our accommodations here, although the airfare was quite costly. After our mandatory meeting on the 1st morning, it did become apparent that the unbelievable rate was connected with hope that they would be able to sell some "vacation ownership" and that cheapcarribbean.com is connected corporately to this resort. As a matter of business, they shouldn't try to attract new owners by giving them sub-par accommodations and poor food...it just doesn't work!! We felt bad for the guests who paid a $400 fee to use their timeshare plus $57 per person per day for the all inclusive privilege...for that money, they could go somewhere nice.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank livetotravelNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2010

We arrived at the Lifestyles Resort and Spa on Thursday, November 4. We were told that we had to attend a welcome meeting the next morning, Friday, November 5 at 9:30am. We tried to make reservations for dinner on Thursday night to which we were told that reservations for dinner were made one day in advance. So we were unable to make dinner reservations for Thursday because we needed to make them on Wednesday, even though we were not there. We were unable to make dinner reservations for Friday because there were none left for any of the restaurants, we were in line before 9am. So that was 2 nights that we were left without dinner, even though we stayed at an all-inclusive. The buffet at the Casablanca was ok, nothing great. The ironic part is that other patrons received reservations for restaurants after we had been told that all the reservations were booked. So Thursday night, we got into a shuttle provided by Lifestyle Resort to Ocean World. We were supposed to have a complimentary dinner and to see a show. We had to pay for dinner and there was not a show, it was canceled, still not sure why. Although the food and service at the Poseidon Restaurant was great! Loved it.
On Friday morning, we received a phone call at 8:30am stating that we had to attend the 'welcome meeting' in the main lobby. When I told ‘Santo Domingo’ that we were not going to make it, he became angry and told me that I had to attend the meeting and that if I didn’t, he would find us and make us attend anyway because we booked our vacation through cheapcaribbean.com. Didn't know attending any meeting was a stipulation to me booking a vacation. We attended the meeting at 9:30am that didn’t start until 9:45am. When the meeting began, it was by a representative of cheapcaribbean.com who began telling us about what was available to us. That would've been helpful when we first arrived at the resort. At 9:50am, we left the meeting because we had spa appointments at 10:00am. As we left the meeting and were on our way to the spa, an employee of Lifestyle Holiday Vacation Club approached us and told us to go back to the welcome meeting. I tried to explain to him that we had spa appointments and we were not attending any more meetings. He said that he would be waiting for us after our spa treatment to finish the welcome meeting. We went to the spa and when we left, another Lifestyle Holiday Vacation Club employee approached us and told us to attend a vacation club meeting for 10 minutes. When I tried to explain that we did not come on vacation to be harassed about vacation clubs and timeshares and that we only had 3 days, he stated that we had to go with him and we would get a free bag. I told him that we were not spending any amount of time listening to anyone about purchasing a timeshare. He became agitated and refused to let us keep walking. After my husband explained that he needed to leave us alone and that we were not attending any meeting and it wasn’t what we signed on for when we booked the vacation, he let us go. The Vacation Club employees are best described as vultures and it’s sickening.
We arrived at the Resort on Thursday around 2:30pm and left Sunday morning around 10:45am. We did not have a lot of vacation time to begin with and to be harassed constantly about a vacation club is totally unacceptable and frustrating. I did not book a vacation under the pretenses that I would listen to anyone’s presentation about a vacation club otherwise I would never have booked a vacation there. I am sorry to say that we will never return to the Dominican Republic or to any resort affiliated with Lifestyle Holiday Vacation Clubs or Hacienda Resorts. It was a terrible experience to be harassed on a daily basis and to make matters worse when we asked anyone a question about shuttle service, times and places to dine, the resort, the disco, the shows, etc. we were never given a straight answer. I felt like we paid for a vacation to be harassed and mistreated. I have booked trips through cheapcaribbean.com before and never had an issue. The issue is the harassment that we experienced to the point where we felt uneasy walking around the resort and really trying to relax and enjoy ourselves. After speaking with many of the other patrons, we all felt the same way. I was told by resort employees that calling the United States from my room would cost $1.00 per minute or I could pay $2.00 per minute by purchasing a phone card. So, I used the resort room phone...I checked my credit card statement when I got home and I was charged $41.00 for the first phone call that was literally 2 minutes and $42.00 for the second phone call that was 10 minutes. I would not recommend Lifestyle Resort and Spa to anyone. We were in building 2, the noise of plates clanking and carts being pushed by the food service staff was enough to keep me up at night, very noisy...The Spa was awesome, Bellini Italian Restaurant was awesome, the Blue Lagoon was ok for the buffet, couldn't get a reservation into the Blue Lagoon, Trapiche or Indochine for dinner.. the 'regular' hotel employees were great. You can tell who is who by the shirts they wear...My husband said the gym was great...The VIP beach was great, servers handed drinks out constantly, the breakfast buffet was decent, could never get a towel for the pool area...The jacuzzi's and pools are not heated, so it made it difficult to enjoy during the crazy weather of Hurricane Tomas. The 'funstyle' guys were friendly and really made everyone feel welcomed! Sounds like a great trip but the vacation club vultures totally ruined it for me and my family.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank mrsmorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2010

For the deal we got, this place was great! The rooms are minimal -- shower doesn't drain very much. However, I didn't spend much time in my room. They did keep the fridge full with water and beers, which I was thought was cool.

The buffet itself was pretty great for an all-inclusive buffet. At some point, all buffets become boring;but, they had very fresh vegetables and fruit, good fish, etc. We went to two of the restaurants. I'm from NY, so the Italian was okay; but, at least it was variety. The Mexican food was awesome, and they made it a lot of fun!

The VIP beach with sushi was spectacular. The sushi was so fresh, and it was yet another treat. The beds on the beach were very cool -- met people that way -- it's very social. All types of people and ages are at the resort;if ,you want a reasonable place where you can unwind, this is it.

It's not the Ritz Carleton, but I rather liked that fact actually. The people, who worked there were all very friendly and attentive. David at the pool bar, and Gina at the lobby bar were great, among many. I would definitely return, knowing I get a great deal, good food, and relaxation.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jupiter04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2010

I got the10th year anniversary special offer from CheapCaribbean to Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort for $10/night/person, I jumped on the opportunity without even reading all the comments about the resort. My husband was skeptical about this deal at first, but convinced that I got a steal after we arrived at the resort.

Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort is a solid 3.5 stars resort with it's accommodation, food, service and well, if you'd call it, entertainment. We arrived here on Thursday with a pre-purchased shuttle service through CC from the airport to the resort. The ride was about 40 min. Turinter, which operated the shuttle, had its tour desk right outside the terminal and they directed us to the shuttle immediately.

We arrived at the resort at about 1:30 pm but couldn't check into our room because check in time was 3 pm. So we went and had our first buffet lunch at the Casablanca Restaurant. But by about 3 pm, our room was still not ready and we waited till about 3:30 pm before we could check into our room. Fortunately, we got a nice corner room (it might even be considered a "junior suite") which had partial ocean view and two small balconies. The room was spacious and clean, the bathroom was standard.

The reservation through CC allowed us access to the VIP beach - which was the highlight of our stay. Perhaps we went in a shoulder/off season, we never had problem finding a bed to lay in. We loved the fact that we got good service, premium drinks, free cigars (not that we smoke), and able to order appetizers/snacks right from our bed, it was such a decadent experience. There were two jacuzzi in the VIP Beach area, but the water wasn't hot at all, and there were quite full with people so we didn't even try them.

We had the buffet dinner at Casablanca Restaurant the first night, and made reservations and ate at the Mexican & Italian the following nights. We didn't have any problem making the dinner reservations and in fact, both restaurants weren't full at all while we dined there. In my opinion, the food at the buffet was just as good as the "special" restaurants. Sure, you've to get the food from the buffet line, but you get lots of choices. We never made it to the Chinese restaurant Indochine. We heard quite a few people got sick from eating there the day before we arrived. So we didn't want to chance our luck. All the restaurants were casual attired, so no fancy dinner outfits were needed.

There were some sort of entertainment in the evenings, but to be honest, we rather had a drink or two at the bar, talking to people, or reading a book. We went to the disco - Vibe, one night. The music was so loud we had to get out of there before we went deaf.

We got a spa treatment with a body scrub and massage. The spa area was nice, but nothing luxuries. My massage therapist was Maria and she was a heck of a masseuse.

We took a city tour one morning but we didn't book it with any of the tour companies within the resort. We walked out to the main street (Cofresi) and there were plenty of tour guides willing to take tourists to do any of the activities offered. The city tour cost us US$50 with a driver and tour guide. There were only me and my husband and we got to ride in a pretty new Nissan van with AC. It was a nice tour to see some of the areas in Puerto Plata.

We were at the resort for 4 days and 3 nights and not once got approached by the timeshare sales shark. We were worried about that before we arrived because we didn't want to have to fight any of them off. But our worry never materialized, thank goodness.

All in all, we had a great mini-vacation at a price we'll never be able to beat again. Thanks CheapCaribbean.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jazmania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2010

So my boyfriend & I just got back from Lifestyle yesterday- we did the $10 all inclusive deal from CheapCaribbean.com- it was worth the $10- make sure you make reservations at the 4 restaurants in advance otherwise your stuck eating the buffet food the whole time..they canceled the 2 parties that were supposed to take place- one on Thursday, one on Sunday because of weather. If you tip the servers down on the VIP beach at the beginning of day- they keep the drinks coming- definately worth it. My other complaint is that getting a beach towel was a nightmare, they never had any available- always 'come back in 10 minutes' & when you did, they were gone already? odd. Also- make sure you have extra towels in your room because the shower does not drain anywhere--creates a pool on the floor of the bathroom....other than that- breakfast/lunch- optinos were pretty good, drinks were OK- pool area was nice.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shamrock212
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:
#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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