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“Almost became an Owner, YES, that Great!”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
116 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Almost became an Owner, YES, that Great!”
Reviewed January 26, 2011

If we didn't have two Teens starting College in September, I would have bought a Gold Membership. Before we left I read some of the negative reviews and went with an open mind. As for the Timeshare Hounds this is how I handled them, I told one of them that we were here for two weeks and promised him that we would talk to him in a week after we had a look around and did our own exploring and offered to shake his hand, after we explored for a week we went on the presentation. We just couldn't dip into the Kids College Fund, maybe in a couple of years.

The Resort is wonderful, the service, meals and drinks were better than expected, Yes the Buffet is a little repetative but at home I don't eat 4 types of meats and 3 different starches in the same meal, do you? The V.I.P. Welcome party was SUPER, show, food, fireworks and drinks. The V.I.P. Beach and Pool had the top shelf booze, but we hung around the Pool bar, little more room and friendlier. You have to remember the average wage in DR is about 50 pecos a hour ( $1.35US ), so that $1 US tip carries alot of wieght.

There is only one thing to remember, you are on Holidays, enjoy, relax and don't sweat the small stuff.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank Basil G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
57 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2011

Lifestyle Tropical is what most reviewers have said it is, i.e., a nice, solid mid-level resort. The $20 per person per night deal through Cheap Caribbean was one of the best travel bargains we have ever encountered.

We went to the Cheap Caribbean welcome session the first morning (some useful information, but not truly necessary) which was (as we had expected) followed by a trip over to V.I.P. World, where you are set up with someone who chats you up and then tries to get you to buy a membership. Our salesman wasn’t very pushy (in the end, he said if we didn’t think we would be interested then we shouldn’t bother with the tour), and it really only took twenty minutes of our time. We were only approached one other time in the week by someone who left us alone as soon as we said we had already talked to a salesman.

Our room was in building six and was nothing special, though it was clean and comfortable. Nice king-sized bed with good mattress and pillows, nice fully-tiled bathroom with excellent water pressure and temperature. Refrigerator was fully stocked (and restocked) with beer, soda, and bottled water. Only one small chair (which was broken but replaced after we called it to their attention) and no table or desk, but lots of storage space for clothes and suitcases. Small patio (same as the balconies on upper floors) with two Adirondack chairs and a small table. Satellite television with full array of Latin American and US networks (New York affiliate stations), as well as a few other international ones.

The grounds are nicely if not spectacularly landscaped, and everything is kept immaculately clean. There were a few mosquitoes (including in the room when we first checked in, before I eradicated them by flyswatter), but overall, the dearth of insect life is probably indicative of a disconcerting use of pesticides. The pools are pleasant and relatively quiet. The V.I.P. beach is nice, but, as others have noted, it’s necessary to arrive before 8:00 if you want your pick of the beds and before 9:00 if you want a bed at all, though some did usually start to open up in the afternoon. The non-V.I.P. beach has plenty of regular lounge chairs, though, which the staff would also carry down closer to the water upon request. Down by the water, you can walk left on beach all the way to Ocean World, or right a short way over toward the peninsula, where there are some more rocks but also some calmer areas of shallow water where we had a few tropical fish swimming around our feet. Kayaks were readily available and in good condition, as were snorkels and fins, though there is no reef here and so not much to see.

Drinks on the V.I.P. beach were indeed better than those elsewhere, and the sushi (just maki rolls, really) was a good alternative for a snack or light lunch. Other food items from the V.I.P. menu were so-so, but conveniently delivered to your bed. The V.I.P. party on Monday night on the peninsula was wonderful, with music, dancing, and a spectacular buffet. It’s an easy and pleasant walk there from buildings 4, 5, and 6.

The reservations system for the specialty restaurants functions as reported (reserve at 1:00 pm for the following day) but means that you will in practice only get to eat at them two or three times during a week’s stay, at best. Blue Lagoon was not available any of the four times I waited in line, and in the end, we only tried Trapiche (again, an easy walk from building 6), which was fine and a nice change of scenery from the buffet, but nothing special and probably not worth the effort of interrupting my day to reserve it. Luckily, though, the regular buffet is one of the nicest I have seen. Again, as with everything at this resort, it is super clean and well maintained, and the food, though there were some misses, was varied and well above average, sometimes excellent. The only bad note was the Thursday evening American BBQ theme night, which is served around the pool; it was poorly organized, and the food was below par. Try to get a restaurant reservation for that night if you can.

By far our biggest complaint was the lack of beach towels. Basically, if you didn’t get one by 8:30 am, you were out of luck, though you would be told to come back in 20 minutes, at which point you would be told to come back in 20 minutes, ad infinitum. The V.I.P. beach did have V.I.P. towels placed on the V.I.P. beds, but you wanted those to line the beds, not to dry off with, and you couldn’t take them down to the ocean or up to the pool, anyway. A minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things, but oddly incongruous with an otherwise well-run resort.

So overall, it’s a great bargain, easily worth double what we paid.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank dougherucci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Twin Lake, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2011

The massages were wonderful.When you first get there they put a bracelet on you (this is now considered, "your class"). Depending on what color bracelet you received depends on which areas you are or or Not allowed (because of your class). I will tell you. My husband and I were had gold bracelets, which meant we could go anywhere. It was almost embarrassing for us when we met met people that wanted to go to the "Sports Bar" for example, that were not allowed. That was the only bar serving Budweiser. Any resort we had every been to everyone was allowed everywhere, as far as I know, other wise they were very discreet (as they should be if that's how they want to play the game). My husband and I also got very sick and had bug bites all over our legs when we woke up in the morning. I noticed at the beach many people had many bug bits on their legs. And to top it off the one thing we did like to do was play ping pong, but in the middle of the day they must use these table because apparently they can't find any others, they are used for BINGO. I would hate to leave out the HIGH pressure sales people that meet you at breakfast and follow you around all day, they are from the hotel and they are sell time shares, beautiful places, prices are ridiclous. There is not much shopping on the grounds, the front desk people told us it would cost us $70 usd for taxi to go shopping. It was cold and I wanted a sweater, No sweater to be found on the resort... Bottom line....we left skid marks getting out of this place.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nancylund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We went here on a RCI trade. Check in went smoothly. We were given a room on the 1st floor next to the pool. While the room was very nice, we weren't comfortable with everyone walking by looking in. We talked to the RCI concierge and were moved to an identical room on the 3rd floor of another building. There was a king bed, a sitting area with a futon couch, 2 chairs, coffee table, dresser, and mini fridge. There were balconies on 2 sides. There was always water, soda, and beer in the fridge. The buffet did get old quickly, but you could always find something decent to eat. The specialty restaurants were very good. We ate the Blue Lagoon (seafood), the Bellini (Italian), and Indochine (oriental). We spent a lot of time at the VIP Beach. It was a great place to hang out and meet people. The drinks and food were good there and service was great! Yes to get a bed, you had to get there early before they opened the gate and make the mad dash to get a bed. We could have spent the whole week right there and felt perfectly happy. They have a "Member" party once a week that is quite the event. There is lot’s of good food. Get in line for the lobster and shrimp right away; it doesn’t last long. There is good music and entertainment and a great fireworks display. There is also a Casino night with a Las Vegas type show one night. We went diving one day. In 25 years of diving, it was the most expensive the worst! The boat was crowded to the point everyone was sitting or standing on the gear. There were plastic sheets on the seats and we were told to sit on the plastic. While they didn’t tell us why, we soon found out they had just painted the boat and the paint wasn’t dry. We ended up with paint all over our wet suits and gear. The reef was pretty decimated and overrun with huge lionfish. We also did the Paradise Island excursion that was a lot of fun. It included a narrated bus tour to the boat for a half hour ride to the island, snorkel gear and a guided snorkel tour (the corals and fish life were much better than on the dive), drinks and sandwiches, a narrated boat ride through the mangroves, a nice lunch at a beach, and a bus ride back to the resort with a stop at a cigar/souvenir shop. The one thing that bothered us was the pools were not heated and the “hot tubs” on the VIP Beach weren’t heated either. The ocean was warmer. The biggest negative is the timeshare salesmen. They hang out on the paths from the lobby to the lodging rooms and the buffet. You can’t avoid them. Once you do the presentation, they leave you alone.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bobbi56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ossipee, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2011

So we just returned from Lifestyle Resort. For those who booked the deal through CheapCarribean.... know that this resort is a timeshare place. The rooms provided at the hotel are so that the timeshare has a market to sell to. CheapCarribean has a deal with the hotel to sell inexpensive rooms and timeshare folks get a market to sell to. Most of the negative reviews are a little exaggerated but it's true that you will have to (unless you don't mind being "harassed") sit through a sales presentation which starts with a tour of the property which is very nice. You get to see where the members stay (variety of rooms, suites and villas) and all the members’ only beaches, pools and restaurants. If you are polite and don’t show much interest and say no thanks… you just walk away and enjoy the rest of your stay. The reviews are correct that you do NOT want to stay in building 1-3. Very noisy and unpleasant. The rooms are a little shabby but clean and about what I would expect for cheap. The system of booking the restaurants is ridiculous but the food is not much better at the restaurants vs the buffet anyhow.. just different variety. The food is not bad just not great if you are used to 4-5 star restaurants. The only way to get decent service (more water, soda or beer for the room for instance) is to go the front desk in person, look the clerk in the eye and ask nicely (politely)-forget calling the front desk… didn’t work for me and I tried 4 times. I witnessed many instances of rude behavior but mostly by the guests not the hotel. The beaches are beautiful the beds are a great thing but you do have to get there early to get one and very early if you want specific one. You can have a nice inexpensive vacation here (bring plenty of 1 dollar bills for tipping—goes a long way for the workers there) if you don’t mind doing the timeshare presentation and you know in advance that you are not getting 4 stars unless you are a member. That saying--You get what you pay for applies well here.. we didn't pay much -- less than $100 a day all inclusive for 2 people... seems pretty cheap and cheap is what you get.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank w0rldtraveller8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2011

I had a great time, I have no idea why anyone wouldn't have a great time here. If you are outgoing and like to drink, visit with people, dance and party, then this is the place. I took both of my sons with me ages 18 & 21. They loved it also and said we should go there every year. Yes you are going to stand in line to register, and yes it takes a long time. But this is a great opportunity to meet people and drink a couple of drinks. There is a bar in the lobby. The VIP beach is a must, I love the running of the beds each day. You can find this annoying or just enjoy it. I think that the bad reviews are just people that wouldn't really have fun anyway. For the price I don't know how you can complain. Our room was fine, if you like a nice pillow, bring your own. Otherwise the bed was fine. We did tip, we brought about $180 in $1's with us. If you tip, you do get better service, what do you expect, these people make less in a day than my kid makes in an hour.

We met so many great people that we will stay in touch with for along time, thanks to Facebook and emails. If you go there to have a great time, you will.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TortugaTropical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, USA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2011

Meticulously manicured grounds. Hedonistic beach beds 5 feet from unlimited drinks and food. Standard buffet food adequate with fresh, healthy options. No real entertainment. Total relaxation. Beach is small but view is lovely. Small surf boards and beach chairs provided. Could not use whatever bikes they may have hidden. Staff if friendly, very helpful. Most are bilingual, and were amused and patient with my attempts to speak Spanish. We never left the resort except for Casino event. Our 3 generation group, with five between 18 and 24, had a perfect time. If you are looking for action and nightlife look elsewhere, or bring your own party.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank NancyFW
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 Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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