I just returned from the resort and I had to write a review since I relied so heavily on them prior to my trip. I took the trip solo via an "all-inclusive deal for two" through Groupon. It wasn't quite "all-inclusive", but most things were covered. The entire place was beautiful and clean - picturesque! The pools were sparkling and the poolside beds were well maintained. The landscaping was impeccable. The staff was friendly and everyone seemed happy to be there. I felt like a visiting family member.
My room was nice - overlooking the pool near Bellini. I froze the first night until I adjusted the AC (silly me!) I never used the safe (which is an additional cost to rent). My money and possessions were always as I left them in my suitcase. The housekeeper was sweet. I left her a tip each morning and she left fresh flowers and towels in the shapes of a different animal or bird each day. (probably for all guests, but it still made me feel special.) The mattress was pretty hard, but I guess the quiet and beauty compensated because I slept well and I NEVER sleep well.
I had a yellow band, but didn't really feel restricted from anything. There were a few restaurants and two beaches (Hamony and Serenity) that were off limits, but it wasn't a big deal to me. I enjoyed Cofresi. There always seemed to be activities going on...pool volleyball, yoga, bingo, water aerobics, etc...
The shuttles were adequate for getting around the huge resort. I did spend a good bit of time waiting at times, but I kept a book on hand and enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery as I waited. Golf carts are available for VIP members.
The crown and residence suites are fine for sleeping, but a bit secluded from the action. I didn't find the receptionists very accommodating as I had to go to the Tropical to get assistance with things like confirming my airport transportation, booking excursions, wiFi access (which isn't included/free, but there are hot spots that allow access. Unfortunately, they didn't tell you about the - even though I asked!)
I took the city tour excursion which included a cable car to the top of the mountain for $49. They probably shouldn't call it a city tour since there wasn't much to see but the cable car was cool. They should offer that solo for a lower cost. I didn't get to do the waterfall excursion, but I heard great things about it. I will definitely do that one if I return. I had no problems with mosquitos or insects. (I used insect repellent as recommended but I'm not sure if I even needed it.) Take sunblock - even if you're non-causasian! I saw a lot of burned bodies. I came home beautifully tanned.
There were drinks available everywhere! I'm a social drinker, so it wasn't a big deal. I had lots of virgin pina coladas but others seemed content with the alcohol offerings and I didn't see anyone who seemed drunk throughout the entire trip. (Then again...I skipped most of the night life.)
Here's a run down of the food: Zen, is a bar on VIP beach (not only for VIP members) which is also a wifi hotspot. They have the best snack/lunch options in my opinion...fresh sushi, fried chicken wings, nachos. Either go there or get pizza from Bellini. There was more food than anyone would care to eat. I can't say much of it was anything to write home about, but you won't be hungry. Dinner required reservations, which were preselected prior to arrival. You're advised that you can change them at the front desk between 9-11AM daily, but there was never any other options available.I'm a seafood lover but the one seafood restaurant, Blue Lagoon, was booked solid for the entire week before I ever arrived. Moonlight had great ambiance and the grilled veggies and rice were perfect. The BBQ porkchop was just okay. Bellini, is an Italian restaurant with your typical options. Their service is great! I enjoyed the pizza. The lasagna was okay...the pasta was clearly freshly made. I also ate breakfast there most days out of convenience. There were no lines and all of the restaurants serve the same breakfast menu anyway. Try a made to order omelet and the croissants with pineapple marmalade! Rodizio provided my favorite dinner although I'm not a big meat eater. The salad bar was excellent and the service was amazing! I loved everything; I just couldn't eat that much meat, so I only finished the glazed pork and turkey. I nibbled a little of the chicken, sirloin, and sausage just to get a taste of all of it. I loved the grilled pineapple! DO NOT eat at the Asian restaurant, Indochine!!! The food was horrible and made me sick on the last night of my trip. The greasy, overcooked spring rolls, general tso's chicken (at least that's what it was supposed to be) and "fried rice", which looked and tasted more like a bad attempt at dirty rice, were completely inedible. I only took 3 bites, but I couldn't escape the consequences. Let's just say...I had a LOOONG, uncomfortable trip home.
I wasn't there for the Sunday welcome party, but it must have been great because people were talking about it all week. There was a party Thursday night with music, food, and cool entertainment. I was beat from long days in the sun, so I didn't do any of the discos. You can tell me how you like those. Maybe I'll try them on my next vacation. All in all, I enjoyed my trip and felt completely safe vacationing alone. I could walk away from my bag even on the beach or by the pool. The only concern was that the sales guys had lists of every guest's name and room number and would notice you walking and call you by name. They all knew that I was there alone, which I would never have shared. Several of them hit on my, but I'm a cutie so that's to be expected. :) Nothing made me think I was in danger but I didn't like that they had my information.
I only took $200 US cash, a credit card (which I never used. don't forget to call your bank before you leave if you plan to use a credit or debit card while traveling) and my cell phone. I never exchanged my money and still had cash left over after my $10 tourist card, $49 excursion, about $70 for souvenirs, tips, and airport food while traveling there and back. I added $25 global data plan through Verizon to access email for communication...calls and texts are expensive, my smartphone also doubled as my camera. If you aren't going to add a special plan, be sure to turn off your data and global roam capabilities before you land and don't check your voicemail!!! You will be billed if you receive emails. Your plan won't cover anything including texts, while you travel. I didn't use room service or the spa. I thought Metamorphosis seemed a bit expensive, so I'll get a massage now that I'm back home. Enjoy your trip and write a review when you get back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Presidential Suites by Lifestyle are the newest luxury accommodations to be added to the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, setting a standard of lavish comfort with 60 scrumptiously appointed two-bedroom suites, filled with dramatic furniture and stainless steel appliances.All suites are dramatically decorated with dark, rich wood, and stainless steel accoutrements and appliances. The smallest details have been carefully crafted to provide guests with every comfort and luxury available, making the Presidential Suites by Lifestyle a one of the most relaxing, enjoyable and satisfying experiences ever.Providing both service and features that are beyond compare, the Presidential Suites offer a unique luxury accommodations experience. As a Lifestyle property, the Presidential Suites provide the easy, relaxed ambience of the Caribbean in an opulent and elegant setting,The Presidential Suites offer a matchless vacation experience for the most discriminating traveler. All suites have air conditioning, cable television, phones, and ceiling fans, while the décor has a distinctive modern design, featuring cherry wood furnishing and stainless steel. Shaded patios and verandas provide a relaxing place to gather.On Property amenities include: a large centralized pool with waterfall; Jazz, a French Fusion Restaurant; Bourbon Street bar; three tennis courts; and a full-press lighted basketball court. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club Crown Villas Hotel Puerto Plata
- Lifestyle Crown Residence Hotel
- Hotel Lifestyle Crown Residence